Imagens das páginas

inly war with the Almighty as the greatest. It contemplates the ttering-down, the annihilation of the great white throne.” Only

we eschew all computation about magnitude, shall we "abstain om all appearances of evil,” shall we "abhor that which is evil.” 3. We are to abhor evil, howsoever it declares itself. The “deceitulness of sin ” is great. It is profoundly subtle. Its wiles are marellous. When David prays, “Keep back thy servant from presumpnous sin,” he doubtless refers to evil action. But evil is not confined i mere deed. One was told, “thine own mouth condemneth thee;"* nd again, we are assured " every man's word shall be his burden;"+ hile Christ solemnly declares “ every idle word that men shall speak, hey shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” But the expression of the human face may harbour “that which is evil.” * A high look will I not suffer""A high look is sin." In the deepest solitude of one's spirit, “evil” may

lurk: As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he ; ' || “the thought of foolishness is sin.”T Here, too, the affections are often crimsoned with guilt. They were so in the earliest ages of the world: man's desires “ were only evil and that continually." ** Evil, therefore, be the sphere and variety of its manifestations what they may, is by us to be abhorred."

4. We are to abhor evil, however it may be accounted for. To give the history of “evil" done may be quite right; to justify, or even seem to excuse it, is quite wrong. Apologies before "God are contemptible things. They may bewilder others, or even ourselves, but cannot blind the Eye that is as a flame of fire.” That which is evil, they cannot strip of its odiousness. Were a wolf to bleat as a lambkin, it would be a wolf still. Robes, however radiant, can never render the Prince of Darkness morally luminous; only a miserable caricature of spiritual beauty. Ingenuity's sublimest effort to make by plausible details the history of an evil a passport for it, or on any consideration to make the worse appear the better cause,” we dare not allow to chill our abhorrence of “ that which is evil.”

Thirdly. STUDY THE COMMAND IN ITS IMPERATIVENESS. Obedience is loudly called for. Why?

1. We are to abhor that which is evil, for it is treason against Heaven. "There is none good but One, that is God.” Evil, being as we have defined it opposition to His will, is an insult

to His every perfection, a libel on His every law, and a barricade to His every purpose.

It is daring, proud, and defiant, being nothing less than mockery of God. Such mockery indicates not only bravado, the enormity of which no words can describe, but moral derangement on the part of man, allied to very madness. Only " FOOLS make a mock at sin.Surely the " terrible MAJESTY that is with God” demands we shall abhor that

2; We are to abhor that which is evil, for it is black ingratitude to God. He made us to be happy. Our rich endowments of " body, * Job xv. 6. + Jer. xxiii. 36. Psal. ci. 5. ş Prov. xxi. 4. || Prov. xxiii. 7.

Prov. xxiv. 9. ** Gen. vi. 5.


which is evil.”

soul, and spirit” would have issued in the completion of His benerolent design, but for sin. To do “that which is evil,” therefore, is to fly in the face of a beneficent Deity. It is more ; it is, with the Cross full in view, to strive against Incarnate Love, “wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities," seeking to rescue us from calamities which only Omniscience can estimate. It is to drive additional nails into the Redeemer's hands and feet, to strike Him on " the crown of thorns," and again to pierce His heart, and to do all this in circumstances of peerless personal guilt, virtually resolving that He shall be disappointed of our salvation. Here" sin doth like itself appear,” and if « ingratitude is the essence of all vice,” surely our feelings and language should be those of Job,* and we should "abhor that which is evil !”

3. We should abhor it, since it inflicts dire injury on the doer of it. “He that sinneth against Me, wrongeth his own soul," is the declaration of Him who loves us best. He knows that sin“ wars against the soul” which He has planted within us,-blinding the intellect, perverting the will, searing the conscience, blighting the heart, destroying the man. Oh, if we would not commit spiritual suicide, let us“ abhor that which is evil”!

