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civilized life, there is no intention to deceive, and consequently no falsehood. Polite language is pleasant to the ear, and soothing to the heart, while rough words are just the reverse; and if not the product of ill-temper, are very apt to produce it. The plainest of truths, let it be remembered, can be conveyed in civil speech, while the most malignant of lies may find utterance, and often do, in the language of the fishmarket.
We have recently been furnished with a pamphlet entitled, " The Life of God in the Soul of Man," by Henry Scougal, with a brief notice of the author. We have read it with deep Interest as the production of one who lived 200 years ago, and who finished his earthly career at the early age of 27 years. The extracts which we design making will speak for themselves. We commend them to the careful perusal of our readers.—Ed.
BRIEF SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR.
Henry Soougal, the deeply pious and heavenly-minded author of the following pages, was born in June, 1650, and died at the early age of twenty-seven. His father, Patrick Scougal, was for twenty years bishop of Aberdeen, a man of extraordinary talents and piety. Of such a father, it is natural to expect a son of similar character; and in this instance, expectation is far outstripped by reality. He gave early indications of uncommon piety, and an extraordinary disposition for learning. At fifteen he entered the University of Aberdeen. Here his conduct rendered him as niuoh superior to his companions, in a moral point of view, as his extraordinary talent set him above them in literary attainments. His proficiency in philosophy, belles lettres, history, mathematics, and the sciences, was truly remarkable. Scarcely had he taken his degree, then only nineteen years of age, when he was chosen Professor of Philosophy in the University. After filling this station with honor to himself and profit to the University during four years, he, by the advice of his father and other respected friends, received holy orders, and entered upon the charge of the parish of Auchterless, a small village about twenty miles from Aberdeen. In this new office, he displayed the most unwearied diligence, and the most fervent zeal, united with that consummate prudence which distinguished the whole course of his life. After having remained in this charge about a year, and having acquired the love and veneration of all his flock, he was summoned, by the unanimous vote of the clergy of the diocese of Aberdeen, to the divinity chair of the University. For this office he was eminently qualified. After a life of industry, usefulness, and honor,
this excellent Christian, pastor, and instructor, died of a slow consumption, at the age mentioned above, at Aberdeen, in 1678. Besides the fruit of his personal labors, he left as a legacy to posterity this little treatise on practical religion, "The Life of God in the Soul of Man," and nine short, but excellent discourses on religious subjects.* This work was at first designed for the private use of a friend of the author, but at the solicitation of some who had seen it, it was given by the latter to Dr. Burnet, afterward Bishop of Salisbury, with permission to publish it.
THE LIFE OF GOD IN THE SOUL OF MAN. My dear Friend,
This designation doth give you a title to all the endeavors whereby 1 can serve your interests; and your pious inclinations do so happily conspire with my duty, that I shall not need to step out of my road to gratify you; but I may at once perform an office of friendship, and discharge an exercise of my function, since the advancing of virtue and holiness (which I hope you make your study) is the peculiar business of my employment. This, therefore, is the most proper instance wherein I can vent my affection, and express my gratitude towards you, and I shall not any longer delay the performance of the promise I made you to this purpose; for though I know you are provided with better helps of this nature tfan any I can offer you— nor are you like to meet with any thing here which you knew not before—yet I am hopeful that what cometh from one whom you are pleased to honor with your friendship, and which is more particularly designed for your use, will be kindly accepted by you; and God's providence, perhaps, may so direct my thoughts, that something or other may prove useful to you. Nor shall I doubt your pardon, if, for moulding my discourse into the better frame, I lay a low foundation, beginning with the nature and properties of religion, and all along give such way to my thoughts in the prosecution of the subject, as may briDg me to say many things which were not necessary did I only consider to whom I am writing. Mistakes about religion.
I cannot speak of religion, but I must lament that among so many pretenders to it so few understand what it means; some placing it in the understanding—in orthodox notions and opinions; and all the account they can give of their religion is, that they are of this or the other persuasion, and have joined themselves to one of those many sects whereinto Christendom is most unhappily divided. Others place it in the outward man, in a constant course of external duties, and a model of performances; if they live
•These Sermons, and the following treatise, as edited by Bishop Jebb, have just been issued by the Protestant Episcopal Press, in the 9th Vol. of the Parrish Library. (1831.)
peaceably.with their neighbors, keep a temperate'diet, observe the returns of worship, frequent the church and their closet, and sometimes extend their hands to the relief of the poor, they think they have sufficiently acquitted themselves. Others again put all religion in the affections, in rapturous heats and ecstatio devotion; and all they aim at, is to pray with passion, and think of heaven with pleasure, and to be affected with those kind and melting expressions wherewith they*court their Saviour, till they persuade themselves that they are mightily in love with him; and from thence assume a great confidence of their salvation, which they esteem the chief of Christian graces. Thus are those things which have any resemblance of piety, and at the best are but means of obtaining it, or particular exercises of it, frequently mistaken for the whole of religion ; nay, sometimes wickedness and vice pretend to that name. I speak not now of those gross impieties wherewith the Heathens were wont to worship their gods: there are but too many Christians who would consecrate their vices, and hallow their corrupt affections; whose rugged humor and sullen pride, must pass for Christian severity; whose fierce wrath and bitter rage against their enemies, must be called holy zeal; whose petulancy towards their superiors, or rebellion against their governors, must have the name of Christian courage and resolution.
What Relit/ion is. But certainly religion is quite another thing, aud they who are acquainted with it will entertain far different thoughts, and disdain all those shadows and false imitations of it: they know by experience that true religion is a union of the soul with God, a real participation of the divine nature, the very image of God drawn upon the soul: or, in the apostle's phrase, "It is Christ formed within us." Briefly, I know not how the nature of religion can be more fully expressed than by calling it a divine life; and under those terms I shall discourse of it, showing first how it is called a life, and then how it is termed divine.
The Permanency and Stability of Reliyion.
I choose to express it by the name of life, first, because of its permanency and stability. Religion is not a sudden start, or passion of the mind, not though it should rise to the height of a rapture, and seem to transport a man to extraordinary performances. There are few but have convictions of the necsssity of doing something for the salvation of their souls, which may push them forward some steps with a great deal of seeming haste, but anon they flag and give over; they were in a hot mood, but now they are cooled; they did shoot forth fresh and high, but are quickly withered, because they had no root in themselves. These sudden fits may be compared to the violent and convulsive motions of bodies
newly beheaded, caused by the agitations of the animal spirits after the soul is departed, which, however violent and impetuous, can be of no long continuance: whereas the motions of holy souls are constant and regular, proceeding from a permanent arid lively principle. It is true, this divine life continueth not always in the same strength and vigor, but many times suffers sad decays, and holy men find greater difficulty in resisting temptations and less alacrity in the performance of their duties; yet it is not quite extinguished, nor are they abandoned to the power of those corrupt affections which sway and overrule the rest of the world. The Freedom and Unconstrainedness of Religion.
Again, religion may be defined by the name of life, because it is an inward, free, and selfmoving principle, and those who have made progress in it, are not actuated only by external motives, driven merely by threatenings, nor bribed by promises, nor constrained by laws; but are powerfully inclined to that which is good, and delight in the performance of it: the love which a pious man bears to God and goodness, is not so much by virtue of a command enjoining him so to do, as by a new nature instructing and prompting him to it; nor doth he pay his devotions as an unavoidable tribute, only to appease the divine justice, or quiet his clamorous conscience; but those religious exercises are the proper emanations of the divine life, the natural employments of the new-born soul. He prays, and give thanks, and repents, not only because these things are commanded, but rather because he is sensible of his wants, and of the divine goodness, and of the folly and misery of a sinful life; his charity is not forced, nor his alms extorted from him; his love makes him willing to give; and though there were no outward obligation, his heart would devise liberal things; injustice or intemperance, and all other vices; are as contrary to his temper and constitution, as the basest actions are to the most generous spirit, and impudence and scurrility to those who are naturally modest; so that I may well say with St. John, " Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, add J he cannot sin, because he is born of God."— 1 John iii. 9. Though holy and religious persons do much eye the law of God, and have a great regard unto it, yet it is not so much the sanction of the law, as its reasonableness, and purity, and goodness, which do prevail with them: they account it excellent and desirable in itself, and that in keeping of it there is great reward; and that divine love wherewith they are actuated, makes them become a law unto themselves.
Quis legem det amantibus 7 Major est amor lex ipse sibi. Who shall prescribe a law to those that love? Love's a more powerful law which doth«them move.
