Page images
PDF
EPUB

the ground rises into eminences, Hampstead, Highgate,

SCRIPTURE BIOGRAPHY, Muswell Hill, and others, which protect the metropolis

ENOCH. from the northern blasts, and break the uniformity of the horizon. These heights afford many most delight

The Character of Enoch, ful prospects.

Enoch has been cominended to our admiration in a Middlesex has about doubled its population during singular manner in an inspired encomium; short inthe last century, as will be seen by the following state- deed, but the most honourable that could have been ment:

given to a human being ;-“Enoch walked with God.” In 1700 its inhabitants were .........

624,200

The accounts in the Scriptures of the pious patriIn 1750

641,500 archs are most truly interesting ; sufficient indeed to In 1801

819, 129 establish and satisfy our faith : but while we peruse the In 1811

953,276 memorials of their invigorating belief in the promises In 1821

1,244,531 of God, and their sincere obedience to his blessed will, In 1831 ...

1,358,541 we cannot but feel some regret that we know so little EcclesiaSTICAL JURISDICTION, &c.--Diocese, Lon

of their various excellencies. don ; Diocesan, Dr. Blomfield. Cathedral dignita

The name of Enoch, the manner in which he was ries, 77. Church Livings, 233. In the gift of the

dedicated to God, and the circumstances in which he Government, 31; Church, 130; Universities, 20; was placed among the patriarchs, lead us to expect in Public Bodies, 10; Nobility and Gentry, 30; Inhabi

hiin an extraordinary character. He had the advantage

of the long experience of Adain, which had been en. tants, 4. ENDOWED Public Charities.-Annual rental and

riched by a large ineasure of divine inspiration, and by

which he could not fail to be instructed. dividends ; in the city of London 138,5831, 12s. 5d.;

It is affirmed by an ancient author, that Enoch was in the city of Westminster, 16,0311. 148. 4d.; making

the father of Astrology, or rather Astronomy; and by a total of 154,5151. 68. 9d. for the metropolis ; which, Eusebius, a Christian historian of the fourth century, with the county of Middlesex, produces 344,4251. 148.6d.

it is concluded that he is the same as the Greeks call for charitable purposes annually!

Allas, in their mythology. Certainly there is great Bible Societies. — Auxiliaries contributed in 1829, reason to believe, that many of their fabulous divinities 5,5231. 9s. 10d.

are only the Scripture patriarchs, whose history is Missions.-Contributed for the Church, 5,2612.98.8d.; grossly corrupted.' But whatever the attainments of London, 7,9411. ls.; Baptist, 2,1931. 78.; Wesleyan, Enoch might be in knowledge, his lasting fame reste 3,8871. 108. lld.; Unitarian, British and Foreign, upon a basis far more solid and enduring than his real 3101. 58.

or supposed skill in the science of Astronomy. Schools.-Educated in the National, 20,205; Bri

That divine science is sublime and useful, and worthy tish, 11,508; Sunday, 66,487.

of the study of mankind. It enlarges the understand

ing, and fills the mind with reverence for the Almighty Religious DenoMINATIONS, &c.—Church Livings,

Creator of the universe: yet the most profound ac. as above, 233; Independents, 91; Presbyterians, 15;

quaintance with the heavenly luminaries, is far less Quakers, 12; Particular Baptists, 55; General Bap

valuable to a sinful creature, than a knowledge of that tists, 2; Wesleyan Methodists, 59; Other Methodists, 7;

revealed truth, which prepares the soul for the enRoman Catholic congregations, in and about London, 21.

joyment of God, and makes its possessor wise unto Total Church of England ..

233

salvation. Dissenters....

