« FöregåendeFortsätt »
of this church before me. It is generally understood, that God intends to save the world. He has said, “ Every knee shall bow,” &c. It will be generally understood that he intends to do it by the Church, under the influence of the Spirit. You will understand the Spirit dwells in the Church-it is His temple. The church co-operates with the Spirit. The Apostle said, “We then as workers together with him," &c. ; “Ye are the lights of the world ;" “ The salt of the earth.” It is the work of the Church to convert this world, to “ turn men from darkness to light,” &c. Means and ends are connected ; and as God hath joined them together, let no man put them asunder. What are the means to be used ? While Mr. Molineux was speaking, I thought he was saving me some time, and that it would be unnecessary for me to say much about making laws for the Church. That has been done by Jesus Christ. We do not mean the Church is not at liberty to make rules, but these must be based upon Christ's laws. But it is no part of the Church's duty to make laws for the universal Church. It ought not to appeal to any court of civil law to settle disputes. We mean, that if any difference should arise, they are not to go to law before the unjust. “Dare any of you,” &c. “ If thy brother trespass against thee, go and tell him,” &c., &c. We are not to bring the matter before legal authorities.
The Church must seek to preserve the Holy Scriptures pure; they are committed unto them for this purpose; it must watch over them. “We are not as many, that corrupt,”' &c. I am not sure if there is not danger in this matter. Some talk of emendations, whether what they do has not a tendency to lessen the influence of the truth. It is for the Church to administer the ordinances ; to see that they are duly attended to; the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper; it becometh the Church to fulfil all righteousness.
It is for the Church to raise up Ministers for the work. I will not say any. thing about their support. I have no notion of manufactured ministers being set to preach the Gospel—those who are not converted. It is a part of the work of the Church to instruct, and qualify, converted men for this important work. The Spirit is in the Church; it is our duty to believe that it acts with the Church; and if faithful, the Church will experience its influences. The Church is to admit members, and, if necessary, to expel them. Not the ministers only. What is Paul any more than another? Wherein do ministers and people differ? It is an official difference merely: they are both a part of the Church, differing only in office.
It is the duty of the Church to exhibit Christ in the life. To live Christ; to shew him forth; for Christ, when he came into our world, came to exhibit God. To make him known, to shew how kind, merciful, and holy, he was. “No man hath seen God,” &c. God was manifest in the flesh by him. Now, just as Christ manifested God, we must manifest him. “For me to live,” said the Apostle, “is Christ." To exhibit what kind of character he was: “I am crucified with Christ,” &c. We may be opposed, even if we exhibit in our life, “Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are honest,” &c., we shall not always be successfnl. Christ himself was not. They may speak evil of us, as they did of him ; but he could say, " Which of you convinceth me of sin ?' Without the influence of good example, it is next to impossible to do any good in the world. Mr. DICKIN. Theme"Internal and External Holiness of the Church
and its Officers."
Mr. Chairman and Christian Friends,
I am fully persuaded that this audience ought to have a better speech than I can give them. I may say a few things on that internal and external holiness which the Christian church should possess. Purity and zeal should characterize both ministers and members. We are called to be holy, “Be ye holy,” &c., “Without holiness,” &c. Without purity there is no difference between the church and the world. If we were all to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, we should be better prepared for Christian work. We should labour to break the bonds of every slave, and take the weapons from every tyrant and slave-holder. If there must be peace, there must first be purity, “First pure, then peaceable, gentle," &c. We should look upon the failings of others more favourably, and cherish a forgiving spirit ; there is nothing more plainly required than this, “Be ye kind one towards another,” &c. ; "Unless we forgive others,” &c.
