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child, after repeated repulses. And he say, 'Such things have befallen Psa. xxxiii. 22. I believe I shall me. live to see good, in some way, Said I not, my dear friend, that come out of it. My soul is at rest this was a most mournfully inin God.”
structive tale? Well might the Finding that he was bent on a afflicted father call to mind David sea-faring life, his father procured weeping over Absalom. As far him a comfortable situation on as regarded natural affection, his board a merchant ship, apparent tears were probably more bitter ly much to his satisfaction. The than those of David; for whatever hopes which this new arrange- were the sins and follies of this ment raised in the minds of his youth, his biographer attests of friends were, however, suddenly him that he by no means evinced destroyed, before he could join his “an inveterate propensity to vi. ship, by the operation of what cious and abandoned courses;" Fuller's biographer justly calls that “his disposition was amia
savage laws” of impress- ble;" that “his wanderings arose ment. Thus, against his inclina- from instability of character;" and tion, he found himself once more that he does not appears to have on board a man-of-war, in the ca- abandoned himself to any of those pacity of a common sailor. In a gross vices incident to a naval and few months, an account was re- military life.” To his father he ceived by his friends of his having seems to have behaved with perbeen tried for desertion, and sen- sonal affection, amidst all his wantenced to a most severe punish- derings: he was a prodigal son, ment, after the infliction of which but not, like Absalom, a traitor he immediately expired.
and a murderer. There had been “Oh!” says his agonized pa- nothing, therefore, to alienate the rent,
“ this is heart trouble! In affections of a parent, except, as former cases, my sorrows found every kind of vice is hateful to a vent in tears: but now I can sel- Christian mind, though it does
A kind of morbid not, of necessity, diminish parental heart-sickness preys upon me from tenderness-nay, from feclings of day to day. Every object around commiseration, it may increase it. me reminds me of him! Ah! ** And then there was the choking *** he was wicked; and mine remembrance that his son had aceyes were not over him to prevent tually begun a new course, when
** he was detected, and an act of atrocious injustice for tried, and condemned; and I knew such I scruple not to call the barit not
* he cried under barous custom of impressmenthis agonies; but I heard him not 'tore him away from a peaceful and ***** he expired, without an useful occupation, upon which he eye to pity or a hand to help him! had entered, to plunge him into,
( Absalom! my son! what I have heard respectable seamy son! would God I had died faring men call, that“ hell on the for thee, my son!
waters," a man-of-war. “My son," “ Yet, oʻmy soul! let me rather he might have thought, “would think of Aaron than of David. perhaps have been saved in body He' held his peace' in a more try- and soul, had it not been for that ing case than mine. His sons were act of legalized atrocity. He had both slain, and slain by the wrath of felt the evils of his past conduct, heaven; were probably intoxicated and I yet had hope; but nowat the time: and all this suddenly, Absalom perished lifting uy his without any thing to prepare the hand against his father; but his mind for such a trial! Well did death was what men call casual;
it * *
it was not cruel, it was not dis- example, could afford for his chilgraceful: but my poor boy died dren's spiritual welfare. The under the lash, perhaps for some above passages incidentally afford offence which the strictness of mi. a most beautiful illustration of his litary law accounts highly penal, feelings as a Christian parent. but which does not involve high Scarcely a syllable does he record moral turpitude-he might have in his secret diary of his son's been overcome with slumber at temporal prospects; his most his post after severe fatigue.” anxious desire is, regarding his Thus a parent's feelings might spiritual condition. He attests have gone on to trace new sources before God, in the simplicity of of grief, while it invented every his soul, that “ he had not sought possible mitigation of the young great things for him;" and that man's offences. Besides all which, he felt far more acutely because Mr. Fuller seems to have believed the course his son had taken was that his son laboured under “a wicked, than because it was mean sort of mental derangement," as and degrading. This last remark his poor mother actually did for exhibits the very touchstone of some weeks before her death; in Christian feeling. Happy is that which case his feelings must have parent who can truly say that he been ten-fold harrowed up at the has always thus made the Divine thought of his sufferings, while all Law his standard, and has always that appeared wrong in him would felt the fear of God to be more call forth tenderness instead of dis- promptly influential
than any pleasure.
worldly bias; and would have Then there was, as doubtless in preferred the “meanest” employDavid's case, intense spiritualment, if not“ wicked,” to all that anxiety. The youth had been re- wealth, and taste, and worldly holigiously educated; and though nour could offer. the father throws out a casual re- In all the annals of parental sufmark that he seemed to be labour. fering, I know not that I could ing under a species of mental de- point out a more affecting passage rangement, yet he did not so se- than the closing part of that above riously adopt this opinion as to quoted; or any thing more beautiabate in the least his feeling of his fully Christian, or more sublimely son's moral responsibility. He full of faith and holy resignation, greatly feared, and he durst than its conclusion: “Yet, O my scarcely cherish a hope to 'the soul, let me rather think of Aaron contrary, that the unhappy pro- than of David.” Truly, religion digal was lost forever; and this, is worth something at such a mowith the accumulated guilt of ment. Nor is it uninteresting, or having rejected all the restraints unedifying, to contemplate a man of a well-informed conscience, and like Fuller, known chiefly to the a religious, and anxiously guard- world in far other aspects, and ed education.
