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too hastily conclude that this religion cannot be of God. Christianity is therefore abandoned by them, if not exposed to ridicule and blasphemy. Thou, sands, especially among the young and thoughtless, thus contract a fatal prejudice against that name, by which alone they can be saved. In this way unknown multitudes become, if not professed, yet practical infidels. How important is it, then, that the floodgates of error be shut, and that free circulation be given to evangelical truth ; not only as this would lessen the number of infidels, but as it would establish the minds of many weak and wavering Christians, and give to Christianity an opportunity of producing its genuine effects on the hearts and lives of professors : Ministers would then have more leisure to dwell on heavenly themes, to unfold and recommend divine truth in all its beauty and sublimity ; and private Christians would let their light so shine around them, that others, seeing their good works, witnessing their pacific temper, and heavenly conversation, would also be excited to glorify their Father, who is in heaven. In the object of the gospel ministry, as stated in the scriptures, we read its importance, Ministers are there represented, as set for the defence of the gospel, and to be examples to believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. When, therefore, the clergy consist of men of distinguished talents, learning, and diligence ; when they stand fast in the same faith, and are united in the same spirit; when in their conduct and conversation they exemplify the purity and charity
of the gospel; there is the best reason to hope, that true religion will generally flourish in princi. ple and practice. In the divine economy, means are adapted to ends. Did not the defence of the gospel depend, under God, upon the ministers of Christ; he would not appoint them to this service. Were not their conduct influential in forming the religious character of men ; ministers would not be enjoined to be examples to them in conversation, as well as in doctrine. The language of St. Paul on this subject is decisive, importing that able and faithful ministers, “by taking heed to themselves and to their doctrine, and by continuing there. in, shall both save themselves, and them who hear them.” The necessity and extensive utility of gospel ministers are figuratively represented by salt and light, elements essential to the life and comfort of all creation. What efforts then ought not to be made for training up a learned, pious, and harmonious clergy, to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world ! David of old “swore unto the Lord, and vowcd unto the mighty God of Jacob ; surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes, nor slumber to my eyelids, until I find out a place for the Lord, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.” Surely Christians, under the gospel dispensation, ought not to be jess anxious, that his “priests may be clothed with salvation,” thoroughly furnished for every good word and work, “that his saints may shout aloud for joy.” N. B. The outlines of a contemplated Theological Institution will be given is our next number.
Fellow Mortas, As you are your own accusers; as you are repeatedly exposing yourselves to fresh guilt and disgrace before many witnesses, your crimes need not be proved. Unaffected with your guilt and folly, neither the voice of the reacher, the important truths e delivers, the eyes of spectators, nor even the firesence of God himself, have hitherto restrained you. Suffer one among the many, whose feelings have been deeply affected, and whose devotion has been interrupted by your indolence and folly, to address you in the plain, faithful language of friendship. What mean ye, O sleepers, by choosing the day of the Lord, above all others, for a day of slumber, and the time of his worship, above all other times in that sacred day, for sloth 2 What! have you not houses to sleep in, that you must convert your seats in God's house into places of reose 2 Have you no time for sleep, but that which he has set apart for his service Will you find an excuse from the nature of the service 2 Will you plead that the gospel of Christ is so unin: teresting, or the exercises of the sanctuary so unengaging, that it is difficult to preserve your attention to them : Think, what evidence such pleas afford of the hardness and carnality of gour hearts. What can engage our attention, if the glorious discoveries of the gospel;
if God incarnate shedding his precious blood for guilty men cannot 2 What subject so deserving your most serious attention as this 2 When the Redeemer expired, the rocks were rent, the earth quaked, the graves opened, the dead arose, the sun was darkened, and a centurion exclaimed, “This is the Son of God." But you, more obdurate and unfeeling, present to a disgusted Christian assembly a yawning countenance, when the wonders of redeeming love are declared from the pulpit. You declare by your conduct, that an idolatrous Gentile soldier felt more like a Christian than you, who have been all your days under the light of the gospel. You may profess to be Christians, and you might be displeased with any one who should call your sincerity in question : And is your sleeping in God’s house the evidence you give of it? Is this the fruit by which we must judge of your faith ? Enter the mosque of a Musselman, the pagod of an Indian, or the synagogue of a Jew, and must you not allow, if attention be the criterion, they are better worshippers than you? Yes ; it is the infamy of assemblies called Christian, above all others, thus to dishonour their religion, and insult their God. And at your door, O sleeper, this infamy lies. Where is your respect for your minister, your profiting by his labours? Unhappy man! thy hearers tell thee to thy face, thy labours, for a week, are not worthy their attention for an hour. How often has it been, when he has had his heart affected with his subject, and hoped it would affect yours, your indecent and shameful nodding before his eyes hath so grieved and discouraged him, that he has scarcely possessed fortitude sufficient to close a sentence; and a season, which promised delight and comfort, becomes, through your indolence and slothfulness, distressing to the preacher, and unprofitable to attentive hearers. Hath not your ministerdiscouragements enough from the world, without your increasing them by such behaviour as is offensive to God, and injurious to your own souls : Will you apologize by urging a strong propensity to sleep 2 Why are you not lethargic in your business 2 Who sees you asleep in your shops, or in agreeable company ? When do you close your eyes over an interesting communication in a newspaper, or shut your ears to a tale of scandal 2 Abuse conscience no longer. You either make the Lord's day a day of intemperate indulgence, and so criminally endure that drowsiness, which renders you a nuisance to the congregation ; or your reverence for God and your attachment to the gospel are little more than mere pretence. If your secular concerns would keep you awake at those times, in which you sleep in the house of God, it must be, because you have not so much relish for religion as for the world. Seriously attend to the following inquiries. Do you believe that public worship is an ordi
nance of God 2 Do you believe Christ is present where two or three are met in his name 2 Do you believe there will be a day of reckoning, when he who now inspects his churches will call you to account : 'And will not the despisers of Christ and his worship be ashamed before him, at his coming : May the Spirit of God impress these queries on your hearts with such weight, as may excite you to amendment, and lead you to worship God in future in a more suitable and spiritual manner. GAIus.
