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So good, boundlessly good; and this goodness leads us to repent, reproach ourselves, and embrace Him.
Again, do we not belong to the Lord by reason of His many deliverances, freely wrought for us? How many, how wondrous, they have been! Oh, the depths we have gone into the proud waters that have gone over us! What shipwrecks have God's people suffered in all ages! You have no doubt lived through Paul's journey to Rome, spiritually, in Jonah's depths : “ Lover and friend hast Thou put far from me;" and, worst of all, God at a distance. “Ah !" you have said, “I cannot live through this.” But you have got through; yes, and in this very place, “the place of drawing of water, you have rehearsed the righteous acts of the Lord, even the righteous acts towards the inhabitants of His villages in Israel” (Judges v. 11). Now, has not the Lord made this known to some of you
? You doubt it, but gather together, dear friends, the stones of help you have, and, even if you have no high heaps, you will not be able, in the face of those stones, to say God has done nothing for you.
But God's dear people experience many temptations. If the enemy, the devil, could dare to throw an “if” at the Lord Jesus, who knew, and was equal with, His Father, think not he wili hesitate to hurl it at us. Well may we say with dear Hart
• View that amazing scene ;
Say, could the tempter try
? Good God, defend the dry. But yet the Lord has been pleased to rebuke the enemy, who has then left us in the field more than conquerors. Still, we are yet open to the attacks of the devil. Sometimes he will thrust hard at your hope ; at others, at the Object of your hope, the Lord Jesus. Now he will stir up the evils of your heart, and then turn accuser, and say the sins of the true child of God are kept under; anon he will tempt you to try, in self-sufficiency, to do without the inward work of the Lord the Spirit, and then accuse you of that. We don't know how he may tempt us. If we are not ignorant of some of his devices, we don't know how he may come an hour hence. Yet, how encouraging to Little-Faith to look back and see what deliverances God has wrought! Thus viewing His mercy, the soul can say, “I am Thine.”
And, to those who cannot say as much, I would remark, what a mercy it is to be able to put your hand on your heart, and say, “I want to be His”! Well, wait on Him. Some of us were as destitute, as dark, as lost in ourselves as you, yet He came to us and saved us; and, therefore, we say to you,
- Wait on the
Lord.” He never said, “Seek ye Me in vain.” Go, poor souls, with the chains about your necks, and tell Him how sin and guilt oppress, and fears distress you
“ The sight will melt His piteous heart,
Soon touched with human woe.
He knows all about it, but loves His people to tell Him. Soon you will obtain what you want-forgiveness and cleansing: Of all miracles in this world, the greatest is a purged conscience, whereby the soul can look to God and say, "I'm clean, just God, I'm clean!” To such a confidence God will bear witness, and confirm all with a smile, so that the soul can say, “I am Thine."
“Save me.” That seems strange to nature, and to many secure and self-satisfied professors. But we want saving repeatedly, and that down to the end of the journey ; for, although we may have been plucked as brands from the fire, yet we often need to be saved from evils of various kinds. The Lord's people do not want only to get to heaven, but they desire as much of heaven, of communion with God in Christ, as they may have here ; but sins and foes' often interrupt and spoil them; and, when they view their enemies, both within and without, their language is, Save me from them all, Lord !”
I must leave it now. May a kind and gracious God bless His Word, and enable His own to say, “I am Thine, save me.” Tell Him, dear souls, what you want. The more you are enabled to do this, the closer you can creep to Jesus, the nearer you can live to Him, the more comfort you will find.
HOW SHALL A MAN KNOW THAT HIS NAME IS
WRITTEN IN THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE ? “ THERE is no way,” says the learned Mr. Flavel, “ for men to discern their names written in the book of life, but by reading the work of sanctification in their hearts (Rom. x. 8). I desire no miraculous voice from heaven, no extraordinary signs or unscriptural notices and informations in this matter. Lord, let me but find my heart complying with Thy calls, my will obediently submitting to Thy commands; sin my burden, and Christ my desire; I never crave a fairer or surer evidence of Thy electing love to my soul. And if I had an oracle from heaven, an extraordinary messenger from the other world, to tell me Thou lovest me, I have no reason to credit such a voice, whilst I find my heart wholly sensual, averse to God, and indisposed to all that is spiritual."
“THOU ART GOOD, AND DOEST GOOD.”
Thy way must be better than mine ;
But wonderful succour is Thine.
Oh, how can we wonder at storm-cloud and thunder,
While sin is so rampant within ?
Charge Thee with the wrongs we have seen.
Before us wherever we tread ;
And here will I pillow my head.
Her prestige is waning abroad ;
By God and the martyrs abhorred.
The hearts of all people are Thine ;
The lovers of Babylon's wine.
Thou ever defendest Thine own;
And pity the Queen on her throne.
