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of heart. And thus we may see how it is the peculiar glory of Christianity, that the more it abases guilty mortals in their own eyes, it, at the same time, raises their comfort and joy in the Lord the higher.
5. The men of this world account such a state of mind to be the effect of weakness, consequently despise it as ignoble and unmanly —but how different is it in God's estimation! His thoughts are not as ours, for that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination unto him!" To this man will 1 look," namely, with approbation and complacency. With him Jehovah will dwell—him will he revive and comfort; for while God resisteth the proud, it is his delight to shew favour to the lowly. James iv. 6. "He will beautify the meek with salvation." Psalm cxlix. 4. How important, therefore, is it that we should be clothed with humility—habitually cultivating that poor and contrite spirit to which the Lord has graciously promised the rich enjoyment of spiritual consolation; and to be mortifying all those tempers and dispositions which characterise the unrenewed man.
6. Lastly: let this subject serve to correct the mistaken opinion of many who name the name of Christ in the present day. On every hand we hear loud complaints among professors of the want of spiritual consolation; but it would be strange indeed if the case were otherwise with them, while they are so little under the humbling and sanctifying influence of the gospel of divine grace. Behold one professor eagerly pursuing this world as if it were the portion of his soul; his heart is set upon his covetousness, though the word of God plainly pronounces such a man an idolater and affirms that he has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ or of God, Ep'i. v. 5. See another
contenting himself with the mere form of godliness while destitute of its power. His religious profession is restricted to the hearing' of Sermons and criticising their merits or defects; but as to the self-denied obedience of the gospel—".the work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ," he has no ear to give to these things, though EternalTruth has as inseparably connected the enjoyment of the consolations of the gospel with a conscientious regard to them, as any effect whatever follows its cause! And, in fine, while so much pains is continually taken, both by ministers and people—not to regulate their faith and practice by the plain, unforced meaning of the New Testament, but to reduce the latter to the standard of the customs of their fore-fat/iers, it is no wonder that they complain of the want of spiritual consolation. To all such the words of the prophet are justly applicable, "Stand ye in the way and see; and ask for the old paths, which is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest to your souls." Jer. vi. 16.
To the Editor of the New Evangelical
The state of juvenile delinquency in the Metropolis calls for the serious attention of every benevolent mind. It is a subject fraught with importance, and presents a field of extensive usefulness, for the Christian philanthropist.
Indeed it is seriously to be lamented that our prisons are conducted in a manner, calculated toincreasethe evil rather than to restrain it. The following distressing case very lately occurred. A youth who had been apprenticed to a Grocer, in the short space of five months was left to procure his livelihood by his own exertion, in consequence of the death of his Master. He applied to a Bookseller who kindly lent him some numbers of books for sale. But in endeavouring to'dispose of them, an information was laid against him for offering them without a hawker's Licence, the informer seizing him and carrying him immediately before the sitting Magistrate in Hatton Garden. It did not appear that he had sold any books, yet he was convicted for offering them and fined .sfilO. Being unable to pay that sum the books were taken from him, and he was committed to Cold Bath Fields Prison for three Months. There is reason however to believe that the Magistrate would chearfully have released him, had the informer consented.
Here is- a case of a youth untainted by crime, in circumstances which claim the regard of every benevolent mind; the only son of poor but respectable parents, confined for three months, obliged to associate with the most abandoned characters, and exposed to all the evils of their corrupt, communications. The seduction of considerable numbers of poor lads forms a striking feature in the evils attending such a state of our prisons; for as misery is said to love company, so in a very extraordinary degree does the juvenile depredator delight in the number of his associates. Could the history of poor hapless children, whose names are daily recorded in the Police reports of this city, be known to the public, the minds of the liberal and enlightened, whose attention has lately been applied to the relief of the naked and the hungry, would without doubt apply their energies to snatch the youthful dilinquent from destruction. Many hundreds there are, if not thousands of this class that call on the benevolent for help; some who are ready to sink overwhelmed with shame and
with uplifted hands imploring succour, with sincerity known only to the searcher of hearts. There are doubtless in this city many benevolent men who would gladly impart their assistance to these forlorn and outcast youth; particularly if they were aware of the miserable situation in which these children are placed, on their commitment to prison. There is no classification of the youth. Those who are committed for trial and whose guilt is doubtful, are confined with hardened offenders, and the influence of such a dreadful association will be better imagined than described.