262

If a man were able to call all the stars by their

names, when he beheld them,—to ascertain their amaz. General Total ............ 495 ing distances,--to determine their wondrous magnitudes COLLEGIATE INSTITUTIONS, &c.-London University, and motions with the nicest accuracy; - could he enu. unrestricted as to religious creed; King's College, on merate all the plants of the earth, from the majestic the principles of the Church of England; Homerton forest oak to the minutest moss springing out upon College, for educating twenty students for the ministry the wall, class their different orders, and describe their ainong the Independents; Highbury College, ditto for medicinal virtues,-were he intimately acquainted with forty students ; Hackney Academy, ditto for twelve all the various tribes of animals, and the properties of students; and Stepney Academy, for educating twelve minerals; and besides the most accurate familiarity with students for the ministry among the Baptists.

universal history and all the affairs of human life ;yet with all this treasure of useful knowledge, he

might bestill ignorant of the value of his never-dying SIR JOHN MASON.

soul, having no acquaintance with the things that beSir John Mason, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, long to his everlasting peace, nor enjoyment of fellowbeing near his dissolution, and sensible he had but a ship with God as his Saviour. Were he able even to short time to live, upon his death-bed called for his trace the footsteps of the Almighty in all the marvelclerk and steward, and delivered himself to this pur- lous works of creation and providence, still, withpose: “I have seen five princez, and have been privy out repentance for sin, his qualifications would be far counsellor to four: I have seen the most remarkable inferior to those recorded of Enoch, and his character observables in foreign parts, and been present at most incomparably beneath it. It could not be said of him, state transactions for thirty years together; and I have like that patriarch, by faith in the revealed Messiah learned this, after so many years' experience :-that “ he walked with God.' seriousness is the greatest wisdom, teinperance the best Moses, with the instructive simplicity of divine inphysic, a good conscience the best estate; and were I spiration, comprises the character of Enoch in one to live again, I would change the court for a cloister, my short observation, “And Enoch walked with God," privy counsellor's bustle for an hermit's retirement, and Gen. v, 22. The apostle remarkes with equal beauty the whole life I have lived in the palace for one hour's of language, expressive of his whole character ; “He enjoyment of God in the chapel." He concluded with had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Heb. xi. 4. saying, “ All things else do now forsake me, besides my In the former part of the verse, -he directs us to the God, iny duty, and my prayers.”

vital spring of Enoch's religion, obedience, and holy

..

man.

walking in that faith which he exercised in the revela. A striking feature in the character of Enoch was, tion of Divine mercy.

"he pleased God.” It was his habitual endeavour, bis In these passages Enoch is exhibited to us as the settled purpose to please him. “But without faith it “ friend of God” himself, like as Abraham in after- is impossible to please him : for “he that cometh to God ages was acknowledged by Jehovah,” Isai. xli, 8. inust believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of

Whether Enoch were sanctified from his infancy or thein that diligently seek him.” Heb. xi, 6. By the youth, or whether he became a monument of sovereign exercises of faith in the revealed purposes and merciful mercy in advanced life, we are not informed; but he promises of God he pleased himn. For nothing honours seems to have served the Lord from his early years; God more than believing him ; it is giving credit to for after the birth of his son Methuselah it is said, “he the revelation that he has made of himself, as the God walked with God three hundred years;” before which of grace and salvation by the mediation of his Son he must have been comparatively a very young man. Jesus Christ.

“Enoch walked with God,”-“he pleased God.” Enoch pleased God, by a diligent observance of the These are the most beautiful expressions of which divine ordinances. He kept holy the Sabbath day. language is capable, to denote a course of lively faith, On that weekly festival, he united with “the sons of of holy obedience, and of unspeakable happiness. He God,” who called on the name of the LORD ; and comwas truly religious,--eminent for his self-consecration memorated, with adoring gratitude, thc wondrous to God, and active in zeal for his service. The doc

work of God in creation, and his sovereign kindness in trines of divine revelation were precious to his soul ; consecrating the day of rest for anxious and labouring and no less delightful were the precepts and require

He observed the appointed sacrifices. Like ments which had been enjoined by his gracious God. Abel, “at the end of the day,” in the accustomed He "set the Lord always before him.” He contem- season, he offered the prescribed atonement; and while plated his omniscience and mercy; and felt the power confessing his sins, and the sins of the people, he of the apostle's direction, " whether ye eat, or drink, looked beyond the victim upon the altar, to " the Lamb or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” slaiu from the foundation of the world.”

