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dignity and splendour have now lost all their fascination; and in this state of black despair, no distinctions prevail between the meanest and the mightiest; except that the latter, from his greater responsibility, and more extensive wickedness, endures the most pungent wo.
Martyr. You may imagine, perhaps, that your conduct would have been different in the other world, could you have estimated futurity. But be assured, that those who would not hear the voice of the apostles and prophets, could not have been persuaded to renounce their folly, though the curtain that concealed the invisible state had been drawn aside, or a departed spirit had gained permission to appear from the realms of death. This might have impressed a transient terror; but it could never have produced any substantial or permanent reformation.
Crudelis. Oh that thou wouldst stretch forth thine angel-arm and only for a moment relieve my inexpressible anguish! Spread thy sunny pinions across the unfathomable gulph, and shake from them one particle of light and joy, to alleviate my sufferings!
Martyr. In thy lifetime
Crudelis. My lifetime! Ah, there's the point: that's the hinge on which turns all my misery! That's the thought which curses me, and causes every cord of sorrow to vibrate afresh.
Martyr. In thy lifetime thou didst enjoy thy good things: thy heaven was frivolity and dissipation; thy hell is remorse.
Crudelis. Oh that the ages would again roll back, and it were possible that I could exchange condition with the oppressed and persecuted Martyr! With what alacrity would I come down from the throne of a kingdom, to live in the deepest seclusion and retirement.
Martyr. But the day of salvation, the acceptable time, is past! Well I recollect your indignant frown, when, at the bar of judgment, in your presence, I began to speak of Jesus the Redeemer of men. I reasoned of righteousness, and in defence of my faith: but, casting your eyes through an ample window in the hall of judgment, towards the place designed for my execution, with a sarcastic smile of triumph you seemed to say, "There you shall die at the stake, or renounce your Galilean." It was a look that chilled my blood! Not that I entertained any alarming apprehensions of my fate; but while I felt the inhuman barbarity of your conduct, pitied your fatal infatuation.
Crudelis. Yes: I observed you fearing the pangs of death; yet triumphing in the prospect of it, from the immortality you expected to succeed. I almost thought there was a divinity in your
aspect; and had it not been for the most astonishing stupidity, supported by all the grandeur that surrounded me, my heart would have failed when you pronounced those memorable words after your condemnation; "I die; but it is to gain a crown. You have dominion only over my body; but there is one able to rescue my soul from the torturing flames! To his just tribunal I this day cite all my judges to answer for their decisions before the Son of God, and all the holy angels who come with him in the clouds of heaven!"
Martyr. What an hour was that, when I was conducted to the fatal spot! My thoughts, indeed, were but little agitated in anticipation of the horrid execution, being desirous of imitating that glorious Redeemer who was "led like a lamb to the slaughter." It was my hope to maintain a good profession before many witnesses, and to celebrate the praises of God in the hour of martyrdom. In full prospect of the vision of God and the Lamb, I rose on the wings of faith above the fears of the gloomy king. I seemed in a bed of roses; and my exulting soul caught hold of the robe of righteousness, as she dropt the mantle of mortality. Now my brightest expectations are infinitely surpassed! The most felicitating conceptions of celestial glory which the best of christians in an imperfect state could form, were far inferior to the blessed reality. Imagination's liveliest pictures in the other world, were but unfinished outlines of paradise! There all was shadow and imperfection; here all is light and glory. In that world the ways of God were but obscurely understood; in this, a beam from the excellent glory irradiates all that was obscure, and renders intelligible all that was mysterious. In contradiction to a thousand testimonies in the external appearances of society, you imagined, that to be received to the favour of God it was only requisite to be great and distinguished amongst men. The bounties of providence enriched you; and, in the possession of more than heart could wish, you imagined that the liberality of heaven was the evidence of your worth. But had you examined the world, you would have discovered, that God made his sun to shine on the good and on the evil; that the vicious frequently occupied what to man appeared the rightful honours of the virtuous; and that, while iniquity sat on a throne, inheriting the praises of multitudes, worth, shivering and pining in a cottage, was loaded with contempt. These reflections might have awakened the idea of a future retribution; and you would have perceived that, to demonstrate the equity of his administration, the Ruler of the world must, at one time or another, reverse, awfully reverse, the scale. с
Crudelis. Methinks, (hell-born wish! for it is fruitless,) methinks, were time presented to me again, it should be employed for honourable purposes. Every faculty of my soul should be devoted to the cause of that God whom I have slighted; to the protection of the injured, and to the advancement of the virtuous sons of obscurity and indigence. Never should this right-hand again sign the warrant of death.
Martyr. This is indeed the language of remorse; forever ineffectual! But Crudelis is mistaken. Were life again put into your possession, every thing would assume a different aspect. Surrounded again by all the pomp of power, by all the fascinations of the world, and every weakness of humanity having a correspondent temptation, what you now experience would be to you like a dream of night, and every terror would "vanish at the crowing of the cock." Unless you attended to the dictates of conscience and the word of God, Crudelis would again drag Martyr to his tribunal, and pronounce the sentence of death upon him!
ADDRESS OF THE PRESBYTERY OF NEW-YORK.
Extract of a letter from a gentleman in ·
to his friend in this city.
"I TAKE the liberty to enclose for your satisfaction, and that of your particular friends, an Address of the Presbytery of NewYork to the congregations under their care, on the subject of educating poor and pious youth for the gospel ministry. As a friend of our church, you will, I am sure, be pleased to find that this presbytery, agreeably to an overture sent down from the General Assembly, and in expectation of the co-operation of other presbyteries, have adopted, with so much spirit, a plan which promises an extensive and happy influence on the cause of the Redeemer. In addition to the intelligence contained in the address, I have it in my power to inform you, that the presbytery of NewYork have recommended to the ministers composing their body to read this address from their pulpits, and endeavour to impress their congregations with the importance of the object contemplated. They have directed, that annual collections be made in their several churches to defray the expense of this plan of education. In addition to this measure, they have issued subscription papers, and have earnestly recommended to the ministers and elders within their bounds to use spirited exertions to obtain occasional and annual subscriptions for the same end. I am informed, that their standing committee have had several meetings, and are attending in earnest, to the object of their appointment.
"The following is the address alluded to in the above extract.”
The Presbytery of New-York to the churches under their care wish grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ir has been, for several years, a source of growing concern with many friends of our church, that the interests of religion among us are greatly suffering for want of an additional number of pious, able, and faithful ministers of the gospel. While the population of our country has been rapidly extending; while new settlements have been forming; and new churches in quick succession rising to view; the increase of the number of ministers has been slow, and altogether incommensurate with the increasing demand for their services. This deficiency has become serious and alarming. Important congregations, which have long enjoyed the ministrations of the gospel, when they become vacant, are, with the utmost difficulty, supplied with pastors. Large districts, within the bounds of old settlements, in which churches might easily be planted, and where ministers would meet with a cordial welcome, are lying waste for want of their labours; and more than one thousand congregations, on the extensive frontier of the United States, as well informed persons have asserted, are able and willing to support spiritual teachers, but cry for them in vain.
A deficiency so long deplored, and so evidently growing, has at length engaged the serious attention of the supreme judicatory of our church. The general assembly, at their last session, received, and directed the publication of an interesting overture on this subject. This overture, after stating, in strong and affecting language, the deficiency complained of, recommends that exertions be made by the respective presbyteries to remedy the evil. It proposes, that each presbytery should undertake to look out for the most promising characters among the pious youth within its knowledge; to conduct those who may be selected through their academical and theological studies; and, during this course, to furnish them with the means of support, either in whole or in part, as their circumstances may require, and as the resources of the presbytery may render practicable.
The presbytery of New-York having taken this overture of the assembly into serious consideration, have resolved to adopt the plan which it recommends. In the execution of this plan they are sensible that much prudence, circumspection, and watchfulness will be necessary; and they cannot be so unreasonable as to hope, that an undertaking of such magnitude will be unattended with difficulty. But, deeply affected with the pressing exigencies of the
church, and convinced that the delay of even a single year may prove injurious to its best interests, they cannot forbear to go forward. In the name of Him who is set as king upon the holy hill of Zion, they lift up their banner; in his grace and strength they confide for success; and to those who love his cause they look for encouragement and aid.
To facilitate the accomplishment of their object, the presbytery have appointed a STANDING COMMITTEE of ministers and elders, whose duty it is to look out for young men, to examine their qualifications, to superintend their academic instruction, to direct their theological studies, and, in general, to do all those things which may be necessary for completing their education. This committee is to be annually renewed; and, in all its proceedings, is to act under the direction of the presbytery.
This method of introducing young men into the gospel ministry will, it is believed, be attended with important advantages. Chosen and educated by the presbytery, they will be constantly under its inspection and control. Known to the ministers and congregations belonging to the judicatory, a more than ordinary interest will be taken in their support, character, and usefulness. And the youth thus selected and cherished will feel an additional responsibility, and a peculiar excitement to gratify the just expectations of their patrons and benefactors. Nor is it a point of small importance, that while individuals and congregations will be called upon to furnish the means of supporting this system of education, it will lie with them, either personally, or by their representatives, to direct the manner in which their pious liberality shall be appropriated.
For defraying the large expenses which must necessarily be incurred in the execution of this plan, the presbytery rely on annual collections in the churches under their care; the liberality of wealthy and charitable individuals; and the bequests of those who may be inclined to remember this object in their last wills. These sources of revenue, it is hoped, will be increasingly productive when the nature and importance of our undertaking shall be generally understood; and especially when it is considered, that if suitable encouragement be afforded, there is every human prospect of the most gratifying success.
Having thus, dear brethren, laid before you the plan suggested by the general assembly, and on which, after mature deliberation, we have resolved to act, we must entreat your concurrence and aid in its execution. We ask for your prayers and your pecuniary assistance. Without liberal contributions it will be impossible to