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We have before intimated, that the present actual state of Christendom, both politically and morally, is singularly fitted to awaken, in a thoughtful and reflecting mind, the deepest solicitude ; and that as it regards Britain, with its more complicated polity, civil and ecclesiastical, we are hastening on to some great national crisis. It would, perhaps, be difficult to determine what is likely to be the ultimate issue of affairs,—how the great contest for principle and for power will end. Still we cannot believe, ominous as are the signs of the times, that nothing awaits us but impending calamities, or, that the cloud which has settled so heavily on our horizon, is surcharged and ready to burst with only the elements of destruction and death. Too many “have drunk to intoxication of the phial of prophetic interpretation, and amid imagined peals of the mystic thunder, have become deaf to the voice both of common sense and of duty." This fancy of a heated imagination is not ours,

and therefore we leave what is mystic and concealed, to listen to the voice of reason, and follow the path of duty. Amid the agitations and alarm of the present day, there are certain great practical lessons which may be inculcated on every member of the great christian community, and conformity with which, cannot fail to prove conservative to the country. If we believe that nothing can affect us for good or for evil, independently of the will of the great Monarch of the universe, if we feel satisfied that every creature and every event are under his government and controul, then to secure his favour, is to place the nation beneath the

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VOL. VI.

guardianship of Omnipotence, and to entrust its safety and its interests to a power which nothing can resist or overcome.

But how can we insure the favourable regard of heaven to us as a people, and stand in that righteousness which exalteth a nation ? Not by remaining unmoved and idle spectators of what is daily taking place around us,-not by inattention and inactivity. There are duties incumbent on the faithful, the right performance of which involves, not only their own individual happiness, but the happiness of others,—not only the safety of Britain as a nation, but also the highest interests of the church, and the coming state of the world.

The first and most obvious duty devolving on the christian at this eventful crisis, is-HUMILIATION BEFORE God. The slightest reflection

that there must exist a cause for the present state of things. It could not have been induced, nor have exhibited the same aspect, but for that spirit of pride and independence which now reigns so uncontrolled. The christian church, forgetting that both her strength and her glory lie in her dependance on her exalted Head, has been seeking to draw to herself a greater share of secular power and political privilege ; while the body politic have been trying to force their way to some imaginary point of advance, at which, if they could reach it, they would come into contact with a force, which would not only resist their attack, but by its repelling power drive them to a greater distance than before. Both the church and the state are in a wrong position. By her assimilation to the world, and her manifest desire for worldly wealth and influence, the church has fallen from that high vantage ground, on which she was placed by her divine Founder, and which she might have still occupied, had she only retained her unearthly and spiritual character. It is this which has given rise to many, -perhaps, to most of its internal feuds and divisions. Only look at the various religious communities throughout the land, and is it not the fact that, notwithstanding the harmony of essential truth which obtains among them, they are in arms against one another for the attainment of some political end. For this, they sacrifice 'the unity of the Spirit, and the bond of peace. These ecclesiastical strifes again, have greatly disturbed and distracted the state, lowered our venerable religion in the estimation of men,-rendered thousands less attentive to its authority and its claimsgiven scope for the circulation of opinions and sentiments most prejudicial to the highest interests of the community. The consequence is, that, amid the distractions and prostration of the church, vice and impiety are extending their dominion in the state; and, viewed in their relation to God, both the church and the state are in a condition which loudly calls for the deepest humiliation before the throne of heaven. There are evils in both, of the most painful and serious character,-evils, not only dark in their complexion, but mischievous in their tendency, and, in some instances, fatal in their results. Conscious of this, does it not well become the christian and the christian patriot, to humble himself before God. It was in this spirit— the spirit of the deepest self-abasement,—with a heart subdued into penitential grief and sorrow, that Ezra, and Nehemiah, and David, and Jeremiah, and Daniel, and all the great worthies of former days, approached the Deity, and made confession of the sins which then obtained among the people. And if we go to God in the same spirit,-if we humble ourselves under his mighty hand, then may we look for his gracious interposition,-again. He will be merciful unto us and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us, that his way may be known upon earth, and his saving health among all nations.'

