Imágenes de páginas

root; or of the members of the body to the head. But there is another strong metaphor, used by our Lord himself, to denote the absolute and emire dependence of Christians on him, for the maintaining and perfecting of the divine life in the soul:—he represents himself as the food of believers, and describes them as feeding on his flesh and blood, and as living thereby. This cannot be understood of mereo receiving the doctrines which the edeemer taught. Divine instruction is indeed sometimes spoken of as the food of the mind, and compared to meat and drink; and teachers are said to feed their disciples: but there is no other instance to be found in which the teacher himself is called food, and his disciples are required to eat his flesh and drink his blood. By eating his flesh and drinking his blood, our Lord seems clearly to mean, believing the divine efficacy of his atonement; embracing and relying on it by faith; and accepting the glorious blessings which are the fruits of it, particularly the free mercy of God, the pardon of sin, and the influences of the Holy Spirit to renew, purify, and transform our souls into the Saviour's image. The Apostle Paul evidently alludes to this, when he says, “ Christ, our passover, was sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven,” &c. Here he represents believers as partaking of that sacrifice which the Lord Jesus Christ offered; as exercising a believing regard to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, of whom the pascal lamb, which the Jews were required to eat, was a type. The celebration of the Lord's Supper may therefore be well considered in the light of a feast upon a sacrifice. The bread and wine which we take, are memorials of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The eating and drinking of these, are emblematic of our feeding by faith on the Redeemer, so as to derive spiritual

nourisirment from him for the life, vigour, and joy of our souls. 5th. The preparation which is required of those who would properly and profitably attend the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. To celebrate this holy ordinance in a manner which will be acceptable to God and beneficial to ourselves, it is not only necessary that our judgments be rightly informed, but that oor wiłłs be properly inclined, and our affections duly ex. cited. It is necessary that we should exercise repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; hope in the mercy of God, through the Redeemer; and lore to God, and to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to all our Christian brethrem ; hatred to all sin, united with a sincere endeavour, in the strength of Divine grace, entirely to subdue every evit principle and passion; and a determined reso}ution, by the grace of God, to live as becometh the profession of Christianity. These are indispensably requisite to holy communion at the Lord's table. It is also mecessary to a comfortable attendance on this divine ordinance, that we should experience a devotional frame of mind, and have good grounds to hope that we are the genuine disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. In proportion as the true spirit of devotion is wanting, and our fears prevail with respect to our true character in the sight of God, will our spiritual comfort in attending this ordinance be diminished. With respect to the means to be used for a profitable attendance on the Lord's Supper, I would observe. that it requires not merely the same previous preparation which public worship in general requires—such as serious perusal of the Scriptures, meditation, watchfulness, and prayer: but that those exercises should be conducted with a particular reference to this ordinance, to the objects which are there to be presented to our view, and about which the mino is to be devoutly employed. | There is one duty which is peculiarly proper to precede this solemnity, and which the Scriptures exPressly recommend, namely selfexamination. The exhortation to the frequent practice of this duty is applicable to every Christian, and the work of self-inquiry should be the work of every day. But besides this, we should fix on certain seasons to be appropriated to a more minute and extended survey. And what more proper time can be chosen than when we are about to approach the table of the Lord An accurate knowledge of our real character and condition is not to be obtained without frequent, serious, and impartial self-examination. As there is always a great danger of self-deception, so there is constant need of self-scrutiny. This inquiry should respect not merely the reality of our religion in general, but the particular state of our hearts in the sight of God. The examination should be directed to ascertain whether we are advancing in piety, or declining in our Christian course: we should inquire into what sins we have fallen, what duties we have omitted, to what temptations we are most exposed, and in what respects wenost need to be on our guard, and to have our resolutions confirmed and our graces strengthened. We should also notice what we have most to complain of, what to rejoice in, what to deprecate, and what to desire. These inquiries are necestary to promote humiliation, thanksgiving, watchfulness, and prayer. They will furnish suitable subjects for meditation and devotion, and be a means of rendering the celebration of this holy ordinance instrumental in promoting the interests of vital religion in our souls”. G. B.

* Those who wish carefully to study this important subject, may consult Dr. Wall's Critical Notes on Matt. xxvi. 17; Dr. Waterland's Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist; Dr. Cudworth's Discourse on the Nature of the Lord's Supper; Dr. Newcombe, arch*hop of Armagh; and Dr. Adam Clarke's

ChrisT. Osserv. No. 1 18.


To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

THERE is not any part of your work, I humbly think, so calculated for extensive usefulness, as your “ Review of New Publications.”—The review in the last number, on “the Refutation of Calvinism, &c.” is truly excellent.—I think it would answer a good purpose, if a selection from the writings of eminent clergymen, on the various topics discussed in that book, were printed. If you judge the following extract on Regeneration worthy a place in your work, I shall be obliged by its insertion. R. H. S.

