Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

stranger in these parts. My horse stands in need, as your loss, considering the special intimate relation well as myself, of shelter and refreshment for the night; betwixt you and him, which was continued for many if you could any way make it convenient to furnish my

years, to your mutual comfort, is, on that account, the horse with a little hay, and a stand under cover, and

more heavy. But, what the sovereign Lord of life and myself with a seat by your fireside, I ask no more.

He does all The good woman, a little surprised at his request, told death hath done cannot be quarrelled. him she would consult her husband. After a few mi-things well, and for the best to his own family, of which nutes, they both came to the door, and Mr H. repeated | I am persuaded you are. If one servant or member of his solicitation, but told them he had no money to sa- a family be sent away before another, to an infinitely tisfy them for their trouble, yet he hoped God would better lodging than any hereaway, even to an everlastreward them. They immediately desired bim to alight;

ing habitation in heaven, whither the whole family is to the master led the horse into the stable, and the mis- be transplanted at last, who can say against it? That tress began to prepare something for Mr H. to eat. told her, he was concerned to see her give herself so

servant is a gainer beyond what we can conceive, and much trouble, he did not request either a supper or bed, those who are left behind should encourage themselves but only to sit by the fireside till the morning. The in hin, who, in due time, even most seasonably, will mistress assured him, that for an act of hospitality she transplant them to the paradise of God, that they may did not expect any reward, and that, though the ac

be all together, and for ever with him, without any commodations her house would afford were but indif- danger or fear of parting from him, or one another. ferent, he should be welcome; and therefore hoped he They will encircle the throne to eternity without wearywould make himself easy.

“ After supper, they all sat down by the fire, and the ing, and with perfect delight and joy. Those who died master of the house desired to know of the stranger,

in Christ will rejoice to see such as here were their enwhat countryman he was. 'I was born,' said he, 'in deared relations, walking in white, and crowned with Lancashire, but I have a wife and family in the neigh-victory, and, through redeeming love, made more than bourhood of Halifax.' " That is a town,' said the farmer, where I have been; and some years ago, I had from within or from without; no sin, nor any of its

conquerors over all the evils they were liable to, either some acquaintance there. Pray do you know Mr S. and Mr D.? And is old Mr F. yet alive?' The stran

consequents, will give them the least disturbance ; they ger gave suitable answers to these, and other inquiries. will sing for eternal redemption from all these, to the At length the kind hostess asked him, “if he knew any praise of sovereign grace; but yet their exceeding jor, thing of one Mr Oliver Heywood, who was formerly a and the well-spring of it, will be God and the Lamb, minister at some chapel not far from Halifax, but was who are in the temple above. There is no need there now, on some account or other, forbidden to preach.' of ordinances and sacraments; in the triumphant Church The stranger replied, “There is a great deal of noise and talk about him ; some speak well, others say every

all her members are perfectly taught and comforted, thing that is bad of him : for my own part I can say notwithstanding of degrees among them. They are little in his favour.' 'I believe,' said the farmer, he exactly like Christ, and see him as he is, which the is of that sect which is every where spoken against ; strongest believer cannot attain in this imperfect state. but pray, do you personally know him? And what is They are favoured and blessed with such near and direma it that inclines you to form such an indifferent opinion views of their exalted Redeemer, as are unspeaks'' of his character?' 'I do know something of him,' ravishing. They all say, without one dissenting voice, said the stranger, “but as I do not choose to propagate - it is good for us to be here," and therefore we may an ill report of any one, if you please we will talk on some other subject.' After keeping the farmer and not say it is ill for us, having a sweet comprehensive his wife in suspense for some time, who were a little promise that all things, even the death of dear friends, uneasy at what he had said, he told them, he was the shall work together for our good, which will be fury poor outcast.

All was then surprise, and joy, and accomplished, as all the promises will be, in the cousthankfulness, that a merciful Providence had brought pletement of believers, and in their enjoyment of the him under their roof. The farmer said, “Mr H. I am glad to see you here, having long had a' sincere regard chief good. This we will then clearly understand in from the favourable report I have always heard

our everlasting comfort. The promises being confirmed of you. The night is not far spent, I have a few neigh- and ratified by our Surety, will not fail; they will be bours that love the Gospel, and if you will give us a word made out to all that embrace them in Christ, eves of exhortation, I will run and acquaint them. This is though providence seems sometimes to go counter t3 an obscure place, and as your coming here is not known, them, and our misbelieving haste is ready to say, “ fails I hope we shall have no interruption.' Mr H. consented; a small congregation was gathered ; and he ruled in love and mercy to us, that we may believe

