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In fact, it was uphill work, and, but was going to have; but while I was for the grace of God, I should have here I was convinced of my sin.” given up in despair; but “ by the Yes, this persecutor became congrace of God I am what I am.”
verted to God, and lived the life of a My principal hindrance was shame; Christian. He is now removed to for even in the darkest night, and the rest above, having left behind away from every mortal ear, except him a testimony that he now lives my own, I was ashamed to bend the
with those who have washed their knee or hear my own voice in prayer. robes and made them white in the I say this was the principal hindrance blood of the Lamb. with regard to myself. But some Christian reader, be not surprised readers of our magazine may have if thy worst enemy is one of thine own other hindrances, such as pride, co- family; for the devil generally begins vetousness, evil company, the love of at home. Remember the words of drink, or love of worldly amusements, thy Lord and Master: “Ye shall be These things prevent our salvation. hated of all men for my name sake; and are ruinous in the extreme. but he that endureth to the end shall Dear reader, if anything stands be- be saved.” A consistent, persevering tween thy soul and God, then away course, in the strength of the Lord, with it at once : it is in vain to expect will be honoured by him, in convertpardon and peace unless there be, ing our worst enemies, as the above first, a giving up of these things on narrative will show. But let me our part.
repeat to thee the title of this article: But such is the loving kindness of “Never despair.” God, He overruled even my shame Allow me to make a few more refor His glory. At that time, I had marks, for I have another brother, an ungodly brother, who was my that was once an outcast of society, worst persecutor, and who tried vari- principally through that demon drink! ous means to defeat me; but, finding But now he is clothed, and in his his ordinary efforts a failure, he right mind. Thanks to God and the resolved to try the following scheme. temperance cause, he is now a devoted In consequence of my being so much Christian, full of Christian zeal and ashamed, of course I sought the op
love. Once I despaired of his conportunity to retire to bed alone. He, version, and almost gave him up as seeing this, made off to bed before me lost. Reader, if thou hast such about one evening; and, on my entering thee, pray on, and never despair. the room, he was apparently sound in Being a local preacher, some years sleep. It was Saturday evening, and ago I walked to the village of Pon the following Sabbath there was a distance of eight miles, to preach. to be a love - feast at the chapel. My congregation was about a dozen. Consequently, I felt overjoyed, and I talked as well as I could, and felt whispered to myself, “I shall have a at liberty with the friends. After the good day to-morrow.” The Sabbath evening service, I walked home again. came, and I found my way to the Eight years passed away before I love-feast; but just as I thought of visited that place again; but, on my enjoying it, this persecuting one next visit, I was reminded of my ser' walked in, and that proved another vices eight years before. The good shock to me. Time passed away,
lady that entertained me said: “Mrs. and he became more calm, until the was brought in under something next love-feast, when he stood up and you said when you were here last. said, Some time ago, seeing my
This circumstance has taught me brother went to bed alone, I deter- never to despise small congregations, mined to trap him, and, for this pur- or too hastily consider my labour pose, went to bed first, and pretended
lost. to be asleep, to see and hear what he Brethren, our journeys may be long, did ; and I heard him going about and congregations small, and our the room saying, “I shall have a hands may hang down. The devil good day to-morrow.' Then I deter- may tempt us to stay at home, but let mined to come here, to see what he us go on, and never despair. D. B.
mimosas, but to the north and west the people had died of the plague at this flat marsh covered with high weeds spot during the delay of some weeks was interminable.
