mind, by giving a proper direction sanctifying is this deep, personal, to this influential principle. He heartfelt interest in the word of so operates through this natural God, under the influence of the medium, that the subject of his Spirit of Christ. influence identifies holiness with

D. R. happiness, and the object of gratitude with that of esteem. He sees the stamp of divinity on the reve

ON HEAVENLY-MINDEDNESS. lation of a plan of redemption so fitted to command the inost pro A HUMBLE, holy, serene, and found veneration, while it wins devout frame of heart, is the best the heart by the display of an prelude and pledge of our future attractive and overcoming loveli- felicity : for indeed a portion of ness, and the most communicative heaven must possess and influence goodness. He traces the hand of our minds, before we can take ac, that God who knows whatis in man, tual possession of heaven. Na, and meets the whole feelings and ture draws and binds us to the powers of his nature, who can in- dust; grace lifts and attracts us fluence the most secret springs of to the skies. Where the Spirit of volition, and, by means most ac- God dwells, a new taste is formed, curately adapted to all the parts a new temper is produced and culof our mental constitution, effects tivated, a new element of feeling, a complete moral revolution in of interest, and of pleasure, is the soul. And feeling this, he is created. In strict accordance with no longer the dupe of vain no- this statement, saints are earnestly tions and mere opinions, care, exhorted to set their affections on lessly adopted, and ready to be as things above, where Christ sitteth carelessly abandoned. He has at the right hand of God. There been led to see and to feel his only can be found the perfect need of a moral remedy, and has peace and enjoyment for which happily found in the Gospel the they are daily panting and prayvery thing of which he was in ing, as the consummation of their want, though he knew it not. hopes. There only can the ranHis convictions are now power- somed and regenerate soul breathe fully efficient, and he delights to ber native air, pluck immortal dwell on the wonderful facts and fruit from the tree of life, feed events in which the principles that without satiety on the hidden thus affect him are embodied; and manpa, and drink of that river the more he does so, the greater is of pleasures which flows clear the force with which they come from the throne of God and the home to him, and the influence Lamb. that they exert over him. Every And is it not evident that the thing seems as if made for him Christian, while pursuing his jouralone. “ All this,” he says, “ re- ney through the wilderness, will lates to me: to me the words of be heavenly-minded in proportion this salvation are sent. What are as his thoughts and desires are abstract speculations to practical fixed on heaven? Does not the truths such as these? Let them habitual anticipation of his future be given to the wind, for this is rest sooth and calm the ferments demonstration.” To be thus af- of his troubled bosom ?. White fected is a very different thing he views by faith the unspotted from being lost in vague gene- beauty of holiness, and the unralities, and busied with empty wąsting store of happiness posspeculations and opinions floating sessed by the saints in light, is in the head. And powerfully not a salutary and purifying pro. cess sensibly carried on within claims and obligations of religion. him ? The soul, in close contact We are commanded to be diligent with sacred objects and serene in business, and at the same time delights, by sympathy inhales a fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. sacred and refreshing spirit, and But when secular transactions belearns to look with indifference gin to engross an undue proporand contempt on the gilded toys tion of time and thought, the latand trifles of the present world. ter part of this precept is nearly “Our conversation,” said St. Paul, forgotten. While the things of " is in heaven; from whence also the world fill the head and the we look for the Saviour, the Lord hands, the spirit of the world seJesus Christ.”

