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history of the Presbytery in which such an association had taken place. He was delighted that the opportunity had occurred.
The Rev. Sir Henry Wellwood-Moncreiff has kindly acceded to our request, and the discourse and charges delivered by him on the occasion are in the printer's hands, and will appear, d.v., in our next number.
GREENOCK. —SOIREE-ANNIVERSARY. The annual soiree of the Greenock congregation was held in the church on the 25th November—the Rev. D. Taylor in the chair. Addresses bearing on the history and present position of the congregation were given by Messrs Milligan, Denney, M‘Kechnie, and Scott, members of the congregation. During the last year the stipend has been increased by £10. It is now £170.
On the 13th December anniversary services were held in the church. The Rev. John M'Dermid of Glasgow preached forenoon and eveningRev. D. Taylor in the afternoon. The collection amounted to £43:0: 61.
ARRIVAL OF REV. WM. WATT AT NEW ZEALAND,
Private letters have been received telling of the safe arrival of Rev. Wm. Watt and Mrs Watt at Wellington, New Zealand.
DUMFRIES. ANNIVERSARY SERVICES.
Anniversary services took place on Sabbath, the 13th ult. The Rev. Wm. Symington of Glasgow preached forenoon and evening, and the Rev. R. M'Kenna in the afternoon. A collection, amounting to £20, was raised to aid in the reduction of the debt on the church property, which increases the sum realised for this purpose during the past year to £60.
A meeting of the Edinburgh Presbytery was held on 22d ult. Mr W. R. Paton delivered trial discourses, and was examined on the various subjects prescribed. The discourses and examination were cordially sustained, and he was afterwards licensed to preach the Gospel. Mr John Towert, A.M., delivered a popular lecture, and was examined on “Symington on the Mediatorial Dominion.” Both the lecture and the examination were cordially sustained. An encouraging report was received from Dundee, indicating a considerable increase of membership, attendance, and contributions, as compared with the last quarter.
AIRDRIE. PRESENTATION TO REV. JAMES PATON.
The ladies of the Graham Street Congregation, Airdrie, on the 10th ult., presented the Rev. James Paton with a marble timepiece and a purse of sovereigns, on the occasion of his entering the manse.
TO CORRESPONDENTS. Cloth Cover for the Yearly Volume.—Our Publishers have prepared a neat cloth Cover for binding the "Reformed Presbyterian Magazine." It
may be had from themselves, or from any of the Agents for the Magazine, price 8d. Covers for former years can also be had.
Miscellaneous Contributions require to be sent before the 10th, Articles of Intelligence before the 16th, of the preceding month. In answer to several inquiries, copies of most of the past numbers of the "Reformed Presbyterian Magazine" may be had on application to the Publishers, or to the Agents. As the stock of some of the numbers is all but exhausted, early application is necessary. Printed by CHARLES Gibson, at his Printing Office, 18 Thistle Street, and Published by
JOHNSTONE, HUNTER, & Co., at their Warehouse, 2 Melbourne Place, Edinburgh.
REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE.
FEBRUARY 1, 1869.
"I SPEAK OF THE THINGS
TOUCHING THE KING.”—Psa. xlv. I.
THE LIGHT IN GOD FOR HIS PEOPLE-ITS
SHINING, AND ITS EFFECTS.
A DISCOURSE AND CHARGES DELIVERED AT THE ORDINATION OF THE REV.
PETER MILNE, AS MISSIONARY TO THE NEW HEBRIDES, NOV. 26, 1868, IN
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven.”—Matt. v. 16. Our attention is here called to the light in God's people. I say the light in God's people; for that is what my text means. Addressing His disciples, Jesus speaks of "your light.” This expression might, in some circumstances, have been understood as referring to a light external to the parties.' Jesus Christ Himself is declared by the evangelist John to be the “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (i. 9). And, according to the same
' evangelist (viii. 12), Jesus says regarding Himself, “I am the light of the world.” These statements might well be applied to the conclusion that He to whom they relate is, in a special and most precious sense, the Light of His own followers or disciples. And this conclusion might be supported by His words, recorded in John xii. 46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." The true benefit from Jesus as a Light is thus the peculiar privilege of those that believe on Him. They only enjoy the sunshine of God's gracious countenance in His only-begotten and well-beloved Son; all others abide in the darkness of unregenerate nature. If, then, I speak to a believer simply of his light, or if I refer to the shining of his light, he
may with great reason reply, My Light is Jesus Christ, I have no other Light but Him,--He alone shines for my peace and for my guidance,–I cannot see or enjoy God except through my faith in Jesus,- I cannot walk in a godly manner except through His brightness beaming on my path, I cannot testify for His truth, unless He, as a Sun of righteousness, irradiate and strengthen my soul;therefore I will seek to rejoice more and more intently in the rays of consolation and hope that come from His cross, and I will pray to be more and more enlightened and refreshed by the illumination of His Holy Spirit. But I have no light of my own,—there is nothing in myself out of which I can call forth brightness, Jesus only is my Light,-Jesus only can shine for me,-in myself I am dark and hopeless.
May we not say to one speaking in this manner, True—all true -you have no light save Jesus. But does not Jesus shine in you as well as for you? Have you not received Him into the throne of your minds, to dwell there, and to reign there ? Does He not thereby make you one with Him? Are you not thus partakers of His excellency? Are you not partakers of His Light? Have you not fellowship with Him as the Light of the world ? Have you not now a Light within you which embodies and reflects your Saviour's brightness ? Believing on His name, are you not transformed into His likeness? If you be not thus transformed,-if His Light be not now your light, as a light not only shining without you but burning within you; and if
you feel no connection with Him as sharers of His glorious sunshine,—then you are none of His, -you have as yet no part or lot in His atoning blood; you are still without God and without hope in the world. Assuredly the connection of Christ's disciples with Himself is such, that because He is the Light of the world, they also may be addressed as the Light of the world. Therefore, in the preceding context, Jesus addresses them in that character, and calls upon them to act the part which so high a designation involves. “Ye are the light of the world,” He says, v. 14, etc., “A city which is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." It thus clearly appears that the light here spoken of is “a light in God's people.”
Recent discoveries have illustrated in a beautiful manner the variety of light which emanates from the natural sun of our planetary system. They have shown with wonderful effect and truthfulness the connection between that variety and the variety of substance
in the sun itself. The rich colouring of rays, in which the untutored eye can see no diversity, carries with it features whereby science can determine with sure discrimination the existence of iron and other metals in our great orb of day.
Who can tell the exquisite variety of bright effulgence that descends upon
the world and the Church from the Sun of our spiritual firmament? What soul can conceive the vast combination of solid excellences and inimitable glories out of which flow down upon the children of men streams of spiritual illumination with redeeming and purifying power!
The diversity of lights in connection with physical objects on earth is now known to have a distinct connection with the substance of those objects respectively. Every streak of spiritual light that appears in the world comes either directly or indirectly from our grand spiritual Sun. But the diversity of such streaks is manifold, even as the variety of magnificence and beauty is infinite in the shining of that Sun. There are streaks of heavenly light proceeding from each disciple of Jesus, which correspond to the substance of the graces formed and nurtured in the new creation and spiritual growth of each converted soul. There is a common excellency belonging to all the enlightenment which the Spirit of Jesus imparts. If, addressing you, my brethren, as the disciples of Jesus, I exhort you as to the use of "your light," I must be understood as including, first of all, and chiefly, under that expression, the light which gives you peace with God through faith in the blood of the Lamb that was slain, or, in other words, "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” I must be understood as referring, first of all, and chiefly, to that light in the clearness of its simple shining for the joy and consolation of an otherwise guilty and despairing soul. A disciple of Jesus, rescued from the fearful pit and from the miry clay, with his feet set upon a rock, exhibits more or less to others of the light of reconciliation and peace. But each member of Christ's spiritual body has his own particular faculties and character, his own particular opportunities, his own particular obligations, and, above all, his own particular gifts of heavenly grace. His spiritual light is formed in close relation to these particularities, and thus it may be his own light in a sense in which it does not belong to other people.
The voice of the preacher cannot describe the minuter colourings of gracious illumination which appear in the movements of individual believers. In each domestic circle, in each loving companionship, in every public resort, these colourings may strike the spiritually discerning eye. Beautiful varieties of spiritual light may thus
be found among men, women, and children, in all conditions of life. To every class of people in a congregation,—to men of established reputation, to fathers and mothers of families, to young men and young women entering upon the duties and cares of life, to teachers and scholars, to the strong and healthy, to the infirm, the diseased, and the aged, to such as are full of hope, to such as are full of anxiety, to those whom the outward blessing of the Lord is cheering abundantly, and to those on whom He has laid His chastening hand,—the preacher may speak of a peculiar spiritual light as their own light, and may say, in the language of my text, “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” To the pastor himself, however, belongs a very special light. The possession of that light which is in him, if, indeed, he be called of God, involves a very high privilege, but, at the same time, a very deep responsibility. The colour of his light ought to exceed in richness that of other disciples. The beginnings of a similar peculiarity in spiritual light, beginnings whereby the hearts of young men are drawn towards the ministry of the Word, -imply the commencement, in some sense and measure, of the same privilege and the same responsibility. Surely I may say also, that the light of any one called to communi
Ι cate the message of the Gospel to a people that have been in darkness, requires more than ordinary brightness, and ought to reflect the beams of the Sun of righteousness with more than ordinary power. Surely, when I address the bearer of such a function, I may especially apply my text to the subject of “his light.”
The exhortation to let our light shine does not point so much to the production, or even the stirring-up of its brightness, as to the manner of directing its form and aspect for the fulfilment of its design. A revolving light on some conspicuous elevation near a rocky coast, may be blazing with all the strength of a thoroughly kindled fire, but if kept away by some accident from that direction in which the storm has overtaken many a vessel in the darkness, its fulness and brilliancy will not profit the mariners in their sore anxiety, nor, in an hour of greater calmness, would it warn the inexperienced of unseen perils in their way. The light in our souls, if we have been illuminated by the Spirit of Jesus, is altogether the work of that Spirit. He brings it into our minds and hearts with regenerating power. He kindles the flame of it. He fans and cherishes it. He makes it shine more or less brightly. If we try to render it more brilliant by our own natural resources, or by the skill of other men, we may, for a brief season, display a deceitful glittering. But soon it will be found that we have mingled elements of corruption with