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make intercession for us ;" and who you, enable me to drop you a word is, therefore, “able to save to the in season! I seldom write to a uttermost all that come unto God friend without lifting up my heart by him.” “Who then shall separate to Him to guide my pen, and afford us from the love of Christ ? Shall his presence and blessing, while my tribulation, or distress, or persecu- friend is reading the letter. I have tion, or famine, or nakedness, or been struck with an observation of peril, or sword ? Nay, in all these Mr. Walker, of Edinburgh: he says things we are more than conquerors, in one of his sermons, “The Gospel through him that hath loved us: for is too good to be believed, and too I am persuaded that neither death plain to be understood.” In itself por life, nor angels, nor principali- it is very plain, and all the difficulty ties, nor powers, nor things present, we seem to find in it, arises from nor things to come, nor height, nor our own depravity and unbelief. depth, nor any other creature, shall When the Lord is pleased to open be able to separate us from the love the eyes of our minds, we see it, as of God, which is in Christ Jesus, we see the sun, by its own light, our Lord.”
and need not a long train of study, nor the help of many books to satisfy us, that it is exactly suited to the wants, fears, hopes, and desires of our hearts ; but without this teaching of the Holy Spirit, all our
study and reading will leave us still Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. in the dark : it is hidden from the
wise and prudent, (those who are so While arranging some old letters, in their own sight,) but it is revealed I found the following from the late unto babes. When we begin to feel Rev. John Newton, addressed to me our malady, we soon perceive that when in India ; and as I deem it too a remedy is provided, and the only valuable to be thrown aside, I here- one which can reach the case : if with send you a copy for insertion our perception of the one and the in your miscellany.
other was equally clear, the cure would be instantaneous ; for the
Gospel meets us without any ifs, Dear Sir, I received the infor- buts, conditions, or exceptions, and mation of your arrival at Calcutta says no more than “ Look and live," with great pleasure. I am glad my “ Believe and be saved." But this letter to Mr. V- was of service at first, seems too good news to be to you: he did not long survive fully believed : this method seems your visit, but was removed to a too simple and easy. Like Naaman, better world, out of the reach of we are entangled with vain reasonsin and sorrow. He is now one of ings, and think we should be better the cloud of witnesses who surround satisfied if the Lord had commanded us, though we cannot see them, and us to do some great thing, though, who, if we could hear them, would, at the same time, we have a disI doubt not, admonish and encou- tressing conviction that we really rage us, not to be slothful, but to can do nothing; and although the be followers of them who through fountain of living waters is so near faith and patience already inherit to us, we are prone to hew out to the promises.
ourselves broken cisterns that can You are pleased to ask my advice. hold no water. Our Lord assures May the good Lord, who sees your us that we must be born again : situation at the moment of my writ. this doctrine is too plain to be uning, and in wbat circumstances this derstood, yet nothing can be plainer letter (if it reach Calcutta) may find in itself. But till we actually expe
A CONSTANT READER.
rience this new birth, we can have to vain reasonings : we must know no real concern about it; and be the how and the why. We are sides, not only Scripture, but expe- wiser in natural things : when we rience and observation abundantly see a child lately born, we admit prove, that the life we derive from the fact, without puzzling ourselves the first Adam is entirely confined with an inquiry how it was formed to the present world, limited within in the womb. I write this, because the sphere of time and sense, and I suppose you will meet at Calcutta can look no further ; so that until (indeed where are they not to be we receive a new spiritual life from found ?) with sceptics and reasoners, the Second Adam, we cannot so who will try to dispute you out of much as see, much less possess, the your spiritual senses, and require kingdom of God. If we have a
you to prove to them, and to render sense of the evil of sin; if we see plain to their apprehensions, things an excellence in the Saviour, and in which, for want of proper faculties, his way of salvation; if such a prayer they are not capable of receiving. as Psalm cvi. 4, 8, suits us; if we You may as soon explain what you feel that the world is too poor and mean by sunshine, or the colours of too scanty to satisfy us, and that the rainbow, to a man born blind. He who made us can alone fill the The Gospel is not contrary to reavast capacity of the soul, formed son: it is the most rational thing in originally for himself;-I say, if we the world to believe what God dehave these views and these feelings, clares, but it is contrary to our dehow did we acquire them? Cer- praved reasoning. I suppose when tainly they are not born with us, you were a child
received many for we can remember the time when things for which you were too young we had them not: nor could we to give any reason, but that your reason ourselves into them, nor re- parents told you so : this ceive them from other men, because child-like simplicity, to sit at the the bent of their reasonings and our Lord's feet, and
