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creation which qualifies for future em- the indulgence of Sloth. Infidels have ployment. What temptations also break often brought against the body of Chrisin during these idle hours! what corrupt tians the charge which we are applying images play before the fancy! what a only to a few. general habit of self-indulgence gains 6 The world,” say they, “ is the strength! Thus a breach is made school of virtue, because it is the scene through which other sins enter, and of activity and exertion; there the hu-. much of the important business of life mours are contradicted, there. Sloth is is left undone. Sloth is one of those sins prevented, and the energies are called into which men fall by imperceptible forth; there the excess of selfishness is degrees, and many are altogether given repressed; there both the boy and the up to it, who are not at all aware that man are formed for action and extensive they are incurring any guilt. Among services; but the same being in retireworldly persons, to indulge the humour ment becomes soft, luxurious, and self of the present moment, to do whatsoev. indulgent, and in proportion as he is so, er thing they like, and to do it simply he is also uncharitable and censorious; because they like it, is the professed he is first useless to others and then a system. Their conscience is under no burden to himself.” alarm on this account.
These accusers of Religion forget Sloth, moreover, is a sin into which that the world is, itself, a teacher of religious people are more liable to fall corruption, and they know not that than into almost any other. In Popish there is a holy art of so using the countries many have retired from the world as not to abuse it, and of so livworld under the plea of wishing to be ing in it as to share in its duties withuncontaminated by it, and have then out following its pleasures, or becom. passed their days in the indolence of a ing a partaker of its iniquities. cloister, professing, indeed, an extraor
We admit the danger lest too much dinary piety, but becoming the drones solitude should lead to Sloth: we even of the community, and a reproach to affirm that, perhaps, we are never in Religion itself. It is possible also, that
niore peril than when we think that a Protestant may choose that sort of do
we have removed ourselves out of the mestic ease and self-indulgence, which
way of temptation, and when we lay is little better than the Sloth of the mo
down our arms, conceiving no farther nastery, and is nearly allied to it. In
conflict to be necessary. escaping one evil we often fall into
The life of a Christian upon earth is another. We have, perhaps, been man
ever a scene of warfare. Let us refully resisting the world; we have become insensible both to its smile and to
flect on the spirit of St. Paul in this
respect. its frown; we now betake ourselves to
“ I keep under my body," our own little religious circle, among lest that by any means when I have
said he, “and bring it into subjection, whom we are respected and indulged: preached to others I myself should be and are little contradicted; or we retreat into an almost total solitude, thinking a castaway.” Can any thing more that we shall now commune only with strongly shew the necessity of resisting God. Are we aware of the dangers to
our natural disposition to sloth and bothe soul which may arise from the indul- dily indulgence than this passage? Did gence of Sloth in these new circumstan- the apostle, possessing all his privi. ces? The body pampered by what are leges, endowed with such holy affecdeemed its lawful gratifications, the tions, favoured also by the abundance mind enervated by mental indolence, of revelations, deem it necessary to the little humours habitually indulged, maintain a conflict with his body, and many a precious hour wasted, and a life shall not we? Did he contend as for employed in discussing the controversial his salvation, fearing lest after all he niceties of Religion, rather than attend- should be cast away, and do we incur ing to its practical duties; these are no danger if we yield to our natural some of the consequences of even a re- Sloth ? ligious system, when that system allows The truly enlightened Christian is
aware of his constant temptations motive, and issues in no good or mafrom this quarter, and he is ever on terial end. I must be diligent, it is his guard against them. He limits true, but my diligence must be for himself to the degree of refreshment God. I must be active, but ny
acti. which nature demands, and he charges vity must not be in the way of mere himself with guilt when he exceeds. indulgence, it must be for the good of " What avails it,” he will say to him. I must not presume that I have self, “that I profess to believe all the a right to intermit my work, because I articles of the Christian faith, that I am not obliged to it by human laws, or presume to talk of God, and Christ, by positive claims which any persons and his Holy Spirit, if after all I am can make on me. I must be active for brought under the power of my own the poor, the destitute, the ignorant, body? I feel that this body is my and the world at large, not excepting tempter, and I must not allow even its the wicked, in the same manner as the lawful desires to bear sovereign sway. parent is active for the interest of his My ineat and drink must be moderate. child, the covetous person for the inI must beware of sumptuous and indul- crease of his wealth, or the aspiring
