« PreviousContinue »
future state of existence. Daily experience teacheth nie, that I must die, and pay the awful debt incurred by sin. Perhaps, ere another setting sun, the icy arms of death may embrace me; the heart that now dictates, may throb no iorc; and the hand that writes, may be lifeless in the dust; but the immortal spirit must appear before the bar of an alınighty and righteous Judge, from whose unerring decision there is no appeal, and receive the sentence of approbation or condemnation. Then, O my soul ! is it not the greatest infatuation, and the most consummate folly to go heedlessly on the brink of ruin without seeking any preparation for that awful and important event, or once thinking seriously about it? We are assured in the Book of God, that as death leaves us, judgment will find us; for “ It is appointed unto men once to die ; but after this the judgment.” Omay I at that day be found interested in the Triend of sinners; for “ there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus." May my lamp always be well trimmed, and my light burning, that when the Bridegroom cometh, I may be found watching, and having on the wedding-garment of his imputed righteousness, be accoụnted worthy to sit down at the supper of the Lamb! May my affections be more and more weaned from things of time and sense, for here I have no continuing city! May I seek one to come, whose builder and maker is God, and live each day more as if it were my last, since I know not what a day, or a night, or an hour may bring forth ! for “ every beating pulse we tell, leaves but the number less.".
May no creature, or earthly good, engross so much of my affection, as to render the stroke of separation too heavy for my weak faith, or cast a lingering look behind, when the final summons comes to call me hence! but may I receive it with a cheerful resignation to the Divine Wili, knowing, that “ he does all things well.". Having famiJiarized death to my mind, by frequent and daily meditation, may I view his approach with a smile, as a friend who shall open to me the door to eternal bliss, “ where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary åre at rest."
May this ever be the language of my heart, and the constant tenor of my life, that I may evidence to the world that l'am a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus! May I adorn that Gospel I profess, by my life and conversaa tion; and, at last, may I be found amongst that happy number“ whose robes are made white in the blood of the
Lamb;' Lamb;" and for whom there was an eternal rest prepared before the foundation of the world!
· LETTER FROM THE LATE REV. DR. CO
TO A LADY.
Cambridge, Dec. 18, 1752. . T MAY, with great propriety, reflect and echo back the
beginning of yours : « It is now too long to refer to the date when I received your last kind favour,, as I ought, and did intend sooner to have returned you thanks for it." The truth is, through excessive care of it, I had Jaid it up too carefully to be found, even by repeated searches, till by accident I yesterday laid my hand upon it: and now I have it before me, what shall I say, unless with Solomon, "As face answers to face in a glass, so the heart of inan to man?” I discern too much of my own prevailing frame in it, and feel within the sympathy of tender Christian friendship. Complaints ! This is a world of complaints ; and no station or situation in this life exempts us from occasions of them. The Canaanite is still in the land. How profound the wisdom that has ordered it so! and while we carry about the body of this death, it will be more or less continually the case. Temptations without, and a corrupt nature within, are correlates which will give the con. scientious Christian pain, so long as he is a sojourner in this vale of tears: but how then does real grace discover itself? By the soul's oppositions to and struggles against, rather than by sensible victory over, indwelling corruptions. You find much within that discourages your hope of interest in Christ, or vital union to him, which is the same; and so do many besides you; and if any measure of sancti, fication was (in God's truth) made the warrant of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for acceptance and pardon, we might be discouraged : but, blessed be God, the warrant of faith is from a quite different source, even the doctrines of eternal absolute free-grace, particularized in the pro. prises of pardon, acceptance, and complete justification in Christ to the most sinful, impotent, and unworthy. Nor does the promise, as warranting faith in Christ, know us in any other character than as sinners and ungodly; or require any pre-requisites or qualifications, but our in + Rom. iv. So
werd misery : It is true, a real and saying, work of the Spirit takes place on the heart of every yessel of mercy, prodacing a personal sense of our sin and misery before there is, in Tact, any direct act of faith on the person of Christ to acceptance; but this is an inward, sensation of the soul, arising from the impressions of the word and Spirit on the conscience, giving a painful consciousness of our miséty and danger, wherein the creature is wholly passsive; and the first vital. act of a regenerate soul, is its making tortards the city of refuge. There is indeed an afflictive, and sometimes a longi-continued scene of heart-contrition, bewaibiag of sin, and groaniog under its load, before à soul atrains to the preace of believing; yet not before he is a believer: for to the closelabservers. of their own hearts, their motions, and springs of action, it will be eser found, that the contrition and godly sorrow which precedes com: fort, is prodnced and carried on by an apprehension of the grace of God in Christ; for such sinners have some glimmerings of hope, that, at least, it may be for them; together with a secret going+puit of the heart in desire and payer, and some measure of recumbency on Christ, as the only source of