Sidor som bilder
PDF

in Scripture as a great evil. It came at the first as which ever had mainly at heart the interests of truth the visitation of a sore chastisement; and, so long as | and piety; partly also by the new life and power it existed, it necessarily destroyed the unity of the which he infused into the tabernacle worship; and covenant-people, maintained a rival interest in what finally, by the composition and destination to public should have remained an undivided brotherhood of

brotherhood of | use of those divine songs, which were not more love, interfered with the arrangement which con adapted to beget and nourish a spirit of devotion, ferred the rights of royalty as a divine ivheritance on than to identify in the minds of the people the pethe house of David, and opened the door both for culiar glory of their nation with the royal dignity corruptions springing up within, and for the assaults and blessed administration of David's house. Suill, of adversaries making havoc from without. Fraught the people as a whole never became thorou as it necessarily was with such great evils, the erec- justed to the constitution under which they were tion of the separate kingdom could not fail to be displaced. They wanted spiritual discernment and pleasing to the mind of God; nor could prosperity in faith to enter into the plan of God, and to realise the full sense-prosperity as designed and promised their own honour in the honour of the house of David. by God-be enjoyed by either branch of the divided | A large proportion of them viewed its exaltation inheritance until the breach was again healed, and with a carnal and envious eye, and bore with imthe people were once more united under one head of patience the yoke of its authority; for which, doubtthe house of David. At the same time, there can be less, the selfish and worldly spirit that so early apno doubt that, in a certain modified sense, the erec | peared in that house itself furnished too ready an extion of the separate kingdom had God's sanction and cuse. Therefore, on both accounts—both as a necesapproval. It came expressly as a gift from God to sary chastisement and humiliation to the house of Jeroboam, under the hand of Ahijah the prophet, David, and as the most appropriate way of adminisand with a promise from the Lord, not indeed of its tering a wholesome discipline and instruction to the absolute perpetuity, but of its prolonged existence, if people—the Lord saw it needful to disturb and weakJeroboam and his seed would walk in the ways of en the commonwealth for a time by the erection the Lord (1 Kings xi. 30-39). On this account, also, within it of a separate kingdom. Happy if both parRehoboam was discharged from attempting to reduce ties had understood that this device was sanctioned the lost tribes again under his dominion, as the Lord | only as a temporary expedient, a grievous evil in ithad meanwhile given them to Jeroboam. And for self, though intended to work out an ultimate good, the reason of the proceeding, we must, no doubt, and an evil which, so long as it lasted, inevitably prefind it in the fact, that the house of David had vented the full inheritance of blessing which God proved unfit to exercise the high and responsible had promised to bestow. This, however, they failed trust committed to it, as appointed to reign in God's to do. The breach, instead of leading to true repenname over God's heritage, and carry out the great tance for sin, and from that to mutual reconciliation ends of his spiritual and righteous government. The on higher grounds, became perpetually wider and external power and glory that had come to be con deeper. And those who attained to power in the nected with the honour, was more than David's suc. new kingdom of Israel were plainly bent on nothing cessory-more even than his most renowned and wis more than on establishing their total independence est guccessor-could properly bear and employ; even of the house of David and the kingdom of Judah. in his hands, it was abused to purposes of carnal It was not against this, however, the civil aspect pomp and seltish aggrandizement at home, and abroad of the evil, that the prophets in the kingdom of Israel to the rendering of Jehovah's name utterly distaste struggled, or were called directly to interfere. They ful, by the exaction upon the subject heathen of an had to do only with the religious change, by which it oppressive tribute, and the enforcement of a galling was soon followed, and which had in no respect the ycke. Even the abominations of those surrounding sanction of God; but, on the contrary, his uncomheathen, which should have been striven against and promising resistance and severe reprobation. While lispelled by the manifestation of divine truth to be in some rense authorized Jeroboam to erect the their consciences, were taken by the house of David ten tribes into a separate kingdom, he gave him no under its countenance and protection; and thus, in permission to institute within its borders a separate

tead of serving as a sacred laver to raise the state worship; and to throw, if possible, an effectual bar in all its relations into nearer contact with heaven, against any attempt in that direction, he caused the elevation of that house was rather tending to de Ahijah twice in the original message to Jeroboam, to press it in condition and character to the level of an declare Jerusalem to be the one place he bad chosen, earthly kingdom. The Lord must, therefore, bring in which to put his name.-(1 Kings xi. 32, 36.) 1 chade over its external glory, and weaken the arm Motives of worldly policy, however, induced Jera of its temporal power, in order, if possible, to check boam to disregard this plain intimation of the divine the carnalising tendency, and secure for it a higher will, and to set up a separate worship; for he natugood.

rally imagined, that if the people of his kingdom But the incompetency on the part of the house of should continue to go up to Jerusalem at the stated David to bear the glory to which it had been exalted, | feasts, their hearts in process of time would be won had its counterpart among a large portion of the back to the house of David, to the prejudice of his neople, in their insensibility to the honour of having a own family, and the ultimate overthrow of his kingvisible representative of the Most High God reigning dom. And so, pretending to a considerate regard for over them, and their disposition to view the kingdom the comfort and convenience of the people that it

the light of a mere human institution. Great | was too far for them to travel to Jerusalem- he con. pains had been taken by Samuel at the period of its secrated two sanctuaries with their respective altars, institution to elevate the people's notions respecting the one at Bethel in the south, the other at Dan in it; and David, during his lifetime, had also exerted the north. With these also he connected two golden aimself to the uttermost to give the kingly govern calves, which were apparently designed to hold the ment a divine aspect in the eyes of the people, and same relative place to the sanctuaries at Dan and awaken that higher and fuller development of the Bethel, that the ark of the covenant did to the temple divine life, which it was the special calling of the at Jerusalem; were designed in short, to serve (after Lord's anointed to foster and promote among the the manner of Egypt, where Jeroboam had spent tribes of his inheritance. This David did partly by many years of his life) as proper and becoming symthe vigour and righteousness of his administration, bols of the true God. But such innovations were too

[blocks in formation]

palpably opposed to the law of Moses to meet with evil in Israel on the one hand, and the revived zeal the approval of the priesthood, who therefore, with and prosperity of Judah and the house of David on one consent, refused to enter the sanctuaries of Jero- | the other, led multitudes to abandon altogether their boam, and minister at his altars. Their refusal, how- inheritance in the kingdom of Israel, and go to reside ever, only led to another flagrant violation of the in that of Judah.-(2 Chron. xv. 9.) Thus another Mosaic coustitution; for Jeroboam, still determined | large draft was made upon the life blood of the o adhere to his wretched policy, took and consecrat- | nation. So strong was the tendency in this direction ed tor priests of the vilest of the people-men needy for some time in Israel, that we are told Baasha, the in circumstances, and worthless in character, entirely king of Israel, set about building Ramah as a cona itted to act the part of obsequious ministers to the venient fortress for preventing the intercommunion royal will. Thus the religion introduced into the between the two kingdoms.-(2 Chron. xvi. 1.) It kingdom of Israel in four most essential particulars- appears afterwards, indeed, to bave almost ceased; its sanctuaries, altars, symbols of worship, and min- | which is easily accounted for, as Judah its stering priesthoou-bore on it an earthly image and leavened with the surrounding corruption, and allisuperscription, it was poiluted at the centre by the ances were even formed between the house of David nventions of men; and though most of the rites of and the infamous family of Abab, who carried the Judaism were still retained in it, yet “the Lord apostasy to its height in Israel. could not smell in the solemn assemblies of the * This second decline on the part of the house of people, nor accept their offerings." Besides, the re David and the kingdom of Judah gave rise to a new igion being thus essentially changed in character, it stage in the method of God's procedure toward Israel. vecessarily lost its moral influence on the people:- Hitherto he had left the testimony against the prelatself now a grovelling superstition, moulded after the vailing evil to be borne by the faithful still remaining will of man, and administered by unclean and servile in the land of Israel, aided by the salutary influence bands, it could raise no effectual bulwark against the which had proceeded from Judah, and which was felt side of human corruption; a rapid degeneracy ensued even in some of the neighbouring heathen countries. in the general character of the nation; and this again -(2 Chron. xv. 8; xvii. 9-11.) When Judah, how. Dade way, as it proceeded, for further corruptions in ever, also began to prove unfaithful, and the iniquity worship, until at last undisguised heathenism, with in Israel became more flagrant and atrocious, stronger its foul abominations and shameless profligacy of and more direct measures were required to meet the inanners, took possession of the field.*

