« AnteriorContinuar »
in scripture, that many errors and have been overruled for good, and false sentiments fhould spring up rendered in various ways subserviamong Christians. It is declared, ent to the cause of truth and rethat “false Christs and false prophic ligion. They have lead to a more ets shall arife--that many fhall folc diligent study of the scriptures and low their pernicious ways-thatto a more critical examination of there must be herefies among you the doctrines of the gospel. Thus that they which are approved may the evidence or foundation of the be made manifest--that the time truths of religion has been more will come, when they will not en- thoroughly scannedandunderstood, dure found doctrine ; but after their and religious light and knowledge own lufts shall heap up to themselves increased. These differences in teachers, having itching ears, and opinion have also most effectually that they shall turn away their ears secured the scriptures from being from the trutli, and shall be turned corrupted or altered ; as the differunto fables.” The scriptures also 'ent Christian feets, which have plainly teach the caufe of these | existed ever since the days of the errors and false fentiments among apostles, have carefully watched those, who arë favored with the over one another in this refpect. gospel-that they originate from For the Bible being spread among the native depravity and opposition all the different fects, if any one of the human heart against God | fc&t bad made any material alterand divine truth. For it is declar ation, the others would immedied, that “the carnal mind is en fately have detected, and exclaimimity against God; that men hate ed against it. And none can ruthe light, and love darkness rather tionally fappofe, that all the varithan light, because their deeds are ous fects, who were at variancë evil--that their understanding is with each other, were scattered in darkened, because of the blindness many diftant countries, and who alt or hardness of their heart-and esteemed the scriptures to be given that God shall send them strong | by divine inspiration, would unidelusions to believe a lie ; because verfally agree in corrupting all the they received not the love of the copies of the Bible by additions or truth.” These considerations ea- | alteration. This is an event mo. fily and fully account for the many rally impossible. There is there. errors and different sentiments, fore the most convincing, fatisfyprevalent in the Christian world ing evidence from this, as well as Yea, these errors and differing o. from other considerations, that we pinions are fo far from being any have the bible pure and authentic, evidence against the Bible or Chrif | as it was left by the apostles. Thus tianity, that they fulfil its predic the unhappy divisions and diffentions, confirm its truths or doc tions, which through the pride, trines, and thus greatly increase | felfishness, and depravity of manthe proof in favor of it.
kind and the devices of Satan have Altho' these differences in reli- arisen in the Christian church, have gious sentiments among Chriftians, | been the means of greatly confirmare in many respects unhappy and ing the truth, and securing the injurious to the cause of Christ | purity of the scriptures. originate from depravity, and im It is evident from these various ply criminality in the erroneous ; considerations, that the difference yeć thro' the wisdom of God they of opinions among those called
Christians, affords no proof against tainly reject the truth, fall into fathe truth of the scriptures, but in tal errors, and ruin ourselves forvarious ways confirms them. Con ever. As many errors are prep. sequently it must be exceedingly. alent, our danger is the greater, unreasonable and dangerous to dis and therefore there is more need of believe the bible, or neglect reli- care and watchfulness, that we be gion on this account. It is a most not led astray, and so fall short of fatal delusion of Satan to render heaven. Hence the Lord Jesus finners easy in their neglect of di directs us to “ Pirive (or agonize) vine things, and in the road to de- to enter into the strait gate” from struction. On the contrary, this the consideration, that “ many diversity of sentiments ought to shall seek to enter in and not be excite us to a most serious, dili-able.” Since there is the most gent, and prayerful attention, that | satisfactory evidence of the truth we may escape dangerous and fatal | of the scriptures, nothing can be errors, and find and embrace the more unreasonable and stupid than truth, necessary to salvation. to quiet ourselves, as many do, in When we consider the importance a careless neglect of divine things, of divine trutlı, as it concerns our because there is a great variety of everlasting happiness and misery, , religious sentiments, or many erand how liable we are to fall into rors, among those, called Chrishurtful and fatal errors through tians. This in fact is saying, beour depravity and opposition to the cause our danger is great, there trutb ; it ought to excite us anx- fore we will take no care to escape iously and candidly to seek after di- lit. Can anything be more irrasine knowledge as silver, and tional, especially when we considsearch for it as for hidden treaf- er, that our eternal all is at fake? ure. We should seek divine truth Is it not acting directly contrary with a disposition to receive and to the dictates of common prupractise it, and daily look to God ] dence ? For in temporal concerns the great Father of lights, by fer-:when our danger is great, we are vent prayer to illuminate our minds, the more anxious and careful to see keep us from error, and lead us in sure ourselves against it. Those the way everlasting. We should therefore who Aatter themselves, be exceedingly cautious of giving that there is little or nothing in reway to our sinful and selfish preju- | ligion, or niake themselves easy in dices, and of disbelieving or neg- the neglect of it, on account of the lecting truth and duty, because different religious opinions among . they are contrary to our depraved Christians, are guilty of great folly feelings, left we reject the counsel and stupidity are in the snare of of God against ourselves. Since, the devil, and unless they can be as our Saviour declares, “ Men awakened to a sense of their wick. hate the light, and love darkness edness and danger, they will cerrather than light ;” it is certain, tainly perish. that our natural feelings will be op. But if we will carefully and posed to the great truths of the candidly seek the truth with a dirgospel. This shows, that our disposition cordially to receive and liking any particular doctrine is no practise it, daily looking to God esidence against its truth, and that I for light and direction, we fall if we give way to our natural feel. I certainly be led into the truth so far
For ings and prejudices, we shall cer: as is necessary to salvation.
