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must make some holy reflection by way of warning to myself, and if it may be, to others also, confessing how easily I should fall into the like fault, if left unto myself; and advising against such things as may lead unto it.
EXTRACTS FROM PRESIDENT EDWARDS.
The following extracts from President Edwards, considered in relation to present events,
show that the author had thoroughly studied the prophecies of the Sacred Volume. When the coincidence between the recent and existing state of the world and these remarks is carefully examined, it might seem improbable, to one unacquainted with the fact, that they
were written nearly eighty years ago. “God in his providence now seems to be acting over again the same part which he did a little before Christ came. The age wherein Christ came into the world was an age wherein learning greatly prevailed, and was at a greater height than ever it had been before; and yet wickedness never prevailed more than then. God was pleased to suffer human learning to come to such a beight before he sent forth the Gospel into the world, that the world might see the insufficiency of all their own wisdom for the obtaining the knowledge of God, without the Gospel of Christ, and the teachings of his Spirit: and then, after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. And when the Gospel came to prevail first without the help of man's wisdom, then God was pleased to make use of learning as an handmaid. So now learning is at a great height at this day in the world, far beyond what it was in the age when Christ appeared; and now the world by their learning and wisdom do not know God, and they seem to wander in darkness, and are miserably deluded, stumble and fall in matters of religion as in midnight darkness. Trusting to their learning, they grope in the day-time as in the night. Learned men are exceedingly divided in their opinions concerning matters of religion, run into all manner of corrupt, and pernicious and foolish errors. They scorn to submit their reason to divine revelation, to be. lieve any thing that is above their comprehension; and so being wise in their own eyes, they became fools, and even vain in their imaginations; and turned the truth of God into a lie, and their foolish hearts are darkened. See Rom. i, 21, &c.
«But yet when God has sufficiently shown men the insufficiency of human wisdom and learning for the purposes of religion, and when the appointed time comes for that glorious out-pouring of the Spirit of God, when he will himself by his own immediate influence enlighten men's minds; then may we hope that God will make use of the great increase of learning as an handmaid to religion, as a means of the glorious advancement of the kingdom of bis Son. Then shall human learning be subservient to the understanding of the Scriptures, and to a clear explanation and a glorious defence of the doctrines of Christianity. And there is no doubt to be made of it, that God in his providence has of late given the world the Art of Printing, and such a great increase of learning, to prepare for what he designs to accomplish for his church in the approaching days of its prosperity. And thus
the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just, agreeably to Prov. xiii, 22.” Edward's History of Redemption, pp. 301, 302. Edinburgh Edition, 1774.
«Though the kingdom of heaven was in a degree set up soon after Christ's resurrection, and in a further degree in the time of Constantine; and though the Christian church in all ages of it is called the kingdom of heaven; yet this time that we are upon, is the principal time of the kingdom of heaven upon the earth, the time principally intended by the prophecies of Daniel, which speak of the kingdom of heaven, whence the Jews took the name of the kingdom of heaven.
“It will be a time of great light and knowledge. The present days are days of darkness, in comparison of those days. The light of that glorious time shall be so great, that it is represented as though there should then be no night, but only day; no evening nor darkness. So Zech. xiv, 6, 7. “And it shall come to pass in that day that the light shall not be clear nor dark. But it shall be one day, which shall be known to the Lord, not day nor night: but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light.”-it is further represented, as though God would give such light to his church, that it should so much exeeed the glory of the light of the sun and moon, that they should be ashamed: Isa. xxiv, 23. “Then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”
“There is a kind of vail now cast over the greater part of the world, which keeps them in darkness: but then this vail shall be destroyed: Isa. xxv, 7. "And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations." And then all countries and nations, even those which are now most ignorant, shall be full of light and knowledge. Great knowledge shall prevail every where. It may be hoped, that then many of the Negroes and Indians will be divines, and that excellent books will be published in Africa, in Ethiopia, in Tartary, and other now the most barbarous countries; and not only learned men, but others of more ordinary education, shall be very knowing in religion: Is. xxxii, 3, 4. "The eyes of them that see, shall not be dim; and the ears of them that hear, shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge." Knowledge then shall be very universal among all sorts of persons; agreeable to Jer. xxxi, 34. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every one his brother saying, know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them."
“There shall then be a wonderful unravelling of the difficulties in the doctrines of religion, and clearing up of seeming inconsistencies, "So crooked things shall be made straight, and rough places shall be made plain, and darkness shall become light before God's people.” Difficulties in Scripture shall then be cleared up, and wonderful things shall be discovered in the word of God, which were never discovered before. The great discovery of those things in religiou which had been before kept bid, seems to be compared to removing the vail, and discovering the ark of the testimony to the people, which before used to be kept in the secret part of the temple, and was never
seen by them. Thus at the sounding of the seventh angel, when it is proclaimed, that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ,” it is added, that "the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” So great shall be the increase of knowledge in this time, that heaven shall be as it were opened to the church of God on earth. Edward's History of Redemption, first Edinburgh Edition, pp. 334, 335, 336.
“Then shall also Satan's beathenish kingdom be overthrown. Gross Heathenism now possesses a great part of the carth, and there are supposed to be more Heathens now in the world than of all other professions taken together, Jews, Mahometans, and Christians. But then the Heatben nations sball be enlightened with the glorious Gospel. THERE WILL BE A WONDERFUL SPIRIT OF PIETY TOWARDS THEM, AND ZEAL FOR THEIR INSTRUCTION AND CONVERSION PUT INTO MULTITUDES, AND MANY SHALL GO FORTH AND CARRY THE GOSPEL UNTO THEM; and then shall the joyful sound be heard among them, and the Sun of Righteousness shall then arisc, with his glorious light shining on those many vast regions of the earth that have been covered with heathenish darkness for many thousand years, many of them doubtless ever since the times of Moses and Abraham, and have lain thus long in a miserable condition under the cruel tyranny of the Devil, who has all this while blinded and befooled them, and domineered over them, and made a prey of them from generation to generation. Now the glad tidings of the Gospel shall sound there, and they shall be brought out of darkness into marvellous light.” Ibid, p. 323.
EXTRAORDINARY ATTAINMENTS OF A CHILD,
Extract from a Treatise on Love to the Word of God, by Thomas Stoughton, printed in
London, 1616. We have preserved the ancient orthography. “ESPECIALLY, let all acquaint children in their young and tender age, with the Scriptures that are able to make them wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
"By this diligence commended to God in earnest prayer, wee might doubtlesse doe more good then before it bee done wee would thinke possible to be done. My selfe doe know a young gentle-woman, one Elizabeth Wheatenhall, the daughter of one Mr. Antony Wheatenball of Tenterden in Kent, lately deceased, not yet being yet ten yceres olde, that having beene about these three yeeres brought up in the house of her uncle Sr. Henry Wheatenhall, a very religious knight at East-Peccam in Kent, and there carefully instructed by his vertuous Lady, before she was nine yeeres olde (not much above eight) could say all the New Testament by heart: yea, that at that age was so perfect therein, when shee had not beene there above two yeeres, that being asked where any words were, shee would presently name booke, chapter and verse. i write this upon mine owne knowledge and examination of her, in about forty places at one time: wherein
shee never missed booke and chapter but once: yea, shee never erred in the number of the verse, but alwayes tolde tbe just verse, within one or two, at
the most, under or over. If also the same words were in divers places, (as oftimes it falleth out in the Evangelists) shoe did readily name all the places. If any one asked her a place of the olde Testament instead of the new (thereby the more to try her) shee could presently answer that it was not in the new, except it were alleadgéd out of the olde. Oftentimes also she could name the very place of the olde Testament so asked her, though not alleadged in the new. A religious and worthy Marchant also of London, being at the knight's house the last summer before this, and asking her where these words were. What pleasure had you in those things, whereof now yee are ashamed? shee presently answered, that the words were not what pleasure had you, but what fruit had you? and named Rom. vi, 21. This is the greater matter, because also, even at the age before mentioned, siiee was (and now is much more) as excellent at needle-worke, as ever I knew any of so young yeeres. I write not this to commend her, (though shee bee worthy of commendations, and God give her humility with knowledge, and so make her more worthy of commendations, by the power of the word in her heart, to God's glory and her owne salvation) but to shew what may be done by like diligence with discretion, even in young children of like capacity carefully instructed by their friends so loving the word themselves, as hereafter I commend the same to be loved. In which respect I hope my naming of her shall not be offensive to any: sith I therefore doe it, lest otherwise it should be thought altogether incredible. Now therefore let us not neglect any opportunitie, but in our owne love to the word, let us endeavour to affect other with the like. If we may once possesse the hearts one of another with this love, then shall we easily draw them to the love of all other goodnesse.”
