Imágenes de páginas

it make any difference whether he shut his eyes to it or no? O misguided man, hast thou brought thyself to a state of comfortable unbelief? Do warning admonitions fall upon thee like hail upon a steel roof? Then, while it is not mine to say thou hast sinned away thy day of grace, yet reason and revelalation alike declare that there is not a more dangerous and awful condition than thine. Thou hast been for years shutting out of thy mind God and his lawpersistently hast thou kept the door closed and barred; how hard will it be for them now to enter. Here are several rooms where machinery is fitted up: but the uppermost room in which the finest and most delicate works are placed is closed, the bands connecting the works with the engine are broken, the dust and damp have accumulated, rust and decay have for years been clogging up the wheels, shafts, and spindles. Go up into that room, try to start the machinery. Can you? No! It is out of gear, it is rusted up, it is useless. What a trouble it would be to make that machinery go. How little of good is left in it. Oh, how hard for an old sinner to turn to God; he says, "Let me alone in my sleep-let me alone in my rust; don't, don't stir me. I can't bear it. This ease is so comfortable." The fool says in his heart there is no God; because he has become corrupt and abominable in his doings, and because for so long a time "God has not been in all his thoughts." Were it not that "nothing is too hard for the Lord," we might be disposed to say of such a one, "Let him alone, don't waste time upon him-it is quite useless, he is lost!" Yet the Lord is long-suffering, and full of compassion, and it may be, if the sinner, even this sinner cry, the Lord will have mercy upon him. Let him cry mightily unto God to help him, for assuredly he cannot help himself.

The second class of unbelievers is not much better than the first, though perhaps they are more likely to recover from the disease, seeing they generally have youth on their side. I refer to those who become doubters from vanity and pride of intellect.

We reckon ourselves a wise and enlightened generation, and our enlightenment takes the special form of going down and meddling with (or "muddling" with) foundation truths. Literary and debating societies abound, and young men of magnificent intellects having sharpened their wits on the grindstones of the Philistines (without, however, having asked counsel of the Lord), try their keen-edged logic on all that past generations have venerated. These young Iconoclasts having cut (not their wisdom teeth but) the cords of faith, (beg pardon, credulity), rejoice in, nay, wallow in perfect freedom of thought. "Those old fogies, our forefathers," say they, "what duffers they were-how charmingly simple in their ignorance. Groaning and droning over their prayers and their psalms, and never daring to open any book but that old-fashioned Bible. Well, well, we've got past that, one book is as good as another, and the man who makes himself acquainted with all literary productions, gets a glorious expansion of intellect which emancipates him from the thraldom and bigotry of a narrow-minded religion. With what docile gullibility have past generations swallowed the notion of a God, and all the absurdities and old wives' fables that follow, when a little common sense would have prevented such moonshine being credited. Who ever saw this so-called God, who ever knew anybody that did see him-and what need is there of a God? Does not science prove that all things have been evolved, by a system of laws operating in the ages, and by the affinities of particles and natural selections, producing the various forms of life we see. Away, then, with these absurd and

Hold, friend! not so fast, wait a bit, let me speak. You love logic I see. Well, come with me. Let us travel in imagination across the ocean; here we are in America. Now we will dive into the vast forests, and go where man has never trod before. On we plod for days and weeks. This will do; let us stop at the foot of this giant tree. How solitary is all around. We are surely the first human beings that have ever visited here. But you, being the sharper of he two, reply, "Are we, though-what's this?" and, stooping down, pick up couple of rails fastened together by a rusty nail. "You are mistaken, we



