« ZurückWeiter »
Lisburn, Rev. A. Henderson
Rev. W. Patteson.
2 0 0
2 3 8 Lurgan. Rev. H. Dobbin.....
8 3 10 Portadown, Rev. Mr. Dowling....
1 1 0
4 2 2
I ll 9
1 0 0
1 6 2
. 6 0 0 Ballymoney, Rev. R. Park.....
, 11 4 6 Aghadoey, Rev. J. Brown...
5 0 0 Coleraine, Rev. A. M‘Aldin
.? In our
100 Friends at Mr. J. Gillmer's ..........
0 15 6
4 1 0
0 10 6
2 0 6
0 2 0 Monaghan, Miss Lockhart.........
I 30 Belfast Juvenile Society..............
5 00 Comber Missionary Society ...............
4 100 Subscriptions for the Ulster. Auxiliary Missionary Society, of which
the Funds are equally divided between the London and Scottish
Collections at Monthly Sermons .......... 1 0ll
.. 2 0 0
.." 2 10 0 Mrs. Small.
· No. XXXVI. SEPTEMBER, 1832.
“THE earth thou visit'st, watering it;
Thou mak'st it rich to grow
When thou provid'st it so.
Her furrows settlest :
Her spring by thee is blest.
Dost with thy goodness crown;
On us drop fatness down.
That do in deserts lie;
Rejoice right pleasantly.
The vales with corn are clad;
For thou hast made them glad.”—Ps. Ixv. 9.
· The annals of pastoral poetry present no harvest-song so beautiful-80 sacred as this. It is just such a song as should ballow every harvest-field, by its adoration and its joy. · Every individual feels that each season of the year brings with it its own peculiar pleasures; and although the contemplation from a distance of the change from one season to another, is not always grateful to the mind, yet as there is a place in which the receding and the advancing seasons seem to blend into each other, so our feelings glide imperceptibly from summer to autumn, and from autumn into winter; and the mind that rejoiced buoyantly in the gay decorations of the glad summer, will find its sensibilities still vividly glowing amid the stern desolations of winter. There seems to be one point of superi. ority which the harvest season must have awarded to it
the spring is the season of promise emerging from the ap. parent hopelessness of winter—the summer is the season of hope gradually developing the process by which ful. filment is to attain its broad and noble expansion-and autumn is the season of accomplishment, when every pledge of promise is amply and faithfully redeemed. The promises of the faithful God are delightful to the soul sweetly resting upon them, and gracious is the Lord in freely bestowing such a lovely heritage of promise upon his beloved children; but promise he bestows as a living river, down whose clear waters the bark of a believer's hope shall safely float to the boundless ocean of full ac. complishment and glorious enjoyment.--Accomplishment, accomplishment is the goal to which the believer hastens. and to which he is led by the current of every promise; and while he trusts in the promises, he rejoices in their fulfilment. The season of accomplishment is therefore the season to which every heart looks forward with deep and delighted interest; and it is the connexion established between promise and fulfilment that gives to the season of promise its peculiar preciousness. Now harvest bears
mise ; and as it is the fulfilment of all that spring promis. ed, it may justly be looked upon as possessing this point of interest over the other seasons. It is delightful to look upon the harvest in this point of view; for then is every field of golden grain, in its gentle undulations, like a flag of victory, proclaiming that the great objects of promise are all nobly achieved. Then is the whole earth recording the faithfulness of God, declaring that “God is not slack concerning his promises, as men count slackness;" and every successive harvest that rewards the labour and anxiety of the careful husbandman, is an assurance that every promise of Jehovah shall receive certain accomplishment. What a sacredness and solemn gladness does this view cast around the harvest! and how well cal. culated it is to revive the drooping faith of the way.worn traveller to Zion! How often have clouds and storms swept over the season of promise ; and the voice of the thunder, and the glare of the lightning, and the water. spouts of heaven, have all combined to waste and destroy the upsprung blade and the unfolding blossom, and to an. nibilate all hope of the harvest: but the God of the elements of nature presided over all, and the ripened barvest shows his care. The believer's spring of promise is not always unclouded--the summer of his hope may not always be calm and bright; but be his spring or summer what it may, his harvest shall ripen safely, and his ingathering be glorious.
The beginning and the end of harvest God saw rigbt to require to be solemnized among his people of old by peculiar religious ceremonies. The beginning was celebrated by the offering of the first. fruits. In Lev. xxiii. 10, a wave sheaf is commanded to be offered—" And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Is. rael and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of the harvest unto the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.” Then a burnt-offering, and meat-offering, and drink offering are commanded to be offered to the Lord ; and in the 14th verse it is added“ And ye shall eat neither bread nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the self-same day that ye have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” .
Again, in Deut. xxvi., it is commanded to take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, and to put in a basket, and to go to the place which the Lord God shall choose to place his name there :-it was to be given to the priest, and a solemn and thanksul profession of the goodness and faithfulness of God was to be made by the offerer, in that God had brought his people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs and with wonders, and had given them a land flowing with milk and honey.
Now this offering of the first-fruits amounts to an ac. knowledgment
1. That the whole harvest was from God.
2. That he had a right to it all, and that as they now offered the first-fruits únto God, so they professed their willingness to devote the whole harvest to him, in what. ever way the glory of his name required.
And 3, by offering the first-fruits unto the Lord, the whole was sanctified to be a blessing unto them. Principles such as these are not peculiar to a ceremonial dispensation, but should actuate and direct the service and the conduct of the people of God through all ages. Is it usual thus to commence the harvest with us?--by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and to offer our firstfruits unto God for his service in the ordinances of his sanctuary and in the extension of his kingdom ?
When the harvest was gathered in, another religious rite was observed—“the feast of ingathering in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.” “Thou shalt observe the seast of tabernacles seven days after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine; and thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son and thy daughter, and thy man-servant and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose; because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands.”—Deut. xvi. 13–15. A feast of ingathering is still observed by us, bearing, however, no resemblance to this of God's institution, save in the timethe manner, the ceremony, the principle of it, are all dif. ferent. It is commanded to be observed a "solemn feastwith us it is not a solemn, but a riotous feast. If solemn it were, there must be something of God in it-something of heaven: hut as it is observed generally in this land, it has more the appearance of a heathen feast to some god who is honoured by revelry, and drunkenness, and de. bauchery, than a feast to a God of purity and holiness. It is commanded to be “a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God.” Is it a feast unto the Lord our God in the usual manner of its observance amongst us? It is a feast to beastly appetite and lust.
A feast unto the Lord must be a feast of thanksgiving. Is drunkenness a manifestation of thanksgiving? And yet is it not customary to see the farmer preside in the midst of his hand of reapers, lead on and encourage their depraved and ungodly festivities, until understanding, and sense, and modesty, and every sacred and moral thing lie prostrate in woful profanation. Can any time be more inappropriate for such disgraceful doings than the time of the gathering in of the bounty of Providence? This is a time for thanksgiving-the outstretched arm of our gracious Provider is at that season manifestly among ushis open hand is liberally scattering his gifts, and his own