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THE HYPOCRISY OF COVETOUSNESS.
To the Editor. Having been much pleased in reading Dr. C. Mather's Essays to do Good,
and fearing that the zeal of inany good men is damped by the want of co-operation in those who have the means, the insertion of the follow, ing Extract from the late Mr. Robinson's Morning Exercises on Covetousness, will oblige
REASIF. 66 Mark his hypocrisy! He weeps over the profligacy of the poor, and says, It is a sad thing that they are brought up without being educated in the fear of God. He laments every time the bell tolls the miserable condition of widows and orphans. He celebrates the praise of learning, and wishes public speakers had all the powers of a learned criticism, and all the graces of elocution. He prays for the downpouring of the Spirit, and the outgoings of God in his sanctuary, and then how his soul would be refreshed! What a comfortable Christian would he be then! Tell this son of the morning that there are schoolmasters waiting to educate the poor, tutors longing to instruct youih, and young men burning with a vehement passion for learning and oratory ; - tell him that the gratitude of widows, the hymnis of orphans, and the blessings of numbers ready to perish, are the presence of God in his church. Tell him, All these wait to pour themselves like a tide into his congregation, and wait only for a little of his money to pay for cutting a canal. See how thunderstruck he is! His solemn face becomes lank and black ; he suspects he has been too liberal already, -- his generosity has been often abused ; -- why should he be taxed and others spared ?
- the Lord will save his own elect; God is never at a loss for means ; no exertions will do without the divine presence and blessing; and, beside, his property is all locked up. Behold, it is hid in the earth in the midst of my tent!
Let us respect truth even in the mouth of a miscr. His ignoble soul tells you, that he would not give a wedge of gold to save you all from eternal ruin ; - but, he says, God is not liko him; God loves you, and will save you freely. This is strictly and literally true. There have been thousands of poor people beside you, who have been instructed and animated, converted and saved, without having paid a penny for the whole; but this, instead of freezing, should melt ihe hearts of all who are able, and set them a running into acts of generosity.”
QUERIES. Mr. Editor,
It is now about twelve months since I sent the following Query to be inscrted in the Evangelical Magazine. As it
appears to have been overlooked, and as the subject is of great importance, I shall offer no apology for troubling you with it a second time.
The practice alluded to is become so general, that a candid enquiry in regard to its propriety, is deemed absolutely essential to the duc observance of the Sabbath. If vending books on that day be unscriptural, of which, I think, there can be no doubt, the evils resulting from it cannot be exposed too soon, that the practice may be discouraged and abandoned. But, if allowable, then our pastors and teachers, if they choose, may profit by the sale of religious books, an:l our churches may be made the general depositories of them, for their more easy circulation among assembled professors on the Christian Sabbath.
“ Is not the selling of Sermons, Hymn Books, or any other kind of religious books, at places of Worship, on the SabbathDay, a violation of the Fourth Commandment, and a turning the house of God into a house of merchandize ?
Can any one bejustified in receiving the profits arising from it*?"
LEX ET EVANGELIUM.
* Another Correspondent complains of the custom of selling Tickets at Chapels on the Lord's Day; and says, he has heard the money chinking while the minister was engaged in prayer to God !
If a Christian is placed, in providence, in the house of an irreligions master, who frequently requests him (when, for particular reasons, he wishes to be alone) to deny him to any occasional enquirers, is it bis duty to comply with the request ?
A Testimony to the Holy Bible, by the tale Rev. and learned Abp. Secker.
The Bible is not indeed a plan of religion delineated with minute accuracy to instruct men, as in something altogether new, or to excite a rain admiration and applause; but it is soinewhat unspeakably more great and noble, comprehending, in the grandest and most magnificent order, along with every essential of that plan, the various dispensations of God to mankind, from the formation of this earth to the consummation of all things. Other books may afford us much entertainment and instruction; max gratify our curiosity, -- may delight our imagination,-- may improve our understanding, may calın our passions, - may exalt our sentiments,
may even improve our hearts; - but they have not, they cannot have, that authority in what they affirm, in what they promise and threaten, that the Scriptures have. There is a peculiar weight and energy in them, which is not to be found in any other writings. Their denunciations are inore awful, their convictions stronger, their consolations more powerful, their counsels more authentic, their warnings inore alarmning, their expos. tulations more penetrating. There are passages in them throughout so sablime, so pathetic, full of such energy and force upon the heart and conscience, yet without the least appearance of labour and study for that pur. pose. Indeed, the design of the whole is so noble, so well suited to the sad
condition of human kind, the morals have in them such purity and dignity, the doctrines, so many of them alove reason, yet so perfectly reconcilable with it, the expression is so majestic, yet familiarized with such easy simplicity, that the more we read and study these writings with pious dispositions and judicious attention, the more we shall see and feel the hand of God in them.
