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for beaven, let your forecasting gift of the weltering waters of this lower world prophocy come into play. Fill the present the peaceful seeking dove, his meek Hope, with quiet faith, with patient waiting, with that shall come back again from its flight simple trust, with honest work, with wise with some palm-branch broken from the reading of God's lessons of nature, of pro trees of Paradise, between its bill. vidence, and of grace, all of which say to And he that has no such present, has a us—Live in the future, that the present future, dark, chaotic, heaving with its demay be bright: work in the present, that structive ocean; and over it there goes for the future inay be certain! They may well ever, black-pinioned, winging its solitary go out in expectation, sunny and unclouded, and hopeless flight, the raven of his anxious of a blessed time to come, whose hearts are thoughts, and finds no place to rest, and already “fixed, trusting in the Lord." He comes back again to the desolate ark with to whom there is a present Christ, and a its foreboding prophetic croak of evil in the present Spirit, and a present Father, and a present and evil in the future. Live in present forgiveness, and a present redemp- Christ, “the same yesterday, and to-day, tion, may well live expatiating in all the and for ever," and his presence shall make glorious distance of the unknown to come, all your past, present, and future--memory, sending out (if I may use such a figure) | enjoyment, and hope-to be bright and sending out from his placid heart over all / beautiful, because all are centred in him!
THE GREAT REVIVAL.
BY THE REV. J. P. BARNETT. Two years ago, this most extraordinary of all the phenomena of the times we live in, was looked upon by many not only with distrust, but even with deep and decided disapproval. It was felt that there was so much of human infirmity in it as to augur from it a by no means satisfactory result. Probably these views were one-sided and partial. The movement is now more matured; and many who once regarded it with “great fear and trembling," have at length learned to anticipate from it permanent as well as enlarged advantage to the kingdom of Christ.
Undoubtedly Jehovah has for some time been preparing the world for the scenes we now witness. There is always a real, though not always an obvious, sympathy between the arrangements of his providence and the purposes of his grace. He rules among the inhabitants of the earth as well as among the armies of heaven; and there is no event which he does not, in the exercise of his almighty wisdom, subordinate to the interests of the empire of his beloved Son. Thus, in relation to our present subject, note the prodigious impulse which has of late been given to the intellectual activities of men ; the wide extension of useful knowledge on every question which bears on the general welfare of the world ; the vast development of commerce, with all its uniting tendencies ; the extraordinary multiplication of the facilities of human intercourse ; the opening up of new and almost boundless territories to the energy of modern enterprise; the scattering abroad, with liberal and lavish hand, of copies of the Word of God among all human kindreds and tribes; the rise of the missionary spirit, which has sent thousands of devoted preachers of the Gospel to the heathen, and which has employed hundreds of men, equally devoted, among the neglected districts of our own land ; the throwing open of our public halls on the Sabbath-day for religious addresses to our labouring population ; the more noiseless exertions which have for their aim the spiritual improvement of the aristocracy; and, lastly, the gradual decline of sectarianism. Here is an endless variety of influence, which has been at work, more or less, during the last balf century, and which has pointed onward to, and is steadily preparing the way for, those more direct and triumphant manifestations of Divine power which shall issue in the conversion of the world.
It is from the midst of the state of things superinduced by the various movements which have been enumerated, that the great Revival of our times has sprung. The deplorable condition of myriads of our race, morally and religi. ously considered, came with alarming vividness before the minds of a few comparatively obscure men in America, to whom an unwonted measure of the Spirit of Christ had been given. Like the psalmist, they beheld the transgressors, and were grieved. Like the apostle, they felt their spirits stirred within them when they saw the people wholly given to idolatry. They were touchedoppressed--agonised-consumed—with a strange longing for the salvation of the perishing. This longing was born in the secresy of meditation and prayer. It rose within them as by the immediate inspiration of heaven. By the same holy influence it was fostered. It lived-grew-filled their souls, and drew all their ? thoughts, feelings, aims, and pursuits, into mysterious and irresistible sympathy with itself. There lay before them the spectacle of myriads living without God and without hope in the world ; swallowed up in the concerns of time and a sense ; wallowing in the coargest and most revolting sensuality ; blaspheming : their Maker with every utterance of their lips; thriving on ill-gotten gains ; led captive by the devil at his will, and pushing their way to hell! Such was the scene on which these men had learned to gaze with a strange clearness and i intensity of vision. They trembled, and wept, and groaned, in the presence of the deep gloom which overshadowed the world ; and the strong, passionate agody of longing for the salvation of the perishing, possessed and swayed their souls, as with the irresistible power of the Omnipotent!
What followed P These men were bowed down with the sense of their own impotency in the presence of the gigantic and innumerable evils which had gained so firm a footing in the world. What could they do? What could any number of mortals do? What could be done by the whole Church, in its completest union and its fullest strength? Nothing? And they sighed for new and ): yet more glorious manifestations of that Divine power which quails before no ! obstacle, and without which the world must perish. They took their longings to God; they broke forth, one here, another yonder, in passionate pleadings at the throne of grace; they “ wrestled” with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. As one by one they came to the same throne, so they gravitated, by an inevitable sympathy, towards each other; and at last we see them lifting up the strong cry of their souls together.
Was prayer like this ever in vain ? Never! These men now felt that they could pray; the very omnipotence of prayer was on them; and they prevailed. Soon "many were gathered together praying,” and marvellous were the proofs of the new power to which the spirit of prayer had risen. The glorious contagion spread. It passed from town to town, from place to place, from state to state, from nation to nation, from continent to continent. The heart of the universal Church began to feel, in almost every part of it, the pressure of the burden. America, Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales,-lonely places in the ocean,--lands far off upon the continents of the East; everywhere there arose a sublime unanimity of sentiment in relation to the one great object, and that sublime unanimity of sentiment merged into a still sublimer unanimity of prayer. Strong Christians became stronger. Feeble ones were quickened. Cold conventionalities in prayer and worship broke down before the power and majesty of the new life. Thousands of godless souls suddenly beheld the precipice on the brink of which they were standing, and cried to God for deliverance; and having obtained mercy for themselves, they swelled the voice of prayer for their godles friends and neighbours. Thus prayer became the chief element of life to multitudes ; passing with them beyond the precincts a
the temple, into their homes, their social circles, and even their places of industry
The stupendous work proceeded ; and one prominent form in which the blessing descended is seen in the new energy which was given in many places to the ministry of the Gospel. Preaching is now scarcely anywhere the cold, systematic, controversial, conventional thing it was a few years ago. To hun. dreds of men it has become, like prayer, a necessity of their spiritual nature; so that as by the one they unburden their souls before God on behalf of their fellow-men, so by the other they unburden their souls before their fellow-men on behalf of God. Many preachers are now delivering their discourses to audiences of thousands through the press, as well as to audiences of hundreds from the pulpit ; and it is gratifying to observe how full of “ Christ and him crucified” the majority of these discourscs are. Observe, moreover, the powerful stimulus which the movement has brought to the zeal of the Church, -a consequence which need not excite any surprise. Where multitudes are crying out for salvation, the work of leading them to Christ cannot be done by "ministers' alone. The appeal, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" could not, at such a time, remain long without a clear and distinct response. God's liberal answers to prayer have at once opened up wide spheres for Christian activity, and generated the spirit of evangelical self-denial by which alone those spheres can be suitably occupied.
What has been the probable numerical increase of the Church during these three Revival years? “A million and a quarter” may appear to some a startling reply to this question ; but the statistics of the case which have already been gathered, though confessedly incomplete, suggest this number as by no means an exaggeration. We have, then, not only to contemplate this vast multitude as turned from Satan to God, and blessed through God's free grace with a title to everlasting life, but also as contributing, in their own daily life and influence, to the cause of morality and religion. It is no enervating superstition beneath which they have fallen ; but a wholesome, purifying power. The tone of society in all those regions where the new spirit has been at work has sensibly improved. Many said in relation to the American Revival: “We will wait to see its effect on slavery ere we consent to regard it as a work of God.” Scarcely have three brief years elapsed, before the slave system has received a blow which is the sure premonition of its speedy downfal! May we not, moreover, fairly
anticipate from this movement a greatly increased momentum in the progress of - the Gospel ? Think of the extent to which it has augmented the force of the
Church as against the world, and lessened the force of the world as against the Church. The gain of the one is to be estimated in the light of a corresponding loss on the part of the other.
But we shall be reminded of those features of this great Revival which show that it has not been, and is not even now, free from serious imperfection. There have been in it outbursts of unhealthy and dangerous excitement, upon which all sober-minded men have looked with dismay and grief. Still, were not these lamentable scenes in some degree inevitable? Does not the genuine, in this bad world, almost invariably suggest the spurious ? Does not evil often contrive to follow in the wake of good ? Is Satan a banished foe? Is he not still permitted to seek the destruction of what he hates, and the defacement of what he cannot destroy P Besides, Christianity must deal with men as it finds them. Its first effects upon the ignorant cannot altogether resemble its first effects upon the educated. Its developments among those whose temperament is fiery must differ from its developments among those whose temperament is phlegmatic. Give it time, and it will make both the ignorant and the educated both the fiery and the phlegmatic-incomparably better men than they were before its plastic influences reached them ; but be not surprised if, in every case, there 292 Or anual life a 2 Spirit ir
should at first be some manifestations of character and of feeling very seriously inconsistent with the spirit of the Christian life as seen in its higher and purer forms.
May we not accept this Revival, with all its realised and prospective results, as a divine rebuke to the scepticism of the age ? Theodore Parker is dead; had he been living he would have probably continued to sneer at the phenomenon, which, with all his genius and learning, he was not enough of the true philoso
perilo pher to comprehend. He has left a host of disciples behind him, who share his
uption relentless animosity to evangelical religion, though they can make no pretensions
TEE SHOU to the intellectual splendour by which he was distinguished. These gentlemen lumorem have told us a thousand times that the Christianity of the orthodox churches is both false and dead. Its life was never more vigorous than it is to-day, and the beneficent changes which it is working in the condition of man over two-thirds of the globe proclaim that it is not more mighty than true. We ask the intelligent sceptics of our time to look at the present position of Christianity in the world- not through the coloured spectacles of their unbelief, which will give a laron ghastly hue to the object they gaze on wbich belongs not to the object itself, but als to solely to the medium through which it is viewed-but as rational men, bent on farm seeing things as they really are. If an unprejudiced examination of this sort Page does not bring them face to face with problems by which their scepticism shall be staggered, either there must be something fatally wrong in their mental idiosyncrasies, or human logic is "a delusion, a mockery, and a spare."
In the light of the events we have reviewed, the prevailing sentiment of Christians everywhere may surely be one of expectancy and hope. The “showers of blessing” are falling still; why should they not continue to fall P There is no need to be weary of prayer; and while prayer retains its ardour and its faith, it shall not be left without glorious witnesses to its power. There is nothing new in the instrumentalities by which this Revival has been superinduced; / 109 nerer to me they are precisely such as God has always honoured from the beginning—the fament of 1 wrestling of earnest Christians with God for man, and with man for God. Rowhom ther What more is wanted? What more is possible ? At the same time, nothing eard them in can be more important than to withdraw our confidence from all orders of stirring im instrumentality, save as they are wielded by the Omnipotent Spirit. No preaching, however popular ; no pastoral labour, however assiduous; no teach e , and shed and ing of the young, however wise ; no agency of any kind, however appropriate ; - not even prayer itself,—is to be the object upon which our faith shall terminate; for all these agencies are intrinsically and even combinedly impotent to bring single dead soul to life. Our faith must pass through all instrumentalities to Him who alone can make them mighty." It is because this old and solemn si ha truth is lost sight of, that attempts are made to “get up” Revivals, just as we get fathe up a tea-meeting or a bazaar; and it is thought that exciting prayers and peter bei terrifying sermons want nothing but a little éclat to bring crowds of people and Art under their influence, and a little perseverance to make them successful. Such 18on the measures as these, though by no means uncommon, are a contemptible mockery: man, the and can only end in evil. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, sama the Lord of hosts." Yet no lesson is forced upon us by the present Rer more irresistibly than the one which is embodied in the exhortation of 2 apostle: "Be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,
Whiist it is important that all these vast religious movements shou guided as much as possible by Christian sobriety and wisdom, it would be to repine because we cannot see Christian churches everywhere springen and leavening the districts in which they are found, in such a way as to to our own ideals. Jehovah often confounds the expectations of his own sery just as emphatically as ne rebukes the hostility of his foes. It would be we
is moment of their uti arbom they were al eard them always se
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S to Christ," it ought soleme pod holy thoughts in his e we get the grand resolve whic ors and met de his sphere in the
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as shall effectually sh este profession of piety from WE ARE DISPOSED TO SNE
PROFESSOR OF RELIGION 1939,"Let no man" do it, het et bundreds and thousands Het calmly waiting and nudity. There are st is by no means rido
us all to cultivate a greater readiness to welcome all the manifestations of the Divine Spirit, whatever may be the form in which they may be vouchsafed. It might be more pleasing to us to see the absence of spasmodic action in the advance of the Church; but, in the light of its history, regularity does not seem to be the method of its progress. It has its great epochs of prosperity through
out, epochs for which a period of apparent quiescence has always prepared. - The peril of a too fierce excitement is preferable to that stagnation which breeds
corruption and death.
Why should not every reader of this magazine be in full sympathy with the great movement we have reviewed ? Wait not until the Revival-wave rolls over the town or village in which you dwell, before you seek to have your own
spiritual life quickened ; wait not until you see the manifestations of the quickiening Spirit in the life of some Christian friend who resides near you, or with
whom you meet in the house of God. If everybody were to defer the serious work of self-examination and prayer until somebody has set the example, that work would never begin. Haste, O friend, to the throne of grace, and cry mightily for a blessing to “thy Father who seeth in secret”! For behold, “thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
YOUTHFUL PIETY SHIELDED FROM CONTEMPT.
BY TIE REV. A. M. STALKER.
“Let no man despise thy youth."-1 Tim. iv, 12. WORDS never to be forgotten! From the , They abound. Their name is legion. They first moment of their utterance the young are to be met with in all variety of circumman to whom they were addressed seems to stances, under all possible diversity of have heard them always sounding. Their phases. The uncouverted youth sometimes solemn, stirring import was ever present to enjoys teasing and jeering one who has been his view. It gave a lustre to his character his companion, his crony, for years, who through life, and shed a halo of interest | used to be as mirthful and as full of what and loveliness round his death. Though people call “mischief" as himself, but who Timothy was a young minister, it is not has now-and while he speaks there is a leer necessary for my youthful reader to be so, in the eye, a curl on the lip, and an expres. to profit by this beautiful advice. If he sive length of countenance—“ become a “belong to Christ," it ought to wake up saint.” The man in the vigour of life, who high and holy thoughts in his bosom, and has never deemed it worth his while to be induce the grand resolve which it enjoins, religious, and who considers himself far whatever be his sphere in the Church or in
too busy to begin "drawling "about it now, the world. Affectionately, therefore, we not unfrequently affects to pity the simplereiterate, on the behalf of every Christian ton, and to tell him he does “not know young man, the entreaty, “Let no man what the world is made of," else he would despise thy youth;" act in such a manner, not expose himself to the ridicule and the breathe such a spirit, and exemplify such a brunt with which it always follows “cant.” godliness, as shall effectually shield your The veteran, whose brow is furrowed youthful profession of piety from contempt. with wrinkles, and whose step is the totter
MANY ARE DISPOSED TO SNEER AT A of absolute feebleness (but who never YOUNG PROFESSOR OF RELIGIUN. When “glorified the God in whose hand his breath Paul says, “Let no man" do it, he speaks as is”), has often been heard to say to the if he saw hundreds and thousands ready to young believer, * “So you are pious, are you? do so, yet calmly waiting and watching I am an old man, but I've got on pretty their opportunity. There are still such. well, in my way. I have no sympathy with The world is by no means rid of them. ' your religious people, and certainly none
* * Wortbless old men are glad to do so."--Bengel.