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civilities of some from whom we shrink in. 1 tions of the kingdom, when the Redeemer stinctively when sitting in the shadow of of the kingdom was dead, how could they death. When the funeral is over, when look for redemption ? But when he openthe mourners have come home through ed to them the Scriptures, and showed " the streets," and the guests have departed, them that “ Clirist ought to have suffered then comes the great solitude of death; a and to enter into his glory," then a nobler solitude which none can cheer save the patriotism revived within them, and burned Christ, or some one who has shared richly upon the altar of their hearts. And it is in the great anointing, and through whose to this great spiritual redemption that the sympathy of silence, or of speech, the Lord Christian patriot will look, finding in it the himself comes near. In his preseuce death antidote for the disappointment of his has no power to harm. "Lord, if thou earthly schemes. The potsherds of the hadst been here, my brother had not died,” earth may strive with the potsherds, but said each of the sisters of Bethany to the the Lord is king; he sitteth above the long-delaying Saviour, when at last be water floods a king for ever! came. And beneath this superficial error • It is God that makes nations. It is his there lay a fundamental truth. Our dear. fear that gives unity to a people's life ; est ones will die, whether Christ be pre without this they are mere fragments rollsent or not; but where he is no ill befalls. ing in the stream of time—but with it they Death, as well as life, is part of our inherit are vessels unto honour, fitted for the Masance in the Lord, for where spiritual death | ter's use. “It is he that hath made us, is abolished by the reconciliation of the l and not we ourselves.” Our nation stands heart to the Giver of all life, natural death in the great unity of his truth, and not in is no more a curse, but a blessing. And the many forms of falsehood, the devices of when we learn this lesson-a lesson which devils or of men. These do but lower its the Cross and the risen Saviour alone can power and limit its life; and if ever it teach us—then in all our fear, and in all shall die, it shall be when the vapours of our sorrow for the lost ones, loved so well, the falsehood from beneath have quite our prayer will be, “. Abide with us,' 0 dimmed the lustre of the truth from above. Christ, no more a stranger!'” And in his O, Son of God, O, Son of Man, “ Abide presence, never asked in vain, we shall find with us!” Abide with us in our laws, our the antidote for all our grief.
language, and our literature; abide with "There is no death! What seems so is tran
us in our commerce and our conquests; to sition;
forgive our sins, to purify our hearts and This life of mortal breath
aims. “ Abide with us” in our churches Is but a suburb of the life Elysian,
and our schools; deepen our devotion; Whose portal we call Death."
widen our philanthropy; lift up our naBut here was another element of sadness. tional life nearer to the pattern of thy gloIn the minds of these two disciples was the rious, universal life ; and, above all, in our heaviness of the patriot's disappointment, homes “abide” thou with us, and make as well as the sharpness of the mourner's those homes as thou didst the homes of sorrow. " We trusted this had been he
Emmaus and of Bethany; show thyself to which should have redeemed Israel.” Op. us in blessing our bread, and in soothing pressed nations, nations groaning beneath
our sorrow; still teach our Marys, and, in a servile yoke, like the poor, we have al thy gentleness, reprove our Marthas; and ways with us ; our Polands, our Hungaries, | give us all the blessed assurance, that, as our Italies, are in some sort historical re
thou didst raise up Lazarus, so thou wilt petitions of the Israel of the Roman empire. | raise us up at “ the last day”! And in how many instances have their But if our England should ever dwindle patriotic sons woven into their funeral and decay, there is yet a better country, a songs the plaint, “ We trusted this had truer nationality—there is “the holy nabeen he that should have redeemed our tion, the peculiar people, and the royal Israel ” ? And when the sorrowing heart priesthood." Compared with this, all na. nas known of no better country-that is to ' tions are as shadows, that continue not ; ay no heavenly-its hopes, its patriotism, | into it all tribes and kindreds, that are ta chivalry, might all lie buried in the com- | washed from their defilement, shall be ab. ade's or the leader's grave. This was in sorbed, and its great world polity shall be part the error into which all the disciples
the song of heaven. Its King, who is also ell. Material and carnal in their concep- | its Deliverer, is the “ Son of Man,” the
universal manhood complete in him, for as 1 deceived, but could the chief priests and he is neither Jew nor Greek, but simply | rulers be so ? " And beside all this, to-day and entirely man, so “ in him there is nei is the third day since these things were ther Jew nor Greek.” Having “recon- done.” To this stranger” they do not add, ciled both unto God in one body by his “ And he told us that on the third day he Cross," he has “ of twain made one new would rise again,” though the thought man.” “Give none offence,” said the great plainly underlies the words. There seems apostle,“ neither to the Jews, nor to the to be a mental reservation here, partly, Gentiles, nor to the Church of God." perhaps, from the habit of secresy on this Here is a sort of human trinity, and, as | point enjoined by the Lord himself, and with the Divine Trinity the Father is to be partly from the burden of doubt that all in all (1 Cor. xv. 28), so with this hu- | presses on their hearts. But on this same man, the Church, which is the body of third day, there were reports that he was Christ, is to absorb and assimilate to itself | yet “alive"! " Certain women” of their both Jew and Gentile. When the Jew | company, early at the sepulchre, had gives himself to Christ he ceases to be a I brought back the wondrous story. Their Jew; when the Gentile gives himself to report of the women's report, toned and Christ he ceases to be a Gentile; and both | modified by their own perceptions, become Israelites indeed. Be this my na- 1 worthy of notice. In the first place, they tion! Be this my patriotism!
