« PreviousContinue »
THE NATIONAL PREACHER.
For The Prayer-Meeting.
bred people possibly think their Lights Hid under a Bushel. habit strange; but they care not How many of the professed for that, it is the fashion at court. disciples of Christ are guilty of What need, then, that the godly hiding their lights under a bushell should be so tender-foreheaded, They fear the judgment of the as to be put out of countenance, world pronouncing them fa- because the world looks on holi . natics. They are so sensitive to ness as a singularity? It is the the unfriendly criticisms of un- only fashion in the highest court, converted men, that they feel yea, of the King of kings himimpelled as much as possible to self.”
G. conform to the fashions of the day. The “Puritan" has ever
For The Prayer-Meeting, been a term of reproach.
Unspotted from the World. But how extended, or rather A DISCIPLE of Christ can not how limited, is the field in which be too careful to keep himself these judgments prevail! They “unspotted from the world.” have dominion only of a little Stains of sin upon his robe are corner of the universe, and an spied out by a thousand eyes. inch or two of time. They are Rents in it are noted with triprovincial at the best. They do umphant derision by the enemies not reach above the turrets of of the cross of Christ. It is not palaces, or more than six feet be- merely the believer's personal neath the sod. In the grave welfare that is at stake. It is his they have no place; in the realm Master's reputation; it is the of spiritual existence they are prosperity of his cause; it is the outlawed; in the hour of sick- salvation of souls. ness or disease they share the What occasion have you-who fate of the enfeebled body, and bear the name of Christ, and who perish with it. A few years at profess to be clothed in the robes of the longest, and he that vindicat- his righteousness—what occasion ed these most boldly, repudiates have you given for the world's them as folly. Why, then, should reproach ? Is your profession a Christian be moved by them? stained with the greed of worldly How pointed the reproof of an good ? is it dishonored by pasold divine in this matter! “What sionate indulgence? by unbecomthough the polite man count thy ing speech? by violations of fashion a little odd and too pre- Christian charity? Is your Mas. cise; it is because he knows no. ter's honor in your keeping, and thing above that model of good. have you thus betrayed it? Are ness which he hath set himself
, lost souls looking to you, excusand therefore appears nothing ing their errors by your own? beyond it; he knows not God, Are the careless and the godless and therefore doth not discern comparing their lives on the score and esteem what is most like him, of morals, with yours? If your When courtiers come down into garments are stained with sin, or the country, the common, home- draggled in the mire of the world,
who shall estimate the evils and tall spires rising before him, and mischiefs that shall flow from looming up to his delighted eye. this neglect ?
He seemed ready to step ashore Most appropriate is the ex- the moment the steamer touched hortation of the saintly Leighton: the pier. We saw no luggage, “Let us then remember our way, no incumbrance about his perand where we are, and keep our son, to trouble him or delay his garments girt up; for we walk landing for a moment. And no amid thorns and briers, which, if wonder, thought we, at his readiwe let them down, will entangle ness to go ashore, for all his famand stop us, and possibly tear ily, save one, had gone before our garments. We walk through him. His eye kindled as he a world where there is much mire gazed toward the distant spires, of sinful pollutions, and therefore and his bosom swelled at the it can not but defile them; and thoughts of a reünion of the loved the crowd we are among will be ones who had reached the celestial ready to tread on them, yea, or city before him. He has not yet our feet may be entangled in gone ashore. them, and so make us stumble or As the venerated pastor alludpossibly fall."
ed to has been successfully labor
ing for many years to bring men The Celestial City.
into sympathy with the character
of God, and from his house of GOING ASHORE.
