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sion. Others have only the sha- In few instances have the chadow of union and firmness, while, in racters of true conversion been reality, they are without strength, more distinctly marked than in and continually liable to be thrown the experience of these young perinto distraction by any unfavour- The first, a youth of great able circumstance that may occur. moral worth, was brought to a Private members of churches have right estimate of his eternal innot that assistance for their im- terests during his last lingering provement and comfort which illness. His sister had long exChrist hath appointed. Faithful hibited the evidences of genuine officers often find insurmountable piety; her death was the effect of difficulties in the way of their rapid and unexpected disease. Mr. duty. And the rising generation Bennet's improvement of the afgrows up unacquainted with the fecting circumstances of these nature and order of the kingdom of striking providences was marked Christ, and destitute of those helps, by sound judgment and strong which he hath ordained for the feeling. The third sermon was deseed of his church.”—pp. 5—8. livered on occasion of the death

Probably our readers will not of Dr. Savage. think the following question and Among other events of importanswer, taken from the body of ance to Mr. B. during his ministry the work, unseasonable at the pre- in London, it may be mentioned, sent time.

that he married, in November "Q. 27.-Is it right for any 1784, Esther, daughter of Thomas man, or body of men, to enjoin ad- Shrimpton, Esq.of High Wycomb. ditions to the ordinances of Christ, But the happiness which he eneven under the idea of assisting joyed in the society of this respecte devotion, or of rendering the wor- able and excellent lady, was inship more comely? -A. By no terrupted by domestic calamity, means; for all true and acceptable and was, in its duration, lamentdevotion is the fruit of faith, which ably short. Two children, which hath respect to the word of God were the fruit of their marriage,

and all the beauty of chris- both died in infancy, and were tian worship consists in its exact soon followed to the grave by their agreement with the appointments mother, who departed this life, at of Christ, who is the head over all Canonbury, in February 1787. things to his body the church. In September of the following All human additions, therefore, are year, Mr. B. entered again into the not only needless, but presump- marriage state, with Mary, daughtuous, because they derogate from ter of Samuel Ewer, Esq. of Linthe wisdom and authority of Christ; coln's Inn Fields, and of Ipswich. and are expressly forbidden in his This lady was his “ valuable, or word.”—Heb. xi. 1-6. Eph. ii. rather invaluable partner,” (as he 19-22. Matt. xv. 9. Col. ii. himself has been known to express 18-23.-P. 22.

it,) for more than thirty-three In 1791, Mr. B. published three years. Such an animated expresfuneral sermons, two of which ap- sion of real attachment and satispeared at the request of the friends faction, it is certain she would at and relations of John and Sophia no time have been indisposed to Vowell, an amiable and truly reli- apply to himself. gious brother and sister, who both

(To be continued.) died young, in December 1790.

alone;

SHORT DISCOURSES FOR FAMILIES, &c.

it is made up.

No. XXXVII.

to raise him, no heavenly grace to

disengage his heart from this FOR THE NEW YEAR.

world's delusions, and to fix his CHRISTIAN ANTICIPATIONS. affections on realities above. True

wisdom dictates a far different I will go in the strength of the Lord

course; it reveals to us the secret, God.-Psalm lxxi. 16.

both of our weakness and our At the present season, when we force ; giving to us the consciousare, as it were, leaving behind us ness of our depravity and blindthe cares and the enjoyments, the ness, it impels us to take up our calm and the turbulence, the vicis- cross, and to follow Christ ; directsitudes and the tranquillity which ing us to the great source of power may have chequered our course and perseverance, it enables us to through the departed year, it must adopt the language of the royal be profitable for us to pause at the Psalmist, and to say, I will go

in starting-point of our new career, the strength of the Lord God. that we may commune with our 1. We shall take these words in own hearts, prove our principles, their general import, as expressive and ascertain the feelings and an

of determination. ticipations with which we enter on II. We shall analyse the general the uncertainties of the future. resolution, and endeavour to asGod has been pleased to divide the certain the particulars of which lapse of time into appointed seasons; he has set up barriers and In the first place, then, we may waymarks to admonish us of the consider the text generally as the length of our progress, and of our language of determination. After nearer approach to its inevitable recapitulating various important termination. The succession of considerations, David, on a delibeday and night, the changes of the rate view of all the circumstances moon, the revolutions of the sun, of his case, comes to this resolved are all graciously designed to warn, conclusion, that others might trust to reprove, and to animate; they in chariots and in horses, in wiscall upon us to consider our origin, dom or in knowledge, in health or our condition, and our prospects. bodily vigour, but that he would That man is well-judging who trust in the Lord his God. With makes these the subjects of his habi- this part of our subject, the foltual meditation ; but he who en- lowing particulars seem to be naters on this investigation, relying turally connected. on his own acuteness, though he 1. Indecision is the mark of a may be wise after the manner of feeble character. On this point all the schools, his trusted strength is mankind are agreed ; the timid, weakness, and his boasted wisdom uncertain, wavering man, betrays folly. Nor is that man's resolution the infirmity of his mental and of a firmer or more prudent cast, moral habits, at every step he takes who rushes into the warfare of life in the intersecting paths of life. in all the hardihood of self-de- Doubts, difficulties, and dangers, pendence; and in the madness of appal him at every turn; he hesiits strife, the despondency of its tates alike amid the clearest evifailures, or the intoxication of its dence, and in circumstances of victories, calls upon no stronger real obscurity. And if in common arm to aid him, no higher power life these feelings be contemptible

we

in their display, and mischievous one dignified attempt to make in their effect, how much more in- themselves masters of their course. jurious must they be in their influ- For such there is no excellence ; ence on our Christian course. He they live, without an effort to fulthat wavereth is like a wave of the fil the great end of their being ; sea driven with the wind and tossed ; they take for their motto, let us eat let not that man think that he shall and drink, for to-morrow we die. receive any thing of the Lord.— They perish, and leave society withThere is not a single point of our

out a blank. And as every valua.. religious experience where ble principle that belongs to the may safely give way to hesitancy world, pertains in a far higher sense and halting. In our choice be to the children of the kingdom, tween good and evil, God and the this feeling too should be always world—in our estimate of our present with us, that we maintain own character, and that of the Al- a steady and habitual resolution to mighty-in the great question, go forward in the divine life; to what think ye of Christ ?—in our make all our pursuits subservient approaches to a Throne of Grace; to our growth in grace; to bring in our daily and hourly trust and our thoughts, our conversation, dependence on divine illumination our reading, to bear upon our proand aid; in all or any of these par- gress Zionward. And as there is ticulars, can we safely indulge a corruption mingled with our best double or a doubting mind ? No! services, let us give heed to it, my friends, here there must be no that nothing of this be on our wavering ;“onward and upward own foundation ; but that we premust be the Christian's motto, serve a constant and humble rewhile he presses forward for the gard to the presence and the aid prize of his high calling of God in of Him, who alone is able to keep Christ Jesus. In human affairs us from falling. Let us not be as there may be a pretext for inde- though we had already attained, cision, since all that depends on cither were already perfect; but man is frail and deceptive; but in by the help of God, let us aim at eternal concerns there is no room all excellence; let us aspire to a for unceytainty, since all that de- finished victory, through Him who pends on God is settled and sta- loved us. blished.

3. We may infer the expediency 2. We may, for a moment, direct of forming specific resolutions. Men our attention to the necessity for are too fond of dwelling in genedetermination, in order to the allain- rals, without exposing themselves to ment of excellence. The insepara- the inconvenience of applying parble connection between the moral ticulars to their own characters and quality and its desirable result, circumstances. The merchant wha was emphatically stated by the is aware that his concerns are in a dying patriarch, when he ad- dubious state, too often shrinks dressed to his first-born son the from the investigation of his affairs, prophetic malediction,—unstable as until disaster becomes disgrace. water, thou shalt not excel. A The man who is conscious of a large class of mankind seem dis- weak and vicious mind, is relucposed to indulge themselves in an tant to submit to those minute indolent and inactive habit, be- and painful searchings which would traying no marked or disgraceful leave him without the unsubstansymptom of a wavering character, tial excuses by which he conbut wrapping themselves up in trives to bribe and mitigate the satisfied mediocrity, and drifting verdict of his conscience.

And down the stream of time, without thus, with ourselves, there is a Cong. Mag. No, 61.

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1

our

as

sternness and severity of self-exa- invigorating means of grace. Have mination and liscipline requisite we to look back on lamentable to the full and fair application of failures-where was our weakness our principle, which make us re- in the hour of temptation ?-Was coil from its honest and sincere it in negligence, in self-depenadoption. We have no objection dence, in alienation from God, in to general determinations, for they perverted views of divine truthmay be evaded; but we dislike spe- then let our determination be dicific ones, because they bring us rected to the counteractive means, at once home to the inner-chamber to prayer and self-clenial, to ferof our heart. To resolve against vent intreaties for recalling sancthe grosser forms of impurity, tifying, and illuminating, grace. carries so much generality, and Have we neglected the study of such obvious propriety along with own characters are we it, that we dare not refuse ; but yet unacquainted with ourselves ? when it comes to particulars, when Then let our strenuous efforts be we are compelled to determine directed to the attainment of this against the sensual indulgence of knowledge, keeping in steady the eye or the mind ;--when our view the awful requisitions of resolution becomes minute, and is Godi's holy word, and looking formade to include every question- ward to the strict scrutiny of the able sight, however alluring, all great and terrible day of the frivolous conversation, however Lord, And as every plan and lively and enticing, all licentious every determination that we may reading, however attractive, in frame in the conduct of life, will short, when it is directed to the be mainly dependent for success closure of every avenue at which on our peculiar characters, so will sinful appetite may find an every resolution formed with retrance, then comes the conflict; ference to the life of grace, be inthen the flesh and the spirit are at fluenced by our state before God variance; and, let the result be presumptuous resolves will inevia what it may, one thing, at least, tably fail, sanctified and humble will be made manifest, the weak- determinations will obtain a blesness of man destitute of the grace sing from on high. of God. The paralleł might be It was proposed, pursued through all the varieties II. To consider the resolution of human experience ; but this recorded in the text, with relation may suffice to establish the import- to the particulars of which it is ance of specific resolutions, and to made up. And under this head, suggest the principle on which they we may consider the language of should be forined, and the par- David, ticulars to which they should 1st. As having reference to himbe applied. Our successes, our self ;- I will go. Here he evifailures, our characters, will sup- dently has in view the common ply us with an ample field of exa- similitude which describes life as a mination. Have we been success- journey. Keeping this resema, ful in our struggles with self and blance in sight, we may observe sin-what means have been made that the Christian traveller, like instrumental in giving us the vic- the voyager of science or curiosity, tory? Have prayer, reading of must exercise activity. The inert the Scriptures, hearing of the and indolent are unfit for the task word, been blest to our establish- of observation; the comforts of ment in faith and holiness ? - then their fire-side, the heaviness of let our resolutions go to the steady sloth, or the languor of habitual cultivation of these precious and indulgence, will combine to inca

en

pacitate them for the rapid move- sition to all that is good. No man ments, continual exertion, and in- ever attempted the heavenly jourtense excitement, which at once ney, in his own strength, and sucgratify and exhaust the visitant of ceeded. We are unequal to a sindistant realms. And are indolence gle enemy; we must fail before and sensuality qualifications for the smallest dilliculty; we shall that journey wbich, through all the give way before the slightest intitrials and the perils of the wilder- midation. Nothing in nature can ness, leads to glory, honour, and be so weak, because nothing can immortality ? While all nature is be so guilty, as man; and were active in its appointed course, shall we to accumulate all the forms not the follower of Christ be alert and semblances of debility, we anil persevering in his path of ho- should yet fall short of the helpliness? Let us be awake and stir- lessness of man as man, because ring, and, while duties are pressing his is a moral imbecility-the inround us, let us count it our high firmity of the will. It is the privilege to be actively employed Christian's privilege to feel his in the work of God. Another weakness, and under a deep conquality is indispensable to the tra- sciousness of its ruinous effects, to veller, watchfulness against danger, seek strength from a higher source. imposition, or error. The Chris. This too was the secret of David's tian traveller, too, must watch, and confidence reliance upon God, against the same casualties. Dan- distinctly expressed in the langers surround him, the enemies of guage of the text, while the conhis soul are raging for his destruc- sciousness of his own helplessness is tion, “ fear, and the snare, and the obviously implied. No man ever pit,” are prepared to overwhelm attempted the heavenly journey in him. Error and delusion are the strength of Jehovah, and failed. spread as nets for the unwary; What a high and holy incentive to the path is sometimes intricate, action is this! How glorious are and though the directory is plain, the powers and privileges with yet we are not always willing to which the Christian is invested ! submit to its guidance. Let us Well may he move fearlessly onthen watch against Satan, against ward, whose energy and whose arthe world, against ourselves. Nor mour are given hin from the Alis perseverance less requisite to the mighty. Well may he, who has traveller Zionward. How many God for his helper, set at nought have fainted by the way, how the impotent contradiction of his many halted in their advance, how fellow-worms, and the maligyant many wandered from the path ! opposition of the powers of dark. And we. too, unless we receive ness. Be it remembered, that this from God persevering grace, shall is a principle to be taken in its faint, and fail, and err.

entireness; it is not to be parcelled 2. The Psalmist, after thus inti- out and adopted as caprice or demating the objects of his resolu- praved inclination may suggest; tion, gives himself up implicitly to it must be our constant and sole that Being who alone can inspire dependance, to be used in the preand confirm holy resolutions. Iscribed way, and for sanctified purwill

in the strength of the Lord poses. When we travel out of the

In the performance of Scripture record, we have no war. this self-renouncing act, he ex- rant to expect security against presses conscious weakness. He false doctrine; when we quit “ the knew his infirmity, and, like Da- great highway of holiness," it is vid, every child of God feels and absurd and impious to call on di, confesses his inability and indispo- vine assistance while persisting in

God.

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