, and

his promise for evermore!” This is graciously overpreached to them with that fervour, affection, and enlargement, which attending circumstances served to in hope against hope, and that the Lord may surprise us spire. On this joyfnl occasion, a small collection was

with his faithfulness in perforining his good word. I voluntarily made to help the poor traveller on his way.” doubt not but you have sweet experience of this, as tə (To be concluded in our nert.)

former incidents in your life, and after this great trial of

your faith, I hope you will say with pious Durham LETTER FROM THE REV. SAMUEL MURRAY, MINISTER when his wife died, “ that if all the world had said this OF PEN PONT, TO MRS BOSTON, ON THE DEATII OF HER

will work for my good, I would not believe them, he HUSBAND, The Rev. THOMAS BOSTON, AUTHOR OF seeing my faithful God hath said it, I will believe biz" FOURFOLD STATE," &c. The Lord may rightfully pull up his strongest cedars

, COMMUNICATED BY THE Rev. JAMES SMITH, while he continues the weaker, to shew that his thouges Minister of Ettrick.

are far above ours, and to display his strength in beari* Dear Friend in Christ, -Although my loss of a up the weak. According to human reason and produworthy brother, an eminent and faithful servant of the vility, which he often bafiles, that we may lean more to Lord, is very great in many respects, yet I must own infinite understanding than it, few or none thought jua

for you,

66

THE

PROVISIONS FOR

HIS COMFORT.

would have stood out so many storms; but he is the | inhabitants! Can we believe it to be without a beneglory of your strength. Trust in him,- wait on him. ficent design, that such amazing magazines of combusEre long we will forget all our troubles, and rejoice tible matter should be deposited within our temperate

zones ? And does it not add to the wonder of this pro. together. Our sorrows will be turned into joy, and no

vision, that coal is known to be a vegetable production man will be able to take our joy from us. He hath

of a climate altogether different from that in which it is broken us on earth that he may set us up in heaven. found,-a climate probably not inferior in warmth, and I hope, through grace, your family and mine will make in the power of nourishing vegetation, to the most faa greater figure there than many who have prospered voured of our tropical regions? When, and under what more in the world than we. A sight of Christ shining circumstances, did that profusion of gigantic trees and brighter than angels and saints, will make us forget all plants cover the face of the earth, and luxuriate, in our sad days and nights; here we sit often in black,

the sunshine and the shower of a blessed climate, which,

under the name of Surturbrand, has erected the platform but we shall at last put off all our mournings for ever.

on which northern Iceland rears its burning mountain, I bless the Lord for what is intended anent your son's and spreads its rugged hills and plains ; and in Britain, passing his “trials.' Níay he be blessed and long the land of manufactures, and America, that new counspared to make up the absence of his worthy and re- try, buoyant with youthful enterprise, has laid up those nowned father. The Father of all mercies, and the amazing stores of fuel, which many centuries of human God of all comfort, grant your consolations may abound

toil and industry can scarcely be said to diminish ? A through Christ. My wife and I sympathise with

mystery hangs over the subject, which the geologist, you,

with all his zeal and acuteness, shall probably in vain Penpont, June 26, 1732.

attempt to penetrate ; but it is enough for our present

purpose to know the fact. By whatever natural catasMAN IN WINTER.

trophe these ancient woods and forests were submerged, there they are collected, in the most convenient loca

lities, at once for furnishing the means of comfort during From “The Sacred Philosophy of the Sessons," by the Rev.

the rigours of an ungenial winter, and for affording Henry Duncan, D, D., Minister of Ruth well. Vol. í. Winter. facilities to the increase of human power, in the cultiOliphant and Son, Edinburgh, 1836.

vation and improvement of the arts of life. Is it too It is most interesting to look into the various features much to say, that here is the hand of a paternal Proviof that providential administration, by which, under a

dence ? very peculiar and surprising discipline, the progress of Fuel implies the use of fire, and this leads us to looks society is advanced, and man rises in the scale of moral at some of the properties of that wonderful element, and intelligent beings. In the wants of his natural state, which, on the hearth and in the lamp, contributes so as regards the season of winter, a stimulus is employed, materially to the comforts of winter. This is the very which, combined doubtless with other incentives, in- same element, which by its subtle and all-pervading duces him to seek, first necessaries, then conveniences, powers, gives light and warmth to the world, and the then comforts and luxuries, till he draws around hin effects of which, the poet of the Seasons so beautifully the resources of the world, and, by the ever-expanding describes, in speaking of the adorable power and goodviews of an aspiring mind, calls progressively into action ness of the Creator, when he says, that His mighty hand those mental powers and faculties, both in himself and

