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ties, oppressed by cares, harassed by persecutions, the Christian is safe if he is confident of possessing the sustaining grace of his Father. He 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!
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 concep→ tions of eternity will be vague and inadequate! Count all the years,
months, days, nay every second of | 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.
time, from the morning of creation;
That eternity is yours and mine:
Eternity has none; "Twill always be as long to spend As when it first begun!"
LAST HOURS OF ROBERT WRIGHT, OF STAINDROP, DURHAM. THE illness of this good man was The pursuits and gains of an active
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.
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 re
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.
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
should I have done if I had my religion to seek now? I could not have time or opportunity for it." In the evening of the same day he became more fully aware of his approaching end, and mentioned his last visit to the house of God, and the hymn he sang, the 338th in Wesley's "Hymn-Book," beginning with,
"Thou Lamb of God, thou Prince of Peace,
For thee my thirsty soul doth pine; My longing heart implores thy grace, O make me in thy likeness shine."
And the last verse he dwelt upon with great pleasure, as most appropriate to his present state, saying
"So, when on Zion thou shalt stand, And all Heaven's host adore their King;
Shall I be found at thy right hand, And free from pain thy glory sing."
He said he rested solely on the Saviour for acceptance with God; there was nothing of his own that he could trust to. And when that beautiful hymn was repeated to him,
"Jesus, thy blood and righteousness My beauty are, my glorious dress; 'Midst flaming worlds, in these
arrayed, With joy shall I lift up my head;"
he said, "I have been thinking very much of that day." He entered most fervently into the prayers offered in his behalf, and was most thankful for all spiritual assistance.
"No; I keep him under my feet. This is my victory, even my faith. I have not been troubled with doubts and fears, for I have endeavoured to live every day alike, every day to God; I hope I did not put off my religion with my Sunday clothes."
On the morning of his departure, he rallied a little, and partook of breakfast with his friends; but at noon there was an unfavourable change: death was evidently approaching with rapid strides. These indications of approaching dissolution, however, cheered him; for he said, "I hope I shall be at my Father's house to-day." He watched the clock, and thought the time went slowly on. He said, "I have often wished that I might not be buried on a Sunday, and that I might not die on the Sunday; it would make so much trouble, and cause work to be done on the Sabbath day, and perhaps keep some from a place of worship; and now, I trust, I shall have my wishes gratified." He asked in the morning for a pen and ink, to write down some thoughts respecting a sermon he had once heard preached respecting death. The preacher said, for his own part he should like sudden death and sudden glory; but our friend said, "I have strongly desired that I might have a little time to collect my thoughts and arrange my little affairs, and God has given me my wish." He desired that if any funeral sermon were preached for him, that the creature should not be exalted, but the grace of God magnified in him. He selected for his text these words, "Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die and not
During the night he was greatly comforted, and repeated at different times verses of hymns and passages of Scripture. When asked if the enemy ever troubled him, he said,
He expressed a wish to see a kind friend, who, he feared, had not given his heart to God; and he said, "Perhaps, if I could speak to him in my dying circumstances, it would make a deeper impression upon him. Tell him, I hope he will give himself up to God, and set his house in order." He sent another message to another friend, who had long been a member with him. "Tell him I have a good hope I am building upon Christ." He often thanked his friends for their kind attention to him, and said, "he could never repay them."
About 2 o'clock in the afternoon, his end appeared to be approaching. The hollow and laboured breathing of death set in, and for a time he appeared insensible; but when spoken to he rallied, and feeling himself uneasy, he asked to be moved into his easy chair. After his pillows had been adjusted, he said, "There; I think that will be the finish."
Soon after this, the angel of death appeared to smite him; his features were distorted, and his eyes rolled round for a few seconds, and it was thought he was departing; but shortly afterwards he became sensible, and attempting to look upon his friends he said, "I cannot see." Then was he realising the meaning of that verse in Pope's ode of "The Dying Christian,"
"What is this absorbs me quite, Steals my senses, shuts my sight, Drowns my spirit, draws my breathTell me, my soul, can this be death?"
After a pause, he said
"Nothing in my hands I bring,
He again became unconscious; his eyes were fixed, his breathing was hollow and heavy. His wife, fearing he might never speak to her again, endeavoured to arouse him. When he rallied a little he said, "Oh, I was just entering in. You must do the best for yourself, and follow me. I hope I shall meet you in heaven. Good day, good day. Amen! Amen!"
Another stroke from the angel of death deprived him of all sensibility to pain, or the presence of friends; he occasionally smiled, and breathed his life away without a struggle, or a pain, or the quiver of a limb.
Thus peacefully and happily he passed from earth to heaven, at half-past five on Saturday evening, March 9th, 1861, aged forty-six years, having been a most consistent member of a Christian society for eighteen years.