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ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION, &c.-Diocese, London; Diocesan, Dr. Blomfield. Cathedral dignitaries, 77. Church Livings, 233. In the gift of the Government, 31; Church, 130; Universities, 20; Public Bodies, 10; Nobility and Gentry, 30; Inhabitants, 4.
ENDOWED PUBLIC CHARITIES.-Annual rental and dividends; in the city of London 138,583. 12s. 5d.; in the city of Westminster, 16,031. 14s. 4d.; making a total of 154,515l. 6s. 9d. for the metropolis; which, with the county of Middlesex, produces 344,4251. 148. 6d. for charitable purposes annually!
BIBLE SOCIETIES.— Auxiliaries contributed in 1829, 5,5231.9s. 10d.
MISSIONS.-Contributed for the Church, 5,2617.98.8d.; Loudon, 7,941. 18.; Baptist, 2,1931. 78.; Wesleyan, 3,887. 108. 11d.; Unitarian, British and Foreign, 310l. 58.
SCHOOLS.-Educated in the National, 20,205; British, 11,508; Sunday, 66,487.
RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS, &c.-Church Livings, as above, 233; Independents, 91; Presbyterians, 15; Quakers, 12; Particular Baptists, 55; General Baptists, 2; Wesleyan Methodists, 59; Other Methodists, 7; Roman Catholic congregations, in and about London, 21. Total Church of England.. Dissenters......
General Total ............ 495 COLLEGIATE INSTITUTIONS, &c.-London University, unrestricted as to religious creed; King's College, on the principles of the Church of England; Homerton College, for educating twenty students for the ministry among the Independents; Highbury College, ditto for forty students; Hackney Academy, ditto for twelve students; and Stepney Academy, for educating twelve students for the ministry among the Baptists.
SIR JOHN MASON.
SIR John Mason, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, being near his dissolution, and sensible he had but a short time to live, upon his death-bed called for his clerk and steward, and delivered himself to this purpose: "I have seen five princes, and have been privy counsellor to four: I have seen the most remarkable observables in foreign parts, and been present at most state transactions for thirty years together; and I have learned this, after so many years' experience :-that seriousness is the greatest wisdom, temperance the best physic, a good conscience the best estate; and were I to live again, I would change the court for a cloister, my privy counsellor's bustle for an hermit's retirement, and the whole life I have lived in the palace for one hour's enjoyment of God in the chapel." He concluded with saying, "All things else do now forsake me, besides my God, my duty, and my prayers."
The Character of Enoch.
ENOCH has been commended to our admiration in a singular manner in an inspired encomium; short indeed, but the most honourable that could have been given to a human being;-" Enoch walked with God."
The accounts in the Scriptures of the pious patriarchs are most truly interesting; sufficient indeed to establish and satisfy our faith: but while we peruse the memorials of their invigorating belief in the promises of God, and their sincere obedience to his blessed will, we cannot but feel some regret that we know so little of their various excellencies.
The name of Enoch, the manner in which he was dedicated to God, and the circumstances in which he was placed among the patriarchs, lead us to expect in him an extraordinary character. He had the advantage of the long experience of Adam, which had been enriched by a large measure of divine inspiration, and by which he could not fail to be instructed.
It is affirmed by an ancient author, that Enoch was the father of Astrology, or rather Astronomy; and by Eusebius, a Christian historian of the fourth century, it is concluded that he is the same as the Greeks call Atlas, in their mythology. Certainly there is great reason to believe, that many of their fabulous divinities are only the Scripture patriarchs, whose history is grossly corrupted. But whatever the attainments of Enoch might be in knowledge, his lasting fame rests upon a basis far more solid and enduring than his real or supposed skill in the science of Astronomy.
That divine science is sublime and useful, and worthy of the study of mankind. It enlarges the understanding, and fills the mind with reverence for the Almighty Creator of the universe: yet the most profound acquaintance with the heavenly luminaries, is far less valuable to a sinful creature, than a knowledge of that revealed truth, which prepares the soul for the enjoyment of God, and makes its possessor wise unto salvation.