“ Works in the secret deer ; shoots steaming thence his fellows, which might otherwise have lain dormant. The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring; If, from this view of the exercise given to genius and

Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;

Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth : talent, in counteracting the privations of winter, we And as on earth the grateful change revolves, turn to the provisions which have been bountifully made,

With transport touches all the springs of life." in external nature, for affording scope to these faculties, In the treatise on Heat, published in the Library of we shall find additional cause of devout admiration. Useful knowledge,” there are the following introducThe first thing worthy of remark, in this department of tory observations, which describe, in a popular inanner, the subject, is, that, speaking generally, the materials some of the most obvious effects of this remarkable by which exposure to the inclemency of the season may agent .“ In all our excursions over the surface of the be obviated, lie patent and abundant in those climates globe, innumerable objects excite our admiration, and where suché inconveniences are liable to be felt. In contribute to our delight. But whether our gratitude proportion as we penetrate into the colder regions, is awakened by the verdure of the earth, the lustre of animals are found in greater plenty, whose coats of soft the waters, or the freshness of the air, it is to the beneand downy fur, furnished beneficently by their Creator, ficial agency of heat (under Providence,) that we are for their own protection, when transferred to the hu- indebted for them all. Without the presence and effects man body, defy the wintry storms. If we approach still of heat, the earth would be an impenetrable rock, inDearer the polar circle, we discover a provision which capable of supporting animal or vegetable life; the renders even these regions of gloom and intense cold waters would be for ever deprived of their fluidity and mohabitable during the severest part of the year. The tion, and the air of its elasticity and its utility together. enorinous tenants of the icy seas which surround these “ Heat animates, invigorates, and beautifies all Nature. inhospitable coasts, not only furnish the inhabitants its influence is absolutely necessary, to enable plants to with food, but, being enveloped in immense loads of grow, put forth their flowers, and perfect their fruits. fat, yield to them all that is needful, both for light and It is closely connected with the powers of life, since heat, in their dark and chilly winter months. Nay, the animated beings lose their vitality when heat is withvery snow, which clothes Nature as in a winding-sheet, drawn. Such is the universal influence of this powerand seems to augur nothing but desolation and death, ful agent in the kingdoms of Nature. Nor is this inis converted, by the ingenuity of man, into a comfortable Auence diminished in the provinces of art. It is with habitation, and thus becomes a preserver of life, and a the aid of heat that rocks are rent, and the hidden means of enjoyment.

treasures of the earth obtained. Matter is modified ten Then, again, if we speak of fuel, how bountiful is thousand ways by its agency, and rendered subservient Providence in supplying those exbaustless forests of pine to the uses of man, furnishing him with useful and apin the northern regions of Europe, and those immense propriate instruments, warm and ornamental clothing, fields of coal in Britain, and other similar climates, by wholesome and delicious food, needíul and effectual which frost is charmed away from the dwellings of the shelter.”

[ocr errors]

Heat is the principle of fire, under whatever modifi- loved brethren, let every man be swift to hear; cation it may appear; and nothing can be more worthy

slow to speak; slow to wrath, for the wrath of of admiration, than the fact, that an element of such

man worketh not the righteousness of God." He tremendous power, whose operations are on so vast a

further urges from this fact, taken in connection scale, and whose mastery is so fearful, should yet be capable of being subjected to the service of man, in the

with the fact that they were regenerated, that they most menial offices, and, in that capacity, should become should lay aside every thing of a detiling nature, so mild and tractable. What human mind, in the wild. and permit no overflowings of evil to come from est flights of its fancy, could, previous to experience, their hearts; giving a humble and sincere admis. have conceived the existence of an agent, which appals sion to the declarations of divine truth, which nature with its angry roar, and, rending the clouds,

could alone make them “wise unto salvation." darts its livid bolts from heaven to earth, or uprears mountains in its throws, and, opening the solid crust

