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which he advocates, be leaves bis to offer precepts of righteousness, by statements to produce, without ad. which they should not be directed to ventitious aid, their proper effect their origiual purity. The law of Chrisupon his hearers. He is more tianity is, at once, a law of faitli, and a anxious for their profit, iban for law of holiuess ;-of faith, by remitting a mere gratifying expression of his the merits of another, even of our Lord
us, for our justification before God, to own sympathy, and the relief of and Saviour Jesus Christ ;-and of holi. his own burdened feelings. He ness, by exhibiting to us a perfect tran. therefore leaves with them as his script, both by precept and example, of parting words the following digest the holiness we have lost. It does more of the Christian Religion, which for than merely exhibit to us such a tranclearness, precision, and strength, script.
It directs us to effectual me. well deserves quotation.
thods, by which we are enabled again to
aspire after its resemblance. Weak, it “ If we imagiue Christianity to be a
offers us the means of spiritual strength; mere set of moral precepts, a law to be
and dead as we may be represented to observed, and a proportionate reward be in trespasses and sins, it furnishes to be obtained at last, we virtually ro.
the means of life and peace, through establish a law of works; by which it is
the sanctifying influences of the Holy expressly declared, as the very foun. Spirit. dation of Christianity, that 'no flesh
“ Christianity, viewed in this light, can be justified. if, on the other hand, admits indeed of no reliance upon ourwe regard it as a mere exemption from selves, either for the attainment of parthe law of works, on a supposed plea of don, or for the practice of righteousness. faith; or a hope of pardon, on the con
But yet it must be considered as leaving dition of sincere, instead of perfect, obe.
no ground for fear to the truly penitent dience: then we each become the judge and awakened sinner; whilst it offers of onr own sincerity; we indulge a hope the gratification of their evil inclina
no encouragement to those who seek of pardon on most uncertain grounds; we may still love the sin we partially tions. To every alarm of the humbled forsake, and loathe the righteonsuess we
and awakened conscience, it replies by partially practise ; and, in truth, render representing the fulness of the atoning the Gospel of Christ the means of encou
Sacrifice for sin : but to every rising inragement in a negligent and worldly clination to indulge sinful desires, or practice. Against both these errors it sinful practices, it replies, by pointing has been my object, as I believe it to be to the purity of the Divine law, and the the end of true Christianity, to guard fulness of Divine grace. The wilful yon.
sinner finds no refuge whatsoever in the “ Christianity, we must consider, is
code of pure Christianity. The selfintended to furnish an adequate remedy deceiver is driven from every strong for the existing disorder of human na.
bold; the careless roused from every 'ture. That disorder consists in a de- lalling consideration; and no security is parture from our original righteousness;
offered to any, bat in a submission to an inclination, of our own pature, to
the humbling and purifying doctrines of evil; and, by consequence, an exposure
the Cross of Christ.” pp. xi-xiv. to the wrath and displeasnre of God. The remedy for this must be, to restore
of the general utility of the as by other means than our own merits, work we shall now endeavour to to the favour of God which we have for enable our readers to judge for feited; and, at the same time, to lead us themselves by a view of its conback to the very paths of righteousness tents, which we believe will justify which we have forsaken. Every thing our honest recommendation of it to short of this must be regarded as inap- general attention, as being no less plicable, or inadequate to our need; adapted to the ivstruction of the and, therefore, not as the language of public at large than to that of the true Christianity. To the guilty it were inapplicable to propound a law, by obe. persons originally addressed. dience to which they should procure
The plan on which Mr. Hoare their own justification before God: and bas proceeded differs from that of to the depraved, it were also inadequate many of his predecessors in the
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 244. 2 G
same department of theology. His pronounces apon “ a world lying object is not so much to describe in wickedness.” In these and the basis, commencement, and other varieties however, in the growth of the Christian character, mode of appeal, which may be as to exhibit that character in its found among the advocates of the maturity; built indeed on the foun- same holy cause, we cannot but dation of the Apostles and prophets, trace the goodness of God, who Jesus Christ himself being the chief would have his religion, in this recorner-stone, and deriving thence spect, accommodate itself to the all its stability and support, but almost infinitely varying cases and called forth into the actual opera- characters of men. In this light, tions of private, social, and civil indeed, we have been disposed to life. Mr. Walker, of Truro, when view the variety of representations advocating the same cause in bis which our Lord gives of his king“ Christian," published in the year dom. In these especially, and in 1755, following the more common the whole volume of Inspiration, plan, traced the character of the there is argument for the reasoning true believer, from what may be mind; persuasion for the docile; termed its first beginnings, through illustrations to arrest the imaginathe successive stages of conviction tion; and, for those who bave a of sin and danger, up to faith in taste for the beautiful, such a picChrist, and reconciliation with God; ture of perfect virtue as could not and thence to the renovation of bis fail, if ihe heart of man were not corrupt nature by the Holy Spirit, debased in its perceptions by sin, to and his advance in every Christian delight and instruct them. Here, and virtuous attainment. Dod- in short, in greater or less degrees, dridge, in his Rise and Progress are reproof, correction, and estaof Religion in the Soul, and many blishment in righteousness, that the other authors have followed a some- man of God may be perfect; and what similar plan.
