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of “ A CITY THAT HATI FOUNDATIONS." There are some cities whose foundations are only the relics and the evidences of their fugitive existence. Beneath our feet in London are the foundations of ancient cities that vanished from the surface of the earth long, long ago. Twenty feet below the roadway in the streets around the Royal Exchange, excavators come upon the traces and burnt relics of the original cettlers in the British Isles. A little above them are the widespread ruins of the Roman London,-walls, villas, pavements, pottery, eoins. On the site of St. Paul's Cathedral Sir Christopher Wren found the solid bases cf Diana's Temple, that once stood on that central elevation, when the northern hills of Highgate and Hampstead were overgrown with the primevali forest, and traversed by the rushing old world streams. Above the Roman city lie the ruins of Saxon architecture-mostly the newly-arranged materials of the Imperial age--heaps of Saxon dust and rubbish, and the broken earthenware of centuries. Upon these are Norman foundations—the substructures of old abbeys, castles, towers, and rows of houses, the London of the dark ages. And above these are the roots of the modern city, the mingled remains of many generations who built houses that soon crumbled into rubbish to serve as the higher level of another foundation. Thus, great ages of time, great floods, great fires, hare carried off no man can say how many old Londons, and made way for the present million-peopled city, with its lath and plaster habitations, destined, for the most part, to a speedy departure in like manner. If the same person could have lived through all those ages-suppose in the neighbourhood of London Stone, sole relic of antiquity above ground, the first milestone of the Romans—what a succession of races, of faces, of customs, of clothing, and modes of life, would he have beheld; nothing continuing in one stay; the countless millions who have inhabited this spot through so many centuries, and drank of the perennial fountains, vainly struggling by their industry against that fate which destined them : all to speedy dust and nothingness along with the works of their hands, and the very monuments which they reared as a breakwater against the ocean of obli. vion. What a strange and almost endless procession of shadows and phantoms would such an observer have seen passing during those 2,000 years along Cheapside to the grave; for it is the grave that has here swallowed up so many succesgive cities and so many men, and whose ravenous mouth is still enlarged to swal. low this mighty and magnificent metropolis, that shines so gloriously for & little moment over its tomb.
This warning meets us everywhere. “ BUT FOR A MOMENT” is engraven by “ decay's effacing finger” across every triumphal inscription. “NO CONTINUING CITY” is written in pale letters beneath every direction at the corneria of every street. After twenty years, when you revisit the home of your childhood, nearly always the old inhabitants are gone. It is the same in the circle of your familiar acquaintance. The other day you and your friend were boys together at school, playing at cricket, and wondering after what seemingly endlegs lapse of years you would reach that paradise of manhood when you would say be under tutors and governors no longer. Now you have become “two bands," you are both the heads of houses, and feel some signs of middle life and declining force upon you. The brown or black hair is streaked with gray; and the men whose hair was beginning to be gray then, have white hair now, and have sensibly drifted into old age; and we know that we are all travelling much faster than children can be made to believe quite away on a longer and more mysterious journey than any of us have taken heretofore.
Thus everything around is part of a series of dissolving views thrown on to that curtain of Time which conceals Eternity-gilded shadows that conceal Reality beyond them. How is it that we have so much of the hearts of ephemeral insects, fastening upon that which, whether for joy or sorrow, is “but for a moment”?
By the power of God the Church has been “caught up," like John, the apostle, to an “ exceeding high mountain,” thence to behold that dazzling picture of the celestial Jerusalem which the Spirit of Inspiration has thrown for
ward into the darkness of Eternity. Is it not a statement that swallows up all = our power of wondering, that in Christ God has “ prepared for us” an ETERNAL
habitation-an absolutely unchangeable home-a life that runs forward into a futurity where all arithmetic fails to follow or to define its duration—a true like
ness of the life of “ the King Eternal, Incorruptible, Unseen”? Yes, we have I been made partakers of the “ Divine nature, and everything on which God
lays his hand on high is fixed in immortality! This destiny of ours has its roots in the past eternity of God, in the gracious nature of the Necessary Being, in the firm resolves of Him who “setteth fast the mountains, being girded with power.” Some of God's purposes terminate in time, others extend through the whole infinite futurity. And this is the chief, to found a human society indissoluble as
the essence of the Godhead. We have been “ chosen together in Christ,” as :"members of a body.” The immortal individual life is conjoined in nearest
union with the life of the whole community, as that again is conjoined with the
supernatural, eternal life of God. Everything relating to our salvation springs - from and looks towards Eternity. It is by the incarnation of the ETERNAL
WORD that atonement is accomplished. It is by the indwelling of the ETERNAL SPIRIT that each regenerate soul is immortalised in glory. And the issue is a settlement in the centre of the universe, in the abode and embrace of the KING ETERNAL.