The work of the church is also external; aggressive upon the world. To set ourselves in battle array, and attack the strongholds of Satan ; uprooting evil, looking at the world in its ruins, seeking to benefit the multitudes in darkness. We must abolish all the idols of wood and stone: the church must do this, by labours, and prayers, until every individual is brought to the knowledge of God. All error is to be removed by the church. Mahommedanism, Paganism, Mormonism, &c. These systems must be destroyed. The work is not done fast enough; look at a map of the world : how small a portion is Christian ! We are, however, encouraged, because the time will come, when “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God,” &e. It is not long since a subject like this would not have been brought before the church. John Wesley would have raised his voice against our doctrine'; he called his churches, societieshis rules were made for societies. When he left the stage, they found they had the means, as mentioned in the New Testament. Much of disturbance arose because the societies were left without the powers of Christian churches. We are enjoying that Scriptural liberty; and the church must regard the words of Christ more than the words of men. We have all work to do ; every one can do his part if he will; and God will bless our endeavours to elevate the world from its fallen state.
Rev. J. HARLEY. Theme="Money in connection with God's Cause.” Mr. Chairman,
I have been much pleased with this meeting, especially with the practical bearing of the speeches. I have to speak about money. It is of great importance to give, if we must carry on the church. The duty of the church is set forth in the New Testament in this department. To provide for its poor members, to smooth_their passage through the world, to provide necessaries for their comfort. I hope we shall remember this at our Sacraments and Love-feasts. To provide everything necessary for the due performance of its services. To supply the world with missionaries, tracts, bibles, &c. To provide due support for the ministry. To raise up and provide them with suitable books; many young men who bid fair for usefulness have been under great disadvantages in this respect. It is a ticklish point I know to speak of the support of ministers; but it is our duty to give them more than a bare maintenance; their families need educating, and bringing up for decent society. Preachers should not have riches, but they ought to have what will make their way comfortable. All should give; the poor as well as the rich ; if they do not give as much ; but the Apostle lays down the rule, “Let every one lay by in store,” &c. It is to be laid by, that the money may be ready.
(To be concluded in our next.)
VARIETIES. A TESTIMONY TO THE CHARACTER OF THE MEMBERS OF THE RUSSIAN
BRANCH OF THE GREEK CHURCH, FROM ITS HEAD. The most revolting characteristic of Russian society is the practical dishonesty, which, prevails in all departments. Nicholas, the head of the Greek Church in Russia, once said to his minister, “ There is but one man in the empire who does not steal, and that is myself." If he alluded to public functionaries, it is probable that he was not far wrong. According to the unanimous testimony of travellers, to journey through Russia is to be robbed at every stage; the pettiest clerk plunders you with the utmost coolness, and any complaint to his superior only leads to a fresh plundering by him on a larger scale. The police, it would appear, are the greatest robbers of all. A Russian, whose goods have been stolen, never considers them irrecoverably
lost till they have got into the hands of the police; and it is therefore his policy to conceal his loss from them, and try the effect of a treaty with the thief. This is often successful; but if the officers of justice catch the thief, they catch the goods too, and the owner seldom beholds them again.
SCHUBART, APTLY DESCRIBED. The poet Bunger speaking of the unhappy, but brilliant Schubart said,-he was a poetical Vesuvius, that vomited brilliant flames, but not unmixed with ashes.
NO GOOD ACT IS EVER LOST.
