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831

On the Impropriety of trifling with Females. 832 uneasiness, in violent throws and con- | These are men whose natural ardency vulsive-like motions.

leads them to express more than they In frost, as in clear summer-like intend. They are enthusiastic in their weather, it lies constantly at the bot- friendship with females, which is 100 tom. And in snow, as in rainy wea- readily converted by them into a ther, it pitches its dwelling upon the warmer sentiment. A man of this very mouth of the phial.

character entrusts his female friend What reasons may be assigned for with the secrets of his heart; he prothese changes, I must leave philoso- bably states the obstacles wbicb imphers to determine.-It appears to be peded his wishes with respect to a affected in a way analogous to that of once favoured object of his attentions; spirits and mercury in the weather and even hints that the written docuglass ; and it seems evident, from ments which had passed between them the surprising sensations which it ma- are consumed. The friend would nanifests, that an approaching change turally construe this to her own advanof weather, even days before it takes tage, and conclude that she is not place, makes a visible alteration upon herself indifferent to him, otherwise its manner of living.

he would not have made her his con. Perhaps it may not be amiss to note, fidant. Thus she reasons: and if inlest any of the curious should try the vectives against his former friend experiment, that the leech is kept in a should escape his lips ; if he names a common eight-ounce phial glass, about quality of which he says she is defithree-fourths filled with water, and cient, and which the friend is conscious covered on the mouth with a bit of she herself possesses; if a countenance linen rag. In the summer time, the expressive of tenderness accompanies water is changed once a week, and in this acknowledgment,--the work is the winter once a fortnight. This is tinished,-her affections are his, but a weather glass which may be pur- his are not hers; though perhaps he chased at a very trilling expense, and might sometimes find it difficult to dewhich will last a number of years.

termine to wbieb of his female friends the balance of his preference prepon

derated. ON THE IMPROPRIETY OF TRIFLING But the time may arrive, when he WITH FEMALES.

(perhaps after an absence) meets the MR. Editor.

object of his former regard. They SIR, -This paper is transmitted to compromise their disordered concerns, you under the idea that it contains a and again all is amicable. But where few hints which may be useful; they is the newly-made friend? She is are principally drawn from the expe- passed by with a nod; and in order to rience of one, who wishes, if possible, exclude any suspicion of attachment to lessen " the aggregate of human to her from the mind of his present wou.”

mistress, he sometimes bebaves to her Respectfully your's, with incivility, or perhaps asperity

, W.

She now feels herself neglected, and Ang. 7, 1821.

spends her days and nights in unavail

ing grief, wbile he is blessed with the How despicable does the character esteem of her now considered rival. of that person appear, whose affec- She ventures to speak; but he answers tions are continually roving from one her with indifference, and coldly object to another. But much more thanks her for the good advice” she contemptible is he, who aims at every has frequently given him. This is a susceptible heart, and by words which stroke she little expected. She says ingeniously admit of two interpreta- no more, but calls to mind the many tions, intentionally ruins the peace of kind offices she has done for hin; many an innocent and unsuspecting the many feeling expressions he has female.

used, the many words, the many aer But there are some who cannot be tions, from which she naturally

inferred termed fickle in so high a degree, or she was the next if not the only object be classed with those monsters whose of his affections. delight it is to barrow up, and trifle secretly upbraids him with ingratiwith, the tenderest fecling which God tude, and sometimes herself with folly bas implanted in the female bosom. and credulity.

Sometimes she

833 On the Impropriety of trifting with Females. 834

Though there may be some blame attracted him. He is delighted with attached to her, yet but little is her her, and leaves her with foelings of due; and for merely believing she the highest regard; then meets the recognized a lover under the title of second, and retires from her company friend, it would be the highest injus- with the same impressions. Thus his tice to treat her with contempt, or mind is alternately drawn from one brand her with ridicule. Females make, object to the other, till a third or a so slight a distinction between friend- fourth intrudes, and then the former ship and love, that they almost natu- are forgotten. rally incorporate them, and not without These remarks drawn from evidence, reason, for a man who makes a friend may be considered a proof of the instain the strictest sense of the word, can-bility of man; and it is to be lamented, not ask her advice, find pleasure in that even those who possess religious her company, and seek it every oppor- principles, are not exempt from this tunity, without feeling an esteem for propensity. This demonstrates the her; and none will disputo, that esteem revolution which the fall of Adam prois the foundation of pure and rational duced in human nature. But is there aflection. All are liable to err, but no remedy for this evil? There may some have a greater propensity to this, be ; and to attain the happy art, of failing than others. In this class may wbich a poet admirably speaks, and be placed the unwary unsuspecting has placed in the form of a maxim, female. She sometimes fixes a stan- In fixing, fix,” nothing is more effidard of preference in her affectionate cient than mature and deliberate rcheart, and wishes for, and therefore flection. For want of this, too many casily imagines she sees the object of men are dazzled by a beautiful form, her partiality advancing towards it. and a pleasing address. This is a weakness for which it is Religious characters, and sometimes feared there is no palliative. Yet it ministers of the gospel, (though it is cannot be supposed that she has no hoped this is notoften the case,) pass by foundation for her hope, real or ima- or discard pious females who do not ginary. If real, (of which she is not possess external accomplishments or a proper judge, unless something ex- fine persons, for such as are favoured plicitly has been said,) her conduct with these embellishments, yet are destowards him should be as spirited as titute of vital religion. It is sufficient her conscience would warrant. Or at for one of these, if she has evangelical least it should be opposed to any thing views, without a change of heart. And cringing or servile, which would only to render this preference agreeable to disgust him, and at the same time feed his conscience, he looks, through the hisvanity. If merely imaginary,(which tlattering and imposing medium, at may perhaps be equally difficult to her moral deportment. He converses prove,) she should be retired, and avoid with some who make a more flaming his company. Herown reflections upon profession, and persuades himself she her want of penctration, will aid her is quite as spiritually minded as they. in conquering her feelings, but in both When this is the case, religion, with these cases, happy is she if she pos- respect to himself, most certainly is at sésses real religion ; she will find it a very low ebb, or he would not for his both a consolation and a directory. own gratification permit beauty and

On the other side, the error and accomplishments to supersede the weakest propensity of a man is vola- glory of God. It is true she may be tility. Indecision too often marks his a pleasing companion, but not a helpcharacter; and he too frequently mate for a Zion traveller. Should it wavers in his choice. Sometimes his please the Giver of all good to bestow admiration is attracted, and he ima- upon this wayward Christian a double gines all other females are not to be portion of his grace, he would then placed in competition with the one find no satisfaction in the splendid enwhich engrosses his thoughts and at- dowments of this object of his regard. tentions. But a little while, and These accomplishments would be too " another face another flame imparts,” mean a substitute for genuine experiand when he enjoys her company, his mental religion, and he would conseattentions towards the former object quently feel his affections withdrawn. begin to abate. But again he sees Love to God would be the ruling and converses with the one who first principle; and he would feel as if

835
On some Extraordinary Dreams.

836 Noorses breathing in a foreign air, if she was it to be a dream, I then am easy, and not capable of joining in heartfelt ex- my curiosity engages me to see how pressions of gratitude to him, and in the fantastic scene will end, with the exertions to promote his glory. This same kind of indifference that the alienation would subject him to the spectator receives from a theatrical charge of inconstancy, or a breach of entertainment. But being all alone faith. Upon this consideration, unless an actor in this farce, the reality of the the separation was by mutual consent, representation is perpetually obtruding he would not be at liberty to form an- | itself upon me; so when the scene, as other attachment. He should suffer it often does, grows too troublesome for his indiscretion and precipitation, to be borne, I can any time, by making and remain in perpetual celibaoy, a certain effort, which I can no way rather than render his life unhappy (for describe to you, awake myself. This, he cannot expect happiness,) or dis- you will say, is extraordinary, but not obey one of the commands of God, more so than the next circumstance, “ Be not unequally yoked together.”

“ It has been said by an ingenious But it may be, he has deserted, writer, that, waking, we all live in against her will, the pious though una- one common world, but, on going to dorned female, for the moral and ac- rest, each retires into a world of his complished one. If this is the case, own. But I do not know whether this he most certainly ought to bear the or any other writer has observed any reproach from the side where he is thing like what happens to me; namebound to fulfil his engagements by the ly, that this world of our own is as laws of man and of justice only, and constant and regular, in many partireturn to fulfil them where the laws of culars, as the common waking one. God, justice, and his own happiness, To explain myself, I have rambled for are combined. From a view of the twenty years together in dreams, in perplexities which arise in conse- one certain country, through one cerquence of a want of deliberation, it tain road, and resided in one certain may be inferred, that a person cannot country house, quite different, as to place too strong a guard at the door the whole face of the country, and siof his affections, or be too cautious in tuation of the place, from any thing forming attachments either of mere I ever saw awake, having the scene friendship or of a more serious nature. quite unvaried. How often ought he to“ pause, pon

“ The third case will appear more der, sist,” and how frequently, and surprising, perhaps, than either of sincerely, should the Christian pray, the foregoing. You have taken notice “ Lead me not into temptation.” of that new and strange consciousness

we have in dreams; in which a ba

cbelor, for instance, shall be conscious Extract of an Original Letter, from an

he has been married ten or twenty eminent Divine to Mr. Baxter, on years, and shall recollect all the some extraordinary Dreams.

events of that period. A consciousness of this kind I have frequeptly

experienced. I suppose it to be very “ There is nothing I have been more common, yet you are the first I know attentive to, than my own sensations of who has publicly taken notice of in dreams, though I dream incessantly. | it. But what I am going to tell you is There are two or three odd phenomena infinitely more surprising. I have felt in my dreaming, which I shall beg as it were, in dreams, a double idenleave to mention to you, and leave you tity. As thus, I have dreamed I to conclude how much they make for was conversing with another, and af or against your hypothesis.

the same time was very inquisitive and “ I am frequently troubled with desirous to know the subject of the frightful dreams, more especially when conversation, which seemed to be I lie on my left side. When these be carefully kept from me. come very troublesome, I have in my “ Before I leave this, subject of sleep gained a kind of habit of re- dreams, I cannot forbear mentioning flecting how the case stands with me, a story told by Grotius. and whether I be awake or asleep.

“One quite ignorant of Greek, came This generally ends in a discovery of to Salmasius's father, and told him a the truth of the case; and when I'lind Greek sentence, the sound of which,

837

On Eternal Election.

838

on his awaking, he had written down | the Elect, before conversion as after in French characters, which under it. As their election does not prestanding nothing of, he brought to suppose faith and holiness, it may be Salmasius the father, one of the par- | manifested, but it cannot be characliament of Paris. Understanding from terized by any of the marks of the rehim, that it signified the destruction generate. Elect sinners is, therefore, of his house, the dreamer removed a phrase perfectly consistent with Calfrom it; and the next night it fell. vinism, but totally irreconcilable with This, as far as I can recollect, is the Scripture. simple story. It is well attested, and 1. The Elect are a praying people. stands quite free of a libertine objec

" And shall not God avenge bis own tion, that the vision was the effect of elect, which cry day and night unto him, imagination; for here the intelligence though he bear long with them,” Matt. was conveyed in a language not un- xviii. 7. But the unregenerate do not derstood by the dreamer.

pray day and night, therefore the un“ I will add another. When Newark regenerate are not The Elect. was besieged by the Scotish army, in 2. The Elect are believers. “Paul, a the grand rebellion, a silk-mercer, in servant of God, and an apostle of Jethat place, dreamed his house was sus Christ, according to the faith of knocked down by a bomb: he awaked, God's elect,” &c. Titas i. 1. “But the removed, and, in an hour after, a bomb unregenerate are not believers, theredid that execution. The wonder, you fore the unregenerate are not The Elect. see, is not that a rich tradesman, in 3. The Elect are a justified people. a town beseiged, should dream of “Who shall lay any thing to the bombs, but that he should dream so charge of God's elect? It is God that opportunely. However, the man thus justifieth,Rom. viii. 33. But the unpreserved, to commemorate this mer- regenerate are not justified, therefore cy, left an annual donation to the poor, the unregenerate are not The Elect. and a sermon to be preached on that 4. The Elect are holy and beloved. day of the month for ever.

This ser- “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, mon I myself have preached occa- holy and beloved,' &c. Col. iii. 12. But sionally."

the unregenerate are not holy and beloved, therefore the unregenerate are

not The Elect. ON ETERNAL ELECTION.

5. The Elect are exhorted to establish or make firm their election.

"WhereETERNAL election is held by Calvinists, fore the rather, brethren, give diligence and some Anti-Calvinists. The latter to make your calling and election sure,' consider it as the effect of foreseen faith (firm or certain,) for if ye do these and holiness. The former consider it things, ye shall never full," 2 Pet. i. 10. as the effect of sovereign grace, and as But eternal election cannot fail, therethe cause of Christ's death, and con- fore the election which needs to be sequently the cause of the faith and confirmed, is not eternal. eternal salvation of the elect. Neither 6. The election spoken of in Scripture of these views is scriptural. Eternal is represented as taking place in time. election, is not only unscriptural but “ Because God hath, from the beginalso absurd. There can be no election ning, chosen you to salvation, through until the objects of election exist. sanctification of the Spirit, and belief There may be an election according to of the truth,” 2 Thess. ii. 13. The an eternal purpose; but this supposes means which God made use of in the election not to take place until the choosing them to salvation, were,

the existence of its objects. The election sanctifying influence of the Spirit, and mentioned in scripture is of this kind. belief of the truth. But these things Again, election or choice necessarily happened in time; therefore their implies two things, viz. qualification election was not eternal. and limitationi

Qualification does It may be objected, that they were not arise from limitation, but vice versa. chosen from the beginning, that is, from Calvinistic election supposes the limi- all eternity. The meaning agreeably tation to precede the qualification; to the context, is, from the beginning of but scriptoral election vice versa. the gospel preached to them. See PhiAccording to Calvinism, theredeemed lip. iv. 15. also Luke i. 2. John viii. are as much entitled to the appellation | 25. Acts xi, 15, 1 John ii. 7.sınd iii. 11.

839

On Eternal Electiont.

840

Again, “To the strangers, elect ac- doctrinal part of the epistle, the concording to the foreknowledge (or text, and other parts of Seripture. pre-determination) of God the Fa- The scope is, to shew that God has ther, through sanctification of the Spi- chosen a people to be holy to himself, rit unto obedience, and sprinkling instead of his ancient people, ineluof the blood of Jesus Christ,” i Pet. ding both believing Jews and Gentiles; i. 1, 2. The same reasoning is applica- (chap. i. 10. and ii. 11, 22.) that they ble here, as on the preceding passage. should be united into one by Jesus

But one may say, a passage in the Christ; (ch. i. 5. and ii. 4, 7, 13, 18.) Epistle to the Ephesians flatly contra- and that this new dispensation was the dicts all your reasonings. Is it pos- effect of an eternal purpose. (ch. i. 5, sible that any but an infidel would say 9—12. and ii. 9–11. The view given so ? The Scriptures of truth cannot of the fourth verse agrees entirely with contradict themselves. Imperfect views the scope. of Scripture may be contradictory. The context also confirms the same Paul and James seem, at first sight, view. Paul, in the third verse, praises to contradict each other on the point God for the blessings obtained by Jeof Justification ; but every knowing sus Christ. If the first of these blessChristian can reconcile them with ease. ings, which is mentioned in the fourth Let us, in this instance, endeavour to verse, be election to eternal life, then reconcile Paul with his Master, himself, it could not be by Christ, because, acand his fellow apostle, Peter.

cording to the Calvinistic view, elecThe passage alluded to is in Eph. i. 4. tion in the order of things preceded the “ According as he hath chosen us in appointment of Christ as the Redeemhim before the foundation of the world, er of God's elect. Again: If election that we should be holy and without to eternal life be the blessing intended, blame before him in love." In him, then holiness would be the end of elecit may be said, means, in Christ, as tion, which is absurd. our covenanted Head; consequently, But the blessing of a separation from the elect are chosen from all eternity. the world, into one body, and into a The phrase in Christ, does not always state of holiness, is a blessing flowing mean in him from all eternity, and there from the mediatorial work of Christ. fore'may not in this place. “Salute An- The second blessing (ver. 5 and 6) dronicus and Junius, my kinsmen and is adoption into God's family. Seech.ii. fellow prisoners, who are of note 11-13. The third blessing (ver. 7.) is among the apostles, who also were in the forgiveness of sins. The fourth blessChrist before me.” It is needless to ing (ver. 11.) is a heavenly inheritance. remark, that if Paul was in Christ The fourth blessing is what the Calvinfrom all eternity, Andronicus and Ju- ists think they find in the fourth verse. nius could not be in before him. But The import of the fourth verse seems the phrase, in the passage under con- to be thus; “ According as he hath sideration, has neither the one mean- separated us believers to be a holy ing nor the other. It means simply people, by virtue of Christ's mediathrough or by Christ: see verses 6,7. torial work, agreeably to the purpose also 2 Corin. v. 19, 21.

which he purposed in himself from It may still be objected, that, being all eternity.” See 2 Tim. 1. 9. Tit. i. 2,3. chosen through or by Christ, before If we suppose the Calvinistic view the foundation of the world, is syno- of the passage to be the true one, viz. nymous with being chosen' from all that certain individuals were pitched eternity. If the phrase from or before upon from all eternity to be redeemed the foundation of the world, always and finally saved by Jesus Christ, while means eternity, then Christ died before others around then were left to eternal he was born. 6. The Lamb slain from destruction ; then the passage is'at vathe foundation of the world," Rev. riance with the scope and the context, xiii. 8. The phrase may mean, in the with all the other passages in which former, as in the latter passage, ac- the subject of election is introduced, cording to an eternal purpose. The li- and with the numerous passages which teral import of the passage seems to represent all men as interested in the be, - According as he hath chosen us love of God, in the death of Christ

, by him, agreeably to his own eternal in the commands to repent and bepurpose. That this is tlte literal mean- lieve, promises and threatenings

, inis evident from the scope of the vitations and dehortations, &c.

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