Obrazy na stronie
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is constantly poured forth upon them, and upon the kirk-yards and burying-grounds throughout Scotland. In the kirks one may gather dust and dirt in heaps, and the cobwebs are hanging about the people's ears like ragged curtains, as if they were to worship the Lord in the dirt and deformity of holiness. Some of them are so ruinous in the roofs, that the rain and snow have free access into them, and so open are they kept, that four-footed beasts take shelter in them. I have seen a minister's house nearly finished and well slated, while the house of God hard by was meanly thatched viith heath. A strange and preposterous contrast truly! This partial and scandalous preference called to my mind two texts of scripture, which might have rebuked the folly of the incumbent, if not the madness of the prophet ; but I am afraid, he was either not acquainted with these affecting passages of his Bible, or, if he ever read them, he has done it with a childish inattention. How mournfully docs the royal David express himself on a like subject, in the following words? The King said unto Nathan the Prophet, see now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains...'.2 Sam. vii. 2. Another prophet of God keeps pace with the sweet singer of Isreal in these moving terms—Is it time for you, O ye I to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste .?....Hag. i. *. But, to go on,

In very many parts of the country, kirk-yards and other buryinggrounds are not inclosed^with any fence or wall; a want that ought hy all means to be supplied, as they are openly exposed to every kind of defilement, by all kinds of cattle roaming and browsing upon them at pleasure: But, to see people driving their four-footed beasts, swine not excepted, into kirk-yards well walled in, to feed, and do every unseemly thing, on the graves of the dead, is an abuse, not more intolerable than common. I could name a kirk-yard, with high walls and strong gates, where the incumbent's horse, after a heavy rain, slumped into a green grave, as into a bog, till his feet touched the coffin! What punishment should have been adjudged in this case, I will not take upon me to determine; but I may venture to affirm with truth, that the Heathens would have inflicted a suitable chastisement upon the proprietor and his horse.

This torrent of abuse and profanation is a growing evil amongst us, unnoticed by most, if not all, and opposed by none, and proceeds from a false conceit and groundless opinion, that no fiart or portion of ground can be more sacred or holier than another. Let others think as they please; but, for my own part, I must beg leave to' think, that God always had, and will have, his holy grounds and holy places upon earth. Against this, I have heard some gravely, and others snecringly argue: "what holiness," say they, " can there be in the lifeless stones of a kirk-wall, or in the dust of a kirk-yard?" And this way of arguing receives no small countenance from the spreading infidelity that is so prevalent in Christendom, threatening to portend a general falling off, which God avert. As for those that call themselves Christians, and yet will argue thus, their Bible is open, all glory be to God, out of which they may be convinced of their error, if they please, in the plainest terms. But as to the fashionable infidels and free-thinkers, I refer them to the common

sense of mankind for their correction. There is a very great number of passages in the sacred oracles, clearly proving God to have Ixis holy grounds and holy places upon earth; out of which I shall select only a few: The place whereon thou standest is Holy Ground, says God Almighty himself....Exod. iii. 5. Josh. v. 15. Acts vii. 33. The high-priest enteredinto thenoi.Y Place every year....Heb. ix. 25. J'or the Place » Hoi.Y....Ezek. xlii. 13. in which verse we have Holy Chambers mentioned. And that such holy places could be defiled or polluted is plain from the two following quotations. And their Holy Places shall be defiled. ...Ezk. vii. 24. And hath polluted this Holy Place....Acts xxi. 28. To all this our ever-blessed Lord and Saviour, God and Man, gave his sanction by cleansing the temple of the profanation of buying and selling practised in it....Matth.y.:d. 13. Mark. xi. 17. Luke xix. 46. and using these remarkable words; My house shall be called of All Nations the house of fir oyer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. This expiating deed of our Saviour is reckoned by some pious writers as the most wonderful and surprizing of all his miracles; that one man, single and alone, though hated and despised at that very instant, should perform an action, which a numerous army could scarce have done.

In a word, none who have been at all conversant in the writings of the Old Testament, can be ignorant, what reverence was constantly paid, to the tabernacle first, and the temple afterwards ; which last was set apart, and dedicated by Solomon, to the service of Almighty God, with the most awful and striking solemnity.... 1 Kings viii. 2 Cht'on. vi. Nor were these extraordinary regards any part of the vain superstition, to which the people of the Jews were so exceedingly prone; but abundantly warranted, and even required, by the honours and titles given it by God himself. Accordingly we find it stiled * The tent which God had pitched among men, his sanctuary, his dwelling, his courts and palace, his holy mountain, the high and holy place inhabited by the High and Holy One, his presence, the place which he had chosen out of all the earth to set his name there. Add to this, that the Apostle under the New Testament declares it to have been the t figure of the heavens, and of that glorious seat not made •with hands, where the glorious majesty of God more peculiarly resides. All which was shadowed by the ark of the covenant, by the mercy seat, by the Cherubim and glory. Nay, and (which 13 the last and highest pre-eminence due to it) this was also the type of God united to man, in the person of our Blessed Saviour; and so dwelling within the veil, that is, (as the inspired author to the Hebrews, interprets it,) the flesh of Christ's human body....Heb. x. 20. Many more arguments might be brought to prove how justly the Jewish temple was named God's house and the house of prayer; but these I hope may suffice.

