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made, if we do not wish to dege- and wants of the human mind. nerate, and become corrupt and Not only has each individual worthless ? Shall they ever meet mind its peculiar stamp, but so new difficulties with either new re- also has every succeeding generasources, or old resources more de- tion a prevailing character, which veloped ? and shall we forget that springs from the events of the while the enemies of the Church time, and causes to each age a preare ever infusing new errors, mak- valence of certain virtues or vices, ing new inroads, it will not be opinions or enquiries, truths or sufficient only to recur to the deeds

And therefore has each of those Christian fathers, who generation its own peculiar need of indeed did valiantly in their day to some truth more than others to be the discomfiture of their foes, but imparted.

How needful, then, we perchance have fresh efforts to especially to those who feed the baffle in other directions ? The flock of Christ, to “understand the weapons of their warfare, and of signs of the times,” if they would ours also, are not carnal but spirit- wish to set before them their ual, taken from the armoury of

“ meat in due season. A word God—the sword of the Spirit, in season” is the great object to be which is the word of God, and desired also by all those who would prayer with faith, which removes fulfil their own destined place in mountains.

the order of time appointed for Again, when we consider each their coming into the world. “Time individual mind as bearing a cer- is the greatest innovator," says tain degree of originality peculiar Lord Bacon. Every time has its to itself, (whether sufficiently seasonable truths

every period marked or not to incur the ob- some peculiar error to be combated servation of its fellow-minds,) by its opposite truth. “A word and that with all the features of spoken in due season, how good is

common humanity, which it!” but the “ due season" can be thoroughly prove, as the poet discerned only by studying the

great book of God's providence in

history past and present, by the We have all of us one human heart;" light of revelation.


great, then, and various, the innoyet never were two minds, of all vations of time may be, they are all the countless millions that have fully met from the same inexhaustbeen or will be born, exactly alike ible principles of truth and wisdom in every particular: nor were ever and rectitude which God's word the circumstances of two individu- contains. Truest wisdom is wisals exactly alike; and therefore dom for the present times, for this were there never two minds capa- is practically useful. From the ble of being wrought upon by ex- infinite of ever-present truth are actly the same methods ; how drawn lessons to-day, as new for does this point of view heighten the day as when they were first the importance of that quality of written by the “pens of the ready the Holy Scriptures, when ap- writers.” From hence we may plied by the Spirit of God unto draw wisdom that corrects the erthe heart, of endless resource to rors, the heresies, the infidelities of meet every individual necessity, of these times—whether the infidelity infinite applicability to meet the of false liberalism or the infidelity of varied catalogue of sins and woes Popery-or the infidelity of those


says, that

who cannot deal honestly with their rejoice in the thought that this neighbour in letting their yea be poor, short-coming state of things yea and their nay be nay because shall pass away. For it shall pass as yet they are not faithful to God

away at his coming, and shall be and their own consciences or the as no more than a waning moon in infidelity of the world at large, who the west, when the Sun of Rightlive “ without God and without eousness himself shall arise to hope.” There is yet another

govern his Church. species of infidelity which has been Our blessed Lord tells us, that the greatest hindrance to the whole every scribe which is instructed Israel of God, from its deliverance unto the kingdom of heaven is like out of Egypt until this day; I unto a man that is an householder, mean that infidelity which is the which bringeth forth out of his great sin of the unconverted heart treasure things new and old.Mr. of man, disbelief in the word and Bickersteth remarks that these promises and declarations of God; words warn us against two great and which from time to time and opposite dangers—a stationary renews its attacks on the new- spirit in the knowledge of divine ly-engrafted principle of faith in truth, and a diseased love of the converted heart. This lurk- novelty, to the neglect of truths ing infidelity is the cause of all long established, well-known, and unworthy fears and doubts and which are the foundation of our coldness and estrangement from Christian hope." God, in the hearts of God's chil- Let me conclude, by offering to dren. From hence, too, lack of my Christian friends two seeming zeal and love and all the fruits of contradictions :-We will not value faith; for had we more faith the any Antiquity but that only which fruits of faith would be more abun- is ever New; nor any Novelty but dant. Let us for this, too, get what has been always old. Truth, back to the great charter of our like eternity, is ever old and ever faith, and while praying earnestly

So old, it never can be anteLord, increase our faith,” let us dated- so new, it never there read the great and glorious superseded. And the unfathomed things that have been wrought for depth, the ever-living springs of us, and that will be wrought in us eternal truth, are contained in those and with us,

