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And so His Apostles after Him, and in His likeness, were kings, yet without the pomp; soldiers, yet with no blood but their own; teachers, yet withal their own disciples, acting out in their own persons, and by their own labours, their own precepts.
And so, in after-times, those Saints and Fathers to whom we look up, have joined these three offices together. Great doctors they have been, but not mere philosophers or men of letters, but noble-minded rulers of the churches; nor only so, but preachers, missionaries, monastic brethren, confessors, and martyrs. This is the glory of the Church, to speak, to do, and to suffer, with that grace which Christ brought and diffused abroad. And it has run down even to the skirts of her clothing. Not the few and the conspicuous alone, but all her children, high and low, who walk worthy of her and her Divine Lord, will be shadows of Him. All of us are bound, according to our opportunities,-first to learn the truth; and moreover, we must not only know, but we must impart our knowledge. Nor only so, but next we must bear witness to the truth. We must not be afraid of the frowns or anger of the world, or mind its ridicule. If so be, we must be willing to suffer for the truth. This was that new thing that Christ brought into the world, a heavenly doctrine, a system of holy and supernatural truths, which are to be received and transmitted, for He is our Prophet, maintained even unto suffering after His pattern, who is our Priest, and obeyed, for He is our King.
Faith and Erperience.
"The Lord seeth not as man seeth ; for man looketh on the outward
appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”—I SAM. xvi. 7.
HE among the sons of Jesse, whom Samuel thought
to be the destined king of Israel, was of imposing countenance and stature; not like David, a youth, ruddy indeed, and handsome, but one whom the Philistines might despise. Samuel and Goliath, a prophet of God and a heathen giant, both judged by what met their eyes. Samuel, when he saw the manly form and face of Eliab, said, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him." And God answered him, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him, for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” And Goliath, when “ he looked about and saw David," "disdained him, for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance." And
And to him David answered for himself; “ The Lord saveth not with sword and spear,
for the battle is the Lord's ?." Even then, as
11 Sam. xvii. 42. 47.
in the latter days, the weak were strong, and the strong weak; the first last, and the last first; the mighty cast down from their seat, and the humble and meek exalted.
And much more now, when the Most High has hid Himself beneath a servant's form, and after ascending into heaven, sent His Holy Ghost as our invisible Guide and Comforter, now, far more than before, do we require to be warned, not to judge by what we see, but by what God has said. When His word and His outward world are at variance in the information they convey to us, it is our bounden duty to trust the revealed word, and not the visible world. Not that sight is not His gift, but that He has demanded of us as Christians, as a sort of poor return for His love to us, that when these two informants, one natural, the other revealed, oppose each other, we should trust for a little while the latter,- for a little while, till this world of shadows passes away, and we find ourselves in that new world, in which there is no contradiction between sight and hearing, but absolute unity and harmony in all things, for He is the light of it. But till then, it is our very profession, as children of the kingdom, to walk by faith not by sight. And hence many warnings are given us in the New Testament, against our forming absolute judgments of men and things, from what we see; to "judge nothing before the time, till the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God.” Again, St. Paul says, "Do we look on things after the outward appearance ? if any
man trust to himself that he is Christ's, et him of himself think this again, that as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's." And in like manner our Saviour, “ Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment?
Now I propose to consider one part of this large subject; viz. to insist on a point which is very important, the necessity we lie under, if we would be Christians indeed, of drawing our religious notions and views, not from what we see, but from what we do not see and only hear; or rather, the great mistake under which men of the world lie, of judging of religious subjects merely by what the experience of life tells them. We must believe something; the difference between religious men and others is, that the latter trust this world, the former the world unseen. Both of them have faith, but the one have faith in the surface of things, the other in the word of God. Men of the world take it for granted, that all that seems to be really is. They fancy there is nothing deeper than what presents itself at first view. They cannot bring themselves to think that truth is hidden ; that men's characters, words, works, professions, fortunes, doctrines, reasonings, must be carefully and critically examined, before we can find even the traces of truth. They readily allow that in sciences of the world, the appearance is contrary to the truth of things. They quite understand that the great agencies in the material system are invisible, and that what is visible is deceptive. They are not loth to admit that the stars do not move, though they seem to do so; and that subtle fluids and
1 1 Cor. iv. 5. 2 Cor. x. 7. John vii. 24. [s. D.]
mysterious influences, which it has required ages to detect, are the causes of the most wonderful revolutions in nature; yet they think it folly to distrust the face of the world in religious matters, or to search amid the perishable shadows of time for the footsteps and the resting-places of the Eternal.
On the other hand, the very ground from which religious men start, is the avowal, that the sights of this world are against them, and that they must believe God in spite of this. This deserves attention, because it is very common for cavillers to bring it, and for Christians to feel it, as an objection to the doctrines of Scripture, that they contradict sight. But whatever be the worth of the objection in the mouth of an unbeliever, it is irrelevant and preposterous when dwelt upon by Christians ; seeing that, when we were made Christians, we began as a first step by owning that sight was against us, and resolving, by God's grace, to trust His word more than sight. This is a representation, which, so made, few persons will deny; I proceed to exemplify more fully what I mean by particular instances, which will make it, I fear, more difficult to be received by a good many.
1. For instance: Let us consider a doctrine much debated and much resisted at this day,—the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration. Scripture tells us expressly that, “except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God;” and that God has saved us“by the washing of regeneration;" and that
Baptism saves us ;" and that wash by Baptism. No other means have been pointed out to us for attaining regeneration, or the new birth; so that, while
away our sins”