Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

thing, to merit eternal life. I must do I ever honour the truly honourable, and penance, says the superstitious man; I render to civil and to Christian offiee must do my duty, says the moral man; the homage that is due. I must do nothing but wait for convert But our Lord correctš another mising grace, is the language of the pre. take. The young ruler did not believe sumptuous män. Vain wisdom all! that Jesus was the Son of God, a DiListen to the teachings of Christ, seek vine person. He looked upon him as a his Spirit, and you will be able to an- great prophet, and no more. And will swer rightly this most momentous and you, says Christ, call å mere man good! deeply-interesting question-What must will you ascribe to me Divine attriI do to be saved ?

butes? Consider, that there is none The inquiry is intensely personal. good, perfectly good, supremely good,

What must I do? " What shall it but the holy God. How easy it rould profit a man, to gain the whole world, be to show, from the words of Christ, and lose his own soul?" If all were that if he is not God, he renounces with saved, without exception, but one, and abhorience those flattering titles which I should prove that one, what could the disciple of his mere humanity compensate such an infinite and endless would bestow upon him. loss ? If," said the great Jonathan Secondly, the Saviour reminds him Edwards, of America, “there is but one of his obligations to keep the moral to be saved, I will strive to be that law. one."

Thou knowest the commandments, With such an inquiry upon his lips, What shall I do? Do this, says Christ. and with patience to wait for an answer, Keep the commandments perfectly— may we not hope to rejoice in the con- keep the law as Adam would have version of this amiable young man? I kept it in a state of innocency — lire see him coming to Christ, not walking, and die without sin, and then you may but running; I see him reverently ad- be saved by the law. dressing the Redeemer; not haughtily The commandments selected by Christ questioning, but meekly kneeling; and are drawn from the second table, and we all rejoice when we hear, with pas- they are such as teach us our duties sionate emphasis, the grand inquiry towards our neighbours. These are bursting from his lips-What must I chosen for the purpose of proring te do to inherit eternal life? Is not this bim that if he has failed in his obedia brand plucked out of the fire? ence to that part of the law which he

We proceed to notice, in the second has most assiduously cultivated, much place, the instructions and directions more is he condemned by that bigher addressed to this interesting young law of love to God which he has altoruler by the blessed Redeemer.

gether neglected. It is the evident deFirst of all, he administers a gentle sign of the Divine Teacher to awaken rebuke. Why callest thou me good ? | his conscience; to convince him of sin; The Jewish teachers loved flattering and to lead him, by the discovery of his titles : to be called of men Rabbi, Great guilt and condemnation, to desire a Teacher, Good Teacher, Wonderful better righteousness than that which he Teacher. This proud spirit fostered two bad sought after hitherto. What legal great evils, a presumptuous self-conceit preaching ! some will say. What! Diin the teachers, a servile spirit of adu- rect an inquirer after salvation to the lation in the taught.

Away with un law! Nay, tell bim rather that Christ meaning compliment--away with un- has died. But this is the teaching of christian and unmanly servility of spirit; Christ; these are the directions which but remember that true humility will | Christ gave to a very hopeful inquirer

after truth. It is the gospel inethod. I witti a bold effronterý, as if Infinite Christ comes to convince of sin; the Wisdom and Infinite Purity could not Spirit comes to convince of sin; the mark one deficiency, What lack 1 yet? preacher is sent to convince of sin ; Are there not many young persous like wound the conscience, then apply the this young ruler, amiable, intelligent, balm of Gilead for its citie. To those accomplished, and Firtuous; at once the who do not understand the law, Christ ornament and the joy of the parental is as a foot out of a dry ground; a home; or the attraction and the charm Physician undesired and unwelcome. of their owh domestic circle; who,

Consider, thirdly, the boastful pre with like ignorance, dream of their tensions which the young ruler made own goodness, ánd with like tänity to the possession of great moral excel ask, what lack we yot? Know thyself, lence.

