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long be emblazoned on the annals of fidence with respect to all the docgenius. Indeed, if the question were trines which may be fundamental, to be decided by authority, between there are some concerning which we the chilling system of infidelity, and can have no reasonable doubt. The almost any one of the perverted forms grand peculiarities of the gospel, of christianity with which we are ac- those truths which more than aoy quainted, we should have no doubt other render it what it is, are doubt. that the former would marshal the less the doctrines of atonement by the lungest catalogue of illustrious de- blood of Christ, and sanctification by fenders.
the Spirit of Christ. We will only The very fact that men of great say at present, that the nearer any ername differ in their religious opinions, - ror lies to this great foundation, it is proves that they are fallible, and that so much the more practical, dangerour confidence with respect to the ous, and fundamental. truth or importance of our own sys We are unwilling to close these re tem of faith should not be weakened marks without adverting for a moby any such opposition. It is a re- ment to the present state of the mark which has often been made, church, and what appears to us to be and which we believe is founded in the duty of its members. If any fact, that the leading truths of the Bi- thing has escaped us which will have ble are much more likely to be found, a tendency to check a spirit of enin their purity, in the creed of the il- lightened, scriptural charity, in regard literate and simple man, than in that of to religious differences, we sincerely the person who has been conversant regret it. We believe the state of with the speculations of philosophy. the church requires us to inculcate The former approaches the Bible christian forbearance, but to be cauwith an honest desire to know the tious that it does not degenerate into truth, and with hardly ingenuity or an indiscriminate catholicism. It is learning enough to pervert it. The absolutely necessary that all minor diflatter, is in great danger of carrying ferences should be forgotten, and that a spirit of specnlation into the prov- christians should rally round their preince where faith ought to be supreme, cious faith, and unite all their strength and of moulding the doctrines of Rev. and all their zeal in defence of it. elation to suit the conclusions and de- The prospect of the church is in some ductions of his own reason.
respects gloomy, but it will not be We have now finished the exami come less so by our admitting into its dation which we intended to make, bosom the elements of destruction. of the arguments which are most The courtesy of this niiserable world commonly urged at the present day may smile upon our indifference to in favour of what we have already the truths of God, but it will be a ventured to call a spurious catholic wretched consolation in the hour of cism. If our limits would admit, a death, and will plant daggers in the question of some importance might soul when we are called to give an acbe connected with this discussion, count of our stewardship. Notbing with regard to what are the fundamen- but fidelity to our Master and the intal doctrines of religion. We admitterests of his church cao cast a vision that it is much easier to ascertain of joy over the bed of death, or what doctrines are revealed in the clothe the prospect of the jodgmen! Bible, than what degree of error may with serenity, satisfaction, and tribe consistent with a principle of prac. umph. ričal godliness. But though it may A Friend to Christian Catholicism. Bot become us to pronounce with con.
dest?” The treasurer of Ethiopia Acts viii. 39.-And he went on his
forgot his rank, and the artificial dis
tinctions which wealth can create, way rejoicing.”
and received the humble stranger inThis is spoken concerning an offi- to his chariot. His answer to the cer of high rank, belonging to the roy- inquiry of Philip tully evinced his own al court of a distant country, called humility, and his desire for instrucEthiopia. This man, in some meth- tion. “And he said, how can I, exod had become acquainted with the cept some man should guide me." Jewish Scriptures, and through them “The place of the seripture which he had come io the knowledge of the read was this: He was led as a true God. Agreeably to the rites sheep to the slaughter ; and like a commanded in the law of Moses, he lamb dumb before his shearers, so had now probably been up to Jerusa- opened he not his mouth : In lis hulem, at one of their solemn feasts, to miliation his judgment was taken worship. The sacred and magnifi- away; and who shall declare bis cent ceremonies of the temple, which generation ? for his life is taken from he had there witnessed, darkly shad- the earth. And the eunuch answerowing forth the future glories of the ed Philip, and said, I pray thee of Messiah, were well calculated to im- whom speaketh the prophet this, of press his mind with religious awe, himself, or of some other man? Then and to excite an earnest enquiry, Philip opened his mouth, and began what it was wbich was typified, by at the same scripture, and preached these splendid representations. With unto him Jesus.” The evidence was such feelings he left the holy city, irresistible. The writings of the prophand the sanctuary of God, to re et which he was then holding in his turn to his distant home. As his hand, which he knew to have been chariot was slowly passing through published several hundred years bethe variegated country in the south of fore, when applied to the character and Judea his eye was drawn from con- sufferings of Christ, seemed a history templating the scenery of nature of the past, rather than a prediction of around him, and fixed upon the far the future. Io the person of Jesus he more interesting scenes disclosed in bad found the Messiah of the scripthe sacred volume. He sat in his tures, a Saviour every way suited to chariot, and was reading Esaias the his wants as a sinner. He was reaprophet. Whether accident or de dy to exclaim as Philip bimself had sign led him to this portion of the done, when he first came to the knowword of God is unknown. He had ledge of Christ. We have found him seen the types of the law, but bad of whom Moses in the law, and the not discovered the thing typified. Prophets did write, Jesuis of Nazereth He had seen the shadow of good the son of Joseph.' ." And as they things to come, and he longed to find went on their way they came unto a the substance. lo Jerusalem perhaps certain water : and the eunuch said, he had also heard something concern see, here is water; what doth hinder ing the sufferings and death of Jesus. me to be baptized ?" Philip being His mind was racked with doubt and satisfied up the sincerity of his faith uncertainty, anxious to discover some in Christ, baptized him. “And when one who might lead him to the truth. they were come up out of the water, At this moment he discovered a trav- the Spirit of the Lord caught away eller on foot following the carriage. Philip, that the eunuch saw him no The stranger drew near, and his more; and he went on his way refirst words seemed to shew that he joicing"-rejoicing in the removal of was sent by heaven to open his eyes, his doubts and darkness, the Sun of and relieve him from his anxiety. righteousness having arisen in his “ Understandest thou what thou rea- soul-sejoicing in this method of de
liverance from sin, its bondage and its the Lord; one who by his death de. punishment--rejoicing in the hope livers him from the curse of the law, of that life and immortality which is and by his Spirit, from the bondage brought to light through the gospel. of sin, and never, never will be cease In fancy we can pursue this con- to feel the cheerful emotions of joy verted Éthiopian as he is returning and gratitude to his Divine Redeemthrough the sultry desarts, that lie er, until he ceases to remember his between him and his native city, not own natural character, and the guilt affected by the pains and pleasures of and punishment from which Christ the world as before, but absorbed in bath delivered him. Every look the contemplation of the sublime which he casts back upon his state truths he has discovered, and the ex- as it was by nature, enhances his pectation of communicating the same gratitude and his joy. He is united truths, and the same hopes and joys to his Redeemer, by a love which is to his fellow citizens. What heart stronger than death. Christ is to that will not sympathize with him in him the wisdom of God, and the his holy joy? Are there not some power of God, the chiefest among leb among the readers of this sermon, thousand, and the one altogether who can realize the feelings of this lovely. noble Ethiopian,--some who like Another source of joy to the rehim, have been enquiring in darkness newed soul, arises from the contemand doubt, with painful anxiety ask- plation of the character and governing what they should do to be saved; ment of God. God is now his fa. like him have been directed to Je- ther, his portion and his everlasting sus, who is the way, the truth, and inheritance. He dwells upon the dithe life; like him have believed vine perfections with delight. They with all their hearts, have been bap- are pledged for bis protection and rized with the washing of regener- support ; his they are, to be enjoyed ation, and the renewing of the Holy by sweet communion, in meditation, Ghost, and now, like him, go on their prayer and praise. Even unrenewed way rejoicing-rejoicing on their men find something in the character way through the toilsome journey of of God to engage their attention. Our this life to their eternal home? Such natural fondness for the sublime, is will give candid attention, while, fully gratified in striving to stretch with the Bible in our hands, and the the mind to a comprehension of his experience of saints before our eyes, omnipresence and eternal existence. we endeavor to point out some of the Our natural love of order finds satissources of joy to a pious mind. Afaction in considering the infinite soul that feels conviction of sin, that greatness and wisdom of him, who sees' he has transgressed, times with- sits at the head of the universe, and out number, the law of God; that feels causes the systems of worlds to roll in his conscience the justness of the before him with perfect regularity. sentence which condemns him to eter. But the christian stops not bere. nal punishment, while hell is naked The contemplation reaches his heart. before him, and destruction withont a He also admires the natural perseccovering, --such a soul is prepared to tions of God, but is principally de feel the value of a Saviour. "If then lighted by his holiness, his goodness, he be directed to Jesus, who has borne and his mercy to a fallen world. It our sius in his own body on the tree, is not admiration merely, it is love and is therefore able to save even to that kindles the sacred flame in his the uttermost all those who come to bosom, when he is wrapt in the cooGod by him, he receives him with templation of the divine perfections. all his heart, and believing, rejoices Surely no joys enter the human breast with joy unspeakable and full of glory. more pure, more noble, thau the exHe has found a Saviour who is Christ alted and exalting raptures of strong
and fervent devotion. It raises the sad vicissitudes of this miserable soul from earth to heaven, purifies it world. When he considers how great from the baser passions of this lower a portion of the earth is covered with world, and makes it strive for a con- heathenish darkness, how great a formity with its great Creator. "I part, even of the civilized world, is shall be satisfied when I awake with led astray by ignorance and error, thy likeness.” When the christian when he sees vice triumphant and descends from the height of his devo- virtue crushed, while unprincipled tion, every object which he beholds power drives liberty and religion seems to bear the stamp of its Crea- and happiness before it, his soul tor. He
would sink within him, did he not
remember, that the wrath of man “ Looks through nature up to nature's shall praise God, that the remainGod."
der of wrath he will restrain, and To his eye, each blade of grass, or that all things shall work together for fluttering insect displays divine good- good to those that love Him. When ness. Before, he had admired the afflictions come heavy upon himself, beauties of the creation, but then he his family, or his friends, he bows saw not their Author. Nature now with calm resignation, for he sees the has drawn aside her veil, and as he hand of a Father amid the chastenings looks abroad through her productions, of his God. He knows that these
sufferings are designed to wean him
from the world, and to lead him toCan lift ap un presumptious eye to hearen, wards heaven, and in quiet submisAnd smiling say, my Father made them sion, can say, not my will, but thine Are they not bis by a peculiar right,
be done. He adopts the language And by an emphasis of interest his, of Habakkuk, “ Although the fig-tree Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy, shall not blossom, neither shall fruit Whose heart with transport, and whose be in the vine; the labour of the tongue with praise ?
olive shall fail, and the fields shall But it is not merely the character yield no meat; the flock shall be cut and works, the government of God off from the fold, and there shall be no also forms a permanent source of joy herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice to his children. In this they differ in the Lord, I will joy in the God of widely from the children of the world. my salvation.” Although evils of
To them no one doctrine of scripture every shape surround him, and conperhaps is more disagreeable than the vulsions shake the kingdoms of the divine sovereignty. They cannot earth, yet his soul, when stayed on bear to think that God fixes every God, is kept in perfect peace. “The event, working all things according Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice, let to the counsel of his own will, and the multitude of the isles be glad until they shall lay aside the weapons thereof." of their rebellion, it must forever be Another source of christian joy, a fearful thing for them to be in the arises from hope. Every one knows hands of the living God. But to a how great a part of our happiness in pious mind, on the contrary, what this life is derived from the expectacan be more cheering than to think, tion of future good. that at the head of the universe is a being, whose goodness will choose "Hope springs eternal in the human breast,
“Man never is but always to be blest." the best ends, and whose wisdom and power will enable him to attain them. We fix our eyes on some object beAll shall work together for good, for fore us in our course, which we ima. the glory of God, and for the happi- gine, if it could be obtained, would dess of bis obedient creatures. This yield us happiness. After much consolatiou supports him amid the struggle, we reach, we grasp it,
but soon find that happiness is not of this life are denied to a great part of there. After a few moments of re- the species, those of religion extend gret we again cast our eyes forward, to every heart that is open to receive and pursue some other object with them. The ignorant for instance the same eagerness and expectation cancot enjoy the pleasures of science, as before. In this manner disap- the poor are denied the conveniences pointment follows close, the compan- which wealth can purchase. The ion of hope through the ever-shifting blind are shut out from the beauties scenes of this transitory world. The of nature, the sick are at once cut off christian's faith gives him all the from every blessing in life, unless it be pleasures of hope, without any of the the sympathy of friends, and to the alloy of disappointment. The good' slave even this sad consolation is de which he seeks is so distant that he nied. So partial, so precarious is does not expect to reach it in this live, earthly good: but nothing can erand so great that it cannot disappointclude the pleasures of religion. They him in death. “For eye hath not are common to every condition, io seen, nor ear heard, neither have en which mao can be placed. She den tered the heart of man, the things lights to visit the poor, the suffering, which God hath prepared, for them and the contrite soul, bestowing her that love him." When the cares and sweetest smiles and choicest gifts disappointments of this mortal life on those whom the world has abanthreaten to destroy his tranquility, doued. This makes us very imperhe looks forward to the crown of gloryfect judges of the happiness of the which the Lord, the righteous Judge, righteous. Often when men think hath prepared for those that love his them the most unhappy, they are in appearing; and the triding cares of reality enjoying the most exquisite this life shrink into their comparative moments of life. But it is a joy with insignificance. Thus with an eye which the stranger intermeddleth not. fixed on the glories of the future world, Witness the Apostles. In hunger and he goes on his way rejoicing. He thirst, in cold and nakedness, scourgfinds joy in the exercise of love and ed, stoned, persecuted from city to gratitude towards bis Saviour, who city, surely in the eye of the world, has delivered him from the curse of they were of all men the most misthe law, and by nis Spirit from the erable. Yet what christian will boudage of sin;--joy in the character, think himself as bappy as were and government and works of God, the Apostles? Their whole souls and joy in the brightening hopes of were engaged in the delightful emfuture glory. Ju enumerating these ployment of doing good. The vastgreat sources of christiau happiness, ness of the object so completely filled we have omitted many smaller their minds, that the evils which they streams, which continually refresh his suffered seemed light compared with soul. Such are those, which arise the pleasure they felt in extending the from an approving conscience, from Redeemer's kingdom. Hear an Aposappetites subdued, from passions regu, ile himself upon this subject. “We lated, from the exercise of pure and are troubled on every side, yet not calarged benevolence to bis fellow distressed; we are perplexed, but not men, irom the extension and pros jo despair; persecuted, but not for perity of the Redeemer's kingdom. saken; cast down, but not destroy. These are joys which the world can ed. As sorrowful, yet always rejeio got give nor take away.
ing; as poor, yet making many rich; In Casting the eyeback to review the as having nothing and yet possessing joys of the christian, one striking dif- all things..-For our light affliction ference presents itself, between the which is but for a moment, worketh pleasures of religiou, and the pleasures out for us a far more exceeding and of the world. It is this; the blessings eternal weight of glory.” According