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righteous through Christ. Then, be ye reconciled to God!
RELIGION THE GREAT NE
CESSITY OF YOUTH. THERE is a great deal of confusion, and a great deal of folly, in the common notion of the gaiety of youth. If gaiety means real happiness of mind, I do not believe that there is more of it in youth than in manhood; if for this reason only, that the temper in youth being commonly not yet brought into good order, irritation and passion are felt probably oftener than in after life; and these are sad drawbacks, as we all know, to a real cheerfulness of mind.
And of the outward gaiety of youth there is a part also which is like the gaiety of a drunken man, which is riotous, insolent, and annoying to others; which, in short, is a folly and a sin.
There remains that which strictly belongs to youth, partly physicalthe lighter step and the lighter movement of the growing and vigorous body; partly from circumstances, because a young man's parents or friends stand between him and many of the cares of life, and protect him from feeling them altogether; partly from the abundance of hope which belongs to the beginning of everything, and which continually hinders the mind from dwelling on past pain.
And I know not which of these causes of gaiety would be taken away, or lessened, by the earlier change from childhood to manhood.
True it is that the question, "What must I do to be saved ?” is a grave one, and must be considered seriously; but I do not suppose that any one proposes that a young person should never be serious at all. True it is, again, that if we are living in folly and sin this question may be a painful one; we might be gayer for a time without it. But, then, the matter is, what is to become of us if we do not think of being saved ? Shall we be saved without thinking of it? And what is it to be not saved, but lost?
I cannot pretend to say that the thought of God would not very much disturb the peace and gaiety of an ungodly and sinful mind; that it would not interfere with the mirth of the bully, or the drunkard, or the reveller, or the glutton, or the idler, or the fool. It would, no doubt; just as the hand that was seen to move on the wall threw a gloom over the guests at Belshazzar's festival.
I never meant, or mean to say, that the thought of God, or that God himself, would be other than a plague here; the sight of him will be their judgment for ever. But I suppose the point is, whether the thought of him would cloud the gaiety of those who were striving to please him. It would cloud it as much, and be just as unwelcome, and no more, as will be the very actual presence of our Lord to the righteous, when they shall see him as he is.
Can that which we know to be able to make old age, and sickness, and poverty, many times full of comfort-can that make youth and
health gloomy? When to natural cheerfulness and sanguineness are added a consciousness of God's ever-present care, and a knowledge of his rich promises, are we likely to be the more sad, or the more unhappy?
come needy, come naked, come empty, come wretched; only come, only believe. His heart is free, his arms are open, it is his joy and his crown to receive sinners.
Oh, did we but know ourselves, and the Saviour! We are poor, but he is rich; we are dead, but he is life; we are sin, but he is righteousness; we are guiltiness, but he is grace; we are misery, but he is mercy; we are lost, but he is salva. tion.
He ever lives, ever loves, ever pities, ever pleads. He loves to the end, and saves to the uttermost, all that come unto God by him.
Nothing grieves God more than to have his love slighted; nothing pleases him more than to have it accepted.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," 1 Tim. i. 15.
COME TO JESUS. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”—Matt. xi. 28. HAVE you sins, or have you none? -If you have, whither should you go, but to “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world ?”
Have you souls, or have you none ?-If you have, whither should you go, but to the Saviour of souls:
Is there a life to come, or is there not?-If there is, whither should you go, but to Him who only hath the words of eternal life?
Is there a wrath to come, or is there not?-If there is, whither should you go, but to Him who only can deliver from the wrath to come? And will he not receive you? If he yielded himself into the hands of them that sought his life, will he hide himself from the hearts of them that seek his mercy? If he was willing to be taken by the hand of violence, is he not much more willing to be taken by the hand of faith?
Oh, come, come, come! I charge you to come, I beseech you to come. Come, and he will give you lise. Come, and he will give you rest. Come, and he will receive you. Knock, and he will open unto you. Look to him, and he will save you,
Come as you are ; come poor,
WHY AM I NOT A CHRIS
TIAN: 1. Is it because I am afraid of ridicule, and
what others may say of me ?-"Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.”
2. Is it because of the inconsistencies of professing Christians ?“Every man shall give account of himself to God.”
3. Is it because I am not willing to give up all for Christ?—“ What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
4. Is it because I am afraid that I shall not be accepted ?—“ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
5. Is it because I fear that I am too great a sinner?-" The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin."
6. Is it because I am afraid that I shall not hold out?" He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
7. Is it because I am thinking that I will do as well as I can, and that God ought to be satisfied with that?_“Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
8. Is it because I am postponing the matter without any definite reason ?-“Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
9. Is it because I am trying to save myself by morality, or in any other way of my own ?—“There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”
10. Is it because I do not clearly see the way to be saved ?--“Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” “God 80 loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life," John
him, and Divine works are attri. buted to him. We propose now, however, to examine the direct testimony of Scripture on this subject, by looking at a few passages in the Old Testament, which have immediate reference thereto.
Take Isa. ix. 6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Can language stronger than this be used? Could a mere man be called “ the Mighty God?”
Could one of the highest orders of angels be spoken of as “the Everlasting Father?” If this does not proclaim the Deity of the Messiah here predicted, what language could be used which would convey that idea ?
Isa. xl. 9, 10. In each of the four Gospels it is stated that the third verse of this chapter has reference to John the Baptist as the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the ninth and tenth verses we find it said cerning the Being whose approach he announces,“Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God. Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand;" and then, without any intimation that another being is spoken of, there follows one of the sublimest passages in the Bible, descriptive of the majesty of the incomprehensible and eternal One.
Take one other instance, Zech. xiii. 7: “Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts : smite the Shepherd, and the
THE DEITY OF JESUS
CHRIST. This may be proved from the fact that Divine attributes are ascribed to him, Divine titles are applied to
sheep shall be scattered.” That this applies to Jesus Christ we learn from Matt. xxvi. 31, and Mark xiv, 27. Yet he is here called the fellow or equal of the Lord of hosts, who declares himself “a jealous God,” and who says of himself, “My glory will I not give to another."
From a consideration of these and other passages, we learn that not only did the followers of Christ believe him to be Divine, but that he was expressly spoken of in prophecy as being equal with the Father, God over all, blessed for
ness of a wound hidden and unhealed within, and hence unable to animate to lofty doings, or supply the strength needed for such doings.
It is a feeble religion, lacking the sinews and bones of hardier times; very different from the indomitable, much-enduring, storm-braving religion, not merely of apostolic days, but even of the Reformation.
It is an uncertain religion; that is to say, not rooted on certainty; it is not the outflowing of a soul assured of pardon, and rejoicing in the filial relationship between itself and God. Hence there is no liberty of service, for the question of personal acceptance is still an unsettled thing; there is a working for pardon, butnot from pardon. All is thus bondage, heaviness, irksomeness. There is a speaking for God, but it is with a faltering tongue; there is a labouring for God, but it is with fettered hands; there is a moving in the way of his commandments, but it is with a heavy drag upon our limbs.
Hence the inefficient, uninfluential character of our religion. It does not tell on others, for it has not yet fully told upon ourselves. It falls short of its mark, for the arm that drew the bow is paralyzed.
RELIGION OF THE AGE. The religion of the age is an easyminded religion, without conflict and wrestling, without self-denial and sacrifice; a religion which knows nothing of the pangs of the new birth at its commencement, and nothing of the desperate struggle with the flesh and with the devil, day by day, making us long for resurrection deliverance, for the binding of the adversary, and for the Lord's arrival.
It is a second-rate religion; a religion in which there is no largeness, no grandeur, no potency, no noble-mindedness, no elevation, no self-devotedness, noall-constraining love.
It is a hollow religion, with a fair exterior, but an aching heart, a heart unsatisfied, a soul not at rest, a conscience not at peace with God; a religion marked, it may be, by activity and excitement, but betraying all the while the conscious
ALL IN CHRIST.
MAN, or woman, or child! do you want anything ? Are you anxious about the matters of your soul? Are you disturbed ? are you ignorant? Do you feel, “ It is wisdom I want,” or, “It is righteousness I
want,” or, “It is peace I want,” | joint-heirs with Christ? It is that or, “It is power I want,” or “It is we may have liberty to serve God, heaven I want?” Well, it is all in and glorify the name of our ReChrist. In the knowledge of him deemer. Thus all that salvation is eternal life. And do you under- implies is in him, all that salvation stand, it is all with Christ? You implies is with him, and all that do not receive it from Christ; you salvation implies is for him, in time receive it with Christ. “He that and eternity. My brethren, Christ hath the Son hath life.” There is is a root, Christ is a rock. He is a no salvation out of him. We become root, of which flows the sap of bound up in him by faith, and then grace, through the branches, and all that belongs to him is ours. As the soul that is united to him as a it is all in him, it is all with him. branch, receiveth it. He is the Once more, it is all for Christ. Do Rock of ages; and the soul that is you understand that everything we based on him the gates of hell canreceive is to go back to him? It is not prevail against; it shall rise up given to us that we may glorify his a mighty tower unto the skies, a holy name. Are we justified ? Are building that shall manifest the we sanctified ? Are we blood- wisdom, the power, the grace, and bought? Are we temples of the the glory of God throughout eterHoly Ghost, heirs of God, and nity.
“Their staff declareth unto them."-Hos. iv. 12. THE terms “stock” and “staff” a person began a journey or commay possibly be terms of contempt menced any other undertaking, he and derision, applied to idols, which desired to know whether the result were often of wood. The allusion would be prosperous or otherwise; is, however, more usually applied and, to this end, he took a branch to a species of divination by means of a tree, or rod, and stripped off of rods or staves, which was much the bark on one side, and left it on in use among the ancient heathen. the other. He then threw up the There are notices of very various rod twice, and if the side with the practices of this description, to bark lay upwards the first time, and more than one of which the pro- the peeled side the second time, the phet may possibly refer.
omen was good, and he proceeded Theophylact illustrates this text in his undertaking; but if the reby noticing a very common prac- verse happened, the sign was bad, tice, to which he supposes it may and the matter in hand was for the allude. The diviners set up rods, time discontinued. If either of the and began to mutter verses and en- sides appeared uppermost at both chantments, and when the rods fell, throws, the sign was neither good they drew their presages from the nor evil, and the man decided as he manner and direction of the fall. judged best. Another way was for
The Hebrew writers, however, a man to take a rod and measure thus describe the custom which its length by spans, or by the length they suppose to be intended. When of his finger, saying each time, “I