Imágenes de páginas

bic a man of war from his youth.” The stature | fulness, it is desirable that some day within the of Goliath was six cubits and a span, that is, jubilce' year should be observed by all the assomore than ten feet, if we calculate the cubit at ciations at home, and by all the missionaries, its full measure of twenty inches ; and, whatever teachers, and congregations at the several misdeduction may be made, we cannot imagine him sionary stations of the society throughout the less than nine feet. David was hut of ordinary world, as a special commemoration of the epoch; size, and of youthful, almost boyish, appearance. the main object of such commemoration being, The giant was fully accoutred: "He had an that the friends of the society may unite in praising helmet of brass upon his head ; and he was armed the Lord for all his past mercies; in humbling with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat themselves before God for their inadequate imwas five thousand shekels of iron.” David had provement of the various advantages enjoyed by only a sling and a stone ; for, though Saul had ihis nation for diffusing the gospel throughout the offered him his arms, yet he had rejected them as world; and, in supplicating an abundant outunwieldy, for he had not been used to them. pouring of the Holy Spirit upon the agents and Here, then, was a fearful disparity : the Philis- work of the Church Missionary Society, and upon tine might well count upon an easy victory. the church of this nation; that, in the place of its But David had One with him, whom Goliath knew present few and comparatively feeble efforts, it not; and he expresses his confidence in noble may arise, as one man, to the discharge of its high terms : “ Thou comest to me with a sword, and obligation of becoming the evangelist of the with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to world.” thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God II. “That the first day of November, 1848, of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” affording time for communication with the distant It was just the faith wbich elsewhere David has missions, being intermediate between the anniexpressed : “ The Lord is my light and my salva- versaries of the society, and being also a day tion: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the which the church of England has dedicated to the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid ?"commemoration of the one communion and fel“Though an host should encamp against me, my lowship” in which the members of Christ's mysheart shall not fear: though wars rise against me, tical body are knit together, is a suitable day for in this will I be confident (Psa. xxvii. 1, 3). The the jubilee commemoration; and that all the event was in accordance with David's humble friends of the society be invited to observe that trust in God: the giant was slain, and his head day, or, if local circumstances render that day intaken from him ; which David afterwards carried expedient, some other day, as near as possible to to Jerusalem as a trophy of his conquest. the 1st of November, in the way described in the

We have here an eminent proof that “the former resolution.” Lord saveth not with sword and spear ;” that he III. " That an address to the friends of the perfects his strength in weakness, and will give society, explanatory of the views of the committee his people the victory over their foes. The upon this subject, be immediately circulated ; and Christian soldier may therefore be encouraged that, as soon as possible, short and popular stateto fight manfully the "good fight of faith.” ments of the past history of the society, of its difBy the power of his great Captain he will be ferent missions, and of the special dispensations of made more than conqueror.

Providence which have marked its course, be prepared for circulation."

IV. “That a special fund be immediately

opened, at home and abroad, as a thank-offering, CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY JUBILEE. for receiving additional donations and contri

butions from the subscribers and collectors of the RESOLUTion adopted at the anniversary meeting society, beyond their usual subscriptions and colof the Church Missionary Society, May 2, 1848; lections, as well as donations from other parties, his grace the archbishop of Canterbury, vice- to be called, "The Church Missionary Jubilee patron, in the chair, succeeded by the earl of Fund.” Chichester, president:

V. “That the jubilee fund shall be applied to “ That a review of the history of the society at such specific objects as may both conduce to the the entrance upon its fiftieth year, in respect of its extension of the society's operations abroad, and success at home and of the abundant first-fruits of may also serve as permanent memorials of the ocits labours abroad, presents both a pressing call casion; that the following objects, fulfilling both and a fitting occasion for special praise and prayer, these conditions, appear most suitable for the proand for special efforts, under the present financial posed fundcircumstances of the society, for strengthening and (1.) “The augmentation of the fund for disenlarging, in the place of contracting, its missions ; abled missionaries, &c., so as to release the general and that the new committee be instructed to ar: mission fund from all charge for the relief of range and set on foot some plan for suitably com- sick and disabled missionaries, and of the widows memorating the jubilee of the Church Missionary and orphans of deceased missionaries. Society."

(2). “ The providing of a boarding-school, as a Resolutions adopted at a special meeting of the home for the maintenance and education of the committee, May 22, the earl of Chichester in the children of those missionaries who are devoting chair:

their time and strength to mission-work abroad. I. “That, reviewing the mercy and goodness “By these arrangements the comfort and bencof the Lord which have followed this society since fit of the missionaries will be more effectually seit entered upon its course, and also the opening cured, and an annual sum of several thousand prospects of increased and rapidly-increasing use-pounds, now expended for these purposes, may be


set free, for the extension of the society's mis- their eyes when light was about them, and sionary operations.

thus, as it were, in the midst of day making (3). "The establishment of a moderate fund to be employed in assisting native-Christian churches

a night to settle round them. God was perto support their own native ministers and institu- petually with them; their guide, their shield, tions ; so that the funds of the society may be their guard. He was ever about their path; released as soon as such churches become matured their protector in every crisis and vicissitude in Christian habits and attainments, and may be of their eventful history; supporting them in devoted to the evangelization of the heathen the wilderness, sending manna from heaven, beyond them.'

(4): "The erection in the missions abroad of bringing water out of the rock, and in every buildings of a permanent character for missionary way making them the objects of his tender purposes, where needed, especially seminaries and

And how was this mercy received by normal schools for training native ministers and those in whose behalf it was displayed? Did teachers.

the divine love, so constantly exerted, kindle " That, while the committee reserves to itself the any thing like a corresponding love in their ultimate distribution of the jubilee fund, according breasts? The answer to these questions is to the amount which may be raised, and to the one well-calculated to call forth a blush of circumstances of the society at the time, donations shame. The career of the Israelites, indeed, be also received for any one of the objects speci- presents us with nothing but a melancholy fied.”

VI. “That, reviewing the national mercies by catalogue of rebellion after rebellion. which our beloved country has been lately dis- The chapter from which the text is taken tinguished, and the signs of the times as to the contains some very striking proofs of the corfuture prospects of the world and of the church of rectness of the character here ascribed to the Christ, it may reasonably be hoped that every | Israelites; from which it will be seen that the subscriber who last year contributed to the society, same proneness to rebel against God infected effort in behalf of the jubilee fund; so that, by the whole mass, from the highest to the lowthe multiplication of individual exertions, a large est of the people. Indeed, here, at this point amount may be raised, without over-taxing the of their history, the princes seem to have zeal of those devoted friends who are already been the tempters, the people the temptedlabouring as collectors for the society; and that the victims of those who misled them into the present occasion may be improved for making evil, when they should have been as shining a fresh canvass on behalf of the society among lights, beaming from high places, to guide persons of competent means who have aş yet given them into a better things." little or no aid to the cause of missions."

VII. "That it is humbly to be hoped that, by The chapter opens with an account of the the blessing of God upon the proposed means, the conspiracy of Korah and his associates against zeal of Christians in the missionary cause may be Moses and Aaron. Unmoved by all the enlarged, and a new impulse may be communi- miracles which they had seen performed by cated to the operations of the society; so that its these servants of the Most High, and which income, which has been comparatively stationary said for them, more plainly than any language for the last seven years, may again become progressive, as in the carlier stages of its history, in could have expressed it, that they held their some degree corresponding with the progressive commissions of leader and high-priest of enlargement of the missions.

Israel directly from God himself-unmoved Church Missionary-house, May 22, 1848.

by these things, their hearts swelled with jealousy, which soon found an utterance in words. Their angry murmurs appear to have been at

once responded to by a people never backAARON STANDING BETWEEN THE LIVING ward in the path of mischief; and the incliAND THE DEAD:

nations of the whole congregation seem to

have sided with the rebels. At first, it was Sermon

the intention of God to send down a sweep

ing punishment upon the entire body of the BY THE REV. JAMES ASPINALL, M.A.,

offenders ; but, at the prayer of Moses and Rector of Althorpe, Lincolnshire.

