Sidor som bilder
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors]

axles of his engine were becoming red-hot, stopped He chastens us as a father chastens the children whom the train, and discovered that his machinery was so he loves. Why will not men observe these things, elogged by flies that the oil had been prevented from

that they may learn their own absolute dependence,

and undepstand the loving-kindness of the Lord ! running."

Absolute dependence-yes, absolute dependence-it Is there nothing, I thought to myself, to be learned is so, whether we feel it or not. But blessed is he from this? Has the story no moral? May not the who does feel his absolute dependence upon God! To progress of our undertakings in spiritual matters, such an one, the whole universe is filled with tokens Sunday school teaching for instance, be greatly re

of Divine love, and promises of Divine protection. tarded by trifling things? Does not Scripture warn

| Every place is a place of security, because God is

there. Every movement of providence contains bless. us against little sins? Do not we read in one pas-lings, because he orders it." Such an one becomes a sage (Eccles. x. 1) of “dead flies” which spoil the cheerful, happy child in the hands of the Lord. He rich ointment, "little follies" which injure men of yields up to all his governance, in the full conviction wisdom and reputation ? And does not another text

that all things will be governed by infinite wisdom speak of certain "little foxes," insignificant but

and love. He submits himself to the Divine will in subtle and mischievous habits, which eat out the

quietness and hope. In fearing God, he has nothing

u the else to fear. In trusting in God, he is placed beyond fruitfulness of our Christian profession ? (Cant. ii. all disappointments. 15.) “Behold," said St James (iii. 5), “how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” And our Lord, as FROM “A BASKET OF FRAGMENTS.” if to warn us against habitually allowing ourselves in PREACHING, sacraments, and all other means of trifling omissions and commissions, speaks of some grace, shall be laid aside when the saints of God have commandments which he calls “ the least," and of entered the heavenly Jerusalem. Whilst on earth, "jots and tittles” of the law (Matt, v, 18, 19); and

these were often sweet and precious to them. But " fragments" (John vi, 12) are by no means to be

the travellers being now got quite home, the inns,

appointed for their entertainment by the way, are now disregarded.

shut up, and the candles put out. Because Jesus has Let us then examine ourselves. If I am unsuccess. become now their everlasting light, and the temple ful, let me search and see what it is that clogs the of glory being now opened to all

of glory being now opened to all believers, the taberwheels, and hinders the oil from running. What is

nacle used in the wilderness is folded up. it that prevents the gentle flow of the Holy Spirit's

The way of salvation is a highway; and highways, unction? Is it neglect of special prayer ? levity of

we know, are always free. Whosoever will, let him

come. The peasant and the peer, the meanest begmind ? self-love unmortified ? love of dress ? undue

gar and the mightiest monarch, have one and the association with the world ? carelessness in my pre same warrant to travel on this road. But this, alas! parations of the lessons ? tartness of manner ? too proud human nature liketh not. It wants a path for much attention to the mere macbinery ? want of life

itself, all alone! and spirituality in teaching? what is it in me that

WHEN one sin is admitted into the heart, we shall grieves the Divine Spirit, and interrupts his gracious

always find that it hath a companion waiting at the influence ? Let me remember that my God is a

door, and for which it works bard to gain admission

also. And this effected, the devil and all his comjealous God, that the Lord Jesus claims (and deserves)

aims (and deserves) | pany quickly follow, all my affections; that he had a controversy with the THERE is an oil of gladness which all the floods of active and diligent Ephesians (Rev. ii. 4) on account this world's trouble can never drown. The hail from of declension, not entire absence of love; that though without may rattle on the tiles, but he who has peace we talk of little sins, there is in reality nothing little

within can sit undisturbed and smile. or unimportant between him and our souls. Let

Some sins inflict such deep wounds and gashes in

the believer's conscience, that they send the poor soul me seek to have all my ways brought into sweet

off bleeding to the good Physician, to get fresh healcaptivity to the obedience of Christ; to be sanctifi

to be sanctifi- ing from his precious blood; others, that seem but ed wholly; and to have all my body, soul, and spirit, small transgressions, he thinks conscience can swalpreserved blameless unto the hour of his coming.

low. But it is these, alas ! which do insensibly alienPresbyterian.

ate and estrange his heart from his forgiving and gracious Lord, and so interrupt his peace and com

munion with God. THE PREVALENT PESTILENCE,

IN pain, trouble, mortifications, and distress, meAn unseen power mysteriously calls it up, and directs

thinks I hear God say, " Take this medicine- it is its course. The same power alone can stay it. Citieg

exactly suited to thy case. It is prepared and weighed tremble at its approach, wither under its presence,

out by my own hand. It consists of the choicest and anxiously look for the signs of its disappearance.

herbs which heaven affords—and these things are But philosophy has not yet discovered the causes, no

good for thy soul.” Hence, says Madam Guyon, “If skill can prevent its ravages, and no power on earth

we had nobody about us to plague and vex us, God can say, “ Thus far shalt thou come, and no further." would send an angel from heaven to do it.” Here, too, we can only sit and wait until God shall It torments the devil's soul to see the believer please to arrest the destroyer.

under sail for heaven, filled with the sweet hope of God is for ever teaching us our dependence, and his joyful entertainment when he anchors there. calling upon us to become his trustful and obedient | Therefore he raiseth what storms and tempests he children by a constant flow of mercies. Sometimes, can--for although he cannot hinder the believer's too, he teaches us by judgments, because we do not | making at last that blessed port, yet he will make hearken to the voice of his mercy. Still, when his it a troublesome winter's voyage (like Paul's last one judgments are abroad, he is bestowing upon us bless-was), at least, if he can do no more. ings which far outweigh them. He does not smite us The question is, saith the soul, whether I shall be as he might smite us, and as we deserve to be smit ten saved or no. As many as say Yea / let them speak

Yea! say the gweet promises of Christ's gospel- | under the temptation of meeting some question of Yea! cries the blood of Jesus, God's only son. But, the day, or some bearing of the public inind. There No! cries guilty conscience-No! cries Satan- is much mystic verbiage, which some esteem to No! no I say a thousand sins. Yet, let God be true, be of transcendental depth. There is much na

although all else prove a lie, and He has said, "Who- | theism, which some regard as original and sublime. !, soever cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." I Your versatility will often be urged to follow after į ALL the saving and most nutritious truths of the these conceits. You will be told of their amazin: gospel hang on the lower boughs of the tree of life, influence. They really are nothing. They are the and are within the reach of the believer of the low bubbles of the hour. They cannot boast even a no-1 est stature,

velty. I conjure you, care little for them. Yours is The Scriptures are a garden of healing herbs not a discretionary theme. It is unchanging. Keep where grows a plant for the cure of every ail. The to it. Abide by it. It is one, but it is an infinite apothecary goes there to gather hig simples in the one! It is the word of Christ, divinely true! Ito spring, which he uses in the winter. So the provi.

rigidness can never hamper your thought. Its re- | dent believer lays up a store of promises in health, iteration can never weary your inquiry. At no point, for sickness and trial and death. It is when the

can it restrict you. It is a large place. It is a boundheart is musing in meditation upon these, that the less range. It is a mine of wealth. It is a firmalı Blessed Comforter kindles the affections and quick-ment of power. Whither would ye go irom

ment of power. Whither would ye go from it? It ens to prayer.

is the unwinding of all the great principles. It is God calls his saints to drink of the rivers of His

the expansion of all glorious thoughts. It is the capleasures.-(Psal. xvi. 8.) There is a difference

pacity of all blessed emotions. between a prince ordering his servants to make a

O Calvary, we turn to thee! Our nature, a wreck, 1: man drink of their wine, and his setting him down at

| a chaos, only canst thou adjust! We have an ach. his own table. So natural men are permitted to re

ing void which thou canst only fill! We have pantceive of the common cellar of God's bounty of provi

ings and longings which only thou canst satisiy: dence in corn, and wine, and oil; but His children He

