The Springing Well: Volume 5 (1902)

Table of Contents

1. Prefatory Note
2. How Grace Triumphed; or, a Pit Cap Changed for a Crown
3. Our Bible Portion: "What Think Ye of Christ?"
4. True Stories of God's Servants: A Strange Prayer Meeting
5. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 1
6. "Lord, Help Me."
7. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 1
8. Jottings About the Bible: Its Power and Authority
9. "Consider Him."
10. My Palestine Recollections. 1. The City of Joppa
11. Our Missionary Column: The Gospel in Italy, and in the City of Rome
12. The Burden of His Song
13. "A Happy New Year."
14. The Hunted Stag
15. "Behold, I Come Quickly!"
16. Clouds and Light
17. Eight of God's "Fear Not"s
18. Why Should I Fear?
19. The Peace of God
20. Illustrative Gleanings: The Cedar-Tree
21. Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 1
22. The Story of Ishmael; or, God Will Hear. - 1
23. Our Bible Lesson Column
24. The Story of a Winter Day's Drive
25. Joy a Testimony
26. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 2
27. Our Bible Portion: The God of All Comfort
28. "I Told the Devil to Go Away."
29. The Colors of the Regiment; or, "His Banner Over Me Was Love."
30. He That Humbleth Himself
31. Jottings About the Bible: Old Testament Prophecies Concerning Christ
32. Willing and Obedient.
33. "I Will Give You Rest."
34. My Palestine Recollections. 2. Our Faces Towards Jerusalem
35. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 2
36. A Short Study in Scripture: Spiritual Sacrifices
37. The Peddler's Prayer
38. True Stories of God's Servants: Uncle John Vassar in God's School
39. Illustrative Gleanings: The Corner Stone
40. "Having Nothing" and "Being Nothing."
41. "He Causeth His Wind to Blow" (Ps. 147:18).
42. Old Pictures Reframed
43. Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 2
44. The Story of Ishmael; or, God Will Hear. - 2
45. Our Bible Lesson Column
46. "Nothing to Look Forward to!" or, The Secret of True Happiness
47. Our Bible Portion: The Gospel of Your Salvation
48. "God Was With Him."
49. Old Thomas Waring: Or, a Strange Ride to Ross
50. Jottings About the Bible: On Reading the Holy Scriptures
51. "Only a Little While."
52. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 3
53. How to Plough Straight
54. True Stories of God's Servants: Uncle John Vassar at Work for God
55. How Would You Meet Him?
56. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 3
57. Thy Way, or My Way.
58. Christ the Bread of Life
59. My Palestine Recollections. 3. Going Towards Jerusalem
60. "Blessed Are the Peacemakers"
61. Jonathan Spoke Good of David Behind His Back
62. Our Missionary Column: Our Soldiers in India
63. "Lord, I Can Give Thee Nothing."
64. Our Bible Class
65. Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 3
66. The Story of Ishmael; or, God Will Hear. - 3
67. Our Bible Lesson Column
68. "After Many Days": or, Saved in Patagonia
69. "In No Wise Cast Out."
70. Our Bible Portion: The Story of the Passover
71. Chester Races, and What Came Out of Them
72. A Short Study in Scripture: Jealousy for God's Honor
73. Jottings About the Bible: The Tenderness and Mercy of the Bible
74. A Pleasant Smile and a Cheering Word
75. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 4
76. The Loosed Mantle
77. My Palestine Recollections. 4. Going Towards Jerusalem
78. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 4
79. True Stories of God's Servants: William Maldon, God's Young Hero
80. Old Pictures Reframed
81. Now and Then
82. The Bible Is the Word of God
83. Our Missionary Column: A Missionary to the Ibunos
84. Met by God on a Troop-Ship
85. Only a Little One
86. What Is Salvation?
87. Our Bible Class
88. Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 4
89. Our Bible Lesson Column
90. "Not Many Mighty, Not Many Noble, Are Called." A Sequel to the Story of a Winter Day's Drive
91. "I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins."
92. The Anointed of Bethel
93. The Highest Christianity
94. Our Bible Portion: The Power of the Cross of Christ - The Great Attraction
95. Curious Coincidences or Divine Providences - Which?
96. In All Things Pre-Eminent
97. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 5
98. "My Precious Lord Jesus."
99. Jottings About the Bible: Prophecy a Proof of the Divine Origin of Scripture
100. Eternity Is Unchangeable
101. My Palestine Recollections. 5. The City That Men Call the Perfection of Beauty
102. He Loveth the Stranger
103. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 5
104. The One Resource for God's People
105. Our Bible Class
106. Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 5
107. The Good Shepherd's Voice
108. Gideon: "The Mighty Man of Valour."
109. Our Bible Lesson Column
110. Our Book Column: The Story of Isaac Levinsohn
111. "It Is Time to Seek the Lord": or, How God Answers Prayer
112. "I Believe in the Life Everlasting."
113. Tell Him All the Truth
114. Gleanings From Unpublished Diaries. A Blanket and a Pair of Sheets.
115. The King's Stamps
116. Our Bible Portion: The Vine and the Branches
117. God Knows Best
118. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 6
119. Jottings About the Bible: The Book of Books
120. Peace With God
121. Fragment: Deeds
122. "O Absalom, My Son, My Son!"
123. My Palestine Recollections. 6. Sitting in the Dust
124. "Jesus Knows."
125. Our Missionary Column: The Greystones Missionary Prayer Union
126. The King in His Beauty
127. The Story of Gideon, "The Mighty Man of Valour."
128. Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 6
129. Our Bible Lesson Column
130. For Her Sake
131. The Fence and Its Message
132. Gleanings From Unpublished Diaries. About a Summer Holiday.
133. Love and Strength
134. "I Learned It When I Was a Boy of Ten."
135. "A Stranger Unto My Brethren."
136. A Startling Enquiry
137. Our Bible Portion: Peace! Peace! Glorious Peace!!
138. At Our Master's Bidding
139. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 6
140. Old Pictures Reframed
141. Jottings About the Bible: The Influence of the Word
142. How Can You Reconcile It?
143. "Enthusiasm! Enthusiasm!"
144. The Salvation of the Lord
145. Our Missionary Column: The Miao-Tsz, or Highlanders of Western China
146. In Widening Circles
147. My Palestine Recollections. 7. The Jews' Place of Wailing
148. Three Wonderful "Alls."
149. Our Book Column: Life Story of D. L. Moody
150. Let Us Finish the Game
151. The "Lamb and Flag" Mission
152. "Hidden in the Shadow."
153. Our Bible Lesson Column
154. The Story of Gideon, "The Mighty Man of Valour."
155. Our Bible Class: The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 7
156. A Short Study in Scripture: A Threatened Famine
157. The Widow's Salvation: Or, Pardon, Peace, and Power
158. I Have Redeemed Thee
159. The Barber's New Sign
160. How the Widow's Oil Increased
161. "Soon the Golden Day Will Come."
162. Our Bible Portion: Dwelling With the King for His Work
163. Fragment: Truths of the Bible
164. Jottings About the Bible: The Wonderful History of the Book
165. The Christ of the Bible
166. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 7
167. My Palestine Recollections. 8. "A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh."
168. One Sin Follows Another
169. "Do You Know Him Yourself?" or, The Assurance of Personal Salvation
170. "There Arose a Great Tempest."
171. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 7
172. The Value of Confession
173. "Religious Conversation Indeed!"
174. The Gospel Work Amongst Hop Pickers
175. Illustrative Gleanings: The Heliotrope and Sunflower - 1
176. A Word to Professors: By the Late Mr. Macleod Wylie (an Indian Judge)
177. Our Bible Class. Bethel and Its Teachings - 1
178. The Story of Ruth. - 1
179. Our Bible Lesson Column
180. The Gospel Work Amongst Hop Pickers
181. "Hark! What's That?" or, Prepare to Meet Thy God
182. One Mediator: Or, Make Much of Christ
183. What the Gravestones Said: Or, "Most Miserable or Fully Assured"
184. Pompeii: "A City of the Dead."
185. Our Bible Portion: "Joy (Singing) Cometh in the Morning."
186. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 8
187. The Father's Promise
188. What Is Your Estimate of Christ?
189. Jottings About the Bible: A Power Behind the Book
190. The Harvest of the Sea: A Word to Fishermen
191. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 8
192. The Clock of the Conscience
193. Our Missionary Column: Mr. Hagopian in Persia
194. Our Bible Lesson Column
195. John Wesley and the Robber
196. The "Lamb and Flag" Cripples' Holidays
197. God Says "Be Ye Thankful."
198. Our Bible Class. Bethel and Its Teachings - 2
199. The Witch of Caerleon: Or, "Mother Marsh's" Conversion
200. Our Bible Portion: Experience and Hope
201. I Shall Know My Redeemer
202. Jottings About the Bible: When the Morning Stars Sang Together
203. "But One Gate of Entrance."
204. My Palestine Recollections. 9. Bethlehem, "The House of Bread."
205. On the Walls but Not in the Heart
206. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 9
207. A Short Study in Scripture: Some Thoughts on Aaron's Rod That Budded (Num. 17)
208. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 9
209. A Youthful Messenger
210. Illustrative Gleanings: The Heliotrope and Sunflower - 2
211. The Story of Ruth. - 2
212. Our Bible Class. Bethel and Its Teachings - 3
213. Our Bible Lesson Column
214. From so Great a Death. "A Story of the Birkenhead."
215. From Darkness to Light
216. "My King! My King!" A Story of the Indian Soldiers
217. Lost or Saved - Which?
218. Even Me! Even Me!
219. An Altar to the Unknown God
220. How God Answered Prayer
221. The Pitcher and the Fountain
222. Our Bible Portion: "I'm There! I'm There!"
223. The Father's Care
224. Jottings About the Bible: The Supreme Authority of the Bible
225. A Gladsome Song
226. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 10
227. He Came to Save Sinners
228. Lip Service Unavailing
229. Tremendous Realities!
230. True Stories of God's Servants: A Noble Man and a Noble Work
231. Fragment
232. Our Missionary Column: A Prayer Meeting in St. Louis
233. Our Besetting Sins
234. Fragment
235. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 10
236. Fragment
237. Our Bible Class: The Story of Joseph - 1
238. A Story of Rotterdam; or, How the Blood Saved
239. Our Bible Lesson Column
240. The Queen's Promise: Or, "In Virtue of the Blood."
241. "Still Upward."
242. How to Get to Heaven
243. Our Bible Portion: Surely I Come Quickly
244. Why Do You Worry?
245. Fragment
246. A Parable
247. Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh
248. True Stories of God's Servants: Homely and Brave John Vassar
249. Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 11
250. A Padlock for the Old Year
251. Jottings About the Bible: Jonah and the Whale
252. The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 11
253. What Are You Sowing?
254. Consider the End
255. The Story of Ruth. - 3
256. Our Bible Lesson Column
257. Our Bible Class: The Story of Joseph - 2

Prefatory Note

WE have been permitted to send forth this paper for five years under its present title. It seems almost impossible. How swiftly has the time rolled away! But God has been very good. He has helped us marvelously, and given us cause to praise Him continually for all His mercy. It seems to many, perhaps, that the preparation and general conduct of a paper like this is a very simple matter: but there are kind helpers and contributors who understand that it means perpetual thought and care, and an amount of labor such as only those who undertake it can fully appreciate.
But what a joy it has been! What a blessed service it has proved! Why, scores and scores of dear friends have told us how the clouds have cleared away and the sunshine of God’s love has entered their hearts through the perusal of some simple article setting forth the glorious fulness of God’s great salvation. This is that which rejoices us, dear reader. Oh, surely if we have been so greatly blessed ourselves, we ought to be filled with thanksgiving when God’s Word proves a blessing, whether to the sinner, the weary-hearted, or to the child of God.
What about those lovely words in the parable, which say, “When He cometh home He calleth together His friends and neighbors, saying unto them, REJOICE WITH ME!” He desires that we should rejoice with Him—and why? because He had “found” the “sheep which was lost.” Let us then, dear Christian reader, more than ever REJOICE WITH HIM. There is deep meaning in the Scripture, “Therefore WITH JOY shall ye draw water out of the wells of Salvation” (Isa. 3:3).
We record our earnest thanks to all who have helped us during this eventful year. Thank the Lord, more friends have taken an interest in this publication than ever. We have received most useful articles from very many old, and also from some new friends. We are grateful to God for putting it into their hearts to write, for without this assistance our periodical could not continue. For reasons known to some, but which it is not necessary to refer to particularly, we accept this as a very special indication that GOD is with us.
We are looking forward with pleasure, please God, to introduce several new features into the magazine during the coming year, and we venture to ask all who can, to assist in the circulation of the periodical.
Although it is but a very humble messenger, yet our heartfelt desire is that it might be distributed in the dark villages of our beloved land, and prove in the future a greater blessing to many of our fellow men and women than it has ever been in the past.
We conclude with sincere gratitude to God, who has graciously vouchsafed to us increased physical strength to continue this service. We also offer our truest greetings to every interested Christian friend who has prayed for or helped us in any way, and with fervent desires for the highest blessing of all, whether you are a true believer, or even if yet without a real knowledge of Christ as your Saviour, we are, your friend,
December, 1902. THE EDITOR.

How Grace Triumphed; or, a Pit Cap Changed for a Crown

THE pathway of the Christian is not all sunshine; for trials come, afflictions overtake, and the waves of sorrow roll over many of God’s children, who experience that “tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.”
Trials seemed especially the lot of the Worehams. For many years the father had been a victim of a terrible malady, which resulted in his death: and at the time to which we now refer his lifeless body lay in the old homestead, awaiting burial, when the news was brought to the sorrowing widow that her son George had met with a serious accident in the pit.
George was a bright little fellow of fourteen, who worked down the mine as a pit-boy, driving a pony. Three months before the time to which we now refer God had spoken very loudly to him, and he thus described his soul exercise: “I felt so miserable that I was almost afraid to sleep, lest I should awake to find myself in hell.”
It is very cheering to know that the glorious Saviour always observes the inmost desire of the soul that is troubled on account of sin, and that He is not only a loving Saviour, and an almighty Saviour, but also a seeking Saviour. Therefore in His purposes of grace, He stirred the hearts of many whom He had saved to arrange some special services in the chapel which was but a stone’s throw from where poor sin-troubled George resided. George gladly attended these services, and God saved him, and he testified to the great transaction which had there taken place: “Before leaving I saw myself guilty before God, and that very night I accepted God’s unspeakable gift, and was justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.”
Three months quickly passed after that “happy day,” bringing us to the events of the day of which we now write, when George was at his customary employment at the Tankersley Colliery. He had almost finished his daily toil, and in another hour he would have been at home, when a serious accident occurred, and without a moment’s warning, a fall of roof stone took place, part of which fell upon poor George, hurling him violently to the ground, insensible. The debris was quickly removed, and George soon regained consciousness, and thinking he was dying, said in exulting tones: “Won’t it be grand to change an old pit cap for a crown!” Willing hands tenderly carried him home: the doctor was hastily summoned, who, after careful examination, pronounced that his back was broken, and that his spine was severely injured. When they informed the dear lad he said: “I am not afraid to die: I shall go to heaven: for I know that there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” O glorious assurance!
But to the surprise of everyone he lingered. He was a mystery to the doctors. The Great Physician who had healed his soul’s malady had a testimony for him to bear, even on a sufferer’s couch. He once remarked to a friend: “God has a work for me to perform for his honor and glory, and that is to lie here for a little while, and to show forth to my companions and friends how He can keep me by His grace even on a bed of affliction. Some may wonder how I can bear such pain without murmuring, but thank God it is no secret, but, simply, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee!’”
I only wish that I could tell you what comfort and consolation I have received from the above blessed promise, which is so well known by God’s suffering children. Another dear pro. mise which gives me great comfort is, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Yes, praise His Name! His word is like Himself—it is unchangeable, unalterable, immutable: it is divine, for “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My worth shall not pass away.”
He lay in that condition several years, bearing his sufferings with true Christian fortitude. For although at times his pain was intense, he was never once heard to murmur or complain, but frequently when in great suffering he would endeavor to sing his favorite hymns, sometimes one of his own composing, which is as follows: —
“Trust on, my brothers weary;
Who suffer here below,
For in His Word Christ promised
He’d always grace bestow.
Sometimes He comes and whispers,
‘My child, I’ll always be
Close to thy bedside watching,
And taking care of thee.’

“My cross is sometimes heavy,
I feel it hard to bear,
I pray to Christ to help me,
And He is always near:
He tells me He’s preparing
A place up there of ease,
Where pain can never enter,
And where the weary cease.

“Then all my brothers weary,
Who’re trusting in His love,
Let’s serve our Lord who reigneth
In that bright Horne above:
For soon He’ll come and call us
Up from this world of care,
To reign with Him in heaven,
And have a crown to wear.”
During his illness George was visited by many Christian friends, but they always left his presence comforted and refreshed, and when those who were unsaved came he was always ready to speak to them about their soul’s welfare, and of God’s love to them. Thus passed the time in happy, devoted service for the Master, George feeling that His work for Christ was to bear pain patiently, to comfort believers, to warn the unsaved, and to circulate tracts, which ministry he fulfilled in a wonderful manner, although confined to his room.
Weeks, months, and years thus passed away, and George saw the sunrise on his twenty-first birthday. The morning he attained his majority his mother, who was a Christian, and who loved her suffering boy, as only a mother can, went to his room and said: “George, I cannot wish you many happy returns of the day, but I know that you are going to a place of rest, to enjoy a day without a night: then you will be happy forever.” “Yes, mother,” was his cheerful reply.
During the day he had a relapse and appeared to be rapidly sinking. Loving friends gathered around his couch, weeping tears of sorrow. One and another said, “Poor George!” He opened his bright eyes, and looking around upon his kind friends, said in a clear, subdued voice: “Don’t call me poor: if there’s any one poor, it will be those who are left behind, for I’m going to heaven, where nobody’s poor.” He closed his eyes, and his ransomed spirit winged its flight from the poor emaciated tenement for the Lord’s presence. The very day when most young men joyfully celebrate their “coming of age” he was ushered into His presence who loved Him with an everlasting love, whom he had been privileged to so faithfully serve in such an obscure way.
A goodly number of sympathizing and sorrowing friends gathered at his funeral, for he was “unknown, and yet well known” —unknown by the world, which measures its honors, and bestows its laurels, to the mighty and famous: but well known both by the Christians and villagers around as one of whom it could truly be said, “Whose faith follow”: and as his body was laid in the cold Loch of the valley to await the resurrection morn, many of the saved remembered his words of comfort, his patience and his endurance, and it cannot be doubted that the unsaved, too, were reminded of his earnest words and loving appeals to their hearts.
Thus George Woreham had a glorious foretaste of God’s grace: he lived by the same sustaining grace, and he now awaits the great day when this wondrous grace will be fully crowned with glory, when his spirit, soul, and body will be like his Lord’s.
May each reader of this simple record know the same grace, believe in the same Saviour, be pardoned by the same reconciling God, and be sealed by the same Holy Spirit: then, should the call come for you to leave this earth you too will be taken to the Lord’s own presence, and be “absent from the body, and present with the Lord.”
“We come to tell the story true
Of love so rich and free!
A crucified and living Lord
Has grace for you and me:
Oh, listen to the words of love
His messengers declare:
We cannot leave you lost and lone,
We want you over there.
“We once were burden’d sore with sin,
And dark were we and sad:
But Christ has wash’d us in His blood,
And He has made us glad
Fly to His wounds ye guilty ones,
His love and mercy share;
We cannot leave you lost and lone,
We want you over there.
“We know the time is fleeting fast,
The Lord is near at hand:
O sinner, seek the ark of grace,
Its doors wide open stand:
Christ will not always waiting be,
To trifle do not dare;
We cannot leave you lost and lone,
We want you over there.”
A. G.

Our Bible Portion: "What Think Ye of Christ?"

“What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?”—Matt. 22:42.
“The Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” —Gal. 2:20.
MANY learned and religiously-instructed men, who were accustomed to put difficult questions, were assembled together: in their midst was Jesus, and He became the questioner. He asked them not of their points, but by one simple word laid bare the state of their hearts, silenced their questions, and taught them to fear to ask Him more. “Jesus asked them, saying,
“What think ye of Christ?”
The rapid and fatal increase of unbelief threatens, like a rampant weed, to choke the growth of the pure Gospel in this land, and to turn our country into a wilderness of infidelity and superstition: and more than ever do we need personal, heart-searching tests, and surely there is no test to the heart like this—
“What Think Ye of Christ?”
Eternity is near: its issues for you depend upon your answer. The Bible may be in the hand, the knee may be bowed, the voice may be lifted up in strains of worship, with the heart utterly at enmity to God. The professor may spend a life in the outward things of religion, yet never be for one hour alone with God as to what he thinks of Christ. Thus it was, not long since, with a venerable man, who, hearing that his days were numbered, cried out piteously, “Tell me, how am I to be saved? I have been an elder of a congregation, but I have not been to Christ.”
“What Think Ye of Christ?”
Do not inquire of your heart for warmth or for coldness, for light or for darkness; turn off the eye of the soul from self and all that is within, and, in the presence of God, ask yourself what you think of His Son—of that Jesus who died for sinners, and who is now upon the throne of God. Escape the searching question you cannot. You may evade it now, but hereafter it will find you out. In hell Christ will be hated: in heaven He is loved. And now upon the earth the difference between being saved and lost may be discovered by what the heart thinks of Christ.
Oh, anxious and distressed soul! Why is it that you are in doubts and darkness? Have you ever considered that the reason is simply because you have such poor thoughts of Christ? You reply, “It is not so: my darkness arises from the sense of my own state.” But the truth is, the state of your soul, which begets the darkness, is occasioned by your thoughts of Christ. Did we ever hear a troubled soul saying, “It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us”? No, dear reader, with such God-given thoughts of Christ doubts and darkness would be impossible. CHRIST IN THE HEART AND MIND AND DARK THOUGHTS OF GOD’S SALVATION CANNOT DWELL TOGETHER.
“What Think Ye of Christ?”
as the Sin-bearer? Hear the word of God in reply — “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).
“What Think Ye of Christ?”
as the one Offering? Thus saith the Lord— “After He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12).
“What Think Ye of Christ?”
as the Lifegiver? These are His own words— “This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life” (John 6:40).
“What Think Ye of Christ?”
as the Preserver of His Sheep? “I give unto them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Hand” (John 10:28).
“Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 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.”
May the Spirit of God make the thoughts of both reader and writer to agree with the Word of God respecting Christ!
WHEN the four thousand are fed, the seven basketsful of fragments remain—a voice to us that there is a perfect abundance yet for all who seek Him. Christian people frequently lament the barrenness of the day in which they live; but let us exalt the fulness which abides in Christ.

True Stories of God's Servants: A Strange Prayer Meeting

IN the days of Wesley and Whitfield the life of an itinerant preacher was very different from what it is now.
Rogers, in his “Lives of the Early Preachers,” tells a characteristic story. He says there were crowds of them: they travelled to and fro, with hard fare, throughout the land. Their excursions were not recreations or amusements. Attempt to think what England was at that time. It is a fact that they often had to swim through streams and wade through snows to keep their appointments: often to sleep in summer in the open air, beneath the trees of a forest. Sometimes a preacher was seen with a spade strapped to his back, to cut a way for man and horse through the heavy snowdrifts. Highwaymen were abroad, and there are many odd stories about their encounters with these men: but, then, usually, they had nothing to lose.
One of these, lay preachers, as usual on horseback, was waylaid by three robbers: one of them seized the bridle of his horse, the second put a pistol to his head, the third began to pull him from the saddle—all, of course, declaring that they would have his money or his life.
The preacher looked solemnly at them, and asked them, “if they had prayed that morning.” This confounded them a little, still they continued their work of plunder. One pulled out a knife to rip the saddle-bag open; the preacher said, “There are only some books and tracts there; as to money, I have only two-pence-halfpenny in my pocket:” he took it out and gave it them. “All that I have of value about me,” he said, “is my coat. I am a servant of God; I am going on His errand to preach: but let me kneel down and pray with you: that will do you more good than anything I can give you.”
One of them said, “I will have nothing to do with anything we can get from this man!” They restored what they had taken, and took up the bags and fastened them again on the horse. The preacher thanked them for their great civility to him: “But now,” said he, “I will pray!” and he fell upon his knees, and prayed with great power. Two of them, utterly frightened at this treatment, started off as fast as their legs could carry them: the third—he who had first refused to have anything to do with the job—continued on his knees with the preacher: and when they parted company, he promised to lead a different life, and professed to be a changed man.

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 1

THE leaders of the Reformation in the sixteenth century were not men of high birth or noble descent. Like the men whom our Lord chose to be His Apostles, they were mostly of humble estate. He who in many respects was the greatest of the Reformers and whose name has been a watchword and a battle-cry for all succeeding ages, and which is still a household word in tens of thousands of homes, was no exception. Martin Luther was a poor man’s son. His father, John, and his mother, Margaret, however, possessed what is of more value than noble blood: they were devout Christians. In the year 1483 they removed from the village of Moza, near Eisenach in Thuringia, Saxony, to Eisleben in the same State or Electorate, and there, at 11 p.m., 10th November, 1483, the future Reformer was born. It was the eve of St. Martin’s day, that first of canonized Romish Saints, about whom so many wonderful stories are told. On the following day John Luther took his baby boy to St. Peter’s Church, where he dedicated him to God, giving him the name of Martin in honor of the good man—and good man he was—whose name and memory have been overlaid with so many gross superstitions and lying legends.
The next year the family removed to Mansfield, fifteen miles distant, where, besides delving in the mines for iron, John Luther set up two blast furnaces on his own account: but they lived in great poverty. His mother had to go to the forest to procure wood to keep the furnaces going, carrying the faggots home on her back. Martin spent his early boyish days amid the smoke and grime of these furnaces, but that did not sully his fair name (Luther, that is, lauter—pure), which was to receive its high illustration in his recovery and dissemination of the pure doctrines of the Gospel, especially that of justification by faith. There is an old picture in existence representing Martin’s first introduction to school by his father. The rod in the master’s hand and the weeping boy behind his chair are significant of the ordeal through which children usually passed in those days. “In one morning,” says Luther, “I was well whipped fifteen times:” and yet he was not a dull nor a lazy boy, for he learned quickly, not only German, but Latin.
In subsequent years Luther complains that schools were prisons and schoolmasters tyrants. The harshness and cruelty which he witnessed and suffered colored very much all his religious thoughts for some years. He looked upon God as a hard Master and a tyrannical Judge, to be appeased by suffering, almsgiving, and good works of all kinds even Jesus Christ was an Object of slavish dread.
John Luther’s circumstances improved, and, an enlightened man himself, especially for that time, he determined to use his best endeavor to make his son a scholar, a lawyer, or perhaps, a counsellor to some prince. The boy was therefore, at fourteen, sent off to Magdeburg, to a school kept by the Franciscans. This school was not like some of the Boarding Schools of modern times. The boys were taught and lodged, but food had to be found as best they could. “I had to beg,” says Martin, “with my schoolfellows for what little food was required for the supply o’ our needs.”
One Christmas-time the boys went in a body through the neighboring villages, singing in four voices the comm on hymns on the birth of Jesus. Stopping at a lone dwelling at the end of the village, a man came out with something for them to eat, but his voice was so gruff and his manner so uninviting, that they did not stop to answer his question, “Where do you come from, boys?” but ran off as fast as they could, seized with a sudden panic. At length, as the man kept calling, they stopped, threw off their fears, and ran towards him, and gladly partook of his bounty. “Thus it is,” says Luther, “that we are accustomed to fly when our conscience is guilty and alarmed. Then are we afraid even of the help that is offered to us, and of those who are our friends and who want to do us all manner of good.”
Learning what straits Martin suffered, his father removed him to Eisenach, much nearer home, and where he had many relations. But he was no better off there; his relations were either too poor, or too lacking in kindness to give the boy any assistance, so he often went without the food so necessary for him. Singing in the streets was his only resource, and this was precarious. Often the poor, shy lad got nothing but hard words instead of bread, when bitter tears were his meat and drink, and he trembled to think of the future. One day he had been roughly repelled from three houses, and thought to go back fasting to his lodgings, when, as he stood motionless and melancholy before the house of a burgess, all at once a door opened, and a woman appeared on the threshold. This was Ursula, the wife of Conrad Cotta. This Christian Shunamite, as she came to be called, had often seen Martin at church and had been struck by the soft tones of his voice. She had overheard the harsh words which had so dejected the poor scholar, and she resolved to help him. She welcomed him to her house and table, and, with her husband’s consent, to a home in their abode.
There was no longer any fear of his having to forsake his studies, and bury himself in the mines of Mansfield; his bread was given him; his water was sure. This inspired him with such trust in God that the wildest storms of his future life never removed. Young Martin now enjoyed a calm hitherto unknown. His heart was more open, his character more sprightly, and his whole being seemed to awake to the gentle beams of affection, and beat with life and joy and happiness. He became more ardent in prayer, his thirst for knowledge increased, and he made rapid progress in his studies.

"Lord, Help Me."

“He answered, and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”
“Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me.” —Matt. 15:24, 25.
WE have here, perhaps, the shortest form of prayer on record. The soul is brought very low indeed before it is led to utter this prayer. Yet is it not for the comfort and encouragement of such poor souls that it is recorded in the Word of God? “He that cometh to God must believe that He is.” Here we have this belief. The prayer is addressed to God: “Lord, help me.” You may hardly know in what way help can be given. Your bewildered mind, full of entangled feelings, could not say to the kindest earthly friend how you would fain be helped. You only know that you are miserable and full of wants. Then this is the very time to cry to Him who has “all power in heaven and earth,” and with whom is no such thing as impossibility, or even difficulty.
Exercise faith: recall past deliverances, see how others have been helped. Look at the answer given to her who put up this very prayer, and whose strong faith, shown where all was apparently so dark and hopeless, is so highly commended by Him to whom she cried for help. Jesus said to her, “O woman, great is thy faith.”
“Lord, help me!” The words imply that you feel yourself helpless. Is not this the very point to which God has been working to bring you? It is He who has “brought down” your “heart through weariness.” Not that He is ever pleased with the sight of sorrow or suffering. It has been well said that God never takes away anything from us without meaning to give us something better in its place. It is hard for you at this moment to imagine how anything can be better to you than what you have lost: health and strength, or someone dear to you as your own soul, or some earthly prop and support which you hourly needed. But go to the Giver of all, good, and go in faith, and if this one word, “Help,” is all, you can utter, still say it, and remember you are saying it to One who is almighty, and whose very name is “Love.”
“Have mercy upon me, O Lord, thou Son of David,” cried this poor agonized woman, “but He answered her not a word.” And although He afterwards told her that as Son of David He was only sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, yet she would admit of no rebuke, but came and worshipped Him, saying only, “Lord, help me.” We may surely take courage from her example of persistent faith and trust in the Lord.

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 1

WE have endeavored in the pages of our Magazine to give brief outline sketches of the great empires that exercised power and authority upon the earth during the ages before Christ came.
These different kingdoms were the Assyrian, or Babylonian, the Persian, and the Macedonian, or Grecian. Exactly as it was foretold by Daniel, these empires arose, exerted tremendous influence for a period, and then passed away.
We recall the words of the great prophet as he stood before the king: “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold [Babylonia], his breast and his arms of silver [Persia], his belly and his thighs of brass [Greece], his legs of iron [Rome], his feet part of iron and put of clay” (Dan. 2:31-32).
Now, it is no fanciful attempt to read history into the Word of God, but it is the assured signification of such wonderful Scriptures that certain great Powers were to arise and play an all-important part in the progress of the world’s history, and unquestionably these four vast world-empires did arise, and in succession exercise paramount influence upon the earth, and were the dominating authority during the distinct periods when they held sway over the other subordinate nations of the earth.
We have very briefly touched upon the principal features in the rule of the kingdoms of “gold” and “silver” and “brass,” and it is our purpose now to unravel a little the story of the kingdom of “iron.” It is, for several reasons, perhaps the most thrillingly interesting of all. In the first place the tide of civilization and power seemed to set towards the West. Military success had been followed by national indolence and apathy, and so while the one nation declined the other gradually arose, as if upon the ruin of its predecessor, and became the conquering and all powerful kingdom; and in the second place the time was coming nearer for the culmination of the great prophetic period in the coming into this world of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and we say reverently that it was necessary, in God’s great plan, that the ascendency of Rome should be assured in order that this event, by far the most wonderful in all the world’s history, should be brought about in the way and at the very time that God had ordained it should occur, and which in the Scripture is called “the fulness of times.”
In these preliminary words we would also just observe that it is remarkable to discover how these different empires historically overlap one another. While Assyria, Persia, and Greece, each in turn assumed supremacy, the beginnings of the following great Power can be traced far away back through the ages; and thus it was with Rome. For hundreds and hundreds of years the people who formed the nucleus of that eventually immense empire existed in a semi-barbaric state, and were almost unknown and unnoticed by the nations that had reached the zenith of their might; but all the time they were growing in power; and combining their interests in such a way, that when the conflict came with the older and really declining· empire they were prepared to make a bold struggle for the military supremacy of the world. Thus, as we shall see, it was with Rome, as Daniel called it, “the fourth kingdom,” which was to be as “strong as iron.”
We shall trace in a very simple manner, so that the ordinary reader can follow the story, the gradual rise of this great power, until its decline and fall, many years after the Christian era began.

Jottings About the Bible: Its Power and Authority

CHRISTIAN workers are apt to find many who, without looking into the claims of the Book itself, simply decide from hearsay or newspaper reports of addresses given by followers of the higher criticism that they do not believe in the Bible at all.
In one of our meetings I met this sort of a young man. He had remained to the after-meeting, and when I sought to deal with him he at once said: “But I don’t believe in the Bible.” I said: “What part of it don’t you believe in?” And he answered: “None of it.” Then I said, in as kindly a way as I could summon (for I think we need to be very tender and sympathetic with just such cases as this): “Have you ever read the Bible through?” He replied: “No, sir.” Then I said: “Did you ever read the Old Testament through?” And again he replied: “No, sir.” Then I continued: “Have you ever read the New Testament through?” Again he answered: “No, sir.” Then I said: “Did you ever read one book through?” And he answered at once: “Yes, sir.” “Which one?” I asked. “Well,” he said, “I am not sure: it was one of the Gospels.” “How long since you read it?” And with a blush mantling his cheek, be it said to his credit, he answered: “About eight years ago.” “So,” I said, “you went through one of the Gospels about eight years ago in Sunday School, did you not?” “Who told you that?” was his question. I said: “Never mind who told me; it is a fact, is it not?” And he admitted that it was. “Now,” I said, “surely you cannot recall very much in that book, can you, after eight years?” And again he admitted that he could not.
Looking at him, I said: “My friend, just think of your position. You started by saying that you didn’t believe in any part of the Bible, and you have now admitted to me that you know nothing about it whatever, except what you may have gleaned eight years ago, while attending Sunday School. Now, is it fair to say that you don’t believe in a thing about which you know no more than you do about this? Let me ask a favor of you. Will you promise me that you will never again look into the face of one of your fellow-men and tell him that you do not believe in the Bible until you have read it through, or at least part of it? Will you promise me that?” And in the most manly fashion he said: “I will.”
This young fellow was a very interesting type of a large class of intelligent mechanics who get their theology mainly from the newspaper reviews. About a month or two afterwards, in conducting a meeting, to my great delight I saw him in the audience, and hastening to him, at the close of the meeting, I extended my hand and gave him a cordial greeting. He at once asked if I remembered him. And having answered that I did, I asked: “Do you remember your promise to me? Have you fulfilled it?” He answered: “Yes, sir, in the main I have. A short time after our conversation together,” he continued, “I borrowed a New Testament from the landlady at our boardinghouse, and on an afternoon when I was unable to work, on account of the condition of the weather, I read it almost through, and later I finished the rest of it.” “What was the result?” I queried. Looking at me with a face in which the very light of heaven shone, he said: “You know, sir, what the result would be, as well as I do.” Of course I did, and I feel sure that a great many persons who imagine themselves to be skeptical, having difficulties and doubts, would have them cured very speedily if they really read and studied the Word of God and were prepared to bow to its absolute authority.

"Consider Him."

“For, consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”—Heb. 12:3.
WHEN the way seems dark and dreary,
Consider Him.
Let thy heart grow faint and weary,
Consider Him.
For He knoweth all the way,
And His strength will be thy stay:
He can cheer the darkest day,
Consider Him.

When some sorrow sorely presses,
Consider Him.
For through trials oft He blesses,
Consider Him.
He alone can understand,
Leave it all in His dear hand:
In His love for thee He planned,
Consider Him.

When some anxious care perplexes,
Consider Him.
Lest thy inmost soul it vexes,
Consider Him.
Bring thy care and thou shalt see,
He will bear it all for thee:
He would have thee peaceful be,
Consider Him.
F. B.

My Palestine Recollections. 1. The City of Joppa

I TWICE landed in Joppa. The first occasion was Sunday, the 11Th, and the second was Saturday, the 31St of August. Between those dates I visited Jerusalem, Sychar, Nazareth, Tiberias, Damascus and other places, the subjects of these happy recollections: I advisedly speak of them as “happy recollections”: for although I have frequently heard of those who have made a tour in Palestine speaking of the feelings of disappointment which came over them as they trod the streets of her cities and those holy fields of which Milton wrote so tenderly and in such beautiful language, I was myself a stranger to such impressions. Reader, will you come with me? for I have a desire to revisit those scenes. I can quite believe that I might experience some disappointment if I were to do so literally, and in the flesh, for I am obliged to hear of the intrusion of the railway engineer, and the sound of the steam whistle on those plains of sacred interest. So if you please we will speak of Palestine as I saw it, and as our acquaintance with what the Bible tells us of that land, both in the Old and New Testaments, may enable us, with its histories both in the past and in the future; for it has been truly said that the prophecies of the Bible are God’s history of the future. Here let me introduce a singular coincidence in connection with my first landing in Joppa. I was seated in an Arab boat, gazing towards the shore, in the hope of recognizing the figure of my friend Mr. Youhannah El Karey, who had promised to meet me there, when I heard my name called from a boat coming from the shore. On answering, I was informed that the speaker was a Mr. Floyd, a German gentleman residing in the city, and that Mr. El Karey had asked him to fetch me ashore. Finding that I had already engaged a boatman, he climbed over the gunwales of the boat, and, seated together, we passed safely between the rocks, and were met at the landing stairs by good Mr. El Karey. Before taking leave of Mr. Floyd, let me explain a little further my allusion to a “singular coincidence.” Several years later I had entered the Dover Express train in London, intending to alight at the Herne Hill Junction. I found I had one fellow-passenger, and he was disposed to enter into conversation. He very soon spoke of his native home being Joppa, and looking steadily at him, I soon recognized my old friend, and extending my hand as I said: “How do you do, Mr. Floyd?” It is needless to add that for the remainder of that brief journey in company, we made good use of the opportunity to speak of the places and people with which we were both acquainted. Let us endeavor to do the same, kind reader. Our opportunity for intercourse is also a very brief one: let us use it and imagine we are treading together the streets of Joppa, where the power of the name of Jesus was displayed in the raising of Dorcas from the dead, and that wonderful revelation was made to the Apostle Peter, through the vision of the great sheet let down from heaven, that he was not to esteem any man common or unclean, but preach the Gospel to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. Or, as we visit Jerusalem, the City of the great King, or Sychar, where Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah to the woman of Samaria, or Galilee, the scene of so many of His miracles, let us seek to make a full use of our opportunities. I think that so long as memory lasts I shall cherish the recollection of hearing the little children of a school gathered in Joppa by a devoted missionary laborer, Miss Arnott, repeat Scripture portions and sing very sweetly the Arabic translations of some of the children’s hymns which we sing in Sunday Schools at home. Yes, indeed, if we would avoid those feelings of disappointment in our rambles in Palestine to which we were alluding, we have only to bring the name of Jesus into the scene.
“There is a Name I love to hear,
I love to speak its worth:
It sounds like music in mine ear,
The sweetest Name on earth.”
T. J.

Our Missionary Column: The Gospel in Italy, and in the City of Rome

A GOOD man went home not long ago in the city of Rome. He had borne a consistent and faithful testimony for Christ in Italy for many, many years, but he entered into rest in October of last year. It was as long ago as 1862 That James Wall left this country to labor in the Eternal City, and before Italy was freed from the temporal power of the Papacy he worked most diligently to make known the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to spread abroad the blessed Word of God, the Scriptures of truth.
When, however, the day of liberty for Italy came, September l0th, 1870, this true-hearted missionary was free to preach the Gospel within the very city of the Popes, and by the end of October in that same year he had established a Gospel mission station there, and was the first person in recent times to preach the Gospel within its walls, and since then, thank God! he has been the means of bringing the truth home to the hearts and homes of many thousands of people in “Italia’s sunny land,” and has with indomitable courage secured the circulation of the Scriptures, not only in Rome itself, but also throughout the Italian peninsula. So much was this the case that even comparatively recently the head of the papal Church told how the Evangelical faith was preached with boldness under the very shadow of St. Peter’s!
Mr. W. K. Landels, of Turin, an old friend of Mr. Wall’s, gives a deeply touching account of the illness and of the last moments of this devoted servant of God. He says:—
“Before long, however, new and still more serious symptoms manifested themselves: the patient first lost the use of his hands, then of his feet, and one morning he woke to find the sight of one eye gone. How distressing all this must have been to one who had always been so strong and vigorous we may well imagine; but all through he enjoyed the felt presence of the Heavenly Father, and was cheerful and patient, and even contented He spoke continually of the goodness of God, of the light that was round about him, of the joys of heaven: ‘Heaven is so beautiful, and everything is so much better than here, that I can hardly desire to remain: but if the Lord wishes me to serve Him longer in this world gladly will I do so!’ The work to which he had been so long consecrated seemed never far from his thoughts, and as he drew nearer and nearer to the spiritual world, and possibly had the power of looking into the future, he gave expression to the following words, which we would fain accept as prophetical of what is to be: ‘Christ needs Italy: Christ loves her: fear not, Christ will conquer her for Himself. Italy has great difficulties to contend against: she must pass through great trials, but she will rise again in Christ!’
“On the Sunday before he died a great change was noticed in him, and from that time his weakness increased hour by hour, until at last, on Tuesday, October 29th, at 11:30 a.m., without a struggle he quietly fell asleep.
“The funeral took place two days later. A most impressive service was held at two o’clock in the chapel in Piazz I Lucina, which was crowded to its utmost capacity by sorrowing friends. Among them were several of the ministers of other churches, some of whom took part in the proceedings. The Rev. E. Piggott, who had known the Rev. J. Wall longer than any one present, and who had risen from a sick-bed to attend the service, bore witness to his intense zeal, to his single-mindedness in the work, and to the great power he had in prayer.
“Great numbers of people, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, followed the body to the grave. It had been expected that he would be buried in the famous cemetery where so many illustrious Englishmen are laid; but, according to his own desire, his last resting-place was chosen in the Italian burying-ground, so that he might sleep among those he had so much loved, and for whom he had so long labored.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to his widow and children. Greatly do we rejoice with them that they enjoy in so marked a measure the presence of the God of all comfort. As they talked with me of their great trial, and especially of the dark days in Roccaraso, the only expressions that fell from their lips were words of thankfulness to God for His mercy and loving-kindness all through.”
We are often disposed to write of those laborers for God who are at work in fields very far away, but we believe this was as true a missionary as ever breathed, although his time and strength were spent for God so much nearer home. Thousands of Christian people who have visited Rome knew him and loved him. His unfailing courtesy and kindness to all who needed his counsel and help will be remembered by many, and the writer was, in common with many others, so interested in his work that he hopes to refer to it again in a future issue of this paper.

The Burden of His Song

MEN of business who travel to town every day become so accustomed to the journey that at last they observe nothing by the way, and pay no heed to what is on either side of them. But the Christian travels to heaven knowing that every step of the road is of interest to him and to his Lord, but set upon the goal which seems nearer and dearer to him as he presses on.
I know an old carrier in the country who travels every day of his life, except Sunday, twenty-four miles to a distant town behind a slow horse doing wearisome work on the same oft-travelled road. Shall I tell you the burden of his song? As his horse plods along, you may hear him constantly humming to himself,—
“Here in the body pent,
Absent from Him I
roam,
Yet nightly pitch my
moving tent
A day’s march nearer
home.”
Over and over again, day after day, he repeats the same words, “A day’s march nearer home.” His heart is full of home-land joy.

"A Happy New Year."

“He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.”—Job 23:10.
IN THY BELOVED HAND,
Thy tender, faithful hand,
MY LORD,
My days are stored,
And take their shape and color at Thy will.
Thy will for me is my abiding bliss,
My will, my Lord, to honor Thee in this,
THEN DO THY WILL.
BRIGHT WITH BLESSING FROM THE FATHER,
SWEET WITH THE REDEEMER’S LOVE,
Dawns a fresh “New Year” upon us
God’s unfailing care to prove.
Still the stream of life is flowing,
And, while sailing on its breast,
God still pardons, Christ still welcomes
ALL WHO COME TO HIM FOR REST.
I do not ask Thee, oh my Lord, for health,
Or this world’s wealth
I ask Thee for a spirit free from care.
I ask Thee for a heart that knows no fear
OF PAIN, OR POVERTY, OR EARTHLY ILL:
I ASK THEE FOR A HEART THAT LOVES, AND
TRUSTS THEE STILL.
E. S. WATSON.

The Hunted Stag

WHEN I was quite a boy, I well remember seeing a stag hunted, and fleeing for its life, and ultimately taking refuge in a farmyard. The eyes were starting from their sockets, the tongue protruding from its mouth; it tried to catch the cool air as it flew along. Pity for the panting animal rose spontaneously in one’s heart, and “Poor thing!” was involuntarily uttered by at least one onlooker. Its cruel tormentors soon arrived to claim their victim, and bore it away in triumph. I cannot help thinking that we all by nature are very much like that poor hunted stag. For instance, it was pursued by enemies. This is true of the one who is still unsaved, and is like the manslayer with the Avenger pursuing him (Num. 35), hotly chased by the great enemy of souls, the Devil, who seeks to devour, and earnestly day and night endeavors to catch us with one or other of his skillfully-laid snares. The snare of pleasure, in these days, probably entraps as many as any other. Through this many are lost, and find too late that pleasure gained was the price of their soul lost!
Again, the stag was suffering terribly from thirst, without a possibility of quenching it. This is only partly true of us, for while it is true we are thirsty indeed, yet, there is every possibility of our satisfying it. Happy are we if we turn not aside to any empty earthly cistern to quench it, but the rather say with David: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God” (Ps. 42:1); and where this kind of thirst is there can be no satisfaction but in the “living God.”
Often at a watering-place in a forest animals in coming down to drink are seized and carried off by a lurking foe. And so it is where the Gospel of God is preached; the arch-enemy of souls lies in wait to “devour.” Yet none need despair, for it is written: “If thou seek for Him with all thine heart, He will be found of thee.”
The stag also needed refuge, and found it, but of short duration. There is no gain in denying the fact that we are exposed to the wrath of God (John 3:36), and if overtaken outside a place of refuge, there will be no escape. But the refuge of safety and peace is near at hand—so near that in taking one step we may enter in and be perfectly secure, for time and for eternity.
“The word is nigh thee”; believe it. The feast is “now ready”; partake of it. The Saviour Himself bids thee come. Trust Him, and take Him as thine own.
F. MUSTOW.

"Behold, I Come Quickly!"

WITH the New Year, we have reached another milestone in our earthly pilgrimage. The “little while” of waiting for our Lord’s return will soon be passed. Soon we shall behold Him whom to know is life eternal. His greatest joy will be to have His redeemed ones with Him, that they may behold His glory and share it with Him.
Ye are called unto this glory. See that ye walk worthy of your calling. Let your light so shine that all men might see that ye are indeed new creatures in Christ Jesus. Seek to live as pilgrims and strangers in this world of sin—as those who have no continuing city here, but seek one to come. Be content to follow Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach and having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but ever keeping in view the eternal weight of glory that is in store for you, Press forward toward the mark of your high calling in Christ Jesus, that ye may be found ready, watching, waiting for Him who hath redeemed us unto God by His own precious blood.
“The eternal glory gleams afar
To nerve our strong endeavor:
So now to work, to watch, to war:
And then, to rest for ever.”

Clouds and Light

“Fear thou not, for I am with thee: LOOK NOT AROUND THEE, for I am thy GOD. I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My Righteousness.”—Isa. 41:10, R. V. marg.
The following incident happened to a large ocean steamer as she sailed from the St. Lawrence River out to sea. The bridge where the Captain stood was above the fog.
THE blinding fog and the writhing mist
Lay dense on the silent sea,
And terror seized on the stoutest heart
In that great ship’s company.

For the vessel went speeding on its way,
The danger seemed real and dread:
“Now, why not slacken this awful speed?”
They one to another said.

But the smiling answer fell like peace
On the stricken hearts that day:
“The fog it lieth on shrouds and sea,
Above it is bright as May.

“The Captain standeth above the fog,
Where the light is full and clear:
He knows the way through the clouds and mist,
There is naught to cause us fear.”

The mist lies dim on the coming year,
I know not the way to go:
But my Captain standeth above the clouds
‘Tis enough for HIM to know.
“The wind ceased, and there was a great calm, and He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?”—Mark 4:39, 40.
C. W. ASHBY.

Eight of God's "Fear Not"s

FEAR NOT, thou shalt not die – Judges 6:23
He that hath the Son hath life – 1 John 5:12
FEAR NOT, for I have redeemed thee – Isa. 43:1
. . . Redeemed. . . with the precious blood of Christ – 1 Pet. 1:19
FEAR NOT, for I am with thee – Isa. 43:5
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee – Heb. 13:5
FEAR NOT, I will help thee – Isa. 41:13
The Lord is my helper – Heb. 13:6
FEAR NOT. . . I am thy shield and exceeding great reward – Gen. 15:1
He is our shield. – Psa. 33:20 – My reward is with me – Rev. 22:12
FEAR NOT, I am the first and the last – Rev. 1:17
I am. . . the beginning and the end – Rev. 22:13
FEAR NOT, be glad and rejoice – Joel 2:21
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, Rejoice – Phil. 4:4
FEAR NOT, believe only – Luke 8:50
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life – John 3:36

Why Should I Fear?

FEAR NOT! WHY SHOULD I FEAR?
My Saviour’s always near.
Dark clouds may hide Him from my sight,
But faith can pierce the darkest night:
The waves may rise, the winds blow shrill,
But faith can hear His “Peace, be still!”
FEAR NOT! WHY SHOULD I FEAR?

Fear not! Why should I fear?
My Saviour’s always near.
My life, my joy, my hope down here,
A sharer in my every care:
My help and shield in storm or blast:
Himself my great reward at last.
FEAR NOT! WHY SHOULD I FEAR?

Fear not! Why should I fear?
My Saviour’s always near.
I know the fulness of His blood:
I know the perfect love of God;
I know the work is fully done;
I know I stand in Christ alone.
FEAR NOT! WHY SHOULD I FEAR?

Fear not! Why should I fear?
My Saviour; ever dear,
Thy praise alone shall tune my voice;
Thyself hast told me to rejoice,
Didst bid me thanks in everything,
And loosed my tongue of Thee to sing,
FEAR NOT! I CANNOT FEAR!
W. S. W.

The Peace of God

THAT some of God’s people have attained a peace far beyond their fellows must be evident to any thoughtful Christian. Have they entered a calm harbor, or is it their vessel which maintains its quiet upon the waves? Is it the circumstances they are in, or is it a power within them which makes them what they are? Circumstances never give peace: peace comes from the God of peace. These people have got near to God.

Illustrative Gleanings: The Cedar-Tree

“He shall cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”—Hos. 14:5.
“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”—Ps. 92:12.
IN Psalm 92:12 David thus compares the righteous to the cedar. Botanists say that as trees grow in height they send their roots deeper and deeper underground. If they did not do this, they would become top-heavy, and a blast of wind would blow them down. The real strength of the tree, therefore, depends upon the hold which its roots have upon the soil where it grows. But, you say, the soil is never very deep upon mountains. How, then, can trees so large as the cedars grow upon Mount Lebanon? Ah! they root into the mountain itself. Underground their roots push about, searching for all the crevices they can find in the rock: and so the tree actually clings to the rock, and is rooted in the rock, and this is how it is so strong. It makes the strength of the rock its own. In the rock in which it is rooted the cedar can stand, year after year, six thousand feet above the level of the sea, exposed to the fiercest winds and tempests, and can never be overthrown: the rock and it are really one.
This enables us to understand the verse “He shall cast forth his roots as Lebanon”: and God says also in Hosea, “His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon”—that is, as the cedars of Lebanon. Does not this also tell us what the Apostle meant when he said, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”? (Eph. 6:10.)

Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 1

ALTHOUGH Aunt Alice is not able to continue her happy service for Christ in connection with our Bible Class, we hope to insert papers in reference to the Book of Genesis, and to give questions on the portion we shall study from month to month, please God. We shall be glad if all the former members of the class will start with the following lesson, and send their answers as noted at the end. We shall arrange a series of prizes for the best and most regular workers, which we shall announce (God willing) in our next number.
The Story of Abraham the Friend of God
(Gen. 20, 21)
It is remarkable that in the history of noted saints of God in the Bible some sad mistake is generally recorded. Abraham failed in faith, the very thing of which he was a pattern, as Moses, the meekest man on the earth, “spake unadvisedly with his lips.” All these things are to make us look with more delight and steadfastness at Christ, the only perfect Man who ever trod this earth, the only One whom we may safely follow. He has reached the end of His course, and is the finisher of faith, and looking at Him where He now is will give us strength, too, to run with patience. (Heb. 12.)
Well, in chapter 20 we see what a mistake Abraham made for the second time, and how God came in and prevented a righteous nation from sinning against Him in ignorance. Still, it is sad that such a one as “the friend of God” should not have learned from his former failure (ch. 12:11), not only to avoid the appearance of evil, but to have faith in God concerning himself and his wife.
What a day it must have been to Abraham when (ch. 21) Isaac was born! the son for whom he had waited in faith for these long years, during which “against hope he believed in hope.” In due time Isaac was weaned. Abraham made a great feast that day, and everyone made much of Isaac. Then comes a grievous moment to Abraham. Ishmael was about fourteen or fifteen years of age, and Sarah sees him mocking, and she demands that he and his mother shall be cast out—the son of the bondmaid may not be heir with Isaac.
Now “these things are an allegory.” Isaac is he “that was born after the spirit,” and Ishmael “he that was born after the flesh,” and these two cannot agree together. One must have the upper hand: Ishmael will persecute Isaac unless he be cast out. God decides the matter. He says, “Let it not be grievous in thy sight: in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Do not let us forget “even so it is now” (Gal. 4:29). Flesh and Spirit are contrary to each other, and God does not own the flesh at all.
This is rather difficult for young people, but some of you who answer the questions belong to Christ, and it is very important that you should see that there are two principles at work in you— one that will only bring forth fruit unto death, and the other fruit unto holiness.
Suppose you have a little patch of garden ground: if you leave it empty, something must grow there, and weeds will spring up as fast as you can pull them up. But supposing you sow mustard and cress in your little garden, then there is less room for the weeds, and the more mustard and cress you sow, the fewer weeds will spring up, for there will be less room for them. Well, when Ishmael was cast out, Isaac was the chief person, and the more they were occupied about him, the less time was there for thoughts of Ishmael. These things are figures to teach us about the flesh and the Spirit, and to encourage us to allow nothing but Christ to find a place in our hearts. The more He is there, the less will anything belonging to the flesh find an entrance. IT WAS WHEN ISAAC WAS MADE MUCH OF THAT ISHMAEL WAS CAST OUT.

The Story of Ishmael; or, God Will Hear. - 1

“Thou . . . shalt call his name Ishmael because the Lord path heard thy affliction” (Gen. 16:1).
ISHMAEL lived a very long time ago, but it is just as true that he lived and spoke as if he had lived in the next street, and had passed up and down every day. How can I be so sure about him? Because all that we know of Ishmael is written in the Bible, which is God’s own true Book: and it is there that we can read of what he did. We can read of many wonderful things and persons in God’s own wonderful Book, but the most wonderful of all is, that God gave His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come down to this world and die on the cross, that all who believe in Him should live for ever. The little hymn says:
“And so He died, and this is why
He came to be a man and die:
The Bible says He came from Heaven
That we might have our sins forgiven.”
The name of Ishmael’s mother was Hagar. She had not to choose a name for her little baby when he was born, because God had sent word to her what she was to call him: the Angel of the Lord had said to her, “Thou shalt call his name Ishmael.” Hagar was very sad and in great trouble when the Angel of the Lord spoke to her: he said that her little son should be called Ishmael, because the Lord had heard her sorrow. Ishmael means “God will hear.”
There are many names in the Bible that have very nice and special meanings—not only names, of people, but names of places. If you have a marginal Bible, you will be able to look and find many of these meanings. You will see that Ishmael means “asked of God,” and Bethel means “house of God.” You will notice that El means God, and there are numbers of Scripture names in which you can see the letters El.
We do well to think of the words that Hagar spoke at the time when the Angel had been speaking to her. She said, “Thou God seest me.” We should always think of this. If we are in a lonely place, or a place of danger, the thought “Thou God seest me” should comfort us. If we are tempted to do what we ought not to do, the same words would help us to do what is right. Do you know a lovely verse in the 139th Psalm? “The darkness hideth not from Thee: but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.” So God can see in a dark night just as well as when the sun is shining. “Thou God seest me” is true for each one of us, in the daylight or in the dark.
When Ishmael was a big lad, perhaps about fifteen or sixteen years old, he and his mother had to go away from the home where they had been living, and they had very little to eat or to drink to take with them—only some bread and a bottle of water. They must have walked on and on till they got into a desert place, and they had drunk all the water that had been in the bottle, and most likely they had eaten all the bread. Think of them—this lonely mother and her boy! Do you not pity them? Ishmael lay down under one of the shrubs, and his mother sat a little way off, but not very near, as she said, “Let me not see the death of the child.” Very likely she thought that he would die, after the fatigue, the hunger and the thirst, for she had no more food to give him, and she lifted up her voice and wept. She must have thought of the day, many years before, when she had said “Thou God seest me,” and her heart must have been full as she thought that her dear child seemed almost dying: and yet God had promised that Ishmael should grow up to be a man; and if she thought of that she would have found comfort, for she might have known that God always keeps His promises.
[We shall give a further article in our next issue on this subject, and shall then ask our young friends to answer various questions in connection with Ishmael, of whom and his descendants God often speaks in His Word.]

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden text.— “God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” —Exod. 2:24. Read Ex. 3:7-22.
Reading on the Lesson
“God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant.” God permits the devil and his people seemingly to have their own way, yet He works by them or in spite of them all the good pleasure of His will and the highest interests of His people.
The childhood of Moses, Ex. 2:1-10. What a striking providence that the daughter of Pharaoh, the man who was seeking to destroy Israel and had given commandment to kill all the male children, should bring up as her own son one of these male children, destined by God to be the deliverer of Israel from the power of Egypt!
The call of Moses.— “Certainly I will be with thee.” When Moses was forty years old, he supposed that his brethren would have understood how that God by His hand would deliver them (Acts 7:25), but they understood not, for the time had not come, and Moses had not been authorized. He was forty years ahead of time. But now after keeping sheep for forty years God calls him and commissions him to lead Israel out.
Moses and Pharaoh (Ex. 11:1-10).— “The angel of His presence saved them.” When Moses and Aaron went to the rulers in Israel with their God-given credentials, they were accepted by the people as the Lord’s messengers, but when they went to Pharaoh with the demand from the Lord that he should let Israel go they were scorned and turned away with contempt (4:29-31; 5:14).
The Passover (Ex. 12:1-17).— “Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.” There is no salvation from death, the consequence of sin, but by death, the death of a substitute being typical of the great sacrifice of Him by whose blood alone sin can be put away (Acts 4:12).
The passage of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:13-27).—Golden Text (Ex. 15:1). “I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.” The Lord who made a way through the sea and triumphed over the hosts of Pharaoh is the same who afterward, in the fulness of time, became the Son of Mary, God manifest in the flesh, the Creator of all things, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, the only Saviour of sinners, the only Judge of all mankind.

