Imágenes de páginas

* And a

of it; hence we are led to cry for grace upon grace, and to see how dependent we are for everything, not only for the Saviour, but for the power to believe on him.

3. “For thou hast been a shelter for me.” Observe how the psalmist rings the changes on, " Thou hast,” and “ I will,verses 3, 4, 5, and 6. Experience is the nurse of faith. From the past we gather arguments for present confidence. Many and many a time had the persecutions of Saul and the perils of battle emperilled David's life, and only by miracle had he escaped, yet was he still alive and unhurt; this he remembers, and he is full of hope. -strong tower from the enemy.As in a fort impregnable, David had dwelt, because surrounded by omnipotence. Sweet is it beyond expression to remember the lovingkindnesses of the Lord in our former days, for he is unchangeable, and therefore will continue to guard us from all evil.

4. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever." Let me once get back to thy courts, and nothing shall again expel me from them: even now in my

banisha ment my heart is there; and ever will I continue to worship thee in spirit wherever my lot may be cast. Perhaps by the word tabernacle” is here meant the dwelling-place of God; and if so, the sense is, I will dwell with the Lord, enjoying his sacred hospitality, and sure protection.

" There would I find a settled rest,

While others go and come:
No more a stranger, or a guest,

But like a child at home." IIe who communes with God is always at home. The divine omnipresence surrounds such a one consciously; his faith sees all around him the palace of the King, in which he walks with exulting security and overflowing delight. Ilappy are the indoor servants who go not out from his presence. Hewers of wood and drawers of water in the tents of Jehovah are more to be envied than the princes who riot in the pavilions of kings. The best of all is that our residence with God is not for a limited period of time, but for ages; yea, for ages of ages, for time and for eternity: this is our highest and most heavenly privilege, I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever."

" I will trust in the coveri of thy wings.Often does our sweet singer use this figure; and far better is it to repeat one apt and instructive image, than for the sake of novelty to ransack creation for poor, strained metaphors. The chicks beneath the hen how safe, how comfortable, how happy! How warm the parent's bosom! How soft the cherishing feathers! Divine condescension allows us to appropriate the picture to ourselves, and how blessedly instructive and consoling it is! ( for more trust; it cannot be too implicit: such a covert invites us to the most unbroken repose. SELAH. Rest we well may when we reach this point. Even the harp may be eloquently silent when deep, profound calm completely fills the bosom, and sorrow has sobbed itself into a peaceful slumber.

5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

6 Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations.

7 He shall abide before God for ever : 0 prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

8 So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

5. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows.” Proofs of divine faithfulness are to be had in remembrance, and to be mentioned to the Lord's lionour. The prayer of verse 1 is certain of an answer because of the experience of verse 5, since we deal with an immutable God. Vows" may rightly be joined with prayers when they are lawful, well-considered, and truly for God's glory. It is great mercy on God's part to take any notice of the vows and promises of such faithless and deceitful creatures as we are. What we promise him is his due already, and yet he deigns to accept our vows as if we were not so much his servants as his free suitors who could give or withhold at pleasure.Thou hast giren me the heritage of those that fear thy name." We are made heirs, joint-heirs with all the saints, partakers of the same portion. With this we ought to be delighted. If we suffer, it is the heritage of the saints ; if we are persecuted, are in poverty, or in temptation, all this is contained in the titledeeds of the heritage of the chosen. Those we are to sup with we may well be content to dine with. We have the same inheritance as the Firstborn himself; what better is conceivable? Saints are described as fearing the name of God; they are reverent worshippers ; they stand in awe of the Lord's authority; they are afraid of offending him, they feel their own nothingness in the sight of the Infinite One. To share with such men, to be treated by God with the same favour as he metes out to them, is matter for endless thanksgiving. All the privileges of all the saints are also the privilege of each one.

