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iniquity, we may take this for granted, as a topic | purity of the divine nature, they see that it is imwhich need not be insisted on, and may proceed at once to the manifestation of divine mercy in the Gospel, as a truth which, from their previous convictions, they are prepared rightly to appreciate.
Is this, however, agreeable to fact and experience? Do we then really find men impressed with the truth that God will, and must punish sin, though he can never but wish that the sinner would turn from his way and live? Do we find the justice of God so uniformly admitted, that, whatever else they may question in his character, this is never questioned, far less denied? Do men seem really alive to the fact, that his goodness is based on a rectitude unchangeable as himself, and which will be manifested in all his dealings with his creatures? Is it the case, that whatever excuses they make for their sins, they never reflect on the righteousness of God in punishing sin; or whatever be the refuges to which they betake themselves, none of them can deny the purity of his character, and the indignation with which he will visit every worker of iniquity? What then were those palliations which they apply to their consciences, as though their sins were only infirmities for which God would not be hard to reckon with them? What mean those delusive schemes by which the mercy of God is rested in, as though there were neither truth nor justice in God at all? What mean those false and imperfect views of the Gospel, by which the death of the Saviour is regarded as introducing a mitigated law, according to which the sinner's obedience is substituted for perfect obedience? Do these things tell that men are convinced of the terrors of the Lord, or that he is the righteous God who will and must deal righteously; or, rather, do not these things shew, that with multitudes, the terrors of the Lord are reduced to an empty name, or, if they are regarded at all, are regarded only as a dead letter in the divine statutebook, which will never be produced in judgment against them? The truth is, I believe, that the whole of the controversy which men are at this moment maintaining with God, however various the forms which it may assume, is really a controversy with his righteousness, as the God who will carry out the righteous principles of his administration, in punishing sin and rewarding holiness. Let men assume the appearance of indifference to the discoveries of the New Testament altogether, or let them be found thinking of God, as though he were a being of pure benevolence; let them wear the aspect of those who judge that only great sins or great sinners will meet his condemnation, or of those who, under pretence of magnifying the grace of the Gospel, confound all moral distinctions, as though the grace of God permitted them to continue in sin: and still, in every case, the real ground of the controversy lies with the justice and holiness of God, the real subject of dispute is with the truth that God will punish as he has threatened, every worker of iniquity; and they will ever continue to debate this, till such time as, from right views of the
possible for God to accommodate his law to their sinfulness, and that it must be upheld in all its extent, even though they themselves should suffer everlastingly for it. Till this is done, the ungodliness of the human heart will ever be discovering some new refuge to which it may betake itself, when you drive it from its old ones; and the only truth which can, under God, fairly dislodge it from them all, and lead the man to throw himself, as a lost and undone sinner, on the grace of God in Jesus Christ, is not the declaration of the mercy and love of God, of which he can very imperfectly conceive, but the declaration of "the terrors of the Lord," the full declaration of the truth, that not one "jot or one tittle of that law" which pronounceth a curse on him, "shall in any wise pass till all be fulfilled." There is an expression of our apostle, in another of his epistles, which conveys the truth very strikingly and very exactly, "Before faith came," that is, before the way of salvation, through faith in Christ was fully disclosed, were men "kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed." These words, as is well known, represent the condition of men before the Gospel came, as prisoners held bound by the law of God, while there is no way of escape opened from its threatenings, on every hand of them, except in the sacrifice and death of the Son of God. By the proclamation of its terrors it shut them up unto this as the only way in which there could be any deliverance, and left them no alternative, but that of abiding its curse, or making their escape by the Gospel; and the law, by the discovery of the same unbending and uncompromising justice, must do the same for us, as it did to men before the Gospel came; we must be thereby shut up unto the faith, and thus shall we be led to turn from all the devices by which our own hearts would deceive us. Never shall we give up attempting to make our escape from it, in some other way than that which faith prescribes ; never shall we be led aright to esteem, and value, and embrace, the provided mercy, until we see that every way by which we would pass from it, is guarded by a faithfulness which never slumbers, and a justice and righteousness which no artifice of ours can ever elude; and that there can be no peace and no safety for us, but an immediate surrender of ourselves to the Saviour, to him, in whom "God is just although the justifier of him who believeth."
