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Then Jesus ! Jesus ! grant us Thy grace,
Lest we perish upon the way ;
And our heart and flesh decay.
But we look to Thee, and to Thee alone,
To help us to enter in ;
To cleanse our souls from sin,
Save us, o blessed Master !
Unto Thee for help we flee :
And we give ourselves to Thee.
To be saved by Thy great salvation,
In Thine own appointed way.
And save us, O God! we pray.
The Lying Clock.
BY REV. CHAS. COURTENAY,
T was a very imposing-looking clock, too; a clock
meant by its size to be visible at a distance ; a clock which the most dim-eyed of men could
read without spectacles. No one would have expected such an important-looking clock to tell such a lie
as it did.
I will tell you how it happened. It was at a railway station-one of our large London stations. I was going to fulfil an engagement in the country, and it was most important that I should catch the night train, for who likes to be behind time in anything?
Of course when I reached the station my first impulse was to scan the face of the big clock, and, having scanned it and discovered that I had some twenty minutes to spare, I was content and happy. I had no cause to doubt the clock, so I believed it implicitly. How I passed the time I need not say. Let it suffice that I expended it in the best and most profitable way I could. But it must not be supposed that I allowed the whole twenty minutes to run before I sought my train. No; I left a broad margin for possible errors in calculation, and made my way to the proper platform in about fifteen minutes.
Judge my surprise when I found my train had left several minutes before, and not before its time either. No; the train was true enough. It was the clock that was false. In fact, the clock had stopped.
Now there is no good in being angry with a clock, although on such occasions as this you feel strongly disposed to be. The only thing to be done under such circumstances is to make the best of it. So I did make the best of it, and just used the occurrence as a text to do a bit of moralising upon.
There are many men like that clock, I thought; men with fine open faces, who nevertheless fail to tell the truth. They invite you to trust them, and you naturally accept the invitation, with only too sad a result. There are deceptive men as well as deceptive clocks. I have such a man in my mind now. He had been dismissed from his situation for drunkenness, and he had so far repented as to promise to abstain wholly in the future. He would not touch strong drink again. But before long he was seen drinking whiskyand-water in a public bar. The doctor had ordered it, was his excuse; had pressed it upon him. I believed the man. There was nothing in his face to give the lie to his words. But hear what the doctor said. The man himself had pleaded for the doctor's permission to drink, and he had been refused promptly and decisively. Wasn't this man as false as the face of the clock?
Then I thought, like false clocks, what mischief false men cause. There is no end to the possible mischief. I acted on the clock's lie, and how I suffered from it.
But who has not suffered infinitely more from acting on the false assertions of brother-men? There is the loss of money,
as in the case of insolvent companies. There is the loss of peace through the discovery of the falseness of a friend. There is the loss of faith in the truthfulness of the world. A false man is like a false chart. He will lead many a life to sad and utter shipwreck. A very firebrand in the world is a liar. We cannot count the awful results which may follow on a single lie ; and of course, the higher the man is in the social scale, the more prominent the position he occupies, and the more trusted he is, the greater the disaster by far.
Another lesson I drew from that false clock was, that a silent lie is often as bad as a spoken one. Of course the clock might have spoken its lie. It might have struck the wrong hour as easily as it looked it. But it didn't in this
It was as silent a clock as ever was. It didn't even tick. Nevertheless, it lost me my train. When will people learn that to keep back the truth is to tell a lie? You cannot lie, is the common idea, if you keep your teeth tightly locked, and your hands quite still. But let men know, that a lie which is told by silence is often as malignant and evil in its results as when it is uttered aloud.
And then I asked myself why that clock had stopped ? There was plainly something wrong about it. What was it? Very significant to my mind was the answer I gave myself. It was wrong within. Its workings were out of order. Its lie was not to be remedied by shifting the hands from without, but by cleaning the mechanism within. And is it different with the man? How would you set the man right-from without or from within ? The answer is almost too self-evident to be written down. Who does not know that moral error springs from the heart, and that until the heart be cleansed and renewed the mischief cannot but continue ? And as the world is full of men who are attempting to rectify themselves and others from without by polishing the outside, and, as it were, moving the hands on the dial-plate, no wonder they fail so sadly. How could they expect to succeed? If they cannot put a clock right that way, how can they expect to cure a man? No; get into the workings, right among the affections and will, clean every wheel of the soul from the world's dust that clogs them, apply the oil of the Spirit, renew the whole, and see then whether the truth will not shine out clearly and fully. But you
know how clocks are put right, don't you ? By the clockmaker. Whoever heard of a clock trying to put itself right and making itself clean? And yet there are plenty of men and women in the world who are trying to put their hearts right. Dear reader, are you trying to do this with your heart? Then let me tell you that you are altogether wrong. You must go to the Lord who made you, and who died, that by His blood your heart might be cleansed and renewed. to Him, trust Him, and He will not only put you right, but keep you right.
Bogatzky's Experience. Golden Treasury” is a book much read and prized by many Christians in England. Its author, C. H. von Bogatzky, was a deeply ex
perienced and much blessed Christian worker in Germany during the greater part of the eighteenth century. All his life, too, he was a poor man.
In his autobiography we have a deeply interesting picture of his inner life. One incident recorded in it illustrates in a very striking manner the proper effect of the experience of the power of Christ's atoning work in producing good works. Not a few in our day discredit the old evangelical doctrine concerning the blood of Christ, and seek the motive power to holy living and fruitful service in something else than in the death of Christ—the just for the unjust.
“ When I was in Breslau one occasion," writes Bogatzky, “I experienced a remarkable awakening, that
showed me very clearly what it is which excites our love and beneficence most powerfully. I was singing the beautiful hymn beginning
“O precious blood,
O crimson flood,
From Jesus' wounds forthflowing,” etc. and when I came to the verse
“Flow, freely flow,
No peace below,
Unless the sin
That gnaws within
Now, precious flood, thou cleansest," the words comforted me so much that I wished to receive all the blood of Christ in faith, and I was enabled fully to appropriate the atonement wrought by it. Immediately it occurred to me-Lo, thou desirest the whole blood of Christ to flow over thee; and thou obtainest what thou wishest; oughtest thou not to overflow with love and beneficence to thy neighbour ?'
“I acknowledged my duty at once; was willing to discharge it; looked around me for objects of charity whom I might relieve. There were two God-fearing captains in the town who had been in the Swedish service, and who were poor; to them I took some small supply for their bodily need, which by strengthening their faith proved also to be a help to them spiritually. Nothing can more certainly stir us up to love and beneficence than the due consideration of what Jesus has done in and for us. We shall be ready for all duty towards God and man, and we shall be strengthened for it if we only keep Jesus the crucified, in His blood and righteousness, before our eyes and in our hearts. From this healing fountain all our Christian life must flow, if it is to be well pleasing to God. A cold morality, with which so many are contented, destitute alike of power and willingness, and which is no true virtue, however much one may speak and write of virtue, will not avail anything."