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Much happiness and many benefits arise from friendship; and the ties with which it unites two hearts are strengthened, when great kindness has been shown by one friend, and fervent thankfulness is felt by the other. Togral Osman was captured in a Turkish vessel, and carried as a prisoner and a slave to Malta. To a French officer, named Arnaud, he said, “Can you do a generous and gallant action ? Ransom me; and take my word you shall lose nothing by it." Arnaud, interested by Osman's air and manners, complied with his request, and paid nearly three hundred pounds for his ransom.

From that time Osman showed the most fervent gratitude to his benefactor. He soon returned the money, and added valuable presents. In 1731, he rose to be the first minister of the Ottoman empire. He now sent for Arnaud, that he might further display his gratitude. Arnaud arrived, bringing with him twelve Turkish prisoners whom he had ransomed. Osman received them in the presence of the great officers of state, with strong marks of affection; then, pointing to the ransomed captives, said to those about him, “Behold these your brethren, now enjoying the sweets of liberty after having groaned in slavery; this Frenchman is their deliverer. I was myself a slave, loaded with chains,

streaming with blood, and covered with wounds; this is my benefactor, to whom I am indebted for life, liberty, and fortune, and everything I enjoy. Without knowing me, he paid a large ransom for me, sent me away upon my bare word, and gave me a ship to carry me. Where is there a mussulman capable of such generosity ?"

If such were the feelings of a man to his benefactor, how much more should we feel towards the Lord Jesus Christ ! He has paid for man a more costly ransom ; he delivers from a more degrading and wretched slavery. He is the Friend that has no equal; far excelling all friends besides, and in all things their superior.

He excels all others in his person. For what are my friends, however estimable and dear? They are dying mortals, from whom I soon must part: but he is the First and the Last," who was dead and is alive; the King of kings and Lord of lords; “God manifest in the flesh;" “over all, God blessed for ever," Rev. i. 17; 1 Tim. iii. 16; Rom. ix. 5. They wither like a flower; He imparts life and health, and is the Giver of eternal life. They are going to the dust; but He has “ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things," Eph. iv. 10.

He far excels also in the greatness of his love. The strongest affection that can glow in a human heart is feeble compared with that of Jesus. It is related that in a time of bloodshed at Rome, a servant, anxious to preserve his master's life, whose destruction was sought, changed clothes with him, sent him out privately from the house, and then pretending to be the master, lay down on his bed, and there was slain in his stead. Greater love hath no man than this; but even this bears no more comparison with the Saviour's love than a spark to the sun, or an atoin to the world; for He, in a mysterious way, stooped from the height of infinite glory, and took our nature purposely to suffer and die : Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." “ Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and-humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, 2 Cor. viii. 9; Phil. ii. 6. He laid down his life as the substitute for sinners, that they might have life instead of death, and heaven instead of hell, and endured the hiding of his Father's countenance so as to cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?” that the lost and undone might come near to God, and be with him for ever and ever.

In 1741, at Northampton assizes, a poor Irishman was sen

THE FRIEND THAT HAS NO ÉQU AL.

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cent, and so exerted himself in his behalf that a respite was obtained. Nothing could be more tender than his expressions of gratitude. He said, “Every drop of my blood thanks you, for you have had compassion on every drop of it. You are my deliverer, and you have a right to me.

If I live I am your property, and I will be a faithful subject." How small were his obligations to his kind benefactor compared with ours to the Lord that ransomed us !

The Christian may utter acknowledgements far more expressive than those of the grateful Turk or the poor Irishman." I was a slave bound in the chains of sin. I was a criminal, deservedly condemned to die. My Lord ransomed me; to him I am indebted for liberty more precious than freedom from earthly bonds; for life that will issue in eternal life. And the ransom which he paid for me was not silver or gold, but his own blood. He has a right to me, and to all I am and all I have. He bought më as his own when he died in my place. Let every power of my body and soul thank him, for he has had mercy upon me."

The Lord Jesus far surpasses all other friends in the good he can bestow. If it were possible to have friends whose hearts were as full of love as his, yet they could not give what Christ bestows, and you absolutely need. You have sins, and they must be forgiven, or you will be lost eternally-Jesús forgives sins! You have a sinful heart that must be made new, or you must perish~ Jesus gives the Holy Spirit, by whom to work that mighty change. You have a soul in danger-Jesus can avert its ruin, and secure its salvation. You have a hell to escape and a heaven to reach-Jesus saves from hell and exalts to heaven. Before you reach eternity you have to pass through a troubled world, to encounter sorrow, sickness, and death, Jesus supports through this wilderness ; cheers affliction with in ward comforts; makes sickness better than health, and death than life. You must die alone, and go alone to meet your God-Jesus fills the departing spirit with sweetest peace, and welcomes it to a heavenly home! He bestows on the mouldering dust life and immortality on the resurrection morning. Chiist can do all these things. Other friends may cheer for å moment, but he will bless throughout a whole eternity. Thus he is what other friends, the best and dearest, can never be. Whether it be father or mother, husband or wife, affectionate child, or brother, or sister, he is far, far more than all these united.

In all circumstances the friendship of Christ is the same precious treasure, or rather, its value increases when needed most. Soon it will matter nothing to us whether earthly friends smile or frown, love or forget us ; but his favour will still concern us, possessions, all I have, and even life away, yet leave me Christ, and I am blessed; take him away, and I am lost and poor, though all the world were mine.

His friendship is also undying and everlasting. As far as this world is concerned, the dearest ties of earthly friendships must soon be broken. Soon you may have to say, My parent, or my child, my husband, or my wife, my brother, or my sister, is dead; the heart is cold now that lately glowed with love. But the love of Christ to his people ever continues : “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword ? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that hath loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, por things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Rom. viii. 35.

Thus Jesus is the Friend that has no equal; and he is willing, --oh wonderful love !-to be all this to any of the lost and guilty children of men that will flee to him as their refuge from sin and condemnation ; for “ It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” “Come," says this heavenly Friend, " come unto me, all

ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ?" What wider invitation could he give? What better blessing could he promise ? Are

you, reader, a partaker of his salvation ? Has the Holy Spirit opened your heart to attend to these things? Or have you slighted his claims, and resisted the Holy Ghost? If you enjoy his friendship, a proof that you are thus enriched will be furnished by your supreme love to him. Whatever else his friends love and prize, they love and prize him more. This is their experience in all ages, and in all lands. Peter said, “ Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." Krishna, an early convert in Bengal, said of the Saviour, " I love him, but not as he loves me.

young Christian lady was asked by an affectionate father, “ Can you leave us, Mary?” She calmly answered

“ Yes: Nature, all thy fond delights
But love more strong than death unites

To Him that bids us go.” Actuated by such principles, the friends of Jesus do his will and live to his glory, and under the Spirit's teaching are conformed to his image and travel to his kingdom. There, through all'eternity, they will rejoice in the love and celebrate the praise of the FRIEND THAT HAS NO EQUAL.

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And tender ties we know;

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What is so generally coveted as riches? Wealth is supposed to be the sure means of happiness, and is regarded by many, if not by most, as the highest object of human ambition. The possessors of riches dote with fond affection on them, and they who have not obtained wealth, covet few things so much. Some years ago, a miser in the neighbourhood of Coventry, during his last illness, had a bag of gold brought to him daily, and he died grasping the bag with a hold so firm, that after his death it was difficult to force it from his lifeless hand. To obtain money, which this man so much prized, multitudes sacrifice ease, health, life, and heaven.

Such love of riches is a wretched infatuation; for "we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” But there are riches worthy of all sacrifices. These, however, are not the riches of this world: they belong to a better.

Perhaps, reader, you have toiled for riches and been successful; yet you are not happy: your soul needs better treasures

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