Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

torum Virorum,' p. 97, Amst. 1684. His Address to the States is not dated ; but I apprehend it was not written before 1608. Calvin teaches a widely different doctrine, namely, That the ground of justification is the righteousness of Christ, imputed to the sinner, and received by faith *'.

I am, dear Sir, &c.

* V. Inst. I. iii. cap. xi. $ 3, 7, 10, 23.

ON PROFESSORS TRADING WITH EACH OTHER.

It must be acknowledged that the English are humane, and that in general those who hear the gospel do many things to help one another in temporal matters; but notwithstanding this, it is a fact that, in most country' towns, several who make a profese sion do not snfficiently encourage each other in the way of their respectiye trades. I have for many years travelled through different parts of Great Britain ; and having been at varions places where congregations are established, I am certain of the truth of the above remark.

Perhaps, some may be ready to say, ' We are under no obli. gations to deal chiefly with those who attend the gospel; and we have a right to do as we please in this respect.' To this it may be truly answered, That professors are under moral and spiritnal obligations to help each other in their outward circumstances, inasmuch as they, in the judgment of charity, are members of the same spiritual body; and it is also to be done in obedience to the commands of God. To mention only one passage of sa. cred writ:-The apostle Paul says, in Gal. vi. 10, D, good un. to all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. From this and various other Scriptures, it is evidently the will of God that the preference should be given to those who make a credible profession of truth; and we are not to wait intil they ask us for our custom, as many of the most serions persons are too modest to do that. Some, indeed, are convinced ibat it is their duty to encourage such as attend the gospel in their temporal affairs; but their excuse is, That they have been de. ceived by some professors, and perhaps injured by others. This is often a mere excuse, to justify their conduct ; but supposing the plea strictly true, yet it is no good reason why sincere professors should be neglected, because others have proved false. It should teach us to be cautious; but it is no just cause for suspecting all who attend the gospel. We should charitably hope that every professor is sincere, until we find it otherwise, i

It must, however, be allowed, that there are same peculiar cir. cumstances under which it is not the duty of those who hear the gospel at particular times to traffic with each other, such as the following: Ist, When the articles of a professing tradesman XV4T.

11 .

are dearer, or worse ia quality, than those which we can pur, chase elsewhere for the same price; - Adly, When he has not a sufficient variety, so that if we buy of him it will be to a consi. derable disadyantage; - 3lly, When our relations, though not professors, sell the same articles in which professors deal ; - 4th, When any one who hears the gospel is really incompetent for that which he professes to teach, or to transact that business properly in which he engages. In these, and perhaps a few more instances, any professor is justified in giving the preference to such as make no profession; but we must be certain that these are not pretended excuses.

If we enquire, What are the reasons why so many hearers of the gospel do not deal with each other? we shall find the following some of the principal: - ist, Many professors act thus from ignorance of their duty, or perbaps want of thought at the time; - 2dly, Some, through pride, deal with capital tradesmen, to look great like their neighb Jurs, rather than with those who hear the gospel, wbo, perhap , are not in such a large way, although their articles may be equally good ; - 3dly, Others, from party. spirit, will trade with those who are no friends to the gospel, ra. ther than with professors, who are not of their own party ; 4th, Covetous persons, though hearers of the word, will disregard all professors ; and even their own minister, to put their children to cheaper schools, or to deal with any one for cheapness. From these and other bad motives, many of the honsehold of faith are sadly neglected, while sometimes immoral characters, and generally such as are enemies to the gospel, are encouraged. Thus, within these fer years, I have known some widows, and many diligent and frugal persons, of considerable abilities in their pro. fession or trade, have declined in their circumstances, and been forced to remove from places where they were not sufficiently encouraged by professors.

But none suffer more from this kind of neglect than gospelministers in country towns, whose scanty income from their people obliges them to keep schools, or carry on some business. It is true indeed, that some of their people will encourage them; but others do not, or on the most trivial excuses, withdraw their assistance. Now, it is very unfavourable for a ininister or his wife to set up a boarding-school in a country town, for not many, who have children and dislike the gospel, will place them in such a seminary; and perhaps there are many schools in the neighbourhood, and Qut few prosessors, who have children, or can afford to place them there. If, therefore, these few do not giye encouragement, the minister and his family are not likely to be properly supported. My business being chiefly in school. articles, I have frequently had opportunities to ascertain this to be a fact. I have found that worthy and well-qualified ministers, who keep schools, have not had above £60 per ann. from their

people; and yet some of them have been so hard-hearted as to place their children elsewhere, and sometimes even with masters or governesses who are enemies to the gospel. Here I would solemnly put the following questions to those professors who do not help their minister or their brethren in their temporal concerns : – Ist, What proof do you give of love to Christ, the Spiritual Head, when you will not obey his commands, and refuse to help his ministers and servants ? - 2dly, As our love to the brethren is a scriptural sign of grace, and you do not prove it by assisting them as much as you can, what evidence have you of being true disciples ? - 3dly, How can you be said to be any friend of the gospel, when you strengthen the hands of its enemies, and strive to keep its friends in a low state ? Besides, what has been already written, the following considerations should induce professors to be more attentive to deal with each other :Ist, They should consider that serious persons are often injured in their circumstances by some of their best customers leaving them, because they will not serve on the Sabbath-day; - Qdly, Others have not much trade in some places, merely because they attend the gospel, or because they will not spend their evenings in public-houses, or in vain amusements, as others do, with their customers; - 3dly, The great and increasing pressure of the times should also be another inducement; for many diligent and frugal persons who could keep their families very comfortably some years ago, can now scarcely support them. Let all these things be taken into serious and immediate consideration, and let professors make it a point of conscience to encourage each other more than they have hitherto done.

R. W.

"y, The great sements, as other their ev

Sir,

HINTS,
ADDRESSED TO YOUTH.

To the Editor. Example has ever been acknowledged to be importa ant; and its influence, in the higher ranks of society upon those below them, is such, that every thing which concerns public example should be watched; and where it is evil, should be, as early as possible, and by every means, coun: teracted. The subject which has lately almost engrossed the attention of the Senate, bas greatly occupied that of all inferiorclasses, and has been much looked at by the rising generation, for whose welfare I am every anxious. I have thought that your most extensive, laudable, and valuable publication might be peculiarly useful, by bringing seasonably to the attention of the young, the following Extracts from the writings of Him who was the wisest of all mere men, and which have been verified in the case alluded to; - and may it please the Spirit of Truth so

as early ald be watcheepy thing which lety upon

to impress them, that they may guard our youth by the warning they are so weil calculated to give!

I am yours, &c. M. "When Wisdom entereth into thine heart, and Knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, Understanding shall keep thee; to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things ; who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths. To deliver thce from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words ; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God; for her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.' -- Prov. ii. 10–19.

My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding, that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge ; for the lips of a strange woman drop as an honey-comb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but her end is bitter as worm. wood, sharp as a two-edged sword: her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on Hell. ' Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now, therefore, Oye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth! Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house; lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel ; lest strangers be filled with'thy wealth, and thy labours be in the house of a stranger ; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed ; and say, Ilow have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof! and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil, in the midst of the congres gation and assembly !~ Prov. v. 1-14.

6 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother ; bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goesť, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee; for the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life, to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart, neither let her take thee with her eye-lids ; for, by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread ; and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned ? - So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife: whosoever toucheth her shall not be inno. cent.' --- Prov. vi. 20—29.

With her much fair speech she caused him to yield; with the flattering of her livs she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox gocth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till a dart strike through his liver, -as a bird hasteth to the snare, and know eth not that it is for his life. llearken unto me

now, therefore, ( ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths; for she hath cast down many wounded; yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to Hell, going down to the chambers of Death.' -- Prov. vii. 21–27.

The way of transgressors is hard. — Prov. xiii. 15.

! A LETTER FROM THE LATE MR. J. THOMAS,

THE BAPTIST MISSIONARY.

How comforting to our da Food in the hung heat of the chee

My dearly beloved Brother, Calcutta, Nov. 27, 1783.

How comfortable it is to be cool in a hot and parching climate! O how sweet to this body is a draught of cool water! How comforting is the fire in cold weather !- low animating and exhilarating to our damped, chilled powers of body and mind! How delighting is food to the hungry, and drink to the thirsty! How animating is the light and heat of the cheering sun, the gay moon, and beautiful stars! How it delights some of the sons of men to get wisdom and knowledge in natural things; and others to attain riches, reputation, and honour among their brethren! -- and let us not deny how pleasant it would be to unthinking you and me, if we could but attain to a competency in the things of this life, and be secured from toil, bustle, and care; and thus I might go on till I had included a. multitude of benefits in this life, which no man could number; and all these, you and I have in a threefold manner; and the second and third manner rises not by additions by thousands, but by multiplication by millions!

In the first place, What have you and I kept from us, among all these things ? - 2dly, See all the same things spiritualized and presented to us in Jesus Christ. I appeal to you, if your spiritual parchings, chillings, hungerings, thirstings, darkness, ignorance, poverty, and disgrace, have not already been answered out of Christ's fulness, with refreshings, warmings, feastings, drink, light, knowledge, riches, and honour, that are and have been so suitable, so delighting, so divine, from their origin to their end, that we may say they leave the first mercies at an astonishing distance ? Their value is multiplied to an astonishing degree! Again : Consider the inheritance, of which they are only an earnest (and this composes my threefold manner of receiving mercies, which Christ's little flock have, and the world have not) What! have you and I received an earnest, and that from Goch, of an inheritance, not only of the works of his hands, which are shadows of excellency, but of HIMSELF; -- the sum of excellency,

« AnteriorContinuar »