in cutting the canal; the graves of At daybreak we manned our oars these dead were upon the dam. The and floated down the rapid stream. bottom of the canal that had been cut In a few minutes we heard the rush through the dam was perfectly firm, of water, and we saw the dam stretch- composed of sand, mud, and intering across the river before us. The woven decaying vegetation. The marsh being firm, our men immedi- river arrived with great force at the ately jumped out on the left bank and abrupt edge of the obstruction, bringmanned the hawsers, one fastened ing with it all kinds of trash and from the stern, the other from the large floating islands. None of these bow; this arrangement prevented the objects hitched against the edge, but boat from turning broadside on to the the instant they struck, they dived dam, by which accident the ship- under and disappeared. It was in wrecked Diahbiah had been lost. As this manner that the vessel had been we approached the dam I perceived lost, having missed the narrow enthe canal or ditch that had been cut trance to the canal, she had struck by the crews of the vessels that had the dam stem on; the force of the ascended the river; it was about ten current immediately turned her broadfeet wide, and would barely allow the side against the obstruction; the passage of
Diahbiah. This canal floating islands and masses of vegewas already choked with masses of tation brought down by the river were floating vegetation, and natural rafts heaped against her, and heeling over of reeds and mud that the river on her side, she was sucked bodily carried with it, the accumulation of under, and carried beneath the dam ; which had originally formed the dam. her crew had time to save themselves
Having secured the vessel by by leaping upon the firm barrier that carrying out an anchor astern and had wrecked their ship. The boatburying it on the marsh, while a rope men told me that dead hippopotami fastened from the bow to the high had been found on the other side, that reeds kept her stern to the stream, had been carried under the dam and all hands jumped into the canal and drowned. commenced dragging out the en- Two days' hard work from morntangled masses of weed, reeds, am- ing till night brought us through the batch wood, grass, and mud that had canal, and we once more found ourchoked the entrance. Half a day selves on the open Nile on the other was thus passed, at the expiration of side of the dam. The river was in which time we towed our vessel safely that spot perfectly clean, not a vestige into the ditch, where she lay out of floating vegetation could be seen of danger.
necessary to upon its waters ; in its subterranean discharge all cargo from the boat, passage it had passed through a in order to reduce her draught of natural sieve, leaving all foreign water.
matter behind to add to the bulk of the This tedious operation completed, already stupendous work.— Baker's and many bushels of corn being piled Explorations, vol. ii., pp. 329-332. upon mats spread upon the reeds beaten flat, we endeavoured to push GOD'S PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY her along the canal. Although the
EVERYWHERE, obstruction .was annoying, it was a The materialism of the day has its most interesting object.
creed on the subject. According to The river had suddenly disap- it, the world may have been indebted peared; there was apparently an for its origin to the will of God; but end to the White Nile The dam was everything ever since has proceeded about three-quarters of a mile wide ; it according to law and natural developwas perfectly firm, and was already ment. According to it, all that we overgrown with high weeds and grass, behold is only the result of an impulse thus forming a continuation of the sur- given far back in eternity, by a Being rounding country. Many of the traders' ever since far off in space. According
to it, creation is now independent of its Creator! For aught it knows or cares, He may even have ceased to exist: it can do without Him. word, it denies His providential government; as if, forsooth, we could conceive of a self-sustained universe, any more than we can of a self-originated creation. It pretends to a concern for the Divine dignity and ease, as if the infinite God were a being like ourselves, whose distinction may consist in doing nothing; or as if it would be a degradation for Him to sustain a world which it was yet His glory to create. It pleads the regularity of nature as a proof that all is resolvable into law; as if, forsooth, law had any meaning apart from mind, or as if God would govern in any way except by law. It represents the Omniscient as if He saw nothing, the Omnipotent as doing nothing, the Omnipresent as universally absent, the All-sufficient as the author of a universe which excludes His own activity.
Far different is the doctrine of scripture. It teaches me to combine the doctrine of His original appointment with that of His ever-present agency. Everything has the ground of its existence, from moment to moment, in the will of God. Every law in nature is a mode of His working, and a proclamation of His order. Every atom has its holy of holies which He inhabits. He underlies every surface on which our eye may rest, and is enshrined in every material object we admire. Physically, He is present with every part of my system; and present with every different part in a different respect. With my organisation, He is present as life, and even with my will, not indeed to move it, but to sustain it in the power of self-motion. In the spiritual kingdom, every ordinance is as an instrument of which He is the power; every institution, a form of which He is the essence; every Christian soul, a moving temple of Him the Infinite. I am not alone with my Spirit. He himself inhabits my consciousness. So near is He, that a desire reveals Him as not only present, but as present and working. And, as in some passages
of scripture it is difficult to determine whether the phrase “ the love of God” means His love to us, or ours to Him, so in some states of the mind it is not easy to decide (happy perplexity !) whether the flame of holy love of which we are conscious, burns from Him to us, or the converse. that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him."
Beyond this, the Bible draws aside the veil which hides the spiritual world from our view, and, behold, a vast scheme of providence administered by God himself; a scheme in which every want of His people is noticed, every object numbered ; every being moving in the direct gaze of Omniscience. Every human pang is seen vibrating to the throne of God. Lines of relation are seen to be established between every sanctified trial on earth and the blessedness of the remotest future. Angels are seen speeding on His service in every direction. Horses and chariots of fire encompass the endangered servant of God. And even the solitary and benighted pilgrim, apparently alone on the desert, is in reality reposing at the very gate of heaven. Posthumous works of the Rev. John Harris, D.D.-Jacob's Dream, vol. ii. pp. 299-300.
PROPERTY IN RELATION TO
CONSCIENCE. " Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own ?" WHEN property is looked at from & higher stand-point, and in relation to a higher sphere, it is not the absolute possession of any creature. And hence no creature has an absolute right to do with his property as he pleases. He is bound to consult the pleasure of the original and absolute Proprietor. In the case, again, of this absolute Proprietor Himself, the question of lawfulness, in relation to his disposal of what is His own, does not, strictly speaking, come in at all. As original Proprietor, He is not under law. There is no one above Him to be His lawgiver. But yet His will, being will, is merely will, and is hence as truly under an imperative as is the will of any of His creatures, -the imperative of His
ment, and begin to spread the fame high abode where Satan never enters, of Jesus. The faith of the disciples, and drunkards do not dwell. And as Andrew, Philip, Peter, and Nathaniel, we look and listen, the cry bursts is strengthened in His Messiahship, forth from our hearts, and He has proved himself equal with
Ob, let us join yon happy band, the Creator.
And in their midst sit down; “O wondrous Being, we adore thee.”
Partake with them the royal feast,
And wear the golden crown. It was the custom of the ancients to
ALBERT. place a skeleton in the midst of the banqueting room, to remind the guests
THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS. pleasure has an end, and bid them The first time I heard Dr. A. Clarke think on death.
preach, he said: “Some people, in Here, at Cana, however, is no such speaking to God in prayer, tell him ghastly sight to evoke gloomy how great he is. Now, there is no thoughts; but Jesus, the “Lord of necessity to tell Him that, for He Life,” is present, rejoicing with those must know more about His greatness who rejoice, and by His pr ence than any creature can tell Him." checking the excesses of the intem- This remark of the doctor had this perate, and preventing Satan's reign- effect upon me, that, since that time, ing supreme, as he too often does in in approaching God in prayer, I have like festivities.
not used a number of words expresUnspeakably happy are they who sive of His greatness, wisdom, or make the same Jesus a welcome power. guest on all such eventful occasions. There are other practices in prayer
What an evidence is here of the into which we fall, which have no great interest the Son of Man takes in sensible ground to rest on. There is the whole round of human life: alike one which is very common, and which does He visit the house of mourning, I
may call the depreciatory practice. consoling the suffering and sorrowing; The last preacher I heard, in his and the house of joy, cheering and opening prayer, was telling God what blessing : proving himself to be the woful beings we are; that if He had bearer of our sorrows, and acquainted only noticed a millionth part of our with our griefs--one with ourselves, sins, we should have been weeping even our elder brother.
and wailing and gnashing our teeth. But we must bid farewell to the These sentiments uttered in his whole scene. The feast has ended ; prayer were brought up again in his the music has ceased; the bride has sermon, and the way in which he been conducted to her husband's spoke of mankind reflected no honour, house, and the guests have departed; I thought, on our great Creator and but never through the long ages of Preserver. This way of speaking of eternity will this wonderful display of ourselves or of others, as far as my divine power and sympathetic benevo- knowledge of the Bible extends, is lence be forgotten.
not supported by the oracles of truth. And as we depart, our imagination Man, though a ruin, is a glorious opens up another scene, surpassing in ruin : there are remains of that tembeauty the one upon which we have ple which at the first was filled with been so delightedly gazing. Another the Divine glory, and it is destined banqueting hall appears before our yet to be filled with the Holy Ghost. eyes, where Jesus is mingling with Man is low enough, when we view the hosts of those who have accepted him as a fallen being: and although the invitation of the “ feast of feasts” the gospel is intended to raise him and pleasures. He again provides for from his fallen condition, this will the guests, as at Cana He provided not be done by sinking him lower the wine. Ten thousand times ten than he really is.
One wonders, thousand are pa. taking of this feast, when such sentiments as the above which will last forevermore; and are uttered from Methodist pulpits, sweeter music far than that of tabret, where the preachers have got their harp, or cymbal, floats through that lessons from: surely not from Him
In fact, it was uphill work, and, but for the grace of God, I should have given up in despair; but “ by the grace of God I am what I am.”
My principal hindrance was shame; for even in the darkest night, and away from every mortal ear, except my own, I was ashamed to bend the knee or hear my own voice in prayer. I say this was the principal hindrance with regard to myself. But some readers of our magazine may have other hindrances, such as pride, covetousness, evil company, the love of drink, or love of worldly amusements, These things prevent our salvation. and are ruinous in the extreme. Dear reader, if anything stands between thy soul and God, then away with it at once: it is in vain to expect pardon and peace unless there be, first, a giving up of these things on our part.
But such is the loving kindness of God, He overruled even my shame for His glory. At that time, I had an ungodly brother, who was my worst persecutor, and who tried various means to defeat me; but, finding his ordinary efforts a failure, he resolved to try the following scheme. In consequence of my being so much ashamed, of course I sought the opportunity to retire to bed alone. He, seeing this, made off to bed before me one evening; and, on my entering the room, he was apparently sound in sleep. It was Saturday evening, and on the following Sabbath there was to be a love - feast at the chapel. Consequently, I felt overjoyed, and whispered to myself, “I shall have a good day to-morrow.” The Sabbath came, and I found my way to the love-feast; but just as I thought of enjoying it, this persecuting one walked in, and that proved another shock to me. Time passed away, and he became more calm, until the next love-feast, when he stood up and said, Some time ago, seeing my brother went to bed alone, I determined to trap him, and, for this purpose, went to bed first, and pretended to be asleep, to see and hear what he did ; and I heard him going about the room saying, 'I shall have a good day to-morrow. Then I determined to come here, to see what he
was going to have; but while I was here I was convinced of my sin.”
Yes, this persecutor became converted to God, and lived the life of a Christian. He is now removed to the rest above, having left behind him a testimony that he now lives with those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Christian reader, be not surprised if thy worst enemy is one of thine own family; for the devil generally begins at home. Remember the words of thy Lord and Master: “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name sake ; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” A consistent, persevering course, in the strength of the Lord, will be honoured by him, in converting our worst enemies, as the above narrative will show. But let me repeat to thee the title of this article: “Never despair.”
Allow me to make a few more remarks, for I have another brother, that was once an outcast of society, principally through that demon drink! But now he is clothed, and in his right mind. Thanks to God and the temperance cause, he is now a devoted Christian, full of Christian zeal and love. Once I despaired of his conversion, and almost gave him up as lost. Reader, if thou hast such about thee, pray on, and never despair.
Being a local preacher, some years ago I walked to the village of Pa distance of eight miles, to preach. My congregation
was about a dozen. I talked as well as I could, and felt at liberty with the friends. After the evening service, I walked home again. Eight years passed away before I visited that place again; but, on my next visit, I was reminded of my services eight years before. The good lady that entertained me said: “Mrs.
was brought in under something you said when you were here last. This circumstance has taught me never to despise small congregations, or too hastily consider my labour lost.
Brethren, our journeys may be long, and congregations small, and our hands may hang down. The devil may tempt us to stay at home, but let us go on, and never despair. D. B,