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darkness a swaddling band for forth with fear and trembling, it? When I brake up for it my knowing that without hin they decreed place, and set bars and can do nothing! doors, and said, Hitherto shalt Our strength, my young thou come and no further, and brother, will always lie in taking here shall thy proud waves be hold on his all-sufficiency, and stayed ? xxxviii. 1, 2, 3, &c. He there reposing our hopes for alt that reproveth God, let him an, preparation, all courage, and all swer this, xi. 2, O Lord, such conduct. When we forget this, knowledge is too wonderful for and begin to feel strong in our me : it is too high, I cannot at. own abilities and acquirements, tain unto it!"
we are at once weak as water, PHILO PASTOR. and at once in imminent danger.
I shall still proceed in hints
vhich occur to me, because you ORIGINAL LETTERS FROM AN
have desired it. There are many AGED MINISTER TO A YOUNG
which I am not to suppose have STUDENT IN DIVINITY,
escaped you. Your own thoughts Dear Sir,
No. 9. have suggested the expediency Ar uncommon series of avor of engaging early some judicious cations has postponed those at- and faithful remarker upon eveteptions to you by way of letter, ry thing in manner, which might whicb, when at liberty, I always be amended ; or if there be any find a pleasure in paying You, thing of a higher nature which in the mean time, if my inform requires variation. Very possiation is correct, have entered a bly you are before me in the best new world in a manner ; and things I shall mention ; but their shall I congratulate you, that to occurring to another may the you it is given to preach the more confirm you that they are unsearchable riches of Christ." founded in nature. For what a " grace" is this, my It is of great importance to friend, to you and to me! I wish ourselves and others, that we to recal my own mind more and come with the true air to the more to this thought, and seek exercises of the sanctuary. Deep with redoubled importunity ev. reverence and awe of the Majesery thing in spirit and life, in ty we worship, and in whose gift and grace, which suits so name we speak, should forever high a calling, of which none of go witli us; but not such a dread us cad pretend to be worthy. as prevents the free acting ot Shall we pray and labour that we our faculties, in prayer or sermon. may obtain mercy to do some. We are not come to the mount thing for our Master's honour, whịch burned with fire, &c.* for the advancement of his truth Together with the reverence and and all-interesting cause among godly fear which must still be
maintained, † let a sense of the My wishes will not cease to dispensation we are under, and follow you, that his presence of our approaching the God and may be with you always. Gra- Father of our Lord Jesus, and cious Master! how he remem. bers his poor servants, who go * Heb. xii. 18. | See v. 28.
under his sheltering wing, give spicuous, to be interesting, to exus a glow of filial hope and joy , press the divine truth according that it shall be difficult to say to its nature, and bring it home whether we are more awed or to the consciences and hearts of animated.
the hearers; or if with all our A reverence is likewise due diligence in some things, our to a Christian asseinbly ; but it hearts have not been employed should not be a slavish fear of in due manner, nor our prayers man. St. Paul's modest sensi- ascending for divine help, and bility should indeed be promi- divine success ; then indeed wę nent in every preacher ; Unto may justly feel a misgiving; and me who am less than the least, no confidence of being divinely &c. But we ought to derive a assisted in such a way, ought to courage [a parrēsia] as he did, relieve us, or ought to be indulgby considering in whose name ed; for this would be rather we speak, whose protection is tempting our Maker than trustpromised to us in the line of our ing in him. But when we have duty, and who is able to make religiously endeavoured, accordhis strength perfect in the weak- ing to our time and means, to ness of his servants. We should come prepared according to the have a confidence in the word preparations of the sanctuary ; ve deliver--when we are sure it in tbis case the preacher ought iş scriptural, and deeply interest- to be at rest in a good measure ing to the souls of men ; when respecting his preparations ; and we are conscious that “we quite at liberty to look up for a preach not ourselves ;” that it is blessing to feel his subject, and not our own honour we are seek- to speak " as a dying man to dyjog, but the honour of our di- ing men." vine Lord, and the eternal bene. In short, the same sentiment fit of our fellow men. Such was should actuate us in regard to the the boldness of Peter and John externals of sermonizing, as with before the Jewish council ; * and respect to dress, when we are such the sources from which it going to the sanctuary. We sprung. And such are the views have a care to go decent; not which must relieve us under the with a view to be admired, but consciousness of not perform- to be at liberty from every ing, asthigbly as we wish, in all thought about our anpearance ; respects.
