« AnteriorContinuar »
Where he displays his healing power, Death and the curse are known no more;
In him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.
Let every creature rise, and bring
The embryo-man lay basking in the sun, playing with turf, scattered twigs, and leaves; anon amused and startled by the rustling of the foliage as it was being agitated by the wind. The infant was laid there by its mother, whose mild tones and kind expressions were music to the unsuspecting and confiding babe. The prattle of the child, and its sweet and guileless looks were indescribable sources of pleasure to the mother. For a few moments she turned into the house for something she wanted-left the child on the ground. Alas! she had no sooner disappeared, than an eagle, which had been watching its opportunity from a craggy precipice of dizzy height, darted down (as upon the wings of lightening) upon the young immortal and carried it to its nest, which was strewed over with the bones of its victims. The child criedthe mother heard-missed the babe-saw her child high upon the ledge of the rock. Affection gave her wings like a dove; nerved her for the daring and perilous undertaking; blinded her to all dangers, and a temporary disregard for her own life. Now she is scaling the almost perpendicular rock; at length she reaches the ledgeenters the rocky nest of the eagle-grasps her child. As she emerges from the nest-stands upon the ledgeshe is conscious of her perilous situation-she fears to descend; by and by she becomes reassured; she remembers the supernatural help that was granted to her in her
ascent she is assured that God will enable her to descend in safety. A short but earnest prayer is made; both are committed to the care of God. Ministering angels are commissioned to take charge of her: she descends cautiously-her feet are kept from stumbling; dangers are rapidly past-she reaches the bottomembraces her darling more and more.
She always loved it, but now her affection, if possible, is doubled.
"As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him." Observe when the woman heard the unusual cry of her dear boy, and missed him, she instantly suspected what had happened. She did not fold her arms and walk about in stoical mood. She made no calculation respecting the risk she would run in attempting to save her child. No, this may be done by cold hearts, bred and brought up in the region of zero. She held no conference about rcal or imaginary danger. She RAN-she FLEW-persevered till she repossessed her much loved child. So does God in search of His children who may have been decoyed from the shelter of the Cross by the Great Vulture of Hell into the snares of Satan. This grand adversary is ever on the look-out for stragglers; the world is ever active in presenting its carnal attractions; the flesh is ceaseless in its opposition to God and the best interests of mankind. When a sheep strays from the fold of Christ, Satan, wicked men, cold lifeless formalists and pharisees rejoice; but angels and the Spirits of the Just (if possible) weep. The Saviour of sinful men flies to the rescue of the wanderer; angels
and the hosts of heaven rejoice in his deliverance. Psalm xciv. 18, we read, "When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O, Lord, helped me," eboethei moi or hastened to me: boetheo means to run to a cry for help, which is here rendered "helped me, literally means ran. It is a strong expression, used in Scripture, to set forth the intense anxiety of God for the safety and welfare of his people. The moment the cry for help is heard, He flies to their rescue. Yes, while the Church too often is looking on with cold indifference, angels are winging their flight to minister to the suffering and neglected heirs of salvation. There is no such word as indifference in the vocabulary of heaven; that only belongs to earth :-they that belong to the household of God, are taught in the Scriptures to disown it: Indifference, whether in matters of time or eternity; argues a want of real, genuine, personal religion. In the annals of the future state will be found faithfully recorded the awful results of the Church's coldness, indifference, and neglect. Let the apathetic know that there is no cold indifference in heaven. The repentance of a sinner occasions joy; and a backslider from the faith occasions the deepest regret. The Deity himself feels it; the wounds of Christ burst forth afresh. The language of God is "How shall I give thee up?" To backsliding Israel, it is said "O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thy iniquity. Take with our words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously; so will we
render the calves of our lips. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely for mine anger is turned away from him." Hos. xiv. 1, 2, & 4. This does not look much like the conduct pursued by many professors of religion :—they brand, shun, and avoid every kind of friendly intercourse. Not a word of admonition or exhortation is kindly whispered in his ear; not a tear is shed, not a prayer is offered on behalf of the wonderer; but these cold professors appear, pharisee-like, to say thank God we are not as other men; and as such a man is; we do not wander from thee; we do not commit open sin ; we have stuck to our resolution to serve thee, but he has not; we never transgressed at any time thy commandment:"-and thus they "load a fallen man." This is not the conduct of the Prince of Peace. Let those who not only shun, but brand with infamy a fallen brother, seriously ponder the following; "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou be also tempted. Gal. vi. 1. Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James, v. 19, 20. We, then, that are strong, ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." Rom. xv. 1. Now, these are very pointed and striking passages of Holy Writ. From the passage quoted from the 94th Psalm, we see pretty clearly that the duty of the Church