Sidor som bilder
PDF

such efforts will only be to impart a sort of post- appropriate to such things. I could not find a day humous or galvanic strength to the system, the efforts in the year that was desirous of such company; the

rising from which will be but as the mortal spasms | bright and pleasant ones did not want their sweet 1 of approaching disolution. The doom of Babylon is

| music disturbed by such sad sounds, and the gloomy sealed. The hour is fixed, and at no great distance, when the seven-hiiled city shall be tossed from its

and dark ones had enough of discomfort without such proud pre-eminence--when the triple crown of blas- | an addition. phemy shall be prostrated in the dust-when, like a Then it occurred, that if every season, and every millstone cast with an angel's might into the sea, the day in the year, shuts the door in the face of such ingreat city shall be thrown down to rise no more at

truders, then there must be something essentially all for ever. Do you demand security that it shall

repugnant in sour words. And by a little searching he so, before you comply with the command to rejoice in the prospect? What better can you have

I saw, chian this?_"strong is the Lord God who judgeth Ist. That sour words give a vinegar-like temper ier." The might of Jehovah, the strength of the to those who use them. Cheerful and pleasant words, omnipotent, is pledged for the destruction of Popery. I have noticed, seem by their handy reaction There is no room for despondency. He, whose voice

make the face of the speaker brighter. And some is obeyed by the wind and the waves-He, to whom he planets in their courses, and the angels in their

words react in like manner, to make both the face holy ministry, do homage-He, who can rend the

and the mind more sharp, sour, and repulsive. He leocks with his word and shake the earth with his who vents spleen and bitterness as often as he gets ! resence-He, who has the roar of the thunder and I a fair occasion, is doing the work of making himself he impetuosity of the whirlwind, not less than the

more and more morose, sour, and ill-natured. vhispering breeze of love, at his command-even He It is that hath said, “ Rejoice over her, thou heaven,

2nd. Sour words make hearers sour. I have seen and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath

sweet and pleasant words operate like a charm upon livenged you on her. With violence shall that great | a group of scowling, snarling, ill-natured persons, so

ity Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no that they were soon in a very cheerful mood themnore at all.” The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and selves. But sour words sprinkle acid in all direcwho shall disannul it? his hand is stretched out, and tions. They stir up sour words, and the scowl bewho shall turn it back? The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. Contemplate it, then, with

comes a blacker scowl, and ill-nature becomes more unwavering faith; pray for it with devotion; antici

ill-natured, and those sour words generate those that pate it with rapturous satisfaction and delight.- Rev. are sourer, till they give a supper of gall and wormDr W. Symington in an eloquent sermon recently wood to all who take any part in the doleful business. published on The Souls under the Altar."

I could not but think, therefore, that sour words were but just a sheer and needless addition to human

sorrow-a voluntary addition. We have sour things SOUR WORDS.

enough without turning that sweet musical instruI HEARD some lately, and they put me to thinking. ment the human voice into a manufactory of them. It was not a very sweet topic, but I thought I could Many bitter things we cannot help. Come they will, make something of it. I thought if sour words were with no reference to our will. But sour words come to be used, there was some season of the year likely not without our will. They come only with a will. most appropriate to them, so I began,

They might have been kept in check, and that item Ist, With winter. Here are ninety days, and well in the account of misery have been saved. marked they are with snow and sleet, and storm and I will only add, sour words are quite apt to get us tempest. Now there are things, not a few, to make to let them loose at precisely the wrong time, if ever people uncomfortable, without sour words. I could there could be right time; viz. when other sour not find a day in the whole winter, in which such an things are pretty plenty about us.—New York Eranaddition to cold-weather sorrows could be got in with | gelist. any decency.

2nd, So I hailed the spring with its gentle zephyrs, ind opening flowers, and springing grass, and singing

VIEWS OF GLORY. virds. But I could not find any sympathy in any of

The frequent believing views of glory are the most these things with sour words. And I had to give up

precious cordials in all afflictions. These cordials, spring, and dream on,

by cheering our spirits, render our sufferings far 3rd, To summer. Here were ninety more days of more ensy, enable us to bear them with patience and sunshine and shower, with the scenery of verdant | joy, and so strengthen our resolutions that we forsake meadows, of luxuriant foliage, and of waving grain.

not Christ for fear of trouble. If the way be erer so

| rough, can it be tedious if it lead to heaven? O But I could not find one of those days of the glori

sweet sickness, reproaches, imprisonments, or death, ous summer, that were willing to have sour words

accompanied with these taste of our future rest: take the discordant harp and sadden that day with This keeps the sufferings from the soul, so that it its harsh tones.

