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divine favor. They will enter Heaven without being under any obligation to God for pardoning them, or to the Lord Jesus Christ for redeeming them. How utterly inconsistent this is with the whole tenor of Scripture, I need not inform you.
4. If the sufferings of the wicked are only a necessary and salutary discipline, designed to produce their reformation and promote their ultimate happiness, then they are not to be regarded, in any proper sense, as punishment. A man who takes medicine, or subinits to the amputation of u limb, to restore health, or save life, is not punished. Punishment is the infliction of positive evil; it is subjecting the guilty to sufferings which, all things considered, are an evil to them. If then the wicked in the future world suffer only for their good, they are not punished. While enduring the torments of Hell, they will have occasion for submission and thankfulness; for what they endure is only the chastisement of a kind Father, who is preparing them, by this necessary discipline, for the purity and happiness of Heaven. But is Hell indeed a world of mercy? Does God there display his grace, and cause all things to work together for good, not to them who love him, but to them who hate him? Let the Bible, let common sense decide.
'There was something in her way.'-It is impossible to estimate the pernicious consequences of giving wrong directions to persons under deep conviction of sin. A single word, at this critical period, may strike the balance, and decide the destiny of the soul for eternity! The sinner will almost invariably settle down upon a false foundation, or seek refuge under some fancied excuse, in order to cast the blame upon God and justify himself.Nothing is more common than for him to imagine that there is some obstacle in the way of his repentance, for which he is not accountable, and which must inevitably prevent obedience, until removed by the power of God. Thus he concludes he has done all that he can do; and although he acknowledges that God commands him to repent, still his conscience is at rest, because he has contrived to rid himself of responsibility.
These reflections have been suggested to our mind by an article on the last page of this paper, headed 'Danger of delay.' The writer gives an account of an interview he held with a young lady, while on a bed of sickness, who had delayed the work of repentance, and was apparently about to die without hope. Her situation was truly affecting and critical: we doubt not he felt it to be so, and would not for the world have administered an opiate to her paralytic conscience. But we think he might easily perceive, from his own account of the conversation, that his advice was calculated to weaken her eonviction, and render her still more stupid in sin. She told him she thought there was something in her way' to prevent her from giving her heart to Christ. This is a very
common pretext of the impenitent, and ought in no case to be admitted as a valid excuse. His reply, however, was such as to induce her to believe that the excuse was satisfactory, and such as absolved her from obligation to obey the commands of God. told her,' he says, 'whatever difficulty was in her way, whether hardness of heart, a sense of unworthiness, &c. she ought to pray earnestly to God to remove it out of the way.' Now would she not be very likely to conclude from this, that her neglect to repent was not criminal, and that if she prayed earnestly that God would remove the difficulty, her duty was fulfilled? So it seems to us.But what appears more strange than all is, that he should ascribe her unwillingness to repent to 'a sense of unworthiness.' We cannot admit that an inpenitent sinner exercises such feelings; much less that they are an obstacle to repentance. Such a supposidoa is absord, as we think all mot acknowledge. He ought to have 1 , that the reas why she did not repent, was, that she was do it; that her heart was at enmity with God; and that sad perish forever unless she submitted.— Whether instruction like this would have altered the final result, it is impossible to tell; but it is very certain that it would have been far more likely to have issued in her conversion, than the advice which he gave to her; and what is of still greater consequence, it would have accorded better with the principles of the gospel.
Those who converse with impenitent sinners, incur the highest responsibility; and in order to direct others in the way of life, they ought themselves to be deeply imbued with the Divine Spirit. The blind cannot lead the blind. Christians ought, therefore, to study the Bible, that they may know what to say to those who are inquiring what they shall do to be saved. We have often been pained to hear Christians give advice like that to which we have alluded; and some sad instances of its disastrous effects have fallen under our own observation. The subject is one of great practical importance, especially at the present time. We hope it will be attentively and prayerfully csidered.-Ed. Ch. Soldier.
Extract from a Note to a recent Sermon by Professor Woods.
Such a means is evidently liable to be perverted, and so to become a source of great evil. If it should be introduced too often, or without the requisite preparation; if it should be made the occasion of neglecting the duties of the closet, or the duties of public or family worship; if it should have an influence to lead men to think lightly of the pastoral office and of a thorough preparation. for the ministry, or to undervalue the institution of the Sabbath, and its regular public and private services; if those who engage in the exercises of such a meeting should exhibit forwardness, self
conceit, spiritual pride, or censoriousness; if they should betray the want of habitual veneration for God, and show an irreverent familiarity, lightness, or vulgarity in prayer; if they should labor to excite that commotion in the mind which unfits it for calm reflection; if they should forget the deceitfulness of the heart and the wiles of Satan; if, instead of exhibiting the divine law in atl its spirituality and extent, as the rule of duty and means of conviction, and holding forth the plain, humbling doctrines of God's word, and declaring all his counsel, they should dwell continually upon a few favorite topics; if they should take but little pairs to bring to view the evidences of true conversion, and the danger of self-deception; in a word, if they should break loose from the sober, scriptural principles which have been held by the best men in past ages, and which were so ably supported by Baxter, Doddridge, Edwards, Brainard, Bellamy, and others of like characters, and yield themselves up to a rash, turbulent, fanatical spirit,-I say, if those who are concerned in the protracted meeting should be chargeable with such mistakes as these, and the meeting be marked with such excesses; it would soon be an object of general contempt; the community would stigmatize it; its very name would be a reproach; and all who felt for the honor of God and the welfare of the church, would abandon it as the occasion of evils so visible, and so tremendous, It cannot be doubted that, while engaged in such exercises as are common in protracted meetings, the human mind is liable to the errors and disorders suggested above.
A fit answer for Skeptics and Railers.--The late Bishop Horne, in some remarks upon the alleged contradictions of Scripture, says:
"Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost the learning and ingenuity of thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written on the subject. And as people in general, for one reason or other, like short objections better than long answers in the mode of disputation, the odds must ever be against us; and we must be content with those of our friends who have honesty and erudition, candor and patience, to study both sides of the question.--Jour. of Hum.
Theological Seminaries.-The Seminaries can do much. They can extend the field of knowledge, increase the amount of learning, and elevate, in respect to elocution and style, the productions of the pulpit and the press. They can provide a ministry--such as the ministry must be to meet the exigences of the day--more literary and respectable than that of past generations. But let it not be thought that all this can be gained, unattended by new temptations and dangers. There is danger that, studying in clas
ses and receiving instruction from lectures, the tax of personal, original investigation may decline. There is danger that a general, indeterminate Orthodoxy may gradually supplant that precision and exactness of definition and knowledge which was given to theology by Edwards, and has descended through the schools of private instruction. There is danger that our young men will be much more perfected in taste and literature, than in the duties of the pastoral care,--that they will get more of the theory and less the practice of their profession, which will render their ministry formal and imbecile. There is danger that the ambition and rivalries of the college may be transferred to the seminary, and the seeds of future jealousy and envy be nurtured, just where they ought to be extinguished. And there is danger that in the severity of protracted study and the acquisition of much learning (both of which are good) there may be a relative diversion of the mind from the means of vital godliness, and a cold chill, a dead palsy, fasten upon the heart, the very door wide open day and night, through which all faithful revival preaching goes out of the church, and all heresies come in.
Good Effect of executing a wholesome Law.
Nearly thirty years ago, two students of Yale, from the South, left College on an excursion of pleasure; and while absent they put up on Saturday night at a tavern, intending to pursue their journey on the Sabbath. Sabbath morning came, and they were up bright and early for a start. But no preparation had been made on the part of the landlord, for their accommodation in this respect. In short, the landlord mildly informed them, that he could not permit them to go, for two reasons: 1st, he was a deacon of the Church, and therefore bound to prevent, as far as possible, the violation of the Sabbath; and, in the second place, he was a magistrate, and sworn to execute the laws. The young gentlemen very reluctantly submitted, accompanied the family to the Church, and in the evening, a number of the young people of the village were collected at the deacon's house, and the time was spent in singing and social converse. The next morning the landlord had made early preparations for their special accommodation. Their breakfast was ready by the time they were up, and their horses at the door-and, in their bill, no charge was made for the Sabbath. 'Sir,' said one of the young gentlemen, 'we are more wicked than poor. We thank you for detaining us, and we insist that no deduction shall be made in the bill. The day we have spent here, has been among the most pleasant in our lives, and we shall ever regard you as a benefactor in preventing us from doing what our consciences do not approve.' Thus they parted; and
one of the gentlemen, from whose lips I had this narrative, is now and has been for a number of years, a distinguished minister of the gospel. Who the other was, I do not remember. But in the deacon's family, they had an example of the decision, the meekness and beauty of true Christian piety, which made an impression upon their minds lasting as life.-Charleston Observer.