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even then religion was the matter of his serious and that if he "placed a stumbling-block, or an occasion impartial choice, and not merely the prejudice of cus to fall, in his brother's way," he sinned against Christ; tom and education. He used sometimes to write
and most gladly would he abandon any thing, rather
than dishonour the Saviour he loved. And now, my essays of morality, and occasional meditations; which, dear brethren, will you endanger souls for the sake of as they were singularly eloquent and ingenious, so they pleasure? will you encourage places which are too breathed forth the devotion of his mind and the se ofien the very hotbeds of sin, that you may enjoy an riousness of his spirit, and would very well become a evening's amusement! will you place the soul of any riper age. It being the custom of the youth to have
one in danger, and all this for your entertainment ? private meetings about the ordering the concerns of dangerous tendency in the stage. Let us, then, pause
But, perhaps, it may be said, that there is not this their commencement, where he was made constant
for a few moments to consider the influence of a president among his fellows, his discourses to them theatre; and take, first, its influence on the spectators. were su grave and becoming, (as some of them have In order to make the pieces popular, they are com
The professed,) that they looked upon them as the sayings pelled to pander to the worst passions of men. of a grey head, and thought they savoured of the wis
plays that are acted may be arranged under two
classes. The first, which is the larger, consists of dom of a senator.”
those which represent scenes of the grossest profliOne who so conducted and improved himself at the gacy. Read the list of the works of the flesh, in university during his pupilage there, laid a sure foun Galatians, v. 19, " Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, dation for his future efficiency as a professor.
lasciviousness, ... hatred, variance, emulations, wrath,
E. strife, ... envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, [To be continued.)
and such like:" and you see the chief subject of these low plays. It was not long ago that I observed a scene of adultery advertised as an annusement for a
Christian people. The faults of the other class are of TIE THEATRE.
a more refined character; they are not so profligate Froy this we may proceed at once to the second and lascivious, but yet they appeal to some of the principle, viz. that we must do nothing to endanger worst passions of our nature. There is a total absence the soul of any man. The single fact, that the soul is of Christian principle; and inordinate love, pride, jeato live for ever, in heaven or in hell, should be enough lousy, and revenge, are the chief elements which form to lead any man of common benevolence to tremble their interest. Now what must be the effect of such when he sees a soul in danger. The same spirit performances ? " I speak as to reasonable men, judge which would lead a man to relieve bodily sufferings, ye what I say." Are they likely to fit men for glory? and to shudder when witnessing the pain of his Are they likely to prepare the heart for the work of brother, should lead bim, in a tenfold degree, to the Spirit? When men have the vilest sins set before labour for the salvation of the soul, and to watch with them for their entertainment, is it likely to lead to an the most pressing anxiety against any evil influence abhorrence of sin ? Is it likely to corrupt or to purify that may lead that soul to ruin. But here there is the heart ? What must be the tendency of such another and yet more powerful motive brought to exhibitions ? what their probable influence? What bear. We are directed not merely to the value of the can we expect, but that they should lead men from soul, but to the love of Christ ; "through thy know God; that they should harden the heart against the ledge shall the weak brother perish for whom Christ truth; that they should bring men to the very chadied ?" And, again; "when ye sin so against the racter described by Scripture, where it says, Fools brethren, ye sin against Christ.” The man, then, make a mock at sin?". who throws danger in his brother's way, now assumes Take, again, their influence on a neighbourhood. a new position. He not only exposes his brother to They lead to the assembling of large numbers of eternal death, and is on the very verge of standing disorderly persons, at late hours of the night; poor, respovsible for the everlasting ruin of his soul; but now wretched, fallen creatures, look to the precincts of the he appears in a new attitude, and, by his heedless theatre for their miserable gains. I have been struck, conduct towards his brother, he places himself in array
lately, with the increase of disorderly persons about against his Lord ; "ye sin against Christ." God has the town : I may be mistaken, but if not, I can only so loved the sinner, that he gave his own Son to die account for it by the re-opening of the stage. I have for him; Christ bas so loved the sinner, that "he bare seen, myself, in this parish, disorderly habits introhis sins in his own body on the tree;" the Holy Ghost
duced into the families of our poor, simply through is so mindful of the sinner, that he condescends to
