« AnteriorContinuar »
evidence" When he came (it is God. But, in addition to all this,
and God ; of a precipice, or treading on the she makes our friend doubly our mouth of a furnace, and not stretch friend, by making him the friend of out his hand to save them.--Here,
again, let me not be understood to his fellow-creatures; for their tembe calling upon every man to be- poral as well as their eternal welcome an apostle and a preacher. fare.--You find him continually' No; though happy is he, and more carrying the gifts of one church to honoured, perhaps, than all others, another. And it is expressly rewho is called to the high and holy corded of him, that he sold all his office of preaching the Gospel; own property to increase the gene. yet each man has his duty, and let ral stock of the Christians.--Here, him endeavour faithfully to dis. then, is another feature of the charge it. But, at the same time, good man." His benevolence every" good man" must have the must not be confined to advice spirit of Barnabas; apd must, ac- that costs him nothing-to exercording to his means, devote him- tions for the spiritual benefit of self to the promotion of the same others, which, perhaps, he can great ends. There are heathens yet make without much sacrifice. It to be taught; there are persons, must extend to the bodies of his bearing the name of Christians, yet fellow-creatures; it must descend to be converted, and God demands as low as the lowest wants and their souls at your hands. You sufferings of human nature. It are to strengthen the exertions of must not only “compass sça land others employed in the ministry; land to make one proselyte" to you are to aid the cause of missions; God: but bind up the wounds, you are to circulate Bibles; you and smooth the pillow of the miare, under Divine grace, to reclaim serable and afflicted. the profligate, to bring the, wan- Such, then, was Barnabas; such derers back to the great “ Shep is the “good man" of the Scripherd and Bishop of their souls;" tures. And God grant that such you are to ensure to yourself wit. men may be multiplied! May we not Desses who, at the bar of God, shall be satisfied till we discover these rise up to call you blessed to features growing in ourselves ! acknowledge that your time, your May we not think of comfort money, your labour, your prayers till we find that
at were the main instruments in the least praying for them, and that bands of God of their safety and God is beginning to answer our joy. Such, at the awful hour of prayers ! Barnabas, amidst all his judgment, shall be the witnesses to attainments, felt the value of the the faith and practice of every Saviour whom he served ;, and "good man ;”, and God does not proclaimed the name of Christ as call him good who does not, at the “ only name given under healeast, endeavour to secure them. ven whereby we can be saved,"
5. I conclude by noticing a fifth And let us, whatever be our profeature in the character of Barna- gress or deficiencies, rest in the bas--that he was zealous for the same Saviour, that we may inherit bodies as well as for the souls of the same salvation.
Totke Editor of the Christian Observer. infancy, the aim of childhood, the THE ADVANTAGES AND DISAD
dream of youth, and the idol of VANTAGES OF MAINTAINING
mankind; nor does age itself which AND EXHIBITING INDEPEN
chills the warmth of our blood, and DÈNCE OF MIND IN DIFFERENT
abates the ardour of our pursuits, SITUATIONS OF LIFE,
deprive us of the fond hope of
being the centres of our little syINDEPENDENCE is the effort of stems, where, though we may pera
mit other luminaries to be depen. (although its attainment be utterly dent upon us, yet we hope to enjoy impracticable) is still the “unreal the privilege of being independent mockery” with which Satan deof them. In this sense, indepen. ludes the fallen sons of a fallen dence is only another name for father. It was in reference to the pride; and, however this principle vanity of the expectations of the of action may be disavowed or dis- world in this particular, that Swift guised, it is the great exciting mo- (a “ prophet of their own") said, tive with the majority of mankind. “I have known several persons The greatest wisdom of the merely of great fame for wisdom in pubnatural man will not shew him that lic affairs and councils governed in aiming at independence he pur- by foolish servants, and I have sues a shadow which must for ever known men of valour cowards to elude his grasp. It was the saying their wives." With regard to the of no less a personage than a mo- boasts which are made by many narch, that even kings themselves persons of their independence, we are only the upper servants of their shall generally find that they who subjects. If we examine this more talk loudest on this head are the minutely, we shall find, that the least entitled to do so, either king is dependent upon the mi from their personal merits or their nistry, the ministry reciprocally actual situations in life. Upon this upon him, and both upon the par- point, Burke has a fine passage: hament; the members who compose Men,” says he, “ are never in a that parliament are dependent upon state of total independence of each their constituents; the rich man is other. It is not the condition of dependent upon his possessions; the our nature; nor is it conceivable strong man upon his health ; the how any man can pursue any conmau who is in honour upon popu- siderable course of action, without lar opinion ; he who is in place its having some effect upon others, upon character, or even upon ca. or of course without producing price. Superiors are often shewn some degree of responsibility for to be dependent upon inferiors, and his conduct. The situations in these perhaps of so contemptible a which men relatively stand, produce class as to be overlooked and des- the rules and principles of that repised in some such way as Goliath sponsibility, and afford directions despised David. All will allow the to prudence in exacting it.” poor are dependent upon the rich, I have been led to pursue this and the workman on his entployer; train of reflection for a short time, but it is not every one who can see not perhaps as strictly illustrative that the rich are scarcely less de- of what is termed independence of pendent upon the poor, or the mind, but as appearing to be collamaster upon the labourer. It has terally connected with that subject, been often seen that the man upon and as likely to operate in the way whose will whole nations have of caution at the very threshold of depended has been himself de- an inquiry of this kind, since the pendent upon his vilest passions; purest species of independence and hence Horace's conviction that which we can well conceive must he who governed his own spirit needs be more or less mixed with ruled over a more extensive empire the “ baser matter” of pride and than he who stretched the bounds vanity; and, but for the transmuting of his dominion from one end of power of true religion, would soon the globe to the other. It was in degenerate into the very spirit aiming to be independent of God, which has been adverted to. It That Satan was cast out of heaven. must be confessed, notwithstande and Adam out of Paradise; and the ing, that man, even in a state of naHattering prospects of independence ture, however fallen from his origią
nal dignity, still presents a noble mestic scenes, that Shakespear has ruin to the eye of the attentive ob- said, server, and often displays in his
« Blessed are those composition such traces of a Mas. Whose blood and judgment are so well ter's hand as to prove, beyond all con
comingled tradiction, the dignity and grandeur That they are not a pipe for fortune's of his origin. In this state, therefore, To sound what stop she please."
finger and even without the aid of the Gospel, it is surprising what flights And, in describing such an one, of native independence we some- has further said, times bebold. It is consolatory to see the mind thus soaring above
“ His nature is too noble for the world: the matter with which it is encom
He would not flatter Neptune for his passed, and to witness the triumph
Or Jove for his pow'r to thunder." of the man over the animal, to ob serve honour and character pre- Wher we come, however, to anaferred to life and security, and to lyse this independence of mind see present advantages and emolu- which pásses current on the world; ments surrendered without a sigh, which figures in the page of histowhen their possession could only ry, or sparkles in the numbers of have been at the price of personal poetry; when we come to reduce it "liberty and mental independence. to its primitive elements, and, above It is in reference to this elevated all, to try it by the test of Divine principle that Horace tells us of truth, it will be found, as weighed in the man and he had many such in such a balance, to be lighter than his view) who felt it delightful, as vanity; and, when touched by the well as knew it to be decorous, to spear of Ithuriel, it will start up in die for his country; and of him who, its proper shape. It originates for unshaken in his purpose, neither the most part in a false estimate of feared on the one hand the licen- ourselves, and our own merits; in tious fury of the populace, nor on an unhallowed regard for the opithe other the appalling frown of a nion of 'man, and an inadequate tyrant in power. It is in illustra- sense of the value of His esteem tion of the same spirit, that many whose “ favour is life.” Its radiof the examples recorded in Greek cal defect is a preference of the and Roman history (with which we creature to the Creator. It prohave been familiar from our youth) poses to itself an immortality of might here be noticed, if it were fame, which, even if it could be not endless to enumerate them; such realized, as it never will, would in as the instances of Pætus and no way benefit its possessor, and Arria, of Lucretia, of Quintus Cur- which, so far from deriving any tius, and a great variety of others; warrant or sanction from the prealthough perhaps there is hardly cepts or promises of Him who knew one among them which yields in what was in man and what was simplicity and pathos to the more good for man, is often found to be modern example of William Tell. in secret alliance with our great It is this species of independence enemy, in direct opposition to the in all its varieties, from its daunt- first principles of the word of God, less heroism in the public tragedies and at open war with the voice of of the world, down to its subordi- conscience in the soul. Nor do nate operations in private life, which these remarks, I apprehend, apply has been the theme of historians only to the more gross and palpaand the song of poets from the ble forms in which independence earliest age; and it is in allusion to of mind may display itself on the its more humble display in do- great theatre of public action, but, like the subtle power assigned by are essential defects : “ they do it Young to death, it
that they may obtaiŋ a corruptible 4 Plays its weapon in the narrower crown ;" and "they that take the sphere
sword shall perish by the sword :" Of sweet domestic comfort, and cuts but in the cases alluded to, faith down
is found acting upon the express The fairest bloom of sublunary bliss." injunction of our Lord, ' Fear not
It steals unperceived into the fa- them who kill the body, and, after mily circle, and intrudes upon our that, have no more that they can social, shall I say our religious, do; but fear Him who, after he hath converse ?
killed, hath power to cast into bell." It will hardly here be necessary They do fear God rather than to supply examples of the manner man; they “endure as seeing him in which the phrase of indepen. who is invisible," and "great is dence of mind is abused by nominal their reward in heaven." But to Christians of all classes ; among descend from this mount, and view whom it is only a soft name for a the subject as more immediately proud spirit, as economy is ano applicable to ourselves-How are iher word for avarice; indiscre- we interested in the question of intion, for vice; pleasure, for sin ; dependence of mind? If we could and puritanism, for holiness. But even trust our faith that we should we may pass ou to the more grate- be able to exercise it on occasions ful part of the subject which re- of public trial (which I suppose spects independence of mind as none of us will be sure that we found in the true Christian, exer should), it is clear that to such trials eised upon Christian principles, and we are not called in the present guarded by Christian cautions. And peaceful state of the cburch and here “ the noble army of martyrs the world. Yet as thiugs vow are, rises at once to our view, and we and viewing ourselves in connection behold the men” of whom the with all about us, it is perhaps not world was not worthy “ brought too much to assert that the true before kings and rulers” for the Christian alone possesses real indesake of a despised and crucified pendence of mind ; and it may be Master; preaching righteousness to no loss of time to consider upon a world which chose death rather what principles this may be af, tban life ; witnessing a good confes-firmed. sion, though the Holy Ghost had 1. He is independent of the tirst testified to them that only world. – He is not of the world, “ bonds and death” awaited them as Christ was not of the world, but as their reward ; and counting not is the native of another country, their lives dear to themselves, so and the subject of another Sovethat they might finish their course reign. He is “ a citizen of no with joy, committing their eternal mean city;" and when yilified and interests to the Saviour in the persecuted by those who know him midst of a shower of stones, and not, be can appeal to his own King singing hallelujahs and hosannas as as the Roman Christian appealed they ascended in the fiery chariots to Cæsar. He looks forward to of pagan and papal persecution. the day when the earth is to be This is a grateful theme, and it burnt up, and sees that a con would be easy to enlarge. It is flagration like that will consumo perhaps the highest example that the stubble and chaff which others can be given of independence of are building their peace upon; and mind. In ordinary acts of heroism, therefore he learns to form a pro the absence of a spiritual motive per estimate of earthly treasures and the mixture of human passion and to be independent of them,