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season, what time have you fixed on as a the morning of the first of January, may, convenient season? The period for the long before the last day of December, fulfilment of your last resolution has have caused the grass to vegetate over passed away, and you remain alienated your grave. Will you, then, rush on, from God, and in the bonds of iniquity- reckless of your danger, and regardless for how much longer now do you wish to of immortal pleasure and endless felicity? defer attention to religion?

Will you persist in pursuing pleasures But why ask such questions as these ? which are so soon to vanish, in emYou surely cannot fail to see the folly bracing shadows which are so soon to be and criminality of such conduct on your dissipated, and in clinging to objects part. Contemplate for a moment your which are so soon to decay, to the excluposition in the universe of God. You are sion and neglect of those things which born for eternity, possessed of a soul belong to the everlasting peace of your capable of boundless

, of endless felicity. soul? Will you still procrastinate ? Oh! Your iniquities have separated between banish the word from your lips, and the you and God, and exposed you to his thought from your hearts. There is a righteous indignation. In his mercy he voice in the lapse of time, a language in has revealed to you a way by which you the present season, which calls upon you may escape the infliction of his wrath, to awake and arise. You are not ignoand be restored to his favour and friend- rant of what is required of you; you ship. He has placed you in the world— | know what is necessary to your happihe has surrounded you with innumerable ne

ness and peace. “Behold the Lamb of favours, and blesssed you with distin- God, who taketh away the sins of the guishing privileges, that, by the accept- world.” Believe on Jesus Christ, place ance of his offered mercy, and by avail- your implicit faith in the testimony of ing yourself of the provision he has God, regarding him as the only Saviour made in the gospel of his Son, you of the world. Cast yourself, as you are, might be prepared for another, and a on the mercy which flows through his better state of being. Your condition shed blood. Then you may look forward and your destiny, therefore, demand that to futurity with joy, and regard your such preparation, more than all other exit from time, whenever you may be things, should engage your attention and called hence, as your entrance into a occupy your thoughts in time. But by blessed eternity. Thus only will you be Four conduct in procrastination, you say enabled to “redeem the time," and thus in effect that the time allotted you by only will you be prepared for the blessedGod is too long to devote to preparation ness of heaven. “Now is the accepted for eternity, and, accordingly, you wish time, and now is the day of salvation ;" to abridge it. Is not this the very great- now is God's time, and it should be yours. est ingratitude, as well as the most con- May he, in his mercy, teach you so to summate folly? Besides, you know not | number your days, that you may apply what a day may bring forth. The beams your heart unto wisdom ! of that sun which has risen upon you on

Sigma,

CHRIST PLEADING FOR THE UNITY OF HIS CHURCH,

REMARKS ON JOHN XVII. 20, 21. Dear Sir,—The efforts that have lately of professing Christians, are certainly not been made for the promotion of fraternal among the least interesting or important affection, union, and intercourse, among of the many momentous movements of the different Evangelical denominations the present eventful period. The unity

