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for ourselves of the blessings which are set before us in it. But, alas! how is his name in this respect slighted, disregarded, and despised by the sinful children of men! How small is the number of those who earn estly seek for the blessings which are made known to us in the name of the Lord! May it not be in vain that we are made acquainted with it! Let us earnestly seek to partake of its blessings, to the consolation and rejoicing of our souls.
As the third commandment corresponds with the first petition of the Lord's prayer, so it may be said that the first and second commandments coincide with the address of it. If we are permitted to call upon the Lord God Almighty as "our Father," it is the greatest impiety to pray to other invisible beings, to treat them as God, by invoking or addressing them in any way. The one living and true God in three Persons is the only omnipresent and omniscient Being in the universe, the only hearer of prayer. To call upon any others is to "have other gods before him," or in his presence; whether it be in conjunction with him, or instead of him. The invocation of saints, as it is called, is "idolatry to be abhorred of all faithful Christians." And, if we are directed to look upwards to the Lord God, as being "in heaven," and are assured that, although he is out of sight, he is within hearing, all attempts to excite devotion in our minds by means of images, or imaginary representations of God or of other beings, must be most hateful to him who is "a jealous God," and "will not give" his "glory to another, nor" his "praise to graven images" (Isa. xlii. 8).
The second petition of the Lord's prayer is, "Thy kingdom come." Here an intimation is given that he whom we address in prayer is the great King of heaven and earth; but that rebellion has been successfully raised against him, and therefore his kingdom in this world, his dominion over it, is not established as it ought to be. An usurper has obtained possession of the kingdom of God in this world, who is called "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. ii. 2.) He is also called "the god of this world, who blindeth the minds of them that believe not" (2 Cor. iv. 4). But the time will come when the God of heaven will take to himself his great power, and reign. To this period his church and people are to look forward; and for the coming of his kingdom they are to pray continually to their heavenly Father. It is painful to see how extensively and powerfully Satan rules over the children of men. This appears in their utter disregard
of the commandments of God, and in nothing more than in their profaneness and sabbathbreaking. The sabbath-the sacred day of rest from labour, the holy day of Godaffords a representation of the rest, the peace, and the holiness of heaven. The sabbath is, therefore, set apart for the promotion of those objects which are connected with the kingdom of God, or of his reigning over the children of men. It is to be a day of public worship, on which the worship of heaven is anticipated by those who meet together in his house of prayer to worship at his footstool, who is seated on the throne of glory; to give thanks to his name, and to receive the instruction of heavenly wisdom from his holy word. If the psalmist could say, "A day in thy courts is better than a thousand" elsewhere (Ps. lxxxiv. 10), how ought we to prize the ordinances of the house of God, respecting which he has graciously promised: "In all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee" (Exod. xx. 24). The sabbath is to be devoted to the service of God as a day of rest from worldly toil and labour, and a day on which we are to seek for communion and fellowship with the Lord our God in the spirit of our minds, and are to be engaged especially in blessing and praising his holy name for his goodness vouchsafed to us in "giving us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Tim. vi. 17). We should on the sacred day of rest review the goodness of God to us in the blessings of his providence, and the blessings of his grace, in providing for the wants of our bodies and the wants of our souls; and we should express our gratitude to the Giver of all good for the "goodness and mercy" which "have followed us all the days of our past lives" (Ps. xxiii. 6). We should thus manifest ourselves to be the children of our heavenly Father by our thankfulness for his goodness to us; and we should beseech him to rule in us and reign over us; and also to set up his throne in the hearts of all around us, as their King and their God, to the glory of his holy name. "There remaineth a rest to the people of God" (Heb. iv. 9) in his eternal kingdom and glory, of which the sabbath on earth is a type, an anticipation and foretaste, to them that believe in him with their whole hearts.
The third petition in the Lord's prayer relates to the obedience which is to be paid to him: "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." His will is done in heaven, by those who surround his throne in glory, with readiness and alacrity. The psalmist says to them: "Bless the Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his
commandments, hearkening unto the voice | iv. 1), his blessing will rest upon us.
Let us consider what is our duty towards
If" all things are of God," with us all will be well. If we refer to him every thing that concerns us, and consider every thing as it has respect to his blessed will, and are desirous "to walk" so as 66 to please" him, and therein to" abound more and more" (1 Thess.
alas! this is not the case with mankind in general. On the contrary, "God is not in all their thoughts" (Ps. x. 4), with regard to that which is pleasing to him. As he is invisible, they have no respect to him. But our Saviour teaches his disciples, who believe in him, to look up to Almighty God with affection as their Father, to regard him as the Governor of the universe, who has all things under his control, who "sitteth above the water-floods as King for ever" (Ps. xxix. 11), ordering all things in providence and in grace for them that put their trust in him as their mighty Protector and their gracious Benefactor. He is therefore "greatly to be feared, and to be had in reverence of all" (Ps. lxxxix. 7) who approach him. Our minds are to be solemnized before him. And, while we submit ourselves to his dominion or authority, we are to endeavour to promote the extension of his kingdom upon earth by every means in our power. He is pleased to make use of means for this purpose, that the empire which his adversary Satan has erected in this world may be subverted, and "the kingdoms of the world" may "become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ", and he may "reign for ever and ever" (Rev. xi. 15). While we pray, "Thy kingdom come," it is incumbent upon us to use our best endeavours and efforts to promote it, and at the same time to pray that his blessing may rest upon all the feeble attempts which are made by his servants to set forth his glory, and to set forward the salvation of mankind. While we pray, "Thy will be done in earth," it becomes us to avoid doing that which he has forbidden. We are also to avow ourselves on all occasions to be the subjects of the great King of heaven and earth; and to remember that we are "not our own, for we are bought with a price" (1 Cor. vi. 19), that of the most precious blood of our Redeemer, and therefore are under the most powerful obligations to love and serve and please him, to live to his glory, and show forth his praise. This our bounden duty should ever deeply impress our minds. Thus we shall be enabled to look forward in hope to his kingdom of glory, that, when we shall have done with all things here below, we shall be blessed by him eternally, and shall rejoice in having the God of heaven as our Father throughout the countless ages of eternity. That this may be our happiness, may he of his infinite mercy grant for Christ's sake; to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory everlasting. Amen.
NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
[EPISTLE.]" Henceforth, walk not as other Gentiles walk."-EPH. iv. 13.
OUR "walk" is but a brief pilgrimage, so short that there is but a span between the cradle and and the grave. The one indeed is but the gate of the other; we do but wake up in time to lie down in eternity. How intensely concerned should we then be to be taught of him, who is the divine "Doorkeeper" of the heavenly mansions! to learn of him, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! For, to be ignorant of him and his truth is not only blindness, but madness; not only madness, but self-murder; because it is alienation from the life of God, which is destruction for ever. In vain shall any be for us, if God be against us. It is to give place to the devil, to assign that place in our hearts, where the Prince of glory would have built up his beau- | tiful temple, as an altar to the prince of darkness, whose wages are the destruction of body and soul in hell. If, then, we would have no part in the ignorance, and blindness, and madness and alienation, which are the coin he gives us for present wages, however silvered over with all that can impart earthly contentment, or gilt with that which may lure and bloat the vanity of our mind; if we deem eternal ruin to be too costly a price to pay for a few brief years, or it may be, as God hath appointed, for a few more moments, of "enmity" with the Lord of life, let us cease to walk as "other Gentiles walk," and come out at once from among them. Let us put off the "old man," and put on the "new man." And let us lose no time. The youngest among us may be the first among us to be summoned to render up his soul; yea, this very day, this very hour, and die without having put off the "old man ;" yourg though he be in his own eyes, old in the Judge's, because full, alas! of years of ungodliness. Choose we then betimes, both young and old, the "better part:" suffer we the "loss of all things, and count them all dung, so that we may win Christ, and be found in him" (Phil. iii. 8; second lesson for evening service); so that we may hear him say to our souls, "This my son was dead, and is alive again: he was lost, and is found..... Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him" (Luke xv. 24, 32; second lesson in morning service). This it is to put on the "new man," to be renewed in the spirit of our mind by the sanctifying Spirit, which dwelleth and liveth in the soul of the penitent. And, if he dwell and live in us by repentance and faith, the Father will not only give us the robe, the best robe, the garment of the Son's righteousness, as clothing for our nakedness, but the Son himself will perfect his strength in our weakness. To God and to our neighbour, even unto ourselves, we shall appear as "new men;" full of truthfulness, haters of all lying and deceit, working that which is good in our whole conversation and dealings, putting away all bitterness and wrath, and evil speaking and malice; being kind one to another, and tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us. But our new birth unto Christ is the forerunner of a new war
fare: it engages us to a warfare of prayer and watching and wrestling, daily and hourly, against the obstinate strivings of the "old man" within us, which dieth only when grace is made perfect in our death; which can be resisted and subdued only in the power of that Spirit whereby we are sealed unto the day of redemption.
