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Scripture often describe this state of soul! "Thy terrors have I suffered with a troubled mind:" "Thine arrows stick fast in me:" "When I say my bed shall comfort me, and my couch shall ease my complaint, then thou scarest me with dreams and terrifiest me with visions." Nor are these pangs of memory and conscience confined to the deeply profligate. The most moral and amiable person, when he duly contemplates himself as in the sight of God, and with a scriptural knowledge of his guilt, as an offender against his laws, may well feel dismay. His sins arise upon him in terrible array, and scare away repose from the soul. What, then, is the security from assaults such as these? Faith in the Redeemer. "He that believeth shall not be confounded;" "No weapon formed against him shall prosper." The love of God in Christ shed abroad in his soul quenches these terrors, and calms the perturbations of his mind. The Saviour walks upon the troubled waves, and bids the storm be still. And who shall picture his joy as he escapes from these alarms? It is delightful to drink the warm breath of spring after the biting blast of winter it is delightful to shake off the chains of imprisonment and to walk free amidst the glories of nature. But faint indeed are such images to describe the joy of him who escapes from the dread of hell to the hope of heaven; from the storms of eternal wrath to the bright and holy sunshine of the Divine favour and love. "The Lord is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation."

2. But, secondly, the Christian is calm as to the present. Suppose the past not to haunt or agitate the mind, still is not the present a subject of anxiety? I will not dwell on the bodily evils to which we are exposed-on the sudden inroads of disease, "the arrow that flieth in secret, and the pestilence that walketh at noon-day"-on the rapid and unseen flight of the many shafts

which may reach us or the bosoms of those we love. There are within still deeper sources of disquietude than these. God is holy-the law of God is holy: the demands of that law require our whole heart and soul and mind and strength; and we are irresolute of purpose, and weak in action, and cannot of ourselves think a good thought, or take a single step in the steep ascent of duty and holiness. What, then, shall calm us under the contemplation of present difficulties? Faith in the Redeemer. "He that believeth shall not be confounded." The difficulties around us melt away when met in the strength and power of our God. "When the enemy cometh in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord lifts up a standard against him;" and our spiritual foes shall fall like the army of Sennacherib, slain by an invisible Hand. Other men, if they knew their danger, would tread the earth as travellers the country of a resistless enemy; the servant of God, as a country watched by the eye, and guarded by the armies, of the Captain of his salvation. He is calm, because the Lord "reigns, be the earth never so unquiet."

3. But thirdly, the servant of God is calm as to the future. Who can look through the pages of Scripture, and contemplate the awful pictures of the future world of punishment, without some quickening of his fears, and sinking of his spirits, unless he is rightly armed against the terrors of futurity? This awe of the future is, perhaps, oftener felt than confessed. It often shakes the stoutest minds in the hour of calamity and sickness; and darkens the visions of joy which they are labouring to raise up around them. But surround the real Christian with these apprehensions, unveil to him the terrors of the future, break up their terrible depths, and throw wide to his eye the "lake of unquenchable fire,”-still if, in the true exercise of faith, "he shall not be confounded," " he shall not

1829.]

Family Sermons.-No. CCLXII. On Isaiah xxviii. 16. 747

make haste,"-alarm shall not over-
whelm him. On the contrary, he
looks to the day of death as the
day of release, of escape, and of
joy" to depart, and to be with
Christ, is far better." For him those
fires are quenched; his eye lifted
above them is fixed upon the throne
of that Saviour who lived for his
people, bled for his people, con-
quered for his people, and is for
ever advocating their cause at the
right hand of God. He has heard
his Saviour's voice, "I appoint you
a kingdom, that ye may eat at my
table and drink in my kingdom"
and he answers, "I will fear no-
thing; for when Christ, who is our
life, shall appear, we shall also ap-
pear with him in glory."

And now what is the practical
conclusion to be drawn from these
observations?

1. In the first place, let each of us ask whether he himself is thus united to his Redeemer. And, to determine this point, look at the text. It is there said, "He that believeth" shall be thus blessed. This, then, is the great question to be settled before we may venture to decide upon our eternal hopes. Have we a real living practical faith in the Saviour of the world? Do we receive Him in his offices as a Saviour, a Teacher, an Example, a Ruler, a God? Do we not merely yield a dry and cold assent to the truth that He is all this? but has this truth laid hold of the heart, the hopes, the fears, the conscience and affections? Do we rejoice to know that He is what he is, and is "able and willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto him?" Do we love Him because He has first loved us? Does the knowledge that he has lived and died for us sweeten the toils of life, lighten its burden, blunt the edge of calamity, throw a brighter hue over the path of prosperity, and fill us with " peace and with joy in believing?" The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. And a holy joy should fill our own souls when we know

that he has broken from the prison of his grave, and ascended to "His Father and to our Father, to His God and our God."

2. If you feel the value of this foundation for your hopes and interests, learn from the text, by whose hand it has been provided and laid. "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation." You have not laid it by the strength of your own arm; you have not procured it to be laid by your own deservings. He laid the stone who is the "author and finisher of salvation." To Him, then, is cur gratitude due. To Him must arise the song of triumph, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name be the praise." And what fruits ought not this gratitude to produce? Does it live in our souls? then it must have a voice and speak out in all the circumstances, trials, duties, and exigencies of life? Then the bye-stander must see it and feel it. Then it must proclaim itself in the strong and unwearied labours of zeal, and love, and holy ardour, in the calm movements of patience, and submission, and devout resignation to the will of God. To this end, let us draw near to God. Let us approach Him, and see if he has not some new blessing in store for us. He has not laid this "foundation," or the temple, without meaning to bestow upon it many addi tional gifts: "seeing he has given us his own Son, he will with him freely give us all things." Let us come to Him, then, for more love and more faith; for a deeper spirit of humility, and patience, and obedience. "The Lord, who has brought us out of the land of bondage," and guilt and misery, "with great power and a stretched-out arm; Him must we fear, Him must we worship, and to Him do sacrifice:" "Worship Him in spirit and in truth;" "worship Him in the beauty of holiness:" and may He hear and bless and pardon us, and keep us for ever and ever.

MISCELLANEOUS

HUMAN SACRIFICES IN INDIA.

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

THE public attention has of late been directed in an unusual degree to the opprobrious fact of our administration in the East having permitted the continuance of human sacrifices by the natives as a means of placating "them that are no gods;" "that have eyes and see not, and ears and hear not, neither is there any breath in their nostrils." When it is considered that this is the administration of a professedly Christian country, whose ecclesiastical establishment in India has been recognised by the British parliament, and supported by British munificence, it might have been hoped that one of her own bishops would not in vain have detailed from personal inspection the misery and degradation of our own fellow Christians and fellow-subjects in the East (among whom he soon afterwards breathed his last); but that the English nation would before this have responded to his scriptural and benevolent appeal, and, after having effected the extinction of slavery in Africa, would have decreed the suppression of religious murder in Asia. That time, however, has not at present fully arrived; but let us trust, for the interests of piety and humanity, that it is not now far distant.

An effort was made in the court of proprietors at the East India house, about three years ago, to interest that corporation and the country at large in the interdiction of these abominations. The attempt had been preceded by the motion of Mr. Buxton, in the House of Commons, for the production and printing of a voluminous mass of official information received from India in the shade of regular returns

of the sacrifice of human life. The documentary evidence thus collected is of the highest importance; and without it the motion made at the East-India House could not have been brought forward, or would have been unsuccessful. That motion was however carried by the proprietors, in exclusion of an amendment proposed upon it by the directors. The motion carried declared, that "This court, taking into consideration the continuance of human sacrifices in India, is of opinion, that in the case of all rites or ceremonies involving the destruction of life it is the duty of a pater. nal government to interpose for their prevention, and therefore recommend to the honourable court of directors to transmit such instructions to India as that court may deem most expedient for accomplishing this object, consistently with all practicable attention to the feelings of the natives."

In consequence of this resolution, the court of directors, though defeated in their opposition to it, were honestly desirous of transmitting it to India; but the late Board of Controul overruled it, so that this solemn instruction has not to this hour officially found its way to our Indian empire.

Since the above motion was carried, nothing has publicly transpired at the India House beyond an occasional inquiry as to whether any further information had been received, and whether any hopes might be entertained that the Indian government, either abroad or at home, was any nearer the suppression of the atrocious cruelties of the Hindoo idolatry. To these inquiries only general and unsatisfactory answers have been obtained: and thus the matter at present stands. In the mean time, however, I rejoice to state, that an increased interest in

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the question has been excited throughout the country; and a public meeting is intended shortly to be held in the city of London, to petition parliament on the subject.

From the official papers printed by order of parliament, it appears1st, That the instances of burning living widows with the bodies of their deceased husbands, under pretext of religion, amounted to not less than 6572 in ten years from 1815 to 1824, being an average of 657 per annum.

2d, That of these sacrifices the number of 5997 took place in the presidency of Bengal: so that the evil is confined to a comparatively small portion of the Indian empire, and has therefore no connexion with the general religious principles or feelings of the natives.

3d, That it is evident from the sacred books of the Hindoos, that the practice in question, however sanctioned by long usage, and supported by a corrupt and interested priesthood, is no where expressly commanded, but is merely permitted; while the best interpreters of those books are decidedly opposed, even to the permission of the rite.

4th, That all late attempts to prohibit such sacrifices as were understood to be contrary to the native regulations (such as where force has been employed, or the victim is under the influence of intoxicating drugs, or below the age of sixteen), have failed of accomplishing their professed object, owing to the inefficiency and corruption of the native police and the absence of adequate penalties for disobedience,-nay, have tended to aggravate the evil by favouring the belief that in all cases, except those expressly prohibited, the sanction of the British government was intended to be given to the sacrifice; an impression encouraged by the fact that the written order of a magistrate is required to be given before the sacrifice takes place, the effect of which has been to legalize an act which before was of questionable authority,

and virtually to make the government itself a party to the destruction of its defenceless subjects.

5th, That numerous statements from the highest civil officers, judges, magistrates, collectors, and other functionaries, concur in establishing the perfect safety of prohibiting this unnatural practice; this being the opinion not merely of persons who have quitted India, and would not be personally affected by the consequences of an erroneous judgment, but of accredited agents now holding prominent situations and residing in the midst of the people.

6th, That the whole course of British policy in India has been opposed to the authority of the native priesthood, whenever it was found necessary for the general security, and that the Brahmins are made amenable, both in their persons and property, to the criminal code

while the triumphs of our Christian government over the sanguinary sacrifices of idolatry at Saugor, Juanpore,and Guzzerat, afford practical evidence of successful interference for the suppression of bloodshed and crime, rendering it certain that the natives will with equal readiness submit to any enactment for the preservation of human life. I am, &c.

AN EAST-INDIA PROPRIETOR.

DANGERS OF THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

WITHOUT entering into various questions which at the present moment engross much of the anxious thoughts of every faithful member of the Established Church, I trust you will afford a small space for the following observations from a zealous friend to that Establishment, which is said to be in danger. Leaving the consideration of dangers originating from within, allow me to draw the attention of your readers, your

episcopal readers more especially, as I doubt not such there are, to some of those dangers from without which in no small degree impede the success of clerical endeavours to do good.

I would respectfully suggest a revision of several legislative enactments, which tend to desecrate the Sunday and the house of God.

One act directs that the amount of parochial rates, and the names of all the payers, shall be publicly read in the church on a Sunday. How inappropriate is such a place and such a day for such a purpose! As soon as the minister has prayed that the peace of God which passeth all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, our attention is suddenly called to one of those irritating subjects which is too often productive of evil passions; and the announcement seems to render the church, for the time, the temple of Mammon.

Another act directs that vestry meetings shall be held after Divine service on Sundays; and in time of war it has been usual to order that volunteers and fencibles should learn their military exercise on the day which God has commanded to be kept holy.

In some populous parishes, the reading the banns of marriage occasions a long interruption; and in a less numerous society some levity is apt to follow the news of the intended wedding.

I am humbly of opinion, that if suitable persons, more especially our revered prelates, would move for a revision of such acts, in order that our churches may be used for the purpose of Divine service only, the mere avowal of the legislature that such respect was due to the place and the day would have an effect of material benefit to the cause of religion in general, and our Established Church in particular. Might not an act of parliament direct that parochial rates should be open to inspection at meetings appointed for

that purpose? and might not means be devised to render the reading of banns in the church needless?

The mail-coach act is a violation of the law of God, almost a literal repeal of the Fourth Commandment. What says the law to all the parties concerned, containing many thousands of professedly Christian people? "Remember that thou keep not holy the Sabbath day, but labour therein as in the other six. Thou shalt continue to do all manner of work, thou and thy servants, and thy cattle, and the many strangers who travel by legal authority and encouragement." When so much ingenuity is shewn for the delivery of letters a few seconds sooner than formerly, can no plan be devised by which all public carriages might lie to, at least during the usual hours of Divine service?

I do not flatter myself that the interference of the reverend and highly respectable heads of our church can entirely turn the tide of fashion; but I would hope that a dutiful memorial to the king, and a suitable remonstrance to his ministers, might do much good. They could especially remonstrate on the desecration of Sunday by unnecessary travelling and public dinners. The legislature might ordain that all places of public amusement should be closed, especially on the Saturday, at an earlier hour than is now usual; and if this were to take place at ten o'clock, instead of at midnight or in the morning hours, the new police would have much less trouble. The vast increase of crime in the metropolis, which arises from the fashion of turning night into day, is incredible. The habits of individuals cannot of course be interfered with; but I see no objection to such general regulations as I have suggested.

I remain, sir,
Your constant reader from your
first page,
B. Y.

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