Obrázky na stránke

management. For ourselves, we part with the work with extreme satisfaction, which is greatly owing to the sincere conviction, that whatever the Magazine may gain, it loses nothing by the change. During our brief career, we have experienced no small pleasure in serving the churches ;—not unmixed with pain, on account of the imperfections and deficiencies of that service, of which none were more observant than ourselves. For all our faults and failings we confidently look for the indulgent forgiveness of our readers. With thanks to our many friendly helpers, and a general Adieu to all, we cheerfully quit command, and fall into the ranks.



JANUARY, 1846.


By the good providence of God we have been brought to the commencement of another year. The events which it holds in store are concealed by a veil of impenetrable darkness. This, however, we know, that every day of it we shall be liable to the stroke of death; and before its termination, some who read these pages will assuredly have gone to the place whence they shall not return.

The average length of human life is estimated at about forty years, consequently, out of every forty persons, one dies in the course of each year. Supposing four thousand persons to read these pages, (a very moderate estimate,) it may be expected, according to this calculation, that one hundred of these shall die ere this year has closed. But we shall take a still lower estimate. We shall suppose only that one individual who peruses these lines shall die during the present year, and to that one individual, unknown to us, but known to God, we address ourselves.

“ This year," my friend, “thou shalt die ;" and thou art either a converted or an unconverted man. I shall take each side of the alternative.

First. You are a converted man—a child of God—an heir of glory. " This year,” my brother, “ thou shalt die,” and think not that I am about to cast dust upon my head and bemoan your fate. No; I congratulate you on the cheering prospect which lies before you. Your night is far spent; your day is at hand. Rejoice, my brother, rejoice. This

year thou shalt dieand be for ever beyond the reach of all suffering and sorrow. It may be that, like your Divine Master, you have been “a man of sorrows."—that many days and nights of pain and heaviness have been appointed to you—that you have been subjected to the reproach and persecution of ungodly men—that your friends have forsaken you, and become your enemies—that you have followed to the grave, one after another, those who shared your heart's warmest affections; and once and again, when the hand of the Lord lay heavy upon you, you have been forced to exclaim, “O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, until thy wrath be past.” But be of good cheer, brother, you are going home. “ Life's fitful fever" will soon be over. thou shalt bid an eternal farewell to all the ills of life, and enter on that

New SERIES. — Vol. VI. А

[ocr errors]

This year 66 This year

blissful land where sorrow is unknown. There, there is no reproach of the enemy, no separation of friends, no alienation of hearts, no anguish of spirit, but all is perfect peace and unmingled joy.

There pain and sickness never come,

And grief no more complains;
Health triumphs in immortal bloom,

And endless pleasure reigns.”

thou shalt die," and be for ever freed from sin. The consciousness of sin within you has been the chief source of your grief since you knew the Lord. You have been longing, and striving, and praying for deliverance from it; and though you are gratefully conscious that you are not now as once you were, still you feel that you have not yet attained, neither are already perfect; you have daily to lament the prevalence of indwelling corruption. Entire freedom from sin is beyond all comparison, that of which you are most earnestly desirous,—that, for the sake of which you would willingly sacrifice all your dearest earthly enjoyments. Rejoice then, my brother, for this year thou shalt enter on a sinless world. There, no unholy thought shall ever harbour in your breast; there, no wayward affection shall ever draw you away from the service of your God; there, no law in your members shall over war against the law of your mind; you will be holy, even as God is holy.

“ The soul from sin for ever freed,

Shall mourn its power no more ;
But clothed in spotless purity,

Redeeming love adore.” This year thou shalt die," and be with the Saviour. The whole of heaven’s bliss is summed up by the Apostle in these words, “So shall we be ever with the Lord." And oh! what a soul-gladdening prospect is this! To enjoy throughout eternity the society of Him, who, though He was “the brightness of the Father's glory,” took part with us in all the infirmities of our nature, and became obedient unto death, that he might redeein us from the curse of the law, and raise us to a participation in his own infinite blessedness. For ever with the Lord.There is something overwhelming in the thought. It baffles all our calcula tions; it sets at nought all our earthly imaginings. For ever with the Lord!It seems as if it were too good too be true; but it is his own blessed promise :-“ Father, I will, that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory.” “For ever with the Lord!" O Believer, is not this cnough to satisfy the most ardent longings of your soul? Enough to enable you to meet even the last enemy with a calm and cheerful spirit; to convert your last expiring groan into a note of praise; and to cause you in the very embrace of death, to exclaim, “Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?" Once more, then I say, rejoice, my brother, this year thou shalt be in the palace of the great King-the dwelling-place of Him whom thy soul loveth.

"There on a throne (how dazzling bright!)

The exalted Saviour shines;
And beams ineffable delight

On all the heavenly minds."

We turn to the other side of the alternative. It may be that you who are to die this year, are an unconverted man, living without God in the world. Oh! how different are your prospects, my friend, from those of the child of God! You are totally unprepared for death; for “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Gode" In addressing you, I proceed on the supposition that you will die in your present state. God grant, however, that it may be otherwise !

This year thou shalt die," and have done for ever with the means of grace. These you have long possessed, but you have possessed them in vain. With the Bible, the Sabbath, the sanctuary, you have been familiar from your earliest years; but neither the Bible, nor the Sabbath, nor the sanctuary, has profited your soul. Times without number has the gospel trumpet sounded in your ears, but it has sounded in vain. The threatenings and the promises—the commands and the invitations —the warnings and the entreaties of the God of heaven, have been all alike disregarded. The word of God has been neglected; the Spirit of God has been resisted; the blood of atonement has been trampled under foot. And now, behold! the axe is laid to the root of the tree. This year you are to be cut down, and cast into the fire of hell. There, the gracious invitation of the friend of sinners shall no more be heard, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” There, no sound of mercy shall ever salute your ear, no ray of hope ever cheer your heart. The day of your merciful visitation is past, the day of God's righteous vengeance has commenced.

This year thou shalt die," and give an account of thyself to God. And oh! what an account it will be! An account of time mis-spent, of talents misemployed, of privileges abused, of warnings unheeded, of invitations rejected, of love despised, of a God insulted, of a Saviour rejected, of a Spirit resisted. Oh! what an account! But it must be rendered! Nothing can be concealed, nothing forgotten, nothing extenuated. Of every profane or idle word you have spoken, of every sinful action you have performed, of every religious privilege you have misimproved; of every sermon, every warning, every admonition, you must give account. Can you stand in the judgment before the holy, holy, Lord God? Oh! you feel that you cannot. Out of your own mouth you will be condemned, and if God condemn, who is he that will justify? You may put away from you the thought of judgment now, but you cannot put away the reality. You must meet with God; and as certainly as you are to be judged, you will be found wanting.

« This year thou shalt die,and be cast into the lake of fire, to be tormented day and night for ever." Oh! the anguish of a lost soul! A soul shut out for ever from God's gracious presence-shut up for ever in the prison-house of despair! I dare not dwell upon it, even in thought. Suffice it to say, that the inspired writers, in alluding to the subject, seem at a loss for expressions strong enough to represent the torments of the damned; and all the epithets and figures they employ are of such a nature, as to impress on the mind with an almost paralysing force, the truth of the apostolic declaration, “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

“What harp of boundless, deep, exhaustless wo,

Shall utter forth the groanings of the damned,

Or sing the obsequies of ruined souls,
Or wail their plunge in the eternal fire ?-
Hold, angels! hold your hands, for God laments,
And draws a cloud of darkness round his throne;
The organ of eternity is mute,

And there is silence in the heaven of heavens."
Such, unconverted reader! is to be your portion this year, if


die in your present state. But, blessed be God, there is still hope concerning you. You have yet a little moment given you, that from the coming wrath. Oh! be persuaded to improve that fleeting moment. Cast your guilty soul on Jesus. He died that sinners might live. Come unto the Father through Him, and you will in no wise be cast out.

J. C.-D.

you may flee


MISSIONARY AT HANKEY. A RELIGIOUS periodical contains many instances of premature mortality. Little as men think of death, and brief as the impression which it makes is, there is enough in a sudden removal to strike for a season, and lead to serious thought. In looking over the pages of a magazine for a series of years, we can discover not a few memoirs by the same writer, and by and bye our eye lights upon one of himself. It is instructive to dwell on this. We are taught by it the unutterable importance of having the heart right with God, and the preciousness of that hope which maketh not ashamed. It not unfrequently happens that the survivor anticipated the record of his own death before that of his friend, and that he who is gone would have discharged that duty he is now called on to perform. But Jesus has the keys of death. They could not be in better hands than in His, who has deprived the enemy of his sting. He may use them at a time and in a way, perplexingly mysterious to us. Still, he does use them; and however bafting the employment of them in a particular case (such as the one we have now to record) is, we may rest assured that it is our ignorance which makes us doubt, and that when it shall be dispelled in the land of light, we shall gratefully acknowledge the kindness which we saw not on earth, and bow to the wisdom with which that kindness was blended.

William E. Philip was born in Aberdeen, on the 31st of July, 1814. His father, Dr. Philip, was at that time pastor of the Congregational church which meets in George-Street chapel, there. It is well known that for many years he has occupied the highly responsible situation of superintendent of the London Missionary Society's missions in Africa. He has achieved much for the degraded Hottentots, and his memory will be embalmed in their affections as their emancipator from a brutal thraldom. Every reader of missionary intelligence is able to tell the superiority of his mother's mental powers, and the very efficient aid she has lent her husband in his unwearied labours of benevolence. The energies of his parents being consecrated to the cause of Christ, they dedicated William to the same service, from his birth. His temper was naturally impetuous, and his daring spirit occasioned them much anxiety. But though often hurried by his rashness into mischief, he had a warm

« PredošláPokračovať »