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which he will not give. The fin of such a man must be attended with tenfold aggravation, when it is a spiritual privilege which he refuses, and which the other solicits for with meekness and humi. lity, and yet 'nevertheless his request is rejected. Such a person may call himself a Chriftian if he will, and he may cry * The Temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these." But we must take the liberty to tell him, That he is an entire stranger to the Cbriftian spirit and temper; that he is a very bad member even of civil, and much more of Religious Society, and that he neither loves God nor man. Whenever we suffer ourselves to be governed by human prudence, instead of the word of God, we shall find ourselves as much disappointed as St. Paul did when he purified himself in the Temple according to the Law, which he well knew to have been abolished, and the evil he wished to avoid came upon him in all its fulness. .
Our business is to keep close to the word of God on all occafions, to make it the rule of our conduct in every thing that relates to our own Salvation, or to the Government of the Church of God. “ Brethren, faith the Apostle, Ye have been called unto liberty; only use not that liberty for an occasion to the fielh ; but by love serve one another."
He who loves his neighbour as himself, will readily grant him all the liberty his soul desires, in order to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; and he who does not, is far enough from the love which is here recommended by our Lord..
III. Let us now consider the nature of Self-love and the benefits attending it. “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Self-love, as it is generally called, has been grievously de. claimed against, even by religious persons, as a most pernicious and dreadful evil: But they have not understood the subject of which they spoke. They have denominated that intense propen. fity which unregenerate men feel to gratify their carnal appetites and vicious passions, felf-love. Whereas it might be more pro. perly termed self-hatred, or self-murder. If I am to love my neighbour as myself, and this “ Love worketh no ill to his neighbour," then self-love, in the sense in which our Lord uses the word, is something excellent. It is properly a Sentiment essen. tial to our nature and inseparable from our being, by which we desire to be happy; by which we seek the happiness which we have not, and rejoice in it when we possess it. In a word, it is an uniform wish of the soul to avoid all evil, and to enjoy all good. So that he who is wholly governed by felf-love, properly and scripturally speaking, will devote his whole Soul to God, and earnestly and constantly seek all his peace, happiness, and salya. tion, in the enjoyment of God.
In one sense, this is not so properly love, as the foundation and bond of love, by which we are united to the object which confti. ,tutes our happiness. I am the subject which receives the happiness, and am happy in consequence; but I am not the object that
constitutes this happiness; for it is that object, properly speaking, which I love. The love of God and our neighbour, is commanded rin the sacred Writings, but we are not commanded to love our
selves, except by negative precepts; for this love, in the sense we have given of it above, is inseparable from our nature, and essential to our being. “ No man, faith the Apostle, ever hated his own flesh:” But he who sinneth against God, wrongeth his own Soul, both of present and eternal Salvation, and is so far from being governed by felf-love, that the man is a determined enemy to his own highest and dearest interests, and brings everlasting deftruction upon himself.
IV. The happy consequence, and recompence of this Love. “ This do, and thou shalt live." • He whose Soul rests in God supremely, and who intensely de: fires the enjoyment of him, who always lives to, and ever acts for God, must be happy. For God, the Author and Fountain of life and felicity, lives in him. “I will dwell in them, and walk in them (faith the blessed God) and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” He therefore lives a spiritual life, which consists in the union of God and the Soul, and of consequence, he enjoys communion with the God to whom he is united. “ As the living Father hath sent me (faith our Lord) and I live by the Father, even so, he that eateth me, shall live by me." For this spiritual union our Lord prayed with his expiring breath, “ That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfeet in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and (wonderful to think of) haft loved them as thou hast loved me.”
The works of righteousness which he performs, are at once the evidences and the functions of his spiritual life. He lives to all the important purposes and concerns of life, to glorify his God and to do good among men. He lives under the continual influ. ences of the Life-giving Spirit, and increases daily in the love of God and man.
The life of the wicked may justly be termed, -an ever-living death : But the life of the righteous, is an ever-living life. He lives in death itself! Death itself is his ! and is now become one of the greatest of blessings, inasmuch as it will be the gate of everlasting life to his deathless Soul. He lives through Eternity! He fees God as he is! Penetrated with the rays of his glory, he contemplates his infinite perfections; each of which must beget in him endless wonder, inconceivable' delight and gratification ! * Behold! what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!" Father of mercies ! God of Light, and Power, and Love! illuminate, quicken, and invigorate our minds! Let us see the hope of our calling, and never reft,
The works and the fun&tionconcerns of life,
Groes of the Lifamong menand concerns Piritual lifes are at deathe life of the opirit, and is under to gloriful!
Till transform'd by faith divine
Bright in all thine Image shine,
: By putting on thy Son. Let those who really desire to love God, ever remember, that this can only be attained by a living faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." This is the way which the infinitely wise and blessed God hath appointed, and besides it there is no other. The love of God must be shed abroad in our hearts, the divine nature must be com. municated. Our carnal, degenerate nature can never be subdued by any other mean whatsoever: much less can our whole soul be renewed in the Image of God, in any other way. “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Saved from all condemnation, and saved from the power of the carnalímind.
Let it ever be remembered, that according to the degree of the love of God which we enjoy, so will our love to our neighbour be; and if this be the case, then we shall “ Follow peace with all men.". Then we shall certainly, “ Endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace,” We shall promote unity, harmony, and love, every where. We shall have the blessing which our Lord pronounced upon the Peace-makers. - We shall not then seek to please ourselves, but every one will endeavour to please his neighbour for his good to edification. In short, we shall be a blefling to the people among whom we live, and a blessing to the Church of Christ. Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, be glory in the Church by Christ Jefus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
ve of God be remembered the power of
To the EDITO R.
