« FöregåendeFortsätt »
is saying. The worldling is a keen observer of the Christian. He expects us to copy the example of our Master, to do as we say, and be what we profess. Do we then testify to the world, that the works thereof are evil? Not merely by speaking against them, but by avoiding them, and practising the opposite virtues. If the world practices deception, are we sincere ? If the world cheats, are we scrupulously honest! If the world lies, do we always and every where speak the truth? If the world practices tricks in trade, do we do unto others as we would they should do unto us? If the world is proud, are we humble? If the world is covetous, are we liberal? If the world is drunken, are we temperate in all things? If the world is li. centious, are we chaste ? If the world is but I must not enlarge, are we unlike the world, not in the harmless, but in the hurtful; not in the innocent, but in the sinful; not in the indifferent, but in the essential? What is our testimony in the world ? Is it that we seek first and principally the kingdom of God—that we prefer spirituals to temporals—that we regard eternity before time, and the approbation of God more than the honour that cometh from man ? Is our testimony understood by the world? If not, can it be plain ? Can it be striking P Can it be what God requires, and what we profess?
It is to be feared that many of us do not
bear a true and correct testimony for God. We are not what we ought to be in our fami. lies. We are not what we ought to be in the counting-house, behind the counter, in the warehouse, or in our daily occupation. And the great reason is, we are not what we ought to be in the closet. We are really, what we are alone before God. But, if we are what we ought to be before God, we shall be what we ought to be before men. We always carry into the world the effects of the closet. If the heart is right, the life will not be wrong. If we understand what a profession of religion involves and requires ; and if we possess as well as profess religion, we shall bear a testimony to its excellency and power, in all the walks of life. How many profeg. sors misrepresent religion! How many cause the way of truth to be evil spoken of by their misdeeds! How many cause the name of God to be blasphemed, by their frauds, deception, and selfishness, practiced and indulged in under a profession of religion!
Let us then, each one for himself, put the question, What is my testimony? As a hus. band, what is my testimony to my wife ? As a wife, what is my testimony to my husband ? As a parent, what is my testimony to my children? As a child, what is my testimony to my parent! As a servant, or an assis. tant, what is my testimony to my em. ployers ? As a master, or mistress, what is
my testimony to my servants ? As a tradesman, what is my testimony to my customers P As a customer, what is my tes. timony to my tradesmen ? As a minister, what is my testimony to my hearers ? As a believer, what is my testimony to my pastor ? Do we all testify that Jesus is the Christthat his glorious work is our salvation-that his precepts are our rule—that his life is our example that his will is our pleasure--that to secure his approbation is our aim-and that to advance his cause, spread his truth, honour his name, and in every possible way to bring glory to him, is the grand end of our life!
So let our lips and lives express
Thus shall we best proclaim abroad
Our flesh and sense must be deny'd,
Religion bears our spirits up,
THE SABBATH OF THE SOUL.
THE Lord's day is an invaluable blessing. Then we leave the world, meet together in the house of God, enjoy social worship, and listen to the great truths of the everlasting gospel. But every Lord's day is not a Sabbath, for what between domestic anxieties, worldly cares, the heart's corruptions, and the temptations of Satan, we sometimes have little enjoyment of the Lord's day. Yet the soul has its Sabbaths, and blessed Sabbaths they are. Not confined to the Lord's day, but whenever the Lord in his sovereignty, sees fit to indulge it with a visit. There can be no such Sabbath, without the sensible presence of God; for the enjoyment of his presence, is the principal thing in it.
The Sabbath of the soul is kept in Christ. There God meets us, and there we meet the Lord. There God loves us, and manifests himself to us; and then we love God, and open our hearts to him. There we see the law, without its terrors ; and read the gospel; in all its glories. In the finished work of Christ, we rest too. In that work, God sees his law magnified, his justice satisfied, and all his perfections harmonised; and in that work, the sinner sees his debts paid, his obligations cancelled, his discharge procured, and his title to everlasting life made out. Here his conscience finds solace, and obtains peace; here the anxious, troubled soul finds rest; and here the weak and fearful heart find grace; yea, the whole inner man finds satisfaction and joy. In Christ, and reposing on his finished work, the soul can enjoy a Sabbath, but no where else.
The Sabbath of the soul, consists very much in communion with God. In the out. goings of the heart to God, and the in-comings of grace from God. The word of God becomes a living, speaking, heart-affecting word. Sweet portions of it flow into the mind, banishing fear, care, and all that troubles ; and imparting a sacred peace, a holy calm, and a divine joy. Then, we forget the troubles of the past, dread nothing in the future, and at present, love, praise, and bless the Lord. Now his goodness appears to be endless, his mercy infinite, his justice beautiful, his holiness lovely, his grace wonderful, and his love passing knowledge. We are wholly taken up with God, and we feel as if God was wholly taken up with us. Such are blessed seasons, sweet foretastes of the everlasting Sabbath. They wean us from earth, and make us long for heaven. Yes, the soul has its Sabbaths, may I often enjoy them.