Aaron, he changed this purpose, and limited

the chastisement to the leaders in the affair, NUMB. xvi. 48.

who were destroyed, partly by an earthquake, " And he stood between the dead and the living; and and partly by a fire which • came out from the plag ue was stayed."

the Lord.” It would have been only natural

to expect that a mode of punishment so unIf we may figuratively describe the history nsual would have made lasting impressions of the Israelites after their escape from Egypt, upon every individual who beheld it. What we may speak of them as men, of their own a fearful spectacle! On the one hand the choice walking blindfold, wilfully shutting earth quaking, opening its jaws like a living

tomb, to swallow up its destined victims; and, a change came upon this state of things, and on the other, a fire coming out from God to settled darkly, like a cloud of the night, upon consume those who had escaped the first death! their worldly prospects. The favourable Can words describe, can imagination conceive breeze which fanned their course was exa picture more likely to live on in the memory changed for fierce storms ; " the fire came of all who witnessed it? And yet can such out from God to consume them;" the ground things be forgotten like a passing shadow, be clave asunder under the fabric of their prosdispersed like a dream of the night or the perity, and both went down into the pit todew of the morning? Can they, after cansing gether. The hand of the Lord was upon only a momentary throb of the heart, fade them; their health and their strength forsook away, and take their place amongst the things them; sickness attacked them; death invaded which, in their influence, are as if they had their families; their wealth was swallowed never been? They can.

up; and they began to cry out of themselves We have just seen what terrible things that “they were of all men the most miserahappened to Korah and his company before ble.” And in such an hour, too, it has often the eyes of the assembled Israelites; and yet happened that the downfal of worldly hopes on the morrow what do we hear of them ? has brought with it more serious thoughts Were they moved to repentance by the awful about the future. The heart, driven from its lesson which God had read to them? Were stay upon temporal props and pillars, has they brought to weep for their own sins, or seemed to turn to better things, has appato tremble before that arm of Omnipotence, rently been convinced of the vanity and which, after being so often stretched out in vexation of its previous career; and those their defence, had now put forth its might to who have stood by at such a time, and heard chastise them for their iniquities ? Far other the sorrowing exclamations of the smitten wise. They were not of the metals which the mourner, would surely have been justified in furnace inelts, but of those which harden in sympathizing with that joy which pervades the fire. On the morrow," we are told, the angels of God over a repenting sinner. " all the congregation of the children of But, alas ! how frail is man! how weak his Israel murmured against Moses and against resolution ! Again, let us change the Aaron, saying, Ye bave killed the people of scene: let us suppose the cloud once the Lord.” Such is that compound of oppo- more dispersed, health restored, death site ingredients, man! One day we beliold averted, the tide of wealth flowing in the Israelites flying in alarm before the ter- its former channel. Now where is the rors of the Lord-his miracles displayed to Christian of the hour of adversity ? prove who were his servants and who the where is the penitent? where the converted rebels in array against him; and the next, sinner, convinced of the vanity of earthly the very next, we find them as proud, as ob- riches, and with his heart set upon the heastinate, and as rebellious as before, once more venly treasures ? Too often it is found that impugning the authority of God's servants. that is all over now: it was disappointment,

And 0, is not this a picture of man in all not conviction, which made him more serious ages of the world? Cast your thoughts into for a season : it was fear, not faith, which the world around you, trace the career of some made him look towards the cross of his Lord: of those whose lives come within the sphere they were the workings of remorse, not of your knowledge. Surely you can tell of of the Spirit, which agitated his breast : some who, in by-gone days, sailed smoothly as soon as the cause which pressed him forward, with favouring breeze, upon the down is removed, he is like the Israelcurrent of existence. As far as human lan- ites on the morrow murmuring against guage can speak of human affairs, all was God, although they had so lately experienced well with them. They had health, they had his visitations and beheld his power. Yes, strength : they were prosperous men in all brethren, there are such backslidings, such their undertakings: their families sprung up, false penitence amongst professing Christians like the olive-branches, round their table, as well as amongst the Israelites of old. Pray and were all that their parents wished for in that you may never be found in a like error, the world. But all this time God was not but may be converted from the evil of your in their thoughts: they were alienated from ways, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in all saving knowledge of Christ Jesus, had sincerity and truth. never listened to the pleadings of the Holy But to return to the history. This new Spirit. Their reliance was altogether on the rebellion, so close upon their former transarm of Aesh.

No passing moment ever car- gression, was instantly visited by God with ried them beyond the grave, to reflect upon its deserved punishment. A fierce pestilence eternity: all was of the earth, earthy. But was sent upon them, which swept away fourteen thousand of them. Let us read the ac- | victims, fallen or falling under its power, count which the sacred writer gives of the some openly and notoriously its slaves, while whole matter : “And the Lord spake unto others are gliding down so gently, that, as Moses, saying, Get you up from among this yet, they do but toy with fetters which precongregation, that I may consume them as in sently they will groan under, when the iron a moment. And they fell upon their faces. of their captivity pierces to their souls. Look And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, at the awful stream of worldliness as it sweeps and put fire therein from off the altar, and along, bearing with it all ranks and classes put on incense; and go quickly unto the of society. If we cast an inquiring glance congregation, and make an atonement for through the whole mass, we shall discover how them; for there is wrath gone out from the narrow is the influence of vital Christianity, Lord: the plague is begun. And Aaron how few its followers, how thinly scattered, took, as Moses commanded, and ran into the as shining lights amidst surrounding darkmidst of the congregation; and, behold, the ness; while, from the highest to the lowest, plague was begun among the people; and the leaven of worldliness is working with he put on incense, and made an atonement melancholy success. They think, and can for the people. And he stood between the find time to thin's, of every thing which apdead and the living; and the plague was pertains to this transitory life. Are they poor, stayed.In one part of this passage we are they would be rich: are they rich, they would told that “ Aaron made an atonement for the be richer. They would be great: they would people"; a mode of expression which was have influence in society: they would climb well remarked upon by bishop Horne in the up ambition's steep ascent. They have friends following language: "He interceded with to advance, connexions to push forward, chilGod for them, and obtained what he desired. dren to provide for: there is no end to the But was it for Aaron's sake that God spared objects they have to accomplish. But hint to the remnant of his people? Had Aaron any them that they have immortal souls, and you merit of his own, any superfluous righteous- have indeed, at last, reached a subject for ness, which might be imputed to them ? Far which neither time nor thought can be found: from it: be, and every high priest taken the great" one thing needful" is exactly the from among men,' were necessarily heirs of very thing of which they feel no need at all. the universal corruption of the children of Occupied with the toils of life, its trifles and Adam : they had their infirmities, as the its vanities, they have eyes, ears, and hearts apostle argues, and were obliged to offer up for nothing else. Amidst the rush of the torsacrifices for their own sins, as well as for rent of wickedness and worldliness, the pleadthose of the people; but, as the same apostle ings of the Spirit are unheard ; Christ and teaches us, Aaron, in the office of high priest his cross are forgotten, utterly and altogether, and mediator, represented the world's Re- The Lord calls them to him ; but they hear deemer; and the atonement which he made not, or they heed not. Death, that preacher of for Israel showed forth that great atonement eternal sermons on the vanity of all earthly treato be one day made by Jesus Christ for the sures, warns them that judgment is approachchurch universal of all ages and nations. ing; but, worldly to the very heart's core, they God had respect unto that great atonement, are deaf to his appeals. The ark of their and, for his sake who was to make it, par- salvation is placed before them in the gospel, doned those for whom it was to be made. In and they are invited, urged to seek a refuge the person of Aaron he beheld his beloved Son, in it from every danger; but, alas for the 'in whom he is well pleased,” interceding infatuation of the unconverted heart! they prefor the transgressors : Israel was spared for fer to embark their every hope, present and the sake of Aaron; but Aaron himself was future, upon one or other of the ten thousand accepted for the sake of Christ.”

frail planks upon which sinners sport in sumBut now let us apply the history before us mer calms, forgetful of the winter which is to our own spiritual state. In doing so we coming, and the storms which it will bring shall only be following up the intention of the with it, and the wreck and the ruin of unrechurch, which recognizes herein a type of pented guilt. man's fall through sin, and his rise again Say we not well, then, that the plague has through Jesus Christ. I need not say that begun, and is raging with appalling violence the plague which afflicts men's souls is sin, on every side of us? It is, indeed; but, nor that that plague has begun, is sweeping thanks be to God, as the Israelite in his hour its thousands and tens of thousands along the of need found a high priest in Aaron, to stand downward path which terminates in destruc- between the living and the dead, to offer up tiun. Look at it, as it goes rolling on, like incense in his behalf, and to stay the plague some rushing torrent: look at its countless which was afflicting his mortal body, so we may say: "One greater than Aaron is here.” to your Lord to confirm you in all such holy Our high priest is Jesus Christ, the righteous; purposes. He stands the great High Priest": and our sacrifice is the same Jesus, "the he stands the perfect and priceless sacrifice Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of between the dead and the living. Are your the world;" the same Jesus “who loved us, hearts his in very deed, subdued to him, and hath giren himself for us, an offering and filled with his love, bent upon his law, set a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling sa upon his gospel? Then is the glorious work vour." Aaron's sacrifice was limited both in accomplished"the plague is stayed :" pray its object and its extent. Its object was an that there may be no relapse, but that you escape from temporal death, its extent in- may continue Christ's faithful soldiers and cluded only the tribes of Israel. But the servants unto your life's end.” sacrifice of the Prince of Peace was for nobler and loftier ends : its object was an escape from death eternal, its extent embraced man

