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speculation than to practice, I should resist the importunities of friends and fear I had not sufficiently interested societies; lest I should hereafter have their hearts, by the manner in which I the pain of reflecting, that, however had taught the truths of religion. If I useful I might have been in the vinefound a Haming zeal, that spent itself in yards of others, mine own vineyard I empty talk-a show of humility, that had not kept. left the parties conceited and self-impor. If I were addressing a candidate for tant-If I found them willing to hear the ministry, I would press on his most only of a salvation in which Christ had serious attention, the vast importance wrought every thing for them, and the of acquiring knowledge, by reading and Holy Spirit would accomplish every thinking, and dispensing it, by uniformly thing in them, in which they were to be preaching well studied sermons. . mere passive agents; thus embracing a Suffice it to observe, that with the system that destroys every motive to general and increasing diffusion of self-government and exertion ;-I should knowledge, such Christian teachers as be afraid, not only that I had omitted to choose to remain in ignorance, or to inculcate sufficiently the preceptive part put their hearers off with mere commonof religion, but that I had not given place declamation, will have no reason them distinct and scriptural ideas either to complain, if their ministrations should of the work of the Saviour, or of that of hereafter prove unacceptable to those the Holy Spirit. Nor should I feel my private Christians who, by their enself convinced of the contrary, by their lightened minds, and enlarged and comtalking ever so fluently on the conflict prehensive views of religion, might they perpetually maintain with their otherwise become the most steady supown hearts, and their spiritual enemies; porters, and brightest ornaments of for their conflicts seem to be very dif- their respective churches. If a minisferent from those of good men recorded ter wish to have an intelligent as well in Holy Writ, and their victories not as a devout auditory, he should adapt quite so obvious: for it is worthy of re- his sermons to intelligent hearers; and marks that those who are most fluent to do this he must both read and think. on this subject, are seldom distin- If, in a neighbourhood where there are guished by their ardent, steady, and people of cultivated minds, a minister disinterested exertions in the cause of can number few, if any such, among religion; or by their meekness, forbear- his hearers, it will not require a spirit ance, or compassion, in the family, the of divination to explain the cause. church, or the world. If I perceived I am well aware that there are some that my hearers were moyed about who systematically defend remaining in with every wind of doctrine, I should ignorance of general literature, who confear that their passions had been ex. tend that nothing more is necessary to cited, rather than their minds esta- a Christian minister, than personal piety blished. If they were unable to give a and an acquaintance with his Bible. reason of the hope that is in them, I These I grant are the first requisites for should tremble for their own stability, a minister in every station, but as to the and for the honours of the Christian degree of information which is essential name; for such persons, especially into usefulness, much depends on the the present day, are in danger of making sphere in which a man labours. If inshipwreck of faith, or of injuring the deed he preaches only to “ Turf-digreligion of Jesus, by injudicious, though gers,"* he may not edify them the more well meant endeavours to defend it. If for possessing other acquisitions-nor my hearers were deficient in any thing need we insist on such a man spending that is lovely and of good reportif much time in study; to expect it would they did not grow in knowledge, and hardly be reasonable, for it would be like make progress in the divine life, my requiring him to make bricks without solicitude to use every means likely to straw. Such a man may, I think, with make them thinking Christians, would great propriety, if it be necessary to his induce me to make many sacrifices to maintenance sketch," during the day, accomplish the object. If the evil were and arrange, in an evening, such ideas traceable in any degree to my frequent on religious subjects as he has obtained absence, I should in future resolutely | by reading and meditating on the Scrip.
* Vide Robinson's Letters, vol. iv. p. 247.
tures; and thus become qualified to teach | The hearers of such preachers soon his fellow sinners those truths where- feel themselves possessed of all the by their souls may be saved, and their knowledge they have to impart; some feet directed into the paths of holiness of them therefore unhappily conclude,
Let not the man of learning, however that they have learned all that is to be well read in scholastic theology, and known in religion. These, and not wellwhatever authority may have been con- informed and thinking Christians, are fered on him by the state, if he be des- the people who make a man an offender titute of personal piety, and ignorant of for a word. the way of salvation, scoff at such a man The danger to the humility and chaas an unauthorized teacher: let him ra- rity of these half-fledged Christians, is ther recollect that they who turn many not the only evil of such teaching ; for to righteouness shall shine as the stars it is really often very difficult to ascerfor ever; and let him compare the effect tain with certainty, whether they recogof his ministry with that of the pious nize the truth itself, or only a certain peasant, and seeing the improvement form of speech, in which they have been he has made of the one talent com- accustomed to hear it delivered. mitted to him, let bim enquire what The remarks of a justly celebrated account he shall have to render to Him writer, apply with so much force to such by whom he has been intrusted with preachers and hearers, and are so well five.
calculated to enlighten and convince While I would endeavour to shield them, that I am persuaded you will from contempt, the man who consecrates pardon my lengthening this letter by to the service of his God the little he the following quotation. posesses, let me not be supposed to in- “They never even suspected that knowtend offering an apology for him, who ledge could have any connexion with possessing more, neglects to make an religion, or that they could not be as adequate use of his advantages.* clearly and amply in possession of the
Completely to contrast the teacher / great subject, as a man whose faculties of Christianity, who cultivates his own had been exercised, and whose extended mind and the minds of his hearers, with acquaintance with things could supply the minister who is contented with per- an endless series of ideas illustrative of petually racing the same small circle, religion, would lengthen this letter too much. “He (the man of taste) has perhaps
I cannot, however, forbear remarking even heard them make a kind of merit that the hearers of the latter acquire but of their indifference to knowledge, as if very limited and contracted ideas of it were the proof or the result of a higher Christianity: and when, for the time they value for religion. ought to be able to teach others, they “If a hint of wonder was insinuated at themselves need instruction in its very | their reading so little, and within so very rudiments.
confined a scope, it would be replied The man of expanded mind, will, by that they thought it enough to read the varying his instructions, teach his hear- Bible; as if it were possible for a person ers to recognize truth under various as whose mind fixes with inquisitive attenpects, and in different forms of speech; tion on what is before him, even to read while the man whose own mind is con- | through the Bible, without at least ten tracted, will enable his hearers only to thousand such questions being started recognize it under one aspect, or as des- l in his, mind as can only be answered cribed by one form of speech.
I from the sources of knowledge extrane* May I be permitted to suggest, both to ministers and private Christians who are well informed, and possessed of libaries, that there is a numerous and respectable class of men, to whom they might render an important service, by communicating such instruction as they need, and putting into their hands well selected books-I mean those members of churches, who are in the habit of going into neighbouring towns or villages destitute of the gospel, to instruct such as are willing to hear.
Such persons, and many who are by their sterling piety, sound understanding, and aptness to teach, qualified in no inconsiderable degree for the ministry, but who have not enjoyed, and who cannot, from peculiar circumstances, obtain a learned education, might be greatly benefited by being directed to a useful course of reading; and, receiving such hints on composition, as those who have enjoyed a liberal education would easily give.
How often do men who know but little of books, read many only to discover that they are not worth the pcrusal.
ous to the Bible. But he perceives that be but one opinion in respect of instruithis reading the Bible was no work of mental music;—there can be no obligainquisitive thought, and indeed he has tion now to use an instrument in the conimonly found that those who have worship of God. no wish to obtain any thing like ex With the second head (at least with tended information, have no disposition the definition of it,) I must be allowed for the real business of thinking, even to differ more widely. Not that I for a in religion, and that their discourse on moment call in question the actual inthat subject is the disclosure of intel-stitution of religious worship, in any of lectual poverty.”* I am,
its parts; but I am at issue upon the Your constant reader, extent of the abolition of those institu
Vigil. tions under the Old Testament dispen
sation, by the introduction of the New: ON PSALMODY.
for, if the assertion contained in this
head be found untenable, the logical, MR. Editor,
or rather illogical deduction, viz. that In the month of July last, I ad- instrumental music is unlawful, falls to dressed a paper to you on the subject of the ground. Psalınody, which appeared in your num- The proposition contained in the ber for August. In that article, after third head, is so clear and undeniable, some observations on the evils attend that I shall, with much satisfaction, ing the present mode of conducting it, adopt it, as the ground of some future and proposing some remedies, I alluded observations. to, and in some humble degree, at In returning to the second head, I tempted a defence of the use of an shall first quote it at length:-"InstruOrgan. I expected this would draw mental music was instituted under the forth animadversions from some indi. Old Testament dispensation. In the vidual amongst those who may differ time of Moses were used the trumpet from me; and have therefore been upon and cornet. David added many other the look out at the commencement of instruments, by the divine command, each succeeding month. Nothing, 2 Chron. xxix. 25. The Jewish insti. however, has met my view, till I re tuted worship ceased at the death of ceived your first number for 1822; in Christ.' Instrumental music was not which I perceive an article, which, for instituted by Christ or his apostles; the consistency or argument it displays, they sang an hymn, Matt. xxvi. 30. might, I should have thought, have Singing is not only a moral duty, but it quietly slumbered in obscurity. With is instituted under the New Testament your permission, I will (in the absence dispensation, Eph.v. 19. Col.iii. 16, &c." of weightier matter,) make a few re- In my former letter upon this submarks upon it.
Tject, I purposely avoided any arguments The definition of religious worship, which might be taken from the Old under the heads of Moral, Instituted, Testament, lest they might have been and Discretionary, I think very just. objected to, as inapplicable to the New With the first of these, I perfectly | Testament dispensation. The author agree; only remarking, by the way, of this article, however, acknowledges that the appendage of incense to prayer, that instruments were used in the under the Jewish dispensation, appears Jewish temple; and this at the express to be of a nature decidedly different command of God. I call for a proof from from that of instrumental music to the | any passage in the New Testament, exercise of singing: the latter being that, even by implication, goes to annul only for the purpose of assisting the this command. Upon the abolition of congregation, and making the effect all other things, the New Testainent is more grand and sublime; but the for- | very explicit and emphatical; whether mer had a beautiful and forcible allusion in respect of the sacrificial or ceremonial to the merits and intercession of the law, or the rite of circumcision. It expected Messiah, through whom alone will avail him little, to shelter himself their prayers could be accepted; and under the assertion, that the whole of the therefore, was as morally binding upon Jewish worship ceased at the death of them as sacrifice. There can, however, Christ; for the thing is not true; else
* Foster's Essays, vol. ii. p. 120-122.
had singing and prayer themselves been , which are inconsistent with its moabolished: but these were not only re- rality, or with the divine appointment, tained, but enjoined by Christ and his there is place for the exercise of disapostles. Our Lord, as likewise his cretion in the selection of the best disciples, both before and after his cruinode of performing it.” That singing cifixion, no doubt were in the habit of is both a moral and an instituted duty, attending the worship of God at the enjoined in the New Testament, there synagogues, and at the temple. Now, can be no doubt; and, as I before urged if any disapprobation had ever been ex- in my former remarks on this subject, pressed, or even implied by any of it seems quite apparent, that the aposthem, at this method of praising God, tles left it to the discretion of their conthis would have served 'his purpose: verts to use instruments or not, accordbut a reference to the private devotions ing to the situation, or circumstances of Jesus Christ and his apostles, cannot attending the worship. For, seeing be analagous to, or admitted as evidence they were then in use among the Jews, of the institution or abolition of any act it does appear a very marvellous thing, of public worship. On the occasion that, if they hal been incompatible quoted, Matt. xxvi. 30, “they sang a with the simplicity or spirituality of hymn," and doubtless without an in-Christianity, they should not have been strument: for, let us consider the cir- declared so, and consequently abrocumstances attending this affecting gated: but, on the contrary, we find opportunity. Our Lord had just taken the apostles, in all their directions to the last supper with his disciples. The the churches, invariably using words moment before this act, he had filled | wirich must necessarily imply their use. them with grief, not only by announcing From what has been advanced, it his approaching death, but by intima-would appear, that there is nothing in ting to them, that one of them should the use of instruments at variance with betray him: the miserable Judas had the precepts of the New Testament: we even then absented himself for this de- have now to enquire, whether there be testable purpose. And now, because in any thing in the use of them inimical to this situation of things, our Lord sang the spirit or morality of the duty. I am a hymn with his disciples without the at a loss to know how these things can assistance of an instrument-therefore, be charged upon that use of an organ, It is incumbent upon his church to re- which is merely to keep a congregation ject them as unlawful in public wor-/ in order to dissipate the discrepancies ship!!! With just as much propriety, of the voices—to drown discord--to might the singing of Paul and Silas preserve harmony-above all, to avoid have been quoted in defence of such a the disgusting evils of large choirs, and proposition, when they sang praises to the more shocking charge, of becoming God in the prison, their feet being fast accessary to a gross insult upon the in the stocks. And let it by the way be | Divine Being. As to the extent to remarked, that in this latter place, in which, as an individual, I should wish Acts xvi. 25, as likewise in Matt. xxvi. to employ an instrument, I have in 30, and Mark xiv. 26, the Greek words this particular been sufficiently explicit, employed are derived from Turew, and in my former paper; I shall not, thereare essentially different in their significa fore, recapitulatè it now. Sure I am, tion from those used by the apostles such a limited use of an instrument, Paul and James, in Rom. xv. 9, 1 Cor. cannot be opposed to the spirit, or prexiv. 15, Eph. v. 19, James v. 13, viz. cepts of Christianity. Is it then to be derivatives of fodaw; the former mean-borne, that persons wishing thus to exing to sing or recite, (hence the Vulgate ercise and defend their right of discreIn Matt. xxvi. 30, “ hymno dicto,") but | tion, shall be charged with indirectly the latter can only be construed to sing, countenancing the “FARRAGO of Popish in an accommodated sense: the primary ceremonies ?" As to the alleged testimeaning being to touch lightly the mony of an old musty monk of the strings, or to play upon a stringed in thirteenth century-the suspicious as
sertions of an Echard-or the remonI shall now pass on to the third strances of the venerable Dutch Divines head; viz. that'“ When a moral or of 1598; What is all this to us! We an instituted duty admits of being per have quoted higher authority than formed in a variety of ways, none of theirs; and I doubt much, if our bre
thren would be willing to acknowledge | A Correspondent under the signature their testimony as evidence, upon some of W. H. A. requests to be informed other particulars. We therefore claim | whether there be any propriety in attrithe ground our opponents have provided buting Omnipresence, or Ubiquity, to the for us, viz. the exercise of our discretion, | great Adversary of God and man—"the in the selection of the best possible Prince of the power of the air.the Spimode of performing this instituted duty / rit that worketh in the children of disof the Christian church.
obedience?” As this is a subject of To conclude: to us it appears, that considerable importance, and of equal if there be any appointed way of per- difficulty, the Editor would feel obliged forming this duty, laid down in the to any of his correspondents who would Sacred Writings, we are right; but if take up the subject, and state the doc. there be no such particular directions, trine of the Scriptures respecting it. then we claim the right of using our discretion, in that case in which our opponents acknowledge it as “ admissible;"!
PRIZE ESSAYS. viz. the right" of selecting a mode of
In compliance with a practice which performing a duty, which must be per-|
seems calculated to give stimulus to the ex. formed in some way, but where the
ercise of genius, and to foster talent in young particular way is not appointed.”
authors; the Editor of the New Evangelical Bristol,
Magazine proposes the following subjects Jan. 4th, 1822.
for discussion, and offers a reward in books to the value of Two Guineas for the ablest
Essay that shall be transmitted to him in ilMR. EDITUR,
lustration of either of these questions. The
manuscripts to be forwarded to him prior to HAVING seen in one of your the 1st of June, 1822, after which they will columns, the enquiry of a correspondent be printed in this Magazine, respecting the “impropriety of attend
Essay I. ing Sacred Oratorios,” and pleased with
On BIGOTRY-its real nature and essenthe satisfactory manner in which you
tial properties defined, and the criterion have answered the same, I beg leave to established whereby it is to be distinguishe submit to your consideration, whether from genuine principle in the concerns of an exhibition of paintings on the “ Suf- religion. ferings of Christ,” “ His Agony in the
Essay II. Garden," " The Descent of the Holy Spi- Can the order of public worship observed rit” at his Baptism, and of other sub-l in the Christian churches, planted by the jects, equally sublime and sacred, can inspired A postles, be collected from the be congenial with the pure spirit of | New Testament-and if so, are we, in the Christianity? If they are designed | present day, under any obligation to imitan. merely for the amusement of the gay,
the pattern which those churches bave lent or to display “the sublime and beau
us--if not, on what ground can we justity tiful” in execution, are there not sub
our dissent from the churches of Rome or
10. | England ? jects sufficiently fascinating and impo
ESSAY III. sing to arrest the attention, and which
On the importance of consistency of chaat the same time afford ample scope ) racter in those who are vested with the mifor the display of talent. Or, if they nisterial office--and particularly the er are intended to affect the mind of the influence resulting to enquirers after truth, truly devout, cannot the eye of faith from their acting inconsistently with their far more accurately realize subjects so avowed principles in the church of God. truly interesting and sublime, than the
PREMIUMS. pencil of the most celebrated artist The successful candidate must make hi could possibly produce? Being con-election from the following list of books, FIZ. vinced that a want of due consideration | Dr. Dwight's System of Theology, 2 vo will imperceptibly lead even pious minds 4to. bås. into error, by countenancing apparently Jones's Biblical Cyclopædia, 2 vols. 8vo. has innocent gratifications, which a right - -- History of the Christian Church, ? use of reason would not sanction, il
1 vols. 8vo. trust these lines will meet with a kind/ MʻLéan's Commentary on the Hebrews, reception, and receive a cordial reply.
vols. 8vo. and his Apostolic Commission.
New Evangelical Magazine, 7 vols. fine pas Feb. 6, . .
G. per, and first impressions of the plales.