« PrécédentContinuer »
parison with most other rulers, From whence assistance comes. Be might have been called Alfred
this thy nanie, TIE GOUD as well as Alfred THE
THE FATHER OF TAY PEOPLE! Cherish
worth! To this his military Where talent is, turn it to good! Precharacter is not to be urged as vent an objection; for he lived in a With power's strong arm, all violence dark age, and he probably acted according to the light he possess
All cruelty to brutes! For God be
holds ed, and the circumstances in
With a paternal eye his lowest works, which he was placed by Provi. And hath appointed for the unfieling dence.
heart, "Not in the Eternal's eye
Deep and peculiar punishments.Is the same deed by different men per
“A good king happiest feels formed!
To see his people happy! Such be thou! Motives and principles to him appear
Instruct the ignorant, and as the Clear, though concealed from human
The source of best instruction-spread
the sound Mr. Cottle in his poem repre. Salvation dealt to man! Give them the sents the “Guardian Angel" as food thus addressing Alfred
God hath appointed! This shall tame “Alfred, be hou resolved their hearts Well to perform thy part; and ever When other things all fail."
"CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE."
The words of Josbua now be. selves to the test of serious examfore us suggest several import- ination, whether we bave in very ant ideas.
deed chosen a life of real religion, In the first place they teach us, Some perbaps will say for that religion is a subject of choice. themselves-We have regularly We are not born religious, nor attended God's worship; we have are we made so by education or been trained up to walk circumthe mere care and labors of pa- spectly, to avoid impiety, impurents or instructors, without our rity, dishonesty and falsehood; consent and earnest cooperation. We have set a good example, and
we Religion requires our determina- have not deliberately brought tion, our voluntary choice; and it disgrace on religious institutions. I is also the most solemn question But it may be asked, Why have on which we can be called to de- you done these things? Has it cide.
been from a principle of duty, To what purpose are all the a sense of obligation and from exhortations of ministers, the love to God? Or has it been from prayers of God's people, and the a thousand various motives which expostulations of the gospel, if you have never examined? If the we will not be persuaded to latter, you have yet to choose ehoose and seriously act for our
will serve. selves? Let us then bring our. As religion is a subject of
choice, it is not a thing to be force servants to obey, his servants ye ed upon as either by God or man. are whom ye ubey, whether of Nor are we to wait in a atate of sin unto death, or of obedience indifference and indecision, ex. unto righteousness?" pecting miraculous agency to turn Do any plead for themselves us from a course of sio to the thus ? We have been always service of God. If we speak it devoted to the service of Godwith reverence, we may truly our parents dedicated us to him say, that even Omnipotence canl- in our infancy-and we have not effect the conversion of a sin- yielded to the authority of his per without his consent. For law.' conversion implies the consent Let this profession be examin. and choice of the mind to serve ed: How are you affected by the the Lord.
opinion of the world? What are Choosing religion or the ser. the vices which you abhor? Do vire of God, implies more than a you abhor all the vices which consent to be of this or that par. God's law forbids, or only those ty among professed Christians, which happen to be censured by and more than the adoption of a. the indulgent moralists of the
a ny human system of doctrines or age? Do you abhor all impurity, opinions. It consists rather in a profaneness, dissoluteness, reserious determination of the mind venge, worldliness and irreligion? to devote ourselves to the honest Dare you in the face of reproach, study and practice of God's will. contempt, and ignominy, refuse to Without this we shall be expos- yield to the favorite opinions of ed to pass through life in a state those who call themselves the of delusion, to confound our zeal world? Are you so much supe. for a sect, with zeal for the truth; rior to their condemnation that our attachment to those who bear you dare to forgive a man who the same insignia with ourselves, has insulted you Dare you let with love for our neighbor; and the world know that you fear our choice of a party for devoted. God and not reproach-heil and pess to God.
not the contempt of the wicked? In the second place we are to Can we be the servants of God, remark, that in choosing religion and yet the slaves of the world's we make choice of some object law? Can we be the servants of to serve-Choose you whom you God and yet ashamed to avow will serve. The majority of our religious principles and to mankid are the slaves of some practise according to his requireruling passion from which their ments! whole life takes its direction. Do we pretend to serve God The passions which hold the while we are buried in avarice, world in bondage, misy be reduce and while we devote our days ed to a few great tyrantside and nights to the service of mamlove of pleasure-of power-of mon or wealth? If the love of money-of fame.
Know ye wealth engrosses our pursuits and not," says the apostle, “that to
our benevolence, if it whomsoever ye yield yourselves quenches our sympathy for oth
ers and closes our þearts against this day whom you will serve. their distresses and wants, if it Why this day? Because every makes us hard in our dealings motive which can affect a reaand panctilious in our demands, sonable mind demands it. if it renders us more sensible to Choose this day, because it is wrongs done to ourselves than to the most important thing in life. sins against our heavenly Father, Our first obligations were to God, then are we the slaves of wealth and time, instead of diminishing rather than servants of God. them, only encreases their num.
There are many who are the ber, and the sin of our negleet. slaves of sensuality, who per- Choose this day, because it is haps do not feel their own bond. the only day of which we are age. How sure, and yet how We know not what a day secret, is the progress of intem- may bring forth; we have no perance! How is the whole mind pledge of the continuance of life, often subjected, and the faculties we have nothing to depend upexhausted by this vice before the on but the mercy of that very God poor slave is aware of his dan- to whose service we are required ger! He is a slave of sensuality to devote ourselves. who for the sake of its pleasures Choose you this day, because neglects the improvement of his every day's delay renders your mind, or incapacitates himself choice more unlikely. The mofor the discharge of his duties, or tives may never again appear so for the enjoyment of the sweets strong to your minds as they do of religion.
at present; the subject may nerLet those who have hitherto er again be urged upon you, and preferred the service of the world some change in your circumstances to the service of God-and who may place you out of the hearing imagine that religion is a burden of these calls, and out of the powe and the service of Gud a re- er of using the means with which straint-believe the voice of all you are now favored. You may experience, that there is no inas. be prevailed upon by some conter so severe as the world, and siderations of pleasure or wealth, no service more unprofitable than to abandon the ordinances of worá that which they have chosen. ship which you now attend. By There is no end to the sacrifices delay you contract the habit of which must be made to conform making excuses, your hearts beto the capricious laws of custom come more insensible, and the and popularity. After all that world fastens upon you some new is made in this life there must be chain. a dreadful sacrifice when death Choose you this day whom you closes the state of probation. For will serve, because to choose the what is a man profited if he shall service of God may be more difgain the whole world and lose ficult hereafter, and because late his own soul? or what shall a man repentance will be bitter and pergive in exchange for his soul! haps of little worth. What is
In the last place, observe the thought to be repentance at the time of choosing. Choose you eleventh hour is much to be sus.
peeted, as only the effect of fear, pressing and so
so affectionate. or as a state of mind extorted by How long, ye simple ones, will ye the prospect of death, without any love simplicity, and the scorners sincere love to Gud.
delight in their scorning, and the Choose you this day, because fools hale knowledge. “Turu the whole life ought to be devot. ye at my reproof.” “Turn.ye, ed to God, and to serve God is a turn ye, for why will ye die." different thing from determining Choose you now, because to deto commence his service in a fue fer is to presume on merey which ture day. Whatsoever thy hand has already been abused by defindeth to do, do it with thy lay. To delay any longer is might. The night cometh, in both disingenuous and presumpwhich no man can work. Think tuous; and the expostulations of how much sin and sorrow you Heaven are very affecting. •Bemay prevent by an immediate cause I have called and
have dedication of yourselves to God: refused, I have stretched out my how many your example may in- hands and no man regarded; but fluence, how many may be awak- ye have set at nought all my ened by your determinatiou to counsel and would none of iny serve the Lord. Think also how reproof; I also will laugh at your many are encouraged to go op in calamity, and mock when your sin by your delay, and how their fear cometh. Then shall they condemnation as well as yours call on me, but I will not answer; may be aggravated by your neg. they shall seek me early, but they lect.
shall not find me; for that they Choose you this day, because hated knowledge, and did not the invitations of heaven are so choose the fear of the Lord.”
