Page images

of his beloved Son. Having a new heart, and renewed in the spirit of their minds, his praises will become their delightful employ. It is reserved for the preaching of the Gospel to effect the amelioration of the condition of the human race; and were there no heaven promised to the righteous, nor any hell threatened to the wicked, the prevalence of Christianity, and the accomplishment of its predictions and promises, would still be one of the most desirable things in the world, merely as they respect the state of society. How exceedingly glorious will be its triumph! We have have seen enough to convince us, that Africa and India -that superstition and slavery, will crumble into the dust, before the allcheering influence of the Sun of Righteousness. The enmity of nations against each other will subside; hostile nations will be hushed into peace; and the earth shall yield its increase. Even now the enmity which has too long subsisted among Christians is fast subsiding; and the time is at no great distance, when it shall be said, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men." This will be realized in due time, for God himself is pledged to effectuate this mighty change, and as it does not depend upon man, we need not fear its accomplishment.

it as an object of paramount impor tance. But then truth must also be diffused, by the labours of Missiona ries-these two things must go hand in hand. He descanted with great energy and truth, upon the incalcu lable benefits which have resulted to the world from the invention of the art of printing. "Had there existed a single printing press in all Asia Minor" said he, "to diffuse knowledge abroad, the seven churches of Asia would have existed to this day! Look at the church of Rome, and mark her jealousy of the circulation of the Scriptures. She well knows what is to be apprehended from the British and Foreign Bible Society, and we can readily account, for the anxiety manifested to counteract so mighty an engine of knowledge.

Mr. Winterbotham closed, what appeared to us, a very able Sermon by a most powerful appeal to his audience on the vast importance of the objects which the Baptist Mission has in view, and the necessity of encreased exertions among all its friends for its support; but we are wholly prevented by want of room, from enlarging on this part of the subject.

On Thurday morning, Mr. Hinton of Oxford preached the Annual Sermon in behalf of the Stepney Academical Institution, at Salter's Hall Meeting, from Gal. i. 11. our report of which is necessarily defered 'till next month. In the evening of the same day, the friends of the Mission assembled at half-past Six, at Mr. Goode's large meeting, White's Row, Spitalfields, to hear the Report of the state of the Mission and Translations. The Report this year had been drawn up by Mr. Dyer of Reading, and in a manner highly creditable to his talents and judgment. It was read by him in a very excellent style, and was listened to with marked atten

The last particular regarded the means by which this change is to be brought about. When we contemplate its magnitude, we must instantly perceive that more than human power must be exerted to effect it. Yet it is the will of God, that human agency should co-operate with divine power. It is agreeable to his plan to make use of means. He raises up instruments, and he blesses them in their work. Ungodly men are unfit to preach Christ's gospel. The residue of the Spirit is with him-and the servants whom he qualifies he tion. It occupied nearly one hour in will also honour in effecting this great the reading, and appeared to afford change. It may be asked, what universal satisfaction. Towards the means are the people of God to close of it he announced a fact of employ, in order to promote this which the information has been regreat work in the world? The an-cently received from India, viz. that swer is, the diffusion of divine truth the Bible is now completely printed in in the world. "The gospel of Christ, the Chinese language, by means of is the power of God unto the salvation which, the way of salvation is made of every one that believeth it." Here accessible to THREE HUNDRED MILthe preacher shewed the vast impor- LIONS OF OUR FELLOW CREATURES. tance of translating the Scriptures into every language, and dwelt upon

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]



Theological Review.

AUGUST 1817.


"My principal work having been now for a long season to die daily, as living in a continual expectation of my dissolution, I shall acquaint the reader with some few of my thoughts and reliefs, with reference unto death itself.

"There are several things required of us, that we may be able to encounterdeath cheerfully, constantly, and victoriously. For want of these, or some of them, I have known gracious souls who have lived in a kind of bondage for fear of death, all their days. We know not how God will manage any of our minds and souls in that season, in that trial; for he acts towards us in all such things in a way of sovereignty. But these are the things which he requires of us in a way of duty.

