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Him, resting in His love, and realiz- of which he kept the key. Many ing His companionship.

rumours were circulated as to this “When on Calvary I rest,

house. Some said he kept his treaGod, in flesh made manifest

sures here : others that he hatched Shines in my Redeemer's face,

Full of beauty, truth, and grace." traitorous schemes against his royal 1871, though like its forerunners in master. At length the king was many respects, differs from some of induced to break open the door, and them in this, that it begins its course lay bare the supposed villany. And with the praiseful worship, holy lo! there was an empty room, save adoration and sweet repose

the that it contained the shepherd's day of rest.” This is the Lord's- wallet, staff, crook, and old coat. day. One would like every year to “Hither,” said he, “ I come so that begin on such a morn as this. No if I am tempted to think more birthday suits the glad new year so highly of myself than I ought to well as the first day of the week, the think, I may be rebuked by rememday of our Saviour's Resurrection ; bering my origin, and what my rise and certainly no work is so well and has done for me.” So let us rememwisely done as that which is begun ber the rock from whence we were in the spirit of this day. A peace- hewn, and the pit out of which we ful Sabbath in the soul is a sublime were digged. The past has much in qualification for Christian enterprise. it that only needs to be seen to To slip away from the loud world, humble us, as well as much more and its corrupting passions, into the that is fitted to cheer and gladden calm of the divine pavilion, is to be Thou shalt remember all the filled afresh with peace, and strength, way the Lord hath led thee, and be and hope, and made ready for the mindful of His benefits and of thy race that is set before us.

Let us

faults, so that thou mayest be stimubetake ourselves to the Redeeminglated to start again for perfection in God this day, and in secret pour out the spirit of grateful praise and conour hearts before Him, with all fiding hope. eagerness and fervour, lest we should Still we have to forget” if we fail of His grace even in our setting would start as well as we ought. out. If the Lord


not up with us The world has little that is new in we had better remain. “Except the it to some of us. Tennyson says, Lord build the house they labour in “And forth across the world they went vain that build it.” May each one

In that new world which is the old.” hear the word at this season. “My Yes, which “is the old.” We move presence shall go with thee and I to-day amongst familiar scenes. The will give thee rest.”

hills and valleys are the same now Start we may and must, as in our romping boyhood. Old getting the things that are behind," strains fall on our ears. save in so far as the recollection may are on our lips. Old truths cheer aid us in our present work, and our hearts. Old habits govern our stimulate us to greater devotedness. lives, and rudely push themselves in There are some things in the past the way of any bold invention or we ought always to remember. We

We daring enterprise that may yet be have read of a Persian King who

The fearful pressure of the met with a shepherd in his travels of past crushes the life out of some men, such striking and impressive wisdom makes the "actual present” unreal that he forthwith raised him to a and its demands unimportant. Many position of dignity and authority in start again this morning who will the state. As years passed away it use their experience to strangle their was noticed that the shepherd states- life, their habits to fetter their freeman often frequented a lonely house dom, and their wide knowledge of


Old songs

left us.



men only_as a dead weight of of old habits. These things ought caution. They imprison themselves not so to be. The new life of Christ in the things that are behind, and should be in us, and should flow out are as unfit for pressing on to the of the midst of us, in forms ever things that are before as the armour fresh and fruitful. A painful disin the Tower of London is for the content with ourselves should give warriors of France and Germany. eagerness and intensity to the The past is not“ dead.” Thousands pursuit of perfection in preaching, find it a living tyrant. The spirit

The spirit teaching and loving Christ. We of conventionalism seizes us, and we must not


ourselves or are in imminent danger of becoming work: but treat both with rigorous its slaves. “As your fathers did so fidelity. The divine ideal of life do ye,is not always a commendation. and labour, Christ Jesus, must be Stephen made it part of his indict- kept distinctly and fully in view. ment against the Jews, and declared We must know Him in all the that in the spirit of ignorant subjec- various aspects of His character, tion to their ancestors they had put enjoy Him in the fulness of His to death the Prince of Life. And gracious and personal communicathe same feeling would now per- tions, and then we shall start secute the Lord Jesus if He were this new year with a freshness that to come again, and, in His own free will give pleasure to our hearts, zest and bold way, upbraid us for to our work, and profit to the church our social caste, receive sinners for and the world. His friends, dine with reprobates, Suffer one word more. Some of and tear to pieces the flimsy veils us make our start with a new year with which cover their for the last time. This


be the hypocrisies.

the year of my departure. Am I How vast the change made in us sure that, through faith in the Lord merely by putting us into a new Jesus, the ending of my life will be position and giving us a fresh start. its begining in the mansions above, For months life flows on full and where there is no more sin, no more deep as a river fed by many streams. sorrow, no more death? Do I know We enterprising, inventive, that my work, being built upon the exhaustless. Difficulty excites to true foundation, Christ Jesus, is of action. Opposition fires zeal. Con- gold, silver, and precious stones, and victions live and speak. Faith is therefore prepared for the day of fire ? victorious. Hope veils all obstacles May such be the reader's humble with a cloud of light and glory. confidence as he prays this New We are watchful, sober, and defiant Years morning, as sentinels set to guard interests

"Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom dearer than life.

Alas! for us, our work and all its surroundings

The night is dark, and I am far from home,

Lead thou me on ! soon age, and obedience takes the Keep thou my feet: I do not ask to see

The distant way: one step's enough for me. place of enthusiasm, and the stimulus of love is superseded by the quiet

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou

Would'st lead me on; force of habit. Trials increase. In- I loved to see and choose my path, but now

Lead thou me on, vention is dead. Difficulties block I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, the way. Emergencies swallow us up.

Pride ruled my will : remember not past years. Memory is the only part of our nature

So long thy power hath kept me, sure it still

Will lead me on! that is alive, and that is so used O’er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till

The night is gone, as to convert us into mere machines,

And with the morn those angels faces smile, started again to do work not so Which I have loved long since and lost awhile!” much by living faith in the loving

J. CLIFFORD. God, as by the unexhausted strength


Lead thou me on!



We are

“God is love."-1 John iv. 8. It is easy to believe that when the This old truth has lost none of its beloved disciple made this statement truthfulness. He, of whom the he spake as he was moved by the apostle spake, is without variableness Holy Ghost. He achieved a task or shadow of a turning.

a turning. Love to which, unaided, human wisdom lived and reigned in His heart bewould have been unequal. In one fore there was one sorrow to excite short sentence he embodied the chief its compassion, or one sinner to truth of revelation, and set forth need its forgiveness. It will outthe deepest and divinest consolation last all the griefs and all the guilt of the children of men can have ! He His children, for it is like God expressed the great and gracious Himself-without beginning of days meaning of the Cross of Christ in or end of years. As the truthfulwords so few that the dullest ness of the apostle's words abides, scholar can learn them, and the so does their power. They are frailest memory cannot forget them! full of light and hope for us as they God is Love ! What a record it were for our fathers, and they ought would be if one could write a com- to produce in us the same contriplete history of the happy influence tion for sin, the same contentment this inspired declaration has exer- with our lot, the same charity tocised, and the holy results it has ward one another, and the same secured! Is it possible to find, in confidence in our God. any language spoken on earth an- about to enter upon a new year, and other sentence which, being like to we know not what lies before us in this in brevity, is also like to it in the untrodden paths. Many old expower ? Have not these three words periences will doubtless be repeated, dried up more tears, and hushed more and new difficulties and dangers sighs, and healed more wounded may arise. Let come what will come, spirits, and bound up more broken we shall be prepared for it, if we hearts, than any other three words know and believe the love that God that ever fell from mortal lips ? hath to us.

God is Love! If we Have they not fostered more con- fill our minds with this eternal tentment, and inspired more grati- truth, we shall have light for tude, and created more kindness, every time of darkness, a defence and constrained to more obedience, against every temptation, a solace than any

other words the world ever for every season of sorrow, a restraint listened to ? They have set the bow upon all our wanderings, and a of hope in the stormiest skies ; refuge in every time of trouble, they have given songs of cheerfulness in the gloomiest night of afflic- The old truth will be adapted to

they have flooded with heaven's the new time because the new time own light the darkest prison-houses will be certain to bring us temptations. of calamity into which human Whatever else goes out with the spirits have been thrust; and to old year this mystery still abides multitudes which no man can num- God has placed us where the strength ber they have been an anchor to the of our principles is sorely tried every soul, sure and steadfast, when the day, and our frail natures are conwaters of tribulation were wildest, stantly borne down upon by mighty and even when the waves of death forces of evil which would fain were breaking

sweep us far away from Him. We




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can neither understand this state of because he believed it was right. things, nor make our escape from it. If we forsake the haunts of our standing his tears and struggles and fellow-creatures, and flee to the successes, Peter had not risen altosolitudes of the wilderness, we carry gether beyond the reach of the with us our own hearts, which are temptation which in former days everywhere fruitful sources of temp- had beset and conquered him. The tation. Those who try to run away

highest and only perfect example from the world have not yet built may be quoted to shew that present the monastery whose walls victory does


future thick enough and the gratings of exemption. Three times our Lord whose gloomy cells are close enough vanquished the tempter, and then together to shut out the tempter. the tempter left Him. We must Men cannot in this life attain to a not overlook the significant words in spiritual greatness which exempts Luke's gospel, “ And when the devil them from further conflict.


