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Glorious day! wnen the Son of God shall come again—when the grave and the sea shall give up their dead—when the redeemed of the Lord shall come together to Zion, from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down together in the kingdom of God—when the great redemption shall be completely finished—when the children of God shall all be one—shall all be blessed in one great and undivided society—when the infirmities, the struggles, the bereavements, the sorrows of mortality— the varieties in their lot, in their attainments, in their tempers, and in their expectations—shall all be lost in the vigour and triumphs common to them all, and in the fulness of eternal joy.
Amen. Salvation to our God and to the Lamb! Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, to him who sits upon the throne, who liveth and reigneth through eternal ages, and to the Lamb for ever and ever! Amen and Amen.
FORM OF ADMITTING CATECHUMENS
TO THE PRIVILEGE OF PARTAKING OF THE LORD'S SUF-
By The Rev. Henry Duncan, D. D.,
Those young persons, who propose to join with us, for the first time, in obeying the dying injunction of our common Saviour, by partaking of the Lord's Supper, are now about to give a public profession of their faith, and of their solemn resolution to devote themselves henceforth to the service of their divine Master.
But, before we proceed to this important duty, it may not be unsuitable to say a few words, with regard to the circumstances which ought to determine the period when the young Christian should first unite with his fellow-worshippers in surrounding a communion-table.
It seems sufficiently obvious, that, before any person can be duly prepared for this sacred duty, he must understand its nature. It is a feast of commemoration. This is easily comprehended. The most simple may be made readily to understand what it is to celebrate— t hat is, to call publicly to remembrance, at stated season!!—a great and amazing event, in which his happiness is intimately concerned. But this is not enough: •we must also know, how our happiness is concerned in that event. Now this implies an acquaintance with the jfreat scheme of salvation; it supposes a deep conviction of our fallen and naturally ruined condition, and an enlightened knowledge of the means by which we are "brought from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God."
But further: Though knowledge is necessary, it is not alt that is necessary. Not only should our understanding be informed, and our judgment be convinced; but, before we can be duly prepared to do this in remembrance of Jesus, our hearts must be affected; and religion—the faith of the Gospel—must become the moving principle of our conduct.
Such considerations as these serve to fix the period, -%yTien it becomes the duty of the worshipper to unite with those who surround the table of their crucified Lord.
■• This service was suggested by the practice of the Genevese Ofrurch, and the form still used there has been partly adopted. That CTliurch is endeared to Presbyterians as the modern birth-place of t rs 'ir own; and though its pastors have degenerated from the faith of their fathers, iu forms ate still worthy of our affectionate regard.
It is evident, that the mind can seldom be duly prepared for a service which requires such high qualifications, while yet in the first stages of early youth. A child can scarcely be said to have any very fixed principles of his own; he takes his sentiments, in general, from his parents and instructors j and, in the ordinary course of things, cannot be expected to have examined for himself, or to have adopted his religious principles from the deep and enlightened conviction of his understanding.
But let it be observed, that the period of this selfdedication is not to he rigidly fixed by the number of years which a professing Christian has passed; because the operations of divine grace are not thus limited.— Alas I there are many, who, though far advanced in age, are mere infants in the Christian life. They have yet to begin their preparation for heaven, and are altogether ignorant of the nature of Christian communion. But there are others, who, though youthful in years, are rapidly advancing towards manhood in religious attainments; and shall we venture to restrain the ardent desire which these young aspirants feel to lay the first fruits of their ingenuous hearts on the altar of their Saviour, when he himself has said, " Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven?"
No, my friends! Not by the number of their years, but by the preparation of their hearts—by the progress they have made in Christian principles and Christian practice—must we determine the period when those who have been already devoted to God in baptism, should be anew devoted to him at a communion-table. So soon as they have examined themselves with understanding hearts, to discover the nature of their faith, the sincerity of their penitence, the fervour of their love, the firmness of their resolutions, and, after such an examination, can look up to heaven, and say, with humble confidence, "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief," —from that moment delays become both dangerous and sinful. To these, whatever be their age, the table of their Saviour is open—they are permitted—they are invited—they are commanded, to partake of the feast prepared for believers, at the foot of the cross.
