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lays the foundation of all true a race, a warfare, a painful unreligion in fallen and depraved interrupted opposition to the creatures ? It stiles it a new most formidable obstacles, and creation, a new birth, a passing the most malignant foes. It from death to life, a turning of represents them as living a hid. the heart of stone to a heart of den life; as having troubles and flesh. Does it speak of faith comforts, pains and pleasures, in the Redeemer? It describes difficulties and aids, wholly unit as a fleeing to him for refuge, intelligible to worldly men. It and having him formed in the describes them as walking with keart : expressions obviously God, as having their conversaimplying a most anxious, ve- tion in heaven, and their comhement, and affectionate appli- munion with the Father and the cation of the soul to him ? Does Son. Let any one candidly it speak of repentance for sin ? compare these scriptural delinIt compares it with the deep eations of the nature and exfelt and heart breaking sorrow ercises of true religion, with of an affectionate parent at the the formality, listlessness and death of a first born and only indolence of thousands of noinchild. Would it instruct us inal christians, and the contrast into the nature and degree of will be seen at once. true love to God? It describes . It is true, there are men it as a loving him with all the who consider all those strong heart, and soul, and mind and expressions on the subject, of strength. Would it set before which the scripture is so full, us that fear of the great Jeho. as mere figures of speech : as vah, which his children feel ? poetical flights, not designed to It speaks of it as penetrating be construed in a literal sense, to the very centre of their souls, nor to communicate any thing and even causing their flesh to more than general ideas. But tremble in the anticipation of his suggestions of this kind, so far righteous judgments. Would as they are admitted, plunge it exhibit their desires after the us at once into endless difficulmanifestations of the divine ties. Do they not even imlove? They are said to long peach the wisdom and mercy for God, as the heart panteth af- of God, by virtually representter the water brooks. Do they ing his word as calculated, pray? They pour out, not from beginning to end, rather words only, but their very to perplex and mislead than to hearts to their Father in heav- instruct us? and this in a case en. Do they resist corrupt in- of everlasting moment; a case, clinations ? This is represented in which, of course, we should as a crucifying of the flesh, with expect the most explicit inits affections and lusts ; a cut- formation which words can ting off of right hands, and a convey. And is it not just as plucking out of right eyes. Their rational to content ourselves spiritual course is described as with the hope of a metaphorical Vol. I. No. 5.
pardon, and a metaphorical modern terms will scarcely heaven, as with a metaphorical permit to be repeated. In repentance and self denial ? the prophecy of Jeremiah, we Indeed, such constructions of find the covenant people of scripture are, in every view, God charged as having commitunauthorized and absurd. In ted two evils : that is they had human writings, it is common forsaken Him the fountain of enough to find feeble ideas living waters, and hewed them clothed in energetic expres- out broken cisterns, which could sions; and a sort of meretri, hold no water. Their crime cious dignity imparted to an was, that they sought comfort insignificant subject, by a pomp- and happiness in creatures, to ous and splendid phraseology. the neglect of the Creator. But in this respect, as in a Yet in what terms is this charge thousand others, the book of (a charge applicable to thous. God is the exact reverse of ands, who think it but a trivial every thing human. It gives affair) introduced ? Be astonus the loftiest and most forci. ished, O ye heavens, at this, and ble ideas, in the simplest words. be horribly afraid : be ye very It generally means something desolate, saith the Lord. far greater than the language But, it will be asked, is not of mortals is competent to ex- religion a rational thing? We press.
