« VorigeDoorgaan »
pened to be at sea at the time, but being anxious to have necessary in recovering from so severe a disease ; and the point settled, I waited for his landing, and after talk- he was too self-willed besides, to think of obeying the ing over some other matters, told him that the desire on prescriptions of the physician, except, at least, in his the subject was general, and the consent hitherto unani
own presence. As gently as they could they pressed mous, and that it only required his concurrence to have the on him the importance of complying with the orders arrangement completed. He answered very coolly, and that had been given him. He bore their remonstrances for him very civilly, “ They may all do as they please, for a little, but it was more than could well be expectbut if there is anything to be got, you may depended that he should bear them long, coming, as they did, upon it I'll go off on Sabbath.” Not without bitter- from men whose wishes he was not wont to gratify. ness of spirit I learned at his lips the meaning of the At length he broke out into passion, got hold of a knife, proverb, “ One sinner destroyeth much good.' The and, with oaths and curses, swore that he would stab Sabbath indeed to him, when not a day of work, was them if they offered any further interference. This was but the rest of the drunkard, for during many years he the last act he essayed to do, and these the last words he had never entered the house of God_except, how- uttered; or if he spoke any more it was in grudged and ever, that on a few occasions he might have been pre- monosyllabic replies to the physician's enquiries, and sent at our evening meeting. His conduct in this re- these were the latest spontaneous effusions of his heart. spect he did not defend on general principles, or con- Self-will, impiety, revenge, formed the leading features tend that there was no obligation to frequent the place of his character in life; the apparent cause of his death of prayer; but in his own individual case he held him- was his own wilfulness, and his dying words were exself amply justified. The officiating clerk of the pressions of blasphemy against God, and of hatred tochurch was his cousin-german; and for any one to be- ward brother and friend. long to the circle of his kindred, was in itself sufficient Even his iron frame could not long endure the to mark him out as an enemy; but to him personally, treatment to which, by his stubborn heedlessness, it over and above the common enmity of kinsmanship, was now subjected, and his strength speedily sunk. I he bore a grudge peculiarly bitter. So situated, and visited him the following morning, and found him supconsidering that it was impossible for him to enter porting himself on his hands and knees, tossing and church without seeing that man whose presence could rolling about, and growling with pain and rage. not but most keenly excite his spleen, he looked on had said with Sampson, “ I will arise and shake myself ;”. bis attending as out of the question; and, moreover, but he wist not that the great strength wherein he trustas he had resolved never to suffer his hatred to be ed was gone; and when he found that he was weak as lulled asleep, he had determined, that during the life- other men, he seemed mortified and mad at the distime of his cousin, he should not set his foot within covery. The utterance of his feelings was like nothing the bouse of God.
I had ever heard-like nothing human, but rather the When cholera began to prevail in the village, and he growling of some savage beast; and it sounded not so saw neighbour and companion cut down, one after an- much like the expression of agony, as of anger and vexother, he seemed to be panic-struck, and trembled for ation. If he might have been likened to a tiger before, himself. He was soon seized, however, and there was in ferocity and strength, it was iinpossible to see him manifested no more anxiety or thought of death. He now without imagining a tiger chained and wounded. was more favoured than many others, in having several The Almighty had pierced his frame with a dart which days to prepare for his danger'; but although I conversed he could not pluck out, and bound him with a sceret with him two or three times a-day, on his state and fetter which he could not break; the wound was gallprospects, I could not perceive the slightest awakening ing him sore, and he murmured and bit the chain. It of desire for the salvation of his soul. He appeared to was vain now to ask any one to help him; not a creaknow his danger, and “ went as an ox to the slaughter, ture would enter the dwelling, and the wretched family or as a fool to the correction of the stocks." There was left alone; the father and mother were both given was something of unusual and awful interest in seeing up as hopeless, and the children sat watching the dreadthe King of Terrors make his assault on such a man, in ful progress of the scene. In making the last round of the prime of his life, and the fulness of his strength. the patients with the surgeon at night, we found the And it almost seemed for a while as if Death bad mis- boy