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are likely to be forgotten when the trouble has passed away.
9. Pray frequently. David resolved to pray, evening and morning, and at noon (Ps. lv. 17); and even seven times a day he would praise the Lord (Ps. cxix. 164); and Jesus spake a parable to this end, that men ought always to pray. Luke xviii. 1.
10. Pray perseveringly. Listen to the Word: "Pray without ceasing." "Continue in prayer." "Continuing instant in prayer." Pray and not faint." 1 Thess. v. 17; Col. iv. 2; Rom. xii. 12; Luke xviii. 1.
"Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, The Christian's native air,
His watchword at the gates of death,
It is enjoined upon all Christians, that they do good as they have opportunity." Compliance with this Divine precept requires
1. A will, a heart, a purpose to do good. Of this, many are but too sadly destitute. They seek their own, plan for themselves only, and are, in a word, thoroughly selfish. By such, an opportunity of doing good is seldom or never sought; and if it presents itself unsought, is speedily put aside.
2. The precept requires the exercise of thought, invention, discovery. Waiting for opportunities does not suffice. A Christian has feet with which to move, and eyes with which
to see, and hands with which to help. These all must be used in the service of a Christian disposition.
To one having heart and thought for good-doing, occasions for his gratification will come of themselves, or be searched for with eager desire. The Master went about doing good. He passed from place to place. He visited, and counselled, and healed. His disciples are presumed to imitate His example. If they do not, of what value is their profession ? One grand difficulty in the cultivation of a practical Christianity consists in this-that so many professors of religion wait for important, or extra, or pre-arranged occasions for doing good. They are not inventive, nor energetic, nor enterprising, in seeking for small and daily opportunities, wherein to show their love for God and man; and yet it is by seizing these smaller opportunities, and turning them to account, that nearly all real good is effected. In conversation, in a visit of compassion, in inviting one's neighbour to the house of God, in looking up neglected children, in aiding the poor when he crieth-these and many other deeds of charity, done now by the few, but obligatory upon all true Christians-these modest modes of doing good, which are never celebrated in newspapers, nor chronicled in history, are the modes which afford the fullest scope for the exercise of practical piety. But, in order that the heart's sympathies may not run to waste, and the best intentions do not subside into slum
ber, it is necessary that there should be daily cultivated the habit of looking up and searching out the oppor
tunity, which Providence never fails to furnish those who will be faithful almoners of the Divine grace.
"Do good! do good! There is ever a way,
A way where there's ever a will; Don't wait for to-morrow, but do it to-day,
And to-day, when to-morrow comes, still."
PRAYER ANSWERED. ABRAHAM prayed, "Oh that Ishmael might live before thee!" and God said, "As for Ishmael, I have heard thee." Lot prayed, and Zoar became a city of refuge for him, while Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed. Jacob prayed, and his name was changed to Israel. His descendants cried to God in their bondage, and He stretched out the right hand of His power for their deliverance. Moses cried unto the Lord, and the waters gushed from Horeb. Hannah prayed, and then testified, "The Lord hath given me my petition." Samuel besought Jehovah in Israel's behalf, and great thunder discomfited the Philistines. Solomon had a wise and an understanding heart because he had asked this thing. Elijah on Carmel prayed, "Hear me, oh Lord, hear me." Soon the multitude exclaimed, "The Lord He is the God; the Lord He is the God." Elisha prayed, and the Shunamite's son breathed again. Hezekiah prayed, and the shadow went backward ten degrees on the dial of Ahaz. Asa cried unto the Lord, and the Ethiopians fled before Him and Judah. Jehoshaphat prayed, and Judah and Jerusalem saw the salvation of God.
Nehemiah made prayer unto God amid the tauntings of enemies, and saw them silenced under the power of Jehovah. David in trouble called upon the Lord, and deliverance came to him and mercy to his seed for evermore. Jeremiah cries in our hearing unto the Lord, "Thou hast heard my voice." Gabriel came with swift wing to Daniel to assure him that his supplication was not in vain. From the billow and the wave Jonah sent up his cry, and the Lord heard. Zacharias prayed, and an angel from the presence of God came with glad tidings. Bartimeus cried aloud and glorified God for sight bestowed. The dying thief uttered one prayer, and Paradise opened its gates to receive him.
THE ATONEMENT. It is easy to see the necessity of having correct views of the nature of the Atonement itself. This is the life of the Christian system; it is the spirit which animates it; and if our apprehensions and impressions about this are wrong, our religion will be wrong. In proportion to our error in this point will be our happiness in Christian experience. If we do not catch the true spirit of the doctrine of the Atonement, we shall not catch the true spirit of Christian life; and if we live at all to Christ, then it will be a diseased and sickly life; and, instead of resembling those who breathe the pure atmosphere that quickens a heavenly existence, we shall resemble those who breathe the poisoned and pestilent vapours that sometimes float even over the green fields of the Zion of God.
The Atonement is the believer's breath of life. He cannot take a
step, he cannot speak a word, he cannot feel an emotion in religion, without it. It tempers all his hopes, his fears, his faith; it governs his humility, his peace, his love; it guides his gentleness, his goodness; it opens the fountain of his tears; it is the key-note of the song he sings. And when he goes forth to do good, it turns him from the track of the Levite and the Priest, to the better path of the good Samaritan who bears his oil and his wine. If this pervading principle, therefore, becomes corrupted, all else will partake of the taint. If the truth of the principle be all lost, grace will not exist in the soul, and the soul will not be saved.
