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was met in very disreputable company by one of his old hearers, who said, “You, of all people in the world to be found here, after preaching religion to us so long !" "When I left B-" he replied, “I hung my religion on the gates of the chapel, and when I return I mean to put it on
What multitudes have quitted their homes and their country in the same spirit, and, like this empty professor, have promised themselves that they would pick up their religion when they returned to their home!
How many steady-going professors, when they take their summer's run or holiday jaunt, leave their religion at home and act out the oft-quoted saying, “When we are in Rome, we must do as Rome does !" Where is the witness for Jesus? Where the desire to scatter the seeds of truth? Where is the distinct testimony that Jesus rules in the heart and regulates the conduct ? Not a vestige of it is to be found.
A Yorkshireman, describing a Christian who lived near him, said, “He is just like a good piece of broadcloth, that cut where you may, you will find it all sound.” But,” says the child of God, “if this be true of some, what can I say of myself? Surely my spot cannot be the spot of
Ι God's children; they are a better people altogether than I am, for, from the crown of my head to the sole of the foot, I feel there is no soundness.”
Friend, the evidence that satisfies you cannot be seen by others; and that evidence which satisfies others cannot be seen by you. It is the spirit of adoption, and the shedding abroad the love of God in the heart, which satisfies the believer. It is the manifestation of grace in the life which proves to others that his profession is sincere, and that his religion is not a name only, but a vital reality—the power of God unto salvation, “ teaching to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.”
But there is one more hint may be given under the many gested by “at home and abroad.” Not a few among the professors of our day, and the teachers of our day also, are Calvinists at home and Arminians abroad. How is this? A gracious man, known and valued by the Church of God, now in heaven, being asked to give a reason for this, summarily replied, “Because their errors are their own, their truth other people's-so they feel at liberty to do as they like with their words."'* This judgment, though severe, is weighty, and well for some if they would humbly put it into their balance, and try themselves by it. We admit some household Calvinists are honest, but timid. works upon
their minds to alarm them as to the results of speaking out. People are offended-congregations are thinned; the doctrines of are unsafe for the masses practically, and when they take effect it drives people to despair! It is needless to answer these objections, which are as old as Cain and Abel, and will live as long as the world lasts. But, if Calvinism is true in the parlour, why should it not be proclaimed in the pulpit ? If the doctrines of grace are acknowledged as foundation truths at home, why should they be denied or nullified abroad? If Calvinism gives peace and comfort to the believer at home, and has a holy influence upon the life, why should the same individual conceal or contradict in public the doctrines which he holds to be divine and practical in private ? In education, science, politics, commerce, such a mode of proceeding would be regarded as dishonest by worldly men of any principle. But
* W. C. Colyer, author of "Good News,” reprinted by W. H. Collingridge.
Satan's enmity is directed against God's truth; and to entice any, but especially men of God, to nullify, conceal, or damage it is his pleasant employment.
By grace the truth is revealed to the heart of a sinner, and by grace the sinner is taught to confess the truth as it is revealed. Now is the witnessing time for saints, and for their encouragement it is written, " Whosoever shall confess me before man, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."
EBENEZERS; OR, STONES OF HELP. DURING the past fortnight the Lord has been pleased to enable me to raise three Ebenezers: the first while walking in a by-road, the second while lying on a sick-bed, and the third while riding in a railway carriage. On October 21st, when walking on the lonely way named above, I was taken suddenly ill. I thought by continuing to walk I might possibly get better; but, instead of this, I got worse. Being some distance from the friend's house at which I was staying a few days, I began to fear lest I should not be able to reach it. I was proceeding along the road in great pain, and not a little fear, the first lines of the following hymn came with great sweetness into my mind :
"Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress.” Oh, how those words lighted up, and lifted up my sinking soul! I went on towards my temporary abode in much pain of body, and with a sweet refreshing feeling in my soul. This was the first “stone of help.” When
” I arrived at my friend's house the pain continued to increase; I was soon got into a hot bath, after which I went to bed. While lying in bed and still suffering great pain, the precious promise was applied to my soul, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” It was the word thee that seemed to make it so suitable and strengthening to my soul. This was the second "stone of help.” A few days afterwards I was sufficiently restored to be able to leave for my own home. While riding in the train thinking over what had taken place, and the mercies of the Lord towards me in my affliction, in so ordering it that I should be taken ill where there were kind friends to look after me, and where suitable remedies were soon obtained for the alleviation, through God's blesssing, of the severe pain I was taken with; as my mind was dwelling on these things, the Lord in a very gracious manner spoke these words to my heart,
- Is anything too hard for the Lord?”. It was repeated several times, “Is anything too hard for the Lord ?”' Oh, how this melted my heart! It broke me down into nothing before the Lord. My heart seemed full, the precious words appeared to ring in my soul : "Is anything too hard for the Lord ?" I could not help refraining from shedding tears, though I tried to conceal them. But, had my fellow-passengers seen me weeping, and had asked the reason why I was so affected, I believe I should have been obliged to have told them there and then, that the Lord had given me a broken heart, that He had softened it by giving me a blessed and precious sense of His undeserved goodness and mercy to my soul. Ah, there is a good and gracious God, who knows where to strike the heart with the hammer of His word, so as to make it crumble all to pieces. There is such a thing as heart-felt religion. There is such a thing as a broken heart and
contrite spirit. Oh, that I could always feel it ! How little one is in his own eyes when under the melting power of a feeling sense of the goodness of the Lord ! No ladders are needed to climb up to us then. This lays the soul low in the dust before the Lord. This was the third “stone of help.”
Praises for ever be to the dear Saviour for shining upon my soul; for comforting me in the time of suffering, and making me feel the power of His word in my heart.
To my mind, it seems such a wonderful thing, that the great eternal God, who made the heavens and the earth, that He "who upholdeth all things by the word of His power,” should by His Holy Spirit so preciously and condescendingly show Himself to such a frail, poor, sinful worm as İ. Oh, what a bright word is the word “ grace,” when seen and felt under the rich anointings of the Holy Spirit! Perhaps the time may come when I shall feel led to look back on these “stones of help.” By the Lord's mercy I have been enabled to set up not a few during the last twenty years. It is written, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no" (Deut. viii. 2).
By-and-by the last “stone of help” will be set up. Oh, I hope it will be a great big one, on which will be inscribed in large characters, “Victory! Victory! through the blood of the Lamb.”
THE REAL PRESENCE.
JOYFUL PROSPECT ! Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning : Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.”—PSALM
Does the first clause in this glorious announcement, imply that the people of Immanuel are unwilling to have all in complete submission to His will now ?—now, when His enemies seem to predominate, and His government is rebelled against on every hand with impunity-when so many are sending their messages after Him (now that He has gone into the far country to get His kingdom and return), declaring, “ We will not have this man to reign over us?” Does it imply that His people are not completely free from the spirit of those who are "setting themselves, and taking counsel together against Jehovah and His Anointed; saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us ?” Does it imply that they whom the Lord Jesus teaches to pray, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," are only repeating words expressive of desires and aspirations, to which their hearts are still alien? The supposition is surely enough to rouse His people to godly jealousy and heart-searching, and to set them to take vengeance on everything within them, which is not entirely subject to “ the good and perfect and acceptable will of God," and in doing so (by grace) they will be led to exult in the prospect of being made so “ willing in the day of His power, that then they shall be freed from the necessity of keeping incessant watch over their treacherous hearts; for they shall then be one with their glorious Lord!
One so completely, that His will shall be their will, and they shall have no will of their own! Ah! that is what we long and pant and pray for! So that, when Immanuel "takes to Him His great power,” and "rules in the midst of His enemies,” who have no desire that He should reign orer them ; His people, who are now striving to bring every thought and feeling, every word and action, into subjection to His will, shall then have attained their triumph. When He changes their old-Adam nature fully, and is “glorified” in them by making them ltke Himself, and their wills blended into His in the most perfect harmony! Amen!
Having thus got the question of His people's willingness settled, the other clauses in the text shine forth in the most glorious light; for His people, being made one with Him in will, they are also arrayed in the * beauties of His holiness” at present. “The world knoweth them not," and “the groaning creation is waiting for their manifestation," for it is " from the womb of the morning" that this glorious beauty springs; it is on the resurrection morn that all this beauty is to be seen; then our blessed Redeemer “shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied;" when “ the dew of His youth” shall be seen ascending to meet Him in the air,” just as the pearly dew-drops are caught up in the sun's rays, whenever His bright beams touch the surface of this earth, chasing away the darkness which reigned till the source of light appeared.
Could anything be more lovely, and, at the same time, more sublime, than the imagery of the text, “From the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of Thy youth?” And yet it is sad to perceive that many
” minds are as insensible to its glorious significance as cattle are to the beauty of the pearly drops which nourish the herbage on which they feed. But let us thank and praise God that He has surrounded us on every side with objects which reflect the light, and echo the still small voice” of
His Holy Spirit's teachings in His precious word, thereby giving every spiritual mind most delightful proof that He who “spake by the prophets” is none other but He who created the heavens and the earth, and by " whom all things consist."
Dearly beloved in the Lord, let us learn from this lovely text the influence which our heavenly Father intends us to have on every individual with whom He places us in contact in His good providence. We are to be like the dew-drops, refreshing and blessing every "plant of our heavenly Father's planting," and doing good to the thorns, thistles, briers, and nettles of this world till “the day break and the shadows flee away,” till " the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; " then shall we shine in His glorious brightness, and “be caught up to meet Him in the air,”
" " For thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”
REMEMBERED EPOCHS, AND PRAYER AND FASTING. The great Australian drought of 1838-1839 was terrible. “God," said a dear old friend, “sent us a drop of rain now and then, just to keep us alive, but it was terrible.” Should the reader ever visit the beautiful western table-lands of New South Wales, the people will tell of things worth hearing respecting the great drought and the great fast. The condition of the colony was frightful. The Cornish Settlement and Guyong resolved to fast. That night came the rain. Bathurst, hearing of what had transpired, one week later fasted too. That night came the rain at Bathurst. Very soon afterwards the Government proclaimed a general fast. Immediately the rains became general. We were mentioning these blessed truths to a poor German woman, in her season of widowhood and sore trouble, as an incentive to faith, when she replied, “ Vell, I do rememper in Shermany too, ter vos von krate grout; all te cattal vos tying, and te minishters and pepel has von fast, vot you call it, for all te pepel to go to te prayers, pecause ter vos no krass for te cattal, and I do rememper vell, te rain come ver soon aftar tat.” Let the New England of the United States of America remember the year 1746 in connexion with
prayer and fasting. A noble French fleet, under the command of the Duke D'Anville, had sailed from Nova Scotia to destroy New England's prosperity. New England apprehended at once both her peril and refuge, and set a day apart to seek deliverance from God by humiliation, prayer, and fasting. Multitudes that day humbled their souls in the sanctuaries of Boston. We conduct the reader to the old South Church. The pious pastor, Prince, was fervently supplicating that God would “scatter the people who delight in war.” Even while he was praying, a
, sudden gust disturbed the still air. The storm-king was awakening from his sleep. The elements were marshalied into a tempest phalanx, which moved on to crush the invader like a moth. Alas, poor fleet, the hand of God is heavy on thee! As destruction rolls on in mighty measure, see D'Anville, the lion-hearted, expire by his own hand. His lieutenant will not survive his chief, and dies a suicide also. They came for wool, they went back shorn. And many remember concerning the periods of cholera in England in 1832 and 1848, that the national fasts appointed at both were immediately followed by immense diminution of mortality. Of this result we had no personal experience at the first cholera period named, but the surprising fact was unquestioned, although the religious connexion