Christ declares, “ If any man, 'pose or hope, that you are rewill do the will of my Father, he conciled to God?” In answering shall know of my doctrine, wheth- this question, they were desired to er it be of God.” It is also said, I give an hiftory of such exercises of “ The meek will he guide in judg. their minds, as they might think ment, the meek will he teach his proper and suitable, and especially way.” In a concern of such in such, as might tend to bring into finite consequence, and where the view the dealings of God with danger is so great, we cannot be them, and the effects produced on too careful and diligent. But to their own minds, froin the time be careless and negligent, when that they were at first awakened, our eternal happiness and misery until that day. Each gave the rethus lie at stake, is the highest lation requested. They were sol. madness.
emn, and none of the spectators
were unaffected. Had you been To Miss N
present, I am confident it would
have produced a pause in your haLETTER I.
bitual mirth.--After hearing the Ma'am,
relation of one, it was natural to V OU have been informed, that conclude, that I had, in effect,
it has pleased God to pour heard them all. But it was far out his spirit, on the people in this otherwise. Each had his own pe1own. A goodly number, of dif culiar trials. There was a wonferent ages, and of both sexes, en- derful variety in the accounts, they tertain a persuasion, that they are gave of God's dealings with them, reconciled to God ; and inany | and of their own exercises. Some have joined the church. . Our were suddenly surprifed with a Minister has adopted a method, sense of their danger, and made which certainly affords such as at. acquainted with their guilt ; with tend, much satisfaction and instruc-others, convictions came on more tion. When one, or more, apply | gradually. One received his first to him for admission into the impressions at the sanctuary, anothchurch, he publicly calls on a com- er, by reading the bible, a third, mittee, appointed by the church, to at his work by himself, and anoth-, affist him in the examination of the cr, by hearing of the supposed concandidates. · All the members of version of a neighbour. There the church, who desire it, attend. was the fame diversity thro' their I was lately present myself, when whole relations. They were bro’t about a dozen, several of them by different means, to a knowledge young people, were examined. It of the utter depravity of their OWA was one of the most affecting and hearts. Some acknowledged, that instructive seasons I ever saw. I they had had'dreadful heart-risings shall attempt some description of it. against the doctrines of the gospel. But one must have been present, One, on pretence of a visit, had to have an adequate idea of the left her father's house for several pleasure it inspired.--After some days, because she supposed that introductory observations, the Rev. | God had bestowed saving mercy Mr. -- , put to each of the can- on one of her sisters, and had left didates, successively, a question to her in a state of condemnation, this purpose, “ What are the rea which fo exasperated her heart afons, which have led you to sup-'gainst both God, and the subject
of his grace, that she could not, God, trust in Christ, abhor fin, and endure the sight of her. Anoth-pant after proficiency in grace. er, when he had heard that a Your acquaintance, the amiable, neighbour had obtained an hope deliberate and modest Miss C-, that he was renewed, secretly about 17 or 18 years of age, was wished that it might prove false ; among the number. When the for then he thought, his condition question was proposed to her, she would be no better, but worse than dropped her eyes, and appeared his own. Others had fearful en- to retire from the idea of the pres. mity against God, because he did ence of the company, into a renot accept of their prayers and collection of her own past exerciservices, and give them peace. ses, and with a simplicity, truly afSome were on the point of deter- fecting (I am confident you your : mining that they would lay aside self would have acknowledged it all attention to serious things, but | so,) he observed, that from a litwere powerfully prevented, by an tle child, she had thought of feri. unseen hand. And it appears, that ous things, but never realized them, it was a reflection on the horrible till within this year. She correctwickedness of a train of such like ly stated the time, and occasion of excuses, which led some of them her seriousness the methods she to an acquaintance with their own took to avert the wrath of God hearts, and convinced them, that the exercises of her mind on his they were desperately wicked. O. | character, law and governmentthers were led to it by noticing the on Christ, and the doctrines of the selfishness, and sinful nature of those gospel-on her own doings, and reputed duties, by which they had the impurity and awful wickedness sought to conciliate the favor of of that heart of hers, which you God. But in one way or another, have always esteemed so excelall had arrived to this conviction lent. I assure you the considered of their extreme wickedness.