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to reconcile what God declares can single eye is needed, to make the path not be reconciled ? Still trying to of duty plain. discover how far the course of this Christian females sometimes "give world may be followed, without in- occasion to the adversary to speak volving the eternal ruin of your soul? reproachfully,” (1 Tim. v. 14.) by Not that you are aware of any such neglecting the lesser duties of life. compact with the powers of darkness. This should be carefully avoided. But have you not, from neglecting se- He who said, “gather up the fragcret communion with God, and diligent ments that remain, that nothing be searching of his word, been gradually lost,” has shown us by precept, and and almost insensibly led into a care- by his own blessed example, that less, unfaithful course of life? There spiritual mindedness does not consist are many, I fear, who through the in abstraction from the concerns of life, false teaching of an unsound ministry, or in finding the duties of our calling and the deadening influence of worldly burdensome; but it enables us to do companions, are not alive to their earthly things in a heavenly frame, true condition. They believe that and to perform every duty (however they are anxious to avoid what is humble) as unto the Lord.” clearly inconsistent with their Chris- The power of religion in the soul, tian profession. Oh! do remember, is all derived from believers being that “the heart is deceitful above “ partakers of the divine nature;" all things,” and that if you truly de- (2 Pet. i. 4.) and if we would live to sire your life to be conformed to God's the glory of God, we must apprehend will, you must yield an unreserved and realize that “ the life which we submission to the Holy Scriptures as now live in the flesh, we live by the the sole standard of faith and prac- faith of the Son of God.” How many tice, and resolve to follow its counsels are walking in doubt and sorrow, at all costs. The Bible is a book of who ought to be full of joy and peace, principles, which are applicable to rejoicing in the blessed assurance that every possible circumstance of life. Christ is our life. Few Christians, These principles can indeed be only comparatively, are living in a happy understood by the children of God, realization of their completeness in for they must be “spiritually dis- Christ, and of their high privileges cerned." « The love of God shed as believers in Jesus, and witnesses abroad in the heart by the Holy for their absent Lord. Archbishop Ghost," is the mainspring which ap- Leighton observes, that "the grace plies Scripture principles to all the of God in the heart of man, is a tender varied details of life. Life is made plant, in a strange unkindly soil.” up of little things. A spiritual mind It is impossible that a plant so heawill strive to view every passing event venly, and transplanted into a soil so with “the mind of Christ,” (1 Cor. arid and ungenial, should flourish ii. 16.) and will find no difficulty in and extend its branches, unless it is applying the precept, "whatsoever ye cherished by the atmosphere of heado, do all to the glory of God.” It ven. A perpetual stream must be will at once perceive the bearing of flowing into our souls, from the any circumstance upon the glory of “fountain of living waters.” Empty God, and will not be perplexed by and powerless in ourselves, mere the carnal reasonings of those who worthless “ earthen vessels ;" heafear nothing in religion so much, as venly mindedness can only be maingoing too far. “By reason of use tained in habitual close fellowship our senses will be exercised to dis- with God. cern both good and evil.” (Heb. Oh! let us not be willing to lose v. 14.) Any obscurity which appears any portion of that blessing which the to envelop a precept of Scripture, Lord Jesus will bestow, at his coming, generally arises from our self-will; on his faithful servants. Let us not which shuts out spiritual light from think with composure of suffering our minds. “ The meek will He loss ; or being * saved as by fire." teach his way,” (Ps. xxv. 9.) and a We know not at present the full im
port of these striking words, but the order that a remnant may be taken day will declare their meaning. We out of the world, from “all nations, do know that they are written for our and kindreds, and people, and instruction and warning; and as an tongues." (Rev. vii. 9.) God is additional motive to "
visiting the Gentiles to take the mark," and to seek for an abun- out of them a people for his name.” dant entrance into the kingdom of our (Acts xv. 14.) As regards the world, Lord and Saviour.
this is the period of God's longIt is probable that much of the suffering, “until the times of the doctrinal error and worldliness which Gentiles are fulfilled,” and the meais now overshadowing the Church, sure of their iniquity is full. Would has arisen from a partial and super- to God, that instead of each of the ficial knowledge of the Holy Scrip- divisions of the disjointed Church extures, and an almost entire neglect of claiming,
claiming, "the temple of the Lord, , the prophetic portions.
Believers the temple of the Lord are we;' have turned away from that “ light (Jer. vii. 4.) they might severally perwhich shineth in a dark place," ceive that every branch of the visible (2 Pet. i. 10.) and consequently they Church is grievously fallen from the are left in ignorance of the present simple faith and holy practice of the prospects of the Church, and of their primitive Christians. own true position in a world “that Surely the great masses of Church lieth in the wicked one." They are and dissenting congregations, are dreaming of a future day of glory, equally characterized by the Apostle without preparing for a previous time in that fearful summary of the of unexampled conflict, persecution, “sins of the last days ;'' “ having and wide-spreading corruption. How the form of godliness, but denying many of the members of the Estab- the power thereof!” And what must lished Church are looking forward the end of these things be? When to the general conversion of Jews and men shall say peace and safety, then Gentiles, through the instrumentality sudden destruction cometh, and they of her bishops, and ecclesiastical es- shall not escape. (1 Thes. V. 3.) The tablishments. They believe, that the day is, I believe, at hand, when aposChurch of England will become “the tate Christendom shall “ be cast into light of the world.” On the other the winepress of the wrath of God.” hand, different bodies of dissenting (Rev. xiv. 19.) May the spirit of Christians consider that the chief light and truth be abundantly vouchhindrance to the accomplishment of safed to every true member of the a spiritual millennium, is to be looked body of Christ; and may we all thus for in the existence of a corrupt be led to search without prejudice or Church establishment, which must partiality every portion of the Scripbe uprooted from the face of the tures, that we may be enabled to reaearth, before the word of God can lize the vast importance of the days have free course and be glorified.” in which we live. Such unscriptural notions arise, from The Lord is still tarrying for a ignorance of the prophetic Scriptures, short season, that more souls may with a carnal and unauthorized hope, “ be plucked as brands from the that the spiritual millennium they anti- burning.” This, then, is the period cipate will be consummated through above all others, when the servants the extended and exclusive influence of Christ should be “instant in seaof their own section of the Church; and son and out of season” in seeking the that it will issue in their own exalta- salvation of sinners. “Men ought tion and pre-eminence in glory. They always to pray, and not to faint;" but perceive not the character of the pre- believers have now peculiar need of sent dispensation. It is nowhere pro- patience, that they may not be weary mised that the world is to be con- in well-doing. The great adversary, verted by the preaching of the Word. knowing that his time is short,” will The Gospel is indeed to be preached multiply every subtle device by which " as a witness," to all nations before he can beguile the people of God into the end of the age, but this is in lukewarmness. It will be doubtless
his grand aim to deprive believers of ness to the Father of all mercies, that those special motives to prayer and the hearts of some devoted Christians watchfulness, which are so frequently have lately been stirred up to zealous presented to us in the Word, in con- exertions in behalf of those who are nection with the promise of the Lord's “perishing for lack of knowledge.” second coming. When Satan trans- But many more faithful men are forms himself into “an angel of light," needed, as pastors, as missionaries, and deceives us with new and un- schoolmasters, district visitors, and heard of temptations, it is important Scripture readers. May, therefore, that our souls should be strengthened the lesson which God is now teachand kept in simple dependence on ing us, be laid deeply to heart. May those blessed promises which are we acknowledge how inadequate, and given as a shield and rock of defence powerless every effort of man will to the people of God,“ to keep them prove, unless the Lord of the harin that hour of temptation, which is vest” pours out his Spirit upon his coming upon all the world, to try languishing Church, and prepares them that dwell upon the earth.” labourers for the harvest." Though (Rev. iii. 10.)
“God” alone “giveth the increase,” The spiritual condition of our “ He will yet be enquired of” for country at this time must fill every these things. The prayers of those thoughtful Christian with the deep- good men “who cry and sigh for the est grief and solicitude. The flood- abominations that are done in the gates of iniquity, infidelity, Popery, midst” of our land, (Ezek. ix. 4.) and semi-Popery, (no less dangerous “ will surely enter into the ears of than undiluted Romanism,) are de- the Lord of Sabaoth.” The number luging our land. The physical con- of earnest Christians, “full of faith dition of millions of our labouring and of the Holy Ghost," may be far population is quite appalling, when greater than we have any idea of. On we consider the almost inevitable them, under God, we rest our hopes nexion between mental degradation for our Church and country. May and spiritual death. But the most a spirit of grace and supplication, and alarming sign of the times is this :- deep humiliation, be poured out on à spirit of slumber has overspread the the universal Church in answer to Church of Christ; increased worldli- their prayers, and may the Lord “raise ness too plainly characterizes many up His power, and come among us, who “did run well ;” and a with- and with great might succour us, drawal of spiritual blessing is percep
that when His last awful judgments tible in congregations where the Gos- are beginning to descend upon the pel was formerly preached “in de- earth, and the hearts of other men monstration of the Spirit and of “are failing them for fear,” His waitpower." These facts are equally ad- ing people may be found of him in mitted by pious Churchmen and peace, and “ lift up their heads with Dissenters. We should indeed ac- joy, knowing that their Redemption knowledge, with the deepest thankful- draweth nigh.” (Luke xxi. 28.)
THE LIVING AND THE DEAD.
I WANDERED lately into a large churchyard, situated in a suburb of one of our great towns. I sat down on one of the grave-stones, and looking around me, began to meditate. Close to where I sat, the sexton was digging a grave.
On all sides were graves, and grave-stones of every
size, form, and age. The churchyard had long been used for its solemn purpose.
Underneath its soil lay the mouldering dust of the parishioners for 250 years. I thought how many generations sleep quietly here. Ministers and people, rival functionaries, who distracted the town with their disputes, doctors who and the heaven fled away; and there saved others for a season from the was found no place for them! The power of the grave, and then became dead, small and great, standing before its victims themselves, rich men, who God, and the books opened! The sea condescendingly relieved the wants of giving up the dead which are in it, the poor and wretched Lazaruses and death and hell giving up the dead who sat at their gates—all sleep which are in them! As Christ himcalmly here. The wind sweeps over
self has described the awful pageantry the grass that grows on their last of his own advent: “Immediately resting-places, and the rain and the after the tribulation of those days atmosphere are fast obliterating the shall the sun be darkened, and the inscriptions, which the anxiety of moon shall not give her light, and the friends has placed upon their tomb- stars shall fall from heaven, and the stones, to save for a season their powers of the heavens shall be shaken; memories from oblivion.
and then shall appear the sign of the And, then, I began to think of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall time when all that sleep will be all the tribes of the earth mourn, and changed. For we shall not all they shall see the Son of man coming sleep, but we shall all be changed, in the clouds of heaven with power in a moment, in the twinkling of an and great glory. And He shall send eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet his angels with a great sound of a shall sound, and the dead shall be trumpet; and they shall gather toraised incorruptible, and we shall be gether his elect, from one end of changed. For this corruptible must heaven to another." put on incorruption, and this mortal If the awful solemnities of the must put on immortality," or, as the judgment day have not sufficient patriarch Job more dimly saw the power to wean the imagination from same truth, “I know that my Re- earthly things, what means more deemer liveth, and that he shall stand potent could God employ? Philoat the latter day upon the earth. And sophers say, that the centre of the though after my skin worms destroy earth must be many times hotter than this body, yet in my flesh shall I see red hot iron, so that in any one moGod; whom I shall see for myself, ment, were the restraining power of and mine eyes shall behold, and not God withdrawn, the combustion of another."
the earth, described by St. Peter, What strange meetings will there would be realized. An appalling be then on that dread day, when the thought this in itself, to him who Lord shall come to punish his foes, attentively considers it! But how and everlastingly reward his people! much more terrible the thought, that Then shall no distinctions be known, we cannot tell how soon the solemsave those which are known to God. nities of the judgment day, and the Christ will own as his, none who realities of the eternal world, may have not his “ Father's name written flash forth like lightning before our in their foreheads." The tenderest eyes. Lightning is the metaphor earthly relations will then afford no which our Lord himself employs to security for the perpetuity of ties denote the suddenness of His coming. which have not been sanctioned by And there is no reason why we, the Christ. Husband and wife, parents present generation, may not see the and children, masters and servants consummation of all things. God will then, if separated before the incarnate coming with all his angels Judge, be separated for ever. All to judge mankind—the world stopped souls will find their eternal abodes in its movements like a watch that either in heaven or hell.
has run down-time confronted, face Oh, what a day will that be! The to face, with eternity! Lord himself descending from heaven As I was proceeding home through with a shout, with the voice of the the crowded streets, I could not help archangel, and the trump of God pursuing a similar line of meditation. the great white throne, and him that Here, I thought, I am surrounded sat on it, from whose face the earth with the living. Life is on all sides of me. I have exchanged stillness If all this be true, as it undoubtedly for incessant noise, rest for bustling is, how little real life is there in this activity, the communion of solemn world! The saints of God are walkthoughts for the constant attrition of ing among a race of corpses exercising this busy world. And, yet, measuring the functions of life, and appearing to men and things by the standard of possess it, and yet not having it at all. yonder ancient churchyard—have I And measuring by the glass of faith, really exchanged the dead for the and thus penetrating the eternal world, living? There I saw what real life is how correct a description is this of -not that which flickers but a few what is taking place in this world ! seconds, measured on the dial of Men are devoid of true life, and thereeternity, and then disappears—but fore make no plans to run parallel that life which is only purified by
with its course. Corpses as regards death, and awaits its perfection at the eternity, they plan and desire only for great day, when the soul shall be the short span of time which they restored to the body. True life is hid call life, but which is, in truth, but with Christ in God. Because its death. shelter is the Rock of ages, it can What is time isolated from eternity, never be disturbed. The stream of man living without God, but a state divine life which flows through the of real death? true Christian's heart, has its fountain How many tears may each child springs in the Eternal Trinity. No of God shed over the acts of the rest defilements can reach its source. Not of mankind, as their dear Lord wept all the malice of Satan can dry up over Jerusalem—the living over the one drop of that blessed fountain. dead! But they must not stop here. “ Labitur et labetur, in omne volubilis They must try to animate those dead
souls. Their own life is all of grace But nothing else is worthy the the work of the Spirit of God in name of life. Nothing else is a pos
Christ. Of themselves they are dead session that can be depended on, a
just as others. Let them earnestly Κτήμα ες αει, as the ancient historian pray that God would of his mercy in wished to make his work; all other
Christ breathe life into “ those dry life is but the appearance of life, not
bones.” Let them blow the trumpet its reality. The life of nature is but of the Gospel, to warn those slumthe snow speck on the swift streamlet, berers of their danger. For “none of which appears for a moment, and then us liveth to himself.” is swept away for ever.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE PAST ETERNITY OF THE ETERNAL.
WHETHER the angels in heaven, and the just made perfect, have their blessed eternity, distinguished by returning signs, we know not. But there is one great Being, all whose perfections are infinite, all passing our understanding; and perhaps that which most baffles our comprehension is his eternity.
And yet though there is none which is more beyond the reach of our faculties, there is not one which more absolutely commands our assent.
We cannot comprehend it, and yet we are sure that it must be true that from everlasting to everlasting he is God. We know that duration, both past and future, must be eternal. İt never could have a beginning, never can have an end. There never was a moment which had not another moment before it ; nor can there ever be a moment which will not be followed by another. Was there, then, in the millions of ages past, a moment when the Maker of all things came