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he inight bring us to God." How was my heart cut up under that sermon! I was all admiration how Christ could find it in his heart to save such a wicked wretch ; and when poor Thomas saw me so affected, for till then I never dropped a tear about the state of my soul in all my life, he quite cried and sobbed (Farmer drops a tear); but, brother, they were all tears of joy, because he thought the Lord was theu saving my soul, and breaking my hard heart; and when Mr. Lovegood happened to Look that way, and sce what a state we were all in, he was as inuch affected as either of us. How he wept and preached about the precious promises of the Gospel! He was so overcome, that he could bardly go on; and as to myself, I had several times almost swonded away.
Steadyman. Why, Mr. Lovegood seemed very much affected this afternoon.
Former. I dare say he saw you affected; and it is amazing how glad at heart he is, when he can but see such poor creatures, as we all are, melted down under a sense of the love of Christ our Saviour !o such wile sinners.
Henry, O, father, can't you remember the first night I came home, at family prayer, how we were all affected while he mentioned that text, What “joy there was in heaven over one sinner that repentech !" What a time of love was that to all our souls !
Naxcy. Why, Mr. Lovegood seemed to look very much our way, especially when he was explaining how the justice of God was glorified in the death of Christ; that the inercy of God might be also glorified in she salvation of sinners,
Steadyman. What strange conceptions I have had about these things ! I used to suppose, that nothing was required by Mr. Lovegood's fol. Jowers, but that if they had faith in Christ, no matter what they werc, or how they lived : but now I begin to see, if Christ does not pardon me,by the shedding of his blood, I never can be pardoned ; and that my heart unust be changed, or shall be ruined for ever.
Henry. And when we come to compare, not only our actions, but our hears so God's law, “ who shall stand when he appeareth!” But this do's not remove our obligations to obey the law; and i: is from a sense of our jobligations to obey it, because it is in itself holy, just, and good, that we are made to be ashamed that we have so transgressed it.
Farmer. O no, brother, we can never "live in sin that grace may abound;" for " how shall we, who are dead unto sin, live any longer therein,"
Steau man. Why, that used to puzzle me when I saw you, and Harry, and others, that were followers of Mr. Lovegood, so different in your way of living 19 what you were before. I always thought it very atradge that such bad doctrines should teach people to live better lives, Mr. Dulman came on purpose to tell us, a day or two before we came here, that all the people about these parts were for free grace, that they might:live as they list.
Henry Much he understands what is meant by grace, when he talks in that manner; for the Bible tells us, “ şin shall not have dominion over vs ; for we are not under the law, but under grace ;" and that " the se ee of God, which bringeth salvation, teachethus to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, and godly, and righteously in this present world;" for that we now " reckon ourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive upto-God through Jesus Christ."
Steadyman. Why, I reinember he contradicted himself the same even. ing, by saying he had no notion of people being so over strict in their • teligion. I pever went much by Mr. Dulman's religion, for his father
'mcant meant to bring him up to the law; but he soon found he had not sense enough for that; and, therefore, said he was only fit for a parson : but, I am sure, I heard no such notions about grace from Mr. Lovegood; and from what happened not a long while since, he seems to me to have no notion at all of the meaning of the Bible: for an old lady, who was supposed to have some very odd notions in religion, because she now and then used to attend a little meeting in our town, left him a guinea to preach a funeral sermon; and she said what was to be the text. Let me see there were soine such words in it as these: “ Not having on my own righteousness, which is by the law.” I recollect that much of it; but I remember that the people in our town supposed there was no such text in all the Bible. Brother Littleworth, where is that text ? But, I hope, I shall mind my Bible more than I have done,
Farmer. Harry, my child, is it not in the Philippians ?
Henry. (Taking out his pocket-Bille.) Yes, father, it is in the third chapter of the Philippians; and the whole text runs thus: “I count all things as dung, that I may win Christ and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Steadyman. Wel' pow, all that Mr. Lovegood has been saying seems to me wonderfully to have explained that tex! ; but poor Mr. Dulman could not make it out at any rate : it is said, that he went orer on purpose to Mr. Blindman, to know if he could borro: froin him, or any other clergyman, a scrmon on that text ; and he supposed it was utterly impossible that a proper funeral-sermon could be made on such a text.
Farmer. So I should suppose, according to his way of thinking. that every poor sinner is to be tossed up into heaven by the inerit of bis own righteousnes. But, brother, what was the upshot?
Steadyman. Why, when he came to preach the sermon, he plainly told the people, that he could not understand why the old lady should chuse such a text, that had puzzled all the divines round about the country: and that as in St. Paul's Epistles there were many things “hard to be understood," he would not himself be so presumptu us as to explain it; but that he would give us the best seriñon he had on a fuacral occasion.
Farmer. Ah! but if Mr. Lovegood had been to handle that subject, I'll warrant he wou'd hare given us a rare sermon upon it: but, you know, it is said, “ The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he knows them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Honry. Well, uncle, I hope that text will never puzzle you any more, as it has puzzled Mr. Dulman. But as to the accusation that such minis(ers have to make against Mr. Lovegood, as though what he preached gare people a licence to live in sin, I am sure, in himself, there is not a better man living than Mr. Lovegood; and he is never so happy as tvhen all his hearers live after the same good example as we åt all times have from him ; but he did not leave us in the dark about this maitor in his sermons this day. You know how highly he spoke of the purity, and excellency, and goodness of the law in the morning; and that as we were eternally bound to obey it, so it was most just and righteous in God to punisb us for our transgressions ; but then he did not tell us that we were pardoned by the death of Christ, thac we might live in sin, but that we might be saved from sin. Yes; and cannot you remember how be insisted on it, in the afternoon, that every one rodeeined from sin, by
the blood of Christ, would have his heart renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit ; and you know, uncle, it is utterly impossible, when our hearts are thus made holy, that our lives should be unholy,
Steadyman. Well, I confess, I see things in a very different light to what I ever saw them before. How glad I should be, if my business would let me stop over Wednesday, that I might hear Mr. Lovegood preach another sermon.
Nancy. Why, father, suppose you and uncle were to go down and talk to Mr. Lovegood to-morrow morning; I am sure he would be very glad to see you.
- Farmer. 'Ayc, that I am sure he would. I never shall forget in what a loving and kind way he first talked to me after I was convinced of my sinful state. Shall we go, brother?
Steadyman. Why, I am quite a stranger to him. I should be ashamed to take such a liberty ; besides, how I should expose my ignorance !
Farmer. Nay, but, brother, does any man keep from fire when he is cold, or from victuals when he is hungry! My son Harry can look after the workmen to-morrow, and you and I will ride down to Brookfield. I know, from blessed experience, how well our minister has been taught, like his blessed Master, “ to shew compassion to the ignorant, and them that are out of the way."
Steadyman. Well, brother, I'll think of it, and to-morrow morning at breakfast l'll let you know,
Mrs. Steadyman. I say to-morrow morning too. I think we shall none of us be in bed till to-morrow morning; for at this rate we shall not have done talking about religion to-night.
Mrs. Littleworth. Why, sister, though I cannot take in my husband's religion, yet I never got any good by thwarting him in this fashion. I must say it before both our masters, they have been very good husbands to us, as husbands in general now go.
Farmer. Well, well, dame, as sister is tired, and the girls have put away the things, let us have family prayer, and go to bed. On this occasion it was Henry's turn to read. He redde the two chap.
ters out of which the texts were taken, and afterwards the farmer went to prayer ; but, in the middle of his prayer, while he was offering up some humble supplications on behalf of his brother and sister, he was so overwhelmed by an holy anxiety for their salvation, that his prayer was abruptly concluded. This, however, gave an opportunity for another act of devotion for the conclusion of the
evening service. Mr. Lovegood having a poetic turn, was in the habit of composing a
few verses of a hymn suitable to his subject, which the congrega. rion sung after the sermon, and which Henry Littleworth was accustomed to take down as Mr. Lovegood gave them out. It was, therefore, proposed, that the hyma suag at church at the afternoon service, should be repeated at evening family prayer; of which the following is a copy :
Dear Jesus, we thy name adore,
Our holy Saviour and our King;
Aloud of thy salvation sing.