“ Wherefore,” says he, “lay apart all filthiness of the globe, overwhelmg whole regions with torrents and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with of melted rock, poured forth like water; or more amaz- meekness the ingrafted Word, which is able to ing still, which displays its might and glory in shedding save your souls.” Lest, however, ther should the effulgence of day over the smiling earth, and regu

misapprehend what he said, or attach a different lating the changes of the seasons, and calling the wonders of vegetation from the solid land, while it causes

meaning to the “reception of the Word” than be the liquid scas to tiow,—which performs all these won

wished to convey, under the guidance of the Spirit ders, and a thousand more, and yet is so entirely under of truth, he proceels to show the necessity of a the control of man, and so subservient to his vise, that real practical ohedience to its injunctions, or that it remains meekly glimmering amidst smouldering ashes they should " be doers of the Word, and not hearin the grate, ready at his command, to cheer and en

ers only, deceiving their own souls.” And in orlighten his winter evenings, by blazing from a taper, or

der distinctly and forcibly to impress this impor. to employ its obsequious powers, for whatever purpose

tant truth upon their minds, he exhibits a contrast of culinary preparation, or of genial warmth, his ne. cessities or enjoyments may require. What amazing between the fruitless and forgetful hearer of the power and wisdom is here, tempered, not less wonder- Word, and the man who attentively, conscientiousfully, with all the tender condescension of paternal ly, and practically regards it. The former, the kindness! *

forgetful hearer, he describes by comparing him to

a man who beholds his natural face or appearance DISCOURSE.

in a glass, and who, though he discovers defects

that might be remedied, instead of allowing the BY THE Rrv. JAMES NOBLE, A. M.,

discovery to make any settled and becoming imMinister of St. Madocs.

pression upon his mind, turns away his thoughts “ If any man be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, from it, and instantly forgets “what manner of he is like unto a man beholling his natural face in

man he was." The latter, the attentive and cona glass, for he beholdeth himself and goethi his scientious hearer, he describes by representing him way, and forgetteth what manner of man he was.” ---James i. 23, 24.

as stedfastly looking into the perfect law of liberis,

and continuing therein," or contemplating himAt the eighteenth verse of this chapter the apos- self in the mirror of the Gospel, so that he may tle refers to the “ Word of truth,” which Paul, in his epistle to the Ephesians, identifies with

impartially discern his defects, and obtain the koor

ledge requisite to secure their removal; and, in“ the Gospel of Salvation,” as the instrument stead of forgetting what he has learnt, he remainthrough which God, in the exercise of his own

bers it, that he may reduce it to practice, and be good pleasure, had regenerated those Jews to whom he addressed his epistle. And while he ful hearer, but a doer of the Word, this man is

has his reward for so doing ; “ being not a forre: states that the object for which they were thus blessed in his deed.” Now, that to which the regenerated was, that they should be consecrated to words of our text most obviously point our attenGod's service and glory, '“ as a kind of first fruits tion, is the description which they give of the of his creatures ;” he urges from this that they

forgetful hearer of the Word;” but there is ako should be ready to listen and submit to the in

a figurative representation set before us of tba: structions laid before them, by that “ Word through

“ Word,” which is calculated to disclose a peculiar which they had been begotten to newness of life;" aspect of its character, and, at the same tine, to cautious in delivering their opinions about matters of faith, of which that “Word” was the only is this peculiarity of the Gospel which we are de

suggest some very important instructions. It standard, and wary in the suppression of their dis- sirous of illustrating in the present discourse, pleasure against those who might differ from them.

The Word, in reference to him who lears Of his own will,” says he, “ God begat us by but forgets it, is represented under the figure of 3 the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of glass or mirror, the general use of which, you ste first fruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my

be

aware, is to exhibit by its reflective power, or by • In presenting to our readers the above extract, we cannot re- the formation of a correct image, what we cann. able and accomplished correspondent, Dr Duncan of Ruth well, will otherwise perceive by the eye; and thus a persua prove no slight accession to our popular religious literature. It is is enabled to discover whatever is disorderal ( publishing in four quarterly volumes, illustratinu cach of the seasons, and, the first which has just appeared, does the greatest credit to the unsuitable in his outward appearance. Whend plans which it contains and from the extensive range of taltiable I before him, he sees a true representation of hicaca: plan of Sturm, it is far more interesting, from the sound seriptural man looks into a mirror, his own image is part facts, selected both from science and natural history.

