« PreviousContinue »
gion, or weaken their hands, or embarrass their efforts in the good cause, they would admonish him of it ; and if occasion required, they inight go in a body, in order to give greater weight to their remonstrances. If they found him perverse, or blinded with passion, so that they could not act with bim, por recognize him as a christian brotber, they would feel it becssary to withdraw from him, until he should corpe to himself again. All this while there could be no act of authority, no assumption of power by one orer the rest, or by the community over the individuals, no means used, but those of advice and persuasion, no influence but light and love.'
For the Hopkinsian Magazine.
THE WILL OF GOD. We can form no idea of God, but what we derive, originally, from reflection upon the powers, faculties, and operations of our own minds. God made the first human pair, in his own image, both natural and moral. . The moral image of God, consisting in
righteousness and true holiness,' was lost by the fall : his natural image, consisting in the intellectual and active powers of the mind, we still retain. Wbile, therefore, it would be most dishocorable to the Supreme Being, to think him altogether like ouro selves, as to his moral character ; still we may and must ibink him like ourselves, as to his natural attributes. God is a Spirit. And it is by a knowledge of our own spirits, that we form some just conception of the Divine Spirit. We are obliged to think, that thought in God, is like thought in man ; that knowledge in God, is like knowledge in man ; that reason in God, is like reason in man; and that volition in God, is like volition in man. The highest idea we can form of the natural attributes of God, is to suppose they are like the properties and powers of our own spirits, divest d of all imperfection, and entarged to infinity.
As the will of man is not a faculty, but the exercise of his faculties ; so the will of God consists in exercise : it is bis choice, his pleasure : it comprehends all that, in wbich he is active.
Though the will of God, strictly speaking, is but one, as it is uniformly the same, and always consistent with itself ; yet it extends to a vast variety of objects, and consists of a great variety of exercises, according to the various properties and relations of the objects upon which it acts. God views no being or thing in the universe, with indifference; and he exercises proper and becoming aff ctions and volitions, towards both himself and all the creatures and things which he has created and made. Hence the will of God is called by different appellations, according as it is conversant with things good or evil, with creatures holy or sinful, and with events past, present, or to come. Thus the will of God is called his pleasure, bis purpose, his love, hatred, anger, etc. But the most general distinction, made respecting the will of God, is that of his decretive and preceptive will. The decretive will of God, is his . eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his own will, whereby for his own glory he bath foreordained whatever comes to pass.' From eternity, God koew all things possible : And before he began the work of creation, like every wise agent, he had a plan, comprehending all his works and operations. He knew what was best, and determined what creatures and things to make, and how to govern and dispose of them, so as to glorify himself in the highest degree, and produce the greatest possible sum of holiness and happiness. Hence we read in sacred scripture, Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world_His work is perfect ; nothing can be added to it, nor any thing takeo from it-Of hin, and through him, and to him, are all things-Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own wiil.' This is God's decretive will: It is his counsel, purpose, or eternal predeterinination of all things and events
The preceptive will of God, is his command, or law. This includes whạtever he requirrs of his rational creatures. As he is the Sovereign Disposer of all things in the natural world ; so he is the Supreme Governor of all free agents in the noral world. It belongs to him to give law to the whole rational creation. And the law which he gives thim, whether it be written in their consciences, or on tables of stone, or on the ages of revelation, is bis preceptive will.
The decretive will of God, has been called bis secrel will; ard his law, comprehending all his commauds, has been called bis rerealed will. But this is not prriectly correct : for, though all the commands of God are revealed ; yet all his decrees are not secret. He has revealed many of his decrees or purposes, in his boly word ; and he is revealing them, every day, by the events of his providence. The proper distinction, between the secret aid revealed will of God, is this : His secret will, is so much of his will, whether decretive or preceptive, as he has not yet revealed to men; and his r::vealed will is so much of his will, whether decretive or preceptive, as he has revealed to men, either in his word or providence. From whence it must be obvious, that there nev. er can be any ground to allege, that there is the least inconsistency or opposition, between the secret and revealed will of Gud. His will, wh-ther of command or decree, law or purpose, is uniformly and forever the same, whether revealed to his creatures by his word and works, or kept a secret in his own breast,
It is orly between the decretive and the precentive parts of the Divine will, that it can ever be said, with the least plausibility, that there is inconsistency or opposition: and here, the inconsiste ency is apparent only, and not real. It is true, that God bas commanded many things, which he had decreed should not be done, Iustances of this, are found throughout the sacred pages. It must suffice, at this time, to mention two striking instances of this kind, as specimens of the rest. By his servants, Moses and Aaron, God commanded Pharoab to let the children of Israel go, that
the land and the timber, want at lengt'i overcomes love of countrr, and all, both young and old, are fouuu forsaking the land of their bith, and seeking a home in the unworn regions of tbe West. In the short period of thirty years, which is within my rememorance, many of the above changes have taken place of my own knowledge, in certain neighborhoods of land, originally fertile, soft, and easy to cultivate. i therefore think it requires no prophet to tell, that if the present and former state of husbandry is not altered, a large portion of the once valuable lands of Virginia must bee come a deserted wilderness ; for, iustad of making our lands better from the time of their being cleared, they are daily growing poorer from constant and bad tillage, close grazing, and the washing of heavy rains. How uulike some of our sister States, having no slaves, where many generations of the same family prosper on the same spot of land.
A, B, C.
From the New-Hampshire Chronicle.
INFANT EDUCATION. Probably is the proper course were always taken, children would seldom need the discipline of the rod. Few would be the occa. sions when the good of the child would absolutely require it, or when its infliction would be in any degree beneficial. And when it fails of becoming so, all must r::adily allow that it is injurious. If it should ever become necessary, in the view of the judicious parent, he will kuow how to administer it-in lore, not in anger, and will not fail to leave a just impression on the mind of his cbild. I intend thes: remarks in reference to all corporeal punishment.
But I would here speak more particularly of the less difficult, but commonly more eff-ctual, methods often resorted to, by parents and oth.rs, to punish misdem--anor and secure obedience. I mean the practice of frightening children by shutting them up in a dark room, $o exposing them as to terrify them, or even threatening them with such treatment. Tuhuman, I must say, as it is, and common as it is, it calls for censure. Why should the child bave inflicted on it a punishment the influence of which will be felt for years purbaps will never be forgotten ? Far better were it to chastise SA verely with the rod, than in a way to make it tremble at its own shadow, and fear to open its eyes where there is darkness. It is a cruelty that cannot be atoned for, the inflicting of an evil that cannot be repaired ; and it is astonishing that one who has suffered from it should ever impose it on others. The darkness is as natural as the light, and naturally no more dreaded. Yet how many are afraid to be alone in it, even where they know there is no danDr. And this because of injudicious, I may say unjust, treat. ment in their early days.
That parent is unfit to have the management of a child, who cannot commonly govern it by mild reproof, or a decided injure
tion, as every parent may who commences the proper course of discipline in its infancy.
CHUICH AND STATE. Who are they that seek this union? It cannot be charged on those theologians who are perpetually at war with each other. Were they planning such an arduous enterprize, they would seek union among themselves;
It cannot be charged on zealous sectarians of any kind. Sectarianism tends to division, not union.
It cannot be brought about by Sectarianism. Because the prevention of sectarianism is the grand object always sought by such a nion.
It cannot be charged on those who are heartily engaged in pro- moting moral reform. Such a reform, so far from uniting the cburch with the state, is threatening to tear the churches asunder.
It cannot be charged on those ministers or those presses that make themselves inpopular hy reproving vice.
Those who would unite church and state, in this country, must first render themselves popular. This is done, not by stemning the current of public feeling, but by swimming with it. - Genius of Temperance.
SHUT UP THAT GROG-SHOP! Yes-shut it up. It is a fountain of death. Drunkards are made there. It is a whirlpool, that swallows down all that comes within its reach-houses-lands-food-raiment-the widow's last mite--the orphan's last crust-time-money-health-lifereputation--and the souls of men.
Fathers! Mothers! If a den of rattlesnakes were within sight of your windows, you would bolt your doors and keep your children in, till the horrid cavern was closed. That grog shop yonder, is worse than a den of rattle-snakes. The still-worm lies coiled there, in those barrels. It “biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder." And the worm that never dies is concealed there. It winds through every street, and lurks in every path. It will bite your children. They are not safe, till that den is shut up,
Do you ask how you shall shut it up ?-You can do it by never entering into it yourself, nor permitting your children, your servants, or your property to enter it. Put none of your money into that grog-shop, and it will close of itself. History tells tis that when à frightful cavern appeared in the midst of Rome, it could not be made to close up, till the most valuable things in Rome were thrown into it. But the way to close this cavern, is, to keep your valuable things out of it. It is a cheap remedy and a sure
Shut up that grog-shop. That one, I mean that is called a Ho. tel, and that that is called an oyster cellar. The one that is called a wine store, and that which passes for a confectionary, or soda room. Yes! and the grocery store, the warehouse, the merchant's compting room, the billiard chamber, and the house of iilfame. ALL the places where strong drink is sold, hargained for, dealt out, or given a way, The booths at the Park, where pegroes drink, on the 4th of July, and the City Hall, where Alderpres drink at the same tiine. They are grog-shops, the whole of them: -doos of destruction.-Shut them mp: shut them up. Thry are public nuisances, public posis. They diserace the nation and threaten its ruin. Shut them up, all of them.- 1b.
RELIGIOUS. Cily Missions.--At the late meeting of the Boston Society for the moral and religious instruction of the poor, the President briefly stated the object of the Society. It was forined in 1816, the late Rev. Mr. Huntington having been among the most active of its original friends. It is estimated that there are now froin 20000 to 25,000 persons in the city of Boston, who are unconnected with any religious society! They are generally poor, and igno. rant on relizious subjects. For the benefit of such, the society was formed.
Baltimore --It is stated in one of the Baltimore papers, that of a population of 80,000 souls which that city contains, it is computed that only 20,000 are attached to the regular congregations that assemble for public worship on the Sabbath.
Mormonisn. -A gentleman of this city has presented for publication, the following extract of a letter from a Mormonite to bis friend here. The writer was forinerly a respectable citizen of Boston, and we are assured that his credibility and sincerity cannot be doubted.--Boston Courier.
CANANDAIGUA, Jan. 9, 1831. We live in this place, and have ever since the 8th of October, My mind and time have mostly been taken up in the labor of the new covenant, and I cannot say much which would be interesting, either to you or to me, unless I write upon this interesting subject. You must suppose I have had a good opportunity of witnessing much of the proceedings of those wbo believe in the book of Mormon. The book causes griat excitement in these parts, and many lie and foam out their shame, and soine believe and become meek and lowly in this region.
There are about one hundred souls who have bumbled them- , selves and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and