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reconciliation; I will be satisfied with nothing less than a fresh pardon from the blood of Christ. He that first gave me quiet, must keep me in peace." Another friend you will have continually with you, and that is the Bible; and it will speak a true language, though in a different dialect. It will shew you the great and glorious salvation of Jesus, a perfect atonement, righteousness, justification, and glorification. It says, "Soul, fix thy faith here continually; look upon this as far superior to all thy humiliations, gifts, graces, and highest attainments; look upon it, also, as far more extensive to cover and pardon all thy sins, corruptions, and imperfections, than thy sins and omissions can be to condemn thee." The Bible speaks also the language of precept. This voice must be attended to. It says, "Walk in the path of duty, as the redeemed of the Lord; shew thy love to him, by keeping his commandments; demonstrate that the Gospel is according to godliness, and by well-doing put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." It speaks also the language of promises-exceeding great and precious promises, many in number, and rich in variety, suitable to every case, calculated for every emergency, secured by covenant-love and everlasting mercy. There is a summary of these in Heb. viii. 9-13. There is also the still small voice of the Spirit, which will insist much upon your keeping up communion with God, guarding against temptations, striving against the flesh. It says, I appeal to thine own experience, soul: when art thou so happy as under my smiles? When is thy faith so delighted as when I am taking of the things of Jesus, and shewing them unto thee? When is the throne of grace so privileged a place as when I am in theea Spirit of prayer and supplication, making intercession in thee and with thee? Therefore grieve me not, for I am a Spirit of holiness, and will not dwell with the unclean." There is also the voice of the Beloved; and what is its affectionate declaration? "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me." Time is another monitor of God, and it speaks loudly: "Live to-day; redeem what has been mispent; improve thy talents; prepare for death and judgment." Trials also may speak, and must be attended to; hear the voice of the rod, and of Him who hath appointed it. I will only mention two voices more, from very different people, in very opposite dialects. May they be sanctified to us both! The one is manifested, Luke, xvi. 19, &c.; and the other, Rev. vii. 10-12. I have now given you a few thoughts, which, if properly attended to and improved, may be advantageous to the soul. And now, recommending you to the grace and love of our blessed Saviour,
I remain yours with sincere regard,
a love of thy holy name; since thou never deprivest of thy governance those whom thou dost bring up under the stedfastness of thy love. Through the Lord."
LITURGICAL HINTS.-No. XXVIII. "Understandest thou what thou readest?"-Acts, viii. 30. SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. THE COLLECT is a prayer for outward and inward preservation. In 1662, the order of the petitions was inverted the original Latin form standing thus: "O Lord, make us to have a perpetual fear, equally with
I. The invocation or first member of this collect is this: "O Lord, who never failest to help and govern them whom thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear and love." We here express our confidence, that where God hath "begun a good work" in any of us, he will "perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." To cherish such a confidence as this, is the privilege of all those-though of those only-who feel their affections drawn up to high and heavenly things. This is the heritage of such as truly fear God's name; and it is so far from being presumptuous to lay claim to it, that the apostle requires of Christians to hold it fast: "We desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end" (Heb. vi. 11). And it is their happiness to know that God's promise so to " help and govern them" stands on record; " even to their old age, and even to hoar hairs he will carry them" (Is. xlvi. 3, 4). He is continually with them, holds them by his right hand, guides them with his counsel, and shall afterward receive them to glory. (Ps. lxxiii. 23, 24.) We must equally regard both the particulars of God's superintendence here mentioned-help and government. The aid of his grace is granted in order that they may remain under the dominion of his Spirit. Our sins bring us into difficulty: God promises to "help" us out of this state, not that we may remain or relapse into sin; but that we may henceforth submit ourselves unreservedly to his holy "government." They who are resolved to do so, and who, with this view, apply to God for his aid, may confidingly put their trust in the Lord, for he is their help" (Ps. cxv. 10, 11). Happy are they whose steps are thus ordered by the Lord, who have the God of Jacob for their help.
II. In the petition or second member of the collect we pray (1.)" Keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good providence." Safety from evil is the matter of this prayer; and it has been promised by God," Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy" (Ps. xxxiii. 18). He is pledged to preserve them from all evil: they may lie down, and sleep, and take their rest, for the Lord has engaged to sustain them. He shall defend them under his wings, and they shall be safe under his feathers: his faithfulness and truth shall be their shield and buckler (Ps. xci. 4). The Christian's Lord, to remove his fears, has mercifully reasoned the case with him: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your head are all numbered; fear ye not, therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matt. x. 29-31). Let the believer, then, hush all his alarms; for the "God which has fed him all his life long unto this day-the Angel which redeemed him from all evil" (Gen. xlviii. 15, 16)—shall "never leave him nor forsake him" (Heb. xiii. 5).
