« VorigeDoorgaan »
the dwarf palm, the cyprus, the chestnut, the cork | resolution was afterwards brought about, namely, the tree: the orange and lemon tree perfume the air with preserving of ourselves and posterity from popery, their blossoms; the myrtle and pomegranate grow wild slavery, and arbitrary power. Having shewed you among the rocks. We cross the Alps, and we find the what moved us to take up arms at Both well, I come vegetation which belongs to northern Europe, of which now to let you know the providence I met with there. England affords an instance. The oak, the beech, and While we lay at Hamilton, before the engagement, I the elm, are natives of Great Britain: the elm tree observed all my acquaintances, and others, providing seen in Scotland, and in the north of England, is the head-pieces and breast-plates, and whatever seemed newych elm. As we travel still further to the north, the cessary for their safety in the day of battle. Not havforests again change their character. In the northern ing money to spare on these things, as some others had, provinces of the Russian empire are found forests of I looked up to God, and took him for a covering to my the various species of firs: the Scotch and spruce fir, head in the day of battle, as he had been to David of and the larch. In the Orkney Islands no tree is found old. For I observed, that whatever pieces of armour but the hazel, which occurs again on the northern shores they had prepared for their safety, there was still a of the Baltic. As we proceed into colder regions, we possibility of their being slain. Wherefore, I humbly
still find species which appear to have been made for told the great God, I would entirely depend on him. RS
these situations. The hoary or cold alder makes its Accordingly, when our forces fled, and all took what
appearance north of Stockholm: the sycamore and way they judged most proper for their safety, I rode lets 15 mountain ash accompany us to the head of the gulf of not through Hamilton with the rest, but went about
Bothnia : and as we leave this and traverse the Doph- the town, and having got over a glen, when I got to trees nian range, we pass in succession the boundary lines of the other side of it, I espied a party of the enemy just is has the spruce fir, the Scotch fir, and those minute shrubs below me, and in the very way by which I behoved to
which botanists distinguish as the dwarf birch and the ride. I could not turn back without alarming them, 11,9" dwarf willow. Here, near to or within the arctic and therefore I rode on. My comrade was riding just e circle, we yet find wild flowers of great beauty; the before me, with bis head-piece and other pieces of
mezereum, the yellow and white water lily, and the armour, which he had provided for safety. I observed European globe flower. And when these fail us, the that he was frightened and could not well sit his horse, reindeer moss still makes the country habitable for through slavish fear, on which I whispered to him to animals and man.
go on composedly, and I went before him with my “We have thus a variety in the laws of vegetable or- carabine over my arm, and my sword drawn in my lang gunization remarkably adapted to the variety of cli- hand. The enemy came up so close to the way, and 2 mates; and by this adaptation the globe is clothed all under arms, that I could not ride past without touchTEC with vegetation, and peopled with animals, from pole | ing clothes with them. On this, their commander, in a
to pole, while, without such an adaptation, vegetable threatening way, asked me the word. I had resolved and animal life must have been confined almost, or not to speak, whatever they might ask. So I spoke entirely, to some narrow zone on the earth's surface. nothing, but rode on, depending entirely on the God We conceive that we see here the evidence of a wise whom I had chosen for my covering in the day of battle, and benevolent intention, overcoming the varying and I was allowed to pass unmolested. Not so my difficulties, or employing the varying resources of comrade. Whenever he came up, I heard the officer the elements, with an inexhaustible fertility of contriv- ask him the word, on which, through fear, he gave what ance, a constant tendency to diffuse life and wellbeing.” was not the word. And this so provoked the com
mander that he struck him over the head with his broad
sword, which, by reason of my comrade's head-piece, JOHN STEVENSON, AN AYRSHIRE CHRISTIAN OF
broke in two. This so enraged him that he immediate
ly ordered some of his men to fire, and so he was killed No. III.
