« FöregåendeFortsätt »
his sins, which were Christ's real murderers. Did | Laodicea. Think you it would have been well ata any man ever feel that he deserved damnation, as he tended? Why should it be? None of them felt his who sees the sinfulness of sin in the cross of Christ ? need of Divine aid. They were all satisfied with We learn that we are the chief of sinners by learning
their present condition. They would probably that Christ died for such. No convinced sinner ever
at No assign as the reason for non-attendance, want of felt his wants supplied till he came to Christ. No such sinner ever came to Christ, and wished for any time; but the real reason would be, no such sense of other Saviour. His blood cleanseth from all sin. | want as required the merciful interposition of God. His grace is all-suflicient. His power is resistless. Is not this the reason why many professors of religion His truth can never fail.
are habitually absent from the meeting for prayer, The adaptation of Christ's work and sufferings to
| to ask for gold tried in the fire, that they might be us, proceeds from his having borne our nature. Their wondrous efficacy with God arises from the fact
rich? Were they conscious of their nakedness, they that he was God. Paul calls his blood the blood of would feel the need of prayer, to obtain the white God. We may truly call him a divine sufferer. He raiment with which they might be clothed. Did they is the Son of God and the Son of man in two distinct
realize their blindness, they would rejoice to come natures and one person for ever. Blessed Saviour !
together and ask for the eye-salve that would cause thou art all in all to me.
them all to see.
Reader ! are you of this class? Then you have the WHAT DO YOU WANT ?
Laodicean spirit, and should earnestly ponder what A GENTLEMAN who was endeavouring to raise a sum
the Spirit said to that Church. of money for a good object, applied to the late Nathaniel R. Cobb for a donation. Taking it for granted that he must fully explain all the circumstances
PLENARY INSPIRATION. which rendered charitable contributions necessary,
It may be said, “ May not we be permitted, while he commenced his story, and was proceeding with
conceding the miraculous and other evidences of the minute detail, when Mr C. interrupted him by
Christianity, and the general authority of the records saying, “ My good brother, what do you want ? Just which contain it, to go a step further, and to reject say what is my proportion, and the money is ready." some things which seem palpably ill-reasoned, dis| Thousands of times within the last twenty years
tasteful, inconsistent, or immoral!” “Let every has this incident come to my recollection, and always
man be fully persuaded in his own mind." For our
selves, we bonestly confess we cannot see the logical with an instructive import. Especially has it taught
consistency of such a position, any more than the me a lesson with reference to prayer. Seldom have reasonableness, after having admitted the preponI repaired to the throne of grace without a recur- | derant evidence of the great truth of Theism, of rence of the inquiry, “What do you want ? ” | expecting some phenomena as apparently at variance Prayer is the expression of felt want. What do I with the Divine perfections; and thus virtually
adopting a Manichæan hypothesis. We must recollect feel? Let me, then, present my petition for the
that we know nothing of Christianity except from supply. This will concentrate my thoughts and
its records; and as these, once fairly ascertained to feelings. This will give definiteness to my language. be authentic and genuiné, are all, as regards their This will render my prayer simple and earnest. contents, supported precisely by the same miraculous
Sometimes, when I endeavour to join with another and other evidence; as they bear upon them precisely in prayer, I am reminded of the question,“ What do
the same internal marks of artlessness, truth, and
sincerity; and historically, and in other respects, are you want?” Many public prayers are exceedingly inextricably interwoven with one another: we see loose and desultory. How often is it apparent that not on what principles we can safely reject portions the petitioner, though he asks for many things, wants as improbable, distasteful, not quadrating with the nothing in particular ? His prayer is a service that dictates of “reason,"our "intuitional consciousness," fills up a prescribed number of minutes in the time
and what not. This assumed liberty, however, is, as allotted to worship; but it indicates no definitel.
we apprehend, of the very essence of Rationalism;
and it may be called the Manichæism of interpretadesire, no feeling of need, no deep longing of soul
tion. So long as the canonicity of any of the records, for any specific favour. Such prayers do not or any portion of them, or their true interpretation, much help the spiritual mind in its devotions. The is in dispute, we may fairly doubt; but that point truly praying soul will break away, and throw itself | once decided by honest criticism, to say we receive directly before the mercy-seat, presenting its own
such and such portions on account of the weight of
the general evidence, and yet reject other portions desires, and urging its own requests.