Be thou the strength and the charm of our inward sets down at His own table and makes them to drink life! Be thou the earnestness of our deepest in. of the rivers of His pleasures-satisfying them with

terest! Be thou inspiration, impulsion, divinity, and His grace and glory. But for most men, they are

all! Our tears never relieved us until thou taughtsatisfied, alas ! if only made fellow-commoners with

est us to weep! Our smiles only mocked us until the beasts that perish.

thou badest us rejoice! We knew no way of peace

until we found our way to thee! Hope was banished As with Jonah's shipmasters, so we should exer

from us until its dove flew downwards from thee cise great tenderness towards poor backsliders, and

upon our heart! All was dormant until thou didst I never attempt to administer our medicines of reproof

stir; all was dull until thou didst excite us! Our ! when boiling hot with our own passions and wrath.

eyes are still lifted to thee as to the hill from which Again, we must take heed that we bury none as past hope, till we are sure they are quite dead.

cometh our help! Our feet shall stand upon thee,

1 o high mountain ! and thou shalt make them beautiThe tallest oak is laid prostrate generally, not by

ful while we publish the glad tidings of “Christ the force of the tempest, but by some secret worm

crucified."-Rev. W. R. Hamilton, D.D. or canker at the core, which has been long devouring the sap. So the believer's decays in grace are generally gradual and secret at first. Secret prayer HANNAH MORE ON NOVELS. is neglected, or some vile lust, like a deadly canker, is preying on the vitals of godliness.

“Many works of fiction," says Hannah More, “ may be The choice must begin somewhere, and the Lord read with safety, some even with profit; but the con- ! Jesus bas told us there, when he said, “ Ye have not stant familiarity even with such as are not exceptionchosen me, but I have chosen you." Where this able in themselves, relaxes the mind that wants: choice is fixed it finds a man out, be he where he hardening, dissolves the heart which wants fortifrwill. It brought Abraham out of idolatrous Ur of ing, stirs the imagination which wants quieting, irti. the Chaldeeg.--Zuccheus from his money-bags-Paul

tates the passions which want calming, and, above all, from the college of Pharisees.

disinclines and disqualifies for active virtues and for! He that walks without a crutch is stronger than he spiritual exercises. The babitual indulgence in such that needs one. Sense and experiences are the crutch | reading is a silent, mining mischief.". on which weak faith so much doth lean. A strong man, though he doth not lean on his staff all his weight, nor all the way, yet he doth make good use

Fragments, of it now and then to defend himself, when set upon How awful will it be should the branch be saved by a dog or thief by the way. So, strong faith, walk

and the stock perish!--Hall. ing on the sure ground of God's promises, yet some

DWELL not on the comforts thou wantest; but on l' times, when assailed by Satan's pack, makes use of

the mercies thou hast.--Love. past experiences to drive them away.

It is much easier to pull up many weeds out of a To say of a man that his own children won't be- l garden than one corruption out of the heart; and to lieve him, is to detaine him to the utmost-and shall procure an hundred flowers to adorn a knot, than one i God's dear children by unbelief throw such foul dis grace to beautify the soul.--Flavel. honour on their heavenly Father's name?

He that serves God carelessly brings a curse upon The moralist may be very punctual in his dealings himself instead of a blessing.-Calamy. | with men, but very thievish in his dealings with God, The moon is never in eclipse but when the earth He won't rob his neighbour of a farthing, but he comes between it and the sun, and it is the world sticks not to rob God of his love and fear, which are coming between God and his children that hides the debts due from every man to God.

light of his countenance from their souls.- Ibid.

He submits to be seen through a microscope who

suffers himself to be caught in a passion.-- Larater. PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED.

We have never so much cause to fear as when we PREACH Christ crucified! Turn not aside from this, fear nothing.-Bishop Ilall.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

A WORD TO THE FEARFUL, ALARMED BY THE PESTILENCE.*

BY THE REV. J. B. JOHNSTONE, WOLFLEE.