is an ancient, an uninspired as well as The young ruler proves an apt an inspired sentiment. But to attain scholar. Admonished by the Saviour, he a right acquaintance with our own addresses him the second time most re- hearts, is as arduous a task as to acquire spectfully, but without using any doubt just and comprehensive rietvs of the ful compliment. Master, 0 Teacher! character of God. The same difficulty all these have I observed from my in both cases prevents us from coming youth. We admire his candour, but to the kuowledge of the truth, viz., that must investigate his assumptions. He we are unwilling to learn the truth. said what he thought; but his thought | But let it be considered, that the sum was a gross error. It is probable, in- of our moral excellence (alas! in every deed, that in his outward conduct he case how small!) is to be determined was its free from blame as the great not by the opinion of our friends and apostle who boldly asserts, and that, admirers, but by the judgment of God; too, under the teachings of inspiration, that our deficiencies are to be revealed, that before his conversion he was, not by the light of human law; but of

touching the righteousness which is the Divine law, and that it is the proin the law, blameless,” Philip. iii. 6. It vince of Infinite Wisdom to answer the is true that it had been his constant question, What lack we yet? aim to keep the moral law. It is true, Fourthly. The lamentable close of the that no man could charge him with any history of this hopeful inquirer. visible breach of its précepts. He felt The young ruler asks, with evident secure in his own righteousness; but self-satisfaction, What lack I yet? The neither his candour, nor his conscious- Redeemer replies, “One thing thou lackness of possessing a singular measure est." The answer is adapted to the of moral excellence, can save him from question, but it implies more than it the charge of gross ignorance, and pre-expresses. It is as if the Lord had said, sumptuous self-righteousness. The ig- I might point out many deficiencies, norance of the young ruler is proved but let this suffice :-One thing I mark by the blindness of his understanding, as a distinguishing fault; judge by this which could not discern a single flaw in whether thou art perfect. It is written his own moral conduct, nor detecto a in the law, Thou shalt not covet; then secret sin in his own heart. llis self-go and sell all that thou hast, and come righteousness is proved by the spirit of | take up the cross. presumption which could induce a fallen Observé, a very simple text is applied creature to stand erect in the presence to reveal to him his own heart. It is of such a Teacher as Christ, and which usual, not only for the chemist and the impelled him to lay claim to the inno- philosopher, but for the merchant and cency of a sinless virtue, and to ask the mechanie, to apply a test to discoter

the nature, or to determine the excel It was natural to do so. Such iptellency of the bodies subjected to their ligence, amiableness, earnestness, cominspection. The farmer weighs his bined, as they probably were, with an wheat; if it is light weight, it is of little engaging appearance and courteous worth. The merchant examines his manners, could not but affect such a sample; if the goods do not correspond, heart. The Son of man possessed huhe sends them away. The chemist, man nature in its most perfect form; with his crucible, experiments by fire. bis sympathies were with men. He The gold is tried in the fire, to discover wept over sin, he loved goodness. Even its genuineness; and the self-righteous, natural and moral excellence (although the hypocrite, and the sinner, are tried imperfect) engaged the benevolent affecby a higher and purer law than their. tions of his kindly heart; but they could own vain imagination, to expose the not command his entire approbation, emptiness of their pretensions, and the or cordial complacency. And where is deficiencies of their seeming virtue! the generous or Christian mind that

The love of money is the root of all does not experience the attractiveness evil; but how few suspect the existence of such a character? Honour to the of the sin in their own hearts! How brave! the world cries; honour, we say, little have reason and religion combined be to the amiable, intelligent, moral, done hitherto to cure this "vile fever and religiously-disposed young man, of the mind,” and to eradicate it from who is the stay of a parent's age, the the human heart! Who will believe ornament of social life, and a glory in that the love of money is covetousness, any land. But such virtues may beand that covetousness is idolatry? The come temptations. If there should be possession of great wealth was the ruin young persons of such a character of this young man ; and how many, in amongst our readers, we intreat them like manner, are ruined, by their deter- to ponder the history of this young mination to be rich, or their blind at man. See him going away from Christ, tachment to their great possessions! sorrowful. Slowly, thoughtfully, he reLord, open our eyes, to see the evil of tires. A sacrifice is required; he canthis state of mind!

not make it. For perishing riches, he “ From vanity turn off my eyes;

may receive in exchange a heart to love Let no corrupt design

God with a more enlightened judgNor covetous desires arise

ment; but he rejects the durable riches Within this soul of mine."

of righteousness, and perishes in his We hasten to the conclusion of the sin. Oh, shun the fatal rock! Build story; and oh! what a lamentable con your virtues upon Christ, and you will clusion ! Then Jesus, beholding him, be right and righteous for ever. loved him."

Creaton.

J. F. M.

ON LONG SERMONS.

The remarks of Gaius, in your Sep- offend by late entrance into the assemtember number, “ On early attendance bly of the saints, ministers are not to at the house of God,” are weighty and be commended for so lengthening the well made; and those who desire all service as to render their departure things to be done decently and in order equally late. will pray for their success.

Where health and the power of conhowever, cases in which, if hearers tinuous attention are possessed, the

There are,

duration of public worship may, if con- | they lessen in quantity; and they may ducted as it ought to be, be protracted be certain brevity will be forgiven without inconvenience; but where them. If the sermon were within some youth and non-studious habits—where forty-five minutes, there would be as exhaustion and debility are found, a much time or more for reading, prayer, lengthened service is a great evil. The and praise. This, if the fire burns, will writer of this sentence expresses his be long enough, under God's blessing, own painful experience. He has often, to warm the heart; and if the heat does much against his wishes, delayed to go not radiate, it is more than enough for to the house of God, that the service persons to inhale the smoke in a chillmight not be more than he could bear; ing atmosphere. and often refrained from hearing the From observation also the writer has preacher he preferred, because he is concluded, that most preachers who tnx habitually too long. Mothers and ser- their strength by the hour, are more vants too are often compelled to shorten | injured by the last fifteen or twenty their absence from home as they can. minutes of continuous, loud speaking,

There was a time when the writer than by all the rest of their exertions. considered two hours, or two hours and This is a serious fact to the delicate, a quarter, a reasonable time for one and to those who have three times to service: he now sees and deplores his appear in the pulpit on the Lord's-day. error, and believes that ordinary wor These remarks are not intended to ship ought rarely to exceed an hour weaken those of Gaius, or to apply to and half, or an hour and three quarters. extraordinary occasions: but whether He believes there are few ministers services be short or long, may they be who have a right to claim attention for full of Christ-full of the Holy Ghost a longer time; and that the few whose and of fire; and emulate in real success, speaking rarely tires, ought to remem either the condensed sermons of Whiteber the circumstances of the people as field, or the ramified, but rich and well as the talent of the pastor. All powerful discourses of the Erskines. . must try to increase in quality what

J. K. F.

Poetry.
PARTING WITH THE YEAR 1852.

Have visited some to mem'ry dear,
FAREWELL! Farewell! thou closing year!

Whose love was strong and true ! Thy knell will quickly sound !

Farewell ! Farewell ! thou closing year! Thy final peal, when millions hear,

We dare not let thee go,
Will send its lessons round!

Till, breathing in our Saviour's ear,
Farewell! Farewell! thou closing year! A blessing to bestow!
We meet thee at thy end,

Farewell! Farewell! thou closing year! With feelings none of gloom or fear,

And when thy race is run, But leave thee as a friend!

May we, with love and holy fear, Farewell! Farewell! thou closing year!

Enter on one begun! Thy passage has been quick,

Farewell ! Farewell ! thou closing year! Progressing like the wind we hear,

And, as the years are past,
Or the swift-sailing ship!

May we, with every friend most dear,
Farewell! Farewell! thou closing year! Anticipate the last !
Thy blessings have been great!

Farewell! Farewell! thou closing year! Enriching all, both far and near,

We'll finish all with prayer,Descending soon and late !

That each may now his altar rear, Farewell! Farewell! thou closing year!

For Heaven's paternal care ! Thy changes, not a few,

T. W.

[ocr errors]

Review of Religious Publications.
THE PENTATEUCH AND ITS ASSAILANTS : a of the German school, and those who sym-

Refutation of the Objections of Modern Scep-pathize with them, in their modes of dealing
ticism to the Pentateuch. By William T. with the Pentateuch, and other parts of Di.
HAMILTON, D.D., Pastor of the Government vine truth. He shows himself well acquainted
Street Church, Mobile. 8vo., pp. 416. with the modern methods of assailing Chris.
T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh; and Ward and Co., tianity, which, if less gross, are more insidious
London.

and dangerous than those resorted to in the We cordially welcome another champion last century. We now begin to understand of Revealed Religion into the field of honour the tactics of the enemy, and this is more able conflict with the foes of Biblical truth. than half the battle ; and such works as Di. The revival of infidel and semi-infidel opin- llamilton's will do much to place the weaions, during the last twenty years, has, as pons of defence within the reach of the reli. in former periods of our history, called forth gious masses. After an Introduction « prea numerous host of well-disciplined troops, senting a view of the German Neologieal fully prepared to do battle with the Philis- Method of Interpretation," we have Trelas tines of the day. There is a conservative Lectures, on the following interesting topics: element springing up in our religious litera- - I. The Character of Moses as a Scholar ture, which yields us great hope for the fu- and a Statesman. II. Necessity of Revelature. And although a sitting time is at hand, tion. III. The Bible is a Revelation from and many are being turned aside from the God. IV, The Pentateuch the Work of good old paths, by German myths and specu- Dioses, Genuine and Authentic. V. Genesis lations, we have no settled apprehensions for the Work of Moses, and Inspired. VI. Creathe interests of revealed religion in Great tion in Six Days. VII. Populousness of the Britain or in America. Only let our theo- Earth in the Days of Cain, and the Lopgevity logical seminaries be watched over with a of the Ancient Patriarchs, VIII, Autediludleepless fidelity, and we have nothing to fear. vian Giants. IX. The Deluge Universal. Let tutors of colleges and pastors of churches X. Same Subject continued. XI. Death stand out with a bold and determined front among the works of God.--Its Origin and against all efforts, from whatever quarter they Extent. XII, Man One Family. may come, to diminish reverence for the In From this outline of subjeet it will be seen spired Records,--to explain away their mys- that the author's plan is very comprehensire, terious facts,—to supersede their Divine au- and that he has so arranged it as to compel thority,—to confound the express revelations him to grapple with nearly all the infidelity of the eternal God with the ordinary laws and of Germany, (for what better name can be operations of the human mind,-and to viti- give it?) in reference to the five books of ate and impair the doctrines of grace, upon Moses. Aud very ably does he grapple with which the entire efficacy of the remedial them ; in most cases triumphantly showing scheme depends. With men who deny the how futile and ill-sustained are the objections inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, and talk raised by them. The Lectures of Dr. Hamilof man's intuitions as the only revelation God ton well fulfil his own acknowledged purpose has given to him, we must have no fellow- in giving them to the public. The work be. ship. To symbolize with such, were to be fore us, he says, "is designed as a vindication come recreant to the authority of Christ, and of that part of the records of our faith, known to contribute our influence to hasten onward as the books of Moses, from the objections that latitudinarian crisis which would create and misrepresentations that have been ada dire collapse of the spiritual life.

vaneed and diligently propagated within the Dr. Hamilton's work is a valuable contri- last half-century. These objections are drawn buition in the right direction. With immense from various sources; from science from stores of information and sound learning, he critical research--and from oriental archives. combines a large share of theological power, That every objection here noticed is answered and acute discrimination. We are not aware satisfactorily, the author dares not flatter of any objections which have been raised himself : but that each objection has been against the Pentateuch as a whole, or any carefully weighed and impartially examined, part of it, which are not here very satisfac- with the best nieans of judgment accessible torily met and refuted. He even demurs, and to him, he does afirm." we think with good reason, to the injudicious Dr. Hamilton well understands the form concessions which have been made to sceptics which scepticism has assumed in the present by many orthodox divines.

age. “The grounds of assault," he observes, His Introduction will be a very powerful “are now changed, and critical ingenuity and telling exposure of the folly and temerity questions the genuineness of the sacred books,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »