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habits of that Church, they freely admitted, and in see the salvation of our God, to consider whether insome cases expressly enjoined, the continuance of this creased devotedness, and more enlarged prayer with duty. Thus, in the Westminster Confession of Faith, fasting, be not our duty, in present circumstances. mention is made of " solenın fastings and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times
CHRISTIAN TREASURY. and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner.” C. 21, 3 5. And among the duties required in the se
Christ a Helper.--Above all, I would say to the cond commandment, as laid down in the. Larger Cate-Christian, never distrust the kindness, the love, the chism, we have "religious fasting."
wisdom, the faithfulness of your Saviour; but confide 15. Nor have such enactments been allowed to re
in him who has promised all things shall work togemain altogether a dead letter. Many special occasions ther for your good. Though you may not now know 1*: of lasting have occurred in the history of our own
what he is doing, you shall know hereafter. You will country, and been improved by the appointment of days
see the reason of all the trials and temptations, the set apart to that purpose. The General Assembly of dark and comfortless hours, the distressing doubts and the Church of Scotland was also accustomed to com
fears, the long and tedious conflicts, with which you mence their sittings with this observance; and the oc
are now exercised, and you will be convinced that not cupying a portion of time in prayer, preparatory to the
a sigh, not a tear, not a single uneasy thought was en co business of the Assembly, is still continued. The allotted to you, without some wise and gracious design.
practice of observing days of humiliation, in connec- Say not then, like Jacso of old, all these things are ** tion with the Lord's Supper, and calling them fast-days, against me; say not, like David, I shall one day perish pois, whether right or wrong, another testimony to the by the hand of Saul; for all these things are for your
continuance of fasting in our Reformed Churches. And, good, and you shall never perish, neither shall any it along with these, and other social acts of fasting, it was pluck you out of Christ's hand. Why should you,
a common practice, during the seventeenth, and at least who are sons of the King of lleaven, be lean and dispart of the eighteenth century, for private individuals contented from day to day? Remember, if you are in to observe both stated and occasional fasts; and these, the path of the just, you are the heir of God, and though less common, are still observed.
joint heir with Christ, of an inheritance incorruptible, 16. And now, with such evidence before us we
eternal, and that fadeth not away. Be not discouraged cannot but reflect on our own conduct, as a generation
at the small progress you appear to make, or the diniprolessing godliness, and in some respects “ asking for culties you may meet with. Why should the intant the old paths,” that we may“ find rest.” It surely be
be discouraged because he has not the gth of mancometh us to ask, whether our general neglect of this hood, or the wisdom of old age? Wait on the Lord duty does not argue a low state of practical godliness in the diligent use of his means, and he will strengthen Suppose, if we will, that fasting has no meaning, ex
your hearts, so that you " shall mount up as on eagles' cept as an expression of deep and intense devotion, still wings; you shall run, and not be weary, you shall walk, bir neçlect will, even in this sense, argue a lack of in- and not faint." Who is he that walketh in darkness, tantial godliness. But fasting is more than this. It and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of is a means as well as an effect. If a Christian man se
the Lord, and stay himself upon his God. Let him parate himself, for a time, from the business and the go to Jesus, the compassionate Saviour of sinners, who peasures of the world, and, in so far as may be con
heals the broken in heart, who gathers the lambs in sistent with health, from all sensual enjoyments, he is his arms, and carries them in his bosom. Go, I say, to only the more perfectly giving himself up to exercises him, tell him all your griefs and sorrows; tell him that of devotion ; he is only the more fully entering into your souls cleave to the dust; that iniquities, doubts, his closet, and shutting the door behind him, that he and fears prevail against you ; that you are poor, and may pray in secret : for even to this extent did our Lord miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked.' Go exemplify his own command, when he spent whole to bis mercy-seat, where he sits as a merciful High righis