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suffering members of the one household. "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name be the praise, "for a soul to feel a brother's woe, a hand to minister to his relief, and an abundance which we could bestow upon his necessities. There is a view of this act of benevolence in which it becomes a national blessing, and deserves to be recorded and remembered. For it happened at a time when unhappy political questions were arising, which, if they were to be discussed with any other feelings than those which guide and guard the good tempered differences among brethren, threatened to rend our union. At such a moment, our sympathies being called into active exercise, the fact of our brotherhood, and the influences of fraternal kindness were felt on both sides. It has chastened, and we trust will continue to soften the asperity of the conflict of opinion. It is only needed that the charities of the Gospel shall control our expressions, and our maintenance, of conscientious differences. Then the national family shall know neither north nor south in their mutual concessions for the peace and welfare of the whole. And then shall we transmit to our children, unimpaired, that God's mercy of union and liberty which we have inherited from our forefathers. God's mercies! how they multiply as we study them. Good gifts, wondrous dealings of his kind providence with us unworthy sinners, bestowing social and domestic comfort and peace; the privileges of family communion and reciprocal deeds of love; contentment and competency, if not abundance and wealth; remnants of prosperity out of adversity; recovered prosperity after adversity; perhaps prosperity without adversity; health out of sickness, it may be health without sickness; life prolonged, it is possible whilst we may have been daily walking amidst the tombs; life preserved, though dangers and accidents have many a time threatened; life permitted, perhaps without an accident, perhaps unshaded even by a fear-as strong and ardent and buoyant and joyous and promising, as when we started on the race ten, thirty, fifty-shall I say, seventy years ago? Nor is this the sum of God's wondrous dealings of mercy. There is something more than the blessings of the land whose bread is without scarceness, where honest industry never wants, whose stones are iron, whose hills are brass, whose streams are ever living, whose heavens drop down dew, and whose soil is generous as it is rich. There is something more than the blessing of civil liberty, and security of person and substance. There is something more than individual blessings of comfort, and peace, and prosperity, and health, and happiness. Neither the earth, the sun, the heavens, nor time itself can tell this story, or measure this blessedness. God's heart sends it forth. God's eternity is its sphere. God's only Son its subject. God's well beloved creatures its only object-creatures of whom it is said, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever be
lieved in Him should not perish, but should have everlasting life." This precious Gospel of our salvation has been yours every day and every hour of every changing season. Its proclamation has followed you in every path. Amidst joy and sorrow, pleasure and grief, prosperity and reverses, it has been continually near; chastening and correcting, or comforting and sustaining; calling your thoughts away from the vanities and insufficient happiness of passing time, and directing them to sources of bliss which are everlasting as God's throne. Nothing has been permitted to interrupt the deep on-flowing of this river of the water of life. Passing by every man's door, each one of us has been privileged to drink and be satisfied. If any of you have not yet tasted this heavenly stream, it is not because God's mercy in redemption has been withheld. The cause lies nearer to the heart itself; which the goodness of God has not yet been able to lead to repentance.
Now these varied and constant mercies are wondrous dealings of God with us, when we consider that during this whole year, nations as deserving as ourselves have been suffering accumula ted disasters and misfortunes. As we have read the history of the present European struggle, watched its vicissitudes, been horrified with its details of cruelty and carnage, marked the continual procession of victims marching down to the dead with all the pomp and glory of war, not by thousands only, but by hundreds of thousands, and all this in the nineteenth century, in the era of enlightened civilization and extended Christianity; when we have felt for the distress which has overspread four of the most populous nations of Europe, entering every house, filling every eye with tears and every heart with mourning, ingathering for its harvest (richer than all the harvests of its fields,) sorrowing widowhood and helpless orphanage, where if Thanksgiv ing Day come its theme must be the praises of battle; whose Te Deum, if it rise at all, must glorify the Prince of Peace amidst hecatombs of slaughtered men--as we have pondered these things, what soul has been so cold, that it had not a thank-offering for God's distinguishing mercy toward our country and ourselves. It is not our statesmanship that has saved us. Those nations boasted in statesmen, who if they had been as fortunate as they were wise, would now have been standing on a pinnacle of fame. It is not a regard to our interests which has saved us. No nations had greater interests at stake than those who have risked, if not sacrificed, them all in this struggle. It is not our distance from the scene of strife which has saved us. We are as near to the combatants as is the seat of war to the chief actors in it. No solution of our safety can be given, except the distinguishing mercy of God; and at any moment that our self-confidence, or vain sense of independence of Him, shall provoke his displeasure, we shall be taught, by how brittle threads of amity
we are bound to other nations of the earth. As I look upon the political convulsions which are upheaving every portion of the human family in these last days; as I trace upon the map of the world the ravages of public war or intestine discord; as I see that in Europe, Asia, those parts of Africa that are known to us, and amongst the republics of Central and South America, overy people of any note are torn with sanguinary strifes; that in the whole world there is not a powerful nation at peace except these happy United States, I feel that our ingratitude is without a parallel, if we do not acknowledge the good hand of our God-if we do not praise him for his wondrous dealings of mercy towards us. Wondrous dealings when we consider our individual ill-desert and hardness of heart! How cold have been our affections towards the best of Parents! How feeble and unworthy our devotion towards the kindest, the most considerate, the most patient, the most self-sacrificing of Friends! How unwillingly do we obey him; how selfishly do we exercise our charities, though professing that they are for his sake; how unsteadily do we follow in the steps of his most holy life! How often have we needed chas tisement: but when his unwilling hand has taken the rod, though he has smitten us gently, in person, or estate, or by relative afflictions, in all of them remembering mercy, alleviating all of them by precious consolations, how impatient have we been, how rebellious, how slow to profit by the lesson; how ready to forget it!
Dear brethren, as we stand to-day amidst the crowd of God's wondrous dealings of mercy, let us humble ourselves before Him. Let true gratitude warm our hearts with love and confidence. Here let us consecrate ourselves afresh to his service. Here let us cast away our sins; here lay down our rebellion; here take Christ as our Saviour, his service as our delight, his favor as our best reward. O, conld we feel the wondrous dealings of his love to us sinners, our thankfulness would not be content until it had laid upon the altar our best thank-offering, the consecration of our souls and bodies, whole and in their integrity, with all their powers and faculties, through all our days, to his undivided love and service.
In the strength of such self-devotion, and in the peace which it affords, let us go to our homes with glad and merry hearts. Let us leave here upon the altar of God our tribute of grateful remembrance for his aged ministers whose work is done, and whose comforts, in their few remaining days, must now be the care of the church whom they have so well served. Whilst we enjoy God's bounties upon our loaded boards, let us remember the poor. Let us not suffer the day to pass until we have made some less favored homes more happy for our Thanksgiving. Nor let us close the day before we have gathered our families around the home altar, and with them praised "the name of the Lord" our "God who hath dealt so wondrously with" us.
BY REV. B. C. SMITH,
PRATTSBURGH, N. Y.
THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE.
"By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually; that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.”—HEB, Xiii. 15.
WE are convened, at the instance of the Chief Magistrate of our State, to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for his goodness to us: not to complain of his providential dealings, with ourselves or others-not to mourn over the evils of our lot, private or public-not to lament the degeneracy of the times, political or moral-not to lampoon our rulers, State or National; but, in the language of the proclamation, to "render to our Heavenly Father the homage of grateful hearts," for the multiplied blessings which we enjoy at his hand, through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, for, in this proclamation, He, through whose blood our every blessing, temporal and spiritual, comes to us, is actually named. "By Him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God; that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name."
It is understood, certainly it ought to be, that in this Epistle to the Hebrews the apostle presents the Christian economy in a Hebrew garb. Writing, as he is, particularly to Jews, he uses the terms of the Jewish economy, and the rites and ceremonies of their temple service, in setting forth the doctrines and ordinances of the Christian dispensation. He Christianizes, so to speak, the Jewish ritual. Thus we have, in the New Testament, a tabernacle or temple, with a holy place; and sacrifices, and an altar upon which they are offered, and priests by whom they are offered, and a great High Priest, answering to the Jewish high priest, by whom the people presented their great annual offering in the most holy place.
This accounts for some of the terms used in the text. We have, here, the offering of a sacrifice; and the great High Priest by whom it is offered; and in fact, the Altar upon which it is offered; for, under the Christian dispensation, Christ is not only the Priest, but also the Altar. "We have an Altar," says the apostle, in a preceding verse," whereof they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle," or who perform legal services-meaning Christ, who has taken the place, and forever superseded, all legal offerings and sacrifices, and priests, and altars.
The Jewish temple had two altars; one of brass, the other of gold; and Christ answers to both. The brazen altar was for offer
ing propitiatory sacrifices; the golden, for offering eucharistic incense, or pleasant perfumes, the "sweet incense" of prayer and praise.
As for the brazen altar, it has done its work, entirely; performed its office, completely. At the moment when the bleeding Victim of Calvary uttered the words, "It is finished," all propitiatory offerings, or atoning sacrifices, of every kind, came to a perpetual end. "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins;" for Christ "hath appeared, in the end of the world, to put away sin, by the sacrifice of Himself." "Not by the blood of goats and calves, which could not take away sin, but by his own blood, he hath entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." That altar has gone into disuse that temple itself is in ruins; its veil is rent, from the top to the bottom; its holy place is thrown open to the people; all its splendors have vanished its whole imposing economy is abolished; and the very nation, whose proud boast was, "The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, are these," is scattered to the four winds of heaven.
But the golden Altar, the altar of sweet incense, the altar of prayer and praise, still remains, and is to remain for ever; to overspread the earth yet with its fragrant perfumes, and to fill the heavens with its sweet odors when the earth shall have passed away. "In every place, from the rising of the sun even unto the going down thereof, incense shall be offered unto his name, and a pure offering; for his name shall be great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts." And then, when time shall be no more, the whole scene of delightful devotion is to be transferred to the glorious altar of gold in heaven, of which the most resplendent of the earthly, serves only as "an example and a shadow." "An Angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it, with the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." "And the four living creatures, and the four-and-twenty elders, fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to receive glory, and honor, and power: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests. And I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying, with a loudvoice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."