6. " Thou wilt prolong the king's life;" or, better, “days to the days of the King thou wilt add.” Death threatened, but God preserved his beloved. David, considering his many perils, enjoyed a long and prosperous reigu. “ And his years as many generations." He lived to see generation after generation personally; in his descendants he lived as king through a very long period ; his dynasty continued for many generations; and in Christ Jesus, his seed and son, spiritually David reigns on evermore. Thus he who began at the foot of the rock, half drowned, and almost dead, is here led to the summit

, and sings as a priest abiding in the tabernacle, a king ruling with God for ever, and a prophet foretelling good things to come. (Verse 7.) See the uplifting power of faith and prayer. None so low but they may yet be set on high.

7. He shall abide before God for ever," Though this is true of David in a modified sense, we prefer to view the Lord Jesus as here intended as the lineal descendant of David, and the representative of his royal race. Jesus is enthroned before God to eternity ; here is our safety, dignity, and delight. We reign in him; in him we are made to sit together in the heavenlies. David's personal claim to sit enthroned for ever is but a foreshadowing of the revealed privilege of all true believers. "O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.As men cry, “ Long live the king," so we hail with acclamation our enthroned Immanuel, and cry, “Let mercy and truth preserve him.” Eternal love and immutable faithfulness are the bodyguards of Jesus' throne, and they are both the providers and the preservers of all those who in him are made kings and priests unto God. We cannot keep ourselves, and nothing short of divine mercy and truth can do it; but these both can and will, nor shall the least of the people of God be suffered to perish.

8. “ So will I sing pruise unto thy name for ever." Because my prayer is answered, my song shall be perpetual; because Jesus for ever sits at thy right hand, it shall be acceptable; because I am preserved in him, it shall be grateful. David had given vocal utterance to his prayer by a cry; he will now give erpression to his praise by a song: there should be a parallel between our supplications and our thanksgivings. We ought not to leap in prayer, and limp in praise. The vow to celebrate the divine name" for ever" is no hyperbolical piece of extravagance, but such as grace and glory shall enable us to carry out to the letter." That I may daily perform my vows." To God who adds days to our days we will devote all our days. We vowed perpetual praise, and we desire to render it without intermission. We would worship God de die in diem, going right on as the days roll on. We ask no vacation from this heavenly vocation ; we would make no pause in this sacred service. God daily performs his promises, let us daily perform our vows : he keeps his covenant, let ús not forget ours. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth, even for evermore.

Mr. Orsman's Work described by One of the

Society of friends." “IF 6 F there is a wretched spot in London it is the Lane called “Golden,”

writes a journalist. The whole district behind Bunhill Row and Goswell Street, Old Street, and Beech Street, Barbican, is a perfect labyrinth of courts, alleys, and passages. It has been said that in this district humanity is at its worst, and crime itself at its lowest, dirtiest, and slimiest ebb of degradation. It is the Belleville of London. Thirty per cent. of the population are costermongers and street-hawkers, probably twenty per cent. persons of very doubtful occupation, artificial flower-makers, toy and skewer makers, crossingsweepers, searchers in the gutter for cigar ends, and in dust-bins for doctors' bottles, sorters of warehouse cleanings, bone-pickers. Two kinds of shops flourish there, the public-house and the dried fish-shop. Low foreheads and unkempt hair, ragged and filthy dress characterise the population. Half-naked children swarm in the noisome alleys, idle women and girls stand loitering at the corners or gossip in the doorways. As a specimen of the interior arrangements of the houses 'a family of five persons, four dogs, and a cat, sleep in one small room, in another an old woman with eight cats; close by is a room where a family of seven live and sleep together, besides cooking and selling fried fish in the same room during the day. In a desolate room into which oozed the filthy sewerage from the open drain in the court, lay a poor sick mother enveloped in a rug; on a rickety table stood a beer can, a doctor's bottle, and a candle stuck in a turnip. Two little half-naked children were crouching in front of the fireplace, trying to keep baby warm by lighting a few sticks.

