Imágenes de páginas

seek God, or if in youth we have blished the connexion in both found the pearl of great price-or cases. Everything about us in manhood's riper state are laying evinces its reality; and it is the up treasure in heaven, then it is of extreme of folly and of wickedness very triling moment whether we to disregard it. Oh that men have many or few years to pass could see, or when they are told, before we go hence--for we have would but believe, that the life of the promise of God that when ab- sin they are now living, must, sent from the body, we shall be from the very nature of things, present with the Lord. This is lead to a state of condemnation and that good hope through grace, eternal death. Every day brings which like an anchor of the soul, them a step nearer. He has said is sure and steadfast, and which it, who can never deny Himself, enters into that within the veil ; “ the wicked shall be turned into which binds fast the soul to that hell.” But let it not be forgotten, glory which Christ has in reserve even by the wicked, that God has to bestow upon us when our few established a connexion not less years are ended. Happy, indeed, clear, not less certain, between are they who are thus fitted to go true repentance of sin, and a state the way

whence they shall not re- of forgiveness here, and of perfect, turn-a way, which the true be- holy, and blissful existence, beyond liever, when he has once passed it, the sphere of earth, and the bounds would not wish to return.

of time. But do you inquire into the na- IV. The words of the text may ture of that connexion which exists be improved to shew the ground between our character in time, and there is to awaken the fear of some our state in eternity- let it be ob- and animate the hopes of others. served, as it regards wicked men, 1. If the sentiments already adGod has made a decree that they vanced are scriptural verities, and shall receive the fruit of their that they are so, we may appeal to doings; and as it regards good the sacred record, then how pre

grace has promised them cious a gift is time. It is bearing the gift of eternal life. The con- us all onward to eternity, and in a nexion, in the former case, consists few years we shall all be gone

the in the immutability of the divine way whence we shall not return. counsel and threatening, and the We must all appear at the judgmoral and responsible character of ment seat of God, and time to us every human being :-in the latter is only the measure of that space it consists in the relation there is of being which is between us and between faith in Christ, as the eternal happiness or misery; and principle of a new and holy life, this space of our earthly being we and the promise of God in the are spending variously, yet it is of Mediator, which secures a state of infinite value: shall we then waste life and bliss, to all that thus do it in trifling and in sin, in offendthe will of God. Let all remember ing our God? That very gift which there is an indissoluble connexion he bestows, and repeats every day, between the guilt of man, and the that we may be more fit to meet punishment which God has an- himshall we bestow this more nexed to it. “The wages of sin is lavishly to unfit us for his presence, death”-not here, but hereafter. It because his forbearance is a downward road which the great ? sinner treads; it leads straight and 2. If it is uncertain when we manifestly to destruction. But shall go the way whence we shall " the path of the just is as the not return, then should we be shining light.” God has esta- always ready, and learn every day

men, his

is so

to watch. The best use, and the temptations. When once you have highest profit we can make of time, passed the verge of heaven and is to prepare for its end, and to be seen the glories of the place, and always ready to go the way which

which found the inheritance assigned you cannot be repassed. Let this there, it will be a matter of joy, thought shame such as are still that there is no way to pass back living without having found the to a sinful, suffering, dying state. true hope of glory. Let the None that are there can ever rewicked remember the day is nigh turn to misery or guilt ; and none at hand, when they must quit their that are in misery and guilt, can present courses to return to them ever pass that glorious verge. no more for ever, You must bid Luke xvi. 26. a final adieu to earthly gratifica- 4. As to all who are in anticition, the joys of sin and of sense pation of this state of blessedwill leave you together, and what ness, let them give more diligence resource will then remain ? to be found ready to enter into the

3. Let this subject inspire joy joy of their Lord, for in such an into the heart of every true hour as they think not he cometh. Christian. “ Now is your salvation Let their joy abound as the reality nearer than when you believed." of that state increases, and as their Your joys shall abound in that hope is confirmed of finding in it an world, where they shall not be eternal weight of glory. How measured by hours, sabbaths and blessed are those means, those years. In a few years, at furthest, days, those years which bring you these trials, tears, and afflictions, to the bosom of a dear Saviour, shall end in joy eternal and per- and to the full measure of spiritual fect. You shall the way bliss. Now is the gate of the whence you shall not return to a kingdom of heaven set open beburden of flesh-to a world of fore you all, and blessed are they changes—to a bitter persecuting that enter into it. enemy,

who never remits his



dos Tattoo

OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC not resist a conviction which has MORALITY.

upon my mind, I hope I am on my guard against that there are going forward at the that very offensive species of queru: present time, the schemes and the lous egotism, which delights in actings of a fell conspiracy against going back to the periods of youth, the happiness and improvement of and contrasting the worthier past mankind. I do not mean to affirm, with the degenerate present. - Dif- that there is a regularly organized ferent sections of the world's his-' association for this desperate obtory are marked with their own ject, I am not, like the moondistinct and distinguishing charac struck Robison, armed with a beter, and there is some difficulty in wildering medley of facts, and separating the moral and intellec- rumours, and inventions, in suptual estimate of life and character, port of a favourite phantasm ; but from that fantastic shape which it I would crave a brief and patient assumes, when distorted by our hearing, while I endeavour to put wayward impulses and imagina- the unwary on their guard against tions. But with every allowance some of the detestable artifices for this common perversion, I can- which a low and selfish rapacity

taken strong


is practising for its own despicable nished the boudoir and the work. ends.

table with his lascivious anacreonI can now look back through tics; we have seen, with deep disconsiderably more than half the may, this man's book of scarcely allotted term of human existence, veiled obscenities lying on the and though I have been much desk of a wife and mother. Magaconversant with the world in vari- zines of no equivocal purport, with ous aspects of society, I cannot engravings expressive of the base recollect any period when the entertainment provided in the typoloathsome business of corrupting graphical portion, lie openly in the the youthful mind, and of gratify- windows of unprincipled' tradesing the malevolence, the impiety, men, who would infect the world and the sensuality of maturer years, with ruinous deprayity, for dirty was so impudently obtruded in gain. French works, too, of nauthe face of day, as at the present seous character are translated, and moment. The press and the graver publicly sold; and this very mornseem the favourite weapons of the ing (May 18,) I saw with astonishenemies of God and man, and from ment and dismay, lying on the the abominations of Lord Byron to show board of a respectable bookthe importations of foreign nui- seller, a translation of the most insances, all the stimulants to vice are famous work of the infamous Vol. paraded before the public eye. taire. From some of the more gross ex- I state these facts as a small part hibitions of this kind, we have been only of the deplorable case, which delivered by the interference of the I have undertaken to make out. police, but much still remains to For obvious reasons, I have conbe swept away, and much vigilance fined myself to the illustration of is required to guard against the that part of it, which must be famiintrusion of unholy suggestions, and liar to every one who walks the the heedless indulgence of unholy streets of London; I would be pursuits.

cautious not to supply dangerous It may be expedient at some fu- information to irritated curiosity, ture time to point out the sources while I appeal to day-light testiand the windings of that tainted mony in support of my complaints stream, which runs through nearly and warnings. the whole field of human literature, What then is to be done in this but a more limited view of the lamentable case? Men of decency calamity is better suited to present and piety have sat too long with convenience. First then there is folded hands, and averted - eyes, Lord Byron sending into our moral while the plague has been diffusing, atmosphere, the poisonous exhalas around its mischievous influence, tions of his splendid, but corrupted and it becomes them to put in genius. To say nothing of other activity those laws which protect delinquencies, his Juan - I want the morals of the nation. Between language to express my disgust at persecution for opinion, and interthe hypocrisy of the real publisher ference in defence of public deco-found a printer, at least, willing rum and the purity of the rising to set his name as a colophon to generation, there is no point of that classic of the stews. Since resemblance; and while I deprethen it has been printed in a cheap cate the former, I warmly urge

the form, and editions have been mul latter. No man can use his eyetiplied at a price, which brings sight in the streets of London for this wretched provocative within a single half-hour, without enthe purchase of the apprentice and countering objects which call for the school-boy. 'Moore has fur- legal restraint, and penal visitation; the weapons of self-defence mask of literature and science, are within our reach ; and we are would relax the strength of prinwanting to ourselves, our families, ciple, and mar the work of educaand our associations, if we hesitate tion, by impairing moral and relito use them.

gious sensibility. To this direct coercion, I would add a more active system of moral

ON THE COVENANT OF WORKS. counteraction. It is unhappily the case, that a certain description of When the Creator of all things efforts against these offences serve had fitted this world to be the reonly as the means of giving them sidence of human beings, he made attractive publicity, and it hence a man, and called him Adam, probecomes expedient to avoid all such bably as being formed of red earth. controversy as tends either to spe- But Adam though made partly of cify the peculiar contents of known earthly materials was not composed works, or to announce the existence entirely of such. When God said, of such as are less extensively cir-, “Let there be light, there was culated. But if the enemies of the light.” When he said, “Let there general happiness are arraying be a firmament in the midst of the against us the perverted powers of waters, and let it divide the waters a mighty, and salutary engine, let from the waters"_" and it was so,' us bring into vigorous and beneficial the fiat of the Creator produced all exercise the same energies to repel things animate and inanimate at their injurious exertions. On our his pleasure: but when man was side, we have talent, right feeling, to be created, “ God said, let us the laws of man, anıl the word of make man in our image after our God; against these, our antagonists likeness." —" And the Lord God have no holding ground; and if formed man of the dust of the the press be brought in aid, by a ground, and breathed into his nosdiligent dispersion of better and irils the breath of life, and man bemore attractive food for the head came a living soul.