alone amidst the solitude of the mountains. But | Priest, on purpose to give repentance and remission of ike opposite extreme, into which so many seem to have sins; go and embrace his feet, lay open your whole fallen, is so utterly at variance with every thing like heart, state all your difficulties, complaints, and disBorious and practical godliness, as to render it as fearful cases, and you will find him infinitely more willing to as it is prevalent. For will it be found of any Bible grant your requests, than you are to make them. lie is Christian, of any described by the apostles, that with love itself ; 'tis his very nature to pity. Have you a a mind full of the world's business, and the world's hard heart? carry it to him and he will sofien it. Cres, he thought only of religion when he had no- Ilave you a blind mind ? he will enlighten it. Are tkinly else to think of,' and that he restrained himself you oppressed with a load of guilt ? he will take it ia no lawful indulgence, any more than if he were an
ofr. Are you defiled and polluted ? he will wash you unbeliever ? Yer such is doubtless the common, and, in his own blood. Have you backslidden ? “turn into in cany cases, the avowed conduct of men prosessing me,” says he, “ye backsliding children, and I will heal culiness among ourselves. Comparing themselves with your backslidings.” Come, then, to Christ, and obtain whers like themselves, they perceive not the delusion; these influences of his Spirit, by which you will be vid thus taught by example, they think it strange to
enabled to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of your e toli of the setting apart of certain portions of time Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; so shall your path be o special prayer, with fasting; and perhaps even won
“as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto Bir that such should be alleged to be of scriptural obli- the perfect day.”---Parson. ition. But this is only one branch of the duty.
The The Glory of Free Grace.--God is so jealous of the -criptures apeak of it as obligatory upon Churches; and glory of his free grace, that he will not save us, by ciling can be clearer than the evidence of the New any works, though of his own working in us, lest any s well as the Old Testament under this head; and man should boast. He knoweth when he healeth any Een tie larguage which we are accustomed to use in man by physic, or maintaineth him by the labour of ir Reformed Churches, shews us that this was the opi- his hands; he is prone to attribute the glory rather to on also of our fatliers; and that it was considered by the means he has used, than to God's sole bounty and ein as obligatory, not only upon Churches, but also goodness.-MARSHALL. +01 nations. It were surely then becoming on the The Art of Preaching --A preacher should endeavour rt of all whose conscience has been rendered acces- to draw out the heart of the text, and put it into the le to the authority of the Word, and who desire to hearts of liis learers.--ASHURNER.
Then hush each murmuring thought,
And give your child
To Jesus mild,-
PARAPHRASE OF ISAIAH, CHAP. XXXV.
BY ROBERT GILFILLAN.
God shall redemption bring,
And all the woods shall sing !
Shall singing thus rejoice-
And her Redeemer's choice.
Where green leaf never grows;
And blossom as the rose !
Confirm the feeble knees,
For God their trouble sees.
Their sorrows will repay ;
A Saviour in that day!
The blind shall look and sce;
The mouth shall opened be!
Where weary pilgrims go,
In living streams shall flow!
For just men shall be spread,
That pathway shall not tread.
Shall find that valley fair;
Shall walk and worship there!
And there for ever stay ;
Shall ever flee away.
MISCELLANEOUS. The Indian Devotee.—The following is related by the late Reverend Mr Swartz, then a Danish Missionary in the East Indies. A certain man, on the Malabar coas, had inquired of various devotees and priests, how be might make atonement for his sins ; and at last he was directed to drive iron spikes, sufficiently blunted, through his sandals ; and on these spikes he was di. rected to place his naked feet, and to walk, if I mis. take not, two hundred and fifty coss, that is about four hundred and eighty miles. If, through loss of blood, or weakness of body, he was obliged to halt, he might wait for healing and strength. He undertook the journes, and while he halted under a large shady tree, where the Gospel was sometimes preached, one of the missionaries came, and preached in his hearing, from these words, “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." While he was preaching, the man rose up, threw off his torturing sandals, and cried out aloud, “ This is that I want!" and he became a lively witness that the blood of Jesus Christ does indeed cleanse from all sin.