Ep. to the Reuder.
For the Panoplist. ON THE DUTY OF CHRISTIANS TO MAKE SACRIFICES FOR TILE
SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL.
If there ever was a time, when it behooved the disciples of Jesus to be willing to make sacrifices for the promotion of their Master's canse, that time is surely the present. The command of the Redcemer now is, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”—The Bible solemnly assures us, if we have not the spirit of Christ, we are none of his. And that spirit, let us remember, was eminently one of self-denying benevo, lence; though rich in all the blessedness of heaven, he left the bosom of the Father and the glory which he had before the world was, took upon him our nature, and became poor, even unto death, death the most excruciating and ignominious, that those who are poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked,” might become rich; beirs of the heavenly inheritance, partakers of eternal blessedness. With this example before them, will not the followers of a crucified Savior be willing to make the little sacrifices required of them, to extend the blessings of salvation to the remotest regions of the earth?
When Christians survey the world, and behold the vast multitules immersed in the thick darkness of paganism, must not their eyes
affect their hearts? If grieved and saddened by the melancholy spectacle, they turn their attention to Christian lands, there too they will behold many waste places of Zion. Even in our own highly favored country, these desolations are numerous and extensive. Though the "fields” in many places are white already to the harvest, the laborers are indeed few." While in obedience to the divine command, they pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth many laborers," is it not equally their duty to use every effort to increase the nuinber of faithful and able ministers? In a cause so glorious and sacred, will they not esteem it a privilege to labor, and, if necessary, to suffer?
But ah, how few, comparatively, even of the professed disciples of the Redeemer, are willing to deny themselves the superfluities and luxuries of life, for the sake of extending the borders of that kingdom, which “is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and juy in the Holy Ghost!" We rejoice, however, (though these examples are rare) that the American church has exhibited some noble instances of Christian self-denial; some of her most promising sons have shown themselves willing to "forsake all for Christ.” Actaated, we trust, by the spirit of their divine Master, they have left their father's house, the friends of their youth, and all the endearments of their native land, to “preach Christ and him crucified” to the nations wbo were sitting in the region and shadow of death.” Others contemplate walking in the same path, not counting their lives dear unto themselves, if they may be the happy instruments of bringing the benighted heathen to the light of divine truth. But all cannot preach the Gospel of salvation to the destitute and perishing. All have not, and cannot have, the high privilege of going far hence to declare it unto the Gentiles. Yet, all are permitted in some way, to aid in this blessed work: if it is not in their power to follow in the footsteps of prophets, and apostles, and missionaries, through perils, labors, and sufferings for the cause of Christ, they may yet deny themselves in some humbler way, for the promotion of the same glorious object.
It has been observed, that it is a privilege at the present day, to be rich; as the affluent have it in their power to do much for the prosperity and extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. But the poor may do something: they can give their prayers, at least, and most of them can do more; and if given from right principles, the "widow's mite” will not be forgotten, nor the bestowment of even "a cup of cold water” lose its reward.
By a system of retrenchment in expenses not absolutely necessary, but which even the poor usually indulge in, much might be done. An association, we learn, has lately been formed, whose object it is, to deny themselves a luxury, for the sake of adding to the number of faithful ministers. But how many of these associations might be formed, and how incalculable the good which might in this way be effected.
Christians, can your hearts be cold and unaffected in such a day as this? By every tender, every sacred consideration, are you called to action; the time is short, souls are perishing. Desolations are multiplying around you, and the handful of missionaries you liave sent to heathen lands, are sinking beneath the burthen and heat of the day.