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for a little to forget their grief. But I need not more exquisite sensation of present ills, and a
describe how fruitless is this attempt; for how more anxious foresight of those which impend.
miserable are all drunkards “ in mind, body, and Perhaps, too, you think, like the heathen philoso-
estate!” I need not engage time in proving phers of old, that human reason-man’s natural
the utter insufficiency of such sensual gratifica- mind-ought to be, and is a sufficient support,
tions to soothe the anguish of a troubled heart. even under the most trying circumstances of life.
Neither will more innocent indulgences avail; as But, if you knew their foolish fancies and absurd
we see in the case of unhappy Saul, who, when theories, this supposition would at once disap-
tormented with a wicked conscience, vainly en- pear ; because, with all their knowledge, which
deavoured by the sounds of the harp and vio! was great, they seem to have elevated feeble mor-
to chase away the evil spirit. Others hope to tals above humanity, and then to have degraded
lose their melancholy thoughts by engaging in them far below it; as if we were, like God him-
the amusements of society, but, as it was with self, incapable of distress, or, like a stone, insen-
Belshazzar at the feast, whose fears were roused sible to pain and pleasure. In short, concerning
by the mysterious hand upon the wall, a guilty all the worldly expedients to which men com-
conscience even there extinguisbes delight. Others monly look for consolation, it may with truth be
endeavour to forget their grief by labouring in said, in the proverbial language of Isaiah (xxviii.
useful occupations, which employ the mind, and 20), “ The bed is shorter than that à man
80 perhaps, for a time, divert their saddened can stretch himself on it, and the covering dar-
thoughts; still it generally happens that, instead rower than that he can wrap himself in it;" fa-
of business lightening sorrow, sorrow prevents miliar, but most expressive words, to show their
successful application to business. Others place insufficiency to give rest and comfort to the wea-
their hopes of happiness on the accumulation of ried soul. Well, then, may we exclaim :
wealth ; but, as riches cannot avert tribulation, what a hollow and deceitful world is this, whereon
so neither can they cure it. Neither houses, por so many are seen to place their whole delight!”
lands, nor silver, vor gold, can remove death from Doubtless, there is much around us both beautiful
the body and vexation from the soul. The rich and captivating, God being exceeding, gracious to
possessor must have both health of body and his creatures; yet, like whited sepulchres, which
health of mind; he must have “the sound mind without are ornamental, but within are full of
in the sound body,” before he can find enjoyment dead men's bones, so is the world in reality
in his heaped-up treasures. Others look for com- defiled with foulness and liable to decay.
fort in the tender sympathy of friends. Expe- Having thus in vain searched the world for
rience, however, proves that this is indeed a poor sources of real consolation in the midst of those
and feeble remedy. It often greatly enervates misfortunes which are entailed on us of every
the mind; and, moreover, when seeking the heal- class, let us pursue the only remaining path: let
ing aid of sympathy, we too frequently undergo a us in our perplexity consult those revelations
bitter aggravation of our distress : the fancied which God has made for the comfort of his people ;
friend in prosperity is sometimes, to our great and I do not hesitate to say that there we shalí
dismay, discovered to be cold and heartless in find the most abundant information. Religion, I
the hour of peed. Hence we may conclude that affirm, by imparting peace, will administer all
very little real consolation is to be found without, peedful consolation, and in the bible only can we
in “ the things of the world.”

learn what is true and evangelical religion. I
But, perhaps, you imagine that from within shall first enumerate some of its best effects; and
more comfort can be gained. You may fancy then briefly describe its nature and character.
that to cultivate amiable and moderate tempers, In the first place, a religious person does not
which passion or anxiety cannot easily ruffle, is esteem many of the usual ills of life to be real
an excellent mode of securing worldly peace. grievances ; because a pious heart is in a great
If, indeed, you are blessed with such a tempera- degree disengaged from the world, and indifferent
ment, or have resolved to cherish and improve it, to many circumstances which others equally pur-
you have most truly within your own breasts a sue. Consequently fewer misfortunes can affect
deep source of happiness; for, if fretfulness be his peace; fewer disappointments can disturb
bitter, surely cheerful patience tends to promote him. Like a rock exposed to the surges of a
pleasure. But remember that, if amiable dis- stormy sea, the Christian by the power of his faith
positions, without any higher influence to regulate stands superior to every tempest; and the trials
and increase them, can contribute so much to with which he meets, like the waves of the ocean,
human comfort, how much more effective would dash and spread themselves against his hopes in
they prove in lessening the sorrows of life, if vain. Recollecting that he is a stranger and
grace were grafted upon nature—if the Holy sojourner, as all his fathers were," bis desires and
Spirit (whose fruits are temperance, meekness, affections are fixed on his future home, and he
and love) warmed and invigorated the inclina- considers events as good or bad, in proportion as
tions of the same breasts. Perhaps you think they promote or obstruct his preparation for
that the acquisition of much worldly learning and heaven-his passage hence into that better and
polite accomplishments, by the interest and varied promised land. It therefore oftens happens that
amusements which they necessarily supply, are incidents, which others pronounce to be misfor-
admirable antidotes for grief. Alas! it is most tunes, he receives as amongst his choicest blessings;
true, according to the saying of the wise man, for, seeing that in the course of human life rewards
“He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sor- are given indiscriminately to the righteous and the
row" (Eccles. i. 18): wbich means that superior wicked, and that prosperity is no sure token of
wisdom, unless well directed, serves only to sharpen divịne favour, nor adversity a certain proof of
our natural feeling-merely gives to the mind a divine displeasure, the Christian is not unduly

elated by the one, nor much dejected by the other. , and hence, that not a sorrow disquiets the heart, Scripture teaches him (and experience closely nor an ailment the body, which he, who is as kind agrees with it) that affliction is often the portion as he is wise, does not know, and does not even of the favourites of heaven; for again and again permit. Surely it must impart “great peace” to it is written, in words to this effect: “Whom the be informed of this ; just in proportion as it Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son would disturb us to be told that God on high whom he receiveth.” Nay, since these very sor- does not perceive those ills which the world and rows are trials of faith and patience, and excellent the devil' seem to bring upon us. Yes, truly, it opportunities for the exercise of all Christian vir- is a source of unspeakable comfort to believe that tues, he even looks with joy on his most bitter we live under a divine government, and are entirely tribulations ; acting in this respect according to at his disposal, and are objects of his carc, who by what has been written by St. James (i. 2-4): his wisdom knows, and by his love and power " My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into directs our affairs' better than we could do for divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying ourselves. Even if the bible had not so fully of your faith worketh patience. But let patience revealed this doctrine of a minute and over-ruling have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and Providence, so certain is it that men might have entire, lacking nothing."