—“None can be members or citizens of the kingdom of God, but only those who are the sons of God. The means to become the sons on children of God, is by regeneration, or new birth. This is the mystery our Saviour told Nicodemus of, when he came to him by night; “Except a man’ (saith our Saviour), ‘ be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' John iii. 3. Now regeneration, or new birth, consists of these two parts, –repentance towards God, and faith towards Christ, according to that which the Apostle Paul told the elders of the church of Ephesus, Acts xx. 21; that he had ' testified both to Jews and Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ:" that is, the whole mystery of regeneration, whereby a man becomes the child of God, and a member of the kingdom of Heaven. Where we are to note (as it will serve us to understand these things the better) that repentance properly and distinctly taken, looks towards God the Father, and faith unto Christ our Mediator. The one, is our returning unto God from whom we are gone astray by sin: the other the means or way of our return unto him, by Christ, without whom we can never be reconciled to our heaDiscourse on the Nature, Design, and Insti. tution of the Eucharist.

4 M

venly Father, nor perform any service acceptable unto him. These two, therefore, our Saviour distinguisheth, when he saith, Repent and believe the Gospel; the one looking to his Father, the other to himself. Both joined together make a new birth, or a new man, even as

the soul being united with the body makes a matural man ; repentance here, being as the body or matter, which faith in the Gospel of Christ enlivens and informeth as a soul.” &c.—Discourses, by Joseph Mede, B. D. of Christ's College, Cambridge. London: 1652. p. 30.




To the Editor of the ChristianObserver.

I AM the father of a large family, and beg leave to offer to you my thoughts on education. As a practical man, I should have addressed you perhaps with less disfidence than becomes me, if we had not lately, in the discussions on another subject, had a very useful memento of the prejudices and errors to which practical men are liable. While, however, I shall be led by the lesson thus afforded me, to deliver my opinions with diffidence, I think it my duty not to withhold from your readers (if you think them worth their perusal) those reflections which have been the result of my experience. Had not circumstances prevented me, I should have done this sooner, in conformity with an intimation I formerly gave in your miscellany". My situation continues to be such, that I must beg your further indulgence as to time. It is impossible for me to say, that I shall be able to execute the plan I have formed for the treatment of my subject, without serious interruptions. The years which precede manhood are naturally divided into several periods. The first is from early infancy to the time when the child begins to read. The next is from that important event, to another as

*See Vol. for 1808, p. 13.

important, namely, to going (if a boy) to school or to a private tator. The years spent at school naturally form a distinct period;—and those devoted to college, or to a clerkship, or an apprenticeship, another. he last period is that in which a young man is just entering on the full duties and privileges of manhood. No better division of my subject occurs to me, than that which this division of the years devoted to education suggests. The period of infancy is generally suffered to slide away with little or no attention to the work of education. The child is supposed to be in a kind of irrational state, which will scarcely admit of moral discipline, and its parents seem to think only of its health and amusement. If it wants any thing its wish must be gratified; if it cries, it is to be quieted by indulgence; or if this cannot be, attempts are frequently made to cheat it into a belief that the desired object has suddenly vanished. If it has been hurt, the immediate cause of its misfortune, whether animate or inanimate, is not seldom to be beaten, and the child itself is encouraged to join in inflicting the punishment. Things proceed in this way nearly till the time when the child can talk, and often much longer; and when this system is changed for another, still it gives way very slowly, and in many cases some remains

of it may be discerned for years after the child is allowed to be capable of instruction, What is the true character and tendency of this course of proceeding? It unquestionably fosters those seeds of evil which abound in our nature. Is man naturally self-indulgent 2 What then must be the effect of a studied system of indulgence : Is he impatient, and passionate, and vindictive? How greatly must these dispositions be cherished, by not only permitting but encouraging their gratification! Is he disposed, when in pursuit of favourite objects, to be little scrupulous with respect to violations of plain-dealing and truth? The artifices resorted to by nurses and female relations would almost create such a disposition, were it not originally planted in his bosom. With what eyes then must the Almighty look upon such a course of proceeding! It would be trifling with your readers to pursue this topic any farther. But now we proceed to the important inquiry, What system of management ought to be substituted in the place of that which has been described All persons who do not think that a plea of necessity (a very unfounded plea, however, in the present case), may be urged in favour of the practice of positive evil, must allow, that every thing should be avoided by mothers and nurses which has a tendency to cherish and bring into activity that evil nature, which your readers at least will not deny that we all bring into the world. They will grant, therefore, that Nanny, or the cat, or the chair, are not to be slapped because they happen to have displeased the child. But must not we confine ourselves to mere abstimence from fostering evils? Is it not visionary and chimerical to attempt to check bad tempers and habits, and to lay a foundation for good ones? Or if an attempt of this kind be not altogether hopeless, is it not at least unnecessary to make it at so, early a period, when little

act them.

