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part is certainly not eternal, we have no ground to say | God, and by the strength of love to him, is far more that the world itself is so. Geological arguments also excellent and truly pleasant. The delights and pleahave been brought forward by able defenders of the true sures of sin, religion indeed banishes; but it is to change doctrine, to prove the falsity of the atheistical theory. them for joy, that is unspeakably beyond them. It These show that the world is not eternal, and the begin- calls them from sordid and base delights, to those that ing of the present system was not above six thousand are pure delights indeed. It calls to men, years ago. Now to talk, as some have talked, that no longer of the cistern, here are the crystal streams of nature has created all things, is absurd in the extreme. a living fountain. There is a delight in the very desWhat do we mean by the word nature? It means the pising of sinful delights, as that in comparison with order of things which has been established, except them, the other deserves not the name, to have such sometimes when we use it for the author of nature. spiritual joy as shall end in eternal joy; it is a wonder,
But to speak of a creator to the exclusion of an in- we hasten not to choose this joy; but it is indeed, betelligent agent, is a mere fallacy, for the term 'nature' cause we believe not."-LEIGHTON. itself implies an order or law, and a law cannot be an Love to God.- The cultivation of the love of God, agent ; a law is formed by the exercise of mind, and is the principal means for preserving us from dejection without the agent the law is nothing; and so nature of every kind, and freeing us, if we be fallen into it. without the agency of God is a nonentity.
Worldly sorrows must, by degrees, die away, because Let us next treat of chance. In the first place, what worldly desires, their sources, will. And their progress is chance? In common discourse, the word expresses a will be much accelerated by the impressions of a con. want of intention ; when we say that such a thing hap-trary nature, which gratitude, hope, love to God will pened by chance, we mean that it was done without in
make upon the mind. As to the dejection which retention. But the chance-philosophers use the word in- lates to another world, it generally ends in the opposite stead of that intelligent being, by whose design we state, being its own remedy and cure, but all direct enthink the world is created. I am at a loss to think how deavours after the true and pure love of God, must aschance can have produced a man, or a tree; and if chance sist. It is much to be wished, that low-spirited perlas produced all things that we see and hear, why do sons would open themselves, without reserve, to reliwe not see such occurrences now? Shall we say any gious friends, and particularly to such as have passed more than chance is the author of all ? no, not even in through the same dark and dismal path themselves. our dreams.
These would be like guardian angels to them; and as Next, can matter in motion have produced this world, our natures are so communicative, and susceptible of with all its laws ? Motion is not an inberent quality of infection, good and bad, they would, by degrees, infuse matter, but is produced by applying some force to it; something of their own peaceable, cheerful, and devout and if so, whence comes this force ?
spirit into them. But all human supports and comforts Lastly, some persons say that we cannot discover
are to be resigned at last ; we must have “ no comde-ign in the creation.
forter, no God but one,” and happy are they who make The arguments against this are irresistible; because haste towards this central point, in which alone, we we have only to look around us, and examine the laws find rest to our souls.”_HIARTLEY. of nature, and the constitution of the human frame,
“ The Lord is my Shepherd.”—In these words, the and then see whether we can find any design in them or not. I shall select, for instance, the hunan eye; its and satisfaction in the guardian care of the great Pastor
believer is taught to express his absolute acquiescence forination undoubtedly shews a designing cause, for of the universe, the Redeemer and Preserver of inen. after a serious examination of the formation and adap- With joy he reflects that he has a shepherd, and that tation of the human eye, is it possible for any man to deny a designing cause ?' The achromatic telescope is shepherd is Jehovah ! Where shall we find such dili
gence, such tenderness, skill, power, and unwearied krown to resemble the eye; and Mr Dolland, who was
patience? Why should they fear who have such a the inventor of it, acknowledges, that the structure of friend? How can they want, who have such a shepthe human eye was his guide; no man can say that herd? Behold us, O Lord Jesus, in ourselves hungry, there is no design manifested in this instrument; and and thirsty, and feeble, diseased, defenceless, and lost. if so, how can any man say that there is no design
O feed us, and cherish us; heal us, and defend us; bear manifested in the human eye? Shall we say that Dol
and restore us. -BISHOP HORNE. land was a designing and contriving being, and yet deny that the author of the human eye, whose work was the
The Danger of Profaneness.-Many persons have model of the achromatic telescope, is a designing and begun to be profane from mere inconsideration, and at intelligent being ?