and girl both fast asleep on the hearth, worn out taken his victim, and attacked one whom for the pre. with watching, and fear, and sorrow. It seemed needsent he could not overpower. The malady was viru-less and cruel to awake them ; we left the children to lent, and even his might appeared to have sunk beneath sleep, and the parents to die. it ; but under seeming weakness there was latent vigour. Meanwhile the necessity of providing sick-nurses had At a stage of the disease which is usually characterised become increasingly urgent; the nearest town at which by the complete prostration of strength, his wife, who they could be procured was twelve miles distant; and attended him, was suddenly seized, and sunk helpless | ill as I could spare the time, I determined to set out for on the floor. He sprang up immediately, caught and them on the following morning. Before starting I recarried her in his arms, laid her on another bed, and visited the patient, and with mingled feelings of peace then, exhausted by the effort, threw himself back on and awe, I contemplated a different scene. The statue bis own! At length the medical attendant pronounced of an ancient warrior seemed reposing before me. The the disease overcome, and said that nothing but atten- sufferer having apparently put forth an effort which he tion was requisite to ensure his recovery. But who was could not repeat, had thrown himself on his back, and to pay him that attention ? In the midst of numerous stretched to the uttermost every limb and muscle of his relatives, some of whom expressed their sorrow at his athletic frame. The height of his figure, and his amazapprehended restoration, he had not a single friend. ing muscular power, which had both been partially conHis eldest son and daughter, of thirteen and fourteen cealed by his habitual slouch, were now fully developyears of age, were in the house; but even had their ed. His head, covered with dark bushy hair, he had years been less tender, they could not have waited night thrown quite back upon the pillow, he had uncovered and day on both father and mother. After much per- | his neck and breast, and from side to side of the couch suasion, one of his brothers, who was himself, alas! | had stretched, to their full length, his powerful arms. soon to be numbered with the dead, together with a There was awful grandeur in the spectacle. I stood companion, was prevailed on to sit up with him for one over him and gazed with wonder, as he lay motionless, might; and there was certainly kindness in the deed, the model of Herculean strength. How is the terrible but how did he requite it? He bad never known what one brought low! How has the oppressor ceased! Is sickness was, and could ill conceive the care that was this the man that made the people trenuble! The vital spark was not yet extinguished, but the struggle was ness.” Still the faithful missionary persevered, travellover, and in so far as regards this world, “the wicked ing from one Indian town to another, with great fatigue, had ceased from troubling, and the weary was at rest.'
visiting the Indians daily in their huts, shewing them I returned in the evening with two sick-nurses, and finding that our physician, who for several weeks had their guilt and their depravity, and extolling the excel. rarely enjoyed two or three hours of unbroken rest, was
lency of Christ. No one would receive him to lodge in bed, worn out and unwell, I proceeded to conduct in his house, so that, as he said, he was always seekthem to their respective destinations. One I left with ing and never finding. But all his pains were forgot, a patient who was within a few hours of death, and re- when, one day, Choop-the greatest drunkard of them pairing with the other to the shunned and desolate all,--the most outrageous in every vice,—and one who dwelling, I stood again by the bedside of the dying man. But the couch was forsaken and empty; the eye which rities—was powerfully awakened, and enquired, with
had actually made a cripple of himself by his irregulahad seen him saw him no more; the grave was now his bed; the green sod had covered him; his body had re
intense anxiety, “what effect the blood of the Son of turned to the earth and his spirit to God who gave it.
God, slain on the cross, could have on the heart of man ?” The heart of the missionary was turned within
him whilst he testified of the power of the blood of THE FIRST FRUITS.
Jesus. Soon after, Shabash was also awakened, and the By the Rev. ROBERT M.CHEYNE.
work of grace became remarkably evident in the hearts There is something peculiarly interesting about the first of these two savages. Their eyes overflowed with tears fruits of a work of grace in a heathen land. Even the whenever Brother Rauch described to them the sufferings first ripe bunch of grapes, and the first ripe sheaf of corn, and death of the Redeemer. These were the first fruits bring with them peculiar emotions of joy and gratitude, of Christ among the Wahikander Indians. Both became -how much more where the fruit is that of souls ga- preachers of righteousness to their heathen brethren; thered into the garner of the Saviour !
