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found only in the ways of God; prosperity, we often think we can worldly pleasure is compared by live happily without the hopes and Solomon to the crackling of thorns supports of Religion, because we in the fire: they blaze and sparkle do not love its restraints. But for a moment, but are soon ex- when the season of distress arrives, tinguished. It is the invariable we find how vain every other comtendency of sin to produce misery: fort, if we have not a reconciled “ There is no peace, saith God, to God, a compassionate Saviour, to the wicked."
whom we can resort in our exAnd what was the plan which tremity. When nothing else can the prodigal proposed to bimself, to support us, we begin to discover remedy his distresses? Was it to the value of him whose mercy is return to his father, and to confess everlasting, whose long-suffering and forsake bis evil way, that he extends even to the most ungrate. might find mercy? No: he was ful of his creatures, and still too proud, or thoughtless, or willeth not the death of a sinner, impenitent for this. He therefore but rather that he should be cou“ went and joined himself to a citi. verted and live.” zen of that country, who sent him But to proceed with the narinto bis fields to feed swine.” rative-It is added : “ And when Thus any expedient is resorted to he came to himself, he said, How by the sinner for comfort, rather many hired servants of my father's than the only one that can really house have bread enough and to meet his case - a return to the spare, and I perish with hunger !" service of God. He needs some. He came to himself; he had been thing to sustain his heart; but it is hitherto, as it were, in a state of often long before he can be per- delirium : giddy pleasures and riotsuaded to place his happiness ous living had untitled him for seriwhere alone true joys are to be ous reflection; and it was not till he found. The prodigal would gladly had lost all, and was driven to the have satisfied his bunger with the extremity of famive, that he recoverhusks which the swine did eat, be- ed bis reason, and began to discern cause no man gave to him any better objects in their right aspect. What sustenance.
But such food was a picture is this of a sinner while unfit for the purpose of sustaining in an uurenewed state! He is, as human life; and he must shortly it were, beside himself: he sees have perislied, bad be not deter- every thing in a wrong light: he mined upon the only plan which is unacquainted with the only true could restore him to his long-lost happiness : his pleasures are but a tranquillity. This plan was to re- short-lived delusion; and were he turn, as a penitent, to the bosom of to open his eyes to his real conhis fatber, and to implore his for- dition, he would find that amidst giveness and reconciliation. his supposed peace and prosperity,
3. Thus we are led to consider he is, in a religious point of view, the prodigal's repentance. He had “poor, and wretched, and miserdeeply experienced the folly of his able, and blind, and naked." conduct; degraded from ease and And what was the resolution of affluence to a menial station in a the prodigal when he had thus reforeign land, and overtaken by ab- turned to his right mind? It was, ject poverty and famine, he began “I will arise and go to my father, to estimate his crime by bis pu- and I will say unto bim, Father, I nishment. Thus it is ihat God have sinned against Heaven, and Bilen overrules affliction for our before thee, and am no more worgood, and employs the troubles thy to be called thy son!” Here of life to bring us nearer to Him- was genuine repentance. We do self. In youth, and bealth, and not find him dissembling his crime, or striving to cloke it by false ex- give us the will to do so, and to cases. He pleads no worthiness; work with us when we have the he does not lay the fault on others; will. What, then, bath he not but taking all the guilt to himself, done to reconcile the world unto with deep contrition of soul he himself? And whose will be the acknowledges his transgression. guilt if we still continue impenitent Such is the conduct of every true and unmoved? penitent. He dares not dissemble The returning prodigal acknowhis sins before the face of Almighty ledges the blessings he had enjoyed' God, his heavenly Father, but con- in his father's house. He had no fesses them with an humble, lowly, pretext for wandering; he could penitent, and obedient heart. Like not charge his parent with unkindthe repentant prodigal, he grounds ness, and he consequently felt that all bis hope upon the unmerited his transgression was unmitigated : goodness and mercy of his gracious it extended to the heavens, and Parent. He feels that he is no was an offence against God himself. longer worthy to be called his son: And may we not apply the parallel ? he has debased the sacred image For are not the ways of wisdom ways in which he was created : he bas of pleasantness, and all her paths rendered himself an outcast, and peace? Is not the yoke of our has no claim to the forfeited pri- Redeemer easy, and his burden vileges of his paternal abode. Yet light? It is true that religion has still he comes: this is bis only re- its restraints ; but like those which source; and though, like the pub. doubtless the prodigal found in his lican, be dares not so much as lift father's house, and which he wished up his eyes towards heaven, yet to escape, they are entirely for our trusting to the unfailing compassion benefit; they are intended to check which he has so often slighted, he those evil propensities which would smites upon his breast and exclainis, ruin our souls, and draw down " Lord be merciful to me a sioner. upon us the just displeasure of our
This deep self-abasement is one Creator. No: if we forsake God, of the most hopeful signs of that we cannot allege that it is because repentance which needeth not to he is an unjust or unkind master. be repented of. In proportion as To serve him is our greatest howe feel like the prodigal, we have nour, our highest happiness. “The reason to trust that God will be wages of sin is death; but the gift merciful to us, and will hear our of God”—a gift purchased by our supplication. It is true, we do not Redeemer, and freely bestowed on deserve that he should relieve us; all his faithful servants—" is eterfor our sins have been so great pal life.” Our ignorance, thereand multiplied, that he might justly fore, of our real happiness and incondemn us without extending one terest, is equal to our sin and insingle offer of pardon. But such gratitude, if we deliberately preter is not the character of our heavenly the service of the world and Satan Parent: be is always more ready to that of God. to hear than we to pray: he waiteth 4. But let us, lastly, view the to be gracious; and having given return of the prodigal, and the his own Son to die for us, will he reception which lie met with from not with him freely give us all his Father. No sooner is it said, things? He has provided pardon " I will arise," than it is added, for our sins, and a supply for all
" and he arose." He instantly our wants. He is willing to restore put his resolution into practice; us to our forfeited privileges: his thus setting us an example not to encouraging language is, “ Turn rest in a few penitential acknowye, turn ye: why will ye die ?” His ledgments, unaccompanied with sin. Holy Spirit is promised both to cerity of heart and a corresponding
change of life. We also must arise against heaven, and in thy sight, from our natural state of sin and and am no more worthy to be called indifference to God: we must shake thy son,” the father is commandoff our spiritual sloth, and begin ing the servants to bring forth the with active step the journey towards best robe, and to put it on him, and eternal life.
to put a ring on his hand, and We are not informed what were shoes ov his feet, and to prepare the feelings and reflections of the an entertainment as a token of bis returning prodigal during his jour- joy at the return of his now peniney homewards. Doubtless, hope tent and obedient child, and fear by turns prevailed in his my son, was dead and is alive again ; bosom. He had offended deeply: he was lost and is found.” he was returning in disgrace and And is not this a forcible comindigence, and bad no claim ment on the conduct of the Al. whatever to urge to an indulgent mighty towards his fallen creatures? reception. Yet he whom he had “ He looketh upon men; and if any offended was still his parent: it say I have sinned and perverted was to a father that he said be that which was right, and it prowould arise and return; by that fited me not, he will deliver his tender name he determined to ad- soul from going down to the pit, dress bim, even while he acknow- and his life shall see the light.” ledged that he was no more worthy Or as it is said of Manasseh, “ who to be called his son. And such is did evil in the sight of the Lord ;" our encouragement ; for our justly “ when he was in affliction, he offended Creator has seen fit to besought the Lord his God, and represent himself under the same humbled himself greatly before the endearing relation to every sincere God of his fathers, and prayed penitent. Thus of Ephraim it is unto him; and he was entreated of said by Jehovah, “ I have heard him him, and beard his supplication." bemoaning himself: thou hast Indeed, so far does the Almighty chastized me, and I was chastized extend his compassion, that while as a bullock unaccustomed to the we are yet “a great way off," he yoke: turn thou to me, and I shall beholds with complacency our inbe turned; for thou art the Lord tended return, and gives effect to my God. Is Ephraim my dear the holy resolutions which he enson ? is be a pleasant child ? for abled us to form. His promise is, since I spake against him, I do “ Before they call I will hearken ; earnestly remember him still : there, yea, while they are yet speaking I fore I am troubled for bim: I will will hear.” And upon our return şurely have mercy upon him, saith we are received according to the the Lord.”
full meaning of that compassionate But, however favourable might assertion of our Lord, that “whoso have been the hopes of the return. cometh unto me I will in no wise ing prodigal, they were more than cast out.” fulfilled by the kind reception of Thus every thing, when rightly his father, who," while he was yet viewed, ought to draw us to God; a great way off, saw him, and had our own guilt and misery, and his compassion, and ran, and fell on offers of pardon and reconciliation, his neck, and kissed him.” Not are both strong reasons for imitatone word of reproach fell from ing the conduct of the returning the lips of the parent ; not one prodigal. We surely shall not word of excuse from those of the plead that we do not need this son. The former was all mercy, while we constantly, in public the latter all self-abasement. While worship, adopt his humble confes. the son is uttering his humble con- sion as our own.
“ If we say fession, " Father! I have sinned that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in be less grateful to our Father which us; but if we confess our sins, God is in heaven; to him who has borne is faithful and just to forgive us with our wanderings so long, and our sins, and to cleanse us from all is willing to receive us on our reunrighteousness." These two effects turn? No: let it be our constant always follow together: we are study and our earnest prayer, to both pardoned and cleansed, jus perform bis commands, to live to tified and sanctified. How anxi- his glory, and to give ourselves ous would the prodigal son be, wholly, both in body and soul, to after this bountiful reception, to that Saviour who so loved us that love and obey his indulgent parent! he gave himself for us, to purify us Having been forgiven much, he unto himself, as a peculiar people would love much. Aod shall we zealous of good works. Amen.
REMARKS ON SCOTTISH SCENE- that the new church of St. John's RY AND MANNERS IN 1819. (not yet finished), to which Dr.
Chalmers is appointed, will con(Continued from p. 784.)
tain nearly two thousand persons. This chapel (St. Andrew's, Glas- Glasgow is the grand northern gow,) was built partly by the con- arsenal of steam-boats*. Four-andtribution of weekly pennies from the twenty of these popular vessels Irish Catholics, so thickly bived in muster at the Broomielaw. Many that town. Its erection became the of them are distinguished, with the cause of unexpected good. A mer- true nationality of the country, by clant in the place, offended by its the names, for example, of the Finrising splendor, expressed his sen- gal, Argyle, Rothsay Castle, Walsations in one of the newspapers.
* In July, I went on board, at LiverAnswers and rejoinders followed; pool, the American steam vessel Savan. and hence originated “ The Pro- nah, the first which has crossed the Attestant;" a cheap journal, pub- lantic. She carries about 340 tons, 200 lished weekly by this lay-divine, of them being occupied by the machiwhich has been so extensively pa- nery. Her paddles are placed in the
tropized, that the printer found it midway between stem and stern, and · most economical to meet the pub are so constructed that they may be
lic demand by stereotyping the unshipped in twenty minutes. Her acearly Numbers. It bas received commodations are of the first order; and the written sanction of the Bishop ged as a three-masted ship, and only uses
the whole vessel,which is completely rigof St. David's; and though too the engine when the wind is in a wrong local in its allusions, probably, for qnarter, is generally admired as a patgeneral circulation, continues to tern of naval architecture, in respect dilapidate the glories of St. An- both to beauty and mechanical skill. drew's chapel.-Glasgow contains As she steered up the Mersey, on her other sources of disquiet to the arrival, she passed by all the sailing powers of darkness;-an Auxiliary vessels then working up the river; but Bible Society in full action; and
on her departure for Russia, in August, many exemplary ministers, who, 100 (British) steam-vessel, which has
she was decidedly beaten by the Waterthough not indeed all gifted with the two engines, each of thirty-horse power, splendid talents of one among their apd is, besides, rigged. The Savannah's number, are influenced by the same engine is between seventy and eighty spirit, and co-operate to the same horse power, and on this occasion, apo Tesalts. I am happy to inform you, plied its whole strength.
lace, Burns, and Rob Roy; and the Forth; but they are of a more then come the stage-coach and imposing character, in correspond more English appellations of the ence to the augmented majesty of Defiance, Wellington, and Waterloo. the coasts of Dunbartonshire, along During the eight years already which the eye is particularly gratielapsed of their reign on the fied by the retiring and varying asClyde, no accident has occurred. pects of Ben Lomond, and its rich They are governed by police re- circumfusion of mountains. During gulations; and are forbidden to the passage from Greenock to use high pressure engines. One Rothsay, and especially as we of them, plying between Glasgow sailed by the peninsula of Roseand Belfast, fearlessly and safely death and the opening of Loch pursued her course in a storm of Long, who could refuse to yield last winter, when the packet on to a Briton's lofty consciousness of the old establishment steered for the powers of British scenery? One shelter into an intermediate har- portion of the ever-changing vision, bour. Their accommodations of were it possible, I would detain, all kinds are excellent. They are, and paint; and transfer to the also, furnished with collections of walls of your cottage. It was the books, selected with due relation to appearance, in the grey horizon, of the various tastes of mankind. On the ridges of Arran, darkening, at the same shelf the list will be some- a long distance, over the southern thing like the following :-Waver- extremity of the Isle of Bute. They ley, the Bible, the Man of Feeling, were seen across an expanse of Mason on Self-knowledge, Guy water, widened into the dimenMannering, Pinkerton's Account sions of an inland sea, and inclosed of the Greek Church, Marmion, by shores of every character; from Taylor's Holy Living, Philidor on acclivities of pastural verdure, to Chess, &c. &c.
masses of precipitous rock. The June 12.—This morning I went whole was partially coloured by on board the Fingal, for Greenock the beams of an evening sun, pourand Rothsay. A mile below the ing through a calm and transparent Broomielaw she grounded, it being atmosphere, under the concave of low-water. A heavy shower drove summer heavens; which-to comall the cabin passengers below; plete the magic of the picture-where the approaches to suffoca- were sprinkled with clouds of harLion proved the inconvenience even monious hues and figures. And of steam-boats. Like other crowd- are these, thought I, the regions ed vessels, (we had about an hun- unseen, unvisited by our countrydred persons in the cabin and men, crowded and gasping among steerage, and sometimes this num- the unenjoyed delights of France ber is doubled,) they are only and Italy ?-We reached Rothsay pleasant in fair weather. The in the evening: it is a small town, voyage down the Clyde is insipid, situated in a bay on the north-east till ibe stream expands into the coast of the island, opposite to the lake appearance, as we approach movih of Loch Strevin, on the the twin-rocks of Dunbarton Cas- main-land. Bute is the Devontle. At this point I do not venture shire of Scotland; being the retreat to murmur against their shape; be- of persons disposed to consumpcause, when almost along side tion; and Rothsay is the Margate them, their alleged deformity is of Glasgow.--1 remained here durabsorbed in their magnitude; and ing the Sunday, and heard a serin their combination with the sur- mon at the chapel of ease, on the rounding and diversified grandeur subjectof regeneration; which took, of the scene. The Clyde, bence- what I judged to be, the scriptural forward, revives the impressions of side ofthe question. This smallplace