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upon them that fear him from one gene- upon you;” the eyes are sunken in their ration to another.” To trace descent from sockets; the faded visage is hectic and a religious ancestry is a greater honour, wan. The children, the wife stand a greater happiness than to be able to around weeping; but I open the Bible, look up through a long genealogical line and read, “ Precious in the sight of the of nobles and heroes, to loins enthroned. Lord is the death of his saints." Here Children of religious parents! why are the care of the most tender friend becomes you spared and blessed? Why are not unavailing. Even Abraham is heard to some of you in hell ? You had praying, say, “Give me a place that I may bury holy, exemplary parents, and God “cared my dead out of my sight.” But God for them; and as he loved the tree, he " careth” even for their dust. We may has extended mercy towards the branches. cherish an affectionate remembrance; the And though those branches have been little tokens of their esteem we may long barren, when justice has threatened fondly review; the books they scanned their excision, he has interposed, and we may read with fresh interest; we may said, “ Destroy it not; a blessing is in it; even go to the grave, and weep there, for my servant's sake, I will not destroy “Whilst busy meddling memory, them all.” Dare you repeat the question,
In barbarous succession, musters up Why is the fruitless branch spared ? A
The past endearments of our softer hours, father's prayers, a mother's tears are in
Tenacious of its theme." it. Parents ! you have perhaps wept: But they “ are dead; we shall go to them prayed, and waited, until you at length despond. After most consistently dis--they shall not return to us.” They
are dead ; “ we cannot bring them back.” charging your duty, you appear to have laboured in vain. But “though your it; for " he that raised up Jesus from the
We cannot; but God can, and he will do house be not so with God, yet hath he made
dead, shall raise us up also by Jesus;" and with you an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” What, if the not a particle necessary to our identity
shall be forgotten or lost. principles you early implanted be effaced,
Our souls are his chief care; and noand your children having plunged headlong into crime, seem callous to reproof; tination stamps the soul with incalculable
thing so much requires it. Its high desis their case therefore, hopeless ? Behold Manasseh, immured in prison in worth ; and its moral condition designates Babylon, the iron entering into his soul! it an object of pity. A few years only
have elapsed since our souls were lit into He is reflecting on the sins of his life, and the guide of his youth;" he prays, for ever; and through eternity blaze
being; but they are destined to burn on “O God of my father !" and the Lord is
among cherubim and seraphim, or darkly entreated of him. He “ careth for”
twinkle amid the gloom of infernal night. your
bodies. « The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” “The sun is but a spark of fire, Pain may invade, sickness waste the pale
A transient meteor in the sky; frame, but“ in all your afflictions he is
The soul, immortal as its sire, afflicted.” If the sun of your prosperity
Shall never die." be darkened by the thickening tempest,
every human soul is darkened by and during the storm your friends desert ignorance, polluted by sin, and enslaved you; here is “a friend born for adver- by Satan ; " shapen in iniquity.” * And sity;" a friend that “sticketh closer than wilt thou turn thine eyes to look upon a brother;" a friend whose language to such a one ?" Brethren, he has done it. you is, “I will never leave thee, I will Already have you felt “the bright shinnever forsake thee." But, “dust thou ing of his countenance" upon you. He art, and unto dust thou shalt return." will do it. All his other care is subser. And what is so humbling as a dying vient to this. Cares he for your property, scene? There the strength is prostrated, for your bodies, for your families? Their and the flesh wasted; the bones - stare connexion with your soul raises them to that pre-eminence. Want you more evi- may succeed another, as wave impels dence? Behold the price at which he wave. In the misconduct of relatives, has redeemed your souls; “not corrupt- in personal sufferings, in secular embar. ible things, but the precious blood of rassments, you have continual cause of Christ." Recollect the pains he has solicitude. You sometimes look tremtaken to make them his own. Advert to blingly along the vale of death ; but amid the precious promises on which he has all, bear this upon your mind, “ He caused them to ground their trust. Look CARETH FOR you."" Happy are the peoforward to that “ exceeding and eternal ple that are in such a case; yea, happy is weight of glory” which he has prepared that people whose God is the Lord.” for their enjoyment; and then read the This doctrine has a moral bearing, and text, “ he careth for you.” Yes! he will we may deduce from it our duty. I selpurify them fully to himself, and pre- dom think of the text, without associatserve them from falling. He will “ keeping it in my mind with a passage in the that which we have committed to him," Old Testament, and which forms part of and, finally, “present us faultless before a history which is soon told. The prothe throne of his glory.” And, phet Elisha, in his itinerating labours,
Thirdly, What is THE IMPROVEMENT visited Shunem. Here he was heard by THAT SHOULD BE MADE OF THIS DOCTRINE? " a great woman,” whose heart became I cannot enter into this inquiry at any penetrated with the truth ; and nothing length.
could more naturally follow, than the deIt is highly important that we ascertain sire to entertain the honoured messenger of whether or not we are interested in this doc- salvation. In concurrence with her hustrine. We have said, many are careless band, she immediately prepared a little about God; we have restricted the text chamber for the prophet's accommodation. to those who have attached themselves One day, when he visited there, he said to his interests; who “know God, or to his servant, “ Go call the Shunemite," rather are known of God.” And should who presenting herself at the prophet's not your first improvement of this sub- door, he addressed—“Seeing thou hast ject be a serious inquiry into the concern cared for us with all this care, what shall you have in it? Are you illuminated ? be done for thee?" She had looked for Born again ? Have you “obtained mer- no remuneration, nor would she accept cy?" Are you sanctified by the Spirit any. I admire this; but I also admire through belief of the truth? To such the prophet's gratitude—“Seeing thou who can satisfactorily reply to such ques- hast cared for us with all this care, what tions, I would say, “ Hail! ye highly shall be done for thee ?" Who is not favoured of the Lord.” “ He careth for applying, in this language, to God? you,” who is infinitely wise, knowing the Come, my brethren, shall I humbly, in end from the beginning, and what, among your name, propose the question, " Seeall possibilities of occurrence, is best for ing thou hast cared for us with all this you: who is infinitely powerful; doing care, what shall be done for thee?" He “i according to his own will among the replies, “ My son, give me thine heart." armies of heaven, and the inhabitants of You say he has it. What, every corner earth ;" making “the wrath of man to of it? Let us put the question again praise him, and restraining the remain- “Seeing thou hast cared for us with all der,” and who, therefore, cannot be this care, what shall be done for thee?" thwarted in his attempts to serve you ; He answers from the excellent glory, who has already manifested his beneficence “ Cast all your care upon ME"_“Cast thy in a thousand acts of kindness, and embol- burden upon the Lord; he will sustain dens the expectation of future mercy, by thee.” Ask you again, what shall be the recollection of past. Your circum- done? He has “left us an example that stances may be afflictive ; your comforts we should do as he has done.” He hath may have been shed around you like the cared for you"-cared for your fellow leaves by the winter's frost; one trouble creatures; he has cared for your bodies,
and “ the poor ye have always with you, you to drop your opposition, and apply and when ye will, ye may do them good.” to him for mercy!, And why not now? Here is the orphan,
For now is the accepted time, now is the
day of salvation ? Trifle, and you are “For whom no mother's bosom
undone. ..... But I must conclude Throbs to soft sympathy, and fond alarm."
May God add his blessing ! And yonder, « The wretched widow forc'd in age, for bread,
THE MATTER, MANNER, AND SPIRIT OF A To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread ; To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn, Then seek some nightly shed, and weep till
Let the matter be weighty and grave, morn,"
the method plain and clear, the expres- Make to yourselves friends of the mam
sion neither soaring on the one hand, nor mon of unrighteousness." And " when
too familiar on the other. Some men are the Son of man shall sit on the throne of not aware what contempt they draw on his glory, the King shall say unto you,
religion by their coarse and homely alluInasmuch as ye did it to the least of sions, and the silly and trivial proverbs
Nor should our these my brethren, ye did it unto me." they make use of. He has cared for your souls, and by the expressions be too soft or effeminate, nor character of that care, presented this as
our pronunciation affected or childish. the noblest, best charity. Away with Religion is a rational and manly thing; your sickly sentimentality, your phi- with the greatest advantage. But, above
and we should strive to recommend it lanthropy born in a dream, bred in a novel, and living only in profession." all, let us study a zeal and fervour, as, Brethren, souls are perishing, and we
flowing from the deep sense of the thing must endeavour to save them. We have we speak, and being regulated with pru“ freely received,” we must freely
dence and decency, may be fittest to reach
the hearts of the hearers. give.” We must sigh and weep, but we
“ The vulgar, must also pray and act. The gospel must
that commonly sit under the pulpit, (as
the excellent Herbert speaks,) are genebe preached, and we must aid its promulgation. We must join hands with God” rally as hard and dead as the seats they
sit on, and need a mountain of fire to kinto make a miserable world live. And, let it be known, that “ he which convert- the things first to ourselves, and then fre
dle them.” The best way is, to preach eth a sinner from the error of his shall save a soul from death, and shall quently, to recollect in whose presence hide a multitude of sins."
we are, and whose business we Before we part, may I speak a word to
doing.–Scougal. you who are not fully interested in this subject? How great your loss ! how dangerous your condition! But there is yet Though we had the tongues of angels ; hope. God has watched over your in- though we had strength of intellect to fancy, and brought you to manhood. He grapple the most sublime and mysterious has raised you out of afilictions, and daily topics ; though on the wings of meditasupplies your wants : and shall not “his tion we could spring from the boundaries goodness lead you to repentance ?" “ As of this world, and hold converse with the I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure skies; though with the most commandin the death of him that dieth.” He has ing eloquence, we could roll like the done more than swear it. “God so loved thunder, or be soft and sweet as the the world, that he gave his only begotten music of the spheres ; still we must disSon, that whosoever believeth on him claim all praise ;-still we must say, should not perish, but have everlasting “ Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but life.” O that this love might constrain unto thy name give glory,”—Parsons. VOL. 1.-42
2 E 2
ASCRIBE ALL SUCCESS TO GOD.
MINISTERS, AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST.
PREACHED AT ST. BRIDE'S CHURCH, LONDON, FOR THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
BY THE REV. H. BUDD, M.A.
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us : we pray you in
Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”—2 Cor. v. 20.
Sıx thousand years of anguish and of I. The Christian minister's designagroans are rapidly rolling away, and tion. every Missionary Anniversary becomes II. The dignity of his character. more interesting. The world is rising III. The subject of his embassy. from a state of torpid neutrality as to the IV. The application of the subject to effect of Missions. The Bible is produc- our present purpose. ing a decided and universal impression. And now, “ Be thou exalted, O Lord, The three great divisions of the Christian in thy strength! so will we sing and church, the Greek, the Latin, and the Pro- praise thy power.' Here is testant; the Jews, yet beloved for the First, THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER'S DEFather's sake; the Mohammedans, Otto- SIGNATION. man, and Persian; and the immense po- He is an ambassador of mercy ; “ we pulation of the pagan world ;-all these are ambassadors for Christ.” An ambasfields of spiritual culture prove that the sador is the representative of his prince, share has not been applied in vain. The sent to negotiate his affairs. He has produce, indeed, has not been in all cases chiefly to consider two things. alike encouraging; but all demands a de- 1. The Christian minister has to concided advance, and a fearless and perse- sider the character of those to whom he is vering application of the remedy which sent. He is not sent to kings or princes ; God has so eminently placed at your to the noble and rich, the refined or prudisposal, for the restoration of a lost dent; neither is he sent to the poor, the world. But “is not the Lord gone out labourer, or the slave. He is sent to before us ?” What, then, has the minis- them all, as the general subjects of his ter to do but to stimulate your energies to charge; but he says with Paul, “We corresponding exertions; and to urge you know no man after the flesh.” It is the by a more ardent faith, and a more active soul, the immortal soul, that is the subcharity, to the application of the great ject of his charge; and whether it be remedy God has provided for the healing found in the palace or the mansion, the of the nations ? May He by his Spirit streets or the highways, the night cellar reveal its power to us! May we have a or the peasant's cot, all need to be alike revelation of “the righteousness of God told—You have a soul to be saved ! from faith to faith!” May it be a word | Neither is he sent to men as exhibiting of life to our own souls, and to those who the nicer distinctions of character. One dwell in the remotest regions of the man is civilized, another is learned ; one earth! In the text are contained, is respectable, another is less so; one is
amiable, another is repulsive: these may his embassy vain. He has mistaken the all be alike destitute of Christ. If the disease, and what wonder if the remedy man be decidedly “in Christ," he is “a fail? He is ignorant of the character he new creature ;" and now his distinction is sent to benefit, and what wonder if his is, “Old things are passed away; behold, embassy be unavailing? Here, then, is all things are become new !" Nor yet is the firm foundation of all useful efforts on he sent to men as exhibiting the broader the part of the gospel minister; a deep distinctions of character: whether civil- conviction that man is a sinner against ized or savage, learned or illiterate, in God. History, experience, the word of this state of society or the other, in this God, the character of Christ, and the feel. climate or the other; not to the elder son, ing of the plague of his own heart, all go proud in comparative innocence; or the to prove to him that he is a perishing sinyounger son, lost in profligacy and ner, and that he is sent to perishing sinmisery: the natural disposition of both ners with this embassy—“Be ye reconis alike enmity to God; there is no inhe- ciled to God!” rent spirituality in either. “All things" It is evident, then, that such a minister that tend to spiritual life " are of God,” | cannot be the ambassador of the law. who by a method of his own, suited to The law demands strength, and the sinevery variety of human character, “ hath ner is weak; the law demands unceasing reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ." obedience, but the sinner disobeys in all;
If, then, he be sent to no particular the law never did, nor can, make the imcondition of men, to no peculiar distinc- perfect perfect. In paradise, it proved tions of character; under what character that man could not stand in his own is he to address mankind ? simply as sin- strength; and it was not given on Sinai NERS. This is the universal character of because man was holy, but to restrain
“God hath concluded," shut up unholiness : its numerous precepts multitogether, “all under sin.” “ All have plied sin and aggravated the offence. sinned, and come short of the glory of " By the law is the knowledge of sin," God." All are rebels, guilty of foul for “ sin is the transgression of the law." revolt, found in open warfare against Apply the rule of the law to a rebel in their God. “ There is none that doeth arms, and it is the exhibition of his of. good ; no, not one. Neither natural, fence, and the occasion of its repetition; nor moral, nor artificial distinctions make or if he be conscious of the majesty of the any difference here : man, everywhere, at authority he has violated, and the perfecall times, under all circumstances, is tion of the law he has broken, this confound a sinner against God. You may sciousness, without any idea of mercy, collect specimens of earth from different will only plunge him into despair, and countries; you may decompose them; terrify him with the justice of his punishbut though they may differ in certain ment. Let the law act as a pioneer to properties, they all agree in one,—they prepare the way; but let the minister reare material and perishing. In an army member that he is not the ambassador of of rebels there may be every variety of the law, but of Christ; to restore the love character, but they are all rebels. Find of the law, and to make its service “ perman where you will; shape him as you fect freedom.” He is not the magistrate, may, by the line and plummet of civiliza- with his politic rule; he is not the statestion ; yet no perfection of art, or attain- man, with cabinet devices; he is not the ment of science, can make him less than legislator, with his civil code; he is not a sioner-a rebel against his God! It is the prudent man, with his subtle schemes ; to sinful man, then,“ dead in trespasses,” he is not the orator, with his powers of corrupt and impotent; to man, “ without suasion; he is not the poet, with sublime God in the world;" to man, the Atheist; imagination; he is not the man of feeling, that this ainbassador is sent; and if he with his tenderness and melting sympaaddress man in any character short of thy; he is not Moses himself, fresh from this, he fails of his purpose, and makes communion with God, his countenance