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the other. In philosophy itself, it reperusal of his disconrses after is not always the same thing to study some lapse of time, has not abun. a subject in order to understand, and dant reason for humiliation and in order to teach it. In morals and self-abasement, while he contemreligion, the power of persuasion is plates the neglect of duties which cultivated by those whose employ. he once warmly recommended, or ment is public instruction ; but their the commission of sins, which he forwishes are fulfilled, and their care merly with vehemence condemned? exhausted, in promoting the success The fact is, that we must all plead of their endeavours upon others. guilty to frequent forgetfulness, and The secret duty of turning truly and occasional direct violations of our in earnest their attention upon
them own precepts. Why should we either selves is suspended, not to say for- deny or palliate it? Why should gotten, amidst the labours, the en. we pretend to an undeviating rectigagements, the popularity of their tude, and an immaculate sanctity, of public ministry, and in the best dis. which our nature is not capable ? posed minds, is interrupted by the The standard which we are bound anxiety, or even by the satisfaction, to hold up to mankind is high, and with which their public services are holy, and perfect. We cannot enperformed.”
tirely reach it; but we must endeaWe well know our Lord's denun- vour, we must labour, to reach it. ciations against those who “ said, The excellent Skelton has some faand did not," and who “bound miliar, but shrewd and judicious, heavy burdens and grievous to be observations on this subject. “A borne, and laid them on men's very sensible gentlewoman,' says shoulders; but they themselves he,“ having read the two first vowould not move them with one of lumes of sermons I had the pretheir fingers." We all feel, and rea. sumption to publish, asked me, If dily' confess, that what we preach my own life and conversation were to others, we ought to preach also to strictly conformable to the rules I ourselves. But do we actually thus had laid down in those discourses: preach? Do we examine our own Startled at the question, I answered, hearts and conduct to ascertain their No; but that I did my best to act conformity to those rules which we as well as I wrote; and that I someourselves have publicly laid down times read over my own discourses, If this conformity does not exist, not that I thought them equal to and if there is no endeavour to pro. those of other writers on the same duce it, it is surely an awful consi- subjects, but to upbraid and excite deration, that while we preach to myself to a greater degree of watchothers, we ourselves may become fulness over my own ways. Two of cast-aways; and that before the tri- them, I said, had been of singular bunal of Christ
whom use to me for this purpose, more bave followed with private or pub- than the most excellent performances lic exhortations, will rise to testify of Barrow, Tillotson, or Stanhope, against us; and to declare the ever- could have been; because they lasting benefits they have derived stared my own failings in the face, from those instructions, which we, like an additional conscience, with while we delivered them, underva- greater sternness than the writings lued and neglected. At that solemn of other men could do.” hour it would indeed be dreadful to no one sermon I ever preached had be addressed with those ever memo- I one lesson for myself, and another rable words, “ Out of thine own for my hearers. My heart and coo. mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked science always made a part of the servant."
audience; and the pure word of God Where is the man, who upon the ever dictated to me what I delivered
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to them. Whatever constitutional either before or after they have warmth was mixed with my zeal, and preached to their congregations, much there certainly was; and how that they may secretly preach to ever earnestly I threatened the ter- their own hearts, of at least reading rors of the Lord to obstinate sinners, over the applications and hortatory especially such as preach unsound parts of their discourses, and inquirdoctrines to His people, I trembled ing of themselves, whether “ their while I did it, and pushed with an owu mouths have not testified against instrument sharp at both ends, that them;" whether they have not been pointed at my own sins, as well as guilty of taking God's covenant into theirs."
their mouths, and casting his words This is the language of a truly behind them; or whether they have good man, “ an Israelite indeed, in indeed practised those duties, and whom was no guile;" whose life was cultivated those virtues, which they spent in constant endeavours, both by have in public so loudly, and so his preaching and conduct, to"adoru energetically, prescribed. the doctrine of God our Saviour." Example has always more efficacy The practice, which he here men than precept. Let me then extract tions, of reading over his own dis- a passage from the Life of Dod. courses, in order to detect his devia dridge to shew the manner in which tions from his own prccepts, is well that excellent man performed the worthy of universal imitation. It is duty of ministerial self-examination. a practice calculated to produce the " It will not,” says his biographer, most beneficial effects. It is the " be unpleasing nor unprofitable to best preservative against that insen the serious reader, if I insert some sibility to religious impression which, specimens of the manner in which as has been already observed, is too he preached over his sermons to his frequently generated by the repeti- own soul; heartily wishing that it tion of the same services and the may excite ministers to do the like." same arguments, and by the habit “ July 23, 1727. I this day preached of regarding the edification of others conceruing Christ, as the physician as the principal, and almost the sole, of souls, from Jer. viii. 22. and havobject of our preaching. It is a pre- ing, among other particulars, adservative also against the danger to dressed those sincere Christians, which we are exposed of " doing who through a neglect of the Gospel the work of the Lord deceitfully, remedy are in a bad state of spiriand of falling into that most odious tual health, it is evident to me, upon and contemptible of vices, hypo- a serious review, that I am of that crisy. On the contrary, this prac. number. I know by experience that tice will form and cherish in our my remaining distempers are painhearts bumility, sincerity, diligence, ful. God knows they are the great and indeed every other Christian afiliction of my life; such an afficvirtue. They who have been long tion, that, metbinks, if I were free habituated to a nightly examination from it, any worldly circumstances of their daily conduct, know from would be more tolerable, and even experience the excellent effects of more delightful, than that full flow self-inspection and reminiscence. of prosperity, by which I am so Such persons will, without difficulty, often ensnared and injured. I know be persuaded of the advantages of Christ is able to help me, and to advancing a step further, and of restore me to more perfect health carrying on their examinations into than I have ever yet attained; and their personal conformity and agree- my experience of bis power and ment with their own ministerial in- grace is a shameful aggravation of structions. They will not doubt the my negligence. Therefore with bumbenefit of appointing some time, ble sbame and sorrow for my former
indifference and folly, I would now pher, “ to maintain the life of reliseriously attempt a reformation. gion in his own soul, as well as among To this purpose I would resolve: 1. his people.” "That I will carefully examine into These valuable extracts sufficia my own soul, that I may know its ently illustrate and exemplify the constitution, and its particular weak. manner, in which the duty, which ness and distempers. 2. I would we have been recommending, may be apply to Christ, as my physician, to most beneficially performed. It is heal these distempers and restore me my sincere hope and prayer that to greater vigour in the service of they may prevail on some, who have God. 3. I would remeinber that hitherto neglected this duty, to "go he heals by the Spirit: and would and do likewise;" and “ to walk therefore pray for his influences to before God in truth, and righteous. produce in me greater devotion, hu- ness, and in uprightness, and intemility, diligence, gravity, purity, grity of heart, that they may be sinand steadiness of resolution. 4. I cere and without offence till the day would wait upon him in the use of of Christ." appointed means for this purpose; .
G. I. M. especially prayer, the study of the June 13th, 1821. Scriptures, and the Lord's Supper. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Pronounce the word, thou To the Editor of the Remembrancer. great Physician, and save me for thy
SIR, inercy's sake.”
“ Nov. 12, 1727. I preached this in the Christian Remembrancer for day from those words, I know April, your correspondent Can. you, that ye have not the love of tab, enquires what is “ the true God in you.' I endeavoured to fix state of the case?" with respect to upon unconverted sinners the charge Polycarp's death—this is a question of not loving God, and described at which has much perplexed ecclesilarge the character of the Christian astical historians; without citing all in the several expressions of that the champions of the different dates affection. My own heart condemned which have been assigned, it may me of being deficient in many of be sufficient to mention, that Bishop them. I humbled myself deeply be- Pearson insists upon 147, (which fore God, and do now, in the divine Lardner by mistake calls 148) that strength, renew my resolutions as to Tillemont and others following the the following particulars. 1. I will Chronicon Alexandrinum give 167, endeavour to think of God more or thereabouts ; tbat Usher relyfrequently than I have done, and to ing upon the authority of Ægidius make the thought of him familiar to Bucherius, adopts 169; that Sozomy mind in seasons of leisure and mene makes him contemporary with solitude. 2. I will labour after com- Victor Bishop of Rome, at the close munion with himn, especially in every of the second century, and Socrates act of devotion through this week. having brought him down to the For this purpose, I would recollect reign of Gordian, the author of the my thoughts before I begin ; watch acts of Pionius has made him suffer over my heart in the duty, and con. in the Decian persecution; setting sider afterwards how I have suc aside however the palpable errors ceeded. 3. I will pray for conformity of these later Greek historians, the to God, and endeavour to imitate authentic evidence upon which the him in wisdom, justice, truth, faith- question is to be decided is reduced fulness, and goodness". “ Thus
-". « Thus to this, we have the testimony of careful was he,” adds his biogra. Eusebius and Jerome in the fourth
century, that Polycarp suffered death in the ninth year of Antoninus
I am, your's, &c.
