God's Glad Tidings: Volume 10

Table of Contents

1. Abraham Believed God
2. and Every Eye Shall See Him
3. Christ's Work and the Spirit's
4. E — the Infidel; or, What Shall It Profit?
5. A Farewell Word
6. The Folly of Delay
7. The Four Writings of God
8. From Darkness to Light
9. From Death Unto Life
10. Futile Efforts
11. God's Character the Believer's Hope
12. God's Salvation — Who It Is for
13. Going to Glory.
14. The Green Tree and the Dry
15. He Giveth Songs in the Night.
16. I Do Believe
17. I Don't Want to Be a Christian
18. I Have Never Thought About It
19. The Inattentive Listener
20. An Invitation — Will You Accept It?
21. Jethro; or, Now I Know
22. Just Like Hill
23. Law and Grace: a Contrast
24. Mercy at the Eleventh Hour
25. Money and Health.
26. No Difference
27. The Old Doctor's Story
28. Peace With God, and How to Get It
29. Peace With God; Have You It?
30. The Person of Christ
31. The Precious Blood
32. The Prisoner of Glatz
33. Queries
34. The Rams' Horns —  the Silver Trumpets — and the Last Trump
35. Religion or Christ
36. Safe and Sure
37. Satan Silenced and the Sinner Saved
38. Saved While Drowning
39. Self-Surrender and Its Result
40. The Sinner's Deep Need Met by the Saviour's Boundless Grace
41. The Soldier's Daughter
42. the Two Trees.
43. There Is No Difference
44. Three Classes and Three Messages
45. To Him That Worketh Not
46. to Whom Belongest Thou?
47. Too Late
48. Victory Through the Blood of the Lamb.
49. What Think Ye of Christ?
50. When Will Ye Be Wise?
51. Will God Receive Me Just As I Am?
52. A Word to Young Converts

Abraham Believed God

Rom. 4:3.
DEAR reader, do you? For that is the only way you can be saved; not by praying, nor fasting, nor reading God's word, blessed as it is, nor by going to church or chapel, or any other thing that you can do; but by just simply believing God; believing His great love to you in sending Jesus into this world to die for you, and His great love in bearing all God's wrath on the cross due to you and me. Where can you find a love to equal this, dear reader? Believe it now, before it is too late; and then you are saved; and, once saved, forever; God can never let go one that believes in Jesus; He will keep them while down here on earth, and then take them to be with Him forever in heaven; and all this comes by just simply believing God. Surely it is not too difficult to believe; it is God's simple and only way of salvation, and that through His Son Jesus Christ.
But, dear reader, people seem to think that if they were told to do something it would be much easier; that is because man wants to be saved as he likes, and not as God likes. Man thinks or pretends to think that believing is too simple a thing to please God, and that he must do something in order to be saved, while Jesus did it all, and met all God's requirements on the cross more than 1,800 years ago. God is perfectly satisfied with Christ. He is enough for Him. Reader, will you let Him be enough for you? And through the finished work of Jesus on the cross God now offers salvation if you will just simply believe Him.
But to all who reject Christ now as the only way of salvation, I would say there is a day coming when you will have to acknowledge Him as a judge; you will not then be offered salvation through His finished work on the cross, the death of Jesus will then only seal your judgment; and. after that judgment you will be cast into the lake of fire forever, to be tormented with the devil and his angels, because you have not believed God's word when He offered you a full present and free salvation, without money and without price; and all through eternity you will have time to think that you might have been saved, and then been in heaven with Jesus forever, if you had just believed God's word. But, rejector, there is time now if you will come to Jesus and believe in Him now, then you will be saved, and will escape the unutterable horrors of eternal damnation, and will be with Jesus in heaven forever.
Reader, if you are a doubting one, just simply trust God's word, for he can never lie, and He says what he means. He says those that believe shall have everlasting life, and He means it; also He says that those who believe not shall be damned, 'and that also is equally true. Every word of God is true, the dark as well as the bright side, the judgments as well as the blessings; therefore, let me press upon you just simply to believe God's word and then you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13.
Dear reader, if we are saved, if we have believed God's word, we have a most blessed thing before us, the coming of Jesus to take us to be with Himself in heaven forever. And being freed from all our sins, we have only to live to the glory of Him who died for us, to walk as He walked down here on earth, to try and bring others to Him, and to wait for His blessed second coming which may take place at any moment, and till He comes may we “Stand fast in the Lord, dearly beloved” (Phil. 4:1).
Rejector, you have been warned of a coming judgment.
Doubting one, you have been told just simply to believe in Jesus and you will be saved, saved forever.
May the Lord, through His Spirit, press His word home to your heart so that you may do as Abraham did, and then, knowing that all your sins are put away, you will be looking for Jesus to come and take you to be with Himself forever.
S. E.

and Every Eye Shall See Him

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Rev. 1:7.)
THERE is nothing so intensely real, and important for our consideration, as God's blessed Word, because it not only reveals to us what God is, and what we are, but also tells us what is in the future, as to God's dealings and purposes, both in the way of judgment and blessing. Yet I suppose there is nothing which so little occupies the heart and mind of man naturally as this very thing. Some may be disposed to question this, and say; “I thought this was an age of progress in enlightenment and learning, and that men's minds were being cultivated in the knowledge of things which, at one time, were but little thought of.”
Yes, all this seems plausible enough, but, however right and true it may be, it only needs testing by that divine standard—the Word of the living God—to show how far short it all comes of His thoughts. In Rom. 1:28, we read, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind," and again in the 3rd chapter we get a terrible description of the heart of man towards God. 1 Cor. 1:21. Repeats the same sorrowful story. “The world by wisdom knew not God." Many other Scriptures may be quoted bearing the same testimony, but these will suffice to show the world's hatred of God, and departure from Him; and, indeed, we have only to look around to find that open infidelity, and almost every other form of evil and rebellion against God has obtained to greater power than at any previous time in the world's history. This will lead us to consider more directly the Scripture which stands at the head of this paper.
It is perfectly clear and certain (a fact which will be generally accepted without going into proofs), that the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, has been down into this world, it is also equally clear that He is not here now, and not only that He has been here and gone away, but that He is coming again. It is to these two or three simple thoughts that I want to draw the reader's attention.
Let us look now into the 1st of John's Gospel, 10 and 11 verses, where we read, "He (God's Son) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not, he came to his own, and his own received him not." Here we get a clear and positive statement as to the world's treatment of God's Son, by whom all things were created (Col. 1:16), and added to this we knew the climax of its hatred against that blessed One, "God manifest in the flesh," in casting Him out and nailing Him to a cross between two thieves, This is the action of man in his very best estate, religious man if you like, because the perpetrators of that awful act were not the common people, they were the religious authorities, and those, too, who had had the highest privileges it was possible for man to receive from God, all showing how far man was, and still is (for there is no improvement in his natural condition), from being suitable to God.
What, then, may we ask, is the real condition of a world guilty of the rejection and death of God's Christ? One verse only is sufficient to answer this. “This is the condemnation (or judgment) that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" is God's own sentence upon this scene. How solemn, then, is the thought that so many are to-day going on utterly careless, and trying to be happy under it. Did man think he had done with Christ when he put Him out of the world? Whatever men thought, or may think now, let me assure you, dear reader, that though man has rejected, yet God has received Him, “till his enemies be made his footstool?' Terrible thought for you, if you have never by simple faith accepted Him as your Saviour from the coming wrath. (Luke 19:10). What, then, can be clearer than that God's judgment is hanging over this world, because of the rejection of His Son, Christ is coming, and “every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." Solemn thought, that all then upon the earth shall "see" and "wail.”
Let me now ask my reader, “Will you be amongst that number, will your eye see Him it is quite possible, if unsaved, for it may be very soon, and nothing is to be looked for but the taking up of all believers out of the earth (1 Thess. 4:17), before the day of God's judgment upon it will commence but whether you are alive on the earth at that time, or not, your ultimate end must be the same, if a refuser of God's sovereign grace in Christ. But if, on the other hand, you are a true believer and have received Christ as God's terms for your salvation, then how blessed the prospect of seeing Him.
“We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2; Phil. 3:20, 21).
There is nothing, dear reader, so satisfying for the heart of the Christian, and that so thoroughly keeps him in a marked path of separation from the world, as the joy of waiting for that wondrous moment when we shall see that blessed One face to face, and be like Him.
These contrasted thoughts, bring to our mind, 1 Thess. 5:4, 5, where the Holy Ghost by the Apostle reassures the believers of their security from the coming judgment which is to overtake the world as a thief, because they were not of the world at all, and did not belong to it. “We are not of the night, nor of darkness." But He says, “Ye are the children of light." The believer belongs to the One who is the light of the world but which the world cast out, and since then it is described as night and darkness, and the Lord will come back to it as a thief. But what a terrible hour will it be, when He comes, "In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8).
Ah, moment of all moments, though the world's eye closed on Him at the cross, and, though the lip may now curl with scorn at the mention of His name, yet " every eye shall see Him "then," every knee shall bow "then.
Who can describe the awful terror of such a, scene as that when those who have refused His claims and despised His mercy will awake to the solemn reality of what is before them? None.
As "Enoch walker with God.," and was translated from the scene of judgment before the flood came, so may you, dear reader, know Christ as God's refuge for the sinner, and wait for Him from heaven, when He shall come to take his saints to Himself. “So shall we ever be with the Lord.”
J. G.

Christ's Work and the Spirit's

IT is most important to see the difference between Christ's work for us, and the Holy Spirit's work in us. The first is perfect. The second is not perfect yet. Hence a soul seeking to rest on what goes on within can never have peace, as the work is imperfect, and will not be perfect till we are in glory like Christ. But may I not have peace? Surely! Thank God I have it. Why? Because I rest on the finished, perfected work of Jesus for me on the cross. It is this that blots out sins, meets the claims of God, and purges the conscience. It is perfect, and in its perfection I stand accepted before God. The work of the Holy Ghost, on the contrary, goes on continually in the believer until the end, and is not finished till the saint is in glory,-spirit, soul, and body like Christ.
W. T. P. W.

E — the Infidel; or, What Shall It Profit?

THE sun was shining with almost tropical heat upon one of the most beautiful and favorite of our watering places, making the broad expanse of ocean look like a sheet of dazzling crystal. Not a breath of wind blew across the hot, dry sands, and no sound save the gentle splash of the tiny waves against the shore, and the merry laughter of the children playing in groups, broke the stillness of that bright July morning.
At a window of one of the numerous lodging houses sat a lady and her daughter, the former bending over a book in which her whole mind appeared absorbed. An exclamation from the latter presently caused her to look up hastily, and in a moment she perceived what had attracted her daughter's attention. A young man, supported on either side, was making his way slowly and painfully towards the house. He had evidently just arrived by the early train, and appeared well-nigh exhausted from the effects of the walk from the station. “Poor fellow," said the older lady, with the tears of sympathy in her kind eyes, “what a sad condition he appears to be in. Let us have him brought in here, for I see he wants immediate attention and care.”
Her daughter needed no second bidding, but hastened out of the room, soon returning, followed by the young man, who no sooner reached the sofa, than he sunk back upon the pillows, in a fainting condition.
Motioning the others from the room, the kind and gentle mother seated herself beside him, and applied restoratives with a well-practiced hand. Oh! how her heart ached to see the deep lines, indicating acute suffering, stamped upon the young face before her.
While he lay thus, realizing her own utter helplessness, her heart went up to Him whose tender care and love she had often proved. Earnestly she pleaded for the stranger—as only those who know and have realized the power of prayer can plead.
Gradually consciousness returned, and in a feeble whisper the young man thanked her for her care and skill. Gently and kindly she spoke to him, sympathizing in his great bodily weakness, receiving, however, but little response from the sufferer.
“I trust you know the blessed Lord Jesus,” she said presently; " and have found in Him a loving and sympathizing friend—one who is ever touched with the feelings of our infirmities.”
In a moment the young man's face changed, a crimson flush spread over his sunken cheeks' and starting up with wonderful energy, he exclaimed, “Not another word, Madam, not another word. I don't want to hear that name again, for I hate the sound of it!” and then, fixing his eyes upon his companion, he watched to see the effect of his words.
Utterly overwhelmed for a moment, she shuddered at this strange, passionate outburst; but speedily recovering herself with a sweet voice, and in the gentlest of tones, and without removing her eyes from his stern face, she repeated that beautiful verse: —
"How sweet the name of Jesus sounds{br}In a believer's ear,{br}It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,{br}And drives away his fear.”
This was too much for the hard-hearted infidel; he closed his weary, heavy, eyes; and, in spite of an evident inward struggle, she saw a solitary tear stealing slowly down the hard lines of his face. Oh! how she thanked God for that little token.
Having recovered a little strength, he arose to go, apologizing for having taken up so much of her time, "Let me thank you," he said,” for all your great kindness to me. I am indeed very grateful.”
“Do not thank me," his companion answered hastily, "but thank Him whose name you hate for having sent you a friend in your need.” Before you go let me give you this short Psalm," she continued, and without waiting for his answer, she repeated the beautiful 117th, dwelling with emphasis on the words, “His merciful kindness is great towards us, and the truth of the Lord endureth forever.”
Seeing he still lingered, she took his hand, and faithfully and lovingly told him how God in His love and compassion for a lost and guilty world, had yielded up His well-beloved Son to the death of the cross, there, through the shedding of His precious blood, fully and completely to atone for sin.
"Grace there, its wondrous victory gained,{br}And love endured its last.”
"Stop!" cried the young man, “Spare your-self further trouble on my account. I don't believe the Bible, not a word of it. I don't believe in the God of Love you talk about. I don't want to argue with you; but understand, once and forever, that I do not wish to speak on this subject again. I don't believe the Bible, I repeat.”
"Well, my dear young friend," answered his companion, “your not believing it makes no difference, it is the Word of God which endureth forever, and if all the world did not believe it, it would make no difference; it could not alter the fact.”
“Show me something that will convince me," he said.
"I should not attempt that task," she replied,” for when the Son of God Himself was on earth, face to face with unbelievers, talking with them, and showing them the power of God, they would not believe Him, and how will you believe me? I will simply give you God's message to faith and to unbelief, 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.'”
He had nothing to say now; but, like the man in Matt. 22 who had dared to come into the bridal hall without a wedding garment: he was speechless.
They did not soon meet again after this, for more than a brief exchange of ordinary civilities. All she could learn of him, was that he went by the name of E—, and had lately come from America. He purposely avoided all opportunities for conversation, and went about the place in a restless, helpless state of despondency day after day. One morning, when walking slowly along the sea shore, our Christian friend came suddenly upon the young man, in whose welfare she had felt so deep an interest. He was seated alone in an attitude of abject misery.
"What is the matter?" she asked, quietly seating herself beside him. “Tell me what it is that is so troubling you?”
“Nothing, nothing, I only wish to be alone," he answered quickly without noticing the apparent rebuff she continued, “Do trust me with the burden of your heart;”
He appeared softened, and answered slowly and falteringly, “Well, I was thinking of my children. I have a young wife, and two sweet little ones far away in America, and although I have put two thousands of miles of sea between us, I can ever hear their voices calling me. I can feel their soft arms about my neck, I can hear the patter of my children’s feet, behind me, wherever I go. Oh! I am miserable— miserable," he continued, in a voice trembling with emotion," and have been so ever since the day you spoke to me and read that Psalm.”
"What caused you to leave your family?” she asked, deeply touched by his grief.
"Well," he answered, “I will tell you, if you have patience to listen. I was brought up by a Christian mother, but when still very young I came across a man well-known in Yorkshire, who exercised a strange influence over me; he was an infidel, once he was a popular preacher, then he became a public lecturer against the Bible, and being constantly in his company, I became thoroughly imbued with all his ideas. My poor mother almost broke her heart, and. to free myself from her continual beseechings and reproaches, I went to America. There I married, and about four years afterward my wife was converted, and of course, knowing the views I held, became miserable on my account. Day after day she pleaded with me about my soul, urging me to come to the Saviour she loved and served. It was all of no use, I had become so rooted and grounded in unbelief, that nothing seemed to have power to move me. If I took my eldest child, my little Nelly, upon my knee, she would look beseechingly into my face, and ask, 'When are you going to love Jesus?' The sound of that name at length almost drove me mad, and so—well—I left my home, my wife, and my sweet little ones! Since then I have been wandering restlessly from place to place, until you saw me here, and now you have stirred up all my misery again, by speaking of that One, you say is Christ Jesus.”
There was a silence, only broken by the gentle splash of the rising tide.
“Ah! whither can you flee from His presence who offers you eternal life, and will give you back all you have lost—mother, wife, and children? What are you going to do? —What have you gained by being an infidel?”
“Nothing," was the answer," but I have lost all,—health, love and home.”
“But what do you hope to gain by it?”
“A coffin, a shroud, and a dark grave.”
“But you must have something to cling to that makes you hold on so firmly.”
I have a hell in my breast, which clings to me—that's all.”
The whole secret was out now. From that moment the conflict was gone; he was like a little child.
A letter to the long lost sorrowing mother speedily brought her, and her now broken-hearted son together. Sad, silent, and yet joyful was the long embrace that followed.
For days and days E—'s agony of mind was intense, but God in His infinite love and compassion compelled him to listen to the gentle persuasions of the kind and loving friend he had met, and soon he was brought to see his desperate need of a Saviour.
Broken-hearted with remorse and sorrow, lie gave himself up unreservedly into the loving care of the One who has died for lost sinners, and a great deep sense of forgiveness and acceptance with God, took possession of His soul. He grew rapidly worse each day, and the longing to see his family became stronger and stronger, as he felt the increasing weakness of body.
A telegram to America had speedily summoned the wife to whom he had caused such great sorrow, but three long weeks must yet elapse before she and her little ones could reach him. I cannot attempt to describe the meeting between mother and son, or the patient tenderness with which she nursed him; forgetting all the past sorrow in the "joy of seeing him again, and rejoicing, in spite of the thought of losing him, at the happy, peaceful rest of soul, which increased as he drew nearer and nearer the end. Three long weeks rolled away, and the young wife reached her dying husband; but, alas! without little Nelly. With many tears, the young mother told him how God had taken their eldest. She had lived to embark on the vessel, filled with joy at the thought of again meeting her father, for whom her little heart had pined and longed; but God had willed it otherwise, and one calm bright morning they let the little one down into the bosom of the great deep, until that day when it shall give up its dead.
“It is I who broke her heart," cried the dying father, again and again, as the remembrance of the pleading face, and loving embraces of his little dead child, forced itself upon him; but soon all earthly cares were lifted off. The Lord of Life and Glory was drawing him away to Himself by the cords of His everlasting love, and oh! with those mighty arms around us, and the sunshine of His presence pouring floods of light and glory into our souls, as we cross the narrow line which divides faith from real vision, what have we to fear? The dark waters we have shuddered to pass through, cannot quench the love that is bearing us swiftly onward into the brightness of that eternal resting-place.
This was the termination of a life of rebellion, and hatred towards God! Oh! infinite love of the Father in giving His Son, for a world that has despised and trodden Him under foot, but He is ever waiting, ever ready to save. If you do not know this tender loving Saviour yet, do not delay. Remember, my reader, with God it is always now, never to-morrow—come to Him now, just as you are; believe on His Son as your Saviour, and eternal life is yours. Hand yourself over entirely to Him, and let Him reign in your heart for time and eternity. J. R.

A Farewell Word

DEAR unsaved reader, ere parting company for this year—perhaps forever—one loving word. Do you mean to say that you will let 1881 pass away, and you be still unsaved? What awful folly! Oh! do be warned. Eternity is near, and endless too. Life is short, judgment certain. Only go on despising the blood, of which the foregoing pages are so full, and your eternal doom is sure—the blackness of darkness forever. What a future! Shall it be yours? Oh, that I could hear you say in the earnestness of faith, “NO! It shall not be mine. I have halted tong, will halt no longer. This day, this hour, I come to Jesus, and trust His precious blood.”
Happy, blessed soul, you are saved, saved forever. “Thy faith path saved thee, go in peace." You are the Lord's, henceforth. Till He come, follow Him simply. Farewell.
W. T. P. W.

The Folly of Delay

JEMMY was not a bad man as people would say. On the contrary, he was looked upon as a respectable man, a good neighbor, and a pleasant companion. He worked in— Mill, as he had been accustomed for the greater part of his life, attending his work regularly every day, and on Sundays enjoying his day's rest either in his own, or a neighbor's house, where he was ever a welcome guest. But the days grew into weeks, the weeks to months, and the months to years, until Jemmy came to be an old man. And all his life he had never been known to enter any “place of worship." At last he came home one night with very severe pains in his legs, which continued for some time; and his children, alarmed at his sudden illness, tried to induce him as they said, “to prepare for another world." But Jemmy was not ready or anxious to leave this, and told them there was yet plenty of time.
Soon, however, he recovered, and resumed his work as usual. And for a time all went on as before, until one Sunday evening a few weeks after—sitting in his friend's house he produced his pipe for his customary smoke, and finding himself unable to fill it, his friend assisted him, but seeing him look ill, asked what was wrong, to which Jemmy had only time to reply that he felt strange before he fell off his chair to the floor.
Quickly his children and a doctor were summoned to the spot, but all their efforts to restore him were useless. They removed him tenderly and gently to his own house, and did everything in their power to restore him, but he never spoke again, and that very night was summoned into the presence of God!
I have said that he was not considered a bad man. Probably he had never committed any great crime, never stolen or murdered, &c., but he was a neglecter of God's great salvation, he was a rejecter of Christ! Oh, think for a moment of such an one being obliged to stand before God as a judge! No hope then of being able to hide the smallest thing—no, “All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." He knows not only everything you ever said or did, but every thought that ever passed through your mind. And they will all meet you there, where you will not have a word to say, but where you will be obliged to own God's justice in sending you from His presence forever.
Oh! my reader, be assured of this—you must have to do with God one day, either you must be judged before death or after it. If after death, you have no hope, you must be condemned; if before death, you have equally no hope or help in yourself, but God has laid help upon One that is mighty: that mighty One “tasted death for every man." All the waves and billows of God's righteous judgment against sin rolled over Him, and He has come through it all, glorified God in bearing the judgment due to sinners. And now God has glorified Him, and given Him power over death.
Take God's judgment about yourself now, tell Him that you are a sinner, and can't stand in His presence for a moment—judge yourself in His presence now, and you will find that in virtue of that accomplished work on Calvary, He will justify you. Take God at His word, trust Him fully, and you have naught to fear, either for time or for eternity.

The Four Writings of God

Read 2 Cor. 3.
THERE are four places in Scripture where you find God writing, and this third chapter of 2 Cor. gives us one of them. The lesson He would teach in what He does write differs in each of the four places, and according to the theme on which He is writing.
There are various materials, too, my reader, on which God writes, and also various messages that He writes. Would you like Him to come close enough to write upon you? That would be a moment of supreme blessing for your soul. And where would He write? On your heart. And what would He write? What you are to do? What you are to bring to Him? Would He write condemnation, would He write claims or curses? No, He would write Christ. And what would you find that writing to be? It would be as the apostle Paul puts it in this chapter, the ministration of glory, the ministration of righteousness, the ministration of life.
God is writing Christ now on the fleshy tables of the heart in contrast with His writing the law on the tables of stone.
1.—the Writing on the Stone
Look at the first place where you get God writing—the writing on the tables of stone. This writing has its own deep significance. In Ex. 19 where the Lord speaks to the people of Israel of His claims upon them, before ever they hear what those claims are, they make answer, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." Had there been a bit of modesty, a bit of sense of what we are in ourselves, they would have said, “We would like to hear first what God does command." But they say, as it were, “Whatever He commands we are quite able to do." This is the exemplification of the self-sufficiency of the heart of man, which is the very last thing we let go. We like to feel we can be something, do something.
In Ex. 20. we have the law, the Lord asserting His own claims, and the responsibility of man as a creature to meet those claims to God on the one hand, and to his neighbor on the other. The law was the perfection of love towards God and towards your neighbor. Do you think on this ground you could win eternal life? I could not, May be your neighbor's house caught fire lately. Was not the first thought of your heart this, “I am very thankful it is not my house "? Is that loving your neighbor as yourself? The moment you bring in law you put people far from God (Ex. 20:18). “And when the people saw, they removed and stood afar off." The law was never meant to bring people to God. If the law could have given life, where would have been the need of the Gospel? The moment the law comes in you have thunderings and lightnings, and thick darkness, and the people standing afar off, for the law can only curse, can only condemn. It is the "ministration of death," the” ministration of condemnation." The law comes and makes its claims upon me, and when I cannot answer its claims it condemns me.
In Ex. 24:12, Moses goes up to the mount to get this law, and in Ex. 31:18 we read that God gave to Moses two tables of testimony, tables of stone, " written with the finger of God." The tables of stone are the presentation to man of the claims God makes upon man, and when man puts himself under law, he says, as the people of Israel said, " I am able to answer to those claims.”
But people forget that the law has a curse connected with it, " For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.”
What, then, is the value of the law? Rom. 3:19 answers us: “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." What is the object of God? To stop my mouth, and make me know that I am guilty. “Therefore, by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Does the law give me the knowledge of God? Does it give me everlasting life? Never. It gives me the knowledge of what His claims are, but neither creation nor law will let me know the nature or the heart of God, “By the law is the knowledge of sin." The law came in to raise the question of righteousness.
We think much of ourselves God says, “You think you are able to meet all my claims. I will show you what you are," and the law came in to do it. The test comes in and reveals what the state of man is. No sooner is the law given, than it is broken. Before Moses came down from the Mount, Aaron had made the golden calf, and the people danced around it; the first commandment was broken. Boasting, then, is excluded, man is found guilty, and the Apostle says, “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
The law comes in to teach us that we have no strength to do the thing we ought to do, and therefore to strip us of self-righteousness (Rom. 5:20). But “where sin abounded grace did much more abound." That is glorious. When the law had come and stirred up the evil in man's heart to convict him that he was nothing but a guilty sinner, then grace comes, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, and He meets in grace and blesses the very sinner, whom the law has convicted of his guilt.
Do you think, my, reader, that you can be justified by the law, that you can get right with God by your good, respectable, religious life? Look at what the apostle says in the Epistle to the Galatians. In the Epistle to the Romans you have the Apostle unfolding the relation of the sinner to God, but in Galatians he is addressing those who, having professed Christ, were going back to try and get justified by the law, and he says, "By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." If, then, you are thinking you can be justified by anything you can do, or be, for God, see how diverse your plan is from that of the Apostle Paul. Can I go to the law to get justification? Nay I can get judgment, I can get condemnation by it, but never justification. “As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse," If I do not meet its claims entirely, it can only minister condemnation and death.
“What good was the law?" you ask. Gal. 3:19 says," It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." It was added to the promise which God give to Abraham, the promise to bless It came in to raise the question of righteousness, to show man he had no righteousness, and therefore no right to the blessing; that the blessing came out of the grace of God's own heart; and when man is brought down to see that he is guilty, and has no right to the blessing, and lets go his own righteousness, then he is in a condition where God can meet and bless him. When God spoke to Abraham He spoke out of His own heart before law had come in at all.
What then, my reader, can I get from the tables of stone? Nothing but condemnation.
Now we will look for a moment at another place where God wrote.
2.—the Writing on the Wall
Dan. 5 Here we have a very solemn scene of daring impiety and foolishness. Belshazzar drinks with his lords around him, out of the vessels that had been brought out of the house of God. Here we have, not a religious person, trying to be justified by his own good deeds, but a careless, godless, unconverted man. And for such has God no message? He has. Look at Dan. 5, “In the same hour came fort fingers of a man's hand and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace; and the king saw the part oi the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” Oh, my reader, how God can break in on your worldliness, how He can break in on your carelessness or your impiety. This careless man was troubled. That hand-writing, in an unknown language, was a testimony from God. He was a terrified and affrighted sinner, and so would you be, my reader, if you saw death come in view, come up close to you. You may go on carelessly now, but the day is coming when God will pull you up, and then your countenance will be changed, your thoughts will be troubled, you too will be affrighted.
There is a reckoning day coming, unconverted reader. You will have to face God sooner or later, and when you meet Him by-and-bye, a sinner in your sins, you will read your doom as plainly as Belshazzar read the words on the plaster on the wall. Oh, think of the road you are traveling—for it is the road to hell—and you will wake up one day to find that the day of grace is over, the Day of Judgment commenced; that for you there is no longer a way of salvation, but only a way of eternal damnation.
Daniel says to Belshazzar, “Thou hast lifted up thyself against the God of heaven.... and hast praised the gods of silver..... and the God in whose hands thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” What are your gods, my reader? Your gads are the things that command you, be they pleasures, or business, or whatever they be. Daniel tells Belshazzar he has not humbled his heart, and has not glorified God. Have you ever humbled your heart, or glorified God? Nay, nay, you have lifted yourself up, and the God in whose hands thy breath is has been never thought of. But let God only speak this day, and what then? The place that knows you now, shall know you no more forever.
This was the writing on the wall: “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” Thy days are numbered. Who can say that this is not your case—your days numbered and finished, my unblessed, unsaved reader? “Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting." Yes, unconverted reader, God looks into your heart and finds no Christ there. He weighs you and finds you wanting. Your days are numbered, and God knows you are not fit for eternity.
Belshazzar disregarded the writing on the wall. He contented himself with making Daniel a great man, and went on with his feast, and we know the result—that very night he was slain. The enemy entered under those very gates that seemed to defy the foe, after first diverting the course of the river, as history tells us, and Belshazzar met his doom. Yes, my friend, Belshazzar disregarded the warning, but do not you disregard it.
3.—the Writing on the Ground
There is again another place where the finger of God writes, and this we have recorded in John 8. A lovely scene it is. They bring to Jesus a poor guilty woman that He may condemn her, and what does lie do? " He stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground," and then He says, the one that is sinless is the only one that can cast the stone at her, and this working on their consciences they all went out, and the sinless One who alone could cast the stone, and the guilty convicted sinner are left together.
The writing on the ground has to me this significance here, as though Jesus would show that when law could only condemn the guilty sinner, grace in His own person comes in, and as the Psalmist says, “Thou has brought me into the dust of death." In order to meet and bless the guilty condemned sinner He Himself must go into the dust of death, the sinner's place.
When the writing on the tables of stone could only condemn, and when the writing on the wall could only ring out the sentence of judgment, then this blessed One Himself comes down into the very dust of death. Not to condemn, but to seek and to save. He came down to save. Has He saved you, my reader, yet?
Do you ask, how does He save? This third chapter of 2 Cor. shows you. God saves on the ground of the finished work of Christ; and now from an ascended living Christ in glory you have the Holy Ghost coming out and ministering—what? That God does not claim anything from you, but brings something to you, that though the condemnation and the judgment have been pronounced, yet His blessed Son has come down and gone to the cross for us. All the claims of God, and the judgment of God have been met there by Him, and the One who was upon the cross for your sins, is now alive in glory, and the Holy Ghost comes down and says, what we have in the fourth writing.
4.—the Writing on the Heart
The Holy Ghost says, I will write Christ on your heart. He will not write now what God claims from you, or the sentence of judgment upon you because you have not met those claims. He is not now even writing what Christ can do, or will do; but now He speaks to you of what Christ has done, and if you receive Him, He writes Christ in your heart. It is all Christ. Christ has borne sins, Christ has taken the curse of the law, Christ has taken the judgment of God, Christ has gone into the dust of death, and now the Holy Ghost seeks to write Christ on your heart. God's thoughts are all about Christ, and He is looking for hearts on which He may write Christ. Dear believer, Jesus died for you, Jesus met all God's claims in righteousness for you, Jesus stood in your stead, and bore all that you would have had to bear.
Reader, may the Holy Ghost write Christ on your heart to-day, if He never has before, and the effect of His writing in the fleshy tables of your heart will be that Christ will be seen in you. P. W.

From Darkness to Light

THE purpose of God is to save and to bless man, and this comes out at the time when we might least have expected it. At the call and conversion of Saul of Tarsus, as related in the 26th chapter of the Acts, we read that the Lord had appeared to him for a purpose (19 v.) to make him a minister, and a witness, not of judgment, but of blessing. Now, a little before that time, God's Son had been crucified and rejected from the earth. Messages of grace from heaven by the mouth of Peter, and the testimony of Stephen, were equally refused, the latter sealing his witness with his blood. Saul of Tarsus was of the company of his enemies that stoned him to death.
What should we have expected after all this from God? Surely the immediate outpouring of His judgment. Not so. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world. So, soon after, this very Saul of Tarsus is arrested on the journey from Jerusalem to Damascus, as one who was to be the witness of grace on God's part to man; for He was, and is, bent upon blessing.
So the Lord in glory said to him, " I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these thing which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified.” And he was to go forth and tell them that all this full cap of blessing should be theirs individually, on the simple principle of “faith that is in me" (Acts 26:16-18).
And Saul went forth and continued witnessing that Christ had suffered, and risen again from the dead, according as the prophets and Moses had said, in order to show light to the people and to the Gentiles (22, 23 v.). For indeed gross darkness had set in, since He who was the Light of the world had been put out of it.
Now this sets forth the condition the world is in to-day. It is under the blinding power of Satan, who is its god (2 Cor. 4:4.) Darkness, gross darkness, pervades the whole scene (Eph. 6:12). It was at this very time that God Himself came in and declared what He had done. He who is slow to judgment, who delighteth in mercy, tinned that dark deed of man, in placing Christ upon the cross, into the occasion of His richest blessing, even of His having been made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), to bear the penalty of the very sin that put Him there, and to bear sins in His own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).
Christ has suffered He died, was buried, and rose again (1 Cor. 15:3, 4), and on that ground, the gospel, light, life, and salvation, are now addressed to you. This is God's power unto salvation to every one that believeth (Rom. 1:16), Row simple!
FROM THE POWER OF SATAN TO GOD. We may look at the case of the poor demoniac, whose name was Legion, as a wonderful illustration of this great salvation from the power of Satan to God. In the account in Luke 8:27, we read that Jesus when down here, “met a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.” Further, in the 29th verse, “he was kept bound with chains, and in fetters and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.”
“His name was Legion, because many devils were entered into him" (30 verse). What a terrible picture of man in his natural state. Not that every individual is possessed by the devil in the same way, yet every one, however he may boast of his freewill, is really captive to that dreadful enemy, the god. of this world, that old serpent (Rev. 20:2) And, as Legion had had devils a long time, so man's condition has been such a long time; yea, ever since the entrance of sin, when he disobeyed God in Eden, and became the prey of the tempter. We are born in this slavery and thralldom.
Legion also ware no clothes. Man, woman or child, all are naked sinners in the sight of God. He abode not in any house. He was, indeed, an outcast, as the sinner is from the only sure dwelling place, the presence of God. His dwelling place was in the tombs; fit description of what this world is, one vast graveyard. Where are all the generations of men that lived before the present one? All, with two exceptions, died and were buried. Do you believe these solemn realities? They are the truth, and if you apply them to yourself, do not put the truth away from you, from a feeling of despair, for there is salvation even for you.
Then the poor man was bound with chains and in fetters— the restraints his fellow men put upon him—but he brake them, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness, and would have been driven sooner or later to destruction, had not deliverance come. There are many agencies in the world emanating from man, to keep order, and check the evil in him to-day.
Take any place in this so-called Christian country, and compare the general condition of things amongst the professors of the day. Compare Saturday night of the week with the Sunday, and say if there is not such a chain as religious restraint. The demands of society, education, temperance, what my neighbor may think of me, the fear of man, are all restraints. Yet, withal, restraints good or bad, do not deliver; man's state remains the same.
Oh my reader, be not deceived. by the sight of your eyes, or otherwise, but believe the word of God, and look at things as they are, and see also in the driving, racing, competing condition of the world to-day, the devil already driving his victims in the wilderness, soon to land them in everlasting destruction in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). Do not be the devil's dupe, when God warns you plainly, but take your place as a poor helpless sinner, and learn how you may be eternally delivered. Where was this poor man's deliverance?
Jesus meets him He, in whom reposed the power of God, draws near. What was the effect? "What have I to do with thee?" poor Legion cries out, "I beseech thee, torment me not." Do you feel like this? How often, when Christ is introduced, men feel it is tormenting them. Speak of Him, and you are a troubler. Yes, man finds the presence of Satan more easy to be borne than the presence of God. Beloved, do you in your heart, say to Jesus to-day, “What have I to do with Thee?" Let me tell you, that you must have to do with Him, now or hereafter. May it be, like this poor man, now. Jesus commanded, and by His word, the unclean spirit departs out of him.
The Gospel now is the power of God for this purpose, and soon the same man that besought Jesus not to torment him, besought Him that he might remain with Him. What a change! and it is a change to be delivered from the power of Satan to God.
The lookers on, and those that joined them (Luke 8:35). gaze upon the wondrous work of God. They see the poor man sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: the only place where rest is to be found, for Jesus says, "Come unto me, and I will give you rest.” God also has provided the best robe of the Father's house for the repentant sinner, Christ Himself. They see him in his right mind. Man never has right thoughts of anything, till he is brought back to God. What a deliverance! And Christ, my rest and peace. Christ, of God, made unto me righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30), and the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), instead of my own. Surely, he can only need one thing more, as every true-hearted Christian must desire that is, to be with the One who has wrought all these marvels, and displayed such love.
Yet is there an interval before this may be. The men of Gadara would not have Jesus. He departed from them for a season: so has He, from this world that refused Him; and, until return, He bids us, as he did poor Legion, to tell what great things God has done for us; first, to friends at home (Mark 5:19), and then it is our privilege to publish God's glad tidings abroad. And when Jesus returns a second time (Heb. 9:28), there will be, as was found at Gadara (Luke 8:40), a people who (not like the Jews, who will receive Him when they see Him, but who) have received Him, and are waiting for Him—God's Son from heaven—who cometh quickly to receive His own to Himself (Rev. 22:20). May you, my reader, be amongst the happy number who will be caught up to meet Him in the air Thess. 4:15-17), and by the only means, on our part, "faith that is in me," i.e., Christ (Acts 26:18).
J. S. C.

