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meaning, than to meet every objection going sentiments, the learned folly
sure the following extract on the
“How humbling to the pride of man is been adduced and forcibly illustrated by this short narrative! The scholar, the various authors, we would meet this objec. philologist, and the linguist, may blush to tion by a most simple question-Did God find that the science in which they display make the world and give laws to nature ? their learning and attainments arose from And is he all-mighty? How then shall we
the sin and littleness of man. And when dare to assert, that any thing is impos
we feel the difficulties which through the sible with him, or that the laws of nature diversity of tongues oppose themselves to cannot be altered or suspended by him the diffusion of knowledge, civilization, who gave them? The objection leads at and religion over the face of the earth, we once to absolute atheism ! -Again it is may remember with humiliation, that these said, that the destruction of the whole obstacles were occasioned by the natural world by a flood, is inconsistent with the hardness and pride of the human heart, mercy and goodness of God, especially which conspired to resist the will of God, since animals as well as men suffered in and which were laid low by the breath of this catastrophe. We shall see, perhaps, his displeasure. But it is one of the most as we review the narrative, that God's jus- common operations of the human mind, to tice, holiness, and hatred of sin, were gra
extract food for pride from those circumciously tempered by love and mercy to the stances which in their direct tendency antediluvian world: but if this were not
should create a sense of humiliation and explained, may not God do what he will disgrace. Thus, the skins of beasts wherewith his own? 'Shall the thing say to with the Lord God clothed our first him who formed it, Why hast thou made parents, to hide their shame, and in token me thus ?'. May not he who gave laws of their disgrace, are now transformed into to man punish him for transgressing them ? the splendid luxury of pompous apparel, If it be just and right for us to put a man and that which was first given us to humble to death by the hand of the public execu
our pride, is now one of the most effectual tioner, surely the God of heaven and earth means of fostering it. And so with regard must do right in visiting the world for sin, to the multiplication of dialects and and in extending that destruction to the tongues; though we feel the difficulties animal creation which was made for man, which it occasions, though it costs men the and must share his lot, whether of good or greater part of their lives to attain a comill.” Close, pp. 97, 98.
petent knowledge of those languages which We should readily quote from the various pursuits; yet, instead of feeling
are necessary to the prosecution of their following sermon, Mr. Close's re- these hindrances as so many testimonies marks on,
of God to the sinfulness of sin, so many “ The remarkable Reason assigned by morials of our humiliation, no one science
marks of his displeasure, and so many meAlmighty God for thus renewing his Favour to Man. It is the very reverse of has more tended to increase the vanity
and what we might have expected." "I will self-importance of mankind than that which not again curse the ground any more for appears in a measure to overcome these man's sake!' And why? Because right- those families of the earth whom God
difficulties, and, as it were, to re-unite eous Noah and his pious family are no longer sinful beings ?-Because the new
himself separated by these natural barriers. generations of man shall be holier than the I mean not to disparage learning,
but the old? No! but for this reason, for the pride of it. I mean not to question the imagination of man's heart is evil from his usefulness of such knowledge, or for a moyouth!' The task of reforming the human ment to doubt that it greatly promotes race seemed impracticable. Who can that intercourse with nations which must bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?" be beneficial to all : but I would have every
Not one!' Nearly the same language is scholar feel, as he ascends with painful here used as we found in Gen. vi. 5, where steps, the hill of science, and attains with the reason assigned for the deluge was, great labour and toil a limited acquaintance that every imagination of the thoughts of with men of other tongues, that but for man's heart was only evil continually,' and the sins of his ancestors, and for the corthough the flood had manifested the ven
ruption of the human heart which Jurks geance of God against sin, it had not those difficulties would never have existed,
within him in common with all mankind, washed away the corruption of human nature.” Close, pp. 124, 125.
and the whole family of man would have
remained unto this day of one language But in connexion with the fore- and of one speech. Such a recollection CHRIST. OBSERv. No. 304.
cannot fail to check the growth of pride warm the benevolence of the patriarch ! and to encourage humility, while it cannot Even in the devoted city of Sodom he damp the ardour of the student, or tend trusted that there must be fifty righteous at all to the discouragement of learning." at least. Lot's own household would Close, pp. 150–152.
consist of nearly this number; and no The sins of believers" had doubt Abraham hoped that his kinsman been touched in a bold but sen
had converted many of the heathen around
him to the worship of the true God. How sible manner in the preceding little ground there was for this charitable sermon, as is the character of Lot bope, and how dangerous it is to dwell in one subsequent. The especial among those who do not fear God, we admonition to the young, which oc
shall see in the sequel of the story. The
immediate and gracious reply vouchsafed curs amongst the author's reflections to his
prayer next calls our attention : on the subject, we know not how to The Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty omit.
