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"Honour all men.- Love the brotherhood.-Fear God.
Honour the king."
“It is too late" Death at hand.
| VARIETIES. "My Life has been a Failure”.... 29 The Blessedness of Doing Good 35 Poetry.
The Christian's Hope ........ 36 “ Speak Gently" .............. 30 God! Time ! Eternity!........ 36 NARRATIVES, ANECDOTES, &c. "A Brand Plucked from the Fire" 31 Daily Texts, POR SUNDAY SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES.-Cover, p. 2.
INSURANCE,- Cover, p. 3.
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LEEDS: JOHN HEATON, 7, BRIGGATE; LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & co., ARTHUR HALL & co.,
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Daily Texts For Sunday Schools And Families. "0 how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day."—Psalm cxix. 97.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name1
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least,
And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees : there-
The Lord's Day.—And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying,
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for what-
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find ; knock,
The foxes have holes, and the birds of the afr have nests;
I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matt. ix. 13.
The Lord's Day.—He that receiveth you receiveth me, and
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I
Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give ac-
So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall comeI
And when Jesus had 6ent the multitudes away, he went up!
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and!
honourethme with their lips ; but their heart is far from me. Matt. xv. 8.
And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks J
The Lord's Day.—If any man will come after me, let himj
And Jesus Whs transfigured before them: and his face did
I 13 Tu
19,M 20 Tu
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
from my youth up: what lack I yet? Matt. xix. 20.
And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will
ye that I shall do unto you? Matt. xx. 32.
And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and
he healed them. Matt. xxl. 14.
Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Cesar's;
and unto God the things that are God's. Matt. xxii. 21.
Thr Lord's Day How often would I have gathered thy
children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens
under her wings, and ye would not! Matt, xxiii. 37
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not
pass away. Matt. xxiv. 35.
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour
wherein the Son of man cometh. Matt. xxv. 13.
Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others
smoto him with the palms of their hands. Matt. xxvi.G7.
And when Jesus was accused of the chief priests and elders,
he answered nothing. iMatt. xxvii. 12.
Jesus, when he had cried with a loud voice, yielded up theghost. Matt, xxvii. 50.
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matt.
Quite as frequently has the profession of a religious guide been used for a cloak of avarice. As a means to extract fees from men for performing ceremonies asserted to be indispensable to their salvation; to obtain* grants of tithes, estates, and money, from kings, landlords, and all men, in their dying hours. The wealth of the rich, and the pence of the poor, even "widows' houses," have been equally coveted by priestly rapacity. It was so in our Lord's time, and was bitterly denounced by him; no wonder men remain the same.
But now for the other side. And, first, it is clear that on this point, if you can put no confidence in men, you may put confidence in the Bible itself. Jesus Christ, the author and the end of his own religion, and all his Apostles, united in denouncing Priestcraft in every shape. Silver and gold they, at least, had none. Whatever they have been accused of from that day to this, none ever accused them of making money by their preaching. They, in great part, worked for their living, and at most received but their maintenance from those for whom they gave up their time and strength, and their lives too. Their hire they did receive, on the principle which all our readers hold sacred, that " the labourer is icorthy of his hire." In like manner, they renounced all authority over their disciples' faith,—transacted every thing openly,—would not even excommunicate a member guilty of flagrant sin, by their own authority; but referred it to the whole assembled church (1 Cor. v.),—and claimed no regard in any thing except as by manifestation of the truth, they commended themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. The founders of Christianity, who were also the penmen of the New Testament, were, of all men whom the world has seen, the most free from the love of money and the love of power—the two great marks of Priestcraft. Priestcraft, too, has generally resorted to some kind of imposition,—some assumption of artificial sanctity, exclusive power, to perform some halfmagical rites which in their hands alone were efficacious. Apostolic succession, transubstantiation, baptismal regeneration, extreme unction, are examples of impostures of this kind, and that too in the name of Christ! The New Testament is absolutely free from all this. It denies that there are any priests at all upon earth.-f Its religious teachers are simply those whose gifts and endowments fit them for the work of guiding and instructing. In .the New Testament, the clergy are nothing but servants; the church, i.e. the people, are every thing. Its ceremonies are but two simple forms, strikingly illustrative of its two cardinal truths. Baptism setting forth that we must be born again,—the Supper of the Lord, that he died for our sins, and is to come again to receive us to glory. Marvellous that forms so unpretending, should have been converted by Priestcraft into rites essential to salvation, and only to be administered by episcopally ordained
* See Hallam's Middle Ages. t Hebrews.
successors of the apostles! The New Testament is not answerable for such gross impostures.
Then, secondly, amongst religious teachers, as in every other class, you may discern the faithful from the crafty, the sincere from the selfish. "By their fruits ye shall know them," says the Great Teacher. Of course, a hypocrite in any line of life may deceive for a time; but he cannot for very long. No man is fit to be a teacher of Christ's religion, who would not gladly teach without pay, if he had the means of living without it. Judge, then, fairly whether he preaches for filthy lucre's sake, or only receives money, as you do for your labour, to enable him to go on with his work. Notice whether he seems chiefly zealous to bring you to obey Christ himself, or whether he lays much stress on his own Church. The true Christian teacher longs above all things to bring men to Christ himself, although he may sincerely think some views he holds of his Master's will, to be more correct on lesser points than those held by others. Notice whether he appeals to what our Church ordains, or what the New Testament requires; whether he speaks as a dogmatic, self-confident authority, or as an humble, yet unflinching interpreter of the blessed Book, which is as open to you as to him. The true Christian instructor sends his hearer to no composition of fallible fellow-mortals as a safe guide; "the Bible, and the Bible only," is his appeal. Like Paul, he so preaches as to send you "to search the Scriptures daily, whether those things be so." Manner may sometimes deceive. Paul speaks of those who by " fair speeches lie in wait to deceive." Yet, for the more part, the modest, yet earnest,—kind, yet honest, pleader for Christ and souls, is a man whom we may believe free from Priestcraft.
To sum up, while Priestcraft is on all hands acknowledged to be the vilest craft in existence, a sincere desire to do good to the immortal part of man is the noblest of human feelings. No wonder it should be counterfeited, as all good characters often are, for base purposes. But, friends, it were as foolish to reject truly valuable and good Christian teachers because there are impostors, as it would be to empty your pockets of all your genuine money, because you find more or less of it to be counterfeit coin.
Finally, bad ministers are not the only crafty teachers. Infidelity, Socialism, and the like, have their crafty advocates too. There are certainly not wanting amongst them, men who make gain of their disciples, and men who only wish to be the leading men in the clique or crowd around them. "By their fruits shall ye know them" also. Enquire into the lives of the greater part of them, and if you find them guilty of practices which the New Testament condemns, your common sense will teach you why they hate alike both the Book and its Teacher, hate, indeed, its sincerest teachers most, and endeavour to prejudice you against them, by confounding all together under the cant cry of "Priestcraft."