Imágenes de página

day of redemption.” Eph. iv. 30. Love is the spring and motive of this fear; love produces it. We know we are of God; we know that we are his adopted children, sealed, sanctified, just as we are assured that we are the children of our natural parents, to whom, in our helpless years, we looked for the supply of all our wants, and knew we should receive from their kindness what was good for us. To fear that their love and care over us would fail, and that they would leave us to perish, is an unholy abject fear, the very reverse of that fear of the Lord which is wisdom, that fear mingled with love, such as is described in Malachi iii. “ Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his son that serveth him.”

In this fear of the Lord there is no distrust, but quite the reverse. “In he fear of the Lord is strong confidence; and his children shall have a place of refuge.” Again, “ The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the spares of death." Prov. xiv. 26, 27. This is a fear to be encouraged as a safeguard; but there is a fear which is not to be harboured, not being linked with love, with which a soul-enslaving fear cannot exist. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 John iv. 18.

We are exborted to draw near to God, and “to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need.” Heb. iv. 16.

Faith in Jesus gives a holy courage in approaching the footstool of mercy. We may claim the pardon and grace which he has purchased for us. “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” &c. Eph. iii. 11–21. The children in the family of God have every thing to hope for, nothing to fear that brings torment. Fear of man brings torment; that must be cast out. Fear of persecution, of losses, of trouble, brings torment; that must be cast out. Fear of death brings torment; that must be cast out. By reason of this fear many are “ all their life-time subject to bondage.” Heb. ii. 14, 15.

But “ as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.” Rom. viii. 14, 15.'

“ Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.” There is no contradiction in being free from one kind of fear, and yet harbouring another. “ We may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Heb. xiii, 5, 6.

We have his promise, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

The fear of God casts out every other fear. “ Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” Psalm cxii. 1.

By his providence even the sparrows are protected, and the hairs of our head are numbered, “ Fear not," said our Lord, “ ye are of more value than many

sparrows.” Luke xii. • In the name of Jesus, then, let us pray to have a

perpetual fear and love of God engrafted into our hearts.

S. M.

How permanent is a Christian's joy! Its roots are. strongly imbedded, like the cedar of Lebanon. No wind that blows can hurl it down. The very tempest that beats upon it only adds to its stability, and rivets it more firmly to its foundation. This joy. grows not on earth, nor depends for its stability on aught that earth can bestow. It is planted in heaven, and is watered by that stream which makes glad the city of God. How then can it wither? Why need the Christian despond, even when all else is gone, if this is left ? Why may he not smile amid the wreck of his earthly hopes, if he can look up and claim God as his portion, and heaven as his eternal home.Waterbury.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

pure fire.

WE will now direct our attention to the great
centre of our system, that vast globe placed by the
Almighty architect in the centre of boundless space,
to which our earth, though vast, is but one of a circle
of tributary planets; and to which may be still more
forcibly applied the saying of the Psalmist, that it is
without foundation, and cannot be removed, for ever.
Psalm civ. 5.
The Sun was commonly supposed to be a globe of

Dark spots may, however, be always seen on his surface, and the other parts of the sun's disk not occupied by spots are far from being uniformly bright. Its ground is finely mottled with minute dark spots or pores, which are in a constant state of change. The dark spots may perhaps represent the solid body of the sun itself, and the penumbra be a low strata of dark atmosphere, partly illuminated by the upper lucid atmosphere. If the body of the sun has a dense gaseous medium surrounding it, and dividing it from the luminous regions above, its atmosphere would effectually defend it from the heat generated in these luminous regions : and if the lower atmosphere were strongly reflective, (as it is if the penumbra of the spots are caused by it,) it would effectually preserve the body of the sun from the rays of light, and thus render even it habitable.

Although the sun is, as it were, the fixed centre of our system, still it has two motions, easily discernible; a rotatory motion (occupying 25 days 6 hours), and a circular one round the common centre of all

the planetary bodies. It has likewise another motion, which is towards the constellation Hercules. Tbc intensity of the sun's light is such, that the most intensely ignited solids appear as dark spots on the sun when held between it and the eye. The sun's light has been estimated at 5563 wax candles, supposed to be placed together at the distance of one foot from the object, while the moon's is estimated to be equal to one candle at the distance of twelve feet. One pound of terrestrial matter at the sun's surface would exert a pressure equal to 27.9 pounds. An ordinary man, therefore, would not only be unable to sustain his own weight on the sun, but would literally be crushed to atoms under the load. The sun's diameter is 882,000 miles, his surface 2,445,000,000,000 square miles, and solidity 359,401,000,000,000 cubic miles, which is 60,000,000 times larger than our moon. We may therefore form an idea of his vast distance, when we reflect that the sun and moon both appear to us of equal magnitudes. His distance is 95,000,000 of miles.

The sun is a centre to other bodies besides the planets; we allude to Comets, the nature and motions of which are different to all the other bodies of the universe. Some have imagined them to be the abode of wicked and condemned souls, by suffering alternately the extremes of heat and cold. By some they are supposed to have their origin in concentrated light meeting in space from several suns; and others in mere vapour. Some are believed to have another sun at an immense distance, for their other focus. They move in every direction round the sun in orbits highly eccentric, and making every angle with the ecliptic. The number of comets is very

« AnteriorContinuar »