« PoprzedniaDalej »
with the hope eternal life will be the
reward. In the parable of the sower, In our previous observations we have endeavored by a kind of induction, to sixty, and an hundred fold, viz. : Ist,
there were but two conditions of thirty, anticipate the main subject of our remarks, viz. : the worship as displayed heart.
an honest ; and 2nd, an understanding in the New Testament. Perhaps, too,
We wish the reader to know, that it might be in place to say more of a
we do not suppose there is any talisnegative character.
manic power in the appointments of Worship, in the proper and scriptural the Almighty to make us worse or betsense, is not the mere performance of ter. There is no fitness in religious religious acts. These may be mechani- ordinances, so far as we can see, to cal, unmeaning, and possibly might be make men good or bad. The whole let out” as men let houses, hire power and efficacy of a Law are in the farm work,” &c. For many years it has authority with which it is given. We seemed to us, that the practice of hiring ' can see no philosophical fitness in the preachers to make such flowery, start- sacrifices under the law, to take away ling, and gorgeous sermons as would sins, no more than medicinal ability in call together indiscriminately church a brazen serpent to cure the bite of members, gamblers, drunkards, and poisonous reptiles. There seems nothieves into the same admiring multi- thing applicable in belief-a mere mentude, to say the least, is very far from tal act-to change the heart; or in primitive usages The general ten- baptism, to change the state ; but the dency of these clerical orations, is de- Lord of hosts is their author, and he cidedly immoral and corrupting. As blesses his appointments. This may an illustration, a short time since, we serve as a general definition of worship, heard of a volatile girl of our acquaint- but there are special performances ance,
who said she was delighted with which claim our attention. The mere Mr.
's sermons," for, said the light abstaining from evil is negative, and hearted creature, “He always makes although as a condition to do good it me have such a good opinion of my- is indispensable, religion is positive in self.” Before dismissing this thought, its tendencies. we will add, that the chief object with We have mentioned, and sufficiently many persons in securing preaching, examined for our present purpose, the is to hear what will reconcile them with necessity of religious feeling, and the themselves. We once heard Orville importance of assembling with the Dewey assert that the debauched in saints ; but under the head of worship this life paid up to the last farthing, it remains for us for to point out briefly when the sceptics, drunkards, and aban- the order and the manner in which we doned present chuckled most heartily are to discharge the various obligations that there was no more required of which rest upon us. them. Men will pay the highest price for the preaching which will plaster READING THE WORD OF GOD IN THE
CONGREGATIONS. over an immoral life, and enable them to die in sin without compunction. Upon the return of the children of Preaching, though valuable in its place, Israel, Ezra read to them in the book is not the food of spiritual progress. of the law from morning until evening. We must also be well guarded against The people stood and bowed their that deceitful philosophy, which says, heads at the utterance of the truth, and “That is right to him who practices it, wept sorely that they had departed fattering himself it is so." This system from the covenant. Jesus, as his consecrates to heaven all the idolatry mamer Wäs, stood up to read.” of the world. It places the most las- Moses was preached, being read in civious impulses and brutal deeds upon the synagogue every Sabbath day.” a par with, if not above, the precepts The devoted are, in fact, much more of Jesus Christ. Worship is not what deeply affected at hearing the word of may seem good in our own eyes. It is God read, than at listening to the most the doing of the things which the Lord eloquent displays of human wisdom. has revealed, with the understanding ; Any people trained to believe and love it constitutes the service of God, and the trutli, will derive the highest consolation from reading or hearing the met with the difficulty of a very grave words of eternal life.
character. The members of the church It is in place, to make a single remark are not willing to exhort, unless they in regard to the manner of reading the can be eloquent. This is the result Bible. Most persons have become so of ignorance and pride. The plain and accustomed to efforts of eloquence— sincere exhortation is always well refalse eloquence of course--that they ceived, though delivered by the lowliattempt to embellish the word of God est. Independence and humility in by Chinese, clerical, or some other kind church members, to speak to each other of tones, or grace notes, which they ima- in the love of the truth, are no ordinary gine give the highest value to the text. acquisitions. But it should be known, These peculiar and denominational that without Christian teaching and twangs, it is possible, have much more exhortation amongst the members, influence with such as possess an ear there can be no prosperity in the church for them than the word itself.
