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attempted to say I could not understand, owing to his defective articulation, but a few words I did understand. I asked him if he knew me, and he replied, "Yes, my brother James.' 'Do you know where your wife is ?' 'Yes, in the grave.' 'Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?' 'Yes, He died to save my soul.' " Will you read me a chapter in the Bible ?' 'Yes.' He then read with much feeling, and greater distinctness than I expected, the 46th Psalm. I left him, not to see him again till the heavens are no more.” Shortly after, he died, leaving no other evidence of his return to God. He exchanged time for eternity; so much we know, and that is all. We must wait the decisions and revelations of the judgment to know whether or not he exchanged the gloomy cell of a madhouse for “the streets of the New Jerusalem.”
Many solemn lessons are taught by the above narrative. Will the reader specially mark two or three? We cannot be too careful in the choice of our companions; especially at the outset of life. No considerations of gain or wordly advancement should be sufficient to induce us to connect ourselves, if we can avoid it, with wicked men. Thomas Wilson's ruin may be dated from the day on which he stepped on board the Margaret. From that time forth he became a striking illustration of that text of Scripture, “ Evil communications corrupt good manners.” Walk not, friend, in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, not sit in the seat of the scornful." He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
How awful the consequences of becoming the slave of evil habits ! Nothing is more tyrannical than sin. If a man yield to the love of strong drink, to swearing, to uncleanness, to covetousness, or any other vice, he loses at last all power of resistance; and is led captive by the devil at his will. Who can reflect on one period in the life of Coleridge without seeing in him a sad instance to the point? Speaking of his eports to emancipate himself from a habit which had injured his health, his intellect, and his usefulness, he says,—“For ten years, the anguish I my spirit has been indescribable—the sense of my danger staringbut the consciousness of my guilt worse, far worse than all. I have prayed with drops of agony on my brow.” Reader! are you the slave of any sinful habit? If so, from this moment array yourself in battle against it; and, inasmuch as you are too weak for resistance, unaided by Divine power, cry unto God, who will make His strength perfect in your weakness, and bring you off more than conqueror. Are you just entering on a wicked course ? Remember that “by accustoming ourselves to any course of action we get an aptness to go 0.1, a facility, a readiness, and often pleasure in it." The oftener you sli in that particular direction the more difficult will it be for you at any future time to forsake your way. Beware! The coils of the serpent are already around you. Strangle him ere you die in his mbrace. The fire is kindled within. Quench it, ere it consume you. rush your vices in the bud. But remember that for this also you will need the help of God.
How necessary it is that we should be always watchful! We are like a ship in a perilous sea ; on every side are rocks and quicksands ; we must not relax our vigilance for a moment. “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” How needful the constant help of the Holy Spirit! He who regenerates the soul, must guide, sustain, sanctify, and preserve it to the end. What a source of strength is the sympathy of the Lord Jesus! “ For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.”
One parting word. Remember, if your sin be not forgiven, it will be your ruin, not only here, but also hereafter. “The wages of sin is death.” “The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth. Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." Seek the mercy of God now. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
A MINISTER WANTED. THRIFTYVILLE wants a minister. | in intellect, and ripe in experience; They are looking far and near to find and yet, so young that all the young one; but they want the “right man.” people will rush after him. Thriftyville is not one of your old, Item. He must be quick, ardent, effete, worn out places. It is a place flashing, nervous in temperament, grown up quickly on Rapid River, so that he may kindle quick and in the beautiful valley of Eureka. burn bright, prompt, ready, and It is a very important place—stand | wide-awake;—and yet, a man of the ing directly over the centre of the most consummate prudence, whose earth, so that if a hole were dug, 'nerves shall never be unstrung, nor and a stone dropped into it, it would out of tune. pass through the very centre of this Item. He must be a man of great, great world. It has a growing popu burning zeal, so that he can startle, lation, and boasts of “a circle of arouse, and kindle, and move the very intelligent people.” Moreover, congregation ;—and yet, so cautious it seems to be “the centre of a great so cool, that he is always safe, calm moral influence,” and it now wants self-possessed, unperturbated. a minister second to none. They | Item. He must have the power to want to get the society out of debt, awaken and arouse the Church ;to repair the old wastes which time and yet, must let them be quiet, and has already made in their half-built | look on, while he does all that is done sanctuary, to gather in the young, | for Christ. to “ draw” a full house, and to make Item. He must urge and move the concern every way prosperous men, and lead the whole people to and respectable, and easy to support. salvation, and get them all into the
Now for the qualifications desired. || Church;—and yet, so judicious that They are so few and simple, that he can make a difference between “the right man" probably stands at the chaff and the wheat, and let none your elbow.
