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principle. She bore up nobly under her heavy burden-for the grace of God sustained her-and unremittingly devoted herself to the education of her children. But she had received a fatal stroke. Consumptive symptoms in a short time manifested themselves. Her constitution was undermined, and, after various fluctuations, in three years she slept peacefully in Jesus, and her body was laid beside that of her husband. Such was the catastrophe of honourable satisfaction.
Reader, scenes like that which I witnessed and have here detailed are not uncommon. I call upon thee as a man, as a father, as a husband, as a Christian, to do thy endeavour to efface the foul stain from the land. I.
tions; yet it lands us on a rock from which no human reasonings can remove us-God's omnipotent rule over his own machinery. He therefore is the sole author of all that is good in us, and of all the means which tend to produce it. That man then whose soul is set in a perpetual motion of endeavours as St. Paul's was, by such injunctions as this-"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling," accomplishes all he does, as St. Paul did, in virtue of his using God's means; so that in all cases he has as completely the merit and the glory of all the good done in us and by us, as the maker of a beautiful machine has all the glory and merit of its performances, resulting as they did from his skill in arranging the parts of inanimate matter.
[In inserting this paper, we avail ourselves of the opportunity of saying, that we have lately learned with the greatest satisfaction, that an association has been formed in London for the purpose of putting a stop to duelling: already many members of both houses of parliament, and many distinguished officers of both the army and navy, have joined it. We heartily wish this association God speed; and we beg to say, that we most readily offer it whatever influence our columns may possess for the furtherance of its truly Christian object.-Ed.]
BY THE REV. J. E. GOLDING, M.A.
I pass on to one particular view of God's omnipotent rule. The distinctions made in the moral and civil world must assuredly be traced up to his will. No hostility to an abused theory can blind the eyes of an impartial observer to distinctions between nations and individuals which our faculties, according to their natural constitution, compel us to trace up to what we call choice or preference. To pass by the well-known case of choice or preference which bestowed on the Jews, of all nations on the earth, spiritual advantages which might well earn for them the name of the beloved of God; to pass by this, let us look at what lies before us. How is it that one amongst us is born in a mansion and another in a work house? As I am not writing for atheists, I antiment of God. It was his will, his choice or preference, cipate the undisputed answer-it was by the arrangeto bring one upon the stage of life as a pauper, and the other as the noble. Again, as I am arguing with men and not with angels, I cannot admit any objecTHE practical character of the gospel cannot be too tions that after all such distinctions are, in their often and too strongly enforced: for, if there be one view essence, unimportant; for in our own practices you of man, in his relation to Jesus Christ, which is palpa- feel and act upon the conviction, that the distinction bly false, it is that which presents him as idle in the is worth almost any sacrifices of health and personal great work of saving his soul. The doctrinal parts of comfort which we can make, to bestow the favourthe bible, its preceptive parts, the historical charac- able side of it upon our own offspring. But, admitters delineated in it, all alike prove the enormity of ting that this is an instance of choice confined in its antinomian opinions, whether held in their purity or advantages to time, yet here is what I contend forimpurity. The Christian, whose mind has been en- choice or preference in God's administration, which lightened by the study of the revelations of the we can assign no reason for, but his own will. To character of God in his word, and who has, in that meet, however, the objection that such advantages light, traced out his footsteps in the world's history, are temporal only, and therefore fugitive as life's emcherishes a conviction of his omnipotence in his rule blems-"the early cloud and the morning dew," and over man's body and spirit, which no apparent ano- "the frost" and "the eagle that hasteth to the prey;" malies can shake. Emphatically he sees and allows let us look at the spiritual advantages which seem to that God is "all in all." But in our daily practices us to be of necessity connected with these distinctions. this great truth requires to be developed upon just By whose arrangement is it, that of two brothers principles. God is "all in all," whether he works by one is snatched away almost ere the baptismal water miracles which force our belief of his immediate is dry upon his face; and the other survives his full agency, or by means which, from their simplicity and three-score years and ten, to be assaulted and overfrequency, go far to dethrone him in the minds of come by ten thousand temptations? Regarding that thousands. Whatever share therefore is assigned to moral helplessness which is the inevitable law of our man, regarding him as possessed beforehand of cer- present being, and