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hardened into a very rock; and, as certainly, no mere human suasion or word of man will, without his blessing, produce a saving effect. Yet, as he works upon and in the heart by its natural faculties, every thing which tends to shut up those faculties from spiritual impression must be admitted to be hurtful and ruinous. Besides, when resolutions are made and speedily broken, when a religious course is entered on and very soon quitted, the mind gets dispirited: it comes to think exertion of no use: it dwells on past failures: it will not anticipate future success; and it is ready to sink down into a sort of listless lethargy carly akin to absolute despair. And hence comes that fearful catastrophe described by our Lord, when the evil spirit departed for a while, and then returned, bringing with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, so that the last state of that man was worse than the first. Hence comes naturally the distinction so vividly set forth by Solomon, when he introduces wisdom as exclaiming"Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. . . . I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." "They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."

How necessary, then, to lose no time in securing an interest in Christ! For there are now fewer obstacles than hereafter there will be. The indisposition, be it ever remembered, to heavenly things which the heart of man naturally feels, is augmented by delay. And what an argument for patient perseverance in the way of peace! The wretched fate of Lot's wife should be a beacon to warn every professor through all succeeding ages, that it is death to tarry or to turn. O what condemnation must be theirs, who have enrolled themselves among the soldiers of the cross, and have just stayed long enough beneath its blood-stained banner to receive its badge, and handle its weapons, and then with coward heart and traitorous spirit have deserted to the foe! "It had been better for them," says the apostle, in words which ought to be engraven on our memory, "not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."

Let us now examine the principles on which this stedfastness must be based. Every one is aware, that for a building to stand it must be constructed on a solid foundation. No man, unless he begins well, is likely to be successful in any art, or science, or pursuit in life. And so we shall find that those who have turned back in the Christian

course have never set out as they ought, but have built upon a sandy foundation.

1. The profession of some men is from the first hypocritical. They have some selfish, interested motive. Perhaps they look to gain credit from the religious persons around them, and thus they suppose that gain is godliness. They pretend to affections which they never felt: they speak of sacrifices which they never made: they discourse of doctrines which they cannot comprehend. They attain, it may be to a great deal of mere knowledge; and they are fond of displaying it, and of discussing curious questions and subtle speculations. They are usually very censorious persons; ready to remark the inconsistencies or falls of their brethren, and it may be exulting over them, as what they had themselves predicted; thus taking credit for clearer discernment and superior wisdom. But their own course will not be long. They have imposed on others, and perhaps to a certain extent upon themselves; but directly that their interest clashes with their profession, they are ready to forsake the Lord, having loved this present world. Let us be upon our guard against such a religion as this.

2. The profession of others is assumed merely through fear. They have not learned to look on God in the kind character of a loving Father through Jesus Christ. They behold him invested only with harsh and repulsive features. And, when any thing occurs to make them dread his judgments, then they seek him with a slavish motive. They abstain from sin-not because it is odious in God's sight, and therefore they cannot bear to do that which displeases him, and which laid such a heavy burden upon Christ-but simply because they dread its punishment. They disobey as far as they dare: they are addicted to secret sins: they calculate how far they may presume on God's forbearancehow near they may tread to the brink of the precipice without toppling over. It is to be feared that death-bed repentances, as they are called, are often of this kind. And accordingly we find that the cries for mercy, which in danger were urgent, diminish with returning security, till when death, the cause of fear, is removed, their religion, the consequence of that fear, evaporates also. There is no principle of stedfastness or perpetuity here.

3. Some men, again, profess religion from a self-righteous motive. They imagine that they can make God their debtor; and so they serve him in their way just for the reward which he has promised to bestow upon his people. Their conduct is a series of heavy task-work, actuated by very low and

grovelling motives, and likely to yield in a thousand ways to the temptations which Satan so well knows how to adapt to their disposition. The Pharisees were such religionists; and we see that, when the Lord of glory appeared among them, they crucified and slew him. This profession will be smothered and destroyed by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches.

All these uncertain foundations which I have just referred to will give way, like the house of which our Saviour speaks, against which the rains did beat, and the winds blew, and the waves arose, and the fallt hereof was great. There must be, therefore, true gospel principles to ensure the steadfastness of a Christian profession.

There must be deep repentance towards God—a searching view of sin in its nature and odiousness, not so much grounded upon the fear of punishment, as springing from a sense of love to him against whom we have ungratefully rebelled. We shall never behold sin in its true colours unless we carry it to the garden of Gethsemane and the cross of Christ, and perceive that it was its bitterness which filled the cup he dreaded-its burden which pressed upon his spirit when he groaned out his expiring cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The wounds which sin has made in us must not be healed slightly: they must be probed to the very bottom: we must have the conviction which the Holy Spirit works-that deep, clear perception of inbred guilt which St. Paul had when he felt it a body of death. It is no doubt painful thus to search the heart, and try the reins; but for inveterate diseases painful remedies alone will avail: else they will break out afresh, and bring on, when little looked for, the worst misery and death.

by day its greenness will depart, and it will become dry and rotten. Let it be our care to dwell in Christ, and that Christ may dwell in us-to be one with Christ, and to have Christ one with us. Let us rest satisfied with nothing short of this; for in this alone is the principle of perpetuity. We must actually bring our transgressions to the Saviour. We must throw ourselves upon his covenanted promises, his finished work, his powerful mediation; and we must not be content till we have seen, through him, the Father smiling forgiveness and love upon us: "These my sons were dead, and are alive again; they were lost, and are found."

We shall hence obtain a strong and unremitting principle of love to God. All the other principles, of which I before spoke as but temporary, were selfish; but that love which rises responsively in the believer's soul, because God hath first loved him, that, though in this world imperfect, is yet disinterested. A man who is actuated by it will, for Christ's sake, resign father, mother, wife and children, houses and lands, yea, and his own life itself. This love will gain strength by exercise: its influence will thus be more and more powerful: it will subdue one after another all the faculties of the man, till body, soul, and spirit are laid, a holy sacrifice, upon the altar of the Lord. It is thus, labouring with a glad heart in the service of his Redeemer, that the Christian becomes more and more filled out of his fulness. He receives grace after grace: he goes on from strength to strength: he advances through all the varied stages of increase and blessed attainment, even unto the perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Shall he fall back? The thought is agony to him. Shall he deny his Saviour? "To whom else," his soul responds, "shall I go? thou hast the words of eternal life." Who then shall separate him from the love of Christ? Tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things he is more than conqueror through Christ that hath loved him. These, I conceive, are the principles on which Christian stedfastness must be based.

There must also be strong and appropriating faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not enough to credit the facts recorded of him: it is not enough to know that he shed his blood for the sins of the world-this belief, this knowledge must influence our conduct. The cleansing stream may flow, but, if we wash not in it, it flows for us in vain. The banquet may be spread, but, if we feed not on it, our hunger will be unappeased. It is the real close union, cemented by a lively faith, with the Saviour, that is the spring of the believer's stedfastness. When the branch is grafted into the vine, connected with the root, and receiving its sap and nutriment therefrom, then it germinates and grows, then its leaf withers not, then it bringeth forth its fruit in season. No other connexion can last. You may tie a branch to a living tree, but, because that branch has no actual union with it, you will see how, after a little while, day

I would now enumerate some of the motives which may be taken to urge us to it.

1. One great motive we shall have is a view of what God hath already wrought in us. When a traveller is scaling the mountain's brow, and is wearied with labour, and stops half fainting with fatigue, it inspirits him for further exertion if he casts his eye downwards and sees how high he has already ascended. Shall his past toil go for nothing? No, surely not; and therefore with fresh zeal he presses forward. And so the Christian

may ask, as the apostle did, when he looks Jerusalem, just ready to enter its open doors, upon the paths he has already trodden, whe- shall he refuse to enter? Surely the wiles of ther he shall have suffered so many things in Satan shall not prevail so far. He that hath vain? Shall the influences of the Spirit, lead-borne him, he will carry, and is ready not, even at his last hour, to suffer him, for any pains of death, to fall from him.

These then are motives which should powerfully influence our minds, and lead us, not merely not to fall from our own stedfastness, but to grow in grace, and in the saving knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Only let us use them in deep humility, and with an entire dependance on divine help; for, if we expect to stand in our own strength, most assuredly we are near to a fearfully destructive downfall.

ing him a humbled penitent to the cross, be in vain? Shall the power of Christ's blood, washing him from his old sins, be in vain? Shall the distinguished mercies, the wonderful deliverances, the careful defence he has experienced at the hand of his heavenly Father, be in vain? Having renounced the world, will he return to it? Having begun to mortify the flesh, will he give it again the reins of power? Having bruised already Satan beneath his feet, will he let that well-nigh conquered enemy now get the advantage of him? Every principle of wisdom and honour and duty and affection forbids it. And besides, he is assured by that whereto he has already attained, of further supplies of strength from on high. If goodness and mercy have followed him, they shall follow him still. If the divine hand has delivered him, it will deliver him still. If the arm of the Lord has been stretched out for him, it is stretched out still. He has tasted also of the sweetness of Christ's love. Others, who know it not, may despise it: they may refuse it when offered to them; but he that hath known its power, its richness, its consolations, O surely he must thirst yet more and more for it, and desire to be filled with the pleasures of his house, and to worship for ever in his holy temple. These are some of the motives for stedfastness to be taken from a view of the past.


2. There are motives also arising from a nearer prospect of future glory. To revert a moment to my former illustration: the traveller will climb the mountain top more vigorously when he sees the summit just above him, and can anticipate the magnificent prospect which awaits him there. Did not Moses, despite of his load of years, tread nimbly the last steps which placed him upon Nebo's peak, that he might the sooner gratify his longing eyes with the gorgeous panorama of the promised land? The racer would not falter with the goal in view the mariner will cheer up as he nears his destined port: surely then the Christian may press more stoutly forward as he draws onward to the termination of his pilgrimage. Richer blessings than he has yet experienced are in store for him: more evident fulfilments of promise, more abundant supplies of strength, closer communion with God, nearer manifestations of the Redeemer's love, more abounding consolations of the Spirit. Besides, he is close upon the recompence of the reward, the crowning inheritance of the saints in light. Shall he turn back from the very threshold of heaven to the gates of hell? When he has looked, as it were, upon the riches of the new

We have hence a test and criterion by which we shall do well to examine ourselves. Have we held on our course stedfast, without wavering? Have we advanced in all humility and faith and virtue and godliness of living? If we have, to God be all the glory. It is he that hath wrought in us: it is he that hath held up our footsteps and guided us over slippery places wherein so many have fallen. Let us gratefully seek to abound more and more. But if, on the other hand, the testimony of our conscience must be, that we have abandoned our resolutions, and deserted our profession, let us seriously think in what such a course, if persisted in, must certainly end. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God"—of him who is a jealous God, and "who will by no means clear the guilty." Let us then be wise in time, and know the day of our visitation, and lay hold on the things which make for our peace before they be for ever hidden from our eyes. Though the state of such persons whose religious impressions have been but transient, or who have dishonoured their profession, is most dangerous and alarming, yet it is not yet hopeless. Still the arms of mercy are stretched forth-still the melting love of God would win them. David fell grievously from his avowed steadfastness, and so did Peter; and yet they found mercy. But, let us remember, they found that mercy in repentance and renewed application to the blood of the eternal covenant: it is in that alone there will be safety. Men must quit their state of carnal security: they must flee to the refuge city: they must not tarry. Though there is mercy offered now, that no one may despair, it is offered but for the present moment, that no one may presume.



No. XI


WE have lately been commemorating that, season, which the church in her wisdom has directed her children to observe in which we celebrate the love of that Saviour who "died the just for the unjust, to bring us unto God." Very sweet is the recurrence of each revolving period of the "Christian year." But a short time since we were summoned to the cradle of the Redeemer, and, as we saw him lying in the manger, we were reminded of his humbling himself to "the form of a servant," and his "making himself of no reputation;" and but as yesterday we saw him in the wilderness, hungry and tempted by the devil; in Gethsemane, and sweating great drops of blood; on Calvary, crying with a loud voice and yielding up the ghost.

Blessed, thrice blessed, are the services of our church! wherein we are continually stirred up by way of remembrance: our languid faith is animated, our cold love is warmed, our dark understandings are enlightened, and our expiring hopes are fanned into an immortal flame. Blessed indeed are these occasional seasons of special service, when we are taken to the very scenes of our redemption, and when Bethlehem, the garden, and the cross, are presented to our view. O! then it is no wild enthusiasm which prompts the feeling, but it is the result of a calm and settled conviction which causes us with glad sincerity to exclaim, "Blessed, thrice blessed, are the services of our church!"

The person whose name is affixed to my present paper, occupies a conspicuous place in those deeply interesting events which we have recently been commemorating-"Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him :" it is of this individual that I intend to speak; and they are the last words of this unhappy traitor which will afford material for my solitary hour.

know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you all are come to pass to you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." Very touching are the words wherewith the parting language of David is introduced by the sacred historian-" Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel said, Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire." And O, what "good and comfortable words" were uttered by David's Lord, among his last conversations with the disciples-"Peace 1 leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." And what thought can measure the wondrous comprehensiveness of those last words of Jesus-" It is finished?"

There is something peculiarly interesting which men are wont to attach to the last words of one about to depart from this earth. As they stand around the bed of a dying friend or relative, how eagerly they catch the faint expressions which the departing one syllables forth, expecting each successive word may be the last; and then how anxious and how ready are they to note down the final utterances-dear and precious records which shall serve as mementoes when the dying has ceased to breathe, and long years shall have rolled away since he went to his grave! Some are privileged to hear glorious "last words" from the lips of those they love-bursts of rapturous exultation and the kindlings of an eternal joy: others are the spectators of a calm and heavenly scene, resting, like the soft rays of the sinking sun, upon the brow of the expiring saint, as he whispers the "sure and certain hope" of a blissful immortality.

The blessed scriptures contain several instances of the last words of God's children. Jacob exclaimed, ere he "gathered up his feet into the bed and yielded up the ghost," "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord." Joseph, before he expired, said, "I die, and God will surely visit you and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob;" and thus "by faith made mention of the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones." The last words of Moses were rife with blessings, and, ere | he went up to the mountain to die, assured the Israelites that "the eternal God was their refuge, and underneath them were the everlasting arms." Joshua, the son of Nun, before his death, called for all Israel and for their elders, and said-" Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth, and ye

But I am about to consider the final language of a character very different from any to which I have just alluded. They are not the last words of the patriarchs, nor the final blessings of Moses, nor the retrospective sketch of Joshua; it is not the melting and beautiful language of the "man after God's own heart," nor the divine utterances of the blessed Redeemer ere he died on Calvary, that are now to occupy our thoughts; but I design to devote the remainder of this paper to the brief but solemn contemplation of the last words of Judas Iscariot.

It is the evangelist St. Matthew alone to whom we are indebted for the record of the last words of the traitor disciple. Mark, Luke, and John are silent respecting them, as also with regard to his subsequent act of suicide. We learn, however, from the firstmentioned evangelist, that when the morning was come in which Jesus was led away and delivered to Pontius Pilate the governor, that "then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." These are the last words which dropped from the lips of Judas; and, doubtless, the act of self-murder was very shortly afterwards perpetrated: for St. Matthew adds, " And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself;" from which it would appear that a brief season must have intervened between his utterance of the words and his fearful self-destruction.

Of the circumstances of his wicked betrayal of our Saviour, it is needless for me now to speak, as they must be fresh in the recollection of every Christian reader: it is with the traitor's final scene that we have to do. We are told that "when he saw that Christ was condemned, he repented." O, what compunction must have seized his breast: there must have come over him the memory of the day when his divine Master went up into a mountain to ordain his twelve disciples, and himself among the rest: the blessed words of Jesus must have rung in his ears"Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give:" he must have been haunted by the after-saying of Christ to the apostles-"Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you hath a devil?" and he must have thought of "the large upper room ready furnished," when Jesus testified, being troubled in spirit, and said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me ;" and then he must have remembered the sop being delivered by him who had read his heart, and knew who was the traitor; and the dark night in which he went out to do a deed as dark. O, well might he repent himself as he now gazed upon


the condemned and insulted Redeemer; well might | blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all he exclaim, "I have sinned!" sin."

Truly the crime of Judas was of a most heinous character, and one which has branded him with the blackest stigma down to the present hour.

Although St. Mark, Luke, and John do not allude to the compunction or suicide of Judas Iscariot, yet we find the second of these evangelists, to whom is ascribed the authorship of the book of the Acts, furnishing an account of the appointment of St. Matthias as the successor of the traitor disciple; and he then gives us the language of Peter, who, alluding to Judas, said to the hundred and twenty that were gathered together-" Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before of Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus; for he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity, and falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." Here we have, it is clear, a corroborative evidence of St. Matthew's record of his fearful suicide.

Now there are many who would feel strongly offended if we were to charge home upon them the horrid crime of Iscariot, but it would be well were each one of my readers, as well as the writer, to analyze the last words of this traitor apostle, and see how far they may not be appropriate in their own case. Who amongst us cannot take up the language wherewith Judas commences his acknowledgment? "I have sinned;" "it was for my sin the Saviour suffered and died:

"It was for crimes that I had done,

He groaned upon the tree." Nothing but the precious blood of Christ could satisfy the claims of offended justice; and therefore what power it throws into the confession "I have sinned," when we bring into the account the immense cost wherewith the sinner was ransomed!

And cannot many of us add, "I have betrayed the innocent blood?" Have we not often proved traitors to our Lord, even when most we seemed sincere to the eyes of our fellow-men? Have we not then dissembled," and betrayed the Son of man with a kiss?" Have we not approached him with "Hail, Master!" while our hearts have been far from him, and thus have brought a scandal upon the holy religion we professed? O, I fear that there is many a Judas in the Christian church; that many are numbered with the true disciples of Christ, and obtain part of his ministry, who in reality are none of his, but are rather base traitors to his blessed cause. Let us examine ourselves more closely than ever we have yet done; and, as we hear our Saviour saying, "Verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me," may we each rejoin, with the sincere desire to be laid open before the Searcher of hearts, "Lord, is it I ?"

Let us retire from this subject full of gratitude to that blessed Saviour who died for the chief of sinners, in that, although the language of Judas is applicable unto us, the despair and end of Judas may yet be averted from us. We need not become the subjects of like fearful feelings with the conscience-stricken apostle, which led him to commit the dreadful crime of murder upon his own body and soul; but we may quit the spectacle of the Redeemer's condemnation, sufferings, and death, full of hope, albeit our sins were among the causes of that sacrifice-the hope that those sins shall be cancelled, and that "our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed in his most precious blood."

Thus, by the sovereign mercy of our God in Christ, while we adopt the last words of Judas Iscariot, and say, "I have sinned and betrayed the innocent blood," we are also privileged to add the words of that other disciple whom Jesus loved, and to exclaim-"The

"O, almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant, Matthias, to be of the number of the twelve apostles, grant that thy church, being alway preserved from false apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." (Collect for St. Matthias's day.)


HAD man never been enabled to contrive any other instrument to assist his vision than the telescope, it might, plunging as it does into the depths of space, have crushed him under a sense of his own infinite littleness, compared with the vastness of the systems revealed to his view. He might have exclaimed, under a humiliating conviction of his comparative insignificance," Lord, what is man, that thou art so mindful of him!" But the "paragon of animals," in the exercise of those powers with which an all-merciful God has endowed him, has discovered another means of studying the Creator's works, which,, inverting as it were the powers of the telescope, leads him to the knowledge of the infinitely small, as that does to acquaintance with the infinitely great; showing him that in the smallest monad which swims in a drop of water, there is as much evidence of creative art, of adapting power, as in the harmony of a planetary system. The invention of the microscope has been attributed to different individuals-to Drebbel, a Dutchman, to Fontano, a Neapolitan, and others: its first public appearance was about 1621*. The laborious and patient investigations of the illustrious and pious Leeuwenhoek first gave philosophical celebrity to the instrument; but, though time has only confirmed the wonderful correctness of his discoveries, the brilliant imaginations of other labourers in the same field, who fancied what they did not see, and the clumsiness of others who would not or could not perceive what he had announced, combined with the inherent difficulty of microscopical observations, and the very imperfect state of the instrument itself, threw the microscope into discredit, and for a time it was only known as the amusement of amateurs. The improvements which Dolland introduced into the telescope have been now adapted to its sister instrument; and it has become a powerful means of philosophical and delightful field to those who love to study the investigation, and at the same time a far more fertile wisdom and goodness of God, as shown forth in this visible world.

It is not my intention to attempt to give a complete or general view of microscopic science, or to afford any instructions as to the use of the instrument itself; but only to indicate some few of those wonderful operations that are going on constantly in the objects with which we are surrounded, and which, it may be hoped, will supply to many fresh food for reverential wonder, and increase the conviction of God's minute providential superintendence, by beholding such prodigal expenditure of skill and design on objects comparatively trivial and worthless.

Baker's Microscope made easy. London, 1743.

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