on the spot. I still stepped on without the least hurry COMMUNICATED BY THE Rev. DUNCAN MACFARLAN,
or confusion, and was allowed to pass, when I also ob
served Colonel Burns lying in his blood, and who had Minister of Renfrew,
been shot a little before. And thus, I must own that Is the last two papers our extracts were almost ex- the Lord was my safety, and the covering of my head in clusively concerning the history of his mental exercises, the day of battle. although in reference to a variety of subjects. In the “ From this time till our happy Revolution, I was present, we will endeavour to gather some account of obliged, for the space of nine years, to retire and hide what he calls remarkable providences, and especially in myself as much as possible from the rage of my persecuanswer to prayer.
tors. And knowing the wrath of the enemy, and fear“ The first I shall mention was what I met with at | ing that if I should be taken by them, I might be Bothwell. I am not ashamed to own that I was there, tempted, through weakness, to take sinful oaths, or and do declare that it was not a spirit of rebellion against exposed to great sufferings, I set apart time for prayer, the then king and government, that took me there, as and pleaded with God, that he would make out grathat rising is slanderously reported of by many. That ciously to me, what he had promised to do for his which moved us to join together and appear in arms, Church and people in days of fiery trial ; and particuwas the necessary defence of our lives, liberties, and larly— Because thou hast kept the word of my pareligion.
For it is well known how the enemies of tience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptaGod, and of our holy religion, did eat up the people of tion, which shall come upon all the world, to try them God as bread, and called not on his name; and where that dwell upon the earth.'—Rev, iï. 10. I pleaded ever they met with honest ministers or private Chris- the outmaking of this, and, I must own, he remembertians, they either shot them or dragged them to prison, ed the word on which he caused me to hope, and preand for no other reason, but because they worshipped served me remarkably from the enemy, as you may hear the God of their fathers, according to their conscience, afterwards. and in the way they judged to be divinely appointed. " Some time after this, a troop of the enemy were We would have taken cheerfully the spoiling of our quartered about Daily, and five of them were quargoods, bad not our enemies sought to lord it over our tered upon my father in Camragen. As they came to conscience, which we could not submit to them, with my father's, they were informed that I had that mornout incurring the displeasure of God. And our uniting ing come to the house, for there were many informers together was on the very principle on which our happy in the country, who sold themselves to betray inno
THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
cent blood, and that for a piece of bread. They had | old walls above the glen, near to Camragen, and there told the soldiers what sort of a man I was, and what sweetly rested. And, as God was very kind by night clothes I had on, and what was the colour of my hair ; and day to my soul, so he preserved me from the fear and it was the case, that I had just come into the of Satan. The enemy did not molest or affright me house to get some refreshment. I had not had time in any of my hiding-places; yea, the Lord assured me, to sit down, when all of a sudden my sister and I that he had made for me a covenant with the beasts of heard a great noise before the door. We ran to the the field, so that I was not afraid to sleep in those very door to see what was the matter, and found three out places where poisonous creatures did most frequently of the five dragoons, who asked if I was the goodman resort : neither did I at any time receive from them, or of the house, or if I belonged to the family? I an- from the beasts of the field, the least injury. swered that I was not the head of the family, but that “ All this, dear children, is well known to your I belonged to it. I expected the next question would mother, who was my comfortable companion in many have been,-Are you his son? But the Lord restruin- of my tribulations; and I acquaint you with them, that ed them. They told me they were to quarter with ye may be encouraged to follow the Lord fully, through us, and dismounted apparently in a great rage. The good and through bad report, were it even as through Lord ordered it so, that neither my sister nor I were the swellings of Jordan. I must own, that as I have in the least daunted. I spoke civilly to them; telling mourned for Zion in the day of her distress, so I have them to be calm and easy, and they should get for been comforted in Jerusalem. I have sucked and been themselves and horses, in great plenty. I offered them satisfied with the breasts of her consolation, and I have either straw, hay, or