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Every meeting with men was an oppor. | was no equivalent to that “so" in all the tunity for making this felt. It was seen at range of human knowledge. But when home, where his mother pondered his words our souls become the actual possessors of in her heart. It was felt with wondering that love, we realize the “ marvellous astonishment by the doctors in the Temple. light” into which we are brought. We are It was shown in Christ's patient, and, ulti | made alive unto God. mately, successful treatment of that most It is just here that we learn the true impenetrable and debased woman, the force of the apostolic injunction. Christ is woman of Samaria. For so far was he | not only an example to us, of grace, and from being wearied with the labour, that he truth, and loveliness; he is the life and declared to his disciples that his expendi blessedness of the believer's soul. ture of zeal had yielded him a joyous Then we witness to the excellencies of satisfaction. “My MEAT is to do the will Christ by living under their constraining of Him that sent me, and to finish his
power. work.” Have we not here the secret of Christ's life is our law, inasmuch as successful labour ? And, oh, how im- Christ lived in perfect accordance with his pressively is the zeal of Christ manifested own law. And we recognise Christ's life as, looking towards his death, he says, “I as our law when we can cordially say, have a baptism to be baptized with, and “For me to live is Christ." how am I straitened till it be accom But surely it is not too much to say, that plished”!
in our hurrying and mechanical age this But all the excellencies of Christ are truth has lost something of its first fresh. summed up in those few but wondrous ness and force. We believe very readily in words — “God is love." This is the doctrines, in creeds and deeds, in commitcrowning glory of his character and his tees and associations of Christian men; but work. But who can scale those heights, or do we believe as freely and cordially in sound those depths ? The love of Christ " the power of an endless life"? We pay is passing knowledge. Yet it is our joy, a high regard to Christian scholarship and our life, to know that he loved us, and gave theological acumen, and rightly so ; for the himself for us.
Church of Christ cannot have too much II. We come now, in the second place, learning, if only it be sanctified, being con. to consider the Christian witnessing to secrated on his altar as an offering to Him; these excellencies. Who can wonder at the but are we not in danger of forgetting that deep and growing impression which Christ this has never been the power which has has made on the world ? He brought won the chief conquests of Christ's kingheaven to earth in his spirit and his life-a dom? spirit and life essentially different from the The grand secret of the apostles' power world. He lived a purely godly manhood, and success was the vividness and the conmaintained in all the duties, relations, and stancy with which they realized the life of temptations of life. But much more than God in their souls ; that the character in this. He came as the gift of the Father's which they stood before the world was that love, a Saviour to our lost and ruined race. of separated men-men called of God to It often seems to us a most remarkable be partakers of his grace and to live to fact, in connection with the life and minis- him. They believed unwaveringly in Him try of Christ, that so few believed on him ; , who was “the way, the truth, and the so remarkable, indeed, that there is a dis- life." And their character was formed by position to think that if the truth of their belief, as character always is. “ They Christ were rightly presented to men, they all, with open face beholding as in a glass must and would believe on him. I know the glory of the Lord, were changed into that this is the instrumentality which God the same image, from glory to glory, as by blesses ; but at least Christ presented his the Spirit of the Lord.” “The life also of truth aright. Yet how could it be ex- Jesus was manifested in them.” They pected that the natural, unrenewed man possessed an inward calm of soul which should believe in a love so beyond all | could not be kept wholly within. A Divine human ideas and experience ? When 1 joy brightened their entire life, filling them Christ said to Nicodemus, “ God so loved to overflowing, so that joy poured itself the world that he gave his only-begotten forth on others. It was with the full feelSon, that whosoever believeth in him shoulding that he was a king and a priest unto not perish, but have everlasting life,” there God, that Paul, the prisoner in chains, said
to Agrippa, “I would to God that not only an almost insuperable difficulty. They thou, but also all that hear me this day, think and speak' feelingly of their entire were both almost and altogether such as I unfitness for it, believing that they are unam, except these bonds."
