« AnteriorContinuar »
1. That he abundantly confirms and establishes the doctine, that God in saving sinners acts entirely as a Sovereign. It is i certain and undeniable fact, That God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and that he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion.' And, 2. Seeing it is a fact that God does so act, it would be exceedingly impious, and the height of blasphemy, for any mortal to call God to account, or to
ask him What doest thou ?' It would be certainly much more becoming poor worms of the dust to stand, wonder, and adore, and to say, with the profoundest humility, O the depth of the Fiches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How un. searchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out ! For, Who hath known the mind of the Lord or, Who hath been his counsellor ! or, Who bath first given unto him, and it shall be recompensed to him again ? - for of him, and through bin, and to him, are all things: - to whom be glory for ever. Amen *
III. Though we confess that the thoughts of God are very deep, and his Sovereign decrees far above our comprehension, pet, we are able, in some nieasure, to comprehend, that there is no injustice in God's bestowing his undeserved favours upon whom he pleases. The Arminians profess to believe, as well as the Calvinists, That all men arc sinnners, and as such, that all men deserve everlasting punishment. “For the wages of sin is death. If, therefore, all have sinned, and, consequently, deserve everlasting punishment, there could have been no injustice with God, had he not saved any of the sinful race of Adam, but reserved them, as he did the fallen angels, in everlasting chains, unter darkbess, to the judgment of the great day. Consequently, if it be a fact that all deserve to perish for ever, it is of infinite mercy and goodness that any are saved; and God, in saving some, does not in the least injure others. Eternal life is God's sovereign gift; but eternal death is the natural consequence, or just wages of sin + ; and God's bestowing a sovereign gift on some, does not injure others.
The doctrine of God's sovereignty, in bestowing his favours without any regard to deservedness in the receivers of them, is far from being discouraging to those who are convinced that they deserve nothing but everlasting punishment. If you were about applying to some superior for an undeserved favour, - and he were represented to you as a person who never bestowed any favours on the undescrying, would you not be greatly discouraged from making application? But if, on the other hand, he should be represented to you as a person who always bestowed his favours for his own sake, without any regard to merit in the receivers of them, you would be greatly encouraged to make application, and hope to succeed. My dear Friend, God
sciolish you are ill have mercard to mours altogethe
ON THE JUSTICE OF GOD.
277 is a Soecreign : be bestoweth his favours • altogether for his own sake, without any regard to mcrit in the receivers of them. He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.' Though you are fully convinced that you are a sinner, and con. scious you (lezerve nothing at his hand but everlasting death, cast yourself at his feet, and pray that he would glorify his gracious naine in saving yon, through the merits of Christ, and you shall certainly find that he delights in mercy.
I am yours, &c. J. R.
THE FOLLY AND DANGER OF QUACKERY.
I HAVE lately perused, in one of your Numbers, a familiar description of the buman eye; - the curious fabric and wonderful economy of which, being contemplated with due seriousness, must prove a cure for Atheism : but, perhaps, your readers may think me a strange logician, when I suggest that the slightest examination of dais complicited little organ, must evince, to every. candid mind, the extreme folly and mischievous tendency of Quackery.
My aunt's great-grandmother (by some bargain with a farrier) got possession of a receipt for an eye salve, which, as a matter of: course, was presently declared to be an infallible remedy for bad eyes. Nobody can teil for what sort of bad eyes this nose' trum was adapted ; but it accidentally gained vast reputation ; ard my aunt frely bestows it on any good woman who applies to her for the eye-curing ointment. It is quit: in vain that I expostulate with her on the impropriety of such a weak and indiscria minate procedure, or that I urge the opinion of Nosologists, who enumerate two or three hundred species of bad eyes. She an. swers, “That this is a never-failing app'ication, when properly employed;' and she flatters herself, that her intentions are good, if the means should sometimes happen to do harm. The people are as ignorant of the medicinal qualities and fitness of my aunt's family composition, as she and her agents are of the precise kind or degree of the existing maladies which they treat.
These female benefactresses, one and all, agree that a cold watch, or a roasting.jack, when out of order, should only be put into the hands of a mechanic who understands the peculiar structure of such machines; and yet they presumptuously imagine them. selves qualified, by a single nostrum, to rectify the numerous disorders of a much more delicate and ingenious organ than a watch or jack; and this, without pretending to know any thing at all about its mechanism. I really want language to characierize this inconsistency of sentiment and conduct. They allow also, that the parts and properties of a violin or harpsichord must be XVII.
accurately studied by the artist who would correct its discordant sounds ; and yet do not consider, that the minute and diversified parts which compose the eye or the ear must be closely inspected and understood, before a person is competent to undertake the cure of its various imperfections ! The causes of derangement in those tender organs are likely to be far more intricate and complex than the sources of discord in a musical instrument, formed by the art of man. Nothing can, therefore, exceed the credulity of trusting an ignorant person, who professes to cure deafness, with, out any knowledge of the structure and economy of the ear, or confiding in the skill of an illiterate quack, pretending to re- move disorders of the eye, without being familiar with its me
chanism and functions. The folly of encouraging such practices is greatly aggravated by the consideration, that a slight deviation from the proper treatment may injure or destroy a noble faculty, which cannot be restored for all the accumulated wealth of both the Indies!
