« VorigeDoorgaan »
Thomas Bunn, Frome
10 10 William Steel, Esq. Broughton
10 10 0 Baptist Church, Lymington
10 10 Rev. Hugh Evans, M. A.
10 10 Rev. Thomas Dunscombe, Coate
10 10 1774 Ann Callwell, Chesham
50 0 Susannah Callwell, ditto
100 0 Thomas Llewelyn, Esq. L. L. D. London
боо Stephen Williams, ditto
10 10 Rev. Samuel Stennet, D. D. ditto
20 1775 Ebenezer Hollick, Esq. Witser
20 o Elizabeth Durban, Bristol
21 1777 Abraham Elton, Esq.
lo 1778 Rev. Isaac Woodman, Sutton, (a legacy)
40 0 1779 John Halmes, Efq. Exon
16 6 1780 Rev. Andrew Gifford, D. D. London 100 10
John and Wm. Parsons, Esq. Chichester 10 0 1781 George Wilkinson, London
IO 10 1782 William Deane, Plymouth, (alegacy) 150 John Reynolds, Barbican
20 1783 Rev. Andrew Bennett, Barbadoes 1784 Diana Mount, Tiverton, (a legacy)
(a legacy) consisting of his library,
150000 Rev. Andrew Gifford, D. D. London,
(a legacy) consisting of his Library,
1000 1785 John Thornton, Esq. Clapham
John Anstie, Esq. Devizes 3787 John Davis, Calne, a reversionary legacy of 1789 John Cooke, Bristol, (a legacy)
50 1790 Rev. James Newton, N. A. ditto (a legacy) 50 1791 William Thomas, Hitchin, (a legacy) 50
John Edmunds, Fairford, a reverfionary legacy
of £200. 3 per cent. Conf.-Stock 1792 Ann Moore, Bristol
Rev. John Poynting, Worcester, (a legacy) 1793 Rev. Abraham Booth, London
5 1794 Mrs. Simkin, Blaby, Leiceftershire
1795 Rev. Peter Reece, Warwick, (a legacy) 1797 Joseph Wyke, Leominster, (a legacy)
John Jarrett, of Bristol, (a legacy)
James Self, Esq. Trowbridge 1800 Thomas Fontleroy, London
John Folter, Biggleswade 1801 Anonymous (by Dr. Ryland)
For the MASSACHUSETTS MissionARY MAGAZINE.
THOUGHTS ON ESTHER iv. 16.
i And so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law;
and if I perish, I perish." HE situation of Ether, at this time, was truly diffi
cult and digressing. Through the influence of Haman, letters were sent by posts into all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, to deftroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day. This having obtained the royal feal, became a law of the Medes and Persians, which was unalterable. Esther, therefore, being a Jew, could not escape the general fate of her devoted people. Think not with thyself, said Mordecai in his message to her, that thou shalt escape in the king's house more than all the Jews. It only remained for Esther then to go in unto the king, to make fupplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. But all the king's servants and subjects knew that whosoever, whether man or woman, should come unto the king into the inner court, without being expressly called, there was one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king should hold out the golden sceptre, that he might live. Now Ether had not been called to come in unto the king for thirty days. If she went in then uncalled, death must be her immediate doom, unless it should please the king to extend his sceptre. Trying state indeed! Gloomy alternative ! Look which way she would, death, inevitable death stared her in the face. If the continued where she was, quick and certain destruction awaited her : if she came into the king's presence she must also at once perish, according to a fixed law, except the king's pleasure should be otherwise. In this awful dilemma what shall Ether do? In. one view, her condition must be conlidered as altogether hope
less ; in another some glimpse of hope might appear, for perhaps the king would see fit to reach forth the feeptre, as a token of life and favour. Under a full conviction of all this, that if the stood fill she must perish, and if she came and unreservedly gave herself up to the king's disposal, she could but perish, Esther refolves_5 And so I will go in unto the king, which is not according to the law ; and if I perish, I perish.".
How striking a picture is here exhibited of the condition and duty of all as finners ! By nature all are children of wrath. The soul that finneth, it shall die. He that believeth not is condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on him. De. ftruction and misery are in their ways. Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every foul of man that doeth evil. He that believeth not shall be damned. These are declarations of the word of truth. Sentence of eternal death is out against every impenitent unbeliever. This sentence, although not always speedily executed, is certain to be executed finally. To every such character God is saying in his word, as Mordecai laid to Enher, “ Think not, O finner, that thou shalt escape : can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I Thall deal with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.” All which can remain then is, that the finner go in unto the King, the Lord of Hosts, to make supplication unto him. But how shall he obtain audience and acceptance ? The law which he has broken allows no appeal, it knows no mercy. Being a transgreffor, it is not according to this law that he should be permitted to come before his injured Sovereign, or indulged the privilege of calling on his holy name. If the finner shall venture before the Lord therea fore, to offer up his request, it can avail nothing ; notwithstanding all his entreaties, he must ftill perish in his fins, and juftly too, unless it please the Majesty of heaven, for his Son's fake, to extend the sceptre of mercy that he may live. In this dreadfully exposed condition, under these trying circumstances, what is to be done! The awakened, trembling finner sees certain and endless death before him, if he stay where he is, or remain in his present ftate ; and should he pray, he knows, he feels that he may righteously be rejected, and given over to deserved destruction ; and that he must be thus rejected after all his prayers and tears, unlefs sovereign mercy and grace shall appear in his favour. Thus he finds his case to be awfully hazardous and alarming in every view. On one side he fees no hope ; on the other, some ray of hope is discovered in the midst of gloomy fears, for who can tell but God may turn away his fierce anger, that he perith not? Under the moft fenfible and deep impression of all this, that if he does not bow before God in hearty unreserved submission and humble prayer, he must inevitably perish, and that he can but perish if he does thus fubmit, he is brought to resolve with Ether-And
Yo will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law, that I have transgressed, and if I perish, I perish. He submits, and prays, and God hears.
INFERENCE. May it not be inferred from the foregoing thoughts that the doctrine of unconditional submillion to the will of God is rational, experimental, and scriptural? Is it not rational to submit to God, whose power is accompanied with justice, perfect and inflexible, with wisdom complete and unerring, and with goodness infinite ? Can a Sovereign of such attributes permit his rightful dependent subjects to state the conditions on which they will submit to his holy pleasure ? Is this to be supposed reasonable? How would it have appeared in Esther, had the, the moment the came before the king, said to him, I will submit to your decision if you will fave me and my people from the impending evil ? When it depended entirely upon the king's pleasure whether she should live or die ? Esther was more consistent in her conduct than all this. Her language before the approached the king was that of submillion; and her manner of approaching him was the fame : She could come into his presence only in a silent fubmissive pofture, waiting his sovereign will to extend or withhold his sceptre, and to receive life or death accordingly. How must it appear then in rebellious, self-ruined, helpless creatures to approach their almighty Maker and Judge, saying in their hearts, we will submit, we will yield ourselves up to your hands, if you will pardon and save us? When at the same time they are in his hands as clay is in the hands of the potter, and he can at once make them vessels of mercy or wrath as he sees fit? Sober reason can readily determine in such a cafe.
This duty of unreserved submission to the divine will is evident likewise from the experience of saints. The doctrine is experimental. Ask the faints if they found God a reconciled God and Father to them, till they became reconciled to his holy character and government ; till they were willing that God thould be God, as well in the affair of saving or destroying them, as in all things else. Do we not know their answer? Will they not readily say, that they were constrained to throw down the weapons of their rebellion, and submit themselves without the leait reserve to the will of their offended Sovereign, before they found in their souls a sense of his pardoning mercy and love?
To the law and to the testimony. “Submit yourselves, there. fore, to God. Be ye reconciled to God. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Hold your peace, let me alone, and let come on me what will. Though he flay me, yet will I trust in him, I will bear the indignation of the Lord, lays the prophet, because I have finned against him, until he plead my caute. Vol. II.
Let all realize that perish they must, and that eternally, if they Hay away from God in their late of opposition ; and that it is their duty, and will be their wisdom at once to come and bow themselves before him in humble entire submillion : it may be that God will reach forth to them his merciful sceptre, enable them to touch the top of it and live forever.
DIALOGUES ON THE NATURE AND TENDENCY OF THE HALFWAY COVENANT.
Between FIDEL19, CANDIDUS, and HUMANUS.
DIALOGUE II. Fid. ELL, brethren, I am glad my apprehension was
groundless. I feared our firit conversation took such a turn, that a second would not be desired.
Can. Indeed, Sir, the peculiar fpirit of that conversation was a special reason why I wilhed for another. If this interview be as friendly and instructive as that was, I hope to be more thor. oughly released from the hackles of prejudice, and to see in a still clearer light the path of my duty.
Hum. As for you, Candidus, I am resolved that your soft and pliable temper shall have no effect on me. You need not expect that I fhall easily renounce the sentiments and practices, in which I have been educated ; especially when they may be fo well de fended, as the halfway covenant. This has been the subject of my reflections ever since our conversation. I have thought of scarcely any thing else. It has occalioned me such labour and perplexity of mind, that I have sometimes regretted the circumAtance, which made it an object of attention. I believe, never. theless, the final consequence will be desirable. For I find, the more closely attend to the subject, the more favourably I am led to think of the common practice.
Can. What seems to me defirable is, that we find and embrace the truth, whether it consist with the common practice or not.
Fid. Let us be acquainted, Humanus, with the fruit of your intense study. Your ingenuity may, for aught I know, have discovered many errors in our former conversation, and may now bring forward unanswerable arguments for the halfway praće tice.
Hum. I believe, Sir, the practice rests on solid ground. It is capable, I think, of being supported by the belt arguments.