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sicians is called in, it is their busi- | man's religion is vain, false and ness to study all the symptoms of unavailing; he merely seemeth to the malady, and, if they are able to be religious, in fact he is not so. get at the radical cause ; if they There are many symptoms of can make that out and correct or this disorder that I shall have remove it, it may be presumed to occasion to touch upon as I probe an important step to the cure, ceed ; they are all summed up in and that other symptoms will die my text, and the deepest root, and away, according as the influence of radical source of the whole, I conthat decreases. If they are able ceive to be most aptly and awfully to take the poisonous qualities (the expressed in the last clause, that virus) out of the spring, the poi- the tongue is set on fire of Hell. son will no longer spread itself What I propose therefore in eninto the streams. Now the same deavouring to illustrate the words is observable in matters of a spiri- will be, tual nature, yea even of spiritual 1. To explain this clause, that wickedness. It is said that human it (meaning the tongue) is set on nature is corrupt, and all that is fire of hell. said of it is too true. Our blessed 11. The fruits and effects of this Lord characterising the human calamity, that it is a fire, a world heart describes it in general as so of iniquity among our members, vile, that out of it, as its native defileth the whole body, and setteth produce, proceed evil thoughts, I on fire the course of nature; from murders, adulteries, fornications, whence, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies, III. By the divine direction we yea all things which can debase shall be able to point out from and dishonour the man, and render whence the cure'must come, and him obnoxious to infinite purity, how be administered. Matt. xv. 18. He does not admit, 1. lam to endeavour to explain nor do his words imply, that natu- what is meant by the tongue being rally there is any good quality set on fire of hell. Now it is sayo whatever in it, but insists that all ing nothing, or to no purpose to that comes out of it is in every observe here, that to be set on fire respect unclean, loathsome and of hell, imports that some persons wicked. The tree must first of are so full of hell, and so much reall be made good before the fruit semble the Devil, that they may can be good. But may we yot be said to have him working in descend more intimately into the them to do evil; this is univerworkings of the human mind, and sally true of all unconverted percome at the root of the evil in my sons; and there is a reason why text?
even the Devil is set on mischief, : The Apostle James in a strain which eggs him on and stirs him which in any other author (more up without ceasing, to seek whom especially an Heathen sage) would he may devour. He is stiled a be pronounced philosophical, re- roaring lion, 1 Pet. v. 8. and this lates one particular way, in which points out the latent cause of his the evil heart finds vent for its walking about, however speciously, malignity-ra way indeed which, with that view. As the lion roars as he describes it, is most fearful; for food when he is hungry (roars it quickly overflows and makes it from the pain he feels) so the pam self a passage by the tongue; on and horror and despair which which account the Apostle declares Satan feels within his own breast that if any man seem to be religious agonize him with rage; that as be and bridleth not bis tongue, he de- has no happiness or even hope ceiveth his own heart, and this sit for himself, he strives to do with the mischief he can to others, and science? We frequently observe, to make them equally miserable. that not only does the scripture For this reason he so assiduously speak of wrath, of fire and brimlays his snares, and tempts men to stone, of body and soul destroyed, sin; and he is in the greater rage of a burning lake, of outer darkbecause he knowrth that he hath but ness, a bottomless pit, and of a short time. Rev. xii. 12. Now, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of where the tongue is set on fire of teeth, but every man in his sins has hell, we are to understand by it an hell in his own mind even while the very same reason, in a measure he now lives; that every man has at least, as that which influences it in his own breast, until God subthe Devil so earnestly to do, and to due it, take it away, and speak be what he is and does so mali peace to the 'soul. For what is ciously to delight to do mischief. conscience? It is God's voice in Do we not all know, that if a man the soul--the voice of God's law, be in any respect thoroughly hap-| for instance, under the energy of py-suppose, for instance, that a his own influence, which declares great sum of money has unexpect the Lord to be most holy, his law edly fallen to him; he is for the most righteous, and the man him. time as happy as so much money self to be a sinner; which declares can make him; and if so, how will also that there is vengeance due he prove it? How will his beha- for sin, that the wrath of God is viour discover it? Will he not be revealed from heaven, and is ready pleasant and good natured, placid to burst upon all ungodliness, and and friendly, agreeable to all about unrighteousness of men. Now, him ? He will think no evil of, every man hath this sad malady do no evil to, any one. Correspon- within himself, unless he have been dent to the joy of his heart will be made a partaker of the peace of the frankness of his countenance God and the enjoyment of his the affability of his words, and the favour. For to have peace with kinduess of his general demeanor God is not to be dull and stupid, also. On the contrary, suppose a to think seldom of him and but man to be in his mind unhappy, little about him; no, it is daily and and you behold him, unless great uniformly to derive our principal caution cover or disguise it, fretful satisfaction from him, and to de. and discontented, cross and cap- light and be happy in him. If then tious to every one about him-re a man be not happy in the Lord luctant to do good-if provoked his God, he hath no peace from he is full of wrath at those who he God, but is restless and uneasy; imagines have injured him, and if an unhappy conscience, the mens he can return the injury tenfold be conscia mali makes him miserable; is the better pleased ; and he is and though he try all methods to glad also if he can see other peo. avert or to drive away the pain, ple revenge him, and wishes them yet like a ghost the wretched spec. as miserable as himself. The tem- tre returns again upon him, and fills per of his mind drives him to him with dismay, "What man dares all these and similar extravagan- I dare; take any shape but that, and cies; and the aforecited recollec. I'll meet thee,” is the language of tions will help to explain what I his obstinate heart! But who can have to suggest about the tongue dwell with the devouring fire: who set on fire of hell, viz. that the can dwell with the everlasting whole soul is set on fire of hell; burnings? 'Tis a degree of hell in and if it be enquired, What is that the conscience; the whole course of fire? I answer, What can it be but nature, the whole soul is poisoned the wrath of God in a guilty con- | by the guilt of unpardoned sin., . If the mind and conscience be law, and the distracting reflection defiled by the guilty consciousness of being hopelessly and for ever of iniquity unforgiven there; if un. condemned, and reserved to blackeasiness and anguish be a most ness of darkness for ever. If a prominent feature of the disease ; man have any degree of this guilty Stis also the bitter root, the foun- conscience prevalent in his own tain from whence every evil issues mind now, it is the same in a de. in the life, as was observed by one gree that the damned feel; 'tis the of the greatest philosophers that condemnation of sin within him, ever informed this earth, an ex- the wrath of God burning in his perimental philosopher too, who soul, and which is a sort of fore. with infinite skill hath anatomized taste of hell, a fearful looking for the human mind, and with exqui-, of judgment and fiery indignation site accuracy developed the phe- to devour the adversaries; and it nomena of its secret operations, proves that God (now provoked laying it down as an incontestible, and irritated by sin) is in all his and invariable maxim that unto dispensations a consuming fire,even them that are defiled nothing is a jealous God; and I do not wonpure, nor have they a taste for der that people strive by a variety purity, the main cause of which is of methods to drive it away, to that iheir conscience is defiled, and drown or stupify it, or by intense ap. thereby the whole of the powers, plication to lose sight of and not atfaculties and inclinations of their tend to it, for it is, as it were the fire minds are polluted and perverted, of hell in the soul, the worm that Tit. ii. 15. and they are to every | dieth not, the fire that is not to be good work reprobate. This is, by quenched; and whereby a man, if a concise and unerring method, to he had all the gaities, the diver. come at the radix at once. The sions, the pleasures, gratifications primum mobile or lowest cause is , and profits of this world poured the conscience defiled with guilt; into his lap, he cannot be at rest; that defiled' conscience pollutes perfect peace, sweet serenity and the active powers of the soul; and composure of soul is no part of his I leave you to judge from this sim- enjoyment: for then he would seek ple deduction, what must be the it in Jehovah, and by his quenchleading bent of his temper and ing the fire of hell in the soul. But chosen practice, “till God's own where that preliminary is not obSon with skill divine, the inward tained, there is no satisfaction in fire assuage;" the leading bent of the Lord; and where can a creahis temper under that predominat. ture have true satisfaction but in ing influence. Trace the effects him who made him ? Therefore if to their cause and then determine, not happy in the Lord he is not bearing this remark in your me happy any where. To say the best mory, that you are yourselves prin- of him, he is in an ignorant, dark, cipally concerned; and by that (by stupid, listless frame of mind; and your own) decision you must stand having no true felicity, he discovers or fall. We have all sinned we his uneasiness by a thousand shifts: know, and come short of the glory “Who will shew us any good ?" By of God; the law of God is so strict, fretfulness, by discontent, by covethat cursed is every one that con- tousness and carking cares; by retinrieth not in all things, Gal. pining at the ways of providence, ii: 10. What makes hell so dread. I or that the allwise disposer has not ful, and the Devil so full of horror? made their lot more pleasing to The sad thought of having offend their senses ; by self-seeking and ed God, and the sad feeling of his ambition; and as the tongue displeasure; the curse of his holy one of the most prominent adu
familiar vehicles of expressing the the sea of Galilee with his disci. inward feelings of the mind--a ples, intending to be at Jerusalem method also by which the heart can during the time of the feast. The give vent to its feelings in the most miraculous cures which he had extensive manner; when the heart wrought in that city excited general is set on fire of hell, the tongue interest, and induced a vast multi. is the combustible that quickly tude of persons to follow him, ver. catches fire, and spreads the deso- 2. and the additional circumlation far and wide; yea so large stance of the feast of the Passover and extensive is the devastation, being at hand, would still further as in the language of my text to augment the number of his folprove it a fire, a world of iniquity lowers. that defileth the whole body, and Having crossed the sea of Tibesetteth on fire the course of nature; rias our Lord did not immediately an untameable, unruly evil, full of proceed on his way to Jerusalem, deadly poison, vér. 8. that rages but ascended a mountain which all the world over, and from one was situated in the vicinity of the generation to another. It is often place where he and his disciples remarked that the use of the had landed. As he sat there, surtongue, and the faculty of speech is rounded by his select few, he lifted that which particularly marks the up his eyes, and from the eminence distinction between man and the on which he was, beheld an imbeasts; that by it we can with faci. mense concourse of people flock. lity convey our thoughts one to ing towards him out of the adjaanother; and hence the more evil cent cities (Mark vi. 33.) attracted and vile is sin, which has abased by the wonderful cures which he that noble faculty; which when it had performed upon the sick and is perverted, is also the most hurtful infirm in their neighbourhood. and does more mischief than all | Here therefore Jesus continued, the other powers of our bodies. probably, two or three days ;' and Corruptio optimi est pessima, was as the Evangelist Mark has it, an adage well known to the sages “He began to teach them many of antiquity, and to this day it re- things.” ch. vi. 34. It was the mains uncontradicted.