The argument is precisely the same, whether we speak of local or general diseases, - whether we name the eye, the ear, the brain, the lungo, the stomach, the surface of the body, or the whole corporeal frame. It can hardly be necessary to remark, That empirical remedies and cosmetics, if powerful in their ope ration, are always clangerous tools in the bands of quacks or illinformed pracutioners. Though the medicines themselves may be goo:1, and may, by chance, be scmetimes useful, the administration of them will often be highly pernicious, if not destructive, to ihe human species. This serious thought may pacify the feelings of those mistaken readers (if there be any such) who will régrei to see the notice contained on the cover of your last Num. her, which discountenances Quackery, by shewing that the Con. ductors of the Evangelical Magazine, after too long forbcarance and patience, have at length resolved to exclude from their pages every species of Advertisement connected with empiricism, and hazarding the injury of health by unauthorized medical pretensions.
I hail the day on which this determination has been avowed, as evincing the complete triumph of sober Reason over obstinate Blindnes, and disinterested Self-denial over sordid Avarice. It affords a proof, in my opinion, that the Conductors are men of sound sense and real philanthropy, more attentive to the public welfare than to the emoluments which would accrue from a permission so generally granted by the proprietors of other periodical publications ; and it is particularly worthy of notice, That although the funds arising from the sale of their Magazine are wholly appropriated to charitable purposes, its C nductors will not promote or endure the practice of a public evi', under its most plausible forins, and when perpetrated by thers, in hopes of thereby extending further relief to deserving individuals. London.
· I am, &c. B. L.
À LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
We often derive great pleasure and satisfaction from hearing accounts of the pious poor, who are happy amidst ibeir ato flictions and difficulties ; to see their minds stayed on that Power who says to the winds and waves, Be still, assured that all things are working together for their good.
It has been much upon my mind to state à few particulars relative to a godly man and his wife, who have long walked toge. ther in the fear of the Lord. J. S. and his wife resides in a popu. lous village; - they are members of an Independent Church in the neighbourhood, highly esteemed by their minister; - they adorn their profession hy their life and conversation, promoting, as much as in them lies, the prosperity of Sion, and glory of God,
It was much upon their minds to obtain a house in which the gospel might occasionally be preached ; and, of course, prayect that God would direct their way. In this village there used to be an Arian meeting, which, a few years ago, was converted into dwelling-houses. Opposite this place, a piece of land was at liberty. They purchased the land, with a view to build a house, to be so constructed, as that two rooms might, by remova ing a slight partition, be thrown into one. As the times were then fl urishing, in regard to trade, they thought they could save, out of their weekly labour, as much as would, in time, clear the building; and they would borrow some money, and pay interest for it, until this could be accomplished.
The good woman made up her mind to apply to an old friend. · She had to walk about 26 miles for this purpose. A day or two before she set out, a person called, requesting her to carry £50 for him, for that very person to whom she was going to apply. This afforded her great encouragement. When she arrived at her journey's end, she informed the gentleman of her plan, and told him she had brought him £50 from a person who had intrusted it to her care." Pray, Sir,” said she, “Do you want this money?" His answer was, "No; you shall have it." " What security do you require for the money ?” said she. «John's word,' he replied. She then informed him that she should want about £100 more. He recommended her to a friend, to obtain another £50.' She returned home with the money, praising God for her prosperous journey. . This house has been erected some years, and there God has owned and blessed his word in the conversion of sinners. When the times were good, they cleared off part of this debt; and, at that time, pious John generously subscribed two guineas towards the erection of a new chapel in a large neighbouring town, where
"Whaoney pa her care.ught him
there has been much persecution ; but no weapon formed against the cause hath prospered ; and the hand of God has evidently been displayed in the conversion of sinners, particularly Arians and Catholics. My daughter, now at school there, writos as follows:-..The poor of this town are in great distress, on account of the times; but liberal subscriptions are entered into for their relief.' She adds, 'I fear John and Peggy are suffering much, as he is again out of work; and yet Peggy appears as happy and cheerful as if she had lived upon the best.' Tonce visited them, under similar circumstances. I then pressed her to inform me how she managed.' Her answer was, I alvays let my children be fed first, and have myself often dined upon an halfpenny worth of apples, and have found myself greatly refreshed therehy. I dread being in debt, and would do every thing in my power to avoid it. The Lord knows what is best for me, therefore I com. mit all to him who careth for me, both for time and eternity! These people are no common professors; ~ their conversation would do credit to the Bench of Bishops. I have often been edified thereby, and my heart warmed, as they have conversed on spiritual subjects. May the same Spirit dwell with me, to animate me in my pilgrimage through life !
To the Editor.
who know him not, in which much of the beauty and safety I of the former consists. I am, Sir, yours, &c. Sumnos.
* In the same advertisement, I observed · The Lord's Prayer,' which is also set to music, Tor the ainusement, I suppose, of merry Christians !