the influence of the theatre. There were many cases, move him to repentance; and, if we be regardless of two years ago, of even our school children who atthe sinner, we become at once opposers to the Father, tended frequently; and many were encouraged to Son, and Holy Ghost. On, fearful position! But gamble for tickets, by those who were entrusted with how many are there who thus “always resist the their distribution. I speak, then, to you as the Holy Ghost!" God has, in his sovereign wisdom, minister of your parish; and, having witnessed the permitted us thus to strive against the workings of his evil effect, I entreat you, my dear brethren, to abstain grace; he has made man, to a great extent, dependent from all contact with such a source of sin. Surely it upon man; he has so ordered things, that we may be endangers the brethren for whom Christ died. instruments for the help or the binderance of those But there is one other class on whom it exerts a about us : surely, then, we ought to make any sacri more deadly influence still. I mean the poor people fice, “ lest, haply, we be found to fight against God;" who perform at such places. I cannot say how I pity we ought to give up any thing in the whole world, those people. They stand on a very different footing rather than allow any single soul to be endangered to the spectators; for the performer is there for his through our influence. St. Paul says, “ If meat make livelihood, and the spectator for his amusement. Now, my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the what is the influence of the stage on them? I know there world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." are many honourable exceptions; and I have heard He did not mind what he sacrificed; he would give that there are some amongst them who are true serup his food, his raiment, his life, rather than be the vants of God; but how rare are those exceptions ! innocent means of leading a brother into sin; he knew Look at the poor unhappy women, whose abandoned
life marks them as outcasts from society. How many • From "A Sermon on the Theatre, preached in Richmond Church." By the Rev. Edward Hoare, A.M., Curate. 1839.
of them owe their fall to the stage! How dreadful
are the scenes of vice enacted under the very roof of believe he never can be pleased, when the cost of his the theatre !* and how many are there who enter pleasure is the possible, I will not say the probable, these deadly places innocent and ignorant of the ruin of his brother's soul. The loss of a brother's snare, but who leave it betrayed, deserted, without a soul is a high price for an evening's amusement; and character, without a friend, without hope, with no therefore, my dear brethren, if you love your Lord; if course before them but to sink down into the abyss of you have felt the value of eternity; if you have ever sin! I would repeat what I said before, that there are found peace in your Redeemer; if your heart have many honourable exceptions; but I fear that all who ever been warmed with the constraining love of Christ; have had the means of acquainting themselves with if you are living, as I trust you are, in the bright hope facts, will bear me out, when I say, that the calls of of a glorious resurrection,-let nothing induce you to vice are so general, as almost to become the rule; and gain amusement from a system, whose direct tendency can we wonder at it? What a death-blow must it be is to deprive others of all these joys. You may to all the graces of the female character, to be brought possibly never feel the contaminating influence yourforward on a public stage! how can we hope that such self, but many others may. You may never be drawn an occupation can harmonise with "the chaste con away from God yourself; but you may, in the pursuit of versation coupled with fear ?" Read the description amusement, support a practice which has been the ruin which St. Paul gives of the female character, “whose of thousands; and so, “through thy pleasure shall the adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of weak brother perish, for whom Christ died.” plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the
PRINCE EUGENE. sight of God of great price;" and then turn to the
This celebrated general was the friend of the great actress, with her theatrical decorations, performing before a mixed multitude, including all ranks, both
Duke of Marlborough, so famous in the reign of sexes, and, what is worst, all characters. Is it not
Queen Anne, and was considered nearly, if not quite, next to impossible that the Scriptural character should equal to him in military skill... Yet, while engaged be found in such an unscriptural occupation? And in all the bustle and toil of the camp and the field of then look into the character of the pieces which are battle, while courted and distinguished by the chief placed in her mouth; requiring her to give utterance to expressions which, if she be a servant of God, she
sovereigns of Europe, he never lost sight of those must loathe and abhor: and what must we expect,
principles of religion which in early life had been but that she should lose all traces of the handmaid of implanted. He was as religious as he was brave. the Lord; that the meek, retiring, gentle, modest His example is worth the consideration of every spirit of the woman should be altogether destroyed soldier. Some soldiers, if we may judge from their by the public station which she fills, and the unchristian characters she is compelled to personate ?
