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RESPECT DUE TO AGED CHRISTIANS.
291 declining years, and to remove, if possible, the anxieties arising in such a situation. The young Christian especially, should thus not only endeavour to administer consolation to grey hairs, but should listen with more than ordinary attention to their advice; for though they are precluded themselves from active exertions, through the leebleness of age, — yet, as the head is essential to direct, as well as the hand to execute, their counsels may prove of the greatest advantage. Instruction, therefore, may be sought thom their lips, and discretion learnt from their advice: they have travelled the road for many years : they have experienced the vicissitudes of the seasons, and seen the dangers of the way: they have felt the power of the enemy, and are acquainted with his insidious snares: they can tell us of the various windings and turnings of the heart, and what they have suffered from its corruptions: they have witnessed also many wonderiul displays of divine Providence, and can relate many pleasing instances of the power of converting grace: - to a humbie enquiring mind, their conversation may be attended to with pleasure, and their testimony received with profit. Let us therefore sit at their feet, and, from the relation of their experience, learn to get wisdom, and increase in knowledge. Nothing can be more indecorous than the garrulity of the inexperienced, and the boasting of the novice, in the presence of those whose steps have been long directed in the good old way. A degree of taciturnity, without running into the opposite extreme of reserve, should mark the character of a young disciple. “ I hold it so," said a confident young man, once at a meeting of ministers. "You hold, Sir, ?' answered a grave , Divine: it becomes you to hold your peace.”
Though the coolness of age be not congenial with the vivacity of youth, yet the company of the aged may be rendered highly useful and profitable. Is it a powerful temptation to which you are exposed ? consult the aged and experienced : they may afford relief, having been themselves in the same circumstances. Is it a case of conscience ? open the matter to them; their knowledge and understanding may be the means of extricating you from your embarrassment. Are you entering into new situations, forming new connexions, and, as it were, about launching into the sea of human life? Go not in your own strength : consult those who have been long tost about on its tempestuous waves. Like old and skilful mariners, they can inform you where the rocks and quicksands are: they can afford you help in the darkest night, and on shores where your rashness and ignorance would have brought you into danger : įheir wisdomn can direct, and their experience enable them to conduct you safe.
Look up to them, therefore, with respect; beg an interest in their prayers; follow them as far as they follow Christ. Beware of ever magnifying their infirmities; rejoice not if ever
you should see any of them fall. Be humble in your spirit, docile in your disposition, guarded in your expressions, and consistent in your conduct; and thus the aged, who are about to leave the world, shall rejoice in beholding your footsteps directed in the path of truth; and in the solemn hour of death be animated with the thought, that though they perish from off the earth, others are raised up to be the faithful fol. lowers of their adorable Lord.
A CALL FOR GOSPEL-PREACIIERS.
To the Editor. Sir,
Being a constant reader of your Magazine, I was forcibly struck with the Advertisement Extruordinary in the Number for February last, entitled, Plenty of Ilork, and Scarcity of Hands ; for although there have been very great and unusual exertions made to extend the preaching of the gospel into distant parts, as well as at home (not without some success, which gladdens my heart) there yet remains enough to do; and though we live in a country called Christian, there are hundreds in this neighbourhood in a state of heathenish darkness.
Swansea is become a place of great trade. In the neighbourhood are several large works and manufactories of copper, tin, coal, culm, iron, pottery ware, &c. which have much increased the population. The town itself contains about 7000 inhabitants : Morriston (a neat small town, about three miles off, principally inhabited by workmen) and its neighbourhood, about 2000: Gower, a district west of Swansea, from eight to ten miles square, inhabited by the descendants of the ancient Flemings (very few understanding the Welch language) about 2 or 3000 inhabitants ; besides the influx of many strangers into Swansea in the bathing season, and a number of sailors belonging to the ships trading here.
In the Welch language, we are privileged with gospelpreaching by the Welch Methodists and others; but, from the great numbers of English in Gower, Swansea, Norriston, and its neighbourhood, destitute, in a great measure, of those means in their own language, we may well say respecting ther, in the words of your motto, Plenty of work, and scarcity af hands ! -- I trust, the Lord of the harvest will raise labourers for this great work of his own choosing; fit, able, and willing to serve him in season and out of scason,
Several of the contributors to your Work, have, in former years, preached in this town and neighbourhood; but, for some years back, one of them, by chance only, gave an occa
293 sional sermon. May the Lord impress upon their minils a longing desire to come again and preach salvation, through a blessed Redeemer, to lost and perishing sinners in this place!
Here is a chapel in her Ladyship's connexion, with a resident ininister regularly supplied. There is a small one built at Morriston, supplied by Welch ministers, where several English are thirsting for the Word of Life ; and some ready to cry out, “ Come and help us.”
It is proposed to build a small chapel in part of Gower;. but the same difficulty occurs :- Who is to preach there?
My sole view, I think I can say, in writing this, is the glory of God and the good of souls; and, I trust, the Lord will stir individuals or societies to forin some plan to answer those ends, in this sinful part of the land.
Two or three Itinerants sent here, in the hand of God, may be of infinite benefit; and if any of our great and popular ministers were to take an occasional visit here, I have no doubt but that they will be amply rewarded, and that they may have many souls for their hire, for the trouble they will take.
I remain your obedient servant, Swansea.
1 Pet. in.8. Be courteous, A CHIAPACtEr formed on the principles of holy scripture, must be equally amiable and useful. Plow respectable and happy that society whose conduct displays an exact correspondence to the injunction, “ Be courteous.”
To be courteous, it is necessary to have a temper of love, formed by the Spirit of God. There is a most important difference between the courteousness here recommended, and a smoothness of demeanor which, when assisted by nature, is the more easily and the more perfectly acquired by education, This; by the man of the world, has bern frequently assumed, to recommend himself to society, that he might the more suiecessfully accomplish the various ends which he had in view; that is, essential to the character of the Christiail, is a native principle in the constitution of the new man which is created within him, by the power of the Holy Ghost. This is no more than the counterfeit, or at best the mere appearance; that is the true substance of courteousness. This has no con-. nexion with the heart; thut has its seat there.
By this fair workmanship on the outside, the waters of rancour and bitterness are not removed; they are only a little more confined: when the tempest of provocation arises, they
are agitated; they swell, they boil, they burst their bounds, and pour down a torrent of the grossest abuse, which defies all opposition : but genuine courteousness springs from a heart renewed by the grace of God; flows in a gentle current, enlivening its passage, and spreading fertility along its banks. Its source is the Spirit of God, as a spirit of holiness and of love. Divine love, shed abroad in the believer's heart, sweetens and enriches the soil of his temper; and, in proportion to the degree of its amelioration, is productive of the most picasant and beneficial fruits.
This courteousness involves affectionate thoughts, natively proceeding from a temper of love formed by the Spirit of God.
The courteous man complies with the inspired direction,“ Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love."While the complaisance of the world is only a mask, under which the deformity of the heart is concealed, the courteousness of the Christian is a mirror, in which affectionate thoughts are to be seen in their most graceful charms. The courteous man, persuaded of God's love to his own soal, cultivates designs of love towards all his fellow-men, and especially towards the household of faith.
A heart full of affectionate thoughts, will discover itself by kind words : “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”. The kind words of the courteous stand opposed to disputations, to haughty, to angry, provoking Words,
To disputatious words. I do not mean here to insinuate that a man ought not, on every proper occasion, to defend his own sentiments with decent firmness. No: 10 assent to every opinion started, to affirm whatever those with whom we converse affirm, and to deny whatever they deny, is not courte, Onsness, but sillyness. The courteous iman steers a middle course between the contentious man, who contradicts every thing asserted, for the sake of disputing, and the cowardly simpleton, who shrinks from the defence of his own opinions, even when a rude and open attack upon thein loudly calls for bold and rigorous resistance.
To haughty words. The kind words of the courteous, pro, ceed from a meek and lowly temper: they are inimicked in the unmeaning cant of compliment by the men of the world, who will say, 'Ile are your most obedient humble servants; we will be extremely happy to serve you; we only wait your commands. In their mouths, these and similar declarations , are of no value; for they proceed from the lips only. But the kind humble words of the courteous man, flow froin the heart. This stamps upon them superior excellence; and being ex: pressed with ingenuous simplicity and seriousness, are easily distinguished from the ceremonious and Hippant language of complimento
295 To angry provoking words. The courteous man is slow to anger, slow to wrath: he opens his mouth with wisdom; and. on his tongue is the law of kindness : he is meek and gentle : he is a stranger to furious and resentful expressions: the storm of wrath gathers not on his brow, the thunder of execration proceeds not from his lips; but his words drop as the rain, and distil as the dew. There is something in his air and manner so sweet and conciliating, - soinething in the inode of communicating his thoughts and sentiments so build and insinuating, that, instead of exciting or aiding strife, he manifestly tends to stop the progress, and to destroy the power of anger in the breast of that inan who has been provoked. With a soft answer he turns away wrath.
Courteousness includes goutle conduct. The conduct of the courteous man stands exposed to rudeness, to sulienness, to severity, to insolence
To rudeness. He will not willingly give another pain. He is not like those who are alive to every thing which grazes, in the slightest degree, on their own feelings, but can, without remorse, wound the feelings of others. He suffers long, and is kind; bears all things, endures all things.
To sullenness. Instead of those sullen looks which characterize the peevish and the obstinate, and which, like a dark and dismal cloud, threatening a dreadful storm, cast a gloem of sadness and intelicity over every company into which they enter, - the courteous man comes forward with a frank, open, cheerful, pleasant countenance, as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, a morning without clouds, as the tender grass springing out of the carth by clear shining after rain; his looks of undissembled kindness diffuse the light of joy and happiness throughout every society adorned with his presence.
To severity. Courteousness is opposed to that severity which magnifies every trivial fanit into a heinous crime, tils those exposed to its operation with terror, and causes them approacia these under its influence with trembling. The courteous man, in so far as is consistent with the rights of justice, and will the duty he owes to his own character, forgives the highest affronts offered, and the greatest injuries done to himself: he is easy of access to all: he is not overcome of evil, but overcomes evil with good. By repeated acts of kindness, he sof. tens the obdurate heart of his adversary, and gradually melis it into sympathy and love.
To insolence. The courteous man will not behave towards those beneath him in society, as if they were creatures of an order inferior to his own. He knows, that of one blood God hath made all nations of men to dwell on the face of the whole earth; that, accordingly, all men are brethren. He knows that all have a natural right to civil, humanc, and respectful