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Objections to the necessity of being in the Church refuted, $c. refused to enter into the ark ? (a) Would Abraham and his seed have been called the people of God, if they had not been circumcised ? (b) Would the tint born oi Isiael have been saved, if they had not sprinkled the blood of the Paschal Lamb upon the posts of their doors ? (C) Would the walls of Jericho have fallen, if the children of Israel had not walked seven times round them, and bloweri upon rams horns, as God commanded ? (d) Would the afficted Israetes have been healed, if they had not looked upon the brazen serpent? (e) Woulu Naaman have been cured, if he had not washed seven times in the river Joisian? (1) Would the man with a withered hand have been healed, if he had refused to stretch it forth, as commanded by Christ? Would the woman have been cured, if she had not pressed in the crowd, and touched the hem of Christ's garment? Would Cornelius have been converted, if he had not prayed, and given alms and sent for St. Peter ? (5) Would the eyes of Paul have been opened, if he had not gone to one of Christ's ministers and received bapusm: (H)
in a word, is there any direct promise of salvation, to those who are out of covenant with him? And is there any other way pointed out in the gospel of being received into the Church, but by faith and baptism? The apostle hath informed us, that as many as are bapticed into Christ, have put on Christ, and are keirs according to the promise. (i) And our Saviour Christ, hath dea clared (St. John W. 5.) that except a mun is born of water and of the spirit, he cunnot enter into the kingdom of God. That this passage alluded to baptism, and the necessity of it, where it might be had, we have the suffrages of the universal Church; as also all sects who admitted baptism for more than filleen hundred years after Christ, until the anabaptists arose in Germany.
These, are but a few, of those numerous passages, that might be produced to shew, that if we expect to be saved, it must be in the way of Christ's appointments—for he, being made perfect, became the author of eternal salvation to ail them that obey him. (j)
But it is further objected, “ that man, cannot do any thing to alter his tuture state of existence; or that future happiness does not in the least depend upon human exertions.” I ask, can a man do any thing to alter his present state?
To shew that our future happiness, as well as temporal, depends upon kuman exertions ; let it be observed, that man, consists of a body and a soul; and as the body cannot exist without temporal, no more can the soul without spiritual iood. For the support of both, it has pleased Alinighty God, to prepare two tiekis, in which he calls his servants to labour: viz. the world and the Church. The way to obtain food and raiment in the temporal field, most people understand and readily comply with ; but the way and means, in the spiritual field are less understood and less complied with ; when the one can yield only a temporal support, but the other an eternal reward. Let it be further observed, that our obligations to spiritual and temporal duties are equally binding by the positive commands of God. The same who said, by the sweat of the fuce shall man eut bread, (k) saidaiso, labour not for the meat which perishetr, but for thut meat which endureth unto everlasting lije: (!). He who said, six days shalt thou labour, commands us to remember the Sabbath day, &c. The same authority that says, he that will not work shall not eat ; and he who provides not for himself and furnily, is worse than an infidet, (m) declares also, that man doih not live by bread alone, and except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man und drink his blood, ye hare no life in you. (n) These, are the words of Jesus, who, in the same night in which he was letrayed, took bread: and when had given thunks, he hruke it, and saiil, take, eat; this is sny body, which is broken for you : this do in remembrance of me. (0) This was his legacy and his farewel address, when about to leave the abodes of sinful man. He declares, in the most solemn manner, that he who believeth, und is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeti not shall lie dumned. (p) When the multitude on the day of pentecost cried out, (not in the modern (a) Gen. vi. 22. (b) Gen. xvii. 10. (C) Ex. xii. 7. (d) Judges vi. 3, 4. (e) Num. xxi. 8, 9. (f) 2 kings v. 14. (8) Acts x. (1) Acts xxii. 16. (ij Gal. ii, 27, 29. aj Feb. v. 9. (k) Gen. iii. 19. (1) John vi, 27. km) 1 Tim. y. 8. (n) John vi. 53. (0) 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24. (1) Mark xvi. 16,
Objections to the necessity of being in the Church refuted, &c. $9 Banguage, what shall we believe) but what shall we do? (9) They received this plain and intelligible answer, repent, and be baptized, etery, one of you, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost :Again--forsake not the assembling of yourselves together : (') wors!uip the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (8)
Now, for people to live in the neglect of these spiritual means, and ex:
It is further objected : “ As I have no disposition to labour in the spiritual field, or to be added to the Church; what shall I do, for as I did not make my disposition, I cannot alter it?”
