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To the Editors of the Panoplist. God loveth a cheerful giver.” ADR. AUGUSTUS HERMANNUS FRANK. bout a quarter of a year, after this FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF HALI.E, IN
box was set up, a person put in SAXONY.
188. 6d. When the Professor When this celebrated Profes- took this trifle from the box, he sor was first settled as a minister said, in full assurance of faith, at Glaucha, in conformity to the This is now a considerable fund, custom of persons of wealth and worthy to be laid out in some imbenevolence in that part of Geré portant undertaking ; I will many, he appointed a day in eve. Therefore take this for the foundary week to dispense alms to the tion of a charity school.” не poor, at his own house. Their immediately with eight shillings miseries, but especially their gross of it purchased some suitable ignorance and wickedness, very books, and hired a poor student sensibly touched his heart. He to teach the children two hours in was above all, affected to see such a day. When his stock was nearnumbers of children, growing up ly expended, some friends conin that dissolute way of life. He tributed more. He resolved to resolved to make an attempt for choose twelve of the most hopeful their spiritual, as well as bodily of the children, and to venture uprelief. Accordingly every Thurs, on their maintenance and educaday, which was his day for dis. tion. When this little beginning tributing alms, he invited the
was known abroad, contributions poor; old and young, who came were sent, to aid in prosecuting so into his house ; and there, beside' good a design. One person gave a giving them money, instructed the thousand crowns; two others children, in the presence of the el- contributed four hundred. Upon der persons, in the principles of this a house was purchased, and religion, and concluded with converted into a hospital for poor prayer. This exercise commenc- orphans. This was in the year ed in the beginning of the year 1696. His funds increasing, he 1694. The number of the poor', built a commodious hospital. He who attended on these occasions, now formed the design of mak(many of them, probably for the ing indigent scholars a part of his sake of the alms) soon increased,
This enlargement of his and the charges also increasing, o- design, rendered necessary a buildbliged the Professor to seek as- ing that would accommodate at sistance in carrying on this good least 200 persons : yet his stock work. For this purpose he plac- of money was not sufficient to ened an alms box in his parlour, able him to build even a small with these words written over it : cottage. His faith, however, • Whoso hath this world's goods, raised him above all discourageand seeth his brother have need, ments. The foundation of a spaand shutteth up his bowels of cious hospital was laid July 13, compassion from hin; how 1698, IN THE NAME OF GOD, withdwelleth the love of God in out any settled fund, or so much him?" And under it, “ Every as a promise of assistance in comman according as he purposeth in pleting it, from any individual. his heart, so let him give, not Such was the support he received, grudgingly, nor of necessity ; for that in 1702, the hospital was finished, at an expense of £5000, 65th year of his age, filled many and was inhabited with more than with fear, lest this institution 200 of the poor. Several times would languish and die. But the good man's faith was tried. God made it appear that the work At such seasons he had recourse was his own, that the residue to God by prayer, and received a of the Spirit was with him. From gracious answer. The hospital accounts concerning the state of was finished, and the Professor's this institution, by the Rev. Mr. faith remained strong as ever. Zeigenhagen, pastor of the GerHe relied on God for its future man church at St. James', in support, nor did he rely in vain. 1736, it then continued in a very
In 1706, the state of the hospi. Aourishing state, and farther ad. tal was as follows : 988 children, ditions had been made to the divided into 10 schools, were here buildings. Its present state is instructed; 360 persons, beside not known to the writer. 8 poor widows, were lodged and How many useful reflections fed, and 84 indigent students of are naturally suggested to the bethe university, received their daily nevolent mind by this narrative ! food, at the expense of this excel. What arguments for a Providence lent institution.
does it afford ! What encourage The death of this pious man, ment to prayer! What motives which happened in 1727, in the to works of charity !
ON THE NECESSITY OF MAINTAINING
hand of man, they are indubitably JUST NOTIONS OF RELIGION. (Continued from page 23 ]
certain. Philosophical theories The last objection, worthy of have frequently been relinquished notice, to that firmness in religious for ever, when additional experiopinions, which we have been en- ence and the increase of scientifick deavouring to inculcate, is, that knowledge have discovered the inthe daily increase of knowledge of- sufficiency of those principles, upten produces a change in our sen- on which they were founded. timents. This objection arises The doctrines of christianity, like from the supposition, evidently the sun in the firmament, may be false, that religious doctrines are obscured by the mists of ignorance, of the same nature with philosoph- or the clouds of error ; but we ical speculations. The latter, be- can never be persuaded, that by ing founded on facts, or supposed the removal of these their splenfacts, that take place in the natu. dour can, in any degree, be impairral or moral world, are confirmed ed. To consider the one thereor refuted by new discoveries, and fore, as admitting a doubtful inthe daily progression of knowl. terpretation, is of the same nature edge ; the former claim for their with that foliy, which would pub. basis divine revelation ; and since, lish the other, as certain, incontro. when completed, no new truth can vertible truths. The christian be added to this by the daring doctrines are to an unprejudiced Vol. I. No. 2.
mind as perceptible in the scrip- sist in their opinions, while we pertures, as the divine wisdom and haps do not perceive any impropgoodness are visible in the materi- er motive, influencing their minds al world. They are presented to in the adoption of these ; are we us on so many occasions, and in bound to acknowledge that they such a variety of ways, that we have examined them without prejcannot cease to admire the good- udice, and that we have no right ness of God in thus using so many to condemn them, as undeniably means, to prevent his instructions false? If so, we may renounce the from eluding our notice, or being principles of reason and common fatally misunderstood. Some pas- sense ; deny the certainty of any sages, rendered obscure by change thing in nature, and reject all reaof manners and customs, may soning on the evidence of chrishave been illustrated by the in- tianity, as totally inconclusive. crease of knowledge ; but a new Some may be ready to say that interpretation of a difficult pas- the truths of natural religion may sage cannot render uncertain and be proved by reason ; whereas reambiguous the great truths of the vealed doctrines depend on the ungospel, which depend not on this certain evidence, arising from alone, but are established on the vague interpretations of scripture. surest grounds, and confirmed by Here the light of nature is evidenttheir evident consistency with oth- ly preferred to that of revelation, er parts of scripture.
which is impiously absurd. It canLet us now inquire, what con- not be proved, that the doctrites sequences would follow, were it of natural religion have the evimaintained, that no man has a dence of strict demonstration ; nay, right to regard, as undeniably stronger objections may be brought true, a particular class of religious against them, than can be made to doctrines. If this opinion were se- any of the doctrines of the gospel. riously believed, and consistently The truth in both cases is evident, acted upon, it would prove the ru. if the mind be open to conviction; in of religion, and lead inevitably but, if the one most free from difto absolute skepticism. Experi- ficulties is to be chosen, the pure ence has shewn to what conclu. doctrines of revelation ought un. sions some men have been conduct. doubtedly to be preferred. ed by a disposition to doubt of Beside, it may be observed, opinions, well established and uni. that few atheists are convinced by versally received ; and we have those arguments, which overturn reason to think that others, by false their systems. Are we therefore arguments, have frequently pre- to conclude, that the arguments vailed on themselves to disbelieve for the existence of God, and for the truths, which opposed their fa- the truth of christianity, are not vourite passions. Some have de- sufficient to prove these to every nied the truths of christianity; reasonable man? No, surely. We others the most important doc- rather infer that the mind of the trines of natural religion ; nay, infidel is biassed by the strongest a few have even publickly profess- and most inveterate prejudice. ed their firm conviction of the A firm determination however in non-existence of God. Because favour of any particular religious infidels and atheists, therefore, per- opinion, whether of nature or rev. elation, is utterly inconsistent forth in the scriptures to every unwith that principie, which would prejudiced inquirer; and that, teach us to consider the attain. if we do not defend them with ment of certainty in these matters, firmness, infidelity and irreligion as beyond the power of man. may be the consequence. Here therefore those, who main- Since, then, the doctrines of our tain such assertions to be true, are holy religion are plain and obviforced to adopt one of two resolu- ous ; let us search the scriptures, tions. They must either, consid- that we “may know the only ering the uncertainty which at- true God, and Jesus Christ, whom tends on every subject, wander he hath sent ; for this is life eter. from doubt to doubt, till they are nal. While we believe not every rive at complete skepticism; or spirit ; let us try all things, and they must be guilty of that, which hold fast that, which is good. they condemn in others, and de- The natural man indeed receive fend theiropinions with dogmatick eth not the things of the Spirit of obstinacy.
God, because they are spiritually It migbt now be shown, that, discerned ;" but let a man ask, if we cannot attain perfect cer- and it shall be given to him to untainty about the nature of the fun- derstand the things, that belong damental truths of christianity, unto his peace. o Our heavenly the appointment of ministers and Father giveth the Spirit to them of a church for the preservation that ask him.” Let us pray, that of these doctrines, is altogether we may feel the efficacy of these unnecessary. They are rather to truths upoa our hearts, and in our be considered, as the means of lives. An unfruitful professor checking liberty of thought, and has no reason to rejoice if the preventing the increase of knowl- tree bear no fruit, it shall be cut edge. It might also be shown, down. Indeed it is the faith of that if a man adopt erroneous the christian, appearing in all sentiments ; or, if he profess to his actions, that is the proof to the believe the truths of the gospel, world of the sincerity of his profeswithout being firmly convinced sions ; it is this also, which makes of their reality ; he cannot prac- him certain, that he is not a followtise the pure morality of the gos- er of cunningly devised files; pel. In the one case, his actions for, “if we do the will of the Fath. will proceed from improper prid. er, we shall know of the doctrine, ciples ; in the other, the princi- whether it be of God.” ples will not be sufficiently rivetted We ought not to receive any in his mind, to produce that un- doctrine, merely because it isadoptinterrupted uniformity of conduct, ed by a certain church, or particwhich is required of those, who ular body of men ; but we ought obey the gospel of Christ. Bur“
Bur " to search the scriptures daily, these assertions must appear to ev. to see whether these things are ery one to stand in need of no il. so.” The matter is of the greatlustration.
est importance ; for the word of Thus have we endeavoured to God " is the savour of life unto shew that, from the nature of a life, of death unto death” to all, revelation, the great doctrines of who read it. It is dangerous to ebe gospel must be clearly set rest satisfied with our opinions,
because others have done so ; we evil spirit, however it may assume are accountable for our own ac- the form of an angel of light. It tions alone. “ Light is come into effectually prevents the exertions the world ; and he, that doeth of true charity, by flattering men truth, cometh to the light." The to their own destruction. means of ascertaining, what is right, are in our hands ; if we use SKETCHES FROM SCRIPTURE. them not, our guilt is increased. « We would fee Jefus." “ To whomsoever much is given,
John xii. 21. of them shall much be required;" I would see Jefus in prosperity, if they fail in the end, they shall that her fascinating light may not “ receive the greater condemna- lead me to a dreadful precipice ; tion.” That steadiness, which, in but that his good fpirit may whisthe cause of truth, would have per to my heart the noble inducebeen rewarded, only aggravates ments christians have to devise lib. guilt, when employed in defence eral things; that I might ever be of error.
saying, " What am I, O Lord ; Nor let this be considered, as a
that thou should put it into my breach of Christian charity ; the heart to do these things, when the earnestness, with which we would earth is thine and the fulness there. call upon men to consider their of? It is but thine own that I reways, is rather an example of it. turn unto thee.” Were we foolish and inconsiderate, I would see Jefus in adversity, bewe might say peace, peace, when cause he is a friend born for such a there was no peace. The love, ftate ; because when all the fallawhich the gospel inculcates, cious props of happiness give way, teaches us to regard the man with his single name alone supports the affection, while it calls on us to building. I would see Jesus in adverhate the wickedness that appears fity, that I might order my cause in his ways; to amend what is before him, for he has all power in wrong, as we have opportunity ; heaven and on earth, and can eaand to “ contend earnestly for the fily arrange future events so as to faith, once delivered to the saints.” throw luitre on the darkest cirIndifference, with many, has un cumstances. surped the place of charity ; but, I would fee Jefus in health, that I while it neither seeks the good, nor might turn at his gentlest reproof; mourns over the danger of any ; that I might not be full and forthat unlimited, undistinguished get God, but be devoted, body as benevolence, which it professes to as well as foul, to his praise. exercise, proves that it is not a I would see Jesus in fickness, begospel principle. To view with cause he healeth all my diseafout concern the manners of the dis- es; he alone dispenfes the balm of solute and irreligious; to be care. Gilead, he alone is the physician less about those, who “ corrupt there. the word of God," and " hold the I would
see Jefus in ordinances ; truth in unrighteousness ;” and to for what are ordinances, destitute consider all the various sects, that of him ? As the body without the have appeared in the religious fpirit is dead, so are ordinances world, as equally in the right ; is without Chrift. He shews him. the characteristick feature of an felf through the lattices, he ap.