Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

consideration of it ought certainly of which we have here prefixed the to lead us, amidst our zeal for the title; which was originally publishdiffusion of education, to endeavour, ed in the year 1796, and has pass, at the same time, to give a righted through several editions in this current and direction to the power country, and been reprinted in which we impart. For the art of America. The instruction it conreading is like a sluice of water, tains, the principles which it is its which, if conducted in a safe course aim to form, and the moral and reto its proper end, is an instrument ligious character illustrated in the of the mightiest power in promot- course of it, are exactly those which ing objects of the greatest utility; men require to render them truly but, if turned from its appropriate happy. Could its substance be but channel, may become the cause of carried into the breasts of the mass most extensive mischief.

of our people, and come forth in This ought especially to be kept the visible shape of their daily walk in mind in reference to those who and conversation, what a change move in the humbler walks of life, would take place upon the face of and whose occupations leave but a society ! O what a new and blessed very scanty portion of their time to world would arise ! be employed in reading. Their When we assure our readers that natural inclinations prompt them it is executed in the best possible to give such fragments of time to manner within the limits prescrib, the perusal of works which have ed, a very short statement of the too often a pernicious tendency, or plan of this treatise will, we trust, which are at the least useless, (and be the best means we can employ every thing that is useless is perni- for recommending it to the notice cious,) and yet, what they thus of every real friend of religion and read becomes, in a great measure, of the people. It was professedly the elements of their ordinary and of purpose drawn up with the thoughts and opinions, and contri- view of "alleviating the anxieties, butes to give a complexion to their and increasing the happiness, of whole character. While, therefore, the labouring poor." It comthere are so many worthless public mences with a concise statement cations continually presented, in a of the great principles of religion cheap and inviting form, to solicit the character of God--the condi, the notice of the lower classes of tion and prospects of man--the resociety, and calculated to meet, medy provided for human guilt and and gratify, and strengthen, the depravity-the means by which evil propensities of their nature, we men are prepared for the kingdom would urge it as the imperative du- of heaven and the doctrine of a ty of Christians, vigorously to pro- State of retribution beyond the secute the war in favour of the bet- grave. The second chapter is upter description of books, and to give on the experience of religion ; the widest circulation possible to and setting out with the principle those which, dealing with men as that all real piety has its seat in fallen and sinful creatures, are fit- the heart, treats of the question, ted to convey to them the solid how the truths of Scripture affect instruction which they require, and the mind when savingly applied by to engage them to the consider- the Holy Spirit; which is done, we ation of those things which belong think, in a manner the most simto their everlasting peace.

ple and intelligible. In the third We know of no little work better chapter, a view of the practical inadapted for this purpose than that Auence of religion is exhibited; and,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

zens.

by the manner in which the partie lead us to review our past life with grief and culars under this head are illustrate contrition ; they excite unfeigned solici. ed, the writer has discovered an in

tude for reconciliation with an offended timate acquaintance with the real fess, that we deserve to perish, they make

God; and, while they constrain us to concircumstances of those whose bene.

us willing to be saved in whatever manner fit he was so anxious to promote,

a holy and gracious God shall be pleased and an accurate knowledge of their

to appoint. besetting sins and temptations, and

“ The blessed Spirit of illumination and

grace, having humbled these awakened of the way in which religion is

men under the mighty hand of God, next brought to bear upon their charac- leads them to a believing, joyful acceptance ter and habits. The fourth sec- of the mercy offered in the Gospel ; he tion considers the importance of gives them to know, that God is in Christ religion to the usefulness and hap, he hath set forth Jesus as a propitiation for

reconciling a guilty world to himself; that piness of the common people; and the remission of sins ; that there is no conaddresses them, first, in their per- demnation to them who are in Christ; and sonal character, as immortal and that whosoever will may take of the waters accountable beings; and then, in of life freely: Now God appears net only their relative capacity, as servants, just God and Saviour ; a God in Christ,

glorious in holiness, but rich in mercy: 3 as husbands and wives, as parents justifying the ungodly who believe, and sayand heads of families, and as citi. ing in their behalf, Deliver from going

In the fifth chapter, the down to the pit, I have found a ransom. means best calculated for promote in the mind of the awakened sinner. 11

Now the cheering dawnings of hope arise ing the knowledge and spirit of re- luminated by the Spirit, I see a fountain ligion amongst the common people opened for my many iniquities; and I am are stated and recommended-the assured that Jesus died, the just for the undiligent reading of the Scriptures, just, to bring sinners unto God. His blood

cleanseth from all guilt ; his power saves to a regular attendance on the preach- the uttermost ; his invitations are free and ing of the word devout medita- unlimited ; and his promise tells me, that tion and secret prayer. And the he will in no wise cast out. Now arrives work concludes with a most earnest the solemn and memorable hour, of infinite address to parents and masters.

importance to these awakened men, when,

through the great Mediator, they approach It is not so easy to fix upon a the throne of the God of peace, when they few, as to find a great many, pas- deliver up the weapons of their rebellion, sages in this little work which may when they unfeignedly surrender themselves serve to convey an idea of its to the grace and the government of the Al

ge. neral substance and character. The mighty King of Zion, and entrust the ever

lasting interests of their immortal souls to two following may be regarded as this all-sufficient Saviour. And now it is, faithful witnesses to the sound they are diade the happy partakers of that practical instruction it contains, faith which is by the operation of the Spi. and the spirit of animated devotion rit; they receive the record which God which it breathes throughout.

hath given of his own Son ; they rely on the great atonement for the pardon of their

guilt; they depend on the perfect right“ There is a wide difference between these eousness of Christ for their justification in self-abasing convictions of the spirit, which the sight of an offended and infinitely holy are connected with salvation, and the re- God; they plead the experience of his monstrances of a natural conscience in un. quickening, sanctifying grace ; and they renewed men. The latter are chiefly ex- lay hold on the covenant of promise, as cited by the commission of gross or of out- their security for the enjoyment of all spi. ward sins, which subject the transgressor to ritual blessings. So soon as men are thus present inconvenievice, disgrace, or dis- led to rely on the Saviour for righteousness tress. The former are promoted by a dis. and redemption, they become new creatures covery of the opposition which the heart in Christ ; old things are done away, and feels to the authority of God, its insensibi. the time past seems far more than sufficient lity to his infinite amiableness, and its in- to have wrought the will of the flesh; the gratitude for his unmerited goodness; they high imaginations are laid low, and the af.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

1

fections captivated to the love of Christ; delight, and .consecrates his talents to the his love constrains them ; the influence of honour of God. In filial submission, he sin is opposed ; God is supremely delighted resigns his interests to the divine disposal, in ; and the things of time, however joyous, saying, Father, not my will, but thine be are counted as the small dust of the balance, done. He studies, through grace, to walk when compared with the pleasures which humbly with God; and it is his daily enare at God's right hand. This astonishing deavour to enjoy nearer and more constant change, which, in the hour of reconciliation, fellowship with the Father and the Son, passes upon their minds, is styled, the re- through the Spirit. This delightful interbewing of the Holy Ghost, and the blessed course, while it elevates his views to heaeffects of it are, growing comfort and holio ven, neither leads to presumption nor fills ness; and both of these, in all their gradual with arrogance; on the contrary, it proprogress to perfection, are invariably attri- motes the sincerest humility, under lively buted to the residence of the Spirit in the impressions of his unworthiness, and excites souls of the regenerated. He fills them to watchful circumspection, lest he provoke with peace and with joy, by bearing wit- the Holy One of Israel to withdraw his gra. Dess that God hath accepted them through cious communications. Such is the grahis beloved Son; that his anger is turned dual progress of the work of grace on the away; that he hath adopted them into bis hearts of believers, and such are the feelfamily, and given them, not only the ho- ings of the soul when led by the Spirit ; bourable title, but all the inestimable pri- they do unite the ardour of triumphant joy vileges of children. That the hope of glory in God, with deepest humiliation for past may accompany the joy of believing, the offences; the confidence of children, with Spirit farther testifies, that if children, then the reverence of godly fear; the comfort of we are heirs, heirs of an inheritance, incor- pleasing God, with the conflicts of selfruptible, undefiled, and unfading, which denial; the hope of glory to be revealed, God, who cannot lie, hath promised, and with the fear of seeming to stop short in which is reserved in heaven for all who love the heavenly journey. O happy, though the Saviour. Thus, through views of God hidden life! May í live the life of the as a reconciled Father, through the pro- righteous ! May I daily experience their speet of immortal joys, and through a noble abhorrence of sin, their gratitude for reelevation above this miserable world, they deeming love, their joy in the Saviour, go on their way rejoicing. But these com. their fearfulness of offending, their jealousy fortable influences of the Spirit, are dimin- over themselves, their mortification of ished or withdrawn when the people of God earthly affections, their eagerness to glorify indulge in sinful conformity to the world ; God, their esteem of the saints, their

eleva. when they act an undutiful part to their tion above the world, and their ardent heavenly Father, or fail to adorn the doc- longings for heaven! Your hearts reply, trine of God their Saviour. Hence it is Amen; let us also delight ourselves in evident, that the sanctifying influences of God.” Pp. 53–58. grace are as necessary to our peace and “ Hence arises another important Christ. comfort, as the most satisfying assurances ian duty, that, namely, of invigorating and of our interest in the divine favour. Sanco cherishing these heavenly plants by means tification means the continuance and pro- of religious ordinances. Thus, believers gress of that spiritual life which was begun are described in Scripture as trees of rightin believers, when renewed in the spirit of eousness planted by the rivers of water, their mind.

which bring forth fruit in their season, and An infant of a day hath all the parts are flourishing even in old age, when others and faculties which he shall enjoy when he fade. The word of God, the sanctuary and arrives at manhood; but these, while in its impressive solemnities, the secret devoinfancy, are imperfect and feeble : they tions of the closet and family, these are the gro*

with his growth, and strengthen with peaceful streams which water the vineyard his years. Thus is it with the man of of the Lord, and these are the sacred chan. God; sanctification confers no new princi- nels through which the Almighty Spirit ples, capacities, and pursuits : but it invi. conveys to believers renewed supplies of life, gorates those which the new creature al- and strength, and fruitfulness. The word ready possesses, and cherishes them gra- of God is their counsellor in straits, and dually, until he arrives at the fulness of the companion in the pilgrimage of life; and stature of a map in Christ. Being renew. many in every age can say with the Psalmed in his mind, he sets his affections on ist, « When our sorrows abounded, we things above; he presses forward for the would have perished, unless we had found prize of his high calling; he lives under comfort in thy most perfect word.”. By the power of the world to come ; he loves the prayer of faith they are strengthened the Saviour with all the ardour of supreme with all might in the inner man, and kept

unto their taste.

in peace, being staid on God. In his ten by every one who has had an oppor bernacles, they behold his power and glory, tunity of knowing any thing of the and are brought near to God as their character of its author, and will be exceeding joy. At his table, they remember his love more than wine, and the endeared to those to whom he was fruits of their Redeemer's death are sweet personally known. There is a ve

With gratitude they ry interesting memoir of him prewelcome every return of that day which fixed to the present edition of this God himself hath consecrated, and which brings them the renewed evidence, that treatise, drawn up by one who

postheir Lord is risen, and bath triumphed sessed favourable opportunities for over death and the grave. With Simeon, appreciating his worth, and who they go up to the temple to worship with has done himself great credit by Lydia, they attend to the things which are

the sketch which he has here given spoken of the Lord; with Asaph, they of his friend. meditate on the works of God, and remember the years of the right hand of the Most Among the

faithful servants High; with devout Cornelius, they wor- of God, who have now entered upship God in their house; with the dis

on their rest and their reward, we ciples going to Emmaus, they take sweet have enjoyed the privilege of knowcounsel together, and talk of him who redeems Israel ; and with the first Christians, ing not a few. But we can scarce, they continue stedfast in the apostle's doc- ly recollect one who approached trine, and in fellowship, and in breaking of more nearly than Mr. Bonar did, bread, and in prayers.” Pp. 65, 66.

to the character of the patriarch For its own intrinsic excellence, who “ walked with God;" of the we would therefore point out prophet in whom was found - the this cheap publication to general excellent spirit;" of the apostle regard; and recommend it to be who “ Jeant on Jesus' bosom, and introduced especially into the cote whom Jesus loved;" or who appear. tage of the labourer, and have a ed to possess more of the same place in every school and village mind that was in him-higher than library. But besides being valued all patriarchs, prophets, and apos for its own sake, we are persuaded tles--whose “meat it was to do that, as having proceeded from his the will of him that sent him, and pen, it will also be highly esteemed to finish his work.”

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

INDIA.

GOVERNMENT

ORDER RESPECTING

SUTTEES.

Hindoo women burn themselves) certain acts have been occasionally committed, in direct opposition to the rules laid down in the religious institutes of the Hindoos, by

which that practice is authorized and forPresidency of Fort William, Feb. 1822. bidden in particular cases : as, for instance,

at several places pregnant women, and The commander of the forces desires girls not yet arrived at their full age, have that a copy of these instructions be circu

been burnt alive ; and people after having lated from the Brigade Office, to the posts intoxicated women, by administering inand stations dependent upon your com- toxicating substances, have burnt them mand.

without their assent whilst insensible : and (Signed) G. H. Fagan, Adj.-Gen. inasmuch as this conduct is contrary to the “ Whereas it has appeared, that during Shasters, and perfectly inconsistent with che ceremony denominated Suttee (at which every principle of humanity, (it appearing

[ocr errors]

SOUTH SEA ISLANDS.

from the expositions of the Hindoo law de- such act from taking place. And, lastly,
livered by pundits, that the burning a wo- it will be their duty to transmit immediate-
man pregnant, or one having a child of ly, for the information of the magistrates, a
tender years, or a girl not yet arrived at full full detail of any measures which they may
age, is expressly forbidden in the Shasters, have adopted on this subject, and also on
and also that the intoxicating a woman for every occasion, when within the limits of
the purpose of burning her, and the burn. their thannahs this ceremony of “ Suttee"
ing one without her assent, or against her may take place, the same being lawfully
vill, is highly illegal, and contrary to es- conducted, they will insert it in the Month
tablished usage,) the Police Darogahs are ly Reports.
hereby, accordingly, under the sanction of (Signed) G. H. Fagax. Adj. Gen."
Government, strictly enjoined to use the
utmost care, and make every effort to pre-
Fent the forbidden practices above-men-
tioned, from taking place within the limits Extract of a Letter from the Rev. D.
d their thapnahs; and they are farther re-
quired, on all occasions, immediately on re-

Tyerman to a Lady in England, dated

Taheite, Nov. 24, 1821. ceiving intelligence that this ceremony is ükely to occur, either themselves to proceed All our brethren, the Missionaries, reto tbe spot, or send their Mohirrir, or Je. ceived us with the most cordial affection, nedar, accompanied by a Burkundaz of while the natives were not backward in the Hindoo religion, to learn of the woman giving us every proof of their joy on our who is to be burnt whether she has given arrival. The power and wisdom of God, her assent, and ascertain the other par- as displayed in the structure of this wonder. ticulars above-mentioned relative to her ful island, can ooly be exceeded by that age, &c. &c. &c. In the event of the fe- stupendous and marvellous change which male wbo is going to be burnt being less has taken place among its inhabitants : a than sixteen years of age, or there being change which fills me with incessant assigns of her pregnancy, or on her declaring tonishment and joy. Had I opportunity herself in that situation, or should the peo- and leisure to describe the former moral ple be preparing to burn her after having condition of this people, it would be unintoxicated her, 'without her consent, or necessary that I should do it to you : sufagainst her will, (the burning a woman fice it to observe that it was peculiarly the under any of these circumstances being in place where Satan's seat was, and if ever direct opposition to what is enjoined in the that awful being were allowed an incarnaShasters, and manifestly an act of illegal tion, it was here. The details of this violence,) it will be then their duty to pre- wickedness, given us by the Missionaries Fent the ceremony, thus forbidden and since we have been here, are enough to fill contrary to established usage, from taking us with horror. How many human vicplace, and require those prepared to per- tims almost daily bled upon their cruel forrn it to refrain from so doing; also to

altars ! Two-thirds of the infants born were explain to them that, in the event of their instantly murdered by the hands of their own persisting to commit an act forbidden, they mothers. I saw one woman, the other day, vould involve themselves in a crime, and who had destroyed eight of her own offbecome subject to retribution and punish- spring; I have heard of another who killed ment; but in the case of the woman being nine, another seventeen, another twenty !!! of full age, and no other impediment ex- The god of thieves, for there was such a isting, they will nevertheless remain on the god here, was faithfully served, while spot, and not allow the most minute par. crimes of other kinds too horrible to be ticular to escape observation ; and in the named, every where defiled this beautiful case of people preparing to burn a woman land. All the worst passions of human by compulsion, or after having made her nature were indulged in the utmost possible insensible by administering spirituous li.

But, where sin abounded, grace quors, or narcotic drugs, it will be then much more abounds! their duty to exert themselves in restrain. God has done great things for this peoing them; and at the same time to let ple. The faithful and holy exertions of then know, that it is not the intention of his servants are most amply rewarded. The the government to check or forbid any act prayers of the British Churches are indeed authorized by the tenets of the religion of heard ; and all the expenses which have the inhabitants of their dominions, or even been incurred, are now fully repaid. () that to require any express leave or perinission you and all whose hearts are engaged in dobeing required previously to the perforn. ing good to the heathen, could but witness ance of the act of Suttee; and the police what I have already seen ; it would fill efficers are not to interfere and prevent any your soul with amazement and gratitude !

extent.

« VorigeDoorgaan »