« VorigeDoorgaan »
of aggrandizing himself and his family. But he and who “turneth them as the rivers of water." was willing to surrender all private considerations, | The favourable answer from Artaxerxes came to when a sense of duty demanded it.
He improved him with a singular relish, because it came nnder his advantages, not for his individual good, but for the character of an answer to prayer, and the lanthe good of his countrymen. Their depressed cir- guage of his grateful acknowledgment is thus excumstances gave a wound to his heart, which all pressed : « The king granted me, according to the splendours and gaieties of a court could not the good hand of my God upon me." This conheal, and imprinted a gloom on his countenance sideration gave a new vigour to his movements. which all the favour of Artaxerxes and of Esther, He felt himself to be called of God to the undercould not remove. Regarılless of the difficulties taking, and he went in the strength of the Lord of the undertaking, he left the court of Babylon, his God. In this part of Nehemiah's character we and undertook a wearisome and dangerous journey, are taught that in all our undertakings, whether of animated with this one desire " to seek the wel- private business or of public interest, we should fare of the children of Israel.” Nor did the diffi- not depend on our own wisdom and skill, but imculties he encountered, and the malignant opposi- plore the direction of Him “ who worketh all tion of Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem of Arabia, things according to the counsel of his own will." and the bitter taunts of scoffers around him, weak- | Moreover we are taught that no elevation of rank, en the strength of his resolution. When charges and no public and official station, ought to excuse of a very gross nature were advanced against him, a man in the neglect of the duties of piety and deand when there was at least a fear lest the minds votion. Nehemiah maintained his devotional of his own people and of his patron Artaxerxes spirit through life. He acknowledged the Lord might have been poisoned with jealousy and sus- in all his ways. The stated exercises of devotion picion of his integrity, he nobly rises above the received from him a regular and punctual perforgathering storm, and appeals to a higher tribunalmance, while the pious ejaculations which, amid than that of man, satisfied that God would " bring the hurry of business and the cares of government, forth bis righteousness as the light." Nor in pro- were darted up from his soul to heaven, proved secuting his plans, did he impose a burden on the habitual seriousness of his mind. 6 I have set others to which he would not himself submit. He the Lord always before me." shared with the humblest in the labours of the Nehemiah's zeal for the glory of God is spe wall, while he bore alone the responsible charge of cially displayed in his anxiety to vindicate God's superintending the whole and conducting the ordinances from abuse, and to enforce their measures of defence. There is in this the sublime tual observance. The public reading and expoundof practical self-denial ; the pattern of holy, dis-ing of the law, for the edification of the people
, interested, persevering activity in a good cause. testified his regard for God's Holy Word. The He was at once “ diligent in business, and fervent exactness with which the appointed rites in the in spirit.” He lost sight of selfish considerations ; feasts of trumpets and of tabernacles were gone and feeling for the humblest of the people, he gave about, under his superintendence, testified bis rethem the full value of his labours and his influence verence for the law, in all the comprehensiveness without the smallest remuneration. That which and in all the minuteness of its requisitions. His
asked not from man, he knew God would be- zeal for the sanctification of the Sabbath, proved stow ; and hence the prayer in our text. “ He the high sense he entertained of the value of that had respect to the recompense of the reward;" and holy institution, and its direct subserviency to the this good hope triumphed over the secularising in- religious and civil interests of the community at fluence of worldly attachments. What a reproof large. He checked the public abuses of it, by the to the selfishness of professing Christians ! the bearing of burdens, the performance of servile cold indifference and criminal indolence of some,- work of any kind, the buying and selling of comthe carnal, temporizing, and crooked policy of modities, and the neglect of public worship: others. It administers a pointed rebuke to the Like a true patriot, and like a good man, he held votaries of pride, vain-glory, ambition, and self-the purity of Sabbath sanctification to be a matter interest. It draws to the life the striking contrast of paramount importance to all others; and, by between all these claims and those of the Saviour, influence, precept and example, he recommended while it presses on us, with double force, the words and enforced it upon all. Does not this speak of Him who sought not his own will, “but the volumes of reproof to modern professors ? Does will of Him that sent him." “ If any man will it not teach us the duty of sanctifying the name, come after me, let him deny himself.”