Disinterestedress Rewarded. The Marshal D'Armont, having taken Crodon, in Bretagne, during the League, gave orders to put every Spaniard to death what was fou:d in the garrison. Though it was announced to be death to disobey the orders of the general, an English soldier ventured to save a Spaniard. He was arraigned for this offence before a court-martial, when he confessed the fact, and declared himself ready to su. fer death, provided they would still save the life of the Spaniard. The Marshal being much surprised at such conduct, asked the soldier how he came to be so muo: interested in the preservation of the Spaniard.
"Be cause, sir," replied he, “ in a similar situation he odo! saved my life.” The Marshal, greatly pleased with the goodness of the soldier's heart, granted him pardos, saved the Spaniard's life, and highly extolled therr both. 0! that Christians never forgot Him, who, while they were enemies, died for them; then would they neithe: at any time deny lis name, nor decline sustaining any less in bis cause! Ile, by his death, not only saves thera from the second death, but puts them in possession of eternal life ; compared to which, what have they to lose?
Improvement of Time.--Such was Mr Hervey's piety that he suffered no time to go unimproved. When de was called down to tea, he used to bring his Hebres Bible or Greek Testament with him; and would either speak upon one verse or upon several verses, as ou sion offered. “ This,” says Mr Romaine, "was generally an improving season. The glory of God is very promoted at the tea table ; but it was at Mr Herveys Drinking tea with him was like being at an ordiname for it was ' sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD,
SLEEP on, sweet babe, the conflict's o'er,
The spirit is at rest,
Cradled on Jesus' breast,
Why should our hearts be sorrowful,
Thy spirit lives above
With everlasting love,
Then weep no more, fond mother,
But think, how blest
In heaven to rest,
But cannot part,
Those bound in heart,
With smiling face,
In angel's grace,
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Vol. I. No. 30. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1836.
Price 1 d. HOW A BELIEVER MAY KNOW WHETHER opinion of Fleming, in his “ Fulfilling of the
Scriptures ;" than whom, few, if any, knew better HIS PRAYER IS TO BE HEARD.
the prevailing sentiments and feelings of the BY THE Rev. DUNCAN MACFARLAN, Church on this subject, during especially the Minister of Renfrew.
seventeenth century. They knew,” says he,
“ by experience, that as there are judicial times, The question, How may I know whether my wherein an inhibition, as it were, is laid upon prayer will be heard ? is both an interesting and them from the Lord, in their wrestling, vea, and important one. The late Dr Hamilton of Strath- sore restraint on their spirits, which hath been blane, who was esteemed by all who knew him, as very sensible ; so also they have found times of a deeply experienced Christian, as well as an able prayer let forth before some special mercy and dedivine, says in his diary, “ I could almost judge of liverance to the Church, whereby they could, in the issue of my prayer, by the manner in which I was some measure, discern its near approach.” Someenabled to pray. When my soul was drawn out and thing of the same kind is also apparent in Scripenlarged in prayer; when pleas unexpectedly mul- ture examples. In many of the Psalms, we have tiplied during the exercise; and while, notwithstand first great depression and something like restraint ing great longings for the attainment of the ob- and bondage of spirit; and then we have afterject desired, there was a holy acquiescence in the wards progressive, and often great enlargement. divine will, and ambition to have God glorified, | And this is uniformly accompanied with expresthough it should be by a refusal, I either obtained sions of confidence in God as to the issue. ' Inthe blessing which I had requested, or something stances of this kind will be found, among others, far better. But when, in addressing the throne in the 6th, 10th, 13th, 22d, 420, 43d, and 51st of grace, my mind wandered, my affections were Psalms. Statements also occur, shewing this excold, and I could enjoy no liberty or enlargement perience to be part of the divine economy. Thus, of heart, this was a sad intimation that the prayer when God was about to grant to Israel certain was vain, and no blessing would be bestowed. blessings, his prophet was instructed to intimate, Frequently have all my efforts to spread particu- “ I will pour upon the house of David, and upon ar cases before the Lord, and to pour out my the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace oul for certain objects, been so utterly abortive, and of supplication." And again, “ In those hat though God had said to me by a voice from days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the chilFeaven, Speak to me no more of this matter,' Idren of Israel shall come, they and the children ould not have more assuredly inferred, that the of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall ject I sought was not to be imparted.” Such go, and seek the Lord their God. They shall entiments may appear, to some, to savour of super- ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, ition. And yet we rather think that they will saying, come, and let us join ourselves to the found to be those commonly held and proceed- Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be upon, by the great bulk of truly pious and ex- forgotten.” And of these feelings, in connection rienced Christians. Such, at least, accords with with God's purpose to grant the thing asked, we hatever the writer has been accustomed to ob- have a special and detailed example in the case of rve among praying people. Many statements Daniel. The very words of his prayer are re
this effect crowd upon his recollection, and corded in the 9th chapter of his prophecies, and th these some very remarkable cases, with the there is subjoined to it an express assurance, that cumstances of which he had an opportunity of the thing he prayed for would be granted, and in a Eng acquainted. And if we are allowed to go way which he could not have anticipated. The same
k to earlier times, when such matters occupied thing is observable in the New Testament. The ore of the attention of the Church, instances special period, when God began to hear and to numerable will occur. But, instead of going answer the prayer of the Church, in reference to -o any detail, it may be enough to quote the | its enlargement, through the power of the Gospel,
in the conversion of sinners, was from the day of liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given Pentecost onward; and it is remarkable, that God him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: was pleased, from this time, to grant to believers for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea great enlargement of spirit, and holy boldness in driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that the exercise of prayer itself. One example of man think, that he shall receive any thing of the this may be enough. The
itself will be Lord.” In cases where the will of God is special found in the 4th chapter of the Acts. It con- and express, this exercise of faith is simple. It cludes with these words : “ And now, Lord, be proceeds upon the persuasion, that such is the dihold their threatenings: and grant unto thy ser- vine will. But in few cases does this strictly vants, that with all boldness they may speak thy occur. In almost every case, there is between the word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and promise and the prayer an exercise of divine sovethat signs and wonders may be done by the name reignty; and thus the confidence, which we have of thy holy child Jesus.” “ And,” it is immedi- in the promise, merges in the more general contiately alded, “ when they had prayed, the place dence which we have in the sovereign Disposer. was shaken where they were assembled together; The exercise of our mind, therefore, is complete; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and yet is it, in all its parts, an exercise of confidence they spake the word of God with boldness.” And as to the issue. And in it, the mind is sometimas if we now pass from mere examples and inciden- so carried out of itself, and beyond its own likings, tal expressions, to the great fixed principles of as to rest entirely and joyfully in the divine divthe divine economy respecting prayer, our evi- posal, and yet so to see it to be the will of Gol. dence will, we are persuaded, grow both in clear to grant the thing asked, as greatly to enlarge in ness and in strength. There are especially two spiritualize the prayer. And this is what we har: conditions of acceptable and answerable prayer. been regarding, as an indication that God will bear These are, that the thing asked be according to and answer such a prayer. the divine will, and that it be asked in faith. Now while it ought to be admitted, that te9
Respecting the former, John says, “ This is may deceive themselves, alleging the enjoymen: the confidence that we have in him, that, if we of such experience, it is quite clear, that wine ask any thing according to his will, he heareth such truly exists, there the Holy Spirit must te us.” Now, the will of God is twofold. There present, helping the infirmities of the crea ules is the moral or revealed will of God, which is the and sanctifying his desires. And this we canna rule of man's duty, and there is his will of pur- conceive, without believing with it, that he who pose, which man knoweth not. On the express | “ knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit," insions of his will in the former sense, our prayers tendeth thereby to grant the matter of his “ ir. ought directly and intelligibly to proceed. That tercession.” Like the rays of the morning is, we ought to have distinctly before us, God's opening each flower, and spreading it forth to the promise of what we ask, before we proceed to ask intluence of heaven, are these visitations of this? it; and our prayer should proceed on the persua- Spirit. They open the heart to wait upon Grace sion, that we are thus made welcome to what our to see the outgoings of his majesty, and to drina hearts otherwise desire. But the promises of God in heavenly intiuences from the visitations of pino are general. “ Be careful for