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has one sheep a right to stray into another fold for pasture?"
"But, suppose a sheep cannot live on the pasturage which is provided, and a neighbouring shepherd is willing to admit him amongst his fold, where he can obtain nutritious herbage; what law of self-preservation, or of infringement will be violated? Your figure of comparison is more fanciful than just; as we live in a land of freedom, where every man is permitted to exercise his own judgment on every religious question. We may believe what doctrines we please-practise what ceremonics we please-worship God where and when we please--hear what minister we please, without offending against any statute law, or subjecting ourselves to the interference, or interruption of others."
Mr. John Roscoe. "But you are not sure that you will approve of all the doctrines which Mr. Ingleby preaches, and may, after a while, be under the necessity of going elsewhere."
Mr. Roscoe. "If I should be under the necessity of going elsewhere, I ought to be thankful that I have the right of doing it, and also the opportunity. But as this is an hypothetical case, I feel under no obligation to reply to it, further than to say, that, as religion is now become essential to my happiness, and an enlightened ministry* no less essential to my spiritual improvement,
"They that have any just sense of the importance of religion," says a judicious writer, "find that they need all the helps that God has appointed. Suppose the Sabbath were abolished for a few weeks; in what state, think you, would some of you find your minds? Why, you would feel as if you had scarcely any knowledge or power of religion at all." But there is no charm in the sanctity of the day to keep up the power of vital religion in the heart of a Christian, nor in the holy place where he may spend
the consecrated hours,"
this honour having been put on a faithful ministry, which exhibits the truth in its purity and force. What a loss does a Christian habitually sustain who deprives himself of such a ministry, and worships where angels never stoop to celebrate the conversion of one sinner to God! Instead of hearing that glorious Gospel, which enlivens and strengthens the mind, which purifies and ennobles it, and which brings the remote and unseen realities of eternity to moderate the impetuosity,
I shall go where I can derive most advantage. Places and forms-times and seasons-are the accidental associations of religion, not the integral parts of it, and ́ that powerful and omnipotent ascendency which they once retained over my imagination and prejudices, is now destroyed, and I am free to hear the truth whereever it is proclaimed; and to offer up my sacrifice of prayer and of praise in any place which he will condescend to visit with his presence."
Mr. John Roscoe. "But I presume you do not intend to leave the church, for any of these dissenting chapels which are springing up amongst us."
Mr. Roscoe. "You know that I am attached to the church, but I feel a stronger regard for the Saviour; and I am attached to her form and constitution, but I have a stronger regard for the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation; and if I could not hear it preached within the walls of the Establishment, I should consider it my imperative duty to go where I could. A disciple of Jesus Christ should endeavour to please him, but can it be pleasing to the Saviour, for one of his disciples to attend a ministry which does not honour Him. Has he not commanded us to deny ourselves, and take up the cross and follow him? and suppose, when He is driven from the pulpit of the establishment, by the introduction of another Gospel, he go and animate a dissenting ministry with his presence, ought not our regard for his authority, and our attachment to his name, to induce us to obey his sacred injunction. Not to do it, in my opinion would be virtually saying, we love to hear the pure Gospel, when it is preached where we wish it, but when it is not, we will hear another gospel."
On the following Sabbath morning Mr. Roscoe and his family went, for the first time to hear Mr. Ingleby, and Mrs. John Roscoc accompanied them. His subject
and cool the ardour with which the fleeting shadows of time are pursued, the heart is often disquieted, if not with
"harsh and dissonant sounds,'
yet with anti-christian and dissonant, sentiments, and the day of rest becomes one of perplexity and mortification; Providence having determined, that they who observe lying vanities shall feel that they have forsaken their own mercies. Jonah ii. 8.
was taken from the 3rd chapter of the book of the Revelations, and the 21st verse, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. After some few prefatory remarks, the venerable rector said, I shall endeavour to prove from these words, that the Christian is animated in his course by the hope of attaining the honours which await him at the end of it." This subject gave him ample scope for the exhibition of some of the most attractive, and impressive parts of revealed truth, and such was the ease, and energy, and pathos with which he spoke, that the audience listened with the deepest interest, and though he knew not that the Roscoes were present, yet, from the tenor of some of his remarks, they imagined that it was intended solely for them.
On their return home, some allusion having been made to the service which they had just attended, Mrs. John Roscoe said, "We have heard this morning a very judicious, and a very impressive sermon. I was very
much pleased with the correctness, and force, and occasional elegance of his style of composition; but this was a source of gratification far inferior to the elevating, and sublime sentiments which he delivered. I could have sat another hour with great pleasure, but not without coveting the feelings of a man, who spake of the felicities of heaven, as one who had passed through all preparatory trials, and was in the actual possession of them." “I was much struck,” said Mrs. Roscoe, “at the size and attention of the congregation. I saw no one gazing about, as though he were a stranger, in a strange place, but every eye appeared fixed on Mr. Ingleby, whose venerable locks and fine tones commauded the most devout attention. I have been more pleased than I expected, and if this be a specimen of evangelical preaching, I shall feel no reluctance to
This remark overpowered the feelings of Miss Roscoe, whose mind had been surcharged with a high degree of anxiety respecting the issue of this first visit of her honoured parents to the church in which she had so often listened with delight to the simple, yet sublime truths of revelation, and she could not refrain from shedding the
tear of joy, as a memorial of her gratitude to Him, who heareth and answereth prayer.
“Yes,” said Mr. Roscoe, “the service was interesting and impressive, the congregation was devout, and the preacher displayed a spirit, and a manner which became the sanctity of the place he occupied, and the responsibility of the high duties devolving on him; his mind was absorbed in his subject; and though he was not inattentive to the graces of action, and of expression, yet it was evident that his principal aim was, by shewing to us our danger, and the resources of our safety; and exhibiting before us in simple, yet sublime descriptions, the honours and felicities of the unseen world; so to warm and animate us, as to secure our devout and permanent attention to the momentous truths of discussion. I felt, when listening to him, that the revelation of mercy was not to him a barren theme of meditation, or a mere system of philosophical speculation, which by exercising the reasoning faculties of the soul, improves the intellect without refining the taste; but that it was, what it professes to be, a restorative scheme of salvation, intended, by renovating the heart, to restore man to his long lost purity and bliss-deriving all its efficacy from the grace of Him, by whom it was first announced, and reflecting a peculiar power on the agents of its external administration, by employing them as the instruments in accomplishing his design, in enlightening, consoling, and saving them that believe.
Stereotyped by 1. HADDON ; and Printed by J. S. HUGHES, 63, Paternoster Rom.
THE CONFLICT, AND THE TRIUMPH OF THE CHRISTIAN.
"The church in which the Rev. Mr. Ingleby preached, was very pleasantly situated in the rural part of the parish; and though its local distance from the village was unfavourable for the attendance of the people, yet it was generally thronged with attentive and devout hearers."
PRINTED FOR FRANCIS WESTLEY, 10, STATIONERS' COURT, AND AVE-MARIA LANE.