Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

poured forth their choicest strains to God their deliverer.

And so, we learn from his promise, it will be. "Lo I am with you alway, even to the end of the world." Supported by his presence, and glorying in his truth, they will continue to preach it. And attended by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, men will continue to embrace it. And those who are born of his spirit, will continue to support it. They know his voice, and they follow him. A stranger will they not follow; they know not the voice of strangers. If an apostle, if an angel from heaven should come unto them, and bring not this doctrine, that" God was manifest in the flesh," they would not receive him; nor would they bid him God speed. Others might follow him, and believe his errors, but those who are born of God, by an "unction from the Holy One," would know them to be false. The same anointing teacheth them, that' whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.' They will not receive any man as an ascension gift of their Redeemer, but one who appears to glory in his cross; and by it to be crucified to the world, and the world crucified to him. No where but on the cross, and in the face of him who bled upon it,' bearing their sins in his own body on the tree,' can they see the 'light of the knowledge of the glory of God.' And losing sight of this, they are in total darkness. Their very light becomes darkness. Nothing can dispel it but a view of'God manifest in the flesh,' who is the "light of the world." And those who follow him shall not walk in darkness, but have " the light of life."

The christian sabbath is an evidence that God was manifest in the flesh. It was set apart in remembrance of his resurrection, and by keeping it holy, the church supports this truth. The sabbath also gives men opportunity to attend to this truth, and to hear the evidence by which it is supported. And as faith cometh by hearing, when they hear, they not unfrequently believe. 'The truth comes, not in word only, but in power, in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.'

Every time the church surrounds the table of her Lord, she testifies to all, that he was manifest in the flesh. In proof of it she points to him, as evidently set forth crucified before them.

Every time the ordinance of baptism is administered, she acknowledges before the world, that divine wonder in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; with all those revealed and essential truths, which a belief in this great mystery involves.

4. The church supports this truth by teaching it to her children.

The wisdom that is from beneath says, Give to children no religious instruction; and exert upon them no moral influence in favour of the gospel, lest they receive an improper bias. When they come to years of understanding, let them alone to choose for themselves, and then they will choose right.

But the wisdom that is from above saith, " Train up a child in the way he should go." 'Teach these things diligently to thy children, when thou sittest in the house, and when thou walkest by the way ; when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.' 'Suffer little children to come unto me.' 'Train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.' In these directions the church recognizes the voice of her God; and acknowledges her obligations to obey. She dedicates her children in infancy, to the " Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" When they come to years of understanding she instructs them; gives them line upon line, and precept upon precept And that her instructions may not be lost, she unites in supplication to her covenant God, that he would 'pour his Spirit upon her seed, and his blessing upon her offspring;' 'that her sons may be as plants grown up in their youth, and her daughters as corner stones polished after the similitude of a palace.' And she never finds that he has said to the " seed of Jacob," seek my face in vain. No; but' they shall be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear before me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.'

And we are not left merely to promises. We have their fulfilment—In yonder distant country was a little feeble band, inspired with love to Christ, who covenanted to educate their children for him. Not able to do it according to his word, and the dictates of their consciences in their own land, they escape under the cover of night, with their little ones, to a foreign clime. But their children still exposed, they embark upon the ocean, with no protector, but their covenant God. And though the very elements seem to join with earth and hell to oppose them, borne in his arms, I see them approaching, till they enter yonder haven, and stand upon a rock. And though winter, and famine, and pestilence attack them and cut down half their numbers, around them I see the arms of the everlasting covenant, within them the Shekinah, and hear a voice saying," Leave your fatherless children, and let your widows trust in me." "I will never leave nor forsake thee;" and, "they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.". They hearken, and lo they 'break forth on the right hand, and extend themselves on the left 'a little one becomes a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.' They spread from sea to sea, and 'he is a God to them, and their children after them, from generation to generation;' 'keeping covenant, and mercy to thousands of them that love him, and obey his commandments.'

5. The church of the living God supports this truth, by extending it to the destitute.

Ever since Jesus Christ gave the command, " Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," the church has acknowledged her obligations to obey. And she has prayed that she might fulfil them. For a time her efforts, in some measure, corresponded with her prayers. Her missionaries were found in various lands. Trophies of grace were multiplied; churches were gathered from among the heathen; and the gospel seemed ready to be extended through the world.

But the church, which was to be the instrument of this, elated by prosperity, became corrupt in doctrine. The consequence was, she became corrupt in practice. Her prayers grew formal, her efforts were palsied, and the progress of truth ceased. The darkness which she had rolled back, now began to return; the smoke, and the locusts from the bottomless pit overshadowed; the beast, and the false prophet came upon her; and she had to struggle even for existence, a thousand years. Some, however, among her children sighed over her abominations, and bewailed her calamities. With the souls under the altar they cried without ceasing,' Lord, how long V And he who had promised that the gates of hell should not prevail, heard He arose,—light broke in,—and Zion 'looked forth as the morning, beautiful as Tirzah, and comely as Jerusalem.' But she again slumbered; and, for two hundred years, did little more than maintain the truth within her own borders. Yet all that time she acknowledged her obligations to extend it to every creature. She constantly prayed, that' the heathen might be given to Christ for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.' But, shameful to relate, with the exception of her Elliots, her Brainerds, and a few kindred spirits, she did next to nothing, that her own prayers might be answered. The consequence was, the truth which she supported, and which is destined in its progress to enlighten and renovate the world, was confined within the limits of Christendom. Five hundred millions of the human family, eighteen hundred years after "Christ

« AnteriorContinuar »