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be in such employments! 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
Reader, what are your sentiments
ON THE PROPRIETY, IMPORTANCE, AND ADVANTAGES, OF
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 esta-. blished, they spread, seperated, 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 shew, however, that they gladly embraced 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 opportunities they give of mutual congratulations on auspicious 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 represen tation of the conversion of a younger son, such was the joy of the father and the rest of the relations, that they killed the fatted 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 adorned the restored relative; the paternal roof resounded with "dulcet music ;" and to the harmonies of the tabrot and the pipe, was added the yoca song of "This my son was dead, but is alive again; was lost, but now is found."
Interviews of this kind, sanctioned by the high authority of
Scripture, and by the legitimate rules of expediency, have their peculiar advantages; for,
1st, 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 how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!-Pagans exclaim,-See how these Christians love one another!
3dly, 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 "Heaven's Remembrancers."- In that house where there are many mansions, a most numerous, noble, and final family meeting will take place; 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 Heaven."
I only add, that symptoms of holiness, and acts of worship, should accompany and follow such social interviews as I have described. In Job'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."
(See a Hymn suited to this occasion in the Poetry.)
ON THE SLAVE TRADE.
To the Editor.
THAT period has now arrived which has been so long and devoutly wished for in vain, by the friends of justice, and the rights of mankind, when Pritain renounces, and will no longer allow, the degrading and intoditous traffick in the slavery and blood of the sons of Africa, so long carried on under the influence 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 senate, 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 he, 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 administer 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,
"That Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves,
For the hatred she ever has shown
To the black-scepter'd rulers of slaves,
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 impracticable. The atonement of Christ, and the truths immediately connected 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 Jate, 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 afflictions, 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.
THERE is a certain species of imposition which prevails in this country, which, I am persuaded, even many of the genuine professors of Christianity, by far too much countenance; and which, at this season of the year, it may not be improper, or unprofitable, to caution them against.
Amongst the variety of Almanacks annually published, there are those which pretend to foretell future events. It 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. If this were all, it perhaps might be tolerated; but surely not worthy to be countenanced by professing Christians. But what should render them eculiarly odious, is, their professing to foretell future events by astrological calculations: a science, if it may be so called, which has neither authority nor countenance from the sacred Scriptures, but which is treated by them as heathenish and superstitious. Let those who have been parfial to such vain productions, only read Isaiah xlvii. 13, and Dan. ii. 27; and they will there see what they are to be accounted of, and in what company they are to be found, and let them icarn to despise their equivocal and artful insiuuations, which are too frequently blended with profanity for is it not profanity in them to attempt to palm their frauds upon mankind by Scripture quotations, which they seldom fail to do, especially Judges v. 20, and Job xxxviii. 31 neither of which teaches nor warrants any such practice. Had Baruch or Deborah 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 incaraation ? If we had the tongues of angels we could not raise this note high 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 him. Those that left their beds to tend their flocks, leave their flocks to inquire after 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 thee, we are worthy to want thee; worthy that our want of thee here should make us want the presence of thy face for Bishop Hall.
MRS. ANN DRAKE,
WIFE of the Rev. Joseph Drake, of Newport, Essex, was about 18 years of age when she began to think seriously upon divine things; and from that time had gradual discoveries of her absolute need of Jesus Christ. She joined the church in May 1804, about a month after her marriage.
Being naturally diffident, she said but very little; and probably, from fear of saying too much, she said too little. In the time of health she was sorely tried by the Tempter; but not once assaulted in her
dying hours. During the former part of her affliction, she complained much of her stupidity and hardness of heart; and said to her husband, "I fear never prayed, fear I have no religion." But, in the last stage of her sufferings, her fears for ever fled; and she said to a pious friend, "I am just going: I long to be gone! Life is sweet,
but Jesus is sweeter! I am happy : I have no fear of Death! I can cheerfully give up all! Let us once again, for the last time, pray together. The next meeting we shall have will be all praise! I have had many sweet refreshing seasons in his courts below; and I am now going to see him without a veil between; and I have no more doubt of it than I have of your sitting here. It rejoices me to think I have many dear Christian friends that pray for me. I love my Newport friends; but I can cheerfully leave them. I hope the cause of God will be very prosperous, that the little one will become a thousand! Live in love and peace! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! He has loved me, and washed me in his own blood! I can give up my husband and child."
In smoothing the sleeve of her night-gown, she, with holy indignation, observed, Pride is the last thing that leaves us." To which her friend replied, Pride was the first sin that came into the world,
and is the last sin that goes out it.' To this just remark she gratefully added, "But the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin"
Another of her godly friends, who wrote the substance of what she heard, thus informs us: “On my first coming into the room, I was struck with the great alteration that appeared in her looks. When I mentioned that she had the prayers of her friends, and, above all, the prayers of Jesus, she said, "He intercedes." This was a proof her senses were clear and quick; and she all at once burst forth in pathetic language to exhort us all to "value the Scriptures; peruse them more, with prayer: and I desire you (turning to her husband) would tell all young people so to do, especially my dear brothers; and not to read them as they would a ballad; and to mind what company they keep. I have neglected the Bible too much; but that is all pardoned, with all the rest of my sins. I long
to go home! Come, Lord Jesus,come, Lord Jesus, and take me to thyself. Why are thy chariotwheels so long in coming? I wish I had more patience to wait his time. I have been filled with comfort the last night." When her gladdened friend observed, 'We never had such converse together before,' she replied, "No; I could not till now converse so freely upon these things." With great earnestness she asked, "Do you doubt my sincerity?" but seemed satisfied on being assured we did. not, and continued her conversation: "I am younger than you all; but going to Heaven first, I shall meet you there. I love my New, port friends." It being observed to her,