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the righteous. He does not esteem their | only by Divine grace that we can be renewed supplications troublesome, but meets them, unto holiness ; and this grace cannot be as it were, in the house of prayer, or in the obtained without frequent, fervent, sincere secret chamber, on purpose to receive their prayer. It is certain that God knows our petitions. Perhaps the suppliant may be necessities before we ask, and our ignorance pouring out his prayer with a broken and a in asking, and could, if it seemed good to contrite heart, borne down with the weight him, give us all things needful; but in that of his sin, and mourning as though he could case he would violate one of his own rules-never hope for pardon :-upon him God looks he “ will be inquired of by his people," bewith delight, and will grant him his request, fore he will impart to them his promised as a father grants the requests of his beloved blessings. Prayer is the means by which we offspring. Hence, Scripture assures us that commune with God; and whoever desires " the Lord heareth the prayer of the righte- to live in his love and protection will daily ous, and the prayer of the upright is his have access unto the throne of grace, there delight."
humbly confess his own unworthiness, plead We may further remark, that the words of the merits of the divine Saviour, and pray, the text imply that prayer is the distinguish through him, for pardon and acceptance. ing characteristic of the righteous. If we ex What great encouragement has every one to amine into the conduct of those termed in prayer!-" Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, Scripture the righteous, we shall find that and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened they were men of prayer; in them dwelt the to you,” are our blessed Lord's own words. spirit of prayer and supplication, and they And again : “If men, who are evil, know called upon the name of the Lord continu- how to give good gifts unto their children, ally. Consider the patriarchs and prophets, how much more will your heavenly Father how they communed with God in their afflic- give good gifts unto them that ask him !" tions by praise and prayer. Look to the Those who delight in wickedness can have Psalms of David, the man after God's own no pleasure in communion with God; hence heart, and learn how he prayed for forgive. they neglect both public worship and private ness, for grace, and for final acceptance. Jesus devotion ; or, if they do occasionally join in Christ himself, although he had no need of the congregation of Christians, the service is prayer, constantly attended the public wor. to them long and tedious. They put on the ship of God in the synagogues and in the form of godliness, but where is the power of temple, besides offering up his private prayers; it? They draw nigh to God with their lips, and he appointed " his house to be a house of but where is their heart? They neither worprayer to all nations." His disciples also went ship him in spirit nor in truth. Such persons up unto the temple to pray; and when they cannot expect the Divine favour ; their worwere persecuted and imprisoned, prayer was ship of God is a solemn mockery; they offer made for them unto God without ceasing by him the sacrifice of fools. the Church, and they were delivered from Hence, thirdly, it is said in the text, “ the death by the wonderful interposition of God. face of the Lord is against them that do evil." Prayer, then, we repeat, is the true mark of But who are those “ that do evil,” or the a righteous man. But, alas ! brethren, men in wicked ? We must not be supposed to mean general are averse to prayer ; they cannot those only who indulge in gross wickedness. bring their proud and stubborn hearts to There can be no doubt, in the mind of any thinkacknowledge their dependence upon another; ing person, that God's anger is kindled against they will endeavour to bear their own bur- the sordid sensualist, the drunkard, the hypodens, rather than call for assistance; they crite, the blasphemer; against those wretched will rest upon the staff of a uise reed, outcasts who profane the Lord's day, and conrather than by prayers and supplications temn the Lord's house, and despise the Lord's make their requests known unto God.” word, and deride the Lord's ministers. These They perhaps may repeat the beautiful and are not alone meant, but also those who are not pathetic confession of our Churchi — they actually righteous,-the proud formalist; the may acknowledge themselves“ miserable self-righteous, pharisaical Christian, who has offenders," and pray, " from all the de- such a high and exalted opinion of himself ceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and his own goodness, as to buoy himself up good Lord, deliver us." But, let me ask, with the vain belief that he
win heaven are not these too often repeated without by his own works and deservings. Alas, thinking-merely the language of the lips, what a delusion! he is even in a worse state while the heart is far from them, engaged in than the openly profane : there is some hope other matters? It is not such a prayer that that he at some future period may be brought God will listen to and accept. We are by to feel his need of a Saviour, and come to renature lost and perishing creatures, and it is pentance; but there is no hope of him who
