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the body of the Lord from the cross to the are willing to give up earthly joys, if only tomb. They knew the place where he was so we can gain the more abiding joys of laid. They knew, therefore, that Nicodemus heaven. All that may be very prudent, had “ brought a mixture of myrrh and but it is not unselfish. All that is mere aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.” | barter, not sacrifice. These prudential They were, probably, among those who reasons, indeed, may bring us to Christ; “ took the body of Jesus, and wound it in it is well if they do ; to this end they are linen clothes with the spices, as the manner at times appealed to by Scripture itself, of the Jews is to bury." All this had | But when we have come to bim, when we transpired on Passover eve. What is it have marked his Divine unselfishness, and then that brings them on the first day of begin to know the value of his sacrifice, it the week, through the early twilight, to the | is ill with us if we do not catch somewhat garden tomb? They have come to anoint, of his spirit. It is ill with us, and not well to embalm him. They have come to repeat if our love to him does not at times lift what has already been done, but done hur us above the love of self, does not constrain riedly, perhaps, and in some confusion. us to sacrifice, and to find in sacrifice a They are not content to use what the deep and solemn joy. It is ill with us and rich Nicodemus has provided. They must not well, if we are not prepared, like him, to have “sweet spices” of their own. Nay, lose our life that we may find it; if we are as the Evangelist, lovingly dwelling on the not prepared, like these holy women, to do record of their love, has been careful to more than mere law demands or mere pri. note, they have “bought” them. They dence prompts—if we, too, are not impelled have bought spices, albeit there are already to buy the sweet spices and give ourselves enough and to spare in the sepulchre. Do to the service of Christ's body — the you ask, “ To what purpose was this church. waste?" Brethren, it was the wastry of 4. Love, even the deepest and strongest, i love. Mary must break her coetly vase, as under law to God. well as pour out her precious ointment. These women, impelled by love, transAnd these other Marys and Salome must | cended human laws, but they fulfilled the “buy” their spices, as well as embalm their Divine law. On the evening of the crufriend. Love, deep and devoted as theirs, cifixion, “the women also followed after, yearns for sacrifice-will make sacrifices and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body finds its only consolation and joy in making was laid. And they returned and prepared them. Yes; it was a waste; but a waste spices and ointments; and rested the which I pray God we may all have grace seventh day according to the commandto imitate. True love does not, cannot, ment." They rested on the seventh day; should not, always take counsel of pru | but “very early in the morning of the dence. There is a higher wisdom than the first day of the week they came to the prudential one-a wisdom which upholds sepulchre.” As soon as the Sabbath the sacredness of love and the beauty of was over, but not till it was over, they self-sacrifice. It was something more and follow the promptings of their love, more divine than prudential considerations and come to the garden grave. Through which brought Jesus to the cross and the the Sabbath they rest according to the sepulchre. These poor women in their commandment. Here is the true love, the wasto, a waste prompted by love and Divine love, love moving within the circle sorrow, did but imitate Him to whom they of the law. They do not make their sor ministered : even they were but following row an excuse for disobedience. They do him afar off.
not, because they have lost much, throw And our love, if it is to be worthy of its | up all. Christ, who was greater than the name and origin, must include unselfishness, | temple, is gone; but the temple still stands. must rise to self-sacrifice. It does not become Their hearts are set on a labour of lore; us who follow him, and follow with these but rest and worship are the work appointed holy women, to be ever asking, “What for the Sabbath. It is very hard to have shall we have therefore ?" It does not lost Him who to them was wisest, holiest, become us to follow him and with them on best; the dearest and Divinest friend they purely economic motives,—because we fear
ever had. It is very hard to wait and rest the eternal burning; because we are willing | when they would so fain be at work for to give up the things that perish for the | him. But there is a law, a Sabbath Is. things that know no change ; because we | He used to keep it ; 80 will they. Tok?
wait and worship--resting according to the gratify myself? but How may I best glorify commandment.
God and serve man? It finds its highest Very striking this, and not less instruc expression in loving God with all the heart tive; teaching us that love, whether in and its neighbour as itself; and this, the God or man, is not a lawless thing—that it highest love, is also the whole law,-its sumis the fulfilling of the law. God's love is | mation and its consummation. Love, therenot aimed and impelled by caprice; it acts fore, so far from being, as some have supin harmony with law; it fulfils all the | posed, the most lawless of things, is of all righteousnesses of law ; nay, it is itself the things the most lawful and law-fulfilling.
law. And our love does not, or should not, It was well for these poor women that - run wild, overleaping all bounds, taking no l they kept the commandinent. Had they
thought, acknowledging no restriction. It broken it, not resting on the Sabbath, but
is “the end of the commandment,” “the coming to the tomb, they would have found - fulfilling of the law.” The true love does | a dead body; keeping it, and coming after not ask, How may I best display myself or the Sabbath, they found a living Lord.
(To be continued.)
SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATED, AND NOT SERMONISED.
BY THE REV. C. ELVEN. "Behold, I have chosen thee in the furnace of all:ction.”—Isai ih xlviii. 10. GENTLE READER! Don't lay THE CHURCI aside when you turn to this article, and say, because it is headed with a passage of Scripture, “Oh, it is only an old sermon new-vamped ;" for you may be assured, when the writer has nothing better to communicate than one of his own sermons, he will never occupy the pages which ought to be filled with more interesting matter.
It is a true narrative which is here put upon record as a remarkable illustration of this portion of Holy Writ.
The tale is of “ Poor MARIA BLOWERS ;"_poor only with regard to temporal condition, for she was “rich in faith," and an heir of the kingdom of heaven; her long and almost unparalleled afflictions having proved to her a mine of spiritual wealth, in which, through grace, she found the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
In the school of deepest adversity and suffering, she was made “wise unto salvation,” and it was most blessed to hear from her own testimony, as the : writer heard it, how the Lord had given her light out of darkness, strength out
of weakness, pleasure out of pain, healing out of wounds, joy out of sorrow, health out of sickness, and, at length, life out of death. For all this she happily realised, and now is gone up out of “great tribulation" to sing in notes of grateful joy-
“He hath done all things well.” The writer first saw her in April, 1850 (when on a tour for the Baptist Foreign Mission, with dear Eustace Carey for his companion), and it was during å brief sojourn at Braintree, in Essex, he was requested to visit the subject of this narrative, who was an inmate of the sick-ward of the Poor Union-house in that place, when he witnessed, in the person of this dear child of God, the most affecting and complicated case of bodily suffering he had ever beheld. From her own meek recital it was ascertained that she had been in the furnace for more than twenty years.
Her affliction commenced when at service, with a pain and swelling of the knee, for which she was subjected to a great variety of medical treatment, and after “suffering many things of many physicians," submitted to amputation of the limb, as the only means of protracting her life. Soon after this, howerer, the other knee became similarly diseased, there being doubtless a constitutional scrofulous taint. But the surgeons, after consultation, deciding that she could not survive the shock of another amputation, it continued through life a diseased, useless, and painful member.
To this succeeded total blindness,-then universal palsy,—80 that, to we her own expression, when a fly alighted on her face, she could not move a finger to put it off. To this succeeded locked jaw, the upper and lower teeth being so closely fixed, that it was only by extracting some of them a quill could be inserted, through which she could only suck small quantities of liquids and pulpy food. Nor was this all, for she was frequently the subject of epileptic fits, which convulsed and agitated her poor mutilated frame to its very extremity. Ol, how fearful to witness ! but what must it have been for the poor sufferer to eature? And thus, year after year, she remained in almost a sitting posture, neither night nor day being able to rest by a more reclining position. Yet ok, marvel. lous to tell, in that deep vale of poverty, in that fiery furnace of affliction, vas an object of the Father's eternal love, of the Son's costly redemption, and of the Spirit's divine workmanship, being “meetened to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light." Every member of the body distorted and agonised, yet all her mental faculties clear and undisturbed. Her natural vision shut out from the light of day, but her soul rejoicing in the beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The eye of the body unable to see the face of an earthly friend, but the eye of faith rejoicing to view a crucified Saviour, in the contemplation of whose sufferings she would say,
“Did Christ my Lord suffer, and shall I repine ?
His way was much rougher and darker than mine." Her own account of her conversion, or, as she would say, of the dravings of everlasting love, she gave with “meekness and fear.”
Before her affliction she had no care or thought about her soul; a regard for outward morality was all she deemed needful; and it was not till that stage of her affliction when she became blind that the eyes of her mind were gradaelly opened by the Holy Spirit to convince her that her own “ righteousnesses were as filthy rags." And this was effected solely by Divine teaching, without any human agency. At that time no one about her, nor any visitors, were capable of setting before her the Scriptural way of salvation. But meditating on her present state and future prospects for eternity, she became first sensible, she said, that she had heart-sins, which she had never discovered before. She had in her childhood heard the Ten Commandments read at church, and now they stood before her as in letters of fire, which made her feel she was exposed to the con demnation of that law. Then deeper and deeper was she silently and sol tarily led to discover her danger as a sinner, and her need of a Saviour; and such was her distress, she told us, that for a long time she had no rest day nor night, her constant cry being, “ What must I do to be saved?” But there were none about her at that time that understood her case; they could only deab the shattered and tottering wall with untempered mortar. If they spoke of her good character, or her patient suffering, what they intended for a soothing plseter was a burning blister ; their sweetest cordials were but bitter dranguts. “ Miserable comforters were they all." Still the Spirit was leading ker into the " chamber of imagery," so that for a time she despaired of salvation Long had she “ sown in tears," but at length the harvest came for her to “rap in joy.” He who wounded was now pleased to heal. Her deliverance came in a remarkable dream or vision of the night; and it was on this wise. She thought she was standing on the bank of a beautiful, soft-flowing river, and though ready to die with thirst, she dared not drink of it, till a glorious person
appeared, whom she immediately knew as the Lord Jesus Christ, for in his hands, and feet, and side, he bore the cruel scars; when, with a heavenly smile on his once thorn-crowned brow, and with a clear and gentle voice, he assured
er the river flowed for her, and wished her to drink of it freely. She then awoke, and the long-borne, heavy burden of her guilt was removed.
That it pleased the Holy Spirit thus to take of the things of Christ, and show co this bruised reed, there can be no doubt, as the impression was not transient nor its effects dubious, inasmuch as years before the writer had this blessed interview she had given the most unequivocal and uniform evidence of a saving conversion to God. Those about her could but observe the change which Divine grace had made.
After this some Christian friends becoming acquainted with the case, freuently visited her, and many were refreshed by their converse with this poor, ame, diseased, paralysed, blind, and epileptic child of God. She was exceed. ngly thankful that the faculty of hearing was continued to her, so that she ould listen to the reading of the word of God, the voice of prayer and praise, nd Christian conversation. Her articulation, however, was exceedingly diffiult; but it was worth all the patience and attention it required to listen to her zale of sovereign mercy, and catch her expressions of love to the Saviour.
She was continually, she said, in a waiting posture, expecting every return of zer epileptic fits would dismiss her from ber suffering body; and she prayerfully Hesired, if it were the Lord's will, that every returning paroxysm would be the aast. Yet she was enabled meekly to bear it all, and express her thankfulness or what she deemed her “many mercies.”
In this patient suffering she continued till the 26th of December, 1851, when er raneomed spirit received its long-wished-for discharge, and was doubtless orne by angelic bands from that Union-house to her mansion in the skies, where the inhabitants will no more say they are sick.” The last stage of her weariome pilgrimage was painful in the extreme; yet she uniformly expressed herelf satisfied with the dealings of her covenant God, frequently contrasting her wn sufferings with those of her dear Redeemer.
Her last words were, " What should I do without Christ as a friend now ? ” nd having feebly and with quivering lips uttered these words, she fell asleep in esus, and entered into the joy of her Lord.
