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thought connected with the watchmen was their perseverance. They cease not from their cry until all are awake to the alarm, and engaged to stop the threatening evil, or until the danger be over. If there be not a moving at once, they repeat the call, with a more piercing cry, and run from place to place, till the desired object be gained. This, thought I, is a very good lesson for the watchmen of Zion, if they wish men to awake to the subject of their fire alarm. They have, indeed, a more powerful appeal, because whenever the fire, of which they are to give the aların, is kindled upon the soul, it will burn upon it, and never be quenched. This constancy and perseverance in the alarm, is a character which God expects his watchmen to maintain ; for be says to his Church, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night ;” (Isa. lxii. 6.) but which shall always and perseveringly give the alarm, and pray God to save, for his mercy's sake. But instead of imitating the natural watchman in this thing, what coldness is often manifested in them ; with what reluctance and indifference they often speak of the things which concern the soul's immortal interest. They very seldom give the alarm so that it is felt; they hardly speak of danger at all, and when they do, it is often presented in such a light that few believe there is any. If they incautiously speak of the damnation of hell, and the danger of hell fire, they will often, and almost with the same breath, apologize to their refined hearers for this plainness, and seem to regret that they have thus rudely disturbed their tender and delicate feelings, with such harsh language. Others speak of the danger of the wicked with such unfeeling indifference, that it is manifest to all that he does not feel it to be real ; and the cousequence is, that many do not believe there is any danger, and so sin on with both hands constantly. The voice of the truly faithful watchman (if such an one can be found) is not believed ; and the alarm of hell fire is made the subject of sport and ridicule at the corner of every street, and all because there is inconsistency and infidelity in the watchmen of Zion.
The last thought connected with the watchmen, was their reward. This I find to be seventy-five cents, or at most one dollar a night. This, connected with the desire of maintaining their reputation in the world, constitutes every earthly motive which stimulates them to all their vigilance and fidelity as watchmen; and these are sufficient to induce them to be deprived of rest and sleep, when in many instances they are necessary for the body.
What a difference between this and the reward of Zion's watchmen. The master whom they serve, has not sent them to the warfare at their own charges, nor given them the promise of temporal rewards simply. If crowns and kingdoms of this world were pro. mised, they would be nothing in comparison with the reward which is actually holden out to them. One of them, under the inspiration of his divine Leader, says, “there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. iv. 8.) God also says by the prophet, to stimulate his watchmen to greater zeal and faithfulness in his word, “ They that turn many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars for ever and ever." (Dan. xii. 3.) Are they persecuted for their faithfulness ? Christ says to them, “Rejoice ye-and leap for joy ; for, behold, your reward is great in heaven : for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” (Luke, vi. 23.) This reward in heaven, this crown of righteousness, is given as a reward for turning many to righteousness. This turning men to righteousness is the same as to rescue them from fire : hence they are said to be saved by fear on the part of their deliverer, who pulls them out of the fire! (Jude, 23.) What a vast disproportion in the motives holden out to the watchmen of the city, and the watchmen of Zion ? and almost as much disproportion in their fidelity as in their motives. While Zion's watchmen have infinitely the advantage as to their reward, if faithful, the city watchmen have nearly the same advantage over the other in their faithfulness in cases of danger and alarm. 0! why this inattention to eternal things ? Why will not the promise of a reward in heaven, or the fear of punishment in hell, stimulate to more activity, faithfulness, and zeal in the watchmen of Zion? Is the declaration believed by them, either in regard to the blessing or the curse? Why then so little labour in any case for the souls of men ? why so little feeling in the pretended alarm given, and why so much more zeal and labour for a name, a party, or a sect, than to turn men to God by constantly pressing them with their danger ? Why so much more care to make catholic heads than holy hearts, so long as the orthodoxy of a devil does not in the least mitigate the pains of his damnation? Oh how richly do they deserve damnation, on whom the motives of a crown of glory will have no influence to deter from disobedience, and stimulate to all activity and zeal in the cause of God, and the souls of dying sinners! Dear reader, hast thou observed the unfaithfulness of Zion's watchmen, and blessed thyself that their pretensions to alarm and danger coming on the soul were visions of the night, and thus taken the occasion to indulge thy soul in sin, and contempt of God and his religion ? Let this timely warning bring thee to a pause, and let the thought press upon thy soul, that hell, even with unfaithful watchmen, will be more intolerable to thee as thou hast seen thy danger in their folly, and hast not provided for thyself a safe retreat. Or, is thy soul pained within thee at the watchmen's unconcern? O bestir thyself then, and call thy watchmen to their duty and their danger: and mingle all thine efforts with strong and unceasing prayer to God, that he would send down his Spirit to save a sinking, dying world. Art thou thyself a watchman? And is the watchman of thy city no reproof to thee? Has God's alarm been faithfully and fearlessly given by thee to every soul, and in every place where thou hast had thy station ? Will no soul in the judgment rise and curse thee, that thou didst not faithfully warn him of the danger of hell fire ? O arise! be a watchman indeed ; that when the Lord shall come be may bless thee with “ well done, good and faithful servant," and that thy soul may for ever rejoice among the many sons of the Highest !
