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diversify the landscape of nature. And it is said that God saw every thing to be good, and rejoiced over the works of His creative hand. Now there was no legality whatever in this most obvious and intelligible process. The ornaments of a flower, or the gracefulness of a tree, or the soft magnificence of a whole extended and outspread scenery-these are not and cannot be the offerings of inanimate matter, by which it purchases the smile and the regards of the Divinity. And yet it is with the smiles of complacency, that the Divinity does regard them. The Almighty Artist loves to behold the fair composition that He Himself has made; and wills each of His works to be perfect in its kind; and dwells with satisfaction and joy on the panorama of visible excellence, that He has spread before His throne; and rather would He look to the freshness of its many decorations, than to a universal blight of nature, when every flower should sicken upon its stalk, and all those pencilled hues by which the surface of our earth is adorned should be swept away by the pestilence of a tainted atmosphere above it. So that in a case to which legality is quite inapplicacle, does God prefer His creatures to be of one form and comeliness rather than another -does He love beauty rather than deformity, and harmony rather than confusion; and when He did put forth on the dark and chaotic mass of warring elements the power of His transforming hand, it was to spread out a scene of loveliness before Him, and to lavish upon it the gayest and the goodliest adornments.

And the same of the moral taste of the Godhead. He loves what is wise and holy and just and good in the world of mind; and with a far higher affection too, than He loves what is fair and graceful and comely in the world of matter. He has a pleasure in beholding what may be styled a moral comeliness of character; and the office of His Spirit at this moment, is to evolve this beauteous exhibition out of the chaos of ruined and rebellious humanity. And to forward this process, it is not necessary that a man be stimulated to exertion by the motives of legalism. All that is necessary is, that man be submitted to the transforming operations of the divine Spirit; and that he shall willingly follow His impulses, at the will of that God who requires it of him. And must God, we ask, ere He can gratify His relish for the higher beauties of morality and of mind, first have to make a bargain about it with His creatures? Is not His creative hand as free to follow the impulses of His taste for the beauties of moral, as for the beauties of material landscare? Out of the corporeal

chaos did He, in obedience to His love of order and gracefulness in our visible world, educe all that symmetry and splen dour and perfect organization by which we are surrounded, and rejoices over them. This was His will of matter, even its harmonization. And in like manner does He now operate on a spiritual chaos, and out of the malice and impurity and rebellious deviation from God, and all the jarring influences by which it is agitated and deformed, does He educe love and peace and beauteous accordancy with the perfect law of heaven. This is His will of mind, even its sanctification. He does not need to truckle or negociate with us upon the subject, or to enter into any such legal understanding on the matter, as in fact to lay the burden of an impossibility on the whole process-for, in truth, mar has forfeited every legal reward; and incurred every legal penalty-So that the whole of this economy must be set aside, and man be approached by some new power, and be plied with some new expedients, ere he can be restored to the holiness and the excellence in which he was created. Meanwhile it is the will of God that he should be restored; and just as He rejoiced at every step in that process, whereby the chaos of matter was evolved into a fair and orderly system-so does He rejoice in that process by which we grow unto the stature of perfect men in Christ Jesus; and He looks with intent eye on the church that He is now forming out of the world and on every member of it-So that, released though you all be from the old legal enforcements of that commandment which is contained in ordinances, still is it the thing which His heart is set upon, and still do you testify your love to God and your desire to comply with His will, that you keep his commandments.

It is thus, and on this principle, that God wills you to be holy and just and good; but these are the very attributes which the text gives to the law, or to the commandment-so that though the old relationship between you and the law is dissolved, still it is this very law with the requirements of which you are to busy yourselves, during the whole of your abode in the world; and with the graces and accomplishments of which you must appear invested before Christ at the judgment-seat. It was written first on tables of stone, and the process was then that you should fulfil its requisitions as your task, and be paid with heaven as a reward. It is now written by the Holy Ghost on the tablets of your heart; and the process is now that you are made to delight in the law after the inward manand when released, as you will be by

death, from the corruptions of the outward man, heaven will be open for your admission as the only place that is fitted to harbour and to regale you. You know of gold that it has two functions. With gold you may purchase a privilege, or with gold you may adorn your person. You may not be able to purchase the king's favour with gold; but he may grant you his favour, and when he requires your appearance before him, it is still in gold he may require you to be invested. And thus of the law. It is not by your own righteous conformity thereo that you purchase God's favour; for

this has been already purchased by the pure gold of the Saviour's righteousness, and is presented to all who believe on Him. But still it is with your own personal righteousness, that you must be gilded and adorned. It is not the price wherewith you have bought heaven, but it is the attire in which you must enter it; and thus do we answer the question, why it is that the law is still kept up in authority and importance, and obedience to it is as strenuously required, and a conformity of character to it is held as indispensable, under the new dispensation as under the old one.

