Imágenes de páginas

of divine things, than had been usual. REVIEW OF MASON ON HAMILTON. In answer to a question which was put, Extracted from the Christian Obsershe said “ Six or seven years ago

1 was a poor, foolish, wicked creature,

ver's review of Dr. Mason's Oration and did not know that God could do on th: death of Gen. Hamilton. any thing with me." Her meaning| THE death of Gen. Hamilton, killed was, she did not see how God could in a duel with Col. Burr, Vice Presisave such a sinner as she was. I sug: dent of the United States, appears to gested to her, that if she were a real have excited an uncommon degree of friend to Jesus, she would soon go in interest in America. We had conto the society of saints and angels. ---ceived hopes that so striking and mel"Ah," she said, “ I have sometiines ancholy an example of the dreadful thought I could not be in such blessed effects of duelling, might have produccompany, I am such a vile creature." ed in that country some strong measHer mind a little after, appeared to be ures against that sinful and too prevain a supplicatiog frame, which she man- lent practice. We trusted that at least ifested in such pious breathings as it would give occasion to all who were these ; "I do wish and pray, if it be religiously disposed, and especially to the blessed will of the Lord, that I may the clergy, to exert themselves in probe in heaven, that blessed place. But claiming the sinfulness of duelling, and if it is not his blessed will, I can't find in shewing the direct opposition which dny fault. It would be right if his bles-subsists between the laws of honor and sed will should be so." She said she those of God. But we lament to conhad been trying for a long time" to fess that our expectations have been throw off that vile sinfulness," and ho-disappointed. ped she should be perfectly delivered It seems to us, that the oration would at death. Though very desirous to have been far more impressive and die, she expressed her willingness “to useful had the author endeavoured to lie down," as long as God pleased, and speak as a minister rather than an orbear what he should lay upon her,|| ator. He appears to have been led, without any hard thoughts of him.-- probably by the affectation of eloShe thought it wonderful that he should quence, to use arguments, and to adopt be “so kind and faithful to sucha a mode of reasoning, which will never worthless sinner.” Then she appear- be effectual in checking the practice of ed in a kind of pious rapture, wishing duelling. It is in vain that declamatoand hoping " to be with the blessed ry harangues are made respecting the Lord, and to praise him forever and ev-evils which attend it. The absurdity, er." Just before I left her, she turned the cruelty,the baseness of the practice to me, and said "I wish and long that are confessed by every duellist. It you, sir, and father, and mother, and is idle therefore, to attack him on these brothers, and sister, and friends, may grounds, so long as the general opinpraise that blessed Lord forever and ev-ion of mankind sanctions dvelling. er, ever and ever, Amen.” I saw her The only true ground on which it can no more. The next morning, when be successfully resisted is that of relithere was but a step betwixt her and gion. The fear of God must be opposdeath, she said, that Jesus seemed neared to the fear of the world; and reveto her, and she was filled with joy. rence for the authority of God must

I thank thee, O Father, Lord of hea-counteract the love of reputation. The ven and earth, that thou hast hid these paper left by General Hamilton, a cothings from the wise and prudent, and py of which is annexed to this oration, revealed them unto babes. Even so, assigns very exactly the reasons which Father, for so it seemed good in thy prevail with most men in accepting a right."

challenge. The General states that he Mast. Missionary Mag. was " desirous of avoiding the intera view for the most cogent reasons;" he tation is clothed in the honorable guise observes,

of an ability to be iu future useful. But “1. My religious and moral prin- are we to do evil, or to yield to a preciples are strongly opposed to the prac-judice which we know to be 'both abtice of duelling, and it would ever surd and sinful, that we may have the give me pain to be obliged to shed the power of doing good afterwards ? This blood of a fellow-creature in a private application of the doctrine of expedicombat forbidden by the laws. ency is as ludicrous as the old vindica

" 2. My wife and children are ex- tion of cowardice. tremely dear to me, and my life is of

Ile that fights and runs away, the utmost importance to them, in va

May live to fight another day. rious points of view. 3. I feel a sense of obligation towards

