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blessed to many souls, and will Word of God declares that believers doubtless continue to be greatly are “a peculiar people,” whose "treablessed to its humble, prayerful, self- sure is in heaven," and who are theredenying members. But I am per- fore to live as strangers and pilgrims suaded there are some devoted and upon earth; "declaring plainly,” by loving disciples of Jesus, who are not their deadness to the world, that led to unite themselves with the Alli- they desire a better country, that is ance, because they believe that true an heavenly.” They are “the salt of unity, peace, and concord, are more the earth”—"the light of the world” likely to be preserved by a contrary -"epistles of Christ known and read course. May those who differ from of all men.”+ But the Church of them respect their motives. Let them the Redeemer, no longer as a body, not quarrel in advocating unity. Be- exemplifies to the world these Scriplievers will not see eye to eye, until tural representations of the believer's the appearing of Jesus Christ. But character. no further light is needed in order to If, in the apostolic times, an angel shew believers the plain Scriptural had been sent from heaven to numduty of exercising "unfeigned love ber the people of God, there would of the brethren," wherever found. have been no difficulty in discerning Let us recognize and love the image in every place, that holy little band of Christ, in all his people. The tie of worshippers “of whom the world of external profession must vanish as was not worthy.” But now, alas, if smoke in the day of the Lord; but the heavenly messenger had no other whatsoever kindness we have shown clue than the Scriptures afford, for to the least of Christ's people, "in distinguishing believers in Christ the name of a disciple," will be owned Jesus from a world that walketh in by our gracious Lord, as done unto darkness, he must return to the manhimself. (Matt. xxv. 45.)
sions of glory without fulfilling the A comparison of the earliest days object of his mission. A comparison of the Christian Church, with the of the precepts of Christ, with the
esent times, must fill our hearts practice of his disciples, would be an with deep humiliation. “The multi- insufficient index. In vain would he tude of them that believed were of seek, in the religious meetings and one heart and of one soul;" “walk- conversazioni, at those of our watering in the fear of God, and in the ing places, where evangelical preachcomfort of the Holy Ghost ;" and ing and profession have become rejoicing that they were counted fashionable ; for that heavenly, selfworthy to suffer shame for the name denying walk, which is so forcibly of Christ.* We must perceive that set forth in the Acts, and in the modern religion is defective in power ; Epistles. In vain would he attempt in simplicity also, and in love. It to trace that broad Scriptural line of cannot, therefore, answer the full end demarcation, which should ever sepaof the Gospel of Christ. It renders rate the disciples of Christ from the but little glory to our Father in hea- followers of Mammon.
“ For what ven, nor can it satisfy the
enlightened fellowship hath righteousness with conscience of a child of God. If we unrighteousness? And what comare walking far below our privileges, munion hath light with darkness? as“ partakers of the heavenly calling," And what concord hath Christ with we cannot rejoice in the Lord,” as Belial? Or what part hath he that the early disciples did. In proceed- believeth with an infidel ?” ing to the painful consideration of How much is there, that is highly the various indications of spiritual esteemed by men, that will not bear declension in the Church of Christ, God's scrutiny? “Every plant,” said there is none, perhaps, which more the Lord Jesus, "that my heavenly strongly characterizes the age in which Father hath not planted, shall be our lot is cast than
rooted up.” Faith, which worketh 4th, Conformity to the world. The
f 1 Peter ii. 9-11. Heb. xi. 14--16. * Acts iv. 32; ix. 31 ; v. 41.
Matt. v. 13, 14. 2 Cor. üi. 2.
by love, is the only principle that will Achans, who “ cause Israel to turn be owned by God, and he will not their backs before their enemies, neibless the works of our hands if they ther will the Lord be with you any are not carried on in godly simplicity. more, except ye destroy the accursed When God declares, be
not un- thing from among you.” equally yoked together with unbe- It is certain that if our religion lievers,” it is most painful to witness excites the admiration of the world, the unblushing worldliness which is it is not conformed to the standard of manifested in the management of the sanctuary. The carnal mind is some of our religious societies. The still enmity against God, and is as favour of the world, and the wealth much opposed to the faithful disciple of the ungodly may promote their of Christ, as it was two thousand external prosperity, but if "the bless- years ago. Any believer who escapes ing of the Lord which maketh rich" reproach or persecution, is not folis really desired, they must cease to lowing the steps of the Redeemer; for go down to Egypt for help.” This is “ they that will live godly in Christ a principle which is ever condemned Jesus, shall suffer persecution.” A in the Word of God. It dishonours consistent and heavenly life will asGod, and therefore must sorely hinder suredly expose the believer to much the spiritual prosperity of the Society reproach, for it bears a constant testithat countenances the practice. The mony to the world, that Christianity following words are equally applicable is not a mere system of divinity, but to societies, as to individuals: “If a religion of motives and principles, ye were of the world, the world But the faithful servant of the Lord would love his own; but because ye will probably experience a much heaare not of the world, but I have vier trial than the scorn of an evil chosen ye out of the world, therefore world. In these unhappy days of the world hateth you.” A Christian lukewarmness, a man's foes will often ought so to live, and a society ought be those of his own household, yea, so to be framed, that worldly men (as of “ the household of faith," heirs of long as they continue of the world,) the same hope, but like Peter before will have no desire to unite with them. his fall, “ following the Lord afar off," If the world fully approves a society, and mingling with his enemies, and an institution, or an individual, the “ learning their works.” An indiworld must be courted, or Christian vidual who is endeavouring, in the principle must in some respect be strength of God, to give up, at all compromised.
costs, whatever is contrary to His A distressing inconsistency is ex- revealed will, must submit to be often hibited by many Christian men who looked upon with unkindness and fill the office of secretary to the dis- suspicion, even by his brethren in the trict associations of various societies. Lord. He has been led to the conI speak now from personal observa- clusion that the path to heaven is not tion. When an annual meeting is to so broad, or so easy, as is generally be held in a country town, instead of imagined, and the tacit reproof of his honouring those men whom God de
example cannot be endured by those lighteth to honour, it is not uncom- who have departed from the simplicity mon to see them propitiating "the of Christ in their conversation with God of this world” in their selection the world. of a president or a chairman. Worldly It is grievous to witness so many influence, or wealth, and, above all, Christian women, in the higher walks high rank, are thus unequivocally of life, differing but little in their preferred to godly wisdom and sin- habits and general expenditure from cerity. It is supposed that the worldly the world around them, and wasting peer or baronet will ensure a better those precious hours, which are commeeting and a larger collection than mitted to their stewardship, by their the pious commoner, but is there not Lord and Master, in dressing and consequently a practical denial that unprofitable pursuits. It cannot be “ the silver and the gold is the for the glory of God, when faithful Lord’s”? (Hag. ii. 8.) These are the labourers are so much needed in
the Lord's vineyard, that Christians We do beseech you to manifest pracshould pass many hours in each day tically to the votaries of this vain in embroidering tapestry, or in pre- world, that “ the lust of the flesh, the paring fancy articles for bazaars. lust of the eye, and the pride of life,” And are there not many Christian are utterly distasteful to a soul that females, who encourage the same is renewed in the spirit of its mind. habits of expensive récherche, as the Oh! do not shrink from confessing idolators of Mammon? Is not con- Christ before men. Testify by your formity to the world
stamped on all life, that “old things are passed away, their possessions. Their furniture, and that all things are become new” their dress, their table, their equi- -that your treasure is in heaven, and pages ?-all savour strongly of that that where your treasure is, there is world which is at enmity with God. your heart also.
Cast your splendid Are not their apartments filled with draperies, your sumptuous plate, fashionable luxuries, and their tables your jewels, and your baubles, into crowded with useless ornaments; the treasury of Christ. Abridge the whilst the cause of the Redeemer is dainties of your table, that you may scantily aided, and millions deal your bread to the hungry, and perishing for lack of knowledge ? cause the widow's heart to sing for * All seek their own, and not the joy.” things of Jesus Christ.”
I am far from desiring to convey Believers in Christ! Ye women an impression that worldly mindedthat are at ease in Zion !--you know ness is exclusively or chiefly confined to not how much the prayer of faith, the highest circles; for I am convinced and labour of love, are hindered, by that this is not the case. It is the your present course of life. You weakness, and the sin, of every class satisfy your consciences with the of females, to emulate the fashionable belief that you have no love for these follies of the circle immediately above vanities, and that you sit loosely to them, not only in their dress, but in them. The world will not believe the various details of their establishyou, whilst you are still walking in a ment. The religious tea-party in a vain shew, surrounded by the luxu- small country town is often as much ries which you profess to despise. imbued with the spirit of the world as But "you do not wish to be sin- the more extended meeting at Bath gular. This excuse is suggested by or Cheltenham. The professed obthe father of lies. He desires nothing ject of these assemblies is spiritual more than that your practice should edification, but they cannot provę be a lie to your profession. He really profitable to those who attend knows, that if you manifested the them, until they are conducted with power of godliness by an open con- more Christian simplicity. If you tempt for those things which are most desire, in truth, to profit from comcoveted by the world, the interests of munion with your Christian friends, his kingdom would suffer. He there- cease to enquire as a preliminary to fore perverts Scripture, and whispers the meeting, “What shall I put on?" smooth things to you, and strives to Oh! remember, “ that after these make you content to follow Christ things do the Gentiles seek ;” and without taking up your cross. But rather “let your adorning be the can these two things be separated ? hidden man of the heart, even the (See Luke xi. 23.) “To the law and ornament of a meek and a quiet spirit, to the testimony if they speak not which is in the sight of God of great according to this word, it is because price.” (1 Pet. iii. 4.) there is no light in them.” (Isaiah Once more; be ye not conformed vüi. 20.)
to this world. Cease to imagine that We ask you not to abridge your this precept relates not to external actual comforts, or those of your things, but solely to the inward spirit, household, but we do ask you, as the which must be transformed by the daughters of the Lord Almighty, renewing of the mind.” (Rom. xii
. 2.) (2 Cor. vi. 18.) to live with the sim- It is not enough that our hearts should plicity that becometh the Gospel, be separate from the world. Con
fession is needed also; and a confes- and gird up the loins of their mind, sion not merely of the lips, but of lest that day should come upon them the life. We must “ declare plainly" unawares. The signs of the times whose we are, and whom we serve, forewarn us that the coming of the We cannot be faithful servants of Lord draweth nigh. Christ unless we testify to the world prepare with joy to obey the sumthat its ways are evil. Let us not
“ Behold the Bridegroom suffer the adversary to deceive us cometh, go ye forth to meet Him”? with the vain notion that we have Or is it your desire that your Lord any Scriptural authority for ceasing should delay his coming, that you may to be in outward things "a peculiar trim
your almost expiring lamps, and people.” An undecided walk is dis- put away all things in your life and honouring to our divine Master, and conversation that would offend his excludes from our souls that joy and glorious Majesty? The coming of peace in believing which is the privi- Christ is an unerring touchstone, lege of the disciples of Christ, whereby we may try the healthiness
Are you afraid of being too de- of our spiritual condition, and the cided, or too hot a Christian?" "Would true character of our pursuits. We that ye were cold or hot”! (Rev. may so quench the light of the Spirit iii. 15.)
Undoubted coldness and by our unfaithfulness, as to call evil indifference are positively less inju- good, and good evil; and we may for rious as an example, than that of a a time attempt to quiet the clamours lukewarm professor. Be zealous, of conscience, by appealing to the therefore, and repent lest the awful practice of other Christians; but if threatening to the Laodicean church we steadily fix our minds on the be fulfilled to the uttermost.
coming of the Lord, and the glory A sifting time is probably at hand, that shall be then revealed, every and the most watchful Christians refuge of lies must be put to flight. have ample cause to trim their lamps,
S. (To be continued.)
THERE is generally some cause for vated and enlarged, a simpler and the idolatrous homage which human more spiritual religion was given, beings pay to each other; amongst which could be understood and apthe heathen, their benefactors or con- preciated by all nations, and tongues, querors became their gods or even and people. Our Lord Jesus Christ the bubbling stream, the fruitful spake his commands and laws without valley, or heathy mountain were in
any pomp or circumstance of glitter vested with attributes which rendered or show, and his still small voice has them sacred objects.
penetrated into regions where the The mind of man is always wanting thunders of Sinai were never heardsomething which is tangible to the but there was to be no similitude, no senses, for the things which are seen image, no picture to reverence and are more easily understood than those bow down to. which are abstract and invisible; the From the tendency in human nature temporal will secure attention before to embody and personify Deity, image the eternal, and whilst purely spiritual worship has arisen, and the Church worship is difficult of attainment, of Rome, which panders in every that which is addressed to the ear possible way to the natural corrupand eye can attract the most indif- tion of fallen humanity, has seized ferent. Thus, in the infancy of upon this principle, and interwoven society, it pleased God to set forth it universally into her system. We bis laws in a manner so terrible to know not if there be any question as the hearers, that Moses said, “ I ex- to the Mariolatry which prevails ceedingly fear and quake;" and the amongst Romanists, and by this Jewish ritual was one of signs and term we would mean the undue reveceremonies significant of those future rence, and adoration, and worship of events which were revealed in the Mary, the mother of Jesus," which fulness of time, when civilization began in the 6th century, and has having attained a high growth, and continued in unreformed churches the faculties of men having been culti- until this day.* When images were
* Referring to the worship of the Virgin in the dark ages, says the calm and philosophic Hallam, " It is difficult to conceive the stupid absurdity and the disgusting profaneness of those stories which were invented by the monks to do her honour.” He then gives, upon the authority of Le Grand D’Aussey, the following few specimens, to confirm his assertions, “lest they should appear to the reader harsh and extravagant.” The titles are my own.
1. The robber saved from hanging.--" There was a man whose occupation was highway robbery ; but, whenever he set out on any such expedition, he was careful to address a prayer to the Virgin. Taken at last, he was sentenced to be hanged. While the cord was round his neck, he made his usual prayer, nor was it ineffectual. The Virgin supported his feet with her white hands,' and thus kept him alive two days, to the no small surprise of the executioner, who attempted to complete his work with strokes of a sword. But the same invisible hand turned aside the weapon, and the executioner was compelled to release his victim, acknowledging the miracle. The thief retired into a monastery, which is always the termination of these deliverances.”
2. The wicked monk admitted to heaven.--"At the monastery of St. Peter, near Cologne, lived a monk perfectly dissolute and irreligious, but very devout towards the apostle. Unluckily, he died suddenly without confession. The fiends came as usual to seize his soul. Śt. Peter, vexed at losing so faithful a votary, besought God to admit the monk into Paradise. His prayer was refused, and though the whole body of saints, apostles, angels, and martyrs, joined at his request to make interest, it was of no avail. In this extremity he had recourse to the mother of God. "Fair lady,' said he, my monk is lost if you do not interfere for him ; but what is impossible for us, will be but sport to you, if you please to assist us. Your Son, if you but speak a word, must yield, since it is in your power to command him.' The queen-mother assented, and, followed by all the virgins, moved toward her Son. He, who had himself given the precept, 'Honour thy father and thy mother,' no sooner saw his own parent approach, than he rose to receive her, and, taking her by the hand, inquired her wishes. The rest may be easily conjectured. Compare the gross stupidity, or rather the atrocious im