“ We should advise some of our friends some first-day morning during our next Yearly Meeting, to forego the luxury of hearing six or eight sermons, and subject themselves to a discipline which might be worth a hundred sermons. We mean a stroll down Whitecross Street, when the church-bells are chiming, and the market is in full swing. Costermongers' stalls thickly line the streets. Buy! Buy! Buy!' cries the butcher. "Chops at 6d. per lb., pieces at 3 d. and 4 d. per lb., bullock's liver at 2d., ox cheek at 4d. per lb., prime bacon at 4d. and 5d. per Ib., fine young (?) fowls at 5d. per

lb.' “. Don't forget your spice, ladies!' "Two ounces of best (?) Durham mustard for one penny!' One penny will make you the fortunate possessor of a packet of black lead, two skins of blacking, a box of matches, and a ball of blue.

“The second-hand shoedealer praises his wares, the tinware man tinkles, and the crockery stall clatters. The faded vegetable stall drives a great trade, and throws its leaves all about the street. Such are a few of the characteristics of Whitecross Street, on any day of the week, but to see it in its perfection go in the evening.

“Can't be religious, sir, nohow.; can't let the barrer be lazy on Sunday,' said a costermonger who was begged to give his heart to Christ.' Another said after he had been reasoned with, Well, sir, I ain't an eddicated person, but I know wot's wot, and' I know God never meant costermongers to be religious— why don't you see, it never could be done!' When a costermonger becomes convinced of sin, the first thing he does is to give up Sunday trading. If a man can only live with Sunday trading, it requires strong faith to give it up, but it is done and is blessed.

What is impossible to man is possible to God, and here Mr. Orsman, a

* We extract the following from "The Friends' Monthly Record," where it would be seen by comparatively few. We thank R. B. for his generous remarks on our own work, but especially for his well-deserved encominums on our beloved friend, Mr. Orsman.

clerk in the Civil Service, commenced his mission. All that has been done, has been done AFTER OFFICE HOURS. It is a mark of the divine character of Christianity, that it not only animates men like Mr. Orsman to undertake such a task, but that it is fitted to effect what all the worldly and sceptical philosophy in this country cannot do, and this is to raise thieves, harlots, the wretched and degraded, from the dunghill, to the position of sons and daughters of God. Let

be sure of this, it is the sin which is the cause of the misery-not the misery which is the primary cause of the sin. When we found ourselves at last in the Mission room, we could hardly persuade ourselves that we were looking at a congregation of costermongers, sweeps, and artificial flower girls, such is the change in the outward appearance which the blessed gospel by the living presence of the Iloly Spirit effects.

The waves of sin and sorrow of this vast metropolis surge round the Mission IIouse, which is like an islet in the troubled sea. The hoarse murmurs of the conversation of wretched groups of men, women, and girls, the quarrelling, the cursing, and the more hideous and revolting laugh, are heard now falling, now rising in their notes, when there is a break in the service. Sweet indeed was the assurance that the whole of God's earth is not so dark a spot as the hymn sweetly rose :

1. Hark! hark, my soul, angelic songs are ringing,

O'er earth's green fields and oceans' wave-beat shore.
How sweet the truth those blessed strains are telling,

Of that new Life where sin shall be no more!' The worship was very simple. A hymn—the Bible read and familiarly illustrated and expounded-prayer in which we were asked to engage-a simple, wellarranged, clear, and educated sermon—a sermon which encouraged us personally. City life sharpens the apprehensions of the classes who live by their wits, and a clear line of thought, and apt illustrations seem to be well understood. An address of this character would have been listened to with respect and attention from any congregation. It is noteworthy that a period of silent prayer forms part of the proceedings, and the congregation are asked to pray, each for what they most need. Our attention was specially called to an important fact, that this is not merely a 'preaching place.' It is where a Christian church assembles, having a regular membership, and we have been interested in seeing five Catechumens baptised by immersion on a profession of faith in Christ. Two young women, in neat white dresses, and three men, rose from the mystical burial with Christ by baptism; we trust to the new life in him. There could be no place where baptism could be truly more emblematical of the purity of the character of the Christian ‘washed, cleansed, and sanctified' by the Spirit of our God. 'I,' a poor sweep said on one occasion, one of the converts, am glad to wash my face when my day's work is done, but how much better to have Christ to wash your black soul!' There were perhaps three hundred to three hundred and fifty present, but the evening was wet, and at times four hundred to five hundred attend. Our converts,' writes Mr. Orsman,

are not of mushroom growth; very few have caused us sorrow.' Many are scattered in foreign lands. •Conversions,' writes Mr. Orsman, caused by fleshly excitement, are mostly effervescent. Our audience is not drawn together by any prospect of any temporal gain, in fact, not a few have had to suffer not only persecution but pecuniary loss, in consequence of their religious views.'

