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Forlorn and heartless philosophy! Creature of the earth, and content to cleave for ever to the dust !-content to forego, without a sigh, those prospects now clear in the noon-tide of revelation, which the wisest pagans looked to with anxious concern, though then discerned only in the dim twilight of conjecture! Annihilation-gloomy thought! Unhappy men, who wish for nothing beyond the present momentary dream-who, satisfied with the unsubstantial shadow of felicity, give up the substance, and would willingly be after death, as though they had never been! What objects, then, are commensurate with the moral powers of man? what is there to meet his capacities and desires for happiness, if this world be his all ? What are the noblest monuments of human skill and genius? What are all the traces which the earth bears of the existence of former generations of mankind-the pyramids and the colossal fragments, the ruined cities, and the tombs of by-gone ages—what are they, but the sad memorials of a being, whose existence was an abortion—the mausoleums of the soul-the mockery of everything worthy of the name of hope—the dismal emblems of a mortality more sombre than that of death; and which tell the chilling and heart-withering tale, that there was once such a being as man!
One reflection alone, is more melancholy than the idea, that man's being ceases for ever at death. Do you ask, “what is that reflection ?” It is this,—that man may, by his conduct in this life, hazard a still more awful catastrophe ! I refer to the consequences of a wilful and deliberate resistance to the authority of God, notwithstanding all the solemn warnings, and all the merciful invitations and promises of his word ! “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad;" and awful will be the condition of those who shall stand at that bar, after having persisted, for a lifetime, in closing their eyes to the broad light of christianity; in “walking in the darkness” of hardened impenitency, and in the determined rejection of the atonement of the Saviour, without which there is no remission of sins ! Ah, my friends ! even if christianity were a matter of doubt, no danger would be braved by him who believes. Is christianity true ?— Then, to the unbeliever all is lost!-by spurning from you the offers of the gospel, yon risk the shipwreck of your whole being; and suicidal is that conduct by which the soul becomes its own destroyer! It will avail the unbeliever nothing, then, that he has been able to steel his mind against conviction :—the dread reality will stare him in the face! There are many rejecters of christianity now to be found who were early instructed in its truths ; and, possibly, they may congratulate themselves how completely they have succeeded in stifling the voice of conscience:—they may even boast of their deliverance from all fears of death! Conscience may sleep now :-no warnings may reach it-no friendly remonstrances disturb its deep and delusive repose. But are we sure that the approach of death, and the rude conflict with this last enemy will not arouse it ?—that it may not start at visions more ghastly than those which now beguile it-at spectres which are now regarded as imaginary, and only matter of merriment---at other thoughts than those which now hold it as by a spell, and render it seared and adamantine to all impression ? Eternity and the judgment-seat may then no longer seem a fable ! Death-beds have told
strange tales ! We have affecting evidence that they did so when Voltaire, D'Alembert, and Paine, were about to be summoned into the presence of their Judge! Did we ever hear of a man being tortured with the agonies of remorse on the ground that he had believed in Christ—that he had served God,- that he had spent his life in promoting christian principles ! But it may be said,—Hume died bravely, and with a joke on his lips, respecting the fable of Charon and his boat; an exit worthy (some may think,) of such an event as the final extinction of a rational and moral being. Yes, such a death is also possible. Vanity and pride may conceal its misgivings, or no misgivings may be felt; for the Scriptures speak of some who “have no bands in their death.” But there is a death beyond the grave! May we, through the grace of God, escape that “ second death !” May He preserve us from all the blinding infatuation of evil! May He enable us to make a consecrated use of the inestimable gift of reason, and rightly estimate the limitation of its powers !— DR. HOPPUS.
CRITICAL NOTICES OF NEW WORKS, .
WARD'S LIBRARY OF STANDARD DIVINITY.
EssAYS ON THE Christian Ministry. Reprinted from the American Biblical
Repository. Medium 8vo. Price Four Shillings and Fourpence. THE REFORMED PASTOR :—Showing the Nature of the Pastoral Work. By the
REV. RICHARD BAXTER. Reprinted from the Edition of 1656, with an Appendix. Medium 8vo. pp. 160.
London :-Ward and Co, Paternoster-row. Both of these works are of great practical utility to the student and
That of Baxter, is a standard book with every one who would faithfully fulfil the duties and obligations of the sacred office. And the more deeply and prayerfully it is studied, the greater the ease with which the minister of Christ may hope to apply himself to his difficult and laborious task, both in private and in public. If he is “ to watch for souls”-to “ take heed unto the flock of God, over which the Holy Ghost hath made him an overseer;" it is of the utmost importance that he should be familiar with the means most likely to conduct him to the end in view. Nor is it possible, that he could be in possession of a better code of instructions, than what is supplied in the REFORMED Pastor. Especially should every candidate for the holy office make the book his study; that when he does enter on the onerous duties and responsibilities of the pastorate, he may know how “ to behave himself in the church of God."
The EssAYS ON TH€ CHRISTIAN MINISTRY, too, will be found of great service in supplying important hints, both as to the most efficient modes of exhibiting truth from the sacred desk, and also as to the best methods of following up the ministrations of the pulpit among the various classes to whom such ministrations are addressed. The Essays originally appeared in the American Biblical Repository, (a work of no ordinary merit,) and, with one exception, are all American productions ; yet as that work is but little known on this side the Atlantic, we think the publishers have done well to introduce the Essays into their important series. Both works have our most cordial recommendation.
EXTRACTS FROM Holy WRIT, AND VARIOUS Authors; Intended as Helps to
Meditation and Prayer principally for Soldiers and Seamen. By CAPTAIN
27, Old Change, Cheapside. We have most sincere pleasure in introducing this second and enlarged edition of the gallant Captain's work. The first impression was
received by the public press with the most unequivocal approbation ; and we have no doubt, that the present edition will obtain as wide and speedy a circulation as the former. May it lead to all these results, in the experience of those to whom it is specially addressed, for which the gallant author so ardently and devoutly prays.
The PROVINCE OF REASON IN REFERENCE TO RELIGION, answered in a Letter
against Socialism :--Being the Ninth of a Series delivered in the Mechanics' Institute, Southampton Buildings, under the direction of the COMMITTEE OF THE LONDON CITY Mission. By John HOPPUS, LL. D., F. R. S. PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND LOGIC IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON. 8vo. pp. 100.
London :-L. and G. Seeley, 169, Fleet Street.
We can scarcely conceive of any subject, in relation to revealed truth, more important than the one here assigned to Professor Hoppus, nor could the discussion of it have devolved on one more competent to the task. If religion involve our relations to God, and the duties which arise out of these relations, then the mind of man must be exercised in the examination of the book, in which these relations and duties are announced. These relations and duties again involve certain great facts and doctrines; and hence, into the character of those doctrines and facts, it is the province of the mind to enquire. At once, therefore, the whole Bible is reduced to the severest investigation. And as the learned Professor justly remarks, according to the accuracy with which the various relations existing between the objects, on which the thoughts are at any time occupied, are perceived in all their bearings, is the strength of the reasoning power in any individual mind. He then proceeds to show, that revelation, in all its doctrines and discoveries, has nothing to fear from the most searching scrutiny; that there is nothing, and can be nothing, contrary to reason, in the book of God; that the limitation of our faculties may surround us with many difficulties, but that, at each step of our inquiry, even revelation itself does homage to reason, (for she seeks to reach the heart through the understanding ;) that reason, enlightened and sanctified by her presence, may in return bring every power and energy, and lay them as a willing offering on her altar.
But we are not permitted to discuss the subject. This is already done in the Lecture :--and it is with no ordinary feelings of satisfaction that we introduce the discourse (a master-piece of enlightened and profound reasoning) to the notice of our readers, and promise them no common gratification and profit in its perusal.
Monthly Ehronicle. .
REPORT OF THE SWANSEA AUXILIARY
BRITISH AND FOREIGN SAILORS' SOCIETY:
Adopted at the Annual Meeting, September 27th, 1811.
A celebrated philosopher being asked, whether he considered the number of the living or the dead to be the greater, replied—“You must first tell me with whom am I to put seamen,”-intimating that their employment was so dangerous that he knew not where they should be placed. There is much truth in this saying, when we consider the perils to which they are exposed, both by sea and by land. The long absence of seamen from home is one reason why they are so much forgotten, but their moral and spiritual condition is at length claiming a portion of attention from the christian world. Hence institutions have been established in various ports, under the name of Bethel Unions,—Sailors' Homes-and Seamen's Friend Societies; but by whatever name they are styled, their object is to benefit and ameliorate this useful class of our fellow-men.
The Institution whose interests have convened us together this evening, is united with that truly catholic society, which for many years has been established in the Port of London, under the name of the British and Foreign Sailors' Society. The especial objects contemplated by that institution, as well as the Swansea Auxiliary, are-preaching to sailors on board ship, or any other convenient place, furnishing them with copies of the sacred scriptures, and books of a religious character,-employing agents to attend Bethel meetings, and visiting seamen on their arrival, and on leaving port,-establishing day and sunday schools for the education of sailors' children,-furnishing vessels with loan libraries,-providing missionaries in the provincial ports of Great Britain and Ireland, and chaplains at the most frequented foreign ports, and to co-operate with the friends of seamen throughout the world, especially the “ American Seamen's Friend Society.” For several years this auxiliary has occupied a place among the benevolent institutions established in
THE PORT OF SWANSEA.
It is computed, that several thousands of sailors annually visit this port, the greater part of whom, it is to be feared, are heedless respecting their eternal interests. But few years have elapsed, since efforts have been made on their behalf, during which period the most pleasing and encouraging effects have been witnessed. The gospel of Christ has proved effectual to their salvation; and numbers who were once slaves of every sinful passion, have become willing servants of Jesus Christ. These pleasing results are constantly witnessed by the gratuitous
AGENTS OF THE SOCIETY, who regularly on the christian sabbath distribute religious tracts among the sailors