« 上一页继续 »
thoughtfulness. Are you a traveller to eternity, and ought you not to think of which way you are going? Are you a condemned criminal, and ought you not to avail yourself of the only way of deliverance? Are you to live for ever, and will you not ponder the question, where? Gospel seeks to make you wise, wise to win Christ, wise to secure eternal life, wise to prepare to meet thy God. This has made many wise, and can make you wise unto salvation. All who welcome the offer of mercy, all who improve the day of salvation, all who seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, are truly wise, for their conduct is pleasing to God, they are safe for eternity, they are heirs to a crown of glory. These earnest ones will escape many evils into which the careless fall, they will enjoy vast blessings for ever, they will spend a happy eternity in the glorious presence of their Saviour. They will enter into the joy of their Lord. H. H.
candle on the table, and sits down beside the bed; and as he hears her assuring voice, and espies the gay comfort in her smiling face, and as she puts her hand over his, the tear stands still upon his cheek, till it gets time to dry, and the smoothing down of the panic furrows on his brow, and the brightening of his eye, announce that he is ready for whatever a mother has got to tell. And as she goes on to explain the mysterious sources of his terror-" That hoarse loud roaring is the brook tumbling over the stones; for the long-pouring rains have filled it to the very brim. It is up on the green to-night, and had the cowslips been in blossom they would have all been drowned. Yes-and that thump on the window. It is the old cedar at the corner of the house, and as the wind tosses his stiff branches they bounce and scratch on the panes of glass, and if they were not very small, they would be broken in pieces." And then she goes on to tell how this very night there are people out in the pelting blast, whilst her little boy lies warm in his crib, inside of his curtains; and how ships may be upset on the deep sea, or dashed to pieces on rocks so steep that the drowning sailors cannot climb them. And then perhaps she ends it all with breathing a mother's prayer, or he drops asleep beneath the cradle-hymn.
And why describe all this? Because there is so much practical divinity in it. In the history of a child, a night like this is an important night, for it has done three things. It has explained some things which, unexplained, would
have been a source of constant alarm -perhaps the germ of superstition or insanity. It has taught some precious lessons-sympathy for sufferers, gratitude for mercies, and perhaps some pleasant thought of Him who is the hiding-place from the storm and the covert from the tempest. And then it has deepened in that tender bosom the foundations of filial piety, and helped to give that parent such hold and purchase on a filial heart as few wise mothers have ever failed to win, and no manly son has ever blushed to own.
Then for the parallel. "As one whom his mother comforteth, so the Lord comforteth His people." It is in the dark and boisterous night of sorrow or apprehension that the Saviour reveals Himself nigh. And one of the first things He does is to explain the subject-matter of the grief, to show its real nature and amount. "It is but a light affliction. It lasts but for a moment. It is a false alarm. It is only the rain-drift on the window-wait till the day dawns and shadows flee away. Wait till morning, and you will see the whole extent of it." And then the next thing that He does is to teach some useful lesson. And during those quiet hours, when the heart is soft, the Saviour's lessons sink deep. And last of all, besides consolation under the trial and peaceful fruits that follow it, by this Comforter-visit the Saviour unspeakably endears Himself to that soul. Paul and Silas never knew Christ so well, nor loved Him so much, as after that night which He and they passed together in the Macedonian prison. And the souls
on which the Lord Jesus has taken the deepest hold, are those whose great tribulations have thrown them most frequently and most entirely into His own society.
"PRAY WITHOUT CEASING." 1 Thess. v. 17.
Go when the morning shineth;
Go with deep, contrite feeling;
Fling earthly thoughts away;
Remember those who love thee;
Then for thyself, in meekness,
A blessing humbly claim; And link with each petition
The great Redeemer's name. But if 'tis e'er denied thee,
In solitude to pray, Should holy thoughts come o'er thee When friends surround thy way
Oh! then the secret breathing
Of thy spirit raised above, Will reach His throne of healing, Who is mercy, truth, and love.
Oh! not a joy or blessing
With this would we compare, The power that God has given us, To pour our souls in prayer. Whene'er thou pinest in sadness,
Before His footstool fall; And remember in thy gladness
His grace who gave thee all
The Convert's Corner.
