Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

in man.

in his hand, and dominion was dele- now, as that image is marred and gated to him over the universal defaced, passion is up and principle world.

is down. The reign of sin is the

reign of passion. Innocence now II.The image of God as defaced gives way to guilt, serenity to sad

ness, joy to sorrow. How great is Religion is restoration. In the the loss! How dreadful this fall! New Testament there are many pas- “How is the gold become dim! sages which speak of the restoration How is the fine gold changed! The of the image of God to man. These precious sons of Zion, comparable to passages imply that that image has

fine gold, how are they esteemed as been lost.

earthern pitchers, the work of the The image of God stamped on our hand of the potter. The crown is first parents was not of long con- fallen from our head; woe unto us tinuance. How long we cannot say. that we have sinned." The constitution of the human mind involved the possession of a free

III.-The image of God restored will. Man was not made to be

to man. moved like a machine. He was not But all is not lost. Divine mercy a mere creature of instinct. Man

interposes. A precious promise had the power to reason, compare,

breaks forth from the lips of everchoose. Had he been devoid of these lasting love. The seed of the woman attributes he had not been man. shall bruise the head of the serpent.

Probably soon after his creation Mercy at once commences to lay her his character was tested by tempta- plan of wonderful interpositions. tion. The subtle influences of evil Prophets, priests, and kings wait on were brought to bear on his moral her train and do her bidding. In and spiritual nature. He became the fulness of time God's purposes entangled in the network of the ripen, and His Son appears. The tempter's guile. He yielded to the

lustre of heaven gathers about His suggestions of the wicked one. He advent. Angels sing a carol at His fell from the pedestal of his great- birth. He has brought what man

In his fall he lost the image has lost. “He is the image of the of God which had been impressed on invisible God, the first-born of every him at the creation. The exquisite creature.” “He is the brightness harmony and perfect balance of his of the Father's glory, and the exfaculties was disturbed. His spiritual press image of His person.” He is nature no longer yielded a cheerful the outward and visible representaresponse to the claims of God and tive of the Invisible and Eternal the law of duty. Morally he had Mind. He is come to reveal God. fallen out of the upright. When “ No man hath seen God at any the pillar in the temple has fallen time; the only-begotten Son, which out of the upright it has lost its is in the bosom of the Father, He power of supporting the weight of hath declared Him." "He who hath the building. So with man. When

me hath seen the Father." his moral nature, which is the prin- Come, let us gaze on the God-man. cipal pillar in the temple of the soul, The perfect harmony and balance of had lost its upright attitude, then faculty is again restored in the perhe was no longer able to support the son of Christ. He is holy, harmweight of responsibility and moral less, undefiled, separate from sinobligation which rested on him. As ners, and made higher than the he reflected the image of God, prin- heavens. In Him is no sin. The ciple was up and passion was down; shocks of temptation dash against

ness.

seen

a

Him in vain. He is the second of His grace. The saints of God are Man, the Lord from heaven. In conscious of His presence, and of the Him the spiritual is supreme. He moulding influence of His love. is the root of a new race—the head “ But we all with open face, beof a new creation—the brother of a holding as in a glass the glory of the new fraternity—the king of a new Lord, are changed into the same nation. He has taken hold of a image from glory to glory as by the fallen world, and has determined to Spirit of the Lord.” save it from sinking into hell.

This glorious work of restoring It is through the incarnation, the image of God to the soul of sacrifice, and intercession of Christ fallen man will be carried to that the lost image of God is to be triumphant consummation. Ombrought back again to man. “In nipotence is engaged in it. Infinite Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom is engaged in it. All the rewisdom and knowledge. In Him sources of the Godhead are employed dwelleth all the fulness of the God- in this blessed and glorious work. head bodily.” He has taken humanity “ The first man is of the earth, into association with the Godhead. earthy: the second man is the Lord Christ is destined to gain complete from heaven. As is the earthy, such ascendancy over the human race. are they also that are earthy: and His kingdom shall be a universal as is the heavenly, such are they also and everlasting kingdom.

that are heavenly. And as we have It is in loving union with Christ, borne the image of the earthy, we who is the image of the invisible sball also bear the image of the God, that the lost image is again heavenly." stamped on our nature.

This is the great work in which Christianity is a putting off and the triune God—the Father, Son, a putting on. “ Lie not one to and Holy Ghost, are engaged. In another, seeing that ye have put off this work angels take a lively inthe old man with his deeds, and terest. For this dignified and noble have put on the new man, which is employment ministers, Sunday school renewed in knowledge after the teachers, missionaries, tract disimage of Him that created Him." tributors, evangelists, and all be

And again, “ If so be that ye have lievers engaged in any way, are heard Him, and have been taught permitted to take their humble part. by Him, as the truth is in Jesus : The work shall be done, for Omnipothat ye put off concerning the for- tence has decreed it. May the glomer conversation the old man which rious purposes of divine grace inis corrupt according to the deceitful spire our hearts and enlist our lusts ; and be renewed in the Spirit energies. To catch but a feeble of your mind; and that ye put on glimpse of God's great scheme of the new man, which after God is love thrills the heart with unuttercreated in righteousness and true

able joy.

Behold, what manner holiness.” The restoration of this of love the Father hath bestowed image is the great aim and end of the upon us, that we should be called eternal purposes of God in Christ. the sons of God: therefore the “ For whom He did foreknow, He world knoweth us not, because it also did predestinate to be conformed knew Him not. Beloved, now are to the image of His Son, that he we the sons of God, and it doth not might be the first-born among many

yet appear what we shall be: but brethren." And so sure as God has we know that, when He shall appear, purposed it, so surely will His Spirit we shall be like Him, for we shall carry forward the eternal-(purposes see Him as He is."

sea.

A STORY OF LONG AGO. The long time ago of which I mean to all to feed the flame and trim the wick tell was a wild night in March, during of that one candle ! But if we look which, in a fisherman's but ashore, sat upon the recorded lives of great men a young girl at her spinning wheel, and and jast men and wise men, few of looked out at the dark clouds, and them can show fifty years of worthier, listened, trembling, to the wind and certainly not of more successful labour.

The morning light dawned at Little, indeed, of the “midnight oil" last. One boat that should have been consumed during the last half century riding on the troubled waters was miss- 80 worthily deserved the trimming. ing-her father's boat! and a half mile Happy woman-and but for the dreaded from her father's cottage his body was rock her great charity might never washed up on the shore.

have been called into exercise. This happened fifty years ago, and But what do the boatmen and the fifty years is a long time in the life of boatmen's wives think of this ? Do a human being; fifty years is a long they pay the woman? No, they are time to go on in such a course as the very poor; but poor or rich, they know woman did of whom I am speaking. better than that. Do they thank her? She watched the body of her father, No. Perhaps they feel that thanks of as was the custom of her people, till theirs would be inadequate to express he was laid in the grave. Then she their obligations; or perhaps, long lay down on her bed and slept, and by years have made the lighted casement night got up and set a candle in her so familiar that they look upon it as casement, as a beacon to the fishermen a matter of course. Sometimes the and a guide. She sat by the candle fishermen lay fish upon the threshold, all night, and trimmed it and spun ; and set a child to watch it for her until then when day dawned she went to she wakes; sometimes their wives steal bed and slept in the sunshine. So into her cottage, now she is getting old, many hanks as she spun before, she and spin a hank or two for her while she spun still, and one over, to buy her sleeps ; and they teach their children nightly candle; and from that time to to pass her hut quietly, and not to sing this, for fifty years, through youth, and shout before her door, lest they maturity, and old age, she has turned should disturb her. That is all. Their night into day, and in the snow-storms thanks are not looked for, scarcely supof winter, through driving mists, decep- posed to be due. Their grateful deeds tive moonlight, and solemn darkness, are more than she expects, and as much that northern harbour has never once as she desires. been without the light of her candle. How often in the far distance of my

How many lives she has saved by English home I have awoke in a wild this candle, or how many a meal she winter night, and while the wind and bas won by it for the starving families storms were rising, bave thought of of the boatmen, it is impossible to say ; that northern bay with the waves how many a dark night the fishermen, dashing against the rocks, and have depending on it, went fearlessly forth, pictured to myself the casement and cannot now be told. There it stood, the candle pursed by that aged, bendregular as a lighthouse, steady as con- ing figure. How delighted to know stant care could make it. Always that through her untiring charity the brighter when daylight waned, they rock had long lost more than half its had only to keep it constantly in view, terrors, and to consider that, curse and they were safe; there was but one though it may be to all besides, it has thing that could intercept it, and that most surely proved a blessing to her. was the rock. However far they might You, too, may perhaps think with have stretched out to sea, they had advantage on the character of this only to bear down for that lighted win- woman, and contrast it with the misdow, and they were sure of a straight sion of the rock.

There are many and safe entrance into the harbour. degrees between them. Few, like the

Fifty years of life and labour-fifty rock, stand up wholly to work ruin and years of sleeping in the sunshine-fifty destruction ; few, like the woman, "let years of watching and self-denial, and their light shine" so brightly for good. But to one of the many degrees be- a rock elsewhere as perilous as the one tween them we must all certainly be- I have told you of—perhaps there are long-we lean toward the woman or many such women; but for this one, the rock. On such characters you do whose story is before you, pray that well to speculate with me, for you have her candle may burn a little longer, not been cheated into ideal shipwreck since this record of her charity is true. or imaginary kindness. There is many

-Jean Ingelow.

A WORD TO YOUNG MEN ON STATE-CHURCHES.

66 the

STATE Establishments of religion are an impiety, an impolicy, an absurdity, an injustice, and therefore a huge mistake. They usurp God's prerogative, inyade the rights of conscience, set class against class, endanger States, impede truth, stereotype error, freeze the springs of Christian beneficence, and, like the fabled tunic on Hercules, envenom what they pretend to bless and protect. Within its pale may be as much religious life and zeal as you choose to claim; but they are there not by reason of, but in spite of, the State Establishment.

Voluntaryism, on the other hand, is express Christian law: “Even so hath the Lord ordained.” It is Scriptural throughout: it rests on the Old Testament as well as on the New; whereas the State-method is taught by neither, and is condemned by both. It is rational, for it is in harmony with the laws of mind, and with the laws of truth. It is right, for who is the ruler that may step in between any soul and its God when he cannot answer for that soul, or “give to God a ransom for him;" but, poor sceptred sinner that he is, must, equally with the meanest, “stand in his own lot at the end of the days." It is peace-promoting, for it invades no right, causes no friction, creates no jealousies, takes up no political shibboleth, and gives the freedom it claiins and takes; “ against such there is,” or ought to be," no law.” It is ennobling, for it concedes to the poorest a domain of inviolable sacredness which even kings must respect; it brings down the high and exalts the low; and it not only leaves to free play, but summons to responsible action, the deepest and loftiest principles of our nature. In a word, it is effective. Witness this, primeval victories of the Christian faith! Witness this, voluntary religion, in our own and other lands! It never betrayed any even in the most

“ troublous times," who threw themselves trustfully upon it. And it never will, it never can; for it only leaves our Divine Christianity to open her own infinite fountains, wield her own heavenly influences, and carry them, free as the winds and the common sunshine, to the ends of the earth. Its symbol is not kings and armies, but a winged angel in mid-heaven, bearing the everlasting Gospel to all peoples and tongues. It has resources enough for this. Talk of the powers latent in science ! Think of the power that slumbers latent in the Christian Church. What electricity and steam have done in this age, since they were called forth from their latencies in nature, would faintly illustrate the world-heaving forces that lie latent in all our churches. In primitive times, dly examples," says Merivale, of Christians, and especially of Christian martyrs, caused " thousands, nay millions, of conversions." Let modern Christianity only look with eagle vision into the face of the Sun of Righteousness, and pray for the Divine Spirit, and plume her heavenly wings, and the same effects would follow still.

Determine, my dear young friends, to do your part. Be loyal to noble Nonconformity, not for its own sake, but for the Truth's sake that is in it. Leave it to weaklings to blush for the respectability of a cause glorified by the rames of Cromwell and Milton, and consecrated with the blood of martyrs. Let these young Demases go; they will not much enrich the Establishment, or impoverish Dissent. As true Voluntaries, be you all life and action. Consecrate to it your entire individualism. “Live while you live; and live throughout the breadth and depth, as well as length of your life. “He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best."- Rev. J. Guthrie.

Literature.

APOLOGETIC LECTURES ON THE SAVING such ? The Christ of history, it is

TRUTIIS OF CHRISTIANITY. By C. E. declared, does not correspond with the Luthardt, Doctor and Professor of Christ of doctrine. The church teaches Theology. Edinburgh: T. & T. another Christ than what He really Clark. 1868.

was; that He was not the God-Man, THESE lectures were delivered in

and therefore must not be thus thought

of. Let us now hear the statement of Leipsic about two years ago, and have gone through two German editions, our author. from the second of which they have “ The doctrine of the God-Man com. been translated into English, and are bines two sides into a unity—the human now published by Messrs. Clark in a and the divine. We will consider both : neat volume of three hundred and and first the manner in which Scripture seventy pages. The subjects of the presents them to our notice. Nothing is ten lectures are, the Nature of Chris

more certain than that Jesus was man in

the full sense of the word. It is a com. tianity-Sin-Grace—the God-Manthe Work of Christ-the Conclusion of

plete and perfect human life which the the Work of Redemption, the Trinity

Gospels portray. Not externally only, but

in His heart of hearts, did Jesus lead a the Church-the Holy Scriptures—the

human life. He experienced all the emoChurch's Means of Grace - and the

tions by which we are moved. Sorrow Last Things. To these lectures notes and joy, love and anger, zeal and fear, are appended,

which fill another hun- moved His soul as they do ours. He was dred pages. The volume is the same no celestial appearance hovering about the in size and price as a previous one by earth. He was a corporeal man who lived the author on the Fundamental Truths a human life on earth among men ; who of Christianity. Not having seen that

was angry with one, loved others, and

called some His friends. The misconcepvolume, we could judge of its character

tion of His countrymen pained Him; the only from the testimony of other Re

enmity He encountered was a deep grief; viewers, who often mislead those who

the love and fidelity He met with were a rely upon them.

But now, having comfort and refreshment to Him; to pour made personal acquaintance with Dr.

out His burdened heart in prayer to His Luthardt, we believe the highest enco- Father, or to know in His hours of sorrow miums passed on the work are fully that brother-men were near Him, was a deserved. The Saving Truths of Chris- need felt by Him as it is by us. The tianity are here set forth in what we world of sensations which depress or raise think to be a Scriptural form, and they our spirits acted in their full variety on are discussed and illustrated and de

His also. And even the darkest and fended with a candour, a clearness, and

hardest thing in our life—the conflict

with sin-did not leave Him untouched. a force which prove the author to be

He had to encounter temptations—temptaone of the wisest, soundest, and most

tions to abandon His work, to avoid His devout of modern theologians. Both

sufferings. These did not approach His in the matter and in the method of

outer life alone; they drew near to the presentation the volume is admirable,

depths of His soul. It was within that and we should be glad to show its He had to defend Himself against their great excellence by giving numerous attacks, and to oppose them, that sin quotations from it.

might not draw Him within its sphere. In speaking of the person of Christ, This is the point where the paths of His in whom we have the supreme mani

and our life diverge. For if anything is festation of God's grace, Dr. Luthardt

certain, it is thisthat Jesus allowed sin notices the fact that ever since the

no entrance into His inner life,” &c., &c. First Advent the question, Who is Jesus Christ ? has been unceasingly After expanding this truth as it is agitated; and he observes that when attested by the evangelists in their Christianity would express in the portrait of His life, the Doctor observes

ighest and most honourable terms that the sinlessness of Christ being what she knows of Christ, she calls established, the other tenets of church Him the God-Man. But is He really doctrine concerning His person are but

-pp. 91, 92,

« EdellinenJatka »