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strong temptation to put a period to her life, by drowning herself. The enemy so far succeeded as to prevail on her to go to the river, in order to put the dreadful plan into execution; but, as she was adjusting her clothes, to prevent her from floating, she felt something in her pocket-it was her Bible! She thought she would take it out and look in it again for the last time. She did so, and the above-mentioned text immediately caught her eye. The Lord applied it with His own energy to her soul; the snare was instantly broken, the temptation was taken away, and she returned, blessing Him who had given her the victory. The relation of this circumstance was blest to the conversion of a man and his wife, then present, and to completing a similar deliverance. These persons, it appeared, previous to this had lived in an almost continued state of enmity; their habitation exhibited a scene of discord and confusion, and often their quarrels would end in a total silence. Some considerable time would elapse before a single word would be exchanged by them; and, in one of these unhappy seasons, the wife came to the dreadful determination of drowning herself. She accordingly left her house for the purpose, and came near the river, but it being too light, she feared on that account she should be detected. She therefore knew not where to go till it grew darker. She at length espied a place of worship open; she thought she would go in, and when it was over it would be sufficiently dark. She went in. Mr. Wills was preaching, and, as before observed, related the before-mentioned circumstance. She heard with attention, and the Lord blest what she heard to her conversion, and the devil lost his ends. She returned another person, and, when she arrived home, her husband looked at her with surprise. Her countenance, which before was the index of a malevolent disposition, now indicated the temper of the lamb. Struck with her appearance, her husband asked her," Where had she been?" She told him. He immediately interrogates, "And did you see me there?" She replied, "No." He added, "But I was there, and blessed be God, I found His grace sufficient for me also."
MEDITATIONS BY THE LATE RUTH BRYAN.
It is striking to my mind, at this time, that the mercy-seat was within the vail in the holiest of all, that of the mercy-seat. The Lord said to Moses, "There will I meet with thee, to commune with thee," &c. (Ezek. xxv. 22); and in Levit. xvi. 2, "I will appear in the cloud upon the mercyseat:" and yet the people were not to go within the vail, but the high priest only, and he but once a year (Heb. ix. 7). Surely this shows that communication with God was through the priest, and his access only by blood with sweet incense. The people did learn the mind of God by Urim and Thummim, but the near approach to God was at the mercy-seat; for He was in the cloud above it; and how seldom was that high favour permitted under the first covenant, the Holy Ghost this signifying (as we are told) that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was yet standing. And how true this in individual soulexperience, that we find no way into the Divine presence, no freedom at the mercy-seat, while the first covenant is in force with us, while we are shut up under the law; but, when faith is come, when brought to believe in JESUS, we find an open way, a new and living way, even into the holiest of all, and being by Him made priests to God, we enter lawfully. But
how? It was only the high priest was to enter. Ah, our High Priest has entered, not to stand and minister, and then retire, till He bring in another sacrifice; His one offering on the great day of atonement was sufficient, so that He has sat down for ever THERE; and, according to law, He entered by blood, His own precious blood, which same accepted token He has left for us; and the dear Spirit reveals it, yea, He applies it to the conscience, and it purges us from the dead works of our fallen nature (Heb. ix. 14): and then with pure conscience we have boldness to enter even into the holiest by this precious blood, which has purged us more truly than the things under the law were purged with blood of bulls and of goats. We are the things of the Gospel sanctuary, the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man; and, under anointing of the Spirit (for we have oil as well as blood), we come to know the worship of that better sanctuary in which are no shadows; it is all substance, though spiritual. But I just now see that the prohibition is still as strict as under the first covenant, for under this present is no access but by blood; all attempts to draw nigh to God without blood is presumption, it is not by tears or trembling, by prayers, or fastings, or alms deeds, that we may approach: these would suit proud nature well, but it is only by blood. Nor must we pierce our own veins, that were of no avail; it must be blood untainted by sin, and it must be the blood of the Testator; this only will be acknowledged a true token; for it is this same blood which is already before the mercy-seat, and with it is the sweet incense, too, which is our precious Christ. Heavenly rich spice as bruised by Divine justice, and the fire of the Holy Spirit thereupon (for it was through the Eternal Spirit He offered Himself without spot to God) caused a cloud of fragrant perfume to cover the mercy-seat when our great High Priest entered within the vail, as Levit. xvi. 12, 13. And also when we enter by faith, how do the coals of the Spirit's fire upon our spicy Jesus cause a sweet odour of Him in our renewed minds, which ascends like the incense cloud upon the mercy-seat; and thus we come with the same blood and the same_sweet-smelling savour, and there we pour out our hearts before our Father in perfect love, which casts out slavish fear. Each prayer being sweetly perfumed with that much incense, according to Rev. viii. 3, 4; and there, too, our Father pours His heart out, or rather, pours it into ours, and so "we all filled with all the fulness of God." Oh, indeed, it is a blessed favour when the dear Testifier of Jesus shows us from "the patterns of things in the heavens" a little of the greater glory of the heavenly things themselves." May He please lead me through the "tabernacle of witness in the wilderness," and teach me thereby the glories of the higher sanctuary, which has living vessels, and of the glorious Minister thereof, who is Priest, Sacrifice, Ark, Mercy-seat, Incense, and a thousand things beside.
