« PreviousContinue »
THE TIME IS SHORT.
to the sentence then passed, will ly impatience, are expecting their be their unalterable and eternal Messiah; the Angel of the Apucastate. And how great the work 'lypse is flying through the inidst to prepare for eternity! If a man of heaven, having the everlasting were about to remove into a far i gospel to preach to all the nations distant country, to spend the re- of the earth. The work of God mainder of his days upon earth, must be done ; and the time is he would think it a great piece of short. “ For he will finish the work to prepare for so long a jour- work, and cut it short in rightney and so long a residence. Days eousness; because a short work and weeks and months would seem will the Lord make upon the a short time for this work. But, ! earth,” men are all about to remove to the 2. Is time, in its greatest extent, unseen world, to spend there the so short as we have seen? We may remainder of their never-ending hence perceive the cause of the existence. And to prepare for the desperate efforts, which Satan is returnless journey and their ever- making, to injure the kingdom of lasting abode, they have, at most, Christ and ruin the souls of men. a few, fleeting years. Verily, He realizes the sarcastick exhort
ation of our Lord to the hurried REFLECTIONS.
traitor, What thou doest, do 1. Is time short at the longest? quickly.' He sees, that the terWe
may hence see a reason, why i mination of his career, is at hand. the great Governour of the world, Hence he rallies all his legions, moves on the wheels of providence and comes, with “ dreadful roar," with such rapidity. He has been to devour. Never did he work, incessantly employed, ever since with greater industry and art, in the commencement of time, both the children of disobedience. Nevin the natural and moral world, er did he more effectually blind working all things after the coun- the minds of them that believe sel of his own will, and carrying not; lest the light of the glorious into effect his great scheme of re- gospel should shine unto them. demption, which comprehends all Never were works of darkness his works and designs. With more prevalent: Never was diawhat despatch hath He wrought bolical influence more apparent. his great and marvellous works, in What strides have heresy and inages past! But, in this latter part fidelity made, within a few years! of the sixth millenary of the world, What combinations have been when time is swiftly running down formed against the pure doctrines to eternity, and the coming of the and precepts of Christ ! What Lord draweth nigh, how rapid is multitudes, even in Christian the succession of events! The Lordlands, are led captives, in the seems to make haste, in accom- chains of their lusts, by the Adplishing his purposes and fulfilling versary, at his will! Wo to the his predictions. The Man of Sin, inhabitants of the earth and of the who had reached the height of his sea! for the Devil is come down arrogancy and power, has been unto you, having great wrath, beabased and made weak like ano- cause he knoweth that he hath but ther man. • Babylon is fallen, a short time.” and become the habitation of dev- 3. Is the time of human life ils.' The throne of the False Pro- very short? Then it is very precphet totters on its base. And ious. There is much to do, which while the blinded Jews, with sick must be done in time, or be left undone forever. If we ever be- eousness ; an inheritance incorcome reconciled to the Divine ruptible, undefiled, and that fadcharacter, law and government; eth not away. As much as time if we ever exercise repentance to- is shorter than eternity, so much ward God and faith toward our less should we set our affections Lord Jesus Christ; if we ever on earthly, than on heavenly become interested in the promises things. Hence, saith the apostle, of the gospel; behold, now is the 66 The time is short; it remaineth, accepted time; behold, now is the that both they that have wives, be day of salvation. This life is the as though they had none; and they only season of probation, which we that weep, as though they wept shall ever have. As we sow now, not; and they that rejoice, as so we shall reap forever. Every though they rejoiced not; and they one of our present actions will that buy, as though they possessed affect our future and eternal state. not; and they that use this world, In time, short as it is, we must do as not abusing it: for the fashion all we ever can do, for our own of this world passeth away." souls, or the souls of others, or for 5. Is the time of human life exthe advancement of Christ's king- tremely short? Then how impordom in the world. How precious, tant is the term of a year. It is then, is time.
How unwise aro no inconsiderable part of the longthose, who waste it in idleness, or est life. It is a large part of the misspend it in vain amusements, active and useful season of each trifling pursuits, or criminal prac-one's earthly existence. Compartices, How they will rue their ed with the whole of our lives, a folly, when time shall be lost in year is an important period; how eternity! Every day and hour important, then, compared with should be actively and usefully what remains of our probationary employed. Whatsoever thy hand time.
time. Would it not be wise in findeth to do, do it with thy might us, seriously to enquire, what we -Redeeming the time-Be not have done with the year, which is slothful in business, but fervent just gone, never to return? How in spirit, serving the Lord.' have we spent so great a portion of
4. Is the time of human life so our appointed time! You think it short? We may hence see the fol- prudent to reckon with your neighly of laying up treasures upon bours once a year: would it not be earth. Is it worth while to make equally so, to reckon with yourgreat exertions to accumulate trea- selves? Is it not desireable to sures, which, at the most, can be know, how the account stands bepossessed but a few days? And tween your souls and your
Maker? yet, how many are careful and What have you done to advance troubled about many things, to the your eternal interest, the year total neglect of the one thing past? Are you better prepared for needful! How many are saying, death, judgment and eternity, each one to his soul, like Dives in than you were a year ago? What the parable, “ Soul, thou hast have you done, these twelve much goods laid up for many months, for the spiritual welfare years; take thine ease, eat, drink, of your families and friends, and and be merry.". Ah, and how for the spread of the gospel and many, like that rich fool, will lose the advancement of Christ's cause? their souls? It is the part of wis- Is it not to be apprehended, that dom, to lay up treasure in heaven; there is some one here present, to seek durable riches and right-who, if his Lord should come this
day and reckon with him, would unto prayer; for the coming of the hear the cutting reproof, “Thou
- Thou Lord draweth nigh. wicked and slothful servant?” Lastly. Since the time is short;
While we render thanks to the let not sinners harden their hearts. Preserver of men for the continu- How much of your precious time ance of our forfeited lives, let us is already gone, and your work resolve, by Divine grace, to re- for eternity not begun! In your deem the time; and, should anoth- present course of negligence and er year be granted us, to spend it disobedience, how can you expect as we have reason to think we shall to escape the righteous judgment wish we had done, when time tith of God? o, be exhorted to awake us shall be no more.
to righteousness. Time is not on6. Is the time short? Then let ly short, but awfully uncertain.saints bear, with patience, the tri- You know not what a day may als and toils of life. The affic- bring forth. If you do not imtions of the righteous may be ma-mediately attend to the things that ny and grievous; but they are i belong to your peace, it may be short. The night is far spent, forever too late.' No longer, then, and the day is at hand. Saints despise the patience and forbearwill soon be where tears are wiped ance of God; but let his goodness from all faces. Their sufferings, lead you to repentance. Let the which are but for a moment, are time past of your lives suffice you succeeded by an eternal weight of to have transgressed the laws and glory. Followers of Christ, in provoked the wrath of God; and patience possess ye your souls.-- be entreated to begin the new Be not weary in well doing; for in year with newness of life, that it due season ye shall reap, if may be a happy prelude to a hapfaint not. Be saber, and watch
py eternity. AMEN.
OX THE PREVALENCE OF SOCIXIANISM.
ever prevail in those churches
which are now Sociniau ? Were It has often been said that Hop- their sentiments ever taught in kinsianism has led the way to So- | the university of Cambridge? Have cinianism. The only reason I not the Hopkinsian Calvinists ever have ever heard assigned for be- I been the most decided and zeallieving so, is, that Edwards and
ous opposers of all the errors conBellamy and Hopkins and Spring nected with Socinianism ? Have and Emmons have lived in New- | not the Socinians been the most England, and their mode of stat- decided and zealous opposers of ing the Calvinistic doctrines has Hopkinsian sentiments: been more prevalent in New-Eng- But though the assertion is desland than elsewhere ; and it is in titute of proof, and gains no beNew-England, also, that Socinian- lief but with the opposers of Hopisın has prevailed. But where is kinsian sentiments, it may be well the proof that the labours of these to show, from public documents, men have contributed in any de- , what kind of sentiments have forgree to the spread of Socinianism? merly prevailed in those places Have the churches to which they where Socinianism now prevails. ministered, or any churches that it was stated, in my first number, embraced their sentiments, become that the high Calvinism of the Socinians ? Did their sentiments Pilgrims, gradually gave place to
what is denominated moderate Cal- | 1702, was not Hopkinsian Calvinvinism; that this sunk down into ism. a compound of Antimonianism In 1744, the Rev. Thomas and Arminianism, and that this Prince, minister of Boston, pubgave place to Arianism and Socin- lished an account of the revival of ianism.
religion, which had taken place The following extracts will show there, in the three or four precedwhat kind of Calvinism prevailed ing years. From this account, we in Cotton Mather's day. He learn one or two important facts. quotes with disapprobation the He came to Boston in 1717; at well known Richard Baxter, as which time both Increase and Ćotsaying, with reference to some in ton Mather, were still living, and his time, “ They feign Christ to there were six other Congregahave made such an exchange with tional ministers besides himself, the elect, as that having taken all making nine in all, in that town; their sins, he has given them all and, as he says, "all most happily his righteousness ; not only the agreeing in the doctrines of grace, fruit of it, but the thing in itself. that is, in such views as Cotton They forge a law, that God never Mather has expressed above. Of made, that saith, thou or thy sure course, Hopkinsian sentiments did ly shall obey perfectly, or die. not then prevail And at the pubThey infer, that Christ was made lication of his work in 1744, he the legal representative person of says, “As to the doctrinal prinevery one of the elect, taken sin- ciples of those who continue in gularly; so that what he did for our congregations, and have been them, God reputeth them to have the subjects of the late revival, done by him. Hereby, they false they are the same as they have ly make the person of the Media- been all along instructed in." tor to be the legal person of the From comparing these declarasinner.”
