Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

no

more.

our sins in his own body on the tree.” The Lord laid there on him “ the iniquity of us all.” And now “all that believe, are justified from all things.” "They shall not come into condemnation, but have passed from death unto life.” There is in fact " condemnation” for them. Here then, reader, bring your sins. Come and cast them on the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as the guilty Jew confessed his transgression and put them upon the head of the scape-goat; so draw near in penitence to this far nobler sacrifice and by a simple faith in the efficacy of his blood lay your sins on him.

He will hear them all away, carry them into a land of oblivion, where they shall be remembered against you no

In this work the Redeemer delights. He is more willing to receive your iniquities, than you are to receive his mercies, than the readiest beggar would be to receive your gold. Nay, collect all the treasures which the earth contains, no miser would grasp them with half the joy with which the blessed Jesus takes the curse of a transgressor's sins. With him their bitterness is passed. It was finished with his last dying cry. They can wound him no

But they can wound you. Refuse to lay them on him and they will pierce your inmost soul. They may sting you almost to madness before you die ; but when you die, their work of misery will indeed begin.

They will overwhelm you with awe, a horror, and a despair, which will make you a spectacle of terror to heaven and to hell.

more.

TO.MORROW.

A FRAGMENT.

With all the bitterness of self reproach, I lately turned my steps towards the house of a Christian friend. On entering the abode where I had ever been greeted with smiles, I was surprised to find nothing but sadness. Conscious guilt suggested the suspicion, that they knew and reproached me for my neglect; but my friend soon poured into my bosom her lamentations for the loss of an only child.—“Alas,” cried she, “my Henry is gone; but three days ago he was in full health, and he has this morning breathed his last !"

I struggled with myself, summoned up resolution, and made an awkward attempt at consolation, while my own heart hung heavy in my breast ; but I was struck dumb when the afflicted parent, fetching a sigh from the bottom of her heart, exclaimed, “ Ah! Sir, these consolations might assuage my grief for the loss of my child, but they cannot blunt the stings of my conscience, which are as daggers to my heart! It was but last week I was thinking my Henry is now 12 years of age; his mind is now rapidly expanding : I know he thinks and feels beyond the measure of his years; and a foolish backwardness has hitherto kept me from entering so closely into serious conversation with him as to discover the real state of his mind, and make a vigorous effort to lead his heart to God. I then resolved to seize the first opportunity to discharge a duty so weighty to the conscience of a Christian and the heart of a parent; but day after day my foolish and deceitful heart said, 'I will do it tomorrow,' till the very day he was taken ill. I had resolved to talk with him that evening, and when he first complained of his head, I was half pleased with the thought that this might lead him to listen more seriously to what I should say. But 0, Sir, his pain and fever increased so rapidly, that I was obliged to

100

A CHRISTIAN MINISTER'S SOLILOQUY, ETC.

put him to bed ; and as he seemed inclined to doze, I was glad to leave him to rest. From this time he was never sufficiently sensible for conversation ; and now he has gone into eternity, and left me distracted with uncertainty concerning the salvation of his precious soul. I know he had arrived to the period when he must be judged as an accountable creature ; for I have several times observed in him such efforts of reason and conscience as surpassed many who had seen twice his years. I recollect the favourable symptoms I have discovered, and for a momeut hope that the good Shepherd has gathered the lamb into his bosom. But then, again, I cry, if it should not have been so! That thought again plunges me back again into the depths of distress. Dilatory wretch! had it not been my own sin, I might now have been consoling myself with the satisfactory conviction of having discharged the duty of a Christian parent, and enjoying the delightful assurance of meeting my child before the thione of the Lamb! 0! the sin of procastination! 0! the delusion that lurks in the word TO-MORROW."

The Pearl of Days. A Christian Minister's Soliloquy on situation! If I am not faithful to the his Way to the Sanctuary.

cause I have undertaken, how shall I

appear at the solemn season? If I am I am now going to the sanctuary-going ashamed of the faces of men, I am assured to meet God-going to engage in his wor- I shall be confounded before them; and, ship-going to preach his word—that word what is still more awful, shall be rewarded by which both myself and all my hearers with the Divine displeasure, and perhaps must be finally judged. I shall soon be with misery in my own soul. The condisurrounded by a number of beings, whose tion of my hearers may be various : some existence is never to terminate, but who, will need comfort and encouragement; after millions and millions of ages, will be some may have backsliden, and will restill immortal. Either the Bible is untrue, quire admonition to return; some may be or every man, woman and child among less attached than they should be to the them, will dwell in everlasting misery or rules of moral obligation; some may be joy. As soon as they have passed the questioning the evidences of Christianity; bounds of this life, they must rise to the some may be discouraged by a thousand companionship of the highest order of doubts and fears; some may be

very much beings, or sink to the doom of the lowest. exposed to the agency and the artifice of Providence has appointed me to declare to the devil; and some may have their hearts them the misery of their condition as sin- and their affections in heaven, and be ners, and to direct their attention to that waiting for fresh discoveries of the love of blessed way, which infinite Mercy has Christ to their souls. To all these I must opened for their complete restoration and administer a portion of meat in due season. happiness. I am to represent to them the Some, perhaps, will be wishing for doctricharacter of a Saviour, who is waiting to nal discourses—some for the practical be gracious. I am to show them the utter parts of religion-some for experience. If impossibility of their being saved by any I am very practical, many may think I other means. I am to watch for their am legal: if I am pretty general in my souls; to labour that I may be instrumen- invitation to sinners, some may be weak tal in their everlasting welfare; and when enough to imagine that I set aside the I have finished the short period allotted necessity of the influence of the Spirit in for me on earth, I am to appear before the conversion : many may differ from me in tribunal of my Creator, to give in my the shades of these views of the gospel. account; to say how I have used, and how But if these things move me, or make any I have improved my talents—what exer- alteration in my public addresses, I am tions I have made in the office I sustain, not a faithful servant of Christ: I shall and what effects have resulted from them. then appear to be guided by the opinions What responsibility attaches itself to my of men. It will seem as if they weigh

DROPPINGS OF THE SANCTUARY.

101

[ocr errors]

more with me than the Bible: I shall ex- warmness and inattention! Or perhaps, pose myself to the everlasting censure of before the arrival of another Sabbath, I my conscience, and perhaps to the curse of myself may have finished my course on God. I will, therefore, endeavour to follow earth—I may now be going to preach my the directions of the highest authority. If last sermon. The opportunities I now en. I please, I shall share in their pleasures; joy of winning souls to Christ, may be the if I do not, I shall yet have approved my- last I shall have for ever.

O that I may self to my own conscience. Whatever be enabled to keep my own accountability, may be the result, I will strive to be faith- and the immortality of my hearers in ful to my own views, and to truth, and view! May these annihilate all fear of the leave the event with God. I will exert creature, and make me solicitous to please myself, to the utmost of my power, to turn God. May I enter the sanctuary under sinners from darkness to light. I know the deep impressions of his presence: may that the co-operation of Divine influence I remember that he is acquainted with all is necessary to make my exertions effectual my thoughts and with all my intentions : to any good end; but I recollect that all may I be kept from the folly of striving means are to be employed, while the effect merely to gratify the outward ear: may rests upon the sanction of Heaven. be animated with ardent zeal, zeal accordPerhaps, before another Sabbath-day, ing to knowledge: may I be in a spiritual some that hear me this day, will have and heavenly frame of mind : may I strive removed to their long home : they may to cherish this disposition in those that have appeared before their Maker-they hear me: May I be very serious, and very may have given in their account. Why, much in earnest about my own salvation, if it should be said by any, that I have and that of all around me; and, above all

, been accessary to their damnation, that I may I be indulged with thy smiles, O had not reproved, that I had not admo- Thou infinitely blessed Being; and when nished, that I had not instructed them! my work on earth is finished, rise to What, if they should to eternity be heap- nobler communion with Thee and thy ing curses upon my head, for my luke- Son for ever.

Droppings of the Sanctuary.

Affliction is favourable to religion : draweth another, and that will draw it abstracts, it softens, it awes the another, and that another, and they mind; it stripes the world of its at- others. Whoever has his heart truly tractions, and starves us out of the touched by the grace of God, will creature into God.—Jay.

labour to convert others. Phillip will Science may rise us to eminence, draw Nathaniel, Andrew will draw but religion alone can guide us to Peter, and Peter being converted, will felicity.- Anon.

labour to “strengthed his brethren." An hypocrite is all joy and no True grace is not only communicative, grace, like a green bough tied to a but assimilating in its nature.— Ibid dead tree.

He is a giant in joy, and It will do you no good to be of the not so much as a dwarf in grace. He right religion, if you be not zealous in is in the highest form of joy, and not the exercise of the duties of that reso much as the lowest form of grace. ligion.— Baxter. -Calamy.

Faith is a burning glass, which reTrue grace is of a spreading nature, ceives the beams of God's love, and and is therefore compared to leaven, inflames the heart with love to him which diffuseth itself into the whole again; till, mounting up in fervent lump, and to salt, that seasoneth all prayers, love reaches its original, and things with which it is mingled. A rests for ever in love.-Ibid. trne Christian is like a needle touched No man is past hopes of salvation with a loadstone. A needle thus touched until he is past all possibility of Re

102

REV. JOHN FLETCHER, M.A.

pentance, until he is absolutely hardened There is a dignity, sanctity, and against all gospel corrections.-Owen. authority in the words of the Holy

Prosperity best discovers Vice; but Ghost, which impart elevation to the Adversity best discovers Virtue. noblest sentiments, and elegance to the

The corruption of humon nature is most beautiful. It is the legitimate a poison so subtile, that it pierces into style of the pulpit, and the cannonical all the powers of the soul; so conta- robes of her divine instructions. gious, that it infects all the actions ; so obstinate, that only Omnipotent grace can heal.it.

Pulpit Anecdotes.

Bernard Gilpin.

Rev. John Fletcher, M.A.

DURING the early part of his residence at BERNARD GILPIN narrowly escaped mar- Geneva, his sister, Madame de Botens, who tyrdom during the reign of Mary of had taken a house in that city for the conEngland; but, in the year 1560, he was venience of her brothers, was visited by a offered the bishopric of Carlisle, and widow-lady from Nyon. This lady was urgently pressed by the Earl of Bedford accompanied by her three sons, who were

not the most happily disposed, and whose and other persons of distinction to accept improper conduct at this time, provoked her it. He chose, however, to continue in the to so uncommon a degree, as to extort from situation of what would now be called a her a hasty imprecation. Our pious young missionary or an itinerant preacher, dis- student was present upon this occasion, and

so struck was he with the unnatural cartributing his labours throughout the

riage of this exasperated mother, that, incounties of Northumberland and Durham. stantly starting from his chair, he addressed Once, when Mr. Gilpin was setting out on her in a very powerful remonstrance, from his annual tour through Tynedale, the the following scripture—“Parents, provoke bishop summoned him to preach before not your children,” &c.: he reasoned with him. "Mr. Gilpin excused himself in the observed and lamented the difficulties of

her in an affecting and pointed manner: he gentlest way he could, and proceeded on her situation; but entreated her to struggle his journey; but, on his return, he found against them with discretion, end not with himself

, for the crime of contempt, suspen- impatience: he exhorted her to educate her ded from all ecclesiastical employments. children in the fear of God, and to second Some time after, the bishop sent for him such education by her own pious example suddenly, and commanded him to preach and after assuring her that her conduct, He obeyed, but selected, as the topic of his discourse, the high responsibility of a Chris- the utmost horror, and that he could not

on the present occasion, had filled him with tian bishop; and having exposed the corrup- but tremble for the consequeuces of it, he tions of the clergy, he boldly addressed the concluded his address by alarming her fears, prelate himself in these words: “Let not lest the imprecation she had uttered should your lordship say, “ These crimes have been be followed by unexpected

family affliction. committed without my knowledge,' for what

That same day, the widow, on her return soever you yourself do in person, or suffer

to Nyon, emburked upon the lake, where by your connivance to be done by others is she was overtaken with a tremendious wholly your own; therefore in the presence storm, and brought to the very point of of God, angels and men, I pronounce your perishing. In the midst of her danger, the fatherhood

to be the author of all these words of her young prophet (as she ever evils; and I and this whole congregation afterwards termed M. da la Flèchere) were will be witnesses in the day of judgment deeply impressed upon her mind. But they that these things have come to your ears.' At the close of the service, the bishop, ble manner, with the melancholy intelli

shortly returned upon her in a more forcithanked him for his faithful reproof.

gence, that two of her sons were lost upon the lake, and the third crushed to death at one of the gates of Geneva.

Friendly Monitions to Parents.

:

Home, a sacred Place. of the most refined and delicate sensibility.

But if we could follow him home, where he Oh, how sacred is that home where every throws of his visiting dress, and appears in word is kindness, and every look affection! his accustomed habits, what a change Where the ills and sorrows of life are should we too often behold! The faceitous borne with mutual effort, and its pleasures companion is sullen as soon as he is seated are equally divided and each esteem the by his own fire-side; the amiable and the other more worthy. Where a holy emula- mild associate degenerates into the cruel tion abounds to excel in offices of kindness oppressor when at home; and he who can and affectionate regard. Where live-long excite general admiration and esteem, when day, the week, the month, the year, is a abroad, becomes an object of terror amongst scene of cheerful and unwearied effort to the members of his own family. swell the tide of domestic comfort, and Hence as Dr. Johnson very justly reoverflow the heart with home-born enjoy- marks, “it is at home, that every man must ments. That home may be the humblest be known by those who would make a just hovel on earth; but there heart meets estimate either of his virtue or felicity; for heart, in all the fondness of a full affection smiles and embroidery are alike occasional, And where ever that spot is found, there is and the mind is often dressed for show in an exemplification of all that is lovely and painted honor and fictitious benevolence.” of good report among men.

It is heaven Perhaps there is no vice held in more begun below.

general abhorrence, than the vice of hypo

crisy. It is condemned by the good and The real character at Home. the bad, by the learned and by the illite

rate; by the aged and by the young, and “What a truly interesting character,” said yet, what vice more common! “For every Mrs. , as the door closed on the polite man must have found some whose lives, in Mr.

“what a treasure must his every house but their own, were a continfamily possess in him! His wife must be ual series of hypocrisy, and who concealed one of the happiest of women! His house under fair appearances, bad qualities, which a little paradise; made up of innocence and whenever they think themselves out of the love!" "Yes, indeed he is,” replied many reach of censure, break out from their voices, whose discordant harmony, was dis- restraint, like winds imprisoned their turbed by the following observation from a caverns, and whom every one has reason grave old gentleman, who formed one of to love, but they whose love a wise man is the party:

“ we dress for company; but at chieflly solicitous to attain. But happily home we appear in our deshabille. In com- there are others, who, without any show of pany we assume an artificial appearance, at general goodness, and without the attrachome we appear in our real character.” tions by which popularity is conciliated, are

The love of fame, which originates the received among their own families as begreat and splendid acheivements of history, stowers of happiness, and reverenced as very often give a false complexion to the instructors, guardians, and benefactors ; human character, by inducing many to and of this we may be assured that a man display virtues, pro tempore, which form no is in reality what he is in his own familyessential part of their moral constitution. whether vicious or virtuous, tyrannical or Hence arises the extreme difficulty of mild, miserable or happy.” ascertaining the real character of a man from the casual intercourse which we may An Exhortation to Parents. have with him, in the commerce of social life, as he usually attires himself in his best There is hardly any thing of greater imstyle of manner and dispositions, when he portance than the bringing up of children goes forth to show himself in the circle of in the way they should go. This is a duty friendship. There he is polite and fascina- which cannot be undertaken too early, nor ting; he gives way to the pleasantry of his too strictly performed. The minds of chilnature; no sullen gloom hangs over his dren must be engaged. As soon as reason brow; no anger flashes from his eye; no begins to dawn, the mind begins to expand, bitter, no cutting words, pass from his lips; and cannot remain unemployed. If good he looks, he speaks, he acts, as a man of things are not carefully instilled, it will sense, as a man of kindness, and as a man occupy itself in trifles. And when a child in

« PreviousContinue »