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in the absence of them--from the pain we feel when we lose them—and from our disinclination for spiritual and eternal things. But when religion calls our affections from the earth, we must certainly understand that call in a qualified sense.The good things of this life are to be considered as the gifts of our heavenly Father, and to be received and used with thanksgiving. All the creatures of God which are subject to the lawful use of man, are designed to answer two great ends, the comfort and happiness of our animal being, and to be means and helps of that devotion to God which qualifies us for the possession of eternal life; the latter of which is as far superior to the former as our intellectual being is superior to our corporeal nature. Hence we may assure ourselves, that if we are rightly exercised in relation to earthly things, whether we pur. sue them, possess them, or lose them, they will invariably 'tend to increase our desire and affection for those things which are spiritual and eternal.

Farther than this we are not at liberty to indulge our love of worldly good. Here religion has fixed our bounds, and the moment we pass over the limits, we become idolaters, and give to the creature what is the exclusive right of the Creator.

2. Set your affection on things above.

By things above are meant the honours, the riches, and the pleasures of the kingdom of God, whether of grace or of glory.

Were it not too obvious that multitudes of the present age have given but little attention to the examination of the great and precious truths of the gospel, it would be superfluous to descend more minutely into a view of those things which religion has revealed as the objects of our esteem and affection.

But in consequence of the strong and general propensity of our nature to neglect that application of our minds to spiritual things, which is necessary to a perception of their excellence, and a suitable regard for them, it frequently becomes needful 10 enter into a more definite and particular illustration. Happily our apostle bas defined for us. “ The kingdom of God is-righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

Righteousness, in an evangelical sense, is the conformity of our hearts and lives to God. The divine image stamped upon us, by which act of the Holy Spirit we are made partakers of the divine nature, being reinstated in holiness, according to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by such a participation of the image of God, righteousness and true holiness, that we are made partakers of that peace which passeth all understanding: peace with God, the enmity being removed by the blood of the cross : peace of conscience, being purged from dead works to serve the living God, by the powerful influence of him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead; and being made free from wrath, and the consciousness of guilt through him.

Whenever this great work of reconciliation is effected, it is accompanied with joy in the Holy Ghost ; joy as the immediate result of a divine influence; joy springing from the witness of our adoption; joy arising from a hope full of immortality.-But we stop not here; we must view the gospel as the last will and testament of the Son of God, and our Saviour, and consider “ an eternal weight of glory" as a legacy bequeathed to every believer.

As heaven is to be the everlasting habitation of the saints, and its glory their great reward ; as the full and perpetual possession of it is the consummation of all the great and precious promises of God and Christ, whatever appertains to it should constantly engage our affection.

When the Apostle exhorts us to set our affection on these things, he. in substance, would have us understand of what infinite value they are, and how great an interest we have in them. He would have us esteem them as the greatest good, love them with fervency, desire them with ardor, and pursue them with diligence.

3. Seek those things which are above.

To seek the things of God, in the sense of the scriptures, is to be clearly convinced of the truth of those things; to have a full and abiding conviction that they exist—that they are real.

This conviction is of such vast importance that the stability, comfort, and ultimate success of our Christian course, in a great measure depend upon it. It is this which stamps our zeal with the character of uniformity, and gives firmness and integrity to our conduct. It fortifies the mind amid the calamities of life. It gives dignity and importance to every feature of character, and prepares the soul to meet the hour of dissolution with calmness and triumph.

To seek the things above, farther implies that our thoughts be habitually employed about them. It is natural for us to have those objects which we most esteem and admire frequently in mind. They are last in our thoughts when we close our eyes in sleep, their fair image frequently passes before us when our senses are locked up in slumber, and they fly to their wonted habitation on the wings of the morning. The miser's thoughts are employed about his gold; the child of pleasure thinks most of the places and means of recreation and amusement : but the Christian's thoughts are with his God, and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

To these considerations it should be added, that in seeking spiritual things there is implied a fervent desire of them. shall never seek an object which we do not desire. We believe things to exist which are disgusting, and hateful to us, and our thoughts are necessarily occupied with subjects which give us pain; but we ean desire nothing in the possession of which we do not anticipate pleasure. To desire the things of God is a distinguishing trait in the character of good men of -very age. David' thirsted for God, for the living God, as a hart panteth for the cooling water brook, and desired the courts of the Lord more than all pleasant treasure. And holy Job could say, 'O that I might come near his seat;' and who can describe what an Apostle felt when he said, I have a desire to depart, and be with Christ which is far better?

Such a desire of spiritual things will be attended with a diligent and active pursuit of them, in the use of all the institutions of Christ. Like a man seeking for a precious treasure, the Christian, who is in pursuit of an heavenly inheritance, must employ every means calculated to lead him to the end, and to put him in the actual possession of it.

(To be continued.)

Biography.

From the London Methodist Magazine. An Account of the Life and Condersion from Heathenism to

Christianity, of GEORGE NADoris De Silva, Samara Maha NAYEKA, late a Budhist Priest in the Island of Ceylon.

(Continued from page 262, Vol. I.) ANOTHER circumstance will show how exceedingly shrewd a person he is, and how necessary it is for persons in our situation, and especially in our intercourse with the inquiring heathen, to be on our guard even in the smallest matters. One day, I had been waiting for him, as usual, at the appointed hour, and observed him coming up the street; but instead of his calling, he rode by the door, as though not intending to pay us a visit. On this I immediately sent a messenger after him, to tell him I was waiting his usual visit. He immediately ordered his palanquin bearers to turn back, and put him down at our door. As soon as he saw me he said, “I thought I would try you to day. I have often come and sat down with you, and

you

have conversed with me in the freest and fullest manner. · But I thought I would try for once if you had love enough for my soul, and desire enough for my conversion, to call me in, in case you saw me going by your house.” He then entered, as usual, into conversation on the subject of Christianity.

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He did not fail to urge with great force, the argument, “that Christians were no better than other people.”_I believe he has set a very close watch upon us; and we have sometimes supposed that he had his spies observing our conduct.

I remember one day, having been under the painful necessity of submitting to punish one of our servants for thest, about two or three hours only before one of his daily visits. He had had notice of the circumstance; and when he arrived, he took his seat with a degree of triumph, referring to the circumstance, and intimating that it was rather a sign of the defect of our religion, that we were obliged to have recourse to the civil magistrate to make our servants honest; and added, " If you cannot make your own servants good, who live in the same house with yourselves, how can you expect to convert me, and make me a good Christian, who have not that advantage.” We explained to him, that conversion was a work of God; and that we could only pray for our servants, and instruct them, and set them a good example: and that if, after all, they were bad characters, the fault was in themselves, and not in our religion. We likewise convinced him that it was with the utmost reluctance, and from the peculiar circumstances of the case, that we had consented to the punishment of the dishonest servant.

He sometimes evinced considerable respect for the ministerial and missionary character; and drew many comparisons, which shewed that he was a man of much observation on the conduct of the Christian part of society. We nevertheless felt it our duty to check every thing of an uncharitable condemning of persons indiscriminately, who might, in some points, differ from those in whose favour he might have formed a prepossession. But while we did this, we assured him that we held it essential to salvation that there should be a consistency between our practice and our faith and profession ; and were obliged to allow that the unholy lives of many, who call themselves Cbristians, was a stumbling block in the way of the inquiring heathen, and gave cause to unbelievers to gainsay the religion such persons professed.

When making such observations as these, brother Clough and I were almost led, sometimes, to conclude he was on the verge of becoming a Christian; but we found him very fluctuating, and often had to go over the same ground again. I have many times thought he did it to try our patience; as there are few virtues which rank higher among the Orientals than self-command in disputation and contradiction ; a virtue in which, as far as I have been enabled to observe, the natives of India are peculiar proficients. Any undue warmth, therefore, in argument; a display of mortification or impatience, weighs more with an Indian, than fifty subequent syllogisms.

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Though Rajagooroo had many times confessed the existence of the eternal God, he would often times start new objections in the form of interrogations. We have answered a host of these, apparently to his satisfaction. But still he continued to keep up the same kind of warfare ;—and we saw no likelihood of bringing the matter to a conclusion, since, every day, he came with new difficulties. At last I determined I would begin my. self to propose a few interrogatories, in order to convince him that difficulties in solution were no invariable sign of error in position,—and that it was easy to start objections, and put questions which could not be answered.

The next day he came as usual, and began proposing his questions. I observed to him pleasantly, that it was much more easy to ask questions, than sometimes to answer them; and that as we had answered him a great number, if he would give me leave, I would ask him one question, as a proof of this, which I was sure he could not answer candidly, without disproving his own religious system. Smiling, with a kind of certainty of success, he immediately replied, that he would most willingly hear my question.

"Well,” said I, “how can you account for it that the human body is possessed of such and such highly convenient and necessary organs, and that the various operations of nature are performed in such and such becoming and suitable ways? How is it that these things are not done so and so ?” (giving him, at the same time some plain and evident examples of what I referred to.) “Oh,” said he, “there is no difficulty at all in that. When the first people came into existence, it chanced to be so, and it has continued so ever since." I begged to observe to him, that such an answer, he must be convinced, was by no means such as would have satisfied his mind if we had given it to him in answer to one of his own inquiries. That if we traced mankind up through all its preceding generations from son to father, until we should come to the first inhabitants of the world, we could not believe that, with all their faculties of body and mind, they could have come into existence merely in a way of chance. That if the organs of the human body had been produced and disposed of by chance, we should have expected to have seen the mouth and the eyes transposed, and an arm to be growing out of the head instead of a nose.

"Chance is a word,” said I, " which does not admit of being associated with any thing like uniformity, and had we derived our being from such a source, there certainly would have been no apparent design or adaptness to our future comfort, such as we cannot help beholding in our organization. Chance is nothing; and like begets its like: therefore nothing can proceed from nothing. If therefore this be the best answer you can give, it

VOL. III.

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