“We will now endeavour to describe the agencies employed. Services have been carried on three times weekly, with great success. A large bell is rung for half an hour previously, the inhabitants of the district are mostly without the luxury of clocks and watches. For open-air preaching, the dark evening is everywhere found most suitable, because there are in these days a great many people who, like Nicodemus, like to come to Jesus by night! At prayermeetings, the attendance on Sunday evening often exceeds 500, most of whom are youthful converts, whose earnest devotional spirit is a source of great joy to Mr. O.; silent prayer forms a prominent feature of these meetings. Five Bible classes are held weekly. The Sunday-school has sixteen voluntary teachers, 'all converts from missionary services ;' 372 children are on the books ; 172 special services for children, the room being filled. The majority of the children spent Sunday evening in the gutter; they now attend the services regularly, and so high a value do they set upon them, that the most successful way of punishing them, is to threaten to exclude them for a week or two! A free day-school with attendance of 200 children. The ragged boys' patching class; this is a very successful and notable class. So grateful are the boys for the interest taken in their welfare, that they often express their gratitude thus :“I say, teacher, don't you be afeerd of ever havin' to go to the workus, we'll see as yer never wants a crust; wait till we gits to be men, and we'll look arter yer!'

“ Free evening classes for reading and working-aggregate attendance 72 per per week. The costermongers have a yearly free tea, and

for their special benefit there is a costermongers' barrow and donkey club. Then there are sewing classes, clothing and shoe clubs. The temperance cause has great attention. There are three organisations, which are decidedly aggressive. The Christian Temperance Life Boat Crew. The Golden Band of Hope Volunteers,' who appear to have uniforms, and an Emigration Club. The Golden Lane Mission Magazine,' a Drum and Fife Band, and a Choral Union, with a Lending Library. A Juvenile Lord's Day Rest Society numbers 125 members ; and last, not least, a printing press constantly going shows vividly the activity of this Mission Church. Mr. Orsman is collecting money for a building fund, as the present premises are far from convenient.

“ Will any reader of the Monthly Record* who inclines to contribute to the funds of so admirable a working church, send their cheque to the editor? They may apply money as well, but could they apply it better than to help a welleducated and intelligent man, who for eighi years has laboured without fee or reward, in a district from which the stoutest hearted might well turn away with loathing and disgust ? A striking incident is related in connection with the Mission services.

“ Mrs. 0. was awaked by a dream, repeated three times, in which the Good Shepherd appeared and led her to the Mission. As she entered in her dream, they were singing the hymn:

" • I have a Friend, a precious Friend.' “ The Saviour said to her, “I am that Friend,' and she awoke ; accordingly, that day she resolved to go for the first time to the Missions, and they were singing the very hymn she heard in her dream. This was felt by her to be a token

for good; she is now a follower of Christ. “ The value of hymns sung is strikingly illustrated by two young women, who were led to Christ by the singing of Newman's beautiful hymn :

"Lead, kindly light, amid the circling gloom,
The night is dark and I am far from home,

Lead thou me on.' “ The singing of the hymn

"Shall we meet beyond the river ?' was instrumental in the conversion of one young man.

“A touching story is told of how a child lifted the lid of the coffin in which her little sister was lying dead, and was kneeling and praying by the side of the dead body. The unconverted mother listened to the child's prayer: "Gentle Jesus, come and take little Annie up to heaven, to live always with thee and sister Sally. Blessed Saviour, teacher says I am one of thy lambs, so I want to

Reader, please substitute The Sword anel the Trowel, and the remark will hold good.

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