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tion to cleanliness which it produces, ought to be highly venerated by every considerate person. This remark is applicable in an especial manner to people who live dispersed in the country. What else could ever induce them to cultivate cleanliness and attention to decency of external appearance, one of the chief marks of civilization, and what distinguishes man from the brute? When Sunday comes, to avoid the derision and obloquy of their neighbours, they appear in their best attire, or at least such as is clean and neat. Without this or some such occasion, frequently occurring to call into action that inherent desire, which all possess, of appearing agreeable and avoiding contempt, the great mass of people in the country would soon sink into a state very little above savages. This is amply confirmed by experience and observation of those who are brought up in utter neglect of the public assemblies. They are uniformly found to be uncleanly, rude and ignorant; debased and gross in their appearance, and unmanageable in their tempers. If then the institution were to be universally neglected, we have full reason to think that a rapid declension toward barbarism would immediately follow. The inhabitants of cities and large towns indeed, would not be so sensibly affected. They enjoy daily occasions of meeting together, and thus, by intercourse, wearing away the roughness of savage nature, and polishing one another into men. They might therefore succeed in the arts of civil life to a very high degree; for we know that men have succeeded when thus situated : but in the mean time what is to become of the much greater portion of community? Should they be left to run wild without the means of culture and improvement ? He who perfectly knows what is in man, thought otherwise ; and therefore, when he undertook to dispense a system of religion to the world, provided by it for the instruction of all classes, ages, and conditions, by precept and example, perpetually recurring from week to week. If that order of men who are appointed for this purpose, and to minister in holy things, frequently err in many great points; yet surely when they admonish and exhort men to the duties of reverence towards the great Author of their being, and of justice, truth, charity and beneficence towards one another, they are at unity with the truth. And when we see them doing this as their main object, can it be supposed that the effect produced is trifling and of no consequence? The wisest and best of the heathens earnestly longed to see such an institution extended into every corner of the community. And Cicero, the celebrated Roman philosopher and statesman, expressly says that he despairs of ever seeing any essential reformation or improvement wrought upon the multitude, until suitable persons shall be appointed by public authority, to enlighten their understandings, and instruct them in the truth. What he ardently wish. ed to see, we now enjoy. And methinks such an authority as his should put to shame the vain-glorious wisdom of modern infidels, who are making efforts to abolish so excellent an institution ; or at least to weaken that veneration for it among mankind, which already is but too weak, and unproductive of serious attention. What would they be at? It surely cannot be their wish to re-plunge the world into igporance and barbarism. Let them cease then their endeavours to pull away one of the main props of civilization. Have they any thing to offer in lieu of what they are seeking to take away? If they have, it is yet kept in reserve. Let them produce it, and it will doubtless have a candid examination. If they have not any thing to offer, let them forbear their efforts to demolish what they have not provided the means of rebuilding. Let them be silent, and quietly enjoy that liberty of opinion, which the present age is full willing to indulge. They are in no danger of persecution, unless they rashly draw it on themselves by setting mankind afloat from all the restraints of religion.
