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evidence-" When he came (it is said) to Antioch, and saw the grace of God (that is, the effect wrought by the grace of God in the conversion of the heathen), he was glad." Such, then, was his business, and such were his pleasures-employments and pleasures so different from those of the mass of mankind, as richly to deserve notice. And such, allow me to say, must be the business and pleasures of every really "good man." It is not, indeed, meant to be affirmed, that every man, like Barnabas, is to be an apostle and evangelist. Each has his peculiar duties, and those peculiar duties must be discharged. Nevertheless, religion must be the grand business of a good man. Let him engage in whatever other employment he will, still this is his main concern. Whatever else is done, time, thought, attention must be found for this; he must "give diligence to make his calling and election sure;" he must "work out his salvation with fear and trembling."-And thus, also, as to his pleasures. Not that it is unlawful for the good man to derive pleasure from many things below; from enlightened studies; from the works of art; from the splendid scenery of nature; from the kindness of his friends; from the pleasures of social intercourse that intercourse where mind meets mind, where either improvement is to be gained, or happiness to be imparted. None of these pleasures, when confined to their pro per limits, and assigned their proper rank, does religion forbid. On the contrary, I may venture to say, that she adds to each new attractions, surrounds them with fresh splendour, adorns them with fruits and flowers not strictly their own. She has her recreations for the studious she supplies the noblest subjects for the pencil and the poet; she shews us the landscape under a new character, as the work of our gracious Father and God; she makes our friend doubly our friend. by making him the friend of
God. But, in addition to all this, she has pleasures exclusively her own; and in these the really "good man" will find his highest joys. He finds them in the hope of pardon; in the exercise of holiness; in the comfortable sense of the Divine presence; in devout .communion with his God; in letting loose his mind on other scenes, and other worlds, where sin and sorrow never come; in soaring above the cloudy base of the hill of Zion, to the eternal sunshine which settles on its head; in anticipating the happy hour when he shall lay down a body of corruption, and spread his wings, and flee away and be at rest. Such are the pleasures of the "good man" of the Bible and he who is wholly unacquainted with them, we may venture ‹ to affirm, is not good."
4. A fourth feature in the character of Barnabas was, his zeal to impart to others the piety and the happiness which he himself possess ed. His labours, and prayers, and preachings, and travels, and watchings; the perils he encountered, the sufferings he endured; ‹ his share in the calamities and dangers of St. Paul, are all so many evi dences of his zeal for the conver sion of sinners. It is said, in the verse before the text, that, when he saw the people of Antioch," he exhorted them, that, with true pur pose of heart, they would cleave unto the Lord." And such appears to have been his language, wherever he went. He warned the guilty; taught the ignorant, roused the indifferent; proclaimed the glad tidings of salvation to a ruined world. His voice was heard in "all the regions round about" wherever an idol was yet to be overthrown, or a sinner to be saved. He was not among those who could calmly see others wanting the proper happiness, and neglecting the proper end of their being. He could not see them hanging on the edge of a precipice, or treading on the mouth of a furnace, and not stretch out his hand to save them.-Here,
again, let me not be understood to be calling upon every man to become an apostle and a preacher. No; though happy is he, and more honoured, perhaps, than all others, who is called to the high and holy office of preaching the Gospel; yet each man has his duty, and let him endeavour faithfully to discharge it. But, at the same time, every" good man" must have the spirit of Barnabas; and must, according to his means, devote himself to the promotion of the same great ends. There are heathens yet to be taught; there are persons, bearing the name of Christians, yet to be converted, and God demands their souls at your hands. You are to strengthen the exertions of others employed in the ministry; you are to aid the cause of missions; you are to circulate Bibles; you are, under Divine grace, to reclaim the profligate, to bring the wanderers back to the great "Shepherd and Bishop of their souls;" you are to ensure to yourself witnesses who, at the bar of God, shall rise up to call you blessed to acknowledge that your time, your money, your labour, your prayers were the main instruments in the hands of God of their safety and joy. Such, at the awful hour of judgment, shall be the witnesses to the faith and practice of every "good man;" and God does not call him good who does not, at least, endeavour to secure them.
5. I conclude by noticing a fifth feature in the character of Barnabas-that he was zealous for the bodies as well as for the souls of
his fellow-creatures; for their temporal as well as their eternal welfare.-You find him continually ́ carrying the gifts of one church to another. And it is expressly recorded of him, that he sold all his own property to increase the general stock of the Christians.-Here, then, is another feature of the good man." His benevolence must not be confined to advice that costs him nothing-to exertions for the spiritual benefit of others, which, perhaps, he can make without much sacrifice. It must extend to the bodies of his fellow-creatures; it must descend as low as the lowest wants and sufferings of human nature. must not only " compass sea and land to make one proselyte" to God: but bind up the wounds, and smooth the pillow of the miserable and afflicted.