corn for their horses, and took been greatly delighted with the abundance of her glory. them into the garden, where I made up a bundle for I can sincerely declare, that nothing so much reconciled each of them, of what they desired ; and I made up my heart to my seventy-three years of pilgrimage also one for myself. I let them take up their bundles through this wilderness, as my concern for Zion. For first and return to the stable, and I just followed. my witness is in heaven, and my record on high, that I But when they entered the stable door, I skipped back could give Jehovah no rest, day nor night, till he should and got over the garden ditch, and so escaped. They make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. And now, when were in a great rage at the disappointment; and when I am bidding an everlasting adieu to every thing beo they met my father, threatened to have him ruined for low, it is the grief of my soul to see error and profaneentertaining such a person in his house. But my fa
ness coming in upon Zion like a flood. Nevertheless, ther turned the chase on them, threatening to tell this is my comfort, that the gates of hell shall never their commander, that they had let me go, after get prevail against her, and that it is impossible for the ting me into their custody, which quieted them. And elect to be deceived. All the divine perfections are so the Lord kept me from that bour of temptation, as engaged for the Church, which was purchased with I had begged, and as he had caused me to hope. Christ's blood; and therefore I know, that God wil
“ Some time after this, I having entered into a mar- arise and have mercy upon Zion, when the time, the set ried state, my father made a secret place in his hay time, to favour her has come. And into Christ's hands stack, where I remained during night, for a whole I commend her, into whose bands I am also soon ta winter and part of the spring. When my wife was commend my own spirit.” (He died in 1728.) not with me, sometimes a friend, in circumstances si- In transcribing these particulars, we have been foc. milar to my own, would come and stay a night with bly reminded of a little incident, which occurred in the me in the stack. One morning, when my wife was same district of country. On visiting some years ago, with me, she got up and went out at the little hole we
in a farm-house near the head of the Nith, we were had to get out at, and she stopped it with the bundle told of a martyr's grave which had been opened, and of hay, which was our only door. As she stood in the bodies removed to another place, where it was is. the garden, all of a sudden she observed four men close tended to erect some monumental tablet. Their first at hand. She stepped back and stooped, as if she had
grave was in a peat moss, and they had lain in the been drawing hay, and whispered to me, that I should dress they wore when shot by a military party. Wzen keep close, for she saw some of the enemy. Within the bodies were lifted, they were found to be quite a liitle, one of them struck her on the back with the entire, as were also their clothes. I saw part of thes side of his sword, and told her that she was their pri-hair, and a small piece of cloth which had been cute They accordingly took her and my sister to of the coat of one of them. It was coarse in the fabrie
, Mlaybole, and put them in prison, where they remained and thread-bare on one side; thus indicating the buable for some days: but a party of friends afterwards res
station of the noble sufferer.
Had I met such potens cued them during night. As for the four men, who in almost any other country, I would have besitated took them, three of them were afterwards served by to conceive of the deceased as an intelligent and nebie my wife as coinmon beggars, and so was the wife of minded patriot ; but in a country, and at a time
, when the fourth. And in this also, I remark the kindness such characters as John Stevenson were to be found of God; for had these men seen my wife coming out of the stack, I would either have been apprehended, hunted as partridges on the inoors and mountain sicer
among the labouring poor, and among those who were or forced to shed blood, in which I had no pleasure. of Ayrshire, the presumption is not presumptuous. We
" And as I escaped the sword of the enemy, so I ought Scotland ever to forget, that her liberties, bote found grace in the wilderness. Yea, during my nine sacred and civil, have been mainly defended, and, inyears
' suffering, I was filled with peace and joy in be. der the blessing of God, preserved, by her Bible-tact lieving. I was made to take joyfully the spoiling of cottagers. Right principle in the great and the tobin my goods, and with pleasure did I, for his name's sake, is of commanding influence, and ought to be respeto wander in deserts and in mountains, in dens and caves
ed; but it is only when religion has reached the heart of the earth. I lay four months, during the coldest of society, that the community itself is religious ; 234 season of the year, as already noticed, in a bay stack; that Jehovah, claiming us as his people, will work for and during the whole of February in the open fields, us, and work by us, as in the days of old. not far from Camragen ; and this without sustaining any prejudice from the night air. One night, when lying in the fields near the Carrick Mill, I was all cover
CHRISTIAN TREASURY, ed with snow in the morning. Many nights have I lain with pleasure in the churchyard of Old Daily, and when this weariness is only transient, during the prior
Weariness in, and unwillingness to Actire Duty-I. made a grave my pillow. Often have I resorted to the sent temptation or defection, (which, as soon as låt
tried soul can get out of it, returns to its former tem- meanes, and then refer the succes theirof to him, -So per and pleasure in holy duties,) there is only matter of soone as ony of thy interprises hes taken effect, incon. humiliation. But wben it is the settled, permanent, tinent run and thank thy God,-Beware of presumpand habitual frame of the mind, it is a matter of question, selfe-love, and vaine ostentation, whatsoever good tioning our condition, The Holy Psalmist, under a or great work thou accomplish, for thou may knaw it is desertion, was even almost persuaded to give over with the Lord that woorkes by thy hand, and not thou ; seereligion ; but when he is himself, nothing is so sweet, ing thou hes had experience of thine awin weakenesse nothing so lovely and desirable to him, as the duties of and insufficiencie,–Beware thou iustify not thy self in holiness. But, for them who have, in their ordinary thy hart, for thou knaws that thou cannot abstaine fra settied course and frame, no mind to duties, but are sinne, nor cannot be saued without the meere mercie of driven to them by conscience, or engaged by company God, shawin in the righteous merits of Jesus Christ,or custom, their case is fearful in that measure, that duty Instruct and teach thy children and servants, albeit they is unpleasant and not loved. 2. Where this weariness be few in number, in the feare of God, as though thou of, and unwillingness to duties, are painful and griev. had a great house and familie, --When thou hes the comous, as a sore in the eye, or a sickness in the heart, the mand of God; reueiled be his word, that thou suld doo state is good ; but where it is naturally allowed, and ony thing, obey thou euer the command; and let it be a meets with little or no resistance, it is a bad sign; for rule to all thy actions, how unappearant soever it be, or this argues, there is nothing but flesh, and there is no far against thy heart, setting aside baith thy awin affeccontrary principle in such a heart, for, if there were, tions, and all worldlie respects, for qubair God speakes, the spirit would, at least, make opposition. This was neuer speire onie farder question, because he knawes the very frame of those unsanctitied sinners, that that quhilk thou knawes not,-Gif thou find thy desire counted the Sabbaths and services of God an unpro- extream earnest in any matter, beware thou execute not fitable burden, a very weariness, a bondage not to be thy desire, unles thou have a speciall warrant of God's borne. A gracious heart, when under such distemper, word, that thy desire be agreeable to his will, for the a: that God's service seems a weariness, is even weary deuill enters in be our inordinat appetits and affections, of himself; whilst this is burdensome, he is a burden to - When thou art in doubt if that quhilk thou art to doo himself; he cannot enjoy himself while in such a frame, or say, be gud or euil, performe it not until thou be rehe cannot enjoy God; and if this be the case, our state solued,- In doing thy affaires, use diligence, and be is good, though the frame be bad. 3. When this quick, for thou knawes what hurt and grief thy slawnes weariness and unwillingness are not from a rooted dis- and slouthfnes hes wrought thee.-OLD AUTHOR. like to the food, but an accidental and preternatural in
Books.- A Christian has no time, and should have disposition of the stomach, or a being disappointed of no inclination for any reading that has not a real tendency God's presence in duties, the main state is safe. You know, under a distemper, the appetite may loathe and in regard to the choice of books, is this, — “ Books are
to improve the heart. The finest rule I ever met with, nauseate the food that a man doth love above all other good or bad in their effects, as they make us relish the meats, when he is well, and so it is here. Do you, I word of God, the more or the less after we have read when you are yourselves, relish more sweetness in God's them." There are too many valuable books, on a service, than in your meats and drinks? Are no sweets to delightful to you, as fellowship and communion with variety of subjects, which ought to be read, to allow of God, when you can attain to them in duties? Do you L. Richmond.