In a word, what our blessed Saviour said of himself is in some measure applicable to his followers, that it is their meat and drink to do their Father's will. And, as the natural appetite is carried out towards food though we should not reflect on the necessity of it for the preservation of our lives; so are they carried with a natural and unforced propension towards that which is good and commendable. It is true, external motives are many times of great use to excite and stir up this inward principle, especially in its infanoy and weakness, when it is often so languid that the man himself can scarce discern it, hardly being able to move one step forward but when he is pushed by his hope or his fears j by the pressure of an affliction, or the sense of a mercy; by the authority of the law, or the persuasion of others. Now if such a person be conscientious and uniform in his obedience, and earnestly groaning under the sense of his dulness, and is desirous to perform his duties with more spirit and vigor; these are the first motions of a divine life, which, though it be faint and weak, will surely be cherished by the influences of heaven, and grow into greater maturity. But he who is utterly destitute of this inward principle, and doth not aspire unto it, but contents himself with those performances whereunto he is prompted by education or custom, by the fear of hell, or carnal notions of heaven, can no more be accounted a religious person, than a puppet can be called a man. This forced and artificial religion is commonly heavy and languid, like the motion of a weight forced upward: it is cold and spiritless, like the uneasy compliance of a wife married against her will, who carries it dutifully towards the husband whom she doth not love, out of some sense of virtue and honor. Hence also this religion is scant and niggardly, especially in those duties which do greatest violence to men's carnal inclinations, and those slavish spirits will be sure to do no more than is absolutely required: it is a laic that compels them, and they will be loath to go beyond what it stints them to; nay, they will ever be putting such glosses on it as may leave themselves the greatest liberty: whereas, the spirit of true religion is frank and liberal, far from such peevish and narrow reckoning; and he who hath given himself entirely unto God, will never think he doth too much for him.
Religion a Divine Principle.
By this time I hope it doth appear, that religion is with a great deal of reason termed a life, or vital principle; and that it is very necessary to distinguish betwixt it and that obedience which is constrained, and depends on external causes. I come next to give an account why 1 defined it by the name of divine life; and so it may be called, not only in regard of its fountain and original, having God for its author, and being wrought in the souls of men by the power
of his Holy Spirit; but also in regard of its nature, religion being a resemblance of the Divine perfections, the image of the Almighty shining in the soul of man; nay, it is a real participation of his nature—it is a beam of the eternal light— a drop of that infinite ocean of goodness: and they who are endued with it, may be said to have 'God dwelling in their souls, and Christ formed within them.'
What the Natural Life is. Before I descend to a more particular consideration of that divine life wherein true religion doth consist, it will perhaps be fit to speak a little of that natural or animal life, which prevails in those who are strangers to the other; and by this I understand nothing else but our inclination and propension'towards those things which are pleasing and acceptable to nature; or selflove issuing forth and spreading itself into as many branches as men have several appetites and inclinations : the root and foundation of the animal life I reckon to be sense, taking it largely, as it is opposed unto faith and importeth our perception and sensation of things that are either grateful or troublesome to us. Now these animal affections, considered in themselves, and as they are implanted in us by nature, are not vicious or blameable; nay, they are instances of the wisdom of the Creator, furnishing his creatures with such appetites as tend to the preservation and welfare of their lives. These are instead of a law unto the brute beasts, whereby they are directed towards the ends for which they were made: but man being made for higher purposes, and to be guided by more excellent laws, becomes guilty and criminal, when he is so far transported by the inclination of this lower life, as to violate his duty, or neglect the higher and more noble designs of his creation. Our natural affections are not wholly to be extirpated and destroyed, but only to be moderated and overruled by a superior and more excellent principle. In a word, the difference betwixt a religious and a wicked man is, that in the one, divine life bears the sway; in the other, the animal life doth prevail.
(To be continued.)
All that your friend says to you, as to his friends, is intrusted to you solely. Much of what a man tells you, in the hour of affliction, in sudden anger, or in an outpouring of his heart, should be sacred. In his craving for sympathy, he has spoken to you as his own soul.
It is a good thing to be prompt, active, and decided; but nothing is ever done well that is done in a hurry. Festina lente', says the Latin maxim—Hasten slowly. It is the only mode by which you can accomplish a purpose with accuracy as well as celerity.