continual practice of blaspheming, seem to think that And now, my dear brethren, I would entreat you profaneness is necessary to bravery. Others seem most affectionately to lend no countenance to such a afraid of being thought religious, lest they should be system. I would strongly advise the tradesmen not to
ridiculed. This used to be the case to a terrible encourage it by exposing the bills in their shops; and
extent. But we are aware that a very great improvestill more would I urge you all not to give it the countenance of your presence. Perhaps some of you attend
ment has taken place of late years, throughout the the theatres; it may be you only attend the more pure army, in this respect, and that many soldiers both are pieces, and leave them before the performance of the religious and are not ashamed to profess their faith more corrupt parts; but though by so doing you may, and love. . . The following is a prayer found among ertain extent, avoid the corruption to your own
the papers of Prince Eugene, written by himself:soul, you are encouraging the system,-a system which, I think, we have shewn leads men to ruin. But per
“ I believe in thee, O my God; do thou strengthen haps you think it would go on just the same, whether my faith— I hope in thee; confirm my hopes - I love you attend or not; and therefore there can be no harm thee; inflame my love more and more I repent of all in your sharing the amusement. Remember that text, my sins; but do thou increase my repentance. As “neither be partaker of other men's sins." You are
my first beginning, I worship thee; as my last end, I responsible before God; the conduct of other men can never justify you ; you, as a servant of the Lord Jesus,
long for thee; as my eternal benefactor, I praise thee; must not sin against him by making your brother to and as my supreme protector, I pray unto thee, that it offend. Consider, then, the peril to which souls are may please thee, O Lord, to guide and lead me by thy exposed by the system; the extreme danger of the
providence, to keep me in obedience by thy justice, to weak brother being led into sin ; and, for Christ's
comfort me by thy mercy, and protect me by thy sake, keep clear of it. Remember what he has done for the salvation of souls. He has sacrificed his life almighty power. I submit to thec all my thoughts, to save the sinner; and will you refuse to give up
words, and actions, as well as my afflictions, pains, your pleasure that you may not expose that sinner to and sufferings ; and I desire to have thee always in ruin? God gave his only begotten Son to save you; my mind, to do all my works in thy name, and for thy we ask you to give up an amusement, that you may
sake to bear all adversity with patience. I will what bave no part in the destruction of your brother. How
thou wilt, o God, because it is agreeable to thee. can we stand before Christ, if we are unwilling to make such a sacrifice ? How can we thank and
0, give me grace, that I may be attentive in my praise him for his unspeakable gift in having died prayers, temperate in my diet, vigilant in my conduct, for us, while at the same time we keep that gift from
and unmovable in all good purposes. Grant, most others by requiring them to amuse us by conduct merciful Lord, that I may be true and faithful to those which may plunge them into sin ? I know not how
who have entrusted me with their secrets; that I may the man of God can find pleasure in such a scene ; and, if he have any thing of the spirit of his Lord, I
be courteous and kind towards all men; and that both
in my words and actions, I may shew unto them a good I wish it to be understood, that no allusion is here in
example. Dispose my heart to admire and praise thy tended to the parties now performing at Richmond, as I know nothing whatever of their character.
goodness, to hate all error and evil works, to love my
neighbour, and to despise the world. Assist me, good | thee, for thy gracious tuition, and the merciful accomLord, in subduing lust by mortification, covetousness plishment of thy salvation. Thou seest I have to do by liberality, anger by mildness, and lukewarmness by
with those enemies that are never but waking, never
but seeking all advantages against my soul : what can zeal and fervency. Enable me to conduct myself with
they do, when thine eye is ever over me for good ? prudence in all transactions, and to shew courage in Oh, then, let mine eyes be ever unto thee, O God my danger, patience in adversity, and in prosperity an Lord; in thee let me still put my trust; so shalt thou humble mind. Let thy grace illuminate my under-keep me from the snares that they have laid for me, standing, direct my will, sanctify my body, and bless
and the gins of the workers of iniquity (Psalm cxli.
8, 9).-Hall's Devotional Works. my soul. Make me diligent in curbing all irregular affections, zealous in imploring thy grace, careful in keeping thy commandments, and constant in working out my salvation. Finally, O God, make me sensible
Poetry. how little is the world, how great thy heavens, how
THE INVALID'S SABBATH-SONG. short time, and how long a blessed eternity. O, that I
BY MRS. BUSHBY. may well prepare myself for death; that I may dread
(For the Church of England Magazine.) thy judgments; that I may avoid the torments of hell;
That hallow'd morn returns once more,
When earth's too anxious cares stand ó'er,
The toil-worn find a day of rest.
No distant sounds of busy life
Obedient to its Maker's will. ing, not in their will; they resolve it fitting to be done, not decree that they will do it; and instead of The Sabbath-bells alone I hear, beginning to be reconciled to God by the renewed and
Ringing their summons far and near, hearty promises of holy living, they are advanced so far only as to be convinced, and apt to be condemned
Inviting all who fear the Lord by their own sentence.-Bp. Jeremy Taylor.
To come and listen to his word. A DEATH-BED.-A death-bed is a wonderful rea And now they cease, these Sabbath-bells ; soner; many a proud infidel hath it humbled and But, hark! the solemn organ swells ; refuted without a word, who but a short time before
The voice of age and the voice of youth would have defied all the ability of man to shake the foundation of his system. All is well, as long as the
Together praise the God of truth. curtain is up and the puppet-show of life goes on; Unto thy sacred courts, what though, but when the rapid representation draws to a close, and every hope of a longer respite is precluded, things
Almighty God, I cannot go, will appear in a very different light. Would to God,
Nor, mingling with the Christian throng, I could say, that that great and awful moment were Unite in prayer and holy song ? as often distinguished by the dew of repentance as by the groan of despair. -Dean Kirwan.
Yet, Father, thou wilt not refuse THE WAKING GUARDIAN.-It is a true word which
The worship of the lone recluse ; the Psalmist said of thee, O God: “Thou that keepest
Since from thy temples by thy will
No; if with faith and fervent zeal speedily execute vengeance upon them; whereas, if
To thee she makes her low appeal; the fault were not in their eyes, they should see thine Though earth's assembled voices rise wide open, and bent upon them for their just destruc In lengthen'd chorus to the skies; tion: only, thou thinkest fit to hold thy hand, for a time, from the infliction of judgment, till the measure Though angels' golden harps resound of their iniquity be full; and then they shall feel, to With heavenly harmony around their cost, that thou sawest all their secret plots and
Thy lofty throne-amidst it all conspiracies against thine Israel. The time was, 0 Saviour, when, in the days of thy human infirmity,
Thine ear will catch her whisper'd call. thou sleptest in the stern of the ship on a pillow, when Then since the Lord neglects me not, the tempest raged and the waves swelled ; yet even then, when thy disciples awoke thee, and said, “ Lord,
Shall I dare murmur at my lot? save us, we perish;" thou rebukedst them sharply
No; be my Sabbath-song his praisewith, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little
faith ?" (Matt. My prayer, " His will be done always." viii. 24-26, Mark iv. 37-40, Luke viii. 23-25.) Their danger was apparently great; but yet thou tellest them their fear was causeless, and their faith weak,
THE CHRISTIAN KING. that they could not assure themselves that thy presence, though sleeping, was a sufficient preservative Happy the prince who his great Maker knows, against the fury of winds and waters : how much more Whose thoughts for his idea God propose ; now, that being in the height of thy heavenly glory, and ever intentively vigilant for the safeguard of thy
Is strictly to his word and promise true, chosen ones, may we rest secure of thy blessed pro
Will righteous ends with steadiness
pursue; tection, and our sure indemnity! () God, do thou
Is of a spirit free and unconfin'd, keep my eyes ever open, that I may still wait upon Beneficent and loving to mankind;
With comprehensive judgment things surveys, full splendour of its life-giving power. One fact in the And with unbiass'd justice causes weighs ;
case, though it may seem to have been the effect The poor will with unvaried patience hear,
originally rather of oversight than design, yet by the Knows when to be indulgent, when severe;
author of the mischief and the method of its working, Who no incorrigibly vicious spares,
It is the want of the word of God in the languages Rewards the virtuous, and the wicked scares ; understood and used by the people. It is a fact too Complacence takes in doing good to all,
pregnant with instruction to be lightly passed over, Wont mercy his chief favourite grace to call; that in every corrupt form of the Christian Church To the distress'd a soft compassion shews,
there has been more than a neglect to instruct the
people through the general reading of the ScripturesStrives all things in sweet order to dispose; there has been a negation of it, a prohibition against Whose will upright is to himself a law;
it; and “the key of knowledge" being thus taken Who out of evils can advantage draw;
away, by having the holy Scriptures locked up in an Whose purity no wilful stain can bear;
ecclesiastical language, the progress of error has been Who of his realm takes providential care ;
easy, and its triumph complete. The device of Satan
has been in this case to establish human authority in Who power paternal, not despotic, claims ;
religion; and, by turning the edge of the sword of the In all things at God's glory chiefly aims.
Spirit, to weaken and counteract his influences : and Such is the prince, whose heaven-aspiring wings the sad result has been, that while the name of a Rise to the likeness of the King of kings
Christian Church, and many of the forms of ChrisThe nearer he ascends that glorious height,
tianity, have survived, it has been found in too many
instances, that the communities which retained them The more he grows God's favourite and deliglit.
have been no ways superior to the surrounding Bp. Ken.
heathen in all that constitutes the distinguishing glory
of Christianity – in knowledge, in holiness, in purity Miscellaneous.
of principle, and general uprightness in walk and con
versation. - Professor Scholefield: a Sermon before the Tue Church of Christ.- In the apostolic age the Prayer-Book and Homily Society. Church of Christ exhibited Christianity in its unblemished purity. The Holy Spirit, which had descended justly celebrated Pascal, a prodigy of piety as well
PASCAL.--I have read this afternoon the life of the in the fulness of his effusion on the day of pentecost, poured upon lier the continual dew of his blessing. superstition could not obscure the bright beams of
as of genius and learning. All the clouds of papal “ Her Nazarites were purer than snow :" priests were clothed with salvation :" "great grace
gospel-light which irradiated his soul : never, perhaps, was upon all the people.” “Of the rest durst no man
was free and sovereign grace more triumphant over
anti-Christian error. join himself to them ; but believers were the more
The wood, hay, and stubble, added to the Lord." " Then"-in the interval of
the false doctrines, superstitious practices, and arro.
gant pretensions of the Church with which he held repose after the persecution of Saul of Tarsus "then had the churches rest throughout all Judea, and Ga
communion, and by which bis conscience was in a lilee, and Samaria, and were edified ; and walking in
measure enslaved, almost disappear to the eye of the the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy faith, humility, self-denial, charity, and spiritaal mind.
reader; and the gold, silver, and precious stones, the Ghost, were multiplied.” But the great enemy began
edness of his character render him an object of delight early to sow his tares among the wheat ; and we can
and admiration. Far from the mind of Protestants be not descend far in the Church's history without meet
the bigotry of the Roman Catholic, who limits salvaing painful discoveries of his insidious operation. The epistles to the seven Churches of Asia, put upon record
tion to the pale of his own Church. God sometimes by the last of the apostles, bear distinct testimony to
manifests his presence in the midst of the burning the withering influence of error ; and other scriptural subjects of his grace from being consumed by the
bush ; and evinces his almighty power by saving the notices assure us of the incipient and secret working of the mystery of iniquity, though it was let hitherto, perishable materials with which they are surrounded. and restrained from its full development. The
But, perhaps, in these times, a specious candour, and
a self-called liberality, is the more common and danapostles, while yet living, had not only to put the infant churches on their guard, and to warn them
gerous error among Protestants. The false tenets of against the “grievous wolves" that should "enter in
popery are represented by many as of little practical among" them; but also to reprove them sharply for
consequence ; and the spiritual danger of communion doctrinal aberrations on such vital points as the resur
with her is greatly underrated. Thus indifference to
a creed is substituted for that well-tempered judgment, rection of the dead, justification by faith, and the sanctification of the Spirit. Passing beyond the limit
which duly estimates the errors of a Church deeply
infected with false doctrine, idolatry, and superstiof the apostolic age, we may still trace distinctly the subtle working of Satan, in corrupting the Gospel, saving truth is not extinct in her; and that it las,
tion; and yet admits, on the evidence of fact, that which he could no longer effectually oppose. We see the Church of God “blossom and bud, and fill the face
through the ministration of the Spirit, produced in of the world with fruit:" Churches were planted in
the darkest ages of that Church a thin and scanty
