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namental to the Christian, refreshing to many, and conspicuous to all. The leaven also is little, but perfect, and it continues to affect whatever comes into contact with it, till the whole is leavened. So also the Christian principle may at the first be feeble in its influence, but it continues and extends its power util the whole man is influenced and governed by it. It is ever expected of the Christian, that he shall grow in grace, gradually attaining to higher measures of knowledge, and piety, and self-government, improving in the entire course of duty as it respects God, and men, and himself.
3. The Cliristian life is compared to such things as imply difficulty, danger, and opposition. It is compared to a race, 1 Cor. ix. 24-26; Phil. ii. 12–14; Heb. xii. I. It is illustrated as a warfare, Eph. vi. 10–18. It is represented as a course of self-denial, Matt. xvi. 24; 1 Cor. ix. 27. It is compared to crucifixion, Gal. v. 24. And to mortification, Col. ii. 5. The propriety of these figures may easily be shown. The Christian life is a race, in which we are required to summon every power of both body and mind to the work. It is a battle, demanding strength and courage to contend with the enemies of the soul. It is a course of self-denial, in which there must be habitual resistance to the sinful desires of the flesh and of the mind;" of crucifixion, for the destruction of evil principles and habits is tedious and painful; and of mortification, for not only must sinful propensities be denied, but subdued. In a word, the Christian life is a controversy. It is a controversy with ourselves, the lusts of the flesh, the impurities of the imagination, and the errors of the understanding; with the world, the enticements of its riches, and pleasures, and honours ; with Satan, his insinuations and temptations ; and with our own hearts, their vanity, and deceitfulness, and wickedness. This is a controversy peculiar to the Christian. He only understands it. There is, indeed, a working of natural conscience in the unconverted sinner, but it is very
different from the Christian warfare. The former is only a selfish feeling, excited by fear of the consequences of sin, but not hating sin; whereas the latter is the holy jealousy of a renewed mind over itself and the interests of godliness; there is the love of holiness contending against temptations to sin. The man who knows nothing of such a warfare must be a stranger to the Christian life.
4. The Divine life is' represented as consisting with indwelling and remaining sin. So far as its influence extends, there is not sin, and it is thus we are to understand the saying, « whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin.”-1 John iii. 9. But its influence is not universal. Knowledge, for example, is defective, and hence there results error. Faith is weak, and hence many failures. Charity is limited, and hence there is selfishness. These are the principles of the Christian life, and so far as they prevail, there is no sin; but as far as they are defective, sin attaches to the character. It is the comfort of the Christian that Christ dwelleth in him, but it is also true that Satan has access to him. There are thus two opposing principles within him, the one called the law of the mind, and the other that of the members; the one resisting what the other attempts; the one prompting to a good action, while the other endeavours to mingle with it unworthy motives; the one prompting to an entire surrender of all we are and all we have to God, while the other clogs, and impedes, and obstructs us. Illustrations of such a contest as this may be derived from the history of any of the people of God.
of the people of God. Abraham was full of faith, yet was often betrayed into sin. David was devoted to God, yet was he tortured by temptation. And Paul, who was one of the most exalted examples of true godliness, was yet found to exclaim “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?”-Rom. vii. 24. The experience of every true Christian is the same.
If it is inquired, why it has pleased God to order that the Christian life shall be a warfare, many reasons may be assigned to justify it. 1. The Christian is thus taught what is in him, nor will he ever know himself until he is tried. 2. Christ is thus endeared to him, while he learns more of his grace, of the obligations under which he is laid to him, and of his own necessities. 3. He is hereby stimulated to prayer, knowing his entire dependence. 4. His graces are at the same time strengthened and advanced. See James i. 3; 1 Pet. i. 6. 7; Rom. v. 3. The sentinel who fears no foe may give himself up to an indolent repose; while, did he expect an attack from the enemy, he would watch and be prepared to resist him. And so it is with the Christian, knowing he has many enemies to encounter, he will be on the alert to withstand them. So far, therefore, as we can see, it is wisely ordered that the Christian life should be one of controversy, for it is thereby confirmed, and advanced, and elevated.
These general remarks will be sufficient for the explanation of the Christian life, of its nature, as a warfare, and we shall therefore now proceed to set forth in some particulars
II. What sort of a life it is, with respect to its principles
and purposes, and outward manifestation, wherein we willendeavour to represent it to be a life of penitence, and faith, and devotedness to God.
1. It is a life of penitence. We are too apt to think of repentance, as if it were necessary only to begin the Christian life, whereas it is necessary to maintain it to the end, The reason is in both cases the same, our sinfulness. We begin the service of God by repentance, because şiņ has attached itself to us, and we continue to repent, because sin never leaves us. And we should carefully observe, that all the exercises of repentance are diligently cultivated throughout the entire course of the divine life. It supposes a sense of sin, and this should be habitually indulged, while we learn more and more of the vileness and danger of sin. It implies a discovery of the mercy of God in Christ, and this should be cultivated, so that we may be unceasingly affected by it. There is grief in repentance, and we should be careful that we do not
at any time fall into sin without being grieved for it. There is hatred of sin, and we should aim at growing in a distaste for it. There iş the forsaking of sin, and we should be habitually laying it aside as we discover it in ourselves. And there is an endea, vour after new obedience, so that we should never cease to struggle after doing the will of God, so far as we can know it. These are the exercises of repentance in which we should habitually engage: We should cultivate them daily and hourly. No Christian ever reached the point where he did not need them. If any thinks so, he is deceived, and he has yet to learn that the Christian life is a life of repentance.
2. It is a life of faith. Repentance arises from a contemplation of ourselves and our síns, whereas faith comes from a view of Christ and his worthiness. Like the former, the latter is necessary, not merely at the beginning of the divine life, but throughout it. And the reason is the same, that as we have never done with sin in the present life, so neither can we have done with Christ. “ We walk by faith,” and this supposes
all the exercises of the principle. Its object is Christ, the habit of the mind being, looking unto Jesus,"looking, to his power, which alone is able to deliver and sustain; to his mercy, which is ever ready to pardon and to pity; to his promises, which are suited to every case, and are full and free; to his personal glory, bis mediatorial character, his finished work, his perfect righteousness, his meritorious death, his triumphant resurrection, his prevalent intercession, his spotless example, and his second coming. These are the objects.on
which the eye of faith is habitually to rest. And their influence on the character, it will easily be seen, must be great and powerful. It is while faith is engaged in these exercises, and penitence in those before described, that those mingled and sometimes apparently contradictory feelings are produced, which justify these representations of the divine life, so common in the Scriptures, such as “sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing”—“troubled on every side, yet not distressed” per plexed, but not in despair."-2 Cor. iv. 8, 9; vi. 10. It is thus we can account for the deep humiliations and rejoicing hopes of the people of God. They are, indeed, usually proportioned to one another. The deeper is our humiliation, the higher our joy; the more we know of ourselves, so we become acquainted with Christ; and the more we know of Christ, the better is our acquaintance with ourselves. Penitence and faith are sister graces-mutually connected and strengthening one another.
3. The Christian life is one of devotedness to God. He sees what he ought to be, entirely conformed to the law of God, and he takes it for the guide of his life. Farther, he desires to be conformed to it, counting that the highest object of his ambition. Creation, providence, and redemption furnish such motives as induce a cordial acquiescence in the principles and requirements of the Scriptures :-"ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's'
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. It is hence his purpose to devote himself to God. He is willing to be his. Knowingly and wilfully to retain sin is inconsistent with the Christian life. Christ commands every follower--"sell that thou hast,” that is, whatever is contrary to his service, and it is the purpose of the Christian's heart to do so. That in point of fact he does 'so is not maintained, yet it is his purpose. He is sensible of 'many failures, and is deeply humbled on account of them ; nor does he look for acceptance, save through the righteousness ' of Jesus Christ. But he longs for entire conformity to the law and will of God, and the purpose and desire of his heart is devotedness to his service.
Does the reader understand the representation that has now been made of the Christian life? We said it was a mystery, and perhaps he now thinks so too. Let him, however, be reminded it is a mystery which has been revealed to the believer. His own experience has brought him to understand it. And
if the reader finds it to be a mystery beyond his apprehension, it is because he has not experienced it. We address to such a one the language of Christ—" if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” If any one will put the doctrine of Christ to the test of experience and practice, he will have satisfactory evidence of its truth. And if any one will live the divine life, he will be convinced that the representation, which has been made of it; is just.
Ara Meeting of the Presbytery of Route, held on the 14th instant," the following Resolution, relative to National Education, was unanimously adopted :
Resolved-- That, whereas vigorous and unjustifiable efforts are being made to allure our people into connexion with the System of Education at present adopted and supported by his Majesty's Government, we feel bound thus publicly to testify our conscientious opposition to it, for the reasons subjoined.
1. Whilst we disclaim all factious and political motives, we cannot look with indifference on a political measure that goes to infringe on the spiritual interests and religious privileges of the different sections of the Protestant Church in Ireland. "Tenacious of the grand principle, recognized at the Reformation, that every man has an inalienable right to possess and to peruse the Sacred Scriptures, whensoever he pleases, we cannot accede to a system of education which trenches on that right, by * restricting the use of the Bible in schools.
2. Believing, as we do, in “the plenary inspiration” and the decided “profitableness" of the ENTIRE Scriptures, we highly disapprove of any system that explicitly, or by implication, affixes a stigma to any particular part, representing it as unsuitable or unsafe for the aged or the young; for thus to brand the Word of Truth, is impiously to libel its Gracious Author.
3. We are persuaded that a system founded on the gratuitous assumption, that the portions of Scripture contained in the “Extracts,” teach “niorality” WITHOUT RELIGION, and that the portions omitted teach religion exclusively, involves its abettors in the most glaring absurdities, weakens the bonds of moral obligation, and diminishes that veneration which youth should ever feel for a large proportion of the Word of God.
4. We oppose the present system, because it is not calculated to answer the end its patrons and advocates profess to have in view. Instead of healing the breaches already existing in this distracted country, its natural tendency is to widen them, by ranging the children under their respective standards for “ separate religious instruction," and by deprive ing them of the free use of the Gospel, which inculcates “ peace on earth and good will to men.”
5. We oppose the system, because the most shameful disingenuity has been employed to impose on the simplicity of the people, in reference to the so-called Extracts, which are to supersede the Bible during school hours. With equal honesty and modesty might the Board publish their