صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

R

a sorrowful spirit, and like her, he returns with a
gladsome heart. With David he cries-" Return
O Lord, deliver my soul, O save me for thy mer-
cies' sake. And with him he sings "The Lord
hath heard my supplication; the Lord hath re-
ceived my prayer.
I will praise the Lord accord-
ing to his righteousness, and will sing praise to
the name of the Lord most high." Full of faith
and love, his bowels yearn over perishing sinners
-he makes intercession for all men-stands in the
gap in seasons of national judgments and pleads
with his God in behalf of a guilty land.

Thus the praying Christian is the true patriot -the best friend to his native country. Such a national blessing did Elisha esteem the prayers of Elijah, when he cried after the ascending Prophet: "the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof."

Oh! that our Elijahs may be jealous for the Lord their God; and lift up the voice of earnest supplication to him that smiteth. For, wrath has gone out from the Lord-the plague is begun. Commissioned by that Almighty Being, whose name, whose Word, whose day is profaned, death has entered our land in its most frightful form.— The pestilence which walketh in darkness, and the sickness which wasteth at noon-day, are now sweeping into eternity the thoughtless and unprepared. How loud is the call-" Prepare to meet thy God." How solemn the warning-" Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live."

O that the servants of Christ, in this our time of danger and desolation, may be stirred up

to fervent prayer. Did we as a nation humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God: did we plead in faith the merits of the GREAT ATONEMENT; then would his wrath be turned away, and his blessing would descend upon us. With united hearts let us supplicate the God of Britain, that His Spirit may be poured out on our king, our princes, our priests, and on all the people of these realms, that England may still be His peculiar treasure-the Ark to bear His Truth-the honoured instrument, in His hands, for evangelizing the world.*

ST. PAUL WAS A MAN OF UNBENDING INTEGRITY. He may truly be called a transparent chaThere was nothing dark or ambiguous

racter.

* The most unthinking must surely be awakened to a sense of danger, when that sweeping Pestilence, the Asiatic Spasmodic Cholera, has been brought, by the immediate hand of God, into this country.

Its desolating ravages in India-Persia-and the Turkish Dominions in Asia, Africa, and Europe; its awful effects in Hungary-Russia—and Prussia; its milder, but progressive work of destruction in the Northern parts of our own Island, are calculated to arrest the thoughtless-and lead all to listen to the voice of God, speaking to the Nations by this tremendous scourge.—God has evidently a controversy with his people. He has made bare his arm in righteous judgment. But how gently does he deal with us! We have only felt the sprinkling of the storm. If we do not repent, the overwhelming flood may soon descend upon us, hurrying whole cities into one common grave.-Oh! that England may know the time of her visitation; then will God be gracious unto our land, and pity his people.

about him. All was open, ingenuous, sincere. He walked in the light.

Holding sacred the dictates of conscience, he sought its approving testimony! Hence he could say: "Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity, and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world."

When accused before Felix as a mover of sedition, he boldly asserted his conscious rectitude: "Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man."

In all ages, the faithful servants of Christ have been charged with fomenting divisions, and turning the world upside down. They have been treated as "pestilent fellows," because they testify of the world, that the works thereof are evil. But, like the upright Apostle, they can appeal with confidence to the Searcher of hearts. He knows their inmost desires to promote His glory, and the best interests of mankind. Possessing these two blessings: "an approving conscience, and a smiling heaven," they can bear with patience the contumely of the wicked, and labour for the good of those who seek their hurt.

As a minister of the Gospel, St. Paul was faithful to his trust. While the priests of heathen deities, the better to delude their votaries, were throwing a veil of mystery around their superstitions; he, as the servant of Jehovah, had no object but to disseminate the light of Truth, no motive but that of fervent love to the Redeemer.

Neither did he shrink from human scrutiny, nor wrap himself up in falsehoods. Like Samuel of old, he could appeal to the churches with fearless integrity: "We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. We are made manifest unto God, and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile; but as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts; for neither at any time used we flattering words as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness, God is witness."

Thus he appealed to them, with respect to his words, and to God, as touching his heart. They knew that he had used no "flattering words." And, he knew, that God was witness to the inward purity of his motives in preaching the Gospel among them.

Such was the straight-forwardness of St. Paul's conduct. This holy man had no sinister ends in view. He coveted not the passing glories of a world which lieth in wickedness, nor the applause of dying multitudes. His treasure, and his heart were in heaven. No privation could draw a murmur from his lips, nor cause him to think hardly of his God and Saviour. His anxieties did not spring from selfish considerations, nor from fear of

personal inconveniences.

Far otherwise all his

anxiety was, to make known the unsearchable riches of Christ, whatever grief or loss, whatever pain or death, might accompany his labour.

With unspeakable joy he could say to the Corinthians: "Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish To the one, we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other, the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ.”

Sincerity is a pearl of great price; without it, religion is an empty name. The most gifted talents are of little worth, if unaccompanied by this Christian grace; while, clothed with it, the humblest attainments are pleasing unto God, who seeth not as man seeth.

Religion has its seat in the heart. There, must its power be felt; and from thence, must its light proceed. To possess a single eye, which aims at nothing but the glory of Jesus, and simplicity of heart, which abhors every species of guile, is to possess the spirit of the Gospel.

While the mind is engaged in holy meditations on the glories of redemption, the affections of the heart must be captivated by the love of Christ, and the will inclined to serve him with

« السابقةمتابعة »