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REFLECTIONS ON THE GENERAL ned against the Lord, but that we CONFESSION.

have placed stumbling-blocks in the PART II.

way of others. This is not, I conNo. VIII.'

ceive, a forced construction of the But thou, O Lord, have mercy

word; for, in the former part of

y the Confession, we acknowledge upon us, miserable offenders.

that " we bave offended against : “ They that are whole need not God's holy laws;" a declaration, a physician;" but they that are surely, that we have sinned against sick”-is a very true remark. God and man. Both views being When we feel ourselves afflicted perfectly admissible, it is to be with disease, we have recourse to observed, the medical practitioner. We 1st, That we are offenders against state the case to him, and, con- God. We have sinned against his fiding in his ability and willingness divine Majesty in thought, word, to administer relief, we solicit him and deed. We « have walked to remove the effect by removing contrary to him.” There is not a the cause. The reader of this pa- single commandment of his which per will anticipate the application. We have not violated. There is No one, ignorant of his real state not a single, precept of his word before God, will ever put up that which we have not transgressed. prayer to him, “ Lord, be merciful We have not acknowledged with a to me a sinner;" no one will ever becoming spirit his hand in every cry,“ Save, Lord, or I perish ;" thing which befalls us, whether unless he perceive himself “ be- . prosperous or afflictive, whether ginning to sink."- A sense of guilt, ghostly or bodily. His temporal and a sense of misery, as the conse- mercies we have abused by making quence of that guilt, must precede them a source of gratification to an application for mercy. And · our pride, sensuality, and the va. who does not see that this is the rious workings of corrupt nature. very state in which our church And his spiritual mercies we have here concludes all those are who made the occasion of filling our“ make this humble confession to selves with self-exalting thoughts. Almighty God, meekly kneeling The conscience of every man can upon their knees ?" We have furnish him with a long catalogue been confessing our sins; we have of instances. It is not necessary been acknowledging our guilt and now to particularize, for our guilt insufficiency for any thing good ; has been pretty fully displayed in and then, awake to our wretched some of our former reflections. · condition, we entreat the Lord to We pass on to observe, reach out unto us the sceptre of 2dly, That: we are offenders his grace. The view which every against man. We have not only worshipper is here supposed to sinned against him in general, but, have of his spiritual state, and the according to one of the senses in petition, grounded upon that view, which the word offender" is here will suffice for our meditations at. used, we have laid stumblingthis time.

blocks in his way. Many are the First, as to our vier of it, we instances wherein we have either are “ OFFENDERS.” This term caused the ungodly to despise the implies, not only that we have sine Gospel altogether, or discouraged

those that are weak in faith. With peace, no comfort, while any regard to the former, how have sense of guilt remains upon their we prejudiced them against the conscience. On this account they truth!-by an intemperate and in- are mainly anxious for pardon : judicious zeal; by contending, in hence they lift up their voice to an improper spirit, either for what God, that he would “ blot out are really articles of faith, or for their transgressions,” and “.be what is merely a system of man's gracious unto the remnant of Jodevice'; by an unguarded conduct; seph.”—“ Thou, O Lord, have by an unaccommodating spirit mercy upon us.” Such is, where compliance would not have . Secondly, the petition which a been inconsistent with our holy re- view of their state induces them to ligion. And how often have we present unto God. The blessing grieved “ a weak brothers by a here solicited, and the implied want of self-denial in the use of medium of its communication, are. our Christian liberty ; by not meet- worthy our notice. What is the ing his little prejudices and scru. blessing? It is the forgiveness of ples of conscience ; by not stating sins. Having ".rebelled against to him with caution the deeper the commandment of the Lord,” mysteries of the kingdom of God; we have incurred his displeasure, . by keeping him at too great a dis- and become liable to the punish

tance; and by giving him any ment of eternal torments: a senground to suppose that we suspect tence which, in strict justice, God him of hypocrisy. Is this to fol- might execute upon us. Fearing low that wholesome advice this, and knowing that “ the Lord - Judge this rather, that no'man God is merciful and gracious," we put a stumbling-block, or an occa- “ seek his face.” In an agony of sion to fall, in a brother's way?mind we entreat him not to mark

