« ZurückWeiter »
ation ? and do you not also know what a black mark God sets upon the inconsideration of his people ? “ The ox,” saith he,
knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know; any people doth not consider.” Others may say, It is only a bad habit they have got;--but bad habits are bad things, and most especially in religion ; and the result of bad habits are shame, disgrace, and ruin. · Will you thien contịnue in a known bad habit? There may be soinc who say, ļ. thank God for the hint; I perceive my crror :- That is my desigo in bringing forward this subject. This address was delivered with great earnestness and feeling, and produced a correspondent sensation in the minds of the congregation; for the next Sabbath there was a surprizing alteration for the better. Now, Sir, give me leave to observe, That there is one point which such persons totally overlook, and that is, the feelings of their minister. I know, at this time, faithful ministers whose holy souls groan within them, being burthened with the misconduct of their people in late attendance; - and, as I also know persons who are sadly culpable in this respect, who constantly read this Magazine, and whose eyes these lines will meet, - whose consciences will remind them that they are the characters for whom these hints were intended, -I would affectionately remind them, That while they believe that the gospel enriches the soul with the noblesi, finest feelings, they should prove, and especially in the sanctuary, that they possess them. I would say to such, You have placed your souls under the guidance of the minister, upon whose judgment and piety you can best depend; you would not have your affection for him to be doubted; but are you not wounding him deeply, and that in the house of his friends? Doubtless you pray for a blessing upon his labours; but are you not yourselves chilling these labours? With what feelings think you doth his eyes mark your late entrance ? Let conscience give the answer; and may you liave grace to act upon it. ** How disgraceful such conduct! Snail a follower of the Saviour be so careless, so unconcerned about a meeting with him, while his Lord condescends to stand and knock, and wait at the door of the human heart! is not the Spirit of God always ready to bless the opening of worship? and do not those who assemble carly find that they are blessed in their deed ? The excellent Herbert addresses those who came late, on account of the time employed in dressing, thus:
1 . To be drest!
Thy cloines being fast, but thy soul loose about thee But, from bitter experience, I know that human argument is little worth; I would, therefore, turn froir man to God, and
pray that a spirit of conviction of thë shame, the loss, and guilt of late attendance upon public worship, may be poured from on high upon the assemblies of the British Israel! that that effect for which ministers now sigh and cry in vain, may speedily be produced, and each of our places of public worship asseinble that holy band, of which Cornelius could say, "We are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. ..
THE PERPETUAL OBLIGATION OF OBSERVING
« Pray ye that your Flight he not in the Winter, neither on the ii i . .Sabbath-day,” Matt. xxiv. 20.
There are individuals who doubt whether the injunctions for the strict observance of the Sabbath, under the Old Testament dispensation, are not, in some measure, mitigated under the New; and there are, some who assert their abolition altogether. The passage quoted above is calculated, I conceive, to settle the question for ever. It will be admitted by. most, that whatever was abolished of the old economy, was abolished at the death of our Lord; and a new order of things arose with his Resurrection ; so that whatever continued to be divinely sanctioned after his resurrection, will continue so perpetually. Now, it is certain that the destruction of Jerusalem did not take placé till about forty years after his resurrection, when Paul, and alınost all the apostles, were dead. Now mark : — At that period, even forty years after the resurrection, so sacred was the Sabbath-day, that even flight from a merciless besieging army, was to be deprecated as a calamity equal to the mistress of a flight uider such circumstances in winter. If then, forty years after the resurrection we have divine authority for the undiminished holiness of the Sabbath-day, then of irresistible consequence for ever. .
Should this appear to you deserving insertion in the Evans gelical Magazine, I may, perhaps, trouble you with my thought, at some future period, on the divine authority for the change of the day.
E. L. The Editor'begs leave to transcribe the Sentiments of those eminent critics, Drs. Campbell and Macknight, on the above .. text.
Dr. Campbell says, “ There is no word in the original to which the word day corresponds. Now, as some expositors maintain that it is the Sabbatical year, and not the weekly Sabbaih, which is here meant, the translator ought to pre serve, if possible, all the latitude of expression employed b's the author.” His version, therefore, is, - Nor on the Sabbath."
:: Dr. Macknight, on verses 20, 21, says, “ But pray that your flight be not in the winter, when the badness of the roads, and the rigor of the season, will make travelling speedily almost impossible; 'neither on the Sabbath-day, when you will think it unlawful.” • He then subjoins the following note:-" In this direction, our Lord by no means approved of the superstitious regard which the Jews paid to the Sabbath; far less does he establish the observation of the Jewish Sabbath under the gospel. He only declares the inconveniences which the superstition of
the nation would occasion, if their flight should happen on : the Sabbath."
MEANS AND METHODS OF CONVERSION TO GOD.
Tre various means which God is pleased to employ in bringing carcless sinners to a serious concern for their immortal souls, and in making them acquainted with the truth as it is in Jesus, are frequently very remarkable; and, wherever they are known, occasion many thanksgivings to God. But too often the knowledge of these circumstances is confined to a small circle, perhaps only to the intimate friends of the convert himself, or to the church of Christ with which he is united. It has often occurred to the writer, that the Evangelical Magazine would prove a suitable repository for these histories of converting grace; and the religious public would be much obliged to ministers and others who would favour this work with short accounts of this description, taking the most conscientious care that the cases transmitted are truly authentic, and known to be so bý the persons who send them; and it would be still more satisfactory, that the cases of conversion so statod, were such as had been proved to be the genuine work of the Holy Spirit, by a course of holy obedience for a considerable length of time. Such cases will be very acceptable to all who have themselves tasted that the Lord is gracious; and may become very useful, 'as the means of conversion to others.
The following is a slight Specimen of what is proposed :
M.P. of C---, was, like all others, by nature a stranger to the gospel, and an enemy to it. Her mind was filled with prejudice against the people of God, whom she held in the greatest contempt. She would even strive to impede them in their private devotions in the house where she resided. But once, listening to hear one of them in prayer, she overheard him praying earnestly for her salvation. This filled lier with astonishment; and she began to fear that all was not right tetween God and her soul.
These impressions, however, gradually declined; but were revived in the following manner: - On a Lord's Day a companion called upon her, and invited her to take a walk. She complied, and passing by a place of worship where the gospel was preached, the minister, then engaged in a solemn part of his discourse, was uttering those awful words of the great Judge, “ Depart from me ye cursed,” &c. These were the first words that she heard; and they made a lasting impression on her heart : so that she was convinced of her dangerous condition for eternity, and began seriously to cry 6. What shall I do to be saved?” At length she learned the way of salvation, and found peace in her soul, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. The change that took place was quickly perceived by her friends; and she endured some persecution for righteousness sake: but the propriety of her conduct took away much of the prejudice excited against her.
A few years after, she was taken ill, and suffered much before her decease; but there was abundant reason to believe that she died in the Lord.
** It is not meant that the cases proposed should contain | a long detailed account of Christian experience, but be con
fined chiefly to the more remarkable means employed by Di- i vine. Providence, as subservient to the Holy Spirit, in the great work of Regeneration.
It has long been a subject, of lamentation among good men, that charitable and religious institutions must have, what may be called, an Anniversary Frolic connected with them, in order to obtain the support of Convivial Christians. It has also now become fashionable to have anniversary excursions into the country, to celebrate, with the forms of religion, the opening of some new chapel, or religious institution. If these convivial meetings are necessary, let then be kept distinct from the sacred name Religion, which, in many instances, appears as if introduced for the purpose of rendering the former palatable to tender consciences. " I am not disposed to find fault with all public dinners; -- no, by no nieans, for some of them are necessary, and also profitably conducted; but those meetings which may be terined. Convivial, and sanctioned by the name of Religion, are what I conceive to be reprehensible. In a late Number of your Magazine, some observations on the, indecorum of such meetings are introduced. The practice of singing songs is attended with more evil than all the subscriptions of such as approve them can be productive of
good*. I remember, when first under serious impressions, in attending one of these meetings, I was greatly discouraged by the conduct of a religious character then present, who called for a song, and appeared really to enjoy it. I did not know so much of the world then as I now do: if I had, it would have excited pity only. These things are injurious and disgraceful to that cause which they are designed to support.
* At a public dinner in the city, for the support of a dissopting insti. tution, some weeks ago, several songs were suny, and a great number of toasts were given by the Chairman, several of them in bumpers, and with " three times three!” What would Owen, Baxter, Flavel, and other puritaus, have said to these nonconfornlist revellings ?
DR. PRIESTLEY'S DISCIPLES ANSWERED. I HAVE lately been at C---m, to do some business for a gentleman, with an old rich Quaker, whom I have known many years. He is a very sensible man, and highly respected by many considerable persons. In the course of our conversation he told me, that two of Dr. Priestley's disciples, both eminent men, called on him, on purpose to ask What was his opinion of the person of Christ ? , in a moment he became remarkably cool and collected, - sat still some little time, and then gave them the following answer:The apostle says, We preach Christ crucified: to the Jews a stumbling-block, because they expected a temporal Messiah; to the Greeks. foolishness, because he was crucified as a malefactor;- but to them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the wisdom of God, and the power of God! Now, if you can separate the wisdom of God from God, and the power of God from God, I will come over to your opinions.' - They were both struck dumb, and never attempted to utter a single word in reply. '
LIGHT IN DARKNESS.
SOME years ago, a respectable tradesman of the city of London, of unquestionable piety, was exceedingly troubled in his mind respecting the safety of his future state. During a bodily affliction, which eventually proved fatal, he became still more doubtful of his interest in Christ, although many friends endeavoured to encourage him in relying on the allsufficiency of that grace, on which his hopes had been fixed