time to be dedicated to unworthy and useless ones.ecme away disappointed, because you cannot meet with Gou? If it be thus, it is a sign you have set your hearts
Watch. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but upon God, and that you place the happiness and com
let us watch and be sober, putting on the breastplate of fort of your lives on God, and that so your state is
faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation. kafe ; otherwise, when there is a fixed antipathy to
What a blessed state to be found in by the Lord at his duties, and an habitual dislike to them, the case is very panoply! awake, and watchful at his post, looking and
coming! The Christian warrior, armed in his divine sad, 4. When our weariness and unwillingness are such as make us give over our duties, so as to live in longing for the promised appearance of the Captain of the ordinary neglect of them, it is a fearful sign ; but his salvation ! ready to rejoice, with exceeding great when, notwithstanding present discouragements, we
joy, when he sees His banner-flag unfolded from the bold on in the performance of duty, and a humble wait- battlements of heaven, and hears the blast of the archirg on God for removing our ditticulties, till we are angel's trumpet heralding his approach |-- WHITE. brought to a better frame : this argues well. Not but Salutary Counsels.- Now, for the world, I know it. that a deserted soul may, under the violence of tempta- too well to persuade thee to dive into the practices tions, omit duties for a time ; but his condition during thereof; rather stand upon thine own guard, against all this is most painful, restless and grievous, to him, and that tempt thee thereunto, or may practise upon thee, be quickly returns again, and never comes to live quiet in thy conscience, thy reputation, or thy purse; resolve in the ordinary omission of known duties. 5. When that no man is wise or safe, but he that is honest. Serve our weariness and unwillingness are such as make us God; let him be the author of all thy actions. Comfall out with the service of Christ, and willing to ease mend all thy endeavours to him that must either wither ourselves of his yoke, and throw off his burden, this is or prosper them. Please him with prayer, lest, if he a bad sign; but when we fall out with ourselves, and frown, he confound all thy fortunes and labours, like the istify, and approve Christ's ways and service, it is drops of rain on the sandy ground. Let my experienced wcil. Thus it was with Paul, he does not quarrel with advice and fatherly instructions, sink deep into thine Ehe law as too strict and severe, nor think of breaking heart. So God direct thee in all thy ways, and fill thy
T his bands and taking his liberty, but he pleads for heart with his grace.—RALEIGH. she law, and greatly approves and commends it, and Which of the two is Mad I-Were a man every day condemns the backwardness of his own nature. When
to throw a purse of money, or even a single guinea, into nen are more willing to be rid of Christ's burden, than the sea, he would be looked upon as a madman, and his of the distemper that makes it grievous, and cast about friends would soon confine him for such. But a man or ease, by widening their bands, and not bringing their who throws away that which is of more value than minds to them, it is a woful discovery of an unsound gold, -than mines,--than the whole world,—even his Ceart.--ALLEINE.
health, his peace, his time, and his soul ; such an one Christian Precepts.-Interprise nathing quhile thou is admired, esteemed, and applauded by the greater irst call unto the Lord to bles it, and to blesse the part of mankind.-- TOPLADY,
Hearing the Word.- A lady who was present at the THE DIGNITY OF MAN.
dispensation of the Lord's Supper, where the Rer. On! what is man, great maker of mankind ! Ebenezer Erskine was assisting, was much impressed That thou to hir so great respect dost bear;
by his discourse. Having been informed who he was, That thou adorn'st him with so bright a mind, she went next Sabbath to his own place of worship to
Mak'st him a king, and even an angel's peer ? hear him. But she felt none of those strong impres. Oh! what a lively life, what heav'nly pow'r, sions she experienced on the former occasion. Won
What spreading virtue, what a sparkling fire; dering at this, she called on Mr E., and stating the case, How great, how plentiful, how rich a dow'r asked what might be the reason of such a difference
Dost thou within this dying flesh inspire ! in her feelings. He replied, Madam, the reason is this, Thou leav'st thy print in other works of thine,
Last Sabbath, you went to hear Jesus Christ, but toBut thy whole image thou in man hast writ;
day you have come to hear Ebenezer Erskine. There cannot be a creature more divine,
The Infidel's End. I was lately, observed the late Except, like thee, it should be infinite.
Rev. W. A. Gunn, in a sermon preached at Lothbury But it exceeds man's thought, to think how high Church, called to attend the death-bed of a young
God hath raised man, since God a man became; man at Hoxton. On entering the room, I found bim The angels do admire this mystery,
in the greatest horror of mind. Thinking it perhaps And are astonish'd when they view the same : arose from the deep remorse of a penitent sinner, I Nor hath he given these blessings for a day; began to point to Jesus, the sinner's only Friend.
Nor made them on the body's life depend; With an agonizing look of despair, he replied, " Ah! The soul, though made in time, survives for aye ; sir, but I have rejected the Gospel. Some years since, And though it hath beginning, sees no end. I unhappily read • Paine's Age of Reason. It suited
SIR John Davies. my corrupt taste. I embraced its principles. After
this, wherever I went, I did all in my power to hold VAIN BOASTING.
up the Scriptures to contempt. By these means, I led Can he be fair, that withers at a blast ?
others into the fatal snare, and made converts to infi. Or he be strong, that airy breath can cast ?
delity. Thus I rejected God, and now he rejects me, Can he be wise, that knows not how to live ? and will have no mercy on me.” I offered to pray be Or he be rich, that nothing hath to give ?
him, but he replied, Oh, no, it is all in vain to pray Can he be young, that's feeble, weak, and wan? for me.” Then, with a dismal groan, he cried out, So fair, strong, wise--so rich, so young is man.
“• Paine's Age of Reason' has ruined my soul!" and So fair is man, that death (a parting blast)
instantly expired. Blasts his fair flow'r, and makes him earth at last ;
The Welsh Peasants.- When the arrival of the cart, So strong is man, that with a gasping breath
which carried the sacred load of the Scriptures to He totters, and bequeaths his strength to death;
Wales, in 1806, sent by the British and Foreign Bible So wise is man, that if with death he strive,
Society, was announ
unced, the Welsh peasants went out His wisdom cannot teach him how to live ;
in crowds to meet it; welcomed it as the Israelites did So rich is man, that (all his debts being paid) the ark of old; drew it into the town; and eageri His wealth's the winding-sheet wherein he's laid ;
bore off all the copies as rapidly as they could be disSo young is man, that (broke with care and sorrow) He's old enough to-day to die to-morrow.
persed. The young people were to be seen spending
the whole night in reading it. Labourers carried it Why bragg'st thou then, thou worm of five foot long ? Thou art neither fair, nor strong, nor wise, nor rich, the intervals of their labours, and lose no opportunity
with them to the field, that they might enjoy it during nor young FRANCIS QUARLES.
of becoming acquainted with its sacred truths.
Contentment.--.John Wesselus, of Groningen, who UNBELIEF.
was one of the most learned men in the fifteenth cenBY JAMES GLASSFORD, Esq.,
tury, and was, on account of his extensive attainments, Author of " Lyrical Translations from the Italian Poets." called “the light of the world,” having been orice in: “ And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
troduced to the presence of the Pope, was requested neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the by that pontiff to ask for some favour for bimäell
. dead."-LUKE xvi. 31.
Then,” said Wesselus,
“I beg you to give me out Iv vain the truth would be revealed
of the Vatican Library a Greek and a Hebrew Bible." Though from the dead one should arise ;
“ You shall have them,” said Sixtus : " but, foolish When unbelief the heart has sealed
man, why don't you ask for a bishopric, or something of It stops the ear and shuts the eyes.
that sort ? For the best of reasons,” said Wesselus, For lo, even now these proofs abound,
“because I do not want such things."
Published by JOAN JOHNSTONE, at the offices of the SCOTTISH
Christian Herald, 104, High Street, Edinburgh, and 19. Glas
ford Street, Glasgow ;--JAMES Nisbet & Co., HAMILTON, ADANS & They shewed long since in vision plain ; Co., and R. GROOMBRIDGE, London; D. R. BLEAKLEY, David When these events before you pass,
and' W. M* COMB, Belfast ; 'and sold by the Booksellers and Local
Agents in all the Towns and Parishes of Scotland; and in the proThe prophets live and speak again.
cipal Towns in England and Ireland. He who their voice will not believe,
Subscribers in Edinburgh and Leith will have their copies de livered at their own residences regularly, by leaving their
addressci Which sounds thus daily in his ear,
with the Publisher, or with John Lindsay & Co., 7. South S A No other message would receive
drew Street.-Subscribers in Glasgow will, in like mander, have
their copies delivered, by leaving their addresses at the Publishing Though from the dead one should appear. Office there, 19, Glassford Street. His test the Saviour thus applies,
Subscription (payable in advance) per quarter, of twelve reeks
Is. 6d. -per hall-year, of twenty-four weeks, 3s. -- per year, of forte And warns the unbelieving Jews
eight weeks, 65.
Monthly Parts, containing four Numbers each They vouch his word, they see him rise,
stitched in a printed wrapper, price Sixpence. And still his witness they refuse,
Printed at the Steam - Press of Ballantyne & Co., from the Sterretype Plates of Thomas Allan & Co.
SCOTTISH CHRISTIAN HERALD,
CONDUCTED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF
THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.
THE FEAR OF THE LORD, THAT IS WISDOM."
Vol. I. No. 27. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1836.
class, the fulfilment of which may be said to be ON THE PROMISES CONTAINED IN THE
suspended on the fact, that true believers are felHOLY SCRIPTURES.
low workers with the Almighty. By The Rev. DAVID Brown,
The conditional promises have respect to all Minister of Roslin.
those gifts and graces which are intended to be imEvery attentive reader of the Holy Scriptures parted to the people of God, and by which they must be aware, that they contain multitudes of are to be rendered happy and glorious for ever. " exceeding great and precious promises.” These If we inquire, we shall find that, though these promises have been collected into a separate vo- promises are equally unchangeable in their nature lume, and they amount to many hundreds,-com- as the others, the fulfilment of them made to prehending, in their ample extent, all the blessings depend on some condition, and the terms must be of time, and all the glories and enjoyments of complied with, or the blessing which is needed eternity. Notwithstanding their great number, will not be granted. Lest our meaning should be and wonderful variety, they may all be included misapprehended, when we speak of conditions, we in one or other of the two following classes,— remark, that nothing is to be done in order to those which are absolute and those which are con- merit the bestowment of the benefit which is deditional ; and, by considering them in these dif- sired; for mankind deserve to receive nothing at ferent points of view, we shall be able to form the hand of God, but wrath for their sins, and more definite ideas of their nature and uses, than grace—free, rich, and sovereign grace—is the disif we were to contemplate them as a whole. tinguishing characteristic of all the divine pro
The absolute promises refer to the magnificent ceedings in regard to them. All that we have in arrangements, which have been made by Jehovah, view by the conditions of which we are speaking, in behalf of our sinful and guilty world. In the is this : Some specific trait of character must be accomplishment of the great work of our redemp- possessed, and habitually cultivated, in order to tion, every independent movement, which was in the attainment of some advantage, which God has tended on the part of God, was made the subject promised to bestow. Should a person be destiof a promise equally independent in its character ; tute of the quality condescended on, he has no thereby intimating to us that, in the construction right to ask, and no good ground to expect, that of the amazing fabric, no one could be employed the particular promise will be fulfilled in his but a divine architect. And, as the salvation of case. On the contrary, if he be qualified accordan innumerable multitude of the children of men, ing to the divine direction, when he asks, he shall and probably the well-being of countless orders of receive; when he seeks, he shall find; and, when moral and intelligent creatures, depended on the he knocks, it shall be opened to him. accurate fulfilment of every part of the astonish- For the farther elucidation of this point, it may ing scheme, it was necessary that no mere crea- be stated, that we find many special blessings ture should be intrusted to carry it into execution : promised to those who are rendering obedience to and, of course, the promises, which embrace the the divine commandments ; who are maintaining mighty details, are communicated to us with a intercourse with God by means of prayer ; who certainty as immutable as the very throne of the are diligent in the perusal of the oracles of truth, Eternal. Now all of these promises either have been and in hearing the glad tidings of salvation prorealized already, or are in progress towards being claimed; who are cherishing love to God, and to accomplished, without being made to depend, in their brethren of mankind; who are putting their the slightest degree, on the volitions or the actions trust in the Lord, and waiting patiently on him ; of mankind, to whom they have been made known. who are distinguished by sincerity and uprightness This being the case, we omit the farther notice of of conduct ; and, in a word, who are making it this whole class of promises, at present, as we in- one great object of their lives to depart from all tend to employ the small space allotted to us, in manner of iniquity, and to acquire every spiritual directing the attention of our readers to the other excellence. At the same time that numerous bless