· reply, without hesitation, yes ; It is worthy of particular infinitely rational. And since observation, that there is no there are multitudes who seem temper stigmatized in scrip- to take it for granted that, in ture with stronger marks of this case, reason and apathy are divine detestation, than indif- synonimous terms, we will ference and formality. It has, pause a moment on this very if the expression may be per point. mitted, the whole artillery of All who think seriously must heaven levelled against it, allow, that if religion be any
The Laodicean church is thing, it is every thing. Its represented as neither cold nor intrinsick magnitude and imhot, but lukewarm. Its mem- portance, the intimate concern bers were not openly vicious, which creatures, dying yet im
They kept up the profession, mortal, have in it, give it the and the formalities of religion. strongest claims on our most Nothing was wanting, but the ardent and engaged attention. fervour of love and devotion. It embraces every thing which What then? Let the reader is calculated to penetrate our turn to the third chapter of the inmost souls ; to awaken and Revelation, and the sixteenth employ our hopes, our fears, verse, and he will find such every passion, every active ena denunciations of divine disc ergy. To pursue it with indopleasure at these professors, lence and unconcern, is folly as the fastidious delicacy of and perverseness in the ex:
For the fun?
treme. To regard its all inter- nothing can appear more abesting objects with indifference, surd than that cool, unimpasis, in fact, the wildest delirium sioned sort of religion, which is of the human mind. All this so often dignified with the epmust appear evident and unde. ithet of rational. niable, even to a considerate Other considerations perheathen. But the gospel has tain to the subject, which shall clothed religion with new so be suggested in a future numlemnity, and with new attrac- ber.
2. tions. By revealing Deity in all the lustre and harmony of ..
For the Panoplist. his perfections ; by setting be. “WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND fore us a PARDONING God, and FAITHFUL SERVANT.” a DYING REDEEMER, it claims, What welcome language to it demands, the strongest and the humble christian ! Conthe tenderest sensibilities of scious of imperfection, and our hearts. Ah, what must feeling no title through his own our hearts be made of, which merits to the divine favour, can resist and defeat such how transporting to him, to be claims? We can feel the at- met upon the confines of the tractions of the faint shadows eternal world, when his pil. ofexcellence,which we perceive grimage on earth is closed, in creatures ; and shall we be with that sentence of approbacold and indifferent to the tion/" Well done, good and transcendent loveliness of the faithful servant,”-uttered too adorable Creator ? The kind, from the lips of him, whose ness of a human friend or ben- judgment is irreversible. If efactor goes to our hearts, and language fails in describing excites the tenderest sensibili. this exalted, this sublime pleasties : and can we remain un- ure, surely it is an object now penetrated, unmelted, by the to ascertain, whether we possess infinite, unwearied, forfeited those marks, which prove us goodness of our God and Save faithful to our Lord. It is a iour ? Ingratitude to man is question, that we may put to ouruniversally detested. No cole selves in every walk and circumours are thought too flagrant stance of life, “ Am I a faithto exhibit its baseness. And ful servant ?" Do I use the does ingratitude become innotalents, with which I am en. cent ; shall it cease to excite trusted, for the glory of him, a blush, because exercised to. who is their rightful proprie. wards an infinite Benefactor ? tor ; and with reference to Flowever such inconsistencies that solemn day, in which he as these are countenanced by will demand my account of general practice, it is to be them? What man on earth is hoped there are few indeed, not interested in this trying capable of defending it in the question ? Who, that possesses ory. To a reflecting mind, not some talent from the boun.
tiful God, which he may im. serving the wonderful powers prove for his own or neigh- and organization of that sysa bour's good, and for the glory tem, which he is called to reof the Giver ?
lieve and invigorate. He will Our master is not a hard one. desire to look through the maHe does not expect to reap terial body to the spirit, which where he has not sown ; but animates it. He will inquire surely it is reasonable that, if the cause of its manifold dishe has sowed plenteously, he orders, and finding “death” to should expect to reap plente. be “the wages of sin,” he will ously.