FOR THE CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
I HAVE some time since made declaration of my full faith and assurance, that the whole of religion consists in hearing ; and that every one who can hear the most eloquent speaker, and the best sermon, is in the sure road to endless happiness; and also of my full determination to rove in pursuit of these blessings. This I can assure the world I have been doing for a long time, in which pursuit I have taken a very extensive tour, to the no small gratification of my ears. But very lately, as I was in full pursuit of this, my heavenly object, I fell in company with an aged gentleman, of a cheerful countenance, and of a very decent deportment; who very soon (according to the New England custom) asked my name, place of nativity, &c. &c. to which I gave him direct answers : last of all, he requested to know the object of my pursuit. I very readily and frankly told him, that I was in pursuit of eternal happiness, and with an air of triumph, informed him that I had not the least doubt of my being in the most direct road to the great object of my pursuit. For I informed him that I had heard all the most eloquent preachers in the country ; and that among them, I had heard some tell their congregations, that God had given mankind no means, by the most sincere and devout use of which, they could render themselves objects of his mercy; and that, if they, with the greatest devotion of mind, attended public worship; if they supplicated his mercy with the most humble contrition of spirit, and partook of the commemorative sacrament of the dying love of our most blessed Redeemer, with all the love and affection which is in the power of a son of fallcn Adam; it is all positive wickedness; it is treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath ; it is rendering themselves objects of the divine displeasure, and qualifying themselves to receive, at the great and terrible day of accounts, this tremendous sentence, “depart ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels;" unless they have had the superlative privilege of being from all eternity the elcct of God, and in time have experienced the miraculous and irresistible power of divine grace ; and that whenever they undergo this wonderful operation, they are then placed in a state of perfect security, of finally entering into the joy of their Lord;
and that unless our all-gracious Creator should, according to his eternal decrees, vouchsafe this supernatural effusion of irresistible grace, they may depend upon having their everlasting abode with apostate spirits. And I have heard another, perhaps the next Sun. day, exhort the congregation to be watchful, to be vigilant, to be up and doing, “ to use all diligence to make their calling and election sure, to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling ; that now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation ; now is the time for them to come and buy wine and milk, without money and without price, and to partake of the waters of life freely ; to seek the Lord while he may be found; to call upon him while he is near; that if the wicked man will forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and turn unto the Lord, he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon ; that to all those, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour and immortality, eternal life shall be the reward; that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap ; that every man shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body; and that God is no respecter of persons.” Indeed, the time would fail me, to enumerate the number of good things I have heard said, and all with such smoothness of diction, such sweetness of voice, and such eloquence of speech, as would have charmed even the ear of an angel. I make little account of the seeming contradictions I have heard ; for indeed, sir, I consider the matter and substance of preaching to be of no consequence at all, in comparison with the mode and manner in which it is performed.
The old gentleman looked at me with a smile, and said, “ My dear sir, you appear to have an excellent heart, but a very erroneous head; however, I am sensible that you are in the road, which mankind in general, at 'the present day, are travelling. I never hear one neighbour ask another on Sunday evening, whether he has attended public worship; whether he has been up to the house of prayer, to join with God's minister and the congregation, to confess their sins, and ask the forgiveness of them; to offer up their most ardent thanksgivings and praises for the numberless blessings, both spiritual and temporal, which he is continually bestowing on them; to request the continuation of them; to pray for his gracious aid and assistance, to enable them to live soberly, righteously, and godly lives for the time to come; and to hear what he says to them in his holy word. But my ears are continually wounded with this question : have you been to hear preaching to-day? Permit me to tell you, that you must not expect that your ears alone, will carry you to heaven ; you must not expect to ride to endless happiness, on the shoulders of a minister; nor to be wafted to the regions of eternal glory, by the blast of pulpit eloquence. This is a plan of salvation, to which the holy scriptures give no encouragement; it is not embraced in the whole compass of divine revelation. The holy scriptures are the only rule to direct us how we are to obtain eternal glory; they teach us what we are to believe, and what we are to do. The scriptures of the Old Tes. tament assure us that the promises of God can be obtained upon no other terms than faith and obedience. For instance; Noah was to manifest his faith in God, by building the ark, that himself and family might not be destroyed in the waters of the deluge. Moses and the children of Israel, were to prove their faith, by attending to every particular ceremony of the passover, that they might escape the hand of the destroying angel. David, by building an altar at the threshing-floor of Araunah, to stop the pestilential sword of the Lard. Naaman, by washing himself exactly seven times in Jordan, to cure his leprosy. And the widow of Zarepta, by delivering up her last morsel of meal and oil, to support the Prophet of God, that they might not fail during a famine of three years and six months. In the New Testament, life and immortality are brought to light: a future state of endless happiness or misery, is clearly set before us : under this dispensation of light, the covenant of grace was introduced by the Son of God; our all-gracious Redeemer : he, who in the same nature fulfilled that law in which Adam originally transgressed, and through whose mediation (though we are sinners) we can have access to the Father. This dispensation requires of us a Christian faith, a divine temper of mind, and sincere repentance, together with evangelical obedience. The first comprehends what we are to believe, the second what we are to be, and the last what we are to do. The first step in the Christian religion, is to believe that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah, pointed out by the Prophets : This belief is founded upon the evidence for it, contained in the scriptures of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah ; and we are to compare the fulfilment of them in the New, and see if Christ came with all those characters mentioned by the ancient Prophets. In this case, our faith will be built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. In short, sir, to obtain eternal happiness, we must be initiated into the Church, or body of Christ, by the sacrament of baptism. This is the way and means by which we are admitted into favour and covenant with God. In this new covenant, God grants us the five following privileges, viz.
