Page images


The spirit of the apostle's ob- in its favour. In him we plainly servations, Heb. vi. 4-6, ap- see, that the saints are interested pears soinewhat different from in the unchangeable grace of the gloss of J.C. Upon the sup- God, which secures their perseposition that believers are moral verance; so that, if they fall, they agents, capable of being influen- shall rise again ; if they sin, they ced by proper motives, what dif- shall have the gift of repentance. ficulty encumbers this striking If it be asked, what would have passage? Is it not the method become of David, if he had died of inspiration to set life and in the midst of his crimes ? I andeath before the saints ; to ad- swer, if he had died impenitent, dress their fears as well as their he would have been lost. But it hopes ; to show them, on may, with the same pertinence, hand, the crown of righteousness be asked, what would have bewhich awaits the faithful, on come of Paul, or John, or any of the other, the certain ruin the saints in heaven, if they had which will overtake them, if died before their conversion ? they turn again to folly ? This Suppositions may assist our feepassage seems not, in spirit, to ble reason, and correct our misbe different from the cautions, takes. But they hinder not the which Jesus frequently gave his purpose and operation of infinite disciples. “No man, putting grace. The foundation of God his hand to the plough and look- standeth sure, having this seal ; ing back, is fit for the kingdom The Lord knoweth them that are of heaven., Ye are the salt of his; and he will keep them by his the earth. But if the salt have mighty power through faith unto lost its savour, wherewith shall salvation. it be salted ? It is henceforth

CONCLUDING REMARKS. good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of 1. It is no decisive evidence men.” Neither Jesus, nor his against any religious tenet, that apostles ever considered believ- some passages of Scripture are ers in such a light, as to render found, which, taken by themselves, the most solemn warnings appear inconsistent with it. The against apostasy, either improp- most established truths of the er or unnecessary. Who shall gospel may be opposed by defind fault, if divine wisdom has tached parts of God's word. On chosen to use such warnings, as a cursory view, many texts conone means of securing their per- vey to our minds a very differseverance? Who shall think of ent meaning from that which sedisproving the certain persever- rious and thorough investigation ance of the saints by those Scrip- discovers. tures, which were inspired to 2. Admitting that the doctrine support it, and which, through now before us has sometimes grace, are effectual to that pur. been placed in a false attitude,

believed on wrong principles, David has been often introduce and defended by unsound reasoned, as a standing proof against ing; this is not a proof, that the the doctrine of perseverance ; doctrine wants evidence, but that whereas he is a standing proof its friends want wisdom.


[ocr errors][merged small]

OUS season.




3. If any real difficulties at- years. And there are now matend this doctrine, they are by ny circumstances, which threatno means sufficient to overbal- en the dissolution of that emance the direct scripture evidence pire. in its favour, its nianifest agree- John, having predicted the ment with the perfections of God great events, which were coming and the other truths of the gos- on the world, solemnly calls the pel, and its tendency to animate attention of mankind to the and console the saints.

means of safety at such a perilLUTHER.

And, if this is the time, when the sixth vial is running, the warning which he gives

is immediately addressed to us ; DISSERTATION JOHN's

and it sounds to me, like a voice,

sent this day, from the skies. No. 3.

It is remarkable, that John, Revelation xvi. 12–16. filled with a sense of the magniOn the interpretation and ful- tude of the events in his eyc, and filment of prophecy it becomes of the dangers coming on the us to speak with inodesty and world, breaks off in the midst of caution; but there is such a re- his description of events, to prosemblance between John's de- claim the warning of Heaven ; scription of the sixth vial, and the and then resumes his subject. erents of the present day, that He introduces the Saviour ihus one can hardly forbear to lay speaking to his people ; “Bethem side by side, and contem- hold, I come, as a thief: Blessed plate them together.

is he, that watcheth, and keepeth The word of prophecy and the his garments, lest he walk naked, aspect of the times lead us still to and they see his shame.” Again, expect great changes in the having described the judgments world. The fall of the papal under the next vial, he adds, power and the dissolution of the “I heard a voice from heaven, Turkish empire are events, saying, Come out of her, come which cannot be far distant from 'out of Babylon, my people, that each other. Mahometanism as ye partake not of her sins, and well as Popery, must be removed that ye receive not of her plagues. before pure Christianity can geri- For her sins have reached unto erally prevail. As they arose, heaven, and God hath rememberso they will probably fall, nearly ed her iniquities." at the same time.

If, as inter- It hence appears, that in the preters suppose, the prophecy judgments, to be executed on the of Daniel, in the eleventh chap- papal nations, other nations will ter of his book, respects the have a share, greater or less, acTurkish empire ; then the same cording to their moral and reliperiod is assigned for the dura- gious state. If we partake of the tion of this, as for the duration sins of Babylon, we shall receive of the Papal power ; viz. a of her plagues. time, times, and half a time, or Great events we have already three and a half years, which are seen, and greater are to be ex1260 prophetic days or literal" pected. Blessed is he, that


watches and prepares to meet us, that, as the Jews were broken them.

off and dispersed by their infidelWhen we consider our present ity, so Christian nations stand by connexion and intercourse with faith. If nations, which have the nations of Europe, and the enjoyed the gospel, impiously changes which have taken place, and ungratefully renounce it, and are still likely to take place they lose all their security, and among them when we consider become obnoxious to severer the long course of unusual pros- punishments, than if they had perity, which we have enjoyed, never known it. To them may and our present moral and polit be applied God's reproof and ical state—and, when we consider threatening to Israel; “ You only the predictions and warnings of lave I known of all the families Scripture ; we have reason to ap- of the earth; therefore will I pun. prehend, that serious and painful ish you for all your iniquities." trials are coming on us.

A regular administration of, Amidst the commotions of the and peaceable submission to our world, our national security will own chosen government, depend, not so much on our num- matters of high importance to bers, wealth, and local situation, our security and happiness. Our as on our wisdom, virtue, piety, general constitution is probably peace, and union. If we adoptas liberal, as can reasonably be the vices and corruptions, we desired, and perhaps as can be may expect to share in the calam- safe for a people, so numerous ities of those guilty nations, and spread over so extensive a, which God is punishing, and will territory ; and it is as energetic continue to punish, until they as is necessary for a well-informare reclaimed or consumed. ed and virtuous people. But, if

The prevalence of infidelity it should be relaxed from its will succeed to the extinction of proper energy, or strained bepopery. This intimation of yond its due tone-if it should prophecy is confirmed by obser- be mutilated, twisted, and change vation. But its triumphing will ed, until it cease to be the same; be short ; and, when this is past, it will become the sport and bauthe triumph of the gospel will be ble of conflicting parties, and glorious.

general confusion will ensue. The safety of our country will The people, if they be wise, depen on the maintenance of will steadily support, and prompt. the religion of Christ ; on the ly obey their own governmentstrict observance of the Lord's will favour no unnecessary innoday ;. on a just encouragement vations--will seek redress of of, and respect to the plain in- supposed grievances in no other stitutions of the gospel, and the than a constitutional way— will stated ministry of the word ; on entrust the powers of government the increase of the churches and in the hands of those only, whose the preservation of peace and or reputed wisdom and integrity ender in them; on a general regard title them to general confidence. to family religion, and on har. While there is wisdom in rulers, mony and mutual confidence in virtue in the people, and union civil society. The apostle warns and confidence between both, there will be little danger from Foreign influence should be foreign powers.

spurned and repelled. If this That there should be different should ever dictate our elections, sentiments on many public mea- direct our councils, control our sures is naturally to be expected. government, corrupt our reli. But wisdom and virtue will forbid gious principles, and vitiate our all acrimony of speech and se- social manners ;

we shall of verity of treatment in parties to- course lose our independence. ward each other. Every thing The rapid increase of foreigners, of this kind tends to the cor- from whatever nation they come, ruption of national manners, to is dangerous to our liberty. Isthe weakness and inefficacy of rael was ruined, when he mixed government, to the obstruction himself with strangers ; for they of the channels of information, devoured his substance, and he to insolence and despotism in the knew it not. Our independence, dominant party, to discontent virtue and religion are safest with and faction in the feebler party, the gradual increase of our natand to loss of liberty in the peo- ural population. ple. A spirit of free and can- In a time, when the nations of did discussion may be useful. Europe are convulsed by wars But mutual slander, crimination, and revolutions, too close a conscurrility, and contest for power nexion with them may expose endanger the common liberty, us to be shaken by their changes, and degrade the national dignity. and perhaps to be crushed by In absolute governments, where their fall. the power of the nation is concen- Amidst the convulsions of a trated in a point, parties may be changing world, it becomes us of use to check the progress of to rejoice in the immutable jusdespotism ; but in republics, tice, wisdom and goodness of the where the power is diffused Divine government. We lament through the body, parties are al- the miseries, which attend the ways dangerous, because they wars of nations, and the revoludiminish the national strength, tions of kingdoms ; but it is a and when the parties become consolation to believe that all nearly equal, the national these calamitous events are prestrength is lost. Party spirit has paring the way for the enlargebeen the common source of ruin

ment of Christ's kingdom, which to republican governments. will diffuse peace and happiness •

In public elections preference over the carth. should always be given to relig- While God's judgments are, ious characters. “He that rul- as we believe, removing the obeth over men, must be just, ruling structions, which have long lain in the fear of God.” If the open in the way of a general reformaenemies of religion should ever tion ; we are pleased to see some become administrators of our other appearances, more directly government, we should lose all

tending to so desirable a result. security ; for such men have no Wonderful is the zeal, which inherent principle to ensure their has appeared, and the exertions, fidelity, nor on them will an oath which have been made in Britain have a binding efficacy.

and some other parts of Europe, for spreading tne gospel among propagated; but the progress of the unenlightened inhabitants of evangelical truth is also great. the world. For this purpose so- The number of the apparently cieties have been established, neutral party daily diminishes; Christians of different sects have and they are now becoming the united, liberal contributions have worshippers of the God and been made, able missionaries have Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, been sent forth, Bibles have been or are receding fast through the printed in different languages, mists of scepticism into the and dispersed among those, who dreary regions of speculative never saw such a book before ; and practical atheism. It seems and these measures have been as if Christianity and infidelity attended with a success, which were mustering each the host of has exceeded expectation. The the battle, and preparing for same missionary spirit, which has some great day of God. The been so conspicuous in Europe, enemy is come, like a flood, but has been extensively felt in A- the Spirit of the Lord hath liftmerica.

ed up a standard against him. As the object of the mission- Who then is on the Lord's ary societies is pious and benevo- side ? Let him come forth to lent, as their number is great, and the help of the Lord, to the help as their rise in different parts of the Lord against the mighty." was without concert, as they have

Theophilus. met with liberal encouragement, and happy success ; we cannot doubt but the hand of God is with them.

Though we cannot conclude, IN THE CONDUCT OF DANIEL. that the great reformation will immediately appear ; yet we feel RELIGION, when exhibited in a confidence, that God is now pre- the lives of men, more readily paring the way for it. And may engages attention, and is more his name be glorified; may his impressive, than when it is barekingdom come ; may his will be ly seen in precept. For this readone on earth, as it is done in son, among others, the divine heaven ; and may all flesh see Author of the Holy Scriptures his salvation.

hath seen fit to transmit to us a To conclude ; we may say, in particular account of the conduct the words of a late Scotch wri- of a number of persons, in differter, “ Never were times more ent ages of the world, and in dif. eventsul, or appearances more

ferent situations of life, who acted interesting, than at the present under its iniluence. By perusing day. We behold, on the one their lives, we meet with somehand, infidelity with dreadful ir- thing more than a description of ruption extending its ravages far religion ; the thing itself is preand wide ; and, on the other, an sented to our view. amazing accession of zeal and Among the eminent saints, alacrity to the cause of Chris- whose lives are recorded in the tianity. "Error in all its forms is sacred volume, the prophet Danassiduously and successfully iel holds a conspicuous piace. He"



« EelmineJätka »