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that she was parting from one on whose assurances of remembering for ever and for knowledge of herself, as well as whose judicious and constant kindness, she could The elasticity with which Agnes trod the entirely rely. Agnes flew off with eager walk to the school-gates for the last time was expectations of the future, scarcely dimmed not heightened by the thought of returning by the few sweet tears which made her soft home. Arrangements had been made for eyes look softer when she waved her last her to visit some relatives in London, where farewell. It could scarcely be called painful it was supposed the intervening time might to have to tear herself away as she had from be spent to her advantage before the summer the affectionate caresses of her companions, vacation, when Mr. Godwin was to part with laden with parting presents and pledges of his pupils, send his own boys to school, never-ending love. So many were those and reduce his establishment to its former testimonials of regard, that the affair alto- domestic limits. Agnes would then take gether seemed one of joy rather than sorrow, her place at home, improved, there was every and the very act of having to bid adieu was reason to believe, by a residence of six months softened by promises of correspondence, and in London.
AILY through the woodland,
Softly in the vale,
On the balmy gale;
To the scented breeze;
On the thirsty trees.
Round your spirits cling;
Sweetly, sweetly sing.
List the strains that languish
In the evening air ;
Fairies gently steal,
Ring their midnight peal.
Sit with folded wing,
Softly, softly sing!
See the rising glory
O'er the earth appear ;
Nature's full-voiced chorus
Swells upon the ear:
Gently fades away ;
Hails the new-born day.
Touch the tuneful string :
Eliza F. MORRIS,
Author of " Life Lyrics."
EARTHLY STORIES WITH HEAVENLY MEANINGS.
BY THE EDITOR.
persons remain ignorant-willingly and, we
must add, responsibly ignorant--of their true THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN.
character. They allow themselves to forget “And He spake this parable unto certain which
that “as a man thinketh so is he"-that trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to
God, with whom we have to do, "looketh pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. on the heart," and, whatever the verdict of The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, the outward life may be, sees, as in a faithGod, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, ex- ful mirror, the reflection of the genuine tortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican, portrait there. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I
Hence it is, that men proficient in other possess. And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote
kinds of knowledge, do not know themselves; upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. have no sympathy with the humbling teachI tell you, this man went down to his house justified ing of God's Word, which places all spirirather than the other: for every one that exalteth him- tually on one level—the level of lost sinners, self shall be abased ; and he that humbleth himself needing, in order to their recovery and safety, shall be exalted."-Luke xviii. 9-14.
the intervention of a Divine Saviour. Hence HE pursuit of knowledge is a leading the marvellous spectacle is still presented,
feature of the age. But as ever, so of “sinners trusting in themselves that they now, there is one kind of knowledge are righteous, and despising others."
far more important and valuable Some representative men of this class were than any other, which men in general have standing around the great Teacher; and His no disposition to acquire--Self-knowledge. aim in this Parable was to draw aside the
Fewindeed would absolutely profess to neg- veil which hid them from themselves. He lect the duty of self-examination, a duty which uttered no words of personal declamation, conscience
at times cannot fail to suggest : but pursued a course which should commend but how many, when conscience does thus itself to all who would reprove wisely and remonstrate, try to satisfy themselves with effectually. He so exhibited the true chamere surface-work! The aim is to “make racter of a Pharisee, that the Pharisees themclean the outside of the cup and platter" selves could not refrain from passing their to present a fair exterior to the eye of the own sentence. It is very remarkable, but world. As an inevitable consequence such the fact is indisputable, that the easily-besetting sin in ourselves, is generally that par- with himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am ticular sin which we are most quick to discern not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, and to condemn in others. Like David, in adulterers, or even as this Publican. I fast the vehemence of our indignation we de- twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I nounce righteous judgment against the possess." wrong-doer, and expose ourselves to the As I have said, there is a point of view most just challenge of an accusing conscience, from which we might pronounce this a fitting witnessing, “Thou art the man!" Our Lord, prayer—or rather as we should then term it, who "knew what was in man,” knew well a fitting "song of thanksgiving." Had the the habit of the human mind in this par- mind of the Pharisee been occupied in the ticular, and acted upon this knowledge when effort to count up his mercies—to number the He depicted this scene in the temple, and tokens of God's abounding grace to him,fixed the gaze of His auditors on the spiritual grace making him to differ-raising him to portraits of the Pharisee and the Publican.
the platform of religious privilege-holding As we look into this Parable and study him back from those gross sins into which its spiritual meaning, let us not forget that others less favoured had fallen-conferring it is possible we may discover a personal, upon him the advantages of position and and perhaps a humbling, interest in the knowledge and influence,-he might well lessons it teaches.
