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ther born for adversity, who watches with tender care his afflicted children, keeps them as the apple of his eye, is afflicted in all their afflictions, and will love them to the eud, that He may bo their portion for ever! What encouragement therofore to the tried and tempted to trust in Him, to rest on Him, to wait for Him, knowing that He is able and willing to save to the uttermost. How slow are Christians to believe in the fulness and all-sufficiency of Jesus, to understand his gracious promises, to realise his presence, to interpret rightly his dealings. They yield to the pressure of their sorrows, and write bitter things; as if their cup
was always mingled with gall, instead of looking to Him who appoints the trial, only that He may more fully manifest his glorious power in their delivery. Do we long for the sympathy of Jesus in the moment of painful affliction? Let us imitate Martha and Mary, and go to Him in humble confidence, in full assurance of faith, relying on his faithfulness, and then shall we fully understand that He will come, and take up his abode with us as our Comforter, Friend, and Helper, to counsel, direct, and bless with his evergracious smile.
F. S. G. Tiverton.
THE JOY OF HEAVEN.
Ps. XVI. 2.
"From darkness here, and dreariness,
We ask not full repose,
Our trial hour of woes.
The gate of Heaven unclose?"
Tns CnmsiiAN Yeab.
It is well for us sometimes to withdraw our minds from the busy and distracting scenes of earth. There is so much in this world of sin to distract, and chafe, and embitter, that one of the most glorious and consolatory truths of the Christian is, that there is a heaven for the good, a resting-place for tho weary, a home for the wanderer, a bright crown and a white robo for all who are "faithful unto death." This is the plain teaching of the Bible, and a most important teaching it is. Let your life be ever so distracted with care, ever so harassed with grief, ever so tormented by temptation, ever so buffeted with the disappointments and vexations of tho world; if you are but a believer in Christ, and entertain a "well-grounded hope" of everlasting life,
you may smile at all reverses and every storm, as you have the blessed assurance that death shall be swallowed up of life, and earth exchanged for heaven. That whioh bore up and enraptured David, in the terrible struggles of this mortal existence, may surely inspirit you. "In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more."
Reader! will you meditate with us upon the joy of the redeemed—yw own joy, we should hope—in heaven?
The joy of heaven will be spiritual. We know but little of the nature of that state into which the good man is introduced on leaving this earth, and that little is obtained from the Bible alone. Into our conceptions we do not introduce tho glowing and sensual representations which essentially cuter into tho Turkish paradise. There is no tradition of our country, descriptive of heaven, which helps us in the slightest to form our conception of what heaven is. We are compelled to come with inquiring and submissive minds to the teachings of the Bible, and to rest on them alone. Were it possible for us to learn what will be the exact state of man after the resurrection of the body, and when it becomes reunited with the soul; how much of the material it will retain; how much of the human; what sort of change will take place in the body—the covering, the envelope of man's soul ; we might then be in a fair way for judging of the state and employment to which we shall be introduced hereafter. All we know is, that it shall not spring up the same body —that it shall undergo a purifying transformation—that God will give to the soul a body as it pleaseth him. We think, however, we are quite warranted to exclude from the enjoyments of heaven all sensual appetites and passions. Still, as the soul will have a material covering, however thin and vapoury it may be, for aught we can tell, there may be pleasures which are not exclusively mental; at least, the body may become the medium of pleasure to the mind, which otherwise it would not have. But even these enjoyments shall be so far removed from the earthly, the fleshly, as to bo sublimated and spiritual. To investigate the past—to pry into the future—to watch with admiration the various unfoldings of the Divine character—to contemplate the magnitude and beauty of his works—to enter upon various missions to various parts of his dominions at his bidding; — these shall be the employments of tho heavenly world. These are the spiritual pleasures which are at God's right hand.
The joy of heaven will be adapted to our nature. Although we may not know exactly what that nature will be, or what will be the conditions of our existence, we have every reason to conclude, from the goodness and graciousness of our heavenly Father, that that joy will suit our every capacity, aud meet our overy craving. Men look for joys now which are not adapted to their nature, and consequently they do not
satisfy. Is it fitting to man that he should be a worm of earth, never giving a thought to anything but the bread that perisheth? Is it fitting that man should onfeeblo his body,'by an intemperate use of such things as earth offers for the quenching of thirst or the satisfying of hunger? Is it fitting that man should sin against his Maker—be at open war with the God who mode him—resist his authority and his law? Yet these are the things which men are doing; and they complain against God and the constitution of things, that they are not happy while doing them. As well complain against law when it punishes the breaker of it—against right when it condemns the wrong. But from the world as it is, and which has been so disordered by sin, let us turn to the world as it was when the mind of the first man was untainted by impurity. Do we not see the nicest and most beauteous adaptation in external nature to the various wants of man? What could more minister to pleasure than the works by which man was surrounded iu Paradise? Can we suggest anything to make him morehappy? No 6ickness—no death—but every th ing living with the highest life. Who does not join in the declaration of the Allwise Himself, and pronounce all very good? And yet there was nothing low and grovelling, but everything to gratify desire which had been implanted by God. Nor can we suppose that this peculiarity will not enter into tho eternal world. As surely as the eye is adapted for light—the earth for vegetation—the sun to revolve; so surely will heaven, whatever its employment, wh atever its joys, be adapted to that spiritual naturo which man will possess. Adaptation is a characteristic of all tlio works of God, and is sure to enter into the heavenly state.
The joy of heaven will bo perfect. As Milton, in that grand poem, the "Pavadiso Lost," sweetly sung, it was sin that brought death into our world, aud all our woe. Amid much that was left in our earth of the fair and beautiful, everywhere imperfection held sway, and claimed mastery over all. Look where you will, there is imperfection. The fairest flower fades. The sweetest rose loses its perfume. The beauties of creation are nipped by the autumnal frost, or swept away by the winter's blast. Even into our social enjoyments imperfection enters. The eye of the loved one loses its sparkle, the cheek its glow; health is fed upon by the worm, until it reaches the heart, and all is over. We ourselves are imperfect in all our enjoyments. Have we tasted one cup of sweets? We take another and another, until at length we nauseate that which we loved. Are we happy to-day? We are in trouble to-morrow. Is our sky bright now? A cloud will ioon overshadow it. Are we smiling and contented at this moment? At the next a tear will dim our eye and moisten our cheek. But all imperfection from the heavenly world shall be excluded. Sin cannot enter heaven, nor death. Sorrow and crying shall flee away. He shall wipe all tears from all eyes, and the days of mourning shall be ended. Sin cannot gnaw upon the frame, sorrow cannot sit upon the brow, death cannot strike down any victim; for in that land of the blessed and the happy, imperfection will never gain a place. Of course, there will be a difference of enjoyment, just as there is a difference of desert. "One star differeth from another star in glory." The Christian who has struggled through many years with numerous foes, with bitter temptations, and who has been faithful in the midst of all, shall wear a brighter crown than the child who is transplanted in infancy from earth to heaven, or than the dying man who is converted with the last leaping flame of the lamp of life. Still there is perfection, complete and consummate.
The joy of heaven will be enduring. "At thy right hand there are pleasures
for evermore." Whatever we may possess in this world, there must be a limit put to its possession. Suppose the miser has amassed his wealth, and hoarded it up in the strongest and safest coffers; Buppose the tradesman, by hard and honest labour, has earned a competency and may now retire; suppose the labourer, who has had to toil from day to day, has kept himself above the reach of poverty, and gained a little) spot of earth he can call his home; suppose the commander has won every battle he has fought, and obtained every laurel after which he aspired, and had his name blazoned upon some statue which was to perpetuate his memory; suppose the king could become the conqueror of every kingdom, and have laid at his feet the treasures of every clime, tho myrrh and frankincense and gems of the east, the wines and abundance of the south, the bravery and hardihood of the north; would not a time have to arrive, make it far off or make it near, when they would be compelled to bid adieu to all their possessions, and to part with everything they had? It is a most humbling fact, that wo came empty into this world, and we must go empty away. The miser leaves his gold, the merchant his business, the labourer his toil, the commander his laurels, and tho king his empires, when death paralyses his arm, and dims his eye, and takes motion from his limbs. To tho dying man, earth with all its treasures is of little value,—to the man dead, worlds upon worlds arc less than nothing and vanityBut in tho world to come, whatever we have will endure. Heaven knows no death, no exhaustion, no decay, lb pleasures are for evermore. Its fountains well up with liviug perennial waters. Its flowers are amaranthine. Its fruits never decay. Its trees never lose their foliage. Its suns never setThere, is a fulness of joy,—there, are pleasures for evermore. Northallerton. J- B. L.
Tower Church Sermons. Discourses, Preached in the Touxr Church, Belvedere, Erith, Kent. By the Rev. A. Mokod, Paris; the Rev. Dr. Kri Mmaciieb, Berlin; the Rev. T. Binnet, London. Edited by T. Bisnet.
LoDdon: Jackson and Walford. This is a very valuable volume of sermons. Itc origin and appearance are to be traced portly to the Evangelical Alliance, and partly to Sir Culling Eardley. It is edited by the Rev. T. Binney, and opens with a very characteristic Preface, containing some notices of the genealogy of Sir Culling, and some account of the circumstances which led to the delivery of the discourses. The first sermon is by the Rev. A. Monod, of Paris; the second by the Rev. Dr. Krnmmacher, of Berlin, already well known in this country; the third and fourth are by the Editor, the Rev. T. Binney.
The sermon by Mr. Monod is entitled, "St. Paul: his Christianity or his Fears," and U a very beautiful development and application of tho tenderness of the apostle. That by Dr. Krummacher is styled, " The Water, the Spirit, and the Blood," and is a simple, and perhaps natural, exposition of the disputed passage in the First Epistle of John, on which it is founded. The value of the volume, however, is mainly or entirely dependent on the two discourses contributed by the editor. They occupy three parts of the volume, and contain some of the finest things ve have met with for a long time. We venture to pronounce the them most vigorous, eloquent, and morally telling of the productions of Mr. Binnoy's pen.
The first of Mr. Binney's two sermons, bearing the title, "The Law our Schoolmaster," consists of a remarkably clear and beautiful statement of tho typical and preparatory character of the Mosaio economy; of a very forcible and eloquent exposition of the grounds on which the apostle denounced the attempt to ensnare the Galatians into a corruption or abnegation of the gospel by the observance of Levitical ceremonies j and of a series of profound observations on the speciality and bearings of Christianity as a system which meets the necessities and deepest yearnings of humanity, whilst it expounds and harmonizes the complex and imposing ritual of the Jewish church. On some of these points, which have been dealt with in a manner so thoroughly sound and philosophical, we cannot refrain from quoting a passage or two.
On the rudimental or preparatory character of the system which was the "Schoolmaster" of the Jewish nation, Mr. Binney, with equal justice and beauty, observes, "At school, in tho wilderness, and through the subsequent period of their wonderful history, the Hebrew people were subjected to such methods of teaching as were adapted to their then condition, and preparatory to their coming of age. Prophetic intimations were given of things and persons. 'At sundry times and in divers manners' separate pieces of truth were figuratively given out; these were to be gathered up and put together, like a dissected map or drawing; the whole was theu to present such a representation of what was ultimate, that, though the ultimate itself might not be anticipated from it, it might be
understood and recognised when it came.... A large picture-book was put before the scholars in the splendid objects of the Lcvitical institute. The series of things included in this was like a series of prints arranged in order, bound and gilded, ami spread before the young, wondering eyes of a number of children. The altar, with its fire and blood; the laver, with its purifying contents; the sacrifice, with the penitent putting upon it bis sin, or lifting his eyes and his hands to heaven; the priest, in the garments expressive of humiliation, or in his gorgeous robes of' glory and beauty;' the tabernacle itself, or afterwards the temple; the altar of incense, the lights, the shew-bread, the holy of holies, the vail, the mercy-seat: these things, with others that might be specified, were all like so many significant objects, vividly portrayed on the several leaves of an immense picture-book. By familiarity with them, the minds of the learners were gradually to open to the spiritual idea contained in each; or were to be prepared for apprehending it when, 'in the fulness of time,' it should be revealed; when, in its own grandeur, and according to its own nature, it should stand forth without the aid and accessories of a ritual embodiment." Again he remarks:—" With new views of the central figure, so much the themo of prophetic song, and the object of national desire, the whole of the Levitioal system undergoes a change. It comes to have an intention, to be looked at as constructed for a purpose, which gives to it a deeper and diviner significance than was at first suspected. Priest and sacrifice, altar and propitiation, cease to be realities; they are understood to bo only shadows and signs of what was to be found substantially in the person and work, the acts and offices, of 'the great High Priest of our profession.' The tabernacle and temple seem to enlarge their proportions, as if to become a fitting sphere for the presentation of such a sacrifice, and the services of suoh a functionary, as are conceived of now. The earth is the court in which death is inflicted; the overhanging Bky is the mysterious vail; and high heaven, the dwelling-place of God, is the holy of holies. The one only sacrifice is understood to be that of ' the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world ;' the virtue of those which sanctified only to the purifying of tho flesh, or to the conferring of an external and ritual absolution, is seen to typify ' the blood that cleanseth from all sin'—which purges the conscience, and literally reconciles man to God."
Respecting the emphatic and vehement tone of indignation evinced by the apostle in reference to those who sought to beguile the Galatians from the simplicity of the gospel, we cannot withhold the following striking passage: "He (the apostle) begins
by saying that he felt such confidence in tho truth and importance of his interpretation of the gospel, having learned it,' not of man,' nor received it 'by man,' but' by the revelation of Jesus Christ,'—that'if an angel from heaven' were to preach any other, he would not only not believe him, but would brand him v.ith an 'anathema.' He repeats the statement to show the strength and vehemence of his conviction. After thus confronting with a defiance, and something more, a supposed spirit from the world of light, he proceeds to say that ho had done what was next to this,—for he 'had withstood to the face' a God-inspired man! When such an one so far forgot himself a* to appear to countenance the errors denounced, 'he was to be blamed,'—and Paul blamed him. The apostle stood up for the simplicity and spirituality of the gospel, against what was a practical implication of the necessity to Gentiles—the importance to men as men—of the external and donewith ritualism of the Jews. In addition to this, he throws his reasoning into the form ol an allegory, that would shock and exasperate the minds of his opponents: 'Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, Abraham had two sons; the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who w»« of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he who was of tho freewoman was by promise, which things are an allegory; for these are two covenants, the one from Mount Sinai, which gendcreth to bondage, and oMtfmd* to Jerttsaletn which now is, and is in bondagevitA her children. But Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all. We, brethren, as Isaao was, are the children of promise. We are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free. But as then, ho that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so is it ao». Nevertheless, what saith the Scripture? Cat out tite bondiooman and her son,for thesencf the bondwoman shall not be heir with *»• son of the freewoman.' There was ttrrible severity in all this;—a withering contempt, which we, with our feelings, can hardly comprehend. To make Hagarand Ishnuel —the bondwoman and her slave-child—a type of the Jews, and Sarah and Isaac of the Christian Gentiles, would seem to those pointed at by the parable, a* if a sacrilegious hand had torn down the vail of the temple? and exposed the holiest of all to the common gaze; or, rather, as if the unclean and the uncircumcised had been introduced within the 6acred precincts, as their proper plsw and the very priests of God thrust out,'as if they had not been anointed with oil! Consistently with this daring defiance of the national opinion, this contemptuous mockery of Jewish pretensions, put in the form of that