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would be preaching whose mouths are dumb through sloth and idleness! There would be fewer preaching as a trade, and more preaching as debtors, for every believer would then have a voice with which to sound the praises of the most high God.
There is often a very great mistake made in this way among believers when speaking of each other. They say How much such and such a one does for God and for souls, and they seem to think that it's a great grace in that man, whereas the truth is, that when once a man becomes a Christian his ceasing to declare Christ is a very fearful shortcoming in simple duty. The command is to preach the Gospel, and to cease from it is disobedience. The obligation is to preach the Gospel, and how dare he be silent? A minister is just as guilty if he cease from this, as if he left an earthly debt unpaid. For instance, such an obligation is laid on me as one of Christ's ministers. Now it is not in the least left to my choice whether or not I am to preach continually the Gospel of Christ. The world can claim it-believers can claim it-woe, woe is me if I preach not the Gospel. As to my liking it, that is another thing; if my heart is with the work, then I shall have my reward. See the fulfilment of this when God gives the commandment for it,
The Lord himself did give the word,
If we are to be useful in God's vineyard, we must not take it into our own hands to direct how or where we are to do his work. We must not go upon our own conjectures, but walk by God's rule. Oh! that we all felt that we have no liberty in this matter. When once a man has given himself to God he has given away all right to this. It is left to a man's own choice whether he will give his heart to Christ or not; but when he has given his heart to Christ, it is not left to his own choice whether he will shine as a light in the world or not.
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
THE world is full of suffering-along the mournful air
The notes of sad complaining are ringing everywhere,
Looks ever down upon us with a sympa thizing love,
And pitieth our infirmities, though others may deride,
For the heart hath not a sorrow by which He was not tried.
O, let us then be patient! be meek and murmur not,
Though clouds, and gloom, and shadow, surround our earthly lot;
And when the heart repineth, think of that Holy One,
Who meekly bore and suffered, to win for us a crown!
We know that life hath mysteries; for God hath not designed
To shed his great omniscience on the lowly, finite mind;
But when the soul is ransomed, and the fount of life unsealed,
The mind shall grasp infinity, and all shall be revealed.
Then let us place the anchor of our confi
dence and trust
On the might of the Creator, the Omnipotent and Just!
Whose will we may not question, nor the hidden motive tell,
Yet rest in the assurance that "He doeth all things well."
A DREAM OF heaven.
I SEEMED, in a dream, to be in heaven. My whole nature appeared changed; and the body, freed entirely from all the infirmities
and remains of mortality, was no longer the dark, heavy, earthy, decaying thing I had been dragging about during the years of my sojourn on earth.
thereto about it.
"In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening,
It was formed of Like an embodied joy whose race has just begun.
a material entirely new to me, something of which I had before no conception, and cannot now accurately describe. Nothing resembling it is known in this world. It was as though there should be a material combining the solidity of the matter now forming our bodies, with the purity and transparency of light, clear as that of the moon in a cloudless sky-having all the purity of the light, without anything like brilliancy or glare. It was such a substance as moonlight might be supposed to be, were it possible to solidify it to the consistency of the material now composing our bodies. Of such a substance my body now seemed, so pure, so transparent, so holy, so beautiful a beauty so rich and peculiar, I cannot express it by anything better than by saying it was solid light. And it had the airiness, the ease of movement peculiar to that subtle element. There was nothing like a sense of heaviness, or weariness, or any tendency I was capable of moving from place to place, as though my body were light itself. And this body, so peculiar in its texture and substance, seemed to react on the soul imbedded in it, with a calm, but exquisite degree of pleasure. The soul was relatively more refined, were the thing possible, than the body. Through this transparency of the body, rays or reflections of beauty, and holiness, and Divine glory floated in peacefully on the soul and excited the most deeply-pleasurable sensations possible to be conceived. The whole body seemed like an atmosphere of a new, peculiar kind, encompassing the purified and glorified soul, and poured light and blessedness in on the heart, more richly pure than the eye as it now acts in admitting light into this earthy body. The calmly bright soul and body, both thus " and brightly pure," acted and reacted on each other with a blissful harmony that gave a pleasure such as might be had, were it possible to have light, and musical harmonies, and the deepest affections of the heart, all in perfect unison like the different parts or instruments in a piece of music, and uniting in producing one exquisite tone after another of feeling in the inmost depths of the soul. My whole being seemed like an embodied joy, or sound, floating in the I am reminded by atmosphere of heaven. it of Shelley's lines on a skylark :
"Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing, still dost soar, and soaring, ever
"The pale purple even
Melts round thy flight;
Like a star of heaven
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.
"Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
In the bright dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there."
So had I seemed to rise, to spring higher and higher from earth, like a cloud of ethereal fire, and wing my way through heaven, with a heart of praise gushing forth more full, joyous, and free than the melody of this heavenward bird of songIn the silvery light giving forth praise as soaring, and soaring as pouring forth praise.
of that world, from which the sun had for
While thus standing, lingering, hovering
Him whom our souls loved so well. I could were of light; and soul seemed to be not be mistaken; it was my dear friend mingled with soul by the outgoing of these -! On earth I had promised that if I affections as intimately, and purely, and preceded her to heaven I would give her a delicately as light might float into and heart-warm welcome when she came; and mingle with light. The whole being, both instantly moving, floating sweetly and soul and body, was refined from all the gently down to the place where she was dross of earth, and sublimated into the standing on the very entrance, an illimit- ethereal purity of the third heaven; there able threshold of light, I took her by the was nothing that could by any possibility hands and said, "Welcome, welcome, welgo wrong; every pulsation was holiness; come to this eternal dwelling-place with the vital energy of my being was Jesus' Jesus, our everlasting rest! Here is Jesus; love; I felt what it was to be made partaker let me take you to Him." Her whole of the Divine nature; passion and every appearance was angel-like, pure and heavenly evil feeling had been uprooted for ever; -a realization to the mind of loveliness, nothing was left but the pure affections of such as it exists among the saints re- the heart clustering on love to God as the deemed, fit companions of Jesus, where He root; everything earthly and sensual had is in glory. I saw all that was intended by been left behind in this world of sin from the promise, "They shall walk with me in which I had emerged; and on every part of white, for they are worthy." (Rev. iii. 4.) this spiritual temple of my new being The whole expression was that of a beauty, "holiness to the Lord" was written, not by the combined elements of which are purity, letters, but in the purity and beauty of its and loveliness, and life in the highest per- form and structure; and like that holy fection. I now felt why such frequent city, of which we were now eternal inmates, reference is made in Revelation iii. 5, &c., to into the soul there could in nowise enter white raiment, the white stone, &c., in anything wrong. Hence soul went forth speaking of the saints in heaven. Her to soul most delightfully, without the least robes had been truly washed and made reserve; and love thus realized its perfecwhite in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. vii. tion and our happiness. I felt what was 9, 14.) Her whole being, countenance, meant by the Saviour's prayer, "That they hands, robes, all were changed into the all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, likeness of Jesus at the Transfiguration, and I in thee; that they also may be one in when "his face did shine as the sun, and us; that they may be one as we are one." his raiment was white as the light, exceed (John xvii. 21, 22.) It seemed as though ing white as snow, so as no fuller on earth we were one soul, just as commingled light can white them." (Matt. xvii. 2; Luke is one and inseparable; the friendship, ix. 29; Mark ix. 3.) The only difference begun on earth at the Cross and by the in her case was the absence of the lustre; Holy Spirit, had been there made perfect, it was all this without the glistening. There and it would be thenceforth as impossible she stood, a living temple, with a spiritual to separate or alienate us, as to separate light body more beautiful than a body that might that has once been blended. This, thought be formed of something combining the I, is what Jesus meant by the blessedblended beauty of the purest marble and of ness of our coming to the spirits of the just light, instinct with life in its highest love-made perfect. (Heb. xii. 23.) It reminds liness-a fitting shrine for a heart that was to stand before the throne of God, and burn there as a censer with the incense of living love to Jesus-such a heart as had received the blessing, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." She was now on the threshold of seeing God evermore; and that heart thus pure was now burning and beating in a spiritual body equally heaven-like and pure. in Milton's words, she
I could say
"Came, vested all in white, pure as her mind: Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shrined So clear as in no face with more delight."