I ask, did you make the earth, which spontaneously produces briars, thorns, and noxious weeds? These like our vices grow without cultivation. But can not you subdue them? Has not God given you strength to root them out, and from the same soil, to obtain food and raiment :-Sutter me once more to ask, did you make the storms, wind, rain, cold and heat? Or will you be protected from thein, without your own exertions -To see a man stand na: ked, in the open air, exposed to the chilling wind of December, and could not be persuaded to clothe himself, or retire into a house, because he did not make himself, we should consider him either a mad man or a fool. But much more inad with the evil of sin, heresy and schism is the man, who suffers him: self thus to be deluded; who neglects to guard against his evil propensities, and to cultivate his understanding; who “ labours for that meat which perisheth," but takes no paijs to obtain “ that bread, which shall endure unto ever: Jasting life." (0)
If you have no disposition, read the 18th and 33rd chapters of Ezekiel with 'our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount, and their corresponding passages. This will bring you to yourself, and instead of cavelling, and being wafted about with every wind of doctrine, (x) you will come to yourself; and like the prodigal, arise, and your heavenly Father will meet you, embrace you, and receive you as a child.
We justly condemn the indolent, and lazy, who provide not their food in summer ; but, let us be careful, lest, while judging such, we condemn ourselves, for to him who makes provision for the flesh, but takes no pains to provide for the soul, it may be said, Thoul fool, this night shall thy soul be re: qaired of thee. (y) Or let him answer this plain question-What shall it profit u man, if he gain the whole world and loose his own soul?
The last objection that I shall notice, is, “ that those who comply with the externals of religion, and join the Church, are no better than those, who are (9) Acts ii. 39. (r) Heb. X. 25. (s) Matt. iv. 10. (t) Luke i. 6. fu) Acts xvii. 28. (v) 2 Cor. vi. 1.
(70) John 6. (1) Eph. iv, 14 w Luke xii. 20.
The duty - 1 ayer. out of it.” That there are wicked men in the Church, is a truit, in the scriptures: they are not all Israel that are called Israel.
The kingdom of beuren is likened unto a net, cast into the sea, which gathered of every kind. The Church, is Christ's school, to prepare mankind for his glorious kingdom. I wiched people are not permitted to go into the Church, I beg to know wbere they are to be made better? As long as tlrey remain wicked, they are not fit for heaven: I trust no one wishes them to be cast into hell. . Christ came into the world to save sinners, and even ate and drank with them, that by precept and example he might reclaim them.-If there are hypocrites in the Church, they no more injure the dirine institution of the Church (which always remains the same) than quacks in physic destroy the art of chimistry, or the chicanery of an attorney overthrow the labours of a Montesque or a Black stone. The wheat and cares must be allowed to grow together until the bart'est--and then will be the tinal separation—then and not till then will it appear that the words of the Lord and the institutions in his Church have not been ineitectual for the purposes of man's salvation; and however, the doubter er disbeliever may try to shelter himself under the conceits of an erroneous ima gination, “wisdom will be justified of all her children;" and the just Judge of the earth will make a distinction between those who expect to obtain his approbation by their own merits, and those wbo hope for it by the merits of Jesus the Saviour. In that day, if the righteous of his own household stand before him with fear and trembling, how shall the siuner aud stranger to hima appears
FOR THE CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
práyer ; and every possible encouragement is given to induce us to prac. tice it. - Watehye therefore and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things which shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.. Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find. If two of you shall agree as touching any thing, you shall ask, it shall be done for you by my father who is in heaven. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And again in the Epistle to the Hebrews, “ Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of soine is.” As social worship is enjoined, that of family worship is certainly implied. The same reasons that make it necessary for as to join in worship with our neighbours, make it necessary for us to join in worship with our families. Common wants and common mercies together with the design of diffusing and keeping up anong mankind a sense of God and religion, are doubtless the grounds of both. Let us take a view of our common dependence, and see if it is noi a motive sufficient to induce us to join in an acknowledgement of it, and in soliciting the favours we want. Look first at the situation of a family in the morning --see them all risen froin the inactivity of sleep, and the danger of the hours of darkness! Who is it that has preserved them through the silent watches of the night? Certainly God their Saviour who neither slumbers nor sleeps. We all know that it is he alone who preserves us in every situation ; and that his care orer us in our sleep, when we are entirely incapable of discovering or avoiding danger, deserves a daily tribute of praise and thanksgiving. No member of a family is exempt from this obligation. Then is it not plain, that both duty and decency require that they should join, and “ with one hearth and one inind” express their gratitude to their kind and benevolent Parent, who is thus watch ful for their preservation? To neglect this carries the appearance of insensibility to the favours received. For it each one has a disposition to make this acknowledgement, then uniformity of sentiment and affection would give ardour to the joint act of the whole ; and it seems that a family so disposed, would not continue long without associating in their devotion, while they do so in almost every thing else.
