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This view of my redeeming God in Christ completely swept away all the terrific horrors which had so long brooded over my mind, leaving not a wreck behind, but filling me with a joy and peace more than human---truly divine. I sat pensive, at one time beholding the pit from whence I was redeemed, at another, the hope to which I was raised. My soul rushed out in wonder, love, and praise ! Emitted in language like this:“Wonderful mercy! Why me! what is this? Thanks be to God who giveth me the victory througli Jesus Christ, my Lord !” Shuddering at sin, as : pardoned---abhorring it--- wondering that ever I could have been guilty of such transgressions, I continued sitting rapt up in silent wonder. For long after, when I thought of my hopes, I leapt for joy---I really had a glad heart. visitation also created an extent of mildness and complacency in my temper that I never felt before. I felt a burning love rising in my lieart to all the brethren in Christ; with a strong simpathy for all such as were not born of the Spirit. I earnestly breathed after their incorporation into the family of Christ.

A light shone upon the Scriptures quite new to me, Passages, which formerly appeared hard to be understood, seemed plain as the A. B. C. Earthly crowns, sceptres, and thrones appeared quite paltry in my eyes, and not worth desiring. I felt a complete contentment with my lot in life. I trembled to think of any abatement of my faith, love, and sensibility ; it required resolution to be resigned to remain long in the world. Indeed I could scarce admit the idea of long life. I feared the trials and vicissitudes connected with it, but was completely silenced with that noble saying of our reigning Redeemer, “ My grace is sufficient for thee." I saw I was only warranted to mind the things of to-day, leaving the concerns of to-morrow to his wise disposal. I felt it easy to introduce spiritual conversation wherever I was, and to recommend Christ wherever I went. I saw that every thing, acceptable to God, or comfortable to ourselves, was the product of divine power. I saw the folly and criminality of being too much in company, though composed of the best people in the world.

I feel nothing more conducive to internal peace and prosperity than a regular, meek, even walk.

I cannot close this detail without adding, that in the time of my affliction, the doctrine of election appeared irritating and confounding; now it appears marvellously glorious

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and truly humbling. I pity Arminians, and every person who is offended, however secretly, with this doctrine. It is a convincing proof to me, that there is a great defect in their faith and love, and a want of submission to pluin Scripture. In my worst time I saw it to be a truth---only I wished it had not been true ; and often it seemed a check to every exertion. But to deny that it is contained in the Bible, appears to me next door to downright Deism.

I now stand upon a 'shore' of comparative rest. Believing, I rejoice. When in search of comfort I resort to the testimony of God; this is that field which contains the pearl of great price. Frames and feelings are, like other created comforts, pássing away ; but the word-of the Lord endureth

What unutterable source of consolation is it, that the foundation of our faith and hope is ever, immutably, the same! the sacrifice of Jesus as acceptable and pleasing to the 'Father as ever it was! To this sacrifice I desire ever to direct my eye, especially at the first approach of any gloom or mental change.

After my deliverance my ideas of many things were much altered, especially about faith. I perceive that this principle in the mind arises from no exertion in the man, but the constraint of evidence from without. The Spirit takes the things of Christ, and discovers their reality and glory in such a manner to the mind of man, that it is not in his power to refuse his belief. It is no mighty matter, nor is it any way meritorious to believe the sun is shining when our eyes are dazzled with the beams.

The internal evidence of the truth of revelation had ten thousand times more effect upon my mind, than all its external evidence. There is a divineness, a glory, and excellence in the Scriptures, perceived by enlightened minds, which they cannot so describe, as to make it intelligible to an unregenerate person,

Formerly the major part of my thoughts centered either upon the darkness I felt, or the light I enjoyed---now they are mainly directed to Jesus, what he hath done, suffered, and promised: And I do tind, when the eye is thus single, my whole frame is full of light.

Formerly I felt a constant propensity to talk of my doubts, fears, darkness, &c. now I feel a similar inclination to hint my enjoyments, faith, love, triumph, &c.

Formerly I had a certain kind of pleasure in hearing people complaining, talking of their bondage &c; now it tries my patience---the foundation of faith and hope appears so im

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moveably firm; at the same time, I hope I possess tender simpathy for all such, and my prayer is, that Jesus may loose their bonds, and set them free.

I plainly perceive the truth of what you have more than once told me, that a name among men is a poor thing! It can give no relief in temptation, nor in a dying hour.

I never till now saw occasion for that divine exhortation, « In patience possess ye your souls !" Luke xxi. 19. But after taking a survey of eternal felicity, I see much need of patience to w.it till my appointed moment arrive.

Formerly when a friend, or a Minister, especially the latter, said a certain feeling was an evidence of grace, I snatched at it, and took comfort ; now nothing of this kind affects me, unless 1 perceive that it is evidently founded upon Scrip ture.

While remarkable visitations contimue, I believe the subject of them will be remarkably humbled; but after they are past, such is human depravity, that he is apt to be proud and boast of these very things which ought to operate in an opposite manner. Witness the case of Paul, who got a counterpoise to his rapturous discoveries ; Cor. xii. 1, &c. : Of this you kindly cautioned me some months ago, when I did not so well understand it.

My mind is wonderfully led out to gaze at the admirable skill of the divine Operator in his works of creation. ceive a fund of wisdom displayed in the formation of a pile of grass, or a soktary weed on the road side.

As for his works of providence they appear a second revelation, only not written.

Now, my dear Sir, to finish this long letter, I solemnly declare, I had no more hand in my deliverance from - my dismal situation than the child unborn. My attention was invisibly, instantaniously, and powerfully drawn to the truth ---I saw it to be truth---God's trutli, and truth to me! I now hold communion with God as iny Father, Jesus as my Saviour, the Holy Spirit as my continual helper and sanctifier, with confirmed angels and men as my brethren. I value the communion of saints below. All is the doing of the Lord, and sball eternally be wondrous in my eyes. I am, Rev. and Dear Sir, Your affectionate Friend and Servant

HEMAN. Closet, July 1st, 1795.

I per

STATE

THE

STATE OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE FOURTH

CENTURY.
HE fourth century has been rendered eminently illus.

trious, in the annals of the Christian church, by an ac. cession of power, which, whilst it released its suffering members from the cruel yoke of persecution, has justly been esteemed, by considerate and unprejudiced men, as an evento ful period, materially detrimental to the divine simplicity of TRUTH.

The conversion of the Emperor Constantine produced a combination the most heterogeneous. In his own person he united the civil and ecclesiastical supremacy; deprived the subjects of the Prince of Peace of their unquestionable birthright, as the Lord's freemen; and made the kingdom of Christ, completely a kingdom of this world.

Constantine endeavoured to substantiate his unhallowed temerity with the sanction of God's everlasting name. At an entertainment which he gave the bishops, he told them, “ Your are bishops in those matters transacted within the Church, but in those done witbout the Church, I am a bishop constituted by God." The Emperor never suffered his assumed prerogative to be abridged; but when it suited either his temper, or interest, governed with a high hand, both witbin and without the Church. In his zeal for improving the designs of infinite wisdom, and strengthening the works of Omnipotence, he considerably defaced the pristine beauty of the sacred edifice, and, under a pretext of defending it, he betrayed it into the hands of the enemy.

In the progress of his design, he organized the church according to the principles of his civil government; constituted an endless list of officers under the titles of Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Exarchs, and country bishops; completely deprived the people of that power confided to them by Christ their great Lawgiver, and seated himself in the chair of infallibility.

The Arian controversy now engaged the attention of the whole Christian world. The distinguishing sentiments of this faction were not of modern growth, but radically subsisted under the names of Theodotians, Ebronites, Cerin. thians, Artemonians, and Samosatenians, and attained to maturity of vigour under Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, who, when hearing the bishop of that see discoursing upon the doctrine of the Trinity, took occasion to infer from VOL. IV, D

what from

what the bishop had asserted, that if the Son were begotten by the Father, he must necessarily have had a beginning; and consequently there must have been a time when he was not; and therefore could not be eternal : but he admitted that he was the first and noblest Being, whom the Father created out of nothing ; yet essentially distinct from the Father. This doctrine, supported by the subtle abilities of Arius, induced many to adopt it throughout Egypt, Lybia, and the Upper Thebais. Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia, in By thinia, distinguished himself as a warm advocate for this opinion. Alexander, the Bishop of Alexandria, expelled Arius, and the abettors of his sentiments, from the communion of the church, and degraded them from the offices which they held. · At first, the Emperor endeavoured to reconcile the contending parties, and considered the opinion of Arius as of little importance; but when he apprehended that the commotions, occasioned by the controversy, portended something alarming to the state, in the exercise of his sovereign authority over the church, he called, in the year 325, the famous Council of Nice; to which were summoned deputies from the universal church; the number of which it was composed cannot precisely be ascertained; but it must have been very considerable, as it appears that there were present about 318 bishops. Here the opinions of Arius underwent a full discussion, and were condemned ; and Christ declared to be consubstantial, or of the sume essence with the Father. The presbyter of Alexandria was excommunicated by the synod, and banished to Illyrium ; but was by the Emperor recalled from his banishment, probably about three years afterwards, when he submitted to the determination of the Nicene synod, in regard to the person of Christ; and before Constantine solemnly swore to the sincerity of his profession. The Emperor ordered the bishop of Constantinople to receive him to the communion of the church, at which Alexander was exceedingly troubled, from an apprehension of the insincerity of Arius. The good man spent several days in prayer and supplication to God; and euroc. !y intreated him, in his providence, to interfere; and that if the opinion of Arius were not true, he would sig. nify it by an exhibition of some public judgment. The day came when Arius was to be re-admitted to the communion of the church ; upon which occasion, he was publicly attended through the streets by the frierds of his faction ; but, having occasion to turn aside to a convenient place, to per

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