evil. These were found, first, in the gigantic energy Such were the inevitable results of the change in- ) and labours of Elijah, who for a time fought singletroduced by Jeroboam into the worship of God, handed acainst the rampant idolatry; and then by which, from being regarded as essential to the inde- the new organization of the prophetic order, or the pendence of the kingdom, was clung to ever after-re-establishment of the schools of the prophets, which wards with fatal obstinacy. But there were also he accomplished with the aid of Elisha. By these certain attendant circumstances which coutributed means a very considerable revival was effected in the materially to accelerate the progress of the evil. Of kingdo

| kingdom of Israel, which reached even to the palace chis nature was the secession of the priests and of Samaria; for while Elijah, at the commencement Levites, who went over in a body to the kingdom of of his career, found it difficult to obtain standingJudah--thus withdrawing from the kingdom of Israel ground for his ministry, the very name of Jehovah not a little of its spiritual life. --(2 Chron. xi. 13, 14.) | being proscribed, there were, some time before his And not only did many in Israel continue as before death, four hundred prophets in Samaria who openly to go up to Jerusalem to worship; but the growing professed to speak in the name of Jehovah.-(1 Kings

* The great evil of idolatry, even in its earliest and least | xxii. 5, 6.) And a little farther down in the history, offensive form-that is, when it does not set up a plurality we find Joram, the son of Ahab, professing to enterof gods, but only an image or symbol through which to tain the highest respect for Elisha, and requesting worship the supreme God-consists in its necessarily convey.

Elisha's servant to rehearse the miraculous deeds that ing low and debasing views of his character and glory The mind contemplates God through the symbol, and rests in the

had been done by his hand.--(2 Kings iii. 12; viii. 4.) ideas it suggests. Hence, as no symbol can adequate y re. But, whatever abatement this might indicate of present Jehovah, he can never be known and worshipped as avowed hostility against the worship and service of the true God where idolatry is practised; for example, the

Jehovah, the origival corruption remained in full symbol of the bovine form, or calf, as it is generally called in Scripture, was regarded in Egypt, the country of its birth,

vigour; and it would even seem that, under a certain as the emblem of priductiveness; it represented God as the

it represented God as the disguise, the worship and service of Baal held its great producer, the source of all life and sustenance, or ma- place to the last. For though, on the occasion of terial comfort -(Wilkinson's Egypt, V. p.191.) And, no Ahab's going up with Jehoshaphat to Ramoth-Gilead, doubt, the promoters of the false worship in Israel would endeavour to reconcile men to it, by asking if the represen.

the prophets all professed to speak in the name of tation it gave of God was not a just and honourable one ? Jehovah, yet there was evidently a marked contrast It might have been such, indeed. if the God of Israel had between the four hundred who had the confidence of been merely the God of nature-the source of life and pro Ahub, and Micaiah, who alone uttered the mind of duction as these exist in the external world. But there is

the Lord. And on another occasion, when Jehoshaplainly nothing moral, no germ of holiness in such an idea of God; it is just what all heathenism in some form or an.

phat and Joram were engaged in the war with Moab, other always was-the deification of nature; whereas the and they went together to ask counsel of Elisha, the true God is pre-eminently the Holy One and the Just i and prophet indignantly addressed the king of Israel with precisely in proportion as this fundamental idea is tost sight

the words: “ What have I to do with thee? get thee of, in any form of religion, will its influence for good be found to decline, and the bonds of inorality under it become loos.

to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of ened. From what has been said, it appears, and it is not un. thy mother;'-plainly indicating that these still were important to notice, that the worshipping of God anciently | virtually prophets of Baal. Not only so, but when under the symbol of a calf, was relatively quite the same with

Jehu was executing his fearful commission against acknowledging and worshipping him now simply as the God of nature. Those who disown or forsake God as he is re

the house of Ahab, a false proclamation brought out realed in the face of Jesus Christ, and who, neglecting his

four hundred in Samaria-an ominous number, being sanctuaries and his Sabbaths, go to explore him, as they say, precisely that of those who had formerly contended in the works and operations of nature, are the legitimate with Elijah on Carmel, and were slain-who styled followers of him who inade Israel to sin Worshippers of a

themselves prophets of Baal, and as such were put to shadow ! their religion wants the reality of truth for its foundation; and being at best but a nature-worship, it has

death.-(2 Kings x.) And passing a few generations no moral power to regenerate and sanctify the heart. more, as we approach the close of the kingdom of (srael, we find the worship of Baal again rising into followed in the same forbidden course, had been notice as part of the prevailing abominations for brought to the verge of ruin, and the whole kingdom which the wrath was made to fall upon them to the lay bleeding under strokes of judgment so severe uttermost: “ And they left all the commandments of that recovery seemed almost hopeless. But Divine the Lord their God, and made them molten images, compassion was not yet exhausted, the Lord rememeven two calves, and made a grove, and worsbipped bered once more his covenant, and, seeking to win all the host of heaven, and served Baal."--(2 Kings the people again to his love and service, he gave yet xvii. 16.) To which may be added the tesitimony of another promise of returning prospe Hosea ii. 13: “ And I will visit upon her the days of also fulfilled by the hands of Joash and Jeroboam. Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she This new course of prosperity, however, only supplied decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and new wings to corruption; a more heedless infatuation she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the and wiile-spread profligacy every where appeared; Lord.”-(See also Micah vi. 16.)

and, sinking into profound carnality of spirit, the It would seem, therefore, that with the mass of the people had come to ascribe both their former troubles people, and in the high places of the land, there had and their present prosperity to merely natural causes, been only a superficial improvement but no thorough “not regarding the works of the Lord or the opera reformation. The terrible displays which Jehovah tion of his hands." But might there still not be anhad given of his power and glory, and especially the other. it possibly a final and desperate, eff slaughter of Baal's prophets on Mount Carinel, had forth for their recovery, one that, from its very inspired the worshippers of that Syrian deity with nature, might at once bespeak the inexcusable nature terror; and afraid of again provoking such awful of their impenitence, and the certainty, it continued, outbursts of judgment, but still unwilling to abandon of immediate retribution? There was such another. cheir corruptions, they attempted to compound the and we find it in the great work and mission of Jonah. matter by calling Baal Jehovah, and Jehovah Baal- | Though bearing respect immediately to the Ninevites, (hence, “ Thou shalt call me no more Baali," my it spoke also in the loudest and most impressive Baal, Hosea ii. 16),-as if these were but different manner to the people of Israel, and was even like the names for one and the same God. This was in the shooting of God's last arrow of mercy, leaving no alhighest degree insulting to Jehovah, because, in the ternative in respect to them, should it prove inefficmost offensive manner, it lifted up his name to a thing tual, but the speedy execution of vengeance. of vanity, and proceeded on the supposition that there

(To be continued.) was no fundamental difference between him and the idol gods of the Gentiles. And that the people at

ANECDOTES OF THE PURITANS. large, in particular the more wealthy and influential classes. really viewed the object of their worship

The INTEMPERATE STUDENT.-A student of the Uni rather as an impure Syrian deity than the heart versity of Cambridge, England, became exceedingly searching righteous Jehovah, is abundantly manitest intemperate and profane. One day as he was passing from those portions of the prophetical writings which

along the street, he heard a woman say in a threatendescribe the moral condition of Israel in the last years

ing tone to a child, " Hold your tongue, or I will give of their political existence, and which represent the land as all polluted with scenes of lust, revelry, op

you to drunken Perkins yonder." The remark made pression, rapacity, and crime.-(See especially Amos a deep impression upon his mind. It induced re ii. 6-8; v. 7-15; vi. ; Hos. iv.; Isa. v.; ix. 8-21.) flection, which led to his conviction and conversion.

To sum up the whole: The grand evil in the king. He became a very diligent student, and made great dom of Israel was the idolatry and corruption intro

| attainments in knowledge. When he was twenty-|| duced into God's worship, with its natural and necessary consequences. The Lord in various ways

four years of age, he was elected a fellow of his aused a solemn protest to be lifted against the evil | college, and he became a preacher of the gospel the at the period of its introduction-by the selt: denying same year. He went to the keeper of the jail in resistance of the priests and Levites-by the warning Cambridge, and prevailed upon him to collect the voice of the prophet that went from Judah (1 Kings

prisoners together in one spacious room, where he xiii.), and the appalling word of judgment delivered by the aged Abijab to Jeroboam's wife (1 Kings xiv.

preached to them every Sabbath. The blessing of 9-11). The protest was for some time vigorously

God attended his labours, and many of the prisoners maintained by a faithful remnant in the kingdom, were set free from the bondage of sin. His reputawho refused to assemble for worship at Dan and tion soon became widely extended, and he was chosen Betbel, but still repaired to Jerusalem, and not a few preacher at St Andrew's church, where he continued of whom ultimately went to settle there. It was

to labour till his death. He used to write in his further maintained, or rather in another and more palpable form raised, by Elijah and Elisha, and the

books, Thou art a minister of the Word : mind thy schools of the prophets instituted by them, who business." He was a thorough Puritan; and though formed a kind of supernatural order of God's servants he was called before the Star-chamber, yet, from in the kingdom, called forth by the emergency of the some cause, he escaped the sufferings which many of times--a provisional substitute for the exiled priest

his brethren were called to endure. His last sickness hood of the house of Aaron, and a standing witness

was a very painful one. A little before his death, a against the existing worship, from whose unauthorized priesthood and disallowed services they stood entirely

friend prayed for the mitigation of his pains. “Hold, uloof. By terrible things in righteousness the Lord hold !” said he,“ do not pray so; but pray the Lord had also protested against the evil, having expressly to give me faith and patience, and then let him lay on this ground first cut off the house of Jeroboam, on me what he pleases." He died in 1602, when he chen the house of Baasha, then Zimri, then the fa mily of Ahab--while, at the same time, he raised up !

was forty-four years of age. It would be well for every the kingdom of Syria as an instrument of evil to

| Christian to write upon his memory, Thou art a scourge and afflict the land of Israel in its borders. Christian : mind thy business.” The sole business And now, at the time of Jonah's appearance on the of the Christian is to do the will of God. stage of history, the house of Jehu, because they also RICHARD RODGERS.-Mr Rodgers was one day in

“O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM!"

1991

company with a gentleman of respectability, who he uttered the words at the head of this article. He said to him, “ Mr Rodgers, I like you and your com

was never "a man about town." Your wretchedpany very well, only you are too precise."

ness has no sympathy with his source of anguish. “Oh, sir,” replied Mr Rodgers, “ I serve a precise

The man of wealth exclaims, “ My case is desig

nated. I have for years made it my study, day and God.”

night, and used unceasing toil to accumulate wealth, Mr Rodgers was called the Enoch of his day. He and I have partially succeeded; but my desires have was wont to say, “I should be very sorry if every outstripped my acquisitions, and I am no more satisday were not employed as if it were my last."

fied than I was in early life. I am indeed a wretched When he had laboured faithfully in the ministry

man!” But the source of your unhappiness is not

similar to that of the apostle to the Gentiles. He more than thirty years, he was silenced for noncon

never sought for the gold of Ophir or California. formity. “ It greatly troubles me," said he, “that He learned that in whatever state he was therewith after labouring betwixt thirty and forty years in the to be content. ministry, I am now accounted unworthy to preach, 1 The ambitious man says, “The caption of this arwhile so many idle and scandalous persons enjoy their

ticle describes my case. I have sought for the honour case and liberty."

and applause of this world, and have partially ob

tained my object; but in the train of my success have Mr Rodgers had two sons who became eminent

followed cares and perplexities, that have far outministers. Daniel was “ a man of great parts, great | weighed all my consolations. All my happiness congrace, and great infirmities." Of him it was said by sisted in anticipation, not in fruition, and I am more Mr Ward, “ My brother Rodgers hath grace enough

wretched than I was in the humble walks of life." for two men; but not enough for himself !" Ezekiel

| You also greatly mistake the source of the apostle's

unhappiness. He never sought to please men. If came to New England in 1638, and, with those who

this had been his governing purpose, he could not came with him, settled the town of Rowley, Mass. have been the servant of Christ.

A LIVING LIBRARY.-Dr Andrew Willett, who The question asked at the beginning still remains was born in 1562, and educated at Cambridge, was so unanswered. Who is the wretched man? Not the familiar with the works of the learned, that he was

man of pleasure, nor the ambitious man. They are

indeed most miserable-consuming all things and called “a living library." His learning, however,

hungry still; but they understand not the exclamawas not his brightest ornament: he was quite as re tion placed at the head of this article. markable for the religious ordering of his family, and At a certain period in the life of Paul he had no his liberality to the poor, as for his learning. His knowledge of this source of grief. Once he was alive family became very numerous, but he did not regard

without the law, but the commandment came, sin that as a sufficient reason for abridging his liberality.

revived, and he died. By the law he obtained a know

ledge of sin, yea, by looking into the glass of the divine “ The more children, the more charity," was his

law, he was taught his exceeding sinfulness. He motto. It is said that his property increased with had indeed received Christ as the end of the law for his liberality. It were well, if men gave more hced his righteousness; but there was a law in his memto the words of the wise man, " There is which bers that warred against the law of his mind, and scattereth, and yet increaseth."

brought him into captivity. As he advanced in his

Christian course, he still advanced more and more in He wrote a work in which no less than fifteen

a knowledge of the wickedness of his own heart.! hundred errors and heresies are charged against the This it was that led him to cry out, “O wretched Church of Rome, and most ably refuted. Said work man that I am!” contains upwards of thirteen hundred folio pages.

" My God! I cry with every breath, The 18mo readers of the present day will not be

Exert thy power to save ; likely to trouble it.

O break the y ke of sin and death,

And thus redeem the slave !" He was accustomed to say, “ As it is most honourable for a soldier to die fighting, and for a bishop

We learn from this truth, that a knowledge of the

| sinfulness of the human heart is essential to true or pastor praying; so, if my merciful God will vouch

piety. There are those who profess to have made safe to grant me my request, I desire that I may

great attainments in sanctification, who seem to have finish my days in writing and commenting on some very little acquaintance with indwelling sin. In a part of Scripture." God granted him his request, short time, under particular intiuences, they have for he was called away while he was writing a com

risen very high, in their own estimation, in spiritual

attainments. They are rich, increased in goods, and mentary on Leviticus.-- American Paper.

have need of nothing. But if their feelings are ana

lyzed, you will not find Paul's sense of sin as its base. “O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM!”

This is not an ingredient in its history. That reWho is it that is so miserable ? Perbaps there are | ligious experience which has not the essential feamany buman bearts that will answer, “ It is I, most cures of Paul cannot be genuine. A knowledge of certainly. I am sure that my case is designated." | the sinfulness of the hurdan heart is absolutely essenBut who are you? A man of pleasure? Yes, a man tial to true piety. This was a constituent part of of pleasure. You have sought for happiness in the President Edwards piety. “I am. ball-room, in the theatre, at the card-table or bowl- | tomed to go about from week to week, and from month ing alley; you, like the boy, have chased the rainbow, to month, saying as I go, Infinite upon infinite, inbut have never been able to overtake it. It has al- tinite upon infinite ; 'such is my sense of my sins." ways been in the next valley, or on the next hill. Such a man as Edwards sympathized with Paul, Id all your giddy round of pleasure, you have never and entered into his feelings when he exclaimed, found any substantial good; you have been repeatedly “ O wretched man that I am !” Reader, have you deceived, and you are conscious that you are a any sympathy with this spirit ? Do you continually wretched man. This is indeed most true. But you cry to God to deliver you from this bondage of sin ? have not that state of feeling that Paul had, when Will you answer these questions ?-American Papar.

SANCTIFIED AFFLICTION.

If a man is robbed on the highway, in order to Whatever brings us to a sense of our own ignorance, bring the villain who robbed him to public justice, folly, weakness, sin, and wretchedness; whatever he must confront him before the judge, and swear to tends to break every reed upon which we are apt to the reality of the robbery, and identity of the perlean, to pull down every lying refuge in which we are son of the robber. But when our gracious Redeemer, prone to trust; whatever tends to raze every sandy by means of affliction or otherwise, brings forth the foundation of creature-dependence; in a word, what. abominations of our heart to the view, how shocking ever ungrasps our hold of creature-delight, empties is the discovery! how dreadful our apprehensions ! us of all personal sufficiency, and lays the soul low, as if we were in danger of being left to their power helpless, and hopeless, at the feet of the Redeemer, and dominion; not recollecting, that they are so many trusting alone in his free mercy, may, with the strict- / prisoners in the hands of the officers of justice, and est propriety, be considered as sanctified, and to our restrained from doing us any real harm. A certain advantage.

lady being robbed and barbarously treated on the highEphraim had his dark and cloudy days of bemoan- way, the ruffian who perpetrated the villany being ing himself amidst his reproach and shame, when taken, was brought to trial, and the lady obliged to apGod became a moth in his substance, and a lion in pear against him at court. No sooner had she set her his family, rending and tearing away his dearest de- eyes on him when brought to the bar, than she screamlights, shattering his idols, and casting down all his ed out, as under the most alarming apprebensions of altars to sin. But were not these instances of the danger, and with difficulty could be brought to beDivine conduct towards him most evidently the fruits lieve that the villain was in fetters, and wholly in the of God's unalterable attachment to him, and the power of the officers of the king. It is frequently greatest blessings that could possibly have befallen so with the poor believer, upon any particular disbacksliding Ephraim--blessings which operated in covery of what is in his heart. For want of consihis favour even when he was as yet far from having dering that sin hated is sin pardoned, that abominathe comfort of them-blessings all tending to bring tions loathed are abominations cleansed, he is apprehim to that union of heart and affection to God de hensive of the most awful and tremendous consescribed in Hosea, chapter xiv. ?

quences of the discovery of his heart. Believers are apt to mistake in nothing more than These things duly attended to, I am inclined to in the effects produced by their afflictions. The ul- think it will appear the Lord's people are frequently timate issue of them most undoubtedly is, the peace afraid where there is no real ground for fear, and able fruits of righteousness. But their first and im- that we receive good very often under the disguise mediate effect is, to harrow up the soul, and bring of evil. I shall add nothing more, but earnestly pray the weeds, which grow there secretly, to open view, that our sympathizing Redeemer may bless these The wise husbandman thus harrows up the weeds in few remarks for the benefit of the afflicted reader. spring, which would otherwise spoil his expected crop; and when he has so done, he burns them with fire.

DOCTRINE OF THE RESURRECTION. At first view, one would suppose that the beauty of the Geld is entirely ruined by this operation ; yet in the

[The late distinguished Dr Mason thus disposes of certas

popular objections to this consoling doctrine of our holy end it effectually secures both its beauty and fertility. faith ] There is a gracious promise delivered by Moses to

WHATEVER have been the disputes about other doc Israel, which ought to be much regarded" And the trines of Christianity, no man can deny that it Lord thy God will put out before thee all these thine teaches the resurrection of the body. The very enemies by little and little"-a promise which sets gates of hell, in the shape of that unhallowed p before us the whole work of God in our sanctification, losophy which fritters away its most precious tru

I into Eastern metaphore and Jewish allegories have the agency by which, and the manner how, the work

not ventured to tamper with the faith of the resurrecis carried on. Much beauty lies in that clause

tion. This stands confessed a Christian peculiarity. “ Thipe enemies shall be put out before thee.” Thou! This clay which we commit to the grave, und shalt see thine enemies before they are put out; and that universal sentence, “ Dust thou art, and unto as sure as they are brought to thy view as enemies, dust thou shalt return, will be quickened again, the Lord thy God will put them out, though it may

I and re-assume, even after the slumber of ages, the

organization, the lineaments, the expression of that be by little and little. God will bring all our inward

seltsame being with whom we were conversant upon enemies, every lurking Canaanite, to light, before he

earth--otherwise it were a new creation, and not a puts them out, whatever pain the awful discovery | resurrection; and will be re-animated by that selfmay give us; for he studies our salvation and final same spirit which forsook it at death-otherwise it possession of the promised land, rather than our

were a different being altogether, and not the one

with whom, under that form, we held sweet compresent inclination and pleasure. We would gladly enter into the land without so much as seeing war; 1 in company. The body will be raised under circum

munion in this life, and walked to the house of God but this is contrary to the purpose of God. It is the stances and with properties suited to the new state Divine purpose, that the Canaanitish lusts of the hu- | of being and action on which the saints shall enter. man heart must be led to execution first: in order God shall bring them with the Lord Jesus Christ. to which, they must be drawn forth from their dark They shall be found in Christ's train. They shall

be adorned with Christ's likeness. and deep recesses, and brought before us, that we

“Beloved ! it

does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know may bear witness against them of the evils which we that when he shall appear we shall be like him. for have suffered on their account and by their means. we shall see him as he is."

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »