« AnteriorContinua »
lvi. 4-11. The Psalmist expresses his trust in THE BELIEVER'S PEACE.
God, and he immediately assures us that he II.
will not fear what man could do unto him. Tue Scriptures abound with many instances And on another occasion of alarm, the same of the operation of the peace occasioned by tranquillity of mind is beautifully evident; the felt presence of God in individual cases. his peace arises from the same cause, namely, It was shewn by the three Israelites, when trust in God. And here we see that this threatened by the king of Babylon that they peace cannot belong to any other but to should " be cast into a burning fiery furnace," those who are the children of God in sincerity in case they refused to "fall down and wor- and truth; for how can the wicked and unship the golden image that the king had set godly call upon God as their "refuge and up." The language of their faith was—“We strength," as “ a very present help in trouare not careful to answer thee in this matter ; ble ?" Such language, adopt it as they may our God whom we serve is able, and he will "in the time of wealth” and prosperity, can deliver us out of thine hand, O king." David never be experimentally enjoyed by them “in is an example of one in whose heart this the time of tribulation, in the hour of death, peace ruled. Those that troubled him were or in the day of judgment." It will then be increased. “Many are they,” he says, " that seen, that the faith and confidence of profesrise up against me." But God is a “shield sors, “having no root, will wither away." for him," " the strength of his life.” In this This, however, was not the case with the he is confident, and so he exultingly exclaims Psalmist; for it was "out of the depths that _“I will not be afraid for ten thousands of he cried unto" God: he realised the truth the people that have set themselves against that God was his “refuge;" and this is the me round about” (Ps. iii.). It appears from reason why he so confidently asserts, that the 11th Psalm, that in some season of immi- " though the earth be removed, and though nent peril, the friends of David advised him the mountains be carried into the midst of to fly, or to retire from the scene of danger ; the sea ; though the waters thereof roar and they describe his situation, and the probable be troubled, and though the mountains shake effect of the exertions of his enemies. We with the swelling thereof, yet we will not fear : here again trace the operation of the peace the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of produced by confidence in God. “In the Jacob is our refuge” (Ps. xlvi.). We have Lord put I my trust : if he be for me, who also another instance in the conduct of can be against me ?" And he looks from the Joshua and Caleb (Num. xiv.). They must dark and tumultuous occurrences around him have been fully aware of the obstacles that to that God who would maintain his cause, lay in their road; they must have anticiand would order all things for his good. pated the opposition they would probably “ The Lord is in his holy temple: the Lord's experience from the inhabitants of those seat is in heaven.” We may see the peace lands through which they would pass,-a difwhich confidence in God inspires, in Psalm ficulty which must have been more apparent VOL. VII.-NO. CXC.
(London: Robson, Levey, and Franklyn, 48t. Martin's Lane,]
when they contrasted the situation of their the Lord, and claims him as his "refuge," enemies with their own. The sanguine ex- his "portion," and his “strong-hold, wherepectations which the very murmurers had unto he may always resort." "The Seripformed of a land flowing with milk and tures," moreover, " testify of Jesus;" of Him honey were indeed realised : such were their who has broken down the wall of partition, representations to Moses; but they could and thus making peace with God, and bestownot proceed very far in the description of ing it on all those that believe and look unto their search, without employing the aid of him, that their sins may be forgiven and nature's vocabulary; and thus they add blotted out. The feeling of our corruption, another instance to their frequent lack of and inability to please God, is removed by faith. "Nevertheless," say they," the people the righteousness which Christ has brought be strong; the cities are walled, and very in by the Gospel, and by which we have great; and, moreover, we saw the children of
peace, quietness, and assurance for ever.” Anak there--a people so great, that we were The Christian knows his own weakness, in their sight as grasshoppers.” Now Joshua and is conscious that he is not able even to and Caleb were exposed to the contaminating think aright; and therefore, if he has been influence of the faithless conversation of their led in any measure to see "the exceeding companions; but they were not made" afraid" sinfulness of sin;" if he feel in the least degree by their “evil tidings, for their hearts stood his infinite obligations to the Redeemer; if fast and believed in the Lord.” “ The Lord,” he possess the slightest portion of love and they said at the close of their remonstrance, gratitude,- he is convinced that it is of God, “ is with us : fear not." St. Paul too, “not and he also knows that God does not give knowing the things that would befall him, these feelings without intending to cherish save that in every city bonds and afflictions them ; he does not cause a "desire,” without abided him," could yet say,
none of these
a design to “ fulfil" it; he does not create a things move me" (Acts, xx. 24).