nothing, but in every vidence which follow. How can we otherwise thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiv- conclude? Would God thus implant a desire, at ing, let your requests be made known to God.” I pour around it the holy intiuence of filial suhu:may, therefore, feel myself perfectly warranted to sion and unreserved confidence, and yet allow it pray, respecting anything which truly concerns me; afterwards to wither and die? Would be ** but I could not from this infer, that any particular the very conditions of acceptable prayer, and when request which I might present, would be granted the thing asked rested solely on his own faithlaHere the secret and unrevealed purpose of God ness, would he then disappoint ? And above ali, are interferes. It is doubtless my duty, in every
we at liberty for a moment to suppose, tbatte case, to commit the matter to God, and even to Spirit of truth leadeth to err? The thing is ir pray that it may be overruled for God's glory and possible, and may not be entertained. All it* my good; but it would be presumptuous in any promises of God are, in such circunstances, “18 creature to claim to himself the special disposal and amen.” of any event. This is altogether a matter of di- This view of prayer suggests several import.nl vine sovereignty. Nevertheless, we may express reflections :- It shews, first, that there may truly our desires. Like an obedient child, wist- between the secret purpose and the revealed arfully looking to the parent, and yet never con- currence, an intermediate intimation; that, like me templating anything like crossing his will, we altered condition of the earth, when the heart as may desire even strongly, what we ask; but we are about to drop down rain, there is in the bear must feel even more strongly, unreserved confi- of man a persuasion, that the things asked se dence in the divine Disposer, and entire acquies about to be bestowed. Nor ought it to be ima cence in whatever he may appoint.
gined, that such anticipations are without fruit The other condition is, faith in the answer of unto God. One of the main sources of practical prayer. “ If
any of you,” says James, “ lack wis- unbelief is, the habit of living without any distinct dom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men and practical recognition of the divine presence
But if Christians were more generally to pray in school, to which he was subsequently sent as a boarder, faith, and to wait with expectation the issue of he was distinguished for his proficiency in classical their prayers, God would reveal himself, and the knowledge and powers of versification, and from his effect would be a deeper and more lively sense of amiable character and sweetness of disposition, was
much beloved by his teachers and companions. It is a presiding and directing providence. And this, stated by a near relative that he never received even a again, would lead to greater spirituality in all re- slight punishment or reprimand at any school to which ligious duties.
he went; or, so far as she recollects, for nearly twelve We may thus also learn, more correctly to in- years that he was under his mother's care, ever acted terpret the almost oracular sayings of our pious contrary to her wishes, or caused her a moment's pain, forefathers. These have, in our age of alleged at- except parting with him when he went to school. tainment, been generally condemned, or at least tered the University of Dublin in the year 1809. He
The family having returned to Ireland, Charles enexplained as so many shrewd guesses and coinci- subsequently undertook the duties of á College tutor, dences. The times in which many of these great and having obtained a scholarship with the highest hoand good men lived, were exceedingly trying ; and nour, became a resident in College. To the degree God was pleased to bestow
of Bachelor of Arts he was admitted in the year 1814, them an uncom
upon mon measure of the spirit of grace and of suppli- and his ordination to the ministry took place in the
month of November 1817. cation. They were much given to what has been Mr Wolfe's college course was eminently successcalled wrestling in prayer, and were often favour- ful. He obtained the highest distinction among his ed with great liberty of access and enlargement of contemporaries for classical attainments, and was respirit in pouring out their souls before God. And warded by many academical honours. He also acquirwill it be thought strange, that, in such circum- ed great celebrity in the Historical Society, in which stances, God should, on some occasions, have he not only gained medals for oratory, and for compogiven to his servants strong confidence as to the the opening speech from the chair, an honour which
sitions in prose and verse, but was appointed to deliver issue of their prayers ? Rather than come to such was always reserved for a man of talent. Some of his a conclusion, it were becoming to inquire, whether poetical compositions written about this period, are reour own coldness and earthly affections may not markable for great vigour of thought and felicity of be darkening our vision, and forming spectres of expression, and indicate the possession of a genius which living men ?