---- it abominable. And the proceedThere was no less diversity attend- / ed distinctly to relate the alteraing the circumstances of their re- tion in her views and feelings ceiving comfort, and their views towards moral and divine things, and exercises, when bro't home to from whence the now dates the Christ, as I cannot but hope they beginning of her spiritual life. She all really were. One was in a stated her present exercises, hopes kind of transport of wonder, praise and fears respecting her own state, and admiration, at the discoveries and the reasons of them. Had of the glory and perfections of you been present, you could not God; while the most part were have resisted the conviction, that more deliberate, their enmity subli- there is indeed such a thing as ex. ded, and they approved the things, perimental religion. Her intimate which they had opposed. And acquaintance observe too, that Since then, their Christian experien- her religion has improved the ces have been as various, as their cheerfulness, and sweetness of her exercises were before. Their trials, amiable disposition. You need not victories, comforts, joys and de- fear, that your friend is spoilt, and pressions have been different. In that when you visit these parts, a word, each heart knows its own you will be disgulled with a melanbitterness, and its own refresh- choly gloominess of spirit, where ments. All however appear to love you once saw so many social qual.
ities. She is improved, and will , “ Men may live fools, but fools they receive you with greater pleasure.
cannot die.” When this part of the examina TATROS was born of reputa. cion was finished, the minister pro IJ ble parents in an inland town ceeded to examine them in their in Connecticut. While in early knowledge of the doctrines and in life, he lost his father and was ftitutions of the gospel. But I left, with several brothers and file have been lengthy already, and ters, to the care of his mother, must reserve that, for the subject of She was a pious woman and fin another letter. It will however de cerely desirous that her children pend on the manner in which you might become truly religious. She receive this, whether or not, you therefore daily commended them will ever be acquainted with any to God in prayer, and took great thing further on the subject. pains to teach them to reverence I am, &c.
the character, word, and institus
tions of Jehovah ; and by precept For The CONNECTICUT Evan
and the more commanding induGELICAL MAGAZINE.
ence of example to teach them
obedience to the divine commands. Melirs. Editors,
Such were the circumstances of the I WAS ftruck with two pie- family, that Jatros, while but 2 ces in your last number, viz. the youth, was obliged to leave home death of Diphormia and the death and enter on business for himof Rubricus. The reading of self. Having left his mother and them very deeply interested me, the family, he soon forgot the piand at the same time reminded me ous counsels which she had given of the death of a friend, who like him ; being engaged in the active them had embraced the pernicious business of life, he foon lost all reprinciples of infidelity, but in his gard for religion and became anx. last fickness was led to see that the ious for nothing but to acquire system he had adopted was with property. He abstained from gross out foundation, and as it is believ. vices, and was regular in his mor. ed, to embrace the truth as it is in als, not however from a love of Jesus, in the knowledge and love virtue, but because he thought an of it. Such instances afford a stri- l externally virtuous conduct necel. king display of the power and fary for the advancement of his grace of Christ, and ought there. views with regard to the acquififore to be published to the world. tion of property. To gain an el. Should you think proper, you will tate that he might live in ease and please to insert in your useful Mag. | affluence became the fole object of azine the following sketches of his his pursuit, and so engrossed his life and death. For particular rea mind as to leave no room for relifons I choose to conceal his real gious meditation. At times, howname and shall call him by the ever, the instruction, which he had Dame of JATROS--the circumstan- received from his mother would ces, however, which I shall relate occur to his mind ; and to relieve will be founded on facts of which himself from the uneasy sensations I have certain knowledge.
which this occasioned, he adopted Yours, &c.
the principles of universal falva, BENEVOLUS.
tion, and perfuaded himself to beAvgust 18, 1800.
lieve, that as God was a good be