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love God, is to be like Him;" for "God is love." To love the holy, righteous, merciful, truthful God, is evidently the same thing with ourselves being holy, righteous, merciful, truthful.-To like God, (so to speak,) and to be like God, are one.
5. "True religion is the love of man in general, and of Christians in particular." It is assuredly inseparable from it. If we love God, we must love all He loves, and hate all He hates. Our hearts will beat in harmony with God. Does God love the wicked world? He does so, while He abhors its wickedness. He causes His sun to shine, and His rain to descend, upon the evil and the good, the just and the unjust. He so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son to die for it. And if we love God, we shall possess this love to all men, and, like Him, have compassion for, and pity, even the wicked, and seek to do them good, and, by love, to win them to God, who has had pity upon them and upon our own wicked selves. But God has special love to those who love Him in returu. He loves such as His dear children; they must, consequently, be peculiarly dear to us. Hence it is, that our love to the brethren" is one of the necessary results and sure evidences of our loving God himself. "If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that hateth his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? and this commandment have we of Him, that he who loves God, loves his brother also." Love which brings our souls into harmony with God, brings them also into harmony with all in God. Enmity is out of harmony with everything, even with itself. would sting itself to death if it could. Love to God necessarily includes love to man, and special love to Christians.
6. "True religion is keeping God's commandments." But, said our Lord, "the first and great commandment is, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; and the next is like it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" The law of true love includes in it all other laws. "Love is the fulfilling of
the law." "The end of the commandment is love." All other cominandments and rules are but channels dug for us in the wisdom and goodness of God, by which the fulness of the fountain of love is to flow out in the best manner to God and man. All right actions are but acts of the right state of mind-love. For instance, he who loves God, will delight to hold communion with Him, to worship Him, to serve Him, to listen to His words, to become better acquainted with His will and ways, and to work with Him. and for Him; and he who loves man, will do to others as he would be done by; for he loves his neighbour as himself; he will seek his good and his happiness in all things, he will even " lay down his life for the brethren." We feel always safe, as to our goods, our name, or well-being, in the hands of one who loves us.
7. "True religion is sharing the light and life of Christ." Christ is Himself life— our life." He shared the life of God from eternity; and He came "to shew us that eternal life which was with the Father," that "our fellowship might be with the Father and the Son." "His life is the light of men." He who partakes His life, walks in light. But what is this life and light, but the light and life of love to God and man? What is it but the possession of this "mind" and "spirit" of love which is in Jesus Christ?
8. "True religion is being reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ." But what is being reconciled to God? Is it only to be reconciled to God as pardoning us freely through Jesus?-or is it not this, (first it may be,) and something more. Is it not our being reconciled to God as He is to His whole character and will, -our being satisfied with Himself from seeing Him first as revealed through the Spirit, in the whole work of Jesus Christ? And what is this but loving God, whose name is love?-what is this but having, through an atonement, that love which casteth out the fear (which hath torment) for His holiness, and righteousness, and power, and presence; and rejoicing in the glory of His Being, and whole character?-To love God, and to be reconciled to God, are one.
Lastly, It is said, that “ True religion' is our obtaining salvation through Jesus Christ." But what is salvation? It is deliverance, indeed, from the guilt of sin, through the blood of Jesus, freely bestowed by God's grace, and received by us; but this is not the whole of the salvation obtained for us, and given to us by our Lord. We must never forget, that He pardons, in order to sanctifythat He came to redeem us from all iniquity-that His grace, which brings salvation, does so by "teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." In one word, salvation implies deliverance from that which is our destruction and death-a heart of enmity to God--by giving us that which is our safety and life-a heart of love to God.
I shall not illustrate at greater length the harmony which exists between the statement, that true religion consists in our loving God-with every other Scrip. tural statement upon the subject. f hope, that what has been said, may tend to simplify truth, and to remove perplexities. Much remains to be said upon this subject; at present, we cannot say more. I can only express, in conclusion, the sincere desire, that my readers may earnestly ask from God, that "the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him," may be given them-that the Spirit of love may "shed abroad the love of God in their hearts," and enable them to see "the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that they may be filled with the whole fulness of God."
(Read John, chap. iii. 3-21. Romans, chap. viii. 1-18. 1st Epistle of John.)
THE MYSTERY OF LIFE.
So many years I've seen the sun,
And childhood have, and manhood known.
So many tender joys and woes
Have filled my soul with great designs,
So many wondrous gleams of light,
Where, in their bright results shall rise,
Thoughts, friendships, virtues, griefs, and joys, GAMBOLD.
A TOUR IN THE PROTESTANT VALLEYS OF DAUPHINE AND PIEDMONT.
We left La Roche at five o'clock on a lovely Sabbath morning, in order to be in time for service at Felix Neff's nearest Alpine church, at Violins.
Our rugged pathway skirted the sides of the opposite mountain, which, in form, is a giant duplicate of Salisbury Crags. Leaving Chancelas on the left, upon the
chalets were ready for the reaper, none such were to be seen. From the elevation we had attained, one picturesque
succession of rustic worshippers, as far as the eye could reach, bending their steps along the valley to the little church, whose spire was beginning to peep above the clump of walnut trees which mark the hamlet of Violins. How pleasing were the associations recalled by this spot,--the scene of the remarkable revival of religion under the ministry of the devoted Neff! We could almost realize the spectacle. The poor mountaineers assem. bling here and there, to hold prayer meet
opposite side of the ravine, we reached, after a two hours' walk, the small village of Palons, the residence of the clergyman of the valleys; and crossing a bridge" Sabbath train" alone was visible,—a which spans the rapid torrent, another half hour brought us to the humble inn of Fressiniere. We already felt among a new race. The character of these mountaineers was as different from those with whom we had recently mingled, as was the simple grandeur of the scene around, from the cultivated plains of Burgundy and Auvergne. Even their dress was strange and unique. It consisted of a cumbrous cocked-hat, made of the coarsest material, with a short coat and knee-trousers of similar quality. Theings among the enormous granite rocks women wore a simple white cap; but in most cases, their tidy appearance and interesting expression, were sadly defaced by goitre, which seemed also painfully to affect both their breathing and speaking. We were accompanied from Fressiniere to Violins, by one of five youthful colporteurs, who are entrusted with a large district in the South of France, extending from the valleys of Dauphiné to Marseilles and Toulon. He mentioned, that within six months, they had distributed a thousand copies of the New Testament, and eighty of the Bible,-a beautifully simple and effective machinery for scattering" the leaves of the tree which are for the healing of the nations."
which strew the valley, or lingering till nightfall to hear the word of life,--dispersing in the dark with torches, to guide them through the snow to their scattered homes.
On reaching one of the humble tenements, and obtaining admission, a characterestic group was disclosed. The father of the family was seated opposite, attired in the prevailing costume, of the sombre hat and short coat,--beside him, an interesting looking young woman, who had recently been married to his only son. The latter occupied, along with his mother, the other side of the blazing fire; and, to complete the picture, in the middle sat the clergyman, who was about to perform the morning service. On entering, we were received with hearty kindness, and shared with the pastor the homely fare his friends had placed before him. At ten o'clock we proceeded to the "temple," as they call it, and were greeted by the
Continuing our ascent, we overtook a reverend patriarch wending his way to the temple of Violins. His head was whitened with seventy-four winters, and his tottering step betokened he would be the witness of few more. On making ourselves known as Protestants, a gleam of joy gathered over his countenance,-"bonjours" of the flock, who were asand, resting on his pilgrim staff, the "semicircular covering" was taken off, he stretched out his withered hand, and welcomed us as "brethren." His eye glistened as we spoke of Neff, whose name is a household word. What a change was observable from preceding Sabbaths! During these we had seen the harvest sickle busy in other parts of France; but in the wild solitudes around, work of every kind was suspended; though the little patches of corn surrounding the
sembled round the door. The females, as they entered, curtsied; and, as in other Protestant churches in France, sat on opposite sides from the men. As they came to their particular benches, each engaged in silent prayer,-the men covering their faces with their hats, and the women kneeling. The service, in several respects, resembled our own Presbyterian form.
Our friend, Jean Isaiah Alart, (whose hospitality we had just received,) acted as precentor and reader He com
menced by singing a hymn-read the chapter, (55th Isaiah,) from which the text was taken, and a short liturgyafter which the pastor ascended the pulpit, and gave a plain, searching sermon. Occasionally the labours of the week, coupled with the intense heat of the day, exercised a narcotic influence on some of the audience. But they seemed conscious that they would not be permitted to enjoy their repose unchallenged and undisturbed. Various spontaneous expedients were first resorted to, to overcome their drowsiness. Some jumping up, rubbing their eyes, and remaining for a while in a standing posture, -others thudded with their ponderous shoes on the floor,-others even ventured on a short excursion round the neighbouring seats; and if any neglected to employ a voluntary remedy, there were no lack of external appliances. The women, on observing a nod, seemed to consider it their peculiar vocation to secure there being no repetition of it, and unceremoniously pinched all around, without respect to age or sex. The service concluded with a hymn and prayer,-after which M. Durant, the present pastor of the Valley, ascended the reader's desk with his black gown and bands; and a man and woman presented themselves to have their marriage (which had been before performed by a Roman Catholic priest) confirmed, as one of the parties was a Protestant. They had come, for this purpose, all the way from Piedmont, the Waldensian pastors having refused to perform the ceremony. The service was somewhat long, and read from a portly volume. The couple were assuredly no great specimens of Italian refinement. Their habiliments wofully tattered,-their hands copiously encrusted with the soil of their native valleys; and as to years, both considerably on the other side of half a century. On the dismissal of the congregation, we could not help remarking the unrestrained and happy intimacy existing between the pastor and his flock,they welcomed and conversed with him as one of themselves; and on his leaving with us, to ascend the path to Dormillease, with a primitive simplicity he embraced and kissed a number of them, who
seemed to feel no feigned sorrow at his temporary absence.
In company with M. Masson, the pastor, and young Alart, we commenced our arduous scramble to Dormilleuse,-the highest inhabited spot, and, perhaps, one of the most secluded in Europe. The scenery was very bold. A conicallyshaped rock towers at the summit of the valley, and many cascades pour gracefully down on both sides; one of these overarching the pathway. Here we were reminded of the labour of Neff, on the Sabbath morning, to secure a winter passage across the glacier, heading a number of his own flock in cutting with hatchets steps in the ice,-truly no child's play, amid these frowning battlements of rock, which the God of nature and grace has thrown around this "citadel of truth." As we stood on the top of the rugged cliff, by the nearest hut of Dormilleuse, a living page of Church history, extending over 1800 years, was spread before us in the valley beneath. This sterile spot-the home of the tempest and the avalanche-had been the home and sanctuary of the truth when Europe was in darkness. We beheld, in the distance, the precipices on which mothers and infants were indiscriminately dashed to pieces, or cruelly massacred; and we stood on the place where oft and again a mere handful of sturdy mountaineers had defied the chivalry of France and Rome. In their other mountain strongholds, they were frequently dispersed by superior numbers; but Dormilleuse, with its "munitions of rocks," has always been impregnable. No artillery was more effective than the masses of granite they hurled down upon their assailants below.
We found Dormilleuse invisible, till within fifty yards of its first hut. This happened to be Neff's summer residence. From its window, he commanded a bird'seye view of his own rugged valley, with the villages of Minsas, Violins, and Fressiniere. This was the first cot we entered; and certainly it abundantly verified the truth of Dr. Gilly's description. We were ushered into a room which amicably domiciled hens, goats, calves, and human beings. The motto of their coming Republic
had thus, in stern reality, been anticipated by the Dauphiné mountaineers. "Equality and Fraternity" were, at least, placed beyond all controversy. Farther down the village, we inspected the stable where, for many winter nights, Neff shared the miserable accommodation the place supplied, along with mules and cows. In an adjoining hut, we distributed some tracts, which were greedily discussed; the mother of the family skimming them over with great delight, and repeating aloud the parts which most struck her. Amid all the external appearances of semi-barbarism, we found a little girl, of five or six, able to read with great facility. It was strange, indeed, to find so much intelligence and worth in conjunction with the total absence of cleanliness, and insensibility to the common comforts of lite. Notwithstanding the efforts of Neff, those cabins, which can boast of both a chimney and window, are exceptions to the general rule; some being destitute of both, and subjected only to an annual cleansing. Public worship was conducted in the chapel by M. Haudcotte, a Methodist clergyman, who purposed labouring permanently there. The little temple was the result of the proselytising efforts of the Roman Catholics, who, some years ago, sent a priest to try and shake the faith of these "tenants of the rock;" but, to their discomfiture, they found it would be as practicable to shake their mountains. Leaving this supermundane spot, we returned to Violins at seven o'clock, where, in accordance with the kind request of Alart, we had agreed to return for our night's quarters. Our host prepared, unasked, a copious supper. He himself favoured us with his company, and assisted in discussing the primitive viands -simple and compound-he placed before us. It may be mentioned, as a specimen of the fare, that their rye bread, for common use, is only baked once a-year; and the colossal loaves have to be broken with a hatchet before being steeped. It seems to be the custom, while in their houses, and even at their meals, to sit with the head covered; but Alart, before commencing supper,
"His bonnet reverently he laid aside,?
and, standing, asked, "with patriarchal grace," a blessing on the evening repast. Next morning, at seven o'clock, we left, with regret, this delightful little mansion, with its simple-minded inmates. father and son had gone to their work at a much earlier hour. We had only time to ask the mother how she did? Her reply was, "Bien, a la grace de notre Seigneur," ("well, our Lord be thanked.") She bade us "good bye" with a hearty shake of the hand, accompanying it with a "Dieu conduise,"-" May God guide you."
Half-an-hour's walk found us once more in the little hamlet of Fressiniere, and, according to appointment, we visited the house of M. Barridon, the Precep teur, Tax-gatherer, &c., of the Valleys. His niece, Susanna, who is particularly mentioned in Neff's life, served us with a sumptuous dejeuner of coffee, cheese, eggs, wine, and cherries. She spoke in a most affectionate tone of her early spiritual instructor, and took a deep interest in replying to the questions we put relative to her companions, who received from him, along with herself, their first impressions of Divine truth.
Having completed, in a day and a-half, this interesting detour in the Valleys of Dauphiné, we proceeded, without delay, in the direction of those of Piedmont. At five o'clock the same evening, we started for Guillestre, following the rapid waters of the Durance till we reached Mont Dauphin, a fortress built on a bold and isolated rock, commanding the three valleys which branch from it. A walk of twenty-five miles the following day, in company with a youthful muleteer, brought us to the Highland-looking village of Abries. The pass of the Guil, through which our track lay, is a noble specimen of Alpine grandeur. In many places, the waters are hemmed in between lofty precipices occupying the whole breadth of the defile, the heights above crested with pine, and the battlements of Chateau Queyras rising majestically at the mouth of the gorge.
A night's sleep had barely dissipated fatigue, when, anticipating a shorter day's journey, we set out to cross the Alps by