Choop, especially, had a peculiar gift of expressing hinThe missionary went forth weeping, bearing precious self plainly and convincingly. The following is his own seed, long and anxiously he sowed, watering the seed account of his conversion :-“Brethren, I have been a with his tears, and seeking the sunshine of God's coun- beathen, and have grown old among the heathens, theretenance with his prayers, and now, in the few blades that fore I know how heathens think. Once a preacher came begin to rise above the ground,—“first the blade, then the and began to explain to us that there was a God: we ear, after that the full corn in the ear,”—we behold with answered, “Dost thou think us so ignorant as not to exultation the work of God begun, and, with quickened know that ? go back to the place from whence thou hope, we look for the time when the believer “shall camest.' When again another preacher came, and began doubtless come again, bringing his sheaves with him.” to teach us, and to say: 'You must not steal, nor lie,
The first fruits of the Moravian Brethren's mission to nor get drunk,' we answered: “Thou fool, dost thou North America are of this most interesting character. think we don't know that? learn first thyself, and then Brother Christian Raucb was one of the first who re- teach the people to whom thou belongest to leave off solved to leave Herrnhuth, to venture his life in preach- these things; for who steals or lies, or who is more ing Christ to the American Indians. He arrived in New- drunken than thine own people ?' and thus we dismissed port in July 1740, and having heard that an embassy of him. After some time Brother Christian Rauch came Wahikans were in the city, he went in search of them, into my hut, and sat down by me. He spoke to me and, to his great joy, found that they understood Dutch. nearly as follows: 'I come to you in the name of the Their appearance was ferocious, but he addressed two Lord of heaven and earth. He sends to let you know of them, Choop and Shabash, asking whether they that he will make you happy, and deliver you from the wished a teacher, to instruct them in the way of salva- misery in which you lie at present. To this end he betion? Choop answered, “that he often felt disposed came a man, gave his life a ransom for man, and shed to know better things than he did, but knew not how his blood for him. When he had finished his discourse or where to find them, therefore, if any one would come he lay down upon a board, fatigued by the journey, and and instruct him and his people he should be thankful. fell into a sound sleep. I then thought, 'what kind of They were all poor and wicked, yet he thought it might man is this ? there he lies and sleeps; I might kill him, answer a good purpose if a teacher would come and and throw him out into the wood, and who would redwell with them.” Shabash also consented, and, with gard it ?—but this gives him no concern.' However due Indian solemnity, they declared him their teacher. I could not forget his words; they constantly recurred Rauch rejoiced to hear this declaration, and considered to my mind; even when asleep I dreamed of the blood it a call from God. On the 16th August he arrived at of Christ shed for us. I found this to be widely different Shekomeko, and was received in the Indian manner, from what I had ever beard, and I interpreted Chriswith much kindness. He immediately told them the tian's words to the other Indians. Thus, through the aim of his visit—that “he had come to them from be- grace of God, an awakening took place ainong us. I yond the great ocean to bring unto them glad tidings of say, therefore, Brethren, preach Christ our Saviour, and a divine Saviour, who became man, died, and rose his sufferings and death, if you wish your words to gain again, and all this for us.” They listened, were silent, entrance among the heathen." and went away seemingly impressed. The next day he The following letter, which he addressed to the spoke again, but his words only excited derision; and Brethren in the colony of Pennsylvania, possesses at last they laughed him to scorn. Satan seemed to the same marks of a mind taught of God :-“I have grasp his prey all the more, finding now that a hand been a poor wild heathen, and for forty years as igwas stretched out to save; drunkenness, and every vice, norant as a dog. I was the greatest drunkard, and the prevailed more and more, so that “they loved the dark. most willing slave of the devil; and as I knew na thing of our Saviour, I served vain idols, which I now out holiness no man shall see the Lord;” and they feel, wish to see destroyed with fire. Of this I have repented more intensely than other men, that their whole nature with many tears. When I heard that Jesus was the should be a constant offering of devotedness to his glory.