Nc,w, whether the same appellations do not properly belong to those places also, which arc set apart and now used by Christians, for their public worship of Almighty God, is, I humbly think, a point that admits of no doubt, but with those that are smitten with the fash

• Psal. lxxviii. 60.—69. Psal. lxixiv. 1—10. Is*- hi. 7. lvii. 15. 2Chron. xx. 9. Dcut. xvi. 16. '|• Heb. ix.

ionablc scepticism. For, that these also are houses of prayer, is evident from the original design and constant use of them. Besides, shall it be said, that the patriarchal dispensation and the Jewish Church, botli which represented only a Saviour for to come, had their holy grounds and holy places, and that the Christian Church, which represents that inconceivable blessing of a Saviour already come, a dispensation as far preferable to the former ones as the substance is to the shadow, should not likewise, or the rather, have her holy grounds and holy places? The reasoning here is plain and obvious, and needs no illustration. Mean time, I desire not to be mistaken. I attribute to these places no holiness inherent and essential, but such as is relative only; and due for the sake of their Owner and Inhabitant; and wnich was the holiness always meant in this respect.— And therefore, allow me to say it, all aspersions and revilings, that charge such regard with idolatry or superstition, proceed either from great ignorance, or great pcrverseness.

Enslaved to the opinions of no man, of no party, I have delivered my mind freely, without reserve, though with pain and uneasiness; for I have remarked several things, with a most unwilling eye and a trembling hand, resolved to pursue candour, even with an aching heart, when the pursuit of it may tend to the information and good of my countrymen; for whose sake it is that I have put pen to paper, desiring no thanks, expecting no reward, but hoping for their hearty concurring endeavours in a common cause; and, for this end, addressing myself not to this or the other corner of my country, but to all Scotland iu general. Awed not by the great, nor dazzled by the rich, I desire to live unnoticed, to enjoy my beloved retirement, and lie snug in obscurity. If I can be so happy as to awaken my countrymen out of their present lethargy, and to rouse them to a due attention to guard the dust of their ancestors with vigilance and care, I have my aim. Shall Scotsmen tamely look on, and be cool spectators in seeing any one wantonly to disturb the ashes, and to lay open the graves, of their forefathers to every kind of abuse and pollution? No; let it never be said; Tellit not in GatA, publish it notin the streets of Ashkdon: lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumciscd triumph....2 Sam. i. 20. For we have our Philistines among us, men of -widening and dissolute principles, libertinies and infidels, who give in to the old heresy of Sadduceism, which emboldens them to say, that there is no resurrection, neither angel nor */;mV....Actsxxiii. 8. There are some who pamper the body with such a studied care and anxiety, that one is almost tempted to think, that they look upon their dear body as immortal; and yet from their conduct to the dead bodies of others, it is plain, they value their own body, when dead, just as a man of arms values the old sheath of a bayonet, or the old scabbard of a sword. For ought I know, at present, I walk single and alone in this untrodden path; but I hope- upon this representation to the public, to have numbers to join issue with me in so laudable an opposition to this growing evil. We are commanded, by one of the oldest and most sacred laws in the world, to honour our father arid our mother, with a promise annexed. Let us not vainly imagine, that this strictly enjoined honour ceases with the lives of our fiarents. No; far from it. Where is the man who inures himself to any degree of wise thinking, that needs to be told, that a share of that honour, and a very large one too, must follow, and descend with, our fiarents into the grave? the voice of nature, properly instructed, will tell us, that we ought to honour their memoriex, and revere their dust, as it is to be raised at last incorrufitible, immortal, glorious: For,

Inspir'd men sav, the memory of the just
Shall live and blossom in the mould'ring dust.

POETRY.

AN ODE TOR CHRISTMAS-DAY.

