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THE SCOURGE OF CORDS; OR, CHRIST WITH THE WHIP.
*AND WHEN HE HAD MADE A SCOURGE OF SMALL CORDS, HE DROVE THEM
ALL OUT OF THE TEMPLE, AND THE SHEEP, AND THE OXEN; AND POURED
OUT THE CHANGERS' MONEY, AND OVERTHREW THE TABLES.'—John ië. 15. AND SAID, IT IS WRITTEN, MY HOUSE
SHALL OF PRAYER: BUT YE HAVE MADE IT A DEN OF THIEVES.'-Mat, xxi. 12-13.
Jesus did not very often use the sible. Honest traders, whip. He is here represented as class, exist. But in this case, doing so most vigorously. To some Jesus, who knew these men through minds He scarce looks like the mild and through, saw that they were and gentle Saviour in this instance. sordid, selfish, dishonest men, who But we think there is no incongruity were moved in all their trade-transbetween the gentleness of Christ actions by an unprincipled love and the proceeding recorded above. of gain. He recognized in them To shew this, and to draw out a few reckless devotees of the God Avaro. lessons is the object of this paper. He knew that no pious sentiment We will then try, then,
stirred their breasts, and moved First-To gain an idea of the case them to exchange those shekels, or as it presented itself to the mind of to sell those doves. He knew, if the Master.
they could take an advantage by Well, what do we see ? The outer extorting exhorbitant prices or excourt of the temple is filled with acting extravagant interest, they the tables and stalls of the ex. would,--they did. He knew that changers of money, and sellers of because they found it to pay well, doves, &c.; the latter for use in therefore were they there. I think the sacrifices of the approaching Christ would have dealt more gently Passover. This had been done with with them, if they had been simply the consent of both the rulers and misled or misinformed men. But people of the Jews. No doubt very they were shrewd, cunning knaves. plausible arguments were used in They knew what they were about. favour of the custom. It was con. They were makirg money, without venient to many to be able to any high-souled concern as to the purchase necessary things upon the how, and they were doing it in the spot, and to exchange the shekels. temple. We see that they are driving a Moreover, was not all done under good trade. Evidently the traders the cloak of religion ? "Are we not are well pleased with the ar- offering every facility for enabling rangement.
the people to worship God But the Son of God, when He ceptably in His temple ?' Thus sees the motley throng, and beholds would they add to all the rest the the bartering and selling, is wroth. villainy of hypocrisy. This more Whatever may have been the reason than any other feature would kindle ing by which those interested in the indignation of the Master. Still the affair sought to uphold and have we ringing in our ears the defend the custom, He does not words He once uttered to the admit them to have force. I think, arch-hypocrites — the Scribes and however, we shall find the chief Pharisees : Woe unto you! how will reason for the conduct of Christ you escape the damnation of hell ? in the implied character of the men, He hated with burning hatred and of their transactions. He calls hypocrisy. And when He saw, as them 'thieves.' Not that all trading here, the sordid love of gold, and is thievery. No! Trade is one of the worship of mammon finding God's ordinances for the good of shelter under the very eaves of the
Honest trading is pos. temple, He could do no other than
make the whip, drive them out, and 1st.-Anger is right under certain overturn their tables.
circumstances. Second. Let us shew that there is We may do well to be angry; we nothing in all this at all inconsistent may be angry and sin not. Sin in with the general character of Christ. all its forms must be an object of
True He was meek, and gentle, and intense disgust to every rightly con, loving. He was these in infinite stituted mind. If we be not aroused perfection. But he was a man. He to indignation thereby it indicates was a perfect man. He had, there a serious defect of moral character. fore, a keen sense of right and love I believe we, as Christian men, of honesty. He had a profound ought to feel and exhibit resentment respect for Jehovah, and for all against wrong doing. Indignation things and places connected with ought to burn within our breasts Him. In the deeps of His soul He towards every form of evil which reverenced truth and consistency. presents itself, and especially so With all the force of His being He when it assumes the character of adored God, His character, His law, pious fraud. We may be angry His worship; and He knew that with men for sinning, especially when, that temple stood as the divinely as in the case under consideration, appointed symbol of the Divine it presents itself in most aggravated being, that it was consecrated to and revolting aspects. We may, His high praise, and that services and we ought, to utter words of of glorious significance were there earnest and faithful remonstrance, offered to Him. He knew that there and even severe denunciation. prayer, in a hundred forms, was to go 2nd.—We shall do well to be very up to the Most High. To Jesus it cautious in our use of this right. was, then, a consecrated place—the There is so much of danger lest spot where heaven and eartb met! the anger degenerate into sin, that He felt that honesty and purity we do well to be most careful. There alone became the place where God's are three things which render it all. honour dwelt. But now, behold! | important that we should exercise the sacred precincts are overstepped rigid caution. There is, imperby the unhallowed feet of unlawful fection of knowledge; the power traders; yea, a horde of religious of selfishness, prejudice, and rogues and swindlers.
Passing passion; and ' limited authority. strange would it have been if Christ Everyone knows that he is in had not been aroused by such a constant danger of infringing proper scene as was presented in that temple limits by reason of the operation of yard. The meekness and gentle one or all of these. We often ness of Jesus were not sentimental think we are right in denouncing weaknesses and imperfections of this and the other thing; but aftercharacter; they were principles wards we discover that either the which could and did blend with the thing was altogether different in equally right elements of honest, moral character to what we had manly and stern indignation, and imagined, or we find upon close anger at wrong, which would burn, examination that there was in our too, with an intensity proportioned anger a very large preponderance to the enormity of the wrong. Jesus of mere personal feeling, or loved, but His love was under the come to see that we have really control of a correctly balanced will, infringed upon the prerogative of a highly sensitive conscience, and a the Lord, the Judge. It is well righteous judgment. There is such every way that our right to be a thing as the wrath of the Lamb. angry and to express that anger by Day neither reader nor writer ever word or 'whip’is limited. know by experience what it is.
In the Master there was no danger. Third.—Let us deduce a few He had unlimited authority, and He lessons.
was absolutely free from all warping
English Puritan Divines.—Dr. Richard Sibbes.
and impurifying influences and do well to bear in mind our immotives. He had authority, and perfections, and hence learn to be He knew how and when to use it. sparing of the whip. He knew perfectly when to be stern. 3rd.What a warning to all imWhen He was angry it would have plicated parties. been criminal supineness for Him to I fear there is now a good deal have been anything else. There is of this huckstering carried on under an anger of principle as well as of the name of religion. Because it is malignant passion. The one is as profitable, because men can turn a ennobling as the other is degrading ; penny,' because their connection the one as right as the other is with religious societies gives them wrong. The anger of Jesus was in a certain status among men of the every sense of the former kind; world—therefore they thrust them. ours often partakes of the latter selves within the pale of the church. quality. While, then, the example Let such men beware lest He who of Jesus shews that we may be drove out the offenders from the angry, and sin not, indeed, that to temple of Jerusalem cast them refrain from anger under some cir- forth from His presence for their cumstances would be to sin; yet, we | hypocrisy.
'I judge it a commendable thing, to perpetuate and keep fresh the memory of such worthy men, whose examples may be of use for imitation in this declining and degenerate
CATLIN. The celebrating the memory of eminent and extraordinary persons and transmitting their great virtues for the imitation of posterity is one of the principal ends and duties of history.'
The eminently pious and learned the best given gentlemen of this Richard Sibbes was born about the court,' says Roger Ascham, 'and all middle of the reign of Queen they together shew not so much Elizabeth. The reign of Elizabeth good will, spend not so much time, embraces one of the most important bestow not so many hours, daily, and extraordinary periods of our orderly, and constantly for the innational history. It comprehends crease of learning and knowledge, nearly the whole of the latter half as doth the Queen's Majesty herself. of the sixteenth century. It was Yea, I believe, that beside her perthen that the British mind unfolded fect readiness in Latin, Italian, in its grandest aspects and sublimest French, and Spanish, she readeth forms. Philosophy, Poetry, Theo- here now at Windsor more Greek logy, Pulpit and Forensic Elo- every day than some Prebendary of quence, all flourished under the this Church doth read Latin in a vigilant eye and the stimulating whole week.
Amongst all auspices of the great Virgin Queen. the benefits that God hath blessed Elizabeth herself was a woman of me with all, next the knowledge of no ordinary mind and no common Christ's true religion, I count this attainments. "Point forth six of the greatest, that it pleased God to
call me to be one poor minister in Henry Smith, the 'silver-tongued' setting forward these excellent gifts preacher, who for many years inof learning, in this most excellent structed and delighted a London Prince; whose only example if the audience, was born at Withcock. rest of our nobility would follow, Cave, a popular preacher, who wrote then might England be for learning the 'Lives of the Apostles,' and many and wisdom in nobility a spectacle other valuable and useful works, was to all the world beside.
a native of Pickwell.
Beveridge, The human mind had entered into remarkable for his learning, and new realms of thought and con- greeted as the 'Restorer of Primitive templation. For ages it had been Piety,' and who died Bishop of St. lying in the torpor of a gross and Asaph, first saw the light at Barrowbesotting superstition; but now the upon-Soar. Robert Burton, the quaint the spell of enchantment was broken, and erudite author of the famous the damp darkness of ignorance was book “The Anatomy of Melancholy,' dissipated, and the liberated soul who was so fond of learning that he rejoicing in her light and freedom, sought 'to have an oar in every began to pour forth the rich treasures man's boat, to taste of every dish, of imperishable thought. Liberty and sip of every cup,' was a native awakened life, and life unfolded in of Lindley. Dr. Jennings, a learned literature. A great cluster of stars Dissenting divine, and son of an make up_the Elizabethan Constel- Ejected minister, was born at Kiblation. Hooker, Jewel, Perkins, worth. Whiston, who became a Smith, and Andrews are some of noted mathematician, a profound the great names in theology and Greek scholar, and the translator of pulpit eloquence. Spenser, Shakes- Josephus, was born at Norton, near peare, and Jonson flourished at that Twycross. And Robert Hall, who period as poets. Coke was the was the greatest preacher of his day, great lawyer, and among the states- spent his childhood at Arnsby. men were Burleigh, Sydney, Wal. Our rural villages, and our rustic singham, and Essex, while as lads, are therefore, not to be des. philosophers and men of letters the pised. Underneath the external illustrious name of Bacon, and the brusqueness there often lie a reason unfortunate Sir Walter Raleigh have clear and strong, a conscience quick obtained a world-wide reputation. and sound, and a heart tender and
Richard, the eldest son of Paul pure. and Johan Sibbes, was born at In a short time after the birth of Tostock, in Suffolk, in the year Richard, his parents removed from 1577. The county of Suffolk has Tostock to Thurston, a similar been remarkable for its godly min. village about three miles distant. isters and saintly martyrs. Tostock The vicar of Thurston, Zachary is a small picturesque village, about Catlin, * has given a quaint and four miles from St. Edmundsbury, graphic description of the boyhood and thirteen miles from Sudbury. of Richard Sibbes. 'His parents Small villages have often had the soon removed to Thurston, where honour of giving birth to, and they lived in honest repute, brought furnishing the first home for, great up and married divers children, good, and learned men. Their young purchased some houses and lands, hearts have been nourished by the and there they both deceased. His simplicity and freshness of country father was by trade a wheelwright,
Take Leicestershire as a skilful and painful workman, and illustration. Latimer, who reproved a good sound hearted Christian. Henry the Eighth, and preached This Richard he brought up to before Edward the Sixth, and learning at the Grammar-school, witnessed the truth with his blood,
Zachary Catlin came to be minister of during the tyranny of the blood- Thurston in 1608, the year in which Milton thirsty Mary, was born at Thurcaston. I and Clarendon were born.
Richard Sibbes leaves the Wheelwright's Shop for Cambridge.
though very unwillingly, in regard It is easy to imagine this young to the charge, had not the youth's scholastic wheelwright and the misstrong inclination to his book, and takes he would make in his trade. well profiting therein, with some The man whose heart is out of his importunity of friends prevailed so calling can never succeed. Richard far, as to continue him at school till has genius, but it refuses to display he was fit for Cambridge. The its powers in chopping felloes, or Grammar - school he attended was planing boards, or shaving spokes, near Pakenham church, and was or hammering nails. And possibly kept by a Mr. R. Briggs. Richard there is a mysterious conviction in was extremely fond of his books. his mind that this is not to be his call. After school hours, while the other ing. There is a secret finger pointboys were at play, and sometimes ing him to another path. The inplaying the 'waggs' with him, he compatibility between the boy and his would be deep in the study of one work was observed by the neighbours book or other.' His dress for the if not by his father. Whereupon,' most part was made of leather. observes Catlin, 'Mr. Greaves, then From the school at Pakenham he minister of Thurston, and Mr. Rush. was removed to the free - school at brook, an attorney there, knowing Bury, four miles distant; thither the disposition and the fitness of the he went every day. His thirst for lad, sent him, without his father's learning increased. Concerning consent, to some of the fellows of his love to his book, and his industry St. John's College of their acquaintin study,'says his quaint biographer, ance, with their letters of recom'I cannot omit the testimony of Mr. mendation, when upon examination, Thomas Clark, high constable, who he was well approved of, did then conceive that he would in that he was presently entered as time prove an excellent and able a subsizar, shortly after chosen man, who of a child was of such a scholar of the house, and at length manly staidness, and indefatigable came to be fellow of the College, industry in his study.'
and one of the taskers of the Uni. Having been there for some time versity. His father being hardly his studies were interrupted. The brought to allow him twenty nobles father was providing tools while the a year towards his maintenance in boy was looking after books. This Cambridge, to which some good change is narrated in a few simple friends in the country, Mr. Greaves, homely words, and will be thoroughly Mr. Knewstub, and some others understood by those who have been made some addition for a time, as in a similar situation. His father need required.' at length grew weary of his ex- Sibbes entered St. John's College, penses for books and learning, took Cambridge, in the year 1595. He was him from school, bought him an axe then in his eighteenth year. Though and some other tools, and set him having many disadvantages he made to his own trade,* to the great dis- rapid progress in his studies. He content of the youth whose genius passed B.A. in 1589, M.A. in 1602, wholly carried him another way.' was elected College preacher in 1609.
The writer of this sketch may be par- discredit of the Baptist Denomination that doned for referring to himself. His father, no memoir of any kind has been written of grandfather, great-grandfather followed the a man, who was calmly and constantly trade of wheelwright for more than a century valiant for the truth, and who served in the same village, and he himself has the church of God faithfully for more than made many a wheel in his father's shop. half a century; who in many respects His honoured pastor, who for more than was the successor of Thomas Scott, the fifty years was minister of the Baptist laborious commentator, and who, for quaintchurch in a neighbouring village where he ness of manner, and simplicity and sincerity was born and brought up, was also a wheel- of mind, might be regarded as the Isaac wright, and during the earlier period of his Walton, of the Baptist Denomination. ministry followed his trade. It is to the