Where much is felt to have been forgiven, there will be Saviour of the heathen, and that I ought to give him
much love. When there is the greatest consciousness my heart, I felt a drawing within me toward him. But of benefits, we expect the greatest measure of obedience. my nearest relations, my wife and children, were my And it is hardly doubtful, that, in this fact, we have the enemies; and my greatest enemy was my wife's mother. great secret of the world's opposition to the doctrine of She told me that I was worse than a dog, if I no more justification by faith. To admit the truth of this tenet, believed in her idol; but my eyes being opened, I un
is to admit a claim on our obedience, so instantaneous derstood that what she said was altogether folly, for I and so powerful, as may not be evaded, without exposknew that she had received her idol from her granding ourselves to a painful conflict, occasioned by the
pangs of self-reproach, and the terrors of coming wrath. mother. It is made of leather, and decorated with
There may be men base enough to abuse this truth. wampum; and she being the oldest person in the house, But what has been the general character of its disciples ? made us worship it; which we have done till our teacher Who sustained the Christian cause in the early ages of came, and told us of the Lamb of God, who shed his the Church, when exposed, during several centuries, to
the most subtle and powerful attacks from pagan perseblood, and died for us ignorant people. I was astonished
cutors ? — The disciples of this doctrine. Who were the at this doctrine, and as often as I heard it preached, my
lights of the world, through the long night which folheart grew warm. I even dreamed often that our teacher lowed from the fall of the Roman empire to the dawn of stood before me and preached to me. Now I feel and the Reformation, protesting, alike, against pagan and believe that our Saviour alone can help me by the power popish imposture, and doing it to the death ?- The disof his blood, and no other. I believe that he is my God ciples of this doctrine. Who, when the days of Reforand my Saviour, wbo died on the cross for me, a sin. mation came, stood forth as the defenders of holy writ, ner. I wish to be baptised, and frequently long for it braving all danger, to the jeopardy, and even to the loss most ardently. I am lame, and cannot travel in winter, of their noblest possession ?_The disciples of this doc
of life, that they might restore to mankind the free use but in April or May I will come to you. The enemy trine. Who were the main instruments in perpetuating has frequently tried to make me unfaithful, but what our own liberties, and our own religion, during the geI loved before I consider more and more as dung.--I nerations which followed upon that crisis, and when am your poor wild Choop."
both were exposed to manifold peril P-— The disciples of
this doctrine. And again we must ask,- Who gave Owing to his inability to travel, three other Indians were baptised before Choop, but, on 16th April 1742, and were the donors there of those best of all gifts, a
existence to the most powerful states of the New World, -the first Sacramental occasion at Shekomeko, he also
free government, and a pure Christianity ?-Is not the was baptised, and received the name of John. His
answer nigh thee, even in thy mouth? And, above all, growth in grace after this was most remarkable. His who have they been, who, in ancient times, or in molove for the Brethren and the Bible increased day by dern times, have been every where derided as the pure, day. “ As soon as I felt that I loved Christ,” says he, the precise, the sanctimonious, the righteous over-much; "I wished for Brethren who loved him also; therefore pointed at, as being of holier aim than their neighbours;
railed at, as those who would shake both hemispheres I love Brother Rauch, and you, and all my Brethren
with the voice of their cry, and by the energy of their here, and all Brethren everywhere,-even those whom labours, in what they regard as the cause of humanity, I shall never see in this world! I rejoice more and more religion, and their God ?- We need not say who they because our Saviour makes others likewise happy, and are, who have been all this, who have endured, and not me only. There are men who say the Bible is a done all this. “ If any man will do his will, he shall hard book; but I have not come so far as to find it hard, know of the doctrine whether it be of God. 'By their
shall know them.”_VAUGHAN. - it is all sweet and easy."
