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ness, or for any of those plausible reasons by which men are too willing to delude themselves to their own ruin; if they spend the rest of the day, nevertheless, as they spend their other days of the week, and do not remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy throughout; if they do not devote the whole of it with a sober, religious awe to God; if they do not send their children and servants to church with the same punctuality as they go themselves; if they do not shun all the resorts of sensuality and gaiety abroad, or admit such inmates at home; if they do not study the Holy Scriptures, and put aside all other books but such as may tend to build them up in faith and piety; and, in short, if they do not live on this one day, in conformity with the sacred nature of the day, so uniformly and so universally, as to throw a sanctity around the lawful business and the lawful pleasures of every other day, and gradually to make their whole life truly Christian, truly divine, and fit, indeed, for heaven.
Now, if they do not accomplish all this, whatever else they do, they fall short of a due observance of the Sabbath; and who is there, even amongst the most exemplary, alas! who ever thinks of accomplishing so much? Alas, alas! who is there amongst any of us, who, in some way or other, does not absolutely break the Sabbath, or even profane it? And what wonder, then, that there should be so much looseness, licentiousness, and depravity of manners in our nation; and that so many evils assail us, so many impend over our heads, and threaten us with some mighty ruin? Sabbath-breaking has led to the temporal and eternal ruin of thousands and tens of thousands; it cannot but lead to the deeper corruption of all; to the gradual undermining and ultimate extinction of all religious principle in the heart of man. When a people cast off their respect for God's Sabbaths, they are prepared to run the full career of irreligion, and of profligacy, and of all the atrocities which Scourge and afflict mankind.
"There are persons in this congregation old enough to remember, as I do, a whole powerful nation, our nearest neighbours, casting it off, as it appeared, with one consent, and, by cruelties almost unheard of before, compelling their spiritual pastors and ministers to fly into exile; neither religion, nor the semblance of religion, being tolerated any longer among them. And what was the issue? This amazing apostacy was followed immediately by such deeds of horror, by such tragical excesses, as will never be blotted out of the annals of time. But the same impious means have been industriously used to produce the same subversion of principle here amongst us at home; and, God knows, they have but too well succeeded with too many; so that we can scarcely exult any longer with our former honourable pride, that our country is as renowned for religion, for piety and virtue, for good order and submission to authority, and for the deep abhorrence of all atrocities, as she is for freedom, for wealth, for victory, and for power.
Finally, then, in bidding you farewell, I earnestly beseech you all, and through you I beseech the rest who are under my spiritual charge, to ponder most deeply and seriously, and to lay to heart also, what God
himself spoke with such terrible signs of his power, and what his divine finger wrote for an everlasting memorial; what He decreed in the beginning of time when He rested from his marvellous works, and pronounced them good; and what our blessed Saviour, the fulfiller of all righteousness, obeyed in the true spirit of the command, and set the pattern to every succeeding generation of Christians; I earnestly beseech you all to remember the sabbath-day, to keep it holy.' And let the first proof of your remembrance of it, and the first act of keeping it holy, be your constant attendance here in God's house-a practice which will lead you on step by step to every other good work. Let your ministers lament no more the thin attendance of their hearers, in the afternoons especially. Come as often as you may, you will scarcely return without being the better and the wiser for it. I speak not of worldly wisdom, but of the wisdom which will save your souls. What blessing is there, of which you stand in need? Come here, and pray for it in concert with the whole assembly-your united prayers, with one mind and heart, ascending to God, will fetch every blessing down. Is there any blessing of which you feel the enjoyment? Come here, and thank God for it before your fellow men. Are you ignorant of any of the great gospel-doctrines which are necessary to be known? Come here, and they will be explained, each in its proper season, and you will be instructed to have a due and awful sense of their importance. Have you been seduced into sin; do your devotions become languid; do you neglect any duty; is your benevolence cold? Come to God's house; and you will hear discourses, it is to be hoped, as well as striking passages of scripture, which will awaken and arouse you; keep heaven always in your sight; fill you with heavenly affections; and prepare you to dwell in some heavenly mansion with the blessed saints of God. We, your ministers, I trust, amidst all the discouragements with which we are surrounded, the entire absence of so many, the apparent lukewarmness of others, preach, nevertheless, with the same zeal as if we preached to multitudes athirst for the word of God, and do not abate one tittle in our fervent desire for your everlasting salvation. The more, indeed, men neglect themselves, the more should the ministers of Christ care for them, and stir up every faculty which they have to rescue them from their dream of false security. Let not this labour of ours be in vain! Labour for yourselves as we labour for you; all of us alike, however, trusting to a greater strength than our own. And I pray God, that, under the influence of the Divine strength, and guided by his Holy Spirit, you may become the crown of our labours, and enable us to give up the account of our stewardship over you with joy."
ART, XIII.-Self-Delusion: a Sermon addressed to the Visible Church of Christ; to which are added some Forms of Prayer suitable to the present Time. By the Rev. Frederick Dusautoy, B. M. Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, &c. London: Hatchard and Son, Piccadilly. 1832. pp. 48.
