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heavenly things it is much the same. Even in those results which lie totally beyond human reach, which the Father hath kept in his own hands and deals out as the returns to prayer, even there, perseverance, exertion, self-denial, have their efficacy. They shew that the object is really prized, and that the prayer is earnest. But within that heavenly territory most of the objects are avowedly held forth as the rewards of pains and prayer united. And can any object be more sacred, more worthy of life-long effort and daily pains, than the salvation of your children? So far as God has made it dependant on your example, your assiduity and your affectionate skill, is there in such a case any violence which you should not do to your natural indolence or timidity, or any vigilance which you should not set on your minutest conduct and most trivial words? With the salvation of your beloved children for your aim, seeking that there may survive in them a godly seed when you yourself are gone, and that you may confidently bequeath them then to a Father in Heaven whom they already know and love, can you grudge any amount of patience and self-control? Have you not abundant motive for daily prayer and hourly pains in the thought that God has made you the guardian of your children's souls 2 And in this work you have need of wisdom. Without sound sense and self-command, education is a wretched business, and without it there can be no Christian education at all. To make books the task and sweetmeats the prize, and yet hope that they shall grow up intellectual and disdainful of sensual enjoyments; to talk of their looks in their hearing, and bedizen them with all sorts of trinkets and glaring apparel, and yet expect that they shall go out into the world in that simplicity and sweet unconsciousness which surpass all ornament, and without which no looks are good; to enter with sprightliness into common topics and keep for religion the long face and the doleful lecture, and yet hope that they shall associate with piety “ways of pleasantness and paths of peace; ” to impose passages of Scripture as a penalty, or scold the little scholar all through a Bible lesson, and then bid him learn the verse which says that that Bible is more to be desired than gold, and is sweeter than the honey-comb; to jumble such contradictions together is the sure way to per
plex the learner and frustrate all your lessons. But something like this is often done by parents who on the whole mean well. heir piety is intermitting. It comes on them by fits and starts, or it is confined to stated and devotional seasons. Could the hour of worship be separated from the other hours, and the Sabbath be separated from the other days, the remainder would have no religion. It would be like an ancient tombstone with the brasses taken out. Or their piety is of a defective species. It has more of law than Gospel in it. It is the precept now and then grasping the conscience, rather than the peace of God keeping the heart, and, mind. But do you, my dear friends, seek to have your souls pervaded by God's own Gospel. Seek to live habitually in the presence of a reconciled God yourselves, and then seek to bring near him those who are dearest to your own soul. Full of Divine joy and peace, allure your children into the love of God, and watch, and strive, and pray, till your own feelings and conduct be habitually evangelic. Oh! could you reach it, there is no argument so resistless as the elevated and consistent walk of a pious parent, and no influence so winsome as that parent's shining face; the conduct from which the great realities have banished all that is silly, and ignoble, and selfish, the countenance from which an abiding Gospel has banished all the gloom. But after all, the prime and most potent means is prayer. We speak of substances which it is hard to fuse; we forget that the hardest of all is a human will. To bring even an infant's will to the bending or the welding temperature needs a power divine. We speak of locks which it is hard to force or open; we forget that the most intricate and adamantine lock is the human heart. It has wards and turnings into which even a mother's love cannot insinuate, and to open it to the Gospel is beyond all power save the mighty power of God. And wherefore is it that the Lord has given you that yearning for your children's souls, and at the same time shews you that you cannot there introduce that Gospel which you delight in, nor enshrine that Saviour whom you yourself adore ? Wherefore, but to send you in vehement and importunate prayer to him who has all hearts in his hands? Wherefore, but to shut you up in lowly dependence and humble expectancy to him who hath the key of David, and who when his own set time is come, will open the door and take triumphant possession? Surely among all the petitions which reach the mercy seat, there is none more welcome than the cry of a believing parent on behalf of his darling child. Surely there is none which the friend of these little ones will put into his censer with more gracious alacrity, or the God and Father of our Lord Jesus hear with a more Divine benignity. And should the answer not come at once, surely there is no petition on all the file less |. to be forgotten, nor one which, should you meanwhile quit the praying ground, you may more confidently leave to the fidelity and love of your Guardian within the veil. III. What the heads of families ought to be to their servants and the other inmates of their dwelling. A few weeks ago we stepped into a church-yard near Brighton, and noticed many monuments which had been reared to faithful servants by grateful employers. One was a butler who had lived twenty years with a Colonel; another had been a gentleman's coachman for twenty-eight years. One female servant had lived thirty-five years with her mistress, and another had been seventeen years in a clergyman's family, “where from her fidelity and good conduct, her cheerfulness and obliging disposition, she gained the love and esteem of all who knew her; a meek and humble Christian, and kind and attentive to the poor.” And those who have visited the Royal vaults at Windsor, must remember similar tablets reared to servants by the kind-hearted monarch, George III. I like to meet such monuments. Thev look like other links in that great ão. which the Prince of Peace is slowly fashioning to bind our world in brotherhood. But better than the monument reared by the grateful employer, do I like to alight on the abode where the kind master and the o servant dwell together. On such abodes I have frequently fallen in going out and in among yourselves; and though little time remains, yet as the Gospel has shewn a special care for servants, I must say a few words before we part. And surely , it is no common opportunity of usefulness which God gives you in the care of those who are constantly under your roof. They often come from É. where they have enjoyed no reigious advantages. Sometimes they are not able to read the Bible, or can read it
so imperfectly as not to understand it. It often happens, that they have scarcely ever listened to a sermon in which the Gospel was explained or the Saviour set forth; and, very often, they come to you without ever having seen a sample of family religion, the daily worship, the sanctified Sabbath, the timely hours, the decorum, and happiness, and affection which distinguish a Christian household. And, in sending them to your abode for a season, God gives them a special opportunity of getting good, and gives you a special opportunity of doing it. If, under your roof they see nothing except that which is honest, lovely, and of good report—if you encourage them to frequent the house of God, and make sure that they actually go—if you lend them good books, and now and then talk over their contents—if you can devote a Sabbath hour to Bible reading and profitable conversation—and, above all, if your bearing towards them be so kind and considerate that they feel that in their employers they have friends and wellwishers, you may be to your domestics what Paul was to Onesimus, and find them, through God's blessing, become something “above servants,” “brethren beloved,” and fellow-citizens in the household of faith. The story of “Ruth Clarke,” which every servant and employer should read, is a beautiful example of what may be accomplished by faithful and kind-hearted heads of families. And, in seeking the highest interests of those in our employment, we shall come little speed if we forget their immediate welfare. Considerateness is a natural result of real religion; and a Christian householder will consider the health and strength, the feelings, the comfort, and worldly welfare of those whom God has brought under his roof. He will consider their health, and will not expose them recklessly to inclement weather, nor bid the same servant rise early whom he has kept late from repose. He will consider their feelings, and not talk at them in their hearing, nor lightly charge them with negligence or dishonesty which they may have never committed, nor carry it severely and suspiciously, as if he were surrounded with convicts or conspirators. He will consider their temporal advantage, and besides giving the labourer the hire of which he is worthy, he will encourage provident habits, and, taking care not to be the banker himself, will persuade his domestics to save up their
earnings. And he will consider their moral principles and their character, and save them from every influence which might peril either.
In conclusion, I must not forget that some may have sojourning within their gates those whose province it is to educate their children. For them I would claim an amount of deference and kindness proportioned to the future elevation or happiness which you desire for your sons and daughters. The teacher who is able to make them what you wish can never be repaid in salary, and can never be overpaid in affection and esteem. And yet, from want of inborn good feeling, or from their own defective education, many treat like menials those to whom they look for whatsoever is to be scholar-like or accomplished, high-hearted or lovely in their youthful line. I shall not speak of the sacrifices and self-denial in every teacher's life, nor of the better days and brighter home which so many female teachers have exchanged for the privations, and servitude, and loneliness of their present lot; nor shall I insist on intellectual title and the rank which acquirement confers; but I would merely say, in conclusion, that nothing can better distinguish betwixt true refinement and opulent vulgarity, than the different treatment which each bestows on a tutor or a governess.
CRomwell. IN 1624, AGED Twenty-Five. —It is therefore in these years that we must place Oliver's clear recognition of Calvinistic Christianity, what he, with unspeakable joy, would name his conversion, his deliverance from the jaws of eternal death. Certainly a grand epoch for a man; properly the one epoch; the turningpoint which guides upwards, or downwards, him and his activity for evermore. Oliver was henceforth a Christian man; believed in God, not on Sundays only, but on all days, in all places, and in all cases. Oliver naturally consorted henceforth with the Puritan clergy in preference to the other kind; zealously attended their ministry when possible; consorted with Puritans in general, many of whom were gentry of his own rank, some of them were nobility of a much higher rank. A modest devout man, solemnly intent “to make his calling and election sure,” to whom in credible dialect the Voice of the Highest had spoken. Whose earnestness, sagacity, and manful worth,
gradually made him conspicuous in his circle among such. The Puritans were already numerous. John Hampden, Oliver's cousin, was a devout Puritan; John Pym the like; Lord Brook, Lord Say, Lord Montague : Puritans in the better ranks, and in every rank, abounded. Already either in conscious act, or in clear tendency, the far greater part of the serious Thoughts and Manhood of England had declared itself Puritan.—Carlile's Life of Cromwell.
Giving the Right HAND.—In Scripture to give the hand imports—1. Friendship, or reception into fellowship; as in do ii. 9, “Cephas (Peter) and John gave Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship.” 2. Subjection; as in 2 Chronicles xxx. 8, “Be ye not stiffnecked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord (the Hebrew is, ‘give the hand unto the Lord'), and serve him.” So in 1 Chron. xxix. 24, “They submitted themselves (gave the hand) to Solomon the king.” 3. Confirmation of a promise or a covenant: as in Ezra x. 19, “They gave their hands that they would put away their wives.” That is, they promised to do so, by giving their hands to Ezra. Lam. v. 6, “We have given the hand to the Egyptians and to the Assyrians to be satisfied with bread.” We have pledged and covenanted in this way. So Ezekiel xvii., “He despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when lo, he had given his hand.” Zedekiah had made a covenant with Nebuchadnezzar, and confirmed it not only by an oath, but also with his hand, that he would be subject unto him, “Therefore, thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.”
TRADITIon versus TRUTH.—The Jews have their Talmud; the Catholics their Legends of Saints, and the Turks their Sonnah. The Protestant has nothing but his BIBLE. The former are three kindred works. Men have imagined that the more there is to be believed, the more are the merits of the believer. Hence all traditionists formed the orthodox and strongest party. The word of God is lost amidst these heaps of human inventions, sanctioned by an order of men connected with religious duties; they ought now, however, to be regarded rather as curiosities of literature.— D'Israeli's “Curiosities of Literature.”
THE TERRESTRIAL AND THE CELESTIAL TRUTHS OF CHRISTIANITY.
BY THE REv. D. MUNRO, NORTH SUNDERLAND, NORTHUMBERLAND.
There is a stable foundation for the distinction referred to, when we speak of the terrestrial and celestial truths of
Christianity, in the words of the Saviour
addressed to Nicodemus, “If I have told }. earthly * and ye believe not, ow shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?” Nicodemus was slow to understand the doctrine of regeneration; and hence, the expostulation contained in the words just quoted. This solemn remonstrance implies the impossibility of our believing the higher mysteries of the Gospel, if the doctrine of regeneration be rejected as absurd and incredible. If we do not believe the elementary truths of Christianity we cannot believe its sublime and transcendental truths. This is a profoundly important principle in practical theology-a principle which is of permanent application to the hearers of the Gospel from age to age... It may, perhaps, render, it more tangible and perceptible if it be enunciated in the following terms:—that there are certain truths of the Gospel which have to do with our state on earth, and which must have their accomplishment upon our personal character, and be realized in our personal experience, so as to be transformed from aerial notions in the mind into actual facts in our history, ere it is possible that we can believe the celestial and invisible mysteries which are revealed in the Gospel. The distinction between the earthly things of faith and the heavenly things of faith is the distinction which subsists between those truths which have more immediate reference to our state as sinners, who require to be renewed, and those truths which lie afar from our personal observation in the counsels of the eternal mind. If we have no experience of those truths in the Bible which respect our personal character, we do not believe them; and if we do not believe those truths which are declared concerning ourselves, neither do we believe those truths which are declared concerning God, and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and an unseen and everlasting world, though we may assent to them, and acknowledge them in words. In this way we may test our faith in the high mysteries of Christianity, in the doctrines of the Trinity, of the eternal
counsels of God for the salvation of sinners, of the divinity of the Son of God, of the dignity and glory of his É. and offices, and of the design of is sufferings and death; and, in short, we may prove our own selves as to our belief of all those sublime realities revealed in the Bible, just by examining whether those truths which are declared in the Scriptures concerning our state and character as sinners are believed and known by us experimentally. Now the very first of those truths, which may be called the earthly things of faith, is the doctrine of the corruption and depravity of our nature; that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, that we are the subjects of a moral malady which cleaves to us like a constitutional plague, that we are guilty before God, and under a sentence of righteous condemnation, and that we are altogether defiled in consequence of j and actual transression. Now, if we believe not, that is, if we are not experimentally acquainted with this first and fundamental truth, neither can we believe in Christ as the Saviour of sinners. We may profess to believe that Christ is the Saviour, but we do not believe with the heart unto righteousness. If we believe not so as to feel our disease, neither can we believe in the offered remedy so as to appropriate it. If we believe not that we have destroyed ourselves, neither can we believe that God hath laid help for us on one mighty to save. If we feel not that we are polluted by reason of sin, neither do we believe that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. If we have no . and no penetrating sense of elplessness and misery in ourselves, we can have no value for Him who came in the name of the Lord to save, and who is able to save unto the uttermost. But there are other truths of a terrestrial nature which must be felt and realized, as well as the doctrine of original corruption, ere we can believe the truths which are celestial and which eye hath not seen; and amongst these is the doctrine of the necessity of regeneration. If we believe not this great truth, that we must be born again, we are strangers to another truth, and that is, the efficacy of the Spirit in quickening those who are dead in trespasses and sins. We may, indeed, profess to believe in the existence of the Holy Ghost, and in the efficacy of his mighty operations— in the moral renovation of the ungodly; but this is not faith, it is merely a barren assent of the understanding to one of the dogmas of orthodox Christianity, of which in our hearts we may have no experience. If we believe not that we must be created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works, neither do we believe that the Spirit is provided for this very purpose, and that he is almighty, and able to call the things that are not as if they were. So long as we continue without conviction of the necessity of regeneration, we must continue without conviction, and, therefore, without faith in the omnipotence of the Spirit of God to quicken those who are dead in trespasses and sins. And so with respect to all the other, and the high mysteries of Christianity, may it be affirmed, that we can neither understand nor believe them, unless we experimentally understand and believe the correlative truths with which they are connected, and which must be felt by us in the secret intimacy of our own hearts; otherwise, they are nothing more to us than figments of the imagination, or baseless, aerial speculations. If we do not feel the power of godliness, we do not believe in God manifest in the flesh. If we have not felt the death of Christ crucifying us to sin and to the world, we have no evidence for believing that Jesus gave himself for us that he might deliver us from a present evil world. If the resurrection of Christ has not exerted a powerful influence upon us, quickening us together with Him to walk in newness of life, and raising our affections to the things which are above; we have no evidence for believing that Jesus is the Son of God. For the truths of the incarnation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection of Christ there may be the most abundant evidence, and others may have the most luminous assurance of their certainty and reality, but the evidence is wanting to us until we have received the atonement for ourselves, and rested upon Christ for salvation. To be true is a |. of the doctrines of the Gospel;
ut to be certain, or assured of them, is a property of the mind. And if a man does not feel the efficacy of the doctrines which are revealed in the Bible, he cannot be said to believe them, though he may assent to them in words; and if he
has no experience of the power of those truths which have reference to his earthly state as a sinner, how is it possible that he can believe anything else in the Gospel, of which he can have no personal experience? There are, then, certain earthly things of faith of which we must have some experience, ere we can possibly have any spiritual understanding of the higher mysteries of Christianity, or any saving faith in their existence and effects. These mysteries are without us and above us, for no man hath ascended up to heaven, or is able to fathom the deep things of God, his eternal counsels for the salvation of sinners, and none hath known the mind of the Lord; and unless we have faith to believe the things which God declares to be within us and around us, it is vain to imagine that we believe in the great realities of the Divine essence, and of the co-existence of the persons in the Trinity, and of the solemnities of an unseen and everlasting world,—in short, in any one subject or object which is remote from our personal observation, and of which we can have no personal experience. None of these truths can be j unless we believe the earthly things of faith. If there be faith in the soul, it will evince and evidence itself by enabling us to see what is near and immediate, as well as what is remote and inaccessible. That illumination of the Spirit, in virtue of which he who was formerly darkness is made light in the Lord, is not a deceit– ful glare which shines like a meteor from afar, and sheds a brilliant effulgence upon distant objects and distant territories, without irradiating the landscape which is immediately around us. It shines into the heart, and discloses its secret abominations. It shines upon the Word, and makes it quick and powerful. It shines within the recesses of the conscience, and convinces of sin and righteousness and judgment to come. It gives the full assurance of understanding in the acknowledgment of the mysteries of the Gospel, a certain persuasion arising from unquestionable experience, that the truths which are professed are not cunningly devised fables, but the power of God and the wisdom of God unto salvation. Let us cease to wonder, therefore, that an inspired Apostle exhorts professing Christians to examine themselves, and to prove their ownselves, to see whether they be in the faith, and that he brings