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hands of the divine Redeemer, seemed to be con
temptible. The rage of his enemies accomplished
much more visible effect. They conquered him, as
completely as brutal force could conquer. They ac
complished their utmost wishes upon him ; and it is
often said, in the language of mystical theology, that
he triumphed when he fell. But it is little understood
what a strict precision there is to the meaning of these
words. He did triumph he exhibited the meekness
and benevolence which shot remorse into the hearts
which opposed him ; and his death will be a powerful
spectacle till the end of time. That simple story will
bring millions of hearts to God. Yes, the very vio
lence with which goodness is overwhelmed, is a part
of its power. It gives pathos and eloquence to the
dying scene. The principle may seem to be slain ;
but the ghost rises to haunt the murderers ; and they
find themselves conquered and prostrated in their own
Yictories. Who would have thought, that saw the






THE PURITAN. 187

meek and humble Baxter insulted and oppressed before
Jeffreys, in mockery of all justice, and in an age when
the sun of liberty seemed to have set forever, who
would have thought that English jurisprudence was
learning some indignant lessons which she will never
forget? Such is the price which liberty pays for her
privileges ; and such are the ways in which the victo
ries of principle are won.

There is one fallacy, however, against which I must
caution you. It is the supposing that all our blessings
must be purchased at the price which has hitherto
been paid for them. I hardly ever knew a man much
versed in the world, who did not fall into this very
error. Indeed it is a part of the system of some politi
cians. They say the world has always gone on pretty
much at the same rate. Governments have always
been administered by bribery and corruption ; political
discussions have always been attended by party spirit
and strife. Liberty has always been a violent struggle
of human passions. If you purchase it, you must
pay the price. But is it so ? Does not the hope of
improving the condition of man, go on the supposition
of separating these blessings from many, very many
of their attendant evils ? The very object of the ex
pensive examples in former times, has been, I trust,
that such examples may never return. Baxter was
insulted by Jeffreys, that another Jeffreys may never
sit upon the bench. The violence and mistakes of
both parties, in our country, from the year 1796 to



188 THE PURITAN.

1814, are remembered, I hope, that our government
hereafter may be administered without these evils. Is
there no such thing as growing wise from experience ?
Is religion nothing? Is principle nothing? Away
with such dark wisdom. It is not true ; and if it were
true, it is better to be deceived.

We certainly purchase our other commodities at a
cheaper rate. The market has always been improv
ing ; the pack-horse has been laid aside for the
waggon ; and the waggon gives place to the rail-road
and the steam-boat. We build better ships the com
forts of life are multiplied. And shall the nobler
science of man be stationary ? Shall the immortal
part be resigned over to despair ?

No ! let us form high ideas of our future destiny
let us fill our hearts with a sense of our responsible
station ; and let us remember that we act not only for
man, but for God. I trust that our critical institutions
will yet be sanctified ; and that a voice will be heard
in all our halls of legislation, speaking of BLESSING,
and HONOR, and GLORY.



THE PURITAN

No. 50.



With all thy heart, with all thy soul and mind,
Thou must Him love, and His behests embrace ;
All other loves, with which the world doth blind
Weak fancies, and stir up affections base,
Thou must renounce and utterly displace,
And give thyself unto Him full and free,
That full and freely gave himself for thee.

Spenser s Hymn of Heavenly Love.

WHAT IS TRUTH ?

THIS question has passed through many reflect
ing minds, without finding any satisfactory answer.
Amongst all the religious divisions which prevail in
the world the clashing interests and jarring contro
versies, which have distracted the church and dark
ened the light of revelation, it is impossible for a
probationer for eternity, who to-day is and to-morrow
may die, not sometimes to pause and ask, what is
truth ?

Truth is that, which bears with a crushing power on
the first suggestions of a vain heart. All that pleases



190 THE PURITAN.

the mere man of the world; all that fills his im
agination and fires his passions, is as false as the heart
from which it springs, or the happiness it inspires.
Truth is not the first suggestion of a mind left to
itself; but it is those second thoughts which, as the
proverb says, are always best. You might as well
expect wheat from an unsown field, as to expect truth
in the natural operations of a sensual and unsancti-
fied mind.

