Imatges de pÓgina

entitled to the praise of honesty: and it is happy for the world that this system is thus publicly exhibited. Such advocates, in their zeal to demolish the towers of orthodoxy, unwittingly undermine their own. In this view, the writings of this author have been useful; and, if he lives to write more, and improves in boldness as he grows in years, he will probably undeceive many a half-thinking youth, who may have been betrayed to mistake the licentiousness of the imagination for the liberty of thought.

Is it, indeed, a question of no intrinsic moment, ' Whether Jesus was in private what he appeared in public? whether he was a consistent character? whether he was a hypocrite or not ?

The ungenerous insinuation betrays a malignity of heart, that the most en venomed infidel would be ashamed to avow. So far is this from being an unimportant speculation, that the very foundation of Christianity is undermined, if the calumnious innuendo be once admitted. If his character be even dubious, what evidence can prove the divinity of his mission ? Let it be remarked also, that the personal character of Jesus is more important to the truth of his claims, than that of any other prophet sent from God: as his mission embraced a wider range,- his conduct'lay exposed to a rigorous scrutiny, and his example was intended for universal imitation.

The purity of our Lord's private character was never suspected before. In his life-time, Jesus could ask, even his enemies,' Which of you convicteth me of sin? They had all opportunities for knowing the whole of his life, from earliest infancy to that moment. They had the inclination to find out and expose any such failing, had it existed: they however are silent! - but, at the distance of nearly twenty centuries from the time, behold a reformer of his age! an apostle of soi-disant rational religion,'-boldly comes forward, and

says • I suspect!' -- Blessed Jesus, ' how art thou wounded in the house of professed friends!

Have we, indeed, no sufficient data to lead to a satisfactory conclusion on this subject? Mr. B. has himself, in connection with these very remarks, quoted evidence sufficiently clear and direct, to satisfy any mind not equally bloated with conceit as his own. It may, perhaps, amuse you, Mr. Editor, to observe that these remarks of Mr. B. are intended as deductions from that expression, among many others of similar import, he did no sin; neither was any guile found in his mouth! - but whoever will have the patience to peruse this writer's Comment on Joha viii. 58,' will witness one of the most curious, but impotent, efforts to explain a text away, that is to be met with, even among the childish extravagances of this Champion of the true faith.' Such criticisms, ushered in with a pompous superfluity of Latin and Greek quotations, may be neediul ad captandum vulgus; but a real scholar will regard them as pitiful shifts, that are even beneath contempt. It is, however, tolerably clear, that no evidence from the New Testament would be regarded by Mr. B.‘ as sufficient data to lead to a satisfactory conclusion on any subject, when other collateral proof is wanting. I feel myself fully warranted in this assertion, from the manner in which the sacred writers are treated throughout this curious performance.

Such, it appears, is the spirit and tendency of modern Soo cinianism ! After degrading the Son of God to the same rank with themselves, as a creature, they now betray a degree of anxiety to rob him of that superiority, or rather perfection of virtue, which even his enemies allow him, to the same rank with themselves, as a sinner ! - Lower they cannot well bring him, however desirous.

Thus do they outstrip the speed of their predecessors in apostacy. They seem upon the point of abandoning the half-way house to its fate. Surely, a man cannot be far off the blissful regions of confirmed infidelity, who can unblushe ingly assert, that Jesus was himself, at one time, a peccable and fallible man; and, as such, liable to appear at the tribunal of eternal justice!!! This Mr. B. asserts, page 340. It is a deduction from his principles, which the writer of these lines 'admits as perfectly legitimate. He is, however, more at a loss to know how the author of such impieties can vindicate himself from the charge of being the calumniator of the Saviour of the world !!!

Yours, Stockport.




Subscribers to the London Female Penitentiary.

AT THE ANNUAL MEETING, MAY 12, It may appear presumption in me, after the very interesting Report and Appendix which have been read to you, to intrude any longer on your time; but your aspect, and that of this very respectable Assembly, constrain me to believe you will still indulge me with a few more minutes, as I cannot refrain from congratulating you, ye generous British Females, that left it not to your successors to found the London Female Penitentiary :--no! rather, methinks, you lament, and greatly regret that you were not earlier in so laudable an attempt; for shall the philanthropic, the ennobled, the enJarged soul of a Wilberforce, and others, give them no rest day nor night till they emancipate from slavery the poor Afri


can! Shall hundreds and thousands assemble at this memorable season to carry on Missionary and Bible Societies, &c.

that those who sit in darkness, and the shadow of death, may see a great light,' -and can you, who are formed for possessing softer passions, and more ardent and glowing affections, turn away from, and pass by the poor. Captive to Sin and Satan, in your own native land, and not make one effort to loosen her shackles ? - Shall a wretched, forlorn, and enthralled Female plead with you for reluge from the manslayer, and will not you hasten to throw open the gates of a merciful retreat? - Does it reflect dishonour on your sex that you fol. low the glorious example of the immaculate Saviour, who Jooked upon, who pitied, who protected, who forgave the Magdalen who sought pardon at his feet? - No! rather it adds a dignity to your character ! - It is heavenly beneficence; and clearly manifests that a divine blessing accompanies and follows your endeavours. There are at this moment, we have no doubt, trophies of grace in heaven, as well as monuments of it on earth, to whom you were made the honoured instruments of salvation. You have caused angels to strike their harps of gold, and rejoice over the returning, repenting, prodigal daughter! and is not this a stimulus to further energies? - Can you see the fields ripe for harvest, and not be anxious for greater diligence in obeying the voice of Him who