From Death Unto Life

I WAS in my 21st year—was ambitious, self-seeking—my heart and mind being so wholly engrossed by this world that I was indifferent to nearly all which did not promise me temporal advancement.
My prospects were good, and I had just secured a berth as passenger on board of a vessel about to sail from New York to Texas. The same evening, I saw Forrest, the popular American tragedian, act, in one of his famed pieces, in which he personated, with applause, a renowned Indian chief and warrior.
I bore a high moral character, nevertheless was I utterly destitute of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and although admitted as a communicant in the Church of— , I was, in God's sight, dead in trespasses and, sins. That night, I retired late to bed, and, as was my wont, without eating or drinking. I found it impossible to fall asleep, my thoughts being busy with my approaching separation from my loving parents, whom I was not likely to see afterward in this life. My mind pictured to itself their future lonely path, at a distance from all their children. With feelings of deep gratitude, mingled with poignant remorse, I recalled their tender care of me, their unceasing devotion, while I reproached myself with many failures of duty towards them! At length sleep came to my relief, and then it was that God, in love and mercy, laid His hand upon me to bar my path, and to turn me in the opposite direction.
The following morning I awoke later than usual, and suffering from a severe headache. Later in the day I learned that, for several months, I must relinquish my cherished hopes, plans, and visions, in order to recruit my seriously threatened health, and that instead of embarking for Texas, I ought to proceed to England for rest. I consented to do so, and there it was that the Lord in His grace met me, for the saving of my soul.
For weeks after the above defeat of my projects, I was as an imprisoned animal, 'vainly struggling against the power which held it in captivity. Neither by day nor by night did I cease to fret and worry myself, thereby adding to the excitement of my overdone brain, and depriving myself of needed rest and sleep. Truly was I like the troubled sea, tossing to and fro. My over-anxiety betrayed itself in my careworn looks. It made me thoroughly miserable. With cause I apprehended an attack of brain fever, and lest I should become delirious and commit self-destruction, I took the precaution of placing my razors, &c., where they could not be readily got at by me during the night.
At last, one Sunday evening in London, I was pacing the room, my mind busy as usual, desiring rest, while utterly unable to find it. The blessed institution of one day in seven divinely set apart passed before me. With regret I pondered that I was excluded from the rest of mind which others had, and that even refreshing rest in sleep was denied me. It occurred to me that the tumult incessantly raging within me must soon drive me mad.
Almost in despair and in bitterness of heart, I said aloud, but with constrained calmness “It has been remarked that without rest on one day in seven, man cannot long continue to work without sustaining serious injury to health.” “Yes," was the instant reply of the only other person in the room, “and you have much need to bear it in mind—Don't you forget what you have just said." These words were such a home-thrust to me that I immediately left the room, went to my bedroom, there fell upon my knees, and with a broken heart entreated. God to give me the rest I so much needed, but which I was helpless to procure for myself. He did so at once, and I left that room with a weight removed from my mind, and slept soundly the following night. Within one week thence, He brought me under deep conviction of sin, and taught me to look to the Saviour of sinners for salvation.
Some months more elapsed ere I learned in measure what a full, free, complete salvation had been wrought out for me upon the cross. Meantime, my own ignorance and legality kept me in slavish bondage, although even then a believer in the Lord. Jesus Christ.
It was in a town, upon the banks of the River Seine, that the Lord sent me light and dispelled the thick darkness which kept me looking to self and my own doings. I was dismayed at the discovery that all my repentance could avail me nothing, that my motives tainted it; and that in God's sight it was even sin—instead of, as I had fancied, entitling me to God's favor. Must I then begin again, and do all from other motives. It is done, Jesus Christ Himself hath done it, I have but to believe, shot athwart my mind with divine power, for He said upon the cross. "It is finished." This brought joy and liberty to me—the liberty of a child of God, redeemed and adopted as a son. Previously to the above I had been some time in Paris. The attractions it presented had become in my eyes but worthless husks, unworthy of regard, and I turned my back upon them with disdain and utter disrelish.
I never returned to America, the Lord had another path for me to follow. Both my parents remained with me, and expired under my roof, confessing the Lord Jesus Christ Well on to forty years have elapsed since I was brought as above from darkness to light, from spiritual death to be a partaker of eternal life—and what a God. of grace, compassion, tenderness, and love has He ever since shown Himself to me I What peace and rest has He given me, aye, what joy instead of the harassing unrest, the unceasing disquiet and the weary tossings to and fro which I brought upon myself, and which He in grace removed from me, when they had well-nigh sunk me to despair.
Reader, do you know God? If not, “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace.”
F. D. U. L.

Futile Efforts

(Read Jonah 1)
IS the reader of this one who is desirous of feeling himself freed from the fear of the wrath of God, and who is going about to do something to attain this? Your case, dear friend, is then met by what you see befel this crew. They find themselves threatened by a fearful storm, which is about to overwhelm them. They strive to save themselves by lightening the ship it is in vain in a sort of interlude, they learn that if they throw Jonah into the sea, which threatens to destroy them, all will be well. Treating this with incredulity, they turn again to themselves, and do their best, by rowing, to reach the shore. Failure again. At last, driven to the last extremity, they determine to carry out Jonah's directions, and throw him into the raging deep. The result is an immediate cessation of the storm, and all is quiet. The voice of praise and thanksgiving ascends.
Unconverted one, who is your Jonah? Even Jesus. He is offered to you now. Do not, like these sailors, put any trust in yourself, in the efforts which you may put forth. See how vain they were here. Have you any reason for thinking that you will be any more successful than others before you, who have tried the same thing? Jesus, you know, has borne on the Cross the wrath which God must otherwise pour out upon you. You do not come under condemnation if you believe (Rom. 8:1), for Jesus has already borne the wrath instead of you. But, remember, if you do not believe, wrath abideth on you (John 3:36).
Notice the tardiness and unwillingness of these men to take advantage of the way of escape put before them. Why was this? Is it not that they did not like to think that they could only be saved by giving up their own efforts, and acknowledging themselves as helpless. To say, “I am powerless," is more than the natural man can bring himself to do. Yet it must be done. Remember what the alternatives are complete surrender of yourself, with everlasting happiness in the presence of Christ, or a pampering of yourself by giving way to your pride, and with everlasting torment in the flames of hell, with Satan as your associate! There is no middle way. Do not let the devil persuade you for a moment to put off your decision, but let it be made at once, and let it be finally done. No half-heartedness in the things of Christ will do.
I would say a word to the careless, to the indifferent. Have you ever had your character written out in the hard, uncompromising lines of truth? I have. Shall I tell you where? Yours is there also. I speak plainly, for it is the matter of your soul's salvation, and I must be earnest.
We see, then, our character as natural men in Rom. 3:10-19. The judgments of such you may find in Rom. 1:18; 2:8, 9. Look at them, and may God's Holy Spirit open your eyes.
“He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him " John 3:36).
“The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
G. A. VAN S.

God's Character the Believer's Hope

A CHRISTIAN woman, when on her death-bed, said, in answer to a questioner, "The character of God is between my soul and hell.” Blessed fact! “God is just, and the justifier of Him that believeth in Jesus.”
Now, what is the character of God as revealed in the scriptures? First: “God is love," and second," God is Light "—so we read in the first Epistle of St. John, and, in this double way as combining these two qualities, is God made known to us. I speak first of "Love," although, as to actual statement, it occurs second in the Epistle referred to, for, whatever the judgments by which the dealings of God have been marked, such as the flood, &c., yet it has pleased Him to express His nature in the gift of His Son—a fact which in itself proves that His judicial dealings do not spring from malice. Sin calls for correction, but God, whilst punishing the sin, pities the sinner, and mercifully seeks by correction, to make known the malignity of sin, and thus to turn the soul to Himself. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." Greater proof could not be asked nor given of the immensity of God's love.
The first effect of sin was to lead man to distrust God. They “hid themselves amongst the trees of the garden." Such is never the way of confidence. But sin produced a suspicion of God, and from that moment to this the love of God is doubted by the natural heart. It is a remarkable fact, that in the whole range of heathen mythology there cannot be found an idea of love in the “gods many" to whom bloody sacrifices are offered in abundance, or self-abnegation practiced, in order to appease an outraged deity. There is the need of Christianity to dispel such darkness, and to whisper into our hearts the glorious truth, "God is Love," and if, in Christianity, a sacrifice be necessary, if "the Son of Man must be lifted up," by whom was that sacrifice given? He was “the Lamb of God." The grace of God provided what His justice demanded, "Deliver from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom," "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Such is the uniform voice of the gospel. God is the blessed Giver, and Christ the precious Gift, and this for the benefit of those who hated God. What grace! Oh! that such a Gospel might be sounded over the surface of the earth, might overtake the lie published in Eden, might chase away the dark night clouds of heathenism, Mahommedanism, and apostate Christendom " "God is Love," "God is Love!”
Ah! true, the heart of man may not believe it. He may look at God through the gloomy medium of his sins, sorrows, and trials, may say, How can God love me, when His ways with me are so hard? Well, we are prone to forget that whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, that—
“Behind a frowning providence{br}He hides a smiling face.”
and that, if we use such a medium our souls must be filled with distraction. “Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and ye have seen the end of the Lord.”
But providence is not a full exponent of the heart of God. It is only at the cross that His love is fully discovered. “God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." When, by grace, the soul rests there, then God is known, and the difficulties introduced by sin are all removed. “We have known and believed the love that God hath toward us.”
My reader, have you yet known and believed that love? Do you know the God who has thus revealed Himself?
But there is another side. "God is. Light.” Now light makes manifest, and when the truth of God shines upon the heart, how it discloses the evil therein! Darkness flies before light, and God is intolerant of sin. Hence the word "judgment," and hence, too, God is called the "Judge of all." Were God only Love, there would be no hell—were He only Light, there would be no heaven, saving for those who never fell. Again, were He only Love, the heaven gained by such as we, would be without holiness, justice and truth; and were He only Light, the hell awarded would be fully deserved indeed, but it would be rather the fiat of Omnipotence than a retribution for sin which must commend itself to the conscience of the lost. Man has sinned—you, I, have sinned—our demerit is infinite. God is Light! These are terrific facts—but they must be accepted. Man hates them, would close his eyes to them. I heard of someone who asked a bookseller for the wall-text, "God is Light." He replied, “It is not in stock; it would not sell!" Ah! does not this reveal the state of the heart?
Yet "God is Light," and therefore the expulsion from Eden, the Flood, the captivity of Israel, and many minor judgments; " God is Light," and therefore the cross—where He, who knew no sin, was made sin for us—where the Son of Man who must be lifted up was lifted up, and where the foundation was laid for the blessing of man. "God is Light," and therefore the "great white throne," with its awfully solemn circumstances of judgment; “God is Light," and therefore the “lake of fire which is the second death," a death from which there is no resurrection, but where the punishment is everlasting.
But now the question arises—What can Love do in order to satisfy the claims of Lights and then indulge itself in saving the sinner? The Cross is the answer. There the punishment of sin was borne by the sinless One, and the way opened for Love to bless, in perfect righteousness, all who believe.
"So Justice now demands no more,{br}And Mercy yields her boundless store.”
“God is just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.”
No marvel that the cross has been called "the moral wonder of the universe." Creation displays the power of God—law His holiness providence His inscrutability, but at the Cross we see the meeting-place of Light and Love— all that God is in nature, judging sin in Him who knew no sin in order that Love, in all its blessed fullness, might roll, like a torrent, over a guilty world, and. make salvation from a well merited hell, the portion sure and certain of him that believes.
And thus it is that the character of God is the blessed security of the believer.
“That which can shake the cross{br}May shake the peace it gave,{br}Which tells me Jesus never died,{br}And never left the grave.
"Till then my peace is sure,{br}It will not, cannot, yield,{br}Christ Jesus died and rose again,{br}On this firm rock I build.”
J. W. S.

God's Salvation — Who It Is for

THE Lord has given His very best gift from heaven for that which is most unlovely on earth, for, “He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” “Christ died for the ungodly.”
"Ungodly!" What a title! and yet it is the title of every human being "under the sun.” There is no exception to it. Born in sin; children of wrath by nature; made sinners by the disobedience of one man; possessors of deceitful hearts; and enemies, too, of God—all, all possess by nature, the title of "ungodly," a title given by the unerring word of the Living God.
But all possess this title by practice as well by nature, for “there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “All we, like sheep, have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way." "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." As the tree is known by its fruit, so is a man known by his acts. “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right." That all have, therefore, sinful natures and sinful hearts is manifested in the life of everyone, even of the amiable and moral, as well as in the openly wicked and godless. All have lived "without God," all have minds at "enmity with God," "all have sinned,” therefore all are under condemnation.
How slow men are to understand and to acknowledge these facts! How slow to take the common ground assigned to them by God's faithful word! Truly “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed, can be So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” The law has tested the very best and most religious sample of mankind (the Jews), and proved it to be utterly bad. “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it says to them who are under the law (the Jews), that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." “All tile world," therefore, stand in the sight of" the Judge of all the earth," on the same ground, and in the same position, as the sample taken therefrom.
Thus, dear unsaved reader, you, as part of the world, are like one who, condemned to death, is awaiting the day of his execution, for, having sinned, you are "guilty before God,” and "condemned already." The sentence of “death passed upon all men" (Rom. 5:12) is passed upon you, and as "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after that the judgment,” so your death, if you "die in your sins," will not be the mere crumbling of your body to dust; but the eternal separation of body and souls (Luke 12:5) from Him, in whose presence there is fullness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Man will not—cannot, cease to exist, being in direct relationship to God as His offspring (Acts 17:29), and possessed of a "living soul' —the result of the Lord God breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. This manner of communicating life was performed towards man alone, who was thereby rendered a partaker of that which proceeded directly from God. The Scriptural meaning of death, morally, is not, therefore, a ceasing to exist, but separation from the. INFINITELY, ETERNALLY HOLY God, and is the consequence of sin which, of necessity, separates from Him who is the only Source and Giver of life. God, moreover, is INFINITELY, ETERNALLY RIGHTEOUS, so that not only must divine holiness expel sin, but divine justice must punish it, for God can, by no means clear the guilty. At the awful tribunal of Rev. 20—the Great White Throne—the unpardoned sinner will be judged “according as his works shall be" by Him who “shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
But not only is God, infinitely holy and infinitely just, He is likewise INFINITELY MERCIFUL—"A just God and a Saviour." All His attributes are equal, they could not be otherwise. It was His gracious will that a way for the sinner be made back to Himself; so, in the greatness of His love, " He devised a means whereby His banished ones be not expelled from Him" (2 Sam. 14:14)." He gave His only begotten Son," who, "though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be made rich.” “Obedient unto death," He was" made sin;” and, by "enduring the cross," and upon it, drinking to the very dregs the bitter cup, the forsaking of His God (Psa. 22:1), satisfied all the requirements of divine justice in regard to sin. Having “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself," He rose again, and is set down “at the right hand of the Majesty on high"— a sure and certain proof that all is fully done, and that now, for every believing sinner, “GRACE REIGNETH THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
The ground on which God can bless the sinner having been laid, viz., the death and resurrection of Christ, “the grace of God brings "' (Titus 2:11)." common salvation” within the reach of "whosoever will" accept it—"common," because, like “the righteousness of God "(Rom. 3:22) it is" unto all,” although it only benefits those who receive it, To such it is an "eternal salvation," for it bestows upon the recipient thereof the blessed gift of "eternal life" (Rom. 6:23). This is not a mere eternal existence which even the devils and the damned possess; but a capacity of knowing and enjoying God forever. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou past sent" (John 17:3). O sinner! " Acquaint now thyself with God, and be at peace," for ere long " the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God " (2 Thess. 1:7, 8). But, remember, that in order to know God you must come to Him by Christ, who said, " No man cometh unto the Father but by Me (John 14:6), and to come to Christ you must own your condition as a sinner—a lost sinner, for " He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance;
“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost;" “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
But more—this salvation is a “Great Salvation." It plucks the sinner as a brand from the burning; delivers him from everlasting woe; brings him to the everlasting God; places him securely in the everlasting arms, and gives him to drink freely of the refreshing streams of “the living water," whereof, if a man drink, “he shall never thirst.”
My reader, CHRIST is this Salvation. One of old could say, “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation." Aged Simeon testified to God (when, in the Temple, he took the infant child Jesus in his arms), “Mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation." The Saviour who ate" with publicans and sinners," entered the house of Zacchæus the chief among the publicans, with these words” This day is Salvation come to this house." And, from the throne of God in heaven, the repentant and believing sinner may hear, by faith, the voice of the Risen and Glorified Christ saying to him, " I am thy Salvation.”
Oh! surely, " where sin abounded grace did much more abound," for God." hat h made Him (Christ), who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him " (2 Cor. 5:21).
Sinner I Repent and believe the Gospel!
N. L. N.

Going to Glory.

HAVING been requested to visit a Roman Catholic woman, who was then lying very ill in the Infirmary at E— with an attack of rheumatic fever, and quite unconcerned about her soul, after very much prayer that the Lord would use me in blessing, I set out one afternoon in the winter of 1880, with the hope of seeking her out, and having a word with her.
Not having, however, been able to ascertain rightly the ward in which she was, after a long and fruitless search, I was directed to one where I fully expected to see her but on entering it, and finding myself mistaken, I determined to give up the search for the present, and speak instead to a few in that ward. Looking round, my eyes rested on the occupant of a bed near the door, a young girl about twenty, and advancing towards her, I asked how long she had been in the hospital, and if she felt herself better? Thinking I had mistaken her for the person I had been in search of, she looked up, and smiling, said, “If you please, ma'am, you have made a mistake, I am not Mrs. M.;" whose name I had mentioned on entering the ward.
“Oh, I know that," I replied,” but as I have not succeeded in finding Mrs. M., and the Lord seems to have directed me here instead, I shall visit in this ward to-day.”
I then entered into a little conversation with her, and finding her willing to be spoken to, took a seat by her bedside. She told me she was from the far north, was quite a stranger in E—, having no near relative here but an aunt, and had only come into the hospital two days before. Seeing that she was in great suffering, I remarked what a blessed thing it was to be able to turn to the Lord Jesus in sickness and trouble, and asked her if she knew what it was to trust Him, and to turn to Him with confidence, and say, “MY LORD, AND MY GOD.”
“I am trying to know Him," she replied.
“Tell me now, how are you trying to know Him?”
“By trying to keep His commandments,” she answered.
“And do you succeed?" I said. “Do you find yourself able to keep His commandments?”
“Oh no, indeed," was her reply.
“Well, then, what good is there in your ` trying,' when you have no power to do so? Until you come to Jesus, as a poor helpless sinner, and take Him as your Saviour, trusting in His finished work alone on the Cross for you, you will have no power at all to do a single thing pleasing to Him, as man in his natural state is capable of doing what is only hateful to God, not being sufficient even to think a good thought, until by grace he receives that new nature, which the Lord bestows on every poor sinner who believes on Him. No amount of good works performed, when there is no saving knowledge of Jesus, can be acceptable to God, for He says, All your righteousnesses are as filthy rags,' and you know," I said," we could not dare to offer God filthy rags! We could not dare to approach such a GREAT AND HOLY BEING AS HE IS with any supposed righteousness of our own, "and opening my Bible, I said," Listen now to what God's opinion is concerning man," and read the following Scriptures:— Job 15:14-16; 25:4-6; Rom. 3:9-19.
Then I went on to show her how God in His wondrous grace, helpless as man's condition by nature was, had devised the means for his salvation, and thus opened the way, whereby the, vilest sinner could. approach Him with boldness and confidence.
Turning to John 3:16, and reading it twice over very slowly so as to give her time to take in its full meaning, I tried to explain God's willingness and readiness to save man, by showing Himself in the character of a GIVER.
“God," I said, “unasked, GAVE His only begotten, well-beloved Son, that WHOSOEVER (which means you, me, or anybody else), believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!' Would you not like to have everlasting life, and to know that all your sins are washed away, and will never be brought up in the judgment against you?
"Oh yes, indeed, I would, dear lady," she replied, "but I thought no one could ever know whether their sins were forgiven till after death.”
"Well, let us look again at God's Word," I said, "and see what we are taught there, for, though you and I may make many mistakes, yet God never makes any, and the things which He intends us to know are told us very plainly.”
I then turned to John 5, and read the 24th verse, " Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death, unto life," and turning also to the 1st Epistle of St. John, I read the 11th, 12th, and 13th verses of the 5th chapter, and said, " You now have been hearing His word, but do you BELIEVE IT?”
While tears coursed their way down her cheeks, with a tremulous voice she replied, “Oh, dear lady, I wish to believe it, I wish to believe it! How kind of you to take such an interest in a poor servant girl like me; I never had any one to speak so plainly and faithfully to me before, about my soul, but I remember a young man, who came in the boat with me from W— said something to me like what you have said, but as he did not explain the Scriptures, I could not understand him. Will you pray for me, dear lady, and come again to see me? Do promise me that you will?”
After assuring her, that I certainly would be happy to do both, the Lord permitting me, I rose to leave, for the visiting hour was over, and I was afraid I might perhaps have already wearied her.
Bidding her goodbye, I said, “I shall leave you these two Scriptures particularly, to think ever, John 3:16, and 5:24 and if the Lord spare me, I shall hope to call again in about a week's time and see you." Offering her a small cake which I had held in my hand, I said, “Will you accept this?”
Seemingly touched with the kindness, she took it gratefully, and looking up into my face with a sweet smile, uttered a hearty, “Thank you, dear lady.”
Returning her smile, I bent over her, and said, "What did you do just now?" With a little look of surprise, she replied, "You gave me the cake, and. I took it." "Yes, “I said, “and thanked me for it! Now, can you not in the same simple way, accept the gift of Everlasting Life, that God has this day employed me, as His messenger, to offer you, by taking Christ as your Saviour, and bless and thank Him for it? “I then shook her hand once more, promising again to come and see her, and left.
Two days after our last interview, I set out once more to the hospital, As I entered the ward, and approached her bedside, it was easy to tell at a glance that a great change had taken place in her. I determined, however, to make, no remark, but to leave her to break the silence first.
With her face beaming full of joy, and her hand stretched out ready to greet me, she raised herself up in bed, and said, " Oh, dear lady, I am so happy to see you, and happy to tell you that I have come to Jesus, and I do believe on Him now as my Saviour. I see that no good works of mine, but Jesus only, can save me. After you left me last Wednesday, I thought over all you had been saying, and read the Scriptures you left with me, and while I laid awake at night, going over all our conversation, for I could not sleep for thinking, about two o'clock in the morning, the light came streaming into my soul, and I can't tell you what I have felt ever since. I was longing for the day to come round again, for you to visit me. I bless God for sending me here, and I feel I shall always love this place now, for it was here that I first learned about Jesus. My pain seems nothing to me now, for my mind is at rest, and everything seems so different. Oh, dear lady, there was no mistake in your coming to this ward, for it must have been God who sent you here. I am longing now to write and tell my dear mother the change that has taken place in me, for I used to say to her, I did not think I should ever be converted, unless I got some great shock, or fright!”
“Well, I said, you see how tender mid gracious the Lord is, for He did not use this way of bringing you to Himself, did He?” Her eyes filling with tears, she replied, “No, Ile did it so sweetly, and oh, dear lady, I do thank you for speaking to me so plainly.”
She lay in the ward some weeks longer, during which time I visited her regularly, and had the opportunity of many interesting conversa. Lions with her, on the things of God, and of watching her growth in spiritual life. After a fortnight spent at the Convalescent Home, she was considered sufficiently recovered to return to her situation in the country, and on leaving, begged me to write to her, and come and see her sometimes, which I promised to do. The family she served, being unconverted, and the village possessing but few spiritual privileges, she naturally felt a great reluctance to return there, but as the place had been kept open for her during her illness, I told her she would be expected to return, but the Lord, I felt sure, would care for her if, in simple dependence on Him, she sought to do her work, and to witness for Him, by a consistent Christian walk, which He might be pleased to own, in blessing to the family.
I kept my promise of writing to her, sending her little books for reading also, and about a month after her return to her situation, having received an urgent request that I would go and see her, went on a day that she had told me, she would be more free.
On ringing the doorbell of the house, which I expected to be answered by herself, the door was opened by a member of the family, whom I asked if I might be allowed to speak to H for a few minutes. With a not very pleasant manner, I was ushered into the drawing-room, where I soon found myself face to face with the master of the house. I told him the object of my call, and said, that having visited his servant during her illness in the Infirmary, I was greatly interested in her, and had promised to call and see her. I should feel obliged, therefore, if it would be convenient for him, to allow me to do so?
Assuming an air of dignity and importance, he informed me that he could not allow me to see his servant. He was master and head of his own house, and had told her that he would not permit any intercourse between us; that no letters, books, or tracts, should be sent to her, and that he had requested her to return to me those she had already received, as he did not agree with me in my teaching, and " what is more "he added," the girl herself does not wish or care about your coming to see her.”
"Would you allow me," I said, "just to see her for two minutes in your presence, and ask her, if that is really her desire?” With a peremptory tone and manner he replied, “No, I will not; my servant is not in any way indebted to you, and you have no claim whatever upon her! I do not know what you have been saying to her, but whatever you have said, seems to have had a very strange effect upon her, and the girl is very different from what she was. She has become so quiet and changed in her manner. Young people should be light-hearted and cheerful, instead of being so thoughtful and grave, as she seems to be!”
“Well "I replied," the knowledge of what God has done for her soul must make her thoughtful and grave,' but she has assured me over and over again, that she has never known what it was to be really happy till now that she has got to know Jesus as her Saviour, for the knowledge of the love of God to her as a poor lost sinner, is the only thing that could produce true happiness, and, "I added," it is only as poor lost sinners, that we must, any of us, come to Him for pardon and salvation I None, who are unwilling to come as such, can ever know the joy of His salvation.”
So saying, and finding that he was determined I should not see his servant, I rose and took my leave.
As days and weeks quickly followed each other, and no tidings came of H. M., I continued in earnest prayer for her, and left her in the Lord's keeping.
After the lapse of about three months, as I was coming out after the meeting one Lord's day morning I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder, and on turning round, was accosted by a friend, who said, “I wish to say something to you for a minute! " Drawing me aside, she added, “There’s a young girl in the infirmary, who is very anxious to see you; she asked me to tell you her name, and. to say that you had kindly visited her before and would be so glad if you could go to her." My heart instantly rose up in praise to the Lord for His goodness in answering prayer so graciously, and I assured my friend that I would lose no time in doing so. Accordingly, a day or two after, I hastened to the hospital, and entered the ward in which she lay. As soon as she saw me, she covered her face with both her hands, and bursting into tears, exclaimed, “Oh, is it true that the answer to my prayer has come at last, and that God has sent you once more to me? Oh, dear lady, how I have been asking Him that we might meet again.”
She then went on to relate a series of annoyances she had been subject to, and how the continual fretting at not being permitted to have any intercourse with me had resulted in the breaking down of her health once more, till she was thankful to find herself again in the hospital. On hearing that she had been a fortnight in the Infirmary, I said, “How is it you did not let me know sooner that you were here?” She replied," After the treatment you received from my master on my account, I was afraid you might not wish or care to have anything more to do with me, but I felt that I really could not exist any longer here without seeing you, so when I listened to what Miss— was saying to another patient in the ward, and found it was just what you had taught me, I thought I would make bold to speak to her. Finding that she knew you, I asked her to let you know that I was here. I have now left my situation," she continued," and no one shall hinder me from seeing you, and enjoying your visits, so, dear lady, promise me, Oh do promise me, that you will come and see me, and read and explain God's word to me as you used to before!”
I did not find it hard to promise this, but as I was on the eve of leaving home for a few weeks, I told her I would write to her while I was away, and 'on my return resume my regular visits, but would ask Miss in the meanwhile to go and see her sometimes.
During my absence I received some touching letters from her, telling me how she was counting the days when I should be back, and speaking of the Lord's goodness to her in the midst of all her suffering and pain, and asking to be remembered much in prayer.
A day or two after I got back, I hastened once more to the hospital, and spent a happy hour with her over God's Word, and from that day visited her regularly every week, with very rare exceptions, up to the time of her death. She used often to say, " When anything troubles or vexes me, or if there is any passage of Scripture I don't understand, I always keep it to talk over on the Wednesday, and I long so for your visits. I hope, dear lady, you don't take it a liberty, but I feel as if I must tell you all that is in my heart!”
Fearing lest she should be leaning too much on an earthly prop, I replied, " Oh, I do not consider it any liberty whatever, and am pleased to have your confidence, still I must remind you, that we are commanded not to put our trust in man; besides which there are times when I could not be near you, but the Lord is ALWAYS at hand, and He is an ever present Friend, and will never disappoint those who trust in Him." Here I quoted Jer. 17:7-9, and Psa. 62:8.
It was beautiful to see her child-like simplicity, and to watch the gradual unfolding of the Spirit's work within.
Thus weeks and months rolled on, and she still continued in the hospital, her health at times seemed to improve, and again to relapse, but she never lost hopes of her ultimate recovery till just a fortnight before her death, when I was speaking to her on Psa. 16. dwelling more on the words, " IN THY PRESENCE IS Fullness OF JOY " She had been listening very attentively to all I had been saying, and with a far-off look in her eyes, which I could not help being struck with at the time, but little did I think then how soon she was to be ushered into that presence, and realize the truth of His own Word! Presently she said, " Excuse my speaking, ma'am, but I think that God is soon going to take me away from here, for I have been feeling so peculiarly happy the last few days, as if I had got a sight of heaven, and could not remain long here now. I am ready to go any moment when God calls me, and do not mind how soon it is. I am sure now, that I shall not get better. There's only one thing I should like if it be the Lord's will, and that is, to see my dear mother once more, for I love my mother as 1 love my life.”
"Would you like me," I said, "to write to her, and tell her your wish?" Fearing lest the sight of a stranger's handwriting might agitate and upset her mother, she replied, “Thank you, dear lady, but I would not like my dear mother to be made anxious on my account, so as I am not very bad, I think I will send her a line myself, and that will cheer her.”
During the next two weeks, sickness at home, together with the severity of the weather, and my own indisposition, prevented my going to see her, though there was scarcely a day but what she was in my thoughts, and remembered also in prayer.
One afternoon a friend called with a message from the infirmary to tell me that a young woman whose name she could not remember, but which I at once guessed, was dying, and wished very much to see me before she passed away.
The intelligence gave me quite a shock, for though she had spoken as she did on the occasion of our last interview, I had not the least idea that death was really so near, for she looked so well and bright! Hastily getting dressed, with the help of my friend's arm, I managed to wade through the deep snow, and was thankful to reach the hospital. On entering the ward, and approaching her bedside, I was met by her mother, who had been telegraphed for from W—, and she shook me by the hand warmly, saying, “She has been asking for you all the time!”
H—lay quite motionless, and her features had assumed a rigid look, with the stamp of death on them, so I thought she was really gone, and that I had come too late!
Presently, however, she opened her eyes, and being told she was quite conscious, though deaf through weakness, I stooped, and speaking into her ear, said, “Miss has come to see you, and bid you good-bye!” At the sound of my voice she made an exclamation of delight, and then I said, “You are going home to be with JESUS!” “Yes," she replied, “I am going to GLORY; and then, in a voice touchingly sweet and almost unearthly, began to sing, " I am going to glory, to GLORY, to GLORY," and as the last note died away she sank back exhausted, though still quite conscious. I quoted the following texts, " Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psa. 116:15), and "Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord from henceforth, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors," &c. (Rev. 14:13), and after a little, I said, "Jesus is very near to you, is He not?” “Yes," she replied, with marked emphasis, "and has been all along! Did I not tell you, Miss— when I last saw you, that I felt so happy, I was sure I was not to be left here long, and you see it has come to pass. Dear lady, give me your hand," and on placing mine in hers, she turned round, and made an effort to embrace me, trying at the same time to say something, but a weak turn came over her, and though her lips moved, I could not catch what she muttered.
Soon after this she began to wander, never losing sight, however, of the fact that her mother and I were watching her. I had sat by her for nearly two hours, and finding that it was getting very late, and also dark, and that nothing could really be done for her, I stooped, and kissing her on the forehead, took a last farewell; then turning round, I said a few words to the weeping mother and the friends, who by this time had gathered round her bed, and left with my heart very full.
I blessed the Lord for enabling His poor weak dying child to testify so brightly to the sweetness of redeeming love, and for permitting me to be a witness of it all, and prayed that fruit might yet redound to His praise and glory!
On the following day, I called again at the Infirmary to gain a few more particulars about her. The nurse met me at the door of the ward, and informed me that she passed away peacefully at five minutes to ten that morning, and that her death had been much felt by all the other patients, for she was much liked and respected, as her conduct had always been so exemplary.
During the latter part of her illness H. was visited by other children of God as well as myself, and was always delighted to enter into conversation with anyone who was willing to instruct her in things of the Lord. Her death took place just two days after the anniversary of her conversion.
In conversation with her dear mother after the funeral, I was told that H. took an early opportunity soon after her arrival from W—, while consciousness lasted, to press the Gospel upon her, and said, " Oh, mother dear, God is a GIVER, and you must come to Him as a receiver," here quoting the very Scripture the Lord had been pleased to use in blessing to her own soul (St. John 3:16), and added, “Don't let your family cares or duties take up your thoughts so much, that you have no time to think about your soul, for your soul is precious, and of far more value than your poor body. Go down upon your knees to God, mother dear, and if you cannot get quiet in this ward to do so, go and shut yourself up where you will not be disturbed, and take Jesus as your Saviour, and bless and thank Him for all His goodness and love to me!”
Reader, whoever you are, into whose hands this paper may fall, if you know not Him as the One who died to save you, will you not come to Him now in the same simple way in which this young girl did, and instead of trusting to your own good works, or waiting till you can better or improve yourself in any way, just take God at His own word. Believe in Jesus Christ, and be saved?
Then you, too, will be able to testify to the preciousness of His love during your life, and in the hour of death be able to say, if not sing, “I am going to glory, to GLORY, to GLORY!”
L. L. M.

