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"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my
Some persons most diligently addict themselves to a money-making system. Money is their heart's object. Gold is their god. Every thing with them is valueless, except it increase their wealth. Oh, how many in this forest-like world have selected for themselves a tree which may be called money! They strive for rest, but never obtain it. They are said to be rich, but they often feel very poor. Others may think them satisfied, but they know nothing of true content. They often painfully exemplify that "the love of money is the rout of all evil;" and prove the truth of the inspired writer, that he that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver;
nor he that loveth abundance with increase."
There are others who do not care so much for money as for pleasure. They make everything bend to self-indulgence. They pity the covetous and miserly, while they squander their substance in revelry and mirth. They are devoted to the pleasures of sin, and know nothing higher than the gratification of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Of all the trees of the wood, none suits them like the tree of pleasure. Their pursuits are various according to their means and tastes, but ease and pleasure they will have, if possible. They know nothing better than present indulgence.
expect rest apart from a believing view of the
"Here we rest, in wonder viewing
his heavy heart; no philosophical researches can
1. THE BELIEVER'S CHOICE-"my beloved." There is none like Jesus to the believer. He sees nothing so attractive and glorious. He feels that Christ is the object of his heart's affections. In Him he beholds the glory of God, the grace of God, the wisdom of God, and the power of God. He finds Him to be incomparably sweet. He feels that Christ is the chiefest among ten thousand, the altogether lovely. He has fled to Him for salvation, and found peace to His wounded soul through faith in His blood, so that he can truly say, my beloved," my Redeemer, my righteousness, and my life. Hence, Christ is very dear to him. Among all the hosts of earth or heaven, he could point to Jesus and say, this is my beloved, and this is my friend. Personal attachment to Jesus is the feeling of every true believer-" Unto you therefore which believe He is precious." In whatever aspect Jesus is viewed, in every way, and in every office, He is the beloved of the believer's soul. He could part with everything rather than Christ. It is Christ Himself that the believer's heart is set upon, and his language is—
Loved of my Lord, for Him again With love intense I burn; Chosen of thee ere time began, I choose thee in return. Less than thyself will not suffice, But thou art ample store; More than thyself I cannot crave, Others may be found who care little either for Nor canst thou give me more." wealth, or the fascinating pleasures of fashionable life. Their deportment is quiet and perhaps 2. THE BELIEVER'S REST-"I sat down." retiring, but their minds eagerly pursue science, Jesus only gives rest to the burdened soul, and as it is called. Time, wealth, health, and every- this He does according to His own word-"Come thing else are easily sacrificed to this object. unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, They find its present interest sufficiently encou- and I will give you rest." This the Christian raging to promote diligent perseverance, and its realizes by faith, according to that Scripture, supposed harmlessness becomes an excuse for the "We which have believed do enter into rest." most moral to engage in it to any extent. Science The speaker here says, "I sat down under His is their heart's choice. They know not that the shadow;" and so the Christian not only knows Scripture classes the desires of the mind with the that Christ crucified is the way of salvation, but lusts of the flesh (Eph. ii. 3), and perhaps seldom he avails himself of it, he comes to Him, he consider that when they die their accumulated enters in, he sits down in peace, because God promasses of philosophy die with them. vides rest for his sin - burdened conscience. The awakened soul, having proved the insufficiency of human expedients, finds in the Cross of the Son of God every thing to remove His guilt, quiet his fears, and fill him with brightest hope. A Spirit-led sinner never loses the burden of his sins till he beholds the Lamb of God, for there, and there alone, he sees the thrice holy God making an end of sin, bringing in everlasting righteousness, and presenting pardon to the guilty, Such are some of the classes of character life for the dead, and salvation for the lost. He around us, and whether it be money, pleasure, comes therefore and finds rest. By faith he sits science, or fame, they stand like so many trees beneath the shadow of the Cross, and finds himself in a large forest, and some make choice of one, for ever sheltered from the wrath of God, because and some of another; but there is a tree, once Christ was made sin and a curse for him. He planted at Golgotha, differing from every other, rests in the knowledge that God is his Saviour, because of the present comfort and eternal bless-that his iniquities were laid upon Jesus, that the ings it imparts to all who take refuge there. It stroke of Divine vengeance fell upon Him, thus is that tree on which the Son of God is presented suffering for sins, the Just for the unjust, to to us crucified for sinners that is the object of bring him to God. Thus the believer realizes the believer's choice. In vain does the awakened that God loves him, welcomes him, pardons, and conscience find any other satisfying object. He justifies him from all things. Every question is well knows that no amount of wealth can answered, every fear removed, and love, gratitude, purchase peace; no earthly pleasure can relieve and hope take possession of his soul. Let none
There is another class of persons who make fume their object. Ambitious of leaving a great name behind them, they are almost willing to accomplish it even at the expense of self-sacrifice. As they become loaded with honours, so they judge their course prosperous, until at length the cold hand of death proves, to their eternal sorrow, that "man being in honour abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish."