I have said that scriptural knowledge and Christian piety are essential qualifications for this solemn service; but think not that it will be any acceptable excuse for the neglect of your Saviour's dying command, that you are destitute of these qualifications. Ignorance and indifference in such a case are themselves sins, for which no apology can be pleaded; and it were folly to attempt to excuse the commission of one sin by another. Religion is the one thing needful for a being such as man, born as he is for immortality, but standing on the brink of eternal misery. We live in a land of Christian light; and, if we do not know the things which concern our everlasting peace, it is because we voluntarily and perversely shut our eyes. Let no man, then, satisfy himself with the plea of want of knowledge, or of devotional feeling. We invite him not to come forward in such a frame of mind; but we tell him, earnestly yet affectionately, that he is altogether inexcusable for being in this frame, or continuing in it. "This is the condemnation," says Jesus emphatically, "that light has come into the world, and ye have loved darkness rather than light, your deeds being evil." The amplest means for your instruction are provided. You have the Scriptures of truth in your hands—you have the ministers of the Gospel at your doors—you have the Holy Spirit asking admittance into your hearts. Make use of these means, and God will shed his grace on your souls, to prepare you, according to the preparation of the sanctuary.
From such aids no period of life is excluded. They are equally the inheritance of hoary age bending over his staff, and trembling on the erije of the grave—of mnnhood toiling amidst tbe bustle of a world full of care, and of unripe youth passing through slippery paths. Whosoever hath ears to hear, and an understanding to perceive, and a heart to feel, to him is the invitation given. But youth is the season when religious impressions may be expected to be deepest and most permanently stamped on the soul. Then tbe affections are peculiarly warm, and the heart, devoted at that early period to the service of the Saviour, glows with characteristic fervour, and moves in the path of duty with a gracefulness all its own. How beautiful was the character of Timothy, of whom it is said that from a child he knew the Scriptures! He remembered his Creator in the days of his youth: his soul was ennobled by the exercise, and as he grew in stature, he grew, like his divine Master, in favour with God and man.
You, my dear young friends, have " chosen that better part, which shall never be taken away from you." You come this day publicly to declare, that you have taken the God of your fathers to be your God—the Saviour of your fathers to be your Saviour—the hope, the confidence, the joy of your fathers, to be the only treasure of your souls. If these be indeed the sentiments with which you are animated, we do most sincerely congratulate you: For what is our crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ? In this hope, I now call upon you to make a public profession of your faith.
[ The Catechumens here stand up."]
■ Questions 1st, Are you deeply convinced of the
truth and importance of the Holy Scriptures? Do you acknowledge them to be the inspired Word of God, receiving them as the only rule of your faith and practice? In particular, Do you believe in God tbe Father Almighty, the preserver and governor of all things in heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ his only begotten Son, our Redeemer j and in tbe Holy Ghost, our comforter and sanctifier? Do you acknowledge, that you are fallen and guilty creatures, naturally in a state of fin and misery, from which you cannot save yourselves; that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you can be saved but the name of Christ j that he died for your sins, and rose again for your justification, and ever liveth to make intercession for you; that he will come again to judge the world in righteousness, and will bestow eternal blessedness on his servants, while he says to those who reject his salvation, " Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire?" All these things do you solemnly profess to believe? [ The Catechumens here express their assent.]
'idly, Are you resolved, in humble reliance on the aids of the Holy Spirit, to perform the duties which these doctrines imply, and which Scripture enjoins; to impress upon your hearts the obligations which you lie under to God as your creator and lawgiver, and as in Christ Jesus, your never-failing benefactor and friend, morning und evening to kneel before him, and pour out your souls in thanksgiving and supplication; on all occasions to remember that he is present with you, and to bow, submissive and resigned, to his holy will? To strengthen and increase your piety, are you resolved to search the Scriptures diligently, and to be regular and devout in your attendance on divine ordinances? As in the" holy communion you profess to be members of one body, are you resolved, as much as in you lies, to live in peace and charity with all men; to love your neighbours as yourselves, and to do to others as you would that they should do to you? Do you, from the bottom of your heart, now renew your baptismal vows, by which you are bound to renounce the vanities of the world, to dedicate your lives to the service of your God and Saviour, to keep a constant guard on your appetites and passions, and to live in the uniform exercise of temperance, holiness, and piety?
