An Address to ChristiansBy R N. Adams.
Dunedin: William Baird, George Street.
"Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early."—Psa. lvii, 8.
"Awake! Awake! put on strength 0 arm of the Lord."—Isa. li, 9.
"Awake! Awake! put on thy strength O Zion: put on thy beautiful garments O Jerusalem."—Isa. lii, 1.
"Arise! and be doing, and the Lord be with thee."—1 Chr. xxii, 16.
"Arise! Shine! for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."—Isa. 1x, 1.
One morning, e'er the sun had cast his rays
Upon the earth, which waken nature to
Its life and brilliancy: I strayed around:
While musing calm on things unseen—The sweet,
Yet thrilling accents, of a sacred Harp
Burst on my ear.—Spellbound, entranced, I stood,
Enraptured with the sacred melody,
Rolling in tones sublimely rich and sweet.
Then, with unconscious step, I moved toward
The spot, from whence the heavenly music came;
At every step, more clear, and more distinct,
The rich, angelic tones became; and rapt
Me more in ecstasy of joy: of joy
As if already I had reached the gate
Of Heaven. This is the song the Harper sang:
"Come brethren, Awake! Arise! and put
The Gospel armour on. Why slumber thus,
While He, who died to save your souls from death,
And raise them to a life, so pure and high,
Is ever striving for your common good;
Nor ever ceases to improve your happiness?
Awake! throw off this dormant mien, Arise!
And own the Lord your God, is God—that He
Is worthy of your risen life—the best
Obedience of your consecrated all.
Oh! why inactive loiter? When the cause
By Him committed to your care,—that ye
Should propagate, and tend with vigilance
page 4 Its vital growth, until it spread from land
To land, imparting life to every soul—
Lies languishing beneath your careless sight—
Attacked by fierce and scoffing enemies;
Who labor hard to quench its radiant light,
And banish from the mind of man, its soul-
Reviving, life-imparting influence.
Why is your love so cold? Are ye not bound
To one another by the ties of love—
Of Love Divine—not merely nature's love;
But love received direct from Him who bought
You with His precious blood? that by this love
Ye might be known from those who are not His?
Ah! why do party names create a strife
Amid the family of God? Is not your faith
The same?—the rule of life, by which ye act,
The Bible—God's own holy, precious book?
O then, together, join your force, as that
Of one great legion, resolute and strong,
Determined for the victory, through him
Who loved you, and for you died upon
The Cross. Let party names no longer mar
Your peace: For who is Calvin? Arminius?
Who Luther? Knox? but men ye follow in
Details? But they are not your head. In Christ
Ye live. He is your head, your heart, your name;
He is the head of all—unite in Him!
Unite! unite! cries God above, and man
Beneath. Unite, ye soldiers of the Lamb!
Unite, ye ransomed from the curse of sin!
And spread the news by which ye ransomed were:
Nor spread that news alone; but spread that flame
Which ought to burn in every ransomed heart,
And luminate the sphere in which it dwells.
Thus publish round the truth, that ye are born
Of God, and lighted by that heavenly flame,
Which floods can never quench, but burneth still.
He gave you not the light to flicker in
Retirement, or be hid behind a veil:
page 5 Ah! no, for men use not a candle so;
They set it high, that all around may see;
And that the particles, which flow from it
And fill the room, with cheering beams of light,
Should be reflected back, from face to face,
That each bright vital spark may be returned
From eye to eye. So is the light of God
Within you placed, to be reflected thus.
Brethren, behold! how firm your foes unite;
With bold, unwearing arm they wage the war,
Against the Lord and His anointed One!
Would ye but take a leaf from out their book,
How active, dilligent, sincere ye'd be
In all pertaining to the service of
The One ye love. How ye would contemplate,
And live, and act. How studious ye'd be
To prove your master's cause is faithful, true,
And just, the life-preserver of the soul!
Why, should the servants of the evil one
Be heard to say of you 'They are at war
Amongst themselves—divided;—each against
His neighbour aims his heavy blows; and all
Unite in wageing one great civil war'?
