Billeder på siden



the thoughts of all; this will not fol- that the Holy Ghost is busy to set new low, though all the Jesuits drive it. anthems, the holy angels as busy in No? say they, but suppose there the singing of them. were a glass of chrystal made so large, And thus we descend to the last that whatsoever were done in all the part of the text, the (why) of the joy. corners of the world might be reflected | There is joy over one sinner that repentby it; should not he that saw that eth. In the which words, we must glass discern as well all that passed make a new discovery: First, of the under the sun? just such a glass is object in general, a sinner. Next, of God unto his angels: but I doubt the the quality of the sinner, the sinner metal of this argument, for a touch or that repenteth. two will break it. First, some of their Last of all, of the indefinite singuown men deny, that the Deity can larity, for one sinner, implying as either properly, or by way of meta- much as for any one sinner that phor, be term'd a glass ; or next, sup- repenteth. pose it may, yet not a natural glass, (To be concluded in our next.) that represents all that is before it: but a voluntary, such a one as shews, non quantum relucet, saith S. Austin,

OF MR. SMITH. but quantum voluerit, not all that

[Continued from col. 839.] shines within it: but more or less, when, or how, or to whom he pleaseth.

Tiddington, April 29. God is infinite, whom the angels see, My Dear Sir, but the manner is finite, by which they “I beg leave to return you my most see: besides, God knows the inward sincere thanks, for your friendly letter, thoughts, the secret glances of the upon which I would submit a few resoul, but the angels do not know them: marks, with diffidence and humility, as God knows as well what shall be, as to a minister of the gospel whom I what is, but the angels do not so: highly respect. In the first place, ! God knows the determinate day, re- fear you have formed too high an opisolv'd on in his councils, when the nion of my conduct, in a moral point heavens shall be gathered together as of view: but admitting for a moment a scrole, the sun shall lose his light, the my just claim to the character you have graves open and the dead rise up to drawn ; I cannot, even then, think with judgement, but of that day or hour you, that therein consists religious exknows no man else, no, not the angels : cellence. And for this plain and simple what then is become of the Jesuit's reason: my best actions were not then crystall? if it reflect all, why not this ? the effect of a principle of love to God; or if not all, why do they urge it? But consequently could not be acceptable to leave them to their vitrea fracta: to him ; for surely you will allow the the angels know the conversion of a motive or principle must sanctify or sinner; true, but not always, nor all unhallow every thing we do. angels: they know it, not only by out- You express the sorrow and amazeward signs, but sometimes by dis- ment you feel, upon hearing that I am covery of our hearts too. But how? become a Methodist. Oh! my dear by way of leave, by way of dispensa- Sir, that term of reproach, with its attion? For none ever denied, but God tendants, Bigot, Enthusiast, Fanatic, imparts to them, when he pleaseth, the all sit very easily upon the mind of the conversion of whom he pleaseth: There humble despised inquirer after truth. is knowledge, or else there is no joy, While he is using diligently all the in the presence of angels.

means of grace, in order to be enabled To conclude this, when God there- to perform the whole revealed will of fore by repentance shall call thee to God, without the least reserve, in him ; when he shall perform that won- thought, word, or deed; he feels with der in thee, which Saint Chrysostome the Apostle, that it is a very small saith, is greater than to create a world, thing to be judged of man's judgment. to justifie thee a sinner; when he shall And he enjoys, and will, if faithful, to seal thy pardon to thee, with the blood the end of time enjoy, that peace of of his Son Christ Jesus, doubt not but mind which the world can neither give on that day God hath revealed this to nor take away. his angels, that there is a new joy You ask, what are my reasons for among them, a full concert in heaven, I seceding from the Established Church!


Memoir of Mr. Smith.


As an iron pillar stron,
And stedfast, as a wall of brass."

I will tell you candidly. I object to deemer: and I think, in particular, we some rules and laws in that church, should avoid following those, who maand preferthe extemporary form of wor- nifest to the world their blindness, by ship used in the dissenting or separate their being ashamed of becoming dechurches. And I hope my good friend cided followers of Him, who alone can will allow, that there is, in every human bring them out of nature's darkness mind, an inviolable right to its own re- into marvellous light. ligious determinations. With regard

“ I remain, &c. to the prayers of the Established

RICHARD Smith." Church, there can be but one opinion.

Thus was our christian friend enThey are most excellent. But allow me to ask you ; Is it not one thing to and to stand in the midst of an artful

abled to witness a good confession, repeat those prayers; and quite another, to feel our need of the blessings

opposition, implored in them? I do conceive that, if we feel ourselves lost and perish- The interest of the Redeemer's kinging without a Redeemer, and discover dom now lay near his heart, and enour inability to look unto him, and de- gaged much of his attention. Having pend upon him, without divine in

become a regular member of the fluences, it is quite immaterial, whe- church, he was solicitous to promote, ther we express our wants in the most

as much as possible, the comfort of his refined language, or in the few plain Minister; and, by a holy and upright words of the humble publican: “God deportment, to hold up his hands. He be merciful to me, a sinner;", or, even with the silent groan, which cannot be couraging such institutions, as have

also enjoyed a lively pleasure, in enuttered. We cannot deceive the Al. for their object the moral and religimighty with mere lip-service. He will

ous improvement of mankind. Thus regard only the language of the heart. influenced, he became an active and Though I think it highly probable there useful teacher in the Sabbath School ; may be no human establishment, that and affectionately invited other young enshrines all truth, without a mixture people to come forward and assist in of error; yet I would only condemn this good work. That his feet were no that professor, or rather that hypo- strangers to the abodes of poverty and crite, whoever he may be, or of what, distress, the poor cottagers in his ever denomination, who, to avoid neighbourhood can testify. The“ milk the reproach of the world, obtain a of human kindness” flowed round his good estate, or for any temporal con- benevolent heart ; and while he admisideration, dare worship God with an nistered to their temporal necessities, unsatisfied conscience. With respect he earnestly pointed them to the Friend to the preacher, I must say: If the of sinners, and to the Physician of grand doctrines of the Bible be faith-souls. Nor must it be omitted, with fully declared; I rejoice to hear as of what delight he hailed the return of the ten as I have opportunity, whether in Sabbath. An entire exemption from the church, meeting-house, or open

orldly cares, was deemed a high prifield.

“You kindly admonish me not to be vilege, and diligently improved for the misguided by my feelings. A very sa- purposes of spiritual acquisitions. Of

ten did he adopt the poet's language: lutary caution. No, rather may I

“Welcome and precious to my soul judge by the prevailing principle of my

Are those sweet days of love," &c. heart and life; as the tree is best His seat in God's house, was accordknown by its fruits. We have, alas ! ingly regularly occupied ; and by happy too much reason to conclude that all experience he could testify,

One are not Israel, that are of Israel. Many day in thy presence is better than a professors we fear are not possessors. thousand.” Thus diligent in all the And of what avail will be our profes- appointed means, and persevering in sion, if it be not accompanicd with the the path of well-doing, he grew and experience of real religion in the heart, flourished, like a tree planted and and the zealous practice of it in the watered by God's own hand. life?

In his journey through the wilderI agree with you, we should be ness, he made the Bible his constant upon our guard, in following impli- companion; and the precious promises eitly any leader but our blessed Re- of a covenanted God in Christ Jesus,



66 Oh my

were to him as springs of water, whose how meditate with profit on his agony waters fail not. Destitute of their in- and death ; that price of our peace, and vigorating influence, he must often have eternal life? how weigh the value of sainted; but thus refreshed, though our spiritual privileges; and contemhis path was frequently gloomy, he plate the crown of glory, laid up for went on his way rejoicing. The writer those who continue faithful unto death? of this imperfect sketch, recollects at or, how feel as we ought, the strength this moment, with a lively but melan- and multitude of our obligations to choly pleasure, with what holy resig- live in exemplary obedience, connation he adverted to some trials, un- strained by love passing knowledge?der which the Divine arm only could Let us constantly pray, that the God of afford sufficient support; sweetly con- all our mercies may fill our souls with cluding his remarks in the animated all joy and peace in believing; and language of the Prophet Habakkuk: give us a well-grounded hope, through “Although the fig-tree shall not blos- the merits of a dear Redeemer, that som, neither shall fruit be in the vine ; we shall, in his own good time, join the labour of the olive shall fail, and that glorious company, which no man the fields shall yield no meat; the flock can number, in singing, and with more shall be cut off from the fold, and there exalted strains than we have done to shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I day,* “ Blessing, and honour, glory, will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in and power, be unto Him that sitteth the God of my salvation."

upon the throne and unto the Lamb, for A few extracts from his letters, writ- ever and ever, Amen.” ten in the confidence of friendship, and

October 12, 1814. designed for no eye but that of the “ I trust I can truly say, that I feel person to whom they were addressed, stronger desires than ever, for grace to will serve further to evince the spiritu- enable me, in my conduct and converality of his mind.

sation, to please God; though I should June 16, 1814. thereby displease the whole world be

whatever others do, sides. Yes, I would rather suffer, than may you and I seriously reilect on the wilfully sin. But, alas ! how soon the immortal nature, and infinite value, of force of temptation overcomes our best our souls. May we be divinely en- resolutions! how soon the world takes abled to cultivate all the personal hold of our poor treacherous hearts ! graces of the Holy Spirit ; that we may how very weak our faith! how cold be found in the number of the. little our feelings of redeeming grace anů despised flock of Christ. May we thirst dying love! Should we not earnestly after purity of heart; and strive to and perseveringly pray, “Lord, inbring forth the blessed fruits of faith, crease our faith :” shed abroad thy hope, and love : that love which will love in our poor cold hearts : mortify cheerfully submit to the disposing our unbelief, our pride, and all the power of God's providence ; and with sins which interrupt us in the service pious resignation bear the cross, how- and enjoyment of thee: make us more ever heavy, even saying: “ Lord, thou holy, and heavenly; and bring us nearer doest all things well.” “ Not my will, to thyself, by faith, hope, and love?" but thy will be done.” Then may we Mr. S. had in early life cultivated rely on this precious .promise of the habits of industry; and in the attainSaviour, “ I will not leave you com- ment of an object, he persevered with fortless; I will come to you.”

a resolute and unwavering step. From “ October 5, 1814. the period especially, that his mind be“ You express in your letter a wish came spiritually illuminated, he did infor more frequent seasons of retire- deed redeem the time. Generally rising ment. In this, my experience agrees early, and watching for opportunities, with yours. I believe that, though we he endeavoured to improve every moheard a faithful sermon every day, ment to the best advantage: even without serious meditation we should when walking over his fields, some diderive but little improvement. In- vine author was usually his companion. deed, without this, how can we humble ourselves, by solemnly calling to re

* Mr. S. and his friend had on this day atmembrance the evils of our past lives? tended the Sacred Oratorio in Birmingham. how, with the blessed Mary, ponder He wrote the above in the evening after his rein our hearts the sayings of our Lord ? turn home,


Christ's Descent into Mell.

898 Thus his active usefnl life, afforded a disembodied spirits are destined to rejust comment on the Apostle's exhorta- main stationary, until summoned into tion :

“ Diligent in business; fervent the presence of their Maker, at the in Spirit; serving the Lord.”

final judgment day. But this term As if foreboding here his little stay,

being likewise applicable to the place He made the morning bear the heat of day." [To be concluded in our next.]

of torment, observes Bishop Horsley, “ the genuine meaning of the word is misapplied, and the common people

never hear the word Hell, but their ON JESUS CHRIST'S DESCENT INTO thoughts are carried to that dismal

place where the fallen angels are Addressed to the Editor of the Imperial kept in chains, and everlasting darkMagazine.

ness, until the great and awful judgSIR,

ment-day.” “ This word, in its natuOn a question of so much importance ral import, signifies only that invisito the confirmation of our faith, as the ble spot which is the appointed habione suggested by your Bristol corre

tation of departed souls, between spondent, I trust I shall not expose my- for when man dieth, his soul dieth not,

death and the general resurrection ; self to the imputation either of tautology, or prolixity, by venturing to offer but returneth to Him that gave it, to be a few additional remarks ; particularly disposed of at his will and pleasure ; when it is known, they are intruded which is clearly implied in that admoupon the public by a lineal descendant nition of our Saviour, Fear not them of Bishop Hopkins, that orthodox pil- that kill the body, but cannot kill the lar of the established Church.

soul." I have recently perused, with a mix

The inspired writers of the Old Testure of satisfaction and conviction, the tament repeatedly allude to the secret sentiments of another dignitary* of mansions in the inner parts of the earth; the Protestant Church, no less cele- and the authors of the New, at once brated for depth of learning, than for strengthen and corroborate their impiety of principle; who, in one of his portant remarks; with this imposing admirable sermons, has given the most distinction, that there are distinct manelucidating definition of the important

sions for the righteous and the repro

bate. article in question; and whose re

“ The English word Hell,obmarks, in the course of my observations, serves the enlightened author I have I shall frequently venture to quote.

just quoted, “ signifies nothing more It ought to be recollected, that than the unseen and covered place,” Christ's descent into Hell, is one of the without any regard to suffering, or first principles of piety or faith im- bearing any affinity to pain. But in pressed upon the youthful imagina

this unseen abode it cannot be imation; and, as Bishop Horsley observes, gined that the virtuous and the vici“ it should seem that what is thus ous, are equally consigned; in fact there taught among the first things which are many more scriptural passages to children learn, should be the plainest or prove the contrary, though I am of easiest of comprehension; and that what opinion the following will suffice. The every Christian is required to acknow- striking manner in which St. Luke ledge as his own belief, should not re

has described the opposite situations quire explanation."

of the rich man and Lazarus, is per. He descended into Hell, is a decla- haps one of the finest contrasted deration as positive as the power of lan- scriptions which the human hand could guage is able to invent; and we might write; and when we read the appeal of as well doubt our Saviour's birth, death, cold water, our hearts sink within us

the former, to Abraham, for a drop of or sufferings, as hesitate a moment upon the subject.” Your

from feeling and affright! That evi

correspondent's hesitation upon this important

dently could not have been the place article, Mr. Editor, seems to have ari- to which our blessed Saviour alluded, sen from his misapprehension of the when, in his last agonies upon the word hades ; which, according to the cross, he says, To-day thou shalt be Greek and Hebrew definition, signifies with me in paradise ;and as he did an unseen and covered place, where not ascendinto heaven until some time

afterwards, he could not mean to inBishop Horsley.

fer, that the penitent thief upon 1! No. 10.--VOL. I.

3 M


[ocr errors]

cross should be transported to the the fullest manner upon this important realms of light.

passage of scripture, he assigns a vaThough the term paradise could riety of reasons for this additional act never have been applied to a place of of our Saviour's loving-kindness. The torment, such as St. Luke has so af- Patriarchs and Prophets, had foretold fectingly described, yet to those se- the appearance of a Messiah, and, cret mansions where the souls of the doubtless, hope and expectation had righteous repose until the day of judy- for ages been upon the wing; and the ment, it is impossible that any ob- learned Prelate supposes that one of jection can be made. That the Savi- our Saviour's motives for descending our of mankind descended into this into those lower regions was, to conabode, Mr. Editor, is the sense in vince his faithful believers that the glowhich I comprehend that article of our rious' plan of redemption had been creed; for, as Doctor Horsley farther accomplished :—that the Son of God observes, it is horrible to think for a had not only taken our nature upon moment that the immaculate Son of him, but that he had been wounded God should be exposed to the torments for our transgressions, that he had of that dreadful place;" or that the com- been bruised for our iniquities, that the panion of his sufferings should receive chastisement of our peace was upon a promise of being with him there, as a him, and with his stripes we were reward for the penitence he exhibited, healed. during the latter moments of his life. That Christ should have imparted

When we reflect upon the various in- this gratifying intelligence those spired writers which had foretold the faithful believers, who had in former coming ofa Messiah, and observe to what | ages predicted his appearance upon a degree of nicety their distinct pro- earth, is only an additional proof of phecies were fulfilled, it appears but a the mercy and loving-kindness of our part of the projected scheme of redemp- blessed Lord; for though St. Peter tion, that the Saviour of mankind says, “ being put to death in the flesh, should descend into Hell; “ Thou wilt but quickened by the Spirit, by which not (says the Psalmist) leave my soul he also went and preached to the spirits in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thy in prison,” yet none of those virtues holy One to see corruption.” When which he so strongly inculcated upon the Son of God condescended to take earth, could be applicable in their our nature upon him, he exposed him- situation; for St. Paul, in the sixth self to all our trying situations; and chapter of Romans, tells us, “ that he from the commencement of life in his that is dead, is freed from sin.” mother's womb, to the extinction and “ It is scarcely necessary to observe, renovation of it, he proved himself | (remarks the Bishop,) that the spirits the great Captain of our salvation! The mentioned by St. Peter, can be no same wonderful scheme of humiliation other than the souls of men, and the which required that Christ should "be term prison has no other reference conceived born, and put to death,says than its being an invisible mansion, or Bishop Horsley, “ made it equally ne- place of confinement; a place of uncessary that his soul should pass into finished happiness, consisting in rest, that intermediate state, where ihe souls security, hope, more than in positive enof the righteous are to remain until the joyment." day of judgment.”

I am fully aware, Mr. Editor, that That learned prelate, Mr. Editor, your Bristol correspondent is not sinwhose authority I have so frequently gular in his ideas respecting the Son quoted, not only declares his firm opi- of God's descent into the place of tornion of the Saviour of Mankind's de- ment; but in the sense in which the scent into Hell, but assigns those con- learned prelate has expounded that vincing reasons for it, which make important article of our faith and confaith the handmaid of judgment ; viction, the literal sense of our Creed strengthening his arguments by the can no longer be doubted. words of St. Peter, which, in the ser- Know ye not,” (says St. Paul'in his mon alluded to, he chose for his text: epistle to the Romans,)“ that so many “ Being put to death in the flesh, but of us as were baptized into Jesus quickened by the Spirit, by which also Christ, were baptized into his death? he went and preached to the spirits in therefore we are buried with him by prison,” &c. &c. After expatiating in baptism into death, that, like as Christ

« ForrigeFortsæt »