Page images

74,75). “Perfect love” has "cast out fear” (1 John iv. 18). “The mount that may be touched, that burns with fire, and blackness, and darkness, and a tempest ” (Heb. xii. 18), is now far behind him in the desert, and “Mount Sion” is full in view. The righteousness of Jesus is now his dress, and glitters in his eyes with ten thousand lovely charms. The blood of Jesus is exceedingly dear. Christ is the “Chiefest among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely.” Fair are his prospects, great his possessions, rich his inheritance, and clear his title; and now he can indeed say that the wilderness and the solitary place is glad; the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose. The lame man now leaps as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb man sings; for in the wilderness waters have broken out, and streams in the desert (Isa. Xxxv, 1,6). This mighty and happy revolution makes his old title obsolete, for he is now " no more a stranger and a foreigner, but a fellow citizen with the saints, and of the household of God; and is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Corner-stone” (Eph. ii. 19, 20). He now not merely prays “ towardJesus, the Temple of the Lord, but he prays" in this house," and there, “in the secret place of the Most High, he dwells and abides under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psa. xc. 1); and is there

“No more a stranger, or a guest,

But like a child at home.” And well is he taught to know that to God belongs all the praise of the great things that are done for his soul; and, indeed, all is to be traced to the dateless love of the Father toward him, the precious work of Jesus for him, and to the mighty power of the Holy Ghost in him ; and it, therefore, well becomes him, and is every way congenial with his feelings, to "give thanks unto the Lord, whose mercy endureth for over” (Psa. cxxxvi.); and well can he respond to the Psalmist's exhortation, “O come, let us sing unto the Lord : let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. O como, let us worship and bow down : let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand” (Psa. xcv.); and happily can be join the blessed song, “The Lord liveth; and blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psa. xviii. 46).

But, although all the Lord's people in this life know something of this sweet change—the oil of joy given for mourning (Isa.lxi.3) -yet a complete and full donation of the stranger's requests is reserved for another and a better life. There the stranger will indeed be satisfied. There every power of his soul, unembarrassed by sin and the mortal tabernacle—and at the resurrection, his body, too, immortal and spiritual-shall find endless employ to contemplate and gaze upon, adore and feast upon, Jesus, the true Temple and eternal All of the chosen.

Now, my hearers, in conclusion, permit me to remind you that you are either in a state of entire strangership, or in a state of sensible strangership. In other words, you are either dead in sin, or quickened to feel the burden of sin, coming to Christ for the pardon of sin, or have found rest in Christ, the Saviour from sin. Examine yourselves with that carefulness, and conclude with that conscientiousness, that becomes you upon so momentous a subject, remembering, if you are in the former of these states, you are journeying to an endless hell; if in the second, the Gospel calls you to Jesus, and points you for help to the " Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world”; if in the third state (coming to Jesus), the Gospel promises and God's oath, with Jesus' intercession, are on your side. But, if you are resting on and believing in Jesus, all the blessings, promises, ordinances, precepts, and cautions of the Gospel are your's, with heaven at the end of your race. Indeed, "all things are your's, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's; and ye are Christ's ; and Christ is God's.” (1 Cor. iii. 21-23).

“ HOW DID YOU LIKE THE SERMON ?" LET us, if only for the sake of variety, change this trite commentary on our Sunday engagements. How did you enjoy the prayers ? How did the reading of God's Word affect you ? How much reality did you feel in confessing your sins? How many of your sick, weary, sorrowful, and sinful friends did you remember on your knees? How much did your thoughts go with the hymns you sang ? How much did you pray that the servant of God might be blessed in His Word, and that your own soul might be humbled and assured in the love of Christ ? And how far has the prayer been answered? “Oh," but you say, " these are really private questions !” Then put them to yourself, dear friend.

EVERY man blameth the devil for his sins; but the great deyil, the house-devil of every man, that eateth and lieth in every man's bosom, that idol that killeth all, is himself. Oh, blessed are they that can deny themselves, and put Christ in the room of themselves ! Rutherford.


The 56

ZACCHÆUS. ZACCHÆUS was a little man, but he could, and did, climb into a tree " to see Jesus.” Thus Immanuel and the sinner, loved from everlasting to everlasting, were now to meet in God's appointed way and means. set time” to favour an heir of Zion had come. He who had seen Nathanael “under the fig tree,” knew all about the poor sinner who “sought to see Jesus, and could not.” How like the case of many a poor mourner now who seeks to see Jesus, but whose desire is not yet granted ! But, in this case, the set time being come, the dear Redeemer seemed to have (for the time) no eyes for any that pressed around Him, having fixed His whole attention on the loved one in the tree who wanted to see Him. The word of the King of kings was about to be spoken with power to a poor, sinful man. “Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house." It was as if the loving heart of the blessed Redeemer yearned over him who was “ordained to eternal life,'' to bless him, and to reveal to him his interest in His great salvation. “Make haste, Zacchæus! Don't delay to come down!" and it is said he “made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully.” And so it is now. If the Lord graciously deigns to bid a poor

sinner "make haste to seek Him, that sinner will need no coaxing to "come to Jesus," being "made willing" in the day of God's power; and, if my dear reader is of little stature (spiritually) in his own eyes, and has been brought by divine teaching to feel and to know that

6 None but Jesus

Can do helpless sinners good," why, then, He has in substance said to you, “Make haste, and come down !” and, sooner or later, you will sup with Him here, and be ultimately brought to one of the “ many mansions in the “Father's house," all of which favours are the effect of being “loved with a dateless love."

