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name” (Rom. iii. 25). On that mercy-seat God meets favourably with the saints in glory and sinners on earth.
2. There was the glory of God above the mercy-seat. This was typical of the revealed presence of God in heaven. It is not improbable that there will be some glorious symbol of His presence visible in heaven, like that heavenly light which shone over the mercy-seat, attracting the gaze and entrancing the spirits of all the inhabitants of heaven. Thus when John saw " the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven opened,” we read, “ The temple was filled with the smoke from the glory of God.” So also in the vision of the prophet Isaiah.
The light of day was carefully excluded from the ancient sanctuary and it was illuminated by the shekinah-the mystic light betokening the presence of the Most High. So in heaven no created light shal ever beam in its holy courts.
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Lamb is the light thereof.”
3. In the ark was a copy of the law, and the golden pot of manna. and Aaron's rod. The first shows that the mercy-seat is supported by law and truth; the others, that in heaven there is remembrance of the perils and deliverances of the earthly journey.
V. Lastly. Heaven is opened to all believers through Jesus Christ.
The high-priest dared not enter" within the veil” without blood No more can we enter the kingdom of glory, however attractive it may be to us, without entire reliance on the blood of Jesus. No praye offered on earth, no spirit that passeth away from earth, can be accepted in heaven, unless through believing trust in the sacrifice o Christ. “Having therefore boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart (Heb. x. 19–25).
It becomes then a question of infinite personal moment for us to examine ourselves, whether we have the certain hope of enterin “ within the veil ;" whether the ground of this hope is the work o Christ. No question so solemn can be presented to you, for you eternal well-being is involved in it. Soon you will be called from thi world, to go within the veil of eternity,—but will it be to enter th veil of the holy place ? or to the darkness and despair of the plac where there is no mercy-seat ? Seek the promised strength, and striv now to obtain the sure hope of entering at last into that heavenly hom “ within the veil.”
THE MINISTRY OF FLOWERS.. ONE Sunday morning in early | church, feeling unusually depressed spring, a good minister of Christ left in spirits. his study for the morning service at ! During the week two prominen members of the Church had dis- | “Here are hundreds of immortal agreed, and the spirit of partisan- souls, waiting for me to teach them, ship ran so high that many feared a and I cannot speak a word. What division in the Church. The pastor shall I do? I seem to be forsaken could not but feel anxious for the of God and man." result; but striving, as he ever did, Suddenly his eye rested upon a to cast all his care upon Him who little glass vase on the pulpit table, careth for us, he had been enabled to containing a cluster of beautiful trust that all would yet be right.
hothouse flowers. Suddenly, however, a dark cloud | “ Some one in this vast congregaovershadowed him. He had prayed tion cares for me," thought the long and earnestly that morning minister, and a faint smile passed for God's help in the services of the over his troubled face. Then as he day; but he felt dull, heavy, cold, de gazed earnestly at those beautiful solate, utterly unfit for the sacred little messengers of our Father's love, duties before him.
he noted a tiny rosebud, just unfold"O God !” he exclaimed in agony, ing its silken leaves. "what shall I do? How can I feed As he remarked the exquisite Thy flock, who am so cold and barren tracery of each fairy leaf, the little and dark, unless Thou dost aid me?”. flower seemed to look up in his face
Still not a ray of light in answer and say. “O faithless and faint to his pleadings, when the sweet hearted! Has God so lovingly cared voices of the morning bells, ringing for me, and will He not also care for out on the quiet air, warned him theep" that it was time to start for the place The remainder of the hymn was of worship.
unheeded. Burying his face in his A few minutes' walk brought him hands, the minister once more turned to his destination. Often before his heart upward, and a flood of he had trodden the broad aisles with light and joy rushed in upon his a thrill of joy at being permitted to troubled spirit. proclaim God's word in so beautiful He rose and announced his text, a sanctuary, but now the dim light “The love of Christ constraineth from the gorgeous stained glass win us.” His carefully written manudows seemed to bring with it a chill of script was entirely forgotten, as darkness, and even the multitudes from the fulness of a heart rejoicing who thronged the pews added to the in that precious love he poured forth crushing weight which already rested the thanksgiving of a redeemed soul, heavily upon his spirit.
