Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

of heart. And thus we may see contenting himself with the mere how it is the peculiar glory of form of godliness while destitute Christianity, that the more it abases of its power. His religious proguilty mortals in their own eyes, fession is restricted to the hearing it, at the same time, raises their of Sermons and criticising their comfort and joy in the Lord the merits or defects; but as to the bigher.

self-denied obedience of the gos5. The men of this world account pel -" the work of faith, and such a state of mind to be the labour of love, and patience of effect of weakness, consequently hope in our Lord Jesus Christ," despise it as ignoble and unmanly he has no ear to give to these -but how different is it in God's things, though EternalTruth has as estimation! His thoughts are not inseparably connected the enjoyas ours, for that which is highly ment of the consolations of the esteemed among men is an abomi gospel with a conscientious regard nation unto him! “To this man to them, as any effect whatever will I look," namely, with appro- | follows its cause! And, in fine, bation and complacency. With while so much pains is continually him Jehovah will dwellhim will taken, both by ministers and peohe revive and comfort ; for while ple--not to regulate their faith God resisteth the proud, it is his and practice by the plain, undelight to shew favour to the lowly. | forced meaning of the New TestaJames iv. 6. "He will beautify ment, but to reduce the latter to the meek with salvation.” Psalm the standard of the customs of their cxlix. 4. How important, there fore-fathers, it is no wonder that fore, is it that we should be clothed they complain of the want of with humility-habitually cultivat- spiritual consolation. To all such ing that poor and contrite spirit to the words of the prophet are which the Lord has graciously pro- justly applicable, “Stand ye in mised the rich enjoyment of spiri- the way and see; and ask for the tual consolation, and to be morti- old paths, which is the good way, fying all those tempers and dis- and walk therein, and ye shall find positions which characterise the rest to your souls.” Jer. vi. 16. unrenewed man.

6. Lastly: let this subject serve To the Editor of the New Evangelical to correct the mistaken opinion of

Magazine. many who name the name of Sir, . Christ in the present day. On The state of juvenile delinevery hand we hear loud com- quency in the Metropolis calls for plaints among professors of the the serious attention of every want of spiritual consolation; but benevolent mind. It is a subject it would be strange indeed if the fraught with importance, and precase were otherwise with them, sents a field of extensive usefulwhile they are so little under the ness for the Christian philanthrohumbling and sanctifying influence pist. of the gospel of divine grace. Indeed it is seriously to be laBehold one professor eagerly pur- mented that our prisons are consuing this world as if it were the ducted in a manner, calculated to inportion of his soul; his heart is creasethe evil rather than to restrain set upon his covetousness, though it. The following distressing case the word of God plainly pro- very lately occurred. A youth who nounces such a man an idolater had been apprenticed to a Grocer, and affirms that he has no inheri- in the short space of five months tance in the kingdom of Christ or was left to procure his livelihood of God, Eph, v. 5. See another by his own exertion, in consequence of the death of his Master. | with uplifted hands imploring sucHe applied to a Bookseller who cour, with sincerity known only to kindly lent him some numbers of the searcher of hearts. There are books for sale. But in endeavour- doubtless in this city many beneing toʻdispose of them, an infor- volent men who would gladly immation was laid against him for part their assistance to these foroffering them without a hawker's lorn and outcast youth; partiLicence, the informer seizing him cularly if they were aware of the and carrying him immediately miserable situation in which these before the sitting Magistrate in children are placed, on their comHatton Garden. It did not ap- mitment to prison. There is no pear that he had sold any books, classification of the youth. Those yet he was convicted for offering who are committed for trial and them and fined £10. Being un- whose guilt is doubtful, are conable to pay that sum the books fined with hardened offenders, were taken from him, and he was and the influence of such a dreadcommitted to Cold Bath Fields ful association will be better Prison for three Months. There imagined than described. is reason however to believe that By the insertion of this short the Magistrate would chearfully sketch, which affords but a faint have released him, had the infor- idea of the evil resulting from the mer consented.

indiscriminate mixture of youth in Here is a case of a youth our prisons, you will promote the untainted by crime, in circum- cause of benevolence, and much stances which claim the regard of oblige every benevolent mind ; the only

