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Looking forward, he exclaims, Mahometan Paradise, a region of - Who can dwell with devouring perpetual spring, of flowery garfire, with everlasting burnings ?" dens, and melodious song. The He clings to life, his cup of anguish burning lake, whose fires will neris full; no sorrow is like his sor
er be quenched, may
representNow, if ever, he bows, he ed, as a transient discipline, or its yields himself a willing captive of name and existence* may be de divine mercy. Sin revived; and nied, as the dismal creations, the he dies.
unreal phantoms, of a disturbed imagination. With such pictures
what eye, never suffused with the 1. We see why men prefer tears of repentance, would not be false doctrines to true, a system pleased? Who, that yet rolls sin, of error to the gospel of Jesus a Sweet morsel under his Christ.
tongue, would not be better pleasThe first process in the influence ed with the imaginary gospel, of truth is painful. The first ef- than the real; with the opinions fect of truth is to turn the atten- of men, than with the revelation tion of man to himself, to his own from God? Where then is the heart, his own moral character. wonder that the Teacher of false
Truth draws the curtain from principles should be more popular, the naked heart. The lamp of di- more caressed, more admired, and vine truth illumines the dark cav- better rewarded, than he who aneros of the mind, makes manifest nounces the humbling gospel of its wicked dispositions. The man Jesus, and calls on men to repent, is disappointed concerning himself; and trust in a crucified Savior for he sinks in bis own estimation ; he eternal life; men prefer what gives is not so good, so secure, as he them present pleasure; false rehad believed himself to be. This ligion has this effect; it produces is painful, humbling, distressing; a spirit of repose and slumber, tho'. he turns away; he recoils from in the end it will be more terrible such a view, he wishes for 6 an- than the fiery serpents of the Aother gospel.” The gospel of rabian desert. Still would they Christ requires holiness; it does submit to the convictions of the not accommodate itself to our wish Holy Spirit, tho' alarmed and dises or passions; but error is indefi- tressed for a moment, they might nitely various; assumes every hue; be enlightened and sanctified, commay be adapted to every taste, forted and delighted; the very to every complexion of human gospel of Christ would become character. God may be represents their support, their hope, their .
, ed as all mercy, and a holy life a joy, their glory. course of pleasant indulgencies.-Heaven may be described as a See Balfour's Inquiry.
2. The subject leads us to dis. lasting burnings. By such address. tinguish between mere terrors of es anxiety and sear are awakened; conscience, and conviction of sin but is the judgement informed ? by the spirit of God. This is an The passions are moved; but is error not uncommon men imag- the conscience convinced? The ine they have exper enced the in- heart is palsied with terror ; but fluences of the Holy Spirit in a is the understanding enlightened. remarkable manner; because they The winds blow and the rocks are have been alarmed, and their af rent ; but do you bear one wbisfections powerfully moved. For per of the Holy Spirit ? a time they were concerned; they Truth is the mediom of divine were distressed; they wept, and operations ; the Holy Spirit refused to be comforted. It may breathes in the gentle voice of reasonably be expected, that gospel doctrine, convincing the where the doctrine of future puu- soul of sin ; because the Savior is ishment is believed, that pathetic rejected, his laws disobeyed.and terrible descriptions of its Hence may we learn to distinguish miseries, that terrible events of between the disturbance of the Providence, or even the self re- passions, and the convictions of proach of daring sin, will produce the conscience by the Holy Spirit. such effects on a feeling heart and Mere excitement passes away,
like a tender conscience; but here the brook of a summer's shower, may be nothing spiritual, nothing having produced only a temporareligious, any more than in the ry reformation, resulting from aglears of a tragedy, or the terrors of itation and distress. The Divine an earthquake. Yet many individ- Spirit is permanent in bis effects, uals, and perhaps some whole as the shining of the sun, increassects, on account of such animal ing like the river of the distant affections, believe that they have mountains, conveying comfort, in a remarkable degree the iotlu- cheerfulness, joy and glory. ences of the Holy Spirit. Hence We learn from the subject, why are adopied all the modes of excite so inany persons deny the doctrine ment, which art or enthusiasm can of man's depravity ; why so many invent, alarming the fears, rousing dever view themselves so wicked, the terrors, inflaming the passions, as this subject represents them to and be wildering the imagination, be. by affecting tones, by violent vo- The Spirit of God has not conciferation, by terrific descriptions vinced them; his light has not ilof the moving scene, round a dying lumined their minds. Having bed, or the pomp and splendors of some information from various the great day, the descending other sources, they confess, they Judge, the sounding trump, the ris- are not precisely what they ougbt ing dead, & all the horrors of ever. to be, that they are not what they
wish to be, that they are very im- openly violated the commands of perfect. But they have no be. God; and therefore concluded, that liet, nor conception of such dark he had obeyed them, according to depravity of being altogether in their spirit and design. So do sin; of being the enemies of God, they. He, in consequence of his of his law, his gospel, and govern- supposed goodness, considered ment. Probably, this arises from himself prepared for the kingdom a want of perfect self knowledge, of heaven. So do they. But from not being enlightened and when the Spirit of God comes, convinced by the holy Spirit; for when the torch of divine truth sometimes, these very persons enlightens the dark recesses of without having fallen into any new their minds; when they discover course of sin, and without being the spirituality and extent of the guilty of any glaring immorality, divine law; when they see it ex. change their opinions respecting tending to their secret thoughts, themselves, and make as bumble, their wishes, their inclinations, as abasing confessions of sin and and motives, then
will they guilt, as any men in the world.- learn the plague of their own Such was Saul of Tarsus. As to hearts, the crimson depravity of the law blameless, he lived in all their lives. good conscience. But when the 4. If the Spirit of God produces commandment came, when the such sense of guilt, is it strange Spirit of God enlightened his con- if they seek relief and comfort science, be found himself the from every means, which may the chief of sinners. In the ex- flatter their hopes. treme guilt and remorse, and self The pressure of great distress is reproach of his heart, he cries out, ever unfavorable to correct judg. - Oh wretched man that I am, ment, and sound discretion. Too who shall deliver me from the much weight or pressure on a ma. body of this death ?” Had not the chine impedes its wonted opeholy Spirit enlightened his mind, rations; so the burdened mind he might have continued to justity doesnot turn and examine evidence himself, denying that depravity with its usual prudence and sagacof heart, which myriads feel and ity. As frost stops the current confess. When those, who reject of a river; so intense anguish abthis doctrine shall experience as stracts the course of thought, the deep and powerful convictions as proper movements of the mind. St. Paul, then may they like him When the Spirit of God comes, bemoan their guilt and danger.- with efficacy and power, the anxTill then they may feel themselves iety and distress are often violent as good as the young man, who and terrible. The person sees game to Jesus Christ to be directed a naked human heart; he sees in the way to heaven. He had not himself. No wonder then, that he reads, and bears, and prays, and ,
When the soul, shut up to the enquires the
of every man he faith, first bends and bows to the meets ; that he explores every a- authority of God, when the heart venue of hope, and knocks at ev- embraces him as her father, her ery door of escape. The press- Savior, and her portion, slavish ure of his anxious fears and terrors terrors yanish, faith lifts her eye, rack and disorder the understand- hope kindles delight ; peace and ing, and relief is sometimes sought joy enlivens the heart. Instead of without much discretion or judg- resistance and rebellion, the heart ment. Like the Psalmist he may ai- yields itself resigned to the will of most say, “ While ? suffer tay ter- God; instead of striving and struge rors I am distracted.”
gling against Omnipotence; she A conviction of guilt, a serse of casos ber burden upon the Lord, danger, a fear of divine wrath, an and looks to hiin for all she deoverwhelming apprehension of sires. everlastiag misery, produces prob- The dark cloud is gone from ably, the most insupportable ag- Sipai; the Sun of righteousness ony the mind of can ever eu dures hines; the thouders are silent; in this world. No terror it like the lightairgs cease to blaze ; the this terror; no diisery is like this earth no longer trembles ; the misery. Is it very 'crange then, heart no longer quakes with terthat such persons should seek re- A feeble hope, that God is lief by every means, pikich acci- recorciled; a veak faith in Jesus dent may presert, or fancy con- Christ; faict evidence of salvation ceive? Is it very trange :f come- sheds tranquility and peace on the times, they “heap to themselves soul. 66 Blessed is the man whose
Teacbers," and listea to bola de transgression is forgiven, whose claimers, boasting of visions and sin is covered.” Well may such revelations ; Is it strange is some- a soul cay, 5: The Lord hath done times they embrace the opiate of great things, for vhich I am glad. error and delusion, to quiet the an. Come, all ye, who fear God, and guish of a troubled conscierce? I will decare what he hath done
Let all such afflicted souls share for my soul. I sought the Lord in your christian sympathy, your and he deard me and has not put faithful advice, and your fervent my soul to shame. I have sowa prayers.
in tears; I reap in joy.” Is this re5. If such be the terrors of con- ality ; or am I like them, who viction ; no wonder the soul is dream? What shall I render to the joyful, when first delivered, when Lord; for all his benefits? Bless first she experiences the consola- the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that tion of hope, and the Spirit of adop- is within me bless his holy name. tion.
Bless the Lord forever and ever.
CONVERSATION BETWEEN A LIBERAL
AND AX ORTHODOX PROFESSOR OF
are willing to grant that good men may be fouod in all denomi.
nations. The prevalence of this Laberal. Well Mr. the world in catholic spirit is to me conclusive a moral sense is evidently grow. evidence that the world is growing ing better.
better and that the millennium Orthodox. The truth of your is begun. proposition depends on the mean- Or. There is cause of gratiing, which you attach to your tude, that we live in an age terms. If by growing better, you when the principles of religious mean, that the civil and social toleration are better understood rights of persons and nations are than by our ancestors. That cabetter understood and more gene. tholic spirit among members of rally regarded than in former ages, different denominations, which your proposition is doubtless true. you consider conclusive evidence But if the divine law be your that there is more religion in the standard of goodness, it may be world, may however proceed difficult to prove that the world is from indifference to all religion, any better now than it was 1800 as from a false religion. It is years ago.
granted, that were men what they Lib. Yes. It may be easily ought to he, persecution would proved, that there is more relig- be unknown among them. Yet 1 ion in the world than formerly. think there are two facts clearly
Or. It is hoped that the num- established in the history of past ber of the truly pious is increas- ages, which do away the force of ing ; but that the impenitent or your conclusions. First, Persecuthose who have not been born tion is most likely to manifest again have any more religion can- itself, when true religion is set in not be made to appear.
opposition to false religion. SecLib. The inpenitent, as you ondly, That catholic spirit which call them, 1800 years ago perse. consists in believing that good cuted Christ and his disciples, and men may be found in all denomi. during many succeeding ages, nations, generally prevails either cruel wars were waged and pun- among the followers of a false reishments inflicted on account of ligion or among those who are religious opinion. We live in an indifferent to all religion. Paul age of charity. Men of different did not preach your doctrine.--systems and denominations meet Had, be told the Greek, the Ro. as friends and live as brethren. man and the Jew, 66 I believe We do not settle our religious th are good men in all your controversies at the point of the denominations, I do not come to sword. Different sects cultivate condemn you, or to say, you must peace and good will and generally be damned if you continue in the