J. S. B.
THE PRAISE OF PATIENCE. * PATIENCE is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility: Patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweelens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride'; she bridles the tongue, refrains the bands, tramples on teinptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom: Patience produces unity in. the church, loyalty in the state, harınony in families and societies ; she comforts the poor, and moderates the rich; she makes us knmble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful and invites the unbelieving ; she adorns the woman and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an oid man; she is beautiful in either sex, and in every age. Behold her appearance and attire: her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven, unspotted by the shadow of a cloud, and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen in her forehead; her eyes are the eyes of doves for meekness, and on her eye-brows sit cheerfulness and joy: ber mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion and colour that of innocence and security; while, like the virgin, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her head at the adversary, and laughs him to scorn. She is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a cross.
She rules not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion; bat her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is the kingdom of peace. This portrait is copied by Bishop Horne from Tertullian's noble treatise on
the subject. Sermon x. vol. ii.
THE EXCESSIVE ANTIQUITY OF THE CHINESE DISPROVED.
It is well known that the Chinese pretend to an excessive antiquity. Their chronology exceeds ail bounds of probability: and, could their pretensions be verified, the Mosaic account of the creation must necessarily be discredited. But we have a singular fact to state, which will prove that their boasted antiquity really falls within the limits of the Mosaic Chronology. For the evidence we are about to produce, we are indebted to the discoveries of modern astronomy. The Chinese have ever made a point of inserting in their calendars remarkable eclipses, or conjunctions of the planeis, together with the name of that Emperor in whose reign they were observed. To these events they have also fixed their own dates. There is a very singular conjunction of the sun, moon, and several planets, recorded in their annals, as having taken place alınost at the very commencement of their remote history. The far-famed Cassini, to ascertain the fact, calculated back, and decisively proved, ihat such an extraordinary conjunetion actually did take place at China, on Feb. 26, 1012 years before Christ. This falls four hundred years after the flood, and a little after the birth of Abraham. Here are two important facts ascertained. The one is, that the Chinese are a very ancient nation; and the other, that their pretensions to antiquity beyond that of Moses are unfounded; be cause this event, which they themselves represent as happening near tho beginning of their immensa calculatious, fälls far within the history and chronology of the Seriptures. Collyer's Scripture Fucts.
ANECDOTES. An itinerant minister having preached at G. H. several times, with a prospect of success, was in one of his visits much discouraged to find that a set of players had given notice by hand-bills that they were io perform directly opposite to the house in which he was to preach, and precisely at the same time; but, to his great surprize and pleasure, he found the house unusually crowded, insomuch, that he wich difficulty entered; while he was informed, that the players had but three persons to attend them, and, in consequence, left the place without performing. What can more strikingly shew the utility of village preaching?
The two following anecdotes relating to the journey of Mr. Collison and Mr. Frey, to make collections for the Missionary Society, may be worthy of notiee: At
in Yorkshire, after a handsome colleciion on the preceding evening, a poor man, whose wages are about 28s. per week, brought the next morning at breakfast-time, a donation of tweniy guineas. Our friends hesitated to receive it; doubting whether it was consistent with his duty to his family and the world to contribute such a sum; when he answered to the foilowing effect: “ Before I knew the grace of our Lord, I was a poor drunkard: I vever could save a shilling. My family were in beggary and rags; but since it has pleased God to renew me by his grace, we have been industrious and frugal; we have not spent many idle shillings; and we have been enabled to put something into the bank; and this I freely offer to the blessed cause of our Lord and Saviour.”—This is the second donation of tbis same poor man, to the same amount!!!
At W-, in the same county, Mr. F-, in the course of a sermon happened to say, that “if the ladies who came out of Egypt could give their golden trinkets to Aaron, to make a calf for the support of idolatry, surely Christian ladies would not deem it a great sacrifice to give up some of their trinkcts, for the noble and benevolent cause of diffusing among the Heathen the unsearchable riches of Christ.” The next morning a box was sent to Mr. C- --, by an unknown lady, containing an amber necklace, a pair of gold car-rings, and a diamond ring, as a present to the Missionary Socieiy,
FOR MINISTERS. One can never go about study or preaching, with much success, if any thing lie heavy on the conscience.
A ininisier had need look to it, that he profits by all his preaching himself; becanse be knows not what others do: Many, he is sensible, get no good; of many more he is uncertain : so that if he get no good bimself, his labours may be in vain altogether.
Few rare and worthy men continue so to their end; but, one way or other, sulfer some declension or eclipse to befal them: falling into coldness, being surprized by some gross sin, or seduced and entangled by the world. Therefore, let me beware,
There is much need for Ministers, as well as private Christians, to pray to be kept in old age, and unto the end, as at any time; for many who have run well, and acted very comunendably for a while, have sadly fallen, to the great injury of the cause of Christ. This may moderate our grief, when young men of great hopes are taken away.
0! how much ratner would I die in peace quickly, than live and disgrace the gospel, and be a stumbling bloock to any !
Rogers of Dedham, in CHRISTIANÆ MILITIÆ VIATICUM, an excellent little book for Ministers, published by Dr. Ryland.
MRS. SARAH PORRIT method of salvation; and was filled Was born at Runswick, a village with joy and peace in believing. on the coast of Yorkshire, near From this time she continued to Whitby. In her early years she had live under the influence of the gosfew opportunities of knowing the pel; and by her piety and circumtruth ; for in that part of the York- spection, her patience and benevoshire coast, the gospei is little known. lence, and her attention to the vaBeing possessed, however, of an in- rious duties of the Christian life, quisitive mind, she was much given she adorned the doctrine of God to reading, and made great progress her Saviour. During the latter pein the acquisition of knowledge. riod of her life, she seldom enjoyed Having a lively imagination, and a good health ; but her frequent affeeling heart, she was a great lover flictions served to make her live of poetry, and wrote some poetical nearer to God, and abound in the pieces herself. But her talents and exercise of every Christian grace. her knowledge were, for a long In August, 1806, she was attacktime, unaccompanied with real re- ed by a rheumatic disorder, which, ligion. Her behaviour was decent; in a short time, became severe, and and she was regular in attending the assumed a dangerous form, being church ; but she knew not the accompanied with other diseases, Gospel in its purity and power! which had previously weakened her At last, however, it pleased the Al constitution. This illness she bore mighty to awaken her, and lead her with amazing patience and fortito seek salvation through the tude. Sometimes, indeed, her spi
of Christ. Various means rits were depressed with sickness : . were blessed for this important end : at other times she was agitated with amoug these we may mention severe violent pain. Nor was she altogether afflictions, the reading of the Scrip- exempted from doubts and anxieties tures, and the perusing of some with regard to her spiritual condireligious poems, but especially Dr. tion. Yet her mind habitually Young's Night Thoughts: a book rested in the Lord, depending on which she highly valued, though the merils of Christ, and the proa she afterwards found, that soine mises of a faithíul God. sentiments which it contains, are not deny himself,” she was wont tu not strictly evangelical. By such say;
os he will not leave ine;" and the means the Spirit was beginning his thoughts of his unalierable truth work in her soul; but, she did not and unchanging love afforded her obtain clear views of the scheme of the sweetest comforts amidst acute salvation by grace, till Providence and tedious pains. gave her an opportunity of hearing From the beginning of her illness, the gospel in its purity.
Mrs. P. was apprehcnsive that she In the year 1799, Mr. Porrit, her would not recover ; but the proshusband, who was master of a ves- pect of death did not alarm her: sel, fell overboard, and was drown- for sometime, however, the thought ed, at a short distance from his own of leaving her young family gave abode. · After this peculiarly aflict. her considerable uneasiness : she ive dispensation, Mis. P. came, with was afraid lest any of them should her family, 'to reside at Whilby. neglect religion, and perish in unhe. Here she attended the ministry of lief. This distressing apprehension the, Rev. Peter Thomson, a worthy often filled her with anxiety; but at minister, who died some time ago, last she was able to dismiss these at Leeds. Under his ministry Mrs. P. anxious tboughts, and was willing obtained a distinct knowledge of the to leave thçm to the care of her
“ He can