Yours respectfully, son of poor but respectable parents, I

3. M. confined for three months, obliged | to associate with the most aban- | To the Editor of the New Evangelical doned characters, and exposed to

Magazine.. all the evils of their corrupt com- SIR. munications. The seduction of IN No. XXIV. of your canconsiderable numbers of poor lads did and invaluable Miscellany, forms a striking feature in the appears a paper, entitled “A free evils attending such a state of Gospel,” embracing a plan for our prisons; for as misery is said raising and qualifying Ministers to love company, so in a very free of Academical assistance or extraordinary degree does the public Charge, &c. It is signed B. juvenile depredator delight in the Spencer, M. D. and as I do not number of his associates. Could perceive any specific notice of it the history of poor hapless chil- has yet been offered, I beg perdren, whose names are daily re- mission to obtrude the following. corded in the Police reports of Coinciding as I most fully and this city, be known to the public, cordially do with your zealous and the minds of the liberal and en- liberal Correspondent, in heartily lightened, whose attention has deprecating the many and various lately been applied to the relief of evil consequences, too well known the naked and the hungry, would to be disputed, arising from those without doubt apply their energies non-evangelical institutions, ternito snatch the youthful dilinquent ed Colleges and Academies, for from destruction. Many hundreds educating persons for the sacred there are, if not thousands of this office of preacher; I cannot but class that call on the benevolent greatly admire and applaud his for help; some who are ready to ingenuity to remedy those evils; sink overwhelmed with shame and and his Christian courage in pub

lickly announcing his innovations, I in the paper in question, and the more especially as he will thereby term of probation six years. inevitably draw upon himself the This plan appears to me, Sir, contempt and anathemas of every such as might be conveniently sect, from the great national one, acted upon, and which would be thence downward through the calculated to furnish more faithful whole motley and fanatic group of labours for the Gospel vineyard, undissembled brother-haters!!! than all the Colleges and Semina

But while I applaud the true ries in Christendom, and the exChristian zeal, and admire the penses as inconsiderable. inventions of B. S. I regret that the Clayhill, Enfield. .

J. R. seemingly total impracticability of his plan will in the minds of To the Editor of the New Evangelical the Academical majority, consti

Magazine. tute him an enthusiastic visionary, sir, and tend to confirm them still As the season of the year is now more in their ancient and inveterate returned when the Anniversary Meetprejudices in favour of their ownings of those invaluable Institutions modes and constitutions, iu form.

are about to take place, which have for ing a Minister.

their object the extension of Christ's

| kingdom in the world, and the conWithout meeting all the obstacles

sequent amelioration of the human which present themselves in the

race, I earnestly entreat you to urge present proposed plan; I would it upon the different Societies, and just merely enquire, that on sup. those Gentlemen in particular who position of a Teacher having four are appointed to preside at their pupils, which four pupils having

meetings, to do away with the abomi

nable and disgraceful practice of apeach four more, and very proba

plauding the Speakers by clapping of bly each of the twenty-one indi.

hands and stamping of feet. This inviduals following a distinct.trade decent practice is evidently borrowed or calling, which trade they must from the THEATRE, where it is no still pursue, and their residence doubt in strict unison with the occaof course widely distant from each sion that gives it birth. Those who other, how and where they are

frequent such places, go there in

1 quest of obstreperous merriment, and to convene, to teach and learn !!!

they would be disappointed did they Pursue this plain idea, and you

not meet with it. But it is to be will, Sir, perceive, that in propor hoped that the advocates of Bible tion to the number of pupils, so Societies and Missionary Societies, will be the insurmountable diffi are actuated by different motives and culties, risino one above another have higher ends in view! For my like “ Alps o'er Alps," in fright

own part, I can truly say, that when ful succession.

I attend a Missionary Meeting and

see the friends of it commencing their If your worthy Correspondent proceedings by solemn prayer to God, can clear this objection away, I invoking his presence among them will, by his permission, readily and his blessing upon them--and in point out others equally glaring. a few minutes afterwards witness the In the mean time, I beg leave to

scenes to which I have alluded, I bemodify bis plan a little, by hinting,

gin to question with myself whether that the tuition of young men for

3. I religion have any thing to do with

these proceedings, or whether the the Ministry, with all its con

whole be not at bottom a worldly comitant expences be restricted to system ! Christian individuals of education Excuse my scruples, Mr. Editor, and FORTUNE, and also to resident and believe me, your friend, and the Pastors, each to receive two. or \ advocate of order and consistency. more, according to convenience or

A LOOKER ON. discretion. The branches of education to consist of those specified

VOL. III.

