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I notice next the catholicity of this invitation. “Look unto Christ, all the ends of the earth, and be ye saved.” Blessed truth! The gospel is not for Jerusalem only, but for every country in the four quarters of the globe. This Christianity is not the monopoly of a sect, but the privilege and possession of all that believe. Whatever be the relative value of ecclesiastical differences, ours is not a gospel for the Churchman, or a gospel for the Dissenter, but it is for all that “look :" whether they look through the oriel windows of a cathedral, or the humble casement of a chapel, it is still “Look, and be ye saved.” It is that blessed gospel that discloses to every one a cross without a screen ; that gives a Bible without a clasp ; that offers salvation without price, and assigns the limits of the globe as the circumference of its free and its joyous action. That Saviour still speaks from the throne, and says: “Look unto me, all the ends of the earth-dwellers on the Missouri and the Mississippi, in the prairies and back-woods of America ; upon the Andes and in the isles of the Pacific ; from the mountains of Thibet, and the plains of China ; from every jungle in India, from every pagoda in Hindostan ; from the snows of Lapland; Arab, in thy tent, and Cossack, on thy steppes; ye ancient Druse from Mount Lebanon ; weary-footed wanderer of Salem, speaking all tongues, drinking of all streams-civilized and savage ;all the ends of the earth, look unto me, and be saved.” In all the phases of human sorrow and joy, toil and travail, "look.” In the wildest beating of the despairing heart; in the hour of sorrow—that sorrow that is too great for tears ; in the tidal sweep of ages; in the surges of a nation's suffering, and in the ripples of individual grief-to quote from a grand litany, "in all time of our tribulation, in all time of our wealth, in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment, "-"Look unto me, and be
THE CHARITY OF THE GOSPEL. The term Charity, as it is used in the New Testament, must be understood in a very different sense to that in which we ordinarily employ it, since it has nothing whatever to do with constitutional benevolence, which contents itself with relieving the temporal wants: for the apostle Paul tells us, a man may
give away all he possesses, and yet be totally destitute of charity; “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” So again, is it perfectly distinct from natural affection and friendship-for charity is always included among the characteristic graces of the true Christian; but it would be most perilous to suppose that we are necessarily in any degree partakers of the spirit of Christ, because we are conscious of feeling the warmest family love, and of being most keenly sensible of the luxury of friendly sympathy. This, our blessed Lord himself teaches us, “If
love them that love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them : and if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same." And we may observe in passing, that if charity consisted in any thing so naturally enjoyable as friendship, or domestic love, the numerous injunctions for the exercise of it, would be quite superfluous. Having thus shewn what charity is not, let us proceed to consider what it is.
The charity of the gospel is that disposition of the mind communicated to us through the influence of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, which leads us to feel regard and forbearance towards all those who "love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity," although they may hold opinions at variance with our own, upon points which God either has not at all declared his will in his word, or has left so far open questions inasmuch as it is a matter of opinion what His will really is: and these are of course non-essential points, since all things necessary for us to believe, in order that we may be saved, are so plainly taught in the Bible that the simplest capacity need be in no doubt as to their meaning, or as we are promised in most emphatic language, “The way-faring men, though fools, shall not ert therein," Isaiah xxxv. 8. It will not, I think, be disputed, that this definition is consistent with the whole tenor of Scripture, since it is the only one which can make such texts as these intelligible—“Follow charity with all them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart,” “Put on charity which is the bond of perfectness," "Let all your things be done with charity.” Moreover, it enables us to understand and appreciate that passage, where of the three sister graces, Faith, Hope, and Charity-charity is
said to be the greatest. It is the greatest, inasmuch as it is the rarest: for whilst the two former relate to ourselves, it relates to our neighbour, and forgetfulness of self is the great characteristic of the mature Christian. It is greatest, inasmuch as many who have faith to build their hope upon Christ for salvation, are often without charity, as every day's experience painfully exemplifies; and above all, it is greatest, because it assimilates our character most nearly to that of the meek and lowly Jesus, who being God, and knowing the precise truth on every point, did not nevertheless—for he was man- - disdain the opinions of men, but sympathized with their difficulties, and helped them out of them. We, when once we have acquired an accurate knowledge of any science, are apt to be impatient at the difficulties which obstruct the progress of the learner, since all things relating to it appear to us so easy. Not so, however, with the Saviour. He was ever ready, patiently to impart knowledge, and only complained that men “would not come to him, that they might have light.” One beautiful example of this I must mention. When the Sadducees came to Him and denied the doctrine of the resurrection, he did not leave them in anger to their false notions, or content himself with asserting, that the doctrine was true, whether they chose to believe it or not, but persuasively explained to them that their own Scriptures attested it, since “God is not a God of the dead, but of the living." Did He not, then, set us a noble example to forbear one another in charity.
