Imatges de pÓgina


us a great insight into the mysterious providence of cleanseth from all sin.” It was to save sinners that God with respect to his dealings with his creatures. that blood was shed. His own invitation is to allWe presume not to fathom all his counsel in the dis- “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavypensations either of his wrath or his mercy—“it is laden, and I will give you rest;" yea, rest unto your high as heaven, and deeper than hell” (Job, xi. 8); burdened souls. Did I not pardon David ? and is it but this we may venture to affirm, that one purpose not in my power to pardon you? Is my band shortened of the afflictions which he sends-nay, the great and that it cannot save as once it did ? or is my ear paramount purpose—is to bring us nearer to him. So become heavy, that it can no longer hear those conthat in this view afflictions are the greatest of his fessions of penitent guilt and cries for mercy which it blessings. But when the Spirit of God has ceased to heard when David offered them? Where are all my strive with a man, afflictions may be withdrawn, be- promises of old ? Have I not said to all who return cause that man having withdrawn bimself wholly from unto me, “ I will be merciful to your unrighteousness, God, the great end of afflictions, viz. the bringing him and your sins and your iniquities will I remember no nearer to him, is no longer to be attained. There- more?” and “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall fore the man is left to the ordinary course of events be white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, during his little stay in this world, and is often found they shall be as wool ?” in a state of great external prosperity-health good; And now what need I say more than to entreat you high in worldly honour, circumstances, and respect; all to think of the punishment of David, and to fly life prolonged; little of sorrow, or trials, or troubles from sin; and to think of the pardon of David, and to of any kind—not visited here, because reserved for fly to repentance through Christ. And should you punishment hereafter. But David's afflictions did again unhappily fall, never, as you value your soul, bring him nearer to God; they brought him back to never try to palliate your sin, or to excuse it, or to God, and therefore were they sent. God pardoned lessen the sense of it in your own mind, for you cannot him, but he punished him; he punished him, because lessen it in the sight of God. But return unto the he pardoned him; he punished him in this life, that Lord with increased earnestness, and with yet deeper he might pardon him in the life to come. So that

humility than before-say, “ I am not worthy, O Lord, when we see those who put their trust in God still to draw nigh unto thee, but thou art a God whose prounder his chastening hand, we may confidently hope perty is always to have mercy; have mercy then upon that they are under bis special care and protection; Not only forgive me my sin, but make me to hate and, on the contrary, when we see those who are far sin; and when in thy mercy thou dost pardon the past, from God in great outward prosperity, we may justly in thy mercy also give me grace for the future. Help fear for them that the Spirit of God has ceased to me according unto my need, for I pray unto thee in strive with them, and that Ephraim is left to his idols. the name of Him who died to reconcile sinners unto The sinner's punishment, however, generally begins thee.” Thus turn, and thus pray unto God, coming in this world. When or how he shall be visited, is unto him in the name of Christ, and he will in no wise known only to Him to whom vengeance belongeth; cast you out. And if your faith and repentance be but he will probably find, as David did, that “where- sincere, you shall find him to be, what the Scriptures withal a man sinneth, by the same shall he be uniformly declare him to be, a God forgiving iniquity, punished;" and that his sufferings shall be, as it and transgression, and sin, able and willing to save all were, the fruits of that tree which his own hand has them unto the uttermost who come unto him through planted. If he has injured the domestic peace of Christ. others, his own domestic peace shall probably be broken. If he has been an ungodly father, he may expect disobedient children, and that there shall be

SACRED POETRY. enmities, and bickerings, and strivings, around his own hearth, and sitting at his own table; or he

BY JAMES CHAMBERS, ESQ. shall see his children dying by untimely deaths, and

No. I.-- Origin and early History. leaving disgrace and shame, and, it may be, families without food, behind them. In some way or other,

