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"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." (Sol. Song ii. 3, 4.)
THE world seems here to be compared to a forest containing a great variety of trees, and the speaker boasts of the superiority of the tree he has made choice of over all other trees of the wood. He feels that the apple tree, (or rather the citron tree,) meets all his necessities, and not only affords him shelter and safety, but yields sweet and refreshing fruit. No tree, not even the lofty pine, or the majestic cedar, so suits him as the citron tree, for there not only is he sheltered from the sun's burning rays, but his hunger and thirst are fully satisfied.
Man naturally craves something. He thirsts for what he has not, and has an aching void in his heart, which he vainly seeks to satisfy. As the powers of intellect become developed, and tastes and inclinations formed, so people may be seen selecting objects to interest their minds and meet their wishes. But turn where they may, and have what they may, their constant experience is that all under the sun is vanity and vexation of spirit. Still, if one object brings its sorrowful disappointment, they pursue another, and it is to be feared that many fritter away life with no better experience than running from one thing to another in this evil world, seeking rest, and finding none.
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 root 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.
his heavy heart; no philosophical researches can
In our meditation on these verses, we shall
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
"Compared with Christ, in all beside
No comeliness I see;
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. Ixi. 10.)
Others may be found who care little either for 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 How is it that believers are not happier? Beas it is called. Time, wealth, health, and every- this He does according to His own word-"Come cause the Cross of Christ is not more simply and thing else are easily sacrificed to this object. unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, habitually contemplated as the spring of all joy They find its present interest sufficiently encou- and I will give you rest." This the Christian and blessing. It may be said that Jesus is not raging to promote diligent perseverance, and its realizes by faith, according to that Scripture, now on the Cross, nor in the sepulchre, but that supposed harmlessness becomes an excuse for the "We which have believed do enter into rest." He is risen from the dead, and glorified at the most moral to engage in it to any extent. Science The speaker here says, "I sat down under His right hand of the majesty on high. That is is their heart's choice. They know not that the shadow;" and so the Christian not only knows quite true, but it only magnifies the value of the Scripture classes the desires of the mind with the that Christ crucified is the way of salvation, but Cross. If Jesus entered into heaven by His own lusts of the flesh (Eph. ii. 3), and perhaps seldom he avails himself of it, he comes to Him, he blood, and now appears there a Lamb as it had consider that when they die their accumulated enters in, he sits down in peace, because God pro- been slain, do we not see the Cross, as it were, masses of philosophy die with them. vides rest for his sin - burdened conscience. The transplanted from earth to heaven, and crowned There is another class of persons who make awakened soul, having proved the insufficiency with eternal glory and honour? It is Jesus risen fame their object. Ambitious of leaving a great of human expedients, finds in the Cross of the and glorified that reflects such eternal value on name behind them, they are almost willing to Son of God every thing to remove His guilt, His Cross. If we would be happy, if we would accomplish it even at the expense of self-sacrifice. quiet his fears, and fill him with brightest hope.be heavenly, we must dwell much on the glorious As they become loaded with honours, so they A Spirit-led sinner never loses the burden of his worth and work of the Lamb as it had been slain. judge their course prosperous, until at length the sins till he beholds the Lamb of God, for there, The contemplation of Jesus and His work, with cold hand of death proves, to their eternal sorrow, and there alone, he sees the thrice holy God a believing regard to the testimony of the Holy that 66 man being in honour abideth not; he is making an end of sin, bringing in everlasting Ghost in the written word concerning that work, like the beasts that perish." righteousness, and presenting pardon to the guilty, fills the soul with joy and peace; but the word Such are some of the classes of character life for the dead, and salvation for the lost. He of Christ and the work are both needed for true around us, and whether it be money, pleasure, comes therefore and finds rest. By faith he sits spiritual joy. We must sit under His shadow, science, or fame, they stand like so many trees beneath the shadow of the Cross, and finds himself if we would have great delight. 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 nore
"A bleeding Saviour seen by faith, A sense of pard'ning love,
My heart's desire, all-gracious Lord,
Loved of my Lord, for Him again
expect rest apart from a believing view of the Cross of Christ, for
Less than thyself will not suffice,
"Here we rest, in wonder viewing
All our sins on Jesus laid;