a companion.

success can be expected; and most advisable to defer it till the reason of the child is further advanced, and its ability to submit to discipline is greater My experience gives me a view of parental duty very different from that to which these questions would lead. The Almighty Creator very soon begins to unfold in man those intellectual and moral faculties which are destined, when rightly employed, to qualify him for the highest services and enjoyments through the ages of eter-> nity. In a few weeks after its birth, a child's reason begins to dawn ; and with the first dawn of reason ought to commence the moral culture which may be best suited to counteract the evils of its nature, and to prepare the way for that radical change, that new birth promised in baptism, and the darling object of the hopes of every parent who looks on the covenants in that holy rite, not as forms, but as realities. Let me appeal to every mother who delights to view her infant as it lies in her lap, whether it does not soon begin to read “the human face divine,” to recognize her smile, and to shew itself sensible of her affection in the little arts she employs to entertain it. Does it not, in no long time, return that smile, and repay her maternal caresses with looks and motions so expressive that she cannot mistake their import? She will not doubt, then, the importance of fostering in its bosom those benevolent sympathies which delight her, by banishing from her nursery whatever is likely to counterShe will not tolerate in a nurse that selfish indifference to the wants of an infant, which sometimes leaves it to cry while she finishes her breakfast, or chats with Much less will she tolerate passionate snatches, and scolding names, and hard and impa

tient tones of voice, in the manage

ment of her child. l may be pro

nounced fanciful, perhaps, but I cer

tainly think it would be of import:

ance to keep sour and ill-humoured

faces out of a nursery, even though such faces were not commonly accompanied by corresponding conduct. I am persuaded that I have seen a very bad effect produced by a face of this kind on the countenance and mind of an infant. Is it not reasonable to suppose, that if an infant sympathises with a smile, it may also sympathise with a scowl, and catch somewhat of the inward disposition which distorts the features of the nurse Thus begin the efforts of a parent to cherish all that is benevolent and affectionate in the bosom of a child; and to prevent the growth of every thing of an opposite nature. And who shall presume to assign limits to the importance of such efforts in the education of a being whose leading disposition, if it fulfil the will of its Maker, must, both through life and through all eternity, be love 2 But parental cares soon extend. In a short time, impatience and selfishness shew themselves, and are accompanied by fretfulness, jealousy, anger, and envy. At so early a period does innate corruption display its powers, and call for the restraining hand of a parent But how are these evils to be counteracted at an age when both the body and mind are so tender, and when neither arguments nor explanations can be understood 2 Undoubtedly great delicacy of treatment is required. The character of the child must be studied; and, if possible, such corrections of evils must be applied as will not deeply wound its feelings. It is surprising what female ingenuity, quickened by maternal tenderness, will achieve in this way. Does a child, too young to listen to reason, want something it ought not to have Its mother will suddenly turn its attention to another object, and thus prevent the rise of improper tempers, or arrest them in their course. Is it jealous 9f the attention paid to a brother ? While she perseveres, perhaps, in shewing to the brother the kindness which has raised this jealousy, she

will pour such a stream of affec tion on both the children as shal at once shew them how much each is the object of her love, and lead them by sympathy to feel a similar love for each other. This will be the best antidote to jealousy. But cases will arise, in which, with all her ingenuity, she will not be able to effect her purpose in this way. On such occasions, if the child is too young to understand reason and persuasion, she will as far as possible shorten and sweeten its trial, but without fostering bad dispositions in its bosom. If it is a little older, she will endeavour to turn the trial to good account, by holding up to it such Christian and filial motives as suit its capacity and character. These will be accompanied by such a description and exemplification, on the one hand, of the effects they ought to produce, and of the sunshine of soul to which they lead; and on the other, of the hatefulness of the fault in question, of the unhappiness which must attend the commission of it, and of the regret and bad consequences which must follow; as may, by God's help, prepare its tender mind for spiritual discrimination, and a spiritual taste (if I may so speak), and give its infant affections some bias on the side of God and duty. But how, some parents may ask, how can this be effected at so tender an age It seems to us impossible. —Believe me, much may be done, with very young children, by placing gradually before them, with cheerfulness and affection, and in a spirit suited to the occasion, religious truths, associated as much as may be with images pleasing to their minds. The appellations, God, and Jesus, should soon be made familiar to them ; and the dwelling-place of these great Beings may be so pointed out and described; and their power and their holiness, and more especially their love, may be so set forth and brought home to the feelings, by little and simple, illustrations, that, while the

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