« ElőzőTovább »
Lord never chose such men as his wit. | because they know no misery; and nesses, and that their testimony is no would have done no good because they better than deliberate perjury and blas- knew no sin. According to this, then, phemy, is too plain to need proof. men must be sinful and miserable, in Though the book of Mormon declares order to do good and be happy. The expressly that the eyes of none but three angels, therefore, who bave always rewitnesses should behold the plates; yet mained in a state of innocence, have in direct contradiction to this we find never done any good, nor enjoyed any afterwards the testimony of eight wit- happiness! What a palpable absurdity, nesses more, who say, “We bear record and glaring contradiction of the whole with words of soberness, that the said Bible. The book or Mormon has been Smith has shown unto us, and we have justly characterized by an able writer as seen and HEFTED, and know of a surety a peevish romance.' The greater part that the said Smith has got the plates.' of it, except what is taken from the Of these eight witnesses three have re- | Bible, is insipid and uninteresting in nounced Mormonism, and the character the highest degree. Though it affects of them all is such as to render them un. an imitation of the style of the Bible, worthy of credit. Indeed, the book of yet it is wholly destitute of the simplicity, Mormon contains internal evidence clear sublimity and majesty of the sacred and convincing, that the testimony of volume. And were it not for its exthe witnesses respecting its origin is a travagant pretensions, and the Sect to base fabrication. If ever a book bore which it has given rise, no one would indubitable marks of being a forgery, think it worth reading. And indeed this undoubtedly does. It is proved to whoever undertakes to read it through be an imposture by all those rules which will find his patience severely tried, if judicious critics have laid down for de- not exhausted, before he gets to the end. tecting spurious writings, and by which As the author of Mormonism pourtraythey have proved that the apocryphal ed' has justly remarked, probably in works, which in the early ages of chris- the history of the world there is not to tianity were ascribed to Christ and his be found an instance of more cool imapostles, are spurious. Like the wri pudence, and deliberate blasphemy than tings just mentioned, it abounds with is contained in this book.'' Nor since contradictions of the Bible; of which the days of the apostles has there ever the following instance may be regarded been å book published claiming to be as a fair specimen :- Behold if Adam written by inspiration, but what has had not transgressed he would not have borne strong marks of delusion or imfallen, but would have remained in the posture. The Bible is the only volume Garden of Eden. And all things, which extant, that exhibits satisfactory proof were created, must have remained in the of being given by inspiration of God.' same state in which they were created, Never has my mind been impressed with and they must have remained for ever a deeper conviction of its divine authenand had no end. And they would have ticity than when I have compared it had no children, wherefore they would with those spurious productions which have remained in a state of innocence, claim to be inspired. For as the heahaving no joy, for they knew no misery; vens are higher than the earth, so far it and doing no good, for they knew no exceeds them all. sin. But behold all things have been The proofs of inspiration which I done by the wisdom of Him who know- have already examined are the only eth all things. Adam fell that men proofs on which reliance can be reason. might be; and men are sinful that they ably placed, and if I have succeeded in might have joy. Page 65. Here we showing that these have ceased since are told that if our first parents had not the days of the apostles, then it will fallen they would have had no children ; follow as a necessary consequence that and therefore it was impossible for them inspiration has ceased since that time. to obey the divine command to be For it is not to be supposed, that God fruitful and multiply, without sinning. would continue to grant inspiration to And if they had remained in a state of men, without continuing to accompany innocence they would have had no joy, l it with its appropriate proofs.
SKETCHES OF CHARACTER.-BY A PASTOR.