Value of Time.-Coming hastily into a chamber, I For four years did this extraordinary man labour as
had almost thrown down a chrystal hour-glass. Fear, an apostle among his brethren, till he was called into least I had, made me grieve, as if I had broken it ; but his rest by means of the small-pox, in 1746. It is said alas, how much precious time have I cast away, withof the first ripe figs, that they are the sweetest and the out any regret! The hour-glass was but chrystal ; best, so is the work of grace among the Wahikander each hour a pearl; that but like to be broken, this lost Indians,—there is a peculiarly sweet savour of Christ outright; that but casually, this done wilfully. A
better hour-glass might be bought, but time lost once, in the history and the words of “ poor wild Choop.”
Thus we grieve more for toys than for trea
Lord give me an hour-glass, not to be by me, CHRISTIAN TREASURY.
but to be in me. “ Teach me to number my days." Effects of Justification. The person who shall sin An hour-glass to turn me," that I may apply my heart willully and habitually, whatever be his profession, will to wisdom."_THOMAS FULLER. perish ; not because he has thereby fallen from a state
Conscience.-A tender conscience is like the apple of justification, but because he has thereby shewn that
of a man's eye,—the least dust that gathers into it, afhe bad never attained to such a state. He is not a sanc
fects it. There is no surer and better way to know tified man, and this is the scriptural evidence of his not
whether our consciences are dead and stupid, than to being a justified man; “ for whom the Lord foreknew, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of if we are not very careful to avoid all appearance of
observe what impression small sins make upon them; his Son; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” | evil
, and to shun whatever looks like sin ; if we are These are all essential parts of the great salvation : and,
not so much troubled at the vanity of our thoughts in the nature of things, it must be so. The men who
and words, at the rising up of sinful motions and desires embrace the doctrine of justification by faith, have the most enlarged conceptions of the divine purity, and the that our hearts are hardened, and our consciences are
in us, as we have been formerly, we may then conclude deepest feeling of obligation to the divine goodness. stupifying,—for a tender conscience will no more allow They know, more certainly than other men, that "with- 1 of small sins than of great sins.-BISHOP HOPKINS.
THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS.
land do you belong,' said he; 'describe it to me?'
'I,' said the other, ' come from a place very different ADVERSITY.
from your barren rock; I come from the land of flood If ever bright the sun had shone,
and field, the land of wheat and barley, where nature The beauteous stars had ne'er been known,
spreads her bounty in abundance and luxuriance before Those sweet refreshing points of light
* Is that,' said the St Kilda man, 'the kind of That cheer the darkest hour of night.
land you come from? Ah then you may forget God; So had the blaze of worldly bliss
but a St Kilda man never can. Elevated on his rock, Ne'er set o'er seas of deep distress,
suspended over a precipice, tossed on the wild ocean, My eye had seen, my mind had known
he never can forget his God he hangs continually on Nought else but this dull earth alone.
All were silent in the boat, and not a word The Star of Jacob might have been
more was asked him regarding his religion.” Veiled in the light that flowed between;
A Single New Testament.—Some years ago, Mr Ward, That light so dazzling to the eye
a Christian missionary, in going through a village near Which gilds thy day,–Prosperity !
Calcutta, left at a native shop a Bengalee New Testa
ment, that it might be read by any of the villagers. But soon as from my sight it faded,
About a year afterwards, three or four of the most inAnd left my soul in sorrow shaded,
telligent of the inhabitants came to enquire further And soon as Grief her sackcloth spread
respecting the contents of the book left in their village. O'er earth, and sky, and ocean's bed ;
This ended in six or eight of them making a public The lights of heaven serenely shone;
profession of Christianity. Among these, one deserves And my eye was led to rest upon
particular notice,-an old man named Juggernath, who Those orbs which roll in higher sphere
had long been a devotee to the idol of that nanie in Where all peace—while pain is here.