fit. It is very remarkable how God simAnd so, brethren, should we rise to the plifies his instructions to us. In the reheight of our true dignity, and, living up quirements which he makes of us he rememto our privileges, thus commend the Gospel bers our feebleness. He does not call on of the grace of God to others. But if, every Christian to build up a system of forgetful of our calling, or undervaluing theology, or to become a public preacher of the dignity of our heavenly birth, we at all the word of life. But he does ask of us catch the spirit of the world, we shall as that, while living in the enjoyment of his certainly exemplify it in our spirit, in our love and the experience of his saving power, words, and deeds. No matter how loud our we tell to others what we have “tasted, and professions may be, or how enthusiastic felt, and handled, of the word of life," and our occasional zeal, there will be no true of the excellencies of Christ; that we com. and accepted “ showing forth of the ex mend that love which led Christ to die for cellencies of Christ.” The spirit of truth, us, to bear the curse in our stead, to ungrieved and insulted, will retire from us for dertake for us altogether, bearing with our a season, leaving us under the dominion of unworthiness, our ignorance, and the per" the things which are seen and temporal,” versity of our nature, while ceaselessly inthat “our own iniquities may correct us.” terceding for us at the right hand of God; Self-denial will become only occasional and a love which will one day bring him in reluctant, rather than daily and habitual. glory to take us home. Our zeal will be no soul-consuming fire of Do any ask where and to whom they heaven, but a mere show of fitful impulse. shall thus speak of the excellencies of Christ?
Christian injunction always appeals to Jesus said, " Go and tell thy friends what us as “the salt of the earth ; " " the light of great things God hath done for thee, and the world.” The New Testament knows hath had mercy on thee.” Begin there and nothing of a hidden Gospel in Christians. thus, and both mind and heart will expand The possession of the love and life of Christ with the theme and the work. If the most stamps us with the highest dignity of which gifted and cultivated of the apostles so freour nature is capable. It fits and calls us quently referred to his own conversion, to be co-workers with Christ ; for he who showing forth in this the grace of God as habitually feels the constraining power of magnified in him, what should hinder that, the love of Christ, subduing his sin and with reiterated frequency, we should say, drawing forth his holiest and strongest "I was the slave of sin, the child of fear, but affections to Christ, cannot doubt the power God had mercy on me; his Holy Spirit of that love in others. He will cease to caused nie to see the darkness and lostness doubt, indeed, just in proportion as he of my soul, and brought me to the cross realizes the power of that love in his own of Christ, and under the melting power of heart. The love and life of Christ within his love subdued my sin and fear, encircled the heart will mould the entire spirit of the me in the light of God, and gave me joy man; will form within him and confirm and peace in believing"? Surely every man's habits of godliness ; will lead to daily, own conversion is a matter as marvellous to habitual cross-bearing ; will foster and himself as Paul's was to him. Marvellous, direct his zeal. It will thus make him too, it is, to an unbelieving world. thoroughly unworldly, separating him from And now, brethren, let us thoughtfully men for the service of God. It will stamp entertain a question that intimately conGod's mark on his forehead, that all men at cerns us. Are we showing forth the all times may “take knowledge of him that excellencies of Christ in our outward life he has been with Jesus, and learned of and in our inmost soul, by our acts and him.” And thus he will become a heavenly our words ? I may answer this question gift of holiness to the world, a power of by another. Do we constantly feed on the God for good.
| pure word of life, making God's testimoBut, further. He who habitually lives | nies our meditation day and night, that we under the constraining power of the ex. may spiritually digest them, and so grow cellencies of Christ, will show them forth by up into Christ? Oh, this is the blessed declaring them to others. Engagement in life, the very blessedness of life! Do we Christ's service seems to many Christians | not sometimes yearn for it with intense desire, wearied of our weakness, and ashamed touched with his reviving grace; and the of our coldness ? Christ asks of us that we world, hopeless and sad, sighs for the thus live, and Christ gives us thus to live. coming. God grant that this spirit, this The Church of Christ needs men, even | life, may be ours! bands of them, whose hearts the Lord has
A LITTLE WHILE.
“The time is short.”—2 Cor. vii, 29.
A LITTLE while, and I shall be
This little while ?
Is there no light on me to break?
This little while?
The words of Jesus shed a light.
This little while.
This little while ?
Eternity is rushing on-
This little wkile!
O teach me, Lord, how slight my breath.
A little while.
How soon this tongue will cease to move!
This little while?
A little while, and I shall be
This little while !
Tales and Sketches.
Uncheered by all the beauty of the
summer, a woman, whose loved child has A SKETCH FROM LIFE.
“ gone astray," looks out upon the landTHE place was very beautiful; there scape which for her has lost its beauty. could not be two opinions about that. On « Oh, Janet, Janet !” she murmurs, the top of a hill that overlooked the valley yearningly, “have I deserved this of of the T- stood a church-tower, from thee?" whence hundreds of tourists had looked There is no answer, save the moaning of down upon that winding and picturesque the winds, and the slow, solemn plash of river ; and all around, upon the graceful the river-wave against the shore. undulations so characteristic of the west, “ Will she never come back to me ? " were cottages, gardens, pasture-lands, and asks the mother; “never ? " cornfields.
And echo answers or seems to answerIt was June, and, in spite of unusual “Never!” showers and winds, the grass was ripening. Meanwhile, the boats that are gliding By the cottage which Susan Lee inhabited, towards the ocean pass on without a sign. farm labourers passed day after day, dis A few hours, and they will reach that discussing as they went the prospect of an tapt town within the walls of whose workearly or late hay-harvest. The village | house lies a girl—she is scarcely a woman children plucked foxglove, speedwell, and who has lost everything on earth except forget-me-not from the hedges ; and life and her mother's love. In the Locked amongst them Susan's little daughter | Ward, despised, self-outcast, and hopeless, played almost as merrily as if the world she longs, yet fears, to die. All the rich had been altogether unstained by sin and beauty of the advancing summer, the breath altogether unshadowed by distress. Susan of flowers, the rustle of foliage, the songs Lee loved this child very tenderly, and it of birds, serve but to deepen and darken pleased her to see her little Janet blithe her despair ; for they remind her of a childand merry with the rest. So, on this hood in which she was comparatively in. summer day, the gladness of the little girl nocent, a childhood which she will never was all unchecked, and she was suffered to see again. forget the existence of woe and pain.
This woman is Janet Lee, the daughter The hours went by, and the daylight who had “gone astray" and broken her slowly lessened; then valley-meads beside mother's heart. It were unwise, we think, the river were shrouded in thick, grey to tell all her story : enough that she has mist; then hill tops glowed with the red sunk so low as to be numbered amongst hues of sunset; then stars peeped through those whose house is “the way to hell, heaven's curtain of purest blue; then, going down to the chambers of death." tired and hungry, little Janet sought her She who was once a child ! bed, and slept the sleep of childhood There is a woman dying overhead-a beside her mother.
young, frail creature-whose cough, in the Hnd she so slept for ever, it had been stillness of that calm day, sounds, now and well!
again, like a voice from the awful tomb.
She, too, once knelt by a mother's side, June again, lovely June, with its wealth and slept in a mother's arms. Now she is of flowers! June, after many years, many stained and outcast. God pity her! weary years of pain. The old church 1 There is a girl in the next bed, who stands in the same spot, and looks as is penitent, and who, as soon as her calmly down upon the vale : the countless health is re-established, will go to a house drops of water which form the river-not of refuge-a home for the outcast. Janet the same drops, but like, oh, very like ! - Lee likes this girl, is almost friendly with still roll with irresistible force towards the her, and thinks she will really be saved. sea : all things remain unchanged, except But for herself, she despairs. There is no the heart, and that is desolate !
hope for her. All in vain is prayer offered,
all in vain is the Gospel preached. She is next evening a lady called on the minister lost, and lost for ever!
in deep anxiety, and made known her These are dark thoughts as she lies on errand by saying, “ Last evening, at the that bed of pain. She who was once a meeting, I resolved that I would not let child !
another day pass without coming to see We pause here, for as yet we know no you, and talk with you about the salvation more.
of my soul.” She soon gave evidence of Thus far we have told, in order that we having embraced the Saviour. She then may entreat our readers to pray for Janet set her heart upon seeking, by prayer and Lee. Ask, ye who have happy homes, that effort, the conversion of her husband; and, this poor wanderer may, ere long, be re in the course of a few months, he sought stored to the friends of her youth; agk, ye and found peace in believing in Jesus. who have never yet been tempted, that this, They laboured steadily to bring up their your fallen sister, may be resched; ask, ye | children in the nurture and admonition of who have sinned in secret as she sinned the Lord, and had the happiness of seeing openly, that God, in his mercy, for Christ's them all in early youth profess their faith sake, may pardon both. Pray, mothers, and hope in Christ. They laboured effifor her who loved as fondly and as tenderly | ciently in the Sabbath school, and there is as you the little one God sent her, and reason to believe that they were there inwho is now thrice desolate; pray, daughters, strumental in leading numbers into the for one whose smile was once as bright as path of life. They consecrated their wealth yours, but who now weeps as only the out to the cause of Christ, and bestowed it cast weep; pray, all who have souls to freely in large donations to religious and save, for a fellow-immortal, whose life hangs charitable objects. In his business he was by a thread which a breath may sunder. influenced by Christian principle, to a de: In the name of Christ who died on Calvary, gree which commended religion to those pray!
who had dealings with him, and to those especially who were placed under his charge. i
It seemed an humble opportunity of HUMBLE OPPORTUNITIES.
preaching the Gospel, when that little com !
pany of fifteen persons were assembled. A PASTOR in Massachusetts states that in But one mind was awakened and led to looking back over a ministry of more than Christ. That influence extended, and has 1 twenty years, during which his labours been spreading and increasing for twenty ! have often been crowned with the Divine years, till the grain of mustard-seed has blessing, no sermon has been productive of become a tree. Ministers should not be so much visible good to souls, as one which, discouraged at any time because they have in the early part of his ministry, he preached few hearers. “In the morning sow thy: to fifteen persons. He had appointed a seed, and in the evening withhold not thy ! lecture instead of the stated weekly prayer. hand: for thou knowest not whether shall meeting. It was an October evening, | prosper, either this or that, or whether they damp, dark, and chilly. But few attended, both shall be alike good.” The Lord pre : and, so far as he observed, they were all pares the hearer. He opened the heart of professing Christians.
Lydia by the river side to attend to the He had spent the day in preparing the Gospel. Faith and prayer bring down his discourse on Rom. x. 1: “ Brethren, my | blessing. heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel Christians should not wait for great is, that they might be saved.” Showing, occasions to do good, but be encouraged to first, what it is to be saved ; second, how sow the good seed“ beside all waters." Christian hearts desire that sinners around Improve small opportunities. “A word them may be saved ; and third, that there spoken in due season, how good is it!" is danger that sinners will not be saved. Giving a tract-giving a tract, small as it The room was poorly lighted ; the hearers might seem-has often been the germ from were few and scattered; and it seemed al which a church has grown, and, in its turn, most like preaching to the walls, at least so that church has been the mother of churches. far as that part of the sermon was con Write a note of Christian entreaty to 8 cerned which was designed for warning and ! friend ; speak to a child about Jesus and invitation to sinners.
salvation. In this way Harlan Page le. . But, one stricken heart was there. The boured so successfully. It is by Christians