It is entering into an invisible
world, which it knows no more
of than it hath received by faith.
None hath come from the dead to
inform us of the state of the other
world. Yea, God seems on pur-
pose so to conceal it from us, that
we should have no evidence of it,
at least as unto the manner of things
in it but what is given unto faith by
divine revelation. Hence those
who died and were raised again
from the dead unto any contin-
uance among men, as Lazarus,
probably knew nothing
visible state.




Their preserved by the power their being, but bound up.. unto present operations: This made a great emperor cry out on the approach of death, O animula, tremula, vagula, blandula ; quae nunc abibis in loca horrida, squalida, &c. O poor trembling wandering soul into what places of darkness and defilement art thou going!

"1. Peculiar actings of faith, to resign and commit our departing souls into the hand of him, who is able to receive them, to keep and preserve them, as also to dispose "How is it likely to be after the of them into a state of rest and few moments, which under the blessedness, are required of us. pangs of death we have to continue The soul is now parting with all in this world? Is it an annihilation things here below, and that for that lies at the door? Is death the ever. None of all the things which destruction of our whole being, so it hath seen, heard, or enjoyed by as that after it we shall be no more? its outward senses, can be prevailed So some would have the state of on to stay with it one hour, or to things to be. Is it a state of subtake one step with it in the voyage sistence in a wandering condition wherein it is engaged: It must a-up and down the world, under the lone by itself launch into eternity. influence of other more powerful


2 G

spirits that rule in the air, visiting | tombs and solitary places, and sometimes making appearances of themselves, by the impressions of those more powerful spirits, as some imagine from the story concerning Samuel and the witch of Endor, and as it is commonly received in the Papacy, out of a compliance with their imagination of purgatory? Or is it a state of universal misery and woe? a state incapable of comfort or joy? Let them pretend what they please, who can understand no comfort or joy in this life, but what they receive by their senses, they can look for nothing else. And whatever be the state of this invisible world, the soul can undertake nothing of its own conduct after its departure from the body. It knows that it must be absolutely at the disposal of another.

"Wherefore no man can comfortably venture on and into this condition, but in the exercise of that faith, which enables him to resign and give up his departing soul into the hand of God, who alone is able to receive it, and to dispose gt mito a condition of rest and blessedness. So speaks the apostle; "1 am not ashamed, for I know on whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, against that day."

because he is at my right hand, Í shall not be moved: Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." He left his soul in the hands of God, in full assurance that it should suffer no evil in its state of separation, but should be brought again with his body into a blessed resurrection, and eternal glory. So Stephen resigned his soul departing under violence, into the hands of Christ himself. When he died, he said, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit."

"This is the last victorious act of faith, wherein its conquest over the last enemy death itself doth consist. Herein the soul says in and unto itself: Thou art now taking leave of time unto eternity; all things about thee are departing as shades, and will immediately disap pear. The things which thou art entering into are yet invisible, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither will they enter into the heart of man fully to conceive." Now, therefore, with quietness and confidence give up thyself unto the sovereign power, grace, truth, and faithfulness of God, and thou shalt find assured rest and peace.

"Herein, as in all other graces, is our Lord Jesus Christ our great "But Jesus Christ it is, who doth example. He resigned Iris depart-immediately receive the souls of ing spirit into the hands of his them who believe in him. So we Father, to be owned and perserved see in the instance of Stephen. by him in its state of separation. And what can be a greater encou "Father into thy hands I commit ragement to resign them into his my spirit," Luke xxiii. 46. as did hands, than a daily contemplation the Psalmist his type, in a like con- of his glory, in his his exdition, Psal. xxxi. 5. But the faith altation, his office and of our Lord Jesus Christ herein, the that believes in him, that belongs object and exercise of it, what he unto him, can fear to commit his believed and trusted unto in this re-departing spirit unto his love, signation of his spirit into the hand power and care? Even we also of God, is at large expressed in shall hereby, in our dying moments, the 16th "I have (saith see, by faith, heaven opened, and he) set the Lord alway before me; Jesus standing at the right hand




« PreviousContinue »