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are charges of bigotry and illiberal- The mode of reasoning adopted ity retorted. What would you by the author is judicious, and his make religion a mere scene of arguments are conclusive ; and we

; gloom? Would you exclude all the hesitate not to say, that this mode of harmless enjoyments and amuse- viewing the subject, when thoroughments of life? We must have ly carried out into detail, will settle amusements, and why not these? Is beyond controversy, the inconsistit not better to amuse ourselves thus, ency of the amusements in questhan to be worse employed ? tion, with a religious profession. If

He, therefore, who contributes to history, universal tendency, and conillustrate this subject, and to estab- stant results ; if the experience of lish clearly those principles which private Christians, and of ministers

: shall guide Christians safely amidst of the gospel, have any weight in dethe allurements of this enchanted ciding this question, we cannot hesground, performs a service which itate. Can it be proved concerning demands the grateful acknowledge. any amusements, that altbough innoments of all who seek the welfare of cent in theory, they are never so in the church. It is upon this ground, practice, because always abused? that Dr. Henry in the work now un- Can it be proved that those who fader consideration has entered, to en- vour them, have in all ages been, to counter the armies of error with the say the least, not distinguished by sword of the Spirit, an undertaking piety or by zeal in doing good, but which he has accomplished with a more generally loose, and inaccugood degree of success.

rate in their principles, often grossly In the first chapler, he opens the immoral ; can it be proved that subject by a judicious and candid they are adverse to devotional feel. statement of the question in debate, ing, and that devotional feeling is ad“ The consistency of the amuse- verse to them, and that the enemies ments of fashionalile life with a Chris. of elevated experimental piety altiap profession.” The standard of ways favour them, and employ appeal is the word of God. After them as a means of depressing noticing the various opinions enter- that elevated

standard of retained on this subject, assigning their ligion which exposes and alarms causes, and showing the expediency themselves ; can it be proved that of making it a matter of discussion, they are but too effectual in represshe limits himself to the considera- ing the awakened anxiety of the sintion of iwo of those amusements

ner, and in quieting bis fears and which are most prevalent in fashion- paralyzing bis efforts ; can all this able life,--dancing and the theatre. be proved, and yet a doubt remain To the individual history and gene- as to the tendency of these amuseral character of these amusements, ments? If there be any connexion he devotes two chapters, illustrating between effects and causes, or if their origin, efiecta, and the general there be any soundness in the prinopinion of the pious and considerate ciples of analogical and inductive in all ages. concerning each of them. reasoning, and if experience is

In the fourth chapter he considers not an unsafe and deceitful guide, we the arguments derived from the pre- must conclude that theatrical amuse. cepts, and from the spirit of the ments, and the fashionable festivities word of God, appealing at the same of the ball-room, are adverse to the time to well known facts, and to ex- bighest interests of man, and that perience, in order to illustrate the Christians ought to encourage them effects of these amusements, on the neither by opinion, nor by example. religious character of those who ad- When in addition to this, it is stated, Jocate their innocence.

that these amusements cause a waste

of time, and of property ; that they more deeply fixed on the importance dissipate the mind, and unfit it for of anticipating the approach of the faithful discharge of the duties worldly and carnal habits in the of commion life, and for the acquisi- minds of the young, and of pre-occution of useful knowledge; that the pying that ground with intellectual theatre tends to corrupt the morals, and moral culture, which is now and the late bours of nocturnal dan- permitted to be overrun with the cing, to undermine the health, a re plants of unrighteousness. We know gard to the interests even of this life that human efforts, alone, can never would lead us to the same conclusion train up a child as a Christian ; but as before.

we likewise know that God, in beWe are far from asserting that all stowing his grace, is not unmindful who favour these amusements, are of of previous moral culture ; so that if course to be considered as losing children are from iníancy instructed, their claims to the character of and above all properly restrained, Christians. But we do believe that the eye of faith may look for sucthose who have no claims to this cessful results, with almost as much character are the chief advocates of confidence as the farmer expects these amusements. We do not as- to reap the fruit of his labours. sert that those who advocate them But many parents seem to expect, , are of course immoral, but we do as an inevitable arrangement of Probelieve that the immoral as a class, vidence, that their children must go are unanimous in their favour- through a certain period of worldliand that which the pious generally ness and vain amusement, and then dislike, and the world generally ad- be converted in some future revival vocates, must be adverse to the spi- at some indefinite time. Meanrit of Christianity

while ihere may be many sincere Upon most of ihese topics, Dr. H. desires and earnest wishes. But dwells with different degrees of mi- the prevailing expectations of the paduteness and power, and although rents are not strong enough to lead we do not regard his work as a full

them seas

asonably and earnestly to discussion of this important subject oppose the current of worldliness in all its bearings, por as a decision and yain amusement which is bearas complete and powerful, as the ing their children away.