Such, then, was Barnabas; such is the "good man" of the Scriptures. And God grant that such men may be multiplied! May we not be satisfied till we discover these features growing in ourselves! May we not think of comfort till we find that we are at least praying for them, and that God is beginning to answer our prayers! Barnabas, amidst all his attainments, felt the value of the Saviour whom he served; and proclaimed the name of Christ as the "only name given under heaven whereby we can be saved." And let us, whatever be our progress or deficiencies, rest in the same Saviour, that we may inherit the same salvation.
Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. infancy, the aim of childhood, the
THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF MAINTAINING AND EXHIBITING INDEPENDENCE OF MIND IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONs of life.
dream of youth, and the idol of mankind; nor does age itself which chills the warmth of our blood, and abates the ardour of our pursuits, deprive us of the fond hope of being the centres of our little sy
INDEPENDENCE is the effort of stems, where, though we may per
mit other luminaries to be depen dent upon us, yet we hope to enjoy the privilege of being independent of them. In this sense, independence is only another name for pride; and, however this principle of action may be disavowed or disguised, it is the great exciting motive with the majority of mankind. The greatest wisdom of the merely natural man will not shew him that in aiming at independence he pursues a shadow which must for ever elude his grasp. It was the saying of no less a personage than a monarch, that even kings themselves are only the upper servants of their subjects. If we examine this more minutely, we shall find, that the king is dependent upon the mi nistry, the ministry reciprocally upon him, and both upon the parHament; the members who compose that parliament are dependent upon their constituents; the rich man is dependent upon his possessions; the strong man upon his health; the man who is in honour upon popular opinion; he who is in place upon character, or even upon caprice. Superiors are often shewn to be dependent upon inferiors, and these perhaps of so contemptible a class as to be overlooked and despised in some such way as Goliath despised David. All will allow the poor are dependent upon the rich, and the workman on his employer; but it is not every one who can see that the rich are scarcely less dependent upon the poor, or the master upon the labourer. It has been often seen that the man upon whose will whole nations have depended has been himself dependent upon his vilest passions; and hence Horace's conviction that he who governed his own spirit ruled over a more extensive empire than he who stretched the bounds of his dominion from one end of the globe to the other. It was in aiming to be independent of God, That Satan was cast out of heaven. and Adam out of Paradise; and the Hattering prospects of independence
(although its attainment be utterly impracticable) is still the "unreal mockery" with which Satan deludes the fallen sons of a fallen father. It was in reference to the vanity of the expectations of the world in this particular, that Swift (a" prophet of their own") said,
I have known several persons of great fame for wisdom in public affairs and councils governed by foolish servants, and I have known men of valour cowards to their wives." With regard to the boasts which are made by many persons of their independence, we shall generally find that they who talk loudest on this head are the least entitled to do so, either from their personal merits or their actual situations in life. Upon this point, Burke has a fine passage:
Men," says he, "are never in a state of total independence of each other. It is not the condition of our nature; nor is it conceivable how any man can pursue any con siderable course of action, without its having some effect upon others, or of course without producing some degree of responsibility for his conduct. The situations in which men relatively stand, produce the rules and principles of that responsibility, and afford directions to prudence in exacting it.”
I have been led to pursue this train of reflection for a short time, not perhaps as strictly illustrative of what is termed independence of mind, but as appearing to be collaterally connected with that subject, and as likely to operate in the way of caution at the very threshold of an inquiry of this kind, since the purest species of independence which we can well conceive must needs be more or less mixed with the "baser matter" of pride and vanity; and, but for the transmuting power of true religion, would soon degenerate into the very spirit which has been adverted to. It must he confessed, notwithstand ing, that man, even in a state of nature, however fallen from his origi
nal dignity, still presents a noble ruin to the eye of the attentive observer, and often displays in his composition such traces of a Master's hand as to prove, beyond all contradiction, the dignity and grandeur of his origin. In this state, therefore, and even without the aid of the Gospel, it is surprising what flights of native independence we sometimes behold. It is consolatory to see the mind thus soaring above the matter with which it is encompassed, and to witness the triumph of the man over the animal, to observe honour and character preferred to life and security, and to see present advantages and emoluments surrendered without a sigh, when their possession could only have been at the price of personal liberty and mental independence. It is in reference to this elevated principle that Horace tells us of the man (and he had many such in his view) who felt it delightful, as well as knew it to be decorous, to die for his country; and of him who, unshaken in his purpose, neither feared on the one hand the licentious fury of the populace, nor on the other the appalling frown of a tyrant in power. It is in illustra tion of the same spirit, that mauy of the examples recorded in Greek and Roman history (with which we have been familiar from our youth) might here be noticed, if it were not endless to enumerate them; such as the instances of Pætus and Arria, of Lucretia, of Quintus Curtius, and a great variety of others; although perhaps there is hardly one among them which yields in simplicity and pathos to the more modern example of William Tell. It is this species of independence in all its varieties, from its dauntless heroism in the public tragedies of the world, down to its subordinate operations in private life, which has been the theme of historians and the song of poets from the earliest age; and it is in allusion to its more humble display in do
mestic scenes, that Shakespear has said,
"Blessed are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well comingled
That they are not a pipe for fortune's To sound what stop she please.”
