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should “ not judge afier the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the licaring of his ears." Mark the conduct of the Son of God; he passed by all that was splendid and gay, and chose his most intimate friends from the most obscure part of the community. He knew the heart; he could discern motives, and perceive excellence of character beneath outward circum: stances that wore the most uninviting aspect. Amidst all the courting and courtly appearances of the high priests and other orders, what impiety of motive, what defect in principle, what hidden hypocrisy did he discover and reprove*! Behold the Saviour of the world, with infinite wisdom, scrutinizing the offerings cast into the treasury. See that rich inan cast in ; what we should think much How hberal! should we exo claim. What says Christ? · Mark that widow; her appearance is mean, but her offering will be noble! she is about to čast in all, even all her living! This is true liberality. After this striking instance, let us cease from judging by appearances.
Do we judge by the outward appearance? then we,
3. Render ourselves liable to deceptions, - The ear dis. cerneth sounds, and the taste judgeth meats,” but our eye hath often deceived us. I have somewhere read of pictures painted expressly to deceive, and which, on a nearer approach, represented a directly contrary scene to that which, at a distance, we conceived. If we look only at the appearance of some professors of Christianity in the honse of God, and.judge of thein from that, surely, we shall be deceived :--Let us follow them to their dwellings, to the Exchange, to the counting-house, to their social interview with friends, -are the same appearances of godliness kept up here? Is the family a scene of order, of subordination, of peace, and piety? are they punctual and upright in their engagements ? and is it their constant aim to glorify God? My friends, if we would not be deceived, let us not take a narrow view, but judge both of doctrines, duties, and characters, by the unerring rule of the word of God.
4. If we judge by appearances, then we are likely to give countenance to deceivers. - Hypocrites are always insinuating characters; “ their words are smoother than oil;" they weil know how both the world and the church are taken with appearances. It is therefore on this that their chief pains is bestowed; they aim to make the resemblance as strong as they can between the base counterfeit and the coin of the realm, that it may obtain more unsuspecting currency. It has been remarked by an elegant writer, that " The pretender exceeds the real character the actor surpasses nature, and goes bevond life. Where a man regards show only, he can afford to be inore expensive and magnificent in appearances than those who are concerned for the reality t.” If a person makes high pretensions to zeal and religious affections, let us not suffer the blaze to dazzle our judgment, but rather let us examine every part of such a character in domestic life and relative situations, as well as in social interviews and public societies ; -- let us wait before we either decide on such a character, or “ wish him God speed.” Such persons are not“ broken reeds,” even if sincere, and therefore do not need the tenderness of Christian sympathy, but rather the exercise of a Christian's judgment, and of a " sound mind.”
* Mat, xxii, 28. + Jay's Sermons, Vol. I, p.10:
5. Do we judge after the outward appearance? - Then we are not likely to become acquainted withi some of the best cha. racters. It is an undeniable fact, that some of the best charac: ters exist among the poor *. Their piety, simplicity, siacerity, heavenly-mindedness, and, strange to tell, their liberality (in a comparative view) far surpasses that of their richer brethren : but if we look on things after the outward appearance, we shall pass by the cottage and the dwellings of po. verty, in search of appearances more inviting; but it we thus act, we shall suffer for it, for sterling piety is inodest, and will pot intrude on us; it rather requires to be sought out, and led forth to notice, than eagerly courts the acquaintance of others t. What valuable lessons might we frequently learn by visiting the abodes of the pious poor! Surely, their content, ment would reprove our murmurs; their cheerfulness would reprove our dissatisfaction; their humble hopes in God's providence for the future, would shame our restless anxiety and solicitude about worldly good.
Thus, if we would obey the precepts of Scripture, imitate our blessed Master, be preserved from deception, discountenance hypocrisy, and encourage real piety, we must mortify our natural propensity to look on things after the outward appearance, and duly examine, and judge coolly and dispassionately, if we would judge righteously. Westminster.
S-• Spect. No. 464
Sam. xvi 7
THE MEANS AND THE END CONNECTED:
AN ILLUSTRATION OF I COR. IX. 27.
I observed lately in a periodical publication which as sumes the name of Orthodoxy, while it opposes the thing, a paper, intended to prove that St. Paul was no favourer of those doctrines which, saith the writer," have been promulgated, as if upon his authority, by Calvin and his followers.” The paper then states the opinion of a learned author on the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, ch. ix, ver. 27, “ But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast
On this passage the writer gives the following plausible gloss:" If St. Paul had believed or taught that faith without works was sufficient to save a disciple of Christ, to what purpose did he keep under his body, since his salvation was not to depend on that, but merely upon the faith he possessed? Of if he had supposed that bis, election and calling was of such a nature that it irresistibly impelled him to good, and restrained him from evil, how could he express any fear lest the lust of his body should prevent his salvation? Can such an apprébension be made to agree with the notions of absolute predestination ascribed to St. Paul ? This single passage is a full answer, out of the mouth of St. Paul himself, to all the mistakes that have been made of his meaning in some obscure expressions concerning grace, election, and justification.” Thus far the objection, a little abridged, from Lord Lytileton. "To this objection I answer, that St. Paul always taught that we are justified before God by faith alone, but not by such as faith as can be alone, or be destitute of good works; for ihe faith of God's elect, by which they are justified, necessarily producath thein, as our Reformers declare in the 12th Article of the Church of England,“ Good works do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith.”
Nor had St. Paul any doubt on the score of his election, for he says, ver. 26, “ I therefore so run, not as uncertainly : so fight I, nol as one that beateth the air.” But did this certainty, as to the issue of the combat, render the vigorous exertions of a combatant unnecessary? No: St. Paul well knew the necessary connexion, in the order of divine appointinent, between the end and the means; a connexion which the opposers of this doctrine seen wilfully to forget. Let such persons, however, be reminded, that believers « are chosen unto salvation through şanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth *;" and that they are “ predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Sont.” St. Paul, therefore, like all who rightly understand this doctrine, and feel its holy influence, was stirred up to those exertions which were necessary to the fulfilment of the decree : he exercised watchfulness, self-denial, prayer, and mortification of sin in his members, lest after having preached to others (as an herald proclaimed to others the heavenly prize) he himself should be a cast-away (aconuos) rejected, or disapproved by the Judge, as unworthy of the prize.
I am not certain that the word translated cast-away, refers to final damnation #; rejected or disapproved may respect his works
* 2 Thes. ii. 13. + Rom. viii. 29. . . . Agorpos Rabbinis est 509 ; i. e, non probatus, vel non idoneus ; cui or. ponunt w domiuor, rem nempe vel personam approbatam, idoneam, rejie sults, Catoni et Varroni, --Reprobus, i, e, reprobatus à supremo pugilum
rather than his person, according to the distinction which he makes ih i Cor, li. 15, “ If any man's work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so, as by fire ;" that is, “ He who, through ignorance or mistake, has maintained and propagated doctrines inconsistent with the acknowledged fundamentals of the gospel, may finally be saved, but with apparent difficulty, like that of a man escaping from a house in flames ” But I wish not to avail myself of a softer translation of the word, much less to ,propose an apology for the unholy conduct of professing Christians. Let the word cast-away be admitted to signify the final rejection of an unholy professor; yet it is by no means fair to conclude, from the whole sentence, that St. Paul doubted whether he should be saved, or questioned the connexion between election and glorification ; for that he asserts in Rom. viii. 30, whom God predestinated, them be also glorified;" his meaning appears to be this: “I keep under my body, &c. I allow not myself in luxury and indolence, but with godly jealousy (imitating the Agonistical combatants in their public games) Texercise selfdenial, and bring my body into such a degree of servitude as the superior interests of my soul require: and this I judge a necessary precaution, lest, were it possible I should be left to the indulgence of unsubdued uppetites, I inyself should be a castaway." This does not imply his fear of being suffered to act so inconsistently, but is intended to shew the inseparable connexion between the means and the end; and by transferring these things to himself, more effectually to enforce his adıonitions to others, without giving them offence.
judice et agonotheta Deo. Sensus, nè Evangelio defrauder, cujus alii meâ operâ fiumt participes: vel potiùs, nè doctrinæ mores mei et opera repugnent, atque ità cum magno meo dedecore et fratrum offendiculo ea negligam quæ ab aliis requiro, et sic reprehensibilis fiam, bene docendo et male vivendo.
Poole's Synopsis, in loc.
In this sense the passage was understood by the learned authors of The Protestant Reconciler, a scarce and valuable book, printed in 1662. « Paul,” say they, “mortified his lusts, and subdued his Aesh to the obe. dience and discipline of the Spirit of God, lest he should be a cast-away, or reprobate, or unapproved (su the Greek may signify); the word signifies not a reprobate, as if he were uncertain of his election, for " who can se. parate us from the love of God?" - Adoxsuos signifies not here to be cast away for ever out of God's favour, but to be rejected, either as base and refuse ore or dross; or, to be cast out of their society and company who wrestled or ran for the prize. The apostle only shews, that his care was that his life might be conformable to his doctrine; his practice to his preaching ; that so the one might not cross the other. So that this thing, is to be cast away," was in the sight of men, not of God.”
Johannes Thaddeus and T. Mar.
REMARKS ON JUDGES VIII. 4.
Faint, yet pursuing, Believers in Jesus Christ are said to be a peculiar people; their experience is altogether peculiar to themselves :they are frequently "troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; perplexed, but not in despair ; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”. The short motto at the head of this essay, though primarily descriptive of the state of the little chosen army of Gideon, when pressing home their conquest over the Midianites, as recorded by the inspired historian, - may, nevertheless, be added to the apostle's description of the experience of a truly pious man. Nothing is more true, than that, in the pursuit of the prize of bis high calling, many“ a good soldier of Jesus Christ” grows weary. :: Our animal nature frequently becomes faint from internal debility, persevering exertion, and a want of necessary refresir
Whether the first had any place in the victorious army of Gideon I cannot say ; but-it is certain, that the two Jast contributed, in no small degree, to produce that fainting of which Gideon speaks. The spiritual nature, or renewed man, often grows faint from causes somewhat similar. Nothing is more common than to hear a believer complain, that, in his pursuit of heavenly objects, he makes but slow advances: that his spirits often tire and faint; perbaps his graces are weak, such as his faith, his hope, his love. There is a faith. wirich.can remove mountains of difficulties; and inake a man say, “ I am ready, not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus?" But this is not the portion of every one. The state of a believer frequently resembles that of Peter, when he walked upon the water to go to Jesus: his eye is taken off from the grand object of faith, and turned to the storms and tempests that beat upon hin. Hence, like Peter, be begins to sink; and as bis faith is weak, so, of course, bis hope is wavering; and that love to Jesus, which should animate bis soul, supports bim under a rhousand difficulties, and bears bin axtay in acts of prompt obedience, is frequently cold, and leaves him fainting in his heavenly journey. Perhaps, in addition to this inward debility, bis constant opposition (not to flesh and blood only, but to principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places) contributes to produce this fainting. An Elijah, after continued opposition to some of these, sits down under a juniper-tree, and (not the man merely, but the believer) faints, exclaiıning, “O Lord, take away my life !". Did not the man Jesus himself, in that awful liour when the powers of darkness were let loose against