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We cheerfully comply with the request of a respected friend, to disseminate and preserve the following tender and beautiful lines by the Rev. Samuel Pearce, A.M. in the pages of the Panoplist.
THE GARDENER AND ROSE TREE.
Remov'd so soon! So suddenly
Snatch'd from my fond maternal eye!
So early to be snatch'd away!
What! gone førever !—scen no more !
Ye dews descend, with tears supply
Or rather come some northern blast,
Far from this spot, a wretched mother,
As thus the anguish'd Rose-Tree cry'd,
A plant, though murm'ring, still belov'd
Cease, beauteous flow'r, these useless czier;
(So fondly by thy heart belov'd)
Of me thy heart would scarce have thought,
With gratitude no more be fraught:
Yea, thy own beauty be at stake,
Surrender'd for thy offspring's sake.
Nor think, that, hidden from thine eyes,
The infant plant neglected lies
No, I've another garden, where
It's now transplanted, there to shine
Be patient then, till that set hour shall come,
These words to silence hush'd the plaintive Rose,
Review of New Publications.
A Sermon, delivered at New-Boston, N. H. February 26, 1806, at the Ordination of the Rev. E. P. Bradford to the pastoral care of the Presbyterian Church and Society in that place. ton, Congregational Minister in Hampton, N. H.
THIS is a serious and ingenious discourse. It is well adapted to the occasion, is written in a pure and perspicuous style, and displays such modesty and candour, as are very congenial with the delicate subject of catholocism. The author does not appear "fierce for moderation;" but seems to have aimed at steering a middle course between the extremes of bigotry and latitudinarianism. And had he only kept within these proper bounds, he would have deserved much praise, and given no occasion for the following remarks, which have occurred to some judicious and candid readers.
1. Mr. A. appears to have mistaken the plain and obvious meaning of his text. It is
1 Cor. i. 10. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment." These words Mr. A. allows must enjoin upon the Corinthians either unity of sentiment, or unity of affection. If we regard the mode of expression, we must naturally conclude, that the apostle meant to enjoin unity of sentiment, or to teach the Corinthians to speak, to think, and to judge alike upon religious subjects. And it clearly appears from the following parts of the epistle,
By Jesse Applepp 32.
that they stood in need of such an exhortation from the apostle Paul, who was their spiritual father, and the master builder in forming them into a church state. For they had fallen from their stedfastness, and run into numerous and dangerous errors. They had erred respecting the divine call of the apostle, respecting church discipline, the duty of marriage, the nature and design of the Lord's Supper, the support of gospel ministers, things offered to idols, spiritual gifts, and even respecting the great doctrine of the general resurrection. Upon this head the apostle reproved them sharply. "I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas, and then of the twelve; and last of all he was seen of me also. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" If the apostle meant to suit his epistle to the present state of the Corinthians, he could not have addressed them upon a more seasonable and necessary subject, than that of unity of sentiment,
from which they had so grossly departed. It is, therefore, most natural to consider his words in the text as referring to their unchristian doctrines, as well as to their unchristian feelings. But admitting Mr. A.'s exposition to be right, and allowing that the apostle did refer solely to unity of affection; then it is queried by what logic Mr. A. could deduce from a passage, which had no respect to controverted points in divinity, this doctrine; "that there may be comfort of love and fellowship of the Spirit among those Christians, whose opinions in divinity do not fully coincide."
2. Whether this doctrine bear any legitimate relation to the text or not, it seems to be too indefinite to require either proof, or even illustration. For no man can be found, of any religious sect or party, who will not readily allow, that "Christians, whose opinions in divinity do not fully coincide, may enjoy comfort of love and fellowship of the Spirit," or sincerely unite in brotherly love. A doctrine or leading sentiment in a public discourse ought to be not only true, but important.
3. There seems to be no great propriety in the concessions, which Mr. A. makes previously to the proof of his doctrine. They are all very true, but neither necessary nor pertinent. What if Christians may differ as much in meaning, as in words; what if their diversity of opinions may not be matter of indifference; what if some may dif fer essentially from others; what if some may be criminal for imbibing their errors; and what if the nearer any agree in the be
lief of the truth, the more closely they may unite in affection:Supposing all these things to be true, they have no tendency to prepare the way for the illustra tion or support of the truths in question, and therefore, it is conceived, they ought to be considered as mere protuberances to the discourse.
4. Mr. A.'s mode of reasoning in proof of his doctrine, is both redundant and deficient. His argument derived from the sources of error is redundant; and his argument, drawn from the conduct of those eminent men he mentions, is deficient, because it does not appear, from any thing he has said, whether they acted right or acted wrong in exercising mutual esteem and affection. But whether he has succeeded or failed in supporting his doctrine, its truth will be universally believed.
5. Mr. A. triumphs without a victory, in his remarks upon the fourteenth of Romans. All the apostle there said goes no further than to prove, that men may differ in non-essential points, and yet be sincere Christians, and exercise mutual love and esteem. This nobody denies. But some have denied, and probably will continue to deny, that the apostle meant to justify any man in the least voluntary error.
