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Fnther proportioned our pleasures praise to Him who formed Heato our capacities of enjoyment, as ven and Earth, “ who sendeth the well as our pains to our powers springs into the valleys, which run of endurance.
among the hills--they give drink As I walked up a narrow lane, to every beast of the field, there the fence on one side was en- the wild asses quench their thirst: twined with ivy-on inspection I by them also the fowls of heaven sound, what at first sight looked hare their habitation, which sing like a hedge of ivy, was a wall among the branches. He watéreth of stone concealed by this little the hills from his chambers ; the evergreen : the effect was pleas- Earth is satisfied with the fruit of ing, and the deception striking. thy works: he causeth the
grass It reminded me of some whose to grow for the cattle, and herb manners are amiable, and their for the service of man ; that he affability highly attractive, but may, bring forth food out of the who are, notwithstanding, stran- earth: and wine that maketh glad gers to regenerating grace. In the heart of man, and oil to make such no flaw is seen in common his face to shine, and bread which life, but as the ivy was only an strengtheneth man's heart. O outside covering to conceal stones, Lord! how manifold are thy works so amiable manners, and winning in wisdom thou hast made them affability often conceal for a time all: the earth is full of thy riches. a stony heart-an unrenewed mind “These are thy glorious works, Parent but when the winter comes,
of Good ! when the frost dries up the sap; Thus wondrous fair: thyself how
Almighty! thine tliis Universal Frame! the verdure fades, the leaves fall
wondrous then !” one by one, then the wall ap
B. H. B. pears
in view. So when the blasts of temptation, the frosts of po- ON PRAYER MEETINGS. verty, a time of trial comes, then Though assemblies for united the hidden evils of the mind break prayer are generally approved by out, the dormant passions burst the professors of experimental from their concealment and re- religion, yet, it is to be feared, pose, and then the whited sepul- that many good men are not fully chre discloses its sad contents. sensible of their importance. So deceitful is the heart of man! Having never thought much on Search me, O God, and know my the subject, they are in the habit heart : try me, and know my of slighting the opportunities thoughts : and see if there be any which they have to attend them: wicked way in me, and lead me in they consequently lose the benethe way everlasting
fits which ihey might receive; These reflections led me on till their brethren are deprived of their looking round, and recollecting assistance, and their God of that where I was, I found 'twas time homage which otherwise they to bend my steps homeward would render. 'To such persons pleased with the incidents of my it may not be useless, if a few ob. evening's ramble, I hastened to servations are made respecting my old retreat, and there poured the advantages of social prayer. out the aspirations of my soul in In what may be advanced on
this subject, the writer begs leave received by those of small talents to observe, it is by no means bis for prayer, from those who possess intention to represent attendance large abilities: the simple breaat prayer meetings as a proper things of an illiterate person of substitute for private devotion. very confined intellect, may ediHe is aware that Jesus has en- fy those much farther advanced joined his followers to enter into than himself in divine knowledge, their closets—to shut the doors- and much better able to express and there to pray to their Father their ideas. who is in secret: and he acknow- Prayer meetings have likewise ledges with regret, that he has re- a good effect on those who attend peatedly found, that a neglect so them, in promoting mutual love. to do, however punctual attend. They see each other as fellowance may be to social duties, is in- christians, and as possessed of compatible with the prosperity of fellow feeling. There is among the soul. But he is also persuad- them a communion of complaints, ed that meetings for prayer have and a con:munion of desires; and some advantages which private they expect, when their petitions supplications have not; and that, are granted, a communion of fatherefore, as attendance on these, vours. If a believer, for instance, dispenses not with the necessity is habitually praying for the exof secret devotion ; so regularity tension of the kingdom of Christ, in that, supersedes not the pro- it excites his love to his brother, priety of assembling ourselves when he finds from his requests, with our fellow christians, united- that the same thing lies near his ly to address the Father of mere heart, and that he is an ally in the
design of giving to Jehovah no In the first place, the various rest, till he make Jerusalem a gifts of believers are calculated praise in all the earth. We see in for mutual edification. If the the hearts of our brethren as dis. heart of a christian be cold at the played in their prayers, the image commēncement of the service, of the Redeemer,—the workmanthe fervent cries of others may be ship of the Spirit-the influence the means of warming it. Differ- of grace, and the sight of these ent minds have different trains of draws forth our est-ein. thought, and different modes of Nor is the beneficial tendency expression : these may serve to of prayer meetings confined to excite a vigorous attention to sub- those who are present, or who jects, which viewed inerely in an are possessed of vital godliness. accustomed light, would appear they are sermons which some hear comparatively uninteresting. What who never enter a place of worone suppliant would forget, a va- ship. The conscience of many riety of suppliants remember; a hardened sinner often doubtless and the heart of a good man is smites him, when he sees, his frequently surprised into petitions neighbour going to the house of most congenial to his disposition, God for this purpose. While his yet habitually omitted in his pri- heart heaves with enmity against vate addresses to the Almighty. religion altogether, and while his Nor is this an advantage only lips ridicule the christian band, for thus spending their time, his make himn ready, through its mejudgment tells him that they are rits, to grant, to a single indiviright, and that he is wrong. He dual! , feels that if they meet to pray so The very evident marks of approfrequently, he ought at least to bation which the Most High has pray sometimes : and if he is a- been pleased to give prayer meetware of the fact, that they meetings, must be construed as speakto pray for him, and his ungodly ing most forcibly in their favour. associates, it has a tendency to They are the weapons with which disarm his prejudices, and to lead the church has subdued its most him to inquire why he should be formidable foes, and defended its so unconcerned about himself, friends in the most critical emerwhile those whom he treats with gencies. What could be done by disdain, are so anxious for him.
a few poor despised Nazarenes to But if all that has been said draw their champion Peter out of were accounted of vo weight, the the hands of Herod? Could they propriety of assembling to call break open the gates of the pris upon the Almighty would be suf- son and rescue him by force of ficiently plain from the consider- arms ? Could they purchase his ation of the great success with liberty with gold? Could they which we are warranted to expect work upon the passions of the that God will honour the united tyrant and induce him to set supplications of his saints. “ If him free? No, these would have two of you sball agree on earth,” been fruitless attempts. But could says Jesus," as touching any nothing be done? They could thing that they shall ask, it shall hold a prayer meeting--the plan be done for them of my Father was suggested and approvedwhich is in heaven; for where two prayer was made without ceasor three are gathered together in ing of the church unto God for my name, there am I in the midst him”—and then, not all his chains of them." The petition present. could hold' him, not all his keepers ed to the majesty of heaven, is could guard him, not all the denot the petition of an individual, praved inhabitants of earth and it is signed with as many names hell could cause his destruction! as there are christians present, In proportion to the prevalence whose hearts join with the speaker, of vital godliness in a community all names of the monarch's friends, of Christians, has generally been whom he loves--of his children their readiness to attend assem, with whom he sympathizes. What blies for social prayer. And in may we not hope for when the proportion to the prevalence of divine spirit puts it into the hearts these, and the degree of fervency of many, thus to exert themselves experienced, has frequently been in the most effectual way in pull- the spread of religion in the neighing down the empire of the prince bourhood. Jehovah, it is true, is of darkness! What may we not not confined to one method of hope for when that name which acting; but his usual way is when the Father ever delights to hear, he intends to bestow a favor on a is pleaded by many, for blessings, congregation, first to give to his which the affections of his heart people a spirit of prayer, and then
to bestow the blessing in answer plies, when he is removed to anoto their entreaties. He does not ther situation, or separated by always attend even to the united death. In such circumstances, requests of his people as soon as therefore, the church must act acthey expect; nor in every instance cording to those general rules of give them the precise thing they the apostles, adapted to promote mentioned; but uses towards them love and peace, and spiritual edicollectively, the same sovereignty tication. which he uses towards them indi- Some persons, have, indeed, vidually, in sometimes giving to warmly contended, that in case of them a blessing, better than that tlie affliction, or removal of a paswhich they asked, but of a different tor, a church is to remain without nature. Yet sooner or later, in the privilege of communion at the some form or other, he will shew sacramental table. And two reathat “ he is the rewarder' of all so118 have been urged for such them that diligently seek him.” privation.
Let the reader, then, who has 1. It has been said, that a been accustomed to neglect meet- church, in the supposed case, is ings for prayer, weigh the fore- called to humiliation and mourngoing ideas. Let him considering, and not to feasting and rethe advantageous tendency which joicing. But admitting that the frequenting such assemblies would holy supper is a feast of joy, at have, towards himself, towards which the disciples of Christ are his fellow-worshippers, and to- called to-rejoice, and give thanks; wards the men of the world. Let yet there is nothing to forbid him remember the reasons there Christians, either as a church, or are to expect success when united- as individuals, while, on some aca ly. calling upon the Almighty; counts, they are called to mourn, and then let him judge of the pro- on others to rejoice ; for they are priety of being constantly found commanded to “rejoice in the in the house of God, when it is Lord always,” yea, to rejoice in the strictest sense of the ex- evermore,
in the midst of their pression “ a house of prayer.” trials and afflictions. On the conP. Risboro. QUIDAM. trary principle, individual mem
bers, exercised with personal or
relative afflictions, would be jusANSWER TO QUERIES.
tifiable, in absenting themselves To the Editor of the Baptist from tne Lord's table; and the Magazine.
church, in times of persecution, Sir,
should discontinue the celebration It does not occur to me that of the holy Supper. But so far the New Testament furnishes any from its being the duty of a church express precept, or example, that to deprive themselves, when under will afford an exact reply to the afflietion, of the advantages of query in your No. for April last, such appointed seasons of spirirespecting “ the duty of a church 'tual refreshment, they must, in in reference to the Lord's Supper, such case, the more stand in need when the pastor is laid aside by of them. affliction;" or, as it equally ap-,
2. Another reason that has been Vol. VII.
assigned for such privation, is, case of his, removal, by accepting that the administration of the an invitation to another church, . Lord's Supper is a pastoral act, for a church to remain a consiwhich none can consistently exer- derable length of time deprived of cise, but in the church over the ordinance of the Lord's Supwhich he is paştor.
per, has been found highly detriThat the pastor of one church mental to its peace and prospericannot exercise any rule in ano- ty. Nor is this to be wondered ther, must be admitted; but as at, as one, if not the principal the administration of the Lord's means to unity and love in a •Supper implies nothing of this church is neglected. The kind, but requires only ministerial omission of the ordinance is also gifts, to direct the minds of the generally found to be detrimental communicants rightly " to discern to the increase of the church, as a the Lord's body;" or to instruct principal motive for persons wishthem in making a suitable im- ing to join themselves to the provement of the ordinance, what church, is thereby cut off. reason can be assigned, why a P
T. T: person who possesses approved qualifications for such a service in one church, inay notexercise them To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine. with equal propriety in another ? Sir,
A church, in chusing a pastor In your last No, it is enquired virtually engage to obey him ex- “ Whether a person in the busiclusively, as their“ ruling elder," ness of a pawąbroker, be a proand a minister, in accepting their per candidate for the office of a - invitation, virtually engages to ex- deacon in a Baptist church, or ercise pastoral rule over them ex- whether it be consistent with the clusively, but neither on one side word of God for him to fill the nor the other does the engage- station of an assistant preacher, ment bind, with reference to since many passages in holy writ preaching, or the administering condemn those who take any ordinances.
thing on USURY." I do not conceive therefore that If the business of a pawnà church violates any engagement broker can be proved to be taking to a pastor,":who, in case of his on Usury, it cannot be made a absence, or incapacity, invite the question, whether a person enpastor of another church to preach, gaged in it be eligible for a deacon or administer ordinances to them; or a preacher, as he cannot be a nor that the pastor violates any member of a Church. But the engagement to a church, who per- objections from scripture regard forms such services, when invited, only, as it has been generally to another church.
thought, immoderate interest, or There are very cogent reasons usury, properly so called; or op: why the celebration of the Lord's pression, by taking advantage of Supper should not be omitted. the indigent circumstances of our In the cases mentioned, of the neighbour, contrary to the rules long indisposition of a pastor, or of charity, and the claims of huof his removal by death, or in manity. The Hebrew word for