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sitting at the receipt of custom ; and he saith that said to the dead, “ Lazarus, come forth,” unto him, Follow me.” St. Mark's account and lo! he came ? that charged the evil is similar : " And as he passed by, he saw spirits to depart, and lo! they left the Levi, the son of Alpheus, sitting at the re- demoniacs? Why might not these miraceipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow culous operations illustrate the ordinary me." And so also St. Luke: “And after energy of his power in the kingdom of grace? these things he went forth, and saw a pub- “ But this attractive influence of grace is lican named Levi, sitting at the receipt of so mysterious !" And so is the attractive custom ; and he said unto him, Follow me.” influence of the magnet. You cannot fully Thus you know all that the Scripture tells explain to me why the loadstone attracts of the manner in which Matthew the publican steel, and points to the north. Yet is the was called by Jesus. It was simply this: fact, therefore, to be disputed, denied, neAs Matthew was sitting at the receipt of glected ? Do you not rather use practically custom, Jesus fixed his eye on him, and said, the mystery you cannot solve scientifically; Follow me.
and thankfully taking the magnetic needle, Some have thought that Jesus must have steer your vessel by its help over the dansaid more ; and that, Follow me, was the gerous seas to the desired haven? And why practical conclusion of his discourse. But not be as wise for your souls ? Scripture the Scripture says nothing to warrant that asserts, experience proves the fact, that there idea. Jeromet gave, as an explanation, that is an attractive power in the grace of Christ, he thought there was a divine brightness able to give efficacy to the most simple words and a kind of majesty in our Saviour's looks, of his command. It is your wisdom to use which, at first sight, was attractive enough to that fact, to seek that grace, to follow that draw persons after him. It might be so: influence, and so to obey that command, and yet we know that multitudes saw him, who thus to sail in safety over the waves of this were not attracted to follow him. The troublesome world. simple truth appears to be, that in looking at Are any here thinking, "If Divine grace is to Matthew, and saying to him, Follow me, Jesus do all, I need do nothing ?" You need do this: accompanied the command with the energy Up, and obey the exhortation. Do nothing! of his own grace, which won its way to the Where is the Scripture which says that? Is publican's heart, though, in getting thither, it this, " Turn ye, turn ye ?” (Ezek. xxxiii
. it had to penetrate through bars of gold. 11): or this, “ Repent, and believe the Gos
This explanation will alone account for pel ?" (Mark, i. 15): or such as these, “ Pray the fact, that so simple an exhortation from without ceasing" (1 Thess. v. 17): "Fight Jesus produced so great an effect on Matthew. the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. vi. 12): Men may dispute against the doctrines of " Resist the devil” (James, iv. 7): “Work grace. But facts are stubborn things. Every out your own salvation with fear and tremage of the Church furnishes evidence, that bling; for it is God which worketh in you men have been turned from a life of covet both to will and to do of his good pleasure" ousness, worldliness, vanity, selfishness, and (Phil. ii. 12)? Therefore, thou art inexsin, by the simple word of Jesus. It is a cusable, O man, whoever thou art that alfact, that the same exhortation addressed by lowest thyself to sit still, and do nothing, the same minister to the same congregation, because God is full of grace, and ready to produces on one man no good effect at all; enable thee to do all things through Christ while, in another, it works an entire change who strengthens. O, the perverseness of of heart and life. Let philosophers account men, which turns motives for exertion into for it if they can: our explanation is in the pleas for inactivity, means of grace into exgrace and power of our God, in him that cuses for indifference, the goodness and longobeys the exhortation ; and in the perverse- suffering of God into a miserable pretext for ness of pride, the determined love of sin, the continuance in proud rebellion ! willing subjection to the god of this world, In regard, then, to the manner in which in him that continues unconverted : still as- Matthew was called, you see how Divine serting and maintaining, in either case, the grace gave efficacy to the command of Jesus, duty and responsibility of man.
