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Son of man himself, in that dread conflict wherein He fought the battle of our fallen nature single-handed, and won it. Having the Word of God with which to work, remembering the wonders it wrought of old, and confident in its abiding power, what manner of men ought we to be in all holy diligence ? Shall we be surpassed in earnest and persevering labour by men who have turned away from the oracles of God, and seek to win the faith of mankind for old wives' fables, not even cunningly devised ?

For these spiritual ends, and with this holy Book, let us give ourselves to unremitting toil, and try to catch that spirit of patience which ever characterised the Society of Jesus. Whoever works with God must learn to labour and to wait. So far as patience is concerned, the Jesuits had some faint likeness to Him whose hallowed name they so dishonoured. Of Him it is said, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law." He wearies not in His well-doing, and, through years of feebleness and fitfulness and inconsistencies on our part, He pursues His labour of love, and will perfect that which concerneth us. If a thousand years were required to complete our salvation, Jesus would not, in impatience, forsake the work of His hands; He would count Himself to be but as one who sows his seed at morning dawn; who sees the green blades mantling the clods before the noontide hour has come; who, ere the sun goes down that selfsame day, puts in his sickle, and carries home his sheaves at eventide, with songs of praise and shouts of gladness. How can he be impatient, whose matins were sung as he broke up the fallow soil, and who had harvest-home as the theme of his vesper-song ? Thus brief to the patient heart of Jesus seems the long season of labour, for with the Lord a thousand years are but as one day.

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In reference to material things what a lesson of patience God taught us in the spring-season of this year! Who does not remember the earlier months of 1860, when the renewing of the earth was so long delayed ? For weeks beyond the wonted period stern Winter was enthroned, and nature lay barren and dead beneath his icy sceptre. It seemed as if the rough east wind would never be stayed, and as if gentle showers and genial sunshine were no longer part of the economy of this planet. By the bitter cold the tender grass was shrivelled, and no violets grew beneath. The babbling brooks retained their wintry coldness, and no primroses bedecked their banks. In leafless forest trees the bewildered birds slowly

their nests, and with songs which wanted half their usual sweetness, they wooed the sunniness which seemed as if it would never come.

In blighted pasture lands the pining cattle mutely chided the reluctant spring, whose chariotwheels so slowly rolled. Passionate lovers of God's fair earth longed in vain for the quickening of the dead, and the clothing of the naked creation in fresh and living forms of beauty. Thoughtful men were sad at heart and full of fears, and in many a breast grew strong the scepticism which said,

Where is the promise of His coming ? He hath forgotten the word which declares that seedtime and harvest shall not fail.” We were well-nigh hopeless, and altogether helpless, and could do nothing but call upon our God to breathe once more the breath of life over the barren earth. At last, how wondrously He interposed, and how speedily that rude east wind was conquered, when once God bade the powers of the spring do battle with Him.

“And soon he found he could not hold his own,
The merry ruddock whistled at his heart,
And strenuous blackbirds pierced his flanks with song.
Pert sparrows wrangled o'er his every part,

And through him shot the lark with pinions strong.
Anon a sunbeam brake across the plain,
And the wild bee went forth on booming wing.
Whereat he feeble waxed, but rose again
With aimless rage and idle blustering.
The south wind touched him with a drift of rain,
And down he sank, a captive to the spring.”

When God thus appeared for us, how marvellous, and all but miraculous, was the issue! The processes of long weeks were wrought out in a few short hours. Life and beauty sprang forth on every hand. The earth was suddenly covered with the rich promise of harvest. The longdesired spring, in all its glory, came amongst us, almost as instantaneously as the dawn of the first morning, when God said, “ Let there be light,” and in a moment the whole creation was bathed in the newborn lustre. What God did in the natural world He can do in the moral. We become fretful, and think the spiritual winter will never pass away. In His own good time the Great Husbandman will make all the buried seed spring up and beautify the earth with the fruits of righteousness. Therefore be ye not weary, for in due season ye shall reap, if ye faint not.

Revivals, Ancient and Modern.




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