« PreviousContinue »
There is a point, too, which must not be scribe those that are divine. If there is to be lost sight of. The revelation of the gospel, a revelation made at all to human beings, it such as we find it, is of expanding character. must be made through the media of comAs ages roll on, more and more light beams munication which such beings use-media upon it; and thus the bible is seen to be the adapted to what they see among themselves, book not of untutored nations only, but of and necessarily inadequate to express ideas those farthest advanced in civilization; not above their natural conceptions. God conmerely of the world in its infancy, but of the descends to use our language. Thus he tells world come to maturest age. Other books us that he repents : he speaks of his hand, of are exhausted; all that can be known of his eye, of his mouth. We know perfectly them is speedily discovered, and they are laid well that these expressions are not literally aside, the wonder as perhaps they were of exact; and no man is deceived by them, no one generation, to be neglected and super- man seriously argues from them that the Deity seded in another. It is far otherwise with has parts and passions such as we have
. God's word. Its depths the labours of ages Then I say it is unfair, when, in describing have not fully explored nor exhausted all its the relation which the Persons in the Godstores, and what was marvellous and incom- head bear to each other, human terms are prehensible heretofore has often become at used, to forget that they are used as approxilength most luminous and plain. Take, for mations—the best our imperfect tongues can example, the prediction of our Lord as uttered furnish, but approximations only—10 the by Isaiah, that he should “make his grave truth. It is unfair to the last degree to with the wicked and with the rich in his question the truth that is revealed on this death”. It was either passed by, or per account, excogitating objections which exist adventure carped at, as men carp at the nowhere save in the deficiencies of ourselves doctrine of the Trinity now, and said to be and of all that belongs to us. The terms contradictory. But it was proved to be fact, Father and Son, as applied to the first and fact literally, and to the extreme of nice ful second Persons, must not be sifted with bold filment; and thus another proof was added irreverence, but meekly and humbly accepted that the revelation which contained it came as the mode in which Jehovah has seep fit to from God.
speak to us. And this temper best befits the But in all those things to which I have mind at all times, that would profitably study adverted there is food, spiritual food, for the divine word. It is with deep devotion, it the humble mind. And, when such a one is with childlike simplicity, it is with solemn finds depths that are unfathomable beyond awe, that its disclosures must be received
. the plumb-line of prying human wisdom, it So only shall we be likely to be made thereperceives more evidently the delineation of from wise unto salvation. The humble spirit that glorious Form, whom no one by search- will find abundant instruction in that which ing can find out unto perfection. It will be the proud understanding rejects to its ruin. employment for eternity to gaze upon his
2. But, after all, the best knowledge is a face, to see his wondrous ways unfold them- practical knowledge. And this we should strive selves, to gain a clearer view of his subsist to attain, especially in respect to such deep ence, to perceive the clouds that dimmed our things of God. No one will stumble at the vision here pass like the vapours of the doctrine of the Trinity who, enlightened and morning, in that happy land where God quickened by the Spirit, comes to the Father by shall indeed dwell with his people, and let the Son. He that has felt that he has sinned them know-0 marvellous attainment ! against his heavenly Parent will acknoweven as they are known. The full develop-ledge that an infinite ransom only could ment of God's mysteries must patiently be atone for his transgressions. He ihat has waited for. Herein are some of the good grieved for the corruption of his nature will things which he has prepared for those that confess that a divine working is needful to love him.
new-create his heart and sanctify his affecIt is time to draw the subject to a close. as we become acquainted with what each
tions. Vain speculations will be cast aside, I will merely suggest one or two of those con- blessed Person in the Godhead has done, siderations for your more particular reflection and is doing, for us. In this way, brethren, which seem naturally to rise from it.
seek to know the Triune God. The Father's 1. There is an unfair use frequently made love, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of human language by those who reject the the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, experidoctrine of the Trinity: Language is always mentally known and powerfully influencing imperfect; more especially so when, by terms heart and life, will be sure to be the Christaken from human things, it is used to de- tian's stable foundation and his richest joy.
Let us taste the blessing offered to us here. roomy dwelling, with a large garden, barn, farmHereafter admitted to heaven's courts, we yard, and twenty acres of ground. The price shall see more than we can now imagine. was fixed at 4,000 dollars about £600); so I Mysteries shall be cleared up, and doubts bought it for the service of God, in the faith that
he would supply with the means, for I had none sball all have disappeared. Here at best we
of moment at my disposal. I continued instant see through a glass darkly; there, face to in prayer; and he, who answereth prayer, never face. Now we can know but in part: then failed to provide ine with funds, in proportion as (as I have already said) shall we know even the quotas of payment became due: my parishioas also we are known.
ners came forward with voluntary loans, refusing to accept any interest for them, or even an acknowledgment of the debt. We required a teacher; and my brother Thomas, who had been educated for
orders, and was eminently qualified for the task MISSIONARY RECORDS.
both in heart and mind, at once obeyed my call,
as from the Lord, and gave up a tutorship. I No. LXXXIV.
made a beginning in October 1849, collected my
twelve pupils in the churcb, dedicated them to " Is God love? The true Christian would be love also :
their intended vocation at the communion-table, he would act nothing but love, and breathe nothing but love. and then conducted them to the mission-house, in O noble ambition ! blessed object! sweet end of life! What which they have ever since continued to labour a heaven would earth be, if ali were of this mind and spirit! cheerfully and sedulously;". Some are of the Come, beloved, and rise to the occasion." —Rev. C. SIMEON. agricultural, and others of the mechanical class.
The consistory of the district bas taken the instiThe MISSIONARY SPIRIT.-In many parts of tution under its protection, and sends visitors to the kingdom of Hanover much zeal in the cause inspect and report the progress of the seminary of missions is manifested; but in no place is it so once a year. “ It is our heart's desire that the marked as in the district of Hermansburg, under Lord should be our Governor in all things : we the active leading of the rev. Mr. Harms, the in- have no written code of rules, for a good Chriscombent of that spot. In a local report, he ob- tian life is the only law necessary. My brother serves: “We have no such thing as any mission considers himself the father of his youthful inary association bere ; but all my people, with very mates. The day is begun and closed with divine slight exceptions, are naturally inclined to make worship. Over the door is a plain cross, with common cause with me, and feel as much joy and the device, In hoc signo vinces ;' and up to concern in the conversion of the heathen as they this hour it has triumphed over every hindrance do in cultivating the grace given them of love for that has crossed our path. Unity, love, and the word of God. Hence prayers are offered up reciprocal regard and confidence have reigned for the salvation of the heathen, not only in our throughout; and, in the Spirit's might, sin has lost sabbath services used in the weekly congregation, its dominion. As a relief to their studies, the but there is scarcely a family in whose domestic pupils cultivate the garden and fields, and prepare worship the spiritual need of those who know not whatever new ground we are enabled to purGod is not daily remembered. Hence, too, both chase : the health both of mind and body are thus the old and the young are accustomed to pray for promoted. The whole expense of the establishthem, irrespective of any admonition from myself; ment does not exceed £150 a year, independently and I am bound to notice with peculiar thankful of the presents made to it of wood, peat, &c. ; ness that no rite of the church is performed with among the latter are three cows, five swine, about out some offering being made in aid of missions a score of sheep, geese, and other poultry, linens, to the heathen by those who are the objects of potatoes for planting, &c.” the rite, whether it be at a baptism, a marriage, a JERUSALEM.