Imágenes de páginas

Then said he to me, “Sir, are you sure that the word is Petra, and not Petros ?

“ I am sure,” said I, “and I always travel armed; I have a pocket-pistol in my pocket, in the shape of a Greek Testament, with which I can shoot both you and the Pope.”

“I cannot read Greek,” said he, “but I will take your word for it.”

.“ You had better,” said I, "for it is the word of an honest man. From these premises you can make your own arguments, and deduce your own conclusions."

. Sir," said he, “ if it be so, my popery has vanished.” Well,” said I, “good journey to it;

the sooner the better ; there is not a particle of it in the Bible, and ought to be none of it in you.”


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

J. F. L.



A BELIEVER is not to be selfish in his joy, so that he shall rest here and be satisfied in a kind of indolent manner with the happiness conferred upon him through a Saviour's love. The impulse of his present joyous life is to communicate the knowledge of that Saviour's love, and to be the means of causing others to partake in like mercies. And so we find it to be a characteristic of the young Christian, that as

as he has himself tasted that the Lord is gracious, and become assured of a Saviour's love and of his interest in that Saviour's atonement, he begins to work for the good of others, to extend the knowledge of “ Christ Jesus and Him crucified.” He is not satisfied with treading the “narrow path” that leads to heaven alone. If he finds others in danger, he is diligent to warn them of their spiritual peril. And this is to be looked upon as evidencing the love of God in us, without which we have no right to feel that we are God's children at all.


Let me point out to you several reasons why a believer thus feels, and why every believer, the moment he is a belierer, ought thus to feel.

Humanity requires that they who have been saved should try to save others. Common humanity prompts men to save their fellow-creatures from destruction. We could hardly have the feelings of a man, if we saw a fellow man in danger, and did not warn him to escape from it. Therefore the common feelings of humanity prompt the Christian to warn sinners to escape from the wrath to come.

Natural affection also leads to this. We are not placed in this world merely as fellow-beings; we are bound not only by the common ties of humanity, but by the still closer ties of earthly relationship and friendship. Society is composed of various circles, in which, as they become smaller and smaller, affection becomes stronger and stronger. And so natural affection might lead us to seek to save others. I will suppose you a Christian-a young believer, having just been looking at the cross, and having just lost your burden. But you have friends, you have relatives, who are not even aware that they are carrying a burden—whose minds are so blinded by the ignorance in them, that they have not yet realized their danger nor felt a sense of sin. Could you have any. thing like love for them, for those members of your family, for those dear to you by natural ties—could you have any love to them without endeavouring to seek the salvation of their souls? You know they are in danger, and that living and dying as they are they are lost for ever and for ever. Certainly, then,

He says

if you have anything like love for them, you must endeavour to arouse them to real spiritual concern.

Again, Christian consistency demands this. You profess to be a Christian, to live in obedience to your Saviour's commands; and that Saviour has said-and said not merely to his apostles, but to every believer“Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” You, if you are a member of His church, are bound to obey that command. to you," Go and preach the Gospel;" wherever you may be, whatever influence you can use to affect it, go and preach the Gospel. You profess to be anxious for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, to be concerned for the welfare of souls; therefore consistency with this profession urges the fulfilment of this duty.

Still further, desire for God's glory impels you. The believer is desirous that the Lord should be glorified amongst men; but as he looks around upon the world, he finds how very little glory God receives. He discovers that the greater portion of mankind are still in darkness and in ignorance, in the thraldom of the usurping power which holds them captive at its will. He finds that God is not glorified by those whom He formed for His own glory. But the believer desires that God should be glorified; be desires that throughout the whole world God's name should be known and His will performed. These desires, therefore, urge him to endeavour to make known the salvation of Jesus Christ, whereby God is glorified.

Moreover, his likeness to his Saviour secures this. Believers have the mind that dwelt in Christ. And what was the Saviour's mind ? A mind of anxious solicitude for the souls of men; a mind full of love and zeal towards those who had wandered on the dark mountains of error, and “gone astray from the womb, speaking, lies.” If a believer has the same sort of mind that Jesus Christ had, he must imitate

the conduct of Jesus. Being like Jesus, he must be also “going about doing good;" looking after those that are lost, and must try to save them as the Saviour did.

Lastly, & fervent longing for the coming of Christ's kingdom strengthens his desire to make it known to men. Christ's kingdom has not come yet, but the believer is praying for it, and longing for it, and looking for it, and he must also be working for it. That kingdom is to come, as far as he can see, by God's blessing upon the labours of His people; and by His overruling the events of this world so that His gracious schemes may be perfected. He makes use of human instrumentality. He employs human agencies in hastening on that day when God's world shall become His own. The believer, therefore, as he desires the coming of Christ's kingdom, must do his best towards the accomplishment of that glorious period. He must, as far as possible, endeavour to spread throughout the world the saving knowledge of Christ, till that period arrive when all shall know Him," whom to know is life eternal.”

But who are the three persons in the “Pilgrim's Progress" that Christian passed? They are three persons a little out of the way, wearing chains, and fast asleep. Those three persons are a portraiture of sinners. Sinners are out of the way. Some seem to be very much out of the way. Some are rather near the kingdom of heaven; they are so amiable, so welldisposed, so susceptible, they are in some way associated with God's people; and they seem to be only a little out of the way. But, alas ! they are out of the way; they are out of the path, though just adjoining it.

These three unhappy people are spoken of as being in shackles, and as being asleep. And is not the world in the shackles of sin and in bondage to Satan, groaning as in misery and in iron ?' And is not the world fast buried in spiritual slumber? Thousands and thousands are going on in a dream, going on as if asleep. A kind of spiritual somnambulism has seized hold of all their faculties ; and, as a man walks in a dream, so sinners are going on in their course of life altogether in a dream. About worldly things they are sufficiently wakeful, acute, on the alert; but as regards the life of God, the welfare of their souls, they are fast asleep. Like Jonah, whilst all is tempestuous around, whilst the ship is straining with the fury of the storm-like Jonah, whilst God's wrath is hanging over their heads, and the tempest of eternal wrath brings its furiousness and horror around them, they are in the hold of the vessel, fast asleep. But the Christian must try to awaken them; and then warn them to escape from the danger which thus surrounds their souls.

He comes to one, and finds him Simple,—so simple to say, “There is no danger yet.” How many a sinner has, in this way, evaded the warnings of the Gospel! He does not credit them. He does not believe in any immediate peril. If any dark cloud is ever to burst upon the sinner's head, it has not gathered yet; years may pass, probably will pass, ere it overcast his moral sky. How strange is this belief, nay, how idiotic! when there is but a step between the sinner and death, how can he assert, There is no danger yet”!

Then there is another, and he is Slothful. The chains of sloth are hanging about his limbs. He is not willing to undertake any trouble, he is not willing at present to attend to those things which pertain to his peace. So he postpones these important matters, and “at some more convenient season” he will begin to think about his soul. And he will return such an answer as this—“I am young yet; there is plenty of time when I am older and have more leisure; in old age I will begin to think

« AnteriorContinuar »