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was a mystery little understood by its professors, and beyond her comprehension. Her aunt had been the means of leading her young heart to Jesus, and to her kind and patient ear she naturally came with her doubts and perplexities.

Alice's aunt was a living example of the duty and privilege she had so well defined. Her first waking thoughts were of Him who had watched her slumbers and lightened her eyes, that she slept not the sleep of death. Thus she gave to her Divine Preserver the morning salutation which renewed her daily intercourse with heaven. Before entering on her daily duties and cares, she read a portion of God's word, that she might hear his voice speaking to her in the cool of the day. Then she earnestly and heartily asked his blessing upon the new lease of life thus given her, and entered upon her daily household cares leaning upon his heavenly arm.

Little crosses and trials, too trivial to name, but which vex the spirit and ruffle the temper, she bore serenely, by lifting her heart a moment to Him who was "in all points tempted like as we are," the assurance of his sympathy robbing each vexation of its sting. Pain and distress were calmly endured by looking to Jesus, who took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses; and each pleasure and delight was acknowledged to him who, she believed, is as ready a listener to our gladness as to our sorrow.

Every kindness which she could do for others—and these were not few she did in the light of the Divine example and approval; and walking thus so closely to Jesus, it was easy and natural to speak a word for him to those who knew him not. When affluence was hers, she was a ready and a liberal giver, looking upon herself as a steward of the heavenly bounty, and remembering that Christ, though Lord of all, gave even his own life for others. When adversity overtook her, she drew still closer to Jesus, and felt that he who knew poverty pitied and would help her, and that she had still a Friend and Brother in him.

But Aunt Ruth was not perfect, though the admiring gaze of others could scarcely see a fault in her. "I wish I was always as good as you," said her niece, after the conversation already related. Don't, dear Alice; don't say so," was the quick and earnest response. "I am a sinner; and if a sinner saved, it is by grace alone.' Christ is the

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"But I cannot think of you as a sinner, auntie; I never see you do or feel wrong; and you are always so happy, while the consciousness of sin makes one wretched."

"That I am not tempted to actual and outbroken transgression is due, Alice, to the Divine mercy. Sins of thought and feeling, God, who knows the heart and sees it not as man seeth, beholds in me daily. But though every such offence ought to and does humble me, yet it is only sin unrepented of and unforgiven that could make me wretched."

"How can that be, Aunt Ruth? Will you explain it ?" "How is it with a child and its earthly parent, Alice? The little one has disobeyed, and thus displeased a kind and good father. So long as the child is stubborn and unsubdued, the consciousness of the disobedience and of the parent's displeasure only makes it sullen and wretched; but if, with confession and penitence, the offender seeks a father's pardon, and is restored to the embrace of his loving arms, is he not happy?

"If it is thus with our earthly relations, shall it not be much more so with our heavenly Father and his sinning children? True, our sins are base and black ingratitude; we should heartily repent of and abhor them; but we should not let them keep us away from our Father in heaven; no, not for a moment. Sorry and ashamed and covered with confusion as we may be on account of them, we should only fly the more quickly to the open arms of our loving and forgiving Saviour, who has promised to wash them away in his atoning blood, and to bestow on each penitent believer justification and peace. It was to pardoned sinners that the exhortation was addressed, Rejoice evermore.'

"While the sweet experience of Divine forgiveness makes us happy, it also increases our abhorrence of sin. The more we see and feel the great love of God in pardoning and saving us, the more careful we shall be not to grieve and displease him; and this will lead us to more diligent study of his will, and more fervent prayer for grace and strength to do or suffer it."


Godliness. To follow God is our duty. Godliness is godlikeness, or an imitation of God; and practical Christianity

is nothing else but our imitation of Christ, and that not only in doing, but in suffering.

The Holy Spirit.-As it is the office of Christ to intercede for us, so it is the office of the Holy Ghost to make those intercessions in us which we put up to God.

We cannot make pure prayer with our own breath, parts, and gifts. The Holy Spirit breathes purer prayer into, and draws it out of our hearts.

Humility.-If the best man's faults were written on his forehead, it would make him pull his hat over his eyes. The more we know God, the more humble we are before him.

The better a man is, the more he is willing to know the worst of himself.

There is no greater argument of height in grace than low thoughts of ourselves.

Meditation. There are two things which should be the daily meditation of saints. First, the cross of Christ, that they may know how, and be willing to suffer for him. Secondly, the yoke of Christ, that they may know him, and be willing to serve him.

Ministers.-God hath not made his ministers lions, to scare his flock; nor bulls, to gore them; but shepherds, to feed and watch over them.

'Tis enough to make all ministers of Christ tremble, and cry out " Who is sufficient for these things?"-to remember that, when they speak to men, they speak in God's stead. 'Tis not enough barely to receive Christ's messengersthey must be received as the messengers of Christ.

Prayer. A praying soul is an expecting soul. Prayer without faith is like a gun discharged without a bullet, which makes a noise, but doth no execution.

God is a sure paymaster, and yet he expects we should sue him before he pays.

In prayer we prevail with God, but the strength whereby we prevail with God comes from God; yea, he doth not only give us strength in prayer, to act by, but he acts that strength in prayer.

Winged prayers have usually a winged answer-they are answered speedily.

God certainly hears what we speak; but we many times do not hear what he speaks, though he speaks peace to us. God always hears the prayer of faith, and answers it, but we do not always hear what that answer is.

Prayer is, as it were, a battle fought in heaven, not in wrath or revenge, but with faith and holy submission.

Godly men are ever answered in effect, though not in kind.

Inwrought prayer, that hath a spirit in it, carrieth all before it—nothing can bind or hold it from prevailing.

Perseverance. It is not the hold which we have of God, but that which he hath of us, that makes us hold on our way. We should quickly let go our hold of God, if God had not infinitely faster hold of us.


We know not what we owe to those tireless nights of prayer. The world's Redeemer there made intercession for all coming generations. What vast trains of the

children of men must have swept in review before the Saviour's eye! And as the shepherd knows and recognises each little lamb in all the flock; so our Shepherd, in those nights of watchfulness and prayer, knew and looked upon us for whom he came to suffer and atone. For his chosen he sent upward the voice of intense, earnest prayer, asking mercy for the sleeping world at his feet, and for the unborn world that he saw with Divine vision.

Think of it, careless one! As you lay your head upon a prayerless pillow, remember that your Saviour agonized all night in prayer. As you walk forth into the busy scenes of life, having sought no protection from an unseen arm, pause, and let memory go back to Him whose everlasting love once remembered you.

Think of it, sleepless one, tossing wearily on your restless pillow! Christ prayed when the world slept! If conscience, or care, or grief stand near you, with their phantom forms robbing you of repose, pray! If pale sickness wither the rose on your cheek, pray, as Jesus often prayed when head and heart were sick.

Christian, let the thought fall on you as the word "Peace" fell on angry, storm-tossed Gennesaret. Christian soldier, fighting against numerous foes for the promised crown, let it stimulate your zeal, and inspire you with strength, till you listen to the glad beat of the reveille in the sunny morning when you first tread your everlasting home. Christian teacher, mother, guide, remember the Master in his toils, and discouragements, and prayers, on

the green mountain-slopes of Judea, in the crowded streets of Jerusalem, in the rocking fishers' boats on breezy Galilee. Dying Christian, let it be your comfort, as you go through the dark valley, that Christ once bore you all night long upon his heart.


Matt. xx. 3.

STANDING idle in the market

When the Lord bath work to do!
See, his vineyard needeth tending-
Room to work for me and you.

Oh, go forth, 'tis early morning;
"Work to-day," the Master saith;
"Train the fragile vines and tendrils;
Work in patience, work in faith."

Standing idle at the noontide!

See the Master draweth nigh:
"Go ye also in my vineyard;
Work, for yet the sun is high."

Standing idle! shades of even
Gather over hill and plain;
Yet go forth, go forth to labour,
While the beams of day remain.

Work for all in his great vineyard-
None too feeble, none too weak,
But the Master finds some duty,
If his blessed work we seek.

Standing idle, while one sinner

Lives to heed a warning voice;
If to one afflicted brother

We can say, "Poor heart, rejoice!"

Oh, go forth with strong endeavour
Now to do your Master's will:
"Tis to-day he calls his lab'rers;
Oh, his earnest work fulfil.

And when even comes-the Master
Gives each lab'rer his reward-
May we feel the blest assurance,
Faithfully we've served our Lord.


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