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Communications: For The Signal Of Liberty: The Distinguishin...

Communications: For The Signal Of Liberty: The Distinguishin... image
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VVlint isfinguishcs the practical teachings f the New Testament from all other syetems f religión orcodes of moráis? Whatevor else may constitute a distinclion between Christmity and other systemc, it must be concedd thal the lirotherhood oj Man, is presented y Chribt and his apostles in a new ight. - liat "God has mude of onc blood the nations" f earth, is mnde by ihem o doctrine of momentotis practical importance. They everywhere repudíate the spirit of casle 60 rife in ie church and in ihe world - botii by precepf nd example. They lay the axe at the root f the tree of Pride - tliat most'abhorrent exlibiticn of selfishness - and the essence of sin, vhicli culis down the divine malediction - Pride goelh oeforedestruction- and o hnughiy piril betore a fnll." This was the spiiit that nspired the tall Arch Angel when he became ie"enemy of righleousnees and sought lo be ighetif. Whnt was his fate?- 'IIe fel] as ghtning from Henvon." "Him ihe Altniirtity Povver Itirl'd heodlong flaming from th' ethereal sky, Vith hideous ruin and comluistion, down ""o bottomless perdition - There to dweil n adamantino chaina and penal fire, Vho dorst defy the omnipotent to arms." The same doom awaits all who exalt themelves and thurst down others. The tranl tichard, ofter wading through scènes o' langh'.cr to a bloody throne, found his posiion an uneasy ono. There was a Richmond n the field. His destiny drew to a crisis on he p!ai:is of Bosworth. And althongh possessed of an indomitable courage - though on he morn of that eventful day, "a thouand ïearts were reat within his busom" - yot he could notesenpehis doom. The great poet of nature makes him to eclaim while rnging hrougli the thickesl of the fighf - "I tliink there be six Richmonds in the field! Pive jave I slam already." And so it is. The tyrnnt and oppressor sliall ever have a Richni'nd lo encounter. and though one be slain another rises in his stead. Yea, anbther, andin'Hher, and another - n a ceaselese train that shall hold out like Banquo's gliosts, "till the very crack of doom"- and the last Richmond is God Almighty, undcr whose puissant arm he fnlls to rise no more. The Gospel of Christ brings all to n common level at the foot of the cross. The brothor of low drgreo exnhs that he is made riclj. The rich, that he is brought lmv. It is the prommence which our Lord gives to ilii crlorious doctrine tliat makes his teach ings, glad tidings to the poor emphaticallv. VVhen Jesus slood in the synogogne of Nazareth and rcad from the Prophet, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, becauso the Lord liath anointed me to prociaim glad ti dings lo the jjoor - he liath sent meto bind up i he broícerr hertrted--to proclnim liberty to the captivo and tfie opening of the prison to them that are bound' He paii!, ;tliis day is ibis scripturo fulfillcd in your earp." This was the evidencó that he was the Mpssiah of God. He thundered Wrath to proud oppresfiors - that devoured widow's liouses, and drank the orphnn's tcars. "Iïow can you escape the domnaiion of Heil Í' But preaclted glad tidjngs to the poor. Again, when Johrr sent to Jesus to know uhether he was of a truth the Ríessiah, or whether thêy were to look tor another, Jesus to!d thé nespengers - "teil John whal you sne. 'The dea f hear - the blind see - the lame walk - the dead ore raüed - and to the poor glad lidings are proclaimed.' This capt the climax. Tliis was the crowning proofthat he was the anoiritcd One. He came to bless the gicat mass of mankind. Othei" religión s were made for the rich - to gralily tho learned, themighty, and the noble. Bijt Jesus chooses the poor, associules with them, lifts them up,nnd C'tnstitistea them his especial reprepentotives.Il is the full and free ocfcnowledgmetit and r.ordial reception of thta truth - the universal brotlicrhood of mnn, that can alone enable ur to manifest tbaldisinterested &t impartial love ivhich is ihe essence of religión, nnd will cause as to do unto others s vve would tliey should do to as. The whole l'aw is fulfilled in this one word - -"thou sholt love thy heighbor as lliyself." And who is my noighbor? Your fcllow man - of whatever clime, or iiue. The Cliristiah's rhotto is, "My country is the widè, wide wor$ds -My countrymen, mankiml." esus teaches in the parable óf the good Samaritan that t helove which is the fulfil'ing of the Jaw - overleapj the bounds of prejudice and nacional líate, nnd fintls a brother in on enemy that hns fallen among thieve?, and minUters to all' his Wants with the same tenderneHS, as thougli the snmé inother's milk had nourished hoi Ii . Agairt, in thejudment FCene, in the 25th ofMnthew, He soparates his representativo from all those facliiious cireurhstnnces Vhich make it eo easy to do good to sorne. He takes the 6tarving, thirety, eick anri ïmprisor.ed alien- and1 flajte, inasrnuch asyou d(d it not to him, you did it not to me. Now disgusting as tuch a being muBt be to one whose feeluígs are reSned bj a sickly sentífnentalism--trüe benevolence finds in him its opproprinte object. There is nothing loVely in thecommon occupation of the term - nothing attractive-nothmg1 can be expected in return for fa vors rendered. Birt therc is matüiooil, ond that loathSome object is a brot fier. Tkere are the suseeptibilities of eternnl life or death-=and for (kat boing Jesns died, and wilk that being the Spirit striveu. Here tben is the trne test. "If you do good to them who do good to you Vhat thank (reward) have you?' Évcnthe most selfish do that.So prominent and unequivocal ia the doctrine of the universal brolherhood made by onr Lordjihat a child does nol mislalce with regard to it. Thie is illustrated by an aneedote which ia related of a church dignitary, who wnssomewhat noted for parsimony. He was called on by a starvingboy for soiinething lo eat. A moüldy cmst was given Iiim; and 3s he was passing out with rathet a reluctont, unhearty ihanlc ye sir, the clergyman, thinking perhapB he had not done his wbole duty, gtopped him and osked him if he knew how to prny. "No eir," was the nuswer. "Come here, and 111 learh you - sny after me, "Our Father tvho art in Heaven," "Our Father who art in heaven," "Hallowed bc thy name;" "But what does that meanT' Inquired the 5oy - "Does it nienn that God is our father?'' 'Yes, say on, ïlallowcd be thy nnme" - "But ioee it mean that God is your fathrr and my failier?' continued the boy. "Yes, say on.' 'But you and ƒ are broihers then." The con ilusión was irresistible. "But," continued the boy, holding up the ilms he had received, "Aint you ashamed to jive your brother sucli a moulJy ervsi?"' And ïow many professed followers of íesus, foret that God is our common father and give iheir brother a mouldy cnist! The mouldy irust of slavery- "Such bread ns ctiptive's learg Have tnoistened many thousand years' - how many give! ministers too - ministers of this very religión that so clearly teaches universal love! "And Holy men give Ecriplure for the deed!" Ia it not blasphemy! "Earth is sick and Hea- ven is weary while snch men talk of tru.h and juslice!" 1 would not cast contempt on the ministry, of on pulpit instruction. I believe with Cower, that "The pulpit in the sober uee Of its legitímate, peculiar powers, Must stand acknowledged, while the worlt tliall stand,I he most important and eüectual guara, Support and ornament of virttie's cause." Yes, with alt its fnnlls, the pulpit is the mediun through which more trulh is conveyed to he ma8s of mankind thon almost any other, .vhntever. And while we condemn its abuse md nberrations- we shoold manifest no symlathy with tliose who would disturb the perTianence of this nstitution, and wonld set ïside ns obsolete and useless the forms of pulgit inslniction snd constitutc "every mun fiisown parson." IIow much of tlial littleneas of inipd e manifestad now by would -be reformors, which characierizcd the Frencli Infide!. They tee religión perverted and the church modtj to sustöin slavery, and their cry is "down with the pu'pit and ïlie church!" Tliey don't &top to inquire whether it is nn ahubC or perversión of the church's :legiti mate peculiar powers" - but 6eetn to take for ranled that it is acting out its tme nature. Apain, the Union is perverted and made an entine of ruin, and grindirig oppression to millions of lho3e it should bles3 with prospery oud lihcrty. Inslead of inquifing whether this is the legi'imate result of our sys'.em or n wresting of jt f rom its sphere, this class of miti(!s cry (down with the Constitution! down vvith the Union!" Thpy ficem to think with Butlers Presbylerians - and "Cnll fire und sword and deso'ation A thoroug!) godly Reformntion."But wliile wc condetnn what is wrong everywliere, rmy we manifest grasp of mind enough to diötini.'iiish the perversión of a Fvslem, frem its lepi'.imate tenuency. 'i hns while slavery is and mvst can unrhitigated curse, the Church and the Conptitution are (and may be more perfectly) the clioicest blessings, and may bt1 made the instrumeiit of killing slavery. Letevcrv true heartfd Christian teach by precept and example the brotherhood of mankind, and every lover of liberty do what he can to wrcst the scepter from the hand of the slavocracy- then wil! the Church be refnrmed - (not destroyed) the Union perfected- (uot dissolved) and 6avery die. , "Ho! every true and living soulï To Freedom's periled altar bear, The frecmnn'6 and the christians whole, Tongue, pen, and vote, and prayer! Onê lost great battle for the rigM- One sharp, short átrúggle to bè free - We war in Henven's approving sight-The smile of God is victory!"


Signal of Liberty
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