« PoprzedniaDalej »
SERIOUS THOUGHTS EXCITED
BY THE LATE ECLIPSE.
knowledge that he shall never Arise, ye dead, and come to judgmore be separated from you. ment. O my brethren! With Then you may triumphantly these ears we shall hear these mosing, This my son was dead mentous sounds. With these and is alive again : he was lost eyes we shall see nature in conand is found.”—I doubt not vulsion, the universe in flames, that all these consolations have the Judge descending, with ten been fully experienced by you, thousand times ten thousand anand have enabled you, like the gels, the throne erected, and all father of the faithful, to offer up
the countless millions of the huto God a beloved
man race, from Adam to his last submission and Christian pa- born son, assembled before it. tience."
Behold, he cometh with clouds,
they also that pierced him ; and
seat of Christ ; and for purposes
of the highest conceivable mo
ment. In that vast assembly, 4. THE darkness in which we there will be no infidels, no scephave recently seen the sun in- tics, no triflers, not a wandering volved, should remind us of the
eye, nor an unpenetrated heart. great day of final judgment. For All will come before their Judge, at the ushering in of that awful eitherto be welcomed to the everscene, the sun will be turned into lasting joys of heaven, as his darkness, and the moon into blood. friends, or to be banished, as his It is confessedly a solemn and enemies, to regions of endless wo tremendous, though sublime and despair. Now, my hearers, spectacle, to see the glorious orb can there be a wise man among of day suddenly, though but for us, who, knowing that he has an a moment, wrapped in obscuri- immortal soul to save, will not ty; and this, almost amid the endeavour to realize the scene, splendour of its meridian career. to bring it home, to enter into his What then will it be, to see its own heart, and anticipate, as it last ray extinguished ? What were, the solemn business of the will it be, to see this splendid lu- judgment day? The inquiry upminary blotted out from the face on which our final state will turn, of heaven forever? What will is simple ; and, if we are faithit be, to see the heavens them- ful, not difficult of resolution. selves passing away with a great How stand our hearts affected to noise, the elements melting with the Judge? Have we gratefully fervent heat, and the earth, with embraced him as the Saviour ? all it contains, partaking in the Have we, as condemned, selfgeneral conflagration and ruin? despairing sinners, fled to his Yet even these scenes will scarce- blood and merits, as our only ly be tremendous, compared with hope? Have we been sitting at the alarm of the last trumpet, his feet for instruction ? Have and the
the all awakening call; we welcomed his sceptre and his
laws? Have we, with cordial af- have been one universal blank
him whom God refuses to bless? 5. Let the late memorable What ray of joy can find its way eclipse of the natural sun, lead to that soul, which Jehovah has us to reflect on the wretched. abandoned ? It has been conness of those, who will be finally jectured by some, that there are rejected by the Judge, and thus comets, which have wandered so suffer an eternal eclipse of that far from the sun, as to get quite Sun of Righteousness, whose beyond the sphere of its enlightbeams alone convey true life ening and attractive influence. and happiness to the immortal To these irregular and devious soul. During the late darkness, bodies, the apostle Jude may though short, what an unwel- perhaps have allusion, when he come change did we realize ! describes certain sinners under What a face of gloom and hor- the appellation of wandering ror was upon every object a
And what is their doom? round us ! What a solemn To such, says he, is reserved the pause in the customary employ- blackness of darkness forever. ments and joys of life ! How These expressions are supedid nature herself seem to lan- rior to all comment. THE guish and mourn ! Had the sun BLACKNESS OF DARKNESS never more emerged from its EVER ! Nothing would so obscurity, how certainly should strikingly portray the unutwe have bidden adieu to the terable anguish, the unallayed principal comforts and delights despair, the never ceasing wo, of this world! Nature would of that man who lives and dies
without the grace of heaven. O becomes them. It has a foundathat this faithful and salutary, tion. Let them cherish it more warning, while it vibrates in the
Let the wicked fear ears, might effectually reach the where no fear is; or rather, let heart, of every sinner in this them tremble with just and awassembly! O that all such mightful apprehensions of impending be persuaded, while yet there is wrath and destruction. But let hope, to fee from that wrath, the children of Zion ve joyful in and that ruin which they cannot their king. He rules the world. bear!
He controls the elements. He Finally. Amid all the solemn commands the sun, and it rises appearances in nature, and all
not ; and he seals up the stars. the gloomy aspects of provi- He turns the shadow of death into dence, how serene, how coura- the morning,and makes the day dark geous, how happy, may the with night. And he will render all Christian be. No doubt, some the operations and changes, all the of the children of God have, gloomy and portentous appearanin contemplating the late phe- ces of the natural and moral nomenon, been thrown into a de- worlds subservient to his own gree of distress and consterna- glory, and to the felicity of his tion. This may have been owing chosen. Should convulsions to a particular natural tempera- shake the world; should the ture of mind or body, to want of earth be removed, and the mouninformation, to surprise, or to tains be carried into the midst of sinful distrust and fear. Such, the sea, still God will be their however, may still be congratu- REFUGE, and their very present lated, that they will soon find help. Should nature faint and themselves in that blest region, die ; should these visible heavens where an unclouded, uneclipsed expire in flames, still may they, sun shall shine, and all darkness, according to divine promise, look doubt and distress shall flee a- for new heavens, and a new earth, way forever. Other pious per- wherein dwelleth righteousness. sons have, I doubt not, contem- O then, Christians, comfort yourplated the late spectacle with a selves, and comfort one another tranquil and sublime pleasure ; with these words. Beloved, realizing in it an unusual and seeing ye look for such things, be striking display of the power and diligent that ye may be found of majesty of the God whom they Him, your adored Redeemer and love ; the Almighty Friend in Judge, in peace, without spot, and whom they trust. This courage blameless. AMEN.
