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yet more and more that the Spirit of they would do the same, exerting all God may make intercession, both in their powers in the service of their me and for me, 'with groanings God;' they would never dream of which cannot be uttered, since words their employing two to veil their face, fail to give them utterance. (Rom. as unworthy to behold their God, and viii. 26.)
two to veil their feet, as unworthy to " But persons mistake who imagine serve him; and devoting only the rethat groans are expressive only of a maining two to what might be deemed sense of guilt; they are often the ex- their more appropriate use. But I pressions of desire: as David says, doubt much whether the seraphs do Lord, all my desire is before thee; not judge quite as well as they, and and my groaning is not hid from serve their God in quite as acceptable thee.' (Ps. xxxviii. 9.) And such, I a manner as they would, if their enertrust, have been many of the groans gies were less blended with modesty which Į haye uttered in secret, and and conscious unworthiness. But some of which may possibly have whatever opinions the generality of been overheard.
Christians might form, I confess that Nor is it on a personal account this is the religion which I love; I only that groans are uttered. A would have conscious unworthiness minister who knows what it is to
to pervade every act and habit of my 'travail in birth with his people, till soul; and whether the woof be more Christ be formed in them, will find or less brilliant, I would have humimany occasions of sorrow, as I have lity to be the warp. of late years. I have had a people, “ I often in my ministry speak of some of whom have ill understood Job's experience, after God had so their duty towards me (Heb. xiii. 17.) revealed himself to him, as proper and have constrained me 'to give up for all ; why then should I not cultimy daily account, not with joy, but vate it myself, and really, truly, with grief;' or, as it is in the original, deeply, and as before the heartwith groans.
searching God, abhor myself, and “But supposing those expressions repent in dust and ashes ?' (Job xlii. of my feelings to have been on a per- 6.) Can I enter into the Spirit of sonal account only, and that only
that word abhor, and not groan? Or, from a sense of my unworthiness, I is that a word which is to have no am far from conceiving it to be on counterpart in our actual experience ? the whole an undesirable experience; I do not undervalue joy; but I susfor by means of it my joys are tem- pect it, when it is not blended with pered with contrition, and my confi- the deepest humiliation and contridence with fear and shame. I con- tion. God has said that a broken sider the religion of the day as mate- and a contrite heart he will not rially defective in this point; and the despise ;' and is that an attainment preaching of pious ministers defective that is so low and small that I
may also. I do not see, so much as I leave it behind me, as a state that could wish, an holy, reverential awe was proper for me forty years ago, of God. The confidence that is but not now? What is meant by a generally professed does not suffi- broken heart? Would to God that ciently, in my opinion, savour of a I knew ; for with all my groaning I creature-like spirit, or of a sinner- do not know a thousandth part of like spirit. If ninety-nine out of a what it means. I remember to have hundred, of even good men, were now heard a saying of and though informed, for the first time, that Isaiah I do not admire the expression, I do in a vision saw the Seraphim before admire the sentiment; and I would the throne, and that each of the not feel my obligation to my Saviour seraphs had six wings, and then were less than I do for ten thousand worlds. asked, 'How do you think that they Indeed, I consider that this very
feelemploy their wings ?' I think their ing will constitute the chief felicity of answer would be, ‘How! why they heaven; and that every blessing we fly with them with all their might; there enjoy will be most of all enand if they had six hundred wings deared to us as being the fruit of redeeming love. I behold the glorified about the world,) and to die with the saints in heaven falling on their faces other Mary, washing his feet with my before the throne, whilst they sing tears, and wiping them with the hairs praises to their redeeming God. (Rev. of my head. v. 8—14.) What then shall I do on “P.S.-I have not been till lately earth; yea, I behold even the angels acquainted with any book, except who never sinned, adoring God in Augustine's Meditations,' that exthat same posture. (Rev. vii. 11.) actly paints all that I approve, and What then should I do, whose whole all that I wish to be; Brainerd's Life soul is but one mass of sin and cor- has too much of gloom and despondruption? Finally, God himself is ency for me. But I think that the light, and I am to be as like Him as Memoirs of my beloved and honoured I can. But what is light? Is it not friend, Henry Martyn, come axactly a combination of different rays—the to the point ; and his biographer, the red, the orange, the yellow, the green, Rev. John Sargent, has marked it the blue, the indigo, and the violet ? with beautiful precision in the close Some would think, perhaps, that they of that Memoir. O! that all the world could make better light if they had would study that short Memoir; it the brilliant rays alone; but so think speaks what I would, if I were able, not I; I would have the due propor- speak in the ear of every human tion of the sombre with the bright; being, day and night. May God, of and all in simultaneous motion; and his infinite mercy, give me more then I think I should more resemble abundantly to experience this heaboth the created and the uncreated venly disposition; and may all that I light. At all events this is my own have written be blessed of Him to the ambition, to live with one Mary at producing of this holy disposition in my Saviour's feet, listening to his others. Amen, and Amen. words, (whilst others are cumbered
HINDOOISM AND ROMANISM COMPARED.
