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powerful to command the most devoted attention: I have been informed by good judges, that if many of the speeches in our two houses were to be given in their original state, they would not appear to the first advantage, nor would Mr. Whitefield's sermons have had criminal defects, had they been revised with his own pen. In the fifth and sixth volumes of his works, all the sermons he ever printed are comprised. It is very easy to distinguish them which were pre-composed, from others which were preached extemporary. Of the latter, I notice Peter's denial of his Lord, and the true way of behold. ing the Lamb of God; Abraham's offering up his son Isaac; Christ, the believer's husband; and the resurrection of Lazarus. These and others preserve the extemporary style, and fully serve to discover the exactness of the preacher. He shines brightest with a long text, on which fancy has scope to play, and the mind has liberty to range. However exact he may appear in the page, it is impossible for the natural man, who discerneth not the things of the Spirit, to understand him. God may make the page printed, the instrument in his hand, to convert the sinner, and then he will no longer ask, “ Doth he not speak parables ?" but, till then, as living he was, so dead, he is liable to the lash of severity: but the same Providence that preserved his person,' will maintain his works : and thus, he being dead, yet speaketh, and will continue to speak, for a great while to come. Whatever invidious remarks they may make upon his written discourses, they cannot invalidate his preaching. Mr. Toplady called him the prince of preachers, and with good reason, for none in our day preached with the like effect.
and the mind bain the page, it is impo things of the FOR THE CHRISTIAN'S MAGAZINE.
. CHURCH OF GOD.
· No. IX.
O UR second result, which was partly elucidated in the last number, embraces the mutual rights and duties growing out of the relation in which the children of believing parents stand to the church of God *.
Such children, we observed, have a right, even in their infancy, to a solemn acknowledgment of their membership by the administration of baptism-to the prayers of Christians in private and in the public worship of the church, to her instruction, protection, and control.
Corresponding with these rights, there are certain duties incumbent on youth born within her pale.. They are bound to revere her authority ; to promote her happiness; and to own their relation to her by professing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; showing forth his death in the communion of the holy supper; and walking in all his ordinances and commandments blameless.
Let us now turn the question, and view it in its relation to the rights and duties of the Christian church toward such children.
* C. Mag. Vol. II. p. 108, &c.
A right to provide for the proper education of their youth, has always been claimed, and exercised in some form or other, by every civilized community. It is, indeed, inherent in the very nature of human society; as it springs out of that great, universal, and essential principle of man-self-preservation. The risen gencration, is, for the most part, fixed. Their habits are formed, their characters settled, and what is to be expected from them may be ascertained with sufficient exactness for the principal purposes of life. Not so with the rising race. No sagacity can foretell what characters shall be developed, or what parts performed, by these boys and girls who throng our streets, and sport in our fields. In their tender breasts are concealed the germs, in their little hands are lodged the weapons, of a nation's overthrow or glory. Would it not, then, be madness; would it not be a sort of political suicide, for the commonwealth to be unconcerned what direction their infant powers shall take; or into what habits their hudding affections shall ripen? Or will it be disputed, that the civil authority has a right to take care, by a paternal interference, on be-, half of the children, that the next generation shall not prostrate in an hour, whatever has been consecrated to truth, to virtue, and to happiness, by the generations that are past?
If this is the common privilege of human nature, on what principle shall it be denied to the church of God? Spiritual in her character, furnished with every light to guide the understanding; and every precept to mould the heart.-possessing whatever is fearful to deter from sin, and whatever is sweet and alluring to win to God and holiness, how is it possible that she can have no right to bring these her advantages to bear upon the youth committed
to her trust? Why were they thus committed ? How shall she deserve the name of the spouse of Christ, if she endeavour not to bring up her own children in his “nurture and admonition?” Admitting the children of believing parents to be her members, the right to instruct and watch over them, is a matter of course. For it is a solecism and an absurdity to talk of a society which has no authority over its own members. And when we establish the right, we establish also the duty. The power is given to be employed. It is a talent for which the master will demand an account. If he has authorized his church to take charge of the children within her pale, she is responsible for the manner in which she acquits herself of the trust. How is this to be done?
Ist. All baptised children, (whom by their baptism she acknowledges to be a part of her care,) are to be instructed by her authority, and under her eye.
There is a domestic training which it is her business to see that parents give their children.. But she has an interest in these children altogether her own. Her ministers, or official catechists, are, in her name, to instill into them, the principles of the Christian religion, over and above their tuition at home ; and whether their parents be faithful to them or not. A child is not to be turned off, and left a prey to destruction, because its parents do not shrink from the crime of “ blood-guiltiness, even guiltiness of the blood of their own offspring. Means are, therefore, to be used, that all the children of a congregation attend public instruction in the doctrines and duties of religion, as an ordinance of Christ; and to have the sense of their subjection to his ordinances incorporated with their earliest habits of thinking. No church can neglect this care without suffering : no church has ever fostered it without
Vol. III. No. I. C
abundant recompense. The most intelligent, sober, staid, active Christians, are usually those who have grown up under the operation of this gentle but efficient discipline.
2d. The church is to inspect the conduct of her youth.
I do not mean that she is to encourage hawkers of scandal, nor to entertain legions of spies, for their benefit. Not that she is to put on that dismal visage which petrifies the juvenile heart; 'nor to indulge that morose inquisition which arraigns, as à crime, every burst of juvenile cheerfulness. It is as much a part of God's natural constitution that youth should be sprightly, as that age should be grave. To reduce to one size and one quality, all the decencies of life in all its periods, is the attribute of zeal which never discriminates, of severity which never learns, or of Pharisaism which finds a righteousness in reprobating enjoyments which it cannot share.
But, after every proper allowance and precaution, there is left a large field of juvenile conduct for the eye of the church to explore. Both in affirming the principles of rectitude, and in resisting the principles of evil, she may and she ought to do much for her youth.
If a child be exemplary in filial or fraternal affection ; pure in behaviour among others; diligent in learning the precious truths of revelation; reverential towards the ordinances of public and private worship; fearful of sinning against God; it is no small encouragement to have these excellencies observed, cherished, and honoured, by those who bear rule in the church. Timidity subsides; bashfulness is attempered into modesty; the ductile inclination grows into consistent purpose; and thus “ little ones” are brought to Jesus Christ, and prepared for