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SCOTTISH CHRISTIAN HERALD,
CONDUCTED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF
THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.
CONTENTS. 1.-On Peace in Believing. Part First. By the Rev. Thomas
6.--The Protestant Church of France, at the Beginning of Last Chalmers, D.D., LL.D.,
Page 7 2-The Altar of the Unknown God. By the Rev. Robert 7.-A Discourse. By the Rev. William Muir, D.D.,
9 Jamieson, 2 8.--Anecdote,
13 3.- Sacred Poetry. " The Flight of Time." By Richard Huie, 9.-- Red Snow, Hail, and Rain. By the Editor,...
ib. Esq., M.D.,
3 10.--Christian Treasury. Extracts from Remains of the late 4-Biographical Sketch. Mrs Hawkes. Part First. By the
Rev. Dr Martin, Howels, Steele, Cecil, and Rutherford,.. 14 Editor,
4 11.-The Mapners and Customs of the Inhabitants of Mada5.-The Cedars of Lebanon, ........
ON PEACE IN BELIEVING.
BY THE REV. THOMAS CHALMERS, D.D. LL.D.,
Professor of Theology in the University of Edinburgh.
The peace which is experienced in believing Now in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God adis relief from the terrors of wrath; it is not dresses to me just such an offer; and I have only merely the removal, but the reversal of its antici- to believe in the truth of it, that I may cease pations; it is our altered view of God, when from from my apprehensions of God as an enemy, and an enemy we are taught to regard Him as a friend; God as an avenger. It is true that there is a it is our assurance of His good will to us here, difference between a thing being mine in offer, and a confident expectation of the promised bliss and a thing being mine in possession; and the hereafter-these all spring in a disciple's spirit difference still obtains, though that thing be forfrom the faith of the Gospel, and these are the giveness from God. But there is nothing in this main elements of his peace and joy in believing. difference which ought to serve as an alloy, or as
Should a powerful and offended neighbour, un- an abatement, upon peace in believing. We have der the threats of whose resentment I had been not, in the case of the Gospel overtures, to look living for months in fearful insecurity,—should be forward to any condition of future difficulty, ere send to my door an offer of reconciliation, it is not the forgiveness that is now ours in offer becomes difficult to understand how, at the moment of my ours in possession. It is offered to us now, and reliance upon
the truth and honesty of this offer, it is competent for us actually to receive it now I would be at rest. Nor would it at all disturb The truth is, that it becomes ours simply upon the peacefulness of my heart, that I were given our believing the truth of that message by which to know that the proposed friendship was only the offer is made known to us. No sooner do we yet mine in offer, and not mine in possession, till believe than we possess; and let us cease, then, I had performed certain conditions which I knew to wonder at the many recorded examples of the to be easily practicable. It would not, for ex- instantaneous peace which has dropped into the ample, abate the joy of the announcement, that sinner's bosom from the word of the testimony. I was told of an intended call on the part of my And grievous, indeed, is their misunderstandrelenting adversary, and that I must give him a ing of the Gospel, who think that peace must be courteous reception, and stretch out my hand as postponed till we know that holiness is in prothe token of my having accepted his overture ; gress within us, and that repentance is going onand that then what was now mine in offer would wards even unto perfection. It is true, that withbecome mine in possession also. If I consented out holiness no man can see God; and it is as to all this, and felt not merely the possibility, but true, that unless we repent we shall perish. But the perfect ease of it, I would not postpone my just as the man who had the offer of reconciliation gladness till the hour of the expected visit. On laid by an offended neighbour at his door, ought my faith in the reality and integrity of the offer, I not to postpone his joy till the hour of certain would consider my before formidable enemy to be easy and practicable formalities; so neither ought now my placid and my attached friend. An in- we to postpone it till the time when we know that stantaneous peace would arise in my bosom, nor repentance and holiness have been realized
upon would I wait the coming formalities of reconcilia- our characters. And that, not because these graces tion ere I threw aside the burden of my disquietude. ' are easily attainable by us, but because these graces No. I. JAN. 5, 1839.-11d.)
[Second Series. Vol I.
are actually included as so many offers in the com- none believed, there would have been no actual munication of the Gospel; because God holds salvation, no living triumphs of grace, no extension them out for our acceptance, just as effectually as of the kingdom of righteousness, no inroad and no he holds out pardon for our acceptance; because abridgement on the territory of him who is at the He, in whom all sufficiency dwells, promises to head of that great moral rebellion into which he make his grace sufficient for every one of our ne- has seduced our unfortunate species. The prince cessities; because He, who has given us his own of the power of darkness would still hold an entire Son, pledges himself to all who receive the gift, ascendancy over the world,—would still boast an that he will also with him freely give them all unviolated limit around his dominions,—would sit things. The man who only hears the offer of securely on his throne, and eye the enterprise and pardon upon repentance, and looks to that repent- preparation of the Messiah as an impotent parade, ance as a contingency which depends upon him- and all this for the want of believing. It is said self, may well hear such an announcement without of Christ that He came to destroy the works of the being gladdened and tranquillised by it. But let a devil, and yet, if there be no believers among men, man hear the offer in the whole comprehensive- he fails in his errand ; and does not this prove, ness of its terms ; let him perceive that repent that the certainty of salvation unto all who do beance, as well as the remission of sins, is included lieve is in most inviting unison with the glory of in it; let him understand, that God holds out to Him who is the Captain of salvation ? There him in the Gospel a sanctifying Spirit as well as an is a consideration here that is fitted to draw sinners atoning Sacrifice, and then let holiness be repre-in trust and in expectation around Him. It fully sented to be as indispensable to heaven as it may, warrants them to venture their all upon Christ. no sense of impotency whatever will intercept the It leads them to see that their security is in every peace which ought to flow in upon his heart from way at one with His reputation. Every man who such a communication. From the moment that comes in the way of dependence to the Saviour is he closes with these overtures, he may have peace; just adding to the prosperity of that cause on and the point at which belief enters into his mind, which his heart is set, and rendering to Him of the the point at which he recognizes in the Gospel travail of His soul that He may be satisfied. And the view of Him who, when he commanded, made every man who has come may, by the thought the winds and the waters to obey, marks the point which has been suggested, deepen and establish at which the dark and fearful agitations of a sin- the foundations of bis peace. Christ will never ner's bosom should cease into a calm.
frustrate His own undertaking by casting off one And there is not a single reader of the Bible who hangs upon His power, or looks with an exwho might not thus appropriate to himself the pectant eye to the fulfilment of His promises. He offer of forgiveness, and have peace in believing will never so thwart the express and the special it. Such terms as all, and every, and whosoever, purpose of His own great achievement, as to withbring this offer just as effectually to his door, as if hold everlasting life from him who hias been led by a special messenger had been sent to him from the terms of his own message, to regard it as the heaven, or as if he was the only person upon gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. He earth for whom the Bible was intended. That he will never, in the face of His own declaration, that may have the peace to which we refer, all that is whosoever believeth shall not perish, leave any necessary is to understand the message in the terms believer to perish ; or give room to the great adof it, and to believe in the trueness of it. If the versary to say, in a single instance, that here is word of salvation has reached him, the offer of one whom you have inveigled into confidence, but salvation has been made unto him. In that word whom I still claim as my prisoner, and will torGod holds himself out to every man as beseeching ment as my victim through eternity. him to be reconciled ; and proposes to all who The believer may gather an argument for security will, the gift of that pardon and that preparation from such a contemplation. He may add to his which are necessary for restoring them to an in- peace and to his joy when he looks to this part of heritance in the heavens.
the testimony of God. He may view himself as Let me endeavour to urge a few distinct con- the subject and the prize of a great competition siderations, all grounded on the word of the testi- between the Prince of light and the Prince of mony, and all fitted to confirm and to strengthen darkness. And as he places himself under the the peace of a believer, by being fitted to assure covert of the great and the appointed mediatorship, him of the reality of God's good will.
he may regard the honour of Christ and the glories First, then, Christ undertakes to save all who both of his character and of his power as the guaranbelieve in him, and His honour is at one with the tee of his own safety. success of His undertaking. As the economy of our redemption is constituted, had none believed, THE ALTAR OF THE UNKNOWN GOD. there would have been no trophy to exhibit of His
BY THE REV. ROBERT JAMIESON, redeeming power ; Christ would have died in vain, or the whole fruits of His death would have been
Minister of Currie. to aggravate the guilt of the world in rejecting Him, Every one acquainted with the history of the ancient and so to demonstrate more strikingly than ever Athenians, is aware that that people were pre-eminent, the justice of God in its final condemnation. Had I not only for their attainments in philosophy, and their
exquisite taste in the liberal arts, but for their ever active owing to some strong and unusual circumstances. “ It zeal in what they accounted religion. Not content was a custom," says Dr Ellis, in his learned work on with the deities which the native superstition had the Knowledge of Divine Things from Revelation—not established, they opened their ports with boundless from Reason or Nature, among the ancients to enhospitality to the gods and goddesses of foreign coun- grave on the altar the name of the god to whom it was tries; and, although by the law and practice of the dedicated; which, at Athens in particular, was necesland, no new ohject of worship was to be admitted, till sary to distinguish them amidst a conflux of the most it had received the sanction of the Areopagus, yet such remote and strange ones from all parts of the world. was the liberality of that celebrated court, that no sooner Amid this variety, there was one, probably many, “to were the claims of a foreign deity set forth, or his name the unknown God." Critias, in Lucian's Dialogues, ascertained, than they licensed his introduction into the swears by “the God unknown to the Athenians;” and Pantheon, a niche was assigned him in the spacious according to Ecumenius, the whole inscription was temple, a statue erected to his honour, priests were appointed to celebrate his peculiar rites, and the people
TO THE GODS OF ASIA, EUROPE, AND AFRICA ; taught to acknowledge the influence, to propitiate the
TO THE UNKNOWN AND STRANGE GOD." favour, and to do homage at the feet of the newly imported stranger, as well as of the earlier and well known
The crowding him among all the demons in the world images that commanded their hereditary reverence. By proves them to have been ignorant of his nature ; and this system of free and indiscriminate admission, the the placing him among the strange gods shows that they number of deities who had a local habitation and a name
had received him from others, and were not the authors in Athens increased, in process of time, to so prodigious
of the discovery. an extent, tbat it became one of the distinguishing
Several reasons are assigned for the erection of such features of the city; and the fondness of the inhabi- altars, but the most probable is their superstitious fear tants for demon-worship was frequently made a sub- of omitting any God, which, amidst the uncertainty of ject for the sarcastic wit and satire of the poets and
so many religions, might easily have been done, or it orators of classical antiquity. One writer, for instance, might proceed from their not knowing to what god to says, that Athens was so crammed with deities, that it ascribe some remarkable benefit or deliverance, and therewas easier to find a god than a man in it. Another fore, in gratitude, erected an altar to the unknown one. complains, that the city was but “one immense altar;" Diogenes Laertius gives this account of their origin : and the name by which it came afterwards to be pro
That Epimenides stayed a plague among the Athenians verbially known was, “ the country and shop of the by a strange expedient. He took a black and a white gods.” It was on this account that Paul's spirit was sheep to the Areopagus, whence he let them go whichever stirred within him, when he saw the city "wholly given way they would, commanding those that followed them to idolatry,” or, as it is in the margin,-full of idols ; that wheresoever they lay down, they should sacrifice and it was in conformity with the usual practice that he
to some fit and proper God. The calamity ceased ; was summoned to the Areopagus, not to be dealt with and to this very day, says the historian, there are altars as an impious innovator on the religion of the country, to be found without name, which were then made in for that court had greatly changed its character since memory of this expiation. the time of Socrates, but, in all probability, to be intro- Nor was this custom peculiar to Athens. The Roduced as a man of public spirit, who wished to make mans also erected altars for the reception of any sudden known the claims of some "strange" or foreign gods, benefit ; as that to Adoption mentioned by Tacitus, and to be enrolled among the other objects of national wor- another to Revenge. In like manner, when they felt ship.
an earthquake, they betook themselves, by public comThe apostle obeyed the summons, and no part of his mand, to religious observances ; but did not, as on history, perhaps, affords a more striking example of the other occasions, name the god to whom they dedicated happy manner in which he turned to account the cir- | such solemnities, lest, by mistaking one for another, cumstances of time and place, than the subject of his they might oblige the people to a false worship; and es discourse on that memorable occasion. In passing it was uncertain by what power or god earthquakes through some of the ante-chambers that led to the spa- happened, they offered sacrifice to an uncertain deity cious rotunda wbere the council met, his eye was caught in the ancient form, si deo, sive deæ, “if thou be a god by " an altar with this inscription,-To the unknown or a goddess." They had many altars dedicated to God;" and as his examination by the court was to be “all the gods and the goddesses.' Aulus Gellius says, particularly directed to the doctrines he taught concern- that they whose names were uncertain, or whose sex ing Jesus and the resurrection, which their grossly was doubtful, were called unknown gods : and indeed idolatrous minds conceived to be a god and a goddess, there were so many of this description, that Varro he chose that familiar inscription as a text from which wrote a book concerning the unknown gods, and anto discourse to them on the being and the character of other concerning the uncertain ones. the true and living God. It was a dexterous accommodation to a Christian purpose, of one of the favourite
: THE FLIGHT OF TIME. customs of that heathen people, for we are not to suppose that, by the deity described as the “unknown God,"
BY RICHARD Hure, Esq., M.D. the Athenians meant the pure and spiritual Being whom
Hark! how the sullen midnight bell, the apostle proclaimed; and it may gratify the reader
From yonder turret lone, to learn something of the origin of a statue, whose Proclaims, with loud and startling knell, mystical title indicated its introduction to have been
Another year is gone!
And shall we drain the wassail-cup,
and felt, unmixed with those motives which are liable Or raise the song of glee,
to obscure its lustre in less peaceful circumstances. As swiftly, surely winding up
Mrs Hawkes moved throughout life in a circumscriber Our thread of life we see ?
sphere, and the variety of incident, therefore, whicii No! If in youth's unthinking day,
lends a charm to the biographies of many individuals is Ere care had mark'd the brow,
not to be found in hers. Siill her Christian experience We trifled months and years away,
was amply varied from the numerous personal and doLet us be wiser now :
mestic trials through which she was called to pass. It And, conscious of the mighty debt We to our Maker owe,
was her privilege to learn, by many a painful but No longer struggle to forget
salutary lesson, that through “patience" as well as We reap but what we sow!
“faith" we must "inherit the promises." She was No! Let us seek with holy dread,
trained in the school of amiction, and it is interesting Through his exalted Son,
to mark the various steps of her progress under the A pardon for the year that's fled,
effectual teaching of the Holy Spirit. And grace for that begun :
Mrs Hawkes was born in 1759 at Broad Marston Grace, to improve the little hour
in Gloucestershire. She was the youngest of thirteen For peace and safety given;
children, five of whom died in childhood. Though Grace, to resist temptation's power,
both her parents were persons of decided piety, Sarah's And tread the path to heaven!
early days were marked by a peculiar relish for scenes 0 I think that, if an opening year
of gaiety and amusement. Giddy and thoughtless, she A lengthen'd period seem, It will but at its close appear
sought the company of young persons like-minded with
herself. Naturally amiable and sweet in her disposiA short, a troubled dream! Approaching, Time ne'er travels fast;
tions, and.prepossessing in her manners, her society was To scythe and crutch he clings :
courted, and for several years she moved only in the And 'tis not till for ever past,
circles of the gay and the polite. God was not in all That we perceive his wings !
her thoughts. Light and frivolous employments formed
her chief delight. The world was her all; she sought BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.
no higher portion. In such a spirit, and attracted by no MRS HAWKES.
other than mere earthly allurements, she entered into Part I.
the marriage state with one who was himself actuateri
by motives similar to her own. A union thus heedBY THE EDITOR.
lessly formed, could not be expected to produce much The advantages of Christian Biography are numerous, happiness, and Mrs Hawkes was not long in feeling but there is none which more obviously occurs to the that she had taken a step which involved her in much mind of a reflecting reader than the peculiar insight domestic trouble and unhappiness. This, however, which he thereby obtains into the varied workings of was ultimately productive of incalculable benefit. It the renewed, as distinguished from the unrenewed, heart. was the mysterious mode by which the Almighty neThe principles of religion are seen, not as matters of signed to lead her to himself. She felt the insecurity speculative belief, but in actual operation, influencing and utter vanity of all earthly happiness, and was thus the whole character and conduct. With a living ex- gradually prepared to seek all her comfort and true enemplification of Christianity thus set before us, we be- joyment from a higher and a purer source. The cir. come more minutely and intimately acquainted with the cumstance by which this change in her sentiments and diversified aspects of the believer's experience. A feelings was effected is simple in itself, but sufficiently knowledge of this kind is of inestimable value. We marks the hand of an over-ruling Providence. While feel more strongly impressed with the truth of the Chris- her mind was thus harassed and broken down with the tian scheme, by perceiving the wonderful effects to severity of her domestic cares and anxieties, she was which it gives rise ; we gradually learn to perceive persuaded by her sister, Mrs Jones, who was a person how we ourselves inay imbibe its sacred truths so as to of remarkable piety, to accompany her to St. John's influence our own hearts; we are constrained to exa-Chapel, Bedford Row, London, that they might hear mine ourselves, that we may discover whether our ex- the Rev. Richard Cecil, who was then, in 1787, in perience coincides with that which is brought under our the very height of his popularity. The impression notice; and we may perhaps be led, by the blessing of made upon the mind of Mrs Hawkes' by the discourse the Holy Spirit, to strive after the attainment of a more of Mr Cecil was deep and abiding. She bad enterquickened and more marked progress in holiness thaned the house of God depressed in spirit, but by the we have yet reached. It is thus that from the frailties blessing of God, a stream of heavenly consolation and follies, as well as virtues, of those Christians whose bad flowed into her soul; and from that day onward lives are unfolded to us by the pen of a faithful bio- till the death of Mr Cecil, she continued to attend grapher, we learn to deny ourselves to all sin, and to on his faithful and affectionate ministry. The revolumake progress in meetness for the inheritance of the tion which had been thus effected by the Spirit of God saints in light.
in the whole views and feelings of her sister, was very The individual whom we have selected as the subject pleasing to Mrs Jones, and anxious to promote the proof our present sketch, is taken not from the stirring gress of the good work thus begun, she resolved to scenes of public life, but from the quiet and unob- write Mr Cecil requesting him to visit Mrs Hawkes. trusive privacy of domestic retirement. It is here, we For two years after her mind was first led to serious conceive, that the native power of Christianity is seen I thought, so deep were her convictions of sin that she
was almost in a state of utter despondency. “The only milk of the word, he has to distinguish between bones thing," she said, describing this awful conflict of spirit, of doctrine ; till at last he begins to doubt if there be “ which seemed to save me from absolute despair and
any true spirit of religion at all. distraction, was the reading Christian's fight with Apol
“Do not form too high expectations from the profess
ing world. Do not be in haste to form connections_ lyon, and his walk through the dark valley, in the
to make acquaintances-to place confidence-to turn to • Pilgrim's Progress.'” The introduction to Mr Cecil,
every professor and say, lead me. and the personal interviews which followed, tended to “Do not enter into the list of religious gossips, who calm the mental perturbation to which she had been so may not only puzzle you about hard points of doctrine, long subjected. The sound scriptural views of that but may lead you to waste your time to no purpose, in eminent Christian minister, combined with a judicious going from house to house, talking, instead of getting
into the spirit of unity. There are too many of this masculine understanding, rendered his counsels, in every
sort: whose chief religion lies in going froin church to stage of Christian experience, peculiarly valuable; but church to hear, and from house to house to prate ; but to the recent convert, like Mrs Hawkes, whose know who are too seldom in their closets, too seldom in close ledge was necessarily very imperfect, and ber zeal ill converse with God. Retired Christianity is the truest. regulated, the advices and warnings of such a man were It is easy to fill the head with notions ; but to sit still inestiinable. We gladly quote a few of the most strik. like Mary, at Christ's feet, and be a learner, is far better. ing remarks which fell from his lips in his first conversa
Always be afraid of a specious religion." tion with Mrs Hawkes.
The peace which Mrs Hawkes felt in the belief of the “ You must not look for perfection either in yourself Gospel, supported her amid the domestic unhappiness
She cast her burden or others. Not to allow for the infirmities and defects with which she was still tried. ol a fallen nature, is not to understand any thing about upon the Lord, and she felt of a truth that He susthe matter; nay, it is to speak directly contrary to tained it for her. Devotion became with her a delightbe Bible, the standard of all truth. There never was ful exercise. When on a visit to her paternal residence, more than one perfect character upon earth, and He was on one occasion, after the death of her mother, she thus the most tender and compassionate towards the imper-writes in her Diary, under date 9th August 1789:tections of men. He knew what was in man, for he lookerl at the heart; and if he saw that right, he pitied, mother's chamber, the very walls and furniture of which
“I have been shutting myself up in my dear departed where those who judged only by the outward appear
are sacred. A thousand times have I marked her reance, blamed ; and defended, where they condemned.
“ There is one distinction you should keep very clear tiring into it for purposes of devotion. Often have I in your mind that religion itself, in its essence, is per- caught the sound of My children,' as if that interest
overheard her strong cries and tears to God, and often feet; as our rule and standard it is unerring ; nor can it be affected by the inconsistencies or imperfections of she never failed to retire to read and pray. Thousands
was uppermost. At morning, at noon, and at evening, its professors : the standard remains the same: the of tears has she shed in this chamber: where I have baiances are true: but when its professors are weighed sometimes had the privilege of kneeling down by her therein,-even the very best of them,--they are found wanting. Our aim must be to get every day nearer the side. How present in her image! how sweet my comstandard; for whoever does not labour, not merely know the value of her intercession for her children ; or
munion with her departed spirit! Little did I then desire, but labour to be a better Christian every day, is not yet a Christian at all. Yet in this you must exer
the weight of her character or example as a Christian. cise patience. Do not measure yourself by a false stand- portion as I' estimate ber.
Thank God, I know it now; and abhor myself in proard.' There are no doubt giants in the Christian world, in her honoured steps! Oh that her prayers for every,
Oh that I might but tread -but would you be a giant at once? Do not be satisfied to be a dwarf; but remember there must be time to
one of us may be like bread cast upon the waters,'
found after many days! Oh may my dear mother's God “ Be careful, in your commerce with the world, to act
be my God! He graciously carried her through many
He enabled her to up to the character you profess. Do not put on'a Pha- years of weakness and sorrow. risaical manner of, • Stand by, I am holier than thou.'
walk worthy of her high calling; and he stood by her Yet let it appear, that while you are under the necessity die is gain,-and, “I will pray for my children while I
in a dying hour. Her last words were, . For me to of bearing their vain conversation, you have no taste for
have breath.' it; no delight or interest in it. A humble, kind silence
Oh often utters much.
• My brother-seemed much upon her mind.
may bis mother be much upon his mind, and upon all "Wherever God gives faith he will try it; and who. ever becomes a follower of Christ, must deny himself
, I knows but her happy spirit has been a witness to my
our minds; and may we meet her in glory! Who and take up his cross-must make great sacrifices, such as right hands, and right eyes : must expect op
secret transactions in her former chamber. May all
my transactions through life be equally pleasing in her position, persecution, montification, cruel scofings, not only from the world, but from nearest and dearest friends. A man's sharpest and bitterest foes are those paid a visit to her pious sister, Mrs Jones, at Birming,
In the course of the following month, Mrs Hawkes of his own household.' You must set your face like a flint against threatenings, and against allurements.
ham; and while there, she records the following re" But I would warn you of another danger arising markable incident:from a quarter you may least expect_namely, from the “ Happy to return to this favoured place. Heard Reliyious World itself. There are stumbling-blocks the Rev. Mr Burn from Luke xxii. 31, “Simon, Simon, even in the Church ; there are many professors, who Satan hath desired to have thee, to sift thee as wheat; when they see a person setting out in religion, will ad- but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith faii not.' vise, one this course, and one that. One sort says, “A remarkable circumstance occurred under this very * religion is in its best estate among us.' Another sort animated and striking sermon. A poor woman had for says, ' among us ;' and the young convert, having a some time been under a violent, and alınost irresistible tender conscience, desirous of being right, is often temptation to drown herself; and declared she had ac. gTearly perplexed; for he finds that in the religious tually risen from her seat no less than twenty times world there is a party spirit. Instead of obtaining the ) with a design to throw herself into the canal. One of