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THE DANGER OF INFIDELITY.
521 of infidel men, and of the depravity of my own heart in wresta ing aside Scripture, and so preventing the right ways of the Lord, I found it necessary to seek for light upon the passage.
Mi, Parkhurst gives the following significations to the word, there rendered, to deceite. “To draw aside, or withdraw; – to entice, or seduce, to evil; – to entice, or persuade, to good.” Several foreign translations which I met with, use the latter idea; and the excellent Martin, of Utrecht, reads the passage thus: “O Lord, thou hast attracted me, and I was attracted;" then comments upon it in these words:
“ It is the power of grace which alone attracts souls to God. Jeremiah here particularly alludes to the power of that call, by which he was, as it were, attracted and drawn to the work of the ministry, which he exercised amidst so many difficulties and contradictions t."
If, Sir, you deem the above calculated to give that satisfac, tion to others, which it has to my mind, your insertion of it will oblige
H, T. + Jeremiah i. 6.
THE DANGER OF INFIDELITY.
The tendency of any doctrine goes far towards proving whether it be of God or not. The Lord is a God of holiness, and cannot encourage wickedness; the Bible is a holy book, and the salvation it proposes is a holy salvation; all its doctrines tend to lay restraint on the passions of men. The doctrine of Universal Salvation tends to take off those restraints, and to open the flood-gates of iniquity : it therefore proves ilself not of God.
I was acquainted with a person, who died a few years since, who in health disbelieved the divinity of Christ, and believed that all men will be saved. I had frequent disputes with him on this subject. I told him, that though he might be satisfied with his scheme in health, it would fail him in the near view of death. He had a few months before been very sick; I reminded him of his sickness, and asked him, Whether he was then satisfied with his principles, and was willing to die by them? He said he was not; but was much distressed in his mind, lest they should not prove true;'but that now he was well confirmed in his sentiments, and was willing to die by them. I told him, it was altogether probable he would change his mind when he came to look death in the face; and that as he had made one trial, and found no comfort in the principles he had embraced, he would act a wise part to renounce them, and endeavoja to fix his hopes on a more firm basis. He still persisted in his error. Soon after this, he was visited with sickness; during which time I trequenıly visited him : but his confidence was shaken. As his disease increased, his fears were more alarmed. He now did not find that evidence in support of bis doctrine which he thought he did before. He frequently asked, with earnest solicitude, What can I do? I must relinquish the hope of all mankind being saved; and as I have never become holy, but depended on being saved in my sins, I can have no hope in the mercy of God. As for Jesus Christ, I know him not, and cannot believe his divinity ;-I therefore cannot embrace him as God-man Mediator. I can only hope in God's mercy, without regard to an atonement."-He was told that God displayed his merey in savinz sinners only through Jesus Christ, as the great atoning sacrifice; and that, out of Christ, he was a consuming fire. He then said he could have no hope.“ But, O." said be, " whither shall I fiy, or what can I do?” He was indeed a most pitiable object.His eyes seemed to Toll in anguish, terror took hold upon him, the view of a holy God filled him with distress; he kept calling on all about him for help; his strength failed him, but his fears became greater and greater, without any sensible alteration, till he expired. I shall only arld, it is a iniserable scheme of doctrine which encourages a sinful life, and will jield no rational comfort in the solemn hour of death.
SCRIPTURE ANTI DOTE FOR POPULAR FEARS.
To the Editor. Conversing this evening with a few female friends, upon the subject of
the expected Invasion, I found my coinpanions (most of whom, I hope, are partakers of the grace of God) almost weighed down under the pressure of their fears; and anxiously enquiring, if the French should come, whither, ah wlither! must we Ay! – Upon my return home, the topic still dwelling upon niy mind, I sat down with my Bible in my hand, and turned to Prov. xviii. 10, ". The name of the Lord is a strong tower ; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” As the reflections suggested to my mind from this passage contributed greatly to the peace of my own bosoin, I am not without hopes that, if you should deem them worthy of a place in your Miscellany, they may have a similar effect upon some of my sisters in the gospel. Sandwich.
E. T. That the name of the Lord, in this place, signifies his Attributes, is, and I believe, generally acknowledged: that the righteous persons described, are not those who are naturally or inherently righteous (where, alas! are such to be found :) but rather those who are clothed with the imputed sigliteousness
ANTIDOTE FOR POPULAR FEARS 523 of Christ, and sanctified, in part at least, by his Spirit, is a truth, which none who know the joyful sound of the gospel, and are acquainted with themselves, will, I am persuaded, deny: and, surely, if these characters are ever called upon to meditate upou such a text as this, and take the comfort it offers them, it is in a moment of danger and apprehension like the present. And what comfort does ii not offer? To what fear is it not a sovereign antidote ? " The French," cries one,“ will certainly come?" The French,' re-echoes another, ' will assuredly mwake an attempt, at least! I verily believe they intend it.' Come then, my Christian friends, let us fee unto our God;let us get away into our high tower, and then let them employ all their battering engines. They shall never annoy us, for the place of our defence is the Munition of Rocks! “Ah! but,” say some, “however you may treat the subject, there is great cause to be cast down and dismayed!" Illy so?
« The enemy is mighty!" True; but Jehovah is almighty: he doth as he pleasech in the armies of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and before laim all the armies of France, all the armies of the sorld, are but as a company of grasshoppers ! * But they are very numerous !" Admitted; but the chariots of God are twenty thousands, even thousands of angels; and be who, when upon earth, could have called twelve legions of angels to his own assistance, can be in no want of instruments to send to ours. If, therefore, we are the people of God, more are they that are with us, than those that are with them. “ But the French Consul seems to have an inveterate enmity against the English nation; and is determined, if possible, to overthrow it!" I believe he is; but if God be for us, who can, (successfully) be agaiust us? “ But the sins of our nation cry aloud for vengeance!" True, my brother, ny sister, they do, and so did yours and mine; and we have nothing w say wliy judgment should not take place, and we be sent to Hell: yet God spared us, and said unto us, Live; not because we deserved his merciful regard, but because he is "the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long sutlering, and abundant in goodness and truth” and for the same reason it is that England has hitherto been a spared, and not a destroyed nation. But Bonuparte appears to have been a scourge, ja the hand of God, to punish some countries, and may be appointed so to this! It is possible, it is to be feared; but even then, if we are the Lord's, they that trust in him are as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but standeih fast for ever. “ Well; but after all, if the French should come, whither must we fly?” The text returns an answer, “ The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and are safe." But the soldiers will destroy all our property! They cannot reach it. If we are Christians, our treasure is in Heaven, where we have " an house not made with hands, an inheritance incorruptible,
undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” “But, perhaps, they will kill us! Our bodies they may; but our Lord has directed us not to fear those who can only do this; and besides, do we profess to believe that the time and manner of our death is appointed by our Heavenly Father, and shall we dase to casil at his divine will, if he should employ the sword of an enemy, rather than commission a fever, or an asthma, as his messenger to call us to himself? But, as women especially, we have reason, in such an event, to dread outrages a thousand times worse than death! At this thought, more than any other, my sisters in the Lord, my soul, in common with yours, shudders! yet allow me to say, I firmly believe, that the God whom we serve, will never suffer such dreaded violence to befall those who trust in him; But even, for a moment, let us admit this thought, that the horrid atrocities we have read of in foreign countries should be repeated here, yet no violence can force the consent of our wills, or sully the purity of our minds.
To conclude: Permit me to suggest, to my female readers in particular, one mean of preparation which, in this time of laudable and general exertion, seems to fall properly within our sphere, and to claim our immediate attention : - it is this: Let us take the word of God in our hands, and retire to our closets; and there, in the sight of an heart-searching God, examine whether we are prepared for death, judgment, and eternity: in other words, whether we are individually interested in the merits and righteousness of a dear Redeemer. If we have reason, on an impartial scrutiny, to fear we are not, 0 let us not lose a moment! but fly, instantly fly, to the hope set before us in the gospel, as the only city of refuge where we can be safe. But if Conscience, enlightened by the word of God, testifies that we are, let us no longer dishonour our almighty Protector by our desponding fears. If we are his, we may boldly bid defiance to all the hosts of France, and of Hell; for not one wlio trusted in God was ever confounded.
Am I accused of coldness, or indifference? No, my friends ; I love my KingI bless God,—and I value the British Constitution, for my civil and religious privileges. I love my country with a patriot's warmth; but, above all, I love my God; and would contide in his promises and bis tried protection! Be it our part, as children of the Most High, to use all our own influence, and to call in all the assistance of our great Advocate and Intercessor at a throne of grace, for the preservation and prosperity of our country and our King! and let us take encouragement from the thought, that had there been in Sodom only ten praying characters, that guilty land had been spared: whereas, there are, we doubt not, at this moment, in Britain, vastly more than ten thousand such; and while we do this, let us not forget to rejoice in the Lord, who hath delivered, who doth deliver, and in whom we will cheerfully confide that He will still deliver.
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THE SURE FOUNDATION.
Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this
seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his; and let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
2 Tim. ii. 19. These words refer to that well-known metaphor, in which the church of Christ is compared to a building. In allusion to the number of its members, it is frequently represented as a city: in allusion to the sacred services for which it is designed, it is sometimes called a Holy Temple. In both cases, the security of the whole must be considered as depending on the foundation.
The foundation of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. « Other foundations can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christt." To him all who are born of God come, as unto a living stone; disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precioust." And they are built upon the foundation of the
Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the founda. tion corner-stones.”
The comfortable truth, to which our attention here is chiefly directed, is the stability of this foundation. This truth is stated by the Apostle, for the encouragement of the Christain while surrounded with difficulties, humbled under a sense of his own weakness and corruption, and alarmed by the inconstancy and treachery of false brethren. Referring to all these circuma stances, he triumphantly says, “ Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure.' It is sure, because God hath established it. “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, sure foundation : he that beliveth shall not make haste ll." It is sure, because Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, is the substance of it. “ He is the rock; his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment : a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he’s. The instability of other foundations displays, hy a striking contrast, the unparallelled excellence of the foundation of God. Accordingly, when God declares the establishment of his foundation, he adds his determination to destroy every thing which men may attempt to put in its place. “ Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place **. who reject the counsel of God against themselves, who refuse to build upon his foundation, and who go about to lay an unwarranted one of their own, may deceive both themselves and
" These men