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Influence of Example.
march. He set off with a light heart, I ples which have been communicated to and did not sleep for several succes-them in their earliest years, and by the sive nights, except when he reclined, conduct of their parents or guardians, as usual, a little before day, with his is a truth which I think none will deny. back against a tree. As if it were by In all probability, therefore, the child instinct, when he found he was free who has been instructed in the princifrom his pursuers, he returned to the ples of religion at an early period, who very place where he had been led to ) | has been taught to fear God and the torture, and where he had killed keep his commandments, and who has seven of his enemies. He digged them | been strictly prohibited from associatup, burned their bodies, and returned ing with persons who are addicted to home in triumph. Some of the tribe, swearing, or vicious actions, under the on the evening of the second day, ar- penalty of severe punishment, will, rived at the spot where their brothers when he arrives at the years of matuhad suffered; and, concluding that their rity, become a blessing to the country single enemy, who had, unarmed, per- in which he dwells, a useful member of formed such surprising feats, was now society, and a bright ornament to the well provided with instruments of de-Christian church. But, on the confence, and believing him to possess su- trary, the child who has not been early pernatural powers, they abandoned taught the truths of Christianity; who the pursuit, and returned home. has not been told that there is a God;
A singular scene occurred between who, though invisible, is, nevertheless, the falls of the Ohio and the river an observer of his conduct; who reWabash. A young white man, who gards the righteous, and bestows upon had been, when a boy, taken prisoner them his best blessings, while he abby a tribe of the Wabash Indians, by | hors the wicked, and despises all their whom he was brought up, and had im actions; and who, in short, has been bibed all their notions, had so wound left to wander hither and thither, ed a large bear, that he could not move without any to take charge of him, to from the spot; and the animal cried correct him when he does evil, to compiteously. The young man went up to mend him when he does good, and to him, and with seeming great eagerness encourage him in the practice of virtue; addressed him in the Wabash lan will, no doubt, be characterised, in ma. guage, now and then giving him a turer years, by all manner of wickedness ; slight stroke on the nose with his ram-and, therefore, will be viewed by the rod. He was asked what he had been pious and the good, as an object of saying to this bear? I have, said he, deep commiseration. Hence the indis“upbraided him for acting the part of pensable necessity of an early religious a coward; I told him that he knew the education, and a becoming behaviour fortune of war, that one or the other of exhibited to youth. us must have fallen; that it was his But the influence of example has also fate to be conquered, and he ought to a very powerful effect upon persons in die like a man, like a hero, and not every period of life. In youth, I prelike an old woman; and if the case sume, it operates most strongly, and had been reversed, and I had fallen gives rise to the best or the worst coninto the power of my enemy, I would sequences. Men are naturally disposed not have disgraced my nation as he to imitate the example, and to follow did, but would have died with firmness the practice, of one another. The man, and courage, as becomes a true war- therefore, who manifests a very inconrior.”
sistent character, who leads a life of We think Sir Henry Torrens could debauchery and lewdness, and who not do better than to make this anec- never regulates his conduct by the prindote the order of the day, and cause ciples of morality or religion, while he it to be read at the head of every is a disgrace to the country in which regiment.
he resides, may be the cause of much Levil, by leading others astray from the
paths of righteousness, and thus exposOn the Influence of Example.
ing them to future misery; while he,
on the contrary, who maintains a digMR. EDITOR, .
nified and respectable character, a chaSIR,—That the future character of chil-racter formed by every amiable and virdren is often determined by the princi- tuous principle, will, by the sweetness
of his temper, the delicacy and refine- , which they act, depends, in a great ment of his manners, and his concilia- measure, the character of those with tory and winning affections, draw mul- whom they are more immediately contitudes from the practice of vice, to the nected. This consideration, therefore, more ennobling and advantageous prac- ought to make a deep impression upon tice of virtue and goodness.
their minds; nor, indeed, should it be Nor is the influence of example with ever absent from them ; fór, if the cha. out effect in riper years. The child racter, and consequently the happiness who has been brought up to the love of or misery, of mankind, depends upon pleasure and pernicious enjoyments, is the conduct or the example which they often restrained, in a more advanced manifest, surely, then, it becomes them period of life, in his wicked course, by at all times, and in all circumstances, the good example of others. Formerly to fashion their lives, not according to he derived all his enjoyment from asso- the maxims and prevailing customs of ciating with idle and profane company, the country of which they are inhabitindulging in all the sinful gratifications ants, but according to the doctrines of a corrupted nature; but now, since which they preach--according to the he has beheld the happiness to be de- truths of the Bible; and although rived from uprightness of conduct and this, unquestionably, should be the regularity of life, he has been induced case, yet it is a lamentable truth, that to renounce all the former amusements many of the Ministers of Religion which afforded him delight, and to live and act in direct opposition to turn to those more exalted and rational the precepts which they inculcate, as employments, which communicate to being necessary to regulate the lives the mind more satisfactory and perma- and actions of men, thus manifesting nent felicity.
the grossest inconsistency: while there Even at the greatest period of human are not a few, of quite a different life, example has a very powerful effect. description, who conform their lives The aged man bending under the weight agreeably to what they advance from of advanced years, upon the very verge the pulpit, and who, therefore, may of another world, who has all his life be well" denominated, “ the lights of time lived in open rebellion against the the world.” laws of the Divine government, has The former class of Ministers open a even been seen renouncing his former door to every species of vice and immoways, and turning to the paths of holi rality; in place of diminishing the evils ness; and this has been effected by the of human life, they actually perpetuate example and advice of a more respect and increase these evils, by the encouable and worthy character. Thus, then, ragement which they afford to licenat all times, example operates very tiousness and vice. The profligate, strongly over the minds of men. who delight in drunkenness, and theft,
But I am very far from ascribing this and malice, and, in short, in gratifying change of character to the influence of the lusts of the flesh, derive fresh encouexample alone. God works by means ; | ragement to persevere in their evil ba, and it is his province to change and bits, when they behold the men, indulgsoften the heart, and to turn the sinnering in these sinful and ruinous practices, from the ways of iniquity to the paths who should be the pattern of every of righteousness; and, in doing this, | moral excellence; and hence, it is no he generally uses means or agents; | difficult thing to account for the vice and they, indeed, are highly honoured and immorality which are so prevalent whom he employs as instruments for in the land, and which, like an infecthis purpose.
tious distemper, carry along with them Hitherto I have been speaking of the death and destruction. These are aw, effects produced by the influence of ful reflections, but they are just; and example exhibited in general-by man- what shall be the condition of those in kind at large; but I shall more parti another world who have assumed the cularly attempt to state some of those | office of the holy ministry, and who which are effected by the conduct and shall be found chargeable with these example of the Ministers of Religion. I offences ? If this communication shall Now, these men occupy the most im happen to fall into the hands of any portant stations in society; they are such characters, it would be well for set up, as it were, as models for imita-them, and for their flocks, both in this tion; and according to the manner in world and in that which is to succeed
it, if they were to think upon these our predecessors, so we may form a things, and to forsake their evil prac- very strong conjecture of what the futices; so that those who have continued ture character of children shall be, from to live according to this world, may that which has been exhibited to them. have no reason to charge them, on If, then, they have been shewn a bad another day, for having shewn them a example, it may be presumed, that the bad example. Let them remember the example which they will exhibit will words of the New Testament, “ If the be no less inconsistent; or, if a good blind lead the blind, both shall fall example has been manifested to them, into the ditch."
with the same confidence it may be But I hasten to mention some of the remarked, that their future conduct blessed effects produced by the example will bear a very close resemblance to it; which the latter description of Ministers and thus, through successive generaexhibit. These men let their light so tions, an observer of mankind may be shine, that many are induced to glorify able to delineate, or to form, a very actheir heavenly Father. They adorn curate conception of the future characthe doctrines of God in all things, by ter of a rising race; and, consequently, their lives, and conversations, and deal will be enabled also to determine, in ings among men. They endeavour to some measure, their prosperity or adimitate the example of their blessed versity, their happiness or misery. Saviour, in meekness, and gentleness, Now, the man who shews an example and charity, and love, and heavenly worthy of imitation to his children, mindedness, and in every amiable qua- may expect that his offspring, in more lity which shed a pleasing lustre around advanced years, will become peaceable bim; and thus, while they procure the and dutiful subjects; will not engage esteem and the affection of the good, in those rigtous proceeding's and rebeland encourage them to the practice of lious acts which are opposed to the every Christian duty, they, at the same prosperity of the nation, the laws, and time, silence the wicked, put them to the constituted authorities of the land, shame and confusion, and not unfre- and which tend most directly to proquently draw forth from them expres- mote the misery and perpetuate the sions of respect and admiration. While calamities of those who are chargeable they prescribe rules for the regulation with them; and farther, he may expect of the conduct of others, they act in that they will be just in their dealings strict conformity to these rules them with their neighbours; regular in their selves, exhibit their practical influence mode of life, without indulging in those in their lives, and are always careful acts of intemperance and inebriety not to deviate from the paths of moral which disturb the peace of society, rectitude. The benefits, therefore, that and speedily ruin both constitution and such men may render to society are character, and, which is worst of all, incalculable. Every word that drops destroy the soul; and, besides, he may, from their lips in the way of exhorta- with no less confidence, hope that they tion, carries along with it a peculiar will be distinguished by piety and force and energy, and not unfrequently goodness, by the fear of God, by love stills the tumultuous passions of the to his laws and commandments; the soul, and makes the most profligate observance of which so effectually protremble and stand in awe before their motes the happiness of man. These presence, and acknowledge that the are some of the effects which may be principles by which they are governed expected to result from the influence of are truly divine. While they obtain a good example. But I need not mens the approbation of their divine Lord, tion some of those which, with equal and promote his glory among mankind, certainty, may be expected to accomthey save the souls of men; and this is pany the influence of a bad example, the grand and the sole object of all because they are the very reverse of their ministrations.