What is the character which will en my creditors, who in case of accident able a man to be truly useful? Sureto me, by the forced sale of my prop- ly that consistent integrity which will erty, may be in some degree sufferers. on no account do wrong, which equalI did not think myself at liberty, as a ly disregards the popular clamour, or man of probity, lightly to expose them the demands of interest; which, in a to hazard.

word, fears God and fears God only, " 4. I am conscious of no ill-will to If usefulness must depend on our conCol. Burr, distinct from political oppo- forming to public opinion, in' a point sition, which, as I trust, has proceeded confessedly wrong, it had beiter be gifrom pure and upright measures.

ven up at once; for it would be pur“ Lastly, I shall hazard much, and chased at too dear a price by the saccan possibly gain nothing by the issue rifice of conscience. We see, from of the interview,” (p. 29.)

this melancholy instance, the danger These are, indeed, very strong rea- of laying down false rules of judging.

Religion, morality, affection, a real christian, who judges only by justice, interest, all loudly remonstrat- the plain rules of Scripture, would have ed against his accepting the challenge: felt little difficulty in the case which Let us hear then the weighty argu- so much perplexed General Harnilton. ments which counterbalanced all these He would have decided at once that considerations.

the practice of duelling was sinful; To those who, with me, abhorring and, therefore, whatever the consethe practice of duelling, may think that quences might be, he would not sancI ought, on no account to have addedtion it. If, by following this course, his to the number of bad examples, I an- character should suffer ever so greatly swer that my relative situation, as well in the estimate of the world, still he in public as private, enforcing all the must obey God rather than man, and considerations which constitute what abide the consequences with the fortimen of the world denominate honour, tude of a martyr. We cannot but laimposed on me (as I thought) a pecul- ment in this case another melancholy iar necessity (not) to decline the call. instanee of the mischievous effects of The ability to be in future useful, the doctrine of expediency.* whether in resisting mischief, or effect- This pamphlet concludes 'with Dr. ing good in those crises of our public af- Mason's account of the General's last fairs, which seem likely to happen, moments; and as it may be interestwould probably be inseparable from a ing to our readers we give it at length, conformity with public prejudice in this though we are sorry that, in our reparticular.” (p. 32)

marks upon it, we shall find too much It is regard to reputation then which room for censure. induces him to violate the strongest . The reader will find some reflections on obligations of religion and morality. Gen. Hamilton's duel in the Christain ObserIt is true that this regard to repu- ver for 1804, p. 510.

c VL. II.