though sustained by the same evidence, because we When I read the prayers of good men, which in
think there is something unreasonable or revolting spiration has recorded, I find them all definite and | in their substance, is plainly to accept evidence only explicit. It is easy to see what was wanted, and how where it pleases us, and to reject it where it pleases much it was wanted. And occasionally I hear a
us not. The only question fairly at issue must ever prayer that approximates very near to these models
be, whether the general evidence for Christianity
will overbear the difficulties, which we cannot in unity, precision, and brevity. The petitioner mani.
separate from the truths. If it will not, we must festly knows what he wants, and why he wants it, reject it wholly; and if it will, we must receive it and where he must obtain the supply. It is good, wholly. There is plainly no tenable position between with such a leader in devotion, to draw near to God.
absolute infidelity and absolute belief. And this is proved by the infinitely various and Protean charac
ter of Rationalism, and the perfectly indeterminate, THE REASON WHY.
but always arbitrary, limits it imposes on itself, It SUPPOSE a prayer-meeting had been appointed at exists in all forms and degrees, from a moderation
which accepts nearly the entire system of Christianity, | moral or not, it is perilous to their future welfare to and which certainly rejects nothing that can be said pass through the first twenty years of life uncon. to constitute its distinctive truth, to an audacity of verted. The minds of children in religious families unbelief, which, professing still vaguely to reverence Christianity as “ something divine," sponges out
come in contact with so much truth during their nine-tenths of the whole; or, after reducing the mass
minority, that ordinarily their destiny for life and for of it to a caput mortuum of lies, fiction, and super eternity is fixed within that period of life. The stitions, retains only a few drops of fact and doctrine question whether their hearts shall yield to this truth, --80 few as certainly not to pay for the expenses of or shall not, is decided. It is scarcely possible for the critical distillation.-Edinburgh Review.
any mind to hold this question practically in sus.
pense beyond a limited time. A little practice in reEARL FITZWILLIAM; OR, HONESTY THE
sisting the claims of truth augments the power, and BEST POLICY.
hence increases the probability, of making such resisA FARMER called on the late Earl Fitzwilliam to re
tance. With the greatest wisdom, God has made present to him that his crop of wheat had been seri the minds of the young constitutionally plastic-has ously injured in a field adjoining a certain wood where made the period of their dependence on parental care his lordship's hounds had during the winter fre- and training very long; and now, these measures of quently met to hunt. He stated that the young wheat his providence conspire with the promises of his had been so cut up and destroyed that in some parts here
grace to proclaim earnestly to Christian parentscould not hope for any produce. “ Well, my friend,” | said his lordship, “ I am aware that we have fre
Youth is the period of your child's conversion. This quently met in that field, and that we have done con is the day of hope. If you fail now, you can have siderable injury; and if you can procure an estimate little hope of success ever after. of the loss you have sustained I will repay you." Yet there are at this moment thousands of ChrisThe farmer replied, that, anticipating his lordship's Itian families in our churches, whose children are consideration and kindness, he had requested a friend to assist him in estimating the damage, and they
coming up to manhood without conversion. They thought that, as the crop seemned quite destroyed,
become habituated to resist the claims of the gospel; fifty pounds would not more than repay him. The they form habits of irreligious thinking and acting; Earl immediately gave him the money.
the hopeful period for conversion glides away; they As the harvest, however, approached, the wheat carry from a Christian home into an ungodly and engrew, and in those parts of the field which were most
snaring world only a seared conscience, a deep dislike trampled the corn was strongest and most luxuriant,
of religious restraints, and a fund of religious knowThe farmer went aguir to his lordship, and being introduced, said, “ I am come, ny lord, respecting the
ledge which has mainly if not entirely lost its power field of wheat adjoining such a wood." His lordship to interest, and perhaps utterly its power to move immediately recollected the circumstance. “Well, | and to melt. Alas! how faint the prospect that such my friend, did not I allow you sufficient to remune graduates from Christian families will ever retrace rate you for your loss ? " "Yes, my lord, I find that
their steps--will ever again come into a hopeful I have sustained no loss at all; for where the horses
state for being influenced by the truth and the Spirit had most cut up the land the crop is most promising, and I have therefore brought the fifty pounds
of God! If there be reason to hope in individual inback again." “Ah!” exclaimed the venerable Earl, stances, is there not still more reason to fear in the “ this is what I like; this is as it should be between mass of cases that such youth will be the worst foes man and man." He then entered into conversation of the gospel--the most unpromising subjects for rewith the farmer, asking him some questions about
| ligious impression !-Oberlin Evangelist. his family-how many children he had, &c. His lordship then went into another room, and returning, presented the farmer with a check for one hw
THE RECKONINGS OF ETERNITY. dred pounds, saying, “ Take care of this, and when your eldest is of age present it to him, and tell him In speaking of the profound spiritual lethargy which the occasion that produced it." We know not which so widely and strongly prevails among men in view to admire most, the honesty of the farmer on the one of the solemn realities of the coming world, Dr hand, or on the other the benevolence and the wis
Chalmers thus discourses :dom displayed by this illustrious man; for while do
“ Though creatures of a fleeting and fantastic day, ing a noble act of generosity, he was handing down
we tread on earth with as assured footsteps, as if. in. a lesson of integrity to another generation,
stead of its shortlived tenants, we were to be everlastingly its lords. And the laugh, and the song, and
the festive gaiety, and the busy schemes of earthliness, CHILDREN OF THE CHURCH.
all speak a generation fast locked in the insengibility The children of pious parents—those who should be
of spiritual death. Nor do the terrors of the grave trained up under Sabbath-school and Bible-class in
shake this tranquillity-nor do the still more awful
terrors of the judgment-seat. That day of man's disstruction, and, what is yet more important, who
solution, which is so palpably at hand, and which should be enjoying the daily instructions and influence sends before it so many intimations, fails to disturb of the Christian family-these children are passing him. That day of the world's dissolution, when the along year after year unconverted. The flower of trumpet shall be sounded, and the men of all nations their life is being curged with sin. They may or they
shall awake to the high reckonings of eternity, and may not be kept within the limits of good morality;
this earth, and these heavens, shall be involved in the
ruins of one mighty conflagration, and the wrath that the temptations to immorality may be in many cases now is suspended in this season of offered mercy, too strong for the stamina of susceptive youth to shall at length break forth into open manifestation withstand without sustaining grace. But whether on all the sons and daughters of ungodliness—this
day, which, when it cometh, will absorb every heart | very much taken up with the bricklayers : pray, what in one fearful and overwhelming interest-now that might you be thinking about? Have you any notion it only is to come, and is seen through the imagined Lofil
of learning the trade ?" vista of many successive centuries, has no more effect
“No, sir,” said Edwin, smiling; “but I was just than a dream of poetry. And, whether from the dimness of nature's sight to all the futurities of the
to all the futurities of the thinking what a little thing a brick is, and yet that spiritual world, or from its slender apprehension of great house is built by laying one brick on another." that guilt, which in the sacred eye of heaven is so “Very true, my son. Never forget it. Just so it enormous--certain it is, that men can travel onward, is in all great works. All your learning is only one both to death and to the judgment, and say Peace,
little lesson added to another. If a man could walk peace, when there is no peace."
all around the world, it would be by putting one foot
before the other. Your whole life will be made up RELIGION OF THE HANDS.
of one little moment after another. Drop added to
drop makes the ocean. * "I Am bringing up my daughter,” said Lord Byron,
" Learn from this not to despise little things. “in a Catholic convent; for, if she is to have any
| Learn also not to be discouraged by great labours. religion, I desire that she may have her hands full."
The greatest labour becomes easy, if divided into How well does this random sneer characterise the
| parts. You could not jump over a mountain, but, religion of which he speaks? It is a religion which
step by step takes you to the other side. Do not gives full employment to the whole man, except the
fear, therefore, to attempt great things. Always essential part of him. It employs the feet in pil
remember that the whole of yonder edifice is only grimages and processions, the knees in genuflections,
one brick on another." the hands in crossing, the tongue in Pater Nosters and Ave-Marias, the lips in kissing the toes of marble ' apostles, and the shrines of pictured saints; it occu
THE MYSTERY OF THE CROSS. pies the eye with the pomp and circumstance of imposing exhibitions, the ear with its solemn anthems | how full of mystery is the death of Christ! Why and miseries, and the imagination with the terrors must the only-begotten Son of God, the brightness of purgatory: but it leaves the understanding groping of his glory, the express image of his person, become in a darkness which it has no disposition to dispel,
incarnate, suffer, and die? O mystery of mysteries!
An incarnate God, a suffering Christ and Saviour ! and the heart weltering in a corruption which it has
How fearful and terrible must the divine law be, no means to eradicate.
since the assumption of its penalty insolved such sufferings-filled heaven and earth with darkness!
How sad sin must be, since it could only be expiated EARLY INSTRUCTION.
by such a sacrifice! The cross not only points up to
the mysterious heights of divine love, but down to Religiou's instruction should be begun early. The the mysterious depths of sin in the human heart. intellectual nature must not be allowed to anticipate | It stands forth equally the exponent of a mysterithe moral; but religious truth must shine forth, and ously gracious Deity, and of a mysteriously depraved mingle its rays with the early dawn of the mind. and lost humarity. Advancement in knowledge of any kind greatly depends upon early cultivation. But the condition of our moral nature is such as to require in a special
Fragments. manner the illuminating, preventive, and quickening influences of religion. “Train up a child in the
FORGET YOURSELF.-- True humility does not so way he should go; and when he is old he will not
much consist in thinki
elves. as in depart from it." The fulfilment of the promise depends upon early beginning, even in childhood;
not thinking of ourselves at all. - School of God. and if the work be postponed there is no promise of A philosopher, being asked by what means he had success. In the same spirit our blessed Lord left to acquired so much knowledge, replied, “By not being his church the injunction: “Feed my lambs.” | prevented by pride from asking questions when I “ Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid | was ignorant." them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
So far as I ever observed God's dealings with my The Divine love and care of the rising generation are
soul, says J. Brown of Haddington, the flight of signally illustrated in the authoritative provisions, to instil early into the youthful inind the principles of
preachers sometimes entertained me; but it was
Scripture expressions which did penetrate my heart, I piety and truth. In direct conflict with this divine
and that in a way peculiar to themselves. method, is the general system of State instruction in this country. The wisdom of the world arrays itself
Vanity is satisfied with great words, but pride reagainst the wisdom of God.
quires great works.—Campbell.
The moment we permit ourselves to think lightly
of the Christian ministry, our right arm is withered. ONLY ONE BRICK UPON ANOTHER. -R. Hall. Edwin was looking at a large building which they
As the light, because of its beauty, is a thing very
refreshing and comfortable to them that behold itwere putting up just opposite to his father's house.
as Solomon says, “It is a pleasant thing to see the He watched the workmen from day to day, as they sun”-so is truth a most delightful thing to the soul carried up the bricks and mortar, and then placed that rightly apprehends it.--11. them in their proper order.
God delights to indulge his people, but not to His father said to him, “My son, you seem to be spoil them.
The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. I never author of all acceptable prayer. He teaches us heard a more precious truth than that. To me in the Scriptures, which he inspired, what we it would be all in vain that Christ has died, and ought to pray for. He opens our eyes to underthat salvation is offered, had not the Spirit been stand those Scriptures. And he puts into our poured out. I never should truly repent, or hearts longing desires for those good things for believe, or love, or hope, but for this blessed which he has taught us to pray. Having given divine agent. And as he begins, so he finishes us holy desires, he nourishes, excites, and gra. the work of grace. He is twice in Scripture tifies them. A good writer says: “He spiritcalled the Spirit of grace. There are three ualizes our natural affections, fixes them on reasons of this title being given. First, He proper objects, and enlarges and enlightens is gratuitously given to us. We have no their natural activity. When sin is recollected, claims upon him. His work is no more of debt he awakens anger, shame, and sorrow : when than that of Christ was. Secondly, He is most God is represented to the mind in his glory and loving, gentle, and condescending. He is as justice, he overspreads the soul with holy awe compassionate and kind as the Father or the and humble fear. When the Lord Jesus and Son. He is infinitely gracious. Thirdly, He is his redemption are upon our thoughts, the Holy the author of all gracious and pious affections Spirit warms and raises onr desire and love. and views in the soul. Every Christian virtue We are in ourselves cold and dead to spiritual is “ the fruit of the Spirit.”
things : He makes us lively in prayer, and holds | THE SPIRIT. It means the Spirit of God, in- us to the work. He begets holy reverence finite, eternal, unchangeable. He is called the for God, while we adore him. He works in us Holy Spirit, because he is holy, and because he delight in God, and longing desires after him, is the author of all holiness among men. He fervency and importunity in our petitions for is called the free Spirit, because he acts most spiritual mercies, submission and resignation to freely, and not at all by constraint; and because the will of God in temporal things, faith in our he cannot be purchased with money, or price, Lord Jesus Christ, and hope in the promises of or human merits. He is sovereign, and divides | God, while we plead with God for an answer his gifts severally as he will. He is twice called to our prayers. He also fills us with holy joy the good Spirit, and well he may be, for in and exultation in God, while we recollect in every sense he is good. All his titles are prayer his glories or his benefits, and awakens honourable, and show that he is to be greatly all the springs of thanksgiving." feared and loved. He is a divine person. No prayer thus offered is unavailing. It al.
This Spirit helps. He helps believers. He ways is acceptable to God, and profitable to helps them notwithstanding their infirmities. men. Such prayer is mighty, is effectual. It Indeed their weakness furnishes the occasion changes Jacob into Israel. It shuts and opens for his kind aid and amazing condescension. heaven, it shuts and opens the mouths of lions, If a man rejects God's Holy Spirit, God rejects it shuts and opens prisons, it shuts and opens that man. If a man feels no need of the help the grave. It prevails. It ever shall preof the Spirit, he is dead in trespasses and sins, vail. and knows it not.
The Spirit helpeth our infirmities by giving us The Spirit helpeth our infirmities. When and fortitude and peace in the day of trial, somehow does he help us ? Not by granting mira- times more, and sometimes less, but always culous gifts, not by revealing future events, not according to his wisdom and mercy. The proby imparting gifts of healing, and of tougues ; mise is, As thy day is, so shall thy strength be. This but He helps us in prayer. Blessed Paul is very the Spirit makes good. So he enabled Paul bold, and says—“ The Spirit also helpeth our and Silas at midnight to pray and sing praises infirmities : for we know not what we should to God. So he has given to his people in every pray for as we ought : but the Spirit itself age, songs in the night season. 'Tis he alone maketh intercession for us with groanings who can inspire the shout of triumph in the which cannot be uttered.” He is the great midst of exquisite sufferings. He has often done it, and he will do it to the end of the all malice and evil-speaking, and cherish all world, in the cases of all that believe.
those gentle affections and ways which please He helpeth our infirmities in our conflicts Him! The Spirit, like the dove, dwells not in with sin and temptation. Were God's people strife, and noise, and war. converted, and then left to themselves, the work thus begun would soon be utterly defaced. But A MISSIONARY EXCURSION IN FRANCE ! we are changed from glory unto glory by the Spirit
BY THE REV, LEON PILATTE, of the Lord. The carrying on of the work of
PARIS, Nov. 13, 1849. grace in the heart is through sanctification of the The Evangelical Society of France requested m
employ a spare week in making a missionary tour in Spirit. lle is the true wel of water, springing up
the departments of Sarthe and Orno, where a new
the to everlasting life. He works by enlightening, field of labour is opened. persuading, and enabling the soul to renewed 1. I left Paris on the 31st of October, at six o'clock
in the morning, by the road for Chartres. I will i acts of holiness. He works effectually. When
not speak of the historical localities through which the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of we passed in order to arrive at the immense plains the Lord lifts up a standard against him. His
of the Beauce, the monotony of which the purity of
the air and the brilliancy of the sun seem to increase standard is mighty. His grace is irresistible.
My travelling companions kept up a discussion, but His power is Omnipotent. This is the promise it was impossible to join in their conversation. At of God,-“I will put my Spirit within you, and
half-past ten we arrived at Chartres. I was greatly i
disappointed at learning on my arrival, that I could cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall not leave under twelve hours for the place of my deskeep my judgments, and do them.”
tination. What shall I do, thought I, in this unknown
city? The Lord had prepared me work for the day. Believers in all circumstances need the help
As I traversed the silent and deserted streets of the of the Spirit, and when they seek it aright they city toward the antique cathedral, I met an old grey. shall receive it. “If ye, being evil, know how to headed Popish priest. I asked him, in saluting him,
which was the shortest road. “You are a stranger, give good things to your children, how much
said he to me. “Yes," replied I, " a stranger here more shall your heavenly Father give his Holy against my will, having to wait twelve hours for the Spirit to them that ask him ?" This is the conveyance which is to take me on my journey." strongest kind of reasoning known even in
The good man was talkative, and after we had walked
some minutes together, “ Stay," said he to me, "till Scripture. It is the argument à fortiori. It | I go home; I wish to give you a small volume of marks all doubts as unbelief, and all unbelief OUL douhra as belief. and all unbelief poetry which I published some years ago; it will aid
you in passing the time;" and, without waiting for as heinous sin. So that if God call us to very
my reply, he left me, and soon returned, bringing the new, difficult, or heavy duties, all we have to do volume with him. “ Indeed, sir," I said to him, is to obey. Hu made apostles out of fisher
“ you are so kind that I am unwilling for you to
leave thus, at least until we shall have talked a little men and publicans. He made the immortal
more.” “ Willingly." In two minutes I was seated in dreamer out of the tinker Bunyan. If he will, the cabinet of the old priest. I quickly introduced he can raise out of the stones children unto
religious subjects. “For how long a time," said I
to the old man,“ have you been devoted to the sal. Abraham. The Spirit of the Lord is not vation of souls? There is one question the most 1: straitened. He has all resources, all compas serious of all, to which a thousand different answers
are given. I wish to lay it before you— What shall sions. He is wherever a broken heart is. His
one do to be saved ?" "To be saved !" replied bei ear is ever open to the cry of the righteous and hesitating a little; "oh! ... many things are neafflicted soul. If you are poor, He can make
cessary ... nevertheless, if one wishes to secure his your poverty not only a means of grace, but a truly serious conversation. On his side he showed
salvation he can come to a decision." Then followed also a means of present joy, so that you shall me (alas ! without saying a word of the grace of glory in tribulation. If you are sick, He can
Jesus Christ) all that Popery requires from its disci
ples. On my part I showed him the troubles, the sanctify your sickness, and make your chamber
anguish of an awakened conscience, that no ceranone other than the house of God, and the gate monies and no works could appease in presence of a of heaven. Many a time, in the saddest out
holy God. “Ab, well!” he exclaimed," it is impor
tant to do all the Church requires, and leave the ward condition, or when engaged in pursuits rest to the mercy of God." " Ah, sir !" said I in full of peril, ere the soul is aware, it is made turn, “I know another way and a better, for it prelike the chariots of Aminadab. In short, the
cures for me peace of mind a peace which passeth
all understanding." “And what is that? " said he blessed Spirit is sanctifier, comforter, and guide with lively interest. I expounded to him the evanto all the saints. Without Him they can do gelical doctrines of sin, of grace, and of the assurance
of pardon. He listened with pleasure; he approved, nothing. With Him they can do all things,
though with hesitation. From time to time, struck and suffer all things.
with the truth, he exclaimed, “ Perfect! perfect !" How highly His presence and aid should be We conversed for a long time. As I expressed to prized! How earnestly should we cry to Him
him my opposition to Popery, and my reasons for
being á Separate, “ No matter,” said he, “ you befor help! How carefully should we put away long to the interior Church."' I exhorted him to