« AnteriorContinuar »
gerate the offences of his brethren, not for the benefit of the world, When the numbers, the wealth, but for the aggrandisement of the and the influence of the professors propagators. Kingdon after kingof Christianity became so great, dom adopted the unholy alliance. and their secularity so decided, Religion prostituted its influence nothing was wanting but the in- to establish arbitrary power; and corporation of the system with a that power again lent its aid to huinan government, to facilitate perpetuate and extend the worst the complete ruin of its heavenly corruptions of religion. The character. This copsummation, church corrupted the kings of the so desired by the worldly priest- earth by her fornication ; and they hood of the period, and regarded gave their power to the church, as such a triumph by many still, as the reward of her favours, and took place in the time of Constan- the seal of their degradation. The tine. Christianity was then, and ruin of the spiritual edifice besubsequently, declared to be a came complete ; and instead of thing of this world, and its laws the temple of God, presented a and principles made" part and frightful habitation of demons, the parcel” of the laws of the Roman hold of every foul spirit, and the Empire.
cage of every unclean and hateful Had not the mystery of iniquity bird.” made prodigious progress before The connexion thus formed bethe time of Constantine, such a tween the church and the world, thing as an amalgamation of the deprived the church of its glory, religion of Jesus with the Roman while it answered certain political State and Government could not purposes to the government of the have been proposed on the one earth. It was placed in subordihand, or accepted on the other. nation to the earth, and shorn of Then, however, the iniquity of all its spiritual strength. In due combining the church and the time, however, the pretended spiworld, the heavenly and the ritual part of this unholy alliance earthly state, was established by claimed the precedence, and aclaw; then the spouse of Christ tually swallowed up the temporal was placed formally in the arms authority which had contributed of her seducer; and her plighted to its aggrandisement. In its own faith, and sworn affection were name it acquired and held terripublicly alienated from her Lord; tory ; exercised dominion ; issued and that spiritual adultery com- laws and edicts; made peace and pleted which brought down upon war, and finally claimed supeher and her paramours the heaviest riority over all the kings and woes of wrath.
kingdoms of the earth. The period From this period we may easily when the Popedom became an trace that entire change of charac- independent temporal power; and ter which the pure and heavenly the man of sin was brought to religion of the Redeemer under- complete maturity, it is difficult went, till it became the foulest to fix with absolute precision. It and most monstrous form of would seem to have been from wickedness and oppression under about the middle to the end of the which this wretched world ever eighth century, when Pepin first, groaned. The propagation of the and Charlemagne afterwards, put faith became little better than the the Pope in full possession of the diffusion of error, superstition, temporal States of Rome. and idolatry; and was carried on, The grant of Pepin was made in 756; that of Charlemagne, vantages at their first moulding, which confirmed and extended the and continued insinuations ever former, shortly after. Then, says since, hath so rivetted itself into Mosheim, the Pope became a tem- the very fundamentals of them, poral prince.
that no digging, or mining, with The Reformation first shook an earthquake, will cast up the and unsettled the earthly founda- foundation stones thereof." The tions of the mystical Babylon. Lord Jesus then, having promised Much, however, remained to be the service of the nations to his done before the ruin should be church, will so far open their completed, and the spiritual edi. whole frame to the roots, as to fice again reared. The man of pluck out all the cursed seeds sin arrived at maturity by slow of the mystery of iniquity, which, and almost imperceptible degrees. by the craft of Satan, and exiMore than a thousand years were gencies of State, or methods of required to perfect his growth; advancing the pride and power of and he continued to exhibit all some sons of blood, have been the appearance of confirmed and sown amongst them. vigorous health long after the “ Every age hath its peculiar seeds of dissolution had been work, hath its peculiar light. planted in his heart. He is doomed Now, what is the light which to destruction, not by a sudden God manifestly gives in our blow, but by a consumption, ora se- days ? Surely not new doctrines, ries of deadly wounds, bringing on (as some pretend,) indeed old a certain, but lingering death. The errors and long since exploded process has been goiug on; but it fancies. Plainly the peculiar is yet far from completion. The light of this generation is that work of ages has yet to be per- discovery which the Lord hath formed; and the faith and pa- made to his people of civil and tience of the saints must still be ecclesiastical tyranny. The opentried. In this rapid sketch our ing, unravelling, and revealing readers have some idea of our the antichristian interest, internotions of Antichristianity and of woven and coupled together in the destruction of Popery, and of civil and spiritual, into a state all that is allied to it. We can- opposite to the kingdom of the not enlarge further at present, but Lord Jesus, is the great disour views on this important topic covery of these days. Who alare powerfully supported by no most is there amongst us now, mean name. Dr. Owen, in a ser- who doth not evidently see, that mon preached before the Long for many generations the western Parliament, so long ago as April, nations have been juggled into 1649, expresses himself as follows, spiritual and civil slavery, by the with which we must close this legerdemain of the whore, and article.
the potentates of the earth made - This is a second reason why drunk with the cup of her abomithe Lord Jesus, by his mighty nations. How the whole earth power, at the bringing in of his hath been rolled in confusion, and immoveable kingdom, will shake the saints hurried out of the world, the heavens and the earth of to give way to their combined inthe nations ; even because in terest ? Hath not God unveiled their present constitution they are that harlot, made her naked, and directly framed to the interest of discovered her abominable filthjantichrist, which, 'by notable ad. ness? Is it not evident to him N. S. NO. 51.
that hath but half an eye, that a thousand years is not like to go the whole present constitution of down in a thousand days. the government of the nations, is “ I am not of counsel to any of so cemented with Christian mor- the adherents to the man of sin, tar, from the very top to the bot- or any of those who have given tom, that without a thorough their power unto the beast; I have shaking they cannot be cleansed ? not a key to the bosoms of the This, then, plainly discovers, that enemies of Christ. I am neither the work which the Lord is doing, their interpreter, nor do they alrelates to the untwining of this low me to speak in their behalf; close combination against himself, yet, truly, upon very many proand the kingdom of his dear Son, bable grounds, I am fully perand he will not leave until he have suaded that were the thoughts of done it. To what degree, in the their hearts disclosed, notwithseveral nations, this shaking shall standing all their glittering shows, proceed, I have nothing to deter- dreadful words, threatening exmine in particular, the Scripture pressions, you shall see them having not expressed it. This tremble and dread this very thing, only is certain, it shall not stop, that the whole world, as now nor receive its period, before established, will be wrapped up the interest of antichristianity be in darkness, at least until that wholly separated from the power cursed interest, which is set up of those nations.
against the Lord Jesus, be fully " Now, what, I pray, are the and wholly shaken out from the works that the Lord is bringing forth heavens and earth of the nations."* upon the earth? What is he doing in our own and the neighbouring nations ? Show me the potentate Morning Exercises for the Closet : for upon the earth that hath a peace- every Day in the Year. By William able molehill to build himself a Jay. London: Hamilton and Adams. habitation upon. Are not all the 2 volumes octavo. pp. 488—568. controversies, or the most of them, We have many reasons for the that at this day are disputed in satisfaction we feel in announcing letters of blood among the na- these volumes, which we are aware tions, somewhat of a distinct con- will require from us little more stitution from those formerly under than an' announcement, since the debate, those tending njerely to name and well-earned reputation the power and splendour of single of their excellent author, will persons, these to the interest of secure for them a ready introthe many ? Is not the hand of duction to the notice of the pubthe Lord in all this? Are not the lic. We consider them to form a shaking of these heavens of the very valuable addition to our nations from him ? Is not the comparatively slender stock of voice of Christ in the midst of all devotional literature, and are grathis tumult? And is not the tified that Mr. Jay has directed genuine tendence of these things his attention to a work of this open and visible unto all? What character. The title sufficiently speedy issue all this will be driven designates the object of the pubto I know not : so much is to be lication ; it is called Morning Exdone as requires a long space, ercises for the Closet, and is inThough a tower may be pulled down faster than it was set up, * Owen's Works, vol. xv. pp. 363,372, yet that which hath been building 373, 375.
tended to assist the Christian in Christian world, not only as one the private engagements of devo- of the most distinguished preachtion, by furnishing subjects for ers, but also as one of the most religious consideration, for self- attractive and successful religious inquiry, and for prayer. It may writers of his time. His Life of be viewed, therefore, as a fit Winter, and his Life of Clark, concompanion to his volume of tributed to make him known in prayers for the use of families, the literary world, and proved his which has now reached the ele. power to excel in the difficult venth edition. The utility of task of biography, as well as in works like the present is unques- that of writing sermons. The tionable. “ Whatever," says Dr. former is deservedly popular, Johnson, “ withdraws us from the among other reasons, from the power of the senses, whatever interesting character it delineates, makes the past, the distant, or the and also from the notices it fur. future, predominate over the pre- vishes respecting Mr. Whitfield :sent, advances us in the dignity we are surprised that Dr. Sonthey, of thinking beings:” and all ex- who reads every thing, appears to perience testifies, that nothing.ac- have overlooked these, as they complishes this so effectually as would have been a great assisreligious retirement. It is in re- tance to him in the sketch he tirement that the faith which con- furnished of that distinguished verses with the invisible, and over- character in his Life of Wesley. comes the world, receives its best The Life of Clark deserves to be culture; and as all religion turns more generally known than it is; in reality upon the moral state it discovers great power of disand exercises of the mind in criminating character, and abounds secret, a provision for the right in useful criticism and informaemployment of our seasons of de- tion upon different styles of vout solitude must be of para- preaching and writing, and is, in mount importance. To improve our opinion, one of the author's the social hour is of great con- best publications. Four successequence, but to improve the soli- sive volumes of short discourses tary one is a higher attainment for families, proved him to be an still; and every Christian is able and interesting domestic anxious to avail bimself of every instructor. Besides these, his possible assistance in relation to Essay on Marriage, and numerous an object on which so much de- sermons preached on public occapends.
sions, illustrate alike the versaMr. Jay has had the rare hap- tility of his talents, and his indepiness, in itself a proof of distin- fatigable industry ; for they have guished ability and merit, to com- all been produced amidst the mand for a long period the atten- various avocations incident to tion of the public, in a very emi- the oversight of a large and nent degree. In his first consic highly respectable congregation. derable publication of two vo. His recent course of lectures on lumes of sermons, issued in the the Christian contemplated, is, year 1802, he amply sustained without doubt, one of the best from the press the reputation works on practical and experiwhich he had from his very youth mental divinity which the preacquired from the pulpit; and sent century has produced, and from that period he has taken while it has become a kind of and maintained his station in the text-book in many religious circles, we know it has also been read ing little work not much known, and prized by persons of rank under the title of Barnabas and and distinction, and is spoken of Boanerges, or Judgment and Mercy with the encomium it merits, by for afflicted Souls; but which, like some of the first dignitaries of the all the productions of his fine and Establishment. The preface of vigorous mind, is disfigured with that volume, had he written no- pedantry and conceits. There are thing else, would be sufficient to excellent thoughts upon meditadistinguish him as an acute ob- tion, in the works of Bishop Hall, server of life and manners. and Dr. Bates, and Richard Bax
We say, we are gratified that ter, and Bishop Beveridge, and Mr. Jay has directed his atten- Robert Bolton, whose Directions tion to a work of this particular for a comfortable walking with character; and we are so, because God, and short Meditations on the we entertain a very strong opi- Life to come, (only too short,) we nion, first of the great utility, have now before us, but these and next of the actual paucity of are little accessible to general superior productions, upon sub- readers. In later times, we might jects strictly devotional. To mention Dorney's Divine Breaththose who know the vast extent ings, and Matthew Henry and and compass of English theologi- Dr. Watts on Prayer, and Dodcal literature, it may seem start- dridge's Rise and Progress, which, ling to be told how comparatively in spite of Mr. Foster's powerful few are the books specifically Introductory Essay, is, we fear, appropriate to the Christian's pri- too much neglected. Bennett's vate reading in his hours of sacred Christian Oratory, we have heard retirement. We have sermons in- of as of high repute, but regret numerable as the sands of the to say, that we cannot speak of desert, and some of them nearly it from personal examination. as barren and dry; we have huge Mrs. Rowe's little work is extomes of controversial divinity, quisitely beautiful, but not comunder which our shelves groan; prehensive enough, nor univerwe have writings upon the general sally appropriate. Mason's Spiritopics of Christian faith and prac- tual Treasury has some good tice, sufficient to furnish the li- papers; but he is not always braries of ten new Universities; judicious, and, with the pious but in the midst of all this pro- Bogatzky, is justly complained digality, as folios and Homilies of for paucity of thought, poverty are not exactly to the taste of the of expression, and the perpetual present age, the intelligent in- recurrence of a few favourite quirer, anxious for some readable topics. One of the best things helps to closet devotion, would recently published, is Sheppard's perhaps find more difficulty than (of Frome) Private Thoughts on he anticipated. We have Jeremy Devotion : and Mr. Cunningham Taylor's Golden Grove, and Holy has written a pleasing little book Living and Dying, very valuable on Select Passages of the Gospel in some respects, and not so much of Matthew, adapted to devoread as they ought to be, but tional retirement, though his range closely framed after the rigid mo. of subjects is, from the nature of dels of the Catholic writers who his plan, exceedingly limited. preceded him. Our old acquain- Bishop Horne on the Psalms, is tance, Francis Quarles, the au- of standard reputation for its thor of the Emblems, has a strik- elevated piety, though his princi