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ing here given.
germ of every blessing—the vital element love me,” &c., while again and again the of every felicity and favour. “Peace I voice of his Father, looking down from leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” heaven, was heard proclaiming, “This is But there is a peculiarity about the expres- my beloved Son, in whom I am well sion here employed by Christ that arrests pleased." These outward circumstances the attention of the thoughtful mind, and had no more power to disturb his peace that seems to point to a state of enjoyment than the clouds flitting across the sky have but little realized, a condition of experience power to arrest or disturb the shining of but imperfectly comprehended, and a plat- the sun; not that he was indifferent or inform of privilege but rarely attained. Com- sensible to them; he was keenly alive to paring the agitated, disquieted, restless, aud frequently bitterly felt them all; but care-worn character of our lives with the the smiles or the frowns of men, the great, glorious, inestimable, precious bless- hosannahs or the mockings of the multiing which Christ here bequeaths to his tude, the applause or the cursing of the people, can we say, that we have entered rabble, adversity or prosperity, degradation into the possession and the enjoyment of or honour, poverty or plenty--were matters this precious legacy? And yet it is ours- to him but of little moment when comours in all its fulness, ours in all its extent, pared with the enjoyment of his Father's ours in all its power. Let us, then, just favour. Leaving all these without, he examine it a little ; it may be that we have could retire into the 'secresy of his own forgotten, overlooked, or misunderstood heart, and there realize the sweetest intersome part of it, and that that has pre- course and the sublimest fellowship with vented us from appropriating to ourselves his Father. He had an outward life, that which is now our own, and that which and that was frequently stormy, cloudy, our Saviour wishes us to enjoy. Look, – thorny, fiery; but he had also an inward I. At the peculiar character of the bless- life, and that was peace unbroken, joy
My peace.” It is not unmingled, felicity unspeakable, serenity an ordinary peace, not an angelic peace,
unclouded. not a buman peace, but Christ's peace. 2. It was a peace springing from a cheerThere was an emphatic appropriateness in ful submission to God's appointment. The the language as employed by Christ. No lot which his Father had appointed him on one could use these words like he. All earth was one of the most trying, difficult, their force and beauty and power would be painful, and humiliating that we can poslost if uttered by other lips. The disciples sibly imagine. From the manger to the had seen Christ in almost every variety of cross his whole life was a crucifixion. condition and circumstance.
They had Every outward circumstance ran counter seen him endure the most adverse and try. to human feelings, human hopes, human ing circumstances, face the most bitter and desires, and human sympathies. His was malignant foes, and brave the most violent a life of poverty, of privation, of toil, of opposition and provocation with calm obloquy, and of suffering a man of majesty, with quiet strength, and with an sorrows and acquainted with grief”-to end
And now pointing his in the most shameful and degrading of disciples back through all the circumstances deaths. Who would have chosen such a his life, and reminding them of the life-such a work? Yet this was the lot tranquil spirit which he had uniformly his Father had appointed him, upon which displayed," he could appropriately say, he entered, and in which he fulfilled all his *My peace I give unto you." But let us Father's will, recognized every right, and look at some of the elements of our observed every duty which he owed to Savione's peace, and which, therefore, con- every class of his fellow-men, and that stitate the peace which he has bequeathed without a murmur of discontent, a sigh of to us for our possession and realization. regret, or a groan of dissatisfaction. On 7. It was a peace springing from an the contrary, there was at all times and
cons iousness of God's favour. under all circumstances a cheerful, ready Everywhere and at all times Christ carried acquiescence and submission to all his with him a conscious sense of his Father's Father's will, and appointment. At the age smile and favour. It mattered not what of twelve years we have a clear outward the outward circumstances transpiring avowal of that inward spirit,-"Wist ye around hira, looking up to heaven, he not that I must be about my Father's
"Therefore doth my Father business?" At another time, when his
disciples were concerned about temporal world bad triumphed, he could die in food, we hear of something of greater peace, assured that the purpose of his moment to him than the supply of his Father would be realized. It was not the bodily wants. “I have meat to eat that success that had attended his ministry, it ye know not of.” “My meat is to do the was not the auspicious circumstances that will of Him that sent me, and to finish his closed his earthly career, but a confiding work.” Then, again, when the cup of trust in the purpose of his Father that bitterness was in his hand from which his enabled him to say as he contemplated his very nature seemed to recoil, with a departure, “ I have glorified thee upon
the majestic calmness, a serene spirit, and a earth; I have finished the work which thow sweet acquiescence, looking up to heaven, gavest me to do." Such then was Christ's he could ask, “ The cup which my Father peace, and such is the peace he has be hath given me, shall I not drink it?" It queathed to us. Look,must not be forgotten either that Christ II. At the mode of its communication was under no obligation to enter the work and enjoyment. “My peace I give unto and to endure the lot he did. It was his you." Note the mode, “ I give." It is own free choice. But so ready was he, blessing that comes to us not as the fruit so far elevated above everything else in of obedience, not as the reward of duty, importance appeared the will and the but as Christ's free gift. It is a gift of appointment of his Father, that he is re- grace out and out. It is not a thing to be presented as entering upon it with the done, but a thing to be received ; not a exclamation, “I delight to do thy will, O peace of which we are to be the creators, God.”
but a peace of which we are to be the 3. It was a peace springing from recipients. Let us endeavour to illustrate confiding trust in the purpose of God. it by the peace which we have seen Christ Christ came into the world to achieve the enjoyed. most stupendous work that was
1. It is a peace springing from an abiding attempted. To reform society, to lead consciousness of God's favour. The want man back to God, to heal the world's woes, of a sense of God's favour is one of the and to win over the world to the acceptance bitterest sources of our unrest and disand the practice of the truth of God. But quietude. Now the favour of God is a who could have said, judging from outward blessing not to be bought, not to be me. appearances at his death, that his work was
rited, not to be won; not one for which a success ? We find him after a brief we have to labour and to toil : but it is ministry of three years, during which, with one that Christ gives us. It is a blessing much opposition and persecution, he had which Christ has recovered for us and we scattered a few seeds of living truth, and cured to us by his humiliation, his agonies
, made a few poor, humble, unlettered, de- his sufferinge, and his death. Are we not spised disciples, preparing for the most many of us seeking this peace in the wrong ignominious and degrading of all deaths, way? Are we not labouring, and toiling, yet with the coufident assurance that he and praying, and singing, and attending to had triumphed, that he had conquered the this duty and to that, with the hope and world, that he had struck the keystone of the expectation that we shall obtain God's sin's arch, that he had eapped the founda- favour, and consequently inward peace tion of Satan's empire, that he had given thereby ? Quite wrong. If our faith in birth to principles that would revolutionize Christ be an appropriating faith, the favou the world and bring all nations under the of God is ours before and independently of sway of truth and righteousness. The all these. The favour of God is ours on outward circumstances that surrounded account of what Christ has done, and not him at his death, adverse and unpropitious on account of anything we can do our as they appeared, produced not a ripple selves. The work of Christ therefore, and upon the calm surface of his soul ; his not any services, not any duties, not ans Father's purpose, in which he had an prayers, not any works, not any feelings, abiding confidence and trust, was more to not any experiences of ours, must be the him than all these. Although his life ap- ground of our confidence for the possession peared cut short in its prime; although his and the enjoyment of God's favour. We work appeared arrested before even the are reconciled to God, we are God's loved foundation was laid; although, judging from ones—it is a thing done, and not that which outward appearances, sin, Satan, and the has to be done. You may ask, Is there no
value or importance to be attached to the 2. It is a peace springing from a cheerthings we may do ourselves ? Yes, they ful submission to God's appointment. are valuable and important as an effect, Discontent with our earthly lot is another but not as a cause. See by a homely illus- source of disquietude and unrest. But tration. At autumn you go into your gar- this, too, Christ removes by the peace he den, and in the middle of it you see a tree gives. But he gives it, remember. You hanging with delicious fruit. Now you cannot obtain it by labour, or school yourwould not say that that fruit was the self into it by discipline. Your lot may cause of the sun's shining; you would not appear a hard one, your path may appear say that it drew forth and gave brightness rugged and thorny, you may think your and energy to the sun's rays. But you lot the hardest and the worst of any. Now would reason quite the opposite. You it is evident that as long as you entertain would regard that fruit as the evidence or such views and feelings you cannot enjoy the effect of two things—of the tree's en- peace. From what quarter, then, can relief joyment of the rays of the sun, and of the come? Not from any outward source. You tree's
power of appropriating to itself all have tried a thousand ways and a thousand the nutriment which the sun's rays call times to alter your lot, but you have met into existence. That fruit would be valua- only with failure and disappointment. The ble and of service to you, not as a power or peace you want is a peace that shall spring a means of giving existence to the sun- up from within, and not dependent upon shine, but as an evidence of the tree's en. anything without—a peace springing from joying and rightly appropriating it. Just a cheerful submission to God's appoint80 with us and God's farour. Just put
ment and a sweet contentment with your God's favour in the place of the sunshine, lot. But to enjoy such a peace you must yourselves in the place of the tree, and your have the assurance that your present lot is good works and services in the place of the one of the best, and one that God can and fruit
, and you have just the right position will turn to the best account. This is the and relation of these to one another. peace that Christ gives you. He tells you Now Christ gives us that sunshine ; by his by his life and by his word that it matters finished work he cleared our sky of all the but little what your earthly lot
may be; that clouds that sin and evil had caused to the thing of highest moment to you is soulgather there. We have now to appro- culture and preparation for heaven; that the priate and to enjoy it. And we may bask most humble circumstances are frequently in it as freely and as fully as we may bask the most favourable to it; and that frein the rays of the sun of nature in summer. quently the most adverse circumstances And the more freely and fully we enjoy it, call into play and develop the highest and the more numerous will be our works of noblest powers. He tells you that one of faith and labours of love, the more ardent the purposes secured by his death is not will be our zeal and constant our service. only that all your sins may be forgiven, And where the favour of God is thus but that all things may work together for realized, where the sun of his love is al- your good. See, then, this great result is lowed to shine in upon the soul in all its not to be the effect of any cause you may power and glory, there there must be peace. put in operation; not the fruit of any What if all the world be up in arms; labour or toil on your part ; not to be the what if men frown; what if false friends issue of any bright or ingenious scheme betray; what if foes obstruct; what if your own wisdom may devise : it is a reeverything goes cross and adverse—we can sult already secured by Chris; 's work. It retire into the secresy of our own souls, and is the regulating principle of all God's apthere realize the love, the favour, the pointments and dealings wit': you. Where smiles, and the friendship of our heavenly this assurance which Christ gives is ac Father. If Christ be yours, this is the cepted there there must be peace. If, then, peace he gives you—the favour of God in Christ has died to secure this result, and if all its fulness, in all its plenitude, in all its God has pledged himself to bring it about, bliss, and in all its power. Open your
let God have his own way; let him do with hearts and let it flow in in full stream and you as it seemeth him good ; and knowing volume. The favour of God is already that this is the process now actually going it is Christ's gift, he has purchased
on, let your language ever be, “Father, it for you, and it is his wish that you
not my will but thine be done,” and in should enjoy it, and rest in peace.
that will you may find repose.
3. It is a peace springing from a confiding if we have laid hold of him with a livin trust in the purpose of God. You may some- operative faith, the flesh may rage, times feel anxious about your own security world may tempt, Satan may obstruo and salvation, your feelings may chime in enemies may assail; we can withstand an with the doleful complaints some love to defy them all, and say with Paul, “I af sing; or you may fear that in some future persuaded that neither death, nor life, conflict the enemy may prevail against you : angels, nor principalities, nor powers, ne “ I shall now perish one day by the hand things present, nor things to come, nd of Saul." Now you cannot overcome these height, nor depth, nor any other creatur fears and doubts, or have a brighter and shall be able to separate us from the lope fuller evidence of your part in Christ's sal- of God, which is in Christ Jesus ou vation with eternal glory, by any labour, or
Lord.” “ I know whom I have believed toil, or effort on your own part. If
your and am persuaded that he is able to kee Boul were thrilled with joy, if it burned that which I have committed to his with zeal, if it yearned for God's house, if against that day." it were filled with ecstasy and rapture, And as with your own salvation partien these would be but poor grounds of con- larly, so with the ultimate triumph an fidence and objects of trust, very fickle, salvation of the Church generally. Some very deceptive, very uncertain. 'In thé times you may be disquieted with gloomy peace that Christ gives us he gives us apprehensions and dark forebodings as to something better; a knowledge of his own, her onward progress and universal suand his Father's purpose. Here it is : "In, premacy. Your only refage is in the purmy Father's house,' &c.; “I go to prepare, pose of God; but a confiding trust in it a place for you, and if I
will secure you peace. The artillery of cause I live ye shall live also" Father, hell
may be levelled at her walls, the ine I will that they also whom thou hast given genuity of sceptics may sap her foundame be with me where I am, that they may tions, the faithlessness of false friends may bebold
my glory”; “Being confident of surrender her gates ; let us maintain ou this very thing, that he which hath begun posts, not in fear, but in confidence ; note a good work in you will perform it until confidence in human skill, in human power the day of Jesus Christ." Now, see, our in Acts of Parliament, but in the purpose confiding trust in God's purpose should of God. By and bye, when her enemies not be dependent upon our progress in the are in hot pursuit, when mountains of difways of God, but our progress in the ways ficulty hem her in on either side, and the of God is dependent upon our confiding red sea of destruction towards which she trust in God's purpose ; but then God's appears fast hasting rolls before her, purpose has not been, will not be, secured shall hear a voice from heaven, "Be stil by any effort on our part, but by the and see the salvation of God"; finished work of Christ. The stronger our
some divine rod stretched over the sea by faith in that purpose the more rapid will some modern Moses, it will divide, com be our progress, the more stable and pro- plete deliverance will be afforded to found our peace. This, then, is the peace Church, but complete destruction to be that Christ gives us.