A deep and abiding conviction our iniquities;" not to “ rememthat " in many things we have all ber our sins against us any more offended,” cannot but produce a for ever;" but to“ remember us corresponding distress of mind with the favour that he beareth Those who feel this distress may, unto his people.” And as we supproperly enough, be denominated, plicate for, so we humbly hope to as here,

obtain, this unspeakable blessing; “ MISERABLE offenders.” Their not, indeed, on account of our, guilt and their sins stare them in owņ merit, for we have none. the face : “these are a burden too Guilt and merit are two opposite heavy for them to bear.” They conditions, which cannot exist in see that they have provoked the the same person. Merit arises Lord to anger, and incurred his from an exact conformity to the displeasure. Conscience assures rule of obedience; guilt arises them that their guilt is attended from even the smallest deviation with many aggravations. The from that rule. If there be guilt, law of God accuses them. Divine there cannot be merit; and if there justice demands their punishment. be merit, there cannot be guilt: They have no hope of “ escaping the one necessarily involves the the damnation of hell" by any absence of the other. We are thing that they have done or can guilty, therefore we have no merit. do. They tremble for their state. To say that we are guilty, and yet

They are fearful lest, the very next meritorious, is as complete a solemoment, they should " lift up cism as the declaration would be their eyes in hell, being in tor- a man exists and does not exist at ments.” This is a wretched con- the same time. dition ; and they can have no The medium, then, through which

we expect mercy to be conveyed ance. This is the mercy for which to us is, the Lord Jesus Christ. We here make supplication. If we' This divine Person, pitying our sad do obtain it, we consider ourselves condition, became Emmanuel entirely indebted for it to the mer " God manifest in the flesh,” rits and mediation of the Redeemdwelling, among us for the most er. And we deem it a wonderful benevolent and gracious purposes. condescension in 66 the high and By his obedience, and sufferings lofty One that inhabiteth eternity". unto death, by the blood which he to vouchsafe it to such worthless shed upon the cross, he satisfied wretches, such abominable crea-i all the demands of the law and the tures, and such vile beings, as we justice of God. Hence, without are. For the contrite soul, at the : derogating from the honour of ei- same time that he cries for mercy, ther of these, the Lord can pardon i acknowledges also his utter unworall that repent and believe, and re- thiness of it. store them to his favour, and to

ROBERT, their forfeited heavenly inherit




OLD, CONCERNING HIS COMPA- The Death of the Christian Indeed.

. . . 1.:
Sre where, on yonder bed, o'ercome with

age, , I LOVED him sincerely as a The pious Christian calmly waits his school companion and friend, and a death;

* Still mild, still patient, in severest pain, saw proofs of sweetness and ami

He glorifies his God with latest breath!' ableness in him rarely to be met in one so young as he was; and I had hoped, as we grew up. we No stings of conscience rack his guileless

heart, should have known each other

No sad regret distorts his fading eye,-better. He used to delight to talk His soul, in snow-white innocence array'd, to me of the love of God to guilty Is pure as is the summer's eveniog sky. sinners, and felt that his weakness needed the merits of a Saviour, to Fair Virtue guided all his carlier years, whom he looked for salvation, and And stampt her image on his willing soul, through him to God, as a recon- Where soon Religion spread her brightest çiled Father. Often have we read ray, the word of truth together, asking And led him till he reach'd the final goal.' each other, “ Understandest thou

IV. what thou readest ?” and on our The neighb'sing cottagers his kindņess felt, knees begging the Lord of life T hey pour down blessings on his humble

head; to take of the things which are up;

are 'Tis theirs to know the virtues he possess'd, Christ's, and show them to us.

· Whom, ever bounteous, he has kindly . . fed.



xiii. No more,' alas! he troads his morning No more he spake : pray'r sooth'd his la round,;

test hour, To seek the poorest of the village train; His spirit quiver'd in its weak abode,'. No more instructs them with the Gospels And, sinking down, without a sigh or word,

Ji groan, s 'Or from their minds expels dark sorrow's He clos'd his eyes in sleep, and saw his pain. ,


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Ah, no! for hastning death obstructs his How much it is to be lamented that so few path,

Poets treat of Religion. Him, worn with age, and weaken’d by

disease, While round his bed in silent" anguish O THAT some bard, with righteous zeal inmourn

spir'd, His friends, bis family, deprivid of To whom the flowing tide of song is peace.


Another Cowper, with religion fir'd, The mournful partner of his joys and ***

ona Would show to man th' unerring ways griefs,

of Heaven! - Almost distracted, th’image of despair,

. .11. : Void of all comfort, void of all relief, Would trace the path where conscious virtue Watches his pallid form with pious care, a leads,

.And Satan's wiles in faithful colours vr. .


., paint; Miś infânt babes, o'ercome by' sadd’ning Would teach mankind nie'ér sin's curst road Li grief, ir , si to tread,

*. À i Stand round, his bed and weepy they Nor let impiety the Gospel taifit: miscarce know why, And eager seize their dying parent's hand. .

111. • Or kiss the tear still trembling in his eye. Teach them in ev'ry deed, in ev'ry view,


To see the work of an Almighty Hand ; git ; X. .

Adore His holy name with ardour true. " And will he leave us yet?- still res Who scatters bounteous blessings o'er main,

this land. . Still be a comfort to our tender years.”_ No more their sobs permit, bạt he, stili But, ah! what boots the wish ?-The love

iv. po calm, :7:",

of fame, Serenely answers to their frequent tears? " And mad ambition, seize the eager bård; .

. The clash of arms, the conquering hero's * Weep not for me, ye darlings of my


.. - life;":

With joy he sings, impatient of rewards Mộurn-not, ye pledges of our earlier :)". .

" r !", love My spirit soon will teave this wretched

But pure Religion from the Muses' bower ,'

- Finds no warm champion to espouse ber frame, And rise triumphant to the real täis above. cause,

Few friends in verse iť extol her glorious

power, « Our blessed Saviour has prepar'd a home

And teach mankind t obey ber trampled For those who, trusting to his precious,

laws. :: name,

VI. Hare liv’d, have died, still steadfast in the O, worthy of a Christian poet's name · faith,

Who sings religion's treasure to mankind; * Nor left religion for an earthly fame : Worthy, thrice worthy, of eternal fame,

Who both delights and edifies the mind. XII. « Trust ye to Him, my family, my friends, To Him who died' our wretched souls to Delightful bard! when feats of heroes die, save,

: When kings shall moulder in their kin To Him who conquer'd all the chains of dred clay, hell,

Thy name shall flourish and all time defy, Who overcame for us the yawning When human grandeur shall in dust grave.”



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And Dryden's strains, th' heroic youth to While other bards the deeds of monarchs please;

Shenstone to pour upon the soul a rest : 'Twas thine to glorify the Son of God; While some i fatt'ry pour their servile lays. But thon, blest poet! thou canst teach my 'Twas thine to show mankiud his blest

youth, iw abode.iii

Through all its works the will of Hear'n

to trace; Harmonious Pope, and Prior's gentle ease, Canst teach my breast hope, charity, and Have secret charins to sooth the pensive

truth,, bobo Wow breast;:?

Canst plant religion in the rising races :

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The Divine Institrdion of the Chris- has laid down rules for their direc:

tian Ministry: a Sermon preach- tion, and promised supports aped' at the Visitation of the Rev. propriate to their important vocathe Archdeacon, at Leicester, in tion. For their good, and for that the Year 1818 ; and publisked of his people, he has constituted & at the Request of the Arckdeacon superior body, whose business it and Clergy. By the Rec. John is to watch over their subordinate Fry, A. B. Rector of Desford, brethren, and to see that all things near' Leicester ; and Chaplain to be done decently and in order. the Right Hon. Lord Viscount To these superintendents, or bi.

Ranelagh. Hatchard and his shops, the keys of the church are Cu vington, London. pp. 48. Price committed. They are to ordain ds. 6do

pastors over every distinct congre

gation; to see that they fulfil the * In the economy of nature all duties of their charge; to exhort, things act according to fixed and reprove, comfort, direct, suspend, wisely-ordered principles. The as occasion may require.. earth performs its revolutions with We have been led to these ren precision and exactness. The marks from a perusal of this disseasons return to the benefiting of course, which is replete with solid man. . All things seem wisely argument, judicious reasoning, and adapted to accomplish their in- faithful application of the whole te tended end, and proclaim their the consciences of the preacher's Maker to be divine. In every brethren in the ministry. ; thing God shows himself the God Mr. Fry takes what is commonly of order; it would therefore be called high ground respecting the passing strange if he left his church ministerial commission, and yet in a state of confusion; it would not higher than we think he has be contrary to the analogy of his fully established himself upon. proceedings in every other parti. From his text (Acts, XX. 28) he cular, where regularity and order proves, that " it is the Holy Ghost appear so conspicuous.

who makes the overseer of the * In the church God has been flock of Christ;" that he must call pleased to direct that a certain --he must commission--he must be number of men should be pecu- invoked continually, liarly engaged in his service. He From the abuse of ministerial

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