The Story of a Winter Day's Drive

IT was often my privilege to drive about the country, and through this I was frequently brought into association with different classes of men. Perhaps one of the most remarkable of these was an earnest, estimable clergyman who, at times, came to stay at the great house near my own abode. He constantly talked with me of many things. Gifted as he was himself with great knowledge of good books, and, as a traveler in many lands, it seemed an uncommon delight to him to find any one desirous of acquiring useful information, which, he encouragingly used to say, might stand him in good stead in years to come.
I remember those days with infinite pleasure, and the influence exercised by this good man can never be forgotten. He was very humble and simple in his ways, so much so, that wherever he went amongst the cottagers in the country, he was always welcomed, and regarded as a real friend; for he carried with him everywhere a kindly smile, and ever the common wayside stonebreaker would be cheered by his hearty salutation as he passed along the road
Personally, he was a splendid specimen of a man. His broad, open, generous face was an indication of the kindliness of his heart. His finely developed forehead told of the strength and power of his mind, and his cultured, affable words were at all times full of tenderness and sympathy for the tried and troubled souls with whom he came in contact.
Such were a few of the personal characteristics of this dear friend (as I may call him), as they rise up into my remembrance, and I regard it as most fortunate that in my early days I should have been brought into touch with such a gentleman, who having obtained himself a high position in his University days, was enabled to impart to others in a simple way some of the knowledge which, by patient study and reading, he had been able to acquire himself.
We very often talked together of the writings of the greatest men who had lived ages ago: of Homer, of Virgil, of Julius Caesar, of Pliny and Plutarch: of Wycliffe, Luther, Gibbon, Rollin, Grote, and of countless other writers and great poets of more recent times: and moreover generally of the literature and art and science of our own country: and of principles of law and equity which have exercised such a beneficent influence upon the civilization and material progress of the world.
Now although this gentleman had so often spoken about all these interesting matters, we had never really exchanged any thoughts about that which is, after all, by far the most important topic, and that is the question of the soul’s eternal welfare: but God had purposed that this should be brought about too, and I want in this incident to show how surely the Lord works in the hearts of His people to bring about His own purposes of blessing for those who love Him.
I have said that this gentleman frequently came to stay at the mansion near my own home: this was nearly twenty miles from the parish in which my friend usually lived and labored. He devoted his whole energies and personal means to the benefit of the considerable population of that agricultural countryside, and it may be mentioned to the honor of his memory, that he not only spent his own energies, purely for the love of the work, and for the good of the people, but he also gave most liberally of his own means to help on the Lord’s work in his own and other localities.
It happened on a certain occasion that he called, as was his custom, at our farm, and mentioned with some perplexity that he had to take a service in his church on the following day, and was in a difficulty how to reach it, as there was no railway and the carriages of his host were all engaged. I told him it would give me exceeding pleasure to be permitted to drive him thither and to bring him back again to the Hall. With simple thanks he accepted the offer, and it was arranged that early on the following morning we should start on the journey.
It was a lovely day, quite early in the year; the air was keen and fresh but the sun bright and beautiful. The snow had disappeared, and the trees, tall, bare, and leaden though they looked, stood out sharply all silhouetted against the clear sky as if they were only waiting for the word when they might be bidden to put on their beautiful apparel and break forth once more into new life and beauty.
The road at first led us along a quiet valley. It abounded with natural beauties, and God’s bounty and goodness seemed to be appreciated by the thousands of twittering birds and by the innumerable rabbits, squirrels and other creatures, that seemed astonished at our intrusion into their own usually silent and secluded domain. A little brooklet hurried along to the sea—we could now and then just get a glimpse of its silver strand in the distance far away down the valley.
Our conversation began about all these things, for the tiniest flower or bird or insect seemed to be a matter of interest to my companion, who never tired of talking of the wonderful evidences of God’s skill and handiwork, which are visible to anyone who has eyes to see, or a mind to observe and to appreciate them. Indeed, on that memorable journey, although we were surrounded by the grey, cold characteristics of a winter’s day, yet I am sure in our hearts there was the glowing sense of God’s kindness and mercy which filled them with gratitude and made us very sensible of His abounding love.
We had passed on through these varying scenes for perhaps about an hour, when our route caused us to leave the valley and begin to ascend the hills that intervened between us and our destination. As soon as we did so, my companion took from his pocket a little black satchel, and opening it said, “This is the sermon I hope to preach to my people this afternoon. You know,” he added, “this is a special service when the members of the clubs, with their wives and children, all march in procession to church, and I thought I should like to speak to them about the love of God,” and with sympathetic tenderness of heart he continued, “Many of them have a very hard lot here, and they do not meet with much love or care, and so I thought I would preach about the great love of God.”
He then asked me if I knew his text and whether I would like to hear a little bit of his sermon. We very slowly and gradually ascended the hill, and as we did so my friend read out his text, which to my surprise and pleasure was John 3:16 and 17: “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE: FOR GOD SENT NOT HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD, BUT THAT THE WORLD THROUGH HIM MIGHT BE SAVED.” As soon as he had finished the text, he began to read the address. It was couched in simple, telling, affectionate terms: it spoke of the hardships that many of his hearers had to endure in their toilsome lives from day to day, but showed them how God had loved them, sinners though they were, and had given His only begotten Son to die for them. He dwelt upon the love of God, and used the Old Testament illustration of Abraham offering up Isaac as a shadow and picture of the greater love of God in yielding up His Son absolutely, to die upon the cross, so that sinners might be saved. Over and over again the burden of the sermon rang out clearly and distinctly, “For God so loved the world,” etc., “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world,” etc., and other similar beautiful declarations concerning the love of God, until my heart was gladdened, and I thanked God that His servant was able to carry to his people such a magnificent unfolding of the boundless grace and tender love of God.
I had, neither the ability nor the disposition to criticize the address, because I had not long been a Christian myself, and it was very little I knew at all of God’s ways or of His Word, but the sense of His great love had been glowing in my soul ever since I knew the Saviour’s name, and any mention of it, whether from this clergyman or from other friends, brought back to mind the scalding tears of repentance that had flowed when I first knew my Lord, and so these words of the minister fell upon soil ready to receive them, and produced expressions of gratitude from my lips as I declared how glad I was that I knew a little of the love of God and could thank Him that He had not only caused me to know that, and had saved my soul, but He had given me now everlasting life, and I knew it and thanked God for it.
To my exceeding surprise, my friend seemed astonished that I spoke with such assurance about having NOW everlasting life, and said that he should be afraid himself to say so much as that, and thought it was more humble and becoming of a young Christian “to hope that he might have everlasting life someday, or by-and-by, in heaven.” For an instant I was almost staggered at this gently expressed rebuke: but the words of my Lord came as distinctly into my mind as possible, and I could not help saying, “Why, sir, my Saviour said that those who believe in Him HAVE everlasting life. I truly believe in Him, and therefore I HAVE everlasting life Now.”
“Oh, my young friend,” said my companion, “who taught you that? Why, here have I professed to be a Christian for many, many years: although I love God and try to serve Him, yet I could not be so presumptuous as to say so confidently that ‘I know I am saved.’ If I could, I should be at perfect peace: but as it is I am very often troubled in my soul and wonder if after all I am indeed really a Christian. But where,” he asked, “do you get any authority from the Bible to say so certainly you are saved?” For an instant again I hesitated in my response: but once more, as always occurs when God’s children rely upon His Blessed Spirit, text after text came rolling into my young soul, which told in plain and unequivocal language not only that God’s people ought to have peace with God and to have the love of God shed abroad in the heart, and to be able to joy in God, but ought also to be assured of a perfect salvation, and to know with absolute certainty that they have “passed from death unto life,” and know it simply because God says, “He that believeth on the Son HATE everlasting life.”
Just at this moment it came into my mind that I had a Bible in the box seat under me, and I stopped the horse and asked permission of my friend to read certain passages in response to his inquiry. The first I read was John 3:36, already quoted, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” The next was John 5:24, “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 then, although I had never read them but once or twice in my life, other portions of the precious Word of God came almost unconsciously to my memory, so that I could turn to the chapter and verse, and amongst them were those in 1 John 5:10, 11, 12, 13, “HE THAT BELIEVETH ON THE SON OF GOD HATH THE WITNESS IN HIMSELF: HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT GOD HATH MADE HIM A LIAR, BECAUSE HE BELIEVETH NOT THE RECORD THAT GOD GAVE OF HIS SON; AND THIS IS THE RECORD, THAT GOD HATH GIVEN TO US ETERNAL LIFE, AND THIS LIFE IS IN HIS SON; HE THAT HATH THE SON HATH LIFE, AND HE THAT HATH NOT THE SON HATH NOT LIFE. THESE THINGS HAVE WRITTEN UNTO YOU THAT BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD, THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.”
When I had finished reading these words I seemed unable to add a syllable: indeed, to speak the truth, I felt a little ashamed at my own temerity in thus trying to teach the clergyman, but the sequel showed that God’s hand was there. I noticed as soon as we started again on our journey my friend was exceedingly quiet and apparently prayerful and thoughtful, until presently he broke the almost painful silence by saying, “Why—” (mentioning my Christian name) “why, I have read that Scripture in John’s Epistle thousands of times, and yet I never felt the full power of it as I do now. Tell me now,” he said, “do you mean to say you accept those words literally and exactly in all their full force and power, precisely as they are written?” I recall how I trembled when I turned to answer that clergyman’s earnest question. I felt it might be fraught with exceeding blessing, or be a hindrance, and so I prayed to my Lord in heaven to give me the right answer, and thank God that in those early days, as a Christian lad, I was able to reply (remembering the cultured, kindly, Christian gentleman whom I was addressing) and to say, “Sir, I truly believe these things from my heart. ‘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.’ I believe that God has given these words, that they are God’s words, and that we should accept the truth of them for the simple reason that God says it, and that therefore it MUST be true that those who believe may know that they have eternal life here upon earth:” and moreover, I ventured to add that I thought the very opposite of that which he had advanced was really true, as it is written, “He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son; and this is the record, that God HATH given to us eternal life” (1 John 5:10, 11).
My reader, believe me, that although on the one hand here was a learned, intellectual, refined scholar and on the other only a partially instructed believing country lad, yet God was pleased to use the reading of these emphatic Scriptures to the liberation of this minister’s soul from the thralldom of doubt and occasional uncertainty; and just the same blessing is in store for you, my friend, if you will bow to the authority of God’s unfailing word, as, thank God, did our friend the clergyman on that day.
Our outward journey was nearly at an end. We had reached the highest ridge of the hills, and there, in the valley at the base of the hill below, was the, scattered village, over the religious welfare of which my companion presided. He had only been absent for a few days, and yet his voice seemed to quiver with affection and interest as he spoke of some of the aged cottagers whom he hoped to see that day. We passed through the straggling place amidst the happy greetings and glad welcome of very many people who had assembled preparatory to the afternoon service. It was a pleasure to note the cordial feeling manifestly existing between the clergyman and his people. The children all gathered close to his home and sang some sweet hymn-melody as we drove through the old-fashioned gateway entrance to the quaint moated vicarage.
There was no time for further talk upon the subject that had occupied us for the greater part of our drive thither: but the grateful grasp of his loving hand spoke more than words can tell, and made me convinced that his mind had undergone a considerable change, and that the glad joy of the conscious possession of eternal life had now filled his heart with thankfulness and joy unspeakable. That such was really the result of this interesting country drive we shall be able to make clear at another time, please God, in the pages of our Magazine.
G. A.

Joy a Testimony

IT is recorded of Abraham, in the tradition of the land in which he was a stranger, that he went on his way singing, and so sweet were his songs that men followed him to learn them, and thus they too became pilgrims.
It would be well if murmuring, down-hearted, dull-faced Christians took the hint! What, friend! do you think that the giddy world will wish to go your way? The world has its songs, and you, your—what? A sorry testimony, a poor attraction your life to your friends and family. Awake! consider what a portion is yours, what a Saviour, what a home, what blessings, and surely you will begin singing on your wilderness way.
“Oh, what wonder! how amazing!
Jesus, glorious King of kings—
Deigns to call me His beloved—
Lets me rest beneath His wings.
Hallelujah,
Resting now beneath His wings.”

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 2

IN the house of Conrad and Ursula Cotta Luther began to display his taste for and love of music. He learned to play on the flute and on the lute, accompanying the latter with his fine deep voice. He became passionately fond of music, and continued to be so all his days. “None but the devil,” he used to say, “hates music.” The kindness of Ursula Cotta was never forgotten by him. Many years afterwards, when one of her sons went to Wittenberg as a student, and when the poor scholar of Eisenach had become the greatest Doctor of his age, he received him to his house and table. He used to say, “Earth has nothing more tender than a woman’s heart, when it is the abode of piety.”
Luther never forgot those early days of want and penury. “Despise not,” he would say, “boys who by singing before people’s doors seek bread for the love of God. I, too, have done the same. It is true that at a later time, my father supported me lovingly and bountifully at the University of Erfurt, and that with the sweat of his brow: nevertheless I was once a poor applicant for alms.” By his cheerful, obliging, and good-hearted manners young Luther endeared himself alike to his masters and fellow-students. To one of the professors, John Trebonius, he particularly attached himself. Martin observed that on entering the classroom, Trebonius uncovered his head and saluted his scholars. To one of his colleagues who did not follow the same practice, and expressed his astonishment at his condescension, he replied, “Among these boys there are men whom God will one day make burgomasters (mayors), chancellors, doctors, and magistrates. Though you do not see them yet invested with the badges of their dignities, it is but fair that you should show them respect.”
When eighteen years of age, in 1501, Luther entered the University of Erfurt, then the principal university of Germany. He made rapid progress in his studies: but he did not forget higher things. Serious and thoughtful, and truly humble, he sought earnestly after high religious attainments. He began each day with prayer, then went to church, and so prepared himself for study, not losing a moment of time. “Earnest prayer,” he used to say, “is more than the half of study.”
Luther had been two years at Erfurt, when, one day as he was in the library, turning over the leaves of the books to see who the author was, a volume arrested his attention. Until that hour he had seen nothing resembling it. He read the title. It was a Latin Bible. The Book excited his liveliest interest. His heart beat high as he held in his hand the entire volume of Holy Scriptures. The first page that caught his attention told him the story of Hannah and the boy Samuel, which filled him with delight. His heart was full, and his longing was, “Oh that God would give me such a book to be my own!” It was then that the first dawn of a truth, entirely new to him, gleamed upon his mind. God had put His Word into his hands, and in that Book lay hid the Reformation.
The same year Luther took his first degree as Bachelor. The excessive exertions made in preparing for his examination threw him into a dangerous illness. Death seemed to be at hand. Grave reflections filled his mind, and he thought his earthly career was about to close. People felt sorry for the hopeful young man, and many friends came to see him on his sick bed. Among them was a venerable old priest who had watched with interest his academical life and labors. Luther could not conceal from him his apprehensions. “Soon,” said he, “I shall be called away from this world.” The old man kindly replied, “Don’t lose heart, my good Bachelor! You will not die of this illness; our God will yet make of you a man who in his turn will console many. For God makes His cross to be borne by those whom He loves, and they who bear it with patience learn much wisdom thereby.” The sick man was much struck with these words. It was while thus at the point of death that he heard words from the mouth of a priest that God, as the mother of Samuel had said, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust.” The old man’s words shed sweet comfort over his heart, revived his drooping spirits, and made an impression never to be effaced.

Our Bible Portion: The God of All Comfort

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God, For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”— 2 Cor. 1:3-5.
HE is the God of all comfort, the source of every kind of consolation we receive now and for ever: and the last verse intimates that the suffering we endure is the natural and necessary result of His Son’s suffering on the Cross. Elsewhere He is described as the
“God that comforteth those that are cast down.”—2 Cor. 7:6.
The word comfort in these passages is the one from which “Paraclete” is derived, and hence the glorious God is pleased to reveal Himself as called to the side of His children who are in trouble, that He may render them needed help. He sends both the trouble and the help, and therefore the Psalmist says, “Thou, which has showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.”—Ps. 71:20, 21. Again, he writes by the Spirit, “Cast thy burden [margin, gift, that which He has given thee] upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.”—Ps. 55:22: the word sustain being also rendered in other places, bear, feed, guide, nourish, provide and receive. Thus, when God gives a burden, it is that we may roll it upon His strong arm, and we look up with the cry, “Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy word hath quickened me.”— Ps. 119:49, 50.
He not only comforts, but He sympathizes with those upon whom He lays the rod. Thus we read, “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem.”—Isa. 40:1, 2. Here the first definition of the word comfort is “to sigh, to mourn, to grieve over, to feel compassion for, to pity,” while the word, “Speak comfortably,” is, literally, “Speak to the heart.” He expects the tenderness of His own heart, when He sends the rod of gentle chastening, to reach the heart of His suffering child, and drive away all fear. The Son of His love has taught us that two sparrows were sold for a farthing, and so cheap and worthless were they that if a man bought four, the seller threw in another for nothing: “and not one of them is forgotten before God. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”—Luke 12:6, 7. To His disciples, in the midst of great perils and privations, He said, “There shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.” —Luke 21:18, 19.

"I Told the Devil to Go Away."

A PASTOR often visited an old saint eighty-seven years of age, who for fifteen years was bedridden and blind. She was usually very bright and cheerful, but on one occasion she told him that since his last visit she had been in terrible darkness. When he inquired how it came, she replied that she had been informed of the sudden death of a youthful and useful Christian lady, who was a near neighbor. She began to wonder why God spared her so long, when she was of no service to any one, and then the thought darted into her mind that He had so many people to look after, He had forgotten her, and, “Oh, the horror that rolled over my soul at this!” she exclaimed. “But you are out of the darkness now: how did you get out?” he asked. “There is but one way,” she answered, “and that is, by going to the Word. I remembered that the Lord Jesus declares
all the hairs of our heads are numbered,
and although I once had children of my own, whom I loved, I suppose, as much as most mothers love their children, and although I washed their faces for them, and brushed their hair many a time, I never thought enough of one of my children to count every hair on its head. Since my Father thinks enough of me to count every hair on my old grey head, I told the devil to go away and let me alone, and since then he has left me in peace.”
FIRST of all, we must believe God respecting the blood of His Son. God has told us that peace with Him is made by the blood. He tells us that when we believe we are justified from all things. “But I believe this,” says one, “yet I have not the peace some possess.” No. Until we are at rest before God about our sins it is impossible to be at perfect peace.

The Colors of the Regiment; or, "His Banner Over Me Was Love."

IT is related of one of England’s greatest commanders of the last century, the conqueror of a large tract of country in Northern India, called Scinde, that when he lay a-dying he asked his son-in-law—also a distinguished soldier—to wave the colors of the regiment he had long commanded, and led to victory more than once, over his bed—a soldier’s reverence and affection for the flag under which he had served for many years— and this being done the general passed away. One can only hope and fervently wish that the well-known motto of his family, “Ready, aye ready!” was true in this splendid old soldier’s case. “READY, ALWAYS READY!” was he to serve his country and his sovereign, as his oft-wounded body would show. Let us hope that he WAS “READY, AYE READY,” through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and faith in His word, to “depart and be with Christ, which is far better:” for what are all the honors which a sovereign can heap, and rightly so, upon a victorious general, when he is called to die and leave all such well-deserved and hardly-earned distinctions behind, unless, like another successful leader whose almost last words were, “Come and see how a Christian can die!” he was trusting everything to that precious blood which cleanseth from all sin? Reading many years since the above account, one’s mind went at once to that part of a verse which stands at the head of this paper (Song of Solomon, chapter 2, verse 4): “His banner over ME” —poor, unknown, good-for-nothing, hell-deserving ME— “was love.” Unknown to fame—without title, minus decorations— and yet loved with an everlasting love, for “GOD SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Wonderful, is it not, my dear reader? And yet not more wonderful than true: for you and I have to do with a God who “cannot lie,” and with Christ who is “THE TRUTH.” Yes, and it is love all on one side—His side, for “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Only to think of it! Loved with an everlasting love—untiring, unchangeable. But do not forget the very same One who said “He that believeth is not condemned” said “he that believeth NOT IS condemned already,” and “he that believeth not shall be damned.”
In these days of prophesying smooth things one must seek to be faithful and put both sides of the truth. But surely you will not reject such love—so costly that before God could gratify it righteously His Son had to become “THE propitiation for our sins,” had to “give His life for a ransom,” to die “the just for the unjust,” and thereby to so clear the throne of God’s justice that now He—the Holy One—can be and is “the Justifier of Him that believeth in Jesus.” Referring again to the waving of the “colors,” as the flags are called, which were waved over the expiring general’s bed, there are two—one composed of the Union Jack, the other of silk the color of the “facings,” that is, the cuffs and collars of the officers and men composing the regiment.
It so happened that the “facings” of the corps above alluded to are white. How it would remind one trusting to the precious blood of what a soul, cleansed by the precious blood, appears before God, “whiter than snow.” The colors on the Union Jack, too, are very expressive — red, white and blue, the red reminding one of that “crimson tide most precious,” the white that which the “crimson tide” does, the blue the heavenly color which speaks of that place the once deeply-dyed sinner who believes is introduced into —so the waving of the colors would be very suggestive.
But now, my reader, after all is said and done, how is it with You? Not how do you hope it will be some day, you are not sure when, but NOW—today, for NOW is the accepted time and NOW, TODAY is THE day of salvation. God grant you may know and enjoy at once, if never before, what faith in God’s word about the precious blood brings — prays yours affectionately, S. V. H.

He That Humbleth Himself

THE Lord has left us an example as to this—He washed His disciples’ feet, and bids us do to one another as He did to them. It was in the full conscious dignity of coming from God and going to God that He stooped thus low. If truly great in the power of God, we shall be able to humble ourselves to wash one another’s feet. True Christian humility is sure evidence of being in God’s presence: and we may also say, unless in God’s presence, the Christian is not truly humble. Christian humility moves on in unselfish love, seeking the good of others, and by this service Christians live together in peace.

Jottings About the Bible: Old Testament Prophecies Concerning Christ

PASSING by many prophecies that might be chosen, we will first examine the predictions concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Let it be remembered that every part of the Old Testament was written 400 years before Christ was born. The most captious criticism admits that all the books were in circulation at least two centuries before the birth of Christ.
Now standing back among the vanished centuries what are some of the predictions? That a certain illustrious character shall come who will be known as the Messiah. He will bring salvation from sin. A herald will come before Him crying, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” He will be born of a virgin mother. At Bethlehem. While the second Temple is yet standing. Of the tribe of Judah. Of the family of David. His ministry will begin in Galilee.
He will be a wonderful teacher. Teaching in parables. Possessing “the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and of might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” Teaching as one having authority, as the infallible guide of men. Preaching good tidings. Binding up the broken-hearted. A friend of the wretched, He will give eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, a tongue to the dumb, feet to the lame. He will be meek and gentle and tender and loving. A rebuker of sin, incorruptible, the champion of righteousness. He will claim to be God. His followers will be poor and lowly. He will be unattractive to the world. He will have many enemies who will hate and persecute Him. He will be a great sufferer. His visage will be marred. He will be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He will enter Jerusalem in triumph upon an ass’s foal. He will be betrayed by a pretended friend. He will be sold for 3o pieces of silver. The 30 pieces will be paid to a potter. He will give His back to be scourged and His cheek to be smitten. He will be spit upon. Like a sheep before its shearers He will be dumb and submissive. He will be pierced in His hands and feet. He will be put to death. Not a bone will be broken. His enemies will taunt and deride Him in the midst of His sufferings. In His thirst they will give Him vinegar to drink. His clothing will be divided into parts and be distributed, for His coat they will cast lots.
In addition to His physical suffering, His mental anguish, will be intense, being forsaken as it were of God, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: He will cry out “My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Thus He will forgive sins and justify many. He will die as a malefactor yet have His grave with the rich. He will not see corruption, but rise from the dead and ascend to Heaven. The plain references in the Old Testament to the coming of Christ into this world number 333. I have only given sixty of them, and these wonderful prophecies relate simply to the Divine Personality of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Willing and Obedient.

“I have all, and abound: I am full.”—Phil. 4:18.
“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isa. 1:19
OH! would ye taste of God’s good land
Where plenty ever floweth?
Oh! would ye take from God’s full Hand
The gifts His grace bestoweth?
Behold! it is to you He speaks,
His promises fulfilling;
You are the very ones He seeks,
Who first of all are willing.

I’ve one thing else He stipulates
Ere you may gain the blessing,
Obedience and for this He waits,
Its urgent need impressing.
Then, willing and obedient, take
God’s wonderful salvation,
And He will cleanse your souls, and make
Of you a new creation.

Obedience is to set no store
By false hopes—few or many:
It is to use the open door,
Nor seek beside it any.
It is to haste unto the Fount
To every sinner given,
Where scarlet stains beyond all count
Grow white as snow wind-driven.

But if ye still refuse to hear
The Voice that long has pleaded,
And should that outstretched Hand appear
In vain, and all unheeded—
Then are ye rebels, and must die
When God’s sharp sword awaketh:
Nor can His ears regard your cry
When judgment overtaketh.
WINIFRED A. IVERSON.

"I Will Give You Rest."

REST? Yes: in its fullest, widest sense, rest. Rest of heart—rest of conscience—all that a sin-burdened conscience needs—all from which a heavy-laden heart desires deliverance. A present rest for all who look to Him as their Saviour—for all who trust in the value of His precious blood to wash away their sins.

My Palestine Recollections. 2. Our Faces Towards Jerusalem

WE longed to see “the city that men call beautiful,” but before we started on our journey we visited the house which has the reputation of being on the site of that of Simon the Tanner. One circumstance which occurred there was indeed calculated to make me think of Peter going to the housetop to pray. We had reached the flat roof of the house, and were exploring the little surroundings, when I discovered that I had done something which provoked the anger of the owner of the house, who was with us. My friend Mr. El Karey soon explained that my offence consisted in having trod upon the carpet on the housetop on which they kneel to pray without having first taken off my boots. The two Scriptures “Take thy shoe from off thy feet,” and “Peter went up upon the house-top to pray,” were thus strikingly brought to my mind. The meaning of the name Joppa is “Beauty.” What a lovely name for the place of our first walk together in Palestine! And where can we find beauty but in Him who is the Chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely? It is the seaport for Jerusalem. It was there the timber of cedarwood from Lebanon was landed, to be taken up to Jerusalem and built into the Temple of Solomon. I can truly say I found it a place of beauty, for in many other things which I have not yet mentioned it brought to my mind the words and miracles of Him “who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” Among other circumstances, I particularly noticed the blind beggar by the wayside, calling out, as did Bartimaeus of old, when he heard the footsteps of the travelers passing by. We could not help him as to his blindness, but let his cry, Ateeni, Allah ya terk (“Give to me and God will give to you”), awaken in us the desire to be more ready to tell unto all that Name of Power and Peace: “JESUS,” that gives sight to the “inly blind,” joy to the “mourners,” life to the “spiritually dead.”
In keeping with its name of “Beauty,” Joppa is indeed richly environed, with the sea on its front and the orange groves and gardens in the rear. We did not enter the latter, but could see something of them from the housetop, and as we left the city for a night’s ride to Jerusalem, we could form some little—it was but little—impression of their luxuriant beauty. Much more might I say of Joppa, but the horses are saddled and the mule laden. In the house of Mr. Floyd, where on the 11Th of the month already referred to we knelt together and commended ourselves, and those dear to but distant from us, to the keeping and guidance of the Lord, we afterwards, on the 21St, gave thanks to Him, as faithful to His word and promise, who had kept us on our going out as well as our coming in to the land made beautiful with His beauty, as Mr. Cheyne writes of the Sea of Galilee—
“Graceful around thee the mountains meet,
Thou calm, reposing sea:
But oh, far more! the beautiful feet
Of Jesus walked o’er thee.”
Let us rise from our knees, and as we bid farewell to our kind entertainer take our seats in the saddle and set our faces towards Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem, whither the tribes go up” (Ps. 122:4). We too would say: “Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem” (verse 2). Let us do so by the aid of “recollections.” We had not proceeded many miles along the Ramleh road after clearing the orange groves and vineyards of Joppa before we came upon a party of Jewish pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem: they were halted on account of the sickness of one of their number. This and many other subsequent circumstances of our journey through the country brought to remembrance different Scripture narratives of the healing of the sick, especially those in the Gospels and the Book of Acts. We did not “pass by on the other side,” like the Priest and Levite in Luke 10, but felt that in our conduct we came very far short of the “certain Samaritan” who “came where he was.”
S. J.

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 2

THE history of Rome is in many respects similar to that of the nations that had gone before. With Egypt, Assyria, Persia, and Greece the power and influence appeared to emanate principally from one dominant center, usually, of course, a city, such as Babylon, Persepolis, or Athens. Indeed, in ancient times the power of a nation was not so much associated with the territorial extent of its country as with the concentrated force of the military power attached to the capital city: and it was exactly thus with Rome.
Six or seven hundred years before the Christian era the peoples who occupied the remarkable peninsula which projects so far from Southern Europe into the Mediterranean Sea, were made up of various strangely-differing types: (1) the Gauls in the north: (2) the Ligurians in the western division of the land: (3) the Etruscans, who occupied territory which was bounded on the south and on the east by the River Tiber.
It is not our purpose to write at any length concerning the races that occupied the peninsula, but we would say that the study of the early history of the Etruscans is full of the deepest interest, and tends, in our belief, to explain the wonderful progress in civilization of the nation that eventually exercised such a mighty influence in the world. The manners and customs of the Etruscans were totally different from the rest of the various tribes by which they were surrounded: and it is surely worthy of note that even when Rome itself was scarcely known as a city these people were governed upon perfectly equitable and civilized principles, and there is no doubt that the great influence of the Etruscans in matters of religion, and in the ordinary civil administration of the State, the Romans were much indebted to these early inhabitants, and, indeed, also to the Greeks, who had planted many colonies all along the coast of Southern Italy.
There were various tribes, such as the Umbrians, the Volscians, the Samnites, the Latins, and, indeed, other bodies, all being governed quite independently, and very frequently being in open hostility to each other, and at the period of which we are writing, about 550 B.C., the Latins, who became the dominant power, were really quite an insignificant race, whereas the Etruscan power was the foremost and the most influential in every respect.
Such, briefly stated, was the position of the Italian peninsula about the time when any reliable history concerning the people begins.
The origin of the great empires of the world has more or less been enshrouded in legend and uncertainty, and it was so with Rome. We can pass over the stories connected with the childhood of Romulus and Remus, but no doubt there is truth in the tradition that they became the first kings. Anyway, it is pretty clear that Ascanius built a city and called it Alba Longa, that is, “the Long White City,” but Romulus and Remus loved the Tiber, on which river it was said they had been placed in a cradle, and were carried by the current to the foot of the Palatine Hill: on this spot, therefore, they determined to found a city, and if there is any truth in all that has been told in song and story, this was the real starting point in its marvelous history.

A Short Study in Scripture: Spiritual Sacrifices

PRAISE: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord (Eph. 5:19: Ps. 50:23).
Thanksgiving: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:20: Ps. 107:22: 116:17).
Rejoicing: Though all things fail, “yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:18: Phil. 4:4).
“Ye are built up . . . an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5).
“Made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13): “Bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar” (Ps. 118:20-28). Nothing is acceptable to God, nothing well-pleasing, apart from Christ: all must be associated with Him: offered up in His name. “By Him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifices of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15).
Also: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17). “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity . . . I dwell . . with Him . . . that is of a humble and contrite heart” (Is. 57:15).
E. A. H.

The Peddler's Prayer

THERE was a peddler who carried his wares from house to house in Scotland. One day, while upon his errands, he entered a cottage where a noble lady was visiting its inmate. Some conversation ensued, when the lady rather haughtily inquired of the peddler, “What, can you pray?”
“Well,” said he, “I ken I can.”
“Then kneel down at once,” she cried, “and let me hear you.” Whereupon the man put his bag off his back, went upon his knees, and at once spoke thus to his God—
“O God, give me grace to need grace.
“O God, give me grace to ask for grace when I am given to feel my need of grace.
“O God, give me grace to receive grace when Thou givest the grace I need.
“O God, give me grace to show grace when I have received grace from Thee, whether I get grace shown to me or not.”
We commend this prayer to every one who is endeavoring to walk through this world to the glory of God, as one of the most practically beautiful expressions of dependence on God ever uttered.
“By grace are you saved.”—Eph. 2:5
“Ye are not under the law but under grace.” Rom. 6:14
“The grace of God . . . teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world.” —Titus 2:11, 12.

True Stories of God's Servants: Uncle John Vassar in God's School

ARMS and armor are all-important in secular and sacred warfare, but how to wield the one and wear the other must be learned. The God of battle seldom makes a raw soldier into a great leader all at once. Moses tarries in Horeb, and Elijah in the desert, and Paul in Arabia, to get a preparation for their work: and with forty days in the wilderness even our Lord’s ministry begins. Uncle John Vassar, the splendid missionary worker, was girded and disciplined in various ways. For these experiences eight years in God’s school were none too long.
He was a novice in religious things, and needed instruction especially in the word of God. Probably he was more ignorant of even the letter of Scripture than many a half-grown boy today. He had not been a member of the Sunday school, nor a regular church attendant by any means, and little of Bible truth lay in his mind excepting such scraps and fragments as home-training might have fastened there. This deficiency he sought, far and fast as possible, to supply. In the brewery where he was employed, he would write down on the walls in the morning two or three short texts to be learned and thought over while at his tasks. On a shelf nearby, or else in his pocket, was kept a small Bible, and when there was an unoccupied moment that would be in his hands. Evenings, when no religious service claimed his time, over that same book he would bend for hours, sometimes on his knees. Thus little by little he acquired that familiarity with the written word which he afterwards displayed, and by which he foiled opposers and silenced cavilers, as his Master did the tempter on the mountain, by quotations apt and irresistible.
No talent lent him was allowed to rust from disuse. Fast as he got he gave. He believed it to be as wrong to hoard grace as gold. Communion with Christ was only a holy portal through which to pass to the help of man. He began to talk with individuals about their hope: not so pointedly or skillfully as in later years, for tact and fidelity such as characterized him must partly be acquired. But from the start no one spent half an hour in his presence without being made to feel that with John Vassar religion was a real thing.

Illustrative Gleanings: The Corner Stone

“Therefore thus saith, the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.” Isa. 28:16.
THIS is what God tells us about the foundation stone of His house.
God says of His foundation stone, it is a tried stone, a precious stone, a sure foundation.
But God does not mean a real stone: nor is there a real building that has taken so long to build.
This verse explains what is meant by “a sure foundation.”
“Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). God’s foundation stone is the Lord. Jesus: and, because of what He is and has done, God forms this building. He tells us what He thinks about His foundation stone: the Lord Jesus is so precious to God, that, even when He was here in this world, He said of Him, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Where do the stones come from of which this building is composed? First let me ask you, What do you think of God’s foundation stone? “What think ye of Christ?” Do you believe that He is a sure foundation? And is He, oh! is He precious to you?—for all the preciousness is unto you which believe. Do you rest your soul on God’s foundation stone? I hope you do, for then “Ye also, as lively (that is, living) stones, are built up a spiritual house.”
What is the building for? The. Apostle Paul says, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:21, 22). This house is God’s habitation—the place where He dwells. We cannot see Him, but His Spirit is here on this earth, and God dwells, by His Spirit, in His house.

"Having Nothing" and "Being Nothing."

WILL you take the low place of having nothing, and of being nothing but a lost sinner, and will you accept God’s wondrous gift of His Son? Then shall you find not only that your debt is paid by Jesus, and therefore that justice will never demand it from you, but you shall also find the bounty of God towards you in giving you every needed thing for time and for eternity—you shall be for ever at His charge and under His care.

"He Causeth His Wind to Blow" (Ps. 147:18).

A MISSIONARY, who had been for many years in the East, and had travelled much in Egypt and Syria, was once making a tour in a little boat, laden with Arabic Bibles, which he distributed among the people living in small villages scattered here and there along the banks of the river, and one Saturday afternoon he found himself on the eastern bank of the Nile, in Upper Egypt. He knew that there was a village on the opposite bank, where the people were not Muslims, but professed the Christian faith, and that they would be willing to hear him speak to them, and to receive his Bibles. “I will cross over,” said he, “and spend Sunday there.”
It seemed but a short distance to the other side of the river, but the wind was adverse, and, after trying several times to bring the little Nile-boat round, the captain said, “It is of no use: we must stay here.”
“This is very disappointing,” said the missionary. He felt disheartened. for it seemed as if the contrary wind would spoil all his plans: but presently he remembered that he was Christ’s servant, and that nothing could happen to him by chance, or without any reason for it. “What if there should be people here!” he thought.
But no: the shore, as far as his eye could reach, was as bare and desolate as the desert.
“Surely no one can dwell here,” said he. “Yet I will go a little way inland, and look about me.”
Taking one of his large Bibles in his hand, he began to scramble over the rocky ground. After walking for about half an hour, he saw, far away, a little village. You may think what joy it gave him to find in that lonely village one of his Master’s sheep—one who had heard the voice of the Good Shepherd, and was following Him, and wished much to know more of Him.
After they had talked a little while, the missionary discovered there was one thing which his newfound friend greatly desired.
“If only I had a Bible!” said he earnestly.
“Our Lord sends you one; see, this book is for you,” said the missionary, showing the Bible he had brought with him.
Imagine with what thankfulness the gift was received, and what a glad surprise it was for this lonely child of God to have the book for which he had so longed thus brought to his very door!
A little more talk, and then the missionary took his way back to the boat, his heart light and glad, and full of praise to God for allowing him thus to be His messenger. But a fresh surprise was awaiting him.
“I have been watching for you,” said the captain. “We can sail now, for the wind has changed.”
As the missionary crossed to the opposite shore in the little Nile-boat he thought, “How good God has been to me! Now I can see why the wind was contrary two hours ago. Once God used His mighty angels to bring words of comfort to His children, now He is pleased to use men, and He has graciously used me this day as His messenger.” How happy that thought made him!
C. P.

Old Pictures Reframed

“Apples of gold in pictures of silver.”—Prov. 25:11
MOSES lost what the world prizes most, and gained what it shuns.
~~~
Paul did not really begin to live until he had cast away what once he most prized.
~~~
Moses chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”
~~~
Paul said of his tribulations that he gloried in them.
~~~
Peter denied Christ with oaths, but before the first grey light of the morning wept bitterly and truly repented.
~~~
Pilate would try to wash his hands of their stains, but it was all in vain: there was no true repentance.
~~~
Stephen conquered, as he “looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the GLORY OF GOD.”
~~~
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” As He spoke these triumphant words, He was nearing Gethsemane.
~~~
The religion which leaves you to continue in sin in this world, will leave you to suffer the punishment of hell throughout eternity.

Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 2

(Gen. 22, 23)
ONCE, when God had called Abraham to leave his country, he had delayed, but in this beautiful chapter we see how obedient he was and how willing to give up Isaac, for “he rose up early in the morning”: and he really had faith, too, that he would not lose his son, for in Heb. 11 we read, “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” —i.e., he believed that, if he had to kill him, God could raise him up, because He had promised him this son, and that he should be “a great nation,” which could not happen if Isaac died.
None but a father could fully understand what it must have been to Abraham to give his only son to God in this way, and none of us can tell what it must have been to God to give up His only begotten Son to die for sinners, and yet “God so loved the world that He gave” Him. In this chapter Abraham may be regarded as a type of God, and Isaac of the Lord Jesus Christ. “They went both of them together.” “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world,” and yet “Christ through the eternal Spirit offered Himself:” They were of one mind concerning the salvation of sinners.
Isaac did not know what was to befall him at first, and asked, “Where is the lamb?” but when he did he was quite submissive: and he cannot have been very young, for he carried the wood, and might have resisted his aged father when he bound him. Do you know who is the Lamb whom God has provided? Though God had called Abraham to give up his son, yet he could look on to the time when Jesus should be the Lamb of God who should take away the sin of the world, and who would rise again in proof that sin was atoned for. God did not suffer His servant to be tried above what he was able to bear, but made a way of escape for him. The ram caught in the thicket by its horns died instead of Isaac, so Isaac came down from that mountain, saved from death—the blood of another had been shed for him Has the “blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” put away your sins and saved you from eternal wrath?

The Story of Ishmael; or, God Will Hear. - 2

HAGAR, doubtless, had taught Ishmael about the true God, because we are told that God heard the voice of the lad, the lad who was lying under the shrub, and we may suppose that Ishmael called upon God. There is a sweet verse in the 50th Psalm, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.”
And now again the Angel of the Lord is the one who has to convey a message to Hagar. It is said that God heard the voice of the lad, and the Angel of God called to Hagar out of Heaven, and said “What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand: for I will make him a great nation.” How her heart must have beat with joy! and then when God opened her eyes to see a well of water near her, a well which she had not seen before, she went and filled the bottle with water, and carried it to her boy, and so he drank, and must have felt better. And God was with the lad, and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness of Paran. It seems as if his mother lived with him until he had grown up to be a man, for she took him a wife out of the land of Egypt, the land in which she herself had been born.
“God shall hear,” or “God will hear.” Let us not forget these words.
Ishmael lived hundreds and hundreds of years ago, but now you shall be told about some little children who lived only some few years since, and who had been taught by their kind Christian parents to look up to God and trust in His dear Son. Oh, it is a happy thing to know that God loves us and hears us when we cry to Him, to know in our hearts that Christ Jesus, the Lord, is our own Saviour, that His blood was shed on purpose to wash away our sins, and that He has gone to Heaven to prepare a place for us.
One day two boys and their tiny sister were out, near the seashore, when a sudden storm came on. The wind rose and the rain poured down. It was not often that these children went out alone; their kind grannie nearly always went with them. They were very frightened, and hardly knew what to do, as the rain was making them very wet, and they were almost blown down by the wind.
There was a large tunnel close by with an archway at each end. Little Bobbie, who was the eldest of the three, said “Let us go into the tunnel;” so they ran there as fast as they could. At the entrance it was very wet, but when they got further in, nearer to the middle, the ground was dry. Then Bobbie said, “Let us kneel down and ask God to take care of us.” So the two boys and their little sister knelt on the ground in the tunnel and prayed to God. They knew that God would hear, and when they had left off praying and looked towards the arch through which they had come, they were very pleased to see their dear grannie standing there! She had come to look for them and had heard Bobbie’s voice as he prayed. It is not likely that he will ever forget that tunnel, nor the quick answer that he got to his prayer. Perhaps it will make him go at once to God and pray to Him when he is in any trouble.
It is so sweet to know that the same God who heard Hagar and Ishmael never changes, but is the same who looks down into our hearts now. If you turn to the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews and look at the eighth verse, you can read these words: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,” for God the Father, and God the Son are one, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil. . . . Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart!” (Jer. 29:12 and 13.)
~~~
We very much regret that a rather serious misprint occurred in our first article on “The Story of Ishmael.” The kind contributor who sent these interesting papers is in no way responsible for the error: but by a regrettable oversight, line eight, second column, page fifteen, was rendered, “Ishmael means ‘asked of God.’” This ought to have been, “Samuel means ‘asked of God,’” the reference being to 1 Samuel 1:20, where in the marginal note the meaning of the name Samuel is given as “asked of God.” Will our young readers bear this correction in mind? We hope to have from our friend a few more words on the subject of these two papers, viz., Ishmael, for our next issue, and shall also then give, as promised, a series of questions, with the hope of encouraging Scripture search and study. We shall be pleased to give one or two prizes to those who answer the questions most correctly, and who send the most careful papers referring to the teaching of God’s Word concerning Ishmael. We will, please God, give further directions in the March number.

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text: — “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”—Acts 1:8. Read Acts 1:14.
Reading on the New Testament Lesson
1, 2. “All that Jesus began both to do and teach.” Thus Luke speaks of the things which he, by the Spirit, had written in his gospel. This book gives an account of the things which Jesus continued to do and teach by His Spirit through His disciples, and He is still doing and teaching by the same Spirit through His willing ones.
3. “Being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” At least ten or twelve times between His resurrection from the dead and His visible ascension He appeared to individuals or companies of His disciples, and it would seem that He was always speaking about the things of the kingdom of God.
4, 5. “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Although they had been with Him almost constantly for two or three years, the greatest and best teacher that ever lived—for “who teacheth like Him?” (Job 36:22)—they were not qualified to go forth as His witnesses till specially endued, as it is written in Luke 24:49, “Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”
6-8. “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” The kingdom which the God of Heaven will set up (Dan. 2:44), God being the Author of it and heaven the character of it, and therefore called in the gospels both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, will be a kingdom under the whole heaven or on the whole earth (Dan. 7:27), with Israel as a righteous nation in their own land as the center, and the whole earth filled with the glory of the Lord (Isa. 60:21: 11:9; 27:6: Rom. 11:15).
9. “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” In Luke 24:50, 51, it is written, “And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them, and it came to pass while He blessed them He was parted from them and carried up into Heaven.”
10, 11. “This same Jesus shall so come in like manner.” It is just possible that the two men in white apparel were the same two who appeared with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration, and there spake of His decease which He was about to accomplish. The steadfast, heavenward look of the disciples makes us think of Stephen, and to desire that, like him, we might be able to “look up steadfastly into heaven and see the glory of God and Jesus” (Acts 7:55).
12-14. They returned to Jerusalem from Olivet with great joy, and were continually praising and blessing God (Luke 24:52, 53). What a contrast to their feelings after His death when they, not looking for His resurrection, were filled with sorrow, and He had to rebuke them for their unbelief

"Nothing to Look Forward to!" or, The Secret of True Happiness

AN aged pair were sitting, side by side, in their humble cottage home. Both had known what it was to battle with poverty and with other difficulties of life, and now both had grown feeble with years. The husband, especially, seemed bowed down beneath his many infirmities. In answer to my inquiries for his health, he said
“Well, Miss, you see my heart is very weak and bad, my breathing is very tight, and altogether I feel ill. I hope I shall get better, but there is no knowing at my time of life.”
“Well, Francis, there is a home above for all who believe in Christ Jesus, and are, by God’s grace, prepared for it: there will be neither pain nor weakness there. I hope you are thinking about that home.”
The old wife here looked up, and remarked, “Yes, Miss, indeed we ought to be thinking about it, for there is nothing to look for’ards to in this world.”
In one corner of the room sat a young and strongly-built man, and during this brief conversation a look very like a sneer came over his face. Although he uttered not a word, yet his countenance told, plainly enough, that he inwardly ridiculed the idea of looking forward to an eternal world, and considered it a poor and vain speculation to build any hopes upon things pertaining to God and heaven. He was young and strong, perhaps he thought himself happy, and no doubt he thought there was plenty in the future for him to look forward to, without troubling himself about what should come after death.
It is often thus! It is a common thing to find the aged; even if they have no settled hope in Christ, yet ready to bear testimony to the unsatisfying character of the things of earth. They are willing enough to acknowledge that all is transitory hare below. They have, perchance, tried ambition, and found it unsatisfying: they have labored for riches and been disappointed: they have tested worldly friendship and found it hollow and unstable; they have followed pleasure in its various forms, and confess that this too is “vanity and vexation of spirit” (Eccles. 1:14). In such schools of bitter experiences many an aged soul has learned to seek for a more blessed and enduring portion, yea, even for rest, and peace, and satisfaction in Christ. It has often been the case that, when human props and human foundations have given way, the weary and broken heart has first yearned for the one Foundation that cannot be moved, for the one Heart that will never fail a poor penitent and believing sinner.
It is often when the husks of the world have failed the poor prodigal that he first thinks of the Father’s house, and seeks the Father’s pardon. And, though it is to our shame that it should be so, yet, blessed be the God of all grace! His mercy does not fail us in our extremity, His ear is ever open to our cry, His arms ever extended in blessing, His heart ever compassionate and overflowing with love and pity for those who seek Him, pleading the merits of His Son, and honestly desiring the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
But the young are slow to profit by the experiences of their elders. To them, as a rule, the future is full of visions, fair and bright and joyous. They confidently reckon that coming days will prove better and happier than the past, better and happier than the present: and, alas! how many are contented with this future of their own creation, content with youth and health and strength and spirits, and ready to resent any suggestion that these are not sufficient to ensure their happiness. And yet they speak advisedly who say they are not sufficient. Youth is, indeed, a blessing, but youth is fleeting! Health and strength are amongst God’s fairest gifts, but on how frail a tenure are they held! Who may safely calculate upon them for a single year, nay, for a month, or a week? and even if they should be continued, yet they cannot and will not give true happiness apart from a knowledge of the Saviour. The soul can never lose its hunger until fed with “living Bread.” The heart, unless hardened indeed, will never be at rest until it rests in Christ. Do you want proof? Look within you. Do you want proof? Look around you, and see who are the happiest people of your acquaintance. If we mistake not, you will find them amongst those who have their treasure in heaven, who are pressing forward, as the Apostle Paul did, to “those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13). If we mistake not, you will find them amongst those who can, with simple, childlike confidence, say to God, “Thy will be done,” with that intelligent trust which springs only from the certain knowledge that His will is best, that His will is love. It ought to be so, it surely must be so. It is true that many Christians do not, alas! live up to their privileges, but a despondent and habitually melancholy Christian is an anomaly! His despondency is in no way due to his religion, but shows that he has not, if we may so say, enough of it. FAITH IN GOD WILL NEVER ACCOUNT FOR A GLOOMY FACE. The thought of heaven will never cloud the spirit of him whose feet are tending thitherward. But look, if you will, at those whom the world calls rich, and great, and prosperous! Are they satisfied? Are they happy? You know that in many, many cases they are not. Only a few days since I had brought before me a strong confirmation of what I am feebly seeking to show you. It was the case of a gentleman and lady in the prime of life, who are about to leave their lovely country home, and seek to find amid new scenes, and in constant society, the happiness which wealth and beauty cannot afford them. “We must have society. We dare not live alone, we are so melancholy,” was their own confession. And yet, in the sight of lookers-on, they were to be envied. No business cares oppressed them, no bereavement bowed down their spirits, no infirmities of age made life burdensome. All that worldly hearts could wish, it would seem, was granted them. Worldly position, worldly honor, worldly friends, a beautiful home, all were theirs: and yet their own sad verdict was, “so melancholy.” And no one who knew them contradicted it, they saw it was but too true. One day in that luxurious but desolate mansion would be enough to convince any one of the truth. The phantom of happiness was there, but happiness itself, NEVER! What is the secret? Ah, it is a godless home! Even the form of religion is lacking, and the power thereof has never, as we fear, been felt. What a comment does this brief true history offer on our Saviour’s words, “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27). Reader, there are many persons who act as if they thought that the Preacher made a grave mistake when he urged, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Eccles. 12:1). The “evil days” of old age, or of sickness, are just the days, they think, in which it is wise, and prudent, and becoming to seek the Lord. When there is nothing else to be done, then they think it may be well to cry for mercy! When earth has nothing more to offer, then heaven may be won as a last resort! Religion is, they admit, a capital thing for those who have nothing else to look forward to, but not for them. Has such a thought ever crossed your mind?
Are you content to wait until youth has fled, till manhood’s prime is past, till death is near, before you respond to the Divine call, “Give Me thine heart”? (Prov. 23:26.) Are you? Do not, I pray you, shirk the question, but answer it to your own conscience as in the sight of God. You cannot hide from Him the use that you make of His gifts: health, strength, and manhood. What a base return if you make those very gifts the excuse for slighting the Giver! What an awful and hazardous barter do you make, if you deliberately plan to give your best years to the service of Satan, and then give the dregs of your life to your Creator I Could anything be more dreadful? Could anything be more dishonoring to God, and to the Holy Spirit? I think, if you will look at it in the light of God’s Word and in the light of the cross of Christ, you will shrink back with horror from so terrible a life-program! Did Jesus die for this? Did he suffer for this? Is the redemption He purchased at such a cost a thing not worth having? Is salvation so undesirable a state that it must be postponed as long as possible? Would the loss of the Saviour detract from your happiness? Would human love grow dim and meaningless if the higher love were admitted? Would other joys grow pale and dim beside “the joy of the Lord”? Would it cloud your face to know that your sins were forgiven? Would it make you gloomy to know assuredly that through faith in Christ you had been born again, and become a new creature? What a terrible hold sin and the world must have upon you if this be so! You would hesitate to acknowledge that such are your views and feelings, and yet, if your actions are to be the test, this is your creed. Satan may tell you that religion is a gloomy thing—but Satan is a liar. The world may deride the sacrifice of Christ, but the world knows nothing about it. Take the opinion of men and women who have tested the Gospel message, and have found it to be the joy and rejoicing of their hearts. They will tell you that they never knew happiness until they knew the Lord, that they never tasted true joy and peace until they believed God’s testimony of His Son. Take the testimony of saints of all ages who have lived and died triumphing in the liberty wherewith God makes His people free. Take, above all, the testimony of Scripture, the Word of Him who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). You believe in the Bible. Then listen to a few brief quotations from its sacred pages bearing on this point:—
“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18).
“Happy is that people whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 144:15).
“Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he” (Prov. 16: 20).
“Great peace have they which love Thy law” (Psalm 119:165).
“Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Prov. 3:17).
“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10).
“Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart” (Isa. 65:14).
“Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).
“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).
“Whom having not seen, ye love: in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).
Surely, in the face of teaching such as this, you will never say again that the religion of Christ is a gloomy thing, but will admit that it is full of sweetness and holy joy.
May God, the Holy Spirit, rather incline the heart of each reader to test it for himself, or herself, and learn how true it is that—
“‘Tis sweet to work for Jesus,
While our weak spirits rest
In His own care, safe sheltered there,
And with His presence blest.
In such calm, happy moments
No greater joy we know:
Redeemed from sin, we live for Him
To WHOM OUR ALL WE OWE.”
L. A. B.

Our Bible Portion: The Gospel of Your Salvation

“The Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.”—Eph. 1:14.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound through the power of the Holy Ghost.”—Rom. 15:13.
1. The Gospel is just good news about God and His Son Jesus Christ.
IT is not good news about myself, but simply and solely about God and Christ. It tells me of the exceeding riches of the grace of God. It tells me that there is salvation for me—salvation to the uttermost through the cross and blood of God’s beloved Son.
2. The believing of this good news brings
Peace to the soul. It is not the believing, coupled with something else in us — it is simply this believing that gladdens. That which brings joy to the sinner is what the Holy Spirit shows him in Christ. There he sees fulness—infinite fulness—fulness most suitable for a sinner—fulness free to all—fulness pressed upon him. And it is this that gladdens him.
3. It is in believing that there is joy and peace.
There is not merely joy as the fruit of believing, but joy in believing. It is not joy as the result of examining my faith and summing up my evidences; but it is joy in believing. For in these instances there was no time for evidences to manifest themselves, there was no time for self-examination at all.
4. There is no long period nor laborious process required to be undergone before peace is obtained.
In some of these cases, indeed, there was a protracted time of conviction: but it is evident that the length of time had nothing to do with the subsequent peace. It is clear from these that the Gospel is fitted and designed to bring us immediate peace, and if it does not do this the reason is because it is not believed!
5. It is of the utmost moment to press an immediate salvation upon the sinner.
He is bent upon delay, and he tries to make himself believe that forgiveness is something far off—something which he can only attain after a long struggle of fears and doubts. Hence the necessity for insisting upon the present peace which the Gospel is intended to bring, and to press upon the sinner’s conscience the urgent and imperative command of God to believe without one moment’s delay. It is this urgency which the Holy Spirit owns and blesses for the conversion of sinners and the comfort of the doubting. In nothing that God commands does He admit of one moment’s delay or hesitation in obeying it, and woe be to us if we lead any sinner to suppose that he is at liberty to wait one single moment before believing the Gospel!
6. It is the object of Satan to fill the sinner with doubt and unbelief.
It has always been his purpose to cloud the Gospel, so as to make it appear not to be the blessed gladdening thing which it was in the days of the Apostles. And hence there is a necessity for jealousy in regard to this. And it is very useful to point back to instances of its peace-giving power, and say to all gainsayers, “Such is the Gospel. See its nature: see its freeness: see its fruit: see the peace it brings.”
“NOW THE GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE IN BELIEVING, THAT WE MAY ABOUND IN HOPE, THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST”

"God Was With Him."

JOSEPH was a man who walked in fellowship with God. His brethren tried to get rid of him: Satan attempted to put him down: but they could not, although he lay so long in the Egyptian prison. The skeptical and unbelieving of that day might have said: “Look at that man: he serves the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob: he will not turn aside a hair’s-breadth from the worship of the unknown God: yet see how his God serves him! He is in prison!”
But wait God’s time. It is better to be in prison with God than in a palace without Him. It is said that he was in prison: but—and I like that expression— “God was with him.” If a man is in communion with God, He will not leave him. God never deserts His children in their hour of need: and, in due time, Joseph came off victorious, exchanged the prison for a throne, and was made ruler over all Egypt. What a power he was in Egypt when God had taken him from prison and put him in his proper place! “The Lord was with Joseph and he was a prosperous man . . . and his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand” (Gen. 39:2, 3).

Old Thomas Waring: Or, a Strange Ride to Ross

AS old Thomas Waring, a Friend, of Leominster, sat one afternoon in his shop, among his workpeople, it was strongly impressed on his mind that he must set off directly to the town of Ross. It was wintertime; the days were short, and the weather none of the best. The idea seemed so strange to him that he tried to get rid of it: but he could not free his mind of what appeared to be his duty. It was impressed upon him like a mission: and he was one of those pure, simple, and obedient spirits that, once knowing the will of God, he must implicitly obey it.
He rose from the seat where he was at work, and gave orders that his horse should be immediately saddled. It was four o’clock in the afternoon, and thirty miles to Ross. He stopped at Hereford to bait his horse, and, in order to lose no time, fed it with oatmeal mash, and resumed his journey. It was late in the night when he approached Ross, and still his business there remained unknown to him. In passing over the Wye, however, as he entered the town, he cast his eyes upward, and saw in the darkness of the night, and amid the tall dark houses, a light in an attic window, and immediately it was impressed upon him that there lay his mission, and that in going there all would be made plain. He lost not a moment, but riding directly up to the door, knocked loudly. No one came, and, while waiting, he gave his horse in charge to a boy in the street, bidding him to take it to a brother Quaker’s, one George Dow, and to say that the owner of the horse would sleep at his house that night. Anyone but a simple man full of faith, as old Thomas Waring was, would have feared lest the boy should run off with the horse: but the boy conveyed both the horse and the message faithfully.
After waiting long at the door of the house, a young woman opened it, and timidly asked, “What do you please to want?” He told her in all simplicity that he did not know, but that, if she would listen for a few moments to what he had to say, perhaps she herself might explain it. She invited him in, he related to her the way his mind had been impressed, remarking in conclusion, “And having told this, I can only repeat that I do not know for what I am come.”
The young woman was much affected, and wept bitterly. “Sir,” said she, “I can tell you for what you are come: it is to save me. I was gone into that upper room with a firm intention of taking my own life, which had become very miserable. Nothing would have hindered me had you not come. GOD HAS SENT YOU. I now see that I am not altogether forsaken or abandoned by Him.”
“Thou art not forsaken of God, indeed,” said the good man, himself deeply affected, as he went on to pour hope and consolation into her sorrowful and brokenhearted spirit. He told her of the One about whom it is written, “A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench” (Isa. 42:3). He spoke graciously of the tender compassion of Christ, until the poor woman bowed contrite, like the sinner of old, at the Saviour’s feet, and received the message of mercy and love through the lips of God’s servant.
The Holy Spirit has numberless ways of communicating God’s message of mercy to the children of men, of fulfilling the Divine purpose, and of consoling the troubled heart of the sinner whom He has convicted of sin. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Reader, it is a blessed thing to be so closely in touch with God as was old Thomas Waring the Quaker, so that we can be made the messengers of peace to troubled hearts.

Jottings About the Bible: On Reading the Holy Scriptures

SOMETIMES we read the Bible with a view to obtain comfort, and at others for instruction. One aim before us, when searching the Scriptures for instruction, should be to learn in what portions of the Bible we shall find the special and varied unfoldings of God’s mind as He has chosen to give them to us. For example, we should open the New Testament in order to search out the truths relating to eternal life: while if we desired to know God’s ways in His governmental dealings with us, as to the manner in which we spend our lives here, we should turn rather to the Old Testament.
The habit of searching out for the occurrence of some word in our English Bibles, and interpreting different verses in the same way, because the same word occurs in each, is not only a mechanical, but hardly a discerning method of Bible study.
We have observed this habit become a very great hindrance to the believer in grasping the truth. Picking out several words in short portions of verses from different parts of the Bible, and stringing them all together, is likewise not the way to interpret the Word of God, though very striking Gospel testimony is often thereby obtained. If this way of looking over the Bible be adopted as a system for interpretation, it will be fatal to our growth in the knowledge of the truth.
Another method of reading Scripture is that of searching for what we do not find in a chapter or portion. It is very useful to know that such and such a truth does not lie in such and such a part of the Bible, just as it would be useful, if in a coal mine, to know that neither lead nor gold was there. But the miner does not go into the mine to find out what is not there, but to find what is there. “We do not get this in this portion, or that in that portion,” does not build up souls in Christ: the practical question for us is, “What do we get?”
A most important consideration in searching the Scriptures is to find something, and one equally important is to carry away with us what we do find. After all, it is but meagre profit to be able to say such and such things are in that chapter! The question which should exercise our hearts is, “How much of that verse or chapter have I got into my heart?” We may see Christ set forth as Saviour, or Lord, or Son, or High Priest, but how much of Christ, as Saviour, Lord, Son, or High Priest, have we got out of the portion into our hearts? That much, so gotten, is our own blessed treasure. Nothing, unless practically made our own, makes us really rich.
Whatever we win out of a mine is gone: no one else can win it: but whatever we are the richer for by searching the Scriptures in no way impoverishes the mine of God’s Word. The more we win out of God’s Word, the richer does it appear in our eyes.
Some read the Bible to know doctrine, some to know Christ and God: if we know a little more of Christ or God by one verse, we shall surely know the doctrine also: but we may find the doctrine and yet not Him of whom the doctrine speaks! Herein is a terrible miss, both for time and eternity. This is the result of reading the Bible with our natural understanding, and not looking to God to teach us by His Spirit.
A man may study the Bible in order to show people how much he knows: but of what avail would that be to him for time or eternity? The letter of the Bible is insufficient unless the unction of the Spirit be communicated with the word. An old minister said to us, the other day, “The unction of the Spirit cannot be bought.” No, never: it is of God and from God, and its results are to God.
We would say to our Christian friends who desire to teach others, be it by the sick bed, or with a companion, or in any kind of service for Christ— tell others what God has taught you. Do not attempt to teach what you do not know in your own soul. If we are walking with God, there is always unction in telling others what God has taught us, and that which we have made our own. The simplest truth of the Bible, if declared in the power of the Spirit, will move men’s souls. Has God taught you by His Spirit that He is love? or has He taught you that “the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin”? or that Christ is coming? Very well, these blessed truths will be for you like the pebbles in David’s satchel were for him when he arose against the giant. But if you try to use truths you have not experienced, they will be like Saul’s armor, too heavy, for you “have not proved” them.

"Only a Little While."

ONLY a little while, then the reunion—
Labors, temptations and trials shall cease;
Only a little while, then happy greetings:
Only a little while, then glad release:
Only a little while, and we shall see Him,
Our best Beloved, our Saviour, our Friend:
And all our dear ones now with him in glory—
Then shall be rapture that knoweth no end.

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 3

GOD spoke very loudly to Luther during his serious illness. The words of the old priest proved true, that the sickness was not unto death. He was soon raised up again, but on his recovery Luther was no longer quite the same man. The Bible, his illness, and the words of the old priest seemed to present to him a new call.
In 1505 Luther was made Doctor of Philosophy, and the event was celebrated by a great festival. But though rejoicing in his successes in learning, he was far from being really happy. His heart never ceased to urge upon him that godliness is the one thing needful, and that before all other things he ought to be assured of his salvation. He knew that God had testified His anger against sin: he recollected the punishments which the Word denounces against the sinner: and he asked himself with alarm whether he was sure of possessing the Divine favor. His conscience told him, No! He resolved to do his utmost to assure himself a firm hope of immortality. While in this state of anxiety two events successively contributed to shake his soul and precipitate his purpose.
The first was the sudden death (some accounts say the assassination) of his dear friend Alexis. Luther was greatly agitated. He was terror-stricken. “What would become of me,” he asked himself, “if I received such a call?” The second was the storm that overtook him, when near Erfurt, and returning from a visit to his parents. The thunder rolled and the lightning fell around him. He threw himself on his knees; he thought that his last hour was come. Death, judgment, and eternity stood in dread array around him. Overwhelmed with anguish and the fear of death, he vowed that if the Lord would deliver him he would abandon the world and devote himself entirely to God. And when we see how wonderfully God took care of Luther, we should be thankful, because of the great good that came to the Church and to the world through his spared life. The storm passed over, but not his agitation and deep soul exercises. Self-examination made his case seem even blacker. How could he who was so unholy meet and stand face to face with a holy God? He thirsted after holiness, as he had thirsted after knowledge. Knowledge he had obtained at the University; but where could he obtain holiness? He must go to a cloister, and find salvation in a monkish life.
With that purpose unshaken, he invited his University friends to an evening repast, and there and then made known his purpose, to their utter consternation and profound regret. That same night, carrying with him only two books, he knocked at the door of the monastery of the hermits of St. Augustine, and craved admission. The door opened and shut him in, separated from parents, genial companions, and the world. This took place on 17th August, 1505, when he was twenty-one years and nine months old.

How to Plough Straight

THE ploughman, with hand upon the plough, cannot look behind: he must keep on with eye steadily fixed on the object before him, for thus he makes straight the furrows. So the Christian must not look back if his testimony is to be worthy of the kingdom of God, but keeping his eye fixed upon Christ, steadily go forward. A ploughman with his eye wandering about could not plough straight, neither can a Christian be fit for the kingdom with a wandering purpose.

True Stories of God's Servants: Uncle John Vassar at Work for God

WE have given many incidents in our Magazine concerning “Uncle John.” He was the “Billy Bray” of America, and his life and testimony are fragrant with bright and holy memories. In the prayer circle he became a power. In the schoolhouses out of town, where meetings were often held, his help was sought. One such visit of his comes up as we write. It probably occurred a year or two after his conversion. It was a cold winter night, and the little old schoolhouse on the hill was packed. The Spirit of God was working in the district, and many were inquiring or rejoicing in the truth. Others were ill at ease. Uncle John was at home in such a place: especially at home on that particular spot and amid the group gathered there. On these very benches he sat in boyhood, and some of these fathers and mothers were then by his side. The exercises of the hour have faded from our mind, but one association of the night remains. When the people had started homeward along the roads or across the fields, out came ringing one of the melodies of those days. Uncle John was leading in the hymn, and half-a-dozen others were joining in, and though they were probably half a mile away, every ward reported itself on the keen frosty air. Some who stopped to listen thought the strains almost sweet enough to be the echoes of celestial songs. Let the worldling sneer or the sceptic smile at the mention of such scenes and seasons, but we will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.
But there were to enter into the drill of the soldier experiences of a sterner kind, If there is a land of Beulah for the Christian to pass through, there is a valley of Baca too. Uncle John is to see a happy home break up, its lights one by one go out, its members pass away, till he is left utterly alone. He is to say like many another
“And lonely rooms and suffering beds,
These for my training-place were given.”
Two boys, with the wife, made up his household. The younger sickened first. He died in September. The elder, a lad of nine years, an uncommonly bright and interesting child, was taken the following autumn, after an illness of but a few hours. He breathed his last in parental arms, whispering the clear Lord’s words, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me.”
Under these repeated strokes the wife and mother, never strong, gave way. A year of weary wasting and patient suffering followed, and then she found the rest remaining to the people of God. That cheerless autumn night was the only time when we ever saw Uncle John even momentarily cast down. Then for half an hour he did lie down and weep like a heartbroken child. Nor was it strange. Long watching had nearly worn him out. Only four weeks previously he had closed his venerable father’s eyes for the last long sleep. The loves of earth had been breaking fast. But faith quickly rose again and rejoiced in God. The eagle flies highest not in serene but stormy skies, and the believer beats heavenward when the hours are dark and the tempest wild. The heart of the lonely man recovered soon the old peace and trust, and exulted in the Rock of his salvation. Like the needle of the mariner, deflected for an instant when a storm first strikes the ship, but swinging right and holding steady soon, the smitten soul turned to its Stay and Rest. For those who had gone it was worship. For the one left it was work yet for a little while. With soul new-braced let him go to it—new-braced by sorrow as well as joy: disciplined by loss no less than gain. He was to be a son of consolation to many a mourner in coming days. He was to minister to smitten spirits with a woman’s tenderness. He was to look into eyes dim with tears, and say, “I have been in this very pass, and know its bitterness and blessedness.”

How Would You Meet Him?

UNSAVED sinner, flee without delay to the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved. He is able and willing to save you. He says, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). By all that is dear, precious, and true, I beseech you to hasten to Christ at once. There is not a moment to spare: already the mandate may have gone forth from the lips of the Eternal, “This night thy soul shall be required of thee.” How would you meet Him? To which side of the gulf would He consign you?
Think, as you are impelled on with lightning speed, think, beloved friend, think—WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? Where, soul immortal, will you spend the undying, never-ending ages of Eternity? Will it be on the heaven side or on the judgment side, of that fixed, immovable, impassable, unfathomable gulf?

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 3

IT is well, in considering the might and power of Rome in the zenith of her imperial authority in the world, to go back in our minds to the beginnings of her history, and to remember that all her greatness and worldwide domination were achieved, at the most, in a space of 750 years.
There is a singular parallel in the record of our own land: we should have to go back to the days of Edward I., and know what England was then, and compare it in regard to conquest and progress with the days in which we live, to get anything like an idea of what was the advance of the power of Rome and the manner in which she had imposed her iron will upon other nations, during the centuries previous to the coming into the world of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And whatever we may think about the method adopted by Rome to accomplish her military purposes, and however cruel and intolerant she may have been in conflict with her foes, yet we cannot read the remarkable story without an assured conviction that century after century God made even the wrath of men to praise Him, and eventually so marvelously focused events, as to make the period of the advent of Christ a crisis in the world’s history such as had never been known before. We are anticipating much we may have to say about the preceding ages, but it is to us a marvel to know that for hundreds and hundreds of years Rome had never been at peace, the battle flag had never been furled. The mighty legions had marched victoriously throughout the then known world, and the appearance of her fearful eagles in the vanguard of her conquering armies had sent terror for generations into the hearts of myriads of the inhabitants of far distant provinces: but after seven centuries of such conflict Augustus, as if in preparation for the coming of the Lord, entered the city and kept high festival to announce that their enemies had been subdued, and that Rome was at peace with all the world.
Writers of the period tell of his triumphal reception during the month of August, 29 B.C., and how on the 11Th of January of that year he had closed the Temple of Janus, the god of war, as an indication of the profound peace throughout the Roman Empire. Think of this time, and contrast it with the events of well-nigh 750 years before, when it is said Romulus yoked a bullock and a heifer to a plough and made a furrow round the Palatine Hill, and thereby indicated that this should be the limits of the city. Visitors to Rome now can form some idea of what that meant, and are better able to estimate the change that had transpired when, amidst its mighty palaces, temples, and monuments, Augustus and his invincible forces re-entered Rome in 29 B.C.

Thy Way, or My Way.

“Blessed is every one that walketh in His way.”—Psalm 118:1.
“And He maketh my way perfect.”—2 Sam. 22:33.
HAVE it Thy way, dear Lord;
For long I sought but mine,
Yet craved Thy help and blessing in a walk
That neither from Thee came nor led to Thee.
But years have rolled around,
And softening, chastening time has crushed
The impetuous self that ever sought its own:
And now the deepest longing of my heart
Says, “BUT THY WAY,—have it THY WAY,
DEAR LORD.”
Have it Thy way, dear Lord,
Be Thou the Author and the Finisher
Of all my works, and walks, and ways,
The inspiration of my every thought.
And let it ever be, not I,
But Christ within, without—
No hope, nor aim, but Thou its single source,
Its origin and end. Thou canst but bless
Thine own: and so I pray, “HAVE IT THY WAY,
DEAR LORD.”

Christ the Bread of Life

AS the natural life cannot properly thrive, except a sufficient amount of suitable food be taken, so with the spiritual. Christ Himself is the “Bread of Life,” so we must first have life from Him, but having life it needs to be nourished, and for this purpose He has given us His word, that we may grow up in all things unto Himself.

My Palestine Recollections. 3. Going Towards Jerusalem

THOSE who travel in Palestine even now, are constantly struck by the similarity of the scenes witnessed, to those described in the New Testament. By the wayside the sick and distressed are constantly seen, and so, after a few words of sympathy and regret at our inability to administer remedies for the sick pilgrim, to whom we referred in our last paper, we left the distressed company and resumed our journey. How often it is thus with us in our intercourse with fellow-pilgrims in their soul troubles! If our own consciences were more “exercised by reason of use,” and our souls led by the Spirit through the Word into a deeper communion with the Great Physician, we should no doubt be often more quick to detect the needs of others, and privileged to become the messengers of a word of healing, exhortation, or comfort according to His discernment of their needs. In the case referred to it may be that if we had taken the trouble to search the saddle-bags we might have found something there that would have helped in a little measure in the alleviation of the sufferings of the sick pilgrim. I here recall that a few miles before we overtook this party my companion had pointed out to me a sycamore-tree with its wide-spreading branches reaching a good way over the road, so strikingly calculated to remind me of the narrative of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. If we turn back to verse 31 of the preceding chapter, we read how the Lord “took unto Him the twelve and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished, for he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again.” Then follows the narrative of blind Bartimaeus, in response to whose cry we read that “Jesus stood and commanded him to be brought unto Him,” and Jesus healed him, and he “followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people when they saw it gave praise unto God”: and then succeeds the narrative of Zacchaeus, and how the Lord Jesus, when He came to the place beneath the boughs of the sycamore-tree, looked up and said to him, “Make haste and come down, for to-day I must abide at thy house.” Blessed Jesus! Thou when “going up to Jerusalem,” well knowing all the things that should be done unto Thee there, didst stay Thy footsteps to call to Thee the blind beggar of Jericho, that Thou mightest heal him, and bring glory to God: and again, didst stop beneath the sycamore-tree to call Zacchaeus down from thence, and make known to him the salvation Thou hadst brought to his house, ere Thou wentest on Thy way to where, at the place which is called Calvary, they crucified Thee, and Thy precious blood was shed which made these eternal blessings all sure for Bartimaeus, Zacchaeus, and every soul that obeys Thy loving call to come and receive salvation from Thy pierced hand. Oh, teach us by these Thy marvelous acts of grace to be more ready to tell others what a Saviour Thou art.
“Go with the Name of Jesus to the dying,
And speak that Name in all its living power:
Why should the fainting heart grow chill and weary?
Canst Thou not watch with Me one little hour?
“One little hour! and then the glorious crowning,
The golden harp-strings and the victor’s palm:
One little hour! and then the Hallelujah!
Eternity’s long, deep, thanksgiving psalm.”
T. J.

"Blessed Are the Peacemakers"

ONE morning a little girl and her mother were looking out of the window into the farmyard. There stood many cows, oxen, and horses waiting to drink. It was a cold morning. The cattle were all still and meek, till one of the cows in turning round accidentally hit its next neighbor, whereupon the neighbor kicked and hurt another. In five minutes all the cattle were furiously kicking each other. The mother said, “See what comes of kicking when you are hit.” Afterwards if the little girl or her brother were irritable mother would say, “Take care, my children: remember how the fight in the farmyard began. Never give back a kick for a hit, and remember the proverb, ‘It takes two to make a quarrel.’”
It is well, especially for young Christian people, to remember these lovely words, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Indeed, older folks might often recall with advantage this beautiful saying of the Prince of Peace, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He never sought to justify Himself when accused. It is written, “He answered nothing;” (Matt. 27:12).
How strange and sad that people, even God’s children, sometimes become angry with each other and quarrel without any good reason! They might remember the simple lines:
“There’s a knowing little proverb,
From the sunny land of Spain,
But in Northland, as in Southland,
Is its meaning clear and plain.
Lock it up within your hearts:
Neither lose nor lend it—
‘Two it takes to make a quarrel:
One can always end it,’”

Jonathan Spoke Good of David Behind His Back

“JONATHAN,” it is said, “spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee very good” (1 Sam. 9:4). Jonathan was a genuine man. “He delighted much in David,” it is said (19:2); and he delighted in thinking well of David. “Love,” it is written, “thinketh no evil.” Sometimes people think evil, but have more sense than to utter it, in case the utterance of it may come back in evil upon themselves: but love does not even think evil of a brother—love “covereth a multitude of sins.”
My brother! is this your way? If a good construction can be put upon another’s act, do you prefer to construe it favorably? If any one’s work is commended, does it give you as much joy to hear him commended as if you had been yourself the doer of it? Jonathan had everything to gain by fanning the flame of Saul’s envy; but no, he would not listen to his evil surmisings.
How little you must have of the love of Christ in your heart my friend, if you do not love a brother in spite of what is naturally angular and ungainly! And are you content to see good done by another? or, have you some unhappy “but” to throw in, as a drawback to his worth?

Our Missionary Column: Our Soldiers in India

WHEN we consider Britain’s vast Empire of India, it is well to remember how it was won, how it was re-conquered after the Sepoy mutiny in 1857, and has since then been held by the troops of Great Britain. The peace which has reigned there for many years depends, humanly speaking, on the powerful standing army which is kept up in that country.
The troops are stationed in numerous garrisons, which are to be found all over the land. The soldiers quartered in these have therefore a strong claim on our sympathy, and form a considerable portion of our many-sided responsibilities.
Considering a little more closely the soldiers’ life in India, we may readily comprehend many of the difficulties and hardships peculiar to their lot. Far from home and friends, many of them removed from home influences early in life, exposed to many temptations, and often led astray by bad companions: the climate is oppressive, and barrack life very monotonous and cheerless.
On every hand the soldier is surrounded by places purposely designed to attract and entrap him, and prey upon his slender means. Many youths who resolved to live well have given way to adverse influence, and have been drawn down into habitual sin, and consequent remorse and misery.
Such considerations of special and urgent need on the one hand, and on the other the yet more powerful incentive of the constraining love of Christ, together with His over-mastering command to carry His Gospel to every creature, have impelled many of His dear servants to yield themselves wholly to Him, for His work in caring for the souls of these soldier lads.
Several homes have been established in India for Gospel missions to soldiers, at some of the principal garrisons: but these are few compared with the numbers of stations where no such home exists at present.
The writer has a special interest in one of these Soldiers’ Mission Homes, having had intimate personal acquaintance with the Lord’s servants, Mr. and Mrs. Dannefoerd, who have established it at Poona, about four hours’ distant by rail from Bombay.
Our friends went to India about four years ago from New Zealand, having it laid on their hearts to devote themselves to Gospel work among the soldiers.
About 4,000 troops are regularly stationed at Poona, which is an important military center. There are three large barracks, four hospitals, and a military prison.
At all these Mr. Dannefoerd diligently visits, and is able to deal personally with many of the men.
Subsequently he felt it was necessary, in order more effectively to reach the soldiers, to provide a home for their use: and after laying the matter earnestly before the Lord, and feeling assured of His guidance, Mr. Dannefoerd took a bungalow suitable for the purpose, and conveniently situated, and adapted it thoroughly for the ends in view.
There is a spacious, cheerful sitting-room, comfortably furnished with tables and seats, wide airy verandahs, shaded with foliage: and to this pleasant, homelike place the soldiers from the barracks are freely welcomed, and made thoroughly at home. Refreshments are provided at a very moderate price, so that there may be no occasion to resort to any other place.
For the same reason, the rooms are kept open until the men are due to return to the barracks by midnight.
Gospel addresses are given every evening, and twice a week Bible classes are held for those who like to attend.
Mr. Dannefoerd’s happy and cheerful disposition wins the confidence of the men: his experience of soldiers’ habits and peculiarities gives him a great influence over them: and the simple, earnest, personal pleading of the Gospel has been greatly blessed.
While deeply feeling the responsibilities of undertaking this work, Mr. Dannefoerd had very strong assurance the Lord had called him to supply this great need, and he had the fullest confidence in God that He would sustain the work, and provide the means.
These have been sent month after month, and all that was needed for rent and expenses have been sent in unsolicited, simply in answer to prayer. The Lord has very graciously led His people, as stewards of His goods, to contribute to the work, and not only from India, but from New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain.
While God’s servants may help in sending supplies, only God Himself can quicken dead souls, and this is the chief end in view. It is, therefore, with great joy and encouragement we have been permitted to see what God hath wrought, month after month, in establishing souls in Christ. Many godless, careless men have been converted to God: backsliders restored: believers helped on to a closer walk with God.
Many among these have become earnest and ardent winners of souls to Christ.
Every now and then regiments are ordered away, and others take their places: and so the work begins again with a fresh set of men.
A newly-arrived regiment of about a thousand men is immediately visited and searched for the Christians among them; efforts are made to get them to come to the home, and help to get in their comrades.
Not long ago, in a whole regiment, not one Christian could be found, but now, praise God, there are several who have been converted at the Mission Home.
By means of the home, Christians of different regiments get to know each other, and so can help each other, and remember one another in prayer.
And so the work goes on, begun, and continuing in prayer, and fruitful in praise to God, in hearts and lives.
This is but another little piece of the one great work of Christ, over which our blessed Master presides from His seat at the right hand of the Throne of God. How small a portion of His great vineyard can any one of us know, but it is a blessing from Him when we get acquainted with any of His works, and are permitted to co-operate with Him in any of His services of love; whether in prayer like Epaphras (Col. 4:12), or by contributing supplies like the fruit-bearing Philippians (Phil. 4:15-17); or being in readiness for more direct service when called. The writer knows these workers and their work so well, that he heartily commends it as being undertaken, and carried on, for the glory of God and blessing of souls.
I shall be happy to give further information, of forward communications.
JOHN HENRY LOWE,

"Lord, I Can Give Thee Nothing."

“If Thou be righteous what givest thou Him.” —Job 35:7
“Ye are bought with a price.”—1 Cor. 7:23.
“As thou valuest, who art priest, so shall it be.”— Lev. 27:12.
LORD, I can give Thee nothing. Thou hast bought
My spirit, soul, and body with Thy blood.
I can but yield me to my Lord and God,
To let myself be fed, and clothed, and taught
The happy secrets of Thy perfect love.
And yet, though not my own, Thy tenderness
Doth “fill my hand” that I may daily prove
My life the echo of Thy faithfulness.
I cannot give Thee even love and thanks
Till Thy own love, self-sown within my soul,
Pierces the arid soil with blossomed tanks
Of fragrance for Thy gathering. Thine alone
Myself, and all I have. Lord, take Thine own
And use it as Thou wilt, blest in Thy full control.
E. STACY-WATSON.

Our Bible Class

DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,— It has indeed been a cheer to find that though working under difficulties and discouragements, so many have kept steadily on with their happy work. Nearly all the papers received during January were good ones, many giving proof of very thorough painstaking Bible study, and very lovingly and warmly we welcome several newcomers, girls and boys who have not written before, but would like to join our Class.
We all miss Aunt Alice, do we not? We can’t have another Aunt Alice, can we? Even if we could, the new auntie would not be quite the same as the old one. Not the long-tried and dearly-loved friend we all seemed to know and trust.
But a Bible Class without a leader would hardly be a Bible Class at all, would it? Will you, dear ones, gather month by month round Cousin Edith? Send her your papers as regularly as you have been used to do to Aunt Alice, and with the blessing of the Lord, which she hopes every member of our Bible Class will seek for her, and for themselves, she will try to point out some ways in which happy and helpful half hours of Bible study may be spent together.
Our Editor has kindly promised again to offer prizes for diligent study and really good work. Six book prizes, two in each division, will, we hope, be awarded half-yearly: but next month we may perhaps be able to say a little more on this subject. Nora Styles, near Ashbourn. Accept thanks, dear Nora, for your loving little note. Your paper is very neatly done. You do not give your age, but as handwriting leads us to think you are one of our seniors, we shall have the pleasure of entering your name in Division I.
Genesis 24
What a lovely chapter we have before us this month. We never grow tired of reading or hearing the Gospel preached from the oft-told story of Rebecca, do we? She does not seem to have been a great talker. It only needed three words, “I WILL Go,” to tell the story of her decision to say good-bye to friends and home, and follow the “Eldest Servant” who had come so far to claim her as the bride for whom Isaac waited. But if she did not say a great deal, Rebecca acted. “She arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man” (verse 61). She had not seen Isaac, but her heart had been won for him, and she was not only willing but glad to cross rivers, and journey over desert sands to reach him.
But a far deeper interest surrounds our chapter if we read between the lines, and learn how God the Holy Ghost is gathering out of this poor dark world a Bride for Christ. This Bride is to be composed of all true Christians. One by one they came to Jesus and were saved, but when we think or speak of the Church as the Bride of Christ, it is of a company who, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, are being led often by rough and thorny ways, till they reach the Father’s House, and receive a glad welcome from their Lord and Saviour.

Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 3

(Gen. 24.)
NOW Abraham had not forgotten that God had said, “I know him that he will command his children after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord,” and He therefore instructs Eliezer to fetch a wife for Isaac from his own kindred. It would be hardly possible for anyone who began to read this beautiful chapter to put it down unfinished, for, to speak of nothing else, the manner in which God prospers the way of Abraham’s servant and answers his prayer, is remarkable. But, without entering into details, there is something far beyond the surface here. It happened as “a type for us.” The Father has sent down the Holy Ghost into this world to call and lead through it a bride for His Son, as Abraham sent Eliezer to find and bring through the desert a wife for Isaac. Of the Holy Ghost it is said, “He shall testify of Me,” and Eliezer delights to speak of the riches and glory belonging to Abraham and Isaac, adding, “to him (Isaac) hath he given all that he hath.” God has committed everything to Christ, “the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.” The only begotten Son of the Father, who went through death for us, who rose from the grave, and who is now in Heaven, will not be there alone. He died that He might “bring forth much fruit” and have “many sons” in glory with Him: so the Holy Ghost is convincing people of sin, and gathering out sinners to form the Church of God down here, that shall in glory be “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” When Bethuel and Laban said to Rebekah, “Wilt thou go with this man?” how ready is her reply, “I will go.” Do any of my readers thus make choice of Christ? You have not seen Him, neither had Rebekah seen Isaac, but you may say by faith, “whom having not seen you love,” for you have heard of His love and glory, and how He died to win your hearts, and “these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, ye might have life through His name.” The word of God is the testimony to you, for “the Holy Scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith, that is in Christ Jesus.” “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
By-and-by, when we are in the place prepared for us in the Father’s house, we shall look back and see how the Holy Ghost has ministered to us all through the wilderness from the very moment when our hearts have said, “I will go,” and we shall wonder at the love and mercy that chose us and bore with us. It is “God who is rich in mercy.”
In this remarkable history concerning Abraham, the friend of God, we have the pattern of one who walked before God as a stranger and a pilgrim, in a land where God was unknown; may those of us who know the Lord learn to do the same, remembering too that we have a further example in Christ, that we may follow His steps.

The Story of Ishmael; or, God Will Hear. - 3

A FEW words to the boys and girls who have read the “Story of Ishmael” in the January and February numbers of “THE SPRINGING WELL.” We hope that even quite young children have read it, and have found pleasure in doing so. It is written in plain and easy words, and therefore easy to understand. Long words are left out, and short words used.
It is so sweet to know that when we read about the Bible we are reading about God’s own book and that if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God’s own Blessed Son, we can call God “Our Father,” and know that “God will hear” us when we look up to Him. Most likely there will soon be something for you to read about Gideon in “THE SPRINGING WELL.” Have you ever read about him? The story of Ishmael is to be found in the Bible. The story of Gideon is to be found there, too. Do you know where to find it?
Our Editor kindly offers to give three prizes for the three best answers to the following questions. Please mention your age at the bottom of your paper, and address it to “Ishmael” care of the Publisher of “THE SPRINGING WELL.”

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text.— “And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducus, came upon them,”
“Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
“And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.”—Acts 4:1-3.
Read Acts, 4:1-22.
Reading on the Lesson. The First Persecution.
1, 2. “They preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” It was this that they taught the people as they preached unto them repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ.
3, 4· For their faithfulness to Christ and His doctrine Peter and John find themselves in prison; but, while they were for a time bound, they could rejoice that the word of God was not bound, and we rejoice to read that many who heard believed, and the number of men was about 5,000. What a grand gathering from Israel to the glory of Israel’s Messiah, for the gospel was not yet preached to the Gentiles (chapter 11:19).
5-7. “By what power or by what name have ye done this?” They asked Christ a similar question at one time (Matt. 21:23), but not for any good reason. Like some people today, they could not tolerate anything that did not proceed from themselves. But we must remember that all that is not of God shall come to naught (Isa. 8:9-10).
8-10. “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified.” It thrills one to hear Peter declare to these rulers of the people that this work was wrought by Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, but whom God had raised from the dead. He knew that these men could kill him as they had killed Jesus, but he had no fear, for he was filled with the Spirit. In the latter part of this story (verses 29-31) they do not ask to be delivered from further persecution, but only that they may have boldness to speak His word and power to honor His name.
11, 12. “This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders.” Read here Gen. 49:24; Isa. 8:14; 28:16; Ps. 118:22; Zech. 3:9; 4:7; 1 Pet. 2:4-8, and see what a fruitful simile you have in this stone which so wondrously speaks of Christ.
13, 14. “They took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.” Like their Master, they had not been taught in the schools. They had not the wisdom of man, but they had wisdom and power which man could not give them. The power of Christ manifest in us is the strongest kind of preaching, and when they saw it not only in the apostles, but in this poor, helpless beggar, they could say nothing against, though in their hearts they hated it, for they were but carnal, and the carnal mind is enmity against God.
15-17. “What shall we do to these men?” Having sent the apostles aside, they confer among themselves as a council on this to them important matter, and they determine that any more of such work as the healing of this impotent man in the name of Jesus must not be tolerated. Why do they imagine a vain thing and take counsel against the Lord? He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision (Ps. 2:1-4). Their counsel is vain.
18-20. “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” This is their reply to the command not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus, and this command was from the foremost religious people of the day, with the High Priest at their head, whose lips should keep knowledge and who ought to have been the messenger of the Lord of Hosts (Mal. 2:7).
21, 22. “And being let go they went to their own company.” With some further threatening they were let go without punishment, because the people were all glorifying God for that which was done. So they went to their own company of believers, and told all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them, and with one accord they lifted up their voices to God, the Creator of all things, and told Him all and left it with Him, asking only for boldness to speak His word and that through them He would honor His name. The Lord’s answer was to shake the place and fill them again with His Spirit and cause them to speak boldly, as they had desired (verses 23-31). Believing that they were on earth for God, they feared not the face of man.

"After Many Days": or, Saved in Patagonia

THE other day a well-known Christian worker in Glasgow was making a business call in that city. In the course of conversation he had occasion to mention his name. Scarcely was it uttered when a strapping, well-dressed fellow burst out of an adjoining room, and, rushing up, gripped him warmly by both hands. “Are you the man who used to have Gospel meetings in Glasgow long ago?” “Yes, I am the very same man,” he said. “Well, I was one of your Bible class more than 30 years ago, and I can’t tell how glad I am to shake your hand again,” and then he related his thrilling story. For some years he had been a regular attendant at the Bible class, and was much impressed by the earnest words he heard. Circumstances made it necessary for him to leave Glasgow, and he ultimately became a sailor.
Cut off, as he was all too soon, from the good influences with which he I had been surrounded in his native city, he gradually drifted into sin, and for years lived a wild, reckless, godless life. He wandered all over the world, apparently with the one aim of getting as much pleasure as he could. Sometimes, after his wild excesses, memories of bygone days and better things would stir him, but they had no sooner asserted themselves than he tried to stifle them. After many years of wandering in almost every part of the globe, his vessel was rounding Cape Horn.
Again and again they were beaten back by adverse winds and stormy weather: then in the attempt to round the Horn once more the vessel ran into a frightful hurricane.
Sails were blown to ribbons: decks were swept by the cruel seas, and one by one the masts went over the side, the tangled rigging causing indescribable confusion.
They managed to cut away the wreckage, and tried to save the ship, but all in vain—she was dashed to pieces on a small island off that cruel coast.
“She struck where the white and fleecy waves”;
Looked soft as carded wool:
But the cruel rocks they gored her side
Like the horns of an angry bull
By a miracle he reached the shore alive, being cast up high on the beach by a huge wave. He dragged himself into a place of safety, and sank exhausted. He did not think there was the least chance of his ever seeing his friends again. He gave himself up for lost, and sitting down with his head on his hands, all his past life came before him like a panorama—all the ups and downs, all the hopes and fears, all the sin and wickedness. It made a dark, a terribly dark picture, but there was just one bright spot that stood out sharp and clear on the black background, and that was a story that had been told him, as a lad, in the Bible class years and years ago. And that story was of Jesus and His power to save.
It is a far cry from the wild bleak coast of Patagonia to Glasgow, about ten thousand miles, but he peered wistfully over the heaving waste of foam, and tried to picture the old scenes which seemed to speak of hope yet.
“I sigh for Scotia’s shore,
And I gaze across the sea:
But I canna get a blink
O’ my ain countrie.”
Old memories were stirred, and long-forgotten scenes came back with startling vividness.
Yes, he remembered it all now, all about the simple story of salvation by faith.
Ah! how he had neglected the blessed Saviour all these weary years! If he had only just stuck to the old paths, how different his life would have been—how different! But that was all past now: the golden opportunities had flitted away, and were lost forever “like the snowflakes on the river,” and here he was at last at the end of the tether, without God and without hope.
But then, like a flash, he remembered that he had been told that Jesus Christ could save “even to the uttermost”: no matter how vile, no matter how much he had wandered in the far country, the Good Shepherd would seek the lost one until he found him and brought him back to the fold: and kneeling on the beach surrounded by the barren rocks, and amidst the roar of the tempest, he asked God to blot out the dark past and forgive him for the sake of the Good Shepherd who had sought and found him. And praise God He did it, and the poor castaway rose from his knees “a new man in Christ Jesus.” And far away above the stormy sea and the lowering clouds, far away beyond the sky and the stars, up in the Glory Land, the Angel choir burst into a glad sweet song of exultation, and the burden of their refrain told that another poor wanderer had passed from death unto life. The sowing and the reaping had been separated far by time and place, but the golden grain had been garnered and won for Jesus Christ!
With the newly found joy that filled the heart of the poor shipwrecked sailor came an intense longing that his life should be spared so that he might, in some little way at least, serve the Saviour who had been so long-suffering through all his years of waywardness,
And by a wonderful providence he was rescued from his perilous position. When all chance of deliverance seemed to have gone, and he strained his eyes in the wild hope of rescue, a tiny speck appeared on the horizon. Larger and larger it grew until it resolved itself into a ship. By signals the vessel was brought to the lonely rock, and the poor castaway taken off and conveyed to North America. There he lived a consistent Christian life for many years, and ultimately returned to his native city, in which he now occupies a good position.
Yes, it is true: He does save to the uttermost. Perhaps, like the poor shipwrecked sailor, you have been wandering on the bleak mountains of sin, but the Good Shepherd has never forgotten you, and He longs, oh, so earnestly, to have you back in the fold again!
Perhaps you thought He had forgotten all about you, and that He had given you up long ago as a bad job: but there has never been a moment during all these weary years of waywardness the blessed Saviour has not thought of you, and He has been looking so long and patiently, and His feet are all bleeding with the stony paths along which He has followed you on your wanderings. Won’t you let Him take you back to the fold? Just tell Him of the burden of sin that presses on your heart and in simple, trusting faith ask Him to wash all the guilt away, and, like the poor castaway on the shores of Patagonia, your heart will be filled to overflowing with His pardon and peace.
“Think, O my soul, how patiently He sought thee,
Far, far away upon the mountains steep:
Then in His arms how tenderly He brought thee
Home to His old a weary, wandering sheep.

“Tell how alone the path of death He trod,
Tell how He lives thine advocate with God;
Lift up thy voice while heaven’s triumphant throng
Swell at His feet the everlasting song.”
J. H. A.

"In No Wise Cast Out."

IT is wonderful how simple are the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ concerning salvation, peace, and eternal blessing. If the children of men would only heed His gracious invitations just as they fell from His blessed lips, and come to Him, what rest would they know! What joy would flow into their hearts, and how they would know the peace of His own presence just possessing their souls!
We have thought very much recently of His own words, recorded in the Scriptures of truth, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST:” and of His further assurance that “him that cometh” He “will IN NO WISE CAST OUT.” Now, we are certain that if in all the villages of our land the simple sons of toil would only listen to the Saviour’s voice and trust in Him, they would indeed find rest, and many a weary life would be lightened with the knowledge of His surpassing care.

Our Bible Portion: The Story of the Passover

“It is the Lord’s Passover, for I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt.”—Ex. 12:11 and 12.
“It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt.”— Ex. 12:27
1. Redemption by blood is directly taught in God’s Word for the first time in the story of the Passover.
GOD would have the bondsmen of Egypt His freedmen. Rest had been promised them, the tidings of the pleasant land had been brought them, but not one step towards liberty could the bondsmen take until they were redeemed by the blood of the paschal lamb.
2. Love wafted the gentle tidings of the good land to the fainting slaves, but the stern fact remained unmoved— they were in the land of judgment.
Justice had drawn its sword, it exacted its claims against them, from justice they could not escape. Men may grow weary with the work and vanity of the world, but deeper and more serious sorrow than the ills of daily life lies upon this world— God has declared that He will judge it and its gods, and lay its greatness, its glory, and its wisdom low.
But the judgment which fell upon Egypt was forestalled for Israel: the blood outside the house doors forbade the Destroyer entering within. The crimson stain upon lintel and doorposts uttered its voice, and the angel passed over.
3. There was no escape save by blood. Mercy retired from the land, chased away by the Destroyer. Wherever the blood was not, there fell the sword.
What house had not been judged lay under the wrath. Honor, titles, personal worth were then no shield: the sword clave through them all and smote the firstborn dead. “From the first-born of Pharaoh who sat upon his throne, unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon,” all perished. The very customs of the country augmented the horrors of that night, for at death’s entry the living fled from their houses—the women with breasts bared and hair loose, the men wildly crying—all hurrying hither and thither, till every street and village in the land echoed with their terror. “There was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”
When the Lord, “as a thief in the night,” comes to this world in judgment, when the lightning-like flash of His coming shall spread from east to west—from Palestine to Christendom—and when “every eye shall see Him, and they also that pierced Him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him,” the terror shall be more terrible, the despair more deep, than that of Egypt.
4. When the great day of His wrath has come, who shall be able to stand?
Who? The great, the mighty, the noble of the earth? Who? The well-disposed, the upright, the moral? They, and they only, who are redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Reader, the great Exodus is near: God has said, “Not a hoof shalt be left behind.” “We will go out with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters,”— “for we must hold a feast unto the Lord.” The world will presently be emptied of God’s people, nor babe nor gray-haired man, who is sheltered by the blood, shall remain behind.
5. The word of command, the shout of the Captain will soon be heard. “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.”
We shall assemble on high, “for we must hold a feast unto the Lord,” a never-ending feast in the Father’s house above. Will you go out of the world to the glory there? Will you be caught up there to meet the Lord in the air, or will you be left here to be punished with everlasting destruction because you obeyed not the gospel, because, when He bade you “take you the Lamb,” you refused, because you sided with the despisers who shall perish?
6. Christ is God’s gift: who will have Christ?
Behold the freeness of God’s love to sinners. The grace of His kindness, which sends to you such an invitation as “take you a lamb”: you, sinner, your own very self, for you must have Christ for yourself, or you have Him not at all. You need Christ for yourself; you need His blood for your sins. To disobey the gospel is to be doomed to eternal death. Oh “take you the Lamb” —THE GIFT OF GOD.

Chester Races, and What Came Out of Them

HAVE you ever been to Chester? To my mind the most interesting place in England —as Edinburgh, my second birthplace, is in Scotland, and Londonderry, celebrated for the brave defense of the maiden city by the “‘prentice boys” against the Roman Catholic army of James II, aided by French generals and mercenaries, is in Ireland.
I well remember my first visit to Chester, over fifty years ago, being on my way from the West of England to join the depot of my regiment, then in Ireland, the regiment itself engaged in the Kaffir War of 1850-53. I had to break my journey there so as to catch the “Wild Irishman,” as the fast train to Holyhead was nicknamed. Getting up early next morning to look over the charming old city, on walking round the walls, which are perfect, one comes to the place where a Roman bath was, then the tower from whence Charles I. witnessed the defeat of the Cavaliers on Rowton Moor: farther on, the “Roodee” or racecourse, well known to sporting men, and on to where the walls just rise out of the River Dee, where you can see fishermen casting their lines and nets to catch salmon: then the barracks, when I saw the situation of which, overlooking the racecourse from the parade ground and from the windows of the officers’ quarters, “Oh” thought I to myself, “how I hope that when it comes home the regiment will be quartered here! What a jolly station: what a pretty place! Salmon fishing and the Roodee close by.”
Exactly twenty years elapsed before I again visited this “jolly station” —had had a taste of Kaffirland, on to India during latter part of the Mutiny, experiencing God’s providential care on land and sea, besides and above it all, converted. It was to preach the Gospel, not catch salmon, nor be one of the throng on the Roodee on the “Chester Cup” day. What an honor to be permitted to tell out the good news of God’s grace, God’s love to sinners like myself, and what the precious blood of His dear Son has done for such, clearing the throne of God, and enabling Him, having been just in dealing with that Son, to justify all who believe in Him.
Reader, do you know what this means? God being the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus (Romans 3:26). God Himself so perfectly satisfied with what Jesus has done that He clears you of all that was against you. He DOES it, loves to do it, and does it righteously, because Jesus died. You, who, when the light of the Holy Spirit shone into your soul and showed you what a guilty sinner you were, could say,
“My sins deserve eternal death,
BUT Jesus died for me.”
You will say I have got away from Chester and its racecourse. Well, let us get back then to the “Roodee” and watch the crowds dispersing after the last race had been run, hurrying to catch trains going in all directions, some immensely gloomy, having lost their all: others, a few only, chuckling over their wins, little thinking or caring what their gain means to the many losers. Now and then some look up, and are startled at what they see on a large board, some cursing, some sneering. At last one is arrested and, more, conscience aroused, for on this large board I speak of was inscribed in big letters, “THE RACE IS RUN—YOU’VE LOST YOUR MONEY—PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD.” There was no rest for that soul. He knew he had to meet God, and so have you, my reader: for He says, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12), and was not fit: are you? The arrow of conviction rankled and rankled until through mercy peace came to his soul through God-given faith in the word about the cleansing power of the precious blond of Jesus.
My old regiment has never been quartered at Chester from that day to this. Now it is at the front in South Africa, where it suffered severely at Magersfontein: one of the killed—Bob Wilson, the feather bonnet maker—we saw something very touching and interesting about in “THE SPRINGING WELL” for July last year. Another time this passage from the prophet Amos 4:12 was brought before me. In the early sixties, being stationed at Chichester, one evening during mess a brother officer, perhaps to have a slap good-naturedly at me —he had been on Court Martial duty to Portsmouth, and recently there had been several serious railway accidents between the two places—exclaimed: “What a horrid shame—for what do you think— as the train slowed into Portsmouth some fellow had stuck a big board out of a window with ‘Prepare to meet thy God’ on it—enough to frighten a fellow out of his life. What a horrid shame!”
Ah! dear P, I wish that it had really frightened you so, that, like the one on Chester racecourse, you had turned to Christ and been saved, but it was not so. Now, my reader, that same text I would repeat to you, “Prepare to meet THY God,” and may it have the effect on you as it had on dear S, who is rejoicing in Christ as his own personal, present Saviour: and so may you, for “God is beseeching you to be reconciled” (2 Cor. 5:20).
“Prepare to meet thy God!” Yet the preparation is not that of seeking to fit ourselves for God.
“All the fitness He requireth,
Is to feel your need of Him.”
S. V. H.

A Short Study in Scripture: Jealousy for God's Honor

I. EZRA says: “I was ashamed to require of the king. . . to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him. So we fasted and besought our God for this, and He was entreated of us” (Ezra 8:22). “Him that honoureth Me I will honour” (1 Sam. 2:30).
II. Nehemiah says: “Ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen?” (Neh. 5:9). “I came unto the house of Shemaiah . . and he said: Let us meet together in the House of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee: yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. And I said Should such a man as I flee? And who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. And lo! I perceived that God had not sent him: but that . . . Sanballat had hired him . . . that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin: and that they might have an evil report that they might reproach me” (Neh. 6:10-13).
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” (Ps. 118:9).
Nehemiah would not take bread from the governor of Judah “because of the fear of the Lord” (Neh. 5:14, 15), Who says, “The world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Ps. 50:12).
E. A. H.

Jottings About the Bible: The Tenderness and Mercy of the Bible

THE Bible tells us that God’s tender mercy is over all His works. But the tenderness of the Bible does not depend for its proof upon a statement—IT IS THE VERY SPIRIT OF THE SCRIPTURE: it belongs to it, as light belongs to the sun. Its opening words tell how every living thing is God’s creation. It was, first of all, a thought in the Divine mind, a purpose in the Divine heart. God planned it, its structure, and its environment. He gave it its power, implanted its instincts, and in its very needs opened gateways by which the world’s fulness might flow in upon its life.
Science, which shows us the wonders of animal lire and of its adaptations to the external world, is only emphasizing a tale already told us by the Bible. God’s hand has made everything, and how can it fail to be wondrous? And as we drink into the Scripture, this truth grows brighter yet.
God’s tender mercy is over and around us and everything that lives, like the air we breathe. In Him we live and move and have our being. He clothes the lilies of the field with their splendor. He opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing. Not a sparrow falls to the ground till God has said that its time has come to die.
The nations that have forgotten God are not forgotten by Him. Though they knew it not, He guided them in their wanderings and appointed the bounds of their habitation. Though trust reposed upon and praise ascended to them that were no gods, He still did good, giving rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling men’s hearts with food and gladness: and on those who seek God’s face all Heaven waits. He gives His angels charge concerning us. The mightiest of the spirits who behold God’s face are sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.
This tender mercy is, in short, the very soul and purpose of the Book. The Bible is for the poor and the sorrowing. It is the book of the weak, the downtrodden, the despairing. It dries the tears of those that weep, and stills their sighs. WE OPEN THE GATE OF NEED, AND, LO! GOD, IN ALL HIS CREATOR-MIGHT, IS THERE. “He executeth judgment for the oppressed: He giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners: the Lord openeth the eyes of the blind; the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord preserveth the strangers: He relieveth the fatherless and the widow.”
And even that is not all. There is a still deeper depth of compassion in the Book. It is found— where we least expect it—in the face of sin. The very object and purpose of the Book is redemption —a plan of unimaginable mercy. It glories in forgiveness. Its biggest trophies are those plucked from the lowest depths. There is one that is saved from the doom of Jericho. It is Rahab the harlot. There are two foremost men in the apostolate: who are they? Peter that denied his Master, and Paul that destroyed the Church of God! Can you think of any other book of which tender mercy is thus from first to last the very breath and life? We grow hard in our righteousness: we do not reinstate broken men and treat them as if they had never sinned. No: the fallen are trampled down into the mire, and those who struggle out and rise again have a wide berth given them, as if the foul odor of the past clung to them. We break the bruised reed, and quench the smoking flax. This tender mercy, deep as creation’s want and as man’s necessity, is not in us. How, then, is it here, and here from the first page to the last?
Can that grand, consistent testimony, that jubilee trumpet note that sounds on, clear, sustained, waking hope in every age and clime—can it be of man? If it cannot be, then whence is it? Shall we say, “We cannot tell?” or shall we let the heart’s cry leap forth and say, “IT IS, AND MUST BE, OF GOD ALONE?”
JOHN URQUHART.

A Pleasant Smile and a Cheering Word

“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” —Prov. 15:23.
YOU gave on the way a pleasant smile,
And thought no more about it
It cheered a life that was sad the while,
And might have been wrecked without it:
And so for the smile and its fruitage fair
YOU’LL REAP A CROWN SOMETIME—SOMEWHERE.

You spoke one day a cheering word,
And passed to other duties:
It warmed a heart, new promise stirred,
And painted a life with beauties:
And so for the word and its silent prayer
YOU’LL REAP A PALM SOMETIME—SOMEWHERE.
~~~
GOD’S love is the believer’s joy upon the early days of his conversion, his wonder as the days of his sojourn upon earth lengthen, his endless song in eternity.

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 4

LUTHER was now a monk of St. Augustine’s Monastery, Erfurt. Let us look at the manner of life he led there. The brethren of the monastery considered that they were greatly honored by this latest addition to their number, but they treated the young man with great harshness. He had to perform all kinds of drudgery. This Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy had to act as porter, to open and shut the gates, wind up the clock, sweep out the church, and clean the rooms. He did all this without grumbling, devoting all his spare minutes to study. But the monks would soon find him out, and grumble at him. “Come, come, it is not by study that people make themselves useful in a monastery, but by begging for bread, corn, eggs, fish, meat, and money.” Luther would submit, lay aside his books, and take his bag. “Through the town with the bag,” cried the friars: and he had to go through the streets of Erfurt with his sack, begging from house to house. But he did not repent of the step he had taken and the yoke he had brought on himself: it was all done that he might learn to be humble and holy, and, in fact, it was part of that discipline by which God was preparing him for his great work.
This rough usage, however, did not last so long as he might have feared. At the intercession of the University, of which he was still a member, the prior of the monastery relieved him of the servile offices which had been assigned to him, and he devoted himself to study with fresh zeal. He studied the works of the fathers of the Church, especially those of Augustine, and, notably, his exposition of the Psalms, and his work on “The Letter and the Spirit.” He was greatly struck with his views on the corruption of man’s will, and on free grace. He felt in his own experience the reality of that corruption, and the necessity for that grace. But his chief book was the Bible, a copy of which he found chained in the monastery, and to which he was constantly returning for enlightenment. This led to his learning Hebrew and Greek, in both which he attained proficiency. Such was the young monk’s devotion to study that he sometimes omitted his “hours,” when he would be greatly alarmed at having transgressed the rules of his order, when he would shut himself up to repeat the omitted hours without thinking of either eating or drinking. Once he lost his sleep for seven weeks.
Luther had come to the monastery in search of holiness, and he gave himself over to the most rigid practices of the ascetic life. He sought to crucify the flesh by fasting, maceration, and watching. He shut himself up in his cell, as in a prison, struggling unremittingly against bad thoughts and the evil propensities of his heart. A little bread and a lean herring were sometimes his only food. But he failed to obtain what he sought for—peace of mind and assurance of his salvation. He was seized with dread on failing to discover either in his heart or life that image of holiness which he saw so clearly in the Word of God.
The monks and theologians of the time urged him to satisfy the Divine justice by the practice of good works. “But what good works,” thought he, “can proceed from a heart like mine? How can I, with works defiled in their every principle, stand before my Judge? I found myself a great sinner before God,” said he, “and I did not think it possible to appease Him with my works.”
The tenderness of his conscience made him regard the smallest fault as a fresh sin, and he would labor to expiate it by the severest mortifications— a course which gradually opened his eyes to the uselessness of all such merely human remedies. “I tormented myself to death,” said he, “in order that I might procure the peace of God for my troubled, hurt, and agitated conscience: but being surrounded with horrible darkness, I groped for peace in vain.”
But Luther was so entangled with the errors and prejudices of his time, than which he had heard of no better way, that he knew not what to think or do. He had put on another dress, but his heart was unchanged. His high hopes of holiness in a cloister were blasted. Where was he to stop? Might not all these rules and observances be mere human inventions? Such a supposition appeared to him, at times, as a temptation of the devil, and at others an irresistible truth. Meagre as a shadow, the young monk would pace the long passages of the monastery, making them answer in horrid echoes to his groans. His body was wearing itself out: vital energy seemed to have left it altogether, and he sometimes lay as if actually dead.
One day, in the depth of his grief, he shut himself up in his cell, and for several days and nights would suffer no one to come near him. On this, one of his friends was so much disquieted that he went to the cell, taking with him some choirboys. He knocked, but no one opened or answered. He burst open the door, and there lay Luther on some planks, quite insensible, and to all appearance lifeless. In vain he endeavored to arouse him: he lay motionless. The boys then began to sing a hymn to a low, sweet air. This roused him, and little by little he recovered strength, self-recollection, and vitality. But he needed stronger restoratives, even the strong, sweet notes of the Gospel. This relief and comfort were near at hand, as we shall see.

The Loosed Mantle

“And he, Bartimaeus, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.”—Mark 10:46-52.
“And immediately he received his sight AND FOLLOWED HIM.”—Luke 18:43.
LORD, I am blind, oh give me sight
To follow Thee!
I cast away my mantle with delight
If I may hear the word,
“Be of good comfort, rise,
He calleth thee.”
Thou hast called others, Lord,
Oh Lord, call me,
And open my blind eyes.
I sit outside,
Apart from happy souls who walk with Thee,
I feel the warmth of sunshine on my face,
But oh, I long to see,
I long to see Thyself, to share the grace
Thou sheddest on that happy company;
I long for ever to abide
With Thee.
The light is all about me, yet in gloom
I grope along the way:
Oh hear my cries
And bid me “come”:
Lord Jesus, stay!
Open my eyes
Today,
And let me see Thee, bid me come with Thee,
And stay for ever in Thy company.
E. STACY-WATSON.

My Palestine Recollections. 4. Going Towards Jerusalem

THIS night’s ride across the Plain of Sharon was not only at too late a season in the year to enable me to appreciate the floral luxuriance which still in so good a measure characterizes it, but the darkness concealed many a landscape feature which my companion could otherwise have pointed out. So although, the young moon having some time set, I could not descry the traditional Azekah, Gibeon, or the Valley of Ajalon, rendered so memorable by the words of Joshua, in Josh. 10:12, and the Lord’s response to His servant’s voice when “the sun stood still and the moon stayed until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies,” other circumstances occurred calculated to bring to mind Scriptures equally impressive and instructive.
Our muleteer not having filled the water-skin before leaving Joppa, relying as he said upon a roadside well before reaching Ramleh, which well he likewise failed to discover, we were anxiously looking out for means to quench our thirst when seven horsemen joined our little company. One of them proved to be the Governor of Es-Salt, which is Ramoth-Gilead: another was the Mufti of Nablus: and they and their attendants being mounted on well-bred Arab horses, our humble barbs seemed to instinctively improve their pace and carriage in emulation of the superior mounts of our new companions. Salutes and wayfaring compliments having been exchanged, one of the party unbuckled his girdle, to which was attached the leather water bottle, from which I took a most refreshing draught of cold spring water, not very long before filled at the fountain. I returned the bottle to the owner, asking my companion to express my thanks in the vernacular, and to say how it brought to my mind the words in the Gospel about the “Living Water.” At one of the villages we passed hearing the cock crow brought to my remembrance the words of the Lord to Peter, “Before the cock crow thou shalt deny Me thrice” (Luke 22:61). In Mark 14:30 we find the words “Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny Me thrice.” In this surely the Lord’s tender grace is manifest who gave His disciple a second admonition although he had not paid heed to the first; and as the cock crows more loudly when the morning draws near than in his first crowing near midnight, may we not learn that often, if we do not attend to the first warnings the Lord sends us, He may, in love and wisdom, find it necessary to visit us with more solemn admonitions? Perhaps the history of Job most strikingly illustrates this principle.

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 4

THE history of Rome might very well be divided into four distinct epochs, each consisting, in round figures, of 250 years.
The first period would comprise the time dating from the foundation of the city, 750 B.C., until the downfall of the monarchy, when Tarquin, after having reigned for 25 years, returned to Rome and found the gates closed against him.
The second period dates from the establishment of the Republic, under the Consuls L. Brutus and P. Valerius, until the first Punic War, as it was called—that is, the first struggle for supremacy between the Empire and Carthage about 250 B.C. The third period would include the wonderful conflict with Hannibal, the conquest of Macedonia and Syria, the subjection of Spain, and ultimately the destruction of Carthage by Scipio Africanus. Certainly the most remarkable events in Roman history occurred about this date, until Caesar was made Consul about 59 B.C., when, without doubt, the power and supremacy of Rome were almost universally recognized. This great man was only fifty-six years of age when he was assassinated He was in our judgment the greatest general, and in many other respects the greatest man, that ever lived. As a statesman and writer, as well as a soldier, he had no equal in his own age, and as we think neither has there appeared one greater than he in any other, and probably as the invader of Britain his name is more interwoven with our own history than that of any other ruler of the Roman Empire.
Moreover, the supremest event of the world’s strange story brought to a termination the third great epoch to which we have referred. At the very close of it, in the days of Augustus, THE great crisis in the world’s history occurred, viz., the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for men may say what they choose about that, but it is the central point in all records, the mighty center from which radiates all that concerns the best and highest and noblest interests of men the wide world over. We affirm unhesitatingly that it forms the crux of the world’s history.
Then began the fourth period, from the death of Augustus, A. D. 14, until say the days of Constantine the Great, as he is called, through whom the Roman Empire was once more consolidated under one Emperor. The recognition of Christianity by this monarch, whether it tended to the advantage of practical religion or not, was assuredly a marvelous epoch in the world’s history. Time and often terrible persecutions had arisen, and myriads of Christians had suffered martyrdom rather than sacrifice to the pagan gods, or take part in the multitudinous festivals arranged to do honor to the many deities of Rome. It was therefore a wonder when persistency and faithfulness were victorious and the great potentate and his rulers professed, not only to tolerate, but to accept personally the tenets of these hitherto persecuted followers of Christ.
It is, however, none the less remarkable that from the days when true religion and political expediency seemed to join hands, the real downfall of the great Empire whose history we are considering began, and no sooner had its recent royal convert laid the foundations of his new Eastern Capital on the promontory of Thrace, that reaches out into the Black Sea, and called it Constantinople, than disintegration set in, and its great builder had hardly passed away when at the very heart of the Empire terrible internal evidence began to be manifest of dissolution and decay.
IF a great thing can be done at all, it can be done easily. But it is that kind of ease with which a tree blossoms after long years of gathering strength.

True Stories of God's Servants: William Maldon, God's Young Hero

IT seems strange to read that there was a time during the reign of Henry VIII. when permission was given for all to read the Bible: indeed a notice was sent to every clergyman bidding him to provide “one book of the whole Bible in the largest volume in English,” and directing it should be “set up in some convenient place within the said church, which ye have the care of, whereat your parishioners may most commodiously resort to the same and read it . . . and ye shall discourage no man, privily or apertly, from reading or hearing of the same Bible, but shall expressly provoke, stir, and exhort every person to read the same, as that which is the very lively word of God, that every Christian is bound to embrace, believe, and follow, if he looks to be saved.”
Although this was the King’s command, there were those who had to suffer for the privilege of reading the Word of God, and one of such of whom we read was a lad of fifteen, named William Maldon. When news came that the king had permitted that the Bible should be set in the churches, certain poor men of his native town of Chelmsford bought a copy of the New Testament, and were wont to sit together on Sundays in the lower end of the church reading it aloud. Many came to hear the reading—William among them.
His father, who regarded the Scriptures as belonging to the clergy alone, was grieved that his son should thus fall into the snare of listening to what it was not for a poor ignorant lad to hear, and many times fetched him away that he might hear no more of the reading. The boy went again and again, and at last, determined not to be robbed of what was so precious to him, resolved to learn to read for himself. This he succeeded in doing, and then he and his father’s apprentice bought a New Testament, which they read by stealth, keeping it hidden beneath the straw upon which they lay.
But William could not bide the truth which he had learnt from the study of his cherished book, and one night, hearing his mother speak of the crucifix, and of kneeling to it, and lifting up the hands in adoration when it was carried past in procession, he told her that such acts of reverence were contrary to the command of God— “Thou shalt not make any graven image, nor bow down to it, nor worship it.”
“What,” she replied, “wilt thou not worship the cross, which was about thee when thou went christened, and must be laid upon thee when thou art dead?” and, amazed at the boy’s presumption and obstinacy, she told his father what he had dared to say. That night, when William was asleep, he was roughly awakened by his father, who pulled him out of bed, and, in spite of his mother’s entreaties that he would forbear, beat him until he was half dead.
The like treatment may have been suffered by others of the “young boys” of whom we read that they flocked to the churches to hear the reading: for is it not written in the Book which this boy had learned to love so well, “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household”? (Matt. 10:36).

Old Pictures Reframed

“Apples of gold in pictures of silver.”—Prov. 25:11
No one can do Christ’s work with the devil’s tools.
~~~
WE owe the greatest gratitude to those who tell us the truth.
~~~
THE secret of knowing the will of God is willingness to do the will of God.
~~~
THE letter “P” is like a selfish friend—the first in pity but the last in help.
~~~
DEEP streams move with silent majesty, shallow brooks babble over every tiny stone.
~~~
THE man whom God cannot use perfectly where he is, is seldom worth transporting elsewhere.
~~~
THE serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of God.

Now and Then

“SEEK ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:6, 7). Where God’s mercy and pardon are known, eternity is welcomed with joy and unspeakable delight. To follow the pernicious, soul-destroying way of unbelief is to say like Baalam, “I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh” (Num. 24:17). To reject Christ NOW is to ensure THEN a place of eternal distance, on the judgment side of that gulf which nothing can move.

The Bible Is the Word of God

SHE was only a fruit-seller—this girl of fourteen—and as she sat behind her neatly arranged stand, she improved the time when trade was slack in reading her Bible. So absorbed did she become that she did not hear the footsteps of a man who was passing by, and was startled by his question:
“What are you reading that interests you so much?”
“The Word of God, sir,” she replied.
“Who told you that the Bible is the Word of God?”
“God told me Himself.”
“God told you? Impossible! How did He tell you? You have never seen Him or talked with Him.”
For a moment the girl sat confused and silent. The man, who was an unbeliever, and took delight in destroying the faith of people in the Scriptures, thought he had won an easy victory. But he was mistaken. Suddenly she looked up with a flash in her dark eyes, and asked:
“Sir, who told you there is a sun yonder in the blue sky above us?”
“Who told me?” replied the man, smiling somewhat contemptuously, for he thought the girl was trying to hide her ignorance. “Who told me? The sun tells me this about itself. It warms me, and I love its light. That is telling me plain enough.”
“Sir,” said the girl, “you have put it right for both Bible and sun. That is the way God tells me this is His Book. I read it, and it warms my heart and gives me light.”

Our Missionary Column: A Missionary to the Ibunos

NOT along ago we mentioned how thankful we should be for tidings from any friends who are laboring for the Master in distant parts of the earth. Since then we have received from various friends most interesting details, which from time to time we hope to print in our pages. Mr. R. L. McKeown, who is, in company with other missionaries, working amongst the Ibunos on the west coast of Africa, sends us the following letter, which we are assured our readers will peruse with prayerful interest. He writes as follows:
MISSION HOUSE, IBUNO,
QUA IBOE, WEST AFRICA.
I have often thought of writing to you since I came to Qua Iboe, but one has had so many to write to, and the time for correspondence has been so limited, that I have had to leave you out up to the present.
It is now almost a year since I and Miss Lyons called in your place in London, and got to know you. I sailed for Africa that same week, and therefore have been nearly a year on the so-called “foreign field.” In that time one has seen much that is new, and, I am sorry to say, much that is sad. I am afraid Christians at home have little idea of what it means to be really without Christ. One needs to come and live here before it can be realized. These people are perishing literally for “lack of knowledge.” Ignorance and superstition have made them the slaves of cruelty, oppression, and the most revolting customs.
Our little mission works up the banks of this river among a population of about 1,000,000. This population is composed of several tribes, but we have only yet reached the Ibunos and the Ibibios. It has pleased God to give us much blessing among the former people. The whole tribe is now practically evangelized, and its customs and rites have been completely overturned by the Gospel. We have two churches, three schools, and several preaching stations in constant operation. There is also an industrial branch, consisting of sawmill and carpenters’ shops, and there is the medical department. I believe our sawmill is the only one at present working on the whole coast.
About 15 or 18 miles up river we have a station among the Ibibios, and 40 miles farther up still another. We are hoping soon to open up work in the Eket country. The Ekets are quite close to Ibuno, but have never yet been reached by missionaries. We are only a little band of seven workers, and we can only just touch the fringe of the field at present. Surely God has gems for His kingdom among the degraded Ibibios and the treacherous Ekets, if only some of His husbandmen would come and seek them out.
This work was pioneered by Mr. Bill, who came here from Harley College in 1887. As the work grew, a Council was formed in Belfast, and that Council manages the home end of the work. We do not make any appeal for funds, nor is any salary stipulated to be paid, The Lord is supplying our needs, and we look to Him to raise up men and money for the further extension of the work. Just now I understand our funds are so low that the allowances for quarter cannot be paid. This is surely to test our faith—the deep need here calls for increased instead of decreased giving.
I have had very good health since I came here—that is, as health goes on the west coast. I have had two sharp fevers, but they were not of long duration. We have suffered much from sickness lately, and do not know how it may go with a couple of the workers.
I shall be glad at any time to write short paragraphs for the missionary column in the “SPRINGING WELL,” if you think such desirable. Meantime I enclose one. I hope the Lord will bless your paper in increasing degree as the days go on. There is much need for clear testimony, for I fear the Church—where not practically dead —is slumbering deeply.
With Christian love,
I remain,
Ever yours in Him,
(Signed) R. L. McKeown.

Met by God on a Troop-Ship

BY WILLIAM LUFF.
HE loved soldiers, and as a boy had a collecting box in the shape of a drum, in which he received help for Miss Perks’ Soldiers’ Home, Winchester.
As he grew older, he so loved soldiers that he joined the army and became a soldier himself. As the South African war was in everybody’s mind at the time, he chose the South African Constabulary, and left Southampton on board the Morayshire, March 27th, 1901.
The departure from home was a trying time for Wallie’s parents, as he had not decided for Christ, and they feared the temptations that lay in the youth’s path. He was only nineteen years of age, bright, cheerful, and full of promise: it seemed dreadful to see him go away without a Friend, a Guide, a Saviour.
George, a companion from the lad’s neighborhood, was also going out, but this was small comfort for the anxious father and mother. One thing they could send with him, God’s Word: so they packed it in his box, and not in his bag, for fear it might be lost.
And they could pray for the absent boy; perhaps it was needful he should go so far to find salvation, for “God moves in a mysterious way.”
Anxiously they waited for the first letter, and by the kindness of those parents we are able to let the reader read it also. It was written on board the S.S. Morayshire,
DEAR MOTHER AND FATHER.
I hope you are all quite well, as it leaves me. I am going to write this letter on purpose for you. I expect you will be surprised and be glad after you have read it. I am going to start at the beginning, so that you will know everything. It was on Tuesday, the 2nd of April, in the evening. George and I were sitting under one of the boats: we were talking about home and all the little things which we used to do, and I told him what I promised mother I would do about meeting her and you all on the other side of Jordan, and then he said that he had promised the same thing, and he told me that since he started from home he had given himself to God, and every night and morning he asks God to take care of us all.
Dear mother and father, when I started I said to myself that I should try to be a Christian: but I went back in the same old way, and I did not know that George had given himself to God, not till that night, and from that time George and I have known each other, and I tell you that we have had some happy times together, since I was so miserable up to then I hardly spoke a word, and from that night we have been so happy, because we have got Someone to take care of us. Dear mother and father, there is a man on board with us . . . and we got talking about the Bible, and he told me a lot about it and some verses: he is a nice man. I borrowed a Bible off a chap in our mess: he is the only one I have seen reading the Bible. Dear mother and father, you would not believe the change that has come over us; we are so happy because we have a Guide with us, and He will lead us the right way, if you only trust Him. We had some services on Sunday; it was nice to hear the Word of God and the singing. Our conversion is so nice and sweet, and everything seems so different. It is worth coming out here for. I am glad I came now. I tell you it is worth going for. I wish you had put my Bible in my bag. Three chaps started singing Sankey hymns last Sunday, 14th, and so I joined in up on the deck. There were a lot more trying to overpower us: but they could not. Dear mother and father, I don’t think I can say any more: only we are very, very happy, because we have found a Friend, a true one, who will never leave us.” The dear lad finished his letter by saying, “We have arrived at Cape Town . . . going to shore at 7 o’clock tomorrow. I will write and tell you the news in a day or two.” Mother and father waited for that letter: but it never came.
The next news is printed on a black-edged, silver-bordered card which lies before me:
In Loving Memory of
DEAR WALLIE,
Who died of enteric fever, May i5th, 1901,
At Germiston, South Africa.
In his 19th year.
Since writing this we have received a letter from the Soldiers’ Home, Winchester, saying a postal order for zos. has come in, given by dear Christians, poor people, who live in the village where young Wallie did. They said it was a thank-offering for his conversion. Is it not touching?

Only a Little One

A YOUNG mother bent over her dying babe, and her tears fell thick and fast, for she knew that she must soon lose her precious charge. But God knew how to comfort her. Little Ernie looked through his crib rails at his mother and baby brother. “Mamma,” he cried, “there’ll be no sorrow there! Here we suffer grief and pain, but in heaven we’ll part no more.”
Perhaps Ernie did not understand all he said, but his mother did, and her grief was hushed, for her thoughts were directed away from her sorrow to God’s eternal home, and withal came to her remembrance the words of the Lord Jesus: “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14).
On earth they sought the Saviour’s grace,
On earth they loved His name;
And now they see His blessed face,
And stand before the Lamb.

What Is Salvation?

IT was a lovely spring evening, quiet and calm, and little Olive and I were walking down a long garden path, under the branches of apple and cherry trees all gleaming with snowy white and pink blossoms. The sun was still warm, so at last we sat down on a garden seat where we could look across and see the river as it sparkled in the sun.
Whether the sight of the sunshine upon the water made us think of it or not, I do not know, but presently I found myself telling the little girl the tale of Peter going to the sea and finding the money in the fish’s mouth. Most of the girls and boys who are reading this know the story: if you do not, get your Testament and search for it, and read it for yourselves, and see if you do not, like Olive, think it a “beautiful story.”
When I finished she was not at all willing to run away again, and begged hard for “just one more little story before I go to bed.” As the shadows stole over the garden we went into the house and up to the nursery. Olive was very quiet for a time, but at last she suddenly looked up into my face and said—
“Auntie, what is salvation?”
Now I have not told you before that Olive loved the Lord,—that she did so was clear to those who were always with her, for she really showed it in her life, though at the time of which I am writing she was not six years old. She loved to hear and read of the Lord Jesus, and many a half-hour did she spend in reading the Gospels, when, had she preferred, she might have been at play. Well, I did not answer her question by telling her what I thought, for I wanted to set her thinking, and to see how far She really understood what she read and heard: so I only said—
“Well, dear, what does it mean? You tell me what you think.”
There was no answer for a little while; the child’s eyes were looking right away to where the clouds were sailing along, for as we sat by the open window, we could see the reflection of the setting sun, as it gilded everything around: but at last Olive said—
“Well, the Lord said to Zacchaeus, ‘This day is salvation come to this house,’ so it is the Lord Himself.”
My little Olive had been taught what many, many grown-up people fail to learn. Perhaps you cannot see what Olive meant: but if you love the Lord and belong to Him, then you have salvation —that wonderful gift, which God gives to all who really trust Him. Salvation means having all our sins washed away, and being forgiven, and having a bright and beautiful home in glory to go to; it is all that, but more: it is having the Lord Jesus for our own living Saviour and Friend. He is always near, always ready to hear those who love Him: ready to hear about all our troubles and all our pleasures: He who loves better than even a mother or father can: and He saves us all the day long.
Now, dear little children, would you not like to have all this? You shall if you are like Zacchaeus, and really want the Lord.

Our Bible Class

DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,
Your Question Papers for February (with the exception of a few from members of our class who live in such far-away places as Australia and New Zealand) have been received, and we are all ready for a Bible talk. It is pleasant to see how much painstaking and really good work has been put into nearly all the replies, and yet it has surprised Cousin Edith (your new friend) to find in how many different ways Question II., “How many people do we read of as buried in the cave of Machpelah?” has been answered. By some the number is stated as low as “three,” while several of our class have only named “four.” Some have been more careful. Here is an answer correct in all its details, copied from a very good paper sent by Florence V. N. O. —, Colchester: “Six: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah.”
“Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of Machpelah” (Gen. 23:19); there his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham (ch. 25:9); “There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; there I (Jacob) buried Leah” ( ch. 49:31): and “his sons carried him (Jacob) into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah” (ch. 50:13).

Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 4

(Gen. 24.)
SHALL we linger for a few moments over our chapter? It will give us an opportunity of glancing briefly at one or two points we were obliged from want of space to leave untouched last month.
The great thought of Abraham in sending so far to seek a bride for his much-loved son Isaac seems to have been that she should be of the same family, and therefore suited by all the ties of kindred to understand his wishes and make his interests her own. No soul can be united to Christ by the Holy Spirit until it possesses a new nature, and is in this way made suitable for its object. Let me suppose for a moment that I am talking to two girls. One of them is an English girl; the other, who was born in India, of Hindu parents, is a Hindu. They are of different races; they could not, even if they wished to do so, change their nationality. But there is one way in which the two may become one. If both believe on the Lord Jesus, trusting Him as their very own Saviour, the Holy Spirit will form a new and living link between them and they will become one, children of one family and so sisters in Christ.
Fanny D—, Dorchester.—Your letter, dear Fanny, has seemed almost like a God-speed. Yes, we shall all need to pray much if there is to be any real blessing in our class, but is it not a cheer to remember that our God loves to bless? “He will be very gracious unto thee.”

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden text.— “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.” —Acts 8:4
“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them.”—Acts 8:5
Read Acts 8:1-17.
Reading on the Lesson, the Disciples Scattered.
3 “As for Saul he made havoc of the church.” The Revised Version says that he laid waste the church, but our Lord had said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). So that this imprisonment of Christians and power of Saul and the authorities over them did not really hurt the church any more than the fiery furnace or the lions hurt Daniel and his friends.
4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.” So the disciples could say to Saul and his company as Joseph said to his brethren, “Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good to save much people alive” (Gen. 50:20). These scattered preachers of good tidings were not the apostles, but all except the apostles (verse 1), and they were just the Lord’s messengers with the Lord’s message (Hag. 1:13). If all believers now were ready to tell to others the love and grace of God, telling His salvation from day to day (Ps. 71:15, 24), how soon the gospel might be preached to every creature!
5-8. “Then Phillip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them.” In verses 4, 12, 25, we get a good idea of the preaching of those days. They preached Christ: they preached the word of the Lord and the things concerning the kingdom of God. Whether the messenger be the woman of Samaria or Philip the evangelist, if Christ is preached the Spirit works, and whenever Christ is truly received there follows joy and peace (Ps. 15:13).
9, 10. The adversary who opposes God and exalts himself is always to the front ever since he slandered God to Eve in Eden.
11, 12. Bewitching people with sorcery might possibly describe many of the teachings of today which captivate such multitudes. A great following is not sufficient proof that the leader is right, nor are few followers necessarily an evidence that the leader is wrong.
13. “Simon himself believed also, was baptized, continued with Philip and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs.” The power of God is able to break the hardest heart, and the fact that Simon was baptized and continued with Philip after he believed, would seem to indicate a real conversion.
14. “Now, when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.” These two who are so prominent in the early chapters are still evidently the foremost among the apostles and specially honored by the others. Notice what it was the people of Samaria had received. They had received the word of God, and, like the Thessalonians, they doubtless received it, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh in those who believe (1 Thess. 2:13).
15, 16. “Who, when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost.” They were somewhat like the apostles and other believers before Pentecost. They had believed, were baptized and had become children of God and temples of the Holy Ghost. All who truly receive Christ are saved and have become children of God (John 1:12) and temples of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in every believer.
17. “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Having prayed (verse 15). they now with expectation lay hands on them, and the special gift of the Spirit is received. So also Paul at Ephesus (chap. 19:5, 6). Our Lord’s words, “Ask, and it shall be given you,” are in connection with these others, “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit of them that ask Him?” (Luke11:9, 13).

"Not Many Mighty, Not Many Noble, Are Called." A Sequel to the Story of a Winter Day's Drive

I HAD the privilege early in the year, in the pages of this magazine, of telling the story of a winter day’s drive. I was permitted to relate this interesting episode in my own little life, and I did it with the true desire that God might use the quotation of the beautiful scriptures to the blessing of many readers of the paper.
It is a great joy and pleasure to find that the incident of this journey with the country clergyman, has awakened the greatest interest. Scores of friends have written to the Editor about it. Some saying how the Word of God came home to them with tenfold greater power than ever, as they read the joyful tidings “HE THAT BELIEVETH ON THE SON HATH EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 3:36). Some have told how, although heretofore knowing their sins were forgiven, yet they had never known anything or true assurance of salvation, or understood what the possession of eternal life meant, until the words of the Apostle came home to their hearts, “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.) A few friends have asked how I knew the clergyman had received the truth of assurance into his soul, through my conversation with him, Several also inquire for his name, and the name of the village in which he lived and labored, and one is anxious to know if the story is true. I am also thankful to say that a dear friend informs me the article was distinctly used to bring decision for Christ to one who for many a long day had been halting “between two opinions.”
Before proceeding with the story, I venture to express regret for the delay in giving the sequel, as some have been rather impatient through the interval that has elapsed since the first paper appeared: but let me say to these various correspondents, first, you will gather from what follows how I knew what was the result accruing to that clergyman’s soul through our interview: secondly, I cannot give the name of the gentleman, because many of his relatives are still living, and I could not, without permission, use his honored name in this public manner. As to the village, I am endeavoring to get an illustration of it inserted in these pages, so that at any rate those interested may look upon the lovely rural country place in which my friend lived and labored so long and so faithfully, until he was called home to rest for ever: and then thirdly, as to the truthfulness of the story. I only reply to this inquiry which is put in a most kindly manner to say, that I know it is the principle and purpose of the Editor of this paper not to insert any narrative in its pages, unless it can be vouched for as absolutely authentic. I am therefore glad to be able to say that the simple records concerning this minister of the Gospel, and the young Christian lad, are true in every detail, and I could not expect God’s blessing to rest upon the recital unless they were. Furthermore, I desire to state that it is not for the exaltation of one who was thus permitted to come into touch about the truth of eternal things, with people socially much his superior, that these details are given now, for the first time, in the SPRINGING WELL: BUT TO EXALT CHRIST. To show how anyone who is simple and true, and above all, enjoying in the early days of conversion the freshness and brightness of the love of Christ, can be used by God’s Holy Spirit to bring the blessed truths of the Gospel so powerfully before the minds of his fellow-men and women, so that whether they be rich or poor, or high or low, they too may “rejoice” as the Apostle Peter says, with “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
I mentioned in the previous article how we drove home on the evening of that cold winter’s day. My friend was not very communicative. Quietly thoughtful and kind as ever, he now and then exchanged a few words: but it was dark, and it needed a cool brain and a steady hand to negotiate a fiery horse over the high hills, and afterwards through the tortuous lanes of the gloomy valley leading homewards. However, we safely arrived, and my friend was greeted with hearty welcomes when we reached the grand old mansion.
Perhaps three months or more passed away before I again met him: anyway, spring had almost gone and the summer days were nigh at hand. All round my home it was a very picture of loveliness. The beautiful country, just as it came from the hands of God, was delightful in the extreme. The wildflowers bloomed in utter profusion all about the highways, and the birds caroled everywhere in absolute ecstasy. In the distance, the great woods clustered around the old Hall, the Corinthian columns in front of which could from our village be seen through the trees, reflecting by their whiteness the strong glory of the golden sunlight.
It was one evening, the day’s work was done, and I was just preparing to walk to the adjoining town, when my friend the clergyman called at my home again. Almost immediately he referred to the previous occasion when we were together, and with expressions of deepest gratitude to God, told how it had marked an epoch in his life: that, whereas he formerly was constantly in doubt about the safety of his soul and the certainty of his salvation, now he declared with exultation, “I know WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED: I know what it is to JOY IN GOD.” “I am,” he said, “ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED,” and now, instead of having fears about my eternal security in Christ as a result of my want of faith, or, through any personal inconsistency, now I can rest entirely upon my Lord’s words, who said, ‘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’ (John 10:27, 28). Indeed, so much has this truth been a blessing to my soul, that I have preached about it in church every Sunday ever since I last saw you, and have constantly lectured to my people about it during the week. It makes the Word of God different, and many texts which seemed difficult, I now perfectly comprehend. The hymns, too, are more precious to my soul, and I can sing, as I never did before—
‘I change: He changes not. My Christ can never die.
His love, not mine the resting-place: His truth, not mine the tie.’”
I was very thankful to find my friend so radiant with holy delight in his Lord. His countenance, naturally bright and happy, seemed to positively shine as he spoke of Christ, of His love, and of His power to keep at all times those who truly trust in Him: then he inquired of my soul’s welfare and of those near and dear to me, and rose to leave. Just then he said: “Oh! in my pleasure at meeting you again, I had almost forgotten why I really called. I was directed by my kind hostess to ask you to call at the Hall tomorrow evening. You know the lady of the house very well, but she wants to meet you, and to speak upon the same topic that has proved such a blessing to me.
“Moreover, my own military brother, the Major, is there staying with us, and it strikes me he is a man you will get on with: he has recently returned from India, and tells everybody he is now converted. He says he knows he is saved, because the Word of God says so. He declares he will arrange a prayer meeting at the Hall, and says he has found several true Christians amongst the servants. I have told him about you, and he suggests that we should have a good preaching, as he calls it, in the park on Sunday night. He is always talking about salvation, even at the dinner table, and tells how his men in Cawnpore used to delight in testimony meetings and services of that kind: so I hope you can come, and we will have a little Christian talk together.”
Such an invitation coming from that distinguished circle almost amounted to a command, so I promised to attend some time before the usual late dinner hour, and my friend left.
It was with some feelings of trepidation that I turned in the direction of the place late in the afternoon, just as the sun began to sink towards the western horizon. I walked through the intricate path in the copse which lined the splendid park, and then turned under the magnificent oak trees and beeches that formed a fine avenue up to the Hall. I was quickly admitted, and ushered into the library, at the end of which was a range of conservatories. My friend joined me there, and in a few moments the Major, his brother, entered. He was an elderly man, with a strong military appearance. In an instant he began about his Master, Christ. Before I had time to say a syllable he called me “brother,” and appeared to be just bubbling over with heavenly joys. He mentioned how God had met him in India, through the faithful words and devoted life of a godly missionary to the soldiers: “and now,” he said, “after having served the devil for so many years, it would be a shame if I did not faithfully serve my Lord well, who loved me, and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.”
It was a charming evening, and everything about the old Hall was just lovely, peaceful, and wonderfully harmonious, so my friend the clergyman suggested that we should continue our conversation on the lawn, which was exceedingly beautiful. At one end, a high-built terrace overlooked the valley, with a view stretching for miles and miles away over the country. On the other, graceful elms and rare trees grew luxuriantly, and close to the house by the glass doors of the room from which we stepped, fine old cedars of Lebanon sent their grateful dark shadows across the smooth grass, as if to relieve the intensity of the glory of the declining sun. There, apparently expecting us, was the lady of the house, and in her genial manner she speedily removed any feeling of timidity, and I stood before these kind and earnest people ready to answer any question that they might be pleased to address to me.
The conversation began by a reference to my celebrated drive with the clergyman. He evidently had spoken to them before about the journey, yet he went again over the salient features of it. He told how glad he was to discover, that I was not only interested about books and other things that were so well calculated to develop my mental faculties, but that he rejoiced to find I was acquainted with the Bible and able to speak about my own salvation and to tell others about it too. In definite terms he testified to the blessing he had received through, as he put it, “the Scriptures in the 1St Epistle of John having got a firm grip of his soul.” Then he asked me to tell his friends how it was I first became a Christian, and how it came about that I seemed to be possessed of such certainty about my present salvation.
There was little time for me to think, but, like Nehemiah of old, although there was but an instant, “I prayed to the God of heaven,” and He graciously heard me: for I went back a little in my history to the time when I was a somewhat wild boy in the village. Through the influence of a godly mother I was never openly irreligious or careless, but I was too busy with other things to think about the welfare of my soul. I had many companions, and these were principally young fellows, who were sincerely desirous of acquiring knowledge, but who never troubled much about God or Christ, or heaven or hell, or had much thought about the realities of eternity.
Our Sundays were usually spent in the fields, where we read, and argued, and debated sometimes on quite philosophical subjects. But one evening, I was walking up the street with my special friend, when it suddenly occurred to me that a young man had been appointed and was going to preach at the chapel (he is still living, and is now a worthily honored member of the Royal Society). I felt impelled to go to hear him. My companion endeavored to induce me not to “waste” the Sunday evening: but I felt impelled to go. I went, and God used the words of that young man to awaken in my heart a deep yearning for God’s salvation. Almost the first words he uttered were quoted from an author whose writings I knew well, and they stirred me to the quick, and for a time I was in soul-agony, until Christ Himself was revealed to me as my all-sufficient Saviour, and I was able to rejoice and be exceeding glad, because my sins were “blotted out as a thick cloud.” Besides, soon after I met a young man, a true, faithful, well-instructed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, who pointed out many of those assurance-giving scriptures that I remembered when we were driving together.
The lady hereupon asked me to refer to them particularly. There was some difficulty to find a Bible, for I had forgotten to bring mine, but one was brought, and I began with John 3:16, and emphasized also John v. 24, “VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, HE THAT HE AR ETH 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.” Then I repeated the same expressive texts from the Epistle of John that had been so blessed to my friend, the clergyman, and ended by affirming that I believed implicitly, for my own soul’s peace and welfare, God’s word, which says, “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.” It was strange what an effect my faltering address had upon my hearers. The Major had punctuated almost every sentence, by exclaiming “bless God,” “that’s true,” “praise God, I know it,” and other similar expressions. My friend, the clergyman, looked as if he appreciated it, but the lady said, “Well, I should not like to be so positive, for the commentary I use at my school says, ‘It is a duty to make a personal effort to secure salvation, or to work out our salvation, because God commands it,’ and, if this be true, how can a young Christian like you be so positive about already having salvation?” In response to this inquiry, I ventured to ask my questioner to let me read the verse in Philippians, to which the commentator doubtless referred. It says (and the words are addressed only to true Christian people), “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling.” Now, I said, pardon me, but so many, like the devoted author of your commentary, only seem to read so far and forget the context, which says, “FOR IT IS GOD WHO WORKETH IN YOU, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” I understand that to mean that the salvation is already “YOUR OWN,” as it says, and you have got to work it out, that is, let others see by your life and walk and manner, as the apostle did, that you have obtained God’s salvation. This reply seemed to please the officer immensely: but the lady was not so satisfied, and still considered it to be “presumptuous” to be so positive. There was no doubt she was a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, for I knew that God had spoken to her soul in days gone by, both by sorrow and by special warnings, of which I may speak someday,—but our time had gone. I was glad I had been thus privileged to speak so freely to these, who might be classed amongst the “mighty” and the “noble”; and, after the years that have gone since the incident occurred, it makes one think of good Lady Huntingdon, who used to say she was glad of the letter “m” in “many,” for, if that had been left out, it would have read “Not any mighty, not any noble are called.” She blessed God that at any rate she was amongst the few that “are called,” and so truly were my auditors, the lady and her guests, the clergyman, and his military brother.
~~~
I had a third deeply interesting interview with my friend. He was about to pass triumphantly into the presence of his Lord. Perhaps I may be allowed to tell some day of his wonderful passing into the homeland, and how, through the steady anchorage given to his soul by the Word of God, an entrance was ministered unto him “abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
Christian workers! let us seek every opportunity to tell what in our hearts we know of the wonders of God’s salvation, and by His Spirit the Lord will carry the message home to some soul. No matter how simple our knowledge, if we are true, God will own it and use it, and give us at all times, in true humility of mind to witness for Christ, in the words of the hymn to be able to testify and say,
“If one should ask of me, how can I tell?
Glory to Jesus, I know very well
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,
Constantly witnessing how He loves me.”
G. A.

"I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins."

THOUSANDS of persons say these words in the presence of Almighty God week by week. They are grand words, and no religion but the Christian could place them on human lips, and none can tell the blessing of so having them in the heart that he who utters them means, “I,” my own self, for myself “believe in the forgiveness of sins.”
Long ago, nearly 1,600 years gone by, a great Church Council was held in Nicaea, at which there were representatives from most parts of the world in which Christianity was professed. These men placed the Scriptures upon a chair stationed in their midst, in order to show that to it, the Word of God, they looked as authority. They discussed various questions relating to the Christian Faith, and formed a creed, from which are taken the words before us, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.”
Let us go to the authority to which this, the first general Church Council, went, and learn, as we declare, “I personally believe in the forgiveness of sins.”
1. Who forgives sins?
God (see Ep. 4:32). “Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin” (Ps. 32:5).
2. How does God forgive sins?
God forgives sins through the name of His Son. “Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man (Christ in heaven) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38).
3. What does God say of those whose sins are forgiven?
“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered” (Rom. 4:7).
4. Are men’s sins forgiven by God in this life?
Yes, indeed. “By Him (Jesus) all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:39). ARE. “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ep. 4:32). HATH.
5. Does God tell us why He forgives sins through the name of His Son?
He does. Speaking by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle John says: “He” (the Lord Jesus) “was manifested to take away our sins” (1 John 3:5); and the Apostle Peter, speaking by the Holy Spirit, says, “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24): and the Apostle Paul declares, “I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3).
Let us each one be truly honest in the sight of God, and inquire, “When I say I believe in the forgiveness of sins, do I believe God has forgiven me my sins?”
Think and pray over these words of God, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12).
“The forgiveness of sins, O God, I believe:
This mercy from Thee I gladly receive.”
H. F. W.

The Anointed of Bethel

“He took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.”—Gen. 28:11
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’”—Acts 7:59.
LONELY Jacob laid his head,
the stones in sorrow.—
What a pillow, what a bed!
But, awaking from that sleep,
WHAT A GLAD TOMORROW!

He had seen the way to heaven,
And the Lord had spoken.
Promises to him were given,
Words of comfort, words of love,
NEVER TO BE BROKEN,

Happy Stephen lifts his head
Where the stones are flying;
Jacob’s son shall find his bed
By the Bethel of his clay,
HEAVEN ITSELF DESCRYING.

Jacob dreamed, but Stephen’s eyes,
Looking past the sorrow,
Gazed into the heavenlies,
Saw the Son of Man he loved,
SAW HIS GLAD TOMORROW.

Lord, in mystery, I see
Something of the glory.
Draw my eyes and heart to Thee,
Teach my tongue to tell with joy,
ALL THE GRACIOUS STORY.

And when silence seals my lips,
Let not darkness grieve me:
Draw my soul, in death’s eclipse,
To behold Thee, only Thee,
WAITING TO RECEIVE ME
E. STACY-WATSON.

The Highest Christianity

“TO me to live is Christ,” so said the apostle. No man had been so abundant in labors as he, yet not his service, but Christ was his practical life. In Christ, he had his object, motive, and power. Here is the highest Christianity, and a life that will surely be found one day to be the only life worth living. How beautiful are the apostle’s triumphant words, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”

Our Bible Portion: The Power of the Cross of Christ - The Great Attraction

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.”—John 12:32.
1. There is no fact like the Cross of Christ. It stands alone in the world’s history.
MEN draw their fellow-men after themselves by strength and victory: thousands follow a great conqueror to the battlefield to perish for his name and glory: God draws men to Himself by His Son dying for them, and the myriads who have been attracted to God have had their hearts knit to Him by the shame and suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Does our reader say with those men of old whose desires cheered the heart of the Lord, “We would see Jesus”? Then repair to Calvary. “Behold the Lamb of God!” “Look on Him whom they pierced,” who “suffered for sin, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”: for “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and gave His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” By nature we are enemies to God, and love to live apart and afar from Him. His holiness we hate, but there is a constraining power in the Cross. Thence come the words from the heart of the Crucified One:— “I will draw all men unto Me.”
2. There is irresistible power in the Cross.
We come to Christ with our sins, self—all that we are—just as we are; yet closer to Him as we see Him made sin for us. “The Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Christ died for me. He gave Himself for me. He bore my sins in His own body upon the tree. Those sufferings, those wounds, that blood, that being forsaken of God, was for me! This is the great attraction: “AND I, IF I BE LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME,” and looking upon Him, the sins are forgiven, the doubts vanish, the fears cease.
3. God’s holiness and righteousness and love are seen in the Cross.
The more we look at Him there, the easier, the sweeter is coming to Him. Away are flung the hindrances—the rags of religion in which we wrapped ourselves, the love of sin in which we reveled: while the old, hard, bitter, bad thoughts of God are completely burned out of our breasts by the matchless love of the Son of God dying in the stead of His enemies.
4. Millions have been drawn to God by this great love wherewith He loved us.

Curious Coincidences or Divine Providences - Which?

GOD’S ways are always wonderful, for He is “Wonderful.” Ever perfect, for He is perfect, and His ways past finding out. I love that verse of a hymn—
“And when had come the moment,
He, calling by His grace,
Did gently, firmly draw us,
Each from his hiding place.”
The One who said to Adam in the garden, and brought him from his hiding-place behind the trees, “Adam, where art thou?” says the same to you, my reader, this very moment. And may He bring you by the still small voice of His love from wherever your fancied security is, to own, as the first man did—and so will the last one too—your unfitness for His presence, “I am naked,” to find all the fig-leaved aprons of religion and self-righteousness of no avail before Him, and then to find yourself cleansed and clothed as Adam in the 3rd of Genesis and Joshua in the 3rd of Zechariah did: which chapters do read, and may God bless them to you.
Years ago there were two young men living in the same garrison town. Their names consisted of six letters each—and four of these the same—and, further, each name began with Fra. So I will call them Frader and Franke. As boys they were acquainted with each other: in course of time both enlisted in the Army, Frader in the cavalry, and the other in the Royal Artillery. From this their paths diverged, and they did not meet again until some years after, during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, outside Cawnpore, that place of dreadful memories, where the horrible massacre, not only of our soldiers, but of helpless women and children, took place; calling forth the most terrible passions of the men of the force who relieved Lucknow, when too late to deliver the hapless garrison of Cawnpore. Well do I remember a gallant Highlander telling me they discovered the body of a female which had not been thrown down the too celebrated well, supposed to be that of General Wheeler’s daughter. Before burying it they reverently cut off the long tresses, dividing them amongst themselves, each swearing they would have the life of a rebel Sepoy for each hair, “and,” he grimly added, “we kept our word too!” Such is war. Oh, for the time when the “Prince of Peace” shall reign, and the prophecy of swords and spears being beaten into ploughshares and pruning hooks be carried out. It will someday, for God has said it.
Well, it was at Cawnpore the two met, to separate shortly to go into action.
During the time preceding this, Frader, whom I knew best, had many a serious thought, specially when he saw comrade after comrade carried off from cholera and buried in a few hours. But these impressions wore off, and perhaps this has happened to you, and you have put it away from you, listening to the Devil’s “tomorrow,” which never comes, instead of heeding God’s “today!” “Now is the accepted time.” Do not, let me beg of you, my reader, continue in this style—waiting for a more convenient season, like Felix in the 24th of Acts—for God will not be mocked: and though He has borne long with you patiently, remember He says, through the wise man in Prov. 29:1, “He that being often reproved and hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”
One day there was to be a big fight outside Lucknow, and as Frader and the men of his tent were laughing and joking what they would do next day, my friend said, “I shall think myself lucky if I come off with the loss of a hand tomorrow.” The action took place. The cavalry charged, and Frader got separated from his troop, and found himself attacked by a Sepoy. The latter avoided the cut made at him, but with one sweep of his tulwar cut off his adversary’s left—the bridle hand—at the wrist. Two men came up and rescued him by killing the Sepoy, then pointed out the direction of the camp, which Frader—who had, as he said, “come off with the loss of a hand”—reached, nearly fainting, and almost falling off his horse from loss of blood, was taken into the hospital tent, and his handless stump attended to. After a little while another wounded soldier was brought in, and who should it be but his former friend Franke—his RIGHT hand shattered by the explosion of a shell which he had been preparing to fire into Lucknow. So there they were, one with right hand and the other with his left hand gone. To add to the horror of the scene—the groans, and, alas! curses of the wounded and dying—the tent caught fire, and each had to crawl out as best he could, most of the poor fellows losing all they had. Frader, being a methodical fellow, was enabled to drag out the best part of his kit with him, which he shared with Franke. They go down country together and borne in the same ship, are discharged, and again lose sight of one another.
A vacancy occurs for a messenger in one of the offices at W—, and one of these was appointed to the post. The hall porter was an earnest Christian man, and sought to set the truth of God’s love and Christ’s work for guilty sinners before the new messenger. He listened, but was not yet reached as to his conscience. Being removed to another billet, the other was appointed, and the same old porter spoke to the new messenger; but the moment had not come for him: but God was at work, and the recollections of the Mutiny and all he had gone through haunted him, giving him no rest. One evening Frader was returning to his quarters. He saw people going into a dingy-looking building, and out of curiosity followed them. The word spoken that night fell upon ploughed-up soil, took root, and peace like an even river flowing in, followed by great joy, was the result. On coming out, who should accost him but Franke, who himself had got blessing in the same dingy room through the same preacher. Again were they together attending the same room, and seeking to serve the same Master; and it may make you smile, my reader, they used to share the same pair of gloves!
Both are with the Lord now for some years— the artilleryman before the dragoon. The latter removed to a small seafaring town near Brighton, where he commenced a gospel work in an old sail loft, the result of which will only be fully known in “that day,” though there are several there, as in other places, to “rise up and call him blessed.”
Well, my reader, have you troubled to follow the curious, and to me very interesting, chain of events in the story of the two I have named, leading up to the grand result of not only being saved themselves, but seeking to bring others to Christ? Well, do I remember the happy faces of both as they more than once told me the foregoing curious category of coincidences, as some would call it, but prefer seeing the hand of a loving Father, and calling them Divine Providences.
Belonging to the same town, each “going for a soldier,” as people say, wounded in same action, attended to in same hospital tent, which was burnt over their heads, going home in same ship, one after the other filling the same office as messenger, spoken to by the same godly hall porter, eventually getting peace in the same dingy building, through the same preacher, remembering the Lord in His death at the same table, serving the same Master, and using the same pair of gloves. And now may the same blessed Holy Ghost, who called each from his hiding place, reach your conscience, my reader, convincing you of sin, if never before, till you cry with the jailer at Philippi, “What must I do to be saved?” then speaking peace to your soul by the same words, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and THOU, yes, Thou shalt be saved.” Saved now and forever, for God’s is an eternal salvation, like Himself.
S. V. H.

In All Things Pre-Eminent

“He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.”
“He is the Head of the body, the Church.”
“That in all things He might have the pre-eminence.”
Col. 1:17, 18.
‘Tis not by deeds that win the praise of men,
Or glitter with the glory of this world,
That I may magnify my Master best:
Or hasten on the coming of the day
When He shall reign as King and Lord of all.
All that He asks is that with all my heart
I will to do His will in everything:
That He may have His way in me, for me,
With me, through me, until at last there comes
Such perfect union, and such sweet accord
Between the glorious Lord of all the worlds
And me, His willing servant here below,
“That in all things He has pre-eminence.”
R. M. L.

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 5

“MONASTERIES,” says Melancthon in his “Life of Luther,” “often screened within them vices so abominable, as if discovered, would make a virtuous man shudder”: but often, too, they concealed such Christian virtues as would have been admired had they been known. A man with these qualities, however, was called to a place of eminence, where he had ample scope for the practice of his good qualities, the healthful influence of which was long and widely felt. The Candle was there placed on a candlestick and gave light to many.
This was John Staupitz, a descendant of a noble family in Misnia. From his youth he had been distinguished for his learning and love of virtue. He entered a monastery that he might have retirement to study literature, and acquire a knowledge of nature: but he soon found these studies could do little for him whereby to secure everlasting salvation. The study of the Bible and the writings of Augustine, the knowledge of himself, and the warfare which, like Luther, he had to wage with the deceits and evil desires of his own heart, led him to Christ. Faith in Christ brought peace to his soul. The doctrine of election by grace particularly laid hold of his mind. He was commended by his contemporaries for the uprightness of his life, the depth of his learning and his eloquence of speech, not less than by a stately figure and manners remarkable for their dignity. The Elector of Saxony made him his friend: he employed him in various embassies, and under his direction founded the University of Wittemberg. He was the first dean of the theological faculty of that school, and was afterwards Vicar-General for all Germany.
Staupitz groaned over the corruption of manners and the errors of doctrine which desolated the Church, but he was not fitted to be a reformer. His writings on the love of God, Christian faith, and conformity to the death of Christ, as also the testimony of Luther, show him to have been a man of sterling piety, and one taught by experience in the school of the Gospel. He paid a visit as Vicar-General to the monastery at Erfurt. Young Luther, made thin by study, abstinence, and watching, attracted his attention. He felt drawn to him, and Luther unbosomed himself to him. Staupitz had passed through the same conflicts which now agitated the soul of the young monk, and he had been informed of the circumstance which led to his entering the monastery. As “face answereth to face in water, so the heart of man to man.” Luther was terrified at the thought of Divine justice. God’s unspeakable holiness and sovereign majesty alarmed him. “Who can abide the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appeareth?”
Staupitz had travelled the same road, and knew how he found peace. “Why,” said he to Luther— “why will you torment yourself with these high thoughts and speculations? Look to the wounds of Jesus Christ, to the blood which He shed for you: it is there that you will discover the grace of God. Instead of making yourself a martyr for your offences, cast yourself into your Saviour’s arms. Trust yourself to Him, to the righteousness of His life, to the expiation of His death.” Luther labored under the mistake which keeps many an anxious soul from peace: “How shall I dare to believe in the favor of God, as long as there is no true conversion in me? I must be changed before He accepts me.”
The words of Staupitz comforted him, but he was still perplexed about some things. The doctrine of election in particular puzzled him. Was he to believe that it was man who should first choose God for his portion, or if it were God who should first choose man?
Staupitz urged him not to attempt the deep mysteries of the Godhead, but to keep to what is revealed of God in Christ. “Behold the wounds of Christ,” said he, “and there shalt thou see God’s counsel towards man clearly shining forth. We cannot comprehend God out of Jesus Christ. In Christ thou shalt find what I am, and what I require, saith the Lord. You will find Him nowhere else, whether in heaven or on earth.”
These words filled Luther with astonishment and humility, gave him fresh courage, and the consciousness of moral energy which he had not before even suspected. Staupitz gave him valuable directions as to his studies, exhorting him henceforth to throw aside all scholastic systems, and find all his theology in the Bible. He presented him with a Bible, saying, “Let the study of the Scriptures be your favorite occupation.” Luther followed these directions most zealously and earnestly. The Bible, especially the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, and the works of the great Augustine, were his only books. The Word of God came home to him with new power. The ploughshare had been deeply driven into his heart, and the incorruptible seed took deep root. When Staupitz quitted Erfurt a new day dawned upon Luther.
R. S.

"My Precious Lord Jesus."

IN a wild and beautiful part of the County Tipperary, there lived, some years ago, a poor Christian woman. She was destitute in circumstances, dependent on the bounty of others, and lodged in the cabin of some peasants who were poor like herself. She suffered in body from a terrible disease, which was daily getting worse and worse. At last the people with whom she lodged could no longer bear to witness her sufferings, and told her she must leave. She had neither house nor home to which she could turn for shelter, and she was in want of the bare necessaries of life, not to speak of those comforts by which anguish and sorrow are often soothed and supported.
What do you think were her feelings when so tried? A gentleman who lived in the neighborhood was directed by a peasant to a road she had been seen to take when turned out of the cabin. Coming to a kind of cave in the side of a hill by the roadside, he thought he heard a low moaning sound, and, dismounting from his horse, he crept near to the edge, bending down to listen. Was it a sound of misery that met his ear? Ah, no! but of blessing and praise. “Oh! my precious Lord Jesus, I would not exchange what I have in Thee for all there is in this wide world. I would not exchange my poor rags, and all my pains and sickness, to be the healthiest, finest dressed lady in the county, for I have all in Thee, Lord Jesus, and Thou art all in all to me.”
“I entered once a home of care,
Old age and penury were there,
Yet peace and joy withal:
I ask’d the lonely mother whence
Her helpless widowhood’s defense?
She told me ‘Christ was all.’
Christ is all, all in all,
Yes, Christ is all in all;
Christ is all, all in all,
Yes, Christ is all in all.”

Jottings About the Bible: Prophecy a Proof of the Divine Origin of Scripture

AS miracle is the intervention of God’s grace in act, prophecy is the intervention of God’s grace in testimony. Both appear on the background of man’s failure: both are intended by the Divine wisdom, which educates His children and rules the world, as a help and consolation to the flock, and the hardening of the wicked.
But prophecy—and this is our chief point here—is a proof of the Divine origin of Scripture. Its force is, unlike that of a miracle, not dependent on the credibility of testimony. It is its own evidence. It is fulfilled before the eyes of the world. The Jews, Tyre, Babylon, Nineveh, demonstrate to all who have eyes to see that we have a sure word of prophecy, and that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken. The words of the prophets find their best explanation in the actual condition of the nations and lands of which they spake: and all men may see it, that the Lord God, who alone can see the end from the beginning, hath revealed these things to His servants the prophets.
Dr. Keith says:— “All the nations which in ancient times were the enemies of Israel have been utterly destroyed, the Arabs excepted, who still dwell in the presence of their brethren. The Jews have been scattered over all nations, are yet dispersed in all countries, and distant from every people. Judea, Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Phalestis bear their brand in every feature. A plain, whereon fishermen spread their nets, is the prophetic representative of princely Tyre. . . . The chief city of Ammon is a stable for camels, that of Moab is a ruinous heap: the temples of Petra are courts for owls, and the word of the Lord against the capital of Edom is written with a pen of iron on the rock for ever. Babylon the Great has been converted into heaps. . . . The spirit of prophecy, which gave forth the anticipated history of the world, and which pointed to cities in their utmost desolation, while they yet blazoned in all the pride of their power, has never been known to lie: and predicted judgments have been fulfilled to the very letter, till the truth of every jot and tittle has been confirmed by its effect.”
The most striking fulfilment of prophecy is seen in the existence of the Jewish nation. Forty centuries have run their course since the first promise of the nation was given unto Abram. As Balaam predicted, the people dwell alone, and are not reckoned among the nations. While the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Romans—the mightiest nations the world ever saw—have disappeared, Israel lives, and has survived all the fearful calamities and persecutions which came upon them. Driven from their own land, dispersed among the nations, for centuries denied the privilege of possessing land, subjected to insult, robbery, and persecutions of the greatest cruelty, they still exist—numerous, energetic, in vigor of body and mind, mysterious alike in their preservation as in their isolated position.
In the midst of the numerous changes which have occurred in the history of nations, Israel is the historical nation, “a nation scattered and peeled,” it is true, and yet her people are even now a witness of the sacred history recorded in Scripture, a pledge of the fulfilment of a yet greater and more glorious theocracy. And when the metaphysical subtleties, as well as the refined secularism of our age, turn with aversion from all direct interference of God, whether in the past, as recorded in the history, or in the future, as recorded in the prophecy of Scripture, the Jews are a living sign and irrefutable evidence of the truth of the Bible. Miracle and prophecy find in them their living monuments.
No wonder that the greatest philosopher of our age (Hegel) felt the Jewish history a dark and perplexing enigma. It is the miracle of history as it is the history of miracle: its exposition is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel.
A living God, as distinguished from idols, whether the idols of heathenism or the idol of the abstract god of philosophy, appeals to this as one of His attributes, that He revealeth future things. “Bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth and show us what shall happen: show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods.” And again, “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa. 41:21-23: 45:18-21: 48:5, 14-16). Even the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, a heathen, exclaimed, “Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.”
~~~
BY-AND-BY, Jesus, who died for us, the Lamb, and with God, will be the light of glory. How happy to have followed Him in this dark world, and to see Him shine in glory— our beloved Saviour, the Lamb who was slain for us.

Eternity Is Unchangeable

SHOULD you die at this moment where would you go? Ponder the question, pause before you answer where. If you were cut down as you read these lines, dare you contemplate what would be your endless state? What keeps you back from God and from heaven, reader? Unbelief!
You do not believe that the future is what God declares it to be. You discredit the joys of heaven and the woes of hell. The rest, the peace, the blessing of being one of God’s people now, loved and cared for by Him, you despise. Yet what is the rushing to and fro, the pleasure seeking, the money-making, but the few days’ flitting of a summer butterfly from flower to flower? Life will be soon over and gone, and its pleasures remembered like a dream. But eternity is unchangeable, and its joys and its woes are endless.
Once again comes to your perishing soul God’s love-message. May the message enter into your inmost heart. God has compassion upon you. He sends to you His good news. Will you not leave the fading flowers of this world’s pleasure and drink in Divine love, and live for ever?
God asks nothing at your hand. He bids you to believe. Believe that He sent His Son into the world to die that sinners might live: believe that His Son was made sin upon the cross that sinners might be made God’s righteousness in Christ; believe that Jesus Himself bare our sins in His own body on the tree.
The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and he that believes the Gospel shall be saved.

My Palestine Recollections. 5. The City That Men Call the Perfection of Beauty

WE took leave of our fellow-travelers, and at 6:30 my companion halted his horse, and addressing me, said, “What do you see before you?” It was Jerusalem. There were Zion and Moriah. No temple of Jehovah, but the Mosque of the Khalif Omar. Still it was Jerusalem, although “trodden down by the Gentiles,” until, yes, “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
We arrived at the house of Mr. Audi Azam, a Christian manufacturer, dwelling on Mount Zion. We knocked at the outer gate, and soon the faithful household servant, Monsoul by name, came to the wicket, and being assured as to who we were, he opened the gate, took charge of our horses, and announced our arrival to good Mr. Azam. He in turn soon appeared, when the oft-told Oriental greetings were enacted, of falling on the neck (alternately over the right and left shoulder) and exchanging the kiss of peace. Not long after, kind Mrs. Azam was also introduced, and her voice could afterwards be heard (like Sarah’s in the inner tent) calling to Monsoul to assist her in the hospitable preparations going on for our refreshment and entertainment. Then at the table, without interrupting the conversation, our well-beloved Gaius, Mr. Azam, gave his orders by a movement of his hand, which the eyes of Monsoul, constantly watching, interpreted aright, and brought the fresh dishes or the water, the coffee, or whatever his master saw to be required. This recalled the beautiful use of the figure in Ps. 123:2, “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God.”
In the accompanying sketch which I made of the reception vestibule of Mr. A.’s house, one of the servants is shown partaking of the meal after the master and guests have first been filled (Luke 17:8). There is in Acts 12:12-17, an account of which, I believe, the sketch affords an appropriate illustration. The little wicket in the large outer gate at which a man is shown to be entering is sometimes spoken of as the “Needle’s Eye.” For anyone to enter by it he must needs stoop (may we say become as a little child?), while for the entry of a camel the larger gate (within which the wicket is framed) must needs be thrown open. The passage from the wicket to the door of the house will be seen to be a portion of the garden covered with the vine trained on a trellis.
If in thought we substitute for the figures shown in the sketch, the company described in the above verses, gathered together praying for Peter, and imagine the wicket to correspond with the door of the gate at which Peter knocked, we can recognize the path under the trellis of vines as corresponding with the ground crossed and re-traversed by the damsel named Rhoda, when she brought word how Peter stood before the gate, and when they would not believe the good news, “she constantly affirmed that it was even so.” The trellis of vines brings Cant. 2:3, Micah 4:4, and other precious scriptures to mind.
T. T.

He Loveth the Stranger

I HAD only landed in Palestine in the evening, and on the following morning, while it was yet early, I rose and went up to the housetop to be alone. Not so many miles away, I thought, was Joppa, where God spoke to Peter on just such a housetop, as He looked out upon the same wide sea. Would He speak to me this morning? I did not doubt it: for sorely did I, almost a stranger in a strange land, need to hear His voice. I was turning over the leaves of my Bible, when the word “stranger” caught my eye, and I read these words, “He loveth the stranger” (Deut. 10:18). This was all I wanted, another whisper to me of His tender love. If He thus loves the stranger, how much more does He love His own child!

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 5

WE have spoken of the four periods in the early history of Rome into which the story of its gradual development can be divided. If we obtain a general idea of these, we shall be able to understand better how eventually the people were able to wield such mighty power.
There is something wonderful in being able to trace the growth of a kingdom. Just like an acorn, at first it is buried and almost unnoticed, then it sends forth its tiny tendrils, and afterwards the deeply embedded roots, until at last it rises tall and strong as the noble oak, and is able to withstand the blasts of the terrible storm: or, as the little spring of water, gradually increasing as it flows onwards, until it becomes the broad, deep, magnificent river. So it was with Rome. Its beginnings enshrouded in mystery, gradually its power was felt, until, in the very crisis of the earth’s history, her people manifested their strength and power, and enforced, as their influence spread, almost universal submission.
We venture to repeat that this was intended to be and was permitted by an over-ruling Power. The world would not be what it is today had not Rome arisen to shape its destiny, and by its Imperialism to train men’s minds upon principles, which, however severe they might appear, were calculated to have the effect of producing self-control and proper obedience to a legitimately constituted authority.
We ought also to bear in mind that even during the days of pagan Rome, when the great men of the land looked to heathen gods and goddesses for help in the days of adversity and for guidance in almost all the affairs of daily life, yet that even then they should have formulated laws for the government of the people of a most beneficent character, or that the greatest possible good, so far as equity and justice and freedom were concerned, should be the prerogative and privilege of every member of the great Commonwealth.
During the first 250 years of the authenticated records of Rome, there were seven kings, namely, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Martins, L. Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and Tarquinius Superbus, who reigned from 534 to 510 B.C. The sincere desire of each of these appears to have been to rule righteously, and although often conflicts arose with neighboring tribes, yet the great idea was to consolidate and strengthen the kingdom, so that the people might live in peace and profitably cultivate the land.
And, surely, it seems strange to read that all those ages before the Christian era, in the time of Romulus, for example, there was a definite constitution and government very similar to that under which we live now. The small colony dwelling in the Palatine was, in every sense of the word, a limited monarchy. A senate, consisting of one hundred members, elected by the people, and presided over by the king, had laws for the welfare of the populace submitted to it, and the members had the power to pass or to reject, as they pleased, the proposals brought forward. A little later on, during the reign of the third king, this method of government was amplified. Several of the adjoining states had coalesced with the Palatinate colony, and were given at once a proper representation in the government, so much so that our own Houses of Lords and Commons are just copies of this ancient type. The patrician class formed the senate, and the general assembly was, as a rule, chosen from the plebeian class. There was also another element called clientes, consisting of emancipated slaves. Their designation is connected with the word cluere (“to hear”), hence our term clients, because these men were dependents, and were supposed to listen to their masters’ word.
The authority of the king was great, although he was regarded more as a chief magistrate, and one of the fundamental features of the Roman Commonwealth was, that the ruler should never go to war, or undertake any important work, or make any change in the government of the country, without first consulting his advisers. Surely in all these things we can see how similar principles in our land have tended for 1,000 years to ensure liberty to the subjects generally, so far as the constitution is concerned, peace and equity to law-abiding citizens.

The One Resource for God's People

THE Lord Jesus was in the wilderness, a desert place where there were no resources, and we read that when He saw the multitude who came to Him, he asked Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” He stood there, Himself the answer to His own question. In the presence of wants innumerable, there is one resource for God’s people—Christ.
Let us ask ourselves—we who know Him as our Saviour—do we thus look on Christ? Do we thus reckon on Him? Do we tell Him everything, small and great? for nothing is too small to bring to Him. Christ is God’s one resource for us in everything. Do we seek to use Him thus?

Our Bible Class

DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,—
The number of papers received during March has been a real cheer, not only to Cousin Edith, but to your true and long-tried friend, the Editor of “THE SPRINGING WELL,” who, amidst his many engagements, finds or makes time to take a deep and kindly interest in your Bible study.
Question 1, asking for a verse from the Book of Joshua which proves that before the call of Abraham, his father and family worshipped idols, has been correctly answered by ALL who have sent papers (Josh. 24:2): and it is encouraging to find that as the word idol or idols is not used in the passage quoted, some care has been taken by the members of our Class to read between the lines, and so grasp its real meaning. “Other gods” could only be idols, not the One Living and True God, who had been pleased to make Himself known to His people Israel in such words as “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD” (Deut. 6:2).
Question 2— “Was the prayer of Abraham’s servant the first of which we read in Genesis? If not, give references to the first and last prayers recorded in Scripture”—does not seem to have been at all clearly understood, an answer, in some cases, not having been even attempted. Was it so very difficult, dear ones? Most who have answered it seem agreed in thinking it the first of which we read. Shall we turn for a moment to Gen. 18, verses 20 to 32?
There we find a man (Abraham) who in the holy calm of communion with God poured forth his heart’s desire, and made request (in a prayer of intercession) for the guilty cities of the plain. See also Gen, 17:18,
The last prayer in Scripture is “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).

Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 5

(Gen. 25)
THE opening verses of our chapter tell us of Abraham’s second marriage, and give the names of his sons and grandsons, though we are not allowed to forget (verse 5) that Isaac, the child of promise, still holds his place as Abraham’s heir. Genesis is, we have often been reminded, “the seed plot of the whole Bible,” and we know from many passages in the Prophets, that after the Church, the Bride of Christ, has been taken from the earth, God will again take up the Jews and bring them into blessing.
A little later on we come to the history of a man who has a great many relations living at the present time: people who only care for what their eyes can see, or their hands handle: for whom “unseen things” have no value, no attraction— Esau, who despised his birthright.
Few, if any, start, I think, really intending to take the wrong road, but in one of the letters of Paul we are shown the steps which lead to it. To neglect Salvation, too, often paves the way for the gift of God being refused. Those who refuse, may, and unless arrested by the grace and mercy of God, will take another step, and become despisers. “Delays are dangerous.” Accept the gift, and then, but not till then, Love to the Giver will fill even to overflowing the heart in which Christ reigns, and the daily life will bring forth “fruit unto God.”

The Good Shepherd's Voice

“HE goeth before them, and the sheep follow him,” said our Shepherd, “for they know his voice.” Every sheep and lamb of the flock of God knows the Good Shepherd’s voice. He has called each one by its name, and His voice of love is precious in the hearts of His own. He said, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give unto them eternal life” (John 10:27, 28).

Gideon: "The Mighty Man of Valour."

(Judges 6, 7, 8)
WHEN the people of Israel were in trouble, on account of their many enemies, God raised up first one man, and then another, to help them. God never forgets His promises, and He had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to take care of, and to defend, their children and their children’s children. The men who were thus chosen to serve the Lord God, and to fight for His people, were not all of one family, but taken out, or called out, from different tribes, and they were spoken of as being judges, deliverers, or saviours.
Gideon was one of the judges: there were altogether fifteen judges, of whom Gideon was the fifth. The first of these was called Othniel (Judges 3:9).
When the children of Israel cried to the Lord their prayer was heard, and He raised up a deliverer: in the margin the word is saviour. This was Othniel, who delivered them out of the hand of their enemies. Soon they were in trouble again, but again cried to the Lord, and He raised up Ehud, who also delivered them. There were thus many judges, deliverers, or saviours: but they were mere men, who could only help for a little time, while the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of the world, saves with an eternal salvation, and not only saves the body, but the soul. Othniel and others saved the bodies of the children of Israel from their human enemies, but our Saviour saves from a more powerful foe, and that for ever.
Gideon’s father’s name was Joash. He does not appear to have been a rich man, but, whether poor or rich, it was a great honor for his son Gideon to be chosen of the Lord to serve Him. Gideon was busy threshing wheat, in order to hide it from their enemies, when an angel of the Lord came and spoke to him. God had sent the angel with the message, and the words must have made Gideon wonder and feel very pleased. These were the words— “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour,” just as if he had said, “The Lord is with thee, thou very brave man.” It must have been a cheer to the heart of Gideon to be looked upon as a “man of valour,” but the best of all was that the Lord was with him. Yet Gideon at once began to reason, doubt, and question, even saying, “Oh, my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? but now the Lord hath forsaken us”: and “Oh, my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
All this took place a very long while ago, but sometimes in these days, when Christian people have to pass through heavy trials, they are tempted to think that God has forgotten to be gracious: and yet He has said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” and those who know that God gave His Son to die on the cross for their sins ought to trust Him, and believe that “all things work together for their good.”
Then the Lord looked upon Gideon, and said, “Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites; have not I sent thee?” What noble words! what power there is in them! Better to be sent with a message from God Himself than on an errand from the grandest king of this world, who wears a crown of jewels or of gold, and who sits on a splendid throne Better far to be thus employed by the King of kings and Lord of lords than by the richest earthly monarch!

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text.— “He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” — Acts 9:15.
“And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”—Acts 9:20. Read Acts 9:1-20.
The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
1, 2. “Saul yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.” What an evil breath he had! The word translated “breathing out” is used only this once, and means to breathe in or out, to breathe, to live. His very life was to hate Christ and Christians, and yet the time came when he could truly say “For me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
3, 4. “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” Thus spake Jesus of Nazareth to him in the Hebrew language (26:14), and arrested him in his mad career, for God had determined concerning him, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further” (Job 38:15). Whoever touches a Christian touches Christ Himself, but not even the devil can go one step beyond God’s permission (Job 1:10: Dan. 4:35: Zech. 2:8).
5, 6. “The Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest.” He recognizes a superior, and asks, “Who art Thou, Lord?” The answer fills him with trembling and astonishment, for Jesus of Nazareth is actually speaking to him. Seeing Him to be indeed the Christ, the Messiah, whom the prophets had foretold, he at once acknowledges Him as Lord, and meekly asks what he is now to do.
7, 9, “He was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.” The men who were with him fell to the earth, seeing the light, and being afraid. They also heard the voice of someone speaking, but did not hear the words, for those were for Saul only. Compare 22:9; 26:14.
10-12. “Inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for, behold, he prayeth.” Thus said the Lord to Ananias, a devout disciple, and one who had a good report of all the Jews at Damascus (22:12). He, like Philip in a previous lesson, is prompt and obedient, one on, whom the Lord could rely to do His bidding.
13-16. “He is a chosen vessel unto Me to bear My name.” Ananias hesitates just a little as he thinks of Saul’s reputation and authority and his madness against Christians. The Lord graciously bears with Ananias in his objections, but repeats His command to go, and assures him that Saul is to be His special messenger to the Gentiles.
17-20. “Receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Thus said Ananias to Saul as, having found him just where the Lord said he would, he put his hands upon him and told of the Lord’s commission. He received sight, both natural and spiritual, confessed Christ in baptism, took food for the body, and was strengthened, and immediately preached in the synagogues that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God. Old things are passed away, all things are become new, the Spirit has clothed Himself with Saul (Judges 6:34, R.V., margin), and now henceforth he does but one thing, knows but one Master, and for Him is ready to lay down his life.

Our Book Column: The Story of Isaac Levinsohn

THIS is a new and enlarged edition of a volume that has met with a highly favorable reception, and has done good work since it first appeared.
This fresh issue is rendered additionally interesting, because the story is continued to the present time, and two new portraits are added—one of the author, a splendid picture—and another of Dr. H. A. Stern, of Abyssinian fame. He it was who took young Levinsohn by the hand in the early days of his conversion, and instructed him in the truth and helped him to understand the Word of God. The volume is beautifully bound, and would make an interesting and attractive present.

"It Is Time to Seek the Lord": or, How God Answers Prayer

WHAT a privilege is prayer! For the true believer to be able to look up to God, his Father, about all the circumstances of his daily life, is indeed a mercy beyond expression. To know that God hears, and loves to answer the requests of His children, according to His own wise will, is an unspeakable comfort. Remember the beautiful words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, how He said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father IN MY NAME, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing IN MY NAME: ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23, 24).
The hearts of believers should therefore be strengthened to persevere in prayer. The response may not come precisely as we anticipate. It may be deferred for an apparently indefinite period, but it is bound to come if we trust in God, and are content to let Him manifest His grace towards us in His own perfect way.
How many Christian mothers and fathers have prayed for years and years for their wayward children, and at last the love of the eternal God has touched the heart of the wanderers, and brought them home in true contrition of soul to the loving hearts awaiting them? This is an everyday story, and only serves to intensify the beauty and tenderness of the Saviour’s incomparable parable, which tells of the son who “took his journey into a far country and there wasted his substance in riotous living.” Who has not followed that son with marvelous interest? Observed how “he began to be in want,” and how “he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country.” We have watched him alone and friendless. No one to care for him! No one apparently to save! “He began to be in want.” Poor fellow his old companions and friends had forsaken him. He was associated with the swine! The blue canopy of heaven was above him: but it was all silent, still, voiceless. “No man gave to him.” Ah! then it was “the old, old story” — “He came to himself.” Remembrances of his former happy home crowded into his memory. He begins at the very lowest place. The servants in his father’s house, how favored they were! They had “bread enough and to spare,” while he perished with hunger. Then the father himself came before his soul, and in the assurance of that undying love he speaks. God only is there to hear his words. The Spirit of the living God was working in his heart to produce that memorable confession, “I will arise and go to my father, and say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” We can picture that homeward journey. The rags and the utter ruin, until that moment “when he was yet a great way off his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him,” or “covered him with kisses” as it might be read. We all know the story of his reception, the “robe,” the “ring,” the “shoes on his feet,” and the “fatted calf” killed. Oh! no wonder they began to be merry. That divine merriment produced ever-widening circles until there was “joy,” too, IN THE PRESENCE of the Angels over that “one sinner” repenting. “This, my son, was dead, and is alive again: he was lost and is found, and they began to be merry.”
~~~
This lovely story is perpetually repeated in everyday life, under our very eyes. We have read of a loving mother who every dark winter night put a light in her window in order that her wandering sailor boy might be guided home to the old cottage, and after years and years of forgetfulness he came back to fill her old loving heart with joy.
We have also read of another, a widow, who went into the dark, sinful places of the great city searching for her erring daughter. In and out of the dreadful resorts, where she feared she was likely to be, she went and fixed little cards in prominent positions where they were likely to be seen, with the following inscription in her own handwriting thereon: “MARY, I LOVE YOU STILL!” Eventually Mary saw one. Recollections of the time when she knelt at that Godly mother’s knee and said.
“Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name,”
came back to her and broke her heart, and led her to acknowledge her sin, and to determine by God’s grace to leave her sinful life and to return to paths of purity and blessing and peace. When she went back to the humble dwelling far away from the sin and the shame of the awful city, she found that the heart of her devoted mother had never ceased to yearn intensely for her restoration, and at last her heart was filled with rejoicing as she received her child with open arms to the old familiar dwelling that she had known in days gone by.
That is so like God. He loves the sinner, whoever he or she may be, or whatever the depth of their iniquity: but He waits to hear the heartfelt confession, “I have sinned against Heaven.” This is the starting point for forgiveness and pardon and peace, and unending joy and blessing.
~~~
Besides, how much encouragement there is in the scriptures for the true children of God to continue earnestly in prayer. Luther said, “A man cannot be a true believer, a child of God, unless he be a man of prayer: for what the breath is to the body, prayer is to the soul,” and good Bishop Taylor said, “Prayer is God’s bell-rope down here. When I am sad I touch it, and there is an answering peal in heaven, and blessings descend on my soul. When as a redeemed sinner I am happy, I touch it, and the joy-bells ring in heaven, there is gladness in heaven.” But the Bible, God’s word, abounds with every possible certainty that the Christian ought to never give up, never to lose faith, and never despair: but to be assured that the Lord hears and answers prayer. That is a remarkable scripture addressed to God’s ancient people in Isa. 62:6, 7, “Ye that make mention of the Lord,” says the prophet, “keep not silence, and GIVE HIM NO REST till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” If this were the encouragement and words, concerning Jehovah, to the Israelite, “GIVE HIM NO REST,” what should it be for God’s children now, to whom He has given His Blessed Spirit, through whom they can come with boldness to ask continually every needed mercy?
In the same prophecy there is another very beautiful and wonderful scripture, because it tells of the grace so boundless and free that is ready to stream forth from God Himself on behalf of the needy suppliant. Listen to it! The Lord says, “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I THE LORD WILL HEAR THEM, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isa. 41:17, 18).
~~~
God has not changed: He is the same today as when He gave these wonderful promises in ages long ago. It is beautiful to note about Abraham, that God had no sooner called him out from his country and his kindred into the plain of Moreh, than “there he builded an altar unto the Lord, who appeared to him,” and it is written, “So Abraham prayed unto God” (Gen. 20:17). Then, again, Abraham’s steward, Eliezer, is it not lovely to watch him as he arrives near to “the city of Nahor,” whither he had gone to do his master’s bidding. We are told that “he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water, and he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham,” and he prayed in terms so pathetically simple that God would direct the right damsel to appear, and so she did, for “it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out.” We cannot be surprised that the Lord so soon answered the earnest, humble prayer of this faithful man, who was satisfied to be able to say simply, “I am Abraham’s servant” (Gen. 24:34).
How often, too, during the life of Jacob, did he turn to God in earnest supplication. His ways were often wayward, and yet from the day when he left the old home to travel to Padan-Aram, it seemed that his true resource was in God alone, From the night when the Lord spoke to him at Bethel, and he awoke, saying, “How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven,” until many long years after he returned, and “there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day,” and Jacob said to the man with whom he wrestled, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” All through that strange and eventful record Jacob constantly turned to God, and there is undoubted evidence that He heard and answered and blessed him: indeed, in this instance, the word came to him instantly, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince HAST THOU POWER WITH GOD, AND WITH MEN, AND HAST PREVAILED” (Gen. 32:28).
Who can read the prayer of Nehemiah without being impressed with the deep reality of this servant of the Lord? Listen to his touching utterances. “Let Thine ear be attentive,” he says to God, “and Thine eyes open, that Thou mayest hear the prayer of Thy servant, which I pray before Thee now . . . and prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cup-bearer,” and the prophet’s prayer was answered, for as he stood before Artaxerxes, the king noticed his countenance, and said, “For what dost thou make request?” and in an instant Nehemiah’s heart was up to God to give him the right answer, as he says, “So I prayed to the God of Heaven!”
How blessed it was also for David to pray. “Unto Thee will I pray,” he says. “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord: in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee and will look up. I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears,” says the sweet singer of Israel. We might also tell of Solomon, Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and many other men of faith and prayer in days of old, around whom God threw the shield of His everlasting care and protecting love.
His dealings with the prophet Daniel are especially and singularly beautiful. It is written that “He went into his house: and his windows being open toward Jerusalem, he KNEELED UPON HIS KNEES three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God” (Dan. 6:10). In a later chapter we are able to listen to his supplications. He says, “O my God, incline Thine ear and hear: open Thine eyes and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Thy name: for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies. O Lord, hear: O Lord, forgive: O Lord, hearken and do: defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name” (Dan. 9:18, 19). These are the pathetic and tender words of this great prophet. Would the Lord refuse such an entreaty? Would He turn a deaf ear to such an earnest cry? Surely not! for what does the Man of God say? Oh, listen to the story! “Yea, whiles I WAS SPEAKING IN PRAYER, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being CAUSED TO FLY SWIFTLY, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I have now come forth to give thee skill and understanding, AT THE BEGINNING of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee: for thou art greatly beloved” (Dan. 9:20-23): and the prophet adds that afterwards “There came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened” (Dan. 10:18, 19). Such was the manner in which Jehovah heard and answered the prayers of His servant, the exile of Babylon.
What blessings would come down upon those for whom we pray, if God heard such earnest, direct, and wonderful prayers as Daniel’s straight from the yearning hearts of His children now. Too often, alas! we are like the disciples who were assembled in “the house of Mary, the mother of John,” as recorded in Acts 12. There it is written, “Many were gathered together praying,” and yet when Peter, who had been miraculously extricated from prison, “knocked at the door of the gate, the damsel Rhoda came to hearken,” and “when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in and told them Peter stood before the gate.” . . . But Peter continued knocking, and when they had opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. They could not believe in such an immediate answer to their prayers. It seemed so impossible: although they had prayed, they had left God greatly out of it, so much so that at first, in answer to the damsel Rhoda, they replied, “Thou art mad,” but she, constantly affirming that it was even so, then said they, “It is his Angel.” They would rather believe in the appearance of an apparition, than give credit to the fact that the Eternal God could cause the chains to fall from off His servant’s hands, and the iron gates to open of their own accord, or that the Apostle might be free once more to serve his Lord, and to rejoin those true and simple disciples “who were gathered together praying.”
We have referred to all these cheering examples of the blessedness and privilege of prayer, because lately we have heard of many instances in which God has so distinctly heard the continued prayers of His people. An old woman was recently visited. Poor and paralyzed, she could not attend her usual place of worship: but she told the young Christian who called upon her that she was “always very definite with the Lord.” She mentioned to Him exactly what she wanted, and although she was living alone in one room, without many friends, yet the delight of being “definite with the Lord” seemed to be very real to the aged believer, and to fill her heart with “joy unspeakable,” because, as she put it, she could “always talk to the Lord.”
We heard, too, some time ago of another Christian who lost a most valuable Bible. It was a presentation book, and had been made most useful by many marginal notes. For years he prayed for its recovery, and at last God converted a wild young fellow, who brought the very Bible to a Bible class. It had been lent to him for the occasion, but the name McVicker and an inscription were in it, and through these it reached the owner, whose heart was filled with gratitude for this gracious and remarkable answer to prayer. We know, too, how George Muller prayed every day for forty-five years for the conversion of one person, but as we write we cannot remember if he received an answer to these many years of prayer, before he was called home.
We are acquainted with a devoted father and mother who continually pray for their son, a young fellow who has heard the gospel for years and years, and yet who treads the path of sorrow and sin, and is now, although quite young, an apparently hopeless drunkard. We are certain that God will yet hear the agonized entreaty of these devoted Christian parents, and let them see their son saved front the power of sin through the precious blood of Christ, and “clothed and in his right mind,” like the man who had been possessed with the devil as described in Mark 5.
~~~
We have, furthermore, been led to dwell so much upon the holy privilege of prayer, because we recently heard of a beautiful instance of the way in which God is pleased, sometimes immediately, to answer the prayers of believing parents, and so we thought it might be an encouragement to others to continue “instant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).
It was in a lovely village in Devonshire that a mother and father were made exceedingly anxious for the conversion of their son. He had a companion who knew and loved the Lord. He very often talked to his friend about Christ and about God’s great salvation, but nothing seemed to move him. Very often his mother earnestly pleaded with him both for his own soul’s eternal welfare, and also for the joy and blessing of knowing Christ as his own Saviour, and having Him as his guide and counsellor and friend: but it all seemed to be of no avail. The father and mother waited upon God continually, asking Him by His Spirit to open the blind eyes of their son to see beauty in Christ, and to lead him by the tender love of the Lord in laying down His life for him, to believe on Him, and to trust Him for his present and eternal blessing: but he was deaf to every entreaty, and at times appeared ready to deliberately reject the Gospel. This was a grief and a sorrow to these loving, tender-hearted parents, that only those who truly love the Lord can fully understand. God’s time had, however, well-nigh come, for one night there was a harvest festival at the chapel, and John was in some way induced to attend. The preacher was a most earnest man, and took for his text the words:
“It is time to seek the Lord” (Hos. 10:12).
He told his hearers not only of the earthly harvest that was ended, but of that harvest of judgment that awaits the impenitent and unsaved. “The harvest is passed: the summer is ended,” emphasized the preacher, “and we are not saved.” Our friend’s soul was troubled at these words. He knew it was true of him, and he went home convicted in his soul and terribly anxious. The realities of eternity stared him in the face, and try how he might, he could not get rid of them. All that night he was burdened with the sense of sin, and he dared not sleep until the matter was settled. Monday morning came, and he was up as usual very early. His mother noticed the expression of deep concern upon his face, but felt it was best to leave him alone with God. She felt certain that God’s Holy Spirit was dealing with her beloved boy, and she felt it was too solemn for her to add any human help just then to His Divine instrumentality, and so the father and son started off together, with their tools upon their backs, to engage in the ordinary occupations of the day. The sun had hardly risen, and it was in the quiet country road as they walked silently along that John at length turned to his father and just told him how in his heart he longed to be saved. The son confessed he was a sinner, but that Christ had died. He acknowledged he deserved death and judgment, but Christ was risen. By faith he looked away to the Saviour, and light broke in upon the young fellow’s soul. “IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD, father,” he said: “now is the time”: and there at the dawning of the day they laid their tool baskets down by the side of the road, and knelt together in holy, solemn, wonderfully blessed prayer. Reader, that young man had “passed from death into life.” Have you? He began to learn the joys of salvation, and has been discovering more and more of its wonders ever since. He lives now to serve the Saviour and to glorify His adorable Name. Do you, reader? Is there any melody in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to you?
That father and devoted mother are thanking God for hearing their prayers for their son, and rest assured of this, that he will never forget the prayer-meeting by the roadside, for he could say that morning, as did Jacob on his journey to Laban, “This is none other but the House of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” “Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
“Love of God, so pure and changeless,
Blood of Christ, so rich and free;
Grace of God, so rich and boundless,
Magnify it all in me,—
Even me.”

"I Believe in the Life Everlasting."

IF, dear reader, you have not this day said these words, as in the presence of Almighty God, yet as you profess the Christian Faith, none the less do you own that they form part of your belief. No heathen philosopher ever taught the life everlasting. This the living God has made known. And since, as professors of the Christian faith, we are privileged to say individually, “I believe in the life everlasting,” let us each add, “and I do so believe because God by His Word teaches me so to do. And thus, as the old Church Council which framed the creed wherein these words occur built its ‘I believe’ upon the Scriptures, so do I.”
Let us then take the Scriptures in our hands, and search in them for answers to some questions on the life everlasting.
1. How does God bestow the life everlasting? God bestows it on man, not as a reward, but as a free gift. “The wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life” (Rom. 5:23). And our Lord Himself declares “I give . . . eternal life” (John 10:28).
2. Upon whom is this gift bestowed?
Upon such as believe God the Father and God the Son. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36). Also our Lord says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life” (ch. 4:24).
3. Can any one know in this lifetime that he has the life everlasting?
He can, for the Apostle John, writing by the Holy Spirit, says, “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).
4. Does God tell us that it is a very great sin to disbelieve what He says about the life everlasting?
He does, for He says, “He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar: because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son: and this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (ch. 5:10, 11)
Our Lord declares,
ALL WHO. . . “Verily, verily, I say unto you,
BELIEVE . . . He that believeth on Me
HAVE. . . Hath everlasting life”
(John 6:47).
Do you from your heart believe the Father and the Son?
Do you know that you have the life everlasting?
Have you thanked God for the gift of everlasting life?
Thus saith Holy Scripture:
“He that hath the Son hath life: he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12).
H. F. W.

Tell Him All the Truth

“The woman . . . came and fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth.”—Mark 5:33.
“The apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus and told Him all things.”—Mark 6:30
“TELL Him when the burden seems too great for thee to bear,
Go lay it at the feet of Christ, and know that He will care,
And tell Him all the little things that come to cloud your way,
The puzzles and perplexities that trouble you today.
I tell Him all the story now—no other friend can be,
In the morning light or evening shades, what Jesus is to me.”

Gleanings From Unpublished Diaries. A Blanket and a Pair of Sheets.

“DID I ever tell you about the old woman’s blanket?”
“No.”
“Well, in my district I had an old woman almost bed-ridden, who sadly wanted a blanket.
“I said to her, ‘Have you ever asked the Lord for a blanket?’
“‘No,’ she said. ‘You don’t think the Lord God Almighty would hear me about such a thing as that?’
“‘Well,’ I said, ‘we’ll ask Him,’ and I knelt down there and then, and asked the Lord to send her a blanket. That was in the beginning of the week.
“On the following Sunday I met a gentleman who at various times had been kind to the old woman, and he asked me how she was getting on. I said very badly, I feared.
“‘The other day,’ he replied, ‘I SENT HER A BLANKET, AND TOLD MY HOUSEKEEPER TO GET HER A PAIR OF SHEETS,’ I really felt SO overcome by the speedy answer to prayer that I could not say anything at the moment, though I have told him all about it since.
“The next time I went to see the dear old woman she threw up her hands, exclaiming, ‘The Lord sent me a blanket, and a pair of sheets too!’”
E. STACY-WATSON.

The King's Stamps

BY WILLIAM LUFF.
HOW interested everybody has been in the new stamps! How important, too, is a stamp to a letter! But where can I find a text suitable to this subject? In Rom. 13:14, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The stamp has to be put on where it can be seen, at the top right-hand corner. At the Winchester Soldiers’ Home Tent, on Salisbury Plain, when sorting some of the men’s letters, I found one which appeared not to have a stamp: but on turning it over, I found the head stuck on as a seal. Can people see the King’s image upon us? Or are we doubtful?
In the new stamp we see the glory of the British Isles in the face of the king: and what do we see in the Gospel stamp? “The Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
“Have you noticed that the king is represented as uncrowned?” asked one.
I had not thought of it, but it taught me a lesson: our King is not yet crowned, but
“The crowning day is coming by-and-by.”
How is the stamp affixed? By taking hold of it and touching it with the mouth. And this reminds us that “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).
A little stamp will carry a large letter, and a little letter cannot be carried without it. Children are little letters, but they need Jesus as their stamp. Men and women are large letters, but Jesus will pass them on to heaven. Each must have a stamp for themselves: two stamps on one letter will not pass another letter without a stamp. Mother’s grace will not do for her son or daughter (Ezek. 14:14; Matt. 25:9).
A young man of beautiful life came to Jesus, and Jesus, beholding him, loved him: but He had to say, “One thing thou lackest” (Mark 10:21). He was a clean letter, beautifully written, and without a blot: but he was unstamped. What a lesson for lovely children, and others who have not put on the Lord Jesus!
An Irishman once wrote upon his envelope, “This letter has a stamp on it, if it does not come off.” Jesus is a stamp that never comes off; not because we stick to Him, but because He sticks to us. The adhesiveness is all on the side of the stamp: we love Jesus because He first loved us, and having loved His own He loves them “unto the end.”
The design on the new stamp has been passed by the king: and the design and plan of our salvation have been approved by the authority divine. No private crest, or original work of our own art will do.
Where are the stamps to be procured? Where the King reigns. I must come under the scepter of Christ Jesus if I would have His saving mark.
Before the stamp can do its work its beauty must be defaced. This makes us think of Isa. 14, “His visage was so marred!” Men spat in His face, and struck Him on the face: the black marks of our sins were upon Him, and even God allowed His own righteous hand to fall heavily upon Him. And all this that as our stamp He might pass us.
When the letter is stamped, it is committed to the letter box. So, by faith, I trust my soul to God through Jesus, and say, “I am persuaded He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12).
After a letter is thus posted, it becomes the king’s property. I cannot have it back. If I am one of God’s stamped letters, I sing
“Not my own, the Lord accepts me,
One among the ransomed throng,
Who in Heaven shall see His glory,
And to Jesus Christ belong.”
The letter is next Sorted and Sealed. Sorted for the road it is to go, and sealed in the mail bag. God sorts His people for different ways through life, and seals them by His Spirit (Eph. 1:13).
Then they are Cared for and Carried. Lest letters should get lost they are tied in bundles, illustrating churches and missions. Angels are the postmen. “He shall give His angels charge over thee” (Ps. 91:11).
At last they are Delivered at their Destination (Luke 6:22).
“Carried by the angels to the Land of Rest.”
And what of those who have no stamp? The stamp means “paid for.” All who put on the Lord Jesus Christ are paid for by His precious blood. Others may pass on with the stamped ones: we dare not stop them, or send them back: but they will be stopped at the Mansion Gates: already they are marked to pay double; and as there is no paying at the end, all unstamped letters must at last go into the fire. Have you therefore, dear reader, thus put on the Lord Jesus Christ?

Our Bible Portion: The Vine and the Branches

“I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; FOR WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING.”—John 15:5.
EVERY professing Christian is a branch of Christ, the true Vine, even as every Israelite was a branch of the vine of Israel; and, being a branch, the believer is responsible to abide in Christ. How is fruit to be borne?
The branch apart from the parent stem is a branch and nothing more. The branch possesses in itself no power whatever to bear fruit, and the Lord says, “Without,” or apart from, “Me ye can do nothing.” Fruit-bearing results from abiding in Christ. The Lord says:—
“ABIDE IN ME, AND I IN YOU. AS THE BRANCH CANNOT BEAR FRUIT OF ITSELF, EXCEPT IT ABIDE IN THE VINE, NO MORE CAN YE, EXCEPT YE ABIDE IN ME” (John 15:4).
Let us mark the order of these words. First the Lord says:— “Abide in Me,” next, “I in you.”
This shows us that His abiding in us is conditional upon our abiding in Him, and is quite different from the sovereignty which has made us by His Spirit members of His body, or which has chosen us for the purpose that we should go and bring forth fruit. It is gracious, indeed, that the Lord should abide in us, but the point which we would press is the condition marked out in the Lord’s word, “If ye abide in Me” (ver. 7): “If ye keep My commandments” (ver. 10). The question is not of life, but of fruitfulness: and fruitfulness is the result of abiding, not simply of life in Christ. If we are full of ourselves or the world, we are not abiding in Christ, and therefore He is not abiding in us. We may have life in Him, and be members of His body, but yet not have communion with Him. These words of the Lord, “Abide in Me and I in you,” are directly practical, and make it perfectly clear that
Unless Christ abides in us, we do not bear fruit.
He said, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” We may be very busy, and there may be a fine show, but when the fruit is looked for by the Father it will be “nothing.” Christ is the strength of all practical holiness wrought by God’s people: APART FROM CHRIST, LET THE WORK DONE OCCUPY THE LENGTH OF AN HOUR OR A YEAR, THERE IS NO FRUIT FOR GOD. We shall not bear fruit by occupying ourselves in inquiring whether we are so doing, but being occupied with Christ, we bear fruit. His dependence on His Father, and His obedience, are thus. in a small degree. reproduced in us.
Fruit-bearing, it must be borne in mind, is not necessarily testimony for God.
We need not be preachers, teachers, Sunday-school workers, or anything else, in order to bear fruit: no, we may be poor sick creatures upon our beds, unable to say one word. The Father is the husbandman, and He knows where and what the fruit is. And of this much we are sure, whoever abides in Christ bears fruit.
We are called to bear fruit upon earth—for we belong to Christ: and no doubt every believer does bear some fruit for God. The vine grows on the earth, not in heaven: and heaven will not be the place where believers bear fruit for God, as Jesus did when He was here below. The Lord says, “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit” (mark, “much fruit”): “so shall ye be My disciples” (ver. 8). The whole of the Lord’s life was one continuous act of fruit-bearing. When alone in prayer, alone in conflict, a child subject to His parents, everywhere and at all times, Jesus bore much fruit for His Father. It is as following Him that we glorify His Father, and bearing much fruit, we are like our Master, who says to us, “So shall ye be My disciples.”

God Knows Best

THE Master will guide the weary feet,
Choosing for each, and choosing aright
The noontide rest in the summer heat:
For some the glory of Alpine height:
For some the breezes fresh and free,
And the changeful charm of wave and sea:
For some the hush and the soothing spells
Of harvest fields and woodland dells:
For some it may be the quiet gloom
Of the suffering couch and the shaded room.
Master, our Master, oh, let it be
That our leisure and rest be still with Thee,
With Thee and for Thee each sunny hour!
F. R. H.
“WE walk by faith. For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). The most faulty Christians are those who want to walk by sight. They want to see the end—how a thing is going to come out. That is not walking by faith at all— that is walking by sight.

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 6

THERE is no doubt the influence of Staupitz upon Luther had been very great indeed. They keenly felt the unreality of much with which they came in contact, and the insincerity of many who were leading the monastic life was a great grief to them, still he had helped his friend on many points of doctrine. Luther, however, had still many conflicts. The holiness of God and his own defilement by sin troubled his soul. One day when he was much distressed, an old monk entered his cell and spoke to him some words of comfort. Luther opened his heart to him, and told him the fears that beset him. He was not a learned man like Staupitz, but he had well learned one article at least of his creed, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” These words shed great comfort over Luther’s mind (he was then sick and ill). “‘I believe,’” he repeated to himself, “‘in the forgiveness of sins.’” “Ah” said the pious monk, “we must not only believe that the sins of David or Peter are forgiven, for that is no more than the devils believe. God’s command is that we should believe that our own sins are forgiven.” From that moment further light broke upon the mind of the young monk. The word of grace had been spoken, and he believed it. He at once and for ever renounced meriting salvation, and gave himself up to the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
But though enlightened as to the way of salvation and peace with God, he still clung to the Church of Rome. The time came for his ordination to the priesthood, which took place in May 1507. There were many rites and ceremonies observed, and much feasting and rejoicing. Jerome, Bishoc of Brandenburg, officiated. In conferring the power to celebrate Mass, he put a chalice (cup) into his hand, pronouncing these words: “Accepi Potestalion sacrificandi pro vivis et mortuis” (“Receive power to sacrifice for the living and the dead”). At the time he listened calmly to these words, conferring upon him the power of doing the very work of the Son of God, but at a later period they made him shudder. “If the earth did not then swallow us both up, it could be ascribed only to the great patience and longsuffering of the Lord.”
Following the advice of Staupitz, he made excursions on foot among the villages and monasteries of the neighborhood, with a view to mental relaxation, bodily exercise, and practice in preaching. He was called by Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony, to be a professor in the newly-founded University of Wurtemberg—which was to be his battleground in many a hard-fought battle—whither he repaired in the third year of his life as a monk. He went to the monastery of his Order. His department in the university was scholastic philosophy, in which he labored with great assiduity. But his great desire was to teach theology—not the theology of the schools, but the theology of the Bible. In studying the Epistle to the Hebrews, he came upon the words quoted from the prophet Habakkuk, “The just shall live by faith.” He was struck with these words. “For the just, then,” said he, “there is a different life from that of the rest of men, and this life is received and sustained by faith.” These words revealed to him the mystery of the Christian life. Long after this, amid his many labors and cares, he often heard a voice saying to him, “The just shall live by faith.”
Luther’s lectures on theology were novel in style and matter. He drew his doctrines from the Bible, and presented them full of life, drawn from the treasury of his own experience of Divine truth. Staupitz urged Luther to preach in the church of the Augustinians at Wittemberg, but he shrank from the ordeal, yet yielded at length. The church was an old wooden structure, thirty feet by twenty, standing in the middle of the marketplace, with its partitions propped on all sides, and ready to fall. In this poor decayed structure began the preaching of the Reformation. God’s beginnings of His great undertakings have usually been a day of small things— “a handful of corn on the top of the mountains”; “a stone cut out of the mountains without hands.”
~~~
WE are never without help. We have no right to say of any good work, “It is too hard for me to do”: or of any sorrow, “It is too hard for me to bear”: or of any sinful habit, “It is too hard for me to overcome.”
IT is a grand thing to find joy in one’s work. If you have found that, you have found the heart of life. God’s service is better than great service, unless that be great too.

Jottings About the Bible: The Book of Books

AS the Bible speaks the first word about man, so it utters the last. Nowhere else can we learn of his destiny: no man knows what will come after death but those who have this divine revelation, in which are taught the Alpha and Omega of everything. God is not only the sublimest, but the most indispensable object of knowledge; yet of God man is most ignorant. He knows but little of himself, but far less of God.
Consider the notions of God held by the greatest of the heathen philosophers. They did not know whether there was one God or many; whether there was a Supreme Deity who made the world, or whether all the gods were themselves created beings: whether He was blind fate, or subject to human passions: whether religion and virtue were closely united or entirely separated.
Amid this babel, listen to the clarion voice of the inspired Word, which tells us there is but One only, the living and true God: that He made all things for Himself: that His providence is over the works of His hands. It is only in the Bible that God proclaims Himself “merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.” Here, only, do we learn that “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” From nothing but the study of this Book could have been derived the statement that “God is a Spirit,” infinite, eternal, unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. Thus it is that God has magnified His Word above all His name. Creation, providence, and conscience proclaim His majesty and glory, but the Word reveals His inmost heart.
The Bible is that immortal Word of God; though it may be obscured at times by the mist of human error, by the fog of human doubt, by the storm of human passion, it remains fixed and immovable. The polar star may be hidden from our view by the exhalations of earth, by clouds in the sky, by the black wings of the tempest, but these pass away, and the great sentinel of the heavens still beams upon us with celestial radiance. In like manner, amid the gloom of sin, folly, and doubt, this divine luminary enlightens the world.
“All else may fade away: but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Peter 1:25).

Peace With God

AN old man who was standing beside the grave of his son was asked by a gentleman, “Did your son make his peace with God?”
“He had none to make,” was the father’s reply.
The strange answer surprised the inquirer, who, supposing the old man did not hear distinctly, repeated his question, “Did your son make his peace with God?”
“He had none to make,” was again the reply.
Calmly the old Christian father explained to his listener that his son had rested his soul on the work and person of Jesus Christ: that peace had been made for him, a sinner, by the blood of the cross. Yes, Christ was the Peacemaker, given by God to make peace for His own honor and for the guilty sinner. Our works fit us for hell, His work fits us for glory. Christ made peace (Eph. 2:15) by the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20): Christ preaches peace to Jew and Gentile by the Holy Ghost (Eph. 2:17): He carries peace to His own as the fruit of His victory (John 20:19), and we believers have it (Rom. 5:1), and we can never lose peace, for “He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). True, our souls may lose the blessed realization of it, but the peace itself—NEVER. “We HAVE peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, we do not ask you, “Have you peace with God? Have you eternal life in the Son of God? Are you saved?” That would be to throw a suspicion upon the Word of God; to doubt Him who is the Truth. Believer on Jesus, you may begin to doubt and fear when the crown falls from the brow of the Man on the throne of God. The peace of a sinner resting on the work of Jesus is as enduring as the character of God, and as stable as His throne.
Trembling soul, peace has been made—peace is now preached to you. God has found a ransom. Are you toiling, working, weeping, and striving thus to enter into peace with God? Most fruitless is your task. Jesus has died—has made peace: your tears can never wash away a spot of sin; sins are washed away only by the precious blood of Christ. Hear the words of the Victor announcing His victory over sin, Satan, and hell: “It is finished.” Rest your soul on those words.

Fragment: Deeds

ONE of old Plutarch’s sage maxims is this: “To do an evil action is base; to do a good action, without incurring danger, is common enough; but it is the part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risks everything.”

"O Absalom, My Son, My Son!"

DAVID’S grief over Absalom’s death may best be gauged by the words of the sacred historian: “And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Sam. 18:33).
The love of God for sinful men is reflected in the love of David for his rebellious son—as far as the Divine love can be mirrored in the human. It was the marvelous love of God which yielded His beloved Son as a sacrifice for human guilt. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Notwithstanding that we by choice became the enemies of God, deliberately turning our backs upon Him, and living in rebellion against Him, yet “God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us.”
In the sacrifice of His Son on behalf of the sinner, and in the acceptance of Christ as the sinner’s Substitute, God has shown the depth of His love towards us. It seems incredible that in view of the great salvation, which has been procured at such a cost, men should choose to go down to death, rather than seek the mercy of God, and enter into life eternal through faith in Jesus Christ!

My Palestine Recollections. 6. Sitting in the Dust

THIS expression, which is applied to the virgin daughter of Babylon in Isa. 47:1, and is akin to the passage in chap. 3:26, applied to Jerusalem herself, “She, being desolate, shall sit upon the ground,” was brought vividly to my mind by what I witnessed in the first walk we took in Jerusalem. Leaving the house of our kind friend, Mr. Audi Azam, we entered the City by the Jaffa gate, and sought out the Jews’ place of wailing. This is a stone-paved court, adjoining the boundary wall of the Haram or Sacred Enclosure, upon which once stood the Temple of Solomon, but now the Mosque of Omar, dedicated to the worship of Allah, the Arabic name for God, but through the intercession of the false prophet, Mahomet. Five times during the day and night does the muezzin or crier, from the minaret of the mosque, cry out:
“La illah ilia Allah,
wa Mahmoud el
RasAl lillah.”
“God is God, and Mahomet is the prophet of God,” and then calls upon the “faithful” to pray. It is a striking spectacle, and much impressed me when I witnessed it on the deck of our steamer, between Alexandria and Joppa, to see, at the “hour for prayer,” the Mahomedan pilgrims spreading their garments on the deck and, kneeling down, with their faces towards Mecca, repeat their prayers as above-mentioned. But we are now in the presence of a few of the remnants of the nation to whom the Lord gave the Land of Promise, and placed His name in Jerusalem. They regard, no doubt rightly, these venerable stones of the wall as having been built one upon another in the days of King Solomon: not stones of the Temple—for all they have been thrown down, according to the word of the Lord Jesus in Matt. 24:2—but part of the retaining wall which enabled that part of the Tyropman valley to be raised to the level of the higher ground adjoining, on which the Temple was built. Look at them: some of them are literally “sitting upon the ground.” Listen to them: they are reading passages from the Book of Lamentations, or other Scriptures which tell of the Lord’s judgments on His people for their unfaithfulness to Him. But what are those two doing? They have gone up to the wall. Notice that one—he takes a little scrap of paper on which a prayer in Hebrew is written, and presses it into a crevice between two of the great stones. That written prayer was sent to him by some one of his nation living in Europe, with a present of money, and a request that he would put the written prayer as near to the place of the Temple as he can. Now, see, they both press their lips to the joints of the stones, and pour in their prayers toward the holy place of old, which they truly believe God will yet again cause to resound with His praise.

"Jesus Knows."

(Psalm 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:19.)
“JESUS KNOWS.” What words of comfort!
When the heart is filled with woe:
Jesus loves, and Jesus careth,
This should be enough to know.

“JESUS KNOWS” when fierce temptation
Suddenly attacks the soul:
Jesus! only gives the victory
To the one He hath made whole.

“JESUS KNOWS” when waves of sorrow
In upon my spirit roll:
Jesus all my trouble shareth,
He doth comfort and console.

“JESUS KNOWS” when utter weakness,
Leaves me prostrate in the dust:
Jesus gives the grace sufficient,
For in Him is all my trust.

“JESUS KNOWS” when all is darkness,
And the way I cannot see:
Jesus whispers I am with thee,
This is quite enough for me.

“JESUS KNOWS.” Then calmly onward
Day by day I safely go:
Jesus keeping, Jesus guiding,
While He leaves me here below.

Then I’ll rise to realms of glory,
I shall gaze on Him I’ve known,
And the need for every trial,
Shall to me be fully shown.

Our Missionary Column: The Greystones Missionary Prayer Union

THE FIRST ANNUAL REPORT.
“Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest.”—John 4:35·
“Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into the harvest.”—Matt. 9:38.
DURING the year 1900 the burden of Foreign Missions, and the need of prayer for such, was so laid upon the hearts of a few of God’s children in Greystones, that they were led to come together, to wait upon Him, for blessing on His work and workers in far-off lands: and on the second Tuesday evening in December, 1900, a little company—numbering twelve in all—met in the meeting room for prayer and consultation.
It was then decided to have a meeting the second Tuesday evening in each month, the first part of which was to be occupied by the members giving short accounts of mission work in different lands, reading letters from missionaries, &c., the latter part to be spent in prayer for the different places, and the meeting to close by the members giving a free-will offering as the Lord enabled them. What has been the result? We have come now to the end of our first year, and, looking back over the past, we, His children, can only raise a note of praise, and say in connection with this feeble effort, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”
Not only have we gained fresh light and information about Foreign Missions known to us, but we have learned something about work and workers in dark heathen lands hitherto unknown, and hence unthought of by us. And then as the deep need of those who are sitting in darkness, and those who are laboring amongst them, has been borne in upon our hearts, we have been stirred up to labor more fervently in prayer, and we know the result has been blessing on each member of our little gathering, and we believe it has also proved a blessing to God’s servants in the far-off places of the earth today.
While we praise God for the way in which He has led and blessed us in this work for Him in the past, shall we not afresh consecrate ourselves to Him for His service, that He may do with each one of us just as He will? So that from our yielded lives blessing may flow forth, not only to those in the homeland, but to those in the uttermost parts of the earth; yea, may we each one be stirred up in the coming year—if the Lord tarry—to labor and pray as never before, to give of our very best, and if He calls be ready to go forth for Him, so that by-and-by, in that day when we stand amid that great multitude, which no man can number, out of all nations, kindreds, and people, we may hear from the Master’s lips, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord.”
As to the free-will offerings, we can praise God for what He has enabled us to do in this matter also. The money contributed during the year has amounted to the sum of £7 r9s. This has been distributed as follows:
Mission Work in
£ s. d.
Spezia 0 I4 0
Spain I 13 0
India o 16 6
China 4 0 0
France 0 15 6
£7 19 0
[We consider the above to be a deeply interesting story, and insert it because we believe it may stir up other Christian friends to help in missionary work after the same fashion. We are quite sure God will bless these gatherings for prayer, and also the practical help accorded to mission work. We should like our friends to remember this little company thus waiting upon God. Moreover, if there are those who would like to read in our pages any of the “short accounts” or extracts from the letters from missionaries, we should be glad to know.—En. S. W.·

The King in His Beauty

“Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.” —Isa. 33:17.
“We know that when He shall appear ... we shall see Him as He is.”—1 John 3:2.
“His servants shall serve Him and they shall see His face.”—Rev. 22:3, 4
THINE eyes shall see the King in His great beauty,
They shall behold the blessed far-off land,
Land of long distances; where joy and duty
For all its habitants move hand in hand.

Thine eyes shall see Him, if they here behold Him,
The Lamb of Calvary, “as it had been slain”;
Then if thy heart with tender love enfold Him,
Thou shalt enjoy His beauty yet again.

Yes, thou shalt see the King, and bow adoring,
In presence of His glorious majesty,
If thou hast earlier bent the knee, imploring
That He thy Saviour Lord would stoop to be.

Yes, thou shalt see the King in all His splendor
And dwell in His sweet sunlight evermore,
If thou on earth didst give Him greetings tender,
The day He stood and knocked at thy poor door.

Seek thou that country of enchanting fairness,
Wherein is set His rainbow-glistering throne;
Seek that rich fulness where the oft-time bareness
Of earthly life forever is unknown.
WINIFRED A. IVERSON.

The Story of Gideon, "The Mighty Man of Valour."

(Judges 6, 7, 8)
AFTER the events spoken of in the previous paper, the Lord said again to Gideon, “Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.” But Gideon asked for something more, as if he wanted still further proof of the love and power of God, saying, “Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my meat offering, and set it before thee.” And the angel of God, who was sitting under an oak, on the land that belonged to Joash, said to Gideon, “I will tarry until thou come again.” Then Gideon went in, prepared the kid and some cakes of flour, put the meat into a basket and the broth into a pot, and brought it all out to the angel under the oak and presented it. Then said the angel, “Take the flesh and the cakes and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so.
Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the flesh and the cakes, and there rose up fire out of the rock and burnt up the flesh and the cakes, and then the angel departed from before Gideon’s eyes. That indeed was a strange sight, fire coming up out of the rock, and none but a Divine Being could have done such a thing. That sight made Gideon feel afraid, but the Lord, who knew his thoughts, said, “Peace be unto thee: fear not: thou shalt not die.” Many people who have seen signs of the power of God have felt afraid. A bright flash of lightning, a loud peal of thunder, or the distant rumble of an earthquake, has been enough to fill the heart with terror, for it is only those who trust in the Lord Jesus, and know their sins forgiven, who have courage to be calm in a fierce storm.
Then God said to Gideon, “Throw down the altar of Baal, and cut down the grove that is by it, and build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock.” Baal was the name of the false god worshipped by the people of the land, and God would not allow that, so told Gideon to throw down the altar that had been built in honor of Baal: and Gideon obeyed, taking the men of his servants with him to help. On the next day, however, when the men of the city rose up early in the morning, they saw, to their surprise, that the altar of Baal was cast down and the grove cut down that was by it. Then they asked each other what it meant, and someone said, “Gideon, the son of Joash, hath done this thing.” And they said to Joash, “Bring out thy son that he may die.” But Joash would not agree to what these angry men proposed, and said, “If Baal be a god, let him plead for himself,” as if it had been “Let Baal take his own part, since my son Gideon has cast down his altar:” and we can easily guess how all this ended, because as Baal was no real god, but only a false one, he could neither hear nor speak.
Now the people of Midian, and of Amalek, were enemies of God, and of God’s people Israel. Gideon was an Israelite, of the tribe of Manasseh, and when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, he sent messengers to the men of his own tribe, and also to three other tribes, and they all came up to meet him. And Gideon said to God, “If Thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as Thou hast said, behold I will put a fleece of wool in the floor, and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that Thou wilt save Israel by my hand as Thou hast said, and it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow . . . and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water” (Judges 6:36-38).

Our Bible Class. The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 6

(Gen. 26)
“And he (Isaac) builded an altar there, and called upon the none of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.”—Gen. 26:25.
OUR chapter covers far too much ground to be even touched in the page which is every line of space our kind Editor can spare for our monthly Bible Class, so we must be content to notice TWO points only, the ALTAR and the TENT of Isaac. In a time of famine he seems to have forgotten that God could, and, if trusted, would care for him and his household, so he turned aside. He did not go all the way to Egypt, a type of the world, but dwelt at Gerar, a place which, though only three days’ journey from Jerusalem, was for him coming short of the promises and the purposes of God. His course there was far from a happy or straightforward one, and it is a relief to find that in verse 23 he gets clear from it: in verse 24 he receives promises from the God of his father Abraham, while in the next verse he builds an altar, takes his true place as a worshipper, while the tent is quickly reared, and as easily taken down, reminds us of the pilgrim path, and the unworldly character suited to these who seek heavenly things, “who desire a better country” (Heb. 11:16).
DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,
It is encouraging to notice not only in what numbers but with what right good-will Aunt Alice’s girls and boys have rejoined our Class, while there are a few newcomers, to each and all of whom we give a loving welcome. The names of prizewinners for the half-year ending June 30th will, D.V., appear in print as soon as possible. Do not be afraid to write freely, dear girls and boys. Ask questions, or state your difficulties, if you have any. Cousin Edith may perhaps not be able to answer quite all the questions some of her class may ask, but we can pray for each other, and in this way our monthly Bible Talk will become a source of real help, and in the good hand of the Lord a channel of blessing to ourselves and others.
Fred J. M., Woodford Bridge.—So glad to find that you study your Bible, though under difficulties. The answer you could not find is given in the 4th chapter of John’s Gospel, As we read of the meeting between Abraham’s servant and Rebekah, another scene seems to rise before us, and we love to think of the Lord who, as He rested for a little while by Jacob’s well, asked for a drink of the woman of Samaria. Himself the Giving God, yet in Grace asking a favor at her hands that He might win her to listen while He spoke of LIVING WATERS which could alone meet and satisfy her deep soul-thirst.
Maggie H., Elmwood, High Wycombe.—Thanks, dear, for your nice bright letter. Your suggestion that every member of our class who knows the Lord Jesus as his or her own precious Saviour should pray for the unconverted boys and girls is a good one, and we shall, I hope, not only remember, but act upon it. The time is short, and perhaps none of us are so careful as we might be in the use of opportunities. It has often been a help to me to remember some words I heard years ago from one of the Lord’s servants: “An opportunity once lost never comes our way a second time. God may in His grace give us another, but never the one we let slip.”
Lily C., Portsmouth.—Your letter, dear Lily, is an encouraging one. Cousin Edith is glad that you have written freely. Your desire is, you say, that you may shine for the Lord Jesus, for the One who has won your heart for Himself. Shall I tell you what seems to me the secret of shining for Christ? Keeping so near Him that the light of the scene where He now is shines right down into our hearts. Then, and not till then, we reflect it, and so become, in our measure, “light-bearers” in this poor, dark world, and are found “Holding forth the word of life” (Philip. 2:16).

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text.— “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.” —Acts 11:19. Read Acts 11:19-30.
19. “Preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”
Thus did those who were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen, and in chapter 8:1 we are told that all were scattered abroad except the apostles. The Twelve were originally commanded to go neither to the Samaritans nor to the Gentiles, but rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and on one occasion our Lord said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:5, 6; 15:24).
20, 21. “The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned unto the Lord.” Thus in these new places the called-out ones were being gathered unto Him to whom all must come, whether Jews or Greeks, for there is salvation in no other (4:12). The Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but to those who accept Him, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:22-24).
22, 23. “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” This is written of Barnabas, whom the church at Jerusalem sent to Antioch when they heard the tidings of the Grecians turning to the Lord. They could not have sent a better man than this one, who had already proved himself a true son of consolation (4:35; 9:26, 27). He gladly recognized the grace of God wherever he saw it, whether in a persecuting Saul or in the Grecians, and he now encourages these saved people to cleave to the Lord alone and not to any of their teachers.
24. “For he was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith, and much people was added unto the Lord.” Our Lord Jesus said, “There is none good but one; that is God” (Mark 10:18). His goodness was therefore through the righteousness of God in Christ. Many are thus righteous who are not filled with the Spirit, but Barnabas was Spirit filled (Eph. 5:18), as every believer should be.
25, 26. “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus for to seek Saul.” He found him and brought him to Antioch, and for a whole year they abode there and taught much people. It is refreshing to see Barnabas and Saul together again, and to find them teaching the people at Antioch for a whole year. Very much is often accomplished in a week or even a few days of Bible study, but how great things must have been accomplished in that year of teaching by these two Spirit-filled men at Antioch! The church today sorely needs simple Bible teaching, that the people may learn to eat the word of God.
27, 28. “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.” Their message was not a cheerful one, for tidings of a coming famine are anything but cheerful, yet it is well to be forewarned. If you have learned some helpful lessons from the famine stories in connection with Abram, Isaac, Joseph, Elimelech and the others, you will not lack for profitable meditation upon these verses.
29, 30. “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea, which also they did and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.” Paul afterward taught thus: “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” (1 Cor. 9:11). See also his plain and helpful teaching on the privilege of giving as in 2 Cor. 8 and 9 concerning a willing mind, and a cheerful giver because of the grace of God to us in Christ, and His making all grace abound towards us. Doubtless some teaching on the same lines had been given during this year at Antioch, and now the fruit is manifest. On this occasion they give for the body, but in chapter 13 we shall see them giving missionaries to go forth with the living bread for the soul.
~~~
WE are obliged this month through want of space to omit the article on “The Roman Empire,” and also “Some Stories of God’s Servants,” “Short Scripture Studies,” and also other papers so kindly contributed by various writers. We hope, God willing, to use all these in due course.

For Her Sake

“Pour Elle! Pour Elle!” (For Her.)
IT was a tedious, weary journey four of us took inside a stuffy old coach; for fifty years ago the beautiful city of Derry was not connected by rail with the busy town (now city with its Lord Mayor) of Belfast. So we jogged along, trying to pass the time till we reached our journey’s end with chat and chaff, wondering whom we should meet, and what sort of fun, when we got to it—forgetting that in a few hours we should be on our way back, tired and weary, and not over cheerful, as people done up with so-called pleasure often are.
Of the four, two of us are still alive. One died in his sleep some three years ago, a General officer: the other a long time since, a Major, of consumption; and dear fellow, he was quite annoyed with me for trying to put the Gospel before him in a letter. The result I must leave. The one still alive besides myself is a full Colonel; and I—a poor sinner, saved by grace.
As I said before, we spoke of all sorts of anticipations as to the pleasure we should find at the end of the tedious, tiresome journey of nearly one hundred miles. Dear reader, have you ever considered WHAT the end of YOUR present journey will be? I don’t ask when that will be—but what will it be? Will it be “absent from the body and present with the Lord?” or—what? I know you hope it will be all right: but hoping will not do: make sure it will be “for ever with the Lord.” That is a wonderful word in the 29th chapter of Jeremiah, verse 11: “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord—thoughts of peace, and not of evil—TO GIVE YOU AN EXPECTED END.” So it is. God’s thought and desire for you are love, peace, grace, mercy. He is longing for you to be saved, and we beseech you to be reconciled to Him (2 Cor. 5).
The cause of our taking this journey was an invitation from the officers of the regiment quartered in Belfast to an entertainment they were about to give in honor of a noble lady and her husband whose fine estate lay near the town, and who had shown great kindness and hospitality to the regiment all the time it had been in that center of the linen trade of Ulster.
In due course we arrived, and having donned our uniform—the elegant, if useless, coatee and epaulettes of the early fifties—presented ourselves at the barracks, to meet with a very warm reception from the gallant Argyleshire fellows. Presently the Marquis and Marchioness of D— arrived, in whose honor this grand entertainment was being held—a small mark of appreciation for their unbounded hospitality: a small mark, I say: for what was one party compared to the many of all sorts given by Lord and Lady D—? And this brings to my mind the verse:
“What glad return can I impart
For favours so divine?
Oh, take me all, and fill my heart,
And make it WHOLLY Thine.”
Yes, indeed! what return can one make who in any way realizes his indebtedness to the God of all grace for saving him? On the arrival of the honored guests, they were conducted to chairs of state—the lady, of course, having the most conspicuous place. All the officers of the regiment and those invited were introduced, and bowing, passed by to the ballroom. On looking about, one could not but notice and admire the taste displayed in the decorations: and conspicuous wherever you gazed were the two short but significant words: “POUR ELLE” — “For her.” On the walls— in colored chalk upon the floors—met your eyes “Pour Elle.” “Pour Elle” everywhere. And when we were ushered into the supper room, there again one saw on everything “POUR ELLE” —on hams, tongues, jellies, tarts, impressed and colored letters, “Pour Elle.” I may say one ate and drank those significant words, telling for whom this elegant entertainment was organized, and pretty compliment paid—for she was considered worthy.
How often since one knew THE LORD has one thought of those words, and longed that “FOR HIM” had been stamped on every thought, word, and deed. “For HE IS WORTHY” Who gives the desire to make “some glad return” for all His love and His sufferings for such a sinner.
The case of the dear Scotchwoman comes before me: a shy, retiring soul, who had been blessed under one of Scotland’s famous preachers of that day, and who desired to “join the Church,” that she might remember the Lord in His death, in partaking of the bread and wine. The minister and elders met to examine the dear old body as to her faith and experience, but no answer could she give to their many, and perhaps puzzling, questions. At length they said they were afraid she was not ready yet, and had better wait a “wee.” Upon this the dear soul burst into tears, and exclaimed: “If I canna speak a word FOR Him, I could dee (die) FOR Him!” That was sufficient. I should think so! Perhaps, though you “canna speak for Him,” He knows the desire of your heart to show your appreciation of what He has done for you.
You see, my reader, the gallant 91St did not give this grand entertainment to induce Lord and Lady D— to be civil to them and show kindness, but because they had done this all the time the regiment lay in Belfast. So with the believer. His desire to render some “glad return” is because God has loved him, and Christ HAS died for him—the Holy Spirit bearing witness with his spirit that he is a child of God. Oh, that it may be so indeed and “FOR HIM!” mark every act of one’s life, the little while one is left down here after pardon and peace have come home to the soul.
“Jesus, my soul adoring bends
To love so full, so free.
Thy Word declares that love extends
In saving power to me.
~~~~
Oh, fix my earnest gaze
So wholly, Lord, on Thee,
That with THY beauty occupied,
I elsewhere none may see.”
S. V. H.
MAN’S time is Tomorrow, yet man knows not from moment to moment the end of his life. God’s time is Today, and God is from everlasting to everlasting. Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it that men shall fear Him (Ecc. 3:14.)

The Fence and Its Message

“God speaketh once, yea twice, and man perceiveth it not.”
—Job. 33:14.
TWO young men were walking a few years ago by the side of the beach at Brighton, in Victoria. Talking and laughing as youth does, having only this present world in view, and intending to make the most of it while they could, they strolled along. Presently they came to a fence which necessitated their stooping down to go under the rail. Just as they were about to pass through, their eyes fastened on some words written on the fence which caused them to pause. The words were in the form of a question. A searching and solemn one, though often made light of. They read, “Where will you spend eternity?” Others had read it. Thousands have, How have they treated it? Many have laughed and passed on without another thought. Think of eternity? Not they. Pleasure, the world, the passing moment enough for them. The words have no weight with them. Now and again a Christian person reads, thanks God, and prays that some may be led to consider eternity. But there are others, again, who become angry. They hate to be reminded of eternity. Thus it was with one of those young men. In his heart he muttered maledictions on the head of the one who had put those words on the fence, but he could not for all that stop the small voice within. For that voice said, “Eternity, you know where you will spend it. In Hell! In Hell!” He knew he was not living for God. The thought of God was burdensome. God as one who loved him and gave his Son to die for him was unknown. The question, therefore, not only troubled him, but he felt it interfered with his pleasures. Well that it did so, but he did not think so then. That question, “Where will you spend eternity?” was a warning voice from God, and, as he has found out since, the writer of it was his friend. He knows it now to the joy and gladness of his heart. The fence had a message for him. He listened to it. He had to thank God for it, and will do so through all eternity. His eyes were opened. He thought upon his ways: he made haste to accept the salvation of God. A hell-deserving sinner, he found that God loved him. Eternity must have been spent in hell, but another, the Lord Jesus, had on the Cross borne wrath and judgment for him. He learned the Gospel as in 1 Cor. 15:3. Christ having died for sinners, God’s good news was that any lost guilty sinner who trusted in Him was saved, everlasting life their portion, and he now rejoices in the certainty that his sins are forgiven, and that he has passed from death unto life.
Reader, how is it with you? Where will you spend eternity? Will you lie down in Hell for ever, a cast-out one for ever and ever in the blackness of darkness, or will you come now to Christ and obtain the present forgiveness of your sins? Think of it. Think what it must be to be under the wrath of God for ever, shut out from the presence of God, with that awful sentence pronounced upon you, “He that is filthy let him be filthy still” (Rev. 22:11). Consider it, this will be your portion if not found trusting in the blood of Christ, “Be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20). This is my message to you, and mine because it was His to me, and blessed be His name it was ever sent, and that I obeyed it. For, reader, the one who writes this is one of the two young men who that day at Brighton read the message on the fence, “Where will you spend eternity?” While many ask, “What good do they think they are doing when they thus write on the fence?” or perhaps they say, “They only make persons angry, and cause them to blaspheme God by thus making religion so common,” the writer knows good does result. If he was the only one, he, at any rate, thanks God for the fence with its message. And, therefore, he has since that made many a fence tell out the message of God, and where no living voice was heard the fences have silently asked the question of many, “Where will you spend eternity?” Reader, again I repeat you are hastening on to eternity. Time will soon be over. Where then?
“After the joys of earth,
After its songs of mirth,
After its hours of light,
After its dreams so bright—
What then?
Oh, then the Judgment Throne!
Oh, then the last hope gone!
Then all the woes that dwell
In an eternal Hell!”
A. C.

Gleanings From Unpublished Diaries. About a Summer Holiday.

THE year 1891 brought to me a very great pleasure, a twelve days’ visit to a little town endeared to me by sweetest child memories, and unseen for nearly forty years. So pleasant was that holiday, taken in company with my dearest earthly friend, that when six months had passed I began to long, secretly, that the following summer might find us in the dear old town again.
In this hope, I sat down one January morning to take account of income and expenditure for the next six months.
The income was fixed; against this I had to place the weekly expenses, and a list of various needfuls for the coming months, hoping I should find a surplus of _4.5 to meet my heart’s desire. To my dismay I could only make sure of thirty shillings, not quite enough for the rail journey for the two of us. I went over all the items again and again: I dared not leave anything out, all were needed, and I saw that for this year the usual fortnightly holiday must be spent, as so often before, at home, taking a day’s outing several times in each week. My disappointment was very great, but I laid it all at the Lord’s feet, only entreating to have all desire for this great pleasure taken away from me that I might cheerfully do His will in full content. Sweet peace fell upon me, and I went about the rest of the morning’s work with a free heart.
Late in that winter afternoon an aged friend called. “Why, Mr. Henry, how is it you are out on such a day? Let me get you a cup of tea at once.” Over our tea we talked of a sick one he had just visited, and various other matters; and suddenly he said, “I want to say something to you, but I am afraid to hurt you.” Wondering in what I had offended I answered, “Mr. Henry, I am willing to hear anything you have to say.” He took a small packet out of his pocket and said, “The Lord told me awhile ago to give you this, but I was afraid. IT IS FOR A SUMMER HOLIDAY.” Wondering, I opened the packet, and saw five sovereigns!
Then I told him my experience of the morning, which deeply interested and delighted him, but he hurried away, the dear old man, to avoid thanks, and again I went to my knees in thankful praise to the God of all grace Who takes note of His children’s wants and wishes, and never denies anything that will be for their profit.
E. STACEY-WATSON.

Love and Strength

“The government shall be upon His shoulder,”—Isa. 9:6
“And when he hath found it He layeth it on His shoulders rejoicing.”—Luke 15:5
I WAS greatly charmed by a thought given me I in connection with the above quotations, viz., “He could support the government upon His shoulder, but to the found sheep the Good Shepherd gave His full strength.” “He layeth it on His shoulders.” There is nothing so gentle and tender as loving strength. “Underneath are the everlasting arms.”
“The object of His love I am,
And carried like a child.”
Dear friend, has the loving Shepherd found you? A dear little sister of mine, who m the Lord took to be with Himself some years ago, was so delighted in her last hours with the thought of as she put it, “making Jesus glad.” We had been speaking together of the sweet words “He layeth it on His shoulders rejoicing,” and she was so touched to think of His joy. Truly His love passeth knowledge. “When we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” And such a death! Oh, how exceedingly sinful sin must be that nothing could redeem sinners but the blood of the spotless Lamb of God! And not only did He pay the debt, but He seeks and saves the lost one, and when He has found it He rejoices and carries His sheep all the way home. You have heard His voice, “Come unto Me.” “He that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.” “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Oh, do not disappoint His patient, tender love, tired, wandering one; turn to the Good Shepherd and give Him joy.
E. S. R.

"I Learned It When I Was a Boy of Ten."

AS I was looking at a picturesque mud cottage, an old man on a pony rode up to me. “You seem interested in this old cottage, sir,” said he. “It has stood many a year, and from it I married my wife.”
“Indeed! then that was a good while ago. I wonder if she was the old lady whom I visited in the cottage some years gone by, and who seemed to be dying.”
“My wife,” he said, “is living yet, but, like me, she is old. You see, I am over eighty, and we moved away from close by here some years ago.”
“And where will be your next move?” I asked.
“We sha’n’t move no more,” he said.
“Well, we must all move soon—will your move be to heaven?”
The old man changed his tone. He drew his pony a trifle closer. “Sir,” he said, “about here there is a many who don’t believe in such things, but I do. I learned them when I was ten years of age, at the Sunday school: there our clergyman taught us texts and chapters of Scripture. And I can say ‘em now. I can say the fifty-third of Isaiah to you.”
“And a grand chapter it is!” I broke in. “‘He was wounded for our transgressions—and by His stripes we are healed.’ Can you, too, say, ‘By His stripes I am healed’?”
“I’ll say it to ye,” the old man continued, occupied with the chapter. Then, bending his head over the pony, and looking me direct in the face, he went through it verse by verse. I again made a remark as he neared the end, to which he replied, “There’s one more verse,” and on he went. When he had finished, he said:
“I says these chapters and texts that our old clergyman taught me when I was a boy of ten, I says them to myself, People about here says they don’t believe these things, but I do: and I talks them over to myself, and comforts myself with ‘em, for I be over eighty.”
This little conversation by the wayside may well encourage Sunday school workers in teaching their classes to commit to memory passages of Scripture. For seventy years the glorious gospel in the fifty-third of Isaiah had remained in the mind of this man, and in his old age it was the voice of God to him, proclaiming to him salvation and peace through Christ crucified.
H. F. W.

"A Stranger Unto My Brethren."

“The Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.”—Matt. 8:20.
“In the day-time He was teaching in the Temple, and at night He went out, and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives.”—Matt. 21:37.
THE daylight fades, the evening shades prevail,
All homeward turn for shelter and for rest.
Hushed are the sounds of life in wood and dale,
Red glows the west.

The night winds sigh, the darkness covers all.
Homeless He wanders, or in desert lone
Lies down to rest, where gloomy shadows fall
And beasts make moan.

All, all around is His, yet hath He not
A home where He may rest, His wanderings o’er.
The bird that builds her nest may choose the spot
Nor wander more.

His home of glory left, His crown laid by,
No place hath He where He may lay His head.
The fox may seek his hole, and warm may lie
Secure from dread.

But He, resolved all mortal griefs to know,
A stranger lived, a stranger’s woes to bear,
That homeless, friendless to His feet may go
And not despair.
E. S.

A Startling Enquiry

A MOTHER was startled one day by her little boy abruptly asking—
“Mother, what is the meaning of eternity?”
“Well, my boy, what do you want to know about eternity?”
“Mother, I want to know, How many years are there in eternity?”
“My dear boy, I cannot measure the vastness of eternity; I cannot count out its endless ages man cannot describe its space. Man can tell with tolerable certainty the distance from the earth to the sun, but with all his power of intellect man cannot comprehend eternity—it is from everlasting to everlasting.”
Ask yourself, my reader, “Where must I spend eternity?” Were you to live to be a hundred years old, you must after that enter eternity.
THERE IS NO ROOM FOR REPENTANCE IN ETERNITY! As the tree falls, so it lies, “All through the days of Eternity.”
Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation.

Our Bible Portion: Peace! Peace! Glorious Peace!!

“Dominion and fear are with. Him. He maketh PEACE in His high places.”—Job 25:2.
“I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints.”—Ps. 85:8.
“The same day at evening . . . came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, PEACE BE UNTO YOU.”—John 20:19.
THE thrilling words at the head of this Bible Portion have been in the minds of myriads of people lately. We saw them in large type announcing the Proclamation—
Peace! Peace! Glorious Peace!!
Thus ran the message for everyone to read, and our hearts were gladdened to think that for a time at any rate the sword would be sheathed, and those who had been foes would endeavor hereafter to be friends. Then we read how the declaration was signed, and throughout the Empire the lovely tidings sped, eliciting such joy and unbounded enthusiasm as, perhaps, had never before been known. But the glad news about South Africa, welcome and wonderful as it was, only made us think earnestly of
Another Proclamation of Peace,
GOD’S ANNOUNCEMENT, which after all is of infinitely greater importance to the sons of men than any earthly compact. Man had sinned: he had rebelled against God. He was at enmity with God. The question was asked ages ago, “How should a man be just with God?” (Job 9:2), and the answer came, “Acquaint now thyself with Him, and BE AT PEACE: thereby good shall come unto thee” (Job 22:21): but man as a sinner refused the grace. The Scripture saith, “There is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11), “and THE WAY OF PEACE have they not known” (Rom. 3:17). But thanks be unto God, in the fulness of time He “sent forth His SON,” JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, and it has pleased Him that by His Son peace should be effected. That peace was made through the blood of Christ’s cross (Col. 1:20), and now the proclamation can be sounded out over the wide world,
“Peace, Peace to Him That Is Far off and to Him That Is Near, Saith the Lord” (Isa. 57:19).
What a mighty blessing is this if men did but heed the word of the Eternal God. To the believer the word “peace” is full of blessed meaning in this world of sin and strife and sorrow. It tells him of the One who was foretold as “The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6), and how the angels sang at His birth, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace” (Luke 2:14). It reminds him also of the words of his Lord when He arose triumphant from the dead and appeared in the midst of His trembling disciples saying, PEACE BE UNTO YOU, AND WHEN HE HAD SO SAID HE SHOWED UNTO THEM HIS HANDS AND HIS SIDE (John 20:19-20). Blessed Christ of God, thou hast conquered! and now all who love Thy Name know what it is to “triumph in Thy triumphs,” and as a result of Thy glorious victory they enjoy—
PEACE with a holy God,
PEACE from the fear of death,
PEACE through Thy precious, precious blood,
Sweet PEACE the fruit of faith;
and, further, a day is surely coming when over the broad earth the results of the work of Christ on the Cross will be fully known. “The GOD OF PEACE shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20), and then for Israel, as well as for the Gentile peoples of the world, we shall understand aright the meaning of Isaiah’s lovely prophecy, which tells of the hurrying, shining feet of the messengers hastening with the glad tidings of peace. No wonder that he says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace: that bringeth good tidings of good: that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, THY GOD Reigneth,” or as the Psalmist says, “In His days shall the righteous flourish, and
Abundance of Peace
so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.”

At Our Master's Bidding

“Sir,” said the Duke of Wellington to an officer of engineers, who urged the impossibility of executing the directions he had received, “I did not ask your opinion: I gave you orders, and I expect them to be obeyed.” Such should be the obedience to the Divine will of every follower of Christ. The words which He has spoken are our laws, not our judgments or fancies; and at our Master’s bidding we must advance through flood and flames to do them, even if death itself be in our way.

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 6

THE second epoch of Roman history, that is from the year 500 B.C. until the time of the conflict with Carthage about 250 B.C. was a period of remarkable interest for Rome itself and her citizens generally.
After the banishment of Tarquinius Superbus, as mentioned in our former article, the people resolved to have no more kings, and established a Republic and elected one from among themselves as Dictator. He was only appointed for one year, and very soon they became afraid that this official might assume too much power, and so they chose two officers called Praetors (or leaders). These men were eventually called Consuls (or deliberators). The first two thus elected were L. Brutus and P. Valerius. The latter was known as Publicola or “The People’s Friend,” because he had a law passed that every Roman citizen when condemned by a magistrate should have a right of appeal, and we know in after years how the Apostle Paul and others availed themselves of this high privilege. No matter where a Roman citizen might be, he always afterwards was able to exercise this right to appeal unto Caesar or to the Roman people, if he desired to do so. About this time, too, Tarquinius endeavored to recover his throne, and the exciting incidents that occurred are graphically described by Macaulay in his celebrated lay, telling
“How well Horatius kept the bridge
In the brave days of old.”
Lars Porsena, the great leader of the Etruscans, approached the city at the head of an enormous army, and would have entered had not Horatius and his heroic companions kept the invaders at bay while the bridge was broken down. Although the Etruscans were after a siege successful in obtaining possession of the Janiculum, and other parts of the city, they soon were obliged to retire, and when not long afterwards they were defeated at the battle of Lake Regillus the security of Rome became far more firmly established.
Before long, however, the different classes came into conflict. The Patrician element had always striven to tyrannize over the Plebeians, until once after a campaign against the Volscians, the common people in a body refused to remain in Rome and left the city to the care of the Patricians. They were, of course, alarmed at the possibility of having to do all the ordinary labor themselves, and so they sent an old man named Menenius Agrippa to reason with them. He told them a singular fable which has been handed down in history, and it so went home to their hearts that, upon the understanding that they might have officers or tribunes of their own, and that more liberal treatment should be accorded to them, they came back, and several new laws were at once passed. One was that all existing debts should be cancelled, and all debtors be given liberty. Then the people demanded an interest in the land, and the first agrarian law was passed which gave a portion of the public land as the inalienable right of the people. Strange to say, Spurius Cassius, through whom this famous law came into existence, was one of the foremost leaders of the Patrician party. The Plebeians also insisted that two of their number should be represented on the tribunal that settled these affairs, and it is remarkable that, in the light of councils and such regulations now, these men then had also the charge of the public buildings, and the roads and streets, and also arrangements for the safety of the city. This, for such an early era, is surely like the beginnings of county and borough councils, but at any rate it was tending to secure the better government of this gradually expanding kingdom.

Old Pictures Reframed

“Apples of gold in pictures of silver.”—Prov. 25:11
AN old couple who greatly glorified God by their glad lives were asked, “And have you never any clouds?” “Clouds,” said the old woman, “clouds: why, yes, sir, else where would all the blessed showers come from?”
~~~
THERE is a wonderful restfulness for worried hearts in this single assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway.” This may be called Christ’s richest and sweetest promise.
~~~
PRAYER is so mighty an instrument that no one ever thoroughly mastered all its keys. They sweep along the infinite scale of man’s wants and of God’s goodness.

Jottings About the Bible: The Influence of the Word

A YOUNG man in America was once at work upon his farm. He was careless about religion—indeed, nobody had ever said a word to him about it: and as he had no Bible, and only worldly friends, there seemed little chance of his ever hearing of Christ and salvation, and of heaven and hell.
On this particular day—it was a bright morning in early summer—he had to take his cart, drawn by oxen, along the high road. He was thinking of nothing except his daily work and his, daily bread. A gentle breeze was blowing, and as he went along it stirred a little piece of paper which had been lying by the roadside, so that it fluttered in front of him. But on went the young man, the oxen and the cart, all the same.
When he had gone a short way farther, however, a thought came over him: “I wonder what that bit of paper was? I’ve a great mind to go back and see.” And, stopping his team, he did go back. He picked it up and read it as he walked along. It was a leaf out of the Bible.
The summer passed away, with its flowers and sunshine, and the corn grew ripe and was gathered into the garner. There was another harvest, too, standing ready for the sickle. The young man who had found the leaf lay upon a sick and dying bed. A sore disease had smitten him, and his parents knew there was no hope of his life. They were stricken with grief, but he—oh, he was rejoicing! And now his lips were open to tell them what he had never told before.
The leaf out of the Bible had brought to him first the knowledge that he was a sinner, and then the knowledge of a Saviour. He sought for a whole Bible, and ever since it had been his constant companion: and now, although he might be called suddenly away from life, with all its happiness, he knew whom he had believed, and he was ready. He had an anchor sure and steadfast: for he had believed the Word of God. He had trusted Christ for his eternal salvation: and without a fear or a doubt he entered into rest.
This is the way God is using His Word by the Holy Spirit. Just causing, it may be, one verse to reach the conscience and heart of a man, and thus altering by its power and influence the entire trend of his life. The entrance of Thy Word giveth light. It giveth understanding unto the simple. Thy Word have I hid in my heart.

How Can You Reconcile It?

AN aged Christian paused to rest himself from a heavy load, on a rough wintry day. An acquaintance had just accosted him, when a splendid carriage rolled past, in which rode a haughty man whose whole appearance bespoke a life of luxurious ease.
“What do you think of the Providence of which you sometimes speak?” asked the acquaintance. “You know that that is a wicked man, yet he spreads himself like a green bay tree. His eyes stand out with fatness: he is not plagued as other men: while you, believing that all the gold and silver is the Lord’s, and serving Him and trusting in His providence, are toiling and sweating in your old age, yet getting little more than bread and water. How can you reconcile this with a just Providence?”
The aged saint looked at his questioner with amazement, and, with the greatest earnestness, replied: “Couple heaven with it, couple heaven with it, and then?”
The Christian has treasures laid up in heaven. He has a good deal of spiritual wealth in his heart here, but he is heir to untold riches in glory. There are very many inequalities in this life we cannot understand or explain: but the reason of it all will be perfectly plain by-and-by.

"Enthusiasm! Enthusiasm!"

SOME people are afraid of anything like joy in religion. They have none themselves, and they do not love to see it in others. Their religion is something like the stars—very high, and very clear, but very cold. When they see tears of anxiety, or tears of joy, they cry out, “Enthusiasm! enthusiasm!” “I sat down under His shadow WITH GREAT DELIGHT.” Is this enthusiasm? “May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing!” Oh, if God would but open our eyes, and give us simple childlike faith to look to Christ, to sit under His shadow, then would songs of joy and gladness arise from all our hearts.—McCheyne.

The Salvation of the Lord

ALL is done for us, and our part in the matter is to “stand still.” There is no battlefield in these things where we can stand: we are the helpless throng, the Lord fights for us, and we hold our peace. Let our reader study the fourteenth chapter of Exodus, and mark that the conflict is between the Lord and Pharaoh, and then let him apply the lesson to himself.

Our Missionary Column: The Miao-Tsz, or Highlanders of Western China

MR. LEWIS JONES, of the London Missionary Society, writes a most interesting article in the Chronicle of the Society concerning these aboriginal tribes of Western China. He says:—
“They are distinguishable from the Chinese and from one another mainly by their dress: but in the case of the men this distinction is fast fading, as they are gradually adopting the Chinese style, and even shaving the head and braiding the queue. The women, however, are more conservative, and retain their picturesque costume. This consists of a headdress made of a pretty fringed kerchief ingeniously arranged. The skirt is heavy and closely kilted, somewhat resembling the Highlanders’ kilt, but considerably longer, reaching below the knee, and made of plain, coarse homespun. Above this they wear a loose jacket of medium length, also of a coarse material, but almost completely covered with embroidery. It takes a Miao girl the whole of her spare time throughout all her girlhood to embroider this jacket ready for her wedding day. The legs and feet are generally bare, but on long journeys straw sandals are worn, and in the cold weather a rude sort of puttee.
“Their religion is fetish worship and demonolatry. They have no idols and no temples, but ancestral worship is practiced in some degree. Probably this is a result of their contact with the Chinese.
“Very little has yet been done towards the evangelization of these dark and needy tribes. Workers among the Chinese have already too great a task before them to attempt to go beyond it, much as they long to do so. But some of the aborigines who understand Chinese have heard the Gospel in the cities and markets of Kwei-chow and Yunnan, and the first-fruits from among them have been baptized.
“The first convert from the Miao-tsz, a bright, earnest fellow, named T’an, came several years ago to Chung King in company with one of our missionaries. The writer met him there, and was much pleased with his intelligence and evident ability. It was our great ambition at one time to go to work among these peoples, and so this interview was of great interest. At Mr. T’an’s earnest appeal a missionary was afterwards appointed to work among them. This was Mr. Webb, a friend and former colleague of mine. In a little while, however, his wife’s health broke down and he himself was far from well, so they had to return home. Mr. Fleming was appointed as Mr. Webb’s successor, but before many months had elapsed he and Mr. T’an, who had gone with him as teacher and evangelist, were both murdered on the borders of the Miao country.
“This foul tragedy, however, was not the work of the Miao-tsz, but of the Chinese. It was instigated by an official, probably owing to the before-mentioned jealousy and suspicion.
“Mr. Fleming was the first martyr from the ranks of the China Inland Mission, and Mr. T’an the first of his race to win the crown.
“Their deaths were not in vain, for after this the way was thrown open for work among these highlanders of Western China, and just before the outbreak of 1900, some itinerations among their villages revealed the fact THAT THEY WERE EAGERLY WAITING FOR THE GOSPEL, AND SOME TWO HUNDRED OR MORE WERE ANXIOUS TO ENROL THEIR NAMES AS INQUIRERS.
“Mr. S. R. Clarke, of the China Inland Mission, has for several years been crowding into his busy life the study of the Miao language, and has compiled a grammar and vocabulary. He has remarkable linguistic ability, as is shown by the fact that he is one of the committee for the revision of the Chinese Bible. For the present this revision work necessitates his presence in Shanghai, but it is to be hoped this will soon be completed, and that he may be set free to return to the west, and become the leader and pioneer in the work among the hill tribes of Kwei-chow.
“Continual prayer has been offered for men and money, so that the work of evangelizing these interesting peoples may be pushed forward. What the C.I.M. have, as yet, been unable to attempt in any adequate measure, it may be reserved for the L.M.S. to carry out, for it seems probable that part of the great Arthington bequest will be available for starting work among these aboriginal tribes.”

In Widening Circles

IT is said that when a note is struck the sound continues in widening circles long after the human ear has lost its softest tones, Such is influence. It begins at home, and widens out in an ever-extending circle. We meet our neighbor, his countenance catches the expression of our spirit, his mind receives the impress of ours, and he in turn communicates thereof to others. The music of a true Christ-like spirit vibrates a long way off: it never dies.

My Palestine Recollections. 7. The Jews' Place of Wailing

IT seems almost impossible to realize that the day is coming when Israel will be raised from the dust, and yet it is written, “Whereas thou halt been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations” (Isa. 60:5). We might notice much more about this deeply interesting place, but let us withdraw: though not to forget the lessons to be learned from the voices of Lamentation and of Prayer, with the spectacle of them that sit in the dust.
Our next visit will bring the subject again to our minds: for we proceed to the depot of the Bible Society. We have scarcely entered when we find that we are followed by a Jewish beggar. Probably he was attracted by the sight of an Englishman, and hoped to receive a gift, like the man that was laid at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, as we read in Acts 3. At all events he seated himself on the floor and proceeded, without apologies, to smoke his pipe. A sketch in my notebook shows him with the marks of poverty and decrepitude, and in rags and wrinkles, as is the case with most of the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem. Their Rabbis are furnished with tiny little coins—several of which, I believe, make the value of a farthing— for the purpose of distributing alms amongst them.
As we think of the actual poverty of the Jews, let us remember the One who “though He was rich, yet for ‘our’ sakes He became poor that ‘we’ through His poverty might be rich.” The next day we were reminded of this, when we visited Bethlehem. There we were shown a manger, such as that referred to in the Gospel history: “And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger.” As we looked at that cold stone manger in the dimly lighted and dusty underground stable, we saw indeed much to remind us of the condescension of that Blessed One. How “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
“How condescending and how kind
Was God’s Eternal Son:
Our misery reached His heavenly mind,
And pity brought Him down.

“This was compassion like a God,
That when the Saviour knew
The price of pardon was His blood,
His pity ne’er withdrew.”

Three Wonderful "Alls."

“I COULD never tell you,” said a man to me the other day, “what a power in my life that little word all has been. That word first awakened me to a sense of my lost and depraved condition before God. Then through that I got peace, rest, and joy in Him, and all the way through it has been the sheet-anchor of my soul. I will give you the verses,” he continued; “they will tell their own tale.
“(1) ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ I was included in that ‘ALL,’ and sin could never enter heaven. Sin is punished with death, but, blessed be God, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from ALL sin.
“(2) ‘All we like sheep have gone astray,’ but the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL, and whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Then cometh all grace, all sufficiency, all things. The human mind cannot grasp what is included in that ‘all’ things.
“Oh, these alls of Christ,” he exclaimed, “they are beautiful.”
Reader, are they beautiful to you? Your first need is salvation; salvation from the condemnation and power of sin: salvation through the finished work of Christ. All blessings are offered you now, free and full. Remember, there is a day coming when “We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.” K. R.

Our Book Column: Life Story of D. L. Moody

WE are glad to call attention to this life story of a good man. It is a tender, loving record of the career of a great soul-winner. The writer was more or less associated with Mr. Moody during his several campaigns in Scotland, and he has told the story with exceeding interest. There are many incidents in the pages of this book which Mr. Ross only could tell. We should be thankful to know that his appreciative tribute to the memory of a true servant of God had been widely scattered abroad in the earth. We are sure it would do good. It forms one of the splendid series of books, “Memoirs of Mighty Men,” all issued at one penny each.

Let Us Finish the Game

A NUMBER of men are upstairs in a house, amusing them· selves with a game of cards. What is that? The window is red! What is that cry in the streets?
“The house is on fire!” says one.
“Oh,” answers another, “shuffle the cards again: let us finish the game: we have plenty of time.”
“Fire! Fire!” The cry rises more sharply from the streets, but the gamblers continue their game. One of them says,
“It’s all right, yon door leads to the roof, and we can get out at the last minute.”
Presently he goes to the door, but finds it locked.
“Never mind,” is the answer, “I have the key.”
The man tries the key but it will not turn.
“O God!” he shrieks, “it’s the wrong key!”
They strain every nerve, and labor to open the door, only to find that it is too late to escape.
Many of our hearers say, “Oh yes! what the preacher says is well enough; but we can repent whenever we like. We are safe enough.” Ah, but suppose you cannot believe whenever you please. Suppose the day shall come when you shall call upon the Lord and He will not answer. Suppose you should one day cry out, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” and the answer should be, “I never knew you; depart!” How will you escape, if you neglect so great salvation?

The "Lamb and Flag" Mission

MANY readers will remember that last year we told something about the work of this Mission. How, during the summer months, an earnest band of workers took a large number of children, the poorest of the poor, just for an afternoon’s ride on a tram car out of the great city of London into the lovely green fields and woods beyond.
It is with real gratitude to God we mention that the hearts of many of our kind readers were touched, and so much practical help was rendered that nearly all the necessary expenses connected with this feature of the work were contributed through the auspices of this paper.
We ventured to explain that each day during the summer months companies of from thirty to forty of these “little ones” gathered out of the terrible courts and alleys of densely populated Clerkenwell, were thus taken into the sunshine, given a tea, and spoken to lovingly and tenderly about the Saviour. Many of these children were cripples, and it was pathetic beyond expression to note even the care and kindness of the drivers and conductors of the trams in helping gently to lift a crippled child to the top of their great cars.
Our friends of the “Lamb and Flag” were so grateful for our assistance in this service that they had a photograph taken of the front of the Mission House, with a rather select group of young friends who have been for some time under the spiritual auspices of the faithful workers. Of course this illustration gives no idea of many of the sad little specimens of humanity that benefit through the generosity of our readers; but still it is most interesting to know that most of the children in this picture were once in just such unhappy, uncared-for surroundings, but have now been made happy and glad through the loving Christian kindness of their devoted teachers. It is a pleasure to look into their happy, cheery little faces!
It will interest our readers also to know that the friend on the left hand is Mr. Bray, who for thirty-five years has labored with rare devotion in the “Lamb and Flag,” and also in the districts around. We went with him recently into Bishop’s Court, and it was wonderful to note how gladly he was received by the poor people and children in that indescribably lamentable place.
Next to him is Sister Joslin, who for twenty-nine years has similarly worked for the Master in the midst of all these sad surroundings. It will be noticed she carries one of these poor crippled little ones. Probably this child has never sat up, and never will. The clean, comfortable appearance and clothing of the child are just the outcome of the loving care of such true workers of whom our friend Miss Joslin is a notable example.
In the center is a lad who has been permitted to ride a self-wheeling invalid carriage. It was formerly utilized by an adult. Our young friend had not quite become accustomed to this mode of locomotion, but Mr. Bray told us he was making good progress and would soon be able to move about as energetically as did previously the older occupant of it.
We must just mention Mr. French, who stands under the lamp. Another good example of the men-workers! Don’t the children love him Why we heard him lead some hundreds of these poor children in singing lately, and it was simply marvelous. Beautiful hymns, full of Gospel sunshine and gladness, he enabled them to sing with such precision and power as would have surprised our readers could they have heard them. May God abundantly bless, not only those helpers in the picture, but every worker in this interesting mission.
We mentioned last year that one shilling would pay for each child taken out for the afternoon, including tram fare and a nice tea. Ten children for ten shillings: twenty for twenty shillings; for thirty shillings an entire tram load could be taken, as a reduction would be made “for quantities” in the fares. Any help may be sent to the “Lamb and Flag,” care of the Editor, “SPRINGING WELL,” 1.4, Paternoster Row, London.

"Hidden in the Shadow."

“In the shadow of His hand hath He hid me, and made me a polished shaft. In His quiver hath He hid me.”—Isa. 49:2
“HIDDEN in the shadow”
Of the Hand divine,
Safe from every evil
Rest of heart is mine:
Rest from every worry,
Rest from every care,
Not a cloud can reach me
While I’m sheltered there.

What a place of safety!
What a place of joy!
Naught can ever enter
Or its peace destroy:
Praise must fill the spirit,
Praise the tongue employ,
In this place of blessing
Nothing can annoy.

“Hidden in the shadow.”
Help me, Lord, to tell
Of the peace Thou givest
Those who there will dwell;
Thou dost every burden,
Every sorrow share,
With this blessed hidden life
Nothing can compare.

CHORUS.
Hidden, always hidden,
Kept my heart at rest,
Dwelling in the shadow,
I am ever blest.
F. B.

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text.— “Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren.”—Acts15:22. Read Acts 15:22-32.
The Jerusalem Council
PAUL and Barnabas having returned to Antioch after their first missionary tour, continued there a long time with the disciples, teaching the Word (14:28). While there teachers came from Judaea, who said that the Gentiles could not be saved by faith in Christ unless they were also circumcised. There was so much dissension and disputation about it that the church at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas and others to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders to lay the matter before them. The council, having heard the whole story and discussed it, came to a decision which they now send to Antioch with these brethren.
23, 24. “Forasmuch as we have heard that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls.” Behold the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Spirit in this greeting from the believing Jews at Jerusalem, the apostles, the rulers in the church, to the Gentile believers, the uncircumcised at Antioch. Notice that the Jewish brethren send greeting unto the Gentile brethren. They are all brethren in Christ and acknowledge it.
25, 26. “Men that leave hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus honorably do they mention “our beloved Barnabas and Paul” because of their sufferings for Christ sake. And yet hear Paul say, “None of these things move me,” and “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,” and “our light affliction which is but for a moment,” etc. (Acts 20:24: Rom. 8:18: 2 Cor. 4:17), because he believed God.
27, 28. “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us,” Every one who receives Jesus Christ receives also the Holy Spirit, and the body becomes His temple, every whit of which He jealously desireth for the glory of God (1 Cor. 6:19, 20; Jas. 4:5, R,V., margin).
29. “Abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood wed from things strangled and from fornication, front which if ye keep yourselves ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” These the council considered necessary things, but did not say necessary for salvation, rather necessary as an evidence of salvation. There is no salvation by works revealed in the Word of God, but only salvation by the great and finished work of the Lord Jesus, which the sinner must receive as God’s free gift, purchased for him by the precious blood of Christ (Acts 4:12),
30, 31. “They delivered the epistle, which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.” These were words of comfort instead of the words which had troubled them (verse 24). The Holy Spirit is a Comforter, and when He speaks He brings comfort to the people of God.
32. “Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words and confirmed them.” A true prophet is one who is a spokesman for God. Compare Exod. 7:1, and 4:16. God is the Father of Mercies and the God of all comfort, and He comforts us in all our tribulation that we may comfort others in their troubles by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God (2 Cor. 1:3, 4).
33. “And after they had tarried there a space they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.” It is our privilege to live in peace, the peace of God: to come and go in peace: to have peace always by all means, even perfect peace (Phil, 4:6, 7; 2 Thess. 3:16; Isa. 26:3)

The Story of Gideon, "The Mighty Man of Valour."

(Judges 6, 7, 8)
OUR young readers will remember the story of the fleece and the dew with which we ended our last article. How gracious it was of God to grant Gideon’s request! For it ought to have been enough that God had promised to save Israel through him, instead of asking for a sign which should give him confidence. But we ourselves often fail in not trusting God’s word, if we read the Bible and are not quite sure that every promise or threat will surely come to pass. “And it was so”; for on the next day Gideon thrust the fleece together and wrung the dew out of the wool, “a bowl full of water,” and yet all around it was dry! Was not that wonderful?
And Gideon said to God, “Let not Thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray Thee, but this once with the fleece: let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
In all this we can see the power of God, and also His love in strengthening the faith of His servant Gideon, who required many and many a lesson before he learned to trust God fully. As we notice and watch the ways and words of young children, we may often be reminded of more important things. Little Vena was going to school for the first time for a few morning hours. As her elder sister was putting on her hat and jacket, Vena said, “I suppose I shall be able to read when I come home to dinner!” Dear child! she had no idea of the hours, days, or weeks of patient instruction necessary, of the letters to master, the syllables to go through, and the first small words before she could make out longer words at a glance and be really “able to read.” So it is with deeper knowledge: “line upon line, precept upon precept,” so much is needful. And thus God taught Gideon.
The Spirit of the Lord had come upon Gideon after he had thrown down the altar of Baal, so that he was the more fit to work for the Lord, and fight His tattles: yet he and those with him had to learn that it was not by the power of Gideon, but by the power of God, that they should go against their enemies. God said that the army was too large and that it must be made smaller, lest they might be proud and think that their own arm had saved them; so all the timid ones were sent back to their homes, and even then the army was too large. God told Gideon to take the people down to the water, and there were three hundred men who lapped as a dog lappeth, putting the hand to the mouth while all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. Then said God, “By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand, and let all the other people go every man unto his place.” So God’s word settled the matter. He alone has the power and the right to do this at all times.
Then Gideon divided the three hundred men into three companies, and put a trumpet and a pitcher into the hands of every man, and there was a lighted lamp or torch inside each pitcher. Then, when they got to the outside of their enemies’ camp, each man followed the example of Gideon, blew their trumpets, broke the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands to blow with, and cried or shouted “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” Thus were the enemies frightened, thus was the battle won, and all by the power of God, though He used Gideon as an instrument in His hands. Much more might be said or written on the subject, but this paper is already long enough.
It would be a good plan for every boy or girl who has read the story of Gideon in “THE SPRINGING WELL,” to open the Bible at the sixth of Judges, and read all that is found there about Gideon, until the end of the eighth chapter. And have you, dear children, no enemies to subdue? Have you nothing to conquer? Not, of course, with a sharp sword, but in another way. Is there no cross or sullen temper to keep down? Is there no bad or idle habit to overcome? Is there no wrong desire or jealous feeling put into your mind by Satan, the enemy of God, the great enemy of our souls? Then come to the Lord Jesus for pardon and peace, and look to God to help you, to teach you the lessons that you ought to learn, and to give you strength and power to follow the example of our Saviour and Deliverer.
Our Editor kindly offers to give three prizes for the three best answers to the following questions. Please mention your age at the bottom of your paper, and address it to “Gideon,” care of the Publisher of “The Springing Well,” 14, Paternoster Row, London, on or before July 31St.

Our Bible Class: The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God - 7

“By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.”—Heb. 11:9.
THOUGH we have lingered for some months over “The Story of Abraham, the Friend of God,” it will, we trust, be found alike helpful and interesting to glance for a moment at him as “the man of faith,” and touch briefly a few points in his history, before passing on to that of his grandson Jacob.
Many of the dear young friends whose papers tell of diligent, patient Bible-searching and study, have at some time or other visited a picture gallery, and gazed with never-to-be-forgotten delight on the portraits of men and women whose names are living on the page of our country’s history. Kings, queens, nobles, warriors and statesmen, found their places on its walls, and it seemed easy as we gazed to recall the leading events of the times in which they lived, and picture for ourselves the scenes in which they took part.
Have we anything like a picture gallery in our Bibles? Perhaps the question is not quite an easy one to answer. “Olive” says her father has a Bible, almost every page of which is illustrated with pictures drawn or painted by great artists. But my question does not refer to rare and high-priced editions of “THE BOOK” we have all, I trust, learned to love and value because it is the “WRITTEN WORD of the ONE Who is Himself the LIVING WORD.”
It is quite a long time now since someone gave me a very beautiful thought about the eleventh chapter of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, by calling it “the picture gallery of God’s noblemen”: and among those whose names and deeds must have been well known to every Jew, ABRAHAM, “the father of the faithful,” holds an honored and important place.
~~~
DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,— “Cousin Edith” wonders if Question 1 was not clearly put, as, while all who have replied to the last clause of it have done so correctly, nearly half the members of our Class have not even attempted an answer. Shall we look at the question together? “In what words is the conduct of Esau referred to by an apostle? Give your reasons (if you have any) for thinking that the history of Esau would be well known by those to whom he was at that time writing?” The passage referred to occurs in the epistle of Paul to the Hebrews (12:16). The Hebrews were, as we know, Jews, and had all descended from one or other of the twelve sons of Jacob, each of whom became the father of a family. These families grew and multiplied, being known in after years as the “tribes of Israel.” Jacob and Esau were twin brothers: and the history of his nation, together with the law as given to Moses, formed part of the education of every Jewish boy.
Clara Maluis, Post Office, Clifford Chambers.— Your letter, dear, is an interesting one. I think that I quite understand what you mean by saying that “it is not what we think about ourselves, but what God thinks of us,” that is so important: but you won’t mind, will you, if I put it into other words? Rest of heart and perfect cloudless peace fill our souls when in any little measure occupied with what God thinks of CHRIST. “He is the chiefest among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely”—the One on Whom the eye of God can rest with perfect satisfaction, the One in whom His heart has found its delight. Everyone who truly believes on Christ (I am not writing of mere assent to the doctrines of Christianity, but of living faith in a living Saviour) is “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), and so seen by God in all the beauty of Christ, in all the value of His finished work. We know truly that
“God is satisfied with Jesus”:
and it is so blessed when we are also.
Answers to “Bible Class” questions, and letters for COUSIN EDITH, &c., should be addressed to her, care of the Editor of “THE SPRINGING WELL,” 14, Paternoster Row, E.C. Post, if possible, on or before the 25th of each month.

A Short Study in Scripture: A Threatened Famine

1. “BEHOLD, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land. Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water: but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea: and from the north even to the east: they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11, 12). “The law shall perish . . . and counsel” (Ezek. 7:26). “The Lord hath spoken it” (Is. 22:25).
2. In Eli’s “day the word of the Lord was precious: there was no open vision” (1 Sam. 3:1, 21). Saul had to make the sad confession, “God is departed from me, and answereth me no more: neither by prophets, nor by dreams” (I Sam. 28:15, 16). He was without light, without guidance: utterly forsaken. God had forsaken him. To faithless Israel God said, “I called you, but ye answered not: therefore . . . I will not hear thee” (Jer. 8:13, 16). “As I live. . . I will not be enquired of by you” (Ezek. 20:3). “Though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezek. 8:18).
3. “Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Prov. 29:18). David found God’s word more precious than gold (Ps. 19:7-10). Job esteemed His word more than his necessary food (Job 23:12). Jeremiah says: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them: and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name” (Jer. 15:16). A beautiful reason! “Happy is that people whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 144:15). “Do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly?” (Micah 2:7).
4. (a) The word of the Lord gives life.— “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deut. 8:3).
(b) The word of the Lord gives light. —The Psalmist says: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105); “The entrance of Thy words giveth light” (Ps. 119:130).
(c) The word of the Lord is a guide.— “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying: This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Is. 30:21).
E. A. H.

The Widow's Salvation: Or, Pardon, Peace, and Power

AN aged widow who resided in the South, was frequently visited by a Christian who, in love to her soul, endeavored to arouse her to a sense of her deep need as a sinner before a holy, sin-hating God. Their conversation on these occasions was always of a most serious nature, and frequently the tears coursed down the aged widow’s cheeks as her visitor spoke both of God’s boundless love and of His unsparing judgment, which would sooner or later overtake the unbeliever. She would listen most attentively to the grand old truths of the Gospel, but appeared only impressed with her need to an extent that made her unhappy. She assented to the fact that she was a sinner, but did not apprehend the simplicity of the way of life: consequently she possessed neither the peace nor the joy which flows from a heart belief of the great fact that “Christ died for our sins.”
Calling one day, the visitor found to her joy that the careworn, despondent look had vanished from her face, and that she appeared exceedingly bright and happy, and much to her surprise she was informed that a secret sin had been keeping the poor widow outside the Kingdom of God. She frankly, but with quivering lip, acknowledged that she had been a slave to the baneful drink habit, which had for so long been keeping her away from Christ. But she concluded her sorrowful confession by stating with much assurance that former things had, in her experience, passed away, for she was saved, and knew it on the authority of the unerring Word of God.
Our God delights in mercy. His wisdom is unsearchable. He often uses the simplest thing to serve His might. It was so in this pool widow’s case: her husband had passed away SOME time previously. During his life he had been a furniture broker, and one day when in the lumber-room this sin-bound sinner came across an old volume, which she casually opened, and, noticing its large print, she carried it down into her little sitting room, The title of the volume was “The Traveler’s Guide,” and as she opened its pages and read of ruin, redemption, regeneration, and responsibility, it was indeed a guide to her, for not only was her sin confessed, but she also saw that Christ had wrought a perfect redemption when He, on Calvary’s Cross, died to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
She saw, too, that Christ crucified was the ground of her pardon, and that a risen Christ at God’s right hand was the source of her power to overcome her terrible besetment, and, believing this, she entered into the enjoyment of God’s gracious pardon. His peace filled her heart, and she knew that she would he kept by the same power that had saved her.
Have you a secret sin keeping you from Christ? Is your conscience troubled as you think of it? Is your heart burdened by the weight of that which you would not tell your dearest earthly friend? We know it not, but God knows. If such is your condition, in self-abandonment cast yourself into the arms of Omnipotent love. The One who died for such sinners as you, is now speaking from heaven. He calls you to Himself, He alone
“Breaks the power of cancelled sin,
And sets the prisoner free.”
Though your sin hangs as a millstone around your neck, there is deliverance from its power. Millions have been saved, have been to the Saviour for cleansing, and have received God’s gracious pardon, the Saviour’s blessed peace, and the mighty Conqueror’s all-sufficient power to overcome the particular sin by which they were bound. None need despair: God loves the poor sinner. This caused Him to give His only begotten Son, who came into the world to bear the penalty due to sin, and to seek and to save that which was lost. If you continue in your sin, despise the Saviour, and turn from the love of God, you will know to your eternal shame and loss that:— “The wages of sin is death.”
“But should you still cling to your sin,
And still God’s love defy,
Upon your head must rest the blame
You will most surely die.”
A. G.

I Have Redeemed Thee

I HAD been very anxious for a long time, when a servant of the Lord came to me. He asked me many questions, and told me what the Lord had done for me. This made me more anxious to find peace. On Sunday during the service I was melted to tears, and was under conviction of sin.
What a great sinner I felt myself to be! How I longed to find peace for my poor soul! How very miserable I was! I prayed day and night, but nothing gave me comfort, until one night in my bedroom, as I was reading, and praying, and wondering what I could do to obtain peace, I said, “I will just take God at His word, and trust in what Christ Jesus has done, for He said, when hanging on the Cross, IT IS FINISHED! It was for ME!” It was then that I received it all as a gift, and I had such joy as I never knew before. Oh, it was a peace that the world knows nothing of. These words came to me as if the Saviour whispered them: “I HAVE BLOTTED OUT AS A THICK CLOUD THY TRANSGRESSIONS: AS A CLOUD THY SINS. RETURN UNTO ME, FOR I HAVE REDEEMED THEE!”
I always had believed that Christ died for sinners. But now, how different! I knew He died for me—my sins He bare: my debt He paid. I felt I must tell everybody what had been done for me. In the morning, I told my mother and some friends “I knew old things had passed away: all things had become new.” Ever since I have been truly happy, trusting in the precious blood of Christ. Blessed be God, there is nothing to do to obtain salvation. “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED.”—Acts 16:31
“He sought me in the valley,
He knew my utmost need,
But He’s a royal Bridegroom,
I shall be rich indeed.
Rich in His pardoning mercy,
Bounties that never cease:
Rich in His loving-kindness,
Rich in His joy and peace.”
J. R.

The Barber's New Sign

SOME years since, Gospel Meetings were being held in a hall in Carlisle Street, off Edgware Road, London. Bills announcing the meetings were printed and scattered among those who lived near. One Sunday morning two Christian men were out giving them from door to door. As they went along one street. they came to a barber’s shop: it was open, for on that morning very often the best trade is done. They went in and handed the barber a bill. Looking at it, he quickly said, “No use to me: here, take it back, I am not coming.” One of them said, “But why not? The meeting is not till evening, and you will be shut up then. Why not come, the seats are free, and a welcome for you?” Immediately he said, “Oh, that’s true, I shall close my shop before then: but I am not coming, I know what you would tell if I did come.” “What would we tell you?” “Oh, you would tell me to close my shop, so as to keep the Sabbath.” “Nothing of the kind; you come tonight, and you will not hear a word about shutting your shop, but you will hear the Gospel.” When assured once and again that nothing would be said about closing up, he said, “Well, I’ll not promise, but I may come along.” Passing on as they handed the bills out, their prayer went up to God that He would incline him to be there.
As the meeting began, they looked round and soon discovered the barber sitting among others. Just as they had told him, there was no word as to “Shutting shop” or anything else put before the sinner as needful to be done. All stress was laid upon the fact that man is a sinner before God, guilty and vile: no efforts on his part could suffice to cleanse that guilt away. The barber thought but of one thing, viz., “Shutting his shop.” Now he was being led to see his own heart in the presence of God. The heart is “desperately wicked.” Sin is there—it has poisoned, and is poisoning. The doing of a sinful man is sin. If the barber had, as a sinner, shut his shop, would it have helped him as to his salvation? Impossible; “Ye must be born again.” To that end Christ must be lifted up—Christ must die, or sin never could be judged in righteousness for man’s salvation, and, therefore, never could be forgiven.
That evening, the barber lost sight of his doing, and became absorbed in the thought “I am a sinner.” “I am, never mind others.” He saw himself, and therefore was gladly ready to listen to the Gospel. As the Gospel was told out, be eagerly listened to Christ’s death for the sinner—for him—salvation the gift of God, he saw it, rejoiced in it, then and there. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” (Rom. 4:23). That death deserved by him he clearly saw could not be averted by shutting his shop, or by any other so-called good work of his. His sin deserved death, and that death awaited him, must have been his, but Christ died. Reader, there is the grand simple truth for you at this moment. Your life will not bear inspection, though better than that of many others. Your heart is the same— nothing can avail you but the death of Christ. The barber left the hall that evening “a saved man, rejoicing in Christ,” as he told it out to those who had invited him. Grace had done it all. They brought Christ before him in the fulness of His love and His power to save. How it would have spoiled it all to appeal to him to try and do something! The following Lord’s Day morning, those two Christians were round with bills again. As they came near the barber’s shop, they looked, it was his best morning for customers. What would he do? The answer was before them. The door was shut, several customers had come as usual, and were startled as they looked, not at the well-known pole, the usual sign, but a new one, a most singular one; there on the closed shutters was nailed a large text, “For 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). Grace had taught him to deny himself; taught him that moneymaking is not everything: taught him to trust in the Living God.
Reader, ere I close, let me earnestly appeal to you to listen to God’s message. Like the barber, you may have thought it would be a charge to you to change your ways, to do something, to be religious, at least an injunction to pray. No: I repeat it firmly. No! That is not the message, but as you read, see your heart in all its sinfulness, in its wretchedness, and let the love of God in the gift of His Son appeal to you—neither doing nor praying will avail. Receive Christ as your Saviour, trust in Him, the One who died for sinners: then, saved for ever, you shall join your hallelujahs with the host of the redeemed. Never shall you regret a decision, now to give up all effort and to believe in Him.
“Then will you come to Jesus,
In spite of fear and doubt?
He’s waiting now to save you,
And will not cast you out.
If but, in true repentance,
Before His cross you bow,
He’ll give you free forgiveness,
And full salvation—NOW.”
R. T. H.

How the Widow's Oil Increased

LET me exhort you to deeds of mercy. Let your fingers drop with the myrrh of liberality. Sow the golden seed of benevolence. Remember that excellent saying of Saint Augustine: “Give those things to the poor which you cannot keep, that you may receive those things which you cannot lose.” There are many occasions of exercising your mercifulness. The poor are everywhere. Hear the orphan’s cry: pity the widow’s tears. Some there are who want employment: it would be well to set their wheel a going: others, who are past employment: be as eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame: some, whose families are sinking, if some merciful hand doth not help to shore them up.
But some object: “We may give, and so in time come ourselves to want.” Let Bazil answer this: “Wells,” said he, “which have their water drawn, spring ever more freely.” “The liberal soul shall be made fat” (Prov. 11:25). Luther speaks of a monastery in Austria, which was very rich while it gave annually to the poor: but when it left off giving, the monastery began to decay. There is nothing lost by doing our duty: an estate may be imparted, yet not impaired. The flowers yield honey to the bee, yet hurt not their own fruit: when the candle of prosperity shines upon us, we may light our neighbor that is in the dark, and have never the less light ourselves. Whatever is disbursed to pious uses, God doth bring it in some other way: as the loaves in breaking were multiplied, or as the widow’s oil increased by pouring out (1 Kings 17:16).
AN OLD DIVINE

"Soon the Golden Day Will Come."

“He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
—Jer. 5:24.
FULL hands, scattering golden grain
Over hill and over plain,
Till the Master comes, again!

Glad eyes, lifted to His Face,
Shining down on us in grace
From the High and holy Place!

Faint not then for weary feet:
Carry still the message sweet,
Jesus all your need will meet.

Faint not then for aching head:
Let the tender words be said,
Let sad hearts be comforted.

Faint not test the reaping time
Find you fallen from your prime,
Strengthless for that work sublime.

Endless in its fadeless bloom,
Soon the Golden Day will come
Of the gracious Harvest-home.

Forward then with hearts aglow,
Still the living seed to sow,
Ere is past the precious “Now.”

Jesus coming is the strain
Bracing us for work again,
Healing weariness and pain.

“Christ is coming,” as the song
Sweeps in melody along,
Making heart and spirit strong,

Lo, the springing corn is seen,
Lovely in its robe of green,
Where the singers’ feet have been.

Fresher for the rain of tears,
Stronger for the toil of years:
Fair response to faithful prayers:

Glad encouragement to go,
Till He come, with hearts aglow,
Still the precious seed to sow.
E. STACEY-WATSON.
“HE that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Ps. 126:6).

Our Bible Portion: Dwelling With the King for His Work

“These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work” — 1 Chron. 4:23.
THESE people of old were only potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges, and yet what a privilege was theirs! They dwelt with the King for His work, just in the place where God had put them—among plants and hedges—there they dwelt with the King for His work. And so, dear child of God, today, whatever sphere He has placed you in, it may be in the office or in the workshop, some mother in the household perhaps, or some servant in the kitchen, yet this may be your privilege also, there to dwell with the King for His work. Living in His presence as you fulfil the duties to which He has called you, enjoying sweet communion with the King in the midst of the rush of life’s busiest days.
But alas! how very little God’s children know of what it means
Day by Day, to Dwell With the King for His Work.
How little we know of a life spent in communion with Him: perhaps, like Absalom of old, of whom we read that he dwelt two full years in Jerusalem and saw not the king’s face (2 Sam. 14:28). So it may be true of us, that for days and weeks, yea, and even perhaps for years in some cases, we have not seen the face of our King.
There has been no communion with Him, no dwelling with Him for His work; some cloud has come in between our souls and Him, it may be some sin we are clinging to, or perhaps some idol cherished in our hearts, and the Master has been laying His finger upon it, and yet we have refused to part with that thing, whatever it may be: and so there has been no fellowship with Him, no dwelling with the King: life has been nothing but failure, and the heart of our God has been grieved, for He longs that we should enjoy this blessed privilege—
A Life Spent in Communion With the King,
a life of victory, a life of perfect rest and satisfaction.
It may be, dear child of God, as you read these words, that you long to know more of what it is, to dwell daily with the King for His work, but there is some hindrance in your life. Oh, will you not bow in the Master’s presence, and ask Him to search you right through and through? To discover to you what is wrong, and then to cleanse you by the power of His holy Word, until His pure and holy eye can see nothing unclean. Yea! ask Him to fill you with His own fulness, and keep you in close touch with Himself daily: so that, as you dwell in His presence, and gaze by faith upon Him, He may mould and fashion you, and make you more like Himself, so that your life may attract others to Him here below, until that day when His children “with gladness and rejoicing shall enter into the king’s palace” (Psa. 45:15): then faith shall be lost in sight, and we shall “see the King in His beauty” (Isa. 33:17). Till then may we indeed know more of what it means to
Dwell With the King for His Work.
In conclusion, perhaps, some may read these lines, and they know nothing whatever of this life of rest and joy, for as yet they are strangers to the King: they are still burdened with a load of sin, without God and without hope in the world, and if death were to take them away in their present condition, they would spent eternity in hell, shut out from the presence of the King for ever, for He says:— “If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
Dear unsaved one, will you not just now open that heart of thine and let the Lord Jesus—the King of Glory—in? How often He has knocked at your heart’s door in the past: and you have not hearkened: yet once again He says: “BEHOLD I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK, IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME” (Rev. 3:20).
Delay, then, no longer, but
“Swing the Heart’s Door Widely Open,”
let Him come in and cleanse that heart of thine, and dwell therein Himself. He will fill your life with a joy and peace that you never knew before, and by-and-by you, too, shall “see the King in His beauty,” and join in the new song, “Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His precious blood, to Him be the glory for ever and ever” (Rev. 1:5-6).
F. B.

Fragment: Truths of the Bible

THE truths of the Bible are like gold in the soil. Whole generations walk over it, and know not what treasures are hidden beneath. So centuries of men pass over the Scriptures and know not what riches lie under the feet of their interpretation. Sometimes when they discover them they call them new truths. One might as well call gold newly dug new gold.

Jottings About the Bible: The Wonderful History of the Book

A Marvelous History.
I ASK you to consider the wonderful history of the Book, taking that only since it appeared in its present completed form. For many centuries the world has been doing its utmost to get rid of it, but has utterly failed: kings, priests, and people have united in trying to banish it from the earth, but without avail: they have cursed it and burned it, they have caviled at it and maligned it: worse still, they have imprisoned and tortured and put to the most cruel deaths men, women, and little children for the sole crime of loving it and avowing their belief in its blessed truths, in their blind hatred of the Book and of the God Whom it reveals. But all to no purpose: God has sent the Book into the world, and it remains unto this day. He has planted it and no man can uproot it: it is charged with the message of His wonderful love and His glorious salvation: and men may hate it and scorn it and reject it, but He has said, My Word “shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Is there another Book on all the earth that would have withstood this terrible opposition? Nay, not the works of the world’s greatest thinkers would have stood it for a single decade, but in a few years of such persecution they would have passed into utter oblivion. What other book in the world is there for which men would willingly have suffered the loss of all things and counted their lives not dear unto them?
But the Bible has not only remained in the world, but it has prospered exceedingly, so that now it is spread over the greater part of the earth and is translated into more than three hundred languages. This, moreover, has not been done by the great man and rich men, or by powerful Governments, but chiefly by the poor and obscure ones, who were rich in faith and noble in purpose, of many of whom it may truly be said “this world was not worthy.”
A Marvelous Power.
If the history of the Book in the world has been wonderful, its power over men is more wonderful still. Of all the multitudes who have loved the Bible and have believed its truths there are very few who have not first had to be conquered by it: comparatively few have known and believed and loved the Scriptures from childhood: the natural heart has no desire for God or the things of God, and in all ages it has only been through reading or hearing the truths of God’s Word that men have “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God: and to wait for His Son from Heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, Who delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:1). This is what we call “conversion,” and is not a mere outward profession of Christianity when “religion walks in silver slippers,” as Bunyan puts it, and there has been no sifting process of persecution to test its reality. Many of the bitterest enemies of the Bible have become its devoted friends, not a few who have sat down to examine it and prove its falsity have seen their error, believed its truth, and become its firm adherents: many, after having persecuted those who believed in it, have themselves become believers and willingly laid down their lives in its cause.
This article about the Bible is taken from a book we have just published, by the author of “What Christ Taught,” entitled “GOD HATH SPOKEN.” It is a very opportune publication as to the Divine origin and character of the Word of God, and we are sure it will be vastly appreciated by our readers, and widely circulated. It is a book of sixty-four pages, and is published cheaply at rd., post free rid., or .r.s. 3d. for twelve copies.

The Christ of the Bible

ONLY the Christ of the New Testament, says an unbeliever. Pardon me, of the Old as well. I see Christ in Abel’s offering; in Isaac bound on the altar on Mount Moriah: in the Ark floating over the waters of judgment, the only place of safety in a drowning world: in the cities of refuge provided for the man-slayer, Christ the refuge for the sinner who is fleeing from the wrath of God against his sin: in the Jewish sacrifices and offerings. Yes, I see Him in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. In the Psalms and the Prophets. All through the Bible. I say with Abraham: “God will provide Himself a Lamb.” I say with Job: “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” I say with the Psalmist: “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” I say with Isaiah: “He was wounded for our transgressions: He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed.” Yes, HE IS THE CHRIST of the Bible, and I believe in Him.

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 7

LUTHER’S preaching at Wittemberg soon drew crowded audiences. The deep seriousness that characterized his sermons, the joy wherewith his knowledge of the Gospel filled his heart, gave to his eloquent words an authority, a fervor, and an unction which none of his predecessors had displayed. When the crowds thronged the old chapel so as to make the building unsafe, the town council of Wittemberg chose Luther as their preacher, and henceforth he preached in the town church. His doctrines and his manner astonished his hearers, who came in increasing crowds to listen to him. But this tide of prosperity was interrupted for a time.
A dispute had arisen between seven of the Augustine monasteries and the vicar-general, which was referred to Rome, and Luther was chosen to represent the case there. He did not stay long in Rome, but what he saw and heard taught him lessons of the greatest importance. Up till that visit monastic prejudices swayed his mind, and the Pope was still “his Holiness” in his estimation.
Starting on his journey, he crossed the Alps, and descended into the fertile plains of Lombardy. Step by step new objects of wonder met his gaze, and scandals of which he had never dreamed engaged his attention. The poor German monk, who travelled afoot and alone, was received at the rich monastery of the Benedictines. The luxuries of the table and the gorgeous appointments of the whole place were such that he was quite scandalized. The rent-roll of this religious house was thirty-six thousand ducats, equal to £20,000 of English money at that date, and not less than £120,000 at the present value of money. One-third was spent in eating and drinking, one third in other requirements of the monks, and the remainder on the repair and enlargement of the monastery. He was confounded by what he saw of luxury and pride, but held his peace until Friday came, when he saw the table loaded with luxuries, and animal food in abundance. He resolved to speak out. “The Church forbids these things,” said he. They were indignant at his censure. Suspecting that he would report their excesses in the pontifical city, they thought the surest way was to make away with their troublesome guest. The porter warned him that he ran serious risks if he stayed longer. He made his escape from this epicurean monastery, and went to Bologna, where he was taken ill, it has been supposed as the result of poison, but perhaps it was owing rather to the change of diet from the herrings and bread of Germany to the luxurious fare of the Benedictines. In his illness he became a prey for a time to great lowness of spirits. To die far away from his beloved Germany, in a foreign land, and under the burning sky of Italy, was bad enough: but he was troubled on account of his sins, and he trembled at the judgments of God: but when he was at the lowest, his faith revived, and the words that had struck him so forcibly at Wittemberg, “The just shall live by faith,” shed a heavenly light upon his soul, and he was restored to the joy of Salvation, and soon to his wonted health and strength.
~~~
GOD the Creator should have been glorified on this earth by the human beings He had made, but man fell, and dishonored God. But as we follow our Lord’s prophetic words, we see a new region on high, wherein the glory of the Incarnation, the Cross, the Resurrection and Ascension of the Christ bring fresh and new luster to both the Father and the Son, and the light of the glory which God the Father shed upon the Son, a Man in heaven, sheds back its brilliancy upon the Father Himself.

My Palestine Recollections. 8. "A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh."

WE read in Eccl. 3:4, there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh,” and in other Scriptures there is much said both about the “weeping” and the “laughing” in connection with Palestine and the Lord’s people Israel. Our present chapter brings the former very prominently into view.
We find the prophet Jeremiah saying, “Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of My people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow” (ch. 15:17). Such reflections were brought to mind by the abject appearance of the poor old Jew we before referred to. He was but a specimen of a very large proportion of the Jewish inhabitants of the City, and surely, we may add, illustrative of the condition of the nation of whom it is written their Messiah “came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11). In Luke 19:41 we read that “When He was come near He beheld the City and wept over it.” Yes, it was for Jesus “a time to weep.”
“He wept alone and men pass’d on—the men whose sins he bore;
They saw the Man of Sorrows weep: they had seen Him weep before:
They asked not whom those tears were for, they asked not whence they flowed.
Those tears were for rebellious man: their source, the heart of God.”
It is a circumstance well known in Rabbinical history that prior to the overthrow of Jerusalem by Titus the Jewish scribes spelled the name of Jerusalem thus: Yod Resh Vav Sin Lamed Yod Mem (seven Hebrew letters—the perfect number); but since that event the second yod has been omitted, and Jerusalem is spelt, and has been for over 1,800 years, one letter short of the perfect number. But not only so: the two yods (.n), called “a jot” in our Lord’s words in Matt. 5:18: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The jot (or yod) being the smallest of the Hebrew letters, and the tittle one of those small particles which distinguish one letter from another. The double yod (vi), recognized by the Jewish scribes and Rabbis as the abbreviated form of Jehovah. Now in Jer. 25:29 and Dan. 9:18, Jerusalem is spoken of by Jehovah as “the City upon which His name is called” (see margin), and thus we learn that before she refused her Messiah and His own words were fulfilled upon her, “Behold your house is left unto you desolate,” the name of Jehovah was incorporated in that of Jerusalem. But the glory is departed, and that name is enshrined there no longer. It is, indeed, a time of weeping, and Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles. But has God cast away His people? No! for the days of rejoicing shall yet come. Jerusalem will the Lord yet make to be a praise in the earth, and He shall reign in Mount Zion and in JERUSALEM (spelled, no doubt, once more with the two sacred yods), and before His ancients gloriously. That beautiful Psalm of degrees (No. 126) speaks of the time to laugh thus: “Then was our mouth filled with laughter and our tongue with singing” (verse 2), and concludes with those precious words: “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.”
One circumstance greatly impressed me as illustrating the state of these Jews in Jerusalem. A young Arab had followed us into the Jews’ place of wailing, and while we were silently contemplating the distress of the sons of Abraham and their affectionate regard for their venerable stones, which (no doubt rightly) they consider to have been placed there in the days of Solomon, he asked me with the utmost effrontery if I would give him bakksheesh and he would break off a piece of one of the stones to bring away as a memento. Many other things we saw in our morning’s walk in Jerusalem, reminding us that the present is with her a time of weeping. But the latter part of the day we spent with our “well-beloved Gaius.” Mr. Azam, and other friends he had invited to meet us, served well to engage our thoughts with other and happier associations. The very fruits upon the table reminded us of the words of the Lord in Deut. 8:8: “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of oil olive, and honey,” while the unrestrained fellowship of those from different lands who owned “one Lord, one faith,” seemed to give a sweet foretaste of the time when all the Lord’s people shall be gathered home to dwell With Him for ever.

One Sin Follows Another

BEWARE of the first evils, for, so sure as you are living, the first step taken will make the second seem to become necessary. The first drop will be followed by a bigger second, and the second, at a shorter interval, by a more copious third, until the drops become a shower, and the shower becomes a deluge. The course of evil is ever wider and deeper, and more tumultuous. The little sins get in at the window, and open the front door for the big housebreakers.

"Do You Know Him Yourself?" or, The Assurance of Personal Salvation

AT a cottage meeting, one evening, I was specially drawn to speak of present knowledge and present enjoyment of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God through simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the close of the address a man, grey, and bent with age, asked me, “Will you go and see my mother, sir? I am sure she will like your doctrine, if you will.”
“Your mother?” said I, astonished that he should have a mother still living. The old man led the way to an attic over his bedroom, where his mother had lived for some years. With an effort he drew himself up the nearly vertical stairs, and as I followed he pointed me to the next ascent, half-staircase, half-ladder, leaving me to mount alone. Thus I found myself close under the ridge of the roof, standing in a kind of triangular attic, through the small window of which the setting sun was shining in, its rays lighting up a spare, gaunt figure sitting upright on a low bed.
The woman’s age was more than one hundred years, yet, while very feeble, her faculties seemed unimpaired. The hard touch of her glazed brown hand, with its stiff fingers, and the dark and shining skin of her face, on which the light glanced sideways with a weird effect, produced a strange sensation, almost of awe, which was heightened by the quiet and loneliness of the place.
To my first inquiry the poor woman feebly replied that she was quite well; but when, after a short pause, I asked her, “And do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Saviour?” her whole manner changed. Her eyes brightened instantly at the sound of that grand Name, her voice started into a shrill energy that has not died away yet in my memory as she rather retorted than replied, “To be sure I do! He knows me.” Then, pointing her finger at me, she cried, “Do you know Him? Do you know Him yourself? Do You?” At once I knew I had come to one who could teach as well as learn. Without waiting for a reply, she continued, betraying almost scorn for my question, as if asking it implied a doubt, “Know Him! and many a long year before you were born, too! Know Him! I should think I do. I was but a girl going to market along the dirty road, all bedraggled up to my knees in mud, when the Lord Jesus Christ drove by in His carriage, and picked me up, and set me beside Him, and said, ‘I’ll make you my bride.’ Know Him! to be sure I do. Do you, I ask? I should like to know that.”
The stream of vigor startled me a little, though the inquiry was welcome: but I answered, “Yes, through grace, I can tell you He died for me, and I do know Him as my Saviour.” Then she pressed her question in different forms, to discover whether I was real, and when satisfied, her anxiety for me gave way to many an expression of regret that of the people who at times visited her none could say that they were truly saved.
We chatted for some time on the free and unchanging grace of God, and on its present enjoyment by simple faith here, before we reach heaven. It was a privilege to taste with her a little of the fellowship which presently we shall resume when the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife hath made herself ready.
Does my reader KNOW whether he himself will be at that wedding in its great and heavenly glory?
In the quaint metaphor of this aged woman, can he say that the Lord Jesus has picked him up in his sins and misery, and given him a seat in Himself in the glory on high—quickened with Christ, raised with Christ, seated in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:5, 6)?
Can you say, “I KNOW in whom I have believed”? “WE KNOW that we have passed from death unto life.” “WE KNOW that we are of God.” “WE KNOW that when He shall appear, we SHALL be like Him.” “We have received the Spirit of God, that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.” “We have KNOWN and believed the love that God hath to us.” The Scriptures say, “Ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life.” May your portion be, “KNOWING, brethren beloved, your election of God,” for, “THE LORD KNOWETH THEM THAT ARE HIS.”

"There Arose a Great Tempest."

“WHY are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose and rebuked the winds and sea, and there was a great calm.” There is always a calm when He speaks. Even though we are full of passions, if we allow His voice to be heard, He will put an end to them. So you see that, although He was the Son of Man, and had not where to lay His head, yet He could do all things, and it is just as easy for Him to give peace now, to those who trust in Him, as it was for Him to still the tempestuous sea in days of old.

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 7

WE told in our last paper how the old Romans deposed their king and established a Republic, and made laws which were just and equitable: but this did not ensure either internal or external peace for any length of time. War amongst themselves, or against their enemies, was just as frequent during the days of the Tribunes as when the Tarquins ruled.
Ever since sin came into the world and ambitious designs entered the hearts of men, conflict and strife have been inevitable, and will be until Christ comes whose right it is to reign. Not till then will true and lasting peace be known upon this broad earth, and as we read the history of this ancient people, a verse from God’s Word often recurs to our minds which declares, that surely “the wrath of man shall praise Thee, the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain” (Psalm 65:10). For men may go to intolerable lengths: they may assert their own wills in an extraordinary fashion: they may exercise commanding influence, as in the days of the Pharaohs, of the Kings of Assyria and Persia and Greece, but a limit seems to be placed upon the power of the mightiest conqueror, and at last he has to bow to the authority of a greater than himself.
We have seen in the history of the nations that have arisen and declined how God’s Hand seemed to be above it all, controlling, and eventually leading to the fulfilment of His great purposes: and so now, although well-nigh five hundred years had yet to be, before the Son of God was to come into this world in Judea’s Land, yet the devout and careful reader can trace the mighty Hand of God in the story, and perceive how events so apparently remote were tending to show that the very “wrath of man” would work out to the “praise” of God, and that His restraining might would hinder even the tyranny of kings or nations going beyond such lengths as were known to, or permitted by, Him, as His Word declares, THE REMAINDER OF WRATH SHALT THOU RESTRAIN.
We can only give the general trend of events in the story of old Rome. It is not our purpose to occupy our readers with all the war and strife and internal tumult that troubled the empire during the period we are now considering. It has well been said that the history of a nation is generally the story of its battles, and this is especially true concerning the second epoch of Rome’s history which we are now considering. The people were increasing in numbers and advancing in power. By alliances with some of the surrounding Latin and other nations, their forces were consolidated, and they were better able to resist the attacks of the barbaric tribes. The incident connected with Coriolanus (amongst many that are manifestly legendary) is generally accepted as true. He had fought bravely for his country, but was ultimately exiled, and then joined the Volscians in their attack against Rome. The people knew how brave he was, and feared the consequences of his anger. At first ten of the foremost men of the Senate went out to appeal to him to forbear, then all the priests and augurs and others associated with the Pagan worship of the temples went out in all their white and beautiful priestly vestments, but to no purpose. Then his aged mother, Venturia, and his wife, Volumnia, went out leading her little children. They were accompanied by the most famous matrons of Rome, and as they appeared before the tent of the warrior, his old mother and his wife prayed him, for their sakes, to spare the city of Rome. Their appeal was irresistible, and Coriolanus said, as he give evidence of his tenderness of heart, “Mother, thou hast saved Rome, but thou hast lost thy son,” because he knew his present masters would condemn him as a traitor for yielding.
The story of Cincinnatus is also interesting. He was found ploughing in the field clad only in the ordinary country costume, when the Senators appeared, calling upon him to take command of the Roman army. He obeyed the summons, and by a series of remarkable maneuvers managed to surround the AEquian army and forced it to entirely surrender.
The way in which he treated the enemies of his country has almost passed into a proverb, as he made them all, as a sign of submission, “pass under the yoke.” Two spears were fixed upright in the ground, and a third secured across the top, and each man had to pass thereunder, and ever since the idea of passing under the yoke has been indicative of complete subjection upon the part of an enemy.

The Value of Confession

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. For with the heart man believeth UNTO righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made UNTO salvation (Rom. 10:9, 10). “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32).

"Religious Conversation Indeed!"

JOHN Bunyan walking one day through the streets of Bedford, following his trade as a tinker, came to some poor women who were sitting at a door, talking of the things of God. He stopped to listen.
They were Christians, and knew well who he was. They had likely seen him coming near, and lifted up their hearts to God, and asked Him to enable them to say something that He could carry home to the tinker’s soul.
Bunyan tells us their conversation. It was about the new birth, and the love of Christ, and the promises of God, and their unbelief, and the deceitfulness of their hearts, and the temptations of the devil, and how they were enabled to overcome them—religious conversation indeed.
And what was the effect?
“I left them,” Bunyan says, “and went about my employment again, but their talk and discourse went with me: also my heart would tarry with them, for I was greatly affected with their words, both because by them I was convinced that I wanted the true tokens of a truly godly man, and also because by them I was convinced of the happy and blessed condition of him that was such a one.”
Reader, would you not like to be the means of convincing a Bunyan? Then speak to sinners by the way, and who knows but you may have such an one as a crown of rejoicing!

The Gospel Work Amongst Hop Pickers

BY WILLIAM LUFF. AUTHOR OF “OUR KING.”
LAST season was the nineteenth in which Mr. Jones, of Shepherd’s Bush, and myself missioned among the hop pickers of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. In visiting 167 different companies we picked up many illustrations of truth, some of which we pass on.
“What a lot of boxes they bring,” we said, as we saw a wagon load of pickers going to a farm. “They are not all full,” we were told, “but they hope to take them home filled with fruit and other spoil.” This was faith. May we have such faith when coming to God. Bring empty boxes, not a few: such open mouths shall be filled.
Though the hop plants twine affectionately around the pole, they twain are never one: and there comes a time when they are roughly separated. How like the godly wife who clings to an ungodly husband, and yet feels that they two are never one. Living one, let not thine affections twine around the dead. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14).
Weeds grow in every hop-yard, even in the best and cleanest: but do not look for them, much less pick them. Look up for the hops, and you will not see the weeds. There are weeds in the best life, and work, and character; but hop pickers do not search for chickweed and groundsel, nor must we look for faults.
A man at a crib had covered himself with a sack to shelter in a shower. But the measurer wanted the sack, and took it, just as I came up. “Lost your umbrella, old friend?” I remarked, adding, “Get Christ as a cover from the storm, and that will never be taken from you.”
Sometimes fruit trees are planted in the hopyards: and for a time are all but hidden by the poles: but there comes a time when the hops are grubbed up, and to the surprise of the ignorant, what has for years been a hop-yard is suddenly transformed into an orchard. Such is many a conversion: the fruit trees are there, planted by parents and teachers, but unseen until a final decision: then the work of past years is manifested. It is thus with the new nature planted in the midst of much that is contrary: but the new will outlive the old, and flourish in fruitfulness when it is dead and done.
In one hop-yard they were narrowing up the work to one corner. As we addressed them we quoted the words, “Christ died for the ungodly,” making an application from their scene of labor “As you are narrowing up the picking, so narrow up that truth, ‘Christ died for the ungodly,’ for us, for me!” He who does this can say of salvation, “It is finished.” Christian, work in the sunlight, and the labor will be light in a double sense.
As we drew towards the end of the picking the hops began to turn brown, and acres of them were “left to fly.” “Why use that term?” we asked. The hop-cone is really a bunch of winged seeds, and when fully ripe the wind scatters these in all directions, and they blow away. Like some of our young people, once fair and fresh and precious: but if not gathered in time, browned and spoiled by sin, and scattered far and wide, away from home, and Sunday school, and God.
As we left after our month’s work and 300 miles’ tramp among the hop pickers, we saw in the cleared fields heaps of dry bine and leaves, dead and useless: and as we looked across the valley we saw curls of white smoke arising from many of the yards we had visited. They were burning the rubbish. All the hops that were to be gathered were safe, and this was the end of all that remained. It made me think of Rev. 14:11: “The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever,” and of Rev. 21:7, 8.
To try by God’s help to gather for Christ those who gather the hops for the growers, we hope to go forth for the twentieth season, as helped by the prayers and gifts of God’s people.

Illustrative Gleanings: The Heliotrope and Sunflower - 1

“Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.”—Malachi 4:2.
IN our gardens, in the summer, we have a pretty I little, trailing, and sweetly-scented plant, which, because of its sweet scent, people call “cherrypie,” but which the gardeners call heliotrope, This is a name made up of two Greek words, which mean to turn to the sun, and it is given to the little plant because it loves the sunshine. and will only flourish well on a bright, warm, unshaded border. Its true name is helio-trope.
The old Greeks gave this name to all flowers which followed the attraction of the sun’s rays, and turned their faces to him, from his rising to his setting. And in our own country, years ago, all flowers which do this used to be called heliotropes. One of the flowers which thus waits upon the sun, and turns its face to him continually, is the Sunflower. The poet has said of it,
“The Sunflower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she did when he rose.”
You all know that the sun rises, in the morning, in what we call the east. At mid-day he is in the south. In the evening, be sets in the west. Well, the Sunflower faces east in the morning, and south at mid-day, and west in the evening. It turns its face to the sun all the day.
Now, the Lord Jesus Christ is to our souls all that the sun is to the flowers. We can have no spiritual life, beauty, or usefulness apart from Him. In Malachi 4:2, He is called “the Sun of righteousness.” And if our hearts are really given to Him we shall always be found looking unto Him, and following Him in faith and prayer. He will be the best and dearest friend we have. We shall think of, and speak of Him more than we do of anyone else. Spiritually, we shall be Sunflowers in God’s garden.
You know the shape and appearance of a Sunflower. It is round, like a plate. It has an edging of bright yellow petals: and it has a darker center. All over this center there are at first what I will call tiny little hairs, as fine as the point of a needle, and these are covered with a kind of yellowish dust, from which the bees gather a great deal of honey. The bees are very fond of the Sunflower, and I have sometimes seen a bee creeping over its face for many hours, until it is so heavily laden with honey that it can hardly fly away. We hope to speak more about this in another number.

A Word to Professors: By the Late Mr. Macleod Wylie (an Indian Judge)

“When I see the blood I will pass over you.” —Ex. 12:13
“The blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin.” —1 John 1:7.
‘TIS true the precious blood was shed,
‘Tis true that Jesus died:
You do not doubt these solemn facts:
BUT IS THE BLOOD APPLIED?

A perfect work was God’s own Son’s:
“‘Tis finished!” Jesus cried.
You own it all, you join in praise:
BUT IS THE BLOOD APPLIED?

The paschal lamb in Egypt bled:
That lamb the feast supplied.
The family was safe, because
THE BLOOD HAD BEEN APPLIED.

You say you hope your heaven’s secure,
And there you will abide:
But, oh, consider well the truth,
THE BLOOD MUST BE APPLIED.

You follow crowds, and in your “church”
Have conscience satisfied
With forms and fasts and outward show,
BUT IS THE BLOOD APPLIED?

The praise of men is your reward,
That praise to saints denied,
And man’s religion suits you well,
BUT IS THE BLOOD APPLIED?

The blood applied! Ah! that’s the test,
‘Tis Jesus crucified,
‘Tis He alone can save the soul,
IF ONCE THE BLOOD’S APPLIED.

It is not knowledge, not a creed,
Whereby you’re justified:
BUT BLOOD ALONE—THE BLOOD OF CHRIST—
SAVES, WHEN BY FAITH APPLIED.

The poor and rich are all alike,
Alike in sin are dyed:
There is no cleansing stream but one—
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST APPLIED.
“UNTO Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 1:5, 6).

Our Bible Class. Bethel and Its Teachings - 1

“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”— Gal. 6:7.
IT is always a moment of intense interest when a I young man or woman leaves home for the first time. Some regrets there are sure to be when the time for tender and perhaps tearful “Good-byes” has really come, but these as a rule do not last long. So many bright hopes and plans for the future fill the mind of the son or daughter who is about to take his or her place in the battle of life, that it is no uncommon thing for the anxiety as to the untrodden path to be most keenly felt by those who see their loved one go from the peaceful, happy home of childhood and youth, to encounter, it may be, the dangers and temptations that can hardly fail to attend the rush and bustle of a great city.
Happy indeed are the parents to whom the joy has been given of knowing that the child for whom they have so long prayed is on the Lord’s side, and is not going forth without a Pilot who if trusted will take entire charge of the bark, steer it safely through the Voyage of Life, and bring it at last into its desired haven.
The day on which Jacob bade farewell to the tents of his father Isaac could hardly have been other than a sorrowful one (Gen. 28). How deeply Rebecca may have mourned the shortsighted, unwise love that while seeking what she thought was for the advantage of her favorite son, in the end sent him forth an exile from his home, we are not told, but it is not too much to suppose that for her the day of his departure must have been a sad one. Jacob, who as we know was in after years deceived by Laban, and afterwards by his own sons, would doubtless remember with shame and sorrow how cruelly he had deceived his blind and aged father. Deeply, too, had he wronged the brother whose anger he had only too good reason to dread.
But it is a relief to turn from all that Jacob was, from all that we are, to the perfect grace and goodness of God, who loves to bless, and as month by month our subject opens out before us, we shall trace the way in which HE acted, nothing, no weakness, no failure, being allowed to hinder the accomplishment of HIS purposes, or render void the promises made to Abraham.

The Story of Ruth. - 1

BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE STORY OF GIDEON.”
IN the Bible there are two short books, each of which is called by the name of a woman. They are both in the Old Testament. One is the Book of Ruth, the other is the Book of Esther. One is the history of Ruth the Moabitess: the other is the history of Esther the Jewess. We are now going to read about Ruth, to study that book, and to notice and admire the gracious way in which God cared for her, how He led her, and how He taught her.
In the Book of Ruth, three women are spoken of—three women who were widows, one old one and two young ones. Their names were Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah. Naomi was the wife of a man named Elimelech. They had two sons, whose names were Mahlon and Chilion. Elimelech and his wife Naomi were living at Bethlehem: there was a famine in the land, which means that there was very little food for people to eat: so he made up his mind to leave Bethlehem, and go to live in the country of Moab. This famine took place in the time when the judges ruled. Elimelech did not intend to go there alone, but took his wife and his two sons with him, so they all four went, and when they got to the country of Moab, they settled down there.
They had left Bethlehem because food was not easy to obtain, but in a short time troubles of another kind came on. The husband and father died, and Naomi was “left” and her two sons. Most likely they went away from the land of famine because they were afraid to be starved to death: but in Moab God called Elimelech away, and, although there might have been plenty to eat there, he had to die. Then the two sons married: Chilion took a wife whose name was Orpah, and Mahlon married Ruth. They lived there about ten years, when the two young men died, and the three women then were widows—Naomi, the mother, and the two younger ones. Naomi had to part with het three loved ones; first, her husband, and then hex two sons. Do we not feel pity for her as we think of her grief, and think, too, how lonely she must have been? She must have thought of the time when she was young, and her boys were little, when they were a happy family at Bethlehem.
Naomi had been told that there was no longer a famine in Bethlehem, for “the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread”: and she wished to go back to the land of Judah. It seems as if the three women set off together, and then that Naomi advised Orpah and Ruth to return to the homes of their own mothers, and leave her to go on her way alone.
Naomi was not at all displeased with her daughters-in-law. She spoke lovingly to them and said that she hoped that the Lord would deal kindly with them, as they had behaved kindly to their dead husbands and to her. Then she kissed them, and they all lifted up their voices and wept. And the young women said unto her “Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.” But Naomi still tried to persuade them to leave her, and go back to their homes in Moab. And they “lifted up their voices and wept again.” Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth slave unto her. And Naomi said to Ruth, “Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and to her gods: return thou after thy sister-in-law.” It is not easy to find out exactly why Naomi tried to get Ruth to go away from her, but Ruth’s answer, Ruth’s affection, and Ruth’s faith are very sweet and touching. She said, “Entreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.”
Then when Naomi saw that Ruth’s mind was quite made up, and that she was firmly resolved to go with her, Naomi left off speaking, and the two women went on together till they reached Bethlehem. Orpah had gone back to worship false gods, but Ruth had given up the false for the true, and now went on with Naomi to bow down to the one true God, the Maker of heaven and earth, and to worship Him, and Him alone. [We hope to give other papers on the Book of Ruth, and shall ask our young friends to answer various questions thereupon. We shall give prizes to those who do so most correctly.]

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text. — “Give us this day our daily bread.”— Matt. 6:11
“Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day [the portion of a day in his day (margin)] —that I may trove them, whether they will walk in my law or no.”—Ex. 16:4 and 5. Read Exodus 16:1-15,
Reading on the Lesson. The Giving of Manna.
1. “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin.” We turn back to the great redemption book of the Old Testament, and in God’s own picture book we see not only real happenings, but also the foreshadowing of many things (1 Cor. 10:11-13). The deliverance from death and from the bondage of Egypt in connection with the blood of the Passover lamb and the glorious power of the Lord’s right hand sets before us God’s great redemption provided for us by Christ, our Passover, while the succeeding events suggest the too common experience of the believer, in which there is apt to be more murmuring than rejoicing.
2, 3. “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.” At Marah it was because they did not like the water, and now it is because they cannot see what they are going to eat, failing to see that He who delivered them from Egypt and divided the sea for them would surely not fail to care for them in every way. But in them we see ourselves: for which of us can say that Rom. 8:32, delivers us from all murmuring?
4, 5. “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you.” So it is written in Ps. 78:24, 25, “And had rained down manna upon them to eat and had given them of the corn of heaven, Every one did eat the bread of the mighty” (margin). just think of it—food for millions day by day, right from heaven! He would teach them to look to Him alone and be content to live by the day.
6, 8. “Ye shall know that the Lord hath brought you out from the land of Egypt. Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.” As to their murmurings it is written in Ps. 106:54, 24, 25, “They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tempted God in the desert. They believed not His word, but murmured in their tents and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.” They possibly did not think that in murmuring against Moses they were murmuring against God: but when Israel demanded a king in the days of Samuel, the Lord said unto Samuel, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).
9, 10. “Come near before the Lord, for He hath heard your murmurings.” Thus Moses commissioned Aaron to speak unto all the congregation, and as he spake to the people they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. Thus the Lord Himself appeared to them, assuring them that they were dealing with Him and not with Moses and Aaron.
11, 12. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying . . . At even, ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread, and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.” What great grace on His part towards these unbelieving, murmuring hosts They had complained that in Egypt they had flesh and bread to the full, so He will give them in the wilderness flesh and bread to the full (verse 3), Truly He is El-Shaddai, the mighty God who is all sufficient, and in Him dwelleth all fulness. His presence insures all sufficiency in all things (2 Cor. 9:8), and He would have us find in Him our all, and know that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (Jas. 1:17).
13, 15. “And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath gives you to eat.” So they had the flesh of quails in the evening and manna in the morning, all they could eat, not because they deserved it, but simply by the grace of God. The manna was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey (verse 31). They were to gather it every morning, every man according to his eating (verses 16, 18, 25), and so they gathered it, some more, some less.

The Gospel Work Amongst Hop Pickers

IT is a great pleasure to commend the good I work carried on by our friends Mr. W. Luff and Mr. Jones in the various hop-gardens, principally in Herefordshire. As our readers will observe, by the article on page 124 of this issue, these workers have for nineteen years carried on this interesting Gospel service amongst those who greatly need it, and who, thank God, vastly appreciate the efforts of these brethren to do them good.
It would give us very great pleasure if, through the medium of this paper, we could help them in the matter of travelling expenses. They give their own personal service absolutely free; indeed, occupy the ordinary time usually devoted to rest and “holiday” in this blessed work. Last year they walked over three hundred miles, visited one hundred and sixty-seven different hop-fields, and told the simple story of the love of God to thousands of men, women, and children.
Any readers who may be pleased to assist in defraying the unavoidable outlay incurred through the mission may either send direct to Mr. W. Luff, 24, High Holborn, London, or to the Editor of this paper.
The Gospel tour lasts about a month altogether.

"Hark! What's That?" or, Prepare to Meet Thy God

The Call.
“HARK! What’s that?”
“Oh, it is only the bugle-call of the rifle corps. They have to fall in for battalion-drill this afternoon.”
Anon both speakers retire from their window of observation, and bestow their thoughts upon other matters. That bugle-call was no summons to them.
Very different results, however, were produced in one whose ears caught the sound, for that call bade him prepare to obey a second, which would soon sound, ordering him to “fall in.”
Before the battalion band he will presently be seen, his axe upon his shoulder, a pioneer: his heart proudly exulting that he is thus preparing himself, in the event of his services being required, to fight in defense of his king and country. And he stood high in the estimation of the members of the corps to which he belonged, for he had taken great pains to make himself efficient, and he was known to be a brave man.
One day, however, his courage was suddenly put to a severe test, and it failed him altogether. He was in the vicinity of Portsmouth on the occasion of a Brand review, and then his soul was stirred to its utmost depths, but not by the clamor of trumpets, the clashing weapons, or the roaring of cannon, but by the sight of five simple words which were painted up upon the side of a house, and the words were these: “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD,”
This was a call to which he was consciously unfit to respond, and the fact caused his heart to sink within him.
When he reached his home again, he was only too desirous to banish the incident from his mind. He was diligent enough in obeying the bugle calls, but he tried to forget the heart-searching summons that had terrified him so much. Are you even now doing the same, dear reader? If so, may God make it impossible for you to forget these words, “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD.”
Some two years after the occurrence narrated, he was standing upon a railway bridge. His health had failed him, and he had been compelled to give up his employment. No longer could he “fall in” in response to the bugle-call. The bridge was near his residence, and as he stood upon it he noticed that someone had written something on one of its sides, and he read these words: “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD.”
This second summons to prepare to meet his God, emphasized, as it certainly was, by the solemn fact that he was now weak and ill, was more than he could endure. That handwriting upon the wall filled him with terror, and he turned away to look over the opposite wall of the bridge, and at that very moment two servants of the Lord reached the spot.
They were going to visit a dying Christian, and, without knowing why, they had taken a rather roundabout route to get to his house, and so found themselves upon the bridge.
Their attention was arrested by the sight of the stranger, looking so ill and so melancholy. They accosted him in a gentle way, and spoke to him of the love of Christ. One of them passed on: the other paused, and looking him in the face, he said, “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD.”
Did ever aspen leaf tremble more in the wind than, did this man at this third summons? Terror-stricken, he wended his way home, wondering whither he could flee from the wrath to come!
God, who had sent these three calls to him now sent another of His servants to point the poor trembling sinner to Jesus, his Saviour and Deliverer. The Lord heard him, and delivered him from al his fears. He found in Christ salvation and peace and the words “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD” now lost their terrifying effect upon his heart and conscience, and he knew the blessing of perfect peace with God.
So changed was he that, save One, none could have possibly foreseen that the once terror-stricken rifleman would become so bold and fearless as a good soldier of Jesus Christ? This was the Lord’s doing, and marvelous in the eyes of those who were privileged to witness it.
To those about him and to those who came to visit him, he testified of Jesus, who had delivered him from eternal death. He followed the Captain of our salvation in the bright assurance of His triumph. And when the last conflict came, calmly and fearlessly he awaited the coming up of the king of terrors, and with earnest gaze fixed upon Jesus, he said, “Is this death?” This was uttered in such a tone of triumph during the final struggle that those who stood by could but realize that in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loveth us.
Reader, PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD.

One Mediator: Or, Make Much of Christ

A WORKING miner was once travelling by rail between Blackburn and Manchester, when a gentleman who had the appearance of a Romish priest entered the compartment in which he was sitting. Now, this miner was one of those who had found salvation through Christ, and who knew experimentally what it meant to have his many sins forgiven: therefore wherever he went his desire was that others should know his Saviour and taste the joys of redeeming grace.
The train steamed out of the busy station, and as they were alone, and the miner desired to converse with his fellow-passenger about God’s boundless love, he respectfully offered him a booklet entitled, “The Leper Cleansed,” which was graciously received. After a careful perusal of its contents, the gentleman looked up and said—
“A very good tract this.”
“Yes, sir: it bears the name of Christ, and testifies to the virtue of His precious blood.”
“Perfectly true.”
“Yes, it is very important to know that man is lost: and the only way to God is through the redemptive work of Christ Jesus, for His blood, which cleanseth from all sin, can and does fit the guilty sinner for God’s presence: and apart from that, none can enter heaven.”
“How many belong to your faith?”
“I don’t know the number.”
“Indeed!”
“You must know, friend, that God’s Word states that there is ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism,’ and ‘By grace are ye saved through faith’: and that the Lord Jesus once said, ‘I am the Door,’ and, again, ‘Ye must be born again.’ And mark, friend, these are the words of the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Alpha and Omega. Remember also that all other ways to God are spurious, even though they be religious and refined.”
“And what do you think of the Pope of Rome?”
“The Pope of Rome is but a failing man as you and I. He was born into this world a sinner as were all Adam’s posterity.”
The Romanist appeared not to like this candid reply, and for some moments sat in silence, which was broken by the miner continuing:
“My friend, let us make much of Christ, for God has given Him a name above every name, and crowned Him with glory and honor at His own right hand.”
“That is quite true, but do you not think that Pope Leo XIII. is the head of the Church?”
“Oh, no, for we read in Col. 1 That Christ is the Head of the Church, and that being true, it is evident that the Pope of Rome is not. If Pope Leo has been born again, and cleansed from his sins by the all-availing blood of Christ, he, in common with every believer, is a member both of the Church and of the body of Christ: for in 1 Cor. 12:13 we read these words: ‘For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles.’ Neither your finger nor your thumb is your head: they are but members of your body. Moreover, the Apostle Paul, to whom was revealed the mystery of the Church, was but a member of that body.”
The train then slackened speed, and drew up to the platform, and the Romanist, bidding the miner “Good day,” alighted.
Oh, sinner, whatever man may presume to teach, the truth of God remains: “There is one God, and one Mediator, between God and man,” not the Pope, not the priest, not the clergy, but “the Man Christ Jesus.” There is a sure way to heaven, the new and living way, which is Christ, and Him crucified.
Therefore listen to the gracious words of the sinner’s Saviour, “I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved” (John 10:9). “I am the way. and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6).
“There is alone one way of peace,
One way alone to heaven,
Alone one way by which the vile
Can be received, forgiven.
That way is Christ, the Christ of God,
Who died on Calvary’s tree,
To save the guilty and undone,
And set the prisoner free.”
A. G.

What the Gravestones Said: Or, "Most Miserable or Fully Assured"

WHAT a constant source of wonder and inquiry, which even the verger who shows visitors round the building cannot unravel, is that strange inscription on a large slab in the nave of one of England’s Midland cathedrals, consisting of but one word, “MISERIMUS” (MOST MISERABLE MAN).
What depth of sorrow must the one who lies underneath have gone through, and evidently no alleviation in the thought of future happiness: how many have, through mercy, learned anal owned their misery, and then looking up at the Blessed One who was lifted up on that center cross between the two robbers on Calvary, found not only relief from their misery, but actual joy— like one of those said robbers who had the blessed assurance of being that very day and forever with the Lord “in paradise.”
And this brings before me another of the same kind, expressive of misery. In the churchyard of a watering-place on the Essex coast is to be seen an upright gravestone with only one word again, “MISERIMA” (MOST MISERABLE WOMAN) engraved on it. For years it stood alone on the north side of the graveyard, as if people did not like their dead to be associated with such.
In this case history has handed down the sad story. A young lady, having been betrayed and forsaken by the one she trusted, took lodgings at this then little-known out-of-the-way watering-place. After destroying everything by which she could be identified, as she thought, she one morning hired a bathing machine and asked the owner to have it dragged out as far as he could: the water is very shallow just here, so this meant the machine being a long way from the shore. The owner waited and waited for the hirer of his machine to signal for it to be drawn on shore again, but he waited in vain, and, getting alarmed, waded in to see what was the matter. On reaching the machine he discovered that the lady had tied herself down under water to one of the wheels and was quite dead. Of course, there was the usual inquest, and the burial as far from the other dead as possible—as if she could hurt them, poor thing!—and the stone erected with just that one word on it. Since then the place has increased, the graveyard nearly filled up. So this “MISERIMA” has many laid near her, her tombstone is amongst many others, and her story is almost forgotten.
How true it is that “the way of transgressors is hard”! But what of the man who deceived and forsook his victim?
Oh! if someone who knew of the Father’s love and the cleansing power of the precious blood of Christ could have told these two people of pardon for the worst and pointed them to Christ, instead of being “MISERIMUS” and “MISERIMA” they might have been the happiest of the happy: for as Dr. Valpy wrote:
“My sins deserve eternal death,
BUT Jesus died for me.”
Or, as the poor girl at Aldershot exclaimed as she seized a tract which some self-righteous one refused, headed,
“His blood can make the foulest clean:
His blood avails for me”
“Give me that: it just suits me!”
We will turn now to another epitaph to be seen today in the churchyard of Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk. It is to the memory of a person named Dancer, and is dated 1795. It concludes with a solemn word to you, my reader, if still unsaved. This is what it says:
“My friend, it is an awful thing to die. Obtain a saving interest in the BLOOD of Christ: only an assurance of having THAT sustains me now, or will you, under ye conflict with DEATH.”
May that speak to your heart as it did to mine, as one able to endorse the truth as to the PEACEGIVING POWER AND PRECIOUSNESS OF THAT BLOOD WHICH CLEANSETH FROM ALL SIN.
Another tombstone comes before me. It is in a pretty country churchyard in Dorsetshire, and it bears the following confession of utter ruin as a sinner and the blessing of assurance through faith in what Christ has done. This is the inscription:
“HERE LIE THE MORTAL REMAINS OF THE REVD. OCTAVIUS PIERS, LATE VICAR OF THIS PARISH, WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 23RD FEB. 1848, AGED 59. HE WAS A POOR, LOST, MISERABLE, HELL-DESERVING SINNER, NEVERTHELESS THROUGH INFINITE MERCY HE WAS ENABLED TO LIVE AND DIE IN THE FULL ASSURANCE OF THE RESURRECTION TO ETERNAL LIFE, THROUGH THE ALONE MERITS AND SUFFERINGS OF HIS DEAR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. WHO DIED FOR HIS SINS, ROSE AGAIN FOR HIS JUSTIFICATION, AND WHO NOW EVER LIVETH AND SITTETH AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD TO PLEAD THE CAUSE OF ALL HIS REDEEMED PEOPLE, AND HE SHALL COME AGAIN IN MAJESTY AND GLORY TO RECEIVE THEM TO HIMSELF AND TO BRING THEM TO THAT BLESSED PLACE WHICH HE HAS PREPARED FOR THEM, THAT WHERE HE IS THERE THEY MAY BE WITH HIM THROUGHOUT THE ENDLESS AGES OF ETERNITY. TO HIM, THEREFORE, WITH THE FATHER AND THE ETERNAL SPIRIT BE ALL GLORY, AND PRAISE FOR EVER AND EVER, AMEN AND AMEN.”
Yes, indeed, to Him who died for sinners be glory—now, and for ever and ever.
Oh, the countless number of the redeemed! an INNUMERABLE host, for the Word says so: and will you, my friend, be amongst that number and with them and myself join the chorus “unto Him that loveth (R. V.) us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. . . . to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever” (Rev. 1:5, 6). Or—which God forbid—will you be amongst that company spoken of in Rev. 6, which represents from the highest to lowest, from kings to slaves, calling upon the rocks and hills to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. Only think of it: THE WRATH OF THE LAMB, when they and you might be under the shelter of His precious blood and so delivered from the judgment which is hanging over this world! It MUST be one of the two—either most miserable, or fully assured through simple belief in God’s Word, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“Though thy sins are red like crimson,
Deep in scarlet glow,
Jesus’ precious blood shall wash thee
White as snow.”
S. V. H.

Pompeii: "A City of the Dead."

IN September, 1900, I was, with others, walking for hours one day through the streets of Pompeii, and through the museum which contains so many things brought to light by the excavations which have been going on for one hundred and fifty years. Before that it was a tradition, a thing to be believed. History said that such a place had existed, that in A.D. 79 it was destroyed by lava from Mount Vesuvius. But many might have said, “It is only a myth, a fable, the invention of man,” just as many say now with a supercilious air, “What? do you believe in the Flood? Do you really mean that you are so credulous?” And they laugh to scorn one who says, “Yes, I believe it, for God says it.” Now, Pompeii is a grim reality. Opened to view, we walked its streets, gazed on its immense Coliseum, entered its houses and shops, saw the very places where the loaf was found, and the chemist’s bottles and the hundreds of other things now gazed upon with intense interest by thousands who go to Naples and come away filled with wonder at the never-to-be-forgotten scene—its walls fresh as if they were painted yesterday: its baths, theatres, and even the counters of admission: its saloons, furniture, and lamps, but all silent as death. The petrified forms of those who died were found, showing how they were endeavoring to escape when the dire catastrophe occurred. Death overtook them. Let one who saw it and heard describe the fearful scene: “You could hear the screams of women, the wailing of children, the shouts of men. Some prayed for death. Many lifted their hands to the gods. Yet more concluded there were no gods anywhere, that now had come the last and endless night. Fire there was, then darkness again, and a heavy downpour of cinders: we shook them off, or we should have been buried and even crushed by their weight.” Thus Pliny wrote at Misenum, whilst ashes, mud, and earthquake accomplished the total ruin of Pompeii. We can imagine the frenzied, maddened condition of the people as in a few hours death overtook them, and they, with their city, were buried deep beneath the mud and lava that came from the terrible volcano. There is abundant evidence in this unburied city that God’s righteous judgment came down upon its inhabitants because of their sins.
Among other skeletons found were two, one of a man, the other of a large dog, lying on the top of the man as if he had taken up that position in its efforts to save his master. On a collar which encircled his neck was found an inscription, by which it appeared its name was “Delta,” and it belonged to one Severinus. He had saved his master’s life on three occasions. First, when nearly drowned: second, when attacked by robbers; and third, by destroying a she-wolf, whose cubs its master had taken in a grove near Herculaneum. Now they had perished together. The willingness of the dog to save told itself by its position, but it was helpless in a day like that.
How a walk through silent streets like those of Pompeii impresses on one, man’s utter helplessness! What a city in its luxury and vice! What awful evidence remains of its fearful iniquity? Sins, as of Sodom, went up to God and cried aloud for judgment. Not always does He act. The silence of God leads many to think that judgment will never come. We read in the Scriptures of one flood, one torrent of brimstone and fire as on Sodom, yet we know full well that others have been guilty as the sinners who lived then. These were temporal judgments, resulting in the death of the body, God’s distinct judgment of sin on the earth: but THE JUDGMENT of the Great White Throne (see Rev. 20) will involve vast multitudes in awful ruin. The Second Death will then overtake the sinner, and there will be no escape. Nothing, then, will avail to deliver.
Oh! sinner, think of it. Christ alone can save. He says, “NOW.” Now, He can save you. He died for sinners. His object was to save the lost. However vile, He will save you. How helpless you are! How hopeless your condition apart from the finished work of Christ. What love when He gave Himself to deliver the sinner from the unending torments of the damned! How in that dread moment of judgment the past will come before the sinner! not only the past as to his life of sins—that would be terrible—but, above all, the opportunities of the past, the Call of God rejected, the Love of Christ refused, the Blood of Christ trampled upon, pressing, groaning, fainting, trampled upon as the inhabitants of Pompeii attempted to escape amid a darkness appalling to a degree, one by one was overcome, it passes description.
Sinner, can you imagine what “the Great White Throne” day will be—what of terror, of speechless dismay? God save you from it! Yet that salvation can only be yours as you shelter beneath the Blood of Christ. Lose not a moment. Trust Him: then you shall never perish.
R. T. H.

Our Bible Portion: "Joy (Singing) Cometh in the Morning."

“His anger endureth but a moment: in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [margin, singing] cometh in the morning.”—Ps. 30:5.
WE may sing in anticipation of the morning that shall follow the night. It was this that led the Psalmist to say, “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and
In the Night His Song Shall Be With Me,
and my prayer unto the God of my life” (Ps. 42:8). At another time his spirit was overwhelmed, and he bitterly complained, “My sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.” But even then he adds, “I call to remembrance my song in the night” (Ps. 77:2, 6).
We can scarcely imagine a more trying position than that of two servants of Christ in a strange and heathen land, with bleeding backs gashed by the Roman lash, thrust into the inner prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks: but “at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God” (Acts 16:25). The nightingale sings at night, and most sweetly, it is said, when the thorn pierces its breast.
Let us observe that there is to be a wonderful song in the morning of the resurrection. “Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise.
Awake and Sing, Ye That Dwell in Dust,
for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead” (Isa. 27:19). The lark sings most loudly and sweetly the higher it ascends, and when no longer visible from the earth it floods the skies with its joyful melody, as we, too, shall do when caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17). Then shall roll around redeemed creation the shout and song of triumph, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55.)
She shall have a great leader of her song, for her glorious Bridegroom says to the Father,
“In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee” (Heb. 2:12).
Her warfare accomplished, and her victory achieved, her song shall blend harmoniously with the song of the elect of Israel standing on “a sea of glass mingled with fire.” It is glass, because the mystery of suffering will then be clear; it is of fire, because they (the elect of Israel) have come up through the great tribulation under Antichrist.
“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty: just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of nations” (Rev. 15:3).
The sea is so bright that it reflects His glory, in which we shall shine for ever and ever, while we shall sing for ever and ever of Him who brought us out of night into everlasting light.
Then there is, of course, the song of the bride, “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth: the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land” (Song Sol. 2:10-12).
During a recent conversation with a Christian lady in her own home, concerning the Lord, there suddenly floated through the room a strain of exquisite music. It was a succession of notes from a master’s composition, and the tones were exceedingly rich and delicious. Turning the head to discover the source of the charming melody, it was found to proceed from a beautiful little bird in a cage. “How,” it was asked, “was he taught to sing so sweetly?” “He was placed in the night,” the lady replied, “beside a fine music-box, and learned to imitate the sounds he heard in the dark.” Thus the Lord teaches His own to sing as one has done in the following lines:—
“There’s One who once walked in the darkness,
Forsaken and all alone,
And He left there a voice of singing,
Which He giveth to His own.
He giveth! Ah! yes, He giveth—
You can read the mystery now:
For He strikes the joyous keynote,
Where circling seraphs bow.

“Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.
He’ll give it, and sing it with you:
And when weakness lets it down,
He’ll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.

“And many a rapturous minstrel
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music,
‘I learned it in the night.’
And many a rolling anthem
That fills the Father’s home
Sobbed out its first rehearsal
In the shade of a darken’d room.”

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 8

LUTHER had a wearisome journey, for he travelled mostly afoot, but at length he caught sight of the city. His heart beat with strong emotion. Throwing himself on the ground, he exclaimed, “Holy Rome, I salute thee!” The Rome of the Caesars was represented by numerous ruins, which indicated its former splendor. But it had many attractive edifices. Besides, it was the Rome where Paul wrote some of his matchless epistles, the Rome of myriad martyrs to the faith of Jesus. Julius II. was now reigning Pope, a man as far from holiness as a man could well be, a man of depraved tastes and habits, and addicted to cursing and blasphemy.
Luther made the circuit of all the churches and chapels, and believed all the lying tales told there: and he devoutly acquitted himself of all the religious practices that were required of him.
In his quality of envoy from the Augustine monks of Germany, Luther received many invitations to meetings of distinguished ecclesiastics. One day he found himself seated at table with several prelates, who showed themselves off to him in their true character, as men of ribald manners and impious conversation. Among other stories repeated in his hearing was one told with much laughter and coarse merriment. In saying mass, instead of using the sacramental words which were to change the bread and the wine into the Saviour’s body and blood, they pronounced over the elements the following words in derision: “Panis es et panis manebis vinum es et vinum manebis” (“Bread thou art, and bread thou shalt remain: wine thou art, and wine thou shalt remain”). “Then,” continued they, “we raise the ostensory, and all the people worship.” But this was blasphemy, not a joke. Many of the things that Luther heard and saw and the legends of the ecclesiastics were too gross to be repeated here.
There is an old adage, sometimes repeated now-a-days, “The nearer the Church, the further from God.” It is too often true, though not always. But Luther found, as a rule, that as he ascended higher and higher in the scale of Church dignitaries, the more there was of vice, ignorance of divine truth and the Word of God, and the more ungodliness of life, the Pope himself setting the rest a shameful example. An historical record of the time, quoted by D’Aubigne, says: “The city is full of disorders and murders: whereas, wherever the Word of God is faithfully and honestly preached, order and peace are found to reign.” And again: “One must see and hear for himself if he would believe what infamous actions are committed in Rome.” He was wont to say: “If there be a hell, Rome is built over it: it is an abyss whence all sins proceed.”

The Father's Promise

A GENTLEMAN walking along the streets of a busy town one Saturday morning saw a little maiden of about five years old suddenly stumble and fall. He hastened to pick her up, and comfort her. She was frightened and sobbing. Suddenly a smile shone all over the little face through the tears, and, looking into the gentleman’s face, the little one exclaimed, “Father’s going to take me for a walk this afternoon!” Saturday is half-day holiday, and evidently the walk was a promised treat, the sudden recollection of which had power to lift the wee maiden above the present trouble, and to comfort her more than anything a stranger, however kind, could say to her.
Oh! to think of the wealth of promises our Father has given His blood-bought children. Are you lonely? “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Are you so tired that it sometimes seems impossible to meet life’s daily duties? “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
Does some trouble or difficulty press so heavily that courage fails? “Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee.”
Does a little questioning arise about the future home of which we know so little? “I go to prepare a place for you.” “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” “Where I am, there shall also My servant be.” “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” “All the promises of God are yea, and amen, in Christ Jesus.” “He is faithful that promised.” “What He hath promised He is able also to perform.”
Dear friends if you do not yet know yourself a child of God, through receiving by faith Jesus Christ, whose precious blood cleanseth from all sin, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
“He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.”
“I have known Him so long I am able to say
The very worst sinner He’ll not turn away.”
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
“I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary, and worn, and sad,
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.”
“To-day, if ye will hear His voice.”
“Boast not thyself of to-morrow—for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
E. S. R.

What Is Your Estimate of Christ?

HERE is God’s estimate. He has called Him
“The Plant of Renown.” He counts Him
“My beloved, in whom My soul delighteth.” His estimate of His Blood is, that it is “precious,” and cleanseth from all sin. His estimate of His righteousness is, that there is no other righteousness like it: it is the “righteousness of God,” while it is “unto all men, and upon all them that believe.” His estimate, in a word, of Christ altogether, is such, that it is He whom He delights to honor, and it is He whom He will glorify. Do you agree with God, sinner? What think you of Christ?
“‘What think you of Christ?’ is the test
To try both your state and your scheme,
You cannot be right in the rest,
Unless you think rightly of Him.

“As Jesus appears in our view,
As He is beloved or not,
So God is disposed to you,
And mercy or wrath is your lot.”

Jottings About the Bible: A Power Behind the Book

THE power of the Word of God is shown in the changed lives of the drunkard, the harlot, the thief, and of men and women previously sunk in the most debasing forms of vice and crime: witness its power over savages of the very lowest type, as for instance among the Terra del Fuegans and the cannibals of the New Hebrides, eighteen thousand of whom have been converted to Christianity through its teachings within a single generation. Witness its wonderful power of sustaining heart and mind in the midst of the sorest trials and when face to face with death even in the most terrible form, while at the same time multitudes of the noblest, the purest, the most cultured of men and women have found inexpressible delight in perusing its pages and meditating upon its sublime truths.
Consider these things and say why it is that this ancient Book is able to do what no other book in all the world has done or can do: what is the secret of its mighty power? There is but one answer: there is a Power behind the Book manifesting Himself in the Book and through the Book, and that Power is God, the Author of the Book. If you believe not this, reader, try to account for it in some other way. You may be told that it is the “religious instinct in man” that accounts for it but it is an undeniable fact that no “religion” in the world except the Christian religion has ever withstood the fire and the sword and still survived the flames of prolonged persecution. No, the Bible in its very existence, in its wonderful history and Divine power, stands absolutely alone, in sublime isolation as manifestly the very Word of God.
The Bible reveals truths so deep and high that the mightiest intellects on earth cannot comprehend them, yet the way of salvation is made so plain that “the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein,” and the most ignorant and uneducated can drink as deeply of its spiritual joys as the most enlightened and cultured. Scholars and peasants, civilized and barbarians, when converted through its truths, have each and all found in it the fullest satisfaction for their soul’s intensest desires. In it we hear, as it were, two voices, as “deep calleth unto deep,” and as we listen with reverent attitude we hear the voice of God speaking to man, and the voice of man speaking to God.

The Harvest of the Sea: A Word to Fishermen

ONE morning, when Jesus, the friend of you men, was on the earth, He was standing on the shore waiting for His friends, the Galilean fishermen, to return, and knowing—poor fellows, these toilers of the deep—that they would want something to eat, He asked them “if they had any meat,” to which they replied, “No.” “Had they any fish?” No. Now the Lord knew the secret of success in fishing. Of course He did.
The Maker of the fish of the deep surely knew. “Cast the net on the right side and ye shall find.” Did they find? Yes. They had a most wonderful “catch”; they were not able to draw the net, so many. Have you got Christ on board, fisherman? He was able to do this then when He was here: He can do it now. Believe in Him, and test Him. He is your friend, fishermen. Are you His friend?
When they came to land they found a fire, fish cooking, and bread, and an invitation to “Come and dine.” Says someone who reads this little book, “Well, I never heard of this before.” My dear friend, there’s a book in your house that you know very little about: many of you know more of the outside than the inside. Books are to read, and if you will open up the book—God’s book, God’s word, God’s letters, God’s compass for the fishermen—and read the 21St letter or chapter in John, you will see all about what Jesus said to his friends the fishermen. I hope you have got a Bible “aboard.” Lots of you men think about everything else to take to sea except God’s word, the Bible. Whoever heard of the captain of a ship or the skipper of a boat going to sea without a compass? And you, none of you, should think of attempting to steer through this world, whether on sea or land, without the compass, God’s word. The Galilean fishermen followed Jesus, and He followed them. He was with them. Have you Jesus “on board”? When they first saw Him He was walking along the sea, and He saw two men casting the net, and He said, “Follow Me.” Going a little further He saw two others, James and John, mending their nets, and Jesus said, “Follow Me,” and they followed Him. Jesus takes notice of you, speaks to you, “Follow Me.” Are you following Him? Are you obedient to His call? He doesn’t ask you to improve yourself first. He knows all about you. Yes, there is not a man in the world that knows you half so well. He calls you as you are, that is how He must have you, and then He will just show you and your mates what a change He can bring about. He can just prove “that all things have become new.” New in Christ Dear fellows of the sea, you are no worse than others. Hear the other side, you are no better. God says today to you whilst you read these pages, “There is no difference.” “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
“God is not willing that any should perish.” God loved the world so much “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
If you come unto Him (Christ), he won’t turn you out. No, not under any conditions. The worse the man, the more reason why He will have you. You see, this man Christ Jesus is just the one suited to a fisherman’s need. Why? He loves fishermen. His dearest friends when He was on the earth before He went to His Father’s house on high were fishermen. Think of that. His dearest friends were fishermen. I am sure of this, that He loves every fisherman in all the world. Yes, He LOVES EVERY FISHERMAN!
I know some dear fishermen who are followers of the Lord, who love the Lord, and are the friends of the Lord, have many a sweet talk with the Lord, who leave their homes in charge of the Lord when they go out, far away. Is that what you do? If so, dear one, we, you and I, are brethren, and the Lord loves us both, and is watching over our interests, and we shall soon meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
Dear fellows, you will meet the Lord in the air, with every one of God’s dear children, or before the great white throne for judgment and condemnation. Oh, where will you appear? Fishermen by thousands, of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, receive these few words in the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gave His life for you (John 3:14 19: John 5:24: John 6:47: Acts 4:12: Rom. 10:9).
W. M. S.

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 8

THE Story of Rome is so vast that it is extremely difficult to compress within the column or so of a magazine, month by month, even the merest outline of it: but we desire, if we can, just to trace the various leading features of the history of this ancient Empire, in order that our readers may perceive how all the events connected with the development of this wonderful nation tended to manifest the design and purposes of God in history.
It has been observed by interested friends that we are disposed to take too favorable a view of the rulers and of the general government of this great Empire. But it is not so. We are fully alive to the fact that for ages the administration of the ruling powers in Rome was cruel and intolerant indeed: but admitting this, we can perceive, as we have over and over again stated, that the very cruelty, whether of kings or people, was often restrained in a singular manner, and the tyrannical power of this indomitable people was controlled by a Power above and beyond their calculations.
This, perhaps, was most evident during the remainder of the second epoch of their history. We venture to say that during the period, say, from 450 to 250 B.C., nothing could be finer than the efforts of many wise men amongst the people to frame just and wise laws, and to secure equity for all. Let any one study carefully the various codes of laws that were proposed by celebrated men for the just government of the people during this era, and he would be bound to confess that they would have done credit to our own times and generation; because they were, on the whole, generous and perfectly equitable: but this even, as now, frequently led to open conflict between those who desired to secure more liberty and a greater share in the land and in the general jurisdiction of the country.
So much in earnest were the people to obtain enlightenment upon matters that might tend to the general good, that actually in 462 B.C. three commissioners, or Triumviri as they were called, were sent into Greece to collect information concerning the laws of Solon at Athens, and to elicit useful information for the guidance of the rulers at home as to the government of other Greek States. The result of all this was the tabulation of the laws into what they termed “the Twelve Tables,” and these were for long ages regarded with the greatest veneration as the basis of all Roman law, and some of the tenets therein, however little they may have been observed nationally, bear a striking resemblance to the Decalogue.
During the time when many of the citizens of Rome were busy law-making, the military forces were doing all they could to gradually subjugate the surrounding nations and tribes. We can understand how necessary this was, so as to pave the way for the greater dominion the Romans were afterwards to secure. Their power must be unquestioned at home before the vast armies that would eventually arise could march forth to the uttermost limits of the known world. One of the most singular struggles of old Rome was against the King of Veii. The siege of the city itself lasted, like that of Troy, ten years, and its ultimate capture was almost as singular. The waters of the Alban Lake rose to a great height, and submerged the adjacent country. It was said by an oracle that Veii would never be taken until a way was made for the overflowing waters to reach the sea, and so the old Romans started to make a tunnel. It was six thousand feet long, and four and a half feet wide, and although two thousand years have passed away, it serves the same useful purpose even now: but the making of it gave the commander of the Roman forces an idea how he might take the city, for he made another tunnel under the city, and one day, when the priest was engaged in offering a sacrifice to Juno, a band of brave men emerged at the Capitol. The army outside surrounding the city made vigorous assaults at the same time, and the inhabitants were thrown into such terror that the Roman soldiers inside opened the gates to their companions, and Veii was occupied by the Romans.
It is only another example of the uncertainty of all human greatness, for Camillus, the conqueror, and the man who had so cleverly compassed the capture of the town after the long siege, returned to Rome. He entered the city in magnificent triumph, drawn in a chariot by white horses, and erected on the hill of the Aventine the statue of Juno, which had been the guide and boast of Veii. But his countrymen envied Camillus. He was accused of appropriating spoil for his personal use, and was arraigned before the tribunes. He went voluntarily into exile, and as he went he prayed that judgment might overtake his ungrateful people, and so it did, for even then an enemy was at the doors. The powerful Gauls had crossed the Apennines, and Rome, grand Rome as she was even then, was left a mound of ashes by these terrible foes. Then the Romans resolved to recall Camillus from banishment and elect him Dictator.

The Clock of the Conscience

HAVE you ever heard of the great clock of St. Paul’s in London? At mid-day—when carriages, and waggons, and omnibuses go rolling through the streets—how many never hear that great clock strike unless they live very near it. But when the work of the day is over, and the roar of business has passed away—when men are gone to sleep, and silence reigns in London, then, at twelve, at one, at two, at three, at four, the sound of that clock may be heard for miles round. Twelve! —one! —two! —three! —four! How that clock is heard by many a sleepless man.
That clock is just like the conscience of the impenitent man. While he has health and strength, and goes on in the whirl of business, he will not hear his conscience. He drowns and silences its voice by plunging into the world. He will not allow the inner man to speak to him.
But the day will come when conscience will be heard, whether he likes it or not. The day will come when its voice will sound in his ears, and pierce like a sword. The time must come when he must retire from the world and lie down on the sickbed and look death in the face. And then the clock of conscience, that solemn clock, will sound in his heart; and if he has not repented, will bring wretchedness and misery to his soul. Oh no! write it down in the tablets of your hearts: Without repentance no peace!

Our Missionary Column: Mr. Hagopian in Persia

OUR readers will be thankful to see by the following letter how good God has been to our friend Mr. Hagopian. We mentioned recently that he was wonderfully and marvelously saved from death during the terrible Armenian massacres, and that he had proceeded to Persia in order that he might preach the Gospel to his own countrymen and women on the frontier.
We are certain there are many who will be interested to observe how God seems to have opened a way for our brother’s usefulness, and we are sure that they will look to God for an abundant blessing to rest upon his service for our Lord.
A LETTER FROM MR. HAGOPIAN.
CALASSAR SALMAST AZEREIJAN, YERSIA.
July, 1902
MY GOOD FRIEND,—I praise God for all the kindness and mercy He has shown me throughout my journey and since I arrived here. I am sure it was the will of God that I should come to this wild and savage country, if simply to testify of His great mercy and love to me, in giving me to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and to trust in His most precious blood.
The people of this country are very ignorant about the Gospel and about eternity. They are very poor, both bodily and spiritually. Everything is corrupt and under the influence of either Roman Catholicism or Mahommedanism. May God have mercy upon them and let His light shine upon them, lest they remain in darkness and in the shadow of death.
The people seem to respect me and value my help as a medical man. I have performed successfully several serious operations, and my success through the goodness of God has carried my name amongst the inhabitants, and they come to me from all parts for relief.
I am glad to say that many come and also hear the glad message of the Gospel of Christ, and thus get healed both in soul and body. There are many who have never before come across a Christian missionary. Many are much surprised to hear about the Bible and concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, from a medical man, but I am thankful to say that already several have been converted to God.
I enclose a plate of an old man over eighty-two years old who was recently saved. It happened thus. I was away at another village to see some people about a Sunday School. I found a few of the villagers waiting for me, and amongst them this old man. He noticed in my hand a Bible text. He appeared to be greatly interested, and asked me about the words, which were:
“BEHOLD I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK.”
He sighed as he looked at it, and confessed that he was a great sinner, and that it was impossible for him to approach Christ. He said he was cast out altogether like a useless rag. He was too poor, he added, to pay an “indemnity” for his sins, as once a Roman Catholic priest told him it was necessary to do.
I was very glad to meet this poor old man at his great age, for I felt that Christ Himself was knocking at the door of his darkened hear t: and I tried to put him in the right way, and told him that Christ will never want any “indemnity” for salvation, and assured him that no creature could pay for God’s free gift. I told him he was exactly the right person to meet the Saviour: all he needed was to truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Saviour, as He said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9:13).
He could hardly believe my words that Christ was such a living, loving Saviour for lost and ruined sinners. I spoke to him for over an hour, and at last he confessed that he had been a miserable sinner for eighty-two years and an ignorant wanderer far away from God, but now he heartily thanked God for His saving and redeeming power and grace. It was a great surprise to the rest of the people when this old man wept bitterly before them and repented of his sins, saying over and over again that he had never heard such wonderful things before: afterwards he desired to learn to read, so that he might be able to read the Bible, and of course I gladly offered to teach him, commencing from the alphabet.
When I returned from this village I found several peasants waiting for me. They besought me to go to see a sick woman. It was a ride of several hours on horseback, but I went and found the patient in great agony. I thank God I was able to relieve her pain, and then spoke to her about the Son of God and eternal life. She appeared to be amazed at my message, and became truly anxious about her soul and about salvation. I explained to her, as far as I had wisdom and power, the simple way of salvation: and I remained as a guest for a day or two, and praise God, I am glad to tell you, that before I left she rested in perfect peace upon Christ as her own personal Saviour.
If it please God, and the necessary means are provided, I propose to establish a school for friendless children in this district, for there are so many who wander about here without friends, or help, or care of any kind.
I am,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
(Signed) A. A. HAGOPIAN.
[We have received donations for the work carried on by our brother, and shall be glad to further the object he has at heart in any way possible. The story of our friend’s escape from the terrible Turkish massacres was marvelous indeed, and we hope to have space at some future time to give particulars. Anyway, we feel sure that our brother’s life was thus wonderfully spared in order that he might carry the wondrous story of the Cross to the interesting land in which he is now laboring.—ED. S. W.]

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text. — “And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.
“And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai: and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.”—Num. 10:11-13. Read Num. 10:29-36.
Reading on the Lesson. Journeying to Canaan.
IN the third month of the first year the children of Israel came to Sinai, and on the first day of the first month of the second year the tabernacle was erected and accepted by God and filled with His glory (Ex. 19:1: 40:17, 34). Now, just fifty days later the cloud lifted, and they journeyed from Sinai to the wilderness of Paran. Whether it was the tabernacle and its erection, or the priesthood and the sacrifices, or the journeying through the wilderness, nothing was done, and no step was taken except as God commanded or guided by the pillar of cloud and fire. On the part of Moses and Israel it was simply a matter of obedience. Concerning the cloud and its guiding: and their obedience, see carefully Numbers 9:15-23.
29. “Come thou with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.” Thus said Moses to Hobab, the son of Raguel, or Rauel, or Jethro, the father of Zipporah, Moses’ wife (Ex. 2:18: 3:1). The Lord had truly spoken good concerning Israel—as in Ex. 6:6-8, that wondrous sevenfold “I will,” beginning and ending with “I, Jehovah.”
30. “And he said unto him, I will not go, but I will depart to mine own land and to my kindred.” It is difficult to many believers to esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the visible treasures of this world, yet Jesus and His sufferings now, with eternal glory hereafter, is the program for the Christian.
31. “Leave us not, I pray thee, forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.” It looks as if, for the moment, Moses was forgetting God and His cloud and His unerring guidance. So unstable is man, even at his best.
32. “And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the Lord shall do unto us the same will we do unto thee.” Moses now talks more correctly, for we are fully authorized to offer all the riches of God’s grace and glory to all who will accept Him through Jesus Christ, but we are not authorized to seek either help or guidance from those who are not His.
33. “And they departed from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them in the three days’ journey to search out a resting-place for them.” This was infinitely better than the eyes or the wisdom of Hobab. How could Moses forget, or seem to, that God had led them out, and would surely lead them all the way?
34. “And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day when they went out of the camp.” The cloud was the visible symbol of the Lord’s presence with them, and He by it was their guide, their light, their shield, their oracle, their avenger, their covering (Ex. 13:21: 14:19, 20, 24-28: Num. 9:15-23: 10:34: 14:14)—in fact, all they needed for all their journey.
35. “And it came to pass when the ark set forward that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let Thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.” David, by the Spirit, afterward embodied this in at least two of the Psalms (68:1, 2; 132:8). In Josh. 3:13 the ark is called “the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth,” and before it Jordan was dried up and the walls of Jericho fell down.
36. “And when it rested he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.” Thus, whether on the march or at rest, the great reality of Israel’s life was Jehovah in their midst. In proportion as they realized this and acted accordingly they prospered, but when they forgot Him they failed. It is so with us. He says, “Lo, I am with you always,” and when we believe this, and thus realize His presence (for the only way to realize anything in the spiritual life is to believe it) and count on Him, we have joy and peace and victory, but when we forget His presence we fall.

John Wesley and the Robber

JOHN WESLEY was once stopped by a highwayman, who demanded his purse. He gave it to him, and as the robber was going away, Wesley called him back and said, “Let me speak one word to you: the time may come when you may regret the course of life in which you are engaged: remember this, The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.” He said no more: but years after that verse was the means of the conversion of the robber, who came to Wesley and told him his history: and he lived for years afterwards as becometh a Christian.
Look up to God for a blessing, for God’s promise is, “My word shall not return unto Me void” (Isa. 55:11). “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” “Let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
BIBLE reading is the best and surest antidote and preservative against skepticism about the Bible, if it is carried on at once thoroughly, intelligently, and as before the Lord. Vain without it—worse than vain—will be the most diligent and successful study of the apologetics of the Bible. For the Bible was given to be, not a battlefield, but a field of wheat and pasturage and flowers, and a goldfield also all the while.

The "Lamb and Flag" Cripples' Holidays

HOW deeply thankful we are for the kind words we have received from many friends about the “Lamb and Flag.” Several have sent very generous donations in aid of the little open-air service for the Master, and best of all, so many have told us of their prayerful interest in the good work. Moreover, others have sent clothes direct to the Mission. These, we find, will be most useful, especially when the dark, cold days come. Quite a number also ask us what is meant by the “Lamb and Flag.” We wondered ourselves what this designation meant. We find it is a very old and singular London sign, and at another time we may give a picture of the emblem, and tell a little how it came to be used in this great city, at other places besides the “Mission.”
We have felt so grateful for many of the kind letters, that we should like to print them all: but we cannot do this, of course, so we just give three which we are assured will be read with pleasure and interest.
One from Hampstead writes:—
“I have much pleasure in sending you. 2S. to send two poor little children out for the day. I should like two of the poorest and saddest to go, and should be glad if you will tell me if cast-off clothes would be of any use in the ‘Lamb and Flag’ Mission, as I may be able to send some later on, not for small children, but big boys or men.
“I am always interested reading in the ‘SPRINGING WELL’ about your different missions, and have the pleasure of sending small contributions. I think the book is a splendid gospel magazine, and wishing you all success and every blessing,
“Believe me, truly yours,
(Signed) “G. C.”
Another most pleasing communication we have
received from Evesham. The writer says:—
“We thought we should like to help you a little in your labor of love among the little crippled and neglected ones, so will you please accept the enclosed los. for the ‘Lamb and Flag’ Mission of which we saw the account in ‘SPRINGING WELL,’ and read it to our little ones.”
“Their sympathy was soon awakened, and it resulted in the amount sent being collected from themselves and the teachers and one or two friends. One little boy of six sent a special message to you, saying, ‘Please tell the gentleman we are very pleased to send the money, and hope the little children will have a happy day in the nice green fields.’ Another said he hoped ‘the little children would go to the seaside.’ A little girl of seven said, ‘Please tell them we love them all very much.’
“We know it has given them all great pleasure, and we feel sure they will all enjoy their summer holidays all the more, for having tried to make others happy, though only in a small way.
“May God’s blessing rest upon you and your helpers. We trust they may have nice weather, so that the little ones may enjoy their little excursion. They will be days to be remembered as long as they live, and they will not be forgotten by Him who said, ‘Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.’
“Yours very truly,
(Signed) “S. T,”
Another from Mount Mellick writes:—
“I enclose 10s. for the ‘Lamb and Flag’ to send ten crippled children for a day in the country, in memory of a little afflicted one that is gone home. Please acknowledge in ‘SPRINGING WELL.’
“From A FRIEND.
“Queen’s County, Ireland.”
There is something exquisitely tender and pathetic in this last note from our dear unknown friend in Ireland. May God bless her and indeed all our kind correspondents and the sweet children at Evesham who sent us such pleasing messages. We shall give them all to the good workers in the “Lamb and Flag.”
The Secretary of the Mission also writes as follows:
‘LAMB AND FLAG’ RAGGED SCHOOLS AND MISSION
“August 12Th, 1902.
“Dear MR. EDITOR,—Allow me to thank most sincerely the readers of ‘THE SPRINGING WELL,’ and yourself for the further contributions to the Cripples’ Holiday Fund.
“This season I am trying the plan of spending my holidays in accompanying these excursions, and I can assure you no previous holiday has exceeded in real enjoyment the days spent with these dear afflicted children. They afford no end of pleasure by their quaint remarks, in reference to all their observant eyes behold, from the tops of the tramcars, and by their unbounded delight when they reach the greensward of Hampstead Heath, and their young lungs begin to take in the delightful country air. The few hours spent in simple games and in the formation of new friendships are felt by everyone to be all too short, but it is a great joy to look forward to the next occasion, when another happy little party will be brought along by the kind helpers to the same place.
“I thank you very much indeed for the cheque enclosed value L3 r15 od. and for all the kind messages from the young donors, and remain,
“Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) “T B, GIFFEN.”
We are deeply thankful for the kind interest manifested by so many in this work. We only direct attention to it because we are sure the workers desire, not only the physical welfare of these poor neglected children, but also the eternal welfare of their souls. Our Lord went about doing good, and it is a blessing when His own true followers do so too. Last year our readers contributed all the funds required for these special day excursions, and already friends have sent very liberally. If we receive more than is required, the balance will be devoted to the general work of the Mission and to the Holiday Homes Fund.

God Says "Be Ye Thankful."

DEAR young Christian friends, never let us forget to praise God and to be thankful for His answers to our prayers, for He Himself, who is so good and kind, says to us, “Be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15). We will give a few important texts of Scripture upon prayer to God.
“This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us” (1 John 5:14).
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).
“Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:17, 18).
“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray” (James 5:13).
“If e’en a little sparrow falls
My heavenly Father knows;
‘Tis He the scented lily clothes
And every flower which blows.
“He gives the hungry bird its food,
The drooping bud its shower,
But I am dearer far to Him
Than sparrow or than flower.
“Because He made His creatures all,
He guards them ‘neath His eye.
He made me too: but oh! far more,
For me His Son did die.
“When troubles cause my heart to droop
Or wet my cheek with tears,
My Father’s love, my Father’s care,
Shall soothe away my fears.”
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matt. 6:26.)
“For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him” (Matt. 6:7, 8).
WE regret that we have not space for “The Story of Ruth,” but we hope to continue it, please God, in our next issue. We shall also then give the results of the “Story of Gideon” competition, and announce the prizewinners. We are so thankful that so many have sent in papers. Through the absence of those who examine them the award is unavoidably delayed. “Palestine Recollections” and several other usual articles are necessarily omitted from this number, but they will all appear (D.V.) in due course.

Our Bible Class. Bethel and Its Teachings - 2

(Genesis 29, 30, 31, 32)
“God setteth the solitary in families: He bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” —Psalm 68:6.
BEFORE passing on to this month’s subject, which is a large one, we shall have to touch briefly a few points in the answer to Question I. (July No. of “SPRINGING WELL”). “Name the country referred to as the ‘land of promise’ in our motto-text. Give as many other names as you can by which the same country is or has been called.” Only one of the papers received furnishes a really good answer to the above question, but Cousin Edith is sure that those who have tried but failed to answer the question fully will be glad of a little help on the subject, which is really an interesting one, though at first sight it may appear a little difficult.
Canaan is the country referred to in Hebrews 11:8. It is also called “The land of the Hebrews” (Gen. 11:18); “The land of Israel” (1 Sam. 13:9): “Philistia” (Ps. 60:8): “The land of Judah” (Is. 19:17): “Palestine” (Joel 3:4): “The Lord’s land” (Hosea 9:3): “The holy land” (Zech. 2:12). “A land flowing with milk and honey,” though descriptive of the country, can hardly have been considered one of its names, while “Jerusalem” applied to a city that must ever have been a spot of the deepest interest to every godly Jew. “A land not inhabited” referred to some lonely or desert place, not to the whole country. How could it when we remember the nations that had to be driven out before Israel could possess the land?
The good hand of the God who had said to Abraham, “Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee” (Gen. 12:1), was over his grandson Jacob as he journeyed from Bethel to Haram. For perhaps the first time in his life, he had had to do with God, and a sense of his unfitness for His holy presence had surely forced him to exclaim, “How dreadful is this place” (Gen. 28:17): and though there seems to have been more of unbelief than faith in Jacob’s vow, still he was marked out by a giving God for blessing; and though it took him a long life to learn the lesson that God, not himself, was to be trusted, it is beautiful to see him at the close of his life, a way-worn pilgrim, the strength of manhood gone, leaning upon his staff, as he blessed “the sons of Joseph, and worshipped.”

The Witch of Caerleon: Or, "Mother Marsh's" Conversion

BY T. M. WINTLE.
MOTHER MARSH had gained considerable notoriety as a fortune-teller in the eastern valleys of Monmouthshire. Indeed, her fame as a diviner, restorer of lost property, revealer of secrets, foretelling the future, breaking the spells of witches, and as an expert in the mystic art generally, was known fat beyond the limits of the county.
Her visitors were not confined to young and thoughtless girls, curious to know the color of the hair and eyes of their future husband, or the simple young men who dream of the future instead of manfully setting themselves to prepare for the stern realities of the battle of life, and who prefer to have a fortune with than in a bride. But people of maturer years and riper experience consulted her, which shows that the superstitious vein of the Welsh character was slow to die out or to give way to the light and intelligence of the nineteenth century.
About the time of which I write, Pontypool was much agitated by ghost and fairy tales, and color was given to these stories by the report that a house on the Albion Road was haunted, and that ghosts held nightly carnival therein, and from thence went forth to form their circles, and wave their magic wands for weal or woe in various parts of the valley, with the result that for some years no one would occupy the house, and few cared to go beyond the Old Furnace on the Crumlin Road at a late hour of the night.
It was also said that in the vicinity of Pontypool Road a ghost was frequently seen leaping the river and running across the fields from the Old Barn, where now stand the Phoenix Galvanizing Works. The author of this latter story was old “Davie” Kenvyn, who came rushing into the Lower Mill Iron Works one night pale as death and quite exhausted, declaring that he had seen the ghost. “Davie’s” story created great consternation amongst the men, and so terrified were the women and children that they were afraid to go to the works with supper.
One day I took “Davie” into the lathe-room and there induced him to describe to me what he saw. He said: “I was walking up from Pontyvelin, and had crossed the railway over the stile and got nearly opposite the thatched cottages when I heard a rustling sound in the grass, and I felt a cold shiver run down my back and it crept to my toes. Then just in front of me, not far from the path, a strange creature, unlike anything I had ever seen before, walked along. At first it seemed like a large black retriever dog without a head, but as it drew nearer it became larger and larger, and seemed to change in color and shape, and as it passed by it uttered a strange unearthly screech, and vanished out of sight. I then ran, and did not stop until I got into the mill.”
“What do you think it was, Davie?” I asked.
“Think it was! What else could it be?” said he in astonishment, “but Pwka’r, Trwyn” (a hobgoblin of some renown in the valley).
A district susceptible to these apparitions and omens was highly favorable for “Mother Marsh” to cut the cards, read the lines, repeat her incantations, and boil her cauldrons. Therefore she had a lucrative practice, and was considered an important personage in the neighborhood.
~~~
It was a cold, wet Sunday afternoon when I met a band of workers for an open-air meeting at a familiar spot. The streets were deserted, and the doors of the houses shut, and the whole surroundings presented a very disheartening appearance. The singing of a hymn induced a few to open their doors and look out, but none cared to brave the weather and venture outside. A second hymn was sung, prayer offered, and a couple of short addresses given. By this time other doors were opened, and many could be seen looking through the windows. One speaker discoursed upon THE GREAT WHITE THRONE, and emphasized the fact that it was appointed unto men once to die, and after this the Judgment, when the dead, small and great, must stand before God, and be judged out of those things that are written in the books, according to their works, and they that have done good through being washed in the precious blood of Christ, and quickened by the Holy Spirit, shall live and reign with Him. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
Just then my attention was drawn to a window where behind a thick curtain I saw the hard, inflexible face of a woman apparently about sixty years of age. Her features were rather long; her hair dark brown streaked with grey, untidily kept. She was evidently taking pains to escape observation. However, the singing of another hymn closed what seemed to be one of the most dreary and unpromising meetings I ever conducted, and as we wended our way homeward to prepare for the evening meeting in the Mission Hall, I felt like the prophet when he said, “Who hath believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” “But he that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” Therefore “in the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecc. 11:4-6).
Christian workers will do well then not to grow weary in well doing, for God often works when we think not, and in a way we least expect, as we shall see in the following story.
~~~
Early in the ensuing week a man employed in the annealing-room of the Pontymoile Tinplate Works came and asked me to go and see his wife, who was very ill and not expected to live. I went to Pontypool as requested, and found the woman as described. She was a stranger to me. The house was nicely furnished, and apparently every necessary (which is very unusual in these cases) for comfort was there, but it was painfully evident she was not long for this world.
I asked her why she sent for me, to which she replied,
“BECAUSE I’M GOING TO DIE,
and am not prepared for the journey.” I told her of Jesus, Who is the way, the truth, and the life, through Whom alone we can be saved, and through Whose blood and merits alone we can come into the presence of God. The mention of “the presence of God” made her shudder, and she moaningly said, “I’m a lost soul—and never shall be saved.” I knelt down and prayed for her, after which I sought to comfort her with the assurance that Christ came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance, for He came to seek and to save that which was lost. She then stretched out her long, gaunt hand from under the bedclothes, and taking hold upon my arm, drew me nearer to her and said, “But not me. There has been a spell on me for seven years. The old vixen said she would curse me on earth, and curse me in heaven—and I know she has done it, for I have not had any peace since that day.”
“Who has cursed you?” I asked.
“Oh, the Witch of Caerleon,” she said, “and had it not been for ‘Mother Marsh’ I should have been dead long ago, for I have many times heard the Death Watch under my bed, and I have seen the Cotontyll Corph (lighted candle) passing through my room. But last night when I sent for her and offered to pay her well if she would loose me from the spell, she was so funny, and would not cut the cards, nor cross my hands, but sat on the chair and cried, and said something about an open-air meeting and the Great White Throne, and then she did what she has never done before—she stooped down and kissed me, and would not take any money, but advised my husband to go to Pontymoile and ask you to come and see me.”
“CAN YOU BREAK A WITCH’S SPELL?”
she asked plaintively.
“My dear woman,” I said, “don’t believe in witches, wizards, nor spells.”
“You don’t?” she said, reproachfully; “I thought the same at one time, but I’ve proved to my sorrow that the Witch of Caerleon has power to curse anyone that offends her.”
“Nonsense! nonsense!” I said. “A witch’s curse is only a silly, wicked woman’s words.”
A look of terror came into her face, and I saw that the superstitious fear was so deeply rooted in her breast, that to speak lightly of witchcraft increased her mental distress and anguish, so I said,
“I AM NOT AFRAID OF ALL THE WITCHES
in the world. They are of the devil, and belief it them brings a snare, fear, and torment: but truss and confidence in God brings happiness, joy, and peace. The evil, suffering, and pain that are in the world,” I said, “are not of God. God permits these things, it is true, but He permits them that out of them He may bring much good. But the author of it all is the devil, whose reign in the hearts and lives of men and women has been one uniform course of temptation to evil, and infliction of misery. But the Bible tells us that the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
“He destroyed the works of the devil,” I went on to say, “by bearing in his own body the consequences of man’s sins, so that God could be just and the justifier of everyone that believeth in Jesus.
“Shall I read a few Scriptures?” I asked.
“Oh, yes, please do,” she said: “anything to get rid of this curse.”
I then read Heb. 2:7-14: “We see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor that He by the grace of God should taste death for every one. For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death Ile might destroy him that had the power of death. that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
“THAT’S IT. FEAR OF DEATH.”
she said.
It was now very late, and having committed her into the hands of God, “being confident that He who had begun a good work would finish it,” I left with a promise to call the next evening and see her again.
The friends in the house settled down for the night, hoping that she might sleep; alas I sleep was far from her: and as her husband sat by the bedside through the night watches he heard her repeating:
“YES, IT’S THE WORK OF THE DEVIL,
and the devil works through the Witch of Caerlson.”
The morning light brought no relief, but increased restlessness, anguish of mind, and feebleness of body. Soon after nine o’clock she begged her husband to send again for “Mother Marsh,” saying she was sure “Mother Marsh” could if she would break the spell.
The poor heartbroken husband willingly complied with his wife’s request, went himself again in quest of the fortune-teller, who now refused to go, saying she could do nothing for her if she went.
That evening as I sat by the bedside the poor woman said, “It’s the work of the devil, and ‘Mother Marsh’ won’t come and help me.”
I said, “‘Mother Marsh’ cannot help you, and by seeking her help you commit the same sin as Saul the king did, when he was in trouble and his heart greatly trembled at the presence of the Philistines. Instead of recognizing that the Philistines were permitted to make war with him on account of his sin, and humbling himself before God and seeking forgiveness, he attributed this trouble to other causes, and disguising himself went and consulted THE WITCH OF ENDOR, with the result that God departed from him and became his enemy.”
“Then what shall I do? Is there no hope? Is there no mercy for me?” she imploringly asked.
I said, “Yes, there is hope and mercy for you, but it is only found in God, through Jesus Christ, and if you seek Him He will be found of you: if you call upon Him He will hear, for the Scripture saith, ‘Seek ye the Lord while He may be found: call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, for He will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon’” (Isa. 4:6, 7).
Then with a deep moan she said, “Lord, help me, a poor sinner! Lord save me!” and sank back upon the bed motionless. There was silence for some time, then I sang softly—
“O Thou who see’st and know’st my grief
Thyself unseen, unknown
Pity my helpless unbelief,
And take away the stone.

Regard me with a gracious eye,
The long-sought blessing give:
And bid me, at the point to die,
Behold Thy face and live.

Now, Jesus, now, the Father’s love
Shed in my heart abroad:
The middle wall of sin remove,
And let me into God.”
She then gently raised her hand and said:
“Now, Lord! Show pity!” Her hand dropped and she fell into a heavy sleep. After a while she partly aroused and said, “Show pity, Lord!” and then breathed heavily again.
A Christian woman in the room whispered to me, “She is trying to repeat Dr. Watts’s hymn.” I then sang—
“Show pity, Lord O Lord, forgive:
Let a repenting rebel live:
Are not Thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in Thee?

Behold I fall before Thy face:
My only refuge is Thy grace:
No outward form can make me clean,
The leprosy lies deep within.

A broken heart, my God, my King,
Is all the sacrifice I bring:
The God of Grace will ne’er despise
A broken heart for sacrifice.”
I then knelt in prayer with the friends that were in the room, and besought the Lord, for Jesus Christ’s sake, to save her soul, and enable her to testify to His saving grace ere she died, and then left, not expecting to see her again alive.
The following day I received an urgent summons to the bedside of this dying woman: but, oh, what a marked difference! God had indeed revealed Himself to her, and had given her a consciousness that, through the atoning death of Jesus Christ upon the cross, she, a guilty sinner, was saved. The sad, sad look of despair that so deeply lined her face had now disappeared, and a bright smile of hope, confidence, and joy gleamed therefrom. She was pillowed up in bed, and struggling hard for breath. As she stretched out her wasted hand to receive mine she said:
“Thank — God — I’m—saved—through—the—blood.—I’m—going—home—to—God.”
There were several sympathetic neighbors and friends in the room, while I knelt by the bedside and sang—
“My God, the spring of all my joys,
The life of my delights;
The glory of my brightest days,
The comfort of my nights.

The opening heavens upon me shine
With beams of sacred bliss:
Jesus proclaims that He is mine,
And whispers I am His.”
The dying woman tried hard to join in the singing, and the husband gave emphasis to the words as he gently wiped away the perspiration, which glistened like beads on her forehead, and while amidst an awful impressive stillness, broken only by subdued sobs, as I sang,
“Soon shall I leave this world of clay,
At that transporting word:
Run up with joy the shining way,
To meet and see the Lord,”
she passed away to where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.
The body was laid to rest in a quiet, secluded spot under the shadow of a tree in Trevethin churchyard, there to await the hour that is coming, “in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life: and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:20).
~~~
In keeping with the Welsh custom the relatives and friends attended the Mission Hall, Pontymoile, the following Sunday evening. This reverend, pathetic, and commendable custom still prevails everywhere in Wales, and by this means many hitherto indifferent to the claims of God or the need of their own souls, have been brought under the sound of the Gospel, and as “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” have been saved.
On this occasion I preached from Job 16:22: “When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.”
I endeavored to show—
I. The inevitable journey—for all must die—for “there is no man that hath power over the spirit, to retain the spirit: neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war.”
II. Its nearness. At the most only a few years. “Therefore be ye also ready.” “Prepare to meet thy God.”
III. The solemn fact, “Shall not return.”
While pressing home the application, and asking the all-important question, w here will you spend eternity? God was pleased to work mightily on the people by His Holy Spirit, and many sought and found the Saviour. Amongst the enquirers was “Mother Marsh,” the fortune-teller. I was greatly impressed by the remarkable change in her personal appearance. She had thrown aside the garb of the fortune-teller, and had discarded the old cloak and the long peaked print bonnet, and the tanned complexion of the Bohemian face had become quite white, with a slight color on her cheeks, and instead of her hair being disheveled as before, it was now neatly brushed and fastened up in plaits behind, while she wore a dress of good material, and round her body was wrapped a beautiful Paisley shawl, which together with a neat, well-arranged bonnet, made her a remarkably good-looking woman.
She was under terrible conviction of sin, and bewailed the fact that she had sinned against light and knowledge, and while others were made glad with the joy of God’s salvation “Mother Marsh” went away from the meeting very unhappy, for she was still “in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” According to promise I called the next evening at her house: the door was locked and the blinds drawn. Rap-tap softly, with my stick, quickly called forth the enquiry from within in a clear voice, “Who is there?” and never do I remember before nor since my name causing the bolts of a door to fly back so quickly, nor a more hearty invitation to “Come in.”
I found her very ill at ease: the arrow of conviction had pierced her soul deeply, and God had put a hook into the jaw of this leviathan. She thanked me for the interest taken in her spiritual welfare, and poured into my ear a sad, sad tale of wickedness, sin, deception, and fraud, and her remarks were repeatedly punctuated with
“AND I DID IT AGAINST LIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE.”
She was the daughter of Christian parents, and was brought up amidst godly influences, but she became infatuated with a worthless man, and to the great grief and lifelong sorrow of her parents, contracted an unfortunate marriage, and after some years of unhappiness was deserted and left with two children, absolutely penniless, without any means of support.
Fortune-telling was suggested to her through reading a book of her husband’s, and though at first she revolted against such wicked, fraudulent means of obtaining a livelihood, yet having alienated herself from God she eventually succumbed to that which was so repugnant to her feelings. Like Ahab the King she sold herself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, until her conscience became seared as with a hot iron. And the knowledge of the Bible acquired in her youth was prostituted to sorcery and every means used to deceive the unwary and to fleece the simple-minded of their money, She pitilessly carried on her nefarious traffic until, to use her own words, “God stopped me, by setting the Great White Throne before me at the open-air meeting outside my door one wet Sunday afternoon.”
I felt it was a desperate case, and suggested that we should go to God in prayer. We knelt and continued in prayer for some time, resting upon the promise that “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It was a hard struggle, but simple faith in the plain declaration of God’s truth, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5), enabled her to sing—
“My God, I have found the thrice blessed ground
Where joy and where peace and true comfort abound.

‘Tis found in the blood of Him who once stood
My refuge and safety, my surety with God.

He bore on the tree the sentence for me,
And now both the Surety and sinner are free.”
When she got up from her knees she went to a drawer in the table, and took from there a packet of begrimed cards, a couple of books, and several packets of chemicals, and threw them into the fire. As she did so she said, “There go, and tempt me no more.” The burning chemicals sent forth a lurid light, and gave a weird appearance to all that was in the room. In the midst of this extraordinary scene we again knelt and gave thanks to God for this fresh trophy of grace, and that the Name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, and that “Mother Marsh” not only “confessed with her mouth and believed in her heart,” but showed her deeds like some who used curious arts, but under the preaching of Paul, “brought their books together and burnt them” (Acts 19:18, 19).
“Mother Marsh” lived for some time in this neighborhood, an honorable, conscientious, and God-fearing life, and through evil and good report held on her way, seeking to restore the years that the cankerworm had eaten (Joel 2:25), by doing what she could to bring others to the Savior.
She afterwards went to some friends in America, and ultimately died resting upon the finished work of Christ.
Oh the riches of the boundless grace of God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, that He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.
Dear readers, my earnest prayer is “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man: that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, and be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).
“No longer in darkness I’m walking,
For the light is now shining on me,
And now unto others I’m telling
How He saved a poor sinner like me.

And when life’s journey is over,
And I the dear Saviour shall see,
I’ll praise Him for ever and ever,
For saving a sinner like me.”
We are glad to be permitted to give this true and remarkable story of the wonderful grace of God, written by our friend Mr. T. M. Wintle, and taken from his most excellent Gospel book, “Strange Tales from Welsh Life,” recently published by Messrs. Morgan and Scott, price sixpence. We refer specially to this volume on page 160 of this number.

Our Bible Portion: Experience and Hope

“Knowing that tribulation worketh patience: and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed.”—Rom. 5:3, 4, 5.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.”—Rom. 15:13.
WE gain our experiences of God by His gracious ways of deliverance and help in the time of trouble. The more we experience of Him, the more we wish to experience, and herein is good cause for glorying.
Experience works hope—hope in God.
Not hope to be soon out of the storm, though an old sailor knows far better than a young one what a storm is like, and the differing character of the storms. But if we have hope in God, we shall not lose heart in the storm. When David said, “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul” (1 Sam. 27:1), his experience had not in that hour wrought hope. He would not have gone down to the Philistines for a haven of rest had he hoped still in God, his refuge, his strong tower, at that juncture of his life. He was weary of the constant roughness of the way: Saul and his persecution was too much at that moment for the man after God’s own heart. Yet why was he called the man after God’s own heart?—because he hoped in God. “The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy” (Ps. 147:11). The past should
Encourage Us to Hope in God.
Every single gracious way of His is a fresh cause for fresh courage in God. Experiencing His unfailing goodness we sing—
“We’ll praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that’s to come.”
Our experience is through what we have learned about God, our hope is in what we know God is. Experience is private property. It cannot be given away. It is like the food we have eaten— part of ourselves. Believers are not so full of hope as they might be. It seems to have been the faith of generations of believers that the special difficulties of each generation are the greatest of all, and time spent in lamentations over difficulties, changed times, depressed souls, and the like, takes a good many hours out of the day’s work! Now, hope springs up out of the heart like water out of a fountain, and if we hope in God we have a good fountain within us, and we shall be more taken up with Him than with the times in which we live, or our own peculiar circumstances.
Hope makes not ashamed! For God cannot fail. The strength of
The Christian’s Hope Is God.
It is a sorry thing in a day of trouble to put confidence in an unfaithful man, or in the day of battle to be watching for allies who come not to the front: but hope in God makes no saint ashamed. Give God a good name in your soul. The mercies of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting. He abideth faithful, whatever we are, and the more we experience of God, the more hope is worked in us.
Hope in Him makes not ashamed, for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, through the Holy Ghost which is given us.
The Comforter Has Come, and Dwells Within the Believer.
He sheds abroad in our hearts God’s love. He suffuses the affections with divine love. This makes the sorrows by the way sweet to the soul, and even a dying bed joyous. What sweet smiles, what heavenly peace, have we seen on the countenances of dying believers.
The love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, not just in our minds. It is very comforting to know by the letter of the Scriptures that our God is unchangeable: but it is sweeter to have the heart filled with His love—His love to us, His own love, because He is love.

I Shall Know My Redeemer

WHEN my life-work is ended, and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see:
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.
I shall know...Him, I shall know Him,
As redeem’d by His side I shall stand,
I shall know...Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.
Oh, the soul-thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face,
And the lustre of His kindly beaming eye:
How my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love, and grace,
That prepares for me a mansion in the sky!

Oh, the dear ones in glory, how they beckon me to come!
And the parting at the river I recall:
To the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home,
But I long to meet my Saviour first of all.

Thro’ the gates to the city in a robe of spotless white,
He will lead me where no tears shall ever fall:
In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight:
But I long to meet my Saviour first of all.

Jottings About the Bible: When the Morning Stars Sang Together

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” —Gen. 1:1
“Where coast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.”—Job 38:4.
I. The Story of Creation (Gen. 1).
ALL readers must admire the simple majesty of this remarkable chapter. Three times the word “create” is used in it (verses 1, 21, 27), and each time it marks an epoch or era in the sublime process of the Almighty’s work. Some timid Christians have been not a little disturbed by alleged scientific discoveries which appeared to antagonize if not demolish this Mosaic account of creation. They were needlessly alarmed. As time goes on and thoughtful men come to know more about the truth of this marvelous universe in which we dwell, they approach closer and closer to Moses’ record. Never, perhaps, in the history of scientific investigation did Genesis 1 stand so solidly and triumphantly as now! “In the year 1806 the French Institute enumerated not less than eighty geological theories which were hostile to the Scriptures: but not one of those theories is held today” (Prof. Lyell).
If the Bible is God’s book, we may settle it definitely in our minds that it will come forth out of the smoke of battle with a luster all the brighter for the conflict. This account of creation reveals the unity, power, and personality of God. It denies polytheism—one God creates. It denies the eternity of matter— “in the beginning” God made it. It denies pantheism—God is before all things, and apart from them. It denies fatalism— God here as everywhere acts in the freedom of His Eternal Being.
2. The Story of the Fall (Chap. 3).
“The story of the fall, like that of creation, has wandered over the world. Heathen nations have transplanted and mixed it up with their geography, their history, their mythology, although it has never so completely changed form and color and spirit that you cannot recognize it” (Delitzsch).
One of the strange proofs of the truthfulness of this account, if proof were needed, is found in the universal presence of serpent worship in the olden times. It was practiced in China, India, Palestine, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Africa—in short, all over the world. No other religious form was more common, save sun-worship, with which this was usually associated.
Our own continent bears testimony to its presence in some of the ancient remains. In southern Ohio there exists a huge snake made out of earth and stones, a thousand feet long or more, and which was once an object of homage on the part of the aborigines. The savage of Louisiana carried a serpent and sun, the symbols of his religion, and tattooed them on his skin. In Mexico the serpent is found in the rude pictures of that strange people, the Aztecs, entwined with their most sacred symbols. The main elements of serpent worship were a tree, a woman, and a serpent. George Smith, in his “Chaldean Account of Genesis,” presents his readers with a facsimile of a drawing found in the excavations about Babylon which has two figures sitting on either side of a tree, holding out their hands toward the fruit, while back of one of them is stretched a serpent. Singular that rational beings should pay their highest honors to a repulsive snake!
It was one aim of the old Serpent, the Devil, in the temptation of our first parents, to put himself in the place of God as an object of worship. How well he succeeded the universality of this form of idolatry attests, and this is certainly a striking verification of the truth of the account of creation and the fall of man as given in the Book of Genesis.

"But One Gate of Entrance."

THE very moment in which she perished, Lot’s wife was in company with those who were saved. It is not association with Christians, or with the purest church on earth, that will save us: it is not attendance upon means or ordinances, even though they may be of Divine institution, that can qualify us for heaven. They are wells without water, and clouds without rain, apart from Christ.
The ancient city of Troy had but one gate of entrance: the ark that saved Noah and his family had but one door: heaven, too, has but one—and that is Christ. “I am the door: by Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” That door now stands open to receive every perishing soul that will enter it. Sinner, be warned: “Remember Lot’s wife,” and find refuge in Christ from the coming judgment.
THE promises of the Bible, like the beams of the sun, shine as freely in at the window of the poor man’s cottage as the rich man’s palace. A mountain of gold heaped up high as heaven would be no such treasure as one promise of God.

My Palestine Recollections. 9. Bethlehem, "The House of Bread."

COME with me, dear reader. The horses are at the gate, and the faithful Monsoul is conning them with a practiced eye, to see that their trappings are in good order, and that we do not forget to take the parcel of cold meat and bread which his kind mistress has given into his care, that we may have bread as well as water if we stop to drink at the brook by the way. We are on our way to Bethlehem, called in Micah 5:2, Bethlehem-Ephratah, which two names mean “House of Bread” and “Fruitful.”
As we hold on our way southward towards Bethlehem, and meet occasionally some villagers, their asses laden with corn, poultry, or other commodities, which they are taking to Jerusalem, these interpretations of the names Bethlehem-Ephratah are strikingly brought to remembrance. The history in the book of Ruth gives very pointed illustration of their meanings. The famine mentioned in chap. 1:1-2, when Elimelech and his family went to sojourn in the country of Moab: and verse 7, “how that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread.” What a warning does the case of Orpah supply: she, when Naomi returned to the country of Judah, remained in the land of Moab; and what a beautiful example of the blessing of a right choice we have in that of Ruth. Let us listen once more to the moving language with which she addressed her mother-in-law, “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest I will go: and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Blessed resolution, and with what rich blessings was it accompanied! The Moabite by birth is received into the families of Israel and becomes the mother of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David. As we draw near to Bethlehem, a building comes into view. It is a tomb, known by all in that country as the “tomb of Rachel.” There can be little doubt but it occupies very nearly, if not exactly, the spot where Rachel was buried, as we read in Gen. 35:19, 20. Here, having rested awhile, we must remount and go to Bethlehem. On our way we come to Solomon’s pools. The pools have long been empty, but the fountain from which they were filled is still flowing. The entrance is where our little party is shown with the horses and mule resting.
As the town comes into view, with its fruitful fields and gardens, and the neighboring pastures for sheep, how we think of David the shepherd boy, whom the Lord chose to be His servant, and took him from the sheep-folds: from following the ewes great with young, He brought him to feed Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance (Ps. 68:70, 71). In one of the lovely gardens we find the owner busily tilling the soil. We speak to him, and he invites us in to dine with him. He is a missionary, and has made some of the rooms of his house into shelter for the little orphans of Bethlehem. What a delight we find it to be to see the happy faces of these well-cared-for fatherless little ones, to inspect their sleeping rooms with their comfortable cots, in the town where Jesus Himself, for whose sake all these things are done, had no cradle but a manger. Let us, as we lister to these dear children, singing their sweet hymns; join in the praise of Him who though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be rich. The parents of these little orphans may have been known as Mahometan, Jewish, Greek-Church, Copt, Maronite. One most interesting case was that of a bright young child of the wilderness, a true descendant a Ishmael, who, with a penetrating glance in his eagle eye, now outvied his companions in answering questions about Yesu el Messeiah—The Lord Jesus. We think of the scene in Jerusalem or the day of Pentecost, when all alike heard the wonderful works of God: Parthians, Medes Elamites, dwellers in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia: also of that day to come when the Lord shall fulfil His promise, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am here ye may be also:” and, again when out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, they shall sing the new song of glory to the Lamb who redeemed them.
T. J.

On the Walls but Not in the Heart

WHILST riding through some pretty woodlands I came to a farm. Being thirsty, I dismounted, and asked at the house for a glass of milk.
On entering I was pleased to see several texts and scripture almanacs hanging on the walls.
“Surely,” I thought, “these people must be children of God, having texts hung upon the walls.”
Having drunk the milk, I stepped across the room to where this portion of scripture was hung: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Placing my finger on the word “sinners,” I said to the woman who had supplied me with the milk—
“Can you read this scripture, and instead of saying ‘sinners,’ say ‘me’?”
She looked at me with surprise, and said—
“What do you mean?” I repeated my words: “Can you say ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save me’?” and awaited the answer.
How solemn! the word of God on the walls of the house, but no entrance into the heart.
The woman’s answer came at last; it was a slow decided “No.”
It seemed that such a thought had never entered her mind before.
After a few words more I left her, hoping that God might use that simple pointed question to show her her need. Like too many others, she could read the words, but had left out the application of them to her own soul.

Sketches in the Life of the Man Who Shook the World - 9

BUT it was chiefly in another respect that Luther’s journey to Rome was of importance to him. For not only was the veil withdrawn so as to reveal to him the sneering laugh, the ribald infidelity, that lay concealed behind the Roman superstitions; but the living faith which God had implanted within him was greatly strengthened.
We have seen that at the commencement of his visit to Rome he yielded to many of the superstitions considered incumbent on him, and it so happened that one day he wanted to gain an indulgence which had been promised by the Pope to whosoever should go up Pilate’s Staircase (the Sancta Scala) on his knees. Luther was meekly crawling up the steps, which he was told had been transported from Jerusalem to Rome by a miracle, when he thought he heard a voice loud as thunder in his inmost soul, the same as at Wittenberg and Bologna, “The just shall live by faith.” It resounded incessantly and powerfully within him. He rose in great alarm from the stairs up which he had been dragging his body. He was horrified at himself, and mortified to see to what a pitch superstition had degraded him, and fled to a distance from the scene of his folly. This was a decisive epoch in the life of Luther, and, we may add, of the Reformation.
Luther left Rome and returned to Wittenberg with a heart swelling with grief and indignation. Turning with disgust from the pontifical city, he looked with hope to the Holy Scriptures and to the promise of eternal life through Christ, which the Scriptures so plainly reveal. The Word gained in his heart all that Rome had lost.
Luther received, but with reluctance, the title of Doctor in Divinity, and his fame grew rapidly and his usefulness extended in the University and in the Church. The doctrine of justification by faith without works was his prominent theme, and students came in great numbers from far and near, and hearers of all ranks, including the Elector himself, and rich and poor alike. Luther was kept humble, and yet remained bold and fearless; and he had need of courage, for a great work lay before him, constantly opening in new developments, and his sense of his own weakness, sinfulness, and unworthiness, and his conflict with Satan, led him to trust in God’s help.
On his return from Rome he visited many of the Augustinian monasteries, and found m my divisions and contentions, which he endeavored to compose. He also met with several young monks, such as Myconius, the future historian of the Reformation. He had been absent six months on this tour. He had been afflicted in his soul by all he had seen: but his journey increased his knowledge of the Church and the world. It gave him more confidence in his dealings with men at large, and it gave him occasions for founding schools, and for urging the fundamental truths of Protestantism, that the Holy Scriptures alone point out the way to heaven, and for exhorting the friars to live together in holiness, peaceableness, and chastity,

A Short Study in Scripture: Some Thoughts on Aaron's Rod That Budded (Num. 17)

“Moses went into the tabernacle of witness: and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded; and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” (Num. 17:8).
THERE were no separate stages of development: but life was seen in every phase at the same time—bud: budding: blossoms blooming: fruit maturing.
This is a beautiful picture of what should be seen in the Christian life—growth, fragrance, fruit: all abundantly evident: and increasingly so. The Spirit-filled life ever shedding forth the fragrance of praise and thanksgiving (Eph. 5:18-20: Col. 3:16): joy (Rom. 5:11): rejoicing (1 Pet. 1:8): gladness (Ps. 97:11, 12): grace, abounding more and more (2 Cor. 4:15): the light, shining more and more (Pro. 4:18). Flourishing like the palm: growing like the cedar (Ps. 92:12): blossoming like the lily (Hos. 14:5 Marg.).
The Lord said: “The man’s rod whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from Me, the murmurings” (Num. 17:5: Deut. 28: 47, 48). If the light is to shine: if God to be glorified: peace, happiness, contentment, must reign. There must be blossom, or there will be no fruit.
“It yielded almonds.”
The child of God is chosen that he should bring forth fruit (John 15:16): good fruit (Matt. 3:17): much fruit (John 15:8): more fruit (John 15:2): fruit unto God (Rom. 7:4): a fruit that shall not be consumed (imperishable, abiding) (Ezek. 47:12: John 15:16). “He shall be as a tree planted by the waters . . . that shall not . . . cease from yielding fruit” (Jer. 17:8).
How is this life sustained, this beauty preserved, this fruitfulness ensured? Aaron’s rod budded, blossomed, bore fruit: as it lay before the ark of the testimony— God’s meeting-place for man.
In proportion as the child of God is found at God’s appointed meeting-place (Heb. 4:16): abiding under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91:1): frequenting the secret of His presence (Ps. 31:20: Heb. 10:19): hiding in His pavilion (Ps. 27:5): will he, in continual fellowship with Himself: beholding as in a glass His glory: be changed into the same image, from glory to glory: and his life will be progressive, fragrant, fruitful.
“From Me is thy fruit found” (Hos. 14:5-8).
“Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them?” (Hos. 14:9).
E. A. H.

The Story of the Roman Empire: Or, The Kingdom of Iron - 9

THE Gauls who vanquished the Roman army and destroyed the city were undoubtedly a branch of the Celtic race, which had spread over the greater part of Western Europe, and inhabited the country we now know as France, and also our own Islands. They took possession of Northern Italy and eventually marched on Rome. Their battle cry was always, “Our way lies for Rome,” and on the 16th of July (390 B.C.), about eleven miles from the city, they met the Roman legions on the banks of the little river Allia and totally defeated them. With the exception of the Capitol, the city immediately fell into the hands of the victors, and the tradition is that this central point was only saved through “the cackling of the geese” that were held sacred to Juno. Their cries warned the sentinels of the approach of the Gauls, and enabled them to successfully defend the citadel.
The defeat of the Romans at this period of their history was not an unmixed evil, for it taught them the necessity of greater care in estimating the power of their enemies. They began to imagine they were invincible: but the disaster on the borders of the little river so close to their own home was ever a black-letter day in their record, and indicated that sterner discipline was an absolute necessity to secure victory, and the result of the lesson was, that very soon the invaders were driven back and for many years never ventured to definitely oppose in battle the Roman army.
Indeed, the position occupied by the Roman power about this era was very remarkable. She was surrounded by enemies ready to take advantage of her disaster, but she reorganized her forces, and so united all the military powers over which she had any control, that they presented an unbroken front to the foes of her country, and caused her to triumph more decidedly than ever over all the different races that either singly or in combination endeavored to subdue her.
And so for the next 130 years, until the great conflict with Carthage began, Rome surely became the undisputed master of Italy. Over and over again the Samnites tried to crush her, but it was all of no avail. This powerful nation, like the Latins years before, was obliged to yield to the mightier power of Rome and to accept a treaty of peace which left them practically under the domination of their conquerors. Other trials, however, came upon the city of Rome about this period. A fearful pestilence raged, which carried off very many of the ablest citizens: the Tiber overflowed its banks and did terrible damage: moreover, an earthquake shook the city, which had but recently been rebuilt, and, as the story runs, a chasm opened in the Forum, into which a noble youth Mettus Curtius leaped, all mounted as he was on his horse and clad in armor, in order to satisfy the wrath of the gods who demanded such a sacrifice. The incident is often cited, and reminds us of ONE who did go into the breach for sinners and died that they might live.

A Youthful Messenger

A PREACHER was once telling forth God’s message of love, when he noticed several restless children sitting on a front seat, and, in the hope of gaining their attention, he thus addressed them: “I have never seen you before, but I can tell you your names, children.” Immediately they were all attention. “Your name,” he continued, addressing the foremost girl, “is in here,” and he held up his Bible. “It is S.I.N.N.E.R. (sinner), for God says, ‘All have sinned.’”
The service concluded, and the child ran straight home to her father, who was a hardened sinner, saying breathlessly, “Father, I can tell you your name, for it is in the Bible.” “Nonsense,” he replied. “But it is, father,” persisted the child. “What is it, then?” he asked. “It is ‘sinner,’ for God says that ‘all have sinned’: the preacher said so tonight.”
God often uses the feeble things to confound the wise, and that simple, artless message was an arrow of conviction, and was the means of leading that godless father to acknowledge, as the prodigal of old, the solemn but true fact, “I have sinned.” And through God’s boundless grace he shortly afterwards had the glorious knowledge that the Lord had put away his sin by virtue of the all-atoning “blood of Jesus Christ,” which “cleanseth from all sin.”
Have you had personal dealings with God about your sins? Have your lips ever uttered the confession “I have sinned”? Have you ever truly desired the forgiveness of sins? If so we would remind you that:—
“Whoever receiveth the Crucified One,
Whoever believeth on God’s only Son,
A free and a perfect salvation shall have:
For He is abundantly able to save.”
God’s universal remedy for your ruin is Christ: and God’s great, full, and free salvation may be yours, sinner, if you rely upon the work He at Calvary wrought, that the courts of celestial joy and glory could be peopled by sinners—sinners saved by divine grace—those who will shine to the praise of His grace throughout eternity.
A. G.

Illustrative Gleanings: The Heliotrope and Sunflower - 2

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved.”—Song Sol. 2:17.
“Let those that fear Thee turn unto Me.”—Psalm 119:79.
WE told in a former article about the hesiotrope, as it was even called by the old Greeks, and now we are able to give a beautiful illustration of this familiar garden friend. These papers about flowers are principally addressed to young people: but we are sure they contain valuable lessons for “children of a larger growth.”
Let us now speak further about the other plant, the Sunflower.
In some countries it is largely cultivated for its seeds, which are fattening food for fowls. In Russia, and in some of the Western States of America, Sunflowers are cultivated for supplying fuel. In Russia, they have for centuries been grown for this purpose. In Dakota, United States, they are planted like corn (maize). They are harvested in two parts: the seed-heads being cut oft; and put away in a corncrib, and the stalks piled in a shed. When cut in the right time the stalks, when dry, are hard as oak, and make a good hot fire: while the seed-heads, with the seeds in, make a better fire than the best hard coal: the seed being very rich in oil, will burn better and longer, bushel for bushel, than hard coal.
Thus you see how, in many ways, the sun makes this flower very useful: and Christ, “the Sun of Righteousness,” will do spiritually the like for you, if only you will wait upon Him continually. He will make your lives useful lives. Like Him, when He was here upon earth, you will go about “doing good” (Acts 10:38). And when He comes again, and takes with Him all who love and follow Him, it will be such joy to you to know that one and another, by the kind words which He enabled you to speak, or by the holy life which He enabled you to live, were led to Him, as their Saviour, and by His grace were saved.
But the sun does more for this flower, which always turns its face to him. Later on in the year the whole of the center of the flower is filled up with little, slate-colored, oblong seeds. The sun causes these to swell and ripen, and if you were to plant in the ground all the seeds produced by one Sunflower, you would have next year I do not know how many young Sunflowers, but probably more than a hundred. From these seeds also, when pressed, chemists get a fine smooth oil, which is used for making soap, and the soap made with it softens one’s skin, and keeps it from chapping in the winter.
Well, the sun, to which this flower always turns, gives to it its honey, and so makes it useful to the busy little bees. If the bees could speak I am sure they would say to the Sunflower, “Please keep on turning to the sun, for the more you do so, the more honey shall we be able to get from you.”
(1.) God has given to the Sunflower a strong stem, hollow throughout like a sugar cane, and quite able to keep the flower upright without its being tied to a stick. Some flowers, as you know, have such slender, weak stalks, that they cannot stand alone, but must be tied to a stick. Not so the Sunflower. If you do tie it to anything you should leave the tie very loose, so that the flower can turn itself round to the sun all the day. It cannot do this if it is tied up tightly.
(2.) The Sunflower should always be planted in an open piece of ground, and not under the shadow of a tree. There should be nothing between its face and the sun, if it is to be useful and strong. Now, if we let our pleasures or our work occupy us so much that we have no time for thinking of or talking to the Lord, they will come between our souls and Him, like the branches of a tree between the Sunflower and the sun, and shut off from us His health-giving light. And then we shall be spiritually puny and weak, instead of being what God wants us to be, vigorous and strong for Him.

The Story of Ruth. - 2

BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE STORY OF GIDEON.”
THIS was indeed a blessed change for Ruth, a turning-point in her life. It is much the same when a poor Chinese or any other heathen turns to God from idols to serve the only true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, and it is much the same, too, when an English or Scotch boy or girl, or indeed when anyone repents of sin, believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, and has a firm desire, by God’s help, to follow the Lord and live for Him.
Now, when the two women, the old and the young, got into Bethlehem, all the people came crowding round them, and those who had known Naomi in former years said, “Is this Naomi?” as if they were surprised to see how much she had altered. Doubtless poor Naomi saw their looks of wonder and pity, and heard their remarks, for she said, “Call me not Naomi: call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” We will see the meaning of what she exclaimed when we notice in the margin of the Bible that Naomi means “pleasant,” and Mara means “bitter.” “I went out full,” said she, “and the Lord hath brought me home again empty”; and it was well that she still saw the hand of the Lord in what had happened, and that it was He who had brought her home again.
So it was in this way that Naomi came back, her daughter-in-law Ruth being with her. And it was to Bethlehem they came, just when barley-harvest began. The fields around Bethlehem must have looked pleasing and cheerful at this season, for there are few things more lovely to the eye than the waving of ripe grain.
Ruth asked Naomi’s leave and advice before going out to glean, and then found her way into a field whose owner was a rich man named Boaz. He had already been told of the two widows: of the return of Naomi to her native land, and of the love and kindness of her daughter-in-law Ruth, who had left her own father and mother to come with Naomi to dwell among a people whom she had not known in her earlier years. When Boaz saw Ruth he spoke to her, saying, “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under Whose wings thou art come to trust.” He was a godly man, and a kind master. When he came into the field where his servants were reaping, he said to them, “The Lord be with you.” And they answered him, “The Lord bless thee.”
Boaz allowed Ruth to glean in his field, and even told the young men, his servants, to let fall some of the handfuls on purpose for her, which was indeed very kind, and it shows how God was watching over Ruth, and making the heart of Boaz plan this for her benefit. Boaz also asked her to come and take a meal, and to sit by the side of the reapers while she ate it: and as she sat there, Boaz himself reached forward and gave her some of the food; and he gave her more than enough for herself, so that she kept some, and took it to her mother-in-law.
Then Naomi said, “Where hast thou gleaned to-day?” and also, “Blessed be the man who took notice of thee.” And Ruth said, “The man’s name, with whom I worked today, is Boaz.” And Naomi said, “Blessed be he of the Lord who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead,” and she added, “The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen”: by which she meant that Boaz was nearly related to her husband’s family, and to herself. Ruth also said that Boaz wished her to keep near his servants until they had ended the harvest: and Naomi said unto her, “It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, and that they do not find thee in any other field.” So Ruth kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean until the end of barley harvest, and of wheat harvest, and dwelt with her mother-in-law.
It is nice to perceive that Ruth’s conduct towards Naomi was just like that of an obedient child to its parent. They must have loved each other dearly, and when Ruth got home in the evening, she told Naomi all that she had done during the day, bringing to her the barley which she had been able to glean, and speaking of the kindness and respect that had been shown her.
Manners and customs in the East always seem strange to English people, as they are so very different to what is done in these countries, and as we read through the third chapter of this book, we plainly see that Ruth was quite right in carrying out the wishes of Naomi, and doing exactly what she told her to do. Naomi was going to sell the land that had belonged to Elimelech and their sons: and it was the proper thing for the nearest kinsman to buy it. Boaz was quite willing to do this, as he said to Ruth, but there was a relation even nearer to the family than was Boaz himself. The kinsman that bought the land would also have to marry Ruth, Mahlon’s widow.
Then Boaz went up to the gate—the gate of the city, which was the place of judgment, where public matters had to be settled. There Boaz sat down, and the very man, the nearest kinsman, was passing at the time, and Boaz called to him, and said, “Come and sit down here.” And Boaz got ten of the elders of the City to come and sit down there also, that they might hear all that was going to be said. So Boaz explained the whole matter, and asked the kinsman if he would buy the property, and said, “If thou wilt redeem it (or buy it back), redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is no one to redeem it beside thee, and I am after thee.” And the kinsman said, “I will redeem it.”

Our Bible Class. Bethel and Its Teachings - 3

(Gen. 33, 34, 35)
“And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.”— Gen. 35:1.
THOUGH the number of papers received during August has fallen below the average, it is not too much to believe that quite a number of our Class are or have been away, enjoying a country or seaside holiday, and were perhaps unable to get the current number of “THE SPRINGING WELL.” Some, it may be, have not yet returned. Well, dear ones, “out of sight” does not always mean “out of mind.” So Cousin Edith will think of those whose papers are missing as absent, and would commend each to the care and blessing of the Lord.
Though the meaning of the word “Beth-el” (house of God) has been correctly given by ALL who have sent in their answers, its position on the map of Palestine has not been, as a rule, clearly indicated, the replies in some cases being so far off the lines as to suggest it might be well for all of us to look up the geography of Bible lands a little during our next holidays: still, by putting several answers together, we get a fairly good idea of the place and its position in the Land.
The name “Beth-el” was given by Jacob to the place where God first appeared to him in a dream. Up to that time it had been known as Luz. The seal of Divine approval seems to have been set upon the new name by some words we find in chapter 31:13, “I am the God of Beth-el.” The site of the ancient city is about ten miles north of Jerusalem. “It stands,” says one who has visited its ruins, “on a rocky ridge between two valleys, but still higher ground seems to shut it in on every side except the south.” If we open our Bibles at Amos 5:5, we read, “Beth-el shall come to nought.” At the present time about twenty houses roughly put together with stones taken from the heaps of ruins that surround them mark the spot.
It was conquered under Joshua, and given to the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 12:9, 18 as: Judges 1:22). At the division of the kingdom Beth-el fell to the lot of Israel, and it was there that Jeroboam set up one of the golden calves. There seems to have been a school for the sons of prophets at Beth-el in the time of Elisha, but it remained a place of idol-worship till the reign of the pious king Josiah (2 Kings 13:15-19).
We might linger much longer over Beth-el and its history, but must pass on. If Jacob could not be trusted, God might; and all His ways of patient grace with Jacob seem to have had one object—to strip him of self-confidence. Ever onward, and upward, until at the close of his pilgrimage he becomes, as we have already seen, a worshipper (Heb. 11:21), He gives, as we read his history, an impression of having been a man who loved to make his own arrangements: his well-laid plans must have cost him much time and thought. But he forgot, as we are so apt to do, that God (who was known to him as the “God of Beth-el”) had already said, “I am with thee, and will keep thee, and will not leave thee,” and He had a purpose of blessing which none might hinder, and even Jacob’s own self-will or failure could not turn aside.
Ample proof of this is found in his conduct during the years in which he dwelt with Laban, also in the way in which he divided his household, cattle, etc., in expectation of a meeting with Esau; but again and again God comes in “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). But Jacob must learn his lesson (so must we); and the man who, when he saw the ways of God, ways which he could not understand, had said in bitterness of soul, “All these things are against me” (Gen. 42:36), could at last, as by faith he looked forward to the coming of the promised Deliverer (Gen. 49:18), joyfully exclaim, “I have waited for Thy salvation O LORD,” for God had marvelously blessed him.

Our Bible Lesson Column

Golden Text.— “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” —Ex. 33:11.
“And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”— Deut. 34:10.
Read Deut. 34:1-7
The Death of Moses.
1-3. “And the Lord shewed him all the land.” Read with prayer and reliance upon the Holy Spirit the parallel passages in Num. 27:12-17; Deut. 3:23-29; 32:48-52, and notice Moses’ great desire to go over into the land, his prayer to God that he might be permitted to do so, God’s refusal to allow him, Moses’ meek submission and his request that someone be appointed in his stead, so that Israel might not be as sheep which have no shepherd.
4. “I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.” When Moses pleaded to be permitted to go over, the word from the Lord was, “Let it suffice thee, speak no more unto Me of this matter” (Deut. 3:26), and that was enough. It was Israel’s sin in murmuring and rebelling that led Moses to sin, but that did not excuse Moses. How holy is our God, and what holiness He requires in us! And who is equal to it?
5-7. “Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” When Aaron died, Moses and Eleazar were with him, but no one was with Moses when he died. He had often been alone with God, on two different occasions for forty days and nights at a time, but previous to this occasion he had always come back to continue with the people. Now in health and vigor of body and in the use of all his faculties he went up into the mountain alone and returned to Israel no more. Out from the earthly tabernacle in which he had sojourned or 120 years, Moses, the servant of the Lord, went to live with God for ever. No sickness, no suffering, as far as we know, but he just closed his eyes to earth and entered into the presence of God and of the redeemed and of the holy angels, absent from the body, present with the Lord, which was very far better for him (Phil. 1:21, 23). He is still there alive and well, and after more than 1,400 years from the time of his departure Peter and the others saw him on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus Christ, as he and Elijah spake with our Lord of His approaching decease (Luke 9:30-32). The body of Moses was buried, but, no man being present, no man knows where, for God has not seen fit to tell.

From so Great a Death. "A Story of the Birkenhead."

ATOUCHING story of youthful heroism has been recently recorded of a young officer of the Highland Light Infantry, Alexander Cumine Russell, who willingly gave his life when that noble vessel the Birkenhead struck the rocks. Russell, who was but seven teen, was ordered into one of the boats, for the purpose of commanding it, and he sat with dimmed eyes in the stern, some distance from the doomed ship, watching the forms of his beloved comrades, standing upright on deck. He saw the shin go down, carrying with it hundreds of brave hearts. He saw those fearful creatures of the deep seizing their prey and heard the scream: of scores of Kumar. beings, as they were torn to pieces by sharks.
Then just when all for him was safe, he saw a sailor’s form rise close to the boat, and a hand strive to grasp the side. There was not room it the craft for a single per son more, without great risk of upsetting the boat. But as the sailor’s face rose close at the boat’s side, a woman in the craft called out in agony, “Save him! save him! He is my husband” Russell looked at the woman, then at her children, then at that sailor struggling in the waves, his eyes beseeching help, then at the sharks feasting on every hand.
He arose, and with a bold plunge jumped clear of the boat, and helped the drowning sailor into what had been his own place—a place of safety. Then amidst a chorus of “God bless you!” from those in the boat, the young officer turned round to meet his death. Many in the boat closed their eyes in prayer: when they opened them Alexander Cumine Russell was nowhere to be seen. Wonderful love! for one man to give his life for another. Pure human pity and grace, for the rescued sailor had no claim whatever: but brave Alexander Cumine Russell voluntarily took the fatal leap, he rescued the dying man, and then fell a prey to the sharks: he dared to die for his fellow man.
Does not this stirring story illustrate a deed still more pathetic? Ah, yes! It reminds those who are saved of the stupendous grace of the Captain of their salvation. He beheld them from His lofty throne, tossed to and fro on the angry billows of sin, and knowing that they were hopeless wrecks, unable to save themselves, and that soon they would sink beneath the angry waves and be eternally lost, He, the Lord of life and glory, left His throne above, and passed into the surging waters of death, exclaiming, “All Thy waves and Thy billows have gone over Me.” He came just where they were, stretched out His hand to rescue, lifted them from the tempest, and put them in His own place of eternal safety. Not for the angels, not for His friends, but, O wondrous love, for His enemies! Well may they say, as they meditate upon such an exhibition of grace, as feelings of reverential awe fill their souls, and gratitude possesses their hearts, “We love Him, because He first loved, gave Himself, and died for us.”
You, dear unsaved one, are perishing in the waters of sin. You may not realize it, but it is nevertheless true, that the waves of self-righteousness, ignorance, or gross outward sin, are carrying you on their whited crests; their movements may be gentle at first, and the sensation somewhat pleasing: but, alas! you are drifting on, on, on to eternal death.
The time comes when you awake to your peril, and your heart fails as you see the waves of sin rising mountains high. There is a lingering hope in your breast. See, the unwreckable lifeboat of salvation draws near, a hand is stretched forth to rescue you. It is the almighty Hand of the Saviour, for you can see the print of the nails thereon. Do you hesitate to take it? Does your confidence in His willingness to save you falter? Do you doubt His power? Whilst He is so nigh, stretch out the hand of faith to grasp the Saviour’s once-wounded hand, and cry with all the earnestness of a drowning man, “Lord, save me, or I perish!” The moment you do so you are caught in that all-powerful grasp, the Infinite holds the finite, the Strong holds the weak, and you are saved with an everlasting salvation.
Beyond life’s surging billows those thus rescued will ultimately pass, to be forever with their great Deliverer: and if the terrible past is remembered at all, it will be to cause unceasing praise to flow from the raptured heart to the One Who gave His precious life to deliver from so great a death.
Millions have been rescued, who are now safely landed in the haven of rest, the harbor of unruffled calm. Thousands are living who can testify to the reality of their deliverance. Sinner, the Almighty Deliverer is nigh thee: note His pitying eye, see His outstretched arms, which manifest a fulness of love, beyond the fulness of the mighty ocean. O trust Him now, let the language of your heart be—
“I yield!
I can hold out no more,
I sink by dying love compelled,
And own Thee Conqueror.”
Brave Alexander Cumine Russell died for one: Jesus Christ died for all. He was but a man: Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh. His was great human love; Jesus Christ’s was almighty Divine love. This love He desires to confer upon you. Oh, avail yourself of it by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ—
“Who died on the tree,
And wrought a Salvation, O sinner, for thee.”
A. G.

From Darkness to Light

THOSE people who tell us that instantaneous conversion from a life of sin to a life of godliness is impossible, have never arrived at a true conception of the power of God’s Holy Spirit in its operations on the human heart. The days of sudden and glorious conversion did not end with the apostles: and if in our day we do not see the Spirit of God working amongst the people and producing in men’s lives those marvelous changes of which we have read and heard, it is, more than to any other cause, due to the apathy and lack of consecration and faith on the part of God’s children.
Some fifty years since a great revival broke out in many parts of England, and amongst other places it was felt largely in the West of England.
A most successful mission was being conducted at a little village in Somersetshire. God owned and blessed the labors of a little band of faithful stalwarts, and some marvelous conversions were the result. The subject was on everyone’s lips Some went to the meetings horn curiosity, some with joy to hear the living Word faithfully expounded, and some with the avowed intention of interrupting them, making a butt of the various speakers, and having a general “lark.” Amongst the latter class was one young man—strong, full of animal spirits, and without God or hope in the world. He determined to go, and also determined to be a ringleader in an attempt to break up the meeting. He started out, and got within twenty yards of the chapel. (I know the chapel, the man, and his story, every word of which is absolutely correct. How many times in latter years have I heard him, with streaming eyes and a beaming smile, tell it!) But here some irresistible impulse stopped him short, and threw him to his knees. He could not go farther—it was a physical impossibility. I will tell you in his own words of what followed. “It was the hand of the Lord,” he said, “pulling me up out of the miry clay in which I was fast being swallowed. I saw myself as the Lord saw me—vile, undone. I saw hell open, and knew I was fast going there. The blackest darkness came over me, and I was in an agony from fear and shame, on my knees, in front of the chapel where I had come purposely to upset the meeting. I cried out loudly to the Lord for mercy. Some friends from the chapel came out and took me in, and there I prayed again and again, and these friends with me, till presently I saw that though I was a black sinner, yet Jesus was my Saviour— He had died for me. My chains fell from me, and I rose to my feet praising the Lord for His mercy, and vowing I would live for His glory.”
And right worthily has he kept that vow all the years until last summer God called him to Himself to receive the crown of victory that fadeth not away. Night and day, weekday and Sunday, the Lord was indeed his delight. In the street, the market, the workshop, or the church meeting, his talk was of the Lord. No gloomy religion was his; neither was it something to be put away during the week. With the apostle whose conversion was also instantaneous he could truly say: “For me to live is Christ:” —and to die was gain: for his end was perfect peace.
Is God’s arm shortened, that it cannot save? A thousand times NO! None are so far dead in sin as to be beyond His power, through Christ, to save. To say that one is too vile for Him is but a lie of His arch enemy’s. History, ancient and modern, God’s Word, experience—all prove that God can and does save the vilest, and often as swiftly as in the case above.
A. L. O. S.

"My King! My King!" A Story of the Indian Soldiers

“My King! My King!” Such was the reply made to a lady who with many others visited and distributed flowers to those splendid specimens of England’s Eastern forces called “The Indian Contingent.” These fine men landed in Southampton a little while ago on the way to take part in the Coronation pageant, called in their tongue “Tamasha.”
They were picked men of all castes, and tribes, and languages, from the magnificent troopers of the Governor-General’s body guard—stalwart Sikhs, with their almost Jewish features and long beards, to the little, but intensely plucky, Ghoorkha, with his terrible cookerie, with which at one blow he can cut off the head of an ox—some of their breasts were almost covered with medal-ribbons, telling of many a hard-fought field and of personal daring. The people were on the tiptoe of expectation to see these men, a thousand strong, march through the city. It was a sight never before witnessed. The port of Southampton has a long and interesting history. It dates at least from the time of King Canute, who to rebuke his courtiers for their excessive adulation and ascription to him of Divine power over the waves, bade them fix his throne on the edge of the sea and then commanded the tide to stop, which, of course, it did not, but flowed past him he knew there was but One who could say to the proud waves, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further” (Job 38): and he adopted this object-lesson way of instruction. It witnessed the embarkation of the army which by its stalwart bowmen gained the day at both Crecy and Poictiers. It witnessed also stirring times when the tidings of what is known in the Navy as “The glorious first of June” from Lord Howe’s victory over the French in 1784 reached this country, It was foremost in the shipping of the thousands and tens of thousands bound for the war in South Africa and now in their return. It is now over, thank God, and the shout of “PEACE! PEACE!” has sounded through the laid. Peace purchased at the cost of some 22,000 lives of officers and men. For a moment, let me ask you, my reader: Do you know, do you enjoy another peace? That peace which the Lord Jesus made upon the cross, as it is written, “Having made peace by the blood of His cross.” What a costly peace that was, which only the death of Him Who is Son of God and Son of Man could make.
To return to the reply made by the Eastern soldier to the lady’s query of, “What do you most want to see in England?” “MY KING!” was the immediate reply of the gallant soldier: “MY King!” Dear reader, remark he did not say, “The King” or “Our King,” but most markedly and emphatically, “MY KING!” Mark the intense individuality and personality of “MY KING.” No vague generalities with this warrior, as one often hears the Lord Jesus spoken of as “Our Saviour,” and when the speaker is asked, “Is He your Saviour,” too often he seems shut up, hesitates, and replies, “No: I can’t say He is my Saviour.”
There it is, not a personal appropriation of that Blessed One as his very own Saviour, but an indefinite generality, which, of course, brings no peace or real rest to the soul. How different, to Mary Magdalene, who when the risen Christ calls her by name “MARY!” her instant exclamation is, “RABBONI” — “My very own Master,” as it fully means; or Thomas in the same chapter (John 20) who on the Lord’s challenging him to re-open the wounds in his hands and side by his finger and hand, rather than be unbelieving, broke down through the grace shown, and says, “My Lord and MY God.” No vague generalities there, of course not, and never ought to be, or will be, if the soul is simple and just takes God at His word.
“BELIEVING, I rejoice
To see the curse remove:
And bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,
And sing redeeming love.”
I fancy I can see the fine fellow drawing himself up to the fullest height as he exclaimed, “MY KING!” This calls to one’s mind that passage in Isaiah 33, “Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.” Yes, “Every eye shall see Him.” But will you be with those who will be near Him on that day? Not like Balaam, who said, “I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh” (Numbers 24:17), thus foretelling his own doom! How unspeakably sad! Used of Jehovah to declare four of the most wonderful prophecies concerning His ancient people Israel, yet himself found amongst God’s enemies: cut off in his sins, as Numbers 31:8 shows, because he made Israel to sin.
Dear reader, do see to it at once, and get the question of your own salvation settled. It will be such a relief to pass from the indefinite “Our Saviour” to the personal “MY SAVIOUR,” and such will be the immediate effect of resting solely and entirely on God’s work, Let not this Eastern soldier rise up in judgment against you, but may his emphatic reply of “MY KING” come home to you, and raise the question, “Is that Blessed One my own Saviour?” and then to have it answered, “Yes, thank God, He is,” and then say, “He loved ME and gave Himself for me.” May this be your happy experience, then the gallant Sepoy’s answer of “MY KING MY KING!” will prove a blessing to you.
“Let those refuse to sing
Who never knew our God:
But children of the heavenly King,
Shall speak their joys abroad.”
S.V.H.

Lost or Saved - Which?

HOW many ways are there to be lost, while there is but one to be saved! It is the easiest thing in the world to be lost. If the sinner does not like one way, he may take another—he may take his choice of a hundred. Or he may just sit still, and fold his arms, and float down the current toward the bottomless pit, and he will certainly be lost, and that for ever—as certainly as if he were to ply the oar with all his might. Let every reader ask himself, am I in the way to be saved, or in the way to be lost? Which?

Even Me! Even Me!

PASS me not, O Christ, my Saviour,
Sinful though my heart may be,
Thou mightst leave me, but the rather
Let Thy mercy light on me—
Even me.

Pass me not, O mighty Spirit,
Thou cant make the blind to see:
Witnesser of Jesus’ merit,
Speak the word of power to me—
Even me.

An Altar to the Unknown God

WE know God solely by His revelation of Himself. His eternal power and divinity are indeed to be understood by the things that are made (Rom. 1:20), but God Himself can be known only by the declaration of Himself (John 1:18). The old Athenians were wise, but their wisdom did not teach them God. The Apostle Paul watched them in their devotions, and his spirit was stirred within him, for the city was full of idols (Acts 17:76). Idols represent demons, not God. “We ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art or man’s device” (v. 29), said he. The wisdom of man— wonderful as it was in those old days—had lost the knowledge of God, and thereby had degraded humanity to honor demons!
As the Apostle watched these learned heathen, he saw amongst their various altars to their different deities one upon which was this inscription: “TO (THE) UNKNOWN GOD,” and he took this altar for his text, and proclaimed to the wise and the learned men of Athens, who gathered around him, the Creator, filling all things with His glory, and making man, and also the truth of the resurrection of the dead and the judgment to come.
Altars to the UNKNOWN GOD have been discovered from time to time, and a photograph of one dug up in Rome will interest the reader. Upon it is an inscription, beginning thus—
SEI • DEO • SEI • DEIVAE • SAC •
dedicated to either the god or the goddess, for the worshipper did not so much as know the nature of the deity he addressed, and to whom his altar was sacred. Then follows the name of the worshipper, and after that the respectful tribute paid by the Senate of Rome to the unknown deity.
There were various reasons for erecting altars to a deity the heathen did not know. Certainly their gods, or the greater number of them, were horrible and cruel, and not one of them ever offered pardon, life, or peace to man. The heathen were glad, therefore, to offer to a god of whom they were ignorant!
Now we are privileged with the possession of God’s revelation of Himself, we therefore know a great deal concerning Him which one who has not the Bible cannot possibly know.
Let us look at a few passages of the Scriptures which speak to us on this important matter.
We turn to the Apostle John’s epistles, for he speaks so much of what we know. And he it is who says the little children of God’s family know! Know what? think we. What does a little child in one of our own families know—a little child who is too young to know its letters, and too feeble to know how to walk? The little one knows its parent. “I write unto you, little children,” says the aged John, “because Ye Have Known The Father” (1 John 2:13)
Yes, this is the privilege of us all. We know God the Father, little ignorant children though we may be. Again, he says—
“Ye Know The Truth” (1 John 2:21),
because of the unction given us from the Holy One (v. 20). The child of God knows the Father, and also having the Holy Spirit, he knows the truth and that no lie is of the truth—a very great power when so many religious lies are prevalent.
Again, the apostle says—
“We know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2)—our Lord Jesus.
Have we not got on a grand way in knowledge, fellow Christian? We know God the Father, we know the truth through God the Spirit, we know our future with God the Son! Yes, we know what our future will be. There is no doubt about it. The heathen do not know what their future will be: all is dark to them. To us all is bright, and blessed and glorious— “we shall be like Him?”
But we put down for meditation a few more sentences, all of which are full of grace:
“Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins” (v. 5).
“Ye may know that ye have eternal life” (ch. 5:13).
“We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).
Thus, by these three short passages, we can all say—
WE KNOW OUR SINS ARE TAKEN AWAY.
WE KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
WE KNOW WE SHALL HAVE ETERNAL GLORY.
Let us write down one other passage, which speaks of Him to whom we owe all these great and irrevocable realities.
“I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12).
H. F. W.

How God Answered Prayer

SOME years since we alighted at Shalford Station intending to walk to Godalming. We had not proceeded far on our way before we were stopped by an alarming flood. The river had overflowed, and the water was rushing over the highway to the depth of several feet. While looking to see if there was any hedge upon which we might walk we were joined by a lad about twelve years of age. There was no possibility of crossing by foot. It came suddenly to our mind that we could teach the lad a lesson, so we said:
“Do you know anything about God, my lad?”
“No.”
“Did you ever pray to God?”
“Pray what’s that?”
We were astonished at this unwelcome reply, and said:
“Well, if you do not know anything about God, I do, for He is my Father, and because I have put my trust in Him, He says I am to ask for what I want and He will give it me, just as you would ask your own father for bread if you wanted some. Now I am going to pray God to send me a carriage to take me over this water.”
“Humph!” said the boy, “God won’t hear you!”
This young infidel was a wet blanket to my faith, and I thought for a moment: What if the Lord did not hear, and so put me, His servant, to shame? It was but for a moment, and I thought, shall I turn infidel too? Is it not my part to believe and rely upon my God, and so teach this poor boy what it is to trust God. My lips were immediately opened to ask in faith, for that I needed, in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord.
It was a fine evening: sound travelled far. We waited patiently: but the lad continued to say:
“God don’t hear you: you must walk back.”
I constantly affirmed:
“You’ll see God answers prayer, the carriage will come directly.”
Certainly five minutes elapsed, and then there was a sound of wheels. There were four crossroads on the common towards which we were looking.
“It won’t come this here way, I know,” said the boy.
I continued secretly to pray and to believe.
Needless to relate, the carriage came straight to the spot where I stood. The boy ran off, scarcely stopping for me to say, “Now I hope you will learn to trust God, and know for yourself—that God answers prayer.”
There were three gentlemen in the carriage: they courteously stopped and took me safely across the angry waters. Thus faith triumphed. Who can say what far-reaching effects might result from such an object-lesson? What appear trifles to us, are the pivots upon which turn the most stupendous works of God. “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My Name, I will do it” (John 14:13, 14).
E. A.

The Pitcher and the Fountain

HOW shall I attain to having my heart filled with love to God? is a question not infrequently put by true people. We should reply, in the same way as a pitcher under a fountain attains to being filled with the sparkling water. The province of the pitcher is not to produce water, but to hold it. The believer is but a vessel for the reception of the Divine fulness, and our way to be filled is first, not to be full of ourselves, and next, to give ourselves to God to be filled.
Our efforts to produce love in our own hearts are often no better than filling up the pitcher with little stones, each one of which takes up the place of so much water.

Our Bible Portion: "I'm There! I'm There!"

“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He tower to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”— John 1:11, 12.
IT is only a simple incident we have given for Our Bible Portion this month. It may be considered very simple: but we are assured it is just such true faith as this child manifested that the Lord loves. This surely led Him to say, “thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matt. 11:25).
One Sunday afternoon a friend asked me to teach his children for an hour in his unavoidable absence from home.
There were three of them—a girl and two boys. Somehow we began to speak together upon the subject of Christ’s coming into the world and the effect it had upon people. I said it was pretty much the same now as then, and turning to the gospel of John I asked the eldest boy to read the verses we have quoted above. After he had read them, I held out three fingers of my left hand, and pointing to the first finger I said, “You will see,
“(1) This is the world that knew Him not, and did not want to know Him”: then pointing to the second finger I said,
“(2) This is His own people, the Jews, who knew all about it, and had the Word of God and the Temple and many teachers; but they received Him not, they had no heart for the Lord Jesus Christ”; and then pointing to the third finger I said,
“(3) This represents those meant by the words ‘as many as received Him.’ They were not much in the world’s estimation, but they received Him (Christ) into their hearts.”
The smallest boy held out his hand, and pointed to the third finger saying “I’M THERE! I’M THERE!” He instantly grasped the truth I had been endeavoring to teach, and it made me think how true it is that these things are hid from the wise and prudent, but revealed unto babes. God gets perfect praise and bold confession, even from a little child like this!
How many might grasp the first finger and own that they are with the world that would not have Him! How many would have to say I am with those who know all about Him, and who profess to be His own, but I have never received Christ as my personal Saviour, I have never confessed Him as my Lord and my God!
There are still those of whom God says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power (or the right or the privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name” (John 1:12).
God grant that each reader of this simple incident may be able to say, as did this little child, “I’m there! I’m there!”
“I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18).
J. S.

The Father's Care

“Thou art my hiding place. Thou shalt preserve me from trouble.”—Psalm 35
“THE earth.” Catch the meaning of those words, troubled heart: fathom their depth, anxious one: look to their source, distracted soul: God Himself cares for those who love and serve Him. Do you doubt it? If He cares for the fowls of the air and the lilies of the fields, will He not much more care for man whom He made in His image? What He does for the lesser is but a small proof of what He will do for the greater. He is great enough to be as careful for the individual as for the whole world.
“I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air:
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.”

Jottings About the Bible: The Supreme Authority of the Bible

“Take heed WHAT ye hear.”—Mark 4:24.
“Take heed How ye hear.”—Luke 8:18.
GOD has spoken in His Word. Our duty is to hear and obey. The Bible is not simply a book of opinions; it is not only true, it is THE truth, absolute and final. Nothing is to usurp its functions or authority; nothing must be suffered to become its rival. Man’s reason and word lead to darkness and infidelity: man’s word mixed with God’s is superstition; God’s Word alone is the exact truth, from which there is no appeal.
Whatever this Book repudiates is heresy; whatever it condemns is sin; whatever it is silent on is not essential to salvation. Of all preached from the pulpit, spoken from the platform, read from the press, the prescription is, “TAKE HEED WHAT YE HEAR.” Of all spoken by the Lord, recorded by the Spirit, written in the Bible, the injunction is, “TAKE HEED HOW YE HEAR.” The first may be truth mingled with error, and the duty is to sift it, and to separate what is precious from what is vicious. The last is the pure truth, and the duty lies, not in discriminating where there is nothing to discriminate, but in the posture of mind we maintain toward it.
To allow the Book to have supreme sway over us is a vital point. Obedience to the Word as we come to know the Word is an essential element in Bible study. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (John 7:17.) This “obedience is the organ of spiritual knowledge.” Singleness of heart to please God is the grand inlet for further knowledge. He that honestly uses the light he has shall have more light, and still more. “Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord.” He who refuses to do God’s will, as he comes to know that will, need not be surprised if in process of time the Bible becomes to him a sealed book, and the light that was in him becomes darkness.
The Bible touches all human knowledge. But for the Bible we would know nothing of the origin of the universe. This Book, only, unfolds the sublime panorama of creation, in which we behold worlds roll from the plastic Hand of the Creator, and begin their mighty revolutions. The Bible utters the first syllable in the history of the human race. Neither human history nor human nature can be explained except in the light of Scripture; unless man was at first holy, then fell through sin, and now has a Redeemer, we fail to comprehend how or what he is. Philosophy has stumbled just here: she has omitted to notice that he is in an abnormal state: that his soul is disturbed by a malign influence, and, “like sweet bells, jangled a