but real converts into the fold. Item. He must be a man mature Item. He must be strong and ori. ginal in the pulpit, and bring none that all will respect and fear him ;-but beaten oil there ;—and yet, be and yet, never odd, eccentric, morose, at leisure to receive any call, any | repulsive, or aweing in manners. He interruption, be prepared for every should have the lofty attributes of occasion, and, like the town-pump, , an angel, with the sympathies, the never sucking for water, or giving gentleness and softness of the little out dry.
child. Item. He must be a workman who Item. He must be always ready, shall go down deep into the mines lofty, keyed-up to do the best possiof truth, and quarry out its pillars, ble; and yet, so calm in spirit and and set them up, and make men word and look, that nothing can come and wrestle around them; disturb the repose. and yet, the most gifted man in light Item. He must never preach so conversation, and on all that floats | that the people are not proud of him in the every-day world around him. I when they have a stranger in their
Item. He must have health, so pew, or so that the echo of his serthat his body never wearies, his mon shall not come back when he nerves never quiver--a real specimen goes abroad;—and yet, every sermon of muscular Christianity;--and yet, must be so beautiful that all the a hard, severe thinker, a close rea young people will admire it, and soner, and a most diligent student; wonder over it, and the little child getting his books from any quarter. can carry it all home, and repeat it
Item. He must be poor in this to her grandmother. world's goods, to show that money Item. His wife must be the model is not his object, and so that he can of all models. She must be young sympathise with the poor, and so and handsome, but not indiscreet or that he can't help feeling humble and vain. She must be worthy of the dependent;—and yet, his family admiration of all the people, and yet must be the most hospitable, and think she is the humblest of all. entertain more company than any | She must watch and discipline and other in town; his children must be prune and lead, and make her hussecond to none in education and band the embodiment of all extraining; they must be respectably cellence; but she must never be aware dressed; he must give away more, of her power, lest she become overand more cheerfully, than any man bearing. She must be the model of in the place, not even excepting a lady, have a fair face and white Squire Rich himself: and his family hands, though compelled to do all must all be models, in all respects, the work of her family. She must for the community.
be ready to meet everybody with a Item. He must be a man who can smile, take her hands from the flour be permanent-(though vastly su at any moment, wear a checked perior to Dr. Solid, of the next town, apron, and still be dressed like a who has been with his flock over lady. Her face must never be otherthirty years !)—and his congregation wise than cheerful, her head must must hear the same voice, on the do its aching in secret, and she same subject, several times every must give none occasion to call Week; and yet, he must come every | her extravagant, or to call her time, as original, as fresh, as glow | mean. She must be able to alter the ing, as if it were done but once a same dress four times, turning it year.
thrice, and fitting it to a smaller Item. He must be able to live in child each time. She will be exglass-house, always acting in pub- ' pected to be the very life of the
coming in contact with all sorts | Dorcas Society, the most zealous men and of prejudices, so original | member of the All-Labour Society,
the very back-bone of the Maternal should be a pious man, and one wh Association, the warm leader in the loves his Master;-and yet, as thi Female Prayer-meeting, the head article, piety, has not acquired grea and mover in the Reading Circle, value in Thriftyville, it would b and the visitor-general of the poor. well for him not to make that to She will be expected to be at all the obtrusive. prayer-meetings, and, let how many
* * soever brethren be present, she will Such, in few words, is the max be looked to to set the tune for each they want for Thriftyville. If the hymn. As she receives no salary, can light on him they will pay hin of course her qualifications are not One Hundred Pounds annually, an so important, though the above are not let it run behind unreasonably essential!
This is not, to be sure, half wha Item. The minister must be sound their clerks receive; but they thin in doctrine, able to lay his hands on that the minister, if he be only the the naked foundations of truth, to “right” man, can “manage” to fortify and defend the hill of Zion; live on it. Who is ready I -and yet, must never preach the N.B. All applicants must put a old fashioned doctrines. They are extra postage stamp in the letter not spicy. They are not taking. | or it will receive no attention.-IN They will never “ draw” a full house. | Rev. John Todd, D.D.
Item. It is rather desirable that he
TEARFUL SOWING AND JOYFUL REAPING.
Psalm cxxvi. 5.
BY THE REV. D. M. MACGREGOR. This text is so often quoted in connection with preaching the gospel, that we are apt to forget entirely its primary reference. The whole psalm points to the captivity of the Jews, and to their subsequent return; the former a time of sorrow, the latter a time of joy; and wher the two scenes are depicted in a few graphic touches, the writer seize: upon the principle in human life which underlies the whole, and con denses it into the present form: “ They that sow in tears shall reap is joy.”
And that such is the reference is plain, for there was no preaching in the time of the psalm. Judaism was intensely conservative. I made no spiritual aggression into the region beyond. No herald o glad tidings went forth to proclaim peace on earth and goodwill to al men; so that the reference could not be to what had no existence. Th common use of the verse has doubtless arisen from our familiarity wit the beautiful parable of “ the sower who went forth to sow seed," an also from the fact that gospel sowers have often to sow in tears befor they reap in joy.
Sorrow and joy are strangely mixed in our lives; often indeed ou deepest sorrows spring from the same roots as our purest joys Human life has many notes of gladness running along its surface, bu
also an undercurrent deep with the mournful, wailing notes of woe. The foreground of the picture is shining with hues resplendent as the sun; the background is dark with the sombre colours of sorrow; and yet, strange as it may seem, the flowers of joy spring from the soil of grief. Tears, however, do not always bring joy. They must be sowing tears, and the seed sown must be actions noble and pure; and then the rain of sorrow water it till it springs into the golden sunshine, blossoms and ripens into luscious fruitage. And since we cannot sow but what we are, we may have much sorrow, our tears may fall thick and fast around us, but unless they evolve what is noble and pure and godlike, no good seed is sown, no joyous harvest can arise. The sorrow of godliness alone, the sorrow which leads to repentance, sows the seed which is reaped in joy.
There are two kinds of joy. The one is the natural and spontaneous emotion which plays upon the surface of the soul, and which we love in common with carolling birds and frisking lambs. There is another and one nobler far—the joy which is founded upon peace, the joy of the apostle who spoke of himself as “sorrowing yet always rejoicing,” the highest manifestation of which seems to be possible only to natures disciplined by sorrow. For natural goodness, like a plot of wild-flowers, may be fair enough to look upon, but is scarcely the place for sowing precious seed. It must first be tilled. Thus the ploughshare of sorrow has to run through the soil of our natural emotions and virtues before it can yield the peaceable fruits of joy. But when our souls have been thus opened up, and when the soul is good and honest, sorrow, arrayed in mourning weeds, takes the seed of godlike thoughts and actions, scatters them broadcast around and in our future life, and causes to arise joy pure, deep, ennobling; and thus though “weeping endureth for a night, joy cometh in the morning.”
Now the operation of this principle explains much that is dark in religious experience. Two men profess to be converted at the same time and by the same means. The one, all radiant with smiles, is ready to leap for joy: the other, calm and subdued, “rejoices with trembling ;" yet while the goodness of the former passes away as the morning cloud and early dew, that of the latter becomes an abiding life. The seed in the former case was sown among the wild-flowers of natural goodness: in the latter, a discipline of sorrow for sin had prepared the mind and opened up the fountains of peace, which as a well-spring of living water oozing up through the soul, in all its pellucid freshness, and watering the seed sown, the sunshine of gladness ere long played around flowers arrayed in the inwrought beauty of genuine godliness.
It also explains the difference between a mere worldling and a child of God when under the influence of sorrow. The more grief presses down the former, the less has he to cheer and bless him: whereas with the latter, deepening sorrow often causes increasing joy: for the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, giveth songs in the night. Paul and Silas, with scourged bodies, sung aloud in their dungeon till the prisoners heard them; sang not from mere bravado, but because they