Imágenes de páginas

is not the nature of passion to a day which will nearly precede view things candidly, and to sep- the effusion of the seventh vial, arate the precious from the vile; &the total destruction of the mysbut to confound the good with the tical Babylon. The two last wars bad, and to destroy both promis- in Europe have had a more recuously.

markable effect, than any precedBigotry in religion, like des- ing wars, in subverting the papal potism in government, may en- power. dure for a season, sometimes (To be continued.) longer than we should have imagined; but, by overacting its part, it will in time destroy itself. As a revolution in despotic gov- THE DECALOGUE. ernments often produces anarchy

No. 5. in the first instance, but may ter- Fifth Commandment. minate in something more rea

“ Honour thy father and thy sonable ; so a revolution in big- mother, that thy days may be otry and superstition may be im- long upon the land which the mediately followed with an ap- Lord thy God giveth thee.” parent increase of irreligion, buť From father and mother all be ultimately productive of a real other duties originate. Duty is reformation. Prophecy teaches reciprocal. Parents must not us to expect, that, on the demoli- provoke their children to wrath, tion of the papal superstition, but bring them up in the nurture there will be a remarkable preva- and admonition of the Lord; and lence of infidelity ; but in a short children must honour their patime there will be a general rents.

The command is a little spread of pure Christianity.

varied in Leviticus. Te shall fear John farther says, “ The kings every man his mother and father, and of the earth are gathered to battle keep my Sabbaths. Honour in that into a place, called in the Hebrew passage is explained by fear in tongue Armageddon," or the this. Father is mentioned first mountain of destruction. The in the one, but mother in the name is taken from the ancient other, probably intimating that Megiddo, or Megiddon ; a place both have an equal claim

upon famous in the Jewish history for the honour and fear of children. war and slaughter. The late ex

Instruction of a delicate nature traordinary wars in Europe have may be involved in the appendix had their principal seat in the to the command ; shall fear Netherlands, and adjacent parts, every man his mother and father, which, like the Megiddo of the and shall keep my Sabbaths.Hebrews, have long been fields of The command of a mother and blood and slaughter.

father is binding ; but if it interThe battle, to which the kings fere with the command of God, are gathered, is called “the bat- obey God rather than man. te of the great day of God Al- Should parents require that chilmighty ;" a day, in which the dren break the Sabbath, or throw cause of religion is assailed, and contempt upon any of God's orin which God is about to perform dinances ; obedience, otherwise some great work in its support ; indispensable, must be withheld,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

that we may discover proper re- enacted by the Athenian legislaspect to the highest of all author. tor, that whoever refused to ities.

maintain his aged parents should Grateful and affectionate ought be deemed infamous. The laws we to be to our parents. They of Romulus carried the matter watched over our infant years with much too far, subjecting the child, anxiety, and have been unremit- of whatever age, or however dig. ting in their friendly offices. nified by talents, office, or reputa. Their kind attachment to us, their tion, so entirely to the power of mature judgment, and their au- the parents, that of his own thority over us, lay the founda. authority he might imprison or tion of dutiful attachment to their enslave him, and even put him to persons, deference to their judg. death.

The youth of Sparta ment, and obedience to their com- were obliged to rise up, whenever mands. If they are in circum- their superiors in age appeared, stances which require our sym- to give place, meeting them in pathy or service, how can piety be the street, and to be silent in better expressed, than by returning their presence. This duty, as all the sympathy and service which others, was taught very deficientwe received from them, when in ly, in the systems of morality infancy we were thrown helpless known to the Gentiles. In the upon their care. The profigate sacred page it appears in its full Jews had a strange contrivance for extent, and is enjoined by proper satisfying their own minds, while motives. The command before they neglected this duty. Our us includes relative duties of Lord severely animadverts upon every kind, requiring us to be their conduct, Matt. xv. 3, 6. dutiful to superiors, whether in The supply, to which parents the family, the church, or the were entitled, they devoted by a rash vow to the sacred treasury, This commandment is the and thereby vainly imagined, and first, to which a promise is annexwere confirmed in the imagina- ed. In the second command. tion by an avaricious priesthood, -ment, indeed, there is a general that they were absolved from any declaration of mercy toward further obligations to either of them, who love God, and keep their parents.

Such evasions are his commandments. But this is in the highest degree criminal. the only precept of the decalogue, Children, says the apostle, obey which contains a promise peculiar your parents in the Lord, for this is to itself. right. Obey your parents in all Let children honour their fa. things, for this is well pleasing in the ther and mother, that their days sight of the Lord. The child Je- may be long upon the land, sus was subject to his parents; which the Lord their God giveth and he ended a useful life by an them. Under the Jewish dispenact of duty to his mother, provi- sation, to curse, or to strike a ding for her future sustenance parent was punished with death. and comfort.

The same punishment was in. All nations have had

flicted on those, who continued sense of the duty, which children in stubborn disobedience to a owe to their parents.

It was parent's command. But obedi.



ent children dwelt in safety, ble they can enjoy either solid The blessing of God visibly at comfort or joyful hope, as creatended them, securing such tem- tures formed for eternity, and poral prosperity, as would be for hereafter to be judged according their real advantage. Such per- to the gospel. To assist them in sons live in honour and peace. this interesting inquiry, their at. They shall come to their grave tention is earnestly requested to in a full age, as a shock

of corn the following observations. cometh in its season. The hea- 1. Sincerity in the profession of then encouraged obedience to Christianity is inseparable from just parents by the same argument. and impressive views of Christiak Euripides says, that children, who truth. bonour their parents, are dear to the The whole value of Christian. gods, both living and dead. Senar. ity to men ultimately rests on the ius is mentioned by Stephanius as truth of this principle. If sincersaying; "Thou shalt live as long ity, unconnected with any particas thou canst desire, if thou nour. ular views of religious truth, be ish thy aged parents." Hence all that is necessary, of what use Xenophon's description of chil- is the gospel, as the means of saldren who deserve praise; those vation? We may with impunity wbo nourish the aged. The daugh- , believe any thing we please, and ter, whose breasts supplied nour- our final happiness not be endan, ishment to an aged father, arbi- gered, , though we know not trarily condemned to die by hun- whom nor what we adore. Singer, has acquired fame which cerity considered in itself, ine ages shall listen to, and respect. deed, is perfectly compatible Such actions perpetuate the with the most pernicious errors, name, and give a kind of immor. both in religion and in morals; tality on earth.

with the rejection of the most esPHILOLOGOS. sential doctrines and precepts of

Christianity ; nay, with the disbelief of the existence of God.

It has been combined with ignoOX RELIGIOUS SINCERITY. rance and idolatry; and the his.

tory of the world loudly attests The insincerity of many, who the atrocity of the deeds, which profess to be Christians, is to be its spirit dictates, and its authori. deeply lamented, as the bane ty sanctions. It erected the of their own salvation, as well as stake, and lighted up the faggot the cause of exposing religion to of persecution in popish counfrequent though unmerited re- tries. It unsheathed the sword proach. It is of the last import- of exterminating violence, and ance, therefore, for all who have brutal sensuality, where the cresthe form of godliness, to ascer- cent of Mahomet was raised. tain to their own conviction, And still, it kindles the fire that whether they have sincerely em- consumes the widow on the braced the gospel, or have only a plains of Hindostan ; raises the name to live, while they are still knife that is plunged in the trem. dead in trespasses and sin. With- bling victim, and gives vigour out this conviction, it is impossi- to the unrelenting arm that sacVol. II, No.2.


rifices a son or a daughter on the forming the duties, which he has bloodstained altars of frantic su- enjoined, this religion cannot be perstition. Separated from the sincerely embraced if we regard principles of truth, sincerity, God in any other light, than that therefore, instead of being valua- in which he has been pleased to błe, is dangerous in the highest make himself known to us; or degree. It fosters the spirit of neglect the performance of these superstition, and is the parent of duties. For instance, though we the most enormous crimes. should succeed in persuading

But what is truth? or where ourselves, that God is altogether is it to be found ? To men, who such as we are, indifferent to the acknowledge the inspiration and principles and conduct of his au hority of Scripture, the answer worshippers: we may be perfect, is obvious. That God is holy ly sincere in this persuasion, and and just; that men are depraved under its influence be guilty of and guilty, and therefore obnox- the most aggravated sins. But ious to punishment; but that if we have received from himGod sent his Son, and he volun- self an unequivocal assurance tarily came into the world, by that he looketh on the heart and his obedience and sufferings as a trieth the reins of the children of propitiation for sin, to reconcile. men, and that whosoever commen unto God by his own blood; mitteth sin is worthy of death, that repentance and faith, both though we should forget or decommunicated to individual sin- spise this truth, or not feel its inners by the influence and energy fluence, if it has been made known of the Holy Spirit, are the only to us, our sincerity in a contrary effectual means of being interest- conviction will never be sused in the redemption proclaimed tained as a satisfactory apology through the Saviour; and that for our disobedience. Or, if we holiness, or a transformation of should believe that our supposed the heart and character into the good works will procure the parresemblarce of the divine image, don of sin and acceptance with is the only snre preparation for God, while he has made a diathe heavenly state. These are metrically opposite declaration, the few simple truths, which the that "by the deeds of the law gospel reveals, as the object of a no flesh living can be justified," sinner's knowledge and belief. though we should maintain our These, known and believed, are own opinion, ever so firmly or the foundation of Christian sin. sincerely, we must be regarded cerity : so essential to its exist. as real, though perhaps not ence, that whoever disbelieves avowed enemies of the cross of and rejects them, practically pro- Christ, and as such, be justly nounces against himself a sentence chargeable with neglecting the of exclusion from the blessings of great salvation. In a word, if the gospel.

we have received the revelation The danger of mistake on this of truth and duty, if we acknowl. point is so imminent, that some edge its authority, and have acillustration of it may not be un- cess to know and read it for necessary. If then religion con- ourselves, or to hear it explained sist in worshipping God, and per- by others; unless we sincerely believe and cordially obey it, prospects of approaching misery, however much we may deceive and the most alluring invitations ourselves or impose on others, of promised mercy, are present. we are only almost, not altogeth- ed in vain. The profession of er Christians. The truth is not religion may be made, the conin us, and our sincerity in error, duct may be free from open un. when we have the means of be- godliness; but a lifeless form is ing undeceived, instead of excus- all that exists. But he, who de ing us, must aggravate our con- sires in sincerity and truth to serve demnation before God.

the Lord Christ, is all ardor and 2. Sincerity in the profession of alacrity. Constitutional temper Christianity is inseparable from ardor may incline him to sloth, but if and diligence in discovering what is he feels the importance of relig, truth and duty.

ion, he will shake off this dispoThe situation of some men is sition so unfavourable to every anquestionably much more fa- dignified pursuit, and make sal. vourable than that of others, for vation his chief concern. Unac, acquiring Christian knowledge. quainted with arts and sciences But if the mind is at all capable he may be ; but he will study the of reflection, and interested in in- word of God, and derive from it quiring after truth, even in the a knowledge and a wisdom, as most unfavourable situation, sin-. much more excellent and valuacerity will lead to the most earnest ble than that, which earthly desires, and issue in the attainment learning can afford, as the soul of considerable knowledge on re- is than the body, and the glories ligious subjects. Sincerity in

Sincerity in of heaven than the pleasures of what is known, is all that is or the world.

He is anxious to can be required; yet, it will not know the will of God concerning allow a man to be satisfied with a all his faith and duty, that he low degree of knowledge, but may cordially embrace the one, will powerfully incite him to se- and diligently perform the othriousness and diligence in exam- er. Having an object of ever. ining what is revealed, that he lasting importance before him, may be thoroughly furnished unto he pursues it with ardor, and is every good word and work. Ig. daily advancing toward its posnorance is often the source of

session. His heart is engaged ; ror in opinion, corruption in his affections seek a reconciled morals, and ruin to the soul.

God in Christ, as their supreme And if the opportunity and good; and by this he is distin. means of knowledge be delibe- guished both from the hypocrite, rately and wilfully neglected, it and from the formalist. is impossible that the plea of His mind being thus under the sincerity can be of any avail. power of the truth as it is in Je

Sincerity, therefore, is directly op- şus, opened to discern the impored to indifference. It is indeed portance not only of acting altogether incompatible with such conscientiously in what is alreaa spirit. To him, who submits dy known to be right, but of acto the influence of religious in- quiring more extensive and acsensibility, the most alarming curate

knowledge concerning the


« AnteriorContinuar »