the day, the altar, and the ordinances of our God? 3. Nehemiah was distinguished by his zeal for And does it not call upon all, whatever their stathe worship and the ordinances of God. In cir- tion or office may be, to consecrate themselves to cumstances of difficulty, Nehemiah committed his the Lord, and to lay themselves out for the service way unto the Lord. Before telling the king of of Religion ? Keep my ordinances. Hallow Persia the causes of his grief, he makes a direct my Sabbaths. I am the Lord.” appeal to Him who is higher than the highest ; Lastly. Nehemiah was distinguished by enand in the hope of obtaining a favourable answer | lightened and consistent perseverance in the disfrom man, he darted up an earnest supplication to charge of personal and otficial duty. How often Him who hath “ the hearts of kings in his hands," are difficulties pleaded in excuse for the neglect
Revivals in the British Isles," by the Author of the Memoirs of
of duty, or of perseverance in a good cause ? | parts of our own, and of foreign lands ; hy strengthHad Nehemiah been disposed to plead such an ening the hands of faithful labourers in the vineapology, he had never left the Palace at Shus- yard ; and, above all, by the sweetly persuasive inan
, to embark in the mighty undertaking he charm of a godly, and righteous, and consistent had in view. Or, if he had embarked in it, deportment. In these “ works of faith and labours would not the obstacles which open soes and false of love," let not difficulties alarm us; let not the friends threw in his way, have compelled him to hostility of some, and the apathy of others, turn us desist? But Nehemiah persevered, in spite of aside from duty; let us say with Nehemiah, " opposition, and he triumphed over it all. Even are engaged in a great work, and we cannot come at that trying moment, when the very persons on down;" and, like himn also, let us “
persevere with whom he chiefly relied were dispirited, and, froin all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Be ye excess of fatigue, were ready to retire from the “ living epistles of Christ, known and read of all wall in disgust, he remains unshaken and undaunt- men.” The cause of Christ is embarked in us, its ed; and by his zealous perseverance he roused professors. The interests of the kingdom of heatheir drooping courage. In this we have an emi- ven are linked with us, its subjects. The honours rent example of active diligence in duty; of forti- of the cross may rise or fall in our hands. trde in resisting all temptations to apostasy ; of thou faithful unto death,” and, “ when the Chief prudent circumspection, in giving no cause to the Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of enemy to speak reproachfully; of habitual depend life, which fadeth not away.” ence on God, and
undeviating perseverance in the path of duty. “ Be not weary in well-doing.”
THE KINGSWOOD COLLIERS; Those who are engaged in the discharge of pub. OR, THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL WHEN lic official duty, may find much in the character of
FAITHFULLY PREACHED. Nehemiah to guide and to encourage them. Ne- This pleasing instance of the effect of divine truth in civilizing and
refining the most savage hearts, is selected from a “ History of liemiah was an enlightened, and firm, and merciful governor. He rectified prevailing abuses. He
the Rev. M. Bruen.–The work will richly reward an attentive
perusal. checked tyrannical usurpations of the rich and “Kingswood, which is a district near the city of Bristol, rowerful over the poor and weak, and addressed to had formerly been a royal chase, containing between the party accused this pointed interrogatory :-“ It three and four thousand acres, but it had been gradually is not good that ye do: Ought ye not to walk in appropriated by the several lords whose estates lay the fear of our God, because of the reproach of round about its borders, and their title, which, for å
long time, was no better than what possession gave the heathen, our enemies ?” As a righteous ma- them, had been legalised. The deer and the greater estrate, he held the reins of government with a part of the wood had long since disappeared; and coal ready and impartial hand; executed the laws inines having been discovered there, from which Bris. without respect of persons ; vindicated the civil tol derives its chief supply of fuel, it was now inhabited and religious institutions of his country; patron- forefathers of the forest, but far more brutal, and differ
by a race of people as lawless and untaught as their ised Religion by his official influence and example; ing as much from the people of the surrounding country and habitually acted on the great principle, that he in dialect as in appearance. They had, at that time, was “ the minister of God for good.” In him we no place of worship, for Kingswood belonged then to have a practical illustration of the truth, that an the out-parish of St. Philip, Bristol. Had the colliers upright, and pious, and enlightened magistrate is felt disposed to travel three or four miles
, they could a public blessing. By the impartial execution of have found no accommodation in the church of this idis ; by encouraging and patronizing Religion and populous suburb; and if they could, would have felt sound morals; by checking vice and promoting church. When Whitfield spoke of going to America
as much out of their element as a sailor does in a city public virtue ; by a conscientious regard to all the to convert the savages, his friends at Bristol replied, elaims of moral and religious obligation, he he- What need is there of going abroad for this ? 'Have comes a terror to evil doers, and a praise to them we not Indians enough at home? If you have a mind hat do well; and thus, in him, is it substantially to convert savages, go to the colliers at Kingswood." demonstrated, that “ righteousness exalteth a
Towards these colliers, Whitfield, from this time, felt juple."