LECTURE XLI.

ROMANS vii, 14-25.

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law tha it is good Now then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me: but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.'

ERE I enter into detail upon these verses, | let me come forth with a preliminary argument upon that which appears to be the subject of them.

There is one thing which the common experience of all, whether they be in the faith of the gospel or not, must have made perfectly familiar to them; and that is the exceeding difference which they have often felt, between the whole tone and temper of their mind at one time from what it is at another time. There are many of you who can reccollect, that in church, and when under the influence of a powerful dem, nstration from the pulpit-you caught something like the elevation and purity of heaven upon your souls; and that then when you passed into another atmosphere, whether at home in the midst of your family, or abroad among the collisions of society and business, the whole of this ethereal temperament went into utter dissipation; and you became a peevish and sensual and earthly creature. Some of you may have marked it well how differently it fares with you in the hour of your devotional retirement, and in the season of your exposure to the manifold urgencies of the world-how the heart seems to have passed as entirely into another mood by the transition, as if it had been transformed into another heart altogether-that in the one state you can

rise on the wings of divine contemplation and breathe of the air of the upper sanctuary; and in the other you sink down to the common-place of tame and ordinary life, and become as other men. We think that this may have been the finding of many who are not, in the spiritual and substantial sense of the term, Christians at all; but who in the mere fervency of natural emotion, can be put into something like a glow of sacredness, whether by a certain power of sympathy with the preacher, or in the musings and meditative exercises of their own solitude. It will not surprise them when they are told of two principles in our moral constitution-which, by the ascendency of the one or the other of them for the time being, may cause the same man to appear in two characters that are not only different but are in total and diametric opposition. Of this their own piety, meagre and capricious and merely sentimental though it be, may have given them a very strong experimental illustration: And so have convinced them how possible it is, that, in one and the same individual of our species, there may be one set of tendencies, which if followed out, would liken him to the seraph who revels among the choirs and extacies of Paradise; and also another set of tendencies, which, if so followed out, would liken him to the

veriest grub-worm that moils for lucre upon earth, or finds all his satisfaction in the basest and most sordid gratifications. But we further conceive that the same thing may be rendered palpable to those, who are so far alienated in worldliness, as to be totally unobservant of piety-whether in its private or in its public observations; and who, apart from every experience of their own frame either at church or in the closet, may still have been sensible to other exhibitions of themselves, which might reconcile them to the doctrine which we shall forthwith labour to establish. Even they have often been admitted to such a view of human nature upon their own personal character and history, as might prove how strangely compounded it is of diverse and opposite inclinations. So extensive in our day is the class of novel-readers,-that we may have the chance of bearing home upon not a few who are here present, when we appeal to a very common experience among those who are most enamoured of this species of literature-how readily their hearts have conformed, to all that was bright or beautiful in the moral scenery of fiction-how they could kindle into its heroism; and melt into its tenderness; and weep with very delight over its representations of worth, or generosity, or devoted attachment; and appear for a season, and while under the power of that master-hand which pictures out virtue with such force and exquisiteness, to be assimilated themselves to that which they so vehemently admire. And yet all goeth to flight, when again ushered as before into the scenes of familiar existence; and the mind of the reader is speedily vulgarized again, to the level of all that is tame and ordinary around it-Insomuch, that he, who, from one part of his nature, could rise to lofty enthusiasm while engaged in the contemplation of rare and romantic excellence-could, from another part of his nature, pass in less than half an hour to the very plainest characteristics of plain and every-day humanity; and either fret, or scold, or laugh, or give full indulgence to every one of those very ordinary passions, which come out of the feelings and the fellowship of very ordinary men.

There is one principle of our constitution, that tends as it were to sublime the heart up to the poetry of human life; and there is another principle, that, operating as a drag, weighs the heart as if helplessly down to the prose of it. There is not a man who mixes literature with business, as many do who are now before me, that might not be conscious in themselves of two warring elements, which, if they were to change places, so that the one which

wont to be the superior shall become the subject-it would make a new creature of him. There are two rival appetites, in being at least, though only one may so domineer as to have all the power and practical ascendancy over the character. But in point of fact, were the other to rebel and to rise into a gathering strength, that should dethrone the old tyrant and establish its own supremacy-then would the spirit of the mind undergo an entire renovation; and the phrase of his being born again' were not too strong a one, to express the transition of heart and of habit that should take effect upon him. But meanwhile it will suffice that you be aware of certain moving forces, that do exist at the same time in your moral economy; and which act in directions that are contradictory the one to the otherand according to the prevalence of which it is, that you may appear either in one light to the eye of an observer, or in another that is altogether opposite.

We have heard of a great lady proprietor in one of our slave plantations, who never could read a fictitious tale of suffering but with tenderness and tearsyet could enforce the severest punishments on her wretched and overdriven negroes; and could look unrelentingly on, while she beheld the rigid execution of them. This may be an extreme case; but it is no anomaly in the character of our species. It is but one of a kindred and very extensive class of phenomena; and which all go to prove such to be the nature of man, that while under one sort of influence he may be so operated upon as to exhibit all that is graceful in sensibility, he, under another sort of influence, may be so operated upon as to act the monster of savage cruelty among the ill-fated victims who are under him. The individual of whom we have now reported to you, might, of all others, have been well prepared to admit the truth of that doctrine, by which it is affirmed, that, under a certain influence, the current of right feeling may flow smoothly and spontaneously through the heart; while, if that influence be withdrawn and the heart be abandoned in consequence to itself, it may evince by the abundant product of its own natural atrocities, how deceitful it is above all things and how desperately wicked.

A very conspicuous instance of the same thing is the susceptibility of the heart to the power of music. You have seen how the song that breathed through every line of it the ardour of disinterested friendship, and a generous contempt of all selfishness-you have seen how it blended into one tide of emotion, the approving sympathies of a whole circle of companionship. One would think, on looking along

this festive board, that, with the harmony | lected by him, he actually won the conof sounds, there was a harmony of kind- quest over the rebellious tendencies of his ness and confidence and mutual goodwill inner man, and steadily maintained it; in every bosom; and that each, awaken- and, as the effect of this habitual recured as it were to a fresh moral existence, rence to the soothing air by which all the had been suddenly formed as by enchant- tumults of his soul were pacified, that ment, into one devoted phalanx of sworn there was benevolence in every look, and and trusty brotherhood. It is hard to such a placid softening of tone and manimagine that on the morrow, the competi- ner, as made all his domestics happy and tions and the concealments and the jea- him beloved by them all. lousies of rival interest will be as busily active as before; and will obliterate every trace of the present enthusiasm. And yet there is in it no hypocrisy whatever. It is not a thing put on of artifice; but a Ving that genuinely and honestly hath ome, out of the living excitement that is now in operation. The heart is actually attuned to the very cordiality which the music has inspired; and while the notes still vibrate on the ear, the play of high and honourable feelings is upheld in the bosom till the last echoes have died away from the remembrance, and the man again lapses into the same cold and creeping and selfish creature that he ever

was.

But the finest recorded example of this fascination, is that of the harp of David on the dark and turbulent spirit of Saulnor was there ever a more striking exhibition of the power of melody, than when the native outrageousness of this monarch's temper was thereby overborne. During the performance of the son of Jesse, all the internal fires and furies by which his bosom was agitated, seem to have been lulled into peacefulness. The tyrant was disarmed; and, as if the cunningly played instrument had conveyed of its own sweetness into his heart, he became meek and manageable as a child. We are glad that out of Scripture history, we can draw such a case of illustration; and we now proceed to unfold the uses of it, in the argument that lies before us.

But

Now, thirdly, I would have you all to consider how Saul should have felt as well as acted, under the consciousness of what he natively and originally was. He in very deed, and because of the power that lay in the musical instrument, may have both imported into his own heart all the feelings, and diffused among those around him all the fruits of that benignity which had thus been awakened. although he should in this way perpetuate the mastery of a good and gracious principle in his soul-should he not still have been base in his own eyes, when he bethought him of the quarter from which it behoved to come !-that, to sustain his moral being, he had to live on supplies from abroad, because in himself there was the foul spirit of a maniac and a murderer; and it would have become this very monarch, even at the time when he most felt the play of kindness in his own heart, and he most brightened the hearts of others by the courtesy and the condescension that he shed over them-even then, was it most his part, to mourn the delinquencies of his inner man; and to loathe the savage propensities which fain would tumultuate there, in dust and in ashes.

But lastly, do you not perceive, that, in this state of matters, there were really no mystery at all, though the actual serenity of Saul's temper and his own self-abhorrence because of its native fierceness and asperity had kept pace the one with the other; and that in the very proportion of that fearfulness and aversion wherewith he looked to himself, because of his inherent vices, would he become fruitful in all the virtues that were opposed to them? It were just the humility of his downward regards upon his own soul, that would be the instrument of raising it to the highest perfection of which it was capable; and because he had no trust in the unborrowed energies within, that he would fetch aliment from without, for the preservation and the growth of all those moralities whereof he was most destitute. The harp would be his perpetual companion, or never beyond the reach of his calling for And secondly, you may further con- it. That sense of depravity, which ceive of Saul that he succeeded in this prompted the self-abasement of his spirit, great moral achievement upon his own would prompt an increasing recurrence spirit-that, on the strength of the foreign to that by which its outbreakings were application ever at hand and never neg-repressed; and so the more intense his

First then, it is said of Saul that he was refreshed and became well, under the operation of this music. In which case, it was his duty to recur to it in every hour of necessity-to call in the harp, on the very first approaches of the threatening visitation upon his spirit; and if he could not, in the native gentleness of his own heart, maintain a serenity of feeling and conduct to all around him, it was his business ever and anon to ply that artificial expedient, by which alone it seems that the perennial kindness and tranquillity of his feelings could at all be upholden.

detestation of his own character, would be the vigour and the efficacy of that alone practical expedient, by which his character was converted and transformed. And thus, in all its parts, does it hold of a Christian. He knows that in his own proper nature dwelleth no good thing. He is aware of his native ungodliness; and the experience of every day brings fresh and more humiliating discoveries of it to his conscience. He feels that in himself he is like Saul without the harp-not perhaps so violent and vindictive as he was among his fellows; but sharing with the whole human race in the virulence of their antipathies against a God of holiness. The streams of his disobedience may not be of the same tinge and impregnation as that of the Hebrew king; but they emanate like his from a temple of idolatry in the heart, that would constantly issue forth of its own produce on the outward history. The Christian feels that in that part of his constitution which is properly and inherently his own, there is a deeply-seated corruption, the sense of which never fails to abash and to humble him; and thus, Christian though he be, he never ceases to exclaim-Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this law of sin, from this abiding and impetuous tendency to evil?' What then, it may be asked, is it, which serves to mark him as a Christian? Not most assuredly that he is free of a carnal nature, tainted all over with foullest leprosy-but that he has access to an influence without, by which a healing virtue is mingled with it, and all its rebellious tendencies are thereby overborne. The only distinction between the disciple and the unbeliever is, that the one uses the harp, and the other has neither faith in its efficacy nor desire for the effect of its operation. The Christian hath learned whither to flee in every hour of temptation; and thus it is that a purifying influence descends upon his soul. It cometh not through the medium of the ear, and upon the vehicle of sounds; but it cometh through the medium of the understanding, and upon the vehicle of thoughts. It is not by calling the music that he loves into his presence; but by calling the truth that he believes into his memory-it is thus that he harmonises the else disorderly affections of his heart; and while he feels that all within is corruption, he at the same time knows of an agency without by which the mutiny of its sinful appetites is staid.

There was a personal agent called in by Saul, when he had to be calmed out of his wild perturbations-even the son of Jesse; and this he did by evolving a certain harmony of sounds on the ear of the

Jewish monarch. And so He is a living and a personal agent, who overrules the sinful and the wayward propensities of a believer's heart; but this He does by evolving certain truths on the believer's understanding. In the former case, the power to soothe lay materially and directly in the music-though, to bring it into contact with the organ of hearing, there needed one to perform it. In the latter case, the power to sanctify lies materially and directly in the doctrinethough, to bring it into contact with the organ of mental perception, there needeth one to present it-even the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to bring all things to our remembrance. And so, my brethren, when assailed by temptation from without, or like to be overborne by the tyranny of your own evil inclinations, is it your part to summon gospel truth into the presence of your mind; and, depending on the Holy Ghost, to go forth and meet His manifestations, as He takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto your soul; and, precious fruit of your believing meditation on the realities of our most holy faith, will you be sure to find, as you look forward with hope to that mercy which is unto eternal life, that the heart will be purified thereby. It will be kept in the love of God; and this will attune it out of all discord and disorder. But never, throughout the whole of this process, will it be led to count on the worth or the power of its own internal energies. The sense of its depravity will ever be present to the conscience; and hanging on an influence that is foreign to itself, will it feel as helplessly dependent on a medicine from without, as did Saul when he summoned to his apartment that melody which charmed all the heat and vindictiveness of his spirit away from him. It is thus that the believer while he looks upon himself as nothing, or rather loathes himself as a diseased sinner, is ever labouring to medicate his soul from those springs of moral and spiritual health which are without him and above him-looking to that outward mercy which has been provided for his worthlessness, and praying for that refreshment and revelation by the Holy Ghost which are so richly provided for all who ask in faith.

We think that there must be many here present, who might be made to recognise, and we trust some who have actually proved in their own persons, the efficacy of this expedient-how the truths of the gospel can attemper the soul into a unison with its spirit-And more especially in that one truth which is the first that the apostle bids us keep at all times in our memory, even that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures-how in

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