WE have been much pleased with the principal passage in this discourse, although it contains one monstrous and shocking absurdity. The workings of selfishness are thus described :
"The principle of self may be traced when we feel mortified at any disrespect or neglect we may receive, although the opposite disregard often proceeds from the influence of a fancied self-importance-when we feel the risings of anger and revenge at some injury, slander, or slight, and a desire of retort and retaliation--when we manifest impatience at contradiction, and regard those opinions of others which are opposed to our own, with neglect or contempt-when we feel a reluctance to acknowledge our faults and errorss-when we are unwilling to yield to the will and inclination of others-when we manifest a dislike to be dictated to or found fault with, although the opposite extreme may likewise proceed from the pride of self-importance and superiority-when we in any manner or under any circumstances, neglect an inferior from the influence of pride or self-consequence; although condescension likewise often proceeds from great pride-when we are prejudiced against those who in any way manifest their dislike towards us, or have told us of some faults and frailties-when we in any way seek for the praise and applause of man, unless to receive it for promoting the glory of Godwhen we prefer or court the favour of our superiors, and neglect those we regard as our inferiors-when we do good to others for motives of self-interest, or for the gratification of some natural principle of benevolence: for one person may put himself to great personal inconvenience to relieve the distresses of a fellow-creature, from the influence of a natural benevolence of disposition; and another may commit murder to gratify the feeling of revenge; yet the former would not be less guilty in the sight of God than the latter. Both actions would proceed from a selfish principle, and self is sin. We may say to the former, verily he has his reward,' from the consequent feelings of self-complacency.
"The principle of self manifests itself also when we are pleased with praises and compliments, of which we are conscious we are not deserving--when we feel annoyed at the preference shown to others-when we indulge pride in any outward appearance, or in any circumstances and events we relate to others-when we feel hurt or annoyed at any remarks tending to lower our self-esteem, although the opposite effect often arises from the influence of a rooted self-conceit-when we use the gifts of nature or providence, or any artificial acquirements, to feed our vanity or pride-when we are given to sensual indulgence—when we feel little interest in the concerns or welfare of others-when we are desirous to speak of our own affairs, and unwilling to listen to those of
a brother-when we feel pleasure in relating the faults and failings of others--when we expose the injudiciousness of a brother for the purpose of displaying our own imagined better judgment-when we make any representations to others, which we think will tend to raise ourselves in their opinion-when we consider our own ease and comfort upon any occasion, and feel an unwillingness to make any sacrifice for that of others-when we are ready to spend in self-indulgence, what we should very reluctantly give towards the comforts of others, or the cause of religion-when we sometimes squander money for the sake of being thought liberal-when we are ashamed of poverty or of any state and condition in which we are placed by Providence-when we are unwilling to be under an obligation to any one-when we resist any thing which tends to our own humiliation or abasement.”—p. 13.
The man who writes thus has evidently no slight knowledge of the human heart; but how can he dare to say that one who does good from natural benevolence, and relieves distress at great personal inconvenience, is not less guilty in the sight of God than a deliberate and malicious murderer? If this be merely the slang of a party, it is downright nonsense, and demands pity rather than contempt; if it be any thing else, it is gross wicked
Unhappily the pamphlet contains further specimens of Mr. Dusautoy's theology. To say nothing of such phrases as these "O Lord Jesu Christ, our affectionate and beloved brother!" "There was a time, O our Brother and God!"-" We are taught by Thy word, O our Brother," and "May the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep our hearts in the love, and our minds in the knowledge of Thee, our Father, and of thy Son, our Brother, Jesus Christ," (p. 40-44)—to say nothing of these unauthorized and unjustifiable expressions (for when did any inspired writer or speaker presume to treat his Redeemer with this disgusting familiarity?), what will the reader think of the following commentary and definition?
"In the second general prayer on account of the Cholera, the following words occur:-" Give us grace to turn unto Thee with timely repentance, and thus to obtain through the merits of our Saviour, that pardon to day, which to-morrow it may be too late to seek for.' Now, we would here remark with deference to the opinions of more competent judges, that we conceive no Christian can use these words; yet no one but a Christian can pray.
"The whole of our Church Liturgy was very properly composed for the use of believers; as also the forms for the administration of the sacraments, and the order of the other rites and ceremonies of our Church. These remarks, however, do not afford the slightest excuse to the natural man for neglecting the use of the means of prayer, which God has promised to bless with the out-pouring of His Holy Spirit.
"It is most important to make a distinction between prayer and the means of prayer. Forms of words are simply the means of prayer; although extemporary words in prayer, by believers, consist of the utterance, as well as of the means of prayer. A correct definition of prayer would be, perhaps, to confine it wholly to the impression made by the Spirit of God on the heart. The Spirit maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.'
No Christian can repent, and turn, and be forgiven!!! None but a Christian can pray!!! And prayer is "an impression made by the Spirit of God on the heart"!!! We quote these phrases and make these exclamations not in anger, but in sorrow. It is useless to reason with those who require to be reasoned with upon the subject; but let such as are not yet drawn into the circle of this bewildering mysticism take warning in time.
ART. XIV.-On Clerical Education: a Letter, addressed to the Right Rev. Father in God, Edward, Lord Bishop of Llandaff. By a Clergyman. London: Rivingtons, 1832. pp. 12.
2. On the Office of Deacon: a Second Letter, addressed to the Right Rev. Father in God, Edward, Lord Bishop of Llandaff. By a Clergyman. London: Rivingtons, 1832. pp. 16.
THE fault of these tracts is that they are too short. They enter upon several very important subjects, but do not examine them thoroughly. They contain some very valuable suggestions, but do not enter into the details which must necessarily be considered before those suggestions can be adopted. Nevertheless we shall so far imitate the conduct which we condemn, as to dismiss the matter with a very few observations, recommending our readers to weigh the good advice contained in these pamphlets, and expressing a hope that the writer will follow up his blow by a more serious demand upon public attention.
The first letter recommends that candidates for orders should serve a sort of apprenticeship to their elder brethren in the Church.
"How many inconveniences result from these defects in clerical education, they best know, who have devoted their lives to the work of the ministry. Many of them have themselves only discovered, by painful experience, how much better they might have served God in the first years of their ministry, had they entered upon their holy office with