In arranging the following papers on Sacred Poetry, I the sinner shall generally give evidence to the truth

have deemed it expedient to commence the series with of the wise king's observation, that " whereas men an account of its history from the earliest times to the have lived dissolutely and unrighteously, God has present period. Since "psalms, and hymns, and spitormented them with their own abominations."

ritual songs,” are almost the first examples of religious But to those whose sins are a heavy burden to them,

verse, I shall be led to notice the progress of congreand who grieve after a godly sort, to such we say, that although the sins of David afford no encouragement to

gational psalmody, its use among the early Christians, the sinner, his repentance affords every encouragement

and its influence in furthering the glorious work of the to the penitent. God put away the sins of David,

Reformation. deep and complicated as they were ; he forgave him While pursuing the chronological succession of the for Christ's sake, because he as deeply repented as he had deeply sioned; he forgave him, because he did

writers of sacred poetry, I shall allow myself to allude not seek to conceal, or to deny, or to excuse his sin,

at greater length to those who have drank deepest at but because he at once confessed and bewailed it, and

the twin fountains of poetry and religion-whose earnestly prayed to be forgiven : he put his trust in strains, pre-eminent alike for subject and execution, God's mercy, and God was merciful to him. And so have surrounded their memory with a halo of glory, he will be merciful to every sinner who turns to him in true and earnest repentance. Let the unrepentant

and made their names "sounds of pleasant import." sinner think of David and tremble; but let the peni-Surely it will prove an interesting task to contemplate tent sinner think of him and rejoice. For if he repent

the progress of that “muse of sacred song" with which and believe, as David did, let him rest assured that he the "sweet Psalmist of Israel" was wont to solace his who pardoned the sins of the one, will also pardon the troubled soul, or rejoice his glad spirit — that muse sins of the other. The great sacrifice for sin to which which can boast the names of Milton, Montgomery, David looked in the person of Christ, whose sufferings and Cowper, among her chosen votaries. and exaltation he is ever celebrating in his hymns of praise, shall be efficacious for all those who trust in

Deeply feeling my own inability to treat such a his atonement. There is one sentence which is worth subject in the manner it deserves, I yet trust that a volumes to the repentant sinner—"the blood of Christ diligent study and fervent admiration of sacred poetry,

joined to some considerable research and labour, has selves, not only with the Psalms of the Old Testament in a measure qualified me for a task which ought to but also with original lays, celebrating Christ as the have been undertaken by one who possessed (in addi- Redeemer of the world. The early Greek and Latin tion to a thorough acquaintance with the subject) the Churches adopted singing in their public worship, "pen of a ready writer.” When any of my readers considering that it formed an important part of relishall detect inadvertencies, defects, or omissions, let gious devotion. In St. Jerome's seventeenth epistle them consider the author to request, in the quaint, to Marcella, the following interesting passage occurs:though beautiful words of the industrious Strype,“ that " In Christian villages little else is to be heard but they may be forgiven in one who looks upon himself psalms ; for which way soever you turn yourself

, either as a frail and fallible man, and is apt enough to have you have the ploughman at his plough singing Halmean conceits of his own performances, and is very lelujahs, or the vine-dresser chanting forth somewhat ready to be set right, and thankful to be instructed.” of David's."

Poetry, considered as the spontaneous product of the The disciples of Wickliffe in the fourteenth century, most powerful feelings, probably owes its origin to and those of John Huss and Jerome of Prague in the those emotions which superstitious fear or religious sixteenth, were celebrated psalm-singers ;* and many veneration excite in the human breast. History of those who died at the stake, comforted themselves in cannot confirm this assertion, although, by the clear their last moments by singing the praises of Him who light in which it exhibits the early connexion of poetry had endued them with sufficient strength to endure the and religion, it affords presumptive evidence that such fiery trial.t was the case.

