صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

not received and obeyed her precepts, be imputed to her as their defender and patron.

No; the only real patron of WestIndian slavery, is torpor and selfishness of heart, false views of policy, fear of the power and wealth of the West-Indian body, the revenuethe blood-stained revenue-raised from the importation of colonial produce, the ignorance in which our carelessness leaves so many Englishmen of the horrid facts of the case, and the backwardness of man to discharge a duty towards an absent and unprotected class of sufferers.

But these subterfuges are fast disappearing. The public mind is more and more aroused. The indignation of a generous people will not suffer much longer the greatest instance of oppression to go unredressed. The rising principles of true Christianity will pervade our legislature and our government.

The fear of the Divine wrath for a

great national sin, will overbalance the false fears of man, and the false calculations of a short-sighted policy. England will awake to its duty. All due consideration, indeed, will be given to the actual situation of our slave population, and the just interests of the slave owners and merchants; but the main duty of mitigating the condition of the present generation, and preparing for the manumission of the next, will be efficaciously discharged. And the country, which is multiplying its missions and circulating its Bibles abroad, will no longer be reproached with the monstrous inconsistency of neglecting nearly a million of its subjects in its own colonies at home.

"So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun; and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter." Eccl. iv. 1.

"If thou forbear to deliver them

that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?" (Prov. xxiv. 11, 12.) D. W.

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. I FULLY concede to my geological friends, that Divine Revelation was not intended to instruct mankind in matters of science: still, if a revelation has been vouchsafed to us from the Creator, it cannot be really inconsistent with the phenomena of his creation. How then do scriptural geologists reconcile the occurrence of death among the animals on our globe during myriads of years, as is alleged, before the formation of man, with the descriptions of Scripture which have always been considered as making the introduction of death into the world, the consequence of the sin of Adam? Among the many pious and intelligent students of the justly popular science of geology, which is especially making rapid progress at both our universities and among our clergy, I trust some one will oblige me with a reply to this not unimportant inquiry.

OXONIENSIS.

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. IN your Number for July (page 402), your correspondent ALCANOR, in his observations on "the canonization of executed felons," has justly exposed the absurdity and dangerous consequences resulting from the exaggerated statements in our public journals respecting the state of mind of criminals previously to their execution. That felons, without giving decided evidence of repentance and faith, should be allowed to profane the holy ordinance of the Lord's

Supper-an ordinance which was not intended by our blessed Saviour as a passport from a state of spiritual death to immortal life, but as a means of spiritual edification to his true disciples, -is a practice which no seriously reflecting person can

approve.

Bat while I thus far agree with your correspondent, I consider it unscriptural to regard the salvation of men, or their preparation for eternity, as a matter necessarily requiring a considerable length of time. Alcanor seems to take it for granted, that in no case can those epithets which the reporter for the Berkshire Chronicle employs to describe the "calmness" and "happy resignation" of Giles, be justly applied to "unfortunate" men similarly circumstanced; and he quotes Mr. Newton, to prove that a man's spiritual condition before he died is to be judged of, not by what we may gather from a death-bed scene, but by his life.

Now, it will be conceded, that great uncertainty attends a deathbed repentance. There are so many powerful objects which force themselves upon the mind in the near prospect of death and eternity,-the review of a life spent in a course of sin, and neglect of religion; the recollection of mercies and privileges slighted and contemned; the day of grace almost suffered to pass by; and the fearful expectation of " the blackness of darkness for ever,"all demanding the immediate attention of the sinner, that he may well be supposed sometimes to give to the questions proposed by those who feel deeply interested in his welfare answers and professions which do not indeed proceed from a truly regenerate mind. On these accounts, then, the sentiment of Mr. Newton is perfectly just, that far greater evidence of true religion is to be obtained from a man's life (in which those circumstances above mentioned do not operate so forcibly, and in which his character is presented in various CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 311.

points of light), than from his death. This, I doubt not, was what Mr. Newton meant, in the words cited by Alcanor. But, admitting this, is it true that repentance must necessarily be a work of much time? May not a sinner, in the space of a day, or a few hours, nay, in a shorter period still, repent, and through faith in the Saviour be accepted of God? Without going so far as to assert with Dr. Johnson (in another part of the work quoted by your correspondent), that conversion may be effected instantaneously, have we not reason to believe that many are converted, like the thief on the cross, in a very short time? Surely then your correspondent might have spared the sentiment-" if converts they are-of a fortnight's standing." Is their character to be decided by the length of time they may have professed to have received the grace of God? Is the arm of God shortened that he cannot save a soul from death in this short space?

