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granite of a corrupt nature, and helps some degree, the march of anarchy, and to break in pieces the rock of which to bring beneath the sceptre of righthere remains much in the breasts of teousness the revolted and ruined pothe most pious. He who conquers a pulation? Can he be an indifferent and temptation takes a fresh step towards cold-hearted spectator of the despite subduing himself; in other words, de done to God by every class of society ; taches inore particles from the stone and shall there be no throbbing of spiand the iron. And thus, in most accu- rit, and no yearning of soul, over thourate correspondence, as in the natural sands of his race, who, though redeeinworld so in the spiritual, the tempested by the sacrifice of Christ, are preand torrent, which displace the soil, paring themselves a heritage of fire and provide fresh material for all the pur: shame? We do but reason from the poses of vegetation: but there is this most invariable and well-known princidifference between the two: in the na- ples of our nature, when we argue that, tural world, the old soil disappears, and as a loyal and loving subject of Christ, its place is supplied by the new; in the the believer must glow with righteous spiritual, the old, disturbed for a while, indignation at the bold insults offered subsides, and is then wonderfully deep- to his Lord, and long to bend every faened by accessions of new. Hope and culty and power to the diminishing the patience, exercised by the appointed world's wretchedness by overcoming trials of life, cause an enrichment of its rebellion. What stronger proof then the soil in which all christian graces can you ask of the goodness in quesflourish; so that the grain of mustard tion than that, whilst detained from seed, bursting into a tree, finds ample glory, we may withstand impiety? It space for its roots, spreading them is yet a little while, and we shall be wide and striking them deep. And if withdrawn from this scene of rebellion ; this be no exaggerated account of the and no further effort, so far as we ourbenefits resulting from a sedulous ex- selves are concerned, can be made toercise of hope and patience; if it be wards advancing Christ's kingdom. Othtrue that he who, in the scriptural ers may come after us, of warmer loysense, hopes and quietly waits for sal- alty and more resolute zeal, and make vation, is under that discipline which, better head against the tide of apostacy. of all others, ministers to the growth But our own opportunities of vindicaof dispositions acceptable to God; we ting Christ's honor, and extending the have omitted, it would seem, no step sway of his sceptre, will have altogethin the required demonstration, but have er passed away; and the last glance collected all the elements of proof, that which our spirits, in departing, cast up"it is good that a man should both hope on this earth, may show us impiety caand quietly wait for the salvation of reering with as dominant a footstep as the Lord."
ever, and send us into God's presence We would only further remark, though with a throb of self-reproach at the pauthe statement is perhaps involved in the city and poverty of our resistances to preceding, that the delay is good as af- the right of the evil one. We doubt fording time in which to glorify God. not, that, whatever the joy and peace It is a spectacle which should stir all of a christian's deathbed, there will be the anxieties and sympathies of a be always a feeling of regret that so little liever, that of a world which has been has been done, or rather so little atransomed by blood-shedding, but which, tempted, for Christ. And if, whilst his nevertheless, is overspread with impie firmament is glowing with the dawnty and infidelity. The christian is the ings of eternity, and the melody of anman of loyalty and uprightness, forced gels is just stealing on his ear, and the to dwell in the assemblings of traitors. walls of the bright city are bounding With a heart that beats true to the king his horizon, one wish could detain him of the land, he must tarry amongst in the tabernacle of flesh; oh, it would those who have thrown off allegiance. not be the wish of tarrying with the On all sides he must hear the plottings weeping ones who are clustered at his of treason, and behold the actings of bedside; and it would not be that of rebellion. Can he fail to be wrought up providing for children, of superintendto a longing, and effort, to arrest, in ing their education, or of persecting
some plan for their settlement in life-rainbow, is not only lovely because of he knows that there is a Husband of the its seven rich and radiant stripes; it is widow and a Father of the fatherless, the memorial of a covenant between and the only wish which could put a man and his Maker, telling us that we check on his spirit, as the plumes of its are born for immortality; destined, unwing just feel the free air, is that he less we sepulchre our greatness, to the might toil a little longer for Christ, and highest honor and noblest happiness. do at least some fractions more of his Hope proves man deathless. It is the work, ere ushered into the light of his struggle of the soul, breaking loose from presence. And if the sinking energies what is perishable, and attesting her were suddenly recruited, so that the eternity. And when the eye of the pulse of the expiring man beat again mind is turned upon Christ, " delivered vigorously ; it might at first seem pain- for our offences and raised again for our ful to him to be snatched back from glo- justification,” Romans, 4:25, the unsubry; but remembering, that, whilst vice stantial and deceitful character is taken is enthroned on the high places of the away from hope: hope is one of the earth, and millions bow down to the prime pieces of that armor of proof in stock and the stone, there is a mighty which the believer is arrayed; for St. demand for all the strenuousness of Paul bids us take " for an helmet the the righteous, he would use returning hope of salvation.” i Thess. 5:8. It is strength in uttering the confession, it not good that a man hope for wealth, is good that I yet hope and wait for since "riches profit not in the day of salvation.