The great Martin Luther (with his usual acute disThe Old Testament, which is by far the most ancient cernment) foresaw what a powerful instrument psalmspecimen of written literature, abounds in examples of singing would prove in furthering the Reformation, lyrical, didactic, and prophetical poetry. In the book and on this account eagerly availed himself of it. of Exodus, where it is recorded that, at the glorious Having embraced the assistance of many others to triumph of the Lord over his enemies in the Red Sea, versify and set to music psalms in the German language, Miriam the prophetess took a timbrel in her hand, and he himself rendered the most valuable assistance in all the women went out with her,--we find the praises both parts of the undertaking. I The best account of of the deliverer of Israel celebrated in a lyrical hymn, the intention, plan, and execution of this work is furwhich, for grandeur of imagery, loftiness of sentiment, nished in his own modest and simple words. He and splendour of expression, has never been rivalled. writes :—"I and some others, to give a beginning As I shall have a future opportunity of speaking of the and set the example to such as are more capable, have Old Testament poetry, it will not be necessary to collected some spiritual songs to further and bring allude to it at present, any farther than to state that into use the sacred Gospel.” And, speaking of the the composition of sacred hymns and musical accom- tunes, he adds, “they are arranged for four voices, paniments constituted one of those employments to for no other reason than that I am anxious that young which the candidates for the prophetic office were people, who should and must be educated in music, accustomed to dedicate themselves.t

should have wherewith to get rid of their lasciviousness In the New Testament, we find that the custom of and carnal songs, and instead of them learn something praising God in psalms was sanctioned and adopted by salutary, and receive what is good with pleasure, as to our Lord himself (Matt. xxvi. 30).

youth is meet.”'S Leaving the sure testimony of holy writ for the About this time, Clement Marôt, the favoured bard of assertions and evidences of profane history, we find Francis I., “that prince of poets and poet of princes,” numerous declarations of the fact, that the earliest translated fifty of the Psalms into French verse. This station of poetry was in the temple, her primary office project was suggested by Vatable, the professor of to minister at the altar. Plato affirms that the most Hebrew; and there is very litıle doubt that he mateancient poetry was addressed to the gods, under the rially assisted Marôt in his version, because, although appellation of hymns. Tacitus informs us that the the latter was unacquainted with the Hebrew language, most savage Germans were in possession of songs to they are said to be “traduitz en rythme Français selon the gods, which, by means of oral tradition, had la vérité Hébraïque.” descended through several generations. In the Greek He gives us to understand that he had received chorus, in the rude lyrical productions of the most assistance desolate of the Americans, the inhabitants of Gavl,

"par les divins esprits Albion, Iberia, the most ancient people of Asia, and

Qui ont sous toy Hébrieu langage apris, the known natives of Africa, we find abundant proofs Nous sont jettés les Pseaumes en lumière of the close alliance which ever existed between their

Clairs, et au sens de la forme première.” poetry and their religion. Indeed it would be difficult

It would seem, from the following passage, that to point out any pagan poetry which does not contain Marôt's fancy pictured a scene which bad already (in frequent allusions to the national mythology. In like the days of St. Jerome) occurred:manner have the fables, morals, and doctrines of the

“O bien heureux qui voir pourra Koran furnished subjects and illustrations for the

Fleurir le temps, que l'on orra gorgeous strains of the Persian and Arabian poets.

Le laboureur à sa charrue, The primitive Christians were wont to edify them

Le charretier pariny la rue, + Preface to the Life of Bishop Aylmer.

• Burney, vol. iii. p. 30.

+ Ibid. + Horne's " Introduction to the Critical Study, &c. of the 1 Hawkins, vol. iii. pp. 76, 77, 445-7. Scriptures," vol. i. p. 468, 3d edit., 1822.

$ Edin. Magazine, 1818, p. 419.

