Page images
PDF
EPUB

gels." *

dition that you can make, about 750,000 manifested in this prayer no want of must die in this christian land destitute submission to the will of his Father. of the means of grace, before you can Neither ought we to view Brainerd's send to them one competent religious pleading for perfect holiness, as any instructor, a: the result of exertions proof that he did not exercise submiswhich are yet to be made. O, thatsion to God's revealed purpose, to not my head were as waters, and mine perfect bim in holiness in this life. One eyes as fountains of lears, that I might way in which prayer is defined in the weep day and night over the slain of the scriptures is, a pouring oul of the heart daughter of my people!

before God. Psal. Txii. 8. Nothing * Done by order of the Commiltee of short of the privilege of pouring out the Supplies.

whole heart before God in prager, would LYMAN BEECHER, give it full relief. It is easy to make a Chairman of the Coinmiltee. distinction between things which are in

themselves desirable, and things which For the Utica Christian Magazine. are desirable on the whole. God has

ways to express what he desires in itTHEOLOGICAL MISCELLANIES.

self considered. He said concerning Tolcen from a Common-place Book.

his foolish, rebellious people; “ O that (Continued from No. 2, Vol. II. Page 36.) they were wise !" All things considered 15. “In the evening enjoyed sweet

it was not best they should be wise; assistance in prayer, and thirsted and else he would have given them an unpleaded to be as holy as the blessed an- ed, it appeared to him very desirable :

derstanding heart; but in itself consider Was this an improper prayer? Was And this desirableness it was of great the holy God displeased to see his dear importance that he should express. In servant thirsting, and even pleculing, to

itself considered, it was very desirable be as holy as the blessed angels? Was

the beloved of the Father should pot it displeasing to him to hear this same drink that bitter cup, especially that man a few days after say, " I longed to most bitter ingredient, the hiding of his be perfectly holy that I might not grieve Father's face. So it appeared to the a gracious God.” But some man will

Son of God. It was proper for him in say, How was it consistent for Brainerd || some way to manifest, how undesirable to pray for sinless perfection in this life, it appeared to his holy soul to be forsawhen it is plainly revealed to be contra- ken of God. And what more proper ry to the determination of the Most way to manifest it, than in praying to High to make any of his saints thus

his Father, that if it were possible the

perfect before death? Was it not his duty cup might pass from him ? None will to feel submissive to this determination? deny but that the saints on earth ought To this 1 reply, it was most certainly to desire perfect holiness in itself conhis duty to exercise submission in view sidered; and that they ought to groan, of this part of God's most holy plan of being burdened with all the remains of government Such submission there corruption which is in them. God by is abundant evidence that he did exer. his Spirit excites in tbem insatiable de .cise. But was that thirsting and plead-sires after sinless perfection. Shall they ing, which we now have under our eye, keep these desires pent up in their contrary to this submission ? Might we

breasts? or shall they express them ? not as well say, that the prayer of the They must speak, that they may be reholy Jesus in the garden of agony, when lieved and refreshed. But to whom he said, If it be possible lel this cup pass

shall they communicate their desires ! from me, manifested a want of subunis shall it be to man alone ? or may they sion to the appointment of his Father, do it to God ? 'If to God-how shall they in setting him apart as an offering for sin do it but in prayer ? It is a great relief But we well know, that the Son of God"to pour out this desire of their heart be.

fore their almighty Friend. They love * Life of Brainerd, Tuesday Oct. 16, 1744- to tell him, how they are grieved with

[ocr errors]

all that sinful imperfection which they bly distinguished, than in their sacred find hanging about them. They lore regard for the Sabbath. Too wise to to tell hirn how they long to be freedj indulge the visionary notion, that religion from all their selfishness, pride, unbelief, or sound morality,can long exist without and earthly mindedness. They love it, and too pious not to rejoice in its to plead with him to sanctify them whol-weekly return, their first care, when ly- to preserve them blamelsss-to en-| they came to this country, was to dable them to keep all his command. dopt such regulations, as might secure at ments. But in view of his holy plan to once its blessings and its perpetuity.withhold perfecting grace in this life, They laid it as the corner stone of that and to keep his saints in a state of spir-noble edifice of morals and religion, itual warfare, until they are taken to which has in these later times been so heaven they submit to their own im-'much defaced, and received so many perfection, saying, Not as we will; but rude shocks, from the hands of their as thou wilt. They pray against sinful degenerate sons-an edifice, the very imperfection, as in itself undesirable, ruins of which are still so magnificent. and they submit to it, as desirable on Justly regarding the Sabbath as, in a the whole, and as a part of that system, sense, the palladium of their infant setwhich Jehovah saw would best display tlements, they raised around it a strong bis glory, and advance the eterual bles- rampart of wise laws, and constituted sedness of his holy kingdom.

some of the best and most influential of 16. It is improper to bring Psal. cxlix. their number its sentinels and guardi3.“ Let them praise his name in the ans. dance;" and Psal. cl. 4; “ Praise him Nor did they rest here. Sound wiswith the timbrel and dance ;" and the dom and sincere piety were no less concase of David's dancing before the ark ;|| spicuous, in the means employed by to support the balls and dancing assem our ancestors to perpetuate a reverence blies of the present day. It would be for sabbatical institutions, than in the more to the point to quote Job xxi. 11. first legal protection of those institutions. “They send forth their little ones like a Fully sensible of the strength of early flock, and their children dance." The habits, and of the potent and abiding indancing of the daughter of Herodias luence of first impressions on the miods mentioned in the sivth chapter of Mat- of children, they applied themselves with thew seems to have resembled what zeal and perseverance to the governthe moderns term a ball. This dancing ment and instruction of the rising genetook place at a feast, not of the Lord, || ration. This they made a part of their but in honor of Herod's birth. The daily business. But the Sabbath was dancing was no part of divine worship, more particularly devoted to these imbut apparently the effect of merriment.-- portant objects. Each tender twig was It was for display-It was designed to bent, almost as soon as it began to attract attention and gain admirers. It || shoot. Children were taught, both by is somewhat of an argument, that aprecept and example, to remember the sentiment, or practice is not scriptural, Sabbath-day, and in anticipation of its when scripture is perverted and turned approach, to prepare themselves seasouout of its natural channel to support it. (ably to enter upon its appropriate duties.

Instead of beiog indulged in their childThe following is the first of a series of Essays ish sports at home, or allowed to range on the Sabbath, written by the Rev. Heman | the fields and walk the streets, as is but Humphrey of Fairfield, Con. and to which the premium of twenty-five dollars was ad- 100 common in our day, they were kept judged, as being the best composition in close from morning to night; and were prose contained in Panoplist, Vol. 10. The not in general allowed to go abroad, or rule of judging being the tendency of the engaged in any vain recreation, either piece to do goodl. Inlroductory Paper.

on the evening preceding, or on that

succeeding God's holy day. In nothing were the fathers of New

Nor was the weekly rest, which they Bagland more highly or more honora- f! were taught to observe, permitted to be

wasted by them in sloth; nor yet was such, as would be esteemed extremely it devoted to what, in strictness of|rigid, by most of the present generation. speech,are termed mere mental improve. But though the decline was slow, it was inents. The grand object of parents, insteady, and al length became rapid. The that golden age of New-England, was laws against Sabbath-breaking were less to instil correct moral and religions and less faithfully executed. Occasion principles into the tender minds of their al travelling upon business and pleasure children, and to mend their bearts. In came in time to be winked at, by inforthe prosecution of this object, they per- ming officers and magistrates. Each severed from Sabbath to Sabbath, and succeeding generation took greater libfrom year to year. To this end theerties than the preceding had done, and, young members of almost every family with some few exceptions hereafter to were required to commit to memory se-| be mentioned, the evil has been increaslect portions of Scripture, and approprio ing to this very day. I will not say, ate psalms and hymns, as well as the that the corner stone is removed from chatechisms of Dr. Watts, and of the its place; though I am certain, that it Assembly of divines. In the mean time, retains but little of its ancient beavty: great care was taken to inspire the ri-nor that its enclosure is wholly taken sing generation with such a love for pub-away ; because the laws for its proteclic worship, and other religious exercition still retain their place in our statuteses, that the Sabbath might not be con- books. But surely the general inefisidered as a burden, but as a delight, the ciency of these laws must be obvious to holy of the Lord, honorable. It was rea-every one.

We might almost suppose sonable to indulge the hope, that a them buried under every turnpike road, course of religious instruction so early so that the inen of this generation purbegun, so judiciously pursued, and so sue their gains and their pleasures, with powerfully enforced, by the general ex- | almost as little interruption, as if no diample of heads of families, would, by the vine or human laws, requiring the sancdivine blessing, poduce the happiest eftification of the Sabbath, were now in fects. This hope, if not realized in all existence. To a most alarming extent its extent, was so far answered, in the has light and vain conversation usurped conduct of those concerning whom it the place of family prayer, and the pihad been indulged, as to gladden the ous instruction of children. Voyages, hearts of the pious pilgrims, as they de. travels, news-papers and novels, have scended to the grave, imploring a thou-gained quiet possession of the shelf, sand benedictions upon their posterity. which was once occupied by sermons,

It is certain, from the most faithful Bibles and catechisms. Many a closet and candid records of those times, that is converted into a counting-room. The for many years after the first settlers frugal meals of our ancestors, which were dead, things remained, as nearly were usually prepared on Saturday, as could be expected, in the state in have given place to luxurious dinners, which they left thera.

prepared with much labour upon the When at length, innovations began to day which the Lord hath made, and in be made, their progress was too slow the hours which he calls his own. and insidious, at first, to excite any con Instead of regularly attending public siderable alarm. If parents of the third worship, as servants were once permitand fourth generations, were not quite ted and required to do, they may now so exact in sanctifying the Sabbath, as be found employed in their ordinary their fathers had been, they certainly work, or driving their masters vehicles reverenced it as an institution of God, the of pleasure. Many persons of high rank, gross profanation of which would inev- and very extensive influence, take the itably jeopardize the best interests of lead without hesitation in violating the society. If they yielded to their chil-laws, and setting the magistracy at dedren some few indulgences, which they fiance. So fashionable has it become, had not received themselves in child- || especially in some of our large towns, to hood, their family regulations were still inake excursions for pleasure on the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

c... add be ene Sabbath, that, if I am not misinformed,|| have been specified. Equally notori.

must of the pres all the environs are thronged with per- ous is it, that the names of many proto padget the dece i sons of every age and of all ranks; a fessors of religion might be enrolled to **** Ed H. lenger be motley mullitude of statesmen, lawyers, swell the melancholy list. Some even

ceenst Sabbadi-ire merchants, tradesmen, carmen, sailors, go so far, as to maintain, with singular i lestunudy ezeu. pedlars, and mendicants, some on foot, confidence, that the Sabbath, under the yerning, men basies some on horse-back, and the rest in sta- Christian dispensation, is a mere human 3.7.zbe za be winter ges, coaches, phactons, gigi, curricles, institution; and that the laws, which re

iter and more chaises and every other vehicle which quire its observance, infringe the liberty 2. paberation ti

Pesteration is fancy has invented. I wish I could adu, of conscience. Among those, who consur le precedure that these and other fashionable viola- | sider this notion as unscriptural, and disto exceptie

tions of the Lord's day, are no where tinctly foresee the ruinous consequened, the evils: prevalent but in and about our princices which must result from its becompreparadas , le pal towns. The lamentable fact, low-ing general in any community, a consid

ever, is, that the Sabbath is greatly erable number would readily tolerate ** brangihl an ca profaned in our small, as well as large| practices, which are directly subversive

ila are places; in the country as well as the of the sacred institution now under con

city. This leaven of impiety has been| sideration. I am afraid, that but few, fermenting and spreading, till almost the of the most strict and conscientious a

whole lump is leavened. While throngs mong us, are fully aware of the broad tras place in

of people are pursuing their business and extent of the fourth coinmand, I am aHilmar the

pleasures upon the public roads, multifraid, that some very worthy and pious

tudes are sauntering about their fields, people do things on the Sabbath, which Ta might als

examining the state of their farms and they ought pot to do, and omit things Desplety w viewing their cattle and sheep, and oth which it is their duty to perform. 19 is geen

ers are sailing, fishing, and taking their A minute investigation of the causes Brous and their pre pleasure on the water.

of this wide and sinful departure from In the mean time, pretences and ex- | the principles and practice of our an. LIGA 295 menitika

cuses for engaging in inanual labour, es-cestors, would not comport with the depecially in tiine of getting in hay and signed brevity of this introductory paHarvest, are multiplied to a most alarm. Iper. Some of these causes, however, I

ing degree; and actual violations of the shall just inention. o'rnare law in this particular have become very In the first place, it is well known to

I 1.9 frequent. Nay, instances are not want- every person, acquainted with the early * 2E and boning, in which fines imposed and collect- history of this country, that after the first

et orgie of ed by a regular civil process, have been settlers had established themselves, and FE & returned to the delinquents, by a formal begun to turn the wilderness into a fruit32 is vote in public town meeting.

ful field, they were followed by advenThese practices would give great turers from the mother couvtry, who me a pain to every pious and reflecting inind, were very different froun themselves, in

even if they were coulined to what is all their views and habits. These adgenerally considered as the loose and venturers, by mixing with the earlier

unprincipled part of the community.-emigranís, gradually gained an influence TO DAL TE RE But how much severer pain does it in with many of the young especially, by Durre flict to perceive, that the poison has which their high regard for divine insti

spread wide even among those, who tutions was materially weakened. ConTSI ss * ' lave sworn to execute the laws, and that sidering what human nature is, this sim

14 resursi u li to the church of God itself is infected ! Ile cause, continuing to operate froni 2. je sunt . I Painful as is the admission of this state-one generation.to another, would have WY. # irurement, it is in vain to think any long produced very alarming innovations: :e pleasure. Hun es er of denying or concealing the fact, Put secondly; our sad degeneracy 25- aaj rerverensi«e imung ; that informing officers, justices of the is probably owing still more to the dea : we lead without ist, peace, judges of courts, and meinbers of moralizing influence of the several wars,

bs, and setting te our state and national legislatures, are in which this country has borne a con:
Sapce. So farbingab)hei"

frequently guilly of profaning the Sab. spicuous part. Hardly any thing so despecially in some of dalam bath, in all, or nearly all the ways that ranges the settled order of things, as war make excursions for pleasure

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

11

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I

1

even in its mildest forins. The passing mont, to visit a sister living in this town, of expresses, the firing of alarm guns, and died after a lingering illness, Authe march of armies, the transportation gust 17, 1812, aged 25, appeared to me of provisions, clothing, and all the mu-to be worthy of a place in the Cliristian nitions of war, upon the Sabbath, as Magazine. I send you the narrative as much as on any other day, must, una written by himself, with some correcvoidably disert the attention of multi- tione. Yours, &c. tudes from the appropriate duties of ho

JABEZ CHADWICK. ly time, and weaken the sense of obli Pompey, August 1, 1815. gation to perform these duties. At the "I was favored with pious parents, same time, many are ready to take ad-, who gave me up to God in baptism, in vantage of these things : and, under pre- || my infancy, upon the plan of his evertence of public service, or without any lasting covenant. I was early taught pretence at all, to pursue their own pri- to read the bible, and to consider it to vale interest. The lamentable etrects l be the word of God. I recollect that ! of our revolutionary war, in this partic-I used to stand between my father's knees ular, must be distinctly remembered by to say the catechism with the other all the aged now living. I have my small children. After we had done, he self heard numbers of them speak of it used to ask us a number of questions. I with the deepest regret.

recollect that I thought it was a long and Thirdly; the unexampled increase crooked story, and that I was glad when of wealth and luxury in New England, he got through. since the close of the war just mention When I was quite young, one of my ed, has had a demoralizing influence up-|| sisters was seriously impressed and be. on the people, and has, in this way, con

came hopefully pious. She conversed tributed largely to multiply profanations with me, and told me that she hoped I of the Lord's day. The natural conse- || would not live so long in sin as she had quence of a sudden influx of wealth is, done. This affected me considerably; that men forget the God that made them and I thought I was a great sinner. I and trample upon his authority. knew that I had done many things

But whether the causes, at which which were wrong. But any impreshave werely hinted in passing, be, orsions soon wore off. be not, the true and principal causes of| I recollect that about this time, I the gradual and mournful prostration of heard my parents talk of the certainty our sabbatical institutions, is not very of death, and of the necessity of preparmaterial. It is vastly more important, ing for it. Then, for the first time, acto point out the extent and perpetuitycording to my recollection, the irepresof the divine precept, on which theysion was made upon my mind that I are founded; to awaken public atted-il must die. This led me think that relition to a subject, which involves thegion was of some importance After highest temporal and eternal interest of this, nothing important took place in the present, and of future generations; my mind that I recollect, till I was in to enquire whether or not an effectual

my 13th year. At this time there was an measure can be devised, to preserve awakiog in Middlebury, where our famiwhat is left, and to regain what has been ly attended meeting. Numbers caine lost : and, if so, to produce one grand forward and professed to be on the and united effort, in this sacted cause, Lord's side. i concluded that I was in the cause of the church, the cause of our a state of iminent danger, and was uncountry, and the cause of posterity.

der a considerable degree of fear of

Z. X. Y. everlasting punishment, which lasted aFor the Utica Christian Magazine. bout six months. MR. Editor,

But I had read the bible and prayed, T'he following narrative of the trials as I thought, a great deal : I, therefore, and religious experience of an amiablell finally concluded that I was a christian. young man by the name of Wm. James, But through fear that I should not who came from Weybridge, in Ver- hold out to the end, and lest people

« PreviousContinue »