Page images

the life of service with the death of heard a boastful sentence from bis lips ? assurance. A little before his departure What deep sincerity! How far removed he became restless. The nurse, a pious was he from everything like pretence woman, was standing by his bedside; and dissimulation! What unobtrusive, he raised himself on her arm, and, in unostentatious kindness and benefireply to her remark, “Dying is hard cence! Many have talked more about work,” he said, with quick energy, charity and doing good, but he lived it. “ Death is nothing.” She said, “ Then | What steadfastness in the faith! none you find, Sir, that Jesus is precious ? of the novelties of the age caused even Yes, YES;” and, leaning his head on a temporary aberration in his judgment her arm, in a few minutes, without a or practice. Though many a one has struggle, he had breathed his last. said, 'Turn aside, and I will show you

A beloved minister of Christ, who a thing,' he was never caught by the had known Mr. Rooker long and well, allurement. He was doing his great thus wrote to his daughter on hearing work, about his Master's business, and of his death: "You have all the relief | held on his way. He said the old wine and consolation of which such a case is better - the old theology, the old admits,—the review of a long life of practices of piety. I can only think of unblemished holiness, honourable con- him with great veneration, and with sistency, and ministerial usefulness. He affection, so far as we may love them has gone to his grave in full age: like who are departed, and have no longer as a shock of corn 'ascendeth' in his any ties with earth ; — the affection season, he is ascended to be gathered such as spirit feels to spirit, centring into the heavenly granary. How con- in Christ, thence emanating and fidently can I say, Let my soul be with embracing the souls gathered around the soul of William Rooker! He had Him: an affection pure and spiritual, the seal. Was not Christ's image upon founded on the moral and the divine.” him? and especially how conspicuous “ BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, was his humility! How low did he sit AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF at the feet of his Saviour! Who ever




No. I. “And to every man his work.-Mark xiii. 34. Every representation of the Church crifices unto God;--and a household of of Christ in Scripture gives some inti- faith, in which every son is a servant, mation of that which is required of all and every servant a son, and in which its members. The Church is a vine, all have some work to do, and some post in which erery branch is expected to to fill. The Master is gone into heaven, be fruitful;—an army, in which all are but he has left his servants on earth, to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and the “glory which his Father gave to buckling on the armour of God, and him, he has given to them,” so that they fighting the fight of faith;—a kingdom, are his messengers, representatives, and of which every subject is required to agents in this sinful world. These are walk worthy of his high vocation and the terms on which he has left them,celestial citizenship; – a royal priest “ To every man his work.” hood, to offer up spiritual gists and sa I. WORK IS ESSENTIAL TO RELIGION.

The profession of Christ's religion efforts of zeal. In the personal labour involves the duty of work for Christ. which devolves on every man, even faith And yet it is lamentable to see the com- is characterized as a work:-" This is parative uselessness of many professing the work of God, that ye believe in him Christians. Some seem to fancy that whom he hath sent," John vi. 29. In religion is a matter of bare and barren the path of holy attainment how much orthodoxy, and claim to be religious has the Christian to do !--temptations because they are doctrinally sound in to be resisted, propensities to be subthe faith. Others seem to suppose that dued, knowledge to be gained, and prina religious profession is merely to serve ciples to be acquired and strengthened. a respectable reputation, and claim to The believer has to “work out his salbe religious because they attend a place vation with fear and trembling,” knowof worship, and are favoured with the ing “ that it is God that worketh in ordinances of the gospel. Some seem him.” If we would see God, we must to look upon religon as all ease and en- follow after holiness; if we would overjoyment, and, professedly rejoicing in come the world and resist the devil, we its pardon and gladdening in its pros. must fight. The Christian life is a pects, forget that Christianity is a life, course of conflict and self-denial. and demands the consecration of every But the reference is chiefly to relative energy. But personal religion involves labour,—work in Christ's cause and for the idea of activity and labour. There him. In proportion generally to the is activity in heaven. All is alacrity earnestness and success of the personal, and willing obedience there. The celes- will be the amount and influence of the tial hierarchies serve God day and night relative effort. Why does God make a in his temple. There is not a silent single soul the depository of his grace ? nor inactive spirit on high. There is Is it only for the enjoyment and victory activity in hell. Satan marshals all of that soul itself? Why does he illuhis hosts in opposition to the kingdom minate the natural mind of any man by of righteousness and the reign of truth. the light of his truth and the radiance There is activity in the world. Where of his countenance? Is it merely that ever you look, men are busy. The idle this man may see his own way to glory man soon loses all respect, and is not and immortality? Assuredly much more fit to live. In the field or factory, in is involved. The disciples of Christ are the shop or the exchange, one spirit of made so by him that they may be the action and energy pervades the world. lights of the world and the salt of the And so assuredly it ought to be in the earth. They are the leaven which Church. If anywhere activity is natu- ought to leaven the world with purity ral, becoming, and beautiful, it is in the and truth. All life is communicative. circle which embraces the regenerate, The plant bears the seed from which its and from which should is e all the fellows spring. In the animal organizblessings of life to a guilty and ruined ation there is the power of reproduction. race. Yet in the Church, with its high The man who has been born again has destiny and glorious privileges, is there received the power of an endless life, not far more of idleness and indifference and an energy by which he is to be the than in the world? " The children of source of blessing to all around him. this world are wiser in their generation Spontaneous action is a token of life, than the children of light.”

and activity is a sign of health; and as Work in the Church of Christ is of the spiritual life is the highest, no life two kinds---personal and relative; that should more vigorously manifest itself which pertains to the attainment of ho. in this way than that of the religious liness, and that which pertains to the

There are works of faith and



labours of love with which he should have only one talent, while another may be always conversant. If the worldly have five. One Christian is rich and man is kind and sympathising, much another poor. One has plenty of time more should the Christian be. If the on his hands, while another, not his worldly man is generous, and charitable, own master, has very little time to spare. and forgiving, much more should the These are differently situated, under religious man excel in these graces. If Providence, and may have


differthe worldly man will at times deny him. ont work to do. In the free and equal self and make sacrifices for the welfare communion of quickoned souls, the of others, much more should the Chris-Christian may soon discover that de. tian be willing to manifest self-denial partment of work in the vineyard for in the cause of God and goodness. which he is adapted. The principle Work is an essential part, then, of our is, that no man's talent was given him religion. He cannot be a Christian to be concealed, but to be used. If it who does not work for Christ. He is is not fit for the public service of the not a faithful servant in the household altar, it may be for the Sabbath-school; who neglects to fill his post or discharge and if not for the Sabbath-school, for his duty. The Master measuros our some one of the many agencies for usereligion by our love and zeal.

fulness in connexion with the Church. II. EVERY RELIGIOUS MAN HAS HIS And further, the Christian's special

work is that which lies before him. It is In a large household every servant important to observe this. Many in has his own peculiar work. In refer the Christian Church rest satisfied with ence to personal labour, every man will inactivity or idleness, because the work have “ to bear his own burden." In which they think requires to be done, every man's particular character and seems altogether beyond their reach. course there will be particular tempta- The eye sees much farther than the arm tions and dangers with which he must can reach, and because they cannot contend: The “sin which so easily reach, so to speak, the work on which besets" must be subdued, and the carnal the mind is set, they assume that they weight laid aside. We do well, there can do nothing. But it is “ whatsofore, to study what we are, and where ever the hand findeth to do," not what we err, that we may precisely know our the eye may see, that we are required to personal work in reference to us, and do. It is the work which lies immedivigorously do it, with the help of God. ately before us,—the work for which we

But every Christian has his own spo are not only qualified by the laws of cific work to do in the cause of God, our creation and the gifts of grace, but the work for which he is qualified and the work which God in his providence has for which he is responsible.“ To every brought near unto us. The mistake is man his work." There is a division of often made by Christians of overlooklabour in the Church as well as in the ing the work that is thus before them, world, and it should be the earnest de- and the anxious inind or tender consire of every man to know his special science is distressed, because the work work, and do it. I have said, it is the which it is thought should be done, is work for which he is qualified. There out of the power or beyond the reach. are diversities of gists.

Mon some The religious man's work may be at his times attempt the work for which they own fireside, just as really as in the are not qualified; but, in the sight of more public walks of usefulness. ObaGod, they are responsible only for that dial found his work in the court of labour to which their powers and op- Ahab, the wicked king of Israel; and portunities are equal. One man may | the disciple of Jesus placed in an un


godly family, is there his servant, and that it is but little that you can do, may work for him. The little captive next to nothing in your own esteem, maid in the house of Naaman the Sy are you doing it? The obligation is rian, might have said with far more upon you. You are a king and a priest; force than many now say, “ I can do the immunities of the kingdom within nothing here for the God of my fathers;" you, and the duties of your priesthood,

- and even she could recommend demand consecration and service. You the Lord's prophet, from which most are not your own, but bought with a important results accrued. This world, price. with all its darkness and misery, is a The Christian's prospects demand this wide field; and wherever God, in his work at his hands. The Master of the providence, has placed us, there we may household will come again, and require find our work for him. It may be in an account from all his servants. This domestic service, or amidst the family certain prospect is before every one of cares, or in some one of the varied agen. Who would be then found to have cies in operation by the Church ;-only hid or abused his talent? We cannot let the principle be remembered and tell when, in any individual case, the acted upon,"Toevery man his work.” It Lord will come. He may come sudis but little that we can do, and the time denly- unexpectedly— soon. Blessed we have to do it in may be short; it is that servant who, when his Lord behoves every one to be up and doing cometh, shall be found watching and before the night come. There is work working. Besides, the Christian looks for all to do. Reader, how lowly soever forward to heaven; he is journeying may be your estimate of your own op- thither. But that is the reign of unportunity or capability of labour for tiring service; the redeemed serve God Christ, do not forget that the smallest day and night in his temple, and the twinkling star as truly proclaims the prospect of this should stir them here glory of God as the effulgent splendour to the consecration of every energy and of the meridian sun.

the exercise of every effort for him. In III. CHRIST EXPECTS EVERY DISCIPLE proportion to the work of faith and the

labour of love on earth will be the If ever there was obligation in man meetness for the services and the songs in any sense to work, that obligation is of heaven. in the Christian to do the work assigned Reader, let me ask you what you are to him in his Master's cause. The most doing for Christ. What is your work? powerful motives are supplied.

Is it at home --or in the family ?-or The Christian's privileges demand this in the Sabbath-school?-or in any other work from him. He is the professed course of usefulness? Are you doing disciple of Jesus Christ; and what is this it? If every member of our churches discipleship? Is it that he may hear would arise and do the work allotted to the Saviour, as it were, pronounce his him, how glorious would be the result ! pardon, and then retire by himself to Work cheerfully, earnestly, humbly, enjoy the announcement? Every man stedfastly, under the authority of the "in Christ Jesus is a new creature;" and Master's command, Occupy till I for what is he born again? Has God come;" and by-and-by you will hear no design in “ setting apart the godly the Master's voice :

" Well done, for himself,” but their own spiritual good and faithful servant: enter thou peace and comfort ? Everything in the into the joy of thy Lord!" But nowChristian's privilege, as pardoned, ac To every man his work," and every cepted, regenerated, and enlightened, man to his work ! points to work. Granted, my friend,

J. S.




Not the heroes of martial fame and may be the means of attracting the military renown. These we leave. attention of all the lovers of the great “ The glory of man is as the flower of and the good, and the admirers of maggrass." "The fashion of this world nanimity in suffering, to the bright passeth away."

Christianity has no originals--the martyrs of that glorious sympathy with them, and no wreath struggle of

the sixteenth century with which to encircle their brow. which issued in the English ReformaTheir honours, therefore, are withering. tion. " But he that doeth the will of God As you enter the renowned and beauabideth for ever." The glory of the tiful city of Oxford from the north, and world's heroes is traced in the sufferings approach its ancient streets and splendid of others : that of religion's in their buildings, you behold a structure in the own.

Such are ours. The heroes of open space before the Church of St. the blessed Reformation, and their Magdalene, of singularly chaste and conflicts and triumphs on British unique design, and perfect in its symground.

metry and proportions to every beWould to God that we could enume holder's eye. It invites your notice. rate and describe them as they deserve,

It looks modern and new. The storms and place them in their individual glory of many winters have not yet disand interest before the reader's view! figured it, nor the atmosphere of a Happy should we be to analyze, and crowded city yet discoloured it. Rising dwell upon, the qualities of moral from its basement of several steps, it grandeur and excellence by which they ascends, in Gothic style and conic form, were separately distinguished. But to a considerable elevation, and has a this is impossible. Time would fail us commanding view of the neighbouring to tell of them all, and space be want scenery. It is “The Martyrs’ Memoing to recount even their number and rial.” Above its first compartment, their names. They were a noble host, and around its centre, are the sculp" of whom the world was not worthy," tured statues of the honoured men to and to whose virtues and sufferings we whose memory the hand of pious affecare principally indebted for all that is tion has recently and reverently reared valuable in the constitution and liberties it. - Latimer, Cranmer, and Ridley, of our native land, and in the still three of the heroes who fought and fell more precious privileges and inheritance in the conflict of the Reformation. of the Church of God. Never was Perhaps we may designate them, like there a time when their names, their David's heroes, " The first three;" not, principles, and their sufferings, ought however, in the least to the disparageto be remembered with more veneration, ment of the rest. There they stand, as gratitude, and love, than now.

if the Protestant angels and guardians We must select and group them. of the city, to frown defiance on all This is all, in these pages, we can who shall attempt to unprotestantize attempt. But our hope is, that even her charter, or dishonour her Protestant the allusion, the brief outline, the

The aspects in which they humble yet affectionate memorial, we are represented take in the principal now offer, as a tribute to their dis- Colleges and Halls of the great Univertinguished worth and bitter sorrows, sity, within whose precincts such strange


« PreviousContinue »