his heart yearn, for they were very nunerous, and yet
as sleep having no shepherd. On the afternoon, there. Nehemiah, in his private and in his official cha- fore, of Saturday, Feb. 17, 1739, he stood upon a mount Pacter, was zealous for the public interests of Reli- in a place called Rose Green, his first field pulpit, and *on. He « lored Zion;" he desired its prosper- preached to as many as came to hear, attracted by the
; he prayed for it; and he did much to promote novelty of such an address. I thought,' says he, 'it f. Like him, we may reverence God's Sabbaths, might be doing the service of my Creator, who bad a
mountain for his pulpit, and the heavens for a soundy promote their better observance in our own
ing board; and who, when his Gospel was refused by families, and in our own community. Like him, the Jews, sent his servants into the highways and We may encourage our religious institutions, our hedges.” Not above two hundred persons gathered round Foly ordinances, our charitable foundations. Like him, for there had been no previous notice of his intenLin, we may build up the walls of Jerusalem, by tion; and these, perhaps being no way prepared for his bantenancing the preaching of the Gospel; by what they heard. Yet Whitfield was cheered by this spotrading abroad the lively oracles of God; by en
first step, and says, in his journal, · Blessed be God, couraging seminaries for religious education ; by the ice is now broken, and I have taken the field. sending the heralds of life and peace to the darker
• Oliphant and Son, Edinburgh, 1836.
Some may censure me, but is there not a cause ? Pul- , and many poor families relieved by the bounty of my pits are denied, and the poor colliers ready to perish for friend Mr Seward. Shall not these things be noted in lack of knowledge.'
my book ? God forbid they should not be written on “Having once taken the field, he was not only encou- the tables of
heart.' raged to persevere in such a course by the multitudes “ His road lay through Kingswood. It must have that focked to hear, but he was shut up to this as his been very gratifying to bim to find these people, so re. only opportunity of proclaiming the Gospel, as these new cently possessed with all the selfish and stormy passions, and irregular proceedings were the means of excluding waiting to greet him with an entertainment prepared him from all the pulpits of the Established Church, in without his knowledge. He had preached to them on which he held deacon's orders. He therefore soon went the duty of educating their children, and urged them to again to Kingswood. His second audience consisted of subscribe for the erection of a school-house ; and he him. two thousand persons; his third, from four to five, and self was surprised to witness the cheerfulness with which they went on increasing to ten, fourteen, and twenty they parted with their money on this occasion. On his thousand. “To behold such crowds,' he says, “stand farewell visit, they earnestly entreated Mr Whitfield to ing together in such an awful silence, to hear the echo lay the first stone, which he did ; after which he knelt, of their singing run from one end of them to the other, and prayed that the gates of hell might not preval was very solemn and striking. How infinitely more against the design, to which petition the colliers said a solemn and striking will the general assembly of the hearty Amen! spirits of just men made perfect be, when they join in “Mr Wesley succeeded him, and after a considerable singing the song of Moses and the Lamb in heaven? struggle against his previous habits and ideas of order, Yet, as the scene was new, and I had just begun to be an took to the highways and hedges, with as much success extempore preacher, it often occasioned many inward as Mr Whitfield. His account, a part of which we er. conflicts. Sometimes, when twenty thousand people tract, corroborates all that has been previously said of tbe were before me, I had not, in my own apprehension, a state of these people. [November 27, 1739.] • Fer word to say either to God or them. But I never was persons have lived long in the West of England who have totally deserted, and frequently so assisted (for to deny not heard of the colliers of Kingswood, a people famous it would be lying against God), that I knew by happy from the beginning hitherto for neither fearing God nor experience what our Lord meant by saying, 'out of his regarding man ; so ignorant of the things of God, that belly shall