have emulated the spirit of the Psalmist, and
exclaimed, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and “Two men went up into the temple to forget not all His benefits.” In this signifipray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a
cant bearing of the words, the retrospect of Publican."
the past could scarcely fail to call from the It is quite clear that the two men are
heart of every Christian man the grateful designed to be contrasts—the self-righteous acknowledgment, “God, I thank thee, that man and the repenting sinner. But in
I am not as other men are!” several respects there were points of likeness between them. They both appeared
“ Not more than others I deserve: in the temple, thus acknowledging the obli
Yet God has given me more !" gations of religious service : they both as
If, conscious of unworthiness and amazed sumed a becoming, Scriptural attitude in
at God's long-suffering, the Pharisee had Worship: * they both seemed to realize their
exclaimed, “I am not like other men: I individual position before God; and although have been spared, instructed, and invited, the matter of their devotions widely differed,
and taught, and led with a paternal tenderapart from the spirit which prompted those
ness that others do not enjoy,” his thanksdevotions, we might have pronounced them
giving would have been sweet incense as it equally becoming. Thus closely may the
rose to the throne of the Most High. And counterfeit resemble the genuine coin! But
then his fasting-his self-denial-his bringit is only resemblance. As the chemical test
ing his bodily appetites into subjection,--his determines the real worth of coins, so with
tithes ---his free-will offerings yielded to the characters, the Word of God supplies decisive
Lord's treasury: all this, as the evidence of tests ; and if these are applied, the contrast
a grateful heart, would have come up as the between the Pharisee and the Publican will
almsdoing of Cornelius came up, with accepbe seen to be wide indeed.
tance as “a memorial before God." We have the Pharisee's portrait delineated
But alas! the actuating motive was far in the eleventh and twelfth verses :
otherwise. The heart was not right with " The Pharisee stood and prayed thus
God. There was " a dead fly in the apothe
caries' ointment.” The Pharisee had God's * We may safely ley it down ns an absolute rule, withont Name on his lips, but he had never realized stipulating for even a single exception, that the best position the fact that God's eye was upon his heart. for praying in is the position in which we can best pray."Amor.
He was gazing, as it were, on the surface of
his character, unconscious of the warring paring himself with others who had been elements beneath — the troubled sea that betrayed into special sins, from which cannot rest. He was occupied with the he was at present free. He had been "outward appearance ;" and respecting this taught of God. The Divine light in the he only knew what he was not, when com- temple made clear to his vision the pared with others who seemed to him worse "chambers of imagery” in his own heart, than himself. His expression of thankfulness which ought to have been, like the temple had really no reference whatever to God. itself, a sanctuary meet for God's presence: It was not the countless mercies of God, the and hence His humble confession—"I am felt sense of His grace, the constraining a man of unclean lips. . . for mine eyes influence of His unmerited love, which filled have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!" his mind; but he was wrapped up in self. He So was it with the Apostle Peter. When stood by himself, he prayed by himself, and he realized the Deity of Christ, manifested it might without exaggeration be said that, in the miraculous draught of fishes on the instead of communing with God, he was en
lake of Gennesaret, “he fell down at Jesus' gaged in the worship of himself. Confining knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a his thoughts to a profitless comparison of him- sinful man, O Lord.” There was no disposiself with others, instead of looking into the tion to recount his merits, or dwell on his mirror of the Divine Law, he fancies he dis- sacrifices-10 forwardness in avowing, as covers merits instead of sins. He judges him- on another occasion he ayowed, "Lo, we self better than “other men”_"all others" have left all, and followed Thee.” Human is the force of the original,- and in point of merit and sacrifice may come into view fact he thanks himself because he is so. when men are occupying themselves with Instead of his heart overflowing with grati- what they are not, but they will never be tude to God, he accounts himself God's donor named by those who are being taught of
- he gives God his negative virtues, his God what they really are. Job could boast fastings and his tithes.
himself when “God's candle shined upon his O blind Pharisee! Thou art a self-truster head," and his "glory was fresh on him." and a self-deceiver! True thankfulness
True thankfulness In the perilous time of prosperity he was too to God has its root in His grace, not in thy ready to observe the reverence paid to him merit. And thy merit is a delusion. “When by the aged and the young, by princes and a man compares himself with robbers and nobles, and to hearken to the blessing of adulterers, for whom the sword and the the “poor,” and the "fatherless," and the prison are prepared, he may easily seem to " widow." He was an “upright man," himself like an angel." "To the law and one who "feared God and eschewed evil," to the testimony." Self-knowledge can only but he needed a severe discipline, and Divine be acquired there. That knowledge attained light shining into his heart, to guard him -seeing thyself as God sees thee,--the from the Pharisee's spirit, and bring him to humbling truth will convince thee that there the self-renouncing confession, “I have heard is nothing in thy nature, condition, or charac- of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but not ter, upon which the foot of human pride and mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor self-confidence and self-congratulation may myself, and repent in dust and ashes." abide for one moment.
Always God's truth reveals what a man is
, God, when He deals with the soul, teaches It will be so when the great white throne is man not what he is not, but what he is. set in judgment, and the books are opened : Isaiah, thus taught, exclaimed not, God, and it is so now. It is therefore worse than I thank Thee, that I am not as other men useless to be occupied, as the Pharisee in the are,” but “Woe is me! for I am undone ; Parable was occupied, in discovering what because I am a man of unclean lips.” Isaiah we are not. We may not be like this man did not learn this of himself by self-de- or that man or the other man, but the ceiving surface-work-by foolishly com- question for each to ponder is, What am I?
If we see ourselves as God sees us, so far Heaven, for he knew that Heaven was not from being satisfied with what we are, be- the portion his deeds had merited; he felt cause we are led to conclude that others are the weight of sin, and as if bending down worse than ourselves, we shall not fail to beneath that weight, his eyes were fixed acknowledge that the Gospel of His saving upon the earth as the scene of his transgresgrace has not over-estimated our spiritual sions. He "smote” too “upon his breast.” need—that our fitting place is by the side of With shame there was mingled “godly sorIsaiah and Peter and Job-aye, by the side row," aversion to sin as the cause of his of the poor Publican, crying out in contrition guilt, and an honest tracing of that sin not of soul, “God be merciful to me a sinner." to the example or influence of others, but
to his own heart. As if he would say, And this brings us to the portrait of the “Here, in this heart of mine, lies the root Publican, delineated in the thirteenth verse: of the malady—the true seat of my
"And the Publican, standing afar off, disease!” would not lift up so much as his eyes unto What we might thus learn from the Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, Publican's gestures is unmistakeably exGod be merciful to me a sinner."
pressed by himself in his prayer,—"God be The lines in this portrait are few, but they merciful to me the sinner [åpaprw/g].” are distinct, and the picture is perfect. The Instead of the icy individuality of the Publican was a man who knew himself, Pharisee, indulging in self-righteous thoughts kner what he really was.
in the very presence of God, we have the This knowledge led him to "stand afar off.” intense individuality of true conviction and He reminds us of the Apostle's description of heart-contrition, avowing personal unworthe spiritual position of the Ephesian converts, thiness and guilt. As the Pharisee counted before they were brought nigh by the blood himself better than all, the Publican counted of Christ" –"Ye who sometime were far off.” himself worse than all. He felt this distant position to be his own. His words of prayerful confession are He had a sense of guilt-a holy fear of simple but full. For a man to confess himthe greatness of the majesty of God. He self a sinner, is really to speak all against came for mercy, but he knew that he himself that can be spoken. He does not merited judgment. He acted as if he under- say he was, or had been, but that he now is, stood what David meant when he prayed, a sinner. And he advances no palliating "Cast me not away from Thy presence : pleas. He might have urged that he was of and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me." the seed of Abraham, and so à privileged
This self-knowledge also tells us why he man; he might doubtless have found, as " would not lift up so much as his eyes all men can find, excuses for his sins, and unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast.” | probably he might have been able to speak, Shame covered his face-shame for sin. if not so vauntingly as the Pharisee, yet Not the shame of the sinner taken in trans- with truth, of the fastings and payment of gression, which prompts him to fly from tithes, and outward ceremonial observances God's presence; but a godly and holy shame, which he had not altogether neglected as a which brought him to God to confess his Jew. But he had no such pleas. Fastings, transgression. Like David, again, he tithes, sacraments, and prayers, are the restmight have testified, “Mine iniquities have ing-place vainly sought by those who octaken such hold upon me, so that I am not cupy the platform the Pharisee occupied able to look up." He knew what he was, who trust in negative righteousness, building and he knew also that God knew what he upon the self-deceiving foundation of selfwas. He was guilty, he had sinned; and ignorance. The Publican knew what he before the true God, the living God, the was—a sinner : and he knew the evil of sin, righteous God, he stood judging himself, not merely as committed against his brother condemning himself. He looked not up to man, and exposing him to such a condemna