Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

4. In the risings of anger or revenge at any contempt or ill-usage. (Luke ix. 54. Rom. xii. 19. Eccles. vii. 9.)

5. Impatience at contradiction, and irritation if our self-will be thwarted. (Esther i. 12. 1 Cor. xii. 5. 7.)

6. A reluctance to give up our own will to obey the will of another. So strong is that feeling in some characters, that a desire expressed to lead them, is sufficient to excite resistance. (Jer. xliv. 15–17. Eph. v. 21. 1 Pet. v. 5.)

7. A dislike to be dictated to, or found fault with. (Prov. xü. 1. xv. 10.)

8. A high esteem of our own opinion, an unwillingness to yield it to another, and a desire to rule and have every thing our own way. (Prov. iii. 7. xii. 15. Rom. xü. 3, 10. Phil. i. 3.)

9. Vexation at being blamed when we deserve it, offence at being suspected if we do not, and a spirit of self-justification and retort. (Prov. xvi. 2. xxx. 12. Heb. xii. 3. 1 Pet. ii. 20.)

10. A reluctance to condemn ourselves, or confess ourselves in the wrong even in trifles; and a tenacious adherence to what we have once advanced in argument. (Job xi. 1–3. Prov. xiv. 16. James v. 16.)

11. Prejudice against those who dislike us, or have told us of our faults, crossed our self-will, or interfered with our interest, pleasure or comfort. (2 Chron. xvi. 7 -10. Prov. xv. 12, 31, 32. Mark vi. 17-19.)

12. A desire for the praise of men, for honours, or distinctions. (Matthew xxü. 5—12. John v. 44. xii. 42, 43.)

13. Preferring the favour of the great on account of their rank, fortune, or influence. (Prov. xix. 6. James ii. 2-4. Rom. xii. 16.)

14. Shewing kindness to others from motives of selfinterest or self-gratification. (Acts xxiv. 26. Luke vi. 32—36. xiv. 12, 14. I Cor. x. 33.)

15. Accepting and pleasing ourselves with praises that we are not wholly worthy of. (Matt. vi. 16.)

16. Jealousy of the love or preference shewn to others. (Gen. iv. 4, 5. xxxvii. 3, 4. Gal. v. 26. Phil. i. 3.)

17. Indulging the pride of appearance in dress, house, furniture, table, equipage, or any outward thing. (Luke xvi. 19. Matt. vi. 25. 1 John ii. 15, 16.)

18. A feeling of self-importance, and using the gifts of nature or providence to feed our vanity or pride. (Acts xii. 21–23. Rom. xii. 3. Gal. vi. 3.)

19. The undue indulgence of any of our five senses merely for our gratification. (Prov. xxiii. 2, 31, 32. 1 Peter. iv. 3. 1 Cor. ix. 25, 27. Phil. iv. 5.)

20. Feeling a cold interest in the concerns of others, listening to them merely from civility, and being ready to talk much of our own. (Phil. ii. 4.)

21. Relating with an inward complacency the faults or injudiciousness we have discovered in another, connected with our own better judgment or conduct in the same particulars, or the good effect of our own advice. (Ps. xv. 3. Gal. vi. 1. James iv. 11.)

22. Making representations to others that have a tendency to display any advantages we possess in riches, connexions, reputation, &c., or any good actions we have performed. (2 Kings xx. 13–17. Prov. xxvii. 2. Jer. ix. 23. Matt. vi. 3.)

23. Imposing any little trouble or difficulty on a companion, instead of willingly taking it upon ourselves. (Luke vi. 31. Gal. vi. 2.)

24. Considering our own ease or pleasure in our domestic habits or arrangements, rather than making any sacrifice to those we live with. (Gen. xii. 8, 9. Rom. xv. 2, 3.)

25. Making trifling annoyances or inconveniences of importance, and suffering them to irritate our temper. (Luke x. 40, 41. 1 Cor. xiii. 5, 7. Prov. xvi. 32.)

26. Withholding money, or giving it sparingly, or spending any in self-indulgence that might be given to the poor or to the cause of religion. (Deut. xv. 7–11. Prov. iii. 9, 27, 28. 2 Cor. ix. 6, 7.)

27. Spending money in some instances extravagantly to be esteemed liberal. (Prov. xxi. 27.)

28. Being exalted with riches, or ashamed of poverty. (Ps. xlix. 6—13. Luke ix. 58. James ü. 5.)

29. Aiming at an appearance beyond our finances. (Prov. XXX. 8. Phil. iv. 11, 12.)

30. Feeling pain at being under an obligation to any one. (Phil. iv. 16. Luke viii. 3.)

31. Expecting much personal attention from others. (2 Kings v. 11. Matt. viii. 8.)

32. Requiring the company of those we love for our own gratification, rather than making their happiness our chief object. (Ruth i. 8—16.)

33. Resisting whatever is humbling to us. (Matt. xxüï, 12. John xiii. 14, 15. James iv. 13.)

All these things are contrary to the simplicity and humility required by the Gospel of Christ, and must be brought under the great

CHRISTIAN RULES OF LOVE TO GOD AND LOVE TO MAN.

1. Of being subject to the glory of God. (1 Cor. x. 31.)

2. Of seeking to please Him in all things rather than ourselves. (Rom. xiv. 7, 8. and xv. 3. Col. iii. 17.)

3. Loving his will rather than our own. (Matt. vi. 10. and vii. 21.)

4. Loving our neighbour as ourselves, and doing unto him as we would he should do unto us. (1 John iv. 7. Matt. vii. 12. Col. iii. 14.)

Hence the necessity of Christian self-denial, (Luke ix. 23.) mortification, (Rom. viii. 13.) and crucifixion of the corrupt nature, (Gal. v. 24. Rom. vi. 6.) that we may not be ruled by the love of self, but by the love of God and man. (Matt. xxii. 37—40.)

Mortification of any sin must be by a supply of grace; of ourselves we cannot do it.

This grace is the purchase of a Saviour's sufferings, and can only be received by faith in him. (Titus ii. 14. John vii. 38, 39.) By union with Christ, his Holy Spirit flows into the soul. (John xv. 4, 5.)

EPHESIANS ii. 2.

“The prince of the power of the air." WHEN St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he reminded them that “in times past thay had walked according to the prince of the power of the air.” He seems to con

secure.

gratulate them that they no longer walked thus—for that "God who in rich mercy" (Eph. ii. 4.) " had quickened" them, when “dead in trespasses and sins," (Eph. ii. 1.) and ordained them “to walk in good works.” (Eph. ii. 10.) But still the Apostle warns them against living

He reminds them they are yet in an enemy's country, and must "put on the whole armour of faith, that they may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. vi. 11.)

Now, my dear young friends, do not we all need this caution, this armour, as well as the Ephesians? Yes. And none need more to consider the nature and character of this unseen enemy, than the active Christian. It is upon such characters that Satan tries his hand with the most adroitness. He knows he cannot hinder them from working, so he tries to hinder the quality of their work. To prevent its being perfect, he will tempt them to weave the web carelessly. And though their work may appear to occasional lookers-on to be perfect, yet in his eyes who "seeth not as man seeth,” (1 Sam. xvi. 7.) it is full of flaws. None are so liable to be unsuspicious of the wiles of the devil, as those who are running on in a path of active duty. Oh! how well would it be to stand still, now and then, and to examine our work. What was the cause of this mistake? and what of that? But in these examinations, we must seek for the light of the Spirit. Without his blessed beams, we shall never be able to review our past work properly. We shall generally find that the origin of all our flaws and imperfections is independence of spirit. We do not feel our ignorance and weakness, and, therefore, we do not sufficiently rely on the teaching of our heavenly Father.

We have the presumption and impatience of children, who are either too proud or too lazy to ask to have their lessons explained to them; and so we work away in our own strength.

But how can we expect that God will bless our work done in such a prayerless state?

indeed get through the round of our daily duties; but will he command his blessing, even life for evermore,” on such teaching as this? Thus, in proportion as we lose

We may

sight of our own weakness, we take to ourselves the glory of what we seem to do; and Satan, who is “the prince of the power of the air," puffs our hearts with spiritual pride, before we know it; and, instead of dreading the applause of our fellow-creatures, we secretly long for it; and what then? “Verily ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. vi. 1.) “Ye have your reward” (Matt. vi. 2.) in the smiles and applause of your fellow-creatures; and must we expect it twice over?

Oh! my dear young friends, in all your labours for your fellow-creatures, work at your own hearts first; search and try your motives in all you do; dread forgetfulness of God, and the necessity of his strength to be made perfect in your weakness. Fly, as from the face of a serpent, the wiles of Satan, when he would tempt you to “rejoice in the work of your hands,” and thus rob God of his glory.

Talking unnecessarily of what we have done, or can do, opens a door to vanity; and “the prince of the power of the air” is sure to enter in. We all know the penetrating power of the air, from the gentle breeze, to the boisterous whirlwind; and when Satan cannot succeed with one, he will try the other. Oh! let it be our aim to be so "filled with the Spirit" (Eph. v. 18.) of the Holy One, that there may be no room within for the entrance of the “Prince of the world.” (John xiv. 30.) Let “watch unto prayer” (1 Peter iv. 7.) be our motto. “Sober and vigilant” (1 Peter v. 8.) our safe guard—and suspicious of our own motives--so as to do “all heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto man,” (Col. iii. 23.) our constant aim.

EXTRACT FROM A SERMON

PREACHED BY THE REV. RICHARD CECIL, ABOUT A

YEAR BEFORE HE DIED,

St. Austin had a pious mother who laboured for his soul-prayed much and often for his salvation; but he grew up a wicked man. When she was dying, she

« AnteriorContinuar »