Dubenile Keading. kind-man in all his generations, from the

ADDRESS TO A CHILD ON PRIVATE beginning to the end of time. Finally, brethren, if we follow out the his

PRAYER*. tory of the Israelites beyond the chapter im- My dear child, before you begin to learn to pray, mediately under our consideration, we shall or to use the short prayers which are here presee in it much to instruct, much to warn and pared for you, try and think a little what prayer improve ourselves. Their's was a dark career : really is. Before the earliest time that you can we find them still slighting the mercies and remember, when you were a little infant, your defying the power of the Most High, until dear parents gave yon to God in baptism. 'They they provoked him to withdraw the former, of God, resisting your own evil heart, and striving

promised for you that you should act as a child and put forth the latter for their destruc- to serve and please God. Then the great God tion; until, in the first instance, they received you as his child, and promised to be your were given over into the hands of the Father. "You learn this in your catechism, when Babylonians, and, at a later period, the you say your name was given you in your bapproud eagles of Rome were planted in tism, wherein you were" made a member of Christ, triumph upon the smoking ruins of their a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom temple and their city, the very ground on

of heaven." You must then never forget that the

great God is your Father, and you are his child. which they had stood ploughed up, and A child often speaks to its father. How often themselves scattered amongst all people, to you run to your father to tell him what you wish be a testimony against themselves, a reproach for, what makes you sorry, and what makes you and a by-word to the nations of the earth. glad. But perhaps you will say, "I see my And, in like manner, if we despise the mighty but I have never seen God, how can I speak to

father ; and he answers me when I speak to him ; sacrifice which has been offered in our behalt

, God when he is in heaven?" If your father was what, do you think, will become of us? or, in the next room where he could hear you, though as St. Paul puts it," How shall we escape, you did not see him, if you wanted anything if we neglect so great salvation ?" If we will very much you would soon call him to help you. not listen to God's Holy Spirit, if we despise You cannot see God; but he is very near you, his mercy, if we prefer living where the and he always hears when you call upon him in plague of sin is raging, to breathing the pure prayer. You must never forget that prayer is air of gospel truth, gospel faith, and gospel speaking to the great God, speaking to one who holiness, our punishment will not be merely from saying your prayers, as some children do, a scattering to the winds of our temporal without thinking of God at all, merely repeating possessions, but it will be the captivity of our the words as a parrot, because they have been souls to be fast bound for ever in the prison taught it is wrong to go to bed at night, or get of the wicked. But scek, by earnest prayer, up in the morning, without kneeling down to say for grace in larger measure to enable you to their prayers. Dear child, this is not the way to come forth from the number of those who pray, these are not the prayers which God loves, seem bent

Though you are very young, you are old enough this self-destruction. Throw to know how many things you want, and how

upon yourselves at the foot of the cross in all the gracious the great God is, who, while the angels carnestness of contrition, in all the fulness of are singing praises to him on their golden harps, faith, in all seriousness of resolution for future listens to the feeble prayers of a little child. You obedience to your Lord. Pray that the must pray, then, with your whole heart to this Christian walk, the Christian life, may be great and good God. When you grow older, I yours: pray that henceforth you may keep but even now there are four things for you to think

hope you will love to give much time to prayer; such watch over the very stirrings of your of in your prayers : confession ; petition ; thankshearts, that no evil thought, no evil word, no

* From " A Child's Book of Prayers." Edited by rev. E. evil deed may spring up from them. Look Bickersteth, rector of Watton, Herts. London : Seeleys. 1848.

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