Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

FORGIVES-PRECEPT AND EXAMPLE.

71

& serene summer's day, as they sat by the grave in your hearts, forgive not every one his brother their silence; neither of them feeling any desire to speak. trespasses,” neither will your heavenly Father forThe lady gazed at the pale countenance of the little give you. Read the following story, and let not the boy, upon whose system a lingering disease was prey

Heathen shame you :ing, while he looked at her with an eye that seemed to say: "I have not long to enjoy your society.” With The Bechuanas of South Africa are divided into out saying a word, he cut a small stick, and measured many different nations or tribes. Two of these the exact length of his little brother's grave, and nations carried on war for some years, each side again seated himself by the lady. She appeared trying to kill every man, woman, and child of the sad while he calmly addressed her.

other nation, and practising horrid cruelties. The “ You see, Miss — that this little grave is shorter

name of the one nation was Barolong, and that of than mine will be."

the other Bakueni, or People of the Crocodile. She pressed his little hand within her own, and

One day the daughter of the chief of the Bakueni he continued :

was gathering berries by the river side; she was “You know not how much I love you-how much some way from her father's village, and all alone : I thank you. Before you taught me, I knew nothing she did not think that any enemy was near; but of death nothing about heaven, or God, or angels; there was a wicked old warrior of the Barolong I was a very wicked boy till you met me. I love nation creeping along the borders as a spy, and he you much, very much, but I would say something saw her. She had never done him any harm, but he else."

hated her because she was one of the Bakueni. He " And what would you say, James ?" inquired the crept like a coward upon his hands and knees, and lady, trying to compose her wn feelings.

when he was within a few steps of her, he sprang "Do you think I shall ever get well ? "

upon her like a tiger, and with his assegai cut off “ Indeed, I hope you will; but why ask that both her hands above the wrists. He mocked at her question ?

sufferings, and tauntingly asked, “ U tla 'mpona kai? “Because I feel I shall not live long; I believe I Rumela!" "Where shall you see me again? I salute shall soon die; I shall then be laid beside my poor you." The cries of the poor bleeding girl soon mother, and she will then have her two little boys, brought her friends from the village, but the wicked one on each side of her. But do not cry, Miss S old man made off with all speed, and he was far I am not afraid to die. You told me, and the Tes- enough away before they reached' her. There was tament tells me, that Christ will suffer little children no surgeon at hand to dress her wounded arms, so to come unto him; and though I know I am a very whether she died from pain and loss of blood or not sinful little boy, yet I think I shall be happy, for I remains to be told. At length both nations suffered love this Saviour who can save such a wicked boy as 80 dreadfully from war and famine, that they wished I am. And I sometimes think I shall soon meet

to make peace. They killed some cattle, and sat mother and little brother in happiness. I know you down to eat together, and thus made a treaty of will come too-won't you? When I am dead, I wish peace. Next season the Bakueni had an abundant you to tell the Sabbath scholars how much I loved

crop of corn, but the Barolongs were in great distress. them all; tell them they must all die, and may die Swarms of locusts ate up the produce of their fields soon; and tell them to come and measure the grave and gardens, and they were obliged to beg food from of little James, and then prepare to die."

the people they once meant to destroy. The young lady wept, and could not answer him at Among others the old warrior suffered extremely, that time; but she was enabled to converse with him and he set out on a journey to the Bakueni, in order many times afterwards on the grounds of his hope, to save his life. He had a little bag containing a and was satisfied that this little lamb was indeed of little meal made from pounded locusts. It was all the fold of Jesus. She was sitting at his bed-side, he could get to eat on his way. He took a pipe and and with her own trembling hand closed his lovely tobacco also, and a walking-stick in his hand; but he eyes as they shut in the slumbers of death. He feil

was nearly starved, and so weak and thin, that he asleep with a smile-without a struggle. The lady could not get on fast. He reached the village of the was the only sincere mourner who followed the re chief of the Bakueni, and entered the enclosure before mains of the child to the grave; and while she shed the door of the chief's house. A young woman was many tears over that grave which concealed his sitting near the door. She was dressed in a tiger-skin lovely form, she could not but rejoice in the belief kaross, which none but the mojumagari, or " royal that God had permitted her to be the feeble instru- mistress," may wear. The old man addressed his ment of preparing an immortal spirit

for a mansion petition to her in the most humble words, and begged in the skies, where the wicked cease from troubling, her to give him, a poor dog, a little food, as he was and where the weary are at rest.

