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THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD.
pentance, Is their conduct really an honest index world with a witness. Few would be willing to of their deliberate convictions in this matter? Do
adopt this conclusion who have any faith in God and they in fact believe, that there are some in the Christian vessel who are to go to heaven as passengers,
his providence. Others suppose, that remarkable while others are to have all the toil and trouble of
afflictions, out of the common course of experience, bringing the ship into port? Do they regard the
be reckoned judgments, but not those common afChurch as a joint-stock concern, in the labours and flictions which befall men every day. Both these profits of which, as a whole, every member of it is classes of error arise from an inadequate conception hereafter to share, and share alike? They know as of the extent of divine providence; and with many well as we can tell them, that such views are utterly at war with the letter and spirit of the gospel.
the error is rather practical than theoretical. If the The sad and most frequent conclusion at which
question were proposed to them, Does the proviwe arrive is, that these self-constituted exempts are dence of God extend to all events, small as well as those who are deceiving themselves with a name to great ? they would readily answer in the affirmative; live, while they are dead-who have the form of but notwithstanding this, they never think of refergodliness, but are destitute of the power thereof.
ring common events to the Providence of God; and For our hope, God indeed has not revealed how little grace in the soul may be consistent with final
therefore are not affected with a sense of his goodsalvation. But much more for our fears has he told ness in their prosperity, nor humbled to a penitent us that MANY, who all their life long counted upon confession of their sins in adversity. It is true, heaven, will discover, when it is too late to remedy some maintain a general while they deny a particular their mistake, that hell is to be their everlasting
providence; they allow God to have some hand in portion. Perhaps no sight would so much surprise
the revolution of empires and downfal of thrones; us in that world of despair, as the number of false professors who are now " suffering the vengeance of
but not in the minute and trivial affairs of men. But eternal fire."-N. Y. Presbyterian.
the fact is, that in the order of events, in the history of the world, there is an indissoluble concatenation
of the great with the small; the revolution of a THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD.
kingdom may depend upon a single word-yea, a single
volition. A general providence cannot be mainBY THE REV. DR ALEXANDER, PRINCETON,
tained, whilst a universal and particular providence The word judgment is used in the Sacred Scriptures is denied. The doctrine of the Bible is most decisive in various senses, but we now employ the term to and clear on this subject. According to our Lord, signify those providential dispensations of God by providence extends to the life and death of the smallwhich men are visited for their sins, either in the est animals-yea more, to the perishing of a single way of punishment or chastisement. The difference hair of our heads. The whole history of the Old between punishment and chastisement is, that in Testament is a history of a particular providence, in the first case the judgments inflicted are really the which the care of God extends to all events, of every execution, in part, of the penalty of the law of God, | kind, but in such a way as not to interfere with the the other are such as are inflicted by a loving Father free agency of men. And the whole book of profor the correction and amendment of his children. | phecy supposes the truth of a providence which Often, however, the same terms are applied indis extends to all events, and even to all the free actions criminately to both kinds of dispensations.
of men. The ideas of many persons, and those are found The notion that events brought about by natural not merely among the ignorant and unlearned, are and known causes are not judgments, is at war with very erroneous on the subject of the judgments of most of the denunciations of God's vengeance against God. They entertain the opinion, that nothing sinners, in the Old Testament. God's most common which comes to pass in the ordinary course of nature, judgments on sinful nations are war, famine, pestithe cause of which we can trace, is to be considered lence, and destructive animals-destructive to human of the nature of a judgment of God. Some time life, or to the productions of the earth intended for towards the close of the last century, or the com the sustenance of man. These judgments are not mencement of the present, a reverend and learned miraculous, but natural causes of punishment. And professor in a university published a small system the whole catalogue of judgments, threatened in the of logic, intended to be studied by the under gra- 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, are afflictions pro duates. The book was respectable as a very brief duced by natural causes. The most common incompend; but in giving an illustration of false rea- sects are often made the instruments of inflicting soping, he observed that many persons considered judgments on a rebellious people. The locust, the the yellow fever as a judgment of God, sent upon us grasshopper, the palmer-worm, and the caterpillar, on account of the sins of the people; whereas, the are among the executioners of the Divine judgments; reverend author remarked (as though it were con- as well as the inanimate elements, the hail, the clusive), that the yellow fever was produced by na- lightning, and the inundation of waters. Thus it is tural causes which could be ascertained. According said, “He gave also their increase unto the caterto the principle involved in this remark, nothing can pillar, and their labour unto the locust. He debe properly considered a judgment of God which can stroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamorebe traced to a natural cause. And, consequently, trees with frost. He gave up also their cattle to since miracles have ceased, there have been no the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts."judgments of God in the history of the world. This (Ps. lxxviii. 48.) Again, in the prophecy of Joel, is to exclude the Governor of the universe from tho we read, “Tell your children of it, and let your
I almost think I never shall,
For often in my sleep
My sister, do not weep.