“ Follow me.” Ask you, What means that And is it so very strange that the grace of command ? I answer, Not precisely the same Jesus should have such power in accompany thing in the circumstances of every case. To ing his word? Was it not illustrated through- | Matthew it meant, Leave the receipt of cusout his ministry? Was it his word alone, tom; give up the office of a publican; reunattended by a Divine influence, that badé nounce worldly gain; and come and follow the stormy winds be still, and was obeyed ? me as my pardoned disciple, and hereafter . This was Calvin's opinion.
as my faithful minister, apostle, evangelist; + See Cave's Lives of the Apostles.
follow me in learning my instructions, in
joining the little flock of my disciples, in prayer; and he will make your way of duty sharing my poverty, in suffering for my as plain as though it were marked by a sunsake ; follow me in the way of my footsteps, beam. and in the track of my cross, even till you Having seen what Matthew was before and I meet in heaven.
conversion, and how he was called by Jesus, When Jesus now says to a worldly-minded, let us consider, in the third and last place, covetous man, Follow me, what is his mean- his obedience to the call of Christ, and his ing? It is not always, literally, give up all after-life and spirit. worldly business. If, indeed, a man's former III. His obedience when Jesus called is occupation were sinful in its very nature, seen in his own account: And he arose, and engaging him to make money, as the gambler, followed him.” St. Mark says the same in the swindler, the thief, make it, that occupa- the same words. St. Luke tells “ And he tion must be at once and for ever aban- left all, rose up, and followed him.” There doned. Or, if a man's occupation were found is the obedience of faith! Christ said, “ Folon trial to bring temptations too strong for low me.” “ And he left all, rose up, and him to resist, it were far better to relinquish followed him.” That is the simple nature of and change his occupation than to endanger Christian obedience—to do what Christ says, his soul. But, in general cases, the worldly to come when he calls, to go where he sends : man is called by Jesus to follow him, chiefly, this is the spirit of a true disciple. And in penitence for all sin, in faith in his name this was Matthew's spirit. No sooner did alone for redemption through his blood, in his ear and heart catch the voice of Jesus, grateful love to God for that unspeakable than, without delay, without consultation gift, and in the constraining desire to serve with worldly friends, he obeyed the gracious him in newness of life; and all in dependence call. It is like St. Paul: “ When it pleased on the promised grace of the Holy Spirit. God, who separated me from my mother's Let these things be the leading objects, and womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal every thing beside will find its proper level
. his Son in me, that I might preach him among You will still be “not slothful in business ;" the heathen; immediately I conferred not but you will also be what you were not with flesh and blood” (Gal. i. 15, 16). So before, “ fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” the Psalmist : “ I made haste, and delayed not (Rom. xii. 11). Still, it may be, you will to keep thy commandments” (Ps. cxix. 60). rise early; but it will be for a season of This ready obedience of Matthew, inprayer before you go forth to the secular du- volving, as it did, the giving up of a lucraties of the day. You will attend to your fami- tive employment to follow one who himself lies quite as anxiously as before; but now, had not where to lay his head, has struck not merely to make them respectable in the even worldly and infidel men with surprise. eyes of men, but to have them walking in We are told by Jerome,* that the Emperor order and fellowship, as parts of the house- Julian the apostate and Porphyry, two very hold of God. Yea, and now also you will acute enemies of early Christianity, were so thirst for riches — nay, doubt it not; but it unable to account for this conduct of Matthew, will be for the unsearchable riches of Christ, that they charged him either with falsehood which, you know, you once trampled under or folly: with falsehood, if his account were foot, as the fowl treads the jewel while pick- not true; with folly, if it were ; urging that it ing up the grains of corn.
