« PredošláPokračovať »
essence ; one God, and yet a what he affirms, dispute what he FATHER, a Son, and a Holy determines, appeal from his de. Ghost. After this, I am no cisions, and, even after God hath more astonished that God fore. given evidence, reject all docsees all without forcing any ; trines that are beyond his capapermits sin without forcing the city. Enter into thy nothingsinner ; ordains free and intelli- ness, mortal creature.
What gent creatures to such and such madness animates thee? How ends, yet without destroying darest thou pretend, thou, who their intelligence, or their liber. art but a point, thou, whose esty. After this I am no more sence is but an atom, to measure astonished, that the justice of thyself with the Supreme Being, God required a satisfaction pro- with him, who fills heaven and portional to his greatness, that earth, with him whom heaven, his own love hath provided that the heaven of heavens cannot satisfaction, and that God, from contain ? | Kings viii. 27. the abundance of his compassion, “ Canst thou by searching find designed the mystery of an in- out God? Canst thou find out carnate God; a mystery, which the Almighty to perfection? angels admire, while sceptics high as heaven what canst thou oppose ; a mystery which ab- do ? deeper than hell what canst sorbs human reason, but which thou know?” Job xi. 7. “ He fills all heaven with songs of stretcheth out the north over praise ; a mystery which is the the empty place, and hangeth great mystery, by excellence, 1 the earth upon nothing. He Tim. iii. 16, but the greatness of bindeth up the waters in his which nothing should make us thick clouds, the pillars of heavreject, since religion proposeth en tremble, and are astonished it as the grand effort of the wis- at bis reproof. Lo these are dom of the incomprehensible parts of his ways, but how little God, and commandeth us to re- a portion is heard of him? but ceive it on the testimony of the the thunder of his power, who incomprehensible God himself
. can understand ? Gird up now Either religion must tell us thy loins like a man, for I will nothing about God, or what it demand of thee, and answer thou tells us must be beyond our Where wast thou when I capacities; and in discovering laid the foundations of the even the borders of this immense earth ? declare, if thou hast un. ocean, it must needs exhibit a derstanding, ch. xxvi. 7, 11, 14. vast extent, in which our feeble Who hath laid the measures eyes are lost. But what sur. thereof? Who hath stretched prises me, what stumbles me, the line upon it? whereupon what frightens me, is, to see a are the foundations thereof fas. diminutive creature, a contemp- tened? Who laid the corner tible man, a little ray of light stone thereof, when the mornglimmering through a few fee- ing stars sang together, and all ble organs, controvert a point the sons of God shouted for joy? with the Supreme Being, oppose Who shut up the sea with that Intelligence, who sits at the doors, when I made the cloud helm of the world ; question the garment thereof, and thick
darkness a swaddling band for forth with fear and trembling, it? When I brake up for it my knowing that without him they decreed place, and set bars and can do nothing! doors, and said, Hitherto shalt Our strength, my young thou come and no further, and brother, will always lie in taking here shall thy proud waves be hold on his all-sufficiency, and stayed ? xxxviii. 1, 2, 3, &c. He there reposing our hopes for all: that reproveth God, let him ano preparation, all courage, and all swer this, xi. 2, O Lord, such conduct. When we forget this, knowledge is too wonderful for and begin to feel strong in our me : it is too high, I cannot at own abilities and acquirements, tain unto it!"
we are at once weak as water, Philo Pastor. and at once in imminent danger.
I shall still proceed in hints
which occur to me, because you ORIGINAL LETTERS
have desired it. There are many AGED MINISTER TO A YOUNG
which I am not to suppose have STUDENT IN DIVINITY.
escaped you. Your own thoughts Dear Sir,
No. 9. have suggested the expediency An uncommon series of avo- of engaging early some judicious cations has postponed those at- and faithful remarker upon evefeptions to you by way of letter, ry thing in manner, which might which, when at liberty, I always be amended ; or if there be any find a pleasure in paying. You, thing of a higher nature which in the mean time, if my inform. requires variation. Very possiation is correct, have entered a bly you are before me in the best new world in a manner ; and things I shall mention ; but their shall I congratulate you, that to occurring to another may the you it is given “ to preach the more confirm you that they are unsearchable riches of Christ.", founded in nature. For what a “grace” is this, my It is of great importance to friend, to you and to me! I wish ourselves and others, that we to recal my own mind more and come with the true air to the more to this thought, and seek exercises of the sanctuary. Deep with redoubler importunity ev. reverence and awe of the Majesery thing in spirit and life, in ty we worship, and in whose gift and grace, which suits so name we speak, should forever high a calling, of which none of go with us; but not such a dread us can pretend to be worthy. as prevents the free acting of Shall we pray and labour that we our faculties, in prayer or sermon. may obtain mercy to do some. We are not come to the mount thing for our Master's honour, which burned with fire, &c.* for the advancement of bis truth Together with the reverence and and all-interesting cause among godly fear which must still be men?
maintained, t let a sense of the My wishes will not cease to dispensation we are under, and follow you, that his presence of our approaching the God and may be with you always. Gra- Father of our Lord Jesus, and cious Master! how he remernbers his poor servants, who go * Heb. xii. 18. See v. 28.
under his sheltering wing, give spicuous, to be interesting, to ex: us a glow of filial hope and joy ; press the divine truth according that it shall be difficult to say to its nature, and bring it home whether we are more awed or to the consciences and hearts of animated.
the hearers; or if with all our A reverence is likewise due diligence in some things, our to a Christian assembly ; but it hearts have not been employed should not be a slavish fear of in due manner, nor our prayers man. St. Paul's modest sensi- ascending for divine help, and bility should indeed be promi- divine success ; then indeed we nent in every preacher ; Unto may justly feel a misgiving; and me who am less than the least, no confidence of being divinely &c. But we ought to derive a assisted in such a way, ought to courage [a parrēsia] as he did, relieve us, or ought to be indulgby considering in whose naine for this would be rather we speak, whose protection is tempting our Maker than trustpromised to us in the line of our ing in him. But when we have duty, and who is able to make religiously endeavoured, accordhis strength perfect in the weak ing to our time and means, to ness of his servants. We should
come prepared according to the have a confidence in the word preparations of the sanctuary ; we deliver--when we are sure it in this case the preacher ought is scriptural, and deeply interest to be at rest in a good measure ing to the souls of men ; when respecting his preparations ; and, we are conscious that “ we quite at liberty to look up for a preach not ourselves ;" that it is blessing to feel his subject, and not our own honour we are seek- to speak as a dying man to dying, but the honour of our di- ' ing men.” vine Lord, and the eternal bene- In short, the same sentiment fit of our fellow men. Such was should actuate us in regard to the the boldness of Peter and John externals of sermonizing, as with before the Jewish council ;* and respect to dress, when we are such the sources from which it going to the sanctuary. We sprung. And such are the views have a care to go decent ; not which must relieve us under the with a view to be admired, but consciousness of not perform- to be at liberty from every ing, as highly as we wish, in all thought about our appearance ; respects.
and have nothing to do in that Specially let us beware of car: sacred place, but to realize and rying into the sacred desk the feel the great subjects before us. anxieties of pride and ambition ; Without such previous care we or a too great solicitude respecto cannot be so at liberty. If we ing the brilliancy of composition, dress for admiration, dress wil! or other externals of preaching. still take us off as effectually, as If indeed there be a conscious. being ragged and dirty. In both ness of not having applied our. cases, humility, and not ambi, selves to be scriptural, to be per. tion, is the best directress of our
preparations, and the best pre. Eph. iii. 8.
servative from improper anx Acis iii.
In fact, our preparations should men's shoulders; but they thembe such that when we come into, selves will not move them with public, neither ourselves nor oth one of their fingers.” ers should be taken up with our I have hinted heretofore the manner, but with the great truths importance of preaching the which are brought to view ; As grace of heaven with a gracious it has sometimes been remarked, air and manner. On the other of style, that the most perfect of hand, when the terrors of the all is like the crystal: of a watch, Lord are brought to view, this which shows the figures within, likewise is to “ persuade men ;"* but does not show itself. Othen and must therefore be done with that clear sense, and strong sense, mingled solemnity and compasof divine truths and their inter- sion. I have heard of thunderesting nature, that shall carry using preachers : But he who to this, and whatever else in man- would make sinners tremble, let ner goes to convince, to move, him tremble himself: Not inand to persuade !
deed, with a slavish dread ; but Indulge me in a hint or two with sacred awe.
As those amore. While we hold up hu-' mong men display the most of man depravity and guilt in their true dignity, who show the profull extent, let us not do it as foundest reverence of a God those who think themselves out above; so in this case, they of the question ; but as remem-, speak with the most authority bering with deep abasement, that and power, who speak with the “ we ourselves also were some- clearest reverence and godly times foolish, hateful,” &c.* That fear. so in time past we walked, &c.1 On the whole, it deserves the And still need mercy, for the inquiry of Christian philososin which dwelleth in us ;t and phers, by wlat means the most should iherefore never exalt our interesting preachers, whom the selves in pride, over those who world has known, became so imbave not obtained mercy. pressive. They preached Christ
When we reprove others, let crucified, and all those interestit be in a decided, but still in a ing truths, which the doctrine of kind of broken-hearted manner, the cross combines. And they which shews that we do not for- did it in great simplicity ; not get our own numerous failings. attempting to dazzle by the splenAnd when we excite our breth- dour of philosophy, or of fine ren to their duty, let it appear address. They had that kind of that we wish to stir up ourselves eloquence, which a strong sense likewise. Perhaps there is not of divine things, and a deep cona more unamiable part in the cern for their fellow immortals whole character of the Scribes naturally produced. These gave and Pharisees, as drawn by our an expression to their counteMaster, than this ; “ They bind nances, their tones of voice, air, heavy burdens, and grievous to actions, and whole manger; and be borne, and lay them on that expression impressed oth
Their concern for the
2 Eor. v. 11.
whole world made them feel at gave the increase : But so they home in all assemblies, and throw planted, so they watered. themselves with wonderful ten Here let me pause and ponderness into the hearts of old and der, and weep over a ministry of Foung; willing to impart to so many precious years : but them not the gospel of God only, stik declare, for conscience' sake, but also their own souls.* It is my conviction of the manner in mue it was a}in vain till God which the gospel of Jesus Christ
should be preached. * 1 Thes. i. 8,
I am, &c.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE ORIGIN OF RELIGIO'S ERRORS.
From a Manuscript by the late_ Rev. Dr. Fuseph Bellamy. 1. WRONG sentiments, in believe a lie, i. e. all the error's moral matters, are criminal, as of the apostate church of Rome; well as wrong actions. To think 2 Thes. ii. Hatred of true moill of God's real moral character rality, is the real source of all is criminal, as well as to make persecution ; Matt. v. 10, 11, 12. another God of a different moral 2. All the objections of the character to suit our own hearts. human heart against revealed reI'hen the Gentiles knew God, they ligion originate from dislike to glorified him not as (iod—they did natural religion ; Rom. viii. 7, not like to retain God in their 8, 9. He that loves true moral. krovledge. Hence they made ity, will love true Christianity, as to themselves gods, such as they soon as he knows it. He that liked ; and these they glorified, loves the moral law, will love builded temples to their honour, the gospel of Christ. Every and offered sacrifices to them honest man will be a Christian, with pleasure. And had the Is- as soon as he hears the word, raelites liked the moral charac. and understands it ; Luke viii. ter of their God, instead of adopt- 15.; Joh. vii. 17.; 1 Joh. v. 1. ing, they would have despised He, who loves the Father, will the worthless gods of their love his own Son, his express neighbours : Rom. i. 21-28; image ; Joh. viii. 42. Jer. ii. 5-13. And as the Jews 3. The enemies of Jesus, who hated the light of the real moral hated him with a mortal hatred, character of their God, so they alleged a variety of things ahaied Jesus, who exhibited it to gainst him, to keep themselves their view ; Joh. iii. 19. & vii.7. in countenance ; but our Saviour, & viji. 40–45. & xv. 20—24. who was intimately acquainted And as the Christian nations did with the whole affair, and ever not receive the truth in the love of knew their very hearts, intimatit, but had pleasure in unright- ed privately to his brethren aceousness, this prepared them to cording to the flesh, who at that