« ZurückWeiter »
shamelessly uncovereth himself!” And David said unto Michal, “It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight; and of the maid-servants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.” Oh! how beautiful. Few, few have such grace! Look now, my dear friends, at the psalm which David composed on the occasion of the coming up of the ark. Ah! he was not deterred by contempt or ridicule from going on in the praise of the Lord. “Give thanks unto the Lord Be ye mindful always of his covenant,” going on to show how the Lord had been faithful, always, rebuking their enemies, working, as how he does, wonderful secret deliverances for them when his people do not know it; following them from nation to nation, and many times when they think they are deserted by him and given over into the hands of their enemies, he is staying the arm of persecution, and saying to their oppressors, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” while he is reproving kings for their sakes. And thus he leads them by his providence, and proteets them by his power, till he brings them to his presence in his house above. Ah, then, if it be so, let his people not forget his covenant, let them be continually remembering their Lord and declaring his goodness to others. Think of the blessedness of being his people at all, and of seeing the good of his chosen. And when you see houses among you where the Lord seems to dwell, should not such sights incite you to strive to get near him who blesseth them and theirs. Let all God's people remember, that all are not alike in this matter, even though, in reality, they do belong to him. There is much left to man's free-will. The hand of the diligent maketh rich in the things of God as well as in temporal mercies. Let the Lord's ple resolve, in his strength, that they are to be of the number
will not be disappointed. Are there any such here to-night? any who run the race determinately and fleetly, who pass by, and get out of, and far beyond the ranks of loiterers and them who are at ease in Zion? Are any of you running as if one alone were to obtain the prize? as if the gate of life were too marrow to admit any but yourself? Some of us will be taught the necessity for this, taught it, alas! by seeing many draw back unto perdition. We might be taught it by Emmanuel's words, “Hold fast that thou hast that uoman take thy crown : " Ah! we'll get our crown taken unless we trample upon ease and sloth, and difficulty, in his name. BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT FEARETH ALWAYs, and who is thus, in continual trembling, led to draw from the fulness of One able to keep him from falling. And now, my beloved friends, may that jealous God who bringeth down every high thing, and casteth down every proud imagination, by the power whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself, bring us down, and cast us all into the dust before him; lest being lifted up by pride, we touch with Uzzah's hand the ark of the covenant, for then Uzzah's judgments will surely break out upon us. Oh! that Jehovah would raise up for his service in the ministry, men who .# go about taking their lives in their hands; counting not their life dear unto them. Precious, Lord, in thy sight is the death of thy saints; and if it be so, why need they fear? they cannot lose life till the time appointed. Oh! for ministers in our beloved land such as have never yet been seen—men who will go bound hither and thither, and will go all the more confidently in the Master's name, even when the Spirit testifieth that bonds await them. Oh! for humbling in the Lord's sight because of personal sin, to be creeping into the dust on account of it, and in view of thy glory, Lord Jesus; we see not thy matchless perfections, O thou fairer than the sons of men, and yet thou art our Redeemer, and yet thou art the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely :
of those who make full proof of the present
“FIRST CLASS CHURCHES.”
First class Churches / We dislike the phrase. Yet it is one that is becoming popular in some quarters... We fear that it will be found no help in forming an ideal of a true Christianity. In fact its meaning is equivocal. What is to be understood by it? Does it
apply to the building, the preacher, the audience, the location, or to all these combined? Is a first class church one that is an exception to the rule of Christ – “the poor ye have always with you”? Must it be thronged by the wealthy P. must it be in a fashion
fruits and privileges of salvation, and they
able neighbourhood ? must it be in most highly to be regarded. We want Gothicstyle, with stained glass windows? no such scale of honour adopted among must it have an eloquent and talented the churches that bear the name of preacher ? must it have a paid choir ? Him, who, though he was rich, yet for What would Paul have esteemed a first our sakes became poor, and whose class church? If he were among us now, testimony for his own Divine mission where would he look for one that an- was found in the evident fact that the swered to his idea of the phrase ? poor had the gospel preached to them. What would he consider essential to - The poor in this world rich in faith " it? We are much mistaken if the are those who are dearest to Christ. little band of disciples who assembled Whenever a reform has begun in the in that upper chamber of Jerusalem, church, it has begun among the lowly. after our Lord's ascension, would not From the days of the poor saints" at have formed a different estimate from Jerusalem," the poor men of Lyons," what many now do, of a first class the colliers of Kingswood, the persechurch. God's living temples would cuted of the Duke of Tuscany, have have been more to them than piles of been the types of what the power of stone and mortar. Deeds of charity the gospel was competent to achieve. and self-denial would be more ac- It has not been among the rich, the counted of than the amount of pew wise, the noble of this world that the rents. The fervor of devotion to the Spirit of Jesus oftenest made its chosen cause of Christ—the vigor and energy abode. “The dairyman's daughter," of spiritual life—the prayerful humi- " the blind slave in the mine," poor lity and faith manifested, would have Joseph," and a host of others whose marked the degree in which it was to piety was their only distinction, have be esteemed.
