Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

THE LORD WILL FEED THEM AS A

a

a

placent disposition, a desire of pleasing, charge of Paul,-“ Be not conformed to a fear of offending, a dread of ridicule, this world.”—The Union of Baltimore. a shrinking from singularity, may influence us to a hurtful affiliation with its spirit and manners.

When I notice that a professed fol- LAMB IN A LARGE PLACE:" lower of Jesus Christ manifests a more

Hosea iv. 16. absorbing desire for temporal than for spiritual prosperity, for the accumulation SOME expositors regard this clause as of wealth than for promoting the glory of expressive of judgment against Israel, God; is more earnest to procure for his but we are inclined to agree with those children a coffer of gold than a crown of who consider it as manifesting God's life, I want affectionately to say to him, great love and forbearance towards his “Be not conformed to this world.” people, notwithstanding their backslid

When I hear a professor of religion ings. conversing with animation and interest 7 The Lord will feed them as a lamb." about crops, markets, politics, news and This is emblematical of the tenderness fashions, and then notice that he is and watchful care the Lord exercises silent and indifferent when religious over his children.

A young lamb is subjects are themes of conversation; intended here. Jehovah pities his chilI want to remind him of the exhorta- dren's helplessness, is mindful of their tion of Paul,—“Be not conformed to dependence, and forgets not their timithis world.”

dity and exposure. He will lead them When I observe a professor of reli- gently, carrying them in his bosom, gion seeking and enjoying the society feeding and nourishing them. of ungodly men, more than that of the “ As a lamb.The similitude is pesaints, more punctual and cheerful in culiarly expressive of the love of Jehis attendance at the social and con-hovah to the flock in Christ. Christ is vivial party, than at the prayer meeting the Lamb of God, and is beloved of and the sanctuary; I should like kindly God; the church, as a lamb," is beto whisper in his ear,~"Be not con- loved of God with the same love. formed to this world."

The love that sacrificed Christ for the When I behold a professor of religion flock, saves the flock for Christ. Christ panting and grasping after the plaudits was the lamb offered to justice for sacriand honours of earth, eager to bind fice; the church, as a lamb,” is offered about his temples a fading wreath, to justice for salvation. The satisfaction climbing, till absorbed in his struggling, of justice is concerned equally in the upon a crumbling pedestal of earthly salvation of the church as in the sacrifame; I want to direct his eye to the fice of Christ. exhortation,–“Be not conformed to this A lamb." Mark the unity of the world."

church in the Son of God, —many When I see a Christian female de- members,” yet but“ one body.” corated with the gaudy trappings of

“ He shall feed them as a lamb in a fashion, eager to catch the gaze and large (or wide) place.This betokens admiration of the vain and thoughtless, liberality ; the largeness of the Lord's imitating the glitter of the dissolute, heart towards his people, the fulness of and exciting the envy of the poor ; I supply, treasured up for them in Christ want to thunder in her ear, so loudly as Jesus. to startle and awaken ber conscience, The original intimates freedom in full “Be not conformed to this world." enjoyment. Jesus Christ is the “large,

When I observe a Christian mother wide place,” in which the flock was set sending her children to the ball-room apart ere time began; "the large place," and the theatre, the fashionable assembly, in which they are brought to feed in and the festive party, among the pro- the appointed time; "the large place," fligate and licentious, to perfect their in which they quietly rest; knowing also education and polish' their manners; that this is " the large place,” in which whilst I weep for her children, I want they shall range eternally, finding fruit to repeat to the misguided parent the sweet unto their taste, and rivers of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

AND MAKE HIM BETTER.

[ocr errors]

waters which shall be satisfying to their shaping, his discourse to meet their souls. “The Lamb shall feed them.” spiritual wants. How can he help feelHimself shall be their portion. Present ing that much of his labour is lost? communion with God, the revelations of When the weather is inclement, or the his word, the ordinances of his house, skies are overcast, instead of looking out and the enlightenings of the sacred half a dozen times to find a plausible exSpirit, are but glimpses of what will be cuse for staying at home, just recollect the full manifestation of the glory of that your minister must be as punctual this "large place."

in storm as in sunshine, that many of Truly, it is “a large place,” for it the congregation cannot safely get out embraces the lives, the interests, the in very bad weather, and that if you are spirits, the persons, of a countless host; well enough to go abroad

upon

business herein all their exigences are met, their you can have no valid excuse for abwants supplied, their comforts secured, senting yourself from the house of God. their sanctification perfected, and their Encourage him to deal very plainly glory manifested.

