« PoprzedniaDalej »
than Deism, or Paganism, he says, “The Pagan believes that his God, or Gods, will reward the good and punish the bad."
It is evident that the preacher here means that the Pagan believes in his doctrine of endless punishment. Thus he conceives that the Pagans believe the fundamental article of the gospel! Why should the preacher disagree with the Pagans about non-essentials, as long as they agree in the fundamental article of religion? The ancient Carthagenians used to offer men sacrifices to Saturn, and in their supplications they put infants in the arms of his brazen image made hot for the purpose of consuming these victims of an offended God. Similar abominations were also practised by the nations bordering on Judea, and even among the Israelites, but never by the command of the God of Abraham, nor to his pleasure. How far an ingenious mind might trace the consistency of such sacrifices, with the preacher's fundamental article, we will not pretend to say, but we very well know that the Deity worshipped by the believers of this article, hold that infants must burn in a much hotter place than Saturn's image, to all eternity, to vindicate some sacred property of their God!
It appears that this fundamental article of the preacher's religion, is in some measure growing out of repute in his town, and the Paganism with which it seems to be connected, not so highly regarded as formerly, for which see the following lamentation, on his 28th page, "My brethren, is it not most deeply to be deplored, that this corrupt and pernicious religion has an establishment in this place; and is regarded with so little abhorrence, and so little concern ? Is it not to be lamented, with the liveliest sensibilities, that so many of the unstable and the ignorant, the unwarv and the young, are ensnared by its seductive allurements ?” Here is expressed the true spirit of those who mourned the absence of their idol, spoken of by the Prophet Ezekiel. See his 8th chap. 13th and 14th verses.
" He said also unto me, turn thou yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north ; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” This weeping and lamenting the absence of an heathen idol, was by do means pleasing to God, nor is it likely that the preacher's lamentation for the lost repute of a fundamental article of his faith, founded upon and supported by heathenish principles, is any more acceptable to that divine being, who has said, and has a right to say, "My glory I will not give to another, nor my praise to graven images.'
After examining thus far, and finding so much in this sermon so very repugnant to both reason and revelation, one might suppose that all its errors had been noticed ; but this is not the case : nor is it conceived that one half have been pointed out. However, it is believed, and that confidently, that enough has been done to convince any unprejudiced mind that the general scope of the sermon is as contrary to the gospel of the grace of God, as it is contradictory within itself. As we have shown, we presume, to the preacher's understanding, that the use he made of his text is contrary to its true sense, he, as well as our readers in general, have a right to ask what that reward is, of which the text speaks, and how and where the diligent seeker of God is to receive it? The answer to these questions is as easy as they are important. 1st. What is the reward which we expect to obtain by seeking after any pameable thing? Answer, the thing itself. 2d. When do we expect to have this reward ? Answer, when we find that for which we diligently seek. 3d. What are the seekers, noticed in the text, in search of? Answer, God. When will the diligent seeker of God be rewarded ? Answer, when he finds God.' 4th. How can God be found ? Answer, by the Son's revealing him. 5th. In what character is he revealed ? Answer, in the character of a just God and a Saviour. 6th. Does not this reward imply eternal life? Yes, for to know God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent, is life eternal. 7th. When is this life eternal received and enjoyed ? , Answer, when this knowledge is obtained.
Had the preacher taken such a course, as the foregoing, with his learning and good sense, especially if he could have felt the spirit of the subject, how charmingly must the truth have been communicated from his lips, how profitable must his sermon have been to the sheep of his charge! The abundance of scripture to support him would have beautified the discourse, and also have edified his hearers. How animatingly does the Psalmist speak on this subject in his 19th Psalm. Speaking of the law of the Lord, under the similitude of the sun from whose warmth nothing is hid, he says,
The law of the Lord is perfect, convertiog the sout: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the I.ord are right, rejoicing the heart : the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eves. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever : the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Mote to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold ; sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned ; and in keeping of them there is great reward.”. See again, Prov. xxiv, 13. 14. “My son, eat thou honey, because it is good ; and the honey-comb which is sweet to thy taste : so shall the knowledge of wiss dom be unto thy soul : when thou hast found it, there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shill not be cut off.” In the parable of the lost sheep, what did the shepherd leáte the ninety and nine, and go into the wilderness after ? Ans. wer, the sheep which was lost. What was his reward ? Answer, the sheep returned safely to the fold. The Savioue says, the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which
What is his reward ? " Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thise inheritance, and the utter. most parts of the earth for thy possession."
The thing sought for is the reward of the seeker. How unspeakably joyful is that soul made, who can say, "I have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write." Great, said the Saviour to his disciples, is your reward in heaven. The preacher uses this passage on his 26th page
thus : “Great is your reward." Where ? Not on earth, but "in heaven." Where is that heaven which is the kiogdom which Christ declared to be at hand, when here on earth? Where is that kicgdom of heaven which Christ told the scribes, pharisees and hypocrites, that they shut up against men ? Where is that kingdom of God which St. Paul says is not meat and drink ; but righteousress and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost ? Let rejoicing angels give the answer. “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, and good will toward men." The preacher adds, "It is not in this world, but in that which is to come, that "God hath laid up for them that love him, what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived." That the preacher did great injustice to this text, may be fully seen by its connection. See 1st Cor. ii, 7, 8, 9, 10. "But we speak
the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom
We cannot but regret having an occasion to point out so
Our readers are requested to pay a careful attention to the reasoning in the foregoing examination, &c. Comparing the
scriptures with the observations, let nothing of partiality govern in those researches after true wisdom and knowledge, remembering the exhortation of the Saviour : “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.”
ANSWER TO A QUESTION CONCERNING THE PROPER
SUBJECTS OF PARTICIPATION AT THE LORD'S SUP.
QUESTION— Whether it would be consistent with the order of our
Churches, to give a general invitation to the Lord's supper, on our Communion days, even to those whose names are not en. rolled amung the members, provided their morals are generally good? And as we view the sacrament of the Lord's Supper å Gospel institution, would it be inconsistent with rigle views of that ordinance to admit little children, of sufficient age to altend public worship, to participate that emblem of a Saviour's love?
The Lord's Supper is a commemoration of Christ's death by symbols-a commemoration of his death as connected with his resurrection. It is wholly celebrative in its kind, as was the passover in the house of Israel, of the deliverance out of Egypt. By handling this ordinance we bring nothing to God for our acceptance ; but remind ourselves of the manifestation of his grace in Christ Jesus.
As we hold no change or elevation of the elements by “consecration," neither do we suppose any divine virtue to be infused into them and conveyed by them to us ; but we use them as mere external symbols of a reality independent of them. And we use this ordinance to impress our own minds more particularly with the things signified by them, by meditation thereon. For the bread which we break in this ordinance, we consider as exhibiting the body of Christ, and expressive of the union subsisting between him and mankind his brethren, and feed upon him in our hearts, rejoicing in the grace given unto us in him by the Father before the world, by the purpose of his own will, prompted by his goodness of nature. Ard in Christ's death, this grace was manifested, ending and closing