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opinion, for provision of such a
reasons, on account of kind, for the support of the religion friendly to the idea of a of the Divine Oracles in a national Church; although such form ; seeing God is honoured are foretold and promise thereby and souls saved, through Scriptures, in reference to the medium of a state professedly Testament Dispensation, Christian, and therefore is in duty Saviour himself has ad bound tn make such provision. sanction to it, as above.
We ought however to feel no lii. 15. and lx. 22. and lxv objection to the forming of Na- Rev. xi. 15, to which oth tional Churches, because the Apos- be added. tles did this in obedience to the It is now perhaps only instructions of their Divine Master, to observe, that when t whose example we follow in bap- became Christian, after th tizing infants, of whom the king- tles' times, and in those dom of beaven consists, as well as of stantine, National Church adults. Matt. xxviii. 19. and xviii. established through the em 14. On this principle Dissenters accordance with the So make as real a part of the visible above named, and have co National Church as the members through the medium of the of the Establishment itself. The mation, in Europe at least Jewish Church was a national one, present day; aud ought th because composed of circumcised in my judgment, to have a infants as well as adults. And it sent and approbation. is well known that baptists object
E. to infant baptism among other
COMMUNION WITH GOD.
THERE is a nearness to God which his Son for; when Christ o we are not only allowed, but called that which cost him so dearl to in the loving dispensations of the with the greatest unwort gospel, so that now we are not to vilest ingratitude, refuse, be strangers any longer,but friends ; and contemn it, what thin we are to have fellowship and Doth it not go even to the h communion with God. Why do Christ, and to speak after th not our hearts even leap for joy! ner of men, doth it not griei Why do not our souls triumph in to the soul, to behold his g those discoveries of love ? Even love scorned, and the end because we know not the great- agony to be more vilely acc ness of our privileges, the highness of than the basest of our of our calling, the excellency of Let us, therefore, according 1 our advancement, the blessedness high calling wherewith we ar of this life, the sweetness of those ed, enter into an intimate acq employments, the satisfaction of ance with God; and, as wi those enjoyments, the comfort of our souls acting naturally to this heavenly life, the delights
of those things which are nat this communion with God. We dear to us, so let us strive to li know not the things which be- our spiritual affections. long to our peace: and thus when
Jane God calls us to that which he sent
Review of Books.
THE PRESENT STATE AND PROSPECTS OF THE WORLD AND THE CHURCH. By a CLERGYMAN of the Establishment. 18mo. pp. xii. and 340, Seeleys, 1837.
This is obviously a wide field, empire and the expectation of requiring a vast fund of information,
great events. and involving many difficult and In the following lectures, both disputed questions. The writer the unconverted and believers therefore, who engages in such a are urged to repentance, faith, work must not be surprised if many union,
and prayer. The believer's of his readers are disappointed, warrant for trusting in God, his and must be prepared to endure safety amid general calamities, and complaints from some, of having the importance of assurance are promised more than he has per- stated in the Sixth Lecture; and formed, and from others of having the way is thus prepared for the promulgated views inconsistent author's views on the millennium, with, or subversive of some of their heaven, &c. favourite ideas. Yet few readers we Now, valuable and interesting as conceive will rise from the peru- these Lectures are, it is obvious sal of the present volume without some very important and promifeeling that its author has advanced nent topics are almost entirely much that is at once interesting
omitted. The sins of the age are and important, and that his work a painful subject of contemplation; is deserving of careful perusal and but surely an impartial view of the extensive circulation.
present state and prospects of the The author's views are
church and of the world, ought to prised in nine lectures, which treat contain some specific reference to respectively of the sins of the age the zeal for God, and the enlarged and nation. The signs of the exertions for the promotion of his times. The duty of the unconvert- glory, which, notwithstanding every ed. The duty of believers. On defect, constitute a striking feature doing good and prayer. The be- of these our times. The labours liever's privilege. The millennium. and the success with which it has Heaven; and Ceasing from man pleased Almighty God to bless the and living to God.
efforts of Bible, Missionary, Jews, Among the sins of the age the and School Societies, require at author especially points out the least some passing notice. The evident lukewarmness of nominal
first streak of light which appears Christians, of which he regards in the Eastern horizon, is cheering spurious liberality as a striking in- to those who watch for the mornstance; he dwells upon the pro- ing; and they who contemplate fanation of the Sabbath, drunken- the movement which in the last ness, infidelity, the conduct of fifty years has taken place in the dissenters, and the general im- Christian church, may well lift up penitence.
