Page images

serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, church for counteracting its but their own bellies.” Thirdly, measures. By their insinuating whining pre-l With respect to those things tences of affectionate regard to- which fall under the cognizance wards their partizans : “ By good of a church in its collective cawords and fair speeches they pacity, we earnestly recommend, deceive the hearts of the sim- in general, that every thing be ple."

done not only with a view to the · To this may be added, there honour of God, and the good of are duties on individuals in their the party, as before observed, behaviour towards persons who but with a special regard to the lie under the censure of the revealed will of Christ. That church. If they still continue in some kind of order be preserved a state of impenitence, persist in in every community, is necessary their sin, or be irreconciled to to its existence. Decency, reputhe church's proceedings with tation, and even worldly policy, them, it is of the utmost conse- will induce us to take some noquence that every member should tice of gross immoralities: but act a uniform part towards them. this is not Christian discipline; We may, it is true, continue our nor will it be productive of its ordinary and necessary intercourse salutary effects. In the choice of with them as men, in the concerns officers, few if any churches would of this life ; but there must be no elect a profligate: but if opulence familiarity, no social interchange, be allowed to supply the place of no visitings to them, nor receiving spirituality, or ambitious or liti. visits from them; nothing, in short, gious characters be preferred on that is expressive of connivance the principle of expediency, as a at their conduct. If any man means of keeping them in better that is called a brother be a for. humour, is it not carnal ? So in nicator, or covetous, or an idola. matters of discipline, few churter, or a railer, or a drunkard, or ches would suffer a grossly iman extortioner, we must not keep moral or litigious character to company with such an one, no continue amongst them unnoticed; not to eat.' 1 Cor. v. 11. If indi- but if instead of a calm, impartial. vidual members act contrary to and decided procedure, we enter this rule, and carry it freely to-into pusillanimous compromises wards an offender as if nothing with the offender, consenting that had taken place, it will render the he should withdraw of his own censure of the church of none accord; if the crimes of rich men effect. Those persons, also, who be either entirely overlooked or behave in this manner, will be con- but slightly touched, lest the sidered by the party as his friends, cause should suffer from their and others who stand aloof, as being offended; or if the mishis enemies, or at least as being conduct of poor men be disunreasonably severe; which will regarded on the ground of work confusion, and render void | their being persons of little or no the best and most wholesome dis account, are we not carnal, and cipline. We must act in concert, walk as men? Brethren! Are or we may as well do nothing. there any such things amongst Members who violate this rule us? Search and consider. Such are partakers of other men's sins, things ought not be. The priand deserve the rebukes of the vate withdrawment of an indivi. dual, if it be without good rea- | was its injunction, that, as in the sons, may justify a churcb in ad case of the man who gathered monishing him, and if he cannot sticks on the Sabbath day, the be reclaimed, in excluding him : wilful violation of it subjected to but it cannot of itself dissolve the death; nor was this punishment relation. Till such exclusion has inflicted but by the direction of taken place he is a member, and the Lord himself. It was the his conduct affects their reputa- first case of the kind that bad tion as much as that of any other occurred, and hence some diffimember. With regard to a neg. culty as to the manner of treating lect of discipline lest it should in- it. " And they that found him jure the cause, what cause must gatheripg sticks, brought him that be wbich requires to be thus unto Moses and Aaron, and unto supported? Be it our concery to all the congregation. And they obey the laws of Christ, and leave put him in ward, because it was him to support his own cause. If not declared what should be done it sink by fulfilling his command- unto him. And the Lord said ments, let it sink. He will not unto Moses, the man shall be censure us for not supporting the surely put to death, all the cons ark with unhallowed hands. And gregation shall stone him with if it be criminal to fear the rich, stones without the camp.” While it cannot be less so to despise the neglect of the Sabbath was the poor. Let brotherly love punished in this exemplary way, abound towards both. Do all the reverential regard of it was things without partiality, and attended with the tokens of divine without hypocrisy.

approbation. “Blessed is the

man who doeth this, and the son (To be continued.)

of man that layeth hold of it; that keepeth the Sabbath from

polluting it, and keepeth his ON

hand from doing evil.” . . THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

