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so they naturally reject the Rev- which can justiy be attributed ta elation, which God has given in Hopkinsianisın. The preachiag the scriptures of truth. Hence, of Hopkinsian sentiments makes in the original of the New Testa-infidels, somewhat in the same »
way ment, there is but one and the that the preaching of Unitarian same word for unbeliever and in- sentiments makes Christians.fidel. Every unbeliever is a prac-i While the preaching of Hopkintical if not a speculative deist. sianism shows bypocrites that they Men need to be unmade, and not | are infidels; the preaching of Unimade atheists and infidels.
tarianism shows infidels that they But, though all men, in their may become such Christians as the natural state, have the spirit of preacher describes, without a atheism and infidelity; yet some change of heart; and thus, while are rationally convinced of the Hopkinsianism, by exhibiting the being and perfections of God, and true doctrines of the Gospel, leads of the truth and divinity of the false professors to become open scriptures; and many more having in dels; Unitarianism, by pervertimbibed false notions of the cha- ling the doctrines of the Gospel, racter of God and of the contents and representing them in a light of the scriptures, imagine them- pleasing to the unsanctified heart, selves to be, and profess to be, induces avowed deists to become believers in the Divine Existence professors of the Christian relig. and the inspiration and truth of ion.
. latter description, when taught by notice of one other objection, viz. a developement of the Hopkinsian ikat Hopkinsiunism tends to licensystem, what a being God is, and tiousness. But this would anticiwhat truths the scriptures teach, pate the subject of the next essay; ; are inclined, by the blindness and which, according to the outlines of perverseness of their hearts, to I my plan, sketched in No. 1, is, to reject both, and come out openly, illustrate the practical icndency of as they always were inwardly, the Hopkinsian system of seniiatheists and infidels. This is a il
ments. the making of atheists and infidels,
But God's commands I did not Thinking the following narrative of a keep. After having endeavoured religious experience may be a means of to establish myself in various repromoting the cause of piety, I transmit ligious opinions. I became violentit for publication.
A. ly opposed to the doctrine of diFrom early childhood, I have vine sovereignty. Because that been the subject of serious im-doctrine was declared in the pressions. At the age of about scriptures, I almost concluded nine, I commenced prayer. they were not the word of God. When about sixteen or seventeen Some infidel writers strengthened years old, I resolved to quit the my doubts. When about three sinful pleasures of youth, and ren- or four and twenty, my mind was der obedience to the divine com- involved in awful darkness. The mands. I viewed various systems (bible I had read considerably; but of religion. I read the scriptures. to the doctrine of election, which
that reveals, I was greatly oppos- such views and feelings, my mind ed. I now believed the scriptures laboured in unspeakable anguish; were the word of God.
for my sins pressed heavily upon After continuing some time in me. I had a deep sense of guilt, a state of wretchedness, I heard and found no relief. I could see Mr. preach a sermon on the none. I thought I should be lost; doctrine of election. Soon after —that God would be just in send. having heard this sermon, I had a ing me to hell; but I was unwilclear view of the doctrine. I firmling to go there. I opposed God's ly believed it. I concluded I was justice. After being thus conone of the elect; that Christ died victod for some time, seeing my for me, and therefore greatly re- sins many, great, and exceedingly joiced. My hope of heaven was aggravated, as I was viewing the founded on a speculative view of justice of God in my condemnathe doctrine of election, accompa- tion, thinking I should be sent to nied with a belief that Christ died hell; but being unwilling to be for me in particular. I have since cast off, I not only saw that God seen that my hope was a false one. would be just in my condemnation,
At the time of this conversion, but I also saw that were I destroyI had been thinking of the praced, his justice would shine contice of law. Indeed, I had pre-spicuously glorious. The instant viously commenced the study of I saw my condemnation would be that profession. But being ambi- a means of rendering the justice tious, and wishing to be one of the of God glorious, I felt perfectly first in religion, because I had willing to sink into hell, that God professed to be a Christian, with might be glorified. I gave up all very little prayer, without much opposition to God, and felt willing consideration, and with no right to be in hell forever. But as I motive, I concluded to prepare for gave up, and felt willing God the Gospel ministry.