THE PIOUS NEGRO WOMAN.
Extract from Oldendorp's History of the Mission of the Brethren in the Caribee Islands, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Jan. Vol. II. Book 2, Sect. 2, p. 515.
IN 1736, the late Rev. A. G. Spangenberg, being then engaged on a visitation of the mission among the negroes in St. Thomas, went with Mr. F. Martin, a missionary of the brethren, to visit sundry negroes that had formerly been awakened, and were now gone astray. Yet, among other occurrences, they were greatly rejoiced and pleased with the conversation of an old negro woman, from Guinea, of the Papan nation, called Marotte ; who, on account of her age, had been enfranchised by her proprietor. Spangenberg's description of this woman answers very nearly to that which is given of Cornelius in Acts x. She feared God, and was of good report among all the people that knew her. Every morning before ever she takes any food, she falls upon her knees, worshipping God, and bowing her face to the earth. The same she does before ever she retires to rest, having an uncommonly great reverence toward God. She said, That she learned this custom in her infancy from her parents, and that other people in her country served the Lord also in the same manner; but that the inhabitants of the coast of Guinea were totally ignorant of such worship. She did not comprehend why the white people did show so little reverence for God, and only, as it were, make some complimentary addresses to him. Declaring at the same time that, if any one would show her a better way of worship, she would desist from her practice ; but that, in the meanwhile, she should abide by the manner she had adopted, lest God should be angry with her. She had been ill for some weeks, and was yet very weak from the ague. Being asked, Whether she made any use of medicine, or whether she was in want of any thing : “Oh no,” said she, “the Lord hath cast me down ; he also will raise me up again ;” adding withal, that if she looked unto God, he would, in the proper time, restore her to bealth. Yet had this woman never heard any thing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We asked her, Whether she was willing to hear any thing of Christ, who was the Son of God, and who came into the world for our advantage 2 * O yes, with all my heart,”
said she ; “but then I have been told that I must first learn Dutch, and then learn to read, after which I might learn to pray likewise ; but now I am too old for all this.” We signified to her, that all this was not indispensably needful, for that God understood all languages, that he was able to discern the desire of her heart, and would undoubtedly hear and grant all that she prayed for ; advising her, therefore, only to continue constant in prayer, and to beseech him that he would give her yet more light and knowledge. After this she related, at our desire, what steps she took with regard to the sacrifices she offered. Thus, whenever she gathers fresh fruit, be it what it may, she never tastes of it till she has taken some part thereof and burnt it ; then she falls down upon her knees, thanking God, with all her heart, for granting her health to plant those fruits, and sparing her life, and giving her strength to gather, and now to enjoy them ; after which she makes use of them for food. This same negro woman hearing that her master, whose slave she formerly was, had lost his child, went to him and said, among other things, That he ought to beware of being over much sorrowful, and repining on that account ; for it was God that had ordered it thus, without whose will nothing could happen; and she feared, if he gave way to discontentment, God might be displeased with him. She expressed great joy and gratitude for the gracious dispensations of God in sending people across the great waters, to bring to the poor negroes words of life ; and exhorted her countrymen, like a mother, to attend to what they were told on this subject. It appeared plainly that she had some indistinct and confused notions of the Trinity; from which we evidently concluded, that some Christian missionaries must formerly have been in her native country. She said, “There is only one God, the Father, whose name is Pao ; his Son, Masu, is the door, or the way, by which alone it is possible to come unto the Father; and then there is yet the Spirit, whose name is called Ce.” Thus she had been informed by her own father in Guinea; but that the Son of God became man, and, by his death, had redeemed and reconciled sinners, were totally unknown to her. Hence she was used annually to take a lamb, or a kid, to make an offering of it, in order to placate the Deity, and with a view to atone for her faults and mistakes. At first, she could not comprehend our objection, when we represented to her, that God required not now such offerings and sacrifices, which were unnecessary and unavailing, since the Son of God had offered himself once for all a sacrifice for us; but being further directed by the brethren to pray to God for grace to believe this, she took their advice, and, in consequence, came one day, smiting upon her breast with great joy, and declaring, whilst she laid her hand on her heart, ** Here I am now satisfied and certain, that it is exactly as you have told me.” From that time
she omitted her sacrifices; yet, on high festival days, she still killed a lamb, inviting some of the negroes to be her guests, and exhorting them to promise her that they would be diligent' in prayer, and to let it ascend unto God as a sweet smelling sacrifice. [Ev. Mag.
4 Catalogue of seasonable good Works, firesented to them that are sanctified to God, and dare trust him with their riches, expecting the everlasting riches which he Aath fromised; and are zealous of good works, and take it for a frecious mercy, that they may be exercised therein. By RichARD BAxTER.
1. INQUIRE what persons, burdened with children, or sickness, or any such, labour under necessities, and relieve them as you are able ; and still make advantage of it for the benefit of their souls, instructing, admonishing, and exhorting them as they have need. 2. Buy some plain and rousing books that tend to conversion, and are fittest for their condition ; and give them to the families that most need them. Many have this way received much good. 3. Take the children of the poor, and apprentice them to honest trades; and be sure to choose them godly masters, who will take care of their souls as well as their bodies. 4. In very large congregations, which have but one minister, and not able to maintain another, it is a very good work