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“ Ye are
and thy strong tower. “In that he suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Dost thou feel thy own littleness and insignificance? Thy God thinketh upon thee.
". The hairs of your head are all numbered." of more value than many sparrows.” Thou mayest be little and unknown among men, but a precious diadem in the hands of thy God.
“ He is nigh unto thee in all that thou callest on him for."
Various and changing may be the scenes through which thou passest. But all shall be tempered by his wisdom for thine own advantage. “All things work together for good unto them that love him.” Thou shalt die. But when thou walkest through the valley of the shadow of death, he shall be with thee. But thy “flesh shall also rest in hope;" for “in his book all thy members are written.” And while adoring “Him that sitteth upon the throne, and the Lamb in the midst of the throne,” “God with us” shall be the burden of thy song for ever.
Is Christ our Immanuel-God with us? Then let us take care that we are with him,-coming to him habitually in acts of faith and love,--walking with him and before him; so shall he to us be all in all, the strength of our heart, and our portion for ever.---Watson.
or negligent professors of religion. No wicked man can injure Christianity so much as one who has professed it. He is supposed to know all about it; and if he apostatizes, and declares all religion an imposture, his authority has great weight with irreligious men. Or if his life shows indifference to religion, the unconverted presume that they are safe in neglecting what even its professors care so little about. There is no limit to the pernicious influence which an inconsistent Christian may exert.
Who, then, is doing this great evil? Who is strengthening the hands of the wicked? Who is standing in the way of sinners ?
The real Christian suspects himself. The apostles all asked, “ Lord, is it I?” Judas spoke last. The hypocrite has no fears for himself. “Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?” Peter, before he fell, declared with great positiveness that, though he died, he would not deny his Master.
Who in our churches are labouring for a general reformation of morals, and revival of religion? Or who is secretly opposing both ? Is there no Achan in the camp to be removed ? “Lord, is it I?"
THOUGHTS FROM ARCH
“LORD, IS IT I?” JUDAS is not the only man who needs to ask this question. Christ has been betrayed more than once. He is betrayed every day by false
LOOKING TO GOD.-It is not from myself I look for comfort at any time, but from my God and his free grace. Here is comfort enough for all times. When I am at the best, I ought not, I dare not, rely upon myself; when I am at the which their names are written in the book of life.
A GOLDEN CHAIN.-If election, effectual calling, and salvation be inseparably linked together, then by any one of them a man may hold upon all the rest, and know that his hold is sure.
THE PEACETHAT PASSETH KNOWLEDGE.-All the peace and favour of the world cannot calm a troubled heart; but where the peace is that Christ gives, all the trouble and disquiet of the world cannot disturb it. Outward distress to a mind thus at peace, is but the rattling of the hail upon the tiles to him that sits within the house to a sumptuous feast.
worst, I may and should rely upon Christ and his sufficient grace. Though I be the vilest sinner that ever came to him, yet I know that he is more gracious than I am sinful; yea, the more my sin is, the more glory will it be to his grace to pardon it.
FAITH.–Faith first purifies the heart, empties it of the love of sin, and then fills it with the consolation of Christ, and the hope of glory.
REDEMPTION. There is one redemption. He that is redeemed from destruction by the blood of Christ is likewise redeemed from that vain and unholy conversation that leads to it.
A BEAUTIFUL THOUGHT.-There are no dumb children among those that are born of God; they all have that spirit of prayer by which they not only speak, but cry, “Abba, Father."
THE SCRIPTURES.---The Scriptures are a depth that few can wade far into, and none can wade through; but yet all may come to the brook, and refresh themselves with drinking of the streams of its living waters, and go in a little way, according to their strength and stature.
THE GRACE OF GOD IN THE HEART.-The grace of God in the heart of man is a tender plant in a strange, unkindly soil; and, therefore, cannot well prosper and grow without much care and pains.
GOD'S IMAGE IN THE SOUL. If men can read the characters of God's image in their own souls, those are the counterpart of the golden characters of his love, in
SIMPLICITY OF FAITH. THE late king of Sweden was greatly exercised upon the subject of faith some time previous to his death. A peasant being once on a particular occasion admitted to his presence, the king, knowing him to be a person of singular piety, asked him what he took to be the true nature of faith. The peasant entered deeply into the subject, and much to the king's comfort and satisfaction. The king, at last, on his death-bed, had a return of his doubts and fears as to the safety of his soul, and still the same question was perpetually in his mouth to those about him: “ What is real faith?” His attendants advised him to send for the Archbishop of Upsal, who, coming to the king's bedside, began in a learned and logical manner to enter into the scholastic definition of faith. The prelate's disquisition lasted an hour. When he had done, the king said with much energy, “All this is ingenious, but not comfortable: it is not what I want. Nothing but the farmer's faith will do for me.”
MOURNING FOR THE DEAD. “They mourned, and wept, and fasted
until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son.”—2 Sam. i. 12.
Thus did David, and those who were with him, weep and fast until the evening, because the " mighty were fallen,” and because weapons of war" had “perished.”
When a father or mother “falls on the ground,” the children have stated periods when they weep and fast in memory of their dead. On the day of the full moon, those who have lost their mothers fast until the sun comes to the meridian, and in the evening they take milk and fruit. For a father, the sons fast on the new moon in the same way as for the mother.
Fasts are exceedingly numerous amongst the Hindoos, and they often keep them with great rigour. Numbers abstain three days every month. On the first they do not eat till three o'clock in the afternoon; on the second, at night; and on the third, not till the evening. Some also watch during the whole of the last night. The Mahometans make a great merit of fasting (as they term it) forty days and forty nights : many of them take only just sufficient to sustain life. In the beginning of their great fast, therefore, a man will be comely and in good condition ; but in the end of it he will appear to be little better than a skeleton.
lection for the best emblems of Paradise. People in England will scarcely be able to appreciate the value which the Orientals attach to a garden. The food of many of them consists of vegetables, roots, and fruits; many of their medicines also, being indigenous, are produced in their gardens. Here they have their fine fruit-trees, and constant shade; and here they have their wells and places for bathing. See the proprietor, in his undress, walking around his little domain! His fence or wall is high enough to prevent any one from overlooking him. He strolls about, to pick up the fruit, and cull the flowers. He cares not for the world; he is satisfied with the scenes around him.
Ahab wished to have Naboth's garden. But how could he part with “the inheritance of” his “ fathers ?” There was scarcely a tree which had not some pleasing associations connected with it: one was planted by the hand of a beloved ancestor, another in memory of some great event, as on the day a child is born, parents often cause a number of fruit-trees to be planted. The water which he drank, and the fruit which he tasted, were from the same sources as those which refreshed his fathers. How then could he, in disobedience to God's command, and in violation of all those tender feelings, give up his garden to Ahab ? To part with such a place is, to the people of the East, like parting with life itself.
BREATH A SYMBOL. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.”—JOB iv. 9. The margin has, “By his anger. See also Exod. xv. 8; Job i. 19, xv. 30; Isa. xi. 4, XXX. 33; 2 Thess. ii. 8.
When the patives of the East are angry, they distend their nostrils, and blow with great force. The action may be taken from some animals, which when angry blow
ORIENTAL GARDENS. “ Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying,
Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs. Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheri. tance of my fathers unto thee."i Kinas xxi. 2, 3. See Eccles. ii. 5.
Our first parents had for their residence a beautiful garden, which may have had some influence upon their immediate descendants, in imparting to them a strong predi
violently. Of a man who is much given to anger, it is said, “That fellow is always blowing through his nose.” “You may blow through
your nose for a thousand years; it will never injure me.” « Go not near the breath of his nostrils; he will injure you."
The Counsel Chamber.
INDIFFERENCE; OR, “I DON'T CARE.' To prove that a spirit of indifference hired cottage, by attention and indoes exist in the world is quite un- dustry have occupied a mansion. necessary, and the expression, “I The subject becomes more important don't care
is also familiar; but when we consider that it is opposed probably all are not aware of its to the spirit of God's word, which bad influence, power, and extent. enforces most emphatically the neIndifference, or, in other words, cessity of a hearty and cordial dis"I don't care,” is a topic upon charge of every duty, as well as which much may be said. In ru- entire abstinence from those things minating on the subject, we at once which are unholy. find a wide scope, inasmuch as it In viewing indifference as a baraffects man's temporal and eternal rier to the progress of everything interest. There is an old maxim, good and great, let us inquire into good and true: “I don't care has the history of any movement estaruined thousands."
blished for ameliorating the conIndifference is one of the greatest dition of mankind, and we shall barriers to the progress of every
find that success is generally in thing good and great. By it we proportion to the effort put forth are affected as individuals, and as on its behalf; and that the reason a community. If we look at man why many a meritorious project has in his relations, and society in gene- failed of success, was the indifferral, we cannot fail to trace indiffer- ence of those who ought to have ence exerting a blighting influence, helped it on. poisoning present happiness, and By way of illustration, take, as in innumerable instances depriving a minor instance, our own Assoits subject of eternal joy. Most of ciation; and the Christian Church, those evils which disgrace and press as a more important. down myriads in this highly-fa
What is the reason that some of voured country may be traced to a our number attend but seldom, and spirit of indifference “I don't others scarcely at all? To what care." Many born in affluence shall we attribute their absence ? have, through a spirit of indiffer- Is it that they are not alive to the ence and a want of due care, died glorious object we have in view? in poverty; while others, born in a When they gave in their adhesion,
* Read by William Ashford Owen, to the Young Men's Christian Association at Welshpool, on the 4th of February, 1858.
was it merely a matter of form? doing, not alive to the importance Is it that they feel no pleasure in of their position. Such a state of reading God's word ? Have they things tends to lessen the pleasures no delight in social intercourse ? and happiness of the Christian's life. Do they esteem it no privilege to We now pass on to consider the bow together at the throne of subject in reference to social intergrace, and unite in hymning the course with each other. The dispraises of Him who bought them positions of men are very differently with his blood ? Or, to take lower
various ground, do they not experience that shades of dispositions, from the “As iron sharpeneth iron, so does lively and entertaining down to the countenance of man that of his the morose and disagreeable, but friend?”
scarcely any man without some That charity which we have for good quality. Experience tells us each other as fellow-members for- that man, to be happy, must enjoy bids us to say that their absence is the society of his fellow-man. How for any of these reasons. What, necessary, then, that our conduct then, is the cause ? To what shall towards each other should be warm we attribute it? In some cases,
and cordial ! doubtless, occasional absence is The disposition is frequently justifiable; but in many cases I am manifested as strongly in conduct under a strong impression that if as words. The shake of the hand the causes of absence were searched is very expressive, and may freinto, a leaven of indifference would quently be taken as an indication be discovered. Often trifies are al- of the heart, either for coolness or lowed to intervene, and molehills affection. Here let me ask, Who sometimes rise into mountains. will not admire that man who meets
We may also ask here, why the his friend with an honest counteyoung men of our town do not nance and hearty shake of the hand? more numerously unite with us? Contrast with him the man who Converse with them on the subject, comes with a sullen look, accosting and they listen with indifference. his friend in a surly or freezing Ask their sentiments, in order to manner, and if he extends his bring them over, and the answer is, hand for custom's sake, instead of if not in words, in import, “ I don't a friendly shake, merely lends his care about it."
finger for the occasion. When his Take again, the Christian church. friend presses, he feels, instead of a How lamentable the coldness, the hearty response, as if he held a piece apathy, the indifference existing! of dead fish, so cold and lifeless! Professing Christians may be strict and, as such, it slips from the hand. in observing personally religious “I don't care for you, or your hand.” duties, but they appear unconcerned Suppose a conversation with an for those around them, their weaker indifferent man. Two individuals brethren, the baokslider, and the meet; one says, “I have been ungodly. They are not up and thinking over such and such a