righteous within the city, then I will spare “ The character of Lot abounds with all the place for their sakes.' Encouraged instruction to young persons who have by this ready answer to his petition, enjoyed the unspeakable advantages of Abraham ventured to extend his request, an early religious education. As a young the argument
which he used, are very re
And here the mode of his approach, and hopeful and encouraging; he forsook the markable. He prostrates himself in the abode of his idolatrous kindred, and ac
dust before God. Behold now, I have companied Abram in his pilgrimage to taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, Canaan ; he participated in the advan- which am but dust and ashes.' See the tages of family religion ;-but the moment great father of the faithful, the friend of he was left to himself and deprived of the God, him who was admitted to speak with society of pious friends, he fell away, and she Almighty face to face, see him abased was sunk in the cares and pleasives of in his presence!* I am but dust and this world. Does not this say to those of ashes?' And how ingenious his argument! you, my brethren, who are enjoying the God had said he would spare the city for spring time of life, and who are just enter
the sake of fifty righteous, and Abraham ing on the world, • Take warning from said, Peradventure there shall lack fire this fearful example; search and see whe- of the fifty righteous : wilt thou destroy ther the Christian instruction which you all the city for lack of five ? And the Lord have received be written and engraved said, If I'find there forty and five, I will upon your hearts ; beware how you place not destroy it.' The patriarch's zeal and yourselves in situations where you will
be love were surpassed only by the willing deprived of religious advantages and im
ness of the Almighty to grant his petiproving
society, and be assured that in the tions. As Abraham prayed his faith grew many vicissitudes of your future life, whe- stronger, and he renewed his request : ther your path shall be smooth or rough, there; and God renewed his mercy, say,
Peradventure there shall be forty found pleasurable or difficult, there is nothing that can guide your steps and cheer your Stili Abraham's heart was full; there
ing, I will not do it for forty's sake.' spirit but the love of God ruling your heart and directing your conduct. Let it might not be even this number, therefore then be the first object which you propose he should exhaust the patience and good
he would ask again. Yet he feared that to yourself, to know and serve God, and the next, to choose those for friends
ness of God; • And he said, 0 let not the and companions who are like minded with Lord be angry, and I will speak : peradyourself, and are seeking in earnest the
venture there shall thirty be found there. kingdom of heaven.” Close, pp. 184, 185. Though he advanced in his request, it was The sermon (xvii.) on Interces- will not do it if I find thirty there.' Again
as readily granted him; for God said, “I sion, contains the following well his prayer was repeated, drawn exposition of the interesting beard, and God said I will not destroy and mysterious act of intercession thought, perhaps, that Lot's household
Abraham still conducted by Abraham before God. might have become corrupt, and therefore
“ We must quote his words at length, that true piety might be confined to him. or we shall lose their force and beauty, self, his wife and children. Therefore he • Abraham drew near and said, Wilt thou said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and also destroy the righteous with the wicked? I will speak yet but this once : peradvenPeradventure there be fifty righteous ture ten shall be found there? And he within the city: wilt thou also destroy and said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.' not spare the place for the fifty righteous Abraham was now fully satisfied that he that are therein? That be far from thee had saved the cities: he felt sure that ten to slay the righteous with the wicked. godly persons must be there, and there, Shall not the Judge of all the earth do fore he ceased from his labour of love; right ? How large the charity, and how and it is said that the Lord went his way, and Abraham returned unto his it is the working of bis Spirit striving place.''
within you; pray that the impression may “ Thus closed this wonderful interview pipen into deep conviction of sin and lively between Abraham and God, manifested in faith in a Saviour. For if you would die the person of his Son; and we may ob the death of the righteous, you must live serve that the Lord did not cease from the life of the righteons; you must be reenlarging his mercies till Abraham ceased conciled to God by the blood of his dear to entreat for them. Had the patriarch Son; you must be influenced by the love continued in prayer till he had brought of Christ in your daily conduct; you must down the number to Lot himself, who can walk with God on earth, or you cannot tell but that Sodom and Gomorrha might dwell with him in heaven. And if you have been spared ?" Close, pp. 249–252, would have a calm and happy death-bed, The closing remark leads the you must seek God now, while he is near
you. Would thinking reader to many scriptural to you, and will be found of
you have the evening of your days tranquil reflections. But we must conclude and serene, you must give the morning of our extracts, and the article, with your life to the service of God; you must the appropriate and beautiful death- work while it is day, for the night bed of the veperable patriarch him- cometh, when no man can work. Keep self, the father of the faithful, in the and Isaac, and their pious families; tread
before your eyes the example of Abraham, bosom of his family, as recorded in their steps, and you shall participate in soon after the marriage of Isaac, their blessings. Set God always before which forms the subject of Mr. you, and he will direct your paths; in all
your ways acknowledge him; form your Close's twentieth sermon.