(For the Christian Guardian.) It is curious to observe how, both in gether lost sight of, comparatively moral science and in theology, but little agitated; each party seemed to especially in the latter, the great sub- reston theirarms for awhile. Amongst jects of controversy among contend- ourselves, especially, the line of reliing parties periodically resume their gion in the 18th century, and down interest in the public mind. The re- to recent times, was adverse to the lation of human to divine agency,
the study of a controversy so closely conevidences of Christianity, the bap
nected with the spiritual, or experitismal question, and other important mental side of Christianity. Recent topics, seem destined, at certain in- events have unexpectedly dissipated tervals, to reappear after a season of this indifference, and we now find forgetfulness, and, each in its turn, ourselves eagerly discussing the very to become the leading topic of the same fundamental questions, on justiday. Our age is remarkable for a fication, on the nature of the Church, revival of the great controversies to on the Sacraments, and on the rule of which the Reformation gave rise. faith, which fill the pages of MelancFor a long period after the separation thon and Jewell. between the Romish and the Re- The most prominent form of deformed Churches became final, the based Christianity is Romanism, not questions in dispute between Roman- so much as it exists in the decrees of ists and Protestants, were, if not alto- the Council of Trent, but as it is actually found in the floating sentiments ted itself in developing the theory of and practice of the Church of Rome. Church government, and the first And the great question which we, in great controversy which aroseamongst the present day, have to determine the western Christians was that beis, in what respects does the spirit of tween Augustin and Pelagius, on the Romanism differ from that of the spiritual condition of fallen man. The Gospel, as contained in the inspired decisions of the Council of Nice were, writings? The direct method of satis- with one trifling exception, unanifying ourselves on this point is, of mously received by the Latins; they course, to compare the peculiarities never became a subject of dispute in of the Romish system with Scripture, the West; and hence, at the Reforand discern wherein the former devi. mation, it was not on these points ates from the latter. But there is that the great controversy between another line of argument, equally per- Luther and his opponents turned, the haps instructive, and that is, to ex- three creeds being admitted and rehibit the identity of Romanism, as ceived by both parties. Some years regards its fundamental principles, after the separation between the Prowith the various false religions which testant and the Romish churches had prevail in the world. If we can es- taken place, the doctrines of the latter tablish an identity of principles be- were authoritatively laid down at the tween the Romish system, and the Council of Trent; but the decisions various false religions, whether of of that Council did not touch the ancient or modern date, which man Catholic doctrines of the Trinity or has devised for himself, the conclu- of the person of Christ, further than sion will be obvious; that so far as to confirm them. The Romish Church, Romanism is contrary in its spirit to therefore, as regards those fundaScriptural Christianity, it is the pro- mental objective truths of Christianity, duct of man's natural heart. We holds the truth; here she takes compropose to select one of the most re- mon ground with ourselves against markable and elaborate systems of the Socinian and the Infidel. Hence idolatry that has ever perhaps ex- it is obvious that, as regards the abisted, viz., Hindooism; and to draw stract theology of the two systems, out a brief parallel between the lead- no comparison can be instituted being idea of that system and those of tween Romanism and Hindooism; Romanism. In sketching the spirit the former exhibiting, in this respect, of Hindooism, we shall refer chiefly the truth of God, while the latter is to the able work of Dr. Duff on India a tissue of the most puerile and abMissions, as our authority, where the surd fables. It is to the other field subject is treated in a more philoso- of inquiry, the battle-field of the Rephical manner than usual.
