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to denote that a believer's interest in Christ is to outlive the law itself, and endure for ever; even so, notwithstanding the appearance of lavish expenditure, which makes it strange, the walls of the New Jerusalem, and all its twelve foundations, are significantly depicted as of the most precious stones, to denote the permanence of a believer's place; that he will be at last in "a continuing city."
If the city is such as this, and the inhabitants are to go no more out, and if in these earthly things I am to see (whatever else may be deemed to be therein) a strong type of heavenly things, then it follows certainly, as far as figures can establish it, that however frail and changeable the fabrics of earthly happiness, however instability is the very condition of the tenure of our cities of rest on earth, the one to come is indeed "a continuing city;" as it is written, "Christ is gone to prepare mansions for his people."
IV. But, fourthly, the apostle lets fall by the way a short characteristic description of every true Christian, viz. that he is a "seeker" of that heavenly condition: "We seek one to come."
things clash with heavenly, and you will see where his heart is, that he is earnestly seeking his native city, into whose privileges he was new born, though at a distance, precisely as Paul was born into the privileges of Rome, though his native place was in Cilicia. The earnestness of a Christian will shew itself in all he does; and in proportion as he is earnest, is the development of his Christianity.
Another remark to which this characteristic description of a Christian gives rise, is an encouraging one to those Christians who, though earnest, are cast down. A Christian's character is evidently that of an expectant, not a possessor. Ye are not yet come into the place which the Lord hath said he will give unto you. Be not therefore discouraged at being only an expectant of coming blessings. But the timorous may reply, "O, if I did expect, if my heart were full of expectation, nay, if I had but a few rays of fixed hope abiding in me, I should be at ease, and go on my way rejoicing." What! hast thou not? Well; perhaps at times thou hast none; all hope of being saved may at times be taken away; yet whom doth the text describe as Christians?-not them that expect, but simply them that seek. No Christian need shut him self out from this consolation. He may, indeed, do so, for he may cease to seek; and that is danger. But take up courage to be found seeking, and if death itself so finds you still seeking heartily, though not yet assured, we should not fear for you. All that is said here of Christians is, they "seek one to come." Go, then, seek steadfastly, and peace be unto you. You will be laying hold on the promises made to them that seek; to them that wait on God; to them that look for the coming of Christ. Only strive towards the heavenly city.
Recognise in this description, that earnestness is an implied characteristic of the people of God. This remark, so near the end of this epistle, is evidently to bring to remembrance much more that had been said on this point in the 11th chapter, to which we have already made brief reference, but which will now much more appropriately illustrate the earnestness with which true Christians seek the city of rest to come. In the 14th verse of that chapter St. Paul argues," they that say such things" (viz. that they are strangers and pilgrims,) "declare plainly that they seek a country;" the original here is, "their native country," for heaven is termed the believer's native land, his father - land, his father's city. He then proceeds, "and truly, if they had been mindful of that from which they came out" (Abraham's worldly connexions were in Ur of the Chaldees), "they might have had opportunity to have returned; but now they desire a better, that is an heavenly: God hath prepared for them a city." Learn, then, brethren, that as an exile seeks his father's land, or his native city, where the great majority of his kindred dwell, so the Christian soul feels towards heaven-it is his Father's dwelling; and as a pilgrim presses onward hastily with his staff and scallop-shell to reach his native shores, so the true Christian is daily seeking his city of continuance in heaven; and his conversation (i. e. his citizenship) is in heaven. He need not affect stoic indifference to the stations and duties on earth. St. Paul said, "I am of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city." But let earthly
When professors sink in the slough of despond, you may know which is the true pilgrim; for Pliable will go nearer the world to get out of his dejection of spirit, but the Christian, in the midst of the mire of unbelief, will struggle towards the heavenly city. It seems to be at once a comprehensive, comforting, and most accurate and safe delineation of a true Christian, that he seeks the continuing city to come.
I would now fain bind this subject yet closer upon your individual hearts, by addressing three classes of persons. First, those that have suffered much from the mutability of earthly things; secondly, those that have been prosperous hitherto; and, thirdly, those that are entering on the trials of life.