and besought those who had never As he ascended the pulpit, the known this sweetest joy of earth to fall, rich notes of the organ broke the “ taste and see that the Lord is stillness; unheeding their harmony, he bowed his head and prayed Then he spoke of Calvary; of the silently, but almost agonizingly, for love which constrained the Lord of the presence and help of God in this life and glory to leave His throne in hour of need.
heaven, and suffer the shame and The music ceased; he must com- agony of the cross. He besought all mence the service. The introductory present not to slight this wondrous prayer was concluded, how, be love; and as he spoke, many a head scarcely knew, and a hymn an
was bowed, and strong men wept nounced. As he watched the vast like little children. congregation rising to unite in sing- | At the close of the service, one of ing, and listened to their voices, like | the members who had quarrelled stepthe sound of many waters, a terrible ped forward, and grasping the hand being of responsibility oppressed | of the other, said in a
of the other, said in a faltering voice,
“Brother, will you forgive me? | and many wanderers brought into Christ died for us both, shall we not the fold of Christ. be friends ?”
" How strange,” said the minister “There is nothing to forgive,” said long afterwards," that all these wonthe other, while tears started to his derful results sprang, under God, eyes, “ we were both in the wrong." from the blessed ministry of a little
A glorious revival followed, during flower!" which all differences were forgotten,
LOVABLE CHRISTIANS. Paul paints the portrait of the true Christian in the eighth verse of the closing chapter of his letter to the Philippians. Here it is : the portrait is one that he might have written his own name under when it was done.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if their be any praise, think on these things.”
In the former part of the verse, Paul paints the strong features of the Christian-his truthfulness, his honesty, and his uncompromising sense of right. These are such deep lines as Michael Angelo painted in his figure of Moses and of the stern heroes of the prophetic era.
But, just as a great artist, having delineated the piercing eye, the majestic brow, and the leonine mouth of his hero, throws in the soft touches that give a womanly sweetness to the visage, so Paul completes his portrait by presenting loveliness and admirableness as the crowning attractions of the Christian character. “ Whatsoever things are lovely," he says, and“ whatsoever things are of good report.” This is the only place in the New Testament in which this word “lovely” is to be found. It literally signifies what is dear to any one. It is that quality in the Christian character that engages the affections of all who come into its presence. The phrase "things of good report” also occurs in this passage alone. It means that which excites admiration and wins approbation. The two expressions together signify in plain English, “Be lovable ; let your life win the hearts of all around you."
It was well that the apostle put in this finishing stroke. It was well to remind the most conscientious Christian that he should strive to render his religion attractive to others. For not every good man's piety is lovable. Some men's religion has too much acidity to taste well. Others sour their religion with an intense censoriousness. Their conversation is enough to set every one's teeth on edge. After an hour's talk with them, you think the worst of even the best men you know. They are crabbed Christians. Everybody respects them, but nobody loves them. We once had a venerable and most godly minded officer in our Church, who never did a wrong act to my knowledge ; and yet he never did a pleasant one either. He was a perfect chestnut
burr. There was a deal of good solid “meat” in him, but no one liked to prick his fingers in coming at it. So the rugged old man was left to go on his way to heaven, working and praying and scolding as he went; but even the children in the street were almost afraid to speak to him. A drop or two of the apostle John in his composition would have made him a glorious specimen of a Christian. We hope that he has become mellower by this time in the sunny atmosphere of heaven.
There is also a sanctimonious set-face which some people wear, that is anything but attractive. We once dealt with such a man in business; and we always counted carefully the change he gave us back after a purchase. We did it instinctively. For we had an uncomfortable suspicion that his manner of look and speech was a mask to hide from the world a designing nature. Perhaps we did him injustice; but the fault was his own in wearing so repulsive a sanctimoniousness.
