« السابقةمتابعة »
if we only possessed a very small portion of that sum. But I find you
have given us a fresh subject for thought, Charlie. Let us think for a moment of the costly price which God bestowed to open a way, whereby sinners might return, and be reconciled to Him. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.' He spared not his own Son, but freely gave him up for us all.' How infinite the cost! How amazing the sacrifice! "We are redeemed, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.'”
The conversation was here interrupted by the servant bringing in the candles. Charles and Ellen felt rather sorry, for the light made their eyes ache sadly at first, and besides they thought it was so much nicer to sit and talk in the dark.
“What a nice long chat we have had about the railroad," said Ellen, after the curtains had been drawn, and the fire stirred into a cheerful blaze, “I had not the least idea before to-day, that it could have taught us so many useful lessons."
“Nor I,” responded Charles, “I am sure I could not have found them out myself, if I had stared at it all day. How clever you must be to see them, uncle, I wish I could borrow your eyes.”
“Your own will do very well for you," replied his uncle pleasantly, “ if you only use them. I dare say you remember the old story of eyes and no eyes.' If you accustom yourself to think and to compare, the practice will soon become both easy and pleasant. You will be surprised to discover how much may be learned, from many things which have hitherto appeared dull and uninteresting to you. Now I wonder,” continued Mr. Graham smiling, “how much you will be able to remember of our conversation ? I think your little heads will hardly be able to hold it all ; perhaps it will be quite forgotten by to-morrow.”
“O, no, no! uncle,” exclaimed Charlie and his sister, very eagerly, “indeed we shall not forget it. My head is not half full yet," added Charles merrily, “and I hope you will find me a deal more to put in it.”
“Well,” replied their uncle, “I promise you that I shall always be very willing to tell you anything that I know, and I am glad
that our thoughts about the railroad have pleased and interested you so much. And happy indeed shall I feel, my beloved children, if our conversation lead you to reflect upon the importance of being found in the way which leads to everlasting life.
“There is a path which leads to God:
All others go astray,
And Christians love the way.' Let us ask ourselves then, whether we are travelling by this road? It is a question of the deepest moment, for on its answer depend all our hopes for eternity.”
Mr. Graham paused. Ellen had listened with the deepest attention to his affectionate remarks, and she now ventured to reply in a low gentle tone of voice, “ But how shall we begin to go in this road, dear uncle? Are there not many difficulties in the
“Do you know, Ellen,” answered her uncle, very kindly, “what it is which causes the motion of the carriages on the railroad?”
“The steam, uncle."
“Well, my dear Ellen," said Mr. Graham, “the steam will furnish us with a very good illustration of the grace of God in our hearts. It is this, and this only, which can lead us to set out on the heavenward journey, and also enable us to persevere therein to the end. Ask, then, for this inestimable blessing, and it shall be yours. Do not be afraid of the trials and difficulties with which you may meet. His grace will be sufficient for you. Only let your determination be, ‘I will go in the strength of the Lord God, I will make mention of his righteousness, even of His only,' and you shall at the last prove more than victorious through Him who hath loved you. Remember too the happy home which awaits you at the end of your journey. “In my Father's house there are many mansions; I go,' said the Saviour, 'to prepare a place for you.' "There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God.'”
" Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry,
H. M. W.
DELAY IS DANGEROUS. It is a strange piece of art, and a very exorbitant course, when the ship is sound, the pilot well, the mariners strong, the gale favorable, and the sea calm, to lie idly at the road during so seasonable weather; and when the ship leaketh, the pilot is sick, the mariners faint, the storms boisterous, and the seas a turmoil of outrageous surges, then to launch forth, hoist up sail, and set out for a long voyage into a far country. Yet such is the skill of those evening repenters who, though in the soundness of their health and perfect use of their reason, cannot resolve to cut the cables or weigh the anchor that withholds them from God; nevertheless they feed themselves with a strong persuasion, that when they are astonied, their wits distracted, the understanding dusked, and the bodies and souls racked and tormented with sickness—then, forsooth, they will begin to think of their weightiest matters, and become sudden saints when they are scarce able to behave themselves like reasonable creatures.-Ralegh.
THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. If God be the way, the Life, and the Truth, he that goeth without Him strayeth ; and he that liveth without Him, dieth; and he that is not taught of Him, erreth.-Ralegh.
WHAT WAS PAUL AFRAID OF? No one who has read an account of Paul's daring in defence of the Gospel, or of the perils he encountered, the privations to which he submitted, the insults which he bore with such manliness and resignation, the weariness and painfulness, the watchings, hungerings, and thirstings, of which he was the subject, will be disposed to regard him as a coward. Yet he frankly tells us he was afraid of one thing that he had labored in vain to convince the Galatians of the fulness to be found in Christ.
We cannot doubt that his great heart would have failed him, had he come into contact with the Galatians of our own day and of our land-who, having begun in the Spirit, are seeking to be made perfect by the flesh-who have removed to another gospel, which is not another, and are grafting upon the pure, simple, effectual, complete system of the Bible, a reliance on vain traditions, on sacraments and ceremonies, assuming a voluntary humility, and calling in the aid of angels and intercessors to insult the majesty of that mercy which belongs exclusively to the One Mediator between God and man, who, once and for ever, blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross!
THE SUCCESSFUL PETITIONER. THERE is no period, perhaps, more interesting or eventful in the history of man, than the season of youth. Then he is eager to enter upon the prospect before him, full of the most joyous anticipations, and longing to be in the entire possession of himself, without the dictation or control of parents or tutors. His relations, on the other hand, are filled with anxiety for his future welfare. His tender mother, who watched over his infancy, taught him his letters, and initiated him in the rudiments of learning; at whose knees he repeated the prayer which she had taught him to lisp: his mother, who prayed for him, conversed with him, and cherished an earnest solicitude that he might walk in the paths of piety and peace; his father, who had counselled and warned him against the vices of dissipation and excess, the snares of company, and the temptations to which he would be exposed; these, and others, are deeply interested for his success. Happy is it, if the youth himself is equally concerned to escape the follies of the times, to cherish the early impressions of religion, to listen to the voice of the scriptures, which are able to make him wise unto salvation, and to present himself, constantly, as a suppliant at the throne of grace, with this petition impressed on his heart, and uttered by his lips, “O, that Thou wouldest bless me indeed!”
Such was the prayer of Jabez, who, though a child of sorrow, was more honorable than his brethren. The account of this illustrious character is introduced into 1 Chron. iv., which is principally filled with names, upon which Mr. Scott observes, “ This instructive example, in the midst of genealogies, to us so abstruse, seems like the fragrant rose surrounded by thorns; or as the refreshing streams in the desert; and it appears a recompense, intended for the careful student of God's word, who
diligently and reverently examines the whole, comparing one part with another, without disregarding or undervaluing any."
Every youth, by nature, is like Jabez, a child of sorrow, exposed to the consequences of sin, doomed to labor and toil, liable to afflictions, accidents, and calamities, condemned by the just and holy law of God to experience divine wrath, and perpetual banishment from the glorious presence of the Almighty, to the shades of eternal misery and woe. Happy is the youth who is sensible of this ; commencing his earthly career with the conviction, that he needs a Saviour to redeem him, a guardian to direct him ; a protector to shield him, and prosperity to attend his efforts; he commits himself to God, and places himself under the security of his power and faithfulness, supported by the assurance, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all things else shall be added unto you.” To such a youth, God speaks from heaven, by his word and providence, “Make me your friend and portion; commit yourself to my care; obey the dictates of my word and Spirit; devote your time and talents to promote my glory, and you shall neither be destitute of a supply for your temporal wants, nor your spiritual necessities.” “I will be with thee in all places whither thou goest, I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go, I will guide thee with mine eye.” It is said of Joseph, that “the Lord was with him, and he was a prosperous man.
Jabez prayed. The first indication of piety is prayer. He that lives without praying, lives without God. No sooner was Saul arrested by the hand of mercy, than God said of him, “Behold, he prayeth. This is a token for good, wherever it is manifested: it discovers a mind convinced of its sinfulness, of its dependance upon God, of its accountableness to him.
Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, who had delivered that people from the slavery of Egypt, and by a strong hand, and a powerful arm, rescued them from destruction, conquered their enemies, and brought them to the land of Canaan. The invitation of God inclines us to pray, the mercy of God gives us confidence in praying, and the promise of God assures us, that our prayers shall not be in vain.
Jabez desired the Divine blessing, and that from a conviction of its importance to the success of every undertaking. Without