« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
particular branch or section of the visible Church a man will belong, is a question which every one must determine for himself; the matter must rest between God and his own conscience. But to be identified with some branch of the “body” of Christ, is a duty to God and to the cause of the Redeemer. This duty is plainly enjoined in Holy Scripture; and Christian communion is, in ordinary circumstances, essential to the maintenance of spiritual life. It is in the Church alone that Christ is openly and Scripturally confessed ; and the Saviour has declared that if we confess Him, He will confess us; and that if we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us. It is in the Church, it is in it alone, that those spiritual agencies are in full and effective operation which God has ordained: to neglect the "communion of saints" is, therefore, practically to despise the merciful provision which God has made for the safety and salvation of them that believe.
Considering the number and the hostility of her assailants, there are many obvious reasons why all well-wishers to the cause of Christ should openly identify themselves with His Church ; and why no trifling consideration, no mere matter of taste or feeling, should be allowed to keep them outside the pale. Sincere, Godfearing people scattered outside its precincts, are so many goodly stones which, if “ builded together," and fixed each in its proper place, would give both strength and beauty, both support and ornament, to the spiritual fabric. Here lies a block of granite, there a piece of marble, and there an iron pillar, timber for beam and rafter, and every useful purpose ; and ebony, and cedar-wood, and precious metals, too, are at hand. Excellent as materials are these, but as yet properly no part of “ God's building." The fault of their position is, that they neither fulfil the duty nor share in the blessedness of Christian communion.
VII. “FOR A HABITATION OF GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT.”-At the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed : “ Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into Thy resting place, Thou, and the ark of Thy strength.” (2 Chron. vi. 41.) And concerning Zion God hath said: “ This is My rest for ever: here will I dwell.” (Psalm cxxxii. 14.) To the Church of Christ the language of the Psalmist is preeminently applicable ; and in that must find its ultimate realization: “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Cor. vi. 16.)
The Apostle employs this metaphor in a twofold sense. (1.) With respect to lelierers individually. “ The Spirit of God dwelleth in you.” This is a blessed experimental truth. As the witness of your adoption, and the seal of your sonship; as the Sanctifier of the saints, and the abiding Comforter; the Spirit of God “dwelleth” in His
metals, useful, there an Here
s, too, are purpose; and pillar
people. And as in the mount of transfiguration the glory of the indwelling Deity shone through the Saviour's humanity, so ought the glory, the purity, and spirituality of the Holy Ghost to shine through and beautify the outward life of every genuine believer in Christ. If only we are faithful to the grace of God, every moral and spiritual perfection that can adorn the most finished Christian character will ultimately be Divinely produced in us. (2.) To the Church collectively, that is, to the entire community of the true worshippers.” Collectively, and in God's estimation, these constitute the Church, that Church, both catholic and holy, against which “the gates of hell" shall not prevail. “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.” “ Perilous times "may yet have to come. The Church, not this or that particular sect or denomination of Christians, but that which is such in the highest and holiest sense of the term, may seem to be in peril; the cause of Scriptural truth and godliness may be hindered by the rashness and impiety of foolish and ungodly men; and for a season “the daughter of Zion ” may have to “weep and lament.” But her Lord “shall help her, and that right early ;" with Him as her glory and her sure defence, her light and her salvation, she shall “ never be ashamed."
In a word, confining our view to the present, it is our privilege to sing :
"In Sion God is known
A refuge in distress;
Through all her palaces!”
And if we turn our eye from earth to heaven, where the redeemed of every clime and every age are gathered together, and united in one “holy city," the beautiful ideal depicted in the Apocalyptic vision is finally and for ever realized : “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
SIR HENRY LAWRENCE.
(Continued from page 25.) We now follow Henry Lawrence to a higher sphere. Just at this time the first notes of the Cabul stoim were heard. Failing in his application to be allowed to join his troop, which was under orders
as did mano is troops on the able French and Iter!
for the field, he procured an appointment as assistant to Mr. G. Clerk, political agent for the North-West at Loodiana, January, 1839. This was his transference from the army to the political field, which was henceforth to be his sphere. The friend whose recommendation procured him the post was Mr. F. Currie, who had marked his ability in the survey, and added, “I have helped your foot into the stirrup. It rests with you to put yourself into the saddle.” Lawrence's head-quarters for the next three years was Ferozepore, divided only by the river Sutlej from the Punjab, and forty miles from Lahore, the Sikh capital. At this very time the great ruler of the Punjab, Runjeet Singh, died, and thus the strong hand which for thirty years had kept the wild Sikh spirits in check was withdrawn. Most likely Runjeet Singh liked the English as little as his countrymen; but he knew them better, and he knew that discipline would turn the scale where valour was equal. With far-seeing prudence he employed able French and Italian officers to discipline his troops on the European model. He foresaw, as did many Englishmen, that war was only a question of time. The Sikhs would not chafe for ever behind the barrier of the Sutlej. Their country lay between our territory and Cabul ; and when the disasters in the latter place came, we owe it to the masterly management of Mr. G. Clerk, seconded by his able assistants, that the Sikhs, who were wild with excitement and eager for the fray, did not rise in mass and cut us off from our beleaguered countrymen. Not only to prevent this, but to induce the Sikhs to assist us in vindicating our honour, was a triumph of diplomacy for which no reward could be too great. Ferozepore is on the high-road to Cabul. When the day of trial came, all the military traffic passed through it. Henry Lawrence had to find money, carriage, supplies, as well as act as postmaster. Everybody looked to him, and blamed him when anything went wrong. He had a short interval to prepare, which he used in studying the Sikh chiefs and politics, the people and the country; and also in rebuilding Ferozepore, surrounding it with a wall, patching up the fort, and attracting population by running up streets of shops. He had to do a bit of everything, up to baptizing his own infant daughter.
At last the storm burst. Though every Englishman knows the story of the Afghan war, Lawrence's life would not be complete without a reference to it. As usual, the blundering was with Government, the skill and courage which redeemed defeat were in subordinates. It is no wisdom after the event to say that the Afghan war was unjust in policy and imbecile in execution ; for this was the judgment on the spot of Outram, Clerk, Lawrence, and other con petent judges in India and at home. Our object, a
good one, was to prevent Russia through the Persians becoming masters of Afghanistan. The Persians were besieging Herat in the west ; but they were driven back, chiefly through the heroism of Eldred Pottinger. The danger was over. We must then have å ruler on the throne at Cabul friendly to us. Still good. There is one on the throne, Dost Mahommed, the choice of the people, the ablest man in Central Asia for centuries, who wishes to be our ally, and shows the Russian offers to Burnes, our envoy. But we must depose Dost Mahommed, and set up Shah Shoojah, a weak puppet, unpopular, whose right is a few years older than Dost's. This is done. Shah Shoojah is enthroned ; Dost Mahommed is a prisoner in India ; Cabul, Ghuzni, and Candahar are occupied by British troops. Now, why not withdraw ? No; instead of withdrawing, or else strengthening our force in a country where every man is a soldier, we retrench. We cut off the subsidies to the chiefs. Instantly the country rises. Burnes is murdered in his own house, and British troops look tamely on. The English general thinks only of capitulation to fierce barbarians. Sir W. Macnaghten, the envoy, is shot in open conference by Akbar Khan, Dost Mahommed's son. Still British officers only beg leave to withdraw. They will trust in the good faith of savages instead of trusting in their own right arm. Scornful leave is given.
On January 6th, 1841, the army moves out of Cabul, four thousand troops, with twelve thousand camp-attendants. Of this host a solitary horseman a week after by miracle reaches Jellalabad. Of the rest most lie under the snow, massacred by treacherous foes. A few hundred native troops are prisoners, as well as some officers, ladies, and children, held as bail against the infidel's vengeance. Henry Lawrence, whose brother George was among the prisoners, vindicates the memory of Macnaghten. The fault was not in him. He ever took high ground. The mili. tary leaders would not fight. Lawrence also differs from those who think that Akbar Khan slew the envoy in a gust of passion. He gives a letter of Akbar's, which Edwardes believes genuine, glorying in the deed. In a paper drawn up six months before, Lawrence sketches the kind of force he would send on such an expedition, in which we see by contrast the mistakes committed. He would have one chief, supreme in war and politics : there were two chiefs, and the one who had the sword would not use it. The officers should be chosen by their fitness for the posts: the rule followed was the rule of seniority,--a general past service, a second insubordinate; as to the others, no question asked about qualifications. An army going into the heart of an enemy's country should be equipped with Spartan simplicity : it goes encumbered with luxuries. We have seen the same errors in our more recent wars, and in the late disasters in France. Yet there were gleams in the darkness. Sale at Jellalabad, and Nott at Candahar, refusing to acknowledge a treaty of surrender signed by a captive general, held on for months through siege, assault, and famine, till relief arrived. What wonder ? Who held Jellalabad ? Sale, and Dennie, and Broadfoot, and Monteath, and M'Gregor, and Havelock, each one a synonym for supreme skill and valour. Any one of these in place of General Elphinstone at Cabul would have made all the difference. Elphinstone is to be pitied. He was old, and broken in mind and body by gout; he went against his will, and died a prisoner.
What was to be done? Lord Auckland, who, under the inspiration of his Council, was the author of the fatuous policy, wavered. Well was it that the men on the spot, Outram, Clerk, Lawrence, Pollock, though they had disapproved the expedition, were for war. To have accepted the insult would have been to proclaim our weakness. The Sikhs would have flung themselves on India. The Sepoy army, already simmering with panic and mutiny, would have broken in our hand. The natives all believed the English star was setting. Native merchants refused bills on the British Treasury at a premium. The Mutiny was hardly staved off till we were better prepared. Clerk, on his own responsibility, ordered troops at once to Peshawur, at the mouth of the Khyber Pass. But so demoralized were they, that on the first attempt to force the pass, they were beaten back ingloriously. Lawrence spoke his mind on the misconduct of some officers, and was rebuked by Government. Pollock arrived in February, 1842, and devoted two months to organizing a force and giving it tone and character. Lawrence was responsible for the Sikh contingent. The Maha. rajah was loyal, but not so the body of the Sikhs. Lawrence's tact and patience were taxed to the utmost. To the last it was uncertain how the Sikhs would act. At length he was able to send this despatch to his wife :-" Darling, all well, 4th April. Letters of 31st from Jellalabad. To-morrow certainly Pollock advances, and the Sikhs really look as if they would help. Your own, H. M. L.” Pollock did advance. The Sikhs held one fork of the terrible defile while the English advanced by the other. They took seven days to march the twenty-eight miles of the pass, the first two days fighting inch by inch. There were narrow gullies, overhung by cliffs, from which destruction might have been rained down, and where more determined foes might have held an army back. On April 16th, " that illustrious garrison ” of Jellalabad, in Lord Ellenborough's phrase, met them, and played them in to the tune of "O, but ye've been lang o' coming!" On the 7th, while the others