He tells us that his fues. Rest, then, through Christ's wor! Father's purpose in our complete salvation the results of which he offers you in the has been already secured by his own work. Father's favour, in the Father's will
, andi What we have to do is to confide in it, the Father's purpose, and then the peace and to lay hold upon it. If Christ be ours, Christ will be yours.
THE BIBLE THE BEST BOOK.
BY THE REV. C. ELVEN. It may be very naturally asked, "If the Bible be the best book, why do yot put any other into our hands?”. To which we reply, For the same reason .. ħand-posts are put by the
road-side ; not to detain the traveller, but to direct hin aright on his journey. So we write the tract or magazine only to lead
study and value the Bible more. Especially do we deem this needful in the present day, as there are so many false guides that would misdirect you and lead you to a precipice from which you might fall and perish. The press is now teeming with publications which, however they may be gilded over with professions of liberality-freedom from the prejudices of antiquated bigotry-or of profound scholarship, are so many envenomed shafts aimed at the vitals of our Christianity, insinuating a deadly poison, which, but for a timely antidote, may barn and agonize the victims of scepticism for ever.
But even the very best of human productions are not to be allowed an equality with the word of God. Well has it been said of the sacred writings, that, " indited under the influence of Him to whom all hearts are known, they suit mankind in all conditions, grateful as the manna which descended from heaven and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened ; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets extracted from them. "He who hath once tasted their excellences will desire to taste them yet again ; and he who tastes them oftenest will relish them best."
Let no man's heart fail him, therefore, on account of the assaults that are made on his faith in the Bible, seeing that for ages it has survived all the malice and power of its enemies, and still
" Like some tall cliff it lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm:
Eternal sunshine settles on its head!" Some eighty years ago, Paine, that infidel of execrable memory, boasted that he had “gone through the Bible as a woodman with his axe, and cut down all the trees in the Christian Eden; so that however the priests might try to stick them in again, they would never grow.” Impious man! he has passed to the tribunal of the Judge whom he defied; but the truths he thus boasted of having demolished are still living, yea more, are striking root in every land, spreading their branches, and yielding
their life-giving fruit to the sons of men. Hume, a more subtle and philosophical adversary, exclaimed in a tone of exultation,
“Methinks see the twilight of this Christianity ;” meaning the twilight of the evening which would darken into the night of Atheism; but being purblind, he had mistaken the time of day. It was the twilight of the morning, which has ever önce been shining more and more unto the perfect day. Nor need we fear the more recent attacks which have been made on the sacred volume, especially those on the authorship and inspiration of the Pentateuch. From the hostile criticisms of a right reverend prelate, we appeal to "the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls,” who has put his imprimatur on the writings of Moses by repeated references and quotations. Hence we hear him conversing with Nicodemus, and saying, “ As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness ;” and again, "They have Moses and the prophets ; " and again, “ Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me;" and again, “ Moses gave you that bread from heaven; to which may be added the fact that our Lord, when tempted in the wilderness, repelled each assault by a quotation from the Pentateuch (Deut. viii. 3, Deut. 1. 16, and Deut. vi. 13). And was the great Teacher mistaken when, by his prefix to each of these quotations, “It is written," he adduced them as from the mspired writings ? Perish the thought that infinite wisdom could have erred ! de, the only alternative, that he connived at a delusion! How refreshing it is to turn from these distractions in high places to the dwellings of the pious poor, whose personal experience of the truth and preciousDeas of the sacred volume is a tower of strength that no sophistry can overturn!