Imatges de pÓgina

Job, a long train of reasoning was acquitted of God ; and God from this topic, to prove the himself, who was Job's last regoodness of God. It is argued prover, argued with him on the from his supremacy. This is same ground. From his mighty the drift of Elihu's argument. In works, which displayed his inJob xxxiv. 10, and onwards, we finite power and godhead, he find his argument. “Far be it argued the perfection of his morfrom God, that he should do al government. On this ground wickedness ; and from the Al he challenged the love and submighty, that he should commit mission of Job. Job yielded his iniquity." The argument is, cordial submission ; and upon that God is the Almighty; there- the very ground on which it was fore will not do wickedly. He demanded. “ Then Job answerproceeds, “ Who hath given him ed the Lord and said : I know a charge over the earth or who that thou canst do every thing ; hath disposed the whole world ?" and that no thought can be withDoes he act by a delegated pow- holden from thee. I have heard 'er? Is he not absolutely inde- of thee by the hearing of the pendent ? He goes on to rep- ear ; but now mine eye seeth resent it as a great absurdity, thec : wherefore I abhor myself, whether we can see the absurdi- and repent in dust and ashes.' ty or not, to imagine that the Thus, from the light of nature, Almighty, the independent Cre- from the exhibitions of divine ator and Disposer of all things, power and majesty, the morał should do wickedly. “ Shall perfection, or goodness of God even he, that hateth right, gov- is argued, successfully, in the ern ? and wilt thou condemn book of Job. No appeal is made him that is most just? Is it to divine testimonies, or to the fit to say to a king, thou art plan of redemption and grace, wicked ? and to princes, ye are or to any thing else but the viungodly? How much less to sible displays of divine power Him that accepteth not the per- and supremacy. sons of princes, nor regardeth The scriptures certainly arthe rich more than the poor? gue from the light of nature, to for they are all the work of his prove the goodness of God ; and hands.” It is here represented they challenge the conviction of as marvellous, that those who mankind from such eridence. can discover from the works of Whether, therefore, we can see God, his absolute supremacy, this evidence or not, we have should entertain a doubi respect- the highest reason to believe that ing his goodness. He seenis to it exists ; and that mankind are take for granted, that men of not left, by a necessity of nature, understanding, men of piety and to perish for lack of vision. if spiritual discernment, may, from mankind, in all ages, had been a view of the supremacy of God, disposed to discover the holiness have as clear a discovery of his and goodness of God, they moral perfection, as of his natural. would have always enjoyed the

This is the manner of the revelation of his grace. But as whole of Elihu's reasonings. they became vain in their imagiAnd we may notice, that Elihu nations, their foolish heart was

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darkened, and God gave them lainous design, plotting to cirover 10 a reprobate mind, and cumvent an honest neighbour, they perish without excuse. or devising to revenge an imag

C. inary injury, or trifling affront?

Every one sees the guilt and im

piety of bringing into a prayer LETTERS FROM A

such inclinations and intentions.

The man who really means to LETTER III.

pray will banish, or at least sus

pend all criminal purposes and Dear Frank,

deliberations, that his prayers may In reading my two preceding not become a new provocation. letters, you have anticipated the And surely, whenhe has been with thougbt, which will be the sub. God in the sacred exercise of ject of this: That daily prayer devotion, he will not dare immewill be a great security against diately to recal those guilty pasdeliberate deviations from the sions, which he, just before, path of duty.

thought it necessary to exclude, The man who daily commits There is, at least, as much impito God in prayer the works of ety in rushing froin God's presevery day, cannot, with a cool, ence into works of wickedness, unreluctant mind, enter on any as in hurrying from these into works, which he knows will be his presence. The man, thereoffensive to that Being, whose fa- fore, who makes prayer a cusvour he has implored. He sees, tomary and serious business, will he feels the inconsistency of ad- act with caution and deliberation dressing God in prayer, and dis- in his ordinary conduct. That honouring him in practice. deliberation, which accompanies

By daily prayer we set God his prayers, will attend his other before us ; we awaken in our important transactions. The minds a sense of his presence, man addicted to profaneness perpower, knowledge, purity and ceives the gross absurdity and goodness; we call up the recol- detestable impiety of passionate lection of our dependence and swearing immediately after a solaccountableness ; we compose emn prayer. If he knew a our spirits, banish criminal pas- neighbour, who statedly prayed sions, and fix pious thoughts and in his family, and frequently fell resolutions ; and thus prepare into violent fits of wrath and ourselves to proceed steadily and storms of impious language, as uprightly in the course of duty soon as the solemnity was closbefore us.

ed; he would condemn the palWho would venture to ad- pable inconsistency of this neighdress the Deity in prayer, while ' bour's conduct. He would think his heart was full of malevolence, bimself a much better man ; for, avarice, revenge, envy, or any though he often sware, yet he other detestable lust or passion? never prayed , so that his imWho would dare to call on piety was not aggravated by ber God for his blessing, while he ing mixed with prayer. But was contriving to execute a vile while the man feels an impress


sion of the sacredness of prayer, same serious errand ? Has not and of the inconsistency of add. this contemplation made you ing profaneness to it, let him se- more watchful over yourself, riously engage in the former; more attentive to your words, and it is probable he will discon- more circumspect in your walk, tinue the latter.

more discreet in your deportThere is a formal, careless · ment? kind of praying, which has little The prayerless man cannot be efficacy either to direct our con- virtuous. The prayerful man, duct, or procure God's blessing. he who is really such, cannot be It is not this kind of prayer, vicious. Converse with God is which I recommend to you ; but not only an essential part of piethat serious, collected manner of ty, but a necessary mean of vir. praying, which may be called tue. In the total and habitual committing ourselves to God, neglect of it, there can be no seand in which God is regarded as curity against sin, and no depresent with us, and the desires fence against temptation, either of the heart are offered to him. from the operation of internal

Such a manner of praying will principles, or from the presence have some influence on the daily of divine grace. “ Thou, there. conduct.

fore, my son, be strong in the I may, in this case, appeal to grace of God; and continue inthe experience of every serious stant in prayer, watching thereperson ; I may appeal to your unto with all perseverance.” experience. Have you not often And remember found a rising passion checked Your affectionate parent, and restrained by the reflexion,

EUSEBIUS. that you have just been in God's presence, pouring out your heart before him ? or by the consideration, that you are soon, to go in- ORIGINAL to his presence, and address him

AGED MINISTER TO A YOUNG in behalf of yourself and others ? STUDENT IN DIVINITY. When you have felt a temptation urging you to an unworthy ac

Dear Sir,

No. 10. tion, has not prayer, at once, Looking at the date of your disarmed it of all its power, and last letter makes me feel a regret, laid it impotent at your feet? In though I have never ceased to the review of the errors of your take a deep interest in all that conduct, and the follies of your concerns your progress and usesocial converse, have you not fulness. perceived your godly sorrow in- You have gratified me much creased, and your virtuous reso- by so many particulars of your lutions strengthened by contem- preaching career, and the kind plating how often you have been reception you have met with thus in God's presence, and sought far. Call it “candid and libehis directing and restraining ral," if so it appear to you ; and grace ; and how soon must again think it a precious favour of God go into his presence on the that so many of his pious minis




ters are induced to strengthen Such a rare harmony of a your hands ; that a part of that whole people, and the cordial church, which he purchased with attachment of so many praying his own blood, and such a re- Christians, ready to strengthen spectable congregation

congregation with your heart in all your work ; them, should so soon and so and whose piety and experience unitedly stretch out their hands may help a young minister to a to you, as their chosen pastor, thousand good ideas ;-open, as under him the Great Shepherd. far as we can judge, a fair prose

Whenever and wherever you pect in the main point. And sball be invested with that office, from their general character, I hope you will be able to say, as there seems little room to doubt a very eminent person did before your faring well among them in yog; “I thank Jesus Christ who temporal things, with proper hath enabled me, for that he economy, and such a measure of counted me faithful, putting me self-denial as this good service into the ministry." In the mean always requires. time, with what aspirations will Accept the love and best wish. your heart go forth, more than es of your friend, &c. ever, to your good Master, for every gift and every grace ; and for mercy to sustain you under the pressure of the present My Dear Sir,

No. 11. occasion.