Think, then, of our prospects of personal and social development in that unlimited future. There is growth everywhere in creation. And will there not - be growth there? This world has grown through many forms into its present
state. All life on earth advances. And life will grow on for ever in heaven. It cannot be that only there this advance will be arrested. Every analogy favours the belief of a ceaseless expansion in the sphere of individual being and power. There will be an unending progress in all intellectual faculties, in observation, in insight, in memory, in reason, in poetic power, in knowledge. Here we forget sweet music, or tantalize ourselves with the vanishing reminiscences of former delights ; but is it too much to believe that in heaven the memory will ever add rapture to the present by the vivid recollection of previous joy? Is it too much to believe that the spirit, “ excelling in strength,” will carry along with it into the future the bright impression of every former heaven that has been “rolled together as a scroll”? Or that the mind will be ravished by a knowledge which never fades away, and the experience of a past which seems to be ever near? What may not a human soul grow into under the education of the Almighty ? Into what an august intelligence may not this now glimmering “ candle of the Lord” be developed in that distant eternity--a Sun that shall lighten systems with its glory ? With an eye which shall be more than all earthly microscopes and telescopes in its penetrating vision, and a reason that grapples with the hardest problems of nature, what may not the mind of man become as God gradually trains it for companionship with that “ Understanding which is Infinite"? Depths there will always be which no created line will fathom-darkness into which no mind can reach but that Spirit who “ searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God;” but on every side, into the heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths, of nature and of God, the human spirit will be pressing forward for ever, “ for the Lord hath spoken it."
What prospects of friendship! Here on earth true, intimate, unchanging friendship is somewhat rare. Souls are too angular to fit perfectly together, and the mortar of common life is little adapted to fill up and to cement the interstices. Material elements unite more frequently and more closely than spiritual. Not many are wise or good enough for the closest communion. Solid friendships grow almost as slowly as the cedars. Life, too, presents many hindrances. Distance and time often sunder old affections. Removal dissolves alliances which frequent intercourse once rendered strictly confidential. Fresh attractions precipitate old combinations. Death cuts with his all-conquering sword the closest knot of love; so that spiritual communion below partakes of the fragility and vanity of all things mortal. But there each soul, transparent" as the body of heaven in clearn289," will possess the capacity for immortal love; i and the more it loves God, the more it will be brought into union with all! spirits who love him-a union that shall be dissolved nevermore. The seal of na the living God will be affixed to the covenants that bind in endless affection congenial hearts. Here we talk of old friends of twenty, thirty, or fifty years' standing. But think of old friendships which have lasted through myriads of millenniums, tbrough whole cycles of creation, through the history of firmaments whose stars have faded and gone out-yet left these everlasting affections fresh, these covenants unbroken, these kind designs and indissoluble sympathies ready for an incessant journey into that futurity which has neither an horizon nor & shore! Now there is nothing sweeter than a “ marriage made in heaven," or a friendship whose motto is “ Immanuel,” GOD WITH us—a love that embosomsko itself in perfect confidence, and relies on a tenderness that is divinely surea love ! founded on intelligence, or a common delight in what is holy, beautiful, and pure. Then what happiness is in reserve beyond, in that state where the raptures of earthly affection will find their antitype in the ravishments of heaven; where the celestial bosts are bound together “ in broad phalanx, lovelier than the rain. bow," by the discipline of a perfect sympathy, and the mighty bond of an indwelling God!
Lastly, what prospects of happy service! If the question had been proposed to us before the creation, How to provide employment on earth for so many millions of mankind ? we should have been unable to devise an answer. But we sa see the question answered before our eyes. Thus, too, in attempting to con- s ceive of the employments of heaven, “ we know not what we shall be." All we know is that there will be work. “They shall serve Him day and night in his : temple.” And this work will be endless. It may be work for inferior, for equal, for superior races, works of government, works of education, works of associated labour. He who placed Adam in a garden to dress it and to keep it, who gare Noah his charge to build and to store the ark, who gave Abraham his law to command his household after him, who appointed Moses to lead and legislate for an entire nation, who directed his priests a temple-service to manage and attend, who gave to his Son a “ work to finish,” and to his Church ever since a diversity of operations and a complicated system of ministries to discharge for the common good-this God will devise various services, demanding forethought, atten. tion, strength, skill, faithful stewardship, and will unfold dispensations of work ; extending through eternity. Then what a sum of labour will be accomplished by a Christian in the course of an endless duration! What vast achievements must be in store for every inhabitant of the eternal city! And who can meditate upon the prospect of labour there, without feeling the heart burn with the fire of “ a joy unspeakable and full of glory!”
Let us labour, then, to enter into that rest, which is work without weariness, lest any one fall through unbelief. The eternal Heaven is reserved for those alone who are influenced to self-denial, like Abraham, by faith in the eternal here.
(Concluded from page 8.) "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your Life.”
- Matthew vi. 24, 25. : II. And now, in the second place, there | within the narrow sphere and horizon of
is here another general line of consider the visible. Where a Christian is living Eations tending to dispel all anxious care in the foreboding, day by day, of some
the thought that IT IS CONTRARY TO ALL earthly sorrow to come down upon him, - THE LESSONS OF RELIGION, OR REVELA- | and is feeling as if there could nothing - TION, WHICH SHOW IT TO BE HEATHENISH. survive if once that was swept away, is it
There are three clauses : “ After all these not, in the very root of it, idolatry ? is it things do the Gentiles seek ;" “ Your | not, in the very root of it, worldly-mindedheavenly Father knoweth that ye have need ness ? is it not clean contrary to all our of all these things ;” “ Seek ye first the profession that for us “ there is none kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and upon earth that we desire besides Thee"? all these things shall be added unto you.” Anxious care resta upon a basis of heathen The first contains the principle, that solici worldly-mindedness. tude for the future is, after all, but another Anxious care rests upon a basis, too, of form of heaping up earthly treasures, heathen misunderstanding of the character Earthly care and earthly covetousness are the of God. "Your heavenly Father knoweth same plant, only the one is growing in the that ye hare need of all these things." The tropics of sunny prosperity, and the other heathen thought of God is, either, that he is in the arctic zone of chill penury. The one yonder, far remote from our perplexities, is the sin of the worldly-minded rich man, I ignorant of our struggles ; or, that, knowing the other is the sin of the worldly-minded them, he is unsympathising with them. poor man. The character is the same The Christian has the double armour turned inside out! And so, if you observe, against anxiety-the name of the Father, the words, “Ye cannot serve God and Mam and the conviction that the Fathor's knowmon,” stand in this chapter in the centre, ledge is co-extensive with the Father's love, between our Lord's warning against laying and that He who calls us his children up treasures on earth, and his warnings thoroughly understands what his children against being full of cares for earth. He want. And so, anxiety is contrary to the would show us thereby that these two | Christian principle, which says, Our Father apparently opposite states of mind in is the name of God; and our Father inreality spring from one root, and are tensely cares for us, and lovingly does all equally, though differently, “serving Mam things for us. mon.' We do not sufficiently reflect upon And then, still further, Christ points out that. We say--This intense solicitude of here, not only what is the real root of all ours is a matter of temperament. So it is : this solicitous care-something very like but the Gospel was sent to cure worldly worldly - mindedness, heathen worldlytemperaments.
mindedness ; but he points out what is But, the reason why, and the sole reason the one counterpoise of it-" Seek first the why, we are troubled and careful about the kingdom of God.” It is of no use telling things of this life, lies here—that our men that they ought to trust, that the hearts have got an earthly direction, our birds of the air might teach them to trust, minds an earthly tendency; that we are at | that the flowers of the field might preach bottom heathenish in our lives, in our resignation and confidence to them. It wishes, and in our desires. It is the very is no use scolding them into reliance, by characteristic of the Gentile (that is to say, | telling them that the contrary thing is of the heathen) that earth should bound heathenish. You must fill the heart with his horizon. It is the very characteristic a supreme and tra lscendent desire after the of the worldly man that all his anxieties on One supreme object; and then there will be the one hand, and all his joys on the other, no room and leisure left for the ansious should be “cribbed, cabined, and confined" | care after the lesser. Have inwrought into your being, Christian man, the opposite of your fortifying of the castle of your life, that heathen over-regard for earthly things! there will be some little postern left un“Seek first the kingdom of God." Let all guarded, some little weak place in the wall your spirit be stretching itself out towards left uncommanded by a battery; and there, that divine and blessed reality of being a where you never looked for him, the inevisubject of that kingdom, and a possessor of table invader will come in! After all the that righteousness; and “the cares that plunging of the hero in the fabled waters infest the day" shall steal away from out of That made him invulnerable, there was the the sacred pavilion and closed tabernacle little spot on the heel, and the arrow found of your believing spirit. Fill your heart its way there! There is nothing certain to with desires after what is worthy of desire; | happen, says the proverb, but the unforeand the greater having rushed in, all lesser seen! To-morrow will have its cares, spite objects will rank themselves in the right | of anything that anxiety and foreboding place, and the “ glory that excelleth” will can do. It is God's law of providence that outshine the seducing brightness of the a man shall be disciplined by sorrow; and paltry present. On! it is want of love, it to try to escape from that law by any foreko is want of faith, it is want of earnest desire, casting prudence, is utterly hopeless, and it is want of firm conviction that God, God madness. And what does your anxiety do? alone, God by himself, is enough for me, It does not empty to-morrow, brother, of its that makes me careful and troubled. And sorrows; but, ah! it empties to-day of its therefore, if I only can attain unto that strength. It does not make you escape the sublime and calm height of perfect convic evil ; it makes you unfit to cope with it tion, that he is for me sufficient, that he is when it comes. It does not bless to-morwith me for ever, that he is the satisfying row; and it robs to-day. For every day has object of my desire and the glorious reward its own burden. We have always strength to of my searchings,-let life and death come, bear the evil when it comes. We have not as they may; let riches, poverty, health, strength to bear the foreboding of it. “As sickness, all the antitheses of human cir- | thy day, thy strength shall be.” In strict cumstances, storm down upon me in quick proportion to the existing exigencies will alternation, yet in them all I shall be con be the God-given power ; but if you cram, tent, placid, and peaceful, because God is and condense to-day's sorrows by expe- . beside me! You cannot cast out the sin of rience, and to-morrow's sorrows by anticiforeboding thoughts by anything short of pation, into the narrow round of the one the entrance of Christ and his love, and of four-and-twenty hours, there is no promise the blessings of faith and felt communion ! that as that day thy strength shall be!
III. One word about the last general God gives us (his name be praised !)—God rubric under which Christ here deals with gives us power to bear all the sorrows of this subject. He tells us that thought for the his making ; but he does not give us power morrow is CONTRARY TO ALL THE SCHEME to bear the sorrows of our own making, OF PROVIDENCE, WHICH SHOWS IT TO BE which the anticipation of sorrow most VAIN. “The morrow shall take thought for assuredly is. the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day Oh, then--contrary to the lessons of is the evil thereof." I interpret these two Nature, contrary to the teachings of Reli. clauses as meaning this : To-morrow has gion, contrary to the scheme of Providence; anxieties enough of its own, after and in weakening your strength, distracting your spite of all the anxieties about it to-day by mind, sucking the sunshine out of erery : which you try to free it from care. Every landscape, and casting a shadow over all, day-every day will have its evil, have it to the beauty-the curse of our lives is that the end ; and every day will have evil forecasting, heathenish, blind, useless, faith. I. enough for all the strength that a man has | less, needless sorrow in which we do in: 1. to cope with it. So that it just comes to dulge. Look forward, my brother, for God this : Anxiety,-it is all vain. After all has given you that royal and wonderful your careful watching for the corner of the | gift of dwelling in the future, and bringing ! heaven where the cloud is to come from, | all its glories around your present! Look there will be a cloud, and it will rise some forward: but not for life, but for heaven ; where, but you never know in what not for food and raiment, but for the quarter. “The morrow shall take thought righteousness wherefore it is blessed to for the things of itself. Sufficient unto hunger and thirst, and wherewith it is the day is the evil thereof.” After all 'blessed to be clothed. Not for earth, but