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The Palace of, 43.
Nimrod in Spring, 43.
Nova Scotia, Letter from, 210.
Obedience, the Young to be Trained to Habits of, 145.
Parents, Moral Connection between Children and, 217.
Children of Pious, Blessed, 223. Parish Missionary Associations, 9.
Peter, Discourses on First Epistle of, (Dr. Brown,) Notice of, 263.
Perseverance, the Young to be Trained to Habits of, 147.
Providence, a Story of God's, 125.
Prayer, the Young to be Trained to Habitsof, 150.
Its Importance in Home Education, 193.
Encouragements to, 194.
Precept, Training the Young by, 169.
Politics for the People, (quoted) 177, 231.
Sonnet-Futurity, (Miss B. Barrett,) 77.
The Meaning of Christ's Looking on
Substitution, (ditto,) 151.
Hymn to the Holy Spirit, (Burridge.) 24.
Love, (Herbert,) 28.
The Glance, (ditto,) 268.
The Cross of Constantine, (Lady Flora Hastings,) 205.
Sabbath Sonnet, (Mrs Hemans,) 157.
A Psalm of Life, (Longfellow,) 6.
To-morrow, (Lope de Vega,) translated by ditto, 28.
Hymn, (Coplas de Manrique,) translated by ditto, 244.
Poems by Rev. R. Montgomery, 192
Hymns on the Anniversary of a Wife's Death, (Newton,) 257.
Education, (Tupper,) 124.
True Equality, (Wordsworth,) 75.
Sonnet-Sight of a Manse in Scotland, (ditto,) 181.
Pastoral Character, (ditto,) 181.
The Jews, (Vaughan,) 125.
Hymn, (Anon,) 177.
Why thus onging? (ditto,) 225.
Morning Hymn, (ditto,) 225.
Little Sister Left in Charge, (ditto,) 282.
History of Life, (ditto,) 232.
Punishment, Corporal, in Education, 198.
Question of the Age, (Taylor,) 66.
Religion, True,-What is it? 25, 49.
Reverence for God, 149.
Recollections of a Visit to the General Assembly, Notice of, 108.
Resurrection of Christ, (Butler,) 95.
Sabbath, Working Men's Prize Essays on the,
Evening, Instruction of the Young on, 171.
Self-sacrifice, Habit of, 146.
Slavonic Nations, Lectures on, (Krasinski,) Notice of, 264.
Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church,
Tahiti, Account of, (Darwin,) 251.
Influences in After Life of Early, 218.
Rewards of Good, 220.
Punishment of Bad, 221.
Truth, Importance of Habits of, 148.
How to begin the New, (Jay,) 226.
EDINBURGH CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE.
UPON EARNESTNESS IN RELIGION.
LUKE XIII. 23-30.
AND He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved?" We are not informed who that "one" was who put this question to our Lord, nor in what spirit, or for what end he put it. A Sadducee, who denied the doctrine of future rewards and punishments, and the very existence of the soul after death, may have asked it, with a desire to entangle our Lord in debate, and to blaspheme the truth: or it may have been addressed by a proud, self-righteous Pharisee, who, sure of his own salvation, was anxious, perhaps, to expose before the people what he deemed to be the unorthodox views of Jesus, regarding the number and character of those who should be saved: or some one whose conscience had been roused by the teaching of Jesus, and who was oppressed by a sense of what appeared to him to be the almost unsurmountable difficulties of salvation, may have asked, with fear and trembling, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" or, lastly, the question may have been prompted by a vain and idle curiosity, which desired to be wise above what was written, or to play with truth, as with a toy, for a little amusement or excitement during the passing hour.
Now, observe the way in which Christ replied to this question: "He said unto No. I. VOL I.-APRIL, 1849.
