old age succeeding a life of toil and anxiety often shows something of the freshness and cheerfulness of early youth.


But it is beyond the tomb that we must look for the most appropriate illustration of this verse. The resurrection morning will be its grandest, most glorious exemplification. No feeble powers, no wasted frame, no faded beauty, will be found in all that vast company which shall rise to meet their coming Lord. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Lazarus was raised to die again, but these, when they answer to the summons of the Son of God, shall die no more, but enjoy the vigour of an endless youth. Oh, happy goal of all our hopes, may we not only see the day-for some shall see it with wailing and gnashing of teeth-but may we be of the number of those on whom grace shall confer the brightest crown of lovingkindness and mercy-the unfading beauty of a holy immortality. Then shall we sing, in full and joyous strains, the praises of Him who hath redeemed our life from destruction, and crowned us with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who hath satisfied our beauty with good, and renewed our youth like the eagle's.


THIS beautiful comparison of our Lord (Matt. v. 14) is very impressive in its ordinary acceptation. But we suspect there may be a sense hidden in the words-which science has since brought out-which may add immensely to its power.

There resides in our atmosphere an omnipresent agent of destruction. Itself an inseparable element of the air which giveth life unto all, it is yet the sleepless, unrelenting, everactive foe of all that live. Its sharp and hungry tooth is for ever corroding every living thing, every organized substance. Particle by particle it gnaws down pyramids, temples, cities. Its name is oxygen. In the language of a modern chemist, it contains a force which, if left to

itself, would speedily sweep from the globe all living existences, and to this destructive energy it opposes no counteracting or antagonizing power. It can dissever, but it cannot unite; it can demolish, but it cannot build up; it can disorganize, but it cannot construct; it can cause to perish, but it cannot cause to grow.

To this insatiate agent is communicated the duty to destroy all animal races, and transfer the parts of which their bodies are composed to plants, and then destroy the plants. It begins to discharge this function on us the moment we begin to breathe, pervading, each instant, every part of our bodies, bringing on death to their particles, one by

existence. Whence and what is this high and strong life-power which can vanquish the death-angel, can quicken organization, gathering dead atoms into living structures, and clothing creation with its beautiful garments? If it is not in the earth, nor the sea, whence does it pour its everlasting stream of vitality along the dying channels of creation?

one, and carrying them away for burial. Under its incessant assaults, that which we are to-day is different from that which we were yesterday; shall be to-morrow. When we are dead, it goes with us into the tomb, working patient, incessant, there, till it has stolen away every atom that was once our abiding place of flesh.

See how vast is its presence, and how appalling its power! Eight-ninths of those waters that throb and flow over three-quarters of the surface of the globe, one-third and more of the solid contents of that globe itself, and one-fifth of the air that is over and around us all, is oxygenthis embodiment of the destroying angel; which, were no counteracting force applied, would soon change this green and beautiful and vocal earth to a dreary and dusty and silent sepulchre. Nor does the earth itself, nor the air, contain any counteracting principle or power which can fetter its destroying hands, or build again, out of its heaps of dead refuse, new forms of life and beauty. When you ask for an antagonist and delivering force, it cannot be found in the land of the living: the depth saith, it is not in me; and the sea saith, it is not with me.

Yet this destructive tendency is checked and balanced by a principle of life. The dead atoms which this fierce invader has trodden under his victorious feet do continually revive, and the earth which it for ever threatens with the death-shroud, keeps ever green and fresh, bursting with exuberant vitality, and teeming with all forms of animate

The answer is-from the SUN! The light is the life of the world; the perpetual, effectual antagonist of the oxygen death-angel.


If we take a pure white ray of sunlight, and analyse it through a prism, we shall find not only the seven distinct colours (violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red), but four distinct properties or forces manifesting themselves. These (1.) an illuminating force; (2.) a heating force; (3.) a chemical force, or force producing chemical changes, as in the process of the daguerreotype; and (4.) a deoxidizing force; and it is this last property of the sunshine which gives it the continual victory over the destroying agency of oxygen. Every ray that streams down upon the earth transmits hither an influence of life which counteracts the influence of death. Everywhere-if we may so illustrate the subject-atoms of oxygen are seizing hold of atoms of the earth's life, and holding them fast in an embrace of death that is meant to be eternal, while everywhere atoms of light paralyse the arms of the conquerors, and let the captives go free. And so, by its anti-oxygenating or deoxidizing power, the light of the sun every day brings to the

earth the succour which it needs, and keeps life and growth and beauty here-stimulating all forms of vegetable and animal existence, and everywhere furnishing an antidote to decay and dissolution.

Now, how beautifully and how forcibly does this illustrate the work of Christ among us! Sin is the oxygen of the moral world, eating out its life with remorseless and increasing industry; crowding the race hard down toward death, and sure if no antagonist influence can avail against it-to sweep the earth clean into hell. As we look around for help, "the depth saith, it is not in me; and the sea saith, it is not with me." Philosophy, false religions, morality, good resolutions-all are earth-born, and have no power to stay the curse.

But the heavens open, and the Sun of Righteousness shines out with healing in His "wings"—that is, His beams. Yes, mark the accuracy of the inspired expression, "with healing in His beams!" Every ray of Christ's light shining on a heart bound under sin antagonizes the oxygen-slavery, and sets its captive atoms free; and just as the sun's rays act for all this healing and vitalising work, in nature, when reflected upon their objects from surfaces that have first received directly, and then transmitted the light-for in this world of shadowings how few, comparatively, of the atoms that make up the world's material life are in a position to get the direct rays of the sun-so the rays of Christ's righteousness are still able to do their work, when reflected upon human guilt from the

lives of those true Christians who have received their light directly from Christ; and thus it becomes true to say of them, as the Saviour said in our text, "Ye are the light of the world;" and this light is the life of men. C.


