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the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God," Hos. xii. 4--6. And the godly, in all ages of the world, have found it to their advantage to call upon God in the day of their trouble. Was it not so in the experience of Moses, David, Hezekiah, Jonah, Daniel, and of many others ? mised to hear the prayer of faith, and he is able and willing to fulfil all his engagements. Then, if we are wise, in all our trials, like pious Jacob, we shall turn to God for help, and by prayer express our confidence in him. “Is any among you afflicted ? let him pray.”
The Scriptures often enforce the duty of sinners turning to God. Sin has turned our hearts from God, and in true conversion they are turned by the Holy Spirit to God, and then in his favour we seek our happiness. Then we turn from the broad way of sin, which leads to hell, into the narrow way of holiness, which leads to heaven. Happy day! the angels may well rejoice.
The Holy Scriptures show the way in which God requires all sinners to turn to him. Now, what is it for a sinner to turn to God? What are the things included in this act of the mind ? There is serious consideration. This influences our actions. The return of the prodigal was preceded by consideration. One reason why the solemn appeals of God make so little impression is, they are not duly considered. The thoughts of sinners are absorbed in the things of the world. All wicked men are inconsiderate men, and inconsiderate because wicked, and wicked because
inconsiderate. They often hear the most solemn truths, but soon dismiss them from their minds; hence they do not leave their proper impression upon them. But in true conversion, the penitent begins to think seriously of his spiritual condition, the just claims of God, and the wants of his precious soul; and the happy result is, he turns to God by sincere repentance. Now there is sorrow for his past offences. The penitent liar, the penitent drunkard, the penitent Sabbath-breaker, the penitent despiser of Christ, feels his sinfulness in the sight of a holy God, and makes confession of his guilt, and sues for mercy. He has a deep sense of sin as committed against God, whom he was bound to trust, love, and obey; and he resolves, by Divine help, to turn from his transgressions, and to lead a holy life. There is now a change in his views, will, affections, principles, and pur-, poses. He feels the wounds sin has made, and looks by faith to Jesus for cure. He is taught in the Gospel to believe that “by his stripes we are healed.” He now believes these affecting yet joyful tidings, and reposes confidence in the death of Christ as a sacrifice for sin, and finds in his Saviour eternal salvation. His life shows that his faith is of God. He now seeks by prayer for spiritual blessings. He seeks and finds. He now walks with God. He now confesses Christ. He now runs the race to glory. He now yields himself to God, follows the guidance of his word, and tries to live so as to please him.
The Gospel shows the vast blessings God gives to all who turn to him by true repentance. He is able to bestow great blessings, and as willing as able. He forgives the penitent all his sins. Peter thus refers to the connexion between repentance and pardon: “Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” This may allude to the practice of ancient monarchs, who kept what were called books of remembrance. And to render these records more durable, they were sometimes cut on tables of stone, with the point of a diamond, or some hard substance. The prophet Jeremiah refers to this. He says,
« The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond; it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars,” Jer. xvii. 1. The blotting out of sin may refer to the effacing of such a record in a man's favour.
Now, is it not an immense blessing for the supreme Ruler of the universe to forgive fully and for ever all our sins ? This is the happiness of all who truly repent of sin and turn to God. He says to them, “I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins.” They are now taken into his family, and treated as his adopted children. His Spirit is given to sanctify their souls, to help their infirmities, and to comfort them under their trials. God guides them by his counsel. He keeps them in safety amidst the perils of the wilderness. He gives them true peace. He is a Father to them. He receives them kindly. He fits them to dwell with him in heaven.
The Scriptures also show the evi
dences which a true penitent gives of having turned to God. The prophet mentions three of them: “Therefore turn thou to thy God, keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.” Here we see the precious fruits of turning to God. The penitent cultivates a merciful disposition. He has received much mercy from God, and feels that he is bound to show mercy to others. He has freely received, and must freely give. The child must resemble his Father. The Saviour says, “Be merciful, even as your Father in heaven is merciful.” The penitent cultivates personal holiness. He sees and feels the evil of sin, and longs to be perfect, even as his father in heaven is perfect. He hungers and thirsts after righteousness, and is filled. And he cultivates communion with God. He waits upon him continually, as a disciple upon a teacher, to receive instruction; as a servant upon a master, to know his commands; as a child upon a parent, to obtain his blessing. This waiting upon God implies a sense of dependence, the exercise of confidence, and an earnest desire for his help. The waiting soul loves God, cherishes hope in him, and seeks his favour. This requires humility, patience, and perseverance.
Then, if the penitent are thus blessed, if you have not turned to God, turn now. Think of the extreme misery of all the ungodly. They are God's enemies; they have no interest in Christ, no ground of hope of eternal life; they are slaves of Satan; their services are not pleasing to God; they are in con
stant danger of falling into hell; and they have no true source of comfort. Souls without God must be in a miserable state. They may be merry, but they are merry with the sword of Divine justice hanging over their heads; they are merry in chains; they are merry on their way to execution! James says to all such, “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” The way to be truly happy is to turn to God in Christ, and this eternal fountain will fill you with joy for ever.
God has a Paradise for penitent sinners. “Turn,
and live ye.”
AN IMPORTANT QUESTION. "Where is your faith?"-LUKE viii. 25. Jesus had been labouring at Capernaum; the multitude increased upon him; he had need of rest, embarked on the sea of Galilee for “ the country of the Gadarenes," and fell asleep. We read that Jesus was "an hungered," and that he was
weary; now he sleeps. “We have - not a high-priest which cannot be
touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” The Lake of Genesareth was subject to violent squalls of wind, lashing it into tempest. One of these storms “came down" upon the lake while Jesus “ was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow.” The disciples feared. Why should they? When Cæsar was at sea with a vessel of twelve oars, a storm arose, and the pilot ordered the mariners to turn back. Cæsar
rose and said, “Go forward, my friend, and fear nothing; thou carriest Cæsar and his fortunes.”
With Jonah on board, there was cause to fear. But a greater than Jonah or Cæsar is here. This yessel carries the world's Saviour and fortunes. The disciples, had they known the truth, might have sung,
“ With Christ in the vessel,
We'll smile at the storm.” But they were afraid, and awoke him, saying, “Master, Master, we perish !”
Lord, save us ; we perish !” As man, Jesus hungered; as God, he fed the hungry multitudes. As man, Jesus was weary; as God, he “giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” As man, Jesus slept; as God, “he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the waters, and they ceased, and there was a calm,” “ a great calm :" not the heaving and rolling of the sea, which naturally frets itself to sleep like a child, but a sudden, supernatural calm. “ And he said unto them, Where is your faith?"
Self-righteous reader! “where is your faith,” not works? Works cannot save the soul, nor help to save it. “Works of faith and labours of love” only prove that the soul is saved. When Jesus arose, he required no assistance to still the tempest.
Humble and contrite reader ! “where is your faith ?” The Lord is nigh, and mighty to save. To doubt his willingness would betray a state of mind more bewildered than that of the disciples, when they cried, “Master, carest thou
not that we perish?” What hinders your salvation, then ? that believe are justified.”
Desponding Christian reader! “where is your faith ?” All God's people are subject to occasional depression of spirits. The Psalmist cried, Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul.” " Awake! why sleepest thou, O Lord ?” You may be in trouble, but Jesus can allay the storm without, or command peace within. Do you fear death? It is said of the late Rev. James Gawthorn, that he had a constitutional shrinking from death, and confessed not long before his decease, that he was a great coward; yet, when the swellings of Jordan were referred to as he approached the river, he said, “No swell, no swell.” But it may be the enemy suggests that your hope may turn out to be no better than the house of the foolish builder. Be not afraid ; the storms of a judgment shall not so much as “shake it.” Happy voyagers to a heavenly country l no storm can“come down" upon you without bringing a blessing. Let the voice of thanksgiving be heard above it. Encourage yourselves in the Lord.
D. GRIFFITHS, JUN..
he values. Knowledge, too, is power; more knowledge, more power; most knowledge, most power. The same is true of natural gifts; of refined and cultivated taste; of each and all of man's possessions. The more man has, the more he may have.
Man values gold, because gold will give him books; he values books, because books will give him knowledge or amusement; he values knowledge and amusement, because these give him pleasure. Again, man values knowledge, because knowledge gives him power, and the exercise of power gives him pleasure. Man values cultivated taste and sensibility, because these enable him to extract hidden sweets from the objects of his contemplation.
Look now at the power of faith in God. The man of faith desires only such things as his heavenly Father pleases to bestow. To the man of faith God gives all his desires. If from imperfect faith, or ignorance, the child of God desires that which his heavenly Father thinks proper to withhold, his happiness is not at all impaired by the denial. When God gives, the man of faith rejoices in his Father's benevolence; when God withholds, he rejoices equally in his benevolence, and yet more in his wisdom and love. He sings,
“ Good when he gives,
And more when he denies.” Faith in God solves all mysteries. Why am I thus? says one. To what purpose is it, that I rise up early, sit up late, and eat the bread of carefulness? Answer,
“ To do and suffer all his will,
THE BEST GIFT. The best gift-what is that? Faith in God. Does the assertion need argument to sustain it? You shall have argument; thus, a handful of copper is valuable; an equal weight of silver is more valuable; gold is better still, it represents more power; it enables man to possess the things
Why do my days pass away as a tale that is told? Why is my life productive of so little that commands the notice, or ensures the approbation of myself, or of others ? Answer, That the Son of Man may find faith (not sight) on the earth.
THE SINNER'S BURIAL. He lived and died a transgressor of God's commands. He would indulge in the gratification of his appetite, and other sinful passions. He would not refrain from his course. Death could not tarry; violated law brought on disease, and disease destroyed the system, and then the spirit was released from its habitation. Who would die the death of a sinner? Who would like to have their friends die cursing the God that created them? No one. But there is a decree that all must die : the sinner cannot escape, he must die and be buried.
In the funeral services, how solemn the exercise, and how fearful the responsibility of him who is
called to officiate on the occasion! Conscious of the end that has come upon the transgressor—that it is not the bliss of the consecrated soul, but that of banishment from God into outer darkness for ever! It is a gloomy hour. The admonition is to the living. Shun his example, and escape his final doom. The best advice to the living to point them to Christ. Let no false comfort be given; but speak affectionately, and pray fervently.
Sinner, it is a solemn thought to die with no “hope in Christ.” The resurrection of such will be to damnation. “They that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.” Will you live in sin and die the death of the transgressor ? Let me entreat you to repent, and escape the damnation of hell. Please not yourselves while you are treasuring up wrath, that life and immortality will be your reward. God will render to every sinner according to his deeds. 66 Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil.” Let none, then, be so unwise as to neglect the soul's best good.
The Counsel Chamber.
CHARACTER IMPORTANT TO A YOUNG MAN. An aged man may, as an individual, retires from the bar, the pulpit, the be eminently good or evil, but his senate chamber, the exchange. He character is constantly losing its im- withdraws from business, and makes portance in reference to the world. preparation to pass his houses and So far as the relations of life are his lands into the hands of others. concerned, he is constantly, either He has no powers now to be cultivoluntarily or involuntarily detach- vated in which the world feels any ing himself from all around him,
he has no passion to be reand becoming an isolated being. He strained, from whose development