LXTRACIS INCM BISHOP CLAG
author. It contains serious and sensonGETT'S PASTORAL LETTER.
able truths, clothed in an easy
spicuous style, and discovers a pious The whole of this letter seems well becoming zeal in the cause of evangel, adapted to the design of 1*vererable ical truth. The following extracts may be read with profit by all denomi- the evils of the world, and whom nations of Christians.
we shall have had the happiness “ To the ministers, vestries, temptations, to the possession of
to lead, through dangers and and congregations of the Protes
the promised reward. tant Episcopal church in the
« First of all then, my dear state of Maryland.
brethren, let me remind you of
the solemn vows, which you “ Dear Brethren,
made at your ordination, in the “ The convention of this year presence of God, of angels, and having requested me to address of men, to preach the gospel of to you a pastoral letter, I should Jesus. If your fervent desire is have endeavoured to comply with to increase the kingdom of their request without delay, had righteousness, of peace and joy ; the state of my health permitted. to win souls to Christ; thereby But since the last convention, diminishing the evils of our falı Providence has thought fit to len state, and multiplying its render my returns of sickness joys--if, with the eye of faith more frequent and severe than fixed on him, who trod the same usual. Yet while the Almighty path before you, whose gracious is pleased to continue to me the Spirit is with you, whose hear enjoyment of reason, I would venly words have been left on employ it, as far as I can, in the record for your instruction and service of our common Lord; comfort, you long to receive and the nearer I approach the that best and most significant of completion of the hopes, which all applauses,“ Well done, good Christianity gives, the more ar- and faithful servants,"wif, like dent ought to be my desire of the apostles, and many of your promoting the temporal and eter- fellow-labourers in every age of nal welfare of those whom I the church, your full determinaleave behind.
tion is to testify the gospel of " To you then, my brethren the grace of God; to finish your of the clergy, I. must first ex, course with jay, having many press the earnest wish of my seals of your ministry in the heart, that, as I have been in- day of the Lord ; ,the difficulties strumental in clothing many of and discouragements, which ocyou with the sacred character cur in your Christian vocation ; of labourers in the vineyard of the reproach, which, by the Christ, I may, while I live, have thoughtless and profane, is somethe unspeakable joy of witness- times cast upon the ministers of ing the fruit of the united la- religion ; the privation of many bours of us all, in the increase of pleasures, as they are unwisely rational and vital religion ; and called, which to the votaries of that in that, kingdom where all the world seem the only desirapainful obedience shall be at an ble blessings--all these will be end, we may be able to join accounted by you as nothing, our mutual congratulations and while you eagerly press onwards praises to the Giver of all good, for the prize of inestimablo vala with those souls whom the Re- ue. I cannot, therefore, 100 deemer shall have snatched from earnestly beseech you to fly,
foundation deep and strong in way, continue yourselves, and your own hearts. But I will exhort others to continue. suppose this foundation already “ We cannot too often recur laid ; that your hearts, renewed to first principles, if we would by divine grace, glow with love preserve purity in faith and practo God and charity to man ; that tice. In this age, especially, you are rooted and grounded in when many, alas ! even of proa lively faith; and that your fessing Christians, have erred whole souls and hearts are given from the faith ; when many to your profession. Then your books are thrown upon the labours in the service of Christ world, and eagerly read by the are, and will be, blessed. Easily thoughtless, in which the origi. will you obtain the victory over nal depravity of man is carefully a world lying in wickedness; concealed, and an apology made and nothing can deprive you of for the greatest crimes, under the present rewards of piety and the names of sensibility and revirtue-peace of mind; the joy finements—when, in the form of of doing, and being good; the novels, of natural philosophy, or strong persuasion that you are travels, many attempts are made working together with God; to lead the incautious into the that you are protected by an om- snares of vice and irreligion, it nipotent arm; assisted and di
reverend rected by unerring wisdom ;
wisdom ; brethren, to warn the rising genand that the fidelity of God is eration especially, of these inpledged to make all things work sidious foes. To your office a for your present and everlasting high responsibility is annexed. good. The fate of the unfaith- That you may counteract the ful and insincere in the work of devices of the evil one, be firm, the ministry, it is necessary fre- be intrepid, put on the whole arquently to recal to your thoughts; mour of God. Often place bethat, by the terrors, as well as fore your hearers the leading the goodness of the all-seeing truths of Christianity, the corJudge, you may persuade your ruption of our nature by our fall selves and others to strive from innocence, the necessity against languor and remissness, and influence of the mediation and to be in all respects worthy of Jesus Christ, of preventing of your exalted privileges and and assisting grace, of man's hopes.
free will in rejecting or in com"In the good old paths, in which plying with the gracious covethe first reformers walked ; in nant, into which we were admitwhich your forefathers found ted by baptism : In short, the peace ; in which I am fully con- essential truths of the everlastvinced the blessed apostles them- ing gospel, which, as they are selves and their successors walk- nesessary to all, may by all be uned, “until a great corruption derstood, so far as to become overspread the Christian world, the articles of their faith. The and its rulers were inflamed by union of morality and devotion, love of riches, and the ambitious of faith and good works, is an projects of domination even in object so'momentous, and so evtemporal concerns in this good ident; that it needs only be mene