their hearts with holy gratitude, Under the head of the Signs of and say, What hath God wrought ? the times, is especially pointed out This omission is the more to be luxury, the unprincipled conduct of regretted, since it leads to a defecpublic men,disobedience to parents, tive view of the believer's duty in attention to prophecy, the amazing the present day. Our author shews spread of popery, its causes and that the Christian ought to be acconsequences, the danger of the tive in doing good, and to engage
in intercessory prayer; but he same thing. Deplorable, truly, it would scarcely glances at the important
be, were the Lord's people to be alienated
and divided from each other by disputaobligation incumbent on all the
tions respecting the particulars of their disciples of Christ, to send forth
own triumph! This would indeed be his gospel to the world at large. turning their
turning their glory into their shame.
But bow, it may be asked, shall this We only learn from a casual note,
latter day of glory be consummated ? and an extract or two in the Ap
We reply-Simply by the same agents, and pendix, that the writer was at all the same instrumentality, at present in aware of the existence of our great operation. If these will not produce the religious Societies.
desired results, what will ? Judgments ?
No: these cannot renovate the heart, as In the Seventh Lecture on the
was sufficiently exemplified in the case of Millennium, the author states that
Pharaoh. Judgments have never reformed it shall be a period of great peace, the devils; nor will they be more effica
cious with men. of great light, of peculiar holiness,
The ungodly, when of great love, of pre-eminent spiri, blaspheme the God of heaven, because of
afflicted, may gnaw their tongues, and tual privileges, of unprecedented their pains and their sores; but they will happiness, prosperity, and abund- not repent of their deeds. The day of
trouble and of rebuke is often one of ance, and of unexampled exultation and thanksgiving. The ques
Some are of opinion that the personal tion of the Saviour's personal reign appearance of Christ will convert manis thus treated :
kind. They insist greatly on that text
“ And then shall that Wicked be reWhether the reign of the Saviour on vealed, whom the Lord shall consume earth shall be personal or not, is a problem with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall of which the writer declines attempting destroy with the brightness of his comthe solution. Whichever view we adopt, ing." But what, in the plain import of the difficulties in reconciling Scripture the words, is the Spirit of his mouth, but with itself appears considerable. Several the Holy Spirit ? as it is written of the wise and pious men have espoused the Saviour," he
“ he breathed on them, (the disaffirmative of the question, maintaining ciples,) and saith unto them, Receive ye that the Saviour will reign personally. the Holy Ghost.” And so again we read On the other hand, the general and pre- of “the rod of his mouth,' and of “ the valent opinion of the Church has been sword that goeth out of his mouth,” contrary to this. Who then shall pre- “ even the sword of the Spirit, which is sume absolutely to pronounce which in- the word of God.” And this is parallel terpretation is the true? As Bishop Hall with “the brightness of his coming' rightly observes, 'what riddles are there mentioned; even the brightness of the in that prophecy, which no human tongue light of religious knowledge, consequent can read! Where to fix the beginning of on an abundant communication of the that marvellous millennary, and where the Spirit and the word. This at least is the end, and what manner of reign it shall primary meaning of the phrase ; it may be, whether temporal or spiritual, on have a more full developement at Christ's earth or in heaven, undergoes as many coming to the last judgment. That error constructions, as there are pens that have and irreligion will not be destroyed, and undertaken it. It is, indeed, an enigma Christianity universally established, by which shall not be completely explicated, any demonstration of mere physical or till “the day shall declare it.” At the external power, is expressly stated in the end the vision shall speak.” But till then, prophet Zechariah ; when, referring to “ the words are closed up and sealed." this very event, he says, “ Not by might, The question then is one on which
nor by power, nor by my spirit, saith the Christians must agree to differ : one, on Lord of hosts. What is darkness, but which Jehovah seems purposely to have the absence of light? What is sin, but left his Church undecided, perhaps to the opposite of holiness? Well, the Lord exercise mutual kindness, candour, and will just abolish spiritual darkness by forbearance. And while the writer can. introducing knowledge ; sin, by introducnot but lament the extremes into which ing sanctity. This is the fitting, and some who have held the personal view indeed only practicable mode. It is anhave permitted themselves to be carried, swerable to the nature of things. Spirit the bears willing testimony to the beau. is suitably actuated only by spirit. The tiful moderation, meekness, and sobriety soul in its unconverted state is deadof others of them. Let us, therefore, as “dead in trespasses and sins.” And can many as be perfect, be thus minded. Let any outward or natural thing whatever us walk by the same rule, let us mind the infuse life into it? No-nothing but
" the Spirit of life " can be the life of the dispensation, we look upon as a mere chiSpirit. The heavenly breath must breathe mera, destitute of all warrant or foundaupon the slain, before they can live. tion in Scripture. Nor is it a harmless Therefore says Christ, -" Ye must be notion, but one calculated to defeat the born of the Spirit."
very object which its maintainers have at But it is alleged by respectable divines, heart, namely, the world's conversion. that the means at present employed for the For if we undervalue the Spirit, we shall conversion of the world, 'never yet con- not earnestly desire him for mankind ; verted any one nation or city.' Abso- and if we desire him not, we shall not ask lutely and literally speaking, perhaps they for him; and if we ask not, we shall not never did. But do we forget the thou- receive. He honours them that honour sands that were converted on the day of him. Pentecost, at the preaching of one ser- Is it necessary to adduce further proofs, mon? Do we forget that St. Paul was that the universal kingdom of Christ upon affirmed to have turned away much peo- earth will be the work of this divine ple after him? Do we forget, that the agent? If so, let the reader weigh calmly apostles were accused of having turned the following texts among others—“Thou the world upside down ? And in short, sendest forth thy Spirit; they are created; that, in no very considerable interval of and thou renewest the face of the earth.' time from the first promulgation of the Here the renovation of the world seems Gospel, idolatry and paganism were expressly ascribed to the Third Person in nearly annihilated, over the surrounding the ever-blessed Trinity. To the same nations ? · The historians, who have purport is this passage-"Upon the land written of this reign,' (that of Constan. of my people shall come up thorns and tine,) says Bishop Newton, 'relate how briers ; until the Spirit be poured upon us even the most remote and barbarous na- from on high. Then judgment shall dwell tions were converted to the faith, Jews as in the wilderness, and righteousness rewell as Gentiles. Have we not witnessed main in the fruitful field. And the work similar results ourselves ? Need we to of righteousness shall be peace, and the remind the reader of the various conver- effect of righteousness, quietness, and sions and revivals of religion in America, assurance for ever. “For I will pour in the days of Brainerd, Eliot, Edwards, water upon him that is thirsty, and floods and Whitfield ? or, of the marvellous upon the dry ground; I will pour my changes produced among the Greenland- Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing ers, the Esquimaux, the natives of South- upon thine offspring, and they shall spring ern India, the islanders of the South Sea, up as the grass, as willows by the waterand those of New Zealand ? And, shall courses.” “ So shall they fear the name the same spiritual apparatus, so to speak, of the Lord from the west, and his glory which was effectual to produce results like from the rising of the sun: when the these, not be effectual to regenerate the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit world? It seems unreasonable to doubt of the Lord shall lift up a standard against it. Admitting that even one soul had him.” Once more-"And it shall come been converted through the gospel, that to pass afterward, that I will pour out my fact would establish its efficiency as an Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and instrument to convert all. For what but your daugnters shall prophesy, your old an Almighty power could bring a clean men shall dream dreams, your young men thing out of an unclean ? could 'create a shall see visions : and also upon the sersoul beneath the ribs of death ?' He that vants and upon the band-maids in those could do this, can do what He pleases. days will I pour out my Spirit.” This For, is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? prediction was partly fulfilled on the day or his sword blunted ? or his arm wea- of Pentecost. Then was vouchsafed a ried? Is he not “the eternal Spirit specimen of what the Lord the Spirit the “ Spirit of might?” Is any thing too could, and subsequently would, perform. hard for him, who garnished the heavens ? But that it was only a specimen is mani. Oh, let us take care, Jest, in thus depreci. fest; because the Spirit was not then ating the present mode conversion, we
all flesh ;” and besides, dishonour the Spirit of the Lord! Where, the apostle Peter stated on that very occain all the sacred volume, is the existing sion, “the promise is unto you, and to constitution for saving souls superseded your children, and to all that are afar off, and another promised ? No where. The even as many as the Lord our God shall present times are “ the last times." The call.' And be it observed, that the period present dispensation is the last dispensa- when this prophecy was to receive its tion: one that is to “ remain," " a king. complete accomplishment, is termed dom that cannot be moved;" and, it is “ the last days.” Therefore, these are the dispensation, or “ministration, of the they. Spirit.”
We hold then, that mankind will be That the millennial state, then, will be converted, simply and solely by means of realized by any new spiritual system or the instrumentality employed from the commencement: only worked, we admit, momentary, and the victory complete. in a manner immeasurably more vigorous This also is in accordance with prophecy : and diffusive. In place of the promised for immediately after the downfal of Babyblessing being imparted only in occasional lon is announced, all heaven breaks forth sprinklings, it shall be poured out-and in extacy, saying, “ Let us rejoice and that 'in floods :' in place of dropping give honour to him, for the marriage of only on favoured spots, it shall be rained the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made upon the wide expansion of the world. herself ready.” The Church of Christ is
In those days, moreover, Christians called his bride; and the conversion of will exhibit far more faithfully and vividly, the nations to Christianity and to God, than, alas! they do at present, the proper the day of her espousals.' genius of Christianity, and spirit of its Meanwhile, the spirit of grace of supadorable author. They will be burning plication being poured out plentifully on and shining lights: showing forth the the church, her children will be incited praises of the Lord, and illuminating the to an unprecedented earnestness and imworld widely around them. Useful, affec- portunity in prayer, for a blessing on the tionate, meek, pious, and altogether seed sown; and it, thus watered, will lovely, they shall be eminently instrumen- take root downward and bear fruit uptal in winning souls to the Saviour,-in ward, with more than the rapidity of a alluring multitudes, who shall behold their Canadian spring, “A nation shall be good works, to glorify God in the day of born at once:” “because a short work their visitation. This seems predicated in will the Lord make upon the earth." the following passage of Isaiah, addressed “ Before Zion travailed, she brought to the church" Arise, shine, for thy forth: before her pain came, she was deli. light is come, and the glory of the Lord is vered of a man child. Who hath heard risen upon thee. For behold, the dark- such a thing? Who hath seen such ness shall cover the earth, and gross dark- things ? Shall the earth be made to bring ness the people; but the Lord shall arise forth in one day? For as soon as Zion upon thee, and his glory shall be seen travailed, she brought forth her children.” upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come Yea, so innumerable will be the ofispring to thy light, and kings to the brightness of of the church be, they are compared to thy rising.”
the drops of dew from the womb of the Then also shall missionary efforts be morning. " A little one shall become a vastly increased. Greater exertions than thousand, and a small one a strong nathe world has yet witnessed, or even tion: I the Lord will hasten it in his dreamed of, shall be made to advance the time." Redeemer's kingdom. In proportion as In the progress of these events, the the warmth of divine love shall expand heart of the Jews shall be turned unto the men's hearts, selfishness will decline, and Lord, and the veil, now upon it, be taken costlier offerings be cast into the treasury away; and they shall embrace that Saof the Lord. “ Then thou shalt see, and viour whom their ancestors crucified, and flow together, (or overflow with joy,) propagate that faith which once they deand be enlarged; because the abundance stroyed. They shall become, with the of the sea shall be converted unto thee, Gentiles, one fold, under one Shepherd. the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto And thus will the fulness of the Gentiles thee. The multitude of camels shall cover come in, and all mankind be converted thee, the dromedaries of Midian and unto God. For, if the fall of them, (the Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: Jews,) be the riches of the world, and the they shall bring gold and incense; and diminishing of them the riches of the they shall show forth the praises of the Gentiles, how much more the fulness. Lord.”
And thus is the conversion of that inteThen, God shall give the word, and resting people described by the prophet, great shall be the company of its preach. “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and ers. He will raise them up, both in as doves to their windows ? Surely the goodly numbers, and also richly furnished isles shall wait for me, and the ships of with all utterance and all knowledge; Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, with all the requisite endowments of gifts their silver and their gold with them, unto and grace. They will be sons of thunder, the name of the Lord thy God, and to the and sons of consolation; and their word Holy One of Israel, because he hath glori. will be with power. “Then will the time fied thee." have come to extend the institutions of Such are the very glorious things yet the gospel throughout the world. Bene. to be realized on this fallen planet. Reli: volence, like the air, will move to fill up a gion will not always be in a low and strugvacuum. Like the light from its great gling condition. The church will not fountain, it will fly to cheer the nations always be contemned and trodden down who sit in darkness. And having no re- by the foot of persecution. The wild boar sistance to encounter, but the simple will not always waste ber vineyards. power of error, the conflict will be but Surely there is an end, and her expecta