Our meeting was one of exquisite joy, the more so on account of its very calmness. As we moved onward towards Jesus, it seemed as though the fibrous roots or tendrils of the affections of the soul were so delicate and exquisite as though they too
me of lines where, in reference to the renewal of our friendships in the coming world, occur the words :
"With them the immortal waters drink,
And soul in soul grow deathless theirs."
I felt perfectly of what amazing happiness we are susceptible, in being made capable of Christian friendship.
WHO THE MOST HEATHEN? Ir is related, that on a certain occasion an English ship of war touched at one of the ports of the Sandwich Islands, and that the captain gave a dinner to the Royal family of the island and several chiefs. The table was spread upon the quarter deck, and loaded with viands and
delicacies of all kinds. After the company were seated around it, and the covers removed, and everything apparently ready for operations to commence, the Islanders seemed in no haste to begin, but looked as though something more was expected. The captain thought the trouble was with the food, and that it was not what they liked, or that it had been prepared in a manner to which they had not been accustomed, and accordingly commenced apologizing for the fact.
He had, however, a pious waiter, who stood behind his chair, and was quick to discover where the obstacle was; whispering to the captain, he said, "These persons are waiting for a blessing to be asked." "Ask it then," said the captain. The waiter did so-reverently and gratefully imploring the Divine benediction. No sooner was this done than Queen Pomare, her family, and the chiefs showed, by the manner in which they attacked the provisions, that it was not because the dinner did not suit them, that they had previously refrained from eating, but because no one had "said grace."
The Sandwich Islanders have been heathens; some call them heathens now; but are they so much so as those in this Christian land, who have no family altars, and never invoke the blessing of heaven upon their food? Nay, will not these Islanders rise up in condemnation of many-maybe, even of some of our readers-in the day of judgment, because of their neglect of duty? It is to be feared they will.
ROWLAND HILL AND LADY ERSKINE.
A WRITER in the "Philadelphia Presbyterian" says, that the following anecdote was related to him some years ago by a clergyman in England. He does not vouch for its authenticity; but it appears to bear internal evidence of its reputed paternity :
"On one occasion the celebrated Rowland Hill was preaching in the open air in the then suburban portion of the City of London denominated Moorfields. An immense assemblage was present. His text was taken from the Song of Solomon, i. 5:—' I am black, but comely.' The text he regarded as having application to the Church, which, in the estimation of the world, was black
black as the tents of Kedar,' but, in
the estimation of her glorious Head, comely-comely as the curtains of Solomon. While discussing these themes with his accustomed earnestness, it so happened, in the providence of God, that Lady Anne Erskine, in an equipage corresponding with her high position in society, passed that way. Seeing the immense multitude, she asked one of her attendants the cause of that assemblage. She was informed that the renowned Rowland Hill was preaching to the people. Lady Anne said, she had often wished to hear that eccentric preacher, and she would avail herself of the present opportunity to gratify that cherished desire, and requested her charioteer to place her carriage as near to the preacher's stand as possible, so that she might hear every word that he uttered. Accordingly, in a few moments she found herself accommodated immediately in the rear of the temporary pulpit from which the speaker addressed the listening throng, that being the only unoccupied position within reach of his voice. The splendour of the equipage, and the sparkling appearance of the illustrious personage that occupied it, soon attracted the attention of many of the people from the sermon to the gorgeous accession which had just been made to the audience by the advent of Lady Anne. The observant eye of Rowland Hill soon detected this diversion, and his inventive mind at once suggested a hazardous but an effective remedy. Pausing in the discussion of his subject, and elevating his voice beyond its usual pitch, he exclaimed, My brethren, I am now going to hold an auction or vendue, and I bespeak your attention for a few moments. I have here a lady and her equipage to expose to public sale; but the lady is the principal, and the only object, indeed, that I wish to dispose of at this present; and there are already three earnest bidders in the field. The first is the world. Well, and what will you give for her? I
will give riches, honours, pleasure. That will not do. She is worth more than that; for she will live when the riches, honours, and pleasures of the world have passed away like a snow-wreath beneath a vernal shower. You cannot have her. The next bidder is the devil. Well, and what will you give for her? I will "give all the kingdoms of the earth, and the glory of them." That will not do; for she will continue to exist when the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them have vanished like the shadows of the
night before the orient beams! You cannot have her.
"But list! I hear the voice of another bidder; and who is that? Why, the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, what will you give for her? 'I will give grace here and glory hereafter; an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. Well! well! (said the preacher,) blessed Jesus, it is just as I expected; just the noble generosity which thou art wont to display. I will place her at your disposal. 'She is black, but comely,' and you shall be the purchaser. Let heaven and earth authenticate this transaction." And then turning to Lady Anne, who had listened to this bold and adventurous digression with the commingled emotions of wonder and alarm, the speaker, with inimitable address, exclaimed, "Madam! madam! do you object to this bargain? Remember, you are Jesus Christ's property, from this time henceforth and for evermore. Heaven and earth have attested the solemn and irreversible contract! Remember, you are the property of the Son of God. He died for your rescue and your purchase. Can you, will you, dare you object?"
ADVICE TO A YOUNG PRESBYTER.
You request some general rules for your guidance in attending upon ecclesiastical judicatories. A few are herewith furnished, very briefly expressed. For the most part be a listener, and when constrained to speak, be at once brief and pointed. Be always courteous, and, even when provocation is offered, never sneer at an opponent or endeavour to wound his feelings. Form your opinions deliberately, and maintain them with firmness and modesty. If you fall into an error, let no pitiful pride prevent you from acknowledging it when you are convinced of it. Never suffer yourself to be carried away by anger, whatever may be the provocation. An angry man may prejudice, but never benefit even a good cause. Listen patiently, even to the most rambling speakers. They may probably hit upon something which may be remembered with advantage. Never suffer yourself to be influenced unduly, by pri
The arrow thus sped at a venture, under the guidance of the Divine Spirit, found its way to the heart of Lady Anne, and she was submissively led to the cross of Messiah, that the hand which was pierced for our salvation might extract the barbed shaft, and heal the wound which had been so unexpectedly inflicted. She became subsequently identified, to a considerable extent, with Lady Hunting-vate ton in her noble deeds of charity, and, having served her day and generation, she, like her illustrious associate, sweetly fell asleep in Jesus.
1 PETER I. 18, 19.
ONCE to sin and Satan sold,
Now from bondage I'm redeemed.
No, it was the precious blood,
Shed for sinners, shed for me, Of the spotless Lamb of God,
Paid my debt and set me free, Washed my stains and cleansed my soul, Cured my wounds and made me whole.
considerations, on subjects of general interest to the Church. Never, in any way, evade your duty of giving your vote decidedly and honestly. Never play the
It is out of place; it consumes time; it answers very little good purpose. Do not attempt to force "the question," because your own mind is made up. Others are to be respectfully treated, who may be led to their conclusions by a slower process. Ever treat your brethren as brethren in the Lord; and so far from assuming the air of superiority, keep your eye on your own infirmities. If you cannot succeed in carrying a favourite measure except by artifice or trick, let it be defeated. In matters of inferior importance be complaisant and yielding; in matters involving the precious truth of God, be firm and uncompromising. Be attentive to the routine of business, that you may never be at a loss as to the precise state of