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Happily for us there is no necessity to essence of idolatry.” The State is ourselves. insist upon the proposition, that the duties It is made for man, and is as much his of ruler and people are correlative, for we creature as a committee appointed by him accept it not as a thesis, but as a postulate to manage certain affairs and regulate cer. in all our political discussions; but with tain of his actious. It is neither so large our ancestors it involved a question of life por so high as the total of humanity ; so and death; and even now this very doc- that while it meets many of his necessities, trine needs thundering into the ears of it reserves a wide sphere, like the sanctum earthly potentates, who remain deaf to the sanctorum, which contains all that relates to cries of enslaved peoples, and blind to the religious belief, worship, and discipline, into signs of the times. Not a few Laodicean which no earthly intrusion must be allowed. rationalists pretend to see nothing but These principles, studied with terrible folly or madness in the brave heroic con. clearness, and enunciated with fearful sig. duct of those “mighty men of valour,” nificance by the Scotch Covenanters, had who “ jeopardized their lives on the high been proclaimed by Knox, Melville, Henplaces.' These self-plumed sciolists per- derson, Rutherford, and endorsed by all ceive nothing but democratic ebullitions in the leading men of Scotch Presbyterians, those men of renown;" nothing but a who held by them, with more or less hasty running-up of lath-and-plaster theo- tenacity, during the electric shocks of the ries, and nothing but false enthusiasm, or sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We enraptured nonsense, that operated as a thank the author for the lectures them. charm, and saved them from falling into selves, and for this cheap edition of them utter contempt. Nothing can be more 80 neatly and even elegantly got up—which false. Nothing wider of the mark. The we urge our readers to possess themselves great problem respecting the right of re of, especially if any of them should be sistance to civil governments, the point cogitating fresh reasons on behalf of & where obedience ought to cease, and resist. State Church, ance ought to begin, was examined and discussed by those men, “ of whom the The Light of Truth ; or the Gospel of the world was not worthy," with that patience,

grace of God, compared and contrasted insight, precision, and completeness, which

with Modern Divinty. By J. BEST, have scarcely been exceeded by jurists or

D'Urban, near Cape Town, South Africa. statists who have since applied their minds

Price 2s. Mrs. Paul, Chapter-houseto the study of them. Rutherford's Lex Rex

court, Paternoster-row. was the political text-book of the Covenanters, and how well they understood the If any reader does not understand the great principles there laid down, and how kind of truth illuminated by this treatise, persistently they acted upon them, refer. it must surely be his own fault, for never ence to their public documents, and to the were an author's views more openly set minutes of their societies from 1680, forth than are those in the book before abundantly show. They wrestled and us. But while we endorse the main points fought, and bled, and died for constitu- of the author, and are pleased to find the tional government and the freedom of the light of truth has shone, though perchance, Church from political dictation. Whatever but feebly, on the South of Africa, we cannot might be strange in their dialect,local in their but wish the subject had been closely and views, or peculiar in their dogmas, there was consecutively handled. A little more time, underlying them all great primary princi. thought, and arrangement, would have ples which are the true foundations of civil rendered the book a valuable contribution and religious masonry. The Kirk held to the household of God. Many authors " that the Church has a sphere and juris- please themselves, and expect to please diction distinct from and independent of others, by discovering resemblances or the State ; that Jesus Christ is the sole analogies between Scripture and certain King and Head of the church, and any ex. doctrines, true or false, forgetting that traneous authority is usurpation and analogy proves nothing, and that to adduce rebellion against his Divine Majesty ; that those scriptures as proof-texts is a fallacious under Him all ministers or pastors are mode of procedure. Take for instance, equal in rank and power, and all dominion the parable of the unjust steward, and popish or prelatic, or of whatever kind, is Prov. vii., both adduced by the author to unscriptural and anti-Christian ; and that prove what the Holy Spirit never intended where man pretends to be something to prove by them. Still we mean not to more than the simple preacher, and to be, censure the author, being persuaded that if in some occult way the medium and dis he has done his best in this instance—and he penser of Divine grace, there is the very says he has—he will do better in the next, and come forth improved in style, order, gospel, but much has been soothing, and and efficiency.

