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The Protestant believes, that on the wretched and vile principle of Papists, we should have no certain rule of faith at all, and thus be at an utter loss where to fix our foot for eternal life and salvation. He believes that tradition has always been the cant of bad men, who had some wicked design to serve. He also believes that tradition, even in the most early ages, was generally fabulous, and showed itself an imposter. As to the absurd pretended insufficiency of the Holy Scriptures, and the necessity of unwritten traditions, he believes it to be a novel opinion, and contrary to the faith of the church in its purest ages.
What an essential and eternal difference and contrariety is there between Popery and Protestantism 1 If ever it was true that opposites and contraries destroy each other, it must be singularly true in this case. Popery, in its essential constituent principles and spirit, cannot possibly be consistent with true genuine Christianity. The supremacy of tne pope directly strikes at the glory, omnipresence, majesty, and dominion of Jesus Christ. The infallibility of the pope has the highest tendency to lead immortal souls off from an entire dependence on the infallibility of the supreme head and prophet of the church. The assuming a proud sovereignty or arbitrary power over the Scriptures, hath a direct tendency to weaken their divine authority, and sink their credit and dignity into the deepest disgrace. Popery is a most cruel and bitter enemy to the excellency and usefulness of the Holy Scriptures; and if it finally and universally prevailed, would drive the true Scriptures out of the world, to make way for the wretched inventions of men, and a massy load of written and unwritten traditions. Whatever hath a tendency to weaken the authority of the Scriptures, has equally a malignant aim to ruin the souls of all men, and rob God of his dearest glory; consequently it ought to be abhorred, and opposed by every man who has true value for the glory of God, and the eternal happiness of his own soul.—Who, that has any common sense or spirit in him, can be indifferent and unconcerned, whether Popery or Protestantism shall prevail in this kingdom? Who, that has any sense of the dignity and eternity of his own immortal mind, will not express a zeal for the Protestant religion, which consists in being moved with a just and deep sense of the greatest things. — It shews as much want of sense not to be at all moved with the greatest things, as to be too much affected or moved with the least things. A man appears a fool each way—if he is much moved with little things, or if he is not moved at all at the greatest objects in the universe. Consider, my fellow Protestants, what are the greatest things in God under his word, which may effect and move our sonls in the most powerful manner to the uttermost. Is there any thing in time or eternity; in heaven or hell; in sin or holiness; in life or death; in happiness or misery; in devils or angels; in God or creation! If there is any thing in the visible or invisible worlds to move the understanding, the will, the conscience, and the great passions of the heart, then, you have all to move you to take care of your holy religion, and to shun and detest Popery in all its odious forms.
ON CHRISTIAN LIBERALITY.
To The Editor—Dear Sir,
Christian assemblies are often powerfully appealed to in aid of Missionary and other benevolent institutions, and yet how generally is it the case, that after the most powerful appeals, the sum bestowed by the contributors to the collection, is only an accustomed sixpence or a shilling. Many contributors do not duly consider the question, " Is the object worthy of support? Or, if that question is considered, they do not give according to their ability, and the worthiness of the object. This is obvious from the fact, that many persons of various classes of society, and in both retired and active circumstances, contribute alike in amount, and alike on all occasions.
Hence it is, that the funds of the church of Christ are so meagre, compared with the wealth of those who espouse her cause, and profess obedience to the commands of him, who enjoins upon his church a vast work to be accomplished and that through sacrifice and self-denial.
Why should a sixpenny piece or a shilling be generally thought a sufficient contribution to aid in promoting the cause of Christ, and extending the kingdom of the Redeemer? The Missionary cannot either be sent to his destination, or subsist when there, without pecuniary help, and yet, whilst thousands perish for lack of knowledge, Christians firmly grasp the gold that might procuringly evangelize the world.
Pardon and holiness and heaven were purchased at the expense of the Saviour's blood by his poverty, destitute sinners are made rich; the work of atonement could only be effected by the payment of a price, the value of which, no created calculator can compute! Let then, the views of man's redemption by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, be universally made known, let the corruptible treasure be expended to make known the incorruptible inheritance, and tell the slaves of sin how they may be made free. Let the heralds of salvation go forth with the glorious gospel, and speedily the kingdom of our Lord shall come, and there will be no further occasion to say unto any one, "Know thou the Lord."
W. Henry Rodd,
ATTENTION TO LITTLE THINGS.
Do we wish to forma correct judgment of a man's real views and feelings, let us mark his attention to little things.
Though in the routine of life, great attention may be paid to considerable matters; if it is wanting in those things of apparent minor importance, it is a strong presumption against soundness at heart.
In the intercourse of friends, if there is not an evident oneness of conduct in all matters, great and small, we may rest assured that those professions of friendship, do not arise from personal respect, but from some interested motive.
