תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

treasure ; he then perceives the worthlessness of that which he had chiefly sought, and the surpassing value of that which he had overpassed a thousand times, perhaps, but had not found till now. And that which is true of him to whom life's necessary but transitory occupation and business is the chief and the all of his heart, is also true of others, who have some other all, which is yet merely of this world. The indolent and lover of ease, he at last heeds the Voice that has been ever since Baptism calling him ; and lo, he starts up, he goes against his nature and tastes; what was before a trouble is now a joy, what of late was weariness and without interest is become a delight; ease, self-indulgence, comfort, are left at the word, for he has arisen and is pressing on to follow Christ.

So with the pleasure-seeker. The world's foolish vanities and idle fading delights and amusements were once his all in all; self-denial was a thing unthought of, heart-religion a thing unknown; God's service rather a tie and a burden than a joy; earth’s pleasures everything, Heaven's peace nothing. It was an unsatisfactory digging; at last, a weary digging, without any return. Then sometimes the Voice makes itself heard

above that busy traffic for trifles; the treasure gleams out amid that profitless digging; and the heart learns to love to quit that laughter in which it was still sorrowful, that mirth which more and more began to end in heaviness; and to follow Him in whose very look and voice there is peace that the world cannot give; peace that passeth understanding; peace well purchased with pleasure's all.

These instances are truly happy and blessed, but, alas, how rare! How men, rich or poor, grudge the following Christ! Everything is a trouble, and the price always too high. Nothing is to be given up: neither ease, nor pleasure, -nor money : far less all. How few care to give up money and self-gratification for alms-giving; how few will care to give up time from ease or from interest for extra opportunities of worshiping God in Prayer and Praise ! The pause is made beside them ; the Look is fixed upon them; the gracious words are spoken to them. But they are too busy, and their eyes are on their own gain or ease, or pleasure, and the Voice and the Look have passed on, and the crowd has swept by; and they are alone beside the world's busy lake, receiving still its unsatisfying custom, and having let true satisfaction pass them by ; gaining all, may be, and yet possessing nothing ; digging ever, but never lighting on that which should make further toil unnecessary. Thus is it with the more part, even in the Church's field. Christians by Baptism, they are worldlings in heart and life ; placed in that field to labour, they find no rest, no satisfaction there. And why? It is but a field to them, and they have not found the treasure yet.

Now, let us ask, what are such to do? How shall they attain to the treasure which now they possess not ? Seek, I would say to such,--seek, (if religion be not yet a real thing to you; a thing of the heart: the one thing in a vain world:) seek the aid of God's Spirit, especially. by the use of every appointed means ; worship,-public and private, and at every opportunity :-Sacraments; hearing and reading. At any rate, be diligently digging in the field ; the treasure shall be found; your joy then shall give life to what before seemed dull ; and things which seemed but a bare field to you before, shall now hold that one treasure which is worth possessing ; and lands, friends, time, pleasure, gain, life, will, if God demand them, be laid down at once as a light price for the securing that treasure. First, the Kingdom of God; and then, what matters it?-all, or nothing beside. He who has found Christ, can count all else as refuse : and for joy, can sell all, if but he may make that Treasure ANGELS.

his own.

(S. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS.)

BY RT. REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, D.D.,

(Lord Bishop of Carlisle.)

HEBREWS 1. 13, 14. “But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool ? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be Leirs of salvation,"

This day, Christian brethren, is described in the book of Common Prayer as the “ Feast of S. “ Michael and all Angels.” It is a day marked in our calendar as one which ought to direct our attention to thoughts concerning those blessed creatures of God, of whom Holy Scripture tells us as being nearer to Him than ourselves, as always beholding His face, as ever ready to do His will.

The very fact that the Church of England has in this marked manner brought the existence and nature of angels before us ought to be sufficient to make us believe that the subject is an important one. And if it be so, I think we

No. 18,

« הקודםהמשך »