[blocks in formation]

1

AT A FUNERAL.

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

From foes that would the land devour;

From guilty pride, and lust of power;
From wild sedition's lawless hour;
From yoke of slavery:

From blinded zeal by faction led;
From giddy change by fancy bred;
From poisonous error's serpent bead,
Good Lord, preserve us free!
Defend, O God! with guardian hand,
The laws and ruler of our land,
And grant our church Thy grace to stand
In faith and unity!

The spirit's help of Thee we crave,
That Thou, whose blood was shed to save,
May'st, at thy second coming, have
A flock to welcome Thee!

FOR ST. JAMES'S DAY.

Though sorrows rise, and dangers roll
In waves of darkness o'er my soul,
Though friends are false and love decays,
And few and evil are my days,

Though conscience, fiercest of my foes,
Swells with remembered guilt my woes,
Yet ev'n in nature's utmost ill,

To

I love Thee, Lord! I love Thee still!
Though Sinai's curse, in thunder dread,
Peals o'er mine unprotected head,
And memory points, with busy pain,
grace and mercy given in vain,
Till nature, shrinking in the strife,
Would fly to hell to 'scape from life;
Though every thought has power to kill,
I love Thee, Lord! I love Thee still!
Oh, by the pangs Thyself hast borne,
The ruffian's blow, the tyrant's scorn;
By Sinai's curse, whose dreadful doom
Was buried in Thy guiltless tomb:
By these my pangs, whose healing smart,
Thy grace hath planted in my heart;
I know, I feel, Thy bounteous will!
Thou lovest me, Lord! Thou lovest me still!

IN TIMES OF DISTRESS AND DANGER.

Oh God, that madest earth and sky, the darkness and the day,

Give ear to this Thy family, and help us when we pray!

For wide the waves of bitterness around our vessel roar,

And heavy grows the pilot's heart to view the rocky shore!

The cross our Master bore for us, for Him we fain would bear,

But mortal strength to weakness turns, and courage to despair!

Then mercy on our failings, Lord! our sinking faith renew!

And when Thy sorrows visit us,
Thy patience too!

O send

BEFORE THE SACRAMENT. Bread of the world, in mercy broken! Wine of the soul, in mercy shed! By whom the words of life were spoken, And in whose death our sins are dead! Look on the heart by sorrow broken, Look on the tears by sinners shed, And be Thy feast to us the token

That by Thy grace our souls are fed !

Beneath our feet and o'er our head
ls equal warning given :
Beneath us lie the countless dead,
Above us is the heaven!

Their names are graven on the stone,
Their bones are in the clay;
And ere another day is done,
Ourselves may be as they.

Death rides on every passing breeze,
He lurks in every flower;
Each season has its own disease,
Its peril every hour!

Our eyes have seen the rosy light
Of youth's soft cheek decay,
And Fate descend in sudden night
On manhood's middle day.

Our eyes have seen the steps of age
Halt feebly towards the tomb;
And yet shall earth our hearts engage,
And dreams of days to come?
Turn, mortal, turn! Thy danger know;
Where'er thy foot can tread

The earth rings hollow from below,
And warns thee of her dead!
Turn, Christian, turn! Thy soul apply
To truths divinely given;
The bones that underneath thee lie
Shall live for hell or heaven!

ON RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS.