If a man were able to call all the stars by their names, when he beheld them,-to ascertain their amazing distances, to determine their wondrous magnitudes and motions with the nicest accuracy;—could he enumerate all the plants of the earth, from the majestic forest oak to the minutest moss springing out upon the wall, class their different orders, and describe their medicinal virtues,-were he intimately acquainted with all the various tribes of animals, and the properties of minerals; and besides the most accurate familiarity with universal history and all the affairs of human life;yet with all this treasure of useful knowledge, he might bestill ignorant of the value of his never-dying soul, having no acquaintance with the things that belong to his everlasting peace, nor enjoyment of fellowship with God as his Saviour. Were he able even to trace the footsteps of the Almighty in all the marvellous works of creation and providence, still, without repentance for sin, his qualifications would be far inferior to those recorded of Enoch, and his character incomparably beneath it. It could not be said of him, like that patriarch, by faith in the revealed Messiah "he walked with God."
Moses, with the instructive simplicity of divine inspiration, comprises the character of Enoch in one short observation, "And Enoch walked with God," Gen. v, 22. The apostle remarkes with equal beauty of language, expressive of his whole character; "He had this testimony, that he pleased God." Heb. xi. 4. In the former part of the verse, he directs us to the vital spring of Enoch's religion, obedience, and holy
walking in that faith which he exercised in the revelation of Divine mercy.
In these passages Enoch is exhibited to us as the "friend of God" himself, like as Abraham in afterages was acknowledged by Jehovah," Isai. xli, 8.
Whether Enoch were sanctified from his infancy or youth, or whether he became a monument of sovereign mercy in advanced life, we are not informed; but he seems to have served the LORD from his early years; for after the birth of his son Methuselah it is said, "he walked with God three hundred years;" before which he must have been comparatively a very young man.
"Enoch walked with God,"-"he pleased God." These are the most beautiful expressions of which language is capable, to denote a course of lively faith, of holy obedience, and of unspeakable happiness. He was truly religious,-eminent for his self-consecration to God, and active in zeal for his service. The doctrines of divine revelation were precious to his soul; and no less delightful were the precepts and requirements which had been enjoined by his gracious God. He "set the LORD always before him." He contemplated his omniscience and mercy; and felt the power of the apostle's direction, "whether ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
How opposite is the character of infidels! They are "enemies in their minds by wicked works." How contrary the habits of the careless and ungodly! They walk "according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" they have "no hope, and are without God in the world." Eph. ii, 2, 12. They are, indeed, in the language of the Scripture, "fools," seeking death in the error of their ways; and in their hearts, and by their conduct, they say unto God, "depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." Job xxi, 14.
By the knowledge of God and the influence of his fear, the mind is impressed with an abiding sense of the Divine Majesty being ever present, with confi
dence in the riches of his mercy, and with delight in his boundless goodness. Genuine piety opens and preserves intercourse between God and the soul, and produces a prevailing desire to please him. Thus it was with Enoch: possessing right principles, their natural fruit was an upright and holy conduct, as in the presence of God.
It is a maxim of the Scriptures, that "two cannot walk together, except they be agreed;" and a man walk with God," unless he be agreed with him. The holiness of the Divine law, and its spiritual requirements, the humiliating methods of sovereign grace in the salvation of sinners, and the necessity of personal and entire resignation to the will of God, are all utterly offensive to wicked men. But on all these subjects, Enoch's mind was one with God.
Enoch was not satisfied with mere formality in religion, or with a general profession of his belief in the existence and providence of God: his soul was influenced with love to the gracious Author of his being, and a devout sense of the Divine presence occupied his renewed mind. He was constantly careful to govern his thoughts, his words, and his actions, in conformity with the holy law of God, in which, as the apostle professes, he delighted after the inner man." His morning vows ascended to the throne of the heavenly grace, his busy hours were employed for the welfare of mankind, and the day was closed with grateful thanksgivings to the Father of mercies, the God of his salvation. Nor was he religious only in unencumbered life; "Enoch walked with God" after he became the father of a numerous family, and felt the burthen of its duties and cares.
A striking feature in the character of Enoch was, "he pleased God.” It was his habitual endeavour, his settled purpose to please him. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for "he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Heb. xi, 6. By the exercises of faith in the revealed purposes and merciful promises of God he pleased him. For nothing honours God more than believing him; it is giving credit to the revelation that he has made of himself, as the God of grace and salvation by the mediation of his Son Jesus Christ.