"O God, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee, mercifully grant that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen” (Collect for the day).
THE GENERAL CHARACTER OF APOSTOLIC PREACHING".
APOSTOLIC preaching involved warning or counsel. It did so to the unconverted. The gospel is, by necessary implication, a message of warning. It is a message of salvation; and salvation implies danger. "Unto you is born a Saviour," is an announcement never made in heaven; for the angels in heaven are unfallen. "Unto you is born a Saviour" is an announcement not made in hell; for the angels of hell are fallen, without hope or remedy. The gospel is God's message of mercy to fallen man. "He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness:" thus Paul preached, thus we preach. But we preach, as Paul preached, Jesus who delivereth from the wrath to come.
To believers also was apostolic preaching often in words of warning. Look through the epistles. The chapter which immediately succeeds our text is one of warning: "Beware lest any man spoil you let no man beguile you." The Corinthians are warned of the devices of him "who beguiled Eve by his subtilty," and who is sometimes "transformed into an angel of light." The Galatians are warned that, if they yield to the seductions of Judaizing teachers, they must fall from grace. In the epistle to the Hebrews are found warnings against apostacy of the most thrilling character, unsurpassed for their solemnity, even in the divine word; that so they might "hold fast the beginning of their confidence stedfast unto the end."
And does not this portion of our text present but too humblingly to our consciences a branch of our ministerial work in which we have been peculiarly deficient-our work of warning? When error sweeps across the church, and our flocks are in danger of being driven about by its blasts, aïe we (not always nor often by a controversial tone of preaching, but by the bold, plain statement of antagonist truth) zealous, watchful for their stedfastness and safety? Or do we so trim our sails, in fear of man and of injury to our prospects of preferment, as that we leave them in danger, an easy prey?
Nor may we imagine that we stand acquitted of ministerial unfaithfulness, so long as our warnings descend not to the peculiar sins of our own people. There is danger of great sophistry in this matter. We may deem ourselves faithful because
* From "Preaching:" a sermon preached at the visitation of the ven. the archdeacon of Coventry. By the rev. John C. Miller, M.A., rector of St. Martin's, Birmingham. London: Hatchards. Birmingham: Hall. A very valuable discourse.-ED.
we preach the doctrines of the gospel faithfully-receive the tidings that such a one from among our stated hearers has been called hence, his day set forth, that is, the person, natures, work, offices, Are our consciences clear? Do and character of Christ as the Saviour of sinners; of grace ended? and preach ruin by the fall, redemption through they testify that our preaching was so plain and grace alone, renewable by his Spirit. This our full and clear, that, if his soul be lost, his blood is people may hear, and hear gladly; and our fame in no measure on our heads? may be noised abroad as faithful preachers. But the while, the besetting sins of our parishes or congregations, covetousness, worldliness, strife, bitter tongues and tempers, drunkenness, fraud in commercial dealings, self-indulgence, may be un-nity, unconverted and unawakened. Brethren, faithfully passed by.
I have named covetousness and self-indulgence. In this our day, and in our manufacturing and commercial districts, it becomes the ministers of God to take heed lest they be timorous and unfaithful on this point. We must not be cowards in our pulpits, for fear of offending leading merchants and manufacturers and men of wealth in our congregations, and fail to warn them that "it is easier for a camel to go through the of eye a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"-to remind them of their stewardship, their Master, and their reckoning-to charge them, "that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches .... that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate"-to point to their "ceiled houses," their luxurious elegances, and costly viands, and to press on them a high standard of Christian liberality, at a crisis in the world's and the church's history, when doors of duty are opening on every side, both at home and in foreign lands, and the advance of the Redeemer's gospel kingdom is hindered by the selfishness and the covetousness of the Christian church.
So with the unconverted generally. As we compose our sermons, as we ascend our pulpits, as we address our congregations, we must do it as first impressed ourselves, and then desiring to impress them with their present imminent, urgent danger. We must beware of falling gradually into the habit of regarding our Sunday's sermon as a matter-of-course composition, which is to occupy a half-hour or more of the time allotted to divine
service; which may be planned or penned hastily on a Saturday, without thought or care, and preached perfunctorily on the Sunday, without earnestness or anxiety. Let us realize in our studies, on our knees, and at our desks, that we are preparing to speak for God and for souls-in God's name to souls in danger, souls sunk in the varied form of worldliness and sin, souls on the brink of eternal glories or eternal burnings.
Let us realize this as we prepare: let us realize as we preach. Our spirit indeed may be that of the apostle, who elsewhere speaks: "I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." It may be, should be tender, but yet earnest. We need not scold our people, nor rant at them; we must warn them earnestly. There must be no withholding of the solemn truth, that the Christless sinner must spend his eternity in hell. We must preach to them as realizing that that man in yonder pew, who is now sitting listlessly and sleepily under my sermon, in a few hours may be prostrate in racking pain, or wild delirium, upon a bed of sickness; if he drop not (as men do drop) in an instant into eternity. How do we
Let us be in earnest, and we shall preach in earnest. "The most, I fear, in all our congregations," said the devoted M'Cheyne, “are sailing easily down the stream into an undone eter
they will not thank us in eternity for speaking smooth things, for sewing pillows to their armholes, and saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. No, they may praise us now; but they will curse our flattery in eternity."
We observe, further, that individuality of application was a prominent characteristic of apostolic preaching: "warning every man," he repeats it, "and teaching every man," he reiterates it," that Our people will we may present every man." stand in their individuality at the judgment bar: in their individuality will they partake the joys of heaven, or be consigned to "the second death." We preach to them as congregations. They will not be judged as congregations: they will die alone. Individually their souls need the Saviour whom we preach: we must not, then, stop short in vague generalities. While we may not preach at them, neither must we preach as before them, but to them. We must classify, we must individualize. It must not be always
"Ye," but often "Thou." Rich and poor, old and young, male and female; merchants, manafacturers, tradesmen, mechanics, servants; each must be warned and taught. Each, indeed, with the great truths of the gospel, but each in more special reference to his own duties, and soares, and dangers.
The apostle adds, "teaching every man." "There," says Daillé, "are the two parts of the office of a good preacher, to wit, admonition and instruction. The first compriseth all the remonstrances that are made to sinners; whether to apprehend their faults, or to excite their diligence, or to comfort their sorrows, or advertise them of any other part of their duty. The second containeth all the lessons of heavenly doctrine, the exposition of each of the articles of the mystery of godliness. Admonition reformeth manners: teaching informs faith. The one moveth the will and the affections: the other instructs the understanding."
The apostle's teaching was "in all wisdom." What this wisdom was, we gather from 1 Cor. i. 21: "We preach Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God ;" and ii. 6: “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory;" the same mystery of which he writes in the verse preceding our text, "the riches of the glory of this mystery," this is Christ. In him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. ii. 3).
The gospel is the revelation, not of the grace alone, nor of the power, but of the wisdom of God; "to the intent that now unto the princi
palities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." It is the wisdom of God displayed in combination with his every other attribute and perfection—his holiness, his truth, his justice, his power, his love-in the solution of the great problem. How shall man, a fallen rebel, a creature become corrupt by sin, be restored, in consistency with the divine character and perfection, to God's (2) favour and God's image? And the "principalities and powers in heavenly places" admire the solution given to that momentous question in the glorious gospel of Christ; the exceeding riches of the wisdom no less than of the grace, which peoples heaven with the family of saints-every saint a fallen sinner saved!
It is the wisdom of the preacher to preach "the wisdom of God." Paul had been brought up at Gamaliel's feet. But Paul took even to philosophic Athens and to refined Corinth, not the wisdom taught by Gamaliel, but the wisdom taught by the Spirit of God. "The deep things of God," even the things freely given of God to sinners in his gospel, these, learned by the deep revealings of the Spirit, were his wisdom and his theme.
Nor were his words the words of carnal wisdom, the rhetoric of the schools: "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth."
We, brethren, preach not infallibly, as did Paul, because God vouchsafes not to us the same plenary inspiration. Yet is God's wisdom our theme. In Christ we open up "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." We must desire to have our flocks well instructed in Christ; every doctrine, every duty, every hope, drawn from him, centred ́ ́in him. And he preaches most wisely, who most fully and most simply, with simplicity of words no less than of doctrine, makes it his one great aim to unfold Christ to sinners and to believers; showing, alike to sinners and to believers, that in Christ is all the knowledge necessary to their salvation.
But this wisdom may be understood as cmbracing not only the great subject-matter of our preaching, "Christ the wisdom of God," made of God wisdom unto us, but every subordinate point connected with the preparation of our sermons, and with our preaching, choice of subjects and texts, composition, manner of delivery, and the like. "He that winneth souls is wise." We, if we be wise stewards and preachers, shall deem nothing wholly unimportant, the neglect of which may hinder, attention to which may promote, our usefulness and efficiency, by avoiding needless prejudice or distaste. And, reverend brethren, to those among us, who are younger in the ministry than myself, I may without presumption or offence address words which become me not to others: I have selected the subject of this discourse under the deep conviction that we have great need to be reminded of the large measure of our prayers, of our studies, of our diligence, and of our time, which this momentous branch of our ministerial commission demands. We must preach “in all wisdom." Not crude and basty sermons on texts hurriedly chosen, and on subjects super
ficially examined; not sermons driven off to the last moment on Saturday, but sermons prayed on and thought on, from texts prayed on and thought on. To this end we must be resolute in resisting a temptation which the youngest amongst us must have experienced-the temptation of imagining that we are never labouring for our people, never in our work, but when we are traversing our parish, busy in our committees, bustling to and tro. Our sermons are no bye part of our work. They must not be slurred. It is not a question whether we can spare time for them. They are not every thing; but they are much, very much. Other things must give place to them. Nor to the very sermon itself only, but to the storing of our minds with such knowledge as shall make us, un ler divine teaching, as wise scribes instructed unto the kingdom of heaven. Is it not not greatly to be feared that the effects of our busy out-door activity are already telling upon our preaching? Our studies being deserted, not other books only, but our very bibles hastily read (not searched and studied): our sermons lack variety, richness, clearness, adaptation, power. We, in this town and neighbourhood, are peculiarly exposed to this danger; but it behoves us to remember that no success in other branches of our ministry can compensate for the enervating of this, "Preach the word." And specially is it to be borne in mind, that we have to do with a thinking, a reading, an inquiring age.
BY RICHARD HUIE, M.D.
(For the Church of England Magazine). AM I immortal? Shall my soul
Survive yon glorious sun? And, while unceasing ages roll,
Shall my existence run, As far from its eternal goal,
As when 'twas first begun?
I strive its breadth to grasp;
Or bid on column sweep the plain
Time was, I on my parents' knees
Was laid a helpless child;
Time will be, leaves from quivering trees
But, when the desert and the tomb
And trees and all are gone; When sun and stars are wrapt in gloom, And o'er earth's startled zone The hurricane has ceased to boom, My soul shall still live on! On, on, when heaven has passed away, My stream of life shall flow; On, on, when time and night and day No shifting shadows throw; Yet neither languor nor decay Shall my young spirit know!