How opposite is the character of infidels! They are All the Divine precepts were respected by Enoch ; “enemies in their minds by wicked works." How and “he pleased God" by iinploring “the Spirit of contrary the habits of the careless and ungodly! They grace" to enable him to run in the way of God's walk “according to the course of this world, according commandments. tu the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that Do our readers, especially the young, perceive in now worketh in the children of disobedience :” they their principles and habits a likeness to Enoch? Do Jiare no hope, and are without God in the world.",

they walk with God? Do they strive to please God? B.ph. ii, 2, 12. They are, indeed, in the language of Do they believe his glorious Gospel? Do they trust the Scripture, “fools,” seeking death in the error of in bis dear Son? Do they thus put honour upon God their ways; and in their hearts, and by their conduct, in his word? Do they “believe with the heart unto they say unto God, “depart from us, for we desire not righteousness ? ” o let them be instructed by the the knowledge of thy ways.” Job xxi, 14.

inspired testimony to the character of this holy man of By the knowledge of God and the influence of his

God, and walk in his worthy footsteps ! Let them refear, the mind is impressed with an abiding sense of ceive, as Enoch did, the engrafted word of God, the Divine Majesty being ever present, -- with confi- especially as we are far more fully favoured with it in dence in the riches of his mercy, and with delight in the Scriptures, which are designed, as they are able, his boundless goodness. Genuine piety opens and pre- to make us wise unto salvation. May each one habiserves intercourse between God and the soul, and

tually say, produces a prevailing desire to please him. Thus it

“O that I may walk with God! was with Enoch: possessing right principles, their

Jesus my companion be, natural fruit was an upright and holy couduct, as in the

Lead me to thy blest abode,

Through the fire or through the sea." presence of God. It is a maxim of the Scriplures, that “two cannot

Enoch had this testimony, “that he pleased God.” walk together, except they be agreed ;” and a man

We are not informed in what manner it was testified cannot "walk with God," unless he be agreed with

to Enoch that he pleased God. It is very likely that him. The holiness of the Divine law, and its spiritual

he was favoured with some extraordinary token of the requirements,--the humiliating methods of sovereign Divine regard, besides “the love of God shed abroad grace in the salvation of sinners, and the necessity of

in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him.” personal and entire resignation to the will of God, are Rom. v, 5. Nevertheless, this would have been sufiall utterly offensive to wicked men. But on all these cient and satisfactory, even when visible signs were not subjects, Enoch's mind was one with God.

particularly afforded. And thus shall our young friends Enoch was not satisfied with mere formality in re.

be blessed in their walking with God, and seeking to ligion, or with a general profession of his belief in

please him. The delightful experience described by the existence and providence of God: his soul was in

the apostle will be their happy portion. “As many fluenced with love to the gracious Author of his being,

as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of and a devout sense of the Divine presence occupied

God." They “receive the spirit of adoption, whereby his renewed mind. He was constantly careful to we cry Abba, Father.” “The Spirit itself beareth witgovern his thoughts, his words, and his actions, in ness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." conformity with the holy law of God, in which, as the This happiness is promised only to those who are apostle professes, he “delighted after the inner man.” circumspect and active in their obedience, living by His morning vows ascended to the throne of the hea- faith on the Son of God. “How sinful their remissvenly grace, his busy hours were employed for the ness, who are satisfied without it! How awful their welfare of mankind, and the day was closed with grate

delusion, who expect or pretend to it, in any allowed ful thanksgivings to the Father of mercies, the God of his

habits of wickedness!” ( that this rich, this imsalvation. Nor was he religious only in unencumbered

perishable treasure may be possessed in the minds of life; “Enoch walked with God” after he became all our young friends, to form their characters, and to the father of a numerous family, and felt the burthen prepare them for eternal glory! of its duties and cares.

(To be continued.)

Letters to a Mother, upon Education.

throughout his entire existence will depend. They will

probably indeed have dawned so imperceptibly as even LETTER III.

to surprise the watchful eye of a mother herself. Like Dear Madam,

those who watch for the morning, and a few minutes The general principle of the sympathy before look out, and all still appears in darkness, and between the inind and the body, inentioned in my last, having had their attention diverted for a short time, being admitted, I shall now proceed to remind you of a look out again, and perceive that it is not only coine, but few instances of its practical detail, and then disiniss has considerably advanced over the horizon. Oh! now the subject.

your attention should be more than ever directed to the 1. The general rules for the preservation of health, continued application of those rules on which you have and the increase of bodily strength, should be the guide already acted, to train and draw out his expanding of your daily treatment of your child. These, though faculties. invaluable in their lendeney, are few, simple, and so 7. Still less, if possible, than ever, suffer any one to fully agreed upon by medical writers, as to have become speak to himn in a loud tone, to treat him as a plaything, familiarly kuown to all.

or to talk nonsense by way of amusing him. The fa2. There are however certain points, which, though culties of all children would expand sooner, if they met not immediately connected with the subject, are of suffi- with treatment calculated to develop them; instead of cient importance to lie distinctly noticed: one of these is, which, the treatment now prohibited seems precisely that he should be laid to repose and awaked from it at calculated to retard and deform their minds. Let him the same hour, and as nearly as possible at the same time. be spoken to as if he were an intelligent being. He The hour itself inust of course depend upon other do- can at least understand the tone, if not the words. The mestic arrangements, but it is of the greatest import- tone itself will assist expanding intelligence. ance that it should be early, both in the evening and the

8. Nevertheless, let habits of activity be encouraged. morning. The benefit of this direction is, that it tends Next to yonrself, the best nurse and the best attendant to promote a habit of going to bed early and of early of a child is a sister, a few years only older than himrising. I am indebted to the suggestion of an able self. The mental states of both of them, and the modes writer, that to the want of attention to this rule in of natural developinent resemble each other. They can infancy may be ascribed that disinclination to early understand one another better than even himself and repose and early rising, which multitudes have never his mother; for she has long ago practically forgotten been able to conquer throughout life, although con- how a child thiuks, and perceives, and learns. I have scious of the detriment produced by it upon their often noticed, that a sister in such circumstances can health, success in life, and general happiness.

inake an infant comprehend much better than the mo3. I need hardly remind you how essential to ther. Happy the young child that has such a playmate! health are the purity and free circulation of the atmo- Let them play, and laugh together. Let them amuse sphere in the chamber wherein any one sleeps, but each other in the garden whenever they can, and on the especially an infant. Upon the purity of the air the carpet when this is impracticable. The infant will blood depends for its proper constituents; upon the indeed amuse himself, if you give him some glittering purity of the blood the body depends for its strength object which he cannot injure, and with which he canand development; upon the strength of the body the not injure himself. Do not, however, suspend any mind depends for its cheerfulness and ability.

thing of the kind around his person. When held in the 4. The custom so prevalent, of darkening a chamber arms of another, let it be given to him, and let him by shutters, and of surrounding beds with curtains, and drop it, and let it be picked up again and put into his especially the cradles of infants, is injurious to the hand again and again. He is thus learning a valuable health, not merely owing to the causes last specified, lesson : he is learning nothing less than the law of grabut to the eyesight. Where the light is almost entirely vitation, which will perpetually operate upon every excluded, and then the shutters opened nearly at once, thing around him throughout his life. the pain and violence suffered by the eyes would seem 9. As he advances — for while I am on the subject, I naturally to discourage the custom. The use of cur- will give you my ideas as applicable to him for many tains is less injurious: the disuse of them, especially years to come-as he advances, let it be your perpetual around the bed or cradle, has often been recoin- occupation to teach him the qualities of that external mended by physicians. One good effect of the advice world upon which he has entered. I utterly disapprove would be, that the eye would gradually become stronger of all toys, except those which illustrate some truth, or by being accustomed to the light, shaded by the eyelid, the use of some machine, such as a printing press, &c. even while closed in sleep; and, above all other rea- These will only be of use in years to come. If you will sons, the increasing light, especially in a spring or make use of flowers and animals, or inanimate objects, summer morning, would naturally awaken him, and to which to direct his attention, you will have no need conduce to the habit of early activity, which is of incal- of toys, which a child can never comprehend, and which culable importance.

would injure his understanding if he could, since they How beautiful in every respect is the description of are generally mere burlesque imitations of nature. Let this circunstance in those lovely lines of the poet Gray him learn nature. Let all your attention at this time be upon a Distant View of Eton College, and in which, directed to his senses, in teaching him to discriminate referring to the habits of early youth, he speaks of the qualities of external objects : exercise his sight, his The spirits pure, the slumbers light,

hearing, his feeling. If children must have brilliant Thai ly th' approach of morn!”

colours for their amusement, let them be those of 5. The open air and the influence of the sun I believe flowers, not the paint of a toy, which, to say the least, to have considerable effect upon the health and spirits he will be likely to apply to his mouth. As he advances of young children. If the clothing of an infant be dry (for the nature of my observations will show you the and warın, even the air of a clear frosty day need not time of his life I have in view), let a real landscape rather be dreaded.

than a tawdry picture be chosen for a similar purpose. 6. You will soon perceive the development of mental Let his attention be daily directed to such objects for

the template the dawn of those faculties and powers, upon or two beyond, duly improved, if you have exercised the right direction of which his future happiness his senses and taught him the qualities of external objects. These impressions upon the senses are the origin

con.

THE TWO ALTARS.-HEB. XI, 4. of all our ideas : of what importance is it that pains should be taken to secure the early and correct appre

Behold two altars rais'd hension of them! Teach himn these, and his mind will

On yon delightful plain ; develop itself. Have but one other object during this Th' ascending fires have blaz’d; whole period, the cultivation of his health, the esta

On ode a victim slain blishment of his bodily strength and bodily activity, and

Is bleeding, as the sun, withdrawn, regularity in his hours of retiring to rest and awakening

Retires on western hills to dawn. from it. From the period of five to fifteen, the same But 'mid th' increasing gloom, general methods respecting health and exercise should

A heavenly flame is seen be diligently pursued, till the states of body at which Those ashes to consume, they aim are completely established.

As they had never been ; Let no diminution of his daily exercise be caused by Which proves that God does not despise any consideration whatever : and if he has to walk to

This, His appointed sacrifice. school from your house over a healthy road a distance

But darker grows the gloom of four miles and back every day, from the time he

The other altar round; begins to go to school till he is cighteen years old, it

No fire does that consume, will be a happy circumstance for him, in my apprehen

No victim there is found; sion. At different periods of life in which they are suitable, let every opportunity be made for his playing

But only wither'd fruits and flowers, with other boys at every robust game and engaging in

Gather'd from blooming Eastern bowers. every manly exercise which were invented and practised What light can now be given, by our hardy forefathers. Let there be two objections

This mystery to unfold ? only to any of these exercises; namely, whether in their Why should approving Heaven general nature they are dangerous to himself, or are

The flowing blood behold ?ever in the slightest degree calculated to give pain to Accept?-but cast a threat'ning shade any other being. As early as possible give him a large

O'er the sweet flowers Himself had made? piece of ground in your garden, to cultivate with his

His Spirit has explain'd, own hands. Let part of it be devoted to flowers, and

And reconcil'd the fact :part to vegetables and fruits. Interest him, if possible,

By Faith was this attain'd; in its appearance ; praise it when you can, and make

And by this single act, him feel the genuine value of the occupation. At as Abel a welcome offering brought, early an age as consistent let him be taught to swim,

While that of Cain He counted nought. and to row a boat. Be glad if you find him fond of activity, always ready to walk or to ride. In a word,

Faith in the promise, made under the guidance of the two rules above mentioned,

To Adam by the Lord,

“ His seed shall bruise thy head !” let him pursue every kind of exercise to which he is inclined, every kind of amusement in the open air, the

This was the mighty Word !more intelligent of course the better, Alf this is un

The Saviour !- whose atoning blood questionably to be understood in the degree which is

Has reconcil'd a world to God. consistent with the due attention to mental culture, re

By this he speaks, though dead, specting which I hope to give my sentiments in a future