-" The establishment of a profaneral, a confirmation, a communion, or a church- testant bishop in this city has been blamed in ing after childbirth ; and the mite is accompanied many quarters, and even treated with scorn and by some such expression as this: Here is a trifle derision. Now I have myself been for many years for the good of the heathen; may they soon be a personal observer of the progress of religious made as glad as we are ! Many, indeed, are per- matters in the east; I have visited the whole sonally so anxious on this point, that they desire to country lying between the Mediterranean and the go themselves as missionaries among the idolaters; alpine regions of Kurdistan and Persia ; and I and I can testify that, after setting aside such as venture to affirm that the gainsayers, blinded by have no saitable gift for the office, so many unex, the mist that pervades their libraries, have taken ceptionable individuals offer themselves, that I far too narrow, if not too one-sided a view of the cannot refrain from boping and praying the Lord question. The Christians of the north bave would make an opening for their employment. I acquired a firmer footing on mount Zion. The cannot afford the expense of placing the young exertions of the protestant mission to the Jews, candidates in a missionary institution : besides they however insignificant they may seem to have are loath to remove from under my eye, and have been, have imparted life to the bishopric: it is often expressed their anxious desire to be trained now aided by newly-organized institutions, which on the spot. "Dear sir,' they have frequently have greatly increased its efficiency; among these asked, cannot we have a missionary school of are an excellent hospital for the Jews, a school our own? We shall be very glad to work for our of industry for the converts, another school for the board and training. The Lord has shown us the children of English, German, and Arab pareuts, way. We had an opportunity of parchasing a as well as those of other natious, being Christians; the rapidly advancing institution for protestant | total ignorance of scripture geography, history, deaconesses, which has a sick.asylum, a children's and chronology, and of God their Creator, their suhone, and a boarding-establishment attached to preme devotion to the world, and their natural averit; and, lastly, the Jerusalem Literary Society,' sion to things holy, spiritual, and heavenly. Like which was founded in 1849, holds weekly meet other men, they are supremely selfish ; and they ings, has already a library of no mean extent, and seek their gratification in things earthly and senan infant museum. The object of the society is sual. Their own religion they love, baseless and to inquire into and illustrate all subjects connected false as it is, because of the glitter and splendour with the physical or historical memorabilia of the of its ceremonies, its intimate association with Holy-land. Our protestant flock has experienced their earliest and fondest recollections, and its & notable increase of members in the persons of thorough adaptation to minister to their pride, and the rev. Messrs. Hodges, Daniel, and Richard, to their social and animal appetites and passions
, missionaries, and Mr. Sandersky, who has come Perhaps there are no people on earth who have from Smyrna under the auspices of the Church more of self-complacency and less sense of sin than Missionary Society in London. At Christmas we the Chinese. In their minds death seems in a pewere visited by a throng of pilgrims from various culiar degree stripped of its solemnity. In requarters. I bear that the Romanist patriarch is spect to their future well-being, as affected by about to remove a college from mount Lebanon their moral conduct in the present life, they give to Jerusalem, and take an active part himself in themselves but little anxiety. Suicide is very freits direction. It appears by a statement made by quent. For ousands of years, in successive genethe late Prussian consul, M. Schultz, that the rations, the Chinese have been, in a moral and Turkish government, about two years ago, in- religious respect, essentially what they now are ; corporated a provincial and municipal council and consequently their habits of feeling and thinkhere, in which Christians and Jews are allowed to ing and action must be deeply rooted. Antiquity have seats. I hope that this may be the token of imparts sanctity to their religious notions and more extensive improvements in its domestic ceremonies, and gives them a strong hold upon policy: it manifests, at all events, a marked their affections. In view of their attachment to decline in moslem intolerance. Another novelty ancestral worship, and the hope of being them. is the recent census of the population of the eight selves hereafter worshipped by their descendants
, districts, comprising the pashalik of Jerusalem; they must feel a strong opposition to a religion but it does not extend beyond the taxable male that utterly forbids such worship, and teaches inhabitants : their numbers are 135,000 Moham- them to regard their venerated ancestors, as well medans, 12,462 Christians, and 1,079 Jews. The as themselves, as sinners exposed to the endless "holy city' itself contains 23,000 inhabitants, wrath of a holy God. Their literature is in the among whom we find 7,488 Christians, 3,586 highest degree adapted to flatter human pride, Jews, and about 2,000 foreigners” (Private letter adopting, as it does, the innate purity of man's from a German resident).
nature as a fundamental principle in all moral Russia. - The number of converts baptized reasoning, and maintaining his perfect ability, into the Greek church during the year 1850 con- after having become vitiated by the influence of sisted of 2,078 pagans, 1,274 Jews, and 672 Mo- evil example or the force of temptation, to restore hammedans. The missionaries to the heathen in himself to his original purity, unaided by a suthe territory of Jakee have been greatly assisted perior power. But, limited as has bitherto in their labours by two movable chapels. One been the success of Christian efforts in China, in of them was in constant requisition for a space of proportion to the means employed, measured by eight months, and traversed no less than 7,400 the number of hopeful conversions, and numerous versts (about 4,930 miles) in that interval: it went and great as are the obstacles to the triumph of from one nomadic native encampment to another, the gospel in this empire, still, in view of the prowhere the presence of a minister had not been mises of God's word regarding the kingdom of his seen for many a year, and consequently afforded Son, we hope and we expect that China will get an opportunity to baptize numbers of adults. The become obedient to Christ. But before that glosuperintendents of these movable chapels, who are rious consummation, the faith and patience of ecclesiastical supervisors (or deacons of the Greek the churches, as of their missionaries also, seem church), inspect all the churches on their way, destined to undergo a severe trial ; and many preand excite their converts to erect places of wor- cious lives must be laid upon the altar" (From an ship, which may afterwards be consecrated as American missionary at Fuhchan). churches. The dedication of such chapels as bad BOMBAY.-" Here, as in the other presidencies, been previously built was celebrated by the na- there do not lack intimations that a great pretives with great rejoicings. The bishop of Tomsk paratory work is going forward, which must in reports that the Christian civilization of his people God's providence sooner or later produce its reis advancing satisfactorily. In Kamtschatka itself sults. As the stream winds round the curving every adult is able to repeat the ten command- banks on either side, it is silently sapping their ments; and this is the case too in the islands of foundations. A conviction of the folly and imUnalasbka and Achta.
potence of idol-worship is evidently diffúsing itselt THE CHINESE.-" There are comparatively over the district. Missionary light ra few who are really intelligent readers of Christian diates far. Three persons arrived, in November books; a fact which is not attributable solely to last, at Mulligaum, the most distant outpost of our limited literary attainments, but in a great mea- mission, 80 miles N. E. of Bombay, having them sure to the blindness of their minds, already pre- selves travelled upwards of 100 miles thither to occupied with error, their mental apathy, the present themselves for baptism. The instrument strangeness to them of the gospel message, their of their conversion was a native, who had himself
been baptized only three years before, by our mis- with me as a friend indeed, with whom to hold sionary, the rev. c. W. Isenberg, and had come sweet converse. My sister and her husband, her with some Christian books to reside in their vil beloved littie ones, that fill my heart with all the lage, and instructed all who would resort to him. thousand joys that thou hast so wonderfully and So true is it that those who have tasted for them- so mysteriously bound up within us, in the power selves that the Lord is gracious' will at once of loving. My brother and the sister he has given evince their possession of the new spiritual life by me, who make my home better and happier and bidding others to share in the same gospel feast. dearer still ; and all these are so blessed of thee, These pilgrims in search of the true riches were that to love them draws me nearer unto thee, my baptized in our mission church by the native dea-chief Friend, who is unto me as a very lovely song con, the rev. James Buntur, and returned at once, of one who hath a pleasant voice; and many, many rejoicing, like the Ethiopian eunuch, the one hun- older friends and cousins and relations, whom to dred miles that had conducted them there, and love is pleasure, and to be loved of them joy. were to lead them home again ; leaving word, I have also pleasure in my daily life--much however, that five others of their neighbours were pleasure, and of a kind that draws my heart to preparing to follow their example. Are we to praise thee. Duties, performed either with or for send to these people a messenger of the glad those dear companions of my daily life, are so tidings that they have already learnt to love? Or pleasant, that I am often tempted to forget that are we to make to them, for want of men willing they are duties, and to seek for others. It is, to offer themselves for the work, the same answer indeed, well to find out more and more ways of which we were forced last year to return to the consecrating time and talents to God's service; application from Jubbulpoor : "We have no but, at the same time, there are several reasons men'? Let the church at home reply. We are why I should not disregard the fact that these trustees only for what is committed to us. With agreeable duties are duties nevertheless. her rests the responsibility of refusal” (Church Missionary Intelligence).
In the first place, God places me in the midst of WESTERN AFRICA.-We are thankful to be ters, our mutual influence, my position in this
these dearly-loved ones : therefore their characenabled to state that by the latest accounts from family, are not happy accidents, bat distinct feaBadagry, Mr. White, a native catechist from tures of their lives and mine; therefore I owe my Sierra Leone, has been sent up to Lagos, by the duties to them, unto God? rev. J. Gollmer, agent of the Church Missionary Society, and has met with the most encouraging
Do I so regard them ? reception from the restored king and his people.
Am I dutiful, obliging, cheerful, because it is The preaching and reception of the gospel in this God's will that I should be so ? place, so lately the great market town for wretched Secondly, as they are not perfect, and as I am captives and the nursery of Brazilian bondage, will not perfect, some degree of self-denial, of energy, crown the triumph of Christian civilization over of principle, is what is needed to enable me to bepagan barbarism. . Mr. White had already pre- whatever my own mood—always ready to give vailed upon the king to have the desecrations of my aid, my company, my unselfish sympathy, or the sabbath partially removed, and the king had unhesitating obedience, whenever needed; and attended Sunday services with two hundred of this, unaided, I can not do. My nature is to be his lieges in an open space within his palace, Mr. full of generous alacrity at one time, but inactive, W. availing himself of the occasion to speak or inert, or pre-occupied, at another ; to let jeafaithfully to both sovereign and people on the sub- lousy dim the fruits of my affections, and inclinaject of their relative duties, as flowing especially tion regulate my exertions. Therefore, if I love ont of a spirit of thankfulness for their late de- and serve God in these "pleasant duties,” as well liverances and mercies. Nearly all the chiefs in as my family, I shall be to them a more efficient that quarter, who had joined the bloodthirsty king and unfailing aid, comfort, and solace, a better of Dahomey in his late assault upon and still pro- friend and counsellor, and a more dutiful daughjected destruction of Abbeokuta, bad concluded ter. And I shall be proving my love to God as terms with Capt. Forbes, whom Lord Palmerston well as my love to man. had so providentially despatched to protect the Do I thus regard the duty of being courteous, Yoruba mission, pledging themselves to renounce and full of gentleness ? the slave trade and the miserable wars by which Is it thus I wake up my energies, and throw it has been nourished. Capt. F. was at Dahomey, myself into the interests of those about me? pot without the hope of inducing the king of Da
Are cheerfulness with my brethren, and duteous homey “ to do likewise.”
H.S. love to my parents, thus the expression of my
continual thanksgiving towards him who gives
them to me? MEDITATION UPON PLEASURES*.
Thirdly, by thus making sweet increase of my
daily pleasant duties I destroy in myself the low Many, many are the pleasures that thou, O my idea about duty--that it must be something disGod, hast given unto me.
Firstly, I possess my agreeable, and that would not be done unless it beloved parents, and in them abundance of wis- were duty; an idea totally at variance with the dom, profitable for instruction, for guidance, and longing of a Christian to know more and more of for sweet companionship. My brother, who is God's will and pleasure, until his every breath
* From “ Quiet Moments : a four weeks course of might be an act of grateful love towards his Thoughts and Meditations”, by lady Charlotte-Maria Pepys. Saviour. The blessing of God rests upon my best London : Wertheim and Co. 1852. A pleasing devotional joys; and they are the less likely to be reft from spirit runs through this book. -ED.
me, if being regarded as held from God, and
OF THE SER.
involving duty to him, they lead my heart to him, and natural. The ministry and baptism of John instead of becoming my idols, and a snare to mc.
called to national reformation. It was the clear, QUESTIONS.
bounden, righteous duty of every Jew to obey this Do I thus treat all my pleasures ?
call; and Jesus was forward to fulfil this, as well as May I look up from every enjoyment, and say, every other particular of perfect righteousness
This explains also why the followers of Jesus, “My God, I thank thee"? Can I trust my best pleasures in my Saviour's
as well as the followers of John, were baptized.
Seeing his miracles, hearing his discourses, believing hands, to take them, or to leave them to me as he his divine mission, feeling their own uncleanness
, and sees fit?
called to a new and devoted service of God, they Do I indulge in any pleasure that has no duty entered upon it by water of separation. They were attached to it, or that proceeds from no duty ? baptized.-Rev Hugh M'Neile, D.D.
Let me never think, O Lord, that thou willest not our pleasure. Thou, that art the God of the living, hast bid us to “rejoice.” Only let not mine heart be filled with anything but thyself.
Poetry. Only reign thou, only thou; and teach me to bring every pleasure to thy feet, and bless thee HYMNS FOR THE SUNDAYS IN THE YEAR for it, and to seek thy will concerning it. If I
BY JOSEPH FEARN. cannot find, and need not, a duty in every pleasure, yet let me seek and prize the pleasure that (SUGGESTED BY SOME PORTION
VICE FOR THE DAY). lies in every duty; not of merit, not of faithfaith which knoweth that every effort of grateful
(For the Church of England Magazine). love, to serve and please my God, is accepted, poor though it be, in and through the Lord Jesus
TRINITY SUNDAY.. Cbrist; and because he is so perfect and infinite,
" Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born aguir that in him, even the smallest act or prayer or John Üï. 7. sacrifice of faith is well-pleasing unto thee. Amen.
When Nicodemus sought the Lord,
'Twas in the silent night : Services of the church.
He knew the Teacher sent from God Visiting the poor.
Could fill his mind with light. Visiting the unhappy or afflicted.
And in that quiet midnight hour Visiting and teaching in schools.
The Saviour breathed the strain, Duty to parents.
Which smote the rabbi with its power, Duty to servants and dependants.
“Ye must be born again." PLEASURES BRINGING DUTIES. Love of parents.
The Jew sought evidence to show Love of brothers and sisters.
This truth, but sought in vain : Love of children.
Enough the wondrous fact to know, Love of society,
“ Ye must be born again.” Friendship.
The wind thou hearest as it blows, Love.
In zephyr or in blast; Society at home.
But who its secret birth-place knows? Amusements.
Or where its bounds are past? Love of reading, music, poetry, &c.
" That which is born of flesh is flesh :" Authorship.
We see the outward man;
The change no eye can scan.
How solemn is the Saviour's word!
How oft, 'mid objects vain,
My soul the utterance hath heard, THE NATURE AND IMPORT OF “JOHN'S BAP
« Ye must be born again !" TISM."—We learn the existence of a practice of ceremonial separation, or consecration, to God's service, But, 0! this sceptic heart of mine, by the washing of water. These washings are called
Its meaning could not see ;) by the evangelist “baptisms" (Bartlomovs). The And reason asks the Lord divineJews considered themselves, on their return from the
Say, “How can these things be ?" market, unclean until they were baptized. These washings were baptisms; and hence the obvious and Lord Jesus, 'tis enough that thou ready connexion between any peculiar call to sanctity
Hast breathed that solemn strain : and some special baptism. When John the Baptist Before thy truth my soul would bowcame, exposing the iniquity of the nation, and calling
“ Ye must be born again." men to repentance, his ministry proved effectual to make multitudes feel their uncleanness. And, an impression going abroad that he was Messiah, at whose coming they expected a call to peculiar sanctity, it HUGHES, 12, Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be
I.ondon : Published for the Proprietors, by JOHN became their obvious course to seek at his hands a procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country. water of separation, a washing, or sprinkling, or baptism, of peculiar efficacy. This renders the history of PRİNTED BY ROGERSON AND TUXFORD, John, as narrated by the evangelists, perfectly easy
246, STRAND, LONDON.