« PreviousContinue »
merchants and tradesmen are the only parties that should have anything to do with business. They look upon religion as a holy and a dainty thing, that ought to be most sacredly and solemnly thought of upon the Sabbath day ; but to bring so delicate a thing into the world, to introduce the influence of religion into the market, to inspire commerce with the love, and to seek through it the glory, and to transact it in the name, of God, is a thing so preposterous that they suppose only fanatics and such people can hold it. Hence they say, “We build for religion beautiful cathedrals, we consecrate holy places, we chant hymns in her praise, and we hear sermons that are preached and spoken by her ministers, and on the Sunday none can be so religious as we.” But when the Sunday sun has set, and when the worldly sun begins to shine, they exclude religion altogether, as a thing utterly uncongenial, if not hostile, to the business of the world. It is a nobler compliment to true religion to take her into all the cares, the concerns, the toils, the labours, the business of this life, than it is to chant matins, or to sing vespers, or to build cathedrals, or to appear devout and religious on a Sunday. True religion is not a nun, to be exhibited on Sunday, and shut up in a cloister all the week; but a wife, a mother, a sister, the light of the home, the luminary of the world, the directress of all that man does, and of all the duties in which man can engage.
Such seems to me the application in all its ramifications of that great principle that is to control and govern all that man engages in ; an influence that, like the oil on Aaron's head, is to flow down to the very skirts of his garment; that, like the morning
dew, is to refresh the fainting violet in the valley, but also to water the oak upon the mountain side. It is said in this world that the humblest servant of a nobleman feels reflected on himself the dignity and greatness of the master that he serves. This, whether true or not in the things of this world, is eminently so in the things of a higher. The service of God adds dignity to the lowliest, true grandeur to the humblest saint, and sheds down upon earth a portion of the glory of heaven, when we fulfil life's duties to Queen, master, or employer, ever feeling we serve the Lord Christ. And only when we have felt this maxim in all its force, and seen it in all its applications, shall we behold in no labour in which Providence places us, reason for regret ; but, on the contrary, have the thorough conviction that He who has placed us here means and calls upon us to glorify Him here also. Too often do we hear persons say, “I cannot act upon that principle here ; but if I could only get up there, oh, then how beautifully I would embody your text.” That is the greatest mistake in the world ; if you cannot act upon this principle just where you are, you never could act upon it just where you would be : the sphere assigned us is by Providence, the duty dictated is by grace, and addressed to us. A sentry, for instance, is placed at his post on the field of battle, and he is told that is his post-a sentry. If he takes it into his head to go and reconnoitre the camp of the enemy, he would be summoned before his commanding officer, and most unquestionably rebuked for his dereliction of duty ; and if he were to plead, “I could not do the good that I would as a sentry ; I thought I could do much better by reconnoitring in the camp of the enemy;" the answer would be, “ It was the fulfilment of all your duty to your Queen as a sentry; it was your business, and you had no right to attempt to do greater service where we felt greater service was not required.” It is so with us. God has placed us in our several spheres, duties, and places; we are not to leave these, thinking we can serve Him better elsewhere ; but where we are, we are to do all in the name of Christ and to the glory of God. Here is the only path of consistency; let this be the key-uote, and all sounds will resolve themselves into harmony. Let your heart attain its right polarity, and all its pulses will beat right; let your eye be single, and your whole body will be full of light. And here also is the way to peace and rest. When I am conscious I am doing the right thing, in the right spirit, and towards the right end, then, when disaster, loss, or ruin overtakes me, I can fall back upon the blessed assurance that I did it in the name of Christ and for the glory of God, and therefore I have peace. And lastly, this is the way to reward ; reward not of merit, but of grace. “He that gives a cup of cold water in my name shall not lose his reward.” Blessed name! It grows every day in power, it increases every day in splendour, it rises on the souls of increasing numbers like a glorious sun, while all other names, like the retreating stars, become pale. And very soon this name, in which all is to be done now, shall be the only name in which all shall be done then; and from the pine forests of the North to the palm groves of the sunny East, from the river to the ends of the earth, this Name shall rise and swell until all songs be sung in it and all words spoken in it; and engraven upon the earth like God's name upon a precious jewel, it shall shine with a lustre that never fades and never ceases ; and we shall then learn that in doing all in this name we had an earnest, foretaste, and prelibation of that happy state where all is in the name and all is for the glory of Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords.
THE PECULIAR SOLEMNITY OF THE LETTER-SLAVES AND SLAVERY
-HEAVENLY MOTIVES — INTERCESSORY PETITIONS-OUR WALK
THOUGH the postscripts attached to each of the Epistles in the New Testament are not always correct, yet in this instance it is so. The Epistle to the Ephesians, the T etle to the Philippians, and the Epistle to the
were all three written by Paul whilst he ier in the city of Rome for the Gospel's
in consequence of this his suffering condito ne in them a subdued and chastened
nd elevation of spirit—a sense of os eternal, and the evanescence of t we do not perceive so prominent, in the rest of the Epistles of this Lord Jesus Christ. The Epistle is one of the grandest in the New Epistle to the Philippians one of the subdued, and simple; the Epistle to he fullest of practical advice ; all bear
the impress of a man who stood upon f the future, and heard the waves of its Pa washing the very ground on which he
very moment that he might be called