« PreviousContinue »
bread and wine. Have they a different smell or taste? Most undoubtedly not. And therefore I can come to no other conclusion, than that nothing contrary to nature has taken place, and that do miracle has been performed. How different was our Saviour's first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee, when he changed the water into wine! It was evident to the guests assembled, that something contrary to the usual course of nature had taken place, and that a miracle had been performed. It was evident that the water no longer retained its former appearance: it not only tasted like wine, but was declared by the governor of the feast to be much superiour to what they had been drinking before. Suppose now our Saviour had said, “See, I have worked a miracle, I have changed the water into wine;' but that it still retained the appear ance of water, and, when the guests tasted it, it also tasted like water; would they not have considered Christ as an impostor, and a mere pretender to miracles! The same observation may be applied to our Saviour's other miracles. It is evident, therefore, that there is no foundation for supposing that the bread and wine are changed in the Eucharist; that it rests solely upon assertion; and that, in fact, no miracle has been performed. All our senses attest this truth; and every man endued with common understanding must allow, that the doctrine of transubstantiation is a fiction, and founded upon error.
While these, and other pretended miracles, are made a matter of faith in the Roman Catholic Church, can we be surprised, that the minds of men are alienated from, and disgusted with a church, which aids and abets such delusions? When the Irish Roman Catholics ask for, what they call, emancipation (of which not one in a hundred could feel the benefit,) they should ask for an emancipation from their various superstitions; they should ask to be restored to the free and unfettered use of the Sacred Scriptures, which would immediately detect the errors of their church; and they would be induced to quit a religion which sanctions and allows them. Indeed, we may hope, under the blessing of God, that such an emancipation is not far distant. The Reformation seems to be making considerable progress in Ireland: conversions to the Protestant religion, and a purer Church, are every day occurring; and I trust that the great body of Irish Catholics will soon wảnt no other emancipation. They will then have thrown off their allegiance, both spiritual and political, to a foreign power; and will partake unreservedly of all the blessings of the Protestant religion, and the benefits of the British constitution.
In Brookfield, (Mass.) since 1318, two hundred and five persons have been admitted to the church; of whom One hundred and Thirteen were from the Sabbath School: three are licentiates, and two or three others are destined for the ministry.
DOCTRINAL TRACTS. A writer in the Boston Recorder, in answer to an article prevjously inserted in that paper, calling for the publication of doctrinal Tracts and asserting that those we now have “ virtually deny the importance of the doctrines of grace, by wholly excluding them,” questions the truth of this statemení, insomuch as the publications of the American Tract Society do teach clearly the fundamental truths of the Bible. He then refers particularly to the following TractsNo. 185 on the Trinity-33 and 45 on the inspiration of the Scriptures-15, 26 and 103 on the Evil of Sin98 and 105 on Regeneration-4, Holiness required—183 on Repentance—131 on Faith-32 and 166 on Future Judgment~119, 155, 160 Future punishment of the wicked-134, 181 Future punishment endless.
The above statement and reply show conclusively, we think, that while we are not destitute of Tracts giving a general view of some of the more important doctrines of grace, there is, nevertheless, only a partial supply: and since there is a strong feeling among a portion of the Presbyterian church in favour of having a full exposition and able defence of our doctrines circulated through the medium of tracts,and especially since other denominations, in giving currency to their peculiar tenets, are pursuing this course with an industrious and untiring zeal, we see no reason why our depositories should not furnish abundantly these useful helps in illustrating and establishing the distinguishing doctrines, as well as enjoining the peculiar duties, of the gospel.--Clerist. Jour.
“ WHERE IS THE WORK OF THE LORD ?" The following is an extract from the English Review in the new Baptist Miscellany, of a Discourse, by Rev. John Neare, on " the means of promoting a Revival of Religion in the Churches."
Places of worship are multiplying on every hand, and each succeeding one surpasses its predecessor in architectural magnificence and splendour ; the style of preaching in them is becoming daily more refined, the congregation dress with the most accurate observance of the modes of the current month, and larger sums of money than ever, are raised for domestic and foreign objects; but, as Samuel Pearce exclaimed, in almost his last sermon, “WHERE IS THE WORK OF THE LORD?” Where shall we discover the spirituality of mind, the sterling, self-denying, enduring, active, glowing piety of a former age? Then the exterior of religion was indeed deficient of the elegances of a modern profession; but then those i who named the name of Christ,” bore his image and breathed his spirit. There is, it must be confessed, a sufficiency of excitement at present; but we much fear that this excitement arises more from the imagination than the understanding, and affects the nerves ina stead of the heart.
We should rejoice to see more simplicity, among both preacher and hearers, with a more steady and thoroughly principled devotion to the great objects of the Christian vocation; but we perceive on every land too much of a sickly and languid taste, which has no relish for that which is plain and solid, and receives with pleasure only stimulants. We confess that notwithstanding all this, there is much in the present state of things to afford us pleasure, and we know that beneath this flowery, and, therefore, most uspromising, surface, there is a vein of “pure and undefiled religion;" but we feel it to be an inviolable duty to contribute, in our humble measure, to detect and expose those glittering trifles, which to the common injury, are too osten substituted for spiritual realities.
How often do they seem
Like a remember'd dream;
In sparkling ruin lies,
Unite those Broken Ties.
The kindred that we loved,
To distant scenes removed;
And closed their weary eres,
Can sever human ties.
They too are gone on changed,
Tre darken d and estranged:
With cold averted eyes,
And mourn our Broken Tics.
Could bear their lot of pain,
Unclouded yet remain?
Who reigns beyond the skies :
By faith's enduring tres.
Is sent in pitying love,
And seek its fight above :
And every joy that dies,
Aud trust to holier ties,
SERMON. Job, II. 4.-And Satan answered the Lord and said, skin for skin; yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life.
Satan was once an angel of light; and, it is supposed, the highest in rank among the principalities and powers of heaven. And though, by his apostacy, he lost his holiness; yet he has not lost his intelligence. He is still a creature of great knowledge, penetration and subtilty. He knows more than he did before his fall, and is as wise to do evil, as the holy angels are to do good. Though this Arch A postate is an invisible spirit; yet he is represented in sacred scrip ture,'as being very conversant with mankind; and very busy in this world, doing his works of darkness, tempting men to sin, working in the children of disobedience, and going about as a roaring lign, seeking whom he may devour.
This enemy of all righteousness was upon one of his mischievous excursions, when the Lord found him, and held the conversation with him, recorded in the first chapter of the book of Job. “ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord 'said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil: Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast thou not made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side ? Thou hast bless ed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.”
The dispute which here arose between Satan and his Maker, was not respecting the nature of goodness, or moral perfection. Satan well knew, from his own former experience, what it was to be perfect, and with all his impudence, was ashamed to deny it. But the dispute was, respecting the real character of Job. God called him a perfect and upright man. The envious accuser of the brethren, insinated that all his goodness was mercenary—that he served God
only because God prospered him in his wordly interest. 'To refute this censorious suggestion of the adversary, God permitted him to try his servant. “ And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. Sa Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord. "As this work was very gratifying to his malicious disposition, he immediately set about it with alacrity. “And there was a day, when his (Job's) sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And there canie a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were ploughing and the asses feeding beside them; and the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sops and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: and behold there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” Job stood this trial, severe as it was, without the least failure. “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
But all this did not silence the cavils of Satan. He still presumed to question God's integrity. “Again there was a day, when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them, to present himself before the Lord. And, the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst ine against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin; yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life.”
Satan here suggests, that Job had maintained his integrity in ap