which, unchecked by the direct tain faculties both of body and mind, in "working power of God's indwelling Spirit, " grows with our out his own salvation;" yet must those, who justly growth, and strengthens with our strength," must we apprehend the truth of God's omnipotence, refer all not allow that the chances (to use the world's lanto him. Hence whatever exhortations we give to the guage) of endless happiness resulting from the two sinner to work, to do his part, we can never allow conditions of dying at two months, and dying at ourselves to lose sight of God's omnipotence in accom- seventy years of age, hardly admit of comparison; the plishing all. In familiar language we say, the mill baptized child being sure of eternal happiness-the grinds the corn; yet all the agency is man's-he ad- other being sure, in virtue of his own doings, of eternal justed all the parts of the machine to qualify it for misery, unless all the probabilities and improbabilities performing its functions. I do not give this as a com- of repentance are taken into the calculation? The adplete illustration of man's relative position with regard vantages, which the infant has over the hoary-headed to God. The machine we call inanimate, the man we probationer in this case, are painfully obvious to all; and call animate; yet did God as much and as advisedly the fact that we think there is something real in them, make that machinery which we call man, as man is proved by the wish that has escaped at times from made that machinery which we call the mill: both the lips or the heart of almost every man-that he were alike governed by distinct objects. This must had perished in infancy, without being exposed to the follow from the very character of God. What is flaming fiery furnace of an earthly probation. The called man's free agency, however, precludes our arrangement of such distinctions must be laid at the drawing the same inference concerning both produc-feet of God the Omnipotent; and, in asking the
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY THE CONSI-
painful question-why? humility meekly bows her head and responds, "Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight."
Once more: are not the bounds of our habitation fixed (Acts xvii. 26)? For, what has the child to do in choosing the place and the circumstances of its birth? That choice is with God. And yet the impartial observer still admits, in two given cases, that one child is born to spiritual advantages of the highest kind; and the other to spiritual disadvantages which baffle all human calculations of the probability of a favourable issue in time or eternity. Is not the world full of such instances? How then can we escape the conclusion?
But here I stop. One side of the question has been exhibited; and, as human faculties are arguing it, so we must allow them fair play throughout. Preference or choice implies superior advantages in certain instances; but it does not imply the total absence of all advantages in the remaining instances. This point can never be given up, but at the tremendous sacrifice of myriads of human hopes. To refer to one of our former illustrations: it does not follow, because the child was born even in a workhouse, that the grownup man shall not live and die in a mansion. This case is by no means merely hypothetical; and we know the difference in point of moral grandeur between him who was born on a height, and between him who, overcoming many and disheartening obstacles, yet has reached that height. In this view the undeniable fact of preference or choice, in individual instances to superior temporal advantages, does not imply exclusion in all others. Admit then the analogy in spiritual advantages to be possible-or more, to be probable; admit that God has placed some half-way up the hill, some higher still, and many at the bottom of it, what is to be the conclusion? It is all in favour of that working, laborious, energetic, hoping spirit, which gives its tone to every page of the bible. The miraculous spectacle there of a character at all deeply imbued with its principles, would be that of indolence. To a mind accustomed to weigh moral causes and effects, the miracle of opening the eyes of a blind man would be a vulgar spectacle compared with that of seeing St. Paul-urged on and ruled by God's indwelling Spirit-unlaborious, unworking, unenergetic, for a day or a waking hour, in the details of praying, talking, exhorting, pushing every mental faculty to its utmost stretch in devising temporal means for the salvation of the souls of all within his reach-of his own first of all (1 Tim. iv. 16), and then of all that heard him. Certain is it then, that, whatever prominence is and must be given by every unbiassed reader of God's word, and spectator of his doings, to the doctrine of choice or preference to superior advantages in individual cases, that inference from it which shall encourage an idle, unworking, desponding, hopeless thought, is totally false. And we must not pass by the fearful conditions on which advantages are held; for those who, as in the parable, commenced with a capital of ten talents, will be required to realize, by a life of laborious spiritual husbandry, a fortune of corresponding magnitude; and he who began but with one talent has (it was our Lord's own conclusion), in his comparative poverty, the strongest of all reasons that could be urged upon him by God or man for making the utmost of it.