flow rivers of living waters. The first evi- they seemed but one remove from the beasts that perish, dence he observed of having made any impression on his and therefore utterly without desire of instruction, as rude auditors was their deep silence ; the next and still well as without the means of it. Many, last winter, used more convincing was, his observation of the white gut- tauntingly to say of Mr Whitfield, if he will convert ters made by the tears which fell plentifully down their heathens, why does he not go to the colliers of Kings cheeks, black and unwashed from the coal-pits. * The wood ? In spring he did so. When he was called open firmament above me, the prospect of the adjacent away, others followed to compel them to come in; and, fields, with the sight of thousands and thousands, some by the grace of God, their labour was not in vain. Tbe in coaches and some on horseback, and some in the trees, scene is already changed : Kingswood does not now, as and at times all affected and drenched in tears together;' a year ago, resound with cursing and blasphemy. It is to which was sometiines added the solemnity of the no more filled with drunkenness and uncleanness, and approaching evening,' was almost too much for, and quite the idle diversions which naturally lead thereto. It is overcame me.'
no longer full of wars and fightings, of clamour and bit" As might have been expected from people so utterly | terness, of wrath and envyings. Peace and love are untrained, except in the savage sports of bull-baiting, there. Great numbers of people are mild, gentle, and cock-fighting, and other works of the devil, as were the easy to be entreated. They do not cry, neither strive, colliers of Kingswood, in no place was the preaching of and hardly is their voice heard in the street, or indeed the Gospel accompanied with more unrestrained outward in their own Wood, unless when they are at their usual demonstration of feeling. Convulsions, cries, in some evening devotion, singing praise unto God their Saviour, few cases blasphemies, which led to the idea of demonia- That their children, too, might know the things which cal possession, were exhibited. Occasionally, even Wes- make for their peace, it was some time since proposed ley, who was accused of being more prone to credulity to build a school-house in Kingswood ; and after many than his colleague, suspected that the emotions were foreseen and unforeseen difficulties, in June last the feigned, and treated them accordingly. But in general, foundation was laid. The ground made choice of was in a great mass of the people were savingly converted, and the middle of the wood, between the London and Bath stood well the test of being tried by their fruits. Whit- roads, not far from that called Two-mile-hill, about three field was about to leave them in prosecution of his pur- miles from Bristol. Here a large room was begun for pose to visit Georgia. He prevailed on Wesley to come the school, having four small rooms at the end for the down to Bristol to occupy his place, and introduced him schoo nasters (and, perhaps, if it should please God, to his many congregations. Wherever he took his for some poor children) to lodge in. Two persons are leave, there was loud weeping. 'Oh,' he exclaims, ready to teach as soon as the house is fit to receive
these partings !' An exclamation which, from the day them, the shell of which is nearly finished; so that it is when they whose hearts were knit to Paul at Ephesus hoped the whole will be completed in spring, or early * wept sore, and sorrowed most of all that they should in the summer. Thus we see that in the middle of see his face no more,' till now, has repeated its painful February, Kingswood was a wilderness, and that when echo in the hearts of Christians, and will continue to the month of June arrived, it was already blossoming repeat it, till partings shall cease for ever in the general like the rose.' assembly and Church of the First-born. When he forced " The effect of the leaven which had been thus placed himself away from Bristol, crowds were waiting at the in this mass of barbarism was made conspicuous in the door to give him a last farewell, and nearly twenty following year, in the case of a riot, of which Mr Charles friends accompanied him on horseback. • Blessed be Wesley gives the following account: ‘Being informed God!'he exclaims, 'for the marvellous great kindness that the colliers had risen in consequence of the dearhe hath shown me in this city. Many sinners I believe ness of corn, and were marching for Bristol, he rode out have been effectually converted; numbers of God's to meet them and talk with them. Many seemed dischildren greatly comforted; several thousands of little posed to return with him to the school which had been books have been dispersed among the people ; about built for their children ; but the most desperate rushed two hundred pounds collected for the Orphan House ; 1.violently upon them, beating them, and driving thens