formation, when the objective truths Theological speculation has ever of Christianity come to be considered run in two distinct channels, accord- as subjective, or received into the ing as Theology, properly so called — heart, that our comparative view must that is the doctrines of the Holy be confined. Trinity, and of the person of Christ, One peculiarity of Hindooism is or what may be called Anthropology, the power which it attributes to fallen or the relation of human agency to
raising himself by his own Divine-has occupied the attention of unassisted powers, to union with God. the Church. In the East, the current "Its principal end and design,” says of controversy set in the former direc- Dr. Duff, "like that of all pagan and tion; and the Council of Nice, which infidel philosophy, is to cherish in established the doctrines of the essen- the corrupt heart of lapsed man, the tial divinity of Christ, and the per- seed and rudiment of the covenant of sonality of the Holy Ghost, was the works—to promote, to the utmost, result of warm and protracted dis- the spirit of that proud self-dependputes with the followers of Arius ance;
the spirit of that heaven-defying, and Sabellius. The case was very self-righteousness which has been different in the West. The practical emphatically styled the heresy of old character of the Latin church exhibi- nature to prove how, without the
infusion of divine grace, or any obli- which the Hindoo, conscious of his gation at all to the divine mercy, man moral pollution, may aspire. The may raise himself to a state of in- lowest kind is not so much positive tegrity and perfection by the sheer as relative bliss. It consists in making force of his inherent powers, and the some progress towards final delivervigorous application of his own self
It is merely a step in advance cultivated faculties." * There is in of its present state. The next and it, as in most false religions, a recog- higher degree of bliss after this life nition of the great truth that man is is of a positive kind. It consists in fallen from God, and in a state of de- the enjoyment of carnal pleasures in gradation. To account for the state the heaven of one or other of the in which he is found, without directly gods. It is not, however, eternal; attributing the origin of evil to God, and after a certain period, the soul recourse has been had by the framers must again descend to this earth, to of the Hindoo mythology, to the doc- enter upon another series of transmitrine of the transmigration of souls. grations. The highest degree of fuIs it asked, why is the greater part of ture happiness is difficult to describe. mankind born into the world with It consists in the total annihilation of depraved dispositions, and placed in personal consciousness, and the necircumstances manifestly unfavour- gation of all thought and feeling. In able to the formation of virtuous this state, the soul is supposed to be character? The Vedas, or sacred absorbed into the essence of Brahm, books of the Hindoos, reply, that the the Supreme Being, to be reunited to vicious propensities, which the soul him from whom it originally derived brings with it into the world, were its being. And this absorption into acquired in a previous state of being, Brahm implies the extinction of perduring its inhabitation of the body sonal existence. In a word, it is the with which it was then connected; Pantheism, by anticipation, of modern and the dispositions of this previous Germany, the natural and inevitable state were acquired in a former one; result of those theories according to and these in one still earlier; and which the soul is an emanation from thus “ by assuming the past eternity the substance of God. of the universe, and the infinite re- But what we have now to observe newals of worlds into which every is, that any of these degrees of future individual being has brought the bliss is, according to the teaching of predispositions contracted by him in the Vedas, attainable by man's unearlier states, and so retrospectively assisted powers. He has only to go without beginning or limit,” + an through the prescribed means, and attempt is made to shift the author- the end will certainly be attained. ship of evil from God. It is needless And what are the means ? To secure to remark that this is only evading the lowest degree of future bliss, viz., the difficulty; for however far we go a higher position in the next birth, backwards, we must at length arrive the Hindoo must carefully perform at the first link of the chain, which all the duties peculiar to his caste, and can only be the Supreme Being. the ordinary ceremonies of the popu
The natural destiny of souls, ac- lar superstition. In order to secure cording to this doctrine, is to undergo the second degree of happiness, viz., millions of transmigrations from one a temporary abode in the sensual form into another, with a view of ex- paradise of one of the gods, the votary piating their guilt, and wiping away must give himself up to the service of their stains by means of pains and the god whom he may select, the sufferings to be undergone in the suc- choice being left to himself; and becessive bodies they assume. But sides the ordinary duties imposed there are divinely appointed means upon him, in common with the mass whereby this destiny may be modified, of the people, he must discharge all arrested, or wholly changed. There those connected with the worship of are three degrees of future bliss to his tutelary divinity. Hence the ori* Duff, p. 213. + Duff, p. 147.