Who case admits and demands, yet we are would prepare his son to fight the confident that no one can read it with- battles of his country by first sendout being impressed with the impor- ing him to serve in the armies of her tance of the sentiments advanced, most deadly foe? And yet how mathe candour and correctness of the ny parents seem to take it for grantgeneral strain of argument, and the ed that their children must for a cer. benevolent, yet manly independence tain number of years be disciplined of feeling which pervade the work. in the armies of the aliens, before And we trust, that by this and other they become soldiers of the cross. means, the attention of the American But let us not be misunderstood. churches will be more generally and We do not mean to assert that padeeply excited to a subject so inti-rents can at pleasure implant in mately connected with the welfare of their children a love of holy purthe religious community.

suits. And we also concede that unEspecially do we hope to see fully til boly desires are excited in the discussed, the duty of Christian pa- soul, the pleasures and amusements rents, in relation to this subject-a of the young, though intellectual or topic to which Dr. Henry has but social, will not be holy. But while slightly alluded. If the world is ev- we grant all this, we yet maintain er to be converted to God, it will not that parents can do much by re. be until the attention of the church is straint, -by keeping their children

aloof from the most dangerous amuse- of the young, were they generally to ments of fashionable life. Are there become pious in earlylife so as to form no amusements but cards, balls, and a common and prevailing standard on theatrical exhibitions ? Cannot pa- this subject,as prompted by the influrents restrain their children from

ence of holy feelings and correct moamusements of this kind, not by the ral taste. Should such a generation stero decree of arbitrary authority, ever arise, they would not be withbut by a seasonable and affectionate out appropriate amusements, more exhibition of the truth? By a state- pure, more rational, more satisfying, ment of the evils resulting from such and more adapted to obtain the end amusements? And by a firm yet in view, than any which worldly kind exercise of parental authority, taste and upholy feeling would seif needed ? If it be apparent to

lect Holiness would not banish children in such circumstances that amusements : it wold refine and el. their parents are sincerely seeking evate them, free them from pernitheir highest good; if it is obvious to cious worldliness and sensuality, res. them from the earliest dawn of intel. cue them from abuse, and make lect, that their parents seek first for them with all other things tend to them, the kingdom of God and bis promote the good of man and the righteousness, and assiduously en- glory of God. Does anyone say deavour to guard them against the that no such generation has ever allurements of temptation; such is the been seen ? i grant it.

But are power of conscience, and such we not the very imperfect and limited may say is the assistance of the Ho- views of the church on this subject, ly Spirit, that the obstacles which and her want of faith in the proimpede worldly-minded and luke. mises of God, among the leading warm parents will vanish.

causes of the existence of this state We fear that many Christian pa- of things ? When the calculations rents have low and unworthy con- of the great body of Christian paceptions of what God is able and rents concerning their children, are willing to do in blessing their efforts, so worldly, are we to wonder that the and in answering the prayer of result is not holiness? When they faith. Many seem to be more in- do not look upon the early converterested in the worldly prosperity sion of their children as a thing genof their children, in seeing them ad erally to be expected, will they mired or well settled in life, than in pray for it with faith and prevail their eternal destinies : noi indeed against their own calculations ? in theory or in profession ; we may When they do not feel as they hear often from them expressions of ought that they are educating their desire for the salvation of their children, not for this world, but for children ; and they do wish them citizens of heaven, and their weak safe in the abstract. But when any and timid faith fluctuates with every decisive question in practice occurs, prospect of worldly good or evil, the truth soon becomes apparent :- can they rationally expect to see

They are afraid lest their children their children elevated by that holose the favour of the world, or the nour which cometh from God oply, admiration of man, or a good settle. and satisfied with that good which. ment in life. And thus faithless in God, is like its author, immutable and imand fearful of man, they bazard the perishable ? immortal interests of their children, Let Christians assume another and cast them from him, whose fa attitude. Let it be deeply and convour is better than life, into the em- stantly impressed on their minds braces of the ungodly world. that God is able and willing to do

It would be interesting to ima. for them exceeding abundantly gine what would be the amusements above all ibat they can either ask or think ; let them diligently use the in accommodating herself to the taste means of grace, and carefully re- and principles of the world through strain their children from the ways fear of giving offence. When she of the destroyer; and let them de. leaves her own peculiar and elepend not on themselves but on the vated ground, and condescends to almighty, all-pervading energy of parley with the world, she is shorne the Spirit; and in this state of mind of the locks of ber strength. But if let them with perseverance, and she is indeed a peculiar people, elewith strong cryings, and tears, inter- vated above the world in action, cede with him who is able to re- and principle, and feeling, she flashdeem their children from death, es the light of conviction upon the and if the present state of things is minds of the ungodlyand although not changed, and if their children they rail and reproach, yet they are not saved in early life, then may feel that union with the church is they faint and be discouraged, and not a vain form ;, and thousands dereturn to their worldly schemes and sire it who would otherwise neglect calculations But, saith the Lord it as a useless ceremony. In short, God, prove me now herewith, and the greater the distance between the see if I will not open you the win- church and the world, the more undows of heaven, and pour you out safe do the impenitent feel, the more a blessing that there be not room do they desire her privileges. But if enough to receive it.

she leaves her lofty elevation and We are confident that the present becomes altogether such as they, aspect of God's providence justifies their sense of danger subsides, and these sentiments. In the opera- they are content to remain without tions of his Spirit, he has reference her sacred enclosures. Therefore more and more to the young, and Christians should not fear the charge many are now called whose conver- of peculiarityand preciseness: rather siop io former days would have been should they fear so to conduct in all regarded as a matter of great amaze- respects as not to encounter this imment. And we trust that the day putation ; for the friendship of the is not far distant when shall be world is enmity with God, and woe brought to pass in greater power unto you when all men speak well the saying that is written, “Out of of you. the mouibs of babes and sucklings It cannot be doubted that the haast thou perfected praise." And church bas power to make improper why should it not be su ? If the indulgence in fashionable amuseLord Jesus is preparing his ar- ments, a ground of admonition, or mies for the conquest of the world, of discipline, especially when the will he not train in bis service from church is united in her views of dutheir youth those who are to bear ty and expediency on this subject. his standard and fight his battles ? And if those who enter her commu

We hope soon to see the day nion know the nature of these views, when the church with one consent they are in duty bound to conform shall assume a bigher standard with to them : and are justly consiregard to every species of conform. dered criminal if they grieve and ofity to the world, whether it be ex- fend their brethren by conduct inhibited in the pursuit of fashionable consistent with the prevailing feelamusement, or of honour, or of gain. ings of the church. The church ought to be a peculiar We shall conclude our remarks people. Her power is irresistible on this subject by presenting our when she fights on her own ground readers with a few extracts which and with her proper weapons. But may illustrate the literary merits of the essence of her strength consists the work in her being a peculiar people, not After quoting from the Bible a



number of passages descriptive of moral appetites, and the same sources the true spirit of Christianity as op- of pleasure, in both—his conclusion posed to the prevailing sentiments of must necessarily be unfavourable eithe world, Dr. H. thus proceeds:

to the Christian or to his cause.--He

might know enough of the Bible and of “If, then, the passages which we the heart to believe that “no have quoted be not expressly intended liveth and sinneth not”-he might beto mark a distinction in respect to mo

lieve that it is fully possible for even ral demeanour only, they must possess the pious man to be overtaken in the a deeper meaning. They are predi- hour of temptation-he might have cancated on the fact that the unrenewed dour enough to set this to its right acheart, in its inclinations and pursuits, count, while he would look for the looks only to the present state, and penitence and humility which followhas no desires for the future : on the but he will not, and he cannot, pass a fact that the unrenewed heart is at en- judgement of charity where there is mity to God; an enmity which lurks an habitual spirit of worldliness; or under all its movements, and is the se- where he distinctly sees that a prevailcret agent of all its schemes. This ing relish for sensual enjoyments has melancholy truth is not to be contest- possession of the heart. These are ed now. It is the plain declaration of matters clearly understood even where scripture. The habits and maxims of they are not rendered the subject of the world are of a character consonant converse.” pp. 101–104. with this fact. Its pleasures are found elsewhere than in God himself: Their In the following remarks it is his tendency is, accordingly, to estrange design to remove the fear of that the feelings still further from him; and singularity which a coscientious exto keep out of view the infinite con- hibition of the spirit of the gospel cerns which should engross the soul in implies. its preparation for eternity. The directions of Divine Revelation were desiga. “ The objection that these views imed to effect an opposite end. The eco- ply a necessary singularity of deportnomy of redemption, of which they form ment and life, which divides society, a part, is contrived to give new de- and produces a collision of interests sire and appetites to the soul; to re- and acts, so far from militating against move its hopes from earth; to gather them, serves to prove their scriptural its enjoyments from spiritual pursuits. character. This singularity constiHere are two systems directly adverse tutes the very distinction referred to to each other. They are composed of in the foregoing reinarks: It is the ve. materials incapable of amalgamation.- ry characteristic we are commanded to It was, therefore, necessary that they exhibit to the world at large. It does should be kept apart from each other: not assume the posture of a proud and

' without which the oommand to “grow conscious pre-eminence; it does not in grace," and to become rich in spi- say, stand by, I am holier than thou.' ritual attainments, would be perfectly It make no pretensions. It claims no nugatory.

superiority. Its language in the mouth “It is plain that the admonitions of the Christian is simply this; 'I part which require the Christian to be “se- from many of the customs and maxims parate” do not enjoin an ascetic retire- of those around me, not to evince a ment, or forbid that intercourse which sense of greater worth in myself; not is demanded by the charities of social to announce my high attainments-but life : but it is equally so, that they forbid because I find these customs and maxany thing which could check our pro- ims unfavourable to my spiritual intergress in spirituality, or render our de- ests: because the associations into portinent undistinguishable from that of which they lead me, are unfriendly to the wordling This distinction is not opposite habits-habits which it is my new to the man of the world : He has desire to cultivate, and which I believe read enough in the word of God to conducive to my happiness. It is a see that it is there directed. He natu- liberty of choice, to which I believe rally, therefore, looks for some differ- myself entitled, in common with every ence between the life of the Christian other member of society, when no rule and his own: If he find no other than of decorum is infringed, and no indivia mere profession ; if he see the same dual injury is ipflicted.'” pp. 108, 109:

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