146

Theological Review.

A series of Discourses on the Chris- | the delight he takes in communicating

tian Revelation, viewed in connec happiness, that the whole of immensity tion with the Modern Astronomy.

should be so strewed with the habitations BY THOMAS CHALMERS, D.D.

of life and of intelligence; but it would Minister of the Tron Church,

surely bring home the evidence, with a

nearer and a more affecting impression, Glasgow. London. Sold by Gale

to every bosom, did we know, that at the and Fenner, &c. 1817. pp. 275.

very time his benignant regard took in the Octavo, 8s. boards.

mighty circle of created beings, there was [Concluded from page 87.] not a single family overlooked by him, We have already mentioned that Dr. and that every individual in every corner Chalmers in the third of these excel- of his dominions, was as effectually seen lent Discourses purposes to illustrate to, as if the object of an exclusive and « The extent of the Divine condes- undivided care. It is our imperfection, cension," and that he has taken for that we cannot give our attention to more the basis of his discussion the follow

than one object, at one and the same

instant of time; but surely it would ing appropriate text: “Who is like

elevate our every idea of the perfections unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth

of God, did we know, that while his comon high: Who humbleth himself to

prehensive mind could grasp the whole behold the things that are in heaven, amplitude of nature, to the very outerand in the earth !” He had, in the most of its boundaries, he had an attenpreceding Discourse, most satisfac tive eye fastened on the very humblest of torily exposed the total want of evi its objects, and pondered every thought dence for the assertion of the infidel of my heart, and noticed every footstep astronomer, and he now proceeds to

of my goings, and treasured up in his examine the argument that is founded

remembrance every turn and every move

ment of my history. upon it, namely, “That the Deity

“ And, lastly, to apply this train of would not lavish such a profusion of

sentiment to the matter before us; let us goodness on the salvation of so paltry suppose that one among the countless a world.” The following extract will myriads of worlds, should be visited by a shew how the Christian Divine rebuts moral pestilence, which spread through this 'specious objection against the all its people, and brought them under , gospel.

the doom of a law, whose sanctions were “Before entering into what we con

| uorelenting and immutable; it were no ceive to be the right answer to this obiec. | disparagement to God, should be, by an tion, let us previously observe, that it goes / act of righteous indignation, sweep this to strip the Deity of an attribute, which offence away from the universe which i forms a wonderful addition to the glories deformed-nor should we wonder, though, of his incomprehensible character. It is among the multitude of other words, indeed a mighty evidence of the strength

from which the ear of the Almighty was of his arm, that so many millions of worlds | regaled with the songs of praise, and the are suspended on it ; but it would surely

incense of a pure adoration ascended to make the high attribute of his power

his throne, he should leave the strayed more illustrious, if, while it expatiated

and solitary world to perish in the guilt at large among the suns and the sys

of its rebellion. But, tell me, oh! tell tems of astronomy, it could, at the very

me, would it not throw the softening of a same instant, be impressing a movement

most exquisite tenderness over the chaand a direction on all the minuter wheels

racter of God, should we see him putting of that inachinery, which is working in- |

forth his every expedient to reclaim to cessantly around us. It forms a noble

himself those children who had wandered demonstration of his wisdom, that he gives

away from him--and, few as they were unremitting operation to those laws which

when compared with the host of his uphold the stability of this great universe;

obedient worshippers, would it not just but it would go to heighten that wisdom

impart to his attribute of compassion the inconceivably, if, while equal to the mag.

infinity of the Godhead, that, rather than nificent task of maintaining the order and

lose the single world which had turned to harmony of the spheres, it was lavishing

its own way, he should send the messen. its inexbaustible resources on the beauties,

gers of peace to woo and to welcome it and varieties, and arrangements, of every

back again; and, if justice demanded so one scene. however humble of every one | inighty a sacrifice, and the law bewone field, however parrow. of the creation he to be so magnified and made honowaon hud formed. It is a cheering evidence of tell me whether it would not throw *

deforma

moral sublime over the goodness of the | the places of the creation; but along with Deity, should he lay upon his own Son this, we would impair the attribute of his the burden of its atonement, that he might eye being in every place to behold the again smile upon the world, and hold out evil and the good ; and thus, while we the sceptre of invitation to all its families: magnify one of his perfections, we do it

“ Weavow it, therefore, that this infidel at the expense of another; and to bring argument goes to expunge a perfection | him within the grasp of our feeble capa. from the character of God. The more city, we would deface one of the glories we know of the extent of nature, should of that character, which it is our part to not we have the loftier conception of him adore, as higher than all thought, and as who sits in high authority over the con greater than all comprehension.” cerns of so wide an universe ? But, is it not adding to the bright catalogue of his

Notwithstanding our unwillingness other attributes, to say, that, while mag. to interrupt the author in his eloquent nitude does not overpower him, minute. career, we cannot forbear throwing ness cannot escape him, and variety can- | in an observation here, which has not bewilder bim; and that, at the very often occurred to us when revolving time while the mind of the Deity is this subject in our minds. It is, that abroad over the whole vastness of crea

mean and unworthy thoughts of God tion, there is not one particle of matter,

are at the foundation of all the errors there is not one individual principle of

both doctrinal and practical which rational or of animal existence, there is not one single world in that expanse

abound in the world.' “ Having the which teems with them, that his eye does

does | understanding darkened, through the not discern as constantly, and his hand ignorance that is in him, because of does not guide as unerringly, and his spirit the blindness of his heart," the natudoes not watch and care for as vigilantly, ral man cannot raise his thoughts to as if it formed the one and exclusive ob- | God, and the consequence is that he ject of his attention.

finds it convenient to lower the divine “ The thing is inconceivable to us, whose character to the standard of his own minds are so easily distracted by a number of objects, and this is the secret |

grovelling conceptions. Hence the principle of the whole Infidelity I ain '

just complaint of the Most High. now alluding to. To bring God to the

Thou thoughtest that I was altolevel of our own comprehension, we gether such an one as thyself!" This would clothe him in the impotency of a topic is handled with inimitable force man. We would transfer to his wonder- | by the prophet Isaiah, who introduces ful mind all the imperfection of our own Jehovah himself as expostulating with faculties. When we are taught by astro his ancient people,“ Why sayest thou, nomy, that he has millions of worlds to 10 Jacob, my way is hid from the look after, and thus add in one direction

Lord, and my judgment is passed over to the glories of his character; we take

from my God? Hast thou not known? away from them in another, by saying, that each of these worlds must be looked

Hast thou not heard, that the ever-. after imperfectly. The use that we make

lasting God, the Lord, the Creator of of a discovery, which should heighten our

the ends of the earth fainteth not, every conception of God, and humble us

neither is weary; there is no searchinto the sentiment, that a Being of such ing of his understanding, &c." Is. xl. mysterious elevation is to us unfathomable, 27, 28. The objection that Dr. C. is is to sit in judgment over him, aye, and combating, viz. that since Astronomy to pronounce such a judgment as degrades has unfolded to us such a number of him, and keeps him down to the standard

worlds, it is not likely the Almighty of our own paltry imagination! We are

would pay so much attention to our introduced by modern science to a multi

insignificant orb as the Gospel repretude of other suns and of other systems; and the perverse interpretation we put

sents him to have done, betrays the upon the fact, that God can diffuse the same sceptical spirit, and indicates benefits of his power and of his goodness the same unbelieving bias which has, over such a variety of worlds, is, that he in every age of the world, charactercannot, or will not, bestow so much good ized the unregenerate mind. Dr. ness on one of those worlds, as a professed Chalmers, therefore, proceeds to rerevelation from Heaven has announced to | fute the objection by shewing that, in us. While we enlarge the provinces of

addition to the bare faculty of dwellhis empire, we tarnish all the glory of

| ing on a multiplicity of objects at one this enlargement, by saying, he has so much to care for, that the care of every

and the same time, the Blessed God, one province must be less complete, and

| who is infinite in every attribute of his less vigilant, and less effectual, than it | nature, possesses this racunty in such would otherwise have been. By the dis- / wonderful perfection, that He can søveries of modern science, we maltiply attend as fully, and provide as richly,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »