« AnteriorContinua »
SKETCHTS ON THE TIMES.
scribed, not relying on himself ing from sin, that you may forto do the works, or on the works sake it finally ; it is a turning to done, as his recommendation to God, that you may serve him favour, but on the grace of God forever. That temper of mind as the principle of strength, which constitutes real converand the righteousness of Christ sion, constitutes the Christian as the ground of acceptance ; character. Whatever is essenand let him wait on God, and tial to the former is essential to continue instant in prayer. Thus the latter. Conversion is the he may trust that he shall not religious life begun. The religseek in vain ; but shall know, if ious life is conversion continued he follow on to know the Lord. and improved. By a patient He is to set no time, when God continuance in well doing seek will meet him with the joy of for glory, honour and immortalof salvation, but to seek diligent- ity, and you will receive eternal, ly until he find. He is not to life. I am, &c. indulge the proud and impatient
EUSEBIUS. thought, that God is unjust in withholding from him so long that comfort and joy, which others have obtained with less labour and in a shorter time ; but STANDING on the threshold of wait on God and be of good a new year, it may be useful to courage till he shall strengthen take a cursory view of recent his heart. He is to commit
past events, and of the existing himself and all that he does to state of things in the world. God, hoping for success, not be- Such a survey, however brief and cause he is worthy, but because imperfect, may help to excite our God is gracious ; not because gratitude to God, and our zeal in his 'works are valuable, but be- his service. cause God's mercy is abun- To begin with our own coundant.
try. Though torn, distractedy There are some, who seek to and weakened by our unhappy, enter into heaven, and are not divisions, insulted by foreign naable. The reason is, either be- tions, and threatened with war, cause they seek too late, and on- yet, amidst the political carthly after the door is shut ; or be- quakes, which have shaken and cause they seek too faintly and desolated other nations, we have abandon the object too soon ; or been permitted to remain in because they place an undre re- peace. Though we have nega Jiance on their own works, and lected to prepare and array the. forget their dependence on the means of defence, which we posgrace of God.
sess; and though our national If you are engaged in the sins and ingratitude have been work of your salvation, go on ; of the most provoking kind; yet work with diligence ; hold out God, in his infinite forbearance with patience. This is a work, and long suffering, has hitherto not for a day, but for life. Con- protected ns under the wing of version is but the beginning of his omnipotence, and prevented the Christian life. It is a turn- our ruin. When all things are brought into view—the situation philanthropists in Great Britain, of Europe, and of those nations for years past, has been turned particularly, with which we are toward the degraded and much connected by treaties and com- injured Africans. The suffermerce, and also the peculiar ings and slavery to which many state of our own country, it is a millions of this unhappy people .wonderful instance of the divine have been sabjected, and by nagoodness, that we have been pre- tions too, who enjoy the light of served in so great a degree of the gospel, and boast their civiltranquillity and national prosper- ization and refinement of manity. Whatever may be the fu- Ders, excited the commiserature course of events, and God tion of these friends of humanionly knoweth what this may be, ty, and prompted them to devise let us not forget past mercies. and prosecute measures to effect, “ Hitherto the Lord hath helped if possible, the abolition of this us." Praise is therefore due to abominable traffic in human flesh. his great name.
And while we After struggling for years, . with prepare to meet hiin in his right noble, fortitude and perseverance, eous judgments, in whatever against various and formidablo form he may inflict them, it be- opposition, their efforts have comes us still to hope in his mer- been crowned with success; cy, and to trust -in bis goodness. and on the 25th of March lasty
Let me next direct your atten- the act, abolishing the British tion to the other continent, on slave trade, received the royal which scenes of vast moment and sanction. So important was this interest to the happiness of man. event considered by multitudes kind have been and are still act of the friends of religion and huing Behold what desolations manity in England, that they the Lord bath there made, which, appointed a day of thanksgiving, under his governing providence, to offer their hearty. thanks to shall all be, made subservient to God for effecting it. And with his praise, and redound w the a view “ to repair, as far as pracglory of his great name. And ticable, the wrongs inficted on while we are distressed at these Africa," a large number of the tremendous scenes, and weep most respectable men in Engover the miseries of the millions, land have associated under the who are the actors and sufferers name of “ The African Instituon this bloody theatre; yet in rion,” for the purposes of diffusthe firm belief that the Lord ing useful knowledge and excitJehovah manages all these awful ing industry among the inhabitaffairs with unerring wisdoin and ants of this benighted portion of infinite goodness, we may and the world. In this work of na. must rejoice.
tional justice and bumanity, that But while God thus “ rides Christian patriot, the Hon. Wilo upon the” political" whirlwind, liam Wilberforce, Esq. has taken wisely directing the storm,” he is a leading and most active part. in other and widely different ways This is an event which calls for . accomplishing his kind designs our grateful acknowledgments to toward our ruined race. Theat- God. The language of it to us, tention of a number of Christian as a nation, is, 6 Go thou and do
likewise.” We have participat- But ours is the day of small ed largely in the guilt of this vile things, compared with what has traffic ; and we owe this injured been done and is still doing on portion of our race, our best ef- the other side of the Atlantic. forts to promote their temporal Amidst all the din, expense, and and eternal happiness.
desolations of wars, wonderful in I would next turn your their extent and effects, millions thoughts to the uncommon and on millions of money have been increasing exertions, which have contributed by the pious and been made for years past, and are wealthy for the propagation of still making, to diffuse the knowl- the gospel. The secret, combinedge of the blessed gospel of Je- ed and formidable efforts, which, eus Christ. A rich and vastly ex- for the last half century, were tended field here opens to our made to “crush” the Redeemer view and contemplation. Great and his cause, have alarmed and things have been done in our own
awakened his friends to make country. Societies for the dis- corresponding exertions for their semination of religious truth, by support ; and the effects producvarious means, by sending out ed have confounded the enemies missionaries, dispersing books, of the cross, comforted and aniand establishing schools, have mated the hearts of its friends, been wonderfully multiplied and and astonished the world. The patronised. In consequence,
heralds of the meek and lowly frontier and other portions of our
Jesus are now proclaiming his country, long destitute of relig- gospel on the islands of the ious instruction, have been made Western Ocean, in South Amer. to rejoice in the light of the gos- ica, in the heart of Africa, on the pel; and the gladdening sound of islands in the Indian Ocean, salvation is fast penetrating the among the populous nations of wilderness on our borders, and India, in China, in Tartary, and cheering the hearts and civilizing along the northern regions of the manners of the wild and rov- Europe and North America. Yet ing inhabitants.
a little while, in the present The extended, ripened, and course of events, and the gospel promising harvest has occasion shall literally be preached to ed a loud call for more labourers. every creature under heaven. This has excited to the establish- In aid of this wonderful spread ment and liberal endowment of of the gospel, a great number of theological seminaries, in the learned and pious men,* sups middle states, and lately in our ported and assisted by missionary own, for the education of pious and other religious societies, and and promising youth for the the liberal contributions of indiwork of the ministry. Prospects viduals, in our own as well, as in regard to these institutions, in other Christian countries, are and the benign influence they are now actually, and very successto shed over the Christian com- fully employed in translating and munity, are cheering and enrap- publishing the holy scriptures turing to those pious souls, who in the languages of many of the have been long praying for the prosperity of Zion.
Particularly the celebrated Mr.
Carey and others at Calcutta. Vol. III. No. 7.
most populous heathen nations, are now in successfal operation, embracing nearly two thirds of in almost all parts of the Christhe human race, who hitherto tian world, for spreading the sahave remained in gross igno. vour of divine truth. It is inrance of the book of life. These deed a day of God's power. He nations are, we trust, speedily to is working wonders on the earth. read and hear the glad news of He is causing the hearts of his salvation, “ each in his people to tremble and rejoice. tongue.”
The prophecies seem to be rapIn this noble work of dissemi
idly fulfilling. And the indicanating the Bible in different lan- tions are fast multiplying and guages, much has been done by brightening, that “the set time « The British and Foreign Bible to favour Zion" is at hand ; and Society," established in England, the happy period near, “ when in 1804. Already has this very the Jews shall be brought in, respectable society expended with the fulness of the Gentile more than 60001. sterling, in the nations," and when all nations purchase and transmission of the shall see and rejoice in the salvaBible in various languages, a- tion of God. The good Lord mong the Mohawks in our own hasten it in his own way and country, among the inhabitants
OBSERVATOR. of Iceland, of Tartary, in New South Wales, at the Cape of Good Hope, and South America, in France, and various other Eu
IMPORTropean nations, and among their
THEOLOGICAL colonists in various parts of the
INSTITUTION. world abroad ; and among their prisoners of war, and the various Since the apostasy of man no classes of poor in their own object has been, or can be, equalcountry. They have also effect- ly important and interesting to ed great good, indirectly, by every thoughtful mind, with that their exainple, in exciting to the which brought the Son of God establishment of similar societies from heaven. The gospel is inin other parts of Europe ; and deed tidings of great joy to all in aiding their infant exertions people. It is the foundation of from their own funds.
our hopes, the charter, of our In all these schemes and ex- privileges ; and to every person, ertions for extending the knowl- duly convinced of his sin and edge and influence of the gospel, misery, welcome as the light of the Jews, the ancient Israel of heaven. But this conviction imGod, a people once near to him, plies knowledge of the truth, exbut long since forsaken of him, cellence, and importance of the dispersed and degraded, have not gospel ; and this necessarily prebeen forgotten. To them the supposes instruction. The divine gospel has been preached, and by Author of our salvation accordnumbers has been embraced. ingly appointed an order of men,
But the time would fail me to to maintain the truth, explain bring into view all the plans, the doctrines, and enforce the which have been adopted, and duties of his religion, who in the
ANCE OF A
first age of Christianity were en- to see that the present and fudued with powers to control the ture generations are deeply inelements, heal the sick, and raise terested in the preparatory eduthe dead. By these powers they cation of candidates for the gosgave sensible, irresistible evi- pel ministry. dence of the truth, and thus com- In serious minds therefore pelled belief.
But since the this question naturally arises, do apostolic age the defence and candidates for the ministry enjoy propagation of the gospel have those advantages for being thorbeen committed to men, desti- oughly furnished for their great tute of miraculous power and un- work, which the difficulties, duties inspired, whose qualifications for and responsibility of the sacred this work are to be derived from function require, and which the deep study, superior science and flourishing state of our country literature, sanctified by divine might easily supply? Every pious, grace, and consecrated to this well informed Christian is doubtservice. But when we hear the less ready to admit, as a melangreat apostle of the Gentiles, choly fact, pregnant with evils inthough educated by Gamaliel, conceivable, that the advantages, and endued with power from on commonly enjoyed by students high, under the weight of his la- in divinity, are inadequate to the bours and difficulties exclaiming, great object of furnishing that “Who is sufficient for these knowledge of things human and things !” we are more than con- divine, which is desirable, if not vinced, that every possible ad- necessary, for the edification of vantage ought to be furnished to believers, and for the conviction those, who in succeeding ages of infidels, and which would renare called, without the aid of in- der their office respectable, as it spiration or miracles, to defend ought to be, among friends and and propagate the same gospel, foes, and their public instructions in opposition to the passions of in the highest degree useful. men and the powers of darkness. If, in addition to a college educaOr, if we reflect on the immedi- tion, three years study under the ate object of the ministry, the direction of some able lawyer or reconciliation of sinners lo God, physician is found necessary to the same conviction forces itself qualify a young man to defend upon us.
For where is the the property or heal the bodies of man of adamant, who would men, can it be thought, that less deny to the ambassador of Christ time and inferior advantages will any advantage necessary to suffice to qualify a student in thesave even one immortal soul ology to preach the gospel of the from endless perdition ? But Son of God, and to take the the eternal state, not of one charge of immortal souls ? A only, but of millions of our fel. transient view of this subject low beings, may, and probably would satisfy every one, that less does, in a very serious sense, de mental furniture will not qualify a pend upon the qualifications as man for the desk, than for a sick well, as fidelity of the ministers room, or for the bar. of Christ. It is therefore easy knowledge of the arts and sci