« VorigeDoorgaan »
complished the arduous and beneficial task; in order to which, the omission of a meal, or a delay beyond the usual time, may be increased to more material attainments, until the whole can be accomplished in such a manner as will prove most suitable to the condition, and beneficial to answer the ends assigned ; provided we deal impartially with ourselves, “ without dissimulation and without hypocrisy," between God and our own souls ; not making any neglect on our part an excuse for the non-performance of duty in a proper manner; and the time thus gained may be improved by the exercise of devotion in the most advantageous way, by directing it in such a manner as will be most conducive to our benefit, and agreeable to our engagements in life.
By this means we shall not only master the holy season of LENT, and become able to improve it to those admirable purposes for which it was designed, but also the weekly and other fasts of the Church, which are of equal obligatiou and advantage ; and if such a method was regularly practised and early initiated into the minds of YOUNG Christians, as * precious lambs of Christ's flock," they would be con. vinced of its importance, and have every reason to persevere with stedfastness unto the end."
The BENEFITS derived from this practice are so numerous as hardly to be repeated ; and the ancient fathers were excessive in their high encomiums upon it, calling it a victory of nature ; the sense of obedience; the death of vice; life of virtue ; the wall of chastity; fortification of modesty ; the ornament of life; dispelling of concupiscence; clearing the mind ; making us humble and meek ; and the spirit more resolved and firm; acquainting us with ourselves ; the wings of the soul; diet of angels; purification of the spirit; and St. Basil reckons it, the signet mark of God in the forehead, signed by the angel for the saints to escape his wrath ; and St. Chrysostom calls it, an imitation of angels ; contemning things present; a school of virtue; nourishment of the soul ; a bridle for the mouth ; mollify. ing anger; calms the passions ; excites reason ; clears the mind; disburthens the flesh; acquiring a composed behaviour, free uttera ance, right judgment, and clear apprehensions; with many others, which abundantly testify their high esteem, founded upon those ra. tional motives which always excite to every virtuous and excellent deed.
The great advantages itaffords “ to bring the body into subjection," and make it obedient to the higher powers," are abundantly mani. fest; and the more these predominate in those who find them “ law in their members, warring against the law of their mind,” the more earnestly should they “strive for the mastery," by the proper use of such means as are appointed to produce those happy effects, and be truly thankful they are attainable, inasmuch as ETERNITY is at stake ; for in the words of a celebrated father in the primitive Church, « he loseth all that loseth his soul.” We are assured our spiritual enemy is a continually walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour," and is ever on the watch to deceive the unwary; therefore it behoveth us to be supplied with “ the whole armour of God,” that we may be “ able to resist” and quench all the fiery darts of the devil,” and not deceived by evil concupiscence, or led away into “the path of the wicked," but zealously "persevere in this good fight,” that “we may come off more than conquerors, through him who loved us, and hath given himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works,” by “ being holy, as he is holy, in all manner of conversation and godliness, daily endeavouring to follow the blessed footsteps of his most holy life," wherein “ he hath left us an example that we should follow his steps” while on earth, as the most sure and certain way to attain a blessed IMMORTALITY in Heaven, through the merits of his bitter death and passion."
JUVENIS. EUROP. MAGAZINE.
ON RELIGIOUS PRESUMPTION.
