Изображения страниц

wherein God manifested his care over his elect, (as assuredly they do if they do not far exceed them) then, is a separation from the world, and worldly church necessary, particularly, as infidelity seems to tread on the heel of tradition, which had obscured the truth, and which the former now aims to extinguish. In such a situation, why should it appear strange that God thould put it into the hearts of some, to trim their lamps, and attend the summons given, to go out to meet the bridegroom. No! says your Correspondent, " we must remain in the world, it would be wicked to rețire.”

If, as the Prophet saith, He is a refiner's fire, or like fuller's soap, He must separate his people ; otherwise, who can discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serves him not, Malachi third and fourth Chapter.

Was it necessary to adduce any further argument, in fayour of a more entire separation from the world, than is com. monly practised, the example of Noah is full to the purpose, particularly, as respecting the coming judgments. Heb. xi. 7. Is By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as " yet, being moved with fear prepared an ark, to the saving " of his house, by which he condemned the world.” Thus, then I conclude, a separation is absolutely necessary; all that, remains, is to find a company of men jealous for the honour of God, and desirous of living up to their profession, who shall not only devote themselves to his service, but their property also, thereby to second the intention of such a seclufion, by becoming one family, actuated by one spirit, by their united testimony, manifesting their zeal for his glory, as well as imitating his goodness to all around. If such a society can be formed, without breaking any of the ties of na. ture, or dissolving them!elves from any moral obligation, then may we hope to see a people prepared to meet our coming Lord; who shall be as a bride adorned for her husband, whose preparation will be matter of joy to the friends of the bridegroom, when called to the marriage of the Lamb. Rey. ix. 7. At some future opportunity I mean to enter more particularly into the nature and design of the separation þinted at, till when I remain,

Your brother and servant,

In the bonds of peace,



No. I. T KNOW not whether the endeavours I have formed a reI solution to use, for the promotion of that which I consider to be the true interest of society, will be acceptable to the Editor of the Universalist's Miscellany ; but if the little capacity with which it has pleased the beneficent Author of the universe to bless me, has not much mistaken its obje&t, every attempt to cherish humanity in the breast of men, and. eradicate those impulses of an evil tendency, which habit rather than nature has made familiar, will meet with a kind reception.

It is unfortunate that calls of a temporal nature have pre., cluded those searches which might have rendered me a more worthy correspondent, but as I have accustomed myself to consider Man a creature of a two-fold essence, so it must ne-. cessarily follow he has a double duty to perform. To the Creator all must yield obedience in the observance of those duties which Christianity requires–To the creature, while the protecting power of Omnipotence shall bless us with our present existence, we have also duties to discharge, nor will it be denied me, that the God who assigned me this existence will look indifferently on the use of those faculties, to each of which he has ordained a proper object for its exer-, cise. Your excellent definitions of those passages of the Old and New Testament, which weak minds might have misconstrued, and enthusiastic phrenzy misrepresented, render you deservedly respected by all good men; but compliment to the noble mind is an infult--you do your duty, nor need you any superior gratification than your own feel, ings, and the prosperity of your honest endeavours. I have. had the pleasure of perusing the numbers of your Miscel. lany, as they have progressively appeared, but my desire of becoming a correspondent, although it has been encreased, yet no present opportunity has offered for its gratification. · God having blefled ine with permission to enter upon another year, I promise myself through his mercy to afford a humble contribution to your work, under the title which I have presumed to affix to this paper; and shall endeavour, as occasion presents itself, to introduce and illustrate subjects in which the interests of humanity may be best engaged, and the feelings of benevolence and virtue find some gratification.


Inferior as my labours will be to the task you so worthily perform, they will still hold their place, and make up a part of that wonderful combination which is the proper object of human observation, and which in its season will be conlidered as a little link to connect the great chain by which society is united upon earth.