Enoch pleased God, by a diligent observance of the divine ordinances. He kept holy the Sabbath day. On that weekly festival, he united with "the sons of God," who called on the name of the LORD; and commemorated, with adoring gratitude, the wondrous work of God in creation, and his sovereign kindness in consecrating the day of rest for anxious and labouring man. He observed the appointed sacrifices. Like Abel, "at the end of the day," in the accustomed season, he offered the prescribed atonement; and while confessing his sins, and the sins of the people, he looked beyond the victim upon the altar, to "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
All the Divine precepts were respected by Enoch; and "he pleased God" by imploring "the Spirit of grace" to enable him to run in the way of God's commandments.
Do our readers, especially the young, perceive in their principles and habits a likeness to Enoch? Do they walk with God? Do they strive to please God? Do they believe his glorious Gospel? Do they trust in his dear Son? Do they thus put honour upon God in his word? Do they "believe with the heart unto righteousness?" O let them be instructed by the inspired testimony to the character of this holy man of God, and walk in his worthy footsteps! Let them receive, as Enoch did, the engrafted word of God, especially as we are far more fully favoured with it in the Scriptures, which are designed, as they are able, to make us wise unto salvation. May each one habitually say,
"O that I may walk with God!
Jesus my companion be,
Through the fire or through the sea." Enoch had this testimony, "that he pleased God." We are not informed in what manner it was testified to Enoch that he pleased God. It is very likely that he was favoured with some extraordinary token of the Divine regard, besides "the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him." Rom. v, 5. Nevertheless, this would have been sufficient and satisfactory, even when visible signs were not particularly afforded. And thus shall our young friends be blessed in their walking with God, and seeking to please him. The delightful experience described by the apostle will be their happy portion. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." They "receive the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father." "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
This happiness is promised only to those who are circumspect and active in their obedience, living by faith on the Son of God. "How sinful their remissness, who are satisfied without it! How awful their delusion, who expect or pretend to it, in any allowed habits of wickedness!" O that this rich, this imperishable treasure may be possessed in the minds of all our young friends, to form their characters, and to prepare them for eternal glory!
(To be continued.)
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
Dear Madam, THE general principle of the sympathy between the mind and the body, mentioned in my last, being admitted, I shall now proceed to remind you of a few instances of its practical detail, and then dismiss the subject.
1. The general rules for the preservation of health, and the increase of bodily strength, should be the guide of your daily treatment of your child. These, though invaluable in their tendency, are few, simple, and so fully agreed upon by medical writers, as to have become familiarly known to all.
2. There are however certain points, which, though not immediately connected with the subject, are of sufficient importance to be distinctly noticed: one of these is, that he should be laid to repose and awaked from it at the same hour, and as nearly as possible at the same time. The hour itself must of course depend upon other domestic arrangements, but it is of the greatest importance that it should be early, both in the evening and the morning. The benefit of this direction is, that it tends to promote a habit of going to bed early and of early rising. I am indebted to the suggestion of an able writer, that to the want of attention to this rule in infancy may be ascribed that disinclination to early repose and early rising, which multitudes have never been able to conquer throughout life, although conscious of the detriment produced by it upon their health, success in life, and general happiness.
3. I need hardly remind you how essential to health are the purity and free circulation of the atmosphere in the chamber wherein any one sleeps, but especially an infant. Upon the purity of the air the blood depends for its proper constituents; upon the purity of the blood the body depends for its strength and development; upon the strength of the body the mind depends for its cheerfulness and ability.
4. The custom so prevalent, of darkening a chamber by shutters, and of surrounding beds with curtains, and especially the cradles of infants, is injurious to the health, not merely owing to the causes last specified, but to the eyesight. Where the light is almost entirely excluded, and then the shutters opened nearly at once, the pain and violence suffered by the eyes would seem naturally to discourage the custom. The use of curtains is less injurious: the disuse of them, especially around the bed or cradle, has often been recommended by physicians. One good effect of the advice would be, that the eye would gradually become stronger by being accustomed to the light, shaded by the eyelid, even while closed in sleep; and, above all other reasons, the increasing light, especially in a spring or summer morning, would naturally awaken him, and conduce to the habit of early activity, which is of incalculable importance.
How beautiful in every respect is the description of this circumstance in those lovely lines of the poet Gray upon a Distant View of Eton College, and in which, referring to the habits of early youth, he speaks of The spirits pure, the slumbers light, That fly th' approach of morn!"
