Sidor som bilder

hundred Sabbath-school children and interpret the doctrine of Jesus Christ twenty-six teachers, and by his mourn and his apostles through the dim and ing congregation. His death was im- obscuring medium of German metaproved on the following Sabbath, in the physics, nor to resolve the plain facts morning by the Rev. Charles Howell, and verities of the gospel into myths, of Sidbury, from Heb. xiii. 7, and Rev. symbols, allegories, and figures. He xiv. 13; and in the evening, by the Rev. believed the Bible to be what it purJohn Horsey, of Launceston, from Job ports, a divinely authoritative rule of xix. 25—27. It will, perhaps, tend faith and practice everywhere, and for further to elucidate his character as a all times, based on an inspiration pecupreacher, if we conclude with a brief liar to itself, and from whose decisions extract from one of those sermons there is no appeal. Neither, on the preached on that occasion to his people: other hand, had the system of semi-"Your late minister was a scribe popish ritualism and sacramental effiwell instructed unto the kingdom of cacy any charms for him. He had heaven. He had clear views of the other views of the ethereal spirit and Christian system, and delighted to point sublime bearings of Christianity than others, where he himself found peace to reduce it to an affair of forms and and rest, to the Lamb of God, who alone ceremonies. He was eminently a scriptaketh away sin. He firmly held and tural preacher, and in his mode of inenunciated the great doctrine of jus-struction was simple, perspicuous, and tification by faith, but as earnestly calmly earnest. He sought by a mani.. insisted on personal holiness to be festation of the truth to commend himdeveloped in every social and relative self to the understanding, consciences, duty, and in the general conduct of and hearts of the hearers. His testilife. He was never beguiled by a false mony is now sealed up until the great philosophy from the simplicity of the day of the Lord's appearing." gospel. He could never be induced to

J. H.




“ Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness.”—LUKE xvi. 9. These words form part of our Lord's | cially to be guarded against. It cannot application of the parable of the Unjust be supposed either that Jesus meant to Steward. Their meaning to many cur

extol the dishonest course adopted by sory readers is not apparent. It comes the unjust steward, or to teach that we within the scope and design of these can purchase, by any conduct of ours, Scripture Studies to mingle the exege- the everlasting habitations of felicity. tical with the practical, that the practi. The lesson of the language is, that we cal may be the more weighty and ought so to act in our position in this impressive. Truths are brought for world, and in reference to its perishable ward which the church ought often possessions, as to be prepared, - and to hear-which it needs now to hear. even make our use of them a means of In explaining the language of Christ preparing us, - for the kingdom of upon this occasion, two errors are espe- heaven. In truth, the words of our

Lord lay dowų the principle on which Our Lord's exhortation implies this. every Christian, so far as worldly The difficulty arises from our depravity, property is concerned, is bound to act; --from man's native preference for and, by acting on which, he will give things "seen and temporal.” Prayer, the fairest exhibition to the world of as well as prudence, is necessary to use the beauty and power of his religion. this world without abusing it. Instead The “mammon of unrighteousness” of making friends, many make unto them. does ņot refer to ill-gotten wealth, but selves enemies of the deceitful mammon, to the character of riches as deceitful-1-enemies which disturb them here, not to be trusted, in opposition to the and which will torment them for erer.

true riches” which they possess who Hence, there is great difficulty in the have the kingdom of God within them. case ; dangers and temptations are on The Christian, by the right use of every side. There is, on the one hand, earthly possessions, is to make for bim- the danger of avarice, of loving this self friends, who, when he dies, will earthly mammon too much; while, on receive him to the mansions of glory, the other, there may be the danger of Riches are to be used for the further prodigality, which will manifest itself ance of spiritual ends, so as to secure in useless expenditure or sinful paste. the advancement of the spiritual life. There is the danger of selfishness, into The spirit of our Lord's exhortation which all are prone to fall, using that points to the conduct of a self-denying which we have exclusively for ourselves; and generous Christian.

wbile blind generosity, on the other I. THE POSSESSION OF ANY PORTION hand, is an evil into which some men OF THIS WORLD'S GOODS IS A TRUST, fall, bestowing their property with a

Tbiş is a truth, reader, which we are benevolent design, yet so as to enprone to forget. Amount of property courage folly, foster error, or support has nothing to do with the principle. vice. These are but a few çf the danWhether we are rich or poor in this gers with which our stewardship here is world, of that which we possess we are

surrounded. Probably some reader may but the stewards. It is not our own. be inclined to say, “ All that I have is The reckoning-day with the Master so little-enough only for securing my will come, when we shall have to give daily bread—that I can be neither in an account of our stewardship. Yet, difficulty nor danger about it.” But although this is uniformly insisted on by every Christian man is a steward, and God in his word, how rarely it is acted the less that there is of a worldly por. on by men in the world. By multitudes, tion, the greater may be the difficulty indeed, it is practically denied. They of managing it well. There may be first adopt the idea that what they have prodigality, or selfishness, or avarice, in of worldly property is their own, and the cottage of the poor, as well as in then act upon the assumed principle the mansion of the rich, Neverthethat they have a right to do what they less,-will with their own. But in reference III. THIS TRUST MAY BE MANAGED to all earthly possessions, the first prin. SO AS TO MAKE FRIENDS OF IT. ciple to be admitted by the Christian man It is not to be understood that the is, that whatever he has, be it much or mammon itself can be made a friend, little, is a trust from the Great Master but that by means of it, by the proper to him. Wbat an influence would the use of it, we may make friends who, habitual recognition of this truth have “when we fail may receive us into everupon the right disposal of wealth! lasting habitations.” The question then

II. Tuis TRUST INVOLVES MUCH DIF- arises, Who or what are these friends ? FICULTY IN ITS MANAGEJENT.

Some understand by the term, such


poor saints as may have been the ob- 1 money had nothing whatsoever of a jects of our compasssion and benefi- moral character in it—as if they were cence here; while others say, they are amenable neither to conscience nor to angels who are sent to convey to the God. But he that looks upon himself mansions of glory the heirs of salvation as a steward, will strive to aot in all his wheu they pass from time into eternity. worldly affairs under the sense of moral But it is very difficult to see the fitness obligation. And, moreover, if we would of either of these explanations. It ap- make friends of the deceitful mammon, pears to me much simpler, and there we must lend it to the Lord. In this fore better, not to refer the term way, more than any other, may we “ friends,” to persons at all, but to feel most certainly secure the friendship ings, principles, habits of thought and which property can seoure. This is the action, which are formed and cultivated highest and best use of worldly subby the proper use of this present world. stance. It is a celestial investment, These become, so to speak, a part of which will yield an eternal return. How the soul's life, dwelling in it, abiding much have very many Christians yet with it, forming congenial elements of to learn in this matter? Giving to the its present enjoyment, and preparing it cause of Christ is not looked upon by for future felicity. To cherish and them as lending to the Lord. Many foster such feelings is, in the best and professors of religion spend as much highest sense, to make friends of mam. on their own pleasure and amusement

For instance, there will be gra- in a single day, as they give to the suptitude to God for that which is pos- port or spread of religion in a year. sessed, how much or little soover it Appeals are made to them in vain, or may be. There will be conscious de

are met with a stinginess and illibependence on him for every needful rality which too plainly declare that blessing, and for guidance in the proper they do not believe that giving is lenduse of all that is possessed. There willing to the Lord. They forget that the be a desire to honour bim with our Lord loveth a cheerful giver;" and substance, from the conviction that any that, “ it is more blessed to give than portion of this world's goods is a talent to receive." They forget that they may to be used for him. Such feelings and make everlasting friendship by the principles cherished will be our true right use of money. This can never friends, and will go before us to receive be done, without lending it to God. If us to the mansions of our Father's Christ did not condemn the widow for house above.

casting her last mite into the treasury, But how are those friends to be

-an act which many of our modern made,--how are we to reach the pos- professors would denounce as highly session and exhibition of such princi- | imprudent,—no one, certainly, needs be ples? We can never make friends of afraid of giving to the cause of godlimammon without regarding all property ness or humanity. Besides, in this as given or lent of God. Industry, per- matter the future reckoning is to be reseverance, and skill may be expended membered. If we forget this, it is not in vain, unless God crown them with likely that we shall use present possessuccess; and if his blessing is neces sions either wisely or well. We are acsary, is not wealth his gist? Further, countable to God for what we spend, in order to make friends of it, we must as well as for what we gain,- for what make the use of it a matter of con wo keep, as well as for what we give ; science. Yet, how seldom is this done? and if we would make such friends as Men buy and sell and get gain; they the right use of property can make, we give or thuy withhold, as if the use of | must ever have before us the future

[ocr errors]


reckoning day. Thus shall we be pre- | foes of the property which they possess. pared to give in our account with joy, How awful will it be for a man's riches and not with sorrow; and thus shall to torment him for ever! How terrible we be forming principles to be elements will be the thought of having been deaf in our everlasting happiness.

to the cry of wretchedness, or the apIV. IF THE TRUST BE RIGHTLY USED peal for charity; of having refused aid

to the progress of knowledge or religion, If we thus make friends of deceitful when it was in the power to comfort, mammon, they will receive us into ever- to relieve, to give! The memories of lasting habitations. If we properly use the past, in such a case, will be the the world, the feelings thereby che basis of torment. And how much will rished and the principles received go to the future enjoyment even of the Chrisform our character, and to be elements tian be diminished, if, instead of makin our destiny for ever. Dependence, ing friends by his worldly possessions, gratitude, mercy, benevolence, genero- he has cherished feelings of parsimony, sity--are principles for man's nature illiberality, or avarice? A character which cannot die. All the actions of a formed on such principles has less of man go to the formation of his charac- true enjoyment in this life, than the ter; and every man's character goes to generous and liberal-minded giver to form his everlasting home, so that, in the cause of truth and mercy; and truth, it may be said, that a man's con- assuredly such a character will remain duct here advances to prepare his abode, with a lower capacity for the enjoy. and to receive him hereafter. In this ments of eternity. This is the negative way we may make friends of the mam punishment,--if we may use the terms, mon of unrighteousness—friends that which the worldly-minded believer is will receive us into eternal habitations. bringing on himself. It is true, that The Saviour most simply and beauti- he will be as happy in heaven as he tifully taught this sentiment in his can be, but if he refuse to expand his sublime representation of the last judg. mind and enlarge his heart by exerment. The cup of cold water given to cising self-denial, devising liberal things, a disciple in the Master's name, was and practising generous deeds, he renot forgotten, but formed a friendship fuses to make himself capable of a which was never to perish. Every be higher enjoyment hereafter, to which nevolent effort-every act of self-denial he might attain. The righteous will Levery labour of love-every cordial “shine as the stars for ever and ever;" and generous contribution to the cause but one star differeth from another of truth or mercy, helps to form a man's star in glory." By indulging selfishcharacter in this world, and will meet ness or covetousness, we may be sub him in the next. Jesus says to every tracting from that measure of holy one of his people, “ Do that with your felicity to which we might rise. How property here which will meet you and important is it, then, to remember our welcome you hereafter, and help to fill stewardship, that we may use the world you with joy for ever.” All the good without abusing it, and, in our use of that a man does remains, and, when it, cultivate those feelings and prindone from proper motives, will be a ciples which shall minister to our hapcongenial element in his endless life, piness for ever. amidst the glorious circles and happy Reader, perhaps you are a professor mansions of heaven. What an induce- of religion, and God may have sent you ment is there in this for the Christian worldly prosperity. What of your stew. to devise liberal things !

ardship? What use do you make of that But, alas ! many make to themselves which you possess? Appeals are made



to you of the most imperative nature in countability. Remember the claims of behalf of the ignorant, the godless, and God upon you, and your obligations to the wretched around you. Are you | him. Make friends of the deceitful reluctant, or ready to give? Do you mammon, for this is the only true and cheerfully lend to the Lord, or do you profitable use of it. Increase your enfoster a selfish and illiberal spirit? You joyment and ennoble your character by may give, but do you give according to the outgoing of compassion, benevoyour ability, -as God hath prospered lence, and generosity. Thus will you you? Must there not be a change in gather around you elements of enduring this matter of giving on the part of the blessedness, and prepare to render in church, before the world can be con your account with joy. “Now abideth verted to God? You are in connection faith, hope, charity, these three : BUT avowedly with that church. The pro THE GREATEST OF THESE IS CHARITY." gress of Christ's cause is, in a sense, Let your deeds, for your Master's sake, intrusted to you.

Remember, I be- go before you to glory! seech you, your stewardship and ac

J. S.



WE turn now to the author's views | sponsive in all its strings to the breath of Inspiration, embodied in the sixth of heaven,—that truth leaves an imchapter. These will be gathered from press upon it which answers perfectly the following extracts :

to its objective reality.” — (Pp. 148, Inspiration does not imply any- | 149.) thing generically new in the actual pro According to this view of the case, cesses of the human mind. It does not inspiration, as an internal phenomenon, involve any form of intelligence essen is perfectly consistent with the natural tially different from what we already laws of the human mind,-it is the possess; it indicates rather the eleva- bigher potency of a certain form of contion of the religious consciousness, and sciousness, which every man to some with it, of course, the power of spiritual degree possesses. The supernatural vision, to a degree of intensity peculiar element consists in the extraordinary to the individuals thus highly favoured influences employed to create these lofty of God. We must regard the whole intuitions, to briug the mind of the process of inspiration, accordingly, as subject into perfect harmony with truth, being in no sense mechanical, but purely and that, too, at a time when, under dynamical, involving, not a novel and ordinary circumstances, such a state supernatural faculty, but a faculty al- could not possibly have been enjoyed." ready enjoyed, elevated supernaturally -(P. 159.) to an extraordinary power and suscepti | We cannot infer that any one of bility : indicating, in fact, an inward these books was written by an express nature so perfectly harmonized to the commission from God. We cannot inDivine ; so freed from the distorting for that they are verbally inspired, any influences of prejudice, passion, and more than were the oral teachings of sin; so simply recipient of the Divine the apostles. We cannot infer that they ideas circumambient around it; so re had any greater authority attached to

« FöregåendeFortsätt »