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and be joined together in the same unambiguous, as when it was first mind, and in the same judgment;' used by the Disciples at Antioch. which will not be until the Millen- May that glorious day soon come! ium. Then, indeed, we may ex-But, until professed Christians pect, that ministers and people shall become of one mind, it is will have the same views of the absurd to insist, that they shall leading doctrines and duties of the all be called by one name. Gospel, and that the naine Christ
A HOPKINSIAN. ian will again be as definite and
On Revivals of Religion. term to satisfy my feelings; and it
is too often applied to that change It will be the object of this es- of external conduct which does not say, to show what a revival of imply any change of heart. A religion is, and to point out some reformation may take place in an things which usually accompany individual, or in a number of indiit.
viduals, and there may be no reli1. What is a revival of religion? gion in any of them.--But a reviv. A revival is a return from a state al of religion cannot take place, of languor and deadness, to a state unless there is some religion to be of life and vigour. When any revived. thing is said to revive, the expres. Religion has been said by some, sion implies, that it has existed, to consist in love, by others, in and has been in a lively and vigor- the belief, and love, and practice ous state, but has suffered a de- of the truth. There is, perhaps, cline. A revival of religion, strict- no essential difference in these two ly speaking, is a phrase which definitions. If religion consists in applies only to real Christians.- love, it is such love as implies a When religion begins to exist belief of the truth, and leads to the where it has not existed before, practice of it. As far as religion it is not properly said to revive consists in love to God, it implies But as real Christians are usually a knowledge of God. No more of as much affected by those excite- God can be loved than is known. ments which are denominated re- We cannot esteem his character vivals, as other persons are; and and perfections, while we are ignoas such excitements, seldom, ifrant of them. God has revealed ever, take place where there are himself in his works and in his not some real Christians, with word. But if we do not read this whom the work begins; a revival revelation, if we misunderstand of religion seems to be the most his communications, and form an suitable term to designate those erroneous idea of his character ; if religious excitements which pro- we set up in our own apinds a false duce a more lively and vigorous god instead of the true, all our exercise of religion in the hearts of love to that false god, is false rereal Christians, and are accompa-ligion, and opposition to the God nied by the beginning of religion in of heaven. Genuine love of the the hearts of others. The term truth also leads to the practice of reformation has been used by some, it. There is, indeed, something in preference to revival; but it has which is often mistaken for the always appeared to me to be far love of the truth, which is not conless appropriate. It is too cold a Inected with its practice. Some
men appear to have a very correct itself, arrayed in all its charms, knowledge of the truth, and to take and is eagerly embraced. The great pleasure in its contemplation, great enemy of souls spreads his whose lives do not correspond with toils around, and the unhappy victheir professed belief. No doubt tim yields himself an easy prey. they experience a high pleasure in And if the wretched professor of the investigation of divine truth, religion does not make shipwreck but it is a pleasure purely intel- of his character and his hopes, it is lectual. “It plays about the head, often owing to no vigilance or firmbut comes not near the heart.” It ness of his own. But when reis the same kind of pleasure which ligion revives, he comes to his some men experience in the inves- senses again. He awakes as from tigation of mathematical and philo- a delirium, and opens his eyes sophical truth; and it has no more with astonishment.' The ingratiinfluence upon the conduct. But tude, the inexcusableness, the where there is true love to God baseness of his conduct, fill his and man, it leads to a correct prac
soul with keen remorse. tice. Where the heart is right, once a great relief to him to be it will be manifested by a life of told, that after a season of revival, conformity to the divine precepts. a declension is to be expected. Religion, then, consists in love; But now, such a suggestion only but it is the love of the truth, and serves to increase the anguish of such a love, as leads to the prac- his spirit; for he sees that the tice of the truth. When genuine known treachery of the human love increases, and is in more live- heart is the only reason why it is ly and vigorous exercise, and es- to be expected. He looks back pecially if it increases in a re- upon his conduct with deep selfmarkable and visible inanner, there abhorrence. He admires the pais a revival of religion.
tience and forbearance of God, who II. What things usually accom- has not cut him off; and he returns, pany a revival of religion: Some with lamentation and mourning, to of the most usual are the following: the path of duty, from which he 1. Backsliders return.
had departed. When such instances season of revival, there is often a
are numerous, we think there is a season of declension; and many revival of religion. who manifested great fervency of 2. Some professors of religion spirit while the revival continued, renounce their former hope, and lose their fervour, and become experience what has been termed cold. This declension in their a re-conversion. I believe this is hearts quickly shows itself in their not an unusual occurrence in the lives. They have lost the enjoy- time of a revival, where the work ment they found in the discharge is deep and thorough. Many who of duty, and they begin to neglect have been professors of religion it. They have lost their pungent for years, and have done nothing sense of the evil of sin, and they to destroy the confidence of their begin to indulge in it. One duty brethren in their Christian characneglected prepares the way for the ter, now lose all confidence in it neglect of another, and one sinful themselves. Each one, on a careindulgence creates a desire for ful examination of his own heart more. The voice of conscience, and life, finds so much that has once resisted, becomes more fee- been wrong, and so little evidence ble. A deadly stupour seizes up- of any thing right, that he is unaon the soul. The world presents ble any longer to think favourably
of his own state. He concludes / clension, difficulties often that he has been deceived, and is churches, which are a scan no better than a hypocrite. He the Christian name. The c renounces his former hope, and is is divided into parties. Brot filled with deep and pungent con- arrayed against brother. viction. When the members of a feelings are indulged, and ehurch experience such a shaking speeches are made. Mutual as this, we think it an indication ousies and animosities arise; that the Lord has come to “search sometimes the very existenc Jerusalem with candles," and to the church is endangered. Co “sit as a refiner and purifier of cil after council is called, and silver.”
bours with unwearied patien 3. Stumbling blocks are taken perseverance, and brotherly kin out of the way. It is a lamenta- ness, but produces no good effe ble fact, that in times of declen- When a revival of religion con sion, professors of religion them- mences, however, and its influenc selves do more to hinder the suc- is generally felt, the work is easy cess of the gospel, than all that is Difficulties which have been ac done by others. --Bearing the name cumulating for years, can be set of Christians, and living in a man- tled in an hour. By mutual conner so inconsistent with their professions and mutual forgiveness, fession as many of them do, they and a return to right feelings, harcreate a strong prejudice in the mony and peace are restored at minds of others against the religion they profess. The obstacles which 5. Professors of religion love one backsliding professors thus throw another more. They feel more of in the way, often remain, notwith the obligation they are under to standing all the efforts which their promote each other's welfare.brethren can make to remove them. They cultivate a more intimate But when a revival takes place, Christian intercourse. They do they are very easily removed. - not study every one to please himWhen backsliders really repent, self, buts every one to please his there is no difficulty in persuading neighbour, for his good, to edificathem to confess their sins. When tion.”—When they receive an inthey are thoroughly sensible of the jury from a brother, they are ready dishonour they have done to the to exercise forgiveness. Whenname of Christ, they are desirous, they see a brother go astray, they as far as possible, to undo what feel their obligation to endeavour they have done. They are willing to restore him in the spirit of to make public confessions, and to meekness. They are more ready make them full and ample. "They to give admonition to others in a esteem it a privilege to make them, friendly manner, and to receive it and thus to wipe off, as far as may from others with grateful feelings. be, the stain they have brought The genuine spirit of gospel disciupon their Christian profession. pline, which is a spirit of brotherly When we see backsliders coming kindness, revives and increases, forward of their own accord, and They feel no disposition to suffer voluntarily taking up the stumbling sin upon a brother, nor to abandon blocks they have cast in the way, him that has fallen under the popwe consider it an evidence that a er of the adversary. revival is begun.