O Saviour of the faithful dead,

With whom Thy servants dwell, Though cold and green the turf is spread Above their narrow cell,

No more we cling to mortal clay,

We doubt and fear no more,
Nor shrink to tread the darksome way
Which Thou hast trod before!
'Twas hard from those I loved to go,

Who knelt around my bed,
Whose tears bedew'd my burning brow,
Whose arms upheld my head!
As, fading from my dizzy view,

I sought their forms in vain, The bitterness of death I knew,

And groan'd to live again.
'Twas dreadful when th' accuser's power
Assail'd my sinking heart,
Recounting every wasted hour,
And each unworthy part:
But, Jesus! in that mortal fray,
Thy blessed comfort stole,
Like sunshine in a stormy day

Across my darken'd soul!
When soon or late, this feeble breath
No more to thee shall pray,
Support me through the vale of death,
And in the darksome way!
When cloth'd in fleshly weeds again
I wait Thy dread decree,

Judge of the world, bethink Thee then
That Thou hast died for me.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

[blocks in formation]

If our readers have tracked our course through the thorny mazes of the Synod of Dort, they have doubt less long since asked, what has become of our still surviving hero, Hall, Dean of Worcester? The new Arminians had been silenced, deprived, and banished from home and country, for not subscribing to the new and expressly Calvinistic Articles of the Synod of Dort; and it remains to be proved how far a different line of conduct availed Hall himself. Very little credit results to King James's agents at this synod; more especially as the English dignitaries who subscribed to the sentence against the "poor Arminians," might perhaps hereafter be traced to the same margin, and seen dropping their buckets into the same well. But what, it is asked, were the doings of our worthy Hall on this occasion? To his elegant Latin pen was consigned the task of a first address to that assembly and we find in it abundance of that complimentary style which was not among the least pernicious of the evils familiar, but we presume not peculiar, to the court of our English "Solomon." This, however, done, and the moment ar rived when the principles and practices of the synod were more fully to display themselves, it fell out that "the unquietness of the nights in those garrison towns," and probably, too, during this November season, those marshes and fogs with which the name of Walcheren has made us but too familiar, marvellously working, as the good Dean

continues,

"on the tender disposition of my body, brought me to such weakness through

want of rest, that it began to disable me from attending the synod: which yet, as I might, I forced myself unto; as wishing that my zeal could have discountenanced my infirmity. Where, in the mean time, it is well worthy of my thankful remembrance, that, being in an afflicted and languishing condition for a fortnight together, with that sleepless distemper, yet it pleased God, the very night before I was to preach the Latin seimon to the synod, to bestow on me such a comfortable refreshing of revived, and I was enabled with much sufficient sleep, as whereby my spirits were vigour and vivacity to perform that service: which was no sooner done, than my former complaint renewed on me, and prevailed against all the remedies that the counsel of physicians could advise me unto; so as, after long strife, I was compelled to yield unto a retirement, for the time, to the Hague; to see if change of place and more careful attendance, which I had in the house of our Right Honourable Ambassador, the Lord Carleton, now Viscount Do1chester, might recover me." Hall, pp. 84,85.

Another account appears of this compulsory departure for the Hague in the pages of Mr. Nichols.

"Good Bishop Hall, then Dean of Worcester......who met with many other circumstances [besides a reprimand for letting out his instructions] which were painful to a conscientious mind (and which he little expected to find when he penned the preceding Life), soon quitted Dort the paragraphs quoted in the 70th page of under a plea of ill health, but evidently under a feeling of disgust at what he had both seen and felt in that early stage of the conclusion of one of his letters from Dort, Mr. Dean went away to the Hague, giving notice to no man. I understood not till dinner that day of any intent he had to go. I wished him an ill journey for this discourtesy; but I hope he had a good one.' His successor was Dr. Thomas Goad, who (as Bishop Hall would probably have done, had he remained longer

the business. For Mr. Hales states, at

at the synod,) changed his sentiments on the subjects there debated; not immediately, but after having for some years revolved in his mind the arguments which each party had adduced." Arminius, p. 416.

What Mr. Nichols would call the "sycophantic" attentions of the synod followed Dean Hall's valedictory address; with the gift of "a rich medal of gold, the por

This medal, which the bishop used to wear suspended on his breast, as appears

traiture of the synod, for a precious monument of their respects to my poor endeavours." It is more to our point to observe, on taking similar leave of the synod, with Dean Hall himself, that the mode of admitting our English divines to that synod was in express violation of its own rule, only to admit the deputies of churches, not political agents; and was obtained surreptitiously, and with much management, by its secret conductors. It is stated, that their instructions went so far in private from King James, as to tie them up to vote in the synod for general redemption, which may serve to explain and introduce the following quotation from Hall's Life, in allusion to the transactions at Dort*. by some of his portraitures, came into the possession of the family of Jermy, of Bayfield Hall, near Holt, in the county of Norfolk; and was bequeathed by William Jermy, Esq. at his death, which happened in January 1750 (Gent. Magazine), to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. See Master's History of Bene't College, Cambridge, p. 367. We should be glad if some Cambridge friend would ascertain the fact of this medal's safe custody, which we have grounds to doubt.

✦ These transactions we may appositely close with a quotation by Mr. Nichols, from one who was as glad to escape the office of deputy to the synod as Dean Hall. "I rejoice that I am not present at the Dutch Synod (says Bergius, who had been appointed a Brandenburg deputy); for I can see nothing transacted in that assembly which is worthy of such immense preparations, labour, and expense. Agricola has acquainted me by letter with almost all the particulars. I am not only certain that no benefit will accrue from the synod, but that the flames of a greater evil will be excited by it; which, although now perhaps suppressed by the power of adversaries, lies hidden in the embers, and will burst forth in a short time with the greater impetuosity. And undoubtedly it is impossible for us to deny, that the Remonstrants have been treated with too much unfairness. What man will ever think of charging it against them as a crime, that they would not acknowledge for their presidents and judges, the Bogermans, the Gomars, the Sibrands, and others, whom they have always accounted their most bitter enemies? How can we [the Lutherans] bring such an accusation against them, when we refuse to have pontiffs and cardinals for our judges? But what act could be more ridiculous, after the Remonstrants were commanded

"When the opinions of the British divines upon the extent of Christ's redemption were read, it was observed that they omitted the distinction between the sufficiency and efficacy of it; nor did they touch upon the limitation of those passages of Scripture, which, speaking of Christ's to retire, than for their judges to occupy themselves for whole days afterwards in declaiming against them, and in boldly refuting their arguments? That is an occupation which does not appear to me of such great importance, as to induce one, for the sake of joining in it, to undertake a long and late journey in the very depth of winter. But this is the sort of pro

ceedings of which those who attended have been witnesses. At our next autumnal fair, I expect to see exposed for sale the satirical remarks of the Papists, the protestations of the Remonstrants, and the refutations of the Synod. May only hope of safety which remained, was God have mercy upon his church! The in the reverend fathers of the synod shewing themselves desirous to reconcile parties and to unite discordant spirits: when I was disappointed in this, I entertained no expectations of any thing safe or beneficial." Arminius, p. 420.

The friendly intentions of the Synod beforehand expressed, as early as the nomination of Hall's successor, Dr. Goad, are contained in the following page, in a letter from the English Ambassador to King James.

"When the synod hath done with the Remonstrants' opinions, this course will be taken with their persons: That the chief ringleaders (as Uitenbogardt, Episcopius, Grevinchovius, and Vorstius, with some others), will be branded with some note of infamy, and thrust out both of church and state: some others of the chief will have their entertainments [salaries] continued, but [will] be suspended in their functions: the rest, by reason of want of fit men to supply their charges, will be continued, in hope the example of others will keep them within their bounds. This course is like to be taken, rebus sic stantibus [in the present posture of affairs]. But if the French ambassador's endeavours for the delivery of our prisoners, (about which they have now had two public audiences,) or if their private practices in favour of the Arminian party should take any place, we must then expect a mutation." By those persons whom the ambassador here calls our prisoners, are to be understood Barneveldt, Grotius, and Hogerbeets, three of the most eminent men and upright statesmen of the Low Countries, who had always patronized the cause of Arminianism, and who, for their patriotic services to their native country, had, in defiance of all law, been arrested and imprisoned by the orders of Prince Maurice.' Arminius, p. 421.

« السابقةمتابعة »