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"I am the God of thy father Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and behold I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest,"
I remember now what I have read of the awful end of Phạ.. raph, Belshazzar, and Herod.-- Were not they despisers of God?"
: Yes, they are examples of the indignation of the Almighty against their rebellious conduct. They lightly esteemed the Holy One of Israel; they rejected divine warnings, and like the guilty inhabitants of Jerusalem they perished in their sins.'
Then I will endeavor to imitate them who honor God. But may. I hope, dear mamma, that He will look upon so young a. child as I am ??
• You may with confidence. Nothing is more pleasing to : God than early piety. His promise is, “They who seek me early shall find me." To such he will be a powerful protector, to defend them from all dangers, and having abundantly. honored them in this world, he will at length receive them to heaven, where they shall live and reign with Him for ever and ever.'
Thrice happy man who fears the Lord,
CHRISTIAN HUMILITY RECOMMENDED TO THE YOUNG.
HUMILITY is one of the most amiable and attractive features of the Christian character; or, rather it is that peculiar grace which gives to every feature of true Christianity its chief beauty. The allusion of the Apostle is striking and appropriate, “ Be ye clothed with humility,” for he intimates that tliis grace is the garb and habit of the believer. Humility in knowledge, faith, hope, aud zeal, is indispensable to the existence of the graces themselves, for without humility what is knowledge but self-conceit; faith and hope are but presumption, and zeal, enthusiasm and rudeness.
The passage we have just quoted is found in connexion with another, which points out the peculiar suitableness of this disposition to the youthful character, “ likewise ye younger submit your selves to the elder,” consequently in young persons it is peculiarly
amiable and becoming. We admire a lowly mind when it exists in connexion with a lofty station, or commanding talents ; but it is also not less engaging in those who are tempted by the confidence, rashness, or inexperience of youth. We propose to offer a few remarks on the nature and importance of genuine humility, addressed chiefly to the young, and solicit their peculiar attention.
No Christian grace has been so frequently misrepresented as humility, because none has been so much misunderstood. It is not surprising that it should be viewed by many as mean and contemptible, as injurious to what the philosopher Hume denominates self-valuation, or as disgraceful to the man of spirit and enterprise; for if “it were of the world, the world would love its own.” It is, however, of heavenly origin, it is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and the natural man “ Understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” But the odium with which true humility has been regarded by many is not only unmerited, but also misapplied. Men form erroneous notions of it, and are then disgusted with the creature of their own imagination. It is sometimes confounded with hypocrisy, and mistaken for a disposition to crouch to our fellow-creatures from motives of selfinterest, the mark of a grovelling, pitiful spirit; to be a compound of cowardice and stupidity; or, to say the best of it, a state of mind which may be proper in certain circumstances, as for instance, in poverty, or affliction; but which it will be soun enough to cultivate and practise when we find ourselves involved in those circumstances.
We have not, however, to do now with the mistakes of men, except indeed to expose and correct them, which will be done most effectually, by shewing what genuine humility really is.
Humility is the right knowledge of ourselves, in the relation we stand in to God and man; consequently it has reference to both. Humility towards God must proceed from a scriptural and enlarged view of his perfections and of our own unworthiness. It places man at the footstool of the divine majesty, and never is an individual truly humbled before the Lord until he can say with sincere conviction and self-abasement, Behold, I am vile.
With this sense of our need of mercy, it cannot fail to join a willingness to accept the mercy we need in the Lord's own way; hence it renders the subject of it teachable, enquiring, and willing to embrace the salvation of the gospel, which is so humbling to the pride of man : it also imposes respect for all his commandments. With the lowly mind it is enough that Jehovah commands, humility silences every objection and dictates compliance. In a word, it mixes in all the intercourse of a Christian with his God, producing habitual reverence, dependence on divine wisdom in difficulties, and submission to the divine appointments in affliction.
With reference to mankind, humility is directly opposed to that selfishness which gives rise to so much disorder and misery. For selfishness is nothing but pride, leading a person to attach too -high a degree of importance to his own interests and claims. The meek and lowly of heart, however, will be concerned to fulfil that important precept “ Let each esteem others better than themselves." And absurd and impracticable as this precept may appear to the generality, its importance will be seen, and its performance will be easy, just in proportion as we know ourselves. A deep and experimental conviction of our own liability to err, of the impurity that mixes with our motives, and of the trifling value, comparatively speaking, of the advantages we confer on society, will most effectually preserve us from assuming or expecting more from our fellow-creatures than is just and reasonable. Wherever such a disposition exists it must produce an important effect on the character and conduct. The wealthy it will teach to condescend to men of low estate, the poor
will learn contentment with their Lord's allotment. The Master will mingle affection with authority, as one who is aware that he has a Master in heaven; and the servant will do service with good will, satisfied with the sphere in which providence has placed him, and chiefly concerned to glorify God therein.
We have spoken of genuine humility not as a moral virtue merely, but as a Christian grace; let those then who profess to be the subjects of Christian principle and to be concerned for the honor of the Saviour's cause, cultivate and exhibit it as much as possible in their intercourse with the church and the world; for a little consideration will convince us that humility is as conducive to our real happiness as to the honor of our profession. The favor and presence of God are the bliss of a renewed soul, and does not the Lord say, “ I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
Thus the lower we sink in humility before the Lord, the more we may hope to enjoy his presence in the soul; and we may a
add to this, that if there be any thing in our temporal circumstances capable of affording enjoyment, a lowly mind will be most likely to taste it. For as the excellent Gurnal remarks, a truly humble man looks upon small mercies as great mercies, and great afflictions as small afflictions, and small afflictions as no afflictions, for he feels every thing to be a mercy short of the eternal wrath and vengeance of God which he has deserved."
The humility we recommend is also intimately connected with the usefulness of a Christian, nor can there be a greater mistake than to suppose that it necessarily unfits a man to engage in any efforts of a public nature for the promotion of the cause of Christ. It is quite consistent with the utmost zeal and devotedness. He who was the lowliest of men, was at the same time the most active in the cause of truth and benevolence. Humility will indeed restrain zeal within due bounds, and check any thing like intrusion or impudence; but it will, more than any thing, enable a person to bear with patience and forbearance the unkind rebuffs, which those who undertake to labour in any part of the Lord's vineyard must expect in some degree to meet with.
Once more, hụmility is indispensable to promote the peace of the church. When humility is deficient, the best bond of social and sanctified order is loosened. Learners of yesterday, become wiser than their teachers, and many wish to have the pre-emi. nence. Private interests are sought at the expence of the general good, and there is confusion and every evil work. Imagination, however, cannot picture a more pleasing object than that of a Christian society actuated, to a man, by this lowly spirit. Like a field of corn before the sudden breezes of autumn, they bend together and so retain their form and beauty. If there be a strife among them, it is which of them shall stoop the lowest in Saviour's cause. One spirit of true humility pervades the whole, and the happy community exhibits all the modest loveliness of: the spouse of Jesus.
LETTER TO A YOUTH.
ON THE DEITY OP OOR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Most willingly, my dear friend, do I reply to your request that I would give you my sentiments upon some of the prineipal Doctrines of Christianity, and as you named the Deity of our Lord and Saviour, I shall devote this epistle to that important subject.
“ The Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ,”-says the Rev. James Hervey,“ is the most important article of Christianity. It is, if I may so speak, the staple truth of our Bible, and the great foundation which supports the whole structure of our holy religion. It is the root which nourishes all the doctrines of Scripture, and all the hopes of a Christian. Take this away, and the whole institution of Christianity falls at once. When Samson torè away the supporting pillars, the whole roof fell in, and the whole house became a ruinous heap; just so will it be with the Christian Religion, if this grand main article be struck away; but when His supreme Divinity is believed, then it stamps a grandeur upon His person and example; it puts an infinite value upon His atonement and righteousness, and a glorious perfection upon all that He did and said."
If you examine the sacred Scripture, you will perceive that it ascribes to our Saviour the ATTRIBUTES of the Godhead.
ETERNITY is one of those Attributes peculiar to God, and yet we find it applied to Christ, in Micah v. 2.
Whose goings forth have been from of old from everlasting;" Prov. viii. 23. “I was set up from everlasting.” 66 The word rendered - set up' is, by some, translated anointed, and by others 'obtained the dominion.' It is used in the second Psalm, concerning the Messiah.” *
The words of the Apostle, Heb. vii. 3. are striking, speaking of Melchisedec, he says, that being “made like unto the Son of God, he abideth a priest continually”—that same glorious Redeemer of whom he speaks, Heb. xii. 8. “ Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”
OMNIPRESENCE is ascribed to Christ, He says of himself Matt. viii. 20. “Where two or three are gathered together, in my nume, there am I in the midst of them.” And in John iii. 13. “No
* Rev. T. Scott in loco.