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gine that many a sanguine specula. humiliation, that whatever success tor' might work up this rude mate- or disappointment may have attend. rial into an eloquent and consistent ed others, I have seen so little good scheme; and soon found a branch manifested in my own department society, to be connected, loosely or of the spiritual vineyard. I know firmly, with the parent institution not how to blame any one who has wherever there may be encourage- heard my pastoral addresses, public, ment held out to adventurers in or private, for a long series of years, theological reveries !
till I can ascertain, that I have been I do not write the above, as really faithful in the ministry, and though either you or myself would have kept back nothing that was be justified in exposing unneces. profitable." There is a kind of halfsarily, the infirmities of our fellow. preaching of the Gospel, and a wanderers through the wilderness slovenly and cowardly mode of of this world ; but it is sometimes private ministration; and there is expedient to illustrate human little a neglect of applying to our own ness, as a warning against others and hearts, what we professionally deourselves. In the mean time, our clare to our flocks; and in my own path, as professing to be mi- lonely musings on these things, I nisters of the everlasting Gospel, is sometimes, as I think, endure the as evident as the light of heaven, terribilia Dei, in a way which seems which, let us hope, shines upon it. to make me tremble that ever I We are virtually missionaries at ventured to approach the altar. Do home ; and, alas! need not look be- you sympathize with me? Let us, yond the limits of our parishes, to however, take courage. I am, at witness the spiritual darkness and least able to advise you to do this ; death of a world lying in wickedness. and you may, possibly, be more We want the self-same blessing ready to return the encouragement, which God so largely vouchsafed to than to receive it.-Accept my best the earliest church ; when the Spirit wishes for your personal, domestic, was poured out, and when its first and pastoral prosperity; and believe teachers were “ all filled with the me to be, my dear friend, very truly Holy Ghost." And if this Comforter your's, can alone “shew us things to come,” and particularly as they affect our religious progress and security, we want Him also to apply to our souls ON ATTENDING THE PREACHING things already past--all that Jesus OF THE GOSPEL UNDER CIRCUMChrist has actually accomplished for STANCES OF OPPOSITION, the salvation of his people. There is such an unexhausted and inex. Tothe Editor ofthe Christian Observer. haustible fund of revealed truth al. ready in our possession, or offered The inclosed remarks were written to our acceptance, that-o, at least, for a young lady, under feelings of my own experience teaches me-I embarrassment, from the opposition feel rather the guilt of having so of friends to her attendance upon scantily and indolently used it, than the preaching of the Gospel, by a any wish to rebuild, as it were, the well-known minister of the Estascheme of the immutable Gospel blished Church in London. Thinkafter a new model. It is, indeed, ing they might be interesting to matter of deep complaint, and deep many of your female readers, I send
them for insertion in your misceltions to the poor both at Rome and in Corsica, bas constituted the Duke de Reich
A BARRISTER. stadt the residuary legatee of her immense wealth." The train therefore is already Every human relationship has its laid !
appropriate duties, and each of those
duties its correlative. Thus, for Again, besides the sanction of example, each of the relationships express command, weighty reasons of magistrate and subject, parent may be advanced to enforce the and child, husband and wife, bro- obligation imposed upon every in. ther and sister, minister and people, dividual who lives within reach of master and servant, has its corres- the faithful ministration of the ponding obligations. If the sub- Gospel, to attend that ministration. ject's duty be obedience, the corres. We learn from numerous passages ponding duty in the magistrate is in the New Testament, corroborated the due regard to the welfare and by the experience of every age since happiness of the subject : honour the first promulgation of the Gospel, and reverential obedience from the that God has employed, and pecuchild, claim love and protection liarly honoured, the preaching of the from the parent; the duty of the Gospel as the great means of conhusband to love and protect his verting the souls of men, and bringwife, is met with the corresponding ing them to a saving acquaintance obligation, on her part, to love and with true religion. It is not inreverence the authority of her hus. tended by this last observation to band : so also a mutual debt of love underrate the importance of prayer, is due between the brother and private, social, or public : prayer sister : but no authority can be may be as efficacious to the indirightly exercised, if love and wis. vidual in secret, and perhaps gedom be not its ruling principles. So nerally is more so, than in social or again, while the minister's duty is public worship; but preaching, from to preach the pure unmixed Gospel its nature, as a public means of to the people, there is a corres grace, does not, as a general rule, ponding and equally imperative ob- admit of a substitute. ligation upon them to hear it. This Other arguments might be urged, leads to a more detailed consider but enough has been advanced, to ation of the subject above pro- shew the imperious duty of attendposed.
