Page images


follow; and, with God's grace, will do. Therefore, and themselves compelled to leave the kingdom, or good John, pray for me; and if thou seest me weak at else committed to prison-there, says the historian of any time, comfort me, and discourage me not in this those days, “as lambs waiting when the butchers my godly enterprise and purpose.” Thus, like an- would call them to the slaughter.” Among his other other Paul, he went forward, "ready not to be bound fellow-captives, Dr. Taylor found Mr. Bradford, afteronly, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.” wards a blessed martyr, to whom he particularly at

When he came to London, he appeared before Bishop tached himself, and in whose scciety he had such Gardiner, who reviled him, calling liim knave, traitor, consolation, that he told his friends who were permitted heretic. “My lord (said Dr. Taylor), I am neither to see him, that the Lord had most graciously protraitor nor heretic, but a true subject, and a faithful vided for, him, to send him to that prison, where Christian man; and am come, according to your com- was found such an angel of God to be in his company mandment, to know what is the cause that your lord- to comfort him. ship hath sent for me.” Then said the bishop, “ Art After being some time in captivity, Dr. Taylor was thou come, thou villain? How darest thou look me

brought forth into Bow Church, and there solemnly in the face for shame? Knowest thou not who I am?" deprived of his living, on account of his being a mar. “Yes," quoth Dr. Taylor, “I know who you are. ricd man. Then, on the 22d of January, 1555, the You are Dr. Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, old severe laws against heretics, as the Protestants and lord chancellor ; and yet but a mortal man, I were called, having been re-established, he was

But if I should be afraid of your lordly looks, examined before the Bishop of Winchester, and other why fear you not God, the Lord of us all? How dare bishops. This examination turned chiefly on the lawye for shame look any Christian man in the face, fulness of priest's marriages, which Dr. Taylor stoutly seeing ye have forsaken the truth, denied our Saviour and learnedly maintained. Pardon was offered him if Christ, and his word, and done contrary to your own he would return to the Popish Church; but he would oath and writing ?” (It must be observed, that Bishop | by rio means, though in such peril, deny the faith. At Gardiner, though now so stout a promoter of Popery, last, after many reproaches, very unbecoming one who had heretofore written against the Pope, and taken an sat as a judge, Bishop Gardiner closed the sitting by oath in conformity thereto.) “I tell thee," said the saying, as he rose, “Wilt thou not return again with Bishop of Winchester, " it was lIerod's oath, un- us to the Catholic Church ?" He replied, “ By God's lawful, and therefore ought to be broken, and not grace, I will never depart from Christ's Church.” And kept: and our holy father, the Pope, hath discharged when he asked that his friends might be allowed to me of it.” Then said Dr. Taylor, “ But you shall visit him, the bishop only answered, “Thou shalt not be so discharged before Christ, who doubtless will have judgment within this week.” And so he was require it at your hands, as a lawful oath made to our delivered back to his keeper. liege and sovereign lord the king, from whose obedi- On the 29th of January, Dr. Taylor was again ence no man can absolve you, neither the Pope, nor brought before the Bishop of Winchester, and other any of his."

commissioners. Two articles were then objected to After much more violence on the part of the bishop, him: the first, that he bad believed and preached who accused Dr. Taylor of being married-for the that it is lawful for a priest to marry; the second, that Church of Rome forbids clergymen to marry -- of he had believed and preached that in the sacrament having resisted the priest of Aldham, and of having is not truly the natural body and blood of Christ, but spoken against thc mass, lic called bis man, and said, that material bread and wine are there only. These “ Have this fellow hence, and carry him to the King's articles he confessed, saying, that so he still believed, Bench, and charge the keeper he be straitly kept.” and was ready to defend. The next day he again Then Dr. Taylor kneeled down, and held up both his appeared before the bishops and others. T'avour was hands, and said, “ Good Lord, I thank thee: and once more offered him, if he would repent and return from the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, and all his to the bosom of the Romish Church. But he steadily detestable errors, idolatrics, and abominations, good persisted in his opinions, and declared that there were Lord, deliver us: and God be praised for good king but two sacraments, baptism and the sacrament of the Edward." He was then carried to prison, where he body and blood of Christ; and that after consecration lay almost two years.

the bread and wine remain. He denied transubThe account of this scene was given by Dr. Taylor stantiation, and said that the natural body of Christ is himself in a letter to a friend, in which lie thanks God not here, but in heaven; and that Christ's body could for his grace, that he had enabled him to confess his not be in two places at once. After much disputation, truth, and that he was found worthy for the truth to the bishop asked him again, whether he would return suffer prison and bonds: beseeching his friends to to the unity of the Catholic Church. He answered, pray for him, that he might persevere constant to the that he would not come to antichrist's Church. Then end.

the bishop pronounced sentence upon him for a heretic, While in prison this faithful man spent all his time and so delivered him to the sheriff of London. On in prayer, reading the Holy Scriptures, writing, and bis way to prison, the people flocked about to gaze upon preaching, and exhorting the prisoners, and those who him: to whom he said, “God be praised, good people; visited him, to repentance and amendment of life. I am come away from them undefiled, and will confirm And in a very short time he had many companions in the truth with my blood.” At night he was removed his affliction: for multitudes of the most learned and to the Poultry Compter. excellent ministers throughout England were And hither, in about a week, came Bonner, bishop displaced, their churches filled with Popish priests, of London, to degrade him from his holy orders.


[ocr errors]



They put upon him, in spite of liis resistance, the my certain Saviour. Amen. The 5th of February, vestments of the Romish Church; and then, according

anno 1555. to their custom, took all the ensigns of the clerical “ The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom office from him. And the Bishop laid his curse upon then shall I fear ? Ps. 27.-God is he that justitieth : him. Then said Dr. Taylor, " Though you do curse who is he that can condemn ? Rom. 8.--In thee, O Lord, me, yet God doth bless me. I have the witness of my have I trusted : let me never be confounded. Ps. 30.” conscience, that ye have done me wrong and violence: It had been resolved, in order to strike greater and yet, I pray God, if it be his will, forgive you. terror into the Protestants, that many of the leading But from the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, and his clergy should suffer in the scene of their own labours. detestable enormities, good Lord, deliver us.”

Dr. Taylor, therefore, was carried to Hadleigh, to die The night after he was degraded, his wife, son, and where he had lived. And the day after his wife had faithful servant, were admitted, and allowed to sup smpped with him, he was taken to the Compter by with him. At their coming they knecled down and the sheriff of London, at two o'clock in the morning, prayed, saying the litany. After supper, having given and conveyed without lights to an inn beyond AldGod thanks, who had endued him with strength to gate. His wife, suspecting that he would be carried abide by his holy word, he addressed to them some away secretly, watched all that nig in St. Botolph's affectionate and solemn admonitions. Then, as his church-porch, with two children, one Dr. Taylor's own last tokens, he gave to his wife his book of the Church daughter, the other an orphan girl, whom they had service, which he had daily used in bis imprisonment; adopted.

Just when the sheriff and his company and to his son, a Latin book, containing some sayings passed by the church, one of the children cried out, of the old martyrs, in a blank page of which he had () my dear father! mother, mother, here is my father written what he called his will.


away !" Then said his wife, “ Rowland, Rowland, This document was as follows:

where art thou ?" for the morning was too dark for " The last will and testament of Dr. Rowland Tay- her to see him. Dr. Taylor answered, “Dear wife, I lor, parson of Hadleigh. I say to my wife and to my am here," and stopped. The sheriff's men would have children, The Lord gave you unto me; and the Lord hath pushed him on ; but the sheriff, more humane, said, taken me from you and you from me: blessed be the Stay, let him speak to his wife.”—And so he took name of the Lord. I believe that they are blessed the youngest child in his arms, and kneeled down which die in the Lord. God careth for sparrows, and and prayed. Then he kissed and blessed his wife and for the hairs of our heads. I have ever found him children, saying, “ Be of good comfort; God shall more faithful and favourable than is any father or stir up a father for my children. I pray you all stand busband. Trust ye, therefore, in him, by the means of strong and stedfast unto Christ and his word, and our dear Saviour Christ's merits: believe, love, fear, keep you from idolatry." His wife replied, “God be and obey him: pray to him, for he hath promised to with thee, dear Rowland: I will, with God's grace, belp. Count me not dead, for I shall certainly live, meet thee at Hadleigh!" At this moving scene the and never die. I go before, and you shall follow after, sheriff and many of his attendants were melted into to our long home. I go to the rest of my children, Susan, George, Ellen, Robert, and Zachary. I have While Dr. Taylor was kept waiting at the inn for bequeathed you to the only Omnipotent. I say to my the sheriff of Essex, his wife made another attempt to dear friends of Hadleigh, and to all others which have see him. This, however, the sheriff of London could beard me preach, that I depart hence with a quiet not permit; but he kindly offered her an asylum in his conscience as touching my doctrine, for the whichi, I own house. She declined this, and went to her mopray you, thank God with me. For I have, after my ther's, whom the officers charged to keep her till they little talent, declared to others those lessons that I came again. On coming out, in custody of the sheriff gathered out of God's book, the blessed Bible. There- of Essex, Dr. Taylor saw his son, and his faithful fore, if I, or an angel from heaven, should preach to servant John Hull. He blessed them, and bade them Fou any other Gospel than that ye have received, God's farewell. great curse upon that preacher. Beware, for God's At Brentwood, an inhabitant of Hadleigh, who had sake, that ye deny not God; neither decline from the once been in Dr. Taylor's service, met him, and supword of faith, lest God decline from you, and so do ye posing him to be at liberty, came to him to congratuEverlastingly perish. For God's sake, beware of popery;

late him. For this the sheriff rebuked him, and for, though it appear to have in it unity, yet the same

threatened him with punishment. And then, to preis vanity and anti-Christianity, and not in Christ's vent his prisoner from being recognised, he had made faith and verity. Beware of the sin against the Holy for him a kind of close hood, with holes for his eyes Ghost, now, after such a light opened so plainly and

and mouth. Thus disguised, it was impossible for any simply, truly, thoroughly, and generally to all England.

one to know him. Yet was the martyr all the way very The Lord grant all men liis good and Holy Spirit, in- merry and joyful, as one that accounted himself going crease of his wisdon, contemning the wicked world, to a most pleasant banquet or bridal. He spoke much hearty desire to be with God and the heavenly com- to the sheriff and guards, causing them sometimes to pany, through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator, Ad- weep, through his affectionate expostulations with them, Focate, righteousness, life, sanctification, and hope. and sometimes to rejoice and wonder, at seeing him so Amen, amen. Pray, pray.

constant and stedfast, void of all fear, joyful in heart, "(Signed)-ROWLAND TAYLOR, departing hence in and glad to die. sure hope, without all doubting, of eternal salvation, I At Chelmsford they found the sheriff of Suffolk, thank God, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, who was to attend him to his execution. And at sup


per that night the two sheriff's endeavoured to per- him." And Dr. Taylor said continually to the people, suade him to recant. They represented the favour “ I have preached to you God's word and truth, and and reputation he had previously enjoyed with the am come this day to seal it with my blood.” And then great: they reminded him that he might possibly yet he threw to the poor, in the alms-houses, the little live many years; they assured him, that if he would

money remaining of that which had been given him in reconcile himself to the Pope, le should attain more his imprisonment. than all his former credit. Dr. Taylor appears to have At last, coming to Allham common, and seeing a been of a jocose disposition, and, even at a crisis like great multitude collected there, he asked, “ What this, he could not altogether rein in his humour. He place is this? and what meaneth it that so much seemed to be considering a little while their argu- people are gathered hither ?" He was told, “ It is ments, and then he said, “ I heartily thank you for Aldham common, the place where you must suffer ; your good will. I have hearkened to your words, and and the people are come to look upon you." " Then,” marked well your counsels. And, to be plain with you, said he, “thanked be God, I am even at home;" and I do perceive that I have been deceived myself, and so lighted from his horse, and with his own hands rent am like to deceive a great many of Hadleigh of their the hood from his head. Then when the people saw his expectation.” The sheriffs were rejoiced at this, and reverend face and long white beard, they burst forth thought that he consented to their wish; but when into loud lamentations, and said, “God save thee, good one of them inquired more particularly his meaning, Dr. Taylor: Jesus Christ strengthen thee and help he replied, " I will tell you; I thought my body should thee: the Holy Gliost comfort thee.” When he would have been buried in IIadleigh churchyard, if I had have replied to them, the yeomen of the guard thrust died in my bed, as I well hoped I should have done; staves into his mouth: and when he asked permission but herein I see I was deceived. And there are a of the sheriff to speak, the sheriff' refused him, and great number of worms in Hadleigh churchyard, bade him remember his promise to the council. This, which should have had good feeding upon this carcass, it is supposed, referred to a threat that the martyrs' which they have looked for many a day. But now I tongues should be cut out, if they would not promise know we be deceived, both I and they: for this carcass to keep silence at their death--for the papists feared must be burnt to ashes, and so shall they lose their lest their dying exhortations should confirm the people bait and feeding, that they looked to have had of it." in the truth. Then Dr. Taylor put off his clothes to When the company heard him say so, adds the his- his shirt, and give them away. And while he was torian, they were amazed, and looked one on another, saying with a loud voice, " Good people, I have taught marvelling at the man's constant mind, that thus, you nothing but God's holy word, and those lessons without all fear, made but a jest at the cruel torment that I have taken out of God's blessed book, the Holy and death, now at hand, prepared for him.

Bible ; and I am come hither this day to seal it with At Lanham, or Lavenham, where the sheriff of Suf- my blood,” one of the guard brutally struck him on folk kept him two days, fresh endeavours were used to the head, and said, “Is that the keeping of thy proinduce him to recant. Many gentlemen and justices mise, thou heretic?" Dr: Taylor, secing he might not of the neighbourhood came to him, and promised him speak, kneeled down and prayed; and a woman of the, a bishopric if he would but yield; but their labour was crowd kneeled with him, and persisted in praying too, in vain. He had not built his house upon the sand, in though they threatened for it to tread her down with peril of falling at every breath of wind, but upon the horses. When the martyr rose, le kissed the stake, sure and immovable rock, Christ. Wherefore he abode and placed himself in a pitch-barrel, and, folding his constant to the end.

hands, and lifting his eyes to heaven, prayed again. At length, being come within two miles of II adleigh, Then he was bound with chains ; but the man first Dr. Taylor, dismounting from his horse, began literally ordered to set up the faggots, could not be prevailed on to leap for joy. “Doctor," said the sheriff, “ low do to do it. At last, four persons of bad character caine you now?"

He answered, “Well, God be praised, to make the fire; and one of them cruelly cast a faggot good master sheriff: never better - for now I know I at him with such force that the blood ran down his am almost at home. I lack not past two stiles to go face. “O friend (said the meek martyr), I have harm over, and I am even at my Father's house. But shall enough: what needed that ?" Then, while he was rewe not go through Hadleigh ?” “Yes,” said the peating a psalın in Englislı, a gentleman who stood by sheriff, “you shall go through Hadleigh.” “Then,” struck him on the lips, and said, Knave, speak said he, " () good Lord, I thank thee, I shall yet once, Latin: I will make thee.” And when they kindled cre I die, see my flock, whom thou, Lord, knowest I the fire, Dr. Taylor, holding up both his hands, called have most heartily loved, and truly taught. Good upon God, and said: "Merciful Father of heaven, for Lord, bless them, and keep them stedfast in thy word Jesus Christ my Saviour's sake, receive my soul into and truth.” When they entered Hadleighi, the streets thy hands." Then he stood still without crying or were crowded with men, women, and children. And moving, his hands being folded together, till one when they beheld him so led to death, with weeping with a halbert struck bim on the head, that the eyes and lamentable voices, they cried out, “() dear brains fell out, and the dead corpse fell down into the father and good shepherd, Dr. Taylor, God help and fire. succour thee! Ah! good Lord, there goeth our good “ Thus rendered this man of God his blessed soul into shepherd from us, that so faithfully hath taught us, so the hands of his merciful Father, and to his most dear fatherly hath cared for us, and so godly hath governed and certain Saviour Jesus Christ, whom he most en

O merciful God, what shall we poor scattered tirely loved, faithfully and earnestly preached, obedilambs do? Good Lord, strengthen him, and comfort ently followed in living, and constantly glorified in

[ocr errors]


death." “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. But the truth of Christianity does not depend solely Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their

on those miraculous facts to which we have now adlabours, and their works do follow them."

verted. Prophecy duly fulfilled is itself a miracle, S.

equally applicable to the proof of religion ; and the Scriptures abound in predictions, of which history has

already recorded the fulfilment. The events by which THE TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY. many of them have been fulfilled--for example, the Ettracted from the Substance of an Address on the right Use spread of Christianity, and the dispersion of the Jews and Application of Knowledge, delivered to the Mechanics of --are familiar to us all. Manchester, at their Institution in that town, by JosEPH I wish I could persuade you to examine the proJous GERSEY.

phecies scattered over the Old Testament, and meetThe doctrines of Christianity are founded on facts; ing us at every point in a most unartificial manner, and those facts are the subject of testimony. And we respecting the Messiah who was to come. I wish I are sure that the facts are true, and therefore that the could induce you to compare them with the history of doctrines resting on them are divine, because the tes- his birth, life, character, ministry, death, resurrection, timony in question is at once abundant in quantity and ascension, contained in the four Gospels. You and sound in character. I cannot now enter on a would find the prophecy and the history tally with a detailed account of the historical evidence by which marvellous precision; and since the Old Testament are proved the genuineness of the Holy Scriptures, can be proved to have been written long before the and the reality of the events which are there recorded. coming of Christ, you would find yourself in possesBut since you are accustomed to receive the testi- sion of an evidence of which no cavils could deprive Diony of your lecturers with implicit confidence, I beg you, that Christianity is God's religion. When a lock of you, on the present occasion, to accept my own.

I and a key are well fitted, a fair presumption arises, believe I am an honest man, and I have long been even though they be of a simple character, that they accustomed to investigate the subject. I am ready, were made for each other. If they are complex in then, to declare in your presence--in the presence of their forms, that presumption is considerably strengthall Manchester-of all England--of all Europe-nay, ened. But if the lock is composed of such strange of the whole world—that there are no facts whatsoever and curious parts as to baffle the skill even of a Manwithin the whole range of ancient history, of the truth chester mechanic-if it is absolutely novel and pecuof which we have more abundant and conclusive evi- liar, differing from every thing which was ever before dence, than of the DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF seen in the world--if no key in the universe will enter JESUS CHRIST. Indeed, I know of no ancient events it, except one, and by that one it is so easily and exog record, of which the evidence is nearly so much actly fitted, that a child may open it,—then, indeed, a cumulatod, or nearly so strong.

are we absolutely certain that the lock and the key The resurrection of Jesus Christ, together with the were made by the same master-hand, and truly belong miracles of Christ himself and his apostles, are our to each other. No less curiously diversified---no less suire rouchers that the Author of nature, who can hidden from the wisdom of man--no less novel and alone suspend or reverse its order, was the Author of peculiar—are the prophecies contained in the Old Christianity. These miracles bore no resemblance to Testament respecting Jesus Christ. No less easythe false pretences of the fanatical and superstitious. no less exact-is the manner in which they are fitted They were for the most part immediate in their ope- by the Gospel history! Who, then, can doubt that ration,-wrought in public,-utterly incapable of being God was the Author of these predictions--of the accounted for by second causes--and of so broad and events by which they were fulfilled--and of the reliconspicuous a character, that no deliberate eye-witnessgion with which they are both inseparably connected ? could be deceived respecting them. Nor were they, But, independently of all outward testimony, and of in point of fact, improbable events. Who will deny the evidence of miracles and prophecy, Christianity tha: the dark and degraded condition of mankind re- proclaims its own divine origin by its character and quired an outward revelation of the Divine will? Who its effects. On this subject we appeal to your native will not allow that miracles are a suitable test,--the good sense, to your practical feelings, to your permost suitable one which we can imagine,--by which sonal experience. Christianity is the religion of truth, the truth of such a revelation might be established ? because it is the religion of holiness. In vain will the Who does not perceive that under such circumstances student search the pages of Plato and Aristotle-in it was credible--nay, highly probable--that God would vain will he examine the conversations of Socrates-permit or ordain them?

in vain will be dive into the disputations of CiceroTrue, indeed, it is, that they were directly opposed for a moral system so complete, so simple, and so to the course of nature. Otherwise they would not efficacious, as that of the Bible. Where, within the have been miracles--they would not have answered whole range of uninspired ethics, shall we find any their purpose! But is it not equally opposed to the thing worthy even of a moment's comparison with known oriler of things, that an honest man, in bearing that divine saying, in which the whole law of God is witness to these facts, should tell a deliberate lie? Is comprehended and concentrated ? “ Thou shalt love it not yet more at variance with that order, that he

the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy should persevere in that lie through life, and sacrifice soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; esery worldly advantage, and even lite itseli, to the and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” support of it? Is it not a far greater breach of every Ar customed, as many of you are, in your factories, established probability, that twelve men, of the same to the printing of a thousand beautiful patterns on virtuous character, should all tell this lie-should all your cottons and your muslins, you will be at no loss persevere in it without deviation-should all sacrifice to understand and appreciate a memorable saying of their property, their peace, and their reputation- Lord Bacon's, “ that truth differs from goodness only should all be willing to lay down their lives in its as the seal or dye differs from its print for that maintenance? Is it not, lastly, an actual moral impos- TRUTH PRINTS COODNESS.". siuility that this lie, accompanied by no temporal In the goodness of Christianity--in the purity of force and no worldly advantage, but by every species its law-in its display of the holy attributes of God of loss and affliction, should triumph over the preju- in its revelation of an awful and glorious eternitydices of the Jew and the favourite habits of the Gen- in its actual efficiency for the moral restoration of our tile--should be accepted and believed by myriads-- species-in the perfect fitness of that Saviour whom it and should, finally, enthrone itself over the whole unfolds to our spiritual need, as sinners in the sight of Roman empire ?

God--we have abundant experimental proof of its truth

and divine origin. Time forbids a further discussion "bearing about in the body the dying of the of the subject. Allow me, then, in conclusion, to bear Lord Jesus ;" yet still he lives,-- his soul is my deliberate and solemn testimony in the words of

full of divine animation,-if he can but witan apostle--and may that testimony, by whomsoever borne, satisfy all understandings and imbue all hearts ! ness the stedfastness of those, for whose sake May it be upheld and exalted o: every side! May it he is willing to be offered up in any way and surmount all opposition — may it pervade the whole

at any moment. I will not repeat all the land --- may it spread from pole to pole

- mav it be as unrestrained and diffusive as the winds of heaven! emphatic declarations, in which the apostle

-“ OTHER FOUNDATION CAN NO MAN LAY THAN TILAT pours out the fulness of his devout and affecIS LAID, WHICII IS Jesus Christ.”

tionate heart. That these declarations were

not insincere, or exaggerated, every act of CHRISTIAN STEDFASTNESS:

his life evinced. It is not enough for him to

have done his duty before God, and to have A Sermon,

satisfied his conscience; but he longs to see BY TIC Rev. Joun NORMAN Pearson, M.A. the vineyard, in which he has been called to Islington.

labour, abound with strong and flourishing 1 Thess. iii. 8.

plants. So deeply is he concerned for the

souls of others, that at times he seems hardly * For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.”

willing to accept of salvation for himself, This earnest and affectionate language is ad- unless he may share it with those who are dressed by the great apostle to the Christians precious to him as the sucking babe to its in Thessalonica. By the blessing of God, he mother. He lives, when the souls of which had been the instrument of great good among he deems himself the spiritual father live them. Though he appears, from the account also. preserved in the Acts of the Apostles, to With a view to ascertain whether we, my have met with some hard usage, and some friends, as minister and people, have good discouragements, in their city, yet his ministry reason to rejoice together, let us begin by there appears, upon the whole, to have fur- considering what the apostle means by standnished him with many a delightful recollec-ing fast in the Lord. A Christian, you know, tion. It was there that “ of the devout is said to be in Christ. His union with the Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief Saviour is described in many forcible and women not a few,” received the Gospel of expressive figures. He is said to put on the Christ Jesus, and entered into fellowship Lord Jesus Christ; to be grafted into him ; with the apostles. In the letter written to to be built


him. These forms of speech them after his departure, St. Paul reminds denote respectively the nature, the source, and them of the tenderness and zeal with which the support of a believer's holiness. And, he had laboured to promote their eternal in- by a similar metaphor, we may be aptly said terests. “ We were gentle among you, even

“ stand fast in the Lord," so long as, by as a nurse cherisheth her children : so being faith in him, we adhere to the doctrines of affectionately desirous of you, we were willing the Gospel, and adorn it by a virtuous and to have imparted unto you, not the Gospel of holy behaviour. The apostle Peter, after God only, but also our own souls, because deploring the misconduct of unstable proye were dear unto us." And this pious fessors, exhorts the brethren to beware of affection, this holy solicitude, which he felt “ falling from their own stedfastness ;” the towards them when present, was not in the opposite to which state of instability and fallleast abated by absence. The charity which ing away he sets forth by the expression, flows from religious principle is exempt from “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of that frailty and decay to which mere natural our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” And, affection is liable. Those whom we love for certainly, if growth in the knowledge of Jesus Christ's sake, we shall continue to love Christ, and in gracious affections and pracwhile he remains dear to us. Accordingly, tices, be not the exact opposite to instability, when St. Paul is separated from the Thes- it is at least indispensable to preserve us

For, any decline in the love and tenderly as ever. If any trial or persecution practice of true religion is contrary to the befal them, he cannot rest until he has learnt state of "standing fast in the Lord.” Now, whether they have sustained it with unshaken unless we are daily advancing in what conconstancy. Is he himself cast into a furnace stitutes the new creature, we are suffering of affliction? He can bear it patiently, yea loss. In fact, there is no such being as joyfully, provided it bring no spiritual hurt stationary Christian.

istian. Standing fast, it is to his beloved converts. He lives, when therefore unnecessary to remark, is not put they stand fast in the Lord. Let him be in opposition to the progressive walk of true hungry and thirsty, naked and buffeted, re- believers, but to a wavering and backsliding viled and persecuted ; let him “ die daily,” | condition. All those who are rooted and



, his heart is still set upon them as from it.


« PreviousContinue »