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like the fabled Phoenix, from the ashes of her fires, and with the wings of her devotion-strengthened by the trial-ascending in spirit to her Lord. But when she began to revel in the sunshine of royal and imperial kindness, her vigour was impaired, her simplicity was corrupted, and her watchfulness declined. The materials of her sad corruption, and her ignoble bondage were preparing, and finally the system of superstition, of false Christianity was completed-it was a heresy, whose character and dimensions could not be adequately described by any beast that has been named among the ordinary or the monstrous productions of nature. The appetite of this beast was voracious, and it fed on human happiness; its voice, which attempted to imitate the thunder of heaven, was dreadful in its roar; its movement shook the earth, while at every step, it trod down some budding hope of man, with an air that mocked the dig nity of human nature; it was the terror of kings to their subjects; but at last it fell by the sting of a little animal, which the monster despised.

It is unnecessary to say that I have been speaking of the Papacy of Rome. According to Hoornbeck, the system of corruption began with adding human rites to those ordained by God in the Church, then the orders were increased, next the worship corrupted, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and finally the doctrines. The actual rise of the Papal Beast he dates from the time of Boniface III., Bishop of Rome, who, A. D. 606, first assumed the title of Universal Bishop, which was expressly granted to him by Phocas, the Emperor, and formally confirmed by a Council of Rome. This claim was rejected by the Bishop of Constantinople, who claimed equal dignity and power. This circumstance, in connexion with others, led to the schism between the Greek and Latin churches, which afterwards took place. The summit of power was attained when Gregory VII. was made Pope, in 1073. Its decline originated in the opposition of the Waldenses and other witnesses of the truth, such as Wickliffe, John Huss, Jerome, of Prague, until the terrible shock of the Reformation. Marck, our author, says elsewhere, that the system of doctrine in the Romish Church, "like an old garment, is patched together with the rags of old he

resies."

The Socinian heresy began about the middle of the sixteenth century. The principal founders were Lælius Socinus, who died in 1562, æt. 37, and Faustus Socinus, who was born 1539.

The Mohammedan religion, which is that of Turks, Arabs, Persians, &c. was

projected by the impostor Mohammed. A. D. 612. The Koran, the sacred book of the Mohammedans, is a heterogeneous mixture of Arabianism, heathenism, Jewish ceremonies, and Christian heresies, such as at that time distracted the Church, viz, the Arian, the Manichean, the Eutychian, and the Nestorian. The fundamental proposition in this religion is, that Mohammed was a prophet sent from God, as much superior to Christ, as Christ was to Moses. Hence Mohammedans agree with Socinians in denying the Divinity and atonement of Christ. They practice circumcision and polygamy, and prohibit wine. They reckon time from the Hegira, i. e. the Flight, it being the year in which Molrammed was compelled to fly from Mecca to Medina, which happened July 16, 622, in the 51st year of his age. The present A. D. 1828 is of course the year 1206 of the Hegira. The Mohammedan religion prevails in European Turkey, Asiatic Turkey, Arabia, Persia, Egypt, and the Barbary States. On this subject, see Sale's Preface to the Koran, and Prideaux's Life of Mahomet.

The author calls the Modern Jewish religion false, in opposition to the Ancient Jewish religion, which was of course true, as being directly from God, and under Divine protection. But ever since the rejection of Christ as the true Messiah, and his Testament, they have more and more declined from the true religion, and now pay greater deference to the Talmud than even to the Holy Scriptures. This is truly laying “another foundation." Consult Stapfer's Polemick Theology, vol. 3, ch. ii, sect. 1, and Grotius on the Truth of the Christian Religion, book 5.

On the subject of Paganism, the same author may be consulted. In the fourth book of Grotius the following subjects are discussed: the unity of God; the creation of spirits, good or evil, proving that the former should not be worshipped, unless an express command from God could be shown for it. He proves that evil spirits were worshipped by Pagans, and shows the folly of it. He argues against the worship paid to men after death: against that paid to the stars and the elements, to dumb animals and to unsubstantial objects. He removes the objec tions derived from pagan miracles and pa gan oracles. Against the pagan religion he maintains it to be a conclusive argument, that it fell of its own accord, as soon as human aid was withdrawn from it.

Poetry and Philosophy, as is well known, flourished in their greatest vi gour in Greece and Rome. The fables were coined in the fertile mint of the poet's brain, so that with a truth beyond the conception of Shakspeare, it might

be said that the eye of the heathen poet rolled "in a frenzy," while it "glanced from earth to heaven, from heaven to carth," and bodied forth such strange phantasies in visible, readable, utterable words. Nothing but the most ungovernable, irreclaimable classick enthusiasm, could lead men to speak as they have spoken, in the praise of pagan poetry. That it is admirable in its genius and spirit, aside from its morality, none will deny. But to think of it in conjunction with the dignity of sacred poetry! The heavenly genius, the never-failing spirit, the simple truth of the story, the superior dignity of the theme and the thoughts, the alternation of exquisite beauty and awful sublimity, the high moral purity and the noble end of the latter, remove all comparison

to an interminable distance.

The philosophers drew upon the mysteries of nature, as an inexhaustible mine, for their theories. While all that is va

luable and useful in heathen philosophy has been acknowledged and illuminated by Revelation, its trifles, falsehoods, and immoralities have been justly condemned. Revelation offers no injury to the structure of solid argumentation built of natural truth, but her hand never spares the cobwebs of sophistry, for they have been spun out of error, to which Revelation is uniformly opposed. There was a time when the Fathers of the Christian Church were carried away with heathen philosophy. Sometimes the Platonick, sometimes the Aristotelian philosophy prevailed. But it is certain the purity of Christianity was much corrupted by the admixture of any one of them.

Civil Theology, or the Religion of the State, was entrusted to the care of the priests, or the lawgivers, for the benefit of the people. In the ancient monarchy of Egypt, the functions of the sovereign were partly civil and partly religious. The king had the chief regulation of all that regarded the worship of the gods, and the priests, as his deputies, filled all the offices of state. So Poti-pherah is called (Gen. xli. 45) “the priest of On," which the margin rightly translates the prince of On." Jethro, the father-inlaw of Moses, (Ex. iii. 1.) held the same office in Midian. The Egyptian priests were both the legislators and the civil judges. They imposed and levied the taxes, and regulated weights and measures. In Rome, the king was Pontifex Maximus, or the High Priest. To conclude, it is declared by Tytler to be a vain and preposterous labour of modern my; thological writers, to attempt to trace all the fables of antiquity and the various systems of pagan theology, up to one commion source. The absurdity of this is best

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MEDITATIONS, PREVIOUSLY AND SUB

SEQUENTLY TO THE CELEBRATION

OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. By the
Rev. Joseph Trimble, deceased.

The custom is still retained, in many of the Presbyterian churches in the western states of the American union, of appropriating several days to religious services, when the Lord's Supper is celebrated. Thursday is set apart as a fast day, Saturday as a preparation day, and Monday for the improvement of the solemnities of the preceding Sabbath. Whether this as a general practice would be to edification, it is not needful at present to determine. It would necessarily pre1 vent so frequent an attendance on that ordinance as is desirable, and in accordance with primitive usage. But in country congregations, where meetings during the week are very inconvenient, s services may properly be multiplied on these occasions ; and the infrequency of the commu nications is in part remedied, by the custom of communing, by both

1828. Meditations on the Lord's Supper, by the Rev. J. Trimble.

pastor and people, with adjoining congregations. The first of the following discourses, of which but a fragment remains, was probably delivered on the preceding Saturday, and the second, on the following Monday.

Meditations previously to participation. "The Lord has appointed various ordinances, in which he is wont to meet with those who love him and who think on his name, and through which he communicates grace and strength to their souls. Prayer, reading the scriptures, meditation, religious conversation, preaching, baptism, and the Lord's Supper, are all ordinances of his appointment. The last mentioned ordinance is one in every respect deeply important. In it the Lord admits his own children to the most near and intimate communion with himself. In order to a profitable attendance on this ordinance, let us meditate

1. On its Author. It was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, as King and Head of his church"This do in remembrance of me." It was instituted at the most solemn and interesting period; immediately before his crucifixion, and in full view of his awful sufferings-We have a gracious and compassionate Redeemer.

2. On its design. It succeeded and took the place of the Passover, and was designed to enliven and strengthen every grace of the Christian. It is particularly a commemorative ordinance-" This do in remembrance of me."

The

object of remembrance is the Lord Jesus Christ. We should call to mind his great love-" God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish." It reminds us of Christ's willing ness to undertake our redemption "Lo I come." It reminds us of his humiliation, of his sore suffering, of his wonderful tenderness and compassion, of his last conflicts VOL. VI-Ch, Adv.

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in the garden and on the cross, of his resurrection and exaltation, and of his offices and endearing relations to us. We should remember the blessed fruits of his great redemption-How many have been drawn to this Saviour "lifted up!" Let us remember too the price inestimable of our salvation-the precious blood of the Son of God; and the demerit of our crimes, which were the procuring cause of his sufferings.

3. Let us meditate on the preparation for a profitable attendance on this ordinance.

Meditations subsequently to par ticipating. Much of the benefit of ordinances is lost by too much negligence in our subsequent conduct. Many no doubt have some special engagedness before such solemn seasons; but they straightway forget where they have been, and how employed. It is usual when we return from a feast or entertainment, to ask ourselves how we fared? What kind of entertainment we had? What company? What new things and strange we have seen? What we have learned from the master of the feast? And assuredly such questions may with great propriety be addressed to those who have been at the great gospel feast; the most rich, and costly, and wonderful, that ever was made. Yesterday the most of us participated in this Divine banquet. The most rich and costly dainties, living bread, and living water, were in our offer-We were entertained by the most august personage in heaven or earth-We were called to witness strange things. It becomes us, then, my friends, to ponder carefully on what have been the exercises of our minds.

The first question then shall be, How did it fare with you at the feast? Had you a good time? Was the place sweet and awful, with Christ within the doors? Did you

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Meditations on the Lord's Supper, by the Rev. J. Trimble. JAN.

meet with the beloved of your souls?" I have been long crying, says one, O that I knew where I might find him! I have been search ing the wonted chambers of his grace, but my Beloved had betaken himself away. Almost desponding, and not knowing where else to go, I ventured to his banquet, and lo! he was there! He granted me the desire of my heart. I found a feast of fat things. My soul made me as the chariot of Amminidib. I found him whom my soul loveth; I held him, and would not let him go. My heart was melted in love and gratitude-was broken in deep contrition, and I was enabled with humble hearty confession of sin, self-emptied, to give my heart to my Redeemer, and take him as my precious soul-satisfying portion. I was enabled with humble, holy calmness, and freedom of soul, to treat with him; to lay hold of his covenant; to tell him all my wants, and to trust in his mercy and grace. My soul was sweetly ravished with his love, and I was constrained to say, "How awful is this place!" Surely God is here! "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." "The Lord is my shepherd, I will not fear." "Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee."

O my friends, if this has been the happy case with any of you, if you have found refreshment, strength, quickening, comfort, clear views of the object of your love, be thankful. Rejoice, though with trembling. Ascribe it all to the grace of God, and be deeply humbled, knowing that it is all of God that you have been so highly favoured. You remember the case of Peter, when on the mount: he says not a word of making any thing for himself.

Again: if Christ be come to you, treat him well, entertain him kindly. Follow hard after him. Let the thoughts of him and of his love be constantly in your mind, and

beware of every thing that would cause him to withdraw. Earnestly entreat Christ to stay with you; you cannot have better company. "O be not as a wayfaring man that tarrieth for a night." "Pass not away, but abide with thy servant." Set conscience at the watch tower of your hearts, that no stranger may enter. And when temptations knock for entrance, say, "It is for the Prince; the Lord hath entered in by it, and therefore it shall be shut." Speak often of Christ, and of his love and entertainment, and recommend him to others who are yet ignorant of him. Remember also that Satan envies you; he watches you as a pirate doth a ship richly laden, and will endeavour to take, or at least exceedingly to trouble you. Beware of pride of heart: Be humble; ever remembering that you are a worm of the dust. Be much concerned for God's glory. Be active and vigorous in his service. Labour in every way to keep what you have obtained. "Lord be surety for thy servant for good." Finally-think on the prospects before you, and let them animate you. All that we enjoy here is but an antepast, a foretaste of that which shall fill us with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

But perhaps few of us can say that we have so met with our God as to enjoy the light of his countenance, and true elevation of affection. Some may be saying, "It was to me a barren ordinance, I had a cold time. No meltings of heart: no vigorous faith, and ardent love, and bitterness for sin: no sweet liberty in prayer and renewing of my covenant. Oh the leanness, the leanness of my soul! To such I would address a few words. And first, What did you expect? Perhaps you have expected nothing; but have gone as heretofore, and paid a decent external attendance on the ordinance; have had no searchings of heart before hand; felt nothing of want; had no desire; and have therefore

1828. Meditations on the Lord's Supper, by the Rev. J. Trimble.

come away as you went. O! if this be the case with any, there is great reason to fear that they were unwelcome guests. Christ loves to fill the hungry soul. You have reason to lay the matter to heart, lest you should be thrust out at the great day. We cannot speak comfortably to such.

But some may say-Ah! this is not my case. I think I have found Christ precious to me in days that are past, and I longed to meet with him now. I prayed, and searched, and desired, and came with expectation, but found nothing. And now surely the Lord is angry with me, and what shall I do? Lay not the blame on the master of the feast: for he filleth the hungry with good things, and sendeth none empty away, without good cause. Examine your case closely. Perhaps you will find that you have been slight in preparation. You have not been duly sensible of your wants; or you have not been watch ful enough during the time of communicating; or you have been leaning too much on your own strength. If however you can approve your self to your conscience in all this, then, secondly-The Lord may, for wise purposes, have left you so, to try and sift you; or for your spiritual improvement. He may thus try you, to see if you will still cleave to him, and not despond. Still follow after him, and say, "though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." It may be for your great spiritual good, causing you to exercise much more diligence and engagedness in his service. He thus left the spouse when slothful, and she was excited to rise and seek until she found him. It may lead you past ordinances, ministers, and all means, to himself, the blessed source of all good. It may teach you to wait on the Lord, and not faint, but hope, and quietly wait for his salvation. may

Thirdly: You have met with Christ. Jacob found God in Bethel, yet he said, "I knew it not." The

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two disciples had their hearts warm-
ed, yet they knew not that Christ
was with them. You have not in-
deed obtained what you expected:
you may have been expecting large
measures of grace; comfort, hope,
peace, and joy, such as you have
never had, and thence have over-
looked the feebler exercises which
you have had. If you have received
a crumb, O, be thankful! But you
may have obtained a deeper sense
of the evil of sin, of the hardness of
your heart, of your want of love to
Christ and engagedness in his cause;
a deeper sense of your need of
Christ, and your own helplessness.
If so, be not discouraged. You may
still have his Holy Spirit striving
with you, keeping you awake and
alive, and feeling after Christ, whilst
others are dead and quite insensi-
ble. This is matter of praise.

General Directions.-1. Be true and faithful to your master.

2. Study to be active and diligent in his service.

3. Abandon all former sins, and strictly guard against them.

4. Keep a watchful eye and strong guard against the temptations of Satan.

5. Study the blessed art of feeding on Christ after such ordinances. These living waters follow us wherever we go.

6. Keep a lively and lasting impression of the vows which have been made.

7. Crucify sin, after seeing Christ crucified.

8. Walk under a sense of God's afl-seeing eye.

9. Be cheerful and contented under all trials, and in every condition.

10. Delight in the company of the people of God.

11. Study to shine in all the graces of forbearance and forgiveness.

12. Labour to keep a longing desire after communion seasons here below, and for eternal communion with God.

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