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policy justify Great Britain in fighting against Russia ; but we reflect with grief and shame on the fact that the law of Turkey, our ally, still makes it death for any born Mussulman to become a Christian ; and every Englishman must feel that the time is come to pray to God that He will so order the course of events, as to vindicate the honour paid to the Name that is above every name from the reproach of impiety and the penalty of death in Turkey.
Now to the proof that matters are as bad as we say.
Not far from Adrianople, the ancient capital of European Turkey, there is a town called Eski-Zaghara, an obscure place, one of the dark places of the earth, doubtless, and full of habitations of cruelty, just like every other Turkish town; yet this place is not so obscure as to lie beyond the light of Christian truth, nor is it so lost in cruelty as not to have some inhabitants whose hearts are quite as capable of love to the Redeemer as our own. In this town of Eski-Zaghara, as everywhere else, there are differences of opinion on religion ; and some sectarians of the sort called Taffani give proof that although the spiritual and temporal despotism of Turkey can forbid men to believe in the true Prophet, they cannot make the followers of the false prophet to be all of one mind. The Bible is there, and they cannot prevent the inhabitants from reading it.
Neither can they arrest the power of Almighty God, nor exclude from the bosoms of the people the good Spirit that sometimes leads men into a knowledge of the truth in spite of all the world. A young man of the sect of Taffani had heard of Christ. He had read of Him, as we believe, in a Turkish Bible; and very probably he had also heard of Him from the lips of some of those converted Armenians and Greeks who have lately been made new creatures in Christ Jesus under the ministrations of American Missionaries. From some quarter the light of Gospel mercy had broken in upon the spiritual darkness of that young man ; and he could not quench under a bushel the bright lamp of love and joy that God had kindled in him. “Jesus," said he, “is the true Prophet, and Mohammed was a false prophet.” His neighbours bade him be quiet; but he could not keep silence. “Jesus, the Messiah," again and ag he cried, "is the true Prophet; and after Him there was no prophet." " Hush !” said they: “hush! hush! say as we say, 'There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God.'" "I will say no such thing," he
“ answered : “ Jesus is the Prophet of God, and after Jesus there is no prophet. What need have we of Mohammed, now that we have Jesus the Messiah?”
His neighbours had no more to say, and would have let him alone ; but the Ulemas, the Priests of Mohammed, consulted what should be done. They knew that their law was against this man. They looked into the Koran,- the Bible, so to speak, of Mohammed, -and found many angry sentences there against all that would not acknowledge him ; but not one to say clearly that his followers should never be at liberty to change their opinion of him, or, if they did, should be put to death. But they had
a book of laws, worse even than the Koran; and in this book it is written most clearly, that if any one leaves that faith, and refuses to return to it, he is killed. And they found several regulations that might be followed before killing such an one, if they did not choose to murder him at once; especially that, as a great favour, he might be suffered to live in prison for three days, to have time for consideration ; but at the end of it, if he persisted in his new faith, he was to die without mercy.
Therefore they brought him to the chief city of his province, Adrianople, and took him to the Cadi, or Chief Magistrate, saying, that he was a wretched apostate, that had denied their prophet. The Cadi had him up in open court, and there the Ulemas—those bitter Priests--questioned him, and coaxed him, and threatened him. But he stood firm, and still confessed his faith in Jesus. Then they sent him to prison ; and he walked thither with a steady step, and solemn countenance, and the people watched him. Some cried, " Dog !” Some were silent in wonder; some in pity. The door was fastened close, and the tormentors came and flogged the man ; but he said not a word that could sound like a denial of Jesus. Again they beat him, but still he kept meek silence; and again they laid rods upon his bleeding back, but with all his groans there was not a breath to tell of a fainting heart; and, bruised and fainting as he was, they dragged him from the filthy dungeon into the most public place in the city, and there, before the chief men of the place, asked him to say, “There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God." Then they waited for his answer, and the crowd kept silence to hear what it would be. The answer came: “I believe in Jesus Christ, and for Him I die."
Enough! The Ulemas roared vengeance. A soldier unsheathed his crooked scimitar, swung it aloft, and with full force he severed the head of that martyr from his body. Some one caught up the quivering head; and, as the corpse lay upon the ground, he took that head and put it between the legs of their victim, that all might see that he was a Christian : for in that manner they show contempt to Christian corpses when they have died by the hand of executioners.
Then the people came together by thousands to see the martyr's body. They did not insult that body any more, but scarcely believed their senses when they saw a Christian thus murdered, and Christ thus dishonoured, while Christians were coming in swift ships to save their country. Even the Cadi was perplexed ; but he had kept the law, and knew that if he had not so done, the Priests would have murdered him with their knives. The Sultan heard of it, and said nothing; for he had himself allowed the sentence to be executed. The Sheik-ul-Islâm, or Chief Priest, the Patriarch of Mohammedans in Turkey, had requested that the sentence should be executed ; and he was not ashamed. The British Ambassador heard of it, and was grieved, and could not help making it known to the Queen of England. The Turks tried to hush it up, but it could not be hushed; all England knows it; and now Christians mourn to see that the
name of Jesus is blasphemed, and His children slain, and they cry, “ Ilow
“ long ? O Lord, how long ?"
THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD. The church of the living God, which is the congregation of the faithful, should stand out in broad distinction from the unbelieving, unregenerate world ; in separation so clear and obvious that all men may, at a glance, perceive it. As great as is the difference between light and darkness, Christ and Belial, so great should be the visible difference between the disciples of Christ and the slaves of sin. But is it so? Do not many who call themselves Christians walk too nearly according to the course of this world? This is an old sin, the sin of every age, and even now it every day besets us.
The world entices and allures the Christian from the paths of pure, spiritual religion into its own crooked and polluted ways, or endeavours to coerce him into conformity with itself by contemptuous sarcasm, or humiliating reproach. And with what success, let those families confess that were once happy in the favour of God and the fellowship of saints, but are now plunged in the darkness of worldliness and the companionship of the ungodly.
The history of past times, and the prevalence of worldliness in the present, should awaken the Christian church to watchfulness against so insidious, unremitting, and dangerous a foe. Christians should remember that the church is, in character, profession, and aim, directly opposed to the world, and the world to it. The members of the church are spiritual ; those of the world are carnal: the former are characterized by faith, love, and obedience to God; the latter, by unbelief, hatred, and rebellion against the religion of Christ. Christians seek their happiness in God: He is their portion, inheritance, and reward ; and to His will they subordinate their affections and desires, and in this way realise true happiness. The world follows the bent of its
own perverse will, and corrupt appetites; seeks happiness in the things of this life; and excludes all thought of God and Christ. The pearl of great price, to gain which it would sell all Christian purity, principle, and enjoyment, is riches, with honours, pleasures, and the influence which wealth confers : hence it looks only at the things which are seen and temporal, sets its affections on things on the earth, and pursues the phantom of this world's fashion, which passes away, as though it were some real and unchanging good. True Christians, on the other hand, look at the things which are unseen and eternal, set their affections on things above, where their gracious Saviour sits enthroned, and seek them with an eagerness which shows that they consider them to be important, and sufficient both in this world and in that which is to come. The Christian resolves to save his soul, though he should lose the world ; while the worldling is determined on gaining the world, though, in attempting it, he lose his soul. It is evident, therefore, that the
THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD,
church cannot ally herself with the world without suffering a corruption of character, spirit, and principles ; without a base unfaithfulness to God, and an abandonment of the ends for which He raised her up: nor can the world pass over to the church of Christ, except by surrendering its earthly love, and coming under the power of the Holy Ghost. The professing Christian ceases to be Christ's disciple when he becomes a follower of the world ; and the worldling is no more of the world, when, in the spirit of Christ, he joins His church," for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?"
But although the church and the world are thus distinct, the Lord Jesus Christ has planted His church in the midst of that world which hates both Him and His disciples, and charges her to care for the spiritual interests of the world, and to win it over to Himself. The church owes duties to the world which are made obligatory by the command of her exalted Head. To save that world, so full of sin, corruption, and enmity to God, her Saviour died. He gave Himself a ransom for all ; and the saying is ever true and never to be forgotten, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Christians are to be the light of this dark world, and chase away its dark delusions. To the benighted children of wrath and heirs of death, they are to hold forth the word of life, that they may see the way of life, and be brought to walk in Him who is at once, and always, “the way, the truth, and the life.” The world is to be rescued from the grasp of Satan, and washed from all pollution in the atoning blood of Christ. Let all who call themselves Christians be ever mindful of the solemn words of Christ, which retain all the force and authority they had when they fell from the sacred lips of our Master, “YE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH." "YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD." “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS, AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN." Christians must, therefore, pity the world, pray for it, toil in the work of its salvation; and, by the purity of their example, lead sinful men to glorify God. The world may hate the church ; but the church is, in the spirit of Christ, to love the world, even as Christ loved it, seeking to save the lost. This is a love for the world which never will corrupt the church, but will tend to promote her health and purity. The more it is cherished, the more zealous and persevering will be our efforts to save souls from death, and the more careful shall we be not to contaminate ourselves with the world's corruptions. For when Christians live in this spirit, they do not covet the world's pleasures, nor envy the world's greatness, nor conform themselves to its fashions. They have fled from it, because they found no satisfaction in it, but saw certain ruin overhanging it; and shall they return to seek in it an inheritance and a home? They have escaped as from the city of destruction; and shall they look back?
But does it still solicit their return, offering friendship, and, pointing to its treasures, promise, “ All these will I give thee, if thou wilt follow me?" And should any one be dazzled by its splendour, or allured by its
enchantments, let him know it is but for a moment; for the Divine prohibition sounds again in his ear, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." And this is an oracle which he may not disregard. But does the world still invite to friendship? Yet he dares not yield; for he knows “ that friendship with the world is enmity with God;" and whosoever, therefore, will be a friend
а of the world is the enemy of God. And what a price is this to pay for the friendship of the world! Not only to forfeit the favour of God, but henceforth to be counted for an enemy, and to be dealt with as such !
Now, if these scriptures are to be regarded as binding upon Christians, why do they not at once come up to their standard ? Because, formally admitting the words, they do not care to understand them; or they evade their practical application, by pleas which have no force, except to blind the conscience, and to harden the heart. Christians are not, indeed, to flee the world, and seek dwellings in the wilderness; but to continue in it, keeping themselves unspotted by its pollutions, and overcome its evils by the blood of the Lamb.
But how often, in the history of mankind and of religion, do we find them conquered by that world which God called them to overcome. Instead of triumphing over it through faith, they have been brought into miserable bondage. O that the church had always been faithful to God, to truth, and to her high calling! its career would have been one of uninterrupted spiritual triumph and glory. Had it always steadily kept before it its great work, to lead back a wandering world to Christ, it would always have retained both its purity and prosperity. But it has cowardly complied, when it should have bravely resisted ; and followed the world in its errors, when it should have protested against them. And ' what is the note which is just now being sounded from every earnest evangelical pulpit in the land, but this ?--the fearful, enfeebling, paralysing worldliness of the church. Yes; this is the plague-spot which is spoiling her beauty, defiling her purity, and destroying her usefulness. Instead of advancing, she is scarcely maintaining her ground, while error is springing up in new forms around us, and its ignoble apostles (many of them, alas ! apostates from that faith which they are now so zealous to destroy) are casting its seeds broadcast over the land, and in many places they find a soil only too ready to receive them. Infidel sects, of various shades of opinion, are impudently planting their standards close by our Christian sanctuaries; and, notwithstanding their various differences, unite in their hatred of Christianity and the Bible, and in a malignant holding up of Christian Ministers to contempt and execration as vile hirelings, who are a nuisance in their neighbourhood, and a curse to the nation,-enemies of what, they are pleased to call, progress and liberty.
And what, in the mean time, is the church of Christ doing to resist and vanquish these evils ? We rejoice in a multitude who faithfully preach