Abbildungen der Seite

eye must see and my heart must acknowledge the hand of God therein. Whether my affairs move on smoothly or ruggedly, God must be acknowledged in them. If I go out of my house or come into it, I must go out and come in as under the eye of God. If I am occupied in business all day long, I must still have the glory of God in my view. If I have any affair to transact with another, I must pray

that God would be with us in that affair, lest we should blunder, and injure and ruin each other."

This is the language of a real Christian. But, instead of such a spirit as this among the great body of tradesmen professing themselves religious ---what do we see but a driving, impetuous pursuit of the world !-and, in this pursuit, not seldommean, low, suspicious, yea immoral practices!

Yet I once went to a friend for the express purpose of calling him out into the world. I said to him-" It is your duty to accept the loan of ten thousand pounds, and to push yourself forward into an ampler sphere." But he was a rare character: and his case was rare.

His employers had said, “We are ashamed you should remain so long a servant in our house, with the whole weight of affairs on you. :: We wish you to enter as a principal with us, and will advance you ten thousand pounds. It is the custom of the city-it is your due-we are dissatisfied to see you in your present sphere." I assured him that it appeared to me to be his duty to accede to the proposal. But I did not prevail. He said,

Sir, I have often heard from you that it is no easy thing to get to heaven. I have often heard from you that it is no easy thing to master the world. I have every thing I wish. More would encumber me-increase my difficulties--and endanger me.”

SOLITUDE shews us what we should be: Society shews us what we are. Yet, in the theory, Solitude shews us our true character better than Society. A man in his closet will find Nature putting herself forth in actings, which the presence of others would restrain him from bringing into real effect. She schemes and she wishes, here, without reserve. She is pure nature. An enlightened and vigilant self-observer is surprised and alarmed. He puts himself on his guard. He goes forth armed into the world. But Society shews him that nature is practically evil. The circumstances of the day as they arise carry him away. If he could abstract himself, and follow the actings of his own mind with an impartial eye, he could not believe himself to be the man who had entered into the world with such holy resolutions.

RECOLLECTION is the life of Religion. The Christian wants to know no new thing, but to have his heart elevated more above the world by secluding himself from it as much as his duties will allow, that Religion may effect this its great end by bringing its sublime hopes and prospects into more steady action on the mind.

I KNOW not how it is, that some Christians can make so little of Recollection and Retirement. I find the spirit of the world a strong assimilating principle. I find it hurrying my mind away in its vortex, and sinking me among the dregs and filth of a carnal nature. Even

Even my ministerial employments would degenerate into a mere following of my trade and crying of my wares. I am obliged to withdraw myself regularly, and to say to my heart “What are you doing?-Where are you?”



DR. Owen says, if a man of a carnal mind is brought into a large company, he will have much to do: if into a company of Christians, he wil feel little interest : if into a smaller company engaged in religious exercises, he will feel still less: but if taken into a closet and forced to meditate on God and Eternity, this will be insupportable!

The spiritual man is born, as it were, into a new world. He has a new taste. He savours the things of the Spirit. He turns to God, as the needle to the pole.

This is a subject of which many can understand but little. They want spiritual taste. Nay they account it enthusiasm. Bishop Horsley will go all the way with Christians into their principles : but he thinks the feelings and desires of a spiritual mind enthusiastical.

There are various CHARACTERISTICS of a spiritual mind.

SELF-LOATHING is a characteristic of such a mind. The axe is laid to the root of a vain-glorious spirit.


K k

[blocks in formation]


It maintains, too, A WALK AND CONVERSE WITH GOD. Enoch walked with God. There is a transaction between God and the spiritual mind: if the man feels dead and heartless, that is matter of complaint to God. He looks to God for wisdom for the day-for the hour-for the business in hand.

A spiritual mind REFERS ITS AFFAIRS TO GOD. “Let God's will be obeyed by me in this affair! His way may differ from that which I should choose: but let it be so! Surely, I have behaved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.

A spiritual mind has something of the nature of the SENSITIVE-PLANT. *** I shall smart if I touch this or that.” There is a holy shrinking away from evil.

A spiritual mind enjoys, at times, the INFLUX OF A HOLY JOY AND SATISFACTION, '

which surprizes even itself. When bereaved of creaturecomforts, it can sometimes find such a repose in Christ and his promises, that the man can say “ Well! it is enough: let God take from me what else he pleases!”

A spiritual mind is a MORTIFIED mind. The Church of Rome talks much of mortification, but her mortification is not radical and spiritual. Simon Stylites will willingly mortify himself on his pillar, if he can bring people around him to pray to him to pray for them. But the spiritual

« ZurückWeiter »