St. John, and the best commentaTo the Editor of the Remembrancer. tors concur with Archbishop Usher
in understanding him to be the angel SIR,
of the Church of Smyrna, or the The observations of a correspond. Bishop of that city addressed in ent in your Number for April last, Rev. ii. on the inconsistencies of certain Now the date of the Apocalypse notes in the Family Bible, on a pas- is A. D. 96; but it is reasonable sage in the second chapter of Reve. to suppose, that he had holden the lations, have induced me to refer to Episcopal dignity there some time Cave's Lives of the Fathers for the previously; _say, that he was apo dates of the birth, ministry, and pointed A. D. 93. Then if he was martyrdom of St. Polycarp.
born A. D. 67, he was raised to the True it is, that the method adopted Episcopal Office at the age of by the distinguished Editors of that twenty six, or if born A. D. 65, at highly useful work, necessarily leads the age of twenty eight; but if apto the occasional introduction of pointed Bishop A. D. 96, he was, conflicting opinions on speculative if born A. D. 67, twenty nine years points, but, if I am not mistaken, old, and if born A. D. 65, thirty the danger, that the reader will be one years old. Dr. Cave fixes bis misled, is but very small, and is martyrdom A. D. 167; accordingly clearly overbalanced by the advan- he was one hundred years old, if tage, that the most valuable com- born A. D. 67; or one hundred and ments of the most eminent writers two, if born A.D. 65. The interesting of our Church are embodied in a contemporary account of his martyrpopular form.
dom relates the expression quoted by Dr. Cave consulted, with much your correspondent: Fourscore and critical acumen, the original autho. six years, exclaimed the dying saint, rities relating to the lives of the I have served him, and he never did Primitive Fathers, and his biogra- me any harm; how then shall I not phical memoirs are drawn upon close blaspheme my King and my Saexamination and careful scrutiny of viour ? But Cave most reasonably the most authentic records. This refers these eighty six years not to author, then, concurring generally the period of his natural, but of his with the great chronologist Arch- spiritual birth, to his regeneration bishop Usher, whose attention had by baptism, whieh, as was stated been particularly drawn to the life above, probably took place A. D. and writings of St. Polycarp, fixes 83, or A. D. 81. If in A. D. 81, his birth towards the latter end of then the eighty six years concur the reign of Nero, or perhaps, a with the date of his martyrdom A. D. little earlier. Now Nero died A. D. 167 68: St. Polycarp, therefore, was It is very plain that Dr. Wall's born A. D. 67, or it may be A. D. statement, that St. Polycarp died at 65. St. Polycarp is allowed by the age of eighty six, arose from the most ancient and best authori. a misconception of the emphatic ties to bave been the disciple of St. words of the dying martyr. John, to have been taught by the If the above dates be calculated Apostles, and to have conversed with tolerable acuracy, St. Polycarp with many, who had seen our Lord held the See of Smyrna more than upon earth. Let us suppose him, seventy years; seventy four years, then, to have been converted by St. if appointed A. D. 93: seventy one John at the age of sixteen, that is, years, if appointed A. D. 96: and A. D. 83, or A. D. 81. Antiquity Dr. Cave alleges an instance on in like manner testifies, that he was record of a Bishop of Rheims, who constituted Bishop of Smyrna by held that See seventy four years.