Truth, in religion, is that which almost always at
first sight gives pain. It is a discovery of our mean
ness, our wretchedness, our guilt and our dependence
in the sight of God. Analyze human happiness, and
you will find a great part of it is founded on delusion.
What Swift said, in his favorite tone of sarcasm, is
more true in sober reality, than perhaps he imagined.
Human happiness (that is happiness without piety) is
the possession of being perpetually well deceived. Man
overrates his abilities and overrates his virtues. Divine
truth lets in its blasting light and humbles him in the
dust before God.

Truth, in religion, is that which at first sight always
gives pain ; not because error in itself is more conge
nial to our faculties than truth ; but because religious
truth is peculiar ; revealing secrets about his heart
and condition, which man has no wish to know.

Truth is the daughter of reflection. She is the
angel that meets and blesses that man, who seeks her
in his closet, looking into his soul, before his God, in
view of eternity. Truth is the result of holding the



THE PURITAN. 191

balance with a trembling hand which weighs interest,
and duty ; pleasure and conscience ; the present and
the future ; life and death ; heaven and hell. Re
flection is a very serious thing ; it differs from reason
ing. The number of those who reason, compared
with those who do not, is very small ; and yet for one
that reflects there are thousands who reason. See
Psalm iv. 4.

Truth in spiritual things, is not, as one of the
fathers expresses it, the result of geometrical neces
sities. A man may make definitions and form infer
ences, and yet not reach the truth. I never yet saw
a demonstration, even of the existence of God, which
did not seem to me to weaken the conclusion. The
Lord is in his temple and we must behold him
there.

Truth is the fruit of prayer. He that never groaned
out in the noontide and midnight hour Oh Lord,
open thou mine eyes that I may see wondrous things
out of thy law, never yet found the truth.

To possess the truth, we must buy it ; and a pur
chase implies a price. The price of truth is, what
men are slow to resign, their indolence, their interest,
(i. e. earthly interest,) and their pride.

In one word, truth is that which distresses or re
joices the soul. It is the fruit of many an anxious
struggle ; many a serious thought ; many an earnest
look to the fountain of light. Truth, spiritual truth,
clearly seen and deeply felt, must either fill us with
consolation or plunge us in despair.



THE PURITAN.
No. 51.



A law is a rule prescribed. Because a bare resolution confined in the
breast of the legislator, without manifesting it by some external sign, can
never be properly a law. It is requisite that this resolution be notified to the
people who are to obey it. But the manner in which this notification is to
be made, is a matter of very great indifference. It may be notified by uni
versal tradition and long practice, which supposes a previous publication, and
is the case of the common law of England. It may be notified viva voce, by
officers appointed for that purpose, as is done with regard to proclamations,
and such acts of parliament as are appointed to be publicly read in churches
and other assemblies. It may, lastly, be notified by writing, printing, or the
like; which is the general course taken with all our acts of parliament. Yet,
whatever way is made use of, it is incumbent on the piomulgators, to do it in
the most public and perspicuous manner ; not like Caligula, who (according
to Dio Cassius) wrote his laws in a very small character, and hung them
up on high pillars, the more effectually to ensnare the people.

Blackstone s Commentaries ^ page 46, vol. I.

THE BIBLE.

THE foundation of all duty is obedience to the will
of God; for however philosophers and theologians
may have disputed respecting the nature of virtue and
the sources of moral obligation, it will always remain



THE PURITAN. 193

true, that the human mind, in its most vigorous
excursions, never can rest on any satisfactory reason
for obedience, but the simple fact, that God has com
manded it. That great Being, that made us, knows
all connections and all possible causes ; and therefore,
we have reason to believe, that his laws are founded
on all the collected reasons, that can be present to
an all- wise and all-knowing mind. When it is asked,
therefore, what is the foundation of man s duty, the
proper answer is, obedience to the will of God.

It is true there have been writers, who have at
tempted to give us some other reasons for our obedi
ence. But they remind us of some of the solutions
of the old philosophy, which Dr. Watts has so pleas
antly ridiculed in his logic. " If I were asked," says
Dr. Watts, " why a Jack roasts meat ; and, if instead
of showing the chains, the weight and the wheels,
(such as the old meat Jacks formerly had,) and show
ing how they operated, I were to say it is owing to
the ustorious or meat roasting quality of the Jack, I
believe I should give very little information." The
question still returns, what is this ustorious or meat-
roasting quality ? So when Dr. Paley tells us, that
virtue is founded on utility, as it is that which pro
motes general happiness ; he solves the question by
setting before us one of the darkest speculations that
can meet the human mind. What is utility ? Is
man to judge in all cases what will promote the com
prehensive happiness of a boundless universe, and



194 THE PURITAN.

that too, through the boundless ages of eternity ?
Surely, of such a writer, we may say, the more we
think of his speculations the less we understand him ;
and therefore the thoughtful and the pious mind in all
ages, has taken refuge from the darkness and agitation
of human speculation, under the clear obligement of
the divine will.

But the power of the divine will, considered as a
rule of duty, depends upon our having some clear
revelation. This is the corner-stone on which the
whole of the Christian theory is built. We believe
that true religion, as existing in the heart, consists in
a strong desire and fixed determination to believe
what God has spoken as a motive to obey what God
has required. Our religion is founded on faith. But
faith must have an object. That object is, the com
mands, the instructions, the ordinances, the laws, or
whatever you please to call them, of God. Faith as
much supposes a revealed rule by which it regulates
its conclusions, as the use of the eye supposes a sun.
Our eyes would have been in vain if God had given
no light, and our faith would have been in vain if
God had given no revelation.

It is these considerations that make it so vastly im
portant, not only to believe that the Bihle came from
God, but that it is in the strictest sense inspired. The
will of God is the rule of duty, and that sacred book
is the sole certain medium through which we find his
will. The full inspiration of the Scriptures therefore,



THE PURITAN. 195

is a doctrine which all serious Christians will embrace
as necessary to give a glow to their piety and pre
cision to their faith.

This then we consider as one of the articles of a
standing or a falling church. We are aware of the
propensity of the human mind to bigotry ; and we
have no wish to bandy about those abused terms,
heretic and heresy, on the heads or hearts that do not
deserve them. But the moment the public confidence
in the full inspiration of Scripture is shaken, we be
lieve that the church is overthrown and the gospel is
gone. This we believe to be the polluted source of
the most dangerous delusions in religion that are now
abroad.

There are some we are aware who pass under the
name of Christians, who allow the Bible to be an ex
cellent book, containing some of the best precepts
and purest moral examples, who hold up its inspira
tion in such a way as entirely to destroy its power.
They say, to be sure, that all wisdom comes from
God ; his common providence is extended over all
his works ; all extraordinary genius is his gift ; and
the same being that endowed a Newton with his sub
lime faculties, gave a Paul his ability to write. Thus
it is covertly insinuated that Paul was no more in
spired to deliver the counsels of Heaven and the rules
of faith, than a great philosopher is inspired to give
us the structure of the material heavens. But will
such views satisfy the anxious mind that is looking



196 THE PURITAN.

for a rule of duty ? Surely this is to mock us with
the name of inspiration when the thing itself is denied.
No man believes that Newton was inspired, in the
proper sense of that word. We believe that he was
an extraordinary man with extraordinary faculties;
and by diligence and study, he gave us many impor
tant truths, which he had discovered ; but no man
imagines in any thing Newton says, that he sees a
divine command. We believe, when the apostles
spoke, they uttered the divine will as much and as
truly as if the voice had come from the radiant throne.
So says the Son of God. He that hearcth you, heareth
ME. This is the appropriate notion of inspiration,
and all who do not believe it, conceal their sentiments
as they will, have abandoned the ground of the whole
Christian church ; and are but infidels in disguise.

The artifice of calling a bad invention by a good
old name, and then endeavoring to shuffle it off under
the protection of that name, is too stale, the present
day, to prevail without detection. If a man calls his
dark lantern, the sun ; it makes it not a whit the
brighter or better light.

