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feet? The turf around it has been broken up by the mattock and the spade ; and in its green seclusion, lie the fathers of the village whence we look down upon it. Come nearer ; stand within its porch, and listen to the ivy swaying in the summer wind upon
mossy walls. You can hear nothing else, unless it be the tinkling of the sheep-bell, or the twitter of the redbreast, now and then. But hark! the house is shaken with the voice of praise ; the songs of Zion are ascending from a thousand tongues, and the hearts of all become as the heart of one man. You ask what it means ? to you it is a mystery; but those within, see “visions of God.” They are holding converse with the Highest; they are putting forth the hand of faith, as they sing of Moses and the Lamb; the shout of a King is in the midst of them ; “Jesus of Nazareth passeth by!”
young friends, he is in that place as surely, and, to faith as evidently, as he was at Jericho He is there to bear all your
sicknesses of soul ; to heal all the diseases of a bruised and broken heart; to impart the same strength, and grace, and virtue, as when his bodily presence blessed the earth. But to you, poor unenlightened, unconverted one, he stands amongst that little flock, unknown. O, join the happy company; enter into his courts ; look through the ministrations of his house for Jesus! His eye is on you ; his heart is with you ; the travail of his soul is for you; and he only asks the glance of faith.
Are you threading your way through the crowded streets of some great thoroughfare? The place is full of stirs; and sights and sounds of all kinds call off your attention, and engage your thoughts, as you stand by, to let those wranglers hurry past. You have entered, almost unconsciously, the lobby of some lowly meeting-house. You lift the curtain from the little window; and every
knee within, is bowed in prayer. You hear nothing; but the very stillness has a tongue, and you feel and own a strange and undefined impression. You ask what it
Faith has only changed its attitude, and its locality; and the self-same answer waits you ; "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by !"
And is it nothing to you? Enter, and with that prostrate flock, cry for mercy to the Son of David. He who inhabiteth eternity is waiting for you there ; go and mourn for his sorrows,
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who with strong crying and tears, poured out his soul for you. Look on him whom you have pierced ; touch but the hem of his garment, and you shall be made whole, every whit.
You are seated in your lonely chamber after the fatigues of a day spent in the pursuit of “fugitive, false good.” Bitter remembrances are awakened, and you think of all you have done amiss, or left undone. You are uneasy and excited; a mysterious feeling of dread comes over you, and as conscience whispers of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, it deepens into a “horror of great darkness.” For a moment, in this lull of the stormy world of business, you realize your weakness ; the utter uncertainty of human hopes; the lightning speed of the last enemy. You want an anchorage; a hold when every thing is whirling from beneath your feet, and feel that you are reversing the apostle's experience, in having all things and yet possessing nothing. It is a season of concentrated anguish and alarm; conviction is awakened; the terrors of the Lord are arrayed before you; and you kņow not how to flee from the wrath that seems ready to burst upon you. But the growing thunder-cloud may be pierced by the upward glance of faith ; it is but His chariot who rides upon the wings of the wind, who is more mindful of your wants, than your transgressions; and whose eye, whilst it searches out your sins, can never disregard your sorrows;
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by." In the black and dark night, musing over his lonely lamp, sits one immersed in study, harrassed by some great moral problem that he cannot solve. The farther he searches into its elements, and its relations, the farther does he seem from comprehending it; he cannot understand the why and wherefore; he cannot reconcile effect with cause ; he cannot satisfactorily adjust its several parts. But now a gleam of light breaks in, shining more and more clearly, till the perfect day invests his argument with unexpected radiance. All opposition is silenced; all contradictions are explained away ; the rays concentre in one focal point; and there, speaking peace, as he once spake to the troubled waters, “ Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.”
See how his glance of love lights up that haggard and bewildered face, and softens all its lines to holy adoration. And yet in Him who works this wondrous change, we see no beauty
to desire-no form nor comeliness to stamp him as the Lord of heaven and earth. He passes by, a poor rejected Nazarene. Yes; but he wears the God beneath that dark humanity; and humble as he appears, he holds the key of David, opening, and no man shutteth; and shutting, and no man openeth. All mysteries are in his keeping as the Great Mystery of Godliness; and we shall ever toil in vain for perfect light upon the absorbing questions of sin and salvation, life, death, and immortality, till we come to Christ, willing to be and to know nothing; and without the shadow of reserve.