cretly insinuates itself into the It is the distinctive charac-, heart. The forms of public worteristic of the ungodly, “ that ship may be still attended ; the they mind earthly things.” Their pre-eminent importance of the thoughts, passions, and pursuits, divine favour may be still acare contined to this visible diurnal knowledged; a decent and respbere. The Christian and the spectable profession of piety may man of the world, in their best be still maintained; but the sehours, form and exbibit a striking renity and sunshine of a calm, contrast. The citizen of earth holy, and heavenly state of mind, feels himself most happy, when are gone. There is more of Mamhe is so wrapt and enclosed in the mon than of Christ, more anxiety things of time as to exclude every about gain than godliness. idea of eternity; the Christian An enthusiastic admiration of finds himself happiest when the the fine arts may prove hostile to grand scenes and realities of eter- a heavenly mind. Let me not nity so fill and interest all his here be misapprehended, as I am faculties and feelings, as to raise far from wishing to proscribe, or him above the poor allurements in any way discourage, those and little perturbations of time. arts. Poetry, music, painting, But how is this heavenly frame of and architecture, open a thousand mind best cultivated and promo- avenues of pleasure. To a certed ? No inquiry is more impor- tain extent, these gratifications tant, or it is to be feared, less are not only allowable, but also considered. It can scarcely be positively useful. It must, hownecessary, in this place, to dwell ever, be recollected, and should on the grossest and most pal- never be denied or concealed, pable causes, which obviously that a studied indulgence of the impair our spirituality and wound senses, even in the more refined our peace. Those who rush into enjoyments which can be proprofligate or frivolous company, cured for them, strengthens our or frequent gay and fashionable attachment to the world, and amusements, cannot reasonably abates the ardour of our religious expect to retain any savour or affections. This reasoning will enjoyment of genuine religion. apply to the sciences, as well as

But dangers lurk under forms the fine arts. Philosophy has very little suspected. The pur. been aptly called the handmaid suits of lawful business may prove of religion ; but when the former injurious to a heavenly mind. It gains the homage due to the latter is true, the sober course of an alone, the sad consequences can honest industrious tradesman, is be easily foreseen and foretold, both honourable and useful; and The Christian may dig and toil, the relative claims and ties of and think himself growing rich in life do not necessarily oppose the scientific knowledge, while he is becoming poor in sacred wisdom, imitate the character of Jesus. He or satisfying comfort. “Misem- is thy final portion and thy faultployment of time,” says the late less pattern. What meekness of Mr. Cecil, “ is injurious to the wisdom ! what ardour of zeal and mind: when reflecting in illness benevolence! what patience, reon my past years, I have looked signation, and devotion! filled his back with reproach on days spent soul, and shone forth in his life in my study : I was reading and conduct! Be firm and faiththrough history, and poetry, and ful, active and humble, like him. monthly journals; but I was in Follow his steps, and muse on my study! Another man's trilling the glory which he has promised is notorious to all observers; but to all his servants. By loving and what was I doing? Nothing, imitating the divine Redeemer, perhaps, that has a reference to by believing and anticipating the the spiritual good of my congre- felicity of his future kingdom, thy gation! I do not speak against disenthralled spirit shall soar aloft a chastised attention to litera- as on eagle pinions, leaving the ture, but the abuse of it.”

base and beggarly elements of the If we would maintain heavenly. world, and the tinsel toys and mindedness, both the palpable and flattering baits behind thee; and the less obvious dangers to which thou shalt experience a liberty, we are exposed must be cautious- a peace, a lively hope and anily shunned. Nor is this all; the mating joy, which language is too positive means of grace are to be feeble to describe, and the wealth used, with a direct and immediate of worlds is too poor to purchase. view to the ends for which they

AMICUS B. were instituted. The apostolic May 20, 1827. direction to Timothy, “ Exercise thyself unto godliness," may be justly applied to every Christian. AN ANCIENT ADMONITORY LET. Sbake off the spirit of slumber, TER FROM A CONGREGATIONAL and the habit of indolence, and

