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never suffer himself to become the dupe, or the instrument of a faction. His patriot breast will disdain to har. bour a spirit, that would immolate one half of his countrymen with the hope of ruling and reigning with the rest. Equally inimical will he be to that boasted philanthropy, whose colossal strides to fraternize the whole world, are stained with the blood and covered with the victims of all its parts. His benevolence for his kind will never wage war with his affection for his kindred. His friends are the friends of his country, and he is an enemy to those only, who are at war with its rights and liberties. The language of his heart is, and the same is inscribed upon every enterprize, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."
bat public error and vice, although it be at the expense of public favour,, choosing rather to fall in the support and defence of national virtue, than to rise on the flood of national corruption and wickedness.
"This is a noble characteristic of a soldier. It is something different from that mechanical courage that is acquired in a crowd, or from calcu lations upon chance. It is something distinct from that hardihood, which arises from general insensibility to evil and to good. However useful this kind of bravery may be under the direction and management of a military despot; yet it is not that true valour, which excites admiration and inspires the greatest confidence. This is a virtue that arises from reflection; from a consideration of a greater good, than length of days; from a belief of an existence, that can neither be embittered nor destroyed by the wrath of man; from the hope of a reward for noble and virtuous actions, more sure and more lasting than national gratitude or popular favour; from the prospect of a crown more honorary and glorious than the laurels, which the hero gathers in the field of battle...more imperishable than the marble, on which is inscribed the conqueror's fame." This godlike virtue is the offspring of religion, and is nourished by piety. And we have said, that these are not only consistent with the character, but are the brightest ornaments, the most honourable insignia, the safest : and most complete armour of a soldier,
"When a knowledge of the military art is animated by a spirit of patriotism, it will seldom fail of being accompanied with true valour. This is another essential requisite in the character of a soldier. Not that courage, however, which would lead a man rashly and unnecessarily to expose his life to danger. Not that mistaken passion, which, rather than endure the adversities of life, tempts a man to lay violent hands upon himself. Not that false, impious cour. age, which under the influence of personal revenge, sooner than lose the pleasure of quenching the fire of resentment in the blood of a fellow soldier, looks to heaven, and challenges Omnipotence to preserve that life, which it has challenged man to destroy..... But that true bravery, which, in obedience to the call of its country, prefers the post of duty, although it be in the high road to danger and to death, to dishonourable flight, or dastardly obscurity. That active, persevering valour, that never sleeps when its country is in danger...is never weary in vindicating her rights and defending her liberties against the encroachments and usurpation of avarice and ambition. That magnanimity that cheerfully sacrifices private ease and emolument to public security, to national prosperity and happiness. That heroic fortitude that nobly dares to com
"With these the pious king of Judah was adorned, and by them also he was strengthened. They gave beauty to his character, and energy and splendour to his actions. We admire and commend his vigilance and activity in fortifying his cities and preparing for resistance. But we venerate more his humility and piety in trusting in the God of Israel; and, in addition to his own exertions, repairing to the throne of the Most High, and beseeching Him, in a time of trouble and danger, to be the shield and refuge of his people. We applaud his wisdom and prudence in seasonably organizing his forces and amply furnishing them with instru ments of defence. But we are charm
ed with the faith and confidence, he expressed, not merely in the height and strength of his walls, nor in the number and discipline of his troops; but in the wisdom and strength of that ARM, which bringeth salvation, and getteth the victory. This was the ground of encouragement to his people....the great animating motive, by which he roused them to resistance, and inspired them with undaunted bravery against the enemy. "For there be more with us than with him: with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles."
Sermons on various subjects, and evangelical, devotional, practical, adapted to the promo to the tion of Christian piety, family religion, and youthful virtue. By JOSEPH LATHROP, D. D. Pastor of the first church in West Springfield. Worcester. Isaiah Thomas, jun. 1806.
THAT the author of these sermons is a man of genius, an elegant writer, and a well informed divine, the public are already convinced by undeniable proof. Besides a large number of single discourses, three volumes of sermons had obtained an extensive circulation, before the publication of that under review. At the Doctor's age an access of reputation is not ordinarily to be expected; but even in this respect he will lose nothing by the present work. The subjects are various, and many of them peculiarly interesting. From the first sermon, “On the folly of Atheism," we make the following ex
cause of his existence here, may be the cause of his existence hereafter. Or, if there is no cause, he may exist without a cause, in another state, as well as in this. And if his corrupt heart and abominable works make him so unhappy here, that he had rather be annihilated, than run the hazard of a future existence, what hinders but that he may be unhappy forever? The man then is a fool, who wishes there were no God, hoping thus to be secure from future misery; for, admitting that there were no God, still he may exist hereafter, as well as here; and if he does exist, his corruptions and vices may render him miserable eternally, as well as for the present."
"If it were true, that there is no God, what evidence can the Atheist have, that he shall not exist and be miserable after death? How came he to exist at all Whatever was the
In the second discourse, the subject of which is "Enmity to Religion," the following objection is introduced, "The gospel is mysterious; but if God gives men a revelation, he will give them one, which they can understand." To which the Doctor replies,
"It must be supposed, that a rev. elation from God relating to the invisible and eternal world, and to our preparation for an entrance into it, will contain some things, which, tho' intelligible as far as our practice is
concerned, may yet be mysterious and incomprehensible in many unessential circumstances: for, indeed, almost every thing which we see, is
Even the religion of nature conries, as the religion of the gospel. tains as great and inscrutable mysteThe eternity, self-existence, omnipresence, and foreknowledge of God are as inexplicable, as the doctrine of and mind in man is as mysterious, as the Trinity. The connexion of body the union of the divine and human natures in Christ. The influence of providence in supporting our frame, directing our motions, and overruling our actions is as unsearchable, as the influence of the Spirit in forming us to the temper, and assisting us to the duties of religion. The creation of the world and of the first man out of nothing, is as inconceivable to our reason, as the resurrection of the dead after their bodies are mingled with dust. If, then, we reject the gospel
because we find in it doctrines, which we cannot comprehend, we shall not long retain natural religion, whose doctrines are quite as incomprehensible. Every man who pretends to believe any thing about religion, must believe the eternity, omnipresence, foreknowledge and universal provi. dence of God; the existence and immortality of a rational mind united to this mortal body; the creation of man by the immediate power of God; and our continual dependence on him for life and breath, and for all our abilities and pleasures. Without a belief of these grand truths, there is no foundation for religion. But if every thing mysterious is, for that reason, incredible, these must be discarded with the mysteries of the gospel. The infidel, who cavils at the latter, will not long spare the former."
To a sermon from these words, Thou art good and dost good; teach me thy statutes, the author has given the following title, God's goodness the hope of the penitent; but no security to the finally impenitent. In this sermon some of the popular arguments in favour of universal salvation are answered with great clearness and energy
"You should always keep it in mind, that wickedness tends to misery, and must, if retained, finally terminate in it. The question, therefore, is not so much concerning God's immediate execution of punishment on sinners, as concerning their bringing misery on themselves. If you continue in your sins, and die in your impenitence, "know ye, that your sins will find you out, and your iniquities will fall upon you"-" His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself; he shall be holden in the cords of his sins." It is absurd to start cavils against, and study evasions of the divine threatenings, unless you can prove, that a wicked and ungodly life, followed with a hardened and impenitent death, is, in its nature, consistent with glory and happiness. Some, I suppose, will say, "If we are to judge of men's characters according to the tenor of the gospel, there is, and probably ever has been in the
world, a much greater number of sinners, than of saints; and it is not credible, that a merciful God will doom to misery so great a proportion of his intelligent creatures.'
"But do you seriously think, that the number of sinners is a reason, why God will not punish any? If it is, then the greater the number, the stronger the reason for impunity. And consequently by promoting vice, you add to the general safety. I hope you will not act on such an opinion. Though the number of sinners be ever so great, and their combinations ever so strong, the wicked shall not go unpunished. If sin indulged in the heart, and practised in the life, not only deserves punishment from the justice of God, but tends to misery in its own nature, then the number of sinners is no security; for this will neither lessen sin's demerit, nor ar rest its tendency. Though thousands should, at the same time, be afflicted with a painful disease, not one will feel his own pain alleviated by the sufferings of the rest. Vice is the disorder, as well as the guilt of the soul; and the disorder is the same, whether many or few are infected with it. The man tormented with
envy, malice, pride, ambition, and avarice, is still tormented, though thousands of others may indulge the same passions. You may as well expect that a general famine will satisfy every man's hunger, as expect that general wickedness will prevent each one's misery. Vice will operate like itself in every one, who habitually practises it; and every one must bear his own burden. If numbers cannot turn vice into virtue, then numbers can be no defence against punishment. If it be just to punish one sinner, it is just to punish ten, or ten thousand. The number of sinners alters not the justice of the procedure. Human government may, on reasons of state, sometimes spare an offending multitude; but these reasons cannot operate with the Deity. His power is as sufficient to punish many as few. Though the whole human race should rebel, his throne stands firm. He needs not the services of his creatures; and if he did, the same power which created those who now exist, could supply by
a new creation the place of all who revolt."
In all ages the origin of evil seems to have been a subject of perplexing inquiry. No point, perhaps, in philosophy or metaphysics, has been more painfully investigated; but the difficulties. attending it have not disappear ed. With regard to this subject, God holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth a cloud upon it. Dr. L. has briefly treated this subject, in a discourse which has this title; The sins and miseries of men, not God's doings, but their own.
On the question of God's positive efficiency in the production of moral evil, our author, in agreement with the divines of the synod of Dort, and a large majority of those, who have been considered most orthodox, embraces the negative. He supposes, that it implies no contradiction, that God should communicate to man the power of originating some of his volitions. On this subject, we offer no opinion. We only express our wish that men on both sides would be careful not to misrepresent the sentiments of their opponents, and would govern themselves and seek to influence others by fair, scriptural reasoning. How various soever may be the sentiments of our readers on the question, they will agree, it is believed, that the discourse of which we are speaking, is written with candour and ingenuity. If the Doctor cannot satisfy, he seems resolved not to offend.
also. So the servants of the house
emy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares holder came and said unto him; Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said to them, an enemy hath done this." In the explanation of this parable, Jesus says, "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy, that sowed them, is the devil." In tracing the introduction of evil, our Lord goes no farther; and here our inquiries must be stayed. Had the householder judged it ne cessary, that his servants should know he became so malicious, he would, where this enemy got his seed, or how
on so fair an occasion, have instructed them further on the subject. He said no more upon it, because no more needed to be said. With this his servants were fully satisfied. It would be well, that we should terminate our inquiries, where these modest servants terminated theirs."
"On the question concerning the introduction of evil, we need go no farther, and we can go no farther, than our Saviour has gone. He says, "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man, who sowed good seed in his field; and while men slept an en
The following, on a very different subject, is no common specimen of fine writing.
"Here we need the vicissitudes of day and night for labour and rest. The light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. The night, though favourable to repose, is, however, a gloomy season. The gloom we endeavour to dispel by artificial lights. But in heaven there is no need of a candle, for there is no night there; and no need of the sun, for the glory of the Lord doth lighten it, and Jesus is the light
thereof. Here we have our seasons
All friend-It was a nipping sermon, a pinching sermon, a biting sermon, a sharp biting sermon."
We know of no language more descriptive of the discourse under consideration. The reader may judge by the following specimen :
en things will be new. ship there will be the union of pure and immortal minds in disinterested benevolence to one another, and in supreme love to the all glorious Jehovah."
In the sixth particular of instruction, suggested by the story of the importunate friend, p. 215, are many valuable thoughts; but their connexion with the subject is less obvious, than could be desired.
The close of the sermon is very impressive, and calculated to melt the backsliding Christian. "Remember, my Christian friends, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals, when you went after Christ in the wilderness. Remember your former fears and distresses under a conviction of your sins. Remember what earnest applications you made to your Saviour, and what kind answers, in due time, you received. Remember what comfort you felt, when you could call him your Saviour and friend, and could appropriate the evidences and tokens of his love. Remember your former zeal for his service, and your professed dedication to him. Has your zeal languished, and your love waxed cold? Remember, how you have received and heard; how you have resolved and promised; and hold fast and repent."
"If sinners treat with indifference the calls and invitations of the Sav. iour; yet who would expect this from you? Did you not promise that you would be holiness to the Lord, and that - all your works, like the first fruits, should be consecrated to him? What iniquity have ye found in him, that you should depart from him and walk after vanity? I beseech you by the mercies of Christ, by your own experience of his mercies, and by the promises, which you have made, that you present yourselves living sacrifices, holy and acceptable, which is your reasonable service."
The twenty-first discourse is entitled, "The pernicious ef fects of an inflamed tongue."
The tongue is a fire, &c. James iii. 6. Bishop Latimer said of Jonah's message to the Ninevites, No. 11. Vol. II. Uvu
"There is one observation more, which, though not mentioned by our apostle, yet naturally arises from our subject; namely, that this infernal heat, which usually sets the tongue on fire, and renders it very voluble and loquacious, sometimes causes a swell and stiffness, which is accompanied by a sullen taciturnity. This symptom, though not so extensively mischievous, as the inflammation, which we have described, may be as painful to the patient, and as vexatious to the bystanders. We read of some, who were brought, by their friends, to our Saviour to be cured of their dumbness. Whether this dumbness was caused by the impotence of the organ, or by the wilfulness of the mind, it is not said. But whatever might be the immediate cause, there was a satanical operation at the bottom. The patients are expressly said to be "possessed of the devil," to have a "dumb spirit." And "when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake."
Few authors manifest a more productive genius, or more ex tensive theological information, than Dr. L. His mind, in no degree enervated by years, still displays its rich, undiminished treasures, to the improvement and joy of believers. His excellence, as an author, appears in his descriptive, practical, and devotional performances; rather than in those which are controversial. Though it ought to be acknowledged, that the sermons he has published against Deism and Atheism are potent and irresistible in point of argument.
• Ite Latimer's sermon, delivered before king Edward 6th, 1550.