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and cheered by their prosperity ? Was not sorrow for them, dreaded, because it could be so poorly shared by us ? Was not their suffering agony to us? and would we not have been content-yea, most happy—to have secured their joy, though it were at the expense of all that made life bright and attractive to us ? The loving heart will unreservedly answer,

Yes. There was not a hope—there was not a joy—not an attraction this world could present, which would not have been most freely surrendered, to have secured their happiness.

Well, beloved reader, the Lord has done in His great love that which we so sadly failed in doing. And we may rest assured

“What His love ordaineth

Is better than our best."

But oftentimes the question may rise in our hearts, Why is it God calls some of us to walk through life alone ?-why does He remove from us those whose love and presence were all that made life sweet and pleasant to us here? One reason doubtless is, that He would seek by these means to make our hearts free for His love to get in. When one, absorbing earthly love, occupies our hearts, there is very little room left for His. Besides, He would have us enter more into what the sufferings of His Son were, when as a lonely sorrowfal man, He walked this earth-a despised, rejected, broken-hearted man, who “ looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but he found none;" and whose

“Path uncheered by earthly smiles,

Led only to the cross."

And doubtless, if our sympathies were right with the Lord Jesus now, if our hearts were in that intimacy of communion which the language of the Song of Solomon so vividly portrays, His death would have desolated this scene to us, as none other could. " Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them ?” are His own words. " But the days will come when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast.” He counted upon His absence–His death-so darkening this scene to us, that we should find no rest or enjoyment save in the scene whence He had gone.

But alas ! it is not so; and He can lovingly make allowance for those who slept in the presence of such agony as earth never witnessed before, and never will again the

agony of the Son of God, when “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground"-with all the unspeakable tenderness of One, who was even then “ touched” with the feeling of our infirmities—"The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He too, who formed these relationships, whose own loving heart sought for human sympathy and attachment, who could say, I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but found

He can feel for us, as the most tender and sensitive human heart would utterly fail to do, when that one round whom every fibre of our being was so strongly entwined, is taken from us, and we know that all the passionate yearning of our hearts can never bring him back. This is what calms the storm of our sorrow, as well as the assurance, brought home

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by His Spirit, that He is doing for our beloved one, far more, and far better than we could ever have done. Taken him away from our absorbing love truly, but taken him up to the Source and Giver of it all; taken him up to God, who" is Love." Taken him from the pain and weakness of the poor, frail, sensitive body, to the enjoyment of that land, where “ the inhabitant shall no more say, I am sick.” Taken him to be with THE Man in Paradise the Man who loved, and wept, and suffered, and died, and was buried down here; but now-up there in that bright scene--lives to die no

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What an exchange! How it dries our tears; how it soothes our sorrow; how it sustains our heart to contemplate it! May it help our souls to rise more readily, more habitually to that bright scene, where “old things are passed away, and “all things are become new, and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ”—where there will be

no more sin, no more sorrow, no more separation, no more death." Where the wants and weariness of the way will be forgotten ; and gazing upon the “ Lamb as it had been slain,” our heart will find

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All the sorrow yet remembered

In the else forgotten years ;
His dark hour of bitter anguish,

His strong crying and His tears."

Well, as we think of these scenes into which He has taken our beloved ones, can we not say, He has done the best for them ? What remains then for us, but to do the best we can for Him ? There is no legality in this.

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There can be no legality in love. Love delights to be used. Its deepest joy is to be able to serve its object. So the apostle can close that wondrous chapter of divine contrasts—of death and life, of weakness and power, of humiliation and glory, with the calm comforting exhortation, " Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians xv. 58.

Where is thy sting,
O Death ? thy conquest, O thou conquered Grave?
Tears flow. Wounds bleed, but “ Victory" we sing,

The Lord is strong to save !

Now nevermore
Thy spirit falters in its yearning quest,
Thy home is reached, thy strangership is o'er;

Sweet toil, yet sweeter rest.

The Father's heart,
Thy blessed refuge, is our shelter too;
We see thee still, are with thee, where thou art,

Hid, but from mortal view.

Gone unto God!
Gone to the Father in His house to dwell :
Gone through the shadowed vale that Jesus trod-

Beloved, it is well!

6 THAT I MAY WIN CHRIST."

TAE brief sentence which forms the heading of this article presents to us the earnest aspiration of one who had found an absorbing and commanding object in Christ-the utterance of a soul whose one desire was to grow in the knowledge and appreciation of that blessed one who fills all heaven with His glory. The whole passage

from which our motto is taken is full of power. We must quote it for the reader, “ But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.

Let us specially mark the words, “ what things were gain to me." The apostle is not speaking of his sins, of his guilt, of things of which, as a man, he might justly be ashamed. No; he is referring to his gains, his honours, his distinctions, his religious, his intellectual, his moral, his political advantages of such things as were calculated to make him an object of envy to his fellows. All these things he counted but loss that he might win Christ.

Alas! how few of us understand anything of this! How few of us grasp the meaning of the words—the real force of the expression, "That I may win Christ !" Most of us rest satisfied with thinking of Christ as God's gift to sinners. We do not aim at winning Him as our prize, by the surrender of all those things which nature loves and values. The two things are quite distinct. As poor miserable, guilty, hell-deserving sinners, we are not asked to do, or to give, or to surrender anything. We are invited, yea commanded to taketake freely-take all. " God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” The gift of God is

. eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. “If thou

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