are not the first visitors to this spot; look at this." "Well," I reply, "what of that ?" 66 Why, that could not get there of itself; somebody must have put it there." "How do you know; did you see that somebody?" No." "Do you know anybody who saw him?" No, but my own sense tells me that two pieces of wood nailed crosswise could not get there of themselves." "Why not, might it not have happened somehow?" "How happened?" Why, by the law of affinity, by natural selection-wood to wood you know." "Now you're trying to gull me. Could two pieces of wood fasten themselves together by a nail; besides, how could the nail make itself? Stupid! I think you must be cracked, or else the wood is akin to your head! Don't you see there's design, contrivance, mechanism; and how could that happen without a designer and worker to execute it? It's against all common sense to suppose it possible for those two rails either to put themselves together so, or to get there without some one having brought them; therefore I conclude, and I think these rails demonstrate to an absolute certainty, that somebody has been here before us." "Right, friend; you've hit the nail on the head this time. Now, look at this tree. Observe its massive trunk, admirably adapted for holding its great boughs; see how its gnarled roots strike all ways into the ground, that it may be firmly held against the blast. Yet that is but one thing; the roots perform another function; through their many thousand mouths they take from the soil innumerable atoms, which even now are marching in wonderful regularity up the great trunk, and each one will find its way to the exact spot designed for it for the building up of the tree. That which is for making bark will not go to leaf-that which is for branch will not by mistake go to blossom, but every single particle will traverse its intended course, and rest in the exact spot which it is best adapted to fill. Is there no design here, no contrivance, no skill?" "Yes," you reply, "but this is only development. This is a gradual process of uniting particle to particle, according to a law of natural selection, as I said, but the other operation was different; in that there were existing substances interfered with and fastened together by a third in an unnatural way.”

Granted; but, wherein is the difference? Here was a man who took materials already in existence, and put them together, fastening them by a piece of iron, which also pre-existed, and the result you take to be proof of skill and design. Supposing the man had made the nail and the wood out of nothing, would not that be evidence of still greater skill and more wonderful design; or, supposing he had power to set in operation certain existing forces by which he developed the wood and iron gradually from nothing, would not that be yet more marvellous? and yet, further, imagine that he had created the forces by which he developed the wood and iron, would not that be the most wonderful of all? Do you know of any man who can perform such wonders? Are they not above man's power altogether? Has not some one, some wonderful One then been at work? Will you tell me that all this has happened somehow-by a power which made itself—according to laws, which laws made themselves. You could not swallow my suggestion about the two rails, and yet you are rather proud of your own nonsense about this great tree-nay, the whole forest, and the world itself. Verily, the gullibility of Atheism is great. Talk about the credulity of Christians! We do believe in a few marvels, and our swallow may be somewhat large, but never was the most capacious Christian_gullet guilty of the gullibility of the Atheist. Here is a bolus for you:-"Everything we see and everything we don't see, this great world and all the other worlds there may be, made themselves, out of particles, by a system of laws, and the particles and laws made themselves-out of nothing!" Behold the reductio ad absurdum of Atheistic logic!




Types and Emblems, being a Collection of Sermons preached on Sunday and Thursday Evenings at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. BY C. H. SPURGEON. Price 3s. Passmore and Alabaster, 4, Paternoster Buildings. We hope this volume will please our friends. Of the matter we can say nothing, but the printing and binding are commendably done, the size is handy, and the price is within the reach of the many. Several readers have told us that they think the selection from the sermons have been wisely made by the publishers if they aimed at giving the more striking specimens of our preaching. Our publishers tell us that the whole of their first issue was taken up by the trade, and they have the work again on the press. We cannot quarrel with a public opinion of so practical a nature.

Man a Special Creation; or, the Preordained Evolution of Species. By WILLIAM SHARPE, M.D. Robert Hardwicke, 192, Piccadilly.

AN interesting argument against the theory of Mr. Darwin. Those who combine with their love of the Scriptures a propensity for studies in Natural History, will read this work with much pleasure and profit. Many curious facts are narrated, and are brought to bear upon the question of the origin of species. It is a very praiseworthy attempt to defend the declarations of the Bible.

Our Own Sheet Almanack for 1874. Partridge and Co. One Penny.

OUR esteemed brother, W. J. Mayers, has prepared this almanack with much care, and devotes all the profits to the new College Buildings. It is a good sheet almanack-indeed, we do not know a better. Any congregation taking two hundred and fifty for £1 can have special matter inserted, and a title adapting it to their own use, by addressing, Walter J. Mayers, Kelvedon House, Queen's Road, Battersea Park, S.W. We wish our esteemed friend a circulation of tens of thousands.

Spurgeon's Illustrated Almanack. Price

One Penny. Passmore & Alabaster. THIS is an old acquaintance, and has now for many years enjoyed a very large share of public favour. We do not think this year's production is worse than its predecessors; we always try to do our best. Our friends had better get it and review it for themselves; we cannot review our own productions unless we imitate Cobbett's style and say, "If any one wants a good penny Almanack, let him buy mine at once."

John Ploughman's Sheet Almanack, for 1874. Price One Penny. Passmore and Alabaster.

THIS is now on sale. If employers of labour would introduce it to their workpeople we think they would be doing them good service. The almanack is meant mainly for the working classes, and inculcates thrift, sobriety, and kindness to animals, in a style which they can understand.'

Incidents in my Sunday-school Life, or Short Chapters for Teachers and Scholars. By LILLIE MONTFORT. Wesleyan Conference Office.

A NUMBER of pleasing incidents. Nothing very thrilling or unusual, but good, gracious and practical.

Notes on the Parables, according to literal

and futurist principles of interpretation. By Mrs. MACHLACHLAN. Wm. Blackwood and Sons.

THESE interpretations will delight the brethren who hail from Plymouth, for they are oracular and dogmatical in the highest degree, and about as far-fetched as the comments of Origen. When we reached a point at which the authoress feels it needful to warn us that the gospels are Jewish in their teaching, we judged it time to have done. Systems of interpretation which find it necessary to depreciate inspired books give very clear evidence that their origin is not from above. When we peruse such nonsense we ask, what next? And what next?

The Reformation. By GEORGE P. FISHer, D.D. Hodder and Stoughton, 27, Paternoster Row.

WE commenced reading this volume with the impression that he must be a bold man who thinks he can make a book on this portion of church history after D'Aubigné's famous work. “ What shall the man do that cometh after the king?" The author has, however, quite justified to our judgment the attempt he has made. It is a capital digest of the subject, with a good index and tables, and forms a first-class book for general readers as well as for students. find nothing new, but are glad to have the old facts in so convenient and admirable a form.


Introduction to the knowledge of Holy Scripture. By the Rev. SAMUEL GREEN. Sunday School Union, 56, Old Bailey.

A BOOK for teachers and senior scholars in Sunday schools. A small volume after the style of Dr. Angus's "Bible Handbook," and likely to be very useful from its cheap and condensed form. We welcome it warmly, and commend it heartily.

Christ Crucified. By ADOLPHE SAPHIR. James Nisbet and Co., 21, Berners Street. 1873.

MR. SAPHIR is too well known to need any commendation from us. He is always found at the cross, or not far from it. Here, especially, where the subject is Christ crucified, he stands immovably; not as some would say, under the shadow of the cross, because with him the cross has no shadows, but in the midst of its glories, changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. Such teachers never need go beyond the plain meaning of Scripture for the confirmation of their views; they always speak much of their beloved brother Paul; and by looking at all Scrip

ture doctrines in their relation to the

cross, have no difficulty in perceiving their relation to each other. Their writings are both learned and simple, deep and yet clear. We rejoice in them, as most valuable, because most useful in the present age.

Vivian and His Friends; or, Two Hundred Years Ago. By GEORGE E. SARGENT. Religious Tract Society.

A STORY of the plague of London, which has already appeared in the "Sunday at Home." The name of the author is sufficient guarantee for the godly tone; the story itself possesses absorbing interest. Illustrations abound, and the binding of the book is very attractive; it would make a very handsome present,

An entirely New Series of Scripture Texts has been issued by Messrs. Morgan and Scott, 12, Paternoster Buildings.

THESE texts are printed on very large sheets of paper (size 35 inches by 224 inches), and are very suitable for the walls of mission rooms, schoolrooms, refuges, &c. We are best pleased with the one entitled the A B C of the gospel of the blessed God. It contains the three texts, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world; Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden." Our specimen is mounted on canvas, varnished, with eyelet holes, and if hung upon a wall would preach the gospel for many years. It is printed in chocolate colour, and costs 1s. 6d. Other colours are the same in price. There are seventeen varieties of texts. Here is an excellent plan of doing good.

Biblical Cyclopædia; or, Dictionary of the Old and New Testament. By WM. JONES, M.A. London: Wm. Tegg. WE have no hesitation in pronouncing this to be a valuable addition to the library of all those who aspire to a correct and extensive acquaintance with the sacred writings. It is a Biblical library in itself, and is precisely adapted to those who, from necessity or choice. are seeking one book in the place of many. It is not a mere dictionary of words, but a dissertation upon their meaning, more or less extensive, according to their position in a sound theological system. We have turned to several test-words, and found them to be quite in harmony with our views. We recommend it strongly both to teachers and taught.

Wonderful Works of Christ. By a Clergyman's Daughter. Second Series. Religious Tract Society.

We do not remember having seen the first series of these most instructive conversations, but we like this second series immensely. The children talk about the miracles as we fear no children ever do, and so far the machinery of the book is rather unnatural: but the instruction given is most precious. We cannot imagine a better book for a mother who wants to give her children a holy and interesting Sabbath evening's lesson. Instead of further remarks, we subjoin an extract upon Peter's walking on the sea, which to us is the very beau idéal of suggestive commenting in simple lan

guage: :

"What made him want to go? " asked Charlie. "I would rather have kept safe in the boat."

"He was influenced, no doubt, by mingled motives. Perhaps, being so impulsive, he had shown most terror at the first sight of the figure moving towards them on the waves, and now he may have wished to prove how heroic he could be. There was, we may be sure, love to the Saviour, and a desire to be near him; but mingled with these were more selfish feelings-among others, I think, a desire for pre-eminence, a wish to push himself into notice-something of the same spirit which led him at a later day to utter those boastful words, 'Though all shall be offended, yet will not I,' words followed by a sadder fall than the one that overtook him now."

"I notice he says, 'bid me come,' not bid us; he was evidently only thinking of himself," said Lizzie.

"Mark the love and wisdom of the Saviour's answer. He does not chill his impulsive disciple by a refusal, though he knows the faults that lurk in Peter's desire. He permits him to learn this needful lesson. Yet it is but by a single word that he answers Peter's request a word which, while it does not refuse the trial, in no way promises success.' "Peter said, 'Bid me come unto thee,' and our Saviour only replied, Come,'" observed Herbert.

[ocr errors]


"Yes; the 'come is no command, only a permission. Peter had said unto thee,' but our Lord gives no such definite invitation. The result was now to depend entirely on the disciple's faith. How strong that faith seemed at first! He clambered down the side of the rolling vessel, his feet touched the heaving waves, and he stood upon them. With eyes fixed on the Saviour, he took the first few steps in safety; then, as the great billows rolled towards him, and he saw them rising and falling between him his Master, Peter forgot the secret source of his strength, and while gazing into the yawning gulfs of

[blocks in formation]

"But could he not swim?" asked Charlie, "He was a fisherman, you know."

"He could swim; in the twenty-first chapter of St. John's Gospel we have proof of that. One writer on this miracle remarks, that Peter, in his terror, forgot his usual resource; while another says, 'In this his peril, his fisher's art profits him nothing; for there is no mingling of nature and grace in this way.' Probably some sense of his sin and presumption may have flashed on Peter's mind, and made him feel that he would honour Christ by seeking help only from him."

[ocr errors]

"How graciously Christ rebuked him," said Lizzie. The Lord recognised his faith, weak as it was, He did not call Peter unbe lieving but of little faith.""

"And the Saviour says also, 'Wherefore didst thou doubt?' not 'wherefore didst thou come?"" added Herbert. "And then you forgot one thing," said Charles, "The Saviour helped Peter first, and rebuked him when he was safe. I do think that was the kindest part of it. Yesterday, when I rolled down that hollow and fell among the brambles, nurse kept on scolding me all the time that she was helping me out, and I didn't feel half so much obliged to her as I should have done. But Jesus saved Peter immediately, and then after that he told him of his fault."

The book is very prettily got up, and is so good that we hope the "clergyman's daughter" will give us more of the same kind.

Homes Made and Marred: a Book for Working Men and their Wives. Religious Tract Society.

A Book to give a newly-married couple, and if it should lead them both to be teetotallers so much the better. It aims, however, at something higher, even at their conversion. The sad tale thrills the reader, and leaves, perhaps, too melancholy a feeling upon the mind; but there are some who will never be made to fly from sin unless they see the horrible results which it may produce. Bad temper in the wife in this story drove the husband to the publichouse, and led on to the ruin of the family. God grant that such a scene may never occur in actual life to any of our young readers; but, alas! it may do if sin be not conquered by the grace of God.

« AnteriorContinuar »