Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and cause for sorrow. First, I shall | For a long time they had been depriv. illustrate this in connection with the ed of their temple, of their altar, and grand fact which is immediately before of the institutions of the most high us in relation to the Jews. And Se. God. They languished beneath his condly, I shall elucidate it in connec- frown; but now it was evident that tion with a variety of facts which exist his countenance was about to beam on among ourselves.

them with a smile, that there he might FIRST, IN REFERENCE TO THE FACT live with them and furnish them with WHICH IS HERE STATED CONCERNING new evidence that although he had THE JEWS.

severely punished them for their backWe are told that the younger persons slidings and crimes, he had not utterly shouted for joy when the foundations cast away the people whom he fore. of the house of God were laid, and the knew. elder among them wept for sorrow. In the second place, now they had a Jeremiah predicted that this would be prospect of enjoying an opportunity of actually the case in the thirty-third attending on the public ordinances of chapter of his prophecies, and at the God's house. For a long time they tenth and eleventh verses, " Thus saith had been scattered; the truly penitent the Lord, again there shall be heard in and pious among them had their private this place (which ye say shall be deso- devotions by the banks of Kebar, late without man and without beast, and by the Euphrates they had wept even in the cities of Judah, and in the when they remembered Zion; but Streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate they had no opportunity calmly and without man, and without inhabitant, | quietly to convene themselves together and without beast) the voice of joy, to celebrate the ordinances to which and the voice of gladness; the voice they had been previously accustomed. of the bridegroom, and the voice of the Now, however, they could adopt the bride; the voice of them that shall say, language of the man after Gov's own praise the Lord of hosts : for the Lord | heart, “ We were glad when they said is good; for his mercy endureth for unto us, let us go up to the house of ever: and of them that shall bring the the Lord; and now our feet stand sacrifice of praise into the house of the within the gates of Jerusalem." Lord. For I will cause to return the There was a third reason too, my captivity of the land, as at the first, | friends, and that respected the display saith the Lord.” Compare this state of the power and of the truth of God. ment with what is here mentioned in Here was a display of his truth in the the langdage of my text and that which actual fulfilment of the prediction of his precedes it, and you will be struck with word, and here was likewise an exhithe perfect accuracy of the prophetic | bition of his almighty power which had representation of Jeremiah, and the surmounted a variety of obstacles to subsequent fulfilment of the actual the accomplishment of the important prediction which he uttered.

work; nay, in the present instance too, Do you ask me, however, what there the obstacles and impediments had was in this event which was calculated been remarkable. Soon after the work first of all to inspire joy? I answer was commenced we find that the orders four things. First of all, the rise of that were given by Cyrus and by Camthis temple was a proof in itself that byses were by certain intriguing enethe fierceness of God's anger had been mies of the Jews set aside. When turned away, and that he was now Darius, however, ascended the throne, about to show mercy on his people. and assumed the imperial government, then this order was revoked and the when my sanctuary shall be in the people rejoiced that the work of the midst of them for evermore.Lord continued to prosper in the hands Now, on the contrary, do you ask of his servants.

what there was in association with this In fine, not to detain you much procedure which was likely to awaken longer here, joy was natural on the regret and sorrow. There was much present occasion, because of the happy which justified the feelings of those exinfluence which this event would have cellent men who wept so that the noise on the interests of religion at large. of the weeping was heard afar off. For My dear hearers, what evidence was they could not but remember that it here given of the accomplishment of was in consequence of their back-sliding the promise of God illustrating his and their departures from God, that veracity and other of his perfections ! | they had been so long suffering under What new facilities were now opened | religious deprivations; and there is for the instruction of the ignorant, for something, my dear hearers, in the rethe conversion of the souls of sinners miniscences of sin which will always to God! What a favourable impression | produce in a great or less degree some was likely to be produced upon the bitterness of feeling. Moreover they reminds of the heathen themselves when collected the splendour and magnificence they saw the wonders which God had of the former Temple, and though it is wrought for his chosen people ! This true that this building was not finished, was also actually predicted by the same and they could not exactly tell what it prophet Jeremiah in the thirty-third might prove, yet from its contracted chapter and the ninth verse, “And it foundations, and platform, and plan, shall be to me a name of joy, a praise compared with the other, they could and an honour before all the nations of not but mourn when they contrasted the earth, which shall hear all the good the two structures. Venerable men, that I do unto them : and they shall there was much worthy of their tears ! fear and tremble for all the goodness, Here was no ark with its precious and for all the prosperity that I procure relics, the tables of the law and Aaron's unto it.” Nor can it surely fail to have rod that budded, and the pot of conseescaped your observation that this very crated manna, here was no Sheckinah, idea is pre-eminently brought forward in the glory of the Lord which illumined that very typical chapter of Ezekiel, the the former Temple; here was no Urim thirty-seventh, in which describing the and Thummim, the infallible interreturn of the Jews from their captivity | preter of God to those who consulted in the vision of the dry bones and their | him on extraordinary occasions, the resurrection, and the union of the two true oracle which existed among the tribes in the vision of the two sticks in Jews; here was none of that costly his hand, he thus closes that inimitable garniture and grandeur of furniture and beautiful prophecy; “Moreover, I which adorned the former splendid will make a covenant of peace with erection; and it was perfectly natural them, it shall be an everlasting covenant for them to weep, because, in a limited with them, and I will place them and sense, they saw written on the rising multiply them, I will set my sanctuary walls, “Ichabod the glory is departed.” in the midst of them. My tabernacle Allow me just to say, too, here, also shall be with them : yea, and I before retiring from this branch of my will be their God, and they shall be subject, there is a justifiable difference my people. And the heathen shall between the pleasurable joys of youth know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, andage; in youth the passions are warm, health is usually vigorous, life is clothed | we live. Unquestionably, my dear in all its scenes which are yet to open hearers, we have cause for gratitude, with the freshness and beauty of novelty. when we reflect upon what has been Inexperience, too, disqualifies for a due accomplished by British Christians consideration of those abatements and within the last thirty or forty years, alloys which are always the companions and particularly in reference to the and consequences of terrestrial delights. | dissemination of the sacred Scriptures On the contrary, the ancient man is and of Christianity amongst the nations sobered by time, his feelings are soft- of the earth. ened down and mellowed by experience Not long ago we attended with pleaand observation. He is aware of much sure our public anniversaries, with one that will infallibly arise in a world of or two exceptions at least, and we infirmity and imperfection like this, to witnessed the numbers who were embitter the choicest pleasures that man assembled together professing them. can participate and enjoy, and conse- selves to be on the Lord's side. We quently there is more of sober serious. heard with gratitude the reports which ness in the old man's joy, and less of were given us by the advocates, and rapture and extasy.

friends, and supporters of those insti. We, therefore, take upon ourselves to tutions of the Bibles which had been eulogize those old men for their sacred circulated, amounting to seven millions and religious tears which they shed on -of the tracts which had been disthis occasion. They had no intention seminated, amounting to one hundred of damping the joys of those around and fifty four millions—of the number them; they had no intention of diverting of missionaries who were employed in the ardent zeal of those who shouted the great cause of God, amounting to for joy when the foundations of God's five or six hundred ; and of the vast temple were laid, but they give us in efforts which were made to turn the this transaction of theirs, an opportu- rising generation, both at home and nity of exemplifying the double sym- abroad, to the knowledge of the true pathy recommended by the Apostle, to God, and of Jesus Christ whom he rejoice with them that rejoice, and hath sent. Far be it from us to dissi. weep with them that weep.” Thus pate the pleasures which are felt, when much then for the illustration of the in contemplating achievements and passage in connection with the fact here exertions like these, we are disposed related in the Jewish history.

to cry out, “the Lord hath done great Now renew your attention, I pray | things for us whereof we are glad." you, while in coming to yourselves I | We are building a temple which shall illustrate the history, and the senti gradually rise to a holy building in ment which I derive from it, in con the Lord, and the top of which, the nection with A VARIETY OF FACTS pinnacle, shall pierce the very heavens. WHICH WILL BE FOUND EXISTING IN But, my dear hearers, allow me just OUR CHURCHES, IN OUR FAMILIES, IN to say, at present, that when we comOUR CIRCLES, AND LIKEWISE IN THE pare all these diversified exertions that WORLD AT LARGE, POINTING OUR RE have been made, and all the success YARKS CHIEFLY AT PERSONAL EXPE with which these exertions have been RIENCE.

followed, with the immense population First of all we may apply the of the world, and are compelled to state statement before us to the diffusion of that there still remain, even at the the truths of revelation and of Christi. lowest computation, between five and anity throughout the world in which six hundred millions of our fellow

creatures, who are still destitute of But honesty and fidelity must comthe privileges of Christianity, and who pel us to say also, that there are are as yet falling down to stocks and abatements of our pleasures even in stones and graven images, and wor- connexion with this interesting and shipping the man of sin, and debased delightful subject. For, I ask, my by strange delusions and erroneous friends, whether we are not sometimes superstitions, all that has transpired driving ourselves, in these days, into as yet may well, when we think of the the opposite extreme, and whether we contrast, abate our pleasures, for it is are not holding our meetings for public no more than the small drop of the business, at hours sometimes in the bucket compared to the ocean-than morning, and sometimes in the even. a spark of fire or the kindling lamp to ing, that draw us away from our closet the sun which shines in the firmament religion and from our family altars, or on high,

at least subject us to so much hurry Secondly, however, I observe that and confusion, that the oblations which the principles we have drawn from this we present, whether in solitude or at passage may be applied to the various the family altar, are in fact an offence exertions of zeal in the days in which and an abomination in the sight of we live. When, my dear hearers, we God? I ask, too, whether there are look at the efforts that mere made by not some things in connexion with the pious in the past century, I speak our religious procedures which should of efforts to convert sinners apart from be carefully avoided-pomp, and vatheir own immediate families, and their nity, and ostentation, and display? own direct circles, we cannot but mourn | I ask--and mournful it is to addover thelamentable apathy, in reference whether there are not passing, even to public religious interests, which a | at the present hour, lamentable conconsiderable number of our forefathers tentions and strifes, in connexion with and of our ancestors displayed. But some of our noblest Christian instituwhat a change has taken place, my tions, which making every allowance dear hearers, in the midst of us, and for human falibility and infirmity, too in the days, the happy days, I may evidently spring from a bad spirit, from call them in this respect, in which we envy, from bigotry, from prejudice, or live! For one pound that was given to to say the least, from a want of inforreligious institutions then, a thousand mation which it is in the power of the are given now-for one book which parties to obtain ? was distributed then, five hundred are My dear hearers, God forbid that your distributed now—for one advocate that preacher, on this or any occasion, should stepped forward then, fifties present imitate the example of some who break themselves now—for one missionary | forth into a strange tone of vituperathat was employed then, twenties pre tive abuse. I grieve at some decla. sent themselves now-for one institu- | mations which I occasionally hear, and tion that was established then, for the which I see getting forth into the public benefit of the various classes of man prints-declamations poured forth by kind, there are actually hundreds exist. | wild and misinformed Episcopalians, ing in our land, together with foreign and by coarse calumniating Antinoauxiliaries and distinct branches of mians. But because of these, I do them, at the present hour. Surely, confess there are certain practices then, it behoves us to exclaim, come carrying on, in connexion with exermagnify the Lord, and let us exalt his tions or zeal in our own time, which name together.”

should meet with temperate remon

strance, and in reference to which we mother who bore her, and who tenshould urge the exercise of cautious derly caressed her and cherished her prudence ; and we ministers should to the present hour? Christian masmake up our minds cheerfully to bear ters and mistresses, it may be that you the cry of “ crucify him !” “ crucify have taught your servants and inmates him !" if we can but urge you to at- to know the way of God; and there tend to your family religion--if we can are some of them walking in his combut promote the salvation of your im. mandments and in his ordinances mortal spirits.

blameless; there are others, who are Thirdly, the principle before us will evidently irreligious and living withapply likewise to the religious aspect | out God in the world. There are of things in your family and in your some hearts that feel deep depression on circle. Christian parents, I again account of some one in the family who make my appeal this day to you. You, formerly did run well, but whom somefathers, have laboured diligently, and | thing has hindered. There was a I know it full well in many instances, youth who appeared once to be the that your sons might be induced to subject of powerful convictions of sin, remember their Creator in the days of of anxiety and solicitude for his own their youth! You, mothers, have everlasting welfare; but he has got wept, and have prayed, and have hold of the infernal infidel publications, taught your children rising up, and he has mixed himself up with some of sitting down, and walking by the the abandoned in society, and alas ! way, that they might know the sta though he once appeared nct far from tutes and commandments of the Lord! the kingdom of heaven, he is now And you have to bless God that in wandering in the paths of sin, and if some instances you have been favoured not checked in his mad career, will, with success. You have seen them | ere long, precipitate himself over the breaking the league with the world, precipice of irremediable ruin and perseen them dissolving their habits of | dition. sin, abandoning those associations May I be allowed to speak to you which were evil into which for a sea- | concerning your own feelings. We son they had been thrown. You have have to bless God that our own labours seen them stepping forward and are not altogether in vain. We have avouching the Lord to be their God, seen not a few, in the course of our and saying concerning the saints, ministry, who have been turned from though despised by the world, this darkness to light, and who have been people shall be my people, and their , turned from the power of sin to serve the God shall be my God. Well may you living God. We have seen others who exclaim, “We have no greater joy have been hesitating become decided, than to see our children walking in the and have given themselves up to the truth.” But oh, is there no abate- | Lord and the church, and are now ment to this pleasure? Is there no | adorning the doctrine of God, their son of Belial whose profligacy and Saviour, in all things. But, oh, must whose misconduct sometimes wrings we not say of others in the exercise of from you the petition, “Rid me and bitterness and of grief of heart, that we deliver me from strange children, have given them line upon line, and whose hands are full of wickedness?" precept upon precept, here a little and Is there no daughter, who by her ir. there a little—we have diversified our religion, her levity, and her folly, is modes of address--we have given them the grief of her father and of her volumes of tracts and treatises-we

« AnteriorContinuar »