One of the most striking illustrations of the truth of the maxim at the head of this article is given in a recent work, entitled “The Jubilee Memorial of the Religious Tract Society.” We give the incident as there recorded. An old vendor of tracts, when visiting a depository at Stroud related the following fact: “ As I passed through a village in Yorkshire, I asked a poor woman to buy a religious tract. She refused. I turned round and threw one in at the door, and the wind carried it under the table, The man of the house came home, saw it, took it up, and read the title, “The Wonderful Advantages of Drunkenness ;' he left his dinner, and put it in his pocket. After he got to his work, he read it. In the evening his companions missed him at the ale-house ; and when they saw him, they inquired where he was on the preceding evening. He said he had been reading a religious tract. On giving this account of himself, they all laughed, and said he was going to turn Methodist. His neighbours said, 'John P. was sober last night, which quite surprised them, as this seldom occurred. But from this time he kept from the public-house, and began to pay his debts. His wife told all who inquired about him, that the cause of this great change was reading a religious tract, entitled, “The Wonderful Advantages of Drunkenness,' which a poor man had thrown in at their door. After being away two years, I returned to that neighbourhood again. I stopped at a public-house, about two miles distant from the village before named, and offered my tracts for sale. One of the persons in the room, with a dreadful oath, said, “I was one of those Methodists that had made their companion mad.” The woman of the house said, 'Do you call him mad? then I wish you were like him, and you would pay the five pounds you owe me; for he has paid me every farthing he owed me, and all in less than two years.' On entering a house, about a mile farther, I was informed that the tract I had thrown, two years before, into a poor man's house, had made him another man. At length I arrived at the village. A woman looked very hard at me, and said, ' Are you not the man who sold me some tracts about two years ago?' I said "I was.' Then she said, “ You must go with me to the house where you threw the tract in, and I am quite sure the woman will not tell you to go to hell now. As soon as I entered, the woman informed her I was the old man she so much wished to see. She cried out, “What? that dear man who threw in the tract ?' and, running, she took hold of my hand, and said, “I humbly beg your pardon for what I said ; I was in a passion, and very vile and wicked.' She bade me, sit down to dinner, and said her husband would be there in a few minutes. As soon as he came in, she told him who I was. He took me very kindly by the hand, and said, ' Blessed was that hour when you threw the tract into my house, and thrice blessed is that God who directed you to one so wicked. I was then poor and wretched ; spent most of my time in the ale-house; but now, thank God, I have a house of my own, and it is my delight to talk of the goodness of that God who directed me to the reading of the tract."
PEACE AT HOME. . It is just as possible to keep a calm house as a clean house, a cheerful and an orderly house as a furnished house, if the heads set themselves to do so. Where is the difficnlty of consulting each other's weakness, as well as each other's wants; each other's tempers, as well as each other's health ; each other's comfort, as well as each other's character? Oh! it is by leaving the peace at home to chance, instead of pursuing it by system, that so many houses are unhappy. It deserves notice, also, that almost any one can be courteous and forbearing and patient, in a neighbour's house. If anything go wrong, or be out of time, or disagreeable there, it is made the best of, not the worst; even efforts are made to excuse it, and to show that it is not felt; or, if felt, it is attributed to accident, not design ; and this is not only easy, but natural, in the house of a friend. I will not, therefore, believe that what is so natural in the house of another is impossible at home ; but maintain, without fear, that all the courtesies of social life may be upheld in domestic society. A husband, as willing to be pleased at home, and as anxious to please as in his neighbour's house ; and a wife, as intent on making things comfortable every day to her family as on set days to her guests, could not fail to make their own home happy.
Let us not evade the point of these remarks by recurring to the maxim about allowances for temper. It is worse than folly to refer to our temper, unless we could prove that we ever gained anything good by giving way to it. Fits of ill humour punish us quite as much, if not more, than those they are vented upon; and it actually requires more effort, and inflicts more pain to give them up, than would be requisite to avoid them.-Phillip.
SECRET OF USEFULNESS.
Above the ordinary level of the ministry and membership of the church, we occasionally, see one and another rising up who become conspicuous for their great goodness and usefulness. We do not mean those who court notoriety by a noisy zeal, or by the clamour with which they urge forward some favourite hobby. We have learned to think little of such men, and to become offended with their officious pretensions. Far different are they from the men whom the love of Christ constrains and the love of souls inflames;
such men as Brainerd, and Edwards, and Payson, of the new
and Whitefield, and Martyn, and Francke, and Neff, of the old. These men were not eager aspirants for fame, but while pursuing a far different object, fame attached itself to them. They left the impress of their zeal on the neighbourhoods in which they dwelt, and many rose up to call them blessed. Wherein consisted the secret of their usefulness? Was it simply in their successful mental cnltivation; or in their powers of eloquence ? No; but in their constant, devout, and humble waiting upon God. Prayer was their favourite resort, and the answer to it was the secret of their power. Christians of the present day may well take a lesson from
As a body, they are active; but is there not reason to fear that there is too little of that importunate and earnest prayer which infuses life into the pulpit? “Watch and pray” is a direction for all; to the ministry, especially, it is a rule which cannot be neglected, without endangering more than their own souls.
At the critical moment in the battle of Waterloo, when everything depended on the steadiness of the soldiery, courier after courier kept dashing into the presence of the Duke of Wellington, announcing that unless the troops at an important point were immediately relieved or withdrawn, they must soon yield before the impetuous onsets of the French. By all of these the Duke sent back the self-same spirit-stirring message_“Štand firm !” “ But we shall all perish!" remonstrated the officer. - Stand firm !" again answered the iron-hearted chieftain. “ You'll find us there!” rejoined the other, as he fiercely galloped away. The result proved the truth of his reply, for every man of that doomed brigade fell bravely fighting at his post. What an example is this for the Christian contending under the blood-stained banner of the cross! Shall the worldling maintain his position at all hazards for mere earthly considerations, and the follower of the meek and lowly Jesus, dare nothing for the boon of eternal life? God forbid ! His pathway should be lighted up by the flames of Divine love, and in the strength of Christ he should press manfully on from conquering unto conquest. If he will only continue to act thus, he will eventually achieve a glorious victory over his last foe, and be able to shout the “ harvest home" in that upper and better kingdom, where the sound of weeping never comes, and where the weary are at rest.— Church Advocate.
The great bell of St. Paul's, London, weighs 8400; the great bell of Lincoln 9894 pounds. Great Tom, in Christ Church, Oxford, the largest bell in England, weighs 17,000 pounds. The bell in Palaz Vecchio, at Florence, suspended 295 feet from the ground, weighs 17,000 pounds. The great bell of St. Peter's, at Rome, weighs 18,600 pounds. The bell at Erfuth, 28,200. But large as are these bells, they shrink considerably when compared with those of Russia. The bell in the tower of St. Ivan, in Moscow, weighs 100,000 pounds; and the fallen great bell which lies at the foot of the same tower, 443,772 pounds. Its height is over 21 feet, and its diameter at the rim is 22 feet. The metal in it is estimated to be worth about 70,0001. What an investment for so large a sum !
HOW MEN DIE WITHOUT THE BIBLE. The Rev. Dr. Cox, of Brooklyn, at a late anniversary of the American Bible Society, stated, with thrilling interest, a private conversation he had with a gentleman of renown (whose name he would not mention), just before going to his account: “As for the Bible,” said the sage, “it may be true; I do not know.' “What, then," it was asked. “are your prospects ?" He replied in whispers, which, indeed, were thunders, “Very dark-very dark!” “But have you no light from the Sun of righteousness? Have you done justice to the Bible?” Perhaps not,” he replied; " but it is now too late-too late!”
THE IMMORTALITY OF TRUTH.
Truth, like our Saviour, may be scourged, and crucified and buried, and the tomb may be sealed, and a watch set; but it has a divine energy in itself, that will burst the cerements of the grave and reign triumphant over death.-W. L. Garrison.
A GREAT MAN'S PREFERENCE. I envy no quality of mind or intellect in others—not genius, power, wit, or fancy; but if I could choose what would be most delightful, and I believe most useful to me, I should prefer a firm religious belief to every other blessing, for it makes life a discipline of goodness, creates new hopes when all earthly hopes vanish, and throws over the decay, the destruction of existence, the most gorgeous of all lights; awakens life even in death, and from corruption and decay, calls up beauty and divinity; makes an instrument of torture and of shame the ladder of ascent to paradise ; and far above all combination of earthly hopes, calls up the most delightful visions, palms and amaranths, the gardens of the blessed; the security of everlast