Ungrateful and rebellious prove!
Forbid it, Lord! May ev'ry soul
The hated thought at once disdain;
No rival lust with thee shall reign,
Thro' grace, are now detested grown ;
Since now the vicious taste is gone.
In Christ our better hopes revive;
While quicken'd by our God we live...,
To renovate the carnal mind,
And leave this worthless world behind.
Before our dear Redeemer's throne;
And live and die to him alone.
visit to Mr. Lovegood. The conversation was, we doubt not, edifying and good; but the reader is requested to wait till after the writer's next summer's excursion, when he hopes to call on Mr Lovegood, that he may be able more correctly to state the substance of this in.
terview. The writer, however, has already obtained sufficient information of the
knowledge of matters at Brookfield, so as to form a conjecture that it is not probable Mr. Sreadyman can long attend the ministry of Mr. Dulman ; and that, though Mr. Meek is a man of a good and sound mind, yet not of great preaching ability; and also that he will find his churches at too great a distance for his regular attendance, though not for his occasional visits; and that, therefore, when he became inquisitive after the truth of the Gospel, he discovered there was in the same town a worthy dissenting ininister, whom, in the days of his ignorance he had overlooked; whose life was exemplary, and who preached more of the doctrines of the church of England iu his meeting, in one sermon, than was to be heard in the church for seven years together; and I have no sort of doubt but that when Mr. Lovegood, though in himself, froin principle and conscience, a minister of the established church, will advise Mr, Steadyman to
scek after the word of life wherever he can find it. Mr. Lovegood is a man of enlarged and generous mind: knowing,
therefore, that the mere reading of the church prayers, however excellent in themselves, is not the general mean of salvation, it is his opinion, That a preached Gospel should be principally sought for
in every Christian church or congregation. The writer of these Dialogues also, having, at an early stage of his ministry, in a measure, been driven out from that line of the sanctuary service in which Mr. Lovegood is called to labour, con fesses, that he still retains his partiality for that service; but as he sees that a gracious God does not do all his work in one line ; and as he laments how much the members of different focieties are cramped..
by their restrictive laws, he equally abhors the spirit of 'schisme and separation against the true church at large, which is so beautia fully defined in one of our own church-articles, as being " a congregation of faithful men, in which the word of God is preached, and the sacraments be duly administered according to Christ's ordinance in ali those things that of necessity are requisite to the same." Surry Chapel.
THE BRAND PLUCKED OUT OF THE FIRE.
Mr. Editor, I have been led into a further train of meditation on the
goodness of God to his people in their perilous situation ; and if it is not an intrusion, and may be profitable to your readers to insert it, it will give pleasure to him that is
UNCONSUMED. Zech. iii. 2. Is not this a Brand plucked out of the Firi. This literally designs Joshua, the high priest, charged ? by the adversary with unfitness for his sacred office, on account of his past conduct in Babylon. Satan's pretence is the want of holiness in the accused, while he only means to promote his own infernal designs, by preventing Joshua from going on in his work. The devil is rebuked by the Advocate with the Father. When Joshua was in Babylon, he might have been under temptation, and possibly, in some degree, complied, either from interest or fear, in worshipping fore, the Chaldean god. He was there in the furnace of affliction : he was there as a sinner deserving hellfire. Is he not, Satan, a brand plucked from these fires ? The justified and sanctified state of this monument of grace is vindicated in the enquiry.
The subject of this fire is the poor sinner, a brand ; a piece of burning wood; not only lifeless, as separated from the tree, but in the fire, and about to be consumed.-By sin we are only fit fuel for the fire of divine wrath, cast forth as an abominable branch *. Satan, by sin, has set the brands on fire. Our own sinful state is fearful, and as dangerous to others as the foxes of Samson were to the fields of the Philistines; and to ourselves, as those whom the prophet represents as “ smoking fire-brands,” in danger of consuming and being consumed t.
2. The fire is sin; the spark is our own corruption : the eneiny has tanned the flaine, and the fire has broken out, it has raged, and, in many instances, burned to the lowest * Isai. xiv. 16. f Judges sv. 45. Isai. vii. 4. Pro. xxvi. 28. Amos, iv. 11.