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is the end for which the gospel was preached to those believers, who are now the dead in Christ, as well as to those who are still living upon earth, that they, by a divine power attending it, being thoroughly mortified and dead to their former sinful inclinations and courses of life, might be eventually censured and condemned, and even put to death, for their novel principles and behaviour, as being judged according to the principles of corrupt nature; but that they might really live after a spiritual manner by a holy conformity to the image and will of God in their renewed souls."
the evidence on which others will be judged. How then can their being judged in that manner be the particular end of preaching the gospel to them? After these remarks, it will not be deemed unsuitable to introduce some of Leighton's observations on the passage. By them that are dead, he conceives, the apostle means such as had heard and believed the gospel, and now were dead. "And this," says the pious expositor, "he doth to strengthen the brethren to whom he writes, to commend the gospel to them to this intent, that they might not think the end and condition of it hard and grievous; inasmuch as it was the constant end of the gospel, and they that had been saved by it went the same way he points out to them."
Dr. Guise gives a similar construction of the passage.
These queries are modestly suggested to our correspondent, who is entitled to our most respectful consideration, and to the inquisitive reader, who is left to form a conclusion for himself. EDITORS.
(From Bishop Horne.)
A VIEW of the different materials of which man is composed, may teach us to form a proper estimate of him. He stands between the two worlds, the natural and the spiritual, and partakes of both. His body is material, but its inhabitant descends from another system. His soul, like the world from which it comes, is immortal; but his body, like the world to which it belongs, is frail and perishable. From its birth it contains in it
the seeds and principles of dissolution, toward which it tends every day and hour, by the very means that nourish and maintain it, and which no art can protract, beyond a certain term. In spite of precaution and medicine, "the evil days will come, and the years draw nigh, when he shall say, I have no pleasure in them."Pains and sorrows will succeed each other, as "the clouds return after the rain," blackening the face of heaven, and darkening the sources of light and joy. The hands, those once active and vigorous "keepers of the house," grown paralytic, shall "trem
ble;" and "the strong men," those firm and able columns, which supported it, shall "bow themselves," and sink under the weight; the external "grinders" of the food, the teeth, "shall cease, because they are few," and the work of mastication shall be imperfectly performed. Dim suffusion shall veil the organs of sight, "they that look out of the windows shall be darkened." "The doors," or valves, "shall be shut in the streets," or alleys of the body, when the digestive powers are weakened, and the sound of the "internal grinding is low." Sleep, if it light upon the eye-lids of age, will quickly remove again, and "he will rise up" at the time when the first "voice of the bird proclaims the approach of the morning. All the daughters of musick shall be brought low;" he will hear no more the voice of singing men, and singing women. Timidity and distrust will predominate, and he will be alarmed at every thing; "he shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way.' As the early "almond tree," when it flourishes in full blossom, his hoary head shall be conspicuous in the congregation, the sure prognostick not of spring, alas, but of winter; he who like "the grasshopper," in the season of youth was so sprightly in his motions, now scarce able to crawl upon the earth, "shall be a burden" to himself, and the organs of sense, being vitiated and impaired, " desire" and appetite "shall fail." The spinal marrow, that "silver cord," with infinite ramifications of the nerves, thence derived, will be relaxed and lose its tone; +6 and the golden bowl," the re
ceptacle of the brain, from which it proceeds, "shall be broken.' The vessel by which, as a "pitcher," the blood is carried back to the heart for a fresh supply, shall be broken at the fountain, and the wheel, or instrument of circulation, which throws it forth again to the extremities of the body, shall be broken at the cistern. When this highly finished piece of mechanism shall be thus disjointed and dissolved, "then shall the dust," of which it was formed, "return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it." Learn we from hence, to bestow on each part of our composition that proportion of time and attention, which, upon a due consideration of its nature and importance, it shall appear to claim at our hands.
THE SPIRIT OF THE MINIS TRY.
We cannot forbear particularly and earnestly to recommend the follow. ing admirable remarks to the atten tive perusal of all who are clothed with the ministerial office.
"The spirit of our ministry," says this eloquent divine," is a spirit of zeal and firmness. It is our duty to exhort, to correct, to reprove," in season and out of season." We ought to bear our testimony boldly against publick sins and abuses. The face of a Christian minister ought not to blush for the ig nominy, which indulgences. unbecoming his character, never fail to produce; he bears, written upon his forehead, with much
more majesty than the High- earth," must accommodate ourPriest of the law," the doctrine selves to the children of the and the truth;" he ought to world, and "lose our savour;" know no one according to the we, who ought to be the censors flesh. He who, by the imposi- of the world, must become its tion of hands, has been set apart panegyrists; we, who ought to to the holy ministry, should be "the light of the world," manifest an heroick disposition, must perpetuate its blindness, which elevates him above his by our approbation, or by own weakness, which infuses our cowardice; in one word, we, into him noble, great, generous who ought to be instruments in sentiments, and such as are wor- the salvation of the world, must thy his elevated calling,-which perish with the world. raises him above fears, hopes, reputation and opprobrium, and above every thing which influences the conduct of other men.
