Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

thou shalt be saved. And then you will not rest until you can call the sabbath“ a delight, the holy day of the Lord, and honourable.”

BELIEVERS NOT LAWLESS. To every enlightened reader of the New Testament it must be quite clear that there is a particular kind of conduct which springs from the genuine belief of the gospel of Christ, and which is fully described in the apostolic epistles. True believers in Christ cannot live as they once did, because the love of Christ shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost constrains them not to live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again, 2 Cor, y, 14, 15. Their believing in Christ for life evidences them to be in him, as the branches are in the vine, and therefore new creatures; hence old things with them are passed away, and all things are become new, 2 Cor. v. 17. Their faith, the evidence and fruit of their election of God, is never alone in their hearts, but is always accompanied with the bright train of the Spirit's graces, which being in them, and abounding, as Peter teaches, make them neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Peter i. 5-8. Saving faith, as James teaches, is a living operative principle, working by love, purifying the heart, and securing a cheerful obedience to the truth as it is in Jesus, Jas. ii. 14–26; Gal. v. 6; Acts xv. 9; Rom. xiii. 18.

Hence genuine believers cannot be hidden from the observation of those amongst whom they live. Impossible! They are described as the epistles of Christ, known and read of all men—as a city set on a hill, which cannot be hid or escape observation-as the salt of the earth, both as having savour themselves, and as preserving the world from entire moral corruption and as light-bearers to hold forth, by their instructions and examples, the word of life to the acceptance of their fellow-men, 2 Cor. iii. 2, 3; Matt, v. 13, 14; Phil. ii. 15, 16. Their influence, therefore, must be both seen and felt wherever their lot is cast. Paul styles them the choice workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that they should walk in them, Eph. ji. 10.

Accordingly, every professed believer in Christ who is not careful to maintain good works, demonstrates to all men that his profession consists wholly in mere words, 1 John iii. 16 24 ; ii. 5, 6, 29. Thanks be unto God for his boundless grace; his believing children are not left to regulate their deportment by their creature counsel and strength; but the Spirit which dwells in them quickens them, and sweetly constrains them to walk according to the law of love—the law of the Spirit of life, Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27; xi. 19, 20; Jer. xxxii. 38-41; Phil. ii, 12, 13; 1 John jii. 24; iv. 13; Eph. ii. 1, 5, 10.

Knowing that their inward tempers and outward conduct are of the greatest importance as establishing their election of God in Christ, all sincere believers are most anxious to realize the fruits of believing unto life. They follow after charity or love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, in order that they may minister the same one to another, and thereby make their calling and election of God sure, 1 Cor. xiv. 1; 1 Peter iv. 10. Paul knew that the Thessalonians, to whom he wrote, were the elect of God, by the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit in their daily walk and conversation, 1 Thess. i. 3, 4. Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity, and walk in love, doing good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith; and then their effectual calling of God in Christ will be established beyond the shadow of a doubt, 2 Tim. ii. 19; Eph. v. 2; Gal. vi. 10.

Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

: J. L.

KINDNESS TO ANIMALS. I HAD a curious propensity to discover and observe the natural dispositions of animals. And this curiosity was, in some instances, so strong as to make me overlook the uneasiness which, by teasing them, was occasioned to the animals themselves. I was not naturally of a cruel disposition, but was rather pleased to see the animal creation about me enjoy themselves. The propensity I have mentioned was, however, sometimes unwarrantably indulged: so much so, as to mark a depraved turn of mind, which, even now, gives me pain to recollect. I ought to have reflected that all animals have assigned to them by the Author of nature a pleasurable existence, and that it is our duty to second his intention as we have opportunity, and especially to avoid all occasions of inflicting upon them unnecessary pain. An additional excitement to this duty is, that whilst we encourage a disposition to

promote the pleasures, or increase the pains, of the animals which surround us, we are cherishing the general spirit of benevolence or its contrary, which will naturally be extended towards our fellow-creatures. In this point of view, it is of very great importance to cultivate, in young persons especially, proper dispositions and conduct towards the creatures endued with animal life.

The unwarrantable curiosity which I have just mentioned, continued to operate, in some degree, for many years; and, occasionally, showed itself long after I was grown up. I recollect a particular instance of it, which was very near proving fatal to me. As nearly as I can recollect, the incident was as follows.

When I was in England, in the year 1771, I went to see the elephants, which were kept at the Queen's stables, Buckingham House. Whilst I was gratifying myself with observing the huge creatures and their various actions and peculiarities, I took occasion to withdraw from one of them a part of the hay which he was collecting on the floor with his proboscis. I did this with my cane, and watched the animal very narrowly, to prevent a stroke from him, which I had reason to expect. The keeper said that I had greatly displeased the elephant, and that he would never forget the injury. I thought but little of this admonition at the time, but about six weeks afterwards, when I accompanied some other persons on a visit to the elephants, I found that, though probably several hundred people had been there since my preceding visit, the animal soon recognised me. I did not attempt to molest or tease him at all, and I had no conception of any concealed resentment. On a sudden, however, when I was supposed to be within the reach of his proboscis, be threw it towards me with such violence, that, if it had struck me, I should probably have been killed, or have received some material injury. Happily for me I perceived his intention, and being very active, I sprang out of his reach. To every other person present he was gentle and good tempered, and his enmity to me arose, as the keeper declared, solely from the circumstance of the little affront which I had formerly put upon him. This incident made some impression upon me.

Life of Lindley Murray. SHORT PIECES BY OLD HUMPHREY.

ALAN DREW. ALAN DREW walked in his garden in autumn to visit a favourite pear-tree, which he had planted in his youthful days. Alan leaned heavily on his stick, and crept slowly onward ; he felt that his days were numbered, and that he was going the way of all flesh. As he gathered a pear, “ This is the last time I shall gather fruit of this tree,” said he, “but the will of God be done. All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come,'” Job xiv. 14.

Alan Drew walked in his garden once, and only once, in the following winter. An icicle was hanging from one of the boughs ; Alan looked at it for a moment, and then knocked it off with 'his stick. “Never shall I again,” said he,“ remove an icicle from this tree. Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am,'” Psa. xxxix. 4.

Alan Drew walked in his .garden in the spring, when the leaves of the pear-tree were budding forth. Alan mused awhile, and then turned away, saying, “ My budding days are past, I shall never again see a bud on this tree. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his,'*"Numb. xxiii. 10.

Alan Drew walked in his garden in summer for the last time, when the fruit was green on the pear-tree boughs. “It will ripen,” said Alan, “but not for me, yet all is well!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,'” Psa. xxiii. 4.

Before the pears were ripe, Alan Drew was called away from the world, but his hope was fixed on Christ, and therefore death could not destroy but only complete his happiness. “ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace," Psa. xxxvii. 37.

KINDNESS. It is said that Alexander the Great was so pleased at seeing one of his soldiers relieve an overburdened mule, by taking from his back a load of gold and placing it on his own shoulders, that he gave him the gold for his humanity. Now, if you can relieve the overburdened heart of a fellow-sinner, heavily laden with sin or sorrow, you will do an act of kindness greater than that which called forth the commendation of Alexander. “ Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ,” Gal. vi. 2.

WORLDLY BOOKS AND “ THE BOOK." Fools that we are to eat so much of the unripe fruit of worldly wisdom, setting our teeth on edge, and injuring our healthy appetite, and to partake so little of the mellow fruit of God's holy word within our reach, on which we may banquet freely.

0. H.

NOT INTENDING TO SEEK RELIGION. The Rev. Dr. Payson, after having repeatedly invited meetings at his house of those who wished to seek religion, one day gave an invitation to all those young persons who did not intend to seek religion. Anyone who did not know Dr. Payson, would be surprised to hear that thirty or forty came. He had a very pleasant social interview with them, saying nothing about religion until, just as they were about to leave, he closed with a very few plain remarks, in the following manner:

“Suppose you should see coming down from heaven a fine thread, so fine as to be almost invisible, and it should come and attach itself to you. You knew, we will suppose, that it came from God. Should you dare put out your hand and brush it away?

He dwelt a few minutes upon this idea, until every one had a clear and fixed conception of it, and of the hardihood which any one would manifest who should openly break even such a

[ocr errors]

“Now," continued he, just such a slender, delicate thread has come from God to you this afternoon. You do not feel, you say, any interest in religion ; but, by coming here this afternoon, God has fastened one little tender thread upon you all. It is very weak and frail, and you can in a moment brush it away. But you certainly will not do so. Welcome it, and it will enlarge and strengthen itself, until it becomes a golden chain to bind you for ever to God.”

MISSIONARY ANECDOTES.

THE AGED NEGRO DISCIPLE. UPON a remote coffee plantation in the island of Jamaica, lived an aged African negro. Sickness having visited him, he was removed to the town of Kingston for advice. Knowing no language but a confused jargon of broken English and

« AnteriorContinuar »