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thus, in the case of those who have formed inadequate conceptions of the work of the Holy Spirit upon the soul. They think, speak, and act in their own strength: they study the Scriptures at the flickering lamp of their own understanding: they attempt to draw both the subjects of Prayer, and its language, from the empty fountains of human intelligence and foresight: they resolve to be religious, as though they themselves could be the artificers of their own salvation; and thus confiding in an arm of flesh, when they might cast themselves upon the strength of Omnipotence, they live and die the miserable exemplars of that moral madness which prompts the soul to trust in its own nothingness, and to distrust the all-sufficiency of its God. How astonishing was the result of the ministration of the word of God, when due honour was done to this truth, and the presence of the Holy Ghost earnestly sought in that “ upper chamber" at Jerusalem! Three thousand persons were at once added to the Church of the Redeemer! And how lovely is the picture afterwards drawn of the persons who were thus transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit! In like manner, at this moment, when the Holy Ghost receives of the things of Christ, and shews them to the soul, how splendid is the trophy which he often binds round the Cross of the Redeemer! Ask the reclaimed profligate-the penitent, smiling through his tears-the man once shuddering at death, but now exulting as its dark portals open upon him-what it is which infuses his holiness, or inspires his confidence and joy: and he does not hesitate to say, The Spirit of the Living God;' The presence of the Comforter?'"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord!" But my anxiety for the maintenance of this great doctrine has perhaps withdrawn me too far from the author now before us. It is impossible to question his orthodoxy on this cardinal point; and equally impossible to doubt his intention, that the reader should always assume the necessity of this high and holy influence, where any moral change is to be accomplished: but, considering the character of modern divinity, and the spirit of pride and independence which pervades such large classes of the community, destroying our allegiance to the Spirit, and inflating the soul with empty concep
tions of its own inherent powers, it is difficult not to be jealous" with what may surely be termed a godly jealousy" upon this point, and honestly to rebuke the fault, wherever it is found. The present editor will, he trusts, be pardoned, if it has appeared right to him, now and then, to supply a few words expressive of the feeling of which the author was most assuredly possessed, though he has not always given vent to it in appropriate lan
On many other points of Scriptural and Evangelical Religion, no one can write with more clearness and emphasis than Mr. Abbott. Of this, the Second chapter, on the Sympathy of Christ, may be taken as an example. It would be difficult to find any writer who has touched the subject with a more feeling and affectionate hand. A stranger to the human heart would think it next to impossible that the reader of that chapter should not at once arise and seek the Heavenly Friend so touchingly commended to his affections.
It is my wish to bring these observations to a close, by reverting to the topic noticed in the opening of this state
The duty and importance of maintaining an intimate union between this country and America is indisputable : but what is more likely to cherish a spirit of attachment between these rivals for the dominion of the seas, than the interchange of those works which provide the only cement by which a disjointed and quarrelsome world can be kept together? The peace, which is of an earthly origin, is of the most fugitive nature. Earthly contracts are broken almost before the wax is cooled with which they are sealed. He is the only real and permanent "Peace-maker," who says, “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. The reciprocation of the truths and lessons which flow from the lips of this compassionate Master is, of all expedients, the most likely to sweeten the waters of bitterness. America has for ages profited from the religious literature of Great Britain; and we are now beginning to draw largely from the fountains opened in "On that country. The works of President Edwards, the Will," and more especially "On the Religious Affections," have always held a high place in the estimation of
the Theological Student. To him succeeded many other valuable writers. Of late years have been added to our libraries the works of Presidents Davies and Dwight, and Bishop Dehon; and the highly interesting biographical sketches of Mrs. Graham, Huntington, Judson, and Dr. Payson. But, in addition to these means of instruction, there is one subject connected with the present circumstances of America, to which the mind of every young person on this side of the Atlantic, who has a lively interest in the progress of Religion, can scarcely fail to be directed—I mean, what have been called the "Revivals" in that country.
It is a fact, authenticated by the testimony of many most respectable witnesses, that, especially within the last forty years, a sudden and most astonishing transformation has been wrought in the religious state of a large number of individuals in America, particularly in New England. It is not merely that a few persons, in a few scattered congregations, have been changed; but frequently large numbers, in almost every congregation in an extensive district and populous neighbourhood have experienced the change. It has not been, and is not at this moment uncommmon, when one of the ministers, who has especially dedicated himself to a sort of migratory ministry, with a view to the revival of Religion, has preached on a Sabbath-day, to have more than a hundred persons apply to him during the week, under the deepest and most cutting convictions of their own sinful and lost condition. And these persons have presented themselves, not merely from one class of the community, but from every class and age-ministers, students in colleges, physicians, lawyers, merchants, the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlearned, men, women, and young persons. Nor have there been wanting the most striking evidences of the reality of the change wrought, in a large number of cases. Of above seventy students in one University, who were brought at one season under this mysterious influence, above sixty are said to be at this time affectionate, faithful, and indefatigable ministers of the word of God. It is also an established fact, that wherever the influence of these revivals have been felt, the moral habits have experienced a corresponding improvement; and especially,
that the converts have at once renounced what may be called the besetting sin of their country-the drinking of ardent spirits. The diminution in the consumption of alcohol in the United States, within the last four or five years, is a fact, perhaps, without a parallel in the history of nations; and this diminution has taken place the most decidedly where the revivals have occurred. Let the difficulty of destroying the habit of drinking in any particular case be considered, and the strong presumption which so general a change supplies of a genuine conversion will not be disputed. I am aware that certain flippant and presumptuous writers have been found to cavil at these great moral changes, as though they were the mere fictions of enthusiasm: and the plan they have adopted, first to deceive themselves, and then to delude their readers, has been to fix upon a few cases of fanaticism, in what are called Camp and other Meetings; and then to assume that Fanaticism and real Religion can have no sort of connexion. Now it is impossible to doubt that instances of gross fanaticism have occurred in America as well as in our own country. It is also certain, that fanaticism is the most likely to prevail where the public mind is brought under any powerful excitement. But, far from real piety not being found in any sort of connexion with enthusiasm, the fact is, that fanaticism rarely enters except where piety abounds. It is the strong and full habit of body which has the strongest tendency to fever. It is the full river which overflows its banks. It is the lofty genius which is commonly lashed on to madness. Nothing, therefore, can be more illogical than the conclusion, that because there is fanaticism connected with some of these revivals, there is not much genuine piety. On the contrary, as has been said, there is much in the moral phænomena now occurring on the other side of the Atlantic, which must interest and deeply affect the Christian mind. The question, "Why have no such moral changes taken place in our own country?" naturally suggests itself. And the answer is, no doubt, to be found, mainly, in the indisputable right of the Most High to do what He will with his own. It has pleased the Great Ruler of the Universe to make particular countries and seasons the scenes and the periods of the more peculiar
display of his moral agency. He has given the Gospel to one country, and denied it to another. He transformed by a touch a great multitude, on the Day of Pentecost; and he has subsequently carried on the work of conversion, in a variety of instances, by a far more tardy process. It continues still true, in the moral history of nations, that one is taken and the other left." But, admitting all this, nothing can be further from the spirit of genuine Christianity, than that any such recognition of the power and freedom of the work of God upon the souls of His creatures should be associated with an indolent acquiescence in the cold and dead state of things which prevails among ourselves. Are there no impediments to the work of the Spirit, which may be removed? Are there no means of Divine appointment, the due use of which is likely to be blest to the promotion of such revivals amongst ourselves? Is it not, perhaps, the fact, that low views of the work of the Holy Spirit-inadequate conceptions of His willingness and power to bless the preaching of the Gospel-a want of Prayer, and especially of Social Prayer-a want of concert and sympathy in the things of God and Eternity-an estrangement of the public mind from the fundamental verities of the Gospel -a preference of the bye-paths of controversial and speculative Theology-our spirit of disunion-our contempt of order and just subordination—our secularity—our indolence-our self-indulgence-all these things concur to raise up a barrier against the progress of Truth, which it may not be the will of THE ALL-WISE FATHER of a guilty world at present to cast down? The Revivals in America ought to suggest many such topics to the mind of every Christian examiner; and it is impossible to doubt that they will, under the Divine Blessing, have this result. so, it is equally certain, that America, the eldest born of our colonial offspring, our first and dearest daughter, now elevated by years and experience and independence to the character of a friend and counsellor, may be privileged to pay back a hundred-fold into our bosom the benefits which she has received from our hands.
We hope to escape from the fanaticism of which President Edwards and many of his brother ministers complained, in the religious movements, a century since, in