wrath ;" Prov. 11:4; and it is not good Now in winding up this subject of that he hope for human honors, since discourse, we have only to remark that the mean and mighty go down to the religion gives a character to hope of same burial: but it is good that he hope which otherwise it is altogether desti- for salvation; the meteor then gathers, tute. You will scarcely find the man, like a golden halo, round his head, and, in all the ranges of our creation, whose as he presses forward in the battle-time, bosom bounds not at the mention of no weapon of the evil one can pierce hope. What is hope but the solace and through that helmet. stay of those whom it most cheats and It is good, then, that he hope : it is deludes; whispering of health to the good also that he quietly wait. There sick man, and of better days to the de- is much promised in Scripture to the jected; the fairy name on which young waiting upon God. Men wish an immeimaginations pour forth all the poetry diate answer to prayer, and think themof their souls, and whose syllables float, selves forgotten unless the reply be inlike aerial music, into the ear of frozen stantaneous. It is a great mistake. The and paralyzed old age? In the long ca. delay is often part, and the best part, of talogue of human griefs there is scarce the answer. It exercises faith, and hope, one of so crushing a pressure that hope and patience; and what better thing can loses its elasticity, becoming unable be done for us than the strengthening to soar, and bring down fresh and fair those graces to whose growth shall be leaves from some far-off domain which proportioned the splendors of our imitself creates. And yet, whilst hope is mortality? It is good, then, that ye wait. the great inciter to exertion, and the " They that wait upon the Lord shall regreat soother of wretchedness, who new their strength; they shall mount up knows not that it ordinarily deceives with wings as eagles; they shall run, and mankind, and that, though it crowd the not be weary; and they shall walk, and future with glorious resting-places, and not faint.” Isa. 40:31. And ye must, thus tempt us to bear up a while against according to the phrase of our text, wait accumulated disasters, its palaces and for God." The Lord is a God of judggardens vanish as we approach; and we ment; blessed are all they that wait for are kept from despair only because the him.” Isa. 30:18. And if the time seem pinnacles and forests of another bright long, and, worn down with affliction and scene fringe the horizon, and the de- wearied with toil, ye feel impatient for ceiver finds us willing to be yet again the moment of full emancipation-redeceived ? Hope is a beautiful meteor: member ye-and let the remembrance but, nevertheless, this meteor, like the check every murmur—that God leaves you upon earth in order that, advancing | by stemming the battle-tide, he may gain holiness, you may secure yourselves ther, every instant, spoil and trophies a higher grade amongst the children of for eternity? Who will tamper with the first resurrection. Strive ye, there- carnal indulgences, when, for the poor fore, to "let patience have her perfect enjoyment of a second, he must barter work.” James, 1:4. It is "yet a little some everduring privilege? Wrestle, while, and he that shall come will come." strive, fight, as men who "know that Heb. 10:37. Be ye not disheartened; your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 for "the night is får spent, the day is at Cor. 15:58. Ye cannot indeed merit adhand.” Rom. 13:12. As yet there has vancement. What is called reward will been no day to this creation, since re. be the reward of nothing but God's bellion wove the sackcloth into the over- work within you, and, therefore, be a head canopy. But the day comes on- gift most royal and gratuitous. But ward. There is that edge of gold on whilst there is the strongest instituted the snow-mountains of a long-darkened connection between attainment here world, which marks the ascending of the and enjoyment hereafter, we need not sun in his strength. "Watchman, what | pause upon terms, but may summon of the night? Watchman, what of the you to holiness by the certainties of night? The watchman said, the morn- happiness. The Judge of mankind coming cometh and also the night.” Isa. 21: eth, bringing with him rewards all won11, 12. Strange that morning and night derfully glorious; but, nevertheless, should come hand in hand. But the "one star differeth from another star morning to the righteous, as bringing in glory.” 1 Cor. 15 : 41. salvation, shall be the night to the wick- O God, it were an overwhelming ed, as bringing destruction. On then, mercy, and a magnificent portion, if still on, lest the morning break, ere ho- we should obtain the least; but since ping and waiting have wrought their in-thou dost invite, yea, command us tent. Who will sleep, when, as he slum- to "strive for masteries,” we will bers, bright things glide by, which, if struggle—thy grace being our strength wakeful, he might have added to his por--for the higher and more beaution? Who will put off the armor, when, tiful.
TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS.
“ But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by
him, as the truth is in Jesus.”—Ephesians, 4 : 20 and 21st.
There is a singular verse in the Book | better than these? for thou dost not of Ecclesiastes which appears directed inquire wisely concerning this." Eccl. against a common, though, perhaps, un- 7:10. We believe that there exists a suspected error. "Say not thou what disposition in persons, and especially is the cause that the former days were l in old persons, to set present years in
contrast with the past, and to prove, history to assure us of the contrary, from the comparison, a great and on- we might be disposed to conclude, with going deterioration in the character of much appearance of fairness, that they mankind. And it is quite certain, that, who beheld diseases scattered, and if this disposition were observable in death mastered, by a word, must have Solomon's days, as well as in our own, instantly followed Him who wrought it must pass ordinarily as the mark of out the marvels. Yet we may easily a jaundiced and ill-judging mind. If it certify ourselves, that the Jew was have been true in some ages, it cannot occupied by prejudices which must have been in all, that the moral aspect have more than counterbalanced his of the times has grown gradually dark- peculiar advantages. He had before er. We must be warranted, therefore, him, so to speak, a sketch of his Mesin ascribing a disposition which has siah, whose accuracy he never thought subsisted through days of improve- of questioning; and if a claimant of ment, as well as of declension, to a the Messiahship presented not the feapeevish determination to find fault, and tures which were foremost in this not to a sober sitting in judgment upon sketch, then, almost as a matter of matters of fact.
course, his pretensions were rejected But the workings of the very same with scorn. It is nothing to say that disposition may be traced under other ancient prophecy, more thoroughly inand less obvious forms. We believe, vestigated, might have taught the Jew for example, that men are often in the error of expecting, on the first adclined to compare the religious advan- vent of Messiah, a temporal prince and tages of the earlier and later days of deliverer. The error was so ingrained christianity, and to uphold the superi- into his spirit, that it was easier for ority of the past to the present. It is him to refer miracles to the power of imagined, that to have been numbered the evil one, than to suspect that he amongst the living when Jesus sojourn harbored a false expectation. So that, ed upon earth, to have been permit. when we compare our own circumstanted to behold the miracles which he ces with those of the Jew, it behoves wrought, and to hear from his own us to remember, that, if we have not lips the truths of redemption—it is his advantages in supernatural maniimagined, we say, that there must have festations, neither have we his disadbeen in this a privilege ampler in di- vantages in national prepossessions. mensions than any which falls to men We are not to argue the effect produof later generations. And from such ced upon him, from that which might imagining there will spring often a kind now be produced upon us, by the workof excusing, whether of infidelity, or of ing of miracles. In his case every lukewarmness; our not believing at feeling which results from early assoall, or our believing only languidly, be- ciation, or from the business of educaing accounted for on the principle, that tion, was enlisted against christianity ; the evidence afforded is far less than whereas it may almost be affirmed, that, might have been vouchsafed. Thus, in our case, every such feeling is on the under a specious, but more dangerous side of christianity. If, therefore, we alaspect, we are met again by the ques- low that the testimony, which we postion, "What is the cause that the for- sess to the truth of our religion, wears mer days were better than these ?" not outwardly the same mightiness as
Now we believe the question to be that afforded in the days of the Savior, grounded altogether on mistake. If we should still contend that the predisthere be advantage on one side as posing circumstances in our own case contrasted with the other, we are per- far more than compensate the sensible suaded that it lies with the present witness in that of the Jew. generation, and not with the past. It We may yet further observe, that is true that the exhibition of miracu- not only are our disadvantages less, lous energies, which was made in the but, on a stricter examination, our adcities of Judea, gave what ought to vantages will appear greater. We may have been overwhelming attestation to think there would have been a vast adthe divinity of the mission of Jesus. vantage in seeing Jesus work miracles; If we possessed not the records of but, after all, we could only have be
lieved that he actually worked them. perchance, be easily borne down by the And if we can once certify ourselves outcry, if the remembered witness of of this fact, we occupy, in the strictest our eye-sight were all to which appeal sense, the same position as though we could be made. It is not difficult to had been spectators of the wonder. It begin to suspect ourselves in the wrong, would be altogether childish to main when we find no one willing to allow tain, that I may not be just as certain us in the right. And we therefore mainof a thing which I have not seen, as of tain, that, living as we do in a day when another which I have seen. Who is in generation after generation has sat in any degree less confident, that there assize on christianity, and registered a was once such a king as Henry the verdict that it has God for its author, Eighth on the throne of these realms, we possess the very largest advantages than that there is now such a king as over those who saw with their own William the Fourth ? Or is there one eyes what Jesus did, and heard with of us who thinks that he would have their own ears what Jesus said. felt more sure of there having been Now you may not all readily perceive such a king as Henry the Eighth, had the connection of these remarks with he lived in the times of that monarch the passage of Scripture on which we in place of the present? We hold then purpose to meditate. Yet the connecthe supposition to be indefensible, that tion is of the strictest. The apostle adthe spectator of a miracle has necessa- dresses himself to converts, who, like rily an advantage over those who only ourselves, had not been privileged to hear of that miracle. Let there be behold the Savior of mankind. Christ clear and unequivocal testimony to Jesus had not walked the streets of the fact of the miracle having been Ephesus: and if it be supposable that wrought, and the spectator and the certain of the inhabitants of that idolahearer stand well nigh on a par. That trous city had visited Judea during the there should be belief in the fact, is period of his sojourning on earth, it is the highest result which can, in either incredible that the Ephesian church, as case, be produced. But assuredly this a body, had enjoyed with Him personal result may as well be effected by the communion. Does then St. Paul adpower of authenticated witness, as by dress the Ephesians as though disadthe machinery of our senses. And, vantaged by this circumstance? Does without question, the testimony to the he represent them as less favored than truth of christianity is of so growing a their brethren of Jerusalem who had character, and each age, as it rolls lived within the circles of Christ's away, pays in so farge a contribution ministrations ? On the contrary, you to the evidences of faith, that it were would judge, from the style of his adeasy to prove, that the men of the pre- dress, that he wrote this Epistle to sent generation gain, rather than lose, Jewish, and not to heathen converts. by distance from the first erection of He speaks to the Ephesians of their the cross. It is saying but little, to having heard Christ, and of their havaffirm that we have as good grounds of ing been taught by Christ. "If so be persuasion that Jesus came from God, that ye have heard him, and have been as we should have had, if permitted to taught by him.” And what shall we behold the mighty workings of his gather from this, but a rigid confirpower. We are bold to say that we mation of our foregoing remarks; a have even better grounds. The testi- strengthening of the opinion, that those mony of our senses, however convinc- who have not seen may stand in preing for the moment, is of so fleeting cisely the same position as those who and unsubstantial a character, that, a have; and that, consequently, the abyear or two after we had seen a mira- sence of what may be called sensible cle, we might be brought to question proof furnishes no groundwork of comwhether there had not been jugglery plaint, that "the former days were betin the worker, or credulity in ourselves. ier than these?" If we found a nation up in arms, main- We must, indeed, allow that the taining that there might have been ma- Ephesians were brought, more nearly gic or trickery, but that there had not than ourselves, into personal contact been supernatural power ; we might, with Christ, because instructed by