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Would that bad men would think confounding, because the danger on that. You can not get rid of is boundless. It is a dark unknown, your soul's existence ; you can not which threatens him. The arm that cease to be : you may wish it, is stretched over him he can neither though the wish is monstrous and see nor resist. No wonder that unnatural. But there is no anni- the lonesome solitude or the midhilation for any soul of man. Oh! night hour should strike him with come to our Saviour; give him horror." your guilty soul to be justified through his atonement, washed in his blood, regenerated by his Spirit. Singular Efficacy of Social Prayer. " Make to him now that surrender A CLERGYMAN who was not very of your soul for which he calls. remarkable for bis zeal in the cause Renew this happy self-dedication of his divine Master, while travelevery day, very specially every ing, not many months ago, in a cerSabbath, and most solemnly from tain section of this state, stopped time to time at the Lord's Supper. for a night in a place where there And then, when you come to die, was an extensive revival of relig. it will only be to do once more ion. After resting for a short time what you have so often done in at the inn, his curiosity to view the former days - again to commend place, led him to stroll through the your soul very humbly, believ- streets. He had not proceeded far ingly, and affectionately, into the on. his evening ramble, before bis faithful care of Jesus Christ. ear was arrested by the voice of
prayer. He paused and listened, Conscience.
and finding that the voice issued
from a retired and humble dwellOf all the horrors human beings ing by the road-side, stranger as he can feel, none perhaps are equal to was, he resolved to enter. On enthose of a guilty conscience. It tering, he found himself unexpectembitters every comfort, it dashes edly surrounded by a band of disevery pleasure with sorrow, it fills ciples assembled for special prayer. the mind with despair, and pro- He cast his eye about upon the duces wretchedness in the highest little group, in a vain endeavor to degree. “To live under such dis- find some one whom he could requietude,” says Blair, “is already cognize as an acquaintance; but all to undergo one of the most severe were strangers in person, though punishments which human nature brethren in Christ. Collecting his can suffer. When the world threat- wandering thoughts, he bowed himens us with any of its evils, we self in the humble attitude of prayknow the extent, and discern the er, and to his infinite surprise he limits of the danger. We see the soon discovered that himself
, by quarter on which we are exposed name, and the people of his charge, to its attack, We measure our were the subjects of ardent and strength with that of our adver- importunate supplication. The sary, and can take precautions person who was leading their deeither for making resistance or votions was an entire stranger to for contriving escape. But when him, and yet he seemed to wrestle an awakened conscience places be- in spirit with God, that he might fore the sinner the just vengeance be aroused to greater faithfulness of the Almighty, the prospect is and zeal in his ministerial duties
and private devotions, and that God prayer, we are kindly informed in would prepare him to become in- the Bible, has great efficacy with strumental in reviving his work in God. What infinite condescenthe church and congregation over sion ! The humble, feeble petiwhich he was placed as a spiritual tion of a worm of the dust, may watchman. After the meeting had have an influence in the councils of closed, being deeply impressed with the Eternal Three! In nothing, the guilt of his past negligence, and perhaps, do we see the forgiving with the responsibility of the min- love and benevolence of the Deity isterial office, he silently withdrew more strikingly manifested toward and returned to his lodgings. Not his rebellious creatures, than in the long after this event, he returned institution of prayer. Here we to his people, and resumed, with see, as it were, a communication renewed vigor, the duties of his opened between earth and heaven. office. Within a short time, a re- By this way the humble saint may vival commenced in his congrega- rise on the wings of faith and love tion, and three hundred were early to the very confines of heavenly numbered as the hopeful subjects bliss. He may almost hear the of redeeming mercy. The reviv- sound of heavenly music. He als in both mentioned places still mingles, in imagination, with the continue.
glorious company that stands around the throne of God, with
crowns Privilege of Prayer.
upon their heads and
golden harps in their hands, sing. What a glorious boon is thus ing day and night: “Holy, holy, vouchsafed to us! The Christian's holy is the Lord God Almighty, joy and hope and consolation. which was, and is, and is to come.” How often and how earnestly, In the emotions of the simple, humthen, should the Christian seek ble and despised disciple of Christ, the throne of grace! He should are the loftiest examples of moral feel most sensibly that the fervent, sublimity, ever seen or felt by man. effectual prayer of the righteous But these emotions, elevated and man availeth much. He should exalted as they are, still are open long and ardently lift up his soul to all who will sincerely and earnto God in prayer that blessings estly seek them. Yet, after all, may come down upon himself and are there some still remaining, his fellow men. To call upon God, and those professing Christians is not only acknowledged as our too, who, regardless of its value, privilege, but is every where laid are now living in almost entire down in the New
Testament as our neglect of this heaven-born privabsolute duty. Earnest, energetic ilege!
PUBLISHED BY REQUEST.
A BURNING AND A SHINING LIGHT.
“He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.”--JOHN 5 : 35.
THESE words were spoken of John the Baptist by our Lord Jesus Christ: “He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man.” No flattering compliments fell from his lips for any man. And there was no man that ever lived of whom he spoke such high eulogy, as his great forerunner. When “the multitudes thronged him he began to say unto them concerning John, What went ye out into the wil
A discourse commemorative of the late Honorable Theodore Frelinghuysen, LL.D. Preached, on a public occasion, in the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, on Sabbath evening, April 27th. Repeated by request, in the Third Reformed Dutch Church, Sab. bath morning, May 4th, 1862.
derness to see ? A reed shaken by the wind ? But what went ye out for to see
e? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see ? A prophet? Yea! I say unto you, and more than a prophet. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” In his personal character the Baptist must ever retain this preëminence of the greatest among men. But in official position, even the Forerunner of our Lord is surpassed by “the least in the kingdom of heaven" which he heralded, but to which he did not belong. In the eye of Jesus, it is a greater thing to be a lowly Christian than to have been the last and greatest of the Old Testament prophets. The dignities, services, and rewards of the new dispensation leave far behind them those of the Hebrew covenant. Yet we must not forget that the brightest of all ancient names, the purest of all ancient characters, the noblest heroes of the world before Christ, were Jews; just as the theocracy was the best of all governments, the Hebrew faith, the only true religion, Palestine, the only land of promise ; and Jerusalem, with its throne and temple, the intellectual, moral
, and spiritual center of the world._Spite of all their guilt and curse, the world owes more to the Hebrews than to any other race of ancient men; and the Jew was dearer to the heart of God than the Persian or the Mede, the Roman or the Greek. Of this race, the last of its great names“ more than a prophet,” yet "a man of like passions with ourselves,” was the second Elijah, the predicted and inspired reformer, the grand preacher, and immediate herald of the new kingdom of heaven, and of our glorious Lord.
“He was a burning and a shining light.”
How beautiful this designation of the Forerunner is, we may better learn by a brief analysis.
1. He was a "light.” But of what kind ? Literally the word in the original means a portable light, as a candle, lamp, or torch, which must be made, prepared, and kindled into a flame. He was not the uncreated Light, “the Sun of righteousness." "He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into this world." The greatest of all the prophets was but a lamp, a torch, compared with Christ, the full-orbed and Eternal Sun.
2. But " he was a burning light.” He was on fire, burning, blazing with self-consuming ardor in the service of God. He bad "oil in his vessel with his lamp," and it never went out for lack of fuel. The Baptist, like our Saviour, was ever full of his work. His zeal consumed him. His devotion burned with the most in
tense fire of love. It glowed like a furnace at a white heat. It sent out its own radiating and reflecting fire, until the wilderness was kindled by its flames, and the nation was aglow with his awful power. But
3. "He was a burning and a shining light.” Some fires burn but do not blaze, nor is it every flame that gives true light. There must be something to burn, some solid chemical matter in every flame that makes an illumination. So there are souls which consume away but do not shine. The fires of passions may burn a man up, body and soul together, but their light is only that of the burning wreck—a terror and a warning. Others just smoulder amid their own smoke and ashes. Their fire gives neither genial heat nor cheerful light. But John the Baptist's burned and shone, because his light was light from heaven. It was not stolen like the fabled Promethean fire, but it was kindled at the uncreated and eternal source; and then it was set where all could see it and rejoice in it, while it flamed heavenward from earth. The predictions and preaching of John; his constant testimony for Jesus; his wilderness cry, “Behold the Lamb of God;" his instructions to his disciples; his rebuke of Herod; his deep humility; his martydom; his record in the prophets and gospels; his memory in the church, and his place in the history of redemption; all the incidents of his life, and the grand total impression which he leaves upon the mind, justify the declaration, " He was the burning and shining light” of his dispensation, and that he was outshone and eclipsed only by “the Light of the world," whom he announced.
Yet “that burning and shining light” went out; it burned fast; it shone but a little while, and then he who was the lamp that lighted our Saviour's feet on earth, was made one of the brightest of the stars that burn and shine forever and ever before the throne of God.
If “the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he," we have in these words the great Teacher's own authority for magni. fying his grace in every one of those “burning and shining lights" which he has set in his own kingdom. And we may “rejoice in their light for a season," in a better sense than the Jews did in that of John, for they honored him and were proud of him as a prophet, but rejected him as the forerunner of Christ. When God raises up eminent Christians, endows them with gifts and graces, and honors them and their work for Jesus' sake; the Church is bound by her loyalty to her King, and by her debt to redeeming love, to " rejoice in that light and to walk in it" " for the season" during which it lasts. Every such believer in Christ is a miracle and monument of grace. The blood of Christ has been sprinkled on him, the love of Christ constrains him, the witness of the Holy Spirit is within him, and his seal upon him.