« PreviousContinue »
idol was to be dragged forth to bless the people, and does such an objection sound from an heir of eterthey were to be sprinkled with holy water. Now it nity! What is your time given to you for? Is it happened that three hundred of the soldiers had cast off idolatry; and when they heard what was coming and have you no time for the great business of your
not principally that you may prepare for eternity ? they said one to another, " What shall we do? If we do not bow before the idol we shall be counted life? Why do you not plead, too, that you have no among the rebels, and shall surely be put to death." time for your daily meals? Is food more necessary The leader of the Christian band asked his brethren for your body than religion for your soul? May to meet together in the evening, that they might you not redeem sufficient time for family worship consult what steps they had better take. They met
from idle conversation, or even from your sleep? accordingly. Some said, “We are poor, feeble creatures; we hope that God will forgive us though May you not order your family worship so that your we should bow before the idol-it will be only to domestics may attend upon it, either before they go preserve our lives." Others said, “ We are married to their work, or when they come to their meals? men; it will never do to leave our wives widows, and Second objection. “ I have not ability to pray." our children fatherless." The leader of the party, after he had heard the opinion of his companions, make this objection ? A sense of his necessities is
Did you ever hear a beggar, however ignorant, took his New Testament from his pocket, and read aloud, “He that loveth father or mother more than
an unfailing fountain of his eloquence. Further, me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth his life how strange does this objection sound from you! more than me, is not worthy of me.” It was enough. | What! have you enjoyed preaching, Bibles, and Their decision was made at once. They would not good books so long, and yet do not know what to ask forsake their Saviour. But it was a fiery trial
of God? Again, is neglecting prayer the way to through which they had to pass, and they knelt down to ask of Him that he would not leave them to qualify you to perform it? pass through it alone. They then pledged one an- Third objection. “I am ashamed." other to stand to their resolution.
But is this shame well-grounded? Are sinners One of them, however, was a traitor. He went ashamed to serve their master? A little practice and told the commanding officer. - Three hundred will easily free you from all this difficulty. of the soldiers,” said he, “ are believers, and they have resolved not to worship the national god.” The
Fourth objection. “But, alas ! I know not how to Christian leader was sent for, and asked if it was so begin it.” He confessed that it was. This made the officer Here, indeed, the difficulty lies; but why will you very angry, and he ordered that the three hundred
not own that you were hitherto mistaken, and that should attend when the idol was brought out; you would rather reform, than persist obstinately in but he added, " The god will avenge himself upon
the omission of an evident duty ? them.” He would not put them to death, because they would be wanted in the army; but he deter
Fifth objection. “But my family will not join in mined to place them where they would be sure to it.” be cut off.
How do you know? Have you tried ? Are you The army marched to meet the rebels. They came not master of your family? Exert that authority in up to them in a ravine between two lofty mountains.
this which you claim in other cases. Here the Christians were ordered to occupy the front ranks. Their enemies took it for granted
Sixth objection. “But I shall be ridiculed and that they must fall there; but a hand greater than laughed at.” that of man so arranged the order of the battle that Are you more afraid of a laugh or a jeer than the the arrows never touched the Christian band. When displeasure of God? Would you rather please men the sun set, a retreat was sounded; the roll was
than him? called, and it was found that, though there had been
Therefore, let God have an altar in your dwelling, great destruction among the Heathen, not one of the Christian soldiers was missing! The other soldiers and there let morning and evening prayers and praises asked them how they had been preserved and began be presented, till you are called to worship him in his to suspect that the New Testaments in their pockets temple above, when your prayers shall be swallowed were charms. " It was not these that saved us," up in everlasting praise.-Davies. they made answer; “it was the God whom we serve." The rest were thunder-struck, and a hundred of them cast away their idols from that day.
WALK WITH GOD. Miss. Rep.
Let God be much in your thoughts, and in the view
of your mind; not only when you approach some OBJECTIONS TO FAMILY WORSHIP
solemn ordinance, but in the whole course of your
actions when you go forth, and come in—when ye ANSWERED.
lie down, and rise up. Let the creatures you conIt would be more honest for people frankly to own
verse with, the several dispensations of Divine Prothat they have no heart for it, and that this is the and in the view of your minds. For how can men that
vidence toward you, present God to your thoughts, real cause of their neglecting it, and not any valid have seldom any thoughts of God maintain any comobjections they have against it; but since they will munion with him? Our communion with God is not torture their invention to discover some pleas to ex
as it is with creatures, in a sensible way; hut it is by cuse themselves, we must answer them.
the inward thoughts and exercise of the mind; which First objection. “I have no time, and my secular thoughts of God should not be slight and transient,
therefore we ought to be frequent in. business would suffer by family religion.”
but fixed and serious; especially at some times, which Were you formed for this world only, there would
we should more peculiarly devote to solemn medibe some force in the objection; but how strange tation. Meditation brings the object nearer to the soul, and the soul nearer to it, though locally distant; spoils without any “hue and cry" being rised after unites the soul to it; mixeth itself with it; whereby him. The police, as far as I can find, have had no it doth possess it, or is possessed of it.—Barker. notice of the robbery, and the papers say nothing
about it. Indeed, I have learned that the people SATAN FOILED.
robbed have said nothing to one another about their
losses, and it seems doubtful whether many are aware Satan will do his utmost to flatter or fright you out yet of the greatness of their loss. of your purposes. But while you can approve your ends to Christ, yourselves may answer Satan in the
MYSTERIES. hindrances he will throw in your way. For example: CONTENT thyself with what is clearly revealed, and
Satan. Why art thou so solicitous for thy soul ? leave what is hid and above thee unto God. Be Thou mayest be saved without all this ado. It is not thou so bold as to measure the boundles: more than needs.
mysteries of God by thy narrow, confined under. Soul. No, Satan! All I can do is too little, did standing; neither do thou presume to reject what thou not Christ undertake for me. But I will not do the for God is God; he is clothed with honour and maj.sty.
canst not comprehend. What is of God is above thee: less for Christ's doing so much.
and with that light which is inaccessible. We ought. Satan. All thou doest is to no purpose : thou shalt therefore, to be modest when we speak of the un be damned at last.
searchable doctrines and providences of God; for in Soul. Should it be so, I would rather serve God them we see enough to admire, but can never comfor nothing, than thee for all thy flattering, lying out God," and the infinity of his being, the mystery
prehend; and when we have spent all our time to find promises. I will do God all the service I can for the
of the Trinity, the mode of his workings or operations, mercies I have received, though I should never have the depth of his contrivances about the accomplishing more. The very work of religion is better than the of fallen man's salvation, and all the great counsels of work of sin, even without a reward.
God, and the intricacy of his providences, we must Satan. Spare thyself, poor soul! Thou art not all come to this close, with the apostle: "O the depth spirit: thou hast flesh and blood as well as others.
I of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of
God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his Why wilt thou expose thyself to contempt and suf
Ways past finding out!"-Lobb. ferings? No man in his wits will court a general hatred.
POPISH SUPERSTITION. Soul, Peace, Satan! Be it known to thee, and to all thy imps, I had rather have your hatred than dread of the curses of their Church, but perhaps it
It is well known that Catholics generally have a great your love. All your kindness to me is to ruin me.
is not commonly understood that they dread the Satan. Be not so conceited of thine own wisdom.
curses of each other.' It seems they suppose that any Look about thee in the world. Have not others souls to save as well as thou? and they do not proudly those with whom he is offended, unless something can
individual has power to inflict the curse of God upos pretend to be wiser than their neighbours.
be done to remove it. An instance in which this Soul. Begone, Satan! I will parley no longer. If others neglect salvation, therefore must I? Will power was pretended to be exercised was lately stattheir missing of salvation relieve me for the loss of in a public institution, but was dismissed for her in
ed to us. An intemperate Irish nurse was employed mine? Though a Peter persuade Christ to
himself;—nay, when his friends went out to lay hold temperance. This greatly offended her, and she went of him, thinking his zeal had crazed him;—nay, when through the institution, cursing every room, every his brethren had wheedled in his mother to send to Catholic members of the institution were greatly al
bed, and every person that might occupy them. The him, to abate his work;—he would not yield a minute, armed, and sprinkled the rooms and beds with hely (Mark iii. 21, 31.) By the grace of God (though I shall come infinitely short), I will make Christ my the curse.
water. This they considered a sovereign remedy for pattern; and therefore, Satan, say thy worst, and do antidote had been applied to her bane, went over the
But the angry woman learning that an thy worst. Through Christ, I defy thee.-Annesley. institution and cursed it afresh, and the same remedy
was applied again. No special calamity has befallen | DARING ROBBERY!
the institution, and the poor ignorant Catholies hare ! A very daring robbery was committed last Sabbath probably been confirmed in the efficacy of holy water. in one of the chapels in Mr. preached an Boston Recorder. excellent sermon, and more than five hundred impressions were distributed about in the house. But a large number were stolen almost immediately after
YOUR CHIEF ENEMY. coming into possession of the hearers. Others were Sin would deprive me of eternal life; therefore I will
robbed of theirs before the benediction was pro- be its death. It would keep me from eternal rest: nounced, and others before they reached home. It therefore I will never rest; till I have conquered and
is believed that of the large number of the impressions subdued it. Nothing in the world would bring apon of that sermon, the greater portion have been irre- my eternal soul the eternal loss of the eternal Gol coverably lost. This is most deeply to be regretted, his glorious Son, and Holy Spirit-of the company as the discourse was one of great value, and might of his holy angels and saints-of eternal treasures of have been of greater advantage to the owners, if re- a blessed kingdom and incorruptible crown— et tained, than any other species of property in their cursed sin. Poverty, sickness, men, death, derils, possession. And, what is more strange, there was no cannot; nothing but sin: therefore I will be its bane: commotion made on the occasion. The thief managed that shall not reign in me that would not suffer ine the thing so adroitly, that he got clear off with his to live in everlasting happiness.--Doolitt'e.
THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.
ON MAKING RELIGION OUR BUSINESS.
O now few make religion their business ! seen that the pomp of worship destroys the Is he an ificer that never wrought in the purity, as the paint of the glass hinders the trade? Is he a Christian that never wrought light; and it is no untruth to say, that forin the trade of godliness? How few make re- mality may as well damn as profaneness. A ligion their business!
superstitious Pharisee may as well be in hell 1. Some make religion a compliment, but as a drunken epicure. A Christian's main not their business. They court religion by a work lies with his heart. He that makes reliprofession, and, if need be, religion shall have gion his business, gives God the vitals; he their letters of commendation; but they do not worships him “in spirit and in truth.” (John make religion their business. Many of Christ's iv. 24.) In stilling, the spirits are strongest. disciples, who said, “Lord, evermore give us The good Christian distils out the spirits for this bread,” yet soon after basely deserted God. Aaron must offer the fat upon the altar: Christ, and would follow him no longer : “From “He shall offer an offering made by fire unto that time many of his disciples went back, and the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards. walked no more with him.” (John vi. 34, 66.) All the fat is the Lord's.” (Lev. iii. 3, 16.)
2. Others make the world their business : If Aaron bad offered the skin instead of the fat, “Who mind earthly things.” (Phil. iii. 19.) it would not have been accepted. External The earth puts out the fire; so the love of devotion alone is offering the skin; and they earthly things puts out the fire of heavenly that give God only the skin of duty, shall carry affections. It was a judgment upon Korah away only the shell of comfort. and Dathan, “the earth swallowed them up.” Chur. 2. He who makes religion his busi(Numb. xvi. 32.) Thus it is with many: the ness avoids everything that may be a "hindworld swallows up their time, thoughts, dis- rance” to him in his work. A wicked man course; they are swallowed up alive in the cares not whether the matter of religion goes earth. There is a lawful use of these things; forward or backward; he stands in the way of but tlie sin is in the excess. The bee may temptation; and as if sin did not come fast suck a little honey from the leaf; but put it in enough, he “draws it as with a cart-rope.” a barrel of honey, and it is drowned. How (Isa. v. 18.) But he who makes religion his many engulf themselves in the creature, and business flies from temptation; and while he is drive such a trade in the shop, that they quite running the heavenly race, “lays aside every break in their trading for heaven! The farm weight of sin which doth so easily beset” him. and oxen have kept millions from Christ. (Heb. xii. 1.) A man may as well miss of These do not make religion their business, but heaven by loitering in the way, as by losing make the world their business; and what will the way. “The king's business required haste” all be at death, but as a dream of fancy? “The (1 Sam. xxi. 8); so the business of religion repeople shall labour in the very fire, and shall quires haste: therefore the good Christian is weary themselves for very vanity.” (Hab. ii. 13.) careful that he be not taken off the work, and
Let us deal impartially with our own souls, so be taken tardy in it. and put ourselves upon a strict trial be- Char. 3. He who makes religion his busifore the Lord, whether we make religion our ness hath a care to preserve conscience inbusiness. And for our better progress herein, violable, and had rather offend all the world I shall lay down ten signs and characters of a than offend his conscience: “I thank God, man that makes religion his business, and by whom I serve from my forefathers with pure these, as by a Gospel touchstone, we may try conscience.” (2 Tim. i. 3.) Much of religion ourselves :
lies in conscience. Faith is a precious jewel; Character 1. He who makes religion his but conscience is the cabinet where this jewel business doth not place his religion only in ex- must be kept: “Holding the myster of the ternals: “He is not a Jew who is one out- faith in a pure conscience.” (1 Tim. iii. 9.) wardly.” (Rom. ii. 28.) Religion doth not Love is a beautiful flower; but this flower most stand only in forms and shadows; this is to grows in the garden of a pure conscience : give God leares instead of fruit. It is often '“Charity out of a pure heart, and of a good
conscience.” (1 Tim. i. 5.) So sacred a thing of piety; nor is his care so much to espouse is conscience, that without this all religion dowry as virtue; in a word, he seeks for “a drops in pieces. He who makes religion his meet help,” one that may help him up the hill business, labours to get conscience regulated to heaven: this is marrying “in the Lord." by Scripture (as the watch is set by the dial); That marriage indeed is “honourable” (Heb. and, having done this, he keeps his conscience xiii. 4), when the husband is joined to one who as his eye, that no dust of sin fall into it. is the "temple of the Holy Ghost." (1 Cor. vi.
Char. 4. He who makes religion his busi- 19.) Here is the man that makes religion his ness, religion hath an influence upon all his business, who in all his civil transactions is every-day actions.
steered and influenced by religion: religion is (1.) Religion hath an influence upon his eat. | the universal ingredient. ing and drinking.–He holds the golden bridle Char. 5. He who makes religion his business, of temperance; he eats sparingly. “The godly is good in his calling and relation.- Relative
man feeds not to please the sensual appetite, grace doth much grace religion. I shall susbut that he may,” as Chrysostom saith,“ by the pect his goodness who herein is eccentrical. strength he receives from the creature,” “be Some will pray and discourse well; but it apthe more fit for the cheerful discharge of spiri- pears they never made religion their business, tual services;" he makes not his food fuel for but took it up rather for ostentation than as an lust, but help to duty. Epicures dig their own occupation, because they are defective in relagrave with their teeth; they feed without fear. tive duties: they are bad husbands, bad childSinners fear not lest their table should be a ren, &c. If one should draw a picture, and snare (Jude 12); they fear not the process of leave out the eye, it would much eclipse and justice; while the wine is in the cup, they fear take from the beauty of the picture: to fail in not the hand-writing on the wall. But the a relation stains the honour of profession. He : godly man, being regulated by religion, puts a who makes religion his business is like a star knife to his throat, that he may cut the throat shining in the proper orb and station wherein of intemperance. (Prov. xxiii. 2.)
God hath set him. (2.) Ile that makes religion his business, Char. 6. He who makes religion his business religion hath an influence upon his recreation. hath a care of his company.-He dares not -The strings of the viol must sometimes be twist into a cord of friendship with sinners: 1 slackened, lest they break. But we are apt to “I have not sat with vain persons.” (Ps. xxvi.' offend most in lawful things; more are killed 4.) Diamonds will not cement with rubbish. with wine than with poison. Religion sits as It is dangerous to intermingle with the wicked, moderator in the soul. The man influenced lest their breath prove infectious; sin is very by religion dares not make play an occupation; catching. They “were mingled among the it is oil to quicken him in God's service, not a Ileathen, and learned their works. And they' sea to engulf him.
served their idols; which were a snare unto (3.) He that makes religion bis business, them.” (Ps. cvi. 35, 36.) If you mingle religion hath an influence upon his buying and bright and rusty armour together, the rusty selling:— The wicked get a livelihood often by will not be made bright, but the bright will be cozening; sometimes they embase commodities; made rusty. He who makes religion his busithey “sell the refuse of the wheat.” (Amos ness, likes not to be near them whose nearness viii. 6.) They would pick out the best grains sets him further off from God, and whose emof corn, and then sell the rest. Sometimes braces, like those of the spider, are to suck out they falsify their weights: “He is a merchant, the precious life. The godly man ingrafts into the balances of deceit are in his hand.” (Hos. the communion of saints,” and hereby, as the xii. 7.) But he who makes religion his busi. scions, le partakes of the sap and virtne of ness is regulated by it in the shop; he is just their grace: he who makes it his business to get in his dealings; he dares not hold the book of to heaven, associates only with those who may God in one hand, and false weights in the other; make him better, or whom he may make better. he is faithful to his neighbour, and makes as Char. 7. Ile who makes religion his business much reckoning of the Ten Commandments, as keeps his spiritual watch always by him. of his Creed.
(1.) He watcheth his eye: "I made a core(4.) Religion liath an influence upon his nant with mine eyes.” When the eye is gadmarrying.--Ile labours to graft upon a religious ding, the leart is defiled. stock: he is not so arnbitious of parentage as (2.) lle who makes religion his business
ON MAKING RELIGION OUR BUSINESS.
watcheth his thoughts, lest they should turn to saith, “Know the state of thy flocks." (Prov. froth : “How long shall thy vain thoughts xxvii. 23.) A man that makes religion his lodge within thee?” (Jer. iv. 14.) What a work is careful to know the state of his soul; | world of sin is minted in the fancy! A child before the Lord bring him to a trial, he brings
of God sets a spy over his thoughts, he sun. himself to a trial; he had rather use the lookmons them in, and captivates them “to the ing-glass of the Word to see his own heart, than obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. x. 5.)
put on the broad spectacles of censure to see (3.) He who makes religion his business another's fault. He plays the critic upon him. watcheth over his passions.—Passion is like self. He searcheth whether he have grace or gunpowder, which the devil setting on fire, no, and he tries whether it be genuine or spublows up the soul. Jonah in a passion quarrels rious. He is as much afraid of painted holiness with the Almighty. (Jonah iv. 1, 9.) He who as he is of going to a painted heaven. He trais devoted to religion watcheth his passions, verseth things in his soul, and will never leave, lest, the tide growing high, reason should be till that question, “whether he be in the faith," carried down the stream, and be drowned in it. be put out of question. (2 Cor. xiii. 5.) Here
(4.) He who makes religion his business is the man making religion his business; he is watcheth his duties. “ Watch and pray.” | loath to be a spiritual bankrupt; therefore is (Matt. xxvi. 41.) First, He doth watch in still calling himself to account. prayer. The heart is subject to remissness; if Char. 9. He who makes religion his business it be not dead in sin, it will be dead in prayer; will be religious, whatever it cost him.--He is a Christian watcheth, lest he should abate his a resolved man: “I have sworn that I will fervour in duty; he knows if the strings of his keep thy righteous judgments.” (Ps.cxix. 106.) spiritual viol slacken, he cannot make melody There are some who will be rich (1 Tim. vi. 9); in his heart to the Lord.” (Eph. v. 19; Col. and there are some who will be godly. (2 Tim. iii. 16.) Secondly, He doth watch after prayer. iii. 12.) He that makes religion his business As a man is most careful of himself when he will not, as Luther saith, be put off with other comes out of a hot bath, the pores being then things: he can want health, riches, friends; but most open and subject to cold; so a Christian he cannot want Christ or grace. He will be is most careful when he comes from an ordi- godly: let the times be what they will, they nance, lest his heart should decoy him into sin: shall not take him off the work of religion; he therefore, when he hath prayed, he sets a will follow Christ upon the water; the floods watch. He deals with his heart as the Jews of persecution cannot drown his zeal; he doth dealt with Christ's sepulchre; they “made the not say, “There is a lion in the way;" he will sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a wrestle with difficulties, march in the face of watch.” (Matt. xxvii. 660) A good Christian death. The Christians of the primitive Church having been at the word and sacrament (that seal- cried out to the persecutor, “Hew us in pieces, ing ordinance), after the sealing he sets a watch. burn us: we will never worship your idols.”
(5.) He who makes religion his business These were in good earnest for heaven. There watcheth his temptations.—Temptation is the is a great deal of difference between those who scout which the devil sends out to discover go to sea for pleasure, and those mariners who our forces; it is the train he lays to blow up are to go a voyage to the East Indies: the first, our grace. Satan ever lies at the catch; he upon the least storm, retreat back to shore; but hath his “depths” (Rev. ii. 24); his “methods” they who are embarked for a voyage hold on (Eph. iv. 14); his "devices.” (2 Cor. ii. 11.) their course, though the sea be rough and He is continually fishing for our souls; and, if stormy, and will venture their lives in hope of Satan be angling, we had need be watching. the golden harvest at the Indies. Hypocrites He who makes religion his business is full of seem religious when things are serene and holy exubation; he lies sentinel, and, with the calm; but they will not sail in a storm: those propbet, stands upon his watch-tower. (Hab. only who make religion their business will hold ii. 1.) Solomon saith of a virtuous woman, out their voyage to heaven in the midst of tem“Her candle goeth not out by night.” (Prov. pests and death-threatening dangers. xxxi. 18.) The good Christian keeps his Char. 10. He that makes religion his business watch-candle always burning.
lives every day as his last day. He prays in the Char. 8. He who makes religion his business, morning as if he were to die at night; he lives every day casts up his accounts to see how as if he were presently to be called to God's bar; things go in his soul. (Lam. iii. 40.) Solomon he walks “soberly, righteou