God's hand is stretched out in the place where | The rod, though a stern teacher, may prove in you dwell. Pestilence rages. Death is doing your case the most effectual. Let me point its work with a fell hand. With little note of out some truths applicable to you at this time. warning it hurries its victims to the tomb. An. It may be, by God's blessing, that they may lead other and yet another it taketh away. The you from a state of much alarm and concern young and the greyheaded-the matron and to one of real joy and peace. the maid- the feeble and the strong—all are its victims. With awful speed it does its work. I. The Pestilence is sent by God. Many are the hillocks in the churchyard which It did not come of itself, neither did it come mark the graves of those who but yesterday by any natural cause apart from God. It is walked and worked among you. A mystery is His doing. He saw fit thus to visit you. Every over its movements. Who can tell where next death was of Him. He regulates all the moveits fatal power shall be felt? How it mocks the ments of the pestilence. If it passes over one efforts of the wisest of our physicians to rescue house, and enters the next-if it leaves one side its victims from its cold grasp! You are afraid. of the street, and spreads death in the opposite Death at the door makes you tremble. Ah! -it is because the Lord will have it so. You you think, if the destroying angel should next are entirely in God's hands. As a general truth cut you down. You see the blanks and the you admit this at all times, but now He seems desolation produced in other fainilies ; and you to come awfully near to you. You are slow picture your own home made thus desolate. to acknowledge this. Could you but account You ponder these things, and dark forebodings for the pestilence by some secondary cause, you trouble you. You are awakened to such seri. would feel relieved_you do not like the idea ous thought as you never were before-a life of God being so near you, and near you in of utter unconcern about eternal things, of such a way as He is at present, as a sin-aveng. utter worldliness, has been broken in upon. ing God. You feel that you are not in a right Time seemed so important and so durable, that state for a meeting with Him. Ah! you know eternity, and all its momentous realities, were there is much standing between you and Him hid from the view. But the events of these -many accounts unsettled. You would gladly, past days have changed your thoughts. You see therefore, get rid of the thought of His being you have not such a lease of time. It seems so near you if you could. But what a tale does as if it would slip from your fingers. Death, this tell -- what a tale of misimproved gracethat was so hid in the glitter of earthly things, of slighted mercies! How otherwise it should rises up black and gloomy, and Judgment stands have been with you, who have so often enjoyed at its back. You shudder at the sight. A voice the sweet calls of the gospel ! You would be within the while tells you you are not prepared glad to put the thought of God out of your to die, and you feel in your inmost soul the mind, that you might continue at ease. But truth of its averments. Ah! it is well that it 0 how foolish is such a course! Grant that, is tbus with you—sooner or later you must have by the passing away of the pestilence, you been awakened. Bless God that it has taken could sink into unconcern again, what good place with you in time! Many are not awakened would it serve? Your ease, your fancied peace, out of their sleep of indifference until they lift would be but a vain dream, to be enjoyed, it ap their eyes, being in torments. In their case might be, for a year or two, and then to be there is no hope ; in yours there is. Thank broken in upon for ever. O, away with such God for it, then, and improve it. Doubtless a delusion! Does the thought of God pain it is in real love and mercy that He hath sent you? Then there is reason for the pain-a reathe pestilence upon your neighbourhood. He son which, as an immortal being, desirous of tries many ways to lead you to repentance. your own happiness, you ought at once to seek * This paper has been published in a separate form, and

to have removed. Blessed be God, if you will will be found highly suitable for circulation at this period. | but so seek, it is not a hopeless thing.

II. Real peace and safety are to be found only No evil came nigh their dwellings. The Lord in the favour of God.

in all this pointed to a time of far more awful You are in the hands of God-in the hands judgment, and to a far more blessed deliverof the omnipotent Jehovah. “He doeth ac ance. He pointed to the time when He shall cording to His will in the army of heaven, come out of His place to punish men for their and among the inhabitants of the earth; and iniquities, and to the only way by which they none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, may escape in the day of His anger. It was What dost thou ?” -(Dan. iv. 35.) It is vain | by sprinkling blood upon their doors, and by to think of contending with Him, and equally keeping close under the covert of this blood, vain to look for deliverance apart from Him. / that the Israelites were saved. Where there There is no real peace of mind in such a trying | was no blood there was no barrier. All was time, but in the assurance that you enjoy the open to the destroying angel. Where there favour of the God of the pestilence. There is was blood all was safe. It was Jehovah's hid no real safety in such a day of rebuke, but in the ing place. It is by the spriukling of blood love of Hiin who hath sharpened the sword for also, and by taking refuge under its covert, that the slaughter. Had you Ilis favour, you would we shall be saved when the Lord passeth have nothing to fear. The cloud over others through to destroy. The blood the Israelites might be also dark over you, but the Lord's used was that of a lamb of the flock; but that comforting voice would be heard amidst its we must use is the blood of the Lamb of God darkness, saying to you, “ Be of good cheer; -God's own dear Son. We were justly ex. it is I, be not afraid.” You might see the posed to the wrath of God on account of our strong arm and the glittering sword, but taking sins; but “ Jesus made peace for us through deeper refuge in His love-going further into the blood of His cross" (Col. i. 20), “ who His the secret place of the Most High (Ps. xci. 1) own self bare our sins in His own body on the -you would see yourself protected by that arm, tree."-(1 Pet. ii. 24.) “God made Him to be and would know that your name is graven on sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be the palm (Isa. xlix. 16) of the hand that made the righteousness of God in Him." wields the sword.

(2 Cor, v. 21.) “ Without the shedding of blood

there is no remission of sin."— (Heb. ix. 22.) III. The favour of God is enjoyed under the covert And no blood will God regard but the blood of of Christ's blood.

His own Son. It alone will shield us in the When the Lord was about to smite all the day of God's wrath. first-born of the land of Egypt, from the first- / Now, just as it was under the covert of blood born of Pharaoh who sat upon the throne, even that the Israelites enjoyed the favour of God, unto the first-born of the maid-servant behind and were safe, so is it here. God's favour and the mill, He told his people Israel, whose first protection are only to be had by sprinkling this born He meant to spare, to take the blood of a atoning blood of Christ upon our souls. Had lamb, and to sprinkle it upon the side-posts any of the Israelites neglected to sprinkle their and lintels of the doors of their houses, and, doors with blood, or had they gone out of having done this, to abide within their houses their houses in the night when God passed in the night in which He was going to execute through in judgment, they would have been this great judgment.-(See Exod. xi, and xii.) / no longer safe. They were His people, the The Lord said that, when He passed through | beloved of the Lord, yet it was under blood the land of Egypt, He would pass over those alone that they were preserved. Here alone houses on the doors of which He saw the blood also shall we be remembered by God. The thus sprinkled, and not suffer the destroyer to blood of Jesus is the only mark He will recome in to smite them. The children of Israel gard. Where He finds any soul sprinkled with did accordingly sprinkle their doors with blood, it, that one shall be passed over--the destroyer and on that fearful night, when the cry of dis. shall not be allowed to smite him. The Lord tress was great among the Egyptians, because will cover such an one in the hollow of Ilis of some one dead in every house, in the houses hand. But where the blood of Jesus is not of the Israelites marked by blood there was seen, whatever else is there, then shall that peace-not a hair of their heads had been one be consumed. touched. It was thus they were saved from Ah! learn the lesson-it is all-important in the plague. The blood was the token between such days as these, when the Lord is executthem and God. They were safe under its covert. ing judgment among you. Would you enjoy

[merged small][ocr errors]

peace of mind-would you be safe! Then take message of mercy--the glad tidings of salvarefuge in Christ. Flee to Him. Look upon tion through Jesus Christ. All, without ex. yourself as a worthless, vile sinner, worthy only ception, are told of the day of vengeance, and of hell, but entreat Him to wash you in His | all equally, without exception, are invited, and blood. Put your trust there. Then you shall entreated, and commanded to flee to the covert be prepared for every trial. Even in the last of Christ's blood. Hang not back then, fearful great conflagration, you shall be remembered. to enter this only place of safety as if it were God shall see you as a poor sinner, who has not open to you! God makes you welcome, taken refuge under the blood of His own Son, and who shall say nay! True, it is wonderful and shall save you with His own hand. And that you should be invited-you, a very child in these trials which come across our paths of the devil-a vile worthless sinner, who have as we journey on through this life, you will never done any thing but mock God, and sin looking to the blood of Jesus as your confi. against him. Yet he has invited you. “Go dence, enjoy a blessed peace and rest in your ye into all the world, and preach the gospel souls. Thus, at this time of pestilence, when to every creature."-(Mark xvi. 15.) What men's hearts are failing them for fear, you is this but to say, “Go throughout this world, will feel calm and untroubled, "You will feel and tell every sinner the glad tidings about yourself under the protection of God, and in Jesus, that he may be saved through Him. the enjoyment of His favour, because under the Stand not without, 0 sinner! you have God's covert of the blood of Jesus. Your mind rest. warrant to enter. Christ is as free to you as ing upon it as you lie down at night, you will ever He was to any. Hesitate not, then, one rest in peace. Looking at the blood, you can moment longer, but flee to Christ, wondering look to God as your Father; and, as a child, the while at the marvellous grace that has commit yourself and your household to His made Him free to you. Rest in Him with keeping. You may not be sure that the pesti.confidence. In Him you have nothing to dread. lence shall not visit you or yours; but you shall | In Him you have peace with God; you enjoy he assured that it will not come unless your the Father's love. What then have you to heavenly Father pleases. It will not come as fear even in the darkest night! “Surely be a plague to you. It may come; but if so, you shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, will have nothing to fear-it will just be your and from the noisome pestilence. He shall Father's way of taking you to himself. Why cover thee with His feathers, and under His should a child fear a visit from a loving father, wings shalt thou trust : His truth shall be thy| come when he may, or how he may! O how shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid blessed is this resting place! Here you may for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that sing in storm or sunshine. Here you walk in flieth by day; por for the pestilence that walk. the light of God's countenance, and are exalt eth in darkness; nor for the destruction that ed in His righteousness.—(Psa. lxxxix. 15, 16.) wasteth at noonday. ..... Because thou Nothing can possibly befall you here, but what hast made the Lord which is my refuge, even infinite wisdom devises and infinite lode desires. the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no

Escape for thy life, thou fearful one! Look evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come not behind thee. Flee to this covert. Say not, nigh thy dwelling.”—Psalm xci. * Ah! the blood of Jesus is not for me. I dare not

OLD CATHARINE. come to Him, I have been such a great sin BY THE REV, DR ROBERTSON, SWELLENDAM. ner." Think you there were no great sinners CATHARINE RUYTERS, a Hottentot, better known by|| among the children of Israel 1 Yet they sprink.

the name of " Old Catharine," and amongst the

coloured people as “ Old Granny," died at Swellenled the blood and were safe. The Lord's com

dam on the 18th July 1848. For some years before mand given to them all was their warrant. All her death she had yielded a striking proof of the sinners are made free to use the blood of Jesus. The

riches and power of divine grace. Her age cannot

be precisely ascertained; but by the most careful calcommand came to the children of Israel as a

culation, from several circumstances to which she people to make use of the blood as their safety, repeatedly alluded, she was at the least 110 years and, without exception, it was not only their

old. She was born in the district of Swellendam,

and spent her long life entirely in that district; 80 privilege but their duty to do so. The blood

that she was known to most of the inbabitants as of Christ is not confined to any one people, “ Old Catharine." In her younger days she lived in

the darkest heathenism, and was altogether without The warning of danger, and the proclamation

God in the world. It pleased the Lord, however, in the way of escape, are world-wide. To every | his providence, to bring her afterwards, as a servant, sinner on this earth's surface does God send the into the family of a pious elder of the Swellendam

« FöregåendeFortsätt »