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but who come entirely unprepared, time in cavilling against what they
and go away neither affected nor im- say, and reviling what they can-
proved. During the time of prayer, not confute. Yet it is the duty of
even if they join in the responses, ministers to address them, to warn
their thoughts are wholly occupied them, and to endeavour to persuade
by other subjects. They have no real them; and in compliance with this
devotion ; they are affected by no duty, I would now reason with
contrition for sin, and no desire of them, under the hope that the Spirit
grace; they offer up no heartfelt of God may bless his truth to some
praises to God. During the sermon who have hitherto been too thought-
they either do not attend at all, or less, and too much engaged with
they attend 10 cavil : they seek no other things to attend to it.
improvement; they apply nothing 1. Permit me, then, in the first
to ibeir own heart; they are not in. place, to ask, whether your present
duced, by what they hear, to alter conduct and views have been pro-
any part of their conduct or to put duced by mature reflection? You
up one earnest prayer to God for have, I doubt not, some arguments
his grace. With respect to spiritual to justify your conduct. But this is
life, they are absolutely dead, and so not enough; have you taken pains
little do they see the necessity or to free your mind from prejudice?
the excellence of real religion, that Have you given due weight lo argu-
they hate or despise even the profes- ments on the other side? Have you
sion of it. They frequently doubt seriously read the books which
whether there be any truth in Reve. have been written against those
lation at all. They imagine, that if principles which you adopt, and
there be a future 'state, it will be ihat conduct which you pursue?
only a state of greater happiness Have you conversed with such relia
than this life; and that all shall be gious persons as you had access to,
admitted into it, except, perhaps, a candidly stated your objections, and
very few whose vices and crimes inquired of them a reason for the
have been the most destructive to hope that was in them? Till you
society. They think that religion, have done this, you have not acted
when carried to excess, (and every fairly, nor can you justify, eren
thing is excess, in their opinion, to your own conscieuce, the part
which influences the conduct,) is you lake.
one of the greatest evils, and that It is a melancholy instance of
the profession of it is the result the depravity of our nature, that so
either of hypocrisy or folly. They many are willing to embrace is-
keep themselves therefore far enough religious principles upon grounds
from it, and plainly shew, that they which, on any other subject, they
esteem nothing desirable but the would think altogether insufficient.
gratification of their carnal appe. Were some objections to occur to
tites, and the enjoyment of such a us against the philosophy of New-
share of health, riches, and plea- ton, many parts of which may ap-
sure, as they can procure. With pear abstruse, and some strange, if
such principles it is not to be won- not contrary to the testimony of
dered at, if they remain unaffected our senses, yet we should not think
by the most awful declarations, the this sufficient to make us immedi-
most tender entreaties, the most for- ately reject it as erroneous: should
cible arguments. What disadvan- we not rather say," I do not yet suf-
tages do not the ministers of the Go. ficiently understand it? There may
spel labour under, when they ad- be answers to the objections of which
dress them! Scarcely ever can they I am not aware.

The difficulties, obtain an attentive hearing; and if I feel, may be entirely owing to they do, they speak only to preju- my own ignorance of the subject. diced miods, employed at the very Men, eminent for their learning,

their abilities, and their judgment, has lost nothing: for if there be a have embraced the philosophy of future state, he cannot be miserable Newton, after the closest study, and in it. He must be acceptable to the most careful inquiry. These God who has endeavoured 10 serve difficulties must have occurred to him faithfully, even though he them as well as to myself; but they should have been mistaken in th's have not been sufficient to shake point. But if the Gospel be true, their belief in it. I will therefore what will be the fate of those who suspend my judgmeni, and take have rejected his word, and refused pains to understand it thoroughly, to have Christ reign over them. before I determine upon it.” Thus Here the event is fatal. It is a loss men act about other things; but with which is not to be remedied. It is Christianity they pursue a different a ruin for which nothing can make course. The weakest and most ab- amends. Here therefore is a risk surd arguments against it, such as which in the fullest sense of the are the first to offer themselves to word is infinite. And shall a man the most shallow capacities, are run this risk for nothing? For hastily adopted, and, without exa- what does he gain by it even in this mination, obstinately retained. Per- world ? Not more real happiness sons who are very young, mere chil. or honour. Not, indeed, any hapdren in knowledge, and whose pro- piness of a long duration --not the fession and habits of life have dis- addition to his life of a single moqualified them from much informa- ment—but often the ruin of his tion or much attention to such sub

peace, disease,

and early death. jects, pass sentence on the truths of This would be infinite folly, even the Gospel with a degree of confi- if it were much more probable than dence and presumption that is asto- it is, that Revelation were untrue. nishing. It does not check them, But when we take the other side, that persons of the greatest talents, and consider the miracles which have of the most profound learning, and attested the truth of the Gospel; the the soundest judgment, have, after probability that a revelation would the closest inquiry, embraced the be given us by that gracious God truths of the Gospel ; nay, many of who gave us our being; the reasonthem, after they once had been of a ableness of the Gospel, its excel. contrary opinion. Surely some cre- Jent tendency, and the innumerable dit ought to be given to such in- internal proofs which it bears of beo stances as these. Surely a religion, ing given by God, and the wonderwbicb, uninjured, has stood the as- ful accumulation of external evisaults of infidels, and the storms of dence in its favour; here indeed we persecution, for eighteen centuries, are at a loss to find termis strong and which in every age has been enough to express the folly of those the consolation and the hope of some who slight and despise the claims of of the wisest of mankind, ought not Christianity. to be rejected so lightly ; nor to be 2. But éren if Christianity were condemned, without a very serious not true, yet does not your own attention to the evidence which may conscience bear witness against be advanced in ils favour.

