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They carried them as tenderly as a child through the snows and over the dangers of the Alps, and when they reached the border-line of that perilous campaign, Napoleon said to one of his generals, While these men love their cannon like that, we can safely put them in the front ranks." No one of these cannon was ever captured by the enemy. Love, even for these material things, could not be defeated. This is the mighty force which is establishing the kingdom of God in the earth. It has taken on a new meaning and a new power. It leads the missionaries and heralds of the cross into the darkest heathenism, and the greatest sacrifice, and certain peril, and almost inevitable death. Fevers, and wild beasts, and blood-thirsty natives cannot frighten the followers of love's supreme illustration. Thousands of martyrs have given their dying testimony to its resistless power. They can fasten the two Scottish women to the stakes which stand between the high and low water-mark. The advancing tide passes over the elder woman's head without forcing her to renounce her love for Christ. The sight was beyond description, but the courage of the survivor never failed. She sang of her love until the water choked her, when she was
released and given a last chance to yield, but true to a never-dying love, she refused, and was drowned.
'From the crowd
A woman's cry, a very bitter cry, dinna ye drown,
And still the tide flowed in and drove the people back and silenced them. She sang the Psalm, " To Thee I lift my soul;" the tide flowed in, and rising to her waist, "To Thee, my God, I lift my soul," she sang; the tide flowed in, and rising to her throat, she sang no more, but lifted up her face,
"And there was glory over all the sky,
And the lifted face swam in it
Until it bowed beneath the flood,
And Scotland's noble martyr went to God."
The pages of history are crowded with illustrations of love's power as wonderful and sublime as that. All things fail and fall, but love never fails and never dies. The world may burn into a cinder, and the stars fall from their settings, and the whole universe become disorder and ruin, and love will
still be upon the highest throne in perfect security. Love has eternity in it.
The secret of Christianity is that love is the 'maker of character, and we come to be like that which we love. The law is as stringent and as binding as the law of gravity. Most men love goodness in order to be good. Christ is the manifestation of perfect goodness, and to love Him is the transformation of character. Our relation to Him is the index of our present state and the prophecy of our future. Love is the author of purpose, and energy, and devotion, and obedience.
"If a man love Me," and every man can finish the sentence. It is inevitable. If Peter loves there need be no anxiety about the lambs and sheep. All the graces and activities follow this leadership. "Love is the seraph, and faith and hope are but the wings by which it flies." Love in this world never reaches its best in beauty or fruitage. The seasons are too short. There is too much frost in the spring, and the leaves wither early in the autumn. It is dwarfed and stunted, but there is a promise of another season after the world's winter. The life is in the root. It will blossom and bear fruit in the garden of God. Preserve and care for
the root, even though it may seem lifeless and useless. It is life's richest possession. Treasure it and beautify it, and see the stamp of eternity upon it. Go to the manger and whisper it. Enter the carpenter-shop and write it upon the bench. Pause under the olive-trees, and read it in the crimson marks. Stand at the foot of the cross and behold the four letters in the blood of the Saviour of the world, one at the top, one at the bottom, one upon the right hand, and one upon the left,-L-O-V-E. 198
Then welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids, not sit nor stand, but go.
Be our joys three parts pain
Strive and hold cheap the strain
Learn nor account the pang; dare never grudge the throe.
Here bring your wounded hearts
Here tell your anguish ;
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
Now let us thank the Eternal Power convinced
-JOHN BROWN. The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.-SOCRATES.
Prosperity is not without many fears and disappointments; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.-BAKER. Sweet are the uses of adversity
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,