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was observed that he carefully removed the ear-trumpet whenever any part of a sentence bore hard on his state as a sinner before God !
In his second interview, the minister made more guarded and careful approaches to the conscience of the old sailor, and by gradually exhibiting his state in the use of seafaring allusions, he awakened his attention. Aware of the artifice of his auditor, he held the ear-trumpet fast with his own hand, and he explained and enforced the great truths of the gospel of God.
At length success crowned his efforts. Animated by the injunction—“ In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine band: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good;" he had the happiness of seeing that sailor, once so hostile to Divine truth, humble, teachable, grateful, and prayerful. He died in the spring of 1839, in the attitude of prayer, leaving behind him satisfactory evidence that the language of devotion was followed by that of praise. His remains were interred before a small place of worship in one of the bays of the Kentish coast; and it is delightful to add, that his widow and three daughters rejoice, it is believed, in a scriptural hope of meeting him in glory. W.
SUNSHINE. READER, you are a lover of sunshine. Your eye has brightened while gazing upon the beam that has lighted up the path before you, made the village windows blaze, and put a golden star on the church steeple. That beam has shined into your very heart, and made you feel glad to be alive.
But there is another kind of sunshine that you love. Is there not some beloved friend whose smile is a brighter and dearer sunbeam to you than the brightest beam that gladdens the earth on a summer's day? Yes, it is the smile of a husband, or a wife, or a sister, or a brother, or a-well, no matter—it is the smile of some dear being whose every thought is blended with your own, and without whose smile, in the merriest summer time, this would be a gloomy world.
But the shadows of evening have before now closed over the sunshine that has gilded your pathway; and if night
has not yet beclouded the sunshiny smiles of those you love, it will do so; there are removals in this world of tribulation that wring the heart! You may have to go
and the grave-yard, ere long, where they have laid the object dear to you as your own life.
There is yet another kind of sunshine! Delight in that, and no night shall close over it for ever—the sunshine of a Saviour's love in the heart. Clouds may intervene for a time, but those clouds shall pass away; the valley of the shadow of death may seem to shut it out for ever, but that will be only the last cloud breaking away before the dawning of eternal daylight and the blaze of everlasting sunshine; for it is expressly written that, “There shall be no night there,” Rev. xxi. 25. Well then may the clouds and storms of this life be borne with patient and joyful anticipation.
THE DUTY OF PRAYER: From an Address by the Rer. E. Bickersteth and others. UNLESS we secure a better strength than an arm of flesh, unless we obtain His help, who is stronger than the strong man armed, we shall contend in vain. with the mighty powers of darkness. The object of these remarks is to lead the reader to our true refuge and strength in the eventful period in which we are living. Britain may sink into the arms of the papal and infidel antichrist, and perish in that foul embrace; or Britain may rise from all her seductions, shake off every entanglement, and be yet a more valiant champion for Christ and his kingdom, and a larger blessing to the whole earth than in centuries past. Prayer is the very turning point in this grand crisis of our country.
How instructive is the history of the church! When Jehoshaphat helped the ungodly, he was defeated; but when Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites, in countless numbers, came against him, he earnestly applied to God with those expressive words:
“We have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do : but our eyes are upon thee.” In answer to his prayer, a promise of the Lord's presence was immediately given. He went to the battle with songs of praise, and his enemies destroyed each other.
When the people of Israel were in captivity in Babylon for their sins, their return was preceded by these ardent prayers of Daniel : “O my God, incline thine ear and hear; open
thine eyes, and behold our desolation, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplication before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not for thine own sake, O my God : for thy city and thy people are called by thy name," Dan. ix. 18, 19. At the very beginning of his supplication an answer was sent, clear insight of God's purposes of mercy in our redemption was imparted, and the next year Cyrus proclaimed liberty to the captive Jews.
After their deliverance from Babylon, and their return to their own land, and a gracious revival, like our own Reformation, given to the Jews, many of their leaders joined in affinity with idolaters, and the nation was in danger of backsliding from God, then the spirit of Ezra was roused, and he took the national sinfulness to the mercy seat of the Most High, thus confessing it: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass
grown up unto the heavens. Behold, we are before thee in our trespasses : for we cannot stand before thee because of this,” Ezra ix. 6, 15. By prayer, strength was gained to stay the moral plague; the Jews repented of their sins, the evil was averted, and the nation was spared to be a continued blessing to the earth.
Amidst the perils of the infant reformation, we have an account of the spirit of prayer given to Luther. One of Melancthon's correspondents describes him 'thus :—“I cannot enough admire the extraordinary cheerfulness, constancy, faith, and hope of this man in these trying and vexatious times. He constantly feeds these good affections by a very diligent study of the word of God. Then, not a day passes in which he does not employ in prayer at least three of his very best hours. Once I happened to hear him at prayer. What spirit and what faith there is in his expressions! He petitions God with as much reverence as if he was actually in the Divine presence, and yet with as firm a hope and confidence as he would address a father or a friend. 'I know,' said he, “thou art our Father and our
God: therefore I am sure thou wilt bring to nought the persecutors of thy children. For, shouldest thou fail to do this, thine own cause, being connected with ours, would be endangered. It is entirely thine own concern. We, by thy Providence, have been compelled to take a part. Thou, therefore, wilt be our defence.' While I was listening to Luther praying in this manner at a distance, my soul seemed on fire within mne to hear the man address God so like a friend, and yet with so much gravity and reverence, and also to hear him in the course of his prayers insisting on the promises contained in the Psalms, as if he was sure his petitions would be granted.”
The same spirit of prayer remarkably distinguished our own Reformers. Bradford and Latimer, especially, abounded
Latimer, when cast into prison for the gospel, often continued so long kneeling that he was not able to rise without help. He specially prayed that God of his mercy would restore his gospel to England again, and these words,
Once again, once again,” he repeated so often, as though he had seen God before him, and spoke face to face. What a full harvest of national blessedness have we for 300 years been reaping from these prayers! And, if it be true that to this spirit of prayer we owe our Reformation blessings, let us remember they must be maintained against all adversaries, and handed down to our children's children, chiefly through the same spirit of prayer.
THE THOUGHTLESS PASSENGER. ON getting into one of the stages that ply between London and Tottenham, I was accosted by a fellow-traveller who had entered the vehicle before me. A glance was sufficient to tell me that he was an intemperate character, and another look informed me that a more than common degree of shrewdness had fallen to his share.
In ten minutes he told me the history.of his “ birth, parentage, and education—life, character, and behaviour.” His course had been chequered, daring, and reckless, and he seemed to have a pleasure in enumerating the changes he had passed through.
He ran rapidly through the events that marked his childhood and his youth, and then entered on those of his manhood. For five or six years he had been clown at Sadler's Wells, and was hand and glove with many remarkable characters. He said it was a hard life, the wear and tear of it was terrible to the constitution. Feats of agility and strength, late hours and hard drinking, try the human frame. He left Sadler's Wells, and enlisted as a soldier.
After this he went abroad; saw much, heard much, and endured much; and came back increased in knowledge, but improved neither in his practices nor his principles.
He next entered into trade, always carried his cup upright, and got a penny when he could, preferring honesty to roguery when he had his choice. He told me that he was a general dealer in small things and great, from a mouse-trap to a steam engine, and would use me well if I wanted a copper saucepan or a wooden ladle, a carpet brush or a suit of second hand clothes, a pound of tea or a pennyworth of packstring --in short, whether glass, crockery-ware, or china; leaden plummets or silver spoons; bacon, butter, cheese, and candles; Turkey carpets or tenpenny nails were required, he was the man to supply them.
This rapid account of himself was wound up with the remark that his heart was open to his fellow beings, and that the poorest man that crossed his threshold was always welcome to a pot of porter and a pipe of tobacco.
*He then alluded to the many ways there were of getting through the world. The “Friction System,” he said, was an odd one. This he described to be a trade carried on by certain parties in the following manner :-New sovereigns were obtained and subjected to friction in a leathern bag; the leather, by rubbing incessantly against the sharp edges and inequalities of the new coin, became rich in gold dust, and when put into the crucible returned a handsome profit to the parties concerned. He said that many got several pounds a-day by this trade, and that he had some thoughts of entering into it himself.
I asked him if he had considered the end ? but to this question he only replied with a jest.
“Well,” said I, you are a shrewd man, and have picked up much information; you have had your swing; you have lived a reckless life, and are too bold to keep back your opinion. Do
think there is another world ?” “ Another what ?” said he, sharply. “Why,” replied I,