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amid scenes of continental dissipation, had been preserved. Hence, on his return, his former religious associates are eagerly sought after ; and, with the “congregation of the faithful” at the Foundery, he presents to the Author of all good his tribute of thanksgiving.
Mr. Crosse had not long been resident at home when, through the medium of a brother Clergyman, an offer was made of the chapelries of Cross-Stone and Todmorden ; the former in the parish of Halifax, the latter in that of Rochdale ; which, though the income arising from both was very small, and the neighbourhood, when contemplated as the scene of ministerial exertions, far from promising,-he at once accepted. The polished manners of the newly-appointed Pastor, and the sphere of life in which he had hitherto moved, presented, however, a striking contrast to the character and habits of the people amongst whom it was now his lot to labour. Their rudeness of speech; the roughness of their general behaviour; the demoralizing character of their village-sports-bull-baiting, cock-fighting, and the like, being then in vogue; the prevalence of ungodliness in its least inviting forms; tended greatly to discourage this devoted man, when entering upon his important charge. Yet, conscious of integrity of motive, regarding himself as called by the great Head of the church to the work and office he then sustained, and relying on the promise of divine assistance and success, he determinately proceeded; and, during a residence of six years, had the high gratification of witnessing the great end of the Christian ministry in some good degree accomplished. By the plain and forcible inculcation of Gospel truth ; by the diligent visitation of his scattered flock, especially the sick and the infirm,—often, in the discharge of this important duty, walking upwards of fifty miles during the week; by unwearied efforts to instruct and train aright the young; this Evangelist indeed was, under God, instrumental in effecting a salutary change in the general habits of the people of his charge, and in turning many from “ sin to righteousness," and “from the power of Satan unto God.” Nor were his public instructions limited within consecrated walls : not unfrequently on the hills and in the dales of that romantic scenery was this Christian Pastor found, surrounded by the younger portion of his charge, catechising them as to the duties which they owed “to God and to their neighbour;" whilst, in striking accordance with the rustic character of the auditory and place, he taught them to sing,
“ Ye mountains and vales, in praises abound,
Ye hills and ye dales, continue the sound;
In consequence of his unwearied and indefatigable exertions whilst holding the curacy of Cross-Stone and Todmorden, Mr. Crosse's health sustained a serious injury. His subsequent residence at Whitechapel,
in the parish of Birstal, near Leeds, -where, for ten successive years, he exercised the office of the Christian ministry, -was, consequently, marked by a less laborious discharge of its important duties. Here, to a greater extent perhaps than during any other period of his ministerial career, he “ gave himself” to reading, to meditation, and prayer; and subsequently his “profiting" appeared unto many.
(To be concluded in our next.)
BY THE REV. ADOLPHE MONOD.
Translated from the French by the Rev. John Farrar.
(The following discourse contains so many heart-stirring truths, and such powerful appeals to the conscience, that it has occurred to me that it might be rendered useful to your readers, by appearing in our Magazine. It must be cause of thankfulness to British Christians to learn, that, amidst the general prevalence of infidelity and irreligion in France, there are a few faithful and laborious Ministers, like Adolphe Monod. If the Protestant Pastors of France resemble this devoted man in their ministry, who can tell what will be the result ? In rendering the discourse into English, I have adhered as closely as possible to the original, and have endeavoured to infuse the author's style, as well as sentiments, into the translation. As many of your readers will discover a remarkable similarity between some passages in this sermon, and parts of Dr. Harris's “Mammon,” it is only due to M. Monod to publish the notice prefixed to his Sermon :—“The author of this discourse has been greatly aided in the composition by a very remarkable work, which has been of great service in the country in which it was published,—Mammon : 0, Coretousness the Sin of the Church.' By Dr. Harris.” Wesleyan Theological Institution, Richmond.
“ Take heed, and beware of covetousness.”_Luke xii. 15. In order to perceive the force and meaning of these words, we must read the verses which precede and follow them. “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness : for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits ? And he said,
This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee : then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided ? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn ; and God feedeth them : how much more are ye better than the fowls ? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest ? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven ; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye
of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your
Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke xii. 13–34.)
Brethren, the warning which Christ addresses to his disciples in the text is characterized by a depth and solemnity which demand extraordinary attention. We perceive that he guards them against certain perilous delusions. What are those delusions? There are three of great importance. Men are deceived as to the nature of covetousness, -as to the judgment which God entertains respecting it—and as to the dominion which it exercises. This is the plan of our discourse : we shall explain the nature of covetousness,—its criminality,—and its general prevalence.
I. The nature of covetousness.
Men are in error as to the nature of covetousness. The fault is not so much in ourselves as in our language, which is not in accordance with that of Scripture. We are in the habit of calling a man covetous who, loving money for its own sake, only thinks of hoarding it; and who, so far from creating, by this means, the enjoyment of others, does not even enjoy it himself. Need we be astonished that, habituated from infancy to this meaning of the word, we involuntarily attribute it
to the Scriptures, and only discover in the covetous man whom they condemn, the individual whose parsimony the world itself rebukes ? I say, involuntarily; and yet we have a secret reason for the adoption of this meaning of the word. Covetousness of this gross kind being happily uncommon, and not to be attributed to the majority of us, we exonerate ourselves from blame, and bave great satisfaction in saying, “ I am not the man.” But, beware : this would be to found your assurance on a single word, and on a word misunderstood. The covetous man of the French language is one thing, the covetous man of the Bible is another. So far is the Bible from confining the meaning of this word to the sordid miser, that it scarcely takes notice of him. In the sacred volume you will not find one characteristic description of him. It is in apocryphal writingst among profane authors, I on the stage, we must look for him. The Holy Spirit has undoubtedly assumed that human reason would form a right estimate of a sin so heinous, of a crime so notorious. This kind of covetousness is a scandal, a madness, a malady. $ The world has too much to suffer from it, ever to give it countenance. It treats those addicted to this sin with greater severity than the libertine or the infidel.
The covetousness against which our Lord guards us is altogether another thing. This is evident from the circumstance which furnished the occasion of this warning, as well as from the parable which he brings forward as an illustration. A man had just said to our Lord, “ Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me." What proof of covetousness is there in this request, if you confine the meaning of the word to sordid parsimony? And where could we discover the covetousness of the rich man in the parable, whom Christ represents as saying to himself, “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods : and I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry?” This is not the language of a miserly economy: it is that of selfish prodigality.
The passage which comes the nearest to it is, “ There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother : yet is there no end of all his labour ; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good ?” (Eccles. iv. 8.)
+ “Riches are not comely for a niggard. He that gathereth by defrauding his own soul gathereth for others, that shall spend his goods riotously. He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good ? he shall not take pleasure in his goods. There is none worse than he that envieth himself; and this is a recompence of his wickedness. My son, according to thy ability, do good to thyself, and give the Lord his due offering. Defraud not thyself of the good day ; and let not the part of a good desire overpass thee.” (Ecclus. xiv.)
* Theophrastus has furnished three pictures of the covetous man. They are all descriptions of the miser, and only differ by almost imperceptible shades.
& So common sense has decided. The word ladre, “a miser,” signifies, originally, lépreux, “ leprous."
So our Lord, making the application of this parable to his disciples, does not warn them against parsimony, but against the cares of this life and the desire of riches.
To ascertain the correct meaning of our Lord, and of the Bible generally, with regard to avarice, it is only necessary to refer to the original expressions,-a precaution of great importance in the interpretation of Scripture.
The words which our version has rendered “covetous," or covetousness,” are three. The first signifies given up to gain,” and not at all scrupulous as to the means of securing his object ;* the second, “a man who always desires more,"—this is the word employed in the text ;t the third means simply “ a lover of money."So when we read, “ The Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things, and derided him;” (Luke xvi. 14;) “That a Bishop should not be covetous ;” (1 Tim. iii. 3;) “Let your conversation be without covetousness ;” (Heb. xiii. 5 ;) the literal translation of the original is,—“And the Pharisees, who were lovers of money," &c.; “A Bishop should not be a lover of money;" “ Let your conversation be without the love of money."$ Again : in that awful picture which St. Paul has given of the last days, the following marks, "Lovers of their ownselves, covetous," &c., (2 Tim. iii. 2—4) correspond to certain Greek words, which mean, “ lovers of their ownselves, lovers of money,” &c. The Bible thus explains to us what is meant by a covetous man.”|| A covetous man is a lover of money. Covetousness is the love of money. Every thing is now plain in our
• The latter idea does not, however, appear to be essential to the Hebrew word : if it is, the epithet associated with it in Hab. ii. 9 is useless : “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house." It can scarcely be believed that it was from the love of dishonest gain that the Psalmist entreated God to preserve him : (Psalm cxix. 36 :) it was rather the love of gain generally. The verse should thus be rendered : “ Incline my heart to thy testimonies, and not to the love of gain." The distinction is lost sight of in our version, (French,) in which the Hebrew word is translated, adonné au gain déshonnête, “given up to dishonest gain,” when it should have been rendered
avare, covetous.” It occurs Exod. xviii. 21 ; Psalm x. 3; Jer. vi. 13; viii. JO, &c.
+ It occurs Rom. i. 29 ; 1 Cor. v. 10; 1 Thess. ii. 5; Eph. v. 5; Col. iii. 5 ; Mark vii. 22; where our versions render it, Mauvaises pratiques pour s'emparer du bien d'autrui, “ Wicked practices to seize upon the property of another.” It is only the Greek translation of the preceding Hebrew word. The Septuagint has more than once rendered the two interchangeably.
# It is found in Hebrew and in Greek. It occurs once in the Old Testament, (Eccles. v. 10,) and frequently in the New.
& The same word is used 1 Tim. vi. 10; and it is the only place in our version (French) where it is translated amour de l'argent, “ the love of money.” We cannot see a reason why the translators should have departed from the usage they have adopted in all other places.
|| It must be admitted, that the words which we translate avare and avarice, would be more correctly rendered cupide and cupidité. The English version has covetous"
” and i covetousness." The English word “miser,” generally applied to a man who hoards his money, does not once occur in that version.