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the interest of the servants of the Redeemer. 1 which shall clothe with spiritual verdure There are in our congregations young per- | and fertility the arid wastes of this sile sons trembling on the verge of decision blighted world." The attitude it presents for God, but held back by the thraldom of the appeal it addresses, to those without, some fear, or by the bonds of some tempta should be that of the great Hebrew lax. tion, from which the word of friendly coun giver, when, casting his eye over the ou! sel might help them to shake themselves stretched encampment of the chosen peope, loose. There are spirits heavy with un and pointing in the direction of the pro spoken anxieties and keen convictions of mised land, he turned to the friend. sin, which they perhaps would unbosom in / about to leave them, and said, response to the voice of sympathy, and
journeying to the place of which the Lord, which they might thus be led to cast upon said, I will give it to you: come thou v the great Burden-bearer. There are others us, and we will do thee good : for the Lor in whose hearts the truth of God has roused hath spoken good concerning Israel. deep and unwonted emotions, who might
this great purpose of the existence of be taken by the hand and drawn aside, be
Church is to be accomplished, not mere. fore those emotions have been quenched by by its public exercise,—the “calling of a the cold contact of the world, and so won
semblies,” the “solemn meeting," the statei to thoughtfulness and prayer, which might,
and official proclamation of the Gospel;-, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit, ripen but by the diligent and prayerful into real consecration to God. There are
the individual members of the Church.si secret disciples, whom timidity orself-distrust
is the activity of individuals which makes detains from the profession of their love to
up the efficiency of the body. Every Care the Saviour, who might perhaps be per
tian should feel himself personally suma suaded by the tone of hearty invitation to cast
moned to this work of the Lord. Not upon asido their reserve, and to“ follow the Lord
the Church in some indefinite corporais wholly." Have we sought as we should for
capacity,-not alone upon those w cases such as these, or been prompt to
specially set apart to the ministry of administer to them when they have
word,—but upon each servant of C'arist fallen beneath our notice ? Have we not
his own measure and sphere, the 1 here also too much overlooked the oppor
of the ascending Redeemer presses tunities of usefulness placed right in our
its weight of obligation, “Goye, and pro path by Him who has bidden us to “occupy the Gospel to every creature. till he come”?
instinctive and irrepressible, P It can scarcely be needful to sustain by the holy joy of personal formal argument the appeal involved in the
God, should be that whose utterance mer facts we have mentioned and the questions
the dawn of returning hope and pede we have urged. Else we might remind you the soul of the royal penitent, of the ulterior purpose of the Redeemer !
me the joy of thy salvation, and in the institution of his Church. That wit Church was not intended by its Divine transgressors thy ways, and Founder to be a self-contained, exclusive converted unto thee. corporation, holding the blessings of salvation, by some charter of monopoly, for its own especial enjoyment; but to be a band of consecrated heralds, and anointed almoners, publishing the glorious tidings, and special claim aris and dispensing the rich provision, of God's free redemption, to all the needy and abject sons of men. It was never designed, in the vigorous phrase of a living preacher,
it implies, will not be gainsarea “to be a mere collection of specimens of saved souls; but to be itself the grand instrument, in the hand of the Holy Spirit, for saving the souls of others. is to diffuse, not to imprison, the light of
Its purpose truth ;--not to detain the water of life, uselessly pent up as in an idle reservoir, but to
"Like & cirolo lead it forth in fresh and flowing streams, | Till, by broad spree
Which never ceaset
sphere, the mandate ner presses with
, and presch
Joy of personal reconciliation with
I the royal penitent," Restore ur's
hy salvation, and uphold me free spirit; then will I tenet
hy wars, and sinners shell de /?
world ; they have the furt di
lation to yours
t those on whose behalf we are par with you now, have not only this claro necessity in common with the rest di w unconverted world; they have the
ising out of their lon to yourselves. The reality o!!! relation, and the validity of the claim WEST
's, will not be gainsayed by anyth generous heart. Such considerations be be beneath the lofty notice of that el vaunted philanthropy which talks 90 L that it has no time for action; whose pathies are so diffusive that no oneerer le
e & cirolo on the water,
-- which overlooks the near in its anxiety | friends are chiefly selected. Some of them to reach the distant, and neglects the indi are members of your own families—or vidual in its ambition to embrace the mass; are your “ brethren, your kinsmen, accord-which contrives at once to gratify its emo ing to the flesh.” Others, it may be, are tions of benevolence, and to save itself the employed by you in the business of life, or expense of effort or the shock of disgust, are inmates of your homes in the capacity of by sitting at home to weep over afflictions servants,-associations the religious opporwhich it can never assuage, while it leaves tunities and responsibilities of which we the tear undried upon the cheek, and the fear Christian heads of houses too often wound untended in the heart, of sorrow fail adequately to appreciate. Surely, then, close by its own door. This, however, we those who are thus brought into contact scarce need say, is not Christian sympathy, with you amidst the sacred scenes of the but a sickly and romantic sentimentalism, sanctuary, have a claim upon your inforging the name, and aping the mien of terest and care, which you cannot justithat modest and benignant grace. The com fiably slight or treat as secondary. It is passion which the Gospel inspires, while the first of those which appeal to you it aims to reduce to practice the largest from beyond the precincts of your own visions of these philanthropic dreamers, home. These persons are placed by Proseeks to accomplish that object by caring vidence within the reach of your influence; for those cases of personal need, and seizing you have opportunities of doing good to those opportunities of doing good on the them which you cannot possess in regard
smaller scale, which they, in their sublime to any class beside; and opportunity is ever - comprehensiveness, despise and neglect. It the key to duty. They have been led by the will not be satisfied, indeed, till it has shed great Director of all our footsteps, to that its blessings over the whole family of man ; house of God, not only that they may come but it advances to that consummation by beneath the sound of the preacher's voice, endeavouring to bless the individuals of but that they may be brought within the which that family is composed. Its circum range of the sympathy, the labours, and ference is the orb of the round world, but the prayers, of the Christians who assemble the centre from which it works is home. there. Do not put from you, brethren, Like every other element, in short, of that the work which your Master thus lays becharacter which the Gospel is designed to fore you. Do not, in seeking a wider produce in him who receives it, true Chris. sphere of usefulness, neglect the narrower tian sympathy finds its perfect model, its but not less momentous one to which you loftiest expression, in Ilim, who, while his are thus called. The man who, while he heart was set upon the work, and his soul makes himself busy as a public benefactor, bowed down beneath the burden, of a leaves his own home to misgovernment and world's redemption, had yet a ready ear for neglect, is justly charged with belying his the cry of the blind beggar by the wayside, professions by his deeds. And, similarly, 1 healing word for him who had lingered the devotion of thought and effort, on the long and vainly by the pool of Bethesda, part of Christians, to the promotion of the
tear of tenderest pity, and a miracle of interests of those who lie scattered widely 'estoring power, for those who wept over a around them, while they forget to care for rother's grave.
the welfare of those who worship with To return, however, from too long a 1 them, seems to us, to say the least, a very ligression. Those who compose our several | questionable postponement of the nearer ongregations do stand in a real relation and more pressing claim to one more reo the members of the churches with mote. We would cast no slight, dear vhich those congregations are respectively friends, upon the wider exercises of Chrisonnected. Frequenting at stated seasons tian benevolence, whether they aim at gahe same house of prayer; known, as the '| thering in the outcasts of our own land, or esult of this, to you by sight; thrown seek to carry the “glorious Gospel of the ecessarily into more or less frequent in- | Blessed God” to those who, in the dark rcourse with you; listening, Sabbath places of the earth, are being “destroyed fter Sabbath, to the same truths from for lack of knowledge.” We rejoice unhe same lips ;--there are a hundred ties feignedly in the extension of such efforts in etween them and you, a hundred sub
our day, and would gladly see Christians cts of thought and interest common to engaging in them more largely and heartily oth. It is from among them that your l than they do. But the two interests need
not clash ; they sliould rather be esteemed ! rial support of our religious institutions as essentially harmonious, if not identical. derived from the members of our congrega. There is no incompatibility between the tions. To them we look for assistance in sus: earnest prosecution of these broader paths taining the ministry, and indeed the of sacred enterprise, and the diligent culti machinery of the Church. This condition vation of those quieter home-fields to which of things is clearly inevitable. How far it we are seeking to direct your attention. is altogether healthy,-how far the intiluNay, the two will generally be found to ence in the affairs of our Christian societies gether. The man who evinces but slight with which it necessarily invests persons concern for the welfare of those nearest to not themselves members of those societies, him, is not the man who will render to the is in the highest sense beneficial, either to more wide-spread operations of our Mis. the churches or to the individuals con; sionary Societies, whether Home or Foreign, cerned,- is a question the discussion of the most cordial and efficient aid ; while, which, though perhaps not irrelevant to on the other band, he whose co-operation
i our general theme, would lead us too far is most truly valuable in these provinces of away from the special topic on v evangelical effort, is he who will be found, 1 are striving to fasten your attention. if followed home, to be laboriously, though certainly, the fact to which we have thus unostentatiously, availing himself of those alluded does constitute another bond opportunities of usefulness, which, in the
relationship between the Church and buc arrangements of Providence, attend the
congregation,-does furnish another reason path of his daily life.
why we should use every effort, that those There is one further consideration to | by the contribution of whose which we may advert in passing, as i things” the ordinances of God's strengthening the plea we are just now so largely maintained, may,, urging. A large proportion of the mate- | made partakers of our "spiritua
• (To be continued.)
THE SIGNALS OF
trembled, as we listened to the
THE RED AND THE WHITE FLAG; OR, THE SIGNE
DANGER AND OF SAFETY.
BY THE REV. C. ELVEN. Our ears have tingied, and our hearts have trembled, as we lis appalling intelligence of the late fatal collisions on our railroads...
We cannot contemplate the awful crash which precipitates im prepared or unprepared, to their eternal destiny; the broken limbs, bodies, and the excruciating suffering of the wounded; the piero heart-anguish, and the desolate homes of the bereaved, but with et utterable sorrow; and it is but a poor relief to be told that such le ties may result from a disregard of the SIGNALS.
It has occurred to us, however, that we might improve ti suggestive of some salutary cautions to Christian travellers might come journey to their heavenly home; that so “out of the eater the forth meat, and out of the strong there might come forth sweet
Now, we propose first to hoist some danger signals,--if, pera warn our Christian readers of the perils of the line. And we be of our youthful travellers, with this :--" MARRY ONLY IN THI vii. 3, 9).
Oh! what heart-melting tales we could relate of Christian Christian usefulness, crushed through a disregard of this red 'applain it away is,-so plain that he that runneth may read it, -no sophistry and those who will dare, in spite of it, and contrary to it, to
ecipitates immortal souls, broken limbs, the lacerated
"; the piercing cries, the ved, but with emotions of un: e told that such fearful calami.
might improve the occurrences as
travellers on their spiritual
gnals-if, peradventure, we mar
And we begin, for the sake ONLY IN THE LORD” (1 Cor. elate of Christian character and
a of this red signal. There it 10 sophistry can explain it away: arg to it, to enter the tunnel oí
life, will not, when the calamity comes, have to attribute it to the indistinctness of the caution. It is as plain as “ Thou shalt not steal;” and as criminal to violate it. The first acts of moral degeneration in the old world were unequal marriages—"The sons of God saw the daughters of men,” &c. (Gen. vi. 2). Hence the injunction, “Marry not thy son to a Canaanite's daughter; for she will turn away his heart from following the Lord” (Deut. vii. 4). It was Jezebel that stirred up Ahab to deeds of wickedness, which otherwise he would never have perpetrated. Samson the strong, and Solomon the wise, were both beguiled by their ungodly wives ; and who art thou, young Christian, that thou shouldst be stronger than the one, or wiser than the other?
The celebrated William Huntingdon, having received a letter from a female member of his church, attempting by various specious arguments to excuse her acquaintance with an unconverted young man, the stern pastor replied in the following strain :--"I received yours, and read it with indignation. There are but two families in the world, the children of God, and the children of the devil. If, therefore, a child of God marry a son of Belial, she makes herself daughter-in-law to the devil. You say he is a person of great property,—this springs from the cursed root of covetousness; you say, also, he is so charming a youth,-as for his beauty, however, remember it is but skin deep, and lies at the mercy of a fall or a fever. But you say, also, “he is such a hopeful character, you verily believe he will be converted to God. Yes! a likely matter, that God should convert a man to satisfy your carnal desires, and nurse you up in your rebellion against his word. But if you are determined to rush headlong into this forbidden path, you will assuredly find the way of transgressors is hard !"
He would, doubtless, have replied to a young man in the same strain; there. fore, to young men and maidens, we also hoist the signal, “ Marry only in the Lord.”
Another danger-signal we would raise to all professors of religion is, “ TAKE HEED AND BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS” (Luke xii. 15).
It is a fact to be seriously considered by all who bear the name of Christ, that, of all the sins of which the children of God have been charged in the Bible, not one was ever taxed with the sin of covetousness; and it is not because the Holy Spirit had spared any sin in the Church-Noah, Lot, David, and Peter have no cloak of false delicacy cast over their sing-80 that covetousness, till in these degenerate days, seems to have been a sin not so much as mentioned among the saints. It were difficult to define this dangerous sin,-it is so concealed under the garb of prudence, economy, carefulness, and providing for the future. Oh, how true it is, that “ the love of money is the root of all evil”! How well our dear old Bunyan describes Demas, with his muckrake, disregarding the celestial crown over his head, for he could look no way but downwards, to rake up the straws and sticks and dust off the floor! And well did Christian thus address him : "I know you, Demas ; Gehazi was your great-grandfather, and Judas your father, and you have trod in their sleps; thy father was hanged for a traitor, and thou deservest no better reward.' Then said Christiana, o deliver me from this muck-rake; give me neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with food convenient for me.' That prayer,' said the Interpreter, ‘has lain by till it is almost rusty.' With that the pilgrims wept, and said, “ Alas! it is too true.'” And may not the same lamentation be taken up in the present day? Why are the sick and poor of the flock so neglected? Why are the wheels of the missionary train so retarded? Why is the Spirit grieved ? Verily, by the “ love of money.” O see to it, young Christian, before this evil gets rooted in your heart which will eat as dorh a canker; see to it that you“ devise liberal things, and by liberal things ye shall stand.” Be not as a barren rock in the midst of God's vineyard, the grave of all his blessings and the dispenser of none ; but rather be a fruitful hill, receiving gratefully the dews and showers from above, and retaining only what is sufficient for your own necessities; send the remainder in generous streams to bless and fructify all around and beneath you !
Another signal we would hoist for your warning is this, “ MIND NOT HIGH THINGS” (Rom. xii. 16).
By this we would fain caution you, especially in the early stages of your Christian journey, against a controversial and speculative spirit. We have known many young persons, who have seemed to start well and safe enough, and to run well for a time, till they had become “wise in their own conceit," and long before their judgments were well informed as to the first principles of the oracles of God, rushing on without regarding the signal; they have been soaring among the decrees of God, and, failing in the attempt to reconcile the Divine Sovereignty with human responsibility, they hare ignored the latter, denounced the ministers who were their spirituai fathers a3 blind and legal guides, and at length have fallen from their steadfastness, not only in truth, but in practice. It was a device of Satan to take our Lord to "an exceeding high mountain,”-yea, more, to set him on a pinnacle of the temple, —though that was but a poor elevation to Him whose “throne is in the heavens." But when we permit the subtle enemy to place us on the pinnacles of airy notions, we shall find it difficult to maintain our standing there, and our indulgence in these things too high for us may end in a fall to the breaking of our bones.
The way of salvation is well symbolised by Jacob's ladder, whereon the saints ascend to heaven; but they must begin at the foot of the ladder, the first round of which is conversion, and the top one is election ; therefore we are expected to make our calling and election sure. Thus you perceive we are not of those who discard what are truly designated the doctrines of grace, any more than the duties of grace; but we would caution you against inverting their order, and affectionately entreat you to guard against the pride of knowledge, which begeta an unsanctified curiosity. Where God is silent, we should acquiesce. Where he has shut the door, we must not attempt to force it open, for by so doing we shall only “ darken counsel by words without knowledge.”
Here is another caution signal, “ AVOID THE APPEARANCE OF EVIL."
We have thought there must have been great recklessness in connection with the sad calamities that have suggested these reflections; and that instead of the utmost caution, there has been a venturesome daring, as if to show how near the precipice of ruin the trains could be impelled without actual destruction, both as to the speed of the locomotives and the quick succession in which they were allowed to follow ; the consequence of which has been death, suffering, and wide. spread gorrow. We, therefore, cry, Beware! do not seek to discover the narros line which separates the Church from the world, consistency from inconsistency. Do not play with the fire, lest you be consumed. Do not venture to the mouth of the pit, much less—as some have seemed to do—try how far you may lean orer without losing your balance. Rather watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. It is not safe to bring gunpowder within the fall of even a spark. but on the first intimation of approaching evil to say, with Joseph, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" An old writer proposes three questions to be put to ourselves in any matter of conduct where there is the veriest shadow of a doubt as to its propriety. Is it lauful? Have I a Bible warrant for it? Is it expedient? For if it is personally and abstractedly lawful, it may be relatively inexpedient on account of its influence on others. Is it becoming? that is, is it becoming me as a Christian ?. Would Christ do it were he upon earth! That will be a good and true touchstone of Christian conduct. We should then have no dangerous collisions with the world; no falling from the embankment of presumption, or ruin in the dark tunnel of disobediease.