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the senses is to enjoy it in God; and those who do not so enjoy it, possess but a feverish delight which will end like the joys of Dives in the flames of hell.
2. “Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things" will be said to those who enjoy life without love to their neighbour. There are two lawful ends in the possession of property-to do good to ourselves, and to do good to our neighbours; and God requires that both ends should be answered by every proprietor. The vast disparity of conditions is permitted, in order to afford scope for the exercise of benevolence. The man who shutteth up his bowels of compassion against his poor brother, shall be shut out from the gates of heaven. Let n think of Lazarus at the rich man's gate as the representative of all the sufferers of the world lying at the doors of those who are able to relieve them and wil not; will not even so much as see them! Selfish persons have stiff eyelids, by which they contrive not to see objects which require their aid. The darkness hath blinded their eyes. They see nothing but themselves and their own ples. sures. Every object “ full of sores" is invisible to them. They "forbear to deliver them that are drawn to be slain, saying, I know it not.” Bitter was the satire of the late metropolitan Canon, “ Benevolence is a sentiment common to humanity. A never sees B in trouble, but he wishes that C would reliere him. These vain desires for the relief of suffering, unaccompanied by any effort to remove it, are the sure forerunners of destruction.
But if, as the habit of your life, you are looking beyond yourself, and goin: forth to assist your neighbour, then, though you may have many good things here, you have more in reversion, even in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Sad would it be if they who are destined to inherit eternal joy could not safely be trusted, as the result of their afflictions, with the use of a soal portion of earthly good. It is a mean and low view of the Christian life which regards absolute penury as a state safer than abundance. Little has he learned of the love of God, who, having " found honey,” is unable to restrain himself from a surfeit. The vulgar rich man rushes indeed to his newly-acquired eelar to drown himself in intoxication, but the high-bred owner has long since learned temperance amidst his possessions. The divinely-taught man, too, has learned that there can be no permanent enjoyment in selfishness; that to do good and to communicate is the very condition of durable happiness, because “we are mere bers one of another.” He then who, although seated in a palace, has learned to visit Lazarus at his gate, and to anticipate the angelic ministry by a huna compassion, has commenced an inheritance of “good things" which shall never be taken away from him. Every hour of eternity shall be adding to his wealta, because he is rich in good works, and rich towards God, and having been faith in a very little, the Judge will confer upon him the true riches of Paradise.,
3. Finally, these dreadful words of destiny are reserved in hell for those wh: have enjoyed life without trust on or gratitude to God. The presence, POTER and providence of God is the cause, the direct efficient cause, of every gratinct tion that reaches us through any of our faculties. A living and ever active Sput. a Father of Mercies, is the author and giver of every sensation or perception of delight, whether in the body or the soul. Happiness enjoyed by creatures » the love of God acting upon them and within them. The chief return that can make to this Sleepless, Almighty Love, is to thank him, and to trust in 1 rather than in ourselves or the creation. Gratitude, however, is the comples result of the operation of the two great principles of goodness, benevolence, ani justice ; it is the practical expression of love to Him to whom it is due. Those therefore, who are deficient in either quality of goodness will be ungrateful etc. to God. Moreover, none will thank God for his outward gifts, who do not miss love him for the inward and spiritual. There is no communion with God cair on by men solely in the sphere of sense. No man really praises and bits God for sunlight and air who has not learned to thank him for his truta 2
grace. No man cometh unto the Father but through the Son. On the ground of nature, no man is a worshipper of God, since there no man feels God to be near enough for adoration. Christ alone hath revealed him, and through " Christ crucified ” we draw near to “God revealed.”
And how sweet is the communion so carried on with “ the God of all grace"! He always giving, the soul always thanking! In this intercourse the heart ever descends to the details of God's mercies. It thanks him not in cold abstraction for the fragrance of flowers, but for the odour of the rose, the jessamine, and the bean. It recognises the action of the many-handed Omnipotence on every side, and its heart “burns within ” at the consciousness of the presence of its God. How many there are who never feel or express any kindness for “ the Lord our Maker”! They receive all the gifts of his providence as if they were provided by machinery. They do not trust in the Giver, the living God, but fasten as with seven mouths upon the world itself as the only real and tangible fountain of enjoyment. But no man enjoys lawfully who does not read the Giver in the gift. Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And he who has learned this knows that when all is gone God remains. “My flesh and my heart shall fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my por. tion for ever.” Such a spirit as this half changes the afflictive power of outward circumstances, and wholly defies the sting of death. The words of Christ enter into the deepest recesses of the victorious soul,—“Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The chief lesson of Christ's parable is at the close. It is not simply that life enjoyed without culture, without love, without God, will end in remediless perdition—that a red cloak of avenging fire is to succeed the purple and fine linen; but it is that such persons always suppose the evidence of religion to be insufficient, yet would persist in impenitence under any imaginable combination of glorious apparitions, or of terrors from the shades. “ Nay, Father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.” But hear that answer, which proves a knowledge of human nature, an understanding of the powers and kinds of evidence, a delicacy of moral perception, which can be conceived to reside in none but a true messenger from God. “IF THEY HEAR NOT MOSES AND THE PROPHETS, NEITHER WOULD THEY BE PERSUADED THOUGH ONE ROSE FROM THE DEAD." If they would think now, they would soon see ; and therefore, when the roaring cataract of life ceases to descend like Niagara in thunder, and the soul departs into subterranean darkness, with what agony of self-condemnation will it * remember" that in its lifetime it "received" all "the good things” that it will have for ever!
TREASURE IN THE MARKET.
BY THE REV. J. W. LANCE. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls, who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”Matt. xiii. 45,
TREASURES may be hidden in a field ; , vidence, as well as the promise of Divine they are sure to be offered in the market. grace. Indolent people comfort themselves They may be found sometimes without with the thought of the exceptional cases, seeking; they are scarcely ever missed hoping every day that something will when earnestly sought for." Seek and ye “ turn up." Industrious people take comshall find" is the motto of Divine pro- | fort in those cases that form the rule, and
act upon the principle that in most in- | Yet is he not a mere worldling or pleasurestances what is worth the having must be hunter, not a sensualist or debauchee, not a “ dug up."
drunkard or “covetous man, who is an " He who delays his course from day to day,
idolater"_for he is seeking, not “ husks Does on a river's brink expecting stay :
that the swine do eat," but " pearls," Till the whole tide that stops him shall be gone, “ goodly pearls." Let us take the case, so Which as it flows, for ever will flow on.”
far as we can understand it, of such a man John Foster, indeed, tells us in a part of as the parable represents. He is a chahis journal, written at Dublin, that his racter worthy of respect; and his aims, if first sensation, on awaking one Sunday not of the highest, are, at least, not ignoble morning, at seven o'clock, was, that he had and base. He is neither sordid nor selfish. not yet begun to form either of his ser He is not a dullard. He is neither mean, mons. " I sat up in bed awhile," he says, nor cringing, nor flattering; he is a MAN, " and caught some very considerable ideas. | and life for him has a purpose and an Ascended the pulpit at the usual time. | issue. Let us suppose him to have had a My text, ' And Pilate said, What is truth? | liberal education, to have ample means at My mind fertile, and expansive.” A simi command, and to value money, not for its lar process, with most of us, would, I own sake, but, as all sensible men do, for think, end in a very different result; but what it may bring. With this capital of even here the treasures, the “goodly wealth, and of wisdom, what market in the pearls" of these " considerable ideas, were world is there to which he may not go, if not found without seeking-earnest, and only he hear that the “ goodly pearls" ar perhaps sorrowful seeking--for when a soul there? Solomon was, in this way, a mer is really travailing in thought, it may do as chant prince, who tried, with but poor sucmuch in one hour as at other times in ten. cess however, all the world's markets in
The kingdom of heaven, then, is “like turn. "I the preacher was king over unto treasure in the market”? Not so. Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart It is the man, the “ merchantman,” the to seek and search out by wisdom concern seeker, and not the treasure, who is the ing all things that are done under besten : central and prominent idea of the parable. this sore travail hath God given to the sons He occupies the foreground in the picture. 1 of man to be exercised therewith.... No simple wayfarer, no poor peasant, no | I made me great works ; I builded me mere lucky finder is he; but “a merchant. houses; I planted me vineyards : I made man." On his face are lines of thought, me gardens and orchards, and I planted and his eye tells of many a care. The ca trees in them of all kind of fruits : I made pital of money and the capital of skill are me pools of water, to water therewith the his; he knows where to seek, and he has wood that bringeth forth trees : I got me wherewithal to buy. But, in the spiritual | servants and maidens, and had servants sense, what is it that he is seeking ? | born in my house ; also I had great pos6 Christ,” we say, perhaps, because we sessions of great and small cattle above all know the sequel, because we know Him who that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered is the sum and substance of all parables. me also silver and gold, and the peculiar Yet not exactly so. What he is seeking is treasure of kings, and of the provinces : 1 happiness, satisfaction, peace, perhaps bless gat me men singers and women singers, edness ; but as yet he does not see, or sees and the delights of the sons of men, as mua but dimly, that this blessedness is to be sical instruments, and that of all sorts. Do found alone in Him who is the “one pearl I was great, and increased more than al of great price.” “ONE pearl ;" the unity that were before me in Jerusalem : also my of the blessedness to be found in the king. wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever dom. Let us not miss this. “ One thing | mine eyes desired I kept not from them, have I desired of the Lord.” « One thing | withheld not my heart from any joy, for is needful.” “One thing I do.” This our | my heart rejoiced in all my labour : 200 merchantman (I speak now in the spiritual this was my portion of all my labour. IDE sense) does not as yet perceive. In many I looked on all the works that my hand sources, rather than in one, he seeks his had wrought, and on the labour that I lisa good ; in streams that branch and wander, | laboured to do: and, behold, all was van! partly muddied with the soil through | and vexation of spirit, and there was which they pass, rather than at the clear | profit under the sun." (Eccl. i. 12, 18:fountain-head, he tries to quench his thirst. 1 4-11.)
in Let us suppose our“ merchantman" to them, and not, like swine, trample them
have an eye for the beautiful in nature and under our feet! in art, and that he is seeking the gratifica
* No lily mufiled hum of a summer bee tion of this as a "goodly pearl.” He has But finds some coupling with the spinning stars ; travelled, let us say. He has seen the Alps, No pebble at your feet but proves a sphere, and the Andes, the icebergs of the Arctic
No chaffinch but implies the cherubim.
Earth's crammed with heaven-
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries !" awe
But yet this seeker feels that in the gra
tification of his taste, however cultivated . “in the continuous woods
and refined, he has not found what satis.. Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound Save his own dashings.”
fies the deeper instincts of his nature.
“He that drinketh of this water shall He has mused over the ruins of the an- | thirst again," and so he finds it. cient world ; temples, palaces, theatres, But the market is not yet exhausted; there hippodromes, he has visited in turn; he are other "goodly pearls,” which may perhas lingered in libraries, museums, gal haps, or so he thinks, suffice. Let us supleries ; architecture, statuary, poetry, paint pose then that our spiritual merchantman, in ing, music, and song, have charmed his addition to this love of the beautiful, is eye, ravished his ear, and enlarged his broadly and deeply conversant with the heart. Something, too, of God, he has seen richest literature. Books, ancient and mo. in all this. Something of the Divine pre dern, are in profusion upon his library sence he has vaguely realised. His moral shelves. Their materials are at his fingers' nature, as well as his intellectual, has been ends ; their authors are to him as familiar touched. The MAN has been benefited. friends loved and cherished. History, This experience which he has brought home poetry, philosophy, are at his command. with him, from the market to which he As to his memory, those who know him
took his capital, is it not a “goodly pearl”? best aver that “the well is deep." It is a To For my part, at least, I think so. I envy very "goodly pearl," this fellowship through
the man who has this appreciation of the books with the great spirits of all time: for : beautiful in nature and in art. I wish I | a little while our seeker thought that here he
could see more of this glorious earth. I | had found his highest good. It has proved a have seen enough to make me wish for dream ; side by side with much joy, in inthat. Now and then, in “the outgoings of crease of knowledge, has come increase of the morning and the evening," I have sorrow. He would not indeed part with found a very “ goodly pearl.” I found what he has, but he finds that it is not one once, in a sunset which I witnessed enough. Neither the pleasures which flow at sea, off the Yorkshire coast, and from a cultivated taste, nor from extensive I have treasured it up till now. Here it reading, can give to man the true blessedis. This sea, this eky, are floor and roof ness. These things, indeed, are not husks of the great cathedral in which our God for swine, but neither are they the true is worshipped. These ships, so solemn bread, on which the soul can live. They are and so stately, and withal so mute, so not of those fetid stagnant pools, of which ghostly in the distance, are reverent wor. some drink and die, but neither are they shippers that slowly, slowly, bow and bend, the pure river of the water of life. This and falter, and trembling wait before the bread and this water come from heaven throne invisible. These fleecy clouds on alone, and there our "merchantınan " has high are the white-robed angels of the not sought as yet. temple's choir; these stars so few, and But now let us suppose, in addidimly seen as yet, are the lamps slowly tion to his being a man of taste, lighting up for “evensong.” Those gorgeous and of letters, that he finds some satisclouds, green and golden, and crimson and faction in schemes of popular philanazure blue, are the painted windows through thropy. In reformatories, in raggedwhich the glorious light is streaming yet, schools, in penitentiaries, in shoe-black streaming and shiminering upon the tesse brigades, he finds his place and his work. lated pavement of the great shining sea! O He is, let us say, a true, and not a mock the world, the world that God has made, is philanthropist-it is not in the mechanism full of “goodly pearls," if we will hot see l of the committee, or the boar that he
takes delight, but in the ends for which in the young ruler with his question to the these things are. One poor outcast, shiver Master, “What good thing must I do to ing beneath the gaslight, thinking of her inherit eternal life?" See it in the de village home, and longing for the means to sponding review of all his efforts—“All drown the thought in the gin-palace, where these things have I kept from my youth her face is so well known; one poor boy, up." "Yet lackest thou one thing;" and ragged, and with sores, and chilblains on that one thing, in brief, and in general, is his feet, moves his compassion, and stirs the entire surrender of the heart to that his energy, as much as secretaries' reports Saviour who has loved us and bought us and speeches at public meetings. This with his own blood, which is only another British philanthropy is a goodly pearl in. way of saying, that the one thing needful deed; but does even it content the mer is this pearl of price; for when we find chantman? Not if he is a high-class mer our Saviour, we lose and find ourselves in chant-not if God's Spirit is striving at all him. Here then is our merchantman with with him. "Striving," I say, for there is these his “ goodly pearls ;" he has taste yet, in this mar, resistance to that blessed and learning, philanthropy and self-culSpirit, that like the wind blows where it ture; he is refined, wise, amiable; who lists, and that would, if he would only yield does not honour him, love him? He is all to it, lead him at once to the highest good, that one could wish except * * * alas, the pearl of greatest price, but that yet that great exception! He is, after all, only patiently bears with him, and in all his de “almost a Christian.” But God has been vious way forsakes him not. Once more very patient with him, is patient still, and then, let us say, the market of these goodly now the conviction is forcing itself upon pearls is not yet exhausted. Added to all him, that there is, within him, a deeper that we have named, there is one that need than he had allowed, a higher good we will call “Self-Culture,” culture in the than he had aimed at ; that deeper need moral sense, I mean. The man seek is in the sinfulness of his soul, which now ing for happiness, has found out this, he feels ; that highest good is in the Christ or so he thinks, that the secret, after all, of God,“in whom we have the forgiveness is within himself; he must moderate his of sins, even redemption through his blood." desires; he must subdue his temper; he In him he now finds the true blessed. must overcome his selfishness; and then ness—its centre and its unity : compared he will be happy. Suppose him to have with this “one pearl," all others that he succeeded in this, at least in part, as some has gotten are as nothing; and that he do succeed, and put to the blush others may possess it he will part with all the who, with larger professions, and clearer rest. Yet not so part with them as to lose views of Christian doctrine, have not vet their value, but only to find their several s put off the old man with his deeds." and divided worth united in Him, who Suppose him, I say, to have succeeded in gathers up all good within himself. In this, is he at rest ? In all his seeking has Him, and from Him, are all beauty, all wishe found enough ? Not yet; for he has dom, all philanthropy, all morality; and not yet found the blessedness of " the man to Him, because they are his own, let us to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.” | bring all our gifts="gold, and frankinNeed we go far for our illustration ?-see it , cense, and myrrh."
THE TRUE WISDOM.
BY THE REV. SAMUEL DAVIES. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."-JAMES Üï. 17.
Two elements have from the time of man's fall struggled in the world for the mastery. Though opposite in their nature, they pass under the same denomination-wisdom. But the one wisdom is the offspring of falsehood; it is the