The Green Tree and the Dry

(Read Luke 23)
THE wondrous story of the death of the blessed Lord Jesus stands alone in the annals of this world's history, though not alone in the pages of Holy Writ; there it is four times recorded. One short chapter suffices to tell of creation, but, when the birth of Jesus is the theme, God delights to tell it to you twice. Matt. 1 and Luke 1 and 2. are devoted to the lovely tale of the Saviour's birth, but, will once or twice suffice if His death is in question? No! Four times God blessedly tells of the Saviour's death. And why? Because on that death hangs everything, on that death hangs your eternal safety.
We have before us in this chapter one of these records which God has given us of the Saviour's death. And what do we first see?
Oh! what a dreadful thing when you come to ponder it deeply. “And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together, for before they were at enmity between themselves" (v. 12). Oh, my unsaved reader, do not spend your eternity with those who were made friends over the murder of Jesus.
Herod made light of Jesus, and so have you.
Pilate would fain have let Him go, but he was under the power of this world. He looked upon Jesus as one whom he would like to shelter, but he wanted to keep in with Cæsar; and you, my friend, want to keep in with the world. You are thought much of in the circle in which you move, and you would be spoiled were you to become a Christian. Spoiled for what? For this world? Yes, but blessed for eternity.
I have often thought Pilate, in measure, must have known who Christ was. He was not a scoffer, he was a worldly man, and so are you.
You say, "You give me a dreadful character.”
Is it not a true one? The world rules you, and governs you, and you are unwise enough to risk your immortal soul for what does not even make you happy. “Does not make me happy?" you say. No! there is no real happiness without the knowledge of the Saviour, and you know you are not really, truly happy. But now, I say to you, do not be like Pilate. If Pilate could speak to you at this moment what would he say? “Oh, man! oh, woman!
Do not do as I did. I feared the frown of the world. I sided against Jesus. I delivered. Him up to His murderers.”
What was the end of Pilate's vacillating weakness? Jesus was led forth to a graveyard, and we read, “There followed him a great company of people, and of women which also bewailed and lamented him." Oh! what stories could that crowd tell of His goodness.
The women wept as they remembered how He had healed the sick, given sight to the blind, and made the lame to walk. Reader, have you ever wept for Christ? Can you say in the words of that little hymn:
“Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,{br}I wept when the waters went over His soul,{br}Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree{br}Jehovah Tsidkenu'—'twas nothing to me.”
Oh! unsaved soul, weep now for thyself.
Very likely no tear has ever rolled down your cheeks for your own sake. "No," you say, “why should I weep?" Listen, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold the days are coming in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us.”
Yes, beloved friend, I feel assured, if you die in your sins, you will say, " Oh, would that my mother had never brought me forth, would I had never seen the light." You may say to the mountains, "Fall on us," and to the hills, Cover us;" but no, my reader, no mountain or hill can cover you from the face of Him whom you must meet, for Jesus now most tenderly and solemnly adds, "For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be clone in the dry?" (v. 31).
Are you a green tree? Has God had any fruit from you? No! Jesus was the only green tree. From His birth to His death He was true to God. Was there a bit of self in Jesus? Not one bit. He was the absolutely holy One, He was the only One true to God in this scene. Oh, reader, look at Him. He was the "green tree," and God saw the fruit and the sap always coming out from Him.
Was there any sin in Jesus? None! Is there any sin in us? Yes, we are full of sin. Jesus was perfectly devoted to God.
What are you? Devoted to self, and if you are honest you will own it. Christ never thought of self from first to last. “I came not to do mine own will, "I came down to" seek and to save that which was lost," He could truly say. Perfect holiness, perfect truth, perfect love, everything perfect, was in Christ, and yet what does man say? “Away with Him, away with Him," carry Him to the graveyard.
If these things happened to Christ, what will happen to you, unsaved sinner, what lies before you? "But," you say, "Christ never ought to have died." Quite true, but He did. He went into death for the glory of God, and for guilty man, but God raised Him from the dead. And now, I ask again, what will be your end? The sinner's end. Scripture tells us what this is, very plainly. "What shall be done in the dry?”
What happens when you put a dry tree into the fire? Why it is the very thing to burn, and "The wicked shall be turned into hell,” “where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth." A scene where hope never enters, where joy never comes. You say you do not believe it. Very likely, but you will be converted someday. There are no infidels in hell, and no scoffers there, because it is a scene of terrible reality, but its occupants have believed too late. May God write this on your soul as you read this paper.
There are four remarkable "Ifs" in this passage. The first is Christ's, "If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” The other three are the blasphemous “Ifs," of, first, the rulers, then the soldiers, and lastly, the impenitent thief hanging by Christ's side. The rulers mock Him, saying, “He saved others, let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God." But does Ire save Himself? No! Blessed be His name, because He came to save us. Then we read the soldiers mocked Him, saying, “If thou be the King of the Jews, save thyself," but He will not, and lastly one of the malefactors, a bold daring blasphemous infidel “railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.''
He had no faith in the person of Jesus, nor knowledge of his own need. Friend, is this your case? Do you doubt His person? Do you doubt His love? Then listen to what He says, “If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”
But what do we read now? This blasphemer's companion, as wicked hitherto as himself, speaks, and what does he say? There is no "if” in his case. He had looked on the Saviour, he had heard His prayer, " Father forgive them; for they know not what they do," and he reverses the world's decision, and he clears the person of Christ with his testimony in that dreadful hour. To the other robber he says, "Dost thou not fear God?" to the world, "This man hath done nothing amiss;" and to Jesus,” Lord, remember me when thou earnest in thy kingdom." I know you will come back one day in your kingdom, and when you come, oh remember me.
This was the cry of a true soul, a really penitent heart. But does Jesus keep him waiting? No! when Jesus saves, he saves on the spot. “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
It will not do to bless you hundreds of years hence; no, I will save you to-day. And what has Jesus got for you, my reader? A present salvation. Has the Lord Jesus heard from your heart such a word as this, “Lord remember me"? If so, His answer is "To-day." How long did it take to save that thief? Not half an hour even. He first listens, then looks, believes, repents—condemning himself—reverses the world's sentence, clears the character of Jesus, and finally simply commits himself fully to the tender mercy of the dying Saviour by his side, and receives the assurance of a present salvation on the spot. And as the Saviour passed into paradise that day, what did He take with Him as a trophy? A thief, a poor wretched robber.
But do not forget, my reader, that the Irian who was by His side, and who had an "If" in his heart, and on his lips, was the next to die, and where is he? Oh, soul! leave everything, lose everything, but do not lose Christ, do not lose your soul. Rest simply on His blood now, and then spend eternity with Jesus.
God forbid you should make a fifth in hell with Pilate, Herod, Judas, and the infidel blaspheming thief. W. T. P. W.

He Giveth Songs in the Night.

DURING a summer sojourn in one of the most charming watering places of our island home, I wandered one afternoon over some steep and rugged cliffs, whose precipitous sides are lashed by the Irish Sea; and having walked a long way, I began to feel very tired, and longed for a friendly habitation where I could rest awhile. I cast my eyes around, and a short distance before me stood a tiny cabin, which might possibly be a human dwelling, and yet I asked myself, "Who can dwell here so far from is fellow-man?”
I resolved to seek an answer to my query and the rest I needed. I soon found myself at the door of the cottage; it was larger than I at first fancied, and having given a gentle tap, was answered by a cheerful "Come in." I entered, and found myself in a clean and pleasant kitchen, whose bare walls and scanty furniture betokened the poverty of the inmates. At a small deal table sat an aged woman whose bright contented face, bespoke a heart and mind at peace, happy even amidst the privations which were her lot. I asked to be allowed to rest a little, and most courteously was the permission given, as the old woman dusted a chair with the corner of her apron, for me to sit upon.
During this operation I had time taw notice the things around me, and found that. I had disturbed this aged woman whilst reading the Bible, which lay open on the table at which she had been sitting. In order to draw her into conversation, I asked if she lived there alone, and if she did not feel very lonely dwelling so high above the town. Her answer soon assured me that I had not judged wrongly of her on my first entrance into the cottage. "No, Ma'am," she replied, “I am never lonely or sad, I have my good man through there," pointing to a door," he has been Confined to bed for more than two years, but more than that, I have Jesus ever with me, and He says, am with you always, even unto the end of the world.' Whenever I am weary I just open this Book, and there I find such sweet words of peace and comfort, that I forget all my fatigue. Jesus is so precious to my soul I want nothing else. He satisfies all my desires.”
“Does your husband share your joy, is he happy on his bed of pain?” I asked, feeling very much interested in this aged couple so far away from the world's din and turmoil.
She then told me the story of his illness, that he used to work in the copper mine, and one day, the tackle, which drew the men up from the mine, broke, and they were dashed to the bottom—happily, no one was killed, but all were more or less injured. Her husband was so severely hurt, that he could never again return to his work, and it was not thought probable that he would ever rise again from his bed. When he had recovered a little from the first shock of the fall, he was quite overwhelmed with thankfulness to God for sparing his life.
“It was then," she said,” that I thought God would answer my prayers for my husband's soul, and I spoke to him of Jesus more earnestly than I had ever done before. So eagerly, and so constantly did I tell him of the Father's love in sending His son to die for sinners, and what Jesus was to me, that he one day exclaimed, I see it all now, I am a sinner, but Jesus died for me.' Since he has found Jesus to be his Saviour, he is never tired of hearing me read the Bible, or repeat some sweet hymns. He cannot read at all, so I teach him a text every day, and the hymns he likes best I say over to him so often that he soon learns them too; and when I go down into the town to buy a bit of something to eat, I know he will be quite contented till I come back, for he can talk to Jesus and praise Him for all His love and goodness.”
I asked her what means of livelihood she had since her husband could no longer support her. She replied, “Eh! bless you, Ma'am, my God always finds a way to feed His poor children. The gentleman, who owns the mine, gives us five shillings a week, and the ladies at the manse send us soup in the cold weather; and when we have nothing to eat, I just kneel down and ask God to send us some, and sure enough He does; somebody comes with a loaf of bread, and a bit of tea, or some nice broth for my poor man, which we share together. The Bible says, 'Ask, and ye shall receive; ' Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.' So you see, ma'am, we have only to take God at His word and He will give us all that we need." She concluded by saying, “If John were awake he would like to talk to you, Ma'am.”
She then arose, and going into the other room, found that her husband still slept, and as I had already stayed more than an hour, I took my leave, promising to go again at an early opportunity. The next week was unfavorable to mountain-climbing on account of heavy rains, and my visit was deferred until the week following, when I started early one sunny morning to ascend the cliffs, knowing that I should find a friendly welcome at the top.
When I reached the cottage, no response greeted my knock for admission. I knocked again, and, after waiting awhile, I venture, to open the door and walk in. There was no occupant of the kitchen, but the door which communicated with the inner room was open, and there, stretched upon the bed, was the sick man of whom I had previously heard. As soon as he saw me he begged me to come in and pointed to a chair near the bed for me to sit upon.
When I was seated he said, “I dare say you are the lady Mary told me about, who called the other day when I was asleep.” I told him I was, and that I had come to talk to him of Jesus whom he loved. He thanked me and. said, “If you only knew what a sinner I've been, you would think I ought to love Him. He has forgiven me so much, and died for me that I might live with Him forever. I cannot find words to tell of all His goodness, ' Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.' Just when you came in I had been saying to myself those beautiful verses beginning, ' Safe in the arms of Jesus.' Yes, lady, I want nothing else but to rest in those arms forever. I am hastening home." Again he repeated the lines, and. when he came to the words, "Hark, 'tis the voice of angels," a radiance overspread his countenance, his voice became very faint, and ere the last words were uttered, he had gone to finish the song, “in the beautiful Eden above.”
I watched him for some time, for so quietly and peacefully had he passed away, that it seemed as if he were only sleeping, then I knelt in prayer, and ere I rose from my knees the widow entered and joined me, and only as I interceded for her, who was left behind, did she become conscious that her loved one had passed from earth. When I related all that had occurred in her absence she rejoiced, even amidst her tears, that God had taken him so gently. We talked together for some time, of the home to which he had gone, of the joys and glories of the place, the happy meeting of those we have loved and lost, and I read to her Rev. 21. and 22. We were both cheered and comforted. I left her, never to meet her again on earth. I was summoned to a distant sphere, and ere another summer's sun had dawned, she had gone to join her husband in the realms of the blessed.
Dear reader, one word for you ere I close. Do you know anything of this Jesus, on whom these aged people placed their confidence, and their hope? Can you trust Him for time? Are you resting on Him for eternity. If so, you need fear no evil, no sorrow can harm you, no trial crush you. “All things are yours, for you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
It may be that some will read this, who know not a Saviour, because they have never wanted one. The day is coming, my dear friend, when you will want a Saviour—the hour of death— the Day of Judgment.
Where will you be if you have no Saviour then? Oh! is it not time to be in earnest? You know not how brief your life may be Visit the mining districts of our land, read the reports of our railway traffic, and learn how many leave their homes in the morning to return again no more but as mangled lifeless corpses.
Reader, can you say? “This will not be my case." Pause and think, ere it be too late. Turn to the loving Jesus who waits to receive you, hear the gracious words, " Whosoever will, let him take the water 'of life freely.” You have nothing to do to purchase this salvation, it is free, unmerited. The serpent-bitten, dying Israelite, in the wilderness, asked no questions as to the power of the brazen serpent to heal, he was eager enough to be cured of his malady, he was told to look and he would live; as soon as he raised his failing eyes to the summit of the pole on which was placed the emblem of his disease, he at once felt his breath renewed, his strength increased—he was cured. Oh! sinner, look and live, look unto Jesus, see Him lifted up on the cross for you, look unto Him and be saved. Only believe!
S. J. B.

I Do Believe

I— B— was brought up from childhood to hard work in the brick-fields. Like many more similarly placed, he fell in with bad companions, for years pursuing a course of folly and sin, in forgetfulness both of God and the solemn threatenings of judgment in His Word, as well as the free and precious offers of salvation.
But the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro in the earth, were following I— B—, His heart full of compassion and grace for this child of disobedience, slave to sin and the devil. (Rom. 6:16). Time rolled on, and leaving the brickfields, he entered into business on his own account in a small shop. One day found him visiting a public house, to drink, when he was met by a Christian, who invited him to one of the neighboring chapels. Accordingly he went; but only, when he had returned home, to abuse the people connected with it on account of a collection that was made at the close of the meeting. The following Lord's Day, however, he was persuaded to renew his visit. The text was from the 1st epistle Peter, 1st chapter, 24th verse, “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.
The grass withereth, and the flower thereof fadeth away, but the word of the Lord endureth forever." In the course of his address the preacher alluded to having gone into a field where he saw a man who was overseer to several workpeople, harshly treating and of pressing them, and the thought struck him, a hell here and a hell hereafter; ' unless they should be led to true repentance before leaving this world.
These words made a great impression upon I— B—'s mind, leading to conviction of sin in the presence of God. He felt the weight of them, in his own case unless he repented, and was delivered from the wrath to come.
From this time forth he became a regular attendant at the preaching, which acted as a restraint upon his course, although still a stranger to peace with God. Conviction, however, deepened; until one night, being much exercised under the Word, he returned home, and sitting down in his 'armchair alone, began to meditate upon that which he had heard.
The Scriptures lay before him on the table, and stretching out his hand, he placed it on the volume, saying "I do believe.”
Simple words, but involving momentous and eternal consequences, for “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36).
It was no mere lip confession in the case of I—B—. He believed with the heart. He believed and was saved. He was saved, and knew it. He knew it, and rejoiced therein.
Now, said he, I know the meaning of those words in the eighth of Romans, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." Now, I can understand that beautiful passage in the 14th of John, “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me.”
Filled with joy and peace in believing, he fell upon his knees, and poured out his heart in praise to God, thanking Him also at one moment that his wife was from home lest she should think that he had gone mad, the next wishing she was back again that she might see what happiness he enjoyed.
The following morning, knowing that Satan often tempted, believers to question their salvation, he resorted to the curious expedient of cutting the date of his conversion in the arm of his old armchair. A far better resource to meet the subtlety of this wily foe, is the unerring, unchanging Word of God. I—B— has learned this since. Frames, feelings and experiences change and fluctuate the Word of God never. Resting on the Word gives peace and joy to the heart of the believer.
The overpowering joy of first love shortly waned, but no doubt ever troubled him as to his acceptance. He had seen himself a lost sinner, believed that Christ had died for him and risen again (1 Cor. 15:3-4), and from that time forth knew that God had made him accepted in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:6).
I—'s wife was saved shortly after. The words of Jesus, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more," were used by the Spirit of God to bring her to share with her husband the rest and peace of God's salvation.
Both still live, suffering often in body, but finding their joy in the Lord, looking for the blessed hope of glory with Himself.
How wondrous the results both now and for ever for all who can say with I— B—, "I do believe." If I were to write to you a volume of ten thousand pages on the way of salvation, I must always bring you, my reader, to this one point, if you are to be saved, “Do you believe?” It is all in believing. Christ is the Saviour, He has glorified God as to the question of sin, finished the work whereby sinners are saved (John 17:4). All who believe get the benefit. Faith appropriates the blessing. Believe and your sins are forgiven, your soul saved, eternal life yours. “He that believeth on the Son path everlasting life; he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36). Which are you, believer or unbeliever? You believe about it doubtless; you would not like to acknowledge to unbelief. But do you believe on the Son of God? Not about Him, but on Him. Thousands, tens of thousands, believe about Him, but are unsaved. But all who believe on Him are saved now, and saved forever, washed from their sins in His own precious blood. (Eph. 5; Rev. 1:5),
And what are we saved for? Saved for the kingdom and glory of God, when the Lord comes; saved to follow in His steps through this world till He comes. To walk as He walked (1 John 2:6), to wait in His patience (Rom. 8:25); to live Christ. (Phil. 1:21). Unsaved reader, believe on the Son of God and thou shalt be saved. Saved one, follow Him. (John 21:19).
E. H. C.

I Don't Want to Be a Christian

“I DON'T want to be a Christian, I said, “to be obliged to give up everything that makes life pleasant, and go about with a long face, all the rest of my days! No, thank you! I am very happy as I am.”
So saying, I turned away from the earnest pleading face of my sister, and banished the disagreeable thought from my mind.
Alas! how little I then knew, how little I realized what an awful sin I was guilty of in deliberately refusing to listen to God's message of salvation.
No! I was perfectly content to go on with the life I had hitherto led. Why should I give up the world at nineteen? I had all that any girl could desire—a happy home, plenty of friends, and balls and parties without number.
If I became a Christian, I should have to relinquish the latter, so of course it was absurd to think of it!
Just about this time some gospel meetings were being held at the Assembly Rooms, and were crowded to excess each day. I heard of one or two "conversions" among the young girls whom I was in the habit of meeting in society; but when told of the wonderful change that had come over these gay worldlings, I laughed at the idea, prophesying that “It would soon wear off!”
“Won't you come and hear for yourself?” entreated my sister. “It can do you no harm to go for once.”
But I steadily refused, and plunged deeper than ever into a whirl of gaiety.
One day, however, my mother begged me to leave a note at the house of a lady who lived close by.
“I think you may have to wait for an answer,” she said, as she sealed and handed it to me.
At first I rebelled. I knew the lady to whom the letter was addressed was one of those whom I dreaded to encounter; but at length I consented to go, determining in my own mind, to let her see that I had no intention of being spoken to about my soul, should she attempt; to broach the subject.
So feeling no doubt very grand and superior, I set off.
“Mrs. C—was at home. Would I please walk upstairs?" was the answer to my inquiry.
I followed the servant, inwardly resolving to “hold my own," whatever happened.
To my horror, when we reached the drawing-room, I found myself in the midst of one of the dreaded "meetings" I had heard so much about.
There was a look of surprise on the faces of all the occupants of that room, as I entered, which brought the hot blood with a rush to my cheeks. Mrs. C—rose to meet me, and in her gentle way, motioned me to a seat near the door; and the reading continued as before. I shall never forget my feelings as I sat there!
Fear and indignation strove for the mastery. I saw it all! I had fallen unsuspectingly into the trap that had been laid for me by my mother and Mrs. C—. Now there was no escape. Gradually the words that were being spoken forced themselves on my hearing.
Curiously, and critically I listened, wondering what there could be in that dry and uninteresting book, to light up the faces of one and all; then, somewhat wearied with listening to what was so much Greek to me, I set to planning how best I could slip out of the door and run downstairs without being noticed.
During the prayers that followed the reading, a lady who had been sitting close beside me pleaded with God for " the one outside the fold," entreating that the Lord would not let me leave the room, without a blessing, and oh how wonderfully He answered that prayer I Deeper and deeper those words sank into my wretched, sinful heart. I felt as I knelt there that a holy God was searching me through and through, and all my sins like a great wave came sweeping over me, carrying all else before it!
What had I been doing? How had I dared to turn away from the God who was at this moment reading my very soul?
Terrified, I arose from my knees, and stood as though in a dream, whilst all the others, with the exception of the one who had prayed for me, left the room.
She came across to me, and asked me that question I had always dreaded—
“Are you saved?”
“No," I answered abruptly.
“Do you want to be?”
For a moment I hesitated.
“I am too wicked," I said falteringly. “Oh! you don't know what I am, and all the dreadful things I have done," I continued, battling with the great choking sobs that would come, in spite of my efforts to keep them back.
“Never mind what you have been, or what you have done, child," was the quiet rejoinder.
“If you know yourself to be a sinner, just listen to what God says to you." And opening her Bible she read—" When we were yet without strength, in, due time, Christ died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6); and. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
“But," I said doubtfully," how do I know that was meant for me? How can I know God wants me?”
My companion did not answer, but turned again to her Bible, and from the last chapter of Revelations read this verse, “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
“Now," she said," do you suppose God has left you out in that whosoever?”
“No," I answered slowly, while the wonderful truth began to dawn across my mind.
“Then if you believe it was for you as well as for the rest of the world that Christ died, you are saved.
Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and. believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.'”
I needed no more! I saw it all as clearly as possible, and a joy I had never experienced before, even when I had imagined my happiness complete, flooded my whole being. Oh! the wonderful grace of God. to a wretched sinner! I had entered that room, proud, rebellious, stiff-necked; I left it humbled and broken down by the sight I had had of the love of Christ which led Him to lay down His life for me.
From that moment I believe the current of my life was changed.
“Old things passed away, and all things became new." With a sort of horror, I turned from that which I once imagined was "happiness." Nothing but the grace of God could have made me do this; good resolutions, and “turning over new leaves “are worse than futile. Oh! how often we make good resolutions! I wonder who has not. But when temptations come, are we able to resist them?
Never, in our own strength. We can alone be conquerors through Him that loved us.
Ah! dear young ones (to whom I am especially writing), have you never felt, in the midst of the giddy whirl, a sensation of dissatisfaction and discontent, as if everything was not quite as it should be?
Oh! the heart-aches, jealousies and bitter feelings that exist in this great weary world.!
Christ alone can satisfy and. fill the aching voids. Will you not come to Him? There is no question of "giving up" this thing or the other. When Christ enters the heart all else sinks into utter insignificance, so that one gladly and willingly turns from what fails to satisfy, to rest in that great love, the length, breadth, depth and height, of which no mortal can fathom.
Z.

I Have Never Thought About It

MY duties brought me some time since by the bedside of a young woman who evidently was fast passing out of time into eternity, and although I had been some time in the room, showed no signs of being conscious or my presence. I felt I could not leave her without putting that one great and most momentous question of all questions to her. So stooping down, I gently said—" If you die, are you saved? Do you know Jesus, whose precious blood cleanses from all sin, as your Saviour?”
This poor woman now opened her eyes, and in a half conscious gaze looked into my face, replying, “Oh, sir, I have never thought about it!”
She lived a few more hours, when, whether saved or lost, I know not, she passed away. “The dust returning to the earth as it was; but the Spirit unto God who gave it" (Eccles. 12:7).
And now with earnest desire for your soul let me ask you: Are YOU saved or lost? Do you, like this poor woman, say, “I have never thought about it? Then you are a neglecter of that which seals your eternal destiny! “And how will you escape, if you neglect so great salvation" (Heb. 2:3), as that offered you by God, against whom you have sinned, and before whom you must stand, and to whom you must give an account. Do you say you are no worse than other people, for all are sinners? This is one of the most common views, and quite true; it is God's estimate of you, and you condemn yourself (it may be unwittingly), in the admission; for while you are no worse you are certainly NO BETTER. “For there is no difference" (Rom. 3:22, 23). And oh, dear reader, what a dreadfully solemn thing to be a SINNER, indifferent to your condition and position. Your sins and iniquities have separated you and God. You are alienated from God by wicked works, and He is too holy to behold iniquity. Where He dwells nothing enters that defileth, or maketh a lie.
Reader, what are you going to do? Are You going to think about it? Yes, surely more than this. Have to do with God about your condition now, for now is the accepted and the accepting time. Now is the time when He can be just, and the Justifier of those who believe in Jesus. Now is preached unto you remission of sins, and without the shedding of blood there could be no remission, but Jesus has shed His blood, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin.
Reader, you are unmistakably a sinner, whether a great or whether a little sinner in your own estimation is not the point to be occupied with. If a sinner without the Christ of God, you are a LOST sinner, and God has provided, and offers you a Saviour in His wellbeloved Son so that He can in justice as well as mercy, pardon you, if you accept His salvation in His way. That is—through this man—the Man Christ Jesus, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, for God hath set Him forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood (Rom. 3:25), and there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you can be saved. God can never set aside Christ, and His blood, to meet man's opinion of Himself, or his self. Your opinion stands for nothing! God has not revealed Himself as the God of Love who gave His only begotten Son as a ransom for poor sinners, to get their opinions. God has not given man His word—thus speaking to man, to get his opinion upon it. No, dear reader, don't be deluded thus.
It is God in condescending grace through the Scriptures telling you what He is as the Holy one, That He is in justice, what He is in love, and what you are, viz., a sinner; what His justice demands, and all man's opinions cannot alter His character, or man's state. Dear unsaved reader, leave your opinion, and have to do with God as you are; as lie is; in His own way, which will be to your eternal salvation.
You are a sinner, God says so, Jesus came to seek and to save sinners, Jesus is God's way to Himself! He says so. If you go thus to Him He will in no wise cast you out. G. E.

The Inattentive Listener

“Hear, and your soul shall live."—Isa. 55:3.
You listen not; One listens—God,{br}He hears about His Son—{br}Yes, hears with deepest interest,{br}Of life on Calvary won.{br}He listens; and His eye beholds{br}His words upon you fall—{br}Words, if you knew their blessedness,{br}Would hold your heart in thrall.
To angels mercy ne'er was preached{br}They fell—and fall'n remain:{br}But mercy to poor ruined man{br}Is sent, his soul to gain—{br}Sent from the loving heart of God,{br}To win the erring soul,{br}And give it perfect rest in Christ,{br}And joy unspeakable.
O listen, then, to words like these!{br}For "he that hears shall live”—{br}Hear with the ear of faith, and take{br}What mercy has to give!{br}Not always shall God's grace be preached,{br}Accept it while you may;{br}'Tis offered now! but soon will close{br}Salvation's precious day.
A. M.

An Invitation — Will You Accept It?

"Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."—Matt. 11:28.
WHAT gracious loving words are these that fall from the lips of the One who spake as "never man spake!”
Well might the multitudes throng about Him and wonder at the “gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth." Sweetest sounds that ever greeted the ear of lost and ruined man are these, and while we listen we bow in adoration, for “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." Reader, who else would act to-words you thus? Where will you turn and find another such invitation as this? Where is the one who would offer you all happiness, all joy, all glory, in exchange for all misery, all sorrow, all woe? Where the love that would endure for you the agonies of the most awful of deaths in order to bring you every blessing in your heart. Your conscience, your experience, your Bible, your God tell you—NOWHERE, EXCEPT IN JESUS.
His is the heart that yearns over, and His the voice that invites thee to-day. For He is the same gracious loving One, now in the glory, as then upon earth. Let me call attention to His words, and may God the Holy Ghost bring them home to many a heart and conscience in irresistible power!
Think, first, WHO it was that uttered those wondrous words. The One who was with God, and who was God, from all eternity—the eternal Son of the Father. He had " come from off the throne eternal " down into this world of sin and sorrow, had made Himself of no reputation, was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and at this time had just been refused even by those cities wherein He had done most of His mighty works. Thus only had poor fallen man responded to the grace that for their sakes had brought Him so low—heartlessly, wickedly, hatefully, they had treated Him, and does He retaliate? Does He sweep the whole apostate race in an instant, into an eternal hell? Oh, the wonders of grace! He turns round there and then and offers, yea freely offers, even to those in the midst of whom He had not where to lay His head—rest. Oh, sinner! thou halt not let Him rest His head on thy bosom, yet He invites thee to rest thy head; yea, thy heart on His For see, secondly, to WHOM the invitation goes out It is not to the righteous. It is not to the self-satisfied. It is not to the whole.
No, it is to sinners. “ALL ye that labor and are heavy laden," who are these? Ah I those who have felt it will tell you there is no burden, no heavy load, like the load of sin upon the awakened conscience. What sorrow it brings what distress! what dread and fear! what a burden! Is the reader one of those who is carrying about daily this awful load of unforgiven sin? You long to get rid of it, don't you? and yet you can't tell how? Oh! beloved friend, look to Jesus! Hear His word! "Come unto me." “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." "ALL ye that labor "—does not that mean you? Can you doubt any longer that the invitation is for yourself? Up then at once, and accept it. Delay not a moment, lest it might be too late, but come now, now, NOW.
But just think, thirdly, of the way in which He takes away the load of sin. Look to the Cross, reader. See Him there. What is He doing? “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree "(1 Peter 2:24)." The Lord hath laid on Hint the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:6). Do you believe God, dear friend? What then has become of the load of your sins? Why the moment you believe, God says they are gone, washed away in Christ's precious blood, removed as far as the east is from the west, cast behind God's back, sunk into the depths of the sea, to be remembered no more. “By Him (Jesus) all that believe are justified from all things (Acts 13:39.) Do not you see it? Will not you make it your own,
"All thy sins were laid upon Him,{br}Jesus bore them on the tree,{br}God who knew them laid them on Him,{br}And, believing, thou art free.”
The moment you believe, the burden is gone. For Jesus has said, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
Do come, then, to Jesus now, simply believing, and you will be able to sing:
“Happy day! Happy day{br}When Jesus washed my sins away.”
Because, look (in the fourth place) at the terms of the invitation. Come—that is all you have to do, and then? "I will GIVE." Here works, merits, worthiness, are all excluded. There is no place for them beside this blessed gospel word “GIVE." Again and again the heart of God finds expression in it. "God GAVE his Son.” "If thou knewest the GIFT of God." “I will GIVE him rest." “The GIFT of God is eternal life." “I will GIVE unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”
Oh, sinner, let the blessed gospel, in all its fullness and freeness, enter with its life-giving, peace-giving sounds into thy sinful heart, dispelling the mists and chills that have ruled there so long, and filling thee with those glory-rays of warmth, of salvation, from the very throne, the very heart of God.. See that heart telling itself out in these words, inviting thee to come and empty thyself out in His presence, that He may fill thee. Again I say, what an exchange! He will take from thee—but it is thy sins, and He will give thee pardon for them. He will take that heavy load and give thee relief; those doubts and fears, and give thee assurance; those filthy rags of self-righteousness, and clothe thee instead in the “best robe of heaven, the righteousness of God. He will take from thee the fear of death and the dread of judgment, and give thee instead the present possession of everlasting life, and the sure and certain hope of everlasting glory. He will save thee from the pit of hell, and fit thee for the courts of heaven.
What will He not do for the sinner that trusts Him? What is there not included in that lovely word REST? I close here, for everything is here. Doubts, fears, sins, all gone; forever gone, completely gone. “Perfect love casteth out fear." It could not be rest otherwise; and in the place of doubts and fears and sins, I have a purged conscience, a relieved heart, a saved soul, sins forgiven, eternal life, justification from all things, peace with God, and a title to heaven. Then I see that I belong to Jesus, I am one of His sheep, I can never perish. I am one with Him, a member of His body, a joint heir with Him. What a place, and what a portion for a poor, hell deserving sinner! “In the ages to come God will show the exceeding riches of His grace in His “kindness towards us through Christ Jesus." Yes, it is indeed rest—rest for the weary—thus to have come to Jesus and believed on Him, and received all these blessings.
“Art thou weary?{br}Art thou languid?{br}Art thou sore distressed?{br}Come to Me, saith Christ, and coming,{br}Be at rest,”
Oh, friend, accept the invitation, obey the call. For the day is rapidly approaching when it will no longer be sent forth. But the word will be instead, “Because I have called and ye refused. I also will laugh at your calamity.
I will mock when your fear cometh, when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish cometh upon you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer " (Prov. 1:24-28).
H. P. A. G.

