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This, indeed, is so often the more striking part of a revival, that the increase of piety and devotedness to God among Christians is overlooked. Both are of immense importance. Life revived in the church, and life given among those without.
In this respect, a revival is not just one and another coming forth now and again, and declaring themselves on the Lord's side, but their doing this by the dozen, by the score, or by hundreds. It is when the church of the living God is increased with men like a flock. When converts, for numbers, come 66 as a cloud," and in their eagerness to make a public profession of their faith in Jesus, resemble the doves flying to their windows.
Like as on the day of Pentecost, when 3000 souls were converted to God.
Like what occurred in Moorfields Fair, when hundreds were led to believe in the Saviour, by a single discourse of George Whitfield's.
Like what happened at the Kirk of Shatts, in Scotland, where 500 were awakened to see their state before God, under a sermon of Livingtone's.
Like what has recently been seen in the United States of America, where half-a-million of persons are estimated as having joined various Christian churches in one year.
Like what has been witnessed in poor down-trodden, priestridden Ireland, where "it is seriously believed that tens of thousands have been brought to God."
Like what has occurred in Wales, where about 80,000 persons -or one-twentieth of the whole population-have, in the short space of twelve months, come forth confessing their faith in a crucified Saviour.
Like what so recently has transpired in Jamaica, where one minister enrolled 120 persons in a few days as candidates for membership.
This, this, then, is a revival, when the church of God is aroused, and an increase of piety and devotedness to God is apparent, and sinners in large numbers are converted. To Christians in every land, the injunction of the Apostle is addressed-“ Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." But these things, we further observe, are produced by the Holy Spirit's influence upon the hearts and consciences of men. In conversion, the Holy Spirit's influence is always felt. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God." We apply the term revival to the period when that influence is exerted in an unusual degree, rousing up Christians, and bringing sinners to the Saviour.
If, then, we are sincere in our desires to see a revival of religion, we must earnestly seek for the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon this land.
That it is the Holy Spirit's work, there can be no doubt; but God has promised to pour out His Holy Spirit in answer to the prayers of His people. It is His appointment, that we "ask of God." It is His promise, "That if we, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto our children, how much more will He give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." He has assured us that He will pour out His "Spirit upon all flesh." We want, as Christians, to feel our need of the Holy Spirit's reviving influences; to cherish strong desires for this great blessing; and to offer earnest, continued, united prayer till we obtain it.
"Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe."-PSALM CXix. 117.
AMONG the boundless promises which the Scriptures contain, there are some which possess a peculiar interest, from the brevity and force of their expression. They are not involved passages, or references to promises the fulfilment of which is contingent upon certain results, which may or may not occur, but are plain and emphatic expressions of the Divine will, capable of being understood at a glance. The passage which heads these few remarks is of the kind we have indicated; terse and expressive, it contains a world of meaning in a limited sentence. There are no conditions which are possibly beyond accomplishment, but a clear and positive statement that safety and peace are the sure and certain results of the blessing and support of our heavenly Father. With the support of Him all things will be possible to us.
The fact that we are safe, if upheld by the loving-kindness of the Almighty, naturally directs Our attention to the means by which that support can be secured. "Hold thou me up," says the Psalmist. He does not for a moment suggest a doubt as to the possibility of its being accomplished, but, believing in the power of Him whom he addresses, he intimates that he is safe from every danger while he is divinely assisted. The mode in which this expression is uttered shows that a relation of perfect confidence subsisted between the Creator and the creature. Conscious of his many failings, his grievous sins, and his disposition to depart from holiness, he has yet no fear of consequences, no distrust of himself, while that relation existed. Such is the case with believers at the present moment. Surrounded by difficul
ties, oppressed by cares, harassed by persecutions, the Christian is safe if he is confident of possessing the sustaining grace of his Father. need fear no evil, need anticipate no danger. Buoyed up by the strength of that which is within him-which, he is assured, is greater than that which is against him-the believer can do battle with the world, with a sure and certain knowledge that he will be the victor. Sustained by his loving Saviour, he becomes a bold and unflinching champion of the truth, instead of a weak and timid follower, ready to take flight at the first approach of danger.
There is no doubt of the truth of this; God hath declared, that whosoever trusteth in Him shall receive a measure of support equal to his need. All He asks is confidence and faith, trust in His power and guidance. He does not make His support conditional upon the performance of human works or religious duties; He does not ask for penance, self-sacrifice, and mortification of the body. While the Lord delighteth to witness His followers practise all the Christian virtues, He gives His aid to believers simply because they trust in Him and in the merits of His beloved Son. What a grand and incomprehensible truth is this! A great and pure Being, who is all power, majesty, and dignity, is willing to bestow His favours upon all those who simply believe in His name and trust in His word. He does not even fix the measure of faith; but to the trembling, doubting, half-hearted Christian, if there be only a grain of faith within him, He will not refuse His
love and protection. What a glorious thought! Simple, trusting, believing faith in Christ will secure to us that blessing which is beyond all price, that privilege which the wealth of empires cannot purchase, that love and mercy which can transform and mould afresh the heart, that grace which can support in every trial and temptation, every darkness and difficulty. What a merciful and loving Saviour, to offer such privileges to sinful men, to make so simple an act the passport to His love and to His kingdom! Who can fathom such love as this? He asks but our faith, and He will hold us up and sustain us, day by day, and year by year. He will hedge us round with His protecting care, and watch over us with His all-seeing eye.