that all may be left without excuse Now each of these two methods in their neglect or rejection of has its respective conveniences and Divine truth. defects. If to begin with the state- Mr. Hoare's volume consists of ment of our lost condition by nature, eight sermons on the Christian Cha. and to conduct the sinner through racter; and six occasional sermons the regular stages of conviction on some of the principal seasons to and conversion, carry with it to which the church, with each revolvthe mind something more directly ing year, directs the attention of her awakening and awful; it yet labours members. As the chief object of under the disadvantage of seeming the work is the exhibition of the to prescribe to all men, notwith- Christian character, we shall attach standing the variety in their cir- ourselves principally to the dis, cumstances and dispositions, the courses upon that subject. The same train of thought and feeling topics of this series are as follow:in their return to God. On the Sermon I. The Christian Name. other hand, if the picture of the II. The Christian in his Closet.Christian character, in its pre-emi- III. The Christian in his family.nent features, and with its aitendant IV. The Christian in his Church. graces, be less arbitrary and syste- V. VI. & VII. The Christian in the matic in itself, and less revolting to World. - VIII. The Christian in the worldly mind; if its appeal be Death. less to our fears, and more to the The first discourse has evidently imitative part of our nature, it must exercised the Author's ingenuity. be allowed that it is also less for. He states hypothetically, the three cible in its remonstrances, and less different ways by which Christians decisive in the sentence wbich it may have received the name they bear; and whether they obtained the Christian. And this point is the it as a stigma of reproach from their more important in proportion to the enemies; or whether they assumed liability to two different errors very it on their own authority by way of common in the present day. Many necessary distinctiou between them- persons are apt to substitute attenselves and the world; or whether tion to the external forms of religion, they were divinely commissioned and an open avowal of their creed, to adopt it; be asserts, that “we for the spirit and temper, the heamust regard ourselves as most im- venly mindedness and the deadness peratively called to inquire into the to the world, required by the Gocondition, character, and obliga spel; wbilst a still larger number tion connected with so sacred a consider their baptism and educamark,"..
tion as of necessity constituting The author's observations on the them, to all desirable purposes, place where this distinctive badge the disciples of a crucified Master. was first attained, are a fair speci- And though this sermon does not men of his manner of writing: - in every part keep fully in view
that broad line of distinction wbich “ The origin of the Christian name, in reference to the place where it first must ever subsist between nominal arose, affords one instance of the
and real religion, yet the following
many signal and instructive triumphs of Di. spirited and discriminating applivine grace in the progress of Christ- cation of the subject to ihe conianity-Antioch, the mistress of an em- science will sufficiently atiest the pire once large and celebrated in the author's clear and scriptural sentiannals of heathenism, is recorded, in ments upon this point. the verses preceding the text, as the first heathen city which embraced the
“ To be a Christian is, as we have Gospel. - This city, once held in sway by a tyrannical and persecuting Epi- not only by His sharing our bnman na
seen, to be allied to Christ; and this, phanes, was seen to admit into its bosom
ture, but by our own participation in a few unprotected preachers of the
His divine nature. It is to have His Christian faith. Antioch, the seat of learning and the arts, but infamous for Spirit within us ; to be made in the the must flagitious vices, and the prac. and inestimable privileges of the breth
image of God; to aspire after the lofty tice of most abominable idolatries, lis.
ren of Christ, a share in His righteoustened with attention to the humbling
ness, an admission through Him into the and self-denying doctrines of the religion of Jesus: and so great was the number presence of the most holy God, a fel
low-inheritance with Him in eternal of converts, that here they gained their first Gentile settlement, and a name in. glory. To be a Christian, is, we have dicating their existence as a religious doctrines of the Cross, which lay low
further seen, to believe the humbling community. • They which were scat
the pride of man, and bring us, as needy tered abroad, upon the persecution that
supplicants, to the Throne of Mercy; arose about Stephen, travelled as far as
it is, ever to follow the self-denying prePhenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch.
cepts, the meek and lowly example, of And some of them, when they were come
our Saviour.-Compare then, my brethlo Antioch, spake unto the Grecians,
ren, this character with that of too preaching the Lord Jesus. And the
many in the world, calling themselves hand of the Lord was with them: and a
Christiaus. Are they Christians, who are great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.'” pp. 2, 3.
too proud to confess, and much too fond
to forsake, those very sius, from which The difficulty of Mr. Hoare's Christ came to redeem them į still, subject consisted in shewing, with however, perhaps, trusting in them
selves, to be saved by works of rightesufficient clearness, the difference
ousness which they have done, not acbetween the mere profession, and cording to that mercy which He hath the power of religion; and in con- purchased for us by His own blood? Decting, in the strictest union, the Are they Christians, who choose, in new name with the new nature of preference to bimself, the things which Christ has taught ns to despise; who quently, but improperly urged, of are lovers of pleasure, more than lovers intense occupation in a worldly of God? Are they. Christians, whose calling, as leaving no time for the ambitiou terminates in the poor and low attainments of this present state; the following passage, in which the
duties of the closet, we meet with who seek the honour of men, not that which cometh of God only? Are they
author not only exposes the futiChristians, who follow closely and pre. lity of this exouse, but describes the cisely, not the rule of the Gospel which beneficial effects produced, on the they have in profession assumed, but the general habits, by the conscientious practice and opinions of men, which application even of a small potthey have professed to forsake ? In tion of time, daily, to the purposes short, are they Christians, whose exam- of devotion. ple is not Christ, but the world; and who, when both are clearly and plainly
“ The true reason why so many perset before them, will choose the course
sons in the world can find no time for which makes for their present interest, the retired devotions of the closet, rather than that which tends to the amoupts, after every excuse, to this, that
they daily mispend or waste that porglory of Christ, or assimilates them 10 His Divine image? My brethren, exa.
tion of their time which they might demine yourselves conscientionsly, and as
vote to religious purposes, and the salif before God, by these tests; and ac
vation of their souls. What, then, is cording as conscience decides, so place necessity of giving in each day some
the remedy? Teach them the strict yourselves, or not, amongst those who were, in the first ages of a pare church,
time, some thought and attention to their called Christians.'
spiritual concerns ; and they will then pp. 16, 17.
look for moments which may be so emThe next sermon presents to us ployed; and soon will find themselves " the Christian in his closet," from able to dedicate to retirement, and to the words of the Psalmist; “Stand in God, what else had been employed on awe, and sin not; commune with trifling pursnits, idle company, sinful your own heart upon your bed, and pleasures, or vain amusements. Thas be still.” (Psa. iv. 4.) From this dis- ed. We shall live under the impression
will a sober economy of time be induc. course we quote the following just that every moment has its value for description of the nature of true some important purpose; and what is religion, as demanding retirement more, that every moinent, as it passes, for the purpose of keeping alive hastens to a durable record on high its salutary impressions.