No. I.-THE RUINED DEACON. On my entering on a new sphere of evident that by so doing he had done labour I was much struck with the pe- the church the greatest possible favour; culiarities of one of the leading friends. but unhappily for himself it was a fear. He was a man of small stature, exceed ful step in his own downward course of ingly active, very smart in his costume, ruin,-bis family became unsettled, he and particularly polite and courteous in began to wander about to various places his manners. He seemed very anxious of worship, and the restraints of office to oblige, and appeared to pay great de- being now broken he speedily deviated ference to his minister; and more, it was from the line of external propriety, and evident that he was equally anxious to became a religious wreck. One Satur. be thought a person of great importance. day I had been dining with a friend, His address speedily convinced you that when on returning home I found that his education had not been over suffi. tbe ex-deacon had been waiting at the cient; and his strange ideas and pecu- gate to have an interview with me. His liar unfortunately constructed sentences object was soon explained: he wanted often puzzled you, not only on the to borrow a sovereign. He bad by ground of bad grammar, but as to the negligence, if not by dishonesty, lost & mysteriousness of their signification. good situation; his family were in want, His speech, too, was exceedingly rapid, and he was employing his wits to find and he might have studied gesticulation out old acquaintances in order to get under some French teacher. Yet with help by loans or otherwise. To have all this he professed to have been a lent him money would have been abGeneral Baptist for many years. He surdity: I offered to give him balf-&was not niggardly of his means, and he crown, but he pleaded for the sovereign was tolerably punctual in his attend. as a loan. At length he accepted my ance on deaconal duties. It is difficult proffered small donation. I have not to say whether the man ever had reli- seen him since, but his course has been gion or not. For the divers frailties of lower and lower, and the man who once his character must have made all his stood forth as a deacon in the church of friends to stand in doubt' of him. His Christ, by seeking the applause of men, leading sin was vanity; he ever wanted and yielding to his own besetting sin, to be seen and noticed; he wished to be is now a miserable outcast, and his sins considered of great importance to the and folly have entailed innumerable cause; and as the church had been pre-evils on the family to whom he should viously distracted with division, he have been an example, a joy, and a boasted of the wise course he had pur- blessing. How needful, not only to sued, and of the great foresight and sa- make a christian profession, but to cul. gacity be bad evinced. His vanity was tivate humility of spirit and lowliness of evident in all he did, and almost in all mind; to guard against self-sufficiency, he said. The graver defects of his and to pray daily that God, in his grace, character were most felt in the domestic would hold us up that we may be safe. circle: he was always either displaying A man who sows vanity, vanity must a ridiculous levity and fondness towards of necessity be his recompence. A sober the members of his family, or he was mind, a watchful spirit, and a holy conpettish and sulky, or passionate, or trite heart, are the only safe guards to reli. given to whims and temper, as hisinherent gious perseverance, and final happiness. vanity might suggest. His sensitive- As no kind of instruction is better ness was extreme, so that it was difficult adapted to aid us in this work of selfto admonish, or advise, without wound-cultivation, than the study of character, ing and mortifying him extremely. At the above brief melancholy history length a period of trial came to the shows, church, and probably wishing to show 1. That no christian church ought to how he could play the tyrant over his have chosen such a man to the office of family, who were much attached to the deacon; and nothing but party infatuacause, he left, and united with the section ever could have so far erred in his cession party. To my own mind it was official elevation. Vol. 13.-N.S.
KNOWLEDGE SUBSERVIENT TO MAN'S HIGHEST INTERESTS.
2. That of all unmanly and un. 3. That a mere profession or official Christ-like exbibitions, vanity is one of connection with the church is no guar. the most disgusting. If the truth has antee for even moral steadfastnees; and not led us to feel our own unworthiness that all who think they stanı, should what has it done for us? If grace does with such beacons before them, take not clothe with humility what sign have' heed lest they make shipwreck, at least, we that we possees it ?
of a christian profession.
OUR YOUNG MEN.
No. I. KNOWLEDGE SUBSERVIENT TO MAN'S HIGHEST INTERESTS.
By the Rev. J. J. Wood, A. M., of Edinburgh. Religion does not repudiate knowledge; man can do for the good of his kind. by no means. On the contrary, she The humble peasant, who is a child maintains the importance of all know. of God, can indeed train up his children ledge when made subservient to man's in the knowledge of the truth, and, by highest interests. The first thing, the a consistent godly life, can recommend one thing needful is to have our nature pure and undefiled religion to all around recewed by the knowledge of the truth him. But the godly man whose knowas it is in Jesus, and then every increase ledge is extensive, possesses a weight of knowledge in any direction will tend which gives bim a wider and more to the glory of God and our own indivi- commanding influence. His example dual happiness. If a tree bears fruit tells more beneficially than that of a man which is poison, the more fruit that it comparatively ignorant, though equally bears, it is only an increased quantity under the power of the truth, and of poison which is produced. If a tree anxious to be useful. Thoughtless men bears good fruit, then every thing which and godless mockers cannot say of the tends to increase its capacity for bearing, intelligent well-informed christian, that tends to give an increase of good fruit. he is a weak silly man not worth regardIf man in his unregenerated state, and ing. His attainments command their whilst he is the servant of sin, increases respect, and give weight to his opinions, bis knowledge, he just extends bis evil bis labours and his example. Besides capacity and his evil action. If he has this, a man's knowledge directly furnishes been brought under the influerce of him with the means of doing good. It godliness, increasing his knowledge in. discovers to him those quarters in which creases both his godliness and the he may be useful, and the means by influence of his godliness. His know. which good may be done; and it often ledge covers a godly man with fruit large gives him the power of accomplisbiog and beautiful. And our Lord says, what bis understanding approves of as Herein is my father glorified, that ye right. Knowledge is both eyes and bear much fruit.'
