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3. Do they discover a solicitude to obtain them? 4. What has already been done toward supplying this want? 5. Are these persons in your neighbourhood willing further to encourage the distribution of the Holy Scriptures, in our own and in foreign languages ?
Any private communications, with real signatures, will be thankfully received at the printing-office of Mr. Bensley, Boltcourt, Fleet-street, London, London,
by, yours respectfully, May 19, 1803.
Though the following Anecdote be not perfectly new, the moral is so exs
cellent, that we cannot refuse the request of our correspondent, or its inscrtion,
Ir is written of a gentleman who died very suddenly, that his Jester ran to the other servants, and having told them that their master was dead, he, with much gravity, added, “ There ! and where is he gone?” The servants replied, “Why, he is gone to Heaven, to be sure.' "No," said the Jester ;" he is not gone to Heaven I am certain." The servants, with much warmth, asked, How he knew that his master was not gone to Heaven? The Jester then replied, “ Because Heaven is a great way off, and I never knew my master take a long journey in my life, but he always talked of it some time before-band, and also made preparation for it ; but I never heard hiin talk about Heaven, nor ever saw him making preparation for death ; and, therefore, I am sure he is not gone to Heaven.” R.R.
1. What is blasphemy against the lloly Ghost? and what is the meaning of Mark iii. 08, 29?
2. What is the import of those words, Jolin vi. 1,3:« The words that I speak unto you; they are Spirit and they are life.”
L. L. N.
3. A Backslider anxiously enquires the meaning of that awful passage Hieb, vii4m.
THE DANGERS AND PRIVILEGES OF
THE CHRISTI A N.
The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord : he is their strength
in the time of trouble.- David. It is the distinguishing spirit of our holy religion, that it allures not its disciples with the hopes of exemption from the cares and troubles of humanity. This is the declaration of its divine Author himself, “ Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” The path to glory is not strewed with flowers. The candidate for the honours that are above, has many obstacles to surpass, many oppositions to encounter, many battles to fight, before he is put in possession of his heavenly reward. His journey through life is a warfare. The moment he commences Christian he enters the lists with a numerous and formidable host of enemies. With these he must dispute every inch of his ground ; and over these he níust be made victorious before he is crowned with immortal laurel.
Various are the attacks which the Christian endures against his religious life. The world, from without, either smiles to win him to his ruin, or frowns to intimidate and shake him from his faith ; while the corrupt principle within, still latent in his bosom, is continually warring against the law of his mind, and urging him to do violence to his conscience and his peace. Descended from a fallen parent, the best of men are forced to acknowledge the influence of an evil bias, which, though not predominant, is always sufficient to shew the danger of relaxing in vigilance and activity. The apostle to the Gentiles himself found occasion to lament the power of this secret enemy; while he professes his delight in the law of God, after the inward man, he adds this acknowledgement:“But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.”
This law of his meinbers, of which the Christian complains, is the most fertile source of his griefs through the whole of his probationary state. It is this which impels to evil, when his better principles incline to good ; - it is this which points the darts of the wicked one, which gilds the baits of an enticing world, and gives the formidable aspect to the contempt and tortures of persecution. Had the enemy of souls no secret agent within to second his designs, the heart would be in much less danger of surprize from temptations without. But this unholy principle acts the part of a traitor, maintains a secret correspondence with external things, strengthens the virulence of such as have any tendency to hurt the spiritual interest, and converts many that are of themselves innocent and good, into incentives to evil.
The Christian is a professed subject of the King of Heaven: he has sworn allegiance to his government; and the tenor of his oath is this, “ Whom have I in the Heavens but thee? and there is none on earth that I desire besides thee!” But when attacked by the cares and crosses of life, bow often is he inclined to withdraw from his allegiance! His unrenewed passions and affections weave a film over the eyes of his mind, and hide from his view the wisdom and goodness of God in all that concerns him. In this state the Christian is most unhappy. It is then chiefly he is induced to give to the road be travels that melancholy name, a Vale of Tears. The tempter, ever watchful for bis haluing, seizes his opportunity, employs all his cunning and his force to destroy his faith. Evil suggestions, doubts, and fears, are thrown in to harass his soul. The world joins the enemy, and assumes every trying shape to corrupt his principles, and break off his hold of Heaven. Pleasure, in her most engaging forms, and arrayed in her gayest ornaments, meets him in his way; she smiles, she flatters, and caresses: she represents the paih of virtue as rugged and unpleasant, and brer own as the easiest road to happiness. She says, " I have peace-otlarings with ine; this day have I paid my vows, therefore came Iforth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face; and I bare found thee."--Should the attempts of Pleasure failof their wicked purposes, the world wears another aspect. Tyranny and Persecution will invade with frowns, menaces, and deaths. Paro' much tribulation must the followers of Christ enter into the kingdom of God... Tu this they experience the truth of their Master's prediction : " Because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore, the world hateth you, Yea; the time comcth, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doeth God service.”
What then is the inan of piety to do? Surrounded as he is with temptations and terrors, is he left defenceless ? Has he 110. means of resistance ? Must he fall an easy prey to the enemy of his soul? No; for though, on a review of all liis distresses, he may exclain," Lord! how are they increased that trouble me! many are they which rise up against me!" vet he cari add, with triumph, -But thou, O Lord, art a Shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head !” They that be with the Christian are more than they that be against him. The God whoin he serves has provided a defence against every attack; an antidote against every evil.