* Duff, p. 148.
gin of the innumerable sects which soul is nothing but a part of the are found in every part of India. Or, Supreme Being, thrown off from his if he so prefer, he may attain the substance like a spark from the fire, same end, by performing certain acts and soon to be reunited to him. Such of extraordinary merit, which will give is the divine knowledge which is sure him, after death, a claim to be admit- to be rewarded by final absorption ted to the sensual enjoyments which into the divine essence! And, if we the gods partake of in their respective ask, what are the means by which heavens. These extraordinary acts this knowledge of God may be atof merit are such as the following- tained? we receive a threefold answer. * "fastings, long-continued, frequent, One class of religionists insist upon and accompanied with various medi- certain devotional exercises as the best tative exercises ; the presenting gifts way to the desired end. But what to the Brahmans, such as a valuable are these devotional exercises ? Not piece of land, cows, horses, or ele- the prayer of the Christian, when, phants, large sums of silver or of conscious of his spiritual necessities, gold, houses well stored with food, he draws near, in the spirit of adopclothes, and utensils; the honouring tion, to the throne of grace, and of Brahmans with expensive feasts ; pours out his heart before a reconciled readings or recitations of the Maha- God. They consist in long-continued barat, or other Shastras, on auspi- recitations of the Vedas, in particular cious days; rehearsals for weeks to- sitting or standing postures, with the gether of those legends which embody eyes half closed, and fixed on the top the histories of their gods, accompan- of the nose; in internal utterances, or ied with dancings, and wavings of repeated mutterings of the name of brushes, the jingling of rings, and the God; in attempts at fixing the mind noise of instrumental music; the on some internal object, with a view digging of public wells, or tanks of of habituating it to that profound water; long and arduous pilgrimages abstraction, necessary to its final abto the confluence of the sacred streams; sorption into Brahmot and, together with many other practices Others assert that, by bodily mortoo numerous to be recounted, volun- tifications and austerities, the soul tary religious suicide.”* It is, how
may be disengaged from the influence ever, the way in which the highest of matter. The chief object is, to degree of future beatitude, viz., absorp- have a conviction that everything in tion into the essence of Brahm, is to be the material world, earth, air, and attained, which chiefly deserves our sky, friends and neighbours, and all attention. If the question is asked, the varied objects of sense, are illuHow is this final bliss to be secured ?
sory, appearances, having no indethe answer is, by acquiring divine pendant existence, and being only knowledge; that is, an acquaintance different manifestations of the Suwith the real nature of Brahm, or the preme Spirit. With the view of Supreme Spirit. How forcibly are effecting this object, an attempt is we here reminded of our blessed made, by unheard-of austerities, to Lord's words, “This is life eternal, extirpate the natural instincts, to blunt to know thee, the only true God, and the sensibilities, and to make the body Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent”? insensible to pain and hunger. DeSuch, however, is not the knowledge votees of this kind are exhorted (we of God prescribed in the Hindoo sys- use Dr. Duff's words, “to abandon tem. It is simply a refined Panthe- all food eaten in towns, and to repair ism. It is to see God in everything ; to the lonely forest. There they are to realize the fact that nothing ex- to live at first on pure food, such as ists but God; that every variety of green herbs, flowers, roots, fruits, and being, spiritual and corporeal, is but oils found in fruits. They are to wear a particular manifestation of God; a black antelope's hide, or a vesture and above all, to have a clear compre- of bark; to suffer the hair of the head hension of the fact, that one's own
and beard to grow. They are to * Duff, p. 180.
* Duff, p. 186. + Duff, p. 186.