"to the praise and wells of salvation, the Old and New glory of his grace," who will yet Testaments—the product of His have it so, that unto the principal- mind who is the Eternal Now—the ities and powers in heavenly places great I am—who is “ the same shall be known by the Church the yesterday, to-day, and for ever ;” manifold wisdom of God.” (Eph. with whom a thousand years are iii. 10.) Let us all, who have as one day, and one day as good hope that we are Christians, thousand years”—“ from everlastbe very careful that we do not join ing to everlasting” He is God ! with the worldly unbelief and indif.. Let, then, the Christian houseferences to the future and speedy holder be ever bringing out of his coming of Christ. Let us not say treasures things new and old. As with them, “ Where is the promise the New things are founded on, of his coming?" It is to be feared and proved, and established by the that they indeed might well wish Old; so the Old are evermore that all things might but "con- bettered and carried on by the tinue as they were;" but let us New. He who is a partaker of


can be

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the New Covenant, and hath tasted the love of God revealed in the New Testamentmust ever be singing a new song of thanksgiving unto the Lord; for his is a

new heart, and a new spirit, and he looketh for “ new heavens, and

new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."




own case.

The observable workings of God's growth. It is the result of the providence are not made sufficiently patient observation of a long series a study. It is a matter of main of events—of the gradual unfolding importance to every thinking man, of character — and the gradual to know the principles on which manifestation of the purposes of the great moral Governor of men omnipotence towards characters so proceeds ; and to use them in the ultimately developed. It is inducway of practical application to his tion from a wide spread range of

One fact established, special instances; and any one one principle distinctly eliminated who possessed the powers which, is highly valuable, and every such aided by divine teaching, might fit fact or principle fairly brought out, him ultimately for such observation is not only a valuable way mark, a would be the most ready to feel beacon light, or a direction; but it and acknowledge the difficulties by is the earnest forerunner of accu. which such a path is beset, and the mulated observations and growing consciousness of comparative incaand deeper knowledge. It will be pacity for such valuable deductions. said, however, and with great pro- There is, however, what may be priety, that it is extremely difficult called, in one sense, a lower form to draw conclusions from present in the school; where those who instances around us, because of the are anxious to learn and to make almost impossibility of getting a progress, may exercise themselves full and fair view of the facts of a with comparative safety, and with case, and their various relations; profit. Nay, more, it is the very and even then, the little likelihood sphere where all really profitable of forming an impartial judgment attainments on this interesting respecting them. So many reasons topic must begin; and it is only as exist for perverting and misrepre- we shall have passed carefully and senting-so many occasions for intelligently through the ranges of mistake and false conclusion, that teaching thus primarily provided few are gifted with powers of gene- for us, that we can profitably ascend ralization and calm impartiality to the higher forms of instruction sufficiently to judge rightly the and enquiry, where we can trace dealings of God with men around the hand and the footsteps of the them. Granted; the ability to living God, in his dealing with recognise and record facts and in- extant cases, and with pilgrims costances, and to deduce principles temporary with us on the road to in the school of providence, is not

final judgment. the attainment of a day or a year.

The written word teems with It is like valuable timber, of slow historical and biographical facts facts recorded by unquestionable perish" by that hand, against which inspiration cases in which, differ- he had been long so marvellously ent from all other biography, the defended, fled to the Philistines motives of the parties are declared to the national and hereditary eneas they really were; and the decrees mies of his country. He sought and doings of the Almighty in the refuge with Achish, the king of particular case stated by authority; Gath. He had on a former occaso that the whole circumstances are sion (1 Sam. xxi. 10.) had recourse drawn for us by an infallible pen- to the same expedient, and had only cil, and we are invited to approach, escaped from its impending dain a prayerful and faithful spirit, to mages by "feigning himself mad." study the whole series of sequences, Yet in his extremity and his unjust and to conclude, that in such a case, fear, he again resorts to the same with such and such characteristics, unwise means of protection. He the Almighty did such things, or seeks his safety in the camp of the permitted or brought about such enemy. But David speedily found results. The character and expe- himself in a false position. His rience of Jacob presents, in the want of confidence in divine proinfallibly recorded life of an indivi. tection, had induced him to seek a dual, a case highly suited for such refuge where, if he faithfully purstudy. And, again, the 107th sued the line of duty to his own Psalm details a number of abstract country, he was tempted to escape cases, in which the course that the risk that such conduct brought God is pleased to take with man is on him and his men, by the utterplainly and unequivocally laid down, ance of a falsehood. For we read and our attention graciously and that he invaded the Geshurites, and pressingly invited to the considera- the Gezrites, and the Amalekites; tion of them, by the concluding and when Achish, seeing the spoil

, promise—“whoso is wise will enquired, “Whither have ye made ponder these things; and they a road to-day?” David answered, shall understand the loving kind- Against the south of Judah, and ness of the Lord.” It is the pro- against the south of the Jerahmeemise of increasing light to those lites, and against the south of the who look for it in the ways of God's Kenites." providence—“ To him that hath The success of such a temptashall be given."

tion, in leading him to a violation There is a point in the inter- of truth, should have warned him twined history of David and Saul, seriously of the danger he incurred which may serve to carry out these of even greater evil. Yet he apremarks, and to show how close

pears not to have taken any note of observation on Scripture facts, may it, till suddenly he found himself bring out useful lessons upon the in still greater jeopardy. The dealing of God with men-lessons Philistines gathered their armies fitted to have a valuable practical together for warfare, to fight with bearing in the reading our own case Israel; and, as they marched, they and that of others. It is the time carried along, in the tide of invawhen a final separation had taken sion, the warriors of Gath and their place between the erring king and king. His guest, of course, could his discarded and persecuted pro- find no colourable excuse for not tegee.

going with him : and when Achish David, in a moment of criminal said to David, “ Know thou assurdistrust lest " he should one day edly, that thou shalt go out with


me to battle, thou and thy men,” original transgression and con. David became so alive to the di. demn it. lemma into which he had incau- There seems to have been no tiously betrayed himself, that he expedient presented to David's gecould only answer enigmatically nerally fertile mind, to extricate and deceitfully — " Surely thou him from this difficulty ; but it is shalt know what thy servant can in this crisis, that help providendo.” He seems to have been with- tially comes to him, from a quarter out any scheme or plan to escape whence he could least expect it, from his false position, and all he and arising, very naturally, out of appears to have attempted was, circumstances over which he could when the hundreds and thousands exercise no control. The princes of the Philistines moved on in of the Philistines naturally viewed battle array, he placed his little him with suspicion, and they said, company in the rear of the host :

" What do these Hebrews “ David and his men passed on in here ?" And when Achish atthe rereward with Achish.” A step tempted to vindicate his sincerity, which, however natural and wise they were wroth with him, and on his part, as giving him at least said, “ Make this fellow return," opportunity of observation, could giving, at the same time, very judinot but awaken suspicion in those cious reasons why he was not to be who knew his origin, and early trusted. They had a vivid recolhistory, and prowess, and his re- lection of his former victory, when cent defection from the service of they said, Is not this David, of Saul and the ranks of Israel. Now whom they sang one to another in this is the point, in this remarkable dances saying, Saul slew his passage of David's life, which calls thousands, and David his ten for special observation. Manifestly thousands ?” So David and his he had got wrong.

The victor were compelled to depart ; over the Giant of Gath-the cham- and he who had apparently abanpion of the Philistine host-should doned the cause of his natural never have been found displaying allies, was dismissed as unworthy his ensign in the rearskirts of their of confidence in the new relations invading army; and yet little which he had chosen. chance remained for him, but that, Now here is a strong characin these circumstances, he must, teristic line of God's providential for safety's sake, draw his sword

government distinctly marked. We against his country, and as a parti- can trace here an important and zan of those who defied the armies valuable principle. A really good of the living God. One error had man, a sincere servant of God, who led on to another, till it must have was, in the main, right at heart, by been plain to him, that his life or yielding to his constitutional prohis loyalty, and that of his men, pensity to manœuvre and finesse, were eminently in danger. If he gets into a wrong course, and is fought he would slaughter his publicly recognised as in the posicountrymen; if he shrunk from tion of an associate and an ally of fighting, and betrayed his real views, the enemies of his nation and his the thousands of the Philistines God; but he is not allowed to go would fall on him. So evidently

on perseveringly into inextricable does a false step in a good man's

Elements, which he cannot way lead him, at last, to circum- control, are at work for his deliverstances that make manifest the ance. His double-dealing is visited




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