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any merit on their part, but, "Even so, Father;
deprive their possessor. The dreadful accident which occurred from the fall of the tower of Siloam, and the cruel death of those Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices, were made the occasion of that solemn denunciation, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
The very necessities and infirmities of nature became, in our Saviour's hands, an opportunity for conveying instruction; as his thirst, when he sat wearied on the well of Samaria, became the foundation of his sublime discourse on that occasion; the miracle of the loaves and fishes led to the discourse related in the sixth chapter of St. John; and his restoration of light to the blind man, to his declaration that he was the Light of the world, recorded in the ninth chapter of the same gospel. But examples of this sort are too numerous to be overlooked by the most casual Thus was their gracious Lord ever sowing the reader of scripture, as are also those many inprecious seed of his heavenly doctrine in the hearts stances of our Lord's instructions, derived from of his followers, and fostering it with his un- inanimate objects, and from the brute creation. speakable love. He scattered the seed, not pro- We are accustomed to read these discourses in demiscuously, but here a little, and there a little, as tached portions, or to consider them separately, they were able to bear it. We are even permitted endeavouring thus to deduce the vital truths they in some degree to trace how he adapted it to the are intended to convey; and it is of the last imrespective wants of each; as, for instance, with portance that we should do this. But it would be St. Peter, how, while he encouraged that apos- of unspeakable advantage for us also to study tle's ardent affection, he would yet make him them as one continuous whole; to consider our sensible of his weakness when unsupported by di- Lord's position while uttering them; to view vine power; and we see this mode of our Lord's them as portions of his history, as illustrations of teaching remarkably exemplified, among other his heavenly character. Thus, through God's instances, in the permission given to the forward blessing, we might obtain some glimpses of that disciple, to come to his Master on the sea. noble calmness, that entire freedom from selfAgain, we find this same discriminating thought-contemplation, that complete absorption of his fulness in the Redeemer's question to the warm-human will into the will of his Father, which hearted but undiscerning Philip, on the occasion of multiplying the loaves; and on which I have before remarked in my paper on that miracle.
But it was not only to the respective wants of his more immediate followers that our considerate Saviour adapted his divine teaching: a similar discrimination appears in his instructions to the different classes of his hearers. Thus those who "trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others," were reproved by the parable of the proud, self-righteous Pharisee, and the humble, self-condemned publican; while, when all the publicans and sinners drew near to the perfectly pure yet condescending Instructor, he showed them, in a series of beautiful parables, God's readiness to receive those who had wandered farthest from his fold, if they would return to him with the feeling of surrender so powerfully manifested in the repentant prodigal. To these publicans, despised and shunned by their fellowcreatures, the benevolent Saviour held out the beautiful picture of their heavenly Father yearning to embrace them in the arms of his mercy; running to receive them when yet a great way off; rejoicing over them with a parent's unspeakable joy, when once more returned to the home of his love.
Every incident was embraced by our Lord as an opening, or vehicle, for spiritual teaching. Thus, when asked by one to speak to his brother, that he would divide an inheritance with him, instead of complying with the request, Jesus, in an awful parable, showed the worthlessness of those riches, of which death might in one short hour
marked our Redeemer's whole course on earth.
Let us observe also that it was not only throughout the sore trials of a suffering and persecuted life our Saviour was unceasingly mindful of the spiritual good of those for whom he came to die: the same watchfulness is apparent amidst the horrors of his mock trial, and the tortures of his agonizing death. The heathen governor might have heard the truth from the lips of his divine prisoner, if he would have yielded to the strong impulse of his feelings, and the powerful pleadings of his half-awakened conscience. With what gracious condescension did the meek and lowly Redeemer set forth his doctrine to that unrighteous man, whose base fears were about to give up One in whom he could find no fault, whom he himself called this just person, into the power of his relentless persecutors! While the torturing nails were being driven into his blessed hands and feet, Jesus prayed for his murderers: while the horrors of darkness were over his soul from the hiding of his Father's face, he received the penitent thief into paradise. Thus to his last breath was he occupied in his great work for the salvation of souls.
Such was the love of the Son of God, who came down from heaven, not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him. "He pleased not himself." Glorious and most sublime example of complete unselfishness! Such a life, the life of God on earth, fills us with thoughts far beyond the power of language to express, and perhaps we may think it almost beyond the reach of our imitation; but we must remem
want for the soul, pray; for pardon, for a new
ber that "Christ has left us an example that
COMING TO CHRIST BY PRAYER*.
THOUGH you cannot see Jesus, you can speak to him: you can pray. God has permitted, and even commanded us to do this. How great a privilege to be allowed to speak to God!" Call upon me in the day of trouble:" "Watch, and pray" "Pray without ceasing." Prayer requires no fine, well-arranged sentences. The simplest utterance of your heart's desire is prayer. Those desires themselves, unbreathed, are prayer. You need not wait until you can enter a church to pray you may pray everywhere. And Jesus is always waiting for the prayers of poor sinners, so that not one ever escapes his notice. His ear is always open. It is difficult to speak to kings and princes: they can only be seen sometimes, and then only a few persons are permitted to come near them. But all may come with their petitions to Jesus, however poor and despised, and at all times too. Whatever good things you * From "Come to Jesus." By Newman Hall, B.A. Lon
It is wonderful that creatures so sinful as we are should be allowed to pray at all. When we consider what we are, and what God is, we may well tremble when we come to him, and fear lest he should reject us. But he has encouraged us to come, even with "boldness, to the throne of grace." This does not mean that we are to come without deep reverence and humility, but that we are to pray with a full persuasion that God will answer us. There are many examples of answers to prayer. Hezekiah prayed; and the army of Sennacherib was smitten with death. Elijah prayed; and fire came down to consume his sacrifice. The apostles prayed; and the Holy Ghost descended on them with miraculous gifts. The church prayed; and Peter was delivered from prison by an angel. We are not to expect that all we ask for respecting this life will be given us; for we often desire what would do us harm. We may be sure, however, that God will give us what is best. But, when we pray for blessings for our souls, for pardon, and holiness, and salvation, we may be quite certain of being answered; for we are told that, if we ask any thing according to God's will, he heareth us; and we are also told that God is "willing that all men should be saved." Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given ;" and, "whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." He prays for us. Our best prayers are far too unworthy for God to notice; but he listens because Jesus pleads. If you wrote a petition to a king, but none at the palace knew you, and you were dressed in rags, and, after doing your best, the writing was covered with blots, would you not fear that you would never be admitted, or, if you were, that the petition would not be read? But, suppose the king's son were to
come, and say, "I will present your petition myself, and ask my father to grant it." Jesus does this. He presents our feeble prayers, and says: "For my sake bless this poor sinner, and grant his request.' And we are told that "him the Father heareth always." "He ever liveth to make intercession." Trembling, mourning sinner, rejoice: you have a friend at court. However un-worthy your petitions are, Jesus prays for you; and his prayers always prevail. What more can you need to encourage you? Come, then, with "boldness to the throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of
(See 1 Kings xviii. 21-39; 2 Kings xix; Ps. lv. 17, lxv. 2, cii. 17; Matt. vi. 5, 6, vii. 7-11; Luke xviii. 1-14; John xiv. 13, 14, xvii.; Acts i. 13, 14, ii. 1-4, x. 9, xii. 5-17; Phil. iv. 6; 1 Thess. v. 17; Heb. iv. 14-16, vii. 25; 1 John v. 14).
THE HAPPY MAN.
BY BISHOP HALL.
He is the happy man that hath learned to read himself more than all books, and hath so taken out this lesson that he can never forget it; that knows the world, and cares not for it; that, after many traverses of thoughts, is grown to know what he may trust to, and stands now equally armed for all events; that hath got the mastery at home, so that he can cross his will without a mutiny, and so please it that he makes it not a wanton; that in earthly things wishes no more than nature, in spiritual is ever graciously ambitious; that for his condition stands on his own feet, not needing to lean upon the great, and can so frame his thoughts to his estate, that when he hath least he cannot want, because he is as free from desire as superfluity; that hath seasonably broken the headstrong restiness of prosperity, and can now manage it at pleasure; upon whom all smaller crosses light as hailstones upon a roof, and for the greater calamities he can take them as tributes of life and tokens of love, and, if his ship be tossed, yet he is sure his anchor is fast. If all the world were his, he could be no other than he is; no whit gladder of himself, no whit higher in his carriage; because he knows contentment lies not in the things he hath, but in the mind that values them. The powers of his resolution can either multiply or subtract at pleasure he can make his cottage a manor or a palace when he lists, and his home-close a large dominion, his stained cloth arras, his earth plate, and can see state in the attendance of one servant, as one that hath learned a man's greatness or baseness is in himself; and in this he may ever contest with the proud, that he thinks his own the best. Or, if he must be outwardly great, he can but turn the other end of the glass, and make his stately manor a low and strait cottage. And in all his costly furniture he can see not richness, but use: he can see dross in the best metal, and earth through the best clothes. And, in all his troop, be can see himself his own servant. He lives quietly at home, out of the noise of the world, and loves to enjoy himself always, and sometimes his
friend; and hath as full scope to his thoughts as to his eyes. He walks ever even, in the midway betwixt hopes and fears, resolved to fear nothing but God-to hope for nothing but that which he must have. He hath a wise and virtuous mind in a serviceable body, which that better part affects, as a present servant and future companion; so cherishing his flesh as one that would scorn to be all flesh. He hath no enemies; not for that all love him, but because he knows to make a gain of malice. He is not so engaged to any earthly thing that they two cannot part on even terms: there is neither laughter in their meeting, nor in their shaking of hands tears. He keeps ever the best company-the God of spirits and the spirits of that God, whom he entertains continually in an awful familiarity; not being hindered with too much light or with none at all. His conscience and his hand are friends, and, what devil soever tempt him, will not fall out: that divine part goes ever uprightly and freely; not stooping under the burthen of a willing sin, nor fettered with the gyves of unjust scruples. He would not, if he could, run away from him. self or from God, not caring from whom he lies hid, so he may look these two in the face. Censures and applauses are passengers to him, not guests: his ear is their thoroughfare, not their harbour: he hath learned to fetch both his counsel and his sentence from his own breast. He doth not lay weight upon his shoulders, as one that loves to torment himself with the honour of much employment; but, as he makes work his game, so doth he not list to make himself work, His strife is ever to redeem, and not to spend time. It is his trade to do good, and to think of it his recreation. He hath hands enow for himself and others, which are ever stretched forth for beneficence, not for need. He walks cheerfully in the way that God hath chalked, and never wishes it more wide or more smooth. Those very temptations whereby he is foiled strengthen him: he comes forth crowned and triumphing out of the spiritual battles; and those scars that he hath make him beautiful. His soul is every day dilated to receive that God in whom he is; and hath attained to love himself for God, and God for his own sake. His eyes stick so fast in heaven that no earthly object can remove them; yea, his whole self is there before his time, and sees with Stephen, and bears with Paul, and enjoys with Lazarus the glory that he shall have, and takes possession beforehand of his room amongst the saints. And these heavenly contentments have so taken him up, that now he looks down displeasedly upon the earth, as the region of his sorrow and banishment; yet, joying more in hope than troubled with a sense of evils, he holds it no great matter to live, and his greatest business is to die, and is so well acquainted with his last guest, that he fears no unkindness from him; neither makes he any other of dying than of walking home when he is abroad, or of going to bed when he is weary of the day. He is well provided for both worlds, and is sure of peace here, of glory hereafter, and therefore hath a light heart and a cheerful face. All his fellow-creatures rejoice to serve him the ange's love to observe him: God himself takes pleasure to converse with him, and hath sainted him afore his death, and in his death crowned him.
THE CARNAL MIND:
BY THE REV. R. H. DAVIES,
Curate of East and West Lexham, Norfolk.
"The carnal mind is enmity against God."
WHILE Some of the great truths of the blessed gospel of Jesus our Saviour are full of gracious encouragements and the most loving invitations, others are most startling, because of the meaning which belongs to them. We are very apt to pass them by without observing their tremendous force, without being driven to pause, as we ought and should, if we were more anxious about our souls. They are like the thunders of a tempest compared with the calm gales of the south. They are like the piercing lightnings of a storm compared with the gentle beams of the dawning day. And as it becomes us to reflect seriously when we hear the voice of the Almighty "shaking terribly the earth" with the rollings of his thunder, and see the swift agent of his destruction in the flash which even seems to tear the clouds apart, so indeed when we read or hear his word, and meet with such awful truths as it sometmes presents to us, we ought to look upon them with more than usual attention. May the Lord enable us thus to act now, while we meditate on the deeply important truth we have brought to our notice in the words of our text. Look at it, my brethren: dwell upon it. Do not let it escape your minds. Fix it in your hearts. Behold what an awful fact it statesa fact not to be doubted, not to be disputed; for it is written with the finger of the Lord: "The carnal mind is enmity against God."
There are, then, in every place, men and women and children, who are living in enmity against God; not the friends, not the servants, but the enemies of God; fighting daily against the King of kings, defying his authority, disobeying his commands, and therefore working for their own souls the eternal ruin of hell. Is not this true? Yes, it is; for our blessed Saviour tells us that at the judgment-day "the King shall say unto them on the left hand, Depart froin me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...... and these (he says) shall go into everlasting punishment." Let us apply the text closely to ourselves, and, as we go on, very carefully judge what is our own state. Are we in that condition which is the enmity spoken of, or have we been reconciled to the King? Has the enmity been
done away with, and peace made between us and God by the atoning blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus? In one or the other of these conditions we must each of us be. Should we not, therefore, with anxious hearts examine whether we are the friends or the enemies of the Lord ?
First, then, let us consider what is meant by "the carnal mind." The word carnal means fleshly, belonging to the flesh; i. e., belonging to that which is natural and outward, as our Lord says: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." If you turn over the pages of the New Testament, you will meet with such expressions as these: "filthiness of the flesh;" "lusts of the flesh;""works of the flesh," which St. Paul says are, “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, envyings, murder, drunkenness, revellings, and such like." These expressions, then, plainly mean the evil inclinations of the natural, unconverted heart of man. Those whom we see living careless and wicked lives are living after the flesh; according, i. e., to their own natural inclinations, which must be evil, since by nature every man is corrupt. Nor does it require men to live in open violation of the laws, or to be in the habit of much open wickedness, or to manifest great departures from what is right, in order to be still under the influence of the "carnal mind." For we often see the effects of good education and naturally kind disposition shining forth very brilliantly, even from those whose hearts have never been changed, who know little or nothing about the gospel of our Saviour, and who are therefore trusting to their own goodness for their salvation. The carnal mind is the unchanged mind, which belongs to every body that is born into the world, until the Holy Spirit of God works the mighty change, and converts their heart, and leads the guilty soul to the cross of Jesus Christ, there to be cleansed of its natural depravity, there to be washed of its iniquities. Therefore did our blessed Lord so emphatically say, Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (or, as said above, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.") And therefore did St. Paul say, when speaking of a man thus changed, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" or, again, when speaking of the uselessness of mere outward Christianity for salvation, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." Bear this distinctly in mind, that, if you would be saved, you must
both have your acts of sin forgiven, and be | converted from your natural fleshly mind. For this purpose did Christ die in our nature, that he might make a satisfaction for all sin, and that, by the operation of his Holy Spirit, men might be converted from dead works to serve the living God; i. e., from works of sin, which must bring death, because "the wages of sin is death;" from those works which spring not from faith in Jesus as our only Saviour, and which we learn in the bible are not acceptable to God. It is the carnal mind which makes men follow the ways of Satan. You see many in the world, who never seem to think of their souls, or to remember that there is another life. They break the commandments of God just as they are inclined, or have opportunity. They lie, they swear, they eat and drink to excess: they profane the sabbath by their work or their play: they are dishonest: they are unclean in their thoughts, words, and actions, and, in fact, live in open rebellion against God; never giving attention to the power, or the justice, or the mercy of God; in short, "there is no fear of God before their eyes." Why is this? Why is this? Because their minds are carnal. Then, again, you see many others, who go not to such excesses as these. Their outward lives are moral: they are what men call good: they are honest and respectable and truth-telling, except on certain occasions: they are kind and charitable, tender-hearted and benevolent: they read the bible on Sundays, and make a practice of going through forms of prayer, perhaps every day once or twice: they live respected by all who know them; and, when they die, they are lamented. And yet in these we see not the evidences of true faith: we see not the signs of the new creation: their hearts are cold and dead to the influences of real gospel religion: they never mourn for sin, because they never have felt its indwelling. Because Satan is too wise to tempt them to great immoralities, they think, like the Pharisees, they are without sin. They see no necessity for a change in them, but only in such as are very wicked. They never make any progress in their Christianity: they are just the same now as they were ten years ago. Their outward deeds are moral; but they have no desire for holiness in their hearts; no wish that they may have the mind which was in Jesus; that they may be changed into his image and likeness; no aspirations to "press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus;" or to go on "from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Why is this? Is it not because theirs is still the carnal mind-the mind
satisfied with itself; satisfied because able to live honestly and respectably; satisfied that therefore they shall have a reward in heaven? Yes, my brethren; for, if the carnal mind did not hold in its fetters such people, they would be found at the throne of God's grace, confessing their many great sins, seeking fervently for the enlightening influences of his Holy Spirit. And then you would see them over their bibles, not reading now and then a small portion just to content their consciences, but sifting it, and learning from it the gospel truth, that with all the praise they have earned from their fellow-creatures, and all their fancied goodness, they are sinners, only deserving God's wrath; and that, unless they are made new by his Holy Spirit, and washed of their sins by the blood of his sacrificed Son, they cannot be saved. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" No. Neither can the natural man, the unchanged man, please God. "The natural man," says the apostle St. Paul, "receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him. Neither can he know them; because they are spiritually discerned." Then, my friends, look to yourselves. What is your mind? Is it the carnal mind? or the mind which has been renewed by Almighty God? Do you truly mourn for sin? Are you really penitent? Are you earnest and sincere in your belief in Jesus as your only Saviour? you thoroughly convinced of sin? Are you desirous to be made holy? Are you of fervent daily secret prayer? Do you love Christ? Do you love God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself? Do you love God's word? Do you study it day by day? Are you willing to renounce this world? to take up your cross, and follow Jesus? to devote yourself to his service? to set your affection on the things above, and not on the things below? Is your whole heart fixed, as its first and chief object, upon " the kingdom of God, and his righteousness"?
Such questions as these put closely to yourselves; and, depend upon it, you cannot give right answers to them if your mind be still carnal. While you can live only to gratify yourselves, either in your business or pleasure; while you can live in the indulgence of known sin; while you can venture wilfully to break any of God's commands; while you can go on from day to day without prayer, or allow trifling things to take your attention from the duties of religion; while you can trust in yourselves, and fancy you are good, thus robbing Christ of his glory; while you are self-satisfied, self