By the insertion of this short sketch, which affords but a faint idea of the evil resulting from the indiscriminate mixture of youth in our prisons, you will promote the cause of benevolence, and much oblige
To the Editor of the New Evangelical
In No. XXIV. of your candid and invaluable Miscellany, appears a paper, entitled "A free Gospel," embracing a plan for raising and qualifying Ministers free of Academical assistance or public Charge, &c. It is signed B. Spencer, M. D. and as I do not perceive any specific notice of it has yet been offered, I beg permission to obtrude the following. Coinciding as I most fully and cordially do with your zealous and liberal Correspondent, in heartily deprecating the many and various evil consequences, too well known to be disputed, arising from those non-evangelical institutions, termed Colleges and Academies, for educating persons for the sacred office of preacher; I cannot but greatly admire and applaud ms ingenuity to remedy those evils; and his Christian courage in pubiicklv announcing his innovations, more especially as he will thereby inevitably draw upon himself the contempt and anathemas of every sect, from the great national one, thence downward through the whole motley and fanatic group of undissembled brother-haters!!!
But while I applaud the true Christian zeal, and' admire the inventions of B. S. I regret that the seemingly total impracticability of his plan will in the minds of the Academical majority, constitute him an enthusiastic visionary, and tend to confirm them still more in their ancient and inveterate prejudices in favour of their own modes and constitutions, in forming a Minister.
Without meeting a//the obstacles which present themselves in the present proposed plan, I would just merely enquire, that on supposition of a Teacher having four pupils, which four pupils having each four more, and very probably each of the twenty-one individuals folloxmng a distinct.trade or calling, which trade they must still pursue, and their residence of course widely distant from each other, How and Where they are to convene, to teach and learn!!!
Pursue this plain idea, and you will, Sir, perceive, that in proportion to the number of pupils, so will be the insurmountable difficulties, rising one above another like "Alps o'er Alps," in frightful succession.
If your worthy Correspondent can clear this objection away, 1 will, by his permission, readily point out others equally glaring.
In th6 mean time, 1 beg leave to modify his plan a little, by hinting, that the tuition of young men for the Ministry, with all its concomitant expences be restricted to Christian individuals of education and Fortune, and also Coresident Pastors, each to receive two, or More, according to convenience or discretion. The branches of education to consist of those specified
in the paper in question, and the term of probation six years.
This plan appears to me, Sir, such as might be conveniently acted upon, and which would be calculated to furnish more faithful labours for the Gospel vineyard, than all the Colleges and Seminaries in Christendom, and the expenses as inconsiderable. Clayhill, Enfield. J. R
To the Editor of the New Evangelical
As the season of the year is now returned when the Anniversary Meetings of those invaluable Institutions are about to take place, which have for their object the extension of Christ's kingdom in the world, and the consequent amelioration of the human race, I earnestly entreat you to urge it upon the different Societies, and those Gentlemen in particular who are appointed to preside at their meetings, to do away with the abominable and disgraceful practice of applauding the Speakers by clapping of hands and stamping of feet. This indecent practice is evidently borrowed from the Theatre, where it is no doubt in strict unison with the occasion that gives it birth. Those who frequent such places, go there in quest of obstreperous merriment, and they would be disappointed did they not meet with it. But it is to be hoped that the advocates of Bible Societies and Missionary Societies, are actuated by different motives and have higher ends in view! For my own part, I can truly say, that when I attend a Missionary Meeting and see the friends of it commencing their proceedings by solemn prayer to God, invoking his presence among theni and his blessing upon them—and in a few minutes afterwards witness the scenes to which I have aCuded, I begin to question with myself whether religion have any thing to do with. these proceedings, or whether the whole be not at bottom a worldly system!
