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minds, the influence of the imagination, the mutual actions and reactions of soul and body, &c., to decide upon the origin and character of our feelings, from the circumstance of their being suddenly moved. And there is no extreme of wild or wicked fanaticism, to which the adoption of such a standard, (both unphilosophical and unscriptural,) would not expose us.
But perhaps there are others, who, observing these dangers, have fallen into an opposite error; and either altogether decry, or look with unwarrantable suspicion at every account of religious emotions, that are suddenly excited. But if they acknowledge the authority of Scripture, and the influence of the Spirit of God, in giving his people to discover and believe the great truths in his word, they cannot deny that such feelings may be genuine and gracious. And perhaps there are few Christians, who, in a greater or less degree, find not such at various times in their experience. How often, when their “spirit is overwhelmed” and their “hearts disquieted within them," is the soul “or ever they are aware, made like the chariots of Amminadib !” by the clear discovery and lively persuasion, which the spirit gives them of the things of Christ.
We have, therefore, a more sure standard in the word of God, by which to estimate the nature of our religious feelings, than either the circumstance of their being in general religious, (i. e. moved by some views that we have of spiritual and eternal things,) or the circumstance of their being sensibly strong, and accompanied with a perceptible emotion, or the circumstance of their being suddenly, or not suddenly. excited. The only certain standard, by which we can judge of them, (and it is a standard, to which the scriptural believer will at all times, desire to adhere,) is to be found in the word of God, that declares the truth, the belief of which produces every affection that is truly gracious.
And here, Sir, let me observe, that, while I have obeyed the call you gave me to treat particularly of those more sensible determinations of the affections which are called feelings, for the purpose of distinguishing between such as are genuinely Christian and such as are spurious imitations of them, I must ever maintain that the best of those feelings, so far as their perceptible liveliness is occasional and temporary, is of very subordinate importance, in comparison of the more permanent and habitual regulation of the affections, and determination of the will, which “the belief of the truth” must produce in us, as far as we walk by faith. The latter, combined with a profession of that truth, and manifested in the various exercises of willing devotedness to God, and humble, active love one to another, constitute the only scriptural evidence, to mark those whom I can recognize as Christians indeed.
Too, too often have I met with those, who were forward to boast of the times, when they had such and such sudden impressions, and fine feelings of divine joy, &c. brought into their minds, and who appear
to keep up a considerable elation of mind, and confidence about
their state, by feeding their self-complacency with such periodical recitals; in whom at the same time no one decisive “fruit of the spirit” could be found : some of them the bitterest opposers of the fundamental truths of God; others evincing by the earthliness of their minds, or the indulged malignity of their tempers, or the unbridled falsehood of their tongues, or the injuriousness of their conduct, that they nevet truly believed the first principles of the Gospel which they profess : and others, who, from the defect of every temper of love to God or man, had much more reason to examine themselves whether they were indeed in the faith, than to talk of the time when they first believed.
Is not his Gospel good news to sinners, to lost sinners, to the chief of sinners? glad tidings of a Saviour for such, a Saviour of his people from their sins? a Saviour, in whom “ the gift of God is eternal life, to every one that believeth” the Gospel which testifies his name? A Saviour, given for the express purpose, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life? And was it not his own express command, that this Gospel should be preached to all the nations, even those most sunk in heathenish darkness, and in diabolical corruptions ?
Glorious were its effects in such: It was indeed the rod of his power. And awful have been the effects, in the religious world, of these departures from the truth, which men have introduced, too wise to become fools for Christ, and too proud to submit themselves to the righteousness of God. To such the foundation laid in Zion has been a stumbling-block of old. They were long ago offended at Him, who à vowed himself the friend and Saviour of publicans and sinners; at him who addressed those, who were most wise and righteous in their own esteem, as on a level with the vilest, as blind, and servants of Satan, and haters of God. Such at that day openly rejected him: but since, through the establishment of national Christianity, it has becoluc not creditable to be avowed infidels, they now take the Gospel, and variously accommodate it to their unbelieving fancies; and frame to themselves a Saviour, whom they call Christ, and for whom they often shew much zeal, who shall acknowledge the distinctions between sinner and sinner, which they set up in the pride of their hearts; who shall be a nominal Saviour to those who are so good themselves, that they have little occasion for any, to well disposed and qualified sinners to those who make themselves meet, by preliminary repentance, to get the blessings that he bestows.
