« PreviousContinue »
TRUE SAINTHOOD. joint heirs with Christ.” In“If children, then heirs; heirs finite is the difference, in conof God, and joint - heirs with dition, between those who Christ."-Rom. viii. 17.
have the true spirit of chilI. TRUE SAINTHOOD HAS A dren and those who have it SPECIAL FILIAL RELATION TO not. The latter are without GOD. All genuine saints are hope, and without God in the so children of God” in a special world; the former are “heirs”
There is, indeed, a to a magnificent inheritance. general sense in which all men First: They are
heirs of are his children; they are his God." An heir is one who is offspring, and, as spirits, they entitled to an inheritance have a resemblance to him.
either by the will of another, But true Christians are his
or by birth. Christians are children in a special sense. heirs of God by the birth Wherein is the difference ? within them of this filial Simply, here they have the spirit. Heirs of God! What true spirit of the relationship a universe of blessedness is -the filial love, Mankind
involved in this position. On in general have not this. The
earth there are poor heirs unconverted millions are his
expectants of a very slender offspring, but they have lost
patrimony. But Christians all filial affection and regard. are heirs to an “inheritance Hence, they practicallyignore incorruptible, undefiled,” &c. the existence of their Father, Secondly Joint heirs with and pursue a course of con Christ. This expression is duct opposed to his wishes used, no doubt, by the apostle, and commands. Genuine
to convey a higher idea of the Christians have this true privileges of the good. Angels filial spirit--the spirit of
are true children of God, and adoption; hence, they are in
they are heirs of God, but a special sense his children.
they are not "joint heirs with Now, the giving of men this Christ." They are not to exspirit of children is the great pect what Christ has as a work of the Gospel—a work son-thrones, crowns, empires that is variously represented
won by suffering, toil, and as conversion, regeneration, battle. Christians have to redemption, adoption, new
"enter into the joy of their Creation, &c.
Lord,” and sit down on the II. TRUE SAINTHOOD IS IN throne with Him.
CONCLUSION. First: Learn PRIVILEGES.
“ If children, the infinile mercy of God. then heirs, heirs of God, and That love which stoops to
make rebellious men his true that utterance of his, in the children, and invest them text, suggests three general with a sublime heirship, truths, that mark the history passeth knowledge. “Behold,
of true men, what manner of love the I. THE LIFE OF THE TRUE. Father hath bestowed on us, HAS THE ORDINARY that we should be called the
Job had received children of God. “ Blessed children, cattle, and property be the God and Father of our from the Lord, and all had Lord Jesus Christ, who hath been now" taken away.” In begotten us again to a lively the life of all men there is hope," &c.
constant receiving and Secondly: Learn our obli losing. Health, pleasure, gations to live a dignified life. friendship, fame, property, Men on earth who are heirs these come and go. We to an illustrious title and a have them to-day, and they magnificent patrimony, are may be gone to-morrow. trained to conduct themselves Nothing that we have received with a noble bearing. In a far but sheer existence with its higher sense ought Christ wondrous sensibilities and ians to be dignified in their faculties can we permanently spirit, their manners, and hold. God Himself will not pursuits.
take that from us, all else is Thirdly: Learn our en liable to be “taken away."* couragement to fortitude under Even the particles that build all the trials that afflict us. up our bodily frame are going What awaits us? “Qur light from us every moment. This afflictions, that are but for a is life-gains and losses. How moment,” &c.
much that we all once had has been taken
The freshness of childhood, THE LIFE OF THE TRUE. the buoyancy of youth, the “The Lord gave, and the Lord
circles of early friendships. hath taken away; blessed be the These vicissitudes of lifename of the Lord.”-Job. i. 21.
First: Remind us that this JOB was undoubtedly a true world is not
rest. man. He described in the Secondly : Urge us to rest first verse as
a perfect and on the Unchangeable. upright man, one that feared II. THE LIFE.OF THE TRUE. God, and eschewed evil.” His
ENNOBLING CREED. history, therefore, may fairly Job felt that God was in all be regarded as a type of the the receivings and losings of history of all true men, and I his life. “The Lord gave
and the Lord hath taken
SOUL STRENGTH. away." Some trace their
“Who, passing through the vicissitudes to chance, and valley of Baca, make it a well:
the rain also filleth the pools. some to necessity, but Job to God. He recognised God
They go from strength to strength:
every one of them in Zion appearin all the events of his life. eth before God.”—Psa. lxxxiv. This creed is
First: Reasonable. If there THREE times a year the law be a God, He must be con of Moses required all the men, cerned in everything the and as many of the women small as well as the great. as were able to go up to This creed is
Jerusalem, in order celebrate Secondly: Scriptural. The certain feasts, commemoraBible is full of it.
tive of certain great events in sparrow falleth to the ground their history. He who could without his notice. This take a position commanding creed is
a wide view of the country, Thirdly : Dignifying. It would see on those occasions brings God in conscious groups of pilgrims wending proximity to man in his their way in all directions every-day life. God's agency from various parts of Palesis recognised in all.
tine to the metropolis, the III. THE LIFE
multitudes swelling like a TRUE
river at the confluence of its RELIGIOUSNESS. “Blessed be streams, as they approached the name of the Lord.” The the city. Such was the scene language is that of pious before the imagination of exultation. This spirit is
David when he composed something more than sub this Psalm. He, however, mission to the Divine will was an exile from Jerusalein, under suffering—even some through the rebellion of his thing more than an acquies- son, and was not privileged cence in the Divine will in
to engage in those festivities. suffering. It is exultation in Still he longed to go up the manifestation of the to Zion, “My soul longeth, Divine will in all the events yea, fainteth for the courts of life. It amounts to the of the Lord.” We take, the experience of Paul, who said, text to illustrate true strength “We glory in tribulation of soul, and we observe-also, knowing that tribulation I. THAT IT SPRINGS FROM worketh patience, patience, A SPECIAL CONNECTION WITH experience," &c.
God. “ Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee."
All true strength of soul becomes a scene of refreshing arises from connection with waters. The spiritual idea God. (1) Love is strength. suggested is, that souls posThe stronger the love of a sessing true moral strength soul the more strength it has. can turn the most unfavouraBut no love so strong as that ble circumstances of life into which is fastened upon infinite blessings, make the dry and perfection. (2) Determina barren Bacas of life fresh and tion is strength. The stronger | fruitful. Paul and Silas the purpose of a soul is the made their dungeon a Paramore invincible its energy ; dise. Godly strength transbut no purpose so strong as forms Bacas into Edens. Paul that which has the full con did this; here is his expericurrence of the reason, the ence :
Though sorrowful conscience, and the heart. always rejoicing," &c., &c. Such a purpose must be
III. IT SUSTAINS directed to the service of
JOURNEY OF God. (3) Hope is strength. LIFE. "They go from strength The soul full of hope is full of to strength."
" From comenergy. It rises buoyant
pany to company" it is in the under trial, it conquers diffi- margin. If this is correct, culties, and braves perils. No the reference undoubtedly is hope so strong as that which to the bands that were formed is directed to God. No by friends and neighbours in strength like the strength setting out to Jerusalem. of soul ; strength of body is Christ Himself was once a good, strength of intellect member of one of these bands better, but strength of soul that journeyed to Jerusaleni is the highest good.
to the feast of the Passover, II. IT CHANGES THE UN when his parents missed Him. PROPITIOUS IN CIRCUMSTANCES But some consider the phrase INTO BLESSINGS. “Who, pas
should be rendered, “They sing through the Valley of go from one halting - place Baca, maketh it a well, whose to another." These pilgrims rain also maketh it pools.'
had their halting - places, Geography has not fixed the places where they rested their site of this valley; it seems,
weary limbs, and refreshed however, to have been a their exhausted frames with perilous pass on the way to food. Whatever be the best Jerusalem. Its name literally rendering, progress is the idea. means the valley of weeping. “ They that wait upon the But this valley-a
their of drought and danger- | strength ; they shall mount
up as eagles."
TO REACH AT LAST THE VERY
the wings of l shall lie down in sorrow.”—Isa.
1. 11. IV. IT ENABLES THE SOUL
THESE words suggests three
thoughts concerning the false PRESENCE OF THE ETERNAL. religions of men :“Every one of them in Zion Ι. ΜΑΝ
THEM. appeareth before God." Every “Ye have kindled the fires." one in the various companies What are they? There are who went forth with a true at least five false religions that soul, appeared in the Holy prevail in Christendom, and City. No one perished by under the name of Christhe way, none cut off by wan tianity. First : The religion dering banditti, none de- of creed. The religion of voured by wild beasts, none
thousands is nothing more wandered back — each went than a form of words--mere on until He appeared before verbalism. A sound creed is God in Zion. So in a higher essential to a sound religion, sense will it be with all true but is not itself a sound resouls who derive their strength ligion. Secondly: The refrom God. Their feet shall ligion of moods. What were stand within thy gates, 0
called “frames” and Jerusalem.” They shall see “feelings,” constitute the reliHim as He is.” Let us seek | gion of many.
Desires for this strength. “Wherefore, heaven, dread of hell, sensuous gird up the loins of your sympathy with Christ's sufferminds; be sober, and watchings, these are the religious to the end, for the grace that “sparks." Thirdly: The reis to be brought to you at the ligion of ordinance. A conrevelation of Jesus Christ.”. stant and rigorous attention "Be steadfast, unmoveable, to all the prescribed rites and always abounding in the work ceremonies of churches conof the Lord, forasmuch as ye stitute the religion of others. know your labour shall not Fourthly: The religion of be in vain in the Lord.". proxyism. Many are de
pending upon the services of priests. The priest is the light
of the soul. Fifthly: The reFALSE RELIGION.
ligion of merit. All these Behold, all ye that kindle à are false religions prevalent fire, that compass yourselves amongst us, as man is the about with sparks : walk in the
creator of them. * Ye have light of your fire, and in the 'sparks that ye have kindled. This
kindled them," not God. shall ye have of mine hand; ye
II. HEAVEN ALLOWS THEM.