Some believe the Bible is partly inspired. But
which part is to be rejected and which is to be re
ceived, they are not very careful to say. We are
aware here, that much quibbling may be raised by
asking what is the Scripture, and are we to receive a
book as inspiration because we find it bound up in a
volume which we call the Bible ? In answer to such



THE PURITAN. 197

inquiries, we simply say, that when the united church,
after ages of examination, have agreed to put certain
books into the canon and exclude others, such decision
is the best proof that human affairs allow, that that
canon is the word of God. It stands whole and entire
the code of Heaven and the guide of man. Any
doubts, needlessly suggested, that part is not inspired,
is throwing us back into the night of ignorance ; it is
teaching infidelity by piecemeal. Who shall say what
part is inspired ? The rule is broken ; the sun is
gone ; the shadows thicken into midnight ; and man
is a pilgrim on the wilderness, without a ray to guide
him to safety and to peace.

Some teach that the Bible is not a revelation ; but
a record of inspiration. Eternal truth spoke the word,
but fallen men recorded it. We might ask them, for
whose benefit God revealed his word, for those who
immediately heard it, or for all mankind ? Would he
at first have given a perfect pattern and then have
left that pattern to have been mutilated and corrupted
by the unskilful servants to whom it was committed ?
Besides, how does such a sentiment comport with the
solemn promise, which Christ gave his apostles, that
if he departed he would send them the Comforter to
lead them into all truth ?

The best antidote to all such foolish and wicked
opinions, is a knowledge of the Bible itself. Let each
one read it, and see what it is, and what it claims to
be. The best Christians are Bible Christians. They



198 THE PURITAN.

who open it with reverence ; read it for information ;
reflect on it with prayer ; and pass from its pages to
retain its truths and walk by its spirit ; they, and they
alone are the children of light.

I have already remarked, that I consider all virtue
as founded on the requirements of some law ; without
such a previous conception, virtue would be instinct,
good nature, blind impulse any thing rather than a
fixed and sublime principle. For the heathen we
are obliged to assume a law of nature ; i. e. a know
ledge of God and his will, discovered (dimly, to be
sure, but still discovered) by tradition, reason, con
jecture, or any oth, r mode that is not revelation.
And we see then, virtue failed for want of authority.
Now the essence of the new dispensation is, that it
brings us in direct contact with the authority of the
Lawgiver, i. e. God. But a law must be prescribed ;
not confined, as Blackstone says, to the breast of the
legislator. What prescribing is, in reference to mu
nicipal law, the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures
is with reference to the law divine. It is the medium
by which we know its authority ; and by which the
articles of faith are made more clear than the dictates
of reason.



THE PURITAN
No. 52.



Man ought for future happiness to fear,
If he live always happy her
He wants the bleeding mark of grace,
The circumcision of the chosen race.

Cotaley.

THERE are serious hours when the soul sinks into
a deeper consciousness of its own character and wants
than it possesses in the ordinary tenor of life. Re
ligion is addressed to our consciousness; just as much
so as light to the eye. The reason why it is not uni
versally received is, that the soul is turned out of its
own interior feelings by having its attention solicited
and seduced abroad. Were it not for this, the truth
of the Christian religion would strike us with an in
stant impression ; and we should see its beauties as
soon as our hearts were conformed to its spirit. The
truth is, there are two kinds of consciousness in man ;
the common and the extraordinary ; the superficial



200 THE PURITAN.

and the deep ; the one produced by the trifles of the
world, and the other by more important objects,
brought up to the attention sometimes by reflection,
sometimes by calamity, but always through the agency
of the divine Spirit. We must sound deep, in order
to know what seems the nearest object even our
selves.

I have said that there is two kinds of consciousness ;
and I believe every person has felt it to be so, who
has ever been laid on a sick bed without the abate
ment or loss of his power of reason. This truth is
so obvious, that it has forced itself on the conviction
of a writer very far from possessing any strict senti
ments of religion. Adam Smith was the friend of
David Hume, and of course not much the friend of
the gospel of Christ. But he has pointed out, in one
of his chapters, in his work on the Moral Sentiments,
with great force and beauty, the different sentiments,
which a man gets on a sick bed, respecting the world,
its honors, its pleasures, and the importance of its
pursuits, and above all, of his own merits and his
claims on the divine favor. As a man must kneel
low to bend his telescope to look up to the light of
some meridian star, so it is with divine truth, it strikes
us with the clearest impression, when we sink lowest
in dependence and humility, in view of coming eter
nity before a present God.