harvest of souls.-P. Melvill, Esq. every quarter ; "the word of God grew and multiplied ;" idols were abolished, " and the name of the Society.—The meanest man may be useful to the Lord Jesus was magnified.” But in the mean time greatest, and the most eminent stand in need of the the spirit of error was working in opposition to the lowest : in a building, the highest and lowest stones Spirit of truth; and we have only to glance at the add to their own mutual stability.—Bp. Sanderson, present state of Churches which attained an early and distinguished celebrity—the Greek, the Syrian, the Abyssinian, and others-in which a dim and feeble London : Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street,
Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. light is glimmering still, but almost extinguished by
Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town the surrounding mists of superstition and ignorance, and Country. to be convinced of the too successful policy by which "the god of this world" has prevented "the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ” from shining with the
ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRAXXLYX, 46 ST. MARTIN'S LAXE.
which we are hemmed in on all sides. Well, DIVINE REVELATION - A LIGHT SHINING
therefore, is our present condition termed a IN A DARK PLACE.
dark place: for how deep are the shadows BY THE Rev. Thomas PRESTON WRIGHT, M.A. which conceal spiritual and eternal things Hackney.
from our view, and prevent us from having Tue apostle Peter beautifully compares a any adequate idea of their nature and magnirevelation from heaven to a light shining in a dark place, in these remarkable words But, lo, into this darkness a light shines ; “We have a more sure word of prophecy; it is clear, it is steady, it is progressive, for it whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as beams from heaven itself; it is fixed in the unto a light that shineth in a dark place, lamp of God's word, and it becomes brighter until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in and brighter the more perseveringly we folyour hearts” (2 Pet. i. 19); and though this low its shining track, " till the day dawn, and passage may have a primary reference to the day-star arise in our hearts ;” till the full prophecy, yet it is fully applicable to revela- light breaks in upon the soul, invigorating, tion in general; and there is, we shall find, a cheering, animating it. singular propriety in this similitude as relat But, after all, it is not in our present state ing to it.
the light of perfect day-at its best here it is Our state in this world is often spoken of but the dawn of it; and though it be not in Scripture as one of comparative dark- enough to gratify our curiosity, it is quite ness : "Now we see through a glass darkly'' sufficient for our safety: it shines clearly and (1 Cor. xiii. 12); and again, St. Paul says, distinctly upon the path of duty, so that the "The night,” that is, the darkness of our ter- wayfaring man, though a fool, may not err restrial state, “is far spent; and the day," therein: but if we leave this path, to explore the brightness of the heavenly state, " is at the labyrinths into which the pride of intellect hand” (Rom. xiii. 12): and no one who has would seduce us, we shall find that we are at all reflected upon our present condition, receding further and further from this hea. can deny that a considerable degree of ob- venly light; and shall, if we retrace not our scurity hangs over us, and that many and steps, be enveloped in gross darkness. awfully interesting are the objects to which But the unhumbled spirit of man will be we in vain turn the exploring eye to find out apt to say, Why are we thus stinted of the their shape and consistency. The origin of light of heaven? why are we not favoured evil, the compatibility of divine foreknow- with the blaze of noon-day, so that no object ledge with human free-agency, and the slow should be obscure, no prospect concealed from progress of religion and happiness in the us? Truly it would be quite as reasonable world,-are difficulties which meet us at every to ask why we are ninety millions of miles turn, and baffle our utmost curiosity to pene- from the sun, instead of basking in the glory trate them; they are the mountains sur of his full-orbed brightness. The same answer rounded with clouds and darkness, with will suffice for both inquiries. God tempers
Y (London: Robson, Levey, and Franklyn, 46 St. Martin's Lane.]
VOL. VII. -NO, CXCII.