Why should ye waste your precious moments thus?
Why should ye have to stand, and, blushingly,
Before your enemies confess, that it
Is even so? Why should ye blunt in civil strife,
The power and greatness of your two-edged sword?
Why should the sword which God hath given, to foil
Your adversary's fierce attacks, be used
To pierce your brother's side, and scatter broad.
The foul effects of discord, through the homes
And hearts of those who live beneath the sweet,
And peaceful banner Love. Oh whither now
Has charity a home? O! has she flown?
Has she forsaken you? or, did ye drive
Her from her resting place, that she is gone,
And ye are left without this lovely grace?
Why do ye hear the enemy exult
page 6 And cry—' Their end has come; their day is past'
And by your slumbers, ye almost repeat
Their words, and own them true? should this be so?
Is this a time to sleep in comforting
Repose? while all around is energy
And life—your adversary slumbers not—
Your Captain slumbers not—life's span grows short—
Your Captain calls! 'To arms ! my saints, to arms!
Come forth, and put the enemy to flight!'
Does not the interest of each ransomed soul
Centre in Christ? 'Twas by His precious blood
That ye were made the sons of God; 'twas it,
Redeemed you from the curse of sin and death;
By it, ye have inherited new life—
Eternal life—a life which cannot fail;
Though worlds decay, and disappear, ye live:
Though time shall change into eternity,
It changeth not—ye live by faith in Him,
He is your life—your life u hid in Him!
Thus, ye are one, the life ye share is one,
Ye each received it from the same great source;
Ye all received it from His flowing wounds.
Ye all were once immersed in guilt and sin;
All, travelling in distructions fatal path:
Ye all enjoyed earth pleasures for a time,
Ye served the prince of darkness well, awhile;
Were all enlisted, as his servants are,
And followed his temptations greedily;
And all, for what? for vanity, for naught
Of good, for evil, misery, and woe!
In blessings, pains, and griefs, ye all are one:
Temptations, pleasures, joys, and prospects, one;
All pleasures here, all hopes of joy to come,
Proceed from Christ, and all unite in Him.
If then, ye own Jehovah, King and Lord;
Shall ye not serve Him faithfully? Since He
Hath loved you, and brought you happiness;
Hath made you members of His family:
Redeemed you from the low estate in which
page 7 Ye lay, all feeble, helpless, hopeless, lost;
And made you kings, and priests; His holy ones.
Oh! can ye loiter still, and faithless prove,
While o'er you beams that Sun of righteousness,
Each ray conveying boundless stores of love?
O come, and gaze awhile upon this store,
So inexhaustable, so open, free;
'Tis great, behold, it rises far above
The starry sky! it diveth deeper than
The sea. No mind can follow it in height,
Or depth! Where shall its breadth be limited?
The fond imagination cannot tell;
That love divine, exceeds the universe
In breadth! all thoughts of greatness disappear,
Before the love, which dwells in Jesus' breast!
Behold Him on His throne, in majesty!
Ador'd, and worshipp'd by the Hosts of Heaven—
Cherub, Seraph, Angel, and Archangel
Bow, and to Him, their highest homage pay.
And there, He shares the Father's glory too-
Rich, in the treasures of eternal joy—
Yet, for your sakes, He left it all, and came
On wings of love—O yes, 'twas love that bore
Him to this earth—to ransom dying man,
By dying on the agonizing cross!
Yea, though He was so rich beyond all thought—
Rich, in the centre of the Father's love;
Rich, in the worship of the Heavenly Host!
When there, before His feet, adoring came,
The highest beings of celestial birth;
There, Seraph, Cherubim, and Angel bowed,
And paid eternal honour to His name,
And sang His praise, on harps of sacred tone!
Him, rich in holiness, in purity,
And joy; Omnipotent, immutable,
Obeyed, and served, by all, in Heaven and earth!
