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. .: THE CHURCH MILITANT...
Sir, PERHAPS there may be some of the readers of your little work, who do not quite understand the meaning of the word "militant,” which is used in our Church service, when we are called upon to unite in prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church." - . The term "militaat;” signifies "fighting,” and every member of our Church is supposed to be en gaged in a spiritual warfare..
.! The young Christian, at his baptism, is enlisted under the banners of the Captain of his salvation ; and, if he neglect not the appointed means of grace, he will continue “ Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end.”
The enemies we have to contend with, are neither few nor contemptible ; the “ world” presents many charms to engage our hearts, and to make us forget the great business of our lives. We are continually meeting with temptations to gratify "the flesh” (i.e.) our unruly appetites and passions. And our great adversary the devil, is ever on the watch to ruin our souls. To enable us to overcome these, our spiritual enemies, the apostle St. Paul exhorts us to take unto ourselves the whole armour of God."
The soldier who is engaged in an earthly. warfare, after a few years of activé service, may quit the field, and hope for rest and peace: while he lives
he may enjoy the fame which is due to his valour; but it will not profit him at the hour of death.
If then the word of God teaches us, what indeed experience confirms, that our corrupt wills and affections are contrary to the holy law of God, it becomes a matter of serious importance to us all to inquire, whether we are really on the watch against this opposition ?
Some persons are apt to persuade themselves that, because they are not notoriously bad characters, they may be perfectly easy and indifferent about spiritual concerns. In the eyes of such persons the armour of God is of no value, they cannot feel their need of its defence : the promises of glory and protection, addressed to the conquering Christian, afford them no consolation; and many of the petitions for supo" port and encouragement in our excellent Liturgy, are to them but vain repetitions. It is indeed an awful state of insensibility, to be surrounded by ene. mies, who would lead us to destraction, and yet know nothing of our danger. Let us entreat the Searcher of all hearts to open our eyes, that our .“ sleep" may not be “ unto death." .
.? The conflicts of the Christian are purely of a spi. ritual nature; ." His warfare is within. There unfatigu'd
His fervent spirit labours. There he fights,'
But his triumphs are not altogether without witnesses : his heavenly Father is ever at hand to succour and defend him : the Saviour of sinners ever liveth to make intercession for him. The Holy Spirit continually renews and refreshes his fainting : spirit: and the angels of Heaven are sent to minister unto his weaknesses and wants. .. Thus supported and encouraged, let us remember
that ve belong to the “ Church militant” here on earth ; so may we hope, through the merits of our. Redeemer, to share in the glories of the Church triumphant in heaven.
... G. H. Dec. 24, 1823. ..
ENVYING AND JEALOUSY. . To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.' · SIR, . . . , As I was sitting one evening in my study, preparing my Sermon for the next Sunday, my servant brought me a letter which he said he had found pushed under the door. I opened it, and found it very ill-written and ill-spelt. But this is not to be wondered at, as you know, Sir, there was not the same care taken in the education of the poor, in former times, that there is now. Very few.could read or 'write at all in the last generation. The letier was what is called anonymous, that is, there was no name signed it. The writer stated that he or she, (for I do not know whether it came from a man or a woman) had been listening under the windows of some neighbour's house, and had heard such and such things spoken. The intention of the writer was, to shew that my bounty had been bestowed on persons who were undeserving of it; and that of others, who were named, were fitter objects..
Of course I threw the letter into the fire, and never, for a moment, thought either better or worse of the persons who were named in it, than if I had never received it. .
But, Sir, it has given me great pain to think that any one of my flock could have been guilty of such an act. There could be no right religious feeling in the mind of the writer of such a letter. For what . NO. 40.-VOL. IV.
says our Saviour?.6 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Instead of injuring our neighbour in the good opinion of any one, it is the part of a true follower of Christ, to endeavour to convince him of his faults, to reclaim him from his sins, and even to rebuke him if there be need. He should be very slow to accuse his brother to others at any time, but should never accuse him in a way which prevents him from defending himself if innocent.
I should not have troubled you with this story, did I not fear that envy is one of the sins that most easily besets us. The little gifts and assistances which are bestowed by the more wealthy, on some of their poorer neighbours, are too frequently the sources of unpleasant feelings in others. But surely this should not be so. If men really loved their neighbours as themselves, they would rejoice, and not repine at any good fortune that might happen to them. If we really loved one another, as Christ loved us, what should we not be willing to undergo to assist each other? When we feel any emotion of envy arising within us, we should think of Christ's love to us, and of his exhortation to us to follow his example, and love one another. And we should pray in the words of our excellent Liturgy, that “ from all envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness," our gracious God would in his mercy deliver us.
W. E. H. N, Oxon. Feb. 10, 1824.
ON SAVAGE AMUSEMENTS. MR. EDITOR, In Mant's and D'Oyly's Bible I was much struck with the following remarks on Dan. viii, 25. wherein the Roman character is partly described—“ By
peace he shall destroy many.” Even in times of peace and tranquillity, he shall delight in scenes of cruelty and slaughter. As the character of a people may be deduced from their diversions, when we consider the entertainments to which the Romans were principally addicted, we must, I fear, pronounce theni a people estranged from the sentiments of humanity—" In peace destroying many." What can fix them in a more unpleasing point of view, than the shews of their gladiators-/Prize. fighters.) “ Their other diversions did not discover marks of a more mild and merciful temper.” And we may ask, do not our amusements bear too near a reseniblance to those of the Romans, who were then not Christians, but Heathens?. Our fights, our hull-baits, cock-fights, &c. deserve the name of cruel amusements. It is melancholy to reflect, that, on the day of the condemnation of a wretched man, whose fondness for such ainuse. ments had been one means of leading him to those crimes for which he has now forfeited his life, thousands flocked to witness a fight, thousands gave encouragement to a practice, which, from the company into which it leads, must surely demo, ļalize its supporters, and harden their hearts.
. : M.
ON GRAFTING, &c. In Answer to V.'s Remarks in the Number for February. When the branches of two neighbouring trees cross each other, by the continual friction occasioned by the wind, a portion of the surface of each is rubbed away. Sometimes these wounded parts unite; and if, by any accident, one of the branches should be broken below the juncture, the other, if of the same species, will support its neighbour in