Page images

have done before us, who after enduring many more grievous crosses than are laid upon us, now rejoice and sing this song in heaven: we went through fire and water, and thou broughtest us out into everlasting refreshment.

3. Manifold indeed are the dangers which on all bands surround us; many are those that trouble us, and they neither slumber nor sleep, but are incessantly employed in deceiving and drawing us from our holy purposes, But let us not despair, or cease to cry mightily to God our Saviour, even though we should find ourselves dull and lifeless, and sore straightened in spirit: insomnuch that we know, not which way to turn ourselves. For so it may be that God intendeth to try us, whether we love and will cleave to him in the day when he afflicteth us. The violence of the tempest should only inçite us to ply our oars more vigorously; the fury of the enemy should rouse us to arms, to renew the battle, and contend the more earnestly against the world, the flesh and the devil. Thus every fresh provocation will improve our patience, and every hardship we endure in the warfare, will add a jewel to our crown. But woe be to him who is fainthearted in the day of trial, and looks back to the pleasures and indulgences of the world, which as a Christian he hath renounced, and which must so soon come to an end and perish for evermore.

4. The life of a Christian is a perpetual conflict with the temptations ministered continually by the different objects that surround him. Let him not therefore wonder, if he sometimes offend in word or deed. Men we are, and not angels; poor sinners in che land of our pilgrimage, and far from the city of our habitation; unstable in our ways, and prone to evil; not yet perfected in grace, not yet made happy. in glory. This consideration should humble us, and lead us to the foun. tain of mercy for strength and refreshment, for without many a draught from the well of life, we can never go on our way, or fight the good fight. Without me, saith Christ, ye can do nothing. The Hesh is weak and spiritless, until the breath of heaven giveth it life and courage to bear all adversities, which are sweetly ordered and disposed for good in the event. For we ourselves, and all things that happen unto us, are in the hands of God; and he who made us will never forsake uș, unless we. first forsake him. With confidence tberefore let us ad.

dress teratod.

dress ourselves to Christ in the heavens, and say every one of us; Mine eyes are ever looking unto the Lord, who shall pluck my feet out of the net.

5. Peace and rest are blessings prepared for the righteous in heaven, but no wise man expects to find them upon the earth ; for then would our spiritual warfare be accomplished; which it cannot be, till the last enemy is overcome. In the mean time, whether a man be at home or abroad, with acquaintance or with strangers, he will never meet with persons and things entirely to his mind : something disagreeable will still present itself to disturb the tranquillity of his soul. And hence arises the absolute necessity of the grace of patience; hence it becomes our interest as well as our bounden duty to bear with those defects which God is pleased to permit; for by so doing we shall attain unto all that peace which this world will never permit us to enjoy. If thou art calumniated or injured by any one, the time is come when thou mayest gain a noble conquest over pride and anger; and grace and glory shall be thy exceeding great reward. Let us mourn for our sins in this particular, heretofore committed; let us bumbly intreat for pardon, and it shall be granted'us.

6. Let no man by despondency add evil to evil, but when his conscience accuseth him, let him have recourse to the remedy of confession. God only is without sin. His very angels he chargeth with folly; multitudes of whom fell through pride and a stubborn refusal to give the glory to whom it was due. The first man was tempted to disobedience, even in paradise, and was therefore cast out of that garden of delight into this waste and howling wilderness, wherein we now sojourn. · How then can we be surprised, if a weak brother be sometimes seduced into sin, or at others vexed into impatience? Seldom do we read of a good and holy man of old, who was not troubled and persecuted by the perverse and ungodly of the time and country in which he lived. The consequence was, bis own trial and improvement while the affiction lasted, and in the end the glory of God manifested in the deliverance of his faithful servant.

7. Some indeed were smitten down by a sudden tempo tation, and others wearied out by a long series of tribulations, until shame and sorrow reminded them of some truths, which honours and pleasures had well nigh oblie

terated. Many, upon a lapse, alınost instantly recovered theinselves; and, as if they had gained new strength and vigour from their fall, afterwards perfected holiness in the fear of God. In the days of Christ and his apostles we find the good every where mixed with the bad, in the city and in the desert, in the house and in the field. Soine believed Christ, and glorified him for his mighty works, while some contradicted and blasphemed; and others, wilfully misunderstanding his parabolical sayings, derided ; and because he reproved their works of darkness, slandered and vilified hiin. Nay, there was once a 'warın dispute among the disciples, and that in the company of their blessed master, concerning the primacy in the church, which was to be gathered out of all people and nations, but chiefly to be composed of the simple and poor of the earth. But their meek and loving Lord, by his word and example, and by a friendly reproof, reduced them to the unity of peace by the way of humility; saying, Except ye be converted, and become as little chil. dren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven-Whosoerer will be first among you, let him be your servant.

