The Christian Patriot.
A Sequel to "True Patriotism."By the Rev. James Buller,
Wellington, n. z. Printed by George Watson, and Published by W. Lyon, Lambton" Quay. 1857.
The following sermon is a sequel to that on "True Patriotism." In both, the author believes he gives utterance to sentiments which are in accordance with Holy Scripture. To fair criticism, he has no objection. Candid, sober enquiry is entitled to respect. But the idle conceits of the stage actor and the contemptible effusions of the anonymous scribbler are beneath his condescension. Paltry insinuations have no effect upon the writer. He has no sympathy with that squeamish timidity which shrinks from the expression of right views lest offence be taken. He has no fear of offending those whose esteem is of any value. Lewdness, infidelity, and bigotry may combine against the truth. But still truth Is truth! Some reverend "Civis" failing to extract a single passage for critical display, may discover "a conscious party purpose." Though a man pretend to be a "discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," it does not follow that he is so. There have been many tirades against the sermon already published. Are they sustained by proof? From eighteen closely printed pages exception has been taken to only one passage, viz.—"What is commonly called a radical, either in religion or politics, is a dangerous character." This sentence has been wrested from the context, submitted to a forced construction, and made to say what it does not express. Of "radical reformers" not a word is spoken throughout the sermon: nor did the preacher know that any party in this town had assumed that title until, on the page 4 following day, he was so informed by a letter which contained an "impertinent" request for the manuscript notes of the sermon. Whether that designation is appropriate to those who boast of it, it is not for him to determine. Nor is he at all concerned to meet the objection of his unworthy accusers. It is for the sake of others, who are not accustomed to examine into the meaning of words, he feels it right to make the following explanation. The word radical, as every scholar knows, is derived from the Latin word radix, the root, and signifies primitive or original. Such is its grammatical meaning. In political language it is an ultra democrat. This is the signification of the word as a noun absolute. When, as an adjective, it serves to qualify some other noun, it may convey another meaning, as modified by the noun itself. That it is employed in its naked sense, as an anarchist, an uprooter, a leveller, in the sermon in question, must he evident to every impartial reader. If men will attach a meaning to a word which it does not bear, and then make an application of it to themselves, the preacher cannot help it. He is responsible only for his own utterances—not for the perverseness or ignorance of other men. "I am a Radical," said an honest man, the other day. "And pray, friend, what is a Radical?" was the rejoinder. Listen to the reply! "A radical is one who is straightforward, who pays his way, who maintains his rights!" Well would it be if all men were such radicals as this supposes I Were this the object of the so-called "Radical Reform," it would find no more "determined advocate" than
The Christian Patriot.
A Sequel to "True Patriotism."
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good."
The choice of ray subject to-night will not excite your surprise. A fortnight ago I felt it my duty to preach a sermon suggested by the events of the day. You are aware that an unusual notoriety has been given to that circumstance. Sermons, I allow, are fair subjects for criticism. I wish this was more commonly the case. It is a right spirit only that is required. It would benefit both preachers and hearers. No truth or precept should be received on the mere ipse dixit of any man. The preacher is not so much to think for others, as to stimulate and assist their own thinking. I confess that I hail the most virulent opposition as far better than a cold, a stolid indifference. I might complain of the unprincipled use which has been made of ray sermon: but I have more reason to be thankful to my accusers than to be offended with them. By their instrumentality a wider circulation will be given to the sentiments I uttered;—sentiments, of which I am by no means ashamed: and which I cannot modify, until they are proved to be wrong by the only admitted standard of appeal, the Word of God. I have said that sermons are fair subjects of criticism. But there must be some authorized rule of criticism or judgment. That cannot be the opinion of man. "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of any man's judgment." To be misrepresented and vilified cannot deeply affect the upright mind. Perhaps a Christian minister, in the dis- page 6 charge of his duty, cannot wholly escape this. It is the penalty of faithfulness. Christ and his apostles endured it. "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household." The good opinion of evil men is not necessary to the Christian's comfort. "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God we have had our conversation in the world." Any amount of vituperation can be endured by the honest man. On a good conscience, it cannot have the weight of a feather. In the review of my sermon, I enjoy the approbation of ray own judgment. I ask only that it may be "weighed in the balances of the sanctuary." This I claim for all my preaching. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." By this, to "try the spirits whether they are of God," is the duty of all Christians. The apostles commended it. The Bereans "were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Could I, by my ministry, but lead my hearers to do the same, I should feel I had done much. It would be an ample compensation for all the obloquy and reproach on the part of men who are "sensual having not the spirit." To-night, then, I invite you, my brethren, to pay special attention to all that I may say. You cannot do me a greater favour than thoroughly to sift every word—to test every sentiment in the crucible of truth. If any present have come from mere curiosity, I ask them only to hear with candour. I engage not to give to any man an understanding: but I do engage to declare only what I believe to be "the mind of the spirit."
My subject to-night is similar to that of my published sermon. That was to exhibit the principles of "True Patriotism:" this is to sketch the character of the "Christian Patriot." Such a man was the writer of this inspired song. That it was penned by David appears from internal evidence. Its date was certainly anterior to the rending of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah under Rehoboam and Jeroboam. This is evident from the fourth verse. The deep attachment of King David to his country is apparent. It has been objected to religion that it is unfavourable to patriotism. The very contrary is the case. The history of the world furnishes not such noble instances as do the annals of the Church. In proof of my assertion, I might quote from Scripture—I might refer to modern history—or I might mention those on whose graves the sod is yet page 7 fresh. The man that loves God supremely will love his neighbour best. The greatest depth of particular affection is found with the widest latitude of genuine benevolence. The evangelical prophet who exulted in the glorious vision of a regenerated world would "give the Lord no rest until He create Jerusalem a praise in the earth." We shall never love our country less by loving the whole world more. The pious Briton regards all the world as a platfom for redeemed humanity; but, like the devout Israelite, he looks on the land of his nativity as the "perfection of beauty—his chief joy," He will pray "for all men," but he will especially "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."
I fear I have been too tedious in my preliminary remarks. Permit me now to call your attention to this portraiture. It reveals the "Christian Patriot" in his object, his conduct, his motive.
I. Object. This is prominent in the text. He aims at the public good. He seeks the prosperity of Jerusalem. This is the ostensible object of all Patriots. It is the only aim that justifies the pretension. Where not sincere, it must be simulated. The barbed hook must be concealed by an alluring bait. We have an instance of this in the history of David's reign. You will find it in 2 Samuel xv. 2—6: "And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. And Absalom said unto him, See thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. Absalom said moreover, oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him and kissed him. And in this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel." J ike a true patriot, David sought the welfare of his people—he loved Jerusalem. Absalom, his son and would-be parricide, under the shew of patriotism, aimed at a selfish end. Human nature is still the same. All mere party objects have selfishness for their basis. I say mere party objects, for party itself is not wrong It is perhaps indispensable both in Church and State. To act with party and for party, are two widely different things. The former is consistent with Patriotism—the latter is the path of ambition, of covetousness, or both. This it is which has so defaced the fair form of religion. I have no sympathy with affectation of regret at the sectional divisions of the Church. I believe them not only inevitable, but within certain limits necessary. Unity in diversity is God's law. It is seen in creation— page 8 in providence—in grace. In the works of God we behold the uniform operation of established laws in an endless variety of applications. I cannot stay to illustrate this. Your own information will supply you with a multitude of instances. It is the principle of unity, not of uniformity. Uniformity is of man. It is unnatural; it is forced: it is death. Life cannot be held within its limits. The human sculptor produces a work of extraordinary genius. You justly admire it;—the symmetry of its proportions, the delicacy of its finish, the elegance of the whole, is perfect. It is all uniform, but it is all cold and lifeless. It is inert matter. The Divine Creator brings forth a living agent, a moral being, an intelligent mind—"fearfully and wonderfully made." Here is life. It is unfolded in all its diversified manifestations. There is unity of nature, identity of feeling, universality of law, but unlimited diversity of operation. Spiritual life is not less the vital principle of Christianity, than is sentient life that of the animal creation. In one case and in the other it exists under manifold embodiments. It is the man of narrow views and selfish purposes, who can see nothing good beyond his own pale. This is the religious bigot—the very antipodes of religion itself. The Christian is a man of greater soul, of liberal mind, of expansive charity. He glories in Christ—the Life. He says—"Not with standing every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached, I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." This holds equally good in man's civil relations. It is not the union with party for public ends, but for personal or party objects, that is to be condemned. The Christian Patriot will, in his secular capacity, as well as in his church relationship, "seek the peace of the city." He embraces the welfare of the whole community when he saith: "Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good."
This includes internal union; public prosperity; and religious progress.
1. Internal Union. "Peace be within thy walls." The original is more comprehensive than the English word "peace." It signifies much more, but nothing less, than union. External peace is a national blessing. War is, in itself, an unmixed evil. By the Christian patriot it will ever be deprecated. He will not cease to pray in the beautiful language of the Liturgy of the Church of England, "Give peace in our time, O Lord." But internal union is of more importance than external peace. The former is the only security for the permanence of the latter. A country is strong only in its own unanimity. Britain need never fear a foe while there is page 9 "peace within her walls;" but "a house divided against itself cannot stand." No calamity is equal to that of anarchy within the State. The case of India naturally suggests itself at the present moment. The most callous cannot but weep over the barbarities which, by a popular tumult, have been perpetrated on our unhappy countrymen in that bloodstained portion of the British empire. Nor can we think, but with horror, on the fearful but just retribution which awaits the brutal murderers of lovely women and innocent babes! Scenes of rebellion and bloodshed too have taken place in this land. They were, it is true, of an unspeakably milder character. Hardly have they passed from the recollection of many whom I address to-night. Thank God we are no longer exposed to dangers such as these. But there are other discords than the clash of arms. Religious animosities, political agitations, social antagonism, are all prejudicial to the "peace of the city." Unholy strife, from whatever cause it may arise, cannot agree with Christian character, or public interest. Peace is the necessary platform for prosperity, "Peace within thy walls" in order to "prosperity within thy palaces." This implies not an entire agreement of opinion, but an agreement of purpose. There may not be a union of judgment on all things, but there should be a union of feeling. Unhappily, when political questions agitate the public mind, this feeling is grossly violated, "It is," says the learned and excellent Dr. Arnold, of Rugby, "not only that men are not well informed on political subjects, but that the whole spirit with which they turn to them is faulty: they do not regard them as a matter of solemn duty, they bring to them not their better mind, but their worst: either their lightest, or their most passionate and unscrupulous. The temper of most men, I fear, in reading a newspaper, or in talking or acting about political subjects, is the very most unlike to that with which they could say their prayers, or consider any practical question of duty in common life, or perform acts of charity." Next to the delightful picture of a church united, through out its several sections, for one great object, is the moral beauty of a civil community animated, from its head throughout all its members, with one feeling, and that feeling the public weal. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee."
2. Public prosperity. As the first requisite is "peace within thy walls" in order to security, so the next is "prosperity within thy palaces," in order to advancement. "Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces." It has been well observed by an ancient commentator on this passage that—"peace without prosperity is but a secure possession of misery: and prosperity without peace is but a dubious and uncertain felicity." The former refers to the community at large; the latter more particularly to the regularly constituted authorities. The mutual dependence of these is very in- page 10 timate. Nothing can affect the one that does not concern the other. Every country is deeply interested in the character of its government, and the government must be influenced by the state of the people. A country writhing under a corrupt, a feeble, or an oppressive government cannot have "peace within its walls." Nor can there be "prosperity in her palaces" if there be discord within her borders. Moral influence is the basis of true power. A firm government must be sustained by the weight of its own character: it must rest on the respect, the confidence, the support of an intelligent and upright people. Let this mutual relation be established and there will "be no complaining in our streets." The Christian Patriot aims at this. In proportion as he fulfils the great end of Christianity—with or without any economic theory or scheme of worldly policy—he will rescue men from the dominion of ignorance and vice; he will implant principles of the soundest and holiest nature; and by being instrumental in preparing them for a glorious immortality, he will be promoting the temporal good of society by qualifying them for the duties of the virtuous citizen, as included in that of the true Christian. Such men make the best subjects and the best rulers. It is the influence of lofty intelligence and moral rectitude which promotes "peace with in our walls," and by the practical regard of God's command to Moses, to "provide out of all the people, able men such as fear God, men of truth and hating covetousness, and place such over them to be rulers," shall we have "prosperity in sill our palaces."
3. Religious progress. "Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good." It is religion which plants the "tree of life," the leaves of which are "for the healing of the nations." It is the balm of social maladies—the remedy of public evils—the bond of peace! It offers the best security for the peace of the people and the prosperity of the nation. It enlightens the mind, sanctifies the heart, regulates the life. It is more powerful than the laws of man. Human laws may restrain by addressing our fears: religion speaks to the conscience, and commands respect to justice, which is the principle of law. Human laws can impose penalties which men may evade or despise: religion is clothed with the sanction of the divine authority from which none can escape. Human laws punish crime: religion destroys crime. Human laws may compel a sullen compliance with established order: religion produces a cheerful acquiescence in providential allotments. Human laws may irritate while they restrain the unruly: religion subdues and sanctifies the passions of men. In the possession of this moral lever lies the strength of the Christian Patriot. In upholding the religious institutions of his country he is seeking her good. Take away the moral influence of Christianity, and you must substitute physical force. Let every page 11 church in this city be closed, and we need not the prescience of a prophet to foretel the certain consequence. But let the "house of the Lord our God" be the object of general regard—in other words, let all be influenced by a sincere love to the worship of God, and the requirements of His word, then shall there be "peace within our walls and prosperity within our palaces." Then shall be fulfilled the prediction of a future age: "I will make thine officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in the land, wasting nor destruction in all thy borders; but thou shall cull thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise."
II. We have been looking at the object of the Christian Patriot. Let us now see by what means he seeks it. His conduct will be adapted to the end. It matters not what relative position he may fill—he may be high or low. "Every man in his own order." All cannot be exalted to honour, but all should be patriots. In private life, as well as in public office, every man is under this obligation. "A civilized community may be regarded as a family on a large scale, and every member thereof should feel and act as though the responsibility of the whole rested on himself." For "every man has a part to act, and the whole community will be better or worse for every individual." Each one is a living stone in the social edifice, "No man liveth to himself." For good or evil, all have influence: that of the Christian Patriot is for the good of his country.
1. He is a man of prayer.
He will "pray for the peace of Jerusalem." Without prayer no man can be a Christian. I am not going to consider the philosophy of I his great duty. Prayer is natural. There is no nation or people that do not pray to their gods. When the runaway Jonah was overtaken by a "mighty tempest in the sea so that the ship was like to be broken," the heathen "mariners were afraid and cried every man unto his god." How instinctively does the reckless sinner pray in the hour of sudden danger! But the Christian prays not from a feeling of terror, but from a conviction of duty. He delights in the exercise. He will "pray without ceasing,"
"Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air."
"Prayer is the wealth of poverty—the refuge of affliction—the strength of weakness—the light of darkness." And all can pray— page 12 the poor as well as the rich—the illiterate as well as the learned—the lowly as well as the great, "God heareth the prayer of the righteous." Every patriot of Scripture was a man of prayer. Think of Abraham, of Moses, of Joshua, of Samuel, of David, of Daniel,—the image of each rises up before you as a man who "prayed to God alway," and who had "power with God and did prevail." Shall I refer to others. I might challenge a host. Take the excellent Wilberforce, or look at Sir Fowell Buxton—that noble, massive, upright, manly character—a type of the thorough Englishman—a model of a statesman—and an earnest, simple-minded christian patriot. "He could not get on without prayer." His son and biographer writes that "he was in the constant habit of communicating his cares to his heavenly Father." To use his own words, "prayer is throwing up the heart to God continually—everything leads me to prayer, and I always find it answered both in little and great things." What a blessing it would be if all our public men were men of prayer! Then would they be mighty indeed. "Prayer moves the hand that moves the universe," An interesting incident is recorded of the philosopher Franklin. At the conclusion of the American war of independence, great difficulties surrounded the settlement of a constitution. In his own forcible manner, he arose to remind the delegates that they had neglected to seek God's blessing by prayer. This rebuke was acknowledged. Prayer was made to God, and in a little while, writes the historian, their deliberations were harmonious, and within a short time the constitution was completed. Prayer is a duty fouuded on reason as well as on Scripture. God is the source of all wisdom and strength. He can give plenty, or send famine. He can turn the counsel of the wise into foolishness. He "frustrateth! the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad." And "happy is the man who hath the God of Jacob for his help." Then "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."
2. A man of earnestness,
Nothing is more opposed to Christianity than indolence or vacuity. In the Christian Patriot there will be an energy, a force of character sanctified by grace, which will be felt. Not in noisy uproar, but by a "patient continuance in well doing" will his influence impress itself. Religion brings into play all the activities of man's nature. It teaches him his value. By fixing the stamp of immortality upon him, it connects his present conduct with eternal consequences. It makes time pregnant with results. He redeems it. His language is, "I will now say." By diligent application he will be "always abounding in the work of the Lord." His is the earnestness of principle, not of passion: of conviction, not of impulse: of moral obligation, not of page 13 selfishness: "for my brethren and companions' sakes I will now say, Peace be within thee." There is no cure for idleness—that bane of a family or a country—like religion. Its rule is, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might." Slothfulness is a crime which religion abhors. It was this which constituted the wickedness of the unfaithful servant in the parable of the talents. Its command is, "Be not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." The Christian Patriot will earnestly address himself to all the duties of his calling. He will be "full of good works."
3. A man of genuine benevolence.
Men often claim the honour of patriots because they seek the territorial enlargement of their country; its success in arms; or the glory of its name. The Christian patriot will not be indifferent to his country's honour; the prestige of a powerful name; or the extension of her dominions. But he will more particularly "seek her good" by instructing the ignorant, by relieving the oppressed, and by reclaiming the lost. Such a man may say with Job: "Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out." To him the appeal of injured humanity will not be made in vain. His manly voice will ever be uplifted in behalf of the poor, and the destitute, and the oppressed. Corruption and vice, of every form, will meet in him an unflinching foe. Poverty and distress will hail him as their benefactor. In good men he has a special interest—they are his "Brethren and companions"—but he has a benevolent regard to all. He relies more for national glory on the condition of the masses, the creation of peaceful hearts and happy homes, than on foreign conquest or accumulated wealth. "Happy is that people that is in such a case, yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord."
III. I shall not dwell long on the remaining end last part of my subject;—the motive of the Christian Patriot. Man is a free-agent. His will is determined by motive. His conduct is good or bad, according to the motive by which it is governed. "God looketh at the heart." The ruling motive of unconverted man is the love of self, in some form or another. That of the Christian man is the love of God. Subordinate to this supreme principle of conduct he will manifest:—page 14
1 A seal for religion.
What is often called religious zeal is a worthless thing. It is zeal for an opinion, or for a party, or for a name—it is no better than political zeal—than partizanship. A true zeal for religion arises from the love of God. "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." But where the love of God exists zeal will manifest itself in a right spirit. "Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy God." Indifference to religious progress cannot be the spirit of a Christian." It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing. The Christian Patriot will be glad when they say unto him, "Let ns go into the house of the Lord."
2.A love to all good men.
"Every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him." The mere zealot can love those only who pronounce his own Shibboleth. The Christian esteems all who love the Lord Jesus Christ. He is more intent on articles of agreement then on points of difference. He is what Binney says of Buxton—"More than a good churchman, or a good dissenter, or a good methodist, he is a good man—a liberal, large-souled thorough christian man." It will be well for the interests of religion in particular, and for those of society in generally when this character shall be more prevalent in New Zealand—when less shall be thought of the distinctive names and creeds, and forms—of Presbyterian, Espiscopalian, Wesleyan, or the like;—and more of that "love which is the bond of perfectness," which embraces the whole household of faith" and aims at the conversion of the world, not merely to church systems, or creeds, or symbols, but to "the truth as it is in Jesus."
3. A regard to his best interests.
It may seem very philosophic to talk about disinterestedness. There is no such thing on earth. Every man possesses an interest in doing right. Sinful human nature takes an inverted view of moral relations. It dates man's interest from himself and thus upholds the dominion of selfishness. Sanctified humanity takes the right view: it sees its interest comes from God, and thus chains himself to the throne of the Eternal. Man's true interest is in doing the will of God. This is the element of human happiness, of man's prosperity. "They Shall prosper that love thee." Not always page 15 with respect to worldly prosperity—hut invariably, if prosperity includes man's highest welfare. This can never fail the righteous, for "all things work together for good to them that love God," and "whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." I now beg your attention for a few minutes while I observe:
I. Every man should be a Patriot—a Christian Patriot.
"He could not, by his own solitary strength advance the little stone into a great mountain, but the worth and the efficacy of his labours, will be sure to recommend them to the imitation of many: and the good work will spread, by example from one individual and from one district to another: and though he may be lost to observation, in the growing magnitude of the operations which surround him, yet will he rejoice, even in his very insignificance, as the befitting condition for one to occupy, among the many millions of the species to which he belongs, and it will be enough for him that he has added one part, however small, to that great achievement, which can only he completed by the exertions of an innumerable multitude, and the fruit of which is to fill the whole earth."
II. Man needs conversion.
No man can be a Christian Patriot unless he be "bom again." He is either in the flesh or in the spirit. By the former is meant a state of nature; by the latter a state of grace. It is the office of the gospel to turn men from "darkness to light." We must despair of "true Patriotism" until men become "true Christians." It is readily admitted that there may be many personal virtues without conversion. Outwardly the man of cultivated manners may seem to surpass the man of christian grace. But the principle on which each acts is widely different—the one from love of self, the other from love of God. Compare, for instance, the life of Sir Samuel Romilly with that of Sir Fowell Buxton. One was the counterpart of the other, except in one thing, and that was the "one thing needful." The christian patriot is upheld by a principle within, rather than by any thing without him. How fitful is the tide of popular applause! The man that is the idol of the mob to-day, may be the execration of the multitude to-morrow! How uncertain the standing place of the man who lives on the breath of popularity! Hainan basks in the sunshine of royalty, "and all the king's servants page 16 bowed and reverenced Haman." Haman falls beneath his monarch's frown, and "so they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai." But how littte is the christian man affected by such reverses! Take Moses, David, Daniel, Paul: How fearlessly, how calmly, how nobly could they look upon the surge—on whose buoyant wave they had just been wafted to the highest elevation—as it rolled away from beneath their feet, and then, recoiling in all its fury, returned to engulph its victims! Firm in his principle, the Christian meekly says, "none of these things move me." He has the love of God in his heart; the testimony of God in his conscience; the glory of God in his eye!
III. Man is accountable.
The consequences of our present conduct will follow us into another world. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting." It is beautifully conceived by Professor Hitchcock, author of the "Religion of Geology"—and he supports his reasoning by analogies supplied by science—that every volition of the human mind produces an influence which, through some subtle medium, shall vibrate to the remotest extremities of the universe of God. Only think of, not only every word, but every thought, in the day of judgment, as a living witness, confronting the sinner at the bar of God! What appeal from their evidence to Him who shall judge "the secrets of all hearts!" How tremendously fearful to the evil man! This is the "worm that dieth not." But gloriously shall the fruits of a holy life eternally develope themselves. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them."
G. Watson, Printer, Lambton Quay, Wellington, N.Z.