3. THE BELIEVERS JOY. "I sat down under His shadow with great delight." Christ is our joy, as well as rest; yea, we joy in God through Him. We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always, and are assured, that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. The assurance of our being heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ makes us very happy. We can say with the apostle Peter, "Whom having not seen we love; in whom though now we see Him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." The new song is put into our mouth. The contemplation of the eternal blessings we have in and through Christ gives us great delight. We envy not the worldling's mirth. We know that his joy is like the crackling of thorns under a pot, which continues but for a moment, and then expires for ever; but joy in the Holy Ghost, through the triumphs and glories of Christ, which we sometimes realize, is too deep, too pure, and too full of blessing to be uttered. We can say with the prophet, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." (Isa. lxi. 10.)
How is it that believers are not happier? Because the Cross of Christ is not more simply and habitually contemplated as the spring of all joy and blessing. It may be said that Jesus is not now on the Cross, nor in the sepulchre, but that He is risen from the dead, and glorified at the right hand of the majesty on high. That is quite true, but it only magnifies the value of the Cross. If Jesus entered into heaven by His own blood, and now appears there a Lamb as it had been slain, do we not see the Cross, as it were, transplanted from earth to heaven, and crowned with eternal glory and honour? It is Jesus ris n and glorified that reflects such eternal value on His Cross. If we would be happy, if we would be heavenly, we must dwell much on the glorious worth and work of the Lamb as it had been slain. The contemplation of Jesus and His work, with a believing regard to the testimony of the Holy Ghost in the written word concerning that work, fills the soul with joy and peace; but the word of Christ and the work are both needed for true spiritual joy. We must sit under His shadow, if we would have great delight.
"A bleeding Saviour seen by faith,
4. THE BELIEVER'S EXERCISES. "His fruit was sweet to my taste." The tree planted on Mount Calvary is richly laden with fruit sweet to the believing soul. There is nothing there to sour the spirit, but all is love, and peace, and blessing. All other springs are dry, but here there is continual refreshment. It needs but the
and of faith to pluck and eat the sweet fruit of wine by the blood of the Lamb. There we feast is of vast importance to the Christian, the tree of life. Here, in quiet confidence, we our souls. There we realize that His flesh is inasmuch as it concerns the Church as a aste the goodness of the Lord, we delight our meat indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. souls in fatness. Everything else has more or There the various attributes of the God of love body, having Christ Jesus for its head, ess of bitterness, but here we find nothing but and peace shine forth in the slain Lamb with in whom the members are all united, not sweetness. Here we feed on that grace which unfading beauty and eternal brightness. The by a mere sentimental union, but by an gives us pardon, peace, acceptance, righteousness, joy of that banqueting house is that the dead sonship, and fellowship with the Father and with Son is alive again, and the lost found; the Shepactual oneness, through the efficacy of His Son Jesus Christ. Here we see that we are herd's joy is that He has found the sheep which the atoning blood. The interests of all blessed with all spiritual blessings. Here the was lost; and we rejoice that we are delivered believers are common, therefore the study Fountain of living water is ever freely flowing; from the swine-trough of misery and sin, to of that which concerns the whole, must and we find that all the promises of God are feasting and joy in the Father's house. Happy of necessity be all-important. The SECOND made sure to us, for they are all yea and amen would it be, if we all more fully enjoyed the in Christ, unto the glory of God, by us. Here the blessed privileges that the grace of God has APPEARING of the Saviour concerns the weary obtain renewal of strength, the disordered brought unto us. whole Church, therefore the diligent study