Page images
PDF
EPUB

VOL. XXX.

JANUARY, 1879,

NO. 1,

[ocr errors]

Editorial Notes.

Who could have put it in? It must

have been one of the summer visitors We greet our readers in this festive yet staying in the place, said the deaseason May Christ be formed in their cons, and at once surmises were rife as hearts, the hope of glory. We wish to which of the wealthy gentlemen at them a happy New Year. May they all the little hotel had given the generous experience that spiritual renewal, which sum. Finally, after much discussion, will make them new creatures in Christ Mr. A— was decided upon, and DeaJesus. The past year teaches us lessons con Brown went to call upon and thank of gratitude, penitence and faith. Gra- him for the gift. But when the matter titude to God for the countless mercies was opened, Mr. A cut short the vouchsafed to us. Penitence for our thanks by saying, bluntly, “I didn't many sins—may our sorrow be of a give you "fifty cents.” Deacon Brown godly sort, working repentance unto life. retired, and a new conference was held. Faith in the sin-forgiving and soul-heal- This time Dr. F- who had built ing Christ. Standing on the threshold and was occupying a summer cottage, of the New Year it is wise to form reso- was pitched upon.

But he too dislutions of amendment, and daily strive, claimed the contribution, and after halfin prayerful reliance upon divine grace, a dozen trials, the fifty dollars was yet to carry them out. It may be the last unaccounted för. year of our earthly life; to some of our Now all this while a poor widow, who readers it will surely be. Living or was a member and faithful attendant of dying, may we be the Lord's.

the church, was never once thought of,

yet it was she who had given this moFew periodicals of our country have ney, which she had gathered by long as many subscribers to-day as they had and patient self-denial. When the truth a year ago. The hard times have re- came out at last, how blank Deacon duced the circulation of the best of them.

Brown looked. Yet the good man had The GUARDIAN has gained in this re- not judged strangely, and probably pot spect. We thank our friends, and above one of us would have thought of looking all the kind Providence of God which for the donor of that fifty dollars in that has helped and prospered it thus far. comparatively poor woman. So we need We ask our patrons for their continued not smile at his mistakes too complasupport. Speak a good word for our cently.—Christ. Intelligencer. magazine to your friends. Help to raise clubs of subscribers. Let each Doubtless she earned it by hard work,

Where did she get the money from? one make it an object to add at least used her earnings savingly, spent no one new subscriber to its list.

We want all who possess the talent of writing ate plain substantial food, perhaps not

money uselessly for luxurious living; aptly for our class of readers to aid us always enough to satisfy her hunger

, with their pen in enriching its pages.

wore plain clothing which by much

darning and patching she probably wore Recently in a village church a collec- as long as she could. In this way she tin was taken up for foreign missions. was enabled to give much more to Christ When the money came to be counted a than her rich neighbors, who spent fifty dollar bill was found in the contri- vast sums in high living and showy bution-box. Great was the surprise. I parade, and gave but a pittance to the Lord. The poor widow, in her lonely, poor by suffering with them; reducing lowly hut, unknown, unnoticed, and ud- our wants, contenting ourselves with visited by the fashionable folk around plainer food and raiment; doing withher, put more into the Lord's treasury out luxuries and even without some nethan they all.

cessaries of life, that we may have some“ With a look of sad content,

thing to give to those who are in want. Her mite within the treasure heap she cast;

Thus our Saviour bore our burdens and Then, timidly as bashful twilight, stole griefs. Became poor and lowly for our From out the temple. But her lowly gift sakes that He might bring us to God. Was witnessed by an eye whose mercy views, Did richer people thus in their own perIn motive, all that consecrates a deed To goodness, so He blessed the Widow's Mite." sons help to bear the burdens and sor

rows of the needy, we would bear less of

embittered jealousies and clashings beWhen three heroic Hebrews, at the

tween rich and poor. risk of their lives, brought David a cup of fresh water from the well at Bethlehem's gate, the good king refused to The Thirtieth Volume of the Guardian. drink it, although almost dying of thirst. Why? Bought or brought at the vir

BY THE EDITOR. tual cost of three brave lives, it was too precious and too sacred to be drunk by With this number the GUARDIAN him, and he devoutly poured out the brings its thirtieth New Year's greeting water as an offering to God. How pain- to its readers, and the present editor his ful must the further enduring of his thirteenth. Since the issue of its first thirst have been, and what a heroic sa- number, on January 1, 1850, it has bad crifice of personal comfort it involved ! many friends. Those that were in the This act endeared the king greatly to heyday of youth then are now in middle his people. The son of a German noble life, or past. Many bave passed beyond family, sat among a group of day labor- the food. The living and the dead in ers at a village inn. As they munched Christ Jesus, those here and those there, their chunks of bread, he took a few are still one in Him. To all the GUARpears and a piece of bread out of his DIAN has proven to be a wise counsellor wallet, and ate his meal as simple as and a true friend. Some may have theirs. And the poor working-men made a poor use of its proffered help. praised the young duke for partaking But that is their fault, not that of this along with them of as plain a meal as Magazine. It has a responsible and a theirs. When Alexander the Great, on promising mission to perform. For, the his conquering path, marched through period of youth is extremely critical. India, he almost perished with thirst. A The mind eagerly thirsts for knowledge, group of soldiers, at a great cost, brought and, whether true or false, takes it in him a drink of water. He poured it readily. Impressions for good and for out as a libation to the gods, for he evil are easily made. It then takes but would not drink any better water than little to give the current of one's life a he could give to his soldiers. For a new turn. Here different paths diverge. ruler who shared the lot of his common A slight turn in the wrong direction soldiers they cheerfully laid down their may lead to a life of ruin. An inch at lives. Higher still than this was the a railroad switch is sufficient to wreck libation of David, offered to the only a whole train, kill a hundred people, true God. On the battle-field of Grave- and desolate a score of homes. lotte the Emperor William I. ate his In one particular the GUARDIAN lablack bread, and nothing more, the bors under a disadvantage. Its means same food his victorious soldiers ate, and mission will not allow it to compete and slept on the same kind of cot. And with the so-called popular monthlies. this sharing with the common soldiers These cater to the popular taste with the privations and perils of war drew diversified novelties. They aim to please his valiant men tenderly to his heart, people of all ages, classes, and characand his to theirs. In these tryiog times ters. To do this the temptations and we greatly lighten the burdens of the perilous vices peculiar to youth are at

or

best but softly touched. Their reading with her eyes on what is no trusty star, may be entertaining and pleasing, but but a deceitful meteor,—and how this does little to mould and build up sancti sufferer is beginning to despair,--and fied characters, and fit persons to fight how this public event is likely to affect successfully the great battle of life. Not the minds of men, whether well or ill. simply the battle in the race for fame whether to strengthen them in right and wealth, but that waged agaiost sin feeling or weaken them. And so somefor the saving of one's soul forever. times it may happen with a sermon of Some of our readers have had little or mine, that some hearer is guided safely no home training to give them a good past a danger which he never saw, start. Others have had it, but failed to some man has his courage called up improve it. Some need chiding and re- against a trouble which he did not know straint, others an iucentive to pious en- was coming, -or some woman finds her deavor and encouraging hope. All need heart grown unexpectedly strong against the bles ed Christ and His anoiating her next trial,-or some youth finds himgrace. But who will lead them to His self followed by earnest thoughts, that feet? Who help them to stay there? have come upon him he knows not bow.

In writing for our Magazine, and to do somethiog of this nature, and to praying for it, too, we often try to take keep myself and my little flick in the in the whole field of the GUARDIAN. fellowship of the Holy Spirit,—this is Those to whom it has spoken, once my object, and I think it is my proper young, now old and gray-headed, or per- business.' haps gone up higher, and those reading Thus, too, does the GUARDIAN feel it now, make up its parish. Humbly towards its readers, and after this order has it been sowing its seed. In some it strives to help them. And in these hearts has it already borne a rich har- New Year's reflections one feels the vest. In others, like the grains of solemu mission pressing on him all the wheat benea h the bandages of Egyp- more. For with each ending year are tian nummies, after being fruitless for we reminded of our shortening life and a season, some hand, yet unborn, may its coming end. St. Jerome writes to a help to unearth and unbandage it, and friend: "Do you not perceive how you bring it under the light of a vitalizing have been a child, a boy, a robust youth, sun. But each soul is of priceless va- and how already you are now an old lue—has an ever-enduring destiny to man? We die daily; we are changed achieve. If achieved rightly, how glo- every day. This moment of my writing rious! it wrongly, how ruinous ! All is so much deducted from my life. We souls are moving towards it. There is write; and then again we write in anno stopping or avoiding this onward swer. Letters cross the sa, and ships flow. Time and tide wait for no man. plough the deep, and with every tide, In this respect a pastor and the editor every wave, our moments are diminished. of a magazine like the GUARDIAN have | We never can gain any thing but what much in common. “At the gate of birth we can appropriate to ourselves through souls keep coming, and across the world, the love of Christ.” and out at the gate of death they keep Thus wrote and felt good St. Jerome going. And all the worse distracted is fifteen hundred years ago. He felt then the time of their passage through, so as we feel now, and how soon life for much the more do they need the Gospel him ended just as he had thought it of Christ, and faithful words from some would. And so will ours by-and-by. As heart that is at peace with itself, and in Christians, our life is hid with Christ communion with God and Christ. There in God. Let this life be one of persistare souls which look to me for guidance, ent, persevering endeavor for the good or which say they do. These souls I of souls and His glory. Now is the have to watch; and I have perhaps to time to do what we deem needful. In notice how on the mind of this old man the grave whither we are going, there is there is a cloud thickening, -and how neither work, nor wisdom nor device. this young man is advanced within Vain regrets over evil, brooding over sight of a temptation, that beckons what might or ought to have been will him,-and how this maiden is walking make the world no better, and us no

