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trespass on your pages longer than to observe, that the opening of the books on that occasion, or as in Rev.lv, is the dissolution of the mystery of the sealed books; and therefore the abatement of the usurpation, whether it relate to the kingdom of "death and hell," or to the papal superstition and Moham medan imposture; the reigning ty rannies of the fourth Roman empire, symbolised by the "deadly pale" horse, the last tyrannies which will ever establish themselves amongst the sons of men.

Should it appear, that these remarks are founded on truth, the period of blessedness, and of " THE GLORY in the midst of his people," and consequently of the general judgment, must be nearer than many persons are inclined to believe; and the coming of the Lord," in whatever sense that term is to be understood, must be close at hand. Where, therefore, is the Christian heart to be found, which in shallowed expectation of that awful event, does not respond, "Alleluia, for THE SELF-EXISTENT MIGHTY ONE reigneth?" vichronic da -98 107 sidiendo


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

THE Conversion both of Jews and Gentiles is an object of such in finite consequence and such intense desire to every Christian mind, that it would be deeply lamentable if any of those benevolent persons who are more immediately engaged in the promotion of the one, should forget the importance of the other. I beg leave to transcribe on this subject, the following passage from the excellent "Practical Remarks on the Prophecies" of Mr. Bickersteth, as it seems to me to do impartial justice to both views of the question, and is the more to be admired in this respect, as coming from the pen of the secretary of the Church Missionary Society, whose intercourse with the larger masses

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of the Gentile world might have been supposed somewhat to dimis nish, in his view, the claims of the much smaller number of the outcasts of Israel. But nothing of this exclusive spirit is to be seen in Mr. Bickersteth's estimate; [and may it never be found in any who advocate the spiritual claims, either of Jew or Gentile. Alas! the world of sin and misery is wide enough for both. Mr. Bickersteth says:

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"It is to be feared that some who are warm friends to missions among the heathen, have not sufficient faith with regard to efforts among the Jews, and think it almost a hopeless undertaking. But is not this directly contrary to the plain argument of the Apostle on this very point? They also, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (Rom xi. 23, 24.) inoked risda "The promised future conversion of the Jews, with its effects on the world, should both encourage our hopes and excite our labours for them. This duty is brought before us in the statement of God's design in their present unbelief: They have now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.' (Rom. xi. 31.)

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"There are other points respect ing this subject on which Chris tians have been more divided, and to which it may be desirable briefly to advert. Spr

"The priority of the general conversion of the Jews to that of the Gentiles, has been much discussed. It appears to be left just in that obscurity in which it is in many res spects desirable it should be that Christians may not payantsex clusive attention to either, ondas bour for the benefit of one, to the neglect of the otherd Plausible

arguments have been urged on both sides of the question. Are they not concurrent events? Only let us consider the vastness of the scene of labour, and the immense work to be accomplished, and we shall see how easily both may be advancing at the same time, and mutually promoting each other. Very small is at present the real church of Christ a very large progress may be made in the purification of the church, and the conversion of the world, before the Jews are gathered into the fold of Christ; and yet quite enough may be left, after their conversion, to realize the assured hope, that that event shall be as life from the dead to the world, On this point, then, let not the friend of the Jew or the Gentile use expressions which may bave any tendency to damp that little flame of zeal, which as yet for too sparingly, and too partially, burns for the salvation of either.

"The supposition that the Jews are to be the only eminently successful missionaries to the Gentiles, and those for whom the honour of their national conversion is reserved, does not appear to be adequately founded, if we regard either history or Scripture."


A. B.

Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

ON reading, in your Number for September, a paper by CLERICUS, on the subject of confessing ourselves the chief of sinners, I was struck with some doubt respecting the perfect propriety of his sentiments, which have induced me to offer a few remarks upon them. Such, I believe, is the peculiar nature of Christian experience, that the holiest man will not think wholly inappropriate to himself the confession of the Apostle, "I am the chief of sinners:" but Clericus seems to think this essential to true Christianity; and here. I cannot agree with him. St. Paul, it is true,

does not say, I was the chiefs of sinners, but I am yet it is evidently in respect of what he had formerly been, that he formed this judgment of himself; for he adds, "because I persecuted the church of God." And as we find no such declaration as that above referred to in the Epistles of any of the other Apostles, it is highly probable that we should not have met with it in St. Paul's, if it had not been for that crime of persecuting the church, the remembrance of which so much afflicted him.

Self-righteousness is indeed most unequivocally condemned in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican; but even here the former was condemned for professing himself to be righteous, and not because he did not confess himself the vilest of all sinners; and the latter was justified in consequence of penitently confessing himself a sinner, without professing himself to be the chief of sinners. The class of divines to which Dr. Waterland belongs, is not that which I should choose to consult for instruction in self-knowledge; but the passage from his commentary quoted by Clericus does not appear to me utterly indefensible, though I think it injudicious. One part of it seems exceptionable; the assertion "that there is nothing amiss in believing that we do go beyond many in our religious advances;" this does indeed seem an unchristian sentiment: but Dr. W. adds, "when we have grounds sufficient for it;" and supposing it possible that we had certain means of knowing that we were farther than others, so far from its being unscriptural to believe it, it would be irrational not to do so. Even then the comparison would be no favourite subject of the Christian's contemplation: but the fact is, that no man can certainly know this of himself, and therefore he has no right to believe it.-As to the remainder of the passage, I do not see how we can wholly avoid

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making comparisons between our
selves and others; though doubt
[less true humility will dispose a
man, in lowliness of mind, to prefer
others to himself. When the hum-
ble and holy martyr Bradford once
saw a man carrying to execution (I
think this was the circumstance), he
said, "There goes, but for the grace
of God, John Bradford." Here
was a comparison between himself
and another, and a comparison evi-
dently to his own advantage; yet,
so far from being a mark of pride,
this was an expression of his humi-
lity-a confession that the grace of
God alone had made him to differ.
Humility does not consist in think.
sing worse of ourselves than we
really are, but in thinking justly of
ourselves: the great difficulty is to
think little enough of supposed
desert, and deeply enough of our
actual demerit. St. Paul recom-
mends "every man to think soberly
of himself, as he ought to think,
according to the measure of faith
God hath given him;" and sobriety
may be transgressed by exagge-
ration on the one hand, as well as
by pride and vanity on the other;
though certainly the latter is by
far the more easy, the more com-
mon, and the more dangerous,

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Dr. Johnson certainly observed, that every man is to look upon himself as the greatest sinner that he knows of;" but he does not say, "the greatest of all sinners." No man ought to point to another, and say, "I am less guilty than he;" but surely every man is not obliged to claim the preeminence over all in guilt. There may be pride diseguised even in this; and many a man who does so would highly resent its being ascribed to him by another.


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most guilty, is as truly necessary for the least so and awful is the least degree of guilt which any son of Adam has incurred; but, as an instance, I cannot think that a man, who, like Dr. Doddridge, seems to have been sanctified almost from his birth, is obliged to think himself a greater sinner than one who may have spent nearly all his life in open rebellion against God, and an avowed, contemptuous, rejection of Christianity, though at last brought in and made a subject of its blessings. Tenderness of conscience is a most desirable blessing; and the more holy a man is, the more acute will be the perception of his transgression. It is not therefore my wish to weaken any argument against deep humility, or to invalidate any one caution against selfrighteousness; and I might not have ventured to send you these remarks, but that I think the sentiment on which they are made may in some cases be injurious I beHeve we are never more inclined to

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exaggerate our guilt, than when labouring undergroundless despondency and dejection of mind, arising from distemper or any other cause; and a Christian who conceives a sense of being the vilest of sinners to be almost essential to real religion, but who does not feel that conviction when his mind is in a healthy state, may be apt to indulge this despondency and dejection, and perhaps even a settled melancholy of disposition, for the sake of that persuasion which he deems necessary to the safety of his state, to the great injury of that zeal and fervour of piety which might other wise flourish in his heart and life; nay, it is possible this persuasion may form part of his dependence, In one respect there is no differ- and thus be doubly injurious to his -ence: "All have sinned, and come soul. And in another point of view, short of the glory of God." No penitent persons, who feel themman has any ground for glorying selves to be sinners, and are bearin himself more than another, fortily disposed to join in the Publinone have any. The atoning sa- can's humble prayer, may be, and crifice which is sufficient for the I believe often are, prevented; for a

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in the promises which God had made to him and to his posterity. These promises, the Apostle tells us, related to a "heavenly" country, of which Canaan itself, the promised land, was but a type; for, as is justly remark

time at least, from making a direct application to the Saviour for pardon and justification, whilst waiting for what they deem the necessary conEviction of their being the chief of sinners; a conviction which, I submit, is not necessary, and the wanted in the Seventh Article of our


of which ought not to delay them for a moment.



Hebrews xi. 14-16. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that country from which they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country; that is, a heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath : prepared for them a city.

church, "both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man: wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises."" Indeed, so far from it, we are expressly told that Abraham "saw the day of Christ;" he looked forward by faith to his coming into the world to be "a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel," and he "was glad;" he rejoiced at the prospect, and reposed his trust in him as the promised Messiah, who should give himself a sacrifice for the sins of mankind, and open the gate of heaven to all believers.

Now we all, as professed Christians, declare the same things. We, in words at least, acknowledge ourselves to be pilgrims and strangers upon earth: we admit, that the present world is a scene of temptation and danger; that its joys and its troubles must both soon pass away; and we profess to hope for a better country, for those mansions of eternal blessedness which the Saviour has gone before to prepare for all his faithful followers. But does our practice agree with our creed? We

THEY that say such things;" that. his, the things which the Apostle had just mentioned; namely, "that -they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth," that they looked for the fulfilment of the promises which God had made to them, which they were “persuaded of, and embraced," and concerning which they proved their faith by their conduct. The persons alluded to were the patriarchs of old, and more especially Abraham, of whom the Apostle had been particularly speaking. "By faith," he says, "Abrahamsay such things;" but do we sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which chath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Believing the deeclarations of God, he was content to have no abiding city upon earth, <to dwell in a foreign land, and to -give up all his worldly prospects, rather than by an act of disobeIdience to return to his native counstry, and thus to renounce his hope

seriously believe them? Do we, like the patriarchs of old, prove our faith by our works? Are we practically persuaded of the blessedness of a life of faith, and holiness, and dependence upon God? Do we "desire" above all things that "better," that "heavenly," country which is the object of our professed wishes? Do we seek to know how it may be obtained; and do we renounce whatever would interfere with a well-founded hope of being admitted to the enjoyment of it?

In order to assist us in answering these inquiries, if we a are in earnest upon the subject, and to excite us to be in earnest if we are not so, let us weigh well the import of the passage under consideration; and may the Holy Spirit mercifully incline our hearts to receive the spiritual edification which by his blessing it is adapted to promote !.

There are three points which the Apostle seems particularly to impress upon us in this passage; namely, that the believer makes a deliberate choice; that in the choice thus deliberately made, he, by the grace of God, resolutely persists, notwithstanding every temptation to a contrary course; and that he is amply justified in his choice by the infinite benefits which result from it. His choice is deliberate-it is persevering-it is wise.

First, then, the true believer, the man who really credits the promises and the threatenings of God, makes a deliberate and corresponding choice. His religion is not a matter of chance: he is not a Christian, so called, merely because his parents were so before him, or because Christianity is the established religion of his country; on just the same principle upon which he might have been a Mohammedan or a Pagan, if he had been born in a Mohammedan or Pagan land. Neither does he take up his religion as a blind impulse of the imagination, or a momentary excitement of the passions, without being able to give any satisfactory reason for his conduct. On the contrary, he is convinced that he has good grounds for his choice. He knows that God has spoken, and he believes it to be both his duty and his privilege to obey what he commands. Abraham would not have quitted his country, to sojourn in a foreign land, or set out on a still more painful journey to offer up his son, had he not had clear grounds for believing that the command to do so was from God; and this one point being ascertained, there was no place fo for further doubt. His

conduct, strange as it must have appeared to those who knew not the principle on which he acted, was truly rational and consistent. In the same manner the other acts of faith mentioned in the chapter before us, were in obedience to the known commands of God; in the full assurance that what he threatened he would accomplish, and that' what he promised he was also able and willing to fulfil.


Now, this deliberation of choice is the characteristic of true religion.” Good and evil, life and death, are set before us. The world, and satan, and our own corrupt hearts, tempt us to prefer the latter; our Creator exhorts, and encourages, and com mands us to select the former. To choose aright there must be faith in the declarations of God. We must believe what he has revealed to us: we must understand what is our real character in his sight; what he has said concerning us; how we may obtain his favour, and receive the pardon of our offences against him. He tells us, that "the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God." He com mands us to come out and to be separate from the sins and vanities of the world; to repent and obey the Gospel; to make our calling and election sure; to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to live to the glory of God. He exhibits to us in his word a Saviour, who, by the sacrifice of himself, made an atonement for the sins of the world, and through faith in whom we may obtain justification and peace with God. But he also tells us, that we cannot serve two masters; that we cannot obey God and mammon; that" if we live after the flesh, we shall die; but if we through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live." The joys of heaven and the pains of hell are thus set before us; there is no alternative between them: we must therefore make our choice between the world and God; between the pleasures of sin which endure but for a

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