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St. John, but he · said he had rather die and go to heaven, for then he thould want no Bible. My firft interview with him was on the Lord's day. Hearing that he could not live the day, I went, and found him in a most happy fate of mind, perfectly fenfible. I asked him, “ If our dear Saviour was good to him in his afiliation ?" He said, “ Yes; he prayed to his dear Jesus to give him patience and then he would wait his time." I was agreeably surprised to hear such language from a child; I asked him, whether any friend bad sold hiin of Jeius Chrift? He replied, “ No, it came into my mind." I asked him, if he knew how a poor finner was accepted of God? He faid, “ Yes.” my dear?" He replied, “ That Jesus died upon the cross for finners. I asked him, If lie knew that he was a poor finner? He replied, " Yes, but not fo bad as some;" but added, “We all have finned.' "A mother in Israel asked him, If he loved sin ? With tears he rem plied, “ No." I asked him, if he did not love that dear Jesus who had redeemed him from misery? He replied, “ Yes; and I long to be with him.” “ What, should you not chule to get well again?" He replied, “No, I do not want to live in this poor, periting, undone worid." I alked him, if ever he found the enemy of fouls tempting him? He said, “ Yes; but I pray to my dear Jesus to overcome him for me. " Then I hope you find him precious to you." He said, “ Yes." When I mentioned some promises io him, his eye brightened, and there čame a fresh hue upon his dying cheek, while he expressed his hope that his dear Jesus would forgive him, and receive him.' Mentioning to him the invitation recorded in Matthew,“ Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest," he repeated that promise after me, “ I will give you rest," adding, O how sweet and precious these words are to me!". His mother informed me that the evening before I came to see him, he desired his brothers and filters to come to see him, and exhorted them to be good, and faid, “ Remember me when I am dead and gone to my dear Jerus." I was going to leave him, but 'he called me, and hoped I would pray with him
before I went. I went 'to see him several times after, but he was so weak that it hurt him to speak. I encouraged him to bear the moment of suffering, and wait the Lord's time ; he could only say, “ Yes.” Thus be fell asleep in the bofom of his dear Jesus, who has said, “ Soffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me į for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
Sermons, preáched in London, at ibe Formation of the Mission
ARY SOCIETY, September 22, 23, and 24, 1795. To wbicb are prefixed, Memorials respecting the Establisbment and first Attempts of that Society. By Order of the Directors. Publisbed for the Benefit of the Socjety. 8vo. Pages 184.
Price 25. ód. Chapman. (Concluded from No. Xxxi.) THE fourth of these sermons is entitled, The Fulness of Times,
and was preached at the Tabernacle, on the evening of Sep. tember 23, by the Rey. John Hey, of Bristol, from-Eph. i. 10.
The preacher introduces his subject by remarking, that real religion uniformly produces superior magnanimity; inspiring the most
liberal and enlarged desire to promote the happiness of men, and the honour of God. This remark he enforces and illustrates from the character and conduct of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, which he displays in very glowing colours. After a brief analysis of the epistle from which the texi is selected, he thus simply proposes the arrangement of his materials :. Medilazion on the important period specified in the text; and, on that glorious and important work which will be accomplished during thic
1. The period; denominated « The dispensation of the fulness of times.” . Scripture, he observes, speaks of various times ; times appointed ; times predicted ; " times and seasons which the FATHER hath put in his own power," including every instant of terrestrial existence, from the creation to the end of the world. He adverts particularly to times of ignorance, and, their opposite, luminous times ; times of error and defection, producing a time of awful superstition, a time of tremendous persecution, providentially checked by the time of the glorious Reformation ; and all issuing, at length, in a dispensation of incomparable glory, emphatically styled, tbe fulness of times, during which, “the refulgence of sacred truth shall burst forth with overwhelming glories, and sliall continue to shine, till the gloom of superstition, of error, and of sin, is for ever banished from the face of the earth."
2. The work to be accomplished ; namely, “to incorporate in one body, or unite in one complete system, all things in heaven and on earth.” This implies, according to our preacher, a pre: ceding disunion and disagreement, and prevailing in elementary nature, in the animal tribes, and chiefly among men. At the period pointed out in the text, this is to subside ; " and all things in creation, together with every event of divine Providence, and effect of sovereign grace. will be so connected, as to compose one grand system of universal æconomy, in which all the perfections of DEITY will shine forth with ineffable splendour and glory :" Then çothic inhabitants of different climes, customs, colours, habits, and pursuits, shall be united in one large society, under the genial inAuence of Gospel-grace ;-human and angelic intelligences shall be associated in harmony and love ;'and, perhaps," the happy effect of this general union will be, the universal agreement of the instinctive and irrational tribes," conformably to the letter of the prophecy, Isa. xi. 6-9. All this to be effected by the glorious Gospel of God our Saviour ; all are to be gatbered tagetler in Cbrist, even in Him, that is, “ in his name, through his media: tion, and by his power." Several reasons are then suggested, why
this work should be acpimplished by the instrumentality of the Gospel : Such as, 1. Its -superiority to all other systems, apparent from the errellency of it's doctrines, ---Le glory of its promises,--and the purity of is precepts. 2. The success which bas heretofore attended the preaching pt the Gospel, in prevailing over the “ignorance of savage barbarians, the deep-rooted prejudices of Jewish unbelief and Grecian pride.” 3. The Scripture-promises made to the Son, respecting the extension of his empire, some of which have already had their accomplishment, and the rest are hastening to it. From all these considerations, Mr. Hey takes, and gives, encouragement, respecting the momentous undertaking in question, but an encouragement necessarily connected with a vigorous, diligent, and persevering use of means: And he concludes, with a warm and animated address, recommendatory of activity, union, courage, and confidence in God.
The next sermon, in the collection, is that of the Rev. Rowland Hill, A. M. preached at Surry Chapel, on the morning of September 24. The title is, Glorious Displays of Gospel-grace, from Mat. xxiv. 14.
In an advertisement prefixed, Mr. Hill modestly, and, we have every reason to believe, most truly, accounts for the embarrassment to which he found himself reduced, when his sermon was demanded for publication. He has, however, no calise to be ashamed of seeing himself in print. His discourse is the effusion of a pious mind, and of a warm and affectionate heart; and though method is less apparent and formal in it than in some others, it is by no means defective in point of arrangement, such as the author is accustomed to employ.
His general plan is to point out, on the page of inspiration, “ the out-pourings of the Spirit in different ages, under the divine manis festation of mercy to mankind,” in the view of enlarging the hearts of his numerous audience, and quickening their hopes at the present erisis. The first, in respect of priority as to time, and, indeed, as being the source from which all the rest issued, is the gracious promise of the seed of the woman, made to our offending first parents, immediately on the fall, but “ limited to a narrow channel throughout the antediluvian world, the knowledge and fear of God being preserved in the family of Noah alone." He pursues this stream of promise in the person of Abraham, and in the covenant made with him and his posterity ;-in the displays of divine power and mercy accompanying the deliverance out of Egypt ;-in the revivals that succeeded, through the zeal and intrepidity of Caleb and Joshua ;under the judges ;---under the regency of Samuel ;-- in the increasing glorkes which rested on the church of God, during the reign of David, and the still greater glory of the first years of Solomon ;-in the revi. vals which commenced under Asa, and were kept alive under his son Jehoshaphat -in the glorious days of good king Hezekiah, and of the young Josiah ;- under the government of Ezra, of Nehemiah, succeeded by a night so gloomy and so long, during which the spirit of prophecy was totally withdrawn. The dawn at length appears. John Baptist preaches the doctrine of repentance, and announces the coming Saviour. Christ himself appears. · But both preach un. successfully: The Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. But when that event
takes place, a glory unknown beVOL. IV. G
fore appears. Till then,“ neither the thunders of John, preaching in the wilderness, nor yet the words of grace that dropt from the lips of Jesus Christ himself, could effectually impress the hearts of almost
any ; but now the preaching of a poor set of illiterate fishermen melts the adamantine hearts of the murderers of Christ, and brings them by thousands to submit to his righteous and merciful sceptre.”
This is followed by a concise detail of the early, rapid progress of Christianity; and these successive and remarkable revivals are considered as a good ground of hope, that the work in which the Society are engaged, is indeed the work of God. Mr. Hill frequently indulges himself, and amuses his hearer with digression, containing anecdote, character, pleasantry; which accounts very well for the popularity of his spoken discourses, but the effect is weakened when the eye, not the ear, is the channel of communication to the mind. Of this he himself is aware, and toward the close of his discourse becomes altogether seriousness and solemnity, in displaying the qualifications requisite to a missionary:
The Rev. David Bogue, of Gosport, concludes this series, in a well-digested, cool, argumentative discussion of the propriety of attempting a mission to the heathen. It was delivered before a very crowded audience, at Tottenham-court Chapel, on the evening of September 24th, from Hag. i. 2. After briefly answering the general objection, arising from the number and greatness of the difficulties which oppose such an attempt, Mr. Bogue proceeds candidly to state, and distinctly to refute, the particular objections, to the number of ten, which have occurred to his own mind, or have been suggested to him by others. They are the following, which we give in his own words, referring our readers to the sermon itself for the particular refutation :
I. “ T'he work itself is so very arduous, that success cannot be hoped for.
II. “ The time for the conversion of the Heathen is not yet come, because the millennium is still at the distance of some hun
III. “ What is there in the state of the Christian Church, at present, that flatters with peculiar hopes of success for a mission to the heathen ? Many ages have elapsed, and little has been done : What makes the time now so favourable ? are we better than our fathers ?
IV.“ The governments of the world will oppose the exertions” of a Missionary Society, and defeat their designs.
V. “ The present state of the Heathen world is so unfavourable, with respect to religion, that little hope of success can be entertained.
VI. “ How, and where, shall we find proper persons to undertake the arduous task of missionaries to the Heathen ?
VII. " Whence will the Society and the missionaries be able to find support?
VIII. “ There is no door opened in Providence, for the entrance of the Gospel : We should wait till such an event takes place, and then diligently improve it.
IX. “ What right have we to interfere with the religion of other nations ?
X. “ We have heathens enough at home; let us first convert them, before we go
abroad." It will hardly be alleged, that Mr. Bogue has stated the objections too slightly; and candour obliges us to acknowledge, that if he has not entirely swept them away, he has, at least, greatly dimipished their force. He displays at once acuteness of intellect, uncommon powers of eloquence, and, occasionally, a talent for irony and sarcasm, in removing the difficulties which oppose him. His peroration is solemn, animated, and impressive. After a few suggestions of a practical nature, he gives the reins to a bold imagination, and indulges himself and his hearers with a vivid delineation of the delightful prospect which success discloses; and he concludes with honest exultation in the promising appearance of things at the moment. “ When we left our homes,” says Mr. Bogue, “ we expected to see a day of small things, which it was our design not to despise, but to cherish with fond solicitude. But God has beyond measure exceeded our expectations : He has made a little one a thousand, and has inspired us with the most exalted hopes. Now we do not think ourselves in danger of being mistaken, when we say that we shall account it through eternity a distinguished favour, and the highest honour conferred on us, during our pilgrimage on earth that we appeared here and gave in our names among the Founders of the Missionary Society; and the time will be ever remembered by us, and may it be celebrated by future ages, as the ÆRA OF CHRISTIAN BENEVOLENCE!”
This interesting publication is closed with A Memoir on the most eligible Part to begin a Mission, &c. delivered, after Mr. Hill's sermon, at Surry Chapel, by the Rev. Mr. Haweis. Our limits permit us only to say, that after a discussion replete with geographical and political knowledge, as well as with that of natural, commercial, and civil history, and of the human heart, Mr. Haweis is disposed to direct the first missionary attempt toward the latelydiscovered islands of the South Sea. We earnestly recommend the whole of this very able performance to the serious attention of our readers of every description.
The avidity with which this little volume was demanded by the public, was, no doubt, the cause of its being hurried through the press, with too little regard to correctness. But as a new impression must soon become necessary, we are confident greater attention will be paid to it, and to future impressions. It would be invidious to present a table of errata ; but one of these it is necessary to point out. It is the second text quoted in the title, in words at full length. Instead of Isaiah, forty-second ch. v. 18, 19.; it ought to have been, Isaiah, forty-tbird ch. v, 18, 19.