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prayer, meditation, and reading the Sacred Volume; there, with these truly valuable men, he usually hath large enjoyment of the consolations of religion, and abounds in peace, and hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. He goes through life, if not smoothly and usefully, at least contentedly and happily. While, in the eyes of those persons, who boast of their superiority of understanding, and freedom from vulgar prejudices, the REDEEMER of the world becomes daily more and more contemptible; and in the eyes of the lukewarin Christian less and less desirable; in the estimation of the devout and lively Believer, who, by waiting upon the LORD, renews his strength, the Son of God, in his person, offices and work, appears with encreasing affection, the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. Being convinced of sin, and justified by faith, he has peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of Ġod is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which is given unto him. He is strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, and Christ dwells in his heart by faith. Being rooted and grounded in love, he comprehends with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and he knows the love of Christ; though indeed it passeth knowledge. He is, moreover, filled with all the communicable fulness of God, and a peace passing understanding keepeth his heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
“ A Christian dwells, like URIEL, in the sun:
And ardent lope anticipates the skies." -YOUNG. The language of the soul is; Whom have I in heaven but thee, O Gop! and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee. To do unto others as be would have them to do unto him, is the great law of his life, in all his dealings between man and man; and whereinsoever he falls
out before six in the morning, he rose proportionably sooner; so that when a journey, or march, has required him to be on horseback by four, he would be at his devotions at farthest by two."
The same holds true of General Sir WILLIAM WALLER, who was as devout in the closet as he was valiant in the field.
Let the reader mark well, that none of these religious persons were either Monks or Parsons, but men of great consideration in the world, who were engaged in the most active scenes of life.
short of a full compliance with this royal statute, he laments and bewails his folly, makes satisfaction according to the nature of the case ; fees to the blood of sprinkling for pardon; and returns with renewed vigour to the path of duty. Giving all diligence, he adds to his faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience';; and to patience, godliness ; and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, charity. With zealous affection he cultivates the holy tempers which were in Christ; bowels of mercy, lowliness, meekness, gentleness, contempt of the world, patience, temperance, long-suffering,
tender love to every human being, bearing, believing, hoping, enduring all things. He submits himself to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake ; whether it be to the KING, as supreme ; or unto GOVERNORS, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, und for the praise of them that do well. He pays all due respect unto inen of every rank and degree. He loves with peculiar affec-. tion the whole brotherhood of Believers in Christ JESUS, He so fears God as to depart from evil, and so honours the King as to be ready, on every proper call, to sacrifice his life for the good of the public. He endeavours to acquit himself with propriety in every station, whether as master, servant, parent, child, magistrate, subject, teacher, learner. In short, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, what soeter things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, to these he attends with the utmost diligence and assiduity. This is the Christianity, which the Son of God taught unto the world*. And be that is of this religion is my brother, my sister, and my mother, by what name soever he is distinguished and called.
* Dr. ROBERTSON, our celebrated Historian, tells us, that
Christianity is rational and sublime in its doctrines, humane and beneficent in its precepts, pure and simple in its worship." And even Mr. PAINE is constrained to confess, that“ JESUS CHRIST was a virtuous and an amiable man; that the morality which he preached and practised was of the most benevolent kind ; that though similar systems of morality had been preached by CONFUCIUS, and by some of the Greek philosophers many years before, and by many good men in all ages; it has not been exceeded by any."--Important concession! Where is the propriety then of endeavouring to I do not say, however, that this is the religion of the great body of persons who call themselves Christians. Much otherwise. Many who are so called are extremely immoral. Others are guilty only of some particular vice. Some are decent in their general conduct, and pretty attentive to religious observances; but yet total strangers to inward religion. Great sticklers for their own party, be it what it may, they harbour a strong aversion to all who dare to think for themselves, and presume to disseut from them in principle or practice. So remote are they from the character and experience of the above evangelical requirements, that they consider them as delusive and enthusiastic. Something of the form of godliness they have gotten, but they deny, and sometimes even ridicule the power. Be this as it may, true religion is still the same; and the above is a scriptural sketch of it, whether we will hear, or whether we will forbear. So far too are real Christians from being ashamed of this gospel-method of saving a lost world, that they
explode the Gospels? Thou art condemned out of thine own mouth!
