Imágenes de página

doctrines, multitudes of adherents would be gathered | present concerned with the fulfilment of his prophecy to bis standard. When the sword was to hew down in its largest sense ; we have only to observe, that the refractory, and the faithful were promised a para- whilst the preaching of the cross has been and is dise in which the wine-cup should sparkle and the " foolishness" to them that perish, to them that are cheek of beauty smile, it required no vast shrewdness saved it has been and is “the power of God." In to calculate that the pretensions of the false prophet spite of what we have advanced respecting the antiwere likely to be favourably received. Give man a

pathy of the men of every age to this doctrine, preachreligion which flatters his pride, or which panders to ing has been successful in the exact proportion that his passions, and you will not be long in surrounding it has been the preaching of the cross. When the yourself with votaries. But you should carefully ob- ministers of Christ have given out the truth in simserve how little there is in the doctrine of the cross plicity--when there has been the least of endeavour which could seem to adapt it for making way on earth. to smooth down what is rugged, or to varnish over That all dependence is to be placed on the merits of a what is distasteful to the natural heart, multitudes both crucified Redeemer; that his death is to be our life; of men and of women have been added to the Church. his blood-shedding the sole procuring cause of the And if you combine the facts on which we have inforgiveness of sin,--these, the glorious and fundamen- sisted—the fact, that nothing could have appeared less tal truths of the Gospel, are practically the great likely to produce a moral re tion than the preachstumbling-blocks to its reception. The words of the ing of the cross, and the fact, that nevertheless to this apostle have lost nothing of their force in the lapse of preaching must be referred whatever moral revolution centuries; for to them that perish the preaching of has been actually produced - you can hardly fail to the cross is still “ foolishness.” We may go the round allow, that the Being who uttered our text must have of nominal Christianity, and wherever we find self- had a keener view of the future than could be gained righteousness, or Antinomianism -the idolatry of by mere human foresight. He prophesied (if you will works, or the neglect of works (which is just as bad) allow me the expression)- he prophesied against pro-we shall find, that an imperfect reception of the babilities; he affirmed that results could be brought doctrine of the cross lies at the root of the evil; and round, which, on the commonest principles of human even the indifference and opposition to religion in calculation, were sure not to be brought round. He general, which characterise the great mass of our com- took, as it were, the offensive part of his system munity, are to be traced to repugnance to this doc- religion,--the part which every one decides must be trine. The doctrine can make no compromise with kept in the back-ground, if you would not have the human pride, and it wages interminable war with whole contemptuously rejected; and he declared, that human passion. If I receive it, then, from its very this very part should be the engine for the subjugation nature, I become pledged to the crucifixion of the of the whole family of man, And by thus freeing flesh, with its affections and lusts. If I am an idolator himself from all earthly computations, and dealing of intellect, I must throw to the ground the censer in with the future as none could have dealt who could which I have burnt incense; if I am an indulger of only have applied to its secret the shrewdness of a appetite, I must place a bridle where I have given | guess, or the reckoning of a finite arithmetic, he as the reins ; if I delight in accumulating the gold and powerfully manifested his Divinity as when he poured silver, I must count as dross what has engaged my light upon the darkened eye-ball, or hushed the affections. It cannot for an instant be concealed, even waters, or broke up the sepulchres: and we commend from the dullest of calculators, that, in becoming the it to you all, as a line of argument worth following out disciples of a self-denying and crucified Lord, we in your own meditations,—the prediction of improbable pledge ourselves to a holy and determined war with results a proof of more than human wisdom. It was sin; and on this simple account, the whole array of quite improbable the Gospel would prove a sword on carnal emotions is in arms against the Gospel. So the earth; it was quite improbable that the preaching that it is not too much to say, that even when the of the cross would be effectual and influential preachclaims of the Christian religion are outwardly admitted, ing. Had Jesus, therefore, spoken only as a man, he the listing up of the Saviour is virtually the impedi- would not have spoken in the very teeth of probabiment to his triumphs.

lities: he might have predicted what was false, but at Yea, and if you go back, for an instant, to earlier least he would have predicted what was likely. And scenes, and remember the difficulties with which hence we reckon our text amongst those internal eviChristianity had to struggle at the outset, you will dences of Christianity, which are all the more valuable readily discern that the crucifixion of its Founder was because indirect; and connecting the prophecy with of all things the most calculated to shut up the world the fulfilment, we feel, that had not Christ spoken by to an obstinate rejection of his claims. It would have the Spirit of God, he never could and he never would seemed enough to have told the polished nations of have said, “ And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men antiquity, that the author of this new faith had died unto me." as a malefactor, by the hands of his own countrymen, in order to have riveted them to a contemptuous infidelity, and to have for ever closed all inquiry into

The Cabinet. the truths of those announcements which apostles were

INSENSIBILITY.--Never to ask ourselves what our busied in proclaiming in their cities. Yet it was in

great want is, or what we should ask of God, if we the face of all this apparent likelihood, nay, of this might have the wish of our hearts

, is great blindness

and stupidity; and yet it is the case, not only of the absolute certainty of vehement opposition, that Christ grossly irreligious, but of all those who are in the made the representation in our text. We are not at practice of an external work only. - Rev. T. Adams.

CHRIST.—He who himself put on a crown of thorns, Lord, dost thou care? The waves are high, never intended that his followers should wear a crown And slumberest thou so peacefully? of Powers: he who has told you to take up your cross

The beggar and the leper came, daily and follow him, well knew that you would not be able truly to follow him without having daily crosses

And learn'd the wonders of thy name: to take up. Rev. H. Blunt.

Dost thou not care for us thine own? Christianity. Wherever Christianity goes, civi

Shall now no miracles be shewn? lisation follows in her train; wherever she goes, the

Dost thou not care? A watery grave duties and the rights of mankind are practised and Is threatening, Lord; canst thou not save ? recognised--the fetters of the slave are lightened and removed — the female sex are restored to their natural

O, who replies? Some voice must wake, situation and their kindly influence in society; and the And answer for that Saviour's sake; profession of godliness is shewn to be great riches, as Now by the lowly manger-bed, contributing to the wisdom, the wealth, and the happi

Where once was laid his infant head; ness of the nation which receives it. Let us compare our present condition with that of our forefathers,

By all the varied forms of woe while the Gospel was yet unknown to them. Let us

The Man of sorrows knew below; recollect that the poorest man who now hears me is By hunger, thirst, and wearied limb, more warmly clad, more comfortably lodged, enjoys a And fig-tree with no fruit for him ; mind better stored with ideas, and greater security of

Ay, by his tossing on the sea, liberty, life, and property, than a king among the wild Americans or the ancient Britons; and we shall feel

That very sea of Galilee, and understand the blessings of a religion which has

While the same cry was uttered there, been a principal agent in a change so beneficial -a “ We perish, Lord! dost thou not care ?" religion by which the ignorance of man is enlightened By every wave the bark that toss'd, and his manners rendered gentle; which, by protecting

And every cloud his sky that cross'd; the fruits of industry, has encouraged every useful invention; and which, even amid the increasing luxury

By every sacred tear he wept, of the rich, has lessened the distance between them

And by the very sleep he slept ;and the poor, by calling the attention of both to that For, O, that very sleep declar'd awful moment when all shall be equal in each other's Man's feebleness the God-man shar'd! eyes, as they are now in the eyes of their Maker.

Now, by thy shades, Gethsemane,
Bp. Heber.

And, Mount of Calvary, by thee,
HEATHENS. A large part of the world are heathens. He watches o'er our daily lot;
I call those heathens who either have no God at all,

He careth-and we perish not.
or false gods. Whoever is living without God in this
world — whoever is walking after his own heart's lusts
- whoever is the servant of sin — whoever speaks a
good word for it, and says of it, " What can it signify?

THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD. there is no great harm in it, it is a mere trifle," though he knows that God has forbidden it-whoever has set Great God, may I, a dust-form'd mortal, dare up his idol in his heart, and is worshipping Belial the Essay thy power, thy blessings to declare ? god of debauchery and profaneness, or Moloch the

Shall I, when ransom'd spirits, all thine own, god of revenge and hatred and all fierce passions, or Mammon the god of riches and worldly-minded Sing hallelujahs round the eternal throne, ness, -all these are heathens in spirit. They may

Raise my weak voice to thee? Dare I from hence, have been christened, but they are not Christ's'; they From earth, declare thy vast omnipotence ? have left him, and chosen another master. They may profess to believe in God, and may even draw nigh to

But none may all declare the learn'd, the wise, him with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. | May to the height of earthly wisdom rise They deny him in their actions and in their lives : May measure heaven's bright orbs, and ever be what part, then, can they have in Christ? It is the

Lost in the mazes of philosophy; duty of the preacher to tell such men that they must be looked upon as heathens. “ Let him be to you as a

Yet-though their lives were ages, and their days heathen man,” is our Saviour's own sentence (Matt

. Spent in untiring search and ardent gaze xviii, 17) against persons calling themselves Chris- Upon thy countless works —nor time, nor sight tians, yet persisting in an evil course of living. -- Rev. Could number them - could view thy all of might. 4. W. Hare.

We stoop to cull the wildest, simplest flower,

The mind is lost in wonder at thy power;

Hues, odours, unity of parts, combine

With life to prove that flower a work divine ; " MASTER, CAREST THOU NOT THAT WE

Like man, it hath its infancy, its prime,

Buds, blossoms, withers, and in given time

Sinks to its native earth; and soon we trace (For the Church of England Magazine.)

Another gem, that fills its vacant place. Wuo dares to ask, thou faithless one,

And man succeeds to man as flower to flower ; For whom thy Lord so much hath done?

Each in his sphere demonstrating thy power, Thou whom he lov'd and pitied so;

Each drawing nourishment and life from Thee, He died, and would not let thee go.

Creator of the world's immensity, One of his Church, that chosen band,

The world! we gaze from earth to heaven's vast height, Heirs of his purchas'd heavenly land ;

And worlds on worlds, spheres upon spheres of light, O canst thou perish? Dost thou dare

Shine with their Maker's brilliance as they roll, To doubt and question of his care?

Each in his orbit 'neath divine control.


And, O, if such majestic works be given
To gaze of sinful mortals, what is heaven?
If here below, the mind be lost in sight,
How shall we view those realms of glorious light?
If here we marvel at man's curious frame,
Clad in the vesture of his parents' shame,
How shall we view the pure, angelic choir,
Array'd in robes of bright celestial fire,
By His great power, who bled our souls to save,
Burst the strong fetters of the darksome grave;
Awakes our spirits from the sleep of sin,
To bid them soar, a home on high to win;
And as he calls them, purified from hence,
Displays in death as life omnipotence !


THE ATMOSPHERE.-The atmosphere is a mere mass of fluid floating on the surface of the ball of the earth; it is one of the inert and inorganic portions of the universe, and must be conceived to have been formed by the same Power which formed the solid mass of the earth and all other parts of the solar system. But how far is the atmosphere from being inert in its effects on organic beings, and unconnected with the world of life? By what wonderful adaptations of its mechanical and chemical properties, and of the vital powers of plants to each other, are the development and wellbeing of plants and animals secured! The Creator of the atmosphere must have been also the Creator of plants and animals: we cannot for an instant believe the contrary. But the atmosphere is not only subservient to the life of animals, and of man among the rest; it is also the vehicle of voice; it answers the purpose of intercourse; and in the case of man, of rational intercourse. We have seen how remarkably the air is fitted for this office; the construction of the organs of articulation, by which they are enabled to perform their part of the work, is, as is well known, a most exquisite system of contrivances. But though living in an atmosphere capable of transmitting articulate sound, and though provided with organs fitted to articulate, man would never attain to the use of language, if he were not also endowed with another set of faculties;-the powers of abstraction and generalisation, memory and reason, the tendencies which occasion the inflections and combinations of words, are all necessary to the formation and use of language. Are not these parts of the same scheme, of which the bodily faculties, by which we are able to speak, are another part? Has man his mental powers independently of the Creator of his bodily frame? To what purpose then, or by what cause, was the curious and complex machinery of the tongue, the glottis, the larynx produced? These are useful for speech, and full of contrivances, which suggest such a use as the end for which those organs were constructed. But speech appears to have been no less contemplated in the intellectual structure of man. The processes of which we have spoken, generalisation, abstraction, reasoning, have a close dependence on the use of speech. These faculties are presupposed in the formation of a language, but they are developed and perfected by the use of language. The mind of man then, with all its intellectual endowments, is the work of the same Artist by whose hands his bodily frame was fashioned; as his bodily faculties again are evidently constructed by the Maker of those elements on which their action depends. The Creator of the atmosphere and of the material universe is the Creator of the human mind, and the Author of those wonderful powers of thinking, judging, inferring, discovering, by which we are able to reason concerning the world in which we are placed,

and which aid us in lifting our thoughts to the Source of our being himself.-Whewell's Bridgewater Treatise.

SWALLOWS.-Many are disposed to think, from their disappearance in winter, they secure a retreat in some place of concealment, where they sleep or sink into a torpid state; out of which they are awakened by the influence of spring. I apprehend, however, their migration is annual and regular; and in this we may perceive the wise and beneficent direction of Providence. Of this I had the clearest proof in the immense bodies of these birds I perceived in my voyage to Alexandria, pushing their way in the direction of Egypt from Europe, during the month of October, and they may be compared to some of the vast caravans in the East. On the banks of the Thames, as well as in numerous other parts, they collect their forces, and make arrangements for migration. From the more hospitable regions they return to our climate in the beautiful season of the year; a fact which is expressly alluded to in the oracles of truth (Jerem. viii. 7). When they take a departure early, it is considered as a prognostication of severe weather approaching. This bird appears to be of a privileged kind, and was permitted to construct its nest in the cloisters of the sanctuary of Jehovah (Ps. lxxxiv. 3); and also ranked among those whose likeness, as an object of idolatry, was reprobated under the Mosaic dispensation (Deut. iv. 15-17). These scouts appear as if, like Noah's dove, they were despatched from the main body to spy and report on the appearance of the earth, and ascertain the longitude and latitude of their flight, before the general migration takes place. It is computed they fly upwards of sixty, the crow twenty-five, and the hawk forty-two miles an hour. The flight of the English eagle is 6,000 feet in a minute.-Rae Wilson's Travels through Egypt.

MUSIC.-Luther is frequently and fervently thankful for being enriched with a love of music. He says, "It is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Satan is a bitter enemy; for it removes from the heart the weight of sorrow and the fascination of evil thoughts. Music is a kind and gentle discipline; it refines the passions and improves the understanding. Those who love music are honest and gentle in their tempers. I always loved music, and would not for a great matter be without the little skill I possess in this art." The amiable and talented Hooker, in the fifth book of his "Ecclesiastical Polity," speaking of music, says, "Touching musical harmony, whether by instrument or voice, such is the force thereof, and so pleasing effects it hath in that very part of man which is most divine, that some have been thereby induced to think that the soul itself, by nature, is, or hath in it, harmony.”—Hampshire Advertiser.

VERNACULAR DIALECTS.-In the Roman Church, the Latin language; in the Greek, the ancient Greek instead of the Romaic or modern Greek; in the Syrian, the Syriac instead of the Malabar; in the Abyssinian, the Ethiopic instead of the Amharic and other vernacular dialects, are distinguished by the name of ecclesiastical; being the languages in which the Scriptures are preserved, in opposition to those in which the great body of the people talk and understand one another. In other Churches also the same evil prevails.-Professor Scholefield.

London: Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.



[merged small][graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


sidering the sacrifice offered by the one, and

the oblation made by the other, we shall perOF DIVINE WORSHIP.

haps arrive at the real cause of the difference BY TIE Rev. W. G. Moore,

made between them by a just and jealous Rector of West Barkwith, Lincolnshire.

God. The one, Abel, drew near with a sacriII.

fice at once expressive of his guilt, and of The first account we have of any par- his dependence upon the sufficiency of that ticular act of homage rendered to God, is one great sacrifice for sin, which, in the latter given us in the words : “ And in process of day, should be offered up by the Son of God, time it came to pass, that Cain brought of and be effective to the release of all who the fruit of the ground an offering unto the looked to it in faith for the cleansing of their Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the natural pollution, and the gift of perfect rightfirstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof.

eousness; the other, Cain, drew near with And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to the first-fruits of the earth, which, however his offering ; but unto Cain and to his offer- worthy of acceptance when preceded or acing he had not respect." May we not sup- companied by a confession of guilt, a deprecapose from hence that the acceptance of Abel's tion of vengeance, and an acknowledgment offering, and the rejection of that of Cain, was of Divine goodness, would, when offered prior attributable to the nature of the gift presented to any such confession or acknowledgment, by each, and to the state of mind exhibited prove only the pride of his heart. A sense by the worshippers in the nature of the sacri- of sin is the very first requisite in an aposfiee made? If, as there is every reason to tate creature previous to his re-attaining the suppose, the skins where with our first parents Divine favour; and it would surely, therefore, were clothed were those stripped from ani- be the intention of the divine Being, in his mals slain in sacrifice, the only mode of ap- constitution of a form of worship adjusted to proaching their Creator acceptably after their the necessities of fallen creatures, to point apostacy was by blood.

out, first, how or in what way such sense of Sacrifices were, indeed, of two kinds; first, sin should be properly expressed, before he those strictly so called, wherein the offering pointed out the means, or would dictate the made was totally destroyed by fire (and these manner, in which the concomitant feeling of again differed, as being, in some instances, gratitude or praise for daily mercies should peace-offerings, in others sin-offerings); and be displayed. And as obedience was then secondly, those which were simply oblations, the simple rule of life, the summary of the or in acknowledgment of the Divine good-law given for human direction, the transness for the continuance of life, and for the gression of Cain seems to have been a gift of those numberless mercies which made reiterated and gratuitous rebellion against that life a blessing. In discriminating, there his Maker. This view of the subject is fore, between the nature of the tribute paid strengthened by comparing the passages to the Almighty by Cain and Abel ; in con- wherein the form of worship is mentioned VOL, VII.NO. CXCIV.

(London: Robsen, Levey, and Franklyn, 46 St. Martin's Lane.]


as used by Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and the patriarchs, with that expressly ordained at a later period, and concerning which there can be no doubt.*


ing public worship unnecessary, nor were they considered as in any way interfering with or prejudicial to it, but in order that each one of their disciples might have some petitions suited to his own particular wants and circumstances, perhaps also to his peculiar tenets. That prescribed forms of prayer were also in use in the Israelitish Church, may be learned from the Pentateuch; for the offering of first-fruits and tenths was to be accompanied by a confession of Divine bounty and goodness, and a declaration that the person presenting it had performed what the law required.* Among the psalms and hymns of David, many are (EUKTIKOL) prayers for common use, solemn addresses to God, adapted to the wants of his people. Thus Hezekiah, it is said, "commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer; and they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped" (2 Chron. xxix. 30).

It must not, however, be supposed, that because our Lord, in compliance with the custom of the Jewish rabbins, taught his disciples a form of prayer well deserving the title ascribed to it by one of the Fathers, "the God-taught prayer," he ever intended that its use should supersede that of every other; or that it should necessarily form a part of every other prayer. It was a brief compendium, intended to point out the leading subjects of human petitions; and as it comprises within few words all that God demands and men stand in need of, it cannot be too closely adhered to, whenever and with whatever form we draw near the footstool of our Maker.


In the early ages of man's existence frequent mention is made of building an altar, and sacrificing to the Lord, though we have no recorded petition for a very considerable period. At the same time, we are naturally led to believe that as sacrifices were but the outward act, they could only be acceptable or otherwise as they were declaratory of the mind of the worshipper, and his desire to renew the dedication of himself, and all his substance (the just forfeit of transgression), to the service of the Almighty. Sacrifices, indeed, were only offered at some set time, upon some singular event in the lives of patriarchs, upon some signal mark of Divine interference, or upon some striking communication being made to them from on high; while prayer would be a daily duty, without which they could maintain no spiritual communion with the Fountain of light and happiness. The commendation pronounced upon Enoch for walking with God can only be clearly understood by supposing that he worshipped and served God in the prescribed. methods, of which sacrifice was one; and in the habitual exercise of prayer and praise, which was the other.

In short, the head of the patriarchal family was the priest, to discharge every religious service, according to those directions, which were as binding upon all, as, we can have no doubt, they were inculcated upon all. Thus it is said of Abraham, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment" (Gen. xviii. 19).

Tertullian says, with reference to our Lord's prayer, "God alone can teach us how he wishes to be addressed. The divine use of prayer, therefore, being ordained by God himself, and the dictate of his Holy Spirit, it ascends to heaven by his favour, commending to the Father what the Son has taught." Cyprian says, "Christ, among other salutary admonitions and divine precepts, in which he seeks the salvation of his people, himself also gave us a form of prayer, and taught and advised us what to pray for. He who breathed into us the breath of life, taught us also how to pray-one mark of kindness leading to the expression of others; so that while we address the Father by prayer and supplication taught by the Son, our prayers may the more readily enter into his ears." And again, "What can be more spiritual than the prayer delivered to us

Vide Gen. viii. 20; xii. 7; xxii. 9; xxxv. 13; where we

may observe that building an altar is synonymous with offering by Christ, by whom also the Holy Spirit has

As we descend the stream of time, we find that, independent of sacrifices, of the public acts of obedience and subjection paid by heads of families generally, and by individuals on some special occasions in particular, there were not only stated hours of prayer, but stated prayers for those hours. These were supposed to have been appointed by Ezra, to the number of twenty-two, which number was reduced by Gamaliel, the instructor of St. Paul, to eighteen. It was also a custom among the Jewish doctors to teach their disciples short forms or summaries, which were not put forward with the intention of render

+ That this was the case, we have proof in Gen. iv. 26: "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;" as also in Gen. xiii. 4, "Then Abraham called upon the name of the Lord." Compare also Ex. xx. 24; xxiv. 4; xxix. 11-22; xl. 29; Lev. i. 2-31.

Such was Noah's sacrifice, Gen. viii. 20; Abraham's, Gen.

XV. 9.

• Vide Deut. xxvi. 5-13. Where the address put into the mouth of the worshipper is, we may observe, in the singular number, that the prayer might be regarded as that of every individual, as well as applicable to the community.

+ Vide Psalms, passim; compare Jer. xxix. 13.
f Cyril: Θεοδίδακτος εὐχή.

« AnteriorContinuar »