On these quotations tions with the above extract froin from Mr. Baxter, Cotton Mather Cotton Mather, relative to Mr. remarks as follows:-." These Baxter's views, I should conclude, things, which our churches with that the prevailing opinion was, amazement behold Mr. Baxter that Christ died for the elect onthus calling fictions, falsehoods, ly, and that he made such an exforgeries, were defended by Mr. Change with them as to take all Norton; nor do our churches at their sins, and give them all his this day consider them as any oth righteousness; that Christ satisfied er than glorious truths of the gos- the law by obeying its precept in pel; which, as they were main their place, and then by suffering tained by Mr. Norton, so two di- its proper penalty, being literally vines, well known in both Eng. punished in their stead. Whether lands, Nathaniel and Increase Ma- these views of atonement and justher, and a third, a worthy minis- tification are correct or not, they ter of the gospel, Mr. Samuel are certainly not the views of Willard, now living in the same Hopkinsian Calvinists. house from whence Mr. Norton Another important fact which is went unto that house not made to be gathered from Mr. Prince's with hands, have, in their printed history, is this: It was not then labours, most accurately express- the practice for churches to examed them and confirmed them." ine applicants for admission as to
Thus we see, that the Calvin- their Christian experience, and to ism which prevailed in Boston in make that a condition of admission.
Speaking of the year 1735, he says, those admitted to his church, "B “ The general decay of piety far the greater part have since givseemed to increase among us in in hopeful signs of saving converBoston. And for the congregation sion.” I preach to, though for several From these extracts it appears, years some few offered themselves that though Mr. Tennent thought to our communion, yet but few a change of heart necessary to came to me in concern about their qualify an applicant for admission souls before.” Again, speaking to the communion of the church, of the time of the great earthquake, it was not the prevailing opinion he says, “Though people were in Boston. If any thought it their then generally frighted, and many duty to come, and expressed their awakened to such a sense of their desire to enjoy the privilege, they duty as to offer themselves to our were admitted, though they excommunion; yet very few came to hibited no signs of a saving conme then under deep convictions of version. Hopkinsians have always their unconverted and lost condi- opposed this las practice in the adtion. Nor did those who came to mission of members, as they have me then, come so much with the done the lax practice of baptizing inquiry, what shall we do to be 'according to the half way covesaved? as to signify that they had nant. President Edwards was such a sense of their duty to come dismissed from his people in to the Lord's table, that they dare Northampton, in 1750, on this not stay away any longer.” Speak- very account. The Council say, ing of Mr. Tennent's preaching, in “Finding the sentiments of the 1741, he
says, “Mr. Tennent be- Pastor and church concerning the ing so exceedingly strict in cau- qualifications necessary for full tioning people from running into communion, to be diainetrically churches, taking the sacred cove- opposite to each other; the Pastor nant, and receiving the Lord's sup- | insisting upon it as necessary to per, the seal thereof, until they the admission of members to full had saving grace, that divers communion, that they should make brought to a very hopeful disposi- a profession of sanctifying grace; tion, were through fear and dark- whereas the brethren are of opinness kept from coming into full ion that the Lord's supper is a communion. So far did Mr. Ten- converting ordinance, and consenent's awakening ministry shake quently, that persons, if they their hopes and hinder them, that have a competency of knowledge those whom I apprehended to be and are of a blameless life, may thirsty, and thought myself oblig- be admitted to the Lord's table; ed to encourage, I found the im- although they make no such propressions of his preaching had dis- fession.” Mr. Stoddard, the couraged. As to my own opinion, predecessor of Mr. Edwards, had it seems to me, that where there is been of the same opinion with the a thirst for Christ and his spiritu- church; and from several passages al benefits, that thirst is raised by in the writings of President Edthe Spirit of Christ; and in raising wards, it is evident that such had such a thirst, he qualifies for them, been the prevailing opinion and shows his readiness to satiate it, practice in New-England for many invites, requires, and gives suffic- years. ient grounds for coming to him, at President Edwards in his Narthese pipes of living waters.” And rative of surprising conversions, he quotes Mr. Webb, as saying of speaking of the vear 1734, ob