spirit finds healing, the mourner is comforted, Dear reader! Have you seen beauty in Jesus? of Scripture teaching on this important faith becomes increased, and unbelief put to Has the Cross of Christ a claim on your heart point must be worthy of deep, earnest, and shame; the weak are strengthened, backsliders above everything else? Are you seeking wealth, are restored, the poor in spirit are enriched, the pleasure, science, fame? or are you so convinced prayerful consideration. Careful medibungry are fed, and the thirsty refreshed. Oh, of the unsatisfying character of all other things, tation on these topics will strengthen the how blessed it is to sit beneath the outstretched that you seek Jesus for present and eternal rest bond of union, by gazing on the Sun of arms of the Lamb as it had been slain, and, in and peace? You may perhaps say, I seek money, Righteousness, Christ Jesus, just as we the lively exercise of faith, eat of the eternal pleasure, science, fame, and Christ too; but, let hold sympathetic intercourse with the fruit of His agony and toil! All our exercises ine tell you, that you cannot have. You cannot are profitable, if they lead us to Him; all our serve God and mammon. You cannot be a friend one human family, as we gaze upwards necessities are good, if they are only the occa- of the world without being the enemy of God. toward the one sun, which cheers the vast sions of our realizing our blessings in Christ, You cannot love sin and love Christ too. You inhabited globe. We are all formed to look and of quickening our appetites to feeding on cannot please yourself and please God also. You forward as well as backward, but can only Him. There is all the difference between seeking cannot be an infidel and a believer at the same satisfaction in the fruit of the Spirit in us, and time. Let me beseech you to discontinue the do so by means of the sure telescope, the feeding on the fruit of Christ's sufferings and attempt to reconcile such impossibilities; let me certain light of the unerring word in the death for us. The former engenders pride and entreat you to behold the love of God set forth prophetic page, all else will but produce bondage, the latter keeps us happy and fruitful. so fully in the Redeemer's Cross. Oh, look at the distorted phantoms of our own dis5. THE BELIEVER'S PRIVILEGES. "He brought that tree on which Jesus bare our sins in His me to the banqueting house, and His banner over own body! There tarry till thy hard heart is ordered imagination; hence the imporme was love." We are made nigh to God by the melted, till thine icy affections are dissolved, till tance of Jesus' caution, "Take heed; blood of Christ, and our safety and security is in thine unbelieving soul is overcome with such behold, I have foretold you all things." the everlasting, unchangeable love of God. So amazing love. Then thou wilt love Jesus, de- As we reverently ponder the words of exceedingly rich is the grace of God, that we light in His ways and service, and the sincere the Saviour, His poetic richness will cannot have one of the blessings of redemption language of thine heart will be, "As the apple without having all. So perfect in every way is tree among the trees of the wood, so is my be- attract and improve our finer feelings, for the atoning work, that we are called unto the loved among the sons. I sat down under His "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of fellowship of the risen and glorified Son of God-shadow with great delight, and His fruit was prophecy." Christ's first appearance was raised up together, and made sit together in the a manifestation of grace towards lost sinheavenlies in Christ Jesus." It is done-"He brought me to the banqueting house." Hence we ners; his second coming will be a manifestation of glory and vengeance,-glory have liberty to draw near to God, to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. When Christ to all who watch for his advent-vendied on the Cross, we are told that the veil of the geance on all who remain careless, untemple was rent in twain from the top to the believing, impenitent, and disobedient. bottom; thus shewing us that every impediment We are now living in what is called in
through Christ's sacrifice, we come with boldness
loved Christ; for Jesus died to bring us to God.
sweet to my taste. He brought me to the ban-
Subjects of importance to you.
BY T. W. MEDHURST, KINGSTON-ON-THAMES.