these: suffice it to say, that they are, I cannot close this Essay, without in general, the loss of health, of power, adverting to some of the advantages of confidence, of God, and of the that would necessarily result to society, soul. from a good example being invariably That there may be exceptions from shewn to the rising generation. As these general observations, I do not there is a natural propensity in the entertain the smallest doubt. This, suman mind to follow the footsteps of however, affords no argument in justi
Advantages of Revelation, and Folly of Deism.
fication of the conduct of those who The Advantages of Revelation, and the discover a bad example. By no means.
Folly of Deism. It is the duty of every person always to shew a good example; and those who have a spark of genuine philanthropy
MR. Editor, . in their bosoms, and who have any To every mind aspiring after knowregard to the present and future wel- ledge, the means of information are fare of man, will ever keep this parti- highly gratifying. Hence the great cularly in view.
| Author of our existence, having enBut before I have done, it may be dowed us with the power of perception necessary that I should explain what I and a disposition for inquiry, has, for mean by a good example. There is our moral and spiritual improvement, what is termed a moral character; a indulged us with those sacred pages, character which has respect merely to that contain the sublimest discovery of the external conduct, and which origi- his will. A greater benefit than the nates from a regard to what are called Scriptures, a benignant God could not, moral precepts. The man who is under have conferred. Without these, all the influence of these precepts, will, no the purposes of mercy, and the glodoubt, exhibit a very becoming beha- rious designs of redemption, would viour in the sight of men, but in the have been but of little avail to us; for sight of God it may be vastly deficient. as the plans and operations of God He looketh upon the heart; and a man involve the necessity of human agency, may assume all the decencies of human there is an essential need of the Scriplife, and all that appears amiable in tures, to direct mankind into that human estimation, without undergoing mode of procedure which the Deity that change of heart, of character, of has ordained as the medium of their feelings, and of sentiments, which accomplishment. must be experienced by every genuine Remove the Scriptures from the disciple of the Son of God. That such world, and what is man? He is dignia person may promote the good of his fied, it is true, with the possession of fellow-creatures, by his conduct towards an immortal principle, and those as-, them, I readily admit; but that he is tonishing powers that belong to his qualified for exhibiting to such perfec- rational nature; but this high distinction, that excellence of character, and tion of person, tends only to aggravate amiableness of conduct, which every his wretchedness, and swell the misesincere Christian must, and does, exhi- ries occasioned by surrounding cirbit, I cannot allow; and, therefore, this cumstances. Here is a being, the offis not what I mean by a good example. spring of God, destined to an existence That example which I recommend as a parallel with the Eternal, yet destitute pattern worthy of imitation, arises from of every thing that is essential to his supreme love to God and man, im- well-being, and left to wander in awful planted by the divine Spirit; it springs darkness, in reference to that which from that entire renovation of heart, concerns his immortal interests. Ask which is implied in the term, “ being such a person what are his views of born again;" and it is manifested by God and his Providence; of the way every individual who has the same mind to true happiness; of the soul and its in him which was in Christ Jesus. immortality; of future rewards and pu· I trust that I have said enough, to nishments? alas! not one can be shew the necessity and importance of a found who can give a satisfactory angood example-especially as exhibited | swer. All these things hang in tremby ministers of the gospel, and heads bling uncertainty; nor does any solid of families—that it promotes the peace basis appear, on which to build our and prosperity of a nation, and the hopes of the Divine favour and blesscomfort and happiness of mankind; | ing. And, indeed, in these dark mazes and if ministers and preachers were to we must have wandered for ever, had insist upon it more frequently than they not the light of revelation emanated do, perhaps it would be productive of from the Deity, and scattered its rays the most beneficial results.
over the face of the globe. I am, Sir,
| Indulged with such noble discoYour's, respectfully, veries, the mists of ignorance disperse,
and the lustre of divine wisdom irraAberdeen, August, 1820.
diates our paths. In these, all the at:
Advantages of Revelation, and Folly of Deism.
tributes of God are drawn forth in the Now, could this be substantiated, it full blaze of their glory: the plan of would be a satisfactory reason for not mercy is developed ; that system of admitting the pretensions of the revemediation, which allays the fears and lation of God; for it were irrational to excites the confidence of the agitated give our assent to any system as disinner, is exbibited; .yea, and every vine, while it wants the stamp of anxious inquiry which the mind can heavenly origination. But where is originate, concerning God and eternity, the Deist that ever overthrew the is satisfactorilyanswered and set at rest scheme of revelation, or, in the least for ever. O the matchless excellence degree, darkened that shining eviand infinite importance of scripture dence, which God has poured around knowledge! This is, indeed, a know- the record of his testimony. Only let ledge of the highest kind; it is the wis- the Bible have fair play, and allow it dom which cometh down from above, to plead its own cause, and disclose and leads back again to the mansion of the grounds on which its claims are the blessed. It is the true knowledge founded; then will it stand unshaken and glory of a rational creature, and as- amidst the violent attacks of its enesigns him the most delightful post in mies, and will wrap the tongue of Inthe scale of being. Without this, the fidelity in eternal silence, by the force most exalted personage sinks into de- of its irresistible eloquence. Why gradation; with this the most mean should Infidelity demand more eviand humble creature is elevated to the dence for the Scriptures, than is (by highest rank, even to be like God him- universal consent) sufficient to prove self.
the truth of any other writings? Sarely discoveries so amazingly " What proofs have we that the works sublime and awfully momentous, in of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Varro, and reference to the final destinies of men, other profane authors, were written by ought to be endeared to the heart of those whose names they bear; unless every individual of Adam's apostate it be that this has been an opinion gefamily. Yet how alarming it is to re-nerally received at all times, and by all flect, that numbers, who call them- those who have lived since these selvés rational, treat them with ri- writers ?” dicule and scorn. These boasted phi-! If, therefore, Deists admit the force of losophic geniuses, and pretended sons the above reasoning, in reference to pro. of science, one would think, must have fane authors; why, in the name of comfound some super-excellent system, in mon sense, I ask, should it be rejected order to justify their bold attacks on with regard to the sacred writers? On revelation, and determined rejection what principle of logic are we authoof that religion, in the army of whose rized to make such difference in quesadvocates are ranked some of the tions existing under the very same cirwisest and holiest men that ever moved cumstances? 0 Deism ! conceal thy on the surface of the globe. And haughty head under that midnight what grand and consoling discoveries gloom, into which the blazing evidence have these scoffing and brutalized of the gospel will finally cause thy dewretches made? Grand and consol- luded votaries to shrink. Display not ing, indeed! if we may be allowed the thy awfully degraded features, nor vent indulgence of irony. But this the sub- the hellish poison of thy heart. Reject ject is too awful to admit. And what not.Christianity, till thou canst produce has Deism to offer in defence of its a system, more important in its discobombastic rant? What has it to sub veries--sublime in its doctrines—pure stitute for that noble system, the gran- in its morals-and satisfactory in its indeur of whose discoveries, and the timations relative to the eternal destisublimity of whose diction, have aston-nies of men. Natural religion is not ished some of the profoundest sages opposed to the Bible. So far from under heaven, and extorted the most this, that it is the very basis on which flattering encomiums from its avowed the first principles of revelation rest. adversaries themselves?
There is nothing of which the advo* Deism is replete with folly in the cates of Deism can boast, that Chrisvery outset. It pretends to reject the tianity does not exhibit in its brightest religion of the Bible, on account of glory, and to its utmost extent. But there not being sufficient evidence to there is that in - Christianity, which support its claims to authenticity. swells beyond the confines of Deism,
No. 25,- VOL. III