Now, this spirit of courage and firmness is very much opposed to the spirit of the world. For the spirit of the world is a temporising spirit, a spirit of politeness, complaisance, attenattentions, and management. To pass well with the world, a man must have no opinion of his own; he must think always with the greatest number, or at least with the most influential; he must have approbation always ready to bestow, and wait only for the moment when it will be most agreeable. It is necessary for him to be able to smile at impiety; to accustom his ears to the most severe and cruel strokes of slander; to give praise to ambition and a desire of preferment; and to suffer a preference to be given to natural above moral and spiritual talents. In fine, if we wish to live in the world, we must think, or at least speak like the world; it will not do to carry thither an uncompliant, harsh spirit; for this a person would soon become an object of ridicule and contempt, and he himself would soon become disgusted with it. Thus we, who ought to be "the salt of the
Admitting that, when you first go to mingle with worldly scenes, you may intend not to be seduced from the path of duty; admitting that you at first possess sincerity, firmness, and courage; you will soon deviate from them. Those ideas of zeal and firmness against vice with which you enter into the world, will soon grow weaker; intimacy with the world will soon make them appear to you unsocial and erroneous; to them will succeed ideas more pleasant, more agreeable to man, more according to the common manner of thinking; what appeared zeal and duty, you will regard as excessive and imprudent severity; and what appeared virtue & ministerial prudence, you will consider as unnecessary singularity. We enter, by little and little, and without perceiving it ourselves, into their prejudices, and adopt the excuses and vain reasonings to which they have recourse to justify their errors; by associating with them we cease to think. them so culpable; we even become almost apologists for their effeminacy, their idleness, their luxury, their ambition, their passions; we accustom ourselves, like the world, to give to those vices softer names; and what confirms us in this new system
of conduct is, that it has the approbation of men of the world, who give to our cowardly compliance with their customs, the specious names of moderation, greatness of mind, acquaintance with the world, a talent to render virtue amiable; and to the contrary conduct the odious names of littleness, superstition, excess and severity, calculated only to drive people from virtue, and to render piety either odious or contemptible. Thus, from gratitude, we treat those in a friendly manner who bestow upon our cowardice the honour and homage due to firmness and zeal; we believe them more innocent, since they think us more amiable; we show more indulgence to their vices, since they metamorphose our vices into virtues. For how uncommon is it for people to be severe and troublesome censors of their admirers? and how few are there like Barnabas and Saul, who, because they. would not relax any thing from the truth, were stoned by the very people who, but a moment before, were ready to offer incense to them as to gods descended upon earth?
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF PUBLICKLY ADMINISTERING THE RITE OF BAPTISM.
tend to them; I was led to conclude, that the public administration of this ordinance, during divine service (which, except in cases of necessity, our church inculcates most decidedly,) would, if generally adopted, be productive of most important advantages; and, consequently, I was induced to conclude, that the too common custom of baptizing on other days except the Lord's Day, or if on the Lord's Day, after the congregation is separated, was, at least, foregoing those advantages.
(From the Christian Observer). HAVING observed the impression made on a full congregation by the baptism of a child during the service, and by a serious address in the sermon to parents, sponsors, and all baptized persons, concerning their ob ligations and duties, and their criminality, if they did not at
The Anti-pædobaptists do all baptize very publickly, and this administration of baptism, according to their sentiments, is very impressive, and has a great effect in producing a favourable opinion of their mode of baptizing, in the minds of those who have not maturely weighed the subject; besides giving the minister an occasion of addressing the consciences, the judgments, the passions, or even the prejudices of the assembly. But the retired and concealed way, now generally adopted by the ministers of our Church, (contrary to the rubrick undoubtedly) seems to say to the people, "It is a mere form; there is no need to make it publick; no instruction can be grafted on it; it needlessly lengthens the service." And the unchristian custom of making baptisms an occasion of a sensual dissipated feast, which is too generally connived at, gives countenance to this conclusion, and advantage to those who administer this sacrament in another manner, less scriptural, I apprehend, in other respects, but more scriptural in that it is made a publick, serious and religious
service. Indeed I am fully convinced, that the public administration of infant baptism, with apposite instructions to all concerned, would do more to establish its scriptural authority than all the controversial publications which have appeared on the subject.
But this is by far the least part of what I would wish to point out. A great deal has been said of baptismal regeneration. If we say that this always, and of course takes place, however the sacrament is administered, not to adduce other objections, it is plain that we return to the opus operatum of the Papists. Yet far be it from me to deny, that regeneration may accompany baptism, and that it frequently does when properly administered. Now I was peculiarly impressed on seeing baptism administered during the service, with the idea, that a considerable number of true Christians were, all over the congregation, uniting in prayer, that the child might be baptized by the Holy Spirit, and made an heir of eternal life. Surely, thought I, this way of administering the sacred ordinance gives the most scriptural ground to hope that the inward and spiritual grace shall accompany the outward and visible sign: and I cannot conceive that the private mode of baptizing can afford a ground of confidence which, either on scriptural or rational grounds, can be put in competition with it.
pear to my mind of the greatest importance. I have long complied with the general custom, and have never, for at least twenty-five years, baptized a child during divine service: but I must allow that, having once been present where a child was thus baptized, the ceremony being followed by an appropriate address, I was then convinced, that by private baptism, (in which I include baptizing in the church, except during divine service on the Lord's Day, or on some pub. lick occasion) many advantages of exhorting and establishing our congregations were lost; and many advantages given to those who endeavour to draw our people from us.
But, above all, the opportunities that the publick administration of baptism gives to the minister of addressing all descriptions of persons in his congregation on their respective duties, and their failures in them, apVol. I. No. 6. LL
(From the Christian Observer.)
IMPORTANT CONCESSIONS OF BOL INGBROKE.
"No religion," said that deistical nobleman, "ever appeared in the world, whose natural tendency was so much directed to promote the peace and happiness of mankind, as Christianity. No system can be more simple and plain than that of natural religion, as it stands in the gospel. The system of religion which Christ published, and his evangelists recorded, is a complete system to all the purposes of religion, natural and revealed. Christianity, as it stands in the gospel, contains not only a complete, but a very plain system of religion. The gospel is, in all cases, one continued lesson of the strictest morality, of justice, of benevolence, and of univer sal charity."