Imágenes de páginas

dzsolate, to walk the dark valley—if no pay followed work, no victory fehting, no heaven earth-we should still serve God. Would you not? Voses was content to be blotted from the book of life, and Paul to be acrired from Christ, in the service of God; and you, Christian, would follow

bir oxample, if need be. Satan told a lie-for, while Job served God, Fucking of the reward, it was not only for the reward that he served God. Which is my answer to the question-“Doth Job fear God for nought?" Serve God for love. Be yours a loving service, and this its song :

" I ask no heaven till earth be thine,

Nor glory crown, while work of mine
Remaineth here; when earth shall shine

Among the stars.
Her sins wiped out, her captives free,
Her voice a music unto Thee,
For crown new work give thou to me!

Lord, here am I !"



1 Cor. xvi. 13.

III. In the work of the ministry, duties, unless he be watchful and wary, 1a preachers and pastors, you will have are liable to fall through. Self-inDecal temptations ; quit you like dulgence, again, has been the snare 73.11 in resisting and overcoming of many a minister who at first, and

for a time, did run well. It may be Your temptations may not be greater said that in the spheres to which most han those which befall other men, but of us are likely to be called the opway will be peculiar to your own portunity for self-indulgence will be vurk. One of the foes against whom very limited, the necessity for self

minister must quit himself like a denial very urgent. But this itself ar is a certain giant whose name is may open a door of temptation through lolence. I am far from thinking the well-meant hospitality of the at the minister's life is a sphere for people. That which is freely proffered pleness; but the disposition of our it seems but natural and gracious finirs being more in our own hands freely to accept; yet I am persuaded han that of some other men, the temp that there lurks here a temptation

on to indolence may in that way under which some have fallen. Even s greater in our case than theirs. the strong language of Solomon may Tia shopkeeper, the clerk, the me in some cases be profitably pondered : Chanic, must be at his post at each “ When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, war's stated hour; but the minister ar consider diligently what is before thee; ranging his own time, and being re- and if thou be a man given to appetite ponsible chiefly to his own conscience, I put a knife to thy throat.” Pride, and

*This sermon was preached when Mr. Gladstone's Reform Bill was before the House,

covetousness too, are sins into which , what a mockery is that prayer, i those who take the oversight of the thousands of cases, when those wh flock of God are, according to the offer it do nothing to hasten the comin. apostle Peter, liable to fall. Not as of the kingdom! And are not priser lords over God's heritage, nor for for earthly rulers empty and rain, i. filthy lucro's sake, must we enter on not sustained by efforts patrictie am our work. In Peter's days indeed it loyal ? For my part I am clear as to would seem as if the minister's posi- ! what I will do in this matter. I wi tion afforded ampler scope for these pray, and especially at this crisis temptations than in ours. * At present, our affairs, for her Majesty Qua especially in Wales, neither the social Victoria, for Earl Russell, and for VI status to which he attains, nor the Gladstone; but I should be ashamed “hire” which as a “labourer” he re- | myself, if when I have ceased pravi ceives, is such as to open a very wide I should be so puerile, so effemiast door to the temptation either of lord- and illogical, as to refuse to surma liness or lucre. Looking at the her liajesty's Ministers in carry general scale of remuneration to min out such measures as seem to a isters, with some honourable excep eminently wise and good. There 17 tions, we should say that a young man indeed those who tell us that a who should enter this sphere from the Christians we have nothing to do wit motive of worldly gain would prove these “worldly” matters ; citizens himself intellectually so incompetent the Jerusalem that is abore, let ? for the office that his moral qualifica leave to “worldly men” the pot tions need not be considered; still it is of Great Britain that is below. The possible even in small things as well at least is plain, but when a furt! as in larger, to cherish a mercenary ! distinction is attempted between min spirit, and against this let us watch. i isters and other Christians, ther ti In your conflict with indolence, with thought is manifestly feeble and many self-indulgence, with pride, and with fused. You may sometimes hear 1. covetousness, “quit you like men notion defended in some such war : be strong!"

this (and the defence is applipi! IV. Though ministers, you will re- other things besides politics), ** T)." tain your rights as citizens; see that I are some things which we, as priva? you quit yourselves like men in the Christians may do, that we should li discharge of those duties that belong i like to see our ministers do, because to citizens.

have to look to them for our examp' As to the passive duties of Christian which, being plainly put, seems to citizenship, their obligation has, I, this: "Ministers are bound to set in think, never been disputed by any but people an example, which the pers. the wildest fanatics ; ret these, as it are not bound to follow." The faci: seems to me, involve also the actire, i this pitiful distinction between being bound to them by a certain link l minister and the people is one of th of connection found in the First Epistle' trailing rags of Popery, which s. to Timothy: “I exhort therefore, that, well-meaning, but weak Protesti! first of all, supplications, pravers, inter- , hare picked from the dust, and hart cessions, and giving of thanks, be made i written on it some much-abused to for all men; forkings, and forallthatare of Scripture straightway wear it in authority; that we mar lead a quiei l philaetery. I have even known apo and peaceable life in all godiiness and man possessing apparently an averi honesty." This is manifestir a parer l amount of good sense in other matiti for good government; and if I am to i go the length of attending a police priv for this, sun'iy I am to do what meeting, condemning ministers I can to promote it. Our Linitaught attending the same, without in it us to pray, “Thy kingiom come," but, least seeing that in condemning tác

Ee was condemning also himself. It , true light, who came cating and drinkis, I believe, a sound principle that ing, the friend of publicans and sinprivileges involve duties; if we claim ners. Social intercourse, guided and the privileges, how can we evade the sustained by holy principles, will help doties? In Paul's life occur two rather than hinder you in your work. notable instances of a citizen's rights Even if one of them that believe not Danfully claimed. At Jersualem, | bid you to a feast and ve be disposed being bound with thongs, he said to the to go, then go with a clear conscience oturion, “Is it lawful for you to and a trusting heart, for “the earth is Biurge a man that is a Roman, and the Lord's, and the fulness thereof''; but umedemned ?" And at Philippi, still remember whether you eat or Tift unlawfully imprisoned, and drink, or whatsoever you do, to do all then by the morning the magistrates to the glory of God. As to close perbaring found out their mistake sent sonal friendship, we have heard it said in their lordly way, saying, “Let theso that it is wise in a minister not to 2-1 go," you know how Paul re cultivate this in his own congregation, plied, firmly and indignantly, standing | lest he should be charged with paran his rights as a Roman citizen. tiality. Such a doctrine savours too According to some modern teaching, much of mere worldly wisdom, and I suppose he ought to have said, the principle, if carried out, would be “ Brother Silas, we are citizens of the I quite as hurtful to the people as to the New Jerusalem, let us repudiate all minister, for it would leave a part, and citizenship of Pagan Rome, and since an important part, of his nature unthe doors are open let us go, mcekly cultivated, the barrenness of which covering our stripes, pilgrims and must be reflected upon them. You stranzers everywhere." I confess I have just as good a right to choose prefer what he actually did say: “They your own personal friends as the have beaten us openly, uncondemned, poorest member of your church has, a beng Romans, and have cast us into | right which I counsel you discreetly prison, and now do they thrust us out to use. “ David had his Jonathan; privily! Nay verily, but let them come Christ His John.” themselves and fetch us out.” From As to the duties that will grow out which I infer that when Paul said, of the family relationship, let it suffice "Quit you like men,” he practised to quote the words of Paul: “If a what he preached. Rights claimed, man know not how to rule his own we say, involve duties to be done; | house, bow shall he take care of the and if it be not the duty of a | church of God ?" Christian citizen to promote that In all these respects then, as preachnem of government which he hon ers, as pastors, as citizens, as realizing Estly believes to be best, it seems your social obligations, “quit you like to me impossible to define what men.” Be strong in the grace that is

in Christ Jesus. Seek for all the high V. In the discharge of all social and holy purposes to which you are duties, quit you like men. Your called, the strength that cometh from calling, sacred as it is, in no wise Jehovah. Be strong in your heart's calls you away from the amenities of attachment to the Gospel of the great social life. You are to be ministers, redemption. Preach the crucified one, Dyt monks; students, but not hermits. the Lamb of God! As redeemed men, Your example is not John the Baptist, draw your highest motives from the whose home was the desert, whose cross. Be strong even in your weakraiment was of camel's hair, and ness, strong in your dependance upon whose food locusts and wild honey; but that Spirit who is Himself so strong your example is Jesus, the Christ, the and tender, strong in the realization

duty is.

of His presence, who hath promised ¡ you a place in His kingdom, perhaps to be with you always. And when He oven nearer to the throne than those shall reveal Himself, He shall appoint angels that excel in strength.

Newport, Mon.



“ With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt."- Lev. ii. 13.

The command was divine, it had to do with all offerings, provision was made that every Jewish worshipper should have salt for his offerings, from the national repository, at the national cost. The command was one relating expressly and exclusively to their worship, the service which they rendered unto God: to them it was syin bol-teaching ; under the symbol lay great truths, important principles. It has its meaning now, and its lessons to us in these latter days. Nearly two thousand years after this command was first given, there stood one in the form of the Son of Man at the well of Sychar, and addressing her, who was then covering a life of sin by an outward porn fession of formal religion, He said, “Ye worship ye know not what:" "Te shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father." Ignorance concerning true worship, and the association in the mind of wor. ship as acceptable only in certain places and with certain forms,-thess twin errors yet live, and live in England. The subject of worship is every where claiming attention, Ritualism running riot, and Nonconformity begirning to conform in many outward things, till gown, bell, and liturgy are advocated amongst us, as being "convenient” if not "essential ” to worship; these “signs” claim from us devout and prayerful consideration, relative w true and acceptable worship. The voice uttered nearly four thousand years ago, comes to us again, “ With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.“

I. Divine WORSHIP AS AN OFFERING.—The worshipper, the offerer; that which he presents, the offering. The first act of worship recorded in the Old Testament, and the last acts in the New, contain this as the feature of true worship. “ Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof, and the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering." "Ther cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord" “When I had heard and seen I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.” And as worship under the idea of an offering begins and ends the Book, so it runs all through it. The Patriarchal and Levitical sacrifices were offerings. The Prophets urged the erring Jews to give themselves afresh to Jehovah and His service : our Lord said, “If any inan will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me:” whilst the spirit of the epistles is, “I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, ac ceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." True worship is all offering. How great, how deep, how fruitful of evil, the error which in all ups has sought to make men religious by Acts of Parliament, or decrees of councils, and failing in their object hath resorted to penalty, persecution, and death. If compulsion by any earthly power marks the act of worship we perform, such act ceases to be an offering, and both he who compels, and he who yields to the compulsion, are “not accepted of Him." God showers His mercies on us, these mercies call forth our gratitude, gratitude lays its tribute a: the feet of the Giver, and He the Lord accepts it through Christ His MD. Three elements are contained in this idea of an offering.

The MOTIVE of the Worshipper. - Love prompts the heart to render the sertice, and no service is acceptable which does not proceed from the loving and wzrendered heart. “The love of Christ constraineth us” is the great motive power, ever-living, all-sufficient; it is the real source of all true worship, D] all true service rendered to the honour of His name. “Lovest thou me ? Feed my lam bs," describes the obligation to service, and also the source trom which it flows. The first real service which the new convert presents is 311 offering ; the burden of guilt has been removed, the heart bounds with 05 in new-found pardon, and, filled with grateful love, yields in holy humage and unreserved surrender to “ Him who hath washed us from our sins in His own blood.”

“Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it.

Seal it from thy courts above."

2. The NATURE of the Offering.-It is purely voluntary-earthly conpession can no more touch this voluntary service than the lancet of the surgeon the spiritual nature of man. We often speak of the “ voluntary

rinciple,” its sufficiency and excellency, and we speak truly ; but do wo na often limit the phrase to the money-giving department of our worship and service? If so, we are wrong. The phrase is of far wider meaning; it rcludes the adoration of the soul, the confession of the heart, the yielding of the whole man to Christ; it includes all the service which we render, in Every department of Christian labour. If the Jew gave reluctantly, or called the service of God a “weariness," or multiplied even divinely ordained firms, and did it not from love to Him, God detected the compulsory ser vice, and said, “ Their hearts are far from me;" “your appointed feasts my ci hateth.” The holiest service ever rendered, the One sacrifice, of which ll others were but a type, was His, who, in prospect of offering it, said, “Lo, come to do thv will, O my God; I delight to do it.” “By one offering he ith perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

3. The PRINCIPLE OF Giving in the Offering.-- That principle we take to 19, THE BEST FOR GOD. Under the law, the green ears of corn, the firstfruits, the lamb without blemish, the male of the flock, the first-born, were specified as offerings ; in the tabernacle service, the altar was overlaid with god, and even the snuffers were of pure gold. The best for God. The best affections of our renewed hearts, the best obedience of our wills, the boliest aspirations of our souls ; the most sincere and fervent prayers we can ffer, the best hymns which we can select and use, the best sermons we can

« AnteriorContinuar »