of his disciples, and the existence of are labouring and praying : it will, at brotherly love among them, is evidently least, have the effect of bringing the suban object dear to the Redeemer's heart. ject afresh before the minds of your He not only enforces it on them by mo- numerous readers. In order to our untives the most powerful and affecting, derstanding the passage, it is necessary saying to them as their Lord and Law- that we ascertain, first of all, who the giver, “A new commandment I give persons are on whose behalf the petition into you, That ye love one another : as is presented. Now, they are thus deI have loved you that ye also love one scribed by the Saviour, " Those who shall another;" thus positively enjoining the believe on me through their word.” This exercise of brotherly affection on them, plainly means those who believe the and making his boundless love to them testimony of the inspired apostles respectthe model and the motive of their love to ing Christ, or “the record which God cach other ; but also in his intercessory has given of his Son;" and, on the ground prayer on their behalf, he specially and of the record, trust in Jesus, and embrace earnestly pleads that they all may be him as their Saviour. This apostolic united among themselves, speaking of testimony, or Divine record, is contained this unity as a thing that would be pro- in the New Testament. Those who corductive of the happiest effects on the dially believe what is testified in this world, by promoting faith in him, and inspired volume respecting Jesus as a consequently the salvation of men. In Saviour, believe it in such a manner that this prayer he intercedes first of all for it influences their principles and conduct, bis immediate disciples, and a principal so that they act on the record as being and prominent petition for them is, the word and the truth of that God who Holy Father, keep through thine own cannot lie, are the disciples of Christ, and name those whom thou hast given me, shall be saved. They have believed in that they may be one, as we are.” Then, Jesus through the word of his apostles, at the twentieth verse, he begins to pray and consequently are all included in the for all those who, to the end of the world, petition contained in the passage before should believe on him through the word us. None else, however, are his disof the gospel; and the very first blessing ciples; and in behalf of none else is the which he supplicates for them is, "Unity petition presented. among themselves.” Referring to his Christ, then, does not pray in this pasimmediate disciples, on whose behalf he sage for any who have not faith-a living, had just been interceding, he adds, saving faith in himself. He does not “ Neither pray I for these alone, but for pray for mere nominal Christians, with them also who shall believe on whatever body of religious professors through their word: That they all may they may be connected; or for men of be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I the world, who may bear his name and in thee, that they also may be one in us; attend to the observances of his religion, that the world may believe that thou hast though they show by their conduct that sent me.”

they are strangers to the power of his A few remarks on this important pas- gospel, and, in reality, the enemies of his sage may be interesting to the readers cross. It is perfectly possible to be called of your valuable and widely-circulated a Christian, and to attend to all the obMagazine, and may, through the blessing servances of Christianity, and yet to be of God, be the means of contributing, among the foes of the Redeemer. If a however feebly, to the promotion of man's conduct be not as becomes the Christian love and unity—the object for gospel—if he be not a new creature in which the Redeemer here pleads, and Christ Jesus—if his heart be not anifor which many of his most eminent mated with love to God for the gift of his ministers and people in the present day Son, and to the Redeemer for laying

me

down his life in the room of sinners; and clammy, mouldering tenants of the if this love do not constrain him to walk charnel-house, with warm,

breathing, in the way of God's commandments, he sentient humanity, of those who are one is, whatever may be his religious pro-entire loathsome mass of spiritual corfessions, or whatever his ecclesiastical ruption with those who are renewed by connection, a rebel against God-a de- the Spirit of God, and arrayed in the spiser of the Savioura neglecter of the beauties of holiness. It is a most ungreat salvation. Therefore Paul says of becoming union. It is unseemly to see some professors in his day : "For many those who are evidently ungodly men, walk, of whom I have told you often, and appearing as parts of God's church-that now tell you even weeping, that they are holy spiritual living temple which he is the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose raising for himself—as absurd as if some end is destruction, whose god is their foolish architect should endeavour to rear belly, and whose glory is in their shame, a spacious, beautiful, and orderly buildwho mind earthly things." Christ could ing with such incongruous materials as not pray that such characters should in “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, any sense be one with his people. It and stubble." It is a daring profanation could not be his desire or his prayer, of the house and ordinances of God; that worldly men, persons who give no and they who are knowingly guilty of it, evidence of union to himself, should be have certainly much reason to tremble admitted to the fellowship of his house, at the apostolic denunciation, —"If any and be visibly united in one body with man defile the temple of God, him will his disciples. One great end of church God destroy; for the temple of God is fellowship is to separate those who be- holy, which temple ye (believers) are." lieve in Christ from those who do not While, however, this petition does not to distinguish between the regenerate and include worldly men, nor imply a desire unregenerate the precious and the vile on the part of the Redeemer, that they -the clean and the unclean. There should be united in fellowship with his fore, the apostles uniformly separated the people, it embraces all who have believed disciples, and formed them into little on him, with whatever denomination they societies called churches, admitting none may be connected. Christ's disciplesinto their fellowship but such as in the they who learn of him, love him, and objudgment of charity were faithful or tain salvation by him, are, by no means, believing brethren, and sanctified in confined to any one sect or body of proChrist Jesus. Therefore, also, they en- fessing Christians. Accordingly, the joined them not to be unequally yoked Saviour includes in this petition all who together with unbelievers ; but to come shall believe in him through the word of out from among them, and be separate ; his apostles. Some, indeed, would conand to turn away from such as had a form fine the favour of God and the blessings of godliness but denied its power. For of salvation within the narrow limits of churches then deliberately to mix Christ's their own communion. However pious disciples and the world in their consti- an individual may be,--however correct tution, or to admit into their fellowship and enlarged his views of the gospelthose who give no evidence of a change however clear the evidence which he of character, is to act in direct opposition gives that he believes the truth, loves it, both to apostolic practice and to apostolic and lives under its influence; yet, if he precept. It is a mixing together of belongs not to their little party, and beheterogeneous materials that can never lieves not as they believe, in regard to atnalgamate,—that can never even be some peculiar opinions and practices, of mixed in this way without decided, seri- which the Bible says little, in

