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The wise only possess ideas; the greater part of mankind are possessed by them.-Coleridge.
Voltaire thought he was looking through a handsome French window at God and the universe, and painting pictures of them; while, in truth, the glass was a mirror, and he saw and copied only his own scoffing face.-John Sterling. Humility is the soul's grave, into which she enters, not to die, but to meditate and inter some of her troublesome appendages.-Jer. Taylor.
Such is the charity of the Jesuits, that they never owe any man any ill-will, -making present payment thereof. T. Fuller.
He never looked over the threshold of heaven that cannot more rejoice that he shall be glorious, than mourn at present that he is miserable.-Bp. Hall,
Suddenness finds weak minds secure, makes them miserable, leaves them desperate. The best way, therefore, is, to make things present in concert before they come, that they may be half past in their violence when they do come.-Bp.
Divine truth is better understood as it unfolds itself in the purity of men's hearts and lives, than in all those subtile niceties into which curious wits may lay it forth.-John Smith.
Learn to despise the world; or, which is a better compendium of the duty, learn but truly to understand it; for it is a cozenage all the way; the head of it is a rainbow, and the face of it is a flattery; its words are charms, and all its stories are false; its body is a shadow, and its hands do knit spiders' webs; it is an image and a noise with a hyæna's lip and a serpent's tail; it was given to serve the needs of our nature, and instead of doing it, it creates strange appetites, and nourishes thirsts and fevers; it brings care, and debauches our nature, and brings shame and death as the reward of all our cares. Our nature is a disease, and the world does nourish it; but if you learn to feed on such unwholesome diet, your nature reverts to its first purities, and to the entertainments of the grace of God. -Jer. Taylor.
They that will be feared of many must needs be afraid of many.-Roger Hutchin
Every state is set in the midst of danger, as all trees are set in the wind; but the tallest endure the greatest violence of tempest.-Jer. Taylor.
Repentance is a great volume of duty, and godly sorrow is but the frontispiece or title-page. Jer. Taylor.
Madness frequently discovers itself merely by unnecessary deviation from the usual modes of the world. My poor friend, Smart, shewed the disturbance of his mind, by falling upon his knees, and saying his prayers in the streets, or in any other unusual place. Now, although, rationally speaking, it is greater madness not to pray at all, than to pray as Smart did, I am afraid there are so many who do not pray, that their understanding is not called in question.-Dr. S. Johnson.
By what instruments soever a holy life is advantaged, use that, though thou grindest thy spears and arrows at the forges of the Philistines.-Jer. Taylor.
The excellency of a holy life, is the best argument of the inhabitation of God within the soul.-Jeremy Taylor.
Were the happiness of the next world this, it were a martyrdom to live.-Sir as closely apprehended as the felicities of
He that took clay and spittle to open the blind eyes, can make anything be collyrium; but He alone can do it.—Jer. Taylor.
Piety practised in solitude, like the flower that blooms in the desert, may give its fragrance to the winds of heaven, and delight those unbodied spirits that survey the works of God, and the actions of men; but it bestows no assistance on earthly beings, and however free from taints of impurity, yet wants the sacred splendour of beneficence.-Dr. S. John son.
He that proves a certain truth from an uncertain argument, is like him that wears a wooden leg when he hath two sound legs already; it hinders his going, but helps him not.-Jer. Taylor,
Is it found, that an infant-school child, who has been bawling all day a column of the multiplication table, or a verse from the Bible, grows up a more dutiful son or daughter to its parents? Are domestic charities on the increase among families under this system? In a great town, in our present state of society, perhaps such schools may be a justifiable expedient; but as for driving these esta
blishments into the country villages, and breaking up the cottage home education,
I think it one of the most miserable mistakes which the well-intentioned people of the day have yet made; and they have made, and are making a good many.Coleridge.
THE WOMAN THAT WAS A SINNER.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF DR. KRUMMACHER.
