« PoprzedniaDalej »
and if it be asked what sins, or at what time they life, and prevailed with many to adopt his notion.* sinned, our answer is, No one is free from pollu- Now, supposing that pædo-baptism had been an innotion, though his life should be but of the length of | vation, his first and unanswerable objection to the cusone day upon the earth.” In this passage we have tomary practice would have been, that it was unaua plain declaration, that it was the practice of the thorised, unscriptural, and subversive of the constitution primitive Church to baptise infants; and the very of the Christian Church ; and at the time he lived, it reason assigned for it, applies to every child born would have been the easiest thing in the world to prove into the world, and is co-extensive with the human all this, if the fact had been so. This would have been race.
the method of our modern opponents ; and they would After these direct evidences of the primitive prac- have pressed home the argument in every variety of tice of baptising infants, it might seem superfluous to form, and force of appeal. But not so Tertullian. He adduce more authorities. But I cannot dismiss this never gives the slightest intimation that infant baptism line of evidence without citing the solemn decision of was an innovation, unknown in the apostolic age, and sixty-six bishops, who were convened for the very pur
of recent invention. He beats about in every quarter pose of deliberating upon a scruple which had arisen for reasons to shew its inexpediency; but says not a in the mind of one individual as to the precise time at word about its novelty. And why so? Because he which an infant should be baptised. One Fidus, an knew that the practice was as old as Christianity, and African bishop, about one hundred and fifty years after that every body could have contradicted him, if he had the apostolical era, had some doubts whether children stated the contrary. His silence, therefore, on this ought to be baptised before the eighth day, in order topic amounts almost to a demonstration, that the that the administration of the Christian ordinance usage was co-existent with the Christian dispensation. might more exactly correspond with that of circum- The baptism of infants was practised in his time, and cision. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, therefore held a there never was a time since the right itself was comconvocation of bishops for the purpose of settling this manded, when it was not practised. question. At this synod sixty-six bishops attended; I may just advert to another perverted passage of a and they came to the unanimous conclusion, that chil- primitive father. Justin Martyr, in his *** Apology" dren were eligible to baptism from the first day of their for Christianity, addressed to the Roman emperor birth. Now it should be noticed, on this decisive Antoninus Pius, gives an account of the manner in historical fact, that there was no controversy at all, which proselytes to the Christian faith from amongst whether infants should be baptised ---- this was agreed the heathen were introduced into the Christian Church, on all hands-it was simply, whether the rite should and states the particulars which preceded and accombe performed earlier than the eighth day; and this panied baptism. And the advocates for adult baptism question was determined in the affirmative. If, there- have claimed this as an evidence of what? That fore, the baptising of infants were an error, it must adult converts to Christianity were baptised ? Who have been of long standing-so long, that it had found denies this? No-not as an evidence that adults its way into the districts of at least sixty-six bishops, were baptised, but as a proof that infants were not,and was established not only without any controversy, of which it certainly is no proof, nor would ten thoubut beyond the reach of controversy; for no one doubted sand such instances afford the shadow of an evidence the fact. I might go on to adduce witnesses increasing that infants were not partakers of the same privilege. as years advance, till I came to the time of St. Austin, Justin Martyr can never be justly quoted as an auwho, after declaring that the baptism of infants rests thority against pædo-baptism, so long as we have his on the authority of the universal Church, as handed testimony that himself and some others, "who were down from our Lord and his apostles, says,
then seventy or eighty years of age" (a period of time man suggest to us other doctrines. This the Church which carried them back even to the apostolic era), has always had; this it has received upon the credit were made disciples of Christ when they were inof its predecessors: this it keeps perseveringly to the fants." end." But it is useless to proceed further with such testimonies, since Baptists themselves admit, as we have seen, the practice to have become nearly universal
UTILITY OF AN ESTABLISHED CHURCH. + from the fourth century, down to the time of the Reformation. I have shewn, however, that it was equally | The system of voluntary Churches would be absolutely prevalent and general from the very commencement of fatal to all efficient pastoral intercourse of the mithe Christian dispensation, and that there never was a
nister with his people: however it might provide Christian Church which did not practise it during the first four centuries ; and therefore that it was never
places of worship for the Sunday, it would provide no called in question by any Church or Christian nation adequate parochial superintendence during the week; till the time of the Reformation.
for the class and band meetings of the Methodists There is, however, one solitary instance of a primi- amount to nothing of the sort, and produce none of tive father questioning the expediency of infant baptisin ; and I advert to it, both for the purpose of
its fruits. As it is, there are some ten thousand men rescuing the fact from an improper inference, and of circulating throughout this country, for two or three turning it to the proof of the practice for which I am hours most days of their lives, upon various home contending. Tertullian, who lived about one hundred missions of charity, of pity, of exhortation, of reproof, years after the apostolic era, objected against infant
cach man of them all knowing precisely the district baptism, and assigned his reasons for it. The objec
within which he has to walk; confident in the soundtion, however, itself proves the fact that the custom was prevalent in his days, and must have been of long
ness of the warrant by which he enters every house in standing ; and the reasons he assigns for discontinuing it uninvited ; and in general, hailed by the welcome it prove the still more important fact, that there never of all, as one of those whose feet are beautiful. What was a time, since the existence of Christianity, when
a mass of misery is thus daily explored and relieved it was not practised. This eminent man, in the latter part of his life, gave into some singular opinions.
what heart-burnings are quenched—what complaints Among these, one was, that Montanus, a celebrated
hushed—what follies withstood—what knowledge imheretic, was the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, promised by our Lord : and another, that sins, after baptism, "As it (baptism) was believed to obtain the plenary remission were unpardonable. He therefore advised that this of all past sins, it was often, in order to insure that benefit, pur
posely deferred to the latest period of life.”—Robert Hall. ceremony should be deferred till the latest period of
+ From the Western Watchman.
1 Let no
parted—what affections stirred up! Who would rashly | bridge, he was a pupil of Stephen Gardiner, afterdisturb this under-current of good-will which is diffus- wards bishop of Winchester. Here his talents and ing itself, silently and secretly, throughout all the diligence in study attracted so much notice, that when
Cardinal Wolsey prepared to build and endow a college darkest and most dismal recesses of society, and miti
in Oxford, then named Frideswide, now Christ Church, gating so much that is evil in this hard-hearted world? Frith was one of the individuals selected to be memYet, withdraw the Church Establishment, and it is bers of the new foundation. done. There will then be no minister who has a dis- The cardinal, however, was not able to exclude trict assigned to his peculiar care and keeping, where
what he called heresy from his college. For ere long, he individually feels himself answerable for the souls
the men whom he had planted there began to canvass
the abuses of the Romish Church; on which an accuthat are therein. He will share it with other parties sation was preferred against them, and several were of other persuasions. The latch of the door will no committed to close custody in an unwholesome vault, longer be lifted with the same boldness as now. The where salt fish was generally kept. Three of these whole parish will be debatable ground, and no man
died in consequence of this cruel confinement; and will know in it his own. The several ministers will
then, the cardinal sending word that he would not have
them so severely treated, the others, of whom Frith find it no pleasant thing to encounter one another in
was one, were dismissed from prison with a charge the sick man's chamber, under a temptation, perhaps, not to go above ten miles from Oxford. to wrangle out points of divinity over the couch of
Frith, however, it would seem, in consequence of death; or, at all events, each uncertain whether he is
a renewed persecution of the reformers, repaired to
London, where he lived in intimacy with the excelnot trespassing on the province of the others; and so
lent William Tindal, from whom he is said to have the patient will probably be abandoned altogether. “ first received into his heart the seed of the Gospel, This is no speculative objection; the inconvenience is and sincere godliness." A search being made for already felt, in a small degree, in parishes where Dis- these two friends, they deemed it advisable to pass senters abound; and the ministers of such parishes into foreign parts. Accordingly, Tindal first filed into feel themselves under some embarrassment in the dis
Germany; and not long after, Frith effected his escape
into Flanders, where he continued between two and charge of their pastoral duties to that portion of their
three years, occupying himself in writing certain vaflock, even with the advantage of their present posi- | luable treatises. But at last, partly through poverty tion; and yet we believe, were they to abstain from in that strange land, and partly at the request of his making their call upon such persons through any false friend, the prior of Reading, from whom he expected fear of intrusion, their absence would not often be
some assistance, he was induced to return to England.
Here, however, bonds and afflictions abode him: supplied from
other quarter. We any
and shortly after his arrival, being at Reading, he anxious to press this consideration upon all whom it was apprehended as a vagabond ; and not being able may concern that perhaps the most comely parts of to give a satisfactory account of himself, he was set the Church of England are those which are least dis- in the public stocks. When he had been there a long played. Doubtless her ritual is spirit-stirring, her
time without food, and was almost famished with
hunger, but still would not declare who he was, at pulpits are fountains of religious knowledge, her cere
last he requested that the schoolmaster of the town monials full of solemnity, her temples worthy of being might be sent for. This person, whose name was dedicated to God: but these are only the grosser Leonard Cox, being come, Frith began to bewail his features of her beauty; they may be all done away, captivity to him in Latin. Cox was delighted with and some calculation be made beforehand of the
the abilities and learning of the poor prisoner, who amount of that portion of the loss; but the unobtru
gave him sufficient proof that he was really a finished
scholar; and immediately repaired to the magistrates sive provision she makes for the perpetual disasters of
to complain of the disgrace and injury inflicted on so a working-day world for the things which are hap- accomplished a young man. By his intercession Frith pening out of sight-this is the province in which she was set at liberty. But he was not long at large; for wanders amongst the people unseen ; her services
Sir Thomas More, then lord chancellor of England, here are not easily appreciated, because noiseless; in against whom he had written while abroad, was espe
cially desirous of taking him, and had all the roads this department, even more than in the pulpit or the
and outports watched, offering a considerable reward senate, she repays the State for its protection and for his apprehension. Frith finding himself thus support: and whatever power for good of this kind hunted by the chancellor, resolved, if possible, to reshe possesses, be it never forgotten, she owes entirely
turn to Flanders; and after many hair-breadth escapes, and altogether to the situation in which she stands as
and being forced to assume many disguises, he arrived the sole accredited guardian of religion in this land, shipping. But here, when his dangers seemed to be
at a seaport town in Essex, where he expected to take according to its parochial divisions.
just at an end, he was betrayed, arrested, and carried to the Tower of London ; and was frequently exa
mined before the bishops and Sir Thomas More, with Biography.
whom he had many conflicts.
The first occasion of his writing at this time against THE LIFE OF JOHN FRITH,
More was this: he had once a conference with a cerWho was burned in Smithfield, July 4, 1533.
tain intimate friend upon the sacrament of the body
and blood of Christ. The substance of this conferJohn FritiI was born at Westerham, in the county of ence was on these four particular points :Kent; in what year is not exactly ascertained, though “1. First, that the matter of the sacrament is no we may most probably suppose it 1503. His father
necessary article of faith under pain of damnation. was Richard Frith, an innkeeper at Sevenoaks. He
“ 2. Secondly, that forasmuch as Christ's natural appears to have been a child of remarkable promise ; body in like condition hath all properties of our body, and being in due time sent to the university of Cam- sin only except, it cannot be, neither is it agreeable
unto reason, that he should be in two places or more • See Frith's Works, edit. 1573; Fox, vols. ii. iii.; and Burnet,
at once, contrary to the nature of our body.
