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comprehend, remember, or apply. "I am a living temple of God, and ought to be a holy temple," is as soon and as easily said, as, "I am a professor of religion, and ought to be consistent."
But I must not argue with you, as if it were optional to you, to admit or decline the use of this holy consideration. You are not at liberty to overlook it for another day, even if you have done pretty well without thinking of it hitherto. It is, most likely, the very motive which you now want, in order to keep up the influence of your old motives, in following holiness. For, have they all their original power over you? Does your sense of responsibility as a convert, as a disciple, as a
crated temples; and thus must take care, that you neither “defile" nor discredit the temple of God. Now, you do take some care, that you may not disgrace the profession you make; that you may not bring any reproach upon religion; that your life may not give the lie to your creed or your hopes. Well; why not connect all this holy fear, and care, and watchfulness, with the consideration that you are "the temple of God?" You connect them (and very properly) with your name, and your place in the Church of God; with your fond hope that you have found, or shall find, mercy of the Lord; with your good name in your family, and among your friends. All this is as it should be. I would not detach your sense of responsibility, nor your re-possessor of grace, carry you all the length it did, gard to consistency, from any one of these checks and charms upon character. It would, however, strengthen and prolong the influence of them all, to recognize as fully, and realize as constantly, your templeship, as a Christian. That means no more than is meant by your profession, your obligations, or your responsibility: but it defines them clearly, and commends as well as enforces them powerfully. You ought, therefore, to be willing, yea, thankful and glad, to avail yourself of any new considera-gularity; but in order to arrest attention to "the tion that adds to the power of the old motives which regulate your conduct; especially, when, as in this instance, the new motive is as scriptural as
the old ones.
when you first took "the vows of God" upon you? If not-you may backslide until you break down altogether on the narrow way, unless you get hold, at this critical nick of time, upon the rallying and inspiring consideration of your templeship.
I know that the word itself is new: but you know that the idea is as old as your Bible. I have not coined the word for the sake of novelty, or of sin
mind of Christ," as that is expressed in the "words which the Holy Ghost teacheth." I tell you again, therefore, that it is neither wise nor safe to exclude
this scriptural view of your obligation to be holy, or to try to do without it any longer. If you are a | real Christian, Christianity considers and calls you, the temple of God, of Christ, and of the Spirit; and remonstrates with you, as well as commands you, to consider yourself in this light. And mark; you cannot point to, nor conceive of, any appeal to your principles, or hopes, or responsibilities, as a Christian woman, so striking in its form and surring in its spirit as this one. Look at it again.
But, why do I call it new? The idea of Templeship, is as old, and as often repeated in Scripture, as the idea of discipleship, sonship, or citizenship. You have just seen that the New Testament is full of it. It does not, however, occur often în religious conversation now. It does not seem to have the same place or power in the mind of Christians, that the other ideas possess. But, why should it not be as familiar and influential as any of them? It is" What; know ye not that your bodies are the temnot inferior to them in beauty or point; and not so superior to them in sublimity, as to be difficult to
ples of the Holy Ghost?" "Know ye not that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?"
ST. JOHN.-A. D. 96.
(The following Sketch of St. John is selected from R. W. Evans's Scripture Biography.)` Ir is a striking feature in our blessed Lord's selection of his apostles, that he called two fellowships of brothers, Andrew and Peter, James and John: it expresses a lovely trait of character both in caller and in called. In these it shows how community of blood had grown into community of mind, so that where one went, the other was prepared to go too, even to those unknown realms of spirit to which Jesus called them.
let a hand come near to harm him if he could help it; he would stand in front of him as a shield, and turn himself to every motion of the assailant, But John's was that which bade him seek to die with him, his joy lay in his company. Whatever affliction may chance to be in it, there was nothing but certain and insupportable sorrow without it. He clung to his Master's side, and partook with him of every turn and motion; he would follow him whitherso Of these two pairs of brothers, the most remark-ever he went. Peter's was a soldier's love to his able are Peter of the one, and John of the other. They are the most distinguished members of the whole apostolical college, and their characters stand out in strong contrast to each other. Each most dearly loved his Master, and yet with quite a different kind of love. Peter's was that which would prompt him gladly to die for him; which would not
leader, but John's was that which surpasses the love of women. Peter drew his sword to deliver his Master. John stood at the cross and took his last dying words. Peter's love would stir him promptly to obey any request. John's would bid him anticipate it. Peter's noted each outward sign and ges ture. John's read the heart. Loves so different
meet with a return of a different intimacy of love. I thought at the time to intimate that John should And if Peter was first in honor, John was first in survive to the last day. It was, however, fulfilled affection among the apostles of Jesus. To Peter in every sense. John alone of all the apostles he said, "Lovest thou me? feed my sheep," but to lived to see the Lord come in judgment on Jerusa John he recommended his mother in his last ago- lem. Nor was he called away to follow his Master nies, and acknowledged him as his brother, saying by an untimely death; he was left to live out the to her, "Woman, behold thy son," and to him, course of nature. Often must they have thought "behold thy mother." of these prophecies of their Master in after life. The Holy Spirit, which came down upon them, and brought all that he said to their remembrance, with an interpretation of what had been obscure, and the converging events of life, must have given them increasing clearness. Reserved thus by the Lord, how must they have set at nought all the chances of the world; they were especially exempted from their grasp. He himself had appointed to them their course; with what joy and satisfaction would they run it. He had said, touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm," until the hour that I have appointed for them. Thus they must have felt themselves to be in his hands, with a certainty of grasp, as it were, beyond the conscionsness of any of the rest.