anay from their pacific adviser.' He adds, “I rode up and when we look on him “ coming as a bridegroom to a ruffian who was striking one of our colliers, and out of his chamber, and rejoicing as a strong man to run prayed him rather to strike me. He answered, “No- his race,” or pouring forth his noon-day flood of light, not for all the world,' and was quite overcome. I or sitting beneath his gilded canopy in the West, we
turned upon another, who struck my horse, and he also cannot but account him the most wonderful of all ma! Ngunk into a lamb. Wherever I turned, Satan's cause lost terial things, and the best emblem of his Maker's glory. IN ground, so that they were obliged to make one general When, however, we come to consider the nature of by assault, and the violent colliers forced the quiet ones in this brilliant orb, as that has been exhibited to us by
to the town. I seized one of the tallest, and earnestly modern science, the view becomes yet more sublime. be:ought him to follow me. Yes, he said, that he would, We strive in vain to grasp the truths that have been all the world over. I pressed about six into the service. clearly demonstrated, and fruitlessly endeavour to ima
We met several parties, and stopped and exhorted them gine the probabilities that are founded upon them. De to follow us; and, gleaning from every company, we The sun's distance from the earth is no less than de increased as we marched on, singing, to the school. 95,000,000 of miles, his diameter is 882,000 miles, and *: From one till three o'clock we spent in prayer, that evil his bulk 1,384,472 times that of the globe which we inmight be prevented and the lion chained. Then news
habit. When viewed through powerful telescopes, was brought us that the colliers were returned in peace. provided with coloured glasses to take off the glare of They had walked quietly into the city, without sticks or light, which would otherwise injure the eye, it is frethe least violence. A few of the better sort of them went quently observed that there are large and perfectly black
to the mayor and told their grievance; then they all re- spots upon his surface, surrounded with a kind of borby turned as they came, without noise or disturbance. All der not completely dark. When these spots are watched bu who saw it were amazed. Nothing could have more from day to day, or even from hour to hour, they appear
clearly shown the changes wrought among them than to enlarge and contract, to change their form, and at e this conduct on such an occasion. I found afterwards length to vanish entirely, while others break out in
that all our colliers to a man had been forced away. places where none were before. Even those portions of Having learned of Christ not to resist evil, they went a the solar surface, where no spots are visible, are far mile with those who compelled them rather than free from being uniformly bright, and constant changes seem themselves by violence. One man the rioters dragged to be going on. These appearances have led astronoout of his sick-bed, and threw him into the fish-pond. mers to conclude that the sun is not, as was long supNear twenty of Mr Willis's men they had prevailed on, posed, an immense ball of fire, but a dark and solid by threatening to fill up their pits and bury them alive mass surrounded by a luminous atmosphere; a globe, if they did not come up and bear them company.' in short, like the earth, clothed in a mantle of shining * It was a happy circumstance that they forced so many clouds, which, opening up from time to time, form the of the Methodist colliers to go with them, ss these, by spots above described, by exposing to view portions of their advice and example, restrained the savage fury the solid ball which they enclose. of the others. This undoubtedly was the true cause
Science, however, has been unable to discover the why they all returned home without making any dis- means by which this unceasing blaze is sustained, without turbance.'
