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glorious way, in the hands of God, bringing many to glory.
DYING TESTIMONY OF SIR
MANY persons in youth and vigour deem it fanatical for a man to be anxious to be prepared for death. Solicitude for the salvation of the soul they regard as irrational. Twenty years ago, Sir Walter Scott, who had charmed the world with his genius, was on a dying bed. He had passed the night in delirious slumber. As the morning sun shone into his chamber, he awoke, but to die. Every trace of delirium had passed away, and his intellect was unclouded. Raising his dying eye, and fixing it upon his son-in-law, Lockhart, who sat by his bedside, he said,
"My dear son, I may have but a moment to speak to you. Be a good man; be virtuous; be religious. Be a good man. Nothing else will give you any comfort when called upon to lie here."
Reader, was Walter Scott a weak enthusiast? The hour is near when you, too, will be upon a dying bed. Will you not feel then as he did? Are you prepared for this hour?
A SPOILED BOY.
WHO was he? He was Adonijah, one of David's sons. How was he spoiled? By having his own way, and not being corrected by his father when he did wrong. The record is, "His father displeased him not at any time, in saying, Why hast thou done so?" How do you know that he was spoiled? His conduct shows it; he was puffed up with vanity and pride, was headstrong, and disobedient, and profligate. He aspired after the throne; said, "I will be king, and prepared him chariots, and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him," and treated his royal parent with contempt. To what end did he come? To no good end. Such self-conceited, arrogant, wicked boys never come
to a good end. He died the ignominious death of a traitor. He was executed. Matthew Henry, commenting upon the course of this spoiled boy, says, "He in return made a fool of his father. Because he was old and confined to his bed, he thought that no notice was to be taken of him, and therefore exalted himself, and said, 'I will be king.' Children that are indulged learn to be proud and ambitious, and that is the ruin of a great many young people."
And we regret to be forced to add, that, in our judgment, it is the ruin of as many young people now as it was in the days of King David; and in the seventeenth century, when good Matthew Henry flourished. "A child left to himself brings his parents to shame," has been true in all past generations, and is true now.
HONESTY THE BEST POLICY. THE late Duke of Buccleugh, in one of his walks, purchased a cow in the neighbourhood of Dalkeith, which was to be sent to his palace the following morning. The Duke in his morning dress espied a boy, very ineffectually attempting to drive the animal to its destination. The boy not knowing the Duke bawled out to him, "Hie, mun, come here an' gie's a han' wi' this beast."
The Duke walked on slowly, the boy still craving his assistance, and at last in a tone of distress, "Come here, mun, an' help us, an' sure as onything I'll gie you half I get ""
The Duke went, and lent a helping hand. "And now," said the Duke, as they trudged along, "how much do you think we'll get for this job ?"
"I dinna ken," said the boy, "but I'm sure o' something, for the folk up by, at the big house, are gude to a' bodies."
As they approached the house, the Duke disappeared from the boy, and entered by a different way. Calling a servant, he put a sovereign into his hand, saying, "Give that to the boy who brought the cow."
"A shilling," said the boy, an' there's half on it to ye."
"But surely you got more than a shilling," said the Duke.
as sure as
"No," said the boy, death, that's a' I got-an' d'ye no think it's plenty?"
"I do not," said the Duke; "there must be some mistake; and as I am acquainted with the Duke, if you return, I think I'll get you more."
They went back, the Duke rang the bell, and ordered all the servants to be assembled. "Now," said the Duke to the boy, "point me out the person that gave you the shilling."
"It was that chap there with the apron," pointing to the butler.
The butler confessed, fell on his knees, and attempted an apology; but the Duke indignantly ordered him to give the boy the sovereign, and quit his service instantly. "You have lost," said the Duke, "your money, your situation, and your character, by your covetousness; learn henceforth that honesty is the best policy."
The boy, by this time, recognized his assistant in the person of the Duke; and the Duke was so delighted with the sterling worth and honesty of the boy, that he ordered him to be sent to school, kept there, and provided for at his own expense.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR CON
WE remember the old story of the mariners, who, because they followed the direction of their compass, thought they were infallibly right, until they arrived at an enemy's post, and found themselves suddenly seized and made slaves. They did not take into consideration the possibility that any agency had tampered with the needle. Yet the wicked captain had, on purpose to betray the ship to enemies, so care
fully concealed a large loadstone near the needle as to make it untrue to itself, and thus be the means of their ruin.
Something not very unlike this is often true of conscience. If, for example, we admit, as many do, that among those who lately conducted our ship of state so near to the port of its enemies and to slavery, are found "conscientious" men, who, not implicated in the crime, can fail to see that they must have conscience with which some dangerous agent has seriously tampered? Conscience may be perverted as truly as any other faculty of the soulso perverted as even to mislead and destroy, while it is relied upon to direct in the path of safety. How numerous and affecting are the illustrations of this in respect to the soul's interests! Saul of Tarsus "verily thought that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus." Doubtless, the Pagan mother is often conscientious in the unnatural immolation to which she devotes her offspring. The Mohammedan devotee is unquestionably conscientious. And so are multitudes everywhere conscientious, who are nevertheless the dupes of error and fanaticism. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are ways of death."
We are warned, then, to take care of the conscience. See that there is no prejudice, no passion, no evil influence that is perverting it, and gradually making it untrue to itself, and therefore unsafe. must be "void of offence" toward God, as well as toward men. It must be enlightened, educated upon the principles of the Gospel, tender, true in all things, true always. It is never sufficient to say, as multitudes do say, I verily thought I ought to do this or that." We must examine the basis of our conscientiousness. Is there a concealed loadstone which is attracting the needle from its true polarity heavenward, toward spiritual foes and spiritual bondage? This is a vital question for every
THE SUFFERING SAVIOUR.
"Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spat upon; and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death; and the third day He shall rise again."-LUKE Xviii. 31, 32, 33.
THE Saviour here gives us a very delightful view of the Old Testament Scriptures-they testify of Him. He is their main theme; He is the treasure in this mine; He is the sun in this firmament; He is the tree of life in this paradise. The testimony which they bear to His person, character, and work, is clear, encouraging and "To Him give all the prophets witness." The Scriptures had been fulfilled in reference to His birth, teaching, and miracles; and now they were to be fulfilled in reference to His death, resurrection, and ascension. All things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished." The Saviour here recognizes the inspiration of the Scriptures. The prophets were inspired to foretel wonderful things concerning the Saviour. They foretold His death. The Psalmist foretold the mode of His death-that He would die by crucifixion: "The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet." Daniel foretold the time of His death-"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteous ness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks." The seventy weeks here mentioned mean "seventy weeks" of years; that is, four hundred and ninety years. Seventy weeks contain ten Jubilees; and denote the bringing in of the most complete Jubilee." The Psalmist also predicts the spectators of His death-" They look and stare upon me." And was not this the case? The sacred historian says, " And all the
people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. And all His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things." The spectators of this great sight saw the earthquake, and darkness, and sufferings of Jesus; and smote their breasts in token of alarm, fear, and anguish. They feared the wrath of God for the great crime committed by putting an innocent person to death. The Psalmist also foretold the circumstances of His death. He foretold the casting of the lots for His vesture. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."-Now mark the fulfilment. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also His coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said, therefore, among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture did they cast lots. These things, therefore, the soldiers did." (John xix. 23, 24.) The Psalmist foretold His cry on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And the wicked conduct of His enemies—“ All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head."―(Psalm xxii. 6, 8.) The prophet Isaiah foretold the design of His death. He says, "He was wounded for our transgressions." His resurrection was also foretold. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life."-(Psalm xvi. 10, 11.) The Psalmist here foretold that the Messiah would not be left amongst the dead, but would be raised up again. Hell commonly means, in Scripture, the place of punishment; but sometimes it is used, as here, to signify the state of death, or the place of departed spirits generally; as if it had been said, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in the invisible state, apart from my body." And His exaltation was foretold: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." The allusion is to the ancient custom of conquerors in placing their feet on the necks of the vanquished.-(Joshua x. 24.) The Father was determined that His Son, after His suffering, should be exalted to heaven, and there enjoy eternal honour. These predictions were written for ages before their fulfilment; and at various times; and by many prophets. They are numerous,
minute, and many eyes saw their accomplishment. Christ said to His apostles, "And ye are witnesses of these things."
The fulfilment of these predictions was a matter of immense importance. This confirms the truth of the Old Testament Scriptures; and this is important, for they are our guide to heaventhey are the food of our souls-they contain the wells of salvation. They contain glorious doctrines, wise precepts, and precious promises. And these predictions must be fulfilled, or there would be no foundation for our hope, no fountain for our cleansing, no way to heaven. Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory?" He must endure the cross before He could receive the crown. The fulfilment of these predictions has brought vast glory to God; prepared the way for the descent of the Spirit; and has promoted the welfare of the world. And here let us note the wonderful care of Divine providence in carrying out the eternal purposes of God, revealed in His Word. He knows all that is written, and will do as He has said. He is the faithful God. “Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death." Here we see that the sufferings of Jesus were voluntary. He proposes to go to Jerusalem, where He would be treated in the manner foretold by the prophets. He knew what awaited Him there, yet He was willing to go, for He loved us; and His love moved Him to do all that was necessary for our salvation. He was willing to be betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, and put to death by His enemies, that He might accomplish the design of His mission, and open up for us a way of access to God. His zeal was quenchless. He was intent upon doing the will of His Father-fulfilling the Scriptures-and laying the sure foundation for human hope. He was resolved to
leave nothing unaccomplished. And He still perseveres in
heaven, in fulfilling all His covenant engagements. The Father has put the redemption of His people into good hands. The last day will show His fidelity.
And let us be affected by the deep humiliation of our Saviour. Who was it that was thus treated? This was an innocent person-the true Messiah-the great teacher-the kind benefactor-the Son of God-the King of kings. He humbled himself!