In the ordinary course of life, we are apt to regard
material things as the only substantial objects ; and






THE PURITAN. 201

to view spiritual concerns as shadows, which, though
we confess their possible existence, have very little
influence over our practical wisdom. Sickness, when
dangerous, reverses this process. The shadow be
comes substance, and the substance shadow. A
worldly man, in the full career of prosperity, may be
compared to an enthusiast of nature, standing on the
borders of some tranquil lake, when its waters are so
still as to be a mirror, reflecting the surrounding
scenery of earth and sky. The real bodies are be
hind his back, and all that he watches with such in
tense interest, is delusion. If he were to pursue these
images, it would prove his destruction. In both situ
ations, facts are not only diverse, but contrary to the
reportings of sense.

I, too, have been sick. I have felt the prostrating
pang ; counted the lingering hours ; taken the nause
ating cup. I have been called to see the world
recede, and weigh temporal and eternal things in new
balances on the borders of the grave. It was dreadful
to see the dejected look ; to hear the mysterious whis
per ; to watch and return the starting tear. It was
dreadful to think of leaving this warm life, with all its
connections, for a leap in the dark for the cold
tomb, and all the possible horrors beyond the tomb.
But, ;,bove all dreadful was it, without some witness
within, which my soul felt not, to th nk of appearing
before the eyes of Him, in whose sight the very heavens
are unclean. One wants the enthusiasm of religion,

VOL. II. 14



202 THE PURITAN.

in order to die in peace. And had not I felt some of
the confidence afterwards, which dictated the follow
ing hymn, I could not have borne it. But my fears
were not realized, and I recovered.

The following lines were suggested, not written,
one beautiful morning, when the author looked out
on the landscape from a bed of sickness. Every one
has heard of the dying Rousseau, ordering his window
to be opened, in his last sickness, that he might take
one more look of nature. It was a striking incident
in a man, who, with all his infidelity, found it hard to
exterminate every religious impression from his soul.
But if the infidel can look on nature with profit and
pleasure, much more can the Christi:n, who sees, in
the sweet aspect of a summer morning, but a dim
shadow of the brighter glories of his Saviour s face.

LINES

Suggested on looking out one bright morning, from a sick bed, on tho
face of nature.

Behold, the morn, with vermil cheek,
Is beaming from the Ocean s bed ;
O er green-hair d hills, and meadow s sleek,
With airy heels, young zephyrs tread :
Awake oppressed with languor pale ;
1 rise to meet the new-born gale ;
To drink once more before I die,
The fresh elixir of the sky.

O Sun, about, through Heaven s blue road,
Once more to roll thy burning wheel ;



THE PURITAN. 2Q3

May 1, from suffering s lorn abode
One glance at thy bright visage steal ?
Enough tis sweet the narrow grot
For me prepared thou enterest not.
The earth shall be my rigid bed ;
And tomb-drops trickle round my head.

How fresh the green ! how soft the air !
How cheerful every warbler nigh !
Soothed by the prospect, sick Despair
Might smile, and Death forget to die,
But restoration, on her wing,
To me the morning will not bring ;
The brightest lawn, the softest strain,
To me are bright and soft in vain.

O birds, whose spirits never know,
Nor bodies, a tormenting pang ;
Who sleep where tender blossoms blow,
And sing, where trembling dew-drops hang ;
Why should you sing when earth and sky,
Though bright, are sackcloth to my eye ?
Ah cease My spirits share no part,
Your little anthems rend my heart.

O flowers, that deck the lowland dell,
Meek forms, meek children of the shade ;
Receive, receive the last farewell
Of one, more swift than you to fade :
Heaven o er me spreads its concave wings \
With melody the woodland rino-s;
The opening lilac looks divine,
Rejoicing every heart but mine.

And I ll rejoice where Jesus died,
Such splendid forms if God can give ;



204 THE PURITAN.

What richer glories must abide,
Where Jesus shall forever live !
To those bright scenes which still remain,
Unsoil d with guilt, unwrung with pain,
Death soon shall set my spirit free
Strike, Tyrant, strike and let me see.






THE PURITAN
No. 53.



The stricken dere by kinde
Of death that stands in awe,
For his recure an herb can fynde,
The arrowe to withdrawe.

Old Ballad.



HUMAN LIFE.

HUMAN LIFE ! Human Life ! What a fine title for
a writer, who publishes his lucubrations in peri


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