Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

done by us, and that little is done for Jesus Christ. Is the propagation of the Gospel not his cause ! Is not the support of Gospel ordinances in this land his cause! Now, try how it will sound for us to talk of generosily to Jesus Christ; who, (as many of you heard well illustrated this afternoon,) "gave HIMSELF a sacrifice for us," and is set forth a propitiation for our sins. Churches, or Christian Societies are not only designed for their own edification, but also to promote the furtherance of the Gospel. And if we give a fiftieth or a hundredth part of our income, and a hundredth part of our time to this cause, shall we call such doings-generosity ! Alas, for the low feeling of the churches and of the ministers in this matter. How few of the ministers devote themselves to the enlargement of the Saviour's kingdom, beyond the comforts of home and their own country; and how few Christians make their persons, and their labours, and their property, whether much or little, subservient to the cause of Christ. Is not St. Paul's complaint still true in a very great degree, notwithstanding all the stir and activity of British Churches-“ All seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's ?” That a reasonable portion of what God hath given us, be employed by us, in supporting and diffusing the blessed Gospel, is a solemn duty, which no Christian man or woman may innocently leave undone. It should not be called charity or generosity. Shall we have the ordinances of religion, even to satiety and loathing, and not help our starving brethren in pagan lands? Alas, for the selfishness of Christians. By such meagre doings, how can we have the heart to pray, Thy kingdom come? But it will come we may be selfish, but help will arise from some cther quarter; for the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and his resources are inexhaustible.

Address at Newcastle-on-Tyne-High Bridge, Church of

Scotland Chapel.

More than thirty years have elapsed, since, in this house of prayer, he who this night addresses you, attended as a

child, the ministry of the Gospel; and then, by God's blessing, had his mind gradually imbued with the principles of our holy religion. In addition to the instruction given from the pulpit, he was required to commit to memory portions of Holy Writ, hymns of praise and adoration, and the form of sound words sanctioned by the Scottish Church: to these were added domestic instruction, and the many prayers of a father, to whom prayer was a delight. The child of that period has been in the course of Divine Providence, conducted to distant regions, to a people of a hard language and a strange speech; there to use means of conveying to the people the treasures of divine truth and mercy, which have been entrusted to the churches by Almighty God, for the salvation of a lost world;—he has assisted materially in rendering Moses and the Prophets, Christ and the Apostles, degible, in the mother-tongue of hundreds of millions of our fellow creatures, our brethren and our sisters of the great human family. And he who was then instructed here, and, a bashful boy, stood in that spot, to be publicly catechised, now stands before you to bear witness to the grace, and mercy, and faithfulness of God our Saviour:-he stands before you as an instance of divine goodness; as an example of the benefit of early religious instruction; as an encouragement to the fathers and mothers of families in this congregation, to spare no pains in the religious education of their children; and he stands before the youths of this congregation as a stimulus to those, here present, to listen to the voice of heaven-derived truth, conveyed by their parents, their spiritual pastors, and by the Bible itself; for all these co-operate, being accompanied by the energies of the Holy Spirit, in convincing of sin, in awakening the conscience, in imparting spiritual life, and quickening those who are dead in trespasses and sins.

Your preacher has long been deprived of the benefit of Christian ordinances in a pagan land, and he has learned to value them more than he ever before did; and he would that all here present were more and more convinced, and were at all times more sensible of their inestimable worth, that they might more cheerfully support them at home, and

1

lend their assistance to send them abroad. This land of churches, of Sabbaths, and of Bibles, is, in comparison of many regions, a truly happy land. And how awful the condemnation of those of us will be, who despise, or neglect, or abuse such inestimable privileges ! May it be yours, my friends, rightly to appreciate them, and to improve them! Especially do I rejoice, that there are so many in this congregation who care for the religious education of the children, and that the children delight in learning wisdom's ways. In the distant regions beyond the Ganges, and in the land of the “rising sun,"* children do not enjoy those spiritual advantages which children in this country enjoy, not because Heaven has withheld the means, as many impiously suppose; but because of the selfishness of Christians, which has prevented them from using the means in their power, to communicate those privileges to others. I hope brighter days are near at hand, when the churches will all exert themselves more in the great duty of disseminating the Gospel, than they have ever get done. When Cain's sullen selfish speech—“Am I my brother's keeper?" shall be reversed, and Christians shall all acknowledge the sacred solemn duty of caring for their brethren of mankind, irrespective of geographical limits; for God bas made of “ONE blood,all nations of men—and all men are brethren; even the Pagan Chinese maintain the principle, (whatever their practice may be,) that (Teen hëa wei yih këa) “ The whole world is but one family.”

Jih-pun, or Japan, denotes, in Chinese, “ The source of day.”

DISCOURSE XII).

DELIVERED AT WINDSOR CHAPEL, NEAR MANCHESTER, oct. 31, 1824.

THE CHURCH AMIABLE.

PSALM LXXXIV. 1.

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts !"

When the posterity of Abraham were, by the hand of Moses, delivered from that state of slavery to which the Egyptians had reduced them, and were crossing the deserts of Arabia, proceeding to the land of promise, a spacious tent was, by divine command, erected in the wilderness, to be at once a palace for the Divine Presence as Israel's king, and a place of the most solemn public worship; this tent, set up in the wilderness, was the first Tabernacle. “Let them make me a sanctuary,” said the Almighty,“ that I may dwell among them.”—“And there,” said Jehovah to his servant Moses,“ will I meet with thee, and I will commune with thee, from above the mercy scat, from between the two cherubim, (which are upon the Ark of the Testimony,) of all things which I give thee in command, unto the children of Israel.” This Tabernacle was carried by the Israelites into Canaan, and during about five hundred years, continued the place of public worship, to which the several tribes resorted, till it was succeeded by the magnificent temple reared by king Solomon.

[ocr errors]

The Psalm which I have taken as the subject of discourse on this occasion, was written by king David, when expelled from Jerusalem, by bis abandoned and rebellious son Absalom. In it the pious and afflicted monarch, agreeably to his usually devout manner, expresses his ardent attachment to the House of God. A pious commentator* has thus rendered the whole Psalm

“ How lovely are thy tabernacles,
O Jehovah, God of Hosts!
My soul longeth, yea, languisheth,
For the courts of Jehovah !
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God !
Yea, as the sparrow findeth a house
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young;
So I seek thine altars, Jehovah God of Hosts,
My King and my God.

Happy they who dwell in thy house,
They will be for ever praising thee.
Happy the men whose strength thou art,
Confidence reigns in their hearts.
Though they pass through a desolate valley,
Yet shall they drink from a fountain :
Yea, the rain shall cover it with blessings;
They shall go from strength to strength,
Till each appeareth before God in Zion.

O Jehovah, God of hosts, hear my prayer ;
O God our shield, behold and regard
The
person

of thine anointed.
For better is a day in thy courts,
Than a thousand spent elsewhere!
I had rather be a door-keeper
In the house of my God,
Than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For a sun and a shield is God, Jehovah.
Jehovah will give grace and glory;
No good thing will he withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

o Jehovah, God of Hosts,
Happy is the man who trusteth in thee !

• Boothroyd.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »