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are “serving divers lusts and pleasures." Here is a degrading condition; "he fain would have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat!” What a picture this of man ; seeking to satisfy the cravings of his spiritual nature by those things which are only fit for beasts !
Sinner, in which stage art thou ? Art thou rioting ? Pause! retrace thy steps or thou wilt sink to want. Or art thou beginning to be in want ? Seek the “bread that came down from heaven;" drink of the water that shall be in thee as a "well of water springing up into everlasting life;" else urged on by thy cravings, thou wilt sell thyself to the basest servitude. Or, art thou in base servitude? the mere hireling of the world, the flesh, and the devil ? thy condition is awful; yet, unless thou cry to Heaven for deliverance thou shalt fall yet lower than that-fall into despicable degradation. Or, art thou in this last stage, this stage of degradation, which is on the margin of hell ? Thou canst not go farther without being damned; yet I would not have thee despair ; bethink thyself! call to memory thy father's house, retrace thy steps ! thou hast no time to lose another breath and thou mayest breathe the flaming atmosphere of eternity!
SUBJECT :- The Cross of Christ—the Highest Object of Glorying,
and the Mightiest Instrument of Power.
“ But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”—Gal. vi. 14.
Inalysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Twelfth. Every man has an object of glory ;-some one thing that fills and rules his soul, towards which the whole current of his being points, as the needle to the pole. This is an instinct in human nature. The objects of glory will ever vary according to the master disposition of the man. The avaricious will glory in wealth; the vain will glory in that which gives him a distinguishing advantage over his compeers; the ambitious will glory in that which gives him power over others ; the self-righteous will glory in his own imaginary virtues; the philosopher will glory in his wisdom ; and the Christian will glory in the Lord.
Paul uses the word Cross as we use the words Bench, Throne, Press, &c., as a symbol. It stands for Christianity.
1. CHRISTIANITY GLORY. What does glorying in it imply? First :- That he had the highest appreciation of it. We never glory in that to which we attach no value ; on the contrary only in that to which we attach the highest worth. When Paul gloried in the Cross, it meant that he valued it more than his talents, his learning, his connexions, his influence, his life. He looked upon it in its two great aspects, Theological and Moral ;-its aspect upwards on God, downwards on humanity. It filled all things in his view. It implies :—Secondly : A personal interest in it. We glory in our children, in our property, in our country, &c. Paul had a felt interest in it. All his hopes centred there. It implies :--Thirdly: A delight in professing it. He rejoiced in it. “I am not ashamed,” &c. It was his exclusive object of glorying. “God forbid," &c. “ Save in the cross.” This is not the language of a weak sentimental man, or of a man whose prejudices were even strong in its favor, but the reverse.
II. CHRISTIANITY IS THE HIGHEST INSTRUMENT OF HUMAN
“ By whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” What does he mean by the world ? First: Not the physical world. Christianity teaches us to admire this ;-it gives us a new eye for its beauty, a new ear for its music. Secondly: Not the philosophic world ;—the world as thrown into an intellectual system. Christianity enables us to create this cosmos, and revel in it. Thirdly: Not the artistic world. Christianity refines the taste, quickens the genius. The finest painters, poets, and sculptors, have caught their inspiration from the Bible. Fourthly: Not the commercial world. Merchandise is a divine institution ;-Christianity urges us to be “diligent in business." Fifthly: Not the social world. It does not crucify any natural social feeling, nor disregard any natural social relationship, but the reverse. What world then does it crucify? The corrupt moral world of human nature ;—the corrupt spirit that governs men in this world as sinners. What is that spirit ? (1) It is the spirit of practical atheism. Men live in God's world ignoring His existence. The Cross crucifies this. (2) It is the spirit of animalism. Men live to the flesh; the soul is submerged in matter. “What shall we eat, and what shall we drink?" &c., is the question. The Cross crucifies this. (3) It is the spirit of selfishness. Every man seeks his own as the primary end of action. The Cross crucifies this, and inspires man with benevolence. This is Christianity; this is the Cross. Who is ashamed of it?
In the Cross of Christ I glory:
Towering o'er the wrecks of time,
Gathers round its head sublime.
Hopes deceive and fears annoy,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
Light and love upon my way,
Adds more lustre to the day.
By the Cross are sanctified;
Joys that through all time abide.
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
SUBJECT :- The Body, the Dark Medium of Spiritual Vision.
“Now we see through a glass darkly.”—1 Cor. xiii. 12.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Thirteenth. It needs no illustration to show that our vision of spiritual things is very dim. The cause of this is our subject :—the medium is dark, that medium is the body. Through the five senses we gather all the lights that flash on our consciousness and form within us ideas. But why is it dark ? I. THE BODY TENDS TO MATERIALIZE THE CONCEPTIONS OF THE MIND. We "judge after the flesh.” II. THE BODY TENDS TO SWAY THE DECISIONS OF THE MIND. “The desires of the flesh” often move and master the soul. III. THE BODY TENDS TO CLOG THE OPERATIONS OF THE MIND. Business, sleep, refreshment, exercise, disease,--all these interrupt the soul. Our visions of spiritual things being so dim. First: None should pride themselves in their knowledge. Secondly: None should arrogate infallibility of judgment. Thirdly: We should anticipate brighter and fuller visions, when the medium is removed, and we
see face to face."
Theological Notes and Queries.
[The utmost freedom of independent thought is permitted in this department. The reader must therefore use his own discriminating faculties, and the Editor must be allowed to claim freedom from responsibility.]
CONSCIENCE AN ORIGINAL FACULTY.
Geometry rests on axioms, Optics REPLICANT. In answer to QUER- on phenomena attested by the eye, ist No.1, p. 54. Conscience, which Music on the listening of the ear. is sometimes termed the moral In discussing topics which belong sense, is that by which we judge to these sciences, you are perone action to be right, another to petually compelled either to refer be wrong. All sciences depend directly to, or to take for granted, on first principles, and these first these first principles. So in Moprinciples are the immediate dic- rals, if you are discussing the dates of our nature. This will be right or wrong of a particular obvious on a moment's attention. 'action, the argument cannot move a step without assuming certain | viour, so now there are a universal first principles, such as, that we need and vague aspiration for the should do as we would be done consummation of the blessing. unto, or, that a man ought to
INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE regard the welfare of his children,
OBJECTIONS, or that we ought to respect the intentions of God as manifest in REPLICANT. In answer to QUERthe constitution of our nature. IST No. 3, p. 54. As my name A cultivated conscience is one was associated with U. T.s query which by practice has learnt to No. 43, vol. 8, page 531, which apply these principles to parti- P. M. H. has reproduced at cular cases, but the principles greater length, perhaps I may be themselves are granted at first by permitted to offer the following all human beings, in whom there in reply: is not a natural defect, so soon as (1) “ Has any individual a they come to years of under- right to expect, or require, any standing. This appears so obvi- act from another, which he would ous as to need no demonstration. not perform himself ? " On the In vain would you attempt to assumption that that other is in educate a man morally who had the same position and circum. no notion of duty. As well might stances as himself, certainly not. you attempt to teach a man born But I need not remind P. M. H. blind the nature of color. The that there are relative duties, as natural faculty which gives us well as individual ; and that what the notion of duty, and enables is perfectly right in a parent, a us to form moral judgments, as master, òr a ruler, might be perthe eye gives us the idea of color fectly wrong in a child, a servant, and enables us to identify and or a subject. distinguish colors, we call Con- (2) “Should any consistent science or the Moral sense. advocate of capital punishments
object, or refuse, to carry out by
his own hands the last penalty of REPLICANT. In answer to Quer- the law ?!' When circumstances Ist No. 2, p. 54. We know of no point him out as the proper perbetter interpretation than that son to undertake such a duty, which was given in our April certainly not. But we must alpumber. Neither do we see any ways distinguish between quesobjection to include inferior ani- tions of conscience, and questions mals, so far as their nature ren- of physical nerve. We may inders such reference possible. stinctively shrink from doing Beasts are affected by man, since many things which we know in man is their lord.
our consciences to be indubitably and you benefit beasts, and vice right.
The 19th and 20th verses (3) “ Assuming that capital might include a reference to punishments are in harmony with beasts, but, of course, in a vague Christian ethics, is not the odium and looser way.
With regard to now attaching to the Sheriff's the Gentile world “waiting for assistant most illogical ? ” Unthe manifestation of the Sons of doubtedly it is : and it would be God,” we see no difficulty. In scarcely less so, on the assumpthe same way as the universal tion that capital punishments desires for redemption were an were contrary to Christian ethics; unconscious prophecy of the Sa- for then the odium would pro
THE GROANING OF CREATION.