8. The love of the world de4. Difficulties in the church are creases. In a time of spiritual easily settled. In a time of de- 'declension, professors of religion
too often forget that " covetous- one part, and some upon another; ness is idolatry.” They profess a and while each one thinks his own religion which consists in benevo-comprises about the whole of Christlence, and which teaches them that ianity, he censures the other for riches are valuable only as the his disregard of it; or perhaps means of doing good. They pro- even condemns him as no Christfess to have devoted themselves, ian, because he does not take the and all they have, to the Lord Je- sane one-sided course. But when sus Christ'; and have solemnly religion revives, they are more conpremised to employ themselves and sistent. They then feel their oblitheir wealth entirely in promoting gation to believe the whole of what his cause. But in times of declen- | God has said, and to practise the sion, they are too apt to forget whole of what he has commanded. these professions, and to violate 8. There is an increasing spirit these engagements. They are too
I do not mean that much inclined to make their own prayers are longer. Long prayers gratification their great object, and are generally unfavourable to a deto set their hearts on worldly good. votional spirit. As one well obThey sometimes engage so eagerly serves, they are not unfrequentin the pursuit of wealth, as to give ly the offspring of spiritual death, great occasion to the enemies of and the parent of it too." But I religion to speak reproachfully,- mean, that there is more real prayAnd such inen often say, that er; there is more fervency of deChristians are more selfish and sire for spiritual blessings, and they more covetous than others; and are sought with greater earnestness that the reason why they abstain and importunity. from the gratifications in which 9. Religious meetings are better others indulge, is not because they attended. I do not so much mean we sinful, but because they are that the number of them is increasExpensive. But when religion re- ed, as that they are attended by vives in their hearts, they let go greater numbers, and in a better their eager grasp of the world, and manner, Those who attend are
more disposed to “take heed how 7. Professors of religion are more they hear.” They hear with fixed consistent and thorough Christians. and solemn attention, and with in times of declension, it is not self-application. uncommon to see them extremely 10. There is an increase of relianequal and inconsistent in their gious knowledge. Divine things belief and practice. They fix their are more the subject of conversaattention upon some one part of tion among professors of religion, Christian doctrine or duty, which than they once were, and far more ie more suited to the natural turn so among others. The public atof their minds, and attach a great tention is turned to the doctrines importance to the belief or obsery- and duties of the Christian reliance of this, while they undervalue gion. They are more thought of, all others. And not unfrequently, they are examined with deeper this particular part, which they interest, and they become more thus magnify into the whole, is one known, and understood, and felt, of the smallest, in point of real by all classes of persons. importance, in the whole Christian 11. There is an increase of feel
system.- Very few, at such times, ing, in view of divine things. The. · appear to be consistent and thor- things of eternity appear more like
cugh Christians. Some fix upon realities They produce more
feel and act more in character.
lively sensations in the breasts of them with deep concern. Those Christians; and those who are not who had long sat under the sound Christians, are no longer able to of the gospel, and heard all its solregard them with that indifference emn warnings, and its tremendou: they once did. In a time of de- threatenings, without being moved, clension, professors of religion do now hear them with terror and not seem to regard the things of dismay, and ask, with trembling eternity as realities. They are solicitude, what they must do to be able to look around upon those who saved. Some are not only awak are out of the ark of safety, and ened to a sense of their danger, feel no strong emotions. They but are also convicted of sin. They can see their dearest earthly friends see that their hearts are enmity going on in sin, and not give them against God, and that they are warning. They can contemplate justly condemned by his righteous them as condemned already, with law. And some are not only conthe wrath of God abiding on them, victed of sin, but are savingly conand liable every moment to drop verted to God. Their hearts of into hell, and make no effort to enmity are changed to love. They rouse them to a sense of their dan- are made willing in the day of his ger. But in the time of a revival, power. They begin to rejoice in they feel differently.
God with joy unspeakable. When Finally. Sinners are awakened, such things take place, there is a convicted, and converted. Those revival of religion. who had long been entirely regard
A Friend to Revivals. less of divine things, now view
Ution Christ. Repos.
ON THE PREVALENCE OF SOCIXIANISX.
I have lately been looking over No. III.
some pamphlets on the Socinian
controversy, published at Boston in [Continued from page 39.]
1815. It was in that year that In my first number, I pointed out the covert policy which the advothe manner in which Socinianism cates of error had been long pursuwas introduced and propagated in ing, was laid open by the publicaNew-England, by the gradualtion of their private correspondence, abandonment of truth, the preva- with their friends in Europe. On lence of that spurious charity which the publication of that corresponconsists in kind feelings towards er dence, they felt compelled to say ror, the crying down of doctrinal something in their own vindication. and instructive preaching, and the As they were charged with working crying up of what was called practi in the dark, and practising concal religion as constituting all that cealment for the purpose of more is important in Christianity. In my effectually spreading their sentisecond number, I mentioned some ments, they wished to repel the reasons why the general spread of charge. To do this, they endeavSocinianism though the American oured to make it appear, that it churches is to be apprehended; par- was all from the love of peace, ticularly the fact, that the causes an aversion to religious controverwhich have contributed to its intro- sy, and the desire of promoting duction and spread in New-Eng- practical religion among all classes. land, are silently operating in eve- They renewed their professions of ry ditection.
universal charity, liberality, and