Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

fice what wicked men enjoy. It cannot be denied that this may often happen. A bad man may often obtain riches by means which the faithful servants of God cannot practise—and still he may not be punished by the laws of his country. Suppose the bad man raised to the highest point of prosperity, and the true Christian sunk to the lowest point of affliction and distress; and still I say that this last is the happier man ;-one lives and dies in fear; the other lives and dies in hope,-fear, which will poison every enjoyment; hope, which will sweeten every sorrow. The one is conscious of guilt, and lives in fear of punishment; the other has reason to trust in the mercy of God, and lives in hope of an eternity of happiness.

Blessed are they who make Religion the rule of their lives. In prosperity and adversity, in youth and age, in health and sickness, in life and death, they will enjoy that peace which this world cannot give, that peace which only true Christians can experience, and which passeth all understanding.

BOWDLER.

ON THE PARABLE OF THE UN

FORGIVING SERVANT.

BY BISHOP PORTEUS.

“No man, I believe, ever heard or read the parable before us without feeling his indignation rise against the ungrateful servant, who, after having a debt of ten thousand talents forgiven him by his indulgent Lord, threw his fellow-servant into prison for the debt of an hundred pence. And yet how frequently are we ourselves guilty of the very same offence?

“Who is there among us, that has not had ten thousand talents forgiven him by his heavenly Father? Take together all the offences of his life, all The Unforgiving Servant. 491 his sins and follies from the first hour of his maturity to the present time, and they may well be compared to this immense sum, which immense sum, if he has been a sincere believer and a true penitent, has been all forgiven through the merits of his Redeemer. Yet when his fellow-christian owes him an hundred pence, that is, when he commits the slightest offence against him, he too often refuses him forgiveness, though he fall at his feet to implore it. In fact, do we not every day see men resenting not only real injuries, but slight and even imaginary offences, with extreme vehemence and passion, and sometimes punishing the offender with nothing less than death? Do we not even see families rent asunder, and all domestic tranquillity and comfort destroyed frequently by the most trivial causes, sometimes on one side, and sometimes on both, refusing to listen to any reasonable overtures of peace, haughtily rejecting all offers of reconciliation, insisting on the highest possible satisfaction and submission, and carrying these sentiments of implacable rancour with them to the grave? And yet these people call themselves Christians, and expect to be themselves forgiven at the throne of mercy! Let then every man of this description remember and most seriously reflect on this parable ; let him remember, that the unforgiving servant was delivered over to the tormentors till he should pay the uttermost farthing. Let him recollect, that all the world approves this sentence; that he himself cannot but approve it; that he cannot but feel himself to be precisely in the situation of that very servant; and that of course he must, at the last tremendous day, expect that bitter and unanswerable reproach from his offended Judge; “O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt because thou desiredst me; shouldst not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee?"

Sent by J. H. T.

To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.

SIR, As your publication is much read by servants in large families, I have selected for their serious consideration a few passages from the Bible. It is melancholy to see how lightly the crimes of drunkenness, lying, and quarrelling, are thought of by some servants, and even by those who in other respects seem to be honest, and valuable in their situations. Should the selection I have made induce one in. dividual to seek for further information in the Sacred Volume, I shall hope that my humble endeavours to save a valuable part of the community from the com mission of such deadly sins has not been in vain.

A. Z

BIBLE ADVICE TO SERVANTS.

1 1

SERVANTS obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service as men-pleasers ; but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done, and there is no respect of persons.-Coloss. iii. 22, 23, 24, 25.

Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again, not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God in all things.- Tit. ii. 9. 11.

Servants be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. - 1 Pet. ii. 18.

Bible Advice to Servants.

493

Against Drunkenness. Be not among wine (or ale) bibbers, among riotous eaters of flesh; for the drunkard and glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.—Prov. xiii. 20, 21.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.-Prov. xx. 1.

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning that they may follow strong drink, that continue until night till wine inflame them. Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink.--Isa. v. 11. 22.

Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken.-Hab. ii. 15.

And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.—Eph. v. 18.

For they that sleep sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet the hope of salvation.—1 Thess. v. 7, 8. And take heed to yourselves lest at any

time

your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.-- Luke xxi. 34.

See also Gal. v. 21, and 1 Cor. vi. 10, where drunkenness is classed with theft, murder, and other deadly sins; and where it is expressly said, that " they who do such things shall not enter the kingdom of God.”

Against Lying and Deceit. These six things doth the Lord hate, yea, seven are an abomination to him, a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an

heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren.—Prov. vi. 16, 17, 18, 19.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever : but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.-Prov. xii. 19, 20. 22.

A false witness shall not be unpunished; and he that speaketh lies shall perish.Prov. xix. 9.

Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another.- Eph. iv. 25.

All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.Rev. xxi. 8.

[ocr errors]

Against Quarrelling, fc. &c. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.Prov. xv. 1. 18. 28.

Better is a dry morsel and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. A reproof entereth more into a wise man, than an hundred stripes into a fool. He that hath knowledge spareth his words. Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.--Pror. xvii. 1. 10. 27, 28.

A fool's mouth is his destruction; and his lips are the snare of his soul.-Prov. xviii. 7.

It is an honour for a man to cease from strife : but every fool will be meddling:-Prov. xx. 2.

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles.—Prov. xxi. 23.

« AnteriorContinuar »