My resolution had scarcely been fixed to solicit permiffion to become your correspondent, ere. I became at a loss for a first subject, wherein í might be properly introduced into the Universalist's Miscellany; but alas ! I had but taken a second turn across my chamber, when that misery presented itself to my view which, though it is too familiar to the fight in this great town, engages fomething less of the boasted philanthropy of its inhabitants than is consistent with the opulence of fome, and the feelings which are the proper inmates of the human heart. By the Poet who was more admired for the justness of his remarks, than for the urbanity of his manners, we are taught that, “ The proper “ study of mankind is man."—Now though the sentiment may be somewhat too confined, in a religious light it has its beauties, and well applied, is capable of wafting the mind to contemplations of a much more elevated nature: the object I am about to describe, was of this kind :- The plentiful board which the goodness of Providence had enabled me to spread before my family, had been newly removed, and the parings of some potatoes thrown out at the door, when a venerable looking man, who bore those marks of a long existence, which are not to be counterfeited, approached the Spot where that which even ceconomy would have considered useless had been thrown ; he cast his eyes around him as if dreading an observer of the degraded state to which he seemed to fancy himself reduced. He did not perceive himself seen, knelt down, picked up the wretched fragments I have named, and having placed in the middle of his hand the tattered remnants of an handkerchief, which at least had cleanliness to recommend it, he made it the receptacle of his intended meal, with which, affifted by the other hand, he eagerly fed himself, and might in truth be said rather to devour than eat. As if dreading the effects of unsatisfied hunger, he reserved out of his poor allotment something for future necessities, and then betook himself to a pump hard by to satisfy his thirst. There was not the appearance of a common beggar ; but of that real misery which seeks rather to disguise than to display itfelf. To have felt for this ob

ject ject, it would have been necessary to have seen him; to have seen and not have felt, would have been impossible, even for a mind intimate with calamity; and the mind of him must have been debased indeed, who could withhold his immediate thanksgiving to the Creator of all things, that he himself was still above the miseries he had seen ; a consolation which would men but accustom themselves to view those more lowly stationed than themselves, instead of panting for the case they fancy the opulent to possess, would render all men comfortable, and the minds of many contented. , Is it not grievous to consider that altho' “ the high, the low, the rich, " the poor, were created by the same Almighty Power, and “ fent into the world for the aid, protection, and support of

each other," these distresses should remain unremedied? Why, they are fo, and what might afford a remedy, may, with your permission become the subject of some future paper ; at present, I can only contemplate the voluminous and inexplicable state of the Poor Laws, in a country on all hands allowed to possess much talent and some virtue. But it is a misery to the wretched, and a vice in the empire, that on some occasions more should have been spent in ascertaining the proper settlement of one pauper, then would provide a maintenance during the short period his misery had left him to exist.

Your approbation of the various subjects I intend to embrace, will be shewn either by your inserting or rejecting my papers, and I trust I may hereafter become worthy to share your eleem.


W H EN the nature and design of prophecy is attentively

V considered, it certainly must have a tendency to confirm the Christian's hope, because so many irrefragable instances of the accomplithment of various predictions are upon record, that it is impossible to be mistaken respecting them..

Such parts of prophecy as remain unfulfilled, generally have respect to the mutations that remain to take place in the earth, whereby the grand enemy to Christ's Glory will be destroyed, the veil of obscurity removed from the eyes of professors, and the way laid open for the establishment of


the kingdom of Jesus above all the kingdoms of the world.

The predictions which relate to these events, not withstanding they are couched in strong figurative language, are not difficult to understand, but the events theinselves are certainly the only true expositors for which we ought to wait, rather than to place any reliance upon the pretentions of visionary men, who frequently allign periods for the accomplishment of certain events which no concurrent circuinstance confirms; and, indeed it is no wonder their scheines thould fail, feeing God has wisely concealed from the view of men the particular circumstances of the things foretold as to time and place, until the period of their fulullment, when every difficulty will vanith and the things intended be lo clearly manifest as to establish on the firmelt ground the Christian's faith ; whether it respects his promises, or threatenings, for heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tiile of his word shall fail.

To shew this in the strongest point of view, we need only take a retrospect of the attempts of the declared enemies of truth to falsify the very predictions they have seen fulfilled; witness the fruitless and wicked attempts of Julian (the · Apostate) who was miraculoully prevented from rebuilding the Temple at Jerusalem

Notwiihftanding the sceptics of the present age shut their eyes to the events that are daily fulfilling, that circumstance, instead of invalidating confirins Prophecy; for Daniel was told, “ the wicked thall not understand, but the wise (righteous) do, and the way by which they acquire an understanding of these things is by comparing God's providence with Prophecy, particularly in the exercise of his retributive justice.

Although objections may be brought against the stile in which prophecy is exprefléd, they will not long remain ; when it is considered a general clue is given for the proper 1 understanding of the figures, by the predictions already fulfiled, the language in most cases being the same; whether couched under the idea of earthquakes, or the darkening of the heavenly bodies, both which intend the destruction of the policy and government of states, or such mutations as are iantamount thereto. A very striking instance of this prelents itself in the late Revolution in France, more particu. ... Vol. II.


[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »