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gentle, and peaceable, that all who see us may witness for us that we are the meek of the earth. We must
not only be moderate, "but let our moderation be known.' We must shew our meekness not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward, for this is thank-worthy. So exceeding broad is the commandment, we must "shew all meekness to all men.' We must seek meekness." Zeph. ii. 3, "Seek ye the Lord all ye meek of the earth-seek meekness." Now the way prescribed for the attainment of meekness is to seek it. Ask it of God, pray for it, it is a grant of the Spirit, it is given by the God of all grace, and to him we must go for it. The God we address is called the God of patience and consolation, Rom xv. 5, and as such we must ask him when we come to him for grace to make us likeminded, i. e., meek and loving one towards another. God's people are, and should be, a generation of seekers, that covet the best gifts, and make their court to the best Giver, who never said to the wrestling seed of Jacob, "seek in vain," but hath given us an assurance firm enough for us to build upon, and rich enough for us to encourage ourselves with: "Seek and ye shall find."-MATTHEW Henry.
whence the vast frame of nature sprang! What stretch-
it is now called forth, its senses bound, all its powers
Christian Example.-How powerful is example! How blessed and beneficial is good example! If we speak of place, it extends from house to house, from village to village, from city to city, from nation to nation, and, by the grace of God, its blessings may cover the earth as the waters cover the channel of the sea; if we speak of time, it descends from age to age, from century to century, and by the divine blessing, theed, and lo! now it is dawned upon the awakening soul; lamp of wisdom may be handed down, and transmitted through successive eras till time shall be no longer. The light of an individual, of a family, of a community, fearing God and working righteousness, may shed a ray of blessedness on the ends of the earth, and on the most distant isles of the sea, and may shine on the last of the human race! Oh! were we Christians in deed, and in truth, our example, by a silent and powerful eloquence, would convince and confirm others with regard to the faith that is in Christ, and would turn many from darkness to light, from sin unto holiness. The word of God would sound out from us, as it did from the Thessalonians, and be heard in distant places; it would run freely, and be glorified from the rising to the setting
But if we are wicked and ungodly, cruel and revengeful, Sabbath-breakers and drunkards, fraudulent and overreaching, having our hearts full of guile, and our hands stained with the wages of iniquity and the gains of oppression; in vain shall we compass sea and land to make proselytes to our faith; in vain shall we mingle the fervours of our zeal with the fire of a vertical sun, or the frosts of a Polar sky. We might expect to hear from those whom we wished to convert, such language as this: "Who made thee a judge and a divider among us?" "Physician, cure thyself." Christian, "show me thy faith by thy works," "and then we may hearken more patiently to thy arguments."-WIGHT
The blessedness of the Saints above.-How pleasant will the contemplation be of the divine wisdom! when in that glass, that mirror of eternity, we shall have the lively view of all that truth, the knowledge whereof can be any way possible and grateful to our natures! And in His light, see light! When all those vast treasures of knowledge, (Col. ii. 3,) which, already, by their alliance to Christ, saints are interested in, shall be opened to us; when the tree of knowledge shall be without enclosure; when the pleasure of speculation shall be without the toil, and that maxim be eternally antiquated, "that increased knowledge increases sorrow;" when the records of eternity shall be exposed to view, and all the counsels and results of that profaned wisdom looked into, how will it transport! How grateful to behold
No Middle course in Religion.-Often do we hear remiss professors strive to choke all forward holiness by commending the golden mean. A cunning discouragement; the devil's sophistry! The mean of virtue is between two kinds, not between two degrees. It is a mean grace that loves a mean degree of grace; yet this is the staff with which the world beats all that would be better than themselves. What! will you be singular,-walk alone? But were not the apostles singular in their walking, a spectacle to the world? Did not Christ call for this singularity, what do ye more than others? You that are God's peculiar people, will ye do no peculiar thing? Ye that are separate from the world, will ye keep the world's road? Must the name of a puritan dishearten us in the service of God? St. Paul said in his apology 'by that which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers;" and by that which profane ones call puritanism, which is indeed zealous devotion, so let my heart desire to serve Jesus Christ.-Old Puritan Writer.
the Sun of Righteousness, the refreshing showers of Prayer. Prayer draws down the warming beams of the Spirit of Grace, beneath whose genial influence all the spiritual graces, which God's own hand has planted, expand in their fullest bloom, and diffuse all around the sweetest fragrance. Prayer, with outstretched arms, fetches from the inexhaustible reservoir above, those rich supplies of the oil of divine grace; fed by which, the Christian lamp of faith will burn with a steady and increasing brightness, till, having guided the believer through the journey of life,-cheered, by its gladdening ray, the gloom of the chamber of death; and even darted a bright gleam of heavenly light deep down into that dark valley, through which he must pass to the city of his God, it will there be absorbed in the blaze of light that burns around the throne; for in that city there is no candle nor lamp required, yea, "there is no need of the sun or moon to enlighten it, for the Lamb is the light thereof, and our God its glory!"-WHITE.
THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST.
A kingly crown to gain;
Who boldest bears his cross below,―
And called on Him to save.
He pray'd for them that did the wrong:
A glorious band, the chosen few,
On whom the Spirit came, Twelve valiant Saints, the truth they knew, And braved the cross and shame : They met the tyrant's brandish'd steel,
The lion's gory mane;
They bow'd their necks the death to feel: Who follows in their train?
A noble army, men and boys,
The matron and the maid,
Around their Saviour's throne rejoice,
They climb'd the dizzy steep of heaven,
Oh! God, to us may grace be given,
WORLD IN THE HEART.
THE question is not, if our earthly race Was once enlightened by a flash of grace; If we sustained a place on Zion's Hill, And call'd him Lord,-but if we did his will. What if the stranger, sick and captive lie, Naked and hungry, and we pass them by ! Or do but some extorted pittance throw, To save our credit, not to ease their woe: Or strangers to the charity whence springs The liberal heart, devising liberal things; We, cumber'd ever with our own pursuits, To others leave the labour and its fruits; Pleading excuses for the crumb we save, For want of faith to cast it on the wave. -Shall we go forth with joy to meet our Lord, Enter his kingdom, reap the full reward?
-Can such his good, his faithful servants be? Bless'd of the Father ?-Read his Word and see. JANE TAYLOR.
Herman Francke.-While the celebrated Francke was minister at Erfurt, he was zealously engaged in the dissemination of scriptural truth. As he was very frequently receiving copies of the Scriptures from Luneburg, his enemies circulated a report that he was distributing heretical books among the people. The magistrates issued an order that no such books should be brought into the city. Francke did not suppose that this edict was designed to oppose the circulation of the Scriptures, and therefore persevered in his holy labour. Directions were then given to stop every package directed to him. A parcel soon after arrived, and Francke was called before the magistrates, and asked how he dared
to disobey their orders. The officer, to convict him of guilt, opened the package; when, to his surprise and confusion, it was found to contain nothing but New Testaments! Francke was, of course, honourably dismissed. The effect of this affair was to make it known through the city that he had the Scriptures to dispose of, and to increase the demand for them a hundred-fold!
A Nail in a sure Place.-I think, says Mr Arundell, the British chaplain at Smyrna, there is another part of this chapter (Isaiah xxii. 16.) the three last verses, that may be illustrated by a reference to ancient tombs. "I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and they shall hang upon him all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it." If the sure place can be supposed to mean the sepulchre, or the treasury, and frequently, as in the sepulchres of the kings of Jerusalem, and the tombs of the kings of Pergamus, the sepulchres were converted into treasure houses, then the tombs in the island of Milo will be a happy illustration, within which I have myself seen nails fixed all round above the places where the bodies were deposited, and upon these nails were fixed "vessels of small quantity," vases of all forms and sizes.
The Earl of Rochester.-It is well known that this extraordinary man was, for many years of his life, an avowed infidel, and that a large portion of his time was spent in ridiculing the Bible. One of his biographers has described him as " a great wit, a great sinner, and a great penitent." Even this man was converted by the agency of the Holy Spirit in the use of his Word. Reading the fifty-third of Isaiah, he saw the truth and inspiration of the Scriptures, the Deity of the Messiah, and the value of his atonement as a rock on which sinners may build their hopes of salvation. On that atonement he rested, and died in the humble expectation of pardoning mercy and heavenly happiness.
A Word in Season. The late Rev. Mr Reader, of Taunton, having called one day, in the course of his pastoral visits, at the house of a friend, affectionately noticed a little girl in the room, about six years of age. Among other things, he asked her if she knew that she had a bad heart, and opening the Bible, pointed her to the passage where the Lord promises to give a new heart. He instructed her to plead this promise in prayer, and she would find the Almighty faithful to his promise. About seventeen years after, a lady came to him, to propose herself for communion with the church of which he was pastor, and how inexpressible was his delight, when he found that she was the very person with whom, when a child, he had so freely conversed on subjects of religion, and that the conversation was blessed to her conversion. Taking her Bible, she had retired, as he advised, pleaded the promise, wept, and prayed; and the Lord, in answer to her fervent petitions, gave her what she so earnestly desired, a new heart.
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"THE FEAR OF THE LORD, THAT IS WISDOM."
VOL. I. No. 17.
SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 1836.
ON THE WISDOM OF GOD, AS DISPLAYED IN
BY THE REV. DAVID WILLIAM GORDON,
or of its glory through a long succession of ages. To the earth which we inhabit, the sun is appointed to rule by day, and while the earth's diurnal motion round its own axis produces vicissitude of day and night, so necessary to the preservation both of animal and of vegetable existence, its annual motion round the sun produces the change of seasons, by which we are regularly favoured with the sweetness of spring, the glory of summer, and the riches with which autumn, in its turn, adorns and blesses the year. Were the earth brought nearer to the sun, every living being would perish through excess of heat; were it placed at a greater distance, the same consequence would follow through excess of cold; so that the precise situation in which it is placed may furnish every one by whom this is considered, with a proof no less of the wisdom than the goodness of the Creator.
THOUGH the principal design of the Word of God is to instruct us in the knowledge of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, yet it does not confine our attention to this glorious subject. It declares, that all the works of the Most High are great, and "will be sought out by such as take pleasure therein." And having told us, that "whoso is wise will observe these things," it not only presents to our serious consideration the amazing dispensations of providence, but directs us to the study of the divine attributes, as these are exhibited in external nature. It directs our thoughts to the fertile valley, to the lofty mountain, to the far resounding sea, to the moon as she sheds her silver But it is not the heavenly bodies alone, it is light upon the earth, and to the sun pouring forth also in the air, the waters and the dry land, that from his meridian height, the effulgence of sum- we are called to contemplate the wisdom of God. mer day. It speaks of the God of salvation as Every one knows how essentially necessary is the counting the number of the stars, and calling them element of air, to the existence of animal life. all by their names. It speaks of his saints as There are many, however, who have thought but considering the heavens, the work of his fingers, little of its properties, and it might therefore be the moon and the stars which he hath ordained. edifying for such persons to consider, in the words And it says to us all, "lift up your eyes on high, of a late philosopher, that the air is so conand behold who hath created these things, that structed as to support clouds for rain; to afford bringeth forth their host by number, by the great-winds, for health and traffic; to be proper for the ness of his might, for that he is strong in power," not one faileth. On lifting up our eyes to the heavens, we behold an order, a harmony, an adaptation of means to ends, all demonstrating the most perfect wisdom. We see in the magnificence of a cloudless night, the planets preserved in their circles, and impelled in their course, performing at certain distances, and in certain periods, their appointed revolutions, without collision, without confusion, without one moment's suspension of their movements, and without the slightest deviation from their respective paths. And then, when "the sun cometh forth from his chamber, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race,” then is made manifest the wisdom of God, in establishing this immense magazine of fire as the centre of attraction to the planets which move regularly round it, the source of light and of heat to them all, and undiminished in respect either of its influence
breath of animals by its spring, and for causing sound by its motion, and transmitting light by its transparency." Philosophers are unable to explain the cause of its motion, but to this, whatever be the more immediate cause, are to be ascribed, the refreshment afforded to lands which would otherwise be scorched with heat, the prevention or removal of pestilence in various parts of the world, together with the preparation made for sowing the seed in spring, and drying the corn in harvest. Some, on turning their eyes to the ocean, may be surprised at so great a part of the globe being occupied by what seems only a wide waste of water. But how different would be their thoughts of the spacious sea, did they reflect on the discoveries which men of science have made, since they would find, that were the proportion of water less than it is, the earth would be a parched up desert, unfit for the habitation of man.
what do we owe those clouds, which, while they form in some countries an everlasting canopy from the heat of a tropical sun, descend in other regions to soften the earth with showers? To what do we owe the moisture of which the highest mountains are full, and the springs of water which support our existence, and the rivers which enrich the land? We owe all these to the ocean, which, in addition to these advantages, is also one of the principal bonds of union among all the nations of the world. Nor are we furnished with less memorable proofs of divine wisdom by turning to the earth which we inhabit. The mountains which diversify its surface, affording a much greater variety of herbs, of shrubs, and even of animals, than could possibly be found in one uni-veloping those manly and amiable principles for which he form plain; the riches to be found in its bowels; the quality of the soil, fitted to produce grass for cattle and corn for the service of man; the tree, providing, by the seed contained in it, for the renewal of its existence; the beasts of the field, providing with unerring instinct, for the purposes for which they were formed; the industry, the order, the regular government, the perfect accuracy both of arrangement and of structure, distinguishing the insect by which honey is prepared to gratify our taste with its sweetness; these are as complete attestations of divine wisdom, as the order with which the heavenly bodies perform their everlasting rounds. And how can we seriously meditate either on the soul or on the body of man, without feeling ourselves constrained to adore the wisdom of God? Did we think on the soul as
capable of surveying the ample stores of the earth, the sea, and the firmament, capable of recollecting the past, of anticipating the future, of discovering truths the most profound in every department of science, and of transmitting the acquisitions it has made to generations yet unborn; did we think on the comely proportions of the body, on the adaptation of its various parts to the uses for which they were designed, on the beautiful and amazing instruments of hearing and of sight; did we consider that a slight alteration in the structure of the eye, would make every ray of light be felt like devouring fire; did we reflect that a slight change in the structure of the ear would make every sound like the deafening roar of a cataract, and that a similar change in the nervous system, would make every touch like the stab of a sword; we would surely join with the Psalmist in saying, "we will praise Thee, O Lord, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made. O Lord, how manifold are Thy works in wisdom hast Thou made them all."
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
throughout different parts of Europe." CHRISTIAN FURChtegott GelleRT was born at Haynichen in Saxony, in the year 1715, and was one of a family of thirteen children. His father was pastor of the Church at Haynichen, of which he had long had the
second charge, and where he died, at the age of 75,
While at Leipzig, in 1784, he attended the lectures After the lapse of four years he returned to his father, of Hofmann, Jochern, Christen, Kappen and others. and at this period he mounted the pulpit as a preacher, to assist his parent in his parish duties. His first appearance in public (according to his own account of the circumstance) was rather singular. A neighbour had asked him to baptise his child, which, soon after the ceremony, expired. The young pastor was desirous of delivering a funeral sermon on the occasion. The child was to be interred at twelve o'clock. At eight on the day of the funeral, Gellert began to compose his discourse, and then to draw up an epitaph, after which he had to study and prepare himself for an extempore delivery. On commencing session suddenly forsook him, when he was relieved the third head of the sermon, his memory and self-posfrom his embarrassment by referring to his notes, which fortunately were at hand; his indulgent hearers attri buting his state of mind to sympathy and grief for the loss of the child. He takes occasion, in this instance, to warn young divines against the consequences of over anxiety and precipitation; and the circumstance gave his character a stamp of diffidence and timidity, which accompanied him through life. From this early period his unassuming manners, unaffected piety, and ardent zeal in disseminating the great and important truths of religion, made a deep impression on his hearers, and tended more and more to increase their esteem and respect. The interest he took in his professional duties, which he followed up with redoubled ardour, however amiable and
praiseworthy in itself, unfortunately tended to undermine his constitution, naturally a feeble one, and his fine feelings preyed upon a frame of too delicate a texture to bear up long against the inroads of unwearied study and intense application.
His circumstances did not at this time admit of his confining himself solely to the developement of his own mind. About 1739, he undertook the education of two young gentlemen, and afterwards an additional number, and this period he considers to have been the most vigorous and healthful of his life. Some of his remarks, as well as his mode of living at this time, give us an interesting view of the transcendent qualities of his mind;-“ A glass of Meissner wine," says he, " and a little bread, refreshed me in the evening, after the fatigues of the day, and I was affected to tears at the blessings I enjoyed."
He kept the Lord's day in the strictest manner, and never would even put pen to paper but in a case of the most indispensable necessity; and he disapproved sending messages of any kind :-" We pass the Sabbath," said he, "in too thoughtless a manner, and I am convinced that a more strict observance of it is indispensable to our growth in grace and good works. To pass this day free from worldly care, to try our hearts, to carry our thoughts to heavenly objects, to nourish and strengthen ourselves with the great truths of religion, is, in fact, the best preparation for our worldly labours during the remainder of the week. Forget on this day the trifling occurrences of life, and dedicate yourselves entirely to religion and to heavenly contemplation. Be grateful for the blessings of providence, for intercourse with your friends, and for the tender mercies spread over the face of nature. Pray to God, examine your heart, its good and evil tendencies, and fortify yourselves in the practice of virtue. God alone is the source of true happiness. Ask it of him, and be thankful for what you receive. We are too apt to forget our weakness and our unworthiness, amidst the cares and tumults of life, unless we lay aside a certain time to think of the power and goodness of God, and to acknowledge his greatness and our own insufficiency. These are proper occupations for the Sabbath. It is the day of prayer, and a day on which there is rest for our souls. Beware of being too confident of the efficacy of your good works. Be humble, and trust to God alone for mercy and forgiveness. See how gracious he is, and how dependant you are. For the sacrifice of earthly enjoyments you will feel the immeasurably higher blessings of religion, and receive peace from heaven. Study the Scriptures. Read the Sermons of Saurin, Mosheim, Jerusalem, Von Acken, Cramer, Schlegel, &c., which are edifying to every Christian." Such were some of the pious admonitions of this great and good man!
Gellert was always desirous of being established at Leipzig, where he had many friends, and he went there accordingly in 1741, accompanied by his nephew. He had then little to depend upon; but his truly Christian spirit supported him under every privation. From the time he lost his friend, Hofmann, who died there a few months after his arrival, Gellert occupied himself with the private education of some young noblemen, and prosecuted with ardour his taste for poetry. His delicate constitution, however, did not admit of very extraordinary application to literary pursuits, and he became extremely subject to low spirits. The Latin, the French, but particularly the English language, he studied with unabated pleasure, and, in their turns, Cicero, Rollin, the Spectator, Quintilian, Horace and Ovid, occupied his leisure hours. But his main object, at all times, was the improvement of the heart, by serious devotion and the elevating and sublime contemplation of the nature and attributes of providence. About a twelve-month after his arrival at Leipzig, he wrote several articles for a periodical journal in considerable estimation at that
time, such as fables, tales, didactic poems, and several treatises in prose, which were much admired, although they did not altogether escape the pen of criticism. This tended only to animate him more and more in the field of literature; and his fables, in particular, became so popular, that the journal could hardly find purchasers, unless furnished with them for the gratification and improvement of all classes of readers. His natural, unaffected style, his undeviating principles, and his mild philanthropic sentiments gained universal admiration, and gave great currency to his early productions.
The excellence of the morals he inculcated on every occasion, gave his writings a value which all ranks of people knew well how to appreciate, and his self-love was amply gratified by the admiration they excited in and out of Germany. A poor peasant in Saxony once, at the commencement of winter, left a cart load of firewood at his door, in return for the pleasure he had received from the perusal of his fables, which proved, that a person can feel and find out beauties in writing without having studied Aristotle.
About the year 1747, his constitution began to be seriously affected by hypochondria and a sedentary life, notwithstanding his habitual serenity of mind, and the most studied regularity and temperance in his mode of living. He took refuge, as usual, in the never failing consolations of religion, which he was always so ready to impart to others. In the following year he gave out an enlarged edition of his works, in which he expressed his deep sense of gratitude for the public patronage of the first. For seven years he had enjoyed uninterruptedly an intercourse with his most intimate friends in the career of literature. Then they began to disperse. Zacharias, Gieseke, and Klopstock, had left Leipzig. C. A. Schmidt was gone to Luneburg, Gartner and Ebert to Brunswick, Cramer to Crollwitz, and J. A. Schlegel to Pforta; Rabener remained a few years longer to enjoy the society of his friend. This change of scene affected Gellert the more, under the pressure of bodily suffering. About the year 1754 he published a kind of anonymous correspondence, in order to improve the style of epistolary writing, then in fashion. This collection certainly did not possess the vivacity, wit, and naiveté of a Sevignè, neither does the German language admit of the indescribable graces of the French; but although the collection was not equally well received with his other works, still it possessed sentiments worthy of the pure and unpolluted source from whence they emanated. He laboured at this time with equal zeal in composing his sacred odes and hymns, a subject quite congenial to his fine feelings, and which he pursued with all the ardour which a consciousness of its importance inspired. Not relying solely on his own judgment in this instance, he sent manuscript copies to his friends at Leipzig, Copenhagen, Berlin and Brunswick, previously to the work being printed, and he made such alterations and improvements as they, from time to time, suggested to him. These poems circulated over Germany with extraordinary rapidity, and were read and admired by all classes of persons, even in the Roman Catholic districts, where they formed an exception to the general rule for suppressing the admission of doctrines emanating from the pen of a Protestant. pious compositions, however agreeable to the feelings and principles of the author, were only the fruits of his leisure hours, his time being principally occupied in forming the minds of the students, and in leading them to a knowledge of the fine arts, by explaining the rules of poetry, eloquence, and other branches, and particularly by cultivating their taste for literary composition Gellert, at this period, was averse to accept of any public situation requiring extraordinary application and exertion, owing to the delicate state of his health; but his merit was too universally known and appreciated to remain long unacknowledged, particularly by the go