the commencement of their career, were no more deAfter all, we must heartily join with the Psalmist, praved than such of their companions as abstained from the fool hath said in his heart, there is no
this sin. In the progress, however, they became corGod."
rupted, much more extensively within the same period, increased generally in wickedness, and particularly in
hardness of heart, and lost every serious and even CHRISTIAN TREASURY.
sober thought; all that course of thought, whence The True Influence of Religion.- Religion deters moral good might be derived, or whence night spring not from the lawful delights which are taken in natural any hopeful efforts towards salvation. This is a case things, but teaches the moderate and regular use of which must, I think, have frequently met the eye of them, which is far the sweeter ; for things lawful in every man, who is seriously attentive to the moral conthemselves are, in their excess, sinful, and so prove duct of his fellow-men, and strongly shews that the bitterness in the end. And if, in some cases, it re
practice has, itself, deplorably corrupted them in other quires the forsaking of lawful enjoyment, as of pleasure, respects, and set on fire the whole course of nature in or profit, or honour, for God, and for luis glory, it is their minds and lives. What is true of profane cursing generous, and more truly delightful to deny things, for and swearing, as to its corrupting power, is true of irthis reason, than to enjoy them. Men have done much reverence, in every form. Disregard to God is the this way, for the love of their country, and by a prin-foodgate to all moral evil. He who enters upon this ciple of moral virtue ; but to lose any delight, or to
conduct, ought to consider himself as then entering upon suffer any hardship for that highest end, the glory of an universal course of iniquity, and as then yielding • The writer probably means the time which has elapsed since the
himself a slave to do the whole drudgery of Satan. deluge, os last great revolution on the earth's surface.—ED.
The poor speed of the tempest, and lightning I scorn,
PILATE'S QUESTION. " What is truth ? " The fickle Roman
Ask'd, nor waited for reply.
Shall I also pass it by ?
Anxious all its depth to sound;
Till I have the answer found.
Lent to guide our blinded race,
By the heralds of his grace :
Guilty rebels, such as we,
Burst our fetters, and be free.
Wretched, feeble, and deprav’d; Dying still at mercy's portal,
Yet unwilling to be sav'd. Oft to safety's path invited,
Prone from it to wander far ; In the blaze of noon benighted,
With himself and God at war. “ What is truth?" That He, who made us.
He, who all our weakness knows, Stoop'd himself from heav'n to aid us,
Bear our guilt, and feel our woes.
See him unresisting led;
Mock'd, and number'd with the dead !
Brought the gentle Saviour low ;
For those sins which pierc'd him so ?
grace divine ? Meek I answer,
“ Lord ! thou knowest That this heart is wholly thine!” Long, indeed, too long I wander'd
From the path thy children tread ; Long my time and substance squander'd,
Seeking that which was not bread. Now, though flesh may disallow it,
Now, though sense no glory see, In thy strength, my God! I vow it, Ne'er again to turn from thee!
A Sailor Boy.--At a meeting of the Aberdeen Auxiliary Bible Society, a few years ago, the following pleasing anecdote was related by the Rer. Vi Grant, of Orkney, who was an eye witness of the “ Some time since,” said he,“
a vessel from Stockholm, in Sweden, was driven upon our coast in a tremendous gale, and became a total wreck; situated so, that no human aid could possibly be administered for the preservation of the crew : in a short time after, the vessel struck, and went to pieces. The spectators on shore beheld, with pungent grief, the awful situation of those on board, but those on shore could ren. der no assistance. All on board perished except one man; and be, driven by the merciless waves upon a piece of the wreck, entwined amongst the ropes at tached to the mast, half naked, and half drowned, reacked the shore, and was disengaged from his lieart-rending situation. As soon as he was rescued, the specta. tors observed a small parcel tied firmly round his traist with a handkerchief: some concluded it was his money, others that it was the ship's papers, and others said it was his watch. The handkerchief was unloosed, and to their great astonishment, it was his Bible. Luon the blank leaf was a prayer, written by the lad's father, that the Lord would make the present gift the means of saving the soul of his child. "Upon the other blank leaf was an account how the Bible came into the old man's hands, with many expressions of gratitude to the British and Foreign Bible Society. One petition of the prayer was, that the son should make it the man of his counsel; and it was added that he could not allow his son to depart from home, withcut giving him the best pledge of his love-a Bible; although that gift deprived the other parts of the family of its sacred instructions.