Ist. The forgiveness of all our own sins, if we have committed any, and the sin of Adam, so far as we are concerned.
2d. A title to the Holy Spirit, as being the life of that body wherea of we, by baptism, are made members.
3d. The promise of a resurrection of the body, and of a glorious immortality in heaven.
4th. That a sincere and universal obedience to the law of God, will be accepted, although it be imperfect.
5th. That if we are so unhappy as to violate our baptismal vow, by gross and wilful sin, God will nevertheless pardon us upon our sincere repentance.
We must also receive the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, or in the words of St. Paul, the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By the worthy partaking of this holy ordinance, we obtain the pardon of our sins, fresh supplies of the Holy Spirit, and a principle of immortal life to our bodies, as well as our souls. We must also constantly appear before God in his house, in the place of his more immediate presence, where his honour dwells,
and where, if we with penitent hearts confess our sins, devoutly implore the forgiveness of them, heartily thank him for the manifold favours and privileges he is constantly bestowing upon us ; with humility ask the continuation of them, and with attentive minds and obedient wills, hear what he saith to us in his holy word; he hath promised to meet and bless us. These things being done upon gospel motives and evangelical principles, render us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. When we are thus qualified for happiness, Christ will intercede, in right of his own merits, that we may be put in possession of that degree of happiness our gospel obedience has fitted us to enjoy. These are the means I have made use of from my youth up, with a stedfast faith in the promises of God, through the merits of Christ, and a sincere desire to walk in the commandments and ordinances of God, blameless.
My dear Sir, take for once an old man's advice. Give over your whimsical ideas of obtaining eternal happiness simply by hearing ; and sincerely and devoutly make use of all the means of grace which our blessed Saviour hath instituted in his Church ; and you have the promise of God himself, that they will, through the merits of Christ, finally conduct you to the land of everlasting happiness, there to reign with him, world without end.
The good old gentleman spoke all this with such evident marks of benevolence and charity, and with such firm confidence in the the promises of God, upon the terms of a Christian faith, evangelical obedience, and sincere repentance, that I was arrested in my career of roving in pursuit of preaching : And I am now fully determined no more to heap to myself teachers, nor any longer to have itching ears : but to sit quietly down, and with the utmost sincerity of heart, make use of all the means of grace which our blessed Redeemer has appointed in his Church, under any lawful minister which God in his Providence shall place over me ; with the most certain assurance that they will, through the merits, mediation, and intercession of Christ, finally lead me to those rivers of pleasure which flow at God's right hand, where I shall partake of heavenly joys for ever and ever.
ADVICE TO A STUDENT, CONCERNING THE QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES OF A CLERGYMAN.
PREPARATION FOR ORDERS. YOU perceive then that the first, indispensable PREPARAtion for holy orders is that of the heart and affections. To the schools of the Prophets, above all others, suits the ancient motto, Let no unclean person enter here. The love of God, the love of man, which flows immediately from it, the due government of ourselves, which is derived from both; this compendium of all sound philoso