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The proud Pharisees were displeased because These considerations will account for the Jesus bad gone to dine with Zaccheus. But Jesus frequent recurrence in the scriptures of prehad changed the heart of Zaccheus that day; and he said to the proud Jews, “ This day salvation is cepts of the same import as that set before come to this house. Zaccheus also is a son of
On such a subject we need to have line Abraham."
upon line and precept upon precept. Even How do we know that the heart of Zaccheus they who do in the general feel, and wish to was changed ? Because the love of money was feel more, their dependence upon God, yet taken out of his heart. He stood up at his table need to be reminded of this which is both before all the people, and said to Jesus that he their duty and privilege, and to be specially wished from that day to give half of all he had to cautioned against that self-dependence lo the poor; and, as for the poor people whom which we are naturally prone. he had falsely accused, he would give them four times as much money as he had taken from them
Cases of doubt are frequently occurring in to make it up. He wished to be one of the dis- the experience of all men, in which the reaciples of Jesus, and to have treasure in heaven. sons for pursuing opposite lines of conduct
My dear children, how shall we know whether appear to be almost equally balanced. The Jesus has changed your hearts ? I will tell you true servant of God is by no means exempt one way by which we shall know. If you bave from such trials. He is indeed delivered been passionate, you will grow gentle and mild. If you have told lies, you will leave it off, and from the perplexity felt by those who delionly speak the truth. If you have been disobe- berate continually whether they shall obey dient to your parents, you will run to do every God or man; whether they shall follow a thing they tell you. If you have had any naughty multitude to do evil, or stand forth on the ways, we shall see that you are trying and pray- Lord's side. Only let him know what is the ing to get rid of them all.
command or will of God concerning the And O! remember, my dear little readers, that matter in question, and he will obey it. But if your bearts are not changed, you can never be where Jesus is. You must have new and holy his perplexity is of another kind, viz., to ashearts given you, to make you fit for heaven. certain what is the will of God. Wishing as Jesus calls this being born again; and these are
he does to decide and act in the manner most his words; “Except a man be born again, he can- conducive to the glory of God, and agreeable not see the kingdom of God” (John iii. 3). And to his Christian profession, he is drawn toyou do not need to be very rich, or great, or wards different courses by reasons which apwise, in order to get this new heart. God says, pear to be almost equally balanced. Now “A new heart will I give you :" Ask, and ye shall receive.”
what says the wisest of men, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, to such persons ? “ Trust in the Lord with all thine
heart. THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD IN ALL
The first thing to be done in any case of OUR WAYS:
doubt is to look to the Lord. We cannot, it Sermont,
is true, at all times or in all places bow the
knee in solemn supplication to God, though BY THE Rev. M. M. PRESTON, M.A., this would be the best preparation before
entering upon any important decision or unVicar of Cheshunt.
dertaking; but we are never debarred from PROV. iii. 5, 6.
that sort of prayer which may be equally
efficacious-the silent lifting up of the heart " Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not
to the Father of our spirits. We should culto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him; and he shall direct thy paths."
tivate such a continual regard to God that
the reference of every doubt to him should HABITUAL dependence upon himself is the be made at once spontaneously, without an state of mind to which it is the design of God effort, as a thing of course.
Such appears to by his word, and by his Spirit and providence have been the habit of the holy men of old, conspiring with it, to bring us, as the state whose conduct is recorded in scripture for mosi conducive to our own happiness. our imitation. David says: “I have set the
Nothing can be more contrary than this, as Lord always before me: because he is at my to the state of mind which is natural to us, right hand I shall not be moved ;” and and which is likely to be confirmed by an many particular instances are specified in his unguarded intercourse with the world ; for to history which denote his usual practice. forget God, as to acknowledge him only at Before he attempted the deliverance of the such times and only so far as we are con- city of Keilah from the Philistines (1 Sam. strained to do so, is manifestly more in xxiii.)," he inquired of the Lord, saying, agreement with the spirit and the practice of Shall I go and smite the Philistines, and men in general.
save Keilah ?" And afterwards, when he
had saved the inhabitants, and might there- cepts would without them. We see here fore reasonably have expected them to pro- trust in God in actual operation; not the tect him from the designs of Saul, still, in- profession of it only, which is easily made by stead of trusting to their word, or to his own a person reposing at his ease, but the real exreasoning respecting them, he again con- ercise of it in trying emergencies. sulied his God. He said : “ O Lord God It is in this way that we should cultivate of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard habitual dependence upon God for direction; that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to de- and our dependence upon him should not be stroy the city for my sake. Will the men of partial and faint-hearted, but cordial and unKeilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul reserved : “Trust in the Lord,” says the come down, as thy servant hath heard? O text,“ with all thine heart.” This addition Lord God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy to the precept shows us what our trust in servant! And the Lord said, He will come God too commonly is, and instructs us what down. They will deliver thee up.” And it should be. Too commonly we trust in so again, while he abode with bis men at God not with all our heart. We half believe Ziklag, he did not venture upon the pursuit that he is to be trusted: we think of him as of the Amalekites, who had carried off their if he were like ourselves—sometimes unwives and children into captivity, without willing, sometimes unable to direct us; or we first asking counsel of the Lord. He was join to our confidence in him, such as it is, an greatly disıressed by the murmurings of his undue dependence upon some device of our people, who talked of stoning him ; but (we own; or we expect direction to be afforded read)“ David encouraged himself in the Lord to us in one particular way, and despair of his God”. And he inquired,“ Shall I pursue receiving it in any other way; and what is after this troop? shall I overtake them ? And the consequence ?
When matters do not he answered him, Pursue; for thou shalt proceed smoothly, and in the expected surely overtake them, and without fail re- course; when we find our path hedged up, cover all.”
and no light shining upon it, we are apt to Many similar examples might be mentioned, renounce our trust in God, and to make it but one which seems particularly deserving of manifest that our boasted confidence was selection is that of Nehemiah. When he heard mainly supported, not by the promise of at the court of king Artaxerxes, to whom he God, but by some human means which we was cup-bearer, of the deep affliction of his deemed adequate to the accomplishment of brethren, who were returned from captivity our wishes, but which have disappointed us. in Babylon to Jerusalem, and conceived the Our heart has been divided between selfdesign of exerting his influence with the king dependence and dependence upon God. I. in their behalf, he did not rush at once to the we trusted in God with all our heart, we execution of his purpose, but first made should not faint and be discouraged by apsolemn confession and supplication before the pearances contrary to our hopes, but should God of heaven. He concluded his prayer look beyond them. We should chide ourwith these words: “O Lord, I beseech thee, selves for rising unbelief, and say, as the let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of psalmist said, under frowning providences : thy servants who desire to fear thy name; * Why art thou cast down, O my soul ? and and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this why art thou disquieted within me? Hope day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this thou in God; for I will yet praise him who man,” meaning the king on whom he was is the health of my countenance, and my going to attend. And, when the king, per- God." ceiving from his countenance that sometbing
We should consider that there are many lay heavy upon his spirits, said, “Why is ways unknown to us, in which the Almighty thy countenance sad ?'' and added, “ For can accomplish his own will. His settled what dost thou make request ?” he did not purpose is to make all things work together reply to this question without first looking for good to them that love him. If thereup to the King of kings. “So I prayed," fore we have committed the keeping of our says he, “to the God of heaven; and I said souls to him in well-doing, we need not unto the king, If it please the king, and if doubt. We should add with Job : “ Though thy servant have found favour in thy sight, he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, This should be the frame of our mind unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that towards God; and, if it were, he would never I may build it.”
disappoint any expectation founded upon his I have brought before you these examples, own promise; but alas ! how seldom is it because they show us more of what is meant that our faith in him rises with the difficulby trusting in the Lord ihan a thousand pre- tics which are appointed to prove it! Too often, after having experienced on many oc- element, and performs its proper office. Its casions the faithfulness of God in a manner proper office is to act as the minister, the which has even astonished and made us servant, not the director, of the Spirit and ashamed of our unbelief, we have trembled word of God. When the understanding is and fainted under very inferior trials; as if thus brought into its proper place, God comnow at length we should be forsaken; as if monly works by means of it. Its decisions inthe arm of the Lord were at last shortened, deed are never to be trusted when they are or his ear heavy, so that he could not hear. contrary to the written word of God; but in It was after the Lord had repeatedly de- answer to prayer it is often made to perceive, livered David, not only out of the paw of the as it would not otherwise, the applicability of lion, and out of the paw of the bear, and scriptural directions to the case in point, and from the sword of Goliath, but from the to proceed with a promptitude and vigour more dangerous designs and pursuits of Saul combined with humility, from a consciousand the many courtiers of Saul who sought ness of the divine presence and favour, which his life, that “ David said in his heart (1 it could not attain to in any other way. Sam. xxvii
. 1), I shall now perish one day The peace of mind which naturally flows by the hand of Saul”; and then, without ask from the consideration that we have, acing counsel of the Lord, treacherously allied cording to the divine command, committed himself with Achish, king of Gath, and our way unto the Lord, is certainly very thereby brought himself into such perplexity, favourable to the right exercise of the underthat nothing but the intervention of the Lord, standing, besides that God does sometimes influencing, contrary to expectation, the put peculiar honour upon those who have minds of the lords of the Philistines, rescued honoured him by renouncing all dependence him from dishonour and destruction. So upon their own wisdom and might, and praytoo, when Jehoshaphat, who had for form's ing to him for direction and help of this sake caused Micaiah, a prophet of the Lord, we have some interesting examples in the to be consulted, yet went, against counsel, history of Daniel. We find him carrying with Ahab to the battle of Ramoth Gilead; all his difficulties to the throne of God, asit was only by God moving the captains of cribing to him alone wisdom and might, both the chariots to depart from him that he while his doubts were pending and after they narrowly escaped from the snare laid for him were resolved; and accordingly we find him by his treacherous ally.
pre-eminently favoured, not only with a high The great hindrance to a simple and reputation for excellency of understanding, unreserved trust in God is that against but with visions and revelations where human which we are particularly cautioned in the understanding failed. text, “the leaning to our own under- Now it may be thought that it is only on standing ;” 10 which we are the more prone, great occasions that we are at liberty to exbecause, though our own understanding must ercise trust in God. But what says the text? not be depended upon as an infallible guide, “ In all thy ways acknowledge him." Here it must not be neglected. This would be to is a great encouragement to those of us, my put out what is called in scripture the “can- friends, who cannot but feel that our condle of the Lord in man”.
cerns, though important and interesting to What then, you will say, is meant by the ourselves, are little indeed as compared with precept, “ Lean not to thine own understand the concerns in which many other men are ing”? This, we conceive, is meant: Do not engaged; and how much less we might be put it in the place of God: do not consult it apt to think in the sight of that God who is without first supplicating, at least without so far exalted above all that we can conceive habitually supplicating direction from God; of him. The scripture, however, has not and use it only in dependence upon him and in left us in doubt on a point so interesting to subordination to his teaching. By first having us. Our Lord Jesus Christ has assured us recourse, as we are commanded, to God, we that not a hair of our head falls to the ground do not renounce the use of our understand without the permission of our heavenly ing, but we turn our understanding, as it Father: we are privileged and commanded were, to the light. While turned away from to regard every event as subject to his conGod, which it is naturally, it is in darkness trol and appointment; and we are permitted in every thing relating to the will of God : to carry all our doubts and anxieties, arising like the part of the earth which is turned out of our various circumstances and relations away from the sun, it gropes and stumbles in in life, to him, as we would do to a wise and the plainest matters; but, when turned to affectionate parent, in whose power and willingwards God, the Source of all light, it is set ness to counsel and help us we had the fullest at liberty to act, it moves as in its proper confidence. Though God is so highly exalted, he is not too high to listen to the prayer of, ways unknown to you, in which Almighty the humblest supplicant, and on the most God can direct yon, without any thing aptrifling occasion that can affect his happi- proaching to a miracle or an immediate reveness. The readiness of a parent to grant the lation, which in these days we have no reason requests of a child does not depend only on to expect. After praying to him for directhe importance of the occasion on which his tion, you must consult his written word, obaid is solicited, but rather proceeds from an serve the leadings of his Providence, listen to habitual tenderness, which inclines him to at the suggestions of his Spirit, and the advice tend to every thing which even appears to of Christian friends; and, generally by means the child himself to be important. And such of these, sometimes perhaps by means which are the kindness and condescension of our hea. cannot be distinctly defined, you will in due venly Father: “ Like as a father pitieth his time be enabled to decide and act so far as it children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear shall be necessary for you to decide and act. him; for he knoweth our frame, he remem- Sometimes your strength may be to "stand bereth that we are dust." And, in truth, still, and see what the Lord himself will do." things which appear to us to be compara- You may observe probably, in reflecting upon tively important or unimportant are fre- the past dealings of the Lord with you, that quently quite the contrary; for the most you have frequently had little to do persontrifling things, as we account them, often ally in the measures or events which have at lead to the most interesting results; and, on last made your path of duty abundantly clear. the other hand, things which appear to us to A sudden turn, over which you have had no be vastly important end in what seems to be control, has given a perfectly new complerof no moment.
ion to a long course of events, and thus enLet us, my friends, charge ourselves to abled you to come at once to a conclusion acknowledge God more than we have done. which you believed to be very distant. Such He is graciously pleased to regard the ac- unexpected turns may again occur, and at once knowledgment of his hand on all occasions cut short a long chain of anxious thought. as an honour done to himself; and surely no- Permit me, however, to caution you thing would so secure our own happiness. against the expectation or the wish that Which must be the happiest man-he, who you should
should ever be brought into such thinks that he is driven at random upon a circumstances during your continuance tempestuous sea by winds, which sometimes in this world, that you should cease bring him near, but more frequently bear to feel the need of continual direction and him away from the object of his wishes? or he, help froin above. It is chiefly perhaps by who believes that God, who commands both means of continually recurring difficulties of the winds and the waves, is sitting at the one kind or another that our heavenly Father helm of his bark, and will bring him in keeps us in that state of dependence upon safety to the haven where he would be? himself, which is most desirable, and, indeed, Many rocks and quicksands may be near the is necessary to our present and everlasting course of navigation; but the Pilot well welfare. It is observable that the instances knows how to steer in the midst of them; which we have noticed in David's histary and nothing can happen which has not been occurred during that period of his life when foreseen and provided for by him. This he was in perpetual danger from the designs happiness, Christian brethren, is yours. of his enemies. Then he lived near to Gol: Why should you not more fully realize it? then be wrote many of those divine hymus, The promise of God in the text--and there by which the souls of many have been are many others equally explicit-is, that, if brought near to God in all succeeding ages. you acknowledge God in all your ways, he But it was when the Lord had given him will direct your paths.
Rest, brethren, upon rest from all his enemies round about, when that promise. Are you perplexed and be there were comparatively no troubles and wildered—sometimes at your very wits' end? doubts to drive him to a throne of grace,
you see no possibility of being extri- that he forgat for a time what the Lord his cated from your difficulty without having re-God had done for him, and brought that foul course to some measure of a sinful, or, at reproach upon his otherwise noble and exbest, of a doubtful character? Hear again alted character. the word of the Lord : “ Fret not thyself in Let this consideration reconcile you, my any wise to do evil :” “Trust in the Lord, friends, to the continuance of trials which and do good :” “Rest in the Lord, and wait cost you much doubt and anxiety. It is not patiently for him :" "I will instruct thee, and necessary that you should see far beforehand teach thee in the way thou shall go : I will the path in which you are to tread. It is guide thee with mine eye.” There are many enough to feel assured, as you may, that,
when the time for you to move forward | sweetened our entertainment; and fervent prayer shall be come, the cloud which rests upon your for the divine blessing made all our labours liyht. tabernacle shall ascend, and go before you.
