« AnteriorContinuar »
CAMBRIDGE ALMS-HOUSES. The accompanying print is a representation of a building founded by Mrs. Elizabeth Knight, nearly two hundred years ago. The will is dated the 18th of May, 1647, and contains the following words spelt exactly as we give them. “My will und mind is, that my executor shall, after my decease, lay out fower hundred pounds in building an ALMSHOUSE with six fireings, for six poor people, in such a convenient place as he shall think fit, and also for the purchasing of lands, to pay three pounds a year a peece to the said six poor people to be maintained in the ALMSHOUSE, and for the reparacons of the same; and my will is, that two poore widdows, and fower poore Godly Ancient Maides, whereof one of the said maides to be of Bennett parish, if there are any that are capable, and will accept of it.” The executors are the Mayor and Aldermen of the town of Cambridge.
Pursuant to the directions contained in Mrs. Knight's will, six Almshouses were erected. We wish all the Almhouses in the kingdom were as well managed as Mrs. Knight's. For their present efficiency, and for the comfort which they afford to their inmates, they are greatly indebted to the watchful care, and zeal, and charity of one of their Aldermen. The premises being in great want of repair, this gentleman exerted himself to inquire into every particular connected with the charity; had the estates, at the expiration of a lease, let upon the most advantageous terms, and caused the Almshouses to be completely repaired, and also added a pump, and several other conveniences which they never had before. It appears by the estimate, and other documents, that this gentleman paid, out of his own pocket, five hundred pounds towards the reparation and improvement of these houses. He also took pains that proper objects should be chosen as the inmates, and he gave to each of the six, a Bible and a Prayerbook. We learn the above particulars from a little poem (with an appendix) called the Almshouse. The following lines express the feelings of the first inmate, when she found that this provision for her comfort was bestowed on her.
SHORT SERMONS FOR COTTAGERS.
Soon as she own'd this peaceful, bless'd abode,
SHORT SERMONS FOR COTTAGERS. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son
of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”—St. John, chap. iii. 14th and 15th verses. All of you, my Christian friends, who read your Bibles, have heard of Moses erecting a serpent of brass in the wilderness. This occurred, you will remember, during the journey of the Israelites from Mount Hor, by the way of the Red Sea, in order to compass the land of Edom, The way was long and toilsome, and the Israelites were much discouraged, and gave way to rebellious murmurings against their Almighty protector, and against the man whom he had chosen to be their leader. " Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness ?” said they, “there is no bread, neither is there any water, and our soul loatheth this light bread.” They were wearied of the manna with which God had so miraculously supplied them, and forgetful of his mercies. The Lord, therefore, saw fit to speak to them again by his judgments, and he sent fiery serpents among them, and much people died. When they were thus made to feel the consequences of their sin, they repented, and acknowledged their transgression, and entreated Moses to pray for them. With this request he complied : and the Lord heard him, and had mercy upon his erring people. Moses was commanded to make a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and every one that was bitten, when he looked upon it, was healed. I propose, therefore, to consider :- 1st, the resemblance between the lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness, and the lifting
became world, alis wife, and whenise, a s
ession one more deemer ne sempre was ons were healed
up of the Son of Man; and, 2ndly, to show you the necessity of the Son of Man being lifted up.
In the first place, as to the resemblance—" As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," &c. You must observe here, that, as the affliction of the Israelites proceeded from a serpent, so likewise a serpent was the instrument of their cure. When Adam listened to the temptation of his wife, and disobeyed God, sin entered into the world, and human nature fell, was changed, and became corrupt. Adam, the first man, sinned; but Christ, the second Adam, paid the penalty for his transgression: he suffered in the likeness of man; and thus, as by “one man sin entered into the world," so by the death of the Redeemer in our nature, we are saved from the wrath of God. The serpent of brass was lifted up, so that all might see it. It was not a hard thing that was required of the Israelites : they were merely required to look on the serpent in order to be healed. To the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the means was the same. As the fiery serpents affected all classes alike, so the mode of cure was that of which all could avail themselves. And, my beloved brethren, is it not so with the cross of Christ? Is it a hard thing which your God requires of you? To believe in his Son, and live? “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” says the Saviour. There is but one way: the way which God has appointed, and no other; and we ought to thank God that it is a way which the poor can tread as well as the rich, the unlearned as well as the learned. We must all learn of Christ. If we perish, therefore, the guilt will be our own; for our Almighty Father offers eternal life to his children, through the blood of his dear Son.
In the second place" The necessity of the Son of Man being lifted up." When Adam sinned, he and his posterity incurred the wrath of God; and the punishment due for the disobedience was death and everlasting misery; but the Mediator even then stood in the gap; he was from the beginning the propitiation for our sins; and the Lord, in consequence, looked on Adam and Eve in mercy, and promised that, in the course of time, a deliverer should arise, who should destroy the power of 1834.] SHORT SERMONS FOR COTTAGERS. 281 their subtle enemy-the Devil. Now human nature, since the fall, has been altogether corrupt, and could offer nothing that could be acceptable to a God of purity and holiness. Our Creator is perfect in all his attributes; equally merciful and equally just; and as man had offended, God's justice required that he should receive the punishment due to his transgression, unless atonement could be made. This man could not offer for himself, being himself a creature polluted by sin. Infinite love, however, found out a way. Christ consented to be made man for us : he obeyed perfectly the law of God in our nature. He was without sin, and was offered upon the cross as a sacrifice for sin-he suffered that we might live. Thus there was a necessity for the lifting up of the Son of Man. He died to reconcile us to God, -he paid the debt with the price of his own blood, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The sufferings and the death of Christ will form a theme of meditation and of grateful praise for the Christian, through all eternity. And these mighty things were done in order to give unto us eternal life. God waits to bless us as dear children, through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ. He was lifted up for us, that we should flee unto him: there is no other way of safety. The Lord has appointed it, and we must be saved through his Son, or not at all. So with the Israelites; other remedies were useless, but by doing that which the Lord had commanded,-looking on the serpent, they were cured of their disease. O come, then, unto the Lord Jesus Christ; and come in faith, believe in him and ye shall be saved; for he has promised, that those who come to him he will in no wise cast out. Whatever your sins, and how great soever your guilt, come unto your Redeemer; pray to him to increase your faith, and to send unto you the sanctifying influences of his Holy Spirit.