« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
schoolboy is glad to bid farewell to promising and hopeful boy, when he his appointed tasks; and the terror of was bound apprentice to a working the ferula is no longer any cause of goldsmith, in his fourteenth year. He dread to one, rejoicing when he meets had manifested a strong predilection his former companions that he is now for the business; and though his mofree. The manners of the man are ther was not satisfied, in a religious suddenly assumed by him, who a point, with the person to whom he short time before was the foremost in was bound, yet as he bore an upright all boisterous games and mirth. character, Charles was placed under
The world, with its many allure- his control. ments, is an untried scene, and the During the week, Mr. mind of the youth is still under the fully attended to his business, in the influence of that training received hours appropriated for it, and strictly either at home, or elsewhere, which initiated his apprentices into their recauses him to have a secret respect quired duties. When closing-time for the Holy Bible, and the ordinances arrived, he who had scarcely allowed of God's house. There is a simplicity, himself sufficient time for the ordinary so to speak, in a youth just entering meals of the day, adjourned to a on the busy scenes of life. To that neighbouring tavern, and, in the comperiod he has been under control, pany of others, like-minded, increased and he was liable to be called to an his love and thirst for the intoxicating account, at any time, in what manner cup. Would that respectable tradeshe had spent his time.
men could only see the folly and criWould that the writer's voice could minality of such conduct. To leave reach those who are accustomed to a quiet home and happy children, and take apprentices, urging them to re- heedless of the remonstrances of a flect seriously on the responsibilities patient and enduring wife, frequent belonging to such a trust. There scenes where the selfish feelings are would be fewer instances of the ruin gratified and fostered, is enough to of the once promising boy, if masters show that man is a fallen creature, only acted the parent's part, as far as and until Divine grace reaches the moral control" is concerned, over soul, can only find solace and tempothose who have been incorporated as rary comfort, in a course of gratifying temporary members of their families; the senses and passions of body and but it is to be lamented, that many mind. drown the voice of conscience, by Charles's master had long been inexclaiming, “ Am I my brother's fatuated to such a course, and the keeper!” and will blindly allow an Lord's-day morning unhappily found immortal soul to run riot, until all him examining and posting his books, that is excellent and praiseworthy and the remaining portion of the sahas disappeared, and the once pro- cred hours was spent either in a party mising youth becomes the sinful and of pleasure, or at his favourite tavern. hardened man.
in the evening. It is lamentable to I well recollect Charles R-. His find how many there are in our large father died when he was very young, towns, that habitually neglect Divine and his mother, who was an excellent worship. The steam-boats and railwoman in every respect, placed him ways, and the tea-gardens, afford a with an elder brother at a respectable ready outlet to those who, living in a boarding-school, where he continued christian country, live as totally re
Charles had many. gardless of the duties and obligations advantages : at home he received the of religion, as if their lot had been counsel and prayers of a mother, cast in a heathen land. whose heart was truly given to the The wife of the jeweller was a Lord, and at school he had instilled thoughtless and extravagant person, into him those principles which are and so long as she had ample means the only safeguard for youth, in a for luxurious living, and expensive world beset with snares and tempta- and showy attire, cared but little for tions. He was considered a very her husband's absence of an evening,
when she found remonstrance was un- the Holy Bible, owing to its injuncavailing; and the same indifference to tions interfering with their evil pracreligion she shared with him. To the tices; yet he still adhered to his apprentices she was kind, and their mother's request to read the Word of domestic comforts were attended to; God daily, and prize the book of but from the time the men left the Proverbs as the “
young man's best workshop, they were at liberty to do companion.” The Holy Spirit was as they pleased, until ten o'clock, and pleased to visit the heart of Charles when their master had left the house, with His gracious drawings, when in they were soon found strolling about his sixteenth year, and he was enathe town.
bled to rely on the Saviour to preserve Happily for the best interests of him in the paths of righteousness young men, a feeling of sympathy is whilst with the ungodly. now manifested; and the establishment From his worldly-minded master of societies where their evenings can and mistress he endured much scorn be profitably spent, and their minds and sarcasm, which encouraged his improved, is becoming general in all fellow-apprentices in their attempts our large places. But such was not to get him into their company of an the case at the period of our narrative; evening. But instead of going with with the exception of a week-evening them to scenes of dissipation, he religious service at a few of the would retire to the bed-room to read churches and chapels, there was no- the precious Bible, and pray to Him thing peculiarly calculated to stimu- who seeth in secret, and yet rewardlate the youthful mind to farther im- eth openly. The Lord's Day was provement; and courses of lectures, hailed by him with feelings of the and classes for mutual instruction, greatest joy; and during its sacred were unknown. The mother of Charles hours, his mind was refreshed and had removed to a distant village soon supported by the preached Word. afier her son was apprenticed, and Having become a teacher in his pasthere was no parent's eye to watch tor's Sunday-school, he was more over his conduct, and administer les- immediately brought in contact with sons of counsel and instruction to the those who were decided in their relifatherless boy, and unhappily several gious profession. After a while, a of the men held loose principles, and christian friend, in remembrance of were infidels at heart.
his mother, and greatly respecting Let a parent reflect,-Can I place Charles, arranged that he should have my boy with a person that does not a place at the family dinner, and confear God and reverence his Sabbaths, tinue their guest until the usual time let him be ever so clever in his trade of the apprentices being expected in or profession? Is it not my bounden at his master's house. duty to consult my child's moral and Whilst this interesting youth was religious welfare; and whilst selecting thus, through Divine grace, dedicating a trade or profession, that his own himself to the service of God, the other mind particularly desires, and my own apprentices were running into every judgment considers desirable, should kind of sin and vicious indulgence. I not be quite satisfied that his im- The eldest, who had nearly completed mortal soul will not be endangered by his seven years, was detected in purthe conduct of one to whom I am en- loining some valuable jewellery, for trusting so important a charge during the purpose of defraying a pressing the most critical period of life? demand, connected with his having
The instruction that Charles R-- unhappily pursued, for some time, a had received from his affectionate course of licentiousness and sin. Mr. mother, and the training at his excel- manifested a determination to lent school, acted most beneficially in have him punished to the very extent restraining him from “following the of the law; and though his own wilmultitude to do evil.”. Surrounded ful neglect of the morals of his apas he was with men that scoffed at prentices, had been the chief cause of religion, anddespised the precepts of this young man's ruin, yet he prided himself on his sterling honesty and to enable him to walk consistently as integrity, and the unhappy apprentice one of the purchases of the atoning was sentenced to transportation for blood. life. Charles R — visited him in pri- The end of Mr. was widely son, and though he had experienced different to that of his apprentice. A many a bitter taunt, and even perse- series of heavy losses in business so cution from him, yet all was forgot- preyed on his spirits, that instead of ten by one who acted the part of the looking to Him who can give comfort good Samaritan; whilst his former amidst the bitterest of earth's trials, companion in the workshop, now cast he sought relief in the revelry and off by his own family, exclaimed, excitement of the thoughtless tavern “My ruin is entirely owing to Mr. guests.
Business was totally neghe cared nothing for my soul!” lected, whilst his days and nights
Charles R— continued, through Di- were thus spent, and, as a necessary vine assistance, to walk with God consequence, became bankruptin chaduring the remaining part of his ap- racter and property. As is often the prenticeship; and, after leaving Mr. case with men who have lived neg
he entered into business on his lectful of the duties and obligations own account, and Providence so
of the Gospel, Mr. V- became engreatly favoured him, that, in the tirely reckless, and, with a sad infacourse of time, he became possessed tuation, at length associated with low of considerable substance, and his and abandoned characters. A few mother had the satisfaction and com- years afterwards, he did not return to fort of ending her days with so excel- his now wretched home at the accuslent a child. As a man of business tomed hour at night, and the next he was scrupulously correct in all his morning his body was found in some dealings, and few were more highly water at a distance from the road. respected than Charles R-. Many Much mystery was connected with an interesting youth who was placed the circumstance; but as there were under his care, had reason to be marks of violence, and as his thankful, in after-life, for the pious watch and the contents of his pockets instructions and careful watching of were not disturbed, the great day of so rare a master. In religious and final account will alone reveal the benevolent societies he took a promi- awful secret. nent part, and the widow and father- Dear Reader,—" MARK THE PERless found in him a sympathizing and FECT MAN, AND BEHOLD THE UPRIGHT: assisting friend. After a long and useful life, he departed in the peace Psalm xxxvii. 37. “ THE WICKED IS and hope of the Gospel, triumphing DRIVEN AWAY IN HIS WICKEDNESS : BUT in that Saviour on whose righteousness he had relied for acceptance with DEATH.”—Proverbs xiv. 32. God, and who had imparted strength
FOR THE END OF THAT MAN IS PEACE.
THE SEALING OF THE ANGEL WITH THE SEAL OF THE
A Gleaning from Elliott's Hora Apocalyptica. “And I heard the number of them which were sealed : and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
Rev, vii. th However the mass of the Roman Christians as approved by God's judgpeople might at this time have out- ment, would be but a very small elecwardly joined the Church, and pro- tion out of them. fessed themselves Christians, we may By the 144,000 sealed ones, we infer from this prophecy, that true must understand the faithful ones of the christian body, the true (srael of of the visible Church, after ConstanGod; and by the twelve tribes, the tine's accession to the undivided suwhole professing Christian Church in premacy: And thus far it was well. the Roman empire.
But what is said of the faith in Jesus, Let us consider on the one hand whereby to secure the spiritual grace the description of the true Israel, and blessings shadowed out in the God's servants or sealed ones; on the 8cramental rite? Of this we read other, that of the outward Israel, the little. On the other hand, it is scarce professing Church.
possible for an investigator of the The initiation and first entrance of Church history of the times, not to be the members of the true Israel into struck, as he reads, with the unscripthe holy body, is effected by an angel tural notions then widely prevalent, ascending from the east, who is de- of the virtue attached to the outward scribed as sealing them. The seal he baptismal rite, as if in itself sufficient bears is characterized as the seal of to secure them,—that is when duly the living, or life-giving God; (the performed by the ministering presepithet is not unmeaning;) and desig- byter; or as, in Levitical phrase and nates evidently that “ Holy Spirit of with Levitical functions attaching, he God, whereby believers are sealed was now generally designated, priest! unto the day of redemption." This Throughout the whole of the preceding delegation from the life-giving God, century, and even earlier, a preparaand his ascending froin the east, as tion had been making for these views evidently intimate his bringing lite by the accumulation of titles of honour and light with him. And both these on it. Bingham tells us it was entitled characteristics, and his registering the seal, the Lord's mark, the illumithe sealed ones, and his language, nation, the phylactery or preservatoo, to the tempest angels, alike indi- tive, the investiture of incorruption, cate him to be no created angel, but the salvation. In the language of an the Angel of the Covenant, the Lord eminent bishop of the day, it was the Jesus. For to whom but to Him ransom to captives, the remission of belongs the symbol of the “Light of offences, the death of sin, the regenethe world,” the “ Day-spring from on ration of the soul, the garment of high" visiting us? Of whom but Him light, the holy seal indissoluble, the is it the prerogative to baptize with chariot to heaven, the luxury of parathe Spirit? By Him then God's ser- dise, the procuring of the kindom, vants are represented. as noted amidst the gift of adoption, (Cyril.) A magical the multitude of the professing Israel; virtue, as Neander expresses it, was illuminated, quickened, sealed with thought to attach to the rite. Not the Spirit, and numbered, without only all sins, it was supposed, were the omission of a single one, in the ipso facto washed away by it; but all register of the true Israel, the Book of evils as by an amulet averted. The Life. Thus initiated, and with their ceremonies now superadded to the garments made white in the blood of simple form prescribed and practised the Lamb, the mark on their foreheuds at its original institution, added to implies the consistent and open testi- this impression. The custom is remony of a holy life and conversation, corded how the candidate turned to bearing witness to their being indeed, the west while priestly words of exorwhat they are called, the Lord's ser- cism were uttered, by which it was vants.
supposed that he was now at length Such is the initiation and conse- delivered from the dominion of the quent character and history of the prince of darkness; then to the east, true Israel.
as to receive, together with the bapLet us now look at the portraiture tismal immersion, the illumination of of the outward Church.
the Spirit. And then he was enrolled The initiation of its members was in the Church register, as being of of course by the rite of baptism, Crowds the number of the Christian Israel. were regularly admitted by the bishops A crown,-it might be a palm branch, and presbyters, into the congregation -- was borne by him, in token of his
victory over sin and the world, and officiating bishop or presbyter. The a white dress put upon him, as on one latter are here represented as marked washed from sin, and robed for im- with God's true seal on the forehead, mortality. Further, as Gregory Na- even the seal of the Holy Spirit's bapzianzen tell us, he was led up before tism, and which was applied by Christ the altar in token of the beatific Himself. The former, looking to the vision of the life to come, and received east at the time of baptism, were supwith psalmody as in foretaste of the posed to receive from it,-and perhymnings of the blessed. Thus were haps by angelic ministration at the the members of the twelve mystic font-both life from the death of sin, tribes of Israel initiated into the and spiritual illumination. The latter Christian Church; thus its are here symbolized as receiving quent blessings intimated to them. those heavenly gifts in reality ; and After which initiation, besides the this through the spiritual revelation title of EKREKTOL, or chosen (a title al- of Himself to them of the Lord Jesus, ready attached to them from the the only true angel from the east, time when they were accepted by the the “day-spring from on high,” the bishop as fit candidates for baptism,) life and light of a lost world. The they were further designated as axiol former, we read further, after receivand the saints and faithful. For ing the mark of the baptismal seal, as Bingham says,—with special re- were enrolled by the priest in the ference to the earlier practices of the diptychs or registers of the earthly Church, as far back as the century Church Catholic, the professing Israel. under consideration,- The names of The latter are here described as numsaints, believers, elect, names which bered and enrolled by Christ in His occur frequently in ecclesiastical wri- own register of the Israel of God,-an ters, signify not any select number of enrolment of names the same as that Christians, (as now the words saint which is elsewhere called their being and elect are often used to signify written in heaven. The former, in only the predestinate,) but all Chris- the outward act of baptism, had, as țians in general, who were entered they supposed, a phylactery, or amulet into the communion of the Church of defence from evil. The latter are by the waters of baptism.
here represented, in vision, as alone And now is it needful that I draw and already possessed of the one real the reader's attention to the parallel, phylactery from evil; even in His or rather contrast in the way of pa- recognition and care, who stays the rallel, which, point after point, meets angels of destruction in their defence, the eye between this historical picture and, as in Lot's case, shews that He of the professing Church Catholic of can take no step in the way of judgthe æra of Constantine,-specially in ment until he has first provided for respect of their initiation, -and that their security, of the 144,000, the election of grace The former are described as having chosen out of them, as in the Apo- appeared before their fellow-men in calyptic vision sketched to us? In the their white garments, as those who by ecclesiastical phraseology of the times, the act of baptism had been both -a phraseology continued, it is to be justified from guilt and made innocent observed, from Constantine's time and holy. The latter are represented, downwards,—the former were the in the second and appended vision, as elect, holy, and faithful. In the! :- having the white garments of their vinely inspired language of the Apo- justification recognized before God calypse, these same titles, elect, holy, and His holy angels in heaven ; but faithful, are attached to the latter, and as made white through another and a to them distinctively and alone. The different washing, the washing from former, we read, claimed to have been the fountain opened in Calvary, the marked with what they called the blood of the Lamb. Lord's seal and mark upon the fore- Finally, the former are described to head: it was the seal of water bap- us, as in their white robes, and with tism, and impressed on them by the crowns of victory, introduced into the