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have any right to expect. A saint, now in heaven, was converted by going to a theatre. The thought pierced her soul, “What if the roof were to fall in, and I were sent to hell!” But it would be strange logic, therefore, to recommend people to go to the theatre. God may bring good out of an illassorted marriage; but, if it he contracted in the face of conviction, there is but little encouragement to hope that He will. And even should the fondest wish be attained, in the conversion of the unbeliever, what years of sorrow may precede! A lady who was engaged before her conversion, and therefore tot culpable in the course she took, whose fondest hopes were finally realized, has told the writer that “Had she known the years of anxious soru she should pass on that account, she never could have taken the step she did." How many could tell a far sadder story, without the happy result? Beware: that may be an egg from which a bird of paradise shall spring; but it may break forth into a hissing serpent, with poison in its fangs.
An important practical reflection must not be overlooked. How needful to seek the salvation of young men! Humanly speaking, it is easier to convert Fomen than men, and, therefore, many make the effort. But how important for our young men to be brought to Christ! Let this be made more a matter of prayer in public and in private. Let more Christian energy be devoted to this great work, and the result shall be a decrease in the prevalence of marriages among Christians that are not in the Lord.
I cannot better close this paper, than in the words of the Prince of Puritans addressed to a newly wedded pair: “ Among the many precepts that concern the case, I dare adventure to recommend those of 1 Cor. vii. 29-31, and pursuantly thereto, to offer to your thoughts that this can be but a partial, temporary felicity, and so far only so at all as it is enjoyed only as mediate and subservient to the full and final felicity which we are professedly seekIg and waiting for.” “ And always remember the subordination that all peature-love must be in to that of the supreme object of our love. How peasant a thing will it be to have hearts united and consenting in the Tesolution of loving Him perpetually above all, to whom we owe our all, and who is altogether lovely,' to consult and conspire together how most to promote His interest, and improve in acquaintance with Him and confornity to Him. This I believe your heart to be much formed to beforehand. The great care must be that such resolutions do not gradually languish. We and many are apt, by unobserved degrees, to starve the good affections and inelinations which they would abhor to assassinate by a sudden violence.” "If to all this I should add a request to you to be exceeding kind to my most dear and honoured friend, it were the greatest impertinence in all the world. For she, having such a temper to work upon, will make you 80, Whether you will or no; and I might as well use arguments to persuade a fragrant flower to send forth its grateful odours, when a most benign, orient stin is plying it with its cherishing morning beams. Such may you long be, both of you, mutually--sun and flower to each other, shining and flour. ishing with all the influence and under the continual blessing of Heaven."
THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN.
BY THE EDITOR.
Luke xviii. 94-14.
THE two parables, of which this is | life with a multitude of minute obserthe second, seem to have an important vances. They were the disciples of connexion with each other. The first reason, withoutenthusiasm. They made parable, that of the Unjust Judge, was few proselytes ; their numbers were spoken, we are told,“ to this end, | not great; and they were confided that men ought always to pray, and | principally to the richer members of not to faint:" it was intended to teach, the nation. The Pharisees, on the not so much the duty or the suitableness other hand, were the enthusiasts of the as the absolute necessity, of instant, later Judaism. They “ compassed sal persevering prayer: and as the first | and land to make one proselyte." parable was intended to enforce the | They rallied round their law and their necessity of urgency and perseverance religion. They gave their energies to in prayer, this parable, following up the interpretation and exposition of the subject, teaches most forcibly that the law, not curtailing any of the prayer must be not only earnest, that | doctrines which were virtually conit must also be humble. I propose to | tained in it, and which had been rebring out, as far as I can, the meaning | vealed with more or less of clearness; of the parable, and then to draw from but rather accumulating articles of it such lessons as the space will permit. faith, and multiplying the require
" Two men," we are told, “ went up ments of devotion. They themselves into the temple to pray; the one a | practised a severe and ostentatious Pharisee, the other a publican.” And religion. They were liberal in alınshere, for the sake of my younger i giving; they fasted frequently; they readers, it may be worth while to give made long prayers; they carried some brief account of the classes of casuistical distinctions into the smallest persons who are thus mentioned. The | details of conduct; they consecrated. Pharisees you find mentioned frequently moreover, their best zeal and exertion in the New Testament, in connexion | to the spread of the fame of Judaism. with the Sadducees. The Sadducees, at | and to the increase of the national the time of our Lord, were established | power. * Accordingly, their influence in the highest office of the priesthood, with the mass of the people was someand were possessed of the greatest thing astonishing. They were held in powers in the Sanhedrim; but they | all but universal reverence. did not believe in any future state, or | And yet these men, popular as they in any spiritual existence independent | were with the Jews, were the objects of the body. The Sadducees said there of our Lord's special condemnatio. was “ no resurrection, neither angel They were the only persons whom he nor spirit.” (Acts xxii. 8.) And yet | constantly and terribly denounced they do not appear to have held doc No terms appear to have been strong trines which are commonly called | enough to express His utter abominalicentious or immoral. On the con tion of them.“ Woe unto you, Scribes trary, they adhered strictly to the | and Pharisees, hypocrites;” “Ye moral tenets of the law, as opposed serpents, ye generation of vipers," to its formal technicalities. They did “Ye are like unto whited sepulchres, not overload the Sacred Books with which indeed appear beautiful outtraditions, or encumber the duties of | ward, but are within full of dead
* Conybeare and Howson,
men's bones and of all uncleanness :" | other a publican." The narrative be
se are only a few of the denuncia- | gins, you perceive, with a very simple, nons of the Pharisees, by Hiin who | daily occurrence; though the sharp ali to the woman taken in adultery, contrast which is suddenly called up Veither do I condemn thee; go and to the mind-the Pharisee and the to more.” The truth appears to be publican - the pious man and the right at the Pharisees were the representa down sinner-would excite the atcies and encouragers of a tendency, tention to a high pitch, and lead the a prevalent in Jewish society, with people to expect something strongly uch our Lord had not the slightest anti-pharisaical in what was to follow. Epathy. To Him goodness was a Well, “ they went up to the temple to bag of the heart. He felt, in com- pray.” A very proper thing for them man with all great reformers, that to do! So far, they are both equally ceesty in word and deed was the fun- | worthy of our imitation. So that here Szental virtue; dishonesty, including | I might stop to preach to you a serexctation, self-consciousness, love of mon, taking both the Pharisee and tage effect, the one incurable vice.* | the publican as a model, on the imid, in His eyes, these men were portance of our “ not neglecting the wypocrites, actors. They seemed good assembling of ourselves together, as sen; they were not good men. They the manner of some is.” But I pass male long prayers for a pretence. | on to notice, what is more important They gave alms that they might be for my purpose, the character of their Les of men. They cleaned the outside prayer, and the character of the men as of the cup and the platter: their | indicated by it.
and part was full of ravening and “ And the Pharisee stood and prayed wickedness. Almost to the last did thus with himself :"as others render it,
Lord continde His denunciations “ Ile stood by himself and proyed.” His of these men. They were the only I prayer began, “ God, I thank thee." tous respecting whom He enter You perceive that he was perfectly bed no hope.
orthodox. He acknowledged, at least It is not necessary to say so much in words, what we in these days call • describing the publicans. They the doctrines of grace. His words at
Jews, but they were tax first sound like a grateful acknowtherers for the Romans. In conse ledgment that “ by the grace of God” ence of their occupation they were he was what he was. But soon our carded by their fellow-countrymen view of his prayer, and of him, is
Taitors, as agents of a detested and changed. “Ciud, I thank thee”- what rannical power. Nor was this the for? That he was not in hell? That est. They were cruel and rapacious. God had not dealt with him according sy, or those who employed them, to his transgressions ? That his . farmed the taxes of certain dis wicked heart had been so restrained it cis, and their sole object was to that he had been kept from pre*ake as much of them as they could. | sumptuous, flagrant crimes ? That they devoured widows' houses. The still, to use our modern phrase, he was Than and the defenceless were their ! “ on praying ground, and on plead
hef prey. As the Pharisees were ing terms" with the Most High? Not ** remed amongst the most respect- ' at all. “I thank thee that I am not as ***, the publicans were esteemed - | other men are:" I thank thee that I
e as a class, rightly esteemed am superior to other men; so that, wying the basest of men.
under the pretence of glorifying God, “Two men," then, “ went up into the | really he glorities himself; and, as to ple to pray; the one a Pharisee, the his expression of thankfulness, I re
*" Ecce Ilomo."
gard that as on a par with those pro- | he had said, “Look what a good man fessions of humility, in which vain I am! No one-not even God-ca men are in the habit of indulging, and find any fault with me! I pay all o which are but a cover, and a very debts! I do no man injustice! V transparent cover, for their miserable | man - or woman either-can say self-conceit. My readers, to thank ever did them harm! Even God's God is right: it is right to thank Him requirements are all fulfilled-uay that we are not as other men are: that more than fulfilled—by me!” lo we are not wrecks and ruins as are so then ho lifts his hands, and raises hi many thousands of our fellow men, eyes; but does not hear the Voice the —that must be to us now-it must be says to him, “ Thou sayest, I am rich through all eternity-a reason for the and increased with goods, and has devoutest gratitude : but if we express need of nothing: and knowest any this gratitude, not to glorify God, but that thou art wretched, and miserala to glorify ourselves, that is mean and and poor, and blind, and naked!" contemptible before men, as it must And then, that sheet' that one be infinitely hateful in the sight of Be always afraid of a man who setrs God. Well, let us see whether this “ This publican !” “ This publican'"charge is to be made against this Why, that publican had at that mo Pharisee. “I thank thee that I am ment an audience, for which the Pnari not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, see, with all his piety, might hat adulterers, or even as this publican. I sighed in vain! fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all But now let us direct our attention that I possess.” Now, I have no doubt to the publican, whom we have left ton in my own mind that all that this long in the corner. “The publican, Pharisee said of himself was true. I standing afar oft', would not lift HD >> think it is too much the practice much as his eyes to heaven, but when amongst preachers, to speak of this upon his breast, saying, God be meran man as an incarnation of all bad to me a sinner!" I have said that? ness. On the contrary, I deem it to be believed, fully, the Pharisee's testivery far from improbable, that he was, mony in regard to himself: the same So far as appearances went, an incar reasons that induce me to accept the nation of all goodness. I do not be- | self-laudation of the Pharisee, indue lieve that he was an extortioner: I do me to accept, as fully, the confession not believe that he was unjust: I think of the publican. He was, as he tel it exceedingly unlikely that such a very us himself, “a sinner.” Perhaps he respectable man--a rich man probably, was a great sinner. Probably he had and the father of a family-would fall been an “extortioner;" almost of into the sin of adultery: and, as to his tainly, he had been “unjust;" it is positive goodness-his fasting, and not at all unlikely that he had been art paying tithes--these are just the things “adulterer:” and as to fasting, and that such a man would be likely to paying tithes, they were assuredly the do: I only wonder that he did not very last faults that he would be found fast oftener, and pay-though that committing. But let us look moiv would be less pleasant-much more closely at this man. “Ho stood af than a tithe of all that he acquired. off.” That was a sign of humán But “this publican"_"This publican" The Pharisee walked boldly in: the that lets daylight into the whole thing. publican stood, probably, only just Nay, it lets hell-light into it, for that within the door :-" just as a beggar, sneer was worthy only of hell! My with the mud of the road upon hla readers, do you not see that a proud shoes, and the rags of poverty apor self-righteousness lay at the foundation | his back, might hang about the con of this man's prayer-at the foundation of a lordly hall, and, oppressed with of this man's character? It was as if his meanness, modestly declino the
invitation to enter.” “He would not | life. The little child has lisped it WA 80 much as his eyes to heaven." many a time, when his mother has That was a sign of a basement. The first taught him his sinfulness in the
Pharisee looked up boldly enough. sight of God: young men and old : Why should he not? He had nothing have uttered it, as they have seen and to fear! This newly penitent sinner, felt their guiltiness: it has been gasped however, remembering his past course, out on thousands of death-heds,-it feared probably lest the very earth has been shrieked from scaffolds and tould open beneath him. He look from murderers' cells: of all “ the E-ke! He, the extortioner-he, the great multitude whom no man can majust-he, the adulterer-he, whom number, who have washed their robes il men despised and hated-he look and made them white in the blood of p! But though his eyes are not the Lamb," there is not one who has Iited to heaven, his heart is; and not used at some time the words of Thle he seems ready to sink to the this publican--" God be merciful to ground, his soul is soaring aloft on the me, à sinner!” And, so long as the Fings of prayer, upward to the heaven | world lasts, this prayer will continue o heavens. And then, “hie emote to ascend. At this moment, from tapon his breast." That was a sign of many homes, this prayer is going up
utrition. It has an expression of to God. At this moment, to many the deepest sorrow. I cannot tell, but | homes, the answer of mercy is descendit say be that at that moment he had | ing. Thousands of men and women some special sin resting upon his con- | are happier to-day than they were science. There was, perhaps, the re- yesterday,--thousands will be happier collection of some orphan's wail, or of to-morrow than they are to-day,-besome widow's tear. He heard, per- | cause this praver has been offered by haps, the voice of some one whom he them, and has been heard and answerhad cruelly wronged crying out for ed. Oh, that among the readers of Tengeance. Whether this was so or this paper, there may be many who will not, his sins, as a mass, rose up before say to-day, “ God be merciful to me, hin. There were the sins of his a sinner!” caldhood,- the sins of his youth, --- For, we inust consider now in a word the sins of his manhood; the recol or two, the result of these men's lection was too painful for him to bear. | privers. “I tell you this man”-the And now we have his prayer. | publican, of course-“ this man went Gathering himself up for one grand down to his house justified rather than stort, he said, “ God be merciful to me, the other.” How could the publican & sinner !” He acknowledged, in | “ go down to his house" otherwise than words, that he was a sinner. Nay, l justified ? Ile had confessed his sins; wcording to the original, “ the sinner.” and “ God is faithful and just to forProbably he looked upon the Pharisee I give us our sins, and to cleanse us *s a saint. As the Pharisee was com from all uurighteousness.” As to the paring himself with him, he was con Pharisee, he obtained nothing. His trasting himself with the Pharisee. prayers returned upon his own head. And he asked for mercy. Unconsci He remained as co d and as proud as Hisly he used, almost in the very words, ever. Nay, according to our Lord, the na prayer that David had used four | Pharisee was “abased," while the fundred years before. Nay, in using | publican was “ exalted.” How hapthese words, this man spoke a LITURGY. | pily must the publican, in his exaltaJo man ever used words that have tion, have “ gone down to his house" been more extensively used than this that day! He had left it a sinner,--zan's. For, through all the centuries, he had returned to it a forgiven sinner. that have passed since then, this has | He had left it with the burden of hi been the first utterance of the new i sins resting heavily upon his cm