I shall not fail to wish and ask I have enjoyed your agreeafor you a sure direction, and a ble settlement, and the many clear determination of your duty. circumstances, that

to But my opinion in this case promise you both comfort and ought to be given with diffidence, usefulness; though I hope neithas I know you have those near er of us forgets upon whose you, who are much better ac- blessing both depend. quainted with

than I am. If I must continue my feeble However, I am much inclined to suggestions, I must. The afthink well of the opinion which ficting circumstance of dropping Mr. — has given :-And, in hints to others, is its bringing up

general, have a favourable idea of so many failures of my own, and answering the cordial invitation many which I am afraid it is too of a united and worthy people late to retrieve. No more of with a good grace. Where no Menior to such a navigator as imperious circumstances forbid me. it, I believe this to be your idea. It is not dimcult to bring up

If you do give yourself to them, particulars, which should have I hope it will be with a most been more attended to by myself, tender affection, and a most sin. For instance, I see now more than cere desire to minister to their ever, that the different parts of eternal good : “ Eyen as Christ our work, taken up alternately, loved the church, &c."- It is a and in due proportion, aid and wonderful tenderness.

befriend each other. Retired Vol. III. No. 5.



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„studies furnish us for conversa- ticular I have often thought, that tion; and by conversing with if a preacher, would study the our people, we go to our studies spirit and manner in which the with new advantage ; and the best people, when leaving the more, as our visits bave been world, give counsel to , these properly pastoral. The very about them; the plain and faith

action which is required in mak- ful, yet humble, loving, persuaing our excursions; the vigour, sive, unexceptionable manner; the recreation to our spirits, it would be of great use to him. which they give us, are impor- .. Here, likewise, as much as any tant. We study to better effect; where, we may learn what are we can do more in a little time; the subjects on which the we have not lost so much, in any preacher should be most emrespect, as we feared. ,

phaticale , The death bed. of a Cultivating acquaintance with good man exhibits no metaphyour people prepares them to sical subtilties, no flaming zeal hear us with the better attention. for modes and forms, and little Cherishing affection on our part, circumstantials in religion ; but entering into their interests and the obvious, plain, simple truths feelings, opens our hearts to .of the gospel, and all in a practhem in preaching. But the tical way.. new tracts of thought, which One ihing still let me, add. open to us in the way of pasto- Solenn and awful as the last ral visiting, are many and valu- scene of an irreligious person is, able. The practical and solid there is one circumstance in it, sentiments of thinking and pray- which usually gives me, pleasing Christians; the questions on ure, and an, auimating excitedivine subjects, which will often ment to go on preaching the rebe brought up; the very igno- ligion of the gospel, as an all imrance aud eccentricities of the portant reality. It is this, that less cultivated, will suggest sub- such persous, as well as others jects of meditation and of preach-' generally give their testimony in ing, very necessary, and which, its favour, before they leave the but for mixing often with our world. Some exceptions, we people, would have been less re- meet, but comparatively, very anembered.

few. Conversing with the amicted

Let me pray you, my friend, is of special use to call out every to improve upon these hints, as sentiment we possess, if not to far as you think them just, and suggest new; as generally it favour me with additional illuslets us into much of human na- trations upon the leading idea, ture, and various views of it in such as your own thoughts will different subjects.

readily furnish. * But chiefly, perhaps, are sick Wishing many and great and dying bells useful to cultivate blessings on your person and our own hearts, call forth their ministry, I subscribe, &c. best feelings, and instruct

BETA, how to preach. In the last par


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