How

wiser. The only safe way is at once to Justin Martyr, a great writer of the place ourselves on a better footing for early Church, was born at Shechem, in ihe future, which knows no failures, - Palestine. He lived less than a hunto turn to Christ by a penitent faith, dred years after our Saviour, and places and give ourselves to Him as He has the scene of His birth in a cave at Bethgiven Himself for us.

lehem. Over this cave the Church of “There's no time to waste in sighing, the Nativity has been built. In a cave

While the years are rolling on. near by, which you enter through the Time is flying, souls are dying,

room marking the place of our Saviour's While the years are rolling on."

birth, St. Jerome lived and labored for

years, while he translated the Bible into The Inn at Bethlehem.

the Latin tongue. Hither came Joseph

and Mary from Nazareth, a distance of BY THE EDITOR.

seventy or eighty miles. Here David

had lived. And being of his lineage The inn of the Gospels is an Eastern they came here to be enrolled or taxed. khan, caravanserai, or caravan house. This taxing brought so many people to These buildings are built all after one Betblehem that they could not all find plan. Usually of rough stone, and only room in one caravan house. Joseph one story. “They consist for the most and Mary happening to arrive somewbat part of a square enclosure, in which the late, were obliged to content themselves cattle can be tied up in safety for the with lodging in a cave-stable. And thus night, and an arched recess for the ac- it happened that Jesus was born in a conimodation of travellers." The recess stable. has a paved floor, and is raised a foot or

The earthly life and ministry of our two above the other part. It is simply Saviour abounds in contrasts. yn elevated platform along the sides of lowly and yet lofty His being. The newthe buildings, without any furniture but born babe lies helpless and listless in the what travellers bring with them. On arms of His meek mother, while the the lower floor are the cattle, camels, frightened Herod is mustering his codonkeys, horses, mules, and piles of bag horts to destroy Him. How harmless gage and merchandise. On the upper the child, and seemingly how insignifiiravellers eat, drink, and sleep in s'ght cant compared with the great Emperor of each other. Nothing but lodging, no Augustus. The abode of the new King bed nor board, are furnished. Even is in a stable, amid the odor of cattle the water the travellers must draw them- and hay, that of Herod and the Emselves from the fountain or well. Within peror of Rome in gorgeously fornished its walls they find a place of shelter, and palaces. He is wrapped in swaddling nothing more.

clothes, they are arrayed in purple and Should they come late the platform fine linen. His bed à manger, theirs a may be occupied by others, and they couch of richest make and material. must lodge among the animals and lug: Mary and Joseph are His only attendgaye on the lower floor. Here are all ants, they are served and waited on by manner of offensive odors and noises, and thousands. Not even in the inu or humthe sneaking thefis of cunning dogs, ble caravan house can He find a spot to be annoy them. Sometimes, when large born in. In the best and costliest apartcaravans visit a place, some can find ments that royalty can furnish are the room neither on the platform nor among rulers of the earth-boru, but the King of the animals on the lower pavement. kings is even refused a spot in an inn Many of these inns, built near the lime- where to be born. How humble the stone hills of Palestine, had caves hewn scene in the stable at Bethlehem. out of the rock near the main building, in which the animals of the travelleis “Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall.” were housed. In these cave-stables some Yet the stars of the firmament vie to do of the pilgrims sought shelter for want Him honor, and the angels of heaven of a better place. It is very probable chant an anthem in honor of His birth. that in such a cave, belonging to the How poor in money and friends this inn, our Saviour was born.

Nazarene group in the stable looks.

« PreviousContinue »