[By Mr: S. of New-Jeriey.] AURORA ushers in the glorious day, That shot through realms of death the vivid ray, And shed the balm of peace. Celestial harbingers proclaim our hope The Saviour's Born, and nature's mighty prop Bids every sorrow cease! Spiiu r of grace, before whose awful sight, The groves retire on Pindus' lofty height, Breathe on my trembling lyre! Smile on the humble ottering of the poor, Brought not from pride's self-righteous store, But waits thy kindling fire! If ever rapture on a theme divine, With hallow'd incense rose from human shrine, To mis with seraph's lavs; If hands of Angels, and Arch-Angels, bring Their golden harps to hail the infant

King, "Receive my mite of praise! Ages before this azure arch was rear'd, When on the gloomy void no form appear'd, Of mountain's towering peak; Of grove, or plain, or river's winding stream, Or sim, or star had cast a lucid beam, To cheer the dread opaque. Th' Almighty Sire revolv'il the plan, And caus'il the shadows of the state of man To pass before his throne. He saw them tempted—lose their blissful state, Deeply involved in woe; but ah! too late,

They moura'd the unhappy deed. Divine compassion fill'd the eternal mind, And to the errors of his offspring kind, Redemption was decreed. His sacred son, the darling of his soul, Offer'd to drink for man the bitter bowl, And suffer in his stead. Adam for all his race the curse procurM, But Christ the dreadful penalty endur*d, And bruis'd the serpent's head. The Holy Spirit too, would undertake To cure the deadly wound that sin should make, And justice mercy crown'd. The sacred Three the amazing contract seal'd, And every bright intelligence was? fill'd With rev'renec most profound. Nor can the eternal plan of mystic

love, *> By all the arts of hell abortive prove. For numerous hearts shall ,ield; And sad captivity be captive led, Receive the gift by union with the head, And all their griefs be hcal'd. Now light, mankind, your hospitable fires, And let the flame, such charity inspires. Like holy incense rise! More sweet than all the choicest fragrant gums, The Eastern sages mingled in perfumes, A costly sacrifice! Far in the East they saw an unknown star, Gild with superior hght the hemisphere; Led bj the sparkling ray .

They found the place of Jesus' hum- Thy bounty has with food in store, ble birth. My humble table daily spread;

Saw bands of Angel-forms descend My body has been all along,

on earth, With food convenient for me, fed.

With heaven's eternal day. And when the timely hours of sleep, The song begms-the mormng-stars Di(Uo refreshi^st invite)

rejoice, . Thou did'st my peaceful slumbers

Mortals so favour d, join your grate- . watcD

ful voice'' And safely guard me through each

On earth be endless peace.' niirht ^^

Celesthd harbingers proclaim our .

|mpe, When distant friends secure I reach'd,

The Saviour's Born, andnature's „ Thv providence I freely own;

mighty prop °r whilst I travell'd on the road,

Bids every sorrow cease- And lodg'd in towns to me unknown.

* Through thy permission every place,

A Hymn, Written os New-year's Did to thy servant health afford; Eve. Safe I went out, and safe return VI,

O Lord, in this concluding eve, For thou wert ever with me, Lopd,

Thy holy name I will revere, Oh! may thy presence guard me still,

Who of thy goodness hath prolong'd, And guide my steps in virtue's

My thread of life another year. ways;

Nor iife alone I did enjoy,' Fo' 'nthe mjdst of snares I walk,

But health and strength, through all And wa«der m a dangerous maze

the year, And whilst my' errors, Lord, and all

And perfect peace which is I own, Thy gracious mercies I review,

A blessing I esteem most dear. I wonder and adore the grace,

That hath preserv'd me hitherto.

OBITUARY.

Died, at Arlington, (Ver.) on the 27th Oet. Mrs. Chloe Hard, JEL 67, conBort of Zadok Hard, Esq. of that place, and daughter of Mr. Thomas Nobles, formerly of New-Milford. As a wife, as a mother, as a Christian, and as amemberof socioty, she hadbutfew equals. She passed her life with honour, and finished her course with joy, in the most confident expectation of meeting her Lord in glory. An extensive circle of relations and friends is left to lament her loss, and to profit by her pious and virtuous example.

At Elizabeth-Town, (New-Jersey) on Thursday morning Nov. 6th, 1806, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Dayton, jEt-42, daughter of the late Rev. Thomas B. Chandler, and wife of Mr. Elias B. Dayton. In her death, her husband laments the loss of a beloved wife; her children, of a tender and affectionate mother; her sisters, of an endeared companion; her numerous acquaintance, of an esteemed friend. Her remains were conveyed to the silent tomb on Saturday, when together with the usual service of the Church, apathetic sermon was delivered on the mouniful occasion by the Rev. Mr. Rudd, Rector of St. John's Church, from 1st Samuel xx. 3. There is hut a step between me and death. Duringthe delivery of the discourse, the numerous relatives and friends testified with their tears, the high esteem which they entertaired for the amiable person, whose breathless body lay before them. /

To enumerate the many virtues that ennobled the character of the deceased, would be unnecessary; for they are so well known as to need no encomium. The gentleness of her manners, the affability of her address, rendered her respected and beloved by all who had the honor of her acquaintance.

Consoling to her afflicted relatives and friends will long be the remembrance of those virtues, which blessed by the mercy of her Saviour, have followed her to her eternal rest.

ffj" THE correspondent who sent us a file of papers concerning the American Episcopate, will be pleased to accept of our hearty thanks. We shall commence pubhshing them with the first number of next year, in order that they may all appear in one volume.

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