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with Papa. Hark I" and Margaret Hammond sprang up, overturning the stool in her haste, for her ear caught the eound of a well-known knock, and a moment later, Mr. and Mrg. Moulton entered the room.
So, after mutual inquiries and congratulations had been exchanged, and they were all seated in the ruddy glow of the anthracite fire, Mr. Moulton spoke in his own rich tones: "I promised you," he said, bowing to the ladies, "to reveal, at some future period, the nature of the debt which I owe to you. Do you remember, Miss Hammond, ten years ago this very day, a little, ragged beggar boy, who came to you, as you stood on the steps of your father's dwelling, and asked you for a penny, for he and his mother was starving—and do you remember thief" drawing a email red silk purse from his pocket, and holding it before the eyes of the astonished girl, while her mother looked at all three, and the lurking smile which pulled the corners of Mrs. Monlton's mouth, betrayed that she was in the secret.
"Yes, I remember now: but how—how did that red puree get into your possession, Mr. Moulton V at last faltered Maggie.
The young man did not reply, but he rose up, and taking her hand, gently lifted her from the chair, and leading her to Mre. Hammond, he said:
"Madam, you see before you that little beggar boy, and it is to your child that he and his mother owe their lives; and now he offers to her that life she preserved. Maggie, my sweet childangel, will you take it? Mrs. Hammond, will you give her to me J"
Amid happy, fast-falling teat's, Maggie Hammond bowed her head, and her mother placed her hand in Mr. Moulton'e, and murmured in a broken voice, "She is yours. Blessed be God, that the bread she cast upon the waters has been found after many days!"
In a world like this, and in circumstances of danger and hazard, such as attend the condition of men on earth, the duty of watchfulness is of i paramount importance. In times of war, all the outposts of an army, and even the citadels of defence, are guarded with sleepless vigilance. The eye of the watchman placed on the walls of the city or on some commanding eminence, sweeps aronnd to every point of danger to give the first note of alarm at the approach of an enemy. And the eye that thus watches and guards ngainat
the sudden approach of foes, may not sleep may not rest, and may not relax its vigilance, but at the peril of its own life. If the safety of an army and the defence of a city depend on the vigilance of the watchman, the law which exacts from him sleepless fidelity, and punishes with death the man who is found slumbering at his post, is a good law, and it cannot be dispensed with. When enemies exist and dangers threaten, it is the part of wisdom to watch the wiles of the one, and guard against the approaches of the other. Watchfulness of this stamp is ever expected, and commended and insisted on by the wise and prudent of this world, as indispensable. The reverse would be rebuked and condemned as the extreme of folly.
But men who are wise for this world, and watch with untiring vigilance the interests of time, are not always wise for the world to come. If the body is ever surrounded with dangers and beset with enemies, so is the soul. The dangers and enemies which beset the body do not always press. There are times of comparative safety. But the dangers and enemies which beset the soul, and put its moat valued interests in jeopardy, are unceasing. The enemies of the body sleep at times—the enemies of the soul never. And the perils of the latter as greatly exceed the former, as eternity is more enduring than time. The dangers to the body are in general visible to mortal eyes, while the dangers which encompass the soul often arise from tho most malignant and subtle foes. Their approach and departure cannot be discerned. They go about like roaring lions seeking whom they may devour. They are intelligent, invisible, malignant, and will leave no means untried, or arts unemployed, to compass their ends, which are no less dreadful and disastrous than the eternal ruin of the Boul.
Hence the need of watchfulness. But obvious as these truths are, how little are they heeded! Enemies, cunning, crafty, malignant, "who walk the earth both when we wake and when we sleep,'' are allowed to approach, and come even into the very citadel of the soul. The gates of safety are thrown wide open to the enemy. The drawbridge is hoisted, the watchman of the Boul eleeps, and the most precious of all interests which can concern immortal beings, are put in jeopardy every hour.
In such a state of things, it is not strange that souls in countless multitudes are taken captive by Satan ut his will. It is not strange that men of all classes arc beguiled, and deceived, and ruined
by the arch-ad versary of God and of men. It is hia business. He has no other employment. He delights in nothing else. He would murder every soul of men and angels. He would fill earth with weeping and tears. He would thwart the entire scheme of redemption. He would shut heaven's gates against every redeemed soul, and hush the songs of heaven in eternal silence, and fill hell with wailing and woe, and then rejoice with eternal malignity over the ruin he had created. Three representations are the solemn verity of the Bible. The watchman from heaven's high citadel cries aloud in the ears of men, Flee to the strongholds. Watch and pray—for your adversary, the Devil, goeth about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. But how many, in the midst of dangers, cry peace and safety, and then lay them down quietly to sleep! The loudest and most earnest and affectionate warnings of Heaven's paternal love avail not to secure watchfulness against enemies that are ever awake to deceive and to destroy.
Many are the classes of men who are wanting in vigilance and fidelity here. Parents, even Christian parents, are found in multitudes slumbering and off their guard, and allow the enemy of all righteousness to tempt, and deceive, and ruin their children. God appointed them to watch for the souls of their children, but they have neglected and betrayed their trust And sooner or later they will weep over the withered hopes and blasted prospects of children who might have been redeemed and saved, had parental piety, and prayer, and watchfulness been brought into vigilant exercise, as God requires of all parents.
