« 上一页继续 »
conspicuous in the Church now, let the The work of the conversion of the world
goes on slowly; but it makes as much proLittle children are, moreover, characte- gress as the work of the conversion of the rized by love, and their charity 'thinketh no Church does. No more sinners are conevil.' How unsuspicious they are! But verted, because no more Christians are too much of the charity of the present day, converted. The world will continue to lie so far from thinking no evil, thinketh no in wickedness, while the ways of Zion good. It suspects everybody. It ‘hopeth' mourn'as they do. Do any wonder that nothing. Indeed, love, and her sister peace, iniquity abounds, when the love of so which used to lead the graces, are become many has waxed cold? We are sending as wall-flowers with many; into such ne- the light of truth abroad, when we have glect they have fallen. They seem to be but little of the warmth of love at home. quite out of the question with many. We are often asked what we are doing Some good men appear to think that con- for the conversion of the world. We ought tending for the faith is the end of the com- to be doing a great deal-all we can. But mandment, and the fulfilling of the law. I would ask, what are we doing for the But it is not. It is a duty-an important conversion of the Church? What to produty-one too little regarded by many
mote holiness nearer home, among our one never to be sneered at, as by some it fellow-Christians, and in our own hearts? is. I acknowledge, some treat it as it Let us not forget the world, but at the were nothing. I only say it is not every same time let us remember Zion.-Nevins. thing. There is walking in love, and following peace, which, as well as contending for the faith, are unrepealed laws of THE SOLEMNITIES OF THE Christ's house. I believe they can all be
JUDGMENT DAY. done, and that each is best done when the others are not neglected. I am sure truth NONE can conceive what will be the sonever lost any thing by being spoken in lemnity, the joy, or the terror of the great love. I am of opinion that a principal day. Nor are the scriptural statements on reason why we are not more of one mind, this subject poetical figures, but a descripis that we are not more of one heart. tion of solemn facts. The Lord himself How soon they who feel heart to heart shall descend from heaven with a shout, begin to see eye to eye! The way to think with the voice of the archangel, and the alike is first to feel alike; and if the feel- trump of God.' The Lord Jesus shall be ing be love, the thought will be truth. revealed from heaven, with his mighty I wish, therefore, for the sake of sound doc- angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on trine, that the brethren could love one an- them that know not God. He shall come other. What, if we see error in each other to be admired in his saints, and glorified to condemn, can we not find anything ami- in all them that believe.
The trumpet able to love? I would the experiment shall sound, and the dead shall be raised might be made. Let us not cease to con- incorruptible.' 'When the Son of Man tend for the faith—not merely for its own shall come in his glory, and all the holy sake, but for love's sake, because 'faith angels with him, then shall he sit upon the worketh by love. But in the conflict, let us throne of his glory: and before him shall be careful to shield love. It is a victory be gathered all nations; and he shall sefor truth, scarcely worth gaining, if cha- parate them one from another, as a sheprity be left bleeding on the field of battle. herd divideth the sheep from the goats;
You see why I think the Church wants and he shall set the sheep on his right converting. It is to bring her back to hand, but the goats on the left. Then humility, and simplicity, and love. I wish shall the King say to them on his right she would attend to this matter. She need hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, innot relax her efforts for the world. She herit the kingdom prepared for you from has time enough to turn a few reflex acts on the foundation of the world. Then shall herself. The object of the Church is to he say also unto them on the left hand, Demake the world like herself. But let her part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting in the meantime make herself more like fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. what the world ought to be, It is scarcely And these shall go away into everlasting desirable that the world should be as the punishment; but the righteous into eterChurch in general now is. Let her become nal life. According to these infallible a better model for the world's imitation. testimonies the archangel will descend; Her voice is heard for Christ; but let her the trumpet will proclaim the Judge's comhold forth the word of life' in her con- ing; and such a sound be heard through duct as well as by her voice. Let her all the regions of this lower creation, that, light shine. Let her good works be mani- compared with it, the shouts of an assemfest. Let her heaven-breathed spirit bled" world, or the roar of ten thousand breathe abroad the same spirit
thunders, would be stillness; for all man
kind will hear. The Lord will then visi. believed; but it is come. The believer bly descend. He will come with his mighty and the infidel alike believe in it now. It angels in flaming fire. He will come in is come. The last day of man's probation the glory of his Father, and in his own. is over, and all are assembled for their He cometh with ten thousands of his saints. eternal doom. It is come. The Judge is Now, 'all that are in the graves shall hear seen; how different from what he once his voice, and shall come forth, they that was seen ! how changed from what he then have done good to the resurrection of life, appeared; how changed are all his follow. and they that have done evil to the resur- ers too! and 0 how changed his foes ! rection of damnation. The righteous rise Where is now their unbelief their pride? to glory, honour, and immortality; but the their haughtiness! their scorn? It is come. unrighteous also hear his voice. In their Time has rolled its last year, its last hour case, that which was sown in corruption, away. This day seemed slow to come ; rises in incorruption, that it may endure the day of mercy lasted long, but it is over, a death that can never die. That which and this judgment day is come.
was sown in dishonour,' rises to dishonour The Judge eternal now pronounces more aggravated, 'to shame and everlast- man's unchanging doom. He says to ing contempt.' That which was sown in them on his right hand, 'Come, ye blessed weakness, is raised in power;' strong to of my Father, inherit the kingdom preendure immortal misery. That which was pared for you from the foundation of the sown a natural body, rises a spiritual body, world. He owns their humble services to become the accursed dwelling of that of faith and love; and according to his soimmortal spirit that prostituted its powers lemn promise, confesses them who conon earth to folly, vanity, and guilt. fessed him. O, sweet words of eternal life!
The scenes of final judgment advance, they are pronounced, and suspense, and and, amidst their solemnities, 'the heavens doubt, and fear are vanished for ever. pass away with a great noise, and the ele- Now, indeed, the righteous come to Zion ments melt with fervent heat, the earth with everlasting joy upon their heads; also and the works that are therein are now, indeed, sorrow and sighing are fled burnt up!' 0, reader! in meditation anti- away. cipate this day! View it as come! Think But hearken to a different sentence. Beyou hear the cry, 'The great day of his hold a different scene! Besides those on wrath is come, and who shall be able to the right hand, there are myriads on his stand !' The sun, moon, and stars have left. What says the Judge to them? 'Deceased to shine! The heavens have passed part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting away. The cares and businesses, the pur- fire, prepared for the devil and his angels !' suits and delights of earth have vanished I never knew you, depart from me, ye that like a dream. The tumults of nations, the work iniquity. Oh, the horrors of that contentions of statesmen, the voice of the sentence, and of that day! If you should bridegroom and of the bride, of joy or of be among them, how will you meet that weeping, are heard no more. The oath is day? sworn that time shall be no longer, and all O reader, remember these things are no its scenes are ended. The dead are raised, cunningly-devised fables; and, as in the the Judge is come. There he sits in view of death and judgment, now embrace majesty, and at his bar the nations are unfeigned religion.—Pike. collected to hear their doom. He sets the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. The righteous meet him with
THE CABINET. rapture; the unrighteous are dragged before his awful bar. Within them gnaws the worm of conscience that never dies. All appear in their real character; there Many of our fellow-creatures, yea, many is no deception and no mistake here. of his own dear children, have a rougher There is no middle condition. There is path appointed; some of the heirs of glory no mingling among the pious if not pious; have scarcely bread to eat; some spend a the ungodly often mingle with the pious great part of their lives in wearisome pain now, but not then. There myriads of angels or pining sickness; some are disposed, by observe the solemn process, and wait and lowness of spirits, to such gloomy thoughts watch the conduct of their King. Above and black temptations, as deprive them of opens the higher heaven to welcome his comfort in any outward situation of life. redeemed. Below burns the pit of fire and A little attention may presently lead our darkness prepared for the devil and his thoughts to cases which we must acknow. angels, and ready as the prison of the lost. ledge much more distressing than our own. All are about to rise or sink for ever, and But in the worst, we see the Lord supports you and I are there. Long has this day his people. If, like the bush which Moses been spoken of; long believed, long dis- saw, they appear to be in the midst of
TROUBLE THE LOT OF THE CHRISTIAN.
flames, like that bush likewise, they are THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS IS THE SEED preserved unconsumed, because the Lord
OF TAE CAURCH. is there. Trouble is laid upon their
EXPERIENCE warrants, and reason loins; they go through fire and through justifies and explains the assertion, that water; but at length they are brought out
persecution generally tends to quicken the into a wealthy place.--John Newton. vigour, and extend the prevalence, of the
opinions which they would eradicate.
Christianity, especially, has always thriven THE LORD LOOKED UPON PETER.
under persecution. At such a season, she SURELY no malefactor condemned to
has no lukewarm professors; no adhersuffer for the violated laws of his country,
ents concerning whom it is 'doubtful to ever heard his last hour strike upon the what party they belong. The Christian is prison bell with half the agony of feeling
reminded at every turn, that his Master's with which that cock-crowing rang upon
kingdom is not of this world. When all the ears of Peter. Still was there a sight
on earth wears a black and threatening aswhich smote far deeper than that sound;
pect, he looks up to heaven for consoThe Lord turned and looked upon Peter.'
| lation; he learns practically to consider Who can pourtray the silent eloquence of
| himself as a pilgrim and stranger. He that last look? What volumes must it
then cleaves to fundamentals, and exahave spoken to the fallen apostle! Could
mines well his foundation, as at the hour of he behold that well-known countenance,
death. When religion is in a state of exand again repeat, 'I know not the man?'
ternal quiet and prosperity, the contrary Could he see his divine Master 'as a sheep
of all this naturally takes place. The sol. before his shearers is dumb,' and again
diers of the Church militant then forget break forth into oaths and imprecations?
that they are in a state of warfare. Their arCould he bear the reproach of that meek
dour slackens, their zeal languishes Like eye, and yet remain in the guilty scene
a colony long settled in a strange country, amidst those enemies of the Saviour and
they are gradually assimilated in features, of his own soul? No! that single glance
and demeanour, and language, to the inwas all that was required to send home
habitants, till at length almost every vesthe arrow of conviction and repentance to
tige of peculiarity dies away.-Wilberforce. his bosom ; he instantly remembered the word that the Lord had spoken, and he A PRAYER TO THE SAVIOUR. went out and wept bitterly. --Blunt. COME, O thou that hast the seven stars
in thy right hand, apoint thy chosen priests
according to their orders and courses of THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
old, to minister before thee, and duly to 'REPENTANCE towards God, and faith dress and pour out the consecrated oil into towards our Lord Jesus Christ,' was the thy holy and ever-burning lamps. Thou sum of the apostolical instructions. It is hast sent out the Spirit of prayer upon thy not an occasional invocation of the name of servants over all the earth to this effect, Christ, or a transient recognition of his au- and stirred up their vows as the sound of thority, that fills up the measure of the many waters about thy throne. Every one terms, believing in Jesus. This we shall can say, that now certainly thou hast visitfind no such easy task; and if we trust that ed this land, and has not forgotten the we do believe, we should all perhaps do uttermost corners of the earth, in a time well to cry out, in the words of an implor when men had thought that thou wast ing supplicant (he supplicated not in | gone up from us to the farthest end of the vain), 'Lord, help thou our unbelief.' We heavens, and hadst left to do marvellously must be deeply conscious of our guilt and | among the sons of the last ages. O perfect misery, heartily repenting of our sins, and and accomplish thy glorious acts; for men firmly resolving to forsake them; and thus may leave their works unfinished, but thou penitently "fleeing for refuge to the hope art a God, thy nature is perfection The set before us. We must found altogether times and seasons pass along under thy on the merit of the crucified Redeemer, our feet, to go and come at thy bidding; and hopes of escape from their deserved punish- as thou didst dignify our Fathers days ment, and of deliverance from their en- with many real actions, above all their foreslaving power. This must be our first, our going ages, since thou tookest the flesh, so last, our only plea. We are to surrender thou can vouchsafe to us, though unworthy, our lives up to him, to be washed in his as large a portion of thy Spirit as thou blood,' Rev. i. 5; to be sanctified by his pleasest; for who shall prejudice thy allSpirit; resolving to receive him for our governing will ? Seeing the power of Thy Lord and Master; to learn in his school; grace is not passed away with the primito obey all his commandments.-Wilber tive times, as fond and faithless men imaforce.
gine; but thy kingdom is now at hand,
and thou standing at the door. Come forth to wit, the redemption of our body.” We out of thy royal chambers, O Prince of all groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed the kings of the earth; put on the visible upon with our house which is from heaven.' rubes of thy imperial majesty, take up that But when the trial is over, and the princiunlimited sceptre, which the Almighty ple of holiness perfected, faith and sight Father hath bequeathed thee; for now the
will be reconciled and united. Then they voice of thy bride calls thee, and all crea
who have believed in him whom they have tures sigh to be renewed.-Milton. not seen, shall see him in whom they have
believed. And they who now see but a AFFLICTION A BLESSING.
small portion of the divine footprints in
creation, shall then see the divinity maniAFFLICTION well sustained improves
festing itself in its fulness, flowing out every part of our religion. It teaches com
into acts of divine energy, and filling with passion and sympathy towards others in
inexhaustible happiness the capacities of their troubles. It gives an edge to our de
| numberless creatures.-Douglas. votion, an ardency to our prayers, tenderness to our hearts, and a lite to our grace.
THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN. It is the trial and triumph of our faith. Patience hath its perfect work; our resolu
The saints in heaven shall have the tions for God are confirmed; so that we glorious presence of God, and of the Lamb. take faster hold of God, and of those things God is everywhere present in respect of that cannot be taken from us. Our sor- | his essence; the saints militant have his rows, at longest, are but short; and we
special gracious presence. There they are shall shortly ourselves go the same way.
brought near to the throne of the great How diminutively does the apostle speak King, and stand before him, where he of the afflictions of this present time! Our
shows his inconceivable glory! There light afflictions, which are but for a mo they have the tabernacle of God on which ment. You call them heavy, he calls them the cloud of glory rests, the all-glorious light ; and those light afflictions but ‘for human nature of Christ wherein the fula inoment;' and that moment of light affilic ness of Godhead dwells, not veiled, as in tions 'worketh for us.' You are apt to the days of his humiliation, but shining think they all work against you, but they through that blessed flesh (that all the work for you 'a far more exceeding and saints may behold his glory), and making eternal weight of glory. The contrast lies that body more glorious than a thousand between affliction and glory: light afflictions | suns : so that the city has no need of the and the weight of glory, light affliction for sun, nor of the moon; but the glory of a moment and glory eternal: Spoken as God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the much like an orator, as like an apostle light thereof' (properly the candle thereof), And who was it that said all this? One the Lamb is the luminary or luminous that knew as well what affliction was--one
body which gives light to the city; as the that had as much of it to his share, as any
sun and moon now give light to the world, man in the world.--Grosvenor.
or as a candle lightens a dark room; and the light proceding from that glorious lum
inary, for the city is the glory of God. FAITH ON EARTH AND SIGHT IN HEAVEN.
Sometimes that candle burnt very dim, it God makes all things double; the eye
was hid under a bushel in the time of his for light, and light for the eye. While he
humiliation, but that now and then it darted is preparing the character of the believer
out some rays of this light, which dazzled for heaven, he is also preparing heaven for
the eyes of the spectators ; but now it is the believer; and the believer himself is
set on high in the city of God, where it laying up treasures in heaven, which can
shines, and shall shine for ever in perfecnever be taken away from him, 'where |
tion and glory. It was sometimes laid neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and
i aside, as a stone disallowed of the builder; where thieves do not break through and
but now it is, and for ever will be, the light steal. Every step of advancement in holi
or luminary of that city; and that like ness upon earth, is an acquisition that will
unto a stone most precious, even like a jaslast to him throughout eternity. He is per stone, clear as crytsal.—Boston. not only gaining in heavenly wealth, but in heavenly adaptation. Here those who
There is no true godliness but what walk by faith are opposed to those who springs from gospel principles; no true walk by sight, the new nature is opposed
contentment with our lot but what springs to the old, and the mind of the believer is
from true godliness; no true care but divided against itself; as Paul expresses
where our soul is our first and chief cor. it, 'ourselves also, which have the first
cera.-Brown. fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption,
THOMAS GRANT, PRINTER, EDINBURGH.
THE INVISIBLE WORLD.
A BELIEF in invisible being is a univer- life, and rained their good or evil influences sal principle of the mind of man. That on men. There voice were heard in the there exists a world beyond the cognizance moanings of the wind through the ruined of the senses, men of all ages and of all edifice, and in the silent chamber of tho nations have agreed; and wild and won- watcher, their footsteps were every where drous are the phantasmagoria with which traceable to men's iinaginations in the they have peopled it. The Greeks, the blessing, or the blight which followed them. grandest idealists of the human family, With the advance of physical science peopled their invisible world with crea- all these delusions have been swept away. tions of magic, poetic beauty. They gave It is well, since they darkened the minds to every operation of nature an invisible of men, and enslaved them with false fears; agent; to every mountain, river, and plain, but the tendency of the age in which we a presiding genius; to every attribute of live is too much to ignore the invisible, mind, a spiritual representative, linking and to rest in what is tangible, or at least them all into one great family, sprung within the grasp of reason, thus tending from one fountain of being. We see in to the opposite extreme of materialism. this something more than the phantasies of All acknowledge, we mean all professing imagination. It is the gropings of the Christians, the various elements of the insoul after truth, the central truth of all, the visible world. A malignant spirit of evil, existence of a great, universal cause. They with his satellites, intent on the frustration recognised, too, the separate principles of of God's gracious plans, and permitted by good and evil, clothing their deities with him to have power for a time, a mystery attributes of benignity or the reverse. which we cannot fathom. A hierarchy
These deities were by far the least terrific of angelic spirits, who walk the earth unof the phantoms which the mind of man seen, perhaps (we speak it reverently), like has conjured up from that abyss of dark knight errants succouring the unfortunate. ness-the invisible world. Horrible and A cloud of witnesses, hovering over the doleful creatures have arisen from it and course, while the race is running, not perheld the soul of man in fearful bondage; mitted to prompt us to reach the prize; creatures delighting in blood and devasta- but standing afar off, and crowned. And tion; devils before whom he has crouched an all-presiding spirit, pervading all things, and trembled, fitly representing them to upholding all things, from the star dust' his senses by forms as hideous as their of the furthest firmament, to the mote in attributes, and worshipping them with the sunshine of our chamber. rites which they themselves might per- In what relation, then, do we stand to petrate.
this invisible world? We answer, that deAll the while revelation was holding pends entirely to which of the two great forth its lamp into the darkness; the light classes we belong Whether we are the was in the world, but the world chose the children of darkness or of light. Of the darkness rather than the light. Only on precise nature of the influence exercised one altar was it kept alive. To the faithful over us, by good or evil spirits, or how Israelite, the invisible world was no region that influence reaches us, we know nothing, of gloomy terrors, or fantastic images. It nor is it capable of being treated in these was filled with the mysterious, all-holy narrow limits; but if we belong to the forpresence of his God, and the smiling mer class, we are led captive by Satan at faces of angels looked out from it, with his will, we are objects of pity, perhaps, benignity upon him. And when light and but not love to angels, and standing in the immortality was brought fully to light, awful relation of rebels to the King of the lingering shadows seemed to be chased kings. If, however, we belong to the latter, away, and the land beyond to shine out; our relation to the invisible world is the grand desire of the creature was ac- changed; then, though subject to temptacomplished, that of beholding with fleshly tions from the spirit of evil, all the more eyes its Creator and Sustainer.
dangerous, that they may not be distinBut the lamp of truth, after chedding its guishable from the suggestions of innate rays far into the surrounding night, became depravity, we are sufficient to resist them; at length clouded and bedimmed with er- yea, often more than conquerors; then we ror, and superstition again resumed its are objects of guardian care to ministering sway. Throughout the dark ages, every spirits, and standing in the hallowing and agency of the invisible world, angels and endearing relationship of children to the devils, sainted and perished souls, were eternal Father. Strange that men in their brought into contact with the concerns of daily world life-men who believe these