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abash your disobedience and vain confidence therefore they that pursue you shall be swift, and so ap palling shall they appear to you at length, that a thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one, at the rebuke of five shall ye flee, till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill!' Here we may see human expedients fail. God advises, instructs, promises-Man rebels, disobeys and flees, and inherits disappointment. And has not this been the state of Christendom for more than fourteen hundred years? And can we reckon on any thing but judgments, exclusion, and wrath, from an insulted God and Saviour, for such protracted rebellion? Yes, indeed, if he dealt with us after our sins, if he rewarded us according to our iniquities, his wrath would consume us as in a moment; but lo! as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy, his forbearance, his patience, above our crimes: he still waits to be gracious, and although the professing Christian world has long been given up to feel and agonize for its crime, in its punishment, and hitherto almost in vain; although the Lord's true witnesses have been doomed all that long period to prophesy in sackcloth, yet, wonder Q heavens, and be astonished O earth! the Lord still waits-still! still! for so proceeds the prophet; Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted that he may have mercy upon you.' He will not be disappointed of his determination to purge, to cleanse, to save his church, maugre all the opposition of men or devils; For the Lord is a God of judgment;' he sees the end from the beginning,--he rules with wisdom and equity, he will perform all the counsel of his will,-he will visit the earth in mercy,- Blessed are all they that wait for him.' Waiting is one peculiar feature of Faith; and those who thus wait shall never be finally confounded or for

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saken. But nothing is so despised by a prejudiced and inconsiderate world, an ungodly world, as this waiting, believing frame of mind. No, If God make windows in heaven, (said the unbelieving lord, 2 Kings vii.) then might this thing be.' This is the language of sense, and has the vote of all who do not know the value of a divine confidence in God; but a well placed confidence in him judges nothing too hard for him, whose is the earth and the fulness thereof, and such may therefore safely trust him under all exigences.

The prophet then goes on to reiterate the promise of the Lord's graciousness, and the security and happiness to be enjoyed, for says he, The people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem, (the city of strength and of Peace) where Jehovah has promised to dwell.' (Psal. ix. 11.—lxxvi. 2. Joel iii. 21.) The joy of the whole earth.' (Psalm xlviii. 2.) And both Zion and Jerusalem are the most accustomed types of the kingdom of heaven. But this grace will be in answer to prayer. God gene rally intends that the subjects of his promises should be made the subjects of our prayers. A conviction of want and misery, met by those gracious assurances, forbid our tears, and encourage our supplication, For thus saith the Lord, I will be very gracious at the voice of thy cry.' The great mass of Christians, hitherto deluded, more or less, by ignorance, custom, or prejudice, will be drawn together; lesser points of difference will be put into the back ground; the nature, temper, and image of Christ, will appear more desirable; antipathies and animosities shall cease; swords shall be converted into ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks-The nations will dismiss the bloody science of war, from the study of the literati and the practice of the soldier, FOR THEY SHALL LEARN WAR NO MORE;' nor shall men longer forget that they are men and brethren, the children of one common Father;

and each shall move in their pro per sphere, superior or subordinate, for content will be the resident of every bosom; and he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.'

Now, although we have to look to a state of moral and spiritual prosperity, which has hitherto been unknown in the world, and this from the progress of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, we are not to presume an exemption from all affliction: No, chastisement may well suit the return from a state of protracted dis obedience, and will prove a sanctified means of bringing mankind to an acknowledgment of their former trans gressions. We may not, it is not likely that in so improved a state of society we shall, have either inclination or temptation to revel in the excesses and luxuries which are now abused to the purposes of disobedience to that God, and to the neglect of his poor, which now degrade the visage of the moral world. No, it may comport with Divine Wisdom to measure out the bread of adversity and the water of affliction; for, though no chastening for the present is joyous, but rather grievous, yet it is the soil to promote the growth of the fruits of righteousness in them who are exercised thereby. The world may be subjected to various visitations: nations that have dicta ted its laws, may sink into political insignificance; yet pure and undefiled religion shall prosper, and fill the world with fruit, having their fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life; for, in contrast to the bread of adversity and waters of affliction, named by the prophet, he sets a most valuable, commanding, and superlative blessing, carrying its effects into eternity, for there will then be no more prophesying in sackcloth; For thy teachers shall not be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers.'

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No more wandering and hiding in dens and mountains and caves of the earth;

no, in that state, the godly laborious teacher of Christ's doctrine shall be held in due respect, no more the subject of wicked scoffs and jeers; no longer taunted by infidels on the second coming of the Messiah, Where is the promise of his coming for it will then be plain, his spiritual residence in the hearts, witnessed in the lives of his followers; and, lest they should be deceived by the great arch-fiend any more, they shall have an invisible but divine monitor, to admonish, to instruct, to withdraw thy steps from erring on the right hand or on the left: This can be no other than the Holy Spirit, whose influence is so largely predicted, and promised in the latter days: Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.'

This earth will not always continue to disgrace itself, and pour contempt on the kind and gracious invitations of that God to whom it owes its existence. The prejudices which have swayed the deteriorated opinions of Christendom, shall be driven away like the morning mists before the splendours of a rising sun, and Truth shall universally prevail.

Applying these sentiments to War, but which are of general application, we still insist that it is in all its forms inconsistent with the profession and practice of the Gospel, and opposed to

Christianity. This is our irrefragable position; nor can its warmest advocates prove that nations have gained by war. It is at all times a source of distressing expence to the many, though it may yield gain to a few, and a little of this world's glory to fewer still; but let the kingdoms of the earth say if it is not always a losing game to every one, both in the horrible waste of human life and of treasure. No gain, but to the sordid gratification of covetousness, or the still viler one of revenge.

But the time is fast approaching when this delirium will cease, this

delusive phantom shall vanish; and the terminations in disappointment and loss will lead nations and the individuals who compose them to abandon these errors, accept the cure of their moral blindness, and bow to the sceptre of the Prince of Peace.


Reflections upon the Conduct of Human Life; with reference to -Learning and Knowledge.

(Continued from page 160.)

35. THE only way to happiness is a good life; and consequently all wisdom being in order to happiness, that is the true, and the only true wisdom, that serves to the promoting it; that therefore is the most compendious way of making a man wise, which soonest makes him good. And nothing does this so soon and so well, as the serious and habitual consideration of Death. And therefore, says the wise man, 'Remember death and corruption, and keep the commandments: the shortest compendium of holy living that ever was given. As if he had said, Many are the admonitions of wise and good men, for the moral conduct of life; but would you have a short and infallible direction, Remember death and cor ruption. Do but remember this, and forget all other rules if you will, and your duty if you can.

36. And what is here remarked by one wise man, is consented to by all. Hence that common practice among the ancients, of placing sepulchres in their gardens, and of using that celebrated motto, Memento Mori. Hence that modern as well as ancient custom, of putting emblems of mortality in churches and other public places: by all which is implied, that the consideration of death is the greatest security of a good life. Indeed what other considerations do by parts, this does at a blow. It at once defeats the world, the flesh, and the devil. For how can the world captivate him

who seriously considers that he is a stranger in it, and shall shortly leave it? How can the flesh ensnare him who has his sepulchre in his eye, and reflects on the cold lodging he shall have there? And how can the devil prevail on him, who remembers that hé shall die, and then enter on an unchangeable state of happiness or misery, according as he has either resisted or yielded to his temptations? Of so vast consequence is the constant thinking upon death, above all other, even practical meditation; and so great reason had Moses for placing the wisdom of man in the consideration of his latter end.

37. But to return. I now persuade myself, that from the character of man, and his présent circumstances, as well as from divine authority, it evidently appears, that however natural our desire of knowledge is, this appetite is to be governed, as well as those that are sensual; that we ought to indulge it only so far, as may tend to the conducting our lives, and the fitting us for that happiness which God hath promised, not to the learned, but to the good and that if it be gratified to any other purpose, or in any other measure than this, our curiosity is impertinent, our study immoderate, and the Tree of Knowledge still a forbidden plant.

38. And now having stated the measure of our affection to, and enquiry after learning and knowledge, it remains to be considered, how much it is observed in the general conduct of our studies. It is plain, it is not observed at all. For these two things are notorious: first, that very little of what is generally studied, has any tendency to living well here or happily hereafter. And secondly, that these very studies which have no religious influence upon life, do yet devour the greatest part of it. The best and most of our time is devoted to dry learning; this we make the course of our study, the rest is only by the by; and it is well if what is practical or devotional, can find us at

leisure upon a broken piece of a Sunday or holiday. The main current of our life runs in studies of ano ther nature, that do not so much as glance one kind aspect upon good living. Nay, it is well if some of them do not hinder it. I am sure so great and so good a man as St. Austin thought so, who, speaking of the institution and discipline of his youth, has these remarkable words: I learnt in those things many useful words; but the same might have been learnt in matters that are not vain: and that indeed is the safe way, wherein children ought to be trained up. But woe unto thee, thou torrent of custom! Who is able to resist thee? How long will it be before thou art dried up? How long wilt thou roll along the sons of Eve into a great and for midable sea, which they can hardly pass over? Have I not, in obedience to thee, read of Jupiter thundering and fornicating at the same time? And yet, O thou hellish torrent! the sons of men are still tossed in thee, and are invited by rewards to learn these things! Thy pretence indeed is, that this is the way to learn words, and to get eloquence and the art of persuasion. As if we might not have known these words, golden shower, lap, the temple of Heaven, without reading of Jupiter's being made a precedent for whoring! This immorality does not at all help the learn ing of the words, but the words greatly encourage the committing the immorality. Not that I find fault with the words themselves; they are pure and choice vessels; but with that wine of error, which in them is handed and commended to us by our sottish teach


And yet unless we drank of it, we were beaten, nor had we any sober judge to appeal to. And yet, I, O my God! in whose presence I now securely make this recollection, willingly learnt these things, and like a wretch delighted in them, and for this I was called a good hopeful boy! By, this you may see what the judgment of this holy and venerable person was


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39. And here let me not be thought immodest, if, upon great consideration and full conviction, I presume to tax the management of our public schools. Many miscarriages I might note, but I shall concern myself only with those, which the principles here laid down lead me to consider. And these we may comprehend under two general heads of complaint:

1. That they take up so much of our time.

1. That they teach us such frivolous and unprofitable things as they do.


In relation to the first, I cannot with patience reflect, that out of so short a time as that of human life, consisting, it may be of fifty or sixty years (for where one lives longer, hundreds come short) nineteen or twenty shall be spent between the dictionary and the lexicon, in hammering out a little Latin and Greek, and in learning a company of poetical fictions and fantastic stories. Were these things worth knowing, yet it is barbarous and inhuman to make people spend so much of their little stock of time upon them. This is to make a cure of human ignorance, and to deal with the infirmities of the mind as some ill surgeons do with the wounds of the body If one were to judge of the life of man by the proportion of it spent at school, one would think that antideluvian mark were not yet out, and that we had a prospect of at least 900 or 1000 years before us. The truth is, it is an intolerable abuse it

should be so; and were the age as wise as it pretends to be, it would never suffer it: especially considering what late examples we have had of more compendious methods beyond the seas. It does not become me to project a scheme of school-discipline; I leave this to abler heads. Only in the mean time I may venture to say, that the common way is a very great tax upon human life; so large a portion of which can very ill be spared, to be lavished away in the first elements of learning.

But the greatest complaint against these seminaries is, the frivolousness of the things they teach. Not only the spending so much time on the things they teach is blame-worthy, but their teaching such things at all. Setting opinion and fancy aside, what real improvement is it to the mind of a rational creature to be overlaid with words and phrases, and to be full charged with poetical stories and dreams? How many excellent and useful things might be learnt while boys are thumbling and murdering Hesiod and Homer, which then they do not understand, and which when they do, they will throw by and de spise; and that justly too: for of what signification is such stuff as this, to the accomplishment of a reasonable What improvement can it be to my understanding, to know the amours of Pyramus and Thisbe, or of Hero and Leander ? Do men retain any value for these things, when they grow up, or endeavour to preserve the memory of them? And why must poor boys be condemned to the drudgery of learning what when they are men they must and will unlearn? Why must they be forced, with so great expense of time and labour, to learn such things as are of no standing use? So far from that, that they are dangerous as well as unprofitable. For I appeal to the common sense and experience of mankind, whether it be not dange rous in the highest degree, to entertain the gay catching fancies of boys, with

the amorous scenes of the poets? Whether it be safe to season their green imaginations with such images as are there painted to the life? Is not this rather the direct way to corrupt them, to sow in their tender minds the seeds of impurity, to increase their inbred propensities to evil, and lay a standing foundation for debauchery? Let any man but consider human nature as it comes down to us from Adam, and tell me whether he thinks a boy is fit to be trusted with Ovid? I do not understand upon what principle, either of prudence or piety, such books as these should be read by any; but least of all by boys, whose soft minds are so susceptible of any ill impression. Far better were it they should continue ignorant, than that their understandings should be accomplished at the hazard of their morals; upon which such studies as these can derive no very wholesome influence. And yet to these our youth is dedicated, and in these some of us employ our riper years, and then when we die, this very thing makes one part of our funeral elogy, that we were so diligent and indefatigable in our studies, and so inquisitive in the search of knowledge, perhaps that we procured an early interment by it; when, according to the principles before laid down, we were as impertinently, though not so innocently employed all the while, as if we had been so long picking straws in Bedlam.

40. The sum of all is this: the measure of prosecuting Learning and Knowledge, is their usefulness to a good life: consequently, all prosecu tion of them beyond or beside this end, is impertinent and immoderate. But such is the general prosecution of learning and knowledge, as is plain by appealing to the general conduct of study. It evidently follows, that the intellectual conduct of human life is justly chargeable with an immoderate and impertinent pursuit of Knowledge.

(To be concluded in our next.)

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