often involved in painful controThe suffering parent's affliction versies, thus, in the midst of home was not, I think, aggravated by endearments, and without feelings of self-reproach, except feeling jarring within, when all so far as every man of tender con- was jarring in the outer world. science is sensible of innumerable I know not that I would have sins, negligences, and ignorances pained your feelings with this narin his best observances; for he rative, if I could not have added had been a peculiarly watchful something to relieve them; for a parent, and had left nothing un- few days brought the afflicted fadone, that prayer, instruction, and ther the joyful intelligence that Ch. Adv.-Vol. X.
the report of his son's death was being also removed, perhaps, unfounded—though I presume the too early from home, before his account of his punishment and character was formed-fell into consequent illness and danger, was the snare. It seems to me the true. Mr. Fuller's recorded re- great secret of religious domestick mark, upon hearing the reviving government is, to make both serintelligence is characteristic: “İvants and children habitually feel, have received a letter from my that, though they might be more poor boy: Well, he is yet alive, wicked in other families, they and within the reach of mercy." could not be more happy.' A really The soul of his child was still the well ordered Christian household, first object of his solicitude. Whe- neither lax nor morose, is the very ther his conduct as a parent was
gate of heaven. always judicious, I know not. It As you have followed this unis possible that his very anxiety happy young man thus far, perfor his children's spiritual welfare haps you might wish to know the might cause him to render reli- conclusion of this narrative, which gious instruction burdensome to bears directly upon the subject of them; and many a child has been my letter. Many painful vicissiinjured by the recoil from an over- tudes befel him, brought on by his strained tension, which the infant own evil conduct. His last station mind could not bear. I remember, was among the marines, with many years ago, an elderly lady whom he went on a voyage to telling me that she could not Brazil. On his return, he addressthink how it was that her son, ed his father in the most pathetick when he grew up, had so little terms, entreating one more writtaste for religion; for that she had ten testimony of his forgiveness, done all she could to impress him urging that he was on the point with a sense of its importance: so of sailing for Lisbon," whence," much so, that when he used to says he, "I may never return." come home from school to his This was answered by an affecting breakfast and dinner, she made epistle, of which the following exhim read the Bible till it was time tracts are all that can be found: to go back again, never allowing “My dear Robert, I received him to play about idly like other with pleasure your dutiful letter, boys; and that his evenings and and would fain consider it as a Sundays were wholly occupied in symptom of a returning mind. I religious reading, and prayer, and cannot but consider you as having serious conversation, and learning been long under a sort of mental the Scripture and catechisms: derangement, piercing yourself and yet, added she, “He does not through, as well as me, with many seem to love the Bible.”
sorrows. My prayer for you conThere is not, perhaps, much ge- tinually is, that the God of all neral danger of over-strictness in grace and mercy may have mercy these matters in the present day; upon you. You may be assured the tendency is usually to a lax, that I cherish no animosity against rather than a rigid system of fa- you. On the contrary, I do, from mily religious discipline; yet the my heart, freely forgive you. But fault may be occasionally witness- that which I long to see in you is ed: and if this were the case in repentance towards God, and faith Mr. Fuller's house (though I am towards our Lord Jesus Christ, not aware that it was), it is less without which there is no forgiveremarkable that the young man, ness from above. when he became first exposed “My dear son! you had advanto the vices of a London life tages in early life; but, being con
tinually in profligate company, you
“ From the testimony of his capmust be debased in mind, and, in tain, and one of his messmates, we a manner, reduced to a state of learn that his conduct was good, heathenism. In some of your let- and such as to procure him much ters, I have observed you dashing, respect; and, from letters addressas it were, against the rocks of er to his father and his sister, a fatalism; suggesting as if you short time before his death, we thought you were appointed to hope still better things; we hope he such a course of life. In others I was led to see the error of his way, find you flattering yourself that and to make the Lord his refuge you are a penitent; when, perhaps, from the tempest and the storm. all the penitence you ever felt has “ His death, under such circumbeen the occasional melancholy of stances, was less painful to his remorse and fear.