with you. When he preaches what are ABDIEL. called “hard doctrines,” which you

admit are found in the Bible, don't lay

your heads down in token of disapproHOW TO KEEP A GOOD MINISTER, bation, nor unmistakably show by your

restlessness how much you wish he By Dr. Humphrey.

would let such subjects alone. Remem

ber that he comes to you under a Esteem him very highly in love, for sacred commission, as an Ambassador of his works' sake.” Though he should not Christ, and that he may not "shun to be so popular nor so great a scholar as declare unto you all the counsel of God, some of his brethren, if he loves his whether you will hear, or whether you Master, and loves his work, and loves will forbear." It is true, if he has the his people, and preaches good sound spirit of him who said, “Woe is me if I doctrine, treat him as an Ambassador preach not the gospel,” he will“ obey of Christ,” sent to beseech sinners in his God rather than man, but if you constead to be reconciled to God. If he is strain him to ejaculate “ Who hath beyoung and inexperienced, make such lieved our report?" you will discourage allowances as to shew him that he is him, and render yourselves unworthy surrounded on all sides by friends, who of his faithful services. expect less than they would from one of Give him a chance to grow. In adriper age, and more power of physical dition to the few books which he may endurance. This will encourege him to be able to purchase, provide him with a do the best he can, and he will grow as good theological library, that he may fast as you could reasonably expect. If have wherewithal to enrich his mind, he commits some mistakes, (and who and to bring forth out of his treasure that sustains any difficult and respon- things new and old. And having fursible office does not?) overlook them; or nished him with tools, let him have if they are of such a nature that he time to use them. If he is disposed to needs to be put upon his guard, let the appropriate his forenoons to study, as a duty be discharged in such a way as to good minister of course will be, 'don't convince him that he still retains the interrupt him, except from necessity, or confidence of his people, and has only to where the call cannot be postponed till be more careful in future.

the afternoon without great inconveAttend punctually upon his ministry: nience. Let no frivolous excuse detain you at Give him a comfortable support. home either part of the day. It is very “The labourer is worthy of his hire. disheartening to a minister, when he Even so hath God ordained that they has spent the week in laborious pre- who preach the gospel, should live by parations for the pulpit, to look round the gospel.” To say nothing of the inupon a spare audience, and to observe justice of it, half starving a good minishow many are absent from their pews, ter is the poorest economy in the world, whom he had hoped to benefit by If you don't give him and his family

[ocr errors]

a

enough for to eat and drink, and wear, at a throne of grace.-Christian Treahow can his mind be free from those sury. wordly anxieties which would invariably interfere with the duties of his

ORIGIN OF HEBREW IDEAS. sacred calling?

Don't grudge him some few weeks, The etymology of the Hebrew lanfour at least, every year, for visiting his guage, as written by Moses, and spoken friends, and recruiting his exhausted by the Israelites, furnishes an interestphysical and mental energies, you will be ing illustration of the origin of the few gainers by it in the long run. He will abstract terms with which their minds render you more and better service than were familiar. The abstract ideas of he would if you were to allow him no the Hebrew tongue may even now, in vacation. No profession is so incessant most instances, be traced to the object in its demands, and so exhausting, as the or circumstance whence they originated. work of a preacher and pastor. If now Thus the idea of power, among the and then a constitution can bear up year Hebrews, was derived from the horn of in and year out, without taking any time an animal; and the same word in Heto recruit, the great majority of really brew which signifies horn likewise sigworking men in the ministry cannot. nifies power, and may be translated in Many will inevitably break down while either way to suit the sense. The idea young, if you can keep them all the was originally conveyed through the while at the wheel, and those who hold eye, by noticing that the strength of out longest will inevitably suffer more the animal was exerted through its or less.

horn. The force thus exerted, especially Rally round him, when he is either when the animal was enraged, was the openly assailed, or clandestinely under- greatest which fell under their observaminded. Meet the few restless spirits tion; and, sometimes, in its effects it was in the congregation at the threshold, disastrous and overwhelming. Hence and give them to understand that your the horn soon became a figure to denote beloved pastor is not to be ousted in this power, and when the idea was once way, and that

you will stand by him to originated and defined in their minds the last; that if they choose to with- they could apply it to any object which draw, let them withdraw, and you will produced a strong effect, either upon support him without their aid. Pray the bodies or the minds of men. An idea for him without ceasing." Bear him of power likewise originated from the always upon your hearts, when you human hand, because through it man come to a throne of grace. He needs exerted his strength. The same word all the help you can give him in your in Hebrew still expresses both the object daily family prayers, and in your closet and the idea derived from it. Life devotions. There is nothing which he and death are in the power of the so highly values as “the effectual fer- tongue,” reads literally, “Life and death vent prayers” of his church.

are in the hand of the tongue.” SunIf, then, you would have him an able shine, in Hebrew, is synonymous with minister of the New Testament, if you happiness; the idea being originated by wish him to grow in grace, to be experiencing the pleasant feelings pro

mighty in the Scriptures," to "feast duced by the effects of a sunny day; you with knowledge and understanding, and when thus originated, it was applied and your children with the sincere milk to the same and similar feelings proof the word,” give him books and time duced by other causes. The abstract for preparation ; attend punctually on idea of judgment or justice is derived his ministry ; receive the ingrafted word from a word which signifies to cut, or with meekness and fear, as he “sows divide; it being originated by the cirunto you spiritual things,” let him "reap cumstance, that when the primitive your carnal things ;' rally round him hunters had killed a stag, or other prey, when assailed, whether by “foes with one divided the flesh with a knife among out or foes within ;" be careful of his those who assisted in the pursuit, distrihealth, by allowing him time to recruit; buting a just portion to each. Thus, the and remember him daily and fervently act of cutting and dividing their prey,

[ocr errors]

a

REFLECTIONS

IN

A

TIME OF

DAN

TEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.

PART II.

[ocr errors]

which was the first circumstance that This cannot mean the attribute of called into exercise and placed before rectitude or justice, because it is unto, their senses the principle of justice, was i.e., belongs to believers, or is placed to the circumstance from which they de- their account, and is upon them as rived this most important abstract idea. robe to cover. It is not the perfection - From "

Philosophy of the plan of of divine justice; but the glorious meSalvation."

dium through which it is shown in our pardon. See ver. 26. “Set forth, for the manifestation of his justice, in the

remission of sins, that he may be just, GEROUS SICKNESS, ON THE RIGH- and the justifier of the believer in Jesus.”

The testimony of David is brought Addressed to fearful and timid Chris- forward in Rom. iv. 6 Blessed is the tians.

man whose iniquity is forgiven, and to whom God will not impute sin.” And

what is the ground on which it rests? My companions in doubts and fears Paul says that David describes “the of finding mercy at last, let me invite happiness of the man to whom God imyour attention to the grand fountain of putes righteousness without works.peace.

In Rom. V., the apostle illustrates and You and I look inwardly to our hearts, establishes this momentous doctrine, by and backwards to our past lives. There a comparison of the first and second we see sin and unworthiness. These Adam. By one act the first federal inspections are useful, indeed needful, to head fell, and involved us in its guilt abase and humble us, and put us in the and consequences. In that dispensation position in which Jesus meets and saves. strict justice reigned. Grace, with jusBut they cannot yield comfort. Peace tice, reigns in the eternal covenant, and and hope spring from a source without on a basis worthy of their union. The

We must look out of ourselves, to obedience of the second Adam does not the Lamb who was slain. A foundation consist in one act of conformity, or in for resting on is laid; but not in our the abstinence from one prohibition; but selves. Let me then state some of the in a series of holy thoughts and doings, views of Christ's righteousness which in accordance with God's law, during a have occupied and cheered me, and life, first of humble privacy, and then of which may be of service to you. great publicity. The law was in his

Its excellence is intrinsic, consisting heart, and its principles of love to God, in the obedience of Immanuel, as our and love to man, impregnated all his surety, to the precepts of God's law, conduct. Adam's single offence, as comand his endurance of its penalty. It is mitted in the midst of every

benefit, the amount of what he did and suffered, and in the face of every obligation, was from first to last, during his residence very heinous, and exposed him, with us, here. It is the character and glory of to the merited punishment. The obediJesus, God in our nature, exhibiting ence of Jesus was yielded in a variety of every perfection in fulness and

harmony. positions, amidst every class of evils, This righteousness is the sole basis of against the most formidable temptations, our pardon, and the perfect standard of and under every disadvantage. Adam our sanctification. We are predesti- fell in a Paradise! Jesus conquered in nated to be conformed to the image of a desert. “By the disobedience of one his Son." This righteousness imputed, man many were made sinners, by the justifies from every charge, and as seen, obedience of one man are many made and trusted, and loved, transforms into righteous.” its own likeness. Study Rom.iii. “But One excellence belongs to the work now the righteousness of God is mani- and sacrifice of Christ, which has no fest, being witnessed by the law and the parallel, and in which it is incomparable; prophets, even the righteousness of God, It magnifies the law, and makes it through faith in Jesus Christ, unto, and honourable.” The Redeemer, in his upon all who believe, for there is no divine person, was the lawgiver, the credifference, for all have sinned.

ator, the fountain of all law and order,

7

the standard of all perfection. As such, inseparable. “That blood which purges he could not be also a subject. But he the conscience, purges it from dead assumed our nature, took on him the works to serve the living God.”. While form of a servant, was made under the I humbly look to the perfect obedience law, and humbling himself, became of Immanuel for my acceptance, my obedient to death, even to the death of view of it draws my heart to its lovelithe cross. Therefore his infinite dignity ness. His love produces love in me to and divine perfections have stamped his him. Yes, you will find, my doubting obedience with an excellence, transcend- friend, that as by faith you contemplate ing the united holiness of all created this glorious righteousness of God's beings. Beware, my timid, fearful bro- Son, as the sole basis of your reconther, of interposing aught between you ciliation with God, faith will sanctify and that righteousness, whether peni- you. tence, or tears, or prayers, or well doing Let us, then, to encourage ourselves in of any kind, or gracious exercises, or this employ, examine some scripture inany qualification. The office of faith is stance of experience, both in the Old to receive this “gift of righteousness

;" and New Testament. In the New Tes“We are saved by grace, through faith, tament, the private religious history of and that the gift of God." Christ's individuals is not minutely recorded. Spirit to purify, teach, and comfort, is But on the great subject of a simple and given freely to them who ask. And his exclusive dependence for salvation on the merit is as freely reckoned to him who oblation of Christ, information is large. worketh not, (to attain it) but who be" To them,” says Peter, “who have oblieveth on him who justifieth the un- tained like precious faith with us, in the godly.

righteousness of our God and Saviour Let the rejection of the Jews teach Jesus Christ.” “We,” says another you this needful lesson : Rom. ix. 10. apostle," are the circumcision, who worTo them the gospel was preached by the ship God in the Spirit, confide in Christ Lord himself, and then by the apostles. Jesus, and have no confidence in the But they stumbled at the stumbling flesh." stone. “Going about to establish their Nor are we without the recorded exown righteousness, they would not sub-perience of believers. Hear Paul on mit themselves to the righteousness of two points, my disconsolate brother, God." " For Christ is the end of the about what he saw and felt in himself. law for righteousness, to every one who “I know that in my flesh dwelleth no believeth.” Let us take heed, lest we good thing”. “This is a faithful sayfall

, after the same example of unbelief. ing, that Christ came into the world to That righteousness is beyond all price, save sinners, of whom I am chief." Let and cannot be bestowed, but as a free us next hear of the remedy to which he donation,

repaired, or the way in which he sought “Nothing in my hand I bring,

and found relief;" Yea, doubtless, and I Simply to thy cross I cling,

count all things but loss for the excelNaked, come to thee for dress, Helpless, look to thee for grace !"

lency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus

my Lord, for whom I have suffered the Dwell on these lines, and throw your loss of all things, and do count them whole soul into them by fervent prayer, but dung, that I may win Christ, and The hymn may be known to you, and and be found in him, not having mine may express your genuine desires.

own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of

Christ, the righteousness which is of In severe and protracted indisposition, God by faith: that I may know him, when death is considered the probable and the power of his resurrection, and result, the mind cannot but recur to the the fellowship of his sufferings, being past when it looks onward to the great made conformable unto his death ; if by change. “Am I pardoned? and am I any means I might attain unto the refitted for the enjoyment of heaven ?" surrection of the dead :" Phil. iii. 8--11. Acquitted from guilt, and holiness of Disconsolate brother, turn these lines heart are felt equally necessary,

and are into a prayer, and present them with all

PART III.

« IndietroContinua »