had ended all his temptations he detemporal battle fields, individuals parted from Him for a season.The and nations may win such victories adversary was defeated, but not that henceforth they go unassailed destroyed; and with zeal as imperishand unchallenged; but in the able as his malignity he returned regions of spiritual warfare no man again to the conflict. It was near can be so triumphant in the present the close of His life that Jesus said, as to escape all attack in the future. "the Prince of this world cometh The success of yesterday will make and hath nothing in me.” Down to us stronger for the struggle of to- the last the tempter maintained the morrow, but it will not secure for hopeless onset. If Jesus were us a long peace in which we can put persistently assailed, is it likely that off our armour and turn our watch- we shall abide in peace ? Our tower into a castle of indolence. natures, charred by former sins, are History warns us against this de- ready to take fire at the touch of the lusion ; for it tells us of great heroes first spark of temptation, and the in the earthly hosts of God, who, enemy knows his chances of success after years of resistance, and after too well to leave us alone. many a glorious triumph, were again What, then, must we do in order assailed,

and, alas ! were overthrown. to prepare ourselves for these temptaThat sad defeat whereby Noah was tions Meditate upon the oft-proved disgraced and defiled came after the truth that God is love. This is the patriarch had victoriously fought way to clothe ourselves with an imagainst the world, the flesh, and penetrable armour. Sometimes the the evil one for centuries. Peter dread of detection is strong enough wept bitterly over his cowardice and to keep us back from sin; but there unfaithfulness, and proved the sin- are other seasons when the fear of cerity of his sorrow by his subsequent being found out can no more restrain courage and fidelity; but we get than the green withs of the glimpses of his old danger and his Philistines could hold captive the old failing too in that matter for limbs of the aroused Samson. which Paul withstood him to the There are times when the fear of face because he was to be blamed. * punishment has force enough to He yielded his own convictions to hold men back, but there are other popular prejudice, and in the pres- periods when an utter recklessness ence of clamorous bigots was half- of consequences rules in the sinner's afraid to say and to do what heart, and to gratify his darling lusts he had elsewhere said and done he will dare the fires of very perGalatians ii. 9-14.

dition. But who could rush into


sin if he always kept the loving- unbroken string in the poor boy's kindness of the Lord before his nature our clumsy fingers might find eyes ? One of the greatest victories it out and make it tremble into over temptation was achieved by him melody. He was asked how it had who filled his mind with thoughts of affected her who loved him as she divine goodness, and then said to the only could love him. Instantly he tempter, “How can I do this great was melted into tears, and with diffiwickedness, and sin against God ? culty he told us that it had well The first temptation succeeded in nigh broken her heart. Thinking paradise because the subtle serpent of her grief, and how he had brought insinuated into the hearts of the her to the brink of the grave, he tempted doubts of the perfect love was ready to promise, with all his of the Creator. The woman's atten- heart and soul and strength, that if tion was directed to what was for- God would help him, he would bidden instead of to what was freely never again be so unworthy of her granted. “Yea, hath God said, ye love. It was a lesson never to be shall not eat of every tree in the forgotten; the one great thing that garden?” Discontent and suspicion came between that boy and the repewere excited, the shield of faith in tition of his sin was not his conGod's fatherly goodness was dropped, science denouncing the wrongness of and the vulnerable spirit was soon

it-not his lawful pride dreading transfixed by the fiery dart of the the shame of it, not his wise self-love wicked one. The less people believe fearing the issues of it, but the conthat God cares for them, the less viction that there was

one who they will care for themselves. The loved him with a deathless love, and more they believe that He is Love, who, for her love's sake must not be the more they will be afraid and dishonoured and grieved by him. If ashamed to grieve Him by one belief in the goodness of an earthly transgression.

parent have this power, what must Many years since, a boy who had be the force of a living trust in our been in prison for his crimes was Heavenly Father's unfailing love ? brought to us that we might speak to Suppose on the new-year's day some him, and pray with him. We pleaded prophet of the Lord were to come with him, and sought to awaken the and tell us that to-morrow we must desire and determination to lead a fight the Marathon or the Waterloo better life. We spoke of the shame of of

our spiritual battles ? How sins like his, but no blush burned in could we best prepare ourselves for his cheek; we referred to what he the conflict on which so much dehad already suffered, but no vivid pended ? Would not our wisdom be memory of past penalties seemed to to spend all the intervening hours in come between him and the repetition thinking of the goodness and mercy of his wickedness; we dwelt upon the which have followed us? If we certain issues of vice, but no dread could perfect our faith in the one of ruin arose to arm him against truth, * God is Love,” we should be

" future temptation; we pourtrayed the able to meet the foe with good hope degradation into which he was sink- of our being brought off more than ing, but we could not call forth from conquerors! him a strong self-respect to defend Ye that are tempted, never let him against his own evil passions. your temptations find you far away It was a moment of failure when from the cross ! It is not left to one was glad that he believed in the you to decide whether or not there Holy Ghost, and could silently seek a shall be conflict; but it is left to guidance more than human. Help you to decide where the conflict shall was sought that if there were one take place. If you will, you may

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