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robes ? and whence come they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest." Now, what was the answer given by the elder? Was it that they had come from purgatory, and had been tully and finally cleansed by its tlames? No. This was the answer—" And be said unto me, These are they which cane out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev. vii. 9–14.) They had passed at once from their sufferings on earth to their glorious reward, and had obtained their purity of faith in the blood of the Lamb.
There is not a single aspect in which we can contemplate man's salvation, the period of his probation, and his destiny for and condition in the eternal world, but the theory of the Popish purgatory contradicts the word of God. It dishonours the Author of our salvation, by making the Lord Jesus only a partial Saviour; it detracts from the efficacy of his atoning death, and the influence of the Holy Spirit; it changes the conditions of man's salvation, and curtails its blessings here that it may provide for purgatorial suffering hereafter; it flatters the sinner with hopes of opportunities beyond the bounds which God has assigued to them, and prolongs the believer's sufferings indefinitely beyond the period when God shall have wiped away all tears from his eyes. It insults God, deceires and ruins man, and corrupts and perverts the Sacred Scriptures.
THE HEATREX ORIGIN OF THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY. Since it is proved that purgatory is repugnant to the Scriptures, it follows that it must have been a human device. Like many other sentiments which Popery has incorporated with Christian truth, it was derived from heathenism. Long before the Christian era, the philosophers dreamt and poets sang of a middle state, where souls underwent a process of purification to fit them for admission to a state of happiness. Plato speaks of the dead under three classes, and three states corresponding to their character. The truly good were admitted to Elysian fields, regions of tranquillity and enjoyment; the bad or incurably wicked were doomed to Tartarus or hell; and another class, neither so holy as to be fit for an Elysium, nor so totally corrupt as to be doomed for ever to the gloomy regions of Pluto, were destined to suffer for a while, and then to be transported to the regions of happiness. Take one example from Virgil, translated by Dryden :
For this are various penances enjoined;
But the pure ether of the soul remains.* Thus, the notion of purgatory can boast of an antiquity far higher than the Roman Church; but it was a notion of heathepism, and from thence, like many other superstitions, it was gradually introduced into the Church. In the early ages of Christianity we find no traces of the doctrine ; but when pagan philosophers, attracted by the majesty, benignity and purity of the Christian system, embraced it, they brought with them various heathen notions, and this among the rest. Yet its prevalence was slow and fluctuating. It was received by some and rejected by others, and at times was almost lost sight of, until Pope Gregory adopted it and gave it the sanction of his official authority; and afterwards it was established as an article of faith by the Council of Florence in the fifteenth century.
The concessions of Roman Catholic writers are important on this subject. John Fisher, the Bishop of Rochester, in his eighteenth article against Luther, says, “ He that pleases, let him read the commentaries of the old Greeks, and, as I suppose, be shall find none or very rare mention of purgatory. But neither did the Latins at one time, but by little and little, conceive the truth of this thing." Polydore Virgil, another Romanist writer, remarks, “ As it regards the origin of this matter, as far as I can ascertain, after inquiry, I do not find it before St. Gregory presented it in his stations." It is worthy of notice, too, that Gregory himself seems not to have held the doctrine at one time, but afterwards he embraced it, and wrote in his Dialogues sentiments which are contradicted in his Annotations. In order to give the dogma a general reception, stories of visions, dreams and miracles the most preposterous and disgusting, the most degrading to the intellect of man, and the most revolting to Christianity, were fabricated and published. Thus it originated with fiction, was nurtured by superstition, and matured by hypocrisy and extortion.
MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES, ANECDOTES, &c.