and have nothing to do in that Specially let us beware of car- sacred place, but to realize and rying into the sacred desk the feel the great subjects before us. ansieties of pride and ambition ; Without such previous care we or a too great solicitude respect- cannot be so at liberty. If we ing the brilliancy of composition, dress for admiration, dress will or other externals of preaching. still take us off as effectually, as If indeed there be a conscious. being ragged and dirty. In both ness of not having applied our cases, humility, and not ambi: selves to be scriptural, to be per- tion, is the best directress of our
preparations, and the best preEph. iii. 8.
servative from improper anx. Acts in.
In fact, our preparations should men's shoulders; but they them. be such that when we come into selves will not move them with public, neither ourselves not oth- one of their fingers.” ers should be taken up with our I have hinted heretofore the manner, but with the great truths importance of preaching the whicb are brought to view: As grace of heaven with a gracious it has sometimes been remarked air and manner. On the other of style, that the most perfect of hand, when the terrors of the all is like the crystal of a watch, Lord are brought to view, this which shows the figures within, likewise is to “ persuade men;" but does not show itself. O then and must therefore be done with that clear sense, and strong sense, mingled solemnity and compasof divine truths and their inter- sion. I have heard of thunderesting aature, that shall carry using preachers : But he who to this, and whatever else in man would make sinners tremble, let Der goes to convince, to move, him tremble himself: Not inand to persuade !
deed with a slavish dread ; but Indulge me in a hint or two with sacred awe. As those amore. While we hold up hu- mong men display the most of man depravity and guilt in their true dignity, who show the profull extent, let us not do it as foundest reverence of a God those who think themselves out above; so in this case, they of the question ; but aś remem- speak with the most authority bering with deep abasement, that and power, who speak with the "we ourselves also were some clearest reverence and godly times foolish, hateful," &c.* That fear. so in time past we walked, &c. On the whole, it deserves the And still need mercy, for the inquiry of Christian philososin which dwelleth in us ;t and phers, by what means the most should therefore never exalt our interesting preachers, whom the selves in pride, over those who world has known, became so imhave not obtained mercy.
pressive. Thiey preached Christ When we reprove others, let crucified, and all those intereste it be in a decided, but still in a ing truths, which the doctrine of kind of broken-hearted manner, the cross combines. And they which shews that we do not for did it in great simplicity ; not get our own muinerous failings. attempting to dazzle by the splenAnd when we excite our breth- dour of philosophy, or of fine ren to their duty, let it appear address. They had that kind of that we wish to stir up ourselves eloquence, which a strong sense likewise. Perhaps there is not of divine things, and a deep cona more unâmiable part in the cern for their fellow immortals whole charaeter of the Scribes naturally produced. These gave and Pharisees, as drawn by our an expression to their counteMaster, than this ; “ They bind nances, their tones of voice, air, heavy burdeos, and grievous to actions, and whole manner; and be borne, and lay them on that expression impressed oth
ers. Their concern for the *Tit. ii. 3. f Eph. ii. 2; 8. † Rom. vii. 17.
2 Cor. v, 11.
whole world made them feel at gave the increase : Bat so they home in all assemblies, and throw planted, so they watered. themselves with wonderful ten- Here let me pause and ponderness into the hearts of old and der, and weep over a ministry of Foung; willing to impart to so many precious years : but them not the gospel of God only, still declare, for conscience'sake, but also their own souls.* It is my conviction of the manner in true it was all in vain till God which the gospel of Jesus Christ
should be preached. * 1 Thes. ï. 8.
I am, &c.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE ORIGIN OF RELIGIOUS ERRORS.
From a Minuscript by the late Rev. Dr. Joseph Bellamy.
