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thee off from all thy hopes of salvation, from anything thou hast done, from any of thy qualifications, from anything that thou canst do; so that thou wilt be a hopeless soul, nothing in thine own sense and apprehension. The power of the first Adam must die before Him, and thou wilt cry out, I am a dead, lost, and undone creature; but there is life hid with Christ in God for me, but I can never have it, till I be slain into the will of God, and become as a little child, and be stripped of all my own excellency that I have attained; I must come to a sense of my own misery, and fall down at the foot of God. When I am become as a little child, humbled and slain as to my own will and confidence in my own righteousness, I will not then question but I shall live a holy life, but I will give all that life I had, for that life which is hid with Christ in God.' Oh! there is none come so far that ever miss of eternal life. All shuffling people, that would have salvation by Christ and will not let Him exercise His heavenly power-His princely, glorious power to baptize them into His death-it is they that come short of salvation."
In such frank exhortations there is doubtless much to which the cynical critic would take objection; he would see "revivalist sensationalism" in it. One thing consequently he could scarcely expect to see; namely, that between such preachers, and hearers welcoming such preaching, the pure would answer to the pure in one another— the life respond to the life. To such Dewsbury speaks :
"You will never complain of sin till you are burdened with it, till you have a trumpet sounding in your ears to awaken you that you may arise from the dead, that Christ may give you life. There is no other way, dear people! You must bring your deeds to the light of Christ and abide in the sentence of condemnation. .. What is it the better for you to read the Scripture if you know not the fiery baptism which all must know that are regenerated? . . . Think it not sufficient to live in an outward observance of the ways of God. If your own wills be alive and your corruptions remain unmortified, the judgment of God will be your portion. Therefore, in the Lord's name, come along with me; I am come to declare what I have heard and seen of the Father. . . . Read the Book of Conscience; hast thou no ground for thy faith?"
This preaching was in the month of March 1688: a month later and William Dewsbury lies dying at Warwick. A few Friends are in the old man's chamber; solemn converse goes on; it is known to all that death is there. Rising up in his bed, and in a weak but distinct voice, the peacemaker gives forth the following testimony :
"My God hath yet put it into my heart to bear a testimony in His Name and blessed Truth; and I can never forget the day of His great power and blessed appearance when He first sent me to preach His Everlasting Gospel, and to proclaim the day of the Lord to all the people. And he confirmed the same by signs and wonders; and particularly by a lame woman who went on crutches, where I, with my dear brethren, George Fox and Richard Farnsworth were cast, and as I cried mightily unto the Lord in secret, that he would signally manifest Himself at that time amongst us, and give witness of His power and presence
with us, Richard Farnsworth, in the name of the Lord, took her by the hand, and George Fox after, spoke to her in the power of the Lord and bade her stand up, and she did, and immediately walked straight, having no need of crutches any more. Therefore, friends, be faithful and trust in the Lord your God: for this I can say, I never since played the coward; but joyfully entered prisons as palaces, telling mine enemies to hold me there as long as they could. And in the prison-house I sang praises to my God, and esteemed the bolts and locks put upon me as jewels; and in the name of the eternal God I always got the victory; for they could keep me no longer than the determined time of my God. And this I have further to signify, that my time draws nigh. Blessed be my God! I am prepared. I have nothing to do but die, and put off this corrupt mortal tabernacle, this flesh that hath so many infirmities. But the life that dwells in it transcends above all, out of the reach of death, hell, and the grave: immortality and eternal life are my crown for ever and ever. Therefore, you that are left behind, fear not, nor be discouraged; but go on in the name and the power of the Lord: bear a faithful and living testimony for Him in your day. And the Lord will prosper His work in your hand, and cause His truth to flourish and spread abroad: it shall have the victory and no weapon formed against it shall prosper. The Lord hath determined it shall possess the gates of its enemies; and the glory and the light thereof shall shine more and more until the perfect day."
A week afterwards, and William Dewsbury had passed from earth -his loss to Friends a serious one. A little later and we find George Fox himself preparing to depart. As the beginnings of Quakerism were with these men, we will accompany both to their graves. George's last epistle was to Friends in Ireland. He now encouraged them with many happy assurances. He told them of progress at home, and how in Holland and Germany there was love, with unity and peace; while in Jamaica, Barbadoes, Nevis, Antigua, Maryland, and New England, the prospects were altogether cheering. the Seed reigns," said he, "and His power is over all."
The day after writing this, George went to a meeting at Gracechurch Street. The gathering was large and the Father of Quakerism was led to speak, "opening many deep and weighty things with great power and clearness." Going over to Henry Goldney's house afterwards, he told those who were with him that he thought "he felt the cold strike to his heart as he came out of the meeting." "But," added he, "I am glad I was here; now I am clear, I am fully clear [of responsibility]." Twice he lay down after this, but the chill remained; and at length, under the sense of rapid sinking, the old man was again persuaded to lie down. George felt he was dying; he therefore gave instructions respecting the spread of truth by books and preaching. "All is well!" said he, to Friends standing round him; "the Seed of God remains over all and over death itself." A
few more words and death came-it came lovingly. The veteran who through a long lifetime had retained so much of childhood's innocence, confidence, purity and hopefulness-George Fox, sank into death as unfearingly as a child seeks repose on its pillow-the day's fatigues all done.
"So fades a summer cloud away,
So sinks the gale when storms are o'er,
So dies a wave along the shore.
Where is, O grave, thy victory now?
And where, insidious death, thy sting?"
THE FIG-TREE (CONCLUDED).
How profoundly figs were esteemed as an article of household consumption by the Hebrews we may gather from a curious incident in the life of David, related in 1 Sam. xxv. and xxx. At Carmel, B.c. 1061, lived a certain wealthy landowner of the name of Nabal. He was possessed of 1000 goats and 3000 sheep, and appears to have owned spacious and fruitful vineyards. The animals, while at pasture in the wilderness, David had often protected from the thievish Arabs, thus recommending himself to the good offices, in reciprocity, of the farmer. One day, however, when David, a little embarrassed for want of provisions, sends to Nabal with request for a supply, his messengers are not only refused, but treated churlishly. David, highly incensed, makes preparations to destroy the whole establishment, and to this end is about to advance with his band of troopers. Abigail, the farmer's wife, "a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance," perceives that David must be pacified forthwith. With the promptitude of her sex, she starts at once, carrying a handsome present, the produce of the estate, and which includes, among other eatables, an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs." David accepts the gift, no doubt conciliated in part by the lady's ways, just as Edward III. was, in a later age, when Queen Philippa begged the lives of the Calais burghers, and Nabal is forgiven. Such, however, is the effect upon the mind of the farmer, when he hears of what
has happened, that he sickens, and in ten days dies. Abigail, who appears to have been a widow at her own disposal, is then taken to wife by David himself. By and by there is an irruption of Amalekites, and Abigail, with the other women, is carried off. Chase being given to the marauders, who speedily retire, David's men discover a famished invalid, left upon the ground by the enemy, and who is described as 66 an Egyptian." They refresh him with " a piece of a cake of figs," and in return he gives information such as leads to the recovery of all the plunder, Abigail and her maids included. The picture this little story affords of the state of society in ancient Palestine, and of the manners and customs of the inhabitants, is most graphic, and the allusion to the fruits just what one would expect. It is impossible, however, to leave it without mentally asking, Is all this recorded merely as history? When assured that, as a part of the Bible, it is the bona fide "Word of God," no wonder that unbelievers titter and scoff. Not without a purpose, bearing directly on man's spiritual welfare, can the Divine Wisdom have caused it to occupy the place it does no true preacher can view it in any light but that of a parable in design, or doubt that even the raisins and the figs possess their own language. Either the tale is beneath the dignity of God's most Holy Word, and therefore inappropriate to its pages; or it holds a deep and living significance. Not without a reason either can it be recorded that Hezekiah's mortal sickness was relieved by means of figs, the king acknowledging their efficacy in a song of thanksgiving (2 Kings xx. 7; Isa. xxxviii. 21); nor without a reason that, when Nehemiah protests so sorrowfully against the desecration of the Sabbath, he names business done by the fig-merchants as a part of that abominable "Sunday trading" which has existed, it would seem, for 2300 years. "In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day. . . . Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this ye do, and profane the Sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus; and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon our city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath" (xiii. 15-18).
For trees and fruit of value so sterling to be destroyed by God as a punishment was, of course, fearful. "I will surely consume them, saith the Lord; there shall be no grapes in the vine, nor figs on the
fig-tree, and the leaf shall fade" (Jer. viii. 13). "I will cause all her
mirth to cease.
(Hosea ii. 12).
I will destroy all her vines and her fig-trees" Similar words occur in Jer. v. 7, Joel i. 7, 12, and in Amos iv. 9. When reading of God's Providence in relation to Moses, how awful again must have been the condition of the Egyptians, when "He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish; when their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings; when He smote their vines also and their fig-trees" (Ps. cv.). No doubt, like all other crops, like the harvest and the vintage, its figs, in the common course of nature, were sometimes a failure. Suffering from the short supply, how beautiful then become the patient words, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither fruit be in the vines; though the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. iii. 17). It is but another way of saying, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
Several remarkable incidents are in Scripture identified with the fig, all of course with their spiritual lesson, which the pious reader in every instance desires to discover. Such are the "cursing" of the barren fig-tree, recorded by two of the evangelists (Matt. xxi. 19; Mark xi. 13, 20, 21), and the calling of Nathanael from beneath a fig-tree (John i. 48-50). As an act of our Lord's, who did nothing without a purpose, and whose actions, as well as words, were all parables; and especially as it is St. John who mentions the circumstance, trivial though it may seem, it cannot have been accidental.
Remarkable allegories are likewise founded upon the fig, or involve allusion to it. It appears in Jotham's celebrated apologue of the trees going forth to choose a king (Judges ix.); in the comparison of Israel and Judah to two baskets of the fruit, one good, and the other evil (Jer. xxiv. and xxix. 17); and in the well-known parable in Luke xiii.,-"A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard." Thither, too, may be referred the Divine words, "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Matt. vii. 16; Luke vi. 44), and the parallel idea in James iii. 12. In Isaiah xxxiv. 4, we have the awful intimation which is fulfilled in Rev. vi. 13,-" And the stars of heaven fell unto earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind." Other comparisons occur in Hosea ix. 10, and Nahum iii. 12.
Considering the value of the fig as an article of food in early times,