(2.) Preservation from inward decays is the subject of the remainder of the petition of this collect: "Make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy name." These two graces make up the entire disposition of mind which God's servants are to cherish towards him. Fear of God's name is not a slavish dread of his power: this would be" the spirit of bondage again;" but it is a reverential sense of his character, such as a dutiful child would shew to his parent; and is, therefore, quite compatible with the other quality, the love of God's name. The Israelites were enjoined to manifest both these dispositions towards God: "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God; to walk in all his ways; and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul"
(Deut. x. 12). The Christian must be careful to join together these two states of mind; for his Divine Master has said, concerning his heavenly Father, "Yea, I say unto you, fear him :" and likewise, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."
The EPISTLE (1 John, iii. 13-24) contains, first, 13-18,❘ an exhortation to brotherly love. Marvel not (says the apostle), if an evil world, under the dominion of Satan, hate you who belong to that Seed of the woman, which is shortly to bruise Satan under your feet. We know it to be a token of our having passed into a justified state, that we have a peculiar love to those who belong to the family of God. No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him; but he who hates his brother is a murderer; such an one, therefore, hath not within him the principle of eternal life. The example of God and of Christ should inflame our hearts with this holy love; for this great God has given his Son to death for us; and we owe it to him, for such goodness, to be willing to suffer death for the good of the Church, for the safety and salvation of the brethren beloved in Christ Jesus, either in exposing ourselves to dangers for their preservation, or in the supply of their necessities; for there can be no true love of God in him who, having the means of "distributing to the necessity of saints," refuses to do so. Let us not "shew much love with our mouth," using hollow compliments, and expressions of good-will that cost us nothing; but let us give proofs of a sincere and sacred affection in services of love.
The apostle next speaks (19-22) of the testimony of conscience. Hereby (he says), by thus abounding in love to the brethren, we are assured of our integrity in religion, and may confidently appeal to God from the censures of the world. For if our heart, that judicial power which resides within ourselves, pass upon us a condemnatory sentence, God is a greater witness than our heart, and knoweth more against us than it does he is a greater judge than conscience. But if our heart condemn us not," if conscience acquit us, then have we assurance that God does so now, and will acquit us at the great day of account. The privilege of those who have a good conscience toward God is, that "whatsoever they ask they receive of him;" it is supposed that they ask nothing which does not tend to God's glory, and their own spiritual good: then they shall receive, because they
keep his commandments, and do those things which are well-pleasing in his sight." Their obedience prepares them for his blessings; and the promise of audience at the court of heaven is annexed to it.
The apostle mentions summarily what these commandments are (v. 23): to believe on Christ, and to love one another; and represents the blessedness of obedience (v. 24), especially of obedience to these two last-named commandments of faith and love; that we "dwell in God" by a divine relation to him; and God dwells in us" by his spiritual presence: the test of this divine indwelling being the " Spirit which he hath given us"-the holy frame of soul which he hath conferred upon us.
The GOSPEL (Luke, xiv. 16-24) is the generous, but neglected invitation. This discourse was occasioned by one of the guests at an entertainment, where Christ was present, saying, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." Yea, saith our Lord, it is true; they are blessed who shall partake of the privileges of Christ's kingdom; but who are they that shall enjoy that privilege? This question he answers by a parable. Christ in his Gospel has made "a feast for all people" (Isa. xxv. 6); and all things are now ready: now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation. Christ bids all men welcome, saying, Eat, O friends; drink, yea drink abundantly, O beloved." But the invited guests give a cold reception to his invitation. All find out some pretence to escape from attendance; they cannot refuse for decency's
sake, therefore they must be excused. One has bought a piece of ground-complacency in worldly things kept him back; another has bought five yoke of oxen-inordinate worldly care hinders him; another has married a wife, and pleads inability to attend to religion, when really he is averse to it. His servants, who are his ministers, give an account of the ill success of their ministry; they do so even now at the throne of grace, and they will do so hereafter at the judgment-seat of Christ: and he shall justly resent this affront. They who despise Christ's grace, forfeit it as Esau forfeited the birthright he had despised: they that will not have Christ when they may, shall not have him when they will. Go, saith Christ, and gather an abundance of guests from among the most unlikely invite those that will be glad to come; for the provision made for precious souls in my Gospel shall not be in vain: if some reject, others will thankfully accept it. "Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious, a Light to the Gentiles." (Is. xliv. 5, 6.)