many ous injury to both. It is the union of nothing, they cannot see how it is possithe living and the dead-of the cold, ble for him to be saved; or, at least, turn

cases

un

him over like a heathen to the un- porated into one body, through their
covenanted mercies of God. Presump- union to Him, the living Head. He is
tuous mortals ! thus to confine the favour the head of his body, the ehurch ; and
of Jehovah to yourselves, contradict the the moment any one believes in him, he
Bible, and bring the conditions of salva- | is united to him, and so becomes a part
tion within narrower limits than they are of his mystical body. Christ's disciples,
brought by the Redeemer. The Bible of all denominations, are likewise as
tells me, that he who believes on the members of the same body all animated
Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved; and by one Spirit,—" There is one body and
who shall dare to add to this declaration, one Spirit, even as ye are called in one
“If he believe also the peculiar dogmas hope of your calling.” They are all
of some particular sect !” The Bible likewise parts of one great living temple;
tells
me,

“ that as many as are led by for all “who come to Christ as a living
the Spirit of God, are the sons of God;" stone, are as living stones built up a
and that “our Father in heaven gives his spiritual house,” in which “are offered
Holy Spirit to all who ask him;" and up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God
who then shall dare to confine the gift by Jesus Christ.” They are all as mem-
or the leadings of the Spirit, and conse- bers of one church—“the general assem-
quently the privilege of being sons of bly and church of the first-born, who are
God, to their own denomination! Away written in heaven;" and of one family,
with such narrow-minded and the whole family in heaven and on earth,
charitable bigotry. Salvation by Christ named by the name of Christ.
is no sectarian thing. “God is no re- The particulars now mentioned, how-
specter of persons; but in every nation,” ever, can hardly be considered as in-
and every denomination, too, “he that cluded in the union supplicated in this
feareth him, and worketh righteousness, petition ; for the Saviour prays for such
is accepted of him.” Such contracted as believe in him. He prays for their
and illiberal views (except in the Church union after believing; and as they are
of Rome, and among her allies, the Ox- | all united in the respects above mentioned
ford Tractarians and the High Church as soon as they believe, they are so united
and Apostolical Succession men) are now before they are strictly the objects of the
rapidly vanishing away, and must very petition. We must, therefore, look out for
soon rank among the things that have so

some other respects than those in which been. Christians of all parties are be- the Saviour here prays that his disciples ginning to see that all excellence and may be one. He speaks of the union godliness are by no means confined to which subsists between his heavenly their own sect; but that a man may be Father and himself, as a pattern of the a believer in Christ—a son of God--and union which he prays may exist among an heir of glory--and possessed of the most his disciples of all denominations—"that valuable and amiable qualities, though they all may be one; as thou, Father, art he do not belong to their denomination, in me, that they also may be one in us;" northink in every point as they do. and in the twenty-second verse," that they

