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will be left so many which have some show of right that the Christian is sure to be bewildered and misled unless he compares each with his heavenly Pattern; and in order to do this, we must bring all we learn in the gospels of His character and conduct to bear on every matter of daily life; -every joy and sorrow and temptation and difficulty and danger; and then all things must work together for our good, fulfilling in us God's purpose to conform us to the image of His Son."
I thought for some time over my father's words, with an earnest longing to act upon them. Presently he said:
"I think we haven't quite exhausted our parable: your second disappointment suggests another lesson on the same subject. We may have the example of our Master before us, yet fail to copy it because we do not view it in the true light. Some darkness in us may prevent our discerning Him; or some prejudice impair our spiritual perception. Can you think of any text on this subject ?"
I remembered the Saviour's words: "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."
"Yes," he said, "that is it; unless we approach our Example with a true heart, sincerely desirous to give up all self-will, worldliness, double-mindedness, it will avail nothing to have Him before our eyes. Our prayer must be, that we may both perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same.'
On Monday I bought my fringe, comparing it with my pattern in the bright morning light. The mat lies on my table now, and the wool and the fringe have faded into quite dissimilar shades. But I humbly trust that I shall grow in likeness to my Lord more and more until that blessed day when, no longer seeing Him through a glass darkly, but face to face, I shall be like Him altogether, with a likeness which shall bear the pure and dazzling light of heaven.
GOD, that planted paradise for Adam, and gave him to possess it, has prepared heaven for the saints, and will lead them to enjoy it : "I give unto them eternal life."
A Christian never loses by what God takes, for He never takes away
and glorifies the
True faith makes the sinner humble, active, and self-denying: false faith leaves men proud, indolent, and selfish.
The more you have to do with Christ, the less you will value a creature's smile, or fear his frown.
There is nothing terrible in death, if your sins are pardoned, and your person accepted in the Beloved: get solid assurance upon these points, and farewell to the fear of death.
We can only walk with God in comfort, as we view Him as our Father in Christ Jesus.
There is but one satisfying object in earth or in heaven, and to that object you are told constantly to look-it is Jesus.
Invitations, promises, and warnings should go together; the first shouldl be accepted, the second trusted, the third lovingly received.
If you would be happy yourself, endeavour to honour Christ, and make others happy this is the direct road.
If God were to leave you, you would do as David did, as Peter did, if not as Judas did: "Be not highminded, but fear."
If you can part with all for Christ, depend upon it Christ will never part with you. He says, "I love them that love me." Coming to Christ is the first step in the Divine life; and he who has
once come, continues coming.
FEW years ago a very remarkable painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy. "The Roman Soldier at Pompeii " represented a soldier in armour at the door of a heathen temple, on guard. The sky was apparently covered with flames, which cast a lurid glare upon the man and the building. Terrified men were rushing down the street seeking safety. And all, except the countenance of the sentinel, presented a scene of horror and confusion. He looked perfectly calm; and stern resolution could be read in every line of his face. In the midst of disorder and dread he was unmoved and fearless. He was sustained by a sense of duty. It was a picture which set forth an historical truth. In the year A.D. 79, Pompeii, a town on the Bay of Naples, was destroyed by an eruption from the volcano of Vesuvius. The sky was black with darkness. Flames, smoke, and showers of ashes filled the air, and torrents of burning lava swept down the mountain side. An able writer thus describes the awful scene:-"The whole elements of civilisation were broken up. Ever and anon by the flickering lights you saw the thief hastening by the most solemn authorities of the law, laden with, and fearfully chuckling over, the produce of his sudden gains. If in the darkness wife was separated from husband, or parent from child, vain was the hope of reunion. Each hurried blindly and confusedly on. Nothing, in all the various and complicated machinery of social life, was left, save the primal law of self-preservation." Yet in such an hour as that the Roman soldier remained at his post. His commander had ordered him to stand there until he was relieved. Although all others fled in dismay, he stood at the place of duty. Seventeen centuries rolled away before the town was dug up from the ashes which covered it. But when this was done, the sentinel-"the skeleton in armour "-was discovered at his station on guard. In the fidelity of this man we have a
remarkable illustration of the Divine command-" Be thou faithful unto death."
Paul, "in deaths oft,"
In the middle ages Albigenses exhibit to The massacre of the
The army of Christ has had many soldiers who have been animated by the same entire devotion to their noble service. The heroic spirit has often displayed itself in the history of the Christian church. Martyrs, and the martyr steadfastness, have marked the progress of Christ's religion on earth. It is recorded that nearly all the apostles sealed their testimony with their blood; and did so cheerfully. Matthew was slain by the sword in Ethiopia. Peter was crucified with his head downwards. was beheaded at Rome, by Nero. the churches of the Waldenses and us many instances of a like kind. Huguenots, in France, again showed men and women ready to offer themselves as living sacrifices to the Captain of our salvation. In Bohemia, John Huss, who had received the doctrines of our own Wickliffe, was a noble example of constancy; who, after being treated with great indignity, was burned at the stake. When at the place of execution he said, smiling at the same time, "Into Thy hands, O Lord, do I commit my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O most good and faithful God!" He died triumphantly. Jerome of Prague was another martyr who displayed the death-conquering power of the gospel. He suffered death in the same way, and in the same place, as his friend Huss. He embraced the stake to which he was to be bound; singing a hymn while enveloped in flames; and his last words were, "This soul in flames I offer, Christ, to Thee!" Thousands of people witnessed this glorious death. In England, in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Mary, numbers of persons gladly died for the Redeemer's cause. Probably the most memorable is Anne Askew. She showed what fortitude the gospel will enable a woman to evince under the most merciless persecution and death. She was descended from a good family, and had received an accomplished education. She endured the torments of the rack without being shaken in her trust in Christ—even
praying for her tormentors while she underwent its agony! When she was fastened by a chain to the stake, at Smithfield, the lord chancellor offered her a pardon if she would recant. She heroically replied, "I come not hither to deny my Lord and Master." The flame was then kindled, and she ascended to heaven, as it were, in a chariot of fire. During the sovereignty of Queen Mary, Smithfield was often the scene of these tragical, but sublime deaths. And not only there were they beheld; for throughout this country, so dear to us, "the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the church." Hooper, Ridley, Latimer, Cranmer, and hundreds of men of lesser note, perished rather than deny Christ. They were "faithful unto death;" and God gave them an abundant entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
Those days are past. But is the memory of them also gone? This can never be. Their names are the watchwords of the Christian army. They live amongst us still. Can the world furnish any such examples of sincerity and faithfulness? It cannot. What, indeed, but the Divine power of the Saviour could sustain men in such times of trial? What power but the gospel could help men of all classes the timid and weak as well as the brave and strong
-to go through fire and sword? These men we have mentioned were not disciplined warriors, like "the Roman Soldier at Pompeii," but peaceful, quiet persons. Their trade was not war; they had not been nurtured from infancy in the strife of arms, and thus become inured to death; their nerves had not been steeled by the constant sight of blood. Many of them were ministers of the gospel of peace and love. They, like their Master, sought to promote "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." Their fortitude was a gift from God.
Reader, what impression does the narration of these facts produce upon you? Do you look upon them with indifference? Or do they awaken in you a desire to know all you can about that gospel which produced such exalted lives and sublime deaths? Can you say, "All these things are nothing