We learn from this parable, that the offers of the Gospel are of the most general and comprehensive kind; that worldliness keeps men back from embracing Christ's salvation and service: but that God will have a church in the world-the unbelief of man not being able to make his promise of none effect; that though many have been brought in to partake of the benefits of the Gospel, there is room for more-the riches of Christ being "unsearchable" and inexhaustible; and, finally, that the Gospel excludes none who do not exclude themselves.
"Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her?"-Nahum, iii. 7. NINEVEH, the splendid metropolis of the Assyrian empire, was anciently a city of great importance: it was founded by Asshur, the son of Shem (Gen. x. 11), and by the Greeks was called Ninus, to whom they referred its foundation. It was erected on the banks of the Tigris, and was of great extent: according to Diodorus Siculus, it was fifteen miles long, nine broad, and forty-eight in circumference. It was surrounded by walls, 100 feet high, on the top of which three chariots could pass together abreast, and was defended by 1500 towers, each of which was 200 feet high. In the time of the prophet Jonah (who lived between 810 and 785 B. c.) it was an exceeding great city of three days' journey"-"wherein were more than six score thousand persons that could not discern between their right hand and their left hand" (Jon. iii. 3; iv. 11). Its destruction, which that prophet had announced within forty days, was averted by the general repentance and humiliation of the inhabitants (iii. 4-10). That repentance, however, was of no long continuance: for the prophet Nahum, soon after, predicted not only the utter destruction of Nineveh, which was accomplished one hundred and fifteen years afterwards, but also the manner in which it was to be effected. "While they were folded together as thorns, they were devoured as the stubble full dry" (Nah. i. 10). The Medians, under the command of Arbaces, being informed by some deserters of the negligence and drunkenness which prevailed in the camp of the Ninevites, assaulted them unexpectedly by night, discomfited them, and became masters of their camp, and drove such of the soldiers as sur
From Illustrations of the Bible. 2 vols. Murray.
vived the defeat into the city. “The gates of the on the north-eastern extremity of this artificial mound. river shall be opened, and the palace shall be dis- Its greatest height, as measured by Mr. Rich, was 178 solved" (Nah. ii. 6): and Diodorus Siculus relates feet; the length of the summit, east and west, 1850 " that there was an old prophecy that Nineveh should feet; and its breadth, north and south, 1147 feet. А not be taken, till the river became an enemy to the short time before Mr. Rich visited these remains, out city; and in the third year of the siege, the river being of a mound on the north face of the boundary " there swollen with continual rains, overflowed part of the was dug an immense block of stone, on which were city, and broke down the wall for twenty furlongs. sculptured the figures of men and animals. So reThen the king (Sardanapalus), thinking that the markable was this fragment of antiquity, that even oracle was fulfilled, and the river become an enemy to Turkish apathy was roused ; and the pacha and most the city, built a large funeral pile in the palace, and of the principal people of Mousoul went to see it. One collecting together all his wealth, and his concubines, of the spectators particularly recollected, among the and his eunuchs, burnt himself and the palace with sculptures of this stone, the figure of a man on horsethem all: and the enemy entered the breach which back, with a long lance in his hand, followed by a the waters had made, and took the city." What was great many others on foot. The stone was soon afterpredicted, therefore, in Nah. i. 8, was literally fulfilled: wards cut into small pieces for repairing the build“With an overflowing flood will he make an utter end ings of Mousoul ; and this inestimable specimen of of the place thereof." Nahum (ii. 9) promises the the arts and manners of the earliest ages was irreenemy much spoil of gold and silver; and we read in coverably lost." These ruins evidently indicate the Diodorus, that Arbaces carried away many talents of former existence of some very extensive edifices, silver and gold to Ecbatana, the royal city of the which most probably belonged to ancient Nineveh, Medes. According to Nahum (i. 8; iii. 15), the city and which attest the literal accomplishment of the was to be destroyed by fire and water; and from Di- prophecy, that that “ rejoicing city, which dwelt careodorus we learn that it was actually destroyed by fire lessly,” should " become a desolation, dry like a wiland water.
