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posers may one day own your kindness, and bless God that you have been the honoured instruments in their reformation, Should your endeavours succeed, you will have the consciousness of discharging the duties of your station ; and much depends on the conduct of magistrates. Once the chief magistrate of a metropolis failed in his duty. What were the effects, many now living may remember.
ON COMPLAINING OF OUR AFFLICTIONS
It is nothing uncommon to hear many who are in trouble, justify their murmurs and fretfulness, from the supposed singularity of their trials. This is the case not only with nominal professors of the gospel, but with many real Christians, especially such as are not of á meek disposition. They who thus complain, persuade themselves that their crosses have no resemblance to those of others; and they think they could bear any other afflictions better than their own. It is true indeed that there may be a few uncommon circumstances in the trials of some; but it is to be questioned whether the afflictions of many who consider them as quite singular, are so in reality; for not being sufficiently acquainted with the tribulations of others, and enhancing our own, we are led to believe that our sorrows are singularly distressing; and Satan, no doubt, would persuade every saint that no one is troubled like him, in order to drive him to despair, or at least to keep him from comfort. But we are to remember, that such a view of our trials is injurious to the soul, as it encourages distrust, makes us discontented in our situation, and keeps us from enjoying those blessings and privileges with which the Lord has favoured us.
It is, however, to be granted, that some believers who murmur or repine, have unexampled afflictions; but is it any good reason that they should give way to unbelieving fears and fretfulness ? Certainly not. The love of God, the merits of Christ, and the promises, are all in their favour; they should therefore, like David, when in the most trying situation, encourage themselves in the Lord,' being well assured that as their day, so their strength shall be. When the crosses of believers are very heavy and singular, they should be the more ardent in prayer, and be looking to Jesus constantly for strength to bear them; but, instead of this, they frequently encourage unbelief, as if they were not the people of God, because their trials are so great.
The following observations by Bishop Massillon, are so very full and judicious on this point, that I think it quite unnecessary to add any more of my own remarks on this subject. “The
more extraordinary but afflctions are, the more singular are the designs of the mercy of God upon our souls, seeing that he leads us by ways so uncommon, and so little trodden. This singularity of sorrows ought, in the eyes of our faith, to be a soothing distinction; for God has often conducted bis chosen, in matters of affliction, by new or extraordinary ways. What afflictions, as well as surprizing adventures, are found recorded in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Moses, Jeremiah, and Paul! Thus the less our affections resemble those of others, the more, generally speaking, we may consider them the trials of God's chosen ; and further, to prevent us from complaining of the excess of our misfortunes or sufferings, we are to consider, that the more we are afflicted, the greater is God's love towards us, and his watchfulness over us. More common troubles might have appeared to us as the consequence merely of natural causes, and we might suppose that the Lord had no particular gracious design towards us, when we had only had certain afflictions, which happen frequently to the rest of men; but in the grievous and singular situation in which God places some of his people, he can no longer hide from thein that they are the special objects of his merciful designs. Buckingham.
AN ORIGINAL LETTER FROM THE REV. MR. HERVEY TO DR. WATTS.
Rev. and Dear Sir, W'eston Farel, Dec. 10, 1747.
Pardon me if I take leave to interrupt your important studies for the good of mankind, or suspend, for one moment, your delightful communion with the blessed God. I cannot excuse myself without expressing my gratitude for the present, by your order, lately transmitted from your bookseller*, which I shall always value, not only for its instructive contents, bat in a very peculiar manner for the sake of the author and giver. To tell you, worthy Doctor, that your works have long been my delight and study, the favourite pattern by which I would form my conduct and model my style, would be only to echo back, in the faintest accents, what sounds in the general voice of the nation. Among other of your edifying compositions, I have reason to thank you for your Sacred Songs, which I have introduced into the service of my church; so that in the solemnities of the Sabbath, and in a lecture on the week day, your Musc lights up the incense of our praise, and furnishes our devotions with harmony. Our excellent friend Òr. Doddridge informs me of the infirm condition of your health; for
* The Doctor's Discourses on the Glory of Christ as God-man
which reason I humbly beseech the Father of spirits and the God of our life, to renew your strength as the eagle's, and to recruit a lamp that has shone with distinguished lustre in his sanctuary; or, if this may not consist with the counsels of unerring wisdom, to make all your bed in your languishing, softly to untie the cords of animal existence, and enable your dislodging soul to pass triumphantly through the valley of death, leaning on your beloved Jesus, and rejoicing in the greatness of his salvation.
You have a multitude of names to bear on your breast and mention with your lips, when you approach the throne of grace, in the beneficent exercise of intercession; but none I am sure has more need of such an interest in your supplications, none I believe can more highly esteem it, or more earnestly desire it, than,
A CONCISE VIEW OF TIIE PRESENT STATE OF EVANGELICAL RELIGION
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
[Continued from p. 217) NO. X.
AMERICA, A new world opened on Columbus. To carry the standard of the Cross thither, was professedly a grand object of the bigotted Spaniards; but their cruelties corresponding with their avarice, soon depopulated the regions they affected to Christianize; whilst the debased religion of Popery, which they professed, though compassing sea and land to gain proselytes, hardly exceeded in excellence the absurdities from which the heathen under their domain were compelled to turn.