After meeting in dismal and ill-lighted schoolMeanwhile, it shields you from many burn- boast of), and feeling the varied disappointments
rooms (wbich were all the offices we could then ing heats, and hides you from malicious as- incident to our first atteinpt to extend the operasaults. It will direct you, not perhaps by tions of the society, it was delightful to recruit the shortest, but by the best way to the city our wasted spirits on the occasions just described. of habitation—the resting-place where you To every committee of a branch such meetings would be. From that peaceful abode in the may, with great propriety, be recommended for mount of God you shall look back with ad- imitation, care being taken that they are conmiring gratitude on the way by which you expense on poorer members. “Better is a feast
ducted in such a frugal manner as not to entail were conducted in safety through ten thou- of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and sand dangers which beset your path, and of hatred therewith.” The names of two departed which, when surrounded by them, you knew friends, William Flood and Lewis Teulon, are little or nothing Only you believed, what associated with these meetings. Their memory then
you shall see, that they were all contri. is still affectionately cherished by all who knew buting in their measure to the accomplish- called, however, from their labours on behalf of
their piety and Christian worth. They were early ment of the divine purpose respecting you, the society to a better world. viz., his own glory and your salvation. Another of my recollections is, the evening on
That God may be glorified, not by the which our association received its present útle, condemnation of any, but by the salvation of and when a junction was formed between the two every one of you; that you may all commit societies which had previously existed under the yourselves to the guidance and protection of names of the London and Westminster Society, the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and by him The rev. Baptist Noel's school-room had been lent
and the City of London Young Men's Society. be led unto the Father, and to the heavenly for the occasion, and was crowded with young Jerusalem, there to walk for ever in the men. Love and harmony were delightfully prelight of his countenance, is my earnest wish valent on that occasion ; and the divine blessing and
prayer. May none of you frustrate that was earnestly implored to cement the connexion prayer by rejecting him who is the way, the which had just been formed. Many dear brethtruth, and the life!
ren, before strangers to each other, were then brought together for the first time; but a lesson
of the danger of division was to be taught. One REMINISCENCES OF THE CHURCH OF posed, but determined, in spite of all solicitations,
section would not yield to the terms of union proENGLAND YOUNG MEN'S SOCIETY*. to set up as an independent society. Deprived
of the support which it would have had by con
nection with the parent stem, it gradually withered My first recollections of the society are in con- away, and ceased to exist. “ Be ye perfectly nexion with a lecture delivered on its behalf, some joined together in one mind,” is surely a lesson years ago, by its early friend and tried supporter, taught by this little incident. the rev. Mr. Champneys, in a small and obscure
Another of my recollections is that of our first school-room in one of the most destitute districts social meeting. A few friends had resolved to of the metropolis. A few young men
drink tea together, and converse on the progress gathered together, and listened to an address filled of the society; but, to the surprise of those who bad with the most animating and heart-stirring topics. planned this simple re-union, instead of a dozen “Persevere, my friends," said the lecturer. “I friends or so, as had been expected, the aparthope to see the day when this room will not be ment in which we met was crowded with visitors. able to hold you.”. On perceiving, a month ago, This success was quite disconcerting, as no prethe large hall at the Freemasons’-tavern filled parations for a meeting had been made. All, well nigh to overflowing, I could not avoid, with however, came off better than the most sanguiné humble gratitude, recognizing the fulfilment, the could have hoped. A holy and a heavenly framuch more than fulfilment, of this prophetic grance pervaded that meeting, which showed that aspiration.
the devotional services were accompanied with an Another of my recollections in connexion with unction from above. This was the commencethe society is, the early meetings which used to ment of those delightful social re-unions which are be held by the original members of the parent now held each half-year in the metropolis. How sub-committee at each other's house, to arrange refreshing and how cheering such meetings have the leading business, and to pray for the divine proved, let those who have attended them say ! blessing upon their labours. Å frugal repast Many other reminiscences of our society's early, generally concluded these meetings, but with far history I might detail for the encouragement of more propriety than Horace did may I speak of our youthful members. I might speak of how them as having been
our hopes alternately rose and fell; of the self
denying labours imany beloved brethren whom "Noctes, cænæque Deûm."
we may no nam Christian love was the grand element which ties; of the silent progress which in spite of ub
jour struggles and difficul* From the “Quarterly Paper" of the Society. stacles, the society insensibly made but I hasten
BY ONE OF ITS EARLY MEMBERS.