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of their faith they far surpass us.
There is the whole that is comprehended in tradition : they believe it, while Protestants are satisfied with Holy Scripture. But the Romanists do not believe all that Protestants believe; they do not believe the Protestant doctrine of regeneration, or justification, or other cardinal doctrines.
But, asks one, Is not all that Protestants believe contained in the Scriptures! Yes. Well, Roman Catholics believe the Scriptures. Therefore they believe all which Protestants do; and then, moreover, they believe tradition; so that they believe all which Protestants believe, and some more besides. Very logical, to be sure! But suppose that tradition and Scripture happen to 'contradict each other, how then ? What sort of an addition to a testimony is a contradiction of it? I might give some precious specimens of these contradictions. The Roman Catholics believe with Scripture, that marriage is honourable in all;" and he believes with tradition, that it is very disgraceful in some. One of his rules of faith affirms that “ all our righteousness are as filthy rags;" but the other assures him that there is merit in his good works. One says that St. Peter was to be blamed; but the other asserts his infallibility. According to one, St. Peter was a simple elder; but according to the other, universal bishop, etc. The Roman Catholic says
he believes both, and therefore he is in a safer state than the Protestant. Well, when I can be convinced that two contradictory assertions are both true, I may believe as much as the Roman Catholic believes. Meanwhile I am satisfied with believing enough; and not caring to be more than perfectly safe, I shall continue to be a Protestant.
A PRAYER FOR ONE IN DOUBT. BLESSED Jesus! thou knowest the distracting doubts and fears I am exercised with, and my perplexing uncertainty of an interest in, and union unto thee, by faith; a difficulty which thou only canst remove, by the operation of thy Holy Spirit. Thou hast invited me to come unto thee, to buy wine and milk without money and without price, and to take of the waters of life freely. O Lord, I desire, I resolve to comply with thy gracious invitation; Lord, I
believe, help thou mine unbelief. Thou hast promised, that if I come unto thee, thou wilt in no wise cast me out. Lord, I come at thy call. Draw me, and I shall run after thee. Thou didst come to seek and to save that which was lost, and to call sinners to repentance. As a lost, perishing sinner, I therefore look unto thee for pardon, sanctification, and eternal salvation. Thou only hast the words of eternal life. To thee, therefore, I repair, as to the fountain of life, and the foundation of all my hope, that of thy fulness I may receive even grace for grace. Here is my last refuge. Look, blessed Lord, upon a poor guilty, polluted soul! Replenish me with thy grace, give me that faith whereby I may comply with thy gracious invitation, rely upon thy gracious promises, and derive all supplies of grace from the inexhaustible treasury of thy grace and goodness.
THE NEW FOREST. HOW frequently does God permit man to read his sin in his chastisement, when he allows some ruling passion to gain the ascendancy, and, defying religion and reason, gratifies his desires with what often brings desolation and woe to his own heart, and sometimes entails destruction on his children after him. About the year 1077, a tract of land then called Ytene was depopulated, and styled the New Forest, and stocked with game, to gratify that passion for hunting which almost equalled the covetousness of William the First, our Norman conqueror. Rapin tells us, that for thirty miles the work of destruction was carried on, thirty-six parish churches were destroyed, and houses and lands taken from the owners without any amends being made to them,while the law existed, that he who killed a deer should have his eyes put out. Camden, an old author, gives us the following passage from Walter Mapes, who lived in the next age. “The conqueror took away much land from God and men, and converted it to the use of wild beasts, and the sport of his dogs.” Camden goes on to observe,“ Divine vengeance was not long wanting to this impious project of the king's; for Richard, his second son, and William Rufus, king of England, another of his sons, both lost their lives in this forest, the latter being casually shot with an arrow by Walter Tirrel, the other poisoned by a pestilent blast, and Henry, his grand-child, by Robert, his eldest son, while he was here eagerly pursuing his sport, was caught by the head in the boughs, and there ended his life.”
ADVICE TO TRACT LENDERS. “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the ord, and not unto
men.”--Col. iii. 23. REMEMBER it is no light, no trifling matter, to be engaged in furnishing your neighbours with religious tracts; for every tract contains warnings to flee from sin; to come to the Saviour; to prepare for eternity.
If you would deliver your own soul, and desire that these tracts might be the means of winning souls to Christ, observe the following rules :
I. Make it a matter of daily prayer, that your employment in this thing may be made profitable to your own self, and that a blessing may
labours. II. Before you go out to change your tracts, take a little time alone, and on your knees beg a blessing on what
you are about to do.
III. Endeavour to keep up a very prayerful spirit while going from house to house, and never leave a tract without a mental
may be a messenger of good to those who read or hear it.
IV. Seek always, wherever you can, to say a word to your neighbours for their good. Try to persuade them to read the Scriptures, to establish family prayer, to attend a place of worship
As Jesus Christ and him crucified was the subject of St. Paul's preaching, so, if your words should be but few, yet make Jesus Christ your subject of discourse.
V. Think over what you have done when your work is closed. Pray for the families you have visited, and that there may be an outpouring of the Spirit upon them all.
WESLEY ON SCHISM, O BEWARE, I will not say of forming, but of countenancing, or abetting any parties in a Christian society! Never encourage, much less cause, either by word or action, any division therein. In the nature of things, there must be
divisions among you, but keep thyself pure. Leave off contention before it be meddled with; shun the very beginning of strife. Meddle not with them that are given to dispute, with them that love contention. I never knew that remark to fail, “ He that loves to dispute does not love God.” Follow peace with all men, without which you cannot effectually follow holiness. Not only " seek peace,"
ensue it.” If it seems to flee from you, pursue it nevertheless. “ Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Happy is he that attains the character of a peacemaker in the church of God. Why should not you labour after this? Be not content only not to stir up strise; but do all that in you lies, to prevent or quench the very tirst spark of it. Indeed it is far easier to prevent the fiame from breaking out, than to quench it afterwards. However, be not afraid to attempt even this: the God of peace is on your side. He will give you acceptable words, and will send them to the hearts of the hearers.- Sermon
Schism,” by Rev. John Wesley, from the text 1 Cor. XII. 25. “ That there should be no schism* in the body.”
TURN YOUR TELESCOPE. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my
help.”—Psa. cxxi. 1. I HASTILY caught up a telescope the other day to view more distinctly a distant object, but soon found myself worse off than ever; for the object in question appeared smaller and farther off than before. “Turn your telescope!” said a friend who was standing at my elbow, “ turn your telescope, for you are looking through the wrong end of it, when the telescope is turned, matters will be mended.”
Christian, art thou dismayed in thinking how little and how changeable thy love is to God! Turn the telescope, for things will only get worse while thine eye is fixed where it now is ; look through the other end, and thou wilt behold the vastness and the unchangeableness of God's love to thee. Again, I say, turn the telescope, for a steady gaze at God's love to us, and his promises in the gospel, is the best means to excite our love to God.
* Or “ division,” marginal reading.
THIS WORLD OR THE NEXT? THERE are many people in the world who like religion, and who love religion, but, then, much as they like and love it, they like and love the world a great deal better. So long as we like and love the world better than religion, we cannot enjoy the comforts and consolations of religion.
There are thousands who would be seekers after the happiness of heaven, if they could do so without foregoing the pleasures of earth. This world first, and heaven after would do very well, but Seek
ye first the kingdom of heaven” is too hard a command for them.
Now how does this matter affect you and me? Are we choosing our own plan, or God's plan ? Are we obeying our own will, or God's will ? Have we made up our minds, come what will, to run after the pleasures of a world which passeth away? or are we resolved, at all hazards, to seek after the joys of a world that endureth for ever ?
CONSIDER, reader, that eternity is no dream; hell and the worm that never dies, is no melancholy conceit; heaven is no feigned Elysium. There is the greatest reality imaginable in these things; though they are spiritual, and out of the ken of sense, yet they are real, and within the view of faith. “ Look not therefore at the things which are seen, but look at the things which are not seen; for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
PASSION. PASSION, which is an inordinate commotion of the mind, is an unrúly evil, as Lactantius has well observed. It makes a man to rage without moderation, more turbulent than the raging sea. It defaces his countenance, were it ever so pleasant; makes his tongue faulter, were it ever so eloquent; it fires the eyes which are conduits of water; it makes a captive of the understanding, which ought to rule the whole
In a word, all judgment is lost when it comes to passion.