5. The open air and the influence of the sun I believe to have considerable effect upon the health and spirits of young children. If the clothing of an infant be dry and warin, even the air of a clear frosty day need not be dreaded.
6. You will soon perceive the development of mental and bodily activity, and with ineffable delight will contemplate the dawn of those faculties and powers, upon the right direction of which his future happiness
throughout his entire existence will depend. They will probably indeed have dawned so imperceptibly as even to surprise the watchful eye of a mother herself. Like those who watch for the morning, and a few minutes before look out, and all still appears in darkness, and having had their attention diverted for a short time, look out again, and perceive that it is not only come, but has considerably advanced over the horizon. Oh! now your attention should be more than ever directed to the continued application of those rules on which you have already acted, to train and draw out his expanding faculties.
7. Still less, if possible, than ever, suffer any one to speak to him in a loud tone, to treat him as a plaything, or to talk nonsense by way of amusing him. The faculties of all children would expand sooner, if they met with treatment calculated to develop them; instead of which, the treatment now prohibited seems precisely calculated to retard and deform their minds. Let him be spoken to as if he were an intelligent being. He can at least understand the tone, if not the words. The tone itself will assist expanding intelligence.
8. Nevertheless, let habits of activity be encouraged. Next to yourself, the best nurse and the best attendant of a child is a sister, a few years only older than himself. The mental states of both of them, and the modes of natural development resemble each other. They can understand one another better than even himself and his mother; for she has long ago practically forgotten how a child thinks, and perceives, and learns. I have often noticed, that a sister in such circumstances can make an infant comprehend much better than the mother. Happy the young child that has such a playmate! Let them play and laugh together. Let them amuse each other in the garden whenever they can, and on the carpet when this is impracticable. The infant will indeed amuse himself, if you give him some glittering object which he cannot injure, and with which he cannot injure himself. Do not, however, suspend any thing of the kind around his person. When held in the arms of another, let it be given to him, and let him drop it, and let it be picked up again and put into his hand again and again. He is thus learning a valuable lesson: he is learning nothing less than the law of gravitation, which will perpetually operate upon every thing around him throughout his life.
9. As he advances-for while I am on the subject, I will give you my ideas as applicable to him for many years to come-as he advances, let it be your perpetual occupation to teach him the qualities of that external world upon which he has entered. I utterly disapprove of all toys, except those which illustrate some truth, or the use of some machine, such as a printing press, &c. These will only be of use in years to come. If you will make use of flowers and animals, or inanimate objects, to which to direct his attention, you will have no need of toys, which a child can never comprehend, and which would injure his understanding if he could, since they are generally mere burlesque imitations of nature. Let him learn nature. Let all your attention at this time be directed to his senses, in teaching him to discriminate the qualities of external objects: exercise his sight, his hearing, his feeling. If children must have brilliant colours for their amusement, let them be those of flowers, not the paint of a toy, which, to say the least, he will be likely to apply to his mouth. As he advances (for the nature of my observations will show you the time of his life I have in view), let a real landscape rather than a tawdry picture be chosen for a similar purpose. Let his attention be daily directed to such objects for the next five years, and deem this time, and even a year or two beyond, duly improved, if you have exercised his senses and taught him the qualities of external ob
jects. These impressions upon the senses are the origin of all our ideas: of what importance is it that pains should be taken to secure the early and correct apprehension of them! Teach him these, and his mind will develop itself. Have but one other object during this whole period, the cultivation of his health, the establishment of his bodily strength and bodily activity, and regularity in his hours of retiring to rest and awakening from it. From the period of five to fifteen, the same general methods respecting health and exercise should be diligently pursued, till the states of body at which they aim are completely established.
Let no diminution of his daily exercise be caused by any consideration whatever: and if he has to walk to school from your house over a healthy road a distance of four miles and back every day, from the time he begins to go to school till he is eighteen years old, it will be a happy circumstance for him, in my apprehension. At different periods of life in which they are suitable, let every opportunity be made for his playing with other boys at every robust game and engaging in every manly exercise which were invented and practised by our hardy forefathers. Let there be two objections only to any of these exercises; namely, whether in their general nature they are dangerous to himself, or are ever in the slightest degree calculated to give pain to any other being. As early as possible give him a large piece of ground in your garden, to cultivate with his own hands. Let part of it be devoted to flowers, and part to vegetables and fruits. Interest him, if possible, in its appearance; praise it when you can, and make him feel the genuine value of the occupation. At as early an age as consistent let him be taught to swim, and to row a boat. Be glad if you find him fond of activity, always ready to walk or to ride. In a word, under the guidance of the two rules above mentioned, let him pursue every kind of exercise to which he is inclined, every kind of amusement in the open air, the more intelligent of course the better, All this is unquestionably to be understood in the degree which is consistent with the due attention to mental culture, respecting which I hope to give my sentiments in a future Letter. In a word, be assured, that the habits of early rising, delight in the open air, and tendency to bodily activity, promote health, which is the chief ingredient in earthly happiness; strength of body, which is the origin of strength of mind; long life, which as a lengthened space of usefulness if accompanied with health is an inestimable blessing; and be not surprised if I add to the list of advantages, by assigning that of morality itself: for it is well known, that they who are most addicted to exercise in the open air, and are most cordially prone all their life long to bodily exertions, are generally better tempered, more candid, ingenuous, generous, and in all respects nobler-minded, than the sluggish and inactive, who are very often irresolute, useless, timid, and not unfrequently sensual and darkminded.
Furnish him with these habits and qualities, and they will attend and bless him throughout life; he will perceive their value, and both naturally and as a matter of principle communicate them to his children, and they from the same causes to theirs; and you may confidently hope to render him the head of a vast, healthy, and happy posterity.
Dear Madam, your, &c.
"On some turnpikes these words are inscribed, 'No Trust here:' may not this be said of the believer's heart?"-Toplady.
THE TWO ALTARS.-HEB. XI, 4.
On yon delightful plain;
Is bleeding, as the sun, withdrawn,
As they had never been;
But darker grows the gloom
The other altar round; No fire does that consume,
No victim there is found; But only wither'd fruits and flowers, Gather'd from blooming Eastern bowers. What light can now be given, This mystery to unfold? Why should approving Heaven
The flowing blood behold?— Accept?-but cast a threat'ning shade O'er the sweet flowers Himself had made? His Spirit has explain'd,
And reconcil'd the fact :-
And by this single act,
To Adam by the Lord,
This was the mighty Word!-
Shall sound from clime to clime,
WE are generally accustomed to associate this horrible practice with our ideas of heathenism in its most barbarian provinces but an acquaintance with the real state of things will prove, that the devotees of idolatry, however distinguished their attainments, all come under one denunciation, "The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." When Mr. Medhurst resided in Penang, a Chinese came to him for medicine, who said he had three sons and one daughter, adding, "I had another daughter, but I did not bring her up.' "Not bring her up! what then did you do with her?” "I smothered her; and this year I heard by letter that another daughter was born;-I sent word to have that smothered also, but the mother has preserved it alive.” Mr. Medhurst, shocked at this speech, and still more at the horrid indifference with which it was uttered, exclaimed, "What! murder your own children? Do you not shudder at such an act?" Oh, no!" replied the man, "it is a very common thing in China; we put the female children out of the way, to save the trouble of bringing them up some people have smothered five or six daughters!"
CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE.-No. III.
MUCH perplexity is felt by sincere Christians on the subject of Assurance. They read of it, they hear of it, and they have no doubt but many of the people of God possess it, rejoicing in its divine consolations: it cannot, therefore, but be ardently and anxiously desired. There is, however, much misapprehension and misconception on this subject, in the minds of many, especially in relation to the doctrine, as contained in the Holy Scriptures.
Assurance is the firm persuasion of the reality of any thing; or the certain expectation of a future good. God hath given to all men assurance of a day of judgment, in that he hath raised Christ from the dead." Acts xvii, 31. "Thou shalt have none assurance of thy life." Deut. xxviii, 66.
"Full assurance of faith," Heb. x, 22, does not relate to our undoubting personal interest in the blessings of redemption by Christ; but to the truth of God's revealed will in the gospel, and to the office of Christ as our High Priest with God: it is a perfectly satisfactory persuasion of the divinity of the gospel revelation. In this "full assurance of faith," Christians are privileged to draw nigh to God, as their heavenly Father.
"Full assurance of understanding," Col. ii, 2, is a matured and comprehensive knowledge of the Divine economy of redeeming grace through the mediation of Jesus Christ, and made known to us in the gospel. While some believers are babes in evangelical knowledge, others are advanced and become " young men," and "fathers," whose minds are filled and stored with the word of God, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit, "unto the riches of the full assurance of the understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ."
