Billeder på siden

ther God. For us, with our opinions, to imitate him, would be criminal; but, for himself, he worships one Being, one excellence. It is not so much matter what he calls it, as what he conceives of it. Some confused notions of a Trinity, perhaps, mingle with his thoughts, but it is more likely that he does not think of a Trinity at all, till perhaps, in the close of his prayer a sort of homage is demanded for it, not so much by the feelings of his heart, as by what is customary in the conclusion of that service. And I appeal to christians of this class whether the formal as. cription to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is not much less common in their private devotions, where feeling prevails over form, than in their public worship. It is certain that the direct worship of Jesus Christ as the first and leading object of adoration, is not common even among Trinitarians. And I feel a strong persuasion, which is not lightly adopted, that ninety nine out of a hundred of their sober, practical, devout thoughts, are substantially Unitarian. They may speculate about it; that is another thing. They may write books about it, and converse (according to their own apprehension) in such a manner as to guard their language against the charge of palpable absurdity ; but they do. not pray so. And this is the main concern.

And moreover, with all the imbecility and obscurity that more or less attaches even to our best thoughts, it is scarcely considerate to visit on our brethren in weakness the sins of an alleged mental delin. quency.

Finally, let it be observed, that the controversial way of thinking, not only exposes us to magnify the points in debate, but to misrepresent the opinions of our opponents. If any one among us is conscious of indignation and disgust at the misrepresentations of his faith which he meets with, he may rest assured that these sentiments are fully reciprocated by his opponents. Now this state of things is peculiarly unhappy. For it not only multiplies the topics of dispute, but it makes every topic of dispute, a subject of exasperation.

Is this state of things necessary ? Partly, it must be feared, that it is. But is it altogether so? Can nothing be done to mitigate the evil?

Would not something be effected by more discrimination and more kindness and candour?

But it is time to close this essay. Can it be too frequently or 'too solemnly urged upon us, that the great duty of every Christian in these times, is to keep his own heart with all dili. gence? It is of far more consequence to us to be approved,' morally approved, than to be theologically victorious, to guard our own affections, than to overthrow other men's opinions. Do we inquire how we shall be approved ? Let us carry this ques. tion to the judgment seat of Christ. Let us ask how we shall be approved in the righteous judgment of another world. Certainly, it will not be, by our speculative faith, nor by able defences of it. All this will pass away, and the great and only question will relate to the temper of our minds. But I am ad. monished to close. What it is to be approved in controversy, I would say in ne word, by referring to the example of the great Fenelon : and will conclude with the wish, that every controversialist had it appointed to him as a task, (penance, I fear it would be to many) to read the Life of Fenelon, at least as olten as he writes a book.



St. Paul to the Colossians, chap. 3. ver. 18. first adviseth wo. men to submit themselves to their husbands, and then counselleth men to love their wives. And sure it was fitting that women should first have their lesson given them, because it is hardest to be learned, and therefore they need have more time to conne it. For the same reason we first begin with the character of a good wife.

She commandeth her husband in any equal matter, by constant obeying him. It was always observed, that what the English gained of the French in battle by valour, the French regained of the English by cunning in treaties. So if the husband should chance by his power in his passion to prejudice his wife's right, she wisely knoweth, by compounding and complying, to recover and rectify it again.

She never crosseth her husband in the spring tide of his anger, bul stays till it be ebbing water; and then mildly she argues the matter, not so much to condemn him, as to acquit herself. Surely men, contrary to iron, are worst to be wrought upon when they are hot. It is an observation of seamen, that if a single meteor or fire-ball falls on their mast, it portends ill luck; but if two come together (which they count Castor and Pollux) they presage good success. But sure in a family it bodeth most bad, when two fire-balls (husband's and wife's anger) come both together.


[ocr errors]

She keeps home, if she hath not her husband's company, or leave for her patent to go abroad. For the house is the woman's centre. It is written, Psalm 104. 2. • The sunne ariseth ; man goeth forth unto his work and 10 his labor until the evening.' But it is said of the good woman, Prov. 31. 15. She riseth whiles it is yet night. For man, in the race of his work, starts from the rising of the sunne, because his businesse is without doors, and not to be done without the light of heaven. But the woman hath her work within the house, and therefore can make the sun rise by lighting of a candle.

Her clothes are rather comely than costly, and she makes plain cloth to be velvet by her handsome wearing it.

She is none of our dainty dames, who love to appear in variety of suits every day new; as if a good gown, like a stratagem in war, were to be used but once. But our good wife sets up a sail according to the keel of her husband's estate.

In her husband's absence she is wife and deputy husband, which makes her double the files of her diligence. At his return be finds all things so well, that he wonders to see himself at home, when he was abroad.

In her husband's sickness she feels more grief than she shows. Partly, that she may not dishearten him ; and partly, because she is not at leisure to seem so sorrowful, that she may be the more serviceable.

Her children, though many in number, are none in noise; she steering them with a look whither she listeth. When they grow up, she teacheth them not pride, but painfulness, making their bands to clothe their backs, and them to wear the livery of their own industry. She makes not her daughters gentlewomen, before they be women, rather teaching them what they should pay to others, than receive from them.

T'he heaviest work of her servants she maketh light, by orderly and seasonably enjoyning it. Wherefore her service is counted preferment, and her teaching better than her wages.

Fuller's Prophane and Holy State.

[ocr errors]




ANGER is one of the sinews of the soul: he that wants it hath a maimed mind, and with Jacob, sinew-shrunk in the hollow of his thigh, must needs halt.--Be not angry with any without a cause. If thou beest, thou must not onely, as the proverb saith, be appeased without amends, (having neither costs or damage given thee,) but, as our Saviour saith, 'be in danger of the judgement.'

Take heed of doing irrevocable acts in thy passion :-as the revealing of secrets, which makes thee a bankrupt to society ever after, neither do such things, which done once are done for ever, so that no bemoaning can amend them. Sampson's hair grew again; but not his eyes. Time may restore some losses, others are never to be repaired. Do not in an instant what an age cannot recompense.

He that keeps anger long in his bosom, giveth place to the devil. And why should we make room for him, who will crowd in too fast of himself? Heat of passion makes our souls to chappe, and the devil creeps in at the crannies.

[The following ode is from an old newspaper, where it is said to have been written by a Lady in the north of England, who for many years had languished with a hopeless consumption.]


Not to the rosy maid, whom former hours
Bebeld me fondly covet, tune I now
The melancholy lyre. No more I seek
Thy aid, Hygeia! sought so long in vain.
But 'tis to thee, O sickness ! 'tis to thee
I wake the silent strings--Accept the lay.
Thou art no tyrant, waving the fierce scourge
O'er unresisting victims; but a nymph
Of mild, tho' mournful mien. Upon thy brow
Patience sits smiling; and thy heavy eye,
Tho' moist with tears, is always fixed on Heaven.
Thou wrap'st this world in gloom; but thou canst tell
Of worlds where all is sunshine ; and at length,
When through the vale of sorrow thou hast led
Thy patient suff'rers, cheering them the while
With many a smile of promise, thy pale hand
Unlocks the bowers of

everlasting rest,
Where death's kind angel waits to dry their tears,
And crown them with his aramanthine flowers.

Yes! I have known thee long, and I have felt
All that thou hast of sorrow. Many a tear
Has fall’n on my cold cheeks; and many a sigh
Callid forth by thee, has swell'd my aching breast.

Yet still I bless thee, O thou chastning power!
New Series-Vol. V.


For all I bless thee! Thou hast taught my soul
To rest upon itself ; to look beyond
The narrow bound of time, and fix its hopes
On the sure basis of eternity.

Meanwhile, ev'o in this transitory scene,
Of what hast thou depriv'd me?' Has thy hand


the book of knowledge; drawn a veil
O'er the fair face of pature; or destroyed
The tender pleasures of domestic life?

Ab no! tis thine to call forth in the heart
Each better feeling. Thou awakenest there
That unconfin'd philanthropy, which feels
For all th' unhappy : that warm sympathy,
Which, casting every selfish care aside,
Finds its own bliss in seeing others blest.
That melancholy, tender yet sublime,
Which, feeling all the pothingness of earth,
Exalts the soul to heaven; and, more than these,
That pure devotion, which, ev’n in the hour
Of agonizing pain, can fill the eyes
With tears of ecstacy—such tears, perhaps,
As angels love to shed.

These are thy gifts, O sickness! these to me
Thou hast vouchsafed, and taught me how to prize.
Shall my soul shrink from aught thou hast ordain'd?
Shall I e'en envy the luxurious train
Around whose path prosperity bath strewo
Her gilded toys! Ah! let them still pursue
The shining trifles; '

never shall they know
Such pure and holy pleasures as await
The heart refin'd by suffering. Not to them
Does fancy sing her wild romantic song:
'Tis not for them her glowing hand undraws
The sacred veil that hides th' angelic world:
They hear not, in the music of the wind,
Celestial voices, that in whispers sweet,
Call to the flowers—ibe young and bashful flowers !
They see not, at the shadowy hour of eve
Descending spirits who on silver wing,
Glide thro' the air, and to their harps divine
Sing in soft notes, the vesper-hymn of praise ;
Or, pausing for a moment, as they turn
Their radiant eyes on this polluted scene,
Drop on their golden harps a pitying tear.

Prosperity! I court thy gifts no more;
Nor thine, O fair Hygeia! yet to thee
I breathe one fervent prayer; attend the strain !
If, for my faded brow, thy hand prepare


« ForrigeFortsæt »