any perceptible diminution either of his size or of his “And now, after nearly a century has elapsed, Kings. splendour. We may still exclaim with the mountain trood bas its humanized population, its Christian mini- bard, “Whence are thy beams, Oh Sun! thine everlastters, its schoolmasters, its libraries ; and it not only ing light!”. cherishes the Gospel in its own bosom, but it forms its The brilliancy of the solar beam must have been obsocieties for extending the blessing, and possesses preach- served by all, yet it is not until we come scientifically ing stations where collections are made for the behalf of to consider it that we can form an adequate idea of its he heathen whom they themselves but recently resem- power. Repeated experiment has proved that though beled. The school which Wesley here describes is not much of its strength is lost in passing through our atnow in the centre of a wood, but has a high road running mosphere, the most vivid flames disappear, and the most close by it. It did not succeed well on his plan, per intensely ignited solids are seen only as dark spots on Laps in part from the style of education being too high the disk of the sun, when held between him and the for the inhabitants, but chiefly on account of the rules eye. Even if it sustained no loss in its passage to the of monkish austerity with which he caused it to set out. earth, when we take into account the law of decrease, For Wesley was in character a stern and high disciplina-(formerly spoken of as proportioned to the square of rian, and, mistaking the nature of youth, he exacted the distance) we find, that at the surface of the sun, light rising at five in the rigour of winter, and ceaseless appli- must have three hundred thousand times the intensity of sation to some grave pursuit during all the waking hours. an Indian noon! This failure of Wesley's school is only mentioned lest
Of all obie that the eye can see on earth or in hea. sansayers should suppose the fact was purposely con- ven, by night or by day, the sun is thus the most wonrealed. It does not in the least detract from the evi- derful and glorious; and not more glorious as an object cence that a great and sudden change was wrought, for the eye to gaze on, than useful and necessary for the and continues to be visible, among the colliers of Kings support of life and continuance of comfort. From him wood.”
we derive that light which enables us to labour ; that
heat which changes the cold of winter into the genial CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY.
warmth of spring, and that life-giving power which
makes the ground bring forth its fruits, and ministers No. II.
food to every living thing. Thus brilliant in appearTHE SUN THE SOURCE OF LIGHT. ance and beneficial.in influence, the chief of the visible
works of God, and the best emblem of his Creator's maBY THE Rev. JAMES BRODIE,
jesty and beneficence, we need not wonder that unenMinister of Monimail.
lightened man has bent the knee to the sun as God, Ligar proceeds from various sources. Among natural that “ beholding him walking in brightness, his heart has phenomena, lightning, meteors, and volcanoes, all emit been secretly enticed, and his hand hath kissed his it in a greater or less degree; and man has devised mouth.” various means by which to dispel the gloom of night But if the sun be glorious, how much more so must and fill his habitations with artificial day. But the sun he be who “ set him in the firmament to rule the day," is the great source whence the cheering rays proceed, who appointeth“ bis rising, and his going down,” and who, if he see meet, can extinguish him as a spark ! | cess, but be filled with the Spirit ; speaking to yourselres When we turn our eye to Christ the Creator and Gover- in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and nor of the universe, " by whon all things were made," making melody in your heart to the Lord." That it is and unto wbom “all judgment is committed," the source intended to be a mean by which believers should inof all the light that shines on matter, and of all the struct others, is also evident from Col, iii. 16., Let knowledge that enlivens and sanctifies the mind, how the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, in ail wi-dom, appropriately is he termed “the Sun of Righteousness.” teaching and admonishing one another in psalıns, and Like the sun in the firmament HE STANDS ALONE. hymns, and spiritual songs ; singing with grace in your The highest effort of any creature, yea, of all creation hearts to the Lord." That it is intended to be the combinerl, could neither add to his brightness nor dimi- channel through which the believer's mirth sbould tow, nish his glory. When he appears, the morning stars of is manifest from James v., 13., “ Is any merry, let him the spiritual heaven are lost in his radiance. “ Forsing psalms." That it is intended to cheer the believer who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord, who in his saddest moods, to chase away the gloom and anong the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the pain of the present hour, is plain from the example of Lord?" Excellence in every attribute is his peculiar | Paul and Silas, who, when contined in the imer prisor, property. One creature may be compared with another, with their feet made fast in the stocks, yet, at 0.16 but no creature may be compared to the Creator ; we night prayed and sang praises tinto God, and the pri may measure the strength of the strongest man by that soners heard them.” That it is intended to animatetie of the weakest babe ; we may say with propriety of believer's bosom in the near prospect of sorrows and the archangel's comprehensive intelligence, ibat it ex- trials, and even of death, is manifest froin the exame ceeds by so many times the infant's feeble thought; but of our Lord. We often reall that Christ wept. We when we reach the highest point in the scale of created never read that Christ laughed. And we read bu: being, we are as far as ever from comprehending infinity. once of Christ joining with his disciples in singing. La Compared unto Jehovah all creatures are alike; the that night in which he was betrayed, when he had girca seraph and the worm are equally insignificant.