Lord's feet, and believe what he own by nature, were directly con- makes known to us in his word, trary. They, and perhaps we like- without asking needless questions, wise, deemed them folly and enthu- is the happy thriving temper to siasm: many, yea the most, think which the promises are made. (Ps. them so still; and so should we, had xxv. 9, 11 ; Prov. iii. 5, 6.) He we been left to ourselves. The will teach you gradually as you are true answer is in John i. 13. If we able to bear, and your path will be now seek the Lord, it is because like the light, which increaseth He first found us when we sought from the dawn to the perfect day. him not. The operations of the I advise you not to enter the lists Holy Spirit, like those of the wind, with the disputers of this world: are invisible, and can only be known they cannot understand you till they by their effects. But these effects stand upon your ground: keep them cannot be produced by any other close to the written word, and the
If therefore we are parta- test of experience. Ask them if kers of this life of the Spirit, the they are happy upon their own prinproof is no less obvious than that ciples? And if they are honest, I we are alive in the flesh. If a man doubt not but they will answer, No. can see, and hear, and walk, we do But besides the arts of sceptics, you not ask if he be alive: a dead man will have to withstand the spirit of can do none of these things; and the world; and, unless we dare to we are quite dead to all spiritual be singular, a sense of religion will feelings and perceptions, till quick- make us rather uncomfortable than ened by His grace. Yet here again, otherwise. I would not plead for not content with the plain fact, we a needless, scrupulous singularity: are apt to speculate, and give way Christians, like other people, have
callings and relations in life, which unto Jesus as your strength and they should endeavour to fill up pattern, who humbled himself to a with propriety: nor does the Gos- low estate, and bore the cross, pel require us to be either churls or shame, and curse for us, your heart clowns ; it inculcates a spirit of love, will be enlarged by love, gratitude, peace, and benevolence, well suited and hope, so that you may run in to gain the good will and esteem of the way of his commandments. our fellow-creatures. (Phil. iv. 8.) Many will affect to pity you, to But experience will always verify smile or rail at you; but depend our Lord's aphorism, “ No man can upon it they will secretly respect serve two masters." The general you : the men of the world cannot maxims, customs, pursuits, and help doing so, if they see your proamusements of the world must be fession consistent, and all of a piece avoided, yea renounced. Two gates throughout; whereas they soon see and two roads are open before us; one through a half professor: and the we must choose-iI trust you have Lord whom you serve has all hearts made the right choice already),—but in his hand, and will make your we cannot walk in both. The bless- way prosperous. He will shew himings of the Gospel are in themselves self strong in behalf of those who free, without money, price, or desert put their trust in him. on our part, like the light, air, or I shall not apologize for the rain ; yet in another sense they may length or freedom of my letter, becost us dear, for unless we deny cause I believe you will kindly acourselves, and be ready to give up cept it as a token of my regard. every thing when put in competition I pray the Lord to guide and bless with the pearl of great price, we can you, and remain, &c. neither honour, nor long maintain, our religious profession. What the world calls pleasure, is unworthy of a Christian's attention. Interest, REPLY TO OBJECTIONS TO THE and sometimes character, must be hazarded : if we do not count all things but loss for the Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. excellency of the knowledge of Christ, and the exercise of a good I Lament to learn how prevalent conscience,-if we are not willing have of late become those erroneous to endure the cross, and despise the and injurious, but by no means novel shame,--the world, sooner or later, opinions which regard the Christian will either bribe or terrify us out of Sabbath as merely an ecclesiastical the path of peace. So long as we and not a Divine institution; so that hesitate whether we shall obey God the many injunctions and encouor man, when we find it impossible ragements to the observation of the to please both, we shall, at the best, sevenih day, to be found in the Old be like a man who walks with a Testament, become inapplicable to thorn in his foot : our progress will the first day, which from the times be slow, and every step painful. of the Apostles has been consecrated Temptations of this sort will occur by Christians. The fallacy of this sometimes, to evidence our since- notion has been so often shewn, that rity, both to ourselves and others : I will not pretend to add any thing the difficulty is chiefly at the first to the many able discussions extant outset. It is best to break with the on the subject. But unhappily the world (where a compliance would majority of readers do not weigh, be sinful) openly and at once. But and are perhaps not acquainted with, it is my hope and prayer that you the real argument ; so that they are may be upright and determined in easily led astray with the first obyour purpose ; and that looking jection that is presented to their CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 343.
notice. For the sake of such, per- wise and gracious was the appointmit me to recapitulate the following ment every way. How delightful brief considerations.
must it have been for our first In the first place, it should be parents to have anticipated, during always remembered that the reason their six days' constant though not of the institution still exists. “ God oppressive toil, the delightful rest blessed the seventh day and sanc- of the seventh ; when they might tified it; because that in it he had hold undisturbed communion with rested from all his works which God that Being whom they then loved had created and made." In these with all their heart and soul and words we clearly discover the object strength : and on that sacred day, of the institution. By the terms show sweet in concert to adore “ blessed and sanctified,” must their heavenly Father; to cultivate surely be understood that it was in each other every holy affection; appointed as a day of peculiar bless. to discourse together of his love, ing to man, as well as that it was to his wisdom, and his power: and be kept by him in a peculiar man- having thus in the appointed way ner holy. But how was a particu- procured fresh spiritual blessings lar day to be kept holy in paradise, from on high, how cheerfully would where unholiness had no place! In they address themselves to their no other way surely, than by sus- weekly employments. Such being pending even lawful earthly em- the object of the Sabbath, and such ployments, and spending the hours its advantages, when duly observed, in communion with the Almighty the reason of the institution still Father ; in meditating upon his exists; and, instead of having lost attributes, as manifested by his won- its force, is more cogent than at derful and beautiful creation ; in first, on account of our unbappy lifting up the heart in gratitude to alienation from God: and must the bounteous Giver of all good; continue in force so long as man and in more diligently devoting exists in this mortal state. every faculty of the mind and
The ground upon which it is affection of the heart to his service. alleged that the observance of the Without this blessed institution, Sabbath is not binding on Chrisman, even in paradise, might have tians, is, that it is one of those been too much engrossed with the ceremonial observances which are suobjects of sense ; his love might perseded by the Gospel. But besides have become faint, and his faith the different origin of the Sabbath feeble, The Sabbath then was in- and the Mosaic ritual, there is an stituted “ as a means of prescrving essential difference in the nature of in man a due sense of his relation the respective appointments. The with God.” In a state of innocence Jewish dispensation was one of types God saw that the consecration of and signs, of which the antitypes and one day in seven was necessary, at things signified are found in the least proper, for this purpose ; and Christian dispensation. Thus the the day after which his wonderful Paschal Lamb was a type of the creation was completed was doubt. Lamb slain from the foundation of less selected as leading the mind the world ; the high priest was a more directly to the contemplation type of Christ in his mediatorial of the power, wisdom, and goodness character. His entering into that therein displayed, and impressing it part of the tabernacle called the with the dependence of all creatures Holy of Holies, with the blood of a upon him. There might also be a sacrifice, was a type of our Saviour secondary object, as appears from entering into heaven, after having the words of the Fourth Command- by the sacrifice of himself obtained ment; namely, relaxation from la eternal redemption for us. These bour, both to man and beast. Most things being merely types and signs,
APPENDED TO THE
of which we have the substance and that object could no longer be atsignification in the Gospel, it follows tained by merely contemplating the that they are done away. The ce. Deity as the Creator and Upholder remonies, which were intended to of the universe; but in looking up prefigure the substantial blessings to him through Jesus Christ, as reof the Gospel, necessarily gave way conciled to sinful man by the atonewhen those blessings appeared in ment of his Son. The institution their own likeness. The reason for of the Sabbath being thus in its the observance ceased, and there, nature durable, so far as respects fore the observance itself ceased. man's present state of existence, But very different is the case of the and the practice of the Apostles institution of the Sabbath. We find and early Christians sufficiently the commandment to keep it holy warranting the change of day; it amongst those which teach man his surely becomes the duty of every duty towards God and his neigh- servant of God to abstain as carebour. There is not one of the other fully from the violation of this as nine commandments which is not any other commandment, held to be of perpetual and universal
T. W. H. obligation ; and it can only proceed from want of a due estimate of the objects and advantages of the Sabbath, that this, the fourth command
PRAYER-BOOK. ment, delivered by God himself, should have been held to have lost Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. its force under the Christian dispensation. The object for which it Appended to a copy of the Book was instituted has not yet been ac- of Common Prayer, of the date of complished; the type has not yet 1639, I find the following Collects, met with its antitype : for it is a which, in beautiful comprehensivetype of the rest which remaineth ness of style, as well as in evangelical for the people of God; and each simplicity and genuine devotional revolving Sabbath is a pledge and feeling, so much resemble our iniearnest of an eternal Sabbath above. mitable liturgical collects, that I
But it is objected that the Sabbath should be glad to see them transis actually abolished; that by the ferred to your pages ; and should practice of Christians from the any " true worshipper" be thereby Apostles' time to the present, the assisted in his approaches to the seventh day has not been kept holy, Throne of Almighty Grace, their and therefore that the Divine insti. insertion will not be unattended tution has been done away with. with benefit. Probably some of But though the day has been your readers can inform me when changed, the essence of the insti- and by whom they were composed. tution remains. The seventh day, They are entitled, “Certain godly when set apart by God, commemo. Prayers for certain Days." S. N. rated the greatest event which then concerned mankind, the corruption
Monday. of God's wonderful creation ; but a Almighty God, the Father of far more interesting event, the re- mercy, and God of all comfort, which surrection of our Saviour from the only forgivest sin ; forgive unto us dead, which completed man's re- our sins, that by the multitude of demption, was ample ground for a thy mercies they may be covered, change of the day. By this change and not imputed unto us, and by too, the spirit of the institution the operation of the Holy Ghost, was preserved ; for as the object of we may have power and strength it was “to preserve in man a due hereafter to resist sin, by our Sasense of his relation with God," viour and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.