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generally understood; it would ward solid enjoyment, and the certainly be sought after and pur- main object professed to be aimed sued with an ardor which no at is missed ; but in the latter, the worldly considerations could re- most substantial and refined plea. press; and adhered to with a re- / sure is obtained, and the most solution and stedfastness which not valuable object infallibly secured. all the efforts of earth or hell could How necessary is it then to comweaken or move. .
mence a religious course with right How poor are the pretensions of views of its nature, and what the those persons to religious charac- blessed God requires of his crea. ter, who withhold from God their tures in order to their everlasting hearts: and how vain and fruitless felicity. The good word of God are their endeavours to please him, must be our only rule, and the while destitute of the faith that assistance of his Holy Spirit must worketh by love." A heartless be earnestly and constantly sought, faith is not only vain and insuf- to enable us to understand it aright, ficient, inasmuch as it fails in being and great care incessantly taken acceptable to God, but it affords that we “ lean not to our own unno satisfaction or comfort to the derstandings," nor trust to our mind of him who attends to it so purblind reason, which, with all superficially. The heart is not Lour powers, is corrupted and iminterested, swayed, and governed paired. It is an important maxim by it; lively feelings are not ex- in the Christian Revelation, which cited; that “ peace and joy” deserves our most serious regard, which attends sincere believing are that, if any man would be truly not secured; and the duties at. and savingly wise, let him first tempted to be practised, must be become a fool. a mere drudgery, a painful servi. There are many significant extude, produced by a slavish fear of pressions contained in the New God's displeasure, rather than from Testament, which are designed to a sweet sense of his love and give us a correct idea of the true favour, and a lively hope of eternal | nature of religion in the, soul, felicity. But when God is en- which shew it to be an inward joyed as the portion of the soul, and deep thing, that affects and and the heart is surrendered to influences all the powers of the him, and possessed by him ; the man; and which, if they were person feels himself sweetly con- | properly studied and regarded, strained and impelled by the force would prevent men from being of a grateful affection, to do the satisfied with that superficial thing, will of God. Devotion will then so frequently, but improperly debe pleasant, duty will be easy, the nominated religion. Thus it is deportment will be consistent, and called having " a new heart the most powerful sacrifices it re- created, and a right spirit renewed quires for the glory of God, and ) in us,” Psal. li.--the being made the securing of immortality will be "God's workmanship, created anew found practicable. In the former in Christ Jesus unto good works," case, the conduct is constrained ; | Eph. ii. 10.--"becoming new crea. but in the latter voluntary and tures, old things passing away, and free:- in the former, duty is irk- | all things made new,” 2 Cor. v. 17. some; in the latter, it is pleasant "learning the truth as it is in Jesus : and desirable :-in the former, it is putting off the old man, and puttinterrupted, inconstant and uncer- ling on the new, which after God tain; in the latter, it is uniform, is created in righteousness and true regular and persevering:--in the holiness,” Eph. iv. 23, 24. -"being former, it is attended with no in-begotten of God's own will by the
word of truth," Jam. i. 18.-“hav- for thy ignorance in this matter? ing Christ formed in us," Gal. iv. couldst thou ever look one quarter 19.-"partaking the divine nature," of an hour into the Bible, and not 2 Pet. i. 4. -"possessing the incor- meet with some intimation of this ruptible seed, the word of God," truth? What was the ground of 1 Pet. i. 1.-" born of God, spirit thy mistake? What hath beguiled of spirit,” Jobn ii. 6.-" passing thee into so mischievous a delufrom death unto life.” 1 John. iii. 14. sion? How could such an imagi
The above Scriptures do plainly nation have place in thy soul? that hold forth the necessity of a real a child of wrath by nature would change to be made in the inward become a child of God without temper and dispositions of the receiving a new nature? That so soul; and not a relative one only, vast a change could be made in thy respecting its state. When a per- state, without any at all in the temson's eternal blessedness depends per of thy spirit !” upon the experience of what is con-, Religion is not only necessary to tained in the above passages, ought enable us to glorify our maker, and he not to be very careful that he secure everlasting happiness; but understand them aright, that he also to enable us to subserve those rest short of nothing that scripture valuable purposes 'for which we makes indispensably necessary to are placed and preserved in society. his entering into the kingdom of It includes the graces of meekness, God? Notwithstanding the lan- humility, benevolence, forgiveness, guage of Scripture is so expressive forbearance, &c. How amiable and striking, and such as is cal do these render a person in the culated to alarm the conscience of estimation of all who have any every reader; how few, compara-perception or relish for that which tively, are excited by them to seri- is right and good! How much do ous enquiry, and close examina- they contribute to make him respecte tion; though they are assured able and useful; respectable in the without holiness, no man shall see view of all whose opinion is of any the Lord ; and, except a man be value; and useful as far as the inborn again, he cannot see the king-fluence of his example and active dom of God. What surprising endeavours extend! Were all prostupidity and deadness of heart! fessing Christians to act under the Under this view, an eminently influence of divine truth, breathe pious and judicious writer ex- the spirit of the gospel, live up to claims; “ Lord! that so plain a their privileges, and exemplify thing will not enter into the hearts those virtues they profess to hold of men; that such urgent inculca. important, how greatly would the tions will not yet make them ap- state of society be changed, and prehend that their souls must be what an increase of happiness Tenewed or perish! that they will would be secured! still go dreaming on with that mad “ God is a Spirit," and they conceit, that (whatever the word who desire to worship and serve of God says to the contrary) they him acceptably, must serve him might with unsanctified hearts get " in spirit and in truth.” “My to heaven! How deplorable is the son," he says, “ give me thy heart." case, when men have no other An inspired Apostle speaks of hope left them, but that the God“ doing the will of God from the of truth will prove false, and bely heart;"- that “ without love we his word; yea, and overturn the are nothing;' and that " whatnature of things to save them in soever we do, whether we eat or their sins! Thou that livest under drink, we sbould do all to the the gospel, hast thou any pretence glory of God.” The discovery which God has made to men, of, unto himself; the proper impress his mercy and goodness in the of it therefore is, the actual recongospel, and especially in the gift ciliation of the soul to God through of his Son, as a sacrifice for the Christ; a friendly well affected sins of the world; and the free posture of spirit towards God, our and gracious offers of pardon, re- last end, and highest good; and conciliation, and eternal life, in towards Christ our only way of and through him, is peculiarly attaining and enjoying it. To rest calculated to interest and engage therefore in any other good disthe heart, and secure the entire positions or endowments of mind, possession of it to God. This is is as much beside the business, as what he designs by it; and a cor- impertinent to the present purpose, dial and appropriating faith in and as if one designed to the governreliance on Christ, never fails to ment of a city, should satisfy himeffect it. Hence the sincere be- self that he hath the skill to play liever feels himself renewed, his well on a lute; or he that intends heart is purified; he is created physic, that he is well seen in anew unto good works. “ Being architecture. The general scope made free from sin," by a reliance and tenor of the gospel tells thee, on Christ as his Saviour,“ he be- O man, plainly enough, what the comes the servant of God, has his business is thou must intend in fruit unto holiness, and his end order to thy blessedness. It is everlasting life.” The love of God written to draw thee into fellowin Christ, clearly perceived, and ship with the Father and the Son, firmly believed, on the testimony that thy joy may be full. It aims of God's own word, sweetly dis- at the bringing thee into a state of poses, and powerfully constrains blessedness in God, through Christ; him to live, not to himself, but to and is therefore the instrument by him that died for him and rose which God would form thy heart again. Thus also believing in and thereto. The seal by which to relying upon the Lord Jesus Christ, make the first impression of his as offered to him in the gospel, as image upon thee; which will then his Saviour; and eternal life in as steadily incline and determine him; he takes the proinises to him- thy soul towards him, as the mag. self, ventures his everlasting all netic touch ascertains the posture upon them, appropriates the com- of the needle. Wherefore doth he fort contained in them, and has there discover his own heart, but “ peace and joy in believing.” to melt, and win, and transform “Whom not having seen, he loves, thine ? The word of grace is the in whom, though now he see bim seed of the new creature.” not, yet believing, he rejoices with The notions commonly enterjoy unspeakable and full of glory.” tained of religion are extremely For," he that hath the Son hath superficial and absurd. Many will life,” is “delivered from condem- say, “ If I pay every man his due, nation," and “ shall not perish but and do no harm to any; and if, in live for ever.” He is thus filled addition to these, I go to church with love, peace, and joy; and the on a Lord's day, and read a chapprevailing desire of his heart is to ter or two in the Bible; this is as please and glorify God.
much as is required, and there is This divine process in the soul, no reason to doubt my being "is no other than the proper ade saved.” But can such have seri. quate impress of the gospel dis- ously read their Bibles; Are such covery upon men's spirits. The the views that the scriptures give sum of that discovery is, that God us of what is necessary to the atis in Christ reconciling the world tainment of everlasting life? All VOL, III,
that such a profession contains according to the known rules of may be practised, and the heart their several callings and profesremain destitute of love both to sions, and he would be reckoned God and man. How deplorable the common fool of the neigbouris the ignorance, and awful the in-hood that should not do so." What consistency and insensibility of would be thought of “the hus. multitudes, who possess all the op-bandman, that should sow when portunities of being “ made wise others reap, or contrive his harvest unto salvation,” which this highly into the depth of Winter? or the favoured country affords! “ 'Tis Merchant that should venture amazing to think, with what vanity abroad his most precious comof mind the most weighty things of modities in a leaky bottom, withreligion are entertained amongst out pilot, or compass, or to places
professing) Christians. Things not likely to make any valuable re. that should swallow up our souls, turn? In religion only it must be drink up our spirits, are heard as a counted absurd, to be and do actale that is told; disregarded by cording to its knowo agreed prinmost, scorned by too many. What ciples; and he a fool that shall can be spoken so important, or of but practise, as all about him proso tremendous consequence, or of | fess to believe. Lord! whence SO confessed truth, not to find is this apprehended inconsistency either a very slight entertainment, between the profession and the or contemptuous rejection and practice of religion ? what baik this by persons avowing themselves thus stupified and unman'd the Christians. How unlike is the world! that seriousness in religion. Christian world to the Christian should be thought the character of doctrine! The seal is fair and ex. a fool? that men must visibly make cellent, but the impression is lan- a mockery of the most fundaguid, or not visible. Where is that mental articles of faith, only to save serious godliness, that heavenli. their reputation; and be afraid to ness, that purity, that spirituality, be serious, lest they should be that righteousness, that peace, thought mad ?" unto which the Christian religion [To be concluded in our next.] is most aptly designed to work and Torm the spirits of men we think REMARKS ON THE BOOK OF to be saved by an empty name; !