Ah ! Lord, she is mortal ; stand Thou by death's portal,
And, as she peers through from afar,
Be Thou of her evening the Star.
'Tis hard work to battle along ;
Though confidence rings in our song.
Thy way must be better than mine;
MRS. T. CHAPLIN.
How slippery are the stations of earthly honours, and subject to continual mutability. Happy are they who are in favour with Him in whom there is no shadow of change. Bishop Hall.
ROMANISM AND ITS FRUITS. * IMPARTIAL history tells us that Martin Luther's journey to Rome, in the sixteenth century, did much towards opening his eyes tothe abominations of Popery. That memorable visit took place towards the close of the reign of Pope Julius. Luther crossed the Alps full of faith and reverence. Italy was to him a sacred land. With its poets and historians he had long been familiar. Virgil and Horace, Cicero and Livy, had been to him like household names. To him, too, the Pope was the earthly representative of God, and Rome was the Holy City of the one true Catholic Church.. No thought of resisting the mandates of the Pope or the Church had ever yet occurred to him. Had it been suggested, he would have rejected the idea as a horrible blasphemy. Rome seemed to him a haven of heavenly rest for tempest-tossed consciences, for was it not the city of martyrs ? Was it not filled with sacred relics ? “Hail, holy Rome!” he ejaculated, when first he caught sight of its distant towers.
But his beautiful and poetic dream was quickly dispelled. As soon as he entered Italy, he found the convents luxurious andi licentious, and the priesthood openly depraved. He said the very air of Italy seemed deadly and pestilential. Sickness supervened, the effect of shame and sorrow. But he wandered on, feebleand sad, until he reached the Holy City. Most honestly he observed all the superstitious rites of the Church, determined to escape the pains of purgatory, and to win a plenary indulgence.. His zeal and conscientiousness were something new and strangein Rome. His fellow-monks mocked his severe penances, and the impious clergy blasphemed his rigid purity. He made the painful ascent of the holy stairs upon his knees, when emaciated by his sufferings of both body and mind. But he found he stood alone in that great city in his scrupulous reverence for truth, and purity, and devout worship. He was horror-stricken to find that the head of the Church was a monster who revelled in vice; that, the cardinals were worse than their master; and that the priests were, as a rule, profane sceptics. Amid all his soul exercises, there was one passage of Scripture which unceasingly rang in his
“The just shall live by faith.” But this life of faith he. failed to find at Rome; and, heartbroken with disappointment, he fled back to his German cell.
Such was Rome in the sixteenth century; what is she in the nineteenth ? A remarkable book, published recently at Leipsic, on “The Jesuits in the German Empire," gives some very startling
* Published as a Tract, twenty-five for fourpence, at the Tract Depository, 3, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, London. W. K. Bloom, agent.
facts. In England, it is shown that one murder occurs annually for every 178,000 inhabitants; in Holland, one for 163,000; in Prussia, one for 100,000; in Austria, one for 57,000 ; in Spain, one for 4,113; and in Naples, one for 2,750 ; but at Rome, there is one homicide for every 750 of population ! Hence, in the Holy(?) City of Rome, human life is 237 times less secure than it is in Protestant England.
The countries in which priestly control has been mightiest have always been the most degraded and criminal. In Spain, which has only of late cast off the yoke of absolute submission, the priests have had the moulding of the popular mind for centuries. They have drawn from the people a larger revenue than that of the government; and yet a more demoralized and illiterate nation cannot be found in the civilized world. Out of their sixteen millions, twelve millions can neither read nor write; only three millions can both read and write; one half their town mayors cannot read and write! Her present divided and distracted condition is the natural consequence of her ignorance and immorality. But here for centuries the Romish priests have had it all their own way—a clear stage without a rival, and the undivided favour and support of the civil government.
The truth is, the great bulk of the population, in thoroughly Popish countries, consider the observance of the rites of the Church as of immensely more importance than good morals. Let the reader take the following fact as an illustration
“A man came down from the hills to a Neapolitan priest to confess a sin which lay heavy upon his conscience. In the busy season of Lent, while engaged in making cheese, some of the whey had fallen upon his lips, and, miserable man that he was, he had swallowed it. “Free my distressed conscience," he besought, "from its agonies by absolving me from my guilt.”. " Have you no other sins to confess ?” asked the priest. "No; I do not know that I have committed any other." “ We often hear of robberies and murders committed in your mountains. Have you never been concerned in these ?" Yes, but all of us do these things. We never account them as crimes needing confession and absolution."
The following also illustrates the operation of the same principle :
Two noted Mediterranean pirates were once captured, and condemned to death at Malta. It was observed that the beef and anchovies among the stores of a captured English ship had alone remained untouched. They were asked the cause of this. singular procedure, and replied that it was the time of the great. fast of their Church. They would not commit such a sin as tasting of fish or flesh. They were plundering and murdering men,