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with his grace, has been so gentle, so tender, so full of loving-kindness and mercy to us, we ought also to be full of every kind disposition and gentleness of spirit to each other? O yes, if we love God for his love to us, we must be "followers of God as dear children," and be "kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another." But St. Paul, another apostle of Jesus Christ, speaks of God as a "God of hope." And so he is, God of love and a God of hope. Of love, in that he gave his own dear Son Jesus Christ to die upon the
I ask not a portion, I seek not a rest,
Till I find them for ever in Jesus's breast."
If you can really say and mean this, then, dear children, may the God of love bless you, the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing! May the Spirit of God guide you, and keep you, and at the last make you a bright jewel in the crown of Jesus, your Saviour, the God of love and of hope! Amen.
cross for us, that he is now always doing us good, CAUSES WHICH TEND TO OBSCURE AND
preserving and blessing us; and a God of hope,
of the song
"It is not for me to be seeking my bliss,
"The thorn and the thistle around me may grow;
WEAKEN OUR PRACTICAL REALIZATION
AMONG these causes I would place foremost an inadequate estimate of the great end of our ministry, and of the difficulties which are to be overcome.
It is difficult-as who among my reverend brethren has not felt?-to maintain in our minds a simple, solemn, lofty sense of the great end for which the ministry was ordained: the seeking and the saving of the lost, the reconciliation of rebels to their offended, but gracious, God; the feeding and the edifying of the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. We are constantly in danger of stopping short, and resting satisfied with subordinate ends-getting our parishes into order, multiplying parochial institutions, raising the moral tone of our people, collecting large sums of money for philanthropic and religious purposes, securing the respect and confidence and love of our parishioners: in a word, something less than the great work of "saving souls alive." Hence, from an inadequate estimate of the "great end" of our ministry there flows an inadequate estimate of the difficulties which oppose us.
But let that great end be present to our minds and hearts-let it be vividly impressed upon us in all its solemn and overwhelming reality—that our aim must be to pluck brands from the fire; to bring the prodigal to his Father; to bow the self-righteous and stout-hearted, as contrite penitents, at the cross of Jesus; to find an entrance for the gospel of the grace of God, in all its awakening, humbling, subduing, purifying power, into the sinner's soul; and we exclaim with the apostle, "Who is sufficient for these things?" For we see difficulties before us, against which we have no might nor power; strongholds of the mind, strongholds of the heart; self-righteousness, intellectual pride, indifference, prejudice, the love of sin, worldliness, covetousness, the snares and the bonds of Satan. I go into my study, and prepare
ministerial success:" a sermon, preached at the visitation of From "Neglect of the Holy Spirit, a main hindrance to
the bishop of Worcester, by the rev. J. C. Miller, M.A., rector of St. Martin's, Birmingham. London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co. Birmingham: Hall. 1848. We some time ago made an extract from a visitation-sermon preached by Mr. Miller: we now insert a few paragraphs from another sermon by the same author. Will our valued friend allow us to suggest that an edition of his two visitation-sermons together would be very desirable? We should certainly wish them to be in the hands of every clergyman.-ED.
for my work; I engage in that work in the pulpit,, by the sick or dying hed; and the work is this: the new creation of men in Christ Jesus after the image of God; the resurrection of dead souls to life; the turning sinners from darkness, which they love, to light; the rescuing Satan's captives from his grasp; the binding the strong man, and the spoiling of his goods. And can I do this? Are these things possible with man? Is there in his brain's profoundest thoughts, in his most subtle or eloquent reasonings, in the tropes of his most brilliant imaginings, in his tongue's most breathing and burning words-is there inherent in the mere utterance of God's truth itself a power sufficient for this great end?
No, brethren, such a view of our work and its great end will constrain our assent to the applicability to our ministry of the assurance given to Zerubbabel by the mouth of Zechariah: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" and call forth the prayer: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live."
A second cause, which tends to obscure and weaken our practical realization of this momentous truth, is to be found in our self-confidence.
This is a danger to which we are exposed in unequal measure, the sanguine more than others; but it is a danger against which it becomes all to watch. It is difficult to combine activity and energy, a due, deep sense of our own responsibility for the exercise of our gifts and talents, with the abiding remembrance that, except the Lord, by his Spirit, be with us, nothing can be strong, nothing holy. And th's is a danger which most besets the most gifted, and the most zealous and energetic. To such, "Not by might, nor by power," is a hard lesson. The man who has popular pulpit-powers, who is naturally of an active, practical turn, fitted for framing and conducting parochial machinery, whose mind is ever planning, whose bodily activity is untiring, how exposed is such a one to the danger of which I speak-the danger of forgetting that, if gifts and energy and tact be rested in, if they be not sanctified by prayer, and carried in lowly dependence to the footstool of the "God of all grace," a jealous God may withhold all blessings.
Who among us knows not the difficulty of going forth to his work each day, and each day returning from his work, in this spirit-" not by might, nor by power;" our little measure of might and power improved and "used to the utmost," but "trusted in not at all;" every sermon, every effort, every plan, anticipated and reviewed in this spirit: "Lord, do thou bless and prosper. Lord, do thou stablish and make strong?" How difficult to realize in our pulpits-when the subtle tempter whispers to our vain and silly hearts that we have been more than usually happy in the sermon we are about to preach, that there is some striking thought, some forcible illustration, some eloquent passage, in it-that, though Paul himself, yea, that though an angel from heaven were the preacher, neither Paul's a seraph's tongue could reach the heart! Though Paul be the preacher, there needs the Lord's hand to open Lydia's heart. And no less difficult to realize that, were Solomon's wisdom
and Moses' diligence ours, all were vain if the Spirit of God be neglected and forgotten. tor more of self-diffidence, for more of humble dependence, for larger prayer! Then shall we be more honoured, when we more honour the Spirit of life and power and blessing.
As a third cause, I would specify the liability of this truth to perversion and abuse.
The whole doctrine of the Spirit's agency and influences is peculiarly liable to be dangerously misapplied by enthusiasts and fanatics. As the antinomian perverts to licentiousness the great and blessed doctrine that we are justiñed by faith only, without the deeds of the law, so will the unsober visionary exaggerate and misapply the vital truth of the offices and influences of the Holy Ghost. "His assistance is to be expected by us," observes the great and good man I have before cited*, "as labourers in the vineyard, not as rhapsodists. We must expect a special blessing to accompany the truth; not to supersede labour, but to rest on and accompany labour." The man who applies to his own pulpit ministrations the special promise given to apostles: "Take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour that ye shall speak," misapplies and wrests a promise obviously special. The man who practically applies the truth that, without the preventing, accompanying, and crowring blessing of the Spirit, he can achieve no true ministerial success, in such a manner as to relax his own utmost energies, to render him careless in the use and improvements of his gifts, and to weaken his own sense of responsibility, is, to use a common illustration, like the husbandman who should withhold the ordinary processes of agriculture in their season, and either neglect to sow, or leave the seed sown uncared for and untended, because the genial sunshine and the fructifying showers of heaven are not at his command, while yet they are indispensable for his crops.
It is with us in our ministry as in the work of grace in our own souls: God's work does not supersede ours. We cannot successfully work without him he works by us. In dependence, then, on the Spirit to fit us for our work and to bless us in it, our part is to be done. Sermons are to be studied; plans formed; institutions raised; body, mind, and spirit thrown into our great work. Every gift is to be consecrated, every talent improved-humbly, self-distrustingly, prayerfully; but diligently, unsparingly, devotedly. It must be labour in the Lord," but labour still. The text did not release Zerubbabel and the Jews from the toil of building. When feeble women came to the door of the, sepulchre, they found the stone rolled away for them. When not feeble women only, but others able for the task, stood around the sepulchre of Lazarus, "Take ye away the stone,' was the bidding of Jesus. To raise Lazarus was beyond their power; not so to take away the stone. "The grace of God" was "with me," writes St. Paul; yet "laboured" he "more abundantly than they all." This, then, reverend brethren, is our example in the application of this great truth. As on the one hand the most untiring labour, the most diligent use of the most shining Cecil's Remains, p. 208.
gifts, were presumption, if not sanctified and controlled by entire dependence upon the Spirit of God, so this dependence without diligence is mistake and folly.
DESIGN OF THE INCARNATION*.
As respects the purpose or object of the incarnation of the Son of God, the same holy scriptures which declare the fact also make known the intent. The Lord Jesus came into the world with a special object in view, viz., "to save sinners," "to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself," to destroy for ever the power of sin, Satan, and death, and to open unto us the gate of everlasting life. Surely he did not become flesh, and dwell among us, in order to amuse or make us wonder; or in order that we might hear of it as a marvellous great thing of other days and other lands, and be astonished and go on our way the same as ever; neither was it simply as a teacher of the word of God that the divine Saviour came and sojourned on earth; nor was it only to publish among men a more perfect moral system than had ever been known, and to set us an example of how a man may and ought to live. Such an object alone it were unworthy to attribute to the Lord of heaven and earth; and, if this had been all that he intended to perform or did perform, it could not meet the wants of sinful, guilty men, or satisfy the cravings of the hungry soul for immortality. It was for a higher and more glorious object that the Lord Jesus came and dwelt among us: it was to atone for the sins of the whole world: it was to suffer, and to die, and to save his people from their iniquities: it was (in the language of the prophet) to bear our griefs, and carry our sorrows, to be stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted: it was to be wounded for our transgressions, to be bruised for our iniquities, to have the chastisement of our peace upon him, and that with his stripes we might be healed: it was that the Lord might lay upon him the quity of us all it was that he might purchase the gift of the Holy Ghost, to sanctify and cleanse the hearts and purge the consciences of people; and that through the merits of the Redeemer we might receive pardon, be restored to the favour of our justly-offended Maker, and have good hope of eternal life. Away, then, with the flimsy pretensions and boasts of the Socinian, ah, and still worse (for the truth must be told) with his daring impiety to rob the Lord of light and life of the glory and worship which are his due! And, as for ourselves, while we look with holy horror and indignation upon tenets so pernicious and so unChristian, let us bless God that we are preserved from the wiles of the arch-deceiver, and that we have the pure and holy faith once delivered to the saints; and let us pray for those who know not what they do, that the Lord may visit not upon them the just consequences of their ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of his holy word. While we rejoice in the blessed privilege of assembling together to praise God the Father for the incarnation of his only -begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, let us remember who he is, and for From Spencer's "Christian Instructed."
what purpose he came: let us moderate our joy, or rather take heed that it be such a joy as, while it leads us to cling to him as one who was man, may make us continually and thankfully worship and adore him as God our Saviour. Let us meditate upon the wondrous love which is exhibited before us in the nativity of our Lord and Master; the love which the Father has, who gave his only-begotten Son to die for us; and the love which our Redeemer possesses, in that he came and died for us while we were yet sinners, rebels against his laws, and despisers of the riches of his grace. And, when we look upon the holy child, lying in a manger, in all the weakness and helplessness of infancy, and then think that he is the mighty God, the Prince of peace, that he has stooped so low as to clothe himself with our nature, to take upon him all the infirmity and pain and trial and anguish, which are the lot of mortal man; when we see and think upon these things, which are too great and too mysterious for us to comprehend in their fulness and manifold relations, and to be reached and applied to the soul by living, active faith alone, O let us put away from us every proud thought: let us humble ourselves at the foot of the cross, and pray that we may imbibe the spirit of our Master, who died thereon; that we may have more and more of his self-denying, humble, and obedient spirit.
THE TRUE GLORY OF A CHURCH*.
second temple was, in many respects, vastly infe"AND I will be glorified, saith the Lord." The rior to the first. The difference caused great grief and lamentation amongst many of the Israelites. "Many of the priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house voice" (Ezra iii. 12). And to this inferiority we was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud have also an allusion in Haggai ii.: "In the ini-seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the Lord by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do ye see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?" (Hag. ii. 1-3). And it is further to be remarked that many things, which chiefly contributed to, yea, which constituted, the glory of the first temple, were lost to the second; things which could never be replaced. The Shechinah, the bright cloud, moved. The ark was lost, and the copy of the the emblem of the Deity himself, was for ever relaw, which had been preserved in it. The Urim and Thummim too, by which God had been wont to communicate to his people the knowledge of his will, was irrecoverably gone. And the fire, which had descended from heaven, was extinct; so that they must henceforth use, in all their sacrifices, nothing but common fire. Whatever was
* From a sermon preached at the consecration of St. Mary, Ellerton, by the rev. J. D. Jefferson, M.A., incumbent of Thorganby, Yorkshire. London: Hatchards. York: Marsh. 1848.
most interesting to the ancient church had disap-
them all. We love and venerate the established church of our native country. We regard it as one of the purest and most efficient branches of the church, which Christ has purchased with his blood. God grant we may ever love and venerate it! Never was church more worthy of a nation's love and veneration. But what is it which invests the church of England with so much excellency and beauty? Its endowments? Its antiquity? The homage it has received from successive generations? The honour the state puts upon it? No, brethren. We do not lightly esteem these things. Far from it. But, if these were all the excellencies which our church had to boast of, and for which it was distinguished, even were it to fall to-morrow, we should hardly be inclined to stretch forth a hand for its preservation: we should scarcely be moved to shed a tear for it when it
It is the exhibition it makes, in all its services, of a glorious Saviour; it is the clear and strong light in which it holds forth the Lord Jesus Christ; it is the way in which it makes fully known the truth as it is in him, the greatness of that salvation which is in him and in him alone, the extent of his love, the power of his grace, the all-sufficiency of his merits and atonement; it is this which gives our church its real glory. God grant that this glory may continue within it! God grant that it may shine in it brighter and brighter, even unto the world's end! It is possible that some reforms may be required in it, and may be desirable, in order to promote its great efficiency; but, O brethren, let them be reform which exalt nothing in our church above Chris and put no veil on Christ's glory and greatness. Innovations, of late years, have been attempted to be introduced. Innovations still seem to be threatening us. The worst, perhaps, which could threaten us, are those, which would substitute rites and ordinances for a SaAnd wherein consists the chief, the true glory viour's blood, penances and superstitious observof any church? Not, certainly, in the outward ances for his grace, a form of godliness for a show of costly magnificence. Not in the display heart-warm love for him, and an outward devoof architectural skill. Not in the gold and silver tion for practical obedience to his will. We may which gliter within. Not in the gorgeous adorn-multiply houses of God in our land, yea, we may ment of high altars. Not in embroidered gar- cer it with churches; but all experience testifies ments and precious stones. Not in these, or and proves that they will be useless, that they things like these, which, by their imposing appeal will do our land no good whatever, unless the to the senses and the imagination, are calculated glorious gospel of Christ, "the desire of all nato attract the notice, and secure the attention, and tions," the Redeemer of sinners, the only Saviour captivate the heart of the carnal observer. O no. of lost mankind, be plainly and fully and unreBut it consists in the presence and in the mani- servedly proclaimed within them. We may half festation within it of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fill these churches with ministers: all experience his bodily presence, indeed, he is now removed proves that they will be scourges rather than far away from us. Having passed, through the blessings amongst us, unless they be humble, holy, grave and gate of death, to a joyful resurrection, devoted, and faithful men, who, like the apostle, he is ascended to his Father and our Father, to "count all things but loss for the excellency of his God and our God. The celestial gates have the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord" (Phil. expanded; and the triumphant Jesus, the King of iii. 8). glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, has entered the heaven of heavens, and taken his place at the right hand of the Majesty on high, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. But there is a spiritual manifestation still made of him in our world through his gospel; and it is this which gives our churches their real glory. It matters not whether we speak of national churches, or of smaller communities of Christians, or of the mere buildings in which we worship, this is true of
Are these instruments profited by such use, and are they not laid aside as soon as done with? It is possible, therefore, to make a very showy display out of the bounds of our station, and yet be very far from the blessing of God.
The work of his station will always be drudgery to the spiritualist. It is a severe task to the indolence, the vanity, the love of novelty and notoriety, which are generated by his speculative flights; and, therefore, that part of the building which was assigned to him in the edification of the glorious temple of the Lord's body is neglected. Its architecture was too familiar, perhaps only a plain course of stone, while he would be at pointing a pinnacle; and the labour too mechanical, perhaps only laying a stone, when he would be carving one.
He therefore abandons his work to set up for himself, and builds a castle in the aira true modern architect's castle, fantastic, incongruous, uninhabitable, and found to be in everyfor body's way. But even this soon makes way some other fabric of the fashion of the day, equally unsubstantial, equally absurd; and the builder is succeeded by other builders, equally vain, equally giddy, equally babbling the dialect of Babel, equally at home abroad and abroad at home, and carnalizing the spirit by the proud attempt to spiritualize the body.
STRAYING FROM OUR APPOINTED SPHERE*. How sad a case is that which now so commonly prevails, when a man, having excited his ambition by a future prospect, proportioned in brilliancy to the tawdriness of his self-conceit, leaves the duties of his proper sphere unfulfilled, to interfere with those of another; setting himself up as a bishop over other men's affairs; and is thus at once unprofitable in the post assigned to him, and a hindrance in that which has been assigned to another! The proper duty of his post is too palpable for him, too much matter of fact and of commonplace. He finds it too material, too much of a confinement for his enlarged and spiritualized mind; and that duty, which clearly calls upon him for exertion on the spot, is idly and capriciously forsaken for some imaginary occasion of usefulness, just as the doll is thrown out of the window by the child that cries for the moon. And, to come to the melancholy conclusion of the absurdity, after having run about the country on his self-elected apostleship, and intruded with his own will on the duties of those who were posted by the will of God, after the work of disunion and confusion which his ambition and vanity have wrought, he looks complacently and confidently forward to the welcome of, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." It never for a moment enters into a mind so fully prepossessed with the notion of its own merits, that there is another and very different salutation for those who have prophesied in the Lord's name, but whom he never SCIENTIFIC ECONOMY.-In the iron works of knew. And will the Lord know, does he nize, any one who thinks to work out of his own Ystalifera, where the iron is smelted by the use of anthracite coal, advantage has been taken, in a most station? The man may, perhaps, point to some seeming good for a sign; but he shuts his eyes to ingenious manner, of an observation that the gases the positive evil. He may point to following which are evolved from the furnaces escape at a crowds; but does being followed by crowds place temperature which is about the melting point of brass. God at our head? Let him be assured that the By an arrangement, which is in its character exceedman who steps out of his proper station can no more know the Lord, and so be known by him, ingly simple, the hot gas is led off into another chan than he who knows the Lord will step out of his nel, by means of a strong current generated through a chamber and air-way, from a point just below the station. To do that is at once to abandon the very It is conducted (with very appointed spot of mutual recognition; for where top of the iron furnace. is it, but in the very execution of our duties under little heat lost in the passage) under the boiler of a steam engine; and it is found to be at a sufficiently his grace, that the acquaintance is either begun or maintained? For there is required the opening of high temperature to heat the boiler without the conHence an immense the heart in watchfulness and prayer, in self-sumption of any fuel whatever. examination, and in noting and putting to account the daily opportunities peculiar to the station, in the confidence of faith, in dependence upon divine help, in reliance on heavenly promises. short, as well might the Jewish priest have sacrificed outside the temple, as the Christian priest offer the sacrifice of his body on that spot which the Lord has not appointed to him.
How utterly did God disapprove, through the mouth of his apostle, the doings of men who had even been commissioned by him through the manifestation of extraordinary spiritual gifts, but went out of their way, and abused them to the selfish purpose of obtaining the lead of a party? He tells them that, however God may have used them for his purposes, yet their relation to him, and his to them, is no closer, no higher, than what exists between the man and the trumpet which he sounds, or the cymbal which he strikes. * From "The Ministry of the Body;" by the rev. R. W. Evans, B.D.
saving is effected. Although only one furnace and one boiler has hitherto been adapted to this purpose, it is found to effect a saving of £350 a year. We may consequently expect that, when the experiment is further extended, and more of the furnaces so arranged that this heat may be economized, and employed for the numerous useful purposes to which it is applica ble in a large establishment, the saving will amount to many thousands annually. This communication by Mr. Palmer Budd, at the British Association, in Swansea, this year, is to be printed entire in their
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