“ 3. Moreover, it shall not seem meet or necessary adventure not only to aid and succour by the means that we should .... understand Christ's words ac- of other (which without danger may not be admitted cording to the literal sense, but rather according to unto us), but also personally to visit the poor opthe order and phrase of speech, comparing phrase pressed, and see that nothing be lacking unto them, with phrase, according to the analogy of the Scripture. but that they have both ghostly comfort and bodily
“4. Last of all, how that it ought to be received sustenance, notwithstanding the strait inhibition and according to the true and right institution of Christ, terrible menacing of these worldly rulers: even ready albeit that the order which at this time is crept into to abide the extreme jeopardies that tyrants can imathe Church, and is used now-a-days by the priests, gine. do never so much differ from it."
" This is an evidence that you have prepared yourAs Frith had much to say on this subject, bis friend selves to the cross of Christ, according unto the counrequested him to put his opinions into writing ; which, sel of the wise man, which saith, My son, when thou though at first unwilling, as well aware into what shalt enter into the way of the Lord, prepare thyself danger it would lead him, at length he did. There unto tribulation. This is an evidence that ye have happened to be then in London a tailor named Holt, cast your accounts, and have wherewith to finish the who, pretending great affection for Frith's friend, tower which ye have begun to build. And I doubt persuaded him to let him read this treatise ; but as not but that He which hath begun to work in you, soon as he had obtained it, he treacherously carried shall for his glory accomplish the same, even unto the it to Sir Thomas More. More immediately set to coming of the Lord, which shall give unto every man work to refute it; and his reply being communicated according to his deeds. to Frith, the latter produced, though in prison, and " And albeit God, of his secret judgment, for a time destitute of all ordinary helps, a complete answer keep the rod from some of them that ensue lis steps, yet to the chancellor's book. This answer is one of let them surely reckon upon it; for there is no doubt the most valuable of the writings of that age. It but all which will devoutly live in Christ must suffer was important as being the first book written on the persecution: for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, doctrine in England by any of the reformers; and and scourgeth every child that he receiveth; for what was put together with so much skill and learning, that child is that whom the father chasteneth not? If ye Archbishop Cranmer, when afterwards writing against be not under correction, of which we are all partakers, Bishop Gardiner, acknowledged himself greatly in- then are ye bastards, and not children. debted to it. Though More,” says Burnet,
“ Nevertheless we may not suppose that our most with as much wit and eloquence as any man in that loving Father should do that because he rejoiceth in age did, and Frith wrote plainly, without any art; yet our blood or punishment; but he doth it for our sinthere is so great a difference between their books, gular profit, that we may be partakers of holiness, and that whoever compares them will clearly perceive the that the remnants of sin, which, through the frailty of one to be the ingenious defender of an ill cause, and our members, rebel against the spirit and will, causing the other a simple asserter of truth.” Frith main- our works to go imperfectly forwards, may somedeal tained his opinions with the utmost moderation. He be suppressed, lest they should subdue us and reign lamented the divisions on the subject of the sacrament among the reformers. The great evil, he con- “Of these things God had given me the speculation sidered, in the Romish Church on this point, was the before, and now it hath pleased him to put in use and practical idolatry that was set up. Were the wor- practice upon me. I ever thought, and yet do think, shipping of the sacrament disavowed, it mattered not ibat to walk after God's word would cost me my life enough, he thought, what speculative opinions might at one time or another. And albeit that the king's be held of Christ's presence, to break, on account of grace should take me into his favour, and not to suffer them, the unity of the Church.
the bloody Edomites to have their pleasures upon me, More was not the only person with whom Frith had yet will I not think that I am escaped, but that God to dispute. He had, while abroad, written also against bath only deferred it for a season, to the intent that I Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and Rastal, Sir Thomas should work somewhat that he hath appointed me to More's son-in-law, chiefly on the subject of purga- do, and so to use me unto his glory. tory; and now while, in the Tower, he continued the " And I beseech all the faithful followers of the controversy with Rastal, with such effect, that Rastal Lord to arm themselves with the same supposition, was at last, on considering Frith's argument, “well marking themselves with the sign of the cross; not content to count his natural reason foolishness; and, from the cross, as the superstitious multitude doth, but with hearty thanks given to God, became a child rather to the cross, in token that they be ever ready again, and sucked of the wisdom which cometh from willingly to receive the cross, when it shall please God above, and saveth all that be nourished therewith. to lay it upon them. The day that it cometh not, In the which he continued to his life's end with the count it clear won, giving thanks to the Lord which honour and glory of God."
hath kept it from you. And then when it cometh, it The following epistle, which Frith wrote “unto the shall nothing dismay you; for it is no new thing, but faithful followers of Christ's gospel,” in all probabi- even that which ye have continually looked for. lity at this period of his imprisonment-it is dated " And doubt not but that God, which is faithful, merely 1532--will give an interesting view of the spirit shall not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye with which he was actuated.
are able to bear, but shall ever send some occasion by “Grace and peace from God the Father, through the which ye shall stand stedfast ; for either he shall our Saviour Christ Jesu, be with all them that love blind the eyes of your enemies, and diminish their the Lord unfeignedly. Amen.
tyrannous power, or else, when he hath suffered them " It cannot be expressed, dearly beloved in the to do their best, and that the dragon hath cast a whole Lord, what joy and comfort it is to my heart to per. flood of waters after you, he shall cause even the very ceive how the word of God hath wrought, and conti- earth to open her mouth and swallow them up. So nually worketh among you: so that I find no small faithful is he, and careful to ease us what time the number walking in the ways of the Lord, according vexation should be too heavy for us. as he gave us commandment, willing that we should “He shall send a Joseph before you, against ye shall love each other as he loved us. Now have I expe- come into Egypt; yea, he shall so provide for you, that rience of the faith which is in you, and can testify that ye shall have a hundred fathers for one, a hundred it is without simulation, that ye love not in word and mothers for one, a hundred houses for one; and that tongue only, but in work and verity.
in this life, as I have proved by experience, and after " What can be more trial of a faithful heart, than to this life, everlasting joy with Christ our Saviour.
“ Notwithstanding, sith this stedfastness cometh not the appointed hour I went on board the vessel, a of ourselves,-for, as St. Austin saith, there was never steam-packet, which was lying close to the quay, and man so weak or frail, no, not the greatest offender that ever lived, but that every man of his own nature
was to set off at precisely 11 o'clock at night. After a should be as frail and commit as great enormities, ex
little while, the bustle of passengers embarking had cept he were kept from it by the Spirit and power of
subsided; the officers belonging to the port were gone God-1 beseech you, brethren, in the Lord Jesus Christ, on shore ; the clock from the nearest church had tolled and for the love of his Spirit, to pray with me, that we the hour; and the engineer was just waiting the capmay be vessels to his laud and praise, what time soever it pleaseth him to call upon us.
tain's signal; when suddenly high words were heard in The Father of glory give us the spirit of wisdom,
the cabin. A young man from one of the hotels was understanding, and knowledge, and lighten the eyes
there making a demand upon a passenger, which the of our mind, that we may know his ways, praising the
latter considered unjust : the youth, however, refused Lord eternally. If it please any of our brethren to to forego his claim. And now the vessel-bell was write unto us of any such doubts as peradventure may rung, and the captain called, " You must go on shore be found in our books, it should be very acceptable unto us, and, as I trust, not unfruitful for them. For
-I am going.” He did not obey the call. The capI will endeavour myself to satisfy them in all points,
tain then vociferated angrily, “ You will be too late, if by God's grace. To whom I commit to be governed you stay a minute longer: I shall carry you to Engand defended, for ever. Amen.
land.” He still delayed : till at last the signal was “John Fritil, the prisoner of Jesu Christ, at
given, and the vessel proceeded on her way. Then, all times abiding his pleasure." S. at the first feeling of the motion, the youth rushed up (To be concluded in the next Number.]
from below, and was springing from the deck towards
the quay, now several feet from us, but was saved by SKETCHES FROM A TRAVELLER'S
the strong grasp of the captain from what must have PORTFOLIO.
