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solations of the Gospel; you will find your hearts enlarged in the way of God's commands; and you will find that Christ will manifest Himself to you as He does not to the world.
on earth will be a sweet foretaste of the pleasures of Paradise.
"And call the Sabbath a delight." The godly not only possess this delight, but they profess it. Sinners are not ashamed of their neglect of the Sabbath; they break it in the presence of many witnesses, and shall we be ashamed to own our delight in it? This delight in the Sabbath would effect a great and happy change in families, congregations, and in the world. Then there would be an increase in the number, and in the piety, and in the joys of the worshippers of the living and true God. The world would have less hold of us, and heaven would have far greater attractions. Then earth would be more like heaven. The holy Sabbath is a day when weary pilgrims should turn aside from the turmoil of life, and refresh their souls at the wells of salvation. The house of God is open for their spiritual refreshment; and the mercy of God invites them to come and to partake of the rich provisions of His everlasting love. He says, "Eat, O friend; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." He sends His ministers to set these provisions before you, and urges you to come and enjoy the feast. Happy are they who have an appetite, and accept the invitation, and live by faith upon this true bread. They shall find their strength renewed; they shall grow in grace; and they shall be fitted for the marriage supper of the Lamb in the new Jerusalem. Let me beseech you to cultivate increasing delight in the Sabbath, and you will find your anxious minds soothed by the con
"In holy duties let this day, Heaven's type and emblem, pass away;
And may we thus each Sabbath spend,
In hope of that which shall not end." H. H.
"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."-ROM. V. 20. WHAT a conception do these words afford of the goodness of God, of His great and abundant mercy? None ever so vile need despair of salvation, who seriously ponder this most blessed truth. They are written as an encouragement to persevering prayer, and afford the strongest proof of the Divine scheme of redemption, as wrought out for us by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the willingness of God to receive into His favour the most sinful and degraded among men, who come to Him through faith and repentance to have eternal life. The glorious truth here unfolded lies at the root of all our hopes, and without it there would be room for despair. What a wondrous act of mercy to make such a revelation, to unfold to us the mind of God in relation to our condition here, and our future prospects when called to appear before His throne of judgment? Sin has abounded in each-in all, without any exception. If only one sin in our moral character were un
pardoned, there must be eternal banishment from His presence hereafter. The provision made is ample and sufficient to atone for the sinfulness of an entire world. So perfect, so complete is the forgiveness here described, that sins of the deepest dye are no sooner confessed with deep contrition, than they are blotted out for ever, and cancelled from the book of His remembrance. The display of God's grace is so great, that none need despair. He is the covenant-keeping, the unchangeable, the sin-pardoning God. He invites all to come to Him to have life, to receive a full and entire remission of sin, without money and without price. He willeth not the death of a sinner. And this refers to his eternal state, that God in the greatness of His mercy and sovereign love, wills him to come near and accept salvation, and hereafter an abundant entrance into His everlasting kingdom. What barrier is there, then, to the salvation of the most hardened and impenitent sinner? None, surely, on God's part. Man writes his own condemnation; and if he lost, he is lost simply because he will not come to Christ to have life. Is it not a strange infatuation that he should love darkness rather than light; choose for himself the pathway of sin; hew out a broken cistern that can hold no water; become absorbed in all that is earthly, and so soon to perish; forget the great account to be given; be inattentive to the vast and stupendous interests of the soul; be unmindful of his obligations, his responsibility, his spiritual and eternal welfare? And yet such is
the fact, such is the experience we meet with in the every-day life of man. Nothing surely portrays in more vivid colours human depravity, and the alienation of the heart from God. 66 All," said Paul, "seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ."
The main anxiety with every one should be, deliverance from the power of sin, and its penal consequences. The soul in danger is like the ship exposed to the fierce storm, or dashing furiously against the breakers, and threatened with instant and entire destruction. Every hour lost in not earnestly seeking the one thing needful, the one great deliverance from the dominion of iniquity, the cleansing power of the atoning blood of Christ, the escape from the condemnation of the broken law of God, is only the heaping up of wrath to the day of wrath. The want of obedience to Christ, and surrender of heart to His will, constitutes determined opposition to His perfect mind, and is a contempt of His most gracious invitations to come to Him to have life. "Thou hast set our secret sins in the light of thy countenance," is the record of the inspired writer.-Psalm xc. 8. He is the searcher of the hearts of the children
of men. All things are naked and opened to His eyes. All which transpires, either in motive or in action, is recorded. For every idle word men shall speak, they shall give account. It is evident that all our daily actions have their influence on our eternal condition, and indicate our real character in the sight of God. We cannot escape from His constant and unremitting observation and cognizance of our
Saviour's blood, the pardon of sin, the peace in Him, the assurance of acceptance, the hope of eternal life, until the Holy Spirit works in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure. How can a plant grow without the light of the sun? how can it thrive without the rain or dew from heaven? Even so do we need the constant operation of the Spirit's influence to lead us to Jesus, to open to us the Scriptures, to make us wise unto salvation, to enlarge our hearts with love divine, to guide us into all truth, to make us partakers of divine grace, to open the kingdom of heaven. Constant, earnest, and continued prayer to God for the bestowment of His Spirit will meet with a gracious answer. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." What, then, is our path of safety to escape the wrath to come? It is to come now, at once, to the footstool of divine mercy; to rest not, night nor day, until in answer to prayer the Holy Spirit has been given. He who seeks to win the crown must first run the race set before him, and so run that he may obtain. Prayer is the appointed means to secure the end, and the only way to receive the blessing as offered in the Gospel. The present moment flies. What depends on present decision? It may be now or never to enter into life. Tiverton, May, 1861. F. S. G.
