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themselves with occasional glimpses of their Father's face in the closet, and at the sacramental feast; but seek a renewed sense of his love day by day. "Many of the better sort of professors are too negligent in this matter;" says Dr. Owen; "they do not long and pant in the inward man after renewed pledges of the love of God; they do not consider how much they have need of them, that they may be encouraged and strengthened to all other duties of obedience; they do not prepare their minds for the reception of them, nor come (to his worship) with expectation of their communication to them; they do not rightly fix their faith on this truth, namely, that these holy administrations and duties are appointed of God, in the first place, as the means of conveying his love and a sense of it to our souls. From hence spring the luke-warmness, coldness and indifference in and to the duties of holy worship; for if men have the principal design of faith in them, and disesteem the chiefest benefit to be obtained by them, whence should zeal for them, delight in them, or diligence in attendance to them arise? Let not any please themselves under the power of such decays; they are indications of their inward frame, and those infallible. Such persons will grow cold and negligent, as to the duties of public worship; they will put themselves neither to charge or trouble about them; every occasion of life diverts them, and when they do attend upon them, it is with great indifference. These things openly discover an ulcerous disease in the very souls of men, and I would avoid the society of such persons as those who carry an infectious disease about them, unless it were to help on their cure." (Spir. Mind. 169.)
In these remarks we have a graphic picture of the decline of christians of the manner in which the Spirit is grieved from the church and revivals are stopped. Here let christians be on their guard. Let them not forsake God, or seek only at long intervals to come near to him. They should not live a day without going to heaven many times, and in all that they do, they should set the Lord before their faces. By so doing the light of God will be their light. They will be in sympathy with him: the feelings and principles of the divine mind will be theirs. And as He is ever active in pouring forth the flood of his benevolence throughout his boundless kingdom; so christians, partaking of his spirit, would do good to all as they have opportunity. They would comfort, warn, rebuke and encourage each other, and pray one for another. To sinners they would often speak about the soul, and the blood of its redemption. And more than all their example, like the voice of many waters, would make a dreadful sound in the ears of the ungodly. Disciples of Jesus, do you doubt about the result of such a course? Do you not perceive how a perpetual revival may be enjoyed? All that is needful is-to be with God, to live like christians. How simple the rule! Will you not strive to walk by it.
If this is so, how great the responsibility of christians! If a perpetual revival is not enjoyed, they are chargeable with the crime of
forsaking God, and rendering his instrumentality for the salvation of men, ineffectual. He is the same. The Sabbath, the preached word, and the Spirit are the same; and why should not the church labor for, and expect the same blessed fruits of conviction, conversion and sanctification from week to week, and year to year? Why not be "steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labors are not in vain in the Lord ?" Why not enjoy a perpetual revival? God is willing to grant it and can we live without it and not incur great guilt and provoke heavy judgments?
Ministers of the gospel, I am aware, come in for a great share of responsibility in this matter. There is meaning in the proverb-like priest, like people. If we stand aloof from revivals-view them with suspicion, or pronounce them spurious; if we dictate to the Lord, and stand against reviving influences unless they come in the way that we prescribe; above all, if we live at a distance from God ourselves, and have not the light of life in our souls, we and our people will greatly suffer. He may visit other churches and multiply converts to righteousness, but we shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh. We must be filled with the Spirit and walk in the Spirit, if we would make full proof our ministry. Without these qualifications we shall run uncertainly, and fight as one that beateth the air. Said Brainard on his death-bed, "When ministers feel these special gracious influences on their hearts, it wonderfully assists them to come at the consciences of men, and as it were handle them with their hands; whereas, without them, whatever reason and oratory we make use of, we do but make use of stumps instead of hands."
How often have ministers realized the truth of these remarks in their own experience. How often they preach without getting hold of their hearers, and holding them close to the truth. But when they feel aright, when they go into the pulpit in the strength of the Lord God, they generally preach in demonstration of the Spirit, and with The power. eye of the hearer is fixed-his ear attent, and his heart is moved. God sets the seal to his truth, and makes it his wisdom and power to salvation.
Ministers, as well as churches, should aim at great things, and expect great things. If they do not expect revivals only at great intervals, they will not labor to secure them;-they will not enjoy them. But let them believe that a perpetual revival is possible, then, if they have the right spirit, they will aim to secure it. Let them also enjoy the hearty co-operation of praying, believing churches, then the word will run, have free course, and be glorified. O, come the day when holiness unto the Lord shall be upon the bells of the horses, and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar! May not that day be near? Let us see. Let us bring all the tithes into the store-house, and prove the Lord therewith, and see if He will not pour us out a blessing, so that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
BY REV. GORHAM D. ABBOTT,
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
"Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that". "A KING shall reign and pros"and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."-Jer. xxiii. 5, 6; and xxxiii. 16.
THE Bible represents OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST in many and different points of light. As a Prophet, a Priest, and a King, the Son of God appears, in the Sacred volume. The various views of his character, office and work, traced by the pen of inspiration, constitute one harmonious and perfect whole. There is nothing conflicting in all the glorious assemblage of excellencies, that unite in the character of the Redeemer of the world. Nothing can be added to it. Nothing can be taken from it. It stands, and will forever stand, ALONE,-a model of spotless perfection.
I propose to exhibit one of these views, as it appears extending through the Sacred volume, from Moses to Malachi, and from Matthew to the end. All parts of the book seem to combine to set forth, in the strongest relief, one peculiarity in his character, indicated in the title, THE KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
In order to accomplish the object I have in view, I shall confine myself closely to the Scripture testimony; and to this single element in the regal glories of our Redeemer ;-and invite attention, first, to those considerations and statements which bear upon the subject, in Moses and the Prophets.
WHAT IS RIGHTEOUSNESS?
This term, as applied to God, signifies that perfection of his nature and attributes, by which he is infinitely just and holy in himself, and in his dealings with all his creatures. Righteousness, as applied to
man, signifies his conformity to this attribute in the Divine character, manifested by obedience to the Divine law. This is in accordance with the definition of righteousness as given by Moses. At the second giving of the law, narrated in Deut. vi., before the children of Israel were permitted to enter into the promised land, Moses was directed to assemble all the tribes in the peaceful valley of Beth-Peor, and to rehearse to them again, in the seclusion and stillness of that scene, the same sublime commands that had been promulgated forty years before, amid the thunderings and lightnings of Sinai. After the repetition of the Decalogue on this occasion, the honored herald of Jehovah declares:
"And it shall be OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He commanded us."
Thus it plainly appears that Righteousness in man, implies the keeping of all God's commands. This is its primary Scripture signification. But all mankind have failed in the requirement, and are consequently utterly destitute of righteousness.
THE DESTITUTION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AMONG MEN ABSOLUTE AND
The two-fold law of love to God, and love to man, on which all the divine commands depend, the whole human race have violated. There is no nation nor kingdom, under the whole heaven, where such principles and obligations are recognised in human codes. The very first and chief of all the commandments, and which, in the spirit of it, embraces every duty that man owes to his Maker, every human being has broken. Not a single individual of all the race of Adam, (with one exception,) has ever obeyed it. Not a man, not a woman, not a child, (who has reached the period of moral action at all,) of all the generations, during 4800 years, has been exempt from the universal charge of transgression.
The second command, to "love thy neighbor as thyself," embracing in its spirit all the duties which human beings owe to each other, has been likewise and equally disobeyed. The world have trampled them both under foot. They have rejected the commands of Almighty God, and laid them in the dust.
The first thing which the ancient lawgiver did, as he brought down from Horeb's top, the stone tablets which God had given him there, for man, was to dash them in pieces-at his feet;-an expressive but melancholy type of what Moses and all mankind have done. They have said, "We will not have the Almighty to reign over us." "The tables of the testimony," ""the tables of stone written with the finger of God;"" the tables which were the work of God; the writing, which was the writing of God," they have dashed in pieces! And this is the testimony of God's word, "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are al
together become filthy. There is none that doeth good, no, not one. There is none righteous, no, not one."
The history of the world accords with this testimony of the word of God. Let us trace, for a moment, the progress of mankind after this second giving of the law, to which we have alluded. We need not dwell upon any other portion of the human family, than the children of Israel. The rest of the Gentile world, it will be conceded, were sunk in the lowest depths of idolatry and sin.
The children of Israel had not taken possession of the promised land, before they had far gone in the career of transgression. Moses, the servant of God, was required to say unto them: "Hear, O Israel, thou art to go over Jordan, this day." "Understand, therefore, this day, * Speak not in thy heart, saying, for my righteousness, the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess the land; but for the wickedness of these nations, the Lord thy God doth drive them out before thee." Moses repeats and reiterates the declaration, "Understand, therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it, for thy righteousness. For, remember, forget not, from the day thou didst depart out of Egypt, until ye came into this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord."
These passages establish the fact, that at this period, neither the Jew, nor the Canaanite, had any righteousness in the sight of God. All the Canaanitish nations were about to be blotted out from the face of the earth, to be, in their ruin, an everlasting monument of God's displeasure against sin; and the Jews, who were to take their place, were distinctly informed, it was for no righteousness of theirs, that they were to inherit the mountains and valleys of the exterminated nations.
Time will not permit, to follow the course of the Israelites down through succeeding ages. Suffice it to say, their whole career, until the final overthrow and ruin of their city and nation, was little else than a long protracted succession of alternate sins and punishments. They were ever reaping the bitter fruits of their unrighteousness.
THE KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
There was no righteousness among men. The prophets early began to announce ANOTHER RIGHTEOUSNESS. It would almost seem as if the forbearance of heaven had been exhausted with the trial of mankind. Once, the whole race, a single family excepted, had been swept away with a flood. Now, the entire family of nations, in the land of Canaan, were extirpated, and the children of Israel, the fewest and feeblest of all people, were brought in to take their place, and make one trial more, if a nation would obey their mighty Maker and Deliverer. But all in vain. The ante-diluvians, the post-diluvians, the very family of Noah, and all his descendants, the Canaanite, the Egyptian,