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the means and wait for grace, is the tune it ever occurred in the history of the by which thousands are ordering their universe ? Nay, indeed! All the apsteps. • Soft and sweet in Lydian peals to the sinner's conscience, throughmeasure,' it steals over all the senses of out the sacred oracles, either broadly the soul, and wraps them in a delicious assert, or by implication admit, that he dream. The music is delightful, but has ruined himself, and that from God like the syren's song, it charms to ruin. his help is found. Review the expostulaThe devil's own march to perdition is its tions addressed to ancient Israel, the proper name.
discourses of prophets and apostles, the “You pretend to be using the means.' lamentation of Christ over Jerusalem on What means are you using? Do you the eve of its final abandonment,-pascall it ‘using the means,' to sit out your sages, as a whole, so numerous that to time in the sanctuary, and then to retire transcribe them would be to begin a new as if not one word of the service, not concordance,-and can you, dare you one word of the sermon, had been imagine that all these statements were meant for
call it using made in insincerity ? that the very rethe means,' to read the Bible now and luctance for which the sinner is blamed then, and with far less interest than you is the result of destiny which leaves him commonly read a newspaper ? Do you no choice !-and that, while he seems call it . using the means, to hurry to refuse and rebel, he is only doing the through a brief and heartless prayer, secret will of God, and fulfiling the morning and evening, as a salvo for con- Divine determination concerning him?" science, and an apology for living all the day long, without one thought of
This volume will, no doubt, like the Christ and eternity ?-Yes ! you are other, have a very extensive circulation ;
using the means;'--the means of insult- and we are bound to say, it well deing Jehovah, the means of hardening serves it. It is perhaps one of the very your heart, the means of treading under best presents a parent can make to his foot the Son of God, the means of doing grown-up child ; and will, we trust, by
despite unto the Spirit of grace,'—Heb. God's blessing, going hither and thither, x. 29, the means of entailing damnation treasure up honour and reward for its on your soul. And as to your waiting for author against that great day, when grace ;-Does God keep you waiting ? “ the Lord shall write up the number of If so, how long have you waited ?-and the people," and rehearse the methods in what posture? Aš they that watch whereby He brought them to Himself. for the morning ?-Psalm cxxx. 6,-or like the sluggard of Solomon ? saying The Christian Armour. Ten Sermons, • Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a
by the Rev. Samuel WALKER, B.A., little folding of the hands to sleep,' of Truro, Cornwall. With a Preface, Prov. vi. 10. Till in sincerity and truth, by the Rev. Edwin Sidney, M.A. and as within sight of the judgment-seat,
cl. bds. pp. 120. you answer these questions, it is useless FifteEN SERMONS. By the Author of to trouble you further.”
“ Persuasives to early Piety.” cl. bds. And again : 6. The first heaven-ward movement of
Religious Tract Society. the soul, like all the subsequent acts of
These are two volumes of sterling faith, is not of him that willeth, nor merit. They belong to a class of reading, of him that runneth, but of God that of which, though we happily have much, showeth mercy,'—Rom. ix. 16. Perhaps we ever welcome more. They are plain, few passages have been more perverted, faithful and earnest evangelical sermons; by false theology, than the text which full of high toned piety; affectionate announces this cheering and consolatory counsel, and fervent appeal. It matters fact. According to some, it would mean not, that the one is an author of the last that a man may determine to do the will) century, and the other of this ; they of God, and to run in the way of His treat of the things which concern man commandments, and yet that some Di- in every age. They are, both of them, vine and inscrutable decree may hold truly valuable companions, whether in him back from that purpose, and render the closet or the family. his salvation impossible. But is any such instance recorded in the Scriptures ? has
Author of " The Hall of Vision,” &c.
“ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” is the angelic epitome of the design of Christianity. That it is fully calculated to realize this design, in its broadest acceptation, will not be questioned by any man acquainted with its nature. It breathes“ good will toward men,” it publishes peace, it seeks the glory of God by all its movements. By promulging the terms of reconciliation, it removes all doubt as to the possibility of finding mercy, and instructs the offender how to draw near to God. By unfolding the principles on which the Divine Mind has constituted the economy of grace, the Scriptures teach us that whilst Jehovah is bestowing proofs of His “good will,” evidences of His thoughts of “ peace” on us, He is securing to Himself“ glory in the highest.” Every sinner that is saved from the natural dominion of depravity, and introduced to the privileges and prospects of the family of God, is a proof of His good will towards men, and an accession to the number of those, who will eternally glorify Him. Every fresh convert to the Gospel of Jesus, is a fresh witness to the good will of God; and az Christianity, with all its blessings, privileges and joys, and all the prospects it unveils, originated in the grace, it will terminate in the glory of God. Unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. This may.
be predicated of the “river of life” also ; for He who is the Author, is also the Finisher of our salvation; and “of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever.
Amen." Now, if the “ multitude of the heavenly host" rightly described Christianity, it will be inferred, that it contains peculiar attractions, sources of pleasure and joy to the objects of its good will, which may be sought for in vain in any other system. And so it does. It holds true, indeed, in the case of Christianity, as in that of all the works of God, that though a superficial and cursory view cannot fail to discover to us somewhat of their beauty, yet, when on a more careful and accurate scrutiny we become better acquainted with their properties, we become also more deeply impressed by a conviction of their excellence. Rightly to appreciate the joys afforded by the religion of Jesus, it is necessary not merely to examine the records of Divine truth, but also to bear in mind the miseries brought by sin on the objects of His good will. The contrast will undoubtedly lead to the exclamation of the prophet Zechariah," How great is His goodness!” How great is His goodness, in its origin, manifestation, objects, results, strength, extent, duration! What are the gifts He bestows, but the liberality of goodness ? what are the consolations He imparts, but the sympathy of goodness? what is the protection He affords, but the shield of goodness ? what is the watchfulness He exercises, but the care of goodness? what are the checks by which He stops us in the career of folly, but the restraints of goodness ? and what is the glory He is preparing, but the crown of goodness? The religion of Jesus is a religion of joy, the springs of which are continually open to the believer. The wells of salvation are full as ever of the water of life; and as neither the malignity nor the policy of man can dry them, it is our own fault if we do not draw of their treasures with joy. Merely to enumerate the chief sources of pleasure available to the Christian, would require much time and attention. We shall only mention a few of them here. Pleasures springing from the certainty of the truth and inspiration of the Bible; from contemplating the character of God as the God of salvation; from the assurance that salvation is attain able; from a view of the person, work, offices and character of Jesus Christ; from
the doctrine of Providence; from the assurance that all providential events work together for good; from the prophecies which point attention to the time when the world shall be subjugated to the sceptre of Christ ; from daily intelligence of the gradual fulfilment of those prophecies, and from taking part in efforts for their complete fulfilment; from personal experience of the goodness and faithfulness of God; froin prayer, praise, meditation, Christian ordinances and Christian intercourse; and from hope,—the hope of victory in death, acceptance at the judgment and eternal felicity. It will be seen that these open up a large and delightful field, the prospect of which is fraught with indescribable joy ; but beautiful as it is in itself
, we shall have no just perception of its splendours, if prejudice against the subject contemplated exist in our hearts, if the eyes of our understanding are not enlightened, if the dark clouds of unbelief, which are apt to hover around, be not dispelled by the Sun of righteousness, and if the mists of ignorance are not cleared by the breath of the Holy Spirit. For, assuredly, that light is as essential to a just view of the spiritual scene, which lies between the believer and the world to come, stretching itself to the borders of Canaan, the shores of the promised land, as a clear sun and an unclounded sky to mortal vision, when we would gaze on a splendid landscape. Our intention now, however, is only to make a few general remarks on some of the sources of pleasure mentioned above.
THE AUTHENTICITY, as well as the INSPIRATION OF The Bible, is established on a basis so secure, so solid, so extensive, that all the sophistry and ingenuity of men and all the malignity of devils combined, have not been able to disprove it. Iufidelity has, no doubt, laboured in its vocation for thousands of years, and has tried to wrest from the believer's hand the roll of his hopes, and to demolish the stronghold to which he has fled for refuge. But every successive attempt has tended to demonstrate the Divine veracity of the Holy Scriptures ; has recoiled with increased energy on the head of the assailant; has brought forth meat out of the eater, and out of the strong sweetness ; so that the Christian has extracted pleasure from the malignant efforts of his inveterate foe. No conceivable force has been left unemployed for the purpose of uprooting that tree, “whose leaves are for the healing of the nations;" but its roots are struck deep in the eternal hills, and those who wish to destroy it, have invariably found that they have wearied themselves in vain. Not a root has been broken, not a branch has been lopped off, not a leaf has been withered. But, on the contrary, the enemy have found their weapons blunted, and their strength exhausted, and themselves in the condition of children who have proved their own folly by trying to demolish some vast solitary oak, in an arid wilderness, whose shadow and foliage had, from time immemorial, afforded repose and safety to the wearied traveller. To cope with Omnipotence, required a strength, which infidelity, notwithstanding its boasted powers, has not yet made available; and to erase the signature of Deity from the Holy Scriptures, has been found as impossible as to cover the earth with perpetual darkness, by plucking the sun from his position in the heavens. The abettors of infidelity have tried to clothe the world with spiritual darkness by presenting the Scriptures to us shorn of the beams of their divinity : but the result has been to show the blackness of their own hearts, the vileness of their own spirits, and to endear to us more than ever, the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ. “It is light which makes manifest;" and their contact with that light, which they have attempted to extinguish, has been the means of at once demonstrating its supernatural origin, and exhibiting the infernal character of their motives. They meant not so; but they have rendered important services to the truth of that God, who maketh the wrath of man to praise Him. The arguments of Celsus, Porphyry and Julian against the genuineness of the New Testament and the Messiahship of Jesus, have been taken from their lips and adduced as evidences in favour of both. The swords of those champions of infidelity, who shouted defiance to the armies of Israel, have been taken out of their hands, and laid up before the Lord among the spoil of the mighty. The philosophy of Hume, the craftiness of Gibbon, the wit of Bolingbroken, the learning of Volney, the rage of Voltaire and the vulgarity of Paine hare all proved unable to invalidate a single truth of Christianity, or disprove an assertion of the prophets of Israel or the fishermen of Galilee. And not only so, but in instances not a few, Jehovah has shown His supremacy, as well as His goodwill towards men, by making the results of their labours subservient to the promulgation of His own truth. The property acquired by Gibbon, during his residence in Switzerland, by the sale of his “'History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,”- -a work in which he has left an imperishable memorial of his deep-rooted enmity to the Gospel,--bas descended to a gentleman, who out of its rents expends annually a large sum in the promulgation of “ the truth as it is in Jesus.” The silver and the gold are God's; and the wealth realized by the labours of the unbeliever's pen is employed in disseminating that Gospel, which " is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."
Voltaire boasted, that with one hand he would overturn the edifice of Christianity, which required the hands of twelve aposties to build it up. But instead of succeeding in his boast, the press he employed at Ferney, to print his blasphemiesto give to the world those writings, which, in the language of Raffles, are composed of infernal elements, and animated by a diabolical spirit—is actually employed at Geneva iu printing the Holy Scriptures. Could the types speak, they would cry out, “What hath God wrought!" For the engine with which he vainly attempted to destroy the credit of the Bible is engaged in disseminating its truths. Voltaire's hand, with which he was to scatter the foundations of the spiritual temple, has been eaten up of worms; but that temple stands in all its original stability and beauty; “ for the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The puny battering rams of ancient and modern times, which have been levelled against it, have left it in all its integrity, so that it is at this day as able to witha stand the onset of the spirit of infidelity, though animating a thousand Voltaires, as in the days of old. The Lord God omnipotent is on its side. The Word of the Lord endureth for ever. Ever young, and ever vigorous, in the strength of its Divine Founder, Christianity knows no feebleness from age; and that which was “true” in the days of John, and “no cunningly devised fable” in the days of Peter, has not changed its character by the progress of time.
"We herein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice ;" for it must be evident, that any doubt about the authenticity and inspiration of the Scriptures, incapacitates the mind from enjoying any of the delights they so abundantly unfold. The settled assurance of their divinity is the first step to the enjoyment of the Divine pleasures they contain-the key to unlock the springs of spiritual joy in the garden of the Lord. But the Bible is the Word of God. The fulfilment of ancient prophecy-the working of miracles --the ruins of Ammon, Moab, Idumea, Ninevel, Babylon, and Tyre--the simplicity of its style-the purity of its doctrine-the character of its writers—the effect of its principles—the view it gives of God, life, death, time, eternity-its wonderful adaptation to the known circumstances of the human family—and the concurrent testimony of both sacred and profane authors to the infinite importance of its revelations, prove its divinity. He who gave the Gospel must have known the state of man-his miseries-his necessities-his desires--his fears, and his remedy. An intelligent student of Christianity, whose mind is not " blinded by the god of this world,” will come to the conclusion, that it is far more difficult to believe it a “cunningly devised fable,” than to embrace it with rapture as “the record that God has given of His Son." But there is a species of evidence in favour of Christianity, which no other system knows. The controversies both of ancient and modern times, have unquestionably led to important results : but as only a few of the followers of Christ have access to those able defences of the religion of their Lord, which have appeared from time to time, He has provided a satisfactory antidote to all the cavils of His foes, in the glorious change of heart and principles—the infusion of light, love, faith, hope, and joy-which takes place in the experience of every true Christian. This witness resides in their souls, and affords at once a silencing reply to the objector, and a source of unspeakable comfort to the possessor.
“I know its truth, for I have felt its power,'' may be said by every disciple of Christ, who through the instrumentality of the Worà, and the power of the Spirit of Jesus, has passed from death unto life.” Nor ought this remark to be branded as the dictate of enthusiasm. We speak the words of truth and soberness ; and as thousands of living witnesses, in whose breast enthusiasm finds no resting place, are ready to
subscribe to the fact adduced, we are willing to hazard the divinity of the Bible on this evidence alone. It will not avail to say, (as an infidel lately did to the writer,)“ I am ignorant of this internal evidence, and cannot say whether there be any such thing;" for, as was replied to the sceptic in question, « Obedience to the will of God is the invariable concomitant of the internal witnessing of His Spirit to the truth of His Word.” “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” " And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in Him; and hereby we know that He abideth in us by the Spirit which He hath given us.
6. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself."
A second source of pleasure afforded by Christianity, in elucidation of its genius, as mentioned above, is THE CONTEMPLATION OF GOD AS THE GOD OF SALVATION. The character of God, as it is exhibited in the Holy Scriptures, is the perfection of beauty. He
appears before us, possessed of every possible moral attraction that can conduce to render Him the supreme object of admiration to, and worship by, His intelligent creatures. The more He is known, the more He is adored, feared, loved, obeyed. Considered in Himself, He is an Almighty”—“ Eternal”“Unchangeable"_“Everlasting"__"High"-"Holy"_“Living" and "True"“Spirit.” As universal Sovereign, He is "King of kings;" "God of heaven;" “God of hosts;" “God of Israel ;” “God of the spirits of all flesh;” “ in whom we live and move and have our being ;' before whom “all things are naked and open ;” “ with whom we have to do;" and, to whom “every man shall give account.” In relation to His administration among men, He is the God of “patience,” of “peace," of " love," of "justice,” of “judgment,” of righteousness,” of “mercy.' As the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” He is in Him“reconciling the world unto Himself.” And oh! what transcendant glory surrounds Him here! How mysterious, yet how close, tender, endearing, and strong, the relation He holds to His people as their Father in Christ! To this
holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” they are permitted to approach, by faith in His Son, saying, “ Abba, Father." This is surely an inestimable honour, a priceless privilege, an inexhaustible source of the purest conceivable pleasure, All earthly sources of honour and happiness sink into utter and deserved insignificance, compared with this.
“ Let others boast their ancient line,
(CRUTTENDEN.) And surely when the believer considers his own natural enmity to, and distance from God, and recollects how long he opposed the overtures of unmerited mercy, he cannot fail to adore, glorify, and rejoice in Him who thus condescends to own, him, and to give him a " name and an inheritance among them that are sanctified.” He is thus led to rejoice for the consolation, that God—who might justly have remained his avenging adversary-whose immutable justice might have doomed him to unmitigated misery-is his Friend, his Protector, his Shield, his Confidence, his “ Father."
“My Father-God! how sweet the sound !