again and again taught us the grand We protest against the use of the and heavenly philanthropy of that rephrase referred to, as conveying a false ligion which seeks out the poor and impression. It seems to say, that not the outcast, and makes them pre-emi. that church which makes the largest nently the monuments of redeeming inroads upon the world—that numbers grace. We hope the day is far disthe largest accession of true converts, tant when in the classification of our that most abounds in the self-denying churches a phraseology will be adopted labours of Christian love, but that that belongs more to the region of which is most popular, most splendid, “Vanity Fair," than to that commumost wealthy, or can boast of the most nion where all are brethren. scholarly and gifted preacher, is the
N. Y. Observer.
“ THEY THAT SEEK THE LORD SHALL NOT WANT
ANY GOOD.” "I am so insignificant, so obscure and ful moisture. Go into the tall forest, little known among my fellows, that I and there thou wilt find a rebuke for sometimes fear I shall be overlooked thine unbelief, and learn a lesson of among the multiplicity of the Lord's trust in God. The moss in its lowly works, and suffer want of things neces- position is as fresh and as well provided sary.” Dost thou fear this ? Then for, as are the shooting trees that overconsider the Lord's works, and let them shadow it, and it is safer far than they scatter thy fears and rebuke thine un- are. The little flower on its feeble belief. Go into the field at early stalk blooms modestly yet beautifully morning, while yet the dew lies glisten- by the root of the "lofty pine ; and, ing in the light of the rejoicing sun. listen, thou mayest hear its hymn of Examine well: tell me is there not a gratitude. Not a blade of grass, not a dewdrop on every blade of grass, the stalk of moss, not a tender flower is gift of bounteous and all-providing forgotten; the least as well as the Heaven? Look beneath the hedge-row greatest, the tiniest as well as the and there also thou wilt find the need- tallest, are all provided for. And will
God, the omniscient, the omnipotent, ravens, He gives its needful nourishthe good-will God, thy God, forget or ment to the blade of grass, and will He overlook thee? Perish the distrustful, fail to give all that is really needful to dishonouring thought. He feeds the thee, O thou of little faith? R.
LETTER TO A UNITARIAN. Mr DEAR SIR,- I have carefully read the said, that the Old School keeps to the pamphlet you left with me on "Old first assertion that Christ was man, while School and New" Unitarianism. I cannot the New prefers to assert that man is Divine. say that I hate been much impressed by This is the whole truth of the question, the ability displayed in it. You must and very little consideration will convince forgive me, if I say that it partakes largely you that he is, in the main, right-that of that shallowness which characterises while the two schools seemingly assert most of the publications on Unitarianism opposite things, both assertions are subwith which I am acquainted. With regard stantially the same. to its subject matter, the author tries to With regard to Unitarianism itself, I make out that those differences which confess myself to be somewhat incompetent exist amongst you, and which have caused to deal with it. And this, because I could many to assert that the system, as a system never discover anything in it calculated attempted to be deduced from Scripture, either to attract or to stumble. Instead is fast dying out, do not really exist; that of being a fixed point, it seems to me, the two leading parties believe the same scarcely a resting-place between Christianity things, differing only in their modes of and blank scepticism. Take the “ Pauline interpretation and thought; that, in a theology” out of the Christian system, and Word, the Old was almost purely negative- what better is it than pure Deism ?-and and rightly or because of its antagonistic Unitarianism is Deism baptized, and nothing position-while the New is so satisfactorily more. How any man can read the New positive, that from “the discords of the Testament, even the parts to which your Church of England," "and the bitter con- sect offers no objection, and fail to see the troversies of Congregational dissent,” he Divinity of Christ, on which all depends, comes to the astounding conclusion, that everywhere asserted or implied, is to me a " the whole Protestantism of England is mystery. Arguments in such a case, are surging backwards and forwards between almost hopeless. Let me merely allude to two fired points — the Roman Catholic one with which you are doubtless already Church and our own!" Now I quite agree acquainted, but which I have never yet with the writer that most marked differences seen any Unitarian writer attempt to exist between the two schools ; and also, grapple with. I refer to Christ's death. on the principle of extremes meeting, that The Jews did not put him to death without these differences are more in appearance a show of reason. What was the charge than in reality. In fact, it is not so much on which he was judged and condemned ? the matter, so to speak, which is changed, Blasphemy. Wherein did this blasphemy as the manner. The substratum is the consist ? “Because he said he was the Son same, but the facing of each partakes of of God.” And did he ever deny the accusathe men and the time. The difference is tion? Did he not die, we might say, a exactly the same in kind as that which martyr to this truth-to the truth of his exists between Pantheism and Atheism. own Divinity ? If, then, he was not the The one says, all is God; the other, there Son of God, his life was a lie from beginning is no God-and it would be difficult to say to end, and his death was that of a man which is to be preferred. And in like dying with a lie in his right hand. And manner, had your author brought a clearer how after this, " Whatever uncertain coneye to his subject, he would have simply sciousness men may have had of things
* "Old Schools and New :" An Unitarian Tract for the Times. London: Whitfield, Strand.
He is of high descent; God is his father; his birth is noble, he is born from above; the line of his ancestry is most ancient and honourable, he is of the same family with Abel and Enoch, and Abraham and Moses, and Samuel and David, Isaiah and Paul. Jesus is his elder brother. He may not have intercourse with the princes or the great and noble of earth, but he is intimate with the “King of kings;” he may be obscure and little moticed among men, but his name is “written in the Lamb's book of life;” he is enrolled among the chivalry of heaven. He may be poor in this world's goods, but he is heir to an eternal inheritance—he has “a treasure in the heavens that fadeth not,” he may dwell in a humble habitation now—may, like his Lord, he may not have “where to lay his head,” but there awaits him a mansion built and furnished by eternal love; he may have no “servant to attend him, but angels are his ministering spirits.” His earthly provision may be coarse and scanty, but he feeds upon the “finest of the wheat”—his soul is “satisfied as with marrow and fatness.” His raiment may be humble and homely, but he is arrayed in a garment more costly and glorious than any that princes wear. No coronet glitters on his brow, but he is crowned with Jehovah's favour. His aspect is humble, but his aims are lofty; the world is under his feet, and heaven is full in his eye. With eagle wing he rises, with unwearied feet he runs, with growing strength he wrestles, and with unflinching ardour fights for heaven and its “crown of righteousness.” He is weak and yet strong—strong in “the strength of Israel;” poor and yet rich, for God is his portion. “All things” are his; often sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, trembling yet confident, often cast down but never despairing. He has present peace—peace in Jesus, and the assured prospect of peace for ever. In his outgoings and incomings he is under the wing of Omnipotence, the Lord's favour is
round about him as a shield; he stands -ase under the firm and stable canopy of the “everlasting covenant,” and rests secure in the invisible fortress of Immanuel's love. While he lives in this world, he has the guarantee of eternal truth that he shall want for no really good and necessary thing. “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” He has the promise of grace—sanctifying grace, restraining grace, upholding grace, persevering grace, grace for every condition and exigency of life; and, when death cories, he has the assurance of support and comfort. When the earthly house of his tabernacle has been dissolved, he has a building of God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, and there he shall be “ever with the Lord.” Having given him grace, the Lord will give him glory. R
"I HAVE often already (says the Paris Correspondent of the Christian Times) alluded to the, to me unaccountable, propensity of young Englishwomen to come over to Paris, i. to teach English while they learn French—two things seldom if ever accomplished at one and the same time—and coming on the supposition that all Paris is panting after opportunities for acquiring the . language! Nothing could be more opposed to reality. Were we as a people disposed to learn English, we should not see, as we do, numbers of your countrywomen wandering up and down seeking for lessons in vain; offering their time, their talents, their accomplishments, in return for a little bread and house-room, in vain; entreating us to give them a tolerable pronunciation of our language, in return for their English, Latin, and music, in vain. They say that they cannot command a good salary in England unless they have learnt French in Paris; but do English ladies know at what price they purchase this? At the most imminett risk of introducing to their innocent circle ideas not innocent, principles not correct, the germs of vanity on one hand, and Romanism on the other. The increased amount of salary is far from being the only sacrifice made in many cases by mothers, who would start in horror were their eyes once opened to what they are doing. Shall Ipoint out the downward course of one, whose case is only one of dozens more ?
Too high-principled to accept a situation with actresses or widowers, she was not on her guard against the other danger which besets young people in Paris, and engaged to give lessons in a convent. When once within the walls, she was told that while she remained a Protestant she could not be allowed to instruct the young people; the most subtle priest and engaging nuns were brought into contact with her; the pomps and ceremonies, the music and certain romantic sentimentalities, were brought to bear upon her naturally excitable imagination, while the brilliant prospect of successin the gay world was held out, by introductions to the Princess , the Duchess —, the Marchioness , all full of flattery towards the young stranger, “who would assuredly do as they had done, and take refuge under the soothing wings of the true Church 1” To her Protestant friends all was courteous duplicity; she was not within, nor was her address known when inquired for (she had been sent into the garden). She was perfectly free to go out when she liked, only the hour she was sent for was inconvenient; going out of the convent door and returning the same day, was fulfilling her promise to leave it. The young person herself sofelt this, that she told the superior, who was casting a doubt on the veracity of a Protestant friend, “Madame, you may trust her word, English truth is not the same as French truth;’ meaning, we suppose, that Protestant truth was not synonymous with Romish truth. But the web is wound round her. The superior is a woman who delights in intrigue, and is turned to account by the reverend father Jesuits in inveigling unwary Protestants, to whom the power of religion has not become a matter of experience. She was frightened into relinquishing the physical hold she had on her young victim, but the moral spell is not broken. The truthful girl of former times is now a warm excuser of their duplicity, declaring it is all for the good of i. soul; while she is preparing with alacrity to set off her personal charms by fashionable clothing, in the prospect of entering on the gay round of pleasure promised her by the titled friends of the superior. When properly broken in (except God have pity on her soul!) she will probably be used as a decoybird in fashionable English circles. English friends, keep your daughters out of the reach of such snares. We repeat it; these intrigues are continually going on; in proportion as the Romish Church is losing its power over our ple, its efforts are more strenuous to gain the unwary girls, whom you send over here to prepare to educate your own children!