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come, the most tender love of our hearts. As soon as you can lisp their language, tell them that we earnestly desire, their good and salvation, though we may never see them in this world. Testify to them that the God of heaven, who hath stirred up this affection towards them in our hearts, offers to save them, and to shèw them that love of his which will fill them with pleasure in this world, and in the world to come; and that if they hearken to the message of salvation, we and many thousands now in this island will embrace them, on the other side of death, with unspeakable joy.
And now, beloved brethren, whom we have often lately seen with pleasure, whose faces we shall, probably, see no more, we bid you farewel in the bowels of our dearest Lord; once more protesting thus in his presence, and in the presence of his holy angels, “ If we forget, neglect, and wilfully desert these Missionaries, let our right hands forget their cunning; if we do not remember the work of God among the heathen, let our tongues cleave to the roof of our mouth; if we prefer not the prosperity of this work above our chief temporal joy !"
We deliver you over into the hands of him who is faith ful and true, “commending you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified! The good will of him who dwelt in the bush be upon those who are now to be separated from their brethren! Jehovah bless thee and keep thee : Jehovah make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee : Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace! Fear not, saith Jesus, I am the first and the last. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. My peace I give unto you: Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid ! Unto him that is able to keep you and us from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, do, minion and power, both now and ever! Amen."
THE DUTY OF CHRISTIAN FORGIVENESS; In Answer to Mr. RALPH WAKE, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
wbo requests “ an Explanation of Matt. xvii. 23, and fol
lowing Verses, according to the Calvinistic Plan. THE manifest design of the parable is to impress
upon us the duty of forgiveness one to another, from the consideration of God's freely forgiving us. That in the parable, I imagine,
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which struck the querist as inconsistent with Calvinistic prinsciples, was the supposition of a man being given up to the tormenters, whose sins had been forgiven. Some expositors, in order to solve this difficulty, suppose the punishment to mean his being given up to church censures; others, to tem. poral calamities, and the accusations of a guilty conscience :: But it appears to me that this is altogether foreign from the design of Christ. Our Lord certainly meant to suggest to all tbe professors of Christianity, all the subjects of bis. visible kingdom, that unless they forgave men their trespasses, they themselves should not be forgiven, but should be cast into endless torment. The true solution of the difficulty I take to be this: It is common with our Lord in his parables to address men upon tbeir own principles ; not according to what they were in fact, but what they were in profession and expectation. For example: “ There is more joy over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety-and-nine just persons, that need no repentance. The wbole need not a physician, but they that are sick; I came not to call tbe rigbteous, but sinners to repentance.” Not that there were any amongst mankind who were rigbteous, whole, and reeded no repentunce in fact, but merely in their own account. The elder son in the parable in Luke xv. is doubtless intended to represent the scribes and pharisees, who at that time drew near, and murmured at Christ's receiving sinners, ver. 1, 2. And yet this elder son is allowed to have been very obedient (at least he is not contradicted in this matter), and to have a large interest in his father's inheritance; not because it was so in fact, but as reasoning with them upon their own principles.
But what is nearer still to the case in hand, is the parable addressed to Simon the pharisee. (Luke vii. 36-.-48). Our Lord here supposes that Simon was a littie sinner, and a forgiven sinner; and yet, in fact, he was neither. No set of men were greater sinners in reality than the pharisees, Matt. xxiii. 27---33. ; and this man gave proof of his being in an impenitent and unforgiven state, But Christ reasoned with him upon his own principles; q. d. “ You reckon yourself a little sinner, and that what few failings you have will: doubtless be forgiven you: Well, be it so; this woman, is a great sinner, and so accounts of herself. I forgave her all her transgressions, and therefore you need not wonder at her conduct; her love to me is greater than yours, even allowing, for argument's sake, that your love is sincere.
Thus in the parable under consideration : Our Lord sodemnly warns all the members of his visible kingdom, who
NECESSITY OF PERSONAL RELIGION.. 361 professed to be the people of God, and who laid their expectations of being forgiven of him, without determining whether those professions were sincere, or those expectations well-founded ; that, if they forgave not men their trespasses, neither would his heavenly Father forgive them their tresa passes. Whether they were sincere or not made no difference as to the argument: If a person lays his account with being forgiven of God, and is unforgiving to his brother, his conduct is nevertheless inconsistent or wicked; for his being under the power of self-deception, his motive is the same as if it had been otherwise.
There are some subjects that I feel myself incapable of throwing any fresh light upon. Where this is the case, I think it my duty to decline them. Under this description I must reckon the questions of a correspondent who signs himself A Berean ; and another, who has addressed a letter to me under the signature of Candidus, concerning the decrees of God. I feel difficulties upon those great subjects, on which I had rather pray, at present, than write.
THE NECESSITY AND ADVANTAGE OF PER
SONAL RELIGION. WE
E complain of the badness of the times, and we have
much cause to do so. But remember a more awful period is yet to come. God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world. We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, and receive according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil. Withdraw your attention from the world, dear brother, and place it on thyself. Consider what will be your lot in the solemn judgment-day, Amidst the hurry, the confusion, and the wickedness of the present times, and amidst all the sinful boastings and bold temptations of men, remember that every one must give an account of himself to God. Inquire, then, what preparation have you for this account? Have you
believed, repented, reformed, and done the works of God? O. my soul! hast thou fled to Christ for refuge ? Hath the Holy Spirit convinced me of sin, and made it bitter to me, and rendered the Lord Jesus precious in my esteem? Do I des. light in holiness? If, since my first enlightening, I have una happily stept aside, in any instance, from the paths of purity and peace, have I had grace to lament it? Am I returned with weeping and supplication? Do I come to the cross,
as a criminal, for mercy ? Am I more watchful, more prayerful, more diligent in reading and meditating on the Scriptures, and more circumspect in all my ways? I must have personal religion, or I am undone. A judgment and eterrity convince me of its absolute necessity. It is the one thing needful. And if I am indeed a new creature in Christ Jesus, all is well. Death cannot hurt me. Judgment can do me no harm. Eternity will be my endless joy; for there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk no: after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
THE DIGNITY OF THE MINISTERIAL
(ADDRESSED TO A FRIEND.) IT T must be acknowledged that the ministerial office is the
most important and honourable that can be sustained by man. If it be of importance to be a physician, to restore the decayed health of mortals, or an honour to be a statesman, to conduct the affairs of a nation ; how much more so to be an ambassador for Christ! To this dignity you and I are raised. Let us endeavour to maintain it. “ I magnify mine office," said the great apostle ; and despicable must that minister appear, who degrades it. That a minister may act in correspondence with his station, he should be tenacious of his honour, know whence it comes, and how to make a proper use of it.
The embellishments of human wisdom, which captivate the vulgar, and great names, the amusement of little minds, will be disregarded by a man of spiritually-refined taste. His honour consists not in dignified titles, either civil or ecclesiastical; but in the approbation of his divine Master, and the success that he affords him. Ministers are the servants of the most high God, who shew unto men the way of salvation. They are called to an intimate converse with him ; to a familiarity with the most sublime objects; are entrusted with the important truths of the Gospel, and the weighty concerns of immortal souls. O the rich treasure that is committed to these earthen vessels ! Mean and contemptible as they may be in themselves, yet they are thus honoured. Commissioned by the great Redeemer, furnished with the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, and called by divine Providence, they come forth to the arduous, yet noble employment of preaching the Gospel. Their credentials
are signed by the living God, and stamped with the broad seat of heaven : Hence their authority is derived, and in this dignity they glory.
But yet these angels of the churches ought not vainly to imagine that they are more than mortal : They are still inen of like passions with others. In past ages they have been held in a superstitious veneration, and the illiterate have thought them infallible. In the present day the reverse is tlie case, and every novice censúres 'them at pleasure ; but by the intelligent and truly pious, they have, at all times, been highly esteemed for their works' sake. Those servants of Christ who are actuated by a becoming spirit, will neither seek the applause, nor regard the contempt of an unthinking world. The garlands and sacrifices of the ignorant and superstitious Lycaonians, they will detest ; and when they hear even the well-meant praises of the judicious, they will feel in themselves a renewed consciousness of their own unworthiness.
It is of importance that the people reverence our understanding. If they entertain but a slight opinion of that, our instructions will have but little weight with them, and we shall sink in their esteem. To be reflected upon for our deficiencies in the ministerial work, will be unpleasant; but how shall this censure be avoided ? Only by the cultivation of our minds, by enriching them with both human and divine knowledge. Study men, and things. In the present day, there are many pretenders to wisdom; and many who are truly wise. We should endeavour, therefore, to attain something more than a common measure of knowledge, if we would have the pre-eminence. More is expected from us, than is to be met with in others. This expectation is just, and should not be disappointed. Let us not therefore expose ourselves as marks for public contempt; on the contrary, may we appear as men divinely taught!: May we make fresh acquisitions to our present stock! The growing ministar only, will maintain his respect. The sacred word of God will be a never-failing source of intelligence to the inquiring. Seek its true meaning. "If we understaid not the Scriptures, how shall we unfold their interesting contents ?. No displays of learning, of eloquence, or of wit, will be a compensation for the want of their genuine' sense.' Pious and judicio.is hearers will contemn.us, if we conceal or overlook the truth, To conceal it, will be craftiness; to overlook it, carele:sness.
A thorough knowledge of the word will be necessary to sin ... Tehoe objections, to solve doubts, and to answer queries.