In his little oratory, decorated with religious symbols, and glittering with the tinsel and the gauds of Rome, there kneels “a priest” in prayer. No-not in prayer, although there seems to float around his calm and radiant brow, the veritable “odour of sanctity.” He bows; he signs himself; he looks eastward ; he rises, turns, sinks upon his knees again, mutters some low chant, and breathes what seems a penitent confession of his sins. And yet he is a pharisee of the pharisees ; seeking to assuage his thirst at the wells without water ; the broken cisterns of Christless sacraments, and graceless ceremonies. He is throning Him in temples made with hands, and making Him who came to save the poor, the rich man's God. He is hanging chains of gold upon the gospel, and fettering the unencumbered scheme of heaven with gewgaws of his own devising. He is making the refreshing, comforting, enlightening service of the sanctuary, a thing of empty sounds and glittering sights; and lifting up the paten and the host, instead of him who is the All in All. He is groping through the dusty atmosphere of patristic tradition ; following the fathers, as they did not follow Christ; building upon opinions which intermingle, shift, slide, and vary as the spring-tide shadows-ever learning, and never able to come at the knowledge of the truth. O
purge the atmosphere so thick with phantoms, and let the eye, the heart, the intellect, repose on Christ alone. You preach "another gospel which is not another,” if “ looking unto ordinances” be the spirit of your creed. The new and living way which Jesus has opened for you, is a royal road to heaven ; issuing at once in glory, honor and, immortality. The gate rolls back, and all are welcome NOW—"Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.” THE AFRICAN ABECEDARIANS. After a search, I found, among some waste paper, a large sheet-alphabet with a corner and two letters torn off. This was laid down on the ground, when all knelt in a circle around it, and of course the letters were viewed by some, standing upside down. I commenced pointing with a stick, and when I pronounced one letter, all hallooed out to the same purpose. When I remarked that perhaps we might manage with somewhat less noise, one replied that he was sure the louder he roared, the sooner his tongue would get accustomed to the “ seeds," as he called the letters. As it was growing late, I rose to straiten my back, which was beginning to tire, when I observed some young folks coming dancing and skipping towards me, who, without any ceremony, seized hold of me: “Oh, teach us the A, B, C, with music,” every one cried, giving me no time to tell them it was too late. I found they had made this discovery through one of my boys. There were presently a dozen or more surrounding me, and resistance was out of the question. Dragged and pushed, I entered one of the largest native houses, which was instantly crowded. The tune of “ Auld lang syne” was pitched to A, B, C; each succeeding round was joined by succeeding voices till every tongue was vocal, and every countenance beamed with heartfelt satisfaction. The longer they sang, the more freedom was felt, and “ Auld lang syne” was echoed to the farthest end of the village. After two hours singing and puffing, I obtained permission to leave them, now comparatively proficient. It was between two and three in the morning. Worn out in mind and body, I lay myself down in my wagon, cap and shoes, and all, just to have a few hours' sleep, preparatory to departure on the coming day. As the “music hall” was not far from my pillow, there was little chance of sleeping soundly, for the young amateurs seemed unwearied, and A, B, C, to “Auld lang syne" went on till I was ready to wish it at John-o-Groat's house. The company at length dispersed, and awaking in the morning after a brief repose, I was not a little surprised to hear the old tune in every corner of the village. The maids milking the cows, and the boys tending the calves, were humming their alphabet over again. Having made all necessary arrangements I departed; the whole population of the village accompanied me to a considerable distance, when they all stood and gazed after me till my wagon was concealed from their view by a thicket of acacias. The solitary ride afforded me time for reflection and improvement of the past; I felt my heart overflowing with gratitude for what God had permitted me to witness during those days.- Moffat.
JACOB'S LADDER. The life of Jacob abounds with incidents of the most striking character ; incidents which are so faithfully detailed that they exhibit the patriarch precisely as he was, without attempting to palliate his failings or extol his excellencies.
He that looks back on the scenes of his past life, will find much to deplore in the want of necessary caution. Could he retrace his steps, he would pursue, in a variety of instances, a totally different track, ponder the path of his feet, and look well to his goings. The first step of a man's life is generally eventful, and gives a direction to his subsequent conduct. To get out of port well, and to pursue a steady and regular course, prepared for winds and storms, is a favorable token of a successful issue to the voyage.
Jacob had left his home with the blessings of his parents, but with the anger of his brother Esau. Full of care and anxiety, perhaps with many self-reproaches, he travelled towards Padanaram, anticipating with varied feelings his reception by his uncle Laban. He had proceeded about forty miles when he arrived, at sunset, at a certain place where he determined to rest for the night. The cold ground was his mattrass, the hard stones his pillows, but the God of his fathers was his protection : to his care he committed himself, and satisfied with his favor, he closed his
eyes and slept. In his slumbers he had a vision, the remembrance of which followed him through the subsequent days of his earthly pilgrimage. He dreamed, and behold a ladder, set upon the earth, whose top reached to heaven. In former times God frequently communicated his mind by a dream. “God speaketh once, yea twice; in a dream, in a vision of the night, &c.” (Job xxxiii. 15.) The dreams of Pharaoh's butler and baker, and that of Pharaoh himself, were eventful, (Gen. xl. 5.) The Lord