may convince

us,

We cannot conceive of a greater calamity than the withdrawment of the divine favour from any people. And yet, under this greatest calamity, we are, to a certain extent, now suffering. The blessing of God does not rest visibly on either the church or the state. And therefore to secure this blessing, the first act of humiliation must be succeeded, or rather accompanied by FERVENT INTERCESSION. It is not enough to confess the existence and prevalence of certain known evils, and with brokenness of heart to mourn over them—we must also plead for their removal, and for the consequent communication of promised blessing. This is the order which God himself has established, “For all things, I will be enquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them, -ask and ye shall receive." While humbled and abased before him, our supplications must ascend to his throne with an intensity of feeling which nothing can resist, and with an importunity of request, that will take no denial. “For if ye,

being evil, know how to give good things unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him.” In answer to such prayer he will be merciful to our unrighteousness-our sins and our iniquities will he remember no more ;—and while he pardons, he will also bless ;—while he withdraws his displeasure, he will display his power. He will not only heal the breaches which exist in the church, but also re-visit and bless the land.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” There is power in prayer; and by prayer we prevail with God. Our situation may be critical, but the Lord reigneth, Every thing is under his management, and at his disposal. Let us intercede with him on behalf of both the church and the state. Both have a claim on our solicitude and regard ; and therefore, in our deep anxiety for the prosperity of Zion, let us not overlook, or be indifferent to the interests of the nation. Patriotism is not opposed to christianity. Of this we have the most brilliant examples. Look at the Son of God. Never did the principle and feeling of philanthrophy rise into such sublime and commanding grandeur as in his life and actions. His philanthropy embraced a world. But, while he appeared as the Friend and Benefactor of all mankind, he was not the less interested in the land of his birth. He loved Jerusalem, and over this devoted city he prayed-he wept. Now in all things he hath left us an example that we should follow. As christians, therefore, as well as citizens, it becomes us to feel our country's fortunes, and to be equally alive to its interests and continued prosperity, as to the higher interests and welfare of the church.

For these appropriate acts of humiliation and intercession before God, many of the pious have been induced to set apart special seasons both in private and in public. And the results, both in their own individual experience, and in the respective localities in which they reside, have been of the most gratifying character. Now the example thus set, is worthy of imitation. And would christians, individually and collectively, only thus humble themselves before God, and intercede at his throne, we are firm in the belief, that, generally speaking, peace would be restored to the church, and prosperity to the state.

It

may be that we have fallen on troublous times— times of great excitement, and of equal apprehension ; still, we cannot but fondly hope, that the present painful agitation in human affairs, and the present irresistible movement in the public mind, are to be regarded as included in those overturnings which are to precede the more signal reign and illustrious triumph of Messiah in our fallen world :

" That what remains
Of this tempestuous state of things,
Is merely as the working of a sea before a calm,
That rocks itself to rest :-"

that the church will speedily emerge from its present darkness, and shine forth clear as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners,--soon be delivered from all her tribulation, and enjoy a season of sacred repose ;-and, that the world, purified from its every defilement, shall become the residence of God himself,—rivers of gladness watering the earth, and clothing all climes with beauty-transforming earth into an epitome of heaven,-his will being done here, even as there !

And for the accomplishment of this great design, we offer up our humble prayers at the throne of mercy, and in the language (language equally adapted to the present time as to that in which he lived) of the pious and now sainted SERLE, would say :

“O thou blessed Jehovah ! who wouldest have spared even Sodom itself, if but ten righteous persons could have been found therein, spare, O spare, this my native land, in which I trust (and thou knowest all things) there are thousands and tens of thousands who believe in, and call upon thee in spirit and in truth ! For their sake, spare my Queen and my country! Spare us, for thine own sake, and for the manifestation of thy great name, and thy blessed gospel throughout the world! Spare us, for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in whom thou art well-pleased ; and for whose merits and mediation thou hast promised to hear and answer, when only two or three agree to ask anything of thee in his holy name! Lord ! hear the thousands of prayers offered up in this behalf, through and by him."

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