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and clothing, is the principal thing which man has to do in the present world?" "I think so, and so does a power of other people." "If you had a box," I asked, "which contained a thousand guineas, which would it be best to take care of-the box, which was decaying, or the money?" Oh, the money to be sure!" "And if you have a soul which must live for ever and ever, and a body in which it lives only for a little while, and will then decay, which should you care for most?" "Ah! sir, that is all very good, I dare say, but we must take care of the body now, that is certain; and the soul must be thought of by-and-by."

I could make no impression on his mind, but retired, praying that He who wept over the impenitent sinners of Jerusalem would be pleased to show this man his folly, and lead him to seek that salvation without the possession of which no man can be saved from the wrath to come.

Several years passed away, when I was one day informed that a man, in breathless haste, had come to say that John Wilkins was dying, and that I must immediately go to see him. I hastened to the cottage, where I found the poor old man with whom I had the conversation I have repeated. He had met with an accident while engaged in his labour, and had just been informed by his doctor that he could not survive it many days. "O sir!" said he, the moment he saw me enter his room, "O sir! my soul is lost!-my soul is lost! Save me, O save me! I am dying-I cannot live;-you must save me! O sir! do

save me!"

He was in unutterable distress; nor was it without cause. He had neglected the great concerns of immortality through life, and how could it be expected that he would be happy in the prospect of death! He had neglected the service of that Being who requires us to seek his favour as soon as we have heard of his requirements; and how, then, could he expect to be favoured with joy in the prospect of appearing at his bar! "I cannot save you, John," I replied; you have been an awful sinner for many years; you have broken the law of God; you have long refused to hear how he could save you. No man or angel could save you; nor can anything short of the infinite grace of the almighty God save you from endless misery." He cried out, "I know it, I know it; but what can I do? Will God anyhow have mercy on

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me now?"

I sat down, and endeavoured, in the plainest and simplest manner, to explain the way of salvation, by Christ's dying for our sins, to him. I showed him how we had all failed to obey the holy and righteous law of God; that we had done many things which we ought not to have done, and had left undone many things which God had commanded us to perform; that, as the effect of our sins, we had drawn on ourselves the anger of God, who has said: "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them" (Deut. xxvii. 26); and that, therefore, we could not by any means make atonement to his justice for the sins we had committed. I then told him that so great was the love of God to poor sinners, that he sent his only Son into the world to publish the holy law, and to die, that sinners by him might be saved; and I assured him that even the greatest sinner, who believed our Lord Jesus Christ, and placed his hope of salvation on him, as the only and all-sufficient Saviour, might enjoy the eternal blessings of his mercy. He listened with eagerness to the communications I made, and to the prayers I offered on his account; but whether his entire neglect of all the means of grace previously might not have prevented his being able to understand the way of salvation, I am unable to say; it is certain, however, that every

effort I could make seemed to be but of little use in penetrating his understanding. In a day or two he died, and was called before "the righteous Judge of the whole earth."

The awful prospect of this poor man's future state has often been to me a source of much anxiety. At times, I have indulged a hope of meeting him before the throne of God, as a trophy of the grace of Jesus, shown at the last hour; but far oftener have I feared that his long rejection of the mercy of Christ only prepared him for the torments of hell. It is true, he appeared to repent of his past sins; but it might have been only the fear of future punishment, rather than grief of heart on account of offending a holy and gracious God. What a warning! Oh, sinner! repent now-even now, while it is called to-daylest, when death comes, you bind your bands too strong.-N. Y. Observer.

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THE ALTOGETHER LOVELY. AUGUSTINE'S prayer was: Lord, give me thyself!" And in this spirit the believer is ready to exult: "Whom have I in the heavens but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. The Lord himself is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord who hath given me counsel." Surely the whole world cannot weigh against the comfort of being able to let all go and look up: "Thou art my portion, O Lord." For, unless his perfections should moulder away, and leave him a destitute and indigent God, it is impossible that his people can be impoverished. This portion, however, can never be enjoyed, even by a child of God, unless He who is the essence of it be supreme in the soul-not only above all, but in the place of all. Other objects may be subordinately loved; but of none but Himself must we say: "He is altogether lovely."-Rev. C. Bridges.

PRAYING TO SAINTS.

THE rich man cried out and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy upon me!" There was a time when he might have prayed to the God of Abraham, and have whom in his life he had neglected; and he addressed found mercy; now he dares not approach that God,' dispense blessedness. This is the only instance mena creature, who has neither power nor authority to tioned in Scripture of praying to saints; and to the confusion of the false doctrine, which states it to be necessary and available, let it be remembered, that it was practised only by a damned soul, and that without any success.-Adam Clarke.

DEATH OF CHILDREN. LEIGHTON thus wrote on hearing of the death of a child: "Sweet thing, and is he so quickly laid asleep? Happy he! Though we shall have no more the pleasure of his lisping and laughing, he shall have no more the pain of crying, nor of being sick, nor of dying. Tell my dear sister, that she is now so much more akin to the other world; and this will be quickly passed to us all. John is but gone at an early hour to bed, as children use to do, and we are undressing to follow. And the more we put off the love of the present world, and all things superfluous, beforehand, we shall have the less to do when we lie down."

THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.

121

REPENTANCE.

BY THE REV. DAVID KING, LL.D., GLASGOW.

Ir we inquire what is meant by repentance among evangelical Christians generally, the term may be found nearly equivalent in their apprehension to penitence or contrition for sin. Repentance, as so understood, stands distinguished from remorse, which partakes more of an appalling nature, viewing God as unpacified and implacable, and filling the mind with a horrible misery. It is also distinguishable from regret, which is a milder term, expressive commonly of minor concern, and which, besides being moderate in degree, may have respect to mere consequences of conduct apart from its intrinsic hatefulness.

perish." Such is the solemn asseveration of Him whom we call Lord and Master; and can we be in truth his servants, or can ours be that repentance which averts perdition, if we despise the announcement, and so utterly despise it as to take no pains for ascertaining its import? Let us not be unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. His will is to be learned only from his Word, and not from the suggestions of ingenious speculation; for genuine repentance is a scriptural grace, and we must find in Scripture itself the true account of its nature. We apply ourselves, then, to determine the scriptural signification of the term repentance. There are two words so translated in the New Testament. One of them occurs seldom, and is used with considerable latitude of meaning. It is employed in a good sense, as when the Jews (Matt. xxi. 32) are censured for not repenting, that they should believe on the Baptist; in a bad sense, as when Judas (Matt. xxvii. 3) is said to have re

silver, and thereafter to have hanged himself; and in a sense that may be called indifferent, as when Paul says to the Corinthians (2 Cor. vii. 8)," Though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent."

Many have entertained views of the Christian virtue now under consideration differing widely from those above stated, and also from one another. The Church of Rome has confounded penitence and penance; and numbers, without subscribing to a Papistical creed, have conceived of repentance as essentially bitter in its character-a mental misery which the hapless transgressor must both inflict and endure-pented, and brought again the thirty pieces of a present purgatory, the hidden flames of which must be fanned by the spirit on which they prey, as a painful but indispensable preparation for spiritual joy. Recoiling, perhaps, from these stern conceptions of the subject, some of late ays have passed to an opposite extreme, and have maintained that sorrow for sin, instead of being the whole of repentance, is no part of it whatever. The word, they have argued, denotes in the original, change of mind, by which they seem to understand mere change of opinion: and, therefore, brokenness of spirit, they assure us, cannot be one of its constituents, though following after, as one of its sequences. Another interpretation, distinguishable from all the foregoing, has been ably advocated-that scriptural repentance is equivalent to reformation of conduct, and that the sorrow which it implies for former misconduct is a secondary matter at most, and not the principal idea suggested by the language.

These discrepancies of opinion have been noticed, not to create any doubtfulness about ascertaining the truth, but to stimulate earnestness and diligence in seeking it where alone it can be discovered. “Unless ye repent, ye shall

No. 11.*

The other word which our translators have rendered to repent, occurs often in the New Testament. It is always employed in a good sense, invariably representing the repentance which it denotes as a religious duty; and it is of this word we speak in the following observations.

It has been stated to mean, as we have already remarked, 'change of mind;' and this is no doubt a fair enough translation, if we view the mind as inclusive of the heart. Strictly, it represents a person as otherwise minded afterwards; that is, on reconsidering his conduct. The question, then, arises, If repentance be a change of mind, in what does that mental change consist? It will be readily perceived that we cannot, by a direct act of the will, make the mind, as to its essence or powers, different from what it is; nor does the work of the Holy Spirit properly consist in annulling certain faculties, and creating others. The signification,

then, is, that we are to change our minds in rela-ness." Did this repentance import any change of mind as to sin, short of deep-felt sorrow for it? Certainly not; and if so, such sorrow belongs to repentance.

tion to certain subjects; in other words, we are to ponder them seriously, and thus become otherwise and more justly minded concerning them. To put the case more explicitly, we may lay down the proposition that

Repentance denotes a change of mind in relation both to evil and to good.

It may be useful, for the sake of illustration, to divide this twofold statement, and consider its different parts successively.

First, then, repentance involves a change of mind in relation to evil. To exclude the idea of mere opinion being hence altered, while feeling remains unaffected by the process, I think it may be of some moment to prove satisfactorily that repentance, as a change of mind in relation to evil, comprehends sorrow for sin. The accuracy of this sentiment must be judged of by its consistency with Scripture, by collating it with those scriptural passages in which the term repentance occurs. We are informed (Matt. iii.1,2) that "in those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This was the sum of the Baptist's preaching; and, as an exemplification of its success, we are told of many (verse 6) who were baptized of him in Jordan," confessing their sins." Now, when repentance was the duty enjoined, and confession of sin was the ostensible compliance with the injunction, these seem to be associated in the record as expository of one another. We are told (Matt. xi. 20) that "then began Jesus to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done." He subjoined that "had such mighty works been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in dust and ashes." But dust and ashes were not put upon the head to bespeak mere change of notion, or visible reformation: they were the appropriate emblems of deep, sorrowing, and self-abasing humiliation. We find our Lord saying (Luke xvii. 3, &c.) "If thy brother trespass against thee rebuke him, and if he repent forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seren times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him." This passage I regard as very decisive of the point at issue. It would be a waste of time to show that repentance in this connection means anything else, or anything less, than a sorrowful acknowledgment of one's fault: and so often as this satisfaction shall be rendered, the offended party is ordered to forgive. We learn (Acts viii.) that when Simon Magus had manifested blasphemous impiety, Peter said to him (verse 22), "Repent therefore of this wicked

It would be easy to adduce more citations of kindred character, but further multiplication of them appears superfluous. These may suf fice to excite our marvel that the love of paradox could be carried so far as to induce any to denude repentance of all penitence, in opposition to such Biblical testimonies, as well as the general sense of the Christian Church in all ages.

Secondly, Repentance denotes a change of mind in relation to what is good.

It may be admitted that this view of the subject, though by no means expressing the whole duty, is too much overlooked. In speak. ing of repentance, persons are too apt to think of penitential grief exclusively, and are led by this misapprehension into great practical dangers. They are tempted to suppose that affliction of the soul separately, and by itself considered, constitutes a virtue; that to be troubled about sins, and to repent of them, are one and the same thing; and that this mental penance is all the mental change which they require to undergo. Whereas they must repent of wickedness in such a manner as to practise repentance towards God. There must be a turning of mind from it to him. Where the one of these is genuine, the other must attend it; and, indeed, they portray the same frame of soul directing its contemplation to different objects. When we come to loathe evil, we must, in the nature of the case, love its opposite. Propor tional to our abhorrence of evil will be our admiration of good, and more especially of the God of goodness; so that, deprecating what we once esteemed, and esteeming what we once deprecated, we inhabit a new world; "all things are changed, and all things become new."

Some have taken exception to such an exposition of repentance as being twofold, and therefore complex, and as placing its constituent ideas in a false order. It calls upon sinners, they say, to change their minds first in relation to sin, and then in relation to the Saviour; while an afflictive sense of sin cannot be experienced before looking to Christ; and a just view of him, instead of coming after contrition, is the grand and only source of genuine self-abasement. In reply we repeat a former observation-that the two views which have been offered of repentance, denote but one frame of mind. We do not first sorrow for

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sin, and then come to Christ; we sorrow for culty, though he found it an imperative duty,' sin in coming to Christ. A person does not first to punish a criminal who afforded unequivocal travel from the east, and then towards the west; evidence of true sorrow for his crime. Had in the act of doing one he is doing both; and Pilate passed by Calvary when the contrite maleso he that repents is coming to Christ, and he factor was vindicating his own terrible punishthat comes to Christ is repenting. If the changement, and heard him say, "We indeed suffer of mind as to evil and good should be distinguished at all, the changes are co-temporaneous and reciprocally affect each other. Just views of sin enhance our estimate of the Saviour, and just views of the Saviour cause sin to appear more exceeding sinful. An humbling sense of demerit quickens our application to the blood of sprinkling, and when we have washed there, we abhor the iniquities more than ever that could not be washed elsewhere; and the saying comes to be fulfilled: "Then shalt thou remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more for shame, when I am pacified towards thee for all that thou hast done."

justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds," it is supposable that the Roman governor might have felt disposed to relieve the sufferer. But, at all events, a greater than Pilate was there, who heard the words, and was moved by them, and who, in evidence that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law, and that a broken and contrite spirit will not be despised by him, replied, "To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise."

cause pre-eminently binding. We have sinned against the Creator so much more than against our fellow-creatures as to warrant the comparative ejaculation-" Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and in thy sight done this ill." The majesty of God also demands a profound obeisance, to which fellow-men, from their meanness, can have no title. Generally speaking, it is a false consequence that indisposes to own faults, even to each other; and many a time when dignity is consulted, by concealing and equivocating, the end would be far better gained by following an opposite line of conduct, and unfeignedly admitting. The ingenuousness of acknowledgment often obliterates the impression of misdemeanor, and even elicits the admiration awarded to moral greatness. But while there may be a semblance of ignominy in one creature making confession to another, there can be no pretence of this relatively to the Creator. In this case, also, there is undoubted condescension, but it is not with us

Penitence, I have said, is amiable in whatever relation it may be exhibited. But while we should all confess our faults one to another, or, in other words, each his offences to the person offended against, still penitential conHaving endeavoured to give the full view of fession to God is pre-eminently becoming, bescriptural repentance, it may be proper to add, that a change of mind as to evil, or, in other words, true sorrow for sin, seems to be the predominating idea which it expresses. For as to the other element--a change of mind in relation to good-that change partakes of the nature of faith, and is commonly enforced in an associated command to believe the Gospel. Accordingly, we have seen that repentance is more specially and emphatically identified with confession of sin, or that frame in which penitence has subdued pride, and which shuns not to avow its condemnation of itself. We need not wonder at this ascendant place being assigned in Scripture to the prin ciple of contrition. It is an amiable property, even as exemplified in subordinate and social relations. A kind parent may exercise severity towards an obdurate child, but that parent has little of parental feeling who can see his child subdued into tearful acknowledgment of wrong, and inflict severities still. To take a homely but illustrative instance. "You shall stand there yet two hours,” said a pious mother to an offending child, who had been stationed for his offence on the domestic pillory. "Oh, I have done wrong," said the child, "and if you will only forgive me, mother, and not be angry with me, I will stand here all day." Such a simple saying, from its touching expressiveness of a becoming grief, not only disarms rigour at the time, but ever after endears to the heart the amiable penitent from whose lips it has proceeded. Even a just judge would experience great diffi

it is with God. He humbleth himself when he beholds the things that are in heaven, and how much more when he listens to the accents of a sinner that repenteth! In a word, there is none good as God, and the goodness of God leadeth us to repentance! His clemency is indicated by the very opportunity of repenting. Were he not gracious, there would be no place for it: it would be wholly and for ever hid from his eyes. They have sadly misapprehended repentance who have classed it with irksome service rendered to a hard task-master. It is

not the homage which a serf pays to his des- solution of these intricacies argumentation may pot, or the victim of war to-an imperious con- afford, let us seek experimental evidence that queror, or the deluded idolater to imaginary God's requirements and promises happily coagods, whom an accusing conscience has armed lesce. Let us engage the appointed means of with fury. It is the homage paid to benevo- | spiritual renovation, and implore the aid of lence-paid by a heart which benevolence has God's Spirit, to give the means effect. As we melted an acknowledgment of transgressions look on truth illumined by the Spirit of truth, disclosed to the transgressor's own view by we shall change our minds with regard to it, no the light of divine love shed abroad upon his longer spurning it as fabulous or offensive, but soul. Perhaps it may seek vent in tears, but under its moulding influence, hating what it they are such tears as purify vision, and reproves, and loving what it commands; and even while filling the eye, sparkle with joy this mental change will constitute a repentance | brightening the moral landscape like clear not to be repented of—a change of mind never shining after rain. Let not sinners, then, be to be regretted. alarmed at the call to repent. Let them hail it as a joyful sound, a benignant proclamation from a dishonoured Lord, that he is slow to anger and willing to forgive.

To repent, is a duty which we are bound to perform. It does not follow that the performance of this duty by us excludes the aid of divine influence. We are required to turn, which is another form of the command to repent; and lest we should decline compliance, as impracticable, we are told that God will pour out his Spirit upon us, and make known his words unto us. In promising to send the Comforter, our Lord also foretold that he would convince the world of sin, and we have seen that a conviction of sin belongs very essentially to the nature of repentance. The account which has been given of this grace harmonizes with the representations which the Scriptures furnish of the work of the Holy Spirit. We repent when we change our minds on subjects of eternal interest, so that the understanding is enlightened and the heart is renewed; we thus change our minds on these subjects when we apprehend the truth respecting them; and we apprehend the truth when the Spirit takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto us. We are sanctified by the Spirit, and a belief of the truth; by the Spirit as the agent, and a belief of the truth as the instrumentality by which he works; and a sinner, in repenting, exemplifies that moral transformation, which in sanctification is more and more advanced, till we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Difficulties of a metaphysical character might be raised on this subject of divine influence, as on most other subjects, and not less on those of common life and every-day experience, than the leading articles of Christian doctrine. But whatever

LUTHER'S ONE IDEA.

BY MRS HARRIET BEECHER STOWE.

IT is a remarkable fact that we noticed the

other day, in turning over the fine volume of De Witt's edition of Luther's Letters, that every one of them, to whomsoever addressed, and on whatsoever subject, bore over the top the in-, scription

JESUS.

We are informed that this habit was peculiar to himself, and was not common to other writers of the period; and connected with facts in his history, it is very affecting. Luther, like all great Reformers, was a man of one idea; but that one idea was not what historians have generally supposed-it was not civil liberty, nor liberty of opinion, nor opposition to forms, nor any abstract love of truth; but the one idea was-JESUS-SAVIOUR. No human being ever felt with deeper anguish what it was to be lost. Language cannot have a more terrible earnestness than that wherein he has described the death-agony through which he passed when he felt his sins, and the majesty of God, and the desperate hopelessness of any effort to approach him, or bring his fallen nature up to that imwith me," he says; "the sin of my nature tormeasurable height of purity. "It was all over mented me night and day-there was no good in life; sin had taken possession of me-my free will hated God's judgments--it was dead to good; anguish drove me to despair-nothing remained "Let them but to die and sink to hell.” threaten me with banishment and death, with the torture and the stake," he says in a later ¦ letter, "what is all this to me? it all makes no impression on me, it is all the merest trifle to the agony I endured in my religious life before I found a Saviour." Now, to a soul in this state of religious anxiety, the whole Catholic system is one great and gloomy barrier standing belike a giant; he fought as for life, and broke tween it and its Redeemer. Luther struggled through the dark obstacle, and found a Saviour

he found, he embraced, he believed, he felt, he knew that he was saved, and he felt it with

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