It is for these reasons, then, that instead of yielding to the objections of those on the one hand who would do away with "the terrors of the Lord" altogether, or those on the other who would dispute its efficacy compared with other topics embraced in the New Testament, we would comply with the exhortation of the apostle, and "knowing the terrors of the Lord, would persuade men." It is for these reasons, that we know nothing more necessary, than to follow a
deceitful heart through all its labyrinths, and to expose the falsity of them all; and that, instead of "saying peace, peace, while there is no peace,"
we would expose the vanity of all pretences to its possession which are not derived from faith in the Saviour, it is for these reasons, that instead of encouraging you to believe that all is well with you because you may possess the ordinary virtues of the world, we would enjoin you to look narrowly into your goodness, whether it springs from the great source-from faith in the Saviour, and is really done in his name and to his service, and never to be satisfied that your calling and election are sure, till you have been able to trace in your hearts and lives the marks of a regenerated nature. Such might be called a useless, as it may be, in some respects, a painful jealousy, were not all of us to pass in review at the judgment-seat of Christ; but, if we must all appear there to take our rial before a judge upon whom it is impossible to impose by any appearance of goodness, however specious, or by any virtue, however fair it may seem, which has had no respect to their faith and to his grace, how necessary is it that we should judge ourselves now, lest we should then be judged and condemned with the world; and how necessary that we should look well to the foundation on which we build, lest in the desolation that shall then overwhelm the world, we and our works should be at once swept away! If this be painful, will it not be as painful to incur the sentence of everlasting "destruction from the presence of the Lord?" Would you wish that the face of the Judge should on that day be turned on you with a look of displeasure bidding you away to the wailing and weeping of outer darkness? would you wish to be then, even for a moment, in suspense whether your place shall be among the "blessed of the Father?" would you wish it to be with you, as the apostle says it shall be with some, that you shall be saved, "yet so as by fire," when the fire that shall then burn up the wicked shall have almost laid hold of you? Who would wish these things, and not rather "that an entrance should be ministered unto him abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour." And by those terrors, therefore, you are brought even now" to acquaint yourselves with God, and be at peace;" to betake yourselves to the Saviour "as all your hope," and to "abound in the precious fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God."
implied that there were certain attested principles of justice on which it was to be conducted; and not only a trial, but a sentence, and not merely rewards, but punishments; and not merely the blessedness of approval to those who should stand acquitted, but the misery of being outcast to those who should be condemned; and viewing these two things, as thus intimately connected, has it never struck you, how much there is in the condition of the world to lead you to respect the one, and therefore, to fear the other; and how the present system of things is so constituted, that you can draw out of it a stronger argument for a future and final reckoning, than you could from any other, even from one that bore clear impress of a great Judge of all? Amid all the apparent confusion around us, there are not wanting many testimonies that God is on the side of righteousness and against iniquity. There is that conscience which he hath planted in every breast, and which witnesses by its approvings, or its accusings, what he who planted it there approves or condemns; there is in the happiness which, more or less, attends right and virtuous conduct, and in the misery which, more or less, accompanies the indulgence of all sin, an evidence that virtue and happiness, sin and misery, are connected; and there are not wanting many proofs besides, in the case of individuals, and much more in the case of nations, of a righteous retribution, by which virtue is rewarded, and sin punished and condemned; and from this we are justified in inferring, and every man whose conscience is not blinded by sin does infer, that there is a great moral Governor of all, a God who honours holiness and hates sin. Had the issue of things been more in agreement with the records of conscience; had virtue always, and openly led to happiness, and sin been always followed by misery; had the retributive justice of God taken clearer effect upon guilty individuals or guilty nations; had this been the case, one might have inferred with some reason, that this was all the judgment, and that there was to be no great and final settlement hereafter. Had there been no proof of justice and rectitude in the government of God at all, we could have had no ground