shewed great weakness so hastily to follow O, my friends, that simple exhortation any one that called him. But it is no new from the Saviour, Follow me, accompanied thing for those who faithfully follow Jesus with the look of his gracious eye, and the to be charged with folly and weakness, with energy of his Holy Spirit; will make you new fanaticism and enthusiasm. They said of men! With some, it may even have some St. Paul, “ Thou art beside thyself; much special meaning, more like to that which it learning doth make thee mad" (Acts, xxvi. had for Matthew. It may say to one who 24). They said of Christ himself, “ He hath used to hoard money for himself, Now lay a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him ?" it out for God !- to one who used to waste (John, x. 26.) genius in frivolous reading or writing, Now My brethren, if you obey the Saviour's study for God! write what may edify!- to call, and, renouncing the world's pomps and one who used to travel for pleasure and gain, vanities, begin to trust in Christ alone for Now follow Christ in his call to his Church salvation, and to seek to live according to to go to and fro, at home and abroad, to his holy example, be not surprised to find scatter the seeds of Divine truth! Only be yourselves pitied as weak fools. But have faithful to the call of Jesus ; follow him as done that? Matthew arose, and left all, he bids, in his word, his providence, and his and followed Christ. What have ye left for grace; all studied with sober mind, and much
his sake? What worldly thing have ye left perhaps conferred on him by Christ. And, behind? What vain companionship is given what is very worthy of observation, in the up? Are ye ready to part with any thing lists of the Apostles given in the first three more for which he may call ? to part, if need Gospels, Matthew alone adds to his own be, with one worldly comfort or another ? name an epithet descriptive of his former yea, when he shall call, will ye be willing to state—" the publican,”-as much as to say, leave this life itself, and to follow his hand You read of Matthew the Apostle, forget beckoning you to come after him through not that he once was Matthew the publican. the still chambers of death ?
Others may call him Levi, Matthew the But we know something more of the after- Apostle ; he reminds himself that he was spirit and life of Matthew. Hear St. Luke's Matthew the publican. And yet, once more, account of what followed : “ And Levi (i. e. when the other Evangelists enumerate the Matthew) made him a great feast in his own Apostles by two and two, they say, “ Mathouse, and there was a great company of thew and Thomas :" in Matthew's own Gospublicans and others that sat down with pel we read, “ Thomas and Matthew the them.” Now this conduct of Matthew shewed publican.” Let Thomas stand before that gratitude to Jesus, also a willingness to con- former publican. fess him before his old companions, and like- My brethren, these are beautiful and deliwise a desire to do them good, by introducing cate examples of that rare grace, true Christhem to the company of Jesus. These are tian humility. There are those who take marks of true conversion. If you love Jesus good care to let you know what they have for his mercy in calling you ; if you are not left for Christ, what they give to his cause, ashamed for former companions, worldly and and who love the upper place, and to be ungodly persons, to know that you are be- accounted as high professors. But, brethren, come his disciples; and if, when they crowd a few grains of the gold of humility are worth around to inquire what this means, and some all that tinsel. The real humility, which begin to scoff, and some to pity, you kindly makes a man to think humbly of himself invite them, by your words, example, and and all he does for Christ, often also to prayers, themselves also to come within the recollect with sorrow his former sins, likesound of the Saviour's voice, and into the wise to esteem others as better than himself, circle within which his grace loves to move; and to describe himself to the last a sinner then you have some pleasing evidences that saved only by the grace of Christ—that is a you are his, and he is yours. May this be blessed evidence of true conversion. our spirit when the world
“ Can there We know but little more of Matthew's any good thing come out of Nazareth ?" | after-spirit and life. He appears to have led “ Come, and see!” “ What have you found a simple, unostentatious life of diligent dein these new views ?" “ I have found the votedness to Christ. In vain will you search Saviour, who is able to save you also." "What through his Gospel to find Matthew telling made
you follow Christ ?” “Come, and hear you more of himself; and if you could him ; and if he do but speak to you as he have asked him why he said so little of spoke to me, you will know better than I can himself, his answer doubtless would have tell why I follow him."
been, Because I had so much to say on But mark another feature in Matthew's a better subject, Christ, my Master. Tradicharacter. You have heard that he made a tion, also, and Church history, tell us but feast for Jesus. But though Matthew tells little that is certain of the life and labours of the fact, that Jesus sat at meat in the house, Matthew. He is generally thought to have we are obliged to go to St. Luke to discover laboured in Judea for about eight years after that the house belonged to Matthew, and Christ's ascension, and then to have travelled that the feast was of his making. Now on his evangelical work into Parthia and here I see his humility. Again, in the Ethiopia, in which latter country he probably history of his conversion, it is Luke, not died a martyr's death. His preaching, we Matthew, who tells you that he left all. He doubt not, was greatly blessed to many souls himself says nothing of that, as though it now in heaven; and the influence of these, were nothing, to leave a seat in the custom- his converts, may have continued to many house for a mansion in heaven, the service generations. In the history also of his meof Mammon for that of Christ, a house of morable conversion, and in the invaluable his own for a house not made with hands, Gospel which he wrote under the inspiration the riches of time for the treasures of eter- of the Holy Spirit, he has left a benefit to nity. It is also to be remarked, that he the universal Church to the end of time. calls himself Matthew, while both the other In conclusion, let this subject impress us Evangelists call him Levi, which is thought with admiration of the grace of God. Look to have been the more honourable name, back on that publican, sitting at the receipt
of custom! Jesus is near, working miracles, I try. The evidence of men like Mr. Page, who have teaching the way of life. See how he never
lived as parochial clergymen in that part of the empire,
and have thus been brought into close contact with the stirs from his seat, but goes on counting and
actual necessities, and feelings, and superstitions of heaping gold. What an unlikely man to be
the Irish peasantry, ought to be, more frequently than come a convert! Then how unfavourable it has yet been, laid before the public. the place, a noisy custom-house! But the
The author exhibits in this book some of the evils grace of God is not limited. The voice of of Ireland, and the means by which they are perpe
tuated. We make an extract. Christ can find a man out in a crowd, single him out, individualise him, and speak to him
“ The insolent daring of the Romish priesthood has as though there were no other man spoken to.
been advancing, and with such rapidity, that it is in * Thou art the man! Follow thou me !"
many parts of Ireland quite uncontrolled, and bids deSee also, in this subject, a practical answer
fiance to every effort to bring it into subjection. They
direct all things, as if vested with unlimited authority; to the objection, that religion is all very well
they dictate to the very rulers of the nation, and that for the minister in his study, the hermit in
in the most violent and overbearing tone. They send his cell, the sick mån on his couch, the re
members to Parliament, who dare not think for themtired man in his retreat. Christ has a voice, selves, but must obey the commands received from the religion has a message, for man in every situa
agents of the Roman pontiff. They watch over even tion and circumstance of life; in the crowded
the private conduct of Protestants, and dictate what city, as well as in the secret chamber. When they must follow, and what avoid. I knew an instance you are next at the receipt of custom, tempted of a Popish bishop having issued an order to a Proto over-anxiety, covetousness, and the inor- testant member of Parliament, to withdraw his name dinate pursuit of gain, listen for a moment, from the list of subscribers to the Bible Society. The and you will hear the whisper of conscience, order was not, however, obeyed; but the impudence * Remember him who said to Matthew the of Popery is not the less evidenced. When I had publican, Follow me!"
been some time in Newport, where accommodation But lastly, let this subject suggest reflec
could not be easily obtained, I was invited to occupy tions like these. I have now been told what some rooms in the mansion of the proprietor of the it is to be unconverted; how Christ calls town; and because I was obnoxious to the Popish such ; and what are some of the signs of con- priest, for merely defending my brethren and religion version, namely, a ready obedience to the call from an unprovoked attack made by him on both, he of Christ, a lively gratitude to him, a readi-was daring enough to write an order to the proprietor ness to confess him before old friends, with
to turn me out of his house ; for that, if I were suffered a desire to do them good ; and also a deep
to remain in it, the people' must conclude, that, in humility of mind, and a devoted life crowned
my efforts to disturb the country,' I was instigated by a faithful death. How far, then, have I by him. And so certain was the priest that his order such marks of grace? Am I, O my soul, a
would be obeyed, that it was reported in the place converted man? Does conscience say, the
(before the landlord's answer was known), that I was thing is doubtful ? 0, seek to make it cer
turned out. I heard the report ; but never understood
the meaning of it until I heard of the priest's letter tain. Or, the thing is too clear : you are
and modest demand. The landlord did not comply not? O, rest not, cease not praying for the
with his request, but always treated me with respect; grace which Christ loves to give, sometimes
which I mention with more pleasure, because, in that to them who sought him not, but always, and degenerate part of the world, few act contrary to the without fail, to all who seek it faithfully. But
wishes of Rome's priesthood, except, perhaps, in those is there reason to hope that you are convert- cases where their own interest is at stake. Many more ed to God? Then, be thankful : be humble :
facts might be mentioned to shew the intolerance of be faithful: till you meet Matthew, who was the Romish priesthood in Ireland: but why mention the publican, who became the Apostle, who their effrontery there, when even in England they have is the saint in the realms of glory!
commenced the same system, and issue their commands The Collect. --O, Almighty God, who, to Protestants ? Not long since, a brother in the miby thy blessed Son, didst call Matthew from nistry (who travelled to obtain funds for the education the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and of the Irish), mentioned, that in a certain part of this Evangelist ; grant us grace to forsake all country there has been very lately a Popish chapel covetous desires and inordinate love of built, chiefly by Protestant money; and that this threat riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus was held out to enforce obedience to the Papal order, Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee
that the goods of the merchants should not henceforth and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without
be sold in Ireland, if they did not comply. The end. Amen!
consequence was, that some Protestants were mean
We are glad to find in this volume confirmation of Ireland : its Evils traced to their Source. By the Rev.
that which we have always believed to be a fact, viz. James R. Page, A.B. London, Seeleys. 1836.
that the Protestant clergy are not obnoxious to the The real state of Ireland is little known in this coun- people.
“ The poor,” says Mr. Page, “ are much attached nothing but faults, imperfections, and sins, an inclina. to the Protestant clergy, look to them for advice in all tion to evil, and aversion to good, unruly senses, un. their difficulties, apply at their door for relief in their governable passions, unreasonable affections.-Bishop
Wilson's Sacra Privata. sickness and distress, and seldom apply in vain. When
MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY.—The ministers of the poor man is perhaps disappointed in obtaining
Christ are “ stewards of the mysteries of God;" and relief, owing to the inability of the clergy to assist him,
" it is required in stewards that a man be found still the suffering child of Adam meets with sympathy faithful.” They will soon have to give an account of and respect.
This kind reception makes their stewardship-how the trust reposed in them has the suppliant to forget, as it were, for a season, his been discharged-how the riches intrusted to them hard lot; and he leaves behind him the well-known,
have been expended. It is necessary for a steward,
if he would use his master's property aright, to be and by the Protestant clergyman oft-heard, expres
acquainted with its real nature ; and, in like manner, sion, Well, God Almighty bless your reverence all the Christian minister must know, and justly, estithe same for it.'"«P. 45.
mate, the truth which is intrusted to him for distribu
tion. He is put in trust with the Gospel ;' but unless After examining the different plans of relief which
he has felt its power in his own salvation, he can have been suggested for Ireland, the author proceeds neither estimate its value, nor rightly dispense its to state what is his own view of the remedies required. blessings. Before he can teach others, he must first And here he emphatically says:
be taught himself; and measure the need of the Gospel “ The Gospel of Jesus CHRIST IS THE ONLY to others by the requirement of his own heart. How REMEDY FOR IRELAND, The evils of Ireland, those can he urge the humbling fact, that “the carnal mind peculiar to herself, are to be traced up to Popery as
is enmity against God," if he himself is a stranger to
“ the truth as it is in Jesus ?” How can he teach that their source; and no other knowledge than that of the
“to be spiritually-minded is life and peace,” if he Gospel can overturn that mystery of iniquity." — himself is not born of the Spirit? How can he with P. 163.
becoming earnestness, as an ambassador of Christ, be
seech men to be reconciled to God, if he himself conWe fully agree in this sentiment. We conscientiously believe that ignorance and superstition have
tinues to be in a state of enmity against him ?- Visi.
tation Sermon by the Rev. J. S. Lievre. begotten and maintained crime and wretchedness in that miserable country. Let the Word of God have free Love of REPUTATION.-The love of reputation, course, and it will run there, as elsewhere, and be glo- either present or posthumous, if not chastised and rified. Let “ the mountain of the Lord's house be modified by the Gospel, can not only not be admitted, established" there, and that nation will “ flow unto it." but must be utterly refused and rejected, as a prin. Let the Sun of Righteousness arise there, and it will ciple of action ; for it is incredibly mischievous in be with " healing in his wings." No meaner balm itself, and is entirely at variance with the principles can cure the wounds of Ireland. To this end, then, enforced by the Gospel. It is, in truth, when unconlet the instrumental efforts of all true Christians be trolled, only one form of that self-idolatry which the zealously exerted, that there be the full and free ex- Gospel seeks to expel from the heart of man.-Rev. hibition of the pure Gospel throughout the length and Hugh James Rose. breadth of that land.
THE ANIMATING INFLUENCE OP We wish this book to be widely read: but we must
HOPE.-" It is good that a man should both hope and say, though with reluctance, that its style is so loose, quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lam. iii. nay, frequently so ungrammatical, as to present, we
26.) Hope is a beautiful meteor; like the rainbow, it fear, a serious obstacle to its circulation. We entreat is not only lovely because of its seven rich and radiant Mr. Page, should another edition be called for, to set stripes, it is the memorial of a covenant between man himself, before he permits it to issue from the press, and his Maker, telling us we were born for immorin good laborious earnest, to the wearisome, but most tality, destined, unless we sepulchre our greatness, to necessary, task of revision.
the highest honour and noblest happiness. Hope proves man deathless—it is the struggle of the soul
breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting The Cabinet.
her eternity ; and when the eye of the mind is turned Preaching of the Gospel:-"Go ye into all the again for our justification, the unsubstantial and de
upon Christ delivered for our offences, and raised world, and preach the Gospel to every creature !" ceitful character is taken away from hope. Hope is 6 All the world." “ Every creature." What com
one of the prime pieces of that armour of proof in prehensive terms are these! What millions and mil
which the believer is arrayed ; for Paul tells us to take lions of perishable souls are here committed to our
for an helmet the hope of salvation. It is not good care! What a large share of our attention do they
that a man hope for wealth, since “ riches profit not demand! What a large proportion of our help! “The in the day of wrath ;” and it is not good that we hope Gospel," what a word is this! What blessed news! for human honours, since the mean and the mighty What glorious tidings! Which ought we to count
go down to the same burial. But it is good that he most precious, which ought we to feel most anxious
hope for salvation. The meteor then gathers like a to communicate,--the comforts of this transitory world, golden halo round his head; and, as he presses foror the words of everlasting life? How is it that we ward in the battle-time, no weapon of the evil one can so deeply feel for bodily distress, so freely and so
can pierce through that helmet. largely help in feeding of the hungry, or healing of
It is good, then, the sick, and care so little to spread amongst man
that he hope ; it is good, also, that he quietly wait
There is much promised in Scripture to the waiting kind that spiritual food, which has come down from
upon God. Men wish an immediate answer to prayer, heaven, that spiritual medicine, which can give health and think themselves forgotten unless the reply be unto the soul ?-Girdlestone.
instantaneous. It is a great mistake. The delay is HUMILITY.— I have all the reason in the world to
often part, and a great part of the answer. It exerbe humble. Without God I am nothing. Without cises faith, and hope, and patience ; and what better his help and grace, I can do nothing that is good. thing can be done for us than strengthening those Without his word, I know nothing. Of myself, I de- graces, to whose growth shall be proportioned the serve nothing but punishment. Of my own, I have splendours of immortality? It is good, then, that ye