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SOME Christians, in ordinary times, do little but complain of coldness. But who ever heard of a man's getting warm by complaining that it was cold? What if you should find a man in a cold winter's day sitting on a snow-bank, complaining in doleful strains that it was cold, and every body would freeze to death, unless it should grow warmer? “Why, sir," you would exclaim, "no wonder you are cold, to sit there idle on a snow-bank. If you would not freeze to death, go to a fire and warm yourself, or else go to work and stir your blood." Very well. If you are a Christian, complaining of coldness, go to the fire and warm yourself-the fire that burns on God's altar, in your secret place; and then go to work and keep yourself warm. There is enough to do in the Lord's vineyard. If you sit idle, doing nothing but complaining of your self and your brethren, your spiritual blood will stagnate, your graces will wither and die, and you will have nothing left but the miserable ossified car case of a dead profession. But, if you bestir yourself, and enter with your whole heart into the Lord's work, you will not have time to think of being cold.
There is a dreadful tendency, in spiritual as well as natural coldness, to
produce torpor and stupidity. When a man is on the point of freezing, he feels this torpor coming over him, and is strongly inclined to sit down and make no more effort. But yielding to this feeling is certain death. His only hope is to keep stirring, to keep up the vital warmth, and prevent the stagnation of his blood. So in the case of one who has taken an over-dose of opiates. It is death for him to keep still. He will fall into a dead sleep, from which he can never be awakened. And, in like manner, coldness in religious affections induces spiritual sloth; spiritual sloth indulged leads to spiritual slumber, and spiritual slumber to spiritual death.
If Christians would "strengthen the things which remain, and are ready to die," they must use what strength they have. Labour increases a man's strength, while indolence enfeebles the body. When a man is recovering from disease, if he would regain his strength, he must use what strength he has. And, if you would increase your spiritual strength, or recover what you have lost, you must use what you have. If you would have your graces strengthened, you must give them exercise. If you would have your love of souls increased, you must use what you have, in prayer and efforts to save them. If
you would strengthen your love to the brethren, you must use it in seeking their spiritual welfare, and in holding communion with them concerning the things of the kingdom. If you would increase your love to God, you must exercise it in the contemplation and admiration of his glorious perfections. Would you increase your faith?-use it by trusting in God, laying hold of his promises, and resting on Christ. Would you increase your spirit of prayer?use it in communing with God, and
interceding with others. increase your patience?—use it in bearing affliction; or your meekness?-in suffering injury without resentment. Would you increase your spiritual joy? use it by directing it towards those ob jects which call it forth. Would you strengthen your hope of eternal life?— exercise it by contemplating those unseen joys which so often filled the apostle with rapture, and gave him a hope "full of immortality."-From the Christian Treasury.
THE most interesting and powerful writer we have at the present time, on matters which lie within the realm of taste, is John Ruskin, author of "The Seven Lamps of Architecture," "Modern Painters," &c. His most recent work is entitled, "The Stones of Venice." His volumes indicate an active mind, constantly progressive in studies that are pursued from the love of them. His definition of the great principle of art is worthy of remembrance: with him all art is" the expression of man's delight in God's work." This is the key of all his interpretations- the standard by which he judges of all productions. He abhors that school of art "in which the ornament is composed of imitations of things made by man."
Our chief object, in alluding to him now, is to quote a passage from his latest work, in which he expresses pithily his sense of the degrading tendency of "Romanist Modern Art," "of the miserable influences which its pomp and picturesqueness have given it over the weak sentimentalisms of the English people." He says:
"I call it a miserable influence, for of all motives to sympathy with the Church of Rome, this I unhesitatingly class as the basest. I can, in some measure, respect the other feelings
which have been the beginnings of apostacy; I can respect the desire for unity, which would reclaim the Romanist by love and the distrust of his own heart, which subjects the proselyte to priestly power. I say, I can respect these feelings, though I cannot pardon unprincipled submission to them, nor enough wonder at the infinite fatuity of the unhappy persons whom they have betrayed-fatuity self-inflicted, and stubborn in resistance to God's word and man's reason!-to talk of the authority of the church, as if the church were anything else than the whole company of Christian men, or ever were spoken of in the Scriptures as other than a company to be taught and fed, not to feed and teach.
"Fatuity! to seek for the unity of a living body of truth and trust in God, with a dead body of lies and trust in wood, and thence to expect anything else than plague and consumption, by worms undying, for both. Blasphemy, as well as fatuity! to ask for any better interpreter of God's word than God, or to expect knowledge of it in any other way than the plainly ordered way: if any man will Do, he shall KNOW. But of all these fatuities, the basest is the being lured into the Romanist Church by the glitter of it, like larks into a trap
value in such things, our plain duty is to direct our strength against the superstition which has dishonoured them; there are thousands who might be possibly benefited by them, to whom they are now merely an offence, owing to their association with idolatrous ceremonies. I have but this exhortation to all who love them—not to regulate their creeds by their taste in colours, but to hold calmly to the right, at whatever present cost to their imaginative enjoyment; sure that they will one day find in heavenly truth a brighter charm than in earthly imagery, and in striving to gather stones for the eternal building, whose walls are salvation, and whose gates are praise."-From the Christian Treasury.
with what is due to themselves, their families, and their creditors. What is to be done? An application is made to the County Association. It may, or may not, be successful. Private benevolence may occasionally step in to relieve immediate necessity. Possibly, too, some one of the Metropolitan Funds is resorted to for assistance, and assistance may sometimes be granted, provided he happens to be quite of the statutory age, and to have the required number of family dependants. If not, he must wait. But if he succeed, what is the result? May we calculate on an addition of more than £20, on an average, to his annual income? a degree of aid, valuable, it is true, but how inadequate!
(To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine.) | manage to secure to him, consistently DEAR SIR, On the painful subject of "The Poverty of Ministers," it strikes me, that neither of your recent correspondents, "PASTOR RUSTICUS," nor "ALTER PASTOR RUSTICUS," has exactly hit the mark, or traced the existing evil to its real source. For a remedy to the evil complained of, the one seems disposed to rely on "private patronage," the other on the aid of "County Associations." Neither, nor both of these, would, in my opinion, be likely to meet the case. Both, indeed, may be occasionally useful, but a reliance on them would prove, I will not say a broken reed," but, at all events, a very inadequate resource. Suppose a case, of, alas! no uncommon occurrence, where a worthy, laborious pastor receives from his little, hard-working flock a stipend. of from £30 to £60 per annum. It may easily be believed, that utterly insufficient as this must be to enable him to maintain that appearance and enjoy that comfort to which he is entitled, it is still as much as his people can really
Now, may we not trace the evil to a higher source? Is it not the fact, that in hundreds of instances throughout the country, a multitude of very small and weak churches have been formed, assuming the name of Independent, which never ought to have existed as such?
And do not these very assemblages attempt such a pseudo-independence, claim the right of inviting and accept soon ending in anxiety, dishonour, ing the services of a pastor, whom they and decay? are evidently and consciously unable to sustain? If, as is sometimes the case, they can meet with one who is otherwise possessed of sufficient, or at least auxiliary means, it is well. Or if they would put up with such services as one more on a level with themselves in point of education and domestic habits may render, no one has a right to complain. But, unfortunately, there is always a class of candidates for the pastorate, too ready to enter on almost any such situation as affords an immediate home, with perhaps some imagined prospect of improved circumstances, and the consequence is easily to be foreseen. Ought not, then, influential ministers and brethren in the neighbourhood of such places, rather to discourage than promote the formation of such distinct societies, and the settlement of such pastors? Would it not be much better if these little knots of village converts could be induced quietly to remain in fraternal connexion with stronger churches, which might continue to assist and counsel them, than to
With regard to a common fund, it is hardly to be expected that the Independents will ever be induced to imitate the example either of the Wesleyans or of the Free Church of Scotland, or of any other Presbyterian body, with whom no difficulty of this kind exists. We are too apprehensive of risking the consequences to the very distinguishing rights and principles of our denomination, too jealous of the influence which "the money power" is apt to assume in other sections of the Christian family, to hazard it in our own. Well, be it so! But then, at least, there is the greater necessity for vigilance and resolution in endeavouring, by all precautionary measures, to prevent the occurrence of what is plainly to be regarded as one-perhaps the most ordinarycause of a difficulty so frequent, as to be almost considered the opprobrium of our denomination "the poverty of ministers."
A SENIOR PASTOR.
October 2nd, 1851.
THE HINDU'S SONG, AND THE MISSIONARY'S
[THE lines immediately following were written by a Hindu, and published in one of the Calcutta newspapers. One of the Missionaries of the London Missionary Society, desiring to show the writer the Christian view of human life, and to point him to the "better hope" beyond the grave, sent to the paper the reply which is here subjoined.]
The world is a lone wilderness,
But only rank weeds grow.
There is no wife, no gentle mate,
The world, the wide, the radiant world,
Time was, when Eden's blissful bowers
In sinless beauty stood;
When earth and seas, and air and flowers,
But sin soon found an entrance there,
This earth, which God had made so fair,
"Where sin prevails, there rests the curse,"
Yet, there's a Book will tell thee how
And thou through life serene may'st go
God's Word declares-" Where sin abounds,
The payment of thy peace.
Oh, read that Book, and ponder well
'T will save thee from the doom of hell,
"T will make the flowers around thee grow,
And bright with hope the tomb.
'T will keep thee 'midst earth's thickest strife;
'T will tell thee of a Saviour's love-
Appointed here below;
His smile shall light thy darkest shade,-
In all temptations, sorrows, fears,
When life's last hour is come;
To his eternal home.
Then call no more this "radiant world"
Nor say that thou canst find no friend
A life of peace and joy on earth,
J. II. P.
Review of Religious Publications.
EZEKIEL, AND THE BOOK OF HIS PROPHECY:
which have been written on Ezekiel, both in Great Britain and on the Continent. We can trust Mr. Fairbairn with the use of German critics; for he knows well what to accept and what to reject; and never indulges in loose trains of thought calculated to depreciate the authority of inspired men.
The Prophet of the Captivity has never before, in this country, been subjected to a thorough critical investigation. Our ablest
MR. FAIRBAIRN is a student of Divine truth of more than ordinary skill and penetration. His "Typology of Scripture," and other writings, have favourably introduced him to the notice of the public; and the pre-scholars have shrunk from it as from a terra sent highly critical and elaborate Exposition of a most difficult portion of the Inspired Volume, will tend still further, if we mistake not, to increase his reputation, both as a scholar and a divine. We cannot help thinking that our author has caught the spirit of the gorgeous prophet whose character he illustrates, and whose predictions he has sought to unfold. To his arduous task he has brought an acute mind, extensive biblical learning, great patience and industry, and a vast acquaintance with the principal works
incognita; or have contented themselves with employing it as a theological and practical text-book, for the inculcation of great lessons of religious truth and Christian experience. Mr. Fairbairn has not failed to embrace these objects; but he has combined with them a strictly exegetical and hermeneutical view of the book, which will aid all future students in its enlightened exposition. To say that our author has removed all obscurity from a series of visions, partaking largely of the Orientalism of the writer, and exhibiting all