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be in such employments ! - Reader, what are your sentiments on this subject? Can you, and do you, join issue in it? Surely, Charity herself, with all the energies she possesseth, cannot hope that a heart deadened to divine impressions upon earth, can be alive to their enjoyment in Heaven! And certain it is, if we do not relish the sweet pleasures of devotion God hath appointed for men here below, never shall we attain, or even if attained, truly relish, the felicities of that rest, which remaineth for the people of God.

R. HAWKER. Plymouth

FREE THOUGHTS ON THE PROPRIETY, IMPORTANCE, AND ADVANTAGES, OF

FAMILY MEETINGS.

In the morning of this world's existence, it was declared by Infinite Wisdom, who is perfectly acquainted with the constitution of human nature, -"It is not good that man should be alone,” the divine benevolence provided him with a help-meet; and, in proportion as the family of our primitive parents increased, in that degree there was wider scope given for the exercise of the social affections. Man multiplied, new families were established, they spread, seperater, and peopled the eastern continent. In process of time, when the maintenance of a large family became arduous, the younger branches arriving at years of discretion, went forth to procure their own livelihood. To show, however, that they gladly embrace opportunities of a general family-meeting, I exhibit a particular model. --Job had three sons and seven daughters; and the sacred historian tells us, that “ they went and feasted in their houses, every one in their day.” The expediency of such associations, not only appears from their occasionally collecting the scattered members of dispersed househoids together, but also from the oppor.unities they give of mutual congratulations on anspicious events. There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; the domestic circle assembled at a festival, and Jesus graced it with his presence. In a parabolic representation of the conversion of a younger son, such was the joy of the father and the rest of the relations, that they killed the fatter! calf; they ate and were merry: no member of the family, who could conveniently attend, was allowed to be absent; for the elder son was upbraided, on account of his delay in not appearing among the guests at the appointed time. The best robe and ring aclorned the restored relative; the paternal roof resounded with " dulce music;" wito the hornionies of the tabret and the pipe, was addei ili VOLLE BODO of "'This my son was deal, but is alive agai; vas lest, but now is founi.” Interviews of this hind, santioned by the high anthority of

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Scripture, and by the legitimate rules of expediency, have their peculiar advantages; for,

Ist, Distance engenders coolness, even between loving friends ; and more particularly when it is authorized by an act of the will. On the contrary, communion strengthens the ties of affectionate union; whether between man and wife, parent and child, sisters and brethren : and,

2dly, An occasional family - meeting shews to all around, that its members are firmly bound together by the endearments of domestic charity. I love to hear it said by others, - Behold, how good, and low pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! - Pagans exclaim,- Sce how these Christians love one another!

Sdly, These meetings furnish those who attend them, and who are engaged in active life, with a favourable opportunity for free and unreserved discussion on plans of private comfort and public usefulness.

4thly, They may be termed “Ileaven's Remembrancers." In that house where there are many mansions, a most numerous, noble, and final family meeting will take plaee; the elder brother who, like Joseph, has been absent for a season, and is exalted to regal honours in the court of the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, shall then publicly declare his alliance.

There will be a banquet, whence the guests shall never rise; a desert fresh gathered from the Tree of Life, the wine of the kingdom to regale the joyful kindred, and this jubilant anthem shall be sung to the Saviour's praise : "Thou hast redeemed us, out of all kindreds and nations, and tongues, and people, under Ileaven.

I only add, that symptoms of boliness, and acts of worship, should accompany and follow such social interviews as I have described. In Joh's, which was real, -- in the prodigal's father, which was figurative, there was an offering of humility and praise. “Let us go and do likewise."

C.

(See a Hymn suited to this occasion in the Poetry.)

ON THE SLAVE TRADE

Sir,

To the Editor. Tuat period has now arrived which has been so long anel devoutly wished for in vain, by the triends of justice, and the rights of mankind, when Britain renounces, and will no longer allow, the degrading and intuitious traffick in the slavery and blood of the sons of Africa, Sulor carried on under the jaftuenee of sordid gain, to the everlasting reproach of the country! The

concern being nearly allied to the cause of Christianity, - the whole of its principles and commands being directly against every part of this odious trade, I appeal to the friends of religion and humanity, through the medium of your Magazine, not to be backward in showing some public mark of respect to that worthy individual, whose eloquence has been so powerfully exerted in the senatc, to rouse its indignation against it, and urge its abolition; that, to him I think with propriety we may now ascribe its non-existence, under the sincere support of the administration then in power.