to expect that judgment should follow us; had these been more perfect than we find them, one might have supposed, that there It was obviously to the judgment-day that the was as little ground to expect any thing beyond apostle adverted, when he spoke of "the terrors of what we saw here; and, it is because there is so the Lord." "We must all appear before the much in the world to tell us, that God judgeth, judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may reand because there is at the same time so little, ceive the things done in his body, according to that we derive our strongest argument for a great that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. and final reckoning hereafter. Were there much Knowing therefore the terrors of the Lord, we less of it than we now see, the moral character of persuade men." The terrors of the Lord were in God might be doubted ;—were there much more his view, as certain as judgment was certain; if than we see, there would be less call than there there were any doubt about the judgment, the ter- is for a great and final adjustment. There is rors of the Lord would be exposed to the same enough to tell us, that He who ruleth over all is dubiety, but because there was in his view no ques-righteous; but there is not enough to inditioning of the judginent, there was as little room for questioning that the terrors of the Lord would be manifested. And the very nature of a judgment,
cate his righteousness, and, therefore, we infer a time when that righteousness shall be fully displayed. And look at the world in this
may be finally accepted of Christ at the judgment-
THE FIRST ESTABLISHMENT OF A
THE following narrative is so deeply interesting, that
light, and see whether every thing is not taking | us frame the whole tenor of our lives, so that we place as you might expect under such a system. Look at this world where God is so often seen, and at the same time, so often hidden from us— where he interposes with sufficient clearness and frequency to prove what he loves and what he hates in his creatures, and yet where his love and Look at this, hatred are not fully carried out. and say, whether it does not convey to your minds the impression, that He who rules over all, is only withdrawing himself for a season, that he may prepare a solemn assertion of his rectitude, and sending those messengers before, as the proofs of a coming judgment, and whether it be not time for every one to "seek the Lord while he may be found, and to call upon him while he is near." I advert to this consideration, because the imperfect discovery which we have of the moral character of God in the world around us, is often employed by men to set aside the truth of a future judgment, or to harden their hearts against it, whilst it confirms, in fact, the It was on other, and great foundation for it. The greater portion of the inhabitants having now emsurer grounds than this, however, that the apostles knew the "terrors of the Lord;" they knew braced Christianity, the Missionaries availed themselves of apparently the most suitable means for impressing them not merely from the intimations of his nathe minds of the converts with the principle laid down in ture and will, scattered over the face of human the Scriptures, that it is the duty of those who enjoy things, or even from what he had himself declared the Gospel, not only to maintain, but also to extend it. to them by his Spirit; they knew it from one great It appeared to them that both these ends might be anfact in the divine administration, and if that fact swered most appropriately and effectually, by establishbe admitted, there can be no question of a judg-ing among the natives a Missionary Society, auxiliary ment in righteousness; that fact was the death of Christ. In the death of his own Son, God did manifest, even when his purpose was to save sinners, that he must save them righteously; in His person, he carried out the principles of a righteous administration; he showed that "not one jot or tittle" of his threatenings should fail, that "heaven and earth might pass away, but that his words should not pass away;" and having committed himself, if I may be allowed the expression, by this solemn act of justice in the person of his only-begotten and well-beloved Son, can you suppose that he will ever depart from it? if the cup did not pass from him till he drunk it, can you think that it will ever pass from those who continue to disregard his grace, or that they can meet any thing less bitter than that wrath which If this be not they shall not be able to abide? true, then Christ died in vain; then was the costly work of redemption fruitless; then was its victim prepared, and its sacrifice offered, to propitiate a justice which had no existence; and the manifestation which was then given of God's hatred to sin, and his love of holiness, had no truth or reality in it. But because these things are not, and cannot be, therefore God cannot now pass from his purpose of judgment; and the death and the
to the London Society, rather than by calling upon them, immediately after their conversion, to support the teachers labouring among them.