Orissa, had made many pilgrimages thither, and had B.
acquired such a name for sanctity, that a rich man, in Orissa, was said to have offered him a pension for life,
on condition of his remaining with him. On his be. And is there care in heaven? and is there love
coming acquainted with the New Testament, he first In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
hung his image of Krishnoo, or Juggernath, which he That may compassion of their evils move ?
had hitherto worshipped, on a tree in his garden, and, There is : else much more wretched were the case
at length, cut it up to boil his rice. He remained Of men than beasts; but oh! the exceeding grace
stedfast in his profession of Christianity till his death. Of highest God! that loves his creatures so,
Two others, being men of superior natural endowments, And all his works with mercy doth embrace,
employed themselves in publishing the doctrines of That blessed angels he sends to and fro,
Christianity to their countrymen in the most fearless To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe.
manner ; while their conduct was such as to secure Ilow oft do they their silver bowers leave
them universal esteem. To come to succour us that succour want ?
The Necessity of Christian Consistency.—Dr Aikin, How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
on the authority of Sir John Cheke, relates of Linacre, The fitting skies, like flying pursuivant,
whose name is well known in the annals of medical Against foul fiends to aid us militant ?
science, that a little before his death, when worn out They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,
with disease and fatigue, he first began to read the New And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
Testament; and that when he had perused the fifth, And all for love and nothing for reward; O why should heavenly God to men have such regard ? | the Bible with great violence, exclaiming,
sixth, and seventh chapters of Matthew, he threw down
“ Either that SPENSER's FaERY QUEEN, Book II. Canto viii.
is not the Gospel, or we are not Christians."
Such is the effect produced upon the mind of an intelMISCELLANEOUS.
ligent man, by the appearance of Christian conduct as The St Kilda Man.- At a meeting held in refer- too generally exhibited in the world, when compared ence to the establishment of Schools in the Highlands with the view of Christian duty set before us in the and Islands of Scotland, Dr MʻLeod, formerly of Word of God. This reads to every professing Christian Campsie, now of Glasgow, related the following beau- a most important lesson : Look well to your conduct. tiful anecdote :-“ A Highlander," observed the reverend Doctor, can give and take a joke like his neigh- Printed and Published by JOHN JOHNSTONE, at the Offices of the
SCOTTISH CHRISTIAN HERALD, 104, High Street, Edinburgh, and bours on most subjects, but there is one subject on
32, Glassford Street, Glasgow ;-James Nisser & Co., and R. H. which he will not joke I mean his religion; here he Moore, London ; J. DAVENPORT, Liverpool; D, R. BLEAKLEY,
Dublin; and W. M'COMB, Belfast. is reserved and shy, and this has led some who come to them from the land of strangers, to suppose that
Aberdeen, PETER GRAY. Kilmarnock, CRAWFORD & SON, they in fact have no religion. To know them you Arbroath, P. WILSON.
Lerwick, W. R. DUNCAN.
Londonderry, J. CAMPBELL. must be a Highlander. A friend of mine happened to
Carlisle, H. SCOTT.
Manchester, BANCKS & Co. be in a boat by which a poor simple-hearted man from Dumfries, J. MACKIB.
Montrose, J. & D. NICHOL. Dundee, F. SHAW.
Newcastle, FINLAY & CHARLTON; St Kilda was advancing for the first time in his life from
Elgin, FORSYTH & YOUNG.
and CURRIE & BOWMAN. his native rock to visit the world ; and as he advanced
Greenock, J. Hislop.
Paisley, A. GARDNER. towards the Island of Mull, a world in itself in the Inverness, J. SMITH.
Perth, J. DEWAR.
Wick, P. REID. estimation of the poor St Kilda man, the boatmen
And sold by the Local Agents in all the Towns and Parishes of commenced telling him the wonders he was so soon to
Scotland ; and to be procured of every Bookseller in England and They asked him about St Kilda ; they question
Subscribers in Edinburgh and Leith will have their copies de. ed bim regarding all the peculiarities of that wonder
livered regularly at their own residences, every Saturday morning, ful place, and rallied him not a little on his ignorance by leaving their addresses with the Publisher, or with John Lindsay of all those great and magnificent things which were to
& Co, 7, South St. Andrew Street.-Subscribers in Glasgow will,
in like manner, have their copies delivered, by leaving their addresses be seen in Mull. He parried them off with great cool
at the Publishing Office there, 32, Glassford Street. ness and good humour; at length a person in the boat Subscription (payable in advance) per quarter, of twelve weeks, asked him if ever he heard of God in St Kilda ? Im- Is. 60.--per hall-year, of twenty-four weeks, 3s.---per year, of forty
eight weeks, 6s. ---Monthly Parts, containing four Numbers each, mediately he became grave and collected. • To what stitched in printed wrapper, Price Sevenpence,
CONDUCTED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF
THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH,
THE FEAR OF THE LORD, THAT IS WISDOM."
Vol. I. No. 7. SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 1836.
Christianity, and who profess to hold its doctrines
without having investigated those important subBY THE Rev. DAVID RUNCIMAN, A. M.,
jects, have not exercised their minds in such a Minister of Newington Parish, Edinburgh.
manner as God commands. In the true sense of UNDERSTANDING religion in its most extended the expression, they are not rational Christians. sense, we shall contemplate the evils which flow Their convictions may be honest and sincere ; from ignorance of it under three aspects,—as it but they are not enlightened and enlarged. And affects the principles, the conduct, and the happi- what constitutes the guilt of such procedure often ness of men.
is, that they have withheld their talents, their I. From the very nature of the subject, it will be time, and their care from this, the most momenadmitted by all that the religious principles which are tous subject on which the mind can be engaged, embraced should be carefully scrutinized ; and that and expended them on subjects trifling in themnothing should be received as an article of faith, selves, and to spiritual and immortal beings usewithout the most careful and rigid examination. less in their results. But, how many are there who, although they never Not only is this a state of religious character entertained one doubt of the truth of Christianity, which involves those who profess it in great guilt ; or never objected to any one doctrine of the Bible, but it also lays them open to tremendous hazard. could neither give a reason for their faith, nor There is one who, at an early period of his life, defend the Truth if impugned by an adversary: was a professed believer in Christianity. The edu
Now, if it be asked what evils result from this, cation he received, the example he enjoyed,— we affirm, that it is a state of mind contrary to both tended to the formation of a religious chathe requirements of the Word of God, and fear-racter. So long as this individual lived in the fully open to the assaults of infidelity, and the quiet of home, and breathed the atmosphere of inroads of error. The God of the Bible is a God truth, and had never been exposed to the poisonof knowledge. He hath given to man the noble ous influence of error, his principles were sound faculties of reason and understanding, and he re- and uncorrupted. To the authority of the Bible quires him to make a legitimate exercise of them he had been accustomed to bow ; nor dreamt he in matters of religion. He does not indeed allow of ever questioning its statements. Its words he had any of his creatures to come to the Bible with rea- been taught to view as a law from which there son as the standard of truth, and give them the pri- was no appeal. This person, however, had taken vilege of receiving or rejecting whatever reason Christianity upon credit He had never studied approves or condemns. But he calls on them to with care the evidences in favour of its truth; exercise their reason to discover what is the truth going into the world, he soon heard the voice of which God hath revealed. And being satisfied the scorner; there was diligently rehearsed in his that any doctrine is the revealed will of God, then, presence, the often repeated and as often answered however high above the grasp of reason, however objections of Payne, or of some other infidel deenveloped in mystery, he requires reason to bend claimer. Willing to be deceived, he swallowed before the God of truth, and reverently to adore the poison. And he is himself, without inquiry what it cannot comprehend. His language is, and without effort, now an avowed unbeliever; “ Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye or,—what renders him more completely beyond have eternal lise, and these are they which testify the reach of argument—an infidel at heart, withof me.” The high eulogium bestowed on the out honesty to avow it. Bereans of old was, “ These are inore noble than There is another who had long professed to those in Thessalonica. For they searched the hold the faith once delivered to the saints. He had Scriptures daily whether those things were so." been accustomed to believe all the great leading “ Be ready to give a reason of the hope that is in truths of the Gospel, and to consider these as at you with meekness and fear.” Those, therefore, once precious and important. But then, these