This protecting care and watchful love are not limited to any particular time, or prescribed within any circle. It rests solely with ourselves how long we will have such mercy shown us,-how great the time we wish to be upheld by Divine grace. The means of preserving the blessing are as simple as those by which it is obtained; and what is more remarkable, it can only be retained by this simple means. Prayer is the only course by which this blessing can be continued,-fervent and earnest prayer, faithful prayer, which comes from the heart-believing prayer, which doubts nothing and hopes everything.
Dear reader,-by these simple means you may obtain the greatest blessing man can possess-incomparably superior to human applause or worldly fame-the sustaining
grace, love, and protecting care of an Almighty Father and a loving Saviour. Will you not possess this? will you not gain that which will solace you on earth and fit you for eternity? Will you not obtain that which shall enable you to walk circumspectly in this life, and to "pass through the valley of the shadow of death, and fear no evil?" You are half through another year. Oh, let not the precious time pass, or the opportunity waste, until you can with all sincerity and truth say, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." Believe and live! Poole, Dorset.
J. H. P.
THE knell of the parting day has just been tolled, and our contemplations appropriately turn to the great realities of eternity, when time shall be no longer." Let us ponder the greatness, the immensity, the boundless
duration of eternity. What is eternity? Can ye aid us, angels, in our attempts to reach this lofty height? Lend, lend your wings that we may fly, with lightning speed, higher and higher, yet never shall we soar to the summit of this theme. Eternity alone will reveal "What is eternity?" May the Lord the Spirit
abashed from a world of woe, and upward lifts an obedient eye to the celestial gates. If we count the unnumbered hosts, seen and unseen, which fill the immensity of space,and which the everlasting God "calleth all by their names," and upholds by the golden chain of His unalterable will;-if each of this infinite multitude were accounted a million years, and this tremendous phalanx be added to the aggregate of sand-grains, our view of eternity is, notwithstanding, circumscribed and remote! Count every diamond which falls from the skies to enrich and gladden the earth,-every rain-drop and dew-drop which rejoices the heart of nature,-tell every flake which dwells amid the everlasting snows; let each be reckoned a million years, and yet added to the overwhelming number gone before, the comparison falls infinitely below the great and awful sweep of eternity! Let each drop in every rivulet, spring, river, sea and ocean represent a million years, and be added to the millions already conceived by comparison with the sandgrains, the starry firmament, the everlasting snows, and the showers and dew of heaven;-let these mighty hosts be piled up million on million, and millions of millions on millions of millions, nevertheless our grasp of eternity is feeble and indefinite!
Count every animalcule-of which 30,000 have been discovered peopling their great world of a single drop of water-and let each typify a million years, but still our conceptions of eternity will be vague and inadequate! Count all the years,
months, days, nay every second of time, from the morning of creation; and if it were possible, tell every second which may elapse till "time shall be no longer;" let each second represent a million years, and this vast array swell the former catalogue, yet our dazzled, staggered, and bewildered minds cannot comprehend the vastness, the limitless ages of a never-ending eternity! Simply yet powerfully does the Poet express his idea of eternity in one of the hymns for children :—
Significant was the reply of a pupil in a deaf and dumb school to the question, "What is eternity?" "The life-time of the Almighty!" Reader, prepare at once for eternity.
That eternity is yours and mine: we must live it somewhere and some how. Shall we be "ever with the Lord ?" That was Paul's prospect.
Is it yours? Can you say all that he says of Christ and His cross, His service, and His glory? Do you, like Paul, "Know in whom" you have believed? There is an eternity in hell! There is an eternity in heaven! There is no middle place. Which is your choice?
LAST HOURS OF ROBERT WRIGHT, OF STAINDROP, DURHAM.
THE illness of this good man was sudden and of short duration. He was seized on the evening of Saturday, the 2nd of March, and breathed his last on the evening of the Saturday following.
The nature of his illness (disease of the heart) caused great restlessness, difficulty of breathing, and uneasiness; so that from the beginning of his distressing affliction to its close, he was unable to lie down in bed, or sleep.
On the morning of Tuesday, he had a fit, which greatly alarmed his friends; and he, apprehensive of some danger, the next morning desired that his temporal affairs should be at once arranged; and this being accomplished, he never alluded afterwards to his business or the world.
The pursuits and gains of an active and industrious life were left at the foot of the mount, while he, in thought, and feeling, and desire, ascended higher and higher, until he reached the regions of eternal repose.
On Friday, he said the nature of his affliction was such, that he could not keep his thoughts collected for many minutes together; but when composed, he said the promises of God came to his mind, and gave him great comfort; and he often presented short prayers to God, which brought him relief.
He said, "I have been accustomed to do this through life, in all my journeyings from place to place, and I have had happy times in communing with God." And added, "What