PUBLIC WORSHIP. "O COME, let us worship and bow creatures, how can that part of our dowu; let us kneel before the Lord congregation who content themselves our Maker." Happy indeed would with offering a cold and formal sacri. Christian congregations be when as. fice Sabbath after Sabbath, expect to sembled in the sanctuary of God, and be otherwise than cold and dead, most pleasing the results, were but having neither lot nor part in the each individual influenced by such a matter? Yes, reader, dead in tresspirit as actuated the Psalmist. What passes and sins,consequently exposed emotions of the heart he experienced to wrath. Then take care that thou when he exclaimed, “How amiable art not numbered amongst such in are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts; that day when all secrets shall be a day in thy courts is better than a made known, and the cry shall be thousand." But, alas ! such is not heard, “Lord, Lord, open unto us!" the case ; the fact is too palpable to and instead of a speedy reception be successfully controverted. How into heaven, the voice will be heard varied is the manner in which we see in tones the most thrilling to those this devotional exercise performed in who then shall be outside, “ Depart our chapels, even by professors and from me; I never knew you, ye recognised members of our Churches, workers of iniquity." Yes, then there notwithstanding there is but one God, shall be weeping, and wailing, and the Maker of all, one Lord, the Sa- gnasbing of teeth. What mind can viour of all, and one Spirit, the Sanc conceive or tongue describe the tertifier of all! In viewing the subject rors of that day! Thoughts will of worship, and the lasting benefits flash as lightning through each mind! it affords to all who are truly sincere, Men will remember once their posi. and the mode according to the re- tion in a Christian Church, how often quirements of Holy Scripture, how they had listened to the gospel sound, preposterous to think or expect the and will be ready to exclaim, Once I Most High to impart a blessing sought might have been saved, but would contrary to the simple way laid down not; now I would, but cannot! Then in his own infallible word! Our take heed in time, and be like the Saviour says, “God is a spirit, and they wise virgins, fully ready when the that worship him must worship him Bridegroom cometh. in spirit and in truth;" for the Father In further consideration of this seeketh such to worship him. If, subject, how painful to every sincere then, the God of Heaven will have and devout minister to behold in his no other service at the hands of his congregation some, during prayer, NEVER GET ANGRY.
taking sweet repose as those who have had a sleepless night, others reading their Bibles or their hymnbooks, while others are sitting at ease, gratifying the organs of sight by ap. proving or condemning the fashions of the day; while the comparatively few humble followers are fervently engaged pleading with the Lord of Hosts, and endeavouring, by divine aid, to hold up and strengthen the hands of their beloved pastor, who, like Aaron, when standing between the living and the dead, is faithfully and zealously intreating the Almighty God to save souls from going down to the pit.
What mercies are lost! what blessings are sacriticed! and what graces of the Spirit are slighted by all such unprofitable worshippers, besides the injury done to the cause of the blessed Redeemer! No won der sinners are not converted, althongh appeals the most powerful and telling are made from the pulpit, from time to time, by the ambassadors of Christ. No wonder con gregations do not increase, when those who ought to be the brightest examples are decidedly enemies to the cause they profess to love. No marvel to see such little fruit, when one can scarcely perceive the line of
distinction between professors and the people of the world. Such things ought not to be.
Again, how often do we see with feelings the most painful, in our prayer-meetings held after a faithful sermon, those who remain are mere idle spectators, although members of the Church? When a good brother is offering prayer, they are (as before stateu) sitting and gazing about as though at a place of amusement, and in too many instances prove a lundrance instead of a blessing to those who are labouring under penitential grief on account of sin. Alas! how fatal does this prove to poor perishing sinners, when thus biassed by the inconsistency of professors ! O my dear reader! let us take these things to beart and exercise ourselves at a throne of grace, beseeching Him who alone knows the hearts and doings of all men, praying with all supplication that he would be pleased to awaken these careless and barren worshippers to a sense of their danger, and that he would change their hearts and renew a right spirit within them; so that this long and prevailing evil may be removed from our sanctuary, and each may prove a true worshipper of God. Hunslet.
SOME sins have a seeming compensation or apology-a present gra. tification of some sort, but anger has none. A man feels no better for it, it is really a torment; and when the storm of passion has cleared away, it leaves one to see that he has been a fool, and he has made himself a fool in the eyes of others, too. Who thinks well of an ill-natured man, who has to be approached in the most guarded and cautious way? Who wishes him for a neighbour or a partner in business? He keeps all about him in the same state of mind as if they were living next to a hornet's nest or a rabid animal; and as to prosperity in business, one gets along no better for getting angry.
There is a little anecdote on re cord of the first discoverer of the
grand science of “gravitation," Sir Í. Newton, worthy of observation. He had a faithful little dog, called Diamond, one which was a great favourite. He was engaged one evening in his study amidst the manuscripts which cost bim some previous years' toil to accumulate. A servant came and said his presence was required in another apartment. He unthinkingly left his study; the candle was burning at the same time, and Diamond was there also. When Sir Isaac bad disappeared, Diamond hastened to follow, and in attempting to do so he upset the candle; the result of which was that his papers took fire, and, in spite of all his endeavours to suppress the flames, his manuscripts were totally consumed.
Now, what did he do? Did he rage? did he blaspheme? did he birch his little favourite dog? No, reader. He, Christian-like, mildly said, “Diamond ! Diamond ! little thou knowest what injury thou last
What a noble expression! If all men with whom we have to do were to act such a part, what happiness it would be the means of perpetuating in the different circles of the community! What if business is per plexing, and everything “goes by contraries," will à fit of passion make the wheels more propitious, the grounds more productive, or the markets more favourable? Will a bad temper draw customers, pay notes, and make creditors better natured? An angry man adus nothing to the good of society. Since, then, anger is useless, and worse than ise
less-sinful, needless, disgraceful, without the least apology, and found only in the bosoms of fools, why should it be indulged at all? A wise man fears God and hates sin, and thus he avoids the occasion and appearances of evil, and is careful and thankful for caution and direction. But the foolish are self-confident and regardless of the consequences, they are vehement in their course, and enraged at those who would give them warning and advice ; thus they rush forward to the brink of the precipice, and at length fall headlong into the pit of destruction. May the reader and the writer be none of the latter-named kind, but be of the number who take for their portion that guide which our Lord has left with his humble, ineek, and faithful followers-the Bible! Amen.
We often meet with individuals and seren sons. The hotel was kept whose conduct leads us to say within up, and his sons attended at the bar. ourselves, they are pitching their The sons of that man all became tents toward Sodom.
drunkards; they squandered his proThe man who in any way sacrifices perty, and his widow is now sustained moral good and spiritual ends for by the benevolence of the Churchi, physical and ternporal advantages, is He was a good man; but he pitched pitching his tent toward Sodom. his tent towards Sodom.
The man of family who leaves a The young man who commences religious community and Christian the indulgence of bad habits is privileges-carries his family, merely pitching his tent towards Sodom. for purposes of gain, into a country He may love a social glass. He may where there are no Sabbaths, nor prefer the society of the vicious. He sanctuaries, where the influences are may indulge in an occasional game against religion, where his children of cards. He máy go to the house will have the children of profane men of her whose steps take hold on hell. as their only companions, and will of In all this he may see no great evil. course marry ungodly husbands and But after a little while, unless arwives—will find after awhile that he rested by God's providence and grace, has pitched his tent towards Sodom. he finds bimself bound in the strong
The Christian man who sacrifices chains of habit, rexed by evil pasprinciple to interest, and who makes sions-& suitable subject to have the law of the Lord a variable thing, dwelt in ancient Sodom, and ere long is pitching his tent towards Sodom. to take up his abode in those regions A gentleman, an elder of the Presby- of which Sodom and Gomorrah are terian Church, some years since but an emblem. opened an hotel in a country village. Finally, every impenitent sinner He did it to support liis family, and has pitched his tent towards Sodom; it was right; but then to secure cus- because he chooses to dwell in the tom he departed from Christian prin- cities of the plain; because he is ciples, and kept an open bar. In a travelling to a place over which the for rears he died, leaving a widow storms of God's wrath are gathering: and because he must soon be cast into the lake that burneth with tire and brimstone, unless he flee unto the mountain, and tarry not in all
the plain. header! hast thou pitched thy tent towards Sodom?-Watchman and Obserrer.
DO WE KNOW HOW TO PRAY?- The gards no iniquity in our hearts ? Rer. Dr. Hamilton, of Leeds, while What of practical prayer, which fulsolemnly enforcing on the Church its fils itself: Let but such prayer be duty in reference to the conversion understood, let our spirit but break of the world, asks the following sig. with such longing, and the expecta. nificant questions: * And has not the tions of our bosoms shall not be deChurch almost to learn what is the layed And it shall come to pass power of prayer? What conception that before they call I will answer, have we of believing prayer, before and while they are yet speaking I which mountains depart? What of will hear.'” persevering prayer, which causes us CHRIST IS A PEARL, which whoever to stand continually upon the watch- hath can never be poor, and which tower in the day-time, and which sets whoever wants can never be rich. us in our ward whole nights? What Christ's riches are so many they can. of importunate prayer, which storms not be numbered ; they are so pre. hearen with its violence and force ? cious they cannot be valued; they are What of united prayer, gathering us so great they cannot be measured. together to ask help of the Lord ? Dyer. What of consistent prayer, which re
THE DYING SAINT.
Whex life's tempestuous storms are o'er,
Who lived averse to sin !
The good mau's joys begin.
To lift his soul on high;
Who taught him how to die.
In vain their gloom display;
Their darkness into day.
As from the sinner's breast:
And heals his soul with rest.
And calm my evening close ;
Annual Register, 1764.