plans in dependence upon his favour and “To complete the history of this pious protection. “Say not within yourselves, family, we may observe, that the death of To-day, or to-morrow, we will go into Abraham is recorded, by anticipation, in such a city, and buy and sell
, and get gain: the former part of the next chapter : his for that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, history closes bere,
though in fact he sur- we shall live, and do this, or that.' Living vived the birth of Esau and Jacob fifteen thus a life of holy dependence upon him, years. His death is simply told (ver. 8.) and devotedness to his service, walking in
Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and his fear, and giving him your heart, when died in a good old age, an old man, and you come to die, you shall have peace full of years;
and was gathered to his and be it sooner or later, you shall fali people. How calm and peaceful his de- asleep in Jesus, and awake to a joyful reparture ! How the mind lingers in such sarrection! scenes of domestic harmony! For whe- “O my brethren, in contemplating so ther we consider the marriage of the pious beautiful a history as that before us, so children, or the death of the resigned and many examples of domestic piety-how venerable parents, all seems equally peace- obvious is the remark, that true godliness ful and happy. Draw near, my brethren, is suited to adorn every rank and station and consider this beautiful picture ; learn in society, and every period in the life of how to begin life, and how to conclude it: man. It adds fresh beauty to the bloom learn how to live, and how to die ! How of youth, and is a crown of glory to gray many ideas crowd upon our minds, in the bairs !-it softens and sweetens the hour contemplation of such a scene! The of affliction, and moderates the excitation shoek of corn fully ripe, is gathered into of prosperity: it teaches to live, and it the heavenly garner! The old man, full of teaches to die: it shews how to abound, years, dies amidst the lamentations of his and how to suffer need; it diffuses peace children; and those children, witnessing and contentment through a household, his holy life and blessed death, set out on strengthens the natural ties which bind their journey to the same land of eternal us to each other, yet prevents a dangerous rest. Their connection, formed in a spirit recoil when they are burst asunder. of prayer, in dependence upon the Divine Masters and servants, parents and chilblessing, and in expectation of his promises, dren, rich and poor, all learn to fulfil their meets with the favour of God. He smiles various duties with alacrity and satisfac, upon the morning of their days; and when tion, when religion is their teacher. O they in their turn become aged and infirm, that these considerations may be blest to he receives them also to himself! How all our hearts ! May some, who have happy would be the history of man, if hitherto sought their enjoyments in the generation after generation lived thus in bewildering draughts of earthly pleasures, the fear of God, and died in the hope of or in the maddening vices of the flesh, a blissful eternity! Who does not give seek now a better portion, a happier lot; utterance to the secret desire, 'Let me may they seek peace with God through a die the death of the righteous, and let my Saviour, and implore his blessing on them. last end be like his! O then, if such an selves and their kindred! And may we all aspiration now rises in your heart, culti- be more than ever impressed with this vate the feeling, cherish it; it is of God, . truth, that to live to God, is to live well,
and happily, and wisely—and that so to avoid even a remote allusion to the live is the only thing that can bring a man peace at the last!” Close, pp. 308_312.
parallel case of a far greater multi
tude, in the present day, held in a In conclusion, we have to ob- worse bondage by Christian nations; serve, and we hope without offence, who, by their refusal to “ let the on these two useful and respectable people go," are imitating the perwriters (whose respective public verseness and obstipacy of the callings as pastors, in very import- Egyptian tyrant; and whom at ant posts of instruction, demand least the Christian minister should the congratulation of all friends to not be slow to warn of the fatal the church, and to genuine Chris- consequences of their crime by that tianity); that, if Mr. Close has to example. Let us consider what learn from Mr. Buddicom, in the might have been the case in Egypt, full and laborious analysis of his had the priests, the ministers even subject, Mr. Buddicom may also of their idol temples, lifted up learn something from Mr. Close, in their voice against the abominathe terse and clear enunciation of tions which were rousing the wrath his matter. Both, however, are of Heaven ; which had already led highly practical and experimental: to unequivocal displays of the Diand both, we are happy to acknow. vine displeasure ; and the renunciledge, are zealous and effective war- ation of which was necessary to stay riors in the cause of our common the coming and menaced vengeance. Redeemer, lifting together the Even heathen story supplies us with banner of the cross; wielding the similar interferences and warnings sword of the Spirit in a mind and on the part of the pretended interwith a courage borrowed, we doubt preters of the mind of their false not, from its Divine Author; faithful gods; and with the loud calls which alike to every doctrine and every even they sounded, in the ears of precept coming within their grasp; their countrymen, to penitence and and their feet shod with the prepara. prayer. But in the present instance, tion of the Gospel of peace. we find a Christian minister, even
But before we quite close this re- when the subject invites him to it, view, there is one remark we are re- nay, almost forces it upon his notice, luctantly compelled to make, and amid the variety of his excursive which we earnestly press on the atten- observations, and the rich exubetion of the able and respectable rector rance of his parallelisms, not having of St. George's, Liverpool. His inge- a single thought, a single note nious disquisitions turn in great part of sympathy to bestow on the on the cruel bondage of the children eight hundred and thirty thousand of Israel; on their redemption from human beings, (note the number,) a state of temporal and spiritual in own dominions, whose subjection; on the displeasure of lives, by Christian taskmasters, the Almighty with their oppressors ; some of whom may perhaps have and on the jubilee which so remark- been listening to these discourses, ably accredited, and no less re- are now made bitter with hard bonmarkably secured to them, the bless- dage; aye, a far harder bondage, ings of personal freedom. One of we affirm it without hesitation, than his sermons is on the words, “ Now, the children of Israel were called therefore, the cry of the children of to endure in Egypt. He has no Israel is come unto me, and I have admonition to address to the slavealso seen the oppression wherewith holders of Liverpool, who may have the Egyptians oppress them.” And surrounded him and been bangyet the respectable author has con- ing on his lips; no friendly warntrived, from the beginning to the ings to give to them. We witness end of his volume, with a dexterity no attempt to imitate the uncomwhich is quite extraordinary, to promising fidelity of the Baptist, in
leading his admiring hearers to see is no word to be addressed to them and feel, that vain would it be for on this awful state of things, the them to listen to his voice, and to work, in effect, not of the managers receive his baptism, unless they and overseers of the West Indies, first parted with their bosom lusts, but of our West-India planters, of their peculiar their darling sin. our West-India mortgagees, of our
We are aware of the ready, and we West-India merchants, who crowd doubt not often sincere, reply which the churches of Bristol, and Liver-, may be made to this remonstrance. pool, and Glasgow, as well as LonWe may be told, that to allude to sla- don; and who accredit themselves very in the pulpit
, is to introduce poli- even with evangelical clergymen, by tics there. We will not do Mr. Bud- subscribing, to churches and chadicom the injustice to suppose that, pels, to schools and asylums, to with his acute and penetrating mind, Bible societies, and missionary sohe can give any weight to such a 'cieties, a fragment of the profits consideration. The planters of De- which are wrung from the Sabbathmerara deemed it to be a meddling less, and God-less Negroes of their with politics, on the part of the mar- plantations, and by the exacțion of tyred Smith, even to allude to Pha- which their lives are wearing down raoh at all. With them it was an with a fearful rapidity. act of sedition, to insist on the sanc- We are aware of the difficulties tity of the Sabbath ; and it would which faithful ministers of the Gohave amounted to absolute treason spel have to encounter, in the due to have told the Whites around him discharge of their duty to the souls that no whoremonger hath any in- of their hearers, even in ordinary heritance in the kingdom of God, circumstances. But when the rich but, on the contrary, shall have his and the powerful, the contributors portion in the lake that burneth to all their charitable objects, their with fire and brimstone. And in hospitable entertainers, perhaps their Jamaica itself, neither bishop nor patrons, with much of Christian-like priest would deem himself justified suavity of manner, and much of so far to “meddle with politics,” as Christian-like piety of conversation, to denounce the gross violations of are to be told “ Thou art the man, the Sabbath which prevail there ; then indeed these difficulties in(the authorised Sunday market, and crease. And if, in addition to all Sunday labour, which shut out their this, the preacher himself should slaves from even a fragment of bo- have an amiable, and it may be dily repose, and still more from the pious brother, deeply embarked in blessed light of Christian instruc- Slave-holding speculations, or should tion;) or to speak, except by inu- have married the wealthy co-heiress endo, of the awful state of open of some West-Indian planter or and lawless concubinage in which merchant, all whose temporal comevery class of the community, from forts and luxuries are the direct the highest to the lowest, is at this produce of slave labour, the case bemoment living. And yet who are comes almost desperate. Then inthe efficient maintainers of this deed, even their impatience of the dreadful system? Who are they subject may become manifest. Then,
whose sordid resistance of all ef- not content with silence, they - fectual reform has hitherto mainly may even begin to revile those as
contributed to this state of darkness enthusiastic, or extravagant, or inand crime? Are they not some of temperate, who are weeping in sethe very men who may be looking cret places over their obliquity, as up to the pulpit of St. George's, and well as over the habitations of cru. seem to be eagerly drinking in the elty wherewith the earth is filled. words of eternal life which flow Nay, they may even frown, as we from the lips of its minister? And hear some do, on every attempt,