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earthly things; and he must be ac- God's day. Suitable attention tuated by a sordid, carnal, worldly should be paid to the preparation spirit. But, if we really take de of ourselves, and our families, to light in the duties of the Sabbath, attend the public worship of God we shall not forget them, as soon
in his house. If any stay from as the sun is down. They will divine worship, on the Sabbath, to 1 leave a sweet savour on our minds, prepare victuals, or because their
which will abide through all the apparel is not in decent order, or E business of the week, and occa- because the beasts are too much 2. sion joy in the thought, that such worn down with the labours of the
another day of holy rest, such week, to be able to bring them to another season of sweet commu- the sanctuary; it argues a woful nion with God, in prayer and forgetfulness of the Sabbath-day. praise, is near at hand. And, as 3. It is implied, in remember
the sacred day again returns, we ing the Sabbath day, that we beme shall stand prepared, cheerfully to stow proper attention to prepare
welcome its approach. As a wri- our hearts for its due observance. ter on this subject, well observes, We ought to set, not our houses " It would be grief insupportable, only, but our suuls also, in order to a Christian, were he doomed to for the services of the Lord's day. sojourn long upon earth, without God looks at the heart. He rethe hope of enjoying another Sab- quires spiritual worshippers.- bath. And the man, who can look Those who have any acquaintance
forward to such employments and with themselves, know, that it is in such privileges, without an eleva- no easy matter so to lay aside C ted mind, without any warm af- worldly thoughts, cares and per
fections, with a spirit of dissatis- plexities, as to wait upon the Lord faction and gloom, hath never without distraction, and to join, tasted that the Lord is gracious.' with suitable calmness and sereni
2. In remembering the Sabbath ty of mind, in the various exerby day, is implied proper care so to
cises of divine worship.
It rearrange our secular affairs, that quires preparation. It requires a
they may not interfere with the holy discipline over one's thoughts to religious duties and services of ho- and affections. The heart must
ly time. There are some provi- be kept with all diligence. Let dential occurrences, which may none imagine that they can pass, unavoidably hinder a desirable in a moment, from the hurry, buspreparation for the Lord's day ; tle, and fervour of worldly busibut, in general, there is no diffi- ness, to that calm, serious, spir
culty in so planning one's worldly itual frame of soul, in which they i business, as to have it out of the ought to approach the holy God,
, way by Saturday evening. We who will not be mocked, and into
ought to leave nothing to be done whose presence it is presumption M on the Sabbath, which may
be to rush, as the horse rusheth into done on another day. We ought
We ought the battle. so to arrange our business, as to Let me be permitted here to be ready to begin the Sabbath, at ask such of my readers as profess
the going down of the sun. We the religion of Christ, whether en he should take heed, that neither we, they are in the habit of remem
hor our domestics, are so much fa- bering the Sabbath day? A true eto tigued and harassed with the cares answer to this question, may as
and labours of the week, as to be sist in answering another question unfitted for the sacred duties of of great importance: it may go
far towards determining, whether leges of the Lord's day; if you your professions are sincere or feel no pleasure, during the week, hypocritical. If the Sabbath is in anticipating the approach of the your delight; if you esteem it | Sabbath; if it would give you no above all days; if you anticipate i pain to apprehend, that you might it with pleasure, and duly prepare | long be deprived of the enjoyment for its approach; it would seem of Sabbath days; if you find it an that you hunger and thirst after irksome task to quit your worldly righteousness, and are, in some business, and get ready to meet measure, prepared for that rest, the Sabbath, when it arrives; that endless sabbath which re- what reason have you to think, maineth to the people of God, in that heaven would be to you a heaven. But if, on the contrary, | place of happiness? you feel an indifference, or indis
MORALIS. position, to the duties and privi
FOR TAB HOPKINSIAN MAGAZINE.
THOUGHTS ON FAITH.
apostle, does not limit its influence to the blessing of salvation ; he
does not confine it to spiritual The Bible often speaks of faith; blessings. Faith is the substance Ministers often preach about faith; of all things
of all things “hoped for;" all yet I apprehend that Christians lawful, all needed blessings of progenerally entertain only vague, vidence. Faith is the evidence of indefinite notions of this important all things, all good, all needed grace. Instead of an exact and favours. As God does not confine precise knowledge of all its advan- his goodness to our salvation, nor tages and blessings, they are satis- to our spiritual wants and comfied with a general belief, that forts ; so he does not limit our faith will somehow save the soul. prayer or faith to this class of faLittle or no other comfort is ex
He gives us his rain and pected, but the hope of salvation. his sunshine; he makes corn and But if other blessings may be ob- grass to grow; the silver and the tained, then it is important, ac- gold are his; health, and friends, cording to the value of those bles, and reputation, are all his gifts. sings, that they be well known and Accordingly, he allows us not onunderstood.
ly to labour for these things; but 6. Faith is the substance of things to make them the objects of our hoped for.”
