Слике страница
PDF
ePub

.

contention. And he hath now put on bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; so that he forbears and forgives, if he had a quarrel against any ; even as God in Christ hath forgiven him. And, indeed, all possible ground for contention, on his part, is utterly cut off. For none can take from him what he desires; seeing he loves not the world nor any of the things of the world; being now crucified to the world, and the world crucified to him; being dead to all that is in the world, both to the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.” For all his desire is unto God and to the remembrance of His name.

11. Agreeable to his own desire is the one design of his life, namely, not to do his own will, but the will of Him that sent him. His one intention at all times and in all things is, not to please himself, but Him whom his soul loveth. He has a single eye. And because his eye is single, his whole body is full of light. Indeed, where the loving eye of the soul is continually fixed upon God, there can be no darkness at all, but the whole is light; as when the bright shining of a candle doth enlighten the house. God then reigns alone. All that is in the soul is holiness to the Lord. There is not a motion in his heart, but is according to His will. Every thought that arises points to Him, and is in obedience to the law of Christ.

12. And the tree is known by its fruits. For as he loves God, so he keeps His commandments; not only some, or most of them, but all, from the least to the greatest. He is not content to keep the whole law and offend in one point; but has in all points a conscience void of offense towards God and towards man. Whatever God has forbidden, he avoids; whatever God hath enjoined, he doth; and that whether it be little or great, hard or easy, joyous or grievous to the flesh. He runs the way of God's commandments, now he hath set his heart at liberty. It is his glory so to do; it is his daily crown of rejoicing, to do the will of God on earth as it is done in heaven; knowing it is the highest privilege of the angels of God, of those that excel in strength, to fulfill His commandments, and hearken to the voice of His word.

13. All the commandments of God he accordingly keeps, and that with all his might. For his obedience is in proportion to his love, the source from whence it flows. And, therefore, loving God with all his heart, he serves Him with als his strength. He continually presents his soul and body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God; entirely and without reserve devoting himself, all he has, and all he is, to His glory. All the talents he has received, he constantly employs, according to his master's will ; every power and faculty of his soul, every member of his body. Once he yielded them unto sin and the devil, as instruments of unrighteousness : but now, being alive from the dead, he yields them all as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14. By consequence, whatsoever he doth, it is all to the glory of God. In all his employments of every kind, he not only aims at this (which is implied in having a single eye) but actually attains it. His business and refreshments, as well as his prayers, all serve this great end. Whether he sit in his house or walk by the way, whether he lie down or rise up, he is promoting, in all he speaks or does, the one business of his life: whether he put on his apparel, or labor, or eat and drink, or divert himself from too wasting labor, it all tends to advance the glory of God, by peace and good will among men. His one invariable rule is this, Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.

15. Nor do the customs of the world at all hinder his running the race that is set before him. He knows that vice does not lose its nature, though it becomes ever so fashionable; and remembers that every man is to give an account of himself to God. He cannot, therefore, follow even a multitude to do evil. He cannot fare sumptuously every day, or make provision for the flesh thereof. He cannot lay up treasure upon earth, no more than he can take fire into his bosom. He cannot adorn himself (on any pretense) with gold or costly apparel! - he cannot join in or countenance any diversion, which has the least tendency to vice of any kind. He cannot speak evil of his neighbor, no more than he can lie, either for God or man. He cannot utter an unkind word of any one; for love keeps the door of his lips. He cannot speak idle words: no corrupt communication ever comes out of his mouth, as is all that which is not good, to the use of edifying, not fit to minister grace to the hearers. But whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are justly of good report, he thinks, and speaks, and acts, adorning the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in all things.

16. Lastly, as he has time, he does good unto all men; unto neighbors and strangers, friends and enemies. And that in

[ocr errors]

:

every possible kind; not only to their bodies, by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those that are sick or in prison; but much more does he labor to do good to their souls, as of the ability which God giveth; to awaken those that sleep in death: to bring those who are awakened to the atoning blood, that being justified by faith, they may have peace with God, to abound more in love and in good works. And he is willing to spend and be spent herein, even to be offered up on the sacrifice and service of their faith, so they may all come unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

17. These are the principles and practices of our sect, these are the marks of a true Methodist. By these alone do those, who are in derision so called, desire to be distinguished from other men. If any man say, “Why, these are only common, fundamental principles of Christianity !” Thou hast said : so I mean; this is the very truth; I know they are no other; and I would to God both thou and all men knew, that I, and all who follow my judgment, do vehemently refuse to be distinguished from other men, by any but the common principles of Christianity, the plain old Christianity that I teach, renouncing and detesting all other marks of distinction. And whosoever is what I preach (let him be called what he will; for names change not the nature of things) he is a Christian, not in name only, but in heart and in life. He is inwardly and outwardly conformed to the will of God, as revealed in the written word. He thinks, speaks, and lives, according to the method laid down in the revelation of Jesus Christ. His soul is renewed after the image of God in righteousness and in all true holiness. And having the mind that was in Christ, he so walks as Christ also walked.

18. By these marks, by these fruits of a living faith, do we labor to distinguish ourselves from the unbelieving world, from all those whose minds or lives are not according to the gospel of Christ. But from real Christians, of whatsoever denomination they be, we earnestly desire not to be distinguished at all; not from any who sincerely follow after what they know they have not yet attained. No: whosoever doth the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. And I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that we be in nowise divided among ourselves. Is thy heart right, as my heart is with thine ? I ask no farther question. If it be, give me thy hand. For opinions, or terms, let us not destroy the work of God. Dost thou love and serve God ? It is enough. I give thee the right hand of fellowship. If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies — let us strive together for the faith of the gospel; walking worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called; with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace : remembering there is one body and one Spirit, even as we are called with one hope of our calling : "one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all I”

POEMS OF CHARLES WESLEY.

(CHARLES WESLEY, clergyman and poet, was born at Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, in 1708 ; died at London, 1788. He was educated at Westminster School, at St. Peter's College, Westminster, and at Christ Church College, Oxford. While at Oxford he helped to organize the famous Holy Club, of which his brother John afterward ame the leader. He went with Oglethorpe to Georgia in 1735, returning to England the following year. He engaged in the ministry with his brother until his death. He is the chief hymnologist of England next to Watts.]

MORNING HYMN.

SEE the Day Spring from afar
Ushered by the Morning Star!
Haste; to Him who sends the light,
Hallow the remains of night.
Souls, put on your glorious dress,
Waking into righteousness;
Clothed with Christ, aspire to shine,
Radiance he of light divine.

Beam of the eternal beam,
He in God, and God in him!
Strive we him in us to see,
Transcript of the Deity.

Burst we then the bands of death,
Raised by his all-quick’ning breath;
Long we to be loosed from earth,
Struggle into second birth.

Spent at length in nature's light,
Christ attends to give us light,
Christ attends himself to give;
God we now may see, and live.

Though the outward man decay,
Formed within us day by day,
Still the nearer man we view,
Christ creating all things new.

Thou the Life, the Truth, the Way,
Suffer us no more to stray ;
Give us, Lord, and ever give,
Thee to know, in thee to live.

JESU, My STRENGTH, MY HOPE.
Jesu, my strength, my hope,

On thee I cast my care,
With humble confidence look up,

And know thou hear'st my prayer.

Give me on thee to wait,

Till I can all things do; On thee, almighty to create,

Almighty to renew.

I rest upon thy word;

The promise is for me:
My succor and salvation, Lord,

Shall surely come from thee.

But let me still abide,

Nor from my hope remove,
Till thou my patient spirit guide

Into thy perfect love.

I want a sober mind,

A self-renouncing will, That tramples down and casts behind

The baits of pleasing ill;

A soul inured to pain,

To hardship, grief, and loss; Bold to take up, firm to sustain,

The consecrated Cross.

« ПретходнаНастави »