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enjoy in their acquirements come his behalf, may it not be said that the from God.
conduct or personal worth of the man was the
germ of his flourishing honThe blessing of the Lord, it maketh
ours? Piety was the basis of his repu. rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
tation and success. His innocence in All consolation is from the Spirit of his master's house, his integrity in God. The most splendid wealth, the prison, received the divine favor and most powerful friends, the most exalt
the inspiration of wisdom. Hence his ed fame, with the richest stream of capacity of explaining mysteries; hence sensual delights, with the most eleva
his fame, his power, his riches, his ted privileges for intellectual and reli.. greatness. p. 236. gious improvement, unless God bless them, will leave the heart cold, and The XVIIth sermon is the sketch cheerless, and dead. Did the money of the character of Elias. James of Gehazi comfort his heart? Was he v. 17, 18. The perusal of this dishappier for his bags of silver, and his
course would, it is believed, with changes of raiment? The leprosy was
most men be attended with a kind in his silver, the poison of death in his of surprise, that with the Bible in garments. Was Ahab, or Haman happy in their numerous children, or
their hands, they had known so litample possessions? In the proud pale tle of the character of this man, one ace, and at a royal banquet, one hears
of the most interesting personages the sentence of death, the other pines whose name and character has been and sickens for his neighbor's vineyard, handed down to us, when it was and instead of being crowned with vic- possible to know so much. In detory, is borne dying from the field of lineating his character, the author battle.” p. 233-4.
directs our attention to the following particulars.
1. That Elijak But to avoid the inference which
was a man of remarkable faith. 2. sluggish impiety might draw from
That he exercised a remarkable inthis view, the author, towards the close takes occasion to say that possessing a wonderful talent of
fluence over the minds of others, the Spirit of God more generally persuasion. 3. That he had a blesses men according to their manifest diligence, their discretion,
singular vein of bold humour and
4. That he was variable perseverance, and fidelity.”
in his temper, and subject to a mel. "What a man soweth that shall he ancholy depression of spirits. 5. reap.' Every man assumes the com
That he was remarkably ardent and plexion of his own character, chooses
successful in his devotions. By his own course, carves his own por. way of illustrating the second partion, secures his own reward. The ticular he introduces the history of measure of our sincerity, of our faith. the poor woman of Zarephath, of fulness, and wisdom, is the general Obadiah, of Ahab, and the events measure of our success, and of our felie which happened in the hill of Carcity. In those instances where the
mel. The author's statement of sovereignty of God seems to exclude this last circumstance I will intronot only all merit, but all worth or agency of man, it may possibly be
duce here. found that their eharacter, what they are and what they do, has more influ- Excepting in one instance, we have ence than is generally supposed. God not heard Elijah address a public asblesses men, by first making them good sembly, then his power of persuasion and wise, to prepare them for subse- surpassed all example. Nothing equals quent favors, and to render them the this in the history of eloquence. In instruments of his own felicities. Jo- imagination pass to the land of Canaan, seph has been mentioned; but after all lift your eye to the hill of Carmel, covo the interpositions of Providence, and ered with the thousands and ten thouthe displays of divine sovereignty, in sand times ten thousand of Israel.
Behold the prophet of God rising in he had assumed the direction of the the midst of this boundless multitude. king, he had superseded the royal au. His person is uncouth; he seems more thority, and ordered four hundred and like a hermit, than a powerful orator ; fifty prophets to execution. At the he is a hairy man and has a leathern close of this wonderful scene, he learns girdle round his loins, surveying the that Jezebel was angry, and threatenimmense throng, his eyes affect his ed him with a woman's revenge. A heart. He exclaims How long halt sudden panic strikes his spirit, his resoye between two opinions? If the Lord lution is gone; his spirit dies within be God follow him; but if Baal, follow him, he flies for his life to Beersheba, him.' His words are armed with pow- in the kingdom of Judah. Here he er; they produce conviction; the peo- was perfectly safe, beyond the jurisple are silent; they answer him not a diction of Ahab, and under the protecword; the doctrine appeared reasona- tion of the pious king Jehosaphat.
Inble. Having made such progress, he deed, it is not probable that any danpursues his advantage and proposes ger was near him. All Israel had just an experiment to settle the dispute. raised their voices in his favour. “ The God who answered by fire, let Would the Queen have dared to touch him be God." "If Baal answers by a hair of his head ? She was afraid of fire, I will join you in his worship. If Elijah, and wished to frighten him from Jehovah answers by fire,
then you the great work of reformation, which unite with me and worship him.' Nev- he had so triumphantly commenced. er did an orator succeed better. The Therefore she sends him word that people, all the people answered and she will slay him. Her plot succeeded. said, “It is well spoken." Their con- The melancholy prophet fled from fidence is gained. With anxiety they Beersheba alone, a days journey into now wait the trial by fire. The proph- the howling wilderness. His terrors ets of Baal proceed to the experiment seem to have deprived him of his reaand utterly fail. Elijah then erects He sits down under a juniper an altar, calls upon God, and he an- tree and prays that he may die. Men swers by fire. The people are satis- are seldom in the best state of mind fied; they are overcome with the when they are forward to die. From force of truth, they fall on their faces the wilderness he travels a hundred and cry, “ The Lord, he is God; Jeho- and fifty miles to Mount Nebo. This vah he is the God;" they abandon idol- occupied him forty days, going through atry. Was not this the triumph of by-ways and hiding himself in secret human eloquence? What was the corners ; his progress was less than trembling of Cæsar, addressed by Cice. four miles a day. °Is this my lord, Eliro, in behalf of Ligarius? What were jah, who just now swayed the hearts the shouts of the Athenian rabble, of Israel with the breath of his divine when Demosthenes spoke? How fee. eloquence ? Lord, what is man! ble and trivial was the speech of St. Paul, before the Areopagus, compared with this overwhelming address of
The XXth, which is the last we Elijah to the tribes of Israel? Those mentioned as peculiarly noticeable orators influenced an individual, or a for a kind of pleasing novelty, is an few persons, or a common assembly, at attempt, and in our judgment a sucmost; but the millions of Israel are
cessful one, to show that some of swayed by the voice of Elijah, as a the most important and difficult field of wheat bows before the gale, or
doctrines of revelation are support. a forest, before the wide-spreading conflagration."--p. 322–3.
ed by the events of Providence.
The text is Ps. xviji, 3, “ as for Under the fourth head, after God, his way is perfect," and Ps. having given some general remarks xix, 7, “The law of the Lord is on the extent and limits of the pow. perfect.”. In the fourth division er and faculties of man, the author of this discourse, the author's obproceeds to observe :
ject is to show that the doctrine of
Election to eternal life is in accord. Elijah had just manifested the ance with the doings of God, with most astonishing force of character; respect to many things in this world,
How successful he was in this par- which we witness, in the doctrines ticular, the following passage will which we read. pp. 399, 400. in part show.
An attentive perusal of this Probably no person in this country, discourse, would, I apprehend, lead attaches the least personal merit to the most men who are capable and wilcircumstances of a man's birth. No ling to receive the most obvious child is better or worse, born in a pal- meaning of scripture and Proviace or a shed. No matter whether dence, as that which the Holy he be " below the dome, or above the Ghost intended to set forth, to the hut.” Yet on this single circumstance of birth, commonly depend, in a great
same conclusion, to which the aumeasure, the knowledge, the religion, thor came ; “ That we obtain no and happiness of the person. One is relief by rejecting the deep and difborn in the cottage of vice, and en- ficult doctrines from revelation. dures hunger and cold, and generally, Though you blot them from your though not always, exhibits the vice creed, Providence spreads them and ignorance of his father. Another before your eyes, sounds them in is born in the sober mansion of piety and knowledge, and often, though not your ears, reveals them from every
Though you erase them always, acquires the knowledge, the quarter. virtur, and happiness of his parents.
your Bibles, they are written One poor babe, without any fault of in capitals on every page in Provihis own, is born in Africa, and is a dence." slave. Another receives existence in The seventh is a very interesting the wilds of America, and of course is and important discourse. The suba pagan and a savage. Another first ject is the influence of education. sees the light in Arabia, and spends his In this discourse the author has life following his flocks from one spring committed an error in first assuming and pasture to another, often scorched with the burning winds of the desert,
as a fact, that of which he after: often mad with hunger and thirst, his wards occupies the whole dishand against every man and every course, as an illustration or proof. man's hand against him, a robber on Yet it is an error which will be easiland, and a pirate on the sea, Mahom ly overlooked, if not forgotten, long et his prophet, and the koran his Bible. You are born in a Christian land, of the pages which this discourse fills.
before any one shall have read half Christian parents, who are faithful and kind, who instruct you by precept and
Individuals may make exceptions example, to be a disciple of Jesus.
to particular statements, they may What an immense difference is here not understand the relevancy of made by the providence of God, be- some particulars ; for instance, tween man and man. Is not here a what is said of the possession of display of divine sovereignty, disre. iron ; they may doubt the extent of garding all personal merit, as evident the influence of some of the causes as in election to eternal life? Indeed
here referred to ; but if, after all where can you look and not witness a manifestation of this divine attribute ?
these and whatever else may be said Who gave to Buchanan his spirit of in the way of deduction from the sacred enterprise, to the apostolic Elli- sterling merit we believe it to posott his willingness to labour for the sess, the reading does not leave salvation of savages, to Whitefield his upon the mind a great additional overwhelming eloquence, to Edwards dread and fear of what can warp his fervent piety and wonderful energy the judgment, taint the morals, or of mind ? Does not God as well in his providence as in his word,
corrupt the heart, the cause, I “ I
say, will do all my pleasure, and my coun
must seriously believe would be sel it shall stand?” His word and his
found, were investigation made, in providence agree, and are perfect.
the lamentable fact that the indiHe is of one mind in the kingdom of vidual has not that holy and pure grace and providence, in the events principle which makes him dread
every false way. I must be indul- the danger, in executing the business ged in furnishing the reader with a of education, they have no tendency paragraph containing a part of to lessen its importance. While we the reasons suggested
by the author, discover the delicacy of the task, we why, if education has such an influ- ions, and how necessary are whole
also learn how powerful are impressence over *men, those who are
some discipline and a uniform system brought up in the same school, in of instruction and example."-p. 176 the same neighbourhood, and under7. the same roof, do often exhibit principles and dispositions so 'en- and worthy to be impressed on the
The closing paragraph is solemn, tirely unlike.
mind and heart of every parent and It is not believed that the greatest
every child. number of lessons, or the longest les
“ Finally, how important are the sons, will always have the greatest ef periods of childhood and youth. In fect. No. You cannot calculate the these periods, education is chiefly effect of education from its quantity, as acquired, the character is then you do of nitrous grain in a rock. No. formed, the person generally beThe temper,and the force,and the adap
comes what he is to be forever and tation, and the time, and the place, and
What is the character of the parties, all come in
sown in Spring for an incalculable share of the influ- will be reaped in autumn. The ence. Sometimes one book will tri- impressions and passions of childumph over all the impressions made by hood and youth will be experienced whole libraries, one companion will in old age. Every thing, my young make a deeper impression than the friends, is important to you. As whole circle of friends had done.
the atmosphere, in some places, Sometimes one word may do more to
conveys health, in others, death, so form the character, than all the ser
the place where you live may cause mons, all the lectures, and all the conversation ever heard. A youth who
moral health, or spiritual death. has been frank, open, unguarded, may
The books which you read, the by the reading of one book, become sermons which you hear, may conprudent, cautious, circumspect. A vey saving truth or fatal error. youth who had been sedate, reserved, One wicked companion may be as serious by a change of companions fatal to you, as the serpent of Parmay become cheerful, gay, and hu
adise. One evil example may disSome such incidental cause may produce the difference of virtue
turb your judgment, may fascinate and vice in the same house. Children your imagination, may influence of the same house do not all receive your passions. One alluring the same impressions, they do not word, one enticing look, may, hear they do not see, the same things. like enchantment, relax the vigour They are very far from receiving the of your resolution, and plunge you same education. One is at home, down the gulf of ruin. Take heed while his brother or sister is abroad.