to his disciples broken bread and poured out wille, to Nor is this all ; could we multiply the excellence of be the memorials of his dying love till he should cow the noblest creature, even by infinity, the comparison again ; when his hour of dark and mysterious azo'n could not be made. There is a difference in kind as was full in his view, it is recorded by two Evangelisis, well as in degree. To God alone belongs original self- that, when they had sung an hymn, they went out. existent glory; all beside hiin shine by borrowed light. The testimony of experience to the uses and importWhatever wisdom or power is found in any other, flows ance of psalmody, may be briefly added to the testimur from him alone. If man is more noble than the beasts of Scripture. that perish, it is because the Lord hath more richly en- 1. In the surprising work of God and revival of Res. dowed him. If angels move in a still higher sphere, it gion, which took place about a century ago in Nero is because he sustains them there. Whatever excellence England, of which Jonathan Edwards was the zeaidus is possessed by the creature, it is but a portion that Je. | promoter and defender, he remarks, that "
one fruit hovah has lent him of his own; and at most we can only the extraordinary degrees of the sweet and joyful in compare it to the Creator's, as we liken the glitter of the Buence of the Spirit of God, was the great disposition dew-drop to the full blaze of the sun, from which its to abound in the divine exercise of singing praises, this ray is derived.
only in appointed solemn meetings, but when Christians
occasionally met together at each others houses." 16. SINGING PRAISES.
deed, he inentions this as one of the things which yor: BY THE Rev. Robert M. M'CHEYNE.
had found fault with, the abounding so much in singira
praises. And he admirably defends it, on the group] “ Praise is comely for the upright.”—Psal. xxxiii. 1.
that the more the saints on earth are like, in their es There is, perhaps, none of the means of grace which positions, to the saints and angels in heaven, who sig is so much neglected by believers in the present day, as ballelujahs day and night, without ceasing, the mois that of singing the praises of God; and yet there is they will be disposed to do like them. He even gives none in which the wisdom and kindness of the Great his cautious but decided approbation of a practice wtich Hearl of the Church is more mamfest. Since the fall, was proposed during that happy period, of companies how craftily bath the great enemy of souls made use singing psalms in the streets, going to, or coming true, of the enchanting power of music to be the insidious ve- the places of public worship. It is peculiarly interesi liicle of all things vain, vile and licentious! What worldly to see that man of soberest and profoundest julgaat passion hath vie melody of voice and harp not been used thus happily expressing himself :-_* When God's peuz'e to intine ? What scene of vice or of vanity has been are going to his house, the occasion is so joyful to a left ungraced by the fascinations of music ? Is it not Christian in a lively frame, that the duty of singiling the case now, as it was in the days of the prophetic herds- praises seems to be peculiarly beautiful on such au ucman, that they who "are not grieved for the attiction of casion. So that if the state of the country were rije Joseph, yet chaunt to the sound of the viol, and in- for it, and there should be frequent occasions for a cunvent to themselves instruments of music, like David?" siderable part of a congregation to go together to the Truly " the children of this world are wiser in their places of public worship, and there was, in other regeneration than the children of light." Do the child-spects, a proportionable appearance of ferveney of devoren of God really know that our Lord hath consecrated tior, it appears to me that it would be ravishingly be3!ito his own service this most blessed power, not only to tiful, if such things were practised all over the lacking carry the thrill of holy sympathy from bosom to bosom and would have a great tendency to enliven, aniina"i', in the crowded congregation, but to blend the kindred and rejoice the souls of God's saints, and greatly to prie voices and kindred hearts of families into one swell of pagate vital Religion. I believe the time is com devotion, to cheer the pilgrim of faith, when he droops in when the world will be full of such things." West liis solitude, and, above all, to train up little children to such days come, shall not the words of the prophei! love that Lord Jesus whose praises they sing.
fulfilled : “ The ransomed of the Lord shall return ar That psalmody is intended by God to be one of the co:ne to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon the believer's private and personal enjoyments, is manifest heads." froin Eph. v., 18, 19, where, contrasting the pleasures 2. Some interesting facts relative to psalmody are lo of the world with the pleasures of the Christian, Paul be found in the account of the Moravian mission :: says,--" And be not drunk with wine, wherein is ex- Greenland. · When after fifteen years of sowing the