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“LOOKING UNTO JESUS.”—A MOTTO FOR THE NEW YEAR.

BY THE REV. SAMUEL COULING.

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THERE were certain Greeks who were once anxious to behold Christ of whom they had heard such wondrous accounts, that their curiosity became so excited, and their minds so troubled, that they hesitated not to go at once to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, saying, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” Now these Grecians were just, in effect, putting into practice the exhortation of our motto. They were Looking unto Jesus.” And a better spirit could not animate our hearts, nor a better employment occupy our minds on the morning of this New Year's Day than this. If we can but look to Jesus and keep Christ steadily before us to day and during the year upon which we have entered, all things shall be sure to go well with us; for whether we live we shall live unto the Lord or whether we die we shall die unto the Lord, and we all with open face beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.

Christ left us an example that we should follow in his steps, and he himself declared that, if we would serve him we must deny ourselves-take up his cross and follow him. Paul, therefore, makes use of the name of Jesus as a motive power to urge us on in the divine life. Alluding to the celebrated Grecian games where they “all run in a race but one receiveth the prize," he says "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great à cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” We are to run as though all eyes were upon us, while we ourselves are only concerned about the one object before us, even Jesus. “Let us so run that we may obtain.”

But how shall we look to Jesus? We cannot now see him in the flesh as did his disciples of old; he has passed away out of our sight, and has ascended up into heaven where he now sits enthroned at the right hand of God. And yet if we belong to God's family, we can say of Christ, “whom having not seen, we love ; in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” To see Jesus then, we must look to him by

VOL. XXV.- NO CCLXXXIX,

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the eye of faith, and thus looking, we shall see Jesus as our atoning sacrifice. On this New Year's Day we not only look to the future with bright and pleasing expectations, but we have also to remember the past with shame and confusion of face. We remember the way by which God has led us with thankfulness, but we recollect also our ingratitude, our sinfulness, and our complete helplessness and utter ruin but for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor that we might be enriched for ever. We look therefore to Jesus as our sin-bearer, our substitute, our surety, our sacrifice. And thus looking unto Jesus—

Believing, we rejoice

To see the curse remove,
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,

And sing his bleeding love." But let us look to Jesus also as our great exemplar in life. Contemplate his holy life, his unwearied patience in trials and afflictions, his uncomplaining endurance of poverty,'hardship and sorrow, his diligence, zeal, and activity in accomplishing his Father's work, and in ameliorating the condition of the poor, the afflicted, and the sinful, and then learn of him who endured “such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest we should be weary and faint in our minds."

Look to Christ as the author and finisher of our faith and all will be easy. He is the Alpha and Omega of your salvation, the object and end of your

faith. Let him be your “ All in all,” and the year upon which you have entered shall be one long season of praise and thanksgiving to him in whom you believe, and who will keep that which you have committed to him until that day when faith shall be turned to sight, and you will be for ever with the Lord.

And why should we look to Christ? This question is not asked in the spirit of those who enquire “Who is the Lord that we should desire the knowledge of his ways ?" It is rather the language of the child of God whose desire is that Christ would manifest himself unto him as he does not unto the world. But even he is sometimes faint-hearted and full of doubt, fear, and darkness, so that he has to cry out, “Oh, that I knew where I might find him.” And why should such look to Jesus?

Because by so doing they will get their faith strengthened. It is only on Christ that faith can live, and only beneath the shadow of the cross that we can go from strength to strength. Look at man and we are deceived and disappointed; look within ourselves and there is nothing but sin and doubt and fear, but “looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith," we can cry “Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” And he will give us faith to live upon him, to trust in him at all times, and to do all things through Christ who strengtheneth us. Lord help us throughout this year to look to thee and do thou increase our faith.

And by looking to Jesus we shall also get our cares lightened. We are none of us exempt from care and anxiety. Too frequently our hearts are overwhelmed with the many cares which daily distress us. Domestic anxieties, pecuniary difficulties, perplexities in business, irritability of temper, strong temptations, sickness and poverty,—these are cares known more or less to God's children from January to December. But when we look to the cross and see there the

Man of Sorrows,” being made perfect through suffering that he might be able to sympathise with all his people, then how light do all our trials seem, and how puny our cares compared with what he endured. And then “casting all our cares upon him who careth for us” we can even glory in tribulation also, that the power of Christ might rest upon us.

And by looking unto Jesus we shall also get our hopes brightened. Christ has left us in this world, but “Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions; I go to prepare a place for you.” Some of our friends may possibly have been

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removed from us by the hand of death during the past year, and we ourselves may be called away during the year that has just commenced; but “ looking unto Jesus” life and immortality is brought to light In Jesus we see by faith our portion in heaven. Our hopes of immortality and eternal glory are brightened beneath the cross. He was delivered for our offences but rose again for our justification, and therefore “when Christ who is our life shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory," and our song of praise shall be “unto him that hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to him be glory and dominion for ever, Amen."

Surely we need not ask when shall we look to Jesus ? for every time is a suitable time and every occasion is a proper one to go to him who says “Look unto me and be ye saved." Let us however especially look to him now on this New Year's Day. If we have not yet given him our hearts now is a fitting time to do so. Look to Jesus now and he will guide you through the dangers and difficulties that may surround your path in life. Look to Jesus now, and then though the heart be sad and oppressed with care, yet will he say to you,

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Look to Jesus now, and let the life you live be a life of faith on the Son of God who loved you and who gave himself for you, and then when death shall come Jesus will smile upon you and enable you to say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Scarborough.

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DOCTOR BUSHNELL'S, THEORY OF INFANT BAPTISM.

A Paper read at a Fraternal Meeting of Ministers in Yorkshire.

This theory is found in connection with Doctor Bushnell's teachings on “ Christian Nurture.” A subject which requires more general attention than it has hitherto received. But let it be distinctly understood at the outset, that we have here no controversy with the Doctor respecting that subject, though we might be disposed to differ from him as to the way in which he treats it. Yet we have to do with that only so far as he has been pleased to mix up with the discussion of it his theory of Infant baptism. In fact the Doctor's theory of Infant baptism is part of his theory of Christian nurture, and so far as we can gather from the Doctor's statement of the case, the one is essential to the other. We are not inclined to think so. Much less do we think that because the Scripture inculcates the one, therefore it inculcates the other. We think that we can understand for ourselves at least, how a thoroughly scriptural Christian nurture can be exercised without being indebted in any wise to Infant baptism. And if this is possible, Infant baptism is not essential.

The Doctor's idea of "the organic unity of a family” we do not care to notice. It is at best a mystic way of putting the matter before his readers. Like most other Pædobaptists, the Doctor seizes upon the households referred to in the New Testament, and especially those which are said to have been baptised, and then endeavours to derive support from what he calls “the organic unity of the family," and consequently for household religion and household baptism, from what the Jews understood of the significance of households and families in connection with the Jewish system, and the easy transference of the idea to the Christian system. But the Jews understood many things wrongly, and even many of those who professed to have received the teaching of the Saviour, would have imported bodily the whole of the rites and ceremonies of the mosaic economy into the Christian system. Are we therefore to follow them? No, indeed! “Jesus we know, and Paul we know, but who are ye?" We prefer to follow our own understanding of the gospel as we read it, under the enlightenment of that spirit which God has promised to give them that ask him. Doctor

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