« PreviousContinue »
jects of creation. PASSIONS.-l. Admiration. Let it be einployed upon God's attributes and works. - 2. Anger. Let it be turned against myself for sin. - 3. Contempt. Let it be of worldly pleasures and vanities. — 4. Covetousness. Let it be of the true riches, and of the best gifts. - 5. Fear. Let me have a filial fear of offending God, a fear of coming short of the heavenly rest, of the misery hanging over the wicked. 6. Grief. Let it be for iny own sins, and those of others. 7. Gratitude. In reference to God, let it be exerted as in the case of the cleansed leper *: in reference to men, as in the case of Elisha towards the Shunamite t. - 8. Hope. Let it be of the heavenly happiness, of attaining greater conformity to Jesus; of the further extension of Christ's kingdom ; of mens' not þeing so wicked as they seem to be.-9. Jealousy, Let me have a godly jealousy of my own heart. - 10. Joy: Let it arise -from victory over iny sins; over death. Let me rejoiee in God, and in the progress of the truth. 1. Love. Let it be of God on account of what he is in himself, what he hath done for me, is doing for me, and will do for me; of the brethren, and of all mankind. - 12. Revenge. Against myself for sin, and against sin as my great enemy. - 13. Shame. Let shame arise in me on account of sins committed, duties omitted, the strength of indwelling sin, and my little knowledge of God. 14. Zeal. Let my zeal be for God's honour, and for good works. Senses. - Sight. Let my eyes continually look up to God in prayer, faith, and humble dependence. Let them be einployed in reading his word, and other pious and useful writings. Let them gaze upon his wonderful works of creation. Hearing. Let my ears be attentive to God's word read, or preached. Let them be swift to hear the instruction of the righteous. Smelling. Let tlie fragrarce of every sweet flower, or other odoriferous substance, lead me, as it did the ancient Israelites, to return thanks to that God who could as easily have made every scent in nature ungrateful to my nerves. Taste. Let the pleasant flavour of my food lead me to thank the Lord who could, with equal ease, have made all my food nauseous. GIFT OF SPEECH. Let my tongue be talking of God, and for God; let it be employed in praying to him, and singing his praises; let my discourse be always gracious, wise, reasonable, and kind. - Hands. Let then be raised towards Heaven in prayer; let them write for the instruction and comfort of my fellow-creatures ; let them diffuse divine truth in the distribution of the Scriptures and other religious books; let them minister to the bodily necessities of the indigent. - Knees. Let thein bend at God's footstool. - Fect. Let them go on the messages of God.
J. H. D.
• Luke xvii, 18.
2 Kings iv. 334
ON MODEST APPAREL:
To the Editor. THERE are some practical points of religion which, I perceive, many professors are unwilling should be noticed ;-such, particularly, is the article of dress. I confess, Sir, I maintain a very different opinion, an opinion founded on the word of God; in which I find plain directions given even as to the outward appearance of Christ's disciples.
St. Paul, writing to Timothy, saith, "Let women adorn themselyes with modest apparel, with shamefacedness, and sobriety *.”. Every serious Christian will readily adınit this rule as plain and positive; nor can it be made to bend to the fashions of the times, or the example of the multitude. The only question at any time will be, " Is this particular mode of dress immodest, or contrary to female and Christian decoruin?” “ Is it such as becometh women professing godliness :"-Now, Sir, is there any difficulty in answering such a question?. Doth not even NATURE itself teach you, as St. Paul saith, Doth not even NATURE itself teach you, what is modest or immodest? Can that mode of dress be justified, which excites immodest thoughts in the mind of the beholder and is not the prevailing fashion at this time of this description! --- I leave the answer to the conscience of every reader.
I'am ready to allow that many young persons, who are happily ignorant, in great part, of the corruptions that abound in the world, are not fully conscious of the evil complained of, and are innocent of every base intention ; but they ought to be informed, that such is the pernicious tendency of their practice, and that good men are grieved from day to day on this account; that, both in the domestic circle, and in the house of God, their eyes betray their heart: into sin, and their consciences are bordened with guilt. - Will not pious women then abstain from the appearance of evil, avoid becoming (however unintentionally) the occasion of temptation, and differ, more widely than they now do, from the attire of loose and wanton persons, whose aim is to allure and destroy +? A word to the wise is enough.
* 1 Tim. ii.
9. + We are at war with France, but not with its abominations. The present mode of dress (or rather of undress) is borrowed from our Infuel neighbours, who studiously initate the dressoi thie ancient Grecks, whose ariwisiertesented their figures as if clothed with wet dr spery. A young lady at Ba-, lately tell a sacrifice to this extreme vanity; for, by dams: ing hei ciothes, that they might better display the form of her li:nbs, shie caught a cold, which terminated in her death. Oye British females who fear God, stand at a distance from all these neretricious arts of dress, and adorn yourselves with meekness of spirit and good works!
BLASPHEMOUS ABUSE OF SCRIPTURE.
To the Editor. I was glad to observe, in your last Number, a just reproof to those who lightly and irreverenily make use of Scripturephrases in coinmoa conversation. This should be restrained in time, or persons may go as far as a wretch in the island of Jersey did. He was a notorious drunkard, — he would often drink half a pint of neat Holland's at a time, and with these words in his mouth: -“ Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.” On other occasions, when drinking off a small glass, he would profanely quote these words: “ Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones." I mention this sad instance, to warn others against perverting and abusing that sacred book, which is able to make us wise unto salvation.
The horrid habit of sleeping in some, is a source of infinite pain to others, and dainps, more than any thing else, the vivacity of a preacher. Constant sleepers are public nuisances, and deserve to be whipped out of a religious assembly; to which they are a constant disgrace. There are some, who have regularly attended a place of worship for seven years twice a day, and yet have not heard one whole sermon in all that time. These dreamers are a constant distress to their preachers; and could sober reasoning operate on them, they would soon be reclaimed.
In regard to their health, would any but a stupid man chuse such a place to sleep in? In respect to their character, what can be said for him, who in his sleep makes mouths and wry faces, and exbibits strange postures, and sometimes snorts, starts, and talks in his sleep, rendering himself ridiculous to the very children in the place? Where is his prudence, when he gives such occasion to malicious persons to suspect him of glurtony, drunkenness, laziness, and other usual causes of sleeping in the day-time? Where is his breeding? He ought to respect the company present. What an offensive rudeness to sit down aod sleep before them! Above all, where is his piety and fear of God?
There will come a time in the existence of this wretched drone, in which he will awake and find the Philistines punishing the idler, who was shorn in his sleep.
Ministers have tried a number of methods to rid our assemblies of this odious practice. Some have reasoned, some bare spoken louder, some have whispered, some have threatened to
name the sleeper, and have actually named hiin,-some have cried fire; some have left’off preaching ; Dr. Young sat down and wept; Bishop Abbott took out his Testament and read Greek. *Each of these awakened the auditors for the time; but the destruction of the habit belongs to the sleeper himselt: and if peither reason nor religion can excite him, why, he must sleep on, I think, till death and judgment awake him!
In the Memoir of C. Townsend, Esq. (see Mag. for December, 1803) we have the following sentence : - “ He had formerly tried his fortune repeatedly in the lottery, in expectation of a large prize; but he made it the constani matter of his prayer that he might never have one, without a heart to use it to the glory of God." Your Correspondent will feel highly obliged by a reply to the following queries:-“ Is it lawful for Christians to adventure in lotteries? - Is it a commendable practice ? - Is it what a Christian minister should countenance or blame? or should he leave it as a matter wholly indifferent:"
As it is the unavoidable lot of some tradesmen, especially in travelling on business, to be obliged to associate with upgodly men, it is an enquiry of much importance, - Hou may a professing Christian best defend himself against the danger of eril company? An answer to this, by some of your judicious Correspondents, especially by one wlio knows the danger by krperience, will be highly acceptable to A TRAVELLER
The Gospel having been sent, by Lady Huntingdon's influence, to a place of public resort, it pleased God to bring nearly all the domestic servants of a noble personage under serious impressions. Their conversion was not merely to opinions; they lived under the influence of the gospel, and became distinguished for their exemplary conduct and zealous endeayours to promote the salvation of their neighbours. Their noble master being one day on the promenade, was jeered by some of the company, upon the revolution which had taken place among his servants, by a change of their religion. His Lordship replied," As to the change of their religion, or what their religious sentiments are, I cannot tell; but one thing I know, that since they have changed their religion, they have been much better servants, and shall meet with no opposition from nie."- How happy is it for hearers and prosessors of the gospel, when their good conduct puts to silence tlie ignorance Dbituary.
of foolish speakers
MRS. MARY BISHOP.
While she had an habitual and On the 15th of March, 1804, died realizing sense of the divine glory, at Westbury, in Wilts, aged seven- she feli her obligations to divine ty-two, Mrs. Mary Bishop, relict of grace. Solicitous, by an universal the Rev. Thomas Bishop, formerly conformity to his will, to please pastor of a Dissenting congregation God, her Father, her Saviour, and in that town. She had the honour Sanctifier, she kept her heart with of being related to a family who all diligence; she conscientiously has furnished the church with many governed her tongue; she closely worthy ministers, some of whom of. watched over her conduct. Al. ficiated in the Establishment prior though, perhaps, she could not be to the ejection in 1662; and after. more exact in the performance of wards severely suffered, with the duty than before, yet, as her mo. ejected, during the reigns of Charles tives and ends were now essentially and James, till the revolution. Her changed, she enjoyed evangelical li. inmediate parents were respectable berty. Sensible of personal insuf. members of a Christian society at ficiency for the preservation and im. Ostety, St. Mary, in Devon. Under provement of the spiritual life, she the superintendence of her mother, was daily an importunate suppli. a woman of eminent piety in her cant at the feet of God. No biisi. day, and who, like Durcas, died ness, however pressing, would she ainidst the lamentations of the perimit to ciriail, much less to set pour, she grew up, from child. aside, the services of the closet. As hood, in the knowledge of Chris. it was her custom to vent her heart tiau truths, as well as in the prac. in an audible, though inarticulare, tice of every moral duty. At an voice, her family witnessed the early age she was prevailed on to length, and often, indeed, the fer. join in the celebration of the Lord's vor of her devotion. On the Lord's Supper; but, as she has often de. Day she gave up herself wholly to clared, she then knew not the divine engagements. From her plague of her own heart, nor had closet she proceeded to the sanc. any experimental acquaintance with tuary, and from the sanctuary to the the gospel of Christ. Her religion closet. In the evening, most ge, was the mere effect of educacion. nerally for two hours, slie was apart Not long after her marriage, retired with God; reflecting on and apfor accustomed exercises on a Sab- plying the word that had been pub. bath evening, a ray of light pene. licly dispensed, and imploring the trated her mind, which discovered divine blessing. Aware of the de. the method of becoming righteous ceitfulness of the heart, she frebefore God by faith. She welcom. quently, in her Lord's Dáy-evening ed the divine illumination, and was retirement, exainined the foundada enabled immediately to repouncetion of her hope, or surveyed her her legal confidence. In proportion temper and her conduct in different as light increased, the spirit of cases and circumstances, or pryed bondage departed. Her course of into the spring of her acuons, or practice, as it had been strict, had formed resolutions of more acive been, likewise, destitute of plea. service. In passing through the sure. An oppressive awe of God world, she was exercised with a va. had been long the temper of her riety of tribulations; but none ever spirit: it was now tempered with heard a murmuring word. She felt, love. As her views of the gospel however, what she disapproved. became clearer, this awe and this “O what a siruggic," would she at love were more justly combined; times sdy,“have I had with myself!" forming that fear of God, which is The coiflicts of her soul were vime truc principle of obedience. sible in her countenance.