"All are too mean to speak His worth,
Or set Immanuel's glories forth.”
THE disease of the soul cannot be taken away till we are freed from the body. By the grace of God it may be repressed, that it shall not reign over us, but is ejected only at death.
THAT which lays the soul in the lowest abasement is the conviction of inbred iniquity. This strikes at the root of human vanity, and cuts asunder the very sinews of self-conceit.
THE INCREASED WICKEDNESS OF THE WORLD, AND THE
Он, thou seer of Israel! as the door of 1870 for ever closes, and we look out upon the untrodden space before us, we respond to the inquiry. It appears to us that the night is far spent, that the world is growing old in wickedness, and that the great and terrible One, who sitteth upon the circle of the heavens, looking down upon all, cannot long stay His hand in its destruction, preparatory to which He is fast gathering home His people to Himself.
But have you not taken up the pen in a censorious spirit? Why think the world is growing old in wickedness, when the general idea is that it is highly religious, and many declare that it will soon become converted? O thou mistaken watchmen, that blow not the trumpet of the Lord! In the language of Dante, "Ye go forth and preach impostures to the world; and in the language of a far greater: "The prophets prophecy lies in my name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake I unto them: they prophecy the deceit of their own heart."
Does the world grow better? Has the cherished march of civilization brought about the promised universal brotherhood? Or has the influence of International Exhibitions bound the nations of the earth together, as it was thought they would? Let the disastrous wars of 1870, and their attendant horrors, answer the question.
Two hundred thousand of our fellow creatures have fallen by the sword, and their gory bodies lie a few feet only under the surface of the mother earth. Oh! does the world grow better? Let the widows wail and the fatherless children, who are as grasshoppers in the land, respond to the inquiry. There is something deeply humiliating in the facts that surround us; and, in their contemplation, the soul of the Christian weeps in secret places because of the abounding wickedness of the world, and the painful lessons the past eventful year has taught us.
But some will say, You are taking only one aspect of the world. Look at the upper strata of society, where surely all is excellent. Ah, feathered and flounced refinement! thy secrets lurk in the dark; and that under thy fine and fair show there lies a heart of deceit, let the outrageous baby farms" of the present day bear witness. Does the world grow better? But let us turn from it.
Oh! sickening world, we are heartily tired of thy ways, and we look for the living family of God, the salt of the earth, that is keeping it from putrefaction; but where are the members of His loved family? How scattered, how few are the kindred spirits who love to tell and talk of Jesus! There may be a few favoured spots where they cluster as doves around the faithful preaching of the Word, but mostly they are as sparrows alone on the house top. The Lord is thining His ranks of faithful ones-many in one's own circle during the past year have gone home; and, as one sorts the numbers of this Magazine for binding, the eye rests upon
references to the departure of the Rev. J. C. Philpot, well known to lovers of free grace; the revered Earl of Roden; the veteran Mushett; good Mr. Dangerfield, who died in the pulpit while pointing the people to "the rest that remaineth to the people of God." These, and many more, have died in the faith, and safely reached the eternal shore; and we, beloved, are left a little longer in this wilderness world. We cannot tell how soon our turn may come; and some of us living in glad anticipation sing
"Oh, for the robes of whiteness!
Oh, for the tearless eye!
The bridal feast above!
Oh, for the joy of greeting
The loved ones gone before!
In that sweet meeting place." Well, beloved, while thinking of the solemn realities of the past year, of the increased wickedness of the world, and of the gathering of God's saints home in this latter day, three precious words drop with sweetness and savour upon my heart, which may well form a New Year's Motto for us. They are
Found in Him.
Ah! sweet thought! How it melts one before God to think of it, and what mercy is veiled in the fact ! I, a poor worthless worm of the earth, drawn by mighty grace out of an ungodly world to the feet of Jesus, and by the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost found in Christ! Oh! sweet assurance amidst the rapid succession of events that are occurring! I would not give up this STANDING IN HIM for ten thousand worlds, nay, I could not if I would, for it betokens an indissoluble union wrought by a loving Bridegroom, who is willing and able to save-a union which the Word of God puts both ways, as if to seal the matter, for it tells us of Christ being in us, and of our being in Him, of which the Holy Ghost is witness-a precious glorious union which results in
The righteousness of Christ being imputed to us (2 Cor. v. 21);
Deliverance from the dominion of sin, which, though within, shall not have power (1 John iii. 6)—
and a union which causes us to bring forth fruit unto God, which fruit is drawn from the fulness of our Covenant Head, and redounds to His glory (John xv. 5); together with innumerable benefits and blessings realized by Christ's bride as He allures her onwards and upwards, till, amazed at Sovereign grace and mercy, she stands complete in Him, to share with Him the unknown joys of the upper world.
"Blest union! formed by love divine:
Nor let His covenant bond be broke."
But we have alluded to the benefits and blessings that are the result of this wonderful union : let us think of some of them, beloved.
Why, if we are found in Him, we have a secret source of happiness that the world can neither give nor take away. We feel it; we know it, hour by hour, and day by day. It gladdens us in the midst of gloom; it cheers us in the midst of clouds. We have hold of Christ, and we walk and talk with Him who is invisible in the midst of the bustle and crowding cares of life.
There may not be much opportunity for leisure, but the moments with Him amidst daily toil are very precious, and our appeals are constantly to Him, are they not? Lord, help! Lord, save! Lord, direct! Lord, undertake for me! This is the sort of constant negotiation which is going on in one's soul, and such upliftings are very sweet. Dear Nehemiah of old knew not a little about this kind of work: his appeals to the Lord were incessant, and became his secret source of strength and success; for instance, when hearing of the state of the wall around Jerusalem, he says, "I sat down and wept, and prayed before the God of heaven." And then, when he went before the King upon the matter dear to his heart, he all the time plied the throne of grace: he says, "So I prayed to the God of heaven"; and, when his prayers were answered in the Lord inclining the king to grant him his request, he acknowledges it as all the Lord: his words are, "And the king granted me according to the good hand of the Lord upon me." And, while building the wall, he carries on similar dealings with the court of heaven, and even when hotly opposed by the enemy, he says, "Nevertheless, we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night." Oh, beloved! this is a very precious way of dealing with our God, and learning the secret "of continuing in supplication and prayers night and day": and such will be the goings forth of the soul of those who have a secret source of happiness resulting from being found in Him. But again
"Found in Him," we need not fear anything we may meet with by the way. There is often much, very much, to annoy one and to cast one down by the way; and sometimes one's temper is sorely tried. At such weak moments Satan thrusts hard at us, and takes advantage of our want of faith; but only let such precious words as these shine forth amidst the leaden clouds "Found in Him "—and how it calms and clears up all, and makes one feel, "Oh, what are all these annoyances by the way? Why, after all, they are mere trifles, and beneath the notice of an heir of glory. I will stamp them under foot. I will meet them calmly. My trust is in the Lord Jehovah. I stand intimately related to the Lord Jesus Christ. What have I to fear?" Beloved, may you and I realize the dignity of our position as "Found in Him," and we shall be able thus to rise above many things that, looking at self instead of Him, threaten to overwhelm Let this be our axiom : "Do not look at the thing to be done, but look at Him who is to do it. But, again—
"Found in Him," supplies will be granted for every fresh position of need. It is true Hagar found her bottle spent and her Ishmael exhausted, but the Lord guided her to a well, and well supplied her.
Is there one reading our "Notes" who is fearing that supplies, sooner or later, will surely cease-who sees no way out of a difficulty, but whose
*Beloved, our "Notes" are mostly written in pencil amidst the busy scenes of London activity-at railway stations and in railway carriages-for we have little time for calm reflection.