« PreviousContinue »
hills of myrrh ;" labour in the Lord's vineyard; strive to be useful. In proportion as you are active in the cause of God will your own joy be increased, and your best interests promoted. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." There is joy associated with ministerial
Hence said the apostle Paul, “That I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” To the Thessalonians he said, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” When your work is done, the exhilerating plaudit will break on your ears— .“ Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” What sights will then burst on your enraptured vision !
" For beneath
“ With aspect mild, and elevated eye,
In whatever relation we contemplate the subject of peace, whether it be in relation to God, to nations, to families, or to individuals, it always affords great pleasure and peculiar interest to a pious mind. It is one of the greatest national blessings that can be enjoyed. War is a system of barbarity, wretchedness, devastation, and death. “Every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood.” It is a violation of the laws of Heaven for nation to lift up sword against nation. Such adventures are at variance with the principles of the New Testament; in which such iron-hearted encounters and bloody contests are sternly prohibited.
War is not of recent origin ; it is not the offspring of yesterday; it is coeval with the infancy of the world. We see the system in miniature in the murder of righteous Abel; but the principle which influenced that tragic deed was not coffined with the ashes of that early martyr, but it has been strengthened and cherished in every subsequent age. This life-destroying system
has been established on a broader basis, and carried out on a more extended scale; and even yet the hands of some nations are crimsoned with the blood of the slain. The long train of evils which are the effects of such contentions cannot be fully enumerated or depicted. It has snapped the link which united nations, and they have tumbled into confusion; it has depopulated cities, dethroned monarchs, dissolved dynasties, robbed man of his rights, embarrassed governments, overthrown empires, shed a withering blast over kingdoms, retarded the progress of commerce, and sent millions hurried and unprepared to the tribunal of God. But we hope the day is not far distant when the thirst for war shall be slaked, and when the last spark of military ambition shall be extinguished in the bosom of every fierce and fiendlike warrior; and when, as Dr. Cumming observes,
across the calm brows of men shall be flung the shadows of deep tranquillity. Names that are now memorials of glory shall be expunged from our recollectionbattle-fields and victories, and slaughtered battalions shall be forgotten—the red eye of battle shall shut, and the lightnings of war that have blazed across the world, and made cities volcanoes, and nations ashes, shall be quenched for ever :" and when the religion of Christ shall unite all people in the bond of universal brotherhood. We can easily trace the evils of war to their source-namely, to the heart.
“ From whence come wars and fightings among you ? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members ?” The cause must be removed, then the effects will cease. Regenerate the human race
let the message of the heralds of truth be universally accepted, then wars will cease to the ends of the earth.
*How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto
Zion thy God reigneth," Isa. lii. 7. The gospel enjoins peace. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” We have to considerspiritual peace as a fruit of the spirit, and which is the foundation of all personal, relative, and national tranquillity. Let us contemplate,
I. THE CHRISTIAN'S PEACE.
That the christian possesses spiritual peace, history, observation, and experience fully demonstrate. Notice,
1. His peace with God. We read that “the Lord will bless his people with peace.” This implies reconciliation to God.
This is not the state of man by nature; " Because the carnal mind is enmity against God : for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God,” Rom. viii. 7, 8. Man in his unrenewed state is a rebel against God, he refuses to render allegiance to the divine government. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God," James. iv. 4. This is the state the Colossians were originally in; they were alienated and enemies in their minds by wicked works.
God has given to man laws by which his conduct and temper must be regulated, but these laws have been repeatedly broken, and the attached penalties have been justly merited.
The solemn mandates of the eternal God have been fearfully disregarded, and, therefore, alienation and rebellion have been prominent traits in the moral history of mankind. For nations to be involved in savage war, and to see regiments of athletic men mown down like grass, is truly awful; or to see two persons engage in a duel indicates not only an impious opposition against God, but also the absence of self-respect. But to rebel against God is without cause; such hostility is unprovoked. Because sentence against an evil work
is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil,” Eccl. viii. 11.
Jehovah hath in his infinite wisdom and disinterested benevolence, devised a scheme of mercy in which man's reconciliation to his Maker is possible. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Rom. v. 1. " But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh,” Eph. ii. 13-17. “ And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight,” Col. i. 20-22.
The grand object of the Saviour in his mission to our world was to reconcile man to God, which could only be effected through the blood of his cross; hence arises the necessity of the atonement, for without the shedding of blood there could be no remission. But “ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a