Imagens das páginas
PDF

of his beloved Son. Having a new heart, and renewed in the spirit of their minds, liis praises will become their delightful employ. It is reserved for the preaching of the Gospel to effect the amelioration of the condition of the human race; and were there no heaven promised to the righteous, nor any hell threatened to the wicked, the prevalence of Christianity, and the accomplishment of its predictions and promises, would still be one of the mosi desirable things in the world, merely as they respect the state of society. How exceedingly glorious will be its triumph! We have have seen enough to convince us, that Africa and India —that superstition and slavery, will crumble into the dust, before the allcheering influence of the Sun of Righteousness. The enmity of nations against each other will subside; hostile nations will be hushed into peace; and the earth shall yield its increase. Even now the enmity which has too long subsisted among Christians is fast subsiding; and the time is at no great distance, when it shall be said, " Behold the tabernacle of God is with men." This will be realized in due time, for God himself is pledged to effectuate this mighty change, and as it does not depend .upon man, we need not fear its accomplishment.

The last particular regarded the means by which this change is to be brought about. When we contemplate its magnitude, we must instantly perceive that more than human power must be exerted to effect it. Yet it is the will of God, that human agency should co-operate with divine power. It is agreeable to his plan to make use of means. He raises up instruments, and he blesses them in their work. Ungodly men are unfit to preach Christ's gospel. The residue of the Spirit is with him—and the servants whom he qualifies he will also honour in effecting this great change. It may be asked, what means are the people of God to employ, in order to promote this great work in the world i The answer is, the diffusion of divine truth in the world. "The gospel of Christ, is the power of God unto the salvation of every one that believeth it" Here the preacher shewed the vast importance of translating the Scriptures into every language, and dwelt upon

it as an object of paramount importance. But then truth must also be diffused, by the labours of Missionaries—these two things must go hand in hand. Be descanted with great energy and truth, upon the incalculable benefits which have resulted to the world from the invention of the art of printing. "Had there existed a single printing press in all Asia Minor" said he, "to diffuse knowledge abroad, the seven churches of Asia would have existed to this day! Look at the church of Borne, and mark her jealousy of the circulation of the Scriptures. She well knows what is to be apprehended from the British and Foreign Bible Society, and we can readily accouut, for the anxiety manitested to counteract so mighty an engine of knowledge.

Mr. Winterbotham closed, what appeared to us, a very able Sermon by a most powerful appeal to his audience on the vast importance of the objects which the Baptist Mission has in view, and the necessity of encreased exertions among all its friends for its support; but we are wholly prevented by want of room, from enlarging on this part of the subject.

On Thurday morning, Mr. Hinton of Oxford preached the Annual Sermon in behalf of the Stepney Academical Institution, at Salter's Hall Meeting, from Gal. i. 11. our report of which is necessarily defered 'till next month. In the evening of the same day, the friends of the Mission assembled at half-past Six, at Mr. Goode's large meeting, White's Row, Spitalfields, to hear the Report of the state of the Mission and Translations, The Report this year had been drawn up by Mr. Dyer of Reading, and in a manner highly creditable to his talents and judgment. It was read by him in a very excellent style, and was listened to with marked attention. It occupied nearly one hour m the reading, and appeared to afford universal satisfaction. Towards the close of it he announced a fact of which the information has been recently received from India, viz. that the Bible is now completely printed in the Chinese language, by means of which, the way of salvation is made accessible to Three Hundre» «*

LIOSS OF OUR FELLOW CHEAIORBS.

[graphic]
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

NEW EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE)

theological &ebieto.

[graphic]

• • •" ii i --^=

; • >

THE DYING EXPERIENCE OF THE LEARNED AND PIOUS DR. JOHN OWEN.

It is entering into an invisible world, which it knows no more of than it hath received by faith. None hath come from the dead to

"Mr principal work having been now for a long season to die daily, as living in a continual expectation of my dissolution, I shall acquaint the reader with some few of my thoughts and reliefs, with Teference unto death itself.

"There are several things required of ns, that we may be able to encounterdeath cheerfully, constantly, and victoriously. For want of these, or some of them; I have known gracious souls whohavelived in a kind of bondage for fear of death, all their days. We know not how God will manage any of our minds and souls in that season, in that trial; for he acts towards us in all such things in a way of sovereignty. But these are the things which he requires of us in a way of duty.

"1. Peculiar actings of faith, to resign and commit our departing souis into the hand of him, who is able to receive them, to keep and preserve them, as also to dispose of them into a state of rest and blessedness, are required of us. The soul is now parting with all things here below, and that for ever. None of all the things which it hath seen, heard, or enjoyed by its outward senses, can be prevailed on to stay with it one hour, or to take one step with it in the voyage wherein it is eugaged: It must alone by itself launch into eternity.

▼Ot. Hi.

inform us of the Slate of the other world. Yea, God seems on purpose so to conceal it from us, that we should have no evidence of it, at least as unto the manner of things in it but what is given unto faith by divine revelation. Hence those who died and were raised again from the dead unto any continuance among men, as Lazarus, probably knew notliiivj** * invisible state. Their1. ere preserved by the powe^ i in their being, but bound up .. unto present operations: This made a great emperor cry out on the approach of death, O animnla, tremula, vagula, blandula ; quae nunc abibis in loca horrida, squtdida, &c. O poor trembling wandering soul into what places of darkness and defilement art thou going!

"How is it likely to be after the few moments, which under the pangs of death we have to continue in this world? Is it an annihilation that lies at the door? Is death the destruction of our whole being, so as that after it we shall be no more? So some would have the state of things to be. Is it a state of subsistence in a wandering condition up and down the world, under the influence of other more powerful 2 o

spirits that rule in the air, visiting tombs and solitary places, and sometimes making appearances of themselves, by the impressions of those more powerful spirits, as some imagine from the story concerning Samuel and the witch of Endor, and as it is commonly received in the Papacy, out of a compliance with their imagination of purgatory? Or is it a state of universal misery and woe? a state incapable of comfort or joy? Let them pretend what they please, who can understand no comfort or joy in this life, but what they receive by their senses, they can look for nothing else. And whatever be the state of this invisible world, the- soul can undertake nothing of its own conduct after its departure from the body. It knows that it must be absolutely at the disposal of another.

"Wherefore no man can comfortably venture on and into this condition, but in the exercise of that faith, which enables him to resign and give up his departing soul into the hand of God, who alone i»s&le to receive it, and to dispose at nito a condition of rest and blessedness. So speaks the apostle;" ** 1 am not ashamed, for I know on whom I' have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committexl unto him, against that day."

"Herein, as in all other graces, is our Lord Jesus Christ our great example. He resigned Iris departing spirit into the hands of his Father, to be owned and perserved by him in its state of separation. ** Father into thy Hands I commit my spirit," Luke xxiii. 46. as did the Psalmist his type, in a like condition, Psal. xxxi. 5. But the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ herein, the object and exercise of it, what he believed and trusted unto in this resignation of his spirit into the hand of God, is at large expressed in the 16th Psalm? "I have (saith he) set the Lord alway before me;

because he is at my right hand, f shall not be moved: Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory Tejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." He left his soul in the hands of God, in full assurance that it should suffer no evil in its state of separation, but should be brought again with his body info a blessed resurrection, and eternal glory. So Stephen resigned his soul departing uuder violence, intothe hands of Christ himself. Whenhe died, he said, "Lord Jesus rer ceive my spirit."

"This is the last victorious act of faith, wherein its conquest over the last enemy death itself doth consist. Herein the soul says in and unto itself: Thou art now taking leave of time unto eternity; all things about thee are departing as shades, and will immediately disap* pear. The things which thou art entering into are yet invisible, such as "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither will they enter into the heart of man fully to conceive." Now, therefore, with quietness and confidence give up thyself unto' the sovereign power, grace, truth, and faithfulness of God, and thou shalt find assured rest and peace. , "But Jesus Christ it is, who doth immediately receive the souls of them who believe in him. So we see in the instance of Stephen. And what can be a greater encouragement to resign them into his hands,, than a daily contemplation of his glory, in his person, his exaltation, his office and grace; Who that believes in him, that belongs unto him, can fear to commit his departing spirit unto his love, power and care? Even we also shall hereby, in our dying moments, see, by faith, heaven opened, and , Jesus standing at the right ban*

« AnteriorContinuar »