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heavy, and almost at our wits' end, but because we look for comfort in ourselves more than in Christ, and do not charge it enough upon our souls to rejoice purely, simply, and only in him ?- Rev. Ť. Adams.

FIDELITY. If you have a friend who loves you, and studies your happiness, be sure to sustain him in adversity. Let him feel that his former kindness is appreciated, and his love was not thrown away. Real fidelity may be rare, but it exists in the heart. Who has not seen and felt its power? They only deny its worth and power who have never loved a friend, or laboured to make a friend happy.

A BIBLE STUDENT. Dr. George Phillips was eminent as a Biblical Christian. Cotton Mather informs us that this “irrefragable doctor" had so thoroughly “perused and pondered the Scrip

tures, that he was able on the sudden to turn to any text without the help of concordances; and they were so much his delight, that, as it has been by some of his family affirmed, he read over the whole Bible six times every year,-nevertheless, he did use to say that every time he read the Bible, he observed and collected something that he never did before."

DEATH. Gellert said, in his last moments, “Only repeat to me the name of my Redeemer; when I speak or

; hear it, I feel strength and joyfulness within me.” On the morning of his death, Dr. Chapin said, " It seems as if heaven had come down to earth.” His final words were, “Sweet repose in heaven.

JUDGMENT. Men judge of our hearts by our words and works, but God judgeth of our words and works by our hearts.

Poetry.

COME JUST AS THOU ART.
Just as thou art-without one trace
Of love, or joy, or inward grace,
Or meetness for the heavenly place,

O guilty sinner, come.
Thy sins I bore on Calvary's tree;
The stripes thy due were laid on me,
That peace and pardon might be free.

O wretched sinner, come. Burden'd with guilt, would'st thou be

blest? Trust not the world; it gives no rest : I bring relief to hearts opprest.

O weary sinner, come. Come, leave thy burden at the cross ; Count all thy gains but empty dross ; My grace repays all earthly loss.

O needy sinner, come. Come, hither bring thy boding fears, Thy aching heart, thy bursting tears ; 'Tis mercy's voice salutes thine ears.

O trembling sinner, come. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come;" Rejoicing saints re-echo, Come; Who faints, who thirsts, who will may Thy Saviour bids thee come.

I SHALL ARISE.
I SHALL arise,-though calm I sleep,

And stilly silence reigns around, And though I rest in slumbers deep, I'll wake when thrills the trumpet

sound. I shall arise,-though void my place

Around the social friendly hearth; I shall arise, -wben time apace

Shall follow, and end its life in death. I shall arise, -not long the tomb

Shall bind my dust with silent chains; I shall arise,-yes, from its gloom,

When sin no more its power retains. I shall arise,-though still the heart That beat with love and friendship

true; I shall arise, and soon depart

To bid my grave a last adieu. I shall arise,-on angel's wings

My frame, renewd, shall be upborne, Nor cast a look at earthly things,

On that bright resurrection morn. I shall arise,-again we'll meet, When loud the archangel's trumpet 1

swells; The bliss of heaven will be complete, When union our grief dispels.

R. S. C.

come;

Personal Religion.

CONVERSION. Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children,

ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”—Matt. xviii. 3. Nothing can be more detrimental to the peace and prosperity of a community than a spirit of strife and unholy ambition ; it undermines its strength, and mars its beauty. The apostle Paul, sensible of the evil of this spirit, warns the Philippians against its

influence: “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but ¡ in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

But such is the depravity of our nature, that we are prone to forget this divine injunction. We have a painful instance of this moral weakness in the conduct of our Saviour's first disciples. Though blessed with the example of their meek and lowly aster, they evinced a very unworthy and ambitious feeling ; they longed for power and worldly distinction, and they even expressed a desire to know which of them should be the “greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” After rather a warm discussion among themselves, they referred the matter to Jesus, modestly asking him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven ?" Then Jesus, determined to check their carnal ambition, “called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Except ye be of another disposition, in another temper, and thoroughly changed, you can neither enjoy nor appreciate the blessings of the heavenly kingdom. The subject which these words of Jesus present to our notice is conversion, or the essential change. We shall now offer a few remarks on

I. THE CHARACTERISTICS BY

WHICH THIS CHANGE IS DISTIN

GUISHED.

Men, in passing through the world, undergo many changes, important to themselves and others; but there is no change equal in importance to the conversion of the soul. This change is overwhelmingly important, because upon it hangs our present usefulness, and our future joy and felicity. It is the "one thing

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VOL. XIII.

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needful.” What is conversion ? how is it effected ? and what makes it of so much vital importance ?

