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or women to lead children astray! But how awful when the children are their own! Parents are put in charge of their children by God. They ought to train them up for Him, and to set them a right example; but how many parents are showing their children nothing but evil! Parents and children live closer together than the trees in the wood: a father and mother can hardly fall into bad ways without bringing their children down too; and while the parents are sinking lower and lower in sin, alas ! what chance is there for the poor boys and girls ?
It was the wind that brought the trees down-the rough and stormy wind. But there is a greater power that is likened to the wind, and that does good instead of harm. The wind itself, when gentle, does good; but this Power, the Holy Spirit of God, does nothing but good. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whether it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus did not know what He meant; but He was comparing the unseen power of the Holy Spirit to that of the wind.
God, by His Holy Spirit, can change the vilest. He can lift up those who are fallen—even those who are fallen lowest; He can restore those who have been shaken and unsettled, and partly carried down; He can preserve from ill-example; He can make those who stand to stand firm. There is nothing beyond the converting, stablishing, sanctifying grace of the Spirit.
God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that He would. Let those who are exposed to evil influences ask, and they shall receive. Let those who are already slipping ask, and they shall receive. Let one who has slipped, and almost fallen, ask, and he shall receive. Let him who has quite fallen ask, and he, too, shall receive. Let one who has made others fall, let him ask, and even he shall receive.
What shall they receive? Pardon; a full and free forgiveness for Christ's sake, through His atoning blood. And more than pardon-grace, the grace of the Holy Spirit, to change, restore, and strengthen them, to keep them from falling, to enable them to help others to stand or rise.
Is all this to be had for the asking? Yes, for Jesus Christ's sake. “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and
shall find : knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Do not be afraid to ask. Jesus Christ said this, and He said it for you. Make use of His name, ask for His sake; you may, for He said, “Whatever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you: • Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy
may be full.”
" Jf God would but stretch out His Han
WAS once called to visit a dying woman.
She was in great distress of soul. After I had pointed her to Jesus, as the sinner's friend, and assured
her of His willingness to save all that come to God by Him, she said, “ If God would but stretch out His hand to me, I would take hold of it.” I explained to her that God had been saying to His impenitent creatures, “ All day long I have stretched out My hand to a disobedient and gainsaying people.”l
Reader, that sermon which impressed you; that affliction which brought you to your knees; that dream, which left you with a strange terror upon you ; that longing for something good, which sometimes has come upon you, you know not how or why; that remembrance of some long-forgotten sin, which has come up before you, like a spectre from the grave of the past; that illness, that sudden death in your family or in your neighbourhood, which forced upon you the reflection that “here there is none abiding," and the warning, “Prepare
1 Rom. X. 21.
to meet thy God”—all these are instances of God's way of stretching out His hand to sinners, to beckon them away from a life of ungodliness or sin to the blessedness of “ the man whose sin is forgiven.”
Yes, all the day long God is stretching out His hand to you. It is a mighty hand;"2 and to take hold of it is to take hold of God's strength, and be at peace with Him. 3 With it He plucks us as brands from the fire,4 and lifts the load of sin from off our conscience, after it has “laid upon His Son “ the iniquity of us all.” God stretched out His hand to us when He sent His Son to stand in our place, that we might stand in His place; and God has stretched out His hand to us whenever we have been persuaded to place the small hand of faith into the great hand of the Almighty Saviour, in the assurance that none shall pluck us out of His hand.
Let these words be as a message from the dead to you, and let your resolution from this time be to “lay hold of the hope set before you,” ere it be too late. He is angry with you every moment while you remain in an impenitent state, unsoftened by His love, heedless that He calls you to Himself. The prophet revealed to us how God's hand is stretched out often, not in love and pity and in invitation, but in wrath—the wrath of offended mercy. He writes: "For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.” 6 Awful will that day be when God will say to many, “ Because I have called, and
ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; I also will laugh at your calamity; and mock when your fear cometh."?
1 Ps. xxxii. 1.
1 Pet. v. 6.
4 Zech. iii. 2.
6 Isa. v. 25, &c.
Remove far from me all disturbing care ;
Fit me to join Thy saints in praise and prayer ;
And powerless prove to speak abroad Thy grace,
Unless on me Thou make to shine Thy face,
From off Thine altar take the coal of fire ;
Touch Thou my sealed lips, my soul inspire ;
Low at Thy feet in emptiness I lie
Be pleased, O God! Thy word to glorify, And out of weakness make Thy servant strong. “Lo! I am with you alway. Till the end
My grace and power I to My servants give.
In this thy might go thou : bid dead souls live,
In quietness and confidence I go;
Sufficient strength it is for me to know
W. H. G.
Old Andrew's Proverbs.
THE SLOTHFUL HUNTER.
LD ANDREW has a good many neighbours who
might be better off than they are if they were only more industrious. No matter at what hour
of the day you may happen to pass down the street, you will be sure to see some idle fellows lounging about, with their hands in their pockets, and groups of slatternly women standing by the doors. Probably it was
with some view of benefitting these that Old Andrew one morning wrote up, in big chalk letters, the proverb
THE SLOTHFUL MAN ROASTETH NOT THAT WHICH HE
TOOK IN HUNTING."
" You see
One of these idlers happened to be passing leisurely by the stall just as old Andrew was putting the tail to the G, and stopped to have a look at it. Slowly removing the pipe from his mouth for a moment, he remarked : “ Well, I would, old fellow."
“Would what?” said Old Andrew, who had been surveying his own handiwork, and now turned and looked round at the man.
I would roast what I had taken in hunting.” “I have no doubt you would,” said Old Andrew, who knew his map ; " but then you are too lazy ever to have taken anything by hunting.”
“ That's one for you," said another lounger, who had just come up, and had heard the remark.
“ I daresay it is, friend,” said the old man. there are two kinds of slothful people. There are some so lazy that they never muster courage even to make a beginning of anything that is worth doing; and there is another kind of slothful people who do make beginnings, but have not perseverance to go on and finish anything.
It is a man of that kind who is spoken of in that proverb. Such people are very common.
I have known a great many. They were just like that hunter; he set off in the morning to hunt, and by-and-by managed to catch something ; so he went home and flung down his game on the floor, for he felt tired and hot, and could not be bothered doing anything
Probably the cat got it, or he forgot all about it till it was worthless, and had to be thrown out.
“Sam Crates, whom I used to know when I was young, was of that sort. He began lots of things, but he was too slothful to finish them. He took it into his head one day to rent a bit of garden ground. “I can easily work it