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cumstances, turning from the world to will every day become more precious. Christ is accompanied by the heavy The principle of grace will every day burden of the cross. Therefore, to look become more manifest. The things of forward to a time when conversion will heaven will be realised with an everbe an easy matter, is to indulge hopes increasing vividness. Earth and hell which will never be realised, and is to will gradually be lost in the dim disbuild on a foundation which will dis- tance behind you, while heaven and appear from beneath your feet. Old glory will be the bright and brightening age, moreover, is the period when it is prospect of your spirits. And oh! how more reasonable to look back upon the
bright! This is a point on which race which has been run, the battle many are very doubtful. Many young which has been fought, and the victory people imagine that religion is a thing which has been gained. It is, after all, of horrors, that it is sad and gloomy, a melancholy satisfaction we receive,
and that to embrace it is to renounce when we see an aged sinner contem- all earthly enjoyment. How misplating that change which ought to have taken ! It is
how been made at the beginning of life's you have fallen into this error. You course. How sadly disappointed we have copied the example of the world, are when we turn to the old, expecting in judging of Christianity by its proto gather the fruits of mature expe
fessors. They ought, certainly, so to rience, to find that the first principles of embody it, as to be “ epistles read and the Gospel of Christ have not yet been known of all men;" but unhappily they mastered. And even such cases often misrepresent it to such a degree rare. We look upon it, and reasonably, as to lead to the formation of the falsest as a most extraordinary display of the estimate respecting it by the men of power of Divine grace, when we see the world. Hence you must not judge one who has grown old in iniquity, of it by them. You must come to the whose tottering limbs and dimming Gospel. You must look at it especially vision betoken the approach of death, as it is embodied in Christ. Now, do enter on the Christian course, and enlist you find that the Bible demands a as a warrior in the stern though glorious gloomy asceticism on the part of those battle of the faith. Since this is the who become interested in its salvation? case, how important that you should By no means. But what does it enjoin ? decide at once in this all-important
Times without number it addresses us “Choose ye this day whom in strains the most cheering, “Chrisye will serve." To aid your decision, tians, rejoice, rejoice, rejoice; and again let me remind you of the hardening I say unto you, rejoice!" This is the nature of sin. It is very easy for you
tenor of its message.
And who has now to talk of repentance in old age, such cause as the Christian for rejoicwhile your hearts are tender, your con- ing? Remembering the dreadful doom sciences sensitive, and your minds open
which has been averted from his imto solemn conviction. But it will not mortal soul, the fearful slavery from be always thus with you. The longer which he has been set free, the black you put off, you will be the more har- despair from which he has emerged, and dened in guilt, and will find it more the unspeakably glorious hopes he is difficult to repent. There is a cruel ne- enabled, through grace, to cherish, you cessity in sin, impelling you forward. must acknowledge that the religion It is a power never satisfied. Gradually which does such great things for him, it is sealing up the avenues of your hearts.
“Never was designed If you suffer it to proceed un
To make his pleasures less." resisted, very soon every power of your nature will be fully engaged in the From among the innumerable testimopractice of that “abominable thing nies of Bible saints to the preciousness that the Lord hates.” On these grounds of Christianity, let me mention but one, I warn you against tampering with im- from the writings of the Apostle Paul. penitence for a single hour longer. To “Godliness is profitable unto all things, aid your decision, let me remind you, having promise of the life that now is, further, of the progressive preciousness and of that which is to come.” 1 Tim. of Christianity. Having embraced it, iv. 8. Consider well this testimony. it will take firmer and firmer hold on Recollect from whom it comes. Paul your hearts, the longer you are experi- was no fanatic. Mere enthusiasm would mentally acquainted with it.
soon have cooled at a tithe of the suf
fering he underwent for the sake of Christ. It was in the clear remembrance of all that suffering, and in the prospect of a cruel death, that he penned these words. Surely, then, they are worthy of your attentive regard. From them, and from the universal experience of believers of every age, learn, that Christianity alone is consistent with the highest and most unmixed happiness in the present world, and it alone can assure of a good hope of eternal life. Such, then, are the various considerations by which I would urge you not to dream of postponing repentance to old age, but at once to flee to Jesus Christ for pardon, peace, and safety.