The sentiment, which I propose to draw from Christ's first miracle, has been partially illustrated in the foregoing remarks. At a marriage-feast in Cana, which Jesus Christ honoured with his presence, he desired the Jewish servants around him to fill some water-pots with water, and "they filled them up to the brim." They, in the use of God's own already given means, their hands, feet, &c., could do this just as well as Jesus Christ himself could have done it; but if, for a particular purpose, the water was to be
converted instantaneously into wine, man possessed not a faculty which could have enabled him to do it. He might have converted it into wine by the process of gathering the fruit of the vine, and expressing its juice, and mixing it with this water, &c.; but this was not what was wanted. The problem was to change, by no intermediate human process, the substance water into the substance wine: and the power of God alone could effect this.
Now it is easy to translate this into spiritual language. There are certain steps, preliminary to salvation, which a man can take in the use of God's already given means. These steps will carry him to a certain point, beyond which all human efforts are as vain to accomplish the object itself for which those steps were taken, as the preliminary step of pouring the water into the water-pots was to accomplish the object itself for which Jesus Christ desired the Jews around him to do it. For the purpose of miraculously converting water into wine, Jesus Christ asked for man's co-operation, and he assigned him the exact amount of duty required for the occasion. He asked them to fill the water-pots up to the brim; he did not then tamper with their weakness by such a speech as this "Now convert that water into wine, and, if you cannot, I will;" thus leaving it open for future discussion whether, if those Jews could not do it, others might. But, when their assigned task was performed, then he quietly performed his, leaving the obvious inference that the division of labour had been fairly made-man's part having been plainly marked out, beyond which he was not required to put forth his endeavours.
I will now proceed to apply this in a simple way to some of the ordinary cases of life.
I assume I am writing for persons baptized with the Christian faith, and such as have received by tradition from their fathers or friends the plain account of our condition in relation to God-that we are sinners against him, and as such exposed to future punishments; that there is a remedy provided by the death of the Son of God, and that the full account of these things is to be found in the bible.
Now what is the obvious inference? We know that, if the danger thus pointed out were temporal and immediate, no means would be left untried to extricate ourselves from it. But, admitting that all this eagerness is not to be expected in the case of a distinct and half-believed and scarcely-understood danger, yet, as there is danger, certainly that book should be consulted which speaks of it, describes it, and points out the remedy. As I am not assuming extreme cases, let me imagine that this book lies on your shelf; what then, my reader, is the share of duty in reference to it, which God may justly require of you? He requires you to use his means already given you; he requires you to read it. Suppose you do this; you find in it statements which, if true, make the strongest appeals to your self-love and self-interest. It clearly shows that you are in a most frightful position. You read all this, and you understand the word; yet the principal result remains to be accomplished-you feel not moved to take the requisite steps, to act up to your knowledge. Your head has been furnished with information; your heart scarcely feels it.
In reading on, you meet such a declaration as this"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"
Let not my use of this absurd and little-understood word be mistaken. We teach our children the meaning of scriptural terms before they could possibly discover it themselves; that is, they learn by tradition. Now this is either necessary, or it is not. If it is not necessary, then are we not acting most inju
riously to their best interests by not leaving them to find their own way, as God shall choose to help them, to a knowledge of the gospel? If this alternative is rejected, then the necessity of tradition is admitted.
rapidly glance at a few of the obvious conditions im-
(1 Cor. ii. 14). The tradition from your fathers has
You can bring your child to the baptismal font, there dedicate him to the service of the Master whose servant you profess to be. As I am now more especially addressing members of my own church, I go further, and say, you can select for them as sponsors, men 66 fearing God and working righteousness"-refusing sternly with a father's fond heart and a Christian's uncompromising faith all others, as utterly unfit for the office; for the true Christian will not regard the act as an irksome task or a holiday employment, or as an affair of course, to be performed and forgotten. Rather will he deem that God has by it put in his power another of life's too few and invaluable opportunities of helping in the work for which his Saviour died, and to which therefore he will solemnly and uprightly address himself. Is it true that the prayers of the righteous avail much? Is this verse true-"The sacrifice of the wicked (those living in known and habitual sin) is an abomination to the Lord; but the prayer of the upright is his delight" (Prov. xv. 8)? And will you select as sponsors for your children, men whose lives do not permit them to pray for themselves, still less for others, and call that "training up your child in the way he should go?" You cannot expect that God should create the wine, for you refuse to supply even the water. You may as justly call the act of kneeling down and uttering certain words, prayer, as call such an indiscriminate choice of sponsors, fulfilling our church's views of this prop to infant baptism. The division of labour between God and man, in this case, is not settled on such indolent and self-indulgent terms. The parent must not bring to the baptismal ceremony the light and gay spirit which, in effect, dedicates his child to the world rather than to God. If" to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven," I would ask the manlyminded Christian, whose taste has been formed in the right school, what disposition seems natural to the "time and season" of buptizing his child? Without, however, attempting to determine this point, certainly the act itself must be regarded as the startingpoint of his future training. To apply the image of the miracle therefore, I say, most conscientiously and self-denyingly perform all the auxiliaries of the work, until it can be fairly said you have filled the waterpots up to the brim. Then only will your share have been done; and dishonour not God by questioning if he will take up the work at this stage of its progress and do his share, when in your helplessness you own you can do no more to make this sacred rite valid. In failure of such a commencement of your child's training as this, even though you may heartily take up the duties of a Christian father at an early period, yet I cannot see how you can assail this promise of God's word, because your success, like your exertions for it, is only partial.
But I pass on to another application of the doctrine sought to be established-the necessity of human co-operation to produce spiritual blessings where they are most eagerly desired. I quote one disputed and little-understood declaration: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. xxii. 6). Now before we pronounce this, with too many, to be a mere figurative way of speaking, or as a statement involving conditions which cannot be fulfilled, let us see what it fairly implies, that at all events approximations may be made to it. The command was, "Fill the water-pots up to the brim." The command is, "Train up a child in the way he should go." Now the inquiry is, has God given an impracticable direction? He did not command the Jews at the marriage-feast to convert the water into wine; this would have been an impracticable direction. Nor does he command us to convert our child; for this would be impracticable. But he commanded the Jews to fill the water-pots up to the brim; this they could do. And he commands the father and mother to "train up their child in the way he should go;" and is this impossible? Let us
But let us suppose that this has been the solid foundation of your child's training; it must be wisely and laboriously followed up. Take care that he sees nothing, and hears nothing from you, inconsistent with your verbal professions. Carefully endeavour to surround him with servants in whom at least he shall not see or hear sin. In educating him, as you must or may, for the advantages of time, take care to pay no unchristian price for them; and seek to impress upon him that they are truly valuable only as they are made passports to the advantages of eternity. These are but a few leading points seized upon and presented to you, to shew that, in training up your child in the way he should go, laborious, self-denying co-operation with God is your high and essential duty. It is the water which you may and can and must put into the water-pots. If you do not, the
complaint, that the wine is not found there when you looked for it, is unjust and absurd.
The whole of the Christian's life is capable of similar illustration. The promises in the gospel of "joy and peace" in believing, are unequivocal. They astonish some Christians, and present the book with a metaphorical aspect.