them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate!" He does not give the answer which either the infidel, the hypocrite, the anxious inquirer, or the curious, anticipated or desired; for He does not say how few, or how many, are saved; but He does give the answer which they all needed, and which was the most profitable for them. He withdrew their attention from what they could not know, to what they ought to do. They wished to know about the salvation of others; He wished them to attend to their own. They would look into the book of God's counsels; He would have them look into their own hearts; as if He had said: "With the number of the saved you have nothing to do; but with your own salvation you have everything to do. Instead of spending'your precious time in asking, 'Are there few who shall be saved?' rather spend it in 'striving' to be saved yourselves." We are thus taught, not only the folly of seeking to be wise above what is written, and of asking questions which God has not been pleased to answer; but more especially are we taught the necessity of settling this first and greatest of all questions, "What shall we do to be saved?" before occupying our time and attention with others which may pertain to religion. There are very many questions deeply interesting to a believer, which are profitless to an unbe
liever; nay, worse than profitless, because they may occupy his mind to the exclusion of the one thing needful; and just because those questions are about religion, and form the subject of much earnest thought to serious Christiansthe very fact of his thinking, and speaking, and inquiring about them, may deepen in his mind the delusion that he is himself religious-that they concern him, because they concern the people of God. But what is the settling of all other questions to you, however important they may be to others, as long as this question remains unsettled, of your own salvation, your personal interest in Jesus Christ? Oh! it is sad to hear men criticising ministers and sermons, arguing about doctrines, and diving deep into the mysteries of theology; and to see them zealous about churches, and well skilled in every argument which can defend their own favourite system, and in every accusation which can be brought against their neighbour's, right, too, it may be, in all their "opinions" and "views," but wrong, certainly, all the while, in their spirits towards Christ-without faith, love, or peace; having a mighty gulf between their souls and God! "They have well said all that they have spoken. "Oh! that they had such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments!"
But let us consider the meaning of those words, "Strive to enter in at the strait (or narrow) gate, for many will seek to enter in, but shall not be able." If you turn to the Gospel of St. Matthew, (vii. 13, 14,) you will see that Christ speaks of two roads and two gates. These are pictures of the two states of mind, in either of which we must be. There are not three roads; because it is impossible for us to be else than either good or badspiritually alive or dead-" in the flesh" or in the spirit"-in "friendship" and "peace" with God," or at "enmity" to Him, and in fear for Him-in "the kingdom of Satan" or "darkness," or "in the kingdom of God's dear Son" and of "light." (Read Romans viii. 1-17; Gal. v. 16-26; Ephes. ii. 1-22.) Therefore Christ speaks of two roads only ;-the one is broad; that
is to say, it is easy for the wicked to walk along it; all they have to do, is to follow their own sinful wills in everything. The entrance to this broad road is wide, admitting every traveller while carrying the burden of the world and of his lusts with him; and accordingly, “go in thereat!" other road is narrow; it requires care and attention to walk along it, yet is easy and pleasant to the new man. The gate of entrance is also narrow,—narrow to him who would enter it with all his sinful burdens; but wide enough for the poor and needy-the little children who "will open the door with no other key than the cross:" but this is against flesh and blood, and, accordingly, "few there be that go in thereat!"
"Strive," says our Lord, "to enter in at the strait gate; for many shall seek to go in thereat, but shall not be able." Now, you will observe, Jesus does not say, many shall strive to enter in, but shall not be able," He says, "many shall seek:" teaching us, that the chief reason why men do not enter the narrow gate of salvation, and obtain rest, even while they walk in the way of God's commandments, is, that they seek, but do not strive to enter in. It is not difficult to understand what is meant by striving, and how different a thing it is from mere seeking. Only notice the conduct of any one who, in real earnestness of soul, desires to obtain any good; you will perceive in his conduct this striving, and not mere seeking. Look at the student, plodding over his books late and early; reading, examining, thinking, writing; he is striving to obtain learning. Look at the man of business, buying, selling, calculating, counting his profit and loss, speculating about markets and investments, poring over his ledgers and accounts, giving his whole heart to business,-that man is striving to get rich. Look at the sick man, consulting doctors, trying cures, swallowing the most nauseous medicines, submitting to sore operations,-that man is striving to get health. Look at the saìlor, whose ship has foundered in the great deep; look at him and his weary companions toiling at the oar in their small
boat,-hungry, thirsty, faint, labouring for days and nights amidst stormy winds and angry seas, to reach, if possible, the nearest shore,-those men are striving to save their lives. In all those cases, we recognize men who are in earnest! Now, be assured, that if any of you, with the same sincerity, wished to possess a saving knowledge of God's truth-to obtain the riches of Christ-to enjoy the health of the soul-and to lay hold of eternal life, you would have the same earnest striving. You can see quite well, that mere seeking would not give the student knowledge-the merchant riches—the sick man health—or the sailor life; and how, then, will mere seeking, without striving, save your souls?
Many shall seek!" Yes, who among us is so dead, so indifferent to the future well-being of their immortal souls, as not to "seek,"-not to do something to obtain salvation? Some will talk about religion, or read the Bible occasionally, or repeat a meaningless prayer, or go to church; and others will trust to their morality, their high profession, their orthodoxy, and the like; all will do something in order that they may be, at least, safe. "Many will seek!" It may be when sudden death strikes down an acquaintance-when a inysterious pestilence sweeps away its victims-when sickness enters the family, and some beloved one is laid on their dying-bed, or in their lonely grave; or, it may be, when the sinner himself is arrested by a dangerous illness, and realizes the nearness of God and the certainty of judgment, and, in the silence of night, recalls his past life, and all God's dealings towards him, and all his dealings towards God; it may be, in such seasons as these, that the careless sinner will look, with interest and concern, for that narrow gate which he more than suspects is, after all, the only entrance to a path of pleasantness and peace; and he expresses a wish to enter in, nay, resolves to do so, and blames himself for his off-putting and folly, in not having done so before. He "seeks to enter in!" But when he finds, that entering in at the gate, implies an entering into himself of a new mind and spirit-a "putting off
the old man with his affections and lusts"
a putting out of iniquity, and a putting on of "the new man, created after Christ Jesus to new works;" that, in short, as a sin-loving and sin-keeping soul, the gate cannot admit him and all his burdens :-then does he refuse the Cross. To" give all diligence to make his calling and election sure"-to "labour to enter into rest"-to" work out salvation with fear and trembling;" in one word, to sacrifice self, and to accept of Christ, His free pardon, and new life; all this requires not seeking only, but striving; whereas the sloth. ful wished to get all by seeking only. How necessary is our Lord's solemn command and warning,-" Strive to enter in, for many shall seek to enter in, but shall not be able!"
Verse 25,-" When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door."-Christ is the Master of the house," whose house are we," if we love and serve Him. Now He invites and commands men to enter into His house by the strait gate and narrow way; He invites them to sit down with Himself and His many guests, to enjoy holy communion, refreshment, and repose. But the time, at last, arrives, when the door of the house is shut, aud shut for ever. This is the period of judgment-a period of solemn trial-when the righteousness of Christ's dealings towards every man, will be made manifest upon evidence, before the assembled universe. Then will those who refused, during the day of peace, to enter in by the narrow door, 66 begin to stand without, and to say, Lord, Lord, open unto us!" The scene is now changed. Formerly Christ had been seeking entrance into their home-even the home of their hearts, saying: "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man open unto me, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me." But they were too slothful and wicked to open the door to Him. Now they seek admittance into His "Father's house," and to the marriage supper, as they stand without knocking, crying, "Open to us!" But Christ's door is for ever closed against them! And why? Because, unless Christ enters, and dwells in our hearts by faith now,
Gospel. They who would not remember
we cannot enter heaven and dwell with Christ hereafter: for there can be no fellowship with Christ-no union, or communion with Him, and with His people, except the fellowship of spirit, affection, character, oneness of heart and will. To "open the door" to us without this, is impossible; and this character those mere seekers have not, and the time for obtaining it has passed away. "I know you not," is His reply. "We are not friends, we are not one. I am holy; ye are workers of iniquity." In the 1st chapter of Proverbs, verse 28, we have the same solemn picture presented to us, of the sinner's “calling on God" when too late, but getting “no answer," -"seeking Him," but "not finding Him;" and being permitted" to eat the fruit of his own ways, and to be filled with his own devices," because "he hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord." God saves us from hell, by saving us from sin; He gives us heaven, only by giving us the knowledge and the love of Himself. And when men, at the last day, cry to God, it is not the cry or children seeking a parent, but the cry only from those who have "a fearful look-aught that appears, say with truth, that ing for of judgment,"-from those who seck deliverance from the terrible consequences only of their walking in the broad way of sin; but who, nevertheless, hate the holiness and self-denial of the narrow way, as much as ever. They are not" born again;" they want the right mind and heart; and so 66 they cannot enter the kingdom of God." Verse 26,-" Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets."-Such is the pleading of those lost sinners-such their reasons why the sentence of condemnation should not be pronounced against them; as if they had said: "We are not astonished that Thou shouldest shut out those infidels who never acknowledged Thee; but we ever called Thee what we call Thee now, -'Lord.' We wonder not, that those who never heard, or never would listen to Thy Word, should be rejected by Thee; but we have heard Thee teach,' and have regularly attended to a preached
they possessed such privileges, made such a profession, and performed such works as those, were, nevertheless, known to Christ, only as workers of iniquity. "I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." (Read 1 Cor., chap. xiii.)
Verse 28," There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."-The broad way, which began with "eating, and drinking, and making merry," ends with " weeping and gnashing of teeth;" for "there is a way that seemeth good to a man, but the end thereof is as the ways of death." What is the immediate cause of this sore agony? It is "seeing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and themselves thrust out." But why should a sight like this produce such overwhelming and bitter sorrow? Because every patriarch and prophet there was a witness against the sloth, self-indulgence, and indifference of the mere seekers after salvation. All those had entered