For Friends' Intelligencer.
I saw him in his own light, by that blessed and holy medium, which of old he promised to make known to all nations; by that eye which he himself had formed and opened, and also enlightened, by the emanation of his own eternal glory.
Thus I was filled with perfect consolation, which none but the Word of Life can give. It was then and not till then I knew that God is love, and that perfect love which casteth out all fear. It was then I knew that God is eternal light, and that in him there is no darkness at all
I was also highly favored with a view and certain demonstration of the manner of the operation of the Almighty, in assuming human nature, and clothing therewith his inaccessible divine light and glory, even with an innocent, holy and divine soul and mind, homogeneal to the children of men : and this as with a vail, whereby the Most High hath suited himself, and condescended to the low condition of man, and in whom also man, being refined and tried gold and thereby fitted for the Holy One, can approach to him, as by a proper medium, and therein abide and dwell with the Lord, and enjoy him forever.
From henceforth I desired to know nothing but the Lord, and to foed on that bread of life which he himself alone can give, and did not fail to minister daily and oftener than the morning: and yet of his own free will and goodness, he was pleased to open my understanding, by degrees, in all the needful mysteries of his kingdom, and the truths of his Gospel; in the process whereof he exercised my mind in dreams, in visions, in revelations, in prophecies, in divine openings and demonstrations.
Also, by his eternal and divine light, grace, spirit, power and wisdom; by his word he taught, instructed and informed my mind; and by temptations also, and provings, which he suffered Satan to minister, that I might seo my own weakness and dangers, and prove to the utmost the force and efficacy of that divine love and truth by which the Lord, in his boundless goodness and mercy, had thus visited my soul.
By all things I saw and heard in his wonderful creation; by my own mind and body, and the connection and duration of them as one for a time; by their separation, and distinct existence of each by itself, in very different states and modes, as if they had never been in union, or composed one man; by the differing states; ranks, and understandings of the children of men, their superiority, inferiority, offences and aids, the motive of every natural man to act regarding only himself.
By the animals, reptiles, and the vegetables
of the earth and sea, their ranks and subserviences one to another, and all of them to the children of men.
By the sun, moon, and stars, the innumerable host of Heaven, and infinite worlds, and that boundless space which they move and roll in, without interfering, or in any way annoying one another, as all depending one upon another, as meet helps and coadjutors; all connected without a charm, and all governed by the steady laws which the Almighty word and Fiat that gave them being, and formed them, placed them under, and settled them in.
But, Sb the diadem of all, and the only true and certain way, when it pleased the Most High, by the effusion of his own goodness, to reveal in me the Son of his love, even his wisdom and power, hy whom he designed and effected all things, then I was taught to fear Him ; then I was taught to love Him, then, oh! then, and not aright till then, was my soul instructed and informed indeed.
But these secret operations were'confined to my own breast, so that no one knew anything of them; only an alteration was observed in me, but the cause of it was not seen. I put off my youthful airs, my jcvial.action8 and address, and laid aside my sword, which I had worn, not through design of injury, or fear of any, but as a modish and manly ornament. I burnt, also, my instruments of music, and divested myself of the superfluous parts of my apparel, retaining only that which was necessary or deemed decent. I declined the public worship, not with a design to join myself to any other sect; for I was rather apt to conclude, from what I had then observed, that these manifestations were peculiar to me, and there was not any people I might properly associate with; and also, at that time, I was induced to believe, that one day I should be obliged to oppose the world in matters of religion, but when or how that should be brought to pass I did not foresee.
Remaining in a still and retired state, and the Book of Life being opened in my mind, I read what the Lord himself, by the finger of his power, had written, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah had opened there; and the Scriptures of Truth, written by Moses and the prophets, the evangelists and apostles of Christ, were brought to my remembrance daily, when I did not read them, and made clear and plain to my understanding and experience, as far as they related to my own state, and also in a general way; though I lusted not to know any mystery or theory contained therein, other than the Lord, in his own free will and wisdom, thought fit to manifest.