cheering, and ennobling, and refining. We Sketches of Life and Glimpses of Immortality with our great English bards ; but we can

cannot rank the author of these glimpses By George Newman. Price 6d. M. A. conscientiously recommend his poems to Pattie & Co., 27, Ivy-lane.

experimental Christians, who will read We feel no small pleasure in the singing them with pleasure and profit. Not that men and singing women of this country, and we mean to disparage the book by insinu. are glad to find that poetry is not likely to ating that the pieces are all destitute of perish for want of a house to live in, while merit, for that cannot be affirmed. “The Mr. Newman lives, moves, and has his being. Hymn my Mother sung,” has poetic excelWe love the music of speech-who does lence; the ode" to Lily,” reminds us of not ?--the sweet singers of Israel--the Cowper; while the one entitled “Ready,” songs they sung, and the manner in which might rank with the productions of Watts they sung them. All has not been pure or Toplady.

Intelligence.

STREET.

LONDON:

on its union with the school and on their BETHESDA CHAPEL SUNDAY-SCHOOL, LEVER- working so well together, he said, he con.

sidered it of great importance that the

minds of the young, which were peculiarly On Tuesday, March 2nd, the Twenty impressible, should be stored with correct eighth Public Tea and Annual Meeting of ideas of truth; that this was the most the above School was held.

effectual means of combating the errors of After the tea, the chair was taken at the day; that though no spiritual good half-past six, by Mr. J. T. Briscoe, the might be effected, the moral influence of pastor. A hymn having been sung by the truth was unquestionable ; like vaccination, children, Mr. Minton, a deacon of Mount though it did not in all cases prevent the Zion Chapel, Chadwell-street, engaged in small pox, it greatly mitigated its virulence, prayer. After a few introductory remarks and that when God was pleased to bless by the Chairman, the Secretary, Mr. Brown, the means, and Divine light came upon read the report of the past year's proceed the informed judgment the individual was ings, which stated that the Lord had in doubly favoured. answer to prayer sent additional teachers Mr. W. H. Evans, of Hounslow, next to the school; that since its establishment addressed the meeting upon the question, 4162 scholars had been admitted, 270 of “What constitutes a good teacher ?" He whom were now upon the books, 145 of considered the teacher as a workman ; that these having been admitted during the past a good workman was one who used the year; that the last few months showed a best tools in the best manner; that the still increasing attendance, and that the teacher could not find a better book than blessing of God had attended the labours the Bible. of his servants; two of the senior class Mr. J. S. Anderson, of Deptford, next girls had been baptized, and become mem- spoke on the “Sunday-school Teacher's Rebers of the church during the past year, ward.” He said, The instruction of the and one of the senior class youths had also young was no child's play, and entailed been baptized and joined another Christian upon the teacher considerable self-denial, church. The report particularly com especially in London, where late hours on mented upon the interesting fact that the Saturday made the bed on Sunday morn. pastor of the church, Mr. J. T. Briscoe, ing very inviting, and that it was often had been from infancy to manhood a with weary bodies and minds teachers scholar and teacher in the school.

proceeded to their labours, but they had a Mr. Alderson, in a very affectionate ad roward in knowing they were doing the dress, moved the adoption of the report, work of God and walking in the footsteps of in which he pointed out the duty as well Him who made the greatest sacrifice forthem. as the pleasure of a Christian church, tako After a short address by Mr. Blake, of ing a lively interest in its Sabbath-school. Dalston, and a few remarks by Mr. Hazelton,

Mr. Palmer in a very able speech seconded of Chadwell-street, the interesting meeting the resolution. Congratulating the church was brought to a close.

THE

VOICE OF TRUTH;

OR,

Baptist Record.

SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE."

In ESSENTIALS, UNITY; IN NON-ESSENTIALS, LIBERTY; IN All Things, CHARITY.

Vol. VIII.

MAY, 1869.

No. 89.

Expositions and Essnys.

THE BRIDLED MOUTH.

"I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”—Psa. xxxix. 1.

The faculty of speech and the gift of language form a grand distinction between man and the brute creatures. Without these the acquirement and the communication of knowledge must have been confined to the lowest degree. We cannot ascertain, treasure up, or spread abroad the results of mental processes without the aid of language, spoken or written. If the latter medium could possibly come into use without the former, its tedious methods would necessarily confine its employment to the great and solemn occasions of life ; whilst the rapid recurring and ever-varying emotions, thoughts, and decisions of the mind, products of the changing scenes and sudden emergencies of daily experiences, must either die as soon as born, or be expressed in inarticulate sounds, or significant gestures of the body. It is thus seen that speech and language, ready at any moment to give easy and unmistakeable expression to all that we think or feel, are among the

greatest of benefits conferred by the Creator upon his.creature--man. Thought and feeling may be compared to the latent electricity with which the earth and the atmosphere are charged ; speech, to the lightning flash, which in a moment reveals the hidden element, and illumines the hemisphere with its glare. But as the lightning, in its rapid motion, frequently demolishes the lofty spire, blasts the spreading oak, and destroys the life of beast and man; so the power of speech, in its quick, explosive, cutting, crushing character, too frequently scatters around the elements of moral blight, disaster, and destruction. The facts, that thought and speech may be originated in one and the same moment: that, not only does thought give birth to speech, but speech, in its turn, multiplies thought and intensifies feeling: and that this process begun in one individual, may spread to many around, until a whole community may be affected by these movements, -as a district of country is disturbed by the tremulous motions of an earthquake : the facts point to the con

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clusion, that the government of the tongue is one of the greatest achievements of true wisdom :-a conclusion which the Word of God abundantly confirms.

We shall do well to understand what the bridling of the mouth signifies. To hold in the steed with bit and bridle is not to restrain him only, but to guide bim as well ; not to keep him to the safe pace, but also in the right way. Similarly, to bridle the mouth, is to check the impetuosity and to direct the issues of the tongue. When the occasion is proper, the spirit calm, and the motive pure, there is great need of watchfulness over our utterances. A good word must be fitly spoken, or its goodness will be lost like the perfume of the flower in the desert. The bridled mouth is not the representative of an empty mind from which nothing flows out because nothing lodges within : nor of a dull leaden soul, whose sensibilities, if not extinct, are buried under a hard selfishness : nor of a proud, stoical temperament which scorns to exhibit emotion for anything less than the wreck of a fortune or the loss of one's second self,—and scarcely then : nor of a sullen brooding disposition which treasures up unhappy thoughts and feelings, which free speech might dispel ; as the bad air of a closed apartment is purged by brisk ventilation : nor of a fine-mouthed hypocrisy, that would smile in your face, but stab you in the back. The bridled mouth is representative of the calm and thoughtful control of the tongue when thoughts run over, and the heart is stirred to its depths by sympathy, hope, fear, sorrow, delight, or provocation. When the eye is quick to detect an evil ; the heart tender to the touch of wrong ; the temperament warm and impetuous; when the occasion for outspoken thought seems to be urgent, the need for rebuke clear, and the circumstances powerfully stimulative-then, to pause and ponder well; to curb the rising accusation ; to nip the budding anger; to wait until the tide of feeling has subsided ; to take a calm view of your own impulses and of other people's sensibilities; to bide the time for speech, and when it comes to take it dispassionately, lovingly, prayerfully,—that is to bridle the mouth.

We can scarcely say when or where we entirely avoid the company of the wicked. In the commercial, the industrial, and the social relations of daily life, we are compelled to mix with the ungodly. The unconverted are found in the household, in the school, and in the Sabbath assemblies. The Psalmist's resolve is necessary for us at all times, and everywhere. In our fellow Christians there lie smouldering embers of evil, which a slight breath may blow up into a flame. Our own hearts are so sinful and deceitful that we have constant need to watch over unspoken words lest they should fan some evil passion in our own breasts. In this matter of bridling the mouth, the most thoughtful, cautious, and patient of Christians have need to remember, that “the preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the Lord;" and to pray daily, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Prov. xvi. 1 ; Psa. cxli. 3).

In attempting to reduce these general principles to practical application, the relation of the parent to the child presents itself first of all to the mind.

“Folly is bo

heart of a child;" and soon, very soon, it begins to manifest its presence and power. Passion, selfishness, self-will, and rebellion in the child, put the wisdom, patience, and self-control of the parent to the severest of trials. Most of us believe in the power of gentle tones and loving words ; but when we are provoked, our faith fails us. There are few things in which a bridled mouth is more needed than in the reproof and correction of children. Hasty words, loud tones, and exaggerated expressions are hurtful to both parties.