The Sabbath origipally appointed to be observed on the

seventh has, under the gospel The institution and observ. dispensation, been changed to ance of the seventh portion of the first day, and with the day time for the purposes of religion, the design also, in part, has are of high antiquity, reasonable been changed, or rather, a pleasin their nature, and benevolent ing and an important addition is in their design. “And on the made to the objects presented to seventh day God ended all his the mind for contemplation and work which he had made; and reverence. In its first appointGod blessed the seventh day, and ment the perfections of God, as sanctified it.” At the giving of the creating God, were to be the law on Mount Sinai, the con. commemorated and adored ; now secration of the seventh day was not only should the mind, through positively enjoined, and formed the works of creation, be raised one of the commands written to their author, “ from nature to upon the tables, and the tables nature's God," to praise and were the work of God, and the magnify him for the bright diswriting was the writing of God plays, which he has given of his graven upon the tables. So strict matchless skill and exbaustless

power ; but the far greater won- universal obligation, binding upders of redemption, and espe- on all nations; had therefore, a cially that great part of the all- positive precept appointed that wonderful work, which presents portion of time which answered the Saviour as rising from the to the first day among the Jews, dead, are subjects which, on the difficulties of considerable mo. Sabbath, should engage, and ment might have risen from the purify, and elevate, and fill the geographical situation of differheart. This deeply interesting ent kingdoms, the commenceevent explains and justifies the ment and close of the day being alteration of the day ; nor does earlier or later, as the countries it less fix and appropriate its lay cast or west of the land of grand object. The resurrection Judea : but the general way in of Christ from the dead is of su., which the time is noticed, leaves preme importance, it authen- no perplexity of that nature; ticates the divinity of his mission, while the frequent mention of the and the efficacy of his sacrifice; first day, should leave no doubt is, at the same time, a public as to the obligation of devoting proof that the offering up of him- it to God and religion. self had been accepted, and an The Sabbath, from its name, indubitable pledge of a future is to be a season of repose, of and general resurrection; it is rest to the body and the mind, that link in the chain of the Sa- not from, but in the engagements viour's redemption which con- of piety. The divine approprianects his humiliation with his tion of the seventh portion of exaltation, his sufferings and time, combines in it what is death with the glory which shall characteristic of the Christian follow. This fact so well esta- dispensation, the union of duty blished, and this truth so con- and privilege, regard both to the fessedly great, stamps a sacred body and the mind, an immeimportance on the Sabbath, and diate reference to the best inte. leads the reflective and pious rests of time, and the high conmind to contemplate him who cerns of eternity: in this appoint

liveth, and was dead, and is ment may also be distinctly realive for evermore.”

cognized, the wisdom and kindIt is admitted there is no ex- ness of God, blending their

opepress precept respecting the rations with his authority; and change of the day, contained in thus, by a constitution of things, the New Testament; the seventh regular, uniform, and inviolable, is not verbally forbidden; the thc welfare of man arises out of first is not specially commanded; obedience to the divine will. yet it is clear the disciples met Godliness is profitable for all on the first day for religious things, having the promise of the services, and their example in life that now is, and of that which this, as in other cases, must be is to come.” The Christian Saba considered as having the force bath is, indeed, marked with of authority. The silent manner mercy, bears upon its nature the in which the change took place superscription of heaven, and is worthy of notice, and is illus- wherever observed, carries with trative of the wisdom of God. it its divine credentials. Armed

The observance of the Christian with the force of law it demands Sabbath was designed to be of attention, nor can it be slighted with impunity; and exhibiting | parted to the thousands of chil. itself under the aspect of bene-dren in the Sabbath schools, and volence and love, it should be by the examples of godliness and welcomed with gratitude, im- holiness which are brought into proved with diligence, spent in notice, iniquity is put to the piety, and then it will be closed blush, sin is checked in its guilty with cheerfulness and hope. Was career, the empire of Satan is there no Sabbath, there would weakened, and his subjects lessbe no cessation from labour, no ened: on this day the seed of the day of rest from civil occupa- kingdom is widely sown, serious tions; life itself would be ren- impressions are made

on the dered one incessant toil, one un- mind, and souls are saved with broken scene of anxiety, of ex- an everlasting salvation: yes, it ertion, and of fatigue ; the vigour cannot be doubted, that every of the body would sooner be ex- Sabbath, not a few who begin hausted, and the energy of the the day in thoughtlessness and in mind blunted; the animal spirits guilt, end it at the footstool of would more quickly lose their grace, praying for mercy; though activity, and old age, with its in the morning of the day they long train of infirmities and debi- resembled the prodigal son wast. lities, sooner overtake us; the ing his substance in riotous living, contracted span of life would be in the evening of it, they resemble reduced to a still less size, and him when returning to his father's the grave more early receive its house with confession and peti'crowded victims. But beneficial tion. A day marked with such as is the Sabbath in man's pre-wonders of mercy, and achieving sent condition, its chief advan-conquests of so splendid and glotages must be viewed in the rious a nature, should be prized moral effect produced by it. In and esteemed the best of all the the absence of the Sabbath, with seven. A day so sacred in the its varied means of instruction, authority which enjoins it, so vice would march forth with a benevolent in the objects it bolder front; and, with a sadly realizes, should be spent in a accelerated step, to an almost manner corresponding to its chaunlimited extent, spread its de-racter. teriorating influence, and with

“ In holy duties let the day the progressive ravages of ini- In holy pleasures pass away, quity, melancholy in the extreme

How sweet a Sabbath thus to spend would be the consequences on

In hope of one that ne'er shall end." the human character. The Sab

PHILOSABBATON. bath throws beavy impediments in the way of sin, and casts stumbling blocks of the most

ADDRESS TO MINISTERS, formidable nature in the path of transgression. By the services DEAR BRETHREN, of public worship, by the faith- MANY of your pastoral visits ful sermons preached, and the have, doubtless, been extremely awakening addresses pointed to painful duties, made painful by the conscience of the sinner; by the disorder and insubordination the fervent supplications pre- which you have beheld in the sented to the Father of mercies ; houses of some of your dearest by the scriptural instructions im- friends. This want of domestic

discipline may be accounted for structed into their duty from the in several ways; in some cases pulpit, nor from thence reproved the parents, who have ruling or warned for disobedience to authority, were themselves never parental authority, they consider under good regulation in early obedience and disobedience as life, and being without this high rather discretionary and indifferfundamental advantage, they have ent things." power, but not wisdom to apply May it not be worth while for it to its proper use. In other us seriously to investigate how instances, we justly impute this far my friend's opinion is cordeplorable evil to the extreme rect? God, who has not thought depravity of the minor branches it beneath his administration to of the family, who have learnt give, on the subject referred to, to despise precept, punishment, line upon line, and precept upon and even good example. Hap- precept, can take no offence that pening to call the other day on you follow his own example. a serious friend, whom I had Christ, whose ministers you are, supposed, like Abraham, was will never charge you with want concerned to order his house after of zeal for his glory, because you him, and there witnessing some endeavour to amend the morals confusion, I could not avoid ma- where his Spirit does not evannifesting much surprise. The gelize the soul. It may possibly worthy man, filled with distress, be said, The taste of the present replied to the following effect. day is unfavourable to a full dis(The reply will account for the cussion of such subjects. This is want of good regulations in our granted. But may not the neglect families a ' somewhat new charged on the ministry have conprinciple.) My friend, my tributed to the formation of this house is not so with God as my taste ? and should it not be corheart desires : I have some chil- rected as a disease, rather than indren which are a comfort to me, dulged? When the injunctions and others of them have most un prohibitions of masters and pagovernable dispositions. I am rents are explained and supported aware that, as a parent, my de- by the authority of the ministry, fects and imperfections are nu- they will be likely to have more merous; I will impute the weak- consideration and regard. In this ness of my authority, in some connection, ministers may not measure, to these causes; yet I only expect the dwellings of their have long supposed that our dear friends to be " peaceable habitapastors afford us too little assist- tions and quiet resting places," ance on the subject of domestic go- but enjoy the felicity of knowing vernment. The evangelical truths that they have laboured to make of our holy religion are constantly, them such. Then let them “ fully, and affectionately exhibited ter the garden, and eat their before us ; this we approve: but is pleasant fruits.” there not an evident disinclination in our ministers to introduce, with frequency, amplitude, and

THE PLANET VESTA. distinctness, those precepts which are the measure of our duty in social and domestic life? My With those persons who are children, Sir, being neither in- familiar with the starry heavens,



« EelmineJätka »