6. Mr. A. misrepresents the opinion of those whom he considers as opponents. He says, "it has been the opinion of some respectable men, that, should those, who embrace error, actually embrace the truth, they will then know that their present opinion is right, and their former wrong.' We are acquainted with none who maintain, that
· men always know they are right in opinion, when they are so; but we believe many justly maintain, that when men are really right in opinion, respecting subjects which admit of certainty, they may then know that they are right. There are many subjects in divinity, which do not admit of certainty; and perhaps, the doctrine of infant baptism, which Mr. A. mentions, may be one. In this, and similar cases, a man may be right in opinion, and never certainly know in this life, that his opinion is entirely agreeable to the word of God. He may gain so much light as to exclude doubt, which will justify him in maintaining his opinion, and acting upon it. But when a man has erred in respect to a divine truth, which admits of certainty, and afterwards embraces that truth, he may then know that he knows it, and that his former opinion was wrong. This, however, may not be the infallible consequence, because his knowing the truth, and knowing that he knows it, are two very different things, and the former may exist without the latter.
Finally, notwithstanding our confidence in the rectitude of Mr. A.'s intentions, it appears to us to be the general tendency of his discourse to make men believe, that it is more difficult to discover truth and detect error than it really is. It tends to make men feel too easy and unconcerned about their religious errors. It also tends to favour the growing and dangerous notion, that it is of more importance to avoid bigotry than heresy. And it seems calculated to create a belief, that Vol. III. No. 12.
there is no important distinction between real Calvinism, and real Arminianism; which belief may be productive of many hurtful effects.
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD ORDERING AND CONDUCTING THE AFFAIRS OF MEN.
A sermon preached in the Independent or Congregational church, Charleston, South Carolina, Sept. 14, 1806. By ISAAC STOCKTON KEITH, D. D. One of the pastors of said church. Published by request. W. P. Young. Charleston. pp. 56.
THE length of the title violates the rules of classical taste. The title of a book becomes its name, and like the name of a child, should be such as may be conveniently spoken.
It is doubted, whether it add any thing to the usefulness of a sermon to inform the public, that the publication was earnestly solicited by respectable characters; that the author felt himself constrained to comply. Better say as Mr. Henry does concerning one of his books; "If I thought it needed an apology, I would not consent to publish it." On the other hand, if a work need no apology, the author should make none. This we think to be the case with the discourse now before us.
It was occasioned by the desolating storm which took place in the Southern States in August, 1806. "My times are in thy hand," is the text. In order to exhibit the leading ideas included Y Y Y
"For a while they (that is, they who are to be the final subjects of salvation,) are permitted to main with "the world which lieth in wickedness," "to walk after the ways of their own hearts, and in the sight of their own eyes," departing farther and farther from God, wandering in the fruitless pursuit of hap piness, through the various scenes of worldly vanity, and amidst the multiplied snares of the cruel destroyer, "who leads the children of disobedience captives at his will," exulting with a most malicious triumph, in the expectation of soon plunging them headlong into everlasting perdition: But the time of divine mercy and love at length arrives, when these infatuated servants of sin must be ransomed; when these wretched captives of Satan must be delivered; when "these lost sheep must be brought back to the fold of their heavenly Shepherd." When in their mad career of bold impiety, unrighteousness, and licentious indulgence; or in their thoughtless progress down the broad road of worldly business, of fashionable amusement, or of the decent, lifeless forms of religion and virtue, they were hastening to eternal destruction; they are mercifully arrested by an invisible power. For now the Divine Spirit, given by the Father, through the mediation of the Son of God, comes to carry into effect the great design of redeeming grace and love in their favour. To this end, he awakens their solemn attention to the demands of the law, and the calls of the gospel. Thus he convinces them of sin, awakens their fears of the wrath of God due to it, and con
strains them seriously to consider and inquire "what they shall do to be saved?" Then pointing their views to the only and the all-sufficient Saviour, revealed and offered in the gospel, he suffers them not to remain on any fallacious ground, on which they would be ready to feel themselves secure, and to promise themselves peace; nor will he allow them to conclude that they have found rest to their souls, till they have "fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose is the only name given under heaven by which any can be saved." And now, in a day of divine power, they are made willing, cordially willing, to forsake their sins, to renounce their self-righteousness, to give up the world, and "to suffer the loss of all things," which were once most dear to their hearts, "that they may win Christ, and be found in him," and become his genuine disciples and followers. For his sake, they are now disposed "to deny themselves" in respect to all worldly interests and pleasures, which may be incompatible with their obligations and their duty to him; they are now ready, also, "to take up the cross" of reproach, or of any other kind of suffering, to which they may be called on account of their attachment to him, and their fidelity in his service; and thus they are prepared, cheer fully, "to follow their Lord and Saviour" to his heavenly kingdom, in he has marked out in his gospel, and which, to their natural pride and selflove, heretofore appeared to be the most unpleasant and irksome, beset with the most formidable difficulties, and surrounded with the deepest and most discouraging gloom."
of obedience and trial which
In the sermon and note the author gives an interesting and affecting account of the extensive destruction of the fruits of the earth, and of the lives of men occasioned by the tempest, and forcibly inculcates that pious attention to the events of divine providence, which is equally the duty and happiness of all rational