almost surmised it by a little calm reflection. Secondly, religion changes the greatest and For, look back upon your past lives, and behold real ills of life, if not always into temporal, cer- how often the most untoward events have been tainly into eternal blessings. By nature, all made the instruments of blessings ! How many would prefer to glide down the stream of life in ills have you escaped by the intervention of circuman uninterrupted course of success and ease, with stances, which at the time you fancied to be misDo shallows to retard, or disappointments to dis- fortunes ! How often have you been rescued turb us. And naturally affliction only excites from danger without your own foresight! and murmuring and unbelief, and thus drives its vic-how frequently have apprehended trials been tim to despair, or into greater hardness than changed into actual good! “This is the Lord's before; but, by the introduction of religious prin- doing : it is marvellous in our eyes” (Ps. cxviii. ciples, the state undergoes a complete transforma- 23). Perceiving so much, then, we must believe, tion. Affliction is, indeed, as I have said, the because it is expressly declared that “all things portion of every creature ; and our daily expe-(though we may not as yet be able to view them rience proves it to be the best medicine for the in this light) work together for good to them that soul, reducing the proud sinner to lowliness of love God” (Rom. viii. 28). And, if there is any mind when ease and success had perhaps made comfort in human friendship (and a real friend is him haughty. But, as medicine alone would not one of the choicest gifts of God), what truer restore, but destroy the body, without the aid of friend, what more powerful protector, could we food, so is something additional and comforting to possibly desire than the Most High? If "the the soul required, when tribulation has brought it Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I low. That something, of which Christ Jesus is fear?" If " the Lord is the strength of my life, the Author and Finisher, is religion. When of whom shall I be afraid ?" (Ps. xxvii. 1). weaned from this world, we require the law of But let none suppose that these effects, which I God to direct our wishes and efforts to a better have endeavoured to describe, are merely plausible one. When sorrow has forced us to reflect on our in theory: be assured they hold good in practice; evil deeds, the voice of God is necessary for the the scriptures relating the deeds of many saints of peace of the contrite heart, to tell him what to old, who by their faith (i. e., their religious belief) do-to exhibit to the penitent the glories and were enabled to endure the deepest tribulation. freeness of his salvation. Religion makes us For example, in Hebrews xi. you may read of perfect in affliction : it completes the purpose for their faith, whose deeds have been recorded for which God sent that affliction : it binds up and our imitation; and of whom it may be said, in the heals the wounded spirit. When sorrow has words of St. Paul, addressed to the Corinthians, given us a distaste for worldly things—when they were “troubled on every side, yet not disworldly hopes are blighted, nothing could follow tressed ; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, save lamentations and despair, if revelation did not but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." unfold a beauteous prospect of another state of In fact they possessed that religion, or gospelbeing, where all sorrows shall cease, and evil hope, which • as an anchor of the soul, both sure be unknown. What, then, in a word, can re- and sted fast,” enabled them to bear up against the ligion do? It not only gradually teaches us to roughest storms of this world, until it was the will desire to depart, in order to be with Christ (which of God to lead them into that haven ot' rest to which would be far better than to remain), but it recon- they had so faithfuily looked forward. eiles us to all, even bitter, circumstances of life, We ought now to consider, as I proposed, the past as well as present, by convincing us that nature of that religion which accomplished so without painful and continual trials we should much of old. Like its Author and Finisher, it is most probably slumber here, to awake hereafter “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever," in everlasting woe.

in both its nature and effects. Consequently, to Thirdly, the religion which the scriptures reveal enjoy its powerful comforts, we must seek to know lessens our grief in trying seasons by commu- its character, and then strive to have it, that it nicating to us this certainty-that we are never may influence our hearts. overlooked by God; that he, who dwelleth above Now, in what does that religion consist, which the heavens, nevertheless minutely regards all imparts such “great peace” as I have described ? things on earth below; that not even a sparrow The psalmist declares that it consists mainly in a falleth to the ground without his knowledge; love of God's holy law: “ great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing sball offend quires. They shall soon discover, even in the them.” By nature, before divine grace has had midst of worldly warfare, of suffering and selfany influence upon the heart, we do not like those denial, the pleasures of religion to be far greater commands which were first delivered from Mount than its pains, and that " great peace have they Sinai, amidst thunders and lightnings and earth- which love God's law, and nothing shall offend quakes; and there is a time of sorrowful convic- them." tion of guilt in the life of every sinner, when he would wish the law of God blotted out of the universe, or at least exchanged for one more indulgent to his evil inclinations ; for, being all by

TAL DIVISION AT ANTIOCH: nature carnally-minded, and therefore at enmity with God, we tremble, as did the Israelites, when

Sermon, Gud speaks, and are afraid of such tokens of holiness and majesty and power. Such dread indeed, BY THE REV. FRANCIS JEUNE, D.C.L., such dislike of the law, such fear of bitter consequences, may lead us even far into the path of Master of Pembroke College, Oxford. outward obedience; but such service will avail

GAL. ii. 11, 12. nothing at the last. The Christian, who is sincere, does not

act in the bondage of servile terror, But, when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood but in “ the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, him to the face, becausc he was to be blamed. For Abba, Father.” This Spirit of adoption com

before that certain came from James he did eat pletely changes the character of our obedience: with the Gentiles; but when they were come he Told things are passed away, all things are become

withdrew and separated himself, fearing them new ;' and what before was fear and torment,

which were of the circumcision." now becomes liberty and love.

It is to be hoped that there are few among It may here be asked by an anxious disciple, “How can this change be wrought? for the more

us now, whose moral sense does not revolt at closely that law is examined, and the more tho- the suggestion that the incident recorded in roughly it is understood, the more extended and the text was only a piece of acting, a scheme awful it appears. How, then, ean a believer be preconcerted between the two apostles, in made to love that which speaks of condemnation ?” order that those of the circumcision, wlio Yes, the believer, by the operations of grace, is soon would have disregarded Paul's admonitions taught to take delight in the testimonies of the it addressed to themselves, might surrender Lord, and to love them exceedingly; for the Holy their opinions when they saw Peter admitSpirit so purifies his heart, as to enable him to see their spirituality, and to admire their holiness— ting the justice of the rebuke, and consethe length and breadth, the height and depth of quently the truth of the principles which their surpassing purity. This naturally inclines his conduct had contravened. Yet so great, him to long for a greater intimacy with those a man as John Chrysostom did not suspect precepts ; and then the Holy Spirit teaches him that he was outraging the memory of the to adore that all-sufficient Redeemer, whose righteousness is perfect, and who therefore can

very chiefest apostles when he attributed to secure for him all the benefits of a full obedience, them an artifice worthy only of a juggler and to which he daily sees himself to have been by his confederate. In an age in which saints, nature more and more unfitted. Delighting in reputed or real, shared, if they did not yet the law, which yet he cannot fulfil, he loves the engross, the veneration which is due to God Saviour, whose service is accepted in his stead; alone, it appeared incredible that apostles and, while he longs to be in heaven, because all should have differed on a practical question things there are holy, he loves the way which of vital moment; still more incredible that St. leads to it the better, because it is also holy.

Beloved, if we desire to feel the truth of these Peter should have been really guilty of a sin promises, we must become Christians, not merely which the Holy Ghost has treated as dissimuin name, but “ in spirit and in truth." We must lation. On the other hand, Chrysostom, who embrace, and hold fast the religion which the did not rise above the belief, so general in the gospel inculcates ; not coldly, as many seem to early church, that it is lawful to promote truth can reconcile us to God, and obtain

for us that by falsehood, never suspected that he was peace which has been destroyed by sin. Now, it fastening on the two apostles a blacker charge is not an easy or trifling task thus to overcome so

than that from which he sought to exonerate completely our evil nature as by choice to avoid the one. But we must not be more jealous what is evil, and to follow what is good. It of the honour of God's saints than God himmust and can be done only by faithful and patient self. Christ alone was without sin ; and it is application to him from whom cometh every good well that some of the faults and follies of the and perfect gift, and who alone can incline our holiest and wisest of his servants have been hearts to godly sorrow and unfeigned belief. Those who seek, it is promised, shall surely find; and recorded, in order that the church may never therefore, on the high authority of our blessed lose sight of the immeasurable distance beRedeemer, we cannot hesitate to affirm that they tween man in his best estate and the Son of who seek religious peace as men seck hidden trea- • Preached before the university of Oxford, on Sunday, sure shall doubtless find all that their state re- June 4, 1848.

re

God in his lowest abasement. And, more- who had been called out of darkness into over, it may at times serve to keep us, to the marvellous light (that is, of heathens) as whom is committed the ministry of recon- in time past not a people, but now “the ciliation, from sinking into despair under people of God," and of our sins borne in the a sense of our sinfulness, if we reflect body of Christ on the tree, in language as Teverently on the palpable evidence here af- offensive to the Judaizing school as that of forded that the great instruments, whom the his beloved brother Paul himself, whose wisLord employed to build his church and to dom he expressly ascribes tu God, whose save countless souls, were, throughout their epistles he classes with the other scripcourse, men of like passions with us.

tures ? St. Peter fell at Antioch into a sin which It is natural that we should feel deep iniemight have produced fearful results to this rest in such a personal incident; but we shall very hour; and his fault seems due to one of not reap the benefits for which it was the most common of weaknesses. The sacred corded, unless we study with earnest care the writers convey the impression that he was controversy from which it arose.

That conby nature fond to excess of approbation, and troversy is not one of temporary interest, as apprehensive in an equal degree of losing the it may seem to the unreflecting; but, with good opinion of those around him, and so some external difference, it still divides, and could be at one moment recklessly bold, probably will ever divide the church; and, and at another guilty of the most timid as it touched the very essence of the faith, it prevarication. Of physical courage he drew forth the fullest exposition of the ecowas full, and did not fear singly to nomy of grace. To dwell on this topic may draw his sword against an armed band; not be wholly unprofitable. but a few hours afterwards he quailed before Secondly; although perfect unity, perfect a servant-maid, and denied his Lord with truth, as well as perfect holiness, enter into curses. So at Antioch,“ before certain came the idea of the church of God, it is evident from James he did eat with the Gentiles; but that this idea, being carried into action by when they were came he withdrew and sepa- fallen though regenerate man, has never been rated himself, fearing them which were of the realized in any one of these respects; and, circumcision.” His sin in the high priest's since we cannot suppose the purposes of God house hurt only himself: it neither retarded to have wholly failed, we must admit that, as nor advanced the condemnation of the Lord : there are deficiencies in holiness not incomit had no tendency to pervert the gospel of patible with a state of grace and salvation, Christ nor to destroy souls. But his conduct so there may also be errors which do not at Antioch gave his weighty sanction to prin- destroy the foundation, and divisions which ciples which, as St. Paul teaches, made the are not fatal to spiritual life. We inay sencross of none effect, frustrated the grace of ture to assert that, if the church had closely God, and replaced mankind under the cnrse. studied the state of things which the schism We do not learn that after the rebuke of St. at Antioch reveals, she would have escaped Paul he went out and wept bitterly; but he some false theories, many uncharitable judybad scarcely less cause so to do than when, ments, and, it may be, much innocent blood. after his denial, be saw the look and re- On this subject also I would briefly speak. membered the words of Jesus. The depth I. We have been taught from childhood of bis repentance, and the power of divine to pray that the ways of God may be " known grace, were manifested soon after his first upon earth,” and bis “ saving health among fall, in the boldness with which he pricked to all nations”; and all who have sought to ease the heart those who “with wicked hands had themselves feel that their next duty is to crucified and slain" the Lord. How (after his bring others to the knowledge of the truth, offence at Antioch) he was “out of weak- and to extend the Redeemer's kingdom far ness made strong” all may learn, who mark and wide. It may therefore appear difficult with what plainness of speech he declared in to account for the fact that the apostles were Jerusalem itself, and in the face of the whole so long satisfied with preaching the gospel Pharisaic party, that to command the Gen- within the narrow confines of Judæa, appatiles to keep the law was to lay an intole- rently regardless of the fate of a world lying rable yoke on their neck, and that the Jews under the wrath of God, and unmindful alike must be saved, not by the works of that law, of their Master's last command, and of the but, even as the Gentiles, by the grace of the glorious promises of prophecy.

But to a Lord Jesus Christ alone. Do not those mind prepossessed with 'false notions, the letters too, which form so precious a part of teaching of the word of God is hard to be the patrimony of the church, speak of the understood, just in proportion as it is plain. salvation of souls as the end of faith, of those The apostles, thinking that salvation was of the Jews alone, were as slow of heart to be deputed by that church to inquire into the lieve what was written concerning the resur- matter, was glad when he saw the grace rection of the Gentiles from spiritual death, of God, and laid upon the new converts no as they had been to believe our Lord's injunction to observe the law of Moses, but, express assertions respecting his own resu, allowing them to live as Gentiles, simply rection from the grave. So far as we can exhorted them with purpose of heart to cleave see, if God had not vouchsafed a second unto the Lord, this absence of jealousy, this Pentecost, and raised up a distinct apostolate, enlightened liberality is accounted for when and given an original revelation to St. Paul, the sacred writer adds, “ For he was a good Christianity might have remained to this day man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of the creed of one Jewish sect. But in the faith.” Had all his bretliren been endued fulness of time God intervened. His angel with the same greatness of mind and the came down, the heavens were opened, the same richness of spiritual gifts, no attempt Holy Ghost inaugurated a new æra by his would have been made to rob the Gentiles of visible presence on Gentile heads, Peter's their liberty; and the church might have prejudices were vanquished, Cornelius bap- escaped the sins and the sorrows of her first tized, and the church of Jerusalem, though great schism. at the first she called the apostle to account But it seems that truth must ever cost for going in to men uncircumcised, was forced strife and souls; and, in this instance, to “glorify God, saying, Then hath God also it is difficult to conceive

how the purgranted to the Gentiles repentance unto life.” poses of God could have been otherwise ac

But even then the apostles do not seem to complished, or the economy of grace be fully have conceived that they were called upon to developed. It is very significant that the evangelize the heathen world; but there is disciples were called Christians first reason to conjecture that they thought only Antioch. . Well might this be, for Christ that proselytes of the gate, as they were was to them all in all. But the believers at called, men who had been already admitted Jerusalem had much to give up before they into a certain relation to God and his people, could desire or fully deserve that blessed were to share also in what was deemned not a name. Not only is our holy faith sufficient new faith, sufficient in itself to save, but only for its glorious purposes, but any auxiliary as something superadded to the Mosaic eco- renders it powerless. To add to it is to cornomy. Such an accession to the church did rupt it as effectually as to take from it; and not suggest to Jewish Christians the idea it repudiates the divine but imperfect system that the law was to be abolished, any more which preceded it, as entirely as the gross than the baptism of proselytes, who remained superstitions under which it was buried uncircumcised, had suggested it to Jews be- during the dark ages. By the compassionfore the coming of the Lord; nor did it lead ate forbearance of God, however, the full the apostles to regard it as part of their duty to consequences of faith in Christ were not preach to idolatroas heathens. It was an un- pressed at once upon the Jews who believed. designed event, an unauthorized effort, which they were suffered to circumcise their chilbrought on a crisis in the history of the church, dren without question; to join in the sacrias important to the believers of the seed offices of the temple; to observe days and Abraham as to the Gentiles; for, if the latter months and years; to discriminate between could only receive the gospel through the meats, and perhaps as anxiously to wash former, it was the accession of the Gentiles the hands, and to make clean the cup and which made known to the Jews a Christianity the platter, as any of their countrymen. The free from all admixture of inferior elements, conversion of Cornelius, as it would seem, and the real character of the kingdom of led St. Peter to the full knowledge of the God. They that were scattered abroad upon truth;“for he then did eat with men uncircumthe persecution that arose about Stephen, we cised;" which implied that he deemed are told, preached the word to none but unto himself free from the law; but it does the Jews only; but some of them who, like not appear that any of the apostles of Paul, having been brought up in foreign the circumcision taught for many years countries, felt less aversion for heathens, bad in Jerusalem, if they ever taught at all, the courage “to speak unto the Grecians, that the Jews were discharged by faith in preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand the Messiah from its observance, and that of the Lord was with them; and a great num- it was ready to vanish away altogether, ber believed and turned to the Lord.” This though they stedfastly maintained that to the event seems to have startled the church at Gentiles such observance was needless. Jerusalem not less than the baptism of Had the whole truth been perceived at once, Cornelius Lad done ; and, if Barnabas, few indeed of the members of God's elder

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