« AnteriorContinuar »
friend who sticketh closer than a brother," and the constant guest of the poor man's soul. A true friend is ever a great blessing ; one whose heart and soul, akin to ours, is one with us in mutual sympathy. How much greater a blessing is our friend, when He calls Himself such, who said of God our Heavenly Father, “I and my Father are one!” God's gift of immortality then becomes eternal friendship with God.
SUBJECT :- The Incarnation ; God's Work in Christ.
“ To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not im ting their trespasses unto them: and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”--2 Cor. v. 19.
Analysis of Homily the Fonr Hundred and Eighty-second.
God is a great worker. He is the eternal fountain of life in unremitting flow. He is essentially active, the mainspring of all activity in the universe, but that of sin. There are at least four organs through which He works ;-material laws,animal instincts,-moral mind, and Jesus Christ. By the first, He carries on the great revolutions of inanimate nature in all its departments ; by the second, He preserves, guides, and controls, all the sentient tribes that populate the earth, the air and sea ; by the third, through the laws of reason and the dictates of conscience, He governs the vast empire of mind ; and by the fourth, namely Christ, He works out the redemption of sinners in our world. There is no more difficulty in regarding Him in the one person,-Christ, for a certain work, than there is in regarding Him as being in material nature, animal instinct, or moral mind. The text leads us to two remarks concerning God's work in Christ :-1. IT IS A WORK OF RECONCILING HUMANITY TO HIMSELF. “He is reconciling the world unto himself.” The work implies enmity on man's part; and the existence of this enmity is patent to all. “The carnal mind” &c. The work implies a change of mind in one
He is a pro
REMISSION OF SINS.
of the parties. It is not in God ;-He cannot change, He need not change. He cannot become more benevolent towards man. All the change needed is on man's part. Paul speaks of the world being reconciled to God-not God to the world. First: It is the reconciliation of the human “world” to God, in contradistinction to fallen angels. Hell hates God, but He does not work for its reconciliation. Secondly : It is the reconciliation of the human “world” in contradistinction to any particular class of the human family. Some would, in the selfishness of their nature, limit the redeeming work to the few to whom they belong. But it is not so restricted, thank God! “God so loved the world,” &c. pitiation not for our sins only,” &c. It is with the world that God has to do in Christ. II. IT IS A WORK INVOLVING THE
“Not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Three facts will throw light on this. First; A state of enmity against God is a state of sin. There may be virtue in disliking some persons, but it is evermore a sin to dislike God, for He is infinitely good. Secondly: A state of sin is a state exposed to punishment. This is too obvious to require illustration. Thirdly : In reconciliation the enmity is removed, and therefore the punishment obviated. What is pardon? A remitting of just punishment;-a separating of man from his sins and their consequences.
This God does through Christ. Through the doctrines of His gospel, the spirit of His life, and merits of His mediation. From this subject four things may be considered in regard to this work of God in Christ. (1) It is a work of unbounded mercy. Whoever heard of the offended party seeking the friendship of the offender, especially if the offender was sovereign and the other subject? But this is what the Infinite God is doing in Christ, and doing earnestly, every day, and every hour. (2) It is a work essential to the well-being of humanity. It is impossible that the creature can be happy whose thoughts, feelings, and purposes, are directly opposed to the being, purposes, and procedure, of the Absolute. (3) It is a work exclusively of benign moral influence. No coercion on the one hand, no angry denunciations on the other, can produce reconciliation ;—it is the work of loving logic. (4) It is a work which must be gradual in its progress. You cannot force mind. It must have time to reflect, repent, and resolve.
SUBJECT :- An Awful Death. “ The wicked is driven away in his wickedness.”—Prov. xiv. 32.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Eighty-third. THREE things implied in the death of the wicked are here set forth. I. A VERY SOLEMN CHANGE. He is “driven away.” First : Whence ? (1) From all existing enjoyments ;the beauties of nature, the circles of friendship, the pleasures of literature, &c. (2) From all secular engagements. The farmer, lawyer, statesman, &c. (3) From all means of moral improvement ;-churches, Bibles, teachers. Secondly : Whither ? To the grave as to his body, to eternal retribution as to his soul. The death of the wicked implies :—11. A GREAT PERSONAL RELUCTANCE. He does not go away, he is not drawn away; he is “ driven away.” First : All the sympathies of his nature are centered in this life. They are all twined around earthly objects, as the ivy around the old castle. They are all more deeply rooted in the earth than the oak of centuries. He is in the world, and the world is everything to him. Secondly: The future world is terribly repulsive to him. Not a ray of hope breaks through its tremendous gloom ; it is one dense mass of starless thundercloud. This being the case, with what tenacity he clings to life! He will not go, he cannot go, he must be “driven." His death is not like the gentle fall of the ripened fruit from its old branch in autumn, but like the oak, uprooted, and dashed into the air, by a mighty whirlwind. It is not like a vessel gliding to its chosen haven, but like a bark driven by a furious wind to a shore, it shrinks from with horror. “ Driven away!” The death of the wicked, as here indicated,
implies :-III. A TERRIBLE RETENTION OF CHARACTER. He is “driven away” in his wickedness. He carries his wickedness with him. This is the worst part of the whole. He carries his vile thoughts, his corrupt passions, his sinful purposes, his depraved habits, his accumulated guilt, with him. He will leave everything else behind but this this adheres to him. He can no more flee from it than from himself. This wickedness will be the millstone to press him downward into deeper, darker, depths for ever; the poison that will rankle in the veins for ever; the fuel that will feed the flames for ever. O sinner, lay down this wickedness at the foot of the atoning and soul-renovating cross !
Theological Notes and Queries.
[The utmost freedom of independent thought is permitted in this department. The reader must therefore use his own discriminating faculties, and the Editor must be allowed to claim freedom from responsibility.)
Queries to be answered in our | Now my query is :- What next number.
scriptural proofs are there that 30.--A very learned critic lately
Christ lived in a state of postated in my hearing, that Joseph,
| verty, during the interval between the reputed father of Christ, was
His birth and His entrance upon a rich man, an architect, or
His public ministry ? Will such builder, or both, at Nazareth, and
passages as the following: Luke that he had an estate at Beth
ii. 7 ; Matt. xiii. 53–58; and lehem, to register, or enrol,
Mark vi. 2, 3 ;-supply those which was the object of his
proofs ? journeying to the latter place,
F. R. Y. when Jesus was born. This gentleman also observed that
31.-Can the selling of hymn the word “rich," in 2 Cor. viii.
books, periodicals, &c., which is 9—“Who though he was rich,”
practised in many Sunday Schools -was, therefore, to be taken to
on the Lord's Day, be justified refer to material wealth, in the
from scripture, or harmonized ordinary acceptation of that
with the spirit of Christianity ? term.
32.- In the event of a doctrinal dispute in a Church, who is the proper authority to appeal to, and how should the question be determined ?
33.-What are the grounds for identifying, as is frequently done, the Babylon of prophecy with Papal Rome, there being so many particulars in which they disagree?
The Pulpit and its Three Handmaids.
HISTORY, SCIENCE, ART.
LOVE BEGET'S LOVE.
be of the divine image, and of “ The sentiment of love is rea
the spiritual nature which never
dies." lized by love. We cannot know
H. McCORMAC, God except by becoming the image of God. Indeed only in so far as man is thus, thinks thus,
THE END AND THE MEANS. can he give the reason of any. thing that God has made. Spiri. “Noend is secure without welltual truth is apprehended by being digested means. Now, the great spiritual. “The flight from evil,' end is present and eternal prosays Plato, “consists in resembling
gress, the means, never-ceasing God, in becoming holy, just, and action, heaven-ward and God. wise.' The mind,'observes Chan- ward. 'I would not,' observes ning; 'alone is free ; which, instead
Kant, 'give one of Kepler's disof stopping at the material, and
coveries for a principality.' What making it a prison wall, passes principality, indeed, could equal to its author beyond, and finds the eternal principality, which in the radiant signatures of the science realizes in the empire of infinite helps to its own enlarge- thought ? No wisdom equals menti
At times we are as very that which reveals man to himangels, till things inferior steal self, teaches him to regard social in upon us and rob us of our
institutions, nay his whole life, better selves. In truth, we are as the possible means of unfold. of a spiritual nature, however
ing and exalting the spirit within. much that nature may be dimmed, Then let us cherish angelic and the reality of virtue fills
thoughts, the fellow-workers the heart with ineffable joy. whom some day we must let go, But the bondage of matter that angels may come in. And
one day, and the thus shall we further the divine, soul, rich in spiritual wealth, thus realize the conception of coming to itself, proceeds hea
thateternity whose nigh approach ven-ward, fit associate for an- illumines life's close, as the rising gels indeed, all the sons and sun illumines the glad expanses daughters of God.
When gifts of the sea.”—Ibid, celestial descend upon the soul, then do we discern what it is to I