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before us will furnish other illustrations of | After the Sunday-evening interview of his character similar to the foregoing. Jesus with his disciples, they met Thom has been crucified and buried. The first told him of the event. No, it would not day has passed the second has passed-the Thomas himself had not seen him, and third has arrived. On this third day, early therefore it could not be true that he had in the morning, the friends of the Crucified risen from the dead. The poor donde repair to the sepulchre to embalm his body. loved his Master too ardently to expor The sepulchre is empty, but angelic mes himself to the misery of a renewed disse sengers appear to them, saying: “Why pointment. “Except I shall see in bus seek ye the living among the dead? He is hands the print of the nails, and put up not here, but is risen." The startling in finger into the print of the nails, and thru telligence spreads among the disciples. They my hand into his side, I will not believe. are incredulous at first, and their incredu An extravagant demand, you say. 18 lity partakes very much of the feeling of | but what was the man to do ? Le argues, alarm. The day wears on. In the course not from the plain dictates of an indepen of it, Jesus shows himself to Mary Magda dent and fairly balanced judgment, but from len, to Peter, and to two of the disciples the feelings of a heart which was wrung walking along the road to Einmaus. Últi with despair. He disbelieved, not because mately, in the evening, the general body of he loved his Master too little, but because the disciples have assembled together in he did not love wisely. some secluded place, and are conversing, in The test he asked for was conceded. * wonder and astonishment, upon the topic few days elapse, and again the disciples an which fills their hearts. As they talk, Jesus assembled together. On this occasi. himself appears amongst them, salutes Thomas is among them. Has be discover, them, and shows them his hands and his through the expostulations of his friends, side. “Then were the disciples glad when
or under some direct influence from bo they saw the Lord.”
ven, that his scepticism has quite as Where was Thomas at this time? Why of wilfulness in it as of wisdom? Perlis was he not present ? We find the expla so; at any rate, he is there. Jesus agan nation--not in the circumstances of the man appears, and gives them his usual greces - but in the man himself. He did not be
What, then, it was true after all! Imagine lieve that Jesus had risen from the dead.
the sudden astonishment of the mad. And why? Because he had not seen the “ Peace be unto you!" Yes, it was th event. His mind had been so upset by the familiar voice, speaking the old catastrophe of the crucifixion, that his rea words. Enough; this was the evident
1: satisfied soning powers could not properly work. It which his heart had craved, and it satisi is true, he was assured of the resurrection him. “Reach hither thy finger, at by his fellow-disciples; but he trusted his hold (investigate) my hands; and own senses more than the senses of others; hither thy hand, and thrust it in
and what his own senses told him was side, and be not faithless : but beu
not that Jesus had risen- but only that The challenge conveyed a rebuke," he had been barbarously crucified and slain.
veyed it tenderly. 'Melting beneat If Thomas had stood at the door of the se warmth of that gentleness which pulchre at the moment when Jesus left it, his comfort and his strength a the spectacle would have been sufficient for times before, he said (no doubt with his faith. But he was not there ; he had “My Lord and my God!" In that gone away, a forlorn and disappointed man; | mation we see the deathless love and his grief wrought so morbidly in his doubter to his Lord, restored once 1 soul, that when people told him that Jesus consistency and to truth by the resu. had risen from the dead, he thought they were
of the faith which the spectacle of te the dupes of their own fancy, and would had thrown into such frightful not believe them. Nothing beyond this was ment. Jesus saith unto him, wanted to keep him aloof from the disciples thou hast seen me thou hast when they met together on the Sunday | blessed are they that have not night. Why should he go where hopes yet have believed.” would be deposited in his mind only to be Now, it is to be feared that i ruthlessly banished again? It was better the scepticism of Thomas, who to stay away, and shed his tears in secret. I right to the benefit of the excus
We trace the history of this man onward. | plead on his behalf. There are
ng hands; and reach
d!" In that exchathless love of the
ed once more to oy the resuscitation spectacle of the cross Ich frightful bewilder
thou hast believed ;
lave not seen, and
l'ed that many share mas, who have no
excuse which re are multitude
around us who are as exacting and as re- | fluence of such a faith can only ennoble - lentless in their demand for sensuous evi- you. It will lift you up to a perfect union
dence for everything connected with Chris 1 with Him who is the infinite source of all citianity, as he was for the resurrection of good. It will relieve you of the burden of
Christ; but who, because, unlike him, they your guilt, and will substitute for it the have no love to the great Author of Chris Divine peace, which passeth all understandtianity, would be far less ready than he was ing, and which keepeth the heart and the to accept such sensuous evidence if it were mind. It will nerve you for duty, and will offered them. They did not see the angels strengthen you for trial. It will make you who came down from heaven at the Sa the exultant conqueror of death, and the viour's birth; they did not hear the songs welcome guest of God in heaven. which those angels sang; they did not see How needful that Thomas's great safethe supernatural star which directed the guard be ours! That safeguard consisted
wise men from the East to the place where in the integrity and the ardour of his love - the young child was; and, therefore, the to Christ. He sometimes blundered in inwhole story is a myth. So with the Sa terpreting the lessons which his heart, so viour's miracles ; so with his resurrection right towards his Lord, suggested to him; and ascension. These are cunningly de but that heart was so thoroughly and so vised fables, which nothing but the evi- | strongly true to the Saviour in all its deeper dence of the senses could convert into solid instincts and feelings, that it was not possifact. We know these modern sceptics too ble for him to go very far astray. So long well to suppose that if they were to see as men love darkness better than light, so everything which they have not seen, many long will they find how difficult it is to of them would " believe" any the more believe the Gospel; so long as they love readily. They would still rush to the pro- light better than darkness, so long will they tection of some subterfuge, extemporised | find how easy it is to believe the Gospel. by a judgment which has become the slave In the latter case, they may stumble upon of an irreligious heart. A great many of puzzling questions now and then ; but the the class who did witness these wonders Great System itself will be simple and clear were as sceptical as themselves. “Seeing to their apprehension, and they will say, is believing, we sometimes say; but that “I am not ashamed of it, for it is the depends considerably upon the feelings of power of God unto my salvation.” the parties. Blessed, however, are they We may, however, learn a wise and who have not seen, and yet have believed; beautiful lesson of charity towards those for they have given their homage to truths whose faith is struggling, not against the of the sublimest import to man, which con insinuations of a heart that is radically hosfessedly transcend the senses, but which tile to the truth, but against the blunderthe judgment and the heart may righteously ings of a judgment which, from causes combine to grasp, nevertheless. You think which lie more or less beyond their control, it unreasonable that you should be required has fallen into temporary distraction. These to believe without seeing; forgetting that disciples did not rudely disown their erring there are other tests to which truth and brother, as though he were a monster of act can be brought, quite as reliable ag impiety, because he could not all at once hose which the senses supply. If you endorse facts and truths which were so hoose, you may know incomparably more plain to themselves. He denied that Jesus bout Jesus Christ, though you have not had risen from the dead; and the apostle een him, than many of those who saw him Paul reasons to the conclusion that such iften. You can read about him. You denial is fatal to all faith in Christianity. an follow his beautiful, blessed, wondrous Why was not the sceptic excommunicated fe. You can be informed of what he said as an apostate? In refusing, moreover, to nd did. You can trace him up to Cal- believe that Jesus had risen, he cast disary, and onward to his Father's right | honour upon his brethren, who had a right and in heaven. You can learn why he to claim his faith upon the basis of their affered, and why he rose. Say not, “Ex: own testimony. Why did they not cast ept I see, I will not believe.” Think what | him out?-May there not be an honest ugmented evidence is given you; all possi- | doubter to-day as well as 1,800 years ago ? le evidence, indeed, save that of eyesight. And are all honest doubters to-day favoured 'es, 6 blessed are they that have not seen, with a tender and considerate treatment at nd yet have believed." Reader, the in. I the hands of Christians similar to that which Thomas enjoyed ? Have not the arise : and so much the more as we see it Pharisaic frowns of some who believe confirmed by the Redeemer himself when driven some who have found it difficult to he said to the trembling doubter, " Reach believe away into the gloom of a settled in- | hither thy finger, and behold my hands ; fidelity ? This example of the “ charity" and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it which“ beareth all things, believeth all | into my side : and be not faithless, but things, hopeth all things, endureth all believing." things,” is an eminently beautiful one. Let
Birmingham. us follow it as often as the occasion may
BY MRS. H. B. STOWE.
THE “ prayers of saints”-ah yes, indeed,
I well believe they pray,
About our earthly way.
The saints-have we not known them here
In days of earthly care,
In labour, love, and prayer?
Like morning stars at dawn,
To hail the eternal morn?
That once of old was theirs,
To aid us in our prayers ?
Falls softly from the skies,
Once hallowed by their eyes.
To us are more divine
Brought from the holiest shrine.
The ring, the flower, the gem,
And bid us follow them.
And zeal that never faints,
These relics of our saints.
Tales and Sketches.
through his sluggish veins, and filled them "HOLD THEM LOOSELY,
nigh to bursting. BROTHER."
He came the boy of his love-of his
care--a man yet young, though bearing the So said an old man of fourscore years, scars of the worldly struggle ;-he came, a as he walked over the possessions of a rich, rich man-ready to repay fourfold, as far and younger brother. The walls of that as worldly goods could do so, the sacrifices great house were hung with gilded paper, | of his aged brother. and everywhere the decorations of gold and He built himself a magnificent house, to silver made the house seem like a palace. gratify his fancy. The rooms were spaThe old man bad moved long in silence cious, the halls wide and of noble propornow pausing before mirrors, now before tions, the furniture sumptuous; and for paintings rare and rich his old-fashioned the first time he was taking the old man, shoes sinking uneasily into the velvet car his brother, from place to place, that he pets—but at last he turned round with might admire and be pleased with him. At his placid face all a glow, as he whispered last they came to one apartment, before with a tender manner, “Hold them loosely, which the younger brother paused, turned brother-hold them loosely."
as if he would speak, but restraining him. The old man's words were full of wis. self, cautiously opened the door, and dom : in the light of eternity were they watched the old man as he entered. It was spoken-for he had seen the utter vanity fitted with plain old-fashioned furniture of earth, and the things thereof. He had there was no carpet on the floor-there been poor-reared in poverty-nurtured were rude beams overhead. Six straightin poverty, continued in poverty-with a backed, antique chairs, stood against the heart as large as the world, yet lacking the wall, together with a table of venerable oak. means to scatter blessings as he would, be An old-fashioned beaufet was set in one cause of his dearth of gold. His little bro corner; a sampler, very much faded, and ther had in early years been a child to him. enclosed in a black frame, hung between Most earnestly did he labour that the the windows; and an arm-chair, whose age orphan might know no want; many a was over a hundred years, occupied a nook meal he denied himself that the motherless by the fireplace. The old man stood in boy might not get hungry; and it almost silence, for a moment, then reverently took broke his heart, when, as he approached off his' hat. His thin lips were quivering, the pale of manhood, the boy wandered large tears stood in his dim blue eyes, from his sheltering care, and went away to which ever and anon he shut, as if masterdistant lands.
ing some emotion. Then he went forward, Many years passed, and misfortunes and resting his clasped hands upon the old crowded upon the elder brother. Wife and chair-back, he murmured, “My mother !" children died and left him a weary but and there came up a sob from the depths patient pilgrim to travel on alone. There of his aged heart; his head fell upon his came no tidings of his charge. “Alas!" hands, and he wept like a child. said he, “Robert has forgotten God and It was very touching to see the few gray me," and he prayed for him daily. On, hairs flutter on his temples—and still more, still on, travelled time; robbing him of as the hale and vigorous brother folded his manly strength, and manly graces; dim arms about that bowed-down form, murming his sight and laying the silver tints muring, “I must take care of you now. upon his brown hair: and when he was This is your room. Many miles have I getting ready to depart, there came to him travelled to gather together the scattered news of Robert's return. O! how that furniture that was so dear to us in our old heart, laden with fourscore years-seared homestead. Strangers have sat here often with the sorrows of a poor pilgrim's fate since she died, but nevertheless it is and saddened by a sense of neglect and de mother's chair. Welcome home, my solation, leaped again! It seemed as if the | brother!" vigour of his youth flowed like molten fire! It is long since the old man went to his
better rest, but his words still sound in our | troubled him on the Sabbath. He actuaus ears, “Hold them loosely, brother;" and I could not worship without distraction, do we have been tempted, how often, to ex hear the sermon without thinking of waar claim, when beholding those to whom God Christians were " coming to" in this day or has given great gifts or lovely possessions, worldliness and degeneracr. It came at last “ Hold them loosely, brother!"
to be such a burden, that he felt it to be You who have wealth-who never knew his duty to wait on his minister, and request the canker that eats up the very heart when | him to reprove the people from the pulpit, the body is overtasked, and yet the hard The pastor was a man of good judgmen! wearing and labour brings not even food, and sound piety, and with a little touch enough for the hungry little children-hold the humorous in him. He welcomed ! that wealth loosely. It is not yours. A deacon, as usual, very cordially, and breath may dissolve it: the snapping of l quired what good word of encouragement one slender cord may send you to the sha | he had to offer to his minister? dows that lie over the graveyard. It is The deacon shook his head, and drew a God's wealth-hold it with open fingers ; deep sigh. scatter it as you go, and make many a heart “What can be the matter? Has any. sing for joy. Don't grasp it so eagerly ; thing adverse happened ?". it is treacherous ; it will mock you at the Then did the good man open his message last ; it will not go one step beyond this and deliver his burden, saying that world with you; nay, it will even lavish vagance in dress had risen to that pitch blessings and caresses on those who have could stand it no longer, and he feared t made your path thorny with curses; it will the good cause would die under it. stand in its real form at the bar of judg.
came to see what could be done to check.ly ment, and sneer at you for the love you and whether it would not be expedient bore it. “Hold it loosely," and you shall the minister to preach and administer meet your Creator with a smile; make it
necessary reproof. Pride, he said, would your God, and in that day, the true, great, be their ruin, unless something was speeally and terrible Deity will not know you! done. Mother, with your blooming children,
The minister, not being aware that any “hold them loosely :"--great man, with
such reproofs were needed, was rather sur your gifts and your honours, “ hold them
prised at the request. In fact, he had been loosely:"_but oh! cling to the religion of
pleased to observe that the taste of the Jesus Christ-fight for it---if needs must
people was improving, and that the congrebe, die for it--but fame, riches, worldly
gation was putting on a more attractive as* goods and high places-—“hold them loosely,
pect. He could not sympathise at all wito brother!"
the deacon, nor did he believe in present necessity for public censure.
“In what respects.” he inquired, "are THE SUPERVISORY DEACON.
the people at fault ? 'Wherein does their In a certain town in New Jersey-not a
extravagance in dress appear ????
“Oh! in everything. City tas hundred miles from the metropolis of fashion-there lived a very worthy and
coming to prevail in every kind of garma
that is worn. The young men, especie pious man, and a deacon of the church. He
are becoming proud and dainty in their apa took a general supervision of the morals and
parel." manners of the congregation, and was ready
"Well, what is to be done ?" inquired to check and reprove anything which seemed to him inconsistent with true piety.
the minister. "If I preach on extravagance It so happened that under the ordinary course of worldly prosperity the members, To do this I must necessarily and especially the younger ones, began to indulge somewhat more than usual in a
kind of costume, in texture, shape, taste for dress. Intercourse with the city had wrought a considerable change in the
of the congregation. I must, e style of things among most of them. But
yourself or from some ! the good man alluded to kept his ground. Not only so, his spirit was chafed and
this matter. Come, now, pained at the incoming extravagance,
views.” So, taking pen mice. It
posed to put down, first the ou
in general, it will have no effect. I mus tate in what particulars this evil prevails:
2st necessarily show wlist
Tashion, should be worn by the young
regation, I must, either from 1. Or from some other, obtain the
requisite pattern of Christian sobre
Come, now, let me take your aking pen in hand, he pre
", tirst the objectionable