"The plan was proposed to the king, and at once approved of by him; it was also mentioned to several of the leading chiefs, by whom it was favourably received. Auna told me that the king one day said to him, ‘Auna, do you think you could collect five bamboo canes of oil in a year?' He answered, 'Yes;' and the king said, 'Do you think you could appropriate so much towards sending the Word of God to the heathens?' Again he answered in the affirmative; and the king still further asked, 'Do you think those that value the Gospel would think it a great labour to collect so much yearly for this purpose?' Auna answered, that he did not think they would. Then,' said the king, think about it, and perhaps we can have a combination, or society, for this purpose.' The king found several chiefs favourably disposed; the Missionaries also proposed it to others; and, as it met with general approbation, the approaching month of May was appointed for the formation of the association. Mr Nott came over to Afareaitu for the purpose of completing the plan. On the 23d of April, in the same year, Messrs Nott, Davies, Orsmond, and myself, held a meeting with the king, at our house; when the prin ciples upon which the society should be formed, and
the rules by which it was proposed to regulate its proceedings, were considered, and, on the following day, finally adjusted.
"The 13th of May, 1818, being the anniversary of the parent institution in England was fixed for the e
tablishment and organization of the native society. The resurrection of the Saviour is as solemn an asking and chiefs met at Papetoai, and it was a delightful surance that he shall judge the world in right- and interesting day to all who were present. eousness, as though the trump were already sound- | rise we held a prayer-meeting in the English language. ing, at which "the dead, small and great, shall The natives held one among themselves at the same hour. The forenoon was appropriated to worship in stand before God." Let us seek to have our minds habitually impressed by these things; let English; at which time a sermon was preached by Mr Henry, one of the senior missionaries; and in the after
noon the services were entirely in the native language. The chiefs and people assembled from most of the districts of Eimeo, and a number of strangers from Tahiti, residing at Papetoai, were also present. The extension of the Redeemer's kingdom had been the topic of discourses in the native congregation on the preceding Sabbath, and had in some degree prepared the minds of the people for entering more fully into the subject. The public services on this occasion were to commence at three o'clock in the afternoon; but long before the appointed hour, the chapel was crowded, and a far greater number than had gained admission still remained on the outside. Three or four hundred yards distant from the chapel, there was a beautiful and extensive grove. To this spot it was proposed to adjourn, and thither the natives immediately repaired, seating themselves on the ground under the cocoa-nut trees. At three o'clock we walked to the grove, and on entering it we beheld one of the most imposing and delightful spectacles I think I ever witnessed in the islands. The sky was clear, the smooth surface of the ocean rippled with the cool and stirring breeze. The grove, stately and rich in all the luxuriance of tropical verdure, extended from the white beach of coral and shells to the very base of the mountains, whose gradual ascent, and rocky projections, led to the interior. The long-winged and interwoven leaves of the trees formed a spreading canopy, through which a straggling sunbeam occasionally found its way, and among whose long and graceful leaflets the breeze from the ocean, sweeping softly, gave even a degree of animation to the whole. The grass that grew under. neath appeared like a rich carpet, spread by nature for the interesting ceremony; pendulous plants, some verdant in foliage, others rich and variegated in blossom, hung from the projections of the rocks, while several species of convolvulus and climbing plants were twined | round the trunks of the trees, or hung in gay festoons among the gigantic and wide-spread leaves of the grove, ornamenting the whole with their large and splendid pink blossoms. Near one of the large cocoa-nut trees, whose cylindrical trunk appeared like a natural pillar supporting the roof, there was a rustic sort of stand, four or five feet above the ground, on which Mr Nott took his station. Before him, in a large arm-chair provided for the occasion, sat Pomare, supported on the right by Tati, chief of Papara, and on the left by Upaparu, the king's secretary. A number of chiefs, with the queen and chief women of the islands, sat around; while thousands of the natives, attired in their gay and many-coloured native or European dresses, composed the vast assemblage, each one having come as to a public festival, in his best apparel. Pomare was dressed in a fine yellow tiputa, stamped on that part which covered his left breast with a rich and elegant scarlet flower, instead of a star. Most of the chiefs wore the native costume, and the females were arrayed in beautifully white native cloth, and yellow cocoa-nut-leaf shades, or bonnets, with wreaths of sweet-scented flowers round their necks, or garlands of the same in their black and glossy hair. The services commenced with singing, in which many of the natives joined. A solemn prayer was offered, after which Mr Nott delivered a short, animated, and suitable discourse, from the Eunuch's answer to Philip, Acts viii. 30, 31. As soon as this was concluded, Pomare addressed the multitude of his subjects around, proposing the formation of a society. He began by referring them back to the ages that were past, and to the system of false religion by which they had been so long enslaved, reminding them very feelingly of the rigid exactions imposed in the name of their imaginary gods, for they were but pieces of wood, or cocoanut husk. He then alluded to the toil they endured, and the zeal and diligence so often manifested, in the service of these idols. To them the first-fruits of the field, the choicest fish from the sea, with the most
valuable productions of their labour and ingenuity, were offered; and to propitiate their favour, avert their displeasure, and death, its dreaded consequence, human victims were so often slain. While referring to these dark and distressing features of their idolatry, the general seriousness of the assembly, and the indications of remorse or horror in the recollection of these cruelties, appeared to accompany and respond confirmation to his statements. In striking contrast with them, he placed the mild and benevolent motives and tendency of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the benefits its introduction had conferred: alluding to the very fact of their being assembled for the purpose which had convened them, as a powerful illustration of his remarks. He then stated the vast obligations they were under to God for sending them his Word, and the partial manifestation of gratitude they had yet given. After this, he directed their attention to the miserable situation of those whom God had not thus visited, and proposed that, from a sense of the value of the Gospel, and a desire for its dissemination, they should form a Tahitian Missionary Society, to aid the London Society in sending the Gospel to the heathen, especially those in the islands of the surrounding ocean; explaining the kind of remuneration given to the proprietors of ships, and the expensiveness even of sending Missionaries. The people of Africa,' said he,
have already done so; for though, like us, they have no money, they have given of their sheep and other property. Let us also give of the produce of our islands-pigs, or arrow-root, or cocoa-nut oil. He that desires the Word of God to grow where it has been planted, and to be conveyed to countries wretched as ours was before it was brought to us, will contribute freely and liberally to promote its extension: he who is unacquainted with its influence, and insensible to its claims, will not, perhaps, exert himself in this work. So let it be. Let him not be reproved; neither let the chiefs in general, nor superiors, be angry with him on that account.' Pomare on this occasion seemed anxious to impress the minds of the people with his desire that they should act according to the dictates of their own judgment, and not form themselves into a society, sim. ply because he had recominended it. As he drew to the close of his address, he intimated his wish that those who approved of the proposal he had made, should lift their right hands. Two or three thousand naked arms were simultaneously elevated from the multitude assembled under the cocoa-nut grove, presenting a spectacle no less imposing and affecting, than it was picturesque and new. The regulations of the society were then read, and the treasurer and secretaries chosen. By this time the shades of the evening began to gather round us, and the sun was just hidden by the distant wave of the horizon, when the king rose from his chair, and the chiefs and people retired to their dwellings, under feelings of high excitement and satisfaction. There was so much rural beauty and secluded quietude in the scene, and so much that was novel and striking in the appearance of the people, momentous and delightful in the object for which they had been convened, that it was altogether one of the most interesting meetings I ever attended."
"What a noble nation," wrote the young | do all things for the honour of his Lord; and by his pre
sence, yield a silent approbation to the scenes exhibited, and the sentiments expressed? If he answered he could, then let him go, be goes in faith; and if, indeed, it be in faith, he cannot be wrong. We may think it a strange liberty he has assumed. We may even think his liberty has passed into licentiousness. But why should we judge another man? "to his own master be standeth or falleth." We know that Paul entered into the theatre at Ephesus, there to proclaim that the city was wholly given over to idolatry, and we know not what ulterior designs the Christian who, in the present day, enters similar places, may have. If he assure us he goes in faith, we cannot bid him stay.
