Imatges de pàgina

on his part for the servants of God should not be sustained, as the comfortable token that he is indeed under a process of ripening for the delights and the services of the upper sanctuary.

But there is room here too for a caution. There may be a sentimental homage rendered even by a mere child of nature to Christianity. There may be a taste for certain aspects of sacredness, without any kindred delight in sacredness itself. There may be a predilection of the fancy for some of the Spirit's graces, which yet may augur no more one's own vital participation in that Spirit, than would his relish for the simplicity of Quaker attire, or his admiration of that Moravian village, where his eye rested on so many peaceful tenements, and his ear was ravished at intervals with the voice of melting psalmody. And more recently, there is the excitement of all that modern philanthropy which requires combination, and eloquence, and adventure, and busy management; and thus an enjoyment in religious societies, without enjoyment in religion. There may go on an animating bustle in the outer courts, to interest and engage the man, who had no sympathy whatever with those chosen few that now were admitted among the glories of the inner temple. And, therefore, let us try if, apart from the impulse of all these externals, we indeed breathe in a kindred atmosphere, when we sit down in close and intimate fellowship with a man of prayer-if we can listen with eager and heart-felt satisfaction to the experience of an humble Christian-if, when sitting by the bed of the dying believer, we can sympathize with the hope that beams in his eye, and the peace that flows through his heart like a mighty river-or if, when the Bible is upon his lips, and he tries to quote those simple sayings by which the departing spirit is sustained, we can read and rejoice along with him.

But, without attempting any thing like a full enumeration of the Spirit's fruits, we shall advert to the one that perhaps of all others is most indispensablea growing tenderness because of sin-a quicker moral

alarm at its most distant approaches, at its slightest violations of purity or rectitude-a susceptibility of conscience, which exposes one to distress from what was before unheeded, and left no infliction of remorse behind it an utter loathing at that which was, perhaps, at one time liked, or laughed at, even the song, and the oath, and the gross indelicacy of profane or licentious companionship-a sensitive and highminded recoil from the lying artifices of trade-and withal, the pain of a violated principle at those Sabbath desecrations in which we wont to rejoice. This growing hostility to sin, and growing taste of its bitterness, are truly satisfying evidences of the Spirit's operation; and more particularly, when they stand associated with a just estimation of the gospel. Did

the candidate for heaven still think that heaven was won by obedience, then we might conceive him urged on to the warfare of all his energies against the power of moral evil, by the terrors of the law. But thinking, as he does, that heaven is a gift, and not a recompense, it delivers, from all taint of mercenary legalism, both his love of what is good, and his hatred of what is evil. It stamps a far purer and more generous character on his resistance to sin. It likens his abhorrence of it more to the kindred feature in the character of God, who cannot do that which is wrong, not because he feareth punishment, but because he hateth iniquity. To hate the thing for which vengeance would pursue us, is not so disinterested as to hate the thing of which forgiveness hath been offered; and so, if two men were exhibited to notice, one of them under the economy of works, and the other under the economy of grace, and both equally assiduous in the conflict with sin, we should say of the latter, that he gave far more satisfying proof than the former, of a pure and god-like antipathy to evil; and that he, of the two, was more clearly the subject of that regenerating process under which man is renewed, after the image of his Creator, in righteousness and in true holiness.

We might have given a larger exemplification of

the Spirit's fruits, and of those topics of self-examination, by which the Christian might rightly estimate the true state of his spiritual character; but, instead of multiplying our illustrations, would we refer our readers to the following profound and searching Treatise of DR. OWEN, "ON THE GRACE AND DUTY OF BEING SPIRITUALLY MINDED." Dr. Owen's is indeed a venerated name, which stands in the first rank of those noble worthies who adorned a former period of our country and of our church. He was a star of the first magnitude in that bright constellation of luminaries, who shed a light and a glory over the age in which they lived; and whose genius, and whose writings, continue to shed their radiance over succeeding generations. The following Treatise of Dr. Owen holds a distinguished rank among the voluminous writings of this celebrated author; and it is characterized by a forcible application of truth to the conscience-by a depth of experimental feeling-an accuracy of spiritual discernment into the intimacies and operations of the human mind-and a skill in exploring the secrecies of the heart, and the varieties of affection, and the ever-shifting phases of character,which render this admirable Treatise not less a test, than a valuable guide to the honest inquirer, in his scrutiny into the real state of his heart and affections. Amidst the difficulties and perplexities which beset the path of the sincere inquirer, in the work of selfexamination, he will be greatly aided in this important search by the attentive and serious perusal of this Treatise. In it he will find, in minute delineation, the varied tastes and emotions, of affection and of feeling, which belong to either class of the carnal or spiritually minded; and in the faithful mirror which it holds up to the view, he cannot fail to discern, most vividly reflected, the true portraiture of his own cha


But it is not merely as a test of character, that the value of this precious Treatise is to be estimated. By his powerful expositions of the deceitfulness of the human heart, he endeavours to disturb that delusive repose into which men are betrayed in regard to futu

rity, under the guise of a regular outward observance of the duties of religion, and a fair external conformity to the decencies of life, while the principle of ungodliness pervades the whole heart and affections. And here his faithful monitions may be profitable to those who, insensible to the spirituality and extent of the divine law, are also insensible of their fearful deficiency from its lofty requirements-who have never been visited with a conviction that the principle of love to God, which has its seat in the affections of the heart, is an essential and indispensable requisite to all acceptable obedience-and that, destitute of a relish and delight in spiritual things, and with a heart that nauseates the sacredness of holy and retired communings with God, whatever be their external decencies, or outward conformities to the divine law, they still are exposed to the charge and the doom of being carnally minded.

But this Treatise contains a no less important delineation of the state of heart in those who have become the humble and earnest aspirants after heaven, and are honestly cultivating those affections of the renewed heart, and those graces of the Christian character which form the indispensable preparation for the delights and the employments of the upper sanctuary. He marks with graphic accuracy the tastes and the tendencies of the new creature; and most instructive to the Christian disciple is it to learn, from one so experimentally acquainted with the hidden operations of the inner man, what are the characteristic graces of the Spirit, and resemblances of the divine nature, that are engraven on his soul, by which, amidst all the shortcomings and infirmities of his nature, not yet fully delivered from the bondage of corruption, he may, nevertheless, have the comfort and the evidence that he is spiritually minded.

And one principal excellence of this useful Treatise is, to guard the believer against the insidiousness and power of those spiritual enemies with which he has to contend with the deceitfulness of the heart, the natural and unresisted current of whose imaginations is only vanity and evil continually—with the insnar


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vancing and besetting urgencies of worldly things, into
whose presence his duties and avocations will un-
voidably introduce him-with the ever busy tempta-
tions of the adversary of souls, to retain or to recover
the spirit which is striving to enter in at the strait
And, sheathed in the Christian panoply, he
reminds him of the struggle he must hold, of the
watchfulness he must exercise, and of the constant
and persevering warfare he must maintain with them
in his earthly journey, ere he can reach the Jerusa-
lem above. In these spiritual tactics, Dr. Owen was
most profoundly skilled; and it is profitable to be in-
structed in the guardianship of the heart against its
own treacheries, and against those evil influences
which war against the soul-which hinder the outset,
or are adverse to the growth, of the spiritual life-
and which so often grieve the Spirit, and lead him to
withdraw his gracious operations, so indispensable
t de for giving the truth a sanctifying influence over his
mind. And no less important is it to be instructed
in the means for the successful cultivation of the
Christian life; and, by an entire renunciation of self-
cha righteousness, and even of dependence on grace al-
ready received-by casting himself, in the confidence
of faith and of prayer, on Him who is all his strength
and all his sufficiency-by being strong in the grace of
the Lord Jesus-and by abounding in the exercises of
faith and of love, of watchfulness and of prayer, of
obedience and of dependence on the Spirit of truth,
to maintain an ever-growing conformity to the divine
image, and to press onwards in his earnest aspirings
to reach those higher altitudes in the divine life, which
will fit him for a high place among the companies of
the celestial.

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On the means for the attainment of these higher graces of the spiritual life we might have expatiated; but we must close our remarks, without almost one glance on the heights of Christian experience; or those loftier attainments after which we are ever doomed to aspire, but with hardly ever the satisfaction, in this world, of having realized them; or those high and heavenly communions, which fall to the lot

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