The parent may seem to conquer, but the victory is dearly bought. The child may be cowed into submission for the time, but he is neither taught nor trained. Children must be reproved and corrected too : but not with passionate exclamations. Which of us, who are parents, have not had occasion to repent of hasty words which we could not recall, and threatenings which we could not execute? Unexecuted threatenings, as well as unfulfilled promises, destroy trust in our truthfulness. Passion in the parent arouses passion in the child : we drop the spark into the tinder of his inherent depravity : we unwittingly aid in its development. Men wondered at the gracious words which fell from the Saviour's lips. Let the same mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus : let our speech be seasoned with grace. Let us try to move the heart by“ thoughts that breathe,

up in

and words that burn;" but not such burning as leaves a scar behind. “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” Let us, then, earnestly pray for wisdom and strength, that, by what we say and how we say it, and by what we do and how we do it, we may train up our children in the way they should go ; that when they are old they need not depart from it.

The relation of the teacher to the scholar comes nearest to the former, and most of the remarks made under that head will be found applicable to this. Here, hasty and cutting words produce a more rankling wound, because the healing balm of natural affection is wanting. Here firmness in the thing spoken of is all important; but not less so is sweetness in the mode of speaking it. A rash word has often cost a teacher dear. Upon reflection, he finds his own conscience wounded ; or, he has alienated the child's heart; or he has placed himself in a painful dilemma

The relation of Christian masters to ungodly servants cannot escape notice in this connection. “And ye masters forbear threatening: knowing that your master also is in heaven.” (Eph. vi. 9.) Such an exhortation cannot be understood as forbidding just and necessary rebuke; but it must point to the necessity of bridling the mouth.

In each of these three cases we are liable to fall into one and the same error; namely, that of looking upon the perversity and disobedience of child, scholar, or servant, as an offence entirely personal to ourselves, forgetting the more serious aspect of the case, that a sin against parent, teacher, or master, is in reality a sin against God. Under the smart of rebellion against our authority, or of injury to our property, our personal feelings carry us away into unguarded expressions or impetuous acts. Ofttimes the rebound of our impulsive stroke inflicts a heavy blow upon ourselves. Now, if our mouth were bridled until such time as calm judgment take the reins : if we considered well the injurious effect of transgression upon the individual as well as upon ourselves : if we thought of the word and the honour of God as being ignorantly or presumptuously disregarded,—then our feelings would find utterance in other words and other tones. Grief, pity, and prayer mingling with reproof, would give it a pungency and a power unknown before. Our own heart, conscious of its sinfulness and need of pardon, pouring out its yearnings in language softened with tears, would, more frequently than it may have been anticipated, meet with a response of penitential sorrow. And, methinks, that the offended and the offender would feel how happy are the results of bridling the mouth.

My brethren in the ministry must pardon a paragraph addressed to them. In relation to the unconverted, the preaching of the word may be distinguished as the ministry of testimony, and the ministry of invitation. In both cases, I submit, the bridled mouth would frequently conduce to the promotion of truth and righte

Our brethren who deal in general invitation to the unregenerate, seem sometiines to go to such lengths as to leave very erroneous impressions on the minds of their hearers. The sinner is led to believe that conversion is in his own power ; that he can repent and believe when he will ; and, that it is duty so to do. Under this impression, however, he presumes upon future opportunities : solves, and re-resolves ; then dies the same.” On the other hand, we who reject that mode of address and the principles on which it is grounded, and confine ourselves to the testimony of God concerning the nature and necessity of those graces which evidence a state of salvation, may fail to urge upon the sinner those claims of God as his Creator, Benefactor, and righteous Governor, under which he is clearly responsible. For instance : recoiling from the doctrine that makes an unregenerate sinner responsible for the exercise of saving repentance and faith, we may neglect to set before him the fact that there is a repentance and a faith which the law of God requires ; and the absence of which is attributable to his love of sin and alienation from God. In consequence, the sinner imbibes the notion, that he has a license to go on in sin until Divine grace forcibly stop him ; or, that he is so sold under sin as that sinful acts are inevitable; or, that he is under no obligation to seek in any way, or by any means, the deliverance of his soul from guilt and pollution. There

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