[ocr errors]

and whatever may be the defects that externally | traces the descending footsteps of those who have disfigure him, they are brought into his view, thrown off all regard for divine anthority, and and in this way he becomes acquainted with what all deference to human opinion; if they hear it requires to be amended, as well as with what re- testifying of them that the “ imaginations of the quires to be removed. Now, what a mirror is to thoughts of their heart are only evil, and that the outward man, the “ Word of truth” is to the continually ;” that “they drink up iniquity like inward man. What a mirror is for the discovery water ;” that “being past feeling, they have of deficiencies or stains upon the countenance, the given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to “ Word of truth” is for the discovery of deficiencies work all uncleanness with greediness ;—that and stains in the heart and conduct, and he who they sport themselves with their own deceivcarefully listens to and ponders the statements of ings, having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot that “ Word,” can no more fail to have a correct cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls, being image of his spiritual condition brought before cursed children, which have forsaken the right hiin, than he who looks into a mirror can fail to way, and gone astray ;”—and that “though they behold the similitude of his outward man. He know the judgment of God, that they which comniust see himself as a moral being, represented in mit such things are worthy of death, they not only all the reality of truth. The picture of his cha- do the same, but have pleasure in them that do racter must arise upon his mind's eye fully and them,”—if, I say, they hear the Word of truth” faithfully portrayed, and it only requires his steady thus testifying of the conduct and progress of contemplation that he may see what defilement those that have abandoned themselves to the ways pollutes him, and what is the reformation, both in of vice, can they fail to perceive that it is just deits kind and its degree, that is required. “The scribing themselves ? Must not their consciences, Gospel,” says one, “is distinguished by a power though they have ceased to exercise any decided peculiar to itself,—the power of revealing their authority over them, still make them to see, in the true character to all who will consent to give at- Gospel's delineations, what Nathan made David tention to its announcements. To vicious men, to see in the parable, even that they are the reali--to men of mere worldly virtue,—to men of pre- ties of the picture? and must they not feel, that, tended religious principle, as well as to Christian as in a glass, their moral image has been made to men, it is fitted and intended to act as a self-pass before the eye of their mind with all its dedetector, that being by its instrumentality made formity distinctly and vividly brought out ? Now, aware of the error of their ways, they may be this is not mere speculation or fancy. We have the induced to come also to its light for correction.” sanction of Scripture to bear us out in what we

Now, in order to illustrate the general view have been stating; for what was it that led the which I have stated, we may not unprofitably profligate and licentious Felix to tremble at the dwell upon some such examples of the self-dis- words of a poor, unbefriended, despised prisoner ? closing power of the Gospel, as those just sug- What was it that so appalled his mind, but just gested. We may take the case of a licentious the view that he obtained of his dissolute and deprofligate, a man within whose bosom there is formed character in that faithful mirror which the nothing to be found bearing any resemblance to apostle presented to him when he “reasoned of moral far less to religious principle. He is the righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come?" slave of his passions, and following no dictate but And how is it that many a daring and high mindthat of corrupt and depraved inclination, he lives ed sinner has been stunned in the midst of his as far from God and from the recognition of his guilty career, and made to sink down as if heaven's authority, as it is possible for a human being to do. lightning had smitten him to the earth, but by a If, perchance, there be a pure emotion that strug- truthful and startling exhibition of his depravity gles but for a moment for existence within him, and ungodliness, through the instrumentality of he is restless until its efforts be smothered and de- “ the Word of truth.” stroyed. To every evil propensity he gives un- But, again, in illustration of the power of restrained indulgence. He delights to revel amid the Gospel to discover their true condition and the impurity and darkness of vice. Every intima- character to those who listen with any attention of the beauty of virtue he loathes as the most tion to its declarations, we may contemplate nauseating and revolting of all subjects.

