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REMARKABLE BENEVOLENCE. The following instance of Remarkable Benevolence
we take from the Religious Monitor ; in which it appears as a translation from the periodical publications of the Basil Society. Let the rich read
it, and acknowledge the rebuke : let the poor also ” read it, and see in it a lively comment on the
promise, “ Bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure.”
“ D. WAS a native of Alsace; and on a journey he made to K- , he married. He inhabited a small house, without the gates of the town; and his employment barely subsisted him, though he constantly worked for rich and respectable people in the city. He was a painter and gilder. Every evening he was accustomed to bring bread home with him for his family, from the produce of his work. It happened, however, once, that he did not receive his money. Although God has expressly commanded, that the “sun shall not go down before, the labourer receives his hire,” yet the degenerate Christian pays but little attention to the commands of his Maker! Very many, and clergymen amongst the number, are not even acquainted with all his written commands, more especially those in the Old Testament, notwithstanding Jesus Christ hath absolutely declared, in Matth. v. 18. that all shall be strictly observed, and that not a jot or tittle thereof shall fail. Now could the poor gilder no longer get paid by his employers. For some time, however, he was enabled to carry home bread with him as usual to his hungry family; but at length every resource was ex
hausted. Throughout the day, during his work, lie put up an inward prayer to God, that he would graciously dispose the hearts of his masters in his favour, so that they might not allow him to go home pennyless; but the day passed, the time of labour finished, and the poor husband and father had nothing---nothing at all to take home with him! Melancholy and sad he entered the suburbs where he lived, with a heavy heart, and downcast eyes. Some one going towards the city, met him, saluted him as he passed, and slipping a piece of silver into his hand, glided by him. B. stood stock-still, astonished; and shouting aloud, with eyes uplitted, tears ran down his cheeks; and he bitterly reproached himself for his vile unbelief in that God who feedeth the ravens, and nuinbers the very hairs of our heads.
“ Passing onwards, his way lay through a path between two hedges, where he heard a faint voice. in a mournful, complaining strain ; and, as he looked round him to know from whence it proceeded, he saw a young man, who had the appearance of a traveller, lying on the grass, pale, weak, and emaciated. “What is the matter, my friend ?” asked the poor painter.-“ Sir, I am a travelling mechanic, and am going towards home : I have yet far to go: as my money ran short, I was obliged to act with the utmost frugality; and expended daily only what my most urgent necessities demanded : notwithstanding, my money is all gone. The whole of this day have I pursued my journey without tasting food; and my strength is so entirely exhausted, that I can go no further.” What was poor B. to do? He had nothing but the small piece of silver :-should be give him that? But what would remain for bis hungry expecting children ? Perplexed, contounded, and almost mechanically, without knowing what he said,
he demanded of the young man if he had no small money about him, even of the most trifling value, to give him in exchange for his little piece of silver. “ O, my dear Sir, would I had, I should not lie longer here!" "The heart of poor B. 'felt a terrible conflict. At last, shrugging his shoulders, with great sorrow, and heaviness of mind, he pursued his way: but he went not far; his piece of money burned like fire in his pocket; he hastily turned back, gave it to the poor traveller, and with great agitation turned away quickly, weeping, sobbing, and almost reeling like a drunken man. He had not proceeded far, before he met a man, with several longish loaves of bread, which he carried under his arms, coming directly towards him. As they approached each other, the man saluted him in a very friendly manner; and passing him, slipped one of his loaves under his arm, and putting a dollar into his hand, hastened away. The poor painter threw himself on the grass, and wept aloud !
“Who can read, without the deepest emotion, this wonderful relation of the gracious providence of God towards the necessities of his children! The worthy painter acted with such pure humanity, and the hand of God so visibly interposed, that while we are con pelled to bestow our warmest approbation on his conduct, we are led to offer our humble adoration at the throne of grace. Such tales as these are like apples of gold in dishes of silver ; and though at all times, yet in our days more especially, a word in due season. If the poor Christian is led to further perseverance in his confidence in God, who hears and answers prayer, and the weak believer, taught to blush for his unbelief, this memorable instance of God's paternal care will not have been re- . corded in vain !"
ened all and werd. withche grace
FOR THE CHRISTIAN'S MAGAZINE.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now
received the Atonement.--Rom y. 11.
In order to perceive the force of the powerful reasoning which the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Almighty, employs in this epistle, it is necessary to know something of the state of religion among the Jews at the time in which he wrote.
It is against the errours of that people, errours likely always to arise among those who, destitute of grace, make a profession of religion, that the argument is principally directed. Simple information was sufficient for the heathen who had recently embraced the Gospel. They were sensible that they had every thing to learn, and they readily submitted to the instruction which was tendered to them by the apostles. But much disputation was necessary with the Jews, who thought that they already knew the way of truth. Proud of their descent, and glorying in their priesthood, the natural offspring of Abraham did not hesitate in conceiving themselves, independently of faith and holiness, to be the peculiar favourites of heaven.
The two sects, which, at this period, were most conspicuous in contending for power in the Jewish church, are the Sadducees and Pharisees. The contentions of these formidable parties had for a century distracted the councils of the nation, and corrupted the religion established in Judea.
The former exerted their influence over the Sanhedrim, the Temple, and the Priesthood; and the latter had obtained the principal direction of the schools, the pulpits of the Synagogues, and the prejudices of the populace. The Sadducees were supported by the most opulent of the inhabitants. Since the days of Hircanus, who united in his own person, the supreme ecclesiastical power, with the civil and the military, and who was besides an intolerant Sadducee; the influence of the supreme council of Elders, and of the great body of the Priests, had been employed in favour of this sect*. During the reign of Jannæus, the Sanhedrim, with the exception of a solitary individual, consisted altogether of Sadducees. Annas and Caiaphas, well known in evangelical history, belonged also to the same sect. The Sadducees rejected the doctrines of a special providence, of the immortality of the soul, and of a future state. With such sentiments, the Jewish priesthood, supported by their tithes, and by the learning, the wealth, and the power of Judea, presented a formidable opposition to the progress of the gospel. They combined irreligion with a profession of the established system, which, on account of its emoluments, they did not hesitate to subscribe : a combination, which, however pernicious, is, alas ! far from being uncommon in other nations.
The Pharisees had, upon their side, by far the greater part of the common people. Assisted by the scribes, they engrossed, in a great measure, the ministry of the synagogues. Animated with a superstitious zeal, making pretensions to an extraordinary
* Joseph. Antiq. lib. 13.cap. 11. & de bel. Jud. lib.i. cap. 3, 4. Vol. III.- No. I.