Although gratitude appears to be the first sentiment that will naturally possess a dutiful mind in the morning; yet a humble sense of future dependence will by no meals escape it. They both ought to be felt. As it is God who has
of the book of Psalms. preserved us through our sleep, so it is he alone who can preserve us from sin, and from danger, through the active and busy employments of the day ; to him therefore we should look up for protection. Here seems to be an argument for doing it jointly. The welfare of each member of a family is the welfare of the whole. This common interest requires common prayers for its promotion; that every member of the family may be preserved and assisted in his lawful undertakings. Thus charity thinks that true gratitude would prompt us to this duty; and that a prudent concern for ourselves and family would induce us to look up with them to God and ask his blessing and protection. Impressed with these sentiments, a pious and considerate hcad of a fam: ily will be induced to practice family prayer, and to see that all who are of his household give due attendance, understand the nature of the duty, and make every petition their own. Thus we see the propriety of joining in prayer with our families in the morning. Let us now look at their situation in the evening. If they have all been preserved and prospered through the day, similar expressions of gratitude are due as in the morning. Whether this preservation has been general or not, either at morning or evening, it makes no difference in the necessity of this duty. Afflictions may by the blessing of God, be turned to our advantage. In trouble therefore we should
pray this blessing, that we may be enabled by the divine grace suitably to iinprove the dispensations of Providence, whether of prosperity or adversity.
But there is another very important consideration to induce us to this prac tice. We are fallen depraved creatures, subject to sin, and constantly transgressing the divine commands. Sin renders us odious to God, and deprives us of his favour; but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, upon our sincere repentance we are pardoned. Through the whole course of the day, it cannot be expected, that all the family are innocent ; that none of them have oftended in thought, word, or deed. Then how important it is that each one should be reminded of the necessity of confessing his faults, and soliciting pardon, through Jesus the Saviour ? To be called to prayers, is to be reminded of our duty, taught and excited to put it in practice. Will not therefore every careful parent, and master, be faithful to see that this be done? At least, that he use his influence that it be not lett undone? Can he rest easy with an apprehension, that this important duty has been omitted, through any neglect of his? Unless there is some stated time for this purpose, it will certainly be neglected by some, if not by the whole family. This is an important consideration. He who is upon his watch, careful and attentive ijz searching out, and confessing his faults, and frequently in the exercise of pen, itence, will never be displeased at such a call; he will consider it as a mean of promoting and continuing his watchfulness : and he who is more careless and inattentive must feel the advantage of being thus frequently roused from liis Jethargy, and admonished of his duty. Besides this, a rational mind, possessed of very little piety, must see the decency of soliciting the protection of God when retiring to rest : nature obliges us to acknowledge our helplesspess, and points to a superior power for preservation.-[To be continued. Í C.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE. Gentlemen, As the Psalms are so large a part of our Morning and Erening Service, ere
ry thing that tends either to explain their meaning or fix their authenticitys
must be acceptable to the devout Christian. THE THE Psalms are called David's, as if he were the author of the whole book;
but the fathers and cominentators are of opinion that David neither was nor could have been the author of them all, as many of them were written upon occasions that happened after his death. The learned Calmet, after the Dost deliberate investigation of the subjects of the several psalms, has arrang, ed them under the following heads,
I. Psalms of which the chronology cannot be fixed, are eight in number, viz. the 1st, 4, 19, 81, 91, 110, 139, 145. It is not known whether David, or Asaph, was author of ise 1st psalm. Ths Sist, attributed to Asaph, was
of the book of Psalms. sung in the temple upon the feast of trumpets, at the beginning of the year, and at the yeast of tubernacles. The 110th, is given to David ; ---the authors of the rest are wholly unknown.
11. Psalms composed by David, during the persecution of Saul, in number seventeen. viz. the ļlth, 31, 34, 56, 16, 54, 5%, 109, 17, 32, 35, 57, 58, 142, 140, 141, 7.
III. Psalms composed by David at the beginning of his reign, and after the death of Saul, are sixteen, viz. the 2d, 9, 24, 68, 101, 29, 20, 21, 28, 39, 40, 41, 6, 51, 39, 33.
IV. Psalms written by David, during the rebellion of Abşalom, are eight, viz. the 30, 4, 55, 62, 70, 71, 143, 145.
V. Psalms written between the death of Absaloon and the Babylonish cap: tivity, are ten, of which David was the author of three only, viz. the 1stă, 30, anci 72, which last was writun upon the establishment of his son Solo non on the throne, and was probably the last he wrote.
VI. Psalms composed during the captivity, amount to forty, and are as: cribed to the descendants of Asaph and korah.
VII. Psalms of joy and thanksgiving, for the permission obtained from Cyrus to return to Jerusalem, and to rebuild the temple, as well as those com: posed for iis dedication, in all pidly-on.
so that according to this account, David was author of no more than forty: fie of the hundred and fifty psalms, that are common!y ascribed to him.
The Hebrew Church has divided the book of psalms into five parts, the first enes with the fortieth--the second with the seventy-first-the third with the ciglty-eighth--the fourth with the hundred and fifth-and the fifth with the hundred and fittieth
It is probable there were many more psalms than one hundred and fifty in the Service of the tirst temple; and that after the temple and the sacred records were bomt by the Babylonish army, some pious persons collected as many of the psalms as they could find, by enquiring among their friends, who had transcribed copies for their domestic or private use; or could repeat them by memory. These with others composed by inspired men on șubsequent occasions were collected by Ezra, and made the canon of praise for the Jewish Church aiter the restoration, and have continued ever since to be the summary of Jewish and Christian praise over all the earth.
As the dispersed Jews have always found these sacred hyinns possessed of a strange power “ to cure heaviness, io extirpate grief, to wipe away sorrow, * to lay' asleep troublesome thoughts and passions, to ease them of their cares; ** to recreate them when oppressed with any sort of pain, to move compuncs tion for sin, and to stimulate them unto piety," --so have the Christians experienced from them the same happy eflects; so that no book in the world is to be compared to the book of psalms.
When all the bloody sacritices of the tabernacle were abolished by the QB; JATION of the BODY of Christ, the calres of the Christians' lips were retained in the Church--the sacrifice of prayer and praise : for, as Austin bishop of Hippo says, "concerning singing bymns and psalms, we have instructions, examples, and precepts both of our Lord himself
, and of his Apostles. According to which the Churches of Africa sing the divine songs " of the prophets. Nor can I see what Christians can do more prontably, and “Snore holily than this, when tliey meet together, and are not reading preach“ing, por praying.” Those divine hymns, no doubt were principally the psalnis of David, in singing of which Christian people delighted above ail biber exercises of devotion. The manner of their singing also was like that in Ezra's timne (Ezra chap. iii. ver. 11.). One beginning the hymu and the test answering the eztremes, or close of every sentence in the manner of a full chorus. Some departure froin this manner of singing obtained at Antioch! about the year 390, by the direction of l'lavianus the patriarch of Antioch, and Dioclorus bishop of Tarsus. They divided the singers into two parts, so as to sing the psalnis in alternate or responsive verse; one half of the choir singing the one verse and the other half the other. só Which custom," says Theodoret in his ecclesiastical history, book 2d, chap. 19, “ 'from Antioch spread itself as it were by common consent over all the world.” In favour of ringing metre or rhyming psalms, little I apprehend can be said. It has never had the sanction of the Church in any part of the world. The first attempt