CHURCH TO A DISORDERLY put every talent and faculty in

MEMBER. requisition and full employment. Set the glory of God before thee,

(To the Editors.) as thy prime aim and object, as GenTLEMEN,,In looking over the pole star of thy course. Give the papers of a deceased friend, attention to reading, and remem- I lately found a copy of a letter ber that there is one book, and of exclusion, addressed by an Inbut one, which is able to make dependent Church in one of our thee wise unto salvation, through respectable country towns, to a faith which is in Christ Jesus. disorderly member of their society, From this sacred volume, this in- bearing date May 1703. The estimable mine of truth, replenish, document interested my own mind, enrich, and adorn thy soul. Be as indicating the desire formerly frequent and fervent, patient and cherished for the purity of our persevering, in prayer. To be churches, and the light in which, like God, we must be near God. a century and a quarter ago, our At the throne of grace, the be- ancestors viewed many principles liever feels bis mind expanded, and practices which it is appreenlivened, invigorated, consoled, hended are, to say the least, as refined, by the communications of prevalent now as then. I am disdivine light and love.

posed to hope, that the publicaTo maintain a holy and heaven- tion of such a document may not ly temper, attentively study and be without some beneficial effect, at a time in which our churches of dealing with the widow S— , shoeare in danger of erring, rather maker, in that parcel of leather you through laxity than severity of agreed with her for £10. or £11., giving discipline:-and in which, there is a guinea in hand, taking some of the

goods, and promising to pay the rereason to fear, many practices in mainder of the money in a short time; commercial pursuits are connived but neglecting payment according to at, if not defended, which are, that slippery tongue of your's, that had utterly repugnant to Christian promised it until it came to an arrest. principles and requirements. With The general report of you, in town and this feeling I forward you a copy

country, is, that you are a great liar in

dealing. of the paper alluded to, and shall

“ 2. The sin of injustice. You dared be happy if your views so far to offer to stand trial with her, contrary accord with mine as to induce you to all equity and moral uprightness : to give it a place in your valuable that if a human judicature would have and interesting work. I remain, encouraged, you would plainly have Gentlemen,

gone beyond this woman's power to Your's, &c.

have defrauded her of right. This bold

standing of trial of your's, though it was May 18, 1827.

H . B

never so little a time, and never so little success to yourself, is directly against

that rule of Christ, which is upon record "_, May 6, 1703.

in the Epistle to the Thessalonian church, “ Brother W— R- Jun.

that no man go beyond and defraud his " We the church of Christ at , brother in any matter, because that the unto which you do stand related as a Lord is the avenger of all such, as we disorderly member under our present also have forwarned you and testified; care, can greet you now no otherwise, and however the formality of the phrase, according to Christ's rule, but with the his brother, varies from his neighbour. rod; after a long spirit of forbearance he or she, yet the morality of it is the and brotherly expectation, as becometh same; because standing trial with her saints, that long before this you would was a sin against another rule of Christ, have been enabled by Him, who is which commands you to provide things exalted to grant repentance unto Israel, honest in the sight of all men. (Rom. to have laid before us the humble sense xii 17.) You should have provided of those vile scandals, which your base your money according to the bargain, naughty heart and lying tongue have this had been honest; not have prolong and often laid the Gospel of Christ, vided an injurious opposition to the which is dearer than our reputation, woman to stand trial. under: and for which, after all this “ 3. Abounding in the same fault, long suffering and gentleness of Christ over and over; for when you could in the church, you must be faithfully, make nothing of standing the trial, then as a faulty brother among us and deep you came to the old trade of promising offender, dealt withal; that Christ's and deceiving; and afterwards promishonour may not always suffer by this re. ing this woman's second husband you proach, which your sin has cast upon would stand to your bargain: pay, gave him.

it under your hand, that you would “ The charge, which we shall be fetch the goods according to the agreeready one and another of us to prove, is ment, in a short time, or pay 40s.; but summed up under the following heads: you failed here too; till last of all, after

“1. The sin of lying and dissimula. many falsifyings of your word, you took tion, contrary to the rule, 'wherefore the goods putting away lying, speak ye every man “ 4. Giving occasion to the advertruth to his neighbour,' Eph. iv, 25. sary to speak reproachfully - for upon This lying of your's in trade, promising this matter the woman hath reflected payment, but scandalously, time after the scandal both upon us and you, that time breaking your word, after the strict there should be such as you among us. obligations of truth and justice in deal. This was thrown upon us before some ing, hath been often a complaint against of the church, as to sister B , and you, both before and since you left this sister S--, when among us, who made town. The proof of this charge is ready mention of it to brother A-- in town, to be produced against you, in a matter This is a sin against that rule which bids

us give no occasion to the adversary to Achan's greedy eye, and a covetous speak reproachfully.

heart, brought you to the lottery? *"5. Borrowing money of a poor “ 10. Your losing other men's money woman in town, good-wife by at the lottery, for you had none of your name, and this upon a mere deluding own to venture, having spent it all long her with fair words— promising to pay afore. her time after time, but as often failing; “ 11. Your going off scandalously in she complains of this, adding, that you so many persons' debts, as also, when ran in debt a whole summer together, you saw yourself sinking in the world, for such a slight commodity as milk, never speaking with the pastor about it, and at last went off many pounds in her nor any of the brethren of the church; debt.

as if you were resolved to break with :"6. Unjust dealing with Mr. W : the world, and with us too. And innot only tricking him with lyes to get deed your absenting from the meetings further into his debt; but conveying of the church, before you went off, bave away those goods privately, which you been notorious, and you have visibly had made over to him by judgment sunk in your estate in the world, we have confessed and bond, as Mr. W— his observed, since your last haughty unundoubted right, for so much money becoming carriage in the church, whilst lent you as they were worth.

under reproof. “7. Betraying a trust, and convert “12. Your incorrigibleness whilst in ing to your own use, the money which London; no signs of remorse, but a a gentleman at committed into letter to the church full of self-justificayour hands, to pay a scholar in town. tion, and the true copy of yourself, the It is said, the man who sent it is like empty flourishes of a vain and unconto be sued for the money. What a sidering man. horrid shame is this; and the more, in “ We do, therefore, having all these that the scandal of it is spread abroad crimes before us, resolve to vindicate both in town and country.

Christ as openly, if possible, by making "8. Another act of injustice comes you a publicke example, as you have in against you-it is this. A tanner out openly reproached Him: and do think of the country told one of the church, it highly necessary, that the government that you came and bargained with him of Christ should take in hand to protect for a parcel of goods, bidding him lay the reputation of the Gospel of Christ, them by wbilst you brought money and and the Lord make both this and that fetched them; the tanner, it should to be of use to your soul. seem, as he had reason, not caring to “And signed by some of us in the trust such a slippery customer without

name and with the consent of money, because you owed him a great

the rest." deal of money before; whereas, you « Given at our Church Meeting, the came not then, you nor your money; day and year above written." but when he was gone out of town, then you came fraudulently to the inne,

muun fetched them without money, and have never paid for these goods to this day. CURSORY REMARKS ON THE DIS.

"9. Your ungodly playing at the SENTING COLLEGIATE SYSTEM. lottery last fair. How dare any church member play with lots? A lot

(To the Editors.) is a sacred thing-it is an immediate GENTLEMEN,-It gave me great appeal to God to decide a controversy. pleasure to see the important subIs this fit to be taken up in sport? the

ject of the training of the rising nature of it is a direct eyeing of God; for when the lot is cast, the whole disa ministry brought under discussion posing thereof is of the Lord. Did you in your very valuable publication. think such a man as you, should have I am not sure you will deem the God directing your lot for you? No; few observations contained in this if you had thrown a hundred times at letter worthy of insertion in your that sport, so long as God had then

pages, or likely to render any asmanaging of the lot, you should have P

sistance in this very important inbeen the loser; for you only have I SIS known, says God, of all the families of quiry, which I should wish to see the earth, therefore I will punish you pursued at much greater length. for all your iniquities. What but an Should they appear to you of any

« ElőzőTovább »