How important to know how far a friend may be trusted. How often do we wish to pour out our souls in undisguised confidence, not simply to disburden our minds from an oppressive load of anxiety, but to obtain that counsel which we delight to believe to be dictated by the most sincere esteem.
If our friend be careless of our feelings and character in little things, whatever may be his general professions of friendship, he is not; he cannot be trusted.
In the fulfilment of the various duties we owe to each other; in the relations we sustain in society ; it is the aggregate of little things, which makes up the sum of social bliss. The unostentatious attention to little things is the surest indication of the sincerity of the affection of a wife, or of a husband.
When affection is real, its stream will flow evenly, and deeply. There is no crevice it will not penetrate. Like the capilary attraction of the sponge, it will gather into itself all that is lovely in emotion, and diffuse it equally through every pore of the substance of life. "What is true of our attention to little things being tjie test of our sincerity in social life, is pre-eminently so in the fulfilment of our religious duties. Are we disciples of Jesus—Is our apparent strictness in the discharge of those religious obligations which bring upon u9 public attention, the unfailing evidence of our piety? Are we ministers of Christ—Is our apparent fervour of address, the proof of our really being the subjects of that intensity of feeling which flows from the most profound conviction of the importance of the truths of which we speak? The imitation of the unrenewed may deceive us; but glance at the little things. The domestic altar. The closet. The manifestation of the mind of Christ in all the little things of life. The Hypocrite may generally sustain the "form of godliness," but there are seasons when pressure from without, or from within, will strike from a heart of flint a spark of hell.
Are there not times when the uninterested affections worn out, and chafed by restraint, break forth in all the dark ebulition of sinful fury.
The sincerity of our professions in any department of civil, social, or religious life must always be most clearly attested by our attention to little things.
A HINT ON PREACHING.
To The Editor :—Dear Sib,
It was remarked by the poet Cowper, "that men are not to be Scolded out of their sins." True as the axiom appears, I cannot but fear, some preachers are not sufficiently impressed with it. There has of late, indeed, (whether in imitation of any American Divine, or not, I leave others to judge,) been such an approximation, in several quarters, to a style of pulpit address, having, at least, the appearance of scolding, if not of anger, as to induce apprehension, lest harm instead of good, may be the result. I may observe that Sabbath evenings seem to be the favourite seasons for adopting the (noisy) style referred to. I should not have noticed it, had it not been that complaints, upon the subject have latterly much increased; and dissatisfaction, also, has been expressed, in my frequent hearing, in rather strong terms.
I will, with your permission, recommend to the particular notice of ministers, whose zeal has enamoured them of the habit in question, a passage in the "Life of Master John Dod, one of the worthies so admirably memorialized by Clarke, in his 'Thirty-two English Divines,'" 1677. It is full of holy meaning, and, at all times, specially appropriate. "He" Mr. Dod, "was very evangelical, striving first to make men see their lost condition clearly, and to be convinced of it, saying, "sense of misery was a good step to the remedy. And, then, largely and excellently opening the promises, and the grace of God in Christ, according to the Gospel; looking at that as the most effectual preaching. Some," says he "labour still to keep men under terrors, and load them with threatenings, &c, lest they should not be humbled enough; but the gospel works true humiliation, not the law. It arises from sense of sin and misery, joined with hope of mercy. The damned have terror and sense of misery enough, but that doth not humble them." p. 176.
T. P. It.
GOODNESS OF THE CREATOR.
One great cause of our insensibility to the goodness of the Creator, is the very extensiveness of his bounty. We prize but little what we share only in common with the rest, or with the generality of the species. When we hear of blessings, we think forthwith of successes, of prosperous fortunes, of honours, riches, preferment, i, e. of those advantages and superiorities over
others, which we happen either to possess, or to be in pursuit of, or to covet. The common benefits of our nature entirely escape us. Yet these are the great things. These constitute what most properly ought to be accounted blessings of Providence; what alone, if we might so speak, are worthy of its care. Nightly rest and daily bread, the ordinary use of our limbs and senses and understandings, are gifts which admit of no comparison with any other. Yet because almost every man we meet possesses these, we leave them out of the enumeration. They raise no sentiment, they move no gratitude. Now herein is our judgment perverted by our selfishness. A blessing ought in truth to be the more satisfactory, the bounty at least of the donor is rendered more conspicuous by its very diffusion, its commonness, its cheapness; by its failing to the lot, and forming the happiness of the great bulk and body of our species, as well as ourselves. Nay even where we do not possess it, it ought to be matter of thankfulness that others do. But we have a different way of thinking. We court distinction. That is not the worst; we see nothing but what has distinction to recommend it. This necessarily contracts our views of the Creator's beneficence within a narrow compass; and most unjustly. It is in those things which are so common as to be of no distinction, that the amplitude of the Divine benignity is perceived.
