Imágenes de páginas

remedy to propose for that reli. tard the Christian in his course, gious despondency and hopeless- there are some circumstances that ness which mark the nervous man's are peculiarly favourable to his experience. LET HIM STRIVE FOR growth in grace. The necessity HIGH ATTAINMENTS IN PIETY. he is under of relaxing from busiTrue, the obstructions in his path ness, will afford him more leisure are many, and it will demand the for cultivating his heart than many most inflexible perseverance to enjoy. And although most of that overcome them. But they are not leisure must be spent by him in diabsolutely insurmountable. If his verting employments, or innocent memory be treacherous, let him amusements, yet should he learn so read oftener and with more earnest- to mingle religion with every pur. ness, the word of God; that he suit, that it should be his constant may not be bewildered by human companion. speculations. Keeping close to the Another circumstance in his case Bible, where doctrines and pre- that may be regarded as favourable, cepts, threatenings and promises, is the sense of weakness and deterrors and consolations, are min- pendence with which his situation gled in just proportion, his gloomy inspires him. He sees that his exfancy will be less apt to look exclu- istence depends upon a brittle sively at the sterner features of the thread ; and therefore will he be Divine character and revelation. If led to feel deeply bis need of an his attention cannot be long fixed Almighty arm on which to lean, and upon any one thing, let him the of efficacious grace to prepare him oftener recur to religious subjects. for a better world. If his judgment be liable to be Again, his disorder is calculated warped by his complaints, let him to show him many proofs of the ask wisdom of God, who giveth to wickedness of his heart; and this all men liberally and upbraideth is favourable to his exercise of pennot, and it shall be given him. If itence and humility. His peevishhe cannot, like his Master, oc- ness, his irritability, his impatience casionally spend whole nights in and murmuring under the chastiseprayer, let him the more frequently ments of Providence, serve most visit the throne of grace. Indeed, frequently to remind him that he it is by prayer mainly, that such a has a heart of desperate wickedness man is to make high attainments in within. Accordingly it is found, piety. For here he takes hold of if we mistake not, that nervous omnipotence : and draws down a people usually have a deep sense of holy influence that is able to over- their depravity; and if this sense come all his difficulties. Even does not humble them and make nervous disorders cannot withstand them penitent, it does not produce or counteract almighty grace. It its legitimate effect. is able to send a beam of heavenly But the circumstance in their hope into the most desponding bo- case most favourable to the cultisom; to inspire with courage the vation of piety, is, that their disormost fearful heart, and the most der renders them almost incapable timid soul with strong faith ; to of enjoying worldly pleasures, and calm the wildest tumult of the bo. prostrates their too ambitious hopes som, and to stay the rising gusts of and designs. It is not generally passion. Prayer, therefore, is the because nervous invalids love the nervous man's grand refuge and world so well that they live in conhope.

stant apprehension of death ; but it Although there are so many is rather the dread of something afthings in nervous complaints to re- ter death. For the person who has had long experience in these com- spiritual view, that he is thus physplaints, anticipates little else butically prevented from the inordisuffering while in the body, unless nate indulgence of his bodily apGod please to subdue his disorder ; petites, and of an unhallowed ambiand were his worldly enjoyments tion for distinction ? For he is all that is to be taken into the ac- thus left comparatively free to decount, scarcely “would he turn on vote himself to the service of God. • his heel to save his life.” Do you Here he may aim at distinction ; speak of the pleasures of eating and for we believe if he is faithful, God drinking? With him they have be- will bestow it upon him. Notwithcome sources of almost incessant standing the favourable circumstansuffering; and if he overstep the ces, in his case, which we have menmost rigid rules of temperance, in tioned, we still think, however, the gratification of any of the appe- that scarcely any other description tites and passions, a tremendous of men will find it so difficult to rise retribution awaits him. Do you high on the scale of holiness. We talk to him of social enjoyments ? do not expect that his religious exAlas, they are neutralized by his perience will ever, in this world, be despondency and jealousy. And entirely divested of the peculiaras to ambitious projects for rising ities we have described. Timidity to eminence, in science or litera- and despondency, and feeble hope ture, in arts or arms, in divinity, will probably accompany him, so law, or medicine, the really con- long as his disorder clings to him, firmed nervous invalid may as well however lofty his religious attaindismiss them at once. For these ments. But we do believe, that if distinctions are beyond his reach. he make it the single, the constant, In learning, how can he cope with the persevering aim of his life, to men of vigorous health, who can grow in grace and in the knowledge spend their days and nights in study? of his Saviour, God will not leave With his fickleness, timidity, and him altogether destitute of hope and despondency, how unfit to rule in peace. We believe that the fire of the councils of the nation and di- holy love may be made to burn so rect the storm of state ? With his brightly in his heart, that it will irritability and proneness to err in sometimes burst its way through all judgment, how can he hope the the clouds and darkness that surmedical profession will look up to round him ; carry him above even him as an oracle ; or that to him his maladies, and disclose to his will be committed the care of the hope a throne of glory awaiting him churches, and he be called to pre- at God's right hand. Pursuing such side in council ? The truth is, the a course, we believe that even the nervous invalid has great reason to poor broken hearted nervous invabe thankful, if God gives him lid may before he die, forget his strength to labour in some subordi- bodily complaints, in rapturous annate capacity, where he may do a ticipation of that building of God, little good, and he is not reduced to that house not made with hands, a state of utter uselessness. He eternal in the heavens, and that he, must not aim at the highest places who through fear of death, has been of trust, or honor. For, in the first all his life-time subject to bondage, place, he cannot fairly attain them; may have put into his mouth, the and if he could in the second place, triumphant song, O death, where he cannot fill them with dignity and is thy sting! Ograve, where is thy success.

victory? Thanks be unto God, And ought not the nervous man who giveth me the victory through to regard it as a great mercy, in a my Lord Jesus Christ.

AN EDUCATED UIN(STRY. the gospel. They spent three years

in the school of Him, who taught as The following reply to a common never did man, before they were inargument against an educated min- vested with their office. Add to istry, is at once so brief and so con- this, that a large part of a theologiclusive, that I wish to see it trans- cal education in our day, consists ferred to the Christian Spectator. in learning languages, which they It is from the Church Register, pub- spake from childhood, and acquirlished at Philadelphia :

ing some knowledge of customs,

which they knew from daily obser" It is common for the contem- vation. Deduct this from what the ners of learning, as a requisite for first preachers had to learn : estithe ministry, to allege the case of mate how much more rapidly they the first chosen twelve. Were they might have been expected to adnot illiterate fishermen ? Why vance under their instructer, than should not such men be constituted can be done under any now enjoyministers now ? Be it remembered, ed : and then let it be decided what however, that they were not taken education in our da is equal to such, and constituted preachers of theirs."




Hush'd are the fitful winds—the earth is sleeping,
And pendent willows are with cold dews weeping-
No cloud is lingering on the dusky hills,
No sound along the deep-green valley steals-
And night her spangled canopy hath drawn
Over the waveless sea and velvet lawn,
"Twould seem the final day of time had set,
And all the star-crown'd sons of heav'n were met
Upon her chrystal battlements to see
The universe of pale mortality
Start from its marble pillow, and arise
To bliss or wo unending, in the skies :
But where is she, whom Grief, with noiseless tread
Now seeks among these hillocks of the dead ?
Like Fancy's dream, or some unearthly song,
Or golden cloud sailing the air along,
Or passing bird, or tall and queenly bark
Lightly careering o'er the waters dark,
So softly-sweetly-rapidly and gay,
Did pass thine hours of happiness away.
One night, within the giddy, thoughtless round
Of pleasure's dance and melody's soft sound,
I saw thee floating as on silken wing,
Thro' many a wild and airy wandering,
With sparkling eye, and cheek ne'er blanch'd with wom.
And curls of beauty on a brow of snow-
Swiftly it fed—another morn arose

(Alas the ways of God what mortal knows ?)
It was the morn that lit thee to the tomb,
The morn that seal'd thy last-thy changeless doom!
Momentous hour, when, from its prison freed,
Thy winged spirit flew with lightning speed,
Far-far beyond this dark terrestrial zone,
To stand all naked, trembling, and alone
Before the bar of its Almighty Lord,
And meet his bitter or his blest award !
To wander down the vale of endless years,
Where darkness reigns mid sighs and hopeless tears,
Or to those verdant islands of delight,
Untrodden by the gloomy foot of night,
Where love and beauty bloom without decay,
On joyous wings to waft thy trackless way!
Where'er thou dwellest in that land of shades,
Descend, and where the crimson day-streak fades
Around the youth who bend with gushing eyes,
Beside the marble where thy casket lies,
O tell them—if thy spirit e'er can tell —
What meaneth Heav’n, or what the wrath of Hell.




These remarks may be illustra

ted by a few extracts from the wriIn this enlightened and charita- tings of Toplady, and from Southble age, when Christians of various ey's life of Wesley. denominations are approximating Toplady's writings are distinto a common centre, and combining guised for strength, originality, their exertions to promote the com- perspicuity, and eloquence; but mon welfare of Christ's kingdom, leaning strongly to Antinomianism, it may seem unwise to recal, even he was of course at odds with Westo the memory, the controversial ley, who toiled at the other extreme spirit of other years. In general —as will appear from the following that spirit is characterized by a bit- extract from the “ Caveat against terness and sarcasm, and cruelty, unsound doctrines.” which

may well excite astonishment and grief. But it is profitable

My sheep hear my voice, and I know

them, and they follow me: and I give to compare the present spirit of con

unto them eternal life; and they shall troversy with the past, for by the

never perish, neither shall any one pluck comparison, we learn how much them out of my hand.” “True,” said an more Christians of the present day Arminian schismatic, grown grey in the have entered into the benevolence service of error, and who still goes up, of the gospel. It is important whom he may devour, and compassing

and down sowing his tares, and seeking also to know the errors which set in

sea and land to make proselytes-" True, array such angry disputants, and to Christ's sheep cannot be plucked forcibly reflect upon the consequences of

out of his hand by others : but they theminsisting more on certain tenets, selves may slip through his hands, and so

fall into hell, and be eternally lost.” on the practice of the moral They may slip may they? as if the Mediduties which the gospel enjoins. ator in preserving his people, held only a



parcel of eels by the tail. Is not this a “ Aliquis in omnibus, nullis in singulis. shameless way of slipping through a plain Mr. Wesley by a very singular mixtan text of scripture? But I would ask the of Manichaeism, Pelagianism, Popery, slippery sophister, how we are to under. Socinianism, Ranterism, and Atheism, stand that part of the last cited pas- has I believe now got to his ultimatum. sage which expressly declares concerning Probably he would go still farther if he Christ's people, that they shall never per- could. But I really think he has no far. ish? Since perish they necessarily must, 'ther to go.-Happy settlement, after forty and certainly would, if eventually separa- years infinity of shiftings, and fittings ted from Christ, whether they were to be hither and thither! plucked out of his hands, or whether they Thus weather-cocks, which for a while, were only to slip through them. I con- Have turned with every blast; clude then that the promise made to the Grown old, and destitue of oil, saints that they shall never perish secures Rust to a point, and fix at last," them equally against the possibility of being either wrested from Christ's hand, Happy for the world that at the or of their own falling from it: since could present day divines termed Christone or the other be the case, perish they ian have learned to wield the weamust and Christ's promise would fall to the ground.” Toplady's Works, Vol. III. pons of controversy in a more genp. 52. Lond.

tlemanly manner.

Rude attacks

upon personal character have little This would make a staring in a to do with the investigation and setmodern discourse, but abating its tlement of disputable points, either wit and severity, it must be admit- in Theology, or morals. ted to be an excellent comment on

But we must give Wesley also in John x. 28, and I have never been turn a hearing. If the following be able to discover how the opponents a true portrait of Antinomianism in of the plain declaration of the pas- his time (and Southey declares it to sage can gainsay it.

be,-Life of Wesley, vol. II. p. Toplady has also given a defini- 144,) we should be not only inclintion of morality, which he intended ed to excuse him for betraying a as an answer to the objection that little controversial warmth, but the Divine purposes are inconsis. would also, in behalf of the Christtent with morality, and which mustian world, give him our warmest have cost Wesley and his coadju. thanks for achieving a reformation. tors some toil.

His opponents boasted of being “ Morality is defined to be that relation, selves." The following colloquy,

“perfect in Christ not in them. or proportion which actions bear to a giv held between Wesley, and one of en rule. Consequently neither necessity, nor non-necessity has any thing to do with the Perfectionists, will develope the morality of an action. Nothing to do the moral tendency of the perfecoff or on--Good is good, come how it tion. will." The following assertion too has have nothing to do with the law of

Wesley. “Do you believe that you some appearance of truth :

God?" Antinomian. I have not. I

am not under the law, I live by faith. “ There are four links which all the art

“Have you, as living by faith a of man can never separate, and which

right to every thing in the world?” proceed in the following order :-Decree,

Antinom. I have. All is mine, since Foreknowledge, Prophecy, Necessity.”

Christ is mine. Wes.“ May you then Qui vult finem, vult media ad finem.

take any thing you will, any where? But the following is the finished suppose out of a shop without the con. portrait which Toplady has given

sent or knowledge of the owner ?"

Antinom. I may if I want it ; for it is

We have of Wesley's character.

mine; only I will not give offence. no comments to make, but merely Wes. “Have you a right to all the insert it to shew “the spirit and women in the world?” Antinom. Yes, manners of the age.”

if they consent. Wes. “And is not


« AnteriorContinuar »