A hope that triumphs over death,
4. THE BELIEVER'S EXERCISES.
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 the tree of life. Here, in quiet confidence, we aste the goodness of the Lord, we delight our souls in fatness. Everything else has more or ess of bitterness, but here we find nothing but sweetness. Here we feed on that grace which gives us pardon, peace, acceptance, righteousness, sonship, and fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Here we see that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings. Here the fountain of living water is ever freely flowing; and we find that all the promises of God are made sure to us, for they are all yea and amen n Christ, unto the glory of God, by us. Here the weary obtain renewal of strength, the disordered spirit finds healing, the mourner is comforted, aith becomes increased, and unbelief put to shame; the weak are strengthened, backsliders are restored, the poor in spirit are enriched, the ungry are fed, and the thirsty refreshed. Oh, now blessed it is to sit beneath the outstretched arms of the Lamb as it had been slain, and, in he lively exercise of faith, eat of the eternal
Dear reader! Have you seen beauty in Jesus? Has the Cross of Christ a claim on your heart above everything else? Are you seeking wealth, pleasure, science, fame? or are you so convinced of the unsatisfying character of all other things, that you seek Jesus for present and eternal rest and peace? You may perhaps say, I seek money, pleasure, science, fame, and Christ too; but, let
wine by the blood of the Lamb. There we feast is of vast importance to the Christian, our souls. There we realize that His flesh is meat indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. inasmuch as it concerns the Church as a There the various attributes of the God of love body, having Christ Jesus for its head, and peace shine forth in the slain Lamb with in whom the members are all united, not unfading beauty and eternal brightness. The by a mere sentimental union, but by an joy of that banqueting house is that the dead Son is alive again, and the lost found; the Shepactual oneness, through the efficacy of herd's joy is that He has found the sheep which the atoning blood. The interests of all was lost; and we rejoice that we are delivered believers are common, therefore the study from the swine-trough of misery and sin, to of that which concerns the whole, must feasting and joy in the Father's house. Happy of necessity be all-important. The SECOND would it be, if we all more fully enjoyed the blessed privileges that the grace of God has APPEARING of the Saviour concerns the brought unto us. whole Church, therefore the diligent study of Scripture teaching on this important point must be worthy of deep, earnest, and prayerful consideration. Careful meditation on these topics will strengthen the bond of union, by gazing on the Sun of Righteousness, Christ Jesus, just as we hold sympathetic intercourse with the ine tell you, that you cannot have. You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot be a friend one human family, as we gaze upwards of the world without being the enemy of God. toward the one sun, which cheers the vast You cannot love sin and love Christ too. You inhabited globe. We are all formed to look cannot please yourself and please God also. You forward as well as backward, but can only cannot be an infidel and a believer at the same do so by means of the sure telescope, the satisfaction in the fruit of the Spirit in us, and time. Let me beseech you to discontinue 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 bethe atoning work, that we are called unto the loved among the sons. I sat down under His fellowship of the risen and glorified Son of God-shadow with great delight, and His fruit was raised up together, and made sit together in the sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banheavenlies in Christ Jesus." It is done-"He queting house, and His banner over me was love." brought me to the banqueting house." Hence we May God graciously apply His own have liberty to draw near to God, to enter into truth, by His Spirit, for Jesus sake. Amen. the holiest by the blood of Jesus. When Christ died on the Cross, we are told that the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; thus shewing us that every impediment
fruit of His agony and toil! All our exercises are profitable, if they lead us to Him; all our necessities are good, if they are only the occasions of our realizing our blessings in Christ, and of quickening our appetites to feeding on Him. There is all the difference between seeking
attract and improve our finer feelings, for
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Christ's first appearance was a manifestation of grace towards lost sinners; his second coming will be a manifestation of glory and vengeance,-glory to all who watch for his advent-vengeance on all who remain careless, unbelieving, impenitent, and disobedient.
Subjects of importance to you.
BY T. W. MEDHURST, KINGSTON-ON-THAMES.
loved Christ; for Jesus died to bring us to God.
to man's drawing near was removed, and that, To know what God thinks concerning the Scriptures, "The last days." These
house of bread and wine; the blood of Jesus is
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 the Law, as to realize that he can never be for all, I was silenced and saddened by justified by his obedience to it; so knows this reply, "Ah, sir, I consider there's a the Saviour, as to renounce all and every-great deal to be done yet!" thing for him; so knows the world, as to forsake it, preferring the Saviour's worst things to its best things; and so knows Satan, as to flee from him, and seek shelter and protection in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
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
cept we know Christ; nor, what knowledge we have of Christ, except it be spiritual and experimental. No one can learn to know Christ of himself, a teacher is necessary; as it is the heart, rather than the head that needs to be taught, and as none can get at the heart, a divine teacher is necessary. This being the case, the Holy Spirit is provided, and Jesus promising the Spirit to his disciples said, "He shall teach you." (John xiv. 26.) And the apostle John, speaking of the Holy Spirit as the anointing, says, "The same anointing teacheth you." As a teacher, the Holy Spirit enlightens 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 be- ing 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 seech you then to come to a decision turning to a dear friend watching beside upon this point, and if you have the his bed, with something of disappointment Spirit as your teacher, thank God, and in his tone he said, seek more of His gracious instructions; but if you have not, or cannot satisfactorily conclude that you have, then, as a
As a teacher, the Holy Spirit displays the greatest wisdom, teaching us as we are able to bear. He manifests the most touching tenderness, even as a mother "Another day! I thought to have toward her only, her beloved child. He supped 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 of consciousness from the lips of this we merely learn from the Word, or the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." young disciple "whom Jesus loved."
