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1661 Vaughan was a prisoner at and success. The old PresbyteriLincoln for not reading the com- an meeting-house was occupied by mon prayer; and soon afterwards them; and the name of one, lately he died in voluntary banishment deceased, is still held there in in the Bermudas.
affectionate remembrance. This The age of oppression and in- was the Rev. Mr. Glascott, well tolerance passed away with the known in the religious world some fallen dynasty of the Stuarts; and fifty years ago ; and respecting in the calamities which thickly whom some interesting anecdotes crowded upon that ill-starred fa- have recently appeared.* We have mily, God appeared avenging been favoured with the following the blood of his saints, and re- letters of Lady Ann Erskine, for warding the firm and unyielding which we are indebted to the kindpiety of his remnant. The dis- ness of John Hayward, Esq, of senting communities, after an ar. Lincoln, whose father duous struggle, secured their rights active promoter of the cause of and liberties, and the churches Christ there, and was in correspon. which had so long been cast on dence for a considerable period troublous times, were shielded with their pious and amiable from ecclesiastical tyranny. But author. Though valuable on acthe change was in some respects count of the writer alone, their injurious—the calm that succeed- introduction here may not be deed, in too many instances, brought void of interest, and with them with it indifference and apathy-a we shall close the present paper. grave-like cold and deadness- • My good friend, Mr. Hayand those interests which nobly ward—I am glad of this opporsurvived the rude attacks of mitred tunity to return you thanks for bigotry, drooped and languished your very kind attentions to Mr. when the storm was over.
Drew, on his way to Gainsborough, waxed fat and kicked,”- wbich he informed me of with many became at "ease in Zion," much gratitude; and I hope you and a deadly night-shade was seen will add to the obligation by exslowly twining its tendrils and cusing me from the trouble I give clasping with its folds the branches you by a further request. I am of the “ living vine.” Principles going to send a minister to Alford, which had triumphed in many a in Lincolnshire, which I underwell-fought field — truths which stand is about 20 or 25 miles from associated with
Lincoln, and I am much at a loss mighty names -- were traitorously to know how he can properly get abandoned for the heartless dog- there. He is now in Suffolk, and mas of Socinian birth; and of I mean he should cross the counsome of the “ churches” which try from thence to Peterborough “ had rest,” the enquiry might and Lincoln ; but when he reaches indeed be prompted, • Where- Lincoln, I know not how he can fore, when I looked that it should get from thence to Alford, and bring forth grapes, brought it more so as he will (I believe) have forth wild grapes.”
a wife and child with him, a little During the last century, the boy about three or four years old. cause of religion in Lincoln was I should be very much obliged warmly espoused by Lady Huntingdon ; and several of her ministers laboured here with diligence Evangelical Magazine, May, 1832. N.S. NO. 93.
would make meet her, if not, he will be there some inquiry on this subject for on Saturday morning, as I have me, and let me know as soon as written to him by this day's post ; you possibly can, whether there but as she is not only a stranger is any means of accomplishing it in Lincolnshire, but in England, on reasonable terms, that I may I thought a line to a friend at Lin. write to him accordingly. As it is coln would be a satisfaction to her. for the Lord's work, I know you Mr. Neilson unites with gratitude will not count it a trouble. May for your friendly attention to him. he abundantly bless you, and make Accept my thanks for this, and his love very precious to your soul, believe me to be sincerely your is the sincere prayer of your friend friend and well-wisher, and well-wisher,
" A. A. ERSKINE." “ A. A. ERSKINE.” Spa Fields, April, 23, 1795.” Spa Fields, Feb. 18th, 1795."
My good friend-In conse“ My good friend–The bearer quence of some difference which of this is the Rev. Mr. Neilson, has arisen at Newark, Mr. Wilwho is on bis way for a time to liams is come up to town for about Alford. Though he goes there a week, and I hope every thing without his family, I should have will be settled; but, in the meansent him by the Spilsby coach, as time, it would be very improper you directed me, but he arrived in for the chapel at Newark to be London a day too late for it, and left without a supply, even for one must have stopt here till next Sunday. I do therefore most Wednesday, and I thought it a earnestly request that Mr. Griffiths pity he should lie by a Sunday un,
will be so good as to go over, and employed, while our old friends I will take care that his expenses at Lincoln were without a supply, shall be paid, and yours too, if and that he might (if they wished you think it proper to go over with it) give them a sermon on his way, him, which, as a trustee, I think and that the Lord might bless it to you should. It seems that about some poor dear soul. He is just a week or ten days ago, some persetting off, so that I have not time sons (I name no names) knocked to answer your last letter particu- down the man who had the keys, larly. I thank you for it, and for and took them from him. I do your kind wishes. Put Mr. Neil. not find they have made any use son in the best way to proceed to of them, for the doors have not Alford.
With my best wishes for been locked, and Mr. Williams you and yours, believe me to be preached there without interrupsincerely your friend and well- tion last Lord's Day. I am sorry wisher, " A. A. ERSKINE.” to give you this trouble, but I Spa Fields, March, 12, 1795." hope you, as an old friend, will
excuse me, and believe me to be “ My good friend--I am asham- sincerely your friend, ed to give you so much trouble,
“ A. A. ERSKINE." but as an old friend, I hope you
Spa Fields, Dec. 21, 1801.” will excuse it. The bearer of this is Mrs. Neilson, who is on her “ May the Lord give you many way to Gainsborough. Perhaps blessings in the ensuing year, and Mr. Neilson may be at Lincoln to his people at Lincoln.”
PROVIDENCE AND GRACE.
ALLUSIONS are frequently made that a creating act is constantin Scripture to an analogy ex- ly exerted to
the seed isting between the natural and to sprout forth. Hence it has spiritual worlds. The providen- been with propriety said—“ Protial superintendence of God over vidente is a continued creation.” his works of creation is often re- The power of God is required to ferred to as illustrative of his ope- preserve and perpetuate, as well rations in presiding over the appli- as originally to form. Speaking cation of the blessings of his grace. of the seed deposited in the soil, It might be anticipated, that as the Apostle says — " That which Providence and Grace are different thou sowest, thou sowest not that but closely connected parts of the body that shall be, but bare grain, administration of the same Being, it may chance of wheat or some some similarity would be discover- other grain : but God giveth it a able between them. It is very body as it hath pleased him.”obvious that this conclusion is (1 Cor. xv. 37, 38.) When it is sanctioned by Scripture. Bishop said (Mark iv. 28) the earth bring. Butler has referred to this analogy eth forth fruit of herself (autouárn) for the purpose of showing that it relates, as is evident from the similar difficulties to those which context, not to the exclusion of apply to natural and revealed re- divine, but of human power.ligion, occur in the constitution Man, after he has deposited the and course of nature, and has thus seed, can do no more to cause it to triumphantly repelled the objec. grow. The earth bringeth forth tions of cavillers to the system of fruit “ spontaneously.” This exreligion in general, and to the clusion of human power is quite Christian system in particular.- consistent with what is stated in The object of the following re- the previously cited passage, of marks is to trace the analogy sub- the actual exertion of divine power, sisting between the operations of and with the words of our Lord, God in applying the benefits of (Matt. viii. 30.) “ If God so clothe the Christian system, and in the. the grass of the field,” &c. Of established economy of his Pro- this last passage it should be revidence.
marked, that Christ refers to this One point of resemblance, to process in the natural world, as which Scripture often refers, is furnishing an example from which found in the circumstance that a the disciples might assure themdirect operation of divine energy selves of their heavenly Father's takes place, both in Providence continued superintendence over and in Grace. When Paul says, them, and the constant exertion (1 Cor. iii. 6,) “ I have planted, of his power and goodness in their A pollos watered, but God gave behalf. It is in vain, in order to the iucrease;" he plainly intends obriate the conclusion to which that the power which renders the this analogy leads, to affirm that gospel-proclamation efficacious, is the seed produces its fruit accordanalogous to that which causes ing to the established course of nathe seed of the husbandman to ture. The acknowledgment of the germinate and grow. In the na- exertion of divine power is by no tural world, then, it is evident means avoided by this reference
to the original constitution of na- that watereth, but God that givture. Every existence must have eth the increase.” This conclu. an efficient
When the sion, however, it should be reblade, therefore, appears, there marked, whilst it seems obviously must be a cause adequate to its to flow from the analogy referred production. It will not be affirm- to, is supported by abundant ined that the seed is such a cause; dependent evidence.