2. The winter of sorrow and sickness. Many talk of putting off religious concerns until circumstances of affliction excite it. Much of what I have already said might be repeated here. At such times we ought rather to be enjoying the consolations of religion, than beginning to look for Christ. Let me remind you that mind and body are very closely connected, and that when the one is worn out by pain and sickness and trouble, the powers of the other are greatly impaired. The words which now solemnize your minds, and now convince your judgments, and now reach your hearts, may fall listlessly upon the ear in the midst of great bodily anguish, and pass forgotten as a dream. But, apart from this, I would ask you,
Is the time of health and prosperity so free from difficulty and danger, that Christ may be dispensed with ? Beware! lest this be a net laid for you. Give heed to the word of warning, else in hell you will pour black curses on that you now worship, and the prosperity of earth will rise in cruel mockery to pierce you with the vengeful sting of despairing remorse! Some of you, perhaps, imagine that God will make use of adversity to bring you to Himself. He certainly does employ such means at times for the conversion of sinners, but you have no right to suppose He will use such means with you. It is awful infatuation to neglect the divinely appointed way of salvation for presumptuous dependence on what God can do. Beware! lest you are thus not merely hardening your own hearts, but also restraining His mercy. Terrible the thought, that some of you, whose hearts are now so tender, and whose minds are so susceptible, should, ere the lapse of many years, become so hardened in sin,
and so confirmed in the slavery of Satan, that no words, however solemn, no events, however awful, and no prospects, however fearful, will be able to excite in you even the desire to go to Jesus for mercy and salvation. Such a state of mind is possible; such a state of mind is certain, if you will persist in putting off the flight of repentance, Others of you, perhaps, think that in the hour of death you will turn to God, and seek forgiveness, and you talk of the case of the thief on the cross, as warranting such a confidence. I rejoice that Christ does save in the eleventh hour. I rejoice that even amid the pangs of death He is ready to hear the cry of the believing penitent, and to deliver. True! He did save a dying thief, to show that none need despair ; but one thief was lost; and this has been recorded to teach us the fatal infatuation of postponing repentance to such an hour. Dear reader, ponder these things. Remember the interests of eternity are at stake. At onee betake yourself to Him who died to redeem you, and who is waiting to be gracious. ** Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Tralee, Ireland, J. W. L. M.
July 23rd, 1859.
THE WISE RESOLVE. " Thy people shall be my people, and thy God
my God.”-Ruthi. 16. The narrative before us is delightfully interesting, and full of the most touching incidents. It is a family scene of exquisite beauty, upon which it is most refreshing to look. Love, disinterestedness, and genuine feeling are happily blended—a fit example for every family, and for every individual.
These words were uttered by a young woman to her mother-in-law, who was almost broken-hearted by sad and successive bereavement. They show her warm and loving heart, and also a determination which we cannot look upon without admiration and praise. Such a resolve we are anxious for our youthful readers to make in regard to God and His church. Let us look at these words a little more closely. We ob. serve
That this was an affectionate resolve. - Love was the ruling power. It is an evident gush of affection. Ruth's heart was full. This is the expression of it
the outburst. There was neither policy, to relinquish the sinful pleasures and selfishness, nor compulsion. It is plain vain delights of earth-to hate that that there was much in common be- which once we loved, despise wha tween Naomi and Ruth. The loving once we esteemed. If we cannot dc nature of the one, attracted the equally this, our resolve will be broken. ardent nature of the other. They had It was an acceptable resolve.—Love probably lived together the greater part and sincerity were evident. She did of ten years.
During this time, the not express a wish to follow Naomi, pious and amiable Jewess won the and at the same time suffer herself to affection of the youthful and beautiful be persuaded to return. But at once Moabitess. The hour of separation she carried out her resolve. How actried the strength of that affection. ceptable would be the companionship What a mournful walk that would be of Ruth to the desolate and sorrowin which Ruth and Orpah accompanied stricken widow! How the words would Naomi! They had walked a consider- revive her! The proof of affection is able distance, and the thoughtful mother dear at any time, much more when we entreats them to return. Then comes are bowed down with sorrow. So that the noble resolve of Ruth. There must although Naomi sought to dissuade have been love, deep and true, or like Ruth, we are sure the resolve would be Orpah she had kissed Naomi, and have most grateful to her spirit. And we gone back to her people and her gods. know little of if we suppose that This gives a charm and a power to her He can look at our determination to words which otherwise they could not serve Him, without deep interest. Every possess. Ruth and love were insepa- new disciple, as well as every service rable. So must it be with those who rendered, must be acceptable to Him. wish to be the Lord's disciples. The With what joy does He view every surdesire must be bathed in love. God render to His service-every act of must be loved. Jesus must have the obedience to His Son. Jesus must reglowing affection of the heart.
He joice to see His followers increase, His must be loved for what He is, and for name honoured, and His saving power what He has done. If this be wanting, manifested. “He sees of the travail of the resolve is weak and meaningless. His soul, and is satisfied.” To make the resolve and keep back the affection is to offer the husk and keep
" With joy the Father doth approve
The fruit of His eternal love; the fruit. Do you resolve to serve God
The Son with joy looks down and sees in connexion with His people? Do not The purchase of His agonies." attempt it without true heart-love to Jesus. It cannot be done without this It was a happy resolve.-Ruth was element. I urge you to make this re- a great gainer in the end. She lost her solve now—to be God's children among relatives and friends, but found others His children on earth; but let it be the in Naomi and Boaz. She left her native resolve of love.
land, but found one more beautiful and It was a self-denying resolve.—This is memorable. She left ber gods behind, noticed in the strong and forcible lan- Baalpeor, or Priapus, and Chemosh, guage of Boaz, chap. ii., verse 11. Ruth but found Jehovah—the living Godhad to relinquish and leave something. the God of Israel. Her losses were less Did it not require a self-denying, de- than her gains. She would be happy termined spirit to leave her parents- with her mother-in-law blessed and her family connexions—her home-her honoured with her husband and family. country, and the objects of her youthful She was connected with the illustrious worship? But she was evidently pre- house of David; she was the king's pared to leave all for her mother-in-law great grandmother-thus she was con
—to suffer and to enjoy with her. nected with the Messiah. What honours Without this spirit she would have were conferred upon her!
Thus was failed. This element must be found in she abundantly rewarded in this world, the resolve of consecration to God.
to say nothing of heaven. There cannot be the true Gospel spirit happy resolve was that for Ruth! From without it. Jesus enforces, and in His that moment she was blessed. Her own life shows it: “Let him deny him- work was recompensed—a full reward self,”—“take up the cross,” &c. This was given her-she was safe under the must accompany love. The one mani- wings of the Lord God of Israel. Forfests the other. Religion calls upon us get not the character of God's service
now. In serving Him there is great sence of the Lord, and from the glory of reward. Need I remind you of the His power; when he shall come to be peace which passeth all understanding glorified in His saints, and to be ad
-the love and friendship of the glorified mired in all them that believe in Him Saviour-sin-forgiveness—joy conveyed in THAT DAY—2 Thess. i. 7—10, comto the soul- the promises of His love- pared with Rev. xx. 1-15; Matthew the foretaste of heaven-and, ere long, xxv. 1–46; and Luke xviii. 8. Such its actual and eternal possession ? This, will be the falling away after the mil. and much more than this, is connected lennium, scarcely any faith on the earth with the service of God. What a happy at the personal second coming of Christ ; hour is that in which we yield ourselves and even those who possess it, when the to God and to His people! From that heavenly Bridegroom shall come, will moment “all things are ours.' Take be found like the foolish virgins slunup this resolve, prayerfully, earnestly, bering and sleeping. and at once, then you may joyfully Such is the view of the millennium as sing
generally held by almost all evangelical "Oh, happy day, that fixed my choice
expositors. On thee, my Saviour and my God!
But, those other learned, excellent, Well may this glowing heart rejoice, pious men, who take a very different And tell its raptures all abroad.”
view of the millennium, who are distinBarnard Castle.
guished by being called PRE-MILLENNARIANS, that is, they consider that Christ
will come personally before the milTHE MILLENNIUM.
lennium, and then reign in person on
the earth for a thousand years; but The Millennium, or the thousand years' previous to this His personal reign on reign of Christ on the earth, is one of ibe earth, He is first to come in person to the great truths of Divine revelation, raise the quick and the dead, the living the record of which may be seen in as well as the dead saints who sleep in Rev. xx. 6.
Jesus, according to 1 Thess. iv. 17. It is the opinion of almost all evange- After this, He is to come and appear in lical expositors that this extraordinary flaming fire to destroy the ungodly, the reign will be a spiritual reign, when world, and all things therein, as reGod the Father will give to His Son the corded in 2 Thess. i. 7-10; 2 Peter iii. heathen for His inheritance, and the 10–12; and Is. li. 6. Hence, according uttermost parts of the earth for His to Pre-millennarians, the first resurrecpossession—when the Jews shall be tion is to take place, and the conflagration restored and brought in, with the ful- of the universe; and as these awful ness of the Gentiles—and when the
events are suddenly to take place, we kingdoms of this world shall become the are to be waiting and looking for them kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, every moment before the millennium, as foretold in the following passages of and before the conversion of the world God's holy word. Ps. ii. 8; Ps. lxxii. and the universal spread of the Gospel. 7 to 11; Rom. xi. 25, 26; Rev. xi. 15. Hence a most interesting question
In this extraordinary reign of Christ will arise out of this view of the on the earth, Satan the usurper and the thousand years' reign of Christ on the accuser of the brethren will be cast earth. down, and be under restraint, and be Is pre-millennarianism, or the personal cast into the bottomless pit, and be reign of Christ during the thousand bound for a thousand years; after years, a neutralizing, if not a paralysing which, he will be loosed for a short doctrine, opposed to the present means period, when his deceitful influence will employed for the spread of the Gospel prevail among the nations in the four and the conversion of the world ? Our quarters of the earth; after which, brethren who hold this doctrine contend Christ will make His second personal (at least in effect) that the present appearance in flaming fire, in the end of means are not sufficient; and, therefore, the world, the day of judgment, to take the conversion of the world by the vengeance on them that know not God, universal spread of the Gospel will not who are wilfully ignorant, and who be effected without the personal reign of obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ on the earth. Christ, who shall be punished with But, it is an undeniable fact, that the everlasting destruction from the pre- present means are sufficient to accom
plish this blessed purpose ; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God for the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and everything that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. See 2 Cor. x. 4, 5, compared with Is. xl. 4, 5, in which it is predicted, in similar language, “ Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and ALL flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
Besides, before the second personal coming of Christ, He must spiritually reign on earth where He now is, at the right hand of God, on His mediatorial throne, until He has put down all enemies under His feet; then, after this, He will deliver up this His mediatorial kingdom to His Father, that God may be all in all. See, for proof, in 1 Cor. xv. 25--28. If, therefore, Christ is to reign in heaven, where He now is, until all His enemies be put under His feet, and His mediatorial reign and kingdom shall be accomplished, His second personal coming will not be until after the millennium, when He will come to raise the quick and the dead, in the general resurrection, the saints then having the pre-eminence; after which, the last and general judgment, in which Christ will come in flaming fire, as described in 2 Thess. i. 7--10, to punish the wicked, and to reward the righteous, as also described in Rey. xx. 12–15; then, every eye shall see him, Rev. i. 7.
The conflagration of the universe before the millennium, as held by Premillennarians to take place suddenly, before the conversion of the world by the universal spread of the Gospel, is not a little calculated to neutralize and even to paralyse this blessed and pre
dicted purpose of our Lord; for, they say, our principal concern must be, first, to be waiting and looking for Christ's sudden personal coming. Besides, if the conflagration be to take place before the conversion of the world, when the wicked and all things shall be consumed by fire, as in 2 Peter ji. 10, 11; Is. li. 6; where will the ungodly be found to be converted ?
The Pre-millennarians are, therefore, not a little puzzled and perplexed to answer this question : some have, therefore, departed from the literal signification, and have adopted the figurative ; others, a limited literal meaning, so to allow a portion of the ungodly left to be converted. But, in whatever way the conflagration be explained as previous to the conversion of the world, it cannot but tend more or less to neutralize, and even paralyse the universal spread of Divine truth for the salvation of the world; for even some of our excellent evangelical clergy and Plymouth Brethren, who principally advocate the Pre-millennarian scheme, and who support and encourage the spread the Gospel among the heathen; but let it be remembered, it is not for its universal spread and the conversion of the world, but rather as a witness that Christ is suddenly coming to effect this by His personal appearance and reign on the earth.
But, especially, let it not be forgotten that the text in 1 Cor. xv. 25—28, with its parallels, is directly opposed to this; for Christ will never come to this earth again personally, until He has put all enemies under His footstool.
Then the prediction in Rey. i. 7, will be fearfully realised by His enemies. · Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." Bath.
TOMB OF LAZARUS. “ It was a cave, and a stone lay (was laid) upon it.”—John xi. 38. On the right of the road is the tomb of large enough to admit one body only. Several Lazarus, cut out of the rock. Carrying can- persons can stand conveniently in the cave dles, we descended ten or twelve stone steps around the tomb, so that Lazarus, when reto the bottom of the cave. In the middle of stored, did not, as some suppose, descend from the floor is the tomb, a few feet deep, and à sepulchre cut out of the wall, but rose out of