you, that your conduct is sinful? Permit me to put the question to Do you not do things which you · you seriously, What if the Gospel must admit to be wrong, and do you should be true? What if it should not omit duties which you know you be found at last that Jesus Christ ought to perform? You know, for was indeed the Son of God, sent by instance, that there is a God who Him to be the Instructor of the made you. Is it not, then, undeniworld, and the Saviour of all who able, ihat it should be your first truly believe in him ? Suppose he duty to fulfil his will? Even the were an impostor: the real Christian heathens, by the mere light of reaSon, could discover, thay if there live by the ruin of others! What were a God, he must delight in good- melancholy instances do we bebold ness. Are you not bound to wor- of the dreadful effects of revenge, ship him in sincerity and truth; to jealousy, or malice! How do they resist all your evil tempers and prey upon the breast which nouaffections ; to take the utmost paius rishes them, as well as produce to find out what conduct is pleasing misery to the unhappy objects of to him; and having discovered it, their hatred! Think, also, of the to pursue that conduct invariably? crimes which swell the Çalendar of But you do not do this. You are Newgate, and which during the last Jiving without God in the world. year spread terror and consterYou do not glorify him as God. You nation through the land. Unrebow not the knee to him in secret strained passions are the real evils of with just reverence of his power, mankind. These are a perpetual and gratitude for his goodness, You torment. Many natural evils soon do not take any serious pains to end, or become more easy to bear: know his will ; nor are you, led by but these continue and increase, and regard to him, to abstain from the propagate misery; they poison the practices' which you must know are very sources of pleasure, and render displeasing to him. You do not calamity more painful. These are even act up to the light of nature. the true enemies of mankind, which You give no earnest heed to the produce discontent and anguish of things which reason as well as Revę. mind and a broken heart. These lation points out to you to be due to are what lead to the perpetration of God. In short, you are living to the greatest crimes. The act of disyourself as much as you can, and honesty, theft, or murder, for which are destitute of any real desire to the felon is executed, has its origin please or glorify your Creator. in some passion, perhaps pride or the

3. Suffer me also to urge upon your love of luxury, which has not been consideration the excellent tendency restrained. Now what effectual reof that religion to the claims of medy can we use against the toowhich you have turned a deaf ear. powerful_influence of such pasYou see almost every day instances sions ? The gibbet may restrain of the fatal effects of unrestrained them by its terrors, but has no tenpassions and appetites. More than dency to cure them. But the Gohalf the misery which mankind suf- spel has. It is the very remedy fer, takes its rise from that very in which God has provided. It points dulgence of them to which you out their evil; it implants holy prinlouk for happiness, and for restrain- ciples, which serve to restrain and ing which you dislike religion. regulate them, and to give them What multitudes by violating the an entirely new direction. All laws of chastity are brought to mi- men wish to set bounds to the sery, reproach, and ruin, perhaps to passions, especially of others, when an early and infamous death! What ihey transgress the bounds of order numbers are sacrificed, ere they and become injurious to society; have lived out half their days, to but, alas! it is not seen that the only excessive drinking; their faculties, way to do this effectually is to attack their fortunes, their families ruined them in their principles, to apply by it! How many are drawn by the axe to the root of their self-love, their pride, and their love of luxury vanity, pride, worldly miodedness, and dissipation, to commit the most and to implant in their room the dishonest actions in order to obtain fear and love of God. Now this is money! What numbers, infatuated to be effected only by the Gospel; by the love of gaming, destroy at and, even if you should be regardonce the fruits of long industry, and less of the guilt and the crimes are either ruined themselves, of which the want of religion produces in the world, at least compassion things temporal, but to things eterfor the miseries which mankind en- nal; then they would not sorrow dure should induce you to spare to without hope. They would cleave them the oniy consolation which is to their God, and find a refuge in left to many under affiction. With his mercy and love. The whole out the sopport of religion, what can prospect before them would not be those do who have lost all that was dark and gloomy; but beyond the dear to them in this life? And they cloud they would perceive the who are in this situation are not a shining light which would inspire few; nor can any say that he him them with the hope of soon enjoyself may not soon be placed in it. ing a brighter day. They would How exquisite is the misery of the then bear with a resignation and a liusband, who has lost the partner of composure of mind evils which else his happiness! How desolate the would be intolerable, and enjoy instate of the widow, who has been tervals of sweet peace, and hope, and bereaved of the stay and support of consolation wbich would overbalance her life! Still more deserving of their sufferings.—Little do those our pity are those whose hearts are parents think, who are training up broken by the perfidy, cruelty, op- their children not only without reli. pression, or fraud, perhaps, of those gion but with prejudices against very persons on whom nature or it, how truly they are training them affection had taught them to depend, up to bring upon themselves misery, What multitudes, also, are suffering to endure it keenly, and to suffer it under the torment of painful disor without hope. Little do those ders, or languishing under some slow young persons think, who, like the disease, against which they are way-side hearers, pay no attention struggling in vain, and which is ag- to the truths of the Gospel; who es. gravated by seeing, perhaps, an in- teem attendance upon the worship fant family left destitute of support of God a burden, and religion a by their death! How many are gloomy thing, the enemy of their striving in vain to extricate them- happiness; little do they think how selves from embarrassed circum- fatally they are ensuring misery stances, and enduring the most pain- to themselves. It is impossible ful feelings, while every pleasing that God the gracious Father of hope of competence vanishes, and mankind could have ordained a serleaves them a prey to poverty and vice which would not be for the addejection, perhaps despair! Now vantage of his creatures. It is imwhere can these unhappy sufferers possible that the love and fear of look for comfort? You have de- God can have any effect but what rided religion as imposture or