All these duties, in a devout reliance on that strength
which is made perfect in weakness, do you now lebSmJ; promise, assiduously and faithfully, to perform?
[ The Catechumens again express their assnt.]
In consequence of these declarations and promises, which I pray that the Holy Spirit may bless, I do now, in the presence of Almighty God and before this astrobly of his people, admit you to the high privilege oi sitting down with your fellow Christians at the table of your common Saviour, that you may partake with tin of that holy Supper which commemorates his suffering and death, and from which believers, in all ages, bar; received spiritual nourishment and growth in grace. May Jesus be made known to you in the breaths of bread 1
My young friends,—whom I shall so soon be enabled to address by the still more endearing title of feiiuw communicants,—remember, I earnestly beseech you, the importance of the engagements which you have this day formed, or rather which you hare now formally and publicly renewed. Your vows have been made not to man, but to God the Searcher of Hearts, and to Christ the Saviour of sinners. On the genuineness of tbe taitii which you have now professed, and on the manner in which you adorn that profession in your life and eoriversation, depends your happinc5« or misery, not m time only, but in eternity. Live, then, as becomes tbo* who name the name of Jesus. "Let your light so shine before men, that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father in heaven." "Pray withoo: ceasing." Read assiduously the word of God. Watch that ye enter not into temptation. Avoid evil commanications. In devoting your first years to yoar Redeemer, you will soon become accustomed to that jetvice which is perfect freedom, and will find, by nappy experience, that Lis yoke is easy, and his burden ligfi'God will bless you. He will give you that peace which the world cannot give. His eye will be upon you Ia good. His ear Hill be open to your call. The blood of Christ will purify you from all sin. Be not afraid: greater is he who is for you, than all that can 1* against you. You will be enabled to pass through lite in the fear of God, and to perform the duties which you owe to your brethren of mankind, and to your own souls. And at the hour of your dissolution, who the world, with all its vanities, shall have vanubed from your view, and every earthly prop shall havefiSed, you will be supported and cheered by a tense A the divine presence. Through the valley of theshado* of death Christ himself shall bear you in his arms, asil carry you safe into tbe abodes of everlasting joy. Amen.
"The Habitation not made with Hands."—Throat the great goodness of tbe Lord, my poor clay tabrfnacle is in tolerable good repair, although the beams afcl rafters seem to grow weaker. When the Bunder intends taking it down, I know not; and as I m»? s3* ought to expect that the time will shortly arrive, wba I must quit my present habitation, I desire, wish, •** pray that my next house may be built of better auxtrials, and not subject to any decay. I sometimes tale a peep at tbe place where my new house is to be buil'i but through the dimness of my sight, and the wester of my understanding, I cannot as yet comprehend tte beauty of the situation, nor rightly understand t-"4 form of the house; but I am informed by thu BuMcr. that he will make it like his own habitation. I •*" somewhere read about the form of the city, and '* beauty of the streets; and the description is so ej*gantly grand, and glorious, it is enough to stir up a desire and a longing in the heart to be there. I ssn ton. farther, that there is a vast number of inhabitant' a the place where my bouse is to be built: sod •I*0- ^* tin »11 live in love, and in peace, and no foe can enter the city, so that the inhabitants live without fear; and I am farther assured, that their employ will be roiling the Builder of the city; and as you and I love singing, I humbly hope our voices will be properly toned, for I should like to sing as well as the best, for real!