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mankind, Nailed to the shameful tree," Not only her language but also her &c. She often repeated that hymn,“ actions were so expressive of the joy the Lamb, the loving Lamb,” &c.-- and happiness, I might add of the glory “Now,” she would say in the most that was revealed to her, that she would solemn manner, you are capable of extend her dying arms and appear to be calling upon God.” To a friend she said, gazing with rapture on some friendly “when you speak let it be to the pur- celestials, endeavouring in vain to make pose. Say nothing but Jesus ! Glory!” us sensible of their presence by pointing
I often went to her bed and asked, and saying, “ Don't you see? O! there, are you in pain? “No.” Are you sick ? Glory! Glory! is my own,” with such “ No.” Do you want a drink? “Yes." ecstacy as to astonish the favoured ones What makes you say amen so often ? that witnessed this triumphant scene."Glory!" was always the answer. She We could only wonder and adore the sung* a line or two of different hymns. giver of life in death.
She has gone. Your Lydia rests after
lingering months in pain. The scene is " Jesus can make a dying bed, Feel soft as downy pillows are,” &c.
changed. “ There the inhabitants shall no more say I am sick."
May these consoling reflections alle* The late Dr. Rush, who was the ardent friend viate your grief, and teach you to bless of evangelical piety, and often prescribed for the the hand that gives you with such confisoul as well as the body of his patients, was the dence to say, “ I sorrow not- as those tast illness. He has been known to refer to her without hope." triumphaut death in his lectures delivered in the With every possible wish for your University of Pennsylvania. Speaking of her singing he used to say, “'Twas more than hůwelfare, I am as ever, man? 'twas angelic. ller singing chained me to
Your sincere friend, her bed."
FRANCENIA BUDD. *c Poetry.
And fled for ever from thy mother's sight? That torn; I can, their deep impressions trace.
Oh! that engaging smile still moves my soul,
Wben reason's ray began so bright to shine, Ah my dear babe, how transient was thy stay, When that fond look, my warm affections stole Among these glories of deceitful kind !
And all the mother's heart was lost in thine. What kindred spirit beckon'd thee away, To leave me weeping in this vale behind ?
But thou art lovely still in death's embrace ;
Yes; Agnes smiles as in a gentle sleep; Did sorrow frigbt thee with her mournful voice, Tho'cold as marble is ber beauteous face,
And bid thee from thy mother's arms depart? Consign'd to dust for angel bands to keep. Or did those joys above decide thy choice,
Forgive, ob Jesus! Saviour of mankind, And captivate so soon thy infant beart?
Who on this earth bast shed affection's tear, Or did affliction point thee to that bier,
If thou in me, a murm’ring thought can find, Where friendship breathes her last despairing
Oh! soothe my heart, and calm the rising fear. sigh?
Content, that Agnes dwells above with thee, Where blasted hope in anguish drops the tear, Fair plant to flourish in a milder air, And bids adieu to joys beneath the sky? And thus to bloom near that unfading Tree,
Whose fruits the beatific millions share. Oh! Agnes, Agnes, lovely offspring say
? Had earth no beauties to attract thee here? From her short stay, I'll learn that bere below, Could not such innocence as thine long stay No pleasure's lasting, no possession's sure, Where scenes of visionary bliss appear? That ev'ry cup is wix'd with dregs of woe,
And nought but heav'nly transports can Transient sojourner-sudden was thy light,
endure. A pleasant visitor on earth awhile. Then plum'd thy wing, and fled from mortal Patient I'll wait, tho' anguish rends my heart, sight,
Till that bless'd call shall summons me away, No more our passing moments to beguile. Then gladly from this vale of woe depart,
To join my Agnes in eternal day. Thy soft affections like the creeping vipe,
MIRANDA Held me a captive in thy fond embrace,
Baltimore, Nov. 3, 1823.
FOR MARCH, 1824.