promised to raise him to a high rank among British And, finally, it becomes us to consider, whether lines on the burial of Sir John Moore, which were
poets. His claim to the authorship of the well-known there be not, in the practicability of the question published without his knowledge, has been long since proposed, a source of reviving influence, which established; although the author seemed to regard may prove a general blessing to the Church. All poetic reputation of so little value, as to shrink from revivals must begin in the closet.
receiving the honour to which they entitled him, and faith, and it alone, prevails. Nothing will so che ed silent when that honour was unjustly claimed by
with the native modesty of his character even remainrish faith as the experience of faithfulness. And
others. It is more than probable that, but for the ciz. as each individual may, through the blessing of cumstance of the unauthorised publication of these God, enrich his own experience by an unlimited celebrated lines, and the high opinion expressed of them number of facts, it is difficult to see, how else, the by the late Lord Byron, Mr Wolfe's name and characChurch may be so efficiently revived.
ter would have been little known beyond the immediate subtle and powerful is the electric fluid, as it
sphere of his own labours. passes
Mr Wolfe appears, before his ordination, and even from cloud to cloud, and from man to man, than
from his childhood, to have been deeply impressed with is the influence of the Spirit, passing from heart the importance of religion, and to have entered on his to heart, and from Church to Church. It was preparation for the ministry fully alive to the responsithus, at least, with the early apostolical Church.bility connected with it. * But,” (says his attached It has been so, in later ages, in every Church, friend and biographer, the Reverend Mr Russell,) where many were thus taught to pray, not in word, Christianity to others, they burst upon his mind in their
" when he came to preach the doctrines and duties of but in faith. And we consider it no presumption full magnitude, and in all their awful extent; he felt to add, that when God shall be pleased to pour that he himself had not given up his whole heart to upon us, as a people and nation, such a
God, that the gospel of Christ had held but a divided spirit of prayer as we have described, it will be empire in his soul; and he looked back upon his earlier because he is also about to bestow upon us a spirit years with self-reproach and self-distrust, when he re
called to mind the subordinate place which the love of regeneration.
of God had possessed in his heart.”
Immediately after his ordination, Mr Wolfe was enBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
gaged in a temporary curacy at Ballyclog, Tyrone, in
the north of Ireland, not far remote from the parish THE REV. CHARLES WOLFE, A. B.
where he was soon after permanently fixed. He reCHARLES WOLFE, youngest son of Theobald Wolfe, moved in a few months from this situation to the cuEsq., Blackhall, county Kildare, was born in Dublin racy of Castle Caultield, the principal village of the on the 14th December 1791. The family from which parish of Donoughmore. His duties here were very lahe was descended was highly respectable, and has not borious, partly in consequence of the population being been undistinguished; particularly in the persons of much scattered over the parish, of which a large porthe illustrious hero of Quebec, and the late eminent tion was situated in " a wild hilly country, abounding Irish judge, Lord Kilwarden. Having lost his father in bogs and trackless wastes.” His hand was, however, at an early age, the family soon afterwards removed to to the plough, and he did not look back. He willingEngland, and Charles received the rudiments of his ly resigned the society of his friends, and the classical education in Bath and Salisbury. In the Winchester pursuits in which he had been so ardently employed,