/ no one will have greater cause to sing than I. Now, I being a tenant at will, the owner of my tabernacle has a right to turn me out at a moment's warnin;, nay, without any warning at all; therefore, I daily pray that I may be enabled to obey his commands, and that is, to be "always ready." I find a vast number ot things want rectifying and altering in my poor tabernacle: but I humbly hope, that as the Builder, I trust, intends my tabernacle for a habitation for himself, he till subdue every thing contrary to his good pleasure, ■id cleanse the house thoroughly, making it a fit and proper habitation for himself. The glorious Builder of ay house has left upon record exceedingly encouraging words of promise, to comfort the wayfaring man while on Lis journey to the desired city. He has also set up my marks, and given proper directions, insomuch that if the traveller keeps his eye upon the directing post, mil walks according to the plan marked out, he will not greatly err ; besides, there is something more encouraging still: the traveller has for his guide One who is perfectly acquainted with the way to the city, and also knows all the dangers, enemies, and difficulties of the way through which the traveller has to pass; and the gutde is more than a match for all the foes that infest toe road; nay, he has the power over all countries infixed in his hand, and all his enemies, and his followers' enemies, will shortly, and for ever, be put under Ui feet. You, dear madam, have had a taste of the mit of this upper and better country, and the taste "aires you long to feast more bountifully upon the fart-cheering, soul-comforting viands. The earnest of our future,possession you have already received, which 1 a token or seal, that the full enjoyment shall be exerienced in due time; in the meantime, it is the pil■im's duty and privilege, to be desiring, hoping, watch'?, and striving, till the time of deliverance comes; id as the heavenly manna is daily spreading round Mr habitation, I humbly hope and pray that you may neiience abundance of increase, that you may daily toieein- full assurance of hope, of for ever enjoying e house not made with hands, in a kingdom that
all never be moved The Letter Of A Pooh But
Difference between the Christian and the Man of the
orlil The grand difference between the Christian
I the man of the world is, that the burden of the one ratliering while he proceeds, while that of the other lecoming lighter and more easy. The man of carnal id and worldly affections clings more and more to beloved earth, and new cares thicken around his th-bedl: his burden is collecting as lie advances, and m be comes to the edge of the grave it bears him "n to the bottom like a millstone. But the blessed it, by gradually elevating the Christian's temper desires, makes obedience become more easy and detful, until he mounts into the presence of God, re he finds it "a service of perfect freedom."— 'ft'* Remains.
•a the Every Day Sorrows of Life This is a
luered life, and the changes are mercifully accommoil to our circumstances. Continual comfort and proty would be unsafe forus. Continual atfiiction would ard upon us. Therefore our gracious Lord appoints langres. Comforts and trials are interwoven in our insnrions, and so closely that there is hardly an 'passes in which we have not many causes for k fulness, and some exercise for faith and patience, pleased with a passage in Bishop Cowper, in which jiriparc-8 the life of a believer to a piece of worked
cloth, the threads of which, from end to end, through the whole length'of life, are comforts;' but the warp, from beginning to end, filled up with crosses. Surely it is so, for though we are favoured with days and spaces in which we can hardly say we have one cross from the hands of the Lord, we have, in default of these, an unhappy ingenuity in contriving and making up crosses for ourselves. A word, a look, or the holding up of a finger, is sufficient to disconcert us in our smoothest hours, t,o spoil the relish of a thousand blessings, so that the sun shines upon us almost in vain. We suffer much from imaginary evils, as much perhaps from apprehension of what may never happen, as from the impression of what we truly feel. Thus we put loads on our own shoulders, and then we say, "Alas, how heavily I am burdened!" So great is the goodness and faithfulness of God, that we are usually enabled to stand under heavy trials. Such likewise our weakness, that we are frequently ready to sink under small ones. Could we see the hand of the Lord equally in the great and the small, and consider every thing we meet as designed to practise and forward us in the lessons we profess ourselves desirous of learning, we should be much more happy. We are called to die unto self, to cease from man, to learn that all things are uncertain and vain, to forgive injuries, to overcome evil with good. And the events of life are adjusted so as to give us a frequent opportunity of discovering and proving our proficiency in these lessons. But we would rather suppose ourselves patient without having any thing to bear; disposed to forgive without any thing to forgive, and possessed of a spiritual mind, while, at the same time, we are pleasing ourselves with the hope of a sort of earthly paradise of enjoyments. Yet we believe that our Lord was a man of sorrows; the object of contempt, and that in this situation he wept over his enemies, and prayed for his murderers.—Newton.
Suffering, the Portion of Believers Remember, believer, when the lamb was eat, it was with bitter herbs. —Ashbcrner.
Christ is Willing to Save Mercy looketh downward, and can quickly spy a sinner in the dust; but cannot leave him there, nor deny him compassion and relief.- Art thou cast out as helpless, wounded by thy sin, and neglected by all others that pass by? Thou art the fittest object for the skill and mercy of Him that washeth sinners in His blood, and tenderly bindeth up their wounds, and undertakes the perfecting of the cure, though yet thou must bear the surgeon's band, till his time of perfect cure be come. Now thou perceivest the greatness of thy sin and misery, thou art fit to study the greatness of his mercy; and with all saints (to strive) "to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which patsetli knowledge." Now thou hast "smitten upon the thigh," and said, " What have I done?" Thou art fitter to look upon him that was wounded and smitten for thy transgressions, and to consider what he hath done and suffered: how he "hath borne thy grief and carried thy sorrows, and was bruised for thy iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was laid upon hun, and we are healed by his stripes; all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Art thou in doubt whether there be any forgiveness for thy sins; and whether there be any place for repentance? Remember that Christ U "exalted at God's right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins;" and that he himself hath spoken it, that "all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, except the blasphemy against the Spirit." And this forgiveness of sins thou art hound to believe as an article of thy creed, that it is purchased by Christ, and freely offered in the Gospel.—Baxter,
TBUST IN THE 8AVIOUB.
Not seldom, elad in radiant vest,
Deceitfully goes forth the morn;
Sinks smilingly foresworn.
To the confiding bark untrue;
They can be treacherous too.
Full oft, when storms the welkin rend,
It promised to defend.
Who didst vouchsafe for man to die;
No change can falsify.
And ask'd for peace with suppliant knee;
But faith, and hope, and testacy.
HOPE IN THE BEDEEMER.
Yes! it was true, my Saviour died
To rescue man from sin and wo! My heart at once the truth applied,
And could not, would not let it go. I felt it was my last lorn hope—
A stay to the lone shipwreck'd given; And gnisp'd it with a drowning grope,
As sent to me direct from heaven. In confirmation, word on word
Rose sweetly, too, from memory's store; Truths, which in other days I heard,
But never knew their worth before. Lodged by a pious mother's care
In the young folds of thought and sense, Like fire in flint, they slumber'd there.
Till anguish struck them bright from thence. The beacon lights of Holy Writ,
They one by one upon me stole; Through winds and waves my pathway lit,
And chased the darkness from my soul 1
A Valuable Life Saved When the late Dr David
son, formerly Mr Randall, of the Tolbooth Church, Edinburgh, was a child, he experienced a remarkable preservation from death, which he sometimes mentioned to his friends, and always in terms of the liveliest gratitude to the Almighty, who had so evidently interposed to rescue him from going down to the grave. In the neighbourhood of the manse at Inchture, where his father, Mr Randall, was for some years minister, there was an open well, which often gave rise to much apprehension and dread in the minds of parents, lest their children should fall into it. One day, Thomas Randall, when amusing himself near the well, fell in. There being no person at hand when the accident occurred, the child must have perished but for the following remarkable circumstance: The parish schoolmaster, Mr Peebles, and his wife, both very worthy persons, and who had a large family, happened to live in the immediate vicinity. Mrs Peebles one forenoon missed one of her children. She expressed frreat nlnrm to her
husband that their boy might perhaps be drowned in the well. Both parents ran together to the well in quest of their child; and on descending the few steps which led to it, Mr Peebles observed something in tie water. With a trembling heart he pulled it out, who to his astonishment, and that of his wife, it «. • their boy, but the minister's son, Thomas Randall 1 Un mentioning this striking event to an intimate friend, Dr Davidson remarked, "the preservation was of (M; can a sparrow fall to the ground without our hesTeni; Father?"
An interesting Reminiscence—The late Dr Samel Martin, minister of Monimail, in a letter to a friend after Dr Davidson's death, having noticed the above anecdote, thus speaks of that pious and devoted ma, whose memory is hallowed in the minds of all whs knew him :—" He studied divinity at Glasgow CoUeje. Thomas and I lived together, companions and fellowstudents; and I being some years older, was consideral as a kind of guardian. On looking bark to that period, in reviewing fully sixty yeara intercourse ami friendship, I ever found in him, from first to U>t, genuine and unaffected piety, affection, benevolence, regular, exemplary, amiable deportment. I recollect, with pleasure, the family devotions of our little society. 1 well remember an exclamation, on one occasion, to at, after rising from prayer—a striking proof of his chaseteristic humility, gratitude, and tenderness of consciewv, 'O, Martin, it is the divine goodness, of all things, tta: humbles me most 1'"
The Faithful Minister's Dying Declaration.—'Wvthe late Rev. Sir Henry Moncreiff Wellwood, Bin, was on his death-bed, his attached friend, Dr Thomsoa. of St. George's Church, Edinburgh, was much with him. On one occasion, it being the Sacramental Subath, Dr Thomson was engaged to officiate in the ptJpit of St. Cuthbert's, at the evening service, instead d Sir Henry, and before doing so, he called to inquite fc his dying friend. He found him in a very weak raw. and after conversing with him for a short time, he attr tioned his intention to occupy his pulpit for him tba: evening. Immediately the old man seemed to revive, and his eye assumed, for a moment, its wonted uiiation. "I shall never preach to my people raore,"s«» he. " O! I could go through the whole world preset^ salvation through the Cross of Christ."
The Effect of Missions The Rev. Dr Philip. 4
the Cape of Good Hope, states, that the Honours^ Justice Burton informed him, after a circuit tour, tin he had made three journies over the colony as a orc-j judge; that, during these circuits, he had nine hunt*! cases before him, and that only two of these cases wert connected with Hottentots who belonged to misaonij institutions, and that neither of them were aggranad, cases. On a comparison of the population at the H sionary stations with that of the rest of the coloi.' which was under the jurisdiction of the circuit t~""' the fact stated by the judge makes the proportio»« crimes as one only to thirty-five.
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OX THE IMPERFECTION OF THE PRESENT
Perfection is not the character of the present scene. It is placed hefore us as a point after which we are to aspire, but, like the horizon, it eludes our srusp whatever advances we may make towards it. The painter has hefore his mind's eye a more perfect idea of beauty than is embodied in the works of the first masters which he studies, and yet he is unable to transfer conceptions, even so embodied, to bis canvass. Harmony, more accurate than they give expression to, is always sounding in the ears uf the most accomplished musicians. Nor wdl the •talesman succeed in applying merely abstract views )f government. Human nature continues to preent features to which theories do not bend; so hat, on the most refined principles of legislation, oom enough is left for the discontented to cavil. The Church of God is not excepted from the ifluence of this universal law. The marks of its embers, plainly enough laid down, are sufficient 1 guide us in pronouncing on our own characters, id holding intercourse with our fellow men. NeTtheless, as in the world of nature, the animal s by such imperceptible shades into the vetable kingdom, that we are unable often to collide to which, particular objects belong; so, in > visible Church, some Christians are so feeble, I some hypocrites are so plausible, that it is Bcult to distinguish between them. God's care iter the former is such, that, rather than that they paid be endangered, the latter are allowed to be I>founded with them. Not even the Church is (•feet. It is yet, like every thing else, in a prefatory state of being.
This fact is one of the many proofs of the fool|ness of God being wiser than men. Our idea things in the present world is, that our concepns of it should be immediately transferable to ual existence. But, on this supposition, manv '>ortant ends would be unattainable. The mind man, through its inability to reduce its own ories to practice, is kept continually on the look for a condition in which its finest imagin