Reply to “ L. F." on the Prayer of Faith.”
For the Christian Herald.
REPLY TO “L. F.” ON “THE PRAYER OF FAITH.”
The following remarks are designed to correct an erroneous sentiment, calculated to mislead those that are not accustomed to much reflection upon the nature and duty of prayer, and are not well grounded in the faith, which appeared in “ The Christian Herald of 19th Jan. 1822," entitled, “ The Prayer of Faith.” The author advances the doctrine that the Prayer of Faith means, that Christians when they convene for social worship must believe that whatever they pray for will absolutely come to pass; this he calls the Prayer of Faith; than which nothing can be farther from Scripture. It certainly has no more connexion with the Prayer of Faith than it has with the creation of the world. Surely no one can pray the prayer of faith, but those that have faith. I will in a few words define what I consider saving evangelical faith. First, no person ever did, or ever will believe, in the Saviour, but those that are made sensible that they stand in need of Him. A sinner must be convinced by the Holy Spirit, that he is a depraved, guilty creature; not only so, but entirely helpless : and as faith is the gift of God, he must be made willing to accept of salvation as a free gift ; all that pray under such exercises, pray the prayer of faith, whether what they pray for is answered in the way they ask or not. St. Paul prayed the prayer of faith when he thrice besought the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh. My grace is sufficient for thee, was the answer. Prayer is appointed for our benefit, and to convey the blessings God designs to give, and God always gives his people hearts to pray for what he designs to bestow; unreserved submission to infinite wisdom certainly becomes all creatures. We should pray for what appears desirable to us, provided only it seem good in the sight of God. Indeed, in regard to things expressly revealed to be the divine will, there is no room for such a proviso or submission. In our desires and prayers for saving grace, for personal holiness and heavenly happiness we need not express a willingness to be denied, if it be the will of God, because we know it is not. We koow, that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled ; and that to the poor in spirit, it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom of heaven. When therefore we have this spirit, and sincerely desire these blessings, we may ask for them without reserve. God has promised that his gospel shall spread, and the Saviour be known and worshipped throughout the world. But let us fix a definite time, and we must at once perceive the absurdity. God has not revealed to any creature who he intends to regenerate; and therefore to pray for an individual, and believe that because we pray for him his conversion will absolutely take place, is presumption, is arrogance. God is rolling on his purposes, the time is apparently not far distant to savour Zion. He has stirred up his people to unite in prayer for the spread of the Gospel, and we have reason to believe he is on the way to bless the nations and to enlighten the dark corners of the earth. Did not Luther, Calvin, Knox, Brainerd and Elliot, and all the Christians at and since the reformation, pray as fervently and with as much importunity for the outpouring of the Spirit and spread of the gospel as modern Christians ? Why was not their prayers answered ? Because the Lord's time had not come. Scripture is produced to prove the sentiment.“ If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it, &c. &c.” texts that have a particular reference to the age of miracles. "For a confirmation of this read the promise, “ He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the Father.” Who can believe that those promises are applicable to our day. The Christian world has been at much expense and labour to send the Bible and light of the gospel to the dark corners of the earth. If the sentiment with respect to the prayer of faith, as stated in the Herald, alluded to, is correct, all suture expense and labour may be saved. It must be confessed by all correct Christians, that with the great Jehovah, the conversion of a nation or island of savages can be accomplished with as much ease as an individual. The fact is, the purposes of Jehovah are fixed; nothing can be added to them or taken from them. The means to accomplish those purposes are also appointed, and he will not be disappointed to find at last that matters have turned out contrary to his expectations. His plans have all been laid in wisdom, and have been and will be executed by Almighty power, exactly agreeable to the council of his own will. Repeated prayer of the Church cannot forward the purposes of Jehovah one hour, no, not a moment into being sooner than he desigved. It may then be asked, what end will prayer answer. God has informed us that he intends to bless his Church only in one way, the use of means of his appointing; and not a blessing comes to the Church, but it comes in answer to the prayers of his people; but not for their prayers.
PEGGY AND THE ONE POUND NOTE.
! 1 1
THE following letter (says the Evangelical Magazine) was recently addressed to one of the secretaries of the Irish Society, by a much respected minister, a friend and member of the Society, in the neighbourhood of London. It is here inserted, as furnishing an illustration of the interesting features of the Irish character, sanctified and regulated by religion,-as authorizing the hope of that enlarged liberality and energy the cause of evangelization may ultimately receive from the Irish themselves, in proportion as the principles and blessings of the Gospel may become felt among them-and as affording a powerful incitement for more extended liberality, to all the friends of this sacred cause, that poor Ireland may have the blessings of the Gospel ministry.
“My dear Sir.-I enclose you a one pound note, which was some time ago put into my hand by a poor woman, under the following circumstances :~Her name was Peggy : she had been consigned by her dying mother in Ireland to the care of an individual, who brought her up as her servant, bestowing upon her only her clothes and food as her wages. Her residence at this place led to Peggy's attendance on the ministry of the Gospel. It met, in her case with a heart prepared by divine influence to receive it; she imbibed it as the thirsty earth the shower. Her appearance became altered, and her whole
demeanour highly improved. Her mistress, finding her services increasingly valuable, and fearing that the temptation to high wages might effect a separation, proffered, of her own accord, to give her a small yearly salary. For this she was truly thankful, and some months having elapsed, she came to me one evening after the service, apparently with great joy, and slipped a piece of paper into my handit was a one pound note. Peggy,” said I, “what is this?"; " Your Reverence,” said she, “it is the first pound that I could ever call my own since I was born. And what will I do with it? Ah! will I forget my country?-No:--it is for poor Ireland—it is for my countrymen to have the blessed, blessed Gospel preached to them.” I admired her disinterestedness, but thought the sacrifice too great, as I knew she must want such a sum for very important purposes. Peggy,” said I, “it is too much for you to give, I cannot take it.” “Oh, your Rever ence,” she replied, with her characteristic energy, “ if you refuse it I would not sleep for a fortnight :” and she went away, leaving the money in my hand, and exclaiming, "God bless my poor country with the ministry of the Gospel."
How much does her liberality outshine that of others! Who has not found the first possession of money bring with it a temptation to avarice? Who ever gave his first pound to charity ?-It was what she had been wishing for, for some years; it was her all, when she obtained it ; yet with a joy far greater than that which accrued from its possession, she delivered it up for the spread of the Gospel in her own country! Nor is this the first time that I have seen instances of generosity amongst the poor, that might make a rich man blush.” Yours, &c.
Review. THE DUTIES OF THE WATCHMEN UPON THE WALLS OF ZION: A
Sermon preached before the Synod,* at Galway, Feb. 13, 1822. Also, An Address, delivered to the Students of Theology, at the Seminary, in the city of New York, at the close of the Session, in 1820. By ALEXANDER PROUDFIT, D. D. Salem, N. Y.-H. Dodd & Co. 1822. pp. 36, 8vo.
The author of this Sermon and Address, is well known to the Christian public. With a disadvantageous delivery, he is an excellent preacher, and even more eloquent than many men with fine voices. We have no patience with the taste, and no very high opinion of the piety of those persons who cannot bear to hear Dr. Proudfit. We are happy, however, to acknowledge, that those who are for ever showing their want of piety and taste, by preferring a gaudy and showy exterior, to solid, manly and efficient eloquence, atone for their folly by their fickleness-and after glittering in the glare of successive meteors, settle at last into admiration of those steady lights which shine brighter and brighter as they burn. It is a remarkable fact, that those young men, whose exterior has
* Of the Associate Reformed Church.