imagines he can be his own saviour ; " the been with them in their homes, and “comface of the Lord is against" such an one also. passed about their beds;" the darkness could This likewise is a figurative expression, signi- not hide them, for “ the darkness is no fying that God is displeased with the wicked. darkness with him; the night is as clear as The face of man is an index of his heart and the day; the darkness and the light to him feelings : from the countenances and looks of are both alike.” others, we can generally discover their dispo Is it, then, my brethren, the wish of the sition towards ourselves ; we can infer their Almighty that the wicked should perish ? approbation or censure, their love or dislike : No; for he is a God who delighteth in mercy; and consequently we expect to experience, and while he is threatening them with eternal either more or less, the effects of these feel- punishment, his very bowels yearn towards ings. Here, again, the Scripture language them to save them. Hear what his own is accommodated to our customs and ideas ; words are by the mouth of his prophet,and by declaring that the face of the Lord “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked is against them that do evil, we are taught should die ; and not that he should return this solemn and awful truth, that "God is from his ways and live ?" " As I live, saith angry with the wicked every day;" if they the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the turn not, he will whet his sword : he hath death of the wicked; but that the wicked bent his bow, and made it ready, and she turn from his way and live : turn ye, turn determines to execute upon them his wrathful ye, from your evil ways ; for why will ye indignation."
die, O house of Israel ?" But though God is But it farther signifies that God is a striet merciful, he is also just, and will not be observer of them. He views them at all sinned against with impunity; and while he times, in all places, and under all circum- is crying to the wicked, "Turn yourselves, stances. He watches their evil designs, their and live ye,” he is also declaring, “ The soul secret deeds, as well as their public actions ; that sinneth, it shall die ;" “ in the trespass and however they may conceal them from that he hath trespassed, and in the sin that the eyes of the world-however they may he hath sinned, in them shall he die." We deceive men, and, in some cases, even them- well know with what anguish a tender-hearted selves,--they cannot deceive God : on the day and affectionate parent inflicts punishment of judgment he will disclose to them how upon an obstinate and wayward child ; the strictly he has kept account of their conduct. pain which he causes he often feels as inWe may meet with the frowns, and fall under tensely, and sometimes more intensely, than the dislike of men, without any just cause. the child himself; he will do every thing to Some may be prejudiced against us through reclaim him, before he deserts him. So it is, evil report, which accuses us of crimes of and ever has been, with God : he tried every which we are not only innocent, but of which method to reclaim his obstinate and rebellious we are also ignorant; and it is but too com- children ; and when every other plan failed, mon for the world to be influenced by such “ he sent his only begotten Son into the world, reports without inquiring into their truth, that whosoever believeth in him should not and it is thus set against us unjustly. But perish, but have feverlasting life." Such is these faults and failings of weak man cannot the offered mercy ; such is the covenant of be attributed to Him who says, “ I know the salvation ; to every one is this salvation sent; things which come into your mind, every to every one-there is no exception. St. Paul one of them.” He is the Judge of all the says, "God commendeth his love towards us, earth; and shall not the Judge of all the in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died earth do right? If his anger be kindled for us." He died for all; “ as by the offence against us, it is not through prejudice, but of one (that is, Adam), judgment came upon because, having tried our very hearts and all men to condemnation, even so by the reins, he sees and knows of a certainty that righteousness of one (that is, Christ), the free we are workers of iniquity. Do, then, the gift came upon all men to justification of life." workers of iniquity still hope to escape the St. John declares, that " Jesus Christ the scrutiny of the all-seeing God? Do they righteous is the propitiation for our sins ; exclaim, “ Tush, how doth God see ?" or, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of have they " said in their hearts, there is no the whole world.” “I am the way, the truth, God ?" Alas, they will find too late that and the life," saith the adorable Jesus ; "no there is a God, and to them he is a con man cometh to the Father but by me ;" and suming fire ;' that he has not been a God “ whosoever cometh to me, I will in no wise afar off, but a God at band ; that he has cast out.” But, alas, such is the pride and ever been with them; he has gone forth with wickedness of man, that "they will not come them to their business, and has followed them unto me, that they may have life." If, thereinto the world like their shadow; he has fore, any man perish in his sin, we say that
God is grieved at the heart; that it is against among men under heaven whereby we can his wish; that he would rather that all men be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ."
would turn from their wickedness which Oh, I pray to God that all of you will conthey have committed, and do that which is sider this,--that you will repent, and turn, lawful and right, and save their souls alive." and go to Christ, who “is a strong tower,
And now, brethren, what inferences can we into which the righteous may run and be draw from these considerations ?
safe.” Why will not men consider? Is it If it be true that “the eyes of the Lord are not that it interferes with the pleasures and over the righteous, and his ears are open to the vanities of the world ? “ The lust of the their prayers ; but the face of the Lord is flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride against them that do evil,” can we not see of life," these have their attractions ; but the folly and madness of continuing in our holiness has charms for few. evil courses? If, in the great and terrible Finally, let all impress these important day of the Lord, when the secrets of all truths on the fleshly iablets of their hearts. hearts shall be open, our actions shall be Let the proud man, whether proud of his brought into judgment and adduced as evi-worldly attainments, his riches, or his own dences of our state before God, ought we fancied righteousness, learn of Jesus, “ who not to strive to have our consciences void of was meek and lowly in heart;" and he will offence both towards God and towards man, find, from his example, that pride cannot that we may be found in Christ " without exist in the righteous man ; that pride is not spot, and blameless ?" There is a vague no one of the list of the fruits of the Spirit, but tion in the minds of some, that God will not belongs to the opposite list--the works of execute his threatenings upon the wicked; the flesh ; and that these are contrary the that Christ died for sinners; and therefore, one to the other. Let the hypocrite, when though they continue in sin, all shall be well he is tempted to make a parade of his outwith them at last. But what saith Godward piety, but is, in truth, like a whited doth he not say that the wicked shall die; sepulchre — fair without, but within full of that their sin shall find them out? “ Hath corruption-call to mind the words of Job, he said, and shall he not do it? hath he that " the hope of the hypocrite shall perish." spoken, and shall he not make it good ?" | And whenever any of us are tempted to comThe evil-doers, the careless sinners, may mit any crime which we may suppose hidden “think their ways right;" but if God's from the eyes of man, let us remember that word be true, " the end of those things is the “ eyes of the Lord are over us, and his death."
face is against them that do evil.” And let Let me, then, brethren, ask you, do you us all bear in mind that, since there are but attend to these things ? Is it your endea- two divisions — the righteous, and those that vour to follow the example of your blessed do evil, we must have one or other of these Saviour, " who did no sin, neither was guile sentences passed upon us in the day of judgfound in his mouth ?” Do you strive to be ment; either, “ Come, ye blessed children righteous " in all holy conversation and god of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared liness ?” I do not say that any man can be for you from the foundation of the world ;" righteous by his own endeavours; but there or, fearfully different language, “ Depart from is assistance promised him, even the help of me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared the Holy Spirit of God, which was purchased for the devil and his angels.” on the cross of Calvary by the blood of the Son of God. There is also a robe of righteousness provided for him—the spotless robe
IDOLATRY.. of Christ's righteousness; and if he will take As soon as man became conscious that he had deeply hold of this robe by faith, it will be to him offended his infinitely pure and omnipotent Creator, as "gold tried in the fire," and a
from that moment he contemplated him, not as a kind raiment wherewith to be clothed.” It is only judge and avenger; and Cain is generally considered
and beneficent parent, but as an angry and omnipotent by faith that he can lay hold of Christ's by those authors who have written on this subject, to righteousness : “ He that believeth on the have been the first idolator. Since the fall, the love of Son of God hath everlasting life ; but he
God was extinguished in man's evil heart, and was that believeth not the Son shall not see life, prehensible being. We are accordingly informed, that
exchanged for slavish fear, and hatred of that incombut the wrath of God abideth on him." Let me then entreat all, brethren, to flee to Christ
• From “ Genuine Christianity contrasted with its Corrup
tions, with Idolatry, and with ile Religion of Mahomet." by for salvation, as the only hope set before Richard Maddock Hawley, M.D. 12mo, pp 102. Edinburgh, them. They can have no other foundation when der yn cand.co London Hamilton, Nisbet.
we acknowledge this to be a well-written volume, containing for their hope ; for "other foundation can no
much interesting matter, there are some of the author's views to
which we cannot assent; as, for instance, that Plato, Xenophon, man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Cicero, and other heathens, were occasionally under the guidance Christ;" “ there is no other name given | evangelists, and apostles.
of the same Divine Spirit which inspired patriarchs, prophets,
after the fall, Adam, for the first time, endeavoured to exhibited in their lives, as being highly acceptable to conceal himself from his pure and beneficent Creator, that divinity. I willingly draw a veil over the attrisaying, “ I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was butes ascribed to Venus; suffice it to say, that the afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Man, temples erected to the worship of this divinity were however, has ever been sensible of his physical and crowded with prostitutes, and consequently disgraced intellectual weakness, and of his consequent depend by the grossesc impurities which could degrade and ence on higher powers. Unable, therefore, longer to debase the nature of man. endure the infinite justice and purity of the triune We cannot wonder that, under such a system of God revealed in the Bible, he endeavoured to discover moral (or rather immoral) discipline, the wickedness some other being or beings on whom he might safely of man increased in a tremendous ratio ; precisely as depend; i. e, excelling in power and dignity, and when a heavy body is precipitated to the earth from a therefore able to protect him; yet inferior in moral high elevation, the velocity of its downward motion perfections to that omnipotent Jehovah whom he had increases in proportion to the square of its diminished so deeply offended by his transgressions.
distance. Since, however, man has never been able The term idolatry signifies the act of worship or utterly to extinguish the still small voice of conscience adoration, which is due to God only, paid to some (which is none other than the voice of God addressed created being or beings, generally through the medium in a whisper to the human soul), the more the corrupof statues, images, or paintings.' The earliest aberra tion of his moral character increased, in the saine ratio tion from the worship of the triune God, was adoration the debased character of his idolatrous worship was of the most glorious of his works visible to man, i. e. augmented. The vilest and most despicable of anithe sun, the moon, the primary planets, and the fixed mate and inanimate beings have been at different
As this is the most ancient, so also it is the times and in different nations the objects of human least corrupt of all the varieties of idolatry. Its high adoration, as if the grand end to be obtained were the antiquity is proved by the very names given by the sanction and encouragement of every possible degree ancients to their deities of the highest order; Apollo, of moral turpitude. No animal was too base, no inSaturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Diana, &c.; animate object too despicable for deification; as the which are also the names of the sun, planets, and baser the object of worship really is, the more conmoon. This species of idolatry is also alluded to in tented is the soul with the pollutions of vice, and the some passages of the book of Job; probably the most smaller is the force of the admonitions of conscience. ancient of all writings. A secondary order of divini The supreme abhorrence in which idolatry is held by ties next arose, or demous, supposed to be the departed the great Creator is sufficiently apparent from the spirits of great and good men. Afterwards animals, history of his ancient people, and of the Canaanites plants, and even things without life, were worshipped and other heathen nations, detailed in the Pentateuch. as protectors. Tacitus, in his account of the ancient God not only prohibits, in the first commandment, the Germans, informs us that they worshipped a deity worship of any being except himself
, but also in the called Hertha or llerthus, which word, says he, in their second he forbids the use of any material symbol even language has the same meaning as our Latin word of himself in worship. Though the golden calf was terra ; he thus also shews us incidentally the origin of intended as a representation of the supreme God, yet the English word earth. It has been well observed by we find that the worship of this idol was the cause of an eminent writer, that idolatry is in religion what the death of three thousand persons. In like manner, treason and rebellion are in politics. The former we are informed that the Israelites were commanded affronts the omnipotent Jehovah (who declares that he to destroy utterly the idolatrous people of Canaan. is a jealous God), by substituting for him an insignific They were evidently destroyed chiefly as the punishcant rival; the latter affronts the earthly representa ment due to their wickedness; and this wickedness tive of God, by disobeying his laws, defying his was a necessary result of their idolatry. We thus find authority, and often also by preferring a usurper and that the abhorrence with which God beholds idolatry a rival. As treason committed against an earthly was chiefly excited by the wickedness it produces ; sovereign is never pardoned, so also in every part of since he is so pure, that he cannot behold the smallest the word of God idolatry is denounced as that abo deviation from his most holy precepts, without supreme minable thing which is the object of the special hatred abhorrence. of Jehovah.
The mercy and clemency of God in these transacHaving shewn that the origin of idolatry was a wish, tions were not less remarkable than his justice. He on the part of fallen man, to forget the infinitely holy was long-suffering, and nothing short of the incorCreator whom he had offended, and, at the same time, rigible wickedness of the Canaanites at length ensured to seek another defence against his own moral and their downfall. This property of long-suffering in the physical weakness, I have next to consider the evil Supreme Being is stated in inany passages of the word effects of idolatry. The moral conduct of man is of God. We read in the 15th chapter of the book of powerfully influenced by the character and attributes Genesis, the "iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” which he ascribes to the being whom he worships ; This attribute of long-suffering in the Supreme Being, since the act of worship implies the belief, that the followed by sure though tardy punishment, is not only being we adore is able either to protect or to destroy. often stated in the Bible, but is also alluded to by Let us apply this remark to the deities of the highest many heathen writers. Horace says, “ Raro anteceorder.
dentem scelestum deseruit pæna pede claudo." The Both Homer and Hesiod have presented to us a sys evils of idolatry are in all ages and countries nearly tematic description of the heathen divinities of the the same. In modern India its leading features are highest order. Jupiter is represented to us as being cruelty and the grossest impurity. The former of deficient in every attribute we are wont to ascribe to these qualities is sufficiently conspicuous in the burnthe Supreme Being; especially in justice and omni ing of widows, and the immolation of infants. St. potence. Juno is stated to be constantly under the Paul, in the epistle to the Romans (i. 22-32), gives influence of jealousy, occasioned by the impure con a dreadful picture of the corrupt opinions and impure duct of her husband. Accordingly, the worshippers of practices which were universal even amongst the most these heathen divinities were necessarily unjust and enlightened and polished nations of antiquity. Though impure in their moral conduct, from a conviction that the iuspired character of his writings renders any coninjustice and impurity were highly acceptable to the firmation of his account quite unnecessary, I may yet objects of their worship. Mercury is represented to be permitted to notice a remarkable corroboration of us as endued with the attributes of subtlety, falsehood, it brought to light about a century ago. I allude to and duplicity; which vices his worshippers accordingly the accidental discovery of those ancient cities, Her
culaneum and Pompeii, destroyed by that eruption of ology of Greece and Rome. Jupiter and Apollo were Mount Vesuvius which was fatal to the elder Pliny. made to represent the sacred persons of the Trinity, It is well known that the Neapolitans are by no means and the patriotism of the Decii and Quintus Curtius remarkable for moral purity; yet such were the abo served as illustrations of the atonement; until at last a minations brougbt to light by each new excavation, decree of the Lateran council was passed, to bring back that the king of Naples, by a royal edict, probibited divines to a more sober theology, unde infectus philoat length the entrance of any female into those dens sophiæ et poesis radices purgare et sanare valeant. A of impurity, before a thorough expurgation had been little later, we meet with a mass of metaphysical accomplished.
divinity, disgusting alike for its puerility and its proSuch are the causes and such the effects of idolatry. faneness; but this also seems no more than a natural The first link in the melancholy chain was that mourn sequence of that fashion for public, challenges,-the ful and mysterious event, the fall of our first parents, intellectual gladiatorship of the middle ages. For an through the temptation of Satan. Hence followed the example of the working of a similar spirit in our own feelings of slavish fear and hatred towards that omni times, we need only look at the awful darkness which potent Being, who, as he has been denominated the overspreads the land of Luther, the rapid strides Divine Geometer, from the supreme accuracy of his which Socinianism is making in a distant continent, physical government, so also in his moral government or its continued existence in our own land. It is in surveys the smallest moral obliquity with infinite ab no uncharitable spirit that we ascribe to one and all horrence. Unwilling henceforth to retain God in his of these errors a common parentage,-the pride of thoughts, fallen man took refuge in idolatry; like intellect, diminished reverence for Scripture, and the Cain, he wished to retire from the presence of his wish to bind up its sacred truths in unrighteous fellowMaker, and to frame to himself idols, as like as pos- ship with the crude inventions of man.-Moore's Norsible to himself in vice and corruption. Thus, by risian Prize-Essay. mutual action and reaction, sin generated idols, which in their turn encouraged sin ; till at length the character of idolatrous worship arrived at such a degree
Poetry. of moral turpitude, as to quiet the human conscience under every enormity, and to sanction every possible
WICLIFFE. aberration from the Divine will.
(For the Church of England Magazine.) The Cabinet.
His bones are ta'en from their clay-cold bed,
No chant is sung, no prayers are said, CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLE.-The Christian, sanctified
But curses mutter'd deep; by the grace of God, has a principle engrafted in him, which is a ready and active principle; being con
No toll comes forth from the churchyard-bell, verted himself, he is anxious to be the instrument of Nor is there dirge funereal, converting others. The grace given to him opens his Bidding the sacred dead farewell, heart, and out of the abundance of his heart his
Lying in peaceful sleep. mouth speaketh,—now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. The present moment of his life Is this the unholy sepulchre is the time to do good; the place where he is, is the Of some accursed murderer, locality for his labour of love; the mode of doing
Some ruthless parricide ? good will arise from the circumstances with which he
That thus they rudely tear away is associated. He waits not for a more convenient season; he delays not for better opportunities: but
From its calm grave the senseless clay no moment is to be lost; no moment is considered as
Which charity would hide. only a little while, and unimportant, when it can be used to the glory of God. Objections may rise up in
Oh no! beneath that soft turf green, terrific vision before him ; obstacles may present Holy as deep his rest hath been themselves, which he may not know how to surmount; Full forty years and more ; the tempter suggests to him to delay his work; his
Full forty years his soul hath lain natural slothfulness, indolence, and inactivity, claim
With Jesus, once for sinners slain, their hitherto unmolested sway; he is to be accounted a visionary, an enthusiast, an attempter of impossi
On heaven's blissful shore. bilities, a busybody, and a meddler with a world that
But now are his bones torn up from the grave wishes to be let alone; he is scorned and derided as
By Constance's* bad decree ; injudicious, and over-zealous, and righteous overmuch. But the Christian who has received the truth
And they, who the holy and learned should save, as it is in Jesus, wh has received, not only light to
Scatter his dust to the winds and the wave, instruct him, but "grace and power faithfully to fulfil”
In furious bigotry. what he perceives and knows he ought to do; the true Christian, influenced by the Holy Spirit, will go
That stream bears his ashes to Avon's tide,t “about doing good" straightway.- Rev. H. Butterfield.
From thence they float on to the ocean's side ;
And like his words whom they've ta'en from his bed, False Philosophy.--It is curious to observe how
Which summon'd a world to wake from the dead, much the various departures from religious truth have been influenced by some intellectual peculiarity of the Far away to remotest lands they spread. period in which they have had their origin. Of the
And now they have reached the rapid stream.countless heresies which sprung up during the first six centuries, few comparatively grew out of different
River, pour on, like the morning's beam, interpretations of a common record; the majority Spread out, spread out over land, over sea ; may be ascribed to that intellectual vice of the period, Thou bearest the seeds of liberty. the desire to make all truth dovetail with some favour
Deeper, and deeper, and wider still, ite philosophy. So, after the revival of learning in the
Encompass the world, every space fill; sixteenth century, we are told, such was the passion for heathen mythology, that the abstruse mysteries of • The Council of Constance held in 1415. the Christian faith were clothed in the fabulous the + The well-known exprossion of Fuller is here alluded to.