Lord BOLINGBROKE has made confessions similar to this of PAINE:-"No religion," says he,“ ever appeared in the world, whose natural tendency was so uch directed to promote the peace and happiness of mankind as Christianity. No system can be more simple and plain than that of natural religion, as it stands in the Gospel. The system of religion which CHRIST published, and, his Evaugelists recorded, is a complete system to all the purposes of religion, natural and revealed. Christianity, as it stands in the Gospel, contains not only a complete, but a very plain system of religion. The Gospel is in all cases one continued lesson of the strictest morality, of justice, of benevolence, and of universal cha, rity."
These are strange concessions from a profest Deist! And yet, strange as they certainly are, much the same have been made by BLOUNT, TINDAL, MORGAN, TOLAND, CHUBB, ROUSSEAU, and most of our other real or pretended Unbelievers.
The truth is, all these deistical gentleinen could approve the morality, or some parts of the morality, of the New Testament, but they could neither understand nor approve the grand scheme of redemption therein exhibited. Why? Because the NATURAL man receiveth not the things of the SPIRIT of GOD; they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. ï. 14.-They were blind to all the glories of the Gospel scheme. They ndither saw nor felt their need of such redemption as is therein exhibited. What wonder then if they spent their lives in: opposing its gracious designs ?
make it their boast and song all the day through in the house of
" I'll praise my MAKER with my breath;
Praise shall employ my nobler pow'rs:
Or immortality endures."
“ Soft peace she brings, wherever she arrives,
And opens in each breast a little heav'n."
*“If there is one condition in this life more happy than another," says a great author, “it is, surely, that of him, who founds all his hopes of futurity on the promises of the Gospel ; who carefully endeavours to conform his actions to its precepts; looking upon the great GOD ALMIGHTY as his protector here, his rewarder hereafter, and his everlasting preserver. This is a frame of mind so perfective of our nature, that if Christianity, from a belief of which it can only be derived, was as certainly false as it is certainly true, one could not help wishing that it might be universally received in ilie world,”
Mr. Pope has a declaration to Bishop ATTERBURY to the same purport, which is worthy of memorial.“ The boy despises the infant, the mun the boy, the philosopher both, and the Christian ALL.”
Nothing on earth we call our own,
We all their goods despise:
A country in the skies.". If then the religion of Jesus Christ be a delusion; it is, at least, a happy delusion; and 'even a wise man would scarcely wish to be undeceived. He would rather be ready to say with the great Roman Orator, when speaking of the 'immortality of the soul :-" If in this 'I err, I willingly'err; nor, while I live, shall any man wrest from me this error, with which I am extremely delighted *."
If we wished to exemplify these observations, it would be no difficult matter to produce various very striking instances of persons, as well from the Sacred Writings, as from the history of these latter ages, whose conduct and character have been conformable to the above representations. But as the Bible is in every one's hands, and may be consulted' at pleasure, we will call the attention of the reader to a few instances of persons, who have been eminent in their way, during these latter ages only, and, some of them, even in our own times. These may be DYING INFIDELS-PENITENT and ReCOVERED INFIDELS-DYING CHRISTIANS, who have lived too much in the spirit of the world--and CHRISTIANS dying, either with great composure of mind, or, IN THE FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH +.
* « Si in hoc erro, lubenter erro; nec mihi hunc 'errorem, quo delector, dum vivo, extorqueri volo."
Mr. ADDISON also very properly saith, when speaking of the immortality of the soul;-" If it is a dream, let me enjoy it; since it makes me both the happier and the better man.”
Spectator, No. 186. + “There is nothing in history," says this elegant writer in another place," which is so improving to the reader as those accounts which we meet with of the deaths of eininent persons, and of their behaviour at that dreadful season. . I may also add, that there are no parts in history, which affect and please the reader in so sensible a manner."-Spectator, No. 289.