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Strange have been the allotments of a just and wise providence to Germany. She hath been the beast that nurtured the whore of Babylon; the centre of those political intrigues, that have tormented the world for six centuries; the country and the hotbed of religious intolerance; an empire of mations; the nursery of Christians; the fomenter of persecution; the sacred closet of unfeigned piety ; the cradle of the reformation, and the sink of infidelity. God hath now given her up, to receive according to her deeds.
She professed to be protestant; but from this profession she sunk into infidelity, and is now receiving her wages at the hand of the Lord.
THE UNITED STATES OF HOLLAND,
God grant they may not be emblematical of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.—In those States, there once was a pure faith and a pure Church; but the children had departed from the God of their fathers, and deserved his sorest judgments. In this country the blood of the martyrs had been shed in profusion, and to prepare the way for the fulfilment of the prophecies, that this blood might be visibly avenged in the earth, God left the children to sin in the sin of Tyre. For a season they gathered riches and were prospered; but now, behold, they are laid low !
Poland, known under several names in history, embraced Christianity in the year 955. It was not among the first to receive the Gospel; but was among the first to deny the divinity of Christ. Faustus Socinus, from whom the name Socinian is taken, died in the year 1604. As if to mark the indignation of God against those who should deny the divinity of his Son, this kingdom hath been among the first sufferers, in this day of devastation by the anger of the Lord. After having been divided among the great despots of Europe, at present, it is under the military despotism of France.
The rod in the hand of the Lord to execute his judgment on the anti-christian church. We say nothing of her troubles; her last struggle for liberty; her endless persecution of the saints; her strange revolutions, through the last twenty years; or of the actors God hath raised up to produce her present conspicuous agency in the tumults of the world. The Lord hath formed her and her sons to answer his own purposes of wrath on the earth. Her children are the most miserable of the children of men; yet they know it not. National ambition hath killed her sense of internal misery. The splendor of her arms hath hid from her the misery of her cottages. She is now shedding the blood of her sons, and of tributary nations in Russia.
A mighty northern empire of recent origin. In her, luxury hath been courted, and many of her princely sons have drunk deep in the cup of Infidelity. In Russia the pure principles of civil liberty are unknown. According to the strict principles of the ancient feudal system, her inhabitants are transferred with the soil on which they live, to lordly proprietors. Her religion is of the Greek church, which between the years 7 and 800, wholly separated from the Western or Romish church. The Greek church have preserved themselves in greater purity than the Romish or Western, and how far they have to drink of the eup of divine plagues, time only can discover. To the overspreading power of France, in the old continent, there appeareth no efficient opposing power but Russia and Great Britain.
She also was once a child of Rome; she hath shed the blood of the martyrs, and how far this cries against her, we presume not to say. At present she is the arbitress of the ocean. A thunderbolt of war on the sea, reared up to repress a thunderbolt of judgments on the land. Oh, how deep are thy counsels, Almighty God, and how wonderful are thy judgments :
But while I write, my heart returns to itself, and to my own country.—O AMERICA 1. With whom art thou connected, and what is thy destiny 2 I fear for thee; my bowels yearn over thee! For thee shall my midnight prayers be offered to the great Intercessor, before the Father's throne.—From divided counsels and the desolations of war, may the good Lord deliver thee t
N the opening of the New
Year, the serious readers of the Magazine will naturally be led to a number of solemn and useful reflections. Another year is deducted from the term of our short lives; by another year, our period of probation, infinitely important, is diminished; another year's amount is affixed to our names in the book of the remembrance of God.— The vast account of moral actions, of all intelligent beings, for the year now closed, are sealed for the great day, and will affect the happiness and misery of millions, through etermity. The manner in which we have maintained the vows, and performed the resolutions, with which we commenced the last year, is recorded on high, never to be erased. All opportunities, which have been assorded us in the good providence of God, for doing good, for ourselves, our friends, or for the kingdom of the Mediator,
with the manner of their improvement, are noted in the presence of an all-seeing God, and will appear before us in the eventful day of his decision.—
These opportunities cannot be
recalled.—The many prospects of ideal happiness, not founded on our experience of the ordinary dispensations of divine Providence, or on the promises of God, in which our fancies fondly ranged at the commencement of the year, have been disappointed. The most of our reasonable expectations of good, motwithstanding our great desert of evil, through the merciful kindness of heaven, have been abundantly realized. A great portion of the services and duties, which, at the beginning of this period, we calculated to perform, through inattemtion and sloth, through indifference and a regard to trifling objects, we now sind undone. Mamy promises, which we made to ourselves and to God, through the operation of causes which conscience will not admit as a
sufficient excuse, though the stipulated conditions on the part of divine Providence have been faithfully regarded, are not performed. In many instances, mercies, not less unexpected than undeserved, have been liberally granted us by Him who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. These, and many similar reflections maturally arise in every contemplative mind at the close of the year. Such thoughts necessarily place us in the presence of Jehovah, before whom we stand for the review of our past lives, and with all our hopes for the time to come. Standing in this holy presence, on that elewated station which we assume at the close of one year and the beginning of another, we review the past and contemplate the future with deep solemnity. In the retrospect, we see every reason to lament our deficiencies, to be humble for our unfaithfulness, and to be deeply penitent for our exceeding transgressions. In the prospect, while divine truth has made plain the way' of duty and blessedness, having learned to distrust our own fidelity, we look forward with solicitude, but, in view of the promises of grace, with comfort and hope. These promises proceed from infinite inercy, they are designed for the needy, for the perishing, for the guilty. Just reflections on the time that is past, are the best means of directing us to proper designs for the period before us. While in the review of past scenes, we discover great cause of humility and repentance, we find no less occasion to admire the compassion, the goodness, and the faith
fulness of God. Thus, though we learn to distrust ourselves, and perceive that relying on our own resolutions we shall always fail ; we discover, in the faithfulness of the Most High, the broadest basis, on which the neediest dependant may rest with safety. Relying on this prospect, we form our resolutions with perfect propriety, we fix, in submission to providential appointments, our plans of future conduct, and hope for prosperity and a divine acceptance. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. The Apostles were never afraid to resolve and engage for the service of their Lord, because they reli
ed on his mercy for help and
strength to perform. God de
ever struggle, and the willing mind, the grateful heart, the filial confidence, will ever meet his holy approbation. With such views it becomes us to enter upon a mew year, and however often we have failed in the hope of a more faithful performance, we should still resolve to contend against every opposition, to hope for the gracious aids of the Holy Spirit. Of general duties which concern every individual, perhaps there is no one more proper to be particularly noticed, than industry.— There is no duty in which all human characters are more deficient, than in a proper diligence in doing good. The passing year forcibly admonishes of the shortmess of human life, and teaches the mecessity of the most active diligence in the performance of its duties. There is no more pro
minent characteristic in Christ our great example, than industry. I must work the works of him that sent me mhile it is day : the night cometh, nhen no man can nork. I have a baptism to be baptised with ; and hon, am I straightened till it be accomplished. And in the morning, tising up a great nihile before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. When human life is so short, when the imbecility of childhood and old age, with necessary relaxations, must deduct one half at least from this term, when so much is to be dome in this period, for ourselves, for our fellow-men, for the church of God; that hours, and days, and weeks, should constantly pass unimproved, how painful is the thought ! The lives of some individuals afford us a most striking example and reproof. The venerable Calvin died at the age of fifty-five, and performed more than has been done by almost any other man. The Macedonian Conqueror of Asia died at thirty-two. The man who is the astonishment of the present age, for his great and numerous achievments, has lived but forty-three years. If the servants of earthly empire can labor with unremitted assiduity, what ought to be expected from the servants of the kingdom of Christ If Jerusalem's conqueror could exclaim “I have lost a day,” because he could recollect no good deed which he had done, how ought the friends of the Jerusalem nhich is above to lament and condemn themselves for every day in which they do nothing to restore Zion's desolated wastes ? VoI. VI. NO, 1.
The passing events of divine Providence demand our serious attention. The season, for the past year, has been uncommon. It has been singularly cold through the year, and the latter harvest has been, in a great ineasure cut off. Yet in the variety of the productions of the earth which we enjoy, through divine mercy, we have a competent and an abundant supply. No New-Year, in the memory of any person living, has seen so great a portion of the civilized world involved in war, as the present. For severity of desolation and individual suffering, the present war can scarcely find a parallel.— The scourges of God are inslicted as with a rod of iron; the long established corruptions of Christendom are to be removed as by a destroying fire. Never were the footsteps of the Lord of hosts among the nations more apparent. The enemies of truth are most active and indefatiga. ble, to overthrow the consecrated fabric, and to erect the colossus of error. They imagime great progress to have been made towards the accomplishment of their designs. The same impression must rest upon every mind that looks merel at human calculations; but the attentive observer of God’s providential dealings, comparing them with the predictions and promises of his word, discovers sar other prospects, “and sees in darkness beams of hope.” —The extraordinary exertions which have been recently made by the Christian world, and which are still increasing, to place the holy scriptures in the hands of the destitute, assords