And these were almost the last words
I suppose it amounted in her estimation to this, a little more alms-giving, a little more going to places of worship (if able), longer and better prayers, and oftener;
diligence in receiving sacraments, thus begetting, no doubt, an increase of selfsatisfaction mistaken for an increased fit
Reader, is the Holy Spirit your teacher?
Methinks, from the foregoing remarks, ness for His presence, who has declared
J. B. I.
"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!
"HAVE faith in God!" for He who reigns on high,
guileless simplicity of one who walked Hath borne thy griefs, and heard the suppliant's sigh; sir, please not to say anything yet;" the
With talents most brilliant, and a judgment clear and matured, the secret source of the deep love granted him was in the
with God, winning men to admire even what they could not comprehend. He faded rapidly in his fifteenth year, when hopes were highest for his earthly future. A brighter future awaited him, for which he had been daily prepared, growing in grace day by day, ripening into fuller meetness for the undisturbed communion with the Saviour for which he panted. One of the hidden ones of Christ, known more by his walk than his words.
Still to His arm, thine only refuge, fly.
Fear not to call on Him, Oh soul distress'd,
"Have faith in God!"
Lean not on Egypt's reeds! Slake not thy thirst
At earthly cisterns. Seek the stronghold first.
"Have faith in God!"
Tell Him thy devious path;―thy letter spread
one from the precious Word of Truth; but had scarce uttered three words when she interrupted him, saying, "There,
Yea, tell Him ALL! The sigh thy bosom heaves
How Churches ought to be built
cannot go until you have done so." These
words were addressed to two men who
The Bible and the Sabots. As a French colporteur was resting a Well, thought her attentive hearer, little on a bench at the door of an inn, this is beautiful; true ministry indeedwhere he had partaken of his humble scripturally so (Eph. iv. 16; 1 Cor. xii.); meal, he heard a woman exclaim in great each joint supplying, according to its agitation, "Oh my Bible and my sabots! measure, the lack of the other - almost (wooden shoes.) You must find them, I 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 ably clean in her person. The same the hip, the greater portion of one hand, 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 "Ah, you are very poor, and, I dare cried, "Poor, poor man! and does he, say, want many things," observed the thus maimed and in total darkness, latraveller, feeling much sympathy for the bour day after day to cheer this aged one aged widow, (for such she was,) and glanc- for Christ's sake? And, dear reader, he ing at the frail wooden walls, full of learnt more (practically) the meaning of chinks, ill adapted to shelter such as she the 12th and 13th chapters of 1 Cor. than ever he did in his life before. Here, was from the rigours of winter. as before hinted, were two of God's chosen ones; but I suppose, at the same time, just what the world would count things that are not (1 Cor. i. 27, 28); just such things that would be passed by, as having no beauty, by the natural man. But, oh, how adorned! what polished stones in the spiritual temple of our God.
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 without 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 creature. 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 Would ever wish to be absent from them; "Ah, it isn't that which makes me unbut one cannot possibly go there without happy. The Lord is very good to me; one's sabots; and when one is poor, these and it is because He is so good to me, and things cannot be bought every day." She I be so cold towards Him, that's what had scarcely finished this explanation, makes me unhappy." Well, thought the when one of the men on opening a drawer, listener, this is a very unusual confesexclaimed, "Here's the Bible!" And then sion; rarely, indeed, had he heard either seizing hold of a package rolled up in a aged or young Christians, in carpeted 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
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."
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 you been shattered frame. Nimbly climbing the traveller, there was another member of thoroughly convinced by the Spirit of the body receiving, and it may be accord- God, through the word, that you are a ing to the ability (which God gives), lost, ruined sinner (Rom. iii.)? and are imparting blessing; he felt that his soul you resting only and entirely upon the was taught and comforted in many ways, blood of Jesus, God's dear Son for pardon
steps, he entered, almost breathless with haste, greeted old Mary with true Christian affection, and when informed that their visitor belonged to Christ, his face 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 Head of the body to shew you your place other; yea, even of the least--all are ne- in the body, and it is a thing so much cessary. Each one has wants, and each according to His mind, that if you are has the power given him, if in an healthy sincere in your request, He will be sure to be sin for us who knew no sin; that state to minister to those wants in other to give you the desire of your heart. we might be made the righteousness of members, whilst his own lack is supplied Yes, thought the traveller, here is a God in Him." (2 Cor. v. 20, 21.) J. B. I. by some other's love and sympathy. Such church-the two or three gathered in
"Ask, and it shall be given you," is the promise of our faithful God.
But, dear reader, if you be not a Christian, here is a word for you also. "We pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him
is the Church of Christ, or shall we say,
the name of Jesus-a habitation of God,
We have been too much accustomed to
Now I'm at perfect peace with God,
A sinner reconciled with Blood-
But now, by grace, I am brought nigh,
So near, so very near to God,
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,
Such a position is;
A taste is given to me here,
Oh, never let me “careful” be,