Jethro; or, Now I Know

THE 18th chapter of Exodus furnishes us with a remarkable instance of a priest (or prince) of Midian being brought to own Jehovah, the God of Israel, as the true God. We have in this history a beautiful shadowing forth of the millennial kingdom in the future, when the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His Name one (Zech. 14:9); when every foe being overthrown, both Jew and Gentile; yea, every knee shall bow to Him. (Phil. 2:10). I now bring it before the reader as illustrating in a forcible manner, many leading truths of the gospel.
Jethro was a man of note in the land of Midian, and had seven daughters. Moses, the servant of God, having fled out of Egypt, found a place of refuge with him, and received his daughter Zipporah in marriage. Doubtless Jethro heard from the lips of Moses concerning the condition of the children of Israel in Egypt under the Pharaohs, and probably learned somewhat of Jehovah, the God of Israel, from the same source. In process of time the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire at Mount Horeb, and tells him to go back to Egypt, for the Lord was about to deliver His people from the hand of their oppressors (3, 4.). Moses obeys; and after ten fearful plagues had overtaken the Egyptians, of which the last was the slaying of the firstborn of man and beast throughout the land, the children of Israel alone being sheltered by the blood of the paschal lamb (Ex. 12), God, by his hand, delivered. His people in triumph through the Red Sea, and afterward from their enemies, the Amalekites, as they journeyed through the wilderness (Ex. 17).
It is most interesting to see Jethro finding his way to Moses the moment he hears of the great deliverance. He knew of Israel's condition, as bondsmen in Egypt, and the terrible oppression to which they had been subjected; now he hears of all that God had done on their behalf, the judgments that had overtaken their enemies; their redemption both by blood and by power. He is convinced of the power of Jehovah, and comes td Moses, who can tell him all about the wonderful deliverance that had been wrought. And mark, my reader, when he heard, then he came; there was no delay, he came at once.
And what a blessed moment it is too, in the history of a poor sinner, when, as is often the case, he not only discovers the condition of the world, sinful, lost, and led captive and oppressed of the devil (Rom. 3), but hearing of the great salvation that God has wrought on their behalf through the blood shedding, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son, is convinced of the truth of the word. of God, and of His mighty power in emancipating the slaves of the devil, and finds his way to some servant of the Lord, who can tell him all about it, and point him to Jesus and his finished work. How important, too, that he should come at once. But conviction is not sufficient; God wants the sinner to be converted and saved, (1 Tim. 2:4).
Jethro is convinced, and comes to Moses, the servant of God, with Zipporah and her sons. Moses gives them a hearty welcome. “He went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance and kissed him, and they asked each other of their welfare (marg. peace), and they came into the tent (ver. 7).”
Moses had many wonderful things to communicate to Jethro. He had fared well indeed at the hand of the Lord. Israel had been in bondage, but God had judged their enemies, and redeemed and saved His people, both by blood and by mighty power (ver. 8). But what did Jethro know about all this? What part had he, a priest of Midian, in this great salvation? He might tell of what he had heard in his own land, his immediate resolve to come and hear more, the incidents of his journey, &c., but he had in no way participated with the people of God in this wonderful display of God's love and power on their behalf.
But now, as he listens to the story of the salvation of God, " Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had clone to Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord who hath, delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh; who /lath, delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, He was above them (ver. 9-11).”
Yes, beloved reader, joy filled the heart of Jethro, and 9, burst of praise issued from his lips as he heard tell of the goodness of God. And, "Now I know," continued he,” that the Lord is greater than all gods." Wonderful sentence from the lips of a Midianite. "Now I know." Surely it was the language of faith, a present knowledge. Not, now I think, but, now I know. He was not only convinced of the power of Jehovah; but said he, “Blessed be the Lord, &c," and” now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods; for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, He was above them." He owned and believed in the one true Jehovah. "The Lord He is God.” He was not only convinced in his mind, but believed in his heart; he knew.
We have already remarked what a blessed moment it is when a soul is convinced; but to stop there is to perish, to die in your sins, and be punished eternally (John 8:24; 3:36).
But Jethro came to Moses, and heard the whole story of the goodness of God; believed it, and confessed the Lord. He did not stop at conviction. Report reached him; he came, and that at once, without delay. He heard, he believed, he knew, and he confessed it at once, too, with his lips. Joy filled his heart, and he blessed. Jehovah. The Lord He is God. Will you do the same?
You have heard of the condition of the world groaning under the power of Satan; you believe it is true. You accept what God says in His Word as to this, and you honestly confess, it may be, that facts all around you, and your own state, give you further proof (if it were needed) that it is so. But have you read the Word of God about the Saviour, or have you gone to any servant of God, like Jethro, to hear all about the overthrow of the power of the foe? If not, listen now, to what one who desires your good, has to say to you. I would ask you of your welfare, your peace? Have you fared badly on account of sin, and the power of Satan; do you lack peace? Listen.
God has wrought a great salvation, a salvation worthy of Himself, a salvation by blood and by power. “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). And who is He? Jesus. He came into this world to save sinners " (1 Tim. 1:15), suffered, bled and died upon the Cross. God raised Him to His own right hand in glory. The claims of God are met, the justice of God maintained, for the judgment of sin was borne by His own spotless Son, and. the power of Satan annulled for all, who believe. Christ on high is God's testimony to the whole universe that the atoning work is done. The Christian can say of Him, “Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 4:25; 5:1).
You hear, but do you believe? Can you say from your heart to-day, this hour, yea, now?
“I will believe, I do believe, that Jesus died for me." Do you hesitate? Is it your sins standing in dread array against you, that makes you shrink from the confession of Christ? Oh, think a moment, dear soul, it is only Christ can put them away. If you tarry till you ale better, you will never come at all. Now is the time to decide: it is God's time, and therefore should be yours, too (2 Cor. 6:2). The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Will you decide, then, now?
How do you reply? Do you say? "Yes.” Praise the Lord. Go on your way rejoicing. Jethro heard, rejoiced, believed, and knew that Jehovah was the true God. You have heard, you rejoice, you believe, then you, too, may know Him that is true. And, " These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). Jethro exclaimed, “Blessed be the Lord who hath delivered you... now I know," &c. And why not you?
Paul writes to the Colossian saints, and says, “Giving thanks unto the father, who hath delivered (not will deliver) us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (not will translate) us into the kingdom of His dear Son (or the Son of His love); in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:12, 13). Take your place with them by faith, and all this is now hue of you.
Naaman, the Syrian, said, "Now I know” (2 Kings 5:15). The poor widow of Zarephath said, "Now ... I know" (1 Kings 17:24; Jethro, the Midianite, said, “Now I know” (Ex. 18:11); God would have every poor sinner who believes on His Son, say, "Now I know," also (1 John 3:14).
“And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God” (v. 12).
Here we have something more. Jethro becomes a worshipper. The Midianite priest openly confessed and worshipped Jehovah, the only true and living God. He took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God. Aaron, too, and all the elders of Israel, eat bread with him; and note how, it was before God.
Now this is the desire of the heart of God for every true believer. The Saviour seeketh sinners, and the Father seeketh worshippers. (John 4:23). "The hour cometh," said the Lord,” and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeketh, such to worship Him. God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24). We need not to bring sacrifices like Jethro, but as those who are brought to God on the ground of the one perfect offering of the Lamb of God (Heb. 10:14.), " by Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name." (Heb. 10:15). It is our blessed privilege too, as found now ranked among the children of God, to have sweet fellowship with them by the way, but it must be in the light. "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another " (1 John, 1:7).
And now one more point, and that a very striking one, amongst many that might be dwelt upon in the history of Jethro. In the remainder of the chapter we find him giving counsel to Moses. As to whether the counsel was altogether right, or Moses right in receiving it, I do not go into here, but one thing at least is remarkable, and blessed to notice. Jethro not only knows that the Lord is God, but he knows what is suited to Him in the ways of His people. He said to Moses..... “Thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt chew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do, etc., etc.
(v. 20)." He acknowledges these things are necessary for the people of God to please Him. Firstly, they needed teaching in the ordinances and laws of God; secondly, there was a right way in which they must walk before Him; and thirdly a work that they must do for Him.
And how wonderfully this is exemplified in the children of God now. A true Christian will at once acknowledge his need of the first, and the importance of the second and third. He is a questionable one who does not. A Christian in a right state of soul feels his need of teaching, that he may grow up into Christ, knows that there is a way in which he must walk, and that the path of Christ, and a work that he must do as enlisted in the service of his Lord.
What a striking unfolding of God's way we have thus given to us in the case of Jethro The report of the overthrow of Pharaoh and his host, the deliverance of Israel, etc., reached him in Midian. Already convinced, he starts at once to find the Lord's servant; he hears the tale of God's goodness; confesses the Lord as God, believes, blesses, knows; knows new, worships, and has fellowship with His people, acknowledging the ways that are suited to Him. The close of the chapter informs us that, “Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way into his own land." It is to be hoped he returned to lead others to the true God. How far Jethro himself continued in the Lord's ways we are not told, but we find his descendants honorably associated with Israel even to Jeremiah's day, (Judg. 1:16; 1 Chron. 2:65; Jer. 35.)
And now, deaf: reader, let me once more appeal to your heart and conscience is this also true of you? You have heard of the sinner's state, and God's great salvation; but have you confessed Jesus as your Lord, and believed with the heart that God hath raised Him from the dead? If so, thou shalt be saved.
(Rom. 10:9.) "Now I know" is the proper language of faith. The worship of God, and thanksgiving, communion with Himself and His people, must be the desire of the believing soul. And as you learn Christ and are taught the truth of God, so in proportion will your walk and work savor of Him.
Can you say, like Jethro?" Now I know”
E. H. C.

Just Like Hill

"Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto rue, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."—Isa. 6:5-7.
THE Lord is ever swift to bless, slow to judge, He delights in mercy judgment is His "strange work.”
David said " The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy " (Psa. 103:8).
Isaiah's experience of this blessed fact is recorded above. Paul wrote with a full heart—" I thank Jesus Christ our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained (What? wrath, judgment, an everlasting hell—the due reward of my deeds? No! but) mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." (1 Tim. 1:12-16).
These witnesses are joined by another to the same effect, who says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance... And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.' (2 Peter 3:9-15).
Thus it is evident that God, though He must and will assuredly judge sin, delights in blessing, and wants all men to be blessed, and saved. This surely is a fact of immense moment for you and me, dear reader, and if you are yet unsaved shows that the fault is not on God's side. God is slow to judge; man is slow to believe God hastens to bless and save when the soul takes its true place of self-judgment before Him.
Now if you are not yet saved why should you go any longer unsaved? You cannot answer that query, save by confessing that you do not simply and fully trust the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the deadly evil that afflicts you—unbelief, But, perhaps you are somewhat anxious to be saved, but cannot see the "way of salvation” clearly. If so may the Lord in His mercy use the simple little narrative which follows this to help you to see clearly His grace, and urgent desire to set your anxious soul at rest in His presence.
One Friday evening, in April, 1872, I received the following letter:—
"April 15th, 1872.”
“SIR,”
“I heard Mr. S. and you preaching the gospel on Sunday evening; and., if you remember, you were speaking about the sprinkling of the blood on the door posts (Ex. 12). I understood it was a type of the blood of Jesus, and those that are saved sinners have, as it were, the blood sprinkled on their door posts. Well, I have not got that blood sprinkled upon my door posts. You ask, Why not? don't know myself, for I would like very much to have it, yet I cannot find it. I suppose I am not seeking for it in earnest, or I would have a share of it with others. I have longed to be saved for six years or more, and I cannot find peace. I believe that Jesus died for all sinners, and that I am one among the worst of them, and I am in great need of a Saviour, yet there is something I don't understand. I think it is because I have not faith; but, if you can explain it any better, I will be at the Hall the Sunday after next, if the Lord will spare me, to hear you once more. I am afraid I will never get another chance. I have had the gospel set before me plain enough, both by you and by my parents, but I think I get harder-hearted every time. I have tried to pray for faith but Satan seems to laugh at me, and tell me I am too late. I feel as if be had too fast hold on me now to get away from him.
“Oh, will you pray for me, that I might have light, and that I might find the true Saviour? I hope tie Lord will bear with me a little longer. I have given up all hopes of being a Christian. I shudder to think of a terrible judgment day.”
As there was no signature appended, and I did not at all know the handwriting, I was quite at a loss to know who the writer could be. That it was a truly anxious soul I was sure, and could only pity any one remaining ten days in such a state of sheer wretchedness, and I looked up to the Lord to give a suited word when the time should come of which the writer spoke.
But God's ways are not as ours, nor His thoughts like ours, " For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.”
The Lord's day following the receipt of this later, I Was just about to commence a Bible Class with some young men in my own house, when a violent ring of the doorbell came, and an urgent message for me to at once see a patient who was thought to be dying, if not already dead. Hastily driving to the house, I found that the mother of the family had suddenly become unconscious, and her husband and several of her children were gathered round her, expecting each breath to be the last.
She certainly was in a most death-like swoon, but as she was breathing, though quite unconscious, I proceeded to apply suitable remedial measures to her, and sought to calm the fears of those who tremblingly watched their loved one. My patient I knew was a Christian, and so also was her husband, and some of the elder members of the family, but at the fireside stood some of whom I was not sure.
Turning to the father I asked, “Are all your children converted yet?" “No, no," said he, “I wish they were." Then, addressing the eldest of this little company round the fire, who had come home from her place of service for two or three hours, and whose name I knew, I said: "Is it true, Mary, that you are still unsaved?" A painful “Yes” was her only reply, but as it was coupled with a deep sigh, I thought she might be anxious, so begged her to come with me into another room that we might he alone for a few moments, while others carried out my directions with regard to the mother.
“I suppose you know where your dear mother would be, if she died "I said.
“In heaven with Jesus," was Mary's reply.
“And if you died?
“I should go to hell, I know," she answered, bursting into a flood of tears.
“But have you no desire to be saved?”
“Oh, yes, indeed I have. I want to be saved, if I only knew how.”
“How? Why it is very simple, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' Only believe Him. Just trust Him, as you are—a poor guilty sinner. He has died for sinners, His blood avails to cleanse the most guilty, and He says, Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.' Come to Him, that is all you have to do. Just trust Him. Do you think you can?”
“I should like to. I wish I could. Will you pray for me, Doctor?”
“Let us kneel together before Him," I said, and then while she wept I prayed the Lord to spare the beloved mother, if it was His holy will, and save the sin-burdened child who knelt before Him.
As I rose to go back again to see the sick one, I said, " Don't get off your knees till all is settled, and you have found Jesus." The mother I found decidedly rallying, and she shortly completely recovered. On returning to Mary, after the lapse of some minutes, I found her awaiting me, standing on her feet, with a beaming though still tearful countenance.
But these tears were tears of Joy, as she said, "I have found him. Jesus is mine.” Yes thank God, she had found Him, and peace and life and joy in Him, and has gone on her way rejoicing ever since.
Two days afterward I learned that Mary was the writer of the anonymous letter!
Was not this just like the Lord, my reader?
This anxious soul proposed to itself to wait ten days. But Jesus loves to meet the truly anxious one at once, and thus He must needs let the mother fall sick, and the physician be sent for, just at the moment when the sin burdened one was by, that His own message of grace might be spoken to her.
May He speak to you mow. The seraphim flew to relieve Isaiah. The father ran to meet the prodigal. God makes haste to be gracious to you, my friend. Do you trust Him as simply as Mary did, and pardon, peace, and joy divine are yours forever.
W. T. P. W.

Law and Grace: a Contrast

(Read John 8:1-12.)
IN the first chapter of the Gospel of John, the Lord. Jesus is presented in the glories of His own Person, and, among others, we have this record of him given, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." It is in the character of the "light of men" that Ile is specially brought before us in this interesting eighth of John.
The first chapter also says, “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." "What a wonderful thing it is for us to stand in the presence of the One who in His own person brings to us life, light, grace and truth. The eighth of John deals clearly with light and with grace, for if there were not grace, none could stand the light. The light is most wholesome and blessed, because it shows things exactly as they are, but when the light has done its work on the conscience, what remains? Grace and truth!
We have Moses and Jesus in distinct contrast in this lovely narrative, and nothing is more important for the soul than to see the difference between law and grace, between Moses and Christ. What can the law do? Teach me to live. But if I do not live right what does it do? It condemns me. And can I say I have lived right? God says, “All have sinned." If I have sinned, then, what can Moses do? He can only condemn me. Has he no mercy? None. Has he no grace? Not an atom. Truth he has, but it is the truth of my ruin and my guilt, and the certain judgment that follows. If we have to do with the law it can only condemn. The law when it came in, brought with it blackness and darkness and thunderings, and words that the people could not understand, so that Moses himself, the mediator of that law, said, “I do exceedingly fear and quake." He knew what that law was. The Apostle Paul speaks of it in Cor. 3, as “The ministration of death, "and" the ministration of condemnation.”
We have, then, in this Scripture, the beautiful contrast of Christ, in grace, dealing with the one whom Moses must condemn. The scribes and Pharisees brought the woman to Jesus. They little thought they were bringing her to the place of blessing, the presence of Jesus. Have you ever, my reader, known what it is to be in the presence of Jesus? alone with Jesus? Perhaps you feel you would be afraid to be alone with Jesus. Then this Scripture just meets your case. What was it for this woman O be alone with Jesus? Only blessing. And what will the moment be when you for the first time get alone with Jesus? Absolute blessing to you. If you have never been alone with Jesus, you have never got to the spot of absolute blessing.
You need not be afraid of being alone with Jesus. He has only grace and truth for you, and if you knew the blessedness of thus being in His presence, you would not be without it another hour. The scribes and Pharisees bring in this wretched culprit, and they want the Lord to take the judge's seat, and give the verdict. He would not do it. They, in the wickedness of their heart, wanted an occasion against Christ, and they thought they had placed him in a difficulty, because if He stood up for Moses, He would deny his own character, for He had been going through the land preaching grace.
They thought He must side with Moses or against him, and, if he sided with him, He set aside his own teaching, while, if he said, “Let her go," they thought they would then have it to say, "You are an opposer of Moses and of the law, and therefore an unrighteous man.”
What does Jesus do? He “stooped down and with his finger wrote on the ground.” Christ is never in a hurry to abash even the bold, daring, impious soul who comes to Him as these did. He is never in a hurry to show before others what He sees is the true state. So He stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground.
It was His own finger that had written the law He had given to Moses (Ex. 31:18). His own finger, too, wrote the sinner's doom on the wall in Belshazzar's hall (Dan. 5:5). In this scene He is writing in the dust, as though He would show that He would go down, where He has gone down, into that very dust, the dust of death, to rescue the guilty sinner. There is one more place where He writes, and that is on "the fleshy tables of the heart" (2 Cor. 3:3).
The Lord is not writing on the tables of stone now, nor is He yet writing your doom, my unconverted reader—nor is He even writing in the dust; He has done that, but He has not given up writing, He is writing now on the fleshy tables of the heart.
These scribes thought they had caught Jesus in a trap. "Master... what sayest Thou?” they ask. What does He say? “He that is without sin among you let him first cast," not a stone, but “the stone at her.
What the Lord says is this—It is only the sinless hand who can wield the sword of the law. Who was sinless in that company? “You want to make me a judge," says Christ," but I have not come to judge, but to save.”
What takes place? They which heard, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last. Why did the eldest go first? I have no doubt the youngers waited for the elders to cast the stone first. But that day they had got into the presence of the Lord, Moses' Lord, the One who spake from Sinai, and out all go, beginning at the eldest, for here was the full light of God, saying there must be reality. Their consciences convicted them, and to save their characters before men they all went out, and Jesus was left alone, and the sinner, the guilty one, alone with Jesus.
Do you not think this woman's heart must have trembled as these, her accusers, brought her in, knowing what her sin was, and knowing the sentence of the law? But when Jesus was so slow to condemn, what would she feel? She would think, "Surely, I have a friend here.” And then, when every one else had gone, and He still stooping down, not even looking at her, what might this woman have done when the last of her accusers went out? She might have gone, too. But does she? Not she.
Every enemy was driven out by the light of His presence, and her soul was left alone with Christ, alone for the first time in her history with perfect righteousness, absolute holiness, with Moses' Lord, alone with God.
Why did she not fly? Ah, surely she felt, here is the friend of the guilty sinner, of the self-condemned soul, such as I am. Does He make light of sin? Oh, no, no. When the soul is left alone with Jesus, what does He do? He says "Woman, where are those thine accusers?” You may feel you have plenty of accusers, that the devil accuses you, and your conscience accuses you. Quite true, but if you get into the presence of Christ, every accuser vanishes, and He shows that He did not come to judge, but to save; not to condemn, but to bless.
He says, "Has no man condemned thee?” and the woman answers, "No man, Lord.” She had never called Him Lord before, and Scripture says no man can call Jesus, Lord, except by the Holy Ghost.
Who could condemn? He could. He is just the one who can condemn; He, in whose eyes the heavens are unclean; He whose eyes follow you everywhere. What will He say when you have to meet Him by-and-bye? Will He say then? "Neither do I condemn thee.” No, if you put of a solitary interview with Christ till the judgment seat, you will hear no word like that, but what a word that was to that guilty, but contrite, believing soul. No hand but His could touch the stone, and He would not. He says, "Cast the stone if you can, but the hand must be sinless that casts it," and His was the only sinless hand, and He says, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.”
Is that making light of sin? No, no. Do you think she ever forgot that word? Never. He who only could condemn, met her as a Saviour. He did not come to condemn, but to save.
Have you, dear reader, ever known what it is to get into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, with the knowledge of your sin and guilt, and heard from His lips words like these? Do you say, “I do not know how I can help being condemned.” Turn to John 3:18. "He that believeth on him is not condemned." I suppose when that woman called Him Lord, she believed on Him, and, believing on Him, heard Him speak those lovely words, "Neither do I condemn thee, go, and sin no more." That is, go now, and live a holy life. Grace gives an object to live for, and grace gives power to lead a new life.
“Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." Wherever there is a soul that simply believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, that soul not merely is not condemned, but has eternal life. I get the doctrine in the 3rd of John, and the illustration of it in the 8th of John.
What is the doctrine? That the soul that simply trusts in Christ, and believes on Him is not condemned. What is the illustration? A poor guilty soul, self-condemned, but believing simply on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He Himself saying to her, "Neither do I condemn thee.”
He that believeth not, is condemned already. You do not wait for condemnation, till the judgment day. That is the day of execution. The condemnation has passed already.
Do you ask, “Is this world, then, full of condemned criminals?” No, not full, thank God, for there are those in it who have heard His voice, saying to them, “Neither do I condemn thee." You think you are not condemned, you dream you are free, but it is only a dream; for Jesus says, “He that believeth not is condemned already. In spite of your dreams of freedom, you are still under condemnation, and the day of execution is near.
Will you, my reader, not Come to Him now? Come to the Saviour who welcomes, who blesses, let His own word win your heart. He says, John 5:24, "He that heareth my word end believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life. What did that poor woman hear that day? His word: And what did it say to her? “Neither do I condemn thee.”
He that heareth, and believeth, hath; they are all joined together, heareth, believeth, hath.
Have you, my reader, heard and believed, and now do you ask, "How am I to live?" Listen to what Jesus says, “I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." How will you be able to walk rightly? You have the light of life, you have God's own dear Son. Grace pardons the sinner on the ground of the precious blood of the Saviour, and brings that sinner into the light of life, giving him a new object, and a new power, and a guide to follow, and light to know the way.
If you get your heart drawn to Christ, you are blessed by Him, get eternal life, receive His grace, His truth, know you will never collie into condemnation, and have the light of life all the way along. Oh, what a Saviour He is. Who would not trust Him, and seek to follow Him?
W. T. P. W.

Mercy at the Eleventh Hour

H. B.— was a relative of mine, and from my earliest childhood I can remember him as one addicted to habits of intemperance, betting, &c. Yet withal, he was a proud, stern man, with high views of his own morality. He would speak contemptuously of the drunkard and the swearer, seemingly blinded to his own faults.
He was an important person at all christenings, marriages, and burials in his family, but, apart from such occasions, rarely entered a place where God's word was read.
My sister, upon one occasion, ventured to speak to him about his soul's futurity.
She was net by such a volley of impiety that she did not again venture, for many years, to speak to him on such subjects, and, from that time, he treated her with the greatest ridicule. In a fit of intoxication, he broke a blood-vessel, and ever after his health suffered. As year after year passed away, and many and serious attacks of illness warned him of the shortness of his life, he became sobered from his former wild career, and occasionally went to church. At the dying bed of his step-mother he was spoken to faithfully of his responsibility to believe the gospel. He listened, but made no reply. But the dying woman said, as he left her room, “He’ll come to Christ. O yes, he'll come, for I've been praying for him, and God has heard me." How truly was that prayer of faith answered, even though all seemed lost.
Some time after this, his loved and only daughter died after a short illness. He, too, was in a very critical condition, and it was apparent to all that his days were numbered. I went to his house to look upon the face of his daughter, whom I loved so well, and over whom I sorrowed as of one gone into eternity without hope.
"What of your father's condition?" said I, to H. B.'s Christian son. “Alas! his heart seems harder than adamant, not a bit of preparation for his eternal future.”
“I will speak to him," I said.
“I’m afraid he won't listen to you, but he is alone in the drawing-room, do go, it is not a time to be falsely kind. May God bless your effort for his good.”
He was sitting in his arm chair, his poor feet, swollen with dropsy, on a hassock, and such a wretched look upon his still handsome face. I took his hand, and sitting down on a chair in front of him I burst into tears. We wept together for some minutes, then he said, “So you've seen the last of poor A.?”
“Yes, H.”
“Well, I shall be the next. I know I can't last much longer, and I'm quite resigned to my fate.”
“Forgive me, H., but may I ask you a question?”
“Yes.”
“Where do you hope to go when you leave this world?”
“Well, that's known to the Almighty. I've nothing to fear. I die at peace with all men.”
“But, H., you are a sinner, and God is holy, how then can you meet Him in your sins?”
“Hush, hush," he cried angrily," I will not have you talk like this to me. I am many years older than you, and do you think I don't know these things?”
“I cannot help speaking, dear H. Your case is too momentous to allow of delay."
The old sarcastic expression came upon his face while he said, "I won't have it. I know all about it even before you were born. The responsibility is mine.”
“Well, I will only say two texts out of God's word. Mind, H., they are not my words, and then I will leave you:—’ God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."(John 3:16).
“Stay, be quiet, I won't hear," cried he, while his hands shook with excitement.
“Yet one other, and I promise you I will say no more: —’ The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin,'" (1 John 1:7).
Then I prayed and sobbed before him. I felt that I could not give him up, I thought that God's word would surely melt that proud heart—surely he would not refuse the way of salvation.
He got calmer after a few minutes, and said,
"Why do you distress yourself about me?”
"I feel so deeply sorry for you, H.”
“I don't wish you to disturb yourself at all.
I'm all right. I know I must die, and I feel very comfortable in my mind. I dare say you mean what you say for my good, but I don't wish you to talk to me.”
“I promised you I would say no more, H., so, as I cannot do you any good, I must say good-bye." We shook hands, and parted.
"How did you get on?" said his son, on the stairs.
“He will not listen to Scripture, and is evidently deceiving himself.”
“How sad I Well, let us still pray for him, perchance, even now, God will have mercy upon him.”
A few days after, I received the following note: —
Dear A.,
Just a few lines to ask you to continue to pray for my poor father; and I rejoice that I can ask you to blend much praise with your petitions.
Blessed be God that the light has begun to drive back the darkness, and the gospel warmth is melting the ice.
Dr.— told father last Tuesday, that there was no hope of his recovery, and reminded him of the sinner's Friend. In the evening of same day I read Rom. 8., to him, and said a few words. Mr. D. saw him next day. He considers his case very hopeful, and believes God is working with him. Truly, He is faithful that promised. I will pray for him to-morrow, exactly at one o'clock; kindly spare a few minutes at that time that we may feel we are united on his behalf "...
The Sunday following the receipt of above note, H. B. passed into eternity.
There was no uncertainty with him as to where he was going. Grace reigned in that poor heart, that had been the slave of sin and Satan for more than fifty years. Now all was peace—Satan was defeated—the blood of God's Son had cleansed another guilty soul.
"I'm on the Rock!" shouted H. B., as his brother entered his room, about an hour before his departure, "on Christ!”
“Rock of Ages! cleft for me,{br}Grace hath hid me safe in Thee{br}Where the water and the blood,{br}From Thy wounded side which flowed,{br}Are of sin the double cure,{br}Cleansing from its guilt and power.”
"Is that what you mean?" inquired his brother.
“Yes, yes.”
“You are not resting on any righteousness of your own, any rites, or outward observances?”
“Oh! no, I'm a poor sinner, but I have a Saviour. His blood cleanseth from all sin— yes— from all sin. Only Christ now. He has saved my soul. My Rock is Christ. His blood cleanses—cleanses from all sin. Good-bye—I'm going to heaven—to be with Christ—saved through His blood!”
So he peacefully passed away, a trophy of divine grace, to the Lord's eternal praise.
What mercy was shown to H. B.! Like the dying thief, he was taken safely into glory.
Not on the ground of works, or his own righteousness, but his only merit that he was a sinner, he found a sufficiency in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oh! the wondrous grace of God!
But, reader, if you are yet in your sins, do not leave it till the last moment to come to Christ; there may not be mercy for you then.
Shortly after H. B. was taken home, a young woman lay very ill in the workhouse infirmary of a suburban town.
A friend of mine had often spoken to her about her soul, but she heeded not her timely words—there was plenty of time for her, she said.
But the last day came, and again my friend begged her to decide for Christ without delay.
“You may not be here to-morrow," she said.
“I shall be here to-morrow," cried the sick girl.
“God only knows, you may not; do come to Jesus now.”
“I tell you I shall be here to-morrow.”
Reader, that very night the ward rang with the cries of the dying girl. "I am dying," she cried, "O mother, mother, there is a hell, and I am not saved! What shall I do? “Alas, her mother was powerless to help her. A poor sufferer, from another bed, cried out, “Come to Jesus, dear, He will save you, even now.”
But too late-too late! She passed away with out hope!
Reader, come now.
E. E. S.

Money and Health.

IF you have money and health, what more do you need," said an elderly lady in another compartment of the railway carriage by which I was yesterday traveling. The train had pulled up at a quiet country station, and I readily overheard the remark. A feeling of mingled surprise and sorrow filled my heart as I heard the statement, for, whatever benefit may attach to health and wealth, yet to possess only such things was to lack the greatest. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” came to my mind. I turned to Luke 12 and refreshed my memory with the well-known story of the rich man, who could boast, apparently, of health as of wealth—could speak of the “many years" to come as of the “much goods" laid up for them, but who clearly possessed naught beside. He was “rich to himself "—poor otherwise." This night” put a sudden and unexpected period to his “many years," and the hand of death scattered to the winds his "much goods.”
It may be the speaker had forgotten this story, for, heard it and read it she, doubtless, had.
I longed-for close quarters. These were soon granted me. And, my Christian reader, my fellow-laborer unto the kingdom of God, allow me to urge on you the importance of using each opportunity to warn, to encourage, to comfort and to help the toils around you. In these days of "running to and fro" seek to walk for Christ, to drive for Christ, to breathe for Christ. "Redeeming the time because the days are evil." You and I spend hours in the train, and how do we spend them? A railway carriage makes a capital field of labor. A word spoken, or a tract or book kindly and politely given, is frequently used of God in such circumstances.
Well we reached a certain junction where the usual—"All change bore!" had to be obeyed, and in due time I found myself exactly in front of the lady, and alongside of the gentleman to whom her remark was made.
In the same compartment sat a young man whose left hand was bandaged, and placed in a sling. The hand had been badly cut, and the sufferer was on his way home after having seen his doctor. This was communicated to me by the gentleman referred to.
I saw the opportunity was come, and in the hearing of the time-serving lady I said, "It is a sad thing to lose health and wealth, but the loss of the soul is greater. Health and wealth are only for time—may be lost in a moment—they are to be valued and used for God if granted, but after all they do not form the secret of true happiness. If Christ be unknown life itself is a burden—a daily fight for those that have not wealth, and a daily vexation to those that have it; whilst, on the other hand, where Christ is known and enjoyed, health and wealth are really of little moment, useful if given back to God in devoted service, a snare and source of trouble otherwise.”
To this line of Christian philosophy I noticed that the lady strongly objected. Her “health and wealth" system was being roughly shaken by the truth. Her only idea of happiness was being proved false. Another and altogether different secret of joy—one to which she, and all such, are total strangers, came before her mind to her bitter chagrin. “He that drinketh of this water shall thirst again," may safely he applied to the principle of happiness apart from God—but, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst “to this in which Christ and His interests fill the heart.
“His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace.”
“You are right," said the gentleman," the soul is precious, and if we can be the means of leading one soul to Christ, our heaven will be the happier." He was a Christian, not a mere professor to whom the doctrine professed for the sake of respectability, gain, &e., are utterly powerless—but a living soul, to whom they are spirit and life. Strangers hitherto, we now found a theme common and sweet. The new birth, the love of God, the work of Christ, the indwelling of the Spirit, mutual love as children of God, crucifixion to the world, with its “health and wealth" principle, and such like subjects, until we had to part, when he said “We'll meet again." "'Yes," said I,” through grace, in glory, farewell." Sweet meeting place! blessed friendship! Oh! for the day when all the children of God shall meet to part, and be parted, no more.
Though a fellow passenger, and, so far, a friend of the lady, I could see that he had no sympathy with her worldly Christless principles of selfish, sordid, money-loving, self-indulging carnality. During our conversation, which, because of our proximity, she was compelled to overhear, she endeavored to engage herself otherwise as best she could. The mere professor may talk on doctrine, may be crammed with it intellectually, but he cannot endure what is vital. The accessories may be tolerated, but Christ Himself is hated. Oh! what would heaven be to such people, when the presence of God is the spring of His people's joy I and yet they "hope," forsooth, to go there.
My reader, if you cannot endure—and have no relish for—the presence and truth of God on earth, how can you think of enjoying it in heaven? “Except a man be born again be cannot see the kingdom of God." Many hay I seen without health or wealth, and without the desire for it too, who yet were happy.
It is Christ and not health, Christ and not wealth, that is the secret of joy—as thousands of souls can attest.
“In pining sickness or in health,{br}Christ for me;”{br}In deepest poverty or wealth,{br}Christ for me.
Thank God the Christian does not wait for heaven in order to learn that secret. He knows it already.
True, alas, the fact is belied by the daily life of many true Christians. This to their shame! They need the knife of circumcision to "roll away" such a "reproach of Egypt” (Jas. 5), and failing this they will suffer.
But, thank God, there are many, many others who have counted, and are still counting, all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
J. W. S.

No Difference

HERE had been some good work in a little Hertfordshire village, where, through God's goodness, the gospel of His grace had been preached Sunday after Sunday, in V—’s two roomed cottage.
Notwithstanding his poverty and want of education, V—possessed the greatest gift of God (John 3:16) to lost and ruined man. The Bible, too, was his constant companion, and his countenance told to all around of a large measure of peace and joy within.
Nor was this to be wondered at, for he was a man of prayer (John 16:24), and emphatically believed everything the word of God declares (Rom. 15:13).
There was a time when he (although, undoubtedly as moral, and, humanly speaking, as upright a man as would anywhere be met) was indifferent to the pleadings of the Saviour's love add. pity, but the grace of God that bringeth salvation and appeareth to all men, appeared to him, and the Word, which we are told, is the Sword of the Spirit, reached his conscience, and taught him that there was " no difference " between him and the vilest individual on the face of the earth as regards being “guilty before God." Accordingly, owning this fact, he look the place of a lost, sinner, remembering the words of Christ, that " the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost;" and not only so, but he claimed the lost and guilty sinner's Saviour as the only One in whom he could event now " have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins.”
Having thus, to his great joy, obtained the assurance on the authority of the word of the living God, that he was "bought with a price,” even "by the precious blood of Christ," he sought to live as one ought to live who had learned the truth that he was not his own, but Christ's, who loved him and gave Himself for him (Gal. 2:20); and so, considering himself " a debtor both to Jew and Gentile” (Rom. 1:14) he threw open one of his rooms (as already stated) for the preaching of the glad tidings of salvation to those who might be prevailed upon to attend and hear it. By this means many a careless one was, at least, aroused, and testimony from some, was received of a "turning to God from idols, to serve the living and true God.”
As an instance of the manner in which he would deal with opposers to, or inquirers for the truth, the following incident, may with profit, be recorded.
The preaching one Sunday evening, had been upon the subject. “There is no difference for ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," and it had been pointed out that in regard to guilt there is "no difference” between one individual and another in God's sight. V—was present as usual, although exceedingly ill. During the ensuing week, a woman (one of the audience) called upon him in order to protest against “the assertions of the preacher, that there is no difference.' “Was it to be supposed, said she, that there was “no difference “between her and So-and-so, and So-and-so. She went regularly to church, sent her children to Sunday School, read her Bible, and tried to earn an honest living, and was she to be put on a par with those who never went to a so-called place of worship, never read their Bibles, and never appeared to be concerned in regard to the spiritual welfare of their little ones. V—took his Bible, and informed her that the words at which she had taken so much offense were not those of the preacher, but of God, and turning to Rom. 3:22 and 23, he effectually silenced the repeated arguments as to her fancied goodness, by as constantly handing over the Scriptures, and requesting the woman to read the words for herself, merely observing each time, that " God says it.”
Thus the Lord honored his poor but devoted and confiding servant, who was so soon to be called home, his work on earth being nearly done. The Sunday night already referred to, was his last as one of our little company, his illness having taken so serious a turn, as to compel him to keep to his bed.
We visited him during his prostration, and sang, talked, and read to him of JESUS, the chiefest among ten thousand; and altogether lovely, whose name, says the inspired apostle, "is above every name," and at which "every knee shall bow.”
Dear ! his last moments were very blessed, for Christ was indeed everything to him. The earthen vessel appeared to be so full of joy that it almost seemed as if the soul must break the bonds which bound it still to earth; and most refreshing was it to observe the intense delight it gave the departing saint, to converse on the prospect now so near, of being " absent from the body, present with the Lord," there to await with Him the glorious resurrection morning when
"All the ransom'd Church shall rise,{br}And wing their way to yonder skies{br}Called up with Christ to reign.”
V—had not long to wait, however, until the looked-for summons came, for before, a month had elapsed, from the day he took to his bed, he heard his heavenly Master's voice, bidding him to come up higher.
Oh! what glories await the redeemed! Surely "the half hath not been told," for is it not written? “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard... the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," and "our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
“There we shall see His face,{br}And never, never sin,{br}And from the rivers of His grace{br}Drink endless pleasures in.”
Reader! what are your eternal prospects?
Have you ever, like poor V—, taken your place on the "no difference" platform, acknowledging that, having sinned, you are actually “guilty before God" and "condemned already;” and have you, too, in the energy of divine faith, laid hold of that once crucified, but now risen Christ of God?
If not, oh, do so at once. Yes, now," while it is called to-day." Before to-morrow, your soul may be in eternity—lost, forever lost—only awaiting “the resurrection of damnation," when, in your raised and sinful body you will have to stand before "the Great White Throne," to be “judged... according to your works," and to hear from "the Judge of all the earth" your terrible doom—"
DEPART FROM ME, YE CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE, PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS.”
Oh! make haste and come to Jesus! Trust in Him now, and in Him alone, for, “BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS. N. L. N.
FAITH is the soul's outward, not its inward look.

