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these words ::- "He was tormented with a consciousness of his own injustice and extortions, stung with the opprobrious censures of the Pope's legate, and seeing himself equally despised and abhorred by both parties, died of grief and despair.”—Rev. G. H. Stanton, in "Church Sunday School Magazine."
THE DEITY OF CHRIST.
COLOSSIANS i. 16.-" For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him."
Shown in Creation.-To create, to call something out of nothing, be it a dying spark or a blazing sun, a dewdrop cradled in a lily's bosom, or the vast ocean in the hollow of God's hand, molehill or mountain, the dancing motes of a sunbeam or the rolling planets of a system, a burning seraph or a feeble glow-worm, one of the ephemera that takes wing in the morning and is dead at night, or one of the angels that sang when our Lord was born; whatever be the thing created, the power to create is God's, the act of creation His; and therefore, since Panl says that Jesus Christ created all things, he cannot mean to depose our Lord from the throne of Divinity, and lower God's only begotten Son to the level of a created being.-GUTHRIE.
1 JOHN V.
20.-"This is the true God, and eternal life."
The Disputer Silenced.-Two gentlemen were once disputing on the divinity of Christ. One of them, who argued against it, said, "If it were true, it certainly would have been expressed in more clear and unequivocal terms." 'Well," said the other,
admitting that you believed it, were you authorized to teach it, and allowed to use your own language, how would you express the doctrine to make it indubitable ?" "I would say," replied he, "that Jesus Christ is the true God." "You are very happy," replied the other, "in the choice of your words, for you have happened to hit upon the very words of inspiration. St. John, speaking of the Son, says, 'This is THE TRUE GOD, and eternal life!""
JOHN viii. 34.-"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."
Is a man free, just because there are no fetters on his limbs, and he is not the inmate of a prison ? Call you a despot necessarily free, because his will is law, and there is none to control him in a single purpose or a single desire? You know better
than this. You know that there is often immeasurably more of freedom with the slave than with the tyrant, with the captive than with the jailer. There are fetters of the spirit, there are mental chains, forged of such material, and fastened with such strength, that he who wears them may sit upon a throne, and be unspeakably more a bondsman than many a wretched thing that is bound in a dungeon. An exiled king had learned this truth; for James II., on his death-bed, thus addressed his son:- "There is no slavery like sin, and no liberty like God's service." Was not the dethroned monarch right? What think you of the fetters of bad habits? What think you of the chains of indulged lust? The drunkard who cannot resist the craving for the wine, know you a more thorough captive? The covetous man, who toils night and day for wealth, what is he but a slave ? The sensual man, the ambitious man, the worldly man-those who, in spite of the remonstrances of conscience, cannot break away from enthralment-what are they, if not the subjects of a tyranny, than which there is none sterner, and none more degrading ?—Rev. H. MELVILL.
The Yoke of Sin Heavy.-Gold abounded in ancient Ethiopia. Herodotus mentions a prison in which the prisoners were bound with fetters of gold. When the Emperor Aurelian conquered the army of Zenobia, the beautiful Queen of Palmyra, he caused her to enter Rome as the chief of his captives. She was bound by golden fetters, and almost sank under the weight of her jewelled costume. Such is the bondage of sin.
MORAL STATE OF THE HEATHEN.
ROMANS iii. 16.-" Destruction and misery are in their ways."
THAT the heathen of our times, like those of whom St. Paul speaks in his Epistle to the Romans, are "all under sin," is proved by the testimony of competent and impartial witnesses. Every command of the decalogue-every precept, whether of natural or revealed religion, is openly and shamelessly violated among them. They are almost without an exception idolaters. They are, to a shameful extent, the profaners even of their own sacred things. Instead of honouring and protecting their aged parents, they in some instances abandon them to perish with hunger; in others they burn them or bury them alive; and in others slaughter and devour them. Their murders are frequent, and of the most horrible description. "Their lewdness," says one who had long resided among them, "is such as can never be described by a Christian writer." Their sacred books rather encourage than prohibit theft. In some places they even pray that they may
become expert in it, boast of it when successfully accomplished, and expect to be rewarded for it in the future world. "Among the common people of India," says a veteran missionary, “lying is deemed absolutely necessary; and perjury is so common that no reliance can be placed upon the testimony of heathen wit"-Christian Age.
THE REPROACH OF CHRIST.
HEBREWS Xi. 26.-" Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt."
A CURIOUS discovery has been made in Rome. It is a rude caricature scratched on the ruined wall of the Prætorian barracks, representing a man worshipping another man hanging on a cross, the crucified figure being drawn with the head of an ass, and the words roughly written beneath, "Alexamenos worships God," i. e., in effect," See what a God Alexamenos worships!" Revolting and hideous as this caricature is, it is deeply interesting as a specimen of the ribald jests to which a Christian soldier was exposed, and also most valuable as a proof that the early Church believed in the Deity of Christ. A woodcut copy of this strange drawing will be found in Macduff's "St. Paul at Rome," p. 225. -REV. G. H. STANTON.
REDEMPTION BY JESUS CHRIST.
1 PETER i. 18, 19.-" Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
Captain Hedley Vicars.-It was the thought of "the blood " which led him to be decided. Whilst waiting in Canada, in November, 1851, the arrival of a brother officer in his room, and idly turning over the leaves of the Bible, his eye caught the wellknown words, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Closing the book, he said, "If this be true for me, henceforth I will live, by the grace of God, as a man should live who has been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ."
No Blood but Christ's.—It is recorded of Samuel Pearce, a useful minister at Birmingham, that at the time of his conversion, having read Doddridge's "Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul," he took up the idea suggested in that book, and resolved formally to dedicate himself to the Lord. He drew up a covenant accordingly, and to make it more solemn and binding, he signed it with blood drawn from his own body. But afterwards, failing in his vows, he was plunged into great distress. Driven therefore into a more complete examination of his motives, he was led to see that he had been relying too much on his own strength;
and carrying the blood-stained covenant to the top of his father's house, he tore it into pieces and scattered it to the winds, and resolved henceforth to depend upon the peace-making and peacekeeping blood of Christ.
MAN'S FALLEN CONDITION.
ROMANS iii. 12.-"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
1 CORINTHIANS iii. 16, 17.-"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy."
The Temple in Ruins. We have sometimes thought that we saw the fittest emblem of man's fallen state in the ruins of an old church. Now deserted, now desecrated, defiled, what a change is there! Save in the ivy, that, like pity, clings to the crumbling wall, sustaining and veiling its decay, and in some sweet wild flower rooted in window-sill or gaping rent, beauty and life are gone. Yet there, once on a time, holy words were spoken, holy Vows were taken, and holy communions held. There are eyes in glory that turn with interest to that lonely spot; God and man often met within these roofless walls! "This and that man was born there." But now the only sounds are the sighing of the wind or the roar of the storm-the hoot of the owl or the hiss of the serpent; no life is found there now, but in the brood of the night-bird, which has its nest among the ruins above, or in the worms that fatten upon the dead in their cold graves below. “The glory is departed." And once a shrine of God, but now a deserted sanctuary, may we not write Ichabod on the heart ? The ruin resounds with the echoes which the ear of fancy hears muttering among the desolate heaps of Babylon,-" Fallen, fallen, fallen!”—DR. GUTHRIE.
DECISION OF CHARACTER.
HEBREWS Xi. 24, 25.-" By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."
The Man of Decision described.-The man will not re-examine his conclusions with endless repetition, and he will not be delayed long by consulting other persons, after he has ceased to consult himself. He cannot bear to sit still among unexecuted decisions and unattempted projects. We wait to hear of his achievements, and are confident we shall not wait long. The possibility or the means may not be obvious to us, but we know that everything will be attempted, and that a spirit of such determined will is like a river, which, in whatever manner it may be obstructed, will make its way somewhere. It must have cost
Cæsar many anxious hours of deliberation before he decided to pass the Rubicon; but it is probable he suffered but few to elapse between the decision and the execution. And any one of his friends who should have been apprised of his determination, and understood his character, would have smiled contemptuously to hear it insinuated that, though Cæsar had resolved, Cæsar would not dare; or that though he might cross the Rubicon, whose opposite bank presented to him no hostile legions, he might come to other rivers, which he would not cross; or that either rivers, or any other obstacles, would deter him from prosecuting his determination from this ominous commencement to its very last consequence.-JOHN FOSTER.
MOSES IN MIDIAN.
WHY art thou here, amid the streams and flocks,
Spake not the voice
In lonely thought. So shall it gather strength
And walk on Sinai, face to face, with God.