-the members will grow sickly in spiThere is but one point to be studied ritual matters, and death to God will in reading the Bible to others, viz. : soon take place. The reader should retire behind the writer. Let the Saviour and Apostles
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD. speak so distinctly that we can see In the congregation and out of it, them and not the reader. In immediate the members of Christ's body should connection with this thought, we may pray without ceasing, and in every add, that many are so wedded to theô- thing give thanks.” Employing forms ries, that their reading of the Scriptures we admit is not prayer, neither is prayer is in disjointed parcels, intended to to be considered apart from the other support their theories. But while we appointments of the New Testament. are well instructed in reading the word Men who pray for crops without laborof God in the congregation, we are ing with the hand at the same time, solemnly impressed with its majestic should not anticipate a rich reward! power so that they are to us, in the Neither is it proper for men to pray, words of David,“ sweeter than the honey who do not use the means the Lord has and the honey comb."
connected with his church. We may be told, “church members The various obligations should be will not assemble to hear the Scriptures discharged, humbly calling upon God ---they must have a preacher to call for his promised mercies.
When we them out.' This argues either that have sinned against our Father, it is such persons have acquired a most good, upon repentance and confession, vitiated taste—they do not love the to lift our hearts and voices to Heaven truth, or that the reading and worship in humble, fervent prayer. Whatsoaltogether are performed without the ever we ask,” says John,“ we receive of simple and heavenly graces to which him, because we keep his commandthey are entitled, and which render ments, and do those things which are them attractive and soul-inspiring, pleasing in his sight.”. above all other exercises.
Prayer should be in the congrega
tion, in the family, and in secret. It THE EXHORTATIONS OF THE CONGRE- should be the very breathing of the GATION AS A MEANS OF SPIRITUAL Christian heart. The Heavenly Father
delights to hear the cries of his chilChristians were commanded to “ Ex- dren, and he never fails to comfort hort one another.” This is the duty of them when they ask his favors in proper all; it is the special duty, of the over- circumstances. seers of the churches. The ancient
SINGING THE PRAISES OF THE LORD. disciples took much pleasure in confessing their faults one to another; and The disciples are commanded “ to were not slow in exhorting the delin- teach and admonish one another in quent to amendment. Indeed, the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, strongest were exhorted “ to take heed," singing with grace in the heart to the lest they should slip. We are always Lord. We are to "sing in the spirit, in danger of sin, and need the admoni- and with a proper understanding of tions of the faithful. But here we are what we sing. It is scarcely necessary
for us to say to our readers, that we But time would fail us to say all that regard the organ and violin worship, might be said of moment in reference and even the fashionable choir singing to the different departments of the worof our country, as mockery of all that ship of the Lord; and, in conclusion, is sacred. It is of a piece with “ hiring we can do no more than repeat the out” the teaching, admonitions, and main points to which we have invited prayers of the saints.
attention. A spiritual mind gives sweetness to the roughest voice, and the hymn of First of all, a feeling of interest in devotion never fails to inspire a love of religion, induced by an acquaintance purity and goodness.
with our Father's will, should be en
couraged ; secondly, the obligations to THE LORD'S SUPPER.
meet with the saints, must have a place “Upon the first day of the week, the in our hearts; and thirdly, the service disciples came together to break bread,” in reading, exhortation, prayer, and (Acts xx. 7) and as certain as there are singing, with the Supper, should ever fifty-two Lord's days in the year, the lie near our heart. These constitute people of the Most High should meet much of the service through which the fifty-two times in the year, and no Lord has promised to bring us off more oftener, to commemorate the death of than conquerors. “Blessed are they their Saviour. This is the labor of that do his commandments, for they the congregation, and Jesus Christ shall have a right to the tree of life, never intended that a preacher should and enter in through the gates into the be called to break the bread to them. city.” There is, indeed, no such thing as keeping the Lord's day, if the saints fail to May the lovers of truth in the nineattend to this very solemn and import-teenth century, learn and love the ways ant appointment.
PROPHECY. - No. I X.
We have now examined, with more of Astronomy, with the phenomena of or less precision and fulness, one bun- the celestial spheres, is sufficient to dedred and thirty-six specifications in monstrate its correctness, certainly the this series of prophetic events. The prophetical and historical coincidence avowed object of the angel, “ And now of all these events ought to convince I am come to make them understand every reflecting mind, that the main what shall befall thy people in the lat- scope of the prophecy refers to the Jews ter days,” has been our guide in every and their terrestrial patrimony; that particular. By it we have wandered other nations are introduced only on through the mazes of Jewish, Persian, account of their associations with the Grecian, Egyptian Syrian,' Roman, Israelites, or their influence over PalesArabian, and Turkish history, embrac- tine, which, for a time, was to be troding a period of two thousand years; den down by the Gentiles ; that these and in no case have we failed to dis- Gentiles have been in succession the cover the exact fulfilment of the pro- Persians, the Macedonians, the Egypphetic word in the fortunes of the Jews tians, the Syrians, the Romans, the themselves, or in the authentic records Saracens, and finally the Turks, conof those nations who have, in succes- cerning whom a few things remain to sion, held in subjection the land which be considered. God gave to Abraham and to his seed He shall enter also into the glorious for an everlasting possession.
land, and many countries shall be overThis is therefore, conclusive evidence, thrown; but these shall escape out of not only that Daniel wrote as he was his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and moved by the Holy Spirit, but also the chief of the children of Ammon. that we have followed the true inter- He shall stretch forth his hands also pretation of these Divine oracles. If upon the countries, and the land of the harmony of the Copernican system Egypt shall not escape. But he shall
have power over the treasures of gold treasure, to Constantinople--and finally and of silver, and over all the precious reduced Egypt to a Turkish province
, things of Egypt; and the Lybians and in which condition it remained for the Ethiopians shall be at his steps." above three hundred years.
All this applies specifically to the After the conquest of Egypt, several Turkish or Ottoman Sultans, and to of the neighboring tribes on the West them only. Mohammed II. the con- and on the South of Egypt, sent amqueror of Constantinople, was in 1481 bassadors to Selim, and became volunsucceeded by his son, Bajazet II. a tary tributaries to the Sublime Porte. prince of mild and peaceable temper. Others were subdued by Solyman, the He, however, subdued Bessarabia, and son and successor of Selim ; in whose some important provinces in Asia. reign the Turkish empire attained its After a reign of thirty years, he was greatest extent and its greatest power. forced to resign his throne to his son, He headed his armies in thirteen camSelim, surnamed Gavuz, or the Savage. paigns-took parts of Hungary and This most cruel of the Ottoman mon- Northern Africa-captured Rhodes and archs, commenced his reign by the other islands in the Mediterraneanmurder of his brothers, his nephews, defeated the Persians, and added Teand forty thousand dissenters from the breez and Bagdad to his dominions. orthodox faith. Having removed all Thus did the Sultan of Constantinople competitors for the crown, he next stretch forth his hand upon the counturned his arms against the Persians, tries —thus had he power over all the over whom he gained several important treasures of Egypt—and thus did the victories, and from whom he wrested Libyans and the Ethiopians serve him, large portions of territory beyond the according to the most authentic records Tigris.
of modern history. He then marched against Gauri, the “But tidings out of the East, and out Mameluke Sultan of Egypt, who in the of the North, shall trouble him ; therelate Persian wars had fought against fore, he shall go forth with great fury the Ottomans. The two armies met to destroy, and utterly to make away near Aleppo, a town of Northern Syria. many. And he shall plant the taberThe engagement was fierce and san- nacles of his palace, (or his palace-like guinary; but Gauri was slain, his army tabernacles) between the seas, in the defeated, and all Syria added to the glorious holy mountain ; yet he shall dominions of the conqueror. Jerusalem come to his end, and none shall help and Judea were included in this con- | him.” quest; and from that time (1516) to These verses reveal to us the fate and the present they have been subject to destiny of the Turkish empire. They the Sublime Porte.
evidently relate to the future ; though But these shall escape out of his the present difficulty with Russia may hand, even Eden, and Moab, and the be, and very probably is, the beginning chief of the children of Ammon.” These of troubles. But on these points, it countries were overrun and pillaged by becomes no uninspired man to dogmathe Turks. And in the reign of Soly- tize. Prophecy is a system of outline man, all Arabia were supposed to be maps and charts, on which are inscribed conquered by the Ottomans. But as a the leading political, civil, and religious bird escapes from the hands of the events of the world's history. I'ime fowler, so did these tribes of the desert alone can fill up the blanks, and reveal elude their captors; and now every to erring man the various ways and map of the Turkish empire is an illus- means by which God will fulfil, or pertration of the truth of this prediction. mit to be fulfilled, all that the prophets
But the land of Egypt was not so for- have spoken. tunate. Selim met and defeated the new In whatever, therefore, relates to the sultan, Tuman Bey, near the walls of future, we should be careful to distinCairo. He afterwards stormed the city guish what is certain from that which ---hung Tuman Bey before its principal is only probable. That Turkey will gate---put to death fifty thousand of its fall, is just as certain as that the closing inhabitants--sent five hundred of the paragraph of the eleventh chapter of most distinguished families, and a vast Daniel refers to it. France and Engamount of gold, and silver, and other land may sustain her for a time; but
all the powers of Western Europe can- | the next thirty-six years, or before the not ultimately save her. She will come epoch of 1892. It may happen much to her end, and none shall help her. sooner. We see nothing in prophecy When, how, and by what means, are to prevent its occurrence within ten, or not so clearly revealed. But it is pro- even five years. But about 1892, we bable
confidently anticipate an event which 1. That Russia and some eastern must be subsequent to the fall of power, most likely Persia, will be made Turkey; and hence we fix upon thirtythe instruments of this overthrow. It six years as the maximum period of her has long been the fear of the Turks, national existence. That this period and the growing expectation of the cannot be of very long duration, is, we Greeks, that Russia will one day put think, quite evident from several sources an end to the Ottoman empire. These of evidence. The signs of the times impressions have been strengthened by clearly indicate this ; and the apostolic the events of two hundred and fifty visions of St. John seem to reveal the years. From the reign of Peter the near approach of this next event in the Great, Russia has been encroaching on order of prophecy. The most eminent the limits of Turkey; and all the world theological writers concede, that the now knows, that Constantinople would pouring out of the seven vials of the soon be tributary to St. Petersburgh, wrath of God upon the earth, is symwere it not for the combined influence bolical of the execution of God's rightof France and England. But these eous judgment on all the enemies of the western powers cannot always serve as church; that the first five of these have her guardians. The events of another been emptied ; and that the pouring year may require all their forces at out of the sixth refers to the final ruin home, or to guard their supposed in- of the Ottoman empire, which cannot, terests in some other part of the world ; therefore, be very remote. and then how soon would tidings out John, however, does not fix the chroof the North, and very probably also nology of these events.
For this we out of the East, trouble the Sublime must depend chiefly on Daniel. But Porte ? But be this as it may, all the we have not yet before us the proper powers of earth cannot long preserve data from which this question can, with Turkey. Fall she must, and fall she any show of probability, be determined. will, as every other government that For the present, therefore, we simply will not bow to the authority of Him give the result of our investigations, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords. which, in a subsequent article, we hope For says Isaiah, Ix. 12, “The nation to be able to sustain with some degree and kingdom that will not serve thee, of satisfaction to the reader. shall perish ; yea, those nations shali In the meantime, the events which be utterly wasted.”
will immediately follow the fall of 2. That the last great and decisive Turkey, deserve our very special conconflict which shall annihilate the Otto- sideration. “ And at that time shall man empire, will take place in the hill / Michael stand up, the great prince country of Judea, between the Dead sea which standeth for the children of thy and the Mediterranean. “He shall people ; and there shall be a time of plant his palace-like tabernacles be- trouble, such as never was since there tween the seas, in the glorious holy was a nation even to that same time; mountain.' In the forty-first verse of and at that time thy people shall be this same chapter,“ glorious land” is delivered, every one that shall be found evidently used for the land of Canaan; written in the book. And many of which in other places is called “the them that sleep in the dust of the earth holy land,” the ,,pleasant land,"
the shall awake, some to everlasting life, goodly heritage," " the glory of all and some to shame and everlasting lands," to distinguish it from the idola contempt.” trous territory of the Gentiles. It is, We have, then, first in order, the fall therefore, probable that this “ glorious of the Ottoman empire ; second, the holy mountain” is the mount of Olives, rising up of Michael the archangel, as the hill of Calvary, or some other eleva- the advocate of the twelve tribes;
third, tion near Jerusalem.
a scene of unparalleled trouble ; fourth, 3. That this event will occur within the deliverance of the Israelites ; and