Imágenes de páginas

""Tis now the time of ftrife and war,
The contest founds on every fide;
Nations are bound to Satan's car,
And who fhall meet him in his pride?
Is there no arm his power to break?
Are there no hearts that deeply feel?
Sons of the kingdom! rife, awake!
Obey, at length, your Saviour's will.
Go, bear the gospel banner forth,
Its glittering web of light unrol,
To gleam fublime from fouth to north,
And scatter light from pole to pole."


"Whofoever, therefore, fhall be ashamed of me, of him fhall the Son of Man be afhamed."-MARK Viii. 38.


See where the crofs of duty ftands upright Above it shines the Crown with radiant light;

Right in the narrow way the Cross it stands,
And all the space completely it commands;
On either fide behold! vaft rocks arife,

Expand their width, and reach the topmost skies :
See numbers there, who fain the Crown would have,
But will not touch the Crofs their fouls to fave;
They feek fome other way, but 't will not do,
They wander on, and find eternal woe.

But one is feen advancing right ahead,
And like his Lord-the Crofs he will not dread;
He takes it up 't is feathers-nothing more-
He travels onward fafter than before;

He loves the Crofs, nor ever lays it down,
Till he receives instead the starry Crown.

On a gently rifing ground, a Cross of fomewhat large dimenfions is feen to ftand erect; above it, and suspended in the air, a bright Crown sparkles with a brilliant light. On both fides of the Cross rocks, vaft and precipitous, lift up their tops to the heavens; on either fide they extend as far as the eye can reach. Many perfons are feen going round the base of the mountain chain; their object appears to be to get the Crown; it is theirs if they will but get it according to the condition proposed. They have been trying to go through the narrow paffage, but the wooden crofs blocks up the entrance; they never think of moving that, although they try to climb the mountain barrier, which is much more difficult. See! one is now attempting to ascend, but it is all in vain-there is no other way than through the chaẩm. Away they go, wandering round and round; some are feen falling off a precipice, they are dashed to pieces; others lose themselves

among dark labyrinths, and fome are torn to pieces by wild beasts. All come to a bad end— not one of them obtains the Crown.

One, however, is feen alone, marching up to the terrible Crofs; he walks with a firm ftep. Decifion is his name; he goes right up to the Crofs, he quickly throws it down-it is only a few inches in the ground; he takes it up, its weight is nothing, for it is hollow. He carries it to the place appointed, lays it down, and receives the glittering Crown, and bears it away in triumph.

By the Crofs here is fignified religious duties; by the Crown-immortality in heaven; those who pass by the Crofs and wander round the wall, represent those who think of heaven, but neglect duty; the man who boldly takes up the Crofs-the faithful Chriftian. Many perfons think about heaven, who, alas! will never arrive there; nay, they do more, they actually fet out for it-perhaps make a profeffion of religion; they do not like the idea of being loft; fubmit to a partial reformation, and make an approach toward the performance of religious duties. They just obtain a fight of them, and they are frightened; this is the Crofs. What is there in the Cross fo dreadful! Let us fee. Of all who present themselves as candidates for heaven, it is required that they become poor in spirit-humble as a little child-penitent for fin-"perfect and pure, as He is pure"-that they do deny felf-crucify the flesh-mortify the body-fubdue inordinate defires-set the affections on things above-hun

ger and thirst after righteousness-forgive enemies -submit to perfecution for Chrift's fake-to exercise a constant watchfulness over themselves, and against the world and the devil. The hand, if it offends, must be cut off-the eye plucked


They are told of the straight gate-the narrow way the yoke-the burden-the race-the warfare, &c. Yea, the whole man is to be brought under new influences, governed by new principles, and to live for new ends. Self-denial, self-discipline, and self-conquest, are made indifpenfable prerequifites for the kingdom of Heaven. This is the Crofs, it ftands in the path of life; to proceed, it must be embraced. Chrift is "the

way" to God. His atonement, example, doctrines, commandments-there is no other way, there can be no other—a wall of adamant, wide as earth, high as heaven, meets us in our attempts to find one; on which ftands infcribed in letters of light, "He that entereth not by the door, but climbeth up fome other way, the fame is a thief and a robber."

Religious duties are irksome and disagreeable to the carnal mind-to the unconverted; it is their nature to be fo. By them a man may know what he is, whether he is converted or not; the Cross is a mirror. Religious duties are impofed, not that by performing we may earn a title to heaven, but because they are neceffary for the purification of our moral nature, through the grace of Christ, that we may become meet

« AnteriorContinuar »