been certain destruction. “You see you would not
mind me when I called you,” said he ; " and now it is No. II.-Just too late.
impossible to stop : you must go with us to England.” It was a lovely evening in July when I was walking The poor lad—he looked hardly seventeen-stood for on the pier which stretches far out into the waters of a moment stupidly gazing on the fast-receding shore ; a foreign sea-port town. I had taken my passage for then, staggering to a seat upon the deck, exclaimed, England in a vessel which was to sail that night ; and that he was ruined for he should lose the situation on I was contemplating, for the last time, the scenery of which his livelihood depended ; and, covering his face a strange land. Before me was a broad and beautiful with both his hands, he burst into tears. river just mingling with the ocean; and beyond it, The stars were shining in the cloudless heavens ; about five or six miles distant, were picturesque hills, and two or three of the passengers remained with me mounting, as it were, from its bosom, and surrounding on deck to contemplate the glorious scene, and to a pretty little town. On the right was the blue sea, watch the bright sparkles of the waves which with a sleeping calmly in the evening sun; and as I looked long luminous line marked our track, and the now only on it, I lifted up my heart to Him who “ stilleth the
twinkling light which shewed us the port we had left: noise of its waves,” to bring me safely across it to my and we talked of what we had seen, and recounted our home. On my left I could discern for many miles the adventures in regions far away; we spoke also of our winding of the noble stream which washes in its course own England, for our hearts yearned towards our beloved many celebrated cities, some of which I had lately country, and we were glad when we thought that we visited: and behind me lay the commercial town, in should soon see it again. We had, indeed, been wanwhich I had been staying for a day or two, with its dering through a very lovely land; still it was not pleasant suburb rising to the top of a well-wooded and no traveller as he journeys can help feeling this ridge. The busy hum from its crowded docks and it was not our home. But, as we walked up and down, warehouses just reached my ear, as I paced slowly and the sobs of the poor lad, brought with us against his solitarily along ; and I thought of the indefatigable will, fell upon our ears; and I could not help contrastindustry of the men of this world, who " rise up early, | ing his sorrow with our joy. I was surprised that his and late take rest, and eat the bread of carefulness," grief was so excessive; and I stopped once to ask him to gain those things which perish in the using. I why it was so ? He would be carried safely home in a could not survey that prospect without a melancholy little time; and surely his employer might be prevailed feeling. Beautiful as it was, the land was a moral upon to receive him again into his service? O no, he desert. Superstition, or a supreme contempt for all said, his place could not be left unfilled a single day ; forms of religion, had supplanted in it the pure wor- and besides, it would be thought that he had run away, ship of the one true God; and I had that very day and therefore some one else would be hired immediwitnessed a scene, which, though there common enough, ately. But,” I told him, " you will get some other would assuredly startle and disgust any one who had employment. Have you no friends to exert themselves lived only in our own favoured country. I meditated on for you ?" “ No," replied he; "all my friends are the time when the truth should universally prevail, and dead: nobody will care for me; and I shall be sure to the knowledge of the Lord fill the earth as the waters starve." “ Then why were you so silly as to stay here cover the sea ; I prayed that his kingdom might when you were repeatedly told to go ashore ?” “I did speedily be established.
not think," with a fresh burst of tears, "that he really While I was thus musing, the sun was set, and it was meant it : I thought he would have waited a minute necessary for me to go back to my inn, and prepare my longer : and I was only just too late." luggage for departure. This was soon done; and at My questions could then do no good; and therefore
I soon left him, and retired to my berth ; but even
THE MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION: there, I still heard at intervals the ebullitions of his grief mingling with the rush of the waters ; and I was
Sermon, furnished with a not unprofitable subject of medita- By the Hon. And Rev. GERARD T. Noel, M.A. tion. Here was a reasonable being, who had risked
Prebendary of Winchester. his prospects in life for a paltry piece of money, to
2 Cor. v. 20. which I believe he had no right. He would be car- “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though ried to a foreign country, where he had no friend or God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's acquaintance, and several days must elapse before he stead, be ye reconciled to God." could get back, and even then he would find himself | Ir is difficult to realise the importance of deprived of that on which his bread depended. How religious ordinances : we meet together – true a picture, I thought, of the recklessness of men,
we sing the solemn praises of called wise in their generation, who risk their eternal
God - we listen to the great and affecting salvation for the possession of this world's good!