8. By these precepts and examples of humility and patience, which are the foundation of all virtues, the simple and obedient christian, without a train of subtilties and distinctions, may arrive with a pure conscience at the

gates of heaven, and have an entrance ministered unto him, through the mercies of Jesus : by these precepts and examples he may escape the bitter pains of eternal death, while he bears with meekness the affronts and injuries offered to him by perverse and wicked men, From the beginning of the world there have been, at all times and in all places, good and bad men, believers and infidels, devout and dissolute, gentle and refractory, spiritual and carnal; the former of which have made a daily proficiency in the school of patience, while the latter have consumed away in their malicious wickedness. Thus he who first created and has since governed the world, ordereth all things in it to work together for the reward of the righteous, and the punishment of the wicked. Let patience, therefore have her perfect work, and in the day of retribution, she shall wear an immortal





THE industry with which the principles of Socirus


are at present propagated in these kingdonis have deservedly called forth the able animadversions of the Orthodox sons of the Church of England. This zeal against unsound and dangerous tenets cannot but meet with the marked approbation of all those to whom the honour of the “ GREAT God and our LORD JESUS CHRIST" is dear. The Revd. E. P. in your Magazine tor January, 1805, hath treated Mr. Evanson's person (though he justly reprobates his religious principles,) with a greater degree of respect, of esteem, and of affection,” (p. 34.) than from the account of his conduct given us by Jonathan DraPIER, pp. 47. 48. it appears he deserved. J. D. hath done a great service to the cause of truth in uvfolding the true motives and just springs of conduct of Mr. Evanson, in quituing his preferment; and E. P. hath done the like ser, vice in exposing his unsound principles. As to myself, I am surprised and astonished beyond the power of words adequately to describe, when I reflect how any one possessed of common sense and the faculty of reason, can seriously with the Bible in his hand, maintain the Socinian principle of Our Lord Jesus Christ being nothing more than a mere Man. Throughout the whole tenor of the Old and of the New Testament, the Divinity of our Saviour in ten thousand passages, shines forth so conspicuously, that, in my humble opinion, the glorious light of the sun at noon day is scarcely less discernible or evident. Were I to give scope to my pen on this interesting and glorious subject, the limits of a letter would contain but a small por tion of the matter which would occur; but the omission is to be less regretted, as the generality of your readers are 100 well convinced of this important truth, to make it necessary to prove it to them; and as for those who read your miscellany as enemies, and to find out faults, no power of reasoning could make the least impression upon them.

Mr. Evanson, in charging the members of the-established religion with Idolatry, because they ascribe Divinity to Jesus Christ, the glorious' and blessed son of God, and the second person in the HOLY TRINITY, does


but echo the sentiments of those of his Sect, who on all occasions seize the opportunity of doing the same thing. * There is a celebrated UNITARIAN MINISTER, who suçceeded the well known Dr. TOULMIN, in his chapel in a large town in the west of England, when the latter, two years since, removed to Birmingham, he also is inces santly bellowing forth these accusations against the established Church by which conduct he excites contempt only in the minds of sensible men, and pity in those who fear that his mind is unsound, and his intellects dis. turbed; but those of his party extol him to the skies, This man published a sermon when he first came into his present situation, the most extravagant in its sentiments that can well be conceived, and in which he has carried the Socinian blasphemy to its highest point. The sermon was most admirably answered, and its principles eompletely confuted by a Layman in the neighbourhood of the place where it was preached and priuted, and I never heard that the author attempted to reply. 14, deed to take off the solid arguments the answer contained, was impossible. I can assure you, with truth, that in the place above allued to, socINIANISM, or UNITARIANISM, is greatly on the decline. I am, Gentlemen,

Your's, &c.






KNOW nothing so interesting as religious inquiry;

and, when conducted with humility, nothing that promises more beneficial consequences, And as a Miscellany, like your's, seems to be the proper medium of its prosecution, I present you with a few cursory thoughts, the spontaneous fruits of half an hour's meditation. It seems to me as if some expressions in the “New whole Duty of Man," and a great many other ardently pious publications, which speak of every individual as justly deserving God's everlasting damnation, were rather more eloquent, than philosophically correct. For myself, though I cannot reflect upon my unworthiness of God's manifold

Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. June 1805. 3H blessings

« PreviousContinue »