His em

another and a very different class of persons, ployment is to devise, and his delight is to execute when brought under its reflective influence; I guilty schemes, and thus he lives as it were in the mean those who may be characterised as men of atmosphere of hell, while he is still upon the stage virtue without godliness---men who are distinof earth. Now, although it may not be a common guished by a strict regard to the morality of thing that such victims to debased feeling and the world, and are ready to exult in the selfprofligate habits should place themselves within the righteous thought that, as they stand well with hearing of the Word of truth,” yet we know their fellow-men, they cannot have much to drear that sometimes they do hear the Gospel proclaim- from God. They are, doubtless, endowed withi ed; and when this is the case how can they escape many amiable and attractive qualities. They can from seeing the picture of their own character appeal. without any fear of contradiction, to the which it unfolds? If they listen with any degree decency of their ontward conduct, and refer to of attention while it describes the features and many an action that bears upon it the aspect of goodness and virtue. They can complacently point templated themselves on account of their fancied to the benevolence of their dispositions, the active virtues, though it might find food for itself in their charities of their life, and their prompt endeavours superiority to many around them, should be conto benefit, relieve, and comfort their fellow-men. verted into the deepest humility when they conThey can compare themselves, without suffering pare themselves with the standard of God's body from the comparison, with many around them. law, and that, though from the mere dictates of And, in the pride of their spirit, they are often their own nature, they have been prompted to be ready to declare, that no stain has ever darkened nevolence, and high-minded honesty, and upright their reputation—that no suspicion has ever at- dealing, they never knew the love of God to opertached to their character, and, like the lawyer who ate as a principle of action upon their minds came to our Lord to ask how he could " inherit Yes ; whatever be the amiable feelings, the kind eternal life?” they may be found, after a self-com- dispositions, the upright conduct, and the honourplacent view of their fancied attainment, virtually able motives, which the man of worldly virtue exclaiming, “What lack we yet ?” With all these may be ready to claim for himself, so long as prile lofty claims, however, to moral excellence, and all or any other earthly affection holds ascendency in the anxiety which they manifest to maintain a his heart, he is destitute of that supreme regard to character for untainted rectitude and honourable God, which can alone consecrate and encoble him dealing in the intercourse of this world, they may | into a truly virtuous and moral man ; and however yet be chargeable by the God that made and that little he may be impressed by it, it is a truth, that sustains them, with an alienation of heart from as often as he attends to the declarations of the him and his authority, no less guilty than that of Word of God, he not only sees in it, “* a3 in 3 the licentious profligate ; and when the question glass,” the reflection of his own moral image,

ho: comes to be put to each of them, “ What hast also distinguishes the stains, the deficiencies, the thou done unto me?” they may, every one, be as blemishes, by which it is defaced; and thus it is little able to give a satisfactory reply, as the most that many who have spent a long period of their daring and ungodly of our rebellious species; and life in the conviction that the moral decency et thus there may be, in the sight of a holy and their conduct, and the unblemished characters heart-searching Judge, chargeable against them, their reputation, had placed them beyond the reach deficiencies of as fatal a nature as those with of danger, and given them a title to think that a which the characters of the most abandoned are displeasure from God could be resting upon the degraded and deformed. Now, when the Gospel have been brought at length to pronounce theris proclaimed to such persons, if they duly con- selves “unprofitable servants," and to exclai. sider what it says, it will not fail to reveal to with all the anxiety of guilty criminals, “ God ie them a faithful picture of their condition before merciful unto us sinners !” God, and to summon up before them a lively re- Let us advert to another illustration of the dea presentation of blemishes, from which they perhaps tecting power of the Word of truth, which is to be imagined themselves to be free. It will shew them seen in its bearing upon the hypocritical formalis. , what they are, and it will lead them to see how He is a man who, under the guise of an outwa far short they have come of what God requires, by sanctity, and from a regular observance of all 3 telling them what they ought to be. When it external rites of religion, endeavours to impress brings within their hearing those distinctions which upon the minds of those around him the bexi it constantly recognises between the decencies that he is in earnest upon the subject—who, thout and observances of mere outward morality, or the he is in appearance sincere, is a dissembler & offspring of natural disposition, and the fruits of heart—and who, while he is noted for his preta that pure

and undefiled religion,” which has had tuality and seriousness of aspect in waiting to its vital principle imparted in a renewed and sanc- the formalities, is utterly destitute of the essen..." tified heart—when, for instance, it lays before of religion. He makes a fair, sometimes a tus them the history of the young man whose amiable sometimes a most flaming profession. He is to deportment and external conduct were such as to miliar with the language of piety, and loud in to call forth an expression of the Saviour's kindness expression of attachment to its every prescript towards him, but whose love to the world and its Whatever homage he can pay with the lip, nec possessions was such as to exbibit the weakness more ready to give it than he; whatever sacritto and imperfection of his character, they must see he can offer with the outward man, none more te a very obvious likeness of themselves; and when ward to present them than be. But all the feet the divine law, in all its extent and spirituality, is of his heart contradict and belie the intended brought to their notice—when its high, and holy, ing of such offerings; and though there mas. and uncompromising demands are urged upon them, nothing discoverable in his actings to bear og or when the example of Christ as a living exhibi- charge of wilful imposition against him, in te tion of the law, and as a standard to which every hidden recesses of his bosom the base moure un? Christian is bound to seek conformity, is spread masked, the unhallowed purpose is covered = out in all its fulness and in all its excellency to which constitutes him a false professor, bokie their view, must they not feel that their best and pretender—a hypocritical formalist. Now, wermost beauteous moralities are sadly defectivem the “ Word of truth” falls upon the ears of sa that the pride with which they have often con- persons, like the licentious profligate and the bu

64

« VorigeDoorgaan »