ePub 版


in man.



Thomas. If I could distinguish this by any point. He is to be conquered by one sword, I would call it ambition.

and by one only. On the broad shield of faith Olympas. Can you tell me any principle, we may quench his fiery darts ; but when we passion, or appetite in man not included in attack him we must use the Jerusalem blade, these three temptations ?

for, like the sword that beheaded Goliah, there Thomas. There are, indeed, innumerable is none like it. “IT IS WRITTEN" constitutes passions, propensities, and principles of action the omnipotent argument—the sharpest arrow

But it occurs to me that they might in the Christian's quiver ; and by the dextrous all be reduced to three-theanimal propensities, use of this cherubic sword, we need not fear pride, and ambition. And if these three cate- the world, the flesh, and Satan—that triumvi. gories include the whole, then, indeed, Satan rate of ruin which has tyrannized over mankind might well retire from the unequal contest. times and ways without number,converted

Olympas. You are almost, if not altogether, Eden into a wilderness, earth into a Golgotha, right. The impulses of our animal nature are and superinduced on our race the untold curses sometimes called propensities, appetites, and of indignant Heaven here, with the dread and desires. Of all these the supreme is the ap- dismal forebodings of a misery to come, endupetite for food in time of great or protracted ring as the days of eternity. A. C. want of sustenance, as in the case of our Lord, having fasted to the fortieth day before the temptation began. Where there is no fuel the WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN ? fire goeth out. All the passions animal are perfectly tame and governable when the appetite for food is in full vigor. An overweening

WHERE IS THE CHRISTIAN conceit of oneself, or pride, is the capital sin of

CHURCH ? all the passions; and ambition, sustained by avarice, consummates the whole train. Our “ The disciples were called Christians first Lord's triumph was indeed complete, and the at Antioch."--LUKE. victory glorious. Jesus kept the field, and “ Almost thou persuadest me to be a ChrisSatan fled.

tian.”-AGRIPPA. What was the armor worn and the weapons

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let used in this conflict of the great Captain, Eliza? him not be ashamed.”—PETER.

Eliza. The sharp two-edged sword proceeded out of his mouth, usually called the Sword IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT.of the Spirit. The helmet of Salvation, the To creatures such as we are, and ocshield of Faith, the breast-plate of Righteousness, the girdle of Truth, the greaves of the cupying our position, the above queGospel of Peace, and the Sword of the Spirit, ries and quotations, in overwhelming completed his panoply. Thus armed our Hero importance, are second to none. This stood, and Satan fled.

will be admitted by all who believe Olympas. And what next, James ? James

. Angels came, but they came after in the authority of the New Testament the battle was over.

Scriptures. Reader, may we indulge Susan. They wait upon him now almost the hope that you will examine what too late.

we are about to lay before you on this William. Not too late, for he needed not subject in the light of God's unerring their help.

word Olympas. And what ministry did he now

that you will weigh every need ?

succeeding sentence in the balance of Thomas. Bread, I suppose.

the sanctuary, the Scriptures of the Olympas. Food was certainly wanting, and Old and New Testament. a seasonable supply was brought by those who

PROPOSITION STATED. - Then in ministered to Elijah and others in distress. Rejoice we not, then, that our Lord resisted all humility and candour we affirm, the arch apostate in his impudent, malicious, that no one is, or is entitled to be and murderous assault to seduce him to one of called, a Christian, unless he be posthe three great sins-distrust or unbelief, pre-sessed of the Christian faith, has unsumption, and idolatrous ambition. The wouldbe“ prince of this world,” the rebel usurper,

dergone Christian conversion, attends found nothing animal, intellectual, or moral in to Christian worship, and practices him that could be perverted, seduced, or alien- Christian morality. We repeat, if a ated from the supreme admiration, service, and

man possesses, has undergone,'attends love of God.

The moral of this memorable temptation, in to, and practices Christian faith, conpart, at least, is Satan comes when we are

version, worship, and morality, he is weakest, and always assails us in the weakest a Christian otherwise he is not.


The whole four are necessary, for al- my church ;” and when we know that though a man be possessed of Chris- the term Messiah signifies anointed, tian faith, yet he is not a Christian we can easily see the propriety of till he has undergone Christian con- making this confession the one creed version. We must obey, as well as of all Christians, inasmuch as it sets believe ; and although, possessed of Jesus before us, our Redeemer, exeChristian faith, a man has undergone cuting for us the offices of prophet, Christian conversion, yet he forfeits priest, and king ; and thus working a his title to be called a Christian un- work which could not be wrought by less he attend to Christian worship. any mere created being. The evidences Having commenced, we must con- to which we are referred by Scripture tinue ; and although right as respects for the “ confirmation of the testifaith, conversion, and worship, yet a mony" (i. e. the truth of the proposiman's true name is hypocrite, not tion) are, 1st, the testimony of John Christian, if he do not practice Chris- the Baptist (John v. 31-5); 2nd, tian morality. For the end of the Jesus' miracles (verse 36) ; 3rd, the commandment is love.

testimony of the Father (37); 4th, IMPORTANCE OF

the fulfilment of the Old Testament Terms must be clearly defined if we prophecies in Jesus (38 to the end); would understand propositions. Much 5th, the testimony of the apostles (1 vain wrangling, irritated feeling, and Jobni. 4); 6th, the spiritual gifts many serious errors, might be avoid- conferred on them at Pentecost (Heb. ed by attending to this simple law in ii. 4); 7th, the fulfilment of New Testalogic. Debaters who dispute without ment prophecies (Luke xxiii. and 2 defining terms combat in the dark, Thess. ii. 1-12); 8th, to these we and can scarcely tell on which side may add, the heavenly nature, origithey fight. Let us endeavour to avoid nal idea, and purifying tendency of this error, and as clearly as we can, the religion itself ; together with the briefly define Christian faith, conver- undesigned testimonies of apostates sion, worship, and morality.

and enemies, such as Josephus, Judas DEFINITION OF CHRISTIAN FAITH. Iscariot, and many Greek and Roman -It is not merely the belief of the historians, poets, and philosophers, existence and attributes of the Deity, from whose writings alone might be nor the doctrine of future rewards gleaned the principal matters of fact and punishments. This faith we concerning Jesus and the Christian have in common with Jews, Mahom- religion. Blessed be God, who, with etans, and perhaps some others. Nei- equal and infinite wisdom and love, ther is Christian faith a mere vague has supported the most important assent to the divine mission of Jesus. proposition under heaven, by the Simplicity is an essential element of greatest and strongest body of evigreatness, and we have the germ of dence in the world. the whole of our religion in one simple DEFINITION OF CHRISTIAN CONproposition, “ Thou art the Messiah, VERSION. - To convert is just to the Son of the living God.” This is change. But it is not every change the seed of the whole plant, the root of which man is the subject that conof the whole tree, the foundation of stitutes Christian conversion. A man the whole building, and the centre of may change the single for the married the whole system. If we had a per- state the State of New Jersey for fect knowledge of this proposition, we the State of Virginia—and it is certain would have a perfect understanding that we all underwent a great change of the whole range of truth occupied of state when, out of the darkness of by the Christian religion. Jesus our mother's womb, we came into the says, Upon this rock will I build light of day.

Generally speaking, Christian con- ter and of the Spirit, he cannot enter version consists in a change of heart, into the kingdom of God.” Let us state, and life. But this definition is beware, then, of confounding converneither strictly logical nor scriptural. sion either with its cause or its effect. A more exact one is that it com- Let us on that, as well as on every mences in the heart, is evidenced by other part of the Christian system, be the life, and is, in itself, simply a “ workmen that needeth not to be change of state-a passing out of the ashamed, rightly dividing the word of state of sin into the state of grace. truth.” A man loves his wife before This definition applies to all the con- he is married to her ; but his love is versions of which man is the subject. one thing, and his marriage another. They have all their commencement, A child is conceived before it is born ; act, and end ; for we affirm now, and but its conception is not its birth. A will prove immediately, that every Christian believes before he is conchange of state is the result of an act verted, but his faith is to his converperformed or undergone. Conversion sion just what cause is to effect. Love is not, correctly speaking, a change of leads to marriage, conception to birth, either heart or life. It has its cause and faith to conversion. The cerein the heart, and its effect in the life; mony of marriage may vary in differbut as we said before we say again, it ent countries : not so the act of birth, is just the passing out of one state or the act of conversion for the one into another, and may take place in is a natural event, and the other a poalmost a moment of time. For in- sitive divine institution. So long as stance, the change from the single the present system of nature lasts, into the married state, is not effected men will be born, just as men have in the heart, however pure and strong been born ; and while the Christian the love we bear to the person with system continues, the law of converwhom we desire to share it. Before sion must stand, as embodied in the we be married, we must go through solemn words of its glorious Founder, the marriage ceremony. The transi- “ He that believeth and is baptized, tion from the state in the womb into shall be saved” (Mark xvi. 16.) the state out of the womb, does not DEFINITION OF CHRISTIAN WORdepend upon the weakness or strength, ship.-Worship is either private, sothe perfection or imperfection of the cial, or public. Private and social infant, as to its parts. Before it can worship are embodied in contemplabe recognized as an inhabitant of our ting the existence and attributes of world, it must undergo the act of God with suitable affections, in the birth. We are warranted to use simple exercises of prayer, praise, methese similitudes, because they are ditation, conversation, and the devout scriptural, and employed by Jesus reading of the Holy Scriptures. But and his apostles for the very purpose as there is little or no difference in of illustrating the same subject. Thus private or social worship under all in allusion to the oriental custom of systems, it is public Christian worship bathing brides, among the higher that we must define.

The public ranks, before presenting them to their worship of God may be defined as the affianced husbands, the apostle says, solemn and devout performance of all “Husbands, love your wives, even as those acts of homage and obedience Christ also loved the church, and gave which He has embodied in his ordihimself for it, that he might sanctify nances, statutes, and laws, in such and cleanse it with a bath of water by times, places, and manner, and for the word” (Eph. v. 25-6.) And in such ends and purposes as He bas allusion to the natural birth, Jesus commanded. says, Except a man be born of wa- The first day of the week is the time, but there is no law as respects the church (1 Cor. xiv. 23-5); but the place of Christian worship. This to participate in it will not convert remarkable change was intimated by him, for this simple reason, that God our Saviour to his disciples, “Where- bath not appointed it for that purever two or three are gathered to- pose. gether in my name, there am I in the The ordinances of Christian wormidst of them ;" and to the Samari- ship are positive institutions of divine tan woman,

“ Woman, believe me, appointment. If any man, therefore, the hour cometh when ye shall nei- shall presume to alter, add to, or take ther in this mountain nor yet at Jeru- from them, he invades the throne of salem worship the Father. * Jesus, and perils, nay ensures, his God is a Spirit, and they that worship own eternal destruction, together Him must worship Him in spirit with the ruin of all who become his and in truth."

blinded followers. “ If the blind The ends and purposes of Christian lead the blind, both shall fall into the worship are the perfection of the con- ditch.” The ordinances themselves verted in the enjoyment of all the are all presented to our view in one blessings and privileges of that state very valuable, or rather invaluable of grace into which they were intro

verse, And they (the baptized beduced by their conversion, with a view lievers, or Christian converts) all conto their spiritual growth or moral tinued steadfast in the apostles' docperfection, and consequent introduc- trine, and fellowship, and in breaking tion at the second coming of the Lord of bread, and in prayers”(Acts ii

. 42.) Jesus Christ into his everlasting First, they continued steadfast in the kingdom and glory: The idea of apostles' doctrine, which is, inextenso, sinners engaging in the several ordi- contained in the whole Scriptures ; nances of Christian public worship, so that this ordinance is observed by with a view to being converted, is the reading, not of a single sentence not only without all foundation of or text, but of some considerable porscriptural authority, but is contrary tion of Scripture, and of simple and to, and is utterly subversive of, the practical addresses therefrom, in the divine method of converting sinners shape of teaching and exhortationinto saints by faith, penitence, and not by one or two disciples, to the baptism, so fully and clearly present customary and understood exclusion ed to us in the Scriptures of truth : of the rest, but by all the brethren in and the instances recorded by John proportion to their several gifts and Wesley, of his mother and others abilities. For Paul, in reference to thinking they had received the re- Christian public worship, says to the mission of sins while engaged in the brethren, “ Ye may all prophecy one ordinances of prayer, praise, or the by one ;” and enjoins them, when assacrament, is the best comment we sembled together, (Heb. x. 25) to have on the Wise Man's words, “He “ exhort one another.” Secondly, that trusteth to his own heart is a they continued steadfast in the felfool ;” and the words of a still wiser, lowship, or joint contribution, as far “Full well ye reject the command as their means allowed, and joint ment of God, that ye may keep your participation as far as their necessiown tradition"

• and many such ties required of their worldly subthings ye do.” To be a public spec- stance. Thirdly, they continued tator of public Christian worship steadfast in the breaking of bread, or may, indeed, benefit a sinner, by “ breaking of the loaf”—the scriptuleading to his belief in the Saviour, ral name of that ordinance which, and falling down to his authority among various parties, is known as with a view of being admitted into the supper, the sacrament, the eucha



rist, &c. and which consists in so- which nothing can be taken without lemnly breaking, giving thanks for, injuring it. • Beware lest any man and eating of, a loaf of bread ; and spoil you through philosophy and vain in taking, giving thanks for, and traditions * ; not after Christ, drinking of, a cup of wine, for the for ye are complete in him," as your purpose of showing their faith in, and great moral teacher, “in whom dwelunderstanding of, the design of the leth all the fulness of the Godhead Saviour's death -- the loaf represent- bodily.” And “Finally brethren, ing his body, once whole, but now whatsoever things are true, whatsobroken ; and the cup his blood, once ever things are honest, whatsoever his life, but freely shed for us. These things are just, whatsoever things are ordinances were commenced, accom- pure, whatsoever things are lovely, panied, and finished by the hallowed whatsoever things are of good report; and delightful exercises of prayer if there be any virtue, and if there be and praise ; and in these “ they con- any praise, think on these things,” tinued steadfast"—i. e. on every first for they are all included in Christian day of the week, for the proof of morality.

D. L. which see Acts xx. 7, and 1 Cor.

(To be continued.) xvi. 2. The manner in which these ordinances should be observed, may he defined as a serious cheerfulness. SCRIPTURE DIFFICULTIES. “ Christians should be lively, not light ; serious, not sad.” Levity is abominable in the presence of Jeho- The disciples' prayer, (usually but improperly vah, and the sadness of an outcast is

called “ the Lord's prayer.”) Matthew vi. 9,

Luke xi. 2. not becoming in the countenance of a beloved child, seated at the festive On this subject religious people board in his Father's house.

have run into sad extremes, some DEFINITION OF CHRISTIAN MO- having adopted the oft-recurring repeRALITY.-It has the words, life, love, titions of the Papacy, while others and glory of Jesus for its principles

, have rejected the prayer altogether pattern, spring, and final reward. It as unsuited to our times. Our aim is not heathen morality, as contained should be, in all humility, to ascertain in the writings of Grecian or Roman and follow the heavenward medium historians, philosophers, and poets ; intended by the Great Teacher. nor even Jewish morality, as embo- By comparing Mathew with Luke, died in “ Moses and the Prophets ;" we learn the Lord did, on two disbut while it lacks nothing that is great, tinct occasions, teach his chosen good, pure, and permanent in these, twelve this prayer: first, in his sermon it stands with its feet on their highest on the mount, near Capernaum ; and summits, and towers in majestic dig- second, about a year afterwards at the nity, far above them all. Its grand request of a disciple, probably at or peculiar elements are humility and near Jerusalem the first time at love—humility which was not known length, the last time in short. For to the heathen as a virtue, and love clearness sake I place them in juxtawhich the Jew was taught to prac- position : tice only towards his friends or breth

Matthew vi. 9, &c. Luke xi. 2. ren, but which the Christian is bound

Our Father, who art Father! hallowed be to extend to all mankind, not except in heaven, hallowed be thy name: ing his bitterest and most injurious thy name! In one word, it is the ut

Thy kingdom come: enemy.

Thy kingdom come: most perfection of all morality, to earth, as in heaven :

Thy will be done on which nothing can be added, and from Give us this day ourl Give us day by day

« 上一頁繼續 »