A MOST desirable consequence of this baptism of the Spirit is, that great numbers will be born again. Such were the happy results of the baptism on the day of Pentecost, and such was the result when the Lord added to the church-when so mighty grew the word of the Lord and prevailed. This continued, for the most part, for the space of the apostolic age, and for a short period subsequent. For a long time, however, during the succeeding years of corruption, these seasons of grace were very rarely witnessed. A few Christians-a few churches in obscure places were occasionally refreshed. Although the heavens were again opened, and Germany, in the days of Luther, received the copious showers, thousands and thousands were born again. Then the venerable founder of Methodism, John Wesley, arose and proclaimed the burning truths of God with clearer, distincter notes, and all Europe awoke from the sleep of ages. The revival spread, amidst fierce and determined opposition, and all Europe was filled with the new song. But it stopped not there; it crossed the family circle of waters, spreading far and wide; and now a small one has become a great nation; and yet

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

others need this transcendent divine energy. By it hearts are yet to be changed, purified, and heaven peopled, and the world saved.

Let, then, the revival spirit be extended and strengthened among us. It is the pure sentiment of Christianity; and nothing is SO essential to our growth, and efficiency, and glory, as a part of the great Christian family. Let God's grace, in the signal descent of His Spirit on our churches in the past, be very gratefully recognized and hailed as the promise of still brighter days. Let no heart faint and no hand falter in the momentous matter of revivals; and, like other gifts of God, they must be valued, desired, and sought by united and earnest prayers, and the untiring use of all scriptural means. The humblest of believers has his "talent," which must neither be prevented nor buried; he has his place and his importance, and his work under the common Master. His measure of duty is his amount of opportunity. And you need not the aid of church office, or high endowments, or great notoriety, to exert a healthful moral influence, and be a minister of salvation to many a lost soul.

powers and opportunities, what triumphs of grace might gladden the world! And who can estimate the mischief and sin of a dubious example, and of keeping back from the help of the Lord when religious tendency and thought are abroad. Ah! you grieve the Spirit, you quiet conscience, you encourage procrastination, you lead, indeed, immortals away from hope and heaven. What can be said of a tame, heartless, or misdirected ministry in such a day as this? Who sees not woes unutterable for the watchman who can sleep at his post, or busy himself with trifles, with the perils of spiritual death thick around him; and that, too, when the good Spirit is hovering over his charge, waiting to second his very first and faintest note of alarm? R. K.

The sentiment of individual Christian responsibility should extend and deepen. Why should it

not? The Bible urges it; Divine Providence is decisively encouraging it. Let old and young, professing godliness, realize their high calling. Each has his proper sphere, and should be about his Father's business; and were all walking in the Spirit, and making the most of their


THE greatest usefulness in the service of God depends upon entire consecration. A proposition so plain as this scarcely needs argument to support it. It is, it appears to us, selfevident; and that immediate and unconditional consecration is a reasonable service, philosophy and the Divine word alike declare. He who gave us being with all its valuable endowments; He who redeemed us by His most precious blood; and He in whom is centered all wisdom, goodness, and power, deserves, and has a right to require, this service.

It is also true that human experience, in all countries, in all conditions, and in all ages, has declared

that the human soul can never be truly happy-can never find restexcept in a state of entire consecration to God. In His bosom it can rest, and His love is the natural element of its being. All who seek happiness away from God,-and millions thus seek it,-find disappointment, grief and misery; and the longer and the more earnestly they seek, the greater their sorrow, the more bitter their disappointment. But it is to the necessity of entire consecration as a condition of the highest usefulness, that we wish to draw especial attention in this article.

Many persons under whose eyes these lines may fall, have united with the church; and, in the judgment of charity, we may hope that they all desire to be useful. Upon all such we press the duty of entire consecration. Let it be attended to

at once. If it be neglected in your case, dear reader, although you may live in a good church, have a good minister, you will not be useful to any great extent. The world and Satan will claim, and justly too, a share of your heart, your influence, your money, and your service; and they will stand a chance for the larger share. Oh, how the cause of the Lord is embarrassed by partially consecrated Christians! Were it not for such, the church would make continually aggressions upon the kingdom of darkness. Many of the churches are now being favoured with precious revival seasons; and that the influence attained in them may be maintained, and even increased, each member of the church must make an entire consecration to

God. Brother, sister, begin the work to-day.

S. S.

Christian Household.


"THE Professor at the Breakfast Table," in the Monthly for June, lays down a few rules for deportment that are worthy of wide circulation. We copy the following.

Nothing so vulgar as to be in a hurry.-True, but hard of application. People with short legs step quickly, because legs are pendulums, and swing more times in a minute the shorter they are. Generally a natural rhythm runs through the whole organization; quick pulse, fast breathing, hasty speech, rapid trains of thought, excitable temper. Stily

ness of person, and steadiness of features are signal marks of goodbreeding. Vulgar persons can't sit still, or, at least, they must work their limbs or features.

Talking of One's own Ails and Grievances.-Bad enough, but not so bad as insulting the person you talk with by remarking on his ill looks, or appearing to notice any of his personal peculiarities.

Apologizing.-A very desperate habit-one that is rarely cured. Apology is only egotism wrong side cut. Nine times out of ten, the first

« 上一页继续 »