most secret transactions. The disposition of man is either earthly or heavenly, and there is no mistaking the condition of the one or the other. To be worldly-minded is death. How fearful, then, the responsibility of him, who, in spite of the light of Gospel truth, the revelation of the Divine will, continues deliberately and wilfully in a course of sinful disobedience, preferring earthly things to spiritual, and loving intensely this present evil world! We must come to Him who is the light of the world, to have the germ of spiritual life implanted in the soul. As the beam of light comes from the natural sun to shine on the face of nature, even so must the ray of light coming from the Sun of Righteousness illumine the darkness of the human heart, and by its heaven-imparting influence lay the foundation of that holy transformation which is to ripen it for neverending bliss. It is the Spirit which quickens, and as He first moved on the dark waters of creation, and said, "Let there be light, and there was light," even so must He now come with His almighty power to raise the dead soul to spiritual and eternal life. To this end the promise is given. He giveth the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him. We are as certain to receive, in answer to prayer, the gift of the Holy Spirit, as that God has given us the promise; and He alone begins the good and gracious change in the sinner's heart, to perfect it unto the end. In vain can we expect the vital change of heart, the regeneration of the soul, the newness of life, the washing in the fountain of the
RELIGIOUS OSTENTATION. "Come, and see my zeal for the Lord." 2 KINGS X., 16.
1. OSTENTATION, according Walker, is outward show, appearance; ambitious display, boast, vain
show. The root of it is in fallen, proud, human nature; the bud and blossom in a vain imagination; and the effect in misery.
2. That such is the course of this world, and the spirit of the present age, is so self-evident as to require but little of either illustration or argument to prove. Never more than now could it be properly said, "Man walketh in a vain show." So much is ostentatious display the way of the world, and the spirit of the times, that some have arrived at the conviction that a degree of it is really essential to maintain an honourable position, secure respect, and succeed, especially in the distinctive avocations of life.
3. All this is but natural, and however vain and evil, and lamentable it may be, it can easily be accounted for; but, it may well be inquired, Is there such a thing as religious ostentation?-ostentation in connexion with real or professed religion? Unquestionably; and a remarkable instance appears at the head of this paper, in Jehu, who took up Jonadab, and inquired, "Is thine heart right with mine?" and added, "Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord." It was an ostentatious display of religion which led the Pharisees of old to make broad their phylacteries, stand at the corners of the streets for prayer, and have a trumpet sounded before them to proclaim their alms; and to condemn and correct it, our Lord commands us to pray in secret, and not let the left hand know what the right hand doeth.
4. But the spirit of our Lord's injunction is too little considered,
understood, and acted upon, by religious professors of the present age. Show, show, show, is all the order of the day, even in connexion with a religion which enjoins every thing of retiring humility and self-abasement. Is there nothing of this in the style of architecture in which houses for worship are erected, in the various appointments of those places, and the vestments used? Is there nothing of this in the style of address, not to say to God, but to the people from the pulpit? Is there not too much of this in the public meetings of religious societies of the present day-in the reports, the addresses, and the proclaimed contributions? And is there not something of this very spirit of ostentation mixed up with that most moving, melting, humbling, and gladdening subject-a revival of religion in the land? Allowing that all doing in that holy cause would be done if it never came to public light, and that wonderful cases of conversion should be published abroad as examples of divine grace and power, and to the praise of His name; still, where there exists a craving desire of distinction, and every small matter is proclaimed and magnified, the prayers, the numbers, the emotions, &c., &c., with the boastful bearing of revivalists of superior sanctity, tact, power, and honour, the cloven foot is evident, the enemy is at hand, and the good cause is in danger of serious damage by means of that evil spiritreligious ostentation, True Christian charity, clothed with retiring humility, should
"Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame."
MEMOIR OF THE LATE MR. JOHN MERCER, OF TONBRIDGE, KENT.
MR. JOHN MERCER, builder, was efficiently. As choir-master, his born at Tonbridge, in the year 1806. He was brought up in the Established church, and was one of the choir for some time. When about twenty-seven years of age, a friend, who took great interest in his welfare, requested him to aid the choir of the Independent Chapel. He did so, and eventually became its leader. Thus for the first time was he led to enter the threshold of a Nonconformist place of worship.
Three years of regular attendance were passed away ere the truth received into the heart was prevalent. It exercised a preventive influence and restrained from evil. At length, whilst performing his part in the hallelujah chorus, the truth flashed across his mind-that he was a sinner, that sinners should not stand before God; and the question was asked, "I praise God here, shall I praise Him yonder?" The results were heart-searching examination, conversation with Rev. R. Penman, his pastor, and others-change of heart-admission to the church of Christ, and devotion of time and talents to the service of God.
judgment prevented mishaps which too frequently occur where vocal music is unassisted by an organ. As a deacon, he was discreet, prayerful, always at his post on Sabbath and week-day alike, and was ready to make business sacrifices rather than be absent and set a bad example. As treasurer, he was full of confidence in God, and far from niggardly in all dealings with the pastor and the poor of the flock. As superintendent of the Sunday school, twenty years of self-denying effort have shown the strength of his attachment to the young. Although God gave him no children of his own, he was naturally fond of the young. His regard manifested itself in various ways. Not only did he labour amongst them on the Sabbath, but he devoted several hours during the week to their instruction in the science of music. We have seen nearly 200 children attending his classes, and have been as pleased as they with the instruction given them. Knowing that his own conversion was, in some measure, connected with his love for music, he sought to form a taste for it in the young of our Sabbath school. Nor have his pains-taking efforts been unsuccessful. He has led many from evil to Jesus's feet.
How thorough this devotion was, will appear if we state that, at the time of his decease, he held four offices in connexion with the church -choir-master, deacon, treasurer, and Sunday-school superintendent. He discharged the duties of each
His most useful life was terminated by a melancholy accident.