labours. convert, "must the English be, for they are a nation of Christians !" Is it not a pity, that we who live in Britain, and know ourselves better, cannot take to ourselves the eulogy of our Hindoo brother? His inference is most just,-why should truth compel us to refuse the credit of it by denying the fact on which it is founded? A noble nation we should be were we a nation of Christians. But is there no doubt of the fact? None-If we took Britains by their profession, like our young convert; and from the nobility of the faith professed, judged of the characters of its disciples, None-If the disciples acted upon the advice of one of the apostles of their faith, "My little children, let us not love in word neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." To reap, however, the honour sown for them by the hand of our Hindoo brother, our British Christians must remember their obligations to live separate from the world, as herein lies the nobility of the Christian character. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lieth in wickedness. To guide Christians in their intercourse with the world, and direct them how to live separate from it, we deduced certain rules from Scripture in an article in last Number. These were three, as follows: First, Whatever Chris-ciple so delicate as the life of God in the soul of man, tians do, should be done “in the name of the Lord Jesus;" Second, Whatever they do, should be done consistently with "the will of God, which is their sanctification;" Third, Whatever they do, should be done with a view to edification, "giving none offence." In the present article, we propose pointing out the application of these
We shall suppose the question put by a Christian, Can 1, consistently with my Christian profession, frequent the places of amusement to which the world resorts, such as the theatre or the ball-room? Probably he would anticipate, that to such a question we should directly reply, by prohibiting his resort to such places as forbidden to Christians; but no, we would appeal to himself for the answer. We would not say to him directly, into these places of worldly pleasure and resort you cannot enter, for, to the pure all things are pure.
What then? Do we bid him go to these resorts of worldly pleasure and society? No; we would lay before him the principles which, as a Christian, he acknowledges, and bid him test his desire to resort to these places by these principles. We would remind him of the first rule of Christian conduct, whatsoever he does should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus." And, having stated the rule, we would demand of him, whether knowing that such places were avowedly dedicated to the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life; that they were the very chosen habitations of vanity; that there was not only in such resorts an entire absence of every thing sacred, but an actual exhibition of much of an opposite character; that sentiments were there expressed in ridicale or in scorn of the very faith which he professed; that the name of his Saviour was uttered only to enforce an oath, or give emphasis to an exclamation, or, by the sacredness of the association with some grotesque or frivolous idea, to give point to the contrasts, or vividness to the flashes of profane wit-knowing these things, we would demand of him, whether he could resort to such places consistently with his obligation to
But after he has answered this enquiry, two questions still remain. If he say he can go to these places of worldly resort without violating his obligation to live to Christ; still we ask, can he do so without any danger to his personal religion? We would remind him of the spiritual nature committed to bis guardianship, and ask if he could throw himself into the centre of worldly society, and become a party in its pleasures, without fear that his spiritual nature would become torpid and deadened by the contact, and that a prin
would be in no danger of being uprooted amidst the whirlwinds of vanity. What would he think of the mother's care, who willingly exposed her babe to the chilling blasts of a winter's wind? If to this he answer, I can go without danger to my spiritual well. being, we may wonder at his boldness, we may admire his confidence, we may even venture to warn him with that caution of Scripture, "Let him that standeth take heed lest be fall;" or with that other counsel of inspired wisdom, "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not into the way of evil men; avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, pass away." But, if after all this, he still assure us of his conviction of his safety, let him again, we say, go; why should we judge another man's liberty?" to his own master he standeth or falleth." But, before he go, we have one farther question: you have told us that to these places of worldly resort you can repair, consistently with your obligation to do all things in the name of Christ, and without danger to your spiritual wellbeing; but as a Christian, it is your duty to consult, also, the very infirmities of your brethren, and to avoid, in the eyes of the world, the appearance of evil. It is not enough, that to such places you can go, without sustaining harm; will your example draw others to the same places, who possess less power to resist the temptations with which they may be assailed; or may it not altogether shake the faith of some to witness your presence there; may it not justly provoke the sneer of the world, confirm its unbelief, and make it doubt what it is desirous to doubt, whether Religion be anything more than a sanctimonious and hypocritical profession? If to this he answer, that he has already considered what he owes to his brethren, and to the world, and that neither will be injured by his liberty, again we say, let him go; why should we judge another man's liberty? "to his own master he standeth or falleth." If his determination be taken in consistency with these three great Christian principles,-to do all things in the name of Christ, to guard the purity of his own affec