should glorify himself by destroyAfter studying a while for the ing my soul, I had a mental or ministry, and at the distance of heart view of the Saviour; and more than a year from the period my soul, instead of sinking to hell, of my conversion; after much ( a
as I had thought it would, were I searching and many fears, I was willing God should destroy me, brought to the conclusion that my rested on the Lord Jesus. My hope was built on the sand. I feelings at this moment, I cannot was constrained to give up my describe. I had seen the glory hope. I had felt conviction of sin of divine justice. I now saw the before abandoning my hope ; but glory of the Saviour. I felt that as soon as that was given up, con- I should praise God in hell, for I viction rushed more powerfully thought that I should go there. into my mind. I felt my sins A few days after this change, deeply ; especially some particu- the thought occurred to me that lar ones. I felt guilty before God. what I had experienced was a For a number of days I was the change of heart, and that instead subject of deep conviction of sin. of sinking to hell, I should be reI saw clearly that for my sins Iceived to heaven. When this deserved eternal death. I saw do thonght first struck my mind, it way to escape that death. I felt seemed to recoil at it. I had seen that God would be just in destroy-clearly, that were I destroyed, ing me; but I was unwilling jus. God would glorify himself in my tice should take place. With destruction. I thought I should
be destroyed; and chose rather to It is my earnest desire that no have God glorified, than be saved. one commence study for the minBut soon I received a hope of | istry, as I did, without right moheaven. It is now several years tives; and that none be deceived since this change; but I still feel with a false hope. willing God should save or destroy
Utica Christ. Repos. me, as shall be most for his glory.
gave their fellow-men; to which In forming a society for the He adds, “ For if ye forgive men purpose of settling and supporting their trespasses, your heavenly a minister of the gospel, it is cus
Father will also forgive you: But tomary to admit such persons if ye forgive not men their tresinembers, as make no pretensions passes, neither will your Father to religion. To me, this course forgive your trespasses.” of conduct has the appearance of Forgiveness being a duty so in. calling on the enemies of God, to dispensably necessary, it is very support his cause. I should there important to know what it is, aud fore be highly interested in the towards whom, and when, and discussion of this question, through how we ought to exercise it, and, the medium of your Magazine: why it is necessary, in order to Is the practice of admitting per- obtain forgiveness of God. sons members of a society formed It would, therefore, be a very for the purpose of supporting that acceptable, and I doubt not, a very religion, for which they profess no
beneficial service, if some of your cordial friendship, consistent ei. Correspondents would take up the ther with reason or scripture? subject of forgiveness, and so dis
LISTENER, cuss it, as clearly and satisfacto
rily to answer the following questions:
1. What is it to forgive? MR. EDITOR,
2. Whom are we bound to forAs our Lord signally exemplifi- give? (d, so he repeatedly enjoins the du- 3. When are we bound to forty of forgiveness. In his various give them? discourses, He represents forgive- 4. To what extent? And, ness of injuries, as essential to the 5. Why must we forgive them, Christian character, and indispen in order to be forgiven of God? sable to obtaining the favour of
IGNOSCENDUS. God. In the form of prayer, which at their request, He gave to his A Correspondent desires ab disciples, He directs them to pray Exposition of Hebrews vi. 4–6. God to forgive them, as they for
POR THE HOPKINSTAS MAGAZINE.
ANSWER TO A QUESTION. observe a request to have the fact Messrs. Editors,
accounted for, that professde In your number for January, I | Christians are so generally " dis
posed to think favourably and to duces plain declarations of scripspeak well of those who fall short ture in support of them, it makes of them in their religious senti- me feel conscious of being at variments, but to think less favoura- ance with the Bible; and it disbly, and to speak less kindly of pleases me to be thus put in the those who go beyond them, even in wrong. When a man performs a smaller degree, than the others greater acts of self-denial, and fall short." If none of your cor- manifests more patience and meekrespondents have furnished a more i ness under injuries, and shows satisfactory answer, I would offer more of a Christian temper on all the following:
occasions than I do, I cannot but When a man falls short of me i feel a painful and mortifying conin his religious sentiments or prac- sciousness of my inferiority. This tice, it makes me think well of displeases me, and provokes me myself, because I conclude I am to endeavour to lessen the estimabetter than he. But when a man tion in which he is held, by speakgoes beyond me in his religious ing unfavourably of him ; and sentiments or practice, he seems since I cannot rise to his stand, to condemn me. When he em- ard, to endeavour to briog him braces certain truths that I am down to mine.