The Bible bore evident marks of being carefully read.”
THE VOICE OF THE PESTILENCE TO BRITAIN.
(Written in 1832.)
Minister of Penicuick.
Published by JOHN JOUnstone, at the Offices of the Scott. CHRISTIAN I&RALD, 104, High Street, Edinburgh, and 19. 6.226 ford Street, Glasgow ;-JAMES NISBBT & Co., and R. H. VOOR London; D. R. BLEAKLEY, Dublin ; and W. M'COMB, Belius; and sold by the Booksellers and Local Agents in all the Towns 37 Parishes of Scotland; and in the principal Towns in England and Ireland.
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Vol. I. No. 25. SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 1836.
Price 1 d. WHAT OUGHT TO BE THE CHIEF OBJECT obvious spirit of the Bible, can a single moment OF MAN'S EXERTION?
hesitate to testify.“ Every imagination of man's heart” is said to be “ evil continually.”
« Be. By the Rev. J. C. FOWLER, A. M.,
hold I was shapen in iniquity,” exclaimed the Minister of Rorburgh Church, Edinburgh.
Psalmist, “and in sin did my mother conceive There are few questions about which mankind me.” We are declared to be “ dead in trespasses are, in their practical conduct at least, more com- and sins,” to have lost the image of our God, to pletely at variance, than about this important ques- be filled with all unrighteousness, in short, to be tion, What ought chiefly to engage the thoughts wholly depraved in thought, affection, and desire. and exhaust the energies of a responsible being ? Now if this be the moral character which we liWhatever may be the creed ostensibly professed terally sustain, then, without question, that charupon this question, when we look abroad upon acter must be repulsive to a pure and holy God the face of society, a very palpable variety of -it must expose us to his righteous indignation, opinion is discoverable. In the estimation of many, and, unless previously altered, must draw down the great work which, with all his might, a man upon every sinner at death the divine anger. ought diligently to perform, appears to be the ac- Nor does Scripture alone testify that we are thus quisition of power, or a right to guide the coun- guilty, that by transgression we are naturally odisels
, and arbitrarily to legislate for a nation—by ous in the sight of God, and have forfeited every uthers, it appears to be the advancement of human plea to favour,—the whole history of mankind, as knowledge, and the handing down to posterity of well as a survey of our existing circumstances, their names as the friends and promoters of science abundantly substantiate the same truth. All na--by others, it appears to be the mingling among the ture proclaims that the Almighty is a Being of ingay and the fashionable, and the gathering around finite purity and benevolence—that he delights in them of a multitude of dependent and obsequious truth and good order—that he consults, in all his fatterers-by others, the living in comparative re- ways, the welfare of his intelligent creatures,—but tirement and ease, or the indulgence of a consti- why, under the administration of such a Being, is tutional lethargy-and by, perhaps, the largest num- man so proverbially unhappy ? Why do a thouber in the world, the great work appears to be the sand fears perpetually invade his bosom? Why do attainment of wealth, and the extension of their so many disappointments wring sorrow from his worldly possessions. But it need scarcely be re- heart? Why does he so often fruitlessly grasp at marked, that neither one nor all of these things is happiness and enjoyment ? Was a creature of this that which is sanctioned by the Bible. What helpless and degraded kind the original workmanthen is the subject which, by a responsible being, ship of God? Did he, whose name is Goodness, ought primarily to be pursued, and in comparison make a race of beings opposed to all good ? Did with which, every other subject upon earth should he, who created the angels of light, those pure be accounted secondary or trivial ? The answer is and blessed spirits with whom he is.ever well furnished by the Apostle Paul in his well-known pleased, people this whole globe with inhabitants expostulation with the Corinthians, “We pray destined only to pine in suffering, to languish in vou,” says he, “in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled affliction, and, at length, to expire in agony ? unto God." To arouse mankind to secure this recon- Look at the smiling infant, before one deed of ciliation, was the principal purpose for which pro- actual sin has been committed, before it can even phets and apostles of old were selected, endowed discriminate between right and wrong, suffering with inspiration, and sent forth as the messengers by calamity, convulsed with pain, and, at length, of heaven, and for which the Sacred Scriptures overcome by death. Is this the spontaneous, the have been dictated and preserved. And surely that original intention of a God whom all creation deWe do all need this reconciliation, no man who pon- clares to be boundless in wisdom and goodness? ders the workings of his own heart, the violations It is impossible. Then why is this the actua! of conscience with which he is chargeable, or the condition of man? The fact stands prominently
forth into view, and it must have a cause. Now, | fluence of the Spirit, labouring for the glory of what is the cause? Just that which Scripture af- God and for higher degrees of sanctification ? Do firms : that a moral revolution has taken place in we pray for his sustaining and comforting preour character; that a breach, great and manifest, sence? Do we realise ourselves as reconciled exists between us and our Maker, and we need unto God, heirs of heaven; and are we pantonly open our eyes anywhere, to behold its deplor- ing after a nearer conformity to the sanctity of its able effects. Revelation, then, you perceive, de- inhabitants ? Are the Sabbath days more devontly clares our enmity against God; reason points to its spent ? Is the sanctuary of the Lord more piously fatal and existing consequences; both assure us, resorted to ? And are the irritable passions of that in a little time God is to be met face to face our nature more strenuously subdued? These in judgment. The first, the main object, therefore, things, in all ages, have been the experience of to be pursued by one and all of us, is, the seek-God's children, and if they are not treasured up ing reconciliation with our God, and pardon for in our experience, the reconciliation of which our apostasy and guilt. And blessed be his holy they are unequivocally the fruits, it is to be name, the terms of reconciliation have been fully feared, has not been effected, so that still we revealed; every encouragement has been given are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of for our acceptance of them. Because, heing the iniquity. Profession, we must remember, is not Governor of the universe, and presiding over always sincere. To avow that we are sedulously myriads of other rational beings, no violator of his accomplishing this work, while unadorned with government, without an atonement, could be re- any of its beautiful fruits
, is a hypocritical preceived into favour; he withheld not his only | tence, a most culpable delusion. Let us “ work Son, but gave him up to carry the griefs, and to out then our salvation with fear and trembling," bear the sins of his people, to set them for ever because it is a work of paramount importance, free, and at the same time exhibit, with addi- 66 which our hand findeth to do.” Let us exational lustre, to the universe, that law which they mine and store our minds with the principles of had broken, and which every attribute of his na- the Gospel, compare them one after another with ture is pledged to uphold. “ Believe on the Lord the example of Him whose servants we profess Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” is the to be, and in the strength of God, " fight the simple and animating statement of Scripture. good fight of faith.” Although the wicked may And surely then, after all this, we have lived to combine to oppose our progress,—although the no purpose, until the present hour, if we have profane may pour forth their ridicule, and the scepnot come to God, through faith in this Saviour, tic interpose his disguised hostility, let us keep to receive his pardon and forgiveness. That, by the banner of the cross, and he who hath bewithout exception, we need these blessings, has gun a good work in us, will make it perfect unto been already shewn ; that there is no other way of the end, in spite of every foe; we shall come to securing them, the youngest has been from child- the land in which the wicked have no habitation, hood taught. Reconciled to God, through his Son, and where the way of the sinner is not known. we shall meet him in mercy and peace; without | The most devoted among us have yet much to this reconciliation, we shall meet him in wrath, perform. There is a heart liable to become coll the merited victims of his righteous judgment. and insipid to be kept alive and to be filled with
The Gospel, however, not only designs to par- gratitude ; there are affections constantly wanderdon, but also to sanctify and prepare its disciples ing, to be kept steadily fixed upon the spiritualifor the kingdom of heaven,—not only to pronounce ties of revelation ; there is a temper disposed to an acquittal from the penalties of sin, but to be irritable, to be checked and rendered tranquil : subdue its corrupting principles in their nature, there are passions struggling for pre-eminence, to and render them fit for the glory to which they are be held in subjection ; there are enemies to be ultimately to be advanced. The agent hy whom this forgiven; there is a besetting sin to be thrown important process is carried on, is the Holy Ghost, aside, and sedulously to be exterminated. And the third person in the blessed Godhead. It is he besides all this, there are those to whom we may who practically operates upon the children of God; be nearly and closely allied, unimpressed with the when the period of their conversion comes, it is Gospel, to be warned and implored to bestir themhe who takes up his abode in their hearts, unites selves; there is a large field of heathenisni at them to the Saviour, and throughout their lives home, and a still larger field abroad, to be cultivatfurnishes them with consolation and strength. The ed and converted into a garden of the Lord ; in impulses of the Spirit, then, we ought reverentially short, the more we examine the standard of duty, to inquire after, and vigorously to obey. Through the more will we perceive the necessity of activity a twofold medium, his will is discernible by us. in the pursuit of holiness. Let us then be reIn the first place, he dictated the sacred writ-conciled unto God, and walk as it becomes the ings, and therefore they contain a legible com- children of the light. pend of duty ; and, in the second place, by an enlightened conscience, he stimulates to what is BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE holy and acceptable, and speaks disapprobation REV. EDWARD PAYSON, D.D. when the path of rectitude and goodness is for- Edward PAYSON was born at Rindge, New Hampshire, saken. Are we then, under the conscious in- | America, on the 25th of July 1783. His father was the
Rev. Seth Payson, D.D., pastor of the church in Rindge, at some favoured moments we feel! What happiness in a man of piety and public spirit, distinguished as a cler- humbling ourselves in the dust, and confessing our sins gyman, and favourably known as an author. To the and unworthiness.” Christian fidelity of his parents, to their instructions, In the month of August 1806, Mr Payson relinquished their prayers, and their example, Edward Payson attri- his charge of the academy in Portland, and returned to buted his religious hopes, as well as his usefulness in his father's house, there to prepare for entering on the life. From the first developement of his mental powers, ministry, Here he made the Bible the subject of close, his mind seems to have been more or less affected by critical, persevering, and, for a time, almost exclusive bis condition and prospects as a sinner. It is narrated attention, his reading being principally confined to such of him, that at the early age of three years, he was fre- works as tended to its elucidation. In this manner he quently observed to weep under the preaching of the studied the whole of the inspired volume, from beginGuspel. And at this early age, too, he was wont to ning to end, so that there was not a verse on which he call his mother to his bedside, and ask her numerous had not formed an opinion. He read the Bible too with questions about God and a future world. To what in- prayer: and his biographer says," he prayed without ceasterruptions this seriousness was subjected, does not ing." "He felt safe no where,” he goes on to say, “but clearly appear; to shew, however, that they were not near the throne of grace. He may be said to have studied mere transitory impressions, we may state the fact, that theology on his knees. Much of his time he spent litehis mother was always inclined to the belief that he rally prostrated, with the Bible open before himn, pleading was converted in childhood. At the time, however, the promise, 'I will send the Comforter.' His seasons when he had finished his studies, preparatory to enter for fasting were injuriously frequent. So far did he carry ing the college, the evidences of his piety were far his abstinence from food, that his family were alarıned for from being conclusive; and on this very account his fa- his safety. Often has his mother, or a favourite sister, ther hesitated to send him thither; for, said he, stood at the door of his chamber, with a little milk, or give you a liberal education, while destitute of religious some other refreshment, equally simple, pleading in vain principles, would be like putting a sword in the hands for admission.” Some may be apt to think that, in this of a madman.” This decision, however, was not per- respect, he was running into an extreme, but, as his emptory and unalterable ; for he was allowed to pro- anonymous biographer admirably remarks, “if the subsecute his studies at home, and in his seventeenth year jection of the heart and mind, with all their powers, to he entered Harvard College, where he was conspicuous Christ, could not otherwise be effected, he was unamong his fellow students for his ardent thirst for questionably right; for no sacrifice or suffering, which knowledge. He was what is called “a great reader,” is requisite to this, can be too great. 'If thy right hand and every thing he read he made his own. Soon after offend thee, cut it off; if thine eye cause thee to offend, leaving college, he was, on the recommendation of pluck it out.'”. We do not mean to say that he acted some of his professors, engaged to take charge of an rightly in suffering his health to be injured by fasting as academy, then recently established in Portland, where he did, and that to a great degree; if he was to blame he remained for three years. Ilere, says his biogra- at all, it was not for fasting, but for fasting too long. pher, “he indulged himself in such amusements as were Except in things strictly enjoined in the Scriptures, he fasbionable, or were considered reputable ; and that never made his own practice a law for others. If he too with a gust as exquisite as their most hearty devo- “ bound heavy burdens and grievous to be borne," he tees." He was, however, in the year 1804, aroused as did not “lay them on other men's shoulders,” but made if from sleep, to take a solemn view of his relations as his own bear their oppressive weight. an accountable and immortal being. The occasion of “ The influence of habitual prayer upon his studies," this new or revived concern for his soul, was the death to use the language of the published memoir, of a beloved brother. Soon after this he writes, “I certain and so operative, that the strength of his devotion feel inclined to hope that I am progressing, though by seems, for the most part, to have been the measure of his slow and imperceptible degrees, in the knowledge of progress.” There were few requests which he urged more divine things.” On the 25th of July 1805, being his frequently than those for assistance in study, and he found, birth-day, he commenced keeping a diary,
as a check
to his joyful experience, the truth of that promise, “ask on the misemployment of time.' On that day he thus and it shall be given you.” When we find it mentionwrites :“ Having resolved this day to dedicate myself | ed in his diary that he had great freedom in prayer, we to my Creator, in a serious and solemn manner, by almost invariably find likewise recorded there, that he a written covenant, I took a review of my past life, received great assistance in his studies. There are many and of the numerous mercies by which it has been dis- passages in his diary of a similar nature with the fol. tinguished. Then, with sincerity, as I humbly hope, lowing: “ Was much assisted in my studies this evenI took the Lord to be my God, and engaged to love, ing, so that, not withstanding I was interrupted, I was serve, and obey him. Relying on the assistance of the enabled to write twelve pages of my sermon.
It was Holy Spirit, I engaged to take the Holy Scriptures as the more precious, because it seemed to be in answer to the rule of my conduct, the Lord Jesus Christ to be my prayer.” On the other hand there are entries of a my Saviour, and the Spirit of all grace and consolation different character, of which the following is a specimen : as my guide and sanctifier. The vows of God are up- “Was quite dull and lifeless in prayer, and in conseon me.” Subsequent passages in his diary show an quence had no success in study.” During all this time ever-active zeal to perform * the vows which his lips he was making great progress in the knowledge of his bad uttered.” Shortly after receiving the holy sacra- own heart, which he found, and every one who searches ment, which he did at Rindge in September 1805, he must find, to be “ desperately wicked." His first care writes to his mother, “I did not intend to say another was to have it “ right with God," but instead of being word about my feelings; but I must, or else cease bound up in self
, he was constantly exerting himself for writing. I am so happy, that I cannot possibly think the good of others. “ Uniformly,” says his biographer, nor write of any thing else. Such a glorious, beauti- “ his war is with himself, and not with God. And if, ful, consistent scheme for the redemption of such mis- to prevent the night watches, that he might meditate erable wretches—such infinite love and goodness joined on God's word;' if, to‘love the habitation of his house, with such wisdom! I would, if possible, raise my voice, and the place where his honour dwelleth ;' if, to acso that the whole universe, to its remotest bounds, count himself, and all things else, “as nothing for Christ's might hear me, if any language could be found worthy sake ;' if, to know in whom he had believed,' and to of such a subject. How transporting, and yet how draw near to him in full assurance of faith ;' if, to be bumiliating, are the displays of divine goodness, which satisfied as with marrow and fatness, while remember.