hunger, without being willing also to satisfy From a review, then, of a few of the indi- it; he does not implant hopes, merely to vidual instances which the Scriptures exhibit dazzle or to tantalise ; he does not set us to of this peace," which passeth all understand- run a race, and hold a glorious prize to our ing," we may see the truth; and God grant view, and then mock us by not imparting that we may each experience, that “they that strength and ability to run; he does not put their trust in the Lord shall be even as place us in the battle, and expect us to fight Mount Sion, which may not be removed, but manfully, without providing armour and weastandeth fast for ever” (Ps. cxxv. 1).
pons for our use. No; the light he gives Peace is enumerated among the fruits of will “ shine more and more ;" the trees he the Spirit; it comes from God, and therefore plants "will bring forth more fruit in their we can never obtain it, unless we seek it in age;" for as in creation a regular gradation the appointed way, to which a promise of was observed-God proceeding from the less success is prefixed. The duty is, a firm noble to the more noble animals---from fishes reliance upon God; and the promise is, that to birds-from birds to beasts-from beasts he will be kept in perfect peace whose to the master-piece of creation ;" so also in mind is stayed on God, because he trusteth in the kingdom of grace, the Christian “ will him” (Is. xxvi. 3). The Psalmist tells us, go from strength to strength ;” the fruits of that “great is the peace they have who love the Spirit will be gradually matured, and be God's law;" for it is by searching the Scrip- more and more developed : the first appeartures that we become acquainted with our ance of life may be but “the blade," but own history and condition, and with the cha- "the ear" will soon shew itself, and “afterracter and attributes of Him, whom to know wards the full corn in the ear” (Mark iv. 20). is life eternal. It is through the Bible alone, And it will be found, that they who "go that we can obtain that "knowledge of God about to establish their own righteousness," and of Jesus," which “multiplies peace.” and to "build on other foundation than that And while we behold the dismay of the is laid," will miserably fail in their object, if ungodly in the day of visitation and desola- they suppose that their works and merits will tion, not knowing what to "do," or to whom procure for them acceptance with God; or “to flee" for help, we may also see and take prove efficient in bringing them "peace at comfort from the position of the righteous. the last." They too are represented as neglected, hav- If, however, God has, of his infinite mercy, ing no man that would know them—their given us peace ; if “he has delivered our refuge failing them, and having no man to souls from the battle that was against us," care for their souls : but here we see the and saved us from the hand of our enemies, contrast ; for the Christian feels the comfort let us, with David (Ps. lv. 19), always bear of that "knowledge" by which he cries unto in mind, that "it is he ;" therefore, "not unto us, not unto us, but unto God be the delightful village, in a northern county, where he praise."
was familiar with every face, and tolerably acquainted Can any one, then, be surprised, that they with every character. The death of the incumbent that possess the carnal mind know not the had, to the regret of his parishioners, caused his way of peace ? And is not the cause suffi-removal to another sphere of usefulness; and he ciently shewn why the heart of the one is had exchanged the fields and the woods of R—, faint, so that “the sound of a shaken leaf in the North Riding of Yorkshire, with its picshall chase them, that they shall flee and fall turesque scenery, and smoothly gliding stream, and when none pursueth,” even because " there rural cottages, for almost interminable rows of meanly is no fear of God before their eyes ?” while
built houses, in many of which misery dwelt, and,
in not a few, yice in its most revolting forms. His "the righteous are bold as a lion," because God hath “ given them strength and the
was, in fact, a missionary station. He was called on blessing of peace ?"
to minister amongst heathens in a Christian land. May we become more and more convinced fearfully responsible, or more depressing at times to
Perhaps there is no situation in the Church more i of the uncertainty of the happiness of earth, the spirits, than the cure of a large suburban populawhose pleasures “ wither even before they be
tion. To the mere Sunday observer all appears cargrown up;" but which the world, nevertheless, ried on as a clergyma would wish. The well-conwould tempt us to embrace : “let us eat and ditioned and elegantly furnished church ; the services drink, for to-morrow we die." But “the conducted in the most solemn manner; an overflowing friendship of the world is enmity to God;" and attentive congregation; the thrilling peals of the and we know that "there is no peace to the organ,—all tend to foster the supposition that the situawicked.” May we, therefore, seek to obtain tion of a town minister is most enviable. Alas, this is that " peace of God which passeth all under- not always the case; and should these remarks meet standing,” and may we feel the power of it in the eye of any one who conceives himself to be buried, every time of need. May we turn our eyes because his is the rustic congregation and his the vilto " the Book :" upon its eternal contents lage-church, and is pining, because, as he conceives, his may we build our faith ; for it will tend, with talents are wasted, let him be assured that the situation the blessing of the Holy Spirit, not only to of a country parochial minister, if he has with him the our present, but also to our everlasting peace. hearts of his people—and he will, generally speaking, And may God grant, that the truth of this have their hearts with him, he preach fully and blessed book may so inflame our love and faithfully the great doctrines of the Gospel, and does gratitude, as to “ constrain us to live no
not by his own conduct cause his sincerity to be queslonger unto ourselves, but unto Him who tioned-is one of the most important and enviable in died for us, and has reconciled us unto God
the Church. There is the homely bow, the respectful by his blood."
salutation, the kind greeting, which awaits the faithful In the last place, let us remember, that if minister as he walks along the path leading to the we “ love God, we must see that we love our
church-porch, which are infinitely more gratifying brother also.” It is, indeed, “a good and
than the most splendid pomp of divine worship, or pleasant thing to dwell together in unity;" hearers.
the flocking together of excited and too often captious to “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love ;" to esteem other better than fulfilling his office, and ministering to the comfort of
With a very heavy heart, though fully desirous of ourselves ;" to " be of one mind;" to “live
the invalid, the curate found his way to the alley to in peace;" for then we may rest assured, on
which he was directed. Vice presented itself at the that " word” which "shall not pass away,' entrance-on one side of which there was a gin-shop, that the God of love and peace will be ever on the other a pawnbroker's. Misery was apparent
at every step; but at length he found the number to which he was directed, and he was informed that
there was a man on the second floor of the name for A CHILD OF LIGHT.
which he inquired. He knew nothing of the chaTHE SMUGGLER,”
racter of the individual whom he was about to visit, “ TIIE OLD HALL," &c.
and dark forebodings crossed his mind. The place * Eternal summer lights the heart
was peculiarly lonely, in a certain sense.
It was not Where Jesus deigns to shine."
that in which a man of common moral decency would
Rev. H. F. Lyte. wish to be found. He ascended the staircase, and a thick foggy evening, in the month of entered into the sick man's chamber, where he found November, when the curate of one of the overwhelm- him sitting by the dying embers of a fire in a most
emaciated state, attended by an old nurse.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
information from the
visitor of a district-society, Ah, sir, I am glad to see you," was the old man's
that in a certain alley there was a person dangerously salutation; " I think you are the clergyman. The ill, who would be glad to see him. The scene in visitor said that you should be informed how ill I which this excellent young man was now called to was; and I thought you would come some fine day, labour was widely different from that which he had but not on such a night as this. I thank you for recently left. His first cure had been that of a
There was something in this address which much I passed through the streets, a tremendous storm of pleased the curate ; an indescribable something about thunder and lightning came on. I had been unwell the whole appearance of the invalid which found its for some days, and left my companions at an early way to the young man's heart, who was relieved from hour, to return by a passing boat; and I was sober, his anxiety.
which was rarely the case. The violence of the storm “ Are you in pain ?" inquired the curate. was inconceivable, and for shelter I went into a in much pain, thank the Lord," was the reply. church. I had not, with the exception of attendance
" Are you in want of necessary comforts ?" was at one funeral, been within the walls of a place of the next question. “ Not at all. I am liberally sup- worship for five years. The prayers were nearly at an plied by the visitor ; and I have a few shillings yet end; the psalm was faintly sung, for the flashings of by me, and two or three kind friends, who come to the lightning, and the peals of the thunder, were me and desire to supply my necessities."
beyond all description. A grey-headed minister en“ Have you applied to the parish ?” “No, I have tered the pulpit, and after prayer gave out his text not: I never would apply there ; for I think it would from a Bible before him. It was obvious he preached be wrong while I have a trifle of my own. But what the on the occasion of the storm; and that he wished, visitor gives me--and I told all my circumstances- from the scene in which we were placed, to interest the I do not think is to be regarded as parish-money. I congregation. The text was Psalm xi. 6 : Upon the was urged to accept it.” It were well could such wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and views be more widely extended. Parochial relief, an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of it is notorious, is often claimed by those who ought their cup.' 0, what a searching, powerful sermon not to be dependent on parish-bounty. A spirit of was that! I see the preacher now. Had my body been honest independence should be cherished among the struck by the elements, the shock could not have lower ranks.
equalled that of my soul by the preaching of that aged It is unnecessary to enter into details as to the con- man of God. “I am the man!' was my humiliating conversations (for they were several) which took place fession. I cannot, I will not say more, than that, from between the minister and the sick man: but the follow- the hour I left that church, it was my determined and ing sketch of the history of the latter, given on one of fixed resolution, as far as human weakness would allow, those occasions, may be interesting:-"I am a native to live unto God. I desire to bless God that, from that of the county of Norfolk, and was apprenticed to a period, my heart's desire has been to follow on to shoemaker by my parents, both pious people of the know the Lord. I married three years afterwards a established Church, who set me a good example, and truly Christian woman - we had three children, but gave me the best advice. I came to London as a jour-God took them when young. Their mother died two neyman when my time (i. e. apprenticeship) was out, years ago. I worked long at my trade; but an alscess and got into good work. By degrees my religious breaking out in my right arm ten years since, rendered principles were corrupted, and my solemn vows of me unable to work as a shoemaker; and my subsistence dedication to God's service regarded as no longer has been gained by distributing bills, and carrying binding vows, the sacredness of which had been about placards, until I was seized with this sickness." strongly set forth to me by our old rector previous to a Now here was, in a wretched neighbourhood, in confirmation. The greater part of the Sunday morn- one of the most depraved spots in the environs of the ing I worked as hard as on other days, and after dinner metropolis, surrounded by squalid wretchedness and used in the winter to go to a convivial club, as it was unblushing vice, one who had been brought to a saving called, where the greater part of the week's earnings knowledge of divine truth -- who, amidst the alunost were spent; and by the dissipation of the night, I was heathen darkness which surrounded him, was walking unable to work on the Monday - sometimes even on as a child of light. He was happy. Could he be the Tuesday. I was once carried to an hospital, hav- otherwise ?-for the Comforter was with him. He was ing been found nearly dead in the street from drinking content; and he experienced that contentment with In the summer we used to go by water to Greenwich godliness is great gain. His heart was the seat of or Richmond, and our expenses were quite as great, light; for the day-spring from on high had visited it; The French Revolution broke out about this period; and the murky atinosphere with which he was surand many of my companions, as well as myself, were rounded could not affect the joyousness of his spirits. greatly delighted with that work of blood. We thought There were only two funerals at the parish burying. we should be the great folks. We cast off religious ground (an extraordinary event) on the day on which obligations altogether. One of our number, after the remains of the cobbler were consigned to the narspitting on the Bible and trampling on it, cast it into row house—that, at a somewhat early hour, of a leadthe fire; and in a certain alley, leading from Fleeting man in the parish, but opposed to religion in all Street, we had a regular debating society on the Sun- its vitality and saving power, and wlio, in a moment, day evening, which lasted all night; but I cannot by an apoplectic fit, had been summoned as he was bring my tongue to utter what was then and there dressing for a feast. The plumed hearse carried the said. I often look back with horror to that awful remains; the pomp and pageantry of pretended woe period of my life, and think what must have been my was there. The chief mourner was the heir-mourner eternal portion, had not God, in his long-suffering, could he be called ?-and the domestics, the lawyer, spared me.
and the medical attendant. At the usual time, the " It was on my return from Richmond, on one of shoemaker's remains were consigned to the grave,these Sabbath visits-sad, sad visits they were to me, the old nurse, and one or two poor neighbours, the and many poor souls liave been lost by such-that, as sole attendants. The curate, as he registered the one
burial after the other, said nothing ; but he has told , tapha resolved to apply to the hermits who inhabit me the text occurred to him, on which he preached the caves and grotros of Mount Athos, and are in the following Sunday—“Hath not God chosen the some degree dependent on the convent. With this
intention, le entered the dismal habitation of an aged poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the king
recluse, to whom he made known the circumstances dom?"
of his conversion, and the reception he had experienced from the Christian priests, to whom he had
applied for baptism. The venerable old man was THE TURKISH MARTYR.
much affected; but, fearing to ofiend the monks, would About fifteen years ago there resided in the city of taining some doubt as to the Turk's sincerity. Again
not venture to perform the rite-perhaps, also, enterSmyrna two tanners; the one, named Mustapha, a native of the island of Mytilene, a Turk by birth and
rebutfed, he bent his steps towards the brow of the religion, but speaking the Greek language; the other,
mountain with a heavy heart. a Greek of Athens, and a Christian. The Turk, who
A young priest, who happened to be with the recluse, was frequent in his visits to his neighbour's shop, was
offered to conduct him through the wood, and emmuch struck with the manner of Californius, an open
ployed every means of comforting him; but Mustapha hearted boy of fourteen, whom he occasionally found
refused to listen, and burst into an agony of tears. reading.
The priest's heart melted at the sight. “My dear "What book is that?" one day inquired Mustapha. friend,” said he," have you then, in truth, a sincere “ My Ketab," replied the boy, meaning the holy
desire to become a Christian ?" " Do not these tears Scriptures, which had been given him a short time
shew you the fervency of my wishes ?" exclaimed before.
Mustapha. The Turk requested Californius to read a portion
" Then follow me," said the priest; " liere is a to him. “ Not so,” replied the boy. “ If," added
cave, which will afford you shelter; remain here, and he, with his usual simplicity," you were a Christian,
I will daily bring you tood, and converse with you on the case would indeed be different.”
the nature of Christianity.” Mustapha remained seThe Turk rose and left the shop; but scarcely was
veral months in this grotio ; and the young priest daily he out of sight, before Demetrius, the elder Greek,
brought him food, as well as spiritual comfort. fell upon his brother, upbraiding him for his incon
In the meanwhile, the old hermit, who had been siderate answer.
much struck with the fervour of the Turk's manner, “What have you done?” exclaimed be; “how could you speak to the Turk of becoming
not unfrequently reproached himself for sending him a Christian? Do you not know that he can inform
away with so much seeming indifference.
He one against us? We shall then be both sent to prison, day named his regret to the young priest, and ex
The priest our property will be seized, and perhaps even death pressed a wish to see the Turk once more. may be the consequence of your rashness."
smiled, and offered to conduct him to the place of his The poor boy began to weep bitterly, for his brother's
concealment. The meeting was one of mutual gratifears were but too well grounded ; the tyrannical law
fication; and Mustapha's admission into the Christian of 'l'urkey having made it a crime for a Christian
Church took place a few days after. even to speak of his religion to a Mohammedan, and
lle continued to reside with his friends on Mount to name his conversion a capital offence.
Athos for several years; but his ardent spirit would In a few moments the Turk re-entered. He in
not let him rest here. He had an aged mother and a sisted on knowing the cause of his favourite's tears;
brother at Mytilene, and his soul thirsted to bring and, on his brother's leaving the shop, Californius
them to the knowledge of the true faith. After duly confessed the whole. " By all that is holy,” said
considering the risk be might run, he left his peaceful Mustapha, " I swear that I will not inform against
and secure retreat, and took shipping for Cydonia, you; only read to me a part of your Ketab.” The
This flourishing city is chiefly inliabited by Greeks; boy complied, and the Turk listened with the most
at least, prior to the revolution there were but few profound attention.
Turks there, except such as held official situations. From this time, Mustapha, watching from his win
One of these, recognising the new convert by a scar dow the departure of Demetrius, would repair to the
on his forehead, ordered the vessel, which was on the young Christian for further information. Four months point of putting off for Mytilene, to be seized, and the passed in this manner, during which the word of God
Turk to be brought before a magistrate. Without found its way into the heart of the Turk, who resolved hesitation, Mustapha acknowledged himself a Christo abjure the false faith of Mohammedanism, and
tian, and declared his determination to die rather embrace the Christian religion. With this view, he
than renounce his faith. The magistrate commanded disposed of his business, and repaired to a Greek
him to be taken to prison, and placed on the rack;
but under the most agonising iorments, Mustapha priest at Smyrna, to whom he made known his desire to be baptised.
continued firm. But so rare and remarkable a circumstance is it for
This circumstance soon became known in the town, a Turk to embrace Christianity, that the priest looked
and caused a great sensation among the Christians. upon the application as a snare to betray him to death,
A Greek, named Georgius, who had an academy at and earnestly besought the Turk to leave him. Mus- the place, immediately assembled the scholars of his tapha applied to another, but was dismissed with the
first class, consisting of youths of about twenty years same entreaty, “ For God's sake, leave me.”
age, and related to them the melancholy fate of the Distressed and mortified at this unexpected check,
Turk, and called upon them to offer up supplications
in his behalf. the mind of Mustapha almost sunk in despair. One
“ But it is not enough that we pray resource alone remained, the monks of Mount Athos.
for him," continued Georgius ; “we must also endeaTo them he repaired; but though their body is nu
vour to visit him in prison, to comfort and console merous, they, every one, like the priests at Smyrna,
him. Which of you will adventure his life in this refused to give ear to his entreaties. Knowing the
undertaking ?" jealousy with which the Turks eyed their order, they
" ], I,” re-echoed from all sides; and a contest deemed it necessary to observe a greater degree of
arose among the lads for the honour of this dangerous caution against any arts which might be practised length claimed the preference-a countryman of his
enterprise. John Skonzes, a young Athenian, at upon them by the Mohammedans. Dismissed from the convent as a hypocrite, Mus. having been the first instrument, under Divine Provi
dence, which led to the prisoner's conversion. To • From the " Saturday Magazine.”
him, therefore, the others yielded ; and the following