“Shortly after the rumor of the by we must be saved, but the name of General's injury had created an alarm Jesus. He is able to save them to the in the city, a note from Dr. Post in-uttermost who come unto God by him, formed me that he was extremely ill seeing he ever liveth to make intercess at Mr. William Bayard's, and ex- sion for them. The blood of Jesus pressed a particular desire to see me as Christ cleanseth from all sin. This soon as possible.' I went immediately. last passage introduced the affair of the The exchange of melancholy salution, duel, on which I reminded the Generon entering the General's apartment, al, that he was not to be instructed as was succeeded by a silence which he to its moral aspect, that the precious broke by saying, that he had been blood of Christ was as effectual and as neanxious to see me, and have the sacra- cessary to wash away the transgression ment administered to him; and that which had involved him in suffering, this was still his wish.' I replied, that as any other transgression; and that ‘it gave me unutterable pain to receive he must there, and there alone, seek from him any request to which I peace for his conscience, and a hope could not accede; that, in the present that should not make him ashamed.' instance, a compliance was incompati- He assented with strong emotion, to ble with all my, obligations; as it is a these representations, and declared his. principle in our churches never to ad- abhorrence of the whole transaction. minister the Lord's Supper privately. It was always, added he, against my to any person under any circumstań- principles. I used every expedient to ces.' He urged me no further. I then avoid the interview; but I have found, remarked to him, that, the Holy Com-for some time past, that my life must munion is an exbibition and pledge of be exposed to that man. I went to the mercies which the Son of God has the field determined not to take his purchased ; that the absence of the life.'. He repeated his disavowal of all sign does not exclude from the mer intention to hurt Mr. Burr; the anguish cies signified; which were accessi- of his mind in recollecting what had ble to him by faith in their gracious passed; and bis humble hope of forAuthor.'-'I am aware,' said be of giveness from his God. I recurred to that. It was only as a sign that I want the topic of the divine compassions; the ed it.' A short pause ensued, I resum- freedom of pardon in the Redeemer ed the discourse, by observing that I Jesus to perishing sinners. That grace, had nothing to address to him in his my dear General, which brings salvaafilietions but that same gospel of the tion, is rich, rich.'— Yes, interrupted grace of God, which it is my office to he, “it is rich grace." —And on that preach to the most obscure and illite- grace,' continued I, 'a sinner has the rate : that in the sight of God all men highest encouragement to repose his are on a level, as, all have sinned, and confidence, because it is tendered to come short of his glory; and that they, bim upon the surest foundation ; the must apply to him for pardon and life, scripture testifying that we have reas sinners, whose only refuge is in his demption through the blood of Jesus, grace reigning by righteousness through the forgiveness of sins, according to the our Lord Jesus Christ. I perceive it riches of his grace.' Here the General, to be so,' said he; I am a sinner; I letting go my hand, which he had held look to his mercy." I then adverted from the moment I sat down at his to 'the infinite merit of the Redeemer, bed-side, clasped his hands together, as the propitičition for sin, the sole and, looking up towards heaven, said, ground of our acceptance with God; with emphasis, I have a tender relithe sole channel of his favor to us; ance on the mercy of the Almighty, and cited the following passages of through the merits of the Lord Jesus scripture ;~ There is no other name Christ.' He replaced bis had in mine, given under heaven among men, where and appearing somewhat spent, closed

[ocr errors]

his eyes. A little after, he fastened he lifted up his hands in the attitude of them on me, and I proceeded. The prayer, and said feebly, 'God be mersimple truths of the Gospel, my dear ciful to- His voice gunk, so that Sir, which require no abstruse investi- I heard not the rest distinctly, but un. gation, but faith in the veracity of God derstood him to quote the words of who cannot lie, are best suited to your the publican in the gospel, and to end present condition, and they are full of the sentence with, 'me a sinner.' consolation.'--'I feel them to be so,' “I saw him a second time, on the replied he. I then repeated these texts morning of Thursday; but from his of scripture: It is a faithful saying appearance, and what I had heard, supand worthy of all acceptation, that posing that he could not speak without Christ Jesus came into the world to save severe effort, I had no conversation sinners, and of sinners the chief. 1, with bim. I prayed for a moment at even I, am he that blotteth out thy trans- his bed side, in company with his overgressions for mine own sake, and will whelmed family and friends; and for not remember thy sins. Come non, and the rest, was one of the mourning speclet us reason together, saith the Lord ; tators of his composure and dignity in: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall suffering. His mind remained in its be white as snow, though they be red former state: and he viewed with like crimson, they shall be as wool. calmness his approaching dissolution. * This," said he, is my support. Pray I left him between twelve and one, and for me.''Shall I pray with you ?Yes.' at two, as the public know, he breathed I prayed with him, and heard him his last.”. (p.33-38.) whisperas I went along; which I sup- Our readers will remark in this acposed to be his concurrence with the count, that the principal object of the petitions. At the conclusion he said, pastor seems to have been to adminis* Amen. God grant it.'

