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Lord, Eye of the, 592.
Memorial of Western Church to General
Metals, Value of, 134.
Mind, Spirituality of, 56.
Men answerable for their Belief, 58.
Rev. J. P. Cunningham, 316.
Negroes, Pious, Anecdotes of, 409.
New Year in China, 92.
Optical Experiment, 512.
Pious Youth, Difficulties of, 493.
Printing, Stereotype, 184.
the Breath of Faith, 184.
Poems, Devotional, 154, 155.
Public Affairs, 17, 95, 142, 189, 240, 284,
Phenomenon, Singular, 426.
Petersburg, St., Population of, 329.
Supper, Private Administration of, Pious Villager, Narrative of, 251.
Life Boat, Experiment with, 426.
Lander, Richard, Death of, 266.
Letters to Presbyterians, 27, 78, 128, 181.
to Young Ladies, 86.
Lemon Tree, Remarkable one, 184.
Rev. John C. Lowrie, 515.
Messrs. Lowrie and Reed,235.
John C. Lowrie, 565.
Prairie, Burning one, 266.
Presbyterian Church, Warning to, 63.
Protracted Meetings and New Measures,
Religious Intelligence, 42.
Raphael, the Skeleton of, 93.
Reindeer, Power of Scent in, 91.
Reasons, Fifty of them, 445.
Reviews, 317, 362, 400, 454, 503, 556.
Mrs. Reed, to Mr. and Mrs. Ringworms, Cure for, 330.
Regeneration, Nature and Effects of, 241.
Remarks, Editorial, 210.
Rulers, Prayer for, 221.
Spiritual Darkness, Lines Written dur-
Soul Resting in God, 97.
Scripture, Distribution of, 187.
Sinful Shame, Nature and Remedy of, 473.
Scriptural Phrases, Use of, 495.
Sheet Lead, Mode of making, 513.
- Emblem of the Creator, 304.
Curious Customs in, 41.
Sacraments of the Church, Examination
Salt, Manufacture of, 41.
Syria, Mission to, 46.
Sermon, a Charity, 336.
Society, British and Foreign Bible, 188,|| Voluntary Society, British Church, 377.
266, 352, 379.
Society, Voluntary Church, 377.
Missionary, fortieth meeting, 381.
Western Foreign Missionary, Re-
port of, 331.
Whale Fishery, 91.
Words, Fashion of, 347.
Wise Man looking in every Direction, 201.
Society, Western Foreign Missionary, Se-Word of God, danger of Disobedience to,
cond Report of, 283.
Society, Western Foreign Missionary,
A NEW YEAR'S SERMON.
Jos, xiv. 14, latter part.-"All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come."
A New Year's day is commonly regarded as a season appropriated to joy and festivity. Whence, my brethren, is this idea derived? and what good reason can be assigned for its indulgence? Do we intend by our rejoicing to express our grateful sense of the Divine goodness, by which we have been preserved through another year? This, indeed, is both rational and pious; and the pleasure which arises from such a source ought not to be suppressed, but encouraged and cherished. Considering however the general indications of the event, they seem plainly to direct us to serious, rather than to light and airy contemplations. The pleasure which has just been admitted to be proper, though real and exquisite, is of the serious kind; and surely nothing can be more serious than to be reminded that our lives are fast hastening to a close, and that we are speedily to render up our account for every deed done in the body,—which is the most natural train of thought that the occurrence of a new year can suggest to a considerate and pious mind. Hence it happens, that although the season is usually devoted to unthinking levity, by those who wish to escape from all serious thought, it is impossible to say any thing of a religious kind that shall be appropriate to it, without leading to those meditations which are apt to be esteemed gloomy. I say for myself, brethren, that I have never been able to frame a new year's discourse, which would not serve, with very few modifications, for a funeral sermon; and the reason is, that the flight of time, the shortness and uncertainty of life, and the importance of our being habitually prepared to stand before our final Judge, are equally suggested by both these occasions.
Searching for a topic which might give some variety to the strain in which I have heretofore addressed you, my attention has been drawn to the text; which, after all, can vary it but little. It was originally uttered by Job, in a meditation he indulged and to which he was led by his afflictions, relative to the vanity of man, or the shortness and sorrows of human life. The words themselves are expressive of a pious resolution, patiently to wait till God should please to put an end to all his sufferings by the stroke of death: or, perhaps, we may say more generally that they announce a determination to leave quietly to God's disposal all the events of life and death; only waiting on him for the knowledge of his will, and for grace and strength to do or suffer it, till the final Ch. Adv.-VOL. XII. A
change contemplated, should terminate the sufferer's weary pilgrimage. Considering the expression, as I propose to do, in a detached and general view, we may, I think, without doing violence to its natural import, consider it as authorizing the following positions
I. There is a purpose, unspeakably important, for which each of us was sent into this world:
II. The period allowed to each of us, for the execution of this purpose, is fixed and determined by God:
III. It is our duty piously and patiently to wait, till this period be accomplished:
IV. When it is terminated, we shall experience a change in the highest degree important and decisive.
After briefly discussing each of these points, a short application shall conclude the discourse.
First, then, there is a purpose, unspeakably important, for which each of us was sent into this world. Is not this a truth, which by plain implication is taught in the text? Does not an appointed time, waiting for the completion of it, and looking for a change, imply that there is a design to be answered by our present situation, as well as by that which is future? Was this space assigned for no purpose? Is it to be a period of mere idle and useless existence? or is it to be filled up at the pleasure of every individual, without any responsibility for his conduct? Certainly not-To suppose this, would be to impeach the wisdom and moral equity of the Creator. The intimation is strong in the text, and it is abundantly confirmed by the unequivocal decisions both of reason and Scripture, that the present is a probatory state; a state in which preparation is to be made, and a character to be formed for the eternal world. All that we see of man is a riddle, unless he is to exist beyond the grave; and unless his present dispositions and actions are to have an influence there. The condition of man at present is marked with the greatest inequalities, and apparent violations of equity. The wicked are often prosperous and successful, and the virtuous are frequently disappointed and overwhelmed with distress. How strikingly was this exemplified in the case of the holy man who uttered our text? It seems necessary, then, in order to vindicate the moral government of the Deity, that there should be a state in which these irregularities shall be equitably adjusted; in which vice shall be punished, and virtue and piety rewarded.
Man, moreover, is endued with faculties which aim at objects that, in the present life, he never attains. With powers capable of endless improvement, he dies almost as soon as that improvement is begun. If his Creator be, as we cannot but conclude that he is, both wise and good, it is altogether incredible that a creature should be formed by him for uniform disappointment; should be made to possess powers which are never matured, but invariably blasted in the bud. These considerations led even the heathen philosophers, strongly to hope for and expect a life to come; a life for which the present was to be regarded only as a period of preparatory discipline, a state of infancy and tutelage. Divine revelation establishes this deduction of reason, as an unquestionable fact. Its whole import is, that there is a future state of happiness and misery; that this future state will be determined by our present conduct; and to teach and persuade us to shun the evil, and to choose the good. The unequivocal and abundant teaching of the holy oracles is-"Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Wo unto the wicked! it