Page images
PDF
EPUB

own, and

suffered to put forth their power sive gloom. Hence the Psalmist in attempting to harm us, yet they in contemplating the condition into have no power which is not given which he was brought, as bereft them from above; and which is of religious joy, and having his not limited and directed in its ope- soul disquieted within him, prerations ultimately to subserve some scribes to himself as a remedy, good end. What direct influence hope or confidence in God: and these invisible agents may exercise this is the true remedy for all rein the affairs of men we know not, ligious despondency. but whatever it may be, the fear of Another symptom of a weak it betrays a want of faith; a for- faith is an excessive anxiety in regetfulness that if God be for us, it gard to our temporal condition. No matters little what other beings doubt it is right-it is an imperaare against us.

tive duty for every person to exerThe prevalence of spiritual doubts cise a prudent care, in respect to also betrays a weak faith. There his worldly circumstances; and are some Christians who, while they whom God has constituted they give much evidence of being the guardians of others, especially sincere and conscientious, and the heads of families, are also even devout, seem nevertheless to bound to make provision for the have but little enjoyment, from the temporal wants of those commitfact that they never gain any sa ted to their care. Inspiration ittisfactory evidence of their own self hath declared—“ He that propiety. You may present before videth not for his

espethem the evidences of Christian cially for those of his own house, character, and labour faithfully to hath denied the faith and is worse show them that these evidences than an infidel;" and it seems imare furnished by their own experi- possible to comply with the spirit ence, and expostulate with them of this requisition, without bein respect to the guilt and the in- stowing upon the subject of it a gratitude of refusing the comfort considerable degree of care and to which, through God's grace, thought. It is necessary to form they have a legitimate claim; and plans that shall have respect to a yet, after all, they will go on doubt- future day; and, in ordinary cases, ing and trembling, and perhaps to labour diligently in some honest scarcely daring to apply to them- and lawful calling. But over and selves a single promise of the gos- above all this, we often find, and pel. Now I say nothing here in in professed Christians too, an exrespect to what may be the origin treme anxiety in respect to their of this evil: perhaps it ought to worldly prospects; gloomy forebe referred to a gloomy tempera- bodings that they or their children ment, or to a disordered state of shall come to want; and that too the body, or to various other perhaps at the very time when to causes, either of a physical or spi- every other eye than their own, ritual nature; but no doubt it is such apprehensions would appear always in a greater or less degree totally unfounded. They ought to connected with the want of faith. recollect, and if they had more It is because the soul has lost sight faith they would recollect and of the promises which it has a feel, that the ordering of their right to appropriate; or at least circumstances is in the best hands; because some of the truths of the that the special care and protecgospel are not viewed in the prac- tion of God, even in this life, is tical and impressive light in which pledged to the righteous; that if they ought to be viewed, that the they discharge their duty faithfulsoul is clouded with this oppres- ly, they have po right to doubt

ON THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST

AS A TEACHER SENT FROM GOD.

a

that God will fulfil his promise:

From the Christian Obserder. and whatever may happen to them or their offspring here, the glories of immortality are promised to the faithful hereafter. Wherever a The consideration of the manChristian is seen inordinately con ner in which our Lord Jesus cerned about his future temporal Christ supported his character as circumstances, and refusing per Teacher sent by God from haps the claims of real charity, Heaven, not only tends to confirm lest some day or other his children the faith of believers, but ought, should need what he might give also, to convince the infidel of the away, there, be assured, you see a injustice of his unbelief. We Christian, if indeed he be a Chris- claim for him, not only that he tian, who has very little faith: spake as man never spake, but as and if he dare not trust his God never man could speak. to direct his temporal interests, There is this peculiarity in our how dare he leave with him his Lord's preaching, distinct from interests for eternity?

that of all human teachers; that A spirit of impatience in affliction he constantly spoke of Heaven as is another symptom of a weak a place he was acquainted with, faith; and it is the last which I by having seen it. When the Proshall here notice. There are trials phets and the Apostles spoke of of some kind or other scattered the glories of Heaven, it was in a along through the whole journey manner, if we except some visions of human life; and some of them of the Apocalypse, and a few are exceedingly sharp and bitter. other passages, which showed that There is enough, however, in the their knowledge of Heaven was the gospel, to sustain the heart under result of inspired information, not the heaviest burden of sorrow of their own observation: they which can rest upon it. Neverthe- spoke of the joys of Heaven as less, who has not seen the profess- what eye had not seen, nor ear ed Christian, or rather, what Chris- heard. Christ spoke of Heaven tian has not found himself, at some as what he had seen, and his detime or other, sinking under a scriptions corresponded with an weight of trial; indulging a spirit, acquaintance thus directly obtainif not uttering the language of im- ed. He not only said, “I came patience and complaint? Here down from Heaven,” but relates again, is the want of faith. If various particulars of its state. the great truths which the gos. “In my Father's house are many pel reveals were in the mind, mansions: if it were not so I would as strong and living principles have told you.” Speaking of the of action, especially if there were “little ones” he says that “their a deep conviction in the soul angels do always behold the face that a wise and merciful God was of my father which is in Heaven." sending this affliction, and that he He showed that he was acquaintwas sending it in compassion and ed with the nature of the angels; kindness, the spirit of complaint “ they are as the angels of God in would instantly give way to a spi- Heaven;" and that he knew the lirit of resignation; and the lan- mits of their knowledge. He deguage of the heart would be, even clared also the joy experienced in while it was pierced with the barb- Heaven, on the repentance of a sined arrows of adversity—“Though ner. he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” The Prophets and Apostles knew “ Let him do what seemeth him the will of the Father by the inspigood.”

ration of the Holy Ghost, to whose

agency they ascribe all their Di- tions, and should discriminate bevine knowledge. Christ did not tween what he said as the result of ascribe his Divine knowledge to observation, and what he might the Holy Ghost; but, in those in- describe as the offspring of imagistances in which he declares the nation, or the result of communiFather's will as the result of a re cation. In all respects Christ's velation, it is as the result of an mission bears the test. There was immediate personal communica- a consistency, a perfect knowledge, tion. He knew the will of his Fa- and a simplicity of narration, ther from having been with him. which proved that he really came Speaking of his disciples, in prayer from another country; that he deto his Father, he says, “I have scribed what he had seen, and given unto them the words which heard, and done, in Heaven. With thou gavest me; and they have re such an earthly ambassador we ceived them, and have known sure- should treat with confidence; enter ly that I came out from thee, and on the object of his mission with they have believed that thou didst willingness; and if it presented send me.”

any advantage to our future inteMuch of the information which rests, we should not hesitate in acChrist gave his disciples was in its cepting his offers. nature distinct from any thing Were men as wise for another which God has revealed to the world as for this, they would, with Prophets and Apostles. He some- equal confidence, receive the mistimes spoke of the secret things of sion of Christ; for what could God. He declared that the names have been done to prove that he of his disciples were written in came from God, which he did not Heaven. He spoke of this confi- do?

W. M. dently, as having been one in the council of Heaven.

The Divine knowledge revealed to the world through the Prophets “They mount up with wings as eagles.and the Apostles, was generally

Isaiah xl. 31. mysterious, described as dark say-. Exulting and bright on his broad glossy ings, and at best as a light shining wing, in a dark place. Much of the re. The Eagle is piercing the mists of the

morn, velation given to us by Christ, was And from his dark plumage is bastening of the most simple and distinct

to fling character. He described the past, The dew drops that sparkle as upwards

he's borne. the present, and the future in connexion, and frequently in terms Beneath him the waves of the ocean are easily intelligible to his hearers. foaming, If we judge of the character of And dash on the cliffs that rise stern o'er

the deep; Christ as an ambassador from

And through the grey heavens the SirocHeaven, in the same manner that co is moaning we should judge of any person who As the sigh of that bosom that knows not professed to come from a distant to weep! country but little known, we shall But he heeds not the storms, though they be able to form a correct opinion of wildly contend, His authority. We should expect While beyond sleeps a region all splensuch a one to speak the language The dark gilded vapours serve only to of the country, to be able to de

lend, scribe its government and produc- A fresh 'halo to glories that never detions, and the habits and customs of its inhabitants. We should exa

He revels in sunbeams; and from the mine the consistency of his descrip proud height Ch. Adv.-Vol. X.

2 B

crease.

and wo,

Looks down on the valley enshrouded in And thou upon the awful shore gloom;

Of dread eternity art laid ; How faded its beauties appear to the sight! Hope thou in God-his righteous will Like tinsel that gleams 'mid the dust of Gave thee a while life's fleeting breath, the tomb.

And his right hand shall lead thee still,

And hold thee in the house of Death. 'Tis thus that 'mid tumult, and darkness,

W.L On the pinions of Faith the believer can

riseForget this cold world in eternity's glow,

TO A TRACT. And dauntless pursue his bright path through the skies.

Go, little messenger of peace,

Upon thy journey go; Oh! calm is the sunshine that rests on his Bid Zion's kingdom still increase, soul,

And wide its shadows throw; The day-star of Hope--the sweet dawning Till they who never knew the way, of Peace;

And they who slight it known, In sorrow and suffering his heart to con

No more in paths of error stray,

But live to God alone! sole, With the pledge of a glory that never shall cease.

Go, little messenger of peace,

Upon thy journey go:
Bid the lould laugh of folly cease,

The tear of sorrow flow;

Tell all, who have not sought the Lord,
From the Evangelical Magazine. Nor trusted to his grace,
HOPE. .

