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There was a time when the character and standing of David, the sweet singer of Israel as a man of God, was very doubtful. There was a time when Peter's case was, in all human calculation, about as hopeless as that of Judas. Had we all the details in the history of the morning of the Resurrection, perhaps it would be found that very few of the friends of the Redeemer had much confidence in any of the rest,—and we do know that with the exception perhaps of Mary, they were all on the very verge of renouncing all their hopes in Jesus of Nazareth. We are commanded to say every day, "Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we also forgive those who have trespassed against us.” "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evilspeaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Hence,
VI. Let each man, in his place, attend particularly to himself, and to the particular duties of his station. When every professor of religion will keep his own heart and his own conduct right, we will have a reformed state of society indeed.
Let every man who would be useful in his day and generation, put to himself daily, as in the presence of the Searcher of hearts, some such questions as these:
1st. Is my soul safe? am I indeed in a justified state?
2d. Am I living as I ought to do? How stands my daily intercourse with God?
3d. Do I indulge myself in any known sin?
4th. Am I really desirous to know the very worst of myself?
5th. Am I now ready and do I now renounce all lying refuges, and throw myself entirely on the mercy of God and submit implicitly to his authority?
The foolish virgins went to the very threshhold of eternity before they discovered that they needed that with which their best earthly friends could not supply them. Personal application to the Lord Jesus himself is indispensably necessary to personal salvation-and personal daily intercourse with him as our light and our strength, are equally indispensable for acceptable and successful service.
R. H. B.
AN HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATION OF SCRIPTURE.
In Chief Justice Jay's short account of his ancestors, prefixed to his Life by his Son, we have the following statements respecting the French Hugonots who were driven from their country, at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
"From what has been said, you will observe with pleasure and with gratitude how kindly and how amply Providence was pleased to provide for the welfare of our ancestor Augustus. Nor was his case a solitary or singular instance. The beneficent care of Heaven appears to have been evidently and remarkably extended to all those persecuted exiles. Strange as it may seem, I never heard of one of them who asked or received alms; nor have I any reason to suspect, much less to believe, that any of them came to this country in a destitute condition. The number of refugees who settled here was considerable. They did not disperse and settle in different parts of the country, but formed three societies or congregations; one in the city of New-York, another at the Paltz, and the third at a town which they purchased and called New-Rochelle, [in Westchester county, state of New-York.] At New-Rochelle they built two churches, and lived in great tranquility: none of them became rich, but all lived comfortably.
"In the year 1723, Mr. Jay had the pleasure of giving one of his daughters to Mr. Peter Valette, a French refugee settled at New-York. This gentleman was one of three brothers: they were all Protestants, and each of them in more than easy circumstances. Being hard pressed by persecution, they were driven by it to decide on the part they should take. Two of them determined to adhere to their religion-the other became a papist, and took the estates of his brothers. Of the two who remained faithful, one came to New-York, and the other settled in the island of Jamaica, where he became very opulent. The following anecdote shows that he was not an ordinary man. During the war between England and France, I think in the reign of Queen Anne, some French prisoners captured at sea were brought to Jamaica. Among them was one whose name was Valette. This excited the old gentleman's curiosity. He saw the prisoner, and discovered that he was the son of his unworthy brother, who, in consequence of unprofitable speculations, had been reduced to indigence. He took the prisoner to his house, made the necessary arrangements for his return to France, and made him the bearer of a grant to his father of a liberal annuity, I think £300 a year."
The statements illustrate the following and other passages of Scrip
ture. They also prove that the God of Providence is the God of the Bible :
"Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily, I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive a hundred-fold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come, eternal life." Mark x. 28-30.
You may also open your Bible and read the whole of the thirtyseventh Psalm.
And while in the keeping of God's commandments there is a great reward," the way of transgressors is the way of danger and difficulty and destruction. Thus speaketh the Apostle: " But they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience. meekness." 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10, 11.
The love of money and a hasting to get rich, is the great sin of a large number of the professors of christianity at the present day. This sin is also the fruitful parent of other sins, and of innumerable other evils. Every attentive observer of things, must be convinced that a very large portion of the jealousies and divisions and want of confidence among the members of the same worshipping assembly, and among the brethren of the same religious denomination, is to be traced to this predominant sin. Let a church member's supposed worldly interest be touched or put in jeopardy by any movement of a fellowmember, and all christian confidence and all comfortable christian action with respect to these two members, and with respect to a large portion of their friends and associates, are in many cases gone forever.
It is worthy of notice also, that the supreme love of the world, and all the envies and jealousies and evil-speaking and lukewarmness in religion, which are necessarily produced and cherished by it, may exist-yea, may visibly and eminently exist,---and yet the man keep his standing and his influence in the church of God. This is very distinctly taught in the case of those who received the good seed among thorns. "And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful." Mark iv. 18, 19.
Oh, when will the professed followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ know and feel the import of the declaration, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" It is to be feared that there are very few indeed, in any of our churches, who would relinquish the possession of a good farm, or even give up the prospect of gain from a very small and doubtful kind of stock, for the sake of the Redeemer or a good conscience.
Those who are praying and laboring for the peace of Jerusalem, must endeavor to eradicate from themselves, this root of bitterness; they must set their affections on things which are above---keep their eyes on their hearts more steadily than ever they have yet done on the inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth
Among all civilized nations, pagan as well as christian, there have been earnest discussion and warm controversy on a particular circle of topics, which seem but little nearer an adjustment now than when they were first started. Milton represents the fallen angels as being engaged in these discussions immediately after their apostacy and expulsion from heaven.
Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high,
PAR. LOST, II. 556.
A striking illustration of the identity of the topics of religious controversy and of the method of treating them from age to age, is afforded by the title page of a book, which was first printed in Eng
and two centuries ago. The name of Richard Baxter is familiar to us all, for his admirable treatises. The Call to the Unconverted, and The Saints Everlasting Rest, have endeared his memory to christians throughout the world. This good man had been much engaged in controversy, and towards the latter part of his life he published a work, of whose title page the following is an exact copy:
"Richard Baxter's Catholick Theologie, plain, pure, peaceable; for purification of the dogmatical word-warriors, who, 1. by contending about things unrevealed or not understood-2. And by taking verbal differences for real, and their arbitrary notions for essential sacred truths, deceived and deceiving by ambiguous unexplained words, have long been the shame of the Christian religion, a scandal and hardening to unbelievers, the incendiaries, dividers and distracters of the church, the occasion of state discords and wars, the corrupters of the christian faith, and the subverters of their own souls and their followers, calling them to a blind zeal and wrathful warfare against true piety, love, and peace, and teaching them to censure, backbite, slander, and prate against each other for things which they never understood.
In three books-I. Pacifying principles, about God's Decrees, Foreknowledge, Providence, Operations, Redemption, Grace, Man's Power, Freewill, Justification, Merits, Certainty of Salvation, Perseverance, &c.
II. A pacifying praxis or dialogue about the five articles, justification, &c. proving that men have contended almost only about ambiguous words and unrevealed things.
III. Pacifying disputations against some real errors which hinder reconciliation, namely, about physical predetermination, original sin, the extent of redemption, inefficient grace, imputation of righteousness, &c.
Written chiefly for posterity when sad experience hath taught men to hate theological logical wars, and to love, and seek, and call for peace. Ex bello pax.”
Though this was written for Great Britain two centuries ago, the whole of it would seem expressly designed for the controversies which at this moment agitate our own church: the "posterity" for whom it was "chiefly written" by its pious author, whom “sad experience hath taught to hate theological logical wars, and to love, seek, and call for peace," it would seem is not yet born; and all the movement which has been made since, it appears, is movement in a circle, which has brought us back to the precise spot where we stood in the days of Baxter.
It will be my object, in this and some following papers, to' point out