ance upon the preaching of the The command given by our Gospel. But it may be, and often blessed Lord to his Apostles, and is, objected, Why attend this or those who were to succeed them that particular church? Does not in their ministerial office, is as un- every minister of the Established questionably binding, as it is uni. Church preach the Gospel ? Unversal: “Go ye, therefore, and teach doubtedly he ought to do so : but all nations, baptizing them in the the fact is far otherwise. Yet while name of the Father, and of the Son, this is obvious to every person, who and of the Holy Ghost; teaching knows by personal experience, the them to observe all things what value of the Gospel in its influ. soever I have commanded you; and ential effects upon his heart and lo, I am with you always, even character and conduct, and who unto the end of the world” (Matt. can distinguish the reality from its xxviii. 19, 20). Again, “Go ye spurious substitute, it is not easy to into all the world, and preach the answer such an objection, made by Gospel to every creature" (Mark a worldly-minded person, who is xvi. 15; Luke xxiv. 47). The satisfied with the outward form of Apostle Paul felt this obligation public worship, and with that nowhen he said, “ Woe is me, if I minal Christianity which consists preach not the Gospel" (1 Cor. rather in external profession, and ix. 16). The corresponding duty ceremonial observance, than in an in the hearer is equally imperative; experimental adoption of the in. and each person professing to be a fluential doctrines of the Gospel. Christian, should say and feel, Woe Though it may be difficult to answer is me, if I hear not the Gospel. such an observation, since it would
probably involve the discussion of spel may be distinguished from that many, if not all of the fundamental which is conceived not to be the doctrines of Christianity, there are Gospel, thus : The former, by the certain characteristics in the preach- prominent exhibition of its doctrines, ing of the Gospel, which really reli- supplies motives or influential pringious persons, however various in ciples which invariably lead to obe. their denominations, for the most dience, as their necessary consepart agree in acknowledging, as quence; while the latter urges essential and indispensable. Among obedience as a duty, without supthese, is the exhibition of the ori- plying these actuating motives; as ginal corruption, and consequent it does not present, at least suffi. actual transgression of human na ciently, to the hearers, the glorious ture : Its consequences in the awful doctrines whence those motives curse, pronounced against all sin emanate. by the offended justice of a holy The above hints may suffice to God; involving in it temporal and shew what is meant by preaching eternal ruin : Christ the Messiah, that Gospel, which it is conceived God as well as man, the only but to be the indispensable duty of every all-sufficient and suitable Saviour, one within its reach to hear, and who atoned for the transgressor, also to suggest an answer to the and, by the infinite value of that objection before noticed. atonement, purchased pardon and But a difficulty remains. You all other needful blessings for time have, it may be replied, proved the and for eternity, in behalf of those duty of preaching the Gospel, and the who repent and believe : The free equally imperious obligation of hearmercy of God to sinners, through ing the Gospel; you have also exthis wonderful atonement: The plained what that Gospel is. But how imputed righteousness of Christ the is this duty practicable in my indionly ground for the sinner's justifi. vidual case ; how can I discharge cation or acquittal before God : this duty, if friends, whose relationThe influences of the Holy Spirit ship or connexion with me justly to renew and sanctify the soul, by entitles them to exercise controul giving it a new character, an en- over my general conduct, and whose lightened intellect, and spiritual influence and authority it is my affections, and by imparting faith in duty in accordance with the weil the great work of atonement; which established rules of society to refaith proves its genuineness by the spect, oppose my wishes? The fol. holy fruits which it produces. The lowing observations may, it is hoped, above doctrines plainly, consist- suggest a solution of the difficulty. ently, and habitually enforced, im- A parent, or one whom the pro. part to the ministry which embraces vidence of God has substituted in them a character obviously differ the place of that revered relationing from that which is chiefly occu- ship, has a right to exercise controul pied in the inculcation of moral and in all things where that controul religious duties. Not that the in- does not militate against our duty culcation of duties is to be omitted to God. The rule for acquiescence in preaching the Gospel ; quite the in any such controul ceases at this contrary; but these duties should, definite point. We must first inquire, and must flow, as results inseparable earnestly and honestly, what that from the principle of love, which a duty is; and when ascertained, with true sense of God's mercy in Christ prayer for God's blessing and guidawakens in the soul; and which, ance, we are bound, be the consewith the blessing of the Holy Spirit, quences what they may, to obey it is the aim of Gospel preaching to God rather than man, though man impart. The preaching of the Go- in all other respects be invested
with unquestionable authority. In thority, would endeavour to obstruct this sense, the passage, Matt. x. 37, him in the discharge of an unquesis plain and authoritative.
tionable duty towards God and bis Thus much for the principle upon own soul. I would also remark, which the conduct of a child, de- that if the duty of attending the pendent, or other person under the ministry of the Gospel be thus legitimate controul of another, is to imperative, the responsibility and be regulated.
danger of aggravated guilt in atThe subject is illustrated, and the tending upon the Gospel (where duty clearly proved by the answer opportunity is afforded) without and conduct of the Apostles, in the profit and improvement are truly transaction recorded in the fourth appalling. chapter of the Acts. They boldly From what has been advanced, it preached the Gospel, and great would seem necessarily to follow, offence was thereby given to the that the Christian has not any option rulers: they were summoned before or discretion, whether he will hear the chief council, who, notwithstand the Gospel, if an available opporing the conviction that the miracle tunity presents itself; for woe awaits of healing had been wrought in him if he do not. The duty being attestation of the truth of the established, something must be said Gospel preached by the Apostles, in reply to the question, How can I commanded them (ver. 18) not to carry this duty into practice, conpreach; the Apostles' answer was sidering the peculiar circumstances worthy their character and office: in which I am placed ? Men are “ Whether it be right in the sight not so likely to be placed in cir. of God to hearken unto you more cumstances that will prevent their than to God, judge ye; for we attending the preaching of the Gocannot but speak the things which spel, if within their reach, when and we have seen and heard ” (19, 20). where they please ; but with respect They accordingly left the council, to fenales, who, by the constitution and, with undaunted courage and of society, are generally under refaith, continued their public mi- straint, and subject to an authorinistry, relying upon the promised tative exercise of domestic controul support of their Heavenly Master, to which the other sex are not liable, who said, “ Lo, I am with you the difficulties in discharge of the always, even to the end of the duty in question are considerable. world.” A similar transaction oc- Of course the utmost discretion and curs in the fifth chapter of Acts, delicacy are requisite ; every converses 27, 28; and a similar reply is sistent concession must be made to recorded, verses 29–32. It is con- legitimate authority; and when opceived to be indisputable that the position becomes necessary, it should duty of the people to hear, precisely be conducted with every feeling of corresponded with that of the Apo- respectful love and Christian kindstles to preach : and had they been ness, in the spirit of calm dispascommanded not to attend upon the sionate and conciliating renonApostles' ministry, they would and strance, while the plea of paramount ought to have made a corresponding duty to God is urged as the only reply (see Heb x. 25).
ground or excuse for opposition. This duty is as urgent at the It is not often that such a concipresent day: the same obligation liatory course would be unavailing, subsists. now, as then, between the and in almost every case it will be minister and people ; and the same found that "a soft answer turneth answer and consistent conduct be- away wrath." The opposition above come the believer towards those supposed to take place between the who, in an unlawful exercise of au. parent and child, as that relation
ship involves the strongest com- come unto God by him, seeing he pulsory obligation, next to that of ever liveth to make intercession husband and wife ; but all other for them. relationships are comparatively less restrictive, and the principle upon The Mosaic priesthood is a type of which the duty in question is to be that of Christ; and a knowledge of discharged equally applies to all. its nature is necessary to a correct It has before been intimated, that acquaintance with the office of Jesus the relationship of husband and wife Christ, as “the Great High Priest of involves the strongest compulsory our profession." In this Epistle, obligation in the latter to submit. St. Paul runs a parallel between
The laws of God and man have the two ; and shews that, in all subjected the wife to the authority respects, the priesthood of Christ of the husband; and, from the cir- has the preeminence, and that the cumstances and nature of the re- priesthood of Aaron was only a lationship, and the constitution of shadow of it. The point of con. civilized society, she is thereby trast in the context, is the benefit placed under a controlling influence resulting from the intercessory part of the most imperative character: of their office; and we learn that, yet even in this case the command whilst the priests of the former disof God must, in every particular, pensation could execute this im. constitute the paramount obligation. portant part of their duties only for Correctly speaking, the duty to the a short time, by reason of death, husband never can be at variance Jesus Christ continues a Priest for with duty to God; but the conflict ever, and is therefore “ able to between the command of a worldly- save to the uttermost them that minded husband and that of God, come unto God by him, seeing he must ever terminate in a painful strug- ever liveth to make intercession for gle of the heart.-In reference to this them.” This passage sets before subject, it may be observed, that a us, Christian female, in the prospect of First, The Christian's complete assuming the relationship of a wife, salvation ; and cannot be justified in the sight of Secondly, The ground on which God, nor expect his blessing, where it rests. she voluntarily subjects herself to First. The text sets before us the the controul of one whose indiffer complete salvation of the Christian. ence or opposition to religion must This salvation is spoken of, both as necessarily involve her in the heart. respects the willingness and ability rending conflict between her duty of God to save, and the actual to God and the authoritative com- reception of salvation by the bemands of a husband. In conclusion, liever. The whole is included in the it must never be forgotten, that following particulars: The Christian's earnest prayer for guidance and coming to God; the medium of help, under the varied circumstances his access, through Christ; the salof opposition above mentioned, is vation he receives; and the comindispensable, since without it we pleteness of that salvation. Let can scarcely hope for the removal us unfold these particulars. of any trial, nor for support during 1. The Christian comes to God. its pressure.
By nature and practice we are alienated from him ; for “ the carnal mind is enmity against him ;"
" the natural man receiveth not FAMILY SERMONS.-No.CCLXIX. the things of God, neither can he
know them, because they are spiHeb. vii. 25.- Wherefore he is able ritually discerned.” And the mourn
to save them to the uttermost that ful fruit of the alienation of the Christ, Observ, No. 343.