CAMELFORD AND WADEBRIDGE CIR-
In a letter dated Lostwithiel, Dec. 18, 1841, Mr. J. M. writes as follows:—
"You will be delighted to hear that the work of the Lord still progresses with us. We have in all about fifteen added to us; many of these bear all the evidences of regenerated souls, and daily rejoice in God their Saviour. Others of them are earnestly seeking salvation, and seem resolved to forsake all for Christ. One of these, a very interesting young man, who a few evenings since was much affected at one of our meetings, came the next day to my office, and, with a broken heart, wept under a sense of his guilty load. I took him into the parlour, and, falling down together on our knees, earnestly besought the Lord to manifest his pardoning mercy. Never did I witness greater anguish on the part of a convicted sinner. O! with what importunity did he besiege a throne of grace! So intolerable at length became his burden, that he literally roared for the
disquietude of his soul. The people passing the house were arrested by the sound, and collected about the window, wondering what was the matter. After about an hour's agonizing prayer, he got a gleam of hope, and ventured to exclaim, ' He died for me, He died for me!' The utterance of these words was speedily followed by a sweet and heavenly composure. The tempest was stilled, and 'there was a great calm.' He arose from his knees greatly exhausted; but, after taking a cup of tea with us, he left the house much comforted.
On Thursday evening last, at our class meeting, after having spoken to most of the old members, I requested those who were present for the first time, and who had fully made up their minds to forsake sin and live to God, to give the Church a further evidence of their intention so to do by standing up—when seven individuals rose from their seats, and continued standing while I addressed thein for about ten minutes—thus they solemnly dedicated themselves to the Lord and to his people. They then voluntarily gave me their names to be registered on the class book, amidst tears of joy pro
fusely shed throughout the whole class."
In another letter from the same excellent friend, bearing date the 22nd of January, 1842, is the following :—
"I could very easily fill a sheet two or three times a week with detailed accounts of the goodness of God as manifested in the conversion of many souls around us. Since my last to you I have been called to witness one of the most interesting and deeply affecting cases of this kind that ever came under my notice. The subject was an unmarried man, about forty years of age, a miner, who, by his own account, and that of others respecting him, was one of the most depraved characters that could be met with—every other sin, except that of murder, he has declared himself to have been guilty of. This man was in the habit of attending no place of religious worship: his Sunday clothes being all pawned on account of his drinking habits, rendered him incapable of appearing with decency on the Sabbath. The excitement prevailing through the town in consequence of our revival, induced this poor wretched man to stroll into our chapel on the evening of our watch night. It appears he had been unwell for some days previous, and thoughts about the shortness of life had occasionally troubled him. In this state of mind he entered the chapel, while the writer was relating an affecting case he witnessed some years ago of a dying man he visited. The relation of this short and simple tale so overpowered him, that he was obliged to leave the chapel with the greatest haste, to prevent his falling down among the people, and crying aloud for mercy. In this distress of mind he continued till the Monday morning, without disclosing it to any one. On that morning, about five o'clock, he became so wretched in his bed-room, as to alarm all the house in which he lived, and all the neighbours with whom he was surrounded, with his cries of distress. About halfpast six o'clock I was called to visit him, and such a scene I never beheld. I heard his cries a considerable distance from the house, and when I entered, there was the man rapidly going
to and fro the room, distracted with a sense of his guilt before God, and literally roaring for the disquietude of his soul. Some of his expressions were— 'To hell I must go, and hell itself is too good for me 1' 'I had a pious father, and he has prayed for me hundreds of times, but now, if I am lost, he will say Amen to my damnation;' 'I have laughed at religion time after time, but I feared the Lord would visit me, and now it has overtaken me;' 'O! 1 cannot live under this—my body is sinking, and my soul must go down to hell—but if I go there, it shall be crying to the Lord all the way 1' These, with many similar expressions, were uttered with the utmost vehemence—all that could be said to him for a time appeared useless. To indulge in all but absolute despair appeared most consonant with his feelings. Friend Samuel Tom, with brother Abrahams and myself, tried all we could to direct his attention to the Cross,—for a moment he would listen, then fall back again into despair; again and again his soul struggled to look to the Saviour: at length one ray of hope darted down—he at once astonished us all by exclaiming, 'I shan't be lost; no, I shan't be lost.' We urged him that moment to lay hold on the Saviour, as having died for him. He instantly ventured on the atonement, and immediately exclaimed, 'Yes, he died for me, for me, for me!' then with the next breath, 'What is this I feel 1 Is this religion? Glory, glory, glory be to God, I shan't be lost—I shall go to heaven." He then fell on the floor, and actually rolled himself in an extacy, exclaiming, 'Now, Lord, let me go—I shall go to heaven—death is now nothing to me— I would as soon die as go to sleep—I feel I love everybody in the world.' In this happy slate we left him, and ever since he has continued unspeakably happy. Is not this, my dear Sir, a brand plucked from the burning?"
In a postscript Mr. M. adds, "We are still getting a soul now and then added to us—one on Monday night last was made very happy.
T. P. RoSEVEAR.