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ABSTRACT OF A SERMON OCCASIONED BY THE
DEATH OF JAMES HARBEST, ESQ. 2 Corinthians, v. 14, 15.--For the disorder must be felt before an ap
love of Christ constraineth us, plication will be made to the Phybecause we thus judge, that if one sician. Matt. ix. 12. Nor is this died for all, then were all dead; the state of Jews or Heathens and that he died for all, that they only; of those who reject the Sawhich live should not henceforth viour, or to whom he has never live unto themselves, but unto been offered; it is our own condihim that died for them and rose tion, favoured as we are with the again.
means of grace, and hearing the We see here the principle which voice of love and mercy in the glad supported the Apostle, while he tidings of the Gospel. zealously and faithfully laboured in The Bible, indeed, discovers preaching the Gospel of Christ. the only remedy for the evils of the He suffered reproach and opposi- fall, and points out a way of escape tion from some who attempted, by from " the wrath to come;" yet the crafty insinuations, to undermine unconverted heart has no desire and undervalue his authority; yet after, yea, hates the remedy. “ The he rose superior to these and all his carnal mind is enmity against God; other difficulties: “ for the love of it is not subject to the law of God, Christ,” saith he, " constraineth neither indeed can be." Men are us." I shall endeavour to show, " alienated from the life of God first, the state of man by nature; through the ignorance that is in secondly, by grace; and shall then them, because of the blindness of allude to that painful providence the heart.” They rebel against which has brought our valuable de- God, oppose the truth of the Gosparted friend to the grave.
pel, and will not have Christ to I. The state of man by nature. reign over them. So long as any
By nature, we are dead to God one lives in this state, he is “ treaand the things of God; “ dead in suring up wrath against the day of trespasses and sins;" we were wrath.” He may attend on the “ born in sin, and the children of ordinances of religion from custom, wrath ;" ” in the day that thou or to satisfy in some measure the eatest thereof thou shalt surely accusations of an uneasy or alarmdie.” Adam disobeyed the com- ed conscience; but he has no heart mand, and suffered the awful con- in the business, no real desire to sequences. He lost the image of serve and honour God. He is in God; he experienced spiritual league with the world, in love with death, alienation of heart from sin, the slave of Satan, the enemy God, an aversion to him and all of Christ; regardless of his own his commands. In him, “ all have . soul, and instrumental in leading sinped and come short of the glory others in the paths of iniquity and of God.”—“ We thus judge, that if folly. one died for all, then were all Such, my brethren, is your chadead.” This is the state of all by racter, if you have not been crenature. We cannot think, or speak, ated anew unto good works, if unor act, in the things of religion influenced by Christ and his Spirit; aright, till born of the Spirit of for, “ if any man have not the SpiGod; and until we discover that rit of Christ, he is none of his." o such is our perishing condition, we that you may be so deeply sensible shall never pray for the quickening of your danger as to cry, “ What Spirit of Christ to make us “ new must I do to be saved?” ( may creatures in Christ Jesus.” The the Spirit of God, by his word, OCT. 1823.
open your eyes, to discover your given himself for me.” Gal. ii. 20. wretched condition, and dispose Christ says, “ I am the resurrection your heart to receive with thankful- and the life; he that believeth in ness the Lord Jesus Christ, as the me, though he were dead, yet shall life and light of your souls, that he live." John, ii. 35. Under his thus you may be “ turned from sacred influence, all around bears darkness to light, from the power a new aspect; and the believer enof Satan to God, and receive for- gages in new work, encounters new giveness of sins, and inheritance trials and difficulties, is sustained among them that are sanctified by new motives, and is, like the through faith, that is in Christ Apostle of old, enabled to overJesus." "He hath fulfilled the law come all, and to be “ more than for us, endured the penalty, and conqueror.” “ None of these things," redeemed us from the curse, being says St. Paul, “ move me; neither made a curse for us. By his re- count I my life dear to myself, that surrection and ascension to glory, I may finish my course with joy.” he has “ opened the kingdom of His trials were truly alarming to heaven to all believers ;” by him flesh and blood; but as a man enwe may have “ access within the tering on an unfrequented path vail," and come “ boldly to the with an important object in view, throne of grace to obtain mercy, attainable in no other way, but and grace to help us in time of which will fully repay him for all need.” Obelieve these import- his travel and anxiety, is yet willant truths! Pray for the Holy ing to encounter all difficulties that Spirit to quicken you from the he may possess it; so the Chrisdeath of sin unto righteousness tian, constrained by the love of of life! Olet not sin any longer Christ, is regardless of all in comreign in your mortal bodies, that parison of the prize of his high callye should obey it in the lusts there- ing, the crown of glory, and the neof, “but yield yourselves unto ver-failing inheritance. Where this God as those that are alive from principle reigns, the heart becomes the dead, and your members as devoted to God, and labours to proinstruments of righteousness unto mote the glory of the Redeemer, God.” Rom. vi. 12, 13. i and the present and everlasting
II. The state of man by grace. welfare of all mankind, whether
“ The love of Christ constraineth friends or foes, rich or poor. Those us"_ bears us away from all un- under its sacred influence live no hallowed objects, like a mighty longer to themselves, but “ to Him torrent carrying every thing before who died for them and rose again.” it. This divine principle, when They are “ instant in season and once received into the heart, has a out of season,” “ showing forth the most powerful influence. Those praises of Him who hath called under its operation become, as it them out of darkness to his marwere, different persons, live for vellous light;" they weep with those different purposes and different who weep, and rejoice with those ends. The Apostle speaks in very who rejoice.” It overcomes that decided terms on this subject in selfish principle which is natural to Eph. ii. 2–5. The love of Christ the human heart; disposes its posis the first moving spring of all sessor to make sacrifices for the holy affections and godliness. benefit of others where no present Hence St. Paul declares, “ I live; return can be expected, and to layet not I, but Christ liveth in me; bour, not merely for the relief of and the life which I now live in the the temporal wants of a neighbour, flesh I live by the faith of the Son but for the spiritual and eternal beof God, who hath loved me and nefit of all mankind.