• 1. WRONG sentiments, in believe a lie, i. e. all the errors moral matters, are criminal, as of the apostate church of Rome ; well as wrong actions. To think 2 Thes. ii. Hatred of true mo. ill of God's real moral character rality, is the real source of all is criminal, as well as to make persecution ; Matt. v. 10, 11, 12. another God of a different moral 2. All the objections of the character to suit our own hearts. human heart against revealed reIThen the Gentiles knew God, they ligion originate from dislike to gioriped him not as God-hey did natural religion ; Rom. viii. 7, not like to relain God in their 8, 9. He that loves true moral. knowledge. Hence they made ity, will love true Christianity, as to themselves gods, such as they soon as he knows it. He that liked ; and these they glorified, loves the moral law, will love builded temples to their honour, the gospel of Christ. Every and offered sacrifices to them honest man will be a Christian, with pleasure. And had the Is. as soon as he hears the word, raelites liked the moral charac- and understands it ; Luke vii. ter of their God, instead of adopt- 15.; Joh. vii. 17.; 1 Joh. v. 1. ing, they would have despised He, who loves the Father, will the worthless gods of their love his own Son, his express neighbours : Rom. i. 21-23; image ; Joh. viii. 42. Jer. ii. 5--13. And as the Jews 3. The enemies of Jesus, who hated the light of the real moral hated him with a mortal hatred, character of their God, so they alleged a variety of things ahated Jesus, who exhibited it to gainst him, to keep themselves their view ; Joh. iii. 19. & vii. 7. in countenance ; but our Saviour, & viji. 40-45. & xv. 20-24, who was intimately acquainted And as the Christian nations did with the whole affair, and even not receive the truth in the love of knew their very hearts, intimat. it, but had pleasure in unright- ed privately to his brethren aceousness, this prepared them to cording to the flesh, who at that time took sides with his, enemies, sentiments concerning the whole -what was the real cause, and the system of revealed religion ; and original foundation of all this ille if all our prejudices against nate will towards him. John vii. 7. ural religion were removed, we The world cannot hate . you, (as should have no prejudices left you think and feel as they do),; against revealed religion. To but me it hateth, because I testify be more particular : of it, that she works thereof are. 5. The real moral character evil.-Even so hath it happened of God, the knowledge of which ever since, that though those in was lost among the nations of Christendom, who have, hated the earth, but is now brought to and persecuted the true follow- light in the sacred writings, ers of Christ, rejected the true Were it understood and cordially scheme of religion, and invented yiewed as an absolutely perfect other schemes to suit their yari. character, would soon convince ous tastes; have at all times al us that God is fit to sit at the leged a great variety of reasons head of the universe, and decree to justify themselves : Yet as and conduct according to the Jesus was hated, so real Chris- good pleasure of his will; and tianityhath always been hated, all our objections against his because it testifies of the world, eternal decrees and universal proy. that the works thereof are evil. idence, would in effect vanish at This was the true secret, then, once and we should begin to sing, and; it hath been the true se. as in Psalm xcvii. 1. The Lord cret ever since ; although, then, reigneth, let the earth rejoice. And Christ Jesus himself was pub 6. Right sentiments of the licly so odious, that, those who moral law ; , of true morality ; smurdered him, and killed his fole of the nature, extent, and excellowers, thought they did God lence of all that duty which God service, and were promoting the requireth of man, and of our cause of morality; and although obligations to yield all that love it hath frequently been so in ages and obedience which is required since. If they persecute me, of us, together with a feeling they will also persecute you : he that we in fact are moral agents that hoteth me, hateth my father with respect to the whole of that sleo. Blessed are they who are love and duty which is required i persecuted for righteousness sake; would at, once prepare us to Matt. v. 10. Or, which is the make a right estimate of the nasame, for my sake; v. 11. 1 And ture and degree of our moral dethis hath been the real ground of pravity, and of our guilt and ill allrspersecution for 80 perse desert, and of our need of that cuted they the prophets which Redeeiner and Sanctifier, and of - Were before you ;, verse 12. that pardoving mercy and sancti. 14. Right sentiments concern. fying grace, revealed in the gos
ing the moral character of God, pel; and dispose us with candour and concerning the moral law, ,10 understand scripture words morality, moral obligation, moral and pbrases relative to those subagency; all which belong to natjects, and answer a thousand obural religion, would prepare us jections which otherwise will fill to receive and entertain right our minds. Vol. III. No. 2.