Imatges de pÓgina
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accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." If we do not obtain this salvation in time, the opportunity will be for ever past, and our ruin will be inevitable.

3. Not only, however, may time past be thus redeemed; it is possible also to redeem the time which is to come. It is possible (if we may use the expression) to encroach upon the whole remaining term of our life, and even upon time which belongs to posterity. Thus, every one who, in humble dependence upon the Divine blessing, proposes to himself a wise and holy plan of living-who forms good resolutions, and concerts measures proper for carrying them into execution ;such an one smoothes the difficulties of the future, and may be said to labour for time future. So, also, he who performs charitable or pious deeds, from a sense of gratitude to God for temporal and spiritual mercies; and who, by his liberality, evinces his regard to his country, his love for religion and for the poor members of Jesus Christ;-such a person redeems the time which belongs to posterity. II. These, then, are the various ways in which we may redeem time present, time past, and time to come. This improvement of our time is of the highest importance: we cannot neglect it without incurring guilt, as I am now, secondly, to shew, by representing to you the necessity of attending to the apostle's exhortation, "redeem the time."

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The very importance of time proves that we ought to neglect no means of turning it to good account. Time is the most precious thing in the world; for "God, who giveth plenteously to all creatures, in the distribution of our time seems to be strait-handed; and gives it to us - not as nature gives us rivers, enough to drown us, but drop by drop, moment after moment; so that we never can have two moments together, but he takes away one when he gives us another." The first has disappeared before its successor is within our grasp and whether it will please him to give or retain the next, is beyond our knowledge. Yet, how is the value of time increased in the judgment of every thinking person, when he views it in all its circumstances, and reflects, seriously and with attention, how short time is; how rapid in its course; and, at the same time, how uncertain it is; how irrevocable; how much our eternal happiness or misery depends upon the right use or misuse of time; and what an account we shall have to give of it! I say, when we reflect on these things seriously and with attention; for these truths, obvious and self-evident as they are, so that no one can be ignorant of them, yet seem scarcely ever felt, or to make any suitable impression Bishop Taylor.

upon the greater part of mankind. They have them, indeed, perpetually upon their lips; but their hearts are not affected by them. In order, then, that we may form a right estimate of the value of time, let us endeavour to enter a little into each of these reasons for its redemption.

1. The shortness of time is the first reason why it should be redeemed.

The shortness of life, and the narrow limits within which it is confined, are the theme of universal complaint. Question the man of letters and of science on this subject, and he he will tell you that it is so difficult to attain to distinguished eminence in knowledge or in the sciences, that the life of man is too short to enable him fully to explore them. Ask the man of the world, and he will tell you that so much time is absolutely necessary in order to make even a moderate fortune, that very little remains for the enjoyment of it. And ask the aged man, bending beneath the weight of years, who has beheld successive generations pass away before him, and he will tell you, that that time, which to your imagination seems to be so long, has disappeared like a dream; and that the life of man, considered in its utmost length, is but an unsubstantial vapour," which appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away." "We spend our years as a tale that is told." But, not to dwell upon the confessions of others, let us consider the measure of our days simply as it is in itself, and relatively to ourselves. And if from the longest life we deduct the years of helpless infancy; all those hours which human infirmity constrains us to pass in sleep, and which run away with the third part of our existence; the time spent in indecision and inaction; the time spent in preparation and design; the time spent in travelling; the time necessarily devoted to the care of our health;-after all these deductions, what does there remain of life properly so called? Alas! the longest life is but an hand-breadth; and three-score years' abode in this world is reduced to an actual and real existence of about twenty years. How important, then, is the apostle's counsel," redeem the time!"

2. Yet, short as is the space of time allotted to us in this life, the rapidity with which that space flies seems to render it still shorter ; and the images of quicker than lightning, sound, and thought, which are alike used by sacred and profane writers in order to denote the swiftness of its course, are no longer me taphors, but literal and faithful expressions, when applied to time. Hours, days, months, and years, fly away with astonishing rapidity.

Youth, the spring-time of life, from the novelty, multitude, and variety of the objects

which engage attention, marks (so to speak) | the moments, and seems to slacken their course. It passes away, however, like a flower that fadeth before the blighting wind, "and the place thereof knoweth it no more." It lasts but for a day; and, notwithstanding the fruitless efforts made to prolong its duration, youth soon gives place to mature age, when other enjoyments and pursuits, more equal and more regular, impart a more uniform course to our years, and confound them, as it were, together, until old age at length arrives, which being deprived of all those passions, interests, and impressions, that form an era in our lives, old age no longer distinguishes the fleeting moments, but sees them succeed and destroy one another with the rapidity of a resistless torrent.

3. Not only, however, does time fly with rapidity, but no one can be sure of enjoying it. Its uncertainty equals its rapidity; nor can any one, without being guilty of unpardonable temerity, promise himself any future time. We are surrounded by so many dangers, that life seems to subsist only by a perpetual miracle; our bodies are so 66 fearfully and wonderfully made," that the least accident is capable of deranging and destroying them; so that we can promise ourselves nothing certain. Experience also convinces us of the uncertainty of time. We daily see falling around us the young and the old, the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the noble and the beggar. Nothing can ransom us from death it is an enemy with whom we can make no covenant; "it cometh up into our windows, and entereth into our palaces ;" and when we purpose to take our ease, and to enjoy the goods we have laid up in store, our souls are required of us. Who, then, can be too solicitous rightly to employ time present, when no dependence can be placed upon time future, either for its arrival, or for its being duly improved?

4. With the rapid flight and uncertainty of time connect another characteristic, which ought to make us attach the highest value to it; and it is this,-time, once past, is irrevocable: once gone, it is gone for ever. Earthly goods may be acquired by human efforts; wealth, ordinarily at least, is obtained by the blessing of God upon honest industry; knowledge, by long and patient study; reputation, sometimes by merit; and honours and office, either by talents, by integrity, by intrigue, or by favour. Time, and time alone, is beyond our grasp and the very moment in which I am addressing you, is as irrevocable, and as far distant from each of us, as that when the Almighty Creator spoke the universe into existence.

The ancients very significantly represented

time by the figure of a young man running at full speed, having a lock of hair on his forehead, in order to denote that it must be seized as it approaches (whence the proverbial expression, so common among us, of "taking time by the forelock"): but behind he was quite bald, to intimate that when time is once gone by, there is no possibility of seizing and detaining it. This beautiful and apposite emblem may suggest to all who are in the spring-time of life, an additional motive for the redemption of their precious time; particularly when, to the consideration of its shortness, of its rapid flight, of its uncertainty and irrevocability, we add,

5. Its momentous influence upon our eternal destiny. "The present state of man is probationary in its nature, and decisive in its influence upon our eternal condition. It is in time that the character is formed for eternity. Earth alone is the scene of operation for that mercy which is exercised through the amazing provisions of the gospel of Christ, and which is of the last importance as a preparation for participating in the felicities of the heavenly world." O, that we were wise, that we would consider our latter end; and, while God worketh in us by his word, his ordinances, and his grace, that we would work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, mindful of the influence of time upon our eternal state; and remembering that a single moment, wilfully lost or mis-spent, can never be recalled. Nor is this all: for,

6. Reflect--and this is the last consideration we shall urge to induce you to redeem the time-reflect upon the account which you must one day give of it. "Imagine not that you have done with time past; or that you will hear no more of the days which are gone." Hours have wings, and fly up to the Author of time, and carry news of our usage of them. All our prayers cannot entreat one of them either to return or to slacken its pace; "they are gone-gone to make a record in the court of heaven. Every moment, as it passed, bore its report along with it. Time mis-spent will be an accuser at the tribunal of God, and a gnawing worm in the regions of despair. It is only when 'wilfully impenitent' sinners shall see themselves upon the brink of eternity, when time thall be no more for them, that they will begin to be convinced of its inestimable value, and of the infinite importance of redeeming it." What would not lost souls give for one of their mis-spent hours! How well would they employ it, if it could be permitted to them! But they would not come unto Christ, that they might have life; they would not work whilst time was; and now the dismal night of eternity has overtaken them, when no one can work; but

in which they will, with bitter and fruitless remorse, eternally deplore and condemn their past folly and madness in having misemployed 4 and squandered away, during life, so much precious time. O, let us learn to be wise at their expense; and remember, that we must be confronted, at the tribunal of God, with all our mis-spent hours and days.

These then, brethren, are the reasons why we should redeem time present, past, or future-viz. because it is short, and flies with resistless rapidity; because it is uncertain, and, when once gone, is irrevocable; because it has a momentous influence on our eternal destiny; and because we must one day give an account of our time.

To conclude: :- Since nothing is more precious to us than time, or more important to us than to make a right use of it, how lamentable is it that so much time is lost for want of due solicitude to redeem it! How much time is lost in vain and frivolous pursuits or amusements, which have no relation whatever to our true happiness! How much time is lost in useless visits, which are perhaps not more disagreeable to the visitor, than to the person whom the imperious tyrant, fashion, compels to receive them! How much time is lost in idle gossip, in needless attendance on the decoration of the person, and in other pursuits, which dissipate the mind and render it unfit to resume the proper duties of life! to say nothing of the time that is lost by too many in wicked or criminal pursuits.

Another year has just closed upon us, and it is a considerable space in our lives. What use have we made of it? Have we improved it to the glory of God, in the discharge of our respective religious, civil, and domestic relations and duties? Brethren, let us each interrogate our own hearts, as in the presence of God; and if we find, on review, that we have lost our precious gift of time, let us redeem it by redoubling our efforts, in order that, during the remnant which may yet remain to us, we may do what we ought to have done in time past. Let us avail ourselves of the time present, and of the opportunities given us for our improvement in the knowledge of our duty towards God and man, and for our growth in grace and holiness. Instead of postponing any thing to a future day, let us now do what we ought to do for the time to come; and may the blessed influence of our example be felt in future ages! God grant that the present year may not be spent like the years which are irrecoverably past! God grant that the young, who have lost comparatively but little time, may understand its vast importance for their present and future happiness; and that those

who are already in the midst of their course, and have lost much time, may "give all diligence to make their calling and election sure." And, finally, may God grant that those who are drawing near to the end of their days, and who have lost the better part of their life, may be penetrated with godly sorrow, and devote the rest of their days to Him, by whose long-suffering mercy they have been permitted to enter upon another year. Amen.

CHURCH-EXTENSION IN SOUTH

AUSTRALIA.

WE beg to call very particularly the attention of our readers to the information with which we have been favoured from this interesting colony. It is manifest that in a new state of society, like that to which we invite the public eye, the efforts of the inhabitants must be inadequate to provide the necessary funds for building churches. To the mother-country they must therefore look; and it should be remembered, that a colony, unless it be furnished with Christian ministers, to teach the duty which is owed to God, will sooner or later forget the duty owed to the parent-state. A sense of interest, if no higher motive be felt, should then rouse us to exertion in such a case as this. When we add, that the Roman Catholics are, we are assured, zealously endeavouring to gain a footing in South Australia, we feel no doubt that many of our readers, to whom God has given the means, will readily forward their contributions to the Office of this Magazine, where, and at Hatchards', Piccadilly; Seeleys', Fleet Street; and Nisbet's, Berners Street, they will be thankfully received. We proceed to lay before them some extracts from letters written from Adelaide, in Dec. 1838, and Jan. 1839; also March 17, 1839:

"The pewing of our neat stone church was finished two Sundays ago, and will hold 300 persons, including free sittings: it is filled to overflowing, and it is now being enlarged to hold 300 more; and the governor, on giving the grant from the Christian Knowledge Society of 2501., granted June 1838, and the money entrusted to him by some friends, made it a condition, that sittings should be reserved for the aborigines and the police. The influx of emigrants and settlers is immense, and the present enlargement quite paltry; every pew is already taken, and the church, as it now stands, is considerably in debt, and another is immediately required. A piece of ground is appropriated for the building in Victoria Square; but where are the funds? where are the labourers? O, I would invite some of our excellent English and Irish clergy to come in faith over and help us. Mr. Howard is the only clergyman here; he is a decidedly pious man. We have a very cheering letter, containing a draft for a second grant of 2501. for the Church-building Fund in Adelaide, from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. This is to be applied towards the building of a second church: but what are we to do for a clergyman? It will be a sad thing to build a church, and then to have it closed for want of a minister. Mr. Howard's health is by no means good; and what must we do, if he were taken from us? our church-door

must be closed-then the little flock is scattered, and the enemy pours in like a flood. Do try and send us a good man and his wife, who can assist Mr. Howard, and superintend the building of another church, with plenty of money to do it. A census has been ordered to be taken of the population, which is supposed to be now nearly 7,000; and four emigrationships are hourly expected. Raise all the money you can for church-purposes, and all the books for Sundayschool rewards and lending-libraries; and pray send us some common coarse printed calico for clothing for the aborigines-they are most anxious for it, and always wear it when given to them, as of course they are not allowed to come within sight of the houses unclad. Interest all our kind friends and relations in behalf of those objects. We are also trying to raise a school for the natives: we have a host of them daily, and employ them in carrying water, sawing wood, &c. ; and some we have already begun to teach their letters, and others to sew, and the use of soap, and make them wash themselves and their clothes: they will do any thing for coarse brown biscuit.

"March 17.-We are more and more anxious on the subject of churches and clergymen for South Australia. Some gentlemen, who have engaged in a special survey at Port Lincoln, came to the governor the other day, and said they were going to build a church there, and begged he would appoint them a clergyman. Towns and villages are rising thirty miles round Adelaide, and churches and clergy wanted. As soon as we have money to guarantee our commencing another church in Adelaide, we shall begin."

The Cabinet.

CHRIST'S AMBASSADORS.-Any man may read the Scriptures, or make an oration to the people; but it is not that which the Scriptures call preaching the word of God, unless he be sent by God to do it; "for how can they preach except they be sent ?" (Rom. x. 15). A butcher might kill an ox or a lamb as well as the high-priest; but it was no sacrifice to God, unless one of his priests did it. "And no man taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Heb. v. 4). Any man may treat of public affairs as well as an ambassador; but he cannot do it to any purpose, without a commission from his prince. As, suppose a foreign nation should set up one among themselves to make a league with England, what would that signify, when he is not authorised by the king to do so? And yet this is the case of many among us, who, as the apostle foretold, cannot "endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears" (2 Tim. iv. 3). But such teachers as men thus heap to themselves, howsoever they may tickle their itching ears, they can never touch their hearts; for that can be done only by the power of God, accompanying and assisting his own institution and commission. Insomuch that if I did not think, or rather was not fully assured, that I had such a commission to be an ambassador for Christ and to act in his name, I should never think it worth the while to preach or execute any ministerial office; for I am sure that all I did would be null and void of itself, according to God's ordinary way of working; and we have no ground to expect miracles. But, blessed be God, we in our Church, by a successive imposition of hands, continued all along from the apostles themselves, receive the same Spirit that was conferred upon them for the administration of the

word and sacraments ordained by our Lord and Master, and therefore may do it as effectually to the salvation of mankind as they did. For as they were, so are we, ambassadors for Christ.-Bishop Beveridge.

THE TREE OF LIFE.-To whom, blessed Lord Jesus, should we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. Thou art the true tree of life, in the midst of the

paradise of God. For us men, and for our salvation, thou didst condescend to be planted, in a lowly form, upon the earth. But thy head soon reached to heaven, and thy branches to the ends of the earth. Thy head is covered with glory, and thy branches are the branches of honour and grace. Medicinal are thy leaves to heal every malady, and thy fruits are all the blessings of immortality. It is our hope, our support, our comfort, and all our joy, to reflect that, wearied with the labours and worn cut with the cares and sorrows of a fallen world, we shall sit down under thy shadow with great delight, and thy fruit shall be sweet to our taste.— Bishop IIorne.

IDOLATRY.-There are divers ways of breaking the first and second commandments beside worshipping Baal, as wicked Ahab did, and bowing down to stocks and stones. Many a man has set up his idols in his heart, who never dreamt of worshipping a graven image. The root and essence of idolatry, as St. Paul teaches us, is the worshipping and serving God's creatures more than God himself. Whoever, then, serves any one of God's creatures more than he serves Godwhoever loves any one of God's creatures more than he loves God-whoever makes any one of God's creatures more an object of his thoughts, and allows it to fill a greater space in his mind than God fills,-that man is guilty of idolatry in the spiritual and Christian sense of the word. When I say God's creatures, I mean not living creatures merely, but creatures of every kind, every thing which God has made for us, or enabled us to make for ourselves, all the sweet and relishing things we can enjoy in this world,pleasures, honours, riches, comforts of every kind. Therefore, if any man is foolish and wicked enough to give up his heart to any one of these creatures, and suffers himself to be drawn away from serving God by it, he is an idolater in the sight of Heaven. — Rev. A. W. Hare.

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.-Like the cloud between the hosts of Israel and Egypt, the holy Scriptures are a light by night to those who have eyes to see; while they are darkness even by day to those who are euemies to the truths which they contain.-Bp. Griswold.

EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY ENJOYMENTS.-And first for the perishing state and quality of all these worldly enjoyments; a thing so evident, or rather obvious to common sense and experience, that no man in his right wits can really doubt of it, and yet so universally contradicted by men's practice, that scarce any man seems to believe it. No; though the Spirit of God in Scripture is as full and home in the character it gives of these things as experience itself can be, sometimes expressing them by fashions, which we know are always changing; and sometimes by shadows, which no man can take any hold of; and sometimes by dreams, which are all mockery and delusion,- thus degrading the most admired grandeurs of the world from realities to bare appearances, and from appearances to mere nothings. Nor do they fail only, and lose that little worth they have, but they do it also by the vilest and most contemptible things in nature, by rust and cankers, moths and vermin, things which grow out of the very subjects they destroy, and so make the destruction inevitable. And how can any better be expected, when men will rather dig their treasure and comforts from beneath than fetch them from above? For it is impossible for such mortals to put on immortality; or for things, in the very nature of them calcu

lated but for a few days, to last for ever. All sublunary comforts imitate the changeableness, as well as feel the influence of the planet they are under. Time, like a river, carries them all away with a rapid course; they swim above the stream for awhile, but are quickly swallowed up and seen no more. The very monuments men raise to perpetuate their names consume and moulder away themselves, and proclaim their own mortality, as well as testify that of others. In a word, all these earthly funds have deficiencies in them never to be made up. But now, on the other side, the enjoyments above, and the treasures proposed to us by our Saviour, are indefectible in their nature, and endless in their duration. They are still full, fresh, and entire, THE PREACHING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.

like the stars and orbs above, which shine with the same undiminished lustre, and move with the same unwearied motion, with which they did from the first date of their creation. Nay, the joys of heaven will abide when these lights of heaven shall be put out, and when sun, and moon, and nature itself, shall be discharged their stations, and be employed by Providence no more; the righteous shall then appear in their full glory, and being fixed in the divine presence, enjoy one perpetual and everlasting day, commensurate to the unlimited eternity of God himself, the great Sun of Righteousness, who is always rising and never sets. -Dr. South.

ENCOURAGEMENT.-No man is alone who has Christ for his companion; no man is without God, who, in his own soul, preserves the temple of God undefiled. The Christian may indeed be assailed by robbers, or by wild beasts, among the mountains and deserts; he may be afflicted by famine, by cold, and by thirst; he may lose his life in a tempest at sea,-but the Saviour himself watches his faithful soldier fighting in all these various ways, and is ready to bestow the reward which he has promised to give in the resurrection. - St. Cyprian.

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There is a "rest" but found in worlds above,
Whose lofty canopy is love;
Where seraphs hymn their Master's praise,
And cherub-notes unite the heavenly lays.
Then haste, my soul, to find this "rest;"
O, haste to be for ever blest;
Attune thy heart to join that quire,
And learn on earth to string the "golden" lyre!
C. O.

A. G.

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