derness, a place for beasts to lie down in.” (Zeph. ii. Nineveh was taken a second time, by Cyaxares and 15, 13.) Nabopolassar, from Chinaladin, king of Assyria, A. M. There are appearances of mounds and ruins extend3378, after which it no more recovered its former ing for several miles to the southward, the space besplendour. It was entirely ruined in the time of Lu- tween which is a level plain, over every part of the cian of Samosata, who lived in the reign of the empe- face of which broken pottery and the other usual remains ror Hadrian: it was rebuilt under the Persians; but of ruined cities are seen scattered about. was destroyed by the Saracens about the seventh century. Its utter destruction, as foretold by Nahum (i. ii. iii.) and by Zephaniah (ii. 13-15), has been so
The Cabinet. entirely accomplished, that no certain vestiges of it PIIARISAISM.--I cannot see two sawyers work at have remained. Several modern writers are of opi
the pit, but they put me in mind of the Pharisee and
the publican; the one casts his eye upward, whilst nion, that the ruins on the eastern bank of the river
his actions tend to the pit infernal; the other standing Tigris, opposite to the modern town of Mousoul, point with a dejected countenance, whilst his hands ard out the site of ancient Nineveh. The late learned and lieart move upward. "Tis not a shame to make shew intelligent political resident at Bagdad, Claudius of our profession, so we truly possess what we make James Rich, Esq. states, that on this spot there is
shew of; but of the two, I had rather be good, and an enclosure of a rectangular form, corresponding publican went home to his house rather justitied than
not seem so, than seem good, and not be so. The with the cardinal points of the compass, the area the Pharisce.--Warwick. of which offered no vestiges of building, and is too
NATURE VIEWED WITH small to contain a town larger than Mousoul; but
REFERENCE TO GOD.-If
one train of thinking be more desirable than another, it may be supposed to miswer to the palace of Ni
it is that which regards the phenomena of nature neveh. Four mounds are observable, the longest of with a constant reference to a supreme intelligent which runs north and south, and consists of several Author. To have made this the ruling, the habitual ridges of unequal height, the whole appearing to ex
sentiment of our minds, is to have laid the foundation tend four or five miles in length. These mounds, as
of every thing that is religious. The world from
thenceforth becomes a temple, and life itself one conthey shew neither bricks, stones, nor any other mate- tinued act of adoration.- Paley. rials of building, but are in many places overgrown
PRAYER.–Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treawith grass, resemble the mounds left by intrench
sure undiminished, a mine which never is exhausted, ments and fortifications of Roman camps. On the
a sky unobscured by clouds, a haven unrum.cd by the first of these, which forms the south-west angle, is storm ; it is the root, the fountain, and the mother, of erected the village of Nebbi Yunus, where is shewn a thousand, ten thousand blessings. I speak not of the supposed tomb of the prophet Jonah or Jonas. The
the prayer which is cold and feeble, and devoid of
energy; I speak of that which is the child of a connext, which is the largest of all, Mr. Rich conjectured
trite spirit, the offspring of a soul converted, born in to be the monument of Ninus: it is situated near the
a blaze of unutterable inspiration, and winged, like western face of the enclosure, and is called Koyunjuk lightning, for the skies. When a Christian stretches Tepè. Its form is that of a truncated pyramid, with forth his hands to pray, and invokes his God, in that regular steep sides and a flat top; and it is composed and traverses on the wings of intellect the realms of
moment he leaves behind him all terrestrial pursuits, of stones and earth, the latter predominating suffici- light; he contemplates celestial objects only, and ently to admit of the summit being cultivated by the knows not of the present state of things during the inhabitants of the village of Koyunjuk, which is built period of his prayer, provided that prayer be breathed
with fervency. Could we but pray with fervency, could we pray with a soul resuscitated, a mind awakened, an understanding quickened, then were Satan to appear, he would instantaneously fly; were the gates of hell to yawn upon us, they would close again. Prayer is a haven to the shipwrecked mariner, an anchor to them that are sinking in the waves, a staff to the limbs that totter, a mine of jewels to the poor, a security to the rich, a healer of diseases, and a guardian of health. Prayer at once secures the continuance of our blessings, and dissipates the cloud of our calamities.-St. Chrysostom.
SELF-ESTEEM. Opinion of ourselves is like the casting of a shadow, which is always longest when the sun is at the greatest distance. By the degrees that the sun approaches, the shadow shortens; and under the direct meridian light it becomes none at all. It is so with our opinion of ourselves. While the good influences of God are at the greatest distance from us, it is then always that we conceive best of ourselves. As God approaches, the conceit lessens, till we receive the fuller measures of his grace; and then we become nothing in our own conceit, and God appears to be all in all.-Dean Young,
Amid their ranks thou seem'st to move
Glad tidings of a world above.
BY MRS. ABDY.