Let me then speak, first, to them that have suffered much from the mutability of earthly things. I speak feelingly unto such; a conviction of the transiency of my own earthly comforts makes me deal tenderly with you: • See Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
it may be well, at times, to turn back the mind on the periods of actual bereavement and the fear of being bereaved; on times of sickness and trouble, and the fear of worse calamities impending. All these strokes were but practical inculcations of this truth, "Here we have no continuing city." Why is it that you have had so many? Have you been slow to receive them; reluctant to confess to your own heart that your tenure is insecure? Had you set your best affections on earthly ob- Ah! woe to him that useth life to lay up jects? or was it that God saw them insensibly treasure on earth, and considereth not how to unwinding from himself, and entwining them- be rich before God. O let the truth, "here selves more and more about them than about no continuing city," strike upon your inmost him? What could he then do, if he loved your ears, and shake your inmost heart, and awaken soul? He whetted his glittering sword, and se- you to seek the Lord Jesus before the comvered at one blow the ties that were periling mand goeth forth: "Down with him and his your immortal salvation. It may be that the vain confidence at once; the Lord saith his sword was long hanging over you before the time shall be no longer." Oh! brethren, I blow was given; that God waited to see if he beseech you, if you are alarmed by the first might yet be gracious; that he endured your part of the text, "here we have no continuidolatry with much long-suffering, till he sawing city," pause not, rest not, be not content; that nothing short of the sword could cure and before you give sleep to your eyes or slumber save. O, have you now learned the true to your eyelids, go to Christ in prayer, give lessons of affliction? Where is your heart? him your heart in a solemn vow, and ask him Has it found its rest in God, the true ante- to make a covenant with you, and put you past and foretaste of the continuing city above? among the number of those who are distrusting If so, rejoice; now ye desire a better lot than the city here, and seeking the one to come. this world, that is, an heavenly city. The blows that wrought this effect, or that took away that which hindered it, were gracious strokes; and ye sorrow not as they which are without hope; for them that are asleep in Jesus shall God bring with him: they shall rise first, and you be restored to them. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But if it be otherwise, and your deceased relatives rest in the Lord, and your heart is not turned to seek the heavenly kingdom, separation for ever from them, as well as from God, is at present before you. Turn, then, while life lasts, be it but a moment longer; for then should be weeping indeed, if ye were to see them enter, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, into the city of God, and ye yourselves shut out.
But now, thirdly, I must say one word more, in conclusion, to those before whom life lies expanded as a land unknown, a deep untried. You have heard its character. Is it a land?—there are hurricanes that devastate it, and earthquakes that rend it. Is it a great deep ?—the ocean's calm itself is not less treacherous. At God's word the stormy winds of perils arise, the waves of life are lifted up. This is its true description; therefore be warned. Enter upon it to use it, not to abuse it: weep as though ye wept not, rejoice as though ye rejoiced not, buy as though you possessed not hold it lightly, sit loose to it: wear it not as a flowing garment, but gird it and keep it in order, as a steward that knoweth not when his lord will come and take account of his stewardship. But first you must begin aright: lay down your first principles: balance this world against the world to come, and see which you will henceforth seek. Make up your minds to decide at once: to-morrow may be too late; and, if not, why may you not procrastinate to-morrow also, or many to-morrows? You never will think death so near as to require instant decision. You may always, you will think, postpone it one day more. Therefore you really enlist yourself among those who seek for rest here, where there is no secuno city of continuance, unless you will throw in your lot with the people of God. Be willing to wait for your portion, and begin heartily to seek the continuing city which is
day flourishing, to-morrow cast into the fire; nay, more, perhaps God may now be saying to the strongest and securest among us, "Thou fool! this night thy soul shall be required;"" then whose shall those things be," and where shall that respect of man be dissipated which thou hast acquired? Is this aught more than a divine comment, of a rather startling character, upon the truth, "Here we have no continuing city?"
I would, secondly, speak to them that have hitherto known little but prosperity. What is your prosperity? One hath the honour that man payeth to his refinement, his intellect, his rank, his connexions. Another clotheth himself in purple and fine linen, and fareth sumptuously every day. Another saith to his soul, "Soul, thou hast much merchandise laid up in store; buy and sell, and get gain." O know ye not that ye are living on the sides of a volthat the earth beneath your feet is unsound that prosperity is like the smooth-rity, ness that the torrent puts on the moment before it shoots from that precipice into the gulf below? Your life is even as a vapour; your health is as the flower of the grass; to
PERHAPS few persons have better opportunities for observing the temptations and difficulties which are in the way of servants, than parish ministers. Brought so constantly as we are, in times of sickness, to make solemn inquiries respecting the conduct of persons and families, there is a large field open to us for making ourselves well acquainted with the religious state of the people among whom we labour. Now such is the extremely ungodly state of some families, that it is impossible for a servant to live religiously there. Families there are-ah! in every parishwhich have not one religious observance that distinguishes the Sabbath from the six days of the week: there may not be the same hurry of business as on other days, but there is the company to be entertained, the spirit of worldly pleasure to be kept up, the same, if not greater, pressure of work for the servants to bear on Sunday as on the week-day. None of the family are seen devoutly repairing to the house of God, no Bible read to the children and servants; but worldly acquaintance and visitors keeping up a train of unprofitable conversation about news, and business, and pleasure; the master, a stranger to God; the mistress, with no fear of God before her eyes; the children copying, as of course they will, their parents' ungodly example; there is no time or arrangement for the servants' attendance at church; but, perhaps, you hear in the parlour religion cried down as hypocrisy, or something worse; profane language may wound your ears: indeed, the whole management of the house proclaims, as plainly as if it were written on the door, "God is not feared nor worshipped here." With such a family, such want of even the form of religion, how is it possible for a servant to live to God? If you are now seeking situations, as you value your welfare in life, your soul's everlasting destiny in the world to come, flee from such a household as this. If any of you are now in families where the public duties of religion are despised, God's name and word blasphemed, and his day profaned, the Gospel of Christ ridiculed, and what you hear at church is scorned at home, it is your bounden duty not to continue in such a place. The soul is too precious to be placed in such fearful danger, through an ungodly family. I trust that ministers will ever be kept from intruding into things which are beyond their proper office; but if the souls of servants are committed to our care, we do but trifle with our solemn responsibilities, unless we press upon you the great duty of avoiding irreligious families. If you can possibly find a situation where the family is daily assembled for reading the Bible and for prayer, the name and day of the Lord Jesus are revered, and where a Christian example will be placed before your eyes, this supreme advantage ought to weigh greatly in your choice of a situation. But this you cannot always find; yet to have a fixed opportunity of attending the house of God, once at least on every Sabbath, must in every place be agreed upon and granted to you. Many servants, 1 find, leave this matter about attending church quite unsettled. They fix the wages they are to receive; they ascertain the duties they have to perform; indeed, every thing but one is distinctly agreed upon, but that one which is omitted is important beyond all calculation. "Shall I have time on the Sabbath which I may call my own, for caring for my soul, carrying my thoughts to my God, hearing of my Saviour, death, judgment, and eternity?" If you are at present in a comfortable
situation in other respects, but are not allowed to attend church regularly at least once on the Sabbathday, make a respectful request to your mistress, that she would grant you such permission; tell your mistress that you are grieved by this neglect of God's holy worship in time past, that you now see your sin, that your only reason for this request is, that you may go to hear of the Lord Jesus, "who came to seek and to save that which was lost." Only take care that your request be made with great respect in your manner; let it be quite plain to your mistress's mind, that you are sincere and earnest in your desire to worship and serve Him, who "for our sakes took on himself the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death for our redemption” (Phil. ii. 1-11).
There is not a lady in the kingdom, who regards the character and welfare of her servants, who would refuse this request, if you will take heed how you make it. Mistresses know that it is not religion which makes bad and disagreeable servants, but the want of it. Many worthless servants deceive their mistresses by pretending to go to church; but that would be a very poor reason why a sincere and upright young woman should be forbidden altogether to go to church and worship God there. Mistresses require their servants to be upright, faithful, conscientious, persons of character and principle; but they must know that in no other way can they safely place confidence in man's fallen heart, than by having it changed and made new by the Spirit of God.
From "A Pastoral Address to Female Servants." By the Rev. W. B. Mackenzie, M.A., Minister of St. James's, Holloway. 24mo. pp. 36. London, Forbes and Jackson.-A valuable little work. The temptations to which female servants, especially in the metropolis, are exposed, are incalculable. Mr. Mackenzie's Address cannot be too widely circulated.
If you are already in a family where you are allowed to attend your church, and to enjoy the great blessing of family prayer, I must request you to esteem such advantages very highly; they are among the most valuable gifts which God bestows upon man; "the means of grace" are specially mentioned in the general thanksgiving, as demanding the peculiar gratitude of every person who enjoys them. Religious advantages are a talent which will immensely increase your solemn responsibility on the day of judgment. I implore you to think what account can you then give to the great God for the use which you are now making of this gift.
DEATH-BED REPENTANCE. I shall end this first consideration with a plain exhortation,- that since repentance is a duty of so great and giant-like bulk, let no man crowd it up into so narrow room, as that it be strangled in its birth for want of time and air to breathe in; let it not be put off to that time when a man hath scarce time enough to reckon all those particular duties which make up the integrity of its constitution. Will any man hunt the wild boar in his garden, or bait a bull in his closet? Will a woman wrap her child in a handkerchief, or a father send his son to school when he is fifty years old? These are indecencies of providence, and the instrument contradicts the end; and this is our case. There is no room for the repentance, no time to act all its essential parts; and a child who hath a great way to go before he be wise, may defer his studies, and hope to become learned in his old age and on his deathbed, as well as a vicious person may think to recover from all his ignorances and prejudicate opinions, from all his false principles and evil customs, from his wicked inclinations and ungodly habits, from his fondness of vice and detestation of virtue, from his promptness to sin and unwillingness to grace, from his spiritual deadness and strong sensuality, on his death-bed (I say), when he hath no natural strength, and as little spiritual; when he is criminal and impotent, hardened in his vice and soft in his fears, full of passion and empty of wisdom; when he is sick, and amazed, and timorous, and confounded, and impatient, and extremely miserable.-Bishop Taylor.
THE NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST.-Now from this great doctrine, "therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (2 Cor. v. 17), among many other things which are very remarkable, we may observe, first, that no man can be a new creature, except he be in Christ; for the apostle here makes our being in Christ the foundation of the new creation. He doth not say, if a man be a Peripatetic, a Platonist, an Epicurean, a Pythagorean, or any other kind of philosopher, he is a new creature; neither doth he say, if a man be of the Church of Rome or of the Church of England, a Lutheran or a Calvinist, he is therefore a new creature. But "if a man be in Christ, he is a new creature;" therefore a new creature, as I have shewn, because he is in Christ; which is a thing much to be observed, for it quite overthrows that absurd opinion which some have entertained, that a man may be saved in any religion, if he doth but live up to the light of nature, and according to the rules of that religion which he professeth, be it what it will. For it is plain from what we have discoursed upon this subject, that no man can be saved, except he be within the pale of the Church, except he be of the Christian religion; nor in that neither, except he be really in Christ, and so a true Christian. For otherwise he cannot be a new creature; and if he be not a new creature, if he be not regenerate and born again, and so made the son of God, he can never inherit eternal life he cannot receive inheritance among them who are sanctified by faith in Christ, unless he himself be so whereas men may cry up the light of nature, and the power of natural religion, as much as they please; they may as well undertake to create a new world, as to make a new creature by it. They may exclaim against vice, and extol virtue as much as it deserves, and perhaps make a shift to do something that looks well by the principle of moral philosophy; but they may as soon produce any thing out of nothing, as turn a man from "darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God" by it: yea, they may be admitted into the Christian religion itself, they may make a plausible profession of it, they may do many things in it,-but they can no more make themselves new creatures, than they could make themselves creatures. That can be done only by the almighty power of God; and he never exerts that power, but only in Him by whom he created all things. And therefore, unless a man be in him, even in Christ Jesus, he may be confident he is not a new creature. -Bishop Beveridge.
SUBVERSION OF THE CHURCH.-As true religion has been in every age substantially the same, so have its adversaries in every age assailed it with similar weapons. We cannot therefore be surprised if two of the most subtle, penetrating, and insidious of those weapons-reproach and slander-which the prophet specifies as being prominently employed in his time, should be, in at least an equal degree, directed against the Gospel in our own. This day in which we live is, like his, "a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy;" wherever we turn, our eyes are shocked, our ears are insulted, and our hearts are grieved by the open taunts and scoffings of the ungodly and profane. Those who, like Sennacherib, defy the living God, no longer shelter themselves under secrecy and darkness, but pour forth their blasphemies in the broad light of day, and in the hearing of assembled multitudes: the walls of our Zion in particular are publicly menaced, and the dark designs of her assailants unblushingly and unreservedly proclaimed. The watchword and war-cry of the enemies of all religion is, the subversion of the Church of England.-Rev. T. Dale.
CHRISTIAN MYSTERIES.-We are often told of the mysteries of Christianity: and the Unitarians would persuade us, that the pure and simple Gospel has been overlaid by a successive mass of unintelligible
corruptions. But let us contrast the belief of the Ebionites, to whom the Unitarians appeal, with our own. I speak not now of those Ebionites who held the miraculous conception; for they are supposed to be in error like ourselves: but the other Ebionites and Cerinthians believed that Jesus for thirty years of his life was the same as any ordinary mortal; and that then, when he was baptised, Christ descended upon him, and continued united to him till just before his crucifixion. The sole cause assigned for this unprecedented union, was to reveal to mankind the knowledge of God. The redemption of a lost and ruined world never formed a part of their visionary creed: and we may say with truth, that whatever is mysterious in the two natures of Christ, was retained by the Ebionites; but they rejected that which the mind is able and willing to comprehend-the mercy of God, and the salvation of our souls.... The fact, that there was not one heretic in the first century who did not maintain the divinity of Christ, has not been sufficiently attended to. The Ebionites, it is true, believed in the human nature of Jesus: but that Christ was born of human parents, or that in any sense of the term he was a mere man, would have been treated by the Ebionites as the most irrational and impious error. So long as we know from history that the first Gnostics believed Jesus to be a phantom; and that they, who acknowledged his human nature, yet held that Christ descended upon him from heaven,-so long we have a right to argue that the apostles could not have preached the simple humanity of Christ. So far from the Socinian or Unitarian doctrine being supported by that of the Cerinthians and Ebionites, I have no hesitation in saying, that not one single person is recorded in the whole of the first century, who ever imagined that Christ was a mere man. I have observed, that one branch of the Ebionites resembled the first Socinians, i. e. they believed in the miraculous conception of Jesus, though they denied his pre-existence: but this was because they held the common notion of the Gnostics, that Jesus and Christ were two separate persons; and they believed in the preexistence and divine nature of Christ, which Socinus and his followers uniformly denied.-Burton's Bampton Lectures.
NO REPENTANCE IN THE GRAVE. The state of all on their departure from the body, as to happiness or misery, is unalterably fixed. An impassable gulf separates between the blissful regions of the blessed and the dismal dungeon of the damned. Of the latter none can pass that gulf, so as to gain admittance into the realms of glory, nor can any of the former pass it for the purpose of alleviating the misery which fills the habitations of despair. How deeply affecting, how intensely appalling is the solemn thought! how calculated to overwhelm the reflecting mind with the most serious concern as to the issue of approaching death! O, may such concern be experienced by us all; and may it produce in us the most salutary effects! May we constantly bear it in mind, that to whatever state death shall introduce us, in that same state eternity will assuredly keep and retain us! May it then be the fervent prayer of our hearts, constantly presented at the throne of grace, that in the day of life we may be united to Christ as our Saviour;- then in the night of death he will still be with us, and through the endless ages of eternity we shall not be divided.-Rev. J. Knight on the Parables.
WEEP NOT FOR THE DEAD.-Need I say to those who are mourning for departed relations, weep not? Can you weep for those whom you know and are assured, by the undoubted testimony of their life and conversation in Christ, to have been translated into the presence of Jesus, to have been carried from the dying bed by the angels to rest in his bosom; who are entertained (the glass of the Gospel shews you) with
all the affection of that heavenly company, and are waiting for the resurrection, when they, with you, shall be made eternally perfect? Can you weep for any who have finished their season of training under the discipline of this present world, and are called into the inner mansions of their Father's house, to be entertained therein till the time of their entrance upon the final inheritance be arrived? Are not the spirits of the just made perfect better companions than any you can find for them in the world which they have left behind? Will not the innumerable company of angels entertain them with brighter prospects than any which you could offer to them from your understanding of the book of God? Do not Moses, Elias, Isaiah, and Paul speak more comfortable things, think you, than you could do of the decease of their mortal body, and of the glory that remaineth to be revealed in them? Can you weep for those who are out of the reach of a single sorrow, whose capacity is filled to its utmost with happiness, and who know how soon they will welcome you, if followers of the same Saviour, unto the same heavenly places?-Rev. T. R. Hutton, Sydenham.
NATIONAL BALLADS.-No. VII.
NATIONAL MERCIES AND NATIONAL POWER A STIMULUS TO MISSIONARY EXERTION.
BY MISS M. A. STODART.
(For the Church of England Magazine.)
I SAW, as I stood on a foreign strand,
With lofty mast, and with pennon on high,
And O what thoughts of the isle of the brave,
Rush'd warm from my heart, as I look'd on the wave,
St. George's banner! we love the sound;
Our red-cross flag!-on the broad blue sea
'Tis not till the warrior to earth is prest,
That where'er our flag waves, there a message of faith
May point sinners to Him who redeem'd them from death.
BY THE REV. G. BRYAN. (For the Church of England Magazine.) We love to see thy clouds of grey,
Thy moon and planets, Night!
Thy shadowy light proclaims how fair
Before our wond'ring eye,
And palms and crowns and thrones, and things
O glorious place! where sun and moon,
On our bright summer-days;
And God's sweet smile darts gladness round,
And to that world yon stars shall be
To join the song, the joys to share
"LET there be light!" th' Almighty said,
Lo! Christ the light of life appears;
REV. N. BULL.
THE LABOURER'S NOON-DAY HYMN.
UP to the throne of God is borne
Set to music, and published for the benefit of the fund for enlarging and repairing Godalming Church, Surrey.