« הקודםהמשך »
ment. Congress authorizes the transportation of the mail, even in time of peace, on that day, which the high Possessor of heaven and earth claims as his own; and in which he strictly forbids us to do any of our secular business. The mail is commonly carried in stage coaches. Probably several thousand of these are in motion every Sabbath day. By means of this, several thousand men, who have immortal souls, and who are all to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, are of necessity, by their employment, shut out from all the privileges of the Sabbath. By these men, every Sabbath in the year is entirely profaned, and their hearts must be hardening at a strange rate indeed. If several thousand men are every Sabbath occupied in driving the mail stages, there are many thousand more, who are also God's accountable creatures, each one of whom he has strictly commanded to turn away his foot from making any encroachments on his holy day, who are tempted by this means of public conveyance, to transgress the command, by proceeding on their journeys. Many thousand Post-Masters have their consciences severely tried, (unless they have already become seared) by opening the mail, and attending to their other official business on the Lord's day. To attend on this business, they are often detained from the public services of the sanctuary. There is another evil of no less magnitude, which is connected with the opening of the mail on the Sabbath: It presents a temptation, which actually induces thousands and tens of thousands, to profane holy time, by reading their letters of business, and their political and literary papers and magazines. By means of the transportation of the mail, the sacredness of the hallowed day is forgotten in those public houses where the mail coaches stop for refreshment. The same remark will apply to ferrymen and toll-gatherers; and sometimes it will apply to smiths and other mechanics, whose services are occasionally called for, to make those repairs which are more or less needed by travellers.
Could the whole of this evil be placed under our eye, so as to be viewed at once, it would be truly affecting; and every man of piety would be ready to exclaim, Surely the Lord will visit for this thing, and his soul will be avenged on such a nation as this! Let us not forget, that the whole of this systematic and authorized profanation of the Sabbath, is distinctly in the view of that holy and Almighty Being, who is emphatically the One“ with whom we have to do.” Have we not reason to fear, that this violation of the holy Sabbath, will bring the curse of God on the mail itself? We need His providence to protect this ever-moving and much-exposed depository of common treasure and intelligence. They who believe in a particular, as well as general providence, cannot now trust their property in the mail with as much confidence as they could do,
if it were not carried on the Lord's day. When they think how greatly the Sabbath is polluted by the transportation of that mail, to which they commit their money, it renders it difficult for thein to ask the Lord of the Sabbath to protect it.
I am, myself, inclined to think, that there is no profanation of the Sabbath in our land, which is more likely to bring down the wrath of heaven upon us, than the one to which I have adverted: this is eminently a national profanation. It is an “error which proceedeth from the ruler." It is a national contempt of the Lord's day, and of the Lord of the day. It seems to speak a language like this: “ If individuals are dependent on God, and accountable to Him, let them acknowledge it by keeping holy his consecrated day; but as a nation, we are independent, not only of men, but of God; and are accountable to none; for there is no Lord over us.Nationul concerns are of too much consequence to be diverted from their regular course, by a cowardly fear of breaking a command of God.” How would such words as these be received by Him, who has said, that for every idle word which men speak, they sball gire account in the day of judgment? But if our actions imply all this, what words could speak more distinctly?
There is another circumstance, which makes this national profanation a very great evil; It is the means of lowering down a regard to the Sabbath throughout the country, more than almost any other thing. The people at large are acquainted with it, and become familiarized to it. The thing is known to be sanctioned by the legislature of the nation--the nobles of the land. It is at length considered by many, if not most of the people, as a necessary arrangement. This all tends to make a general impression, that the command of God, to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, is not so binding on men's consciences as had been supposed. It is a patural inference; that if the government of the land niay take the Lord's day to do their business, it cannot be very wrong for men in private life to do the same, If men, when travelling in the mail coaches, go forward on the Sabbath, as on other days, it will be natural for them to do it when travelling in their own coaches, or other means of private conveyance. If some steam-boats are employed by government on the Sabbath, to transport the mail, it is a public sanction, to all the other boats, to make no difference as to time, between the holy and the profane. And this unnecessary labour, by the sailing of steam-boats in all the waters of the United States, will constitute an amazing amount of the sin of Sabbath-breaking, If the steam-boats and packets traverse our bays and rivers on the Sabbath, this is giving a sanction to the still more confined pavigation of the nals, And should this be unrestrained, we had better have remained contented without a single canal in the country.
That part of our population, who are most accommodated by the improvements which have been made in our internal navigation, if they serve God rather than Mammon, would sooner have remained without this additional facility of transportation, than to have had their hearts grieved with the augmented profanation of the Sabbath, which this will be the means of bringing among them; should sailing on the canals be understood as being out of the reach of the Sabbath law, the same as sailing on the ocean. They will consider the demoralizing effect of this dreadful profanation of the Sabbath, to be such a moral loss to themselves and their children, that no natural advantages which accrue, can counterbalance it.
In view of all the evil, which is connected with this national contempt of the Sabbath, I am confident, that if the man who is placed at the head of the Post-Office department, and the legislature of
the nation, were to view things in the same light, in which they • were viewed by the Jewish reformer, their love to their country
would not permit them to suffer this prostration of the Lord's day
to continue another year. They would fear, lest enough had already : been done, to kindle a fire which would not speedily he quenched.