Miscellaneous. CHARITY.—Children should be inured as early as possible to acts of charity and mercy. Constantine, as soon as his son could write, employed his hand in signing pardons, and delighted in conveying through his mouth all the favours that he granted-a noble introduction to sovereignty, which is instituted for the happiness of mankind. - Jortin.
ALEXANDER of Russia.-We are indebted to a friend for the subjoined copy of an imperial ukase issued by the late Emperor Alexander of Russia. The severe but just rebuke which it contains, resenbling, in some respects, the one given by our king Canute to his servile flatterers, was called forth by gross adulation to the emperor, when he was on his last tour through his dominions :-Ukase addressed to the Legislatire Synod at Moscow, by Alerander,
Emperor of Russia, dated from Moscou, Oct. 27, 1817. “ During my late travels through the provinces I was obliged, to my no small regret, to listen to speeches pronounced in different parts, which contained unbecoming praises of me-praises which can only be ascribed unto God. And as I am convinced in the depth of my heart of the Christian truth, that every blessing floweth unto us through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ alone; and that every man, be he who he may, without Christ, is full only of evil; therefore to ascribe unto me the glory of deeds in which the band of God had been evidently manifested before the whole world, is to give unto men that glory which belongeth urto Almighty God alone. I account it my duty, therefore, to forbid all such unbecoming expressions of praise, and recommend that, on similar occasions in future, the people refrain from all such expressions of praise, so disagreeable to my ears; and that they may render unto the Lord of Hosts alone thanksgivings for the blessings bestowed upon us, and pray for the outpouring of his grace upon all of us ; conforming themselves in this matter to the words of sacred writ, which requires us to render to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, honour and glory, for ever and ever.-ALEXANDER."
LONDON :- Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.
PRINTED BY ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLIN, 46 ST. MARTIN'S IAXE.
VOL. II. No. 55.
JUNE 10, 1837.
THE ADVANTAGES OF CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT, AS OPPOSED TO A SPIRIT OF COVETOUSNESS.
BY THE REV. EDWARD SCOBELL, M.A. Minister of St. Peter's, Vere Street, London. [Concluded from No. LIV.]
OF THE UNITED
I PROCEED now to the motives and consolations that should operate with the Christian in the steady course of a contented life. It may possibly occur to many persons to say, "It is hard to be contented and patient in poverty, or in misfortune; it is difficult to resist pleasures, and the money which procures them; it is mortifying to see others, younger and perhaps less worthy, surpassing us in earthly resources, and excelling us in the temporal lustres of life." I allow it is hard to a worldly mind-to a mind that sets its happiness on these objects, and not on the riches of Christ; but then it is a Christian's duty, and that is our first consideration: -it is a duty, because we are the children of a sovereign Lord, and not the absolute disposers of our own state. Even the hairs of our head are numbered; and "the ordering of every lot is of the Lord." It is a duty, because else the course of this world, as a world of probation, could not go on. If all were rich, where would be the virtues of resignation and submission, and all the other graces-perhaps the most beautiful of all graces, those that adorn a humble station? If all were poor, where would be generosity, charity, subdued pride, and moderated passions? No: "The poor shall never cease out of the land." There must be all ranks, and all degrees, poverty as well as riches, calamities as well as successes, joys as well as sorrows, all mixed up in mysterious suc
VOL. II.-NO. LV.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
cession, and dealt out by Providence upon every man for wise purposes, and (if we will but work out God's counsel with fear and trembling) for sanctifying purposes, and for eventual good, temporal as well as everlasting, "to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose." And thanks be to our God, duty and interest ever go together. Happy are we in the service of a Master who calls upon us to do nothing but what will contribute to our comfort. Examine the reasons given by the apostle St. Paul in the passage before cited from the Hebrews, "Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Believe firmly in this animating promise, and there is no difficulty in resigning yourselves to whatever is appointed.
Let us, then, see on what the promise is founded. The apostle declares "that God has said it." The particular promise alluded to is the one made by God to Joshua, on his appointment to succeed Moses: God said to him, "I will never leave nor forsake thee." But it is a promise that runs through every page of the Bible. "I have been young, and now am old," says David, "but never saw I the righteous forsaken." His eyes are ever over the faithful. "Come unto me," says the blessed Saviour, "all that are heavy laden." "Casting all your care upon him," says the apostle," for he careth for you.' "By him all things consist; and he is the Head of the Church:" and though there be indeed" diversities of operations, yet it is the same God which worketh all in all." "Shall he not then take care of you, O ye of little faith?" Alas! here is the fatal error that blights all our spiritual resources,-a