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I say officiously and presumptuously Thus, we believe, that there is somesurrounded ; for the author of reason thing in the loadstone which will and God of truth has neither ap attract the needle. This is a rational pointed nor authorized, as he has proposition, which a child might benot needed
such means to se lieve, upon the testimony of a comcure and to maintain his truth in the
petent natural philosopher: but neiworld.”
ther the child, nor the philosopher, Change, that is salutary, is gra can tell what the essence of this dual. Improvement is not sudden something, called magnetism, is, and at a single effort, but slow, ad any more than we can tell what is vancing toward perfection by suc the essence of the Godhead or Tricessive degrees. Revolution indeed nity. Indeed there is scarcely a may be sudden, and violent, and ac proposition in natural philosophy, complished at once ; but its charac in which there is not some term, ter is equivocal, and its effects un the full meaning of which is not so certain, till they have had the test understood that we can of time.
every question, which may be proChristianity itself has been best posed concerning it. All solid bosupported, when the evidence by dies gravitate towards the centre of which it is supported, has been most the earth, it may be said, and Unitafreely discussed and fully examined; rians believe it'; and think they are and its nature and design will un quite rational in doing it: but does doubtedly be best understood, and any one of them perfectly compreit will come nearest in its form to hend the essence of gravitation, or its primitive beauty and simplicity, the nature of its operation? They when it shall be studied with unre believe the fact of the gravitation strained freedom, and the result of of solid bodies, just as we believe free inquiry, can be expressed with the existence of a trinity in unity; out reserve and without fear.” without being able to comprehend
Now if the antitrinitarians are fully what that is in nature, which liberal men, fond of truth, and they denominate the attraction of friends of free inquiry, because they i gravitation. believe in the propositions which It would be easy to evince, in a we have extracted from them, we thousand instances, that they assent hope they will allow us a share of
to propositions, which they cannot the honour, which they have too explain in all their bearings and imlong claimed as exclusively due to plications. We conclude, therethemselves. We believe no propo fore, that we are quite as rational sition to be true, without having in our faith, as the Socinians prowhat we deem rational grounds for fess to be, in their pompously styled our assent to it. This is true, even rational Christianity.
E. S. E. in relation to the doctrine of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. We judge that he is man, because he asserts it; and that he is the “the Messrs. Editors, true God,” because he asserts it; If sacrifices were an institution and it seems reasonable to us, to of God; if they were offered up by judge, that all the statements made the first family of our race; and if by the holy scriptures are true, they were intended to admonish whether we can perfectly compre man of his sinful character, and to hend every thing included in these prefigure the GREAT SACRIFICE afstatements or not. Many proposi- terwards to be offered up once for tions in natural philosophy we be allthen we may expect to find lieve to be true, which we cannot some traces of this institution among explain perfectly in every part. all the descendants of Adam ; in
FOR THE PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE.
Feb. other words, among all nations. the Theological Seminary of the Accordingly, that the practice of Low Dutch Reformed Church, by a offering sacrifices, was universal, brother of his, a gentleman of great for many ages, in every part of the respectability and worth, since deknown world, is now, I believe, ac ceased. It is as follows. A. B. knowledged by all who have any just claim to a knowledge of anti
Poughkeepsie, June 9, 1802. quity. It is not contended that this Dear Brother, institution appeared every where in “I am just returned from spendthe heathen world in the same form, ing between two and three months or attended with similar circum in the Highlands, opposite West stances ; but only that the practice Point. While there, I was informed of offering sacrifices in some form, of a fact which I thought interesting by way of atonement or expiation enough to relate to you. My author for sin, has been prevalent at some is a Mr. Justus Nelson, now about time or another, in every nation un
age; an honest and reder heaven; and in the greater part spectable old gentleman, who has of pagan nations, is prevalent to spent three quarters of a century the present hour. This single fact, on this spot. when impartially viewed in all its “ In tracing the limits of his planrelations and bearings, will, I am tation, we came to a smooth piece persuaded, be quite sufficient to of ground near the river, and still show that the practice is not of hu nearer a small rivulet of spring waman invention; and at the same ter. This, he told us, was formerly time to afford no inconsiderable the residence of a tribe of Indians, means for both illustrating and con and which they only left when the firming the great Christian doctrine natives
generally removed from that of atonement.
part of the country, in the year But it may not only be proved 1756.
Whilst our company were that the practice of offering sacri- viewing the place, and naturally sofices was general among the pagan liciting information from this patrinations; but also that the offering archal old citizen respecting his was understood to be of a strictly former savage neighbours, he told vicarious nature; in other words, us, that when he was a youth of, say that the devoted animal was offered fourteen or fifteen years old, he was up as a substitute, or in the room of present at an extraordinary scene the guilty person. This, indeed, which occurred here. has been confidently denied by Dr. “ An Indian had killed his father. Priestley and others; but no one, I The tribe immediately convened, think, can rise from the perusal of and he was condemned to be burnDr. Magee's admirable work on ed alive. The day arrived ; and all Atonement and Sacrifice, without the Indians in that part of the counbeing convinced, that what may be try, and most of the white inhabicalled the Socinian hypothesis on
tants attended. The pile was very this subject, has been triumphantly large, consisting of at least twenty refuted.
wagon loads of dry wood. Fire was I have made these brief remarks, put to it in several places, and the solely for the purpose of intro- conflagration soon became general. ducing to your readers a document At this moment the parricide apput into my hands a number of peared with his hands pinioned, and years since, and which appears to led by four stout men, two on each me worthy of being recorded and side, holding him by the shoulders. preserved. It is a letter addressed When they had approached as near to the Rev.Dr.John H. LIVINGSTON, the fire as they possibly could withthe venerable senior professor in out being scorched, they seized the
criminal, and, lifting him from the As we would wish, fellow Chrisground, appeared to be in the act of tians, to witness the power and effiprecipitating him into the flames : cacy of the gospel, in the salvation when, suddenly desisting, a black of souls, we must look into our own hog was produced from another hearts, and try to live under the part of the crowd, and flung into the constraining influence of the love midst of the fire, where he perished of Christ. If we content ourselves in a moment. The murderer was, with the mere form of godliness, we in an instant untied, mixed with cannot adorn the doctrine of God his countrymen as usual, and no our Saviour; our light cannot shine mention of the deed ever after oc before men, so as to induce them to curred. Mr. Nelson said, that the glorify our Father who is in heaven. man lived there several years af Instituted external observances are terwards, and finally emigrated with good in their place. They are but the rest of his tribe about fifty years means, however, and ought not to be ago.
rested in, or mistaken for the end. " Whether the culprit was privy Genuine godliness has its form; but to the atonement that was to be it has its power also. And if we made for him, and had himself pro would recommend religion to those vided the animal, Mr. Nelson was with whom we are conversant, we not informed. His opinion is, that must show that our faith is a living, he expected immediate death, and operative, and sanctifying principle. was as much surprised at his de It will be next to impossible to conliverance as the bulk of the by- vince the thoughtless part of manstanders.
kind of their guilt in neglecting the “ The truth of this narrative does gospel, while they see its professors not rest alone on the credibility of uninfluenced by the spirit and preMr. Justus Nelson. I find it spokencepts of Christ. And, unless our of in the neighbourhood as a thing hearts are deeply affected with a which no one hesitates to believe. I sense of our Christian obligations, certainly give it full credence. The all our efforts to promote the glory Indians who inhabited the banks of of God, and the good of souls, will the Hudson, the sea coast of Con be feeble, languid, and ineffectual. necticut, and Nassau, Staten and The history of the church will bear Manhattan islands, were the Mo us out in saying, that most revivals heagans, originally from Lake Hu of true religion begin in the hearts ron.Your affectionate brother, of God's professing people. Times
“ HENRY LIVINGSTON. of refreshing, from the presence of “ Rev. Dr, Livingston."
the Lord, are generally afforded, in answer to the effectual, fervent
prayers of the righteous. This beThoughts on Revivals of Religion.ing the fact, does it not follow clear
(Continued from page 24.) ly, that coldness and languor, in Having ventured some remarks Christians, constitute formidable on the nature and desirableness of barriers to the progress and efficacy revivals, in a preceding number, we of the gospel ? What an affecting proceed, now, to mention some of consideration! If we who have the means which the friends of the named the name of Christ, and Redeemer should employ, to invite taken upon ourselves the obligations and promote these benign visits of of Christians, are cold and indifferthe God of all grace.
ent in the service of our blessed 1. The first that occurs,
per Master, we stand in the way of the haps the first in importance, is ex salvation of souls. emplariness on the part of profess Are your graces, then, Christians, ing Christians.
in a low and languishing state? Are
that we may
you conscious that, in temper and memberest that I am dust; hold practice, you fall far short of the thou me up, and I shall be safe.” requirements of the gospel ? Call His case is recorded, reader, for our mightily on God, that he would benefit. Let him that thinketh he “strengthen the things which re standeth, take heed lest he fall.” main, that are ready to die.” Be “Let us come boldly to the throne take yourselves to fervent prayer
evidences of an to, whose arm is not shortened that interest in the Saviour faint and unit cannot save, and whose ear is satisfactory? Go to the mercy seat; open,
and ever attentive to the cries look up to the Father of lights, and of the returning penitent.
ask him to shed into your benighted 2. Prayer is necessary to give mind, the light of his reconciled effect to all other means of
countenance, and give you the tes“ Call upon me, in the day of trou timony of his spirit, to witness with ble, saith the Lord, and I will de your Spirit that you are his. It is liver thee, and thou shalt glorify your Saviour's promise, and comme.” By prayer the Christian en mand; "ask, and ye shall receive, gages Omnipotence in his favour. that your joy may be full.” John And, as the poet expresses it, xvi. 24. Have you ungodly rela
tives, for whose salvation you feel a 6 Satan trembles when he sees, The weakest saint upon his knees."
deep and tender concern, and in
whose hearts you long to see Christ “ Without me, ye can do no formed, the hope of glory? Lay thing,” is a lesson, which every true their case before God, with frequent disciple of Christ has learned, in prayers and intercessions. He has some degree, though it is too often the hearts of all men in his hand, neglected, to our unspeakable loss. and can turn them, as the rivers of of the sad effects of self-confidence, water, whithersoever he will. we have a memorable instance in Are you desirous of seeing the the apostle Peter. His Lord, on a triumphs of grace in the congregacertain occasion, warned him of his tion with which you are associated ? danger. But deeming the caution Aid the ministry of the gospel and needless, he replied: “Though all
its ordinances by your prayers ;
and men should be offended because of
water the good seed of the word thee, yet will I never be offended : with your tears. “ Ye that make though I should die with thee, yet mention of the Lord, keep not siwill I not deny thee.” This lan lence; give him no rest till he estaguage bespeaks a warm attachment
blish, and till he make Jerusalem a to his master; but it betrays great praise in the earth.” Say continu . ignorance of his own weakness. ally, “Return, we beseech thee, O Mark the issue. His curiosity leads God of hosts, look down from heahim into company where temptation ven, and behold, and visit this thy assails him, at a moment when he is vine.” God is a hearer of prayer. off his guard. His fear gets the bet And we may rest assured, that a ter of his faith : when, interrogated reasonable portion of our time spent by an impertinent maid servant, he in prayer, will not be spent altodenies his Lord, with profanity and gether in vain. falsehood. Why did he fall? Be Social prayer is of special imporcause he presumed when he ought tance in promoting the interests to have feared, and boasted, when of religion. Our blessed Lord has he ought to have prayed, “Lord given us great encouragement in thou knowest my frame, and re this duty, by the promise of his pre
sence wherever two or three are der heart, and the faithful applying met together in his name.
conscience. It is God that gives much practised in the primitive days effect to the word preached, for the of Christianity; and, indeed, it is conviction of the sinner, and for the a means of drawing down special comfort and edification of his peoblessings upon ourselves and the ple. And we are fully persuaded, church of Christ.
readers, that if we prayed more ferPraying societies, under the di vently, and reflected more serious. rection of prudence and discretion, ly, before we enter the courts of the have always been nurseries of evan Lord's house, we should have more gelical piety. And a prevailing in of that hungering and thirsting afclination to attend upon them, may, ter righteousness, on which the Sagenerally, be regarded as a token viour
pronounces a benediction. We for good. Such meetings are hap should oftener have occasion to say, pily calculated to confirm our faith, “ Come
that fear the Lord, and I to enliven our hope, to promote bro will tell
what he hath done for therly love, and enlarge our desires for the prosperity of Zion. And Another means favourable to the however much they may be neglect revival of religion, is frequent and ed and despised in times of dead free conversation on the subject. ness and stupidity in religious con They that feared God, of old time, cerns, they are much frequented, spake often one to another; and the and signally blessed, whenever God Lord hearkened and heard it: and is pleased to pour out his spirit and a book of remembrance was written revive his work. And we would before him for them that feared the submit to the serious consideration Lord, and that thought upon his of our pious readers, the propriety of name: and they shall be mine, saith meeting in some convenient place, the Lord of hosts, in that day when on the Sabbath morning, previously I make up my jewels; and I will to the commencement of public wor spare them as a man spareth his own ship, for the purpose of imploring son that serveth him.” This was the blessing of God, on the exercises the practice of the apostles and priof the sanctuary. Some persons, mitive Christians, and why should we are well aware, may not find it it not be our practice? The subject convenient to attend on these occa has lost none of its importance. sions. Many, however, could spend Men talk much on subjects of a tema short time in this way, without poral nature, in which they feel a neglecting any of their domestic du deep interest. And why should not ties. It is the practice'in some of Christians sneak to one another of our churches, and, in several in the glories of the Saviour, and constances, it seems to have been at sult about the best means of
protended with a divine blessing. The moting his kingdom? Why should exercises in these meetings, ought, the introducing of religious topics perhaps, to be confined to prayer
be deemed, as we fear it is, in some and singing. The principal subject social circles, a breach of good manof prayer, should be the success of ners? Why should we be backward a preached gospel, wherever it is to urge our intimate friends and acdispensed, and especially, in the quaintance, to give diligence to congregation with which we may make their calling and election be connected, respectively. “Paul sure? Ah, what reason we have to may plant, and Apollos water; but be humbled for our unfaithfulness God giveth the increase,” is a truth and worldly spirit, when we read, which cannot be too deeply im in holy scripture such express prepressed on our minds. It is God cepts as these: “Thou shalt in that gives the hearing ear, the ten any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and VOL. I.