By the light of the scriptures, (and this is a light to which we do : well to take heed) we are led to conclude, that the profanation of
the Sabbath, as much as any other sin, exposes this nation to the judgmenls of God. Intemperance is another of our heaven-provoking sins, and is a sin which greatly endangers our prosperity, if not our very existence; but it has not so many characteristics of a national sin, as the one which it is the object of this discourse to expose. Intemperance, though a common evil, is not, however, sanctioned by the laws: but as it relates to the Sabbath, there are laws of the land which are entirely repugnant to the laws of God, Although intemperance is common, we have reason to be thankful, that it is not, as yet, altogether reputable. But what is the disgrace which is now attached to a profanation of the Sabbath? Is there not reason to fear, that for the office of a State Governor, or even of a President of the United States, this would generally be thought no disqualification at all? If moral obligation has so lost its hold of our consciences, that the most palpable violations of the Divine law, are hardly considered as faults, either by the transgressors themselves, or by the community in general, it is time to sound the alarm.
FROM THE CALVINISTIC MAGAZINE.
EXPOSITION OF SCRIPTURE. Presbyterians believe that the scriptures make a distinction between that called the gospel, which is common to all, and the effectual call of the Spirit, by which enmity is subdued, and the heart conquered. Our Arminian brethren reject this distinction. “A
call is a call,” say they; "and to maintain that the Lord calls sont of mankind effeclually, while he does not call all effectually, is le represent him as acting partially.” Many efforts have been made to place the doctrine of effectual calling in a ridiculous light, and the wit of many a declaimer has been severely taxed for this par pose. But after wit and sophistry bave done their utmost, it remains true, that “beaven and earth shall pass away," before ose jot, or one tittle, of divine truth shall fail.
How would our Arminian brethren explain I. Cor. i. 23, 947“ But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness ; but unto them which are called. both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom God.” Were not all Jews, and all Greeks called by the commen call of the gospel? Certainly,' says the Arminian, 'all are called : God makes no distinction: all are called alike.' Then according to the Arminian, the Apostle speaks as follows: “ We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews, (who are called,) a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks, (who are called,) foolishness; but unto them rk. are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisilom of God.” Who, that admits the inspiration of the seristures, can believe the Apostle used language so utterly destitute of meaning? But, adınit that the doctrine of effectual calling is a glorious gospel truth, and this passage is luminous and instructire.“We preach Christ crucified; to the unbelieving Jews,a stumbling. block, and to the (uubelieving) Greeks, foolishness; but unto them who are called (effectually renewed by the Holy Spirit,) Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."
I. Peter, i. 10. “ Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure.” There,' says the Arminian; I always said, election was conditional, and this text proves it; for if our election were not conditional, where would be the propriety of exhorting us to “make it sure?” If this text spoke only of election, then this gloss might at first glance, appear somewhat plausible. But we are urged to make our calling sure, as well as our election. How will the Arminian manage this? Will he say our calling is conditional? He denies the doctrine of effectual calling. And as to the common call, the people whom Peter thus addressed had been called by the gospel for many years. To whom then were they required to make their calling sure? Was it to God? It could not be a contingency or uncertainty in his view, after it had taken place; neither could it be an uncertainty to themselves, when they were conscious they had been called repeatedly during twenty or thirty years. What then is the meaning of the text? It has none, if Arminianism be true. There is a palpable absurdity in exhorting people to make thal sure to God or to themselves which is al
ready sure to both. Can our being called by the gospel be made more certain either to God or to ourselves, than it is now, and has been for many years? It is plain, therefore, that whatever be the right exposition of this text, that given by the Arminian is torong.
The calling spoken of, is the effeciun! call of God's Spirit ; the election, is God's act of electing love. Are we exhorted to make sure in the sight of God? No-there are no mists and clouds of uncertainty, floating before his eyes, which we are entreated to renove. “ All things are naked and open to him.” He searches the heart-he knows what is in man. But to man, the tree is only known by its fruit. Christians have comfortable evidence that they ire the children of God, when they walk in the paths of new obe. dience, and bring forth the fruits of righteousness. “We know that we have passed from death unto lise, because we love the breth
Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and electicn sure," to your own minds; that is, live as Christians should livewalk in all the Lorel's commandments with fidelity, and thus furnish satisfactory evidence to your own minds, that you have been effect. ually called by the Holy Spirit, according to God's holy purpose of electing Love.
G.* COMPLAIST. [Knowing the aversion of some readers to long articles, we have abridged the fillowing, from the Philanthropisi and Investigator.)
We have long had opportunity to observe how the world was go ing. We have occupied a distinguished place, but now we are elbowed aside by certain thin favourel gentry, who by dint of much blustering and ristling, and being very pretty withal, have engrosa sed the affections of the bigh and the low. Once we were sought aster; now we are neglecteil; and who would not complain under such circumstances ? The people of this age hare charged us of being too corpulent. They have charged us with quaintness and circumlocution. They have called us old, as though age were a reproach. They have called us dull prosers, and cast us aside as they would the antiquated pictures of their great grandmothers. It is true we did not overlook all the principles of ratiocination; we did not leap from premises to conclusions, from principles to mote results. No, we struck the earth at every step, that we might be sure that our position was soli. We were not propelled by steam, but traversed mountains of difficulty, and mazes or error, on foot. It is true, we did not travel with the velocity of the moderns, but we made no mistake as to our latitude and longitude, and arrived safe at the end of our journey; and we remembered every step
Some who prosess to be our friends, have endeavoured to compress our dimensions into a smaller compass, in order to conform us to the fashion of the day; but they bare destroyed our identity. We are indignant at such freedoms. We will not submit to be corsetted and persumed by the literary dandies of this generation. They may, if they will, decorate their persons with tinery, and stuff their pockets with sweetmeats and smelling bottles, lest they should be weary and faint by the way; but we have not become so effeminate as to need them. If we are giants, we have become giants by natural growth; and if we can find none who will fall in love with our stateliness and ponderosity, and other solid qualifica
of the way.