Bo also the duty of watchfulness presses, but more weighty and solemnly, on the commissioned watchmen of God. They watch for souls; and, faithful or unfaithful, they must give account to Him. Of all interests ever committed to mortal hands or mortal minds, the interests of the soul are the most momentous. Against no unfaithfulness of men or angels are such solemn things written in the chancery of heaven as against infidelity to the souls of men. That awful representation of the sacred penman, that the blood of the souls ruined by neglect or unfaithfulness will cleave to the skirts of the watchman, is no unmeaning language. And yet there are those who are not concerned to be found faithful. They treat the matter lightly. They do not lift up the voice of earnest warning, as they see, or might see, the enemies of the soul prowling aroun<l the habitations of Zion, ready to devour.
Others there are who have come down from the walls and watch-towers of Zion altogether. They have left their post*, perhaps at the call of duty and of Providence, and perhaps not. To his own master each man standeth or falleth.
In like manner also the duty of watchfulness abides on each man, each woman, each Christian; each in his own sphere and appropriate station in life. Watchfulness over his own soul—at his own closet-door—against the seduction of sin, against the arts and wiles of the tempter, and the wicked imaginings of an evil heart of unbelief, ever ready to betray the interests of the soul to sense and sin. There is no time, no place, no condition in which any one, either in company or alone, in the closet or in the world, may with safety relax his watchfulness. No, not till life's last sands are run out—not till the last throbbing pulse has ceased to beat, and the heart become motionless and still—not till he has put off this mortal coil and passed over Jordan and entered through the gate into the celestial city—may he lay aside his armor and relax his watchfulness against the temptations and snares of invisible and spiritual enemies, who will follow and harass him to the very gates of heaven. Then indeed he may safely lay aside his armor and his watchfulness, and take up the harp and sing the conqueror's song.
BY PHILIP R. AMMIDOV.
An outer world—the rushing tide of strife,
That fill the measure of our little life,
Earth, with her azure skies and myriad flowers;
The soul of Beauty in a thousand forms; The smile of Nature in her sunny hours,
And all her wealth of wonders and of storms.
An outer lift—a world of grief and joy,
Where the great soul is but a golden toy;
Hatred, converting life's pure wine to gall;
Friends in whose smiles the buds of feeling bloom , Kind words to cheer and dangers to appul,
And over all at last the solemn tomb.
The truer world within—a spirit-life:
The human heart, with joy and anguish rife;
The earnest longing of the ethereal mind
THE IMPASSABLE BRIDGE.
The clearer visions of a sight refined
An inner life—the buried world of thought,
A paradise with blissful fancies fraught,
How small will seem the world of time and sense,
The sou) from some angelic eminence
THE IMPASSABLE BRIDGE.
In one of my late excursions into the country to preach the gospel to the poor, I met with a Christian brother in bumble life, who had been distinguished for his uniform zeal and faithfulness in the cause of Christ He had encountered many discouragements—from bis minister, from some of his professed brethren, as well as from a scoffing world—but he had persevered, not altogether without success, in his endeavors to rouse hie neighbors and those around him from their Blumbers, and bring them to a saving knowledge of the truth. I had a curiosity to know the history of this man's religious experience; to learn what it was which originally gave him such an impulse, and had borne him on in such a uniform course of labor and self-denial in the service of the Redeemer. I took an opportunity to state to him my wishes, and found him not unwilling to gratify me in this matter.
He proceeded, with much modesty and with every appearance of-sincerity and truth, to give me substantially the following account:
"I was," says be, "awakened, and, I trust, brought to repentance, in early life. But being alone in my feelings, and living where I had none to encourage me, and where the church was not in altogether a desirable state, I neglected to profess religion; and (after a season of enjoyment) I relapsed into a etate of comparative worldlinees. In this state I lived several years, performing some religious duties, and finding comfort in them, but neglecting others; and my heart often reproached me for my unfaithfulness. At length it pleased God to visit me with protracted sickness. I was not dangerously ill, but my confinement was long and tedious. This trial, however, produced no very perceptible change in my feelings. If it should please God to take me away, I hoped I was prepared to die. Or if he should restore me, I thought I felt willing to live to his glory. But, alas, I had no ade
quate conception at that time of what it is to live to God's glory, or of what is implied in such a course of life.
"In this state of mind, I was gradually recovering, with a prospect of being soon able to resume my wonted labors, wbeu, on a certain night, I had a remarkable dream or vision. I seemed to myself to be standing on an eminence, with a vast plain, steeply inclined towards a broad, dark river, stretched out before me. A wide bridge was constructed part way over the river, the farther end of which was obscured in a thick, impenetrable fog or mist, which lay along on the opposite side of the stream. To persons on the plain, the bridge seemed to reach quite across the river, and to promise a safe and pleasant passage; but in my situation I could distinctly perceive that it reached only till it had entered the mist and terminated just beyond the middle of the flood. I saw but one way of approaching to the plain, but there were two ways leading from it, the one by the bridge already described, and the other on the opposite side of the plain, up a steep and somewhat difficult bank. The way to the plain was thronged with travellers, and the plain itself seemed covered with people of both sexes, and of all ages, ranks, and conditions in life. Every one of this immense multitude was busy, and many among them seemed as though they might be happy. The steep inclination of the plain gave a constant and strong downward tendency to those who came upon it, so that at every step the multitude in general were insensibly verging towards the bank of the river. The consequence was, that while only a few attempted to get from the plain by means of the passage on the upper side of it, thousands were crowding to the bridge, and vainly thinking to pass over it in safety. I saw them enter upon it, and rush gayly along, flattering themselves that there was no danger, and that soon they should be beyond the deep waters, till presently they entered the miat, and were hidden from the eyes of those who followed them, when they dropped one after another into the stream, and sank in its dark flood to rise no more. I continued looking at this shocking spectacle till my heart was full, ready to buret; and in the effort to cry out to the deluded throng who were just entering on the bridge or about to enter, 'Stop I stop 1 stop 1' I awoke; and it was a dream.
"But though it was a dream, the impression it made upon my heart was indelible. I have never lost it, and I never shall. The vision, I saw at once, was full of meaning. The plain is the 120
AFFECTING INCIDENT AT SEA.
world. The bridge is the broad road spoken of by our Saviour. The path up the bank represents the strait and narrow way which leadeth unto life. And seeing, as I continually do, thousands and thousands of my fellow - creatures jostling down the steep, pressing towards the bridge, crowding upon it, heedlessly thinking it will carry them safely over, and not dreaming of danger, till they make their last plunge and are gone for ever; seeing all this passing continually before my eyes, how can I hold my peace I bow can I cease to warn the wicked of his dangerous way? I am continually constrained to cry in the ears of deluded mortals around me,
'Stop, poor sinner f stop and think,
"I am blamed, and have been, for saying and doing so much as I have on the subject of reliligion. But I blame myself for not doing a great deal more. The vision, though years have now passed away since first I saw it, is still before me. The feelings which I then had are fresh upon me. And while these remain, I can never cease to warn the wicked of the impassable bridge and the devouring flood, and to point him upward to the path of life."
AFFECTING INCIDENT AT SEA..
De. Parker, in his interesting book, "Invitations to True Happiness," gives a beautiful illustration of fervent gratitude for Divine forbearance—so justly due from the hearts of all men, yet felt by comparatively so few, who are permitted to live on by its exercise, year after year, in impenitence.
During a sea voyage, a few years since, I was conversing with the mate of the vessel on this topic, when he concnrred in the view presented, and observed that it called to mind one of the most thrilling scenes he ever beheld. With this, he related the following story:
I was at sea on the broad Atlantic, as we now are. It was just such a bright moonlight night as this, and the tea was quite as rough. The captain retired, and I was upon watch, when suddenly there was a cry of "A man overboard I" To get out a boat was exceedingly dangerous. I could hardly make up my mind to command the hands to expose themselves. I volunteered to go myself, if two more would accompany me. Two generous fellows came
forward, and in a moment the boat was lowered, and we were tossed upon a most frightful sea.
As we rose upon a mountain wave, we discovered the man upon a distant billow. We heard his cry, and responded, "Coming I" As we descended into the trough of the sea, we lost eight of the man, and heard nothing but the roar of the ocean. Ab we rose upon the wave, we saw him again, and distinctly heard his call. We gave him another word of encouragement, and pulled with all our strength. At 1he top of each successive wave we saw and heard him, and our hearts were filled with encouragement; and as often, in the trough of the sea, we almost abandoned the hope of success. The time seemed long; the struggle was such as men never made but for life. We reached him just as he was ready to sink with exhaustion. When we had drawu him into the boat, he was helpless and speech! less.
Our minds now turned to the ship. She had rounded to; but, exhausted as we were, the distance between us and the vessel was frightful. One false movement would have filled our boat, and consigned us all to a watery grave. Yet we reached the vessel, and were drawn safely upon deck. We were all exhausted, but the rescued man could neither speak nor walk; yet he had a fall sense of his condition. He clasped our feet and commenced to kiss them. We disengaged ourselves from his embrace. He then crawled after us, as we stepped back to avoid him; he followed us, looking up with smiles and tears, and then patting our wet footprints with his hands, he kissed them with an eager fondness.
I never witnessed such a scene in my life. I suppose, if he had been our greatest enemy, he would have been perfectly subdued by our kindness. The man was a passenger. During the whole remaining part of the voyage he showed the deepest gratitude, and when we reached the port he loaded us with presents.
But, dear reader, Christ has seen you exposed to a tnore fearful peril, and has made an infinitely greater sacrifice for your rescue, ne saw you sinking in the billows of eternal death. He i did not merely venture into extreme danger to save you; he has actually suffered for you the most cruel death. Yet you have never embraced his feet, nor given any proper testimony of gratitude. What estimate ought you to place upon jour depravity, when such goodness has for so long a time failed to subdue it f