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move the objections of profane men, by showing there is nothing in the sacred writings, but what is true and rational.
“But what does a life, thus spent, avail? To what purpose so many watchful nights, and weary days? So much piety and devotion ? So much mortification and self-denial? Such a zeal to do good, and to be useful to the world ? So many noble specimens of a great genius, and of a fine imagination? It is the poor man's misfortune (for poor he is, and like to be, not having the least preferment) to have a warm head, and be very zealous in what he thinks the cause of God. He thinks prudence the worldly wisdom condemned by Christ and his Apostles, and that it is gross prevarication and hypocrisy to conceal the discoveries he conceives he has made. This heat of temper betrays him into some indiscreet expressions and hasty assertions; designing to hurt nobody, he fancies nobody designs to hurt him; and is simple enough to expect the same favorable allowances will be made to him, that he sees made to those who write against him. As to his learning, it is his misfortune that he is not skilled enough in the learned languages to be a great critic in them, and yet seems not to be sensible of his deficiency in this respect. And what advantage is taken of this, that he has not less heat and more criticism? His learning is treated in that manner, that you would think he did not know the first elements of Greek; though, even in that, he is much superior to most of those who make so free with him; and you every day hear his performances
run down as whimsies and chimeras, by men who never read them, and, if they did, could not understand them. Nor does his warmth of temper come off better; it is all over obstinacy, pride, and heretical pravity; a want of modesty and due deference to just authority ; they, that speak most favorably, look upon him as crazed, and little better than a madman. This is the poor man's character; and, low as he is, they cannot be content to leave him quiet in his poverty; whereas, had he not been early possessed with a passionate love for the Scripture and philosophy; had he not thought it his duty above all things to promote the glory of God, and been persuaded that could no way be so well done as by the study of his word and works; it is more than probable he had, at this time, been orthodox; and then, instead of his present treatment, his faults would have been overlooked; the learning, he excels in, would have been extolled, and no defect would have been found in other parts of it. He would have been cried up as an ornament of the age, and no preferment would have been denied or envied him.”
Such was the man whom the “Spirit of the Pilgrims" denounces as an infidel! and Chillingworth—the learned, the pious, the excellent Chillingworth—must his name too be branded with the epithet of infidel? Heaven be thanked, our fellow mortals have no power to determine our final doom. From the weak and erring decisions of man there is an appeal to the judgements of VOL. I.-N0. 1.
a just and merciful God. This is our consolation, and our joy. It is a small matter that we are judged of man's judgement; He that judgeth us is the Lord.
RECIPROCAL DUTIES OF MINISTER
Messrs EDITORS-I wish to invite the attention of your readers to some remarks on the reciprocal duties of minister and people. These duties I shall divide into two general classes ; those of the sabbath, and those of the week. Those of the sabbath naturally include the public devotions, instructions and ordinances of the church; and also the religious instruction of children, and ministerial exchanges. My 'observations in this article will be confined to the public devotions; and will relate to the object, form and sentiment of christian worship.
1. In the first place, the minister is expected to lead in the devotions of the congregation. Who then is the proper object of christian worship? To what Being must he offer their prayers ? To our heavenly Father; the only living and true God; the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the One undivided, all perfect Creator, Governor and Parent of the Universe. I should not be thus particular when addressing a christian community, had not some religious
societies among us introduced other objects of adoration and praise. I have heard ministers address one part of their devotions to our heavenly Father; another part to his well beloved Son; and a third part to his holy spirit; and, to avoid the charge of worshipping three God's they concluded with ascriptions to Father, Son and spirit, the triune Jehovah.
Now this practice appears to me very unscriptural. I cannot find the least shadow of authority, in any part of revelation, for such divided prayers, and such united ascriptions. I have not been able to discover one example of a prayer addressed to Jesus as God; nor one example of a prayer addressed to the holy spirit as a being, distinct from the Father; nor one example of a prayer closing with ascriptions to Father, Son and spirit as the One true God.
It is perfectly plain to me, that our Saviour uttered the whole truth, when he solemnly affirmed, that our heavenly Father is the only true God. This fundamental doctrine is indeed four times asserted in the most unequivocal language of inspiration? It is equally certain to my mind that our heavenly Father is the only Being ever worshipped, as the supreme Jehovah, either by the ancient patriarchs and prophets, or by the anointed Jesus and his apostles. Not only so.
Our Saviour has given us very explicit directions on this subject. “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the FATHER.” “In that day ye shall ask me nothing. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you." Two
plainer precepts are not contained in the word of life. I should as soon think of calling myself a practical Christian, if I murdered my neighbor in open disobedience of the sixth commandment, as of considering myself a true Christian worshipper, if I offered my devotions to any other being or beings besides my heavenly Father. I should feel exceeding guilty in the sight of God, if I did not follow the plain instructions and examples of scripture, in addressing my prayers to our heavenly Father, in the name of his Son, by the assistance of his sustaining spirit. And while we imitate the uniform practice of our Saviour, we have all the evidence, of which the case admits, that ours is the true Christian worship.
2. In the second place, what should be the form of Christian worship? Concise. A minister may indeed become so completely absorbed in this exercise as to be unmindful of the lapse of time, and even forgetful of the worshipping congregation; or he may wish to gratify the weak prejudices of a few, who measure a person's piety by the length of his prayers, and thus make his public devotions so unreasonably long as to weary and disgust the assembly.
Now this practice appears to me, not only unscriptural, but really pernicious. On this topic our Saviour has given us very plain instructions. We are not to use vain repetitions as the heathen do, who expect to be heard for their much speaking. Our heavenly Father knows what favors we need, before we ask him. He has appointed prayer not as a motive for changing