WHAT a story is this! Is it possible to
talked-of Galilean to his table. much is certain, that there is an interest in Christ which looks like reverence, yea even like faith and love, and yet is far from making any one a Christian. The interest manifested by Simon, scarcely, in its nature, have gone beyond this. Further, we may rest assured, that whatever the unrenewed heart may feel for Jesus and His doctrine, is rejected as base coin before the throne of God; and that man would much rather invite the Lord to His table, than sit down at that which He has spread, and is much more inclined to make a feast for Him, than to lie humbly at His threshold, and to live on the crumbs from His table. But it is not thus that we can ever reach the goal. Whoso cannot submit to live upon alms, "The Son of cannot be His disciple. Man," He says himself, "is not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His L-A Pharisee had invited the Saviour life as a ransom for many." Haply thou to his table. It is hard to say what moved servest Him as few do, be it as a zealous him to this. Enlightened, converted, be- confessor of His name, or an active prolieving in Christ, the disciple of Gamaliel moter of His kingdom; be it as a friend was not. It is out of the question to sup- of missions, or as a missionary, or in With all this pose, that he took a warm interest in the whatsoever other way. Nazarene. Whether it was that the com- zeal thou mayest be lost; nay, thou art passionate Saviour had conferred on him, lost if thou art not of the number of those or on some of his relations, a benefit for who, in the consciousness of their poverty, which he considered himself bound to seek, before all things, that Jesus should shew his gratitude by a feast prepared serve them with the fruit of His blood, with His salvation, with His grace. The in His honour; or whether Simon was "Lord Jesus have mercy upon me," one of those people who dream of acquiring to themselves the fame of an unfet- makes the Christian; not the sentimental "Blessed are the breasts tered spirit, and a high degree of mental exclamation, culture, by understanding how to value, that suckled thee." The "Cast me not with unreserved, unsectarian enthusiasm, away from Thy presence," does it; and careless of the circumstances under which not a mere admiring exclamation, "Never it appears, every talent, originality, or man spake like this man." The humble, intellectual gift which comes under their "Lord, remember me when Thou comest notice,-I can as little determine, as whe- into Thy kingdom," receives the blessing; ther it was merely the hope of procuring and not the professed readiness to serve, for himself and his guests an interesting of "Good Master, I will follow Thee and agreeable evening, which moved the whithersoever Thou goest." The cry for Pharisee, for once, to invite the much-help, "Thou Son of David, have mercy on No. XI. VOL. I.-FEBRUARY, 1850.
me," goes to His heart; and not an enthusiastic "Hosannah!" hailing Him on His victorious way. The Saviour did not hesitate to accept the invitation of the Pharisee; His mission was to the sinful and the lost.
Whilst He, the all-bountiful Lord, sat at table, a scene took place which the Holy Spirit has seen meet to preserve for us in unfading brightness. For what do you desire to see? The innermost experience of a true Christian, or the unveiled heart of the great Friend of sinners? Both are vividly reflected in this scene. "Behold," says the story, "there was a woman in that city." Some have thought to recognize Mary Magdalene in this woman; whether justly or not, it is impossible to say. Luke calls her emphatically a sinner, "thus appearing to indicate the nature of her guilt. A nearer inquiry does not become us. Let us not dare to stir up the recollection of sins which God in Christ has sunk into the depths of the sea. Whoso we meet on the ground of a living faith, Him know we no longer after the flesh. "The old has passed away, and behold all is become new." When we meet with the woman to-day, it is already different with her from what it was yesterday, or the day before. The chains of darkness which bound her, are unloosed; the strong dungeon in which Satan had shut her, is broken. A clear light from God has fallen upon her heart, the dark scene of her past life lies unveiled before her. She sees plainly her lost condition, and the thunders of judgment echo through her agonized and prostrate soul. Poor sinner! what can she do? She will, she must change. The old familiar paths of sin are dreadful to her now; she loathes every step she ever made upon them. But how expiate her past guilt? How appease God's wrath, and escape the curse she has merited? She feels deeply, that sighs of flame and tears of blood could not do this. How long may she have battled with despair in her solitary chamber! All that surrounded her here on earth was embittered to her; all that attracted and charmed her in heaven, was barred against her. She neither knew the road
thither, nor how to find a guide. Then the name of Jesus reached her. To hear this name, to see the dawn break upon the night of her soul, to feel a joy like that of the miner buried in his shaft, when he hears approaching the spades and pickaxes of those who come to deliver him; all this was with her simulta neous. It was with her as with the shipwrecked mariner, when amid the roar of the waves he hears the stroke of the lifeboat's oar. The name of Jesus was to her as the music of paradise; and henceforth the innermost thought of her soul was, "Thou art the Lord, on Thee am I cast, and Thou only canst help me!" He must become hers; He himself, or— deeply she feels it-there is for her no more hope of salvation! She thinks, If I have Him I have God; and God the Lord is alone sufficient for my need. She seeks not merely to be delivered from hell, not merely to be admitted into heaA soul whose sorrow for sin is grounded in love, and not in fear alone, may be placed amid the glories of a thousand heavens, and yet not find peace. Amidst all these splendours, she will stand weeping and asking, "Where is the Lord, whom I have offended?" Where are His eyes full of compassion? where His look announcing mercy to me? Her paradise consists not of this, or of that, however precious; but is grounded in the consciousness, "My friend is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the roses."
You may imagine what the woman felt on the day that the tidings reached her that the Saviour was in the city, and sat even then at the table of Simon the Pharisee. On the instant she arose and hastened to the man of her hopes. Timid reflection would have made this step difficult to her; but for a heart, that in the sense of its guilt strives for pardon, there are no obstacles on the way to Jesus. Doubtless Jesus is in the house of a stranger, where she is threatened with bitter contempt; for her flight to the Friend of Sinners may well be esteemed as an acknowledgment of her errors. But what matters this to her? How willingly will she endure it, as the wonted punishment of her transgressions! Yes, indeed,
it matters not though man judge hardly of her, if the Sun of Righteousness greet her with a smile. Is not this a noble boldness, prompted by the thirst after Him who is the life? How earnestly do I desire to see it in you all! You need it to become blessed.
But how can you come, ye who are whole, to that kingdom of Christ which is for the sick; ye who are rich, to those mansions He has prepared for the poor; ye who are righteous, to the feet of Him who offers pardon; ye who are able, to pay to that Throne, before which the ransom paid by another alone is accepted? Awake from the dream of self-idolatry into which a false lullaby has plunged you, behold the image of your soul as it really is, in the mirror of God's truth; and be not dismayed, for at the sight, to you, too, shall come the all-conquering boldness of an earnest desire for salvation; your lips, too, shall proclaim the watchword of faith, "Thou must be mine, Lord Jesus, at whatsoever price!" If, then, any one is awakened, let him not dream of mountains where there are none. The way to the Throne of Grace is an open way. Ceremonies are not needed here as before the thrones of the great ones of the earth. Here it is said, "Come as best thou canst come." Here introductions are not needed as there. Enter as a child to His home; thy necessity is thy letter of introduction. Take no thought for thy dress; come as thou art, naked, or in rags; here thou shalt be clothed. Take no thought for thy language; the groanings of the heart are eloquence here. Here gifts are not taken, but given. Nothing is wanted here but a heart emptied of self, and the open hand of faith. Here it is said, "Open thy mouth wide, and let me fill it." There sits here upon the throne, a man who is our brother, a high priest, who was in all things tempted as we are, and who can indeed have compassion on our weakness; a friend, who delights in going forth to save the children of men, whose meat and drink it is to seek and to save that which is lost. Here are no barriers; neither hedge, nor rampart, nor wall. Here there is a free open road. There
fore exclaims the Apostle to the Hebrews, (iv., 16,)-"Let us draw nigh with joyfulness;" that is, with free, strong, unfettered courage, "to the Throne of Grace."
LOOKING UNTO JESUS." "LOOK UNTO ME," says Jesus Christ; but professing Christians, instead of having their eyes fixed upon Christ, have, in many cases, turned their backs on Him, and are looking for salvation, some to one object, some to another. Be assured, readers, they who maintain that their works can justify them, are not the only individuals who have erred from the way. There are many who bitterly condemn such a doctrine, and who talk with sorrow of such ignorance, who are not looking to Christ themselves. There are many who profess a belief in the doctrines of free grace, and who can talk of these doctrines; who, instead of looking to Christ with the look of the humble penitent, look to their creed; and because it is what they suppose to be orthodox, imagine that all is well with them. But Christ says not, look to your opinions, or look to your creed, but "Look unto Me." Then, again, there are many who spend day after day in perpetual bustle, busied with meetings, and preachings, and societies, and with new schemes of philanthropy,-things good in themselves, but who make these hurtful, by putting them in the place of the Saviour; and who look to their activity and their philanthropy for salvation, instead of looking to Christ. And again, what a number there are, who, instead of looking through the means of grace to the Cross of Christ, gather round some favourite preacher, and raise him to the place of Christ, and say, "I am of Paul;" or, "I am of Apollos;" or, "I am of Cephas!" What a number there are who exalt frail erring men to the throne of Christ,-who look to them as if their word were law, and their every opinion truth; and who care not about the Gospel, unless it come from the mouth of their favourite preacher,—from their Paul, or their Apollos, or their Cephas! Oh! surely these are not look. ing to Christ for salvation; surely they do not know that Jesus hath been exalted
a King and a Saviour; that He calls, "Look unto me, and be ye saved;" and that the preachers of the Gospel, whatever their gifts, are appointed by Him, not to stand betwixt His cross and sinners, but to point to that cross, and to say unto the dying souls of men, "Look unto Christ and be saved." Methinks this delusion, so hurtful and so widespread, argues a sad want of relish for "the sincere milk of the word." This deifying of the vessel, shews an indifference about what is contained in it, just as it shews a man to be but little oppressed by thirst, when, instead of quaffing off what the cup contains, he prefers examining and admiring the cup itself. It is the water which the cup contains, not the cup itself, which the thirsty man feels to be precious; so it is the Gospel which flows from the lips of the preacher, that the awakened sinner loves and delights in; and just as it is the water, and not the cup, which refreshes and strengthens
the parched and weary traveller; so it is Christ, and not the preacher, who saves the dying sinner; and therefore doth he cry aloud, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth." Look, then, to Him, O guilty sinner, as thine only priest, to pardon thy guilt-to intercede for thee as an advocate with the Father-to answer Satan's accusations against thee-and to render thy person and services acceptable with God! Look to Him, ignorant sinner, as thy prophet, able and willing to teach thee by His word and Spirit the will of God for thy salvation. Look to Him, O weak and defenceless sinner, as thy great and glorious king, able and willing to impart to thee, and continually sustain in thee that "life of God," which He manifested while on earth, and to "keep thee by His power through faith unto salvation!" "Look unto Jesus," as "all in all," and "be ye saved!"
Oh let the soul her slumbers break,
How soon this life is past and gone,
Swiftly our pleasures glide away,
The moments that are speeding past
Onward its course the present keeps,
And, did we judge of time aright,
Let no one fondly dream again,
Our lives are rivers gliding free
Thither the mighty torrents stray, Thither the brook pursues its way, And tinkling rill.
Then all are equal. Side by side The poor man and the son of pride Lie calm and still.
O world! so few the years we live,
Alas! thy sorrows fall so fast,
Did we but use it as we ought,
Faith wings the soul beyond the sky,
Yes! the glad messenger of love,
To Him alone my thoughts arise,
Who shared on earth our common lot;