then be imperceptibly drawn The man who has much, to look and to fly unto JESUS, should ask of God a heart to the conqueror of death, and devise liberal things, and a despoiler of the grave. See. hand to scatter wide his boun- ing much of the infirmities of ty. His language should be, the body, and the consequent miy wealth is not my own; let unhappiness of the present life, me therefore seek wisdom to dis. he will naturally extend his tribute it from him who placed, thoughts beyond it, and conand preserves it in my power. template with joy and delight
The man of LEARNING and that unmixed state of felicity GENIUS will lift an inquiring above, where sin and death eve to the “ Father of lights,” have no place ; where the inand submit to divine inspection habitant shall not say, “ I am the fruits of his labour, before sick ;” and where tears shall he offers them to the world. cease for ever. He will ask ; Is this the true The MERCHANT; though enuse, of my mental faculties? gaged in the active pursuits of will this be for the honour of business, yet, feeling that the him, whose “inspiration gave gain of the whole world would me understanding?"
be a miserable recompence for The DIVINE will ask his the loss of his soul, ponders heart before every action, is upon his plans of profit, and this consonant with my high asks if they trespass not upon his and holy vocation? Is this be- neighbours' rights, if they intercoming the character of one, fere not with the demands of who has taken upon himself the religion, if they rob him not of “ trust of a shepherd of souls?" an unreasonable portion of his
The PHYSICIAN will ask, time, or do not engross, too that his talents may not only be much of his attention, and fiexercised for the temporal, but nally, if he can retain his charfor the spiritual good of his acter of a “ faithful sei vant" friends. He will wish, above of his Lord. If his conscience all things, to heal the disorders cannot promptly satisfy him in of his own soul. He will ask these inquiries, his determinathat he may be confirmed in tion is fixed, to relinquish his the principles of religion by ob- designs. His ambition is to
lead a useful life, to exhibit a glorious Gospel, which is all fair and bright example of a that can afford rational happiman, engaged in active, exten- ness in life, fortitude, peace, sive business, still having his and comfort in death. first, best thoughts on HIM, Instead of speculating upon who made and preserves him ; doubtful and difficult questions, by whose smile he prospers ; which usually perplex, darken, and on whose blessing he de- and confound the mind, rarely pends į consecrating to him impressing it with seriousness, his earnings, and resigning or leading to practical godlihimself to his disposal, anxious ness ; instead of curiously inonly to secure the “ pearl of quiring, “ Are there few that great price,” the favour of his be saved,” we should all fill God.
with usefulness and dignity the The POOR MAN, with his several stations assigned us, small talent of worldly wisdom, “striving to enter in at the strait and still smaller of earthly gate,''we should find in the is. goods, convinced that riches sue a favorable answer to our are denied him in mercy, that question, in the multitudes the sources of his disappoint- which, by this conduct, would ment and temptation may not attain the “ crown of glory," be multiplied, cheerfully ac- the reward of faithfulness. commodates his mind to his We are all hastening to one condition. He has learned that common end. On this side "Man wants but little here below, and the other the young, the
Nor wants that little long.” gay, the vigorous, and the aWhat powers of mind he pos- ged, are crumbling into dust. sesses, he improves for the ed. How often do we witness their ification and comfort of his departure, follow them to the companions in poverty ; he narrow, humble habitation of points to the rich “ inheritance the grave, and enter again upof the saints in light,” and di- on the business and the vanirects and urges their attention ties of life, seldom realizing to secure a title to that unfad. for one single moment, that we ing, imperishable treasure. He also must soon occupy the administers, if not to the bodi- same mansion. Would it not ly wants of his neighbours, yet he wise to make DEATH a to their spiritual necessities. friend? He endeavours in the chamber Our blessed Lord, just be. of sickness, and in the hour of fore he uttered the parable, dissolution, to approve himself which gave rise to our motto, faithful to his Lord, by point. left, in one word, to all his fol. ing to the Lamb of God, who lowers, this most useful, importtaketh away the sin of the ant, solemn lesson, “WATCH." world; and entreating all about The faithful servant, attentive him to lay hold, while it is yet to this injunction, will never offered, on the hope of that fear the coming of his master;