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his gracious character to all around-tell of the efficacy of his precious blood to wash out every stain of sin.
In our visits to God's afflicted people, do we not often meet with unconverted parents, unconverted children? have we not a message from God for them? The more unconcerned they are about eternal realities, the greater their danger. O shall we not try to pluck them as "brands from the burning." O that all who profess to be Christians would be more like Christ in his love and compassion-more self-denying than they have hitherto been-more zealous-more faithful-"warning every man:" with meekness, instructing those who oppose themselves, if, peradventure, God would give them repentance. Let us use every means to bring the unconverted sinner within the sound of the Gospel: let us beseech him to lay down his weapons of rebellion, and be reconciled to the Saviour, who is waiting to be gracious! Amazing condescension! Great efforts are being made for the conversion of the world, but much more might be done. Let every follower of Jesus determine to be more prayerful, more diligent, more persevering in this great and good work; let him begin the duties of each day with these words sounding in his ears, "preach the Gospel to every creature." Ŏ let us preach it in our lives; let us "sow the precious seed of the kingdom beside all waters:" and may the Holy Spirit's gracious influences descend in copious showers, and cause it to take root, spring up, and bear fruit abundantly, to the praise and glory of our God.
I was deeply convinced, the other day, of the duty of Christians to warn, if possible, every unconverted soul with whom they may have intercourse. I was visiting a man in the last stage of disease; he frequently exclaimed, "O that they had told me of these things when I was in health! then I could have borne it! but they passed me by unnoticed then! they looked coldly on me then! no man seemed to care for my soul then! and now my memory is gone, my powers of conversation and reflection fail; why did they not speak to me of
these things sooner? then I could have borne it !" felt reproached, and would warn others, lest they come into the same condemnation.
THE grace of meekness, which is so much enforced in the word of God, is not a fruit of the flesh; but is directly opposed to its corrupt actings, and to the Spirit of the world. It is described as a temper of mind that is not easily provoked, which suffers injuries without revenge, and quietly submits to the will of God; (Col. iii. 12.) and also has a humble, submissive frame of mind, ready to receive and entertain the truths of God. (James i. 21.)-Cruden.
Jesus Christ, "the teacher sent from God," when he went up into the mountain, and taught his disciples, said, "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt. v. 5.) Those whom He pronounces blessed, are blessed indeed; but it is not without reason that they are said to be blessed; for "the meek will he guide in judgment; the meek will he teach his way." (Psalm xxv. 9.) And is this a trifling blessing to a poor pilgrim travelling as a stranger and sojourner through an enemy's country beset with snares, dangers, and temptations? Should he even stumble, "the Lord lifteth up the meek." (Psalm cxlvii. 6.) Is he faint and hungry? "the meek shall eat, and be satisfied." (Psalm xxii. 26.) Is he cast down and sorrowful? "the meek shall increase their joy in the Lord." (Is. xxix. 27.) Is he in himself uncomely? "He shall beautify the meek with salvation."
Christ was "anointed to preach good tidings, to the meek;" (Is. lxi. 1.) and was himself the exemplar of his doctrine. "Learn of me," saith he, "for I am meek and lowly of heart." (Matt. xi. 29.) The predictions of the Old Testament intimated that this was to be the characteristic of the promised Messiah. Moses was instructed to write of him, "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet like unto me." (Deut. xviii. 15.) And the character given in Num. xii. 13, is, that "the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." The prophecy contained in Zech. ix. 9, as quoted in Matt. xxi. 5, is of
the same nature: "Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass," &c.
This spirit is enjoined in the Old as well as the New Testament.
Zephaniah taught the people of his day to seek meekness and righteousness, that they might be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.
St. Paul speaks of meekness as one of the "fruits of the Spirit." (Gal. v. 23.) He enforces its exercise: "with lowliness, meekness, and long-suffering, forbearing one another in love;" (Eph. iv. 3.) and in Col. iii. 12, states it to be a characteristic mark of being a child of God: "put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, meekness, long-suffering." Again, in 1 Tim. vi. 11, we are commanded to "follow after meekness" as a most desirable attainment, in order that we may "in meekness instruct those that oppose themselves." (2 Tim. ii. 25.) And in Titus iii. 2, we are told towards whom it is to be exercised: "shewing meekness unto all
But in order to be made partakers of this meekness, it is needful that we first "receive with meekness the engrafted word.” (James i. 21.) Then, and not till then, shall we be enabled "to show out of a good conversation our works with meekness of wisdom," (James iii. 12.) "being adorned with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of the Lord of great price." (1 Peter iii. 4.) While the most powerful, plea which can be urged for its practice is that used by St. Paul to the Corinthians: "I beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ." (2 Cor. x. 1.)
Let us seek to increase in this grace, that we may show "whose we are, and whom we serve," by walking as he also walked, in all lowliness and meekness.
I HAVE heard much formerly, and lately, and all times, about poor preaching, so that I have not doubted there was such a thing in the world; but I have wondered something has not been said about poor hearing. I believe that is a reality too; and as I believe more has been said about poor preaching than about poor hearing, I will cast a mite into the latter scale, thinking that if the pulpit feels the lash, the pews ought at least to hear the snapper.
1st. Drowsy Hearing is poor hearing. You shall have a case rather, and see for yourself what you think of it. Enter into a tale to your friend that deeply interests your heart; while in the hot haste of your own interest, you hear your friend gaping, and
soon after he snores; what kind of hearing do you call that? in sorrow I say it, there is not a little of just such hearing in these days in the Sanctuary; and if you do not call that poor hearing, you can help yourself to any appellation for it you like better.
2nd. Attention with the eyes only, is poor hearing ; that is, they give their eyes to the speaker, but their thoughts and imaginations are pilgrimaging the whole creation. They see a man in the pulpit, but hear nothing: the natural eye is in the right direction, but the mental is in the wrong. "I go, sir, but went įnot.” However, half a loaf is better than no loaf. Even looking at the preacher is better than nothing; for if he has the eye, he cannot but hope he has the ear.
3rd. Captious hearing is poor hearing. Some people always have their net spread for the worst fish that swim; they seem seldom to catch any other; they are excellent fishermen they think, and so they are, in their way--if the preacher falters any where, the keen eye sees it, the acute ear hears it, the well-trained memory retains it, and the tongue is set on fire to let others know what a rich specimen their course presents of poor specimens.
4th. Hearing for other people is a bird of the same feather. "I am thankful the squire is to hear that, and Miss X. may take that," &c. It is a comfortable thing to get the mind so trained, that, unwounded ourselves, we may look about us, and see where the preacher's artillery takes effect; but if this is not one of the ways of offering the "sacrifice of fools in the house of God," I will take meekly any man's rebuke who will point out my mistake.
5th. Prayerless hearing is so also: let the husbandman cast his seed upon unsoftened ground, and who would commend such husbandry? Cast the good seed of the Word upon it, and it would be nothing but madness to look for a harvest. A prayerless heart is a shut-up heart, and prayerless hearing is poor hearing.
It follows that poor preaching is not the only poor thing to be found in the sanctuary. Let the hearers eschew all drowsiness-fix their eyes in deep and solemn attention on the speaker—be captious and cavilling no longer hear in downright honest earnestness each one for himself, and do all this in the spirit of humble and fervent prayer, both for themselves and the preacher.
WHY SHOULD I ATTEND TO FAMILY PRAYER?
I will consider this question addressed to myself, and will endeavour to answer it.
Because, if not expressly commanded in the word God, yet I infer from it, it is a duty. We have the example of Noah, Abraham, David, Job, Joshua, and Daniel. I have reason to believe, that he requires it of me, and that the performance will be well pleasing to him.
God is honoured by his worship in the family. We express our dependence, our submission, our accountableness, our reverence, and our obedience. If every family on earth would truly worship him, how would he be honoured! The earth then, that is full of
his glory, would be filled with his praise.
families to do the same.
The worship of God in the family might encourage other Many families, professing to be Christians, neglect this duty. My example may encourage others. I will worship God in my family, in hopes that it may be the means of perpetuating religion from generation to generation.
I will have family prayer, because the season affords me an opportunity of instructing my family, and of impressing the truths of the Bible on their minds.
If I do not call them together, and read the Bible, probably some of them will not. And the truths of the Bible, and a sense of divine things, should act on them daily.
I will worship God in my family, for the benefit of my own personal religion. It will serve as a restraint upon my deportment before my family.
It is to be feared that some parents neglect to pray in their families for shame their conduct at other times being inconsistent with the practice.
I cannot worship God with comfort, unless the Christian graces are in exercise. And this will serve to make me more watchful and prayerful at other times, so as to be in a suitable frame of mind to pray in my family.
I will worship God in the family, because I value it as a privilege, as well as duty, and because I love the service. Is there any scene on earth so delightful as a family assembled for his worship? It is like a little heaven below.
I will have family prayer, because God is the hearer of prayer,