- London, April 27, 1796. W H ATEVER has a tendency to create in us a sensibility of
VV présent mercies, and more especially of our spiritual prie vileges, as it increases our gratitude to God, so it also at the same time increases our own happiness. On this account I have long : thought, that as Woodrow's History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, is but little known, the accounts there given of some of those truly pious and faithful ministers of Christ, whose lives were shamefully and cruelly cast away, would be highly acceptable to your numerous readers. It may be obje&ted, that they were miftaken in some things, (and who is not ?), yet wherà men's con fciences are concerned, we cannot but tenderly pity those who suffer on that account, and must' approve of their fincerity and integrity, their undaunted courage in the cause of divine Truth, and their zeal for the honour of God.
Among the many who died by the hand of the executioñer in that bloody reign, was Mr. DONALD CARGIL. He was born about the year 1610, and was the oldest son of a very respectable family in Rattray. After he had been some time at school at Aberdeen, he was sent to the University of St. Andrews, where having gone through his course of philosophy, his father pressed upon him very much to study divinity, in order to the ministry, but he, through tenderness of spirit, constantly refused, saying “ That work is 100 great a burden for my weak shoulders.” But his father still continuing to urge him, he set apart a day for private fafting and prayer, in order to know the mind of the Lord in this important business. After much wrestling with God, the words of the Prophet Ezekiel, viz. “Son of man, eat this roll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel," made a deep impression upon his mind, so that he durft no longer refuse his father's request, but dedicated himself wholly to the work of the ministry: And it is remarkable, the above-mentioned passage of Scripture was given to him by the Presbytery to preach his trial Sermon upon, so that he was the more fully satisfied of his call to labour in the Lord's vineyard.
He was first called to the Barony-church in Glasgow. Here he perceived the lightness and unconcerned behaviour of the people under the word, and was so much discouraged, that he formed a Tesolution to leave the place. Several of the ministers persuaded him to try them a little longer, but he refused, saying, “ They are a rebellious people.” His horse was brought to the door, and he had bid farewell to his friends, and was taking leave of a certain godly woman, who said to him, “Sir, you have given notice to preach here next Thursday, and have appointed a meal for a poor Itarving people, and will you go away and not give it ? if you do, the curse of God will go with you." These words so deeply affected him, that he durft not go away, but sitting down, be defired her and others to pray for him. So he remained, and was settled in that parish, where he exercised his ministry with great success, to the unspeakable satisfaction both of his own parish, and all the godly people who flocked to hear him, until the resto. ration of Charles II.
Upon the 26th of May following, being the day appointed to commemorate the King's restoration, it being his usual week-day's lecture, he preached in his own church, and seeing a much larger congregation than common, lest any of the people should suppose that he kept this day as the general part of the nation did, upon entering the pulpit he said, “We once thought to have blessed the day when the king returned home, but now we think we shall have occasion to curse it, and if any of you are come here in order for the solemnizing of this day, we desire you to withdraw."
He enlarged upon Hof. ix. 1. “ Rejoice not o Ifrael for joy as other people," &c. and faid, “This is the first step of our going a whoring from God; and whosoever of the Lord's people are
you aru to withel for joy
rejoicing this day, their joy will be like the crackling of thorns under a pot, it will soon be turned into mourning, this will be the woefullest sight that the poor Church of Scotland ever saw.”
This extremely enraged his enemies against him, so that being hotly pursued, he was obliged to abscond; remaining some times in private houses, and some times being obliged to lay all night in the open air among the broom near the city: yet he never omitted any opportunity of private preaching, visiting of families, and other ministerial duties. But when the Presbyterian ministers were turned out of all the Churches, then a band of soldiers were sent to apprehend him, who coming to his church, could not find him, as by the kind providence of God, he had gone out at one door about a minute before they came in at the other; whereupon they took the keys of the church door with them and departed, In the mean while the council passed an act of confinement, and banished him to the north-side of the Tay, under penalty of being imprisoned and prosecuted as a seditious person : But this sentence he never regarded.
During this time, partly through grief for the ruin of the cause of God, and partly through the extreme hardships which he ena dured, his voice was so broken that he could not be heard but only by a small company, which was a fore exercise to him, and a very great discouragement on account of his being obliged to preach in the fields. But one day Mr. Blackater 'preached near Glasgow, and Mr. Cargil on the same day lectured upon Isa. xliv. 3. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty," &c. It pleased the Lord so to restore his voice, that very few could exceed him; and not only his voice, but his fpirit was also enlarged, and such a door of utterance was given him, that Mr. Blackater said to the people, “ You that have such preaching as this, have no need to invite strangers to preach to you: make good use of your mer. cies.” After this he continued to preach without the city for some time, a great multitude generally attending, and many pro. futed much by the blessed Truths they heard. He was wonderfully preserved in the midst of dangers, the enemy several times sending out to watch him and to catch something from his mouth whereof they might accuse him.
In the month of October 1665, they made a public search for him in the city : But he being informed of it, took horse and rode out of the town; and at a narrow pass of the road he met a large number of soldiers. As he passed them, turning another way to the right-hand, one of them faid, “ pray, sir, what is it o'clock." He answered, “ It is fix." Another of the soldiers who knew his voice said, “ There is the man we are seeking !". Upon hearing -, this, he put spurs to his horse, and so escaped that time.
For about three years, he usually resided in the house of one · Margaret Craig, a very pious woman, where he preached morning and evening to such as came to hear him. And though his perVOL. XIX. August 1796.