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glance ; but which requires nice are conscious that they have and accurate management, with done to other matters of science? assiduous labor and cultivation, It certainly affords a presumpto make it a useful and safetion in favor of Christianity, that guide to us, in avoiding error, those men who have been most and arriving at truth. It is not, famous in the world for the cullike the senses of the body, per- tivation of their intellectual powfect at once ; but, like a dia-ers, and are acknowledged on all mond in its natural state, it is sides to have carried the imput rough into our hands to polo provement of them to the greatish and improve by art and care. est height, have been sincere So much is this the case, that believers, and warm defenders the improvement of our reason of this religion. is taught by rule, and learnt as a science.
ON SIN, AS AN OFFENCE AGAINST Nothing more than the application of this remark is need- How little perception is there, ful to confound our common in- even in the Christian world, of fidels. Do they talk of their the evil of Sin, as it is a transreason not suffering them to gression of God's law! The auembrace Christianity ? Let us thority of God is little contemask them, whether they have plated. If a man's conscience made a right use of reason in de reprove him for some vicious termining the question. Have act, it is because of the irreguthey practised all the rules larity and turpitude he sees in which logicians lay down for it, or on account of the injury the government of the under- which it may do to society ; but standing in its enquiries after that which is the grand aggravatruth? Have they cautiously tion of the crime-its being guarded, in particular, against done against the will and authe influence of the passions in thority of God, and therefore an this business; and that more act of rebellion-is little tho't of, especially, because here more and little affects the conscience. than any where, it may
be That this is really the case appected to prevail unless great pears from hence, that many of care be taken ? Have they turn- those people who pass for good ed the subject on all sides, and moral characters in the world, considered it in all its parts ; commonly regulate their connot satisfying themselves with duct hy considerations of moral a hasty, irregular and partial | fitness or unfitness, which are examination? These questions wholly independent of the divine could not fail to silence them, command or prohibition. What if they had either sense or mo- merely stands on God's authordesty. The general run of in- ity they see little evil in, and fidels are no logicians, and of have no great scruple about dothose who are, how few, speak-ing or not doing. Their own ing honestly, will say, that they ease or humour, the least possihave as seriously, cautiously, ble present convenience or adand impartially applied the laws vantage, determines their conof sound reasoning to the exam-duct, and becomes a law to them, ination of this subject, as they ' in preference to the bare me
tive of obeying or disobeying | true indexes to the state of the God. Hence, to most persons, mind, because good actions may Adam's sin seems a trifle, be- proceed from bad principles.cause committed only against a With other men's principles inpositive command; and the neg- deed, we have comparatively lect of religious ordinances, or little to do. While their acthe breach of the Sabbath, for tions are good, and society susthe same reason, gives littl tains no injury, from a charitaeasiness to their consciences. ble though erroneous judgment In the presence of temptation of them, little inconvenience can they are not restrained by result; but in our own case, a Joseph's consideration, “ How mistake is fatal. shall I do this great wickedness, How great then is the folly of and sin against God?” And in those who judge of themselves their repentance—if they ever only by their outward conduct ! do repent of any thing they Preach against drunkenness, or have done-they are far from other overt acts of sin, and every the sentiment and feeling of one who, from whatever cause, David, “ Against Thee only can acquit himself of the prachave I sinned, and done this tice condemned, presently concvil in thy sight.” David had cludes in favor of his general sinned against man as well as character. In like manner, God ; but the thought of his sin when specific duties and virtues as an act of daring impiety and are inculcated, if, so far as conrebellion against God, swallow- cerns the outward matter and ed up, at the moment, every form of them, the man think . other consideration. His crime himself blameless,
the same was thus seen in its highest ag- flattering conclusion follows. gravation, and painted to his Hence it is, that so many permind in colors so black and hi- sons dislike close appeals to the deous, as to conceal the lighter heart, and are ready to oppose shades of the sad picture, and such as use them with-" He prevent, so to speak, his perceiv- that doeth righteousness is righing them.
teous”? “ By their fruits ye.
