Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE PITY OF THE LORD.

THERE is a great deal of the to those which you can conceive, Bible which seems not to be or from experience know to be believed even by those who pro- those of the most tender parent fess and suppose that they believe toward his children. Yet God it all. And this is true, if I mis- pities you. The nature, which is take not, of what some would call love, feels and exercises compasthe best parts of the Bible-- those sion toward you in your sorrows parts for instance, which speak of and trials. The great heart is the kind feelings of God towards his affected by your misery and griefs creatures, and especially towards as our hearts are when at the

sight those of them who fear him. I of suffering we weep. Yes, Chrissuspect that even Christians read tian, God is

sorry

for
you.

Oh them with a sort of incredulity. what a thought this for an hour of They seem to them almost too trial ! What a sentiment this to good to be true. But why should bear suffering with! What if thou not God feel toward us, as he dost suffer ? Is it not enough that says he does ?

Is he not our God pities thee? We should be Father ? Has he not nourished willing to suffer, if he will sympaand brought us up as children? thize. We should never know Why should it be thought a thing what divine sympathy is, if we incredible with us, that God did not suffer. This one consideshould feel as a father does toward ration—that God pities, is worth his children? I never read the more than all philosophy. 103d Psalm, that I do not stop at

There is much that is interesting the 13th verse : “ Like as a Fa- and lovely in pity, whoever be the ther pitieth his children, so the object of it. There is, however, a Lord pitieth them that fear him; peculiar tenderness which belongs and I read it a second time, and I to the pity felt for suffering chilfind myself asking, not merely in dren. Nothing goes so keenly to admiration, but with some degree the heart as the child's tear and of unbelief, “ Can it be that the tale of sorrow.

And I suppose Lord pities us, and pities us like none can feel even for children, as a father his children! I know the those who have children of their Lord is good to all. How can he And yet what is the pity who is love be other than benevo- they feel toward other children, lent? It were contrary to his compared with what they feel nature not to be so. But pity ex

toward their own wben in sorrow ? presses more than goodness—more There is, there can be nothing to than benevolence. There is

surpass this. And is the pity of unmovedness in mere goodness. the Lord like this? Yes. It is But in pity the heart melts, and not said that he pities as man the eye weeps, and the whole soul

pities man; or as one pities chilis moved from its seat. And this dren ; but as a father pities his chilis especially true of a parent's pity. dren, so the Lord pities," like Can it be possible that God pities as a father.” Like as one who after that manner?” Oh yes, it is most affectionately loves, pities possible ; and it has passed out of the dear object of his love, his the limits of possibilities into the child, his own child, when that circle of facts. The Lord pitieth child is sick, and he looks upon them that fear him-pitieth, as a his altered countenance, and with father, you,

a weeping eye watches over him feelings toward you are fully up day and night, and hears his

if you fear him. His

own.

an

even so.

6

moans and is imploringly appealed the power to relieve; and often he to by him for relief, which is not exerts it. He always would, if in his power to give,-like as he it were in view of all considerapities, so the Lord pities. So in- tions proper and benevolent that expressibly feels he toward them he should. He who for thee that fear him—such deep and un- spared not his own Son, would definable emotions as a parent's spare thee every sorrow thou bast, heart is occupied with, when he and would relieve thine every says, “ My poor child !' So the pain, but “ whom the Lord loveth Lord pities. Can it be? It is he chasteneth.”

Well, then, come want, A father so pities bis children, come sickness, come sorrow, if that he would, if he could, even such pity may come with it. The suffer in their stead. More than relief exceeds the suffering. The one father has said, Would God support is greater than the burden.

I had died for thee, my son, my It not only bears up, but lifts up son !' And is the pity of the the soul.

Lord like a father's in this partiBut how does a father pity ? cular too? Yes. So the Lord Does he pity so as never to chas- pities. So he has pitied. He tise ? Oh no! " What son is he could suffer in the stead of those whom his father chasteneth not?he pitied-and he did.

“ Surely He chastens out of pity. But he he hath borne our griefs and carso pities, that he is infinitely far ried our sorrows." He bas even from taking delight in the smallest

died for us. Oh what pity! sufferings of his children, even A father so pities his children, when it becomes his duty for their that to promote their comfort and good to inflict them, it hurts him happiness, he would spare no pains more to chastise them than to be

and no expense. How freely the chastised. In all their afflictions most avaricious parent will spend, he is afflicted, and more afflicted if the necessities of a child require than they Have you never cor

it! The wants and sorrows of his rected a child, and gone away and child can open even his heart. wept in pure pity for him ? Have Such is the pity of the Lord. He you never denied him something, spared not his own Son, but deliand found it a greater self-denial ? vered him up for us all. Having Is such your heart toward your one Son, his only-begotten, he children ? Such is God's toward gave him even for us. his. " He doth not afflict wil. Let the child of God derive lingly.”

from these considerations inexpresAgain, a father so pities that he sible consolation. Oh think that would spare or relieve his child, if he, in all thy sorrows, pities thee ! he could, that is, if he had the Yes, thy God feels for thee. Thy power, or having the

power,
it were

sufferings go to his heart. There proper he should exercise it. A is one in heaven, who from that parent sometimes has the power to exaltation looks down upon thee, relieve, and does not exert it. The and the eye that watches over you, principle of benevolence within wept for you once, and would, if bim which proposes the greatest it had tears, weep for you again. good of his child for the longest He knoweth your frame. period, forbids that he should yield membereth that you are dust. to the impulse of compassion,

" He will not break the bruised which calls for the rendering of reed, nor quench the smoking immediate relief. He pities his flax." It was he who, when his child too much to relieve him. disciples had nothing to say for So the Lord pities. He has always themselves, made that kind apo.

He re

logy for them. “ The spirit is through so much more himself ! willing, but the flesh is weak. What must be the glory of that He can be touched with the feel- place to which he will take them, ing of all your infirmities. You after he shall have made them may cast all your cares on him, perfect through sufferings ! What for he careth for

you.

All through exalted honours, what ecstatic this vale of tears you may rest joys must he not have in reserve assured of his sympathy; and for them, whom he came down when the vale of tears declines here to weep with, and now takes into the valley of the shadow of up thither to rejoice with himself! death, not his sympathy only will And now that they have ceased to you have, but his inspiring pre- sin, and are perfectly conformed sence, and his timely succour. to his image, what will not be his After that, what will not his complacency in them, when his bounty be whose pity has been so pity toward them is so great in great? When there is no longer this imperfect state, in which their any occasion for pity, when misery suffering is always mingled with

no more, and sighing has ceased, sin! and God's hand has for the last Well, then, since we are the time passed across your weeping objects of such pity, let us be its eyes, and wiped away the final subjects too. Let us pity, as we tear, what then will be the riches are pitied. Cared for ourselves, of his munificence? What then let us care for others. Let their will he not do for you, having so case reach our hearts, as felt for

you
? You know a father reached God's.

for whom feels a peculiar affection for a so many tears have been shed, be child that has been afflicted, and not sparing of our tears for other's that has cost him a great deal.

Nor let us give to misery How will our compassionate Re- merely the tear, but speak the deemer cherish and caress those word of consolation, and reach out who have come out of great tribu- the hand of help. lation, and for whom he went

M.S.

ours

Let us,

woes.

REMARKS ON ZECHARIAH III. 4, “ Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angels. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, Take away the filthy garments from him, And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” ARCHBISHOP Newcome, in his lotas, he says, “ He was brought work on the Minor Prophets, ex- forth in vile garments, and bound plains the filthy garments to mean like a thief, where he heard himis the squalid and polluted gar

self and his absent father accused' ments of a captive," and the ex- As Philotas had been arrested only planation has been adopted in the the night before, and that at a Commentary, published by the banquet, these could not have Tract Society. It is so far cor- been the garments of a long imprisrect, as Joshua the High Priest onment. It probably was custohad been a captive in Babylon; mary to attire an accused person but the context seems to make the in such a dress. This view of the garments emblematic rather of sin. case agrees best with the context, This view is supported by a pas- where the clothing of Joshua with sage in an old life of Afexander change of raiment is connected, not the Great, by Samuel Clark.* with his deliverance from captiSpeaking of the accusation of Phi- vity, but with the forgiveness of * Lives of eminent persons, folio, 1675,

his iniquity.

S. E. L, AUGUST 1838.

2 P

P. 63.

ESSAYS AND DIALOGUES ON POPERY.

No. XV.

THE INVOCATION OF SAINTS.

Ing. Ah, my good friends, how copacy, without having recourse to many times, during my long ab- the writings of the Fathers, and sence, have I thought of our late the decisions of the Church ? discussions, and longed for their Prot. The first two of these renewal; for

you will remember points are of far greater moment that we had not, when we parted, and importance than the other two. advanced beyond the first step, -- The doctrine of the Trinity, in my that of an attempt to ascertain the view, can be abundantly establishRULE OF FAITH.

ed by the words of Scripture; and, Prot. Yes, I am aware of that; in fact, so high and vast is its digbut I am aware, also, that that point nity and its weight, that if it were comprises more than one half the not found in God's own word, I controversy. In fact, it involves could never venture to believe it the whole. The enmity so gene- myself, or to press it upon any rally exhibited by the leaders of other person's belief, on the mere the Romish Church towards the ground that some ancient fathers Holy Scriptures, sufficiently proves held such a view. 2. The divine that, in their view, the admission institution of the Sabbath is upof the word of God, as the rule, held throughout the whole Bible; must be fatal to their cause. And and in the New Testament we have I am equally ready to admit, on the clearest proofs that the day set the part of Protestants, that if the apart, as the sabbath, by the earBible be not our sole and sufficient liest Christians, under the sanction rule-if we are under the necessity of the apostles, was the first day of having recourse to tradition, or of the week, to which we now adthe writings of the Fathers, or the here. 3. Infant baptism is not decisions of the Church, in any essential to salvation; though it is matter essentially connected with clearly deducible, by way of inferthe soul's salvation,- then I have ence, from the tenor of the Old little hope that we shall avoid and New Testaments, gathering being driven to take up with at from the first the practice relative least three-fourths of Popery. to circumcision ; and from the

Rom. That is an honest admis- second the substitution, by the sion; but how can you doubt that early Church, of baptism in its you must have recourse, at last, to room. 4. Episcopacy stands nearly the traditions of the Church, for in the same position. It is not many doctrines and practices which commanded in the New Testament, are generally held among Protest- but we may learn from various ants. How, for instance, will you passages that it was instituted by establish the doctrine of the Tri- the apostles. But neither in the nity, or the sacredness of the Sab- case of infant baptism, nor of episbath, or the use of infant baptism, copacy, nor in any other, do we or the apostolic institution of epis- wish to throw the history of the

God.

early Church out of view. We the teaching of the Church' at the admit the value and importance of hands of an individual priest, whom such records as exist; but we can- I knew to be fallible and liable to not accept such records as of equal error, and in whom I therefore authority with the word of God; could not, with any satisfaction of nor can we consent to be bound by mind, repose such implicit confidthe opinions and practices of men ence; or else, if I hesitated to take who were as fallible and erring as his individual declaration as to ourselves. However, let us now what the Church decided or held, look back to our former con- I was left to wander in almost versations, and endeavour to take utter darkness, amidst a maze of up the question at the point at Church controversies, to find out, which it was, for a time, discon- first, where the Catholic Church tinued.

was really to be seen and heard ; Ing. That point I will endeavour and then, what she had said and to recollect. It was, I think, our done on all the controverted points. chief object, in all our past discus- In this difficulty, then, I naturally sions, to ascertain the true standard felt that the Protestant rule was, or rule of faith, by which all ques- beyond all comparison, the prefertions in faith and practice were to able one ; for here, in this Bible, be tried. You, on the Protestant I have it, and I can consult it, side, asserted the Bible to be this with perfect ease, whenever I need rule; your opponent here, that the its guidance, and with a feeling of Bible formed, at most, only a part perfect security that what I am of the rule, and that the teaching reading is, truly and certainly, the of the Church was a necessary ad- unerring word of the Most High junct; or rather, that it was the practical rule, or standard for daily Rom. But can you really feel, use ; while the Scriptures were without having first submitted rather to be looked upon as the yourself to the judgment and infountain or source from whence the struction of the church, that you Church drew her instructions. I have any sufficient grounds for hope I do not misstate this part of your certainty that that Book is the argument?

really what you suppose it to be, Rom. No, I do not find fault a collection of the writings of the with your mode of stating the Inspired Apostles and Prophets, question.

containing the whole of such inIng. Well, after a large and spired writings, and containing rather discursive review of the none other ? whole argument, we came, I think, Prot. Allow me to interrupt at last, to this conclusion: that you here, and to demand in return, the Protestant rule, the written whether you are not acquainted word of God, was abundantly es- with the full and satisfactory argutablished, as to its authority, and ments of Bossuet, Bellarmine, was both available and sufficient, Huet, La Mennais, and divers others in its intrinsic character. On the of your own communion, in proof other hand, however, the main ob- of the genuineness, authenticity, jection to the rule of the Romish and divine inspiration of ScripChurch was not answered ; to wit, ture, against infidels and sceptical that it was not available ; that it objectors ? could not be taken hold of and Rom. Certainly I am. But applied by one in my circum- what have they to do with this stances. For, on a close investi- question ? gation, the matter was brought to Prot. They have this to do with this,- either that I must accept it; that your controversialists and

« EelmineJätka »