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stead of seeking our own glory, vessels arriving at their destined ascribe glory, and honour, and haven fraught with the riches of praise to Him that sitteth upon the other lands. The young rejoice in Throne and to the Lamb for ever their youth, the vigorous in their and ever! Amen!
strength, and the ambitious when I am &c.
they attain the object of their eager THE AUTHOR OF A LETTER pursuit. But this is not religious
TO HIS GRACE THE ARCH- joy; it may exist where there is no
engrossed with the former as wholly P.S. I have not the slightest to neglect the latter. knowledge of the insertion of the The exhortation of the Psalmist other letter signed E. L. in com- will furnish us with three ideas for mendation of my pamphlet. I consideration :should not bave presumed to in- First, the daty of rejoicing in trude the extracts he has given the Lord. upon the pages of your miscellany. Secondly, The characters who
are called upon to rejoice The righteous.
Thirdly, That to such characters FAMILY SERMONS.No. CXXXVIII.
"praise is comely."
First, The duty of rejoicing in Psalm xxxiii. 1.- Rejoice in the the Lord.
Lord, 0 ye righteous ; for 1. It is a duty, because it is com
praise is comely for the upright. manded in Scripture. - We find The great desire of mankind is to throughout the word of God such be happy; and to the attainment injunctions as, “ Rejoice in the of this end all our pursuits are
Lord alway, and again I say renaturally directed. It is true, that joice,"—“O be joyful in the Lord, lill our hearts are renewed by the all ye lands," -“ Be glad in the Holy Spirit we uniformly mistake Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous; and the only real source of enjoyment, shout for joy, all ye that are upand place it in worldly objects, right in heart." Religion was inibus hewing out to ourselves, tended to be a source of pure and “ broken cisterns that can huld nó unfailing happiness. Far from being water.” But still the desire exists; a gloomy invention of the imagiand life is devoted as far as pos- nation, or a cold feeling, at war sible to its gratification.
with every thing generous and conIt might seem, therefore, at first soling, it is described in Scripture sight unnecessary for the Scriptures as the fountain of all true enjoyso often to exbort men to rejoice, ment. It does not empty the heart and indeed would be so, were not of unworthy objects without filling the true objects of satisfaction such it with others more satisfying and as by nature we are not inclined to substantial. If it teach us that we pursue. Our rejoicing is to be in bave destroyed ourselves, it also God; it is not the natural buoyancy shews us that in God is our help; of the human mind under prosper
so that while it lays us low as penious circumstances, but a holy de- tents at the cross of our Saviour, it light which the world can neither points out to us our only true diggive nor take away. The husband- pity, our only real happiness, as man rejoices when he sees his fields children of God by faith in Christ yielding an abundant harvest; the Jesus, and inheritors of a crown of merchant when he beholds his glory that fadeth not away.
2. To rejoice in God is also a Lebanon.” Such is the sacred feduty, because it is one great end for licity of the servant of God: “he which we
were created. While is as a tree planted by the rivers of Adam retained the divine image water, that bringeth forth bis fruit his delight was in the Lord his in his season ; his leaf also shall God, who revealed himself to him not wither, and whatsoever he doeth as his Creator, Benefactor, and shall prosper." Through life Almighty Friend. The fall of nian, peace is bequeathed to him it is true, so debased our nature, by his Saviour; and even in the that we no longer retain the same approach of death his enjoyments natural love for God, the same are usually of a tranquil rather filial eagerness to full his com- than of an ecstatic kind. “Though mands, the same desire to be con- I walk through the valley of the formed to his image; and hence we shadow of death, I will fear no evil, need conversion of soul by the for thou art with me : thy rod and power of the Holy Spirit, to make thy staff comfort me." us new creatures, and to restore us to But though the regularenjoyments our original taste for sacred enjoy- of the mature Christian are best dements. Yet still we learn, both by picted by images like the foregoing, experience and Scripture, that sub- ihere is no limit fixed 10 the injuncstantial bappiness is to be discover- tion in the text. His joy may rise, as ed no where else but in God. In did that of many of the holy men of vain we chase the world and its old, to triumph; only it must be pleasurēs through all their seduc- “ in the Lord.” The love of God, tive windings. Solid repose is not the grace of Christ, the promised there: we shall find ourselves at