« AnteriorContinuar »
ON THE NEW YEAR.
This year thou shalt die. - Jer. xxviii. 16. Tuat Death is uncertain, only in the time of its arrival, is a truth long since uncontroverted, and which the experience of mankind is daily confirming. It was said by the prophet Jeremiah, to one whose days were appointed, and the number of his months, as in the mottu, - This year thou shalt die.?
To whom, on the present commencement of a new year, this is applicable, the great Disposer of life and death alone can tell,
• To many this is certain :
· The reverse is sure to none. But since we know it must be so to many, and, for aught we know, it may be to us, it becomes us individually to take it into serious consideration. Should it be me, how am I prepared for so great a change? Have
Have I improved the past? Do I prize the present, and only use it for the glory of God and my soul's eternal interest? To what purpose am I a monument of sparing mercy? Since last the revolving seasoos brought the period to which I am again arrived, the Spring has smiled, the Sammer has glowed, Autumn has presented the golden harvest and the purple vintage. Nature then, it seems, has not been inactive. She has amply answered the end of her institution, and given seed to the sower, and bread to the eater;- but has my heart and conduct displayed the blossoms of grace, the mature powers of fervent zeal, and the peaceable fruits of righteousness? Has it not rather resembled the barren aspect of Winter, cheerless and unprofitable, frozen by the chill blasts of indifference, and resembling it in all but the hidden energy of vegetation ? To the most active of the people of God this will, in some measure, apply ;-for who among professing Christians has lived up to the profession which he inakes? Again; when we consider the thousands of instances, seen and unseen, in which we have been preserved, when there was but a step between us and death, we can but admire the grace which has excepted us from the number of those who have fallen by various means of accident or disease.
· Death's thousand doors (as Dr. Young expresses it) stand open, and we are hourly pressing forward, and often, as it were, just at the entrance; but Merey draws us back, or closes the dark gate. There the King of Terrors holds his gloomy court, and grins horribly at the crowds of victims who hourly swell the number of his sacrifices;- but there is a door, by which the righteous arc admitted, where half his terrors are pot scen, - where Jesus guards the passage to eternal bliss.
Here then the language of inquiry again recurs :- Am I of that number: "Am I washed in the blood of the Lamb? Has the Son made me free? Then am I free indeed. Do I find the influence of divine grace resisting the inward corruptions of my nature? If so, give God the praise, the work is his, and he will crown it with everlasting glory.
O Christian, if the motto be indeed applicable, what a scene of triumph is before you! This year thou shalt indeed overcome all thine enemies; this year thou shalt escape from all the evils of lite; - this year thou shalt bid adieu to pain, to grief, to sin ;-this year thou shalt see the King in his beauty ; - this year thou shalt be satisfied with his likeness, and see him as he is; - this year thou shalt begin the song of the redeemed, and commence the eternal hallelujah, -'For this year thou shalt die!
To you, unconverted and unawakened sinners, what shal} I say? Your prospects are truly awful. Death is at hand; judgment must follow. Eternity is before you, and you are unprepared for all. Ere another year, what thousands must be added to the inhabitants of the shades of death! and you may be of the number. How shall you escape? - for the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against you, - his law condemns you, - his justice pursues you, - his terrors will shortly surprize you; – but his gospel offers you peace and salvation. See, the banner of the Cross is unfurled! Fly! take shelter under it! You have not a moment to lose; tor you know nor but-'this year thou shalt die! MARIA.
A CONCISE VIEW OF THE PRESENT STATE OF EVANGELICAL RELIGION
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
[Continued from p. 471.] XO. V.
In a religious view, this most populous region of the world affords a scene truly afflictive. Darkness, as the shadow of death, is spread over all the nations of the east. The empire of China alone is said to contain more than three hundred and thirty millions of immortal souls; and not a beam of pel light and truth hath yet arisen upon them! The populáuon of the whole continent is supposed to exceed two thousand millions, and involved almest in the same spiritual blindness and ignorance.
This vast quarter of the globe is occupied by three great bodies of men; consisting of Pagan Ido wers, Mahometans,
and Christians, chiefly of the Greek church. The number of the first far predominates. Japan, Corea, China, Tonquin, Siu, the Burman Empire, Thibet, Tartary, Indostan, with other countries of the east, offer a melancholy prospect to a Christian's heart He cannot extend the pale of salvation, where God's revealed word affords no ground for hope. The Taxity of miscalled Charity contradicts every sound principle of real Christianity. As but one name is given under heaven among men, whereby they can be saved, how should they believe in Ilim, of whom they have not heard ! or, How obtain eternal life, but by the knowledge of the true God, and of Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent? That the gospel should be preached to every ereature under heaven, is the injunction of ihe divine Master to his faithful disciples; and these millons among the Ileathen,' perishing for lack of knowledge,' cry with a voice which should awaken the attention, and rouze the zealof every man who hath felt the value of his own, soul, to rush to their help, and pluck the brands from the burning.' The cail is imperious; and emot be neglected in any land where Christ's kingdom is established, without great unfaithfulness to the divine Master, and criminal insensibility to the value of the souls redeemed by his most precious blood. The perishing Heathen claim our first concern and services !
'The Mahoinedan superstition, nest in extent thro’ this region of the earth, bath spread far and wide its baneful influence. It would carry me too far to trace the swarms of locusts rising from the bottomless pit, as they darken the sun, and extend the cloud from Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Asis Minor, through all lands from the remotest cast to the Pillars of Hercules. Great part of Asia submitted to the sword, and to the seductions of the arch-impostor: vast countries, where once the cross spread its triumphant banners, are reduced to the basest servitude, and the liglit put out in obscure darkness; and the like inroads bas the Crescent made on the idols of Paganism, and holds with them, through all this region, a divided empire. By these two unclean spirits, from the mouth of the beast and of the false prophet, is this fair portion of the earth spiritually made desolate!
Christianity once flourished in Egypt, Asia Minor, and the east. It is now reduced to the lowest ebb. No longer a graceful form in the beauty of holiness, the Greek church exhibits only the meagre skeleton of her former beauty and glory; and threatens hier final extinction. Debased by superstition, id sunk in immorality, though the name and forms are subsisting, the temple totters from its foundation, and is throughout dilapidated, - the divine Inhabitant is filed! In characteristic excellence, such as sliould adorn the Christian name, it can claim no preference to the Paginisin and Ma
homedanism among whom it continues to subsist; and the Latin church seems just as degraded: their zeal exhausted in mutual anathemas, and more employed in biting and devouring one another, than in forming any plan, or exerting any labours of love for the salvation of those around them. Where tolerated, the Greek church hath lost all power, wealth, and respect, – despised and oppressed by its conquerors; and only permitted to exist under tribute. 'In a body still numerous and widely extended, a few may yet be found, according to the election of grace, who, having the Seriptures in their churches, may be taught of God, and believe to the saving of their souls, but where such are to be found, I have not yet discovered, - among Copts oi Armenians, Nestorians or Eutychians, as all appear sunk in the lowest depths of ignorance and superstition, and destitute of the life and power of godliness.
With such inauspicious prospects the heart is ready to faint, and sink in despair of attein pting a task so apparently hopeless, as reviving the stones of the desolate temple from the rubbish of ages, and infusing new life into the torpid mass : but Charity never faileth, and Faith can pierce through the thick cloud of difficulties. Who art thou, O great mountain betore Zerubbabel? - thou shalt be ome a piain.
e read what bath been done by feeble instruments, from loir small beginnings the mosi astonishing events tave arisen; we have beheld a few poor fishermen evangeizing the world, and in the name of their divine Master, in the face of dangers and opposition from Earth and Hell previring. Soine taming spirit, like Jacob Baradeus, or Luther, may arise io kindle up ihe expiring ernbers from the ashes that setin uestiinte of every vitai spark. The Lord's land is not 'shortened, that he cannot save, nor his ear heavy, that he cannot hear: le is the same yesterday, 10-day, and for ever.' . The residue of the Spirit is with him ; it'iie will work, none can let it. We have the same proinises aj o old to encourage the atteinpt: he hath engaged to be with as always, even to the end of the world; and bis charge is equally binding on us in all age, as on those to whom he enjoined, Go into and the world, and preach the gospel to every creature: he that believeti sball be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.' Awakened by his awful voice, thongh late, to a sense of duty, a few of this land have associated to renew the arduous task, in de pendence on Him who can bring strength out of weakness, and save by few as by many;
On, that all that are in Asia may bear once more ihe word of the Lord, and be turned from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God!
[To be continued)
And upon one stone shall be seven eyes, &c. The prophets were accustomed to convey instruction by symbolica! action. In this case, a stone was placed; on which were engraved the figures of seven eyes. It is thought a well-known eastern custom will illustrate the subject.
In the oriental style, the counsellors of kings are called Ocôzny40s Basahin (The Eyes of Kings). In the monarchy of Persia, whence this prophet had come, there were always seren of them. Thou art sent of the King and his seven counsellors (Ezra vii. 14.); and the names of these seven counsellors are mentioned in Esther i. 14. The prophet in this verse savs, * All these eves shall be in the foundation-stone itself;' that is to say, such shall be the perfection of wisdom and knowledge in the great antitype of this stone, Christ Jesus, the only foundation of the church of God, that he shall in no case need the advice or counsel of others. Christ, our king, hath all the stores of wisdom and counsel in himself, and needs not that any should testify of man ; for he knows what is in man. This illustration was suggested by the great Dr. Owen; and, perhaps, it may gratify some of our readers to turn to some of the passages of the Greek Classics, &c. in which the counsellors of kings are called in ir cues. uidas (in verb.) says the Persian satraps were thus designated ; because. hy them, ile king sees all things. In Jul. Pollux lib. ii, p.xo, line 7. cd. Geberi, they are called the Eyes of Kings, who inform him of that which they themselves have seen.
See Scapula in verb. oc banjos; Tenophon, (uropædia, lih. viii (p. 6+2, Hulch. 4lo edi!.); Herodotus, Clio 31, line Isi (rdit. Gale, p 49); Arina. Polil. lib. iii; Plutarch in Arlaxerx.; Aristophanes, scharnes, line 92-9). Means for promoting Looc and Harmony anong Church - Members. Sir,
To the Edilor. The following was written by a Minister of the Cinspel, and presented by
hiin to the Members of his Churclı; and which, if you think it will be usesul to other churches, you are at liberty tu insert in your valuable Magazine.
C. B. 1. To remember that we are all subject to failings and infirmities of some kind or other.
2. To bear with, and not to magnify each other's in fruities.Gal. vi. l.
3. To pray one for another in our social meetings, and especially in private. - James v. 16.
4. To avoid going from house to house, for the purpose of hearing news, and interiering in other people's business.
5. Always to turn a deaf ear to any stasiderous reports of a momber : and to pay no atiention to any charges brought against such, except wellfounded.
6. If a memiver bc in fuait, to tell him or ler of it first privately, before it be mentioned to others.
7. To watch against a shyness of each other, and to put the best con struction on any action that has the appearance of opposition or resenta inent.
8. To observe the just rule of Solomon; that is, . To leave off' contention before it be mcddled with. Proc. Ili 14.
9. II a meinber has offended, to consider how glorious, how God-like it is to forgive ; and how unlike a Christian it is to revenge.-- Eph. iv. 2.
je. Tu reisember that it is always the grand artitice vi iue Devil to pro