It thus appears that Christ in this may be one, even as we are one." It we petition prays for all his disciples; and consider, then, the union which subsists we now proceed to notice, that the bless- between the Father and the Son, it may ing which he supplicates for them is, assist us in discovering the nature of the that they may be united among them- union which Christ prays may exist selves—“That they all may be one, as among his disciples. The Father and thou, Father,” &c. Christ's disciples are the Son are one in nature and one in all, however they may be divided into

“I and my Father,” says he, different denominations, in several re- " are one." The union which subsists spects one. They are all united, incor- between them in this respect is incom

essence.

1

prehensible, and inimitable; such a union | ferent sects must always exist, plainly as can never exist among creatures : implies the idea, that errors shall always consequently, it cannot, in this respect, exist. The truth of God is one. If, therebe a pattern of the union which Christ fore, different parties have different views prays may exist among his disciples. in regard to any doctrine or practice, one But the union of the Father and the Son party at least must be in error. The time, is also a unity of sentiment, of love to however, we have reason to believe, is each other, and of purpose or design. approaching, when all error shall be done * My doctrine,” says Christ, “is not away. Error is always pernicious; but inine, but his that sent me;" and again, there is a time coming when there shall addressing his Father, “Thou hast loved be nothing to hurt or destroy ; and conme before the foundation of the world." sequently no error. When the Holy And again, "My meat and my drink is Spirit is poured out from on high, in to do the will of him that sent me, and more than Pentecostal copiousness, and to finish his work.” It is in these re- his abundant millennial effusions are enspects that the union between the Father joyed; when he clearly illuminates the and the Son is a pattern of the unity minds of Christ's disciples, and, accordwhich the Saviour here prays may exist ing to the Saviour's own promise, guides among all who believe on him through them into all the truth, error shall be the apostles' word. The petition then banished ; and unity of sentiment preprays that Christ's disciples may all be one. vail. Nor till this be the case, can the

1. In respect of sentiment or doctrine, beautiful and cheering prediction, which so that they all be united in one commu- we have just quoted from Isaiah's prophenion. This was the case in primitive cies, be fulfilled, as it foretells of Zion's times. This will also be the case, when watchmen, that with the voice together, the latter-day glory of the church is sball they sing, and see eye to eye. The brought in. The prophet, addressing petition before us, too, we think plainly the spiritual Zion, says: “ Thy watch- implies unity of doctrine and of denominamen shall lift up the voice, with the tion; for how can Christ's disciples be voice together shall they sing; for they one, in the full sense of the term, while shall see eye to eye when the Lord they hold discordant opinions on imshall bring again Zion.” Some, indeed, portant religious truths, and are divided maintain that there will always be dif- into a variety of rival, not to say hostile, ferent sects and parties among professing sects and parties? On the ground of Christians, even during the millennium, this petition, then, we anticipate a period and that we have no warrant for offering when, among believers in Jesus, a onethe prayer so sweetly breathed in the ness of doctrine, and a oneness of church beautiful lines

order shall prevail, and when they shall * Let party names no more

all be united into one great body, having
The Christian world o'erspread; merged their different party names in
Gentile and Jew, and bond and free, the general one of Christian.
Are one in Christ their Head.”

“ Then will the church below They think that while men's minds are Resemble that above; differently constituted, they must always Where no discordant sounds are heard, have different views on religious matters,

But all is peace and love." and, consequently, that there must always 2. The Saviour in this petition prays, be different sects and parties. With this that all his disciples, of every denominaconclusion we cannot agree. Christ's tion, may be united in love to each disciples were divided into different sects other. They may, indeed, and should by the introduction of error, and when be, united in this sense, even while they error is removed, they shall be reunited are divided into different sects. The into one body. The opinion that dif- Scriptures teach, that the belief of the

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