Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

creatures formed out of the dust of the earth, as sinners and suppliants, prostrating ourselves before the throne of divine grace, ask of him who can alone resolve the question. His answer is ready,Through the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; for the blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin.

If such, then, be the character of sin, what shall we say to those who make a mock of it, who consider the grossest violations of the laws of God as venial trespasses, and indulge their sensual appetites without fear or restraint? Poor, deluded, infatuated mortals, whom the majesty of Omnipotence awes not, who deride the terrors of his vengeance, who reject the gracious offers of his pardon and mercy, and, in the language of the New Testament, crucify Christ again. Yet think, ere the grave closes upon you, ere eternity opens to receive you, that hope will then be no more. You will then call upon the mountains and rocks, “ Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” May the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ere yet it be too late, awaken your fears, and rouse you to repentance; and may the Holy Spirit imprint this awful truth upon your souls, and enable you, through faith in Christ, to live up to the sense of it: “ Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."

If such, again, be the character of sin, and such the state of human nature under the dominion of it, what shall we say to others, who professing themselves believers in Christ, consider the scriptural expressions of the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, as terms of no signification, or application, to christians of these days? Are the words of our Saviour to Nicodemus of no meaning, “ Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;” and, “ that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit?” Heaven is the residence of the spirits of the just made perfect; carnal ideas have no admittance there, and the atonement on the cross will not avail without that spiritual renewal, that purification of the heart and affections, which the gospel throughout inculcates as indispensably necessary to salvation, and ascribes to the operation of divine agency on the heart of man. To them, I also say, poor, deluded, infatuated mortals, may you, through the grace of God, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God; and that being created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works, you may not be estranged from God.

Blessed, thrice blessed, are those, whom the Holy Spirit enables to see in Jesus, as it were personified, the love of God reconciling man to himself: who rejoice in their salvation through Christ, like a bird escaped from the shares of the fowler, like a child finding refuge in its parent's arms from impending destruction, or like a banished criminal restored to his country, and the society of his friends. Such is the joy of a true believer in Jesus, when he compares the period of his estrangement from God, with the consolations of his regenerate state. With passions subdued, and affections spiritualized, inflamed with love for God and Christ, and filled with charity to man, he finds all joy and peace in believe ing: he feels himself liberated from the chains of sin and death, and sees the portals of heaven unbarred for his admission, by the power of him, who first rose from the dead, and brought life and immortality into the world. He rejoices in hope, but with humili. ty, trusting solely in Christ, who, he knows, will not suffer one of those to be lost, whom God hath given to him. In this confidence, with all patience and gratitude, he prepares to attend the bridal feast of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and assumes his wedding garment “ washed white” with his blood. Believing yet humble, animated but not presumptuous, hoping yet fearing, he lifts up his eyes and his hands to God and his Saviour, and joining the chorus of the angelic host, exclaims with pious rapture, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ch. Ob.

Malachi iv. 2. “ The sun of righteousness shall arise with HEAL

ING IN HIS WINGS." I LATELY met with an explanation of this metaphor, so descriptive of the Redeemer's character, which was not more agree. able and satisfactory to me, than I am persuaded it must be to the readers of the magazine. An English divine having received information from a correspondent at Smyrna, of a wind which there begins to blow at the rising of the sun, so salubrious in its effects, as to be generally spoken of under the name of the doctor, it occurred to him, that “ the wings of the wind” is a scripture phrase, and that Malachi might have known the healing virtues of the wind mentioned by his correspondent: he therefore concluded, that the prophet from thence takes his image, of the sun rising on the wings of healthful winds, to represent the benefit which men receive from the knowledge, the efficacy, and the Spirit of Christ, by the benefit which they receive from the rising sun, attended with breezes which refresh the spirits, and brace the nervous system.

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. Extracts from the Report of the Directors The missionaries express their deep

of the Missionary Society, to their regret that human sacrifices were still eleventh General Meeting, held in Lon- frequently offered by the chief, to render don, on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of May, his god propitious; and that the cruel 1805.

practice of murdering infants was also OTAHEITE.

continued, which, with the causes before In the course of the last year, we have assigned, contributed to the speedy de. received the journals of the missionaries population of the country. at Otaheite, from October, 1802, to April, An event took place on the 3d of Sep1803. The civil war in that island, which tember, 1803, the consequences of which had placed our brethren in a critical situa. the missionaries were unable to foresee. tion, having been happily brought to a The Dart, an English brig, employed in close, they were enabled to pursue the the seal-skin trade, touched at the island, object of their mission without any mo. in consequence of some disappointment lestation. The brethren Jefferson and in the object of her voyage; by which Nott, afterwards the brethren Bicknell circumstance, our brethren received a and Wilson, made a preaching tour small supply of necessary articles. When through different parts of the island, and the Dart was about to leave the island, published the glad tidings of salvation and was plying in and out of the bay, by Jesus Christ to the natives, some of waiting for some provision which had whom gave them an attentive hearing, been promised, the chief (Pomarre, father but the greater part treated their mes. of the reigning prince Otoo) was prosage with levity and disregard. The ceeding in a canoe to the vessel with two brethren first mentioned had an opportu- of his people, but being suddenly attack. nity, in the course of their journey, to ed by a violent pain, he dropped the pad. address nearly four thousand adult per- dle from his hand, fell down on his face sons, which is probably more than half in the canoe, and never uttered another the total inhabitants of the island, for by word. The canoe returned to the shore, the ravages of war and disease, the mis- and Pomarre shortly expired. sionaries had reason to conclude that the This chief having long been the powerinhabitants are reduced to the number ful friend and protector of our missionaof six or seven thousand souls. Their ry brethren, it was natural for them to increased acquaintance with the people feel some apprehensions on his sudden has discovered a dreadful degree of removal. They therefore prudently remoral turpitude, generally prevailing quested the captain of the Dart to defer among them, which has, no doubt, been his sailing till the next day, that they much aggravated by the intercourse of might have an opportunity of ascertaining wicked Europeans among them. Their whether they might indulge the hope of principal desire has been by every means continued safety under the successors of in their power to procure firearms and Pomarre. The result of such inquiries ammunition, which they employ every as a few hours admitted of their making, opportunity that occurs for accumulat. was, “they trusted they might rely on the ing; a circumstance by no means favoura. assurances of Otoo and Edea, that they ble to the missionaries, who, however, should remain unmolested in the exercise consoled themselves with this glorious of their mission, whatever changes might truth, that “the Lord God omnipotent take place in the government." The mis. reigneth."*

sionaries appear to have been generally treated with civility, and sometimes with

kindness, in the tours they made; and, * The directors enjoyed the satisfac- though the greater part of the persons

who heard them preach the gospel, were tion of conversing with a gentleman who had resided some months on the island, and whose account of the state of things there, corresponded with the journals musquets. He observed that the misand letters of our missionaries. He con- sionaries seemed to be satisfied as to firmed the information above mentioned, their own personal safety, and thought concerning the avidity with which the there was no occasion for their friends Tatives procured fire arms, and said he to entertain any painful apprehensions believed they might possess about 120 concerning them. VOL. II.

M

careless and inattentive, yet a few listen. means of intereourse with them are so ed with becoming regard, asked ques. rare and so difficult; nor can the directions, and wished for further information. tors conceive of any practicable mode of “On the whole,” says our brethren, communication, but by encouraging some “ although we can give no flattering mercantile persons in New South Wales, hopes of the success of the gospel, yet by a suitable bounty, to fit out a vessel we believe the means are not used in from thence, to be employed in the seal. vain. The names of Jehovah, and Jesus skin trade, or some other commercial Christ, are universally known, and seve- engagement suited to the country, and ral truths respecting them; and, as God who may thus be induced to visit Ota. has appointed the preaching of the word heite, and convey to them the needful for the salvation of sinners, we hope in supplies, and thus open a channel of due time, that blessed end will be an- communication with the society, provided swered in Otaheite."

that the missionaries find it their duty The directors regret that they have to persist in their labours on that island, received no communications from Ota- or to make an attempt to evangelize some heite, of a later date than September 3, other of the Society Islands. This impor1803; and it was no small addition to tant measure is now under the most setheir concern, to be informed by the Rev. rious consideration. Mr. Marsden, of Port Jackson, in New

[To be continued.] South Wales, in a letter dated 10th August, 1804, that the supplies request- British and Foreign Bible Society. ed by the missionaries and sent out in Extracts from the Appendix to the the ships Albion and Cato in 1802, and Report of the British and Foreign which had been forwarded by the Alexan. Bible Society. der, captain Rhodes, bad not been landed The first is an extract of a letter from at ótaheite; for the captain, hearing of the Rev. Dr. Dalrymple, one of the mithe renewal of the war with France, relin- nisters of Ayr. quished his design of going to Otaheite, “I give you joy, and would take some and after having been at sea some small share of it myself, that we have lived months, returned to Port Jackson; in to the day of a British and Foreign Bible consequence of which, the goods were Society. In the 82d year of my age, and re-landed, and were found to be much 59th of my ministry; next to both deaf and damaged. A further supply of necessary blind; it is little that I can do in an acand useful articles for the mission was tive way to assist in so glorious a design: sent out in November last, by the Argo, but that little shall not be wanting. This captain Baden, but of their arrival at evening I intend to overture our synod New South Wales, in order to their con- for a collection, after the good example of veyance to Otaheite, the directors have the presbytery of Glasgow, and I hope to not yet been informed.

succeed'.” (p. 34.) When the state of this mission was Mr. Kiesling a respectable merchant maturely considered at a special meet- in Nuremberg thus writes. ing of the directors, September 24, 1804, “Your letier afforded me such joy it was unanimously resolved, “That á that I could not contain myself, but imcompetent supply of necessaries and con- mediately went to the Rev. John Godveniences for the missionaries be annual- fried Schoener, one of the most respecly provided, and forwarded to Otaheite, table ministers of our city, in order to either by a direct conveyance, or through communicate to him the joyful news from the medium of the Rev. Mr. Marsden, a far country. He was no less affected New South Wales; and also, that a than myself; and we agreed to appoint a credit to the amount of 3001. be lodged meeting of christians friends on Ascenwith him, to be applied discretionally by sion-day, at which we unanimously rehim to such exigencies as may occasion- solved to unite for the formation of a ally occur.' In pursuance of the former Bible Society, and by a printed letter, to resolution, the supply last mentioned was invite our christian friends throughout sent out.

Germany and Switzerland, to assist us The directors feel a painful concern in so noble an undertaking. for their brethren at Otaheite, whose “ When sometimes I am privileged to patient continuance in well-doing, amidst give away a Bible or New Testament, so many dangers and discouragements, father and mother, son and daughter, are entitles them to every exertion in their running after me, thanking me a hun. behalf that can with propriety be made. dred, and a thousand times, kissing my It is much to be regretted, that the hand and my coat, shedding tears of

joy, and loudly exclaiming; May God lively emotions of unfeigned love and afbless you: may the Lord Jesus bless fection for you, and for all the members you in time and to all eternity. Really of that venerable Bible Society, for whom I felt sometimes a foretaste of heavenly I wish a thousand blessings. May the joy, so that I could not sufficiently bless Lord Jesus, through whom all blessings God, for having entrusted me with the are communicated to us, be the beginhonourable commission of steward of the ning and end of their praiseworthy unkind benefactions of others. But the dertaking! and may his name be glorifimore I disperse, the more the petitions ed for it to all eternity! both of ministers and schoolmasters in- “ What particularly induced me to crease, not only from Austria, but like. write, was your question, whether the wise from Stiria, Carinthia, and Hungary, Bible was still prohibited to the cathoinsomuch, that I am afraid to present lics? Being convinced thereby, that you their petitions.” (p. 36.)

was mindful even of the poor catholics I The address circulated by the Nurem- was particularly moved and edified; for berg Bible Society throughout Germany indeed, nothing is more affecting than closes with the following appeal. that love which embraces all, without the

* We confidently hope for the success least distinction; “ for God is love; and of our undertaking. If in England, ac- he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, cording to the latest accounts, even hard and God in him.” I felt myself, therefore, working artisans have contributed their constrained to thank you, in the name of mite towards the support of the Bible all honest and well disposed catholics, Society, can we suppose that less zeal for these your fraternal sentiments. for the good cause will be displayed by “ In answer to your question, I observe, our German and Swiss reverers of the properly speaking, the Bible has never sacred writings!

been prohibited to the catholics. The “ The inherent value of the book, the council of Trent only states, Indiscri. religious wants of the people, the critical minata lectio Sacræ Scripturæ interdicta est. circumstances of the times, the present Well informed catholics took this always tranquillity of the States; all these, be in that sense only: that not all books of sides many other urgent reasons, loudly the Bible, promiscuously, should be put call for attention to this important unders into the hands of the common people, taking

refering chiefly to some books of the “Ove, who know and revere the Bible, Old Testament. Besides, this prohibition which yet remains the Bible of all reli- of the council of Trent has never been gious parties, lend your aid in promoting admitted as binding by the whole body it. Ye, who, on the brink of the grave, of the Roman catholic clergy in Germacan dispose of your property at pleasure, ny; but so much is true, that all blind think on the words of the just judge of bigots of our church have always spread the world, I was hungry, and ye gave me the opinion, that it was entirely forbidden meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. for all laymen to read the Bible; and this If the blessing be already so great for prejudice, is, alas! still deeply prevalent him who ministers to the bodily wants of among the greater part of the people. his fellow creatures, how much greater There are, however, at present, many of will it be for those, who, constrained by our clergymen, both in Swabia and Bava. the love of Christ, provide for satisfying ria, who strongly recommended the

read. the hungry after the living word of God, ing of the Bible, chiefly of the New Testaand lead thirsty souls to the pure wells of ment; and do every thing in their power salvation !” (p. 41.)

to promote it. I bave, for my own part, From the letter of a Roman catholic distributed many New Testaments, and priest, in Swabia, we gladly extract a some Bibles, among better enlightened few passages.

catholics; and several of my dear bre. “ I had the pleasure to learn, from a thren in Christ do the same. We are, copy of your letter, addressed by Mr. however, not able to satisfy all the de. Tobias Kiesling, of Nuremberg, the great mands for Bibles.” (p. 43, 44.) number of zealous friends of the Bible in “ I am sure we could dispose of a good London, who are filled with a noble de number of Bibles and New Testaments. sire to send out the pure word of God, as The people scem to get more and more the best preacher, into the world. This desirous of the Bible;

and the number of account excited in my breast the most clergy men is increasing, who not only heart-felt joy and gratitude towards that would tolerate but commend the reading God, who is the only Giver of every of it. good and perfect gift;' but I felt also I feel a very great desire to witness

« VorigeDoorgaan »