says, • Work while it is day?"-What, though some would censure, and others let and hinder, your growing zeal, by saying This mountain is so great, that your utmost attempts to lessen it will scarcely be noticed, or afford any reinedy to remove the evil, - remember that mountains become plains before our Zerubbabel;' and that it is not by might, nor by power,' but by the Spirit of Him who puts his own hand to the work, and condescends' to call you to aid it, that success is ensureda Surely, it portends the dawn of a brighter, better day, when females are inade willing to go up to the help of the Lord against the mighty ! - May we not cherish the hope, that the time is not very distant when there shall be no more need for Penitentiaries for the word is long since gone forth, and shall be accomplished, that'the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the channels of the sea;' and “the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ. But, till that happy period arrives, come, ye mothers, ye daughters, ye sisters, ye who bear the dearest of names, and aid to restore, to reclaim, to heal the wounded conscience of the guilty female. - Tell her there is Balm in Gilead, and a Physician also ! - that there is liberty proclaimed for the captive, - that a fountain was opened at Calvary, and that it still flows in purple streams to cleanse and cancel the deepest stains.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Recollect that the true Penitent longs to hide her blushing face in your sympathetic bosom ; her heart beats between hope and fear as she approaches your merciful Asylum, Can you? will you receive me? is her earnest, but almost silent plea; for tears, and shame, and fear nearly stop the utterance of her words. She craves present help, for to-morrow she may be beyond its reach; and to-morrow, time and means may be no longer yours; for to-day Heaven's gifts are in your hands to be bestowed by you, but to-morrow they may be taken from

you and given to others, and you be called to render an account. And shall it be said by a poor destitute friendless Female, by one of your own sex, that for want of a little of your gold and silver the building could not be enlarged to admit her? that the means of instructing her in the paths that lead to happiness and bliss were withheld for lack of your supplies ? No! God forbid !--the past, the present, and no doubt the future actions of your lives (yea, even the legacies in your wills) will bear testimony, That to do good to others, to snatch perishing souls from destruction, and to promote the immortal honour of your Redeemer, is your highest ambition.

The penitential tear bedews your efforts : the prayer of the broken-hearted, and contrite rests upon you. An American now. blesses you, who was betrayed from the parental roof and arms by one who, after bringing her to English shores, left her a stranger in a strange land, surrounded by foes, and unprovided for, till your fostering Asylum shadowed her beneath its wings.

An Asiatic, allured from the paths of virtue, and then deserted, left without a home or means of support- a poor wanderer, sought shelter from the storm and blast within your walls; you heard her tale of woe, your bowels yearned with tenderness; you mingled your tears with hers while she pleaded so earnestly for admittance ;- you received her; her heart and ears were saluted with the joyful news that Jesus Christ came to seek and save that which was lost.' It was all she wanted! and though flesh and heart failed her, and she soon bade adieu to this mortal state, yet, with her expiring breath and dying accents, she poured out blessings on the Friends and Supporters of the London Female Penitentiary; and we have no doubt she is admitted, with many more weeping Marys, into the mansions of bliss and happiness; and is, perhaps, at this moment hovering over you as your guardian angel, to tend and watch your steps till, having finished your works of mercy and labours of love, thro' the alone merits of a dear Redeemer, you shall join her in the chorus, Not unto us, not unto us, but 'unto him that loved us, and washed us froin our sins in his own blood, -to him be glory and honour, and blessing and power for ever and ever. Amen and Amen."


To the Editor. It appears to pe that there are two ways whereby God vindicates his own truth, namely, Mercy and Judgınent.

When a convinced sinner finds' redemption in the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of his sins,' then mercy triumphs,' grace reigns in righteousness, and an immortal being is converted from the error of his way. On the other hand, when nen reject the Saviour, despise his word, and sport themselves with their own deceivings, God's mighty hand is lifted up in a way of judgment; and, by some signal stroke, he suddenly takes the sinner from the earth, and then a great ransom cannot deliver him. These latter circumstances, it is granted, happen, on the whole, but rarely; but where they do occur, the survivors shouid certainly' hear, fear, and do no more wickedly.'

Isaac M‘Quillan, was born at Broomhedge, county of An. trim, about the year 1791. He evinced, froin his infancy, a vitiated disposition, and became a a very profligate young man. He was much addicted to horse-racing, cock-fighting, dancing, fighting, &c. In the midst of scenes of madness and folly, he sometimes attended the preaching of the gospel among the Methodists in that part of the country; and it appcars, from his own statement, that he was frequently the subject of strong convictions. The last cock-figiit at which he was present, he was so very uneasy in his mind, that when he and one of his companions were returning home, he was afraid the ground would open and swallow him up. While partaking of his favourite amusement, in the last dance he attended, a large lump started up on bis thigh, which gave him such excruciating pain, that he was obliged to sit down in distress of mind; and promised, if God would remove this affliction, he would dance no more. The Lord, in infinite compassion, heard his prayer, removed his complaint, and Isaac was faithful his engagements; he danced no more.

About the latter end of August, 1810, he fell into a rapid decline; occasioned, it is supposed, by the stroke of a stick whích he received on his back, while fighting with a young man upon the public road. As his bodily strength decreased, his convictions and sorrow for sin deepened and increased. The eyes of his understanding were opened to see the guilt and danger of sin, saw inevitable ruin awaited him if he died in his sins, and could not rest. 'His sins passed in array before the eye of his mind; and were represented in very strong and glaring colours. His distress increased, and became insupportable. At length, however, the Lord,' whose ways are not as our ways,' spoke peace to his aflicted soul. He brought him

« AnteriorContinua »