This vast continent, usually divided into North and South America, was on its discovery occupied by nations wholly sunk in idolatry, who placated their deities with the blood of human victims. "Its population was greatly inferior to the old continent; and though abounding in gold and silver, in the most infant state of improvement respecting all arts and manufactures. The other nations of Europe soon followed the track of Spain ; and the Pope, in the plenitude of his power, when Portugal proceeded to new discoveries, divided by a line of demarcation the world between them, without the most superficial knowledge of its geography. On the continent of Ainerica Spain first seized, and still occupies far the greatest share, From Mexico to Cape Horn, and round to the Rio Plata, she possesses an undivided empire over this immensity of coast; and from the Mississipi round the vast Bay of Mexico to the Carac,
cas, all is Spanish and Papistical. The vast islands which stretch through the Gulph of Mexico, Cuba, Domingo, and Porto Rico, with many others, embrace the same religion, and submit to the same government.
The Portugueze have occupied the countries of Brazil and Paraguay; in extent far short of Spanish dominion, but one with them in the same corrupt Christianity. The other nations of Europe have each endeavoured to fix themselves in different parts; and for the purpose of commerce, formed various settlements: the French at Cayenne, Canada, and in many of the Carribbee Islands; the Dutch at Essequibo and Demarara, with Curacoa; the Danes and Swedes occupied a few small islands; but the English have been the geat settiers and conquerors of these ; so that, though their colonies revolted, and are grown into a great people, they now possess Canada and the whole country to the Northern Ocean, the great island of Newfoundland, and those in its vicinage, who during the present war have taken possession of all held by French, Dutch, or Danes. With their dominion their religious as well as political institutions have been introduced. Thus three great budies occupy the continent and islands of America; Heathens, Papists, and Protestants. For, prevalent as they are throughout the other quarters of the earth, hither the delusions of Mahomed have never yet extended their baneful influence; nor does a mosque subsist in any part of America.
The Heathen, denominated Indians, still possess immense tracts of country in the interior, from the most soutbemn extremity of Terra Del Fuego, through Chili, Paraguay, and to the Carraccas. They subsist in the Isthmus of Darien, and on the coast of Honduras; and a multitude of nations stretch from the Gulph of Mexico, and the Mississipi to the Northern Ocean. Though their population hath been diminished, and multitudes brought under the Romish pale by the labours of her Missionaries, an immense body continues in the grossest darkness of heathenism; they maintain their native freedom and savage manners, and offer an inmense field for instruction in righie ousness and the diffusion of evangelical truth.
Portugal and Spain have peopled this new world with priests and convents. Those who have migrated froin Europe have brought their bigotry and superstitions with them, even in greater strength than in the land of their nativity. With a zeal that in many instances should shame the indifference and inactivity of Protestants, monks and friars of all colours have vied with each other in labours for the conversion of the heathen Indians, into whase country they have penetrated, often at the hazard of their lives; and in many instances, as in Paraguay, succeeded in partial civilization, and abject submission of the natives, to sacerdotal dominion, and the profession of Christianity: though such a species of Christianity as men of enliable
ened minds will hardly think worthy the name; and both the converters and the converted very far from the kingdom of God. The downfall of Popery in Europe, however, and the annihilation of the Jesuitical tribe, its most strenuous supporters, have removed some strong barriers formerly erected against the admission of evangelical religion, and afford hopes that greater freedom of enquiry and discussion may find its way into the enslaved minds of these Semi-Christians; and give a readier admission to the pure word of God, now so earnestly diffused into all lands; and thus an entrance be opened for the everlasting gospel through these yet desolate habitations and regions of spiritual darkness. Great events seem brooding in the womb of Time: and the awful struggle which threatens to separate from them the parent state, and to erect a new dynasty, may, with new connections formed with Protestant states, especially our own, open a door of access, where despotism and the inquisition have hitherto utterly excluded every beam of evangelical religion; and lead to the emancipation of the slaves of Popish bigotry and intolerance from the bondage of priests and piejudice, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 'It must be confessed that the prospect as yet is highly inauspicious; and, from the Straits of Magellan to the Heights of Monterrey, I doubt whether an individual can be found who would not anathematize every thing in the shape of real gospel truth, and be ready to consign the Missionary to the flames:- a reflection deeply afflictive to every true Christian's heart; but mightily calling upon us to cry to Him who hath the residue of the Spirit, that he would make bare his arm, overturn every obstacle in the way of his truth, and open a door of hople and salvation for these millions sunk in ignorance, error, and corruption, and led captive by Satan at his will.
As dark and dismal are all the territories under the Portugueze dominion, and as far removed from the simplicity which is in Christ. Not a congregation is to be found in these immense regions worshipping God in spirit and in truth. If there be an individual, he is a prodigy. Thus all the lands holding the Popish profession, are shut up in darkness that may be felt; and whether in the islands or on the main, lie in the same state of death, in error, in ignorance, in trespasses and sins.
From the Protestants alone, therefore, and their exertions, can any hope be entertained for an amelioration of the spiriz tual state of the new world; and even of them the multitude embrace their profession, without any real acquaintance witą its principles, and have merely a naine to live, and are dead, The extent and state of their dominions naturally most en. gages our attention; in what states they are, and what doing to promote the one thing needful, the salvation of their own souls, and that of those around them.
[To be continued.]