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his moral and spiritual beauty, filled his soul with guilt, darkness, and confusion, lodged itself in his heart as a loathsome and mortal disease. Surely sin is a great evil!

4. The evil of sin appears further, from the curse it has brought into our world. The animal creation is suffering in consequence of it: "All groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." The face of the earth (though { still beautiful) is cursed, and has lost its primeval beauty. The elements are in frequent wars of thunders, lightnings, and earthquakes,—and all' reserved for fire in the great last day. The shoals of living creatures in the waters, and herds of wild beasts on the dry land, are killing and eating each other; the more tame and useful cruelly handled; the little innocent and timid quadrupeds hunted unto death, to gratify the sinful pleasure of wicked men. The curse has reached all, afflicts all, -though man only has sinned. These thoughts of sin, and its consequences, (to say nothing of future punishment) fill every humbled and penitent sinner with godly sorrow; leads him to feel his own particular sin with more intensity, and prepares him to look with love and wonder at the greatness of God's name, who has proclaimed his purpose of mercy to pardon this great evil.

II. The great acts of Divine pardon advances the glory of God's name beyond all his other works, when the cause and ground of this are taken into consideration. The strength of that eternal love with which the sinner was loved, and the infinite value of the price paid for his redemption, wonder fully praise the glory of God's grace. Here faith gets the victory in the soul

over guilt and unbelief. When the heart is broken down under a sense of God's wrath, it rises up with humble amazement at the discovery, and cries out, "There is forgiveness with God! He hath redeemed his people to make himself a name!" God has but two ways to deal with the transgressor; either to punish him, or to pardon him. The last is the result of his infinite love, wisdom, and power, and may be administered with equal, if not superior, honour to his justice.

1. The character of God's forgiveness advances the glory of all his attributes.

How amiable appears the goodness of God, in disposing his Divine nature to pardon such guilty rebels! Men shall abundantly utter the memory of this great goodness, and sing of his righteousness. How profoundly deep that wisdom, and knowledge, which found out the way to pardon the guilty, without destroying the harmony of the Divine perfections-so that " mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other." How great the power that produced and sustained the whole scheme of redemption; the incarnation of the Divine Substitute; and the propitiation that made an end of sin! and all the result of an eternal purpose, ordered in an everlasting covenant, so sure that the benefit cannot fail; but the penitent believer shall always obtain forgiveness with God, through Christ's name.

2. The freeness, and fulness, of God's forgiveness, recommend it to the notice and acceptance of great sinners.—“ Because they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both." "He forgiveth all their iniquities, and healeth all their diseases." Though obtained by a price, it is above all price within the power

of man to give; therefore, freely bestowed for the honour of God's grace. It is also so full and complete, by the virtue of spiritual union with Christ the living Head, that all the iniquities of God's spiritual Israel, when sought for, shall not be found; but blotted out as a thick cloud from the face of the heavens, and no trace of them remains. This is the heritage of the Lord's servants, and their righteousness is of Him. Every tongue that rises against them in judgment, they shall condemn.

life, she was above the level of the common poor. She was a person of natural good sense and reflection, and had an agreeable address; hers was a dignified and respectable poverty. Under the first impression of serious thoughts, she set about the laudable plan of aiming to please God; but she soon found that she could not even please herself. This startled her. She considered, "I am certainly sufficiently partial in my own favour; and if I cannot please myself, how can I expect to please the holy and heart-searching God, who sees me as I really am, and, doubtless, notices much more evil in

3. The happy effects of God's forgiveness on the hearts that receive it, makes it very valuable.-It fills theme than I am able to perceive." This soul with love to God through Jesus Christ, and with joy and peace in beliving, which make pardoned sinners anxious to serve him; to honour his name among men; to suffer willingly every reproach and trial, in advancing his kingdom on earth; to forgive readily the offences from their fellowmortals; and to look forward with pure delight on the happy change, when they shall be eternally free from all

sin!

Gower, Wales.

W. G.

reflection threw her into great distress; but Hervey's "Theron and Aspasio" came in her way, which afforded her a key to the Bible. She well knew the leading truths of the gospel; but I believe she never once heard the gospel in her life, except what she might hear from me in our family worship, during a week I had the honour of entertaining her in my house, before I was in the ministry. I was then obliged to use caution, lest she should be starved; for if at meal-time I occasionally spoke of the Lord Jesus, and his love to sinners, his glory, or the like, she usually burst into tears, and could eat no more. ACCOUNT OF DAME CROSS. She was a staunch churchwoman,-had In a letter written by good John New- a high veneration for gowns and caston, in 1796, we find an account of one socks, and for those who wore them. of "the poor of this world, rich in She thought all sermons were good; faith," which ought not to be allowed they were so to her, for she would at to fall into oblivion. He says to his cor- least feed upon the text. I remember respondent:-I believe your inquiries when this was my own case. But notrefer to an old woman who lived upon withstanding her prejudices, remaining Wavertree Green, near Liverpool, and ignorance, and want of discrimination was known by the name of Dame in hearing, if humility, benevolence, Cross. Though very poor when I knew submission to the will of God, strong her, and I believe through her whole | faith, and a spiritual mind, are eminent

parts of the Christian character, she appeared to me one of the greatest and most exemplary Christians I ever met with.

She kept a little school; the parents of the children were mostly as poor as herself, and not being able, or willing, to pay any longer, took the children away. She went round the neighbourhood to them, and said, "I shall be glad if you can pay me, because I am poor: but whether you pay me or not, do let your children come; perhaps, something I say to them may be useful to them when I am dead." One morning I found her at breakfast upon dry bread and a little tea. I said to her, Dame, do not you like butter ?" She answered "Yes, I like butter, but it is very dear, and I cannot afford it; but my Lord," so she usually spoke of Him, "takes care that I shall have bread. It is very good; it is enough, and I thank him for it."

Once, when I called, she had a good many fowls and chickens about her: I said, "Dame, are these all yours." "Not one of them, sir; they belong to my neighbours. But they are accustomed to come to my door; I save all my crumbs and scraps for them. I love to feed them, for the sake of Him who made them." When I asked her, "Are you not uneasy at being alone, now you are so old (she was more than fourscore)? Suppose you should be taken ill in the night, you have no body to help you." She replied, "Do you think my Lord does not know that I am an old woman, and live by myself? I am not uneasy; I believe He will take care of me." She once said to me, "I believe my Lord will not permit me to die for want of food; but if such should be his pleasure, I

hope I am willing. Perhaps I should not find that so painful a death as many rich people feel, who live in great plenty; but I am in his hands, and he will do what is right."

There were several genteel families upon the Green; and as her general conduct was striking, and she had not been in the way of being marked with the stigma of Methodism, she was much respected. They often sent her a plate of victuals from their tables. At last, two ladies called on her, and said, that they and some of their acquaintance had agreed to make her as easy as possible for her few remaining days, and asked how much a year she would have? She said, "I am old, and live quite by myself; but I believe I could get a room in a house not far off," to which she pointed. "If you will please to pay the rent of my room, and allow me five pounds a year, it will suffice." They offered to double it; but she declined, and said, “Five pounds will be quite enough." She did not live long after her removal into her new lodging. She went to bed one night in her usual health, and was found dead in the morning. She seemed to have died in her sleep; for there was no appearance of any struggle, nor any feature in her countenance ruffled. Thus she died alone at last; for though there were several persons in the house, willing and ready to assist her, she needed no help from them. Such care did the great God, who humbles himself to notice the worship of angels, take of a poor old woman, who was enabled to put her trust in him, and to acquiesce in his dispensations.

The Letter Box.

PLAIN TRUTHS FOR PIOUS CHURCHMEN.

THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH THE NURSE OF INSINCERITY AND DECEPTION.

FELLOW-CHRISTIANS,-Sincerity is a virtue. Philosophers admire it; moralists teach it; poets sing its praises; historians record its rewards; theologians enforce it; honest men practise it; even hypocrites admire it in others, and require it from them.

Sincerity is godlike. God is sincere; he loves sincerity in his creatures; he commands them to practise it in all their dealings with each other; he especially requires it in all their dealings with him: "God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." "By him actions are weighed." "He searcheth the heart," and "desireth truth in the inward parts." All that is heartless, hollow, insincere, a "shadow" or a "sham," is abhorred by him, and should be avoided by us. We ought above all things to be sincere in every thing pertaining to religion; and the church of Christ, above all other associations of men, should be the foremost in teaching and practising it, and the last to give countenance to that which savours of hypocrisy.

Do not be displeased with me if I practice sincerity here, and tell you that my honest conviction is that your church, as at present constituted and conducted, instead of frowning upon insincerity and deception, patronises the one and promotes the other. This is a grave charge. I admit it. But if it be true, its gravity ought not to prevent me from making it, nor you from considering it with

seriousness and sorrow. As truthloving men, give me then your candid attention, while I lay before you the grounds on which my conviction rests.

Connected with all your parish churches throughout the country, are two officers called churchwardens. These officers are chosen annually, and when they enter on their office, each of them takes an oath and "swears that he will present to the archdeacon, the names of all such inhabitants of his parish as are leading notoriously immoral lives." This is an oath "taken once a year by every churchwarden in every parish in England." Now, tell me, as honest Christians, did you ever know a presentation of the kind, før immoral conduct, in all your life? Have you ever heard of such a thing having taken place within the last hundred years? You surely will not say that there are no notoriously immoral livers in the country. You surely cannot think that their existence and their practices are unknown to the churchwardens. Then if they know there are such, and they never present them, after they have taken an oath that they would do so, have they not forsworn themselves, and are they not perjured men? I can easily imagine that you hesitate to make this admission, but can you deny it? I press on you the plain question-is it so, or is it not? The only way in which you will attempt to rescue your friends from the guilt of this charge, will probably be by saying-that when they took the

oath they did not mean really to say that they would present every notoriously wicked man, nor did they mean to do it; but they took the oath as a matter of form, because the law requires them to do so when entering on their office. I believe this to be true; and because I believe it to be so, I adduce the case in proof of my position, that your church, by some of its practices, is the patron and promoter of insincerity. Here are some thousands of men every year standing up before God and men, and saying what they do not mean, and with an oath promising what they never intend to perform. Is not that insincerity; and is it not your church-laws that sanction and promote it ?

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Go now from the vestry to the baptismal font. Your church requires that "for every male child to be baptised, there shall be two godfathers, and one godmother; and for every female, one godfather, and two godmothers." These sponsors appear as the "sureties" of the child; and before he is baptised, they promise on his behalf, 'that he will renounce the devil and all his works, and constantly believe God's holy word, and obediently keep his commandments." I say nothing about the folly of one person becoming "surety" for another person's religion; nor of the absurdity of any man promising on behalf of a new-born infant, that that infant shall renounce the works of the devil, and keep the commandments of God. All that I am concerned with now is, the palpable insincerity that is practised by tens of thousands of these sponsors, who either thoughtlessly promise what they never mean to care about afterwards, or else knowingly promise what they are

aware they are not able to perform. I once knew a man who was general sponsor for the neighbourhood in which he lived: if parents found their own friends or relatives too honest to go and vow what they did not mean to perform, they could always turn to this accommodating "godfather," and find him ripe and ready with his promises, though living in the neglect of religion himself, and so of course perfectly indifferent about the future religion of the children for whom he became surety. Shall I tell you a secret about

myself? Here it is-I was baptized in your church. If my beloved parents, who at that time were "good churchpeople," observed the law, they of course provided "two godfathers" to "promise and vow three things in my name." Who one of them was, I do not know; the other I knew well. You may judge how far he kept the promises which he made in God's house on my behalf, when I tell you, that he never said one word to me on the subject of renouncing the works of the devil, believing the truth, or keeping God's commandments, from that day to this. Nor did he mean that he ever would do so, when he made his promises. He was habitually pursuing the works of the devil, at the time when he said, "in my name," that he "renounced" them; he was an unbeliever, when he proclaimed in my name his steadfast faith; he was breaking God's commandments himself, when he vowed that I should obediently keep them. You know, as well as I do, that in this respect, this man was a fair specimen of multitudes who crowd around your baptismal font and perform this heartless mimicry. You do not justify your church by saying, that

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