And one night being in bed, andallsleep and slumbering being involuntarily suspended, and my mind quiet and easy, and directed toward the north, about the second hour in the morning, and, after a short space, "I beheld a storm to arise in the Northern Ocean, towards the North Pole; and looking steadfastly upon it, and the heighth, fury, and force of the mighty waves, I saw an army innumerable walking thereon, toward the south: and when they came ashore, I they covered the whole breadth of the Island of Britain, and all the northern lands; and the rear I could not see, or whence they issued, j They were strangers in the earth; such as have not been known: their apparel plain, appearing as if they had come from far, and travelled long. But I saw no provision, baggage, sword, spear, or weapon of war, but only staffs in their hands, suiting their journey. Their countenances were grave, sober and calm, importing wisdom and peace; and they offered no violence or hurt unto any: and yet all nations, being surprised and amazed, with great and sudden fear, fled before them; and they did not pursue, otherwise than by walking forward in the same steady pace and order as upon the stormy seas, which had not obstructed their march. The inhabitants of Britain, and of other lands, of all stations, ages, sexes, and ranks, as distracted and confounded with fear, and flying as for their lives, when none pursued, fell, many of them by the way; and lest they should be overtaken, when no man gave them chase, they cried out aloud, with confused shrieks and voices, raising their trembling hands and intermitting voices towards heaven, (which they had deeply offended and neglected before,) to implore deliverance from the dreadful army, which offered them no harm. And when Britain's children arrived at her southernmost bounds, she joined herself to the land of the ancient Gauls. And all nations thus flowing together, as the concourse of the waters into one sea, they vanished together, and I saw them no more."
2d mo., 1689. Some weeks after this, having been in a very sound sleep I was awakened in this manner: "There appeared a city, near the gates whereof stood the fairest house therein, which was high and magnificent, into which a man of low stature seemed to enter; he was habited as a post or courier of a prince, bringing great and swift commands and news, with a trumpet in his right hand, transparent as fine polished crystal, and without wrinkle or wreath, and therewith he sounded towards the north, with a strong, constant, equal and inarticulate voice; and the breath of his mouth issuing through it, was a flame of fire, in the form of a two-edged sword.
"This voice raised me from the dead, (for I thought I had been in the grave,) and the cogent attractive virtue thereof drew me towards him that sounded'; and, filled with awful reverence, I stood on his right hand; though he uttered not a word, and I was likewise silent.
"Having finished his sounding towards the
north, he took the trumpet from his mouth, and held it in his right hand, with his arm stretched towards the east, and his face still towards the north, with his eyes intent towards heaven ; his right ear turned upward, reclining toward the east; his mouth a little open, and his breath glowing therefrom as a lambent flame; and as one hearkening, with deep attention, for fresh orders from the King of Kings.
"But I looked unto himself alone, and, in the twinkling of an eye, he set the trumpet to his mouth again, with majesty and zeal, and, turning it toward the earth, the breath of his mouth there through was as a stream of fire and brimstone, which pierced the earth, drove it hither and thither, and melted the stones before him.
"The city was then alarmed, and pale death appeared on every face, the gay of this world were astonished, and the mighty thereof in war trembled in great amazement and fear, but knew not where to hide themselves."
My sleep then vanishing, and being fully awake, the blessed effects of this voice remained in my mind, with heavenly consolation, unknown to the dead, and the sons and daughters of men, in the state in which, by nature, they are.
[To be continued.]
EDWARD STABLER'S LETTER OF ADVICE TO HIS DAUGHTERS.
Petersburg, 3d mo. 3l»t, 1781.
My dear daughters,—You are now arrived at an age, and are also blessed with understanding, which will enable you to distinguish between good and evil, and to know what is right and what is wrong. You are left motherless, and it is uncertain how soon you may be fatherless; however, you will be in a manner so at present. It will therefore require more thoughtfulness and care on your part, to fill your stations in life with propriety and reputation; and in case time and ability should not be afforded me, to give you any farther counsel or assistance, I have set down a few things which I desire you may frequently read, and seriously attend to.
In the first place, consider that you have nothing but what you have received. All your abilities, both of body and mind, arc given you by your Heavenly Father, and you must give an account to Him how you have employed them. He hath also placed His witness in your hearts, which will be a faithful monitor to you on all occasions, and will not fail to reprove you for evil thoughts, evil words, or evil actions, but will also afford you the answer of peace in your own breasts, when you do that which is right. Therefore, attend diligently to it, and watch its motions; and befure you engage in any matter of importance, seriously consider how it will appear in the eyes of Him, who sees and knows even your most secret thoughts; and if it should