The first occasion on which we meet with John distinct from the rest, shows how deeply he pos sessed this love. Jesus, at his last meal with them, said to his apostles, that one of them should betray him. They looked on each other in much distress, doubting of whom he spake, but not daring to ask. Then Peter, unwilling to put the question himself, as perhaps presuming upon too great liberty, beckoned to John to put it; and John, reclining, as the intimate friend, with his head against his Master's bosom, put it, and obtained the answer. His love is again pre-eminently shown in being the only one who followed his Master to the end. In company with Peter he followed him to the house of the high-priest, and there witnessed his comrade's sad denial. John never could have denied him, he was wrapt up in him, and was prepared by the unconquerable patience, as well as ardor of his love, for every event. But Peter's love was more ardent than patient; he was ill-prepared to show it by passive endurance. This main quality of Christian soldiership he had yet to learn. The minuteness of John's narrative respecting our Lord's appearance before Pilate, shows that he was present with him there too; and thus he continued faithful to the end. He never lost sight of the beloved form of his Master, until he was sealed in the tomb. Towards the close of our Lord's ministry, we often find Peter and John associated together, and commencing that peculiar companionship which they seem to have maintained until they were separated by the dispersion of the apostles among the Gentiles. They were drawn together by their Master's preference. Rivalry of merit draws pure and generous minds together in mutual admiration and esteem; it is the vulgar and ignoble which it separates in envy and dislike. But these had the only lasting bond of all love, the only tie which cannot be loosened by the chances and changes of the body, which the fire of trial cannot consume; they had the spiritual bond of their Saviour's love. In loving him they loved one another, and in loving one another they felt their love for him. They afford the example of the first Christian friendship, and show its only true source; of that friendship which is from above, and can no more suffer from what passes below, than the body of an angel sent into our world from heaven. Peter's denial, followed by sincere repentance as it was, did not loosen the bonds of this friendship. John's love towards him would grow in tenderness on this very account. Pity towards a sincere penitent, not only brings back all former affection, but softens still further its nature, and melts all that still remained obdurate in the mass. Accordingly they were again together on the joyful morning of the resurrection, and were the first of the apostles who ascertained that the tomb was emptied of its unearthly guest.
These blessed yoke-fellows of a yoke which was easy indeed, were shortly after joined together, and set apart from the rest, by our Lord's signifying to them their future fortunes. After that the manner of his death had been foretold to him, Peter, turning round and seeing John, was anxious to know what he had to say concerning his companion also. "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee, follow thou me,” was the answer. This was
They had ever been distinguished beyond the rest, but now this additional peculiarity, this their Master's own yoking of them to the chariot of his coming, made them mutual mates and comrades more than ever. They boldly confronted the Sanhedrim together, and shared the affliction of bonds and scourgings. The prompt ardor of Peter, and the much-enduring mildness of John, were associated in a resistance which defied all the powers of earth to overcome. But we soon lose sight in Scripture narrative of this glorious fellowship; the last occasion on which John is mentioned, is his partnership with Peter on a mission into Samaria, to lay hands and confer the Holy Ghost on the converts there. It was indeed a work in good accord with his character, one which leaves upon us its exact impression; it was a work of love and grace, such as became the disciple whom Jesus loved.
Few can have read Scripture, and entered into the characters exhibited there, without feeling sorry so soon to part with the only authentic account of John. We wish to dwell long and late on a character so lovely, on one who was loved by the Source of all love, and exhibited by a closer example than all the rest; his meekness, his mildness, his tender affection. We cannot help feeling a regret that we have no further history of him, over which we may pore, bend over his works of love, and drink in their spirit. The anecdotes preserved of him by writers of the church, are indeed more numerous than all that are recorded of his colleagues, and one is of some length and of much beauty, but bearing marks, as they do here and there, of want of authenticity, and being at all events mere tradition, we cannot cling to them with that feeling of faith, with that excitation of affection, and with that sense of instruction, with which we hang over the detail of Scripture, But our knowledge of him is not confined to the narrative part of Scripture. He is among those, who although dead, yet speak through their writings.
The Book of Revelations informs us that he was at that time in exile for the word of God, and tes timony of Jesus Christ, in the Isle of Patmos. is the only fact respecting himself, and inasmuch as the book is a prophecy put into his mouth, we can scarcely discern any particular marks of his individual character. Yet there is at least one passage which affords an insight into his sweetness of disposition and tenderness of heart. It is where he weeps much at seeing that there was no one found worthy to open the book of prophecy and loose its seals, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under
John's is confined to one or two leading ideas, redundant in phrase, and overflowing with sweetness, and simplicity. There is a menacing in the warnings of Peter, a deprecation in the admonitions et John. In the one we plainly discover the character of him who drew the sword for his Master: in the other of him who lay with his head in the bosom of his Master.
The very same character distinguishes his Gospel. The magnificence of his opening soon gives way to the expression of his love, and his narrative runs like a stream through flowery pastures. course carries us continually through scenes of winning sweetness. He describes to us the first attachment of his disciples to their Master, and he gives at full length our Lord's valedictory addresses, so overflowing with love. He carefully selects anecdotes which remarkably display the sympathy and love of Jesus, such as the resurrection of Lazarus, and exhibits a most lively delineation of our Lord, by an admirable selection from his sayings and doings, such as could be made only by one who had been continually in his company. We feel that we are indeed reading the narrative of him who lay with his head in his Master's bosom.
the earth. He wept from pity for God's creatures. Here were God's oracles set forth, and none was able to read them. All creation was rebuked, and put to open shame. They knew not God as he challenged them to know, Angels, spirits, and men, were visibly admonished of their imperfection. The whole creation seemed brought into the condition of fallen man, to whom truth had so long been a mystery. How great then was his joy when in the all-prevailing Lamb he recognized his crucified Master, with what a throbbing of exultation did he hear the triumphal hymn sung to his praise by every creature, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. So was this faithful follower of the Lord comforted in his prison-house, and so has this his described vision enlightened the darkness of the prison-houses of martyrs and confessors. In his book they have read how vain is the opposition of cruel man against God, and have recited the hymn of his triumphant saints. Here to the glories of the bliss of the new Jerusalem, to the happy assembly of the first-born, to the company of the spirits of just men made perfect, they have raised their eyes in joyful and almost grasping hope from the afflicted and lacerated Church below, from tyrannous and infidel persecutors, from tortured martyrs and suffering saints. If their prison-house remind-stood alone of all the train of the hearers and beed them of Patmos, it was comforted by its vision. But his epistles place his character in the clearest light. They are the very outpouring of pure charity, the very outbreathing of heavenly love. Opening with a solemn commemoration of his conversation with his divine Master while on earth, he proceeds to instances of his surpassing love towards us, shown in the redemption of the world, and thence deduces the necessity of our returning his love by obedience, and warns his readers against the busy perverters of the truth who were now abroad. This return of love is the very proof of our having passed from death to life. He dwells earnestly on communion with Christ, and the duty of loving him because he first loved us. The epistle is almost an expansion into detail of his Master's charge, "If ye love me keep my commandments." The same strain of divine love pervades the other epistles. Perhaps his peculiar character is never so forcibly brought out before us, as when we compare his writings with those of his comrade Peter. The spirit of their Master's compassionate mercy and loving-kindness dwells in both. But how different is its outward expression. There is an authoritative strain in Peter's style: a beseeching in John's. Peter's is varied in topics, nervous in language, full of his natural impetuosity and fire:
* Revelations v. 3.
For the latter years of his life, St. John probably holders of the Lord, and he was surrounded by those who knew him but through his preachers. He was the last who could tell those minute anecdotes of the Lord which can be communicated but by word of mouth alone, which require the voice, the formality of writing. If he ever indulged the the gesture, to give them effect, and will not bear garrulity of age, how precious that garrulity. The period of life to which old age delights to recur had What a privilege must it have been to hear him. been spent in the company of the Lord of life.How must his Church have flocked around the old man, anxious to pick up every crumb as it were that fell beneath his table, for every crumb was of the bread of life. His end is strongly contrasted with that of his colleagues. His two companions in his Lord's especial favor, Peter and James the elder, sealed their faith with their blood. So too did Paul and James the less. But John died in peace amid the general peace of the Church. The apostle of love died amid love. He bequeathed the Church his Gospel, and he left behind him (and he alone) a succession of writers, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenæus, which did glorious service in the holy cause. His very long life was of eminent advantage to the Church. Its government had time to settle, and receive his sanction, and the canon of the Gospels was completed and ratified by him. At the age of an hundred he closed his long labors, and slept in the Lord.
COMPLETE DUTY OF MAN:
SYSTEM OF DOCTRINAL
REV. HENRY VENN, A. M.
THOMAS GEORGE, JR. 162 NASSAU STREET.