Et l'artisan en sa boutique,

authors desired to furnish the common people with Avecques un pseaume ou cantique

songs which would set aside the profane and licentious En son labeur se soulager;

ballads in such common use at that period; reform Heureux qui orra le berger Et la bergère en bois estans

their manners, and elevate their devotional feelings. Faire que rochers et estangs

Fuller tells us that “they found their work afterwards Après eux chantent la hauteur

met with frowns in the faces of some great clergymen,” Du saint nom de leurs Créateur.”

who, we may suppose, forgetting the many and imMarot's version was received with such enthusiasm,

portant advantages arising from the public singing of that the printers were not able to strike off a sufficient

devotional hymns, foresaw those abuses into which it number of copies to supply the public demand. Theo

has at times unfortunately degenerated.* To detail dore Beza, who had somewhat assisted Marôt, speedily the progress of congregational psalmody from that published a version of the remaining Psalms, which

period to the present time, would neither be interestpossessed this advantage over his predecessors, that

ing to the reader nor compatible with my plan. they were admirably fitted to the violin and other

Among those writers whom I shall have occasion to instruments.” Ten thousand copies of this work

speak of, in tracing the history of English sacred were immediately sold. Calvin, who perceived with

poetry from 1562 to 1839, are Southwell, Davison, pleasure the increasing predilection for psalm-singing, Fletcher, Drummond of Hawthornden, George Wihad engaged some of the finest composers to furnish

ther, Herrick, Quarles, George Herbert, Crashaw, the musical accompaniments to these " songs of Zion.”

Milton, Ken, Watts, Young, Blair, Blackmore, ThomSome time elapsed before this was discovered; during

son, Parnell, Addison, Smart, Pope, Cowper, Watts, which period Huguenots and Catholics alike solaced

Wesley, Hurdis, William Hayward, Roberts, Grahame, themselves with the psalms and music; but when

Heber, Wordsworth, Montgomery, Pollok, Milman, Calvin appointed the psalms to be sung at his meet

Croly, Dale, Moultrie, Hemans, Caroline Bowles, ings, and they were affixed to the catechism of Geneva,

Jane Taylor, Hannah More, &c. &c. the fulminations of the Sorbonne were directed even

I shall occasionally intersperse among my remarks against Marôt— psalm-singing was declared to be

on these authors and their writings, some of those synonymous with an open declaration of “ Lutheran

valuable though scarce scraps which, while equally isme," and all true Catholics were enjoined hence

remarkable for the real poetry and fervent piety forth to forsake the heretical practice.” It soon which breathe through their verses, remain almost became an established form of devotion in the reli

unknown except to the poetical antiquarian. gious services of the reformers; and was carried from

Garsden, near Malmesbury, Wilts. the peaceful abode of the sanctuary to the camp and the field of war. In many of the battles which occurred between the Protestants and their persecutors, a

THE WITCH OF ENDOR. devotional psalm, shouted forth by the whole army of

The singular transaction which occurred at Endor, of the former, served as a signal for the onset. Dr.

the raising of the prophet Samuel, has caused consiDoddridge (in his sermon on the 107th Psalm) con- derable discussion. The history of it may be expressed siders that the 149th Psalm was used in a similar in a few words. After the death of Samuel, Saul, manner by David's army when going forth to war

being engaged in hostilities with the Philistines, enagainst the devoted nations.

camped at Gilboa in the immediate neighbourhood.

His affairs being desperate, and the Divine protection The vast and mighty change which the Reformation

withdrawn from bim (1 Sam. xxviii. 5, 6), he resolved effected in the course of men's thoughts, not only to consult a woman that had a “ familiar spirit;" and caused a revolution in the manners and feelings of the he was informed that one lived at Endor. He had age when it occurred, but also gave a particular di- previously banished all those persons ; and hence it rection to literature and the arts. No where was this

was necessary to disguise himself, lest the woman

might refuse to perform what he desired. Having more evident than in England; the holiest of books had

given her a solemn promise that she would be safe, before been bound with the chain of papal bondage-a she asked the disguised king whom she was to raise, worse than Egyptian darkness had covered the land; and he replied, “ Samuel.” As soon as the woman but the Bible was now unbound, and the pure rays of

saw Samuel, she recognised Saul, and began to entertruth had begun to dispel the clouds of ignorance and

tain fears for her safety; but the king soothed her,

and said to her, “What sawest thou ? and the woman superstition. The Scriptures were studied with a

said unto Saul, “ I saw gods ascending out of the deep sense of their importance, and several para- earth.” The Hebrew word elohim, here translated phrases of soine portions attempted.

gods, is often rendered in the singular, as a god or a Though the singing of psalms was a common prac

great person, which is the true meaning in this case. tice at the very earliest period of the Reformation, it

Others translate the words, I saw a judge or a person does not appear to have received the sanction of legis

like a judge ; but if the plural be retained, we may

suppose that, to fix Saul's attention, and to confirm lative authority until the year 1548. Encouraged by his opinion of her art and power, she pretended that a license which was then promulgated, and assisted she saw gods rising out of the earth, as if she had by several coadjutors, Sternhold and Hopkins com- brought up several beings by her enchantments. From posed the entire version of the Psalms, which was

• I refer more particularly to many hymns in the Moravian, adopted by the Church of England, and appended to Methodist, and other collections, which, after making allowance the book of Common-prayer. The accompanying

for the peculiar opinions held by the bodies of Christians who tunes were chiefly selected from the Lutheran and

use them, cannot escape the condemnation of those who, in addi.

tion to true piety, possess pure taste or a cultivated understande Calvinistic tune-books. Besides the primary use to

ing. which they were devoted, viz. public worship, the + From the Scripture Gazetteer,

the description which she gave of the person whom she son of the deceased prophet, she undertook the task of raised, Saul "perceived that it was Samuel, and he deceiving Saul; that Saul did not see the appearance, stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed him- but trusted to the woman's statement that she saw it; self; and Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted and that the voice which was heard was either producd me to bring me up ? And Saul answered, I am sore by the powers of ventriloquism, or by an associate, distressed, for the Philistines make war against me, and who imitated the voice and personated the appearance God is departed from me, and answereth me no more of Samuel. Others, again, who deny that witches are neither by prophets nor by dreams; therefore I have able to disturb the souls of good men, much less of called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me prophets, are nevertheless of opinion that those what I shall do." The prophet, or the figure re- wretched women caused the devil to counterfeit the sembling him, immediately declared his ruin and his souls of the dead, and that in this instance an evil death : “ The Lord will deliver Israel with thee into *pirit appeared before Saul in the likeness of Samuel ; the hand of the Philistines, and to-morrow shalt thou but this notion is met with nearly the same objections and thy sons be with me;” meaning, not literally the as the preceding, and is utterly inconsistent with the next day, but very shortly the king and his sons would fact that the spirit which appeared to Saul was not a be numbered with the dead. “ Then Saul sell straight- tempter, flatterer, or deceiver, but a very severe reway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid be- prover of wickedness and impiety. cause of the words of Samuel, and there was no Without giving any opinion on the merits of a constrength in him."

The events happened as pre- troversy which has caused much curious speculation, dicted ; the Israelites were defeated, the sons of Saul and on which there will always be a variety of opinions, were slain, and the king ran himself through with his we merely state a few facts connected with the inspired own sword in despair (1 Sam. xxxi. 1-6).

narrative urged by those learned commentators who Such is the substance of Saul's interview with the contend that the appearance was really that of Samuel, witch of Endor and the raising of Samuel; and the but who deny that the power of the woman or of the discussion which has originated on this subject has devil had any share in the production. The sacred turned chiefly on the points, whether the appearance historian expressly calls the appearance by the name of Samuel was real, and if real, the power by which it of Samuel, nor is there the least hint given that it was was produced ; whether it was an imposition on the not the real prophet to whom Saul was speaking ; and part of the sorceress, who might have been acting in hence it is alleged that when the woman was preparing concert with a person who made the responses in a to employ her incantations, Samuel actually appeared feigned voice; or whether it was an evil spirit who by God's permission, to the astonishment and terror of appeared with the body and mantle of Samuel, spoke the sorceress herself. This was the opinion of the articulately, and held this conversation with Saul. It ancient Jewish Church, which we find expressed in must be admitted that the history does not say Saul the book of Ecclesiasticus (xlvi. 20), where it is said really saw Samuel, and, as his circumstances were of Samuel, “ After his death he prophesied, and desperate, he was in a state of mind peculiarly liable shewed the king his end, and lifted up his voice from to imposition ; but, on the other hand, it is evident the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of that the sorceress herself, who probably at first only the people."

