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an image made like to corruptible whom the heaven of heavens cannot man, and to birds, and four-footed contain, much less a house that man beasts, and creeping things, chang- has builded. Whatever he is, whereing the truth of God into a lie, and ever he is, however employed, his worshipping and serving the creature life is a life of prayer ; his days are more than the Creator." Or con- those of a pilgrim seeking another trast him with the fool that saith in and better country; his wishes are his heart, there is no God; or with formed in submission to God's will, the man of the world, earthly, sen- and in acquiescence to his sovereign sual, devilish, whose heart is where disposal of events; his thoughts are his treasure is; or with the nominal ascending heavenward ; his actions professor, who saith with his lips are done under a deep sense of acLord, Lord, and makes a dull and countability; his heart, although cold and formal subscription with disciplined into the patient waiting his hand to truths which he virtually for Christ, is longing to be with him, denies in thought, word, and action; which is far better. or with the lukewarm and unstable, My brethren, is it thus with you ? who are neither hot nor cold, waver. Are you like-minded with such a ing to and fro, and carried about worshipper in spirit? Is there withwith every wind of doctrine. The in you an evidence of the indwelling worshipper in the Spirit has nothing grace of God renewing your changed in common with such characters. hearts; purifying your affections day Where they hear no sound, the voice by day; lessening that weight of of God is in his ears. Where they corruption which cleaves so intisee no handwriting, the scroll and mately to our fallen nature, and the record of the Divine law are fixed making you abundantly fruitful in indelibly before his eyes. Where every good word and work? If so, they walk as in a vain shadow, he may he who has begun this good is conscious of a rod and staff which work, go on unto the end ! If comfort him, and feels those ever- otherwise, may he send his angel of lasting arms which are spread out mercy to stir the waters, that you for the support and stay of those may wash and be clean! May he who have placed their foundations break the heart of stone, that you upon the Rock of ages.
may be converted and live! The worshipper in the spirit seeks II. I turn, secondly, to the next all from God, refers all to him, en- clause of the text : • We are the joys all with him, bears all by him. circumcision which ...... rejoice in Is his lot a happy one, as men count Christ Jesus.” happiness? He gives God the glory, Such a test of true discipleship and uses his blessings as not abusing must sound strangely in the ears of them; as a loan from the Lord, not those to whom Christ is not preas a property of his own. Is he cious. They who see no beauty in afflicted? Like Hezekiah, he spreads him that they should desire him, his letter before his God;
can know little of the “ joy of their of these things move him, for the Lord.” They cannot understand or hope of the joy that is set before feel what it is to “ rejoice in Christ him. Is he debarred from coming Jesus." into the bouse of the Lord, and de- . Is there one here who is in this prived of the privilege of taking unhappy case; who goes into God's sweet counsel with them that make house as his people goeth, and sits their common supplications with one and kneels before him a seeming accord to the Throne of Grace ? worshipper, but knowing nothing He sets up his altar in his closet, of that holy joy with which the and prays to his father which is in heart of the believer overflows when secret, and worships there in unseen he thinks on his Master's manifold but not unaccepted devotion, him mercies? My brother, let me beseech you to ask of one of those depend upon our sense of benefits men of God whose humble walk received. The more galling the and spiritual deportment, and whose bondage from which the captive is happy yet chastened cheerfulness rescued, the more lively his gratidenote them to have tasted of that tude towards his deliverer. The peace which passeth all understand- more trackless the desert in which ing, what the Apostle means when the pilgrims wanders, the greater bis he speaks of rejoicing in Christ debt towards the friendly hand which Jesus. He will tell you that these furnishes him with a clue of escape. are not vain words, but a precious Intolerable would be the yoke of reality ; not an unintelligible and sin, bad there not been one who vague sentiment, but an actual and has trodden the wine-press alone, heartfelt and palpable truth. He will and himself borne our iniquities. tell you that this rejoicing springs Hopeless would be our journeying from so deeply-rooted a source, that through the wilderness of the world, it is independent of all the ordinary had not a star in the east arisen contingencies of life ; that it makes to guide us to our home. Take all these light afflictions, which are away the atonement, and man would but for a moment, to vanish before go on his way as one who labours it; that it causes those who sow in and is heavy laden, bowed even to tears to reap in joy; that it turns the ground with the grievous burthat heaviness which may endure then of sin. But now that the cross for a night into that abiding and has been lifted up, the sacrifice solid joy which cometh in the morn- once offered, the required ransom ing. Is there not a cause, he will paid, what shall stop those who are ask in his turn, for the glorying of of the true circumcision froin rethose that seek the Lord, and draw joicing in Christ Jesus ? What shall water with joy out of the wells of prevent those who have been resalvation ?
deemed by the precious blood of Yes, brethren, of all the believer's the Lamb, from singing the praises privileges, there is none so dear to of their Divine Redeemer ? What him as his power of rejoicing in shall rob them of their joy in beChrist Jesus. Nay, not only that lieving ? Shall the world ? No, brehe is able, but that he is bidden to thren; for this is the victory that use this enjoyment. “ Rejoice in overcometh the world, even the Lord alway; and again I say, faith. Shall temptations from withRejoice." And well may he obey out or from within ? No, brethren ; the bidding. He has felt the bit- for the grace of their Master is suffiterness of a state of sin, and well cient for them. Shall the remainmay he rejoice in Him who has gra- ing corruptions which beset us in tuitously freed him from a condition the flesh? Not so; for there will of such utter ruin. He has cried be many a prayer for a more abunout with St. Paul, “ O wretched dant ministration of the power of man that I am, who shall deliver the Spirit to lift up the hands me from the body of this death?"- which hang down, and the feeble and gladly will he unite with the knees. Shall business, or pleasure, same Apostle in his exclamation of or cares, or passions, or earthly praise, “ I thank God, through joys, or the trials and afflictions of Jesus Christ our Lord.”
life? Nay, in all these things they I apprehend there can be no are more than conquerors through doubt that the measure of this re. Christ who loved them. Amidst joicing will be in proportion to the them all they may hold on their estimate at which we value salva- course, happy in the badge of their tion. To whom much is forgiven, profession, glorying in the name of the same loveth inuch. Our sense their Redeemer, rejoicing in Christ of obligations to our benefactor will Jesus.
How different is this joyful ex- III. The last test of a true mem. altation in the completeness of ber of Christ's church on which our Saviour's sacrifice, from that the Apostle dwells, is not less siglifeless and inadequate feeling of nificant than those which have been obligation—that low estimate of the hitherto considered—“ We are the price at which souls were redeemed, circumcision which.....have no conwhich too often chills our services, fidence in the flesh.” and debases our worship! How The man of the world naturally different the languid and half-re. has confidence in the flesh. He luctant acknowledgment which falls flies 10 his own gods and idols for from the lips of the formalist or the their help. Either he makes gold self-righteous, from that burst of his confidence, and trusts in uncerlively gratitude, that unequivocal tain riches; or he looks no further language of heartfelt joy, which than to his own exertions, or relies flows unrestrained from the mouth on his earthly friends for their counof the penitent and believing Chris- tenance and succour. He has but tian. He cannot be silent if he one resource, whether in temporal would--for out of the abundance or spiritual things; he leans alike of his heart his mouth must speak. in both on an arm of esh. . Does Neither would he be silent, for it is he need comfort under the disa part of his joy to tell of the things tresses of life, when some right which his Saviour bas done for his band or right eye is taken away? soul, that others may come and when the wife of his bosom, or the partake of the same grace. He child of his hopes and of his ambipities those whose pride, or whosetion is cut off as the flower ? He blindness, or whose prejudice, or looks to the creature for consolawhose error is robbing them of so tions which come from God alone dear a blessing; and, like Paul, he – he seeks for distractions-he earnestly longs that his brethren courts forgetfulness — he throws may “ fulfil his joy, being like himself into the lap of pleasure, or minded, having the same love, being he hurries from business to business, of one accord, of one mind.” He or from one worldly friend to anoprays that they may be brought ther, until he is constrained to exinto that happy fellowship with the claim, in the bitterness of his heart, Son of God, which is to himself the “ Miserable comforters are ye all !" source of his rejoicing in Christ Does he feel some inward misgivJesus.
ings as to the safety of his soul in Try yourselves again, brethren, futurity, and ask himself what anby this iest. Have you joy, as well swer he shall give in the day of his as hope, in believing? Is the very visitation ? He trusts in his own name of Christ Jesus dear to you? goodness or repentance to recomIs your rejoicing in him such as in. mend him to the Divine favour. dicates your belief that there is sal- Somé proud answer rises to his vation in none other ? Is your heart lips—“God, I thank thee, that I full of the theme of Divine love- am not as other men are !" Some of the graciousness of the Gospel – vague and undefined notions of of the fitness of its free mercies to mercy lull his fears his present your case-of its power to satisfy resolutions, his promises for the futhe largest desires which the soul ture, his redeeming virtues, his peof man can conceive? God grant culiar temptations, his innate pasthat there may be an inward wit- sions, and all those other wretched ness within the breast of each, re- subterfuges by which Satan cheats sponding, in the words of holy the deceived heart of man to its Mary, "My spirit hath rejoiced in ruin, rise into his mind in palliation ; God my Saviour."
and he stands before his Judge in all the nakedness of his natural des vouchsafes to man as a provision of titution-a creature putting his con- mercy, an occasion of falling. They fidence in the flesh.
were the murderers of Christ who It is far otherwise with the man bent the knee and bowed the head of God. He relies not on circum- before him in seeming acknowledgcision-not on the ordinances of the ment of his kingly rule, but in real law-not on the privileges of his derision of his pretensions. You are calling—not on the prerogative of not less his enemies, if the only communion with a visible church- evidence of your friendship with not on adventitious extraction or him be found in the mockery of a formal distinctions—not on any of nominal profession. Consider the the externals of a religious profes- purposes to which the house of sion-not on works done in the God is sacred-prayer and praise. flesh--not on any thing, but on Prayer emanates from a sense of Christ himself, and him crucified. want, and a consciousness of deTo the free mercy of the Father, in pendance. Can there be prayer, Christ Jesus, he trusts for every for instance, for deliverance from blessing. On the sufficiency of his the penalty and power of sin, unless Saviour's sacrifice he implicitly rests there be a previous feeling that sin his hope of acceptance with God. is a burthen from which man cannot From no other source than the relieve himself, and that its wages power of the Holy Spirit, does he is death? Can there be prayer for seek that efficacious grace which the Spirit of God which helpeth our shall change his heart, and renew infirmities, from one who feels not him day by day, and bring every that the reed on which he leans thought into captivity to the obe is broken, that the foundation on dience of Christ. Having felt his which he builds is sandy, who says ignorance, bis sinfulness, his cor- with the Laodicean, "I am rich, rupt nature, his enslaved condition, and increased with goods, and have Christ Jesus is made unto him wis- need of nothing ?" Praise springs dom, and righteousness, and sanc- from a sense of mercies received, tification, and redemption. Nay, and benefits conferred. It is the such is his jealousy for his Re- natural language of the captive to deemer's honour, that he watches his Deliverer- of the ransomed to lest in one sense he make any part his Purchaser-of the benefited to of his own inward change or Chris- his Benefactor of the forgiven critian feelings his flesh. Repentance minal to his pardoning Judge. Praise is not his flesh-prayer is not his cannot flow from a beart tlrat has ac. flesh-grace itself is not his flesh- knowledged no favour-has known he has no confidence in any thing no act of grace-has been warmed save only in the cross of our Lord by no gratitude -– has been melted Jesus Christ.
by no love. Judge yourselves, then, Here, then, brethren, let us brethren, whether ye be in the faith. pause, and bring this whole matter Examine into your own state. Comhome to our own bosoms and con- mune with your own hearts, and sciences. Are there any here try their temper and spirit. Call to against whom when they repair mind that it is written, “ Circumto the house of God the holy cision is that of the heart, in the place may testify to the formality spirit, and not in the letter.” In of their worship, and the very stones Christ Jesus “ neither circumcision. of the temple cry out, Is there not availeth any thing, nor uncircuma lie in thy right hand ? O let me cision, but a new creature.” The affectionately remind them of the Gospel tells you, that the temple of heavy guilt of those who make the the Lord is neither bere nor there, very means of grace which God but in the heart-within us where
the Spirit comes in, and takes up the pen of a ready writer, especially his abode, and makes it his rest for in the rude state of writing in those ever, for he has a delight therein. days. But the substitution of "asks " O rest vot day nor night until this magnifies the idea : “My heart is spiritual house be built within you, overflowing with a good matter : and you become as lively stones in I would give expression to my that glorious church where the stone thoughts; let them not be lost : which the builders refused is the give me the pen of' a ready writer, head of the corner.
to seize the glowing accents as they Lastly, are there any here who issue from my lips.” answer to the blessed description
QUÆSITOR. given of believers in the text - who are worshipping “God in the spirit, and rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and NOTŁ ON JER, xvii. 13. have no confidence in the flesh ?” See that ye run well the remainder Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. of your race. Be filled with all joy in believing, and greatly rejoice in I Find in my common-place book a the Lord; not in a spirit of pride, and memorandum, taken from Harmer, self-complacency, and self righte. in which that annotator illustrates oueness; but with a humble walk, the phrase, “ They that depart from and with continued watchfulness, me shall be written in the earth," and constant prayer. Use the means by an extract from Peter de la of grace as not abusing them. Cease Valle's remarks upon India : “I from man-have no confidence in beheld children writing their lessons the flesh. Continue unto the end with their fingers on the ground, the in single dependence on the free pavement being for that purpose forgiveness offered in Christ. Make strewed with very fine sand. When him your all in all. Keep your eye the pavement was full, they put the steadily fixed on the uplifting of his writing out; and, if need were, strew. cross--go on rejoicing exclusively ed new sand from the little heap they in Christ Jesus. And may he give had before them, wherewith to write you the fulness of joy, and that further.” Harmer thinks that Jereperfect peace which passeth all un- miah must have had this temporary derstanding.
way of writing in his mind, as contrasted with permanent documents;
as Psalm Ixix. 28, Ezek, xiii. 9. It BIBLICAL CRITICISM.
is a curious illustration of the perPsalm xly. 1.
petuity of oriental customs, that
children were probably taught writTothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. ing in the days of Jeremiah, just as
Dr. Bell more recently, and De la In the first verse of Psalm xlv. the Valle long ago, found them taught Psalmist says, “ My heart is inditing in India. The only wonder is, that a good matter: I speak of the things this useful and economical practice which I have made touching the was not imported into Europe till King; my tongue [there is no verb the present century. in the original] the pen of a ready
B. L. writer." Our translator supplies the verb " is ;" but would not the original equally allow the substitution TYPE. AND ALLEGORY. of another asks?" To compare the celerity of speech to that of Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. rapid writing, is not an augmentation, but a diminution: even slow The Bishop of Peterborough's stateoral delivery would be swifter than ment respecting types, in your last CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 337.