from which it will, with its employment, "The nature of Christ's religion is such, us, at a future day. Valning our time
again appear, either for us or against as both to need, and to court retirement for religions purposes, we should then Its principal seat is within the soul; also be led to employ it discreetly in where in secret it exerts its influence temporal affairs. A real and effective on the thoughts and affections, and pre. industry for hoth worlds would grow up sides over the springs and first move
together; and increased usefulness to ments of life. Where then will the
our family and friends would result from Christian more readily be found, than
a plan, which still test room for profitwhere the heart may have its freest able retirement, self-recollection, preexercise, and the thoughts their fullest paration for heaven, and delightfal conscope; and the mind, collected within
verse with our God and Saviour. pp. itself, may watch the growth of its own 37, 38. spiritnal principles? Privacy, the solitary place, and lonely hour will be dear
The next sermon, on " the Cbris. to the religious man for such
tian in his family," affords us the
purposes. And bearing the imperative command, picture of a well-ordered bouse• Keep thy heart with all diligence,' he hold, exemplifying not the prowill much desire, and often plan, the fessed principles only, but the resecret opportunity for examining his newed dispositions, of those who beart, and discerning its thoughts and
are placed at its head; where reintentions. pp. 24, 25.
gular instruction is accompanied In reply to the excuse too fre- and enforced by a consistent sober
example; where a sober cheerfulness with his bigh and holy profession; and and a cheerful seriouspess bespeak would tremble at the thought, that his the repose of a good .conscience; presence should prove a corse in his
house rather than a blessing. And if and where the glory of God and
in the humblest domestic station, he the everlasting benefit of men are
will study to adorn it with a meek and the commanding principles of action.
quiet spirit, which in the sight of God Whoever has witnessed the power is of great price. He will remember, of religion, as evinced in the cbase that even the little maid in the house tised babits and devotional regula- of Naaman the Syrian, was qualified to rity, yet real enjoymenis, of a truly prove a blessing to her master: and for Christian family will not wonder himself, he will desire that his charac. that, within this sacred enclosure, ter may agree with that of the Psal. the vanities of the world are super tion, yet do I not forget thy command
mist; • I am small, and of no reputa. seded by the higher resources of
ments.'" pp. 56-58. intelligence and piety. lu these scenes of domestic retirement, the It was to be expected that Faworldling and the infidel might mily Prayer would be advocated find their most unanswerable resu- in a sermon of this kind, and that tatiop; and the sincere, though at weight given to this necessary featimes dejected, servant of Christ, ture in the Christian's hfe which it his best earthly encouragement and deserves. We are glad to be able support. The influence of example, to furnish our readers with an ex, in producing these salutary effects tract, which, if duly considered, upon a small community united can scarcely fail to produce coq, under the same roof, is well- viction as to the obligation of this described in the following quota. important, but even to this day too tion.
much neglected, duty. “ In addition to precept, the force of
“ But I must here more particularly example is not to be forgotten, in keep- advert to a practice, which may be truly ing up family religion. The reflecting considered as first and last in the ar. Christian is aware of the strength of rangements of the Christian Family; this most important engine in society, and that is, Family Prayer. This is inthis magnet, as it were, of secret at deed the ooly staled occasion on which traction felt through all the system of the Christian can acknowledge God in haman motives, and human conduct. his family; and this is the proper opporIt has this most peculiar advantage, tunity for diffusing religious instruction that, as the highest may influence the through his house. As we have here a lowest by the force of example, so even
subject of great inoment, and through the lowest may benefit and improve the a too frequeut neglect of the duty callhighest rank. This, which may be ing for the most serions admonition, every where exemplified, is never more. permit inė, diy brethren, to premise my powerfully felt, than amongst the seve- observations on it, with one remark of ral branches of the same family. The general application. It is this, that if features of the mind, as it is said of the we acknowledge the duty of assembling body, become assimilated in our fre. the members of our household night quent iutercourse with each other. And and morning, for the purpose of social this influence will more especially de- worship and bearing the word of God, scend from the higher to the lower
no consideration whatever of its singubranches. It is often observable, that larity, or of its inconvenience, should the character of the master will be that be suffered to interfere with its perforof his whole household.-Koowing, in
mance. Domestic arrangements night short, how much may depend upon it, very soou be made to bend to this ob. the Christian will ever be careful to ject: they ought to do so; and it is a guard both wbat he says, and what he tact, that no families are so well ordered does, within the circle of the family. as those which begia and end the day If at the head of it, be would be with family prayer. A family without ashamed to appear before its yonthful prayer has been well compared to "a or lower members, bat in consistency garment without bem er selvage. And