It is a joyful thing to die;
For though this world is fair, I see a lovelier in my dreams,
And I fancy I am there.
I fancy I am taken there
As soon as I have died; And I roam through all the pleasant place,
With an angel by my side.
To that bright world I long to go,
I would not linger here, But for my gentle mother's sake,
And your's, my sister dear.
children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmer-worm hath left hath the locust eaten, and that which the locust hath left hath the canker-worm eaten, and that which the canker-worm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten."
Among the many curses denounced by Moses against the Israelites, in case of disobedience to the commands of God, were grievous diseases of various kinds. “ The Lord shall smite thee with consumption, and with fever, and with inflammation, and with an extreme burning." "The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.” “And the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wert afraid of, and they shall cleave unto thee. Also EVERY SICKNESS AND EVERY PLAGUE, which is not written in the book, that is the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.”
The CHOLERA, whence is it, and why has it come? The infidel will answer, it is a matter of chance; the rationalist will ascribe it to nature, and deny that Providence has any thing to do with it; but the believer will acknowledge the hand of God in this sore judgment which is now desolating our land; and he will be disposed to humble himself, and to call the people around him, not to a mere formal observation of a day of fasting, but to sincere and deep repentance. He will acknowledge that for this desolating judgment there must be a cause-a moral cause. God has been provoked by the wickedness of this people, and by the dishonour cast upon his name by men“ in high places,” by men in authority-by the desecration of his holy day-by the neglect of his holy worship-by the enormous avarice and insatiable ambition of the people—by the lewdness and intemperance, yea, by the bloody murders by which the land has been defiled. And we need not expect the scourge to be withdrawn untii real repentance is exercised, and a reformation begun. Or, if the pestilence depart, IT WILL COME AGAIN UNLESS WE REPENT.
And when I read my book to her,
Or when I play with you, I quite forget that glorious land,
And the blessed angel too.
But oft when I am weary
Of my books and of my play, Those pleasant dreams come back again,
And steal my heart away.
And I wish that you, sweet sister,
And my mother dear and I, Could shut our eyes upon this world,
And all together die."
Then spake his fair-haired sister,
In tones serene and low:“Oh! if heaven is such a pleasant place,
Dear brother, let us go.
Our mother wept when father died
Till her bright eyes were dim, And I know she longs to go to heaven,
That she may be with him."
“ So let us all together go,"
The thoughtful boy replied; “Ah! no, we cannot go to heaven,
Until that we have died.
A STORY OF HEAVEN. BEFORE a Lowland cottage,
With climbing roses gay, I stood one summer's eve to watch
Two children at their play.
And sister we must be content
Upon this earth to stay, Till the blessed Saviour Jesus Christ
Shall call our souls away."
All round the garden walks they ran,
Filling the air with glee, Till they were tired and sat them down
Beneath an old oak-tree.
Before the next year's roses came,
That gentle call was given, And the mother and her two sweet babes
Were all of them in heaven.
They were silent for a little space,
And then the boy began :“ I wonder, sister dear, if I
Shall ever be a man.
THEY WERE LEAVING ME! Of many a young inquirer after salvation it has been asked, •And what has disturbed the sinful peace of your mind?” The reply has been, “I saw my
THE QUESTION RETURNED.
323 young friends and associates going to Christ and They are leaviny me-to what companions? Those learing me." They could not be left.
who like me have no God.no sympathy in the emThere is great awakening power in the fact here ployments or enjoyments of the holy universe--those announced. We wonder not that it penetrates the who offer no prayer, and give no praise, who neither heart with a loud and startling voice. For:
love, honour, nor obey the author of all their mercies, Ist, By conversion the Christian leaves sinners. who are, therefore, essentially like to God's great He leaves the spot he himself once occupied. He enemy, Satan, and who, by that likeness, compel has abandoned the principles which governed him eternal justice to bind them together in the same has given up the pleasures that once captivated him. everlasting doom. And I, unchanged, must go with He renounces the sins that once had dominion-over them.- Pascal. him. And, leaving all these, he leaves all who occupy such ground. He no longer has harmony of spirit with them. He has begun to serve a different
THE QUESTION RETURNED. master. The parties-once in such communion of [The following anecdote was related in London, at character and spirit-are now, in their respective the late anniversary of the London Missionary Somoral tastes and feelings, totally unlike. The sinner ciety, by Rev. A. Sutton, missionary of the Orissa is left.
Mission.] 2d, By every step in growth in grace does the A friend of mine some time ago was travelling in Christian leave the sinner. There is a growth in sin the wilds of Orissa. As he pursued his way he came as really as in grace. And that process goes on in every impenitent man. He treads, with a firmer
in sight of an officer's tent. The officer, seeing he step and a stronger will, the path of disobedience. was a European, invited him to dinner. He accepted Earth has more and more power, and the great con the invitation, and after the repast the officer said, cerns of religion less and less. He is receding farther “Mr Wilkinson, you have come out here to try and and farther from all prospects of reconciliation to
convert the Hindus?" "Yes, that is my object," God, and descending into a state of more fixed and decided alienation from God.
answered my friend. “And a pretty wild-goose But the young convert is making progress in pre
chase," rejoined the officer, “ you will make of it. cisely the opposite direction. He is advancing farther
You don't know these fellows so well as I do." and farther into that goodly land, the spiritual king- “ Oh, sir, I think I myself know something about dom of God. The flowers become more and more them already!” “Ah! but you have not had to deal beautiful and fragrant, and the fruits more refresh
with them as I have. If you had been accustomed ing and nourishing. Religious principle grows stronger. Remaining sinful corruptions are losing
to the command of a company of Sepoys, you would their power. He is receding farther and farther from soon find out their duplicity and faithlessness." Mr the kingdom of darkness, and knowing more and Wilkinson assnred him he had made some converts, more of the power and glory of the kingdom of God, whose earnestness and sincerity were beyond all And he is thus leaving farther and farther behind
question or suspicion. “Oh!” said the officer, “I him, all who have not been willing to enter with him
should like to examine them." “ Your wish can into the service of God. And the separation is the more rapid and decisive, because neither saint nor
soon be gratified, for here is one of them coming up sinner hold the same moral position, but are making
the avenue. Gunga," continued Mr Wilkinson, progress in opposite directions. The history of each addressing the native who entered, “here is a gen. is the history, in moral character, of a greater and tleman who wishes to exainine you as to your Chrisgreater alienation from each other.
tianity." " What right has he to examine me?" 3a, by a most solemn and decisive act of the divine
inquired Gunga; “and does he mean to do so in anger government will Christians take their leave of sinnerg. Though separate, now heaven-wide in their moral
or in ridicule?" “So," said the officer you have tastes and feelings, yet personal separation has not turned Christian?” “ Yes." “ How did you get yet occurred. “They grow together until the your living before you turned Christian?" Gunga harvest." But at the great separation day, which was astonished. His pride also was hurt. “I am a the judgment will bring, what numbers will use, with
Brabman," said he, throwing back his robe over his terrible anguish, the language of the young inquirer, “ My friends are leaving me!” Every Christian
shoulders and exhibiting a mark that attested that friend will leave-must leave. The utter contrast of fact. He could not conceive how such a question moral character compels the separation as much as could be asked of him, raising so obvious an appearthe adorable and awful justice of God.
ance to his disparagement. The officer, somewhat “ My Christian friends are leaving me."
abashed, asked how he had felt before he became a They leave me to what? To the kind of life I love
Christian, and he replied, " I feel that I myself, like -not what I approve; for keenly, at times, does my conscience coudemn my course-yet to the kind of
all my countrymen, was in miserable darkness. I life I love. I love no higher life. I am being left longed for the truth, but I could not find it. At not to the kind of life which all holy beings in the length I heard that the light of truth was to be universe love-all the pure, and the good, and the found on the Padre side, and thither I instantly rehappy; but to the kind of life that I, in spite of my
paired to light my own taper at the source. I found own better judgment, love.
what I sought for, and I carried my candle to the They are leaving me to myself. They would have me break away from my miserable selfishness, and
bazars and public places, that I might communicate love the glorious Saviour they love, and interest my the same light to others." As he went on, the officer self in the infinitely glorious realities of eternity. admitted to Mr Wilkinson, that this was indeed They have taken that course; but as my soul has no something which he had not expected to hear. A relish for it, they are leaving me to be wrapped up
tear stood in his eye as he spoke. He had found in in my own selfishnees, and to the doininion of these
a Hindu a true believer; and he was preparing to passions, whose indulgence shuts out all that is good
retire, to indulge in his own meditations, when and glorious in the universe.
Gunga said, “I should like now to examine you.
AGED MINISTERS. Are you a Christian ? Are you indeed a Christian?” This was an arrow to the officer's heart,
Like Samson in his old age, I continually forget that|
| I am not what I once was. But when I take hold of and this question, asked in Christian simplicity, be
the strength of God, I wonder at results. --AROR. came the means of his conversion.
O Lord! help an old man.- Thomas.
AN INDIAN'S GIFT TO CHRIST.
ertaine | In a portion of the Southern territory from which me; but it was Scripture expressions which did pene the red man has now been driven, I once attended a trate my heart, and that in a way peculiar to them protracted meeting held in the wild forest. The selves.-J. Brown, of Haddington.
theme on which the preacher dwelt, and which he Do not preach so much to please as to profit.
illustrated with surpassing beauty and grandeur, was Choose rather to discover men's sins, than to show your own eloquence. That is the best looking-glass,
“ Christ and him crucified." He spoke of the good not which is most gilded, but which shows the truest
Shepherd who came into the world to seek and to face.- Thomas Watson.
save the lost. He told how this Saviour met the “ Which things also we speak, not in the words
rude buffetings of the heartless soldiers. He drew a which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy
picture of Gethsemane and the unbefriended strapGhost teacheth. And I, bretbren, when I came to
ger who wept there. He pointed to Him as he hung! you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wis. dom, declaring unto you the testimony of God."
bleeding upon the cross.
The congregation wept. Soon there was a slight' NOT DOING ANY GOOD.
| movement in the assembly, and a tall son of the You say you do no good by preaching. This is
forest, with tears on his red cheeks, approached the talking weakly; I had almost used a harder word. Should you not be chided for it?-Orton.
pulpit and said, “ Did Jesus die for me-die for poor “ Why do you leave off preaching?" said Latimer
Indian? Me have no lands to give to Jesus, the to one." Because I do no good," was the reply. white man take them away; me give him my dog " That, brother," said the bishop, “ is a naughty, and my rifle." The minister told him Jesus could very naughty reason."
| not accept those gifts. “Me give Jesus my dog, my “My word shall not return unto me void," saith the Lord, " but it shall accomplish that which I please,
rifle, and my blanket; poor Indian, he got no more and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it."' to give-he give Jesus all.” The minister replied
It may be demanded, What must be done, when the that Christ could not accept them. The poor, ignolabours of our calling are in vain? Answer: We rant, but generous child of the forest bent his head must follow the command and calling of God,
in sorrow and meditated. He raised his noble brow whether we have good success or no, and whatever comes of it. Though Paul feared his labour was in
once more, and fixed his eye on the preacher, while vain, yet still he laboured. Thus to do, whatever
he sobbed out, “ Here is poor Indian, will Jesus kan follows, is true wisdom, and the fear of God.-Jil him?” A thrill of unutterable joy ran through the liam Perkins.
souls of minister and people, as this fierce son of the “ We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in
wilderness now sat, in his right mind, at the feet of them that are saved, and in them that perish."
Jesus. The Spirit had done his work, and he who While I oversee the Church, Christ oversees me.Polycarp.
had been so poor received the earnest of the inheri- ' “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee tance. a crown of life."
I would rather serve Christ for nothing, than gain all the kingdoms of the world as the fruit of any sin,
Fragments. idleness not excepted.--Anon.
"If the iron be blunt, then must he put to the more Look rather to God's end in afflicting than at the strength.”
measure and degree of thy afflictions. A quiet application to those duties which are im- Seek the Lord and his face continually; let this mediately necessary, though neither easy nor honour- be the business of your life and strength; and let able, is of much more value than a long train of all things be subservient and in order to this. You activity and zeal in a sphere of action sweetened by cannot find nor behold the face of God but in Christ; applause.-Old Author.
therefore labour to know God in Christ--which the If one won't, another will.- Matthero Henry. Scripture makes the sum of all, even life eternalGod, and eternity, and the Bible, are with you, and Cromwell. what though the men of the world be against you ? The promises are our legacies bequeathed to us in -Chalmers.
the will of our Father, and we are to claim them as A minister has no ground to hope for fruit from we stand in need of any of them.-Alleine. his exertions, until in himself he has no hope--until | That course of life which is entered upon without he has learnt to put no faith in the point and energy principle, and conducted without a plan, cannot but of sentences-until he feel that a man may be mighty be unproductive of either virtue, happiness, or ho to compel the attention, and mighty to regale the nour. -Olin. imagination, and mighty to silence the gainsayers, This great mart, the world, is full of distracted and yet not mighty to the pulling down of strong-men, hurrying from place to place, to barter their holds.- 1b.
souls for less, far less than nothing.-Griffin. I would not go out of my way to distrust God's A false hope, fortified by a false profession, is the faithfulness; but neither will I go out of the way to most effectual battery against the artillery of the put his faithfulness to the trial.-16.
THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.
THE RELIGION OF WORKS.
A RELIGION whose leading idea is to atone for a bulrush, but to unbind the heavy burdens, to the sins of the soul by the sufferings of the let the oppressed go free, and to feed the body is as old as human nature. There are hungry. two degrees of it. The highest degree is where! The Old Testament was introductory to the the religionists devote themselves to a life of New. Here the law of God, a spiritual worship, entire solitude and seclusion, and make penance, truth and righteousness, come forth in brighter under various forms of self-denial and suffering, effulgence. The ceremonial and the sacrifices the constant rule of life. These are the saints. are now laid aside, because their end is answered, The second degree is that which is adapted to and the great sacrifice of the Messiah abrogates human life in general. Here the pursuits of all typical sacrifices. Jesus Christ was no men, whether of business or pleasure, are not ascetic. He ate, drank, and lived as other laid aside ; but only certain seasons are devoted men, so that he was reproached as a “glutton. to works of penance. Here the world and sinous man, a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans have one portion of life ; and then hours and and sinners." His apostles were no ascetics. days of suffering, gifts to religious houses and They adopted no peculiar costume, manners, institutions, self-humiliation, the observance of or mode of life. The whole effort of Christ religious rites, and pilgrimages, settle the soul's and his apostles was to inculcate and exemplify account with heaven. The invention of a pur. a life of faith, benevolence, and holiness. To gatory in another world enables the religionist reconcile man to God, to make man a good and to complete there the amount of suffering which happy being, was the end of their labours. he may have failed to pay here.
Hence the religion of the Bible is a most There is no trace of this religion to be found cheerful and happy religion. It calls for rein the Bible. It is the religion neither of the pentance, and not penance-for faith, and not Old nor of the New Testament. The Old Tes ceremonial observances—for works of love, and tament announces the Divine law, and in all not works of bodily mortification. its teachings, its examples, its moral influences, The question respecting faith and works is holds up the worship of the true God in spirit perfectly clear in the gospel. The works that and in truth, and tends to form a character of justify in the ascetic sense are works of penance truth and integrity. There was no asceticism, and ceremony-mere ritual works. The faith no penance, no reverence of saints and relics, which justifies in the gospel sense is a trust no pilgrimages, among the Jews. Says the pro which binds the soul to Christ and God in phet Micah, “He hath shown thee, O man! supreme love and obedience, and leads to all what is good ; and what doth the Lord require the graces of a holy character, and all the of thee, but to love mercy, to do justly, and to works of a benevolent and upright life. There walk humbly with thy God ?” This is the spirit is nothing which the gospel requires us to lay of the religion of the Old Testament. The reli- aside but sin, and this it enables us to do by gious ceremonies of the Jews were impressive the power of the Holy Spirit. But in deliverand rational. Repentance, humiliation, and ing us from sin, it delivers us from guilt, fear, prayer, and trust in God, were inculcated. and misery, and makes us completely happy. The sacrifices were joyful feasts, and solemn Asceticism says, “ Be miserable on earth and ir types of a prospective atonement. But nowhere purgatory, that you may be happy in heaven." | are religious observances, bodily sufferings, or The gospel says, “Come unto me all ye that any mere works of asceticism and devotion labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give held up as making expiation for the sins of the you rest.” It bids us receive the love and soul. On the contrary, the Old Testament is spirit of heaven at once into our souls, and thus full of passages reprobating any substitution of to begin our heaven upon earth. outward ceremonies for spiritual affections. Asceticism and penance set aside the law of Samuel tells Saul that the Lord prefers obe- God, and create an entirely new class of sins. dience to sacrifice. David affirms that the Certain rules are laid down by the church, so sacrifices acceptable to God are a broken spirit called ; to observe these rules is religion-to and a contrite heart. Isaiah represents a true violate them is sin. Hence it is undeniable fast to be not merely bowing down the head as that the miserable subjects of Romish supersti.