dying of hunger. She answered him, “E! U tla

'mpona kai? Rumela !” The old man was stupified FORGIVE!-PRECEPT AND EXAMPLE. by hunger, and he did not remember the words.

A servant was cooking food while this was going Sucu an one has injured me. He has said things on. Her mistress turned to her, and told her to put of me wrongfully, and he has done it repeatedly. some into a dish; then throwing back her kaross, she Shall I retaliate? This is the course which corrupt uncovered her arms. There were no hands, only nature dictates; but I profess to be a disciple of the stumps left. She was the very girl whose hands this meek Redeemer, and i dare not dishonour him by She said to ber servant, “Give the food to that man;

same wicked old man had cut off so long before ! harbouring feelings of revenge. The offence commit- he does not deserve

it. It was he who cut off my ted has not been committed against me seventy times hands when I was a girl; but I will not revenge seven, and therefore, to come up to my Lord's rule, I myself; he is now starving. He little thought that must forgive. How has my Lord dealt with me? In

we should thus meet each other.” Then speaking to ten thousand instances I have injured him--he has the old warrior, she said, “There; take and eat! freely forgiven me the ten thousand talents; and felt, it would be difficult to say. The generous con

U tla 'mpona kai? Rumela." What the old man shall I be severe with my erring brother, and be duct of the chief's daughter has never been forgotten relentless towards him, because he owes me a hun by the Barolong nation. To this day, one of them dred pence? That is a true saying, “ If ye, from may be kept from an unkind action by the oppressed

[ocr errors]

party exclaiming, “ U tla 'mpona kai? Rumela !”-tone and temper of his mind will thus become assiWesleyan Juvenile Offering.

milated to the truth. He will grow in grace, as well as in knowledge. His temper will become of a

heavenly sweetness, and occasionally his soul will be THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE.

lifted up within him, as if he were in the chariots of

Amminadab. Much is said at the present day about the excellence Reader, how is it with thee? Art thou a constant of the Bible, and strenuous efforts are making to reader of God's Word ? Dost thou examine it to disseminate it through our country and foreign lands. become subtle in knowledge, or wise unto salvation ? Yet, the observation which I have had to make to gratify curiosity, or satisfy the cravings of a releads me to doubt whether the written Word is as newed nature ? to preserve appearances, or to grow carefully and prayerfully studied by Christians as in in grace ? Does the regard of men or the love of some former ages of the world.

Christ constrain thee? Answer these questions conIt is undeniable that the science of the Scriptures scientiously, and thou wilt satisfy thyself whether receives much attention. No age has been more re- thy study is conducing to spiritual profit.-Primitive markable for extending its researches into the natural Church Magazine. history, the topography, and the literature of the sacred text. Disputed passages requiring explanation from comparison with other parts of the same