The means I have to propose, is, That the body of Protestant Dissenters should enter into a Subscription, to present W. Wilberforce, Esq. with a valuable piece of Plate, accompanied with appropriate inscriptions, &c. or some such small but lasting proof of their approbation and esteem. He has already the gratitude of the virtuous part of the nation; but this trifling testimony will last when the present generation is no more, and may induce his successors to follow that path by which their ancestor has gained the esteem of his countrymen.

May be, and those who have supported this measure, continue going forward in this honourable work of ameliorating the state of Africa by civilization, and thereby opening a door for the spread of moral and religious truth, by which we may adıninister to their present and eternal happiness; — and thus, in some measure, endeavour to redress the wrongs which our country has for ages heaped upon her ! --and soon may the glad news be spread from pole to pole,

os That Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves,
For the hatred she ever has shown
To the black.scepter'd rulers of slaves,
Resolves to have none of her own."

P. S.

Evangelicana.

The late Thomas, Earl of Kinnoul, a short time before his death, in a long and serious conversation with the Rev. Dr. Kemp of Edinburgh, Thus expressed himself ; I have always considered the Atonement,” said he “ to be characteristical of the gospel, as a system of religion : strip it of that doctrine, and you reduce it to a scheme of morality, excelient indeed, and such as the world never saw ; but to man, in the present state of his faculties, absolutely impraeticable. The atonement of Christ, and the truths immediately comected with that fundamental principle, provide a remedy for all the wants and weaknesses of our nature. They who strive to remove those precious doctrines from the word of God, do an irreparable injury to the grand and beautiful system of religion which it contains, as well as to the comforts and hopes of man. For my own purt, I am now an old man, and have experienced the infirmities of advanced years. Of Bate, in the course of severe and dangerous illness, I have been repeatedly brought to the gates of death. My time in this world cannot now be long; but with truth I can declare, that, in the midst of all my past aiflictions, my heart was supported and comforted by a firm reliance upou the merits and atonement of my Saviour ; and now, in the prospect of entering upon an eternal world, this is the only foundation of my confidence and hope.”

- In these sentiments he steadily persevered, till on the 27th of Dec. 1787, he expired without a struggle or groan.

A HINT.

Taere is a certain species of imposition which prevails in this country, which, I am persuaded, even many of the genuine professors of Christianity, hy far too much countenance; and which, at this season of the year, it may not be improper, or un profitable, to caution them against.

Amongst the variety of Almanacks annually published, there are those which pretend to foretell suivre events. Il is easy to see the deceit and fallacy of their pretensions, which, at best, are but probable conjectures, founded upon the aspect of past or present existing circumstances. II this were all, it perhaps might be tolerated; but surely not worthy to be countenanced by professing Christianis. But what should render thein reculiarly odious, is, their professing to foretell future events by astrolorical calculations : a science, if it may be so called, which has ueiiber authority por countenance from the sacred Scriptures, but which is treated by them as heathenish and superstitione. Let those who have been parfiat to such vain productions, only icad Isaiah xlvii. 13, and Dan. ii. 27; aod iboy will there see what they are to be accounted of, and in what company they are to be found ; and let thern Icarn to despise their equivocal and artful insinuations, which are too freejuently blended with profanity; for is.it not profanity in them to atempt to paim their frauds upon mankind by Scripture quotations, which they seldom fail to do, especially Judges v. 20, and Job xxxvii. 31. neither of which teaches nos warrants any such practice. Had Baruch or Deboraia consulted the stars ? No such thing. Were not the sweet influences of Pleiades the same in Job's adversity as in his prosperity ? Certainly they were. Shall the sun, moon, and stars, which the Most High has divided, as benefits to all nations under Heaven indiscriminately, have a particular and moral influence attributed to them? What an approach to Heathenism this !

Glad should I be if some able pen wonid effectually expose the abovementioned abuse.

G. F.

ON THE INCARNATION.

“No less than a whole choir of angels are worthy to sing the hymn of glory to God, for the Incarnation of his Son! What joy is enough for us, whose nature he took, and whom he came to restore by his incarnation ? If we had the tongues of angels we could not raise this note higii enough to the praise of our glorious Redeemer! No sooner do the shepherds hear the news of a Saviour, than they ran to Bethlehem to seek hin. Those that left their bods to tend their flocks, leave their flocks to inquire afier their Saviour. No earthly thing is too dear to be forsaken for Christ. If we suffer any worldly occasion to stay us from Bethlehem, we care more for our sheep than our souls. It is not possible that a faithful heart should hear where Christ is, and not hasten to the sight, to the fruition of him. Where art thou, O Saviour, but at home in thine own house, in the assembly of thy saints! Where art thou to be found, bat in thy word and sacraments : Yea, there thou seekest for us. If there we hasie not to seek for thes, we are worthy to want thee; worthy that our want of thee here should make us want the presence of thy face for ever."

Bishop Hall.

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Dbituary.
MRS. ANN DRAKE,

and is the last sin that goes out it.'

To this just remark she gratefully Wife of the Rev. Joseph Drake, added, “ But the blood of Jesus of Newport, Essex, was about 18 Christ cleanses us from all sin." years of age when she began to Another of her godly friends, who think seriously upon divine things ; wrote the substance of what she and from that time had gradual dis- heard, thus informs us : coveries of her absolute need of first coming into the room, I was Jesus Christ. She joined the church struck with the great alteration that in May 1804, about a month after

appeared in her looks. When I her marriage.

mentioned that she had the prayers Being naturally diffident, she said

of her friends, and, above all, the but very little; and probably, from

prayers of Jesus, – she said, “ He fear of saying too much, she said intercedes.” This was a proof her too little. In the time of health

senses were clear and quick; and she was sorely tried by the Temp- she all at once burst forth in pathetér ; but not once assaulted in her

tic language to exhort us all to dying hours.

During the former " value the Scriptures ; peruse them part of her affliction, she complain

more, with prayer: and I desire ed much of her stupidity and hard- you (turning to her husband) would ness of heart; and said to her hus

tell all young people so to do, esband, “ I fear I never prayed, I

pecially my dear brothers; and not fear I have no religion.". But, in to read them as they would a ballad ; the last stage of her sufforings, her and to mind what company they fears for ever fled ; and she said to

keep. I have neglected the Bible a pious friend, “I am just going : too much; but that is all pardoned, I long to be gone! Life is sweet, with all the rest of my sins. I long but Jesus is sweeter! I am happy : to go home! Come, Lord Jesus, I have no fear of Death! I can come, Lord Jesus, and take me to cheerfully give up all! Let us once thyself. Why are thy chariotagain, for the last time, pray toge- wheels so long in coming? I wish ther. The next meeting we shall I had more patience to wait his have will be all praise ! I have had time. I have been filled with coinmany sweet refreshing seasons in his fort the last night.” When her courts below; and I am now going gladdened friend observed, “We to see him without a veil between ; never had such converse together and I have no more doubt of it before, she replied, “ No; I than I have of your sitting here. could not till now conycrse so freely It rejoices me to think I have many upon these things."

With great dear Christian friends that pray for earnestness she asked, “ Do you

I love my Newport friends doubt my sincerity?" -- but seemed but I can cheerfully leave thein. I satisfied on being assured we did hope the cause of God will be very not, and continued her conversaprosperous,

- that the little one tion: “ I am youuger than you all; will become a thousand ! Live in

but going lo Heaven first, I shall love and peace! Come, Lord Je- meet you there. I love my New sus, come quickly! He has loved

port friends.” It being observed to me, and washed me in his own

ħer, blood ! I can give up my husband

“ A feeble saint shall win the day, and child.”

Tho' Death and Hell obstruct the In smoothing the sleeve of her night-gown, she, with holy indig: she, with great pleasure, immedination, observed, “ Pride is the last thing that leaves us." To wbich

ne.

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ately said, " Nay, more than that: her friend replicd, ! Pride was the

“ Jesus can make a dying bed," &c. first sin that came into the world, adding, “ This head, even my un

way!")

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