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on this green earth-the only place in this world of classes, and casts, and positions, and callings, where Christians meet upon one common level. Here, on entering the door of the sanetuary, all the natural, domestic, and political ties that bind them to society and to each other, are dissolved. Here, the servant is freed from his master, the hus. band from the wife, the parent from the child, the subject from the magistrate; all are alike children of a royal line, knowing no one after the flesh, nor after any domestic or civil relation in life. Here the brother of low degree rejoices in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation. Here, all alike absolved from the distracting cares and duties of worldly station-a holy brotherhood, standing aš kings and priests alike near the Throne of Grace, in the sanctuary of the Lord, and, bowed in spirit, worship in the beauty of holiness before the King—the Lord of Hosts.
But not only on the Lord's day, but as often as the holy brethren are enabled to redeem an hour from the daily avocations of life, may they meet together upon the same perfect equality, to speak one to the other of the divine goodness and love, as did those in the days of Malachi, who feared the Lord and thought upon his name. Such hallowed moments, however, much as they may be sought for and desired, can occur but seldom amid the daily avocations of society as it now is, and, indeed, always has been.
But to the humble and real Christian, be his condition in life ever so humble and subordinate, there can be no cause of murmuring thereat, nor of envying brethren who may occupy higher and more useful, and what are styled honorable, positions in society. For this. inequality of condition has existed, and must ever exist, in all communities. Like the person of one talent, if he improve it well-faithfully performing the duties of his humble station, the brother of low degree is assured of the plaudit, “Well done good and faithful servant.” He will then have no cause of complaint, but will be wel. comed equally with his brother of fine talents, who may have, in this life, occupied a higher and more responsible station.
But this inequality of condition amongst Christians, is not always borne with that humility, moderation and contentment, becoming the dignity of the Christian's rank; for a Christian is the highest style of man. We do not always find the Christian, of humble station in society, free of envy towards his more prosperous brother, upon whom the Lord has bestowed more of this world's wealth. Nor do we always find the Christian, who is blessed with wealth, as free of that feeling of self-importance, so common to worldly men of affluence, as he should be, in view of his greater responsibility. Wealth cannot but give inflnence to its possessor; and when the power which it
gives is used in promoting the best interests of society, it cannot fail of being a blessing to the holder, for he thereby lays up treasure in heaven, which shall be forthcoming at an hour when he most needs it.
But as it is so difficult for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of heaven, it has been, we presume, wisely and graciously ordered that but few of his chosen people, in any age, have been placed in those difficult circumstances. We cannot, therefore, too much admire the wisdom of Agur's petition—"Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Both conditions may be, and often are, made occasions to sin. The one, as a temptation to envying and covetousness; the other, to pride and selfishness.
Yet God is said to have chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, as the heirs of future glory. All are, however, included in the church, the rich and the poor; the wise and the unwise; the high and the low; the rude and the polite; all are, indeed, necessary to constitute the perfection, completeness, symmetry and beauty of the mystical body of Christ. All, as members of his body, are severally useful and honorable in their proper place, which he himself has given them.
A. W. C.
BEAUTIFUL SENTIMENTS. SHORTLY before the departure of the lamented Heber to India, he preached a sermon which contained this beautiful illustration:
Life bears us on like the stream of a mighty river. Our boat at first glides down the narrow channel through the playful murmuring of the little brook and the winding of its grassy borders. The trees shed their blossoms over our young heads, the flowers of the brink seem to offer themselves to our hands, we are happy in hope, and we grasp eagerly at the beauties around us; but the stream hurries us on, and still our hands are empty. Our course in youth and manhood is along a wider and deeper flood, amid objects more striking and mag. nificent. We are animated at the moving picture of enjoyment and industry passing us; we are excited at some short-lived disappointment. The stream bears us on, and our joys and griefs are alike left behind us. We may be shipwrecked, we cannot be delayed; whether rough or sinooth, the river hastens to its far-off home, till the roar of the ocean is in our ears, and the tossing of the waves is beneath our feet, and the land lessens from our eyes, and the floods are lifted up around us, and we take our leave of earth and its inhabitants, until of onr further voyage there is no witness save the infinite and eternal.”
THE KORAN FALLING BEFORE THE BIBLE. We extract the following from the Home and Foreign Record of the Free Church of Scotland:
The following gleanings from a variety of sources throw light on the progress of the truth in Turkey. The scorn of the Mohammedans for the Christian name arose from the idolatry which the Chris. tians practised, and which was held in abomination by the Mohammedans, whose system had remained for ages as a protest for the Divine unity and spirituality. In proportion as Mohammedans become acquainted with the Christianity of the Bible, so do their prejudices fade away; and more has been done to remove these prejudices within the last ten years, than from the time the Turks first crossed the Euphrates. The following anecdote, related by Rev.'G. W. Wood, of the American Board of Missions, at a recent “Union Missionary Meeting" in Montreal, well illustrates this:
“There were multitudes of Tu.ns," said Mr. Wood, “whose minds were in the same condition as a pasha going in a steamer from Constantinople to Smyrna at the same time as a brother of one of the missionaries at Smyrna. This gentleman, who, like many well, educated Turks, spoke fluently in French and Italian, talking of several European States, expressed very liberal opinions with respect to them; but he at length said: •From what you have heard, you may take me for one of that class, unhappily becoming so numerous amongst us, who look upon religion with indifference. You are mistaken; I am honestly a Turk of the old school, but if I ever change, I shall become a Protestant. There was some surprise expressed by the bystanders, most of whom were Roman Catholics; but taking down a Bible from a shelf in the cabin, he said: "I have read this book, and I know something of the Protestantism which is rising up among us, and this book teaches that Protestantism. When I read it, it strangely affects me here and here,' pointing to his head and his heart. The conviction, indeed, is forcing itself on the minds of the Mohammedans, that their religion must perish.”
Add to this, that in the capital of Mohammedanism, and under the very eyes of the successors of the caliphs, the Bible may be freely circulated arnong all classes of the inhabitants. In Turkey, there are now not fewer than fifty places where Protestant worship is maintained; and in Constantinople, where, till lately, there was no Protestant preaching, save in the chapels of the English and Swedish ambassadors, there are now fifty sermons delivered every Sabbath. The war appears to have made known one great fact to the Mohammedans, even that there is a Bible; and they have begun to manifest a remarkable desire to know what it contains, and what it really is which the English believe. To this effect are the following pregnant facts recorded by a writer in the Rock:
“The other day I was crossing the bridge over the Golden Horn which connects Galata with Constantinople Proper, and I noticed on one side a number of open volumes spread out for sale. that they were Scriptures in the different languages used here, and that the seller was an Armenian Protestant young man, who, some
I soon found
lime since, was driven by persecution from Rodosta, his native place, and had come to Constantinople to secure the protection of the Porte against its persecutors. Not wishing to wait here in idleness, he had taken these books from the Bible depot, and day after day did he come to this crowded thoroughfare to find purchasers.' Nor did he come in vain. At the end of a week he had sold twenty-four copies of the Turkish New Testament, and eleven copies of the Turkish Psalms, besides several other books in other languages! It is mar. vellous with what new desire the Mohammedans are now seeking for the Ingil, (Gospel.) Such a thing was never known before. We can as yet call it only curiosity, in most cases, to see what the New Testament of the Christian contains, but even this did not exist before the war; and may we not hope that it is the precursor of a work of God's Spirit on many hearts ? One of their own number has lately opened a book stall in the centre of the city, for the sale of Turkish and Arabic Bibles alone-a thing which, if it had been told us te. years ago, we should have said is utterly impossible.
“I have a short but instructive sequel to my story about the bridge peddler. I asked him if any oi the Mohammedans, in passing by, had made any opposition to his work. He said that, up to that time, the only person out of all the crowds of every nation and faith that had crossed the bridge, who had expressed any displeasure, or made use of any abusive language, was a Roman Catholic priest! Thus Rome is everywhere the same, and always true to her principles of unmitigated hostility to the Word of God.
“I called at the Bible depot the other day, and sat there for two hours. In this interval, a Greek colporteur, employed by the American missionaries, came in twice to replenish his stock of books, and went out again. I inquired of the depositary about the man and his success, for he had only lately begun this work. The reply was: • He appears to be a sincere and earnest Christian man, whose whole heart is bent on doing good. He goes through the streets, and ba. zars, and khans of the city, peddling his books among all classes of people, and every day he brings in forty, fifty, or seventy piastres, for books sold; and never have his day's sales heen less than twenty piastres.'
“Thus the Lord has instruments of all sorts at work here--Americans, English, Scotch, French, Germans, Waldensians, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and even Turks, all laboring to disseminate far and wide the Words of Eternal Life. Is He not preparing to bless this land? Can we believe that all this machinery has been brought into existence and set in motion by his providence in vain ?"
To be good is to be happy. If we would be happy, we must fulfill all our duties to God and our fellow-men. We must be willing to be miserable, if thereby we can increase the happiness of others. We must be benevolent. We must live in accordance with all the laws of our being
[Continued from p. 713] Christianity requireth a Renunciation of the Worid and all Worldly
Tempers. The Christian religion being to raise a new, spiritual, and as yet invisible world, and to place man in a certain order amongst thrones, principalities, and spiritnal beings, is at entire enmity with this present corrupt state of flesh and blood.
It ranks the present world along with the flesh and the devil, as an equal enemy to those glorious ends, and that perfection of human nature, which our redemption proposes.
It pleased the Wisdom of God to indulge the Jews in worldly hopes and fears.
It was then said, Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments, which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land whither you go to possess it.
The gospel is quite of another nature, and is a call to a very different state; it lays its first foundation in the renunciation of the world, as a state of false goods and enjoyments, which feed the vanity and corruption of our nature, fill our hearts with foolish and wicked passions, and keep us separate from God, the only happiness of all spirits.
“My kingdom," saith our blessed Saviour, “is not of this world;"" by which we may be assured, that no worldlings are of his kingdom.
We have a farther representation of the contrariety that there is betwixt this kingdom and the concerns of this world. "A certain man," saith our Lord, “made a great supper, and bade many, and sent his servant at supper-time, to say to them that were bidden, come, for all things are now ready; and they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them, I pray thee have me excused; another saith, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
We find that the Master of the house was angry, and said, “None of those men which were bidden, shall taste of my supper.
Our Saviour, a little afterwards, applies it all in this manner, "Whoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot he my disciple.” We are told, that “when the chief Priests and Pharisees heard our Saviour's parables, they perceived that he spoke of them.”+
If Christians, hearing the above recited parable, are not pricked in their hearts, and do not feel that our Saviour speaks of them, it must be owned that they are more hardened than Jews, and more insincere than Pharisees.
This parable teaches us1st. That not only the vices, the wickedness, and vanity of this
#Luke xvi. 16.
+ Matthew xxi. 45.