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injudicious it is always so; and the most ignorant are the. most profuse in it.
· It may therefore be of service to observe the manner in which you are co:nmended. Those who are spir'tual, emi. nently so, have a style and diction peculiar to themselves, of which there are abundant examples in the sacred writó ings. To instance only in Gal. i. 24. “ They glorified God in me.” The very turn of expression shews, that winile they valued Paul as the instrument, they looked beyond him to the Agent, to whom alone they gave the glory. And I ain persuaded it would give you far more pleasure, as a' servant of Jesus Christ, to be told by the weakest and poorest of his humble followers, that the Lord was pleased to bless them under your discourse, than to have a throng of professors crowding round you, to thank you for makiug such a sermon. After all, if you would profit by praise, you must consider, not only who commends, why they commend, and how; but what effect does commendation produce on your own mind! This demands your close and constant attention. We have seen and lainented the ill effects it has had upon many, even some of the greatest characters. Let us attend to a few of the good effects it is capable of producing, when, through the grace of God, it is properly received.
In the first place, it will be the means of humbling you. This will appear strange; but I hope your own experience will often prove it true. At times, at least, the ideas entertained of you by others, compared with what you feel within, will exhibit such a striking contrast, as will lay you low in the dust before God.
Another effect will be diligence. You will naturally and justly conclude, that the higher ideas any person's formi of you, the more they will expect from you; and that your utmost exertion will scarcely be able to keep pace with their expectation. This is a debt which will accumulate as you advance; and perpetually leave you in arrears.
Finally, It will excite gratitude and devotion to God. You will often be constrained to say, Who am I, O Lord ! and what am 1, that I should not only be put into the ministry; but be favoured with such a degree of acceptance and usefulness !-" Not unto me, O Lord ! not unto me, anto thy name be all the glory.”
REMARK ON ISAIAH IX. 6.
To the Editor. Sir, Having lately heard a respectable gentleman make a criti
cal Remark on Isaiah ix. 6., I beg leave to offer it to the
Consideration of your learned Readers. -SPEAKING on the last part of the verse, “ And his name w shall be called, Wonderful,"&c. he said, “ In my opinion, the noun wonderful, here used as a substantive, would be better rendered, and would make the sense more complete, by adjectiving it, and reading it wonderful counsellor ; and the next name which follows, “ mighty God," will support that assertion; there being an adjective joined with a substantive in the same manner."-But that gentleman's assertion appears to me not to agree with the Hebrew Syntax; because, had the noun (xp) wonderful been an adjective, it would not have preceded the substantive (rv) counsellor, which it does; but it would have followed, as in the next name, where the adjective (1927) mighty follows the substantive (se) God; and, in Judges xiii. 10. when the angel, who appeared to Manoah and his wife, was asked by them what vas his name, he said it was ('89) Ilonderful; therefore, I think, it must be considered as a distinct name.
If any of your readers will inprove these hints, and favour the writer with their opinion on this passage, they will greatly oblige,
ON THE TREATMENT OF YOUNG PROFESSORS. O NE of the last precepts delivercd by onr Lord before V he left the world was this : « Feed my lambs.” As, during his ministry, he always discovered a peculiar tenderness for the weak of the flock; so, when about to leave his disciples, he was desirous of impressing this duty upon their minds.' This advice, as it was appropriate to the apostles, so it should not be neglected by those who profess to receive the apostolic doctrine. It is evident, however, that there are many who pay but little attention to this important injunction. · Young professors are often treated with a coolness and contempt they do not deserve. It must be granted, that they frequently discover ignorance, that excites concern ; pride, that cails foi reproof;
and forwardness, that requires a check. But who is there, however veli his mind nay be informned, or however much his judament unay be natured, but what, if he call to remembrane former days, will have reason to lament over a thousand infotecrion, and irregularities in his own life?
Where is the mind, possessed with the least degree of feeling, but most recollect with pair the mistakes that were made, the opinions that were hastily imbibed, and the rash conclusions drawn in those years, when our zeal was not tempered with wisdori, nor our actions regulated by prudence: Let those who are fund of magnifying the infirmities of the weak, and triumphing over the mistakes of the youny, go back, and, in imagination, place themselves in those situations, where they, alike with others, discoveied their folly, and needed the instruction and forbearance of the wise. .
So far froin discouraging young professors, should we not reflect what stumbling-blocks are thrown in their way by the world; what iemptations they are exposed to from the enen y of souls; and the unfavourable impressions made upon their minds by the conduct of many irregular characters ? Should they not be instructed with meekness, reproved with love, and watched over with care? The apostle Paul, when writing to the Thessalonians, observes, that he was “ gentle among them, even as a nurse that cherisheth her children.” Babes are not to be strangled because they cannot speak; nor neglected, because they are not capable of receiving strong meat. · On the contrary, the greater the weakness, the inore the care. A cynical temper, harsh treatment, or consequential reserve (too often to be met with among older professors) are but poor recommendations of the Gospel of Christ to the young. No wonder that their minds are often prejudiced, and their convictions wear away, when those whose business it is to encourage, have, on the contrary, increased their difficulties, by a temper every way unamiable and inconsistent.
The conduct of Jesus Christ to such, is peculiarly worthy of our attention. It was prophecied of him, that he should not “ break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax." Accordingly we find, that, though he was faithful, he was not severe; though he was well acquainted with their ignorance, and saw. all the imperfections of their nature with a glance, yet he was mild, compassionate, and tender. His disciples at times discovered inuch weakness of mind, - much misplaced zeal, -- and lamentable de. 3 A 2
fects; fects; ret, how kind were his reproofs ! how gentle were hiç admonitions ! and how evident his regard ! Unhke the spirit of some contracted, uncharitable minds, he never anathematized them because of the infirmities they discovered, or the errors they were guilty of." He fed his flock like a shepherd; he gathered the lambs with his arm, and carried them in his bosom.” Blessed Redeemer! who can reflect on thy distinguishing care, who can call to mind the tenderness of thy heart, withont feeling the felicity of being under thy benign authority, and ardently wishing that such a spirit may pervade the minds of all thy followers!
While we thus place before us the conduct of our Re. deemer, let us not forget his injunctions left on record relative to this subject. They that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak; and not to please themselves : - Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye: Bear ye one another's burdens : Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” These passages teach us our duty to our weaker brethren. Let us reduce them to practice; and learn to help them forward in the good old way. Let us exhibit to them all that is conciliatory and pleasant; all that is amiable and engaging; all that is instructive and consolatory. Let us cultivate that wisdom which shall enable us to destroy their presunption without weakening their faith ; to increase their knowledge without adding fuel to their pride; to inspire them with prudence without relaxing their zeal; and to excite their courage without fecding their vanity. Above all, let us not cease to pray for them, that their path inay be as “ the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,"
THOUGHTS ON EXPERIMENTAL RELIGION,
BY THE LATE REY. JOHN STEVENS,
(See Evạn. Mag. for June last, page 209.)
Ry experimental religion, is meant a change of heart,
consisting in a right or holy disposition; which capacitates the soul to discover and rejoice in perfect moral rectitude. In whatever heart this moral change takes place, it is followed with the most pleasing and satisfactory discoveries of the moral beauty, amiableness, and transcendent excellency of God, of Christ, and of spiritual and
eternal eternal things. The heart being holy; and those infinite objects discovered being holy, such a coalescence is formed between the heart and those objects, that nothing is able to dissolve.
The sensible joy and satisfaction arising in the soul from a discovery of those sublime objects, which every way answer to its utmost desires, as far exceed the joy of the hypocrite and wild enthusiast, as light exceeds darkness. All the excellency which such discover in those great and infinite objects, is, a supposed design to make them happy in particular; consequently, should an idea, for a moment, be entertained, that they, personally, should never be benefited by those objects, such people not only would lose their joy and satistuction, but likewise all their relish for them. Very different is the case of the former. What excites such a high degree of joy, comfort, and satisfaction in their hearts, is, the intrinsic excellency, glory, and importance, discovered in the sublime objects themselves, This intrinsic excellence operates like the magnet, to draw the soul into the closest contact with them. Here may be seen the striking difference between the really holy and pious heart, and the heart of the hypocrite and wild enthusiast: the latter endeavours to render those objects subordinate to its own personal interest; while the former is powerfully attracted by the great ends and designs of those objects, and rejoices in being wholly subordinate to them.
But, notwithstanding this indissoluble union, formed between the pious heart and divine objects, yet there is an unsanctified part still remaining, which wars against the soul, and is too often successful, so as to bring on that languor in pious exercises, which causes great grief and lamentation to the real child of God. After the Christian's first love, and the sensible and animating views of the divine beauty and glory, which he enjoyed when he first tasted the comforts of the gospel, and after he gets regularly established in the habitual practice of gospelduties, he too olteii, through the multiplicity of business, insensibly loses his fervour in devotion, though he may keep up the external forms, and feel at times soine lite and engagedạess therein. He sometimes reflects upon his pea sent situation, starts with surprise, feels very uncomfortable, and, perhaps, resolves to attend with more engagedness to his holy calling. But his exertions are often of short continuance, and, before he is aware, he finds himself as cold and as languid as ever. It is also possible, that,