I must avoid that sloth, man for the enlargement of his power both of body and mind, wbich are apt or influence.” to grow upon me unperceived. I must These are some of the feelings of the abstain from those needless recrea- true Christian, and in order to maintions which an idle world has invented tain this spirit he exercises much selfand multiplied. I must reject those denial. When Sloth intrudes, and plausible excuses which the false rea- prompts him to spare himself, he resonings of irreligious men may sug- jects its suggestions. “I must deny gest, for a life of relaxation. I must myself,” he will say, or I cannot be be fearful also lest I take credit for Christ's disciple. Christ went about diligence, because I surpass those idle doing good, and I profess to be a folpersons who live around me. I must lower of this master, I desire therefore beware of vacant thoughts, vacant time, to go and do likewise. Tell me not vacant conversation, vacant crowds of that I am to spare myself. Did Christ company. I must beware of trifling spare himself when he came to die for employments, which take the appear- me? The spirit of self-indulgence is ance of industry, while they are mere the spirit of antichrist; it is the spirit contrivances by which I disguise from of the children of this world; it is that myself the indulgence of my Sloth. I spirit which in my baptism I abjured, must fear lest I should neglect the and which my profession requires that proper business of the hour, deeming I should renounce day by day.” the present duty to be severe, and per- One case in which an indolent slothpetually postponing it for the sake of ful spirit is to be denied has not yet doing some other thing which demands been noticed, we mean the case of our less diligence, and is more to iny pre- religious duties. How idle is the mansent taste. I must beware of slothful ner in which many persons read the habits, and must not admit the vain Scriptures! The want of self-denying excuse that they are too fixed to be attention is greater in perusing this broken. If I read, I must not do it with book than any other. Reader! what listlessness and inattention, nor must I pains have you taken in endeavouring prefer books of mere' amusement to to understand that volume which you those which will add to my stock of profess to believe to be a Revelation useful knowledge, or improve my from God? Have you ever carefully heart. I must beware even of unpro. examined and considered it? Have you fitable labour. I must suspect that bestowed any pains in comparing your earnestness and diligence, which is a manner of life with that of Christ and mere following of my own fancy, which his Apostles and followers, your faith is directed to trifling and unworthy ob- with their faith, your temper with their jects, which proceeds from a corrupt tempers, and, in short, your whole turn Christ. Obsery. No. 5.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
THE BURIAL SERVICE.
of character with theirs ? It requires possible.” Let then the sense of the much self-denying diligence to make difficulty suggest to us the importance this faithful practical application of the of imploring the divine aid with earScriptures, and yet if this be not done, nestness. “I can do all things,” said they can be of little use to us. Idle. the Apostle, “ through Christ, which ness is equally apt to prevail in respect strengtheneth me.” We ought not to to secret devotion. There is a way of account that we have either believed running over our prayers with little aright, or prayed aright, or learnt any thought or reflection, of which even part of our Religion aright, unless we those may
be guilty who do not confine have, in some measure, been enabled themselves to a form. Perhaps while to cast away that spirit of self-indul. you are in the very act of prayer, some gence which is so natural to us; for engagement seems to be pressing upon our Saviour has said, that except a you, some interesting circumstance is man deny himself and take up his cross agitating your mind; and this is not daily and follow me, he cannot be my surprising, for you were at no pains to disciple.”
S. P. reject those intruding thoughts; you have long given way to the custom of indulging them at those seasons. There has been no self-denial in this respect,
ANSWER TO THE QUERY RESPECTING and therefore the habit has increased, till it secms almost impossible to cast it off. A wide field for self-examina. One of your Correspondents having, in tion here opens upon us, for the wan- your last Number, requested a reply derings of the mind, both during pub- through the channel of your Miscellalic and private worship, may unques- ny to the scruple of a young friend, at tionably be traced in part to the want present among the Dissenters but who of due diligence and self-denial, in re- wishes to return into the bosom of the spect to this very point.
Church, relative to the Burial Service, It may be proper here to remark, I beg leave to transmit to you what I that it is not inconsistent with the full. deem a fair statement of the case. On est belief in the supreme agency of the that part of it, where it is said that the Holy Spirit, to suppose that the self- body is committed “ to the ground, in denying diligence which has been sure and certain hope of the resurrecspoken of ought to extend to our tion to eternal life,” I will give you prayers.
the words of Mr. Wheatly, instead of We have, indeed, clear scriptural my own, as being probably more to authority on this point; for are we not the point. “ We do not,” says he, told, that we are to "wrestle” in prayer, “cast it (the body) away as a lost and to “pray always and not to faint;" to perished carcass, but carefully lay it “pray without ceasing;" terins which in the ground, as having in it a seed of evidently imply that we are not to give eternity, and in sure and certain hope way to our own indisposition to the of the resurrection to eternal life; not duty. We are likewise exhorted to that we believe that every one we bury “ draw nigh to God and he will draw shall rise again to joy and felicity, or nigh to us," as well as “ to ask, to profess this sure and certain hope of seek, to knock,” in order that we may the person who is now interred: It is obtain God's Holy Spirit.
not his resurrection, but the resurTo conclude, let us then remember rection, that is bere expressed; nor that prayer must be joined to our dili- do we go on to mention the change of gence, and also that this very diligence His body, but of our vile body, which is to be exerted by us in our prayer. comprehends the bodies of Christians Does it appear to us a hard thing to in general. That this is the meaning practise the self-denial which has been of the words may be shewn from the spoken of? " With man it may be im. other parallel form, which the Church possible, but with God all things are has appointed to be used at the Burial
of the Dead at Sea ;* and this being a words, though in very extraordinary principal article of our faith, it is highly cases he may feel some reluctance to reasonable that we should publicly ac- make use of it. knowledge and declare our stedfast- Such a case, however, may never ocness in it when we lay the body of cur to a minister through the whole of any Christian in the graye.” Wheatly, a long and active life ; and by the bare &c. in loco.
presumption of its occurrence, surely Another expression in the same ser- no pious man, who wishes to enter into vice to which some persons have ob- the Church of England, wouid be prejected, is the prayer,
" that when we vented from prosecuting his purpose. shall depart hence we may rest in him Though the sad relaxation of disci(Christ) as our hope is, this our brother pline is much to be lamented amongst doth." And why we may not conscien- us, yet during near twenty years expetiously adopt this language in the exer- rience, I do not recollect to have felt cise of that charity which "hopeth all any painful hesitation in reading the ofthings,” I cannot perceive. The ex- fice in question but once or twice, when pression is modest and diffident. It is reading it over persons to whom I have not an unequivocal declaration of the been compelled by the warrant of a cotruly Christian state of every one who ronert to give Christian burial. departs this life,” (the words used by these occasions I presumed on the tacit the objector) but a mere charitable allowance of my own diocesan, too disprofession of our hopes respecting the tant to be consulted in proper time, and deceased, and these we need not scru- too good, I was assured, to wish to reple to express, except in cases which strain me in so moderate and reasonable are absolutely hopeless, and of which an exercise of discretion, for omitting neither the meekness nor the charity of the whole of the last prayer in the BuChristianity will lead us to form a diffe- rial Service. This is an omission not rent estimate. But such cases must be authorized indeed by the Rubric, but very rare. A clergyman cannot posi- which I doubt not would be readily wltively decide that such a one has actual. lowed in extraordinary cases to any conly died in his sin beyond the possibility scientious minister consulting his dioof pardon, and the most he is required cesan. Sincerely wishing your corresto express respecting any, is a hope of pendent's friend to be delivered from his pardon.”+
his scruples, and admitted a member of Our offices, it may be farther observ- the Church, I remain, with much es. ed, were intended to go hand in hand teem for your valuable publication, with such an administration of disci
Sir, yours, &c. pline as would preclude the possibility
N. G. of the occurrence of very hopeless Were the inconvenience, there
For the Christian Observer, fore, greater than it is, it would be no Extracts from the Common-Place Book of a valid objection against the Church of
Country Clergyman. England, nor could it violate any man's
(Continued from p. 160.) conscience to consent to such a form of
In calling all men without distinction, *“We therefore commit his body to the to repentance and faith, (which so much deep, to be turned into corruption, looking for offends many, who vainly judge themthe resurrection of the body (when the sea shall give up her dead) and the life of the selves righteous, and needing no repenworld to come—who at his coming shall tance) we only call upon them to fulfil change our vile body, &c.”
the conditions of their baptism. “Q. tl make no comment on the indiscriminate use of the term “ The soul of our dear bro. # Mr. Wheatly is of opinion that a coroner's ther and sister ;" as the expression evidently warrant does not compel. He pleads also for intends no more than that relation in which some discretion in the use of the prayer here we all stand to each other. “Who then is considered ; and the whole of what he has our brother ?” and “who is my neighbour ?” said on the Burial Service will be worthy the are questions which admit of the same so- perusal of the gentleman whose doubts have lution.
occasioned this letter,
ON THE WILL.
Why then are infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age, they can- What is want of power, in the moral not perform them?"-(viz. repentance sense of the word, but want of wll? and faith : vide the foregoing question
One man tells you, he cannot help and answer.) “ Ans. Because they pro- getting drunk ; another, that he cannot nise them both by their sureties, which help swearing ; but does not every one promise when they come to age, them. see at once the difference between such selves are bound to perform.” Cat. of cases and that of a man who, being the Ch. of Eng.
lame, tells you that he cannot help The question therefore for every limping ? Let the drunkard know, member of the Church of England at that some one has mixed poison with least, before he can take any comfort his liquor, and he will presently shew from his baptism, or build any hope that he can refrain from drinking, if upon it, is Have I truly repented, he will. Let the swearer stand in the and believed the Gospel?”—How presence of the King, and you will see strange a mistake, then, for any man to that he can avoid swearing. The only think that he has no occasion to repent, thing he wants to give him equal power because he has been baptized; when at all times over his profane habit, is his baptism in truth, so far froin ren. to fear God as much as he does the dering repentance unnecessary, lays King. him under additional and voluntary obligations to repent !
For the Christian Observer.
variation. That the conduct, therefore, ON THE OCCASIONAL CANDOUR OF ANTICHRIS. into which
cannot be ascribed to candour, as a prinAut ulla putatis
ciple, is evident from the very circumDona carere dolis Danaûm?
stance supposed, that it is occasional. VIRG. Ex. Lib. ii. ver. 43.
We must, of consequence, seek for its It cannot have escaped the observation cause in some other principle, and in a of the most inattentive reader, that au- principle too, consistent with the known thors, whose disaffection and hostility and acknowledged characters of the to the Christian Religion are sufficient- writers in question. There can be no ly notorious, assume at times a tone of doubt, that the main object of their decandour, and express themselves to- sires and exertions was the disgrace wards the object of their aversion, not and destruction of Christianity; and to only with forbearance, but even with some cause, or combination of causes, respect and approbation. In justifica- reconcileable with the predominant tion of this remark inay be adduced the pursuit of this object, we must ascribe names of Shaftesbury, Hume, oling- the apparent inattention to the natural broke, Rousseau, Gibbon, Adam Smith, means of attaining it, observable in the Roscoe, and the disciples of Illuminism candour which they occasionally exhibit. in general.
This treatment of Christianity may, A phenomenon is here presented to in a considerable measure, be produced us, which, however it may embarrass by the force of truth. But upon this the minds of the inconsiderate, will ad- subject it is by no means necessary to mit an easy solution; but a distinction enlarge ; since it is acknowledged on is necessary to be premised. Candour, all hands, and has often been observed, like many other words of the same that truth will, at times, extort respect class, denotes both the internal principle and submission, even from the most and the correspondent external conduct. inveterate of her enemies. Their In the first sense it is, while it exists, moral obliquity receives its just punishconstant ; in the other it is subject to ment in the involuntary homage which