ter consolation to his dying friend, by “Being about to part with him. 1 exhorting him “ to repose his confitold him I had one request to make.'dence on the grace of Jesus Christ.” He asked what it was? I answer. But was this precisely the object which ed, that whatever might be the is- a Christian minister ought to have had sue of his affliction, he would give in view on such an occasion, and unhis testimony against the practice of der such circumstances? When a perduelling, I will,' said he, I have son is dying under the immediate efdone it. If that,' evidently anticipating fect of an act of sin (for such must duthe event, if that be the issue, you elling be accounted on Christian prinwill find it in writing. Ifit please God ciples,) is this the season to soothe his that I recover, I shall do it in a manner conscience, to quiet his fears, and calm that will effectually put me out of its his mind, by speaking only, or princireach in future.” I mentioned, once pally, of the mercy of God, and the more, the importance of renouncing power of the blood of Christ to cleanse every other dependence for the eter- from sin ? Surely the occasiou called nal world, but the mercy of God in for a very different strain. Hope should Christ Jesus ; with a particular refer- not indeed be entirely withheld, but ence to the catastrophe of the morning. the communication of it undoubtedly The General was affected, and said, ought not to have been the first object * Let us not pursue the subject any fur- of the minister. The simple question ther, it agitates me. He laid his hands is, whether any has a right to rely on upon his breast, with symptoms of un- the mercy of the Almighty through the easiness, which indicated an inereased inerits of the Lord Jesus Christ, withdifficulty of speaking. I then took my out true repentance. To assert that he leave. He pressed my hand affec- has, appears to us the cardinal point of tionately, and desired to see me again Antinomianism. If then no person at a proper interval. As, I was retiring, has a right to appropriate to himself thi

consolations arising from the propitia. ing his repentance to be sincere as the tion of Christ, without true repentance, Doctor seems from the above narrative surely wherever there is any just cause to have had in the case of General for doubt on this point, the application Hamilton ? How justly would he charge of the promises ought to be suspended. the popish system with serving to counIt is true, that the General declared his tenance sin, by making the forgiveness abhorrence, of the whole transaction ; of it so easy? Yet where is the differbut so he had done in writing before ence in the present instance as to the interview, yet he kept the appoint practical effect? Far be it from us to enment notwithstanding. The nature of courage any harshness in a minister's true repentance should be most care manner, or to prevent his holding out fully explained, and its reality proved, reasonable encouragement; we only before consolation is liberally admin- think that, in such a case as that before istered. We apprehend that this point us, it should have been the minister's, may not always be sufficiently.attend- aim to promote contrition for sin rather ed to by some ministers of the Gospel. than to administer consolation. Nothing is easier than to inspire a sick or dying man with hope, peace, and RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. joy, by injudiciously setting before him the rich promises of divine mercy*; | A Narrative of the state of Religion but a faithful, and prudent minister will within the bounds of the General Asalways be very cautious lest he should sembly of the Presbylerian Church; encourage presumption instead of ega and of the General Association of tablishing a solid Christian hope. The Connecticut,, of Massachusetts, and experience of a dying person will be of the General Convention of Vermore satisfactory in proportion to the

mont, during the last year. real penitonce, rather than to the con- IN reviewing the dealings of Divine fidence which it discovers. It is true, Providence toward their churches the that a minister is often placed in very past year, the General Assembly have. trying circunstances, and must sacri- abundant testimony, that the King of fice his feelings most painfully to a Zion is the guardian of his people. Evsense of duty; and we cannot but feelery glance discovers the finger of the delicacy of Dr. Mason's situation. God. In those congregations that are But regard to his friend, and to truth, favored with the institutions of the goswhich is of far superior moment to pel, the Assembly are happy to find a friendship, should, as we think, have respectful, and general attention to the led him to employ his benevolent ef- preached word. Though in a few plaforts in bringing General, Hamilton to ces, there has been a partial suspension a much deeper sense of his sinfulness of ministerial labors, arising from the than he appears to have felt. Let Dr. unhappy state of some congregations Mason ask himself whether the gc- on our frontiers; and in others, some count which he has published may not defection in the regard which has been tend to encourage another person to heretofore paid to the duties of the accept a challenge, without fear of not Sanctuary ; yet there has been on the meeting with a minister to comfort his whole, an, increased attention to the dying moments. What would the means of grace. Doctor say to a Roman Catholic priest There is a state between that stupidwho should give absolution to a per- ity, which casts a gloom around every son who received his death-wound in prospect, and that excitement, which a duel, with as little ground for believ- gilds every prospect with hope, that

* We cannot but esteem the mention of characterizes many of our congrega" the precious blood of Christ,” in that part tions. In these churches, there is no the duel is first introduced, as exceedingly general out-pouring of the Spirit of bjectionable.

grace; but there is that anxiety to hear

« AnteriorContinuar »