D. F.

“ One view of Him that bled and died

Is better far than all beside.”—Daniel Herbert.

A CORRUPT heart is like an ants' nest, on which, while the stone lieth, none of them appear; but take off the stone, and stir them up but with the point of a straw, and you will see what a swarm is there, and how lively they be. Just such a sight would thy heart afford thee, did the Lord but withdraw the restraint He has laid upon it, and suffer Satan to stir it up by temptation.. any."

says her

THE following narrative is a further relation of the goodness of
God to the poor woman for whom He so graciously provided the


her baker's bill.* It was very near Christmas Day, when, one evening, the children who had been playing with their little associates came in, and with very gloomy countenances surrounded their mother. One of them sorrowfully looked up at her and said, “Mother, I don't think that your Jesus Christ is so good as you say, for there is Henry says he is going to have such a nice plumpudding, and beef too, mother; and you know we shan't have .

“Yes," said another little one, “and Sally mother has got such a bouncing leg of mutton." The poor woman, who found this appeal from her dear children almost too keen to allow her to speak for a time, presently said, “Oh, my dears, what are you saying? You know I generally get you nice bread and butter, and now and then a rice pudding. You should not be discontented. Remember, my dears, how God sent His judgments among the children of Israel in the wilderness for murmuring against Him."

Not long after this, a knock was heard at the door, and when it was opened, a person inquired for Mrs. — The poor woman told him that was her name, when the person said he was directed to leave a hamper which he had with him, but did not say, nor did she know, from whom it came. Upon examination, it was found to contain a quantity of vegetables and a fine leg of mutton. She immediately called her children around the hamper, and reminded them of their recent discontent, when one immediately exclaimed, “Oh, mother, pray to God for us, that His judgments may not come upon us for murmuring!” “Oh,” said another, "what a bouncing leg of mutton, ain't it, mother ?”

She doubtless did not fail to take advantage of this remarkable providence to impress upon their minds that her Jesus was as good—nay, infinitely better—than she had ever been able to describe Him. Yes, and that precious Saviour says still to all His needy family, “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.”

After a considerable lapse of time, a relation died, leaving her property yielding her a sufficient income to live upon comfortably, when her own brother disputed her title to it, and it was thrown into Chancery. Here was another trial for faith. Her brother, being in easy circumstances, could employ counsel, and obtain every necessary assistance, while she was almost penniless. Ah!


. See the Sower for February, page 42.

but she had a powerful and never failing Advocate in heaven. It was Jesus to whom she betook herself. Oh, what has that cry of necessity done? Has it not moved the Great Omnipotent Himself to rise from His throne, and, as it were, hush for a time the harps of glory while He made bare His mighty arm on behalf of His suffering people? See it in the case of the suffering sons of Jacob, detained in cruel bondage by their oppressors. Hear the great Jehovah exclaim, “Surely I have seen the affliction of My people, which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry, by reason of their task-masters; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.”

It was at the time that the case remained undecided that her heartless husband, of whom she had heard nothing for years, came home, having ascertained that some property had been left to his wife. Here, then, was a sore trial. A new scene of discomfiture indeed had opened to her view, as he was the same abandoned character still; yet she was constant in prayer to God, and sought His direction and protection; and, as she could not think of living with her husband, she eventually offered to allow him a certain sum if the cause was decided in her favour, which he refused, saying, “No; I shall do as I please with it.” However, in a short time, the judge, contrary to all expectation, decided the case by saying, “ The property evidently belongs to Mrs. and she shall have it;" and, almost at the same time, before she had realized any income from the property, the Lord removed her husband suddenly by death. Here, then, was a complete deliverance, and this person was favoured to live in peace and comfort, as a monument of the goodness and constant care which an unchanging God exercises towards His believing and redeemed family.

Oh, my soul, art thou not able, while ruminating on this account, so glorifying to thy God, to bring to remembrance a long train of deliverances which thou hast already experienced? And canst thou ever doubt thy God again, when He has so often said to thee by those providences, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"? Wilt thou in future complain at every renewed trial of thy faith, instead of adoring in gratitude the boundless compassion of thy heavenly Father, and confiding in His untiring watchfulness and care, as manifested towards thee ?

Oh, how often hast thou,i n answer to the enquiries of kind friends as to thy welfare, been full of words expressive of thy physical and mental suffering, and not one word of thankfulness and praise to thine almighty Friend has escaped thy lips ; and how frequently have the effusions of thy friends' hearts, warm with the love of God, been chilled with a long catalogue of thy complaints, as if none were tried like thee; whereas a kindred feeling in thy


« PreviousContinue »