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was eminently given to hospitality; and his guests found, under his roof, an intellectual feast prepared for them. The cheerfulness of his temper, his great flow of spirits, and his uncommon powers of conversation, were decisive proofs that real religion has no tendency to inspire gloom and melancholy. He possessed the friendship and esteem of many of the most respectable characters of the age. His intercourse with them was calculated at once to edify and to please. Anxious that none should be neglected, for whom duty and affection disposed him to provide, he executed accurate and judicious setilements of his worldly affairs ten years before the period of his death.
The work of the ministry was that in which his soul delighted, and to wbich he directed his chief attention. He entered into his labours in eaily life: and the experience of many now gathered to their fathers, and of many who still survive is registered in Heaven, to bear witness, in the day of the Lord, to his faithfulness, ability, and unwearied perseverance. Determined to know nothing among his people, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified, he never aiused ihem with cunningly-devised fables, or the tenets of a philosophy, falsely so called. Out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth spaliw of the things which belong to their peace.
The everlasting truths, the holy precepts, the awful threatenings, the exceeding great and precious promises of the glorious gospel of the blessed God, it was his heart's desire, and his invariable practice, to make known among them. He preached the unsearch, able riches of Christ, and boldly declared the whole counsel of God. Nor did he require of them any sacrifices or exertions which he himself was reluctant to make. On that sure foundation which was laid in Zion, he built his own faith, and all his hope of pardon and peace. As he published the doctrines of grace, so it was grace wherein he was inade to stand. His conduct was correct, uniform, and consistent. His piety was unaffected, but unmixed with bigotry. He was tenacious of His principles; but his liberality of sentiment, and his charity towards those who differed from him, were not thereby obstructed or impaired. His life adorned the doctrine of God his Saviour, and reflected with lustre, increasing with its progress, the image of his Maker impressed upon his soul.
The Church of God possesses all the distinguishing characteristics of a family. It is not earth-born; and, therefore, cannot be known by open malice, concealed rancour, – smooth dissimulation, , base, sellish, and unbrotherly principles. It is Heaven-born : Jehovah is its Parent, - its members are “ led by his Spirit,” and are therefore hie children. Jesus is the Elder Brother; "in whose name the whole family in Heaven and Earth is nained,” and his meek and quiet spirit is diffused througl:out it. Hence liberal charity, sympathetic feeling, reciprocal affection, and implicit conti dence, should firmly exist among them, in all simplicity, sincerity, and spirituality. In proportion as it is so, they will sorrow, rejoice, pray, and praise in unison: they will watch over each other with godly concern; and receive the admonitions of their brethren affectionately, joyfully, and humbly,
abhorring self-confidence, and dreading self-esteem. Hence the language of the Psalmist will be frequently their language: “ Let the Righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness ; let him Teprove me, it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head, for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamity.' Surely the Psalmist saw the excellence of brotherly reproof. llow affectionately he invites it, cordially approves it, and gratefully receives it ! — Let us briefly and simply dilate these ideas.
Affectionately to invite reproof, is a gracious symptom of a soul renewed; and cannot exist amid the self-complacency, empty arrogance, and tyrannical snperciliousness of natuje. There are complicated evils to which believers are exposed, and a sense of which will conduct them to this amiable disa position. Shall we mention some?
1. Their es posure to temptation will lead to this disposition, It convinces them that means of precaution, as well as of actual sesistance, must be adopted against their enemies; and in ad. dition to free access at the throne of grace, and a complete habiliment of armour, the affectionate invitation of reproof, from experienced warriors, when necessary, will form a strong bulwark of defence against the unexpected attacks of enemies, incessant and subtle in their operations. Wbile we stand, let us take heed leşt we fall. Dreadful stratagems may be laid for us, of which we are not aware ; but our brethren, who have seen the field of war, may discover our danger, and avert, by their friendly admonitions, the impending calamities.
2. Their views of the deceitfulness of sin will lead to this disposition. In their hearts exist former principles : they are not utterly eradicated, though subdued. Depraved nature and a deceitful heart require a strong guard, lest leagues he formed between those and the great enemy; and from this coincidence, fatal circumstances foilow. Sin is sophisticating, is insinuating; like the cameleon, it can suit various circumstances, and take a variety of colours :, it can assume the lovely appear. ance of innocent amusement, or harmless simplicity; and thus veiling its hideous form, it will infatuare the mind, debilitate the reason, captivate the affections, infame the passions, and plunge the soul in a labyrinth before it is aware. Deprecating this evil, let us affectionately invite our brethren to “ exhort us, while it is called to-day, lest we be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
3. Their liableness to declension will lead to this disposition. We should ever guard against this bane of religious progress. When we are the subjects of it, we are most insensible of its pernicious tendency. Then how appropriate the alarıning reproof, “ Ye did run well :"-- what now can hinder you !
David cordially approves Religious Admonition; and it is worthy,
1, Because of the character froin whom it proceeds, the Righteous. He is eminent in piety, extensive in experience, affectionate in regard, soft in sympathy.
2, Because of the motives from whence it flows. It is not pharisaical ostentation : he does not wish to eclipse the character of his brother to display his own excellence, and thus to shine at his expence. That is a bad motive which prys into a brother's imperfections, to make thein generally and severely conspicuous. Alas! there are some wiro, from pretensions to purity, make impertinent enquiries into the characters of the absent; and, from a show of delicacy, delegate some other as monitor, who is sure to promulgate and aggravate the circumstances. This, surely, is not the Spirit of Christ! Such des., picable characters resemble the fawning minion, whose iasatiable ambition has conducted hiin to the royal favour by trampling upon the characters of others. The motives of gospel reproof flow froun bowels of compassion, constraining love, and zeal for the divine glory.
3, Because of the manner in which it is delivered. The une fortunate brother is a brother still: his feelings shall not be wounded; he shall be taken aside, and tenderly addressed in secrecy.
4, Because of the ingredients of which it is composed. It is not inalignant enmity, it is gentle kindness; it is not the vial of wrath,-it is an excellent, a salutary oil : shed upon the head, it shall revine our brother, and refresh him. Faithfulness and affection are intermingled. Reproof must be faithful; and thus address the conscience, advert to circumstances, and attach to definite character. Then it will come in the language of Nathan, “Thou art the man ;” but it need not be harsh, censorious, and upfeeling.
Should these diabolical principles be unfortunately intermingled, they will irritate the passions, close the avenues of access, and harden the heart. You cannot delight to wound; you probe, but it is to heal; you pour the balm of compassion, and you point hiin to the blood of Jesus. This is God-like ! - for thus does Jehovah, when, by the cords of love, he draws sinners to bimself. This is the way it which he conquers their hearts, subdues their re
bellion, and makes them the voluntary subjects of the Lord Jesus. Let us do likewise with our brethren.“ If one be overtaken in a fault, those who are spiritual shall restore him, in the spirit of love and meekness." So Pauldid to the poor backslider at Corinth. He had grievously sinned, - he was justly smitten; but it was with affliction, with anguish of heart, and with many tears. The tender, the amiable Paul, wrote again, " Give him not up to utter despair, forgive him, console him, receive him." Let us admire, let us imitate this!
They will gratefully receive it; and their prayer shall be for us in our calamity, when we are in similar circumstances, when we are in spiritual darkness, in providential adversity, iu misfortune. Let us also petition the guardian watchfulness of the righteous. Let us sing,
“O may the righteous, when I stray,
Shall never bruise, but cheer my head.” Cornwall.
A WEEK WELL SPENT.
It was constantly one of the first thoughts in a morning of this very successful minister", " What good may I do 10day?" He resolved this question into the following particulars :
1. His question for the Lord's Day morning constantly was, “What shall I do, as a pastor of a church, for the good of the dock under my charge ?"
2. For Monday, “What shall I do for the good of my own family?"
3. For 'Tnesday,“ hat good shall I do for my relations abroad :" - Sometimes he changed it for another, painels, “ What good shall I do to my enemies ? And how shall I overcome erit with good ?”
4. For Wednesday, “ What shall I do for the churches of. the Lord, and the niore general interests of religion in the world!"
5. For Thursday, “ What good may I do in the several Societies to which I am related ?".
6. For Friday, " What special subjects of affiction, and objects of compassion, may i take under my particular care? And what shall I do for them;"
7. For Saturday, “ What more he I to do for the interest of God in my own heart and life?"
* In the first year of his ministry (though-osly about 18 ya:s of age) he bad reisaa to bileve he wa, mais the instrument of co..ver.iig at least 30 souls.
REFLECTIONS ON 1 JOHN IV. 8.
God is Love, There are certain combinations which are so powerful, that no efforts or artifices can separate them. Among these may be reckoned the union which exists between guilt and fear. Hence it is that we always feel a certain dread of those whom we are conscious of having wilfully offended ; and this dread is usually accompanied with a degree of enmity: so that the poet's remark is but too just, that
4 Forgiveness to the injured doth belong;
“But he ne'er pardons who has done the wrong." From this principle it may arise, that man, who has rebelled against his God, and offended him in the highest degree, is ever prone to consider him as a hard Master ;” – one who has imposed upon his creatures a law, which he knew it was impossible for them to fulfil, and as little better than a spiritual ty. rant, sporting with the feelings, and taking pleasure in the misery of his creatures: - and having formed, in their own imagination, such a God as this, it is no wonder that they run away from Him, and prefer the drudgery of Satan (hard as it really is) to the service of the Most High!
But let us listen to the volume of inspiration, and it will give us a far different description of Him, “ in whom we live, and move, and have our being.” This represents him, not only as benign and compassionate, but as absolutely and essentially love: so that he is the substance; and all the affections and kind. ness found among his creatures, are but the shadows. - He is the Fountain ; and all the tender and benevolent sensations, known by mortals, are but the streams : - He is the Sun; and all that is amiable and delightful in heaven or earth, is but the reflection of his rays. I have often thought, that even believers, - tbose whose views of God, and of themselves, have been changed and rectified, lose much solid comfort, by not sufficiently contemplating the Laity under this endearing character of love) Were this more regarded, it would have a powerful tendency to subdue our remaining unbelief, pacity our irembling apprehensions, and enable us to give to the winds our heart-rending anx. ieties, and corroding cares : for, Is God love?-then he will not, cannot, refuse to extend pardon and favour to the awakened sinner, who, terrified by the thunders of Sinai, casts a wishful look to that only quarter where he suns a possibility of safety, and longs to fly from his sins and his self-righteousness, and find shelter beneath a Saviour's bleeding wounds! No, trembler, no; thy God will not cast thee out! He has given all that a God could give, even his Son out of his bosom, to atone for thy