And, in describing such an one, has further said,
"His nature is too noble for the world: He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for his pow'r to thunder."
When we come, however, to analyse this independence of mind which passes current on the world; which figures in the page of history, or sparkles in the numbers of poetry; when we come to reduce it to its primitive elements, and, above all, to try it by the test of Divine truth, it will be found, as weighed in such a balance, to be lighter than vanity; and, when touched by the spear of Ithuriel, it will start up in its proper shape. It originates for the most part in a false estimate of ourselves, and our own, merits; in an unhallowed regard for the opinion of man, and an inadequate sense of the value of His esteem whose "favour is life." Its radical defect is a preference of the creature to the Creator. It proposes to itself an immortality of fame, which, even if it could be realized, as it never will, would in no way benefit its possessor, and which, so far from deriving any warrant or sanction from the precepts or promises of Him who knew what was in man and what was good for man, is often found to be in secret alliance with our great enemy, in direct opposition to the first principles of the word of God, and at open war with the voice of conscience in the soul. Nor do these remarks, I apprehend, apply only to the more gross and palpable forms in which independence of mind may display itself on the great theatre of public action, but,
It will hardly here be necessary to supply examples of the manner in which the phrase of independence of mind is abused by nominal Christians of all classes; among whom it is only a soft name for a proud spirit, as economy is another word for avarice; indiscretion, for vice; pleasure, for sin; and puritanism, for holiness. But we may pass ou to the more grateful part of the subject which respects independence of mind as found in the true Christian, exercised upon Christian principles, and guarded by Christian cautions. And here "the noble army of martyrs rises at once to our view, and we behold the men" of whom the world was not worthy "brought before kings and rulers" for the sake of a despised and crucified Master; preaching righteousness to a world which chose death rather than life; witnessing a good confession, though the Holy Ghost had first testified to them that only "bonds and death" awaited them as their reward; and counting not their lives dear to themselves, so that they might finish their course with joy, committing their eternal interests to the Saviour in the midst of a shower of stones, and singing hallelujahs and hosannas as they ascended in the fiery chariots of pagan and papal persecution. This is a grateful theme, and it would be easy to enlarge. It is perhaps the highest example that can be given of independence of mind. In ordinary acts of heroism, the absence of a spiritual motive and the mixture of human passion
are essential defects: “ they do it that they may obtain a corruptible crown ;" and "they that take the sword shall perish by the sword :" but in the cases alluded to, faith is found acting upon the express injunction of our Lord, Fear not them who kill the body, and, after that, have no more that they can do; but fear Him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell." They do fear God rather than man; they "endure as seeing him who is invisible," and "great is their reward in heaven," "But to descend from this mount, and view the subject as more immediately applicable to ourselves-How are we interested in the question of independence of mind? If we could even trust our faith that we should be able to exercise it on occasions of public trial (which I suppose none of us will be sure that we should), it is clear that to such trials we are not called in the present peaceful state of the church and the world. Yet as things now are, and viewing ourselves in connection with all about us, it is perhaps not too much to assert that the true Christian alone possesses real independence of mind; and it may be no loss of time to consider upon what principles this may be af firmed.
1. He is independent of the world. He is not of the world, as Christ was not of the world, but is the native of another country, and the subject of another Sovereign. He is a citizen of no mean city;" and when vilified and persecuted by those who know him not, he can appeal to his own King as the Roman Christian appealed to Cæsar.
He looks forward to the day when the earth is to be burnt up, and sees that a cont flagration like that will consume the stubble and chaff which others are building their peace upon; and therefore he learns to form a pro per estimate of earthly treasures and to be independent of them;