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principles of piety in the young of other people, at present, is mind.
not recollected. He proceeded, The subject is too important After this I went an apto be exhausted in one letter. prentice to the business which I As I have begun to bear my tes- now follow. When an apprentimony, if this finds a place in tice, many persons of my own your Magazine, I'shall trouble age, resorted to the place of my you again with my remarks. labor. Many subjects of conPATER-FAMILIAS. versation were introduced, and I
soon found that I was able, as we called it, to out-talk them on
every point. By this iny pride The danger of reasoning fulsely was flattered, and I began, first
against the testimony of our to deny the moral virtues of life, own consciences.
with no other design, than to show my own expertness, and
see their incapacity in proving THE following singular oc- what I knew to be right. In
currence happened, when our own young company, I was I was a young man, residing at soon mentioned as having much an entinent seat of literature, learning; and my opinion was where I received my education. often asked on subjects of which I was, at that time, a licentiate I had never before thought. In for the Christian Ministry.-- such cases, it was necessary for What hath been the event of the nie to depend on the present man's life to whom I refer, is moment, both for my opinions wholly unknown to me, as I and the arguments by which I have neither seen or heard of supported them. him for many years.
I was led on, in this manner, A person called on me with until I presumed to call in queswhom I had no previous ac- tion the truth of the scriptures quaintance. He accounted for and the doctrines of the gospel. his visit, by telling me “ I know When I did this it was with that you are a preacher of reli- trembling and against the testigion, and I have called to re- mony of my own conscience. lieve the uncertainty of my own In proportion, as I found them mind. I heard you preach yes- unable to answer my reasoning, terday, I believe, and yet do not I renewed the force of my arbelieve.” The discourse, which guments ; until, I had bewil. he heard, was on an important dered the faith of several young Christian doctrine. After sun- men, and actually began myself dry questions were proposed to to doubt several truths, which him, he proceeded to give the I once most seriously believed. following account of himself: I am scosible that pride was « I was the child of Christian the reason of my doing as I did. parents, and educated in a belief At the present time, I neither of the scriptures and the neces- believe nor disbelieve, and have sity of a moral life.”
come to converse freely with Whether his education was you. under the care of his parents or The narrative was singular ;
the case, at that time of my life, call it, which bears a testimony appeared to me to be uncom- for the truth and against error mon. I mentioned the common and vice, by this means, is weakarguments for the truth of the ened, so that some persons bescriptures and of the Christian come almost as senseless of religion, but found that he had moral obligation, as the beasts of uncommon desterity in evading the field. They are in darkness, I soon perceived, that although still, know not at what they he was severely troubled by his stumble. This is that awful 'own conscience when lest lo state, which the word of God himself, yet after we entered describes by the conscience beinto conversation, bis pride was ing seared as with a hot iron.” Nattered by his own expertness Both the natural and moral faculin raising objections against the ties of men are weakened thro' truth. Several evenings were a neglect to make use of them. passed in this manner, when I Those, who are created with the told him, that no advantage to powers of intelligence, by neg. him would come from our ac- lecting to improve their underquaintance, and I feared he was standing, may become almost sinking fast into deep infidelity. ideots : So, a moral agent, by -Here our discourse and ac- refusing the notices of his conquaintance ended.
science, may sink into all the I have often reflected on this turpitude of vice, without knowincident. It doubtless describes ing that he is a sinner. the way and means, through There is another alarming which many persons are led into consideration on this subject. the most destructive errors. The vindictive justice of God Having an active imagination, may begin to operate in this they invent arguments against life, against those who wantoniy divine truths and their own duty, or wilfully resist the truth. with surprising facility. Their And with all deceivableness of pride is Hattered, and they soon unrighteousness in them that become eminent, in those cir- perish : Because they receive cles for conversation, where the not a love of the truth that they vain and wicked meet to amuse might be saved. And for this themselves. They soon, in cause God shall send them their own opinion, become more strong delusion, that they believe wise than their fathers, and with a lie : That they all might be equal indifference, arraign at damned, who believed not the the bar of their own sagacity, truth, but had pleasure in unthe laws of God and of men. righteousness.”— Because I Thus, many become established have called, and ye refused ; I in iniquity, and some in infidelity. have stretched out my hand, It is, always, dangerous to rea- and no man regarded ; but ye son falsely against the testimony have set at nought all my counof our own consciences. The sel, and would none of my remoral sense, or natural con-proof: I also will laugh at your science, or that natural principle calamity; I will mock when your of the intelligent mind, by what- fear cometh ; when your fear ever name men may please to cometh as desolation, and your Vol. I. NO. 4.
146 Letter from Christian on an indecent practice. [Arlit,destruction cometh as a whirl- importance, either in church or wind; when anguish and dis- state, but found they were talktress coineth upon you. Then ing of the great rains, which shall they call upon me, but I fell the last summer, by which will not answer; they shall seek some part of every man's crop me early, but they shall not find was injured. Being disappointme : For that they hated know-ed in this instance, I approached. ledge, and did not chuse the fear a second company, and found of the Lord.”
they were discussing politics; Thiese testimonies from the then to a third, and the subject tive justice may begin to operate, War, of which a young man in in the present life. Whatever the western country had written the power of conscience may be, to his friends. On the whole, some influence, from the Spirit I thought this was not the best of God, is necessary to excite way of keeping the sabbath. I serious attention ; and when the went into the house of worship, omniscient eye of the Lord and after the minister had enterseethliis creatures sinning a. ed, all these people, in a great gainst sufficient knowledge of burry, followed him, until the their duty, he may in his anger seats were filled. Now, Sir, say,
“ Because I have called, would it not have been better for and ye refused, I will laugh at these people, on their first comyour calamity.” When all in- ing to the sanctuary of God, to fluence from the Spirit of God have taken their seats, and by is withheld, men will fall into a meditation endeavoured to prestate of remediless Security. pare their minds for the solemn Let us, by this, be admonished duties of worship. We are not not to grieve the Spirit of God, to rush into the presence of and thus wantonly and wilfully God as the horse rusheth into sin, by false reasonings against the battle. I have found benefit the truth.
by meditation and prayer, in B. P.
preparing myself for the worship of the sanctuary. Moreover, it appears to me indecent, that
when we come together for reliTO THE EDITOR OF THE CON gious worship, such discourses NECTICUT MAGAZINE. as I mentioned before, should be
I am your friend, attended public worship in ano
CHRISTIAN. ther parish. As I approach. ed their church, to my great surprise, I saw a number of companies collected, who appeared to be greatly engaged in CHRISTIAN, in his own discourse. I hastened to a way, hath brought the subcompany which was nearest to ject of his Letter into full me looking for some news of view. It is believed, that the
indecency of which he com Gathering around the church, plains is not general, in this part in companies, for conversation of the Christian church; still, on vain or worldly subjects, bethe instances, in which it hap-fore the stated hour of public pens, merit reproof. “ And God service, is an indecent and danblessed the sabbath day and gerous practice, which injures sanctified it : because that the feelings of serious people, in it he had rested from his corrupts public sentiments of works, which God created and respect for the sabbath, and dismade.” The appointment of a qualifies for uniting in solemn sabbath was from the beginning, prayer, or profiting by instruction sanctioned both by the example from the word of God. When and precept of the Creator.- youth hear their parents discourUnder every dispensation and sing on-subjects of profit, or the state of the church, the com- new things of the day ; soon in mand hath been repeated, “ Re- their own select circles, they will member the Sabbath day to concert schemes of vanity for the keep it holy." Precepts, direc- whole week. All true friends zing the nanner of its sanctifi- of order and religion, will unite cation, are numerous in the their influence to suppress the scriptures. The example of indecent practice, which is here Christ himself, to every true reproved.
ED. Christian, ought to be conclusive evidence of his duty. The sabbath is set apart for haly duties and meditations. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONAbstaining from servile labor
NECTICUT MAGAZINE. is but a part of that rest, for which the day is appointed. Ev A CERTAIN Christian, not ery person who is well instruct. long since, was invited to attend ed and conscientious, will abstain an assembly of gentlemen and both from thoughts and dis- ladies, who were to convene for course on worldly subjects. the common purposes of recreaPrayer, reading the scriptores tion, as practised, in most of the and other pious writings, self-ex- large towns and cities in the amination, together with an at- United States. The invitation tendance on public worship, will was very politely communicated furnish sufficient employment by one of the managers of the for the day, which is made sac- assembly, and accompanied with red to the glory of God and our every assurance, that all things own religious improvement, would be conducted with the utAll those are deceived in their most propriety and decorum.opinion, who think their duty is The said Christian excused himfulfilled, by a mere attendance self from giving an answer, at on the instructions of the pub the moment, but assured the jie teacher. For this attend gentleman he would attend to it, ance, there ought to be a serious and return him one speedilypreparation of the heart, other. The following is the answer, exwise it is not probable the hcar-cepring a few omissions of er will be profited.
names, and alterations of phrases
for perspicuity's sake, to save | May they from time to time, the feelings of some who might meet with a single eye to thy be disobliged were this answer glory, and pursue this design to be made public.
according to thy word. Save them from every thing contrary
10 thy pure and holy law, and the I
ACCEPT with the aime precepts of the gospel. Save
kindness, your invitation to them from all things which may your social circle at Mr. B—'s, give any“ just cause for the ene-with which it was given : and mies of the Lord to blaspheme. having assured you it should be And we beseech thee to save duly attended to have thought them from every thing which I could convey to you more pre may grieve thy children : or cisely my ideas, concerning the bring a slur on the pure profespropriety of my attendance, in sion of holiness and picty. As this way, than any other.--As societies of this kind have althe design of your meeting is ways been spoken against by universally said to be good by thy saints as calculated to lead the members of it, I will not into temptation and sin, we pray dispute this declaration in the thee more earnestly that this may least degree : but would only not give any occasion of grief, ask, would it be agreeable to the by any unholy words or actionscompany, who doubtless at sup- by taking any forbidden liberties per time would wish for a bles, in the use of meals or drinks sing, 10 have me address the or such time as is appointed for Being in whoin we live, in the other religious duties ! May we following concise manner ? never sit down to eat and to
Infinitely glorious and blessed drink, and rise up to play!! May God-We are thy creatures and we always utterly abhor every upheld by thee every moment. thing that partakes of chambering We bless thee for that kind care, and wantonness, as absolutely thou hast ever taken of us till forbidden by thee!! And not this time. We humbly pray suffer ourselves to be surfeited thou wilt forgive our multiplied with the business, pleasures, or sins, which make us unworthy amusements of the world, as we of thy distinguished favors.- know thou wilt bring up the We thank thee for thy goodness actions of every evening, before to our souls and bodies, and in thy judgment seat at the last particular that thou hast spread day, and wilt eternally punish this table with the rich bounties those who are elrowned in these of thy providence for our re- surfeiting, soul-hardening pleafreshment-wilt thou bless them sures !! We pray most earnestto us for this end. We thank ly thou wouldest keep us in thy thee we may meet together for fear-that thou wouldest purify, the purposes of mutual friend and keep us from all sin, by the ship, and to prepare ourselves blood of the cross-and may we to glorify thee more and better feel thy blessed presence, and in the world. Wilt thou for rejoice in it exceedingly : and this purpose, bless all those who by our holy conversation, constatedly convene at this place. duct, and mutual improvements