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POWER OF THE CROSS.
Poor boys, who have little learning, and few advantages, here is encouragement for you. Only be steady, and per. severing, and attentive, and what may you not, with God's blessing, be able to do when you grow up ?- Children's Priend.
POWER OF THE CROSS.
By the Rev. C. H. SPURGEON.
A MARTYR is going to the stake; the halbert-men are around him; the crowds are mocking; but he is marching steadily on. See, they bind him, with a chain around his middle, to the stake; they heap fagots all about him; the flames are lighted up; listen to his words: “ Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.” The flames are kindling around his limbs; the fire is burning him, even to the bone ; see him lift up his hands and say, “ I know that my Redeemer liveth, and though the fire devour this body, yet in my flesh shall I see the Lord.” Behold him clutch the stake and kiss it, as if he loved it; and hear him say, “For every chain of iron that man girdeth me with, God shall give me a chain of gold; for all these fagots, and this ignominy and shame, he shall increase the weight of my eternal glory.” See, all the under parts of his body are consumed ; still he lives in the torture; at last he bows himself, and the upper part of his body falls over; and as he falls you hear him say, “ Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” What wondrous magic was on him, sirs? What made that man strong? What helped him to bear that cruelty? What made him stand unmoved in the flames? It was a thing of power; it was the cross of Jesus crucified. For "unto us who are saved it is the power of God.”
SEED SOWN AND FRUIT GATHERED IN CHINA.
But behold another scene far different. There is no crowd there; it is a silent room. There is a poor pallet, a lonely bed, a physician standing by. There is a young girl; her face is blanched by consumption ; long hath the worm eaten her cheek; and though sometimes the flush came, it was the death-flush of the deceitful consumption. There she lieth, weak, pale, wan, wořn, dying; yet behold a smile upon her face, as if she had seen an angel. She speaketh, and there is music in her voice. Joan of Arc was not half so mighty as that girl. She is wrestling with dragons on her death-bed; but see her composure, and hear her dying sonnet :
“Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly,
While the tempest still is high,
Till the storm of life is past;
O receive my soul at last.”
SEED SOWN AND FRUIT GATHERED
IN CHINA. We are sure every one of our readers will peruse with pleasure the following portion of a letter received from the Rev. Carstairs Douglas, at Amoy :
“Last Sabbath I had the great privilege of admitting five persons to the visible church. Two are women; one being the wife of a church member, the other an unmarried sister of Bu-liet, a name familiar to you, as having been much tried by sickness and persecution. He himself has shown such an excellent spirit, that I have set him to study, with the purpose of future public usefulness. The
SEED SOWN AND FRUIT GATHERED IN CHINA. 45
third is a young man residing in Pechuia. The remaining two are young men from the hill station of Ma-ping, one of them having gone through singularly deep soul exercise.
“ There still remains twenty-five candidates, of whom ten are females, all in various stages of advancement ; these are, with few exceptions, in the neighbourhood of Ma-ping. Two of the women would probably have been admitted at this time, but they could not dare to come down, on account of threats of personal violence made by their relatives, in a village on the way. These were no idle threats, for just a few days before, the brother of one came over to Ma-ping, and beat his sister so cruelly that, but for the interference of her husband, her life would have been in danger. It is said that the husband, formerly indifferent, now joins with her in family worship. Each of these women has also a son among the candidates.
“Mr. Talmage kindly accompanied me into the hill country about a fortnight ago, of course visiting Pechuia again. Last Saturday we had to join with the brethren in mourning over the death of one of the most interesting of the candidates. I have not learned much of his history, but what I know is most touching and almost tragical. His father was a man of some little wealth, and the young man early showed considerable talent in study. But he became so grievously enslaved to opium that his father drove him away from his home and disowned him. He continued to study, supporting himself by teaching a school. Soon his father, and brothers, and all his near relatives died, and the property was scattered among distant connections, leaving the poor youth friendless and penniless in this cold world. About this time he heard Mr. Burns preach, and inwardly approved of his doctrine,
46 SEED SOWN AND FRUIT GATHERED IN CHINA.
read Christian books, and prayed a little in secret. But the fear of his neighbours kept him from making any public profession, and he soon stifled his convictions. Meantime the appetite for opium increased, his constitution was undermined, and severe sickness came upon him. In his trouble his heart was brought to think on the Saviour, and he was hospitably entertained by the Pechuia brethren. I saw him several times there, and he was also a week or two with me at Amoy. His bodily sickness was sometimes better and sometimes worse ; but all who knew him counted that his soul's health steadily progressed. We were delighted to see the humility with which he disclaimed all