Imágenes de páginas

the hearers the covenant of grace, and to explain re. ligion in the true notion of covenanting with God, and covenant-keeping, and greatly to urge men to deliberate well-grounded resolutions in this holy covenant: So God was pleased to give him a certainty and sense of his divine faithfulness, in fulfilling the promises of his covenan', and a lively sense of all the benefits of it. And his faith in God, for the performance of his part, was as strong and fixed, as was his own resolution in the strength of grace to be true to God. And as he was resolved, through grace, never to forsake Christ, so Christ did never fail or forsake him. In the valley of the shadow of death, he feared no evil. But when his flesh and heart failed, as to natural strength, the Lord was the rock or strength of his heart, and never failed him." "

The greater portion of this small work relates to that solemn covenant, which is virtually made, between every righteous man and his Maker, and which is adverted to and renewed in every solemn act of devotion. No author has written on it with greater clearness and ability than Mr. Joseph Alleine.

The excellency of the promises and their great value to the Christian Believer, throughout every part of his pilgrimage, are too obvious to be insisted upon. They are emphatically his treasurę. For, if it be true, that we are "Saved by hope,” then, in the promises of God, is comprehended every thing that the christian hopes for, whether pertaining to "Life or Godliness." Besides, they are not expressed in doubtful or equivocal language, that on this account there should be any hesitation about laying hold upon and appropriating them. On the contrary, they are set forth in the plainest and strongest terms, and are reiterated as if to obviate all doubt and fear: moreover that

[ocr errors]

no excuse for unbelief may be left, we have the declaration of the apostle "that God, willing more abundantly, to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. After what has been said above of the writer of this little work, it does not appear necessary to speak of the manner in which it has been executed. We think, however, that the pious reader, will be struck with the lively and forcible manner in which the subject is presented to him, and whilst he is convinced that the writer made the promises his own, by the exercise of a strong and unshaken confidence, he himself cannot fail to realize an increase of that Faith which is "the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." We will conclude our prefatory remarks with an observation which we think all important in relation to this subject. To derive or be entitled to any benefit from the promises, it is indispensable that we should first be satisfied that we are the characters whom the promises contemplate; otherwise, we may be assured, that we have neither part nor lot in this matter.

Reader, are the promises of God exceedingly great and precious, and are they not delusive but "all yea, and amen in Christ Jesus"" seek diligently to experience their accomplishment in your own soul, that you may become an heir of the promise, and have the assurance of an incorruptible, undefiled and eternal inheritance when you shall be compelled to leave all your earthly treasures, and depart hence to be seen no more of men. A FRIEND.

Baltimore, March 1, 1838.





"IN the lives of holy men," says the venerable Baxter, "we see God's image, and the beauties "of holiness, not only in precept, but in reality "and practise, not pictured, but in substance. "And holiness in visible realities is apt to affect "the world more deeply, than in portraiture and "precept only."

Mr. Joseph Alleine was the son of Mr. Tobias Alleine, and was born in the Devizes, Wiltshire, in the year 1633.*

In his infancy he discovered a singular sweetness of disposition, and a remarkable diligence in every thing about which he was employed. Dur ing his childhood he had deep convictions; and in

*His father was an understanding, affectionate, prudent, and signally humble and experienced christian, who died suddenly, but sweetly, nearly two years before him. He had been in an infirm and languishing state for some time; yet a little before his decease, he suddenly began to recruit his strength, and was enabled to walk about his house as in former days. On the morning of his death, he rose about four o'clock and continued to shew appearances of returning health. Between ten and eleven he came down out of his closet, and called for something to eat, which being prepared he gave thanks, but could not eat any thing His wife, perceiving a sudden change in him, attempted to persuade him to retire to bed: He meckly answered, "No; but I will die iu my chair; and I am not afraid to die." He then sat down, and only said, "My life is hid with Christ in God." Saying this, with his own hands he gently closed his eyes, and died immediately.

his eleventh year was noticed by the family as be ing very zealous for religion. He was of that age, when he began the practice of private prayer. So sincere was he, and fixed in that duty, as not to permit himself to be disturbed or moved by the accidental approach of any person into the places of his retirement.

After this manner had he taken upon himself a goodly profession, and openly begun to run the christian race, when his thoughts were powerfully directed, and his mind providentially influenced, towards the exercise of the ministry, by the death of his elder brother, Mr. Edward Alleine, who was greatly esteemed by those who knew him, as a worthy preacher of the Gospel. While the tender heart of a father was yet suffering under the loss of a beloved son, Joseph earnestly requested permission of him to succeed his deceased brother as one of Christ's standard-bearers. He prevailed in his importunate application; for his father sent him to a good school that he might be instructed in classical erudition His profiting in the course of four years' study was very great. During that time he had acquired are extensive and accurate acquaintance with the Latin and Greek languages; and was declared by his preceptor to be properly qualified for commencing his studies at the university. Being however but of the age of fifteen, his father prudently detained him at home in the country anoter year, in which time, under the instruction of a learned and excellent minister, he went with great advantage to himself, through a course of Logic. He was then entered of Lincoln College, Oxford, a seminary of learning that nearly a century afterwards was the nursery of another of the greatest, most successful, and pious divines that this kingdom has produced.

« AnteriorContinuar »