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So it was in regard to Mary's anointing of her Lord; so it is in respect to many things else which are done for Christ.
We can imagine some one, to suggest an instance or two, taking up the life of an eminent Christian, and reading in it how he was in the habit of spending every day a large portion of time in the study of God's Word and in prayer; and how he was in the habit also of meeting, on Sundays and at other times, with men like-minded with himself for prayer and kindred exercises. As he reads, he very likely says, There is no accounting for tastes : all that to me would be insufferable weariness. But what a waste of time and feeling and energy, and how much might they have accomplished had they been more profitably employed !”
Without fee or reward, Christian people organise associations and work them, teach in Sunday-schools, distribute tracts, in a word, do all manner of things for the purpose of saving men's souls. Everybody knows, too, that there is a vast amount of money expended every year on religious objects. Now this expenditure of time and money is often censured very strongly. What sneers are thrown out against it in some of our popular literature ; and how frequently are the enterprises to which it is devoted branded as a kind of spiritual Quixotism, well meant, indeed, but altogether useless. Especially are such objections urged against missions to the heathen. "To my mind,” it has been many a time said, in substance if not in precise words, “charity begins at home. Just look what destitution that money would relieve, what schools it would support, what asylums it would sustain ! And then there are the men and women you send out. If they were to devote themselves to rational philanthropic work in England, what might they not do? As it is your expenditure, if not altogether unproductive, does exceedingly little good, and the parties benefited are not those who have the first claim on you, but those who have scarcely any claim at all. *To what purpose is this waste ?'"
Now in dealing with these cavillers against Christian activity and beneficence one might fairly ask them, What are you doing for the objects you deem so preferable? Are you giving to them as liberally as the very people whose giving to religious objects you so strongly condemn ? Judas murmured on the plea that the poor might have been fed with the price of the ointment; but we should think Judas gave to the poor of his own proper good” not a farthing more than he could help ; and it is even plainly hinted that he robbed them of what it was intended they should have from the common stock. No doubt there are many truly beneficent men who are not in the proper sense of the term Christians; but there can be little doubt that as a rule the people who contribute most freely for the relief of men's bodily necessities are precisely those who give most for the extension of the Gospel at home and abroad. To whom do the poor turn so readily for relief as to Christians ? Is any new project of benevolence set on foot ? even though its projectors be not themselves decidedly Christian men, still, in discussing to whom they may apply, it will be a wonder if they do not mention amongst the very first men whom they know to be active and earnest Christians. Yes, and if they could lay their hands on a missionary report or a list of contributions to a new church or chapel, fixing on those who had given most largely, they would say, “ These are the men for us ; they are evidently men of open and generous hearts; we shall be sure to succeed."
But now, meeting the charge which has been alleged, we may observe that the fact of any service being intelligently rendered as an expression of love to the Lord Jesus Christ redeems it entirely from any imputation of “waste.” How grudgingly men give where they have no love! How inquiringly they ask if there is no plea on which they can refuse ! And if they feel that after all they must give, they ask how little will do. On the contrary, how freely men give when they are moved by sincere and ardent love ! Such love was Mary's—the pure reverent love of a soul which saw in her Lord everything that was truly great and good, which had treasured up many a word and deed of loving tenderness, and which devoted that gift of precious ointment, not as the quittance of every claim, but as the pledge of her willingness to devote her all. It was because her service sprung from such a love that the Lord vindicated it, as He did, from the imputation of waste, and pronounced on it His high approval. So then if there be anything respecting which we have reason to believe that it is well-pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ, anything which He Himself has enjoined, anu which in its issue is likely to promote His praise, however large the expenditure of time, or money, or feeling it may involve, it is still not “waste," if we do it under the impulse of love to Him.
Again, no service is wasted which accomplishes great results. We act on this principle continually in respect to things which are of far inferior moment to those of salvation. Few people know better than Englishmen the value of money, and certainly none estimate human life more highly; yet there are cases in which we deem the large sacrifice of both anything but wasted, even though after all the ends which are contemplated are unattained. To suggest a single instance, what large sums of money were expended, what prirations were endured, and how many brave men perished in the search which was instituted some years ago for the lamented Sir John Franklin ! That search, it is well known, was unsuccessful, for only a few sad and affecting relics were found and brought back, which placed it beyond a doubt that he and his companions were no more. Yet if there had been only the display of manly endurance and heroism which that enterprise called forth, even though not a single trace of the lost ones had been discovered, who would say that the cost, large as it was, had been wasted ? In like manner it might be said of many a great Christian enterprise, which it was expected would issue in vast results, but did not, that its cost, whether of money or life, was not wasted, because it presented such & lofty example of Christian devotedness and zeal. But then we have the assurance that for the highest ends of Christian service such work will not be useless. We do not know, indeed, which effort we put forth will be successful, or which will issue in comparative failure ; but we have God's own promise that if we are “ stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord," our “ labour will not be in vain in the Lord.” One
soul, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself tells us, is of more value than all the world ; the largest sacrifices, then, will surely be more than recompensed if we have reason to know that as their result many souls are redeemed from everlasting death and made meet for the skies.
Nor is any service wasted which secures everlasting reward and honour. Nothing we do for Christ will pass unrecompensed. "God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love." The
of cold water given to a disciple in the name of a disciple" will not lose its reward ; much less then the costly vase of spikenard, the princely gift, or the still more precious human life. “ They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
There is a waste, however, which cannot be too deeply deplored. God has given us gifts of intellect, susceptibilities of affection, powers of influence ; and He has given them for the accomplishment of grand and noble purposes, that we may vindicate His truth ; thut we may save lost sinners from death; that we may promote in renewed souls the growth of all that is God-like, and that, as the final issue, He may be praised. Yet how often the splendid possibilities of life are all thrown away ! One man is a grubbing earthworm, and all his thoughts are expended on his farm or his shop ; another lives a butterfly existence, and seeks for pleasure as the great end of his life; and a third debases his powers by low sensuality and vice. Well may we ask, “To what purpose is this waste ?" for miserable waste it is—waste for time ; for there is no true happiness unless our being is devoted to its noblest ends—waste for eternity; for God Himself assures us that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap;" and that “he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” God help us ever to avoid such waste! And let us exert our best influence with those by whom life is thus wasted, that henceforward they may be led to redeem it for its noblest uses, and to devote it wholly to Christ.
" Lobest thou Me ?”
How deep, how strong, beyond all words of mine
A rapture sweet, an ecstasy divine.
As tides from ocean depths creep up the sand
And fill the banks of streams that reach inland,
That dwells in Thee,-such beauty wondrous rare,
And feast upon the sweetness gathered there.
The Metropolis of New England.—No. 3. SIR HARRY VANE arrived in New England in 1631, accompanied by Hugh Peters. Hugh Peters became minister at Salem, and the prestige of Vane's name and rank secured for him speedily the honour of the Governorship of Massachusetts. His policy was more liberal than Winthrop's. He regarded Mr. Hutchinson's business in a different light from what his predecessor had done. He held more advanced views of liberty, studied more closely the rights of human conscience, and touched a true solution of some of the great questions of the age. Vane was far more of a philosopher than Winthrop; but Winthrop was more practical than Vane. Vane sought to promote liberty in ways Winthrop and others did not approve ; and it was impossible that between two such men there could be much harmony. Vane got weary of New England's theological controversies, and determined to return home ; but Winthrop had embarked all in the vessel, and could not think of leaving it till he left it for Heaven. The differences between the two parties issued inįVane's departure from the colony, and Winthrop's restoration to the post of Governor; but to that restoration Boston shoved itself unfriendly, for, on Winthrop's entering the town after re-election, the usual escort did not meet him, and the serjeants who were sent to accompany the chief magistrate to public worship, “laid down their halberds and went home."
A number of cares, particularly war, pressed on him as time rolled on. In 1636, Massachusetts, together with Plymouth, was drawn into conflict with the Pequot tribe ; and in 1643, it was believed by the Governor and others that the Narragansetts were plotting the destruction of the colony, and that renegade Englishmen were implicated in the business. By timely methods the mischief was nipped in the bud; but the evil grew up again in 1645. Dreadful anticipations were entertained that soon the whole country would be wrapped in the flames of war; but once more, by assuming å courageous attitude, and employing skilful persuasion, the rulers of New England averted the calamity. There also came a dispute between Massachusetts and Connecticut, respecting a revision of the Articles of Confederation, and a proposed change in the House of Deputies, matters which could not fail to create anxiety in Winthrop's mind. During a portion of the period covered by these trials, Winthrop was not Governor, but only DeputyGovernor, the elections being annual ; and it was whilst Deputy-Governor in 1645, that one of the greatest troubles of his life occurred, for a petition against his administration was then presented, and the father and founder of the colony was arraigned before the General Council. He placed himself beneath the bar, and sat uncovered. But his defence was complete ; the petitioners against him were fined, and the historian of New England attributes to him, on this occasion, a magnificent speech on the uses and humiliation of political power, the responsibility of rulers, the principles of reasonable criticism, and the nature of that liberty which is not license and disorder.
Again Winthrop was installed in the Governor's chair, for a hand like his was needed to guide affairs, seeing that storms were gathering. But his time now on earth was short. At the age of 63 he died of a fever brought on by cold; so after a weary pilgrimage he laid down the burden of nobly-borne responsibilities, at the threshold of his father's house-his own dearest home. As he lay on his death-bed, “ripening for Heaven,” it was said of him in a Boston pulpit, that he was a friend, a brother, and a mother, a friend in counsel for all things, “help for our bodies by physic, for our estates by law;”-a brother not usurping authority, but offering advice though often contradicted, and a mother distributing goods at his first coming, “and gently bearing our infirmities without taking notice of them."
The only shadow which falls over the name of Winthrop is that of intolerance, which really belonged more to the age than to the man. The system of policy in Massachusetts, indeed, was, in a great measure, his creation-and, therefore, he was not a victim of a system, but the victim of circumstances, examples, maxims, and sympathies, which led him to contribute towards the construction of what oppressed the consciences of fellow-citizens. He had not the originality of Vane and some others, who threw off old shackles and dared to be singular ; but it may be questioned whether such originality would have fitted Winthrop to discharge what he had to do as founder of Boston with such confederates as were united with him in government, and with such materials as were put into his hands to mould. Certainly Vane did not shine as a practically wise and strong man while ruling in New England. Winthrop, judging from his portrait, from his writings and from his recorded advice at Plymouth, together with some of his last words, as well as from the express testimony of those who knew him, must have been a kind-hearted gentle-spirited man, and therefore averse to the infliction of suffering except from a painful sense of duty. In death he repented of intolerant acts he had committed in life ; and refused to sign an order for the banishment of some heterodox person, saying he had done too much of that work already. Principles must be criticised on the unchangeable grounds of reason and Scripture, but in the judgment of persons, circumstances, motives and dispositions must always be taken into account.
We lament to find that it is a fashion with champions of liberty, as it was a fashion with advocates of despotism, to load the founders of New England with obloquy on account of their intolerance. Without taking the trouble to understand the difference, many writers confound New Plymouth with Massachusetts and include both in exactly the same condemnation. That difference we have endeavoured to exhibit without any exaggeration, and it appears to us that heavier blame falls on the founders of Boston than on the pilgrims to the world-known Rock.
The interest readers in general take in the “ History of New Plymouth" almost entirely ceases with the death of the Forefathers and Founders ; it is otherwise with the History of Boston.
A new and stirring era followed the decease of Winthrop and his compoers. Indian troubles revived, for Philip of Pokanoket, son of Massasoit, Friend