do not broadly affirm that the women ac O Saviour, light up the sacred flame tually saw and heard what they reported, within my heart, and abide thou ever with but that when they found not his body 1. me to pour oil upon it, so that to the end the sepulchre, they came “saying" that it may burn higher and hotter!
they had seen and heard these things. The But we have also in these reasonings only testimony of the women which they and communings, in addition to the fully receive, is the negative testimony a; mourner's sorrow and the patriot’s disap to the absence of the body of Jesus ; and pointment, the sceptic's perplexity. And even this not till sustained by the evidence by this word “perplexity " I wish to of the men who found it, in this respect, indicate the genuine and honest sceptic.
even as the women had said. As lortu Not the man conventionally so called
rest, about the angels and the resurrection? who, being convinced, as he says, that
these things are probably only “idle tales." Divine revelation is a myth, has passed
Notice, too, how the sharp edges of the from the region of doubt to that of cer women's truthful statement are, bo tainty ; and so has no more title, strictly speak, filed off by the scepticism of !! speaking, to be called a gceptic. This is men. The women, say Cleophas not the man I mean, nor is his perplexity
friend, came," saving" that they had seen a that which offered itself for solution, and “vision of angels :" this was not what we found it in the “stranger” Christ. The women said ; at least, so I think scepticism of which we speak was honest fairly conclude, for it was no mer doubt, arising out of tangled facts which
that they had seen, but an objective really no skill of these disciples could reduce to and it is in the highest degree impro order. It comes out first in their despond
that they should so weaken their testimon); ing“We trusted this had been he," &c. “A This was, naturally enough, the word,” says Alford, “ of weakened trust, sceptical version of the matter ; 10 and shrinking from the avowal that they visions are sometimes revelation believed it." But more fully do we find it Lord, are they not also sometim in the account they give of the events of tive? Women are credulous, image those most eventful days. This Jesus of emotional. In the dim twilightNazareth they knew to have been “a pro mouth of the sepulchro-under phet mighty in word and deed before all the wrought and overburdened feelings people ; " but then the chief priests and a sleepless night-after hysterical rulers condemned him to be crucified; and how easy for them to “ dream di this being so, could he possibly have been to see visions." Notice further, , the Christ? While he lived they“ trusted" disciples' version of the women that he might prove so, but now-how can I ment of the resurrection is sim a dead man be the Lord's anointed? Have | in the vision, the angels "sald they not read in their law that the Christ l alive." A timid rendering of abideth for ever? The“ people" might be risen-He goeth before you on
Rest degree improbable
enough, the disciples
mes revelations of the u also sometimes decep.
2 twilight-at the hre-under highly
hysterical weepings, dream dreams, and further, that the
is simply that, 'gels " said that he was lering of the "He is re you into Galilee
THERE SHALL YE SEE HIM"! These men were, however, ingenuous doubters; of all consciousness or intention, in their verbal
variations and dilutions of the women's el report, we acquit them: they were the a natural results of the medium of the minds ed through which they passed. And how mr does Christ meet and banish their scepti
cism? Not, as yet, by avowal and revelaer tion of himself-their eyes were still holden ERP that they should not see him, though their
hearts were ready, as altars, for the sacred hot fire-but by opening to them the Scriptures is concerning himself :-“Ought not Christ
to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory!” This is the key to the Divine exegesis of “Moses and all the prophets,” the connection between suffering and glory. This was the stone at which they stumbled, and this the Lord with his own hands now “rolled away." A suffering Christ! A dead Christ! These, to Hebrew ideas, were contradictory terms, nor do we wonder if none but He who was dead and alive again" could reconcile them ; but the reconciliation once made,
their hearts were all alive with the joy And where the heart is burning with realization of the Saviour's suffering, and sacrifice, and issuing glory, eyes will not long be holden, but shall soon see him as he is. And so with us; perplexed we are sometimes-wearied with mental conflicts, and faint with the heart's sore travail; but when we see Jesus in his Word, and feel him in his Spirit, our scepticism is gone, for we "know WHOM we have believed.”
O Christ! no stranger, nor casual fellow-traveller art thou! But in all our journegings walk thou ever at our side ; come near and nearer still; be ready with thy Word and blessed work for all our sins and sorrows, our disappointments and our doubts ; unravel our poor reasonings, strengthen our faint communings, and though the eyes of our flesh are holden yet, we wait the glorious Epiphany, at the breaking of bread, in thy Father's kingdom, and therefore pray thee to "ABIDE WITH Us."
HOW TO MEASURE A CHURCH.
· BY HENRY WARD BEECHER. CHURCHES are, in like manner, to be measured by their fruits. It is what they are, not what they believe ; what they do, not what they profess, that constitutes their Christianity. But it is supposed that to measure them thus would introduce a mischievous tendency among men--a tendency to looseness in religious views. What, I ask, is a church good for, except purity of life ? And do you pretend that to judge it according to that standard will produce laxity in religious views ? What is the husk good for except to hold the kernel of grain while it is growing? Churches and church regulations are only relative to the final end ; and you will reach the final end better by saying that a man is a Christian when he is a Christian ; and, ordinance or no ordinance, government or no government, doctrine or no doctrine, that man who manifests, in practical life, love to God and love to man, is a Christian--and not only a Christian, but an orthodox Christian. And he is your priest; or, if you doubt that he is your priest, he is your bishop; or, if you doubt that he is your bishop, he is your cardinal; or, if you doubt that he is your cardinal, he is your pope ; or, if you doubt that he is your pope, he is your church! He is a light in this world : for I affirm that the grace of God in the soul epitomises all that God meant to establish in the world by the revelation to men of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And this truth relates not merely to the way of looking at the church, but also to the administration of the church. Christian brethren, we are in great danger of idolising things which Christ does not care anything about, and despising things which are dear to him. Suppose you had a deacon to elect, and two candidates were brought before you, one of whom was not a self-seeker, was kind to the poor, was full of Christ's spirit, but was living in a two-story house-a thing which is always fatal to a man's standing in society; and the other of whom, blessed be God! owned a million of dollars--having been converted without suffering in his pocket-hired the best pew in the church, was liberal to the minister, and nourished him so that he dared not preach as much truth as he had formerly done, and “reflected great honour on the church”— and oh, what a good thing it is for the church to have members who reflect honour upon it!
Now that man is the strongest man in the church who brings the most of heaven into it. That is the best man whose heart has the strongest magnifying power, and through whom you can see most of God.
And this will interpret to you my understanding of the famous controversy as to broad churches and narrow churches, and old churches and new churches, with which the papers have been so filled of late. What is a broad church? I think that is a broad church which is broad enough to stand on the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think that is a broad church which is so broad that it can say, “ If a man is true to the example of Jesus Christ, and follows it in his life, he is right." I think that is a broad church which is broad enough to regard purity of beart and sweetness of life, and nothing else, as the essential evidences of piety. A broad church may accept other evidences if they are offered; but the church which demands that its members shall be living Christians, is as broad as eternity. Vital godliness is all that any church need require. Other things are of minor importance to it. Men talk about liturgies; if they want liturgies let them have them. And if they want robed priests, let them have them. And as to the colour of the robe, it is as good white as black, or black as white. It is not the dress that makes the man or the Christian. It is impolite to interfere with churches in these things. The man who meddles with the private affairs of churches is as bad a busy body as the man who meddles with the private affairs of families or individuals. Let every church do as it pleases in respect to its modes of administration, and you do as you please in respect to yours. That is liberty enough. But let all churches, of whatever name, and under the arch of whatever creed they stand, join on this ground-that underneath everything else shall be Christian love, and all the glorious fruits of Christian love, and then we could hope to have a world's alliance worthy of the Christian name.