The Old Doctor's Story

“Thy will be done!”
My God, my Father, while I stray{br}Far from my home, in life's rough way,{br}O teach me from my heart to say"—{br}Thy will be done!
If Thou should'st call me to resign{br}What most I prize, it ne'er was mine;{br}I only yield Thee what was Thine—{br}"Thy will be done!”
If but my fainting heart be bless'd{br}With Thy sweet Spirit for its Guest,{br}My God, to Thee I leave the rest—{br}"Thy will be done!”
Renew my will from day to day;{br}Blend it with Thine, and take away{br}All that now makes it hard to say—{br}"Thy will be done”
Then, when on earth I breathe no more{br}The prayer, oft mix'd with tears before,{br}I'll sing, upon a happier shore,{br}“Thy will be done!”
IT was a lovely Lord's Day evening in balmy August. We had just concluded family worship, and one of our number had asked that we might sing together the above solemn, beautiful hymn. Scarcely had we finished the fast verse when the door quietly opened, and a well known figure stood before us. It was our family doctor, now an aged man, with snow white locks, and long flowing beard.
Such a visit was no uncommon occurrence. He loved, as evening shades drew on, to drop into our quiet little cottage and spend an hour, hearing and telling of God's wondrous purposes of grace, and of the final consummation of all, in that glory to which he felt himself fast hastening. Quietly he took his seat by my side, but as we sung with plaintive voice that searching second verse:—
If Thou shoulds't call me to resign{br}What most I prize, it ne'or was mine{br}I only yield Thee what was Thine{br}"Thy will be done!”
a strange pallor overspread his face, and. before we had finished the third verse, covering his face with his hands, he bowed his manly aged head on the table, the very picture of sorrow and sadness. Before the hymn was ended, had fairly broken down, and sobbed aloud.
Such grief is a sacred thing, and we all sat in silence till the dear old man's sorrow subsided, and he became himself again.
“Thank you, thank you," said he, wiping the tears from his eyes; “I know you will forgive me, but that hymn has become almost sacred to me, and is connected with one of the saddest stories I have known in this poor world of sorrow. A strange similarity of circumstances to those under which I first heard it sung has brought the sad story so forcibly before me, that it has quite unmanned me.”
Being pressed, if it were not of a private or too painful a character, to tell us this sad story, he at once replied, " Oh, yes, I will readily tell you all about it, for though the story brings back the remembrance of dark, deep sorrow, it carries with it its own antidote, and leaves only joy and gladness behind.”
Then bracing himself up for the effort, he said, “It is now many years since the sad incidents of my sorrowful story took place, according to the measurement of time, but to me it seems but as so many days, or weeks at most.
“At that time I had a practice in two or three villages in the Midland counties. The people were mostly poor, but here and there was a stately mansion, with many a snug little villa residence. In one of them, surrounded by its well-kept garden, lawn and orchard, resided one of my patients, an aced well-to-do retired gentleman, with his wife and three grown up daughters. It was indeed well with them, not only for this world, but it was well for eternity. Many a pleasant hour in sweet Christian fellowship had I spent in that happy little circle.
“As now, it was a Sunday night in bright sunny August. As now, I stepped into their house to spend a quiet hour. As with you, there were five present. They were singing the same hymn to the same tune. That same grand old sun, as now, was sinking behind the distant hills. They sung that hymn, oh, so sweetly it seemed such a reality with every one that I could not but ask them to sing it again. It made a deep impression, and scarce could I keep back the hot gushing tears.
“We together knelt and worshipped as the old man poured out thanksgivings for all the mercies so richly given. After supper we sat in that quiet room gazing over the distant hills till daylight passed away. It was a lovely sight—that aged godly father and mother, and those three gentle, loving, happy Christian girls. There was peace and plenty, and contented hearts. As I retired to my home and to my bed, I thought much of this rare scene, for it was indeed as a fair garden where all is calm and lovely.
“How little did I think what a desolating storm was about to burst over that fair scene and sweep down every beautiful flower!
It was not more than two o'clock the following ramming, when I was aroused by a violent ringing of the night bell. I was requested to hasten back to my old friend's house, as the youngest daughter had been taken suddenly A few minutes brought me to the bed side. What a change! Dire fever had stricken her down, and was already making rapid and. dangerous progress. In three days, spite of all efforts, she was gone! But before the last painful struggle the eldest child was also laid prostrate, then the third, and last of all, and almost immediately, the mother, too, fell a prey to the same fatal fever!
“It would be vain to attempt a description of those days and nights of agony and toil. All that wealth could command, and skill could accomplish was secured, but in twelve short days the sacred dust of all four was laid beneath the sward of the village churchyard. What a dark cloud hung over that quiet village! My own soul had been moved to its lowest depths.
“Just fourteen days after that fair Sunday night scene, again I stepped into that room. The dear old man was in the same chair, gazing upon the same setting sun. Unobserved I sat by his side. The last rays of light lit up his sorrowful face. Alas! how changed. The tears trickled down those careworn cheeks. I wondered now if he thought of that solemn hymn,
"Thy will be done!”
which a fortnight before we had sung under circumstances so altered. Becoming conscious of my presence, he turned full towards me, clasped his hands, and with the tears streaming down his cheeks, exclaimed but with a voice oh! so tremulous: —
"If Thou should'st call me to resign{br}What most I prize, it ne'er was mine;{br}I only yield Thee what was Thine—{br}Thy will be done!”
“Together we wept as only those who know such deep sorrow could weep. Stricken down, and alone in his grief—all that was dear on earth torn away with apparently ruthless hand, still could the dear old saint exclaim—
Thy will be done!’
On finishing this touching story, “You will not wonder," said the aged doctor," that your hymn sung to-night under such peculiar circumstances should have carried me back to such a scene of sorrow. During the sharp short illness of all four there was little opportunity for prayer or worship. Speedily was delirium followed by unconsciousness, and that by death; but they knew in whom they believed. They knew the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the blood of His Son had cleansed them from all sin; and their end was peace.”
Reader, will yours be the same?
T. R.

Peace With God, and How to Get It

(Read Job 22:15-21.)
THERE is wonderful counsel given in the 21st verse of this chapter: “Acquaint now thyself with him (God), and be at peace." That is the Holy Ghost's counsel to the sinner. He has been showing what took place with men who did not want to be acquainted with God, who said to God, “Depart from us." They were "cut down,” they were "overflown with a flood.”
Perhaps, my reader, you try to think that the story of the flood is a myth, you would like to think it all a mistake; and why do you thus dislike the thought of the flood? Because by allowing the truth of that, you admit that God does judge wickedness; and if you admit that He judges once, you cannot deny that He may judge again. He will do so.
The devil likes to get men to disbelieve the flood because he thus obliterates from their conscience the recollection of the holy character of God, who must and will judge sin.
The men of old times said, “Depart from us," and what do you say, reader? If anyone speaks personally to you about your soul, do you not also say, "Depart from us"? The beauty of the gospel is this, that it brings us into close quarters with God. You cannot deny the goodness of God to you, and yet your mind is at enmity to God, and why? Because you do not know Him.
What turns round a man's heart to God? Knowledge of Him. “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace." When a soul knows the Lord the most miraculous transformation takes place. The gulf is bridged between the guilty soul and God, and you who drew back from God find now your delight in Him. There is nothing more terrible to an unconverted man than to have to do with God; he fears Him, he dreads Him, he knows nothing of this peace in his heart of which the 21st verse speaks.
“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace; thereby good shall come unto thee.” What goodwill come? Eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and the knowledge, too, that you are a saved person. No longer will you be an exile, but a child. And do you ask, When may I get all this? This Scripture gives the answer, “Acquaint now thyself with. God— not to-morrow, for to-morrow is not yours. To-morrow, some one else instead of you may say, "Depart," for yours are not the only lips that say, Depart." There is a day coming when the Master of the house will rise up and shut to the door, and then He will say, “Depart from me," to those who would know Him then.
Perhaps, my reader, you may never have been troubled, you may have a certain sort of peace, but it is not divine. The Lord tells us that “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace his goods are in peace." Who is the strong man armed?. The devil. What is his palace? The world. And what are his goods? The unsaved souls of men and women. When the Holy Ghost first speaks to the conscience, there is the very opposite of peace. There is trouble and dismay. But where the conscience is exercised, where the soul is broken down with a sense of its own wretchedness, God knows all about it, and He knows how to speak peace to such an one. If you will look at Isa. 57:15 to the end you will read “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." No, my reader, there is no rest; no peace for the soul that knows not God, either in time or in eternity. Your body may get rest in the grave, but there is no rest for your soul, no rest in hell. Your very face now bears the stamp of unrest upon it, though there may be carelessness and indifference, Satan not letting you be disturbed.
Perhaps you think the word wicked does not apply to you, you a decent, respectable, church going person. You who have put' your hand into your pocket to send missionaries to heir to convert the heathen. Yes, my reader, you may be all this, and yet you may never have been converted yourself.
Are you one who says, “I should like to be at peace with God. What can I do? “You can do nothing. It is too late for your doings; Christ has done it all, there is nothing left for you to do. Hear what God says of Jesus, “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself" (Col. 1:20).
'What can blot out your sins and mine? The blood of His cross. What only can give peace? The blood of His cross. There was between God and man enmity. Where was the enmity? On man's side. Who departed from God in the Garden of Eden? Man. Who put the trees of the garden between him and God? Man. Who slew his brother? Man. Who put to death the blessed Jesus? Man. Who resisted the Holy Ghost in all ages? Man. You know, my reader, if you have resisted the strivings of the Spirit of God with you. It is always man who departs from God, who hates God, and it is always God who goes after the sinner, who seeks to win back the confidence of man.
Until you know God, you can never know real peace; until the blood of the Cross rests on you, you cannot know it. But the moment I see that on the Cross where the enmity of the heart of man put Jesus, there flows out all the love of the heart of God, then I get peace.
God speaks of an unsaved man and calls him “wicked," speaks of his doings and calls them “wicked works," and when I am brought down to see the truth of this, how glad I am when I find out my own guilt to turn round to Him, and find that He is the only One who can do anything for me.
It is true that man made the breach between himself and God, and, you say, he ought to repair it. But he cannot. He cannot do anything for himself: cannot give to God a ransom for himself, much less for his brother; but Christ has rendered to God that which He took not away. He has laid down on the treasury bench of God the sinner's ransom. When he said "It is finished," there remained not one thing for the sinner to do. He made peace by the blood of His Cross. He rose from the dead, and came and preached peace, and I get the Holy Ghost writing “He is our peace.”
What can give a guilty soul this peace? Acquaintance with God. “Acquaint now thyself with him and be at peace." God now takes the character of the "God of peace," and if I get to know God, I get to know peace, because it is the very character of the One I have learned to know. The Lord, too, is called “the Prince of Peace," and who are the subjects of this Prince? Every believer is a subject.
“Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God." What is it to have peace with God? It is to have a sense in the soul that there is nothing between God and me; that every question of sin is entirely settled, that what was due to me was all laid on Christ, and, therefore, when can I lose my peace? When Christ loses His place in the presence of God. It is all in Christ. He is my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. He is my peace likewise, as the Holy Ghost says "Christ is all.”
The Christian is one who looks back and sees everything settled by the work of Christ, who has Christ now as His peace, and who goes out into the world carrying peace to others—a Peace-carrier. Again I say to you, my reader, “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace." W.T.P.W.

Peace With God; Have You It?

PEACE! Present peace with God!
Inestimable blessing! Reader, do you enjoy it? Perhaps you think, like thousands more, it is impossible to have it in this world; we must wait till we go to the next for that. But what does God. Himself say? Are we to follow the thoughts of men, or the Word of God? “Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom. 3:4). Let us, then, hear what God says. Do you desire peace? Listen.
“There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." “The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isa. 57:20, 21). No peace. No peace. No peace to the wicked.
Thus saith the living God; and this world which lieth in wickedness (or the wicked one) abundantly proves the truth of it. Where do you find the wicked enjoying peace? The world in their sins are total 'strangers to it. Have you ever watched the sea—the restless waves?
Did you ever see it still? Never. Sometimes more disturbed than others by the power of the mighty wind, but never at rest. And the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest.
But maybe, you reply, “Yes, yes, but those are the wicked who are going on in all kind of sin and rebellion against God. I am not one of them. I hate all that kind of thing, and would not follow such a course on any account.
I quite see how such people as that have no peace. But I am not like that; I'm peaceful enough. I always go to a place of worship, and seek to do my duty in this life. No one can lay anything particularly wrong to my charge. I don't believe in making myself miserable, pulling a long face, and making a great show of one's religion. There are some people so mopish, they won't go here, they won't go there, they won't do this, they won't do that; I've no patience with them. I believe God meant us to enjoy ourselves a bit here as well as hereafter. I'm very happy and peaceful. I don't think God is quite so hard as some of you folk seem to make out.”
My dear friend, we don't want to make out anything but what is tine; all we desire is that you should bow to God's Word. What you have just uttered shows plainly the condition you are in. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt, 12:34). It is all. I, I, I, your righteousness, your thoughts from beginning to end. You are joining in the wide-spread cry of “Peace, peace, and there is no peace “Ger. 8:11). Your foundation is false from beginning to end, and therefore your peace is A FALSE PEACE too.
You are propping yourself up in your own righteousness, clothing yourself in your own filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and crying with the Pharisee, "I am not as other men are" (Luke 18:11). Vain delusion. Satan will not disturb you as long as you rest there; you will have peace with him, but surely not with God. Oh! sinner, halt thou not read that " men shall cry, peace and safety: then shall sudden destruction come upon them " (1 Thess. 5:3).
Thousands, and tens of thousands, yea, millions, are passing rapidly down the broad road to hell, clad in the Pharisee's garb, and crying aloud the vain shibboleth of peace, peace. But there is no peace. "Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). Deformation is not new birth. Human religion and morality never did, and never will, put away sin. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). It is Cain’s religion over again: your doings, your works, your goodness. God sweeps away the whole refuge of deceit and lies, this terrible stronghold of the devil, “self-righteousness," with three words. May write them indelibly upon the table of your heart' as it were “with a pen of iron, and the point of a diamond" (Jer. 17:1). "NOT OF WORKS.”
Cease then, sinner, from your own righteousness; own you are guilty and lost, and “Acquaint now thyself with God, and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee” (Job 22:21).
If you desire true peace, you must have it in God's way, or you cannot have it at all. God never told the sinner to make peace by his own efforts. It is utterly impossible to obtain it by anything you are, or ever will be, anything you have done, are doing, or ever can do. But if you acquaint yourself with God. (and now not to-morrow, is God's time) you will find the peace you lack, but want; for He has made peace by the blood of the cross of His own Son, and preaches peace by Jesus Christ to all (Col. 1:20; Acts 10:36). “Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near “(Isa. 57:19). Peace to the Jew; peace to the Gentile; peace to those who were under law; peace to those who are without law; peace, peace to all.
What you cannot possibly do, God has already done: made peace. God Himself was the author of the wondrous plan, God Himself began, went on with, and completed perfectly the whole work, by His Son. God said, “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22), and wondering there was no man, marveling there was no intercessor, Himself provided a Lamb, without blemish, “without spot" (1 Peter 1:19). The one perfect offering of Jesus met all His claims, settled every question God-ward. He path made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin " (2 Cor. 5:21). Peace was made by the blood, the precious blood, the blood of Jesus " (1 Peter 1:19). God raised the sin-bearer to the throne of glory. Do you believe on Him? “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.
"He was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification, therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 4:25: 5:1).
HAVE YOU IT?
The death and resurrection of Christ settled everything. God is satisfied; yea, glorified (John 17:4). What question then will you raise? What further do you need? Is it your offenses that trouble you? He was delivered to death for the offenses of all who believe. Is it how you are to be justified? He was raised again for the justification of every one that believeth. Again I ask you, Do you believe? Doubtless you believe about it, but do you believe it? Do you believe on Him who did it all once and forever by Himself? Will you, do you? You do: then peace is yours. Present peace, permanent peace, everlasting peace, with God, through Jesus. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Not we shall have it, not we hope to have it; no "if;” no "perhaps," no terms, no conditions; but a plain, positive, unchanging, unalterable, unconditional, absolute statement made by God, who cannot lie, written by God in his Word which cannot be broken (Titus 1:2; John 10:35). "We have peace." True of you, me, every and anybody that believeth.
We have now peace with God. It must be now if we have it at all. And God says we have it. We believe God, and therefore we know we have it. HAVE YOU IT? "I believe,” you reply. You do, then you must have it. Being justified by faith we have peace. The two things go together. If you have not peace, you have not got faith, you do not believe. If you do believe, then you have. Believing is having: so always. It is all in believing. Forgiveness, justification, eternal life, peace with God: all are ours the moment we believe. Christ is the alone Saviour; Christ is offered to all. Faith appropriates Him,—and having Christ, we possess all things in Him.
“HE IS OUR PEACE, who hath made both one (i.e., Jews and Gentiles who now believe) and hath broken down the middle wail of partition between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Him-self of twain, one new man; so making peace,” &c. (Eph. 2:14-15).
What a thought for a poor, burdened, anxious soul, who has been trying year after year to find peace, vainly expecting to discover it in some form or shape in Himself, to have perfect peace with God now through the finished work of Christ. One simple look of faith at Jesus on the throne of God, and outside of sell altogether, and the whole question is forever settled, and peace with God the present blessed result. Praise God for His wondrous plan.
“I hear the words of love,{br}God's eye is on the blood,{br}I trust the mighty sacrifice,{br}And I have peace with God,
'Tis everlasting peace!{br}Sure as Jehovah's name;{br}'Tis stable as His steadfast throne,{br}For evermore the same.
My love is Mimes low,{br}My joy still ebbs and flows,{br}But peace with Him remains the same,{br}No change Jehovah knows.”
Reader, let me ask you once again, have you this blessed peace? If not, why not?
And now a word in conclusion with those who have believed, and have peace. We not only read of peace with, but also of the peace of God. This, too, is the proper portion of the believer. “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil, 4:6). Follow the exhortation of His Word, fellow-believer, and you shall be thus kept. And, finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. “These things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me (Paul) do: and the God of peace shall be with you" (Phil, 4:8-9). Satan will seek to hinder and obstruct, but resist him and he will flee from you ". (James 4:7)," and the God of peace shall bruise him under your feet shortly" (Rom. 16:20).
E. H. C.

The Person of Christ

IN the Gospel by John, and especially in the first chapter, we have a wonderful presentation of the Person of Christ, the blessed Son of God. Now the sum and substance of Christianity is found in the fullness that is in Him, and in the wondrous work which he has accomplished at the cross of Calvary. We have two advents of this blessed One into this world recorded here, and elsewhere in the Scriptures: the first, which has taken place, when He came as the Saviour; and the second, when He will come as the Judge, as well as a preliminary one to this latter, when He will descend into the air as the Saviour of His people to receive them in their bodies to Himself (1 Thess. 4:16-17; Phil. 3:20, 21). This latter event is what may take place any moment, and the only thing that hinders it is the longsuffering of our Lord, which is salvation (2 Peter 3:15) which salvation is still being preached to sinners in the gospel, so that any one who now receives Christ is saved (Acts 16:31), and added to the happy company of believers who await Him— God's Son from heaven (1 Thess. 1:10).
Now at the first advent of Christ into this world, when He, as the Light, shone in the moral darkness of this scene (1 John 5), the result as to man was much the same as it is to-day, as also we may trace the condition of man in this day to be the same as in that. Christ was not only found down here, come close to man where He was, but God, to give man every chance, sent a forerunner named John (the Baptist) to call attention to Him, to be a preacher sent from God. (1 John 5) to herald Him forth; which he does most blessedly, and in the way any one first needs to know Him, by announcing Him in the character really of the Saviour, in those wondrous words, " Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world " (John 1:29).
The result of this was, as I have said, much the same as to-day, although, as we shall see, there were a few individuals who were the exception to the general rule. It is written, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not " (John 1:11-12). There was the world at large, and His own people, the Jews, who were outwardly so. He was generally rejected by both. So we find it to-day, for we have all around us a people professing to be Christians, who own God who have, like the Jews, the Scriptures (John 5:39), who have their places of worship, as they had their temple: there is an earthly priesthood and an earthly religion to-day, as then. But let me affectionately ask any such, any who as yet have only a profession of religion to rest upon, Is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ precious to your soul? Let me put a test.
Let me step into any house or company of merely professing Christians, and introduce to you the subject, speaking of Him; is He the One you most care to think or speak of; or would it be more welcome to speak of some great man of the day, some distinguished character in this world's arena, a great preacher, orator, statesman, general, or any other, or even an infidel?
Dear reader, we may all find out easily enough where we are as regards God.; bring in Christ. Is He to you the chiefest among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely (SoS. 5:10-16), or is He to you the despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3)? Do you want Christ, or do you think to go on without Him. Paul said, “If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maranatha" (1 Cor. 16:22). Solemn words, and not harsh, if rightly considered. God is jealous concerning his Son, how He is treated by man, and makes this the one great test, while He has shown His love in giving Him to die for sinners, such as we all are (Rom. 3:23), that any, believing in Him, might be saved, or receiving Him, might have life, through His name.
But what a beautiful contrast in this chapter to the general unbelief, do we find in John the Baptist, as well as in the case of a few others. The pharisaical priests and Levites of Jerusalem might question the simple ministry of the man sent from God, and raise the question, " Who art thou? " and John might reply to them, to touch their consciences, if possible, that he was there to make straight the way of the Lord, whom they knew not, neither desired, confessing, too, he was not the Christ, yet was he one who confessed that blessed One, as infinitely preferred before him, for He was, as a divine Person, before him, though coming, as a man, after him, and he was not worthy to unloose the latchet of His shoe. Christ was to him an all-absorbing object, and he a true believer in His name, and a voice moreover in this wilderness world (John 1:23) to call upon sinners to "Behold the Lamb of God." And, beloved reader, we re-echo this blessed strain, we touch the same note—
“’Tis music in our ears.”
and bid you to-day "Behold" this same Lamb— Jesus; not now, indeed, on earth, yet the same as yesterday, and forever (Heb. 13:8), the Lamb as it had been slain, now in the midst of the throne above (Rev. 5:6); not about to take away the sin of the world, but who has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26) and who is now presented in another part of the same apostle's writings, the Book of the Revelation, as the Lamb slain, now alive again.
And, beloved, think of this, there was a necessity that God's Lamb should be slain (John 3:14). Thus God provided for the condemnation of sin, at the cross, when that most precious blood was shed, which alone cleanseth from all sin the one who trusts it.
May this one be yourself, and with the same effect, as in the case of the two disciples, who left John, and followed Jesus. No fitness, no meetness is required for this,—
“But to know your need of Him.”
But, it may be, you have not been brought to this, and often there are hindrances, but always connected with ourselves, we having generally wrong thoughts of our own, or deceived by others; also our natural pride of heart being the greatest, we refuse a gospel that makes nothing of man, and everything of Christ, that makes all to rest upon His Person and work, and makes utterly nothing of us or our works, or religiousness whatsoever.
Now, in this chapter which we are considering, we find Christ presented in other ways than the Saviour, and often men will rest satisfied to believe in a natural way in Him thus, not seeing the important first thing for all, is to be able to say for oneself, He is my Saviour, He loved me, and gave Himself for me.
Passing by the first two verses, which present Him as the eternal Son, the Word, having being, whenever the beginning was, in the third verse we have Him as the Creator. No one should despise a natural owning of God in this way, yet nature will never lead to the knowledge of nature's God. No, one must, as a convicted sinner, be brought to know Christ as Saviour first, then afterward as Creator. Let us not reverse this, for no spiritual, real knowledge of the Creator or creation is there, apart from the faith in Him (Heb. 11:3), which also saves.
Then in beautiful order, in the 14th verse, the Incarnation is presented, the divine Word become flesh, Christ as a man here below.
The enemy of souls makes a very subtle use of this to deceive many. It is said, through the false teaching of the day, that thus Christ became united to man, the sinful race of Adam, for such we are by nature, and in virtue of this, man really gets a fresh start, and if any one goes on to follow and carry out certain religious duties, and lead a moral life, he will get to heaven at last, quite shrouding and displacing the death of Christ, by giving undue prominence to the incarnation. Be warned against this, for two reasons: one, that it is one form. of salvation by good works of man, as depending partly upon him, and another that Jesus Himself has said that, "Except a corn of wheat (Himself) fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone," &c. (John 12:24). Far be the thought that the spotless, Holy One, should, or could be united to sinful man: no, He remained alone (although necessarily taking the body prepared for Him in incarnation, the holy thing that was born (Luke 1:35) in order to die), until He did die, and rise again, and not until He took His seat on high, and sent down the Holy Ghost, on the day of Pentecost, as the One who baptizeth therewith, were any united to Him, one spirit with the Lord.
The above form of unbelief, for such it is, is what men would always like, for it makes something of them, and presents Christ, as if He were a reformer of man, which He never is, but the Saviour.
Further, there might be one who reads these lines, who is thinking of Christ, as He is presented. in the 9th verse, as the true light, and misinterpreting this passage, expounding it as if lighting every man, was the communication of something good to every man, an inward light in all, and making it depend upon them, as to whether they put it out, or keep it burning by their walk and life. But the meaning is that the Light shining, casts a light upon, really exposes the darkness one is in. The great necessity within, is life, which is the gift of God; it is true, if the exposure by the light to the all-searching eye of God lead one to repentance, then Love gives the blessing, but men may go out from the presence of God, as Cain of old, or the Pharisees of the 8th chapter of this gospel, whilst a poor, wretched, convicted sinner remaining there, will hear the word of grace and love from the lips of Jesus, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:11). Again, there are those who talk of free will, yet the only thing man does of his own free will, under the power of Satan, is to sin against God, sever to turn to Him; those who believe "are born," as verse 13 shows, " not of blood, nor of the will of the 'flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Perhaps someone may answer at once, this is true, "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9); but let me tell you that, though you are not responsible, as you may be thinking, for power to do ought to save yourself, yet you are to believe the gospel, which is God's power, unto salvation to every one that believeth, as the 12th verse shows, speaking of individuals who receive Christ by believing in His Name. What a wondrous weapon the Word of God is, as a sword turning every way, against all the vain thoughts and. doctrines of men, and misapplication of its own doctrine; how blessed, my reader, if it has done its work with you, and thus you find yourself laid low in the presence of God, as a good for nothing sinner, and discover Christ to be the Saviour. To you is the message of the Gospel, “Behold the Lamb of God." Look simply, and only to Jesus, and live.
It is an individual thing, to" as many as received Him," and these things were written “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name " (John 20:31). And then to turn away from man and follow Him (John 21:22). May thus the Person of the Christ of God be most precious to your soul. The law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17) We do not preach Moses to you, telling you to “do and live," but we preach Christ, telling you of what has been done, that ye might believe and live. Salvation is not of works, lest any man should boast, but of faith, by grace (Eph. 2:8).
"Oh, the glory of the grace{br}Shining in the Saviour's face,{br}Telling sinners from above{br}God is Light, and God is Love.”
J. S. C.

The Precious Blood

The Necessity for Blood-Shedding
IT is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Levit. 17:11). Blood—not prayers, nor works, nor morality, nor feelings, nor religious ordinances, nor good resolutions; not anything, in short, that comes from an in any form or shape whatever. But blood, the precious blood of Christ; that blood which God Himself calls precious, alone can make an atonement for the soul.
The moment sin entered the world, man's life was forfeited. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27). In Adam all die (1 Cor. 15:22). All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Our first parents sought to remedy their condition, having discovered that they were naked, by sewing fig leaves together. Vain provision, as they themselves proved. If of any avail, why hide behind the trees of the garden. Ah! dear reader, if man is to be clothed in a manner suited to God, God Himself must do it. The Lord God made coats of skins, and clothed them (Gen. 3:21).
Banished from the earthly paradise, we have a striking instance in the conduct of their sons, Cain and Abel, of the only way of approach to God, sin having come in and ruined all. Cain's offerings, the fruit of his hard toil, are refused; but Abel by faith offers of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof, recognizing that his own life was forfeited, and that he could only come to God on the ground of a divinely approved substitute (Gen. 4:3-5).
Later on in the history of man, the flood having overwhelmed a corrupt and guilty world, Noak and his family being preserved in the ark, when they had come forth on to the earth again, Noah builded an altar, and offered to God of every clean beast and fowl, and burnt offerings, fully recognizing the same truth, which runs all through Scripture.
Israel's History Testifies to It
Abram, called out by God, also builds an altar, calling upon the name of the Lord. From him springs God's earthly people Israel. Bondmen Egypt under the Pharaohs, God is about to deliver them by the hand of Moses. The king refusing to let them go, ten fearful plagues overtake the Egyptians, the last of which was the slaying of the first-born of man and beast throughout the land of Egypt. But God remembers His people, and makes provision for their shelter. How? Israel was to take a lamb, a lamb for an house, slay it, and sprinkle the blood outside upon the lintel and doorposts of their houses. The principle of substitution, as we have seen, had been set forth long before, but here for the first time we get mention of the blood as sheltering from judgment (Ex. 12).
"When I see the blood I will pass over you,” said Jehovah. Not when Israel saw it, but when Jehovah saw it. Israel, in obedience of faith, sprinkled the blood according to the word of the Lord. The blood was outside, and they went in; and sheltered by it, feasted on the roasted lamb. Beautiful type of the believer now. Trusting in the blood of Christ, we are sheltered thereby, feasting upon Him by faith, who has been into death for us, and borne the fiery judgment of God. The destroying angel passed through the land, but Israel's faith in the blood and the word of God were not misplaced; not one was smitten.
After their deliverance from Egypt, as they passed through the wilderness to the promised land, God communicated to them a number of ordinances, establishing their approach to Him by means of sacrifice and priesthood, every fresh sin needing a fresh sacrifice, and the great day of atonement for the nation once every year. Thus we get throughout the Jewish dispensation of the past a continual remembrance of sin, and a constant repetition of the shedding of blood. “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).
I might multiply instances, but suffice what I have written to show to the reader that the only way of approach to God from the commencement of man's history until Christ, was by the death of a substitute, and the shedding of blood. The reason of this is obvious. The blood is the life of all flesh (Gen. 9:4), and therefore man's life being forfeited on account of sin, either he must receive sin's wages—death— and be judged eternally (Rev. 20:15), or a substitute be found. Here, then, we see the needs be for blood-shedding.
The Sacrifice Divine
Now let us look for a moment at the death of Him who was the great Antitype of every sacrifice of old.
“It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering, thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. In burnt offering and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is it written of Me) to do Thy will, O God" (Heb. 10:4-7).
This man offered one sacrifice for sins (Heb. 10:12). He was divinely approved. Holy, harmless, undefiled, the Lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Pet. 1:29). Judas, who delivered Him into the hands of His enemies, owned in his remorse, that he had betrayed the innocent blood (Matt. 27:4). Pontius Pilate washed his hands, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person (Matt. 27:24).
Delivered notwithstanding to the will of man to be crucified, He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth (Isa. 53:7). Crowned in mockery with a crown of thorns, His blessed hands and feet nailed to the cross, His side pierced with a spear, the precious, precious blood of Christ flowed forth, which cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Forsaken of God, Jesus the Christ, His Son, drank to the very dregs the bitter cup of judgment due to the sinner. "It is finished," was the dying Saviour's cry (John 19:30). GOD SATISFIED WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
Peace has been made through the blood of the cross (Col. 1:20). But this is not all. A dead. Saviour would naught avail you or me. A dead Christ would show that man had had his own will, and Satan gotten the victory. The glory claimed Him, and God raised Him front the dead. He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father (Rom. 6:4).
Said He, "I have glorified thee upon the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I bad with thee before the world was” (John 17:4, 5). "Tow is the Son of Man glorified (in his death), and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him "(John 13:31, 32).
“Forasmuch as ye know," says the apostle Peter, " that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver or gold from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised him up from, the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God" (1 Peter 1:18-21). He who went into death for the glory of God, and for our salvation, is now alive for evermore, raised from the dead, ascended to heaven, seated on the throne, crowned with glory and honor.
“When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high "(Heb. 1: 3)." Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:11-14).
And now, beloved reader, as to its application. The first question in the gospel is not, Are you satisfied? but, Is God satisfied? Have His claims been met? Now God Himself has given the plainest testimony to the whole world in raising His Son from the dead, to His perfect satisfaction in His finished work. And thus we read that " all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (or mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past (Old Testament saints) through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time, His righteousness; that he might be just, and[ the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus " Rom. 3:23-26).
Faith in the Blood
How very simple, "believeth in Jesus!”
The whole blessing is wrapt up in those words, “believeth in Jesus." There is no other way of getting it but by believing; no other name in which it can be obtained but the sweet and precious name of Jesus. Jesus suffered, Jesus died, Jesus rose, Jesus sat down triumphant in glory. The work is done, perfect, once for all. God is satisfied, God is glorified. God is just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus (Rom. 3:26). Have you faith in His blood? Do you believe in Him?
The blood is on the mercy-seat, and God's eye rests upon its Trust the blood, and you are passed over. And once you are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, you are cleansed forever before God. There is no fresh application needed. The washing of water by the Word goes on through the believer's path, but the cleansing by blood is once for all. The blood of Jesus Christ (God's Son) cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7). Oh! the wondrous love of God in the gift of Jesus! Thanks, eternal thanks; praise, eternal praise, be unto Him for His unspeakable gift (2 Cor. 9:15). Oh! the grace, the infinite grace that shines out in the glorious salvation of God. How marvelous the condescension of God's beloved Son to stoop so low for the redemption of sinners deserving naught but hell!
God Commends His Love
To think, too, as Paul writes to the saints at Rome, who had been sinners in their sins like the rest, that God should deign to commend His love. "God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more, then, being now justified by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (or reconciliation) (Rom. 5:8-11).
Oh! sinner, when wrath comes, where will you find a refuge, unsheltered by the precious blood? What could you do? Whither could you fly? I press upon you, therefore, the momentous importance of having redemption through His blood now. Naught else can avail you to stand before God. Flee, then, to Christ at once. Own your guilt, confess your sin, believe in Jesus, trust His precious, precious blood, and redemption is yours. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7). How wondrous, how full the blessing! How marvelous the grace of God! Is it yours? Have you received it? "Much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:17). And now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were “far off, are made nigh, by the blood of Christ” Eph. 2:13).
“So near, so very near to God,{br}Nearer I cannot be{br}For in the Person of His Son,{br}I am as near as He.”
Boldness, too, is ours now to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which He path consecrated for us (Heb. 10:19, 20).
Nothing, nothing but the blood can cleanse the sinner for the presence and glory of God.
How blessed the portion of him who can join in taking up the strain of praise in Rev. 1.
“Unto Him that loved us (or that loves us), and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God and His Father " (Rev. 1:5, 6). Can you? Such alone will be found around the throne of God in glory. Such alone will be amongst the glorified throng of the redeemed, that shall make the vault of heaven ring with the strains of praise of the new song, singing, " Thou art worthy.... for Thou vast slain, and Nast redeemed to God by Thy blood," &c. (Rev. 5:9). Will you be there? Think of the awful alternative. The redeemed shall sing in glory; the lost shall wail in hell. The saints shall Make heaven resound with the praises of the Lamb; the sinners shall weep and wail in vain, in endless misery and in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).
God has provided a ransom for the sinner in the precious blood of His own dear Son. Despise, neglect, or slight His love you may, but be ye sure of this, your sin will find you out (Num. 32:23). "Beware lest He take thee, away with His stroke, then a great ransom cannot deliver thee” (Job 36:18). When God requires your soul, who or what shall hinder Him? And once you are in hell, you are lost forever, far, far beyond the reach even of the precious blood of Christ.
"Not without blood" is indelibly written in the Word of God as the only basis upon which men can come to Him, whether in the past, the present, or the future (Heb. 9:22). Works follow as the fruit of faith. And should you be the vilest of the vile amongst men, who read these lines, let me repeat to you again His own eternal Word.
“The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). E. H. C.

The Prisoner of Glatz

IN a cleft of a mountain range in Upper Silesia, through which the wild and raging Neisse forces its passage down to the Oder, stands the impregnable Prussian fortress of Glatz, a natural fortress, almost unequaled in the world, begirt by mountain-peaks like walls, and fortified yet more by human skill. The valley itself is shut out from the rest of the world; and one who is enclosed by the massive walls and gratings of the castle, is an exile from the world, as if buried alive. Woe to the man imprisoned in Glatz! Everything calls out to him, "No hope remains for thee! no hope!”
Here, in the second decade of this century, lay the Count of M—, hitherto petted and thronged, now hopelessly immured behind bolts and bars. By treason against the realm, and especially by personal violence offered to Frederic William III. of Prussia, he had drawn down the rage of that monarch on his head, and was condemned to solitary imprisonment for life. For a whole year he lay in his frightful, lonely cell, without one star of hope in either his outer or inner sky, for he was a skeptic. They had left him only one book—a Bible—and this, for a long period, he would not read, or, if forced to take it up to kill time, and relieve his consuming weariness, it was only read with anger and gnashing of teeth against the God it reveals.
But sore affliction, that dreadful, and yet blessed agent of God, that has brought to the good Shepherd many a sheep, was effectual with the Count of M—. The more he read the Bible, the more he felt the pressure of the gentle hand of God on his forlorn and hopeless heart.
On a rough and stormy November night, when the mountain gales howled round the fortress, the rain fell in torrents, and the swollen and foaming Neisse rushed roaring down the valley, the Count lay sleepless on his cot. The tempest in his breast was as fearful as that without. His whole past life rose before him; he was convicted of his manifold short-comings and sins; he felt that the source of all his misery lay in his forsaking God. For the first time in his life, his heart was soft, and his eyes wet with tears of genuine repentance. He rises from his cot, opens his Bible, and his eye falls upon Psa. 50:15: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." This word of God reaches the very depths of his soul; he falls upon his knees, for the first time since he was a child, and cries to God for mercy. And that gracious and compassionate God, who turns not away from the first movement of faith towards Him, heard the cry of this sufferer in the storm-beaten dungeon of Glatz, and gave him not only spiritual but temporal deliverance.
That same night in his castle, at Berlin, King Frederick William III. lay sleepless in bed.
Severe bodily pains tortured him, and in his utter exhaustion he begged of God to grant him one hour of refreshing sleep. The favor was granted, and when he woke again, he said to his wife, the generous Louise, “God has looked upon me very graciously, and I may well be thankful to Him. Who, in my kingdom, has wronged me most? I will forgive him.”
“The Count of M—,"replied Louise, “who is imprisoned in Glatz.”
“You are right," said the sick King;" let him be pardoned.”
Day had not dawned over Berlin ere a courier was dispatched to Silesia, bearing to the prisoner in Galtz, pardon and release.
It is the usual way of our good Shepherd, in gathering His lost flock, for whom He died, to do it "without observation," and when He holds up to us a marked instance like the above, no doubt it is that our dormant faith may be quickened in His power to save in the face of every obstacle.
This poor Count's heart was more strongly fortified against Him, according to human observation, than even the prison home, whose impregnable walls continually echoed "no hope.” His was a case, no doubt, which required unusual means; but with our God nothing is an obstacle which He wills shall be done. O that our faith might stretch its hands to Him with a firmer grasp, and. that we may count upon Him more largely!
In order 'that God's purposes might be accomplished in his salvation, he must be put into prison; but that accomplished, how easy is his release. And yet the means that are used seem as marked and striking as in the case of Peter.
Once made God's child, the very best thing must be done for him; not but that continued imprisonment might not have been the best, if He saw it so, but as He did not, his release is no difficulty. What a hard lesson is this to learn, that our difficulty is no difficulty to God; that our impossible is to Him, “all things are possible.”
And to faith all things are possible. The Lord give us more largely of this, His gift, not only for ourselves, but in our efforts for others." J. A.

Queries

Have you chosen the world, the tawdry work?,{br}To be your lot?{br}Are you willing to slave for its bubble joys{br}That satisfy not?{br}Will you waste your youth, and its bright, fresh days.{br}Upon empty things?{br}Till experience proveth its thorny ways,{br}And the woe it brings?
Child, don't you remember earth's grandest king,{br}He had more than you,{br}Yet his knell of "vanity" yet doth ring,{br}And still is true.{br}Will you not believe it, but flutter on{br}The butterfly life?{br}All heedless that underneath the flowers{br}Decay is rife?
Have you quietly weighed the loss and gain{br}'Twixt this and heaven?{br}For the fever-whirl will you barter the peace{br}Of sin forgiven?{br}Are you slighting the love of the Lamb who died{br}To gain you bliss?{br}Can you bear to look in His face when He comes,{br}And tell Him this
Do you always stifle those quiet hours{br}When souls must think{br}Of the dark, dread leap at the journey's end,{br}Are you near its brink?{br}Ah! I you know of the pathway safe and bright,{br}Ending in glory,{br}And, child, I'm praying that Esau's choice,{br}Be not your story.
O. R.

The Rams' Horns —  the Silver Trumpets — and the Last Trump

1. the Rams' Horns—Judgment
TURN to Josh. 6 See those priests as they march after the armed men around the city of Jericho for seven days, and on the seventh day they compass the city seven times. Hear those loud, hoarse, awakening blasts they blow with those trumpets of rams' horns. I dare say when once the people of Jericho had got used to the strange sight and the unwelcome sounds, they must have laughed at them, it seemed so ridiculous.
Wearied and tired with marching around the city, did they expect they were going to blow the strong walls of Jericho do ran with the puny blasts they were sounding with the rams' horns?
Still, they had heard what God had done for Israel, and their hearts did melt (chap. 2.).
Yet none took warning as the rams' horns announced judgment at the door.
A few there were who had taken shelter in Rahab's house, the only place of safety in that city, where the scarlet line hung at the window, but the city, as a whole, despised the warnings.
Their amazement gave place to contempt and scorn. They got used to the sound. Besides, they heard not the voice of priest or people. No, none had to speak, there was nothing human in the testimony. All that was heard was the dull sound of feet tramping along, and the hoarse blasts from the rams' horns, as they sounded their awful note of judgment.
At last the moment comes—the last note has sounded—the order has been given to raise the shout of victory, the mighty power of God overthrows the walls, while the sword of judgment does its deadly work on the inhabitants. So shall it be with this world.
Reader swift judgment—fierce wrath—and fiery indignation are coming upon the earth to devour the adversaries. Repent, and "flee from the wrath to come.”
Now look at another instance in the book of Jonah. Jonah is sent to that great city Nineveh to announce coming judgment because the wickedness of it had gone up to God. See him as he walks up and down the streets of that great, godless, wicked city; hear the loud, unwelcome, alarming note which he sounds, disturbing the whole city and interrupting its people in their sins. “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown." Thank God, the note which Jonah sounded was an effectual one. The people heard, repented, and were saved from the judgment which he announced.
So in this great, godless, wicked world, I would blow a solemn blast and warn you, reader, Judgment is coming. Wrath is coming. Yet a little while and this world will be destroyed. Repent, or you will perish.
Listen again, to that long, loud, soul-startling blast the apostle blows in Acts 17:30, 31.
“God commandeth all men everywhere to repent, because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained.” How solemn—God is going to judge in righteousness, and, dear unconverted reader, you are unrighteous—you are a sinner— unpardoned—unsaved. Oh what a thought! An unpardoned rebel meeting God as a righteous Judge. What must the end be? The lake of fire. Reader, wake up—your soul is at stake for eternity, Judge yourself, and take God's way of escape, or He must judge you.
Hark to that solemn note Jude is blowing.
“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all; and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds—which they have ungodly committed; and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
Do you say, " Oh, that day is far distant, do not blow such startling blasts as that, do not talk in that strain, say not those hard things, tell us how to improve ourselves, and the world in which we live.”
What! Improve yourselves and the world! Impossible. God tried that for 4,000 years, and now He has written over man the awful word, LOST. It is love that blows the loud startling blasts of judgment. Oh, arouse you. It will come as a thief in the night. I warn you, judgment is near. Your soul is not saved. The armed men will be here directly to slay (Ezek. 9). “The sword is furbished to make a great slaughter, will you then make mirth?” Will you live on in carelessness and indifference, trifling with your soul, sporting on the brink of eternal woe, not knowing the moment you may be launched into it? Will you dare the Almighty to smite you? “He that believeth not shall be damned." The rams' horn has sounded its warning note. If you perish, in the lake of fire you will remember you heard judgment announced, but heeded not, and then you are lost, lost, eternally lost. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
2.—the Silver Trumpets—Grace
Now that we have heard the solemn blasts of judgment, let me turn your attention to the sweet notes of grace. First, read Num. 10 Two trumpets of silver. Silver is typical of grace in atonement. The people had to give a half shekel to make atonement for their souls (Ex. 30:11-16). And these silver trumpets were for the calling of the assembly, &c., and only the priests could blow either these or the rams' horns. Men consecrated to God, must do God's work. And is He not gathering His assembly just now? Is He not causing His servants to blow through the silver trumpets the sweet notes of grace, and gather His loved ones—His blood-bought ones—together in this world, ere the last trump sounds to summon them to another world? Thank God He is doing it.
Turn to Lev. 25:9, 10. “Thou shalt cause the trumpet to sound, in the Day of Atonement, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants and ye shall return every man to his possession— and to his family." How precious this is, the silver trumpets sound their sweet note in the Day of Atonement. Everything is based on atonement. What a year of joy! how precious to the poor, wearied bondsman as he walks out from his servitude "a free man." Ah, liberty is only valued when slavery has been felt. The liberty of the gospel is only appreciated, when the drudgery and slavery of the devil has been experienced.
How blessed to hear the Lord Himself sounding that sweet note in, the synagogue in Luke 4. "He path sent me to proclaim deliverance to the captives to set at liberty them that are bruised." Thank God, there is liberty for you, reader, though you are in the power of Satan, captive and bruised, blind too, perhaps broken-hearted because of your condition, Jesus proclaims liberty to you. He has died for sinners, and risen again according to the Scriptures. Atonement has been made by Him. Redemption is accomplished, and now He says to His servants, Go and sound the note of grace, and " turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins—and inheritance among them that are sanctified, by faith that is in me " (Acts 26:18.)
Hark to these notes, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life "(John 3:16). “God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). "Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). Oh! trembling soul, listen to the blessed notes of grace, and believe the good news, the gospel of the grace of God, which He is sounding out far and wide, softly and sweetly through the silver trumpets.
3.—the Last Trump—Glory
Now just a word about the last trump (1 Cor. 15:51, 52). “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." Through the Lord's mercy some of us were awakened by the loud, solemn, startling blasts of judgment; then we heard the sweet, blessed, silvery notes of grace, and got peace to our souls, now we are waiting for the sounding of the "last trump" to summon us to glory.
How comforting to those who have trusted Christ to know we are to be up there with Christ forever.
“This is not our place of resting.{br}Ours a city yet to come.”
and we wait the sounding of the last tramp to call us away. I suppose it is a Roman figure. The first trump was to strike their tents, the second trump was to get into marching order; the last trump was to march. How precious the thought, all is in readiness for the sounding of the last trump. We look not for signs. We wait not for death. We wait for the Lord Himself. We listen for the last trump. Then the sorrows will cease, then the trials will end, then the wearied pilgrims will enter into the Father's house, and be forever with the Lord.
Oh, the joy of meeting Him. Who can express it? And the last trump is the announcement that the coming One has arrived, and we march to meet Him—or, as the Spirit puts it,” are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.” How precious the thought it is Himself who is coming—" The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven." No servant comes. No, Himself. Ah, you who have received grace, do not your hearts long for the moment—for the first look at His blessed face? I am sure the longing in your souls must grow stronger for His coming again. The time seems long, have patience—a few more trials, a few more cares, a little more laboring for Him. Courage, a little longer, as you face the storms. Blow on, ye servants, the loud—hoarse—awakening blasts of coming judgment. Blow on the soft, sweet—silvery notes of redeeming love. Yet a little while longer, and the welcome note shall sound in the air, and in a moment we shall be gone—caught up—changed—our bodies of humiliation, fashioned like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21), and we shall enter those courts above, to share glory forever, with Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us, and to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. W. E.

Religion or Christ

WILLIE has brought a bonnie wife home, with winsome ways and a loving heart, but I'm wondering all the time, if she knows the Lord Jesus Himself, Father.” “Well, wife, I am hoping so. It may not be just her way to talk out about Him, as you and I do, you see we have grown used to His company. He has made the third in all our plans ever since Jamie died, and Willie was a baby, and that is well nigh six and twenty years now; before she was born. But I'm thinking she must care about Him, for I found her reading His word to-day, or a book that looked just like it.”
"Aye, a book that looked just like it," the mother said in a low tone, with a sigh, then speaking out again, she added more cheerily, “Well Father, we will just tell Himself all our hopes and fears, and ask Him to make her coming a blessing to herself, and to us all' and when He has the matter left in His own hands we can wait and trust Him,” and the pious old couple turned together into the little chamber, in which for many a long year they had been accustomed to pour out their hearts to the One who was to them, not merely their Saviour and their God, but their known and tried personal Friend, and the confidant of all their joys and sorrows, as well as the One in whose presence they enjoyed to sit, when they had neither joys nor sorrows to tell Him of, but because they loved His company.
This was the hallowed home into which Willie, their only remaining son, had brought his young wife on a visit, and to introduce her to his parents. She was a professing Christian, they were possessing Christians, and she had not been many hours in the house before the godly old. mother, who took her to her heart, from the moment she saw her, discovered that in spite of what was naturally very lovable, and. in spite also of what was outwardly very religious, there was something lacking, and that something she too truly felt was the personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The discovery was a sorrowful one to Willie's mother, and she had poured forth her heart to the only One who could help her, ere she spoke of it to her husband even. When Willie had written from London some months before, to tell his parents in the north of his approaching marriage, he had described his Alice as one, not merely, naturally bright and attractive, but as one who loved the Lord, and was devoted to His service—and the old couple had rejoiced in the thought of her being a real helper of his faith, and had longed for the time when they should see her, and., mingle their prayers and praises together. Now she had come, they had found her all they could wish, save on the point where their wishes were deepest.
Not that Alice had been a hypocrite—she had been a diligent Sunday School teacher, her class was always the most orderly in the school, and her scholars the most visited in their homes by their teacher. She was interested in missionary work, abroad and at home. She visited among the sick, and. read the Bible, and prayers from a book to them: she was an active member of the Dorcas meeting, and was thought by everyone, what Willie thought her, a truly earnest Christian. Nay more, she herself believed she was this.
Sometimes after their marriage, Willie puzzled her, when he spoke of conversion, as of a something that passed between his soul and God, of which she felt she knew nothing. There were moments when his prayers made her uncomfortable, there seemed to her, to be something in theta which was beyond her, areal link with One unseen, quite different from what she felt, as day by day she read over some prayers, read them reverently too, though oftentimes not really wanting the petitions asked in them.
Alice was no Pharisee, she did not pride herself in her works, or her religious duties, she was simply satisfied with them; she was amiable, and liked serving others, so she worked, and she thought God demanded it of her, so she went through forms and ceremonies. The question of sin had never been raised between her soul and God, so she knew nothing of substitution, she had never found out she was lost, and therefore she knew no need of a SAVIOUR, who must be her own personal Saviour, though of course she talked of "our Saviour" in a general way.
She, too, discovered there was a difference between her new relations and herself, and one day said to her husband, “I do not understand your parent's religion, though I love them dearly. It makes me uncomfortable. They speak of our Saviour as though He were a third person in the room with them, at meals, every time, it often makes me shiver. It is as though they had only their bodies down here, and their thoughts, and hopes, and. joys were far off." Even then he did not discern that his wife's was only an outward performance of duties, and no living link with a Person, and he answered, “Yes, truly, Alice, the Lord is no God afar off to my parents, and they love to speak to Him and of Him. I think, maybe, we have been too much occupied with our work for Him, and perhaps, too, with the earthly joy He has given us, and too little with the giver. It will help us both being here.”
Alice was silent, she felt she did not understand, there seemed a something separating her from the husband by her side, and everything looked chill and dark. He had been showing her some parts of his beautiful native city, and speaking of the clays when men and women too had counted the privilege of reading God's Word in their own language, as dearer to them than their lives. "Let us turn back," she said presently, "I feel strangely tired.”
That night there were touching sounds of joy and sorrow in Willie's old home. A young life was given, but the mother lay at the gates of the grave. They watched her tenderly, and prayer went up continually, the husband pleading, though submissively, for natural life; but his parents' pleadings were deeper, they asked that she might know Jesus, whom to know is life eternal. Day and night their cry went up: “Take her not away Lord, till Thou hast revealed Thyself to her." She was too ill to be spoken to, but they knew well that the shortest way to her heart was round by heaven Days, even weeks went by, and she hovered between life and death. Then came a slight rallying, which very slowly increased. She had moaned continually, “I cannot die, I cannot die," else of what was passing in her soul they knew nothing.
The first day she could speak again, she said to her mother "Read—me—a—prayer—from—my— little—book—mother." But the mother said gently, " We will tell Him ourselves just what we want, dear child," and by the sick bed the aged believer poured forth in few and simple words her heart's desire, a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, for that poor sick and weary one.
Her daughter-in-law lay with closed eyes as she ended, and she left her request with God.
After this, most days she read a verse or two as she was able to bear it to her, never wearying her, never going into explanations or long talking’s, but just leaving the Word of God to do its own work.
Then came the parting between husband and wife, he was obliged to return to his occupation, having already had his holiday more than once extended, and. she, though out of immediate danger, was far too ill to travel, or even to leave her bed. She told me long afterward, it was with feelings little short of despair she said “Good-bye," for she had then no hope for this world or the next, and when he said "The Lord who loves us both will care for you, and we have the joy of knowing for certain that our eternity is to be together with Him," she would not distress him by acknowledging she had not this joyful assurance, she only hid her head in the bedclothes and wept.
Meantime the aged believers spoke to the Lord, and in confidence expected His answer, and waited for it. Three weeks more passed, and. then the Lord took the little one to Himself.
Alice's grief was terrible. She had been lifted into the adjoining room to be present while the word, of God was read and prayer offered, ere the little coffin with the precious remains of her babe was carried from the house. When all had gone and she was left alone with her mother-in-law her reserve gave way, and putting her head on her shoulder she said—“Mother, you will be with Jesus, and Willie, and my baby boy, but I shall be outside.
Mother I am lost?' Very quiet was the answer, “I know it, my child, but Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He has been seeking, seeking you for long, now let Him save you.”
“But you do not know, mother, how my life has been all a sham. I have professed to teach others what I did not know myself. I have been at His table and I did not know Him, have I not eaten and drunk damnation to myself?''
“Eternal damnation only follows the final rejection of Christ, the only Saviour, the apostle is speaking there of judgment and chastening now. I am not denying the sin, my child, of being there with a lie in one's mouth, professing b remember One whom we never knew, but sin now cannot shut you out from the Saviour. He says, '‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'”
“But, mother, I do not know Him, and I cannot see Him, I cannot live like this, and I do not know how to die, how can I know Him? Oh, if I had lived in the days when He was on earth I would have crawled to His feet, though I had died there.”
The mother lifted up her heart to the Lord to teach this troubled soul Himself, then she said, "But, my child, you need take no toilsome journey to His blessed feet now, He is here in this room listening, waiting for you to accept what He offers, pardon, salvation, peace, and Himself. 'Look unto me and be ye saved,' He says, and Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.' It is not He who needs to be entreated to draw near to you. The apostle Paul says, ‘We pray yow in Christ's stead, Be ye reconciled to God.'”
“Oh, if I could hear Him say He forgives me, and that He would have me!”
“He speaks now by His word my child, and He says, ' Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.' He has purchased the right to say this to you, at the cost of His own life's blood. His death is the price at which you can have life, but the price has been paid, the ransom has been accepted. The sinner's substitute has risen from the dead, and made a new and living’ way for you and me right home to God.”
“Mother pray," was all Alice answered. And the mother "went and told Jesus" all their wants.
After a time of quiet Alice spoke again, “Mother, I see; my sham life, my religiousness, my dead works, my hollow prayers, all met by the cross—all, known to Him when He gave His life—I see God is satisfied, He wants nothing from me, I may rest in His arms.”
When the father returned, after committing to the dust the babe so loved, Alice was sleeping almost as peacefully as that babe, though the tear drops still stood upon her cheek. Truly that day the Lord turned the house of mourning into one of praise.
It was months ere she was able to travel and return with her husband to her London home. But those months, she told me long after, she would not have been without. In them she learned much of the Lord Himself. From her own lips many years after I heard her story; told to me with many a detail not given here, as well as much that passed in her soul of deep dark agony, as she faced death for herself and then again in what she loved better than herself. But out of death God brought life.
When I knew her first the aged saints had gone to the Lord they so loved, and Alice with her husband and three children were all looking for the moment when the Lord Himself shall return, and them that sleep are Jesus God will bring with Him, for "Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." So that to-day, dear unsaved reader, " To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, "for "Now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation.”
X.

Safe and Sure

Luke 23:33-46
THERE are two parts in the grace of God—it brings out of one thing, and it brings into another. The prodigal son got more than a crust when he came to his father, he only thought to get mercy and to save his life, but he got much more. How few there are now who know more than God's mercy. If I ask a man what God has done for him, if he happens to be what you would call a bright Christian, he will tell me, perhaps, that God has forgiven him his sins, but that is all the length he goes. "What!" I say, “is that all? if you cannot tell me more than that, you are robbing God of His glory." Suppose some one had met the prodigal the day after his return, and asked him about it, and suppose he had only said that his father had met him, covered him with kisses, and forgiven him, why you would say he was most ungrateful, if that was all he had to say. Now, I don't boast, I deserve nothing but the lake of fire, but if you ask me what God has done for me, 1 cannot say He has only forgiven me, I must tell not only what He has saved me out of, but what He has brought me into. We get a picture of it in this poor thief.
Now we will look at the scene in the passage before us. There were three crosses that day, and on the middle one hung “The King of the Jews." Let us pause and think of Him, Son of the Eternal God. In John 1 we have His Deity brought out in a wonderful way. There never was a time when He was not the Eternal Son of God, Creator of the universe, and that One hangs on that cross, crowned with thorns, One who had gone about among men for years, bringing down all the power of God into the midst of all their sorrow, and sin, and misery. He had gone about "doing good,” manifesting the love of God's heart towards men, and all they had for Him was a cross. Man I look at that cross, and boast of enlightenment and intelligence. Man is not changed since then, he would do it again, for unless saved by the grace of God, deep down in every human heart, is hatred of Christ. God divides men into two classes, they are either reconciled to God by the death of His Son, or they are the enemies of God. See Rom. 5:10. Which are you? You say, perhaps, "I am not reconciled, but I am not an enemy of God.” Yes, you are one, God counts you so. There is no such thing as neutrality in the things of God.
Look at that cross again. I will tell you what makes it so precious, it is my deep, deep need of a Saviour that brought Him, there. Can you say? "My sins put Him there." Now don't go generalizing, and say, “We had all need of a Saviour. We are all sinners.” Can you tell me any one person who needed such a sacrifice? Did you? Was it a necessity that God must give up His Son to death, before you could be saved? It is no time to trifle. When will you appear in the presence of God? How soon will you cross the limits of eternity?
Look now at the other two crosses. Round them were gathered the religious people of the time, scribes and Pharisees. They never thought that there was no difference between them and the thieves, that they were themselves as bad or worse. The thieves' hands had stolen, but they had imbued their hands in the blood of Christ. Which was the guiltiest?
These two thieves are fair samples of the whole human race. Man began by thieving, and he is the same still, yet the wrath of God passed over both these crosses, and was poured out on the middle one. The Just suffered for the unjust.
Even the thieves reviled Him, they knew He was not one of themselves, but presently one rebukes the other, ".Dost not thou fear God?" Now look at the working of the Spirit of God in this poor thief, and see how beautifully the light breaks in on this poor man's soul. In Prov. 9:10, I read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The light breaks in on the thief, and he wakes up to find two things—that there is a God, and that He is to be feared. Eternity is before you, and there is a God that inhabits it a God perfect in holiness, and you have to meet Him. What is the result to this man when he finds it out? He views his deeds in the light of God's holiness, and says, " We indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds," he confesses the justice of his sentence.
People don't generally confess their sins, they rather cover them. The Bible says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy " (Prov. 23:13), but too many go on sinning every day, and then perhaps at night, as a sort of salve to their conscience, they say, "Forgive me my sins,” and go on doing the same things next day, but this is only covering them up. People say, too, “Oh! I have never committed any very great sin;" but suppose you have only committed one little one, how could you stand before God? One little sin will shut you out from the presence of God, as much as 50,000 big sins. Suppose I were put in hell to-night, I could only say I deserve it. Have you got to this yet?
But there is another side of God's character besides holiness. He is also love, and this love it is that draws us towards Him in spite of ourselves, so the thief says, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy kingdom," he discerns in that lowly man a king with a kingdom. Just look at the faith of the man as he asks to be remembered. We might have rather thought he would have said, “Forget me," in a scene such as this coming kingdom must be of holiness. One would have thought that such a man as he, with such a character, would have preferred to be forgotten; but no, he says, "Remember me," he reckoned that there was enough goodness in the heart of God, even for him. Dear friend, we never give God credit for enough. The poor thief thought perhaps he might be remembered some time by-and-bye, but he gets all Christ can give him on the spot. “To-day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise." A full, present salvation. There is no good in telling you of to-morrow. If I talk to you of to-morrow, and offer you salvation then, I am only mocking you, for your life hangs in the balance, and is not worth five minutes' purchase— nothing but a present salvation is of any use.
What a salvation the thief got, that day, with Christ, in Paradise. Surely that was something like redemption, a thief made fit to be the companion of Jesus in Paradise! The work of Christ done for us on the cross puts our sins away, and this you must not confound with the work of the Spirit in you. The thief had a work done in him; he was brought to judge himself, and to confess Christ, but it was not that, but the work of Christ for him, His blood-shedding, that opened heaven for him, and made him fit to go there. Then it was the Lord's word to him, that made him sure he would go there. Do you think he knew he was going to heaven? "Oh! yes," you say, "he was told it." As a woman once said to me when I said the thief knew he was saved, she replied, "But he was told so.” Well, thank God, we are also told so (see John 5:22-24). “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (or judgment); but is passed from death unto life.”
Thus anyone who has heard the Lord's word, and believed on God who sent Him, “hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment." Could anything be surer? Christ is presented as the One who will be Judge by-and-bye, and can speak with authority, so we have His word, to make us sure we have eternal life, and that we shall not come into judgment, and that was what the thief had.
Thus the Spirit works in us to lead us to Christ. Jesus has done the work for us, that makes us safe. Jesus has spoken the word to us, that makes us sure. Are you safe and sure? M.

Satan Silenced and the Sinner Saved

(Zech. 3)
THE picture at which we are invited to look, is that of a poor sinner, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him, or be his adversary (verse 1). And although it is Joshua, the High Priest, nevertheless he stands before us as a representative man, and every unsaved sinner may see in him a picture of his own moral unfitness for God, until cleansed and saved. Thus we have three persons prominent. The angel of the Lord, and the devil, and between thein a poor defiled sinner.
There is one thing that characterizes this man which is very noticeable. He is silent. He has not one single, solitary word to say in his own defense. As he listens to the dreadful accusations of Satan, he is like the man without the wedding garment, when the King came in. to see the guests, "He was speechless” (Matt. 22:1, 2). And why? Because he knows it is all true.
Would to God many more felt their wretched and defiled condition, and would take the place of silence in the presence of God, then He would gladly undertake their cause and save them, and silence Satan forever.
My reader, has this picture no voice for thee? Does thy sleepy conscience not begin to wake up, and loudly proclaim thy guilty, ruined, and defiled condition? Perhaps not! May be it is one among the multitude of "smothered consciences" there are in this world to-day, consciences that have been, one may say, spiritually chloroformed, or drugged to death, in order that their possessors might not be incessantly tormented with them.
Oh, remember there is a day coming when they will awake. They shall be heard, though their voice may be drowned in the meantime. They will be felt, though seared as with a red hot iron, just now. Then with a voice of thunder they will make every corner of the sinner's heart reverberate and echo back the excruciating, agonizing, and tormenting words, “Thou art the man. A defiled, polluted, depraved and guilty sinner. A despiser of mercy, a lover of pleasure, a brand only it to be cast into the fire.”
In Rom. 3:19, man's terrible guilt is manifested in order that “every mouth might be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God." The man in the picture before us has got to that point, he is "mouth, stopped.”
Dear reader, are you?
God never undertakes the cause of a man who has a single word to say for himself. Never! But if there is a poor sinner with broken heart, conscious that all laid to his charge is quite true; not seeking to justify himself, but looking to God, it is the delight of His heart to undertake for that man, and justify and save him.
Now to whom does the Lord speak first? Is it to the poor, defiled, self-condemned sinner? No. It is to Satan, to silence him. “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; is not this a brand plucked from the fire?" (verse 2.) What a sound to fall on the ears of Satan and the sinner. Silencing Satan, encouraging the sinner.
And has He nothing more to say? Oh, yes, listen! “Take away the filthy garments from him; "then He turns to the sinner, and says, “Behold., I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee" (verse 4). What relief! Yea, what joy to the sinner! The very thing which caused the accusations, and brought in all the fear, all removed by the Lora Himself, and the sinner justified. And if Satan points the finger and says, “It is not just, look at his defilement, his terrible sins," the Lord replies, “I have caused his iniquity to pass from him.”
We learn in Rom. 3. how God can be just, and yet justify the believer in Jesus. And how is it? “Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus " (verse 24). Jesus came in grace and took our sins. “He was delivered for our offenses." " The Lord hath, laid upon him the iniquity of us all," So that the penalty has not been set aside in any way, but borne by Him; and now God can justify the man who believes in Jesus, seeing that He has borne his sins and suffered in his stead. And nothing delights the heart of God more, than to get silent, self-condemned sinners before Him, and tell out to them what He Himself has done for them, and thus justify and save them. Yea, when He does the work, He can challenge, heaven, earth, and hell, and say, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth" (Rom. 8:33). What matchless grace, to graceless and worthless sinners! And each believing one can say—
“Wonder and joy become my heart,{br}And praise and thanks my tongue.”
We have heard the Lord speaking on behalf of this silent sinner, and declaring that He has cleansed him, while his enemy has been confounded. But the heart of the Lord could not rest if the sinner were only cleansed. He must have him clothed. And Satan must be a silent spectator of this marvelous act of grace on the Lord's part. He may gnash his teeth with rage, or inwardly curse the grace shown, but he dare not utter a word, and there he stands to witness God's own joy in clothing the sinner He has cleansed. Then we hear the Lord saying, “I will clothe thee with change of raiment" (verse 4).
It reminds one of that lovely scene in Luke 15, where the Father's heart is having all its own way. The prodigal has been kissed. The prodigal has confessed. And now we hear the gracious command, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him." Then he is robed, and taken in and feasted.
What covering have we as sinners? Only “filthy garments!" What covering do we receive when our filthy garments are taken away? Christ Himself as our righteousness. God has made Him to the believer—righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30). “In the Lord have I righteousness" (Isa. 65:24). And that risen Christ in the glory of God "who was raised again for our justification," is the believer's ever-subsisting righteousness. And as God looks upon us He sees us in Christ Covered with Christ. "P erect through His comeliness which He has put upon us” (Ezek. 16:14). “As He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17). What a covering! What a robe! Christ Himself. Cleansed by Christ and clothed with Christ, so that “we are complete in Him" (Col. 2:10). We look at ourselves and see nothing but imperfection. God looks at Christ and sees nothing but perfection, and we are in Him.
Arrived at this point our hearts might well say. “He has given us so much. Surely there is nothing more now." Ala., yes there is. And God says, I have cleansed you, and clothed you, now let me complete all these blessings by crowning you. “And I said let them set a fair miter upon his head. So they set a fair miter upon his head" (verse 5).
In Ex. 29:6, we learn that the High Priest wore the miter with the golden crown on it. How sweetly this speaks to us of Jesus, our great High Priest, who has passed into the heavens, and is now crowned with glory and honor. But God has given the believers also the place of Holy Priests, and we can go in and “offer up our spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." And also go out as Royal Priests to show forth the virtues of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light." So that our present position as priests is Holy and Royal (1 Peter 2:5-9). We cannot say We are crowned yet, but by-and-bye the crowning will take place. And what shall we do with our crowns when we get them? Why, take them and cast them at His blessed feet, and tell Him that “He is worthy" and He alone.
Oh, what privileges are ours. And I am sure that the more we know what it is to be cleansed, clothed, and look forward to being crowned, the fuller our hearts will be to enter into His presence to worship and praise, and go out in testimony and service for Him in the world, "Men wondered at" (verse 8).
Yes, "Men wondered at." Standing miracles and monuments of grace. Seeking to carry out our responsibilities (verse 7), not to obtain favor, but because it has been shown us in our unworthiness. And if even now we are "Men wondered at," how much more shall we be so when we return with Him, when He comes “to be glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe, in that day" (2 Thess. 1:10); "And throughout the eternal ages be shows the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us by Christ Jesus " (Eph. 2:7).
The Lord give you, my reader, if unsaved to see your own condition in this picture, and may you "lay your hand upon your mouth,” and let Him justify you. W. B.

Saved While Drowning

THE grace of God may meet and arrest a lost sinner in any way, or at any time. With God time and repetition are as nothing. Only believe and live.
A party of pleasure-seekers were enjoying the splendid sailing of a fine yacht. All was fresh and fair, and lively. None had any thought beyond present enjoyment.
Not long after an accident precipitated two of that gay party in the deep. One never rose again. The other, after much gallant exertion, was rescued at length. At first he seemed half dead, unable to open his lips or utter a word, though he had only for a short time lost consciousness, but when his strength partially returned, what a tale was his to tell!
"When I could struggle no longer afloat," said he, "I sank. As the water closed over my head, every event, every scene, every sin of my past life rose up before me with the utmost vividness. No picture ever colored by a painter could have been more clearly seen. In that moment of time it pierced me, like a lightning flash, that I was an immortal creature, on the very verge of an eternal existence; that I was an unsaved soul in the presence of God—a holy God. I felt my doom clearly enough, felt that I possessed the principle of an immortal, but not a redeemed, existence. For that second of time my misery was beyond conception, thoughts or expression.
"Without a screen, at one burst was seen,{br}The Presence in which I had ever been.”
Let those who doubt the necessity, the value of the divine work of the cross be but placed in my position, as I then was, and they will doubt no longer. Brought face to face with eternity, everything in that second slipped away from me but "the Blood." Down there, in that dying condition, with every pulse of my life ebbing away fainter and fester as the seconds flew by—they seemed like ages to me—I learned that God is just, that I was a justly condemned soul, but that He is the justifier of Him that believeth in Jesus. Three such simple words, `Believeth in Jesus;' but oh! the reality of them, the necessity of them, how great and how deep. The tremendous position I was in showed me the soul's need to be atoned for, and that it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul (Lev. 17:11). Then I heard God saying to me, ' Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee' Oh! the rest, the peace, the bliss that filled my heart, that seemed to take possession of my whole being through the blood reaching down even to me. All my misery was forgotten—it was behind me—past, that was where the blood had put it. Then I began to lose the power to think, but before my senses left me I felt I had divine life linked up with God Himself, a life that all the waters of the ocean could not destroy, though they might drown my poor body. I felt that I belonged to God, and that He loved me.”
Long years have rolled by since this happened. Time has but tested and proved the reality of the occurrence, proved in the daily life, and walk, and conversation, of this man, the reality of the salvation of God he then experienced, when he saw he was lost, saw what Christ is to God, and heard those divinely blessed words, " Son, be of good cheer thy sins be forgiven thee." The wear and tear, the trials of life have but made Christ more precious, as showing out the grace and love of the One who died, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.
“This the ransomed sinner's story{br}All the Father's heart made known,{br}All His grace to ma, the sinner,{br}Told by judgment on His Son,
Told by Him from depths of anguish;{br}All the Father's love to me,{br}By the cross, the curse, the darkness,{br}Measuring what that love must{br}Reader, do you know it?
R. B.

Self-Surrender and Its Result

WE do not well; this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace." So said the rejoicing lepers (2 Kings 7:9), as they spoiled the tents of the Syrian army; and so say we, as we see an inroad. made in the camp of Satan, and one who had been blinded by him delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son; and so, because we do not well to hold our peace, I feel constrained to write the following simple account of one of the most blessed cases of conversion I ever had the privilege of witnessing.
About eighteen months ago, I was asked to visit a young woman who was consumptive; I went as a Christian friend had done before me, and found her willing to listen, and manifesting interest in the Word of God, if not real anxiety about her soul. We continued to visit her, and during the summer of 1875 she recovered so far as Lobe able to get out; and was a regular attendant at the preachings; but with the fading summer her strength gave way, and she was again confined to the house.
Each time we visited her it seemed as though the exercise of soul was deepening, until it was quite painful to see her poor flushed face wearing such a look of intense anxiety. We put the gospel in all its simplicity before her, and pressed her to accept it in all its richness, its fullness, its glory; but apparently all in vain.
We pleaded with God for her in our prayer meetings, and in private; and as time rolled on, our concern for her increased as hers for her own safety increased likewise. At times it seemed as though she was going to close with the offers of our Saviour God; for, as I set forth the glories of the work of Christ, and God's satisfaction therein, so that He could be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus; I have seen her face light up, but, alas, the next moment that gleam of sunshine was gone, and clouds again rested on that poor wasted brow: and her distressed heart would find vent by giving utterance to such words as, “Oh, that I knew it was for me," or, "Oh, that I could believe, if I could only say Christ is mine; my sufferings would all be as nothing.”
Thus it went on, and. probe her as we would, we could not find out what it was that was keeping her back from Christ, and preventing her getting peace. I saw her on a Thursday early in December, and took her a December copy of "God's Glad Tidings." After reading to and praying with her I again pressed her to accept Christ. She was failing then, as to her body, and it made me plead with her very earnestly; the burning tears chased each other down her sunken yet flushed cheeks, but still no peace, and in that state I left her, hoping that God would use the book I had left.
On Friday and Saturday I was unable to go, and at the close of the meeting on Lord's day morning, I was told that just after I started the doctor had called, saying she was sinking very rapidly, and desired to see me, adding that she was very much distressed in mind. I hastened to her house with heart uplifted to God that at last He would give a word that would lead her to rest with Himself, in the blessed person of His own Son. On reaching the house, I hastily mounted the stairs, and as soon as she saw me, she exclaimed, " I'm so glad you've come; " and then, as I turned toward the bed, she clasped her hands, and said “Sir, I've found peace, I'm saved.”
“Praise the Lord; and when did that come about?" was the response from me, to which she replied, "This morning," and again broke out in strains of praise and grateful love to Him of whom she could say now, "Christ is mine." I asked "How did you get peace, I should very much like to know?” Her answer carne thus," Well, sir, I prayed, and I asked the Lord to save me and give me peace; and I said, 'Here I am, Lord; all that I have, and all that I am, I give to Thee; and then the light seemed to break in; and I could see it all, how Jesus died for me; and that I was saved through Him; and peace and joy flowed in. And oh, I am so happy. And now, Sir, I want you to pray.” Thankfully I complied, and asked what I should pray for, to which she replied, “Oh, bless and thank Him for having saved me." At the same time her dear wasted face was radiant with the joy that was filling her heart, and flowing from her lips in strains of thanksgiving.
I kneeled, and poured out my heart in praise to God, and also in earnest prayer for the husband and children. It was a touching scene when I arose; tears of deepest joy stood in the brilliant eyes of that new-born soul; the whole expression of her countenance forming a contrast to her husband; tears were there, but tears of sorrow, while nothing but unmingled joy beamed in— hers it was a scene I shall never forget. I read to her Colossians 1:12, 13, 14, and then wished her good-bye.
Another of the Lord's people saw her in the afternoon, and another about eight o'clock at night. It was those who had visited her, and were desirous of seeing the change, and wishing her good-bye. A little after nine o'clock, she departed to be with Christ, to await the wondrous moment when He shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise. Blessed trophy of the patient grace of God! truly, the longsuffering of our God is salvation.
What hindered her entering into the blessed results of accomplished redemption, was unwillingness to give up self, for no sooner did she do so, than peace and joy were hers; peace deep as a river, joy unspeakable and full of glory.
A young Christian who waited upon her told us afterward that it was between eleven and twelve o'clock that she found peace; and she immediately began singing, and sang throughout, in quite a strong tone of voice, that beautiful hymn, which so sweetly told out her new experience—
“A mind at perfect peace with God;{br}O what a word is this;{br}A sinner, reconciled through blood,{br}This, this, indeed, is peace,”
And now, dear reader, do you know this peace and joy; and if not, why not? Surely, it is because you are clinging to self in some form. Let me beseech you, with all earnestness, as one who has learned, in some measure, the value of an immortal soul, and the value, too, of the precious Christ of God, to break with self, to accept Christ, to close with God's offered grace. "A new covenant will I make with you, saith the Lord, your sins and your iniquities will I remember no more." Close, then, at once with this gracious offer, let every shred of self go, and so shall you know the blessed result of self-surrender.
J. H.

The Sinner's Deep Need Met by the Saviour's Boundless Grace

"And Elisha came again to Gilgal, and there was a dearth in the land, and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage for they knew them not. So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof. But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot."—2 Kings. 4:38-41
WE get here man's utter ruin, and God coming in and displaying His grace, taking man out of ruin. His great delight is in a display of need that He may unfold His boundless resources. The first thing we get is "Gilgal," the place of blessing; it is a blessing when man is humbled before God; man does not like to be humbled, but if he wants blessing he must take the place of a receiver before God. The sons of the prophets were there in their helplessness and want. The servant of God was there and able to meet their need, because He could command the resources of God; remember a sinner can have no need that God cannot meet. Elisha says, "Set on the great pot," God is coming in now to satisfy their need, and so it is in accordance with His mind to use the word great; everything according to Him is great. His great love wherewith He has loved us." He has prepared "a great feast," &c.—He loves to satisfy, not according to your need, but according to His own great love.
Now mark, the sons of the prophets had nothing to do in the matter, except to partake of the feast when prepared. They were not told to do or feel anything, neither is the sinner. He must come to God owning his great want, that he is ruined, lost, and he will find it God's great delight to satisfy every desire of his soul. Have you, reader, ever yet been brought to this knowledge, "I am in want.”
See now what trouble one young man brought by doing what was not required of him, Elisha told his servant to prepare the food, but we find “one went out into the field to gather herbs." The field is the world, he may have been earnest, as many a man is to be saved; but he had to learn, as every sinner must, that he could not do one thing to save himself! he went to gather herbs: very good things. Man may have many good points, morally speaking; he may be very amiable, very honorable, but this will not do for God; but the question is, Can anything good be got in this world for God? A. man may be very religious, but religion is not God, and if he sows to the flesh, he must of the flesh reap corruption. There are pleasures in the world, but they are only the “pleasures of sin for a season," and" the end of these things is death.”
Look at the picture of man's ignorance in Eph. 4:17, 18, 19. The apostle is warning the Ephesians against walking as other Gentiles, and how is that? “In the vanity of their minds having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts." What did the young man get? A lap full of wild gourds—the pleasure of sin for a season—and he shred them into the pot, and they knew them not; is not this in accordance with the verse, “through the ignorance that is in them." But as they were eating they discover there is death in the pot. And who have they to turn to? Oh, the man of God is there, and he does not fail them in their time of deepest necessity. His answer to their cry is, "Bring meal." Meal is a type of Christ. So he puts in Christ, for Christ can meet man in his deepest need and bless him.
The deeper the need, the greater the delight of God to meet it. "Where in abounded, grace did much more abound." Into this world where man brought sin and death by sin, the lord Jesus came and "tasted death for every man." “One died for all." Now, my friend, is there not death in the pot? The sentence of death has been passed on every man, “for all have sinned." Have not you gone, as this young man did, into the world? You may have done so with the best intention, but what did you get? You could only get death! And death is not the end, for after death the judgment, to all who are not in Christ Jesus. Bat Jesus Christ has come down to meet your need. By meal being cast into the pot, in the place of death we get life; in Christ w have life. “I am the resurrection and the life," He says.
You must own that death has come in, and that Christ is the only One able to meet that, and remember He has overcome death, but it will not do to stop here. “And he said, Pour out for the people that they may eat." This is the same thing as, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel." Remember God has prepared that we may eat-do not leave the feast that God has prepared for you untasted. “O taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." Jesus says, “Come." He is waiting with His heart of boundless love to receive and welcome you, and says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”
Someone was dying, but all was dark to her mind as to the future. She knew not the love of God; her brother read to her the 10th chapter of John's gospel. "Oh!" she suddenly called out," “I see it all now, Satan has been deceiving me. I see now—God is satisfied with Christ's work, and I must be satisfied, and I am satisfied dear Jesus!” Shortly after this she fell asleep in Jesus. One more instance of need satisfied. A young lady was for a long time, in a very distressed state of mind because she was not saved, she had no peace. Her sister was telling this to a friend, who said, “Tell her HE (Jesus) IS OUR PEACE." The word went home to her soul. She found feelings and circumstances had nothing to do with salvation. Christ has finished the work, God is satisfied, for “by one offering, He (Jesus) path perfected forever, them that are sanctified." Only trust in the Lord, own before Him your need, and you will find. Him able and longing to satisfy it all with His deep boundless love.
M. L. E. B.

The Soldier's Daughter

I.—the Unheeded Voice
"Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me."—Rev. 3:20.
LYDIA was the daughter of a poor, honest, industrious, soldier, who died when she was still very young: and then the widowed mother found it very hard work to provide food for herself, and for her little ones. Consequently when Lydia was old enough to go to school, her mother was only too pleased to allow a kind soldier's wife to take her to be a little nursemaid to her own children. Thus, although Lydia grew up active and industrious, she knew not the advantages of an early education, nor did she know the things that belonged to her peace.
I first became acquainted with her while visiting her sick brother. He, dear fellow, never had much learning, but
"He heard the words of love;{br}He gazed upon the blood;{br}He saw the mighty sacrifice,{br}And He had peace with God.”
And ere he fell asleep, he rejoiced to know that he was going to be with Christ; which is “far better.”
Then it was, while Lydia's heart was softened by bereavement, and 'while she mourned the death of her brother, that the Lord spake in love to her. Again and again she was invited, yea, entreated, to come to Jesus—to the One who had saved her brother—and she was almost persuaded; but she did not come. For she hardened her heart against the pleadings of the loving voice of Him who gave His life for her, and who shed. His precious blood to cleanse her from all sin. Yet the Lord dealt very tenderly with Lydia.
To be close to her bereaved mother, she left her situation, and obtained another, nearer home.
Her new master and. mistress were both Christians; and the latter especially was very kind to Lydia, and began to teach her to read: and she often read the Word of God to her. But for all this, Lydia did not heed His voice. Like too many others, she did not come to Him that she might have life.
Her beloved mother received the glad tidings into her heart, and she began to rejoice in God her Saviour: but still Lydia was afar off from God.
She became acquainted about this tithe with a young man, who wooed and won her heart's affections; and she left her situation to be married. And the light-hearted bride crossed the threshold of her mother's door, fondly anticipating that for many years to come she should be happy in her husband's love. But, alas, Lydia was still a stranger to Him who loves with more than human affection.
As time sped on, the Lord gave to her a little son. He gave her to taste a mother's joy; she knew a husband's affection, but she did not know the
"Love that no tongue can teach,{br}Love that no thought can reach:{br}(No love like His).”
Lydia had a tenderly beloved sister. She was her only sister, and this sister fell sick, and died. Minnie was gone to be with Christ, for she had sought and found peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, once again, the Lord with unwearied affection invited Lydia to come unto Him, and rest: but she heeded not His voice. Yet the Lord loved Lydia; poor sinful Lydia. He saw that her heart was set upon "things temporal," and in mercy He put forth His hand—Lydia was taken ill, and a few months after the commencement of her illness, the fair young bride of only two or three years before, returned to her mother's house a confirmed invalid, wan and pale, and still unsaved.
When I went in as usual to read to her mother, I was struck with Lydia's altered appearance. She listened while I read, but not with the interest one would fain have noticed.
The next time I called, she had gone upstairs to lie down. And I asked, “Does she display any desire for salvation?”
Her mother sadly answered, “No. She does not appear to be much concerned about her soul.”
Then, in sadness of heart, we together, upon beaded knees, entreated the Lord to have mercy upon poor Lydia.
2.—the Opened Ear
"Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and yam soul shall live." Isa. 55:3.
“Will you please go upstairs? Lydia is worse.”
Thus I was accosted upon nay next visit; and the words caused my heart to thrill with emotion, as I ascended the staircase.
I was soon seated at Lydia's bedside. She was indeed worse, and upon her countenance there was an expression of sorrow, such as I had never noticed there before.
What did all this mean? I was soon to hear.
Her mother arose, and left the room. Then Lydia turned to me, and she began to speak with the air of one who has something dreadful to tell.
She said, “Last Monday, I went down into the town, and I met with a friend who told me she was very sorry to see me looking so ill; and she said to me, ‘Do you ever think about the Lord?’ I replied, ‘If I am going to die, I will; but if I am going to live, I won’t’.
" I had hardly said this, when a dreadful feeling came over me, I felt as if I should die in the street; and I cried out aloud in the street to the Lord to have mercy upon me—They got me home, and here I have been ever since "—and, bursting into tears, she added, " I know that I was very wicked to say it, and night and day I cry to the Lord to have mercy upon me—I do not think that Re will cast me off." Then, entirely overcome with emotion, poor Lydia hid her face in the bed-clothes, and wept bitterly.
While she was weeping, I felt constrained to lift up my heart in silent thanksgiving to the Lord, because she was now sorrowing unto repentance.
When she had become a little more calm, I read, “God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not." Then I turned to her, and said, “When your brother fell asleep in Jesus, did not God then speak to your heart?”
“Yes.”
“And when the Lord took your sister to be with Himself forever, did He not again speak to your heart?”
“Yes," she again answered, sorrowfully.
Then I told her that the voice which she had for so long a time refused to hear, was the voice of One who had spoken to her because He loved her, and I read on to the words, "He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing.”
I then went on to show her how mercifully the Lord had dealt with her. He had given her time to consider—to turn from her evil ways; and even until now He had spared her life, when He might at any moment have justly cut her off with a stroke.
She owned that it was all true. He had ever been good to her, yet she had turned away, and would not listen to His voice.
Indeed, it was the knowledge of all this that now caused her heart to overflow with sorrow; for, of all the sins of which she had ever been guilty, she rightly estimated that the sin of hardening the heart against God is, in His sight, the very worst of all sins. And she knew that she was a sinner without excuse, in in the sight of a holy God; a poor lost sinner.
But, by the grace of God, Lydia had an opened ear that Sunday afternoon; and she eagerly listened, while I told her of the love which a holy God displayed towards us poor sinners, when He gave His only begotten Son, that we might live through Him.
And I told her of Jesus, and of His blood which cleanseth from all sin; and 'pointed her to Jesus as the sinner's sole refuge—the only One by whom a sinner can come unto the Father, and also told her that He came to seek and to save the lost.
I turned to Luke 7:36-50., and read to her that sweet record of the gracious manner in which Jesus, the Saviour, once received a a woman "which was a sinner." He gave this sinner liberty to take her place at His feet, and to express in tears and kisses all the pent up feelings of her heart. And He would not send her away until He, with His own lips, told her that all her sins were forgiven. Then He allowed her to "go in peace.”
Then, turning to Lydia, I asked, “If the Lord Jesus were on earth now, and if He told you Himself that all your sins were forgiven, would you believe what He said?”
“Oh, yes.”
“Well, every word which is written, in the Word of God is just as true as if He spake them to you with His own lips. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.'”
The time had come for me to go: so I entreated the Lord to open Lydia's eyes that she might see and believe, and be saved. And ere I left the room, she said—
"I know he will not cast me off. He will let me know I'm saved before He takes me.”
The next Wednesday, at about midnight, Lydia called out to her mother, saying that she could get no sleep.
“And mother, I feel such a heavy load here,” said she, putting her hand upon her side. “Mother, I feel that I am lost"— and the perspiration stood in large drops upon Lydia's forehead.
Her mother knew not what to do. She knew the truth herself, but was unable to expound it to her anxious daughter. Lydia had learned to read a little; so her mother went and got her a Testament.
Eagerly Lydia opened the book, and read, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
On read Lydia, for a chapter or two, and as she read, the Spirit applied the Word of God in saving power to her heart. She then and there received the truth as it is in Jesus.
And that very night, Lydia said in triumph to her mother—
“Mother, my load is all gone now. I feel that if I were to die at once, I should go straight to heaven.”
Lydia had passed from death unto life.
3.—a Welcome Voice
"He gooth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers."—John 10:4, 5.
When I next saw Lydia, she was sitting downstairs, and oh, how different was her appearance. Her countenance no longer bore the impress of sorrow of heart, but there beamed upon her features such a peaceful, happy expression, that I felt sure that she had heard His voice, and was at peace.
Yet I would hear from her own lips, so I asked—
“Well, have you got it?”
“Yes.”
“Do you know that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed you from all sin?”
“Yes.”
“And can you now say, like Mary of old said, My spirit cloth rejoice in God, my Saviour?'”
“Yes”
It was not much that Lydia said that day, for there were several people in the room with us, yet she spake with the simplicity of a newborn babe in Christ. And we that were Christians, rejoiced together with her: yea, with the Good Shepherd; because He had found the sheep which was lost.
After this I saw Lydia frequently.
At first, Satan took advantage of her ignorance of the Word of God, and he sorely tempted her with doubts and fears. But her desire now was to hear His voice, and she soon learned to distinguish between "His voice," and the voice of the "stranger.”
Lydia was now grateful to anyone who would read or speak to her of Jesus. As week followed week, she gradually became more, and more enfeebled in body, yet, with ever increasing delight, she listened to "His voice;" and she grew in grace, and in the knowledge and love of God.
During one of my visits, she was in such intense pain of body, that she could not refrain from crying out, at times, while I was reading.
And words like these escaped her lips. “Jesus! dear Jesus! ease me." These involuntary expressions bore witness that she had learned to lean "upon her Beloved" (Cant. 8:5).
Lydia at one time felt timid at the thought of death. She said to her mother, one day—
“I pray to the Lord to remove from me all fear of death, and I have faith to believe that He will take away all my fear, before I come to die." And she was not disappointed.
The doctor called her mother downstairs one day, to tell her that her daughter could not live. Then Lydia said to her mother—
“The doctor had no need to call you down-stairs to tell you that. I heard all that he said.
I know that I am going to die, yet I'm not going to die; for I'm going to live with Jesus, forever and ever, in heaven.”
The last few days of her sojourn on earth were days of joy, of triumph, and of peace. As friends gathered around her bedside, the dying one felt happier than they all. If loving ones could not refrain from weeping, Lydia could not refrain from rejoicing, as she listened to hear once more "His voice," calling to her, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Oh, how great is the love of Jesus! He spake to poor sinful Lydia; she heard “His voice;” she believed on Him; and she was saved from wrath through Him.
And He did not cast her off. He enabled her to rejoice in God her Saviour; He removed from her all fear of death; and then He took her to be with Himself forever.
Dear reader, are you one of those who “hear His voice," and" follow Him"? Or, do you listen to a "stranger's" voice, content to be led captive by Satan, at his will?
"Hark! Jesus speaks in love to thee,{br}Oh, listen, sinner, now.”
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto 'them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand " (John 10:27, 28).
A. J.

the Two Trees.

"For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry."—Luke 25:31.
WITH what tenderness and yet solemnity are these words spoken by our blessed Lord. He, who had come into the world as the Saviour of it, who took the place of Son of Man to save the lost, He had been rejected, and was now being led forth to be crucified, Surrounded by the cruel hatred of men; followed by the human sympathy of a few women; and about to be offered up not only as a martyr, but as the sin-bearer, He opens His lips in solemn warning, and points on to the coming judgment. “If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”
He Himself surely was the "green tree” come down to this fruitless, barren, sapless world (for such it was God-ward), come laden with the freshness and sap of divine love.
Fragrant and green was His every step to the heart of God—"the root out of a dry ground,” the "tender plant," and "plant of renown.” But this "green tree" man sees no beauty in His goodness only calls forth man's hatred, and now, buffeted, bruised, and crowned with thorns, He is led forth to be crucified. This was how man treated God's beloved Son, and “if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”
Oh, dear reader, let us apply this solemn verse to ourselves. We are all by nature belonging to that world that crucified the Lord of glory, we are all brought in guilty before God, and God declares we have no righteousness or goodness of our own, that, in fact, we are just what is meant by the dry tree. Withered up by the power of Satan, and the keen blasts of sin, the very life that is there is but moral death. “Dead in trespasses and. in sins." now solemn, then, for you and me is this question,” What shall be done in the dry?" Dry, withered trees are but cut down for the fire-only fit for fuel.
Oh, dear friend, think of this; if still Christless, and therefore lifeless, you will just be as fuel for the flames, when God's judgment against sin is poured out on this world. Tell me, would you not rather be bound up now in the bundle of life with Christ than to be bound up hereafter as the "bundle of tares" in the Day of Judgment and cast into hell fire? What can there be but judgment! What but wrath for those who refuse Christ! And yet' tis through His very death that you may now be a possessor of eternal life. The corn of wheat has fallen into the ground and died, and now bears much fruit. Though man's sin and hatred slew Him, His death and blood shedding are now God's blessed way of receiving and saving such as you and me.
But again weigh these solemn words, “What shall be done in the dry?" and think, as before God, dear reader, what is to be your portion for eternity? Will you cast in your lot with Christ now? Will you come to Him for rest, and life, and pardon? If not, then remember you are a part of the dry tree—ready to be burned. Either you must belong to Christ now and forever, and bloom in the paradise of God—receiving one continual flow of life, and sap, and verdure from Him who is the center of it all there; or as an unbeliever in your sins you must have your part in the lake of fire, which is the second death. Dear friend, I plead with you tenderly, affectionately, oh come to Christ vow, just as you are. Share now the cleansing power of His blood, else “what shall be done in the dry?”
T. E. P.

There Is No Difference

ON a spring morning, the news sped through the village that a women had been found drowned close at hand; one, too, whom we knew well as a drunkard. Misery and want had reigned at home in her cottage, and now her poor husband, who for years had unavailingly sought to keep her steady, wept over her lifeless body, only having known that she had been out all night.
The half clothed children, and the poverty-stricken place, told tales only too plainly of what her life had been, while through the village went the remarks, "No food in the cupboard"—"No bed for the family to lie on” —"No clothes but the rags the children wear.”
Oh, reader, it was a heart-rending sight! And what verdict did the jury, gathered in that village inn, return? “No cause to show how she got into the water." No causer Sin, was the cause—the sin of drunkenness, and this was a drunkard's end. She had lived without God in the world (Eph. 2:12), in what was pleasure to her, and Scripture says, " She that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth (1. Tim. 5:6). " The end of those things is death "(Rom. 6:21)." Be not deceived... nor drunkards... shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9, 10).
But perhaps this may reach the eye of some poor soul, who is groaning under the bondage of such a sin, and longing to get rid of the chain by which the devil loves to hold his victim, and who knows not the way of escape.
Listen while I tell you. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, there met Him one day “a certain man which had devils a long time, and wore no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs... and he was kept bound with chains, and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness " (Luke 8:27, 29).
Could any state be worse than his? The neighbors sought to keep him decent, and within bounds, but the devil was stronger than they were.
Yet the Lord was stronger than the devil.
He commanded the devils to depart out of him, and they did so. Then those who went to see what was done, "came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind." The power of Jesus had done what the skill of man failed to do.
What a blessing to know He has the same power still! Since then He has been down into the devil's stronghold, and through death He has destroyed him who had the power of death, and has delivered many who were always in fear of death (Heb. 2:14, 15). “The wages or sin is death" (Rom. 6:23) —the wages that sinners justly deserve, the Lord Jesus bore when He suffered the just for the unjust, and the Holy Ghost can therefore add—" But the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Do not seek to make yourself any better, but confess your sins and trust in the One whose blood cleanses from all sin; yes, the sin of drunkenness, for " such were some of you; but ye are washed.... in the name of the Lord. Jesus " (1 Cor. 6:11).
But you may say, "It is all very well to write about the sin of drunkards and their need of repentance, but I am not like that; I have lived respectably and hope to die the death of the righteous, and that my last end may be like His.”
Go with me, I pray you, to another death-bed. A gentleman is dying—a gentleman surrounded by luxury and refinement, and all that wealth can bestow. During a short interval of consciousness, what does he say? “Jones, I want to speak to you. Am I dying?
Can you tell me where I shall go for eternity? Can you pray for me? “Hear the reply. “Oh, I know nothing about such things, I have never said anything but the Lord's Prayer—but you've never done any harm, I dare say it may be all right." The old man looked at him and said, “No, that's not enough, I have an uncomfortable feeling about the future, what can I do? How can I face eternity?”
In a few short moments he had passed into His presence who is " of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity.”
There was once a rich man who " died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments! " Would the luxury of his life, the dignity of his position, the respectability of his death, avail anything then?
They would not purchase even one drop of water to cool his tongue I “And how dieth the wise man? as the fool." (Ecc. 2:16).
The fool dies the death of a drunkard, perhaps; the man high in this world may die an outwardly respectable death—what of both their souls? “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Reader, if you are one of the rich of the world, remember God before the days come when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them “while your reason remains. If you are poor, let not the cares of this world keep you from Him, nor tempt you to drown your sorrow in sin. Be assured the Lord must be met by all of us as a Judge or a Saviour. God says that every knee shall bow to His Son, and every tongue shrill own Him Lord. How much better in this day of grace to own and believe in Him, than by-and-bye when even the devils will believe and tremble, and when many rich and poor, refined and degraded sinners who have refused His mercy now, will have to call on the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from " the wrath of the Lamb "—yea, of that very One who is " the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Let neither the drunkard nor the moral man persuade himself that God is merciful and will pass over sin. If God turned away His face from His own sinless Son when bearing the weight of our sins, do you think He will look upon you with mercy when you stand before Him with your own sins upon you? Now is the day of His mercy, "according to His mercy”
He can save (Titus 3:5) and He is "just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.”
H. L. H.

Three Classes and Three Messages

"For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people... the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."—Jer. 8:11 and 20.
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? and they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house."—Acts 16:25-34.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."—Rome 13:11.
WE have in these Scriptures, three different states of soul, and three entirely different messages. They are addressed respectively to the procrastinator, the anxious enquirer, and the believer. Let us look at them.
1. the Procrastinator
Procrastination, that is a long word. “What does it mean?” you say. Well, the English dictionary makes it quite plain. Putting off till to morrow. Young, in his "Night Thoughts,” tells us "Procrastination is the thief of time,” but I will give you another version, “Procrastination is the thief of souls." Rowland Hill says, “Procrastination is the recruiting officer of helms" Not sin, not open unbelief, not gross open wickedness, but procrastination. Had I asked you at the beginning of last year, Do you think you will be a Christian before the year is out? You would have said, “Surely, I am not going to wait until the year is out,” but you have. You have not come to Christ, you are not on the Lord's side; heaven knows you are not; earth knows you are not; hell knows you are not; and you know you are not. Oh, unsaved reader, wake up now—at once, else the closing words of this 8th of Jeremiah must be your experience, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
And why are you not saved? “They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." Satan has whispered in your ear, “It is all right." You have had anxious thoughts about your precious soul, but it has all been healed over. Man has dealt falsely with you, the devil deals falsely with you, but God deals truly, and what does He say, "There is no peace.”
There may be a false peace, but, unless you have been brought to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, do not deceive yourself. You have never been converted, you hive never been brought to God, you have never been, like the jailor, on your knees before God, and until you have been brought into living contact with Christ, everything is wrong. How tan there be peace if you are not born again, if you are not brought to God?
Oh, unsaved reader, no longer deceive your-self. The coming of the Lord is very near.
Even as you read this His voice may be heard in the air, and what then? The Lord's people will be caught up, and you will be left without.
They within, and you without.
You have talked about the Lord, and the Lord's day, and you may have taken the Lord's Supper, but, though all this may be true, what will He say? “I know you not, depart from me." Will He ever say that to a soul that knows Him? Never! These are they that have never known Him: they have the shell without the kernel. They knew there was something they needed but put off getting it; they thought they must wait for the strivings of the Spirit, but they were only heaping up wrath against the day of wrath. It is true you read your Bible. It is true you said your prayers, but the Lord. Jesus Christ you never loved, and, “If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." Oh, procrastinator, be warned, in time. Let not this language be the wail of your soul in the last day—" The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
I do not wonder Jeremiah said, “Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people." No tears rolled down your cheeks when on earth; but, oh, what tears will roll down your cheeks in hell, and, worst of all, you will remember your lost opportunities and say, “I might have been saved, but I was not.”
“But why were you not? “an angel might ask. "Was there no salvation?" “Oh, yes, and I had it offered to me. I meant to be saved, but while I was hesitating I was cut off by death. "Or," I just deferred it for a week and the Lord came." Oh, that terrible coming of the Lord! While you delayed the Lord came.
Oh, poor, irretrievably, helplessly, lost soul, see what is before you. 'What is there for the Christless soul? A Christless life, a Christless death, a Christless resurrection, a Christless standing before the great white throne, and a Christless eternity. Do not let this be your ending; and it must be, it shall be, unless you turn to the Lord.
Unsaved reader, halt no longer. Make it an impossibility that this Scripture should ever come from your lips. Read it once more, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Many a Christian can say, “The harvest is going on, and I am, saved," and, troubled, anxious one, you may say the same now.
2. the Anxious Enquirer
Look at the 16th of Acts. It has a peculiar charm, for it was the first time the Gospel was ever preached in Europe, and Satan, as he always does, raised great persecution. In the brutal, ruffianly jailor you have a thorough picture of a man under the power of the devil.
“He having received such a charge thrust them into the inner prison, and. made their feet fast in the stocks." You will notice that word "thrust." The magistrates had commanded to keep them safely, but with all the venom of his brutal nature he thrust them into jail. He had not a bit of compassion.
But what does God say? “I will have that guilty soul," and so, we read, those blessed servants of God were not overwhelmed by sorrow. They sang songs in the midnight hour, and the prisoners heard, them, “and suddenly there was a great earthquake," and this wretched man wakes up and draws his sword. What for? To kill his prisoners? No, but to kill himself, to hurl his soul into eternity.
But out of the darkness comes a sweet voice, “Do thyself no harm; for we are all here,” and that broke his heart. The sweet voice of God, through His servant, broke in on the sinner, “Do thyself no harm." “Then he called for a light," and that is the first thing a sinner wants; he wants light. “And he sprang in trembling." Yes, this sinner trembles now, and he brings out Paul and Silas, and what does he say? I am very sorry for having put you in the stocks. No, but, “What must I do to be saved?" A wonderful question this. Do you ask this question? Do you tremble to think of your sins? Then listen to the answer, God's answer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." “But," you say, “must I do nothing? I do not think people can be converted so easily." You are not asked to think. What does God say? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
You could not put away sin, but Christ has done it. “The Lord has made the iniquities of us all to meet on him." He charges Himself with your salvation, and you give up all your work, and now where does the believer stand? If such, you have Christ for your peace, and Christ for your portion forever. You are saved. Let us, therefore, now look at what belongs to.
3.—the Believer
“Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." But you ask," Were we not saved when we believed?" Surely, "Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace." But there are two salvations spoken of in Scripture, the salvation of the soul, and the salvation of the body. The moment you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you receive the salvation of your soul; but, as to your body, it is still here, but the salvation of it is nearer now than when you believed; and, do not forget, unconverted reader, that YOUR damnation is also nearer. OUR salvation, but YOUR damnation.
The truth is that, when a soul is brought to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that soul is bound up with Christ; but when the Lord. Jesus Christ comes, that soul will be caught up to meet Him who shall “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.”
The moment after we are taken up, I shall see you in the beautiful similitude of Christ. The sleeping saints, too, will be raised, and appear in the beauty of Christ. If you have laid one you love under the sod, what a comforting thing to the heart, to know that the one you laid down in corruption, shall be raised and changed into His likeness.
“It is high time to awake out of sleep for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Yes, the day is at hand, the bright day of the revelation of Jesus, when everyone shall have his reward according to his work, and meantime, what should a Christian be? A light in a dark place, a glowworm, a star. Again, a Christian is like the moon, but whence does the moon get her light? It is all from the sun, and is reflected, but it gives light through the night. Hence the exhortation. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." What a lovely garment is this to put on.
And now, dear reader, how does this paper leave you? As a procrastinator, an anxious soul, or a happy believer.
Procrastinator beware, lest those words be yours, “The harvest is past; the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Anxious soul, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Christian, "Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed," "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
W. T. P. W.

To Him That Worketh Not

IN the 6th chap. John, 27th verse, we read of the Lord Jesus saying to the multitude, "Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you, for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God.? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Now I dare say that many who will read these lines have asked themselves the same question, “What shall we do to work the works of God?" But how many answer it in their own thoughts without reference to the Word of God, or the sayings of Jesus. The true answer is simple and plain; “This is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent," but how few, comparatively, accept it! It may seem to some a sweeping statement, but though crossing the natural thoughts of thousands, it is nevertheless true, that the mass who profess Christ, are partly, if not wholly, in some form or shape, seeking to stand before and approach God on the ground of their own works, or religious doings.
A salvation that makes Christ everything, and man nothing, is not a salvation that man naturally is prepared to accept. It is too humiliating to the flesh. I and do are inseparably bound up in the carnal mind and heart, by nature opposed to God and His Christ. Many with their lips will own that Christ is all, but in their daily acts and ways give manifest proof that self predominates notwithstanding. The mistaken thoughts of thousands run thus, “Christ died and rose, that whosoever seeks to lead a good life, attends public worship, takes the sacrament, &c., may reasonably hope in the mercy of God at the great judgment day." What is this but works, works, works; my goodness, my religiousness, my doings; Christ hub a kind of make-weight? Away with such delusive thoughts. Filthy rags, and that is what God calls all our righteousness, will avail naught before Him (Isa. 64:6). Now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2); and salvation is not of works, lest any man should boast. To work the works of God, you must believe of, Him whom He hath sent. Christ is a present Saviour, saving without a single work, all who believe on His name, works suited to God being the fruit of saving faith.
Oh! when will striving, struggling sinners cease their vain efforts to establish their own righteousness, and submit to God's? (Rom. 10:3).
"Not of works" cuts at the very root of a Christless profession, wholly setting aside every product of the flesh as vain, valueless, and hateful in the sight of God, and utterly precludes man's empty boasting in his own goodness. God will have none of it: give it up at once and forever, and He will bless you.
Now the works of men in the flesh take many forms. The Word of God divides them into at least four classes.
1.— Wicked Works
A dark catalog is found in Gal. 5:19-21. “Now the works of the flesh," says the Apostle, “are manifest ... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." And, need I add, that all who pursue such a course will reap the fruit of their sin in the judgment of God, for “be sure your sin will find you out" (Num. 32:23). And when God judges, He will judge righteously, by no means clearing the guilty, (Ex. 34:7). Sin will surely meet with its reward; fools make a mock at it (Prov. 14:9). " The wicked shall fall, by his own wickedness "(Prov. 11:5)." The wicked shall be cast into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psa. 9:17). "And in that day there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed" (Matt. 10:26). "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God" (Heb. 10:31). Wickedness comes forth from the heart of man, and defileth him. Listen to the Lord's own words, " That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness... deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness all these evil things come from within, and defile the man " (Mark 7:20-23). Sin and wickedness can never pass the barrier of the holiness of God. Hell; banishment from the presence of Him who is Light (1 John 1:5) into the blackness of darkness for eternity is the portion of the wicked doer (Jude 13).
2.— Works of Righteousness
How natural for the sinner, convicted of sin, to seek to remedy the past by his own fleshly efforts, to cover the fruits of unrighteousness with a robe of righteousness of his own weaving, in every thread of which you can trace the handiwork of the Pharisee. Works of righteousness may be otherwise termed works of self-righteousness. It looks like willful blindness in face of the plain terms of the Word of God, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done.” Reformation will not do for God; man's patchwork doings are of no more use than a spider's web to cover the deformity of sin. Your sin must be put away, if you would enter heaven, and your righteousness cannot do it; you must be clothed to be fit for the presence of God, and God's own righteousness alone can avail.
There are others, who, on taking a retrospect of their past life, are not conscious of gross acts of sin and wickedness. Trained from childhood, it may be, in morality and good conduct, according to the standards of men, they feel they have nothing to reproach themselves with. Respectable members of society, of spotless reputation, honest, upright, kind, gracious, renowned even, perhaps, for works of charity; but sad to say, so satisfied with their own good deeds, that they have no conscience about sin, and no sense of their need as sinners of a Saviour outside of themselves (1 Tim. 1:15). Much as men may admire such qualities in their fellows; preferable, far preferable as they are to open sin and wickedness, they are a mere shifty foundation of sand, when it is a question of standing before God. " There is none righteous, no not one " (Rom. 3:10) is a sweeping statement that makes no exception, and leaves the man who trusts in his own righteousness as far off the kingdom of God as the most depraved. God says, “It is not by the works of righteousness which we have done.”
3.—Works of Law
How many Gentiles as well as Jews cling to the law of God as a ground of acceptance before Him. But here again the Scripture is plain and unmistakable, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law," &c. (Gal. 2:16), Many reply at once, "Well, then, what is the good of the law?" Ah! God has been beforehand with us. “Wherefore, then, serveth the law?" says the Apostle." It was added," runs the answer," because of transgressions, till the seed should come," &c. (Gal. 3:19). But Christ, the seed, is come, and "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Rom. 10:4). "If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law" (Gal. 3:21). But that was just what the law did not and could not do. It convicted man of transgression, showed him be was a sinner, but never helped to put the sin away. The law said, do this, and do not that; but man, a sinner, had no power to do what the law demanded„ and no power to leave off doing what the law condemned. It was a ministration of death, carrying with it an awful curse (2 Cor. 3:7), the award of all under it who failed to obey, one offense rendering the offender guilty of all (James 2:10). Strange infatuation that the Gentile should put himself under a yoke, unbearable to the Jew. (Acts 15:10). God never put them under, "for the Gentiles which have not the law, are a law unto themselves, their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or excusing one another '' (Rom. 2:14, 15).
"As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident, for the just shall live by faith, and the law is not of faith," &c. (Gal. 3:11, 12).
4.— Dead Works
Here we find one of the most powerful engines of the devil to keep souls from Christ. Dead works; a round of ordinances, rites and ceremonies of divine service; a religion al forms and rubrics, statutes and articles, vestments, candles, incense, and the thousand and one things, old and new, invented by man, making the Word of God of none effect. There was a time when the Mosaic ritual was in force, ordered of God; a worldly sanctuary, meats, drinks, divers washings and carnal ordinances (Heb. 9:1-10) imposed until the time of reformation. But these were the shadows of things to come, the body (or the substance) is of Christ (Col. 2:16, 17). A burdensome ritual, constantly repeated shedding of the blood of bulls and goats characterized the past dispensation. And if, as the Scripture saith, they sanctified to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge the conscience of the believer from dead works to serve the living God. (Heb. 9:13, 14).
But what is Christendom doing, or rather what has it done? I speak of the mass. Gone brick to the shadows and forgotten the substance. Thank God there are individuals who love the Saviour in the midst of all. But what does the spiritual Christian see on all hands? A medley of Judaism, heathenism, arid Christianity strange to behold. Tested by the light of the revelation from God, a vast pile on a good foundation, of which the bulk will prey to be wood, hay, stubble (1 Cor. 3:10-15), fit only for the judgment of God. "Many will say to me that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:22, 23).
5.— Christ's Work
But, beloved reader, is there no remedy?
Yes, praise our Lord, there is: for He Himself hath provided it. Wicked works, self-righteous works, law works, and dead works all exclude from Him, but there is a work, a mighty work indeed wrought by God in the gift of His own Son, whereby the sinner can be brought back to him, made meet for His Holy Presence. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). What, then, shall we do to work the works of God? This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. "My meat," said Jesus," is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). And, again, speaking anticipatively of the work that He was about to accomplish on the cross, "I have glorified thee on the earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4). And lastly, on the cross He said, "It is finished and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:30). Taken down from the cross, and entombed, God raised Him: He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father (Rom. 6:4),
"'Tis finished, on the cross He said,{br}In agonies and blood,{br}'Tis finished, now He lives to plead{br}Before the face of God.”
"By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:12). The claims of God were met; the holiness of G-od maintained: the justice of God satisfied, and Christ in glory is God's testimony to the whole universe that the work is done. God is " just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). And now, “To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom. 4:5). Blessed is the man to whom “God imputeth righteousness without works" Rom. 4:6). “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works," &c. (2 Tim. 1:9).
The finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the sole ground on which God justifies the sinner, without a single work or sin-stained addition of ours in any way whatever.
“He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). God's salvation makes everything of the glorious Person and the finished work of Christ, and nothing of you and me. “Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 4:25; 5:1).
6.—Good Works
But whilst, on the one hand, we cannot press too strongly upon souls the glorious truth of justification by faith, without a single work of ours; on the other hand, we must press home upon the conscience of every believer, that faith without works is dead being alone (James 2:17). There is such a thing as the assent of intelligence without the belief of the heart, natural faith and not saving faith. The faith that saves is a faith that produces fruit. “What loth it profit... though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?” Yes, indeed, faith in Christ can and does save, and save forever too. But, if a man only says he has it, and there are no works to prove the reality of his confession, all is profitless and vain.
Then bear in mind, dear reader, the exhortation of the Apostle, writing to Titus, "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works" (Titus 3:3). The Christian is created in. Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). And again, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).
E. H. C.

to Whom Belongest Thou?

“And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; and had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor. And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company. And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, sate four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them: David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil." 1 Sam. 30:1-20.
THE picture before us is very simple. David is here a lovely type of Christ in the day of His rejection, as Solomon is of Him in the day of His glory. The Lord Jesus has been rejected here. When the question was put, “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus, which is called Christ?” The world said, Give us the robber and crucify the Saviour, and further, in order to deny the resurrection large sums of money were given to the soldiers to say He was not risen. But He was, He is God raised Him from the dead, and now does He seek an opportunity of showing vengeance on His enemies? No, no—but God says, “Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
In this chapter we find the Amalekites had burned Ziklag (David's city) with fire, and taken the women and children captive, and David inquires of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? “And the Lord says, "Pursue; for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all." And we have only to read on to find that it all came true, David did overtake, and recover all. And so every knee must bow to Jesus, every tongue must own Him Lord. Heavenly things, earthly things, infernal things—angels, men, and devils, must all bow down to Jesus, and own His worth. Not one soul can escape. You may fancy you can. You may even say you draw this conclusion from the picture before you of the 400 young men who escaped on camels; but, let me tell you, in the day of the Lord there will be no camels for you to escape on.
You may ask, "Do you know the hour?” No—but God “hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Now we see the wonderful patience of Christ, but the day will come when the Lord will deal with each soul, and find out who is on His side and who is not.
But though the Scripture before us is a picture of graces still every picture has a background. And what is the background here? The dark, awful day of judgment, when you will have to stand before God as a Judge. Oh, unconverted reader, you may wrap yourself round with carnal security, as these men, these Amalakites, did here, for we read, “They were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating, and drinking, and dancing," but what took place? "David smote them ... and there escaped not a man of them.”
What will take place in that day? “Whoa they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." Yes, it is inevitable, for as a thief in the night, when men are deluding themselves with thoughts of peace and safety, the Lord will come, and you will be left to the long dark night of judgment. Thank God, the night of judgment has not yet come for you, but it may to-day. Now is the message of goodness, of mercy—nay, more, of salvation. A free pardon for all your sins is proclaimed, and the greater your need, the greater your destitution, the quicker the grace of God seeks to get at you.
“And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread and he did eat; and they made him drink water." An Egyptian! Yes, and what is an Egyptian? A thorough-going worldling. Egypt is the land where sin reigns, where God is not owned. In plain language, it is the world. And what is the world? The world is a place in which man seeks to make himself happy without God. But he does not succeed. You have not succeeded, my reader. It is true there is pleasure in sin. The Scripture speaks of enjoying "the pleasures of sin," but, mark, it is but "for a season." I should like you to have pleasures that last forever. All your pleasures, unsaved soul, must come to a conclusion in the dark dungeons of hell. You will have left behind you, then, the pleasures of sin, and you will be engulphed in the punishment of sin:
You call yourself a Christian now, but no one could ever mistake you for one. The whole of your present history is linked up with the world, and as for Christ, He has no place in your heart. You are an Egyptian. What do I find in the world? Opposition to God and to Christ.
You may say, “I do not like these things being always brought in." No, you would like them never to be brought in. You would be happier to be let alone, because in the bottom of your heart you are an enemy to God. “The friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is an enemy of God.”
They found this young man in the field, and what is the first thing they do? They bring him to David. And if I could bring you to Jesus now, that is the very thing I would like. You, in all your sins, in all your unbelief.
They brought him to David, and what is the result? Why, the moment he finds himself in David's presence, immediately " they gave him bread and he did eat; and they made him drink water," that is, grace meets the need of the soul, and here we get three beautiful thoughts: First, the need of the soul is met, then the conscience is thoroughly reached, and finally the heart; is captivated with David, and the Master changed, and this is what I would like for you, dear reader.
1.—Need Met
They " gave him bread, and lie did eat and they made him drink water." And what is the first thing Christ does for you when you are brought to Him? He saves you on the spot. He says, “He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." “This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live forever." To you, unconverted reader, He says, I went down into death to give you life, I gave my life that you might live. Christ dying on the cross is the only bread for you. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if I die it bringeth forth much fruit." Jesus has gone down into death for you,— death as the judgment of God—and if you believe on Him now, you will find that you shall live forever.
“They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins." Bread would have saved him, but God says, I will give you everything. If you want security, pardon, peace, whatever your need, you get it all fully met in Christ—God does not only save you, He puts you into heaven in spirit now.
No one told this young man it was David, he knew it intuitively, he knew he had met the very one whose city he had burned; and so the sinner knows when he gets into the presence of Christ. He knows and owns—This is the One I have abused, and that I have re belled and fought against all my life.
What did this young man expect, what could he expect but judgment? And he met with grace, perfect grace; and so will you, dear reader, if you come to Christ.
2—the Conscience Reached
And now we get the conscience touched.
“To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou?" says David. He answers the second question first, and gives an honest answer. “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite." And now what will you say?" I am a poor wretched sinner, I have given all my days to the world." “To whom belongest thou?” Why, you may say," I thought I was my own master, I thought I was doing my own will." What does the Scripture say?
“His servant ye are to whom ye obey." And if you try to get away from the service of your present master you will see whose servant you have been. But, in a day that is coming, how many a soul will tell a tale of desertion like this young man. “My master left me, because three days agorae I fell sick." “He had a bad master," you will say. Yes, and so have you.
The devil will use you as long as he can delude you, and when he can get no more service out of you, he will desert you, and leave you to be damned.
Look at it fairly, face it at once. You have been led, hoodwinked, by Satan. You have been an enemy of Christ, as this young man was of David, but what led him to so open his heart to David? It was grace. The goodness of God leads us to repentance. And now again I ask, "To whom belongest thou? To Christ?” No. Then Satan claims you. You have on his uniform, and as it was said to Peter in Pilate's hall, "Thy speech betrayeth thee," so with you, you have only to open your lips, and what do you talk about? The world, and the things of the world. Unsaved reader, escape now for thy life.
See how grace opens this young man's heart, Not only does he own whom he serves, but he makes a clean breast of his actions, he owns, "We burned Ziklag with fire." It is better to be open with Christ. You may have been sinning grossly and openly, or you may have been indulging in small, secret sins; but, unless you have it all out, you will know what the Psalmist meant, in the 32nd Psalm, when he said, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old, through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” That is, there is no peace, no rest, no comfort to the soul. But, the moment he makes up his mind to confess, he says, " Thou forgavest." I confessed, and, Thou forgavest. Have all out in the presence of Christ, and what will you find? Peace! perfect peace!
3.— the Master Changed
And now there is more. David said, "Canst thou bring me down to this company?” i.e. Would you like to change your master? Will you be my servant? And Christ says the same to you well, there were only two things this young man needed to know before surrendering himself entirely. “Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company." And will you say to Christ "Swear to me you will not kill me.” Christ kill you! It is Christ that died to save you. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost." “The Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus has come to give you life, and liberty, and the assurance of salvation, “He that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life." Christ could not condemn you, if believing on Him, for He took the condemnation that He might not condemn you. He was judged that you might never be. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know theme and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Ah, there is no fear that Jesus will over give you up.
And now, one word more. “I will bring thee down to this company," says the young man, and. he does so. What does that mean? It just means—I will be your servant—I am ready to do your bidding, and so—first, Christ serves you, and then He gives you the opportunity to serve Him.
The Lord grant that what has been before you in figure, may be the experience of your heart, that so you may be able to say, in the lines of a well-known hymn—
"Christ delivered me when bound,{br}And when wounded, healed my wounds;{br}Sought me wandering, set me right,{br}Turned pay darkness into light.”
W. T. P. W.

Too Late

DEAR READER, the above words may often have sounded in your ears, and if you are of commercial pursuits, or otherwise in the habit of passing to and fro through the busy hum of this world's affairs, you have perhaps proved somewhat of the inconvenience of being met with the words—Too late—as you have arrived at the station, just one minute too late. Only one minute, but—too late. Oh! unsaved reader, my object is to draw your earnest attention to what must be the awful results, should those words sound in your ears from the lips of Him who openeth and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15).
Dear reader, awful as it may sound, the above quotation from the Word of the Living God is decisive enough as to the certainty of thine eternal doom, shouldest thou be too late in closing with the now-proffered mercy held out to thee, through the shedding of the precious blood of Jesus. Oh! unsaved reader, wilt thou, with the heedlessness of a child, sport and play over the precipice of hell? Satan desires to have thee, and will not fail to use every means to keep Christ out of thy heart, but ere it be too late, give one look at the crucified Redeemer, expiring between two thieves on Calvary's Cross. There is life in a look, nothing to pay, nothing to do, only look. What was the result of the bitten Israelite's gaze upon the serpent of brass? “And it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived "(Num. 21:9). “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:14, 15).
The Israelite looked upon the serpent of brass, at the command of Moses, and natural life ensued: look thou with the eye of faith at the lifted up Son of Man, and eternal life is thine. Oh I look, before the words heading this paper describe thy condition. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation; tomorrow may be too late. God's offer to thee is—now, thou canst not call the next hour thine own; yea, one moment hence is future, and short as it appears, may find thee in eternity. Too late then—but now, just where thou art, take God at His word, and all is right for time and eternity, and God's sure word is, " That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved " (Rom. 10:9).
Oh! wonder of wonders, dear reader, just ask yourself the question, For whom was Christ dead? But, instead of answering it yourself, allow the word. of the living God to do so for thee, " For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received; how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures and that he was buried, and that he rose again according to the Scriptures "(Cor. 15:3, 4). “Who was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).
Yes! dear reader, God is satisfied with the payment of the debt in Jesus' blood, for thy sins, and further, " God hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him " (Jesus) (2 Cor. 5:21).
Should this paper have made thee uneasy about thy state in the presence of God, do not look into thy poor good-for-nothing self for relief, but believe the record God has given of His Son, and thou hast Eternal Life. Tomorrow may be too late. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”
(Acts 21:1). J. P. S.

Victory Through the Blood of the Lamb.

SITUATED in the south of England there is a large, commodious hospital, where hundreds of patients yearly receive treatment at the hands of medical men.
Diseases of all kinds are to be seen there, all making terribly real to any sensitive soul, the ravages that sin has made in the human family, manifesting itself in all its horrid deformity, revolting even to the depraved senses of the natural man.
Alas! what has not sin done? Not only bringing sickness and disease into the human family, it has also alienated man from God, and made him the very active enemy of God his maker, and that, too, in full fellowship with Satan.
In this hospital there lay a dear Christian dying He had been a nurse in the same hospital, and had no doubt seen many a soul pass through the portals of death into eternity. But now his own time had come; he must go now, and gradually his frame wasted away by a consuming disease. No human hand could arrest its progress. And on one Lord's Day afternoon a few Christians, the writer of this article being one of them, gathered round his bed to take a farewell till we met again in the glory on high. There he sat in a reclining position on the bed, being propped up with pillows. Pale and haggard he looked—consumption had done its work. He spoke to us of Satan's fiery darts aimed at him in his state, to shake his confidence in his Saviour's love, and how he was sustained by the hand and word of Him who died for him.
I solemnly said to him, "Timson, what is your passport into heaven?" He bowed his head for a few moments, as if in deep thought. It was a searching question at such a moment as that, and one which alone simple faith could answer aright. He lifted up his head, for we were all waiting for the answer, and said in a calm heavenly voice, which carried weight and power with it to every heart that stood around him: “Victory through the blood of the Lamb." Oh! what an answer! Satan could only beat a retreat from that battle-field, where the victory had already been gained by another, and made over to the joy and everlasting salvation of this dear soul, who had put his simple trust in the Son of God.
Dear reader, I love to dwell upon those precious words, “Victory through the blood of the Lamb," and would to God that you knew their value and power. They speak of God's ineffable love—of the death of God's Lamb, the sinner's substitute—of His blood shed to meet the claims of God's holy throne, and the sinner's desperate case, and deep necessities of the remission of sins being obtained by that blood—of the redemption of the sinner's precious soul of the victory of God's Son, and the vanquishment of Satan—yea, of the everlasting salvation of man. And, O! reader, of chine everlasting glory and exemption from judgment, if thou puttest thine heart's trust in the raised up Son of God.
Observe attentively then, dear friend, this dear dying saint did not refer me to his good conduct or his improvements; nay, nor his doings. Eternity—meeting God—was in question, and no creature-doings will form a solid ground for our souls to rest upon, when we confront eternity, and the fact of having to meet God, nothing short of absolute " Victory through the blood of the Lamb,” will do then. Doings and mere external religiousness may constitute us a member of a Church here, but it won't take us into God's paradise of eternal delights. What will? By being able to say in the energy of simple faith “Victory through the blood of the Lamb’
This dear soul had learned the grand secret of letting go his hold of everything human, and had put his implicit faith in that which was divine. He had ceased his wretched doing, as a ground of acceptance before God, and had rested his immortal soul with all its eternal interests upon Christ's eternal done—as He said on the cross were He expired, “It is finished " (John 20:30), and the blessed consequence was, he was pardoned of his sins—he was justified from all things—he had perfect peace with God—he was made a child of God—the possessor of eternal life—and an heir of eternal glory. Oh! mark this well, my reader. All these incomparable blessings were to him, not the fruit of his own wretched doings, but the rather, the blessed eternal fruit of the sacrifice of God's precious Lamb: and though assailed by Satan, and though his tabernacle was being taken down, and he about to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, yet he could say with rapturous joy, as it were caught from the very presence and throne of God, " Victory through the blood of the Lamb.”
Dear reader, in conclusion I will ask you, Have you renounced self and doings, and, everything of the creature, as a resting-place for your soul, and at the bidding of Christ come to Him just such a sinner as you are, accord to His own words? “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28). If not, may God's Spirit give thee to see the absolute necessity of repairing to Him at once, and at His own hands get salvation in all its fullness, then thou shalt have peace—perfect peace. Yea, peace—deep, deep as a river. And thy soul will prostrate itself in His presence, and worship Him (John 9:38). And thy lips will move, and thy shout will be, "Victory, victory through the blood of God's Lamb." E. A.

What Think Ye of Christ?

JESUS left His home in glory—{br}Would an outcast be;{br}Left the bosom of the Father—{br}Sinner, 'twas for thee!
Who, so earnest, in the garden,{br}Prays on beaded knee?{br}'Tis the Sinless One foretasting{br}What was due to thee!
Who, with thorn-pierced brow, is hanging{br}On the cursed tree?{br}'Tis the Lamb of God most holy{br}Tasting death for thee!
“It is finished!" Grace path triumphed,{br}Now salvation's free;{br}Offered without price or money—{br}Offered NOW to thee!
Hear the Saviour patient pleading,{br}"Come! Oh! come to Me!”{br}With His blood He paid the ransom—{br}Such His love for thee!
And the very angels marvel{br}Such a sight to see,{br}As the Lord of Glory PLEADING,{br}Pleading NOW with thee!
Still He calls—He longs to bless thee,{br}And thy Saviour be!{br}Ah, poor sinner! canst thou doubt Him—{br}Doubt His love to thee!
Still He lingers, still entreats thee{br}From the wrath to flee;{br}For He bore the dreadful judgment,{br}That thou might'st go free.
Oh! but trust Him! He WILL save thee;{br}Let your cry now be:{br}“I believe it! I receive it!{br}Jesus died for me!"
W. L. G.

When Will Ye Be Wise?

ONE does not like to be thought a fool.
We all prefer to be credited with wisdom. Many people are thought to be fools by the wise after the flesh, who prove to be truly wise after all, having believed in Christ, the wisdom of God. (1 Cor. 1:24). Many who pass as wise here live to prove their folly, often passing from this scene without having true wisdom, waking up to their folly in hell.
There are several classes of persons referred to in the Scriptures, of whom God speaks as fools. I desire to point out three, trusting that any who read these lines, should they be found amongst them (and God knoweth your heart), may wake up to their folly and learn the wisdom of God, which is alone found in Christ, ere it be too late.
The first class are these who say in their heart, "No God." In Psa. 14:1 and 53:1 we find repeated, " The fool hath said in his heart (there is) no God." You may remark that the words, "there is" are in italics. The meaning is not that the fool saith there is no God, but though he may believe and know that there is a God, yet would shut Him out. He hath said in his heart, No God. How many thousands pass through this scene without God. (Eph. 2:12). Is He in all their thoughts? Nay, the very thought of God, as revealed in the Scriptures, is distasteful. Men like to follow their own will, and show their independence. Like the prodigal son, who wanted to enjoy his portion without parental restraint, they would enjoy their worldliness and pleasure without God. To bring Him in would mar all. And so thousands and tens of thousands, even in this land of profession, say in their heart (may be they are not daring enough to utter it with the lip), No God.
But what saith the Scripture of such an one, "Fool." The sentence is solemn, short, to the point, and admits of no paring down. Some will think it harsh. But there it is, twice repeated, “The fool hath said in his heart, no God. Why, reader, does it convict you? God knoweth your heart (Luke 16:15).
The second class are those who mock at sin.
Said the wisest of men, “Fools make a mock at sin" (Prov. 14:9). And yet, to see the world's course, one would think that God had never caused such a verse to be written. Do you want to learn what sin is in the sight of God, look back to Calvary, where Christ, the Holy One, was made sin for us, who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Those three hours of darkness, the hiding of God's face, the agony of that bitter cry wrung from the lips of Jesus, the Son of the Blessed, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me," witness to us the awful nature of sin. Oh! sinner, is sin an every-day commonplace thing with you? Do you live in it month by month, and year by year, as though it were a matter of no moment? Do you roll it as a sweet morsel upon the tongue? Do you mock at sin as though it were of the most trifling importance? Remember, God has said, "Fools make a mock at sin.” And be ye sure of this, your sin will find you out.
What greater mockery than the formal religious profession all around us at the present moment! Masses living for self and the world from Monday morning till Saturday night, and coming before God as Christian professors with the form of godliness on the Lord's Day (2 Tim. 3:5), sin and the precious blood of Christ treated as things of naught. “Ye hypocrites!” said Jesus to the Scribes and Pharisees, and may it not, my reader, be uttered with equal truth to thousands now, “Well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:7-9).
Arouse thee, sinner, to a sense of thy danger and thy need; an awful precipice lies right before thee. Trifle no longer with sin. If death, its wages, were to overtake thee, thy portion would be the lake of fire forever (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:15). To mock at sin, as though it were of no moment, is to prove thyself a fool. Whether you would in your heart shut out God, or hug sin that shuts out from God, the Word of God spares thee not, but calls thee, "Fool." Ye fools, when will ye be wise? (Psa. 94:8).
A professed infidel once said to a Christian, “I don't believe in sin, can you tell me what it is?
“Did you ever tell a lie?" replied the other.
Here was a difficulty. To own to a lie was to own to be a liar. To deny that he had ever told a lie, was to prove himself a liar then and there. After much hesitation, he was compelled to own that he had more than once departed from the strict truth.
“That's sin," said the Christian. The infidel was silenced. Ah! fools make a mock at sin.
The third class are the covetous. The Lord Jesus Christ called the covetous man a fool. “Take heed," said He, "and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully, and he thought within himself saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool! this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:15-21).
It was God who made the ground of the rich man produce plentifully. But, wrapped up in himself, the claims of God upon him were entirely forgotten. It was I, I, my, my, from beginning to end. He thought within, himself, and his thoughts were entirely opposed to God's, as the natural man's thoughts always are. In thinking within himself, he thought of himself, and himself only. So accustomed to count everything he possessed as his own, we read of him saying, I will say to my soul (as though that were, too), Soul, thou halt much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Ah! but God has something to say as well. And where are the many years' ease and pleasure and merriment then? The many years dwindle down to a few short moments. For God said unto him, " Thou fool, this night (my reader, are you living for self, ponder it) thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall those things be " Ah! death knocks at the door. No more ease then. Merriment ceases. Barns, fruits, and goods all left behind. And after death the judgment (Heb. 9:27), and after judgment the lake of fire. No ease then, no merriment, no barns bursting with plenty there. But the worm that never dies, the fire that never shall be quenched; no respite to utter, hopeless woe. Men will own their folly then, when it is too late to learn wisdom.
Again we read in Jer. 17:11, that, “He that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool." Many a cheat in the mercantile world passes as a sharp, shrewd man of business, in the eyes of men dishonest as himself. But death will knock at his door, too. And he who has amassed wealth by fraud, shall leave it all behind; and having failed to possess himself of the only wealth that is lasting, the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephes. 3:8) prove the truth of the Word of God, “At his end shall be a fool." Ye fools, when will ye be wise?
We have seen the folly of him who says, "No God;" of him who "mocks at sin," and the covetous. Now a brief word as to how those whom God calls fools (for I am only pressing upon your conscience what God says) may become truly wise.
There is only one way, through Christ (John 14:6). Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24). The Scriptures reveal Christ, and are able to make wise unto salvation all who believe on Him (2 Tim. 3:15). Many a foolish sinner, thank God, has been awakened to his folly. Are you still one? May you be the same. Jesus, the Son of God, came to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26). Believe on Him, as a poor guilty sinner, and you who are now afar off, shall be made nigh to God by His precious, precious blood (Eph. 2:13). Then shall all the unsearchable riches of Christ be yours. And instead of saying in the heart, No God, communion with Him will be your greatest joy. Instead of mocking at sin, it will become your abhorrence, as that which brought your Saviour to the cross. Instead of the heart being set in covetousness on things here, Christ will be your satisfying portion, and you will be using this world as not abusing it, until He comes. Now is the day of salvation. Now is God's time for sinners to be wise.
“Ye fools, when will ye be wise?”
E. H. C.

Will God Receive Me Just As I Am?

THE above is the question raised in many souls when first converted.
Conversion is the sinner turning to God; and many are in their hearts turned to God who have never met Him, and known Him, as Father. They know and feel their sins, their confession is framed, but as yet they have never met the Father. They are plodding on with a burdened and convicted heart, day by day, with mingled thoughts of their own unworthiness, and the goodness of the Father, and the plenty of hip house. And as they plod on with a heavy heart and dejected spirit, and saddened countenance, the question rises, “Will God the Father receive me just as I am?” I am a sinner, wretched and undone, without one thing to recommend me to Him. Oh, I would give worlds to know that He would receive me just as I am, and not turn me away!”
Ah, dear soul, listen! I can answer, Yes! on the authority of God's immutable word.. It gives my heart jay to be able to say to your troubled, strickened heart, “Yes! God will receive you, just as, and just where you are.” Hear the words of the Son of God, who came to reveal the Father's love, and declare His willingness to save, that One who spake as never man spake. And He who came “to seek and to save the lost," will never by His words deceive a soul. Never!
In Luke 15 we have His words. Read from verse 11 to 24. In verse 12 the prodigal is in the “far country" wasting his substance; in verse 14 he has "spent all," and comes to “be in want." You know, dear soul, what that means. In verse 17 he "comes to himself." Blessed experience! He now thinks of the father's goodness, his own base ingratitude and sin, and the plenty of his father's house. In verse 18 he says, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son make me as one of thy hired servants. "In the next verse we read, “And he arose and came to his father.”
See now, dear soul, he is on his way to the father, like you are on your way to God.
He has not met him yet. What various thoughts fill his mind; and most likely the leading thought is, “Will my father receive me just as I am?” He plods on; the thought of returning to the father in repentance gives some relief, and the thought of his goodness and bounty gives more; but he has not met him yet, and so he knows not how he will be received.
But weary, anxious, plodding one, listen, for what comes next answers the inquiry of your soul, and will forever remove all uncertainty and anguish therefrom. “But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell upon his neck, and kissed him," verse 20. Oh, wonderful picture! It is the Lord Jesus telling out to our hearts the way that God the Father receives returning, repenting sinners. Shall not our hearts bow in worship and praise? It is the display of sovereign love and mercy, and the exercise of the same, and the bestowal of it all upon a poor unworthy sinner. Can our hearts fail to be affected in presence of it all, or our souls to be bowed in adoration?
See, then, dear soul, that GOD WILL RECEIVE YOU JUST AS YOU ARE, is proved by the words of His dear Son. All that you are is known to Him. He bids you return, and says, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”
But more, as the prodigal was embraced by the loving father, and the kiss of peace planted on his brow, and he leaned upon the father's bosom, and then gave expression to the deep repentance of his soul, the father said to his servants, " Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found." The father not only received his prodigal son, he also clothed him and fitted him for a place in his house. Thus it is with God. He not only receives you just as you are, and fills your heart with assurance and, peace; but He also clothes you, and fits you for a place as a son (not a hired servant) in his house. It is all free grace; there is not an element of merit in the whole thing. The Father runs forth, the Father embraces, the Father kisses, the Father clothes with the best robe, as an expression of His matchless grace to the sinner, and thus fits him for His presence forever; yea, for fellowship with Himself. They sit down together and feed upon the fatted calf. “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3).
But what is that which constitutes a guilty sinner fit for God's presence, and so clears him of every charge of sin, that he can enjoy unclouded fellowship with God, who is light? The answer is, "It is God that justifieth.” But the ground of so marvelous an act? The answer is, The blood of Christ. "Being now justified by his blood” (Rom. 5:9). But more, God “hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
The sinner, then, who returns to God, and is received by the Father, is born of God, by the action of the Spirit and word, is justified from "all things" by the blood of Christ, is taken into God's favor in Christ, and is made the righteousness of God in Him. This is the best robe: " Made the righteousness of God in Christ," who of God is made unto us" wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption”
(1 Cor. 1:30). Thus it is we are received, and thus it is we are fitted for God's presence and the Father's house, and constituted sons forever, in whom the Father delights, and with whom it is our happy privilege to enjoy fellowship now, and unbroken fellowship throughout the endless ages of eternity.
“Grace all the work shall crown,{br}Thro' everlasting days;{br}It lays in heaven the topmost stone{br}And well deserves the praise.”
E. A.

A Word to Young Converts

YOUNG Christians are exposed to special and constant danger. They have not yet learned that full trust and confidence in God which older converts ought to enjoy, and the devil (who, whilst they were going on in their old course, and in full swing for hell as it were, gladly left them 'alone) sees now that they are about to slip through his fingers, and brings all his power and cunning to bear upon them. The conflict, indeed, now begins; there must be two parties to a fight.
Before the convert had allowed. God's blessed work to be accomplished, and the Holy Spirit to take full possession of him, the devil had it all his own way ("Ye were servants to sin once")—there was no opposition—but now blessed be God, resist the devil and he shall flee from thee, is a fact. An accomplished fact, but it does not say there shall be no combat, that the devil will quietly give up possession. On the contrary. 1 Tim. 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith." 2 Tim. 5:4, "No man that warreth, entangleth himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who hath-chosen him to be a soldier; " and even Paul, at the end of his victorious life, speaks of the warfare, “I have fought a good. fight, I have finished. my course; I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." Blessed words," All them also." Any aid that we can give to the young soldier, it is a duty and a blessing to afford.; and may God in His infinite love bless these few words to others, as the thought of them has been blessed to the writer, for His glory's sake.
Walking along, then, one morning, and thinking it was not a good day with me, and that I was not getting on in my journey to God as I could wish, and looking within for the cause, the words of a dear Christian came to my heart “If you want to be wretched look within; if you want to be distracted look around; if you want to be happy, look up.”
The cause of my depression was plain. I was looking within and around, looking at the state of myself and my surroundings, instead of looking up at that Saviour who had washed me in His own blood whiter than snow, and at that God, who saw me not as I was, but only through Christ as fit for His presence.
I prayed God to give me something to dwell upon that would help to lead me out of myself, and the following thought came into my mind, and was visibly demonstrated to my sight:
I was walking in a filthy street, and had to cross a field, through which a new road had been partly made, that is to say the outside narrow kerbstone had been set up right across the field, on to the broad fine pavement on the other side; the roadway in prospective was covered with large rough stones, and what was to be the pavement was one mass of mud. There was only one narrow way across—the kerbstone—but it was firm and clean, and hard as a rock. The entrance to the pathway from the filthy street was through posts and wooden railings, which formed, as it were, a divided cross, and through this cross was the ONLY WAY on to the narrow path, which lead to the clean place beyond, and it was only by keeping one's eyes fixed on that clean place that one could walk across the narrow way. Once on the path it was firm and strong, and all that was required was to look and walk right a head, but look either to the right hand or to the left, anywhere but right ahead, down one went either into the stones or the mud, and in walking thus one naturally put out the hands to balance oneself, with anything that might be in them; and the Bible that I had in my hand was my balancing pole.
Is it not so with the veil removed from the eyes? What can be filthier than the world in which one was walking? What more stony than the worldly pleasures in which one formerly delighted? What muddier than one's natural self? But by the grace of God see this, and, blessed be His name, He shows the narrow opening through the cross, this pathway to heaven—and it's always open! There's no gate, no shutting (as yet), no fee to pay, nothing to do, nothing to bring. No! only to go through in faith, believing, and at once one is on a rock, and then for the way—straight on—the eyes fixed ahead. Look to the right, and one is down the stones of the world hurting one's feet, and fighting and struggling to recover one's balance.
Again, look to the left, see the mud of which one is composed, and down goes the balance, over falls the walker, to be replaced on the clear path only after a fight of longer or shorter duration, according to the time he is before ceasing to gaze at himself, and look only at Christ, who can alone set him up again; but let him look straight on, and he can walk all the way over. There may be little disturbances of balance, yes, there will be, but they will depend upon himself, and not upon the way, there is the road if he will walk it in the way God tells him to go, and it leads right over, no break, and there is the balancing pole that never fails to keep one straight, if only trusted in. And trusting in it, and it alone, nothing can upset the truster. May God keep us all looking forward and up—up at that Saviour who is indeed the Way—the only Way—by which we have acceptance; and what an acceptance it is, what a place. “Ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Blessed knowledge, may God grant us all the power by faith to accept the joyful position, and as real sons and daughters, to say "Abba, Father.”
One word to any who may read this, and know nothing of the Saviour, or who, knowing, refuse Him—to the former I would say—yet not I but God—Know Him now, He came to save you. Christ, the Son of God, gave His life for you—and. He entreats you to come to Him just as you are—at once— to- day—now. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Then you can sing:—
"I do believe, believe, I will believe{br}That Jesus died for me{br}Upon the cross, he shed His blood,{br}From hell to set me free.”
How long, O Lord, how long! Oh! has that ever struck you? A time will come, yea, verily, is near, when the door will be shut, the way barred, when a merciful Saviour will no longer hold out the blessings of salvation to you, but when there will be nothing left you but endless torment. Yes, refuse the Lord, and but a little time and it will be too late, and then the only way you will see Jesus will be when He comes as a righteous judge to take vengeance. Oh! be warned in time, for now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. God grant it—to-day, now, ere it be too late.
E. C.