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The establishment of Christianity, 6: so painfully felt, But remember, the days of darkAN UNANSWERABLE ARGUMENT FOR ITS DIVINE ORIGINAL. ness and depression will come, sorrow will sooner (Continued from paye 134.)
or later cloud the sunshine of eartbly enjoyments You cannot be ignorant that what has been called for infidelity cannot exempt you from a participa the internal evidence for the truth of Christianity tion in the sad inheritance of our fallen nature, that is of the very strongest and most satisfactory cha “ man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward." racter, that it is hard indeed to read such a discourse And even if your case should prove a solitary exas the sermon on the mount, or the closing chapters ception, if your pathway through this world's wilder of the gospel of St. John, or the concluding por. ness should be one of unclouded sunshine, still tions of the epistles of St. Paul, without the convic- death must come at last, to fling its deep dark shation being forced upon the mind, that no impostor, dow over that path, and shroud it in the gloom of no enthusiast, could bave uttered such sentiments, the grave! Now, seeing these things are so, let or taught such morality, breathing such pure, holy, me affectionately ask you, what comfort do you endearing love!_shch meekness and gentleness of hope to derive from the tenets of infidelity, under spirit, such sober piety, such practical philanthro- the pressure of affliction, and in the prospect of death? phy, and enforeing such a faithful discharge of all Does that cheerless system supply, strength to supdomestic and social duties. Every command, every
port the fainting spirit, in the day of trial; or prosprohibition caleutated alike to promote the glory of pects, to gladden the departing soul, when trem, God, and the happiness of man! Now all this you bling on the brink of an unknown eternity. But either know, or, (as the Bible is within your reach) perhaps, you will say, infidelity has taught you that are utterly inexonsable if you do not know! You death is an eternal sleep!, Well!, be it so.. Still I further cannot be ignorant that some of the pro. would ask you, what is there in that system, of more foundest intelleets, stars of the very first magnitude than midnight darkness, whose brightest hope, is in the firmament of science, men of mighty minds, utter annihiliation, to comfort in the cbamber of sors giants in genius, have cautiously examined the pre- row, or to cheer on the bed of death ?, Why should dentials of Christianity; and have set to their seal, you be enamoured of a system which degrades you in acknowledgment of its truth, and felt that the to the level of the beasts that perish, which blights attitude which best became them was that of hum. all those glorious hopes, that make man but a little ble disciples, sitting in lowly adoration at the Sa- lower than the angels. Yea! hopes which in one viour's feet; or, like the wise men from the east of sense, raise him above the highest of the heavenly old, kneeling before Him, and offering to Him the hosts! Oh! why so proud of your degradation ? most precious inaense, surpassing far the worth of Why thus glory in your shame? What is theru in gold and frankincense; and myrrh, even the homage the reflection, that the slopendous display of the of their understandings, and their hearts! You are love of God which Christianity, exhibiis is a dela aware that there are no names in the empire of in- sion, and the Heaven of unutterable blessedness telleet which can surpass, yea, can compete with, a and the glory which she unveils, is but a dream, Newton, a Boyle, a Locke, a Butler, and that they oh! what is there in that reflection in which yon féit and confessed that Christianity was indeed divine! ought to triumph ? What is there in this discovery Will you peril your own soul's eternal welfare on re. that ought to fill your heart with joy? Surely, jecting, without any, or with only a superficial exami- surely, the anouncement (could it be authentically nation, what claims to be a revelation from God, made) that Christianity is a fable, and that all her and comes before you, with such credentials to au- glorious prospects must be for ever abandoned, as thenticate its claims? Will you affect to reject the visionary creation of an enthusiast's drean, with scorn what such men have received with reve. ought to be received by every real lover of mankind rence? Will you pretend to superior sagacity, or a
with the deepest sorrow, as sounding the expiring higher order of intellect, on the ground of disbeliev- knell of the brightest hopes of the human race ? : If ing what a Newton and a Locke believed ? Disbelieve then you fancy you are compelled to reject Christi Christianity--if you are so determined --so bent on anity, with all its exalted principles, and all its exyour own destruction ; but ob! do not pride your ceeding great and precious promises of bliss and self on your disbelief, as an evidence of your uncom, glory, for ever deepening and brightening, as the mon genius, for you will perhaps admit that New. ages of eternity are rolling onward, and to embrace ton, Locke, Boyle, and Butler were not, in point infidelity, with all its degrading principle, and of intellectual powers, very much inferior to your. gloomy prospects, depriving man of the ennobling self!
consciousness that he is allied with, and travelling Consider also, I affectionately entreat of you, toward a Heaven, where in the presence of a God, whether infidelity or Christianity supplies you with who is Light and Love, be shall rejoice, with the the most soothing halm for the wounds of a bleed- fulness of joy, for evermore, Oh! do not at least ing heart, and the most powerful antidote to the fear boast of your melancholy choice! 'Reject, if you of death. While the world smiles on you, while will, the prospect of everlasting glory!. Abandon you are in the possession of health, and snch happi- the hope of soaring after death, to a world of light ness as earth can give, the insufficiency of infidelity and love beyond the skies! Cling to the prospect to administer solid and satisfying peace, may not be of plunging into the blackness of darkness is to be
swallowed up in the wide tomb of unorea ted night," single rational“enjoyment," which infidelity snp. for ever and ever! But do not, do not, appear to plies, aud Christianity forbids.” Yea further, I revel in this prospect, for there is no glory in it, will add, there is not a single source of hapwhereof you can be' rationally proud ? And do not piness, worthy of your desire, even as a rational atteet to pity those, who cling to the blissful hopes, being, which Christianity does not additionally wbich Christianity unfolds, for indeed your com. sweeten, by sanetifying the enjoyment, and by inpassion is utterly wasted upon them! In trath they fusing into it the celestial flavor of gratitude to a requireit not, they deserve it not! Reserve it for the Saviour God, as the bountiful benefactor, who in death-bed of the infidel, that is indeed a scene empha- | His loving kindness, has so freely bestowed the tically "entitled to your deepest compassion !. But precious gift! and whose touch turns water into as for the death-hed of the Christian, that is a scene wine, creature-comforts, in themselves insipid, into of triumph! that is the vestibule of Heaven, the gate rich covenant blessings! What then do you lose by of glory! Oh! it were a very waste of your com- renouncing Christianity ? The happiest life that can passion, to bestow one particle of it on him, whose be enjoyed on earth- and an endless life of pure and spirit is about to wing its flight up to the bliss of perfect happiness in Heteren! Were this all surely Heaver, the bosom of its Saviour and its God. even this would loudly call on you to examine cau.
- I cannot but' earnestly press this consideration, tiously the claims of Christianity, before you decide with the most'affectionate solicitude on your serious on throwing away for ever, blessings such as these. attention. If infidelity,' in its darkest form, But this is not all! If Christianity be true, and holding out the prospect of utter annihilation of you reject it, I would again remind you, that you soul and body, be true, you gain nothing by its must not merely, løse all the blessings: it promises, truth, in which, as a rational being, you can con- but also incur all the penalties it denouncus!. You sistently rejoice or glory! You only learn the hu- must not merely forfeit the eternal bappiness which miliating lesson, that your rank in the creation is it reveals, as the inheritance of the believer---but but a little, if at all, raised above the level of the you must also incur the eternal misery, which it brute;' that your body, instead of being the taber- proclaims, as the portion of the unbeliever! Not nacle of an immortal spirit, deriving a grandeur from merely must Heaven with all its glory, be last-but the nobility of the guest that dwells within, and des. Hell with all its horrors: must be secured! Yes! tined itself, on the morning of the resurrection, to if Christiantity be true, everlasting wrath and woe be raised, in incorruption and power-an inmortal must be your dark and dreadful inheritance, if
you and glorified body, like the divine Redeemer's, is reject this revelation of the love of God! Addresbut a piece of clay, of exquisite workmanship indeed, sing you then, as one, who boast of roason, as the bat anennobled by the inhabitation of an immortal distinguishing characteristic, which raises you above soul, and destined after a few years to return to the the beasts that perish, need I say more, to induce dast' from wbich it was taken, and there to moulder you to give to the claims of Christiquity the most in corruption, without the bright hope of a glorious candid, patient, persevering consideration --weighresurrection, to pour, as with the Christian, a gleaming, with the most impartial judgment, all the eviof glory even ound the grave. Such
dences, internal and external, which have been adtriumph, if infidelity could be demonstrated to be vanced in her behalf, studying every standard work true.
in her defence -- but especially the Sacred Volume · Bat, if Christianity be true-what do you lose ? itself, and praying earnestly to that God, in whom Oh! what tongue of man or angel could adequately you professedis believe, that He would enlighten describe the amount of your loss? The favor of that your understanding, direct you in your enquiry, and God, whose smile is Heaven. The inhabitation of guide you to the knowledge of the truth. that Holy Spirit, whose presence makes the believer's body a temple of the living God. All the precious The Bookseller of Allerton, or Practical Piety, blessings purchased with a Saviour's blood, and
(Continuod from page 136.) 43 ; whose value can only be guessed at here below, from NETER were two characters more dissimilar than those our incapability of adequately comprehending the of Walters and his wife, yet the most entire’affection value of the price, at which they have been pur- subsisted between them. The former was perhaps the chased---even the infinitely precious blood of Him, most interesting one ; reserved, positive, anxioas, amwho in the beginning was with God, and was God! bitious in hisown little way, and inclined to melancholy; Oh! what must the blessings be which are worthy of the other calm, sensible, steady, cheerful and contentsuch a price? And by rejecting Christianity, you ed. Religion in her became an every-day principle reject them all!.. Yes! all that is comprised in those under the influence of which her conmonest acts were words" eternal life-eternal glory-an in hieri- performed, one in whom obedience was cheerful, and tance incorraptible and undefiled, and that fadeth duty was pleasure; while in Walters' religion was not away--the fulness of joy in the presence of marked by an anxiety which gave it the appearance of God, and, at his right hand, pleasures-satisfy being intermitting, by wishing him to attach too niuch ing pleasures for evermore." All this you fling importance to forms and feelings, so that in him it exaway- and what do you gain in exchange? No hibited a greater alternation than in his wife. thing--positively nothing ! for there is not a Exceedingly dismayed were many of Waters's cus
tomers and best friends at the blank appearance his buted in the manufacturing districts ; having expressed shelves presented, a blank but ill concealed by the few his disappointment at not being able to get it he desmall articles, he had substituted in the place of the manded when our bookseller intended to have a fresh former ones; still more were they surprised when in supply, and advancing to the emply shelves hoped as he answer to their demand for the tracts, songs or stories had sold so well he was not going to let the money" lay with which these shelves had been filled, he only briefly dead.” replied that he had then not, without adding with the Walters bastened to inform him he intended to have usual bookselling alacrity, that he would get them im- no more of such works, and this leading to a further mediately, or, that he expected them every moment. enquiry, he briefly told how he bad disposed of his Walters wanted courage to confess; profession is easy, former stock; his hearer , waited for a very small part confession is difficult; as difficult to him it was, as to of the exhortation he was about to receive to forsake the man who wields the dominion of nations, and the such dangerous reading, but hastily leaving the shop very feeling that he shrunk from, confession of the truth went back to his house with the intelligence that poor made him uneasy, almost unhappy; for he knew it Walters had lost his reason. was written- Whosoever shall be ashained of ine His wife and two other of the neighbours repaired and my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed :" forthwith to Esther's room, to condole with her under and not only was it the fear that his Lord and Master this affliction. Esther's good sense enabled her to see should be ashamed of hin that made him uneasy; not the cause of this mistake, so as to prevent the alarm she the lowness, the baseness of such conduct to Him, might have otherwise felt, but her explanation if whose he was, and whom he desired henceforth to serve, it removed the necessity of their syimpathy by no means that heavily weighed upon his mind, and continually stopped the circulation of the story, and in a jew hours left him to feel he was not glorifying God in his body
almost all the town had heard that Mr. Walters had set and bis spirit which were His.
fire to his shop and hurned all his effects. By degrees A conversation which he had with his plainer and the story changed, us stories will, and finally the truth, more practical wife, set his duty in this respect more or soniething like the truth alone, was believed, or clearly before him.
known, and instead of an insane man, Walters was found A simpler method than Esther pursued in any prac.
to be a saint. tical question could scarcely be devised. After Paul All this was very trying to a man of his temper, to had entered on his new life wbich cominenced in his Esther it would have been less so, but she escaped the eventful journey to Damascus, his language, with re- trial altogether, in consequence of a slight indisposiference to find out his relation to Him, was- Whose tion which attacked her at the time, and her entire deI am and whoin 1 serve"-the same sentiment was votion to her infant after that illness was over. deeply impressed on Esther's mind, and was conveyed The storm flew over and Walters tried to hope the from thence to her husband's.
best; he made his shop look as well as he could, he They were living under the government of Christ, as bought some religious tracts, and as he found sorge diftheir King, by whose laws they must be ruled, as their ficulty in procuring these, in an unguarded moment, Priest to make atonement, and their Propliet to im- he laid out the largest portion of his remaining suun of part instrnction; where then should they go to know money in purchasing sonie books, which were both too the rule of faith and practice but to his own word, good and too expensive for him to sell in his situation. to the declaration of His own will and the written Certainly lie now contemplated the appearance of his precepts He had left for the guidance of His faithful shop with far greater complacency, but, poor fellow, people?
he had little else to do; day after day that appearance They soon found that scripture proved the course was the same, nor was a single article scarcely erer they were pursuing to be a plain denial of Christ, and an displaced. Walters' spirits Hagged ; to be tied inacevidence that they were ashamed of Him and His doc- tively to one spot, where there is nothing to do but trine; and that while they allowed their uninstructed which must not be left, is surely the inost wearisome neighbours to seek elsewhere for the pernicious pro- state imaginable. His daily walk which he had ductions once sold by them, they imitated but ill the been so exact in taking was not renewed after Esther's example of Him who came to seek and save those that recovery ; either he thought the amount of his labours were lost. But it is easier to decide on what is right, did not now need this relaxation, or in the still longing than to find courage to perform it, and in a place expectation of seeing customers enter hè deferred it where not one person agreed with them even in religious from hour to hour. opinion, to appear as a preacher of righteousness, to he Walters' whole mind had been set on rising in his ridiculed as a fanatic or an enthusiast, was very painful business; and that not by any shuffling arts, or officious to such a man as Walters.
Zeal, but though in a small, yet in a respectable and Esther however at this time gave birth to her first straight-forward manner ; to be successful as a bookand only child, a fine little boy; and on the day of her seller was almost the dreani of his boyhood and the coming again to the small room which was elevated a few hope of his matured days ; he suffered more now from steps at the back of the shop, an opportunity presented disappointinent than from anxiety; though poverty itself to Walters of making that confession which he stared him in the face; still his most secret regret was felt he onght to make. A man entered the shop to ask that his hopes in this respect were blasted. He grew for one of those intidel publications, which, as was be- very thin; his face was sallow, his eyes dull. Esther fore said, were at that time most industriously distrri- was wholly engrossed in a mother's first cares ; she
had no assistant and was fully occupied ; Walter's that I might act 'right' as a wife, but since our babe thought she forgot she had a husband; his wounded was born I have felt so much, I have only thought of affection would not let him remird her of this, and his acting right as a 'mother, and I did not pray that one reserve prevented him from speaking of his feelings. duty might not interfere with another, and so that He suffered, as many others do, very needlessly; his wife's which was designed for our comfort and joy might have sensibilities were not so quick, as she was a plain spoken proved a temptation and snare. You have seen my person herself, she sometimes required to be plainly spo- fault, bat perhaps you did not know what it arose from, ken to; but a word if Walters could have uttered that and though, I am sure, you would tell me of other word, would have removed the unpleasantness between faults, you would not speak because you excused yourthem. The infant that was to the mother only a source self; but our gracious God has shewn me my error of love and joy, was to the father' en object of care, just in time to prevent its being of serious consequences, and perhaps if the truth were known, of a little jealousy, for I have always thought when the bond of love is once for it engrossed the attention that had been wholly be. broken it is not ever made so entire again. If you had stowed on himself.
spoken one word you would have known my heart was . Walters had opened his Ledger one evening, there just the same as ever toward you, and you would have was not much to be done in it, but the balance of
led me sooner from an error which I believe many fit and loss was soon struck, it was all on the latter side ; mothers fall into, making their children of the first imhe closed it with a heavy sigh the result of depressed portance, and not seeming to think so much of their feeling, and putting up the shutters went into the room husbands as they did before. And now, William, as I where his wife with the babel on hér lap was sitting. have told you all this, you liave only to forgive me, She had just put on ite night clothes, the little thing and I have only to try to make you amends in future.” Was fast asleep, its face turned to the fire, the light of Walters' reply was an affectionate embrace, he felt which fell brightly upon it. Esther was gazing down Esther knew him better than he knew himself. 'on that little soul, and she lifted her eyes and smiled at Esther had now many questions to ask about matters her husband, and dropped them again to their former she had long neglected her thoughts having been position, and said look William.
confined to her child, her conversation had generally He turned his eye coldly in the direction for a mo- ran upon the same subject, like that of too many good mietity and then looked away. With the quick percep- and anxious mothers, 'it had been turned principally on tion that characterized her, Esther instantly conjectured details respecting it or questions relating to it, forthe feelings which, unknown to himself, were at work getting that to a man engaged in other cares, and in: Walters' mind. Many another wife or mother labours, and anxieties, there were other topics on which would have reproached him with indifference and want even a tender father' might feel greater interest and of paternal affection, and therefore a domestic feud require some sympathy: would have ensued, the unhappy effects of which its Esther felt ashamed of a conduct that was neither uticonscious object might perhaps have felt through kind nor christian-like, and knew she had not performed the lives of father and mother. Esther's good sense the injunction to “ bear one another's burdens and so prevented this, for she knew if there were a deficiency fulfil the Law of Christ"- the law of Love-which in that affection it would never be increased by alterca- unites a household, and might unite a neighbourhood tion on the subject ; and her christian principle came a world, in one "perfect bond.". to her aid, and caused conscience to ask if she were Esther did not think her husband's coldness to their quite clear of blame in regard to himi whose relation to infant arose from want of affection ; she felt that he her was not altered, because she had acquired another had not had her sympathy, and so she knew she should object of love and care.
not have expected his. She was indeed distressed at
thie have slied a tear, but she exerted self command suffi- little shop; she saw there would be an immediate necient to restrain it, and prevent even the inclination cessity to devise other plans for their support, and act from being seen.
with promptitude. 5. Have you closed the shop, William ?" “ Yes." Walters was silently gazing into the fire ; she too : "" Then I will put the baby in bed, he ought to have did not speak at first, then she saidbeen there half an hour ago.”
“Do'nt you feel, William, that when you go to think She went and laid him down and returning drew of what is best to do, and can see no way directly open her seat closer to her husband's and said,
before you, and one thought after another comes across “ Now, dear William, I know you are not a man to' the mind, and yet there seems some hindrance to every speak out what you think at once, so I will tell you thing, that you are disquieted and fettered and unable what has just came into my mind, and I dare say it has to fix on any thing; and so after much time is spent, heen in yours' too. I have been thinking too much all is given up, and you are just as you were before about our infant, and I have left you to yourself, and you began to think and plan at all. not seemed to care about how you were going on, or Walters agreed with a sigh, and a look of still more what you were doing, and you never spoke of this but expressive assent. 6. I trust God will direct us," he yet you have felt it. I have been very wrong, but I said. “ Yes : that is it," Esther replied; “ but can we see how hard it is to act right in new circumstances and expect He will do so unless we ask Him? He has urder temptations we have not known before, unless we said ask and shall receive, but He does not tell us feel our danger and pray for help. I used only to pray we shall receive without asking."
6 I daily ask him," said Walters" to give tis more he could not think of taking another. Esther too and more of His Holy Spirit, to prepare us for Him- sighed at these details, she saw something ought to be self, and fit us to leave this sorrowful, troublesoine done, and that the disappointment he felt depressed world."
Walters so much as to deprive him of any ellergy be * But we have work to do while we are in it, Wil- had possessed, and incline him to give up his trade liain,' we are 'not to eat the bread of idleness.”
altogether. But Esther was no lover of change, and - How can I help it; "said Walters, very impa- she knew there was no other he was so suited to; she tiently.
was resolved, however, on this occasion not to get into " Neither of us could help it, if it be the will of the same state of uneasy perplexity she had been in God to deprive us of the power of exertion, but if it is before, and therefore she turned her thoughts to the
subject of self-exertion, to find out what she could do. able us to perform that will if in sincerity we ask Him? The recollection of her infant here caine in, and she You know it is said commit thy way unto the Lord and He will bring it to pass, but how can we expect
sighed again at the difficulties that arose on every side; He will bring it to pass if we do not commit it to Him? William,” she said, “ we have now lest the matter in Now, I think, we have been wrong in not consulting the the Lord's hands, we must only as scripture says, trust, Lord, as it were, on 'our affairs."
and not be afraid; He may see fit to try our faith and " I have always considered it wrong to pray for patience, but let us go on doing what we can and He temporal good," said Walters; and besides these surely will not forsake the work of His own hands." things appear too insignificant for the direction of God.” " At all events it is well to have the testiinony of
Perhaps it is wrong to pray for anything that is our own conscience," said Walters, some of the disnot needful for us, and which may not promote our ciples only left a fishing boat to follow Christ." spiritual interests; but we are taught to pray ~ Give " Yes, William, and he did not refuse them when us this day our daily bread,' and it cannot be wrong they said they had left all to follow him, and asked ask him to give us the means of procuring it, or to give what they should have therefore ; I am sure God will us so much light and direction on our earthly way as not let His faithful people be left destitute.” may prevent our ininds froin being distracted and di- They shall have their reward in the next world, verted from better things, and as to these things being if not in this," said Walters, " and I believe it is far too insignificant for Him, you know those who do not better to look forward to that reward which is reserved believe the Bible say, that He is a Being so far re- in Heaven, for those who love and honour his name, moved from all concern and feeling for us, that it is quite and not to think much of this disappointing, vexing absurd to suppose He interferes with the affairs of this world." world ; but the Bible says very different, --- he feeds There was something in Walters' tone and appearthe young Ravens that call upon Him'— without Hiin ance which made Esther feel uneasy, she saw that both riot a Sparrow falleth'— He carries the Lambs in His his health and his state of inind required that some bosom'-these sayings, I think, shew us the compassion object of interest, or source of occupation should be set and care of the Lord, and when we have told him our before him, and she accordingly began to point out state, and left our concerns in His hands, then we have some plans which might be, at least thought about, as more peace and often a light seems to come to our mind to their leaving their present abode, and concluded by and thoughts to occur to us that appear sent first in saying—"now, dear Williain, while we leave the direcanswer to our prayers.”
tion of all things in the Lord's hands, let us remeinber Then, Esther, suppose instead of tiring ourselves with that whatsoever our own hand findeth to do, we must do talking over matters we cannot alter, we do as you say it with our might, therefore do you keep looking about, now, for I begin to think we have neglected too long and making some enquiries in the town and I will see seeking the help of God in our perplexities.” The and do what I can, and then the means may be prohusband and wife then read the Bible, and he prayed a vided for our removal." simple prayer froin his own heart, and they arose with "The suffering and anxious man was cheered by the minds calmed and comforted. They sat long by the hope presented, in his heart he blessed his wife, and fire that night conversing, though in a less anxious and before he laid down to rest be leaned over his sleeping troubled manner, and Esther informed her husband' babe and breathed a father's blessing on its head, and a that she realiy thought that if he was in a better neigh- tender kiss upon its cheek. Esther beheld it and if she bourhood, away from the persons who once patronized, needed a sweeter reward than that of ministering to and now avoided, and in some instances ill-treated her husband's sorrows, she had it in knowing that it him he might do much better; this idea had occurred increased his love to his child; and with the feelings of to her after prayer and consideration, therefore she natural affection deepened and rendered more blissful placed more reliance on it.
by a meet assurance of the Divine love. Esther ex. Walters' face brightened for a moment at the perienced amid present privations, and threatening prothought of taking a new shop in a less mortifying situ- spects a happiness which the worth of kingdoms could ation, and commencing again as a bookseller on better not purchase. principles; but that brightness soon passed away; this The next day was the last of the week, Esther arose plan would require a sum of ready money to accom- in good spirits, it was always a busy day with her; it plish, and he told her with a sigh that he had but little is so indeed with most housekeepers in the same line of in hand; the term of their house was unexpired and life, but she had generally made it so on religious