is beneficial to the world. Be per. enthusiasm; you have encouraged suaded of this. Listen to the law them, perhaps, to deride it too. of God. Understand the infinite What, then, will you now say to come value of the knowledge of Christ as fort them? Relieve them you can- an armour to defend you in this not; and will it console them to say evil world. Unhappiness must be that they must endure what they in your ways, not less from the nacannot help? Ah! see now, how ture of things, than from the righthat Gospel, to which you have teous judgments of God, while you giren so little heed, might be to continue to believe the suggestions them an unfailing spring of conso- of the evil one. No other fruit than lation! Had they been accustomed this can you reap from refusing to to call God their Father and Friend, receive into your hearts the Son of to look up to him with a hopę full God, who hath said, “ Come unto of immortality, to hold communion me, all ye that labour and are with a Saviour, and to rejoice in his heavy laden, and I will give you love and grace; to look not to rest.”.

Should you be inclined, from what College Education," and I sincerely has been said, to be a more attentive wish ihat his sensible remarks may bearer of the Word of God, let me have the good effect desired; but then give you a few words of ad- I cannot refrain from expressing to vice.

you, that I think the subject may Be upon your guard against being he still further pursued, and that offended either by the faults of per- it may be viewed in another and rons making a profession of reli- more important light. Rusticus gives gion, or by what may appear to you full credit to the under-graduates of their absurdities. Religion itself is Cambridge, for amiability of dispothe same thing whatever be the sition ; nor does he wish" for a mofaults or mistakes of those who pro. ment to be understood as impeachfess it. Let it be your business to ing the general excellency of their be earnest in prayer to God, that he character:" on the contrary, he is would direct you, that he would an admirer of their zeal and piety: bestow on you his Holy Spirit to and yet, such were their entertainenable you to walk uprightly before ments, and such their conversation him. Search the Scriptures under at table, that he confesses he was the guidance of this Spirit, that you glad when “the time of his deparmay know the will of God; and iure arrived." I will not waste the what you find commanded there, time of your readers, by arguing, that endeavour in the strength of Divine it is absolutely necessary for a miGrace 10 peiform. Examine also nister of the Gospel himself to pose your own heart; see that you are not sess that heavenly ireasure which he resting in a form of godliness with offers to others; but I would ask you, out the power of it. Seek to be sir, when we consider the sacred conformed to the Divine Will: en- calling for which these younger courage a tenderness of conscience, menibers of the University are deand pray to be animated with a pure signed, are not some of the practices desire to glorify Goul.

mentioned by Rusticus very repreSuch means, steadily persisted in, hensible, on a ground of still greater will not fail, under the Divine bless- importance than the injury their ing, to lead to such a knowledge of fortunes may sustain? The solemn your own hearts as will endear to season of their ordination is apyou the love and grace of your suf- proaching, when they will have to fering Redeemer. They will shew profess themselves influenced by the the necessity of faith in him as the Eternal Spirit, to take the office of medium of pardon and the source of the priesthood; from which time hope. They will explain difficul- they will have to preach to others, ties better than any commentator; “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” and by the gracious appoinıment of It will then become them to "know Him who is the sole Author and nothing,"comparatively," but Jesus Finisher of our salvation, they will be Christ, and him crucified.” It will instrumental in carrying on the be their business to be "crucified to work of his grace until your souls the world,” and for “the world to are renewed in his image, and be crucified” to them. It will befilled with abiding and abounding long to them to practise, as well as love and peace and joy in the Holy to preach, the self-denying doctrines Ghost. Amen.

and duties of our holy religion.Who is sufficient for these things ?

Will frequent or regular “wine and To the Editor of the Christian Observer. dinner parties;" will the ability to In reading your Number for the last treat of the "respective excellencies month, I was much pleased with of Port, Sherry, and Madeira;” will the excellent letter by Rusticus, on “elegant furniture and dress, ex-. "the growing Expensiveness of a' pensive entertainments, a well-fur.

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