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of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
Mr. Brainard informs us, that when among the American Indians at one place, where there was a great number, be halted, and offered to instruct them in the truth of Christianity. " Why,” said one of them, “ should you desire the Indians to become Christians, seeing the Christians are so much worse than the Indians ? The Christians lie, steal, and drink, worse than the Indians. They first taught the Indians to be drunk. They steal to that degree, that their rulers are obliged to hang them for it; and that is not enough to deter others from the practice. But none of the Indians were ever hanged for stealing ; and yet they do not steal half so much. We will not consent, therefore, to become Christians, lest we should be as bad as they. We will live as our fathers lived, and go where our fathers are when we die.” Notwithstanding Mr. B. did all he could to explain to them that these were not Christians in beart, and that he did not want them to become such as these, he could not prevail, but left them, mortified at the thought, that the wickedness of some called Christians should engender such prejudices,
Chap. iii, ver. 14.-Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
A minister travelling in a stage coach, bad the mortification of being shut up for the night with a naval officer who was much addicted to swearing. At length the conversation turned on the topic of the day, the Boulogne Flotilla; when the officer observed, “ If one of our ships meet with them, she will send them all to the devil.” “ There is a great deal of propriety, sir,” said the minister, “ in your observation; for as it is probable there are many profane swearers on board the French ships, should these men die in their sins, they will certainly go to the
devil.” He looked confounded, blushed, but swore no more, and in the morning took a respectful leave.
Chap. iii, ver. 25.-Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
Cowper, the poet, speaking of bis religious experience, says, “ But the bappy period wbich was to shake off my fetters, and afford me a clear opening of the free mercy of God in Christ Jesus, was dow arrived. I flung myself into a chair near the window, and seeing a Bible there, ventured once more to apply to it for comfort and instruction. The first verse I saw, was the 25th of the 3d of Romans. • Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation througb faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.' Immediately I received strength to believe, and the full beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon me. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement he had made, my pardon sealed in his blood, and all the fulness and completeness of his justification. In a moment I believed, and received the Gospel. Whatever my friend Madan bad said to me so long before, revived in all its clearness, with demonstration of the Spirit, and with power."
Chap. iv, ver. 5.—But to him that worketh' not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Mr. Samuel Walker of Truro, was for some time a preacher, before he experienced the power of godliness on his own heart. He was brought to right views in the following manner :--About a year after he came to Truro, being in company with some friends, the subject of whose conversation turned
upon the nature of justifying and saving faith, he, as be freely owned afterwards, became sensible that he was totally upacquainted with that faith which had been the topic of discourse; and also convinced, that he was destitute of something, which was of the greatest importance to bis own, as well as the salvation of the people committed to bis charge. He said pothing at that iime of the concern he was brought under, but was ever ready afterwards, as opportunity offered, to enter upon the subject. He now began to discover, that he had hitherto heen ignorant of the gospel salvation, inattentive to the spiritual state of bis own, and the souls of others, and governed in all his conduct, not by the only Christian motives of love to God and man, but purely by such as were sensual and selfish; he found that he was a slave to the desire of man's esteem; and in short, as he himself expressed it, had been all wrong both within and without. Having, by prayer and study of the Scriptures, under the divine blessing, obtained just views of divine truth, and experiencing the power of religion on his own mind, he became a distinguished and successful preacher of the Gospel, whose praise is in all the churches.
Chap. v, ver. 1.—Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
A minister of the Gospel was once preaching in a public hospital. There was an aged woman present, who, for several weeks, bad been aroused to attend to the conceros of her soul; and was now in a state of wretchedness, approaching to despair. When she heard the word of God from the lips of bis servant, she trembled like a criminal in the hands of the executioner. She was an object of pity to all who knew her. Formerly she had entertained hope of acceptance with God; but she had departed from her comforter, and now she was the prey of a guilty conscience. A short time after this, the same mioister was preaching in the same place; but during the first prayer, his text, and the whole arrangement of bis discourse, went completely from him, he could not recollect a single sentence of either; but Rom. v, 1. took possession of his whole soul: “ Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He considered this a sufficient intimation of bis duty, and descanted freely on justification by faith, and a sinner's peace with God, through the atonement of Christ. It was the hour of mercy to this poor distracted woman. A ray of divine consolation now penetrated her soul; and she said to the minister when taking his leave, “I am a poor vile sinner, but I think, being justified by faith, I begin again to have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. I think Christ has now got the highest place in my heart; and, oh! I pray God, he would always keep bim there."
Chap. v, ver. 7.-For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
The history of the world will scarcely, perhaps, produce a well-authenticated instance of one fellow creature voluntarily and deliberately submitting himself to certain death to save the life of another, por does the thing appear warrantable. Many instances of noble heroism and generous benevolence, however, are recorded, among which the following is not the least remarkable:--A great inundation baving taken place in the north of Italy, owing to an excessive fall of snow in the Alps, followed by a speedy thaw, the river Adige carried away a bridge near Verona, except the middle part, on which was the house of the toll-gatherer, who, with his whole family, thus remained imprisoned by the waves, and in momentary expectation of certain destruction. They were discovered from the banks, stretching forth their bands, screaming, and imploring succor; while fragments of the only remaining arch were dropping into the
impetuous torrent. In this extreme danger, a nobleman, the Count of Palverini, who was a spectator, held out a purse of one hundred sequins, as a reward to any adventurer who would take a boat, and save this unbappy family. But the risk was so great of being borne down by the impetuosity of the stream, and being dashed against the fragments of the bridge, or being crushed by the falling of the heavy stones, that not one of the vast multitude of spectators bad courage enough to attempt such an exploit. A peasant passing along, was informed of the promised reward. Immediately leaping into the boat,he,byamazing strength of arm, gained the middle of the river, and brought his boat under the pile, when the whole terrified farnily descended by means of a rope.
“ Courage !” cried he,“ pow you are safe!" By a still more strenuous effort, he brought the boat and family to shore. " Brave fellow !” exclaimed the Count, and holding out the purse to bim, “ there is your promised recompence.” “I shall never expose my life for money,” answered the peasant; “my labor affords a sufficient livelihood for myself, my wife, and children; give the purse to the poor family who have lost all."
Chap. vi, ver. 6.—Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
“Five persons,” says Mr. Brooks,“ were studying what were the best means to mortify sin; one said, to meditate op death; the second to meditate on judgment; the third, to meditate on the joys of heaven; the fourth, to meditate on the torments of hell; the fifth, to meditate on the blood and sufferings of Jesus Christ; and certainly the last is the choicest and strongest motive of all. If ever we would cast off our despairing thoughts, we must dwell and muse much upon, and apply this precious blood to our own souls; so shall sorrow and mourning flee away."