That they, who will not hear his word,

Shall never see his face! When sorrow fills thine eye with tears,

And joy illumes thy path no more, Go, little messenger of peace, And anxious doubts and gloomy fears

Upon thy journey go; On every side beset thee sore;

From Satan's bonds the soul release, Hope thou in God-his chastening hand

Which pines in hopeless wo; Will, while it tries thee, still sustain ;

The sinner's troubled breast to calm, And suffering, sent at his command,

To ease the mourner's care, Shall prove thy everlasting gain.

In Gilead, say, there is a balm,
When sin sits heavy on thy soul,

A great physician there!
And conscience wakes within thy breast, And oh! on him, whose feeble hand
While clouds of terror round thee roll,

Thy little pages pennd,
And nought of earth can give thee rest;
Hope thou in God-his pity gave

May ev'ry grace, by Heav'n's command, A Saviour's precious blood for thee;

In gentle show'rs descend!

That if, on sin's deceitful waves
Approach-his mercy humbly crave,
And he from sin shall set thee free.

The wand'ring bark he stay,
He may not, while he others saves,

Himself be cast away!
Whon time to thee must be no more,
And earth and all her pomp shall fade, Edinburgh.

HE

Miscellaneous.

SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF REV. JACOB a secular kind, in which he took a GREEN, A. M.

deep interest, and had a considera

ble agency. Agreeably to an intimation at the After what is stated in Mr. close of Mr. Green's autobiogra- Green's own narrative, till the genephy, we are now to give some ac ral revival of religion in the congrecount of the last thirteen years of gation of which he was the pastor, his life. We shall first take a brief and which took place in the year view of what may be denominated 1790, and in the midst of which, his ministerial life; and then notice as we have already mentioned, his some incidents and transactions of ministry was terminated by death,

we know of nothing remarkable to taining many interesting matters; record, among the people of his with an address to our congregaparticular charge. He continued 'tions, and an appendix, representto serve them with his wonted fide- ting the case and circumstances of lity and diligence; and after he the aforesaid presbytery of Morris relinquished the practice of medi. county-To which is subjoined a cine, which he did about eight letter relative to the same subject. years before his death, his time was By the associated presbytery of almost wholly devoted to their spi. Morris county.” The extract is as ritual concerns and interests. His follows: health was frequently interrupted

"Hanover, May 3, 1780. by short turns of illness, which, “ We, ministers of the gospel, however, seldom prevented his viz. Jacob Green, Amzi Lewis, Jopreaching on tħe Sabbath, and did seph Grover, and Ebenezer Bradnot much interfere with the dis- ford, for various reasons, which we charge of his parochial duties. think sufficient to justify ourselves, Some additions, it is believed, have withdrawn from the presbywere every year made to the com- tery of New York, and from the munion of his church; and to the synod of New York and Philadel. last he possessed without diminu- phia; and without desiring or detion, the affection and veneration of signing to make any unscriptuthe people to whom he ministered. ral or uncharitable breach or seWith them, his opinions were con- paration among ministers and sidered as decisive, in almost every churches, think proper to form doubtful question; and the usages ourselves into a voluntary society to which he had accustomed them for promoting the interest of reliwere not easily changed by his gion. And as we consider oursuccessors—even in some cases in selves Presbyterians, in a scriptuwhich changes, from altered cir- ral sense, we agree to call ourcumstances, were desirable and selves and be known by the name proper. Thus, in the quiet but ef- of The Presbytery of Morris Counficient performance of his pastoral ty. And as it may be expected duties, he passed the years that that we should give some reasons elapsed between the period at why we have withdrawn, we think which his own narrative ends, and the following sufficient:”—Then the time of his decease. He was follows a statement of reasons, the infinitely overpaid for all his faith- sum of which is, that the parties ful labours, in a congregation forming the Morris County preswhich he served for four-and-forty bytery thought that the Presbyteyears, by seeing them, at the close rianism of Scotland and of the of his life, generally and earnestly synod of New York and Philadelinquiring what they should do to phia (the General Assembly had be saved, and many of them re not then been formed) was not enjoicing in the hope of eternal life, tirely scriptural, and that many of through the abounding grace of their rules, canons, or orders" were their Lord and Redeemer.

unduly and unscripturally restricMr. Green had a principal agen- tive of Christian liberty. In a cy in forming the Morris county word, the statement contained in presbytery. The origin of this

our last number, of Mr. Green's presbytery, and its first constitu- “Tenets or Doctrinal sentiments,” ent members, will appear by a short extract from a pamphlet before us, word associated when

we first formed, yet

**We did not, for some reasons, use the of 62 quarto pages, and entitled, then gupposed it proper in itself, and have "A VIEW OF A CHRISTIAN CHURCH

since concluded to add it when we men. AND

GOVERNMENT; tion ourselves as a presbytery."

CHURCH

con

« PreviousContinue »