The man, who be- faith. Abram went out among lieves, already has the substance strangers, believing in the protecof what he expects; it is present tion of Providence, and he was to his apprehension; the enjoyment protected. Jacob believed that is anticipated. Therefore, he has God would give him “ food and peace in believing • Faith is the raiment,
" and these wants were evidence, or the strict proof and supplied. Manoah and his wife demonstration, of things not seen.” believed that God would give them True faith, that a blessing will be a son ; and Sampson was born. granted, is the evidence," or the All these were temporal blessings. proof and demonstration of its re
But here a reasonable enquiry ality, that it will be enjoyed, that rises: Will my belief always enit is on the way. Here, observe, sure all my extravagant wishes? that this definition of faith by the I Will my faith that I shall be a
Minister or a King, ensure me a Have all these promises to faith pulpit or a throne: Surely not. been null and void for more than What line then can be drawn, a thousand and half a thousand what rule given? The word of God, years? Are many other large porparticularly the promises of the tions of scripture, relating the sucword, are a safe rule. What God cess and triumphs of faith, adhas promised, he will grant, if we dressed only to few persons who exercise faith in that promise, performed miracles? Are several whatever it may be. God has entire parables obsolete and usepromised the Holy Spirit to those, less? Was the story of the Syrowho ask it. Now, if we cordially phenician woman, her unyielding, believe this promise, and ask, he undaunted faith, addressed only will grant the blessing. If we do to those, who wrought miracles? his will, he has promised to en- What is the explicit and particulighten us as to the essential doc- lar design of the parable, concerntrines of the gospel.“ He shall ing the man, who at midnight
| know of the doctrine whether it went to borrow three loaves, if not be of God.” Obeying and believ- to show the certain success of ing this, we may be sure of the faith? Take this away, and what blessing. Do our enemies make is the meaning of the story? His us tremble ? 6. They shall fight neighbour would not rise from against thee ; but they shall not benevolence; but for his importuprevail against thee.” Believing nity, or impudence, as it may be this promise, we may enjoy its rendered, he arose and gave all blessing. This is as applicable to that was desired. Was not this every individual as to Jeremiah.
designed to encourage, and even You may, therefore, believe and to inculcate the persevering imporplead this promise. Are you op-tunity of faith? What is the lesson pressed with any adversity, God in the parable of the woman apsays, “Call upon me in the day of plying to the unjust Judge, if it trouble; I will deliver thee, and be not to recommend an unwaverthou shalt glorify me.” This is ing faith? Though he feared not just as applicable to you, as to Da- God, nor regarded man; yet so vid. Whatsoever reasonable thing, ardent was her application, so unwhatever is promised to the people bending her purpose; she troubled of God, “when ye pray, believe him so much, that he yielded her that ye receive them, and ye shall the request of her soul. Could have them." A general promise the heart of man devise, could the gives just as strong a claim as a
inspiration of the Almighty give, particular one; for this is includ- a more astonisbing proof of the ined in that.
vincible power of faith? What But here it may be said, because connexion have these things with it has been said, that these great miracles, or the faith of miracles? and precious promises are not what reference have any of the made to saving faith; but to the Divine promises to miracles? They faith of miracles. Were these are made to all believers; they numerous, and precious promises are made to faith. Faith is the made to believers, not then ad- same now as when the promises dressed to the church, not to the were first written; the promises saints generally, under the Mosaic are the same; the happy effects of and Christian dispensations; but believing are the same. If men to a few, very few prophets and will exercise faith now, as did the apostles, who wrought miracles? | ancient believers, they will reap the same harvest of comforts, tem- and nothing more. But would poral and spiritual. Abram, when they enlarge their views, and apreceiving the strangers to his tent, ply the promises, not only for salJacob when wrestling with the an- | vation; but for other comforts and gel, and Menoah when offering blessings, then other comforts and sacrifice, did not perform mira- blessings would be conferred.cles; but they believed the prom-| God is no less willing to give ises of God, and by this faith they earthly, than spiritual good; he is received great teinporal blessings. no less willing to give temporal, So, if we also believe the promises, than everlasting felicity. If then we may obtain as great blessings. we are prepared, and if we beMy only remaining observation is, | lieve, that he is faithful, he will that believers now lose vast com- I give us all good things. Thereforts and blessings, by not believ- fore, if we are straitened, it is in ing the promises of God. They | ourselves, and not in God. If we believe, and they believe to salva- open our mouths wide, they will tion. They just save their souls, be filled.
OF THE PREVALENCE OF SOCINIAXISX.
serion of the Rev. Dr. Beecher, No. V.
of Connecticut, preached in 1814, In my first number I stated how will throw some light upon this I believed Socinianism came to be subject. He is accounting for the introduced into New-England. - waste places of Connecticut-plaMy object was to let my readers ces, where once there were floursee that the way is preparing for ishing churches and a regular minits introduction and spread among istry, but which are now lying
I understand that hints bave desolate. The same causes which been thrown out that n.y statement have led to these desolations in is not correct, and that the course Connecticut, have led to the prevof events was not as I have rep- alence of Socinianism in other resented. It is proper, therefore, parts. that I should exhibit some proof. He says, “A remote cause of I confess that my materials are our present wastes, is to be found not copious; but still, I think they in a very great declension of vital will be sufficient to place the mat- piety in the churches, which took ter beyond all doubt.
place many years ago.
For more I stated that the churches be-than one hundred
pascame corrupt by slow degrees;— tors and churches in Connecticut that the original strict practice of were strictly evangelical; but, at admiting none but such as gave length, different views, concerning evidence of experimental religion, doctrine, began to prevail. This and a cordial attachment to their was occasioned by an alarming orthodox creeds, gradually gave suspension, for many years of the place to a more liberal policy; and special influence of the Spirit, and that the prevalence of this liberal by the expedients of human wispolicy produced or accelerated a dom to replenish the churches, change in the tone of preaching without the agency of God. One and family instruction till doc- effect of this decline was, the intrinal truth was disregarded, and troduction into the ministry, of error extensively prevailed. men, who, probably, had never ex
The following extracts from a perienced the power of divine
grace on their hearts, and who, of their own understanding, to procourse, would be prepared, by na- vide a remedy, discovered, as they tive feeling, to oppose the doc- imagined, that grace is not necestrines of the gospel. From such, sary to the participation of either nothing better could be expected, ordinance; that there is but one than a cold, formal, unfaithful, un- covenant, the condition of which productive ministry, and a grad might be moral sincerity, and that ual approximation to another
the sacrament of the supper, like pel. - Those precious doctrines, the preaching of the gospel, might which are the power of God to sal- be numbered among the means of vation, were, of course, first omit- grace for the conversion of the ted, and at length, openly opposed. soul. With these views, the doors The consequence was, that the of the Church were thrown open, love of many waxed cold, and the and all the congregation who could ways of Zion mourned, because be, were persuaded to come in. few came to her solemn feasts." 6. These innovations in disci
“Alarmed at the declining num- pline, though resisted by many bers of the church, and the corres- churches, and not intreduced withponding increase of the unbaptis- out considerable agitation, became, ed, our fathers, with pious intent at length, in some shape, almost doubtless, but with a most unwar- universal throughout New-Engrantable distrust of God; and de- land. The consequences were what pendence on human wisdom, in- might be expected, where sinners troduced what has since been de- are countenanced in drawing near nominated, the half-way covenant. to God with their mouth, while
* According to the provisions of their heart is removed far from this anomaly in religion, persons him, and their fear towards him is of a regular deportment, 'though taught by the precepts of men. destitute of piety, might be con- They were the annihilation of
| sidered as, in some sense, church church discipline, and the prevamembers, and offer their children lence of self-righteous Arminian in baptism, without coming to the feelings and opinions, mingled with sacramental supper; an ordinance, the disjointed remains of evangelfor which religion was still deemed ical doctrine. Without an absoindispensable. The practical ef- lute rejection of the doctrines of fect was, that owning the cove- grace, the preaching, and the feelnant, as it was called, became a ing, and the practice, to a great common, thoughtless ceremony, extent, were,“ do and live.”. and baptism was extended to all Good works, and the use of means, who had either sufficient regard to occupied the fore-ground, while fashion, or to self-righteous doings, the Holy Spirit waited, at humble to ask it for themselves or for their distance, to accomplish the little children. As to the promises of which remained to be done, as the educating children in the fear of reward, or promised consequence, the Lord, and submitting to the of antecedent well-doing.
So discipline of the church, on the alarming had this declension of vione hand, or of watchful care on tal piety become, in the days of the other, they were alike disre- Cotton Mather, as to occasion the garded, both by those who exact-memorable prediction, that in fored, and by those who made them. ty years, should it progress as it
“Others alarmed by the same had begun, convulsions would endeclension of numbers in the visi- sue, in which churches would be ble church, and leaning equally to gathered out of churches; a pre