relief, though it is hardly perceptible by thelw : cand what is this but faith, though it is a weaker act... Thus it appears that faith isi secretly at the bottom of the soul's mourning for sin; and the essential differepce of the repentance of Paul and Judas evidently appears. Itris representation of the subjeet serves greatly to obriate that catumon difficulty. of. Christians, the tear they have that their hunnilintion for :sin las not been deep enough, tirat their repentance bas not been otithe right:kind, seeing the creati design at the Lord the Spirit, in his convincing work, is to make./Clirist. so precious, that the soul is etrited to an act of real determinate closing with him, as God's salvation, held forth in the promise of faith, as a coinplète Saviour and an entire portion. This has the nature of a comprehensive covenant-transaction, whereby the soud is enabled resolutely and deterininately: to commit his whole concerns into the Redeemer's hands; and as a concoinitant act, which cannot be separated from it, an actual. surrender and making over of the soul to be the Lord's, in a way of spiritual contract and dedication. il
Tlus, l'oonceivc, is the fruit of the Spirit, as the spiritif faith, properly. nnd distinet from his gfteri working as a spirit of adoption, wherein he is pleased to evidence our interest
to us, either by the particular application of an absolute promise *, or by shining upon some part of his work of sanctification in us, whereby we discerir that we are indeerd Christ's workmanship: and thus comfort and peace fuse in upon the soul. My friend then gives too much scope to the subtle ailversary of our soils, while she checks lierself for ranking in the number of Christians; hus she not long since kuown whit that concern of soulineans, which issued in an embracing of Christ for salvation? Can slie' noi still remeinber something of the love of his espousals, when the Lord's name was a strong tower, his rightcousa ness precious, and his glory illustrious in her cře, and this all made to pass before her as an helpless sioner Cast not away, therefore, thy confidence; but remeniber that the first acts of faith must be repeated; even to old age they are necessary. Our dear friend t, now in glory, has observed to me," these direct acts of faith, there is no living a day well without them! Naked faith on Christ and his righteousness, is of more use to stay the soul under spiritual conflicts, than looking back to ten thousand foriner evidences without it. When I go afresh to Christ as a sinner, I find all the relief I need, though I cannot apply as a saint." "This is one great spring of a believer's stedfastness; it is, therefore, a matter of the dust importance to our peace and stability, that we maintain distinct and just apprehensions of the doetrine and warrant of faith, as the great ineans of repelling the fiery darts of Satan in an hour of conflict. Justification and sanctification are distincts though always companion blessings; and great spiritual skill is needful to keep them so: for, notwithstanding all that has been said, this difficulty stil attends the soul'ünder spiritual decays :-If I am a child of God, why is there no inore sensible conforinity to him, and communion with hiin? Because a believer's justification is complete; but his sanctification is not so ; that is still carrying on by almost imperceptible (leyrees, and by means too that scein contrary. Who would think that the powerfal workings of corruption should be a means of weakene img corruption ! yet this is the issue of some of our greatest sonnicts. The greatest defects we feel should by no means make us cast off Our. confidence; but be used rather as
Eps! 13.0 bondinys yrisvse os mooivarit le coin bos # The Rev. Joka Hill, in his charge to Dr. Conder, when ordained Cambridge. no od bobasladog gott 19 dT 191901
a spur to our sluggish spirits to take the faster hold. When waves and billows rise upon our souls, it behoves us to cling the faster to our Rock. A perfect sanctification is the Christian's aim, and thereby is he distinguished from the formal professor, who dreams of happiness without holiness; and, like Gallio, cares for none of these things.
Though sanctification has nothing to do in the business of acceptance with God; yet it is so immediately connected with our peace, as to make our attention to watchfulness, prayer, and obedience, necessary. Hence we are exhorted to follow after holiness * Accordingly, it will always be found, that a constant examination of our own nearts, -- a vigorous resistance of temptations, and an .active endeavour after universal conformity to the known will of God, and a resolute persisting in these things, however frames vary, is the only effectual means of our souls progress' in sanctification and comfort. To Miss
JOHN CONDER. * Heb. xii, 14.
ON THE SLAVE TRADE.
The following Anecdotes are selected from a Work, en. titled “ a Narrative of the British Embassy to China in
the Years 1792, 93, and 94. By Æneas Anderson, then in the Service of his Excellency Earl Macart-' ney, K. B. Ambassador from the King of Great
Britain, to the Emperor of China.” Printed in the · Year 1796. “ SUNDAY, March 10, 1793, being then at Bataria, while
w we were at breakfast this morning, my ears were assailed by the most dreadful shrieks I ever heard ; and on making the inquiry humanity suggested, I discovered that these horrid sounds proceeded from a Malay-slave, whom the master of the hotel had ordered to be punished for some omission of his duty. This poor wretch, who was upwards of seventy years of age, appeared standing in a back court, while two other slaves were scourging him, in the most un. relenting manner, with small canes. This horrid punishment they continued for thirty-five minutes, till the back and hips of this victim to severity, exhibited one lacerated surface, from whence the blood trickled down on the pavement. The master then commanded the correcting slaves