hands to a good man in doing the will Look, then, at a godly man who of his Father in heaver, and promoting knows God, who believes on Jesus the real welfare of his fellow men. So Christ, and who lives under the power that whoever wishes to be truly useful, of Gospel truth, and see the importance must see that it is of importance that he of knowledge to such a man, first, in acquire knowledge. increasing his usefulness. If he has but Then, again, we would wish to impress little knowledge he has little power; but on you the importance of knowledge to all the little power which bebas, be man in reference to the exaltation and endeavours to turn to useful account. advancement of his nature, When desHe tries with it to do good. As his titute of knowledge, man goes down knowledge increases his power increases, very near to the condition of the lower and still the spirit of godliness leads animals. The Bosniemen, and some him to devote his increased and in other savage tribes are scarcely above, creasing power to doing good. It is one almost thinks them below the beaver comparatively little that an ignorant and the elephant in the scale of intelli. KNOWLEDGE SUBSERVIENT TO MAN'S HIGHEST INTERESTS.
gent beings. And even in our summit of the series along which man christain land, in the wynds and lanes by increasing knowledge is rising? of your own city, there are to be found Then man's happiness evidently arises human beings so ignorant and debased out of his usefulness, and the exaltation and brutal, that one can discover in aud advancement of his nature. These them scarcely any traces of the excellency furnish bim both with the capacity of of human nature or of its superiority enjoying happiness, and with materials over the nature of the nobler of the to feed and exercise that capacity. Man lower animals. But as kuowledge in- usefully employed, serving with all his creases, the distinguishing features of energies God and his generation, with a man's nature begin to stand out to nature exalted and advancing onwards observation. He begins to appear a to higher degrees of intelligence and rational, intelligent creature, by every power, is man in his best estate, man increase in his knowledge increasing glorifying and enjoying God. the perceptible distance between himself So that if man's highest interests are and the brutes which perish. If his the exaltation and advancement of his sinful nature retains the dominion, and to be regarded asincluding his usefulness, if it be the substratum on which his nature, and his true happiness, knowincreasing knowledge is laid, then in ledge is beyond all question exceedingly increasing his distance from the brute important when made subservient to creation by increasing knowledge, he these interests. approaches nearer and nearer to a re- From all that I have said, my young semblance to a mighty evil spirit. If he friends will at once perceive that true be a new creature in Christ Jesus in christians have every thing to expect, increasing by knowledge his distance and nothing to fear from the increase of from the lower animals, he approaches their knowledge. Knowledge will estabnearer to the angels of light. Knowledge lish their faith, not shake in the slightest constituted a part of the image of God degree its foundations. It will exalt in which man was created; and when a their nature; it will induce and enable man has been made a child of God by them to be more useful to their fellow, regeneration, an increase of his know. creatures, both with regard to this world ledge is just a renewal on his nature of and the next; and thus it will largely that divine image which he originally contribute to their true happiness. In possessed, and wbich was marred by past ages it has sometimes bappened that the fall. God is infinite in knowledge, infidels bave supposed, that in the and the more that a good man adds to increase of their knowledge, facts have his knowledge, he rises in the scale of come to light which destroy the credit of being, and approaches towards the foun. the word of God; and bitter was the tain of perfection. Almost as far as the sneer, and loud the laugh of triumph nature of man is above that of the with which the great discovery was irrational animals, is the bighly culti- paraded before the world. But a little vated intellect of a godly man above the time and a little more knowledge sufficed dature of the entirely uneducated human to show that it was ignorance, and not being, guided solely by sensual passions knowledge which had discovered these and appetites. And what is it that will grand objections. And what has hap. exalt and advance man's nature in a poned already will happen again, till all future world? Is not knowledge one of apparent contradictions of revealed truth the most important elements of that vanish away before the clear light of advancement and exaltation? Will there real knowledge. Verily from the spread not be a vast increase of knowledge, of knowledge religion has nothing to when the veil is withdrawn that separates fear, but every thing to hope. time from eternity ? Will not amazing Let my young friends then engage things then be revealed! And will in the pursuit of knowledge vigorously not that accession of knowledge, that and perseveringly. One parting ad. pouring in of light into the understand-monition and but one I give them ; ing exalt the nature of man, make him Let the fear of the Lord be the beginning a higher and nobler being than he is of your wisdom. Without that fear, now, and carry him on in a progress to knowledge will make a man a fiend. which we can see no limit, since it is with that fear, knowledge carries man the infinite God who stands at the l on to the glorious perfection of his nature.
MENTAL AND MORAL EXCELLENCY, AND THE WAY
TO ATTAIN IT.* The very word excellency has a charm higher place than that werely mental. about it. To excel should be the aim The cultivation of the heart is of more of every human being. A measure of permanent moment than the education sanctified emulation is essential to every of the mind; just as it is better to be a kind of mental and moral labour. To have really good, than only a great man. But then the excelling spirit within us, is how vastly important to excel in both : of great importance; without this, we to be learned and devout, to be wise fear there will be lacking that oneness and holy, to be intellectual and good. of purpose and earnestness of soul which we have just read a work which proare essential to pre-eminence. To the fesses to exbibit these in delightful har. young, the subject is of immense mo- mony, and exhibits them for the express ment; for a neglected, indolent youth purpose of winning others to run in the time can seldom be efficiently redeemed. same course, that they may reach the To the Sabbath school teacher, the stu- same goal. Didactic teaching is no dent for the ministry, and to the young doubt necessary and truly valuable; but pastor, how necessary to have the spirit that which speaks out in the example of and the resolution to pray, desire, and men, that addresses us in their words, resolve, and aim at excellence. Now processes of thought, and modes of acmental excellence, always important, is tion, is often the most likely to tell especially so at this period of the powerfully and effectually upon us. It world's history. Mind was never more is in this way that the Rev. Joshua active than now. The intellectual pow. Priestly has given to us the memoirs of ers of the soul are called up to lively a most talented, pious, and beloved and vigorous exercise, by all the great friend, who laboured for a short while and onward enterprises of our times. in the gospel vineyard, and at the age Ours is the age of letters and literature; of twenty-four, was fully ripe for the of art and science, of pbilosophy and glorious and better land. learning. Superior schools and colleges This interesting and truly valuable are increasing ; books on the subject work, eminently adapted to promote both of speculative and spiritual know both mental and moral excellence, conledge are teeming from the press; and taining 252 pages, is sold in stiff print. institutions for literary and mechanical ed wrappers for one sbilling. We adpurposes are rising in every direction. vise all our Sabbath school teachers, None need be ignorant and really illite- students, and young people in general, rate, but the extremely unfortunate, and to obtain it, and read it, believing that á the thoroughly indolent.
perusal of this excellent life, will both But moral excellence holds a still refresh the mind, and under God's bles
sing, make the heart better. We do * Memoirs of the Rev. John Hessel, by not give extracts, as the work is within Rey. J. Priestly. London: Hamilton & Co. | the reach of all our readers.
THE SABBATH SCHOOL.
ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF THE SABBATH-SCHOOL SYSTEM.* ROBERT RAIKES little knew what a and the Church Catechism' on Sundays. thought God had given him when he in three years the plan had excited sent for four decent, well-disposed public attention, and about 300 children women who kept schools for teaching to were receiving Sabbath instruction in read,' and offered to pay them each a Gloucester. We see them now at early shilling a week for instructing the little morning prayers; about fifty of them ragamuffins' of Gloucester 'in reading voluntarily going to the Cathedral every
day, and after the service all coming * From Green's admirable ‘Sunday-school round Mr. Raikes to make their bow, Teacher's Pocket Book,' for 1851.
and if any animosities have ariser, to