« AnteriorContinuar »
faith in our blessed Saviour, that how many of those, who manifestany faith by which we go to him for life, zeal on the subject, are occupied only is confirmed. Nor must we ever about some party or sect to which leave them off, or become remiss in they attach themselves, or with atthe performance of them, until we tention to certain outward observreach the eternal state; until we re- ances, which have a shew of being ,ceive the end of our faith, even the religious, while the grand essential „salvation of our souls,
requisite, I mean, the going to Christ 4. Another point implied in the for life, is neglected. Men are calltext is, that there are but few in the ed day by day to repent and forsake world who will come to Christ for their sins, but they will not do it. salvation. It is as if he had said, They are called to partake of all the
Though all desire happiness, and merits of Christ's death, but they will know that they may have it from me, not partake of them. They are callif they would but come to me for it, ed out of darkness into the marvelyet they will not." Though he him- lous light of the Gospel, but they will self calls them by his word, and by not walk in it. They are called to his ministers, yet they will not come. eternal life by Jesus Christ, but they Though the eternal Son of God hath will not come to him for it: “Ye purchased life for them by bis own will not come to me that ye might death, and calls on them to come to have life.” him for it, yet they refuse to obey bis 5. But what are the causes why call: so desperately wicked are the men should thus refuse to come to hearts of men; so perversely bent Christ for life? Some of these I will are they on their own destruction ! endeavour to explain. It is indeed a melancholy considera- One reason is, that the desires of tion, that men should thus general- men in general are so low and groby slight their only Saviour; nay, velling, that they care not for that ebat, instead of gladly receiving the life which Christ would give them. salvation which he offers, they should They think only of this life. If they rather be disposed to indulge resent- can but live in plenty, and enjoy a ment against those who propose it to certain estimation among men, they them, or who remind them of the are content, and seldom extend their folly and danger of neglecting it. view to what will become of them
Let us take a view of the world hereafter. Thus do they go on, like around us, and we shall soon per- the brutes that perish, eating and ceive that the declaration of our Sa- drinking and sleeping, and either viour on this subject is confirmed by working or trifiing away their time the general practice of mankind in on earth, till at length death comes, every age. But, not to insist on the and hurries them to a place on which, experience of former ages, let us for while they lived, they never bestowa moment consider our own. To ed a thought.
60 chat men were say nothing of those nalions of the but wise, that they understood this, earth who reject Christianity altoye- that they would consider their latter ther, and lie sunk in Pagau or Mo- end !” But this, most of them will hammedan darkness, let us look at not do. It is no wonder then, that those nations which profess it. With they will not come to Christ for life. most of them, however, it is a mere There are some, however, whose profession. They are Christians, not consciences will sometimes be disa because the religion of Christ is true, turbed by the though:s of a future and that which alone bringetb sala state. Yet, even many of these flatvation, but because it happens to be ter themselves with the hope, that the religion of the country in which they shall do well enough without they dwell. And in our own land, going to Christ for help. They are where we find more regard paid sober, and industrious; they live to religion than perhaps in any other, peaceably with their neighbours :
they pay every man his own; they ing to Christ for life, is their having have not been guilty of any very other things to attend to, which they gross sins, which should lie heavy think of greater moment. The cares on their minds; they can therefore of this lite employ their hands, and see no great need of going to ano. fill-their hearts, so as to leave no ther for pardon and salvation. · Here room for the concerns of another we have another cause why so few life. One goes to his farm, and anos will go to Christ. It is those who ther to his merchandise ; one is eniare weary and heavy laden with the slaved by ambition, and another by burden of sin whom Christ calls to pleasure; while God and the soul come to him, for indeed none else will and the eternal world are wholly forbe inclined to obey his call.
gotten. This has ever been, and I There are others, again, who, though fear still is, the common practice of they have some seose of their sins, the world. Though men are invics yet having a high opinion of their ed to partake of all the enjoyments good works, think that these will of heaven itself, they slighi them on overbalance their sins, and justify the most frivolous pretences. One them before God, without having re- man has his shop, another his barns, course to the righteousness of ano- a third his oxen. · Some are occu• ther. This was the case with the pied with the study of languages, Jews of old, and is the case with too some in prying into the secrets of many who are called Christians now, natore, and some in contriving how who, "going about to establish their to advance their fortunes, or to raise own righteousness, will not submit themselves in the world. And while themselves to the righteousness of men's minds are thus set on the things God." They will not go to Christ of this life, they cannot, or rather for life.
will not, come to Christ for life. But Many there are, also, who profess after all that can be said, the strongo the true faith of Christ, who believe est reason for men’s not coming to bim to be the only Saviour of the Christ is their own unwillingness world, the only giver of eternal life, to come. If there were in them but and who yet do not come to him for a willing mind, nothing could binder it, because they will not look into them ; but they will not come to their own hearts. They outwardly Christ, that they may have life. profess Christianity, and they do Can those be reckoned wise who some things which it requires. thus act? Let not any of us be of They have prayers in their families, their number. Let us take care that and perhaps in their closets, and Christ have not to say of any of us, come regularly to church. They “Ye will not come to me that ye do no work on the Lord's-day, and might have life.". Let us, on the cause their family to observe it contrary, fully resolve to come to him. strictly. They occasionally read the Let us deny ourselves, take up our Bible; they hear many sermons; cross, and follow him. Let us take and they sometimes attend the sa- his yoke upon us, and become his crament. Doing this, they think disciples indeed. Let us live in a they do a great deal; and it must be constant trust and dependence on confessed, that it is more than most him for pardon and grace, and for all among us do. But they may do all things necessary to our obtaining ethis in a formal manner, and yet be ternal life. May we all resolve, with as far from really coming to Christ, full purpose of heart, thus to act; rerepenting of their sios, relying on membering the words of our Lord, him, and devoting themselves unre- “What is a inan profited, if he should servedly to him, as if they had never gain the whole world, and lose bis heard of him.
own soul? or what shall a man give in But the causewhich operates most- exchange for his soul?" remembering powerfully to hinder men from com- also the words of his prophet, "As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure respondent; and it may therefore be in the death of the wicked. Turn ye, acceptable, both to him and to others turn ye, from your evil ways, for why of your readers, that the passage ! will ye die?” Why then should we allude to should be transcribed. die? Why should we ruin and de- Having explained the nature of stroy ourselves! We all desire life, the institution, the preparation for and we may all have it if we will. and the manner of receiving it, and Christ hath purchased it for all: be also the effects and benefits of worthihath bestowed it on many, and is ly communicating, he thus proceeds: ready to bestow it on us, if we will " All Christian people must come.' come to him for it. Let us then go They indeed that are in a state of to him that our souls may live; that sin, must not come so, but yet they he may wash us from our sins in his must come; first they must quit their own blood; that he may sanctify state of death, and then partake of and cleanse us by his Holy Spirit; the bread of life. They that are at that he may present us holy, and enmity with their neighbours must without blemish, lo God and the Fa- come, that is no excuse for their not ther; that so, when Christ, who is coming; only, they must not bring our life, shall appear, we may also this enmity along with them, but with him appear in glory ; to whom, leave it, and then come. They that with the Father and the Holy Ghost, have variety of secular employments one God, be honour and glory, might, must come; only they must leave majesty, and dominion, now and ever. their secular thoughts and affections Amen.
behind them, and then come and converse with God. If any man
be well grown in grace, he must To the Editor of the Christian Observer. needs come, because he is excelYour Correspondent PHILALEThes, lently disposed for so holy a feast; (p. 149 of your Number for March) but he that is only in the infancy inquires what he is to do with the of piety, had need to come, that so pumbers who have arrived at an ad- he may grow in grace.
The strong vanced age, without ever partaking must come, lest they becoine weak; of the Supper of the Lord; and he and the weak, that they may become adds, that he believes many of them strong. The sick must come to be to be fit communicants.
cured; the healthful, to be preserv. In endeavouring to persuade them, ed. They that have leisure must " that if they have good reasons to come, because they have no excuse ; suppose that the grace of God has they that have no leisure must come any influence on their hearts, and bither, that by so excellent an act that they are Christians in deed of religion they may sanctify their and in sincerity, they need not fear business. The penitent sinņers must to approach the table of their come, that they may be justified; and Redeemer," he is certainly right, they that are justified, that they may as far as he goes. But I submit to be justified siill. They that have him, whether the nature of the insti- fears, and great reverence to these tution authorises our stopping here: '
mysteries, and think no preparation for my own part, I am inclined to to be sufficient, must receive, that įbink it does not. There is a pas- they may learn how to receive more sage quoted by the pious and learn- worthily; and they that have a less est Jeremy Taylor, which accords degree of reverence must come often, with my sentiments; and I am happy to have it heightened.” to turn the attention of PHILALETHES Agreeing then with the principles to such an authority. From his here laid down, I should certainly doubts, I imagine that this excellent feel myself called upon to declare, in author's Guide to a Holy Life has the strongest terms, that I believed pot fallen into the hands of your cor- their heavenly inheritance to be very much endangered by their neglect of morning and evening with his fa: so positive a command.
mily to the churcb; who by his exWith respect to the efficacy attri- ample, exhortations, and encourage butable to ihe receiving the sacra ments drew the greater part of his ment for the first time at an advanc- parishoners 10 accompany bim daily ed period of life, it does not appear in the public celebration of divine to be a question which we are calle service; and who yet held at the ed upon'to decide. Efficacy is per- same time a very strong and decided haps a word which cannot well be opinion upon the subject of assurance. applied at all; but in what light such I would earnestly and respectfully a service will be viewed in the day solicit the Right Reverend Author of relribution, is known only to God. of the work in question, dispassion, We may, however, go thus far, and'ately to peruse the subjoined Hymn. affirm, that to a person so situated, It by no means follows that the doc. to communicate with proper senti. trine is true, because Herbero has ments, is perhaps the best thing which maintained it; but it does follow in, he can do.
contestibly, that he who asserts it It certainly is no part of a clergy- does not therefore deserve the title man's duty io urge a dying man to either of an arrogant presumptuous the performance of this holy rite ; enthusiast, or of an insidious enebut it is his duty to press upon him my to the Church of England. I strongly, that his neglect of it calis may possibly, Sir, follow up this Joudly for repentance.
Hyunn by several others, not as spe. As to the last query, the fitness cimens of poetry, but of divinity. or unfitness of those who present At the same time, I beg leave to themselves at the table of the Lord, add, though it is almost unnecessary, a minister will perhaps do well to that the transcriber of Herbert is not suspend his judgment. By frequent. pledged to defend any thing beyond ly discoursing on the subject in his ihis position, that holy and humble and sermons, and by an impressive so- sober-minded men, pillars of the Church lemnization of those holy mysteries, of England, have held doctrines, in be may fulfil his own duty; and the former days, which subject the main rest he will do well to leave to the tainers of them in these days to many judgment of Him from whom no se- undeserved episcopal censures, as well crets are hid.
as to much harassing and discourag. ing opposition.
S.I. To the Editor of the Christian Observer,
ASSURANCE. Tae following Hymn will be imme- OSPITEFUL, bitter thought! diately recognised by many of your Bitterly spiteful thought! Couldst thou in. readers, to be taken from that work of the “divine” Herbert, which had so
So high a torture? is such poison bought? very extensive and rapid sale in its Doubtless but in the way of punishment,
When wit contrives to meet with thee, day,and which, with all its quaintness and obsoleteness, its allars, anagrams,
No such rank poison can there be, and Easter wings, contains some good
Thou saidst, but even now, poetry, as well as much excellent dis That all was not so fair as I conceived, vinity. My object in transcribing And coyn large hopes; but that I was de
Betwixt my God and me; that I allow it for insertion is this ; to be a
ceived; standing memorial 10 all the admira
Either the league was broke, or near it, ers of the Refutation of Calvinisin,
And that I had great cause to fear it. that a man did exist, whose obedi
And what to this? What more ence and conformity to the church could poison, if it had a tongue, express? and its discipline, were singular.
What is thy uim? wouldst thou unlock the ly conscientious; who abounded in door private devotions; who went every. To cold despair, and gnawing pensiveness ?
Wouldst thou raise devils! I see, I know, Wherefore if thou canst fail,
Then can thy truth and I: but while rocks But I will to my Father,
stand, Who heard thee say it. O must gracious
And rivers stirre, thou canst not shrink nor Lord,
quail : If all the hope and comfort that I gather,
Yea, when both rocks and all things slali Were from myself, I had not half a word,
disband; Not half a letter to oppose,
Then shalt thou be my rock and towre, What is objected by my fues.
And make their ruin praise thy power. But thou art my desert,
Now, foolish thought, go on, And in this league, which now my foes in- Spin out a thread, and make thyself a coat vade,
To hide thy shame: for thou hast cast a bone Thou art not only to perform thy part,
Which bounds on thee, and will not dowa But also mine; as when the league was
thy throat: made,
What for itself, Love once began, Thou didst at once thyself indite,
That Love and Truth will end in malı. And huld my hand, while I did write.
To the Editor of tlie Christian Observer. lie to doo and prefer such things, as
most speciallie touched the honor of I Enclose you some extracts from Almighty God. And, understandHollinshed's Chronicles, reign of Ed. ing that a great number of poore ward VI., which represent so ad people did swarme in this realme, and mirably that piety of that amiable chieflie in the citie of London, and young Prince, and of the venerable that no good order was taken for Bishop Ridley, that I doubt not you them, did suddenlie, and of himselfe, will readily insert them in your mis- send to the said bishop, as soon as cellany, for the gratification of your his sermon was ended, willing him readers.
not to depart untill that he had spo
ken with him, (and this that I now " It chanced the reverend father write was the verie report of the said in God, maister Doctor Ridleie, then Bishop Ridleie), who, according to bishop of London, to preach before the king's commandment, gave his the king's majestie at Westminster. attendance. And so soone as the ło the which sermon, be made a pi- king's majestie was at leasure, he tieful and godlie exhortation to the called for him, and made him to come rich, to be merciful unto the poore, unto him in a great gallerie at Westand also to move such as were in au. minster, where there was present no thoritie, to travell by some charita. more persons than they two, and ble waie and meane, to comfort and therefore made him sit downe in one releeve them. Whereupon the king's chaire, and he himselfe in another, majestie being a prince of such io- (as it seemed) were before the comwardnesse and vertue for his yeares, ming of the bishop there purposelie as England before never brought set, and caused the bishop (maugre forth, and the same also being so bis teeth), to be covered, and then well reteined and brought up in all entered communication with him in godlie knowledge, as well by his this sort. deere uncle, the late Protector, as also “ First, giving him most bartie by his vertuous and learned schole- thanks for his sermon and good exmaisters, was so careful of the good hortation, be therein rehearsed such government of the realme, and chief: specialt things as he had noted, and CHRIST. OBSERV. No, 126.