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but giveth grace to the humble; and that ' grace' was indeed 'given' abundantly to queen Adelaide !"
In accordance with this deep humility, her majesty had an especial pleasure in conversing with humble and spiritually-minded ministers of the gospel, and sought every opportunity of doing so. On one occasion when a Christian nobleman from Germany was in London, count Reuss, who, like count Zinzendorf had become a minister in the Moravian church, queen Adelaide sent to request that he would pay her a visit. He went, accordingly, to the palace, was shown into one of the apartments, and left alone. Presently a lady came into the room and began to converse with him in the German language, chiefly on the holy scriptures, bringing different texts before him upon which she wished to have the opinion of this wise and experienced minister of the gospel of Christ. The lady's manner was so strikingly humble and kind that the count supposed her to be one of the queen's attendants; and the conversation had been carried on a long time before he discovered that he was speaking to the queen herself. Another excellent and venerable German clergyman, resident in London, was honoured with her majesty's high regard and favour to the close of her life: and as a last token of these, only ten days before her death she commanded a lithographic copy of her portrait (as painted by Winterhalter a very short time before) to be sent to him, signing her initials under it with her own hand. This portrait was in itself very remarkable: taken when queen Adelaide was in the last stage of her long illness, worn down with sickness and weakness and suffering, the sight of it was to me most touching and striking. Who ever before chose to have their portrait taken at such a moment? But it was beautifully characteristic of her majesty's frame of mind; and I could not but think that she had desired, and intended, that by it, she, "being dead," might "yet speak" to the living-to every one who might see it, even in the windows of a print shop-and call upon them to consider and see the end that each must be brought to, however exalted in station and dignity, however rich in the honours of this world, or in the affections of a grateful people; and I should hope there are few minds so constituted as to be able to look on that portrait without feeling the solemn lesson.
The "holy scriptures," given by inspiration of God, and able to make wise unto salvation, through faith that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. iii. 15, 16) were the source from whence queen Adelaide daily drew hope and comfort, "instruction in righteousness," consolation and joy. One of her favourite portions of the Old Testament was the Book of Psalms; and she constantly used also the valuable Commentary upon Ps. cxix., written by the rev. C. Bridges; a work which her majesty not only recommended to others, but frequently made a present of to her ladies; and expressed a particular satisfaction when she found it had been translated into the German language, and received a copy of the translation from the lady who had thus brought it before her countrymen.
With the exception of two visits paid by queen Adelaide to her relatives in Germany in 1844 and 1846, it may be said that the remaining portion
of her majesty's days were those of a perfect separation from all that are called the pleasures and joys of this life. From that time she went forward preparing for that eternal world where "true joys are to be found," and where her heart was "surely fixed." The wealth, which the English nation had delighted to endow her with, was returned upon it in streams of the most judicious beneficence; it passed through her hands as if she thought herself only the almoner of the nation, to relieve all that were in sickness or in want, in danger, in difficulty, or in distress; and brought joy, and comfort, and consolation into many a sorrowful English home. Her delight and happiness were to "deliver the poor that cried," and to "search out the cause that she knew not." Frequently were her chaplain and her secretary employed by her majesty to inquire of clergymen living in parishes from whence applications had been made for relief, in order to follow up a diligent "search into the cause of the poor." And how many, too, have been cheered and refreshed by her acts of tender sympathy! The providence of God had exalted her to the highest station of dignity; yet well she knew how to condescend to men of low estate," "to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with them that weep." Only the summer before her majesty's lamented death, when, in feeble and suffering health, she was residing for a time at the Calverley-hotel, Tunbridge Wells, she paid some most kind, familiar, and friendly visits to an invalid lady occupying apartments next to her own, endeavouring by word and by deed to pour consolation into the heart of a companion in tribulation, and to "comfort her with the comfort wherewith" her own humble spirit "was comforted of God." And bright was her example of patience and meek submission to the will of her heavenly Father throughout the long and painful sufferings that were appointed her; ever showing, even in the midst of them, the most kind and considerate attentions to her majesty's relatives who were with her, and to all her attendants.
Among the many benevolent works in which queen Adelaide delighted to engage, she appeared to have an especial satisfaction in contributing to the important work of building churches, and I believe schools also, in the destitute districts of our land; and who can calculate the amount of blessings and of benefits which her majesty may thus have been the means of promoting! Sad indeed it is to think that in a country favoured as England has been with the pure light of the blessed gospel, and with the power and means of spreading it throughout the land, there should yet be within her borders (as stated in the last annual sermon before the Prayer Book and Homily Society, 1849-50) "upwards of seven millions who, at the present moment, can neither read nor write." O may the knowledge of this awful fact lead many, like queen Adelaide, to "give of their substance" largely, that churches and schools may be multiplied, in which the pure truth of God's holy word shall be taught, and where our poor children may be led to the knowledge of their God and Saviour! Her majesty's interest in these good works was so well known that she was sometimes humbly requested to contribute, when a bazaar was held in aid of building a church or
school, cards on which texts of scripture were writen in her own clear hand. On one such occasion, within my grateful recollection, through the great kindness of a nobleman of her majesty's court, twenty-five large and handsome embossed cards were received, with texts selected and written by queen Adelaide; many of which were eagerly purchased by her grateful subjects before the bazaar was held for which they were intended. The selection of texts was very striking, as marking the faith and piety of her majesty's mind. I remember that the first which my eye fell upon was this: "By grace are ye saved through faith;
acceptance indeed out of him, but in him all acceptance of all that are in him. Nothing delights the Father but in this view all the world is as nothing in his eye, and all men hateful and abominable by sin. But, if thou get under the robe of Jesus, thou and all thy guiltiness and vileness, then art thou lovely in thy Father's eye. Let not the Father then see us but in the Son, and all is well" (Abp. Leighton). H. S.
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; THE WORD OF GOD A LAMP AND A LIGHT: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. ii. 8, 9). And so carefully were the whole twenty-five texts chosen, that they included the chief doctrines and duties set forth for the Christian's faith and practice in that blessed word of God from which they were taken.
John ii. 1-11.
"O most merciful Father, who is able with tongue to express, or with mind to think, thy hearty good will towards man! But the gift of thy only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, whom thou gavest unto us to be our Saviour, our Redeemer, our Peacemaker, our Wisdom, our Sanctification, and our Righteousness, is the most excellent gift, and our most precious treasure. A child to be born for our sakes! The Son of the most highest God to be given to us for a newyear's gift, to be our own for ever! O love passing all love! O kindness rather to be marvelled at than able by mouth to be uttered! Grant, that calling to remembrance we are not redeemed with corruptible silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb undefiled and without spot, we may live worthy of this thy kindness, and show ourselves obedient children to thee, our heavenly Father, unto the glory of thy holy name. Amen" (Becon).
"My beloved Son!' In this world lies all the comfort of a Christian. No pleasingness, no
BY THE RIGHT Rev. John Harding, D.D., Lord Bishop of Bombay*.
PSALM CXix. 105.
(6 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
So spake the psalmist David; testifying to the happy experience of his own heart as to the blessing which the divine word had brought to his soul; and so, dear brethren, all who are truly taught of God, as David was, can acknowledge the benefit of the word of God to themselves. We trust it is thus with many in the house of God this evening: if so, then the subject is one on which you will delight to dwell: it will be pleasant, and by God's grace profitable to you, to meditate on the preciousness of the word of God. May the effect be to stir you up to a more diligent use of that word, and a more earnest endeavour to learn the lessons of spiritual instruction contained therein! Meanwhile may it draw you to support the parochial schools of this parish, and to preserve these schools for the training of the poor amongst you; as the paramount and principal aim of those directing them is, to give to the young a knowledge of that same word, which you, brethren, find to be so inestimable a treasure to yourselves.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.' There are many important truths of which such an acknowWe will notice a few ledgment reminds us. of them. And we would say that this testimony of David illustrates first, very strikingly, what is man's necessity needs "a lamp," and he needs "a light;"
*Preached on Sunday evening, August 17, 1851, at Bexley Heath Chapel. It is right to state that our honoured friend the bishop of Bombay promised a sermon to our pages before he left England; but, the multiplicity of his engagements having prevented him from revising any manuscript for the press, we have been favoured by his family with that which we now print, as taken from the bishop's lips by one of his auditors.-ED.
and, secondly, it also declares God's mercy. | all goodness to his creatures; a God of love, What is it God does for man? He has and yet a God of grace? Nowhere will given "a lamp," and he has given "a light;" you find this, as you take human nature left and that lamp and that light is his holy to itself; nowhere will you find it amongst word. our fallen race. What need, then, of "a light"-a light to guide the creature to his God, and to show him the character of God?
I. We say, first, the text declares man's necessity. What is it that, as a fallen creature, he stands in need of? He wants "a light"-a light to guide; and-which he needs more than any thing besides a safe and steady light, that he may see the way he ought to go. So soon as Adam sinned, he left the straight and narrow road: he wandered from peace and holiness and eternal life; and all we, as his children, have gone astray from the right way; as it is said, "God looked down from heaven"-and what did he find?" They are all gone out of the way: there is none righteous, no, not one." Do you ask an evidence of this? Look, brethren, at the whole history of man. Whence all those miseries which abound in this world of ours? whence all this amount of wretchedness? How comes it to pass that man-the only mind possessed of reason-when left to himself is the most degraded, the most foolish, the most unhappy? Why, brethren, we cannot cast our eyes on the history of the world around us, and take only the first impression it gives us of any of our fallen race, and not feel at once that man is out of the way; that he has left the right road; that there is something palpably wrong: man is not good, he is not happy. Surely, then, he wants a guide to direct him to happiness
But there are one or two main points in the history of our race, which mark this want in a sad and awful manner. And, first, as to the nature and character of God. Who, and what is God? O how dark is the human mind on this point! How true that testimony of St. Paul, speaking of the heathen in their best days, "The world by wisdom knew not God!" That was his testimony then; and is it not true to the present moment? See the millions of the heathen world, with all their numberless forms of idols! Are they not made up of childishness, cruelty, and impurity? Or, to come nearer ourselves, take the mass of the men we see around us; and what are their notions of God? Either he is a God too strict or too forbearing; a God all anger, or a God all weakness; at all events a God, who, if he is to be pleased at all, must be pleased with a form of words-the outward acts of devotion! Where, dear brethren, will you find an idea of a God whom men can fear and yet love; all holy in himself, and yet
Again, what do men know of themselves of the way to be virtuous and good? See the mistakes as to what virtue is, and what goodness is; what calling of good evil, and evil good; what putting of light for darkness, and darkness for light, throughout the whole earth. Or, if sometimes better ideas prevail as to what is good for man, the ancient philosophers were altogether at a loss as to the way of making themselves good. We hear the moralists of those days frankly confessing that they did not know how to make men virtuous and happy. Yes, and this problem is one which has not been solved to the present day by unaided human reason. No: man needs "a light" to shew him the way to virtue and holiness.
Again as another point which irresistibly strikes every reflecting mind-when men need comfort and solace, O to what "broken cisterns" do they turn! What they want is comfort; but to what "miserable comforters" will they resort in the days of their distress! Surely they must meet with disappointment; and what is the end of their days? "They shall lie down in sorrow. Yes, it cannot but touch to the quick the heart of every Christian man, whether at home or abroad, when he sees that his fellow-men, left to themselves, are an unhappy, comfortless, miserable race. Indeed it is most true, "destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known." Left to
Once more, as to a future world. himself, man has nothing to show. Some have guessed at it; but as to a certainty they did not arrive at it! Or, if there be a hereafter, of what kind it is they know not. So it is to this our day. Aye, multitudes in this Christian land are as devoid of a right perception of eternity as though no light from heaven had ever beamed upon their path.
These, then, are some of the points in which we see man's necessity. He is out of the way; and, left to himself, he cannot find the right path. He cannot find the way to God, the way to peace and happiness here, and the way to future bliss and glory. Look at him either in Christian or heathen lands; so long as he follows the desires of his own heart, he dishonours his Maker, he sees not what is good for himself, he has no sure hope of happiness for eternity. What
he wants is that which the text precisely | speaks of "a lamp" and a "light" to guide him into the right path. He must have the lamp and the light, or otherwise he never can tread the good and the right way.
II. But, secondly, God is merciful. And wherein does his mercy appear? It appears in this that he has granted to man this grand desideratum, his own holy word; and this word includes all that his fallen creatures need, to guide them to himself, to make them happy in this life and the life to come.
Yes, the word of God guides us to himself: it tells us what he is: it opens to us his character it enables us to come to him under his own Blessed Spirit's teaching: we can draw nigh unto him, and see that he is good, holy, just, and merciful. God is good; therefore, when he made man, he made him pure and happy. God is holy; therefore, when man sinned, he cast the sinner out of his sight. God is just; therefore, he could not take the sinner back into his favour until a perfect satisfaction had been made for his sins. God is merciful; therefore, seeing man could not atone for his own sins, he spared not his only well-beloved Son, but gave him up to suffer in man's stead, to bear man's curse, and to bring man back again to peace
We said, God is merciful. True; for to every sinner of the fallen race of man, who comes owning his guilt and wretchedness, and craving pardon, O how ready is God to grant it! How does he take that sinner for his child-smiles upon him with unchanging love! how he guides, counsels, and comforts his spirit, until he receives him into glory! Yes, such is God, as he is revealed in his Yes, such is God, as he is revealed in his word; and such are his disposition and dealing with his creature man; and thus his word becomes "a lamp" and "a light" to guide us to himself. O you who have believed the word of God, you can understand this: you have learned so to look up to your Maker: you can stand as it were in his presence, and rejoice in your very nearness to him. Yes, the unseen Jehovah you can recognize as a God who loves you, and whom you love; as a God to whom you delight to yield your selves, as the God of your salvation.
Again, did we say that man needed a light to guide him to goodness and virtue? Man left to himself knows not what true virtue is; but here how bright a light does the word of God shed forth! Virtue! what is virtue? Love to God and his ways. Virtue! where is it? We have only one perfect example; and is it not in Jesus? O yes, in Jesus all virtue dwells. How, then, shall men be brought to practise virtue? how
shall they be brought to forsake evil, & choose what is lovely and excellent? 1 word of God answers what all the philosop of man never could answer. The word God provides for all this; because it brin the sinful creature to love and rejoice Christ as an adorable Redeemer. Th when we can look at Jesus, and call him Saviour, we begin to like every thing that like Jesus: then all unholiness, cruel selfishness, and impurity-we hate it a and this because we see in Christ the opp site of all these evil things: we see in Chi the love of God and holiness, we see in h the perfection of tenderness and puri And simply because our own hearts love t Saviour and are joined to him, therefore are influenced, taught, and governed by ] example. Yes, God in Christ is the sec of all goodness, of all moral excellen You remember the words of St. Paul: "E holding as in a glass the glory of the Lord What is the effect? "We are changed in the same image from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord."
guide to happiness-that he knows not w Further, did we say that man requires
sorrow? Does he labour after things th ther to turn for consolation in his days God here shine on him, and direct his ste do not profit him? How does the word to real happiness, substantia! comfort! its deep truths, suited to every time of nee it tells him of that love which he never cou have known without it: it makes springs arise in the desert to his thirsty soul; ye arise in the desert to his thirsty soul; ye tain of his joy: he sees God in all thing God, the Father of Jesus, becomes the four and all things in God: this is his abidi peace. His covenant God has become h refuge, his solace, his stay. Yes, indeed, t word of God reveals to him, may be a hap man, who simply knows and trusts what t
to him the sources of consolation fro
Once more, man needs a light to show hi the road to eternal blessedness. And th the word of God reveals to him. It te him of the only way in which he may se and find the salvation of his soul; and the it is most fully developed to him. The immortality and life are brought to ligh and, when he believes what the bible te him of things that are not seen and etern: in the exercise of faith and hope he is taug to say, "Thou wilt show me the path of lif in thy presence is fulness of joy, and at t right hand there are pleasures for evermore True, we do not yet know in all respec what is the blissful lot of God's children
the world to come. But, brethren, if to be with God, if to see the Saviour, if to dwell with the holy angels and saints, if to be free from sin, if to have no more to do with sin and sorrow, if to be perfectly pure and peaceful-if that is happiness, we know thus much shall be ours if we are Christ's; for God hath revealed this in his word: he hath promised this; and he has marked out the way of attaining this eternal blessedness; and none who tread this way, and trust in his promises through his dear Son, shall come short of it. And so the word of God becomes " a lamp" and "a light" directing us in the way to heaven.
Now, brethren, do you not see something of the blessedness of having a sure guide to God, to holiness and heaven? Yes, David might well thank God for it, as he found it a lamp to his feet, and a light to his path. And is it thus that you value the word of God? is it thus that you can look into your bibles, and find in them what your souls need? Do you therefore prize them, and fix your thoughts upon what you read? Do you search after its precious truths, praying that God would bless them to you, and make them profitable to your souls?
There may be some here who up to the present moment are conscious that they have treated the word of God with no such esteem and consideration. Aye, brethren, though you may have read it, and are able to speak much of its contents, if you have treated the word of God as a common book, you are chargeable with criminal neglect. To pay but little attention to the book God has written, is it not a fearful sin to lie on the head of any of usDever to lay up God's teaching in our mind; to mix no faith with it; to offer no earnest prayer to God to fix its precious truths in our memories-is it not a fearful offence? If any of us feel that we are chargeable with such a sin, let me beseech them, as in the sight of God, to ponder well their danger. He has there given us, dear brethren, just what his creature requires : he has mercifully caused that book to be written at "sundry times and in divers manners;" but yet he has put therein all that is needful for our soul's happiness for time and eternity. O, then, regard it not lightly: do not esteem it as a small matter! O put not such a slight and affront on what your God has given you! Is it not to reject the counsel of God against your own soul? We beseech you, dear brethren, consider these things-any of you who have not found the bible to be the guide and director of your paths. Would you not wish to be happy? Would you not wish for
peace now, and to come to glory hereafter r? Then reflect: these are the very ends for which the book of God was written, to direct you to all present peace and future blessedness. O take this lamp, then, which God has provided for you: pray to have open eyes to comprehend its truths, and that by the Spirit's influence they may touch your souls within, that so you may be willing to follow its holy precepts. Pray for understanding, faith, grace, and strength to walk in the way which God has marked out before you. And each day read and meditate over some portion of its contents. Take up each morning this "lamp," and look to see in which aid of the Holy Spirit to enable you to walk path it will direct you; and then ask the in it. So, dear brethren, you will be sure to find the way to heaven. There cannot be a man, who so studies the word of God, who daily guide, and mixes with it prayer for so takes it as his directory, and makes it his heavenly teaching, but it will lead him to all truth, and strengthen him to follow where it leads. It cannot be that he shall go wrong: God shall fulfil to that man the truth which he has written-that that word "is able to make wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
And you, dear brethren, who have been led (with how sure a guide!) into the right way, let us bid you to seek more and more to know how blessed is the instruction contained in it. Take up with no inventions of man, no discovery of man: let God's own word be your sole guide: seek from the boundless store of God's own infinite wisdom the "lamp" to guide you in the way you ought to go. And expect to find it at all times (yea, in the darkest hour) the solace and stay of your own soul. O honour the word of God! The more you take it for your guide, the greater will the blessing be; the more you use it, the brighter shall your pathway be: it shall "shine more and more unto the perfect day." Dear Christian brethren, we none of us half treasure our bibles as we ought: we do not half prize it, as the word of infinite wisdom, as our God intended we should. Let us endeavour to raise our thoughts and conceptions of its precious truths, inwardly digesting them, and mingling faith and prayer with our study of it. So shall we go forth in the way of righteousness: so shall peace and hope attend our path. And, when the end of our pilgrimage arrives, we shall indeed prove the blessing of having the word as "a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path." Through life its promises shall be our consolation; and, when we take the last steps of our pilgrimage, that