1. Conversion is a change which takes place in the mind.-It is a change of thoughts, feelings, and sentiments. Persons are liable to commit a serious mistake respecting this subject. Some have mistaken conviction of sin, upbraidings of conscience, and compunctive emotions for.conversion. These feelings either precede or accompany conversion, but they are not conversion itself. Cain was convicted of sin ; Felix trembled under the lashings of his conscience; and Judas was filled with bitter remorse : but they were not savingly changed. Cain, in agony, exclaimed, “Mine iniquity is greater than it may be forgiven;" Felix said to Paul, “Go thy way for this time;" and Judas went and hanged himself. None of them were converted. When a sinner is truly converted, the controlling power of the soul is changed, sin is dethroned, and love to God occupies the vacated seat. Every element of his nature is affected, the fountain of his life is purified, and the very condition of his moral being undergoes a happy change. Conversion is, therefore, a mighty change,-a change from darkness to light, from bondage to liberty, and from death to life. When this change takes place in a sinner, when the glorious light of heaven is poured upon his mind, his thoughts begin to flow in a new channel, objects around him assume a different complexion, sin appears “exceeding sinful,” and Christ crucified seems "altogether lovely.” So complete and radical is the change, that, to use the language of the apostle, he becomes a "new creature in Christ Jesus.”

2. Conversion has the Spirit of God for its author.--Man cannot convert himself. No human power can infuse the life of heaven into a guilty, depraved, ruined soul. God alone can change the heart. His voice reaches the ear of the wanderer in the "far country;" his love embraces the returning penitent; and his Spirit clothes and prepares him for the joyous feast. Our Saviour is very explicit on this subject : “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God;" “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” Now, when the Father draws a sinner to himself, he uses no coercion. Enlightened and influenced by divine love, the soul becomes a willing cáptive to Jesus Christ. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." Ephraim, in his prayer for God's favour, recognizes the same truth: “Turn thou me, and I shall be turned."

3. Conversion differs in the manner it takes place in different individuals. Though conversion itself is the same in every person, yet the manner in which it is effected varies according to the different dispositions, intelligence, and habits of the individuals. In some it appears to take place suddenly; like the lightning flash, a flood of light is poured on the mind, the sinner sees his perilous condition, hears the voice from heaven, and is instantly on his knees, crying, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" In others, it is a gradual operation ; like the morning dawn, there is first the dim twilight, then numerous streams of golden rays, and at last the rising of the sun in all its splendour and effulgence. But I believe that what we call “sudden conversions" are only so in appearance. The Spirit of life has been for a long time at work, secretly preparing the mind for this vital and all-important change. The soul has passed through an invisible yet powerful process of moral discipline, and a thousand different agencies have been called forward to contribute towards the one great end. Then, some persons, like Matthew, John, Timothy, and others, are gently drawn to the feet of the Great Teacher ; whilst others, like Paul, the Philippian jailer, and many more, pass through scenes of great terror before they can say,

“ Now are we the sons of God." But it is not the manner, but the effect, that proves the reality of our conversion. It matters little whether the passage was rough or pleasant, provided we have reached the desired haven. Th weather-beaten mariner forgets all the fierce storms of the ocean amid the smiles and comforts of home.

4. Conversion is essentially necessary for salvation.--Without it we cannot, we shall not enter heaven. We are not speaking of a thing greatly desirable, a thing of considerable value, but of a thing that is essential. Our eternal destiny hangs upon it. The assembly of the first-born is composed of converted persons,-persons who were once as degenerate and guilty as any of us, but who have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Nothing will answer instead of conversion ; no ritualism, no moral training, no religious profession can prepare a soul for heaven. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

II. THE AGENCIES BY WHICH THIS CHANGE IS EFFECTED.

Doubtless the Holy Spirit might produce this change in man by an immediate operation on the soul, without any visible agency whatever ; but our business at present is not to inquire what he might do, but in what way he does effect his purposes

of

grace and love. In the physical world he employs means to carry out his designs. In the great plan of salvation we believe that he does the same. The Spirit of God enlightens and sanctifies the human spirit by means adapted to its powers and accountability, by means which do not destroy its freedom, but which lead the mind readily and cheerfully to depart from evil, and to follow Jesus Christ. Many are the means employed by the Divine Spirit for this purpose; but we shall only mention two or three of the most important, such as

1. The reading of the Scriptures. There are no means so suitable to enlighten the mind, awaken the conscience, affect the heart, and to renovate the spirit, as God's own word. It is the two-edged sword, that pierces the heart—the living fire, that melts its iceand the refreshing balm, that heals its wounds. “ The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” A portion of Scripture lodged in the mind, when reflected upon in privacy, has often produced the most wonderful change. The traveller on the road, the merchant in his office, the labourer in the field, and the sailor on the far ocean, have experienced the converting power of God's word. It is the power that quickens, and directs, and saves the immortal soul. Its blessed effects, like “the bread cast upon the waters,” are found " after many days.” Some years ago, on a calm and pleasant evening, as a seafaring man was pacing the deck of his vessel, and enjoying the sweet balmy air of the tropics, on a sudden the words, “ Pray without ceasing,” darted into his mind. Pray without ceasing !' what words can these be ?" exclaimed he; “I think I have heard them before ; where could it be ?” After a pause, he added, “Oh, it was at St. Paul's, in London, seven years ago ; the minister read them from the Bible. What! and do the Scriptures say, “Pray without ceasing ?' Oh, what a wretch must I be to have lived so long without praying at all !” Now, feeling the arrows of conviction, he went in search

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