custom in those countries, says Dr. [To be concluded in our next.]
Macknight (Harmony. Sect. 60.) to have two or three days provision
with them when they travelled ; THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, THE but their stock was now exhausted,
and therefore the disciples, perA View of John vi. 48--51.
ceiving that evening was drawing THERE is much valuable in-on, entreated their Divine Master struction to be gained by a careful to dismiss the multitude and send attention to many apparently mi- / them away, that they might go into nute incidents in the life and minis- the towns and villages around try of the Son of God, which is them, and buy themselves bread. altogether lost by a superficial or victuals. But Christ, who had reading of the Evangelical history. it in contemplation now to give This observation is remarkably them a divine attestation of his verified in the chapter before us Messiahship, by performing a stu(John vi.) The Passover, one of pendous miracle, replied to his the Jewish festivals, was approach- disciples, “ It is not necessary to ing, ver. 4. and Jesus, who had send them away on that account been for some time discharging Give them to eat of what ye have.” the duties of his public ministry in They seem to have been surprised the city of Capernaum, crossed at this answer, and immediately
BREAD OF ETERNAL LIFE.
remark to him, that the multitude multitude; so that it continued to was immense ; that two hundred swell and enlarge itself, not merely penny-worth of bread was inade so as to create a sufficiency for quate to the supply, so that every satisfying the hunger of this mula one of them might take a little. titude; but, after they had all One of them added that there was eaten and were filled, the frag. indeed a lad in the company who ments that remained were more in had five barley loaves and two quantity than the original loaves small fishes, but what was this and fishes! This stupendous miraamong so many persons ? Jesus, cle, which was conspicuous, pot to however, instructed them to make the disciples only, who carrying the men sit down in ranks by hun each his basket in his hand, had dreds, and by fifties, according as an incontestible demonstration of the ground would best admit of its truth; but to every individual their being regularly disposed. guest also at this divine feast, who Luke ix, 14. with Mark vi. 40. had all felt themselves delighted, The members of each company filled, refreshed, and strengthened appear to have been placed in two by the food of which they had rows-the one row with their faces now partaken. towards those of the other, as if a | We cannot, therefore, be sur. long table had been placed between prised that such a manifestation of them. The first company being divine power, as was displayed by thus set down, the second was to the Son of the Highest, on this be placed beside it in a similar occasion, should have excited the manner, and the third by the se. admiration of the people. They cond till all were set down, the recollected that Moses, after de. direction of the ranks being up livering their fathers out of Egypt, the side of the hill.
had done something like this, when Having thus disposed his guests, he fed them with Manna in the Jesus, who stood below at the bot- wilderness and the inference they tom of the ranks, was full in the drew from the present miracle was, view of all the company; and call- / that he who could thus feed five ing for the loaves and the fishes, thousand people with five loaves he “ looked up to heaven” and and two fishes must surely be able gave thanks to his heavenly Father, to deliver them from the Roman for his boundless beneficence in fur- yoke! In the height of their transnishing food for all flesh. He then port, therefore, they proposed to brake the bread and the fishes, “take Jesus by force and make him distributing a piece of each to one a king." But, he, perceiving that of his disciples, who delivered it the carnality of their hearts had to the first person in the rank; led them to make' a perverse use of when this individual had broken this miracle, withdrew from them off what was sufficient for himself into a retired place and so frus. he delivered the food to the second trated their intention. who did the same, and he to the Meeting with him, however, third, and so on, until the whole again, upon a subsequent day, we company, consisting of five thou- find the multitude eagerly expresssand men, had all eaten and were ing their congratulations at seeing satified.
I him, and a most interesting con. But how great must have been versation now ensued between the astonishment of this multi-them. Jesus, throughout the whole tude, when they beheld the food (of his discourse, endeavours to expanding its dimensions before lead them to make the proper im. their eyes, both in the hands of provement of the miracle which the Lord Jesus, and also of the they had witnessed-corrects their