This authentic relation may probably fall into the hands of some aílicted eader, or be conveyed into the chamber of affliction by some Christian friend. und has it not a voice? Does it not speak to the unconverted sufferer? Thou 10 art in the furnace, but how wilt thou come out of it? Is thine affliction anctifed ? Here is a remarkable case of sanctified affliction. But be affectiontely reminded, that as the same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay, so nsanctified affliction will only, as in the case of Pharaoh, harden your heart ll, as if in armour of triple steel, you would render yourself impervious alike
the warnings of judgment or the allurements of mercy. God is speaking to on in your affliction. It is his messenger, and perhaps the last he may send ou. Sermons you have heard, but you have disregarded them. Impressions nd convictions you have felt, but you have stifled them. It may be, God is aying to you as to some of old, “I will go and return to my place till they cknowledge their offence, and seek my face. In their affliction they will seek le eazły ” (Hosea v. 5). O that you may now, like the Prodigal when ready to erish, arise and say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, nd I are no more worthy to be called thy son”; and be assured the arms of nercy are open to receive you, “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away he sins of the world"!
Christian! Child of God! Art thou in the furnace? Here is an example of anctified affliction, of patient suffering. To her the promises were all-sustaining; and the emanations of joy and gladness whieh have flowed from them to the saints in all ages is no more diminished by their use than is the light of the sun wasted or dimmed by the benefit his cheering beams have imparted to generations past. Yet as physical suffering has sometimes the tendency of depressing the animal spirits and shattering the nerves, and Satan if permitted will take occasion thereby to harass and worry when he cannot devour, be assured, dear suffering brother or sister, He who in his love and mercy has afflicted you will not leave you to perish. Though you be in the valley of Achor, there shall be a door of hope for your deliverance. Though you be in a barren wilderness, you shall not want either the heavenly manna or the gushing stream from the rock. To the child of God there can be no sickness without a cordial-no cloud without a rainbow-no sorrow, no suffering here, but shall end in a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory hereafter."
But the young, the vigorous, and the healthy Christian will peruse this narrative. To you it has a voice! O hear it!“ Work while it is day, for the night cometh in which no man can work." See that you plant not thorns in your sick couch and dying pillow by your indolence in health. Work for souls! Work for Christ! Work for his cause and say
" Is there a nerve about my heart,
That shall refuse to bear its part
Bury St. Edmunds.
CHRIST'S PRESENCE THE ANTIDOTE FOR SORROW,
BY THE REV. J. W. LANCE.
“ Abide with us.”—Luke xxiv. 29. “ WHILE they communed together and him, and clung to him as the gr reasoned, Jesus himself drew near.” And
forter, the life and strength of their sous. is it not ever so in the experience of the
Like the burning bush, their hearts were anxious, earnest heart? While bitterness
“afire with God." and they felt instineand strife of words repel the holy and di- tively that they were standing up vine, the communing and the reasonings of ground. It is a gladsom truth-loving souls will form a sphere within though it be but blindly, the pl which the hallowed presence freely enters. the Christ; and soon, perhaps; All honest talk about Jesus must centre in common household blessing, shal him as the heart's final rest. Not so much, revealed! indeed, by our finding him as by his find Let us look at these men, who ing us; for often while our eyes are still were smarting with the soreness holden, in part at least, with gentle inter
sorrow, and find in their “ Abude " ruption and with loving question will he | a witness for the healing po join us, patiently seeking out the manner of Lord. The best and truest I our communications and the motives of our they had ever known had been sadness. At his words the genial glow them by a cruel and most shami stealing over the heart lights up into the Sorrow for his sufferings, sorro prayer, “ Abide with us." But as for these loss, mingled in the sadness o disciples, they knew him not as the Christ, I Could any “stranger" but the though craving earnestly his presence; | Christ have been a welcome gues knew him not, that is to say, after the l time? In the uniformity of flesh; but by a divine intuition they knew holidays, we may accept the
& gladsome thing to feel ondly, the presence of
lese men, whose hearts
the soreness of their
ealing power of the nd truest friend that
had been torn from most shameful death.
ings, sorrow for their e sadness of their souls.
but the "stranger" elcome guest at such a rinity of life, or in its opt the courtesies and