But the "peace” which is so deep in the Christian's heart as to 66 pass understanding," and the "rejoicing" which is to be "evermore," are the wine; the water from which it was converted having been a series of endeavours, such as St. Paul used. He had filled his water-pots up to the brim, and therefore found every drop of it pure unmingled wine.
Enough seems now to have been said in illustration of the sentiment I proposed to deduce from the miracle. The sovereignty of God must be admitted in all its force; but we need not superinduce upon it the idea of tyranny. As a Sovereign, every course, and every means to an end, must be traced up to his contrivance and power. But love is that attribute by which he is best of all known to us in his works and his word; and to that our theory of his government should be adjusted as far as possible, and not to a disposition which, whatever our words may imply, we feel to be contrary to it. "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live" (Ezek. xviii. 23). Shall we come forward with a cold heartless theory, and destroy the hopes held out to all by this plain declaration of God's unbounded mercy? Admit, then, what with open eyes and ears we cannot deny-God's choice or preference in individual cases, to higher advantages. Yet let us not sweep from the heart of the vilest sinner the hope-it is his all-that this choice of others does not of necessity exclude him. Manifestly this is not the law of God's temporal administration; and why not extend it to spiritual blessings? If we do, it will land us at a practical point. The water-pots must be filled up to the brim; that is, every means which God has previously put in our power-what are called natural means-must be used. The one talent-or if our wealth be only the fraction of a talent-must be made the utmost of; for God will ask no more at the great day of accounts than that you shall have filled your water-pots, whatever their capacity may have been, " up to the brim." You can do no more; you ought not to do less. And the issue in that day will undoubtedly prove his power and his love, and realize two of the three wonders which a good man expected to see in heaven; one of which was, that he should miss many whom he expected to see there; the other was, that he should see many whom he never expected to meet there. These last may be those who, in silence and obscurity, had filled their little and shallow waterpots up to the brim.
EXTREME OLD AGE.-We pray in the litany to be delivered from sudden death. Any death is to be deprecated which should find us unprepared; but, as a temporal calamity, with more reason might we pray to be spared from the misery of an infirm old age. It was once my fortune to see a frightful instance of extreme longevity-a woman who was nearly in her hundredth year. Her sight was greatly decayed, though not lost; it was very difficult to make her hear, and not easy then to make her understand what was said, though, when her torpid intellect was awakened, she was, legally, of sane mind. She was unable to walk, or to assist herself in any way. Her neck hung in such wrinkles that it might almost be likened to a turkey's; and the skin of her face and arms was cleft like the bark of an oak, as rough, and
almost of as dark a colour. In this condition, without any apparent suffering, she passed her time in a state between sleeping and waking, fortunate that she could thus beguile the wearisomeness of such an existence. Instances of this kind are much rarer in Europe than in tropical climates. Negresses in the West Indies sometimes attain an age which is seldom ascertained, because it is far beyond living memory. They outlive all voluntary power, and their descendants of the third or fourth generation carry them out of their cabins into the open air, and lay them, like logs, as the season may require, in the sunshine or in the shade. Methinks if Maecenas had seen such an object, he would have composed a palinode to those verses in which he has perpetuated his most pitiable love for life. A woman in New Hampshire, North America, had reached the miserable age of 102, when one day, as some people were visiting her, the bell tolled for a funeral; she burst into tears and said, "Oh, when will the bell toll for me! It seems as if it never would toll for me! I am afraid that I shall never die!" This reminds me that I have either read or heard an affecting story of a poor old woman in England-very old and very poor-who retained her senses long after the body had become a weary burden; she, too, when she heard the bell toll for a funeral, used to weep, and say she was afraid God had forgotten her! Poor creature, ignorantly as she spake, she had not forgotten him*.
THE DEAD SEA.-Lieutenant Symonds, royal engineers, son of our distinguished naval architect, has triangulated the country between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, and finds this latter extraordinary basin to be 1,337 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. To show the importance of this discovery, and the fallacious results of previous experiments, take a few words from Robinson:-" One of the most singular circumstances in the character of the Dead Sea is the deep depression of its level below that of the Mediterranean. This has been detected only within the last few years. Messrs. More and Beke were the first to notice it in March, 1837, by means of the boiling point of water; in this way they found the depression to be about 500 English feet. A month or two later the careful barometrical measurements of Schubert gave the depression of the sea at 598.5 Paris feet; that of Jericho being 527.7 feet. The very great descent which we found from Carmel to the cliffs over Ain Jidy, and the immense depth of the sea below, point to a like result; but so great is the uncertainty in all such partial measurements and observations (as evinced in the like case of the Caspian Sea), that the question can never be decided with exactness until the intervening country shall have been surveyed, and the relative level of the two seas trigonometrically ascertained." Lieutenant Symonds proceeded from level to level by two different routes, and the results of each differ by merely an insignificant fraction. By the same process the lake of Tabarick or Gennesaret turns out to be eighty-four feet below the level of the Mediterranean; taking, therefore, the valley of Jordan at seventy miles long, the mean depression of the soil must be very nearly eighteen feet per mile-quite sufficient to account for the rapidity of the Jordan, which preserves its course almost due south with very little winding.-Morning Paper.
It does not by any means follow that persons of such an age are necessarily in the condition described in the extract. We have personally known individuals above a century old, and have found them perfectly capable of enjoying existence.-ED.
London: Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Periman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.
JOSEPH ROGERSON, 24, NORFOLK STREET, STRAND, LONDON.
THE GREAT SALVATION.
JUNE 4, 1842.
BY THE REV. C. RAWLINGS, A.B., Curate of St. Stephen's and St. Dennis, Cornwall. "How," asks the apostle with fearful and impressive energy, "shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" The form of interrogation here employed renders the negative doubly strong: it will be utterly impossible for the child of impenitence and unbelief to escape the avenging wrath which will overwhelm those who have been guilty of the enormous crime of rejecting the stupendous remedy provided for a sin-disordered world. The salvation of Jesus is a great salvation under every view and aspect that we are led to contemplate it: it is great in its origin, as planned in the counsels of infinite wisdom from the ages of eternity: it is great as actually wrought out and accomplished on man's behalf; that he who was Jehovah's fellow," the brightness of his Father's glory and the express image of his person;" that he, who was possessed of all the attributes and perfections of Deity, should stoop so low as to assume our nature, sustain all the sad variety of suffering and reproach, and at length submit to an ignominious and accursed death on the cross for the vilest of sinners; this exhibits a picture of moral grandeur which no language can adequately represent. But further-the salvation of Jesus is great in the blessings it communicates. When we are enabled by grace to exercise faith in the Redeemer we obtain remission of sins, peace with God as a reconciled Father, strength to carry us forward through the trials and difficulties of the spiritual warfare, consolation in seasons of trouble and distress, and at
VOL. XII.-NO. CCCXLVII.
length, when the swellings of Jordan are crossed, the full and everlasting possession of the inheritance of glory. It is a great salvation. What a magnificent illustration of the greatness of Immanuel's salvation is afforded in the case of every redeemed and converted soul! Every redeemed and converted man is the subject of an astonishing moral change, pervading all the powers and faculties of his soul. Once was he darkness, but now is he light in the Lord: once was he the slave of sin and Satan, but now the chains of his captivity are burst asunder, and he tastes the true liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free: once was he conformed in spirit, in principle, and in practice, to a wicked world, but he is now "transformed by the renewing of his mind;" now he feels a holy joy and satisfaction and delight in running the way of God's commandments. It is of vast importance to bear in mind that the salvation of Jesus is a deliverance from the reigning power and love of sin, as well as the guilt and condemnation of sin: the latter blessing without the former would render the salvation of the believer fearfully incomplete. We are assured on the authority of an apostle, that "Christ gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" In correspondence with this language is the declaration of the same apostle at the opening of the first chapter of his epistle to the Galatians: "Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father." The emancipation
[London: Joseph Rogerson, 24, Norfolk-street, Strand.]