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with those anxieties, fears, and distressing convictions, which prepare the way for the work of grace, he became deeply sensible of his inexcusable criminality, and of the perfect righteousness of God in his condemnation. After that his mind was enlightened in the knowledge of Christ, and his heart filled with peace by an experimental discovery of gospel mercy. He manifested those new views and affections, which are the fruit of regenerating grace. The Bible appeared to him a new book, full of light and glory in every part. Those representations of God and divine objects, which once occasioned gloomy and painful feelings, gave him the most pure and substantial satisfaction. He loved religious retirement, and also greatly delighted in public worship. That preaching, which brings down the loftiness of man, and makes Christ all in all, best suited the renewed temper of his heart. Though for several years he enjoyed much tranquillity and heavenly delight in communion with God his Saviour, he afterwards had seasons of anxiety and doubt. He
deeply lamented his wandering thoughts, and his spiritual dulness. These inward struggles and affiictions led him to a more thorough acquaintance with his own depravity, and his dependence on infinite mercy. His own experience abundantly taught him, that without Christ he could do nothing. His habitual acknowledgment was; "by the grace of God I am what I am." His outward deportment corresponded with his inward frame. Says a judicious friend, who was intimately acquainted with him; "never did I know the man who showed more of the spirit of a Christian than he did; and as he approached nearer to the heavenly world, the more holy and heavenly he appeared." A Christian, so exemplary and pious, must have been beloved and useful in life, and deserves to be lamented in death.
In this town, on the 13th inst. the Rev. SAMUEL STILLMAN, D.D. Pastor of the First Baptist Church, in the 70th year of his age, and the 43d of his ministry. We shall insert some particulars respecting this eminent minister in our next Number.
LITTLE rambler of the night,
Little rambler of the night
Blessed be this voice of thine!
A review of Dr. Lathrop's fourth volume of sermons has been received, but is necessarily deferred till next month.
We have received a well written biographical sketch of the late Rev. Oaks Shaw, whose death we noticed in our last No. This sketch is highly honorary to the ministerial character of the deceased. Its insertion is necessari. ly postponed for the present. An interview with the author is requested. Candidus is just received, but is toote for this month.
Pastor's concluding number on the importance of a general association of Congregational ministers is received, and shall appear in our next. Those who feel concerned for the union and prosperity of our churches, we doubt not will read this excellent essay with interest, and we hope with conviction. ERRATUM. In the Panoplist for January, page 373.-Thesis I. Read as follows-There are certain external works, &c.-which use, or are wont
solent) sometimes to be freely done, &c.
THE CHRISTIAN'S ARMORY.
[No. 11. Vol. II.
For the Panoplist. REFLECTIONS ON THE LIFE OF MR. WILLIAM HOWARD, Messrs. Editors,
WHAT I here send you is means of awakening and contaken from a pamphlet, contain- vincing him, and of bringing him ing some remarkable passages to the saving knowledge of in the life of Mr. William How- Christ. In pointing out the exard, who died at North Ferriby, cellence of his renewed characin the county of York, (Eng.) ter, Mr. Milner mentions, 1. His March 2, 1804, by JOSEPH Mil- uncommon religious joy. “WonNER, A. M. late master of the der, gratitude, and love were the grammar school of Kingston up- constant effusions of his soul, on Hull, and vicar of Trinity whenever he spoke of the Most church.*
High. His language was a conHe first relates the remarka- tinued series of blessing and ble conversion of Mr. Howard, praise, and that not in a formal who was one of his parishioners. manner, but with spontaneous “ His conversion was very simi- ease and liberal dignity of mind.” lar to that of Col. Gardiner ; not 2. His godly fear. Amidst the so striking in some circumstan- overflowings of his joy, he reces, but equally solid.” From tained a constant fear of sin. His the greatest profaneness, sensu- remembrance of what he had ality, and blasphemy, he was been, and still might be, if left to raised to the love and practice of himself, had an evident tendency Christian virtue and piety. The to temper his joy, and to preevents of divine providence, and serve all his affections in their especially the preaching and con- due equilibrium. 3. The strength versation of Mr. Milner, were and simplicity of his faith. 4. used by the Divine Spirit, as the His love. His affections were ev
er on the wing towards God, * Readers may not all know what equally lively and steady. He celebrity Mr. Milner has obtained by ardently loved the saints, and the excellent Church History, which he has lately published ; of which, it
even panted for the conversion is hoped, there will soon be an A. of sinners. 5. Chastity. This is merican edition.
particularly mentioned, because No. 11. Vol. II.
"It is high time to ask the reader, what he thinks of the foregoing narrative, and to desire him to reflect what is the most probable mode of accounting for the extraordinary scenes which we have reviewed. Extraordinary it must be confessed they are; and, as a rational creature was the subject of them, and they issued in a lasting moral alteration of his principles and conduct, any person who judges seriously of the importance of events, and who feels with a proper degree of regard for the good of the human species, will overlook at once the political insignificance, both of the subject and of the author of these me
moirs, and will own that nothing in the brilliant course of public affairs deserves half the attention.
"Let us state to our minds what is certain in these transactions. Here is an human being immersed in uncommon vice and profligacy, even to the decline of life. The force of habit has strengthened his passions in evil, by such a Constant and uncontrolled course of indulgence, that, hu manly speaking, his reformation is to be despaired of; the powers of conscience are, as it were, obliterated, and nothing remains within him, that seems capable of making the least head against the abounding torrent of iniquity: yet is this man, without any philosophical aids and reflections, suddenly, as in a moment, from a state of extreme insensibility, alarmed, awakened, changed in the whole bent of his affections, solidly, and abidingly altered in his whole deportment, and lives all the remainder of his days, a course of some years, a life of the most pious regard to his Maker, of the strictest chastity and temperance towards himself, and of the most genuine charity towards all mankind. Thus far, plain matter of fact lies before the reader. Had the story been told of a person living in China or Japan, it might have been said by some, with a sagacious sneer, that the writer had taken care to draw his narrative from a convenient distance; but the story here submitted to the reader's attention, lies within the compass of every one's means of information. I flatter myself its truth will not be disputed by any; and should any really doubt of it, I can easi
ly supply 'them with abundant come to make such powerful means of satisfying themselves. resolutions, or to have liis will
“ I. The first reflection which so disposed. To say that he naturally occurs here then, is, does it by his will or resolution, what sort of doctrine, or what no more accounts for the change, method, was made use of in the than to say, that it will account production of so admirable a for a man's taking a journey to change? because on all hands it such a place, that he walked will be allowed, that many are in with his feet thither. the same dreadful circum- “ The doctrines which Mr. stances, in point of morality, and Howard espoused, and to the force it would be very much worth of which alone upon his heart while to try the same medicines he was ever ready to ascribe the upon them.
.change which took place in his " It would be a very absurd and whole man, were JUSTIFICAunreasonable method of eluding TION and RegENERATION. I the force of this whole business use these two terms for the sake to say, " there seems nothing so of conciseness, as I see no rea. very strange or extraordinary in son why Christian divinity, low, it. The man took a sudden and very low indeed, and perfectly strong resolution to alter his contemptible as it appears in the life ; and it was a very happy eyes of polite and fashionable circumstance that he stuck to people at this day, should not the resolution ; and this is the be allowed the use of comprewhole mystery of the matter.” hensive and convenient expres. Such careless thoughts are ex- sions, as well as other sciences. tremely suitable to the sceptical By the doctrine of Justification and superficial taste of the day. is meant, the particular method Such an answer I remember * , laid down in the Scripture of was made to a person, whose honourably acquitting sinful moral change was no less extra- men before their God, through ordinary than that of Mr. How- the atonement or righteousness ard, when he had told his story of Jesus Christ, without the to a person of some eminence in least regard had to their works this kingdom. But surely such or deservings, Rom. iii. 22—27. random observations prove noth- On the contrary it is supposed, ing but the supine indifference that the man who is to be the of those who make them. No subject of Christian justification, doubt all moral changes must is a condemned sinner in himbe attended with some resolu: self, deserving only the wrath of
, tions of the person concerned, God, and too deeply involved in because the will of man must guilt to be ever extricated by pecessarily be interested in any merit of his own. This docthem. But the difficulty is, how trine implies the character of to account for it, that a person the Supreme Being to be inflexso circumstanced should ever ibly holy and just, and m'
room for the surprising di • This fact I had from the person of his infinite mercy by th himself, who is now living, and is a very respectable clergymen in the
stitution of his only b metropolis.
Son, at once to satisf
Justice, to condemn sin, and to exhibit the purest discoveries of the most unbounded goodness. The reader has seen the influence of all this on Mr. Howard's mind. His distress of soul began with these very ideas of the divine purity and justice, as signally to be displayed on the last judgment-day, and his peace and comfort were at length as suddenly effected, by the discovery of the doctrine of Justification by Jesus Christ merely through faith, as above explained. Certain it is, that the great outlines of his change depended on this doctrine, scripturally understood, in connexion with its just dependencies. It was no smooth harangue on the moral fitness of things, or on the native beauty of virtue, or on the dignity of human nature, or on the arbitrary mercy of God, to the exclu sion of his justice and purity, that had the least concern on his moral alteration. Such schemes and views may please the taste of corrupt mankind, and many would think them far more like, ly to have effected the change, than a doctrine so simple, and so contrary to men's natural notions. Deo alner visum. No such happy effects have ever been the consequence of such lectures; but the instances of solid benefit derived from the Christian doctrine of Justification are innumerable.
state of extreme depravation, needing an entire renovation in all their affections and faculties, which change is called by Christ himself by the name of being born again, a change effected solely by the Spirit of God; and therefore those who are possessed of it are said to be born of the Spirit. All then who boast of man's natural love of goodness and virtue, and cherish ideas of the strength of his powers to save himself, militate wholly against those doctrines which he found so useful to his soul. Indeed it so happens in experience, that the success of such pretended reformers resembles that of noisy empirics, in physic; the true lovers and genuiné practitioners of genuine virtue being found only among those, whose very doctrine lays a solid foundation for humbling man, and glorifying his Maker.
"Thus far then the presumption lies in favour of these two doctrines of Justification and Regeneration, that a change so confessedly great, or a conversion= so extraordinary (will the polite reader allow me the word? I really know no other so proper) was effected, supported, and car-_ ried on entirely by the influence of these doctrines.
"The other great Christian doctrine, which he as sincerely embraced, and which he ever looked on as of vast influence in all his religious concerns, is Regeneration. This doctrine implies man, all men without exception, to be naturally in a
"We may now proceed a step farther, and observe that his change cannot possibly be accounted for in any other way than by a divine influence. The doctrines which he espoused, and by the power of which alone it was effected, are certainly of so peculiar a nature, as to evi-dence their divine origin. That a sinner should be justified be-fore his Maker, purely by the