PSALMS. and glory in the shew and appear- To the Editor of the New Evangelical ance of that, the life and power of
Magazine. which we deride and hate. It is Sir, a reproach to us not to be called ' While all christians agree a Christian, and a greater reproach that the Holy Spirit in the book of to be one. To be so serious, and Psalms, as well as in the writings circumspect, and strict, and holy; of Moses and the prophets, testito make the practice of godliness fies of the sufferings and glory of so much our business, as the known the Son of God, it must shock eand avowed principles of our reli- very one who trembles at the word gion do plainly exact from us, (yea, of God, to obserse bow this part though we come, as we cannot but of sacred writ has been abused by do, unspeakably short of that re.many teachers. Instead of viewing quired measure,) is to make ones the descriptions of character, freself a common derision and scorn. quently met with in the Psalms as Not to be professedly religious is the testimonies of the Spirit, to barbarous; to be so in good ear- the perfection of that law-fulblling pest ridiculous. In other things righteousness, wrought out by Je. men are wont to act and practise 'hovala in the form of a servant, in
behalf of his guilty people; and this Psalm has an immediate refeof similar import with the voice rence to him. Compare ver. 6-8. from the excellent glory, “ This with Heb. X. 8, 9, 10. Of preachis my beloved Son, in whom I am ers of this description, one can well pleased,” they have consi scarcely forbear saying, that " the dered them as applicable chiefly vail is yet upon their hearts." to David and others of the people Notwithstanding this manifest erof God, in a limited sense as they ror, the Editor is of opinion that say. When the persons to whom there is another class of Christians I allude, meet with the Redeemer's (the Glassites or Sandemanians), complaints of sorrow, on account who appear to him to run the matof the hidings of his Father's counter into the opposite extreme, and tenance, when he was made a sin- who can find nothing else but offering for us; they suppose |
Christ in the Psalms. Thus acthese to be the experiences of Da- cording to them, the hundred and vid, and other saints; and well nineteenth Psalm is from first to calculated to soothe the minds of last, a description of the state those, who profess to know the of the Messiah's heart; though joyful sound; but who are not they have not condescended to tell walking in the light of God's coun- us how upon their principles we are tenance. I take this to be an aw- to explain such passages as the folful perversion of the scriptures. lowing, “Before I was afflicted I But you, sir, have probably seen went astray," &c. ver. 67. “I more clearly than I have, the many have gone astray like a lost sheep,” abuses of the book of Psalms; and I &c. ver. 176. perhaps you will pardon me for requesting that you, or some of To the Editor of the New Evangelical your intelligent friends, will favour
Magazine. us with something on this subject, SIR, in your useful work.
Whatever may be the obligaI am, Sir, tions of the Ladies of Great Britain, Your constant reader, or their expressions of gratitude to Montrose,
the Rev. Mr. Cox, I think very Sept. 5, 1816.
W. little is due to you for your severe P. S. BY THE EDITOR.. animadversions on his work, and on The Editor agrees with the fore- the Female character and station; going correspondent in his general | for notwithstanding your professions remarks on this subject, and has of attachment, &c. you seem to often witnessed, much to his regret, wish to reduce us to such an inthe evil of which the writer conferior station as is little short of plains. He remembers, not long menials or children. But let it ago, hearing a sermon delivered be remembered, that Females are from Psal. xl. 1-3, in which those of the same order of species and of remarkable words, so strikingly the same nature as Men, and somecharacteristic of the sorrows of our times possess powers of Mind suDivine Redeemer, when he sank perior to their husbands; and in deep waters and the floods would you have Wisdom govern'd overflowed him, applied without by Folly, and a Woman implicitly reserve to the private experience follow the directions and yield to of professors under the bidings of the controul of a Man who is unfit God's countenance(as they term it), to guide? But the Editor is a while their application to the Mes. Man; and so was Paul. But if siah was never once mentioned; the Woman was created for the though we have the authority of Man, I infer also that the Man the apostle Paul for saying that could not do without the assistance