FROM the "Welsh Revival," by the Rev. T. Phillips, we extract the following:
"When we speak of numerous additions being made to the churches, it is not to be supposed that all, or even a large proportion, are converts from the ranks of the openly wicked and profane. Very many, who had always been hearers of the Gospel, with light in their heads but without grace in their hearts, have now been changed. Men who were, upon the 'whole, moral characters, but who, on account of an occasional outbreak at a fair or a market, were unfit for membership in the church of Christ; women, also, the wives of farmers, tradesmen, and mechanics, of unblemished reputation, willing to give everything, except themselves, to the Lord and His cause, are now found amongst the professed followers of Christ. Multitudes of hearers, who had been for a long time 'halting between two opinions,' have been led to decide for the Lord and His service. Amongst the new members may be found a great number of old backsliders, who at one time made a fair profession, and then yielding to temptation had become more hardened in sin than others, but have now been brought back again with tears and supplications.' It is also encouraging to observe that a large proportion of the awakened are young people of both sexes, under twenty years of age. Even children may be found
amongst the candidates, evidently under a deep concern for their souls. Nor should I omit to state, that in almost every neighbourhood some of the vilest and worst characters have been reclaimed. Swearers, drunkards, Sabbath-breakers, adulterers, thieves, are found amongst the penitents; and, after a course of instruction and a season of probation, have been admitted into the fellowship of God's people. Some of these characters, in their honest simplicity, are but too ready to confess their sins, and to charge themselves with crimes known only to themselves. An instance of this occurred at a place in Cardiganshire. A man suspected of sheep-stealing, on presenting himself as an inquirer evidently under deep conviction of sin, said, with wild emotion, 'I had rather live on potatoes and salt, or bread and water, than steal another sheep.' An aged woman, who had led a wretchedly wicked life, but who was now greatly alarmed about her soul, attended a meeting where none but members or candidates were present. It was intimated to her by one of the elders, that as she had only recently felt any anxiety on the subject of religion, it would be better for her to delay her appearance at such meetings for some time longer-a month or thereabouts. She seemed to feel this rebuff most keenly, and replied before all'God says, To-day-the devil says, To-morrow; but you put me off for
a month.' It is needless to add that this poor Magdalen was allowed to remain amongst them as a disciple to be taught, and as a patient to be treated as her sad case required.
"A few more cases of conversion are now added:-A brother who had spent the whole night in prayer returned home, and found his wife, who was unconverted, in a very angry mood, and was chiding him rather severely. He, however, fell upon his knees, saying, 'O God, help me to pray once more.' He continued to supplicate the throne of Divine grace till his companion in life also loudly cried for mercy. On the evening of the same day she joined the company of the faithful.
"A man had been treated with ardent spirits by some evil-disposed persons, with a view to create a disturbance, and thus to injure the revival movement. Instead of this he went home, and, as he passed by the minister's house, he began to cry aloud for mercy. The arrow of con
viction had pierced his heart. He called there again next morning, overwhelmed with a sense of his lost condition; and on the following night he became a candidate for church membership.
"Before the cold weather set in, there were many who spent whole nights out, praying by themselves along the mountains, and other places. Some of my own people used to do so, and they told me of it. "On one such occasion the following incident occurred :
"One night 's gamekeeper, being out on his beat on the mountain above -heard a noise on the other side of a stone wall, and having listened, he found it was a poor sinner confessing his sins, and praying to God. It affected the keeper so much, that he left quietly, and felt much concern about his own soul. That gamekeeper is now a member of my church, and one of the most gifted in prayer of all the new converts that we have had."
The Counsel Chamber.
OUR SABBATH SCHOOLS;
Who should Teach in Them; and the Best Way to Interest a Class.
Ar an interesting social meeting of the teachers and friends of Zion Chapel Sabbath School, Toronto, a short time ago, several addresses were delivered, one of which is here given, in the hope that it may be useful to many who are now, or should be, devotedly engaged in this good work.
WHO SHOULD TEACH IN OUR
Rev. Mr. Roaf said: It is of great importance to note the fact, that Sunday schools in this country are not for the communication of elementary knowledge, so much as for the inculcation of Divine truth, and therefore that they require the
labours of Christian and intelligent persons. He could never recognise the idea of this work being left chiefly to the young-and would point out that here six out of the seven deacons are regularly engaged in it. The very best minds in this church and congregation have in former days worked in these schools -and he was sure that the best informed, most clear in conception, and most powerful in utterance, would find full scope for their energies in explaining and enforcing the things of God. The best are wanted even for the younger children; and then it is most desirable to retain and conduct up into life and usefulness the higher scholars. To neglect the harvest, after a year's labour to raise it, is folly. The school, like the parent, needs to recognise and meet the changed tastes and tendencies of youth. That implicit faith, credulity, which for wise purposes is implanted in the infantile mind, passes away as manhood approaches; and independence and self-judgment will work, be they recognised or not. It therefore becomes requisite to appeal to reason, to introduce the questions which are to be met with out of doors, and to convince as well as to silence. If this were not done in the school, it would be done by other parties, and probably by perverting teachers.
Such young persons, too, like to have varied information, and may be interested by biblical literature, such as relates to the manners and customs of Scripture times, the geography and natural history of the Bible, and controversial topics. They wish, too, to be separate from small children,
and to be associated with parties of their own age. Then they have an idea of being useful, and should have the prospect and preparation for activity in the cause. All these and other propensities of minds emerging from mere pupilage are to be provided for in a complete Sundayschool system. To do this requires the best talents of the church. Our Sunday schools are the public provision for the lambs of the flock, as the general meetings are for the sheep-and domestic tuition, however faithfully performed, would no more supersede them than the private exercises of Christians renders unnecessary united worship. He always felt that whatever he might do at home, his own children should also go to the school; and he thought the best families might regard the Sunday-school teaching as a supplement, without at all being a substitute for their own religious culture. Here, children heard truth from other voices-here they had the stimulus of class sympathy and emulation-here they received public addresses-here they had the use of Scripture maps, pictures, and other aids to conception-here they had the books of the library-here also they learnt sacred music. It is not then to be anticipated that in the time when "the hearts of the fathers are turned to the children," schools will be dispensed with. He hoped that as these schools had rendered good service to the cause of God, so they still will do. He was affected to see the entire revolution of teachers and children in these institutions since he first knew them-in conceiving not only of those who were there when he