He did not love His riches more than you:
But for your sakes rejected them: He cast
Them all aside, that He might gain
page 8 A treasure, which He prized above the high
And Heavenly Glory, He possessed:
And, throwing off His Kingly Majesty,
Became a man, poor, humble, and unknown
To dignities of earth; that He might save
A rebel, lost, and ruined race: that He might save
The man, who was His acting enemy!
For such, He left the sweet communion of
His Heavenly home—the fellowship, He there
Enjoyed, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
The love, joy, happiness, the purity
Of those who dwelt above, around His throne.
For such, He left His Glory—far beyond
The reach of mortal thought—Divinely great:
For such, with bosom swelling high, inflamed
With richest, deepest, boundless, fervent, love:
He took to Him a body, subject to
All weaknesses, and frailties of mankind,
That He might suffer, on this pigmy ball
Though poverty, and misery, and grief,
And trial, all, before Him stood in full
Array, He staggered, hesitated not!
His inmost soul o'erflowed with love intense;
He thought not of His pain, His agony,
And bloody sweat. Nor pain, nor suffering,
Nor thought of death itself,—with all the dread,
And awful terrors of Golgotha's Cross—
Could quench that vital, deathless flame of love!
He came to conquer, and to triumph: yea,
To triumph over death—the terror of
Mankind. Nor was it for Himself, that He,
The conqueror, appeared; Nor for Himself
Did He engage in war with death; but, to
The end, that He, might conquer him for man!
On this, His heart was fixed: 'twas this, that brought
Him from His home; for this, He lived—for this,
He died—for this, He rose again, triumphant from
The grave, and captive, led captivity!
Pause, O my Brethren, and once again,
page 9 Review what great things, Christ hath done for you
When ye were lost, and ruined, doomed, and dead,
He found, restored you, justified, gave life:
When ye were bound by heavy debts and bills,
Unpaid; Yea, bankrupts, undischarged; He saw
Your case, and in compassion most sincere—
Compassion, none but He could ever show—
Paid all your debts, and purchased your discharge,
Your full acquittal at the bar of God!
He set you free, from death—He conquered him—
He gave you titles to His heritage;
He raised you from the lowest depths of guilt;
He washed you in His blood, and made you clean;
For death, He gave you immortality;
From sinking, miry clay He lifted you;
And, by His mighty power established you
Upon a solid rock; and made secure
And strait, the path laid out for you to tread.
Your conscience purged from ever present guilt;
Unstop'd your closed ears: removed the mist—
The blindness—from your eyes, that ye might see
The mysteries of grace—that grace which now
Ye see in Christ revealed; which still, to those
Who know not Him, remains a mystery
Untold; but ye who know its power, can see
It all distinct and clear, by God revealed!
Oh! wondrous grace, reaching e'en to the sons—
The lowest sons—of Adam's ruined race,
None, none, are lower than He condescends
To raise; the very wretch who hates himself,
Because degraded lower than the brute
By vice, debauch, and vilest wickedness,
Is not beyond the reach of Jesus' grace.
He loves the vilest one, but hates his sin;
His love e'en flowed to them who murdered Him;
Hark to His prayer, ' Forgive them, Father, for
They know not what they do, lay not this sin
On them.' E'en Saul;—the unfeeling, cruel Saul,—
The fierce, and bitter persecutor of
page 10 The Church of God, had grace bestowed, which turned
Him from his evil way, to God in Christ;
From darkness gross, obscure, to light of God.
Oh! these are riches: pity, grace, and love,
Compassion, meekness, holiness—abound
And flow, in rivers fathomless, immense;
Amazing in their vast extent. For while
We contemplate the mystery, we lose
Ourselves in adoration, praise, and joy;
Entranced, transported, with the sacred view.
And all is yours, ye own it all in Christ,
Ye share His riches, ye are one with Him;
Yon home above is yours; yon mansion fair;
The glory, joy, the peace, felicity;
Yon crown, yon palm, that harp of gold;
Yon robe of whiteness, purer than the snow;
Yon smile, which beams from God the Father's face
Is yours: those words of welcome too from Christ
Are yours; yea, you—(with deepest reverance)—
May also claim the mighty God your own;
He is your Father, therefore He is yours.
And do ye then possess these treasures vast,
And cherish still the vanities of earth?
Do vain amusements ravish still your hearts?
Does filthy lucre still enslave your minds?
Can love of carnal things bedim your eyes,
And draw them from the great realities
Of spiritual life, to transient, passing things?
Awake to life! cast off that heavy weight
Which binds you to the present time; arise,
To know and cherish things divine!
Are ye the children of the Mighty King,
No longer slaves to satan and to sin?
Then leave, forsake the servile things of time;
And rise to things eternal; things of God.
Be holy here, as ye shall be above;
For holy ye must be, if ye would serve
Your Lord aright, or live in tranquil peace.
But is temptation strong, and flesh still weak?
page 11 Behold the throne of grace, the source of strength;
Be frequent there—'tis there alone the power
Ye need will be supplied; and there 'tis free,
More to be had than ye require, is there:
But still, in spirit, what ye want, forget
Not for to ask: when ye are weary, faint,
And weak; when sore temptation would obstruct
Your path, your Father then will hear, and send
The aid for which you cry. And there alone
It can be had; 'tis there He will dispense
The rich abundance of His boundless store.
Go there in faith, believe His word, rely
Upon His promises, in Christ: doubt not,
Nor fear, He never cast one off before;
Nor will He now, reject your earnest suit;
But He will give more willingly, than you
Will ask. 'Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright
Prayer strengthens for the fight, it draws you close
To Him, in whose communion ye delight;
It teaches your darknesses, and leads
You to the rock of your defence,—declares
The way of holiness—makes plain your path,
And gives transporting glimpses of that home
Which ye e'er long shall occupy, and call
Your own; It brightens every grace—each view
Of future things, which lie in store for you.
Now cast your eyes around—behold how sin
Still binds so many millions of your race.
They know not of a Saviour's love, and some.
Whose ears have harkened to the Gospel sound,
Still revel in the soul-destroying lust.
Are ye ambassadors of God? are ye
Commissioned from on high, to tell
The tidings of great joy to dying men—
The news of ransom found, of pardon bought,
And offered freely to the perishing?
Then, can you rest at ease, while all
Around, ye see the sad effects of sin?
Are ye the watchmen on Mount Zion's walls?
page 12 Then blow a certain sound, for if ye sound
Uncertainly, how shall they know, or how
Prepare to battle for the right? shall ye
Be guiltless, if they perish 'neath
The curse of God ? blow loud your trump, blow true,
Speak bold and firm, the message we've received.
Up rear your standard. Christ, and Christ alone
Be all your theme; let nothing else, usurp
His place—let nothing rob Him of His due—
Unfurl your glorious banner to their view;
Display in triumph, all its loveliness:
Yea, glory in it—'tis your pledge of love—
The pledge of God's unfailing care, concern,
And interest, in the state of all below.
By it, He pledges to defend all those
Who put their trust in His redeeming power,
To guide them through the maze of present life,
To immortality, to Heaven, and Home !
Then, quit yourselves as Gospel soldiers; be
Arrayed with all the weapons God hath given,
That ye may conquer satan's hosts: be clad
With breastplate, shield, and helmet, girt with truth
Around, and for the firmness of your step,
Let Gospel principles defend your feet:
With skill, apply the sword which He hath given;
With much acquaintance, use the word of God.
Thus own, and serve your Lord, in faith and truth:
Success shall then attend the cause of Christ,
And ye shall prosper in your prilgrim way,
And triumph over all your foes! "
The Harper ceased: but sweetly rolled the sounds
Of melody, re-vibrating through hill,
And dale; and every rock, and tree, and shrub,
Re-echcoed to the swelling, sacred, notes;
Till all had ceased, and nature all again
Was calm, and still; and I was left alone
To muse, in still reflection, o'er what I
Had heard, related by an unseen power.
Printed by F. Humffray, George street.