" And the and heart, we shall occupy a po- Lord God planted a garden eastsition too favourable for defence, ward in Eden, and,

there he put and too advantageous for assault, the man whom he had formed. not to give us victory, Add to The Almighty Maker placed him this, what indeed is necessarily in- as lord over the new creation, cluded in this, the blessing of God" and brought them unto Adam on right motives and a righteous to see what he would call them, cause, and there is no possibility, and whatsoever Adam called every of failure.

living creature, that was the name And let us not forget to furnish thereof." The condition of human, our youth, our dependants, with the nature was then one of honour, armour of good principles, enforc- beauty, and happiness. Man in ed by steady exhortation and con- his primitive state was clothed sistent example. If corrupted with a degree of glory, and crowned morals enter our families, there is with honour now, almost incon-, a canker at the very roots of so-, ceivable. He was wise, holy, and ciety. Watch,my Christian friends, happy, blessed in communion with watch with dragon vigilance, the, his Creator, and enriched with domestic circle ; see that no dis-, every benefit which tended to en. guised there : exercise a close inspection we conceive of his pleasures, when over the tendencies of imagination he dressed the garden, and media and feeling, and resolutely exclude tated on the power that made him, the seduction which, under the and more especially, when in the


cool of the evening some sensible from whence he was taken. So tokens of Jehovah's presence were he drove out the man, and he given, and our venerable progenic placed at the east of the garden of tor, then in all the vigour and glory Eden, Cherubims and a flaming of manhood, having performed the sword which turned every way to rural duties of his situation, pro- keep the way of the tree of life.”. bably engaged in yet more de- As the views already adverted to lightful acts of worship, and offered are at variance with the literal and to the Deity the sacrifice of praise obvious meaning of the sacred text, upon the altar of a pure heart. in the original as well as in our A healthy body, a vigorous and version, we shall be on the safer well instructed mind, a devotional side, if we adhere closely to spirit, circumstances of ease and the commonly received opinions. enjoyment, connected with perpe- Many divines have supposed, that tual expressions of divine benefic the fruit of the tree of knowledge cence, all tended to shew, that God contained a slow poison, which had made man but “ a little lower vitiated the fluids of the human than the angels, and crowned him body, and in time, tended to the with glory and honour.” In these extinction of life in the persons circumstances, that covenant was the first transgressors, and that by made with Adam of which we are corrupting the whole animal econow about to treat. In ordinary nomy of the human frame it has covenants, the compact is perfectly been perpetuated through all genemutual; but when the covenant is rations. It has also been conjecbetween God and the creature, it tured, that our first parents in their comports most with the dignity of state of innocency were clothed the former, and the safety of the with a visible glory, and that the latter party, that it should assume departure of this glory, as soon as a character of authority. This they transgressed, constituted that covenant, therefore, was established nakedness of which they became under the form of a positive pro- so distressingly sensible. But it is hibition, an implied promise, and plain, at least, that the original an expressed denunciation. state of man was one of great glory

What we are to understand by and honour, and that the economy the tree of life, cannot with cer- under which God placed him, was tainty be determined. Some have mild and equitable. supposed, that it was no more than “ God hath made man upright, a pledge of life to Adam, on condi- but they have sought out many intion of obedience, One learned ventions,” and so man being in writer has endeavoured to prove, honour continued not. that it signifies all the trees in the can speak with certainty: but, alas, garden ; and another, that the tree it is the awful certainty of a state of life, and the tree of knowledge of general ruin in which human were the same. But without spe- nature groans out her four score cifying any other objections to years. Eve, our mother, took of these notions, it may be sufficient the forbidden fruit, and gave unto to cite the words of the holy re- her husband, and he did eat.

Ву cord ; “ And the Lord God said, this act sin entered into the world, behold the man is become as one of and its ravages have been dreadful us, to know good and evil, and from that day to the present. now, lest he put forth his hand, “Earth trembled from herentrails, as again and take also of the tree of life, In pangs, and nature gave a second groan, and eat and live for ever ; therefore, Sky lower'd, and mutt'ring thunder some the Lord sent him forth from the Wept at completing of the mortal sin garden of Eden to till the ground, Original.”

Here we

« AnteriorContinuar »