EGO. powilling to embrace, and pro
Utica Christ. Repos,
FOR SECRET PRAYER.
ON PROVIDING ACCOMMODATIONS rections about prayer, in the scrip
tures, and he will see that a considThe duty of secret prayer is erable time ought to be approprienforced in the scriptures, and is ated to this object. I repeat the urged by pious and learned di- | words of Bennet, taken from the vines; still, it is greatly neglect- American Tract, “ The Religion ed. There is a particular occa of the Closet." " The length of sion of this neglect, which must time to be spent in retirement be removed, before the duty will i must depend greatly on each othbe correctly performed; the occa- er's circumstances. Servants, who sion is--the want of proper accom- have not time at command, may modations. The accommodations not be able to enjoy so long an auI deem proper, are established dience in the closet as their mashours, reserved from all other conters. Perhaps the medium most cerns--a place, where there will generally suitable is an hour at be some seclusion from all per- morning and at evening. Colonel sons, and no danger of sudden Gardiner, even when most hurinterruption and conveniences, ried, spent two hours in the oraas a fire, for spending a consider tory; though some may not be able time, if occasion shall re- able to employ more than half an quire, in retire nent.
hour; and what Christian could It must be conceded that the endure less?" This passage is not duty demands time. Let one re-, quoted to recommend an hour at mark the devotions of Jesus Christ, morning, and an hour at night; or of some of his most eminent bat only to shew that a pious servants; let him review the di- and eloquent writer thought secret
duties required considerable time, If he cannot provide conveniences Dr. Doddridge, if I recollect right, for secret duties, he may hope to assigned half an hour at morning enjoy divide influence without the and half an hour at night, for se- regular performance of them. It cret devotions. No one, however, is the duty of believers to place would venture to determine any themselves in the best situation fixed time for all characters and they can, consistently with all all seasons. But when the variety their obligations, for leading a reof duties to be performed in secret ligious life. is recollected the consideration Comfortable apparel is provided of the life-the examination of the for going to the house of God; heart-the study of scripture--the and the buildiug is fitted to er. contemplation of probable tempta- clude the keen winds, and is often tions, the recollection of all the furnished with stoves to soften the subjects of prayer—the acknow. sharp air. Every one must supledgment of mercies—the confes- pose that this promotes attendsion of sins—the supplication for ance on religious exercises, and blessings--then a half hour will allows the thoughts to be occupi- . appear a short time for secret de-ed, with the least distraction, by votions.
the services of the sanctuary. If proper accom
ommodations are Would pot the same thing be not provided, will sufficient time true respecting secret devotions? be passed in secret to attend fully What has been said of accomto these particulars ? If in the modations as to the inclemency of depth of winter the believer can. the air, will apply more forcibly not be alone by himself, with a still to the other accommodations, fire, will he not ordinarily be pre- time and place. If there is no time vented by the severity of the cold, specially allotted to secret prayer, from spending a proper time in it is highly improbable that the retirement? Will it not sometimes duty will be performed with any be quite impracticable? Will not constancy. No particular moment the devotions of many a day be brings with it a recollection of the performed in a hasty, imperfect duty, and it will be entirely formanner? If there is any retire. gotten. There will then be so ment daily, I may fear, it is too fixed arrangement, assigning a often for a few moments only ; time for every thing that is to be some formal words satisfy che con done, and thus separating some science, and the feelings remain certain part exclusively to devoas cold as the chilling air of the tional exercises. If there is no season. The want of comfortable such allotment of time, there will accommodations for secret prayer be no leisure hour for the closet, will occasion the imperfect per and the idlest life may be too busy formance, or the entire omission to allow a few undisturbed moof the duty; and therefore these
ments for prayer. accommodations ought to be pro- If there is no place allotted for vided.
secret prayer, many a day will go It may be said in reply to this, by without any place being found. that a believer ought to maintain It will not be denied that the besecret duties in unfavourable cir- liever must be free from interrupcumstances. I may answer that tion for earnest and successful he ought, undoubtedly; but he prayer. In such circumstances cannot expect assistance in nver- Jacob wrestled with God and precoming difficulties he may avoid. | vailed; in such circumstances our