The whole question of theology seems too simple to have made so much ques. tion. Every man who thinks, and who arranges his thoughts by their logical syns pathies, will have a theology. Not to have one is evidence of the want of intellectual activity. The uses of this inevitable systematisation is another question. While we disdain and throw off the despotism of creeds, used not to inspire and foster religious thoughtfulness, but to limit and smother it, we get recognise and insist upon the proper uses of religious statements of doctrine. But when theologies or doctrines, or any other instruments, are, either by superstitious reverence, or by carelessness or formalism, put above piety and praised more than goodness, then the servant has usurped the place of the master. The end of the law is love out of a pure heart. All doctrine is itself to be tried by its power of producing life. When, in any of the ways in which God works upon the human heart, there manifestly appears the genuine life of love, no man is to dispute it for want of a doctrinal origin, nor is he with worse folly to arrogate to dead doctrinal beliefs, unaccompanied by holiness and virtue of life, a superiority over goodness without doctrine. All theology is good for, is to make piety. And the end is always more important than the means. Piety is not to be judged by theology. Theology is, in a large way, to be judged by piety. We have no quarrel with creeds, systems, or theologies, except when they suppress or neglect holiness of heart and life. Our whole burning desire and the aim of our life are to awaken in men a real living piety; and we will use gladly whatever will produce that, and ever will fight whatever stands in its way.
Tales and Sketches.
ALL FOR CHRIST.
new vows she had taken upon her, the new “Now, girls, I have got news for you!" peace she had found, her visitors could The speaker was a showy girl, dressed in see clearly and distinctly the wondrous
the height of fashion. She was just enter- change, in dress, in manner, and even in T ing the room where sat several young ladies, countenance.
her cousins, pursuing various household em Lizzie was engaged to be married to a ployments.
thorough man of the world. George Phillips "What is it, Ada ?” cried one and i loved his wine, his parties, the race-course, another.
the theatre, the convivial and free-and-easy “You'll never believe it! Lizzie Ash club. The Sabbath was his day of pleasure, brook has professed religion !" was the half and many a time had Lizzy graced his eleserious, half laughing reply.
gant equipage, radiant in beauty, on the holy EN “Lizzie Ashbrook !" The girls repeated day, as they swept along. He bore a dashLars the name, more or less in surprise.
ing exterior, was intellectual, a wit; courted, petit “Lizzie Ashbrook !" said the elder cou caressed, admired everywhere.
sin, Julia, seriously ; “why! she was for His brow darkened as he heard the news. ever making sport of the subject."
What! the girl of his choice, the woman he "And such a fashionable girl ; why she should place at the head of his brilliant would hardly look at a person who was househould, become a canting Christian! meanly dressed,” remarked another.
Nonsense!' He didn't believe it ; he would "Her father an infidel too; what will he see for himself. He didn't furnish his par- Jay!"
lours for prayer-meetings ; he wanted no "I heard that he had turned her out of long-faced ministers, elders, or “ sisters ” to - he house,” said Ada.
visit his wife, not he. It was a ridiculous 1. There was a long silence.
hoax; it must have originated in the club"Well,”-it was abruptly spoken by the room. What! the daughter of Henry Asha oungest of the family—“we shall see now brook, the freest of freethinkers ? Ha! a
there is the reality in religion that Chris capital joke-a very clever joke-nothing ans talk about. I don't believe there is more! she single person in any branch of her He called on her not long after the visit -mily who is religious. She will have before mentioned. His cold eye scanned
nusual trials to undergo ; I would not her from head to foot-but how sweetly, ke to be in her place.”
how gently she met him! Surely the voice “Trials ! pshaw! there is no such thing that was melting music before was heavenly persecution in these days ; it would be al in its tones now. All the winning grace re thing to see a martyr!” This was was there, all the high-bred ease; the merry - htly spoken by Ada, who had been smile dimpled her cheek ; but there was a
zzie's nearest friend, and who felt an un- | something, a subtile something that thrilled ual bitterness springing up in her heart him from head to foot with apprehension ward the young girl, who she knew could because it was unlike her usual self. What longer enjoy her companionship as of could it be ?
At length, lightly, laughingly, he referred Martyrs are not rare even in these days ; to the report he had lieard. For one mo.., and martyrs to religious persecution, as ment the frame trembled, the lips refused shall see.
to speak ; but this passed, and something The cousins made an early call on Lizzie, like a flush crossed her beautiful face. It o received them with her accustomed lighted the eyes anew, it touched the cheek -ce, and with a sweeter smile than usual. | with a richer crimson as she replied:
“George, please don't treat it as a jest, t she was pale, and though there was a
for truly, thank God, I have become a er expression on her beautiful face, yet
Christian ! O, Georgé !” her clasped hands appeared like one wearied with some ggle in which she was the sufferer. | were laid upon one of his," I have only just hough she did not speak directly of the begun to live. If you knew