« ForrigeFortsett »
to any church which is near to him, and his pestor preaches the truth as it is in Jesus, and yet he has a desire to hear any particular preacher at a distance, it will then become a sin in him to ride. But should it, on the other hand be, that he is particularly attached to some one at a distance, has joined no church, or really cannot bear any one else to so much profit, I think, without his conscience condemning him, he might do so. But this resolves itself into my first remark regarding conscience.
I would, however, in any case, earnestly recommend my enquiring friend to read with prayerful attention Romans xiv, taking especial notice of the middle clause of the fourth, and the latter clauses of the fifth and twentieth verses; as well as John iï. 20; and happy is that man whose heart condemns him not in the thing he alloweth.
I would yet suggest that it is our duty to avoid, as Christians, any thing that tends to promote labor on the Sabbath as much as we possibly can; and now trust that the enquirer will seek guidance from his Heavenly Father alone to set his mind at rest.
Yours, DEAR SIR,
In answer to the difficulty here proposed, I am disposed to think that although the act spoken of may not, in some circumstances be in itself sinful, yet it is expedient for Christians in the present day to abstain from all travelling on the Sabbath, unless it be in the highest sense a work of necessity or mercy. Every appearance of a professing Christian in a public conveyance on that day is a triumph to the Sabbath-breaker ; he neither knows, nor cares to know, the motives which bring him thereit is enough that he has been seen there, and the uneasy conscience will be quieted with the remark—“Oh, such a one-a respected member of a Christian church-travels on the Sabbath, why may not I ?" See Philippians ii. 15. Col. iv. 5.
9. What shall I do to be saved ? (Page 183.)
A POWERFUL sovereign was once called upon to subdue a rebellion which had sprung up in the midst of one of his extensive provinces, and instead of overwhelming the insurgents with a numerous host, he adopted the following method to disarm them and bring them back to their allegiance. Possessed of an inexhaustible treasury, he prepared within the precincts of his palace a noble feast, open every day to all who should desire to partake of it. The king, himself, received at the door all who entered, and assuring them of his free forgiveness, invited them to partake of the good things provided. Among the rich viands thus prepared, might be found every variety, both good to the taste, and so suited to the wants of his people, as to correct what was evil in their nature, and make them in heart and life new creatures.
When the offer of a free pardon on such conditions, was proclaimed throughout the province, some treated it with contempt, others with neglect, but a few desired to avail themselves of it, and seeking to learn more of the gracious terms proposed, left their own homes, and started for the king's palace. Arrived within sight of the gate, and convinced by many of the truth of the proclamation, still the very freeness of the offer made these self-convicted rebels hesitate; they hardly dared believe, that pardon could be granted by so powerful a monareh, on such simple conditions, as those of merely entering in and receiving the good things provided. Some, however, with trembling steps, though conscious of the weight of their guilt, yet advanced a little closer, and hardly reaching the door, held out their arms
The king had watched them, and with a gracious smile encouraged them with these words——“Be not afraid, only believe!" They pressed on, clasped the hand held out to them, and were admitted to the feast. Others there were, who beholding the sentence engraved on the door, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely," walked boldly up, and demanded admittance, guilty though they were, for they did not doubt the power nor the will of their Lord to be true to his word. These, if possible, were received even more graciously than the former; because it honored their king to trust him.
I think our young friend, “Clara,” just lacks this one thing: she wishes to be saved; she is as it were at the entrance of the gate, but she hesitates to enter. Let me affectionately urge her to go in the retirement of her chamber, and falling on her knees before her “Father who is in secret," tell him that she has come to avail herself of his promise of pardon through Christ: that as “ Christ died for all,” she has come to lay her sins on him, and to receive all the blessings resulting from such an act.
Our blessed Saviour died not only to justify his people, but to sanctify them by his Holy Spirit; therefore let her at the same time tell her Heavenly Father how weak and sinful she is, that she cannot make herself holy, so she claims his promise in Christ to make her so: she cannot even keep one good resolution in her own strength, so let her also ask him “to work in her both to will and to do what is right;" for I can assure my young friend, that all this and much more is promised to those who come to Christ. When she rises from her knees, let it be with the conviction that God has heard her, and that he will grant her prayer.
Could any promises be plainer or more comprehensive—“Ask and it shall be given you." “If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them that ask it."
DEAR SIR,-Feeling deeply interested in the earnest and anxious state of mind manifested by your correspondent “Clara," respecting the all-important subject of salvation, and earnestly desiring to see her realizing the full enjoyment of the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, I beg to offer a few remarks, with the fervent hope and prayer that they may be useful to her.
It is evident that an imperfect apprehension of the nature of the work the Lord Jesus Christ came to accomplish is the cause of her present weakness and distress. If “Clara” will carefully and prayerfully study the New Testament, she will find that salvation is secured to us entirely on the ground of what Christ has done and suffered. He fulfilled the law which we have broken, and endured on the cross the wrath of God due to our sins. His righteousness is imputed to us. Our sins were laid upon him. Oh! wonderful salvation this! But it is available to those only who see the great evil there is in sin, and who, with the jailor, are compelled to cry out, “ What must I do to be saved ?” for such only will seek a remedy, and such alone can appreciate the salvation offered them.
Our Saviour on one occasion said, " They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick ; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance;" and when a convinced sinner rightly understands and believes all that God has said in his Word about his Son, he at once rejoices in the glad tidings, and finds peace and joy in believing. This is conversion.
But now come the practical effects of a renewed state of heart. Such a person can no longer delight in sin, for that crucified his Saviour, and henceforward his is a life of conflict with evil in every form; he is willing to deny himself and take up his cross and follow Jesus; but he has still the remains of an evil nature within him, and the warfare can only be maintained by the help of the Holy Spirit, which is promised to all believers, but for this he has daily to ask, and the promise is, “ They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”-hence the immense importance of frequent prayer.
Watchfulness and self-examination also are indispensable to his growth in grace and holiness; but the holiest Christian has often to complain of much imperfection and many failures, and he sometimes cries out, “ () wretched man that I am !" It is, nevertheless, promised that he shall be “ more than conqueror through him who hath loved him," and therefore he is encouraged to press forward.
Again expressing much Christian sympathy for “Clara,” (having myself passed through a similar conflict,) and praying that she may be led into all truth, I beg to subscribe myself,
The turning point in Conversion is when the will, formerly on the side of sin and Satan, is brought over to the side of God and holiness.
Is “Clara" willing to give up all sin for Christ; or if not willing, is she anxious to be made willing, for Jesus can do this too! Let her bring all these difficulties-her want of faith, and her unwillingness—to Him, and plead his promise, -- Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
Faith is the gift of God. Its privileges are beautifully desscribed in the Song of Solomon, “I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” It is just the sinner weary and heavy laden, selfrenouncing, self-abhorring, and able to go no further,“ sitting down” to rest his weary limbs under the shadow of that Great Rock. “ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," and they have nothing to do but to be willing: If a sinner were saved against his own will, salvation would be no longer a free gift.
10. Resurrection and Immortality. SIR, I have been led to reflect upon the sublime doctrines of the Resurrection and the Immortality of the soul ; and as I wish to know all I can upon these solemn subjects, I take the liberty of sending the following enquiries :
Is there any proof, independent of the sacred Scriptures themselves, of the Resurrection of the body after death ? And likewise of the Immortality of the Soul ?
11. Universal Reconciliation. SIR,—Would any of your correspondents oblige me by an explanation of the following passage in Colosians i. 20. “Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself ; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or
ings in heaven.”
Now, as reconciliation implies previous enmity, and we cannot suppose that this can exist in heaven, how is the passage to be explained ?
H. S. B.