truths of the Gospel — and having done this, There is some prize they grasp at, and they must seize it before all things : and though the voice of the hurry and enjoyment of earthly things, with
we part, and speed back, it may be, to the Bible, and of God's ministers, warns them, “ you be too late, now is the accepted time, delay no more," scarcely a remembrance of the truths by still they venture on a little-but a little-longer ;
which we have been urged, or of the God
to whom we have offered our vows! they must secure this one object,-till, how often, the last summons is issued, the last signal peals forth,
Oh, my brethren, is not the want of seriand they are hurried away unprepared to that distant
ousness as to eternal things an awful and land, whence there is no return, and where they must
prevalent calamity? Are we not dread. stand friendless, with every prospect blasted, and fully negligent of the actual import of the every hope extinguished, before the throne of God.
religious duties in which we engage? Take, Let no man persuade himself that a little time can for instance, our feelings in the utterance of be of but little consequence. A few moments may
those confessions of sin which the Liturgy of make the widest difference in his condition. If he the Church puts into our lips at the commencewere drowning in the ocean, and a rope were held out ment of the service. Let any man put his hand to him, an instant's delay in seizing it, in all proba- upon his heart, and answer to the question, what bility, would be instant death. Were his habitation in correspondence is there between the terrible fames around him, the shortest delay in escaping confession to the Divine Being, “ We have might bury him in the burning ruins. If, instead of done those things which we ought not to fleeing for his life, he thinks there will be time to oc- have done, and we have left undone those cupy himself in searching for some valued treasure, things which we ought to have done; and there he will see, it is likely, just when he is preparing to is no health in us,”-and the actual feelings escape, the last outlet closed, the last staircase falling. with which we have made that confession ? He is only just too late ; but his momentary delay has If men would deal candidly by themselves, been to him destruction.
they would be struck with the amount of the And surely, if any thing can add bitterness to dis
contrast between this confession and their appointment, or increase the wretchedness of ruin, it
actual feelings. To have insulted the mamust be the reflection, that the prize was almost jesty of God -to have lifted up the arm of gained, safety only just sacrificed. The keenest self
rebellion against his authority - to have forreproach will then add its pangs to the actual misery endured, and the victim of his own folly will execrate
gotten the precepts of his wisdom, and the the infatuation which involved him in irreparable de
invitations of his love — to have no spiritual
health struction. And thus in the dark habitations of lost
- to be the subjects of an inward disspirits, their worm will never die, as well as their fire
ease which wastes the life, not of the body, be never quenched.
but of the soul, which robs a man not of the Let me then earnestly entreat every individual into
fleeting pleasures of time, but of the inconwhose hands this paper may fall, to lose no time in
ceivable blessings of eternity : this is the securing the things which make for his eternal peace. guilt which we confess, and this is the moral “Knowing the terrors of the Lord,” I would per
condition which we assume to be our own. suade, I would anxiously implore him, immediately
Can any condition be more awful ? can any to escape for his life; I would strive to impress upon acknowledgment be more
more overwhelming ? him, as a spur to zealous action, the grief, the shame, And yet what are the sensations which often the agony, the remorse, under which he would for ever accompany us throughout the utterance of writhe, if he should be JUST TOO LATE.
U. these admissions ?
Oftentimes, it is to be feared, pride and self-complacency occupy the whole heart, and conceit of our own virtues runs side by side with the assurance that there is no spiritual health in us !
We desire never to exaggerate, but con