صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

forsake his way, and the unright- have mercy upon him; and to our eous man his thoughts: and let him God, for he will abundantly parreturn unto the Lord, and he will don.” Amen.


ON REVIVALS OF RELIGION. be done, then is to rouse the

church, and put them in a proper No. VIII.

state of feeling, to be prepared for In enquiring what things ought such a work. Among the means to be done to promote a revival of adapted to effect this, one of the religion, it may be proper first to first seems to be, that they should enquire what things ought to be endeavour to obtain a suitable done to put the church in a proper sense of the vast importance of state of feeling, to be prepared for having a revival. To attain this, such a work. It is certainly God's let them consider its importance ordinary method to make use of to themselves as individuals, its the exertions of the church in the importance to the church to which conversion of sinners. In reading they belong, its importance to the history of revivals, we usually their children and neighbours, and find this to be the case in an emi- its importance to the church uninent degree. And if in some in- versal. stances we have no account of it, I. Its importance to themselves the omission of this fact in the as individuals. narrative does not prove that it 1. Let them consider how much did not exist. But there is no their present comfort depends upreason to expect the church will on it. Let them look back to the make any suitable exertions for days that are past, when they were the accomplishment of this object in the lively exercise of the Christtill they experience a revival in ian graces, and compare the comtheir own souls. It is only when forts they enjoyed then, with those they are awake themselves, and in they enjoy now. Let them rethe lively exercise of the Christian member the time when the light of graces, that they act in character. God's countenance shone upon The first object, then, is to pro- them, and his peace filled their duce a revival in the church. And hearts. How sweetly then did all no doubt God has instituted means their moments pass-How closely to accomplish this. These means, did they walk with God-How however, they will not use, while intimate was their intercourse in a state of apathy. While they with heaven-How near were their are satisfied to remain as they are, approaches to a throne of graceand while they are contented to How refreshing were the seasons let sinners remain as they are, of religious worship-How sweet they will not be persuaded to use was their communion with God any means to promote a revival. How animating was their Christian And they are not in a proper state fellowship-How delightful were of feeling to use any such means,

their foretastes of heaven. But if they could be persuaded to make now-how distressing is the conthe attempt. They would not use trast—" How is the gold become them perseveringly, nor faithfully, dim; how is the most fine gold nor systematically; and many of changed.” How poor, how tastethe necessary means they would less, how miserable, in comparinot use at all. The first thing to son, are the best comforts which

this world can give. What Christ-, Have they groaned under the polian does not sigh for the return of lutions of their own hearts, and those precious seasons. A revival earnestly desired to be thoroughwould restore them.

ly cleansed? Have they discover2. Let them consider how much ed the beauty and excellency of their progress in divine knowledge holiness, as set before them in the depends upon a revival. "Divine bright example of the Lord Jesus knowledge has been rightly called Christ? And do they desire to be the food of the soul. It is plain more and more transformed into that there cannot be any more en- his image? A constant revival in joyment of God than there is their own hearts would greatly knowledge of him; nor any more promote this work. The Christian right feelings respecting ourselves graces, by lively and vigorous exthan there is knowledge of our-ercise, would increase in strength. selves. The perfections of God, Habitual mortification of the flesh, as displayed in the works of crea- with its affections and lusts, would tion, providence, and redemptiou, weaken its influence. Self-denial, afford matter of the most delight-often repeated, would become eaful contemplation to the angels. sy. Obedience to the precepts, And as far as good men approach and conformity to the example of those holy intelligences, in the Christ, would grow into habit.teinper of their minds, they will Their conflicts with temptation delight in the same employment would be less frequent; their vic* This is life eternal, that they tory more sure. might know thee the only true 4. Let them consider how necGod, and Jesus Christ whom thou essary is a revival, to keep them hast sent.” But in the time of from falling into gross and scanspiritual declension, other objects dalous sins. What security has engross their attention, and the the Christian when he has begun things of God are pushed from to backslide? What bounds can their thoughts. While they take he set to himself, when once he little interest in these things, they has begun to comply with temptawill take little pains to enquire tion? How easy and how imperinto them. If they make any pro- ceptible is his progress, when once gress in the knowledge of Divine he has departed from the path of things, it will be exceedingly slow. duty. Having ceased to struggle Indeed, it is to be feared, that with the current, and committed many forget more than they learn. his bark to the mercy of the tide, Is it desirable that Christians how swiftly is he borne downwards should, in this respect, be more towards the gulf of perdition.assimilated to the angels in heav- What multitudes of professors, in en? Then it is desirable that there

a time of declension, thus make should be a revival in their hearts. shipwreck of their religious char

3. Let them consider how much , acter, dishonour their Lord and their growth in grace depends up-Master, disgrace their Christian on a revival. By growth in grace profession, grieve the hearts of I mean an increasing conformity their brethren, destroy their own to Christ, in their temper and hope, and plunge their souls in practice. Have they seen the od - darkness and despair! And who ious nature of sin? Have they felt that backslides from God, and it to be vile and loathsome? Have sinks down into a state of stupidity they abhorred it in themselves, and spiritual death, can promise and longed to be delivered from it? himself an exemption from any of




these consequences? Nothing can brethren. But, Oh, how different. secure him but a revival of religion ly would he feel, should a revival in his heart, and a speedy return take place in his heart.- How to God.

would he humble himself in dust 5. Let them consider how nec- and ashes for his neglects of duty, essary is a revival in their own and address himself to the work hearts, in order to prepare them of his Lord and Master, like one for usefulness. No man can sus- alive from the dead. tain a Christian character and live 6. Let them consider how necto himself. And no man who is essary is a revival in their hearts, a Christian at heart can desire to in order to prepare them for the live to himself. The real Christ- sorrows and afflictions of life.ian desires to live to God. He “ Man is born unto trouble, as desires to be actively engaged in the sparks fly upwards.” How promoting his cause. He desires numerous are the crosses and disto be instrumental in spreading appointments of this vale of tears. his gospel, and saving the souls of How often are our fondest hopes men. But the strength of this blasted, our highest expectations desire depends on the state of his dashed with a stroke. How often heart. When his heart is cold, do those things from which we had his desire to promote the cause of promised ourselves the highest hapGod will be feebly felt, perhaps piness, inflict the deepest wounds. too feebly to prompt him to any Who, that has experienced the exertions. Or if he makes any storms of life, does not feel the exertions, they will probably be need of support and consolation irresolute, ill directed, interrupt- under them! The lively and vig. ed and ineffectual. În a stupid orous exercise of the Christian and backslidden state, he is not graces would furnish that support qualified to do much good, were and consolation. All else is "vanhe so disposed. He cannot plead ity and vexation of spirit." the cause of God with sufficient 7. Let them consider how necearnestness, for he does not feel essary is a revival in their hearts, its importance. He cannot pre- in order to prepare them for the vail upon the sinner to give an last trying scene of a death bed. immediate attention to the con- To this we are all hastening. And cerns of his soul, for he has not a when it comes, and we look back sense of its amazing value. He upon our past lives, what will cannot commend to the conscience there be then to comfort us in the and the heart of others the excel- review, but the good we have aclence of the Christian life, for he complished? And how very small does not lead it himself. And will be the amount, unless we are were he qualified to do good, he more awake and active than we would want the inclination. The have been? How bitter, then, will consciousness of his own back- be our regret, for all the time we slidings would stop his mouth. have wasted in sloth and idleness? If he should attempt to reprove How cutting will be the reflection, sin in others, he would expect the that we have been as barren figretort, “physician, heal thyself.” trees in the garden of our Lord? Thus circumstanced, he feels com- When we come to look into eterpelled to be inactive, and he feels nity, and see its awful realities in little inclination to be otherwise. their true light, how will it fill us It is well if he is not a block in with shame and self-reproach, that the way of his more consistent' we have treated them with so much

[ocr errors]

indifference. When we feel our- blessed, we shall carry with us no selves about to be called to the preparation but that which we judgment seat, and consider what have made in this life. The manaccount we can render for all our ner in which every moment is misspent time and neglected op- spent will have influence upon our portunities—when we consider eternal state. Every vessel of how little we have done for God, mercy will indeed be full, but they and for the souls of men, in com- will be of different capacities, acparison of what we might have cording to their formation here. done; and how little evidence our We are solemnly assured in the lives afford of the sincerity of our scriptures, that the reward of evefaith; shall we not tremble with ry one shall be in proportion to fearful apprehension, lest all our his works. They that have done hopes should at last prove vain, but little for God, shall indeed be and we should be thrust down to rewarded for that little ; but hell from the very gates of heaven?“ they that turn many to rightWould we make our death bed eousness, shall shine as the stars comfortable, and have the Christ forever and ever.” How imporian's hope to support us, let us tant, then, is every moment! How lead the Christian's life. Let us fraught with results, which eterno longer sleep, as do others, but nity alone can enable us to comwatch and be sober.

prehend! 8. Let Christians consider how How important, then, to each important is a revival in their individual, is a revival in his own hearts, in order to prepare them heart. And since we are so much for the enjoyments and employ- under the influence of those around ments of heaven. It is here that us, how important to each indiour preparation must be made for vidual is a revival in the church to the joys of heaven. It is here which he belongs. that our minds must be fitted for

A FRIEND to Revivals. the employment of angels. If we

Utica Christ. Repos. ever reach the mansions of the

[ocr errors]

FaoX TIE EVANGELICAL BECORDER. the allotments of his providence;

but when we ask for an effusion of PRAYER OF FAITH.

his Holy Spirit, and for a revival Extract of a letter, dated New-Haven, of religion among us, we are to June 29, 1821.

come boldly to the throne of grace, The prayer of faith has been a with no reservation, with no hesisubject much thought of, and oftentation, for we know the will of discussed at our conferences and God on this subject. He has exsimilar circles.-Although there | pressly said, and with an oath, may be some difference of opinion that he has no pleasure in the

is among Christians on this subject, death of the sinner, but would our brethren generally believe, rather that he should turn and that when temporal blessings are live.” He has said also, “that asked for, such as health, prosper- he is more willing to give his Holy ity in business, fruitful seasons, Spirit to them that ask him, than &c. the petitions should be made parents are to give good gifts to in entire subordination to the Di- their children." We feel therevine will, and with resignation to fore, that there is no doubt upon



this subject, bat that we may pray spent almost the whole of the first for this immense blessing with full night in prayer. In a few days confidence that it will be granted; the individual for whom they prayand we believe that it always will ed became hopefully pious. He be granted where the prayers and then united in prayers and efforts the labours are accoinpanied with with those of the man and his wife, faith. Allow me to mention an for the salvation of a second meminstance or two among several ber of the family; in a few days which have come to my knowledge, this one became, as they believed, where the blessing has been given, an heir of the promises; then the In a town, twenty miles north of third, and fourth, and fifth, and this, a small number of the mem- sixth, and one only now remains bers of the church awaked a few out of the ark of safety." weeks since, and agreed to meet for prayer occasionally, and make MR. EDITOR, an individual, who was an influen- In your last number, I found an tial man in the town, and opposed extract of a letter from Newto vital piety, the particular sub- Haven, containing some remarks ject of prayer. They met accord- on the prayer of faith. I was ingly, and prayed for this man pleased to see those remarks, befrom time to time, and in a short cause I think the subject is one of period he became a subject of deep great importance, and of peculiar conviction, and is now rejoicing interest, especially at this day. in hope that he has become a child I rejoice that the subject is introof God. This little circle of be- duced, and I hope it will receive a lievers then took a second person, thorough discussion. I am not and prayed for him, and he too yet prepared to admit every thing became a convert, and both are the writer of that letter has said; now propounded for admission to but perhaps I shall be, when the the church. A third person was subject has been fully investigated. then selected and prayed for, and I have no hesitation in rejecting it is understood that he is becom- the idea which was formerly very ing uneasy in his mind, and is prevalent, that the principal deenquiring what he shall do. Not sign of prayer is to benefit the peronly has the prayer of faith, occa- son who prays. To confine the sionally offered, been blessed, but influence of our prayers to ourlikewise the prayer of faith when selves, and to say that their prinaccompanied with importunity. A cipal design is to prepare us to remechanic of my acquaintance, who ceive or to be denied favours, does is a man of ardent piety, said to not appear consistent with the his wife, some time last winter, representations given in scripture there are seven in our family, and of the prayers of good men of old, among our journeymen and ap- nor with the command that we prentices, who are still out of should pray for all men. I am Christ. Why should they not be fully convinced, that prayer is brought into the kingdom. Let designed to have a prevailing inus resolve that we will take one fluence with God to obtain blesof them, and make that one a sub- sings. And in this view of it onject of prayer, and exhort him in ly, do I see a consistency in our conversation to flee froin the wrath praying for those who are beyond to come. The plan was determin- the reach of our charities, and ed on. They carried it into exe- those who are yet unborn. cution that very night. They It has been made a question,

« السابقةمتابعة »