ciple did he act? Why did he thus III. How this principle shone bear with reproaches, opposition, in the life of our dear departed reflections, and observations disbrother. From the commencement honourable to himself and to the of his spiritual to the close of his Gospel he was anxious to advance, mortal existence, the most con- but from that which gave birth, as vincing evidences of the constrain- well as execution, to all his plans ing love of Christ were manifest. of mercy-" even the love of During his whole course, his esti- Christ.” This was evident in his mation of the world, and its vain every action, however undervalued amusements and pleasures, became or lost sight of by some, and misless and less. He was evidently interpreted or misrepresented by “ drawn by the cords of love and others. In simplicity and godly the bands of man.” The more he sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, saw the importance of religion, the bụt by the grace of God, he had worth of the soul, and the dan- his conversation in the world: he gerous and perishing condition of bore a faithful testimony to the sinners, so much the more was he truth of the Gospel, and laboured led to embrace every opportunity according to his power, yea and of warning, inviting, and instruct- beyond his power, to promote those ing others, whether at home or most distinguished societies which abroad. The Apostle's declara- the wisdom of God has employed tion was strikingly exemplified in in the present day for enlarging him; “ No man liveth to himself.” the kingdom of Christ, and comHis whole life bore the most ho- municating the knowledge of his nourable and decisive testimony to name through the earth; and, while the grace of Christ, and its power- by profession and principle a memful effects. A portion of fellow ber of our excellent Establishment, feeling and benevolence may be he valued and took pleasure in doseen in many who know nothing of ing good to all who love the Lord the love of Christ, and who are al- Jesus Christ in sincerity. together ignorant of the grand plan His faith was firm and unshaken of salvation. But in such it usually in the promises of his covenant soon grows weary, and disappears God and Saviour, and was accomwhen difficulties arise or unkind re- panied with the deepest humility, turns are made; but our departed under a sense of remaining infriend manifested his unwearied at- dwelling depravity and corruption. tachment to Christ by administer- He had no self-exalting thoughts; ing to the necessities and wants of and on any thing being mentioned others, both bodily and mental; which he had done to promote the and by persevering in his labour of benefit of others, he would reply, love under all discouragements, in- “ That is nothing ; I do nothing, gratitude, and even ill-treatment. in comparison of what I ought to 0 may those who have thus been do for Him who has done so much ungrateful truly repent, and seek me. What I have is only lent to for pardon through their Saviour's me, it is not my own.” blood. I, from past observation, Our departed brother deeply felt can bear my decided testimony to the inestimable value of the word of that Christian feeling he experi- God, and desired that this blessed 'enced for them, and which was book might be circulated at home manifested with the utmost readi- and abroad, and be universally ness on every occasion. He was, read and conscientiously improved. indeed, the friend of the friendless He, from a conviction of the ignoand the father of the fatherless-a rance of many and the neglect tried friend. And upon what prin- of others, was most desirous that the rising generation should be He would frequently observe, taught to read the sacred word, “ It is by the grace of God, I am and to know the God of their what I am."-" I am nothing; but mercies, and that Saviour, whom the grace of God has kept me from “ to know is eternal life.” He many sins into which others have knew that the Holy Scriptures fallen.”-“ The world is a very were by the Spirit's application chequered scene,” remarking with able to make men wise unto salva- respect to another. " In setting tion; and many of its important out in life, it is important to choose truths did he labour to impress on the right way. Seek first the kingthe minds of the young, in a way dom of God and his righteousness, which delightfully marked the kind, and all things else shall be added affectionate, and humble disposi- to you,” &c. tion of his heart. He observed, During his last illness, he mani" We should read, study, and search fested the utmost resignation, praythe sacred Scriptures more and ing that the will of God might be more; other books may be excel. done. It was observed, that he lent and useful, but all their ex- never said amen when his life was cellency is derived from this, the prayed for, except when connected Bible is the fountain. In the with spiritual life. • God,' said Scriptures we think we have eternal he,' is dealing mercifully and tenlife, and they are they which tes- derly with me. I am freed from tify of Christ." Those sermons racking pain, which many expewere most valued by him which rience; and have many comforts of had most of the Scriptures and of which others are destitute.' Nor Christ in them. O that we all felt was he ever heard to complain in and acted more under this powerful all his illness; and during his own love! O that Christ and his salva- extreme weakness, expressed the tion “ may dwell in our hearts by tenderest concern for the comfort of faith, that we may be rooted and others. He was very fond of that grounded in love."
hymn, “ When all thy mercies, O Notwithstanding his faith was my God,” &c. and which was frestrong and his love thus fervent, quently read to him in his illness, he yet expressed his need " of and manifested the most punctual more faith and more love." Du- attention to private prayer. When ring his illness bis increasing de- about to ascend to his chamber for bility and want of breath prevent- the last time, he said, “I do not ed him from conversing much. know how I shall get up stairs ; On inquiring how he was, he said, but the promise is, as thy day is, “I am weuk, very weak: but I so shall thy strength be." am in the hands of a merciful “ Yes," it was said, “ and you and kind Father, who knows what have found it so.”_" Yes," said is best and does all things well.” he, “and we must believe it, and And notwithstanding his own pro- carry it about with us." When longed affliction, his thoughts were seated in his chair, he said, “ Thank directed to others in distress, and God, I have got up stairs once kindly afforded them relief. When more.” From this time about a unable to attend on the public week before his death, what he said means of grace, he would as- was scarcely understood. Having, semble those at home, and suppli- therefore, fought the good fight, cate a blessing on the word, re- and laid hold on eternal life, he ensolved that he and his should serve tered into his rest, and thus wears the Lord, and thus afforded to the crown of righteousness laid up others an instructive example of for him and all who love and wait faith and love.
for the Saviour's appearing. W.J.
ON OCCASIONAL ATTENDANCE AT THE THEATRE.
A CORRESPONDENT in your ranked among the sins which ought Number for Dec. 1822, in treating to have no place among Christians, on the duty of forsaking the socie- and on account of which, the ty of unbelievers, illustrated his wrath of God will most certainly ideas by some extracts from Mr. come upon the children of disPearson's life of Hey, and closed obedience?" his paper by expressing a hope, Mr. Pearson then proceeds: that at a future period your readers “ The question concerning the might be gratified with the perusal expediency or inexpediency of enof the excellent remarks on occa- couraging, or tolerating, theatrical sional attendance at the theatre entertainments, had engaged the
admirable publication. As this Jators, prior to the introduction of hope has not yet been realized, al- Christianity. Both Plato and Cilow me to transmit to you the fol cero censured the theatre, regardlowing extracts, which I doubt not ing dramatic representations as you will cheerfully insert.
most injurious to the morals and After noticing a controversy ex- detrimental to the welfare of the cited by some remarks on the im- republic. moral character of theatrical en- “ Several of the most eminent tertainments, Mr. Pearson inserts fathers and learned divines of the some queries, with which Mr. Hey Christian church have reprehended concluded the discussion.
and condemned them, as being al« 1. Are not they who hire and together at variance with the preemploy others to commit sin, as cepts of our Saviour and his Aposguilty as those that commit it? tles, and tending to the subversion
“2. Are not they who hire per- of piety and morality ; and it is by sons to talk profaneness and inde- this rule, their agreement with the cency, (which they do who attend language of the New Testament, the theatre,) as guilty as those or their inconsistence with it, that who talk profanely and indecently the merits of the subject in dispute theniselves.
should be inquired into and de• 3. Can any one justly think cided. Men may talk largely and himself endued with love to God, eloquently on the innocence of diwho does not earnestly desire and versions, on the expediency of endeavour to keep God's com- amusements, on the advantages of mandments? And will not our de- recreation, and while they discuss sire to please God be always in these subjects abstractedly and proportion to our abhorrence of metaphysically, they are not likely that which is hateful and displeas- to encounter any material opposiing to him? If so;
tion; it is, however, a mere waste * 4. Have not they who will of time and strength to contend for not forego an amusement, abound the truth and reasonableness of ing with that which is hateful and such propositions. Who denies that displeasing to God, just reason to men require rest after. fatigue, reconclude, that they are lovers of laxation from study, and recreation pleasure, more than lovers of after close attention to business? God?'
“ To enter upon a regular and “ 5. Is it not the character of serious defence of positions like fools to make a mock of sin? these, would be attacking an un
“ 6. Are not filthiness, foolish resisting opponent, combating a talking, and jesting, (those con- phantom, and shouting victory stant ingredients of stage wit,) over mere creatures of the imagi