« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
they are nearing the tomb! How rapidly DELAY OF CONVERSION. the prospect of conversion diminishes! far An accurate examination into the periods
more rapidly than the prospect of life! Let of life in which those whose lives of godli- the sinner delay till he is twenty years old, ness give evidence of true religion first be- and he has lost more than half the proba
bility of salvation he had at twelve? Let gan to be followers of Christ, furnishes an amazing demonstration of the folly and him delay till he is thirty years old, and be
has lost three-fourth of the probability of danger of delay! The probability of con
salvation which he had at twenty. Let him version diminishes rapidly as years roll on.
Make up a congregation of a thousand delay till he has reached forty years, and Christians. Divide them into five classes, only twenty-nine probabilities out of a thou
sand remain to him. Let him delay till be according to the ages at which they became
has reached fifty years, and beyond filty Christians. Place in the 1st class all those converted under 20 years of age : 2nd class,
there remains to him only fourteen out of
a thousand! What a lesson upon delay! all those converted between 20 and 30; 3rd class, all those converted between 30
what an emphatic lesson! As an uncon.
verted man treads on into the vale of years, and 40; 4th class, all those converted between 40 and 50; 5th class, all those con.
scarcely a single ray of hope remains to verted between 50 and 60. Then count
Jaim! His prospect of conversion diminishes each of the five classes separately. Of your
a great deal faster than his prospect of life! thousand Christians, there were hopefully
The nightfall has come- - its shades thicken
fast-truth trembles for him when his feet converted :
shall stumble on the dark mountains of Under 20 years of age
death.—Dr. I. S. Spencer. Between 20 and 30 years of age... 337 Between 30 and 40
96 Between 40 and 50
15 Between 50 and 60
THE WOUNDED SPIRIT. Here you have five classes! But you “I was a stricken deer, that left the herd
Long since : with many an arrow deep infired complain of me: you ask, “Why stop at My panting side was charged, when I witbdrew 60 years old ?” Ah, well, then! if you
To seek a tranquil death in distant shades.
There was I found by One who had himself will have a sixth class, and call it a class- Been hurt by th' archers. In his side he bore, converted,
And in his hands and feet, the cruel scars.
With gentle force soliciting the darts,
He drew them forth, and heal'd, and bade me 1
age Just one out of a thousand Christians con
O my hearers, if a wounded conscience verted over sixty years old ! What a
-a sense of guilt in the soul-is thus ill lesson on delay! What an awful lesson ! to be borne here, what will be the suffer.
I once made an examination of this sort inga of the "wounded spirit” in the world in respect to 253 hopeful converts to to come-- where there will be no pleasures
of sin to alleviate or to sear it!-when it Christ, who came under my observation at
will be excited to the keenest sensibility, a particular period. Of these 253, there and its arrows will be dipped in the venom were converted,
at once of memory and hopeless anticipaUnder 20
tion !-when the spirit shall be “pierced
age Between 20 and 30 years of age... 85
through with many sorrows,” and sorrows
for which no softening and no cure shall Between 30 and 40
ever be provided ;—"no balm" in the Between 40 and 50
4 place of final woe, — “no physician there is Between 50 and 60
-Their “ worm dieth not." Between 60 and 70
If such be the agony of a thoroughly
awakened and sensitive conscience, will Beyond seventy, not one! What a lesson you think me cruel in expressing the wish on the delay of conversion! what an awful and prayer that every conscience in this lesson! How rapidly it cuts off the hopes dowed with sensibility ? Ah! my friends,
assembly were thus awakened, thus enof the delaying, as they continue on in life, the wish is as far as possible from being a making darker and darker the prospect as cruel I wish your consciences
DIAMOND DUST. the reach of healing, while you have access to the balm and to the Physician. GLORIFY God and you shall enjoy him. Now the cure is to be found. Now Labour on earth and you shall rest in heaven. peace and hope are attainable. The Christ judges them to be men of worth who blood that cleanseth from all sin will heal are men of work. Be thy life, then, devoted the very deepest, fiercest, and most ago. to his service. Now for the work, hereafter nising wounds of the spirit. If a con- for the wages; earth for the cross, heaven science awakened and armed with its tor for the crown. Go your way, assured that turing sting is fearful, still more fearful there is not a prayer you offer, nor a word and more ominous of future misery is a you speak, nor a tear you shed, nor a hand conscience seared and insensible. This is you hold out to the perishing, nor a warning not peace; it is stupor; it is the sleep of you give to the careless, nor a wretched child death ; it is the appalling prelude to death you pluck from the streets, nor a visit paid eternal!- Wardlar.
to the widow or fatherless, nor a loaf of bread you lay on a poor man's table, that there is nothing you do for the love of God and man
but is faithfully registered in the chronicles THE CULTURE OF SORROW.
of the kingdom, and shall be publicly read NEARLY all sorrow, while it lasts, de- in that day when Jesus, calling you up, perpresses action, destroys hope, and crushes haps, from a post as mean as Mordecai's, energy; but it renders the sensitiveness shall crown your brows before an assembled more acute, the sympathies more genial, world, saying, “Thus shall it be done to the and the whole character less selfish and man whom the king delighteth to honour.”— more considerate. It is said that in nature,
Dr. Guthrie. but for the occasional seasons of drought,
Make nothing that can perish the foundathe best lands would soon degenerate ; but tion of your hope. Money, the favour of these seasons cause the lands to suck up man, the admiration of man, worldly pleafrom the currents beneath, with the mois sure, personal accomplishments (other than ture, all those mineral manures that re
holiness and sound knowledge), are all as store and fertilize the soil above. It is vapour. Enjoy them as you do a beautiful thus with sickness and with sorrow; once
Take them at their real worth ; but surmounted they fertilize the character be fully persuaded that your happiness must and develop from the deep fountains of come from higher, holier, and more unfailing the human heart a joy and fruitfulness not
sources. Value life for its highest ends. It otherwise attainable.
can be the period of your personal progress
Dr. E. N. Kirk.
Riches and abundance of the earth loads
more than it fills, and men's wealth only UNDER the mistake that religion has heightens their wants. The great man little to do with his ordinary life, many a oftener wants a stomach and rest than the man appears, at different times of the day, poor wants meat and a bed to lie on.in two separate characters. In the morn- Fleming. ing he enters his closet, prays to the Father In all favours think not of them so much in secret, and feels there his soul full of as of God's mercy and love in Christ, which divine affections and hopes. But he leaves sweetens them.- Dr. Sibs. this hallowed retirement for his labour or Religion is not an empty name, but a business through the day. He works, he Divine reality; it excites and stiinulates the bargains, he acts as if his religion had man of business to activity and diligence; nothing to do with his life now, or his life it restrains the man of pleasure ; it softens with God; and his soul is barren of the man of passion; it ornaments the man heavenly joys. He returns to his closet of taste; it dignifies the man of reason; it again at evening time; but his chafed, immortalises the man of God. weary spirit, that has been so long kept He that hath slight thoughts of sin never away from the fountain of its life, finds had great thoughts of God. - Dr. Owen. not its early peace, and he wonders why The love of Christ is unparalleled in its the Lord has forsaken him. He need nature, intense in its ardour, immense in its not wonder. The marvel would be if the extent, and glorious in its purpose and Holy One would sanction this attempt to issue. put asunder what he has joined together- As the beams of the sun shining on to lower religion from a life to an act, from fire discourage the burning of it, so the a babitual worship to an occasional prayer.— shining of God's mercies on us should disLi'e for God.
hearten and extinguish sin in us. This is
so equal and needful a duty that Peter picks it seems dead, it is gathering strength at the this flower out of Paul's garden as one of the root.- - Couper. choicest, and urges it on those to whom he
True religion, or godliness, is the beauty writes.- Trapp.
of the Lord our God, a beam from the Some employments may be better than Saviour, yea, “the brightness of his glory others, but there is no employment so bad and the express image of his person." Á as the having none at all. The mind will man of true religion is full of Christ; he contract a rust and an unfitness for every
reflects his communicable attributes, and
becomes like him. The tremulous wave good thing, and a man must either fill up his time with good, or at least innocent reflects the beauty of the heavens, the moon business, or it will run to the worst sort of reflects the splendour of the sun, and so waste,-to sin and vice.- Bishop Burnet.
does a believer, although in broken rays,
reflect the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. The growth of a believer is not like a Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or mushroom, it is like an oak, which increases duties, but of little things, in which smiles slowly indeed, but surely. Many suns, and kindness, and small obligations, given showers, and frosts pass upon it before it habitually, are what win and preserve the comes to perfection; and, though in winter heart, and secure comfort.-Davy.
I have also to report that, at E-ning.
Kang, there are signs of additional inteTHE Treasurer has just received the fol
rest. Of this I will tell you more herelowing note from the Rev. W. S. Swanson, aster. dated
In the meantime, through you let me Amoy, 20th July, 1861. ask the Church at home to pray much for When last mail was leaving, I sent the us, that we be found faithful and zealous. Committee a letter telling them that I was
Excuse this short note, and believe me just about starting for Anhai. I have been there and back, and I cannot omit this opportunity of letting you all know
W. S. Swansox. the incidents of that journey. I believe Mr. Douglas, whom I accompanied, has already written the Scotch Committee detailed accounts of our visit.
SUNDAY SCHOOLS IN SYRIA. Mr. Douglas and I got to Anhai on Wednesday afternoon, and remained there
(LETTER FROM REV. J. COFFING, till the end of the Sabbath. On Sabbath
MISSIONARY OF AINTAB.) I baptized four persons, three men and one
The Unexpected Work in Syria. This took place in the forenoon, and in the afternoon we celebrated the Wuen making up my mind to dying of our Lord together. The com- abroad, one of my greatest regrets was that munion was conducted by Mr. Douglas. we should probably have to leave for life I have one thing to ask of you and the the Sunday - school work in which we Committee, and that is, that we all together had been, in some form or other, engaged be stirred up to thank the Lord for thus for so long a time, and which we so much hearing our prayers,
loved. Little did we then know what work The following Sabbath we spent at the Lord had for us to do over here. We Bay-pay together, engaged in ordaining now have, I am persuaded, one of the largest one elder and one deacon additional there. and most interesting Sabbath-schools in the This, too, was a good time to ourselves, as world! It numbers now eighty teachers, I hope it was to our dear brethren of the and has an attendance of from 1,500 to 1,600 Chinese.
scholars. The school usually numbers from This week Mr. Douglas has gone to 400 to 500 more than the whole congregaChang-chew, where he is examining can- tion at preaching on Sabbath. We have in didates for admission to the Church. He it little infants, and aged infants, both male writes me most encouragingly from that and female, and all ages and conditions beplace.
tween these extremes; and before the small
pox broke out this summer, it embraced about an hour and a half before sundown, about 600 that are not yet Protestants, but the male teachers, between forty and fifty in who will become such as they grow up under number, will come to take the same lesson. our instruction.
All the classes who read, and the adults,
with the exception of four or five classes, all The Hymns among the Moslem Children. take the same lesson, and keep along toge
ther. We are now in the middle of the 14th The Moslem children (not in the school) chapter of John, having commenced that have already learned not a few of the little book about twenty months ago. hymns, which we have translated into Turk- slowly, but make thorough work of it, givish for the Sabbath-school infant class chil. ing a thorough exegesis of each lesson to dren, by hearing the latter sing them in the the teachers, and they, after taking full streets and at their homes. The little ones notes, give it to their classes on Sunday. often assemble in groups upon their house. Our school is a thoroughly biblical one. tops in the mornings and evenings, and sing We use nothing in it but the Bible, and a these little hymns so loud as to be dis- few hymns. It is the study of the pure tinctly heard from all the Moslem houses Word of God that we rely upon for effect, within a quarter of a mile of them. The sound and to keep up the interest of all classes in of their voices often reaches me as I am at the school. These eighty teachers embody work in my study, and no music sounds pretty much all of the available talent in our sweeter to me; though you would not think church here, and thus they are all actively it got up according to the most approved at work. style of the musical art. Hark! I distinctly
Extension of the Work. hear them singing now in the heart of the city, a little to the west of me. It is the Thus far I have spoken particularly only little hymn,
of the Aintab school, But since its re-or" I'm a pilgrim, and I'm a stranger,
ganization and enlargement, which took I can tarry but a night."
place a little less than two years ago, not
less than eight others have been organized And now they commence another,
in this region, all patterned after ours here, “ Around the throne of God in heaven, only much smaller, and among them is one Thousands of children stand."
at Oarfu-Ur of the Chaldees-one at AnI assure you, dear brother, these sounds are tioch, and a third one just commenced at sweet to me; for every one of these little Adurea, near Tarsus. And I have just rehymns is a sermon, which is heard by many, ceived a letter from Mr. Barnum, of Kharand not without effect, and they are direct poot, which informs me that he and his asing the thoughts and hearts of these little sociates there are about to organize some ones that sing them to Christ and heaven.
Sunday-schools in their own region right in
the centre of Armenia. The Head Teacher and the Lessons.
I have spoken of the blessedness to my..
self of giving these lessons weekly to the I feel it a most blessed privilege to in- teachers in Aintab. When I am doing this struct these eighty teachers in their lessons I feel that I am preaching in the most efpreparatory to their giving it to their classes fectual way to a very large audience, for on Sabbath. The female teachers, thirty of bese lessons are not only given to the them, have just lest my study, and my heart school in Aintab, but are copied and sent is yet warm from the exercise of instructing out to the other eight or nine schools, and them in the lesson--and this afternoon, are given by the teachers there.
JOHN KNOX'S ROAD TO entity, or at best as a ghost of departed
grandeur. Its friends have for a long time To the Editor of the English Presbyterian Messenger. to regain its position among the churches,
been considering the question,-How is it DEAR SIR, -A great deal has been said as a living, active, and influential branch lately about the want of visibility of the of the Church of Christ in this land ? They Presbyterian Church in England. The feel that if the Presbyterian Church could community cannot see it, and take no be made a literary, educational, and an notice of it. They set it down as a non. evangelistic power in the land, there would
be no fear of its becoming a visible Church. might he not be assisted by lay agents It would then be one. Therefore to labour capable of conducting public worship, and in these three departments should be re- of giving sensible and impressive addresses garded by every Presbyterian as his Church's on scriptural subjects to the miscellaneous mission to the people of England. The audiences that might be collected in the Church's attention has, hitherto, buen preaching rooms and schools of the preachmuch occupied by dilettante reforms- as ing stations which the Presbytery bad organs, hymn-books, and such like. It is placed under the charge of the evangelist? now time to grapple with the “Condition Are there not to be found among the of the People of England question,” and elders, deacons, Sabbath-school teachers, ascertain what our branch of the Church and members of young men's societies, of Christ ought to do to elevate and Chris many sufficiently qualified who would tianize them.
volunteer to do this work? When a strong The educational appliances set up by congregation was coilected in any one of these our Church thrive more, I believe, in preaching stations, the Presbytery could quality than in quantity. The schools are then recognise such a station as a sancfew in number, though the teachers do tioned charge, and the evangelist and his their work well. Our highest educational lay agents would give place there to an orinstitution, the College, though presided dained minister with his staff of elders and over by learned and distinguished pro- deacons. Three centuries ago the Popish fessors, does not seem to attract many Church was overthrown in Scotland. How students to it. Presbyterian Educational did knus find instructors to teach the Institutes have yet to be set up to act like people the truths of the Bible, in place of aqueducts in conveying water from the the superstitions their priests had taught springs to the general reservoir, by guiding them ?' Did he wait until he obtained a intelligent young men into the fields of thoroughly educated and regularly ordained literature and of science, and some to theo- minister to be settled in a parish before he logical classes and to the pulpits of the attempted any work for the enlightenment Church. lIere I have to record my thanks of the parishioners ? He possessed too for the manner in which my plea on this much practical sagacity for that style of subject has been received by the Church. going to work. In the first general assemI understand that evening classes are to be bly of the Reformed Church of Scotland commenced in connection with the College there were only six ministers-Knox and in Queen Square. Manchester has Owen's five others, being all the Protestant mivis. College-a chartered college-with flourish- ters then in Scotland. These were aping evening classes. Might not the minis. pointed to the towns and districts where ters of Manchester set up an institute there they were likely to be of most service to as a good preparatory school for the day the Church. Superintendents, or evanand evening classes of Owen's College? Bir gelists (some of whom, like Erskine, of mingham has Queen's College-a char-Dun, being only laymen), were appointed tered college. Evening classes have not as over districts of the country, and under yet proved successful in connection with it, them in the different parishes were sia. chiefly because a too early hour (6 p.m.) tioned-in some, exhorters, who were capawas fixed on for the classes to assemble. ble of giving addresses to the people; and Might not an institute be set up for the in others, where no better could be obbenefit of the youth of that busy town? tained, readers, whose duty it was simply I am not acquainted with the educational to read the Scriptures to the people. By institutions of Liverpool or Newcastle-up- means of this instrumentality, the prinon-Tyne, but I am of opinion that Presby- Iciples of the Reformation, and the truths terian educational institutes ought to prove of the Gospel, were disseminated through. successful in these towns too.
out Scotland in the course of a few years. If the Presbyterian Church was fully If the Churches were to adopt someequipped for a thorough Home Mission thing of a simlar plan, they would call work, it would have an evangelist attached into existence a powerful agency to assist to every Presbytery at least to superintend in evangelising the masses of England. The and foster the preaching stations within its | “Quarterly Review” stated twelve months bounds, and look out localities suitable to ago, “That not only in the poorest class
This is too much may efficient agents be found for the for our Church to undertake at present. evangelisation of the lowest and most de. But could not the Presbytery of London graded, but that this agency may be orpay and find employment for an Evan. ganised under due superintendence, on the gelist in the towns within its bounds, and most extensive scale.” In the "Messenger" ihe Presbytery of Lancashire pay and find for May, 1854, there is an article, taken employment for another? While the evan- ; from the “News of the Churches," occagelist ought to be an ordained minister, sioned by a letter written by Angell James,
commence new ones.