Again, the necessity for the charity of the gospel, as above defined, may be seen in a strong light, by considering what scandal the absence of it brings upon our holy religion, from an ungodly world. When unbelievers observe christians quarrelling, they argue not without reason, either that there must be so great uncertainty upon matters of faith, that it is as well to believe one thing as another, and as a consequence, to believe nothing at all; or else, that the professors of religion must be mere hypocritical quibblers, who, like the Athenians of old, " spend their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.” „For,” say they, “could men who were really earnestin the pursuit of truth, and who held so much in common as they profess to do, have such bitter envying, and strife in their hearts ?"
The charity of the gospel then, requires all true Christians to be “knit together as one man," in order to hasten the kingdom of God upon earth, and to repel the insidious attacks of false teachers. But they are more charitable than the gospel-and of course, in reality, uncharitable—who fancy that they ought to subject themselves and their neighbours to the dangers of plausible and fascinating error, rather than be thought by some, intolerant. However disposed we might be to grant to every man the liberty of worshiping in the way which he thought to be most acceptable to God, even though we believe such a course to be positively pernicious, yet when we find that such an one is not content with being tolerated himself, but takes pains to deceive us and our friends, it is high time, out of justice to ourselves-out of concern for our own safety, that we “put away from among us that wicked person.” Be it carefully remembered, that it is nothing short of solemn mockery to pray to be delivered from temptation, while we deliberately throw ourselves into the way of it.
The age we live in boasts of being a liberal and enlightened age; but is it not greatly to be feared that the devil, “transformed into an angel of light,” gives it a false coloring in order to delude us. He knows full well that both Scripture and reason attest the beauty of charity, and under the pretence of advocating it, strives to get damnable error tolerated, that it may be diffused and then believed. “The offence of the cross will never cease while sin endures, and the child of God may be abundantly satisfied with the following answer to any attack of the advocates of liberality, falsely so called, “I dare not be more charitable than the gospel.” · I have now, I trust, spaved the way for a few remarks particularly suitable at this time, which, without the preceding, might be thought unduly severe, but which will not, I am confident, if well considered, be found to violate any of the broad principles of Christian love, the nature and necessity of which I have already endeavored to explain.
It is too well known to all my readers, that within the last few weeks, the church of Rome has reassumed a more decidedly aggressive spirit; and not content any longer with the liberty she enjoys here, keeps on crying "Give! give!" and hopes,
what she wishes, that because we have for charity's sake conceded so much, a reversion of opinion in her favor may have taken place throughout the country.
Let us shew her that she is mistaken; and that in her insolent desires to establish throughout the length and breadth of our land a hierarchy, arrogating to itself all the importance of properly delegated authority, she has infringed the prerogative of our Sovereign, and violated the spirit, if not the letter, of our laws. Let each individual act as if it depended upon him, or her, to put a stop to any further aggressions. The ocean is composed of many drops; and it is the accumulated efforts of individuals, one in this way, another in that, and all in some way, which can produce an effort strong enough to meet so formidable an opponent. This most certainly is the time for all to bestir themselves, and “ earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints"- '-once subjugated and almost lost in our land; and regained by no less precious a price than the blood of those who now among “ the noble army of martyrs” praise God that they were enabled “to fight the good fight of faith.” But for their courage, and the indestructible vitality of the Truth, how many of us might now have been groping almost in the dark, having no pure rays of light emanating from the “ lantern" of God's word “ to guide our feet into the way of peace!" For none would have been suffered to reach “the eyes of our understanding" save those which had first passed through the subtile media of human interpretations, and base accommodations. Shall we then prove ourselves so ungrateful to our God-shall we shew that we so under-rate the prodigious sacrifice of our fathers—shall we be so cruel to the generation that is to come after us—as to render them liable to similar trials, similar errors, similar temptations?-Shall we not rather, Christians of all denominations, old and young, rich and poor, shew that upon this subject we are united, and resolved determinately to resist the common foe?
What if through our indifference, a few years hence should see our children the dupes of Romish superstition? What if from our reading desks, priests should mutter unedifying prayers in a foreign tongue, and from our pulpits the palpable nonsense of transubstantiation should be proclaimed? What if