THE way not to presume upon salvation, is, in an humble modesty to content ourselves with the clearly revealed will of our Maker, not prying into his counsels, but attending his commands : It is a grave word wherein the vulgar translation expresses that place of Solomon,he that searcheth into Majesty shall be overwhelmed with glory. Amongst those sixteen places of the Bible which in the Hebrew are marked with a special note of regard that is one, the secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed, belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law, Deut. xxix. 29, wherein our main care must be, both not to sever in our conceit the end from the means, and withal to take the means along with us in our way to the end. It is for the heavenly Angels to climb down the ladder from heaven to earth ; it is for us only to climb up from earth to heaven: Bold men ! what, do we begin at God's eternal decree of our election, and thence descend to the effects of it in our effectual calling, in our lively and stedfast faith, in our sad and serious repentance, in our holy and unblameable obedience, in our unfailable perseverance? This course is saucily preposterous ; what have we to do to be rifling the hidden counsels of the highest ? Let us look to our own ways; we have his word for this, that if we do truly believe, repent, obey, persevere, we shall be saved; that if we do heartily desire, and effectually endeavour, in the careful use of his appointed means, to attain unto those saving dispositions of the soul, we shall be sure not to fail of the success. What need we to look any further than conscionably and cheerfully to do what we are enjoined, and faithfully and comfortably to expect what he hath promised : Let it be our care not to be wanting in the parts of our duty to God; we are sure he cannot be wanting in his gracious performances unto us: But if we, in a groundless conceit of an election, shall let loose the reins to our sinful desires, and vicious practices, thereupon growing idle or unprofitable, we make divine mercy a pander to our uncleanness, and justly perish in our wicked presumption.
FOR THE CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
[Continued from page 78.] IN thy dress be neat, not splendid ; for in neatness is magnificence; in splendour, luxury.
Affect not great wealth, but moderate enjoyment.
They are to be contemned who eagerly amass wealth beyond what they know how to enjoy; for it is with them as it would be with one, who should purchase a horse not knowing how to ride.
Do thy endeavour to make thy riches contribute to thy use and enjoyment; for to those who know how to enjoy them, they are of use; and to those who know how to use them, they are an enjoyment.
For two reasons value thy riches, that thou mayest be able to suffer a great loss, and to assist the friend whom thou lovest in his adversity. But for any other consideration in life, affect nothing beyond mediocrity. Be content with what thou hast; yet seek to improve thy circumstances.
Reproach no one for his calamities; for fortune is common to all; nor can they provide against futurity.
Do good to the virtuous; for a benefit conferred upon a good man is a treasure well laid up. If you deserve well of the wicked, it will happen to you as to him who feeds a stranger's dogs; for they will bark no less at him who feeds them than at others; and the wicked will as soon injure those who deserve well of them, as those who deserve ill.
Avoid no less a flatterer, than an impostor ; for both will injure those who put confidence in them.
If you embrace those as friends who gratify you your vices, you will never find any to encounter odium in your defence, even in the best cause.
Be civil and not supercilious to those who contribute to thy convedience; for even servants hardly endure the pride and arrogance of a master; while civility is grateful and pleasant to every one.
Among the properties of civility are, not to be contentious, nor apt to contradict on every occasion; not roughly to oppose the anger of familiars, although they may be unreasonably angry; but to give way to them when disturbed, and when their anger is cooled, chide them ; not to interrupt sport with serious discourse, nor serious discourse with trifles, for whatever is ill-timed, is offensive ; not to perform a good office in an ungracious manner, a fault of which many are guilty ; who though ready to serve a friend, yet seem to do it grudgingly; not ready to accuse, for it is odious ; not prone to reproach, for it engenders wrath.
Wisdom, first of all, requires that you avoid the house of revelry; but when circumstances draw you thither, rise before excess. For when the mind is perverted by wine, it happens to it as to chariots which have shaken off the driver: As these are hurried at random
without a guide, so the soul is driven upon many crimes, reason being subverted.
In that thou art immortal, exalt thy mind; in that thou art mortal, moderate thy desires.
MONTHLY OBITUARY. DIED, of a consumption after a long illness, on the 7th inst. Miss ANNER NICHOLS, daughter of Mr. Ely Nichols, of Trumbull, in the 21st year of her age. This young lady in the course of her sickness, seemed to place her affections principally on things above; her greatest concern was, what she must do to be saved; what she must do in order that the merits of Christ might be sufficient for her. She gladly received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper sometime before her death; waited with patience for her Saviour's call, when her soul should quit this earthly tabernacle, in joyful hope of a better world, and a sweet remembrance at the resurrection of the just, through the merits of a Redeemer. In her the bereaved parents have lost a dutiful child ; the surviving children, a kind sister; and the young circle of her acquaintance, an amiable christian friend.
In New Haven, on the 17th ultimo, Mr. ISAAC Welton, of Waterbury, aged 20. In the death of this young gentleman, the community at large, and his friends and connections in particular, have to lament á heavy loss.... Correct and engaging in his manners, diligent and persevering in his studies, benevolent and humane in his disposition, he had almost completed the usual term of residence at Yale-College, of which he was a member, and was beginning to think of entering soon into the active and useful scenes of life. He bid fair to have become an ornament to whatever profession he should have chosen, and a comfort and support to his surviving parent, who was lately called to lament the death of her husband and his father. In the midst of youth and health, after only four days sickness, he was summoned by the king of terrors from this transitory life; with resignation and coolness he saw his end approaching, and took leave of his sorrowing friends, expressing a lively hope of future glory, through the merits of a Redeemer.
Death the destroyer aim'd a fatal dart,
who reigns above,
The Editor is obliged to apologize again, for errors in the second number, on the same plea of distance from the press, and to request the reader to make the following corrections.
Page 41, line 4th from the bottom, between the words listless and languid insert and. P. 44, 1. 7th, from the bottom, for agreement read argument. P. 51, I. 2d, from the top, for Heb. xx, read Heb. x. P. 55, 1.7ih, from the top, for efforts, read effects ; same page, l. 16th, from the top, for proposed, read supposed. P. 74, l. 14th, from the top, for reekless, read reckless; same page, 1.18th, from the top, for bosom, read bourn. P. 77,1. 26th, from the bottom, for prolise, read prolir.
# EVANGELION, on mature reflection, is judged inadmissible. The absurdity to which it has reference, it is believed, is local, and likely to disappear sooper without, than with opposition,
FOR man's transgression the earth was cursed, and made to bring forth thorns, and briars, and noxious weeds ; so that with. out continual labour and toil, it will yield no fruits for our comfortable subsistence; but man is doomed to eat his bread in the sweat of his face. The hardened soil must be turned, moulded, and softened, to drink in the dews and gentle showers of heaven, or it will produce nothing but its native barren trash. Just was the sentence, most righteous the decree, which compels us thus to till the ground from whence we are taken. Most wise were the councils of heaven to inflict this punishment, for it continually reminds us of an important truth, which should ever be kept in view; that our hearts are no less hardened and rendered barren of any thing good ; that they equally, nay rather much more, need cultivation, or they will yield no fruit unto holiness. True it is, we are said to be God's husbandry ; our hearts are the field in which he sows the seeds of divine grace : But at the same time we have something to do in cultivating this field: We must use our exertions in plucking up the thorns and briars, with which it is apt to be overrun, and in softening the barren sod. He who is the owner of the field hath assigned this for our task, while himself assists, and liberal scatters around the good seed.
Art thou, then, an husbandman? Is it thy daily business and occupation, at this passing season, to turn the soil, that it may receive the warming influences of the sun, and to throw into it the seed, in hopes of a plentiful crop, when the heat of summer shall have brought it to maturity? If so, from thy occupation learn a lesson of spiritual wisdom. Are thy pursuits of a different nature ? Art thou confined to the workshop or counting-house; or to the higher walks of business or study ? Be it so ; yet still thou canst find time, in imagination at least, to walk abroad, and survey the innocent, the useful, and instructive labours of the field : Thou canst behold it, otherwise barren, streaked in furrows, receiving the falling showers, intermixed with bright sunshine, which soon shall cause the seed to shoot, and clothe in green the face of the earth. On this survey, look into thine own heart, and call to mind that he, whose husbandry we are, in like manner is sowing the seeds of his grace in our hearts; where, if they are duly cultivated, will grow up a crop of virtue and holiness. To this kind of instruction thou art invited by him who came into the