« EelmineJätka »
prevents self-righteous boasting, and makes him sensible, that, even his best duties are tinged with the corruptions of his nature.
In speaking of humility, we would not be understood to niean that servile meanness of mind, which incites a man to stoop and how to his fellows or superiors; this is a still more gross and worldly feeling than even pride, and is generally used by those cringing worldlings, who have no mind but what is set upon the sordid advantages to be obtained by this line of conduct. Jesus Christ was a pattern of humility ; yet he always spoke his inspirations and sentiments with boldness, and confuted the fallacivous opinions and misrepresentations of others, without the slightest appearance of timidity. He always conducted hinıself with independence and freedom, yet did he never place himself upon the footing of more than a companion and friend, to those who were so willing to call him “Master and Lord.” His spirit never bent under the insults and barbarities, inflicted by the Jews, nor did even a flush of indignation suffuse his face, though he was gifted with such ample powers of punishment; yet he melted at Mary's grief on the death of Lazarus, and as the Scriptures sublimely express it,“Jesus wept.”
Again, in speaking of pride we do not mean, that loftiness of soul which disdains an action, in which there is the slightest suspicion of meanness—that high tone of feeling which scorns falsehood, and
every thing that is not open and candid. This is a principle which does honor to humanity, and if it be connected with religion, leads to the most glorious and happy results.
We would recommend a strict observance and initation of the character and conduct of Jesus Christ,--of him, who though conscious of a superiority over all the children of men, did not disdain to stoop and wash the feet of his disciples.
AIMING AT HEAVEN, many enter the sacred courts of worship merely as a matter of form, fluttering in all the extravagant superfluities of fashionable dress and manners; a line of conduct ill be fitting the followers of a meek and lowly Redeemer.
It is painful to observe the inattention, the listless lolling, and, in fact, the actual contempt of a considerable portion of every congregation. The fornis of politeness which occur are strictly attended to, while those of religion are wholly neglected, or performed with the utmost carelessness. In vain are the divine oracles of truth, sabbath after sabbath, explained and commented on in the most powerful and persuasive manner; the vain feelings of the world absorb the general attention, and the sacred doctrines are listened to, as though they were subjects in which the hearers had no interest.
The desires, the pursuits of natural men, are only worldly. Their ideas are full of the things of time, too full to leave any room for those of eternity. They lay up for themselves no treasures in heaven; they have no hope nor desire beyond the things which are seen; and the god of this world hath so effectually blinded their eyes, that they yield to him a perfect and unreserved obedience, not rendered the less complete for retaining some of the outward observances of religion. How
applicable to these is the description of the church at Laodicea—thinking themselves rich, and increased with goods, and in need of nothing; whereas they are miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
They doat, on what? Immortal views apart,
All, more or less, "against each other dash
AIMING AT HEAVEN, many we fear kneel down without having any clear conception of prayer, and hurry over the words with a listless or distracted mind, without holy desires or affections. Is this to worship God in spirit and in truth? No.—The Divine Jesus has informed us, that prayer, to be efficacious, must proceed from the heart. He has left us a model for prayer, at once simple and beautiful; and has warned us not to use that elaborate and extended mode of expression, so customary amongst the Pharisees of that time. There ean be no true religion in the heart of a person, who can read over a prayer invoking Jehovah to grant certain gifts and blessings, while his thoughts are wandering to objects which must be infinitely inferior to the subject which ought to engage his attention, What mockery! What profaneness! Yet it is what many are guilty of, without the least idea that they are doing wrong :-nay, they actually think that they are performing a meritorious duty; and leave the place of worship, or retire to rest, as the case may be, perfectly satisfied that they have done all that is required of them. Alas! how wofully are they mistaken! How different is their manner of praying to that of the truly pious individual, who holds communion with his God in secret,—who devoutly lifts up his heart to him in the public sanctuary, and