then to all your ways, your labours, In those different places they see and hear things very different. One child your amusements, your studies, reads this book, another, that. One your words, your thoughts ;-the child is sickly, and finds in his parents, objects which you see, the sounds a nurse and a physician. One is wil which you hear. “ He that walkful and headstrong, and views his på- - eth with the wise shall be wise, but rents as two officers of justice. One a companion of fools shall be deis mild, modest, docile, and finds his stroyed.”-pp. 184,-5. parents delightful companions. In
The discourses about the cor. these different circumstances must not the character of the children be form
rectness of which, there will probed in a different manner, be imbued ably exist as much doubt in the with a different spirit? While these minds of evangelical people as any, things unite to show the difficulty and are the first and eighth
The first,on Luke 7.14,was preach- The other sermon in respect to ed before the convention of Congre- the doctrine of which there will be gational ministers in Boston, 1821. a diversity of sentiment, is that in Then the copy was presented to the which the author labours to show Mass.Peace Society, and had, under that what is familiarly called the the direction of that body, passed prayer of faith will be answered. through several editions. In re- What he means by this will perhaps gard to the general doctrine main- be best expressed in his own words. tained, “ That God designs by the “The doctrine taught here, does gospel to establish lasting peace on not contradict a common opinion the earth and good will towards that the prayer of faith will obtain men," there can be no question. the very thing, or something which But there does remain a question is better, but proceeds farther, and as to the inferences drawn from asserts that we may by prayer obthis,—that nations should make no tain the very thing desired." provision for war, and that all ex- I should too far trespass on your citements to war should be done pages, to exhibit the argument conaway--such as military honours, structed by the preacher to support titles, and rewards, martial music, his doctrine ; or to state the views and the war song of the poet. De- which to my mind, render the arstroy, says he, the means of mis
gument inclusive. But while I exchief, and you destroy the mischief press a doubt respecting the coritself. It is to be apprehended that rectness of the point attempted to the author overrated the effect of be established, or of its great practhese things. They, we doubt, do tical utility, if it could be proved, much to keep up and foster a spirit and also of the bearing of the text, for war, but they do not create the upon the point at issue, and of many disposition to it. As long as the of the other scriptures introduced passion reigns within, individuals to support the doctrine, I would be and nations, when their resentment far from intimating that the sermon is kindled, will contend, as if they itself is not important, and calculaare not supplied before hand with ted to do much good. It was evi. weapons, they will find them after. dently written with great labour, wards. “ Furor, ministrat arma.” and after much investigation, is full
I do not intend by these remarks of the most solemn and affecting to countenance war, or to inculcate truths; and it is not easy to conthe belief that much would not be ceive how any pious individual could done to prevent its occurrence, read it and not feel an increased were the suggestions of the rev. sense of the importance of contin. erand author attentively regarded. uing instant in prayer; or how All means calculated to prevent the those who have hitherto neglected occurrence of this greatest curse of this service should not be convinour race, should be used, and used ced that they are in a great transtoo, rigorously and extensively. gression. The subject of prayer And no man should think he had was one on which the reverend audone enough till the peaceful spirit thor, when he referred to it, spoke of the gospel shall pervade every with great force and solemnity ; heart or fill every land. And in and it would be easy to gather up view of the blessings connected many instances of the deep and with the approach of that happy lasting impressions which his disday, how thankfully should we re- courses on this subject produced ceive every effort of such men as upon the minds of some of his hear. the author of this sermon, to hast. And those who read this dis. en its arrival.
course, and indeed, others in this