"Full assurance of hope," Heb. vi, 11, relates to the glorious inheritance of heaven; it is an undoubted persuasion, that God will graciously grant the fulfiment of his promises in Christ, in the possession of a blissful immortality. From this and many other passages of Scripture it is manifest, that such a happy state of mind has been attained, and that it is now attainable by Christians.
Some divines have maintained, and the excellent Mr. Hervey was of that number, that assurance of salvation is included in the very essence of faith; so that we cannot possess faith without assurance of interest in Christ. Faith in Christ most certainly includes the assurance that he is the Saviour of men : but it does not necessarily imply assurance of personal interest in his redemption. Saving faith may be weak, and may be possessed by young believers long before they arrive at that high degree of satisfaction of which we are speaking. Confounding assurance with faith, has been the cause of daring presumption in some professors, and of gloomy despondency in others. If men are taught that faith consists in believing that Christ died for them, and that believing so they are consequently pardoned and justified, the consequences will be as they have been, that the bold and self-sufficient will flatter their uncontrite souls with such a persuasion to their delusion or perdition; while the truly humble, and those who are "poor in spirit," not being able to work themselves to that high pitch of confidence, will yield to the temptation that they have not "the faith of God's elect," and that therefore they shall perish!
The eloquent Saurin observes, We do not affirm that Christians, of whose sincerity there may be some doubt, have a right to assurance; that backsliders, as
such, ought to persuade themselves that they shall be saved; nor do we say that Christians who have arrived at the highest degree of holiness can be persuaded of the certainty of their salvation in every period of their lives; nor, if left to their own efforts, can they enjoy it but believers, supported by the Divine aid, who walk in all good conscience before him, these only have grounds to expect this privilege."
Dr. Owen, speaking of the work of the Holy Spirit as a Comforter, sealing the souls of believers to the day of redemption, says "This is that whereby he giveth believers assurance of their relation unto him, of their interest in him, and of his love and favour to them. It hath generally been conceived, that this sealing with the Spirit is that which gives assurance unto believers: and so indeed it doth, although the way whereby it doth it, hath not been rightly apprehended. And, therefore, none have been able to declare the especial nature of that act of the Spirit whereby he seals us, whence such assurance should ensue. But it is indeed not any act of the Spirit in us that is the ground of our assurance, but the communication of the Spirit unto us. This the apostle plainly testifieth, 1 John iii, 24, 'Hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.' That God abideth in us and we in him, is the subject matter of our assurance: this we know, saith the apostle; which expresseth the highest assurance we are capable of in this world. And how do we know it? Even by the Spirit which he hath given unto us. But it may be, the sense of these words may be, that the Spirit which God gives us doth, by some special work of his, effect this assurance in us; and so it is not his being given unto us, but some special work of his in us, that is the ground of our assura rance, and consequently our sealing. I do not deny such an especial work of the Spirit, as shall hereafter be declared; but I judge that it is the communication of the Spirit himself unto us that is here intended. For so the apostle declares his sense to be; chap. iv, 13, Hereby know we that we dwell in God, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.' This is the great evidence, the great ground of assurance which we have, that God hath taken us into a near and dear relation unto himself, because he hath given us of his Spirit; that great and heavenly gift which he will impart to no others. If the Spirit of God dwell in us, we are his; but if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his;' Rom. viii, 9. Hereon alone depends the determination of our especial relation unto God. By this, therefore, doth God seal believers; and therein gives them assurance of his love. And this is to be the sole rule of your self-examination, whether or not you are sealed of God."
Imploring the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit, let our pious readers, "in making their calling and election sure," endeavour to possess "the full assurance of faith;" and being assured of the divinity of the gospel of Christ, let them seek the "full assurance of understanding;" that possessing enlargement of soul in discovering the grandeur of the scheme of redemption, they may habitually, even in the world, rejoice in "the full assurance of hope" of glory everlasting!
THE THREE QUESTIONS.
BERNARD'S three questions are worth the asking ourselves, in any enterprize:- 1. Is it lawful? May I do it, and not sin? 2. Is it becoming me as a Christian? May I do it, and not wrong my profession? 3. Is it expedient? May I do it, and not offend my weak brother?