can only touch the flesh. Had it not been for that 4th, And autumn bade ine welcome into her do little (alas! too little), taste which I had of rest, my mains; and as I roamed among fields of golden

sufferings would have been grievous, and death more grain, and heard the merry voices of those who were

terrible. I may say, “ I had fainted, unless I had

believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land "shouting the harvest home," I found that sour

of the living." Unless this promised rest had been words could have no welcome there.

my delight, I should then have perished in mine So I could not find any season of the year that was affliction. “One thing have I desired of the Lord., WOE IS ME FOR THE PASTI

107

that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house

EVENING HYMN. of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the

Froin the German of Paul Gerhard.—1650. beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his Now o'er the earth's wide breast pavilion ; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide Each living thing doth rest, me; he shall set me upon a rock. And now shall

Both man and beast; the very woods are calm; mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle

But thou, my soul, awake, Sacrifices of joy ; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises

The solemn silence break, unto the Lord." All sufferings are nothing to us, so And praise thy Maker in a thankful psalm. far as we have these supporting joys. When perge.

Sun, whither art thou fled ? cution and fear hath shut the doors, Christ can come

Has Night thee banished ? in, and stand in the inidst, and say to his disciples, “ Peace be unto you." Paul and Silas can be in

Night, gloomy rival of the joyous dayfreaven, even when they are thrust into the inner Then go; a sun more bright, prison, their bodies scourged with “ many stripes, My Saviour, my delight, and their feet fast in the stocks." The martyrs find

Shines in my soul with purer, holier ray. more rest in their flames, than their persecutors in their pomp and tyranny ; because they foresee the

Darkens the evening airflames they escape, and the rest which their fiery The golden stars are there, chariot is conveying them to. If the Son of God Serenely walking in their home of years; will walk with us, we are safe in the midst of those

And shine like them shall I, dames, which shall devour them that cast us in. * Abraham went out of his country, not knowing

When to my home on high Fhither he went; because he looked for a city which My God shall call me from this world of tears. hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Soil'd garments of the day, Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; because he had respect

I put ye all away, unto the recompense of reward. He forsook Egypt,

Meet emblems of the spirit's mortal dress. not fearing the wrath of the king ; because he en And when from death I wake, dured, as seeing him who is invisible. Others were My Lord shall bid me take tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might

His spotless robe and crown of righteousness. obtain a better resurrection. Even Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, for the joy that was set

Head, hands, and weary feet, before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, Ye go to slumber sweet, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of Rejoicing in your work-day labour past; God." This is the noble advantage of faith ; it can

Thou too, my heart, rejoice, look on the means and end together. This is the

Thou from earth's strife and noise great reason of our impatience, and censuring of God, because we gaze on the evil itself, but fix not

And sin's dark bondage shalt be free at last. our thoughts on what is beyond it. They that saw Ye toil-spent limbs lie still, Christ only on the cross, or in the grave, do shake

And thankful take your fill their heads, and think him lost; but God saw him dying, buried, rising, glorified, and all this at one

Of needful rest, so tranquil and so deep, view. Faith will in this imitate God, so far as it

Yet think the hour is nigh, hath the glass of a promise to help it. We see God When calmly ye shall lie burying us under ground, but we foresee not the In the cold earth, and there as soundly sleep. spring, when we shall all revive. Could we but

Scottish Congregational Magazine. clearly see heaven, as the end of all God's dealings with us, surely none of his dealings could be grievous.

WOE IS ME FOR THE PAST ! If God would once raise us to this life, we should find, that though heaven and sin are at a great dis

“ U pon the bed of his last sickness," relates the Rev. tance; yet heaven and a prison, or banishment, D. E. Ford, “ lay a dying sinner. His character beaven and the belly of a whale, or a den of lions, may be best learned by attending to his bitter comheaven and consuming sickness, or invading death, plainings on approaching that awful gulf, from are at no such distance. But as “ Abraham saw

whence he never returned : “My physician tells me Cbrist's day and rejoiced;" 80 we, in our most forlorn

I must die, and I feel that he tells me the truth. In state, might see that day when Christ shall give us rest, and therein rejoice. I beseech thee, Christian, my best hours, and in my worst, death has been perfor the honour of the gospel, and for thy soul's com petually upon iny mind; it has covered me like a fort, be not to learn this heavenly art, when in thy dread presence; weighed me down like an ocean,! Teatest extremity thou hast most need to use it.

blinded me like a horrid vision, imprisoned my faculHe that, with Stephen, “ sees the glory of God, and

ties as with bars and gates of iron. Often and often, Jesus standing on the right hand of God,” will confortably bear the shower of stones. “The joy when in saloons alive with mirth and splendour, I of the Lord is our strength," and that joy must be have seemed the gayest of the inmates, this thought fetched from the place of our joy : and if we walk and fear of death have shot through my mind, and I without our strength, how long are we like to en

have turned away sick and shuddering. What is it dure?- Richard Baxter,

then to approach the reality? to feel it very near

very close at hand stealing on, and on, and on, like Two HARD THINGS.--First, to talk of yourself with- | the tide upon the shore, not to be driven back till it! out being vain. Second, to talk of others without has engulfed its prey ? What is it to apprehend the slander.

approach of the time when you must be a naked,

guilty, trembling spirit, all memory and all con- only God who appoints the days of man, and be sciousness, never again for a single moment to sleep, only knows when they are to terminate. Our busior know oblivion from the crushing burden of the ness is to do our duty, not to pry into our destiny. “ deeds done in the body!” The dying may indeed God in mercy hath concealed from man the know. be in a place of torment–in he!), before the time; / ledge of his end. If he knew it was near, he would be and the remembrance of past life, stripped of all its disqualified for the duties of life; and if he knew it deceptions, shrivelled into insignificance, may ap- were distant, he would delay his preparation. You pear, in connection with eternity, but as a tiny shell should therefore be satisfied with knowing that it is tossed on the broad black surface of an ocean: then, certain; and the safest way is to believe that it may again, the intense importance of that very insignifi- be also near, and to make no delay in getting ready, li cant fragment of time, and the intense remembrance | lest it overtake you unprepared." of all that occupied it-its schemes and dreams, and sins and vanities, sweeping across the mind in A PERSON in the lower ranks, at Lochwinnoch, solemn order, like a procession of grim shadows, with whose life had not been consistent with that of a death waiting to embosom all. Oh! well may I genuine Christian, was nevertheless a great specuemite upon my breast, and cry with all but despair, | lator in divinity. He came to die, and even then ** Woe is me for the past! xoe, roe, for the past !" he was wont to perplex and puzzle himself and his Every dream is dissolved-every refuge of lies is visitors with knotty questions about the doctrines plucked from me-every human consolation totters of the Bible. Thomas Orr, a person of a very difbeneath me, like a bowing wall; and all the king ferent character, was sitting at his bedside, endea doms of the world, and all the glory of them, could vouring to turn his attention to what more imme not bribe from my soul the remembrance of a single diately concerned him: “ Ah! William," he said, sin. Ambition, pleasure, fame, friendship, lie around " this is the decree you have at present to do with like wrecks, and my soul is helpless in the midst of 'He that believeth shall be saved,'' he that believeth them, like the mariner on his wave-worn rock.'" not shall be danned.'”

FAMILY PRAYER.

An under-sheriff of London mentioning the saying THERE is not on earth a scene more interesting than of a Puritan divine, “ Hem the Sabbath well, and it a family thus bending before the God of heaven. A will not ravel out all the week;" adds, “ My office collection of dependent beings, with tender feelings, has enabled me to confirm the value of the Sabbath, with lively sympathies, with common hopes, fears,

there being scarcely a criminal, whether for death boys, blending their bliss and their woes together, ind presenting them all to the King of kings, and

or minor punishment, who was not daily confessing the great Father of all the families of mankind. | to me, in Newgate, that he considered his first fall. There is not on earth a man more to be venerated, and subsequent misery, to be owing to the violation or that will be more venerated, than the father who | of that blessed day." thus ministers at the family altar. No other man like that father so reaches all the sources of human

ONE of the Moorish kings of Spain wished to build a action, or so gently controls the powers, yielding in the direction of his moulding hand, that are soon to

pavilion on a field near his garden, and offered to control all that is tender and sacreù in the interests purchase it of the woman to whom it belonged, but of the Church and State.

she would not consent to part with the inheritance or No Solon or Lycurgus is laying the foundation of her fathers. The field, however, was seized, and the codes of laws so deep, or taking so fast a hold on all

building was erected. The poor woman complained that is to affect the present or future destiny of man. We love, therefore, to look at such venerable locks,

to a cadi, who promised to do all in his power to and to contemplate these ministers of God which

serve her. One day, while the king was in the field, stand between the rising generation-feeble, helpless. the cadi came with an empty sack, and asked perand exposed to a thousand perils—and the Eternal mission to fill it with the earth on which he was! Parent of all. They stand between the past and the treading. He obtained leave, and when the sack coming age ; remnants of the one, and lights to the

was filled, he requested the king to complete his other--binding the past with that which is to come -living lights of experience to guide the footsteps of

kindness by assisting him to load his ass with it. the ignorant and erring-to illuminate the coming The monarch laughed, and tried to lift it, but 8002 generation--to obtain for it blessings by counsel and let it fall, complaining of its enormous weight. “It! prayer, and then to die. And if the earth contains is, however,” said the cadi, “ only a small part of amidst its desolations one spot of green on which the

the ground which thou hast wrested from one of thy eye of God reposes with pleasure, it is the collected

subjects; how, then, wilt thou bear the weight of the group, with the eye of the father raised to heaven, and the voice of faith and prayer commending the

whole field when thou shalt appear before the Great little worshippers to the protecting care of Him who Judge, laden with this iniquity?” The king thanked never slumbers nor sleeepe.

him for his reproof, and not only restored the fiel3

to its owner, but gave her the building which he had Miscellanea.

erected, and all the wealth which it containe i. From the notion which some entertained of St Columba being able to foretell future events, a man

O LORD! what is a little clod of earth and dust, that asked him one day how long he had to live. “ If thou shouldst ennoble him with so rich a nature, ard your curiosity on that head could be satisfied," said engrave upon him such characters of thy immense Columba, “ it could be of no use to you. But it is Being ?- Charnock.

[ocr errors]

THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.

109

THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

BY THE AUTHOR OF “SCRIPTURE EMBLEMS." * Great source of day, best image here below | it seems to reflect the transcendant glory and of thy Creator, ever pouring wide,

unsearchable riches of him who is " the image from world to world, the vital ocean round."

of the invisible God, the first-born of every ** Truly light is sweet, and it is a pleasant

creature.” “ To you that fear his name, shall thing for the eyes to behold the sun.” The

the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing glory of the heavens above, the source of light under bis wings.” How brightly, Christian and heat to the earth below, in his absence all

reader, does the summer sun now shine upon the world is a blank, and in his radiance all

our hemisphere? May we not avail ourselves glows with beauty, life, and gladness. Often

of his light to direct us to this brighter lumihas it been remarked, that, if any species of

nary, and unfold some of His glorious and inidolatry could be palliated, it is that homage

teresting features ? which the untutored savage offers to this glori

He is the centre of the new creation. The meous creature; and yet no part of the workman

chanism of the heavens was not, indeed, fully ship of the Almighty protests more distinctly

understood when the volume of inspiration was against the sacrilege, or proclaims more exten.

written; but its popular language is so consively the being and perfections of the invi.

structed as to expand, so to speak, with the sible Creator. “The heavens declare the glory expansion of human knowledge, and beautiof God, and the firmament showeth forth his

fully to adapt itself to all the discoveries of handiwork. In them hath he set a tabernacle

true science. The natural sun, it is now well

trná science. The natura for the sun-their line is gone through all the known, forms the centre of the planetary sysearth, and their words to the end of the world." tem. Immensely larger than all those depenWhile thus, however, he rejects the honour dent orbs by which he is encircled, his attracdue to his Maker, God has put a portion of his tion retains them all in their proper orbits, and honour upon him. He has set him up, not as regulates all their motions. “ Hung upon his rival but as his shadow. From objects nothing," as the striking phraseology of Scripeven of an earthly kind, he is pleased to bor- tures expresses it, “ each world is established row a faint resemblance of his own infinite ex- ! that it cannot depart;” and the whole system, cellencies. The “ rock" he has employed to bound together by an unseen but adamantine express the unchangeableness of his nature, 'chain, is kept in a state of beautiful subordinathe “ fountain of living water” to exhibit his tion, and moved with the regularity of the most inexhaustible and overflowing beneficence; but, perfect mechanism. And who now can fail to when he turns our eye towards the heavens, see in this a most expressive representation of he finds there the most splendid and perfect the place that Christ occupies in the spiritual emblem at once of the effulgence of his glory, world! “By him were all things created, and and of the extent and energy of his grace. by him they all consist; and he is head of his · The Lord God is a sun and shield. The body the Church, that in all things he might Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing have the pre-eminence.” Attracted by his inwill he withhold from them that walk up. / visible but irresistible influence--an influence rightly."

which, like the law of gravitation, operates in One aspect of this figure renders it peculi. proportion to the nearness of its object to the arly attractive. It is used to express not simply | glorious centre--all the members of this truly the essential glory and general beneficence of celestial system, whether moving in single orthe Deity, but that glory as it shines in the face bits, or in groups of kindred and correlative of Jesus Christ, and sheds forth its powerful organizations, are retained in their proper and benign influence in the redemption of a places, and propelled in courses of constant lost world. To “ Immanuel,” “ God mani and holy activity. “ In him we live, and move, fested in the flesh,” has the title of “ Sun of and have our being.” “ For the love of Christ Righteousness" been specially appropriated. constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if His appearance in the flesh, viewed as his ac- one died for all then were all dead; and that itual rising, forms an important point in the they who live should not henceforth live to eventful day of time; and no believer can now themselves, but to him who died for them and turn his eye towards the dazzling symbol, but rose again.”

How vast is that region over which the cen- A similar but far more splendid object is tral power of our sun extends! Besides hun. the “ Sun of righteousness.” “The brightness dreds of more eccentric but regular attendants, of God's glory, and the express image of his more than thirty different worlds, of larger or person," He not only reflects the physical persmall dimensions, have already been numbered fections of deity; but in him, in all the moral as constituting distinct members of the planet. and spiritual grandeur,“ dwells the fulness of ary system, and encirling round him in orbits the godhead bodily.” He fills immensitymeasured by millions on millions of miles, and he inhabiteth eternity--his eyes are flames of in periods some of which extend to centuries; fire, go to and fro through the earth, and pene. and yet this magnificent organization is but a trate to the deepest recesses of the human speck in the universe. But what mind can heart; and he is, not in appearance only, but conceive, what figures can calculate, the sphere in the strictest reality," the same yesterday, of the influence of the "Sun of Righteousness?" and to-day, and for ever." The sun shines by Around him are collected “ all things, both | imparted light, and dark spots appear on his which are in earth and which are in heaven.” disc; “ He is light, and in him is no darkness He occupies the centre of all worlds, and “fills at all.” The sun himself “shall wax old as a all things;" and while around him the whole garment, and as a vesture shall he be changed;" family of God move in courses of everlasting but He “is the same, and his years shall not dependence and holy obedience, all things, ani- fail.” The sun seems to go forth with irresist. mate and inanimate, spiritual and material, are ible power, and like a strong man rejoiceth to constrained to fulfil his will. « For God hath run his race; but one “word of power” from set him at his own right hand, in heavenly Christ, even uttered by the lips of mortal man, places, far above all principality and power, can stop him or move him at pleasure. The and might and dominion, and every name that sun sheds on all objects on which he rests a is named, not only in this world, but also in bright external lustre; Christ possesses in that which is to come; and hath given him to be himself, and sheds on all the new creation, the head over all things to the Church, which is his ineffable brightness of unspotted holiness, inbody, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” flexible justice, and unswerving truth; mingled

2. He is the glory of the spiritual world. The with the rich and mellow radiance of compassun is the most splendid object in the visible sion, mercy, and love. What a galaxy of creation. The only luminous body in the sys- divine perfections, melting into one another tem, all the others shine by his light, and re. | like the hues of the rainbow, and filling heaven flect the lustre they borrow from him. When and earth with a splendour which at once athe rises, the whole heavens are filled with his tracts and dazzles even angelic eyes! “Mercy radiance, and, amidst the dazzling splendour, and truth are met together; righteousness and all other celestial bodies hide their heads. peace have embraced each other,” “I saw the Nor is any other object required either to fill | | Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, the eye or to expand the mind with ideas of and his throne filled the temple. Above it the highest sublimity. How vast his magni- stood the seraphim, each one had six wings; tude as now measured by modern science with twain he covered his face, and with twain How immense his distance! how inapproach he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. able his position! and yet how rapid the emis. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, sion of his rays, and how powerful their effects! holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth How pure and brilliant his lustre—best image is filled with his glory.” of the purity and majesty of his Maker! How Yes, reader, this forms the special attraction pervading and penetrating, like the eye of Om- of this glorious luminary. Each sun in the niscience, is his light! What an idea of irre- vast expanse has his own peculiar shade of sistible power, of ceaseless activity, of unfad- light. “ One star differeth from another star ing youth, of permanent duration, is given us in glory.” But the star of Bethlehem is "the by his regular movements and uniform ap- Sun of righteousness." This is a moral and spi. pearance!“ As a bridegroom cometh he out ritual glory. Uniting in his wonderful person of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man the perfection of divine holiness and human to run a race: his going forth is from the end rectitude-preaching righteousness in the great of heaven, and his circuit unto the end of it; congregation, and working out, in behalf of and there is nothing hidden from the heat elect sinners, a righteousness not only beyond thereof."

challenge, but highly honouring and magnify

« FöregåendeFortsätt »