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after another that it may be made perfect? Then, O my God, put me into one furnace after another, that my soul may become transparent." There is no need for us to pray for trial; and, in fact, we should think few people ever do pray for it. Our wisdom is to accept thankfully whatever gifts of ease and prosperity God may see fit to grant to us; and it is perfectly right for us to desire their continuance, and to pray that they may be continued. But then, in all such cases, we should humbly leave it to His sovereign will to give or to deny us what we ask. But when trial does come, let us beseech Him for grace, first, that we may be patient and not murmur, though it may be ever so sharp, and though it may last very long; then, that we may be supported by His kind and loving consolations; but especially that we may learn the lessons He seeks to teach us by trouble, and that, when it is over, we may come forth from the furnace transparent as the clearest glass, or like gold seven times purified.
RAVE little Jessie, tired of books and playing,
What thoughts have caught your fancy this wild day? Dreams of the old days when you went a-maying
In months now far away.
Dreams of warm hayfields, and of playmates' voices
Or has the book, telling some tale of sadness,
A blessing on them all!-the happy hours
And the grave moments when they timeous come;
No one to smile a farewell in the morning,
O silences of life! O shade that covers
A road that once was bright!
My gentle children!
Where the little fingers
I once clasped in my hand!
And thou, O dearer one!—all joys went with thee
Alone! Nay, not alone, for One is with me
When every friend departed, and when gathered
Thou art beside me, Mighty One, and ever
And by the way, as spiritual thoughts awaken,
Happy the soul that knows Thine unseen presence?
Not lonely they who fight Thy conquering battle,
Only abide with us, and bring beside Thee
When the new heavens from deep to deep are pealing
The Conversion of E. G. Finney, the American Evangelist.
E often hear the word conversion. It simply means turning round, the beginning of a new life. But it is only the beginning, although, if genuine, it will grow, from the babe's life to that of the man, in Christ Jesus. It pleases God to convert souls by various methods. In some cases, though this is comparatively rare, men are stricken down, as was the Apostle Paul, under a special powerful manifestation of the Lord's presence; others are more gradually wrought upon; aroused, it may be, by a
sermon, or by some visitation of Providence, or gently influenced by the Holy Spirit, as by "the wind that bloweth where it listeth."
It is always interesting to trace the manner in which God deals with those whom He is preparing for special service, and amongst this class may be reckoned C. G. Finney, whose labours were so abundantly blessed in his own land and in ours. He was born in Connecticut in 1792, and was educated to be a lawyer.
When a young man, the subject of the Christian religion and of the Gospel engaged his thoughts, but he remained for some time undecided as to their reality.
He attended the prayer meetings held in the place where he lived, and listened again and again to the prayers offered for a revival of religion, and to the subsequent confessions that no progress was made; that, in fact, their prayers had not been visibly answered.
This was a sad stumbling-block to the earnest inquirer. He says: "When I read my Bible, I learned what Christ had said in regard to prayer and answers to prayer. had said, 'Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' I read, also, what Christ affirms, that God is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. I heard them pray continually for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and as often confess that they did not receive what they asked for. On one occasion, when I was in one of the prayer meetings, I was asked if I did not desire they should pray for me. said, 'I suppose I need to be prayed for, for I am conscious that I am a sinner; but I do not see that it will do any good for you to pray for me, for you are continually asking, but you do not receive. You have been praying for a revival of religion ever since I have been in Adams, and yet you have it not. You have been praying for the Holy yourselves, and yet complaining of
Spirit to descend upon your leanness.'
"But on further reading of my Bible, it struck me that the reason why their prayers were not answered was because they did not comply with the revealed conditions upon which God had promised to answer prayer; that they did not pray in faith, in the sense of expecting God to give them the things they asked for. This relieved me, so far as queries about the truth of the Gospel were concerned, and after struggling for some two or three years, my mind became quite settled that the Bible was the true word of God.
"Then I was brought face to face with the question whether I would accept Christ as presented in the Gospel, or pursue a worldly course of life.
"At this period my mind was so much impressed by the Holy Spirit that I could not long leave this question unsettled; nor could I long hesitate between the two courses of life presented to me. But I found, when I came to face the question, that I was very unwilling to have any one know that I was seeking the salvation of my soul. I felt myself shut up to the Bible. My convictions increased, and in the night a strange feeling came over me, as if I were about to die. I knew that if I did I should sink down to hell, but I quieted myself as best I could until morning. Just before I arrived at the office, something seemed to confront me with questions like these: 'What are you waiting for? Did you not promise to give your heart to God? And what are you trying to do? Are you endeavouring to work out a righteousness of your own?'
"Just at this point the whole question of Gospel salvation opened to my mind, in a manner most marvellous to me at the time. I think I then saw, as clearly as I ever have in my life, the reality and fulness of the atonement of Christ. I saw that His work was a finished work, and that instead of having or needing any righteousness of my own to recom. mend me to God, I had to submit myself to the righteousness of God through Christ. Gospel salvation seemed to me to be an offer of something to be accepted, and that it was full and complete, and that all that was necessary on