communications of the Holy Spirit, the close of life still perplexed and with all the otber blessings held disappointed. God alone can fill out to us in the Gospel, may and bound the desires of an immor- well demand and inspire the hightal being: he alone is the final est notes of spiritual enjoyment. good, the never-failing spring of “ Thanks be to God," exclaims the wbatever deserves the name of Apostle, “ who always causeth us happiness." Thus saith the Lord: to triumph in Christ.” Let not the wise man glory iy his Secondly, Let us inquire who wisdom; neither let the mighty are the characters thus invited to man glory in his might: let not the rejoice. They are spoken of in the rich man glory in his riches : but text as “ the upright,” or “ the let him that glorieth, glory in this, righteous.” The Scriptures exthat he understandeth and knoweth hibit no cause of rejoicing to the me, that I am the Lord which ex- sinner: they represent his conercise loving - kindness, judgment, dition as fearful in the extreme: and righteousness in the earth.” he is living without God and with
It may be necessary, here, to ob- out hope in the world, and, dying in serve, with respect to the nature of his sins, must perish everlastingly. the rejoicing commanded in the text, But to the humble penitent the prothat it is of a holy and religious joy: mises of the Gospel are freely made it is “rejoicing in the Lord." "The upon his becoming a partaker of faith images employed in Scripture to in the Redeemer. By this faith be point out the character of the Chris. is justified, and, being justified, has tian's triumph are usually of an une peace with God, and is invited to obtrusive and peaceful nature. “I rejoice in the unspeakable love of will be as the dew unto Israel : he his heavenly Father towards a once shall grow as the lily, and cast forth apostate but now reclaimed and bis roots as Lebanon : his branches obedient child. shall spread, and his beauty shall But here the diffident Christian be as the olive tree and his smell as may feel his mind distressed, from a
fear that he is not included in the by which we learn to love the ways character described in the text. of righteousness, and desire to keep He distrusts his own heart; and, far the commands of God. from veuturing boldly to assume to are rendered upright or righteous; himself all the marks of so exalted not indeed perfectly so, for upon a character, he is perhaps appre- earth perfection is unattainable. bensive that be is but a self-de- But the seed is as it were sown; the ceiver, and has no portion in the first steps have been taken; and blessedness of which he reads. that spiritual warfare has begun
To meet such a case it is neces. which shall terminate only with our sary to consider in what sense we mortal life. In the mean time, the may be said to be righteous, and flesh is being crucified, with its afhow we may become so. Now the fections and lusts; the Christian is Scriptures plainly inform us, that pressing forward towards the prize strictly speaking, " there is none of his high calling, and, by the asrighteous; no, not one.” We have sistance of God's Holy Spirit, is
earall wandered from the ways of God; nestly contending both against his we have become corrupt in our own corrupt desires and the temptaimaginations and our sios have tions of Satan and the world. His outjustly provoked the Divine dis- ward conduct proves the holychange pleasure; so that, as a meritorious which has taken place in his chaclaim, no man can urge any righ- racter. Sin is no longer his element; teousness or uprightness of his and hence St. John remarks, that own.
“ whoso is born of God doth not In this unbappy condition, God commit sin,” that is, willingly and saw fit to provide an atonement habitually. “ Whosoever sinneth for our transgressions: Christ died, halb not seen God, neither known the Just for the unjust, to bring us
him;" adding, what tends forcibly nigh unto God. In virtue of bis to explain the words of the text: obedience unto death, our sins are “Let no man deceive you: he that freely pardoned; and as our church doeth righteousness is righteous, scripturally teaches, “We arc ac- even as God is righteous. Thus counted righteous before God only we perceive that to be a righteous for the merit of our Lord and Sa- character, in the scriptural sense, is viour Jesus Christ, by faith, and to be justified by faith in the atonenot for our own works or deserv- ment of Christ, and to be renewed
Our heavenly Father is by the Spirit of God in righteouspleased in infinite mercy to blot ness and true holiness. To such out our sins, and to restore us to characters, the exhortation to rehis favour: our past unrighteous- joice addressed. ness is remembered no more, and Thirdly, We are to shew, that to our guilt is remitted in virtue of persons of this description" praise the supremely meritorious sacrifice is comely."- This may indeed be of our Redeemer.
inferred from the foregoing consiBut inseparably connected with derations; for we have already seen, this application of our Saviour's that rejoicing in God is both commerits, for the pardon of sin, is that manded as a duty, and is an inestirenewal of heart by the Holy Spirit mable privilege belonging to the which is indispensably necessary true believer. The same passage to entitle us to the character of of Scripture which enjoins us not righteous. A dead faith leaves us to glory in wisdom, or might, or where it found us in our sins. It riches, exhorts us to glory in a neither justifies por sanctifies us. knowledge of God, that he exerBut true faith is the parent of holi- ciseth loving-kindness and judgness; for where it exists, a new ment in the earth. principle is implanted in the heart, plies the same idea more explicitly
St. Paul apin reference to the New Testament acceptance with his Creator; of dispensation, when he says, “ God supplies of strength, and holiness, forbid that I should glory, save in and consolation by the way, and the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, eternal and unutterable bliss at by whom the world is crucified bis journey's end. Under such conunto me, and I unto the world." siderations, we may forcibly use the It is only from a well-grounded exhortation of the text: “Rejoice hope of eternal salvation, that reli- then in the Lord, O ye righteous, gious joy can justly spring; and for praise is comely for the upwhere there is scriptural evidence right." of our having become the children In conclusion, we cannot 100 of God-as was the case with St. earnestly repeat, what has been alPaul, when he could say, that he ready alluded to, the great imwas crucified to the world, and portance of ascertaining that we the world to him-praise and re- are among those whom the word joicing are truly comely; that is, of God calls upon to rejoice. Let befitting and appropriate. For as us not venture to take the promises both the Apostle and the Psalmist of Scripture to ourselves, without teach, “ Blessed is he whose trans- first examining whether we are in gression is forgiven, and whose the faith. Infinitely awful are the sin is covered; blessed is the man threatenings of the oracles of God unto whom the Lord imputeth not against the careless and deliberate iniquity, and in whose spirit there sinner, and against the insincere is no guile.” Well may he be joy- and inconsistent pretender to reful who has scriptural authority ligion. If our conscience reprove for believing that his sins, though us in these respects, let the warning many, are all forgiven, and that lead us to the foot of the Cross, henceforth all things work toge- both for the pardon of our sins, ther for his good. His hopes rest and for a new and holy nature to be npon no wavering foundation; and, wrought in us; and let it be our in their extent, are as large as the earnest prayer to God, that He promises of God, who is both able would guide us in future by his and willing to do exceeding abun. Spirit, in the way of wisdom, and dantly above all that we ask or keep us in the path of the just, think. He has the unfailing pledge which shineth more and more to of mercy to pardon all his sins ; of the perfect day.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. illiberal, unfeeling, and tyrannical,
should the. very next moment be I REMEMBER well the happy de- found without a vestige of his for. lineation of surprize felt by a mer character, and have been transsimple hearted clergyman, who is formed so readily into a plain good the subject of a popular novel of man, and not even holding the the past age, and who is made to offices which he had been said bereceive at different times the most fore so greatly to abuse. And the opposite accounts of the character good parson, I remember, is left to of a gentleman, the supposed oc- the very charitable and safe solucupant of a house which he passes tion of an alias, or doubtful iden. on the road. He can scarcely be- tity of person in the case, as far lieve that the gentleman once so more' congenial to his own honesty
than any suspicion of the motives ration from the professors of Powhich might produce from different pery, and the enactinent of our mouths such opposite delineations statules of exclusion against them, of one and the same man. I must had been really inclined to place own ibat I felt a surprise some- them in this favourable light, and what similar, on comparing the to give them so decided a superiouse made by Mr. Wix (whose rily in point of worth and truth work lately reviewed
in over our Protestant fellow-Chrisyour miscellany) of Archbishop tians, I might probably have thought Wake's name and authority, with better of the Papists and worse of what I have reason to believe the Dissenters on that account. were iu truth the character and Nor perhaps, but for some slight the opinions of that great and suspicion of the methods in which good prelate. By Mr. Wix he is controversies are too often conductmade to sanction the supposed ed, should I have felt any strong possibility of an union between a reason to doubt the accuracy of Popish and a Protestant church; those views of the Archbishop's whilst the tone and temper of Mr. opinions which I had thus collectWix and his scheine evidently in- .ed on Mr. Wix's authority. But clude and suppose a rejection from a somewhat intimate acquaintance the benefits or the possibility of with controversial practices made such an union, of the English Dis- me a little sceptical on this point; senters, and in general of all who and I so much preferred my old do not adopt an episcopal form prejudices in favour of the good of church government. In other Archbishop to Mr. Wix's new imwords, Archbishop Wake appears plications respecting him, as at to be brought in by Mr. Wix, as an least to look for some positive and evideuce and an authority in favour direct testimony of his opinions of the exclusive claim of episcopacy on so very important a question. to the name and privileges of a The resuli of my search I am contrue church, and as sanctioning a fident you, sir, so well versed as distinct and undeniable preference you must be in the character and of the Church of Rome, such as it history of our great theological is, for a cordial union (upon terms) worthies, will easily anticipate. I with ourselves, over the universal found that Archbishop Wake was body of Protestants, such as they decidedly against any compromise are, if not possessed of the epis. whatever with any popish commucopal succession. The compro- nion, whether Gallican or Roman; mises necessary in order to the and that he had, on the contrary, former union are, it is intimated, the largest and most liberal views not to be compared in magnitude with respect to the possibility and with those necessary for the laller; the duty of charitable, and even and it would be inipossible not to devotional, union with Protestant consider the bearing of Archbishop Dissenters. The impropriety, not Wake's mind on tbis subject, when to say impossibility, of compromise, seen through the pages of Mr. in order to union with the Gallican Wix, as quite in unison with bis Church, the only popish church be own.
ever thought of conciliating, will Such then being the view which be easily collected from the full is presented of this great and good account of the whole transaction, prelate's opinions, on a very im- as detailed in the sixth volume portant aud vital subject, through of Maclaine's translation of Moihe medium of Mr. Wix, I canuot sheim's Ecclesiastical History. On but add, that if a prelate so learn- the other hand, the duty, as well ed, so pious, and who lived so soon as propriety, of every possible adafter the period of our final sepa- vance towards the Protestaut Dis. CHRIST, OBSERV. No, 222,