A SERMON ON THE SPIRITUALITY AND TRUTH OF DIVINE
WORSHIP. The substance of a discourse delivered at the dedication of the Methodist Church in Danville, Vt. Oct. 30, 1822.
BY THE REV. W. FISK, A. M. God is a Spirit ; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in
truth. John iv. 24. THERE is scarcely a people so rude and irreligious, but have some ideas of worship due to a Supreme Being. And most nations, in all ages of the world, have reduced their worship to some kind of a system; having prescribed forms, rites and places, of religious service. But none of the nations of antiquity, had so perfect a system of this kind as the Jews. And no wonder, for theirs was the form, theirs the ritual, theirs the ordinances prescribed and dictated by God himself. " As Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle; for see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern, showed to thee in the mount."
The Samaritans, especially in the days of our Lord, were not far behind the Jews in their forms of worship. Indeed they were much the same. After the king of Assyria had carried away captive, the ten tribes of Israel, he setued Samaria by a colony from Babylon and other places. These, at the first, were much annoyed by lions; which led them to conclude, that the tutelary god of that country was offended with them, “because they knew not the manner of the God of the land.' To remedy this evil, a priest of the Israelites was sent among them, “who taught them how they should fear the Lord.” That is, taught them the manner in which their predecessors, the Israelites, worshipped. It seems, however, they did not, at this time, entirely renounce their idolatronis worship; for though “they feared the Lord,” yet "they served their own gods.” But soon after the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, these Samaritans renounced VOL. VII.
idolatry altogether,-had them a temple built on mount Gerrizim, and attended to the same forms of worship with the Jews.
But both the Samaritans and the Jews at the time of our Lord's incarnation, had lost the substance in the shadow, the essence in the form. And now they were contending about the place of worship : the one maintaining that the mountain of Samaria: the other that Jerusalem, was the place where men ought to worship.” Christ came to correct their errors on this subject to show them what the acceptable worship of God was, and how it was to be performed. This he does in a clear manner, in that discourse with the woman of Samaria, of which our text makes a part.
Your attention is invited to this subject at the present time, because, on several accounts, we think it suited to this occasion. It is certainly very proper in dedicating a house to the worship of God, that we should examine for our own direction, those principles that are to guide and influence us in the service of his house. And as we have
sometimes been misunderstood by some, and misrepresented by others, it is perhaps a duty we owe ourselves, to state and explain the nature and manner of that worship, which we pay to “the God of our fathers.”. Besides, it is a duty which we owe to our neighbours of other denominations, among whom we have built a house to the worship of the God of Heaven, to state, with all frankness, our principles of devotion and system of worship; that they may be able to determine how far it will be consistent for them to own us, and have intercourse with us as Christian brethren.
The doctrine of the text is contained in two propositions.
And the doctrine of these two propositions, is confirmed and enforced by the introductory clause to our text, “ God is a Spirit.”
1. The worship of God must be spiritual. By this we are to understand,
1. That the worship of God consists in the right dispositions of the heart, and proper exercises of the mind, rather than in any outward peculiarity of time, form or place.
It is not meant by this, that no outward form is necessary. Neither Christ nor his apostles taught this. And such is the nature of man in this compound being of matter and spirit, such is the connection between the soul and the body, and such is the dependence of the former upon the latter, that outward exercise seems absolutely necessary to the reception of most of our inward sensations; and, in a greater or less degree, inseparably connected with heir continuance. It is true, the exercises of the mind are sufficiently distinguished from those of the body, to convince every careful observer, that they are not the same; and yet so related, that every one must see they were designed to act toge
ther. The soul is confined and cramped in its motions, and cannot move to such purpose and efficiency alone, as when there is a corresponding action in the senses and members of the body. This not only gives energy, but constancy to the exercises of the mind. So natural and habitual is it, for the mind to receive its ideas and carry them into operation, through an outward medium that it is difficult to fix the attention for any length of time, without this medium. And, in his worship, as well as in other things, God designed that men should act in their compound nature, having a connection with the material, as well as with the spiritual, world. If the soul and body were united, in so mysterious and wonderful a manner, merely for the purposes of this world, it would seem God encumbered the soul with a body, for a very unimportant object. But when we learn, that they were united that we might “ glorify God with our bodies," as well as “ with our spirits which are his;" when we are taught "to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God,” we then see, that these, as well as our spirits, have a very important part to perform, in the service of God. And this inust of course be by some outward form.