IF Universalism be the doctrine of the Scriptures, it will follow, of course, that
1. The happy man is he "whose conscience is seared with a hot iron."
2. The suicide is a wise man.
3. The atheist, who lives according to the dictates of nature, and has no dread of a future, is to be envied.
4. The Apostle Paul was a fool for striving "to bring his body into subjection." He actually laboured lest when he preached to othersthat all men should inherit the kingdom of God-he himself should be a castaway.
5. The Epicureans were better practical Christians than is often supposed. "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we" shall be in heaven.
6. How strange that Noah should preach righteousness, and continue faithful to his God, and build an ark for "the saving of his house!" Had he "gone with the tide," he might have been among the saved in heaven -and while he was on earth enduring temptation, have been saying, with those who were fortunate enough to be drowned, "hallelujah."
7. I wonder also that Lot went out of Sodom. Had he only joined with the "Sodomites," or tarried with his sons who married his daughters, or looked back like his wife, his "fiery trial" had soon been over.
8. I do not wonder that children seriously educated should be afraid to sin-but that David, with all his wisdom, should have said, "Stand in awe and sin not," is unaccountable! Probably he had not learned that the wicked should only be cast into hades, that is, the valley of Hinnom. He lived under a dark dispensation.
9. The judgment, if this doctrine be true, will be a day of universal joy. The adulterer and murderer, and liar, and drunkard-Rev. xxi. 8; Cor. vi. 9, 10-and idolator, shall rejoice as well as those whose names are found written in the book of life. "The wicked" shall not "go away into everlasting "-Gr. aiona
66 "punishment," and shall rejoice with "the righteous" who enter "life eternal " Gr. aiona. Deluded beings! they left the world in horror, for they thought of rising "to shame and everlasting contempt," but now the veil is removed, in that kingdom where nothing defiled shall enter. Yes, "and dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and mur
derers, and idolators, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie,"-Rev. xxi. 15-shall mingle their voices with the "blessed which are called to the marriage of the Lamb."-Rev. xix. 9.
A CHRISTLESS OLD AGE. WHAT sight is there which would more naturally excite feelings of sympathy in the Christian heart than that of a Christless old age? See that old man bowed down beneath the weight of many, many years! His locks are thin and white. He leans upon his staff with trembling hands. His feeble limbs can scarce support the "tottering tenement of clay." His wife, the companion of his early years, is gone. The remains of her with whom he once battled against the ills of life, have long since been lain away in the dark and silent urn. His children, once the joy and comfort of his heart, and the hope of his future years, who once were as "olive plants" about his table, are scattered and far removed. The associates of his early days, those who once joined with him in the joys and pleasures of the world, who once mingled with him in the social circle, have long since taken up their abode in the solemn city of the dead. He feels, and an audible sigh escapes his lips as the thought passes his mind, that he is but a remnant of the past, that he is alone in the world, with none to feel nor share his sorrows. Poor old man! you know not, nor can you tell, how much the bitter cup of life might have been sweetened by the presence of an ever-loving Saviour in your
heart. The morning of your life, your best days, have you given to the service of the evil one; and now old age, with its infirmities, is upon you, and finds you destitute of the presence of that Saviour who is able to bear you as a "lamb in His bosom," and guide safely your weather-beaten bark through life's tempestuous ocean into the harbour of endless peace. All through these long and lonely years it was your blessed privilege to have had the sympathy and support of that Friend that "sticketh closer than a brother," and who has promised those that love Him, that as their outward man perisheth, their inward man should be renewed day by day; and now, instead of the impenetrable cloud of gloom which gathers and thickens over the grave, a bright halo of divine light would have shed its effulgence around your final resting-place, the tomb. Dear reader, if you are living without God in the world,
"Without one cheering beam of hope, Or spark of glimmering day," O, let the sad picture of a Christless old age admonish you to put not off your return to God, till the finger of Time shall have written his name upon your every feature. O, let me admonish you, by all you are, or expect to be in time and eternity, by your hope of future felicity, by your hope of future happiness all through the countless ages of eternity, to seek the Lord now while He may be found, and call upon Him now while He is near; and then, with blessed assurances, may you claim all those cheering promises which abound in the decline of life to those who are approaching the point where all,
PRAYER FOR OTHERS.
WE are not released from the obligations to pray for others, because we have suffered personal indignities at their hands.
While the Lord God was recognised as the King of the Jews, He ruled the nation by means of prophets and judges, who were as regents under Him, over the people. The ministry of Samuel as prophet, prior to the coronation of Saul, covered a space of twice twenty years. During the last twenty years of this ministry, Samuel was the regent of the Lord God-the subordinate ruler of the tribes. "He went from year to year, in circuit, to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. And his return was to Ramah, for there was his house, and there he judged Israel."
His administration was a prosperous one. The lords of the Philistines, with their hosts, came up against Israel; but they were discomforted, and smitten with great slaughter, by miracle, while Samuel offered sacrifices to the Lord. The Highest gave His voice from the heavens, in "hailstones and coals of fire;" and his enemies perished before him and his people. Their other foes, likewise, were at peace with them.
His administration was pure. He never perverted justice. He defrauded, he oppressed no one. From no one took he bribes. His judicial