faith and from the windows of A Few months ago we received his belief, been pointing many to a brief letter from a venerable look toward the celestial city, we and veteran pastor - now, and have used the incident above to for many years past, at his high preface the following sketch from post on the walls of Zion - in the Three Months' Ministry, rewhich he alluded, with character- cently published: istic beauty and graphic imagery, "It is impossible that we can to his expected landing at the ce- aright understand either God's lestial city. The brief allusion word or his power, unless we are seemed to drop naturally and in sympathy with his character; gracefully from his pen, as if and if, then, we are not in sym. among his familiar thoughts. We pathy with that deep and patient caught a glimpse of the good man, love in which the fullest expresthrough this little word-painting sion of God's character is given, of less than a dozen lines, so we shall not apprehend any Bible vivid that we see him still. He truth as we might, and specially seemed to be standing on the up- in its relation to future existence per deck of a gallant steamer un and eternal good. You may preder full headway. He had taken sent to a man a book in a small his position there, looking on- type, and say: "Can you read ward over the bows to descry this ?' He answers : 'No.' You away in the distance the first present it to him in a larger type, sight of the celestial city and its and again ask: 'Can you read
you see the
this ?' 'No.' You take the very "Then look right across the largest type that you can procure, house steadily. Do you see, now,
Can you read it ?' 'No.' But the tree ?' what if he should then say: 'I "Ah! I see something dimam blind ? That explains all. ly.' A blind man can neither read
think the truth in small type nor in spire beyond ?? larger type, nor in the largest “Hardly; and yet there is a type; but the man whose eyes point of light.' are weak may often read it in “Well, now, look right to large type when he can not read the very edge of the sky. Do it in small. So, again, if from you see any thing ?' your house of faith you look “No-yes! but only a cloud; out of the windows of belief, and still I had not noticed that cloud upon the distant edge of the hori- before.' zon see the bright towers of the "Now this house which lies celestial city, you may take a man near us is the house of affection to the window, and you may and friendship; and that beautipoint to the distance and say: ful tree which grows further off
Now, can you in that dim cloud is the tree of poetry, of the bloomsee a point, just the top of a pin. ing, enthusiastic, feeling heart; nacle? That is the pinnacle of and the spire that rises up beyond one of the great, beauteous man- belongs to the temple of religion, sions of the celestial city -- can in which we worship; and quite
in a line with this you may ob“No, no; not at all.'
serve, on the edge of the sky, the “Then you say: 'Well, do you towers of the celestial city, half see yonder spire, a good way on hidden in a luminous cloud. And this side - a tall object, lighted if a man has those full human up just now with the glittering affections, which are interpreters, sunbeams ?'
he will be able, when we point "No, no.'
him to the spire, to see beyond "Then do you see, much near- it the city in the distance; and er to us, to the right - it is if we point him to the tree, he almost in a line with the spire — will see the city; and if we point do you see a beautiful tree cover- him to the house, he will see the ed with spring verdure, green city ; because they all, as it were, leaves, beautiful white and red lie in one line; and he that can blossoms ?''
see the last object — that can note “No, no.
it distinctly, even as a cloud — "Well, do you see, then, just can see all the other objects which below - it is almost in the same lie in a line with it. But it may line – just below, in a valley, happen that a man can only see but upon its opposite slope—do clearly the first object. He can you see a house, a broad, kindly, see how holy and how lovely hospitable-looking house ?' human friendship is. Well, if he
“Yes,' he says, 'I think I see has affection enough just to disthe house.'
cern that, the other things behind
you see it?'
it he can at least see dimly. You the future, lets us look into the can not have an eye for love grave, discloses the solemnities of without looking toward heaven, the judgment, gives an earnest of though heaven itself may remain eternal retributions. for a while invisible. For you God speaks in prosperity, where can not behold this house of all is bright and cheering; refriendship without getting a dim minds us that our sun may soon sight of the tree of poetry, whose be obscured, " and storms of sorbeautiful blossoms soon come row fall.” clearly into view ; and if you can And he speaks in adversity, behold the tree of poetry, it is when all is dark and gloomy; impossible that you can have any directs our thoughts to a better clear view of it without seeing world, where sorrow and sighing something of religion beyond. flee away, and tears are wiped You will see the spire, as it were, from every eye. through the leaves of the tree, God calls in youth, when the and yet above them. And if you heart is tender, before the world see the spire, why, then, it is quite has bound it in iron fetters, and certain that you will soon see the before evil habits are fixed; he celestial,city; for these four rise says: "Remember thy Creator in up one above the other." the days of thy youth.”
And in manhood God calls,
impresses us with the importance The Voice of God.
of being ready for early death, God speaks to men in a thou- and urges the duty of spending sand voices: sometimes loud, as in the remainder of our days in his the death of friends, and calami- service. ties; sometimes soft and gentle, And then in old age he calls; as in the tender mercies of his reminds us that our sands are providence and grace, and in the nearly run ; that soon the silver gentle whisperings and breath- cord will be loosed, and the goldings of his gentle Spirit to win en bowl broken, probation ended, them back to life and heaven.
destiny fixed. Reader, God calls in health. He In seasons of revival God calls. speaks to us when we are well, When others are converted and for he knows we need to be in enter the ark of safety, he leads full possession of all our powers us to think that now is the acto attend aright to the great con- cepted time, now the day of salcern. In health we read his calls vation. He impresses us with on the printed pages; hear them the belief that one call will be from the sacred desk; trace them the last; that there will be a last in the events of providence; feel time; that we may refuse Christ them in our hearts.
and grieve the Spirit once too And in sickness God calls. He often; and he excites the appreawakens in us apprehensions of hension that now may be our danger, turns our thoughts to the last opportunity, and that, if we past, carries our imaginations to now neglect to secure an interest
in Jesus Christ, we may never time in social prayer. How much? have another offer of mercy! Have you three prayer-meetings
Reader, will you listen to this in a week? And can you not call of God ? It may be your last! spend three hours, out of every Disregard it at your peril ! one hundred and sixty-eight, in
the praying circle? Can you not
give this fraction of time to God, Prayer-Meetings.
in this way? You would blush READER, do you attend the to tell the meanest friend you prayer - meeting? Does your have, that you could not devote heart exult in the prospect of so small a portion of your time meeting God in the social-circle, to him, when either your interest and of mingling your prayers and or his requires it. If you can your praises with the lovers of command the time in no other Jesus? Have you a relish for way, redeem it from sleep, from this employment, which will lead useless conversation, vain musyou to forego your ease, and ing, or light reading. Three worldly gain, and carnal joys, in prayer-meetings a week! Why order to participate in it ? Does not have one every day? We conscience answer: No? Shall know of some Christians who heaven's King offer you an au- have a daily prayer meeting, dience of himself
, and will you They rise before the sun, and throw an indignity upon him, by spend a half-hour together every voluntarily, absenting yourself morning, in reading, and praying, from the place where he unvails and praising God. And they are his glory ? Shall heaven's gate ten-fold better prepared to disbe flung open, and you invited charge the duties of the day than to behold its beauties, that your those who have spent that halfsoul may be ravished, and your hour upon their beds. heart made to leap for joy, and "But our prayer-meetings are will you refuse to look Shall dull, formal
, and lifeless, and I better than angels' food be fur receive no benefit from attending nished, and will you refuse to go them.” That is the very reason and taste ?
why you ought to attend them. Reader, we again ask, do you Why are they thus dull and lifeattend the prayer-meeting? Why less? Have you contributed to do you not? Are you fatigued make them so, by your tedious
, with the labors of the day? Who monotonous prayers, your slug; has required you to exhaust your gish singing, your drowsiness of bodily powers, and thus to unfit manner, and your coldness of your mind for its noblest employ- feeling? A prayer-meeting, is ment? Are your worldly con- composed of its members. Let cerns numerous and pressing? every member come with a right Who has required you to spend frame of spirit, and the meetevery hour in caring for the body, ing will be full of interest
. Let while the soul is starved ? But, all come seeking for God, and you say, I can not spend so much God will visit and refresh them.