to man's drawing near was removed, and that, To know what God thinks concerning the Scriptures, "The last days." These to the throne of grace. The returning prodigal the future is important; while the mere days commenced when Christ ascended not only received the kiss of reconciliation, the thoughts of a human creature are worth-to His Father; they will end when He best robe, the ring, shoes, &c., but he was at once less. The world at the present moment shall be revealed from heaven, to gather invited to feast at the father's table, over the is wrecked by sin-but what shall be its His church, and scatter confusion on fatted calf, as having all the privileges of son- ultimate destiny? Israel, as a nation, is His enemies. The interval in which we ship-"let us eat and be merry." So the Christian is not only reconciled, justified, and blessed, now an exile, her land is desolate; shall now live is the era of grace-the great but is at once brought to the Father's bosom, she remain such? On every side we see day of salvation-in which whosoever loved with the same love as the Father hath Antichrist gaining strength, while pure will, may receive pardon, through the He undertook to raise us up at the last day-to virgin truth has fallen in our streets; blood of the Lamb. The Jews will represent His Church without spot, or wrinkle, or what shall be in the end thereof? Diffi- main a down-trodden people, till the any such thing. He is our life; He hath quick-culties, arising from the study of pro- second manifestation of their King from ened us, given us the spirit of adoption, and His phecy, instead of deterring us from its heaven; the Church will continue to blood and righteousness give us a sure title to glory; hence, through Him, we have access by search, should humble us, and lead us to suffer tribulation, till Jesus appears, for the Spirit unto the Father. We are brought to earnest prayer and implicit trust for guid- her complete redemption; the world will the banqueting house, and His bauner over us is ance. While "secret things belong unto grow worse and worse, till He whose God," yet revealed truth is ours; pro- right it is to reign shall come to deThis is the ground of true worship. We no longer know Jerusalem, or any other place, where phecy is a declared certainty, which, though throne and imprison Satan; the groans men ought to worship, for "God is a Spirit, and hard to understand, is not impossible; of creation will continue to deepen, till they that worship Him, must worship Him in thus, while the Apocalypse is difficult, creation's Lord shall once more tread spirit and in truth.” His presence, then, in still it is the book of REVELATION, not the earth, not in humiliation, as at first, heavenly places is the banqueting-house-the of SECRETS. All that is recorded in the but in His revealed glory. This should house of bread and wine; the blood of Jesus is sacred word of truth, is revealed for our teach us the malignant nature of sin; the way, the Spirit is the power, a believing and true heart the necessary state, the holiest of all instruction. Say not that prophecy is none but Jesus can destroy it—the exthe place. This is worship. non-essential, for God is its author, and tent of human wickedness, spreading the what He has written must be essential. wide universe over-the power of Satan, Prophecy is the only watch tower, from as the god of this present evil world, which we can note the present, and gaze and the long-suffering character of the for the future dawn of a brighter day. great Jehovah, who waits with patience It behoves the Church to enquire, "Watch-till a people shall be formed who shall man, what of the night?" and the watch-shew forth His praise. My dear reader, man to answer, "The morning cometh, do you belong to the people of God? Here we find the Lamb as it had been slain, and also the night." Morning, glorious Have you been cleansed by the precious ever reminding us of an already accomplished and bright to the believer; and night, blood of Jesus? See to it, that your redemption, and of our perfect acceptance in gloomy and dark to the unbeliever, who answer is satisfactory; or else, when Him. No obedience of ours could effect this; carelessly is crying, "Peace, peace, where Jesus comes, your portion will be "outer no legal service or carnal ordinances could possibly bring us into such nearness and blessing; there is no peace;" for "there is no peace darkness, where there is weeping, and but we are brought to the house of bread and to the wicked," saith my God. Prophecy wailing, and gnashing of teeth."
Here it is also that we learn the ways and mind of God. By the teaching of His Spirit, through the written word, we become stored with His thoughts, and our hearts filled with His love; so that we think as He thinks, hate what He hates, love what He loves, according to our measure walk as Jesus walked, speak His words, &c.: this is fellowship, this is the communion of the Holy Spirit.
BY JAMES SMITH, CHELTENHAM.
hear from men, we may prevent; but A Rock on which many make what the Spirit teaches is accompanied Shipwreck. THE Holy Spirit is the great teacher of with grace, and humbles and sanctifies, AFTER striving at some length to shew an the church of God, and none teacheth while it instructs and informs. Every aged lady that all that was necessary to like Him; His great subject is Christ, one taught by the Spirit so knows him- reconcile perfectly unholy, ruined man and to know Christ is life everlasting. self, as to renounce all dependance on with a just God had been done by the It matters but little what we know, ex- anything and everything; he so knows Lord Jesus, when He offered Himself once cept we know Christ; nor, what know- the Law, as to realize that he can never be for all, I was silenced and saddened by ledge we have of Christ, except it be justified by his obedience to it; so knows this reply, "Ah, sir, I consider there's a spiritual and experimental. No one can the Saviour, as to renounce all and every-great deal to be done yet!" learn to know Christ of himself, a teacher thing for him; so knows the world, as
I suppose it amounted in her estimation
is necessary; as it is the heart, rather to forsake it, preferring the Saviour's to this, a little more alms-giving, a little
J. B. I.
Declension and Revival.
A CHILD of five years of age, some hours after he had gone to rest was found weeping bitterly, refusing to be comforted. When pressed by one who loved him to reveal the cause of his distress, he replied,
"I shall never get to heaven! I grow more wicked every day!" After many efforts to subdue his sobs, he opened his heart as follows
"When I began to pray, I used to ask God to bless dear papa and mamma, and you, dear L, and all the little boys and girls I played with in the day, and all our tradespeople!
than the head that needs to be taught, worst things to its best things; and so and as none can get at the heart, a knows Satan, as to flee from him, and more going to places of worship (if able), longer and better prayers, and oftener; divine teacher is necessary. This being seek shelter and protection in the Lord diligence in receiving sacraments, thus the case, the Holy Spirit is provided, and Jesus Christ alone. begetting, no doubt, an increase of selfJesus promising the Spirit to his disReader, is the Holy Spirit your teacher? satisfaction mistaken for an increased fitciples said, "He shall teach you." (John Methinks, from the foregoing remarks, ness for His presence, who has declared xiv. 26.) And the apostle John, speak- you can tell. You must be taught of it must be "perfect to be accepted," and ing of the Holy Spirit as the anointing, God, or you cannot be a child of God; that is Christ's work; and to be holy in "The same anointing teacheth you." for thus it is written in the Scriptures, practice, we must be counted in Him. As a teacher, the Holy Spirit en- "All thy children shall be taught of lightens the darkened mind, shines on the Lord, and great shall be the peace the truths to be taught, and so informs of thy children." Do you ask, "But and corrects the judgment. By degrees how may I know for a certainty that I He teaches us to know ourselves, and am taught of God?" We cannot give then to know the Saviour. Every new you a better answer than the Saviour's discovery of our depravity, pollution, own words, who, quoting from the proand misery, is introductory to some phet the foregoing passage, says, "It is new discovery of Christ, in His person, written in the prophets, and they shall righteousness, and grace. The founda- be all taught of God: every one theretion of our knowledge of Christ is always fore that hath heard, and learned of the laid in the knowledge of ourselves. His Father, cometh unto me." Have you, teaching always tends to some practical as a poor lost sinner, come to Jesus? result; as, the effect of it, therefore, we Have you come to Him for salvation? apply to Christ, receive from Christ, re- Are you daily coming to Him, as the joice in Christ, and devote ourselves to hungry man to be fed, as the filthy child the praise and glory of Christ. Every- to be cleansed, as the naked beggar to thing the Spirit teaches, has a direct be clothed? In a word, are you coming. (I wonder how many make the prayer tendency to lead us to Christ. If he, to Jesus for grace, the grace you will of this little child for their tradespeople, therefore, teach us to know the law, it is need through life, and for glory, that amidst all the complaints they make of that we may flee to Christ, and seek when you die, you may be received into them, or consider their great need of deliverance from it. If he teaches us to everlasting habitations? If so, no doubt prayer in the manifold temptations which know doctrines, through every doctrine but the Spirit is your teacher, for these beset them). He teaches us to have fellowship with are legitimate and inevitable effects of After some time," he continued, "I Christ. If He teaches us to understand his work. To Him therefore you may left off asking God to bless the tradesgospel ordinances, it is in order that, look to be taught all that is necessary people-then I did not pray for my playattending to them, we may meet with for you to know; and on Him you may fellows-then I forgot you, dear L, Christ, and live upon Him. So from depend to train you up for heaven. But and after that-papa and mamma,...... every spot, and from every subject, the if you are not taught of God, you are in and the servants-...and now I find I Holy Spirit leads us directly to Christ; a sad state, for you have no correct don't pray for anybody-...but...myself!" and the more we experience of His knowledge of yourself; you have no sav. Eleven years went by, and again the teaching, the more precious Christ being acquaintance with the Lord Jesus; dear boy lay on his pillow, sleepless, but comes, and the more simple and entire you do not understand the gospel, nor not weeping; he watched the daylight is our dependance upon Him. can you be fit for heaven. Let me be-streaming into the room at sunrise, and As a teacher, the Holy Spirit displays seech you then to come to a decision turning to a dear friend watching beside the greatest wisdom, teaching us as we upon this point, and if you have the his bed, with something of disappointment are able to bear. He manifests the most Spirit as your teacher, thank God, and in his tone he said, touching tenderness, even as a mother seek more of His gracious instructions; "Another day! I thought to have toward her only, her beloved child. He torily conclude that you have, then, as a but if you have not, or cannot satisfacsupped with Jesus in Paradise last night! exercises unequalled patience, putting free-gift, from a precious God, seek this I think I have remembered every one. up with our dullness, waywardness, and blessing. Fix your mind, and exercise My dear father and mother, my friends,— inconstancy. He teaches us according your faith, on this gracious assurance of the servant,-and you, dear L——, to the best and most approved system, the Saviour, nor rest until you realize and all our tradespeople!" its truth. "If ye, being evil, know how so that His lessons are never forgot to give good gifts unto your children, how ten, nor can they be prevented. What much more shall your heavenly Father give we merely learn from the Word, or the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him."
And these were almost the last words
of consciousness from the lips of this young disciple "whom Jesus loved."
Tell Him thy devious path;-thy letter spread
Yea, tell Him ALL! The sigh thy bosom heaves
The Bible and the Sabots. As a French colporteur was resting a little on a bench at the door of an inn, where he had partaken of his humble How Churches ought to be built
meal, he heard a woman exclaim in great agitation, "Oh my Bible and my sabots! (wooden shoes.) You must find them, I cannot go until you have done so." These words were addressed to two men who had just finished loading a cart with furniture opposite the inn. Rising from his seat and crossing the road towards the house whence the woman had just come, the colporteur asked her how it was she set an equal value on the two last articles. "My reason for this! do you wish to know? Well then, it is because I cannot do with out either of them; my Bible contains the bread of life, it is from my Bible that I get nourishment for my soul." "Are you a protestant?" asked the colporteur. "No, certainly not," was her reply: "I am biblical; my faith comes from the Bible: myreligion is from the Bible." "But your sabots; what have they to do with the Bible?" "My sabots! why, without them I could never get to our meetings; I could never get along our frightful roads. But perhaps you do not know anything about our meetings at N-; we meet there to the number of four, five, and sometimes more; we then read the Bible together. Oh, those precious meetings! no one Fould ever wish to be absent from them;
up, and kept in repair.
one from the precious Word of Truth; but had scarce uttered three words when she interrupted him, saying, "There, sir, please not to say anything yet;" the next moment calling a little girl who was near at hand, she said, "Go and fetch Pe directly." Wondering what all this meant, the traveller asked, as the little maid bounded cheerfully off on her errand, who P-e might be. "Why, sir," said old Mary, "he's a very nice man, and he comes every day that he's able, to read the Bible to me, for I can't read it myself; and then, if any one happens to drop in to speak a good word to me, (which was a rare thing,) I like him always to hear too."
Well, thought her attentive hearer, this is beautiful; true ministry indeedscripturally so (Eph. iv. 16; 1 Cor. xii.); each joint supplying, according to its measure, the lack of the other - almost As a traveller pursued his way through unknown and unseen by man-neither one of the fertile and secluded vales of seeking his approbation in thus acting, H, he alighted upon a very humble but baptized into one Spirit, having one cot; indeed, it scarcely deserved the ap-life, members of the one body, of which pellation, being simply a shoemaker's Christ himself is the head; those his, stall, or box, constructed of plank, and shall I say, weak members? nay, healthy such as we sometimes see attached to the members, ministered to each other's need, dwelling of one of that craft in country constrained by His love. And then old places; it, moreover, stood upon a high Mary continued: "He hasn't got any bank, and was only to be reached by a eyes, he 's quite blind;" and then, pointflight of steps cut in its side. Ascending ing out a few volumes of Holy Scripture these, the traveller knocked at the door. in raised type, for the blind, she added, A feeble voice from within bade him "There's the books he reads out of;" enter; on doing which, he beheld, lying and then she informed our amazed and upon a bed which occupied full half of delighted traveller, that not only was he the apartment, a very aged woman, and blind, but a poor cripple also, having evidently very poor also, though remark- lost, together with his sight, a leg off at The same the hip, the greater portion of one hand, ably clean in her person. might also be said of the few earthly besides being otherwise sadly injured, as goods that occupied the rest of the place. he himself afterwards informed him, by "How are you?" said the visitor. "Why, the unexpected explosion of a charge I be very unhappy," replied the poor old of powder in quarrying stone. when old Mary told him all this, he cried, "Poor, poor man! and does he, thus maimed and in total darkness, labour day after day to cheer this aged one for Christ's sake? And, dear reader, he learnt more (practically) the meaning of the 12th and 13th chapters of 1 Cor. than ever he did in his life before. Here, "Ah, it isn't that which makes me un- as before hinted, were two of God's one cannot possibly go there without happy. The Lord is very good to me; chosen ones; but I suppose, at the same one's sabots; and when one is poor, these and it is because He is so good to me, and time, just what the world would count things cannot be bought every day." She I be so cold towards Him, that's what things that are not (1 Cor. i. 27, 28); just had scarcely finished this explanation, makes me unhappy." Well, thought the such things that would be passed by, as when one of the men on opening a drawer, listener, this is a very unusual confes- having no beauty, by the natural man. exclaimed, "Here's the Bible!" And then sion; rarely, indeed, had he heard either But, oh, how adorned! what polished seizing hold of a package rolled up in a aged or young Christians, in carpeted stones in the spiritual temple of our God. large piece of cloth, which he opened, he rooms, and with every comfort around "Here he comes," said the traveller. called, "and here are your famous sabots." them, talk in this strain; and here was On looking out of the window, he saw The colporteur then walked some dis-one possessed of nothing that such per- the little child running up the lane, tance with her, and from all he heard, he sons would term comforts, but rather accompanied by her blind neighbour; was fully persuaded that God had already misery, mourning over her lack of grati- and it certainly was wonderful to obwrought a good work in her, solely by tude to God for His great goodness. He serve at what a speed he hastened formeans of His word. now sought to comfort this sorrowing ward with his one crutch, thus appearing
“Ah, you are very poor, and, I dare say, want many things," observed the traveller, feeling much sympathy for the aged widow, (for such she was,) and glancing at the frail wooden walls, full of chinks, ill adapted to shelter such as she was from the rigours of winter.
to indicate that no sluggish spirit, but a also, as enabled of the Lord to their in that day. And now, kind reader, Are fervent, zealous one, dwelt in that poor mutual edification. And now, in our you a Christian? I mean have shattered frame. Nimbly climbing the traveller, there was another member of thoroughly convinced by the Spirit of steps, he entered, almost breathless with the body receiving, and it may be accord- God, through the word, that you are a haste, greeted old Mary with true Chris- ing to the ability (which God gives), lost, ruined sinner (Rom. iii.)? and are tian affection, and when informed that imparting blessing; he felt that his soul you resting only and entirely upon the their visitor belonged to Christ, his face was taught and comforted in many ways, blood of Jesus, God's dear Son for pardon lit up with an expression of real joyous by what he saw and heard; aye, and (1 Pet. i. 19)? and do you believe in your welcome, as though that sightless coun- rebuked also. He possessed health, heart that God has raised Him up from tenance had said, “He that loveth Him strength, sight, and sound limbs; and the dead, and confess this with your that begat, loveth him also that is begotten was he so loving, so diligent, so self-mouth (Rom. x.)? If so, you are born of of Him." Words, too, were not wanting; denying as these? Dear reader, it may God; for flesh and blood cannot thus a brother welcome in the name of the be that you will be profited by reading reveal Christ. God the Father gives His this little account of these saints of God, Spirit, the Spirit of love, to His children. There was something so truly primi-and then another (if you are a Christian) Oh, pray that He dwell in you mightily, tive and genuine in the whole thing, that member of the body will have been edi- and work in you mightily, to the glory of the traveller felt grateful to His heavenly fied-perhaps it may stir you up to visit God and the good of His Church: and Father for directing his steps there. He the fatherless and the widow, and to mi- pray for the writer of this narrative, who had seen the figure the Holy Ghost uses nister according to your ability. If you longs for this blessed experience in his (1 Cor. xii. and Rom. xii), i.e. the human reply, I really do not know what this is, soul, far beyond all things else. body, touchingly and strikingly illus- I am such a poor weak thing; ah! these trated, in shewing that Christ's mystic were poor weak things too, but the love body, the Church, is a body made up of of Christ constrained them. Ask the many members, all having need of each other; yea, even of the least--all are necessary. Each one has wants, and each has the power given him, if in an healthy state to minister to those wants in other members, whilst his own lack is supplied by some other's love and sympathy. Such church-the two or three gathered in is the Church of Christ, or shall we say, such should it be, if doing the will of its gracious and glorified Head.
'Ask, and it shall be given you," is the promise of our faithful God.
But, dear reader, if you be not a ChrisHead of the body to shew you your place tian, here is a word for you also. "We in the body, and it is a thing so much pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconaccording to His mind, that if you are ciled to God. For He hath made Him sincere in your request, He will be sure to be sin for us who knew no sin; that to give you the desire of your heart. we might be made the righteousness of Yes, thought the traveller, here is a God in Him." (2 Cor. v. 20, 21.) J. B. I.
Now, I'm at perfect peace with God,
A sinner reconciled with Blood-
So near, so very near to God,
I cannot nearer be;
For, in the person of His Son,
So dear, so very dear to God,
For the love wherewith He loves His Son,
Oh, to my soul, how sweet and dear,
A taste is given to me here,
the name of Jesus—a habitation of God, through the Spirit. The precious Word of Life was read-they conversed toWe have been too much accustomed to gether on His love, which passeth knowregard him only as a minister who preaches ledge-were built up, strengthened, edia sermon to a congregation; but O how fied-their full hearts found utterance in far short does that come of the right an hymn of praise. Mary's sadness fled meaning of the Word, " There are differ-away-self was forgotten, because Jesus. ences of administrations." (1 Cor. xii. 5.) was remembered; He more than supplied There is ministry of the word-ministry all their need, and stood their loving, of substance—ministry of the saints, or gracious High Priest, at the right-hand to the saints-in spiritual and temporals. of all power; and now, together, at the The cup of cold water, given for Christ's throne of grace they, through Him, sought sake to à disciple, is ministry that never and obtained strength to help in this will be forgotten by Him. The very word, time of need; and separated, truly reministry, is used when speaking of the freshed and gladdened by the presence healthy working out of that love received of the Lord. It need only be added, from the Head, by all the joints and that Mary and her friend Pe have bands. (Coloss. ii. 19.) Thus, then, we done with this world of sin and sorrowsee this aged disciple ministered to her they sleep in Jesus; and may you, dear blind Christian brother's lack, for he reader, appear with them in that day of" AFTER the arrival of the third class must share all she heard that might edify glory, when Jesus, the once despised of train, while in the discharge of my duties, them. Here was the Spirit's leading and men, but now risen and glorified Jesus, I saw two little children standing on the teaching—all was love and mercy. Again, shall come in His glory-come with Him platform, with a small basket in their remember they were not conscious that they will-for His life was manifested in hand. They appeared to be waiting for they were observed in thus acting by any them here. Theirs was not a form of some one. I spoke to them, and said, human eye; it was the love of the Spirit. godliness without the power, but the faith "I suppose you are waiting for some Oh, what a healthy state the Church on which worketh by love, and every one that one?" The elder, which was about four earth would be in, if every member acted loveth (as they loved) is born of God-years old, answered, "Yes;" and, looking thus. So was it in the acting of the so teaches the word of God. (1 John iv.) over the platform, I saw a poor woman Spirit, through this other member of the Their acting made it manifest that the body-true ministry, according to the work in them was God's workmanship, ability and office of that member. Many and though He will try it (1 Peter i. 6, 7, could not read that Word, which is indeed and Heb. xii.) and prove it, as in the case the only food for spiritual growth; but of these dear people (yet will not suffer Pe COULD, and most faithfully he His people to be overwhelmed), and fulfilled his office; expounding that Word, though by man despised, He will own it porters brought the poor thing over on a
looking very ill. I said to the children, "Is that your mother?" "Yes," they answered. "Oh, dear! she looks very ill." At first I thought it was an elder sister of the children, for her sickness had reduced her to a mere frame. Directly, the