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L. T. She was admitted to the Sunday-school in which the writer of this little memoir was a teacher, when about eight years of age, and formed one of the class committed to her charge. The superiority of this child's conduct to the rest of her companions soon began to be observable. Without some particular cause, she never absented herself from the school, and the uniform steadiness of her behaviour when there was remarkable: she always appeared to be impressed with the seriousness of the work in which she was engaged, and to feel that the instructions then given were not "a light thing," to be forgotten as soon as heard, but momentous truths, with which she needed to be experimentally acquainted. During the prayers offered at the meeting and dismissal of the scholars, she always manifested uncommon attention; and her teacher does not recollect a single instance in which it was found necessary to reprove her for that giddiness and thoughtlessness, which almost universally, it is believed, form a part of the cross a Sunday-school teacher must expect to meet with; and it is impossible to forget the fixed seriousness with which she invariably listened to the reading and explanation of the chapter in the Testament, which made part of the Sabbath morning occupations. When L. was between nine and ten years of age, the school, owing to particular circumstances, was obliged to be given up for about the space of three months, during which time, in the absence of the teachers, she undertook the charge of a few of the younger children, and they regularly assembled on the Sabbath morning at her mother's cottage. She also frequently employed her leisure hours in teaching during the week. But, above all, it was the constant tenour of her daily life which induced the hope that something more than head-knowledge had been vouchsafed to her a hope that God the Holy Spirit was inwardly teaching her the reality of those blessed truths which she had heard with her outward ears. Her mother, and indeed all who knew her, frequently bore testimony to her obedience and willingness to do any thing required of her; she was also very careful in endeavouring to set a good example to her little brother, whose impetuous disposition she endeavoured constantly to restrain.
Another evidence that a new heart had indeed been given her, was the pleasure with which she looked forward to the privileges and enjoyments of the Lord's day: it was truly unto her "a delight," and not, as it is to be feared it too often proves to multitudes, "a weariness." She was in the habit of rising earlier on that day, that she might have time for reading to herself and also to her mother before school-time; and when the public services of the Sabbath were ended, she never joined those idle wanderers who too frequently are induced to trifle away its valuable hours-those hours now in mercy lent us, to prepare, in a more especial manner, for eternity; and for the way in which we have used and improved them, all must shortly give an account before the awful judgment-seat of Him who "requireth that which is past." As is ever to be expected, she was ridiculed for her strictness by her school-fellows: but this did not move her; whatever others did, she determined to be on the Lord's side. She came out and was separate from them,
only expressing her surprise that they could act in direct contradiction to all the instructions given them by their teachers, and wilfully neglect to keep holy the Sabbath-day. In the manner in which they received her justly merited rebuke, she found in her own experience the truth of Scripture-"all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
L. was never a robust child; but from the autumn of 1834 her health began to decline materially, though no doubt was then entertained of her ultimate recovery. From this time she was not able, on account of the fluctuating state of her health, to be a regular attendant at the school. Her complaint at length terminated in consumption, in which her chief sufferings were from excessive and long-continued weakness, which almost entirely incapacitated her from speaking; this, together with natural timidity, deprived her teacher of the pleasure of much conversation with her, though she ever evinced the most lively interest and thankfulness for religious reading and converse. Her lingering illness she bore with Christian meckness and patience-fruits, no doubt, which the Holy Spirit had wrought in her. She, like all the children of God, had her doubts and fears, the enemy of her soul sometimes suggesting that her sins were too great to be pardoned; though in general she indulged the hope that, through the blood of Christ, she was washed from all her sins, and should obtain an eternal inheritance in the mansions of her Father's house above. Constantly, through the whole of her illness, her frame of mind was, "thy will be done:" though she desired rather to depart and to be with Christ, yet she expressed her entire willingness to remain so long as her heavenly Father saw it to be needful. The evening before her death, the latter part of the 7th chapter of the book of Revelation was read to her, which, though unable to utter a word, she heard with delight; and the following morning, after a night of great suffering from violent convulsions, which were borne without a murmur, she fell asleep in Jesus; and doubtless now forms one of the ransomed company, who, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, dwell for ever in the heavenly temple. When her body was committed to the dust, and the solemn and affecting burial-service of our Church read over her lifeless form, it was delightful to anticipate, in sure and certain hope, her resurrection at the last day unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Calling on her mother after her death (which happened the latter part of April 1835), she mentioned that L. was in the habit every evening of praying with her, and conversing on the love of the Redeemer, and frequently exclaiming, "I should never have known any of these things, if I had not heard them at the Sunday-school.”
RELIGIOUS EXERTIONS IN FRANCE. It will no doubt be gratifying to our readers to receive intelligence of the progress of religion in various parts of the world. With this we shall endeavour to supply them. In the present Number we shall give a short account of the proceedings of some of the religious societies in France. Every Christian will rejoice to learn, that in that land where, a few years ago, it was publicly decreed that there was no God, and that death was an eternal sleep, there are now a band of faithful
men filled with zeal to promote the glory of the Saviour. They are still comparatively very few in number; but, by God's blessing, they are increasing. And we are not to forget that our Lord likens his kingdom to leaven" hid in three measures of meal," which wrought "till the whole was leavened." Thus effectually, from small beginnings, shall the Gospel spread.
There are now lying before us the last reports, published in 1835, of the Paris Religious Tract Society, of the Evangelical Society of France, of the Paris Missionary Society, and of the French and Foreign Bible Society.
The Religious Tract Society held its twelfth anniversary meeting April 28, 1835. The committee reported that there had been a considerable increase within the year, both in the income, and in the quantity of tracts circulated. The receipts amounted to 24,562 francs (about 9827.); and half a million of tracts had been distributed. Many interesting facts were stated. We have room for only one. A young soldier, said one of the ministers present, had received a Bible and some tracts just before his departure on service to Algiers. Ah, (cried he, in expressing his gratitude) were I obliged, in order to preserve these books, to crawl on my hands and knees all the way to Algiers, I would far rather do that than be deprived of them.
The second anniversary meeting of the Evangelical Society of France was held April 29, 1835. The object of this important society is to propagate religious truth through France. According to the report, five colporteurs (hawkers), four schoolmasters, and one schoolmistress, three evangelists, and five ministers, had been employed within the year. Much impression appeared to have been made by these labourers, and much good to have been done both among Protestants and Roman Catholics. One of the latter, for instance, an old soldier, at Rennes, came forward to offer his little subscription of two francs a quarter. More, he said, he had not to give; but what he had he gave with lively pleasure for that which had rendered him so happy. The income of this society was stated to be 22,031 francs (about 8817.)
The Paris Missionary Society held its eleventh anniversary April 30, 1835. Its gross income had been 69,352 francs (about 2,7741.) It had four missionary stations at the Cape of Good Hope; and had just sent out two additional missionaries, who, when they arrived at their destination, would swell the number of missionaries to seven; there being also two assistant missionaries, and four females; making a total of thirteen labourers. The report observes, with holy joy, that the Church of Christ in France, heretofore wandering in the desert, plaintive, not long ago, as the dove, whom the arrow of the fowler has wounded, and seeking a refuge in the caves of the rocks, is now enlarging the place of her tent, strengthening her stakes, and lengthening her cords beyond the seas, and propagating her faith even under the fires of the southern tropic. This it takes as an omen of good for the country, remembering the faithful word, that he that watereth shall himself be watered.
The French and Foreign Bible Society held its second general meeting May 1st, 1835. Its funds amounted to 57,336 francs (about 2,2931.); and it had circulated, within the year, 1527 Bibles and 5499 Testaments. That its labours are not in vain, the following anecdote may shew:-An infirm old man, in Britanny, used to travel through a number of villages, and, in return for the alms he received, instruct the children of the peasants. One day, having been hospitably treated by a poor shoemaker, he offered to read the Bible to him. The shoemaker agreed; and God's Spirit so impressed upon his heart what he heard, that he exclaimed, "I must have that book; where ean I get it?" He was told-at Nantes. Immediately he hastened thither, more than twenty-five leagues, to
procure his Bible. He received it, read it, studied it; and, by the blessing of God, is now a Christian in deed and in truth.
The reports of the French societies must excite feelings painful as well as pleasant in the heart of a British Christian. If it be pleasant to know that the work of God is advancing in the neighbour kingdom, it is still painful to see how little of the strength of France is as yet put forth in the Redeemer's service. A vast proportion of that country is still a moral wilderness. There are many departments without a single Protestant minister: and, alas! in many Protestant Churches the pure Gospel of Christ is not proclaimed. Surely, then, we ought to strengthen the hands of those devoted men who are ranking themselves there upon the Lord's side. By our prayers, by our testimony, by our example, we may do much. Let English Christians who travel on the continent bear this in mind. They may be instruments under God of turning, as they journey, the waters of salvation into new channels. If they neglect the opportunities presented to them, surely a fearful responsibility will rest upon their heads.
THE INCONSISTENCY OF UNBELIEF. WE often hear it said, that no man need believe that which he cannot understand. Hence, by some, several of the doctrines of Scripture, confessedly mysterious, are doubted or denied. But every one must allow, who chooses to consider, that there are many facts the truth of which is evident, though the reasons of them pass our comprehension. It is a fact, for instance, that if you plant an acorn it will grow, put forth branches, be adorned with leaves, and become in process of time a mighty and magnificent tree. You would laugh at the folly of the person who told you that this could not be. Yet, where is the philoHe may say, insopher who can explain this fact? deed, that it draws nourishment from the ground, from the rain, from the atmosphere: but can he tell us how the various parts of the oak, so different from each other in form, and substance, and colour, are produced? Can he shew us by what means the simple materials are moulded, and make us understand
all the stages of the curious work? Can he tell us why the leaves upon the oak are all alike, of one particular shape, quite different from the leaves of any other tree, though planted in the same soil, watered by the same showers, and warmed by the same sun? No: he cannot tell us all this; yet he never strives to make us disbelieve our senses, and deny the growth of the oak from the acorn. It is just so with regard to the truths of revelation. As God is infinitely su perior to man, it is not likely that what he is, and what he does, can ever be fully comprehended by our imperfect faculties. Many truths, therefore, must be higher than our thoughts, as the heavens are higher than the earth. Yet this does not render them doubtful. We may easily be sure of a fact, even though we are ignorant of the motives which prompted it, and the instruments which effected it. So that, if any thing above our comprehension comes upon sufficient evidence, whether that be the evidence of our senses, or the testimony of credible witnesses, we are bound to admit it. He who doubts the truth of a doctrine revealed in Scripture because he cannot explain it, ought also to disbelieve the growth of trees and plants from sced. In fact, if he were consistent, there would
be no limit to his unbelief. He ought to doubt his own being, because he can as little understand how the reasonable soul and flesh are one man. But there
are few indeed who do not receive the mysteries of the natural world, allowing there a thousand facts which defy the utmost powers of their mind to understand: why do they not act on the same principle with regard to the spiritual world? There is a great analogy between God's dealings in providence and in grace. He never, indeed, asks us to credit that which is against reason; nor does he propound any thing to us without sufficient evidence of its truth. Let us,
therefore, if the evidence of the fact be clear, learn to admit his testimony, even though we cannot, for our infirmity, see clearly how that fact is brought about.
THE CHRISTIAN RIGHTEOUSNESS:
MATTHEW, V. 20.
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
is, hence, the strongest reason for the minister of God's word to inculcate diligently that truth which is so momentous, and so displeasing to the carnal mind. Men will not of themselves discover and embrace it: it must be urged " line upon line, precept upon precept."
I intend in this discourse to expound, as plainly as I can, our Saviour's solemn words in my text; and I shall,
I. Shew the nature and deficiency of the
I. If we examine the New Testament, we shall see that, generally speaking, the outward conduct of the Pharisees was irreproachable. They are continually mentioned in opposition to the publicans, who were justly charged with a mass of vices. St. Paul was a Pharisee, and he was, as he tells us, a diligent observer of rites and ceremonies and precepts; yea, he was, "touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." Indeed, the Pharisees went beyond the strict letter of the Mosaic statutes, and required and practised a multitude of observances not enjoined in the divine revelation. They would not associate with immoral characters; for they laid it as a charge against Jesus Christ that he was gone to be a guest with a publican, and that he suffered himself to be touched by a woman that was a sinner. And, to a certain extent, they were sincere in their professions; for St. Paul says, "I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge," Rom. x. 2; and St. Peter, adverting to their great condemning sin, the putting to death of Jesus Christ, allows, "Now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." Acts, iii. 17. The Pharisees, then, lived, as we should say, regular and creditable lives; they were moral and upright; and yet our Lord declares to his auditors in my text, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." We learn, then, at once, this most important lesson, that a man's conduct may be decent and unblamable, and yet that he may be far from God, exposed to the wrath of Him who not only can kill the body, but also "is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Where, then, is the
THE most fatal mistakes have frequently pre-
1. I reply first, that it proceeds from an improper principle. The moral Pharisees were not actuated by love to God. They did their works to be seen of men. They were restrained from sin, not by a hatred of it, as offensive in the eyes of a kind Father in heaven, but by a fear lest, if they indulged in it, they
should lose the estimation of their fellows upon earth. Now the moral value of an action depends mainly upon the motive which prompts it. Two men may perform the same outward deed of charity; and yet the one be influenced by ostentation, the other by the genuine feelings of compassion. It is needless to say that their acts will be differently appreciated by Him who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins; for they would be ferently appreciated even by the receiver of their bounty, if he could discover the difference of their intentions. Hence it is that our Lord upbraids the Pharisees with being like "whited sepulchres," externally fair, within polluted with uncleanness. He therefore, in the context, takes pains to prove that the law of God did not, as they appeared to fancy, only reach to the actions, but required the affections of the heart. It might be broken, and he gives instances, by an unholy thought. Their imperfect principles would not carry them to this spiritual obedience.
his sincere ignorance, if you will-only aggravates his guilt. And this was the case with the Pharisees. They believed that they did God service, because they shut their eyes to the evidence of the Gospel, and closed their ears to the preaching of the truth; and therefore, to their condemnation, they rejected. the righteousness of God.
These, then, are fatal flaws in Pharisaic dif-righteousness: it flows from a wrong principle, it is therefore imperfect; it is applied to a wrong purpose, it is therefore inadequate. I might easily point out other particulars of deficiency: but perhaps I have said enough to shew you, that "except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
2. Farther; their righteousness was misapplied. We learn from many passages in Scripture, that the Pharisees expected salvation as the reward of their good deeds. Our Lord strove to correct this erroneous notion, in the well-known parable, in which he introduces an individual praying in the temple; "God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are... I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." Luke, xviii. 11, 12. Righteousness could be available in this way only if it were actually perfect. One trace of deficiency would vitiate it; for, as St. James asserts, "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James, ii. 10. Now this misapplication must be of destructive tendency. It is of no use to argue that a man is sincere in such an error ;- undoubtedly, as I have admitted, many of the Pharisees were sincere in their belief that they ought to resist the Gospel;-but if sincerity in error is to excuse it, why then there was no need for the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Men had only to persuade themselves that their crooked paths would lead to eternal life, and then there would be no use in a revelation to disclose to them the straight and true one. Let this be deeply pondered by those who fancy that all which God requires is sincerity. It is a fatal mistake to entertain such a notion. It nullifies the Gospel. It charges the Highest with foolishness. The truth is, that men have no right to be sincere in error. Ignorance is an excuse only so far as it is unavoidable: if any one is ignorant because he will not examine, wrong-headed because he will not listen to wise counsel, persuaded he is right because he is too proud to learn, his ignorance
II. I proceed, in the second part of the discourse, to shew wherein the Christian righteousness exceeds it.
There are two parts of Christian righteousness the righteousness of justification, and the righteousness of sanctification. The Pharisee, as I have shewn, has neither; for he looks to be justified by his own works, which are as filthy rags:" and he performs his services from a selfish motive; they are, therefore, unpleasing in the eye of that God who will have the affections of the soul.
1. The Gospel, on the other hand, sets forth to us a righteousness which can justify by faith in Christ. "I count all things but loss (says the Apostle Paul, Phil. iii. 8, 9) for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord... that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." When man was lying in sin and estrangement from God, the Lord Jesus Christ interposed to reconcile us to him. He appeared in our nature, he suffered the penalty of our sins, he perfectly obeyed the law which we had broken, and thus brought in an everlasting righteousness, which shall be "unto all and upon all them that believe." God, for his sake, can now receive the sinner who approaches him by Jesus Christ; for the simple terms of salvation, as set forth in Scripture, are, God "gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be lieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John, iii. 16. And this is the Christian righteousness of justification: we are accepted in the Beloved;" by faith we lay hold on the free gift of God in his dear Son. And hence is excluded that vague notion which many entertain, that God, simply because he is merciful, and because Christ died, will forgive them, and accept their im→ perfect endeavours. This is not the Scripture
truth. The Scripture teaches us that Christ died, not to patch up our deficiencies, but altogether to deserve salvation for us. It teaches us that God indeed is merciful, but that he has exhibited his mercy in one only way to us, by his dear Son; so that for those who reject Christ, "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." We become really interested in God's mercy by the effectual application of Christ's blood: he washes us from our sins, he forgives our iniquity, in him we are accounted righteous. And thus, as God dealt with Christ, for man's sake, as though he had been guilty; so now he deals with believers, for Christ's sake, as though they were righteous: he removes, as far as the east is from the west," so far their guilt from them. In this respect, then, the Christian justifying righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees theirs is the righteousness of man, imperfect, polluted ;-ours is the righteousness of Christ, perfect, most holy theirs is based upon their own works;—ours is the free gift of God. No wonder that theirs leaves them beneath the curse, for the law proclaims, " Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them:"-no wonder that ours takes away condemnation, for "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." A Pharisee, a self-righteous man, can never enjoy well-grounded comfort that his sins are forgiven, because he is never able to make satisfaction to the broken law: the believer in Christ may have joy in the Holy Ghost, because, "being justified by faith," he has peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
2. Further, the Christian righteousness of sanctification is pure in its principle, though certainly imperfect in its measure, in this life. It springs from "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us." That service alone is really valuable which is done from love. We delight to imitate the beloved object, we hate that which he hates. And so, having received unnumbered mercies from God, in his dear Son, the believer, whose sins, which were many, are forgiven, loveth much. The Scriptures always place the love of God as the foundation "We love him because he first loved us," (1 John, iv. 19); and they represent one that is justified by faith as having received a perfectly new principle of action. He was before encumbered with "the spirit of bondage"he is now influenced by "the spirit of adoption;" his service heretofore, such as it was, was heavy task-work-it is now the cheerful offering of a grateful soul. This principle produces not external fruits only; it com
mands the affections, it touches the secret springs of action, it works, not to be seen of men, but "the love of Christ constraineth us," that whatsoever we do, we should do all to the glory of God. And this is the Christian righteousness of sanctification, which is wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit, leading us to Christ, shewing us his glory and his love, and strengthening us from hence to be his obedient servants. In this respect, then, it exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees: theirs may be traced to selflove-this flows from love to God in Christ : theirs is unsound, hypocritical—this is genuine and heartfelt. No wonder that theirs is an abomination in the sight of Him who declares that "the ploughing of the wicked is sin;"-no wonder that this comes up, through Christ, as "a sweet-smelling savour" to our gracious Father, who has invited us to offer up ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, a sacrifice to him, pleasing, and accepted in his dear Son. The works of a Pharisee are a condemning witness against him, because he may, if he examine, perceive that they are destitute of the essence of that law which demands an obedience of thought as well as of action
the holy fruit of a believer in Christ is a pleasant evidence of the reality of his faith, of that faith which "worketh by love."
And in this way we see the close connexion between sanctification and justification; and hence the weapons, with which worldly men have striven to destroy the great doctrines of free grace, fall pointless to the ground. "Do we make void the law through faith? forbid (we reply with the apostle, Rom. iii. 31): yea, we establish the law." We shew you how only the law can be properly kept; for "love is the fulfilling of the law." And as surely as love is shewn to a sinner in the forgiveness of his sins, will love be returned by the believer to his kind and compassionate Father. Why! when the sun sends forth his beams, they are not absorbed in darkness: but moons and planets, bright with his glory, reflect them back again, turning always their enlightened faces to him, as if to bask in his rays, and to acknowledge him the author of their refulgence. It is so with the believer. Let but the Sun of righteousness arise, and his face is lightened, a portion of God's own glory seems to rest upon him, and his conduct and conversation prove that he is anxiously inquiring, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me?" Do you suppose that a cause so mighty in operation as the pardoning love of God in Christ will have no effect? It is not more irreligious than unreasonable to imagine it. Look at the influence of the heavenly bodies upon the waters of the vast ocean.