Not only it can be nothing more than a does the general tenor of Scripsecond cause, or occasion for its ture proceed upon the recognition appearance. If it be alleged that of it, but it is often directly affirm. God's original establishment of ed. Of Lydia it is said " whose the course of nature is the cause, heart the Lord opened.” The it may be replied, that even dead in trespasses and sins are if it were possible to conceive declared to be divinely“ quickenof a course of nature apart from ed.” Eph. ii. 1. Repentance is the continued agency of the God stated to be given by God, (2 Tim. of nature, still, as the term course ii. 25.) Faith is represented as a of nature is a general one, includ- divine production in the soul, ing all its particulars, the divine (1 Eph. xix. 20.) In short, where. will is as much the cause of each ever conversion is traced to its event in the succession, as of the source, it is uniformly ascribed to general series thus denominated. the power of the Most High, and To say that God has constituted thus the analogy holds that in nasuch a course is only to state that ture and in grace
“ all things are he has determined the succession of God.” of a certain order of events, and Another point of similarity lies the particular we are considers in the imperceptible manner in ing, the appearance of this blade, which the divine energy is exerted. among the rest.
His will must In Providence we see nothing but therefore be the efficient cause of the operation of second causes, and its production. However unable this, because God acts on every we may be to conceive of an in- thing in a manner consistent with finite mind, the cause of all exist- its own nature and properties.ence throughout its vast domain, The seed appears of itself to proour incapacity constitutes nó duce its fruit. In the support of ground of objection to the view our animal frames we are sensible of Providence on which we are of nothing but the nutrition arising insisting. This divine operation, from the aliment we receive. In then, in the natural world, is al. deciding on any course in the conluded to by the Apostle as illus- duct of life, we are governed by trative of that interposition where- the force of the considerations by God applies to the soul the which appear most constraining, benefits of the Christian scheme. without being aware of any suAs in the former it is not enough perior direction. So also in grace, to attribute the production of the the subject of divine influence is fruits of the earth to the properties at the time insensible to its operaof the seed and of the soil, so, in tions. “ Asin reference to the conthe latter, the influence of educa- servation of our natural beings, tion and the power of suasion are
we are assured equally insufficient to produce the the first cause co-operates with inresult. or Neither is he that ferior causes, (for we live, move, planteth any thing, neither he and have our being in him,) though
the divine influence is not com- it listeth, and thou hearest the municated to this purpose with sound thereof, but canst not tell any sensible glory, or so distin- whence it comest nor whither it guishably that we can discern goeth, so is every one that is born what influence is from the superior of the Spirit." Still, however, cause, and what from subordi, th
the mind acts with spontaneity nate; our reason and faith cer- and is therefore sufficiently free. tainly assure us of what our sense Instead, then, of cavilling at the cannot reach in this matter. So it doctrines of superior influence, it is here also, the divine Spirit ac- becomes us to admire the power commodates himself very much to and the wisdom of the Creator, the same way of working with our
who has so constituted his creaown, and acts as suitably to our tures as to be capable of being own natures.” Works, vol. ii. p. wrought upon by an energy from 156. Whilst this manner of ope- himself, whilst at the same time ration detracts nothing from the in full possession of their own reality of divine influence, it suf- freedom of agency. ficiently destroys all objections to A resemblance may further be it as interfering with the free observed in the sovereignty wbich agency of man.
There might be pervades the economy both of Prosome ground for the objection, if vidence and Grace. Even in inany who had been the subjects of fancy, how great a difference prethis influence, had been at the time vails in the natural constitution; sensible of any thing like compul. in some cases it is vigorous, in sion, though there would then be others, weak and sickly. Few little cause truly for complaint, if also will advocate the idea that all blessings so inestimable were forc- minds are originally alike. In ed on our acceptance. Nothing one part of a tract of land, moreof this kind, however, has ever over, the husbandman ‘rejoices in been experienced. At the period favourable weather and in the of regeneration, the convert has plenteousness of his sheaves; in found new views breaking upon another, the crops are impovehim, and new feelings arising in rished by the drought, or beaten his mind, but has ever been fully down by the storm.
Whilst soconscious of the possession of his vereignty then is found to freedom. He is only sensible of through the administration of Probeing guided by the force of the vidence, shall we wonder that it considerations, which his mind is also pervades that of Grace? It revolving—and the ability to act is true that difficulties, supposed thus under the influence of motives to attach to the latter, are not reis all that freedom requires. A moved by a reference to similar mind beneath the renewing influ- difficulties in the former. Viewed ence of the Spirit, instead of being in this light, however, both apcompelled against its inclination, pear as harmonious parts of the becomes gradually not only wil- government of the same Being ; ling but anxiously desirous to em- and, as the principle in both cases brace the offer of the gospel. It is the same, the difference arising is at the time little aware of the merely from the superior imporreason that considerations now ap- tance of the one instance to the pear so constraining whose force other, we may at least see the falwas before unappreciated. As in lacy of hesitating to admit in the nature, “the wind bloweth where one, what cannot but be acknow