The Christian indeed is sent like a lamb among wolves, but he is protected by a Shepherd who never forsakes him, who is more than equal to all luis enemies. lle is sent on a warfare, but not at his own charges. God has established an armoury, and furnished it gratuitously with every useful weapon : weapons,
DANGERS AND PRIVILEGES OF THE CHRISTIAN. 206 all of divine workmanship; “ not carpal, but mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” An apostle, who was well acquainted with the efficacy of these weapons, thus admirably describes them : “ Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of Gori, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day: having your Joins girt about with truth, and having on the brzast-zlate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of perce; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewitha ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, wbieli is the word of God.” Thus clad, the Christian can do all things. Well iostracted in the truths of the gospel, he will be prepared to answer the sophistry of the wicked, or calin the doubts and fears suggested to his mind by the enemy of bis peace. His
relying on the righteousness of Christ, no weapon formed against him can prosper. Living on the inild and benevolent principles of the gospel, he will find his ways productive of read pleasantness, and his paths of holy peace. Salvation procured by his divine Captain, will defend his head in all times of danger; and his word will prove a powerful sword in his band, to clear his way through all the hosts of the Devil. Above all, his faith, so long as it is used, will prevail. “ Looking into Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith, who, after enduring the cross, despising the shame, is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” he is animated to every dury, and prepared for every opposition. Let not the Christian, therefore, abandon the shield of faith. To what is the efficacy of faith inadequate? Through faith, the saints of old “ subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fir , escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were mnde strony, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens!
Thus we see the follower of Christ has the greatest Callse of any to indulge cheerfulness of heart and countenance. llowever multiplied his troubles, the Lord delivers bim out of thein all. In the midst of his severcst trials, he has a consolation to which the world is a stranger. In taking up bis eross and following Christ, he renounces the world; but he becomes an heir of the kingdom of Heaven. He in, is the batred of a wicked generation ; but shares in the love of God. He denies bimself the tainted pleasures of time ; but obtains a title to the fountain of the sublimest joys and pleasures for everinore.
If such are his present advantages, and such bis biopes of future bliss, how strong are the inducernents of the Christian to perseverance of conduct! how great his encouragements to fortitude of mind !
J. W. Ifitney
Ministering Spirit. Angels and saints rejoice! I bring you a trophy of sovereign grace from that land of idols, Bengal. To your happy company I introduce the spirit of a converted Hindoo.
Heavenly Host. Glory be to God in the highest! All Heaven shall resound with the songs of his redeemed; and let the whole earth be filled with his praises.
Syam Dass. Brethren, I greet you all. Behold one, who, in sin, having grown old, was already sinking into endless perdition; yet my soul has been snatched as a brand from the burning : my former idols forsaking, of sin repenting, the true Saviour embracing, I have tasted the sweetness of his love.
Brunsdon. What, are you one of the first-fruits of India ? Did you come hither from Serampore ?
Syam Dass. Yes; there for many years I lived, following the vain customs of the Heathen, and the way of life not knowing. There also I heard the word of truth, and found pardon through the blood of Jesus.
Brunsdon. How were you induced to obey the call of the gospel, and made willing to reject your cast, for the love of the Saviour ?
Syam Dass. I cannot say that I lost my cast for the love of Christ : I had long ago been drawn, by a far meaner passion, to make that sacrifice ; for, without any sort of marriage, I had lived above thirty years with a Feringhee woman.
Brunsdon. How then was you delivered from that ensnaring connexion, which, while it prevented the pride of cast from operating on your mind, would yet form a strong objection, though of a different kind, to your em bracing a holy gospel?
Syam Dass. As I confined myself entirely to this woman, I did not see, at iny first conviction of sin, the evil of thus living with her; but as light increased, I was grieved at my having done all things during my state of heathenisın, in an unholy manner. Then consulting the Missionary brethren, I determined, according to their advice, to be married bes fore many witnesses. This was done at the Mission-house, not after the form of the Hindoos, but with prayer and exhortation, as becometh, saints, who perform all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Brunsdon. O! Brother Fountain, here is a saved Hindoo ! Though we were not permitted to gather in much of our Lord's harvest, yet the work of the Saviour is going on in Bengal.
Fountain. I know it already; for Brother Powell also is just arrived, who has been telling me news which rejoices all my soul. The knowledge of our Redeemer is beginning to spread up the country, in a more remarkable manner than ever we witnessed. Many scores have broken the chain of the cast; and numbers are studying the Scriptures, and have resplved to avow themselves the disciples of Christ. I suppose this is the spirit of Syam Dass, the first martyr of India.
Syam Dass. Very unworthy was I of such an honour; yet I confess, to the praise of our beloved Jesus, that I lost my life in endeavouring to subserve his cause.
Fountain. Has any revolution in that sinful world which you have lett, given power to the Brahmans of persecuting the followers of Christ Surely, neither the Danish nor the British government would sanction such a deed.
Syam Dass. No, brother; the state of outward things remains vnchanged; and both governments are more and more convinced of the itt