The systems of such are various : they are often greatly puzzled by the plain declarations of scripture ; and they have come to very little agreement among themselves about the best way of getting over these declarations. Some of the bolder ones are for leaving them out of the bible, as mistakes of the sacred penmen, or as interpolations of tho text. Others who scruple this, find, in Eastern Metaphors, a ready, way of making them mean any thing or nothing: and then the disti notion, between Christianity in the Apostles' days and Christianity now, brings them over many difficulties : and learning, and ingenuity and sophistry are called in aid to cover up others : and the clamour, the stupid but vehement clamour, that “great is Diana of the Ephesians !" is raised to cry down the truths, which they are unable to refute. But however little agreement there is among those men in other points, they all agree in the indignation they express against the few who declare the true gospel, which owns no distinctions of character or state between man and man, but that of those who believe it and those who believe it not; which addresses all men as lost sinners; and levels to the dust all the fancied superiority of some above others, in declaring that “whosoever believeth shall be saved.”
Those who contradict the assertion, that men are to do nothing in order to their obtaining God's grace and mercy, must suppose that they have found a different way of obtaining it from any which the Apostles knew of. When one of these was addressed of old by an alarmed sinner, scared by the terrors of the Lord, with that question, “What must I do to be saved ?” did he tell him in reply, do this or that preparatory WORK in order to obtain or be qualified for the mercy of God! Nay, the Apostles were better taught, and were better teachers. The answer is explicit, “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved ?”
But I would be glad to be informed explicitly, what kind of work this is, that sinners are to do in order to their obtaining God's grace and mercy. It must of necessity be something done by them independently of that grace and mercy, of which they are yet supposed to be destitute: and I suppose it must be something of a religious nature. Now what say the scriptures concerning the religious works of unrighteous men? The sacrifice of the wicked, that sacrifice, by offering which they intimate an expectation of its being accepted, is, what! something that contributes to their obtaining God's grace and mercy? no such thing: is, an abomination to the Lord. What else indeed can it be? Their persons unrighteous in his sight, how can any of their works be accepted? Their hearts enmity against him and “alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them,” how can their offerings be imposed on the Searcher of hearts, as any thing good! And if there were no other text in the bible to prove, that by the wicked we are not to understand merely the irreligious profligates of the world, that text which I have just now quoted, would be sufficient to prove it: for the wicked is there presented to our view in a religious exercise, offering his sacrifice. And if his religious acts, so far from contributing “ to obtain God's grace and mercy,” are an abomination to the LORD, I am at a loss to know what else he is to do in order to obtain it. The word of God testifies against all he does as sin ; and protests against the proud hopes that he cherishes from his doings as vain and deceitful: but, in the glorious Gospel, brings near a righteous
ness and salvation suited to such a wicked sinner; and suited to him, as in every thing else, so in its assurance that whosoever BELIEVETH shall be saved. And I am bold to assert that, the more every system different from this is examined, the more absurdly inconsistent it will be found with the dictates of right reason; as well as the more impiously derogatory to the perfections of JEHOVAH.
NEW ARGUMENT IN STPPORT OF THE MOSAIC CHRONOLOGY.
The valley of the Nile, it is well known, is covered with a bed or stratum of alluvial mud deposited by the river during its periodical overflowings; and this bed or stratum is superimposed on sand in all respects resembling the sand of the adjoining desert. The quantity of deposit in any given time is, however, much less than one would be apt at first to imagine, considering that the great fertility of Lower Egypt is solely to be ascribed to it. During the period of the French expedition, a great variety of experiments were made, by the savans who accompanied it, upon the thickness of this alluvial bed; and some curious and interesting results were obtained. In the traverse section of the valley of Syout, and other places where the deposits could be made without obstacle, and without being in any material degree, augmented or diminished by local causes, about two hundred pits were dug, and the depth of the whole alluvial stratum carefully measured ; care being taken to make allowance for what seemed partial or accidental inequalities. The mean of all those measurements gave for the average thickness of the mud stratum nearly six and a half metres, or rather more than twenty feet. We take it, however, at twenty.Having ascertained this point, M. Girard next applied himself to determine the quantity by which the soil is raised or thickened in the course of a century, from the depositions of the river; and the pits of the nilometers furnished him with the basis of an approximate calculation, which gave the centenary elevation of the soil, from the cause already mentioned, at less than four and a half inches. Dividing, then the whole thickness, or depth of the stratum, by the quantity added to it in the course of a century, the quotient is 5,650 ; from which it follows, that the origin of this superimposed soil, must have preceded the year 1809, the date of the experiments, by 5,650 years, being only 154 less than the Mosaic chronology gives as the age of the world at that time; a difference which, considering the peculiar nature of the data upon which the calculation is founded, and how much the smallest error, either in the measurements, or in the centenary “valuation,” would affect the ultimate results, must be thought quite immaterial. Making all due allowance for these circumstances, however, the coincidence between the sacred chronologist and the deduction of science, strikes us as very remarkable; nay, as affording one more proof how nature and revelation harmonize, when the truth is sought in the love of it. We may add, that the French savant has carefully avoided drawing the in
ference to which his own premises necessarily lead; an avoidance which is only the more absurd, from the obvious nature of the conclusion obtruded upon the mind of the reader.-Caledonian Mercury.
From the Christian Mirror. MR. CUMMINGS—To the question in the last number of the Mirror, how much ardent spirits a person may use as a medicine, in case of sickness ?-my answer is short and decisive: none at all, necessarly. Nearly sixty years extensive experience, in the profession, has abuedantly satisfied me, that the Physician is under no necessity of ever tolerating the internal use of spirituous liquors, in case of sickness.When the Temperance Society in Portland was formed, I disliked the exception, as being totally unnecessary and improper, giving unlimited toleration to the use of ardent spirits, under this pretext.
The preparation of medicine is the province of the apothecary, and he is prepared with the volatile and other high proof spirits necessary for dissolving, extracting and preparing the medicines for the use of the practitioners; and it is his province to prescribe them, and order the mode of introducing them into the system, and in such form as he judges most proper. Therefore the medicines thus prepared, render the further internal use of spirituous liquors unnecessary—and in no ease are the sick indulged (necessarily) with the internal use of spirituous liquors, and I wish the exception totally expunged from every such association.
If the Physician, for certainty, prepares the medicines for his own yse, he therein acts as an apothecary.
If these remarks and observations are worth your attention, you will make such use of them as you think proper. June 22.
From the Quarterly Register, &c. HINDRANCES TO PIETY, IN YOUNG MEN PREPARING FOR THE MINISTRY. 3. Serious young men are too soon put upon the performance of religious duties, in public, and are often injudiciously pressed, to turn their attention to the ministry, before a fair opportunity has been given to themselves, or to others, to form n correct judgment of their religious character. I have known several instances of young men apparently destroyed, in consequence of possessing a remarkable gift of prayer. They soon found out that iheir prayers were admired and praised, and their foolish hearts were puffed up with vanity. The greatest caution is necessary, to guard against imposition, when youth in an obscure condition offer themselves as candidates for the ministry. The prospect of rising from a low mechanic trade, to learning, eloquence and respectability, is as powerful a bait as can easily be presented to the youthful mind. Anbition may give the first impulse, but it will lead the person to