Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

SACRED POETRY.

THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES.

And God the Judge; and Him who stands

Surety of mercy's plan;
And blood than Abel's, which demands

More peaceful things for man.
Refuse not Him that speaks from high;

For if he spared not them
Who turn'd from a terrestrial cry,

Would He not us condemn?
O let us our's a kingdom sure-

Service our God will own,
Present, with fear and reverence pure,

Before his flaming throne!

Do they, indeed, surround our path, the high,
The holy ones, the spirits whom we call
Departed, are they often by our side,
At golden morn, or in the still, deep night!
They who have wash'd their robes, once all impure,
White in atoning blood, who walk on high
The sapphire streets of heaven, and with sweet voices
Join in celestial song-do they come down,
From thrones and palaces of light, to linger
Invisibie, 'mid scenes of former love?
Or from celestial bills look down to view
The homes that once were theirs' of this dim earth ?
Yes; they do mark our footsteps, as we glide
On to their happy bowers, oh! when we turn,
And look with eyes of fondness on the world --
The world of vanity--they pity us,
And wonder how we can, how once they could,
Bestow such love on its poor transient shades!
Perchance into our softening hearts they whisper
Some tale of real joy, or picture fair,
To our minds' eye, some scene of other lands,
To win us back to heaven; and then their task,
Their holy task, fulfilled, they spread their wings,
And, swifter than a sunbeam, dart again
Up to its blessed shores. But when they mark
The beings whom they loved as their own souls,
With steady foot, and heavenward gazing eve,
Their upward course pursuing, gladness thrills
Even through their happy bosoms.

Not alone
Do human spirits hover round this earth,
Angelic creatures, all unseen, are walking
Amid our dwellings oft; their holy footsteps
From many a peril guard us, and their eyes
Behold our conduct. Oh! how strange they think it
That beings, with immortal souls like ours,
Should idly waste their energies sublime
On poorest trifles, and forget the prize
Of everlasting joy, to hunt some bauble,
Some very vanity! How they admire
The riches of that wisdom infinite,
And boundless love, that at so high a cost
Reclaimed such wretched creatures from their choice,
And freely gave them holiness and heaven!
But think, my soul, of Him, that higher witness,
Who ever compasseth thy path, whose eye
Surveys thine inmost thoughts, and penetrates
The dark recesses of thy deepest heart,
Thy Saviour and thy Judge ! Oh let his presence
Dwell on thy ever, ever wakeful consciousness!

MISCELLANEOUS. Consistency commands Respect.-William Bedell, Bishop of Kilmore in Ireland, was one of the most celebrated men in that country in the seventeenth century. The blameless character of his deportment corresponded with his piety, and his diligence in the discharge of the functions of his office was equalled by his general benevolence. When the rebellion broke out, the respect which was entertained for him by the ruthless and frantio savages, whose will for the time was law, and wbose brutality was unrestrained by government, prevented him from feeling the effects of their fury. In the whole county of Cavan, bis was the only house which was unviolated, notwithstanding that its outbuildings, the church, and the church-yard, were filled with people

, who had taken refuge beneath the shelter of his induenee and name. At length, principally in consequence of the machinations of a Popish prelate, an order came from the rebel council of state at Kilkenny, requiring bim to dismiss the multitude who had surrounded him. This however, he positively refused to do, declaring tha: be was determined at all hazards to share their fate. When it was intimated to him, that if this were his resolution, the messengers had orders to remove him to prison, be replied, “Here I am, the Lord do unto me as seemeth good to him; the will of the Lord be done." In the castle to wbich with many others he was taken, be administered the ordinances of religion to his fellow-prisoners; and rude, barbarous, and unrelenting as were his guards, they never disturbed him in bis hallowed employ, and repeatedly told him that the sole reason of his confinement was that he was an Englishman. Afa having suffered this imprisonment for only three weeks, he was liberated, and soon afterwards died in the house of a clergyman, whose name was Sheridan.

A Hearer.-The Rev. Mr Erskine mentions a fact which may afford a very useful hint to every bearer of the Gospel. A person who had been to publie wor. ship, having returned home perhaps somewhat sofort than usual, was asked, by another membe of the farely who bad not been there, “ Is all done ? replied he, “ all is said ; but all is not done !" Hox little is commonly done of all that is beard ! ** Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it."

[ocr errors]

METRICAL VERSION OF HEBREWS XII. 18—29.

BY THE REV. ALEXANDER S. PATTERSON.

Ye have not reach'd that threatening form,

The burning mount of fear;
Nor trumpet's sound, and lowering storm,

And words so dire to hear.
Wild scenes, and terrible! But now,

We Zion's heights have found, -
God's own Jerusalem on its brow;

And countless angels round
The assembled saints of earliest birth,

(A Church enroll’d in Heaven ;) And souls to which the robes of worth

Untainted have been given,

Published by John JOHNSTONB, at the Offices of the Scotties CHRISTIAN HERALD, 104, High Street, Edinburgh, and 19, Glas ford Street, Glasgow ; JAMB* NISHET & Co.. HAMILTON, ADIN & Co., and R. GROOMBRIDGE, London; W. CURRY, Junr. m ling Dublin; and W. M'COMB, Belfast; and sold by the Base and Local Agents in all the Towns and Parishes of Scotland, 2 in the principal Towns in England and Ireland.

Subscribers in Edinburgh and Leith will have their copies de livered at their own residences regularly, by leaving their adets ek with the Publisher, or with John Lindsay & Co., 7, South XA drew Street.- Subscribers in Glasgow will, in like manner, lyst their copies delivered, by leaving their addresses at the Pubibim Office there, 19, Glassford Street,

Subscription (payable in advance) per quarter, of twelve years Is. 60.--per half-year, of twenty-four weeks, 38.-per year, ef to eight weeks, 6s.

Monthly Parts, containing four Numbers stitched in a printed wrapper, price Sixpence.

Printed at the Steam-Press of Ballantyne & Co., from the Sters type Plates of Thomas Allan & Co.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

THE SCOTTISH EMIGRANT..

provision has been made, in addition to the efforts of

the people in erecting school-houses, and affording a By The Rev. GEORGE Burns, D.D., certain scanty maintenance for the teachers, who are Minister of Tweedsmuir.

generally of the very humblest pretensions, but with

the exception of an inconsiderable, temporary, and preIt is indeed matter of high congratulation that the sym- carious annual allowance from Govern:nent to certain pathies of our National Church have at length been | Presbyterian ministers in the Canadas,-to one in Nova awakened in behalf of her children, scattered through- Scotia and one in New Brunswick,-nothing whatever is out our transatlantic territories, and that a call is in granted from the public funds for the support of religion course of being addressed from all her pulpits, to the in its purest form, throughout the length and breadth people of this country, to give as God has prospered of British North America. And when we think of the them, for the relief of that spiritual destitution which straitened circumstances which most frequently compel these wandering sheep of our Israel are doomed to ex- our countrymen to emigrate ; the utter destitution in perience. The case is one of the strongest and most which they are generally landed on a foreign shore, after affecting that has ever been submitted to Scottish pa- defraying the expenses of the voyage, (if not bound, as triotism, and Christian benevolence. I say Scottish a large proportion commonly are, to do work for their patriotism, for every one who is truly animated by that passage, after their arrival ;) the indescribable hardships generous emotion, (and where is the Scotsman whose and privations to which they are subjected in making a breast does not beat high with the love of country ?) mere opening in the vast wilderness, and then rearing every one who is truly animated by feelings of genuine even a miserable hut for themselves and those consigned patriotism, must long to witness the most valuable in- to their care; the awful separation made between the stitutions of his native land fixing their roots and rear- different settlements by the interminable forests, rening their heads in every country under heaven. I said dering unity of exertion altogether impossible, though also Christian benevolence, for where is there a human

the means of supporting the Gospel were the result of being, whose bosom glows with but one spark of that their combined operations, and occasioning the neces. heaven-descended principle, who can contemplate thou- sity for such a multiplicity of ministers and catechists sands and tens of thousands of immortal creatures to accomplish even a tithe of what we are accustomed “perishing for lack of knowledge, even within the

to in this highly favoured land, as is quite sufficient to territories and dependencies of a country called Chris- demonstrate the utter hopelessness of the attempt; and, tian, and yet whose eye fails to affect his heart? I in fine, when we consider that in most cases a mere am well aware that there are many readers, with high subsistence, by the productions of the soil, is all that claims to sound intelligence, if not to religious feeling, these hapless wanderers realise during the better half who would be particularly pleased were I to enter into of their lives, if indeed they ever get beyond it at all, a detail of the comparative advantages and disadvan- how are those to be supported who are employed in tages attendant on emigration to the British North guiding their steps to "the better country, that is an American Colonies; to point out their natural capabi- heavenly ?”. It is required of those who are

put in lities and commercial relations; to descant on the geo- trust with the ministry,” to “ give themselves wholly graphy and natural history of the country at large, to- to the work,” but how can they do so if, from the gether with the peculiarities of its cities, towns, and work, they derive no means of subsistence? And bow hamlets ; to exhibit, in glowing colours, the rivers and can they carry on any other occupation for a livelihood, the lakes, the forests and the valleys which diversify its when, from the beginning to the close of every week, surface ; and, in fine, to depict the dress, babits, and they must be travelling from one clearing in the wood general aspect of the Indian aborigines, and the native to another, answering the calls of those who are lookpopulation. But a subject greater than all these is to ing to them for spiritual sustenance, and, in the accomengage our attention, and though the writer might be plishment of their arduous but godlike undertaking, supposed in some measure qualified for such disquisitions, often experiencing what the great apostle of the Gentiles in consequence of a long residence in one of the most was doomed to encounter in the prosecution of his miprominent cities and flourishing provinces of that inte- nistry, " in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in resting land, yet he is disposed to estimate the value of perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, his opportunities chiefly from the local knowledge which in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils they enabled him to acquire of the moral and spiritual in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among circumstances of our countrymen there, and the testi- false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchmony which they have thus enabled him to bear as to ings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, that “ famine of the Word of God,” which prevails als in cold and nakedness." In our colonies indeed, as most throughout the whole land of their adoption. For well as throughout the United States, there are many the support of a few common schools a small legislative | itinerating preachers of different sects, or of no sect at

[ocr errors]

all, who are literally " hewers of wood and drawers of | lude of “ the second death ?" But, blessed be God, water,” eking out the bare subsistence gained by the there are multitudes who have not thus forgotten labour of their hands during the week, by the scanty their first love,” who find "nought that can compensate pittance contributed at the close of their Sabbath ser for the calm and beauteous lustre which they left behind vices, who have all the poverty of the apostles, with them in the abode of domestic piety;” who look back few of their more attractive and valuable qualities, who through the dim and distant recollection of many years, have it not in their power to exercise any pastoral to the days of their cherished and well-taught boy bood;" superintendence at all, even though they had both the who bear in mournfully pleasing remembrance, “the will and the capacity to do so, acceptably as well as solemnity of a father's parting voice, and all the tender. beneficially. Nay, there are many regularly ordained ness of a mother's prayers.” And how is the heaveny Presbyterian ministers in these regions of the West, flame to be fanned? How are the sacred impressions who, as soon as their circumstances admit of it, betake to be revived and perpetuated? What is there in tbe themselves to agricultural or other pursuits in the first land of their exile to cause those things, which belon instance, to make up the deficiency of the inadequate to “ the new man," to live and grow in the soul? The and ill-paid remuneration promised them for their pro- sound of the axe may ring through the forest; the fessional labours, but with the determination, at the plough may pierce the sod which had before been unsame time, that, eventually, they will give themselves disturbed, save by the hunter's tread; the streams may wholly to their farms or their merchandise, when these be pent up in their narrow beds, and powers, not their begin to yield them a return commensurate with their own, given them to turn the mill-wheel, and afford wants Now, is it to be supposed that persons in these nourishment and protection to man; villages, and towns, harassing and secularising circumstances can find their and cities may spring up and flourish; but while the minds in a condition for spiritual duties, or that those smoke is seen arising from many a domestic hearth, who attend on their Sabbath ministrations can expect where, alas ! are the altars? Where is the village spire to enjoy the pleasure and advantage of their week-day pointing to heaven, and telling the distant traveller that counsels? Can such a ministry be respectable or effi- he is approaching the abode of Christian, as well as of cient, or really valuable? And is it to be wondered at, civilized man ? The Sabbath returns, but where are that while the love of many waxeth co!d, their free-will its wonted joys ? No temple, no missionary of salvaofferings should gradually become few in number and tion, no songs of Zion to usher in that blessed day. tritling in amount, and that the labourers in the vine- The wind is heard roaring among the trees which suryard being unable, from the disadvantages inseparaole round the humble dwelling, but no voice of devotion from their situation, to “make full proof of their minis- ascends to heaven, except it be in the sighs and whispers try,” should hasten to make their escape from all the of a broken heart. In such a scene the description of fearful responsibilities of the sacred office? Thus it our justly admired Christian poet is fully realised. happens, that in the midst of all that life and energy

“ But the sound of the church-going bell which are conspicuous in the new settlements the goodly

These valleys and rocks never heard ; plant of Christianity has taken no root, and is wither

Ne'er sigh'd at the sound of a knell,

Or smil'd when the Sabbath appear'd." ing and dying for want of nourishment. But this is to be viewed as the bright side of the picture : here some. And those who retain any“ love for the babitation thing has been done to secure the blessings of a Gospel of God's house," and were accustomed, in the days that ministry, and an oasis may be descried in the vast and are gone, to join the Psalmist's declaration, “ I was gled gloomy wilderness. How hard, then, must be the fate when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the of the Scottish emigrant who has removed from the full Lord,” are ready to “hang their larps upon the wil. light of religious institutions, with which the land of lows and to weep when they remember Zion.” bis birth is so signally blest, to that deep and unbroken In the first generation religion wears itself away by wilderness of heathenism, of which the physical condi. a gradual decline ; in the second it is scarcely knowo tion of his adopted country presents so apt and striking to have existed. As the population increases, therean emblein! And yet, alas. I how many abandon the fore, the prospect is shrouded in a more portentos one without a sigh, and plunge into the other without gloom, and there is great danger that unless some ina murmur or complaint! Their case is the more deplor-mediate and extraordinary efforts are made by the pious able that they are then selves unconscious of its wretch- and benevolent in this and other Christian countries, edness. The world at best is their grand object of at- those who have gone out from amongst us will, with traction; for its sake they have left behind them the their children and descendants, freed from all Christian country of their fathers, and to secure its good things restraints, become a nation of heathens, a race day they regard as worthy of their best energies and un- ripening to be outcasts from God. If so much is doinz wearied efforts. Far be it from us to blame them for in this age of missionary zeal, for those in the dark their industry, their contentment with the lot assigned places of the earth, with whom we are connected ear them, and the cheerfulness with which they set them- as being members of the great family of mankind, surly selves to the task of redeeming a portion of land from our countrymen and fellow-subjects ought not to be the forest which has waved over it from the era of the neglected, merely because they are separated from the great flood. But why this insensibility to their spiritual parent isle by the waters of the western main. God privations ? That men compelled, for a length of time, forbid that we should give utterance to a single sentito live without religious ordinances, should, through ment, tending to damp the ardour of Christian feelire, habit, become, in the end, reconciled to the want of which has given birth, in our age and country, to thein, is too easily conceived, as it is too frequently many associations for ameliorating the condition of realised; and, hence, a fatal indifference can number Pagan and idolatrous nations, but surely it may be among its victimis a far larger proportion of our ex- safely affirmed, that next to those immediately within patriated countrymen than open and avowed infidelity the sphere of our personal and individual charities, itself. This is, unquestionably, one of the gloomiest and which strictly come under the designation of here aspects in which their case can be contemplated. They objects, the Scottish emigrant to our possessions abroad. are living in the pleasure of apathy, (if pleasure it can has the strongest claim on the intercession of your par be called,) and “they are dead while they live.” Anders, the beneït of your contributions, of your enligt shall no eiforts be put forth by their Christian “kins- ened Christian efforts. “Listen, for a moment, to* men according to the flesh,” to disturb that false tran- silent, but not unmeaning, eloquence with which we quillity, to break that stillness which portends a coming circumstances of their lot plead in behalf of the storm, to arouse from that lethargy which is the pre-Christian brethren. They bear in common with si.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

2

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

selves a name which all hold dear, the name of Scots- | the light and the blessings of the Gospel were poured men; like us, they are the children of the same favour- | around them in rich abundance in the land of their ed land, though, unlike ns, compelled by less prosperous fathers ; but now, having known the heart of a stranger, fortunes to seek in a foreign clime an unwilling exile; and an exile from all that a Christian holds dearesi uptheir fathers, together with ours, trod the soil we now on earth, they appreciate the value of these advantages, inherit, and mingled, perhaps, each others blood in de- which they could not rightly estimate till deprived of fence of its religion and its laws; like us, they are the them, they hail with rapture every ray of heavenly children of sires who were the fathers of the Covenant, light which dawns upon their minds, and chequers and whose voices rose in the suppliant hymn, whose bosoms relieves the grim solitude of the desert. Would any braved the battle's strife in those fields of conflict, which, of you be willing to exchange situations with them? in a former age, sealed with blood the charter of Scot- and to exile yourselves from all that is peculiar, and land's faith and freedom. They appeal to us, moreover, cheering, and elevating, in Christian lands, that you as members of our National Church ; they are not only, might live amid the horrors of a “ darkness that might like ourselves, children of the same land, but they are be felt," and die unblest by a single visit from a mesworshippers at the same altar. The faith which they senger of peace ? How would you feel were their cirprofess, is the faith of our Israel; the songs of praise in cumstances your own ? Were you doomed to spend which they join, are the songs of our Zion. However silent Sabbathis, having no living voice to warn you of strong the claims which the natives of heathen lands “ the things which belong to your peace," no ambassahave upon us, they cannot be stronger than those of our dor of heaven dispensing to you the bread and the water expatriated countrymen ; the former, however pitiable of life? By contrast, then, be taught the value of your their state, can never experience that pang of sorrow, Christian privileges, that you may, at the same time, which gives to destitution half its bitterness; they can learn rightly to estimate the extent of the Scottish eminot feel, that what they now have not was once their grant's loss, and deeply to share in the sympathies and own. But to these outcasts of our Church, this thought exertions of those who are employed in providing the must recur with painful frequency; and when in the means of his relief. Those who go forth as heralds of the distant land of their exile, they call to remembrance cross to so interesting a field of labour, must make great these high and holy privileges of their birthright, which sacrifices, and" endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus now unwillingly and guiltlessly they bave forfeited, has Christ.” They must abandon their friends and country, not the sorrow to which that recollection must give and choicest privileges, and most encouraging prosbirth, a stronger claim on our sympathy than even the pects, and commence their mission at a vast sacrifice. silent gloom of darkest Pagan land.” As distance from They must brave the fury of the elements, and toil, and home has a tendency to call forth into more lively ex- study, and labour in season and out of season, and ercise the feelings of patriotism, and to rivet attachment "preach the unsearchable riches of Christ,” amid privato national customs, national language, and national tions and hardships numerous and severe. And shall music, so it strengthens attachment to national institu- not we, who continue to enjoy the comforts of home, tions. And without being chargeable with injustice give them a place in our best affections, and do what towards those who really remain under the influence of we can to alleviate the pangs of separation, and to right religious principle, whatever may be their changes brighten those prospects which are so gloomy and apin respect of place, I may affirm, that, in general, love palling to nature ? Are not Churches and Societies of country has the effect of creating a partiality for the bound to make strenuous efforts and costly sacrifices, religion of their fathers, in the minds of those who are not only to augment the pecuniary resources of those strangers to higher and nobler principles of regard. who have embarked in the glorious enterprise, but also Many who are altogether careless and indifferent about to advance religion at home, that the fountain of Chris. real Christianity, manifest an inextinguishable affection tian benevolence may rise higher and send forth more for the religious forms and usages of the father-land; copious streams, that the number and piety of the misand not a few of those who were in the way of attend sionaries may be greatly increased, and that thus a noble ing public worship, from habit or custom, and without army may be enlisted to storm the strongholds of Paganat all appreciating the boon of weekly Christian instruc- ism, and cause the banner of Zion's King to wave in the tion, while in this country, where the want of such a remotest dependencies of the empire? While the cause privilege is not felt, have been distinguished as leaders which bas now been pleaded is the cause of God and of in carrying forward measures for securing the same pri- human bappiness, it must commend itself to every liberal vilege to themselves and their countrymen in other and enlightened Christian ; it must find an advocate in lands. There is, in short, a stronger predisposition for the breast of every true philanthropist. the reception of Christian truth, through the medium of the accredited representatives of our Church in foreign lands, than there is at home, a circumstance

DISCOURSE. which should act as a powerful stimulant to us all in BY THE LATE Rev. John BROWN PATTERSON, A.M., our endeavours to supply, with faithful labourers, such remote and destitute parts of the vineyard. And O

Minister of Falkirk. could I describe the intensity of delight with which the

(Continued from page 684.) Scottish emigrant hears of the arrival of a Scottish mi. nister, and the rapidity with which the tidings of a “ After that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus promised visit from such a quarter are spread through sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of the widely scattered settlements; the warmth of affec- sleep,” &c.—Joux xi. 11-23. tion with which we are received into the dwellings of Our Lord having thus encouraged his disciples to these aliens from the land of their nativity; the assemblies of such humble worshippers in the woods and expect that the journey to Judea, which excited, wilds, “ full of life and interest, eyes moistened and in their bosoms, such alarm, would turn out to glistening with varied emotions," you would rejoice in “ the furtherance of their faith,”_would contrian opportunity of contributing to secure for them such bute to their spiritual improvement, and to their high gratification and invaluable privileges. You would ultimate salvation, invites them to dismiss their account no cruelty equal to that of disregarding the voice, which addresses from the wilderness afur these fears

, and presently address themselves to the way; inploring accents, “ Come over and help us ! ” Little “ nevertheless let us go unto him.” did many of them know of the same exciteinent, when Perceiving, therefore, that their Master was thoroughly and finally resolved to confront the peril, warring with his duties, compels the former to give the disciples at length make up their minds, deadly way to the latter,—whose conscience extorts übeas seemed the hazard, to meet it in his company. dience from a shrinking and recoiling heart—who The first to express bis sentiments upon the sub- manfully puts his neck beneath the Vaster's yoke, ject, we are told, was “ Thomas, who is called and submits his shoulder to the Master's burden, Didymus,"—these two names, the one of which when, if he allowed the nature, yet alive within is Syriac and the other Greek, both having the him, to speak, it would pronounce these the resame signification, that is, the twin. You have verse of easy, the reverse of light. Yet such similar examples of the permutation of the two obedience, though infinitely to be preferred to direct languages I have referred to, among the Jews of rebellion, is plainly very imperfect, very corrupt, this era, in the proper names and designations of very little accordant with the spirit of the Chrisindividuals, in the interchangeable use of such ap-tian dispensation, one great aim of which is to pellations as Cephas and Peter, that is, the rock; turn our duty into our delight,—to attract us to Tabitha and Dorcas, that is, the antelope ; Mes- the keeping of God's commandments, by " the siah and Christ, that is the anointed. This dis- cords of love and the bands of a man,”—to put an ciple, then, whose character, as expressed in the end to that fatal and intestine war which passion few brief anecdotes recorded of him, seems to have has so long maintained with conscience, and, by been marked by a certain unsusceptibility of per- bringing these two into harmony, making them suasion and pertinacity of opinion, exceeding the move in one direction, changing them from conlimits of rational and proper firmness, shows some- tending into co-operating forces, to render obething of his characteristic obstinacy even in ex- dience at once more tranquil and more vigorous horting his brethren to comply with their Lord's and “ enlarge the heart to run in the way

of God's injunction—“ Thomas saith unto them, Let us alcommandments.” Let us labour, my brethren, so go and die with him,"-words, on which, I fear, more and more to acquire and to exemplify that we cannot put a more favourable sense than this: spirit of uncomplaining, unmurmuring, approving, If it must be so, if our Master is determined to and delighted compliance with Christ's precepts, rush upon apparently inevitable death, we must and submission to Christ's appointments; that not, we cannot desert him, though we should be habit of counting “all his commandments, condragged to slaughter in his society. The spirit of cerning all things, to be right,” and of " delightthe remark, if we have rightly caught it, you willing in the law of God, after the inward mas, observe, is partly commendable, and partly the re- which shall prepare us even, should we require i,

It is commendable, and to be imitated, in to follow him to prison and to death, “with a perso far as it breathes such an intense attachment to fect heart and with a willing mind;" ready to the Saviour's person, and such a resolute determi- suffer for him the loss of all things ; yea, nation to share his fate, as vanquished even the counting our own lives dear unto ourselves," if su terrors of expected death. It is, on the other we may express to him our honour and our love; hand, to be blamed and avoided, in so far as it seems and, with all the faith, and affection, and fortitude to intimate a lurking sentiment of dissatisfaction of Didymus, without the alloy, by which they with Christ's command, as one that made too lit- were tainted, of reluctance and secret murmurin, tle allowance for the feelings and the safety of his to say, “ Let us also go and die with him.” followers,-a prescription which, since it had been For " it is a faithful saying, if we die with him, issued and insisted on, it was proper and morally we shall also live with him; if we suffer with necessary to obey, but which human nature could him, we shall also reign with him ; if we dem not help feeling to be, in some measure, harsh and him, he also will deny us; if we believe not, ie arbitrary,—an injunction which, while of authority abideth faithful, he cannot deny himself.” to commend the conduct, was not so apparently The sentiments of the other disciples seem to right and reasonable as to commend itself to the have coincided with those of Thomas, at least heart. Alas! my brethren, how much of our pro- they did not venture to propose any further ohjeifessed and overt obedience to Christ's law is tainted | tion, but, with hearts distracted between hope and and polluted with this spirit of secret dislike and fear, accompanied their Master, as he set out todisapproval! How often, when we are impelled wards the guilty city—the murderer of the preto what is right, or deterred from what is wrong, phets, the stoner of those who had been sen: ij and that too from a higher principle than the mere her—whose bad pre-eminence was, “ It cannot be dread of consequences, by a sense of duty and that a prophet should perish out of Jerusalem." moral obligation, is there, nevertheless, a secret, After a journey, rich in important and interesting low-voiced murmur at the strictness and the rigour occurrences, some of which have been recorded in of the Christian law, expressed, if not in the mat- the other evangelists, they reached the neighk ter of our actions, yet in their manner,—if not in hood of Bethany, a village in the immediate victhe direct import of our words, yet in their accent nity of the metropolis, or, as the evangelist mira and their tones,ếor, if neither in uttered word the distance a little more minutely, “ nigh u nor in overt act, yet in hidden thoughts and stified Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off.” emotions! That Christian does, we readily con- village he had left, on last retiring from Juda? fess, to a certain extent act well and creditably, holy and beloved family, a brother and two swwho, in any case in which he feels his desires thus flourishing in health and strength, and muto juties

verse.

« VorigeDoorgaan »