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the death of one whom the soul loved, than by all the defences, proofs, and apologies which have ever been produced in the most celebrated schools of theology. The heart was opened, and rendered soft and susceptible by sorrow, and the dew. of divine grace enabled to find its way to the latent seeds of Christian virtue.
Such being the beneficial effect of afflictions, it is much to be lamented, that many will not suffer them to operate favourably on their dispositions, and thus counteract, by the good they may ultimately produce, the pain which they immediately inflict. They fly from solitude, they banish reflection. They drink the cup of intoxication, or seek the no less inebriating draft of dis-, sipating pleasure. Thus they lose one of the most favourable opportunities of receiving those divine impressions which would give them COMFORT under their afflica tions, such as the world cannot give; and afford them such conviction as would render them Christians indeed, and lead to all those beneficial consequences of faith, which are plainly represented in the scripture,
On Devotion-ma Means, as well as an Effect, of Grace
no sincere Religion can subsist without it.
LANY theologists, who have written with the acuteness of an Aristotle, and the acrimony of a Juve nal, against all sorts of infidels and heretics, in defence of Christianity, seem to have forgotten one very mate
de biens, une maladie, un chagrin domestique, ou etranger; ce sont des souffrances; tout, 10ŘS DIEU, devient AMER; on ne trouve plus de consolation que dans lui; & rebute des choses bumaines, on commence a GOUTER LES CHOSES DU CIEL. BRETONNEAU.
rial part of religion that which consists of devotional sentiment, and the natural fervours of a sincere piety. Some of them seem to reprobate, and hold them in abhorrence. They inveigh against them as enthusiasm; they laugh at them as the cant of hypocrisy: Such men have the coldness of Bishop Butler, without the ingenuity; the contentious spirit of Dr. Bentley, without the wit or erudition.
True religion cannot exist without a considerable degree of devotion. On what is true religion founded but on Love—the love of God, and the love of our neighbour?' And with respect to the love of God, what says our Saviour? Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. No language can more expressly and emphatically describe the ardour of devotion. Out of the heart the mouth speaketh. If the heart feels the love of God, in the degree which our Saviour requires, the language of prayer and thanksgiving will be always glowing, and, on extraordinary occasions, even rapturous.
The effectual FERVENT prayer of a righteous man availeth much: if it be not fervent, it cannot be sincere, and therefore cannot be expected to avail. Love must add wings to prayer, to waft it to the throne of grace.
“ Man has a principle of love implanted in his nature, “ a magnetism of passion*,” by which he constantly attaches himself to that which appears to him good and beautiful; and what so good, what so beautiful, as the archetype and model of all excellence? Shall he conceive the image, and not be charmed with its loveliness?
Worship or adoration implies lively affection. If it be cold, it is a mere mockery, a formal compliance with customs for the sake of decency. It is a lip-service, of
which knaves, hypocrites, and infidels are capable, and which they render, for the sake of temporal advantage.
Will any man condemn the ardour which the scriptures themselves exhibit? Must they not be allowed to afford a model for imitation?. And are they written in the cold, dull style of an academical professor, lecturing in the schools of divinity? No; they are written in warm, animated, metaphorical, and poetical language; not with the precision of the schoolmen; not with the dryness of system-makers; but with florid, rhetorical impassioned appeals to the feelings and imagination. What are PSALMs, but the ebullitions of passion, sorrow, joy, love, and gratitude? · The truth is, that the most important subject which can be considered by man must, if considered with seriousness and sincerity, excite a warm interest. The fire of devotion may not, indeed, be equably supported, because such equability is not consistent with the constitution of human nature; but it will, for the most part, burn with a clear and steady flame, and will certainly, at no time, and in no circumstances, be utterly extinguished.
Where the heart is deeply interested, there will be eagerness and agitation. Suppose a man, who speaks, in the church, of the Holy Ghost, and other most important religious subjects, with perfect sang froid, re, pairing to the Stock-exchange, and just going to make a purchase. The price fluctuates. Observe how he listens to his broker's reports. His cheeks redden, and his eyes sparkle. Here he is in earnest. Nature betrays his emotion. It is not uncharitable to conclude that his heart is literally with his treasure; and that with respect to the riches of divine grace, he values them little; and, like Gallio, careth for none of these things. View him again, at a great man's levee, and see with what awe he eyes a patron. His attention
approaches to adoration. He is tremblingly solicitous to please, and would undergo any painful restraint, rather than give the slightest offence. The world will not condemn, but applaud bis anxiety; yet if he is earnest and fervent, when his interest is infinitely greater, in securing the tranquillity of his mind, under all the changes and chances of life, he is despised as an enthusiast, a bigot, a fool, or a madman.
A man of sense and true Goodness will certainly take care not to make an ostentation of his devotional feel. ings; but at the same time he will beware of suppressing, in his endeavour to moderate and conceal them.
He will never forget, that the same sun which emits light, gives, at the same time, a genial heat, that enlivens and cherishes all nature.
On Divine Attraction.
HALL we believe our Saviour himself, or some poor mortal, who has learned a little Greek, Latin, or Hebrew, and upon the strength of his scanty knowledge of those languages, and a little verbal criticism, picked up in the schools of an university, assumes the pen of a Controversialist, and denies the evident meaning of words plainly and emphatically spoken by Jesus Christ? Our Saviour says, in language particularly direct, “ No “ man can come unto me, except the Father, which hath “ gent me, DRAW HIM.”
Faustus Regiensis, Wolzogenius, Brenius, Slichtingius, Sykes, Whithy, Clarkc, and many others, endeavour to explain away the meaning of the word D&AW,
(saxvon) because they have taken a side in the polemics ; of Theology, against the doctrine of Divine Grace.
But what have we to do with Faustus, Wolzogenius, Slichtingius, and the rest, when we have before us the words of Jesus CHRIST? By them it appears that there is an ATTRACTION in the spiritual world, as well as the natural; and that the Spirit of God, a benign philanthropic Spirit, unites itself to the soul of man, and commų. nicates to it comfort, sanctity, and illumination.
Men do not controvert the received systems of natural philosophy. They believe in the attraction of gravitation, cohesion, magnetism, and electricity. But in this there is no visible agency, no sensible efflux, influx, or impulse. Yet they believe it, and certainly with reason; but why should they think that God acts thus on matter, comparatively vile, and leaves MInD uninfluenced? Mind, that pure, etherial essence, which must be said to approach in its nature to Divinity, (if man can conceive any thing of Divine,) and which has an inborn tendency to assimilate with its like. . · God, we are told in scripture, is love. But love always attaches itself to its object. It is not compatible with love to be selfish and solitary. It delights in assimilation. The spirit of that God who is love, still unítes itself with man, for whom it has already shewn so much affectionate regard, in the creation and redemption. It could not be consistent with the love and mercy of God to man, to leave him entirely, for ages, without any intercourse, any light, any communication, but a written word, in a language unknown, unread by many, and which, without Divine interposition, might be corrupted by the wickedness of man, or lost by his negligence. God's Spirit, ' acting upon the soul of many at this hour and forever, is a LIVING, ENERGETIC AND EVERLASTING GOSPEL. The promise of God's assistance by his Spirit, (as St. Peter assured the first con