A lovable Christian is one who hits the golden mean between easy, good-natured laxity of conscience on the one hand, and stern, ungenial moroseness on the other. He is sound, and yet ripe, sweet, and mellow. He never incurs contempt by yielding to men's sinful pre. judices, nor does he incur the antipathy of others by doing right in a hateful, surly, or bigoted way.
LEAD THEM TO THEE.
E'en for such little ones
Christ came a child,
And through this world of sin Thou gavest me.
Moved undefiled; Oh, by Thy love Divine,
Oh for His sake, I pray,
Lead them, my God, to Thee,
Lead them to Thee.
I would believe
That Thou this precious gift
Wilt now receive,
Oh, take their young hearts now; Lead them, my God, to Thee,
Lead them, my God, to Thee,
Safely to Thee.
Lead them to Thee;
Though 'twere my dying breath, Lure me astray;
I'd cry to Thee But from temptation's power
With yearning agony, -Lead them, my God, to Thee,
Lead them, my God, to Thee,
Lead them to Thee.
OUR MISSIONS:-THE ANNUAL REPORT. THE Mission Report for the present | special attention to the important Fear is one of great interest. It | subject of the self-support and inpasses in review the entire field of dependence of the native Churches. the Society's labours, and gives | The Society's present staff of mis
sionaries numbers fifty-eight indi. | tures and print the versions of the viduals, whose labours are assisted | Holy Book when prepared. Some by nearly two hundred native teach the young in schools and colbrethren, and a considerable body leges, and train converts for the of schoolmasters. These mission- | ministry of the gospel. Others miaries are spread over the field in nister to English congregations, while various proportions; fewer in num- | devoting the greater part of their ber where the work of evangelization time to missionary work. Twentyhas been in a certain sense com- five give the whole of their time to pleted; but in larger numbers where the direct preaching of the word, to the people are yet in darkness, and the evangelization of the people who ignorant of the gospel of Christ. worship idols, and follow the precepts Thus, in the West Indies, where the | of false gods. But this does not ex population is to a very large extent | haust the manifold labours in which under Christian instruction, and a missionaries have to engage. Native large band of native pastors has | preachers have to be assisted and been raised up, the European mis their work prescribed; native pastors sionaries are few. For instance, often require advice and instruction: in the Bahamas Islands, there are schools for heathen and Christian only two missionaries among the nu children must be visited, and the merous Churches. They have a mem schoolmasters superintended; colbership of about three thousand per porteurs must be set about their sons; but the work of the pastorate is task, and their routes arranged; incarried on by 28 native ministers, who quirers must be entertained, and are supported by local contributions. their inquiries carefully met; ang In Trinidad there are two mission- then the care of all the churches, aries; but there are seven churches. which by God's grace have been Five of them, with one slight excep gathered, falls to the missionary's" tion, maintain their own pastors, and lot, that the converts may be kept furnish all the means requisite for free from error, and stimulated to the erection and repair of their earnestness and devotedness in the places of worship. In Hayti, there work of the Lord. In some stations are two missionaries and three orphans have to be fed and educated, churches, two of which have pastors women's classes to be taught, and that the members support, or who the sick, both heathen and Christian, support themselves. In Jamaica, attended to. In short, the missionthe entire body of eighty churches is aries must be ready for every good independent of the Society; but the word and work. Few fail to do their institution at Calabar, with its two utmost to promote the welfare tutors, is partly sustained by the spiritual and temporal, of the people Society, and partly by the contribu- | they seek to benefit, and to advance tions of the people.
among them the kingdom of God. In Africa, Brittany, and Norway, With regard to the independenci the work of grace is only begun; and of the native churches, there ar the converts are too few, or too poor, very few congregations in the Wes or have too recently emerged from Indies which have not undertake barbarism, to be able to do much in to sustain the ordinances of th the way of self-support.
gospel, and to support the pastor The far larger number of the who have been set over them. I Society's missionaries labour in the the East this desirable object is onl East. Three are attached to the just begun to be carried out. Th Ceylon mission, and forty are en- difficulties in the way in Indi gaged in promulgating the gospel in having been great. The system India. Some translate the Scrip. | caste has thrown the converts, e