4. Doing that which is evil should be matter of abhorrence, for suck doing is a certain mode of alluring others into sin. Are we not our “brother's keeper”? Are we not warned that " a man perisheth not alone in his iniquity"? Do not men gladly wrap themselves in : cloak for their sin, if this cloak is found "ready-made" in the evil example of others? And shall we deliberately lead fellow-immortals, alert

to follow us, to the brink of a precipice, falling whence they are lost for ever? As we listen to David's cry,“ Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God,” shall we not“ abhor that which is evil”? Fourthly. STUDY THE COMMAND IN ITS COGENCY. Our

space greater brevity than the motives to obedience deserye. They abound; for not to abhor evil is virtually to become the apologist of evil-doers

, both in earth and hell—it is to prove ourselves utterly void of synpathy with all holy beings, with angels, and with God.' Is not being shut out of their fellowship and friendship to be “shut up in hell"? Moreover, is it not fatally to darken our own “ title to mansions in the skies”? Heaven is more than escape from hell: it is abhorrence of that which created it. The burning seraph were 110 longer what he is but for such abhorrence. Ask we for motive ? Let the poet tell us memorably, as he does truthfully:

" Man-like is it to fall into sin,
Fiend-like is it to dwell therein,
Christ-like is it for sin to grieve,

God-like is it all sin to leave." How must we be distinguished if we would do homage to the intense, absolute, imperative, cogent command of the text ? By constant

* Job xlii. 5, 6.


If-vigilance,* readiness to welcome kind reproof,t fervent and freent prayer, I and hourly recollection of the fact that our conflict th sin will soon be over, and “ the days of our mourning be ended.”

“I am weary of straying: I'd fain be at rest
In the far distant land of the pure and the blest,
Where sin can no longer its blandishments spread,
And tears and temptations for ever are fled.
“I am weary, my Saviour, of grieving Thy love
I long to repose in Thy bosom above;
I am weary, but oh ! let me never repine,
Since Thy word, and Thy love, and Thy presence are mine."

rom me.

THE BLIND GIRL OF DIJON. Many years ago, when a student no, not these, but she longed to read of the University of Geneva, I was the blessed word of Jesus. ccustomed to spend the long sum- There lived at Dijon a man of her vacations travelling from village God, who had gathered around him o village in my native France, a few blind, whom he had taught to preaching in the open squares the read and work. I sought him out, singdom of God, and distributing told him of Marie, interested him in he Bible to such as would accept it

her, and soon made arrangements

that she should come every morning On such an excursion, in the and receive an hour's instruction. ummer of 183—,I entered a little I also procured for her a Bible with fine-hung cabin in the environs of raised letters for the blind. You Dijon. In its low, wide kitchen, I should have seen her delight as she saw a middle-aged woman ironing, started off next morning, a warm, * boy yet too young for labour, and bright August morning, one hand a girl of some seventeen or eighteen, locked in her little brother's, and of a sweet, serious aspect, plaiting the other fondly grasping the straw. She did not raise her eyes precious Bible, to take her first as I entered, and on a nearer ap

lesson. Alas, poor Marie ! it reproach I perceived that she was quires a delicate touch to distinguish blind

. Poor sightless Marie! how the slightly raised surface and nice she was affected when I told her of outline of the letters, and her fingers Him who opened the eyes of the

were hard and callous with the conblind, and read to her how blind stant plaiting of straw. Again and Bartimeus sat by the wayside beg. again was the effort made, but to no ging, when he cried unto Jesus of purpose. Nazareth passing by, and received One day, as she sat alone, sorrowthis sight. Then an irrepressible fully chipping with her little knife longing, such as she had never the rough edge of the straw, a happy Down before-a longing for God's thought occurred to her. Could she blessed gift of vision-seized upon

not cut away the thick hard skin poor

blind girl; not that she from her fingers, and then it would sighed to see the blue heavens, or

grow anew, smooth and soft, like the golden light, or to look upon

the rosy fingers of a child ? And so her mother's sweet smile, or gaze in

she pared the hard skin from her her young brother's laughing eyes;

fingers, heeding not the pain. * 1 Cor. x. 12.

† Ps. cxli. 5. Mark xiii. 33.


When the reading lesson was tried | heart, dear Jesus, and Thou know again, warm drops trickled from the that I love Thee and love Thy boo bleeding fingers along the sacred and she touched the open Bible w line. It would not do. After the her lips. Oh, joy! To the soft first bitterness of her disappoint- the slight indentations of the rai meut, Marie strove hard to be cheer- | surface are clearly percepti ful. “God had opened the eyes of With a low cry of joy she pa: her soul,” she said, “and ought she line after line across her eager 1 not to praise Him?”.

She turns the leaf; the lips lose And then the new Bible ! ah, their power. It is all clearsurely she must carry that back; easy now; the lips can do what t some happier blind girl might be toilhardened fingers could not; s able to pluck the fruit from this tree can now learn to read God's hi of life, and find healing in its blessed | Word! leaves. And holding the dear vo A twelvemonth after, I visit lume near to her beating heart, she Dijon. The old kitchen bore its knelt by her white cot to pray: look, but what a beaming has “Dear and blessed Jesus, who lovest face was Marie's, as she sat in the poor, and openest the eyes of rude chair, her basket of straw the blind, I thank Thee that Thou her feet, reading her beloved Bib hast not hidden Thyself from a poor Oh, it was full of light to h blind girl. And since I cannot read “ N'est-il pas doux de baiser ainsi Thy heavenly words, I pray that douces paroles pendant que je lis Thou wilt whisper them into my soul, | -"Is it not blessed to kiss that my spirit may not be dark like sweet words as I read ?' my poor eyes. I can see with my


(Luke xxii. 15-30).

BY THE REV. W. H. KING. WE have not been left in any doubt as to the mental and spiritu attitude most becoming and profitable to us in the service of the Lord Supper. We do not meet together at the Lord's table to study t Scriptures, nor merely to unite in the communion of prayer, or tl fellowship of praise. It is our privilege, when we gather around th board, to meditate wholly upon the brotherly sympathy, the tende compassion, the self-sacrificing love of our Divine Lord. Our one air -the aim that most clearly accords with the purpose and spirit this ordinance-should be to excite reverent adoration and gratef thanksgiving by a loving remembrance of Christ. He is the o centre around whom our affections gather, the one object toward who our faith looks. That this is in harmony with the purpose of o Lord, we can have no doubt, for His command to the disciples wh IIo had broken the bread was, “ This do in remembrance of me (Luke xxi. 19).

"In remembrance of me.” Was there then in the mind of Jesus

* Notes of an address delivered at a united communion of the Lirerpool Ban Churches at Pembroke Chapel, Liverpool.

fear that they might forget Him? Forget Him! No ; it was impossible. However strange and unexpected those sorrowful incidents of the closing hours of that—as they might think, prematurely blighted life, their grief would have no power to blot out the remem. brance of their Lord. They might for a while be disappointed at the abrupt and painful termination of His mission, but they could never forget Him. The facts of His life, even on the most superficial estimate of them, were so unexampled ; His sympathy had been so broad ; His life had been so pure ; His words were so weighty and true; His power was so vast; His authority over nature, over sickness, disease, and death, over the very spirits of darkness, had been so complete, and so unparalleled,—that to forget Him would be a natural impossibility. Those three years' fellowship with Jesus had impressed upon their hearts an image that neither present disappointment nor future trial could ever efface.

Why then this special command to remember Jesus in eating the bread and drinking the wine? It was clearly the earnest wish of the Saviour, not only that He should be remembered by His disciples, and by those who would believe on Him through their word, but that they should unite to remember Him in especial connection with the closing facts of His ministry and His life. He desired to dwell in their remembrance in constant association with the agony of the garden and the shame of the cross.

Is there any reason why the only service established by the special command of Jesus should be so closely identified with Gethsemane and Calvary? Was it not the purpose of our Redeemer to counteract the strange natural tendency of our hearts to get away from the cross ? There is nothing flattering to human pride to be learnt at Calvary. Forgiveness of sin through an atoning sacrifice is not very soothing to our self-esteem. When the fervour of Christian love is becoming chilled into a cold intellectual acknowledgment of Christ, or a worldly pirit creeps over the soul like a moral blight, one of the very first ndications of declining spirituality is a repugnance to the truths that te especially taught by the Crucified One. We cease to desire ellowship with His sufferings, we do not want to be made conformble to His death. The Cross becomes an offence. One of the most asidious forms of unbelief is that, which, with the pretence of honouring Christ, suggests that it would be as well to think less of the atonement and the bloodshedding, and more of the lofty teaching and pure morality of Jesus; which hints that instead of lingering in prayerful contemplation at Calvary, we should meditate on the sermon on the mount. The insinuation that there is any incompatibility between the words and passion of Jesus, is both false and mischievous. We bould indeed sit at the feet of our Great Teacher. His truth is pivine ; His words have the accent of heaven ; but the Divinest truth, he most heavenly teaching, is that of the Cross whereon the Incarlate Son poured out his soul unto death. While the Cross does not latter our pride, it is a fountain of life to our souls. We learn the

« AnteriorContinuar »