On this passage, Dr. Delany, in his intended a delusion, became terrified at the result, and “ Life of David," observes, “ The son of Sirach, who she “ cried with a loud voice" when she perceived seems to have had as much wisdom, penetration, and Samuel. It has been strongly maintained by some piety as any critic that came after him, is clearly of that the spirit of Samuel was evoked by this woman, opinion with the sacred historian that it was Samuel and came on the compulsion of her powerful art; and himself who foretold the fate of Saul and his house in in deference to the ancient fathers of the Church, who this interview.” Josephus also speaks of the appearascribed to magicians and necromancers the power of ance as really that of Samuel. The appearance must calling up the souls of the dead, they have supposed therefore be ascribed, not to the power of an imaginary that Samuel actually appeared to Saul. But this ex- enchantment, but to the immediate appointment of planation has been keenly rejected, and even Sir God, as a rebuke and punishment to Saul. This Thomas Brown, who is often on the side of credulity, opinion is maintained by Waterland and defended by opposes this literal assumption in the first book of his Delany, but combated by Dr. Chandler, with objections "Vulgar Errors.” After alluding to the opinions of which, so far as they affect the Scripture history of the the heathen philosophical schools on this point, he matter, are answered or obviated by Farmer in his says, " More inconsistent is the error of Christians, “ Dissertation on Miracles." Dr. Hales, in his “ New who holding the dead do rest in the Lord, do yet be- Analysis of Chronology," inserts an able article on lieve they are at the hire of the devil; that he who is this view of the subject, in which he thinks that the in bonds himself commandeth the fetters of the dead, following were among the reasons for the permitted and, dwelling in the bottomless pit, calleth the blessed appearance to Saul :-1. “To make Saul's crime the from Abraham's bosom--that can believe the real re- instrument of his punishment, in the dreadful denunsurrection of Samuel, or that there is any thing but ciation of his approaching doon. 2. To shew to the delusion in the practice of necromancy, or the popular heathen world the infinite superiority of the oracle of raising of ghosts." It has been therefore urged that the Lord inspiring his prophets over the powers the whole story is repugnant to the order of the natural of darkness, and the delusive prognostics of their world, and to the doctrines of revelation respecting wretched votaries in their false oracles. 3. To conthe state of the dead ; that it is inconsistent with our firm the belief of a future state by one who rose from knowledge of the attributes of God to believe that he the dead even under the Mosaic dispensation.” On permits the souls of the departed, even the most emi- the whole, we agree with Bishop Horne, that " it renent prophets and saints, to be remanded back by the

mains either that the whole affair of Sanuel's appear. practice of the most execrable rites, and at the call of ance was a contrivance, or that, by the interposition of some of the vilest of human beings; and that reason God, there was a real appearance, which the woman confirms the testimony of Scripture, which represents did not expect and could not have etfected.” The same all magical arts as flagrant impositions. For these and view is also taken by Dr. Gray in his “ Key to the Old other reasons many believe that the witch of Endor Testament," to which and to the other works menwas merely a “cunning woman," who was familiar with tioned the reader is referred. the state of public affairs; that, suspecting from the first that the tall stranger who assured her of safety could be no other than the king himself, and being well acquainted, as most of the Israelites were, with the per

THE SAVIOUR'S INVITATION TO THE Although there are various modes of apWEARY AND HEAVY LADEN:

plication in which this figurative language A Sermon,*

may be employed, it is obvious that the Di

vine Speaker refers primarily to sin, and subBY TIIB Rev. John Hill, M.A.

ordinately to other evils, inasmuch as they Vice-Principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.

proceed from sin, or are connected with it. MATT. xi. 28.

The burden of sin consists partly in the "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, state of condemnation under which the sinner and I will give you rest."

lies, and partly in the state of bondage to the The sovereignty of God is manifested in all absolute dominion of sin in which he is inhis dispensations ; but in none does it shine volved. Yet it is not simply the fact of being forth more clearly than in those which have

thus enslaved to sin, and subject to condemreference to the redemption of his people. nation, which constitutes the character whom

In the solemn address of which these words our Lord here addresses. All men who are form a part, the general principle of that not converted by the power of the Spirit are sovereignty is stated on the highest authority; oppressed by the tyranny of sin; and all are even by Him who is truth itself: “ Even so,

by nature so involved in guilt, that if Divine Father; for so it seemeth good in thy sight.' grace interfere not for their rescue, they must In the same passage also the application of sink under its weight into utter destruction. this great principle is variously exemplified. But many feel not their misery and danger. It is traced in the mediatorial appointment of Now the combination of the epithet ye that the eternal Son of God: “ All things are de- labour (a word which implies weariness), with livered to me of my Father.” It is illus- the other descriptive term, heavy-laden, specitrated by the method by which Infinite Wisdomfies those who not only lie under the burden, has seen fit to communicate that knowledge but are painfully conscious of its existence, of the Father and of the Son, which is essen- and long to obtain deliverance from it. It tial to salvation : "No man knoweth the Son intimates the removal of that self-satisfied but the Father ; neither knoweth any man the habit which characterises the unawakened Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever conscience; and the experience of that selfthe Son will reveal him.” And it is evinced abasement, which of old compelled the Psalmin the selection of the persons to whom that ist to confess "there is no rest in my bones, saving knowledge is graciously communi- because of my sin ; for mine iniquities are cated: "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of gone over my head; as a heavy burden they heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these

are too heavy for me:" and which still renthings from the wise and prudent, and hast ders appropriate to every spiritual communirevealed them unto babes."

cant at the table of the Lord, that emphatic And this sacred train of instruction con- acknowledgment, “ The remembrance of our cerning the deep and mysterious proceedings sins is grievous to us, the burden of them is of the Divine sovereignty is adopted by our intolerable." blessed Lord as an appropriate introduction This state of mind is not a result of natural to that most cheering and encouraging an- reasoning or human wisdom. It is produced nouncement of his grace ; " Come unto me, only by the operation of the Holy Spirit on all ye that labour and are heavy-Jaden, and I the heart; and it is manifested by the fruits will give you rest."

of deep and genuine repentance. The simple but important lesson conveyed

1. Consequently, it does not consist in a in this address is, that Christ alone is able mere vexation on account of the present or and willing to give deliverance from sin and

even the future consequences of sin. It its consequences. It therefore involves three is true that the consciousness of deserved leading topics. It sets forth

punishment must unavoidably be one ingreI. An oppressive burden. II. An all-suf- dient in the heavy burden; and until the ficient Deliverer. III. An effectual relief. fulness of the power and grace of the great

May the Holy Spirit of God graciously Deliverer be revealed to the heart by the fulfil his especial office, by leading our minds Holy Ghost, the soul cannot but feel overinto a richer knowledge and a deeper experi- whelmed with some degree of dread and ence of the sacred truths connected with | horror in the anticipation of that deserved these momentous subjects.

punishment. But this portion of the weight I. This address, then, of our blessed Sa- | forms a part of the fictitious repentance of viour commends itself to those who are suf- a Saul or a Judas, as well as of the genuine fering under an oppressive burden, and who contrition of a David or a Peter. are consequently described as “ weary (or 2. There is, however, another burden, inlabouring) and heavy-laden."

dependent, in a great measure, of the fear of • Preached before the University of Oxford, 1838.

consequences, and far more oppressive to

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