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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 " away into everlasting "-Gr. aiona -"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 agc 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,
both great and small, are by the hand of death brought to one common level-the grave.
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
decisions were characterised by inflexible uprightness.
Now, when the Jews desired a king, they were thrusting Saul aside from the office to which the Lord had called him, and which he had so eminently adorned by his virtues. They were stripping him of honours which he had worn long and worthily.
They were degrading him from his post as judge. There was much ingratitude in this act. There was great indignity. There was cold and cruel insult. His grey hairs could not protect his useful career from this most disgraceful close.
But no resentment, no souring of spirit, took place in him. Rejected, condemned, he forgot his own wrongs, in grief for their sinfulness. His bosom beat only with the desire that wrath and woe might be averted from them. On the very day of his consummated public degradation from office, he said, "As for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you."
Oh for that grace to walk in the steps of this faithful old man! We must suffer wrong at the hands of those whose good we seek. They may cast out our names as evil. They may call us "filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things." From one and another, we may endure gross, repeated, exasperating indignity. And what, then, is our duty? To pray for them. To ask that they may be forgiven of God. To come often to the throne of grace-our bosoms burdened with desire for their salvation-our lips breathing their names in fervent intercession. Many now in glory
owed their conversion to the prayers of those on whom they heaped indignity. Say, shall we not speak by prayer to save those who are heaping such indignity on us?
Other examples than that of Samuel, and examples far more impressive, teach this same lesson. The first martyr, when surrounded by men who breathed out threatenings and slaughter, nay, while they were stoning him, "cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." And a greater than he-even the Saviour of martyrs and prophets-the One sacrificed for sinners-when nailed to the cross, found time and heart, amidst His fearful agonies, with His murderers, 66 as strong bulls of Bashan," about Him, to breathe His prayer, "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do!"-Hard task, when undertaken in the strength of naturerather in nature's want of strength! But when attempted in the light of these examples, with power from on high, delightful labour of love.
WRATH DISARMED BY
CHRISTIAN CANDOUR. A MAN of my acquaintance, who was of a vehement and rigid temper, had a dispute with a friend of his, a professor of religion, and had been injured by him. With strong feelings of resentment, he made him a visit for the avowed purpose of quarrelling with him. He accordingly stated to him the nature and extent of the injury done him, and was preparing, as he afterwards confessed, to load him with a train of severe reproaches when his friend cut him short by
acknowledging, with the utmost readiness and frankness, the injustice of which he had been guilty, expressing his own regret for the wrong which he had done, requesting his forgiveness, and offering him ample compensation. He was compelled to say he was satisfied, and withdrew full of mortification that he had been precluded from venting his indignation, and wounding his friend with keen and violent reproaches for his conduct. As he was walking home, he said to himself, "There must be more in religion than I have hitherto suspected. Were any to address me in the tone of haughtiness and provocation with which I accosted my friend this evening, it would be impossible for me to preserve the equanimity of which I have been witness, and especially with so much frankness, humility and meekness, to acknowledge the wrong which I had done; so readily ask forgiveness of the man whom I had injured, and so cheerfully promise a satisfactory recompence. I should have met his anger by anger, &c. There is something in religion that I have hitherto been a stranger to." He soon after became a Christian.
THE saint's safety lies in the strength
and faithfulness of God, who is the promiser; but the present comfort and repose of an afflicted soul is fetched in by faith relying on God as such. Hence it is, though all believers are out of danger, in the saddest condition, yet too many of them, alas! are under fears and dejections of spirit, because their faith acts weakly on a mighty God, and suspiciously on a faithful God.
"Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" (Matt. viii. 26.) You see the leak at which the water came in to
sink their spirits-they had "little faith." It is not what God is in Himself, but what our apprehensions at present are of God, that pacifies and comforts a soul in great straits. If a man fear the house will fall on his head in a storm, though it be as immoveable as a rock, yet that will not ease his mind till he think it so. Were a man under the protection of ever so faithful a friend, yet so long as his head is full of fears and jealousies to the contrary, this man must needs have an uncomfortable life, though without cause. You see, then, of what importance it is to keep up the vigour of thy faith on the power and truth of the Promiser; and if thou meanest to do this, banish sense and carnal reason from being thy counsellors.
The Convert's Corner.
CONVERSION OF A UNITARIAN.
AMONG the many cases of conversion that occurred in the recent outpouring of the Holy Spirit in America, is one of unusual interest; not only from the important social
position held, but in the radical change wrought in the whole life and character of the individual. A lady of cultivated intellect, a bold thinker, impressing her opinions on
all with whom she came in contact, became involved with the ensnaring fallacy of Unitarianism. In settling down in this belief, she was aided by one of her own sex, equally educated and accomplished, who confirmed her in this fatal error. By mutual conference each strengthened the other, until at length the resolution was taken to join the Unitarian Church.
In this state of mind the claims of the Gospel were presented to her, but only to be most strenuously resisted. Salvation by a crucified Redeemer was indeed to her "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence." To a friend of hers, who was privileged to labour with her, she replied with an emphasis characteristic of the carnal mind, which is "enmity against God:"-"If I accept Jesus Christ on the terms which you propose, YOU MAKE ME A DEBTOR TO HIM!" Amid much discouragement, yet with a constant presentation of the "truth as it is in Jesus," the Holy Spirit (after many months of unbelieving rejection) was pleased to discover "Christ crucified," as the only way to God. Then came the struggle to submit to the "righteousness which is by faith in Christ." Weeks passed by in the vain hope of satisfying God by a righteousness of her own. But the text-book used during this season of trial was the Word of God. "Thus saith the Lord," was the answer to all the cavils of unbelief, and all the reasonings of philosophy, falsely so called. At length, when human reason failed to unravel the great truths of revelation, it was suggested by her friend as the con
clusion of the whole matter, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" and there he rested the subject. It pleased God to make that declaration of His own Word the means of settling her perplexed and bewildered mind. She rested on it, and found peace in believing on Jesus. Shortly after, she wrote to her Unitarian friend; and an extract from that letter will give you, perhaps, a better idea of the work of the Holy Spirit on her heart than mere general description :
"For several days I have had a letter on hand to send you, and have written and re-written it from the difficulty I found in saying just what I wanted. Now, however, I feel that the simplest way is the best, and that I ought no longer to delay in confessing my Saviour before men. Indeed, I long to confess Him, though it be in weakness, and with much trembling. Let me confess Him to you, my dear friend, and let me ask you to listen patiently to what are now the dearest and deepest thoughts of my life. And yet, what can I say? JESUS DIED FOR ME! One thing only I know, whereas once I was blind, now I see.' I see Him, my Redeemer, my Sanctifier, my ever present Lord and Master. Above all I see Him an all-sufficient atonement for my sins; and at the sight the weary burden has fallen from me, and left me free in that liberty wherewith Christ has made me free. Oh, if I could but find words to express to you the deep inward peace and joy which has been mine, at intervals, for the last few weeks, dear I think it would touch your heart.
I have honestly, I