SHEPHERDS IN JUDEA. book, or with other books, are also much investigated. SHORTLY after leaving the city we met several flocks But all this may be done, and in many cases is done, of sheep, preceded by their shepherds, walking slowly with no view to spiritual improvement. Such study towards Jerusalem, and at once the full force of all with nothing else in view but the acquisition of Bibli- imagery, and the many touching similes derived from cal knowledge, puffs up, but does not edify: To such such scenes and associations, and so often alluded to a source, Neology in Germany owes its origin. The in Scripture, came vividly before me. These Arab German professors of theology are diligent students. shepherds, clad in the turbans and simple abbass They toil day and night over the pages of Scripture. worn by their class, and carrying a wooden crook in Knotty points are examined with the closest scrutiny; their hands, walked in front. and there is nothing wanting of human intellect, the The sheep, which are a peculiar and very handsome helps of science, and the most sedulous and long breed, are mostly low-sized; the fore part of their lived industry, to secure success to their investiga- bodies are of a fawn colour, the hinder parts white; tions. But their study, conducted not for spiritual, they have long, pendent, silken ears and sweeping but intellectual purposes, withers the heart, and puffs tails; their faces more oval and longer than the speup the mind. They employ their minds in curiously cies in this country; and they have altogether a more carving the outer shell, and forming of it every man- pleasing, docile, and mild expression of countenance. ner of device, but they leave the nut of the Gospel Not one of them ventured before the shepherd, untasted. The consequence is, an entire destitution but stopped and quickened their pace as he did; or of spiritual life, and a ministry, professedly Chris- if a young and forward creature lagged bebind or tian, but radically Infidel, making the Bible a mere strayed on either side, a single word from their leader, text-book for intellectual purposes.

often a very look, brought it back and checked its I have regretted to see somewhat of the same mode wanderings. A few favourite lambs frisked about of Biblical study commenced, and partially practised, their master, rubbing themselves against his legs and among theological students in our own land. Too garments. great a regard and admiration for German scholar After the sheep came some young goats and ship in religious matters, is inculcated among us. lambs, and the whole procession closed with about The effect upon the ministry, so far as felt, must be two dozen of old patriarchal-looking goats, which disastrous to the interests of piety.

brought up the rear. These goats have long horns, But many, who have never known of German and pendent ears that hang almost to the ground, scholarship, study the Bible without profit. The and their hair is a glossy black and of the finest minister studies it to make his sermons; the teacher grain. The sheep and goats were perfectly distinct. of the Bible-class and Sabbath-school to prepare bis These shepherds are often to be seen about sunset lessons; the common professor to gratify his curiosity, slowly approaching the city from all sides, to seek or to maintain an apparent consistency with his pro- shelter for their flock, during the night, in some of fession. The Christian, in a proper state of mind, the deep valleys by which it is surrounded, carrying studies it to grow in grace-to make progress in the the lambs in their bosoms. It is almost incredible divine life-to satisfy the hunger and thirst of his the influence that the shepherds of Palestine possess soul after righteousness. He has regard to the over their flocks; many of them have no dogs, but a prayer of our Saviour: "Sanctify them through thy word is often sufficient to make them understand and truth; thy Word is truth.” He studies the Word obey the will of their shepherd. prayerfully. He meditates upon it in the night He sleeps among them at night, and in the mornseason; in the midst of his daily occupations, and in ing leads them forth to pasturo; always before them, the multitude of his thoughts within him, the com- guiding them to those places where they can enjoy forts of God delight his soul.

the best food, and resting when he thinks they have In such matters it is easy to deceive one's self. obtained a sufficiency, or during the heat of the day, It is customary for evangelical Christians to read the in some cool shady, place, where they all immediately Bible daily, and the customn cannot be too highly lie down around him. commended, or too carnestly enjoined. But the He has generally two or three favourite lambs daily reading of the Word does not necessarily em which do not mix with the flock, but follow close at brace the study of the truth. A man may read and his side, frisking and fondling about him like dogs; not think; or he may think and not pray; or he may indeed, the degree of intelligence and understanding think and pray, and straightway forget both the that exists between the Arab and his flock is truly thought and prayer. To feed upon the truth, he astonishing. “ They know his voice, and follow him;" must take time to meditate ; he must retain in and“ he careth for the sheep.” It was probably to memory, and frequently recall, and try his thoughts such shepherds as these that the angel announced and actions by what he has read. And this must the glad tidings of the Saviour's birth. – Wilde's Mar be done, not occasionally, but habitually. The very rative.

THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.

73

THE BELIEVER'S PROSPECTS.

BY RALPH WARDLAW, D.D., GLASGOW.

on

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Having considered the believer's “afflictions,” bullion. His “crown of glory” is of the finest and what is said of them in the passage under gold, and its gems and jewels are not factitious, review (2 Cor. iv, 17, 18), as “light,and “but but real, and of divine costliness. And the for a momeni,” we are now to offer a few remarks glory is not fading and temporary; it is last

ing - it is "eternal;” it is coeval with the 11. His PROSPECTS. These are here express perpetuity of his existence; its weight never ed by the words: “ A far more erceeding and lightening - its lustre never dimming. It is eternal weight of glory.And the first thing to thus glory worthy the aspirations of an imbe noticed is, what hardly can fail to strike mortal mind; glory, such as “eye hath not seen, the most superficial reader-the completeness of nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart the contrast between this brief description and of man to conceive.”

the previous one of his afflictions. It is perfect The glory anticipated by the believer is that i in every point. We have affliction-glory; light of being Like Christ. This is rather the

afiliction reight of glory; light afiliction, strongest expression he can give to it than the which is but for a moment — an eternal weight highest conception he can form of it; for, in ! of glory. And even with this, perfect as it truth, the conception he cannot form:—while he seems, the apostle is not satisfied; his mind, uses the language, and knows that it expresses while elerated by the sublimity, and exulting the full amount of all that it is possible for him in the delighifulness, is at the same time bur- to desire here or to enjoy hereafter; yet of dened with the weight, of its own conceptions; what it actually is to be like Christ, his conor rather, let me say, of those conceptions ceptions are necessarily very limited, and his which were imparted to it by the Holy Spirit impressions proportionally indistinct and faint.

of truth. And the ternis he employs are One thing, however, is sure; that to be “liko | stronger than any mere epithets which even Christ” will not consist in any mere external

the copious language of Greece, according to resemblance-visible bodily conformity. Snen 1. its ordinary usage, could have furnished him. outward likeness, no doubt, there is to be. The

They are scarcely translatable. Their force bodies of believers, when raised from the dead, and spirit it is difficult, if not impossible, to will be conformed to that of their risen and transfuse into another tongue. An eminent exalted Lord. He himself will “change their critic represents them as “ infinitely emphaticul" vile body, and fashion it like unto his glori(rai izaç Beamy ius insgbonna åswvion Bigos dažnis) ous body, according to the working whereby -signifying that “all hyperboles fall short of he is able to subdue all things unto himself.”espressing that weighty eternal glory—so solid | Phil. iii. 21. Of this, more immediately. But, and lasting, that you may pass from one hyper- although it is true that our bodies, which, in bole to another, and yet when you have gained this mortal and suffering life, and in the grave the last, are infinitely below it.”

in which it terminates, “ have borne the image The prospect of the believer, then, is “GLORY.” of the earthly Adam,” are destined, when they | This one word, rightly understood, comprehends rise, to “bear the image of the heavenly”_

it all. The glory anticipated by him is not glorious, incorruptible, spiritual frames, free! like the vain, einpty, fleeting, ephemeral glory, from all the feculent grossness of our present which the men of this world so eagerly covet, materialism, and adorned with celestial comeand so ardently and devotedly pursue. Theirs liness and radiance; yet this, comparatively, is is glory which, regarded as the object of su as nothing. That which constitutes the chief preme ambition to a rational and immortal ingredient in the glory of likeness to Christ, being, must, when "weighed in the balances, be compared with which it may truly be said of found wanting." But not so the believer's. His the other, “it hath no glory by reason of the is, emphatically," a weight of glory.” It is solid glory that excelleth," is conformity in CHARACand substantial. It is not tinsel; it is not mere TER — MORAL likeness — resemblance to hinz gilding and lackering. It is pure, unalloyed more perfect than is at all attainable here, as No. 7."

April 10, 1816.

1

“ holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sin- scribing! To be “ clothed with the sun" is a ners.” This, this is the “glory”—the “ weight sublime image; but what is the image to that of glory”—the “eternal weight of glory”—the which it represents—to the reality of the sym. “far more exceeding and eternal weight of bol—to being clothed with the light of the divine glory.” Whatever apostate and degenerate purity ? men may think, holiness, the excellency of The glory in reserve for the believer is va. moral character, is the true glory of every in- riously described by the inspired writers, telligent nature. It is the glory of the first according to what I may call its different deand highest of all intelligences—of the great partments, or the periods in which it is pos. God himself ;-amongst all his other glories sessed and enjoyed. The descriptions cannot, bearing the pre-eminence.

« GOD IS LIGHT - of course, be the same, wheu, on the one hand, God is love." . These are the glory of the the period referred to is that between death and Godhead; and to be like him in the light and the resurrection, and when, on the other, the the love, the purity and the benevolence, of his reference is to the eternity succeeding the renature, is the true glory of every rational crea- surrection, and the re-union of soul and body. ture. This is the glory of angels. This was the Thus, in the verses which immediately follow glory of man in the original paradise; and it is those on which we are commenting, both are to be the glory of redeemed man in the second introduced, and the latest and most permanent paradise—the paradise above. Aud to be like first : “ For we know that if our earthly house Christ is thus to be like God; for he is “the of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a brightness of his glory, and the express image building of God, an house not made with hands, of his person;" and even when on earth, could eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, say—“He that hath seen me hath seen the earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our Father."

house which is from heaven : if so be that To a creature such as man, what would any being clothed we shall not be found naked. thing outward and visible be, without this ? To For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, besuch a creature there can be nothing worthy ing burdened : not for that we would be unof being called “glory," unless there be the clothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might glory of an invigorated and expanded intellect, be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath stored with the highest and best of knowledge wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who -the knowledge especially of the infinite God, also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spias the attributes of his character are manifest- rit. Therefore we are always confident, know. ed in his wonderful works and ways—in crea- ing that, whilst we are at home in the body, tion, in providence, and, above all, in redemp- we are absent from the Lord : (for we walk tion; and unless, along with this, there be the by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I still higher glory of an enlarged, purified, say, and willing rather to be absent from the elevated heart, filled and overflowing with all body, and to be present with the Lord.”--2 Cor. holy affections, and with the pure and exube v. 1-8. I am fully convinced, that, in these rant delight which their exercise produces,-a verses, “ the house not made with hands, eterheart loving God supremely, and by its perfect nal in the heavens," as set in contrast with“ the freedom from every taint of sin, fitted for re-earthly house of this tabernacle,” wbich is to ceiving and enjoying the fulness of his love,-a be“ dissolved,” means, not heaven itself, but heart thus drawing its sublime and exquisite the resurrection-body of God's redeemed, with felicity from this intimate reciprocation of holy which, when they shall be raised from the dust of love between itself and God-between itself | death, their purified spirits shall be invested, or and Immanuel. This, this is glory-intellec- “ clothed upon;" and in which, as their divinely tual glory-moral glory—the glory of mind- prepared abode—“not made with hands"the glory of character—the glory of the highest they shall reside for ever, when “ death shall and best society-the glory of intimacy with be swallowed up in victory," or, as it is here, the angels of light, with Christ, with God! 0“ mortality shall be swallowed up of life.” And what would it be for a man to be invested with in the verses which follow, namely, from the the very brightness of the Shechinah-to be 6th to the 8th, there is brought before us the clothed in the very light which, on “the holy immediate glory of the departed soul. For I do remount,” adorned the person of “the Lord of joice in the firm conviction, resting on what I glory"-were the man so invested, dazzling conceive to be the most explicit Bible authoevery eye with outward splendour, destitute of rity, of the truth of the good old doctrine in. the mental and moral glory we have been de- I stilled into our minds in infancy, that "the

THE BELIEVER'S PROSPECTS.

75

souls of believers are at death made perfect in accumulated, and constant, through a long life holiness, and do immediately pass into glory.” 1 -ending only with its close; yet were they, have no faith in either an intermediate sleep of when it did close, to be succeeded by a fulthe soul in a state of unconsciousness, or its ness of the most elevated and unmingled joys, occupancy of some intermediate state of safe-keep- to last for eternity; how infinitely more desiring, short of heaven, whether subterranean or able his lot than that of the man who, after a anywhere else. This is not the place for argu- course of unceasing and ever-augmenting proing the point. But the words just cited contain sperity in this world, and after revelling in all one among several very plain proofs of the im- the variety and enjoyments it ever yielded to mediate transition from earth to heaven. Can / its most unscrupulous votaries, sinks, when he terms be plainer !—“knowing that whilst we are has done with it, into “ the blackness of darkat home in the body we are absent from the ness for ever !" Lazarus, with his poverty, his Lord”—“ willing rather to be absent from the sores, and his crumbs, carried at the close by body, and to be present with the Lord”- to “mi- angels into Abraham's bosom, there to enjoy, grate from the body, and to be at home with the in the fulness of its divine provisions, the everLord ?” And where is the Lord ? The divine lasting feast of heaven, was surely more to be word answers : " He is gone into heaven, and is envied than the rich man, with his “purple and on the right hand of God, angels and authorities fine linen,” his“ sumptuous fare,” and his gorand powers being made subject unto him.”-geous establishment, “ dying, being buried,” Compare Phil. i. 21-23; Acts vii. 55, 56, with and in hell “ lifting up his eyes in torment.” 59; also Luke xxiii. 43, with 2 Cor. xii. 2-4. It is not the temporal lot of Lazarus, compared

Then, with regard to the final glory of the with the temporal lot of the rich man, that we redeemed, let the reader carefully peruse the are taught by our Lord to prefer and to covet; following passages : ) John iii. 2, compared | it is the entire lot of the one, compared with with Ps. xvi. 11; 1 Cor. xv. 42-49; John xvü. the entire lot of the other-taking time and 22-24: and the emblematic vision of the eternity together-embracing the entire existheavenly state," the city which hath founda ence of each; if we may, with propriety, apply tions, whose builder and maker is God," in Rev. the word entire to an existence that is never to xxi. 10-27, xxii. 1-5. Surely, when Believers end. I would entreat every reader to compare read and meditate upon such portions of God's the lot of God's people with the lot of the men word, they cannot fail to be of one mind with of this world :-on the one side, “ afflictions,” the apostle, when he says : “The Spirit itself with the subsequent“ far more exceeding and beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the eternal weight of glory;" and on the other, children of God: and if children, then heirs; worldly prosperity in its largest amount, and heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so longest continuance, with its subsequent eterbe that we suffer with him, that we may be also nity of woe :--to weigh the one against the other glorified together. For I reckon that the suffer- with all deliberation, on the principles of ordija ys of this present time are not worthy to be com- nary prudential computation; and to “ choose pred with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” the good part, which shall never be taken from Rom. viii, 16-18.

him.”-I have, in this statement, I perceive, My space is filled. I must, however, be al- given the worldly side of the alternative undue bowd une recciior, bercre proceeding to the third advantage. I have supposed the worldling's lot. of my particulars. It is this: Apart altogether to be all prosperous. But he has his “afflictions," from the corneciion between the believer's afilic. various in kind and measure, as well as the üons and his prospects, to be hereafter illustrat- believer. And which of the two, let me ask, ed; and simply on the supposition of the endur- has the best of it under these !-the child of ance of the one being followed by the realization God, with his divine Father's love, and smile, of the other; how unspeakably preferable is his and blessing, and“ precious promises,” together lot to that of the most successful and prosperous with the good and soul cheering hope of a “land worldling that ever set his heart upon earthly of cloudless sky,” beyond all the lowering and acquisitions, and devoted his inventive and ec- bursting storms of this lower world; or the

üve powers_his mind and his time—to their child of earth, the man of time and sense, with į pursuit ! Surely he has little reason indeed, God's displeasure and hidden curse mingling

to be " enrious at the foolish, when he sees the with both his enjoyments and his trouvles, prosperity of the wicked.” Even if, in the pre- and no well-founded hope beyond, when the sent world, there were nothing else but “afflic- enjoyments are exhausted, and the troubles tions” in his lot; if they were ever so varied, I cease; but the prospect, whether he thinks of

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »