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but those who have the Spirit of | Let us then consider in a few Christ, and even these are not radical particulars wherein our fully conformed to it in this life. righteousness must exceed that * Yet our Lord does not accom- of the Scribes and Pharisees. modate the law to our imperfec- 1. The Pharisees were destitions, but sets before us the per- tute of the true principle of fect rule, that we may continually righteousness, the love of God. aim at it; be convinced of sin Our Lord says to them, “ I know upon every deviation; found all you, that ye have not the love of our hope upon his most perfect God in you,” John v. 12. “Ye obedience; and through his medi- have both seen and hated both me ation have continued recourse to and my Father," ch. xv. 24. They our heavenly Father for pardon. could not love God, because they
Some by righteousness here un- did not believe in his Son, and so derstand Christ's obedience to the had not a discovery of the true law in our stead, q. d. “ Ex- character of God which excites cept my righteousness, (which is love. Being therefore destitute yours by imputation,) exceed that of the principle of the first table of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye of the law, all their pretensions of shall in no wise enter the king- zeal for his honour and worship dom of heaven.” But we cannot were of no consequence. admit this sense, 1. Because it 2. They were destitute of the appears unnatural that Christ true love of their neighbour. The should compare his own righ-end of the commandment is love teousness with that of Scribes and out of a pure heart, a good conPharisees. 2. Because had he science, and faith unfeigned. Love heant his own righteousness, he is the fulfilling of the law. But jould have absolutely affirmed its they were destitute both of true
erfection; but the way in which benevolence to mankind in general, he speaks of this righteousness and also of true charity to their evidently implies that it might be brethren, it being only a factious deficient, and to such a degree as or party love, and not springing to exclade from the kingdom of from love to God or the truth. heaven. The words are evidently Our Lord shows in the parable of intended to stimulate his disciples the man who fell among thieves, to true holiness. 3. The whole how confined they were in their scope and drift of the discourse mercy and benevolence - They clearly shows, that he means our preferred sacrifice to mercy-And own personal righteousness, See hated Christ's disciples even as ver. 16, 19, 48. ch. vii. 24. The they hated himself, "John xv. 20. whole of this and the following Being therefore destitute of the two chapters are taken up in true principle of righteousness, showing wherein we must exceed they must have been essentially the Scribes and Pharisees in our defective in all the outward conformity to his law; and this expressions of it. And so we verse is as it were the introduction find, or text to the whole following 3. They were hypocritical in contrast.
| the worship of God. In their By the kingdom of heaven we prayers—their alms--and their are to understand, not simply the fasting, &c. all which they did to visible appearance of Christ's be seen of men, Matt. vi. 1-19. kingdom upon earth, becausc Hypocrisy was a leaven which hypocrites may enter therein; but contaminated all they did, and the glorified state of that king-Christ warns his disciples against dom, or the heavenly happiness. it, Luke xi. 1. See how he ex. poses the Pharisees in this res- l“ strain at a gnat and swallow a pect, Matt. xxiii. 24-29.
camel,” ver. 24. 4. They were proud and self- ! These things sufficiently evince righteous. They justified them the very defective nature of the selves, Luke xvi. 15.-received righteousness of the Scribes and honour one of another, John v. Pharisees, and may serve to jus44.-loved the praise of men, ch. tify our Lord's declaration, that xii. 43.-compared themselves unless the righteousness of his among themselves, and advanced professed disciples, exceeds theirs, their claim upon God in propor- as they can have no satisfactory tion as they excelled in the arts evidence to their own minds that of hyprocrisy, and imposed upon they are of the truth, so neither others. They trusted in them- shall they ultimately attain eterselves that they were righteous nal life. For though Christ's and despised others, Luke xviii.9. righteousness and not their own,
5. They were covetous, Luke is the meritorious ground of their xvi. 14. and so derided our Lord's pardon, acceptance, and title to doctrine of laying up treasures in his kingdom; it remains an eternal heaven. They devoured widow's truth that without personal holihouses, Matt. xxiii. 14. and de-ness no man shall see the Lord; frauded their parents under pre- for Christ“ gave himself for tence of a religious corban. How- his people, that he might redeem ever anxious about eternal life, them from all iniquity, and and strict as to the outward letter purify unto himself a peculiar of the law, they preferred the people zealous of good works.” earthly life to it, and minded | Titus ii. 14. earthly things. Our Lord warns On this subject it may be furhis disciples to beware of this ther reinarked, that leaven of the Pharisees, Luke 1. The righteousness of the xii. 15.
| Pharisees has often been mag6. They were harsh and un- nified beyond the truth, somecharitable in their judgment of times for a good, and at other others, Matt, vii. 1-6. and mono-' times for a bad purpose. For polised the favour of God to instance, it has been improperly themselves, though they were magnified for a laudable purpose, guilty of the things they condemn- when the object has been to shew ed in others, Rom. ii. 1.-4. that all our zeal for religion, ex
7. They were unmerciful, as ternal strictness, and austerity of our Lord shows in the case of behaviour, will avail us nothing him that fell among thieves--de- without faith in Christmas well voured widows houses----bound as to shew to what lengths men heavy burdens on other mens may proceed in a semblance of shoulders---preferred sacrifice and devotion and yet be only hypotything to mercy, Matt. xxiii. 23. crites! On the other hand it has and were of a persecuting spirit, been extolled by some, for the ver. 34.
funworthy purpose of countenan8. While, on the one hand, they cing levity and irreligion, and made void the divine law by their throwing a slur upon serious practraditions; they were, on the tical godliness! other, intolerant and zealous about 2. The Lord Jesus Christ never lesser things, to the neglect of the censures the Pharisees for any weightier matters of the law, part of their strictness in adhering judgment, mercy, and faith, Matt. to the law of God, but for their xxiii. 23. And hence Jesus re- hypocrisy and disregard of it. To proached them, that they could give evidence, therefore, that we are really Christ's disciples, it will who was seated in the corner of not be sufficient to ridicule their the parlour, actively engaged in grimaces, and convert ourselves some ingenious childish contriinto buffoons or religious harle- vance for beguiling the time. Mrs. quins, as some professors have | Howard had occasion to repeat foolishly done: we must be stricter her command-—"I cannot go now than the Pharisees in our atten- --indeed I cannot" replied Anna, tion to “ every thing that Christ “I must finish what I am doinghas commanded"---obeying from and-and-the Cottage is so far." the heart that form of doctrine Mrs. Howard remonstrated, and into which we have been moulded; again insisted that she should accounting all his commandments, instantly depart on her errand to even the very least of them, con- the Cottage. The child sat down cerning all things to be right; and on the ground, and bursting into hating every false way. And tears of passion, declared in a while thus actively engaged in voice almost inarticulate with sobs the work of faith, and labour of that she would not go. At this love, and patience of hope in our moment the door opened and Mr. Lord Jesus Christ, let us look Howard entered. Upon enquiring well to the principle from which all the cause of the scene, which our obedience proceeds---for if it presented itself to his eyes, he apbe any other than that of love to proached his protégée, and with a his name, our most splendid per- grave, but affectionate expression formances will not be owned by of countenance, thus addressed him, when he comes again to take her. “ My child, is this keeping an account of his servants and re- the promise which you made to ward their labours. And even me but the other day? Have you after all that we have done from forgotten that the eye of your the purest motives, and principles Father in Heaven is ever fixed the most disinterested, the only upon you, and how displeasing to language that befits the most that pure and perfect Being, must eminent saints on earth is, “ Wel be your present conduct? You are unprofitable servants; we have have preferred amusing yourself done that which it was our duty with trities, to the pleasure of to do."
being the messenger of comfort to a poor woman; and now, as a
punishment for your disobedience, THE MONITOR.
you shall not take the parcel at NO. III.
all to the Cottage. If you conFROM a most powerful conviction of its tinue a wilful, passionate and disunspeakable importance, the mind still obedient child, God will have no lingers upon the subject, discussed in our last number. (See Vol. II. p. 206-8.) preasure in you, and you will be With a view of illustrating some remarks given up to the badness of your contained in the aforesaid paper, we pre own heart as you advance in life.” sent to our readers the following Tale, ' In vain Anna begged permisand send it forth with an ardent prayer, that it may have the effect intended
sion to go to the Cottage-rose, which it is hoped, will be sufficiently and with tears of shame and regret obvious from the perusal.
intreated that Mrs. Howard would A TALE.
pardon her: acknowledging with “ My dearest Anna, leave your artless expressions of sincerity amusements for a moment, and how unworthy of her kindness she take this small parcel to the poor had shown herself. The servant woman at the cottage, where was however dispatched on the we were yesterday,"—said Mrs. errand of benevolence, and the Howard, to a lovely little girl repentant girl found that the
punishment was too severe, to great. He felt, that were it but endanger the repitition of a similar for this single act of his life, he offence.
.. .i had not lived in vain : and with ..Mr. Howard was a gentleman of the gratitude of the heart he gave independent fortune, who had late thanks to God, who had given to in life, attached himself to a most bis care a deposit so precious, worthy and amiable woman. He and enabled him to fulfil the last had no family but regarded the injunctions of his friend with such infant Anna (who had been left by fidelity and success. To have so a deceased Clergyman, to his af. | powerfully contributed to the sav. fectionate, care) as his own child. ing for the service of God, and It was the delight of his existence the good of society, one, who to form her young mind, and give otherwise might have grown up a to society a blessing of no ordi-wild and uncultivated plant, spread. nary cast; a soul, imbued with the ing the balefulness of its poison, fear of God, and the ardent and to the utter destruction of all enthusiastic love of virtue. He around it-or(dropping metaphor) had undertaken a task of very con- to have been so actually instrusiderable difficulty. Similar scenes mental in making a human being to that which has been mentioned, a blessing, and a delight to all who were of frequent occurrence. The knew her, who, in all probability disposition of his little protegée would have destroyed her own was naturally perverse, and obsti- present and future happiness, and nate in no common degree, and it been a sure mean of involving indeed required all Mr. Howard's others in her own guilt and misery, patience, and pious perseverance had nature been allowed to work
all the most strenuous and unchecked within herwas no energetic exertion of every good small joy-was no trifling conprinciple in the good man's heart, solation to a man, who wished well to enable him to succeed in work to his fellow creatures, and who ing upon materials of a nature so knew that the chief end of his resisting. But what will not existence was to glorify God, in earnest endeavour, aided by the thought, word, and deed, conblessing of God, accomplish in a tinually. good cause! By instilling with Anna became as her years in. anxious and unceasing care, the creased the delight of the whole principles of religion into her village, in the vicinity of which mind--by engrafting the holy and Mr. Howard resided. Slie was pure precepts of the word of God foremost in every exercise of upon her growing faculties by Christian charity, and benevo. accustoming her from the earliest lence-hers were not the qualities moments of reflection, to check which were calculated to excite every rising passion-every im- the envy, and consequently the proper thought and feeling from enmity of those around her-on a principle of the fear of God- the contrary, she was the admirahe, in a manner changed the bias tion of the little circle in which to what was evil, and completing she moved; and though in the by example what he had so care- course of her career, there were fully and continually carried on many rising principles of evil, by precept, with the most inex- with which she had still to conpressible delight, he saw the happy tend, yet the conflict was short effects of his. exertions in the and most generally successful. amendment of one so dear to him. The careful manner in which she This to a mind like Mr. Howard's had been educated, acting with was a reward, beyond expression reason, and the indwelling grace of God, to overthrow in its earliest but in a contracted or distorted rising every temptation to actions, light. We do not see, why to a displeasing in the sight of that mind attached to virtue, virtuous Being, to whom she ever remem- images should be insipid and unbered that there must be given, of entertaining: we cannot discover all her thoughts and actions, an how the tragedy queen arrayed awful account.
in her gorgeous robes, strutting It is said that Heroines, such as about, finging daggers, and high we have drawn ours, are the most flown words around her, should be insufferable of all characters which a more interesting personage than fiction ever can attempt to adapt the female, whose exertions are all to its purpose. Be it so, in the devoted to being good and doing opinion of critics who think pro good, however lowly her situation per to make assertions, and put in life-however small to her may forth dogmas, without once deign- have been the external gifts of ing to prove them, or who never nature and fortune. think of considering their subject!
A Series of Discourses on the Chris- since been repeatedly published in a tian Revelation, viewed in connec-separate form, and is justly entitled tion with the Modern Astronomy. I to all the commendation that can be BY THOMAS CHALMERS, D.D. | bestowed upon it. Having nobly deMinister of the Tron Church, fended the ramparts on that side of Glasgow. London. Sold by Gale | the city, Dr. Chalmers now comes and Fenner, &c. 1817. pp. 275. forward again, equipped in all the Octavo, 8s. boards.
armour which learning, and science, The friends of Christianity are under and the energy of argument, and the lasting obligations to Dr. Chalmers charms of a most persuasive elofor his meritorious exertions in re- quence can bestow, to defend the pelling the assaults which, from time sacred cause of truth against an to time, have been made upon the insidious attack which has been, and citadel of their spiritual privileges by still is, levelled against her, by perthe Freethinking Gentlemen, Messrs. sons lying in ambush; and we do Hume, Voltaire and Gibbon; as well not scruple to affirm that his success as by a subsequent host of puny is in every respect as complete in scribblers, who, without any merit of the present instance as it was in the their own, except that of a bold and former. daring confidence, have servilely paced. The genius and spirit of infidelity in the steps of their great leaders, is one of the most curious and inand returned to an attack where much teresting phenomena, that can engage more powerful efforts had failed of the attention of a reflecting mind; success. It is now about four years, and its history in our own country we think, since he drew up the since the Reformation brought the article, “ CARISTIANITY” for the use Scriptures to light, would, if properly of Dr. Brewster's Edinburgh Ency- executed, form a most amusing pubclopædia, in which he exhibited a lication. When we turn our minds general view of those arguments to the subject, and calmly enquire, which go to prove the New Testa- | what are the avowed pretensions of ment to be the authentic record of an Christianity-what benefits does it actual communication from God to propose to confer upon the human man. That excellent treatise has race, that should induce an impartial