« PreviousContinue »
evil is present with me. For I delight the internal errors of every day to in the law of God after the inward that fountain (which operates a paman: but I see another law in my rallel purification from guilt and polmembers, warring against the law of lution,) if we are aiming to get a my mind.”
Now the proof of our renewed sense of pardon, and an inhatred of sin will be shewn in our de- creased estimate of the heinousness of light in the law of God. And what such sin, as seen in the crucified Sais that law? It is the rule of univer- viour,--we have one strong ground of sal purity-spotless, untainted obe- hope that we have laid hold of the dience; the consecration of the heart, only remedy for vain thoughts. the affections, the understanding, the Secondly. If we are conscious of our talents, the time, the means,—all to own inability to deliver ourselves the service of God. If we hate vain from the suggestions of our own corthoughts and have effectually applied rupt nature; if we believe what we to the ren y, that we may be what are often avowing, that from God only the law of God requires, then we shall “all holy desires, all good counsels, be able to determine that this is con- and all just thoughts, do proceed," scientiously the wish and bias of our and are seriously praying that God souls; we are seeking earnestly and would “cleanse the thoughts of our unreservedly for purity of heart and hearts by the inspirations of his Holy life. But then some may still say, How Spirit;" if we are in godly sincerity can we give ourselves credit for the seeking that promised aid, and dedesire, while innumerable failures siring that a spiritual and renewing daily shew that vain thoughts influence may come upon us, to the still arise and are still occasionally control and eradication of our most cherished ? and to this we reply, we secret and inveterate habits of evil, are not talking of our being made in and lead us to holy and profitable this world a perfect creature, but only thoughts and meditations, then we of our being perfectly in earnest in may conclude that, under the influseeking and using God's appointed ence of the Gospel we are beginning remedy for sin. We carry about with
to hate vain thoughts. us a body of sin and death, and we Thirdly. If we find that we are shall carry it to the grave. It will be become more expert in tracing the always ready to take advantage of operations of our minds, and referring
The carnal nature is enmity our thoughts to their real motives against God. From the abysses of and source, and that we now more corruption, evil vapours will occasion readily detect the evil; and if we ally rise to cloud our minds. But in find that with this spiritual vigilance this way we shall know that we hate and alacrity, we do more readily, on them,- First, If habitually and ear- the discovery of the evil, carry it in nestly, in the way of a sustained con- its first risings to Him who is able to flict, we carry these evils to the deliver out of temptation,—then we throne of grace and to the cross of may begin to hope that the warfare is Christ. There is a fountain opened for effectually begun, which must end in sin and for uncleanness in the pierced victory. There is hardly a more saside of the Redeemer. If we are tisfying evidence of spiritual life than heartily and conscientiously carrying this instant crying out to the Lord
under the oppression of temptation- to know the whole extent of the misthis eager dragging of the secret ini- chief, but those who are equally sinquity into the very light of heaven; cere in seeking for an effectual cure.
My soul cleaveth to the dust, To conclude. Our salvation rests quicken thou me according to thy upon the fact of a victory over vain word.”
thoughts, for they cannot dwell triWe will only mention one other umphant in him who is really the proof that we are making progress in temple of the Holy Ghost. There the cure of vain thoughts, and that is are many who profess to think little if we really approve of that faithful of the guilt of thoughts, so as they do dealing which strips us of all specious not issue in acts; but anything like covering, and lays bare to us un- a rational inspection of the principles sparingly the mystery of iniquity in of God's moral government, would the heart. We do not mean if we can clearly ascertain the fact, that the bear it only; for many contrive, by man who before men is irreproachable one subterfuge or another, to bear it in his outward conduct, may be spetoo well. Ministers say strong things, culatively and intentionally, and estibut the people have each their own mated of God, an adulterer, a murexpedient for diluting them. But derer, a thief, a blasphemer. Most this is the question, Are we thankful certainly, whenever the children of for that Word which is sharper than men shall stand before that Judge, a two-edged sword, and is a discerner who judges by what men really are, of the thoughts and intents of the and not by what they appear to beheart? Are we thankful for those by the abundance of the heart, and ministrations, which, instead of creep- not by the outward conduct, which ing their languid way through a series circumstances may alter and constrain of useless generalities, boldly enter - then the tenor of men's thoughts the recesses of our hearts, and drag will assume the most prominent part into open day the mysteries of the in regulating that decision ; and then chamber of imagery, and say to us many a speculative sinner, long sheleven in the crisis and the agony of tered under the outward decencies of exposure—“Son of man, thou shalt religion, and then for the first time see yet greater aboniinations than unveiled, will share the same deadly these?” The answer to this question curse with the openly profligate.-"I will be one of the strongest tests of never knew you. Depart from me, our sincerity; for surely in this mat- ye that work iniquity.” ter there are none seriously desirous
Φωνη τεθνηκοτος. .
THE CHRISTIAN'S ENJOYMENT OF OUTWARD THINGS.
From the German of Niemann. INSTEAD of initiating you into the peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, dead mysteries of worldly enjoyment, may be begotten within you. When Christ initiates you into the life- He has illumined the heart, outward producing mysteries of redeeming things also glitter before your gaze in love, in order that through its purify- new colours. A veil falls, as it were, ing flames the new nature, which is
from your eyes.
Even beneath the
husk of the temporal you recognize even trifling boons, because they are the germs of the eternal. You see a proof of His unmerited and inexthe night of sin passing away, see the haustible love; you enjoy what is your old strife between existence and dis- own with deeper gratitude, and what solution reconciled, and hear the mur- is another's you not only renounce muring of the streams of life. The without envy, but make it through infinite world of faith,- a heaven full sympathy your own. And through oflight and harmony,--expands before this frame of mind, unassuming withyou, not merely above the earth, but out sluggishness, and contented witheven in the midst of this finite state. out meanness, through this tender For although the kingdom of grace is susceptibility without excessive denot of this world, it exists upon it. licacy, through this lively openness Like as Christ from His baptism in to the impression of everything beauJordan, or from that contest in the tiful, free from inordinate desire for wilderness, through which His deter- pleasure, through this childlike, peacemination to accomplish the Divine ful disposition,
-no day passes away decree was sealed anew,--passed with without having brought you new enfeelings of sympathy into the midst joyments; the sources of pleasure flow of those who rere rejoicing; so will in to you from the most opposite diyou after the holy baptism of His rections, every possession and calling Spirit and the hot conflict with the is changed into a medium of gratifidelusions of sin, return from the so- cation, so that even every-day things litary retirement of self-examination gain continual novelty and attraction, and prayer, with a placid countenance and the insignificant obtains signifiand a greeting of peace, full of mildness, into the circles of men. Kindred The morning - stars praise God, qualities find each other; hence you, which know not their path till He too, attract to yourselves pure joy has called them out of nothing; the wherever it approaches you, you ħail lilies of the field glorify Him, which everything that is really beautiful and blossom free from care, and are clothed amiable as your own property; you
without toil; the birds of the heaven, appreciate, and are affected by it, whose eyes wait on Him, exult in without preparation or premeditation; Him, without knowing His hand and while admiring and enjoying the
which satisfieth all things ; His praise sublime gifts of God exhibited by is in the mouth of sucklings who nature and the Bible, by science and awake and who sink to sleep, without art, by the past and the present; you guile and care as they are without feel yourselves in your own element. consciousness. How much more, then, The mind then grows more and more
do you glorify Him, when you do not delicately susceptible in tracing out unconsciously receive the reflection the most concealed sources of enjoy- of God's love, but mirror it in conment, and the heart more and more scious thought; when your heart beats open to permit them to penetrate to responsively to the spring of creation, its inmost depths, where they become because it feels in it the creative associated with the most blessed feel- breath of the Almighty ; when your ings and anticipations. The spirit of eye feeds with deeper rapture on the Christ is a child-like spirit: it suffers summer, because, with the outward you, unassuming as a child, to wel- light that touches your frame, the income heartily whatever happiness visible light also has beamed on your you may experience, whatever reward spirit; when in the wealth of autumn's you may find, and to be surprised gifts you perceive yourselves not only and cheered even by little things. enriched, but also blessed, because Reconciled through Him, you repose you know the Father ; when the stillwith confidence in the paternal arms ness of the wintry meads becomes to of God. You would taste the bless you a festival, because the hidden ings of His love, even if it were not economy of God then approaches you manifested in outward tokens and more nearly and fills you with a deeper gifts, but you prize still more highly awe; when the success of your exertions, the prosperity of your worldly when every social intercourse becomes fortunes, penetrates you with joy, be dear to you, through the communion cause the testimony of His favour is which you are enabled to hold with therein made known to you through Him through Christ, and in the affecHis Spirit; when you embrace your
tion of those who are dear to yoni, children as pledges of His mercy; you taste His grace !
(Continued from p. 210.] We have seen the power of Rome fact, so many evident marks of this described as that of iron, breaking in most descriptive beast are evident pieces and subduing all things : we before us, that to doubt as to its aphave seen the division of the empire plication is to wilfully blind oneself into two, represented by the two legs: against the truth. the subdivision into ten kingdoms, de- Let us proceed then to examine all picted as ten toes, and ten crowned the remaining passages in which horns. We have seen the Pagan do- events connected with the history and minion flourishing under six heads, development of this last power are five of which had ceased before John described. wrote, viz., the Kingly, Consular, Dic- In the first place, the duration of tatorial, Decemviral, and Military the beast is given as 1,260 days; a Tribunal; one existed in John's time, day being taken for a year: and we viz., the Empire ; and one was yet to know that the present Roman domicome, viz., Dukedom, when the seat nion began at about the commenceof chief power was removed to Con- ment of the seventh century; so that stantinople. After that time the do- its termination must occur within the minion ceased to be Pagan or idola- life of some now on earth. trous for a short space : and the beast It is a matter, therefore, of serious was not; yet we see it rise again, more import; seeing the awful nature of idolatrous than ever, to continue till the denunciations against all who parthe final destruction of all dominions take of Rome's sins, that we obtain a inimical to that of Christ. We have clear view of our duty towards all her seen the seat and power of dominion adherents and her allurements; and of the Pagan empire given to another; that we be fortified against her wiles, and we may not hesitate in applying and encouraged to seek that help the figure to that power, which, rising from above, without which we shall among the disturbances of the sixth assuredly fall under the temptation and seventh centuries, flourishes still that comes on all the earth ; but with in the seat of the dragon's empire, in which we may bid defiance to the league with the remnant of the ten enemy, and go forth sure of the vickingdoms that sprung up with it, and tory through Him who loveth us. three of which it exterminated, as
was given unto him to mentioned by Daniel. One of the make war with the saints." What seven heads or forms of government was wonder then that his policy is agwounded as unto death; but healed, gressive; that he should exercise his so that the world wondered after the tyranny over men, and seek universal beast. And so it was, that the Empire dominion? Shall we be surprised at seemed totally destroyed, until re- the onslaught of an enemy when we vived and maintained by the Emperor know power to have been given him, of Austria, as the head of the Holy even to the subjugation of the saints ? Roman Empire. We see a symbol When his power is foreshewn as exerof the three supplanted horns in the cised " over all kindreds, and nations, triple tiara of the Popes. And, in and tongues”? When we are told
that all who are not written in the out without mixture into the cup of Lamb's book of life shall worship him, his indignation; and he shall be torshall we be astonished at his boldness mented with fire and brimstone in the in attacking every kingdom and peo- presence of the holy angels, and in ple, and seeking the extension of the presence of the Lamb: and the power he knows to have had given smoke of their torment ascendeth up him? But we may confidently expect for ever and ever; and they have no the result: “ He that is with us is rest day nor night, who worship the greater than all that are against us.' beast and his image, and whosoever * He that leadeth into captivity shall receiveth the mark of his name.” Then go into captivity : he that killeth with follows a description of the last plagues the sword must be killed with the that shall be poured upon the earth; sword.”
while those who have gotten the vicBut, in conjunction with the tem- tory over the beast rejoice in the preporal power represented by this beast, sence of God. we have another creature with horns
With respect to the time of the as of a lamb; yet speaking as a dragon: pouring out of these vials there can exercising the power of the former be little doubt. There are three woes, beast in his presence, and causing emphatically so called in the Revelathe whole earth to fall prostrate before tion. The first is the Saracenic invathe first beast: he performs seeming sion. The second the Turkish domimiracles (not openly, but before the nion and the Mahomedan supremacy beast) deceiving men, and leading in the East—terminating 1,260 years them to an idolatrous worship of its after the rise of Mahomet; and the self-formed god. How admirable a third, which is said to follow quickly description of the priestcraft which, upon the others and to usher in the mimicking lamb-like modesty, speaks kingdom of Christ, cannot be far disin thunder, and denounces all the male- tant. So that the pouring out of these dictions of heaven on its foes; which last plagues will speedily be accommakes its own god a semblance of the plished, and judgment fall upon the mighty power whose seat it occupies, followers of the beast. and gives it power and authority to Listen then to the voice of warning, do its utmost will among the inhabi- “Come out of her, my people, that ye tants of earth, to utter laws and man- be not partakers of her sins, and that dates, to demand adoration, and to ye receive not of her plagues.” And visit with utmost penalties all who we may not delay, for when the acdeny or refuse submission to its sway, complishment of her full time is come, What tyranny ever surpassed this “shall her plagues come in one day, tyranny of the lamb-dragon?
death and mourning and famine; and In the midst of John's vision of Ro- she shall be utterly burned with fire." man iniquity, an angel flies in the To make the picture of this unholy midst of heaven, having the everlast- power more complete, we have a deing Gospel to preach unto them that scription of her riches and her merdwell on the earth, and to every na- chandise ; some articles of which petion, and kindred, and tongue, and culiarly apply to Romanism, and to people : proclaiming at the same time that alone, « The merchants of the that the hour of God's judgment is earth shall weep and mourn over her;
“ And there followed another for no man buyeth their merchandise angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is any more: the merchandise of gold, fallen, that great city, because she and silver, and precious stones, and of made all nations drink of the wine of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and the wrath of her fornication. And the silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, third angel followed them, saying with and all manner vessels of ivory, and a loud voice, If any man worship the all manner vessels of inost precious beast and his image, and receive his wood, and of brass, and iron and marmark in his forehead, or in his hand, ble, and cinnamon, and odours, and the same shall drink of the wine of ointments, and frankincense, and the wrath of God, which is poured wine, and oil, and fine flour, and