Further : since man is a social being, it is consistent to suppose, that God designed men should be associated together in his worship. And this is agreeable to the divine command, “ Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together." But there can be no social worship, without some outward intelligible sign and form. Neither can there be social worship, without some place in which it is performed. Though it be not in the mountain of Samaria, nor at Jerusalem; though it be not in a consecrated temple, yet it must be somewhere, and at some time. And if the worship be stated, if it be not. left to mere chance, it must be in a regularly concerted place, and at an appointed time.
From all these considerations it is very evident, that our Lord did not mean to prohibit outward forms, or the use of any established place of worship. But it was his design to show the impropriety of considering any place or any form, as constituting the essential part of his worship. The sanctity of no place, the perfection of no outward exercise, would render acceptable the service of an indevotional heart. On the other hand, if the heart were devotional, the worship would be acceptable, in whatever place, and under whatever form.
“He that worships God must worship him in spirit.”. As the body without the soul is dead, so the form of worship without the inward spirit of devotion, is dead also. As an attendance at court, and a punctilious observance of the ceremonies, in the king's presence chamber, does not make one that is a rebel at heart, a loyal subject; so an attendance at the place of worship, and a strict observance of the forms of religion, does not make a man of an indevotional spirit, an acceptable worshipper. He is
a "cloud without water.” He is a “sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal.”
2. God's worship is spiritual, as distinguished from the speculative exercise of the intellectual faculties.
There is a clear distinction between a devotional mind, and a mind exercised about the things of devotion. A distinction, however, which many seem not to have been sufficiently observed. In this respect it is very evident the Jews and Samaritans were in an error. And it is certain, the Christian church has been more or less afflicted with this error, from the apostolic age to the present day. The Gnosticks first introduced it into the church, and the divinity of the schools has kept it alive. No part of Christendom perhaps, in modern times, has been so much afflicted in this way as New-England. We have reason to hope that we are reforming in this respect; but we are not yet wholly rid of a dry metaphysical divinity, which makes the best part of religion consist in abstruse speculations of the mind, and abstract decisions of the judgment. Hence we hear, in our worshipping assemblies, a great deal of "essay preaching," as it has been aptly termed. Instead of the marrow of the gospel, the people are detained to hear a long course of reasoning, on some dry unprofitable thesis in school divinity, ten thousand of which would not be instrumental in converting a soul. At one time, there is much labour to prove, that true saints will rejoice as much over the misery of the damned, as over the happiness of the saved. At another time, a long list of speculations and syllogisms is brought forward to prove that the regenerate are possessed of " disinterested benevolence.” Again, we are called to determine, by a laboured metaphysical investigation, whether the prayer of the awakened sinner before regeneration, is a holy or an unholy exercise. And men are taught that their characters, as true or false worshippers, are decided, according as they assent to, or dissent from, such propositions. Hence, when they are examined in relation to their experience, to determine whether they are suitable persons for church-membership, they are asked such questions as the following. “Do you love God, for what he is in and of himself, as for his supposed communications to you?" "Is your happiness in yourself, or out of yourself?” “Are you willing to glorify God by being eternally miserable ?" And many others of a similar nature. Such preaching and such exercises are called spiritual worship. To investigate such subjects, and to understand such investigations, to ask such questions, and to answer them when asked, require, it is acknowledged, a vigorous exertion of the mind. It is not an outward form, but an inward exercise. It is, however, any thing else, but worship: and approximates but little nearer to true devotion, than mere outward form. The understanding may be informed, the head may be orthodox, when the flame of devotion has never been lit up in the