And will to distant time: Letter. In a word, be assured, that the habits of carly

“Bruis'd is the serpent's head !” rising, delight in the open air, and tendency to bodily

Shall sound from clime to clime, activity, promote health, which is the chief ingredient

Until the Lord himself shall come in earthly happiness; strength of body, which is the

To call his ransom'd people home. origin of strength of mind; long life, which as a

S. H. lengthened space of usefulness if accompanied with health is an inestimable blessing ; and be not surprised if I add to the list of advantages, by assigning that of

INFANTICIDE. morality itself: for it is well known, that they who are most addicted to exercise in the open air, and are most We are generally accustomed to associate this horrible cordially prone all their life long to bodily exertions, practice with our ideas of heathenism in its most barbaare generally better tempered, more candid, ingenuous, rian provinces : but an acquaintance with the real state generous, and in all respects nobler-minded, than the of things will prove, that the devotees of idolatry, sluggish and inactive, who are very often irresolute, however distinguished their attainments, all come under useless, timid, and not unfrequently sensual and dark- one denunciation, The dark places of the earth are minded.

full of the habitations of cruelty.” When Mr. Medhurst Furnish himn with these habits and qualities, and they resided in Penang, a Chinese came to him for medicine, will attend and bless him throughout life; he will per- who said he had three sons and one daughter, adding, ceive their value, and both naturally and as a matter of “ I had another daughter, but I did not bring her up.' principle communicate them to his children, and they Not bring her up! what then did you do with her?” from ihe same causes to theirs; and you may confi. I smothered her; and this year I heard by letter that dently hope to render him the head of a vast, healthy, another daughter was born;— 1 sent word to have that and happy posterity.

smothered also, but the mother has preserved it alive.” Dear Madam, your, &c.

Mr. Medhurst, shocked at this speech, and still more

at the horrid indifference with which it was tered, Clericus.

exclaiined, “What! murder your own children? Do you not shudder at such an act ?“Oh, no!” replied

the man, “ it is a very common thing in China; we “ On some turnpikes these words are inscribed, put the female children out of the way, to save the No Trust here:' may not this be said of the believer's trouble of bringing them up: some people have smoheart?" -Toplady.

thered five or six daughters ?”

CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE.No. III.

such, ought to persuade themselves that they shall be

saved ; nor do we say that Christians who have arrived ASSURANCE.

at the highest degree of holiness can be persuaded of

the certainty of their salvation in every period of their Much perplexity is felt by sincere Christians on the lives ; nor, if left to their own efforts, can they enjoy subject of Assurance. They read of it, they hear of it, it: but believers, supported by the Divine aid, who and they have no doubt but many of the people of God walk in all good conscience before him, these only have possessit, rejuicing in its divine consolations : it

grounds to expect this privilege.” cannot, therefore, but be ardently and anxiously de- Dr. Owen, spcaking of the work of the Holy Spirit sired. There is, however, much misapprehension and as a Comforter, sealing the souls of believers to the day misconception on this subject, in the minds of many, of redemption, says-" This is that whereby he giveth especially in relation to the doctrine, as contained in believers assurance of their relation unto him, of their the Holy Scriptures.

interest in him, and of his love and favour to them. Assurance is the firm persuasion of the reality of It hath generally been conceived, that this sealing with any thing; or the certain expectation of a future good. the Spirit is that which gives assurance unto believers : God " hath given to all men assurance of a day of judg- and so indeed it doth, although the way whereby it ment, in that he hath raised Christ from the dead.” doth it, hath not been rightly apprehended. And, Acts xvii, 31. “Thou shalt have none assurance of thy therefore, none have been able to declare the especial life.” Deut. xxviii, 66.

nature of that act of the Spirit whereby he seals us, “Full assurance of faith,” Heb. x, 22, does not re. whence such assurance should ensue. Biit it is indeed late to our undoubting personal interest in the bless- not any act of the Spirit in us that is the ground of our ings of redemption by Christ; but to the truth of assurance, but the communication of the Spirit unto us. God's revealed will in the gospel, and to the office of This the apostle plainly testifieth, 1 John ii, 24, Christ as our High Priest with God : it is a perfectly ‘Hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit satisfactory persuasion of the divinity of the gospel which he hath given us.' That God abideth in us and revelation. In this “ full assurance of faith,” Chris- we in hiin, is the subject matter of our assurance: this tians are privileged to draw nigh to God, as their we know, saith the apostle; which expresseth the heavenly Father.

highest assurance we are capable of in this world. “Full assurance of understanding," Col. ii, 2, is a And how do we know it? Even by the Spirit which he matured and comprehensive knowledge of the Divine hath given unto us. But it may be, the sense of these economy of redeeming grace through the mediation of words may be, that the Spirit which God gives us doth, Jesus Christ, and made known to us in the gospel. by some special work of his, effect this assurance in us; While some believers are babes in evangelical know- and so it is not his being given unto us, but some speledge, others are advanced and become

young men, cial work of his in us, that is the ground of our assuand“ fathers," whose minds are filled and stored with rance, and consequently our sealing. I do not deny the word of God, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit, such an especial work of the Spirit, as shall hereafter

unto the riches of the full assurance of the under- be declared ; but I judge that it is the communication standing, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of of the Spirit himself unto us that is here intended. God, and of the Father, and of Christ."

For so the apostle declares his sense to be; chap. iv, 13, “ Full assurance of hope,” Heb. vi, 11, relates to the • Hereby know we that we dwell in God, and he in us, glorious inheritance of heaven; it is an undoubted per- because he hath given us of his Spirit.' This is the suasion, that God will graciously grant the fulfiment of great evidence, the great ground of assurance which we his promises in Christ, in the possession of a blissful have, that God hath taken us into a near and dear immortality. From this and many other passages of relation unto himself, because he hath given us of his Scripture it is manifest, that such a happy state of mind Spirit ; that great and heavenly gift which he will has been attained, and that it is now attainable by impart to no others. If the Spirit of God dwell in us, Christians.

we are his ; 'but if any man have not the Spirit of Some divines have maintained, and the excellent Christ, he is none of his;' Rom. viii, 9. Hereoi alone Mr. Hervey was of that number, that assurance of depends the determination of our especial relation unto salvation is included in the very essence of faith; so God. By this, therefore, doth God seal believers ; that we cannot possess faith without assurance of in- and therein gives them assurance of his love. And this terest in Christ. Faith in Christ most certainly in- is to be the sole rule of your self-examination, whether cludes the assurance that he is the Saviour of men :

or not you are sealed of God.” but it does not necessarily imply assurance of personal Imploring the gracious intluences of the Holy Spirit, interest in his redemption. Saving faith may be weak, let our pious readers, “in making their calling and elecand may be possessed by young believers long before they tion sure,” endeavour to possess " the full assurance of arrive at that high degree of satisfaction of which we faith ;” and being assured of the divinity of the gospel are speaking. Confounding assurance with faith, has of Christ, let them seek the “full assurance of underbeen the cause of daring presumption in some profes- stunding;” that possessing enlargement of soul in dissors, and of gloomy despondency in others. If men are covering the grandeur of the scheme of redemption, taught that faith consists in believing that Christ died they inay habitually, even in the world, rejoice in the for them, and that believing so they are consequently full assurance of hopeof glory everlasting ! pardoned and justified, the consequences will be as they have been, that the bold and self-sufficient will flatter their uncontrite souls with such a persuasion to their delusion or perdition ; while the truly humble,

THE THREE QUESTIONS. and those who are "poor in spirit,” not being able to work themselves to that high pitch of confidence, will BERNARD's three questions are worth the asking ouryield to the temptation that they have not “the faith of selves, in any enterprize:- 1. Is it lawful? May I do God's elect,” and that therefore they shall perish! it, and not sin? 2. Is it becoming me as a Christian?

The eloquent Sauriu observes, i. We do not affirm May I do it, and not wrong my profession? 3. Is it that Christians, of whose sincerity there may be some expedient ? May I do it, and not offend my weak doubt, have a right to assurance ; that backsliders, as brother?

« PreviousContinue »