Excuse my scruples, Mr. Editor, and believe me, your friend, and the advocate of order and consistency.
A LOOKEA ON.
A Series of Discourse) on the Christian Revelation, viewed in connection with the Modern Astronomy. Br Thomas Chalmers, D. D. Minister of the Tron Church, Glasgow. London. Sold by Gale and Fenner, &c. 181T. pp.- 275. Octavo, 8s. boards.
[Concluded from page 87.] We have already mentioned that Dr. Chalmers in the third of these excellent Discourses purposes to illustrate "The extent of the Divine condescension," and that he has taken for the basis of his discussion the following appropriate text: "Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high: Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth I" He had, in the preceding Discourse, most satisfactorily exposed the total want of evidence for the assertion of the infidel astronomer, and he now proceeds to examine the argument that is founded upon it, namely, "That the Deity would not lavish such a profusion of goodness on the salvation of so paltry a world.'; The following extract will shew how the Christian Divine rebuts this specious objection against the gospel.
"Before entering into what we conceive to be the right answer to this objection, let us previously observe, that it goes to strip the Deity of an attribute, which forms a wonderful addition to the glories of his incomprehensible character. It is indeed a mighty evidence of the strength of his arm, that so many millions of worlds are suspended on it; but it would surely make the high attribute of his power more illustrious, if, while it expatiated at large among the suns and the systems of astronomy, it could, at the very same instant, be impressing a movement and a direction on all the minuter wheels of that machiHery, which is working incessantly around us. It forms a noble demonstration of his wisdom, that he gives unremitting operation to those laws which uphold the stability of this great universe: but it would go to heighten that wisdom inconceivably, if, while equal to the magnificent task of maintaining the order and harmony of the spheres, it was lavishing its inexhaustible resources on the beauties and varieties, and arrangements, of every one scene, however humble, of every one field however narrow, of the creation he •«d formed. It U a cheering*vidence ef
the delight he takes in communicating happmess, that the whole of immensity should be so strewed with the habitations of life and of intelligence; but it would surely bring home the evidence, with a nearer and a more affecting impression, to every bosom, did we know, that at the very time his benignant regard took in the mighty circle of created beings, there was not a single family overlooked by him, and that every individual in every corner of his dominions, was as effectually seea to, as if the object of an exclusive and undivided care. It is our imperfection, that we cannot give our attention to more than one object, at one and the same instant of time; but surely it would elevate our every idea of the perfections ot bod, did we know, that while his comprehensive mind could grasp the whole amplitude of nature, to the very outermost of its boundaries, he had an attentive eye fastened on the very humblest of its objects, and pondered every thought of my heart, and noticed every footstep of my goings, and treasured up in his remembrance every turn and every movement of my history.
"And, lastly, to apply this train of sentiment to the matter before us; let us suppose that one among the countless myriads of worlds, should be visited by a moral pestilence, which spread through all its people, and brought them under . the doom of a law, whose sanctions were unrelenting and immutable; it were no disparagement to God, should he, by an act of righteous indignation, sweep this offence away from the universe which it deformed—nor should we wonder, though, among the multitude of other worlds, from which the ear of the Almighty was regaled with the songs of praise, and the incense of a pure adoration ascended to bis throne, he should leave the strayed and solitary world toperish in the guilt of its rebellion. But, tell me, oh! tell me, would it not throw the softening of a most exquisite tenderness over the characterof God, should we see him putting forth his every expedient to reclaim to himself those children who had wandered away from him—and, few as they were when compared with the host of bis obedient worshippers, would it not just impart to his attribute of compassion the infinity of the Godhead, that, rather than lose the single world which had turned to its own way, he should send the messengers of peace to woo and to welcome it back again; and, if justice demanded so ""ghty a sacrifice, and the law behoved to be so magnified and made honourable, tell me whether it would not throw a
moral sublime over the goodness of the Deity, should he lay upon his own Son the burden of its atonement, that he might again smile upon the world, and hold out the sceptre of invitation to all its families? "Weavow it, therefore, that this infidel argument goes to expunge a perfection from the character of God. The more we know of the extent of nature, should not we have the loftier conception of him who sits in high.authority over the concerns of so wide an universe? But, is it not adding to the bright catalogue of his other attributes, to say, that, while magnitude does not overpower him, minuteness cannot escape him, and variety cannot bewilder him; and that, at the very time while the mind of the Deity is abroad over the whole vastness of creation, there is not one particle of matter, there is not one individual principle of rational or of animal existence, there is not one single world in that expanse which teems with them, that his eye does not discern as constantly, and his hand does not guide as unerringly, and his spirit does not watch and care for as vigilantly, as if it formed the one and exclusive object of his attention.
"The thing is inconceivable to us, whose minds are so easily distracted by a number of objects, and this is the secret principle of the whole Infidelity I am now alluding to. To bring God to the level of our own comprehension, we would clothe him in the impotency of a man. We would transfer to his wonderful mind all the imperfection of our own faculties. When we are taught by astronomy, that he has millions of worlds to look after, and thus add in one direction to the glories of his character; we take away from them in another, by saying, that each of these worlds most be looked after imperfectly. The use that we make of a discovery, which should heighten our every conception of God, and humble us into the sentiment, that a Being of such mysterious elevation is to us unfathomable, is to sit in judgment over him, aye, and to pronounce such a judgment as degrades him, and keeps him down to the standard of our own paltry imagination! We are introduced by modern science to a multitude of other suns and of other systems; and the perverse interpretation we put upon the fact, that God can diffuse the benefits of his power and of his goodness over such a variety of worlds, is, that he cannot, or will not, bestow so much goodness on one of those worlds, as a professed revelation from Heaven has announced to us. While we enlarge the provinces of his empire, we tarnish all the glory of this enlargement, by saying, he has so much to care for, that the care of every one province must be less complete, and less vigilant, and less effectual, than it would otherwise have been. By the discoveries of modern science, we multiply
the places of the creation; but along with this, we would impair the attribute of his eye being in every place to behold the evil and the good; and thus, while we magnify one of his perfections, we do it at the expense of another; and to bring him within the grasp of our feeble capacity, we would deface one of the glories of that character, which it is our part to adore, as higher than all thought, and as greater than all comprehension."
Notwithstanding our unwillingness to interrupt the author in his eloquent career, we cannot forbear throwing in an observation here, which has often occurred to us when revolving this subject in our minds. It is, that mean and unworthy thoughts of God are at the foundation of all the errors both doctrinal and practical which abound in the world. "Having the understanding darkened, through the ignorance that is in him, because of the blindness of his heart," the natural man cannot raise his thoughts to God, and the consequence is that he finds it convenient to lower the divine character to the standard of his own grovelling conceptions. Hence the just complaint of the Most High. "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself." This topic is handled with inimitable force by the prophet Isaiah, who introduces Jehovan himself as expostulating with his ancient people," Why sayest thou, O Jacob, my way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the ever-, lasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding, &c." Is. xl. 27, 28. The objection that Dr. C. is combating, viz. that since Astronomy has unfolded to us such a number of worlds, it is not likely the Almighty would pay so much attention to our insignificant orb as the Gospel represents him to have done, betrays the same sceptical spirit, and indicates the same unbelieving bias which has, in every age of the world, characterized the unregenerate mind. Dr. Chalmers, therefore, proceeds to refute the objection by shewing that, in addition to the bare faculty of dwelling on a multiplicity of objects at one and the same time, the Blessed God, who is infinite in every attribute of his nature, possesses this faculty in such wonderful perfection, that He cart attend as fully, and provide as richly,