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society. O, how much of the old Adam is there in such conduct! “The woman which Thou gavest me, she gave me, and I did eat.” When will the children of Christ become hearty in their attempt to follow their divine Redeemer along that holy path-way,—that bright example, which he has left us in all things, that we should follow his steps : depending on his merit alone, should we not be very careful to maintain good works,- to keep our hearts with all keeping, and to bridle the
" If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, that wan's religion is vain.”
All impatience, distrust, sloth, envy, evil-speaking, overreaching, and disobedience, are directly and substantially opposed to the submission which the Gospel requires. All thankless receiving, improper using of God's mercies, are destructive of the grace of submission to God our Saviour : any one of them indulged in, by a Christian, must bring a degree of dispeace into the soul, and discomfort into the life. All sin is linked to punishment; but all iniquity in the living Christian will bite like a serpent. It is a fiery dart transfixed into a living, sensible member of Christ's own body. An act contrary to the voice of conscience within, and that conscience being alive, and stirred up by the Holy Ghost, it will lift up its voice in the closet, in the family, in the house of God, and in the market.place, with a power to be heard, and which will either break the peace of the soul before God, or break the person from the sin. Relief cannot be obtained, while the sin is indulged, "If I regard sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Nothing will do, but an entire submission to the will of God,-a giving up of sin, and taking up with Christ, in his unlimited right to rule us, and teach us how we should pray, “ thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," and to train us to act just as we pray.
Real submission to God lies wedged between the necessary and essential activities of the Christian life, and the simple dependence of the Christian heart. It has to sustain the weight of disappointment. “ It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.” It has to cool the heat of wrathful malice. “Let him curse, for the Lord bath bidden him.” It has to overcome the rage of bitterest persecution. “Destroy him not; for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless ?" It has to stem the fiercest storm of human power. “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” “For we cannot
“ At even, my
but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” It has to subdue the deepest and most distressing sorrow : “ Jaron held his peace, - David arose and sat in the gate.” It has to stem the storm of the purest, heaviest grief: wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.' “ Abraham rose early in the morning, and took Isaac, his son, and clave wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." Oh! how many of God's people have found it their strength, when the sword was piercing their own heart, to submit themselves under the mighty band of God. He did not lay it on to crush,— he did not strike to kill : He placed it there to humble; and, when humbled, to lift them up. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” “ Yea, let all the members of the family, and of the Church, be subject one to another, be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace unto the humble. “God delighteth to dwell with him who is of an humble and contrite spirit, and who trembleth at his word;" and Christ inviteth us to his school, to learn how thus to dwell with his Father and our Father, with his God and our God. 6 Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." • Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest for
souls." Let the Christian, then, cease to repine, cease to murmur. Let it be as his meat and his drink to do the will of his Father in heaven ;- let it be his chief desire to do all for the glory of God ;- let him suffer patiently, according to the will of God;- let him fix the eye intensely on Jesus, " the author and finisher of faith ; who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Here is the unlimited declaration of the Divine Spirit : “ The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart : and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Here is the believing prayer of the penitent soul :-"A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” And here is the faithful promise of the faithful God :-“For thus saith the High and Lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, -I dwell in the high and holy place, with him, also, that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the hunible, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” What but pride,—what but an unsubdued spirit, and unrelenting heart,
can be your curse? Is there any safety in rushing against the thick bosses of the buckler of the Almighty ? Can there be a victory to him that striveth with his Maker? Is there any glory in being disobedient and unbelieving? Will temporal prosperity, and eternal bliss, be unitedly obtained by serving God and mammon? Blessed is every poor Lazarus who is at peace with God, through the peace-speaking blood of Christ, and in whom the graces of the Spirit are maturing the faster, the more trying and severe the providential dispensations of his own God and Father may be; and blessed is the rio Abraham, who, though a mighty prince, rose, through faith in Christ, above all adventitious circumstances, and became the father of the faithful, and the type of Jesus. Would you
not rather be a door-keeper in the house of your God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness? Halt not between two opinions : hop not, like a bird, from branch to branch. Choose, this day, whom
will serve: “if Baal be God, follow him; but if the Lord be God, then follow him.”
NUMBER OF THE HEATHEN.—The inhabitants of the globe are supposed to be upwards of eight hundred millions. Of these, four hundred and eighty-one millions are Pagans; one hundred and forty millions are Mohammedans; nine millions are Jews ; one hundred and seventy millions are nominal Christians; a small portion of these are Protestants; and a still smaller number, it is to be feared, are truly devoted to God in heart and life. How diligent, therefore, should we all be in prayer, and in using all possible means which are accordant with the Word of God, for hastening on those bappy days, when “all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest.
I HAVE ever loved to wander in a grave-yard. A strange fancy, it would seem, in one who looks upon death with more than the usual terror. As I gaze on the monuments of those who have left the bright abodes of the living, tu people the still city of the dead, my inmost soul is harrowed with the thought, that I must, ere long, add one to their number that
my form will be laid cold and motionless beneath the
sod on which now I tread, and the marble be reared over my mouldering remains, telling to the careless eye,
that born, and lived, and died,+yes ! died, notwithstanding the buoyant hope and anxious fear, the wildly throbbing heart and unuttered thought, the dark passion and mad desire, the deep affection and enduring energy-notwithstanding all these, which are, and will remain untold, unknown, I must die, lie cold and lifeless beneath the damp earth, become a prey to the devouring worm, and all that posterity will know of me will be that once I had a living upon the earth, and a breathing in the air, that I numbered my appointed days- and passed away with the crowd. Yet, though there be more than agony in such reflections, I still delight to linger often in the solitude of a church-yard, alone with the dead, my own spirit, and my God. Let the metaphysician explain if he will the inconsistency, I can not, and care not if I could.
A grave-yard is the source of endless, various meditation, the field of dread and sombre contemplation. If there is a being whom I could find it in my heart to despise, it is he who can tread with gay, irreverent step on the grave, however humble and unknown, -who can give way to thoughtless levity in the silent home of the dead. Into that home, who that has thought and felt can lightly enter ? Who can there forbear to call in his wandering thoughts,—who to pause, with instinctive solemnity, as be enters the precincts of the tomb ? To him who has heard the hollow sound of earth upon the coffin of one beloved but departed, wbo, mid the silence of the beartbroken, has listened to the deep tones of the man of God, committing“ dust to dust, ashes to ashes,”-to him will the graveyard be a consecrated, and, it may be, a cherished spot. To one who connects with it no such remembrances, it should be no less holy--no less a place for sad though salutary reflection. There is a lesson in every stone, a moral in every grave. No where can we sooner better realize the utter vanity of the petty trifles, the vain bustle, the low ambition of the world.
It is interesting to speculate on the condition and circumstances of the tenant of each tomb we pass,—it matters not, s whether the name be carved on storied urn” or simple slab.
There is something in the splendour or lowliness of the monuc ment, the language of the epitaph, maye, even in the very flowers that bloom around the grave, which tell a true tale of the departed, and which strikes not in vain the chord of our sympathies. It matters not, whether the eye rests on the long tribute of one, who with blind partiality has given, to the perhaps frail object of his love, the possession of every virtue which can elevate and adorn, or whether we read “ the short and simple annal,” traced by a hand which shrunk from publishing to the careless and uninterested, that loveliness which remained so deeply enshrined in the recesses of the heart; it matters little, I say, what the deception, or what the omission, the thoughtless can usually perceive the truth, and take the lesson home to the heart. Without indulging in a too excursive fancy, one may find, in almost every memorial of the departed, something to interest the attention and touch the feelings. Nor is the time thus passed unprofitably spent. Those who love thus to muse in the home of the dead, will leave its sacred enclosure with purer, more elevated aspirations; the -gloom that has come over them will draw their minds from the gay frivolity of the world, to holier, happier scenes; the communion with the dead, while it saddens them with the thought that they too must pass away, will also teach them to look, with trusting eye, to Him who can overcome the terrors of dissolution, can rob death of its sting, and the grave of its victory; and who, while worms destroy the body, can conduct the immortal and glorified spirit into the presence of its God, and secure to it an eternal home in the abodes of perfect and endless bliss.
A NAIL IN A SURE PLACE.--I think, says Mr. Arundell, the British chaplain at Smyrna, there is another part of this chapter (Isaiah xxii. 16,) the three last verses, that may be illustrated by a reference to ancient tombs. « I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and they shall hang upon him all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagans. In that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off; for the Lord hath spoken it.” If the sure place can be supposed to mean the sepulchre, or the treasury,--and frequently, as in the sepulchres of the kings of Jerusalem, and the tombs of the kings of Pergamus, the sepulchrès' were con verted into treasure houses,--then the tombs in the island of Milo will be a happy illustration, within which I have myself seen nails fixed all round above the places where the bodies were deposited, and upon these nails were fixed & vessels of Small quantity,” vases of all forms and sizes.! in vno is is.'