« AnteriorContinuar »
for ourselves of the blessings which are set of the commandments of God, and in nothing before us in it. But, alas! how is his more than in their profaneness and sabbathname in this respect slighted, disregarded, breaking. The sabbath-the sacred day of and despised by the sinful children of men ! rest from labour, the holy day of God llow small is the namber of those who earn- , affords a representation of the rest,
the peace, estly seek for the blessings which are made and the holiness of heaven. The sabbath is, known to us in the name of the Lord ! May therefore, set apart for the promotion of it not be in vain that we are made acquainted those objects which are connected with the with it! Let us earnestly seek to partake of kingdom of God, or of his reigning over the its blessings, to the consolation and rejoicing children of men. It is to be a day of public of our souls.
worship, on which the worship of heaven is As the third commandment corresponds anticipated by those who meet together in his with the first petition of the Lord's prayer
, house of prayer to worship at his footstool, so it may be said that the first and second who is seated on the throne of glory; to give commandments coincide with the address of thanks to his name, and to receive the init. If we are permitted to call upon the Lord struction of heavenly wisdom from his holy God Almighty as “our Father," it is the word. If the psalmist could say, “ A day greatest impiety to pray to other invisible in thy courts is better than a thousand" elsebeings, to treat them as God, by invoking where (Ps. Ixxxiv. 10), how ought we to or addressing them in any way. The one prize the ordinances of the house of God, living and true God in three Persons is the respecting which he has graciously promised: only omnipresent and omniscient Being in “In all places where I record my name, I the universe, the only hearer of prayer. To will come unto thee, and I will bless thee call upon any others is to “ have other gods (Exod. xx. 24). The sabbath is to be debefore him, or in his presence; whether it voted to the service of God as a day of rest be in conjunction with him, or instead of him. from worldly toil and labour, and a day on The invocation of saints, as it is called, is which we are to seek for communion and fel" idolatry to be abhorred of all faithful Chris- lowship with the Lord our God in the spirit of tians." And, if we are directed to look up- our minds, and are to be engaged especially wards to the Lord God, as being “in heaven,” in blessing and praising his holy name for and are assured that, although he is out of his good ness vouchsafed to us in “giving sight, he is within hearing, all attempts to us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. vi. excite devotion in our minds by means of 17). We should on the sacred day of rest reimages, or imaginary representations of God view the goodness of God to us in the blessor of other beings, must be most hateful to him ings of his providence, and the blessings of his who is “a jealous God," and "will not give" grace, in providing for the wants of our his “glory to another, nor” his “ praise to bodies and the wants of our souls; and we graven images” (Isa. xlii. 8).
should express our gratitude to the Giver of The second petition of the Lord's prayer all good for the “goodness and mercy” is, “ Thy kingdom come.” Here an inti- which “have followed us all the days of our ination is given that he whom we address in past lives” (Ps. xxiii. 6). We should thus prayer is the great King of heaven and earth; manifest ourselves to be the children of our but that rebellion has been successfully raised heavenly Father by our thankfulness for his against him, and therefore bis kingdom in goodness to us; and we should beseech him this world, his dominion over it, is not estab- to rule in us and reign over us; and also to lished as it ought to be. Au usurper has ob- set up his throne in the hearts of all around tained possession of the kingdom of God in us, as their King and their God, to the glory this world, who is called “ the prince of the of bis holy name. "There remaineth a rest power of the air, the spirit that now worketh to the people of God” (Heb. iv. 9) in bis in the children of disobedience” (Eph. ii. 2.) eternal kingdom and glory, of which the sabHe is also called “the god of this world, bath on earth is a type, an anticipation and tho blindeth the minds of them that believe foretaste, to them that believe in him with not" (2 Cor. iv. 4). But the time will come their whole hearts. when the God of heaven will take to himself The third petition in the Lord's prayer his great power, and reign. To this period relates to the obedience which is to be luis church and people are to look forward; paid to him: “Thy will be done in and for the coming of his kingdom they are carth as it is in heaven.” His will is done to pray continually to their heavenly Father. in heaven, by those wbo surround his throne It is painful to see how extensively and in glory, with readiness and alacrity. The powerfully Satan rules over the children of psalmist says to them: “Bless the Lord, ye men. This appears in their utter disregard his angels that excel in strengib, that do his
commandments, hearkening unto the voice | iv. 1), his blessing will rest upon us. But, of his word. Bless the Lord, all ye his hosts, alas ! this is not the case with mankind in ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure" general. On the contrary, “God is not in (Ps. ciii. 20, 21). The most entire obedience all their thoughts” (Ps. x: 4), with regard to is paid to the will of God in heaven. We that which is pleasing to him. As he is inpray that this may likewise “be done in visible, they have no respect to him. But earth.” Were the dominion and authority of our Saviour teaches his disciples, who bethe Lord our Maker acknowledged and his lieve in him, to look up to Almighty God will obeyed in this world, how happy would with affection as their Father, to regard him men be! But, alas! how commonly are all as the Governor of the universe, who has all the commandments of God broken in this things under his control, who “sitteth above world! What idolatry is practised in it! the water-floods as King for ever” (Ps. xxix. How awful is the state of the heathen, who 11), ordering all things in providence and in know not God! How awful is the state of grace for them that put their trust in him as those nations, which call themselves Chris. their mighty Protector and their gracious tians, but have set up among themselves the Benefactor. He is therefore "greatly to be impious worship of the virgin Mary, the in- feared, and to be had in reverence of all” (Ps. vocation of saints, the abomination of wafer Ixxxix. 7) who approach him. Our minds worship, and the adoration of images, and are to be solemnized before him. And, while which indulge in the practice of profane we submit ourselves to his dominion or answearing, and the desecration of the seventh- thority, we are to endeavour to promote the day sabbath, instead of which they observe extension of his kingdom upon earth by every festival days of their own devising, while means in our power. He is pleased to make they set aside the Lord's day! And use of means for this purpose, that the empire among ourselves, how awful is the state of the which his adversary Satan has erected in this blasphemer and the sabbath-breaker, who world may be subverted, and the kingdoms of profess to have a purer faith than others, and the world” may“ become the kingdoms of our yet live in disobedience to what God has Lord, and of his Christ”, and he may “reign commanded, or in the practice of that which for ever and ever” (Rev. xi. 15). While we he has forbidden.
pray, “Thy kingdom come," it is incumbent Let us consider what is our duty towards upon us to use our best endeavours and efforts God, as he has himself enjoined it upon us. to promote it, and at the same time to pray Let us consider what our Saviour has directed that his blessing may rest upon all the feeble his disciples to pray for, as that which is attempts which are made by his servants to pleasing to God, and relating to the accom- set forth his glory, and to set forward the salplishment of his will in the world. Let us vation of mankind. While we pray, “ Thy not be indifferent to that which is of such un- will be done in earth,” it becomes us to avoid speakable importance to every one of us; but doing that which he has forbidden. We are let our prayer from the heart be that of the also to avow ourselves on all occasions to be psalmist : " Teach me to do thy will; for thou the subjects of the great King of heaven and art my God: thy Spirit is good : lead me in earth ; and to remember that we are “not the” path“ of righteousness” (Ps. cxliii. 10), our own, for we are bought with a price” (1 that I may walk
therein, and find rest to my Cor. vi. 19), that of the most precious blood of soul. It is the will of God that the children our Redeemer, and therefore are under the of men should be reconciled to him, that they most powerful obligations to love and serve should call upon him as their Father, which and please him, to live to his glory, and show they are encouraged to do through Jesus forth his praise. This our bounden duty Christ our Saviour, and that they should live should ever deeply impress our minds. Thus in obedience to his holy word and command we shall be enabled to look forward in hope ments, under the sanctifying influence of his to his kingdom of glory, that, when we shall Holy Spirit, who helpeth their infirmities, or have done with all things here below, we strengtheneth them in their weakness, when shall be blessed by him eternally, and shall they seek his aid. Those only, who thus do rejoice in having the God of heaven as our his will, will be acknowledged by him as his Father throughout the countless ages of children, and be blessed by him eternally. eternity. That this may be our happiness,
If“ all things are of God," with us all will may he of his infinite mercy grant for Christ's be well. If we refer to him every thing that sake; to whom with the Father and the concerns us, and consider every thing as it Holy Ghost be honour and glory everlasting. has respect to his blessed will, and are desir. Amen. ous “to walk” so as “ to please” him, and therein to “abound more and more" (1 Thess.
NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. fare: it engages us to a warfare of prayer and
watching and wrestling, daily, and hourly, Oct. 29.
against the obstinate strivings of the “old man (Epistle.]—“Henceforth, walk not as other Gentiles within us, which dieth only when grace is made walk."--Eph. iv. 13.
perfect in our death ; which can be resisted and
subdued only in the power of that Spirit whereOUR “ walk” is but a brief pilgrimage, so short by we are sealed unto the day of redemption. that there is but a span between the cradle and "O God, forasmuch as without thee we are and the grave. The one indeed is but the gate of not able to please thee, mercifully grant that thy the other; we do but wake up in time to lie Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our down in eternity. How intensely concerned hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen” should we then be to be taught of him, who is the (Collect for the day). divine “ Doorkeeper” of the heavenly mansions! to learn of him, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! For, to be ignorant of THE GENERAL CHARACTER OF APOS. him and his truth is not only blindness, but mad
TOLIC PREACHING". ness; not only madness, but self-murder ; because it is alienation from the life of God, which is de- | Arostolic preaching involved warning or counstruction for ever. In vain shall any be for us, if sel. It did so to the unconverted. The gospel is, God be against us. It is to give place to the by necessary implication, a message of warning: devil, to assign that place in our hearts, where It is a message of salvation; and salvation implies the Prince of glory would have built up his beau- danger. “Unto you is born a Saviour,” is an antitul temple, as an altar to the prince of darkness, nouncement never made in heaven; for the angels whose wages are the destruction of body and soul in heaven are unfallen. “Unto you is born a Sain hell. If, then, we would have no part in the viour” is an announcement not made in hell ; ignorance, and blindness, and madness and alien- for the angels of hell are fallen, without hope or ation, which are the coin he gives us for present remedy. The gospel is God's message of mercy to wages, however silvered over with all that can fallen man. “He hath appointed a day in the impart earthly contentment, or gilt with that which which he will judge the world in righteousness :" may lure and bloat the vanity of our mind ; if we thus Paul preached, thus we preach. deem eternal ruin to be too costly a price to pay preach, as Paul preached, Jesus who delivereth for a few brief years, or it may be, as God bath from the wrath to come. appointed, for a few more moments, of“ enmity” To believers also was apostolic preaching often with the Lord of life, let us cease to walk as in words of warning. Look through the epistles. “other Gentiles walk," and come out at once from The chapter which immediately succeeds our text among them. Let us put off the “old man,” is one of warning: “Beware lest any man spoil and put on the “new man.” And let us lose you: let no man beguile you.” The Corinthians no time. The youngest among us may are warned of the devices of him “ who beguiled the first among us to be summoned to render up Eve by his subtilty,” and who is sometimes “transhis soul; yea, this very day, this very hour, and formed into an angel of light.” The Galatians are die without having put off the "old man;" warned that, if they yield to the seductions of Juyourg though he be in his own eyes, old in the daizing teachers, they must fall from grace. In Judge's, because full, alas ! of years of ungodli- the epistle to the Hebrews are found warnings
Choose we then betimes, both young and against apostacy of the inost thrilling character, old, the “ better part:" suffer we the “ loss of all unsurpassed for their solemnity, even in the divine things, and count them all dung, so that we may word; that so they might “ hold fast the beginning win Christ, and be found in him” (Phil. iii. 8; of their confidence stedfast unto the end." second lesson for evening service); so that we may And does not this portion of our text present hear him say to our souls, “This my son but too humblingly to our consciences a branch dead, and is alive again : he was lost, and is of our ministerial work in which we have been found. .... Bring forth the best robe, and put it on peculiarly deficient-our work of warning? When him” (Luke xv. 24, 32 ; second lesson in morning error sweeps across the church, and our Hocks are service). This it is to put on the new man,” to be in danger of being driver about by its blasts, are renewed in the spirit of our mind by the sanctify- ve (not always nor often by a controversial tone ing Spirit, which dwelleth and liveth in the soul of preaching, but by the bold, plain statement of of the penitent. And, if he dwell and live in us
antagonist truth) zealous, watchful for their stedby repentance and faith, the Father will not only fastness and safety ? Or do we so trim our sails, give us the robe, the best robe, the garment of the in fear of man and of injury to our prospects of Son's righteousness, as clothing for our naked. preferment, as that we leave them in danger, an ness, but the Son himself will perfect his strength
easy prey ? in our weakness. To God and to our neighbour,
Nor may we imagine that we stand acquitted even unto ourselves, we shall appear as men;" full of truthfulness, haters of all lying and ings descend not to the peculiar sins of our own
of ministerial unfaithfulness, so long as our warndeceit, working that which is good in our whole conversation and dealings, putting away all people. There is danger of great sophistry in this
matter. We may deem ourselves faithful because bitterness and wrath, and evil speaking and malice; being kind one to another, and tender- * From “Preaching:" a sermon preached at the visitation hearted, forgiving one another, even as God
of the ven. the archdeacon of Coventry. By the rev. John
C. Miller, M.A., rector of St. Martin's, Birmingham. Lonfor Christ's sake hath forgiven us.
But our new
don: Hatchards. Birmingham : Hall. A very valuable birth unto Christ is the forerunner of a new war- discourse.-ED.
we preach the doctrines of the gospel faithfully- | receive the tidings that such a one from among set forth, that is, the person, natures, work, offices, our stated hearers has been called hence, his day and character of Christ as the Saviour of sinnets; of grace ended ? Are our consciences clear? Do and preach ruin by the fall, redemption through they testify that our preaching was so plain and grace alone, renewable by his Spirit. This our full and clear, that, if his soul be lost, his blood is people may hear, and hear gladly; and our fame in no measure on our heads ? may be noised abroad as faithful preachers. But Let us be in earnest, and we shall preach in the while, the besetting sins of our parishes or earnest. “ The most, I fear, in all our congrecongregations, covetousness, worldliness, strife, gations," said the devoted M'Cheyne, "are sailbitter tongnies and tempers, drunkenness, fraud in ing easily down the stream into an undone etercommercial dealings, self-indulgence, may be un- nity, unconverted and unawakened. Brethren, faithfully passed by.
they will not thank us in eternity for speaking I have named covetousness and self-indulgence. smooth things, for sewing pillows to their armIn this our day, and in our manufacturing and holes, and saying, Peace, peace, when there is no commercial districts, it becomes the ministers of peace. No, they may praise us now; but they will God to take heed lest they be timorous and un- curse our flattery in eternity.” faithful on this point. We must not be cowards
We observe, further, that individuality of appliin our pulpits, for fear of offending leading mer
cation was a prominent characteristic of apostohe chants and manufacturers and men of wealth in preaching :.“ warning every man,” he repeats it, our congregations, and fail to warn them that " and teaching every man,” he reiterates it, “ that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of we may present every man.” Our people will a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the king- stand in their individuality at the judgment dom of God”—to remind them of their steward bar: in their individuality will they partake the ship, their Master, and their reckoning—to charge joys of heaven, or be consigned to the second them, “ that they be not high-minded, nor trust in death.” We preach to them as congregations. uncertain riches that they do good, that They will not be judged as congregations: they they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, will die alone. Individually their souls need willing to communicate”—to point to their “ceiled the Saviour whom we preach : we must not, houses,” their luxurious elegances, and costly then, stop short in vague generalities. While we viands, and to press on them a high standard of may not preach at them, neither must we preach Christian liberality, at a crisis in the world's and
as before them, but to them. We must classify, the church's history, when doors of duty are
we must individualize. It must not be always opening on every side, both at home and in foreign “ Ye,” but often “Thou.” Rich and poor, old
and lands, and the advance of the Redeemer's gospel
male and female; merchants, mangkingdom is hindered by the selfishness and the facturers, tradesmen, mechanics, servants; each covetousness of the Christian church.
must be warned and taught. Each, indeed, with So with the unconverted generally. As we
the great truths of the gospel, but each in more compose our sermons, as we ascend our pulpits
, special reference to his own duties, and soares,
and dangers. as we address our congregations, we must do it as first impressed ourselves, and then desiring to “There," says Daillé, "are the two parts of the
The apostle adds,“ teaching every man." impress them with their present imminent, urgent office of a good preacher, to wit, admonition and danger. We must beware of falling gradually into instruction. The first compriseth all the remonthe habit of regarding our Sunday's sermon as a matter-of-course composition, which is to occupy prehend their faults, or to excite their diligence,
strances that are made to sinners; whether to apa half-hour or more of the time allotted to divine
or to comfort their sorrows, or advertise them of service ; which
may be planned or penned hastily on a Saturday, without thought or care, and taineth all the lessons of heavenly doctrine, the
any other part of their duty. The second conpreached perfunctorily on the Sunday, without exposition of each of the articles of the mystery earnestuess or anxiety. Let us realize in our of godliness. Admonition reformeth manners: studies, on our knees, and at our desks, that we teaching informs faith. The one moveth the will are preparing to speak for God and for souls—in and the affections: the other instructs the underGod's 's name to souls in danger, souls sunk in the
standing." varied form of worldliness and sin, souls on the brink of eternal glories or eternal burnings.
The apostle's teaching was " in all wisdom.”
What this wisdom was, we gather from 1 Cor. i. Let us realize this as we prepare : let us realize 21: “We preach Christ crucified, the power of as we preach. Our spirit indeed may be that of God and the wisdom of God ;” and ii. 6: “ Howthe apostle, who elsewhere speaks: “I ceased not beit we speak wisdom among them that are perto warn every one night and day with tears.” It fect; yet not the wisdom of lis world, por of the may be, should be tender, but yet earnest. We princes of this world, that come to nought; but need not scold our people, nor rant at them; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even we must warn them earnestly. There must be the bidden wisdom, which God ordained before no withholding of the solemn truth, that the the world unto our glory;" the same mystery of Christless sinner must spend his eternity in hell. wbich he writes in the verse preceding our text, We must preach to them as realizing that that “the riches of the glory of this mystery," and man in yonder pew, who is now sitting listlessly this is Christ. In hin « are lid all the treasures and sleepily under my sermon, in a few hours may of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. ii. 3). be prostrate in racking pain, or wild delirium, The gospel is the revelation, not of the grace upon a bed of sickness; if he drop not (as men do alone, nor of the power, but of the wisdom of drop) in an instant into eternity. How do we God; “ to the intent that now unto the princi
1 palities and powers in beavenly places might be ficially examined ; not sermons driven off to the - known by the church the manifold wisdom of last moment on Saturday, but sermons prayed on 2.God.” It is the wisdom of God displayed in and thought on, from texts prayed on and thought fue combination with leis every other attribute and on. To this end we must be resolute in resisting ** perfection-his holiness, his truth, his justice, his a temptation wbich the youngest amongst us wust
power, his love-in the solution of the great pro- have experienced the temptation of imagining oblem. How shall man, a fallen rebel, a creature that we are never labouring for our people, never 2. become corrupt by sin, be restored, in consistency in our work, but wben we are traversing our ** with the divine character and perfection, to God's | parish, busy in our committees, bustling to and 2 favour and God's image? And the “principali- tro. Our sermons are no bye part of our work.
ties and powers in heavenly places” admire the They must not be slurred. It is not a question - solution given to that momentous question in the whether we can spare time for them. They are
glorious gospel of Christ; the exceeding riches of not every thing; but they are much, very much, the wisdom ao less than of the grace, which Other things must give place to them. Nor to peoples heaven with the family of saints-every the very sermon itself only, but to the storing of saint a fallen sinner saved !
our minds with such knowledge as shall make us, It is the wisdom of the preacher to preach “the un ler divine teaching, as wise scribes instructed wisdom of God.” Paul had been brought up at unto the kingdom of beaven. Is it not not greatly Gamaliel's feet. But Paul took even to philo. to be feared that the effects of our busy out-door sophic Athens and to refined Corinth, not the wis- activity are already telling upon our preaching? dom taught by Gamaliel, but the wisdom taught Our studies being deserted, not other books only, by the Spirit of God. “The deep things of God,” | but our very bibles hastily read (not searched and even the things freely given of God to sinners in studied): our sermons lack variety, richness, clearhis gospel, these, learned by the deep revealings ness, adaptation, power. We, in this town and of the Spirit, were his wisdom and his theme. neighbourhood, are peculiarly exposed to this
Nor were his words the words of carnal wis- danger; but it behoves us to remember that no dom, the rhetoric of the schools: “My speech success in other branches of our ministry can comand my preaching was not with enticing words of pensate for the enervating of this, “ Preach the man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit word.” And specially is it to be borne in mind, and of power. Which things also we speak, not that we have to do with a thinking, a reading, an in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but inquiring age. which the Holy Ghost teacheth.”
We, brethren, preach not infallibly, as did Paul, because God vouchsafes not to us the same plenary inspiration. Yet is God's wisdom our theme. In
Poetry. Christ we open up “all the treasures of wisdom and knc wledge.” We must desire to have our
IMMORTALITY. flocks well instructed in Christ; every doctrine,
BY RICHARD HUIE, M.D. every duty, every hope, drawn from him, centred in him. And he preaches most wi-ely, who most
(For the Church of England Magazine). fully and most simply, with simplicity of words no less than of doctrine, makes it bis one great
Am I immortal? Shall my soul aim to unfold Christ to sinners and to believers;
Survive yon glorious sun ?
And, u hile unceasing ages roll, showing, alike to sinners and to believers, that in
Shall my existence run, Christ is all the knowledge necessary to their
As far from its eternal goal, salvation.
As wben 'twas first begun? But this wisdom may be understood as cmbracing not only the great subject-matter of our
Immense idea! 'Tis in vain
I strive its breadth to grasp ; preaching, “ Christ the wisdom of God," made of God wisdom unto us, but every subordinate point
As soon might I the swelling main
Within my fingers clasp ; connected with the preparation of our sermons, Or bid yon column sweep the plain and with our preaching, choice of suljects and
As limber as the asp. texts, composition, manner of delivery, and the like.“ He that winneth souls is wise.” We, if
Time was, I on my parents' knees
Was laid a helpless child; we be wise stewards an preachers, shall deem
Time is, I woo the mountain breeze nothing wholly uninportant, the neglect of which
Upon the desert will; may binder, attention to which may promote, our Time will be, leaves from quivering trees usefulness and efficiency, by avoiding needless
Shall on my tumb be piled. prejndice or distaste. And, reverend brethren, to
But, when the desert and the tomb those among us, who are younger in the ministry
Avd irees and all are gone ; tban nyself, í may without presumption or
When sun and stars are wrapt in gloom, offence address words which become me not to
Apil o'er earth's startled zone others: I have selected the subject of this dis- The hurricane has ceased to boom, course under the deep conviction that we have
My soul shall still live on! great need to be reminded ot the large measure of
On, on, when hearen has passed away, our prayers, of our studies, of our diligence, and
My stream of lile shall How; of our time, which this momentous branch of our
On, on, when time and night and day ministerial commission demands. We must preach
Nu shifting sharlows throw; sin all wisdom.” Not crude and basty sermons Yet neither lavguor por decay on texts hurriedly chosen, and on subjects super
Shall my young spirit know !