friends than it would otherwise “ My dear son! I am now near- have been; and, in a sermon ly fifty-five years old, and may soon preached the Lord's-day after the expect to go the way of all the intelligence was received, in alluearth! But, before I die, let me sion to this event, from Rom. X. teach you the good and the right 8, 9, his father seemed to take way. 'Hear the instructions of a comfort from three ideas: thal, father.' You have had a large 1. The doctrine of free justificaportion of God's preserving good- tion by the death of Christ is suitness, or you had, ere now, perish- ed to sinners of all degrees. It asks ed in your sins. Think of this, not how long, nor how often, nor and give thanks to the Father of how greatly, we have sinned: if mercies, who has hitherto pre- we confess our sins, he is faithful served you. Think, too, how you and just to forgive us our sins. 2. have sequited him, and be ashamed It is suited to the helpless condition for all that you have done. Never- of sinners. We have only to look theless, do not despair! Far as and live. 3. It is suited to sinyou have gone, and low as you ners in the last extremity. It anare sunk in sin, yet if hence you swers to the promised mercy in return to God, by Jesus Christ, Deut. iv. 29: IF FROM THENCE thou you will find mercy. Jesus Christ seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt came into the world to save sin- find him. Some are far from home, ners, even the chief of sinners. If and have no friend, in their dying you had been ever so sober and moments, to speak a word of comsteady in your behaviour towards fort ***** but this is near! men, yet, without repentance to- When Jonah was compassed about wards God and faith in Christ, by the floods, when the billows and you could not have been saved; waves passed over him, he prayed and, if you return to God by him, to the Lord and the Lord heard though your sins be great and ag. him.” * gravated, yet will you find mercy.'
“ Here he was obliged to pause,
and give vent to his feelings by This affecting narrative cannot weeping; and many of the congrebe better concluded than in the gation, who knew the cause, wept words of the late Dr. Ryland:- with him! His heart was full,
“As this poor young man fore- and it was with difficulty he could boded, this was his last voyage. conclude, with solemnly charging He died off Lisbon, in March, the sinner to apply for mercy ere 1809, after a lingering illness, in it was too late; for, if it were rewhich he had every attention paid jected, its having been so near and him of which his situation would so easy of access, would be a swist admit.
witness against him.”
* * * *
and transcend the design of these
articles. Radical Principles brought to the Test of Revelation.
nan is used in the following pas
sages to express the exercise of We have already stated the doc- will: Lev. xxvi. 21.-“if ye walk trine to be examined in this arti- contrary unto me and will not cle, viz. the will is a distinct facul- hearken unto me.” 1 Chron. X. ty of choosing, and is always go- 4. “ Then Saul said to his armourverned by the pleasure of the heart. bearer draw thy sword, and thrust The question to be settled is whe- me through therewith-but his arther this doctrine be recognised in mour-bearer would not.” Chap.xi. the revelation of God. When this 19. When David longed for water shall be fairly and satisfactorily from the well of Bethlehem, and settled, the uses of the doctrine three men had jeoparded their lives will be obviously ascertained, and and brought it to him, he poured its importance more readily esti- it out to the Lord_"he would not mated.
drink it.” Ps. Ixxxi. 11. “But my It will not be necessary to exa- people would not hearken to my mine all the passages of scripture, voice; and Israel would none of in which the will and its exercises me.” Isah. i. 19. “If ye be willing are indicated, in order to settle the and obedient, ye shall eat the good question. Nor have we room for of the land.” Ezek. iii. 7. “But a full analysis of those passages in the house of Israel will not hearken which the words are used figura- unto thee: for they will not hearktively, for other faculties or their en unto me: for all the house of exercises. It is easy to see why Israel are impudent and hard heartthe term for will should be used, ed." These are a few of the pasin its various forms, and in all the sages in which this Hebrew word languages, for the exercises of mind is used to denote the exercise of without discrimination for the will, but they are sufficient to deheart-or its exercises and for termine three things: that the concommands, orders, or decrees, duct of men is directly the result which the mind may have made. of volition, that volition proceeds This will be evident from an exa- from a faculty of determination, mination of a few selections, out of and that the will is governed by multitudes found in the Old and the feelings of the heart. We are New Testaments.
not aware that this word is used in The principal Hebrew words its substantive form for the will, used to indicate will or its acts but as a verb it denotes the exerare, 173x, 371, W9, nyn. These all cise, and is so associated in its occur, more or less frequently in connexion as to involve both the the Old Testament, to indicate the faculty and the law of its governwill or its exercises; and they are ment. In the specimens above used frequently in other senses. given, the word cannot answer to It is sufficient for our purpose to the future tense of the fact expressexamine a few passages where each ed, because both volition and obstiword occurs in the sense which in- nacy are involved in the thoughts dicates the human will. It might expressed. be more satisfactory to give a full VO) will be found in the followanalysis of all the different mean- ing passages, and might be comings of the words above cited, and pared with many others of like the passages in which they occur, import. Exod. xxxv. 29. “The but we cannot now pursue that children of Israel brought a willing course: besides, if we had room, offering unto the Lord, every man it would be a tedious examination, and, woman, whose heart made