shall know them,” &c. ON THE CONDUCT, AS AN INDEX say they, “the fruit be good, is TO THE HEART,
not the tree good ? Can you WHEN we exhort men to ex- know the quality of the tree by amine themselves by their con- any other sign?”-No! and no duct, it is only as that is an in-better test need be required, dex to the state of the heart.- provided you understand the The state and disposition of the terms you make use of. What heart determines the character, do you mean by good fruit ?--and being visible to God, is that such as is fair and beautiful on by which his judgment of us is the outside only ? formed. We can judge of oth might chance to find your death eru only by external appearan- in acting upon this principle; ces, but of ourselves our judg. for there are many poisonous ment should be, as much as trees in the world, which bear a possible, guided by that of God. beautiful and tempting fruit, External actions are not always! pleasant to the eyes, and grate
ful to the smell-perhaps, also count of the views and the orto the taste, but it is not unfre. ganization of our Society; which quently found, that the same in the main, continues unaltered fruit which looks well, on being to this day, except what imcut up, turns out to be corrupted provements have been suggestand bad within. Just so it is ed by experience, or the cirwith moral fruit. Examine it cumstances of the times. As a skilfully--see whether it be
specimen of our communicasound within-employ the pro- tions, which circulate in manuper means for ascertaining script only, we subjoin those of whether it be really as good as the nineteenth year of the Socieit appears to be ; and if it abide ty ; and in case you should the trial, we allow, that, being think it worth your while, we good, it demonstrates the tree to would order those of the prebe good also.
ceding eighteen years to be When our Lord says, By copied likewise ; which, howtheir fruits ye shall know them," ever, would be attened with conhe cannot surely be supposed siderable expense. We should to intend the mere outward ap- have been glad to send you, at pearance, any more than a na- least, two copies of our publicaturalist would, who was apply- tions ; but those of 1793 and ing the same rule to the produc- 94 are quite out of print ; nor tions of the orchard or the gar- is it in our power to produce a den. A fruit corrupt within, second edition, as the complicaand beautiful without, is the em- ted calamities of war, murrain blem of a hypocrite.
and scarcity, have rendered the contributions of our poor friends
rather less than what they used Letter from the Basil Society to be; whilst the expenses of
Addressed to the Missionary printing have risen, and, in geneSociety in London.
ral, our Society, has to meet greater wants.
The nature of OU had the goodness, dear our plan is best to be learnt
brethren, to request a list from our publications. Here we being sent you of the towns and beg leave to draw just a few provinces through which our outlines, beginning with our Society extends ; as also a plan leading views :of our proceedings; and from 1. The basis of our agreeone to three copies of our Peri-ment is our obligation to edify odical Publications from the be- one another in our most holy ginning of our activity as a body. faith, according to the unerring We are happy to gratify this word of God and the gospel of wish, as far as in our power ;
our Lord and Saviour Jesus and, in return for your very ac
Christ; in whose footsteps to ceptable present of the Evangel- | tread, and to encourage one ical Magazine, send you a com- another in the blessed practice plete copy of our Extracts and of walking after him faithfully, Collections, printed from 1783 is our duty and desire. Nor will to 1798. To the first volume we suiler ourselves to be divert. you will find some pamphlets
ed from this purpose by any obstitched, containing a full ac; 'jections whatever, raised by the
adherents of the new philosophy | done, in this respect, since the or the votaries of infidelity, as beginning of the last century, millions, and, God be praised ! we cannot help admiring the we ourselves have experienced hand of the Lord in those phethe efficacy of that faith, which nomina in which you, dearest is the victory over sin, the world, brethren of England, have borne Satan and hell, and which alone so considerable a share, considis able to form men of God, reâ- ering them as the dawning of dy to serve him in this world, the approaching kingdom of and fit to meet him in the next. God, and comforting ourselves To preserve this faith of our with these things, as with sweet ancestors, which alone can make and powerful cordials against us good, holy, and happy in life the benumbing influence of the and death, shall be our final spirit of our awful times. To aim.
take an active and praying share 2. We wish, agreeably to our in all Missionary exertions, is duty, to direct the attention of our sacred delight ; and, we Christendom to the signs of our trust, the seed, which is now times, which are so very extra- sprinkled with our tears, will ordinary, whether we consider | rise in an harvest of everlastthem with a view to the church ing joy, though we should not of Christ, or in reference to the witness its maturity in this kingdoms of this world. We world. will comfort, advise and strength- 5. As there is always, but en one another, in order to hold more especially in our day, an fast the patience and faith of the enormous mass of misery in the saints, lest when the Lord com- world, under which believers, eth, we be found in the number no less than unbelievers, groan, of the foolish virgins.
(the latter of whom we ought 3. In a particular manner we still to love as our neighbors, i.e. will make it our concern, to our ownselves) so we consider strengthen the ties of brotherly ourselves bound to alleviate the love between ourselves, by means same to the utmost of our powof mutual communication and er, lightening the burden of our participation in temporals and fellow-captives in this world, spirituals, lest the adversary seeing we too are in the same should disturb our bond of u- state of imprisonment. nion. At the same time, be it 6. The dispersing of relifar from us to overlook the good | gious tracts, by means of a that is to be perceived in any printing-office at Nurenberg, is other Christian denomination ; also amongst our views; but we but more especially in those les- are sorry to state, that, through ser fiocks of grace that aiin at
the scantiness of our means, being children of God in reality. this method has not been so
4. We consider it as a prin- productive of fruit as otherwise cipal concern of ours to co-ope- it might have been. rate, as much as we
7. We finally think it our bled to do towards realizing the duty to stand ready as servants hope of Zion, viz. the conver- of the Lord, to improve every insion of the Gentiles : and whilst timation of his will he may be we rejoice at all that has been pleaser to give us; and, we trusi, Vol. V. No. 5.
we are willing to become any members, and a secretary, dithing for the honor of his name. rect the whole concern. The How far we have been success- secretary receives all the letters, sul in obtaining a part of what we accounts, and materials for our have stated to be our views, the publications. Twice a month Lord alone is able to decide.- we meet, when the session alIf we look upon our own per- ways lasts three hours; during formance, we are forced to cry which extracts of letters are read, cut; “ Lord be merciful to us queries discussed, and all that unprofitable servants !" But refers in any wise to the welfare whenever we contemplate what of our Society, or the accomthe Lord has done for us, in the plishment of our views, is setcourse of twenty years, we have tled. Every session is opened great reason to exult in his mer- and concluded with prayer; and cies, and to ascribe honor to his we can say in truth, that we
He has not only pro- never separate without having tected and preserved us, but in- enjoyed a blessing for our hearts, creased and blessed us abun-- or received a piece of informadantly. Since the beginning of tion highly interesting for the the revolution, now ten years kingdom of God. Occurrences ago, and still more since the be- of consequence often occasion ginning of the war, eight years an extraordinary meeting of the ago, our Society as a body, and committee. Every member has many individuals belonging to his own department assigned to the same, came frequently into him; those among us that begreat distress and danger. Last long to the clergy, care for that: year, but especially this year, part of our aflairs which our contre, the town of Basil, quires learning and Theologihas been threatened with de- cal knowledge; whilst the rest, struction: however, hitherto the chiefly merchants, manage the Lord has helped us; nor wil he external concerns. The secrelay any burden on our shoul- tary's business is to carry on the ders, but what he will enable us correspondence, and to prepare to bear ; therefore, praising himn manuscripts for the press, or to for the past, and trusting for the forward our publications accordrest, we surrender ourselves | ing to direction ; but so that he wholly up to him. You, dear constantly acts under the control brethren, will join us in suppli- of the members of the commitcrting his compassion, as long tee. Of these we beg leave to as this time of trouble shall con- name one ; namely, our venetinue to affect us ; nor at any rable friend Henry Brenner, a time refuse us an interest in person eighty years old, and your prayers. We now beg who for upwards of forty years leave to submit to your inspec- has consecrated his time and his tion a list of the places where property to the service of our we have formed conections. adorable Lord; who keeps an
The main body of our Society open purse and house for all real resides in Switzerland and Ger- children of God; and still conmany, and, as has been mention- tinues to promote the interests of ed, Basil constitutes our centre, our Society, as well as the wel.. Whence a comunittee of seven fare of his fellow-creatures at