EXTRÁOT FROM A DISCOURSE ON THE FAILURE OF ATTEMPTS TO
PROPAGATE THE GOSPEL AMONG THE HEATHEN.
ATTEMPTS to propagate the that no previous and concurrent gospel among the heathen in modo efforts have been made to give ern times have been attended them a favorable impression of with less success, than we might the tendency and effects of Chris. seem warranted to expect, when tianity, and thus to prepare them we cousider the zeal that has for its reception, by extending to been employed, and the exertions them the improvements and comthat have been expended on the forts of civilized life? This will subject. Particularly bas this not be said. Neither zeal, nor been the case with respect to the benevolence, nor discretion, por natives of this country. How is activity, in many cases well di. this failure to be accounted for? rected, nor ample means judi. Is it, that no proper means have ciously applied, have been wantyet been employed--that no suit. ing. Yet ihe savage prejudices able messengers have been sent- have not been overcome. Is there
No. 2. Vol. IV.
dot, then, some other cause, to of beings-as a degraded race, which we may attribute a part, at not possessing the same nature,
least, of our want of success? Are not entitled to the same rights as ' not the best endeavors to give to ourselves. Is it wonderful then,
the natives of the land the coin- that they are not converted? Can forts of civilized life, and the we be surprised, that they resist blessings of the gospel, counter- our endeavors for their benefit, acted by the treatment they re. when experience has taught them, ceive from us in other respects, that whatever may be the designs and the «haracter in which we and views of Christians, the uniappear to them? We offer to them fórm result of an intercourse with a religion of peace and good will, those who profess to be Chrisyet they see us carrying on among 'tians, to them has been roblery, ourselves and against them fero- corruption, exile and slavery cious and desolating wars. We Are we to be surprised that the profess and preach a doctrine of most pious, and wise, and faithpurity and self denial, and they ful missionaries should meet with witness in us a licentiousness of little success, surrounded by manners and self indulgence un- intrepid adventurers, who treat known among them, who make these natives of the soil as beasts no such pretensions. We invite of the forest, and are continually them to embrace a religion of embroiling them in quarrels, that justice and disinterestedness; yet they may have a pretence for we drive them from their posses. seizing on their lands;—and by sions, and take from them their cunning traders, who are ready country. While some of us are to defraud them of their rights, to teaching them the doctrine of e. take advantage of their ignorance ternal life, and offering them the and their propensities, to spread hopes of a heavenly inheritance, the worst of corruptions among others of the same nation and them; in fact to sacrifice every manners, and apparently of the principle of justice and feeling same profession and principles, of humanity to a lucrative traffic? are cheating them out of iheir Little reason have we to hope, possessions, corrupting their mor- _that even accompanied with The als, brutalizing their manners, & useful arts, and the improvements driving them to seek safety from and comforts of civilization, the our depredations in deeper for- gospel will be received by the naests, and remoter wildernesses. tives of our country, until those We exhort thein to embrace a re- causes shall be removed, which ligion, which considers all men have thus counteracted, and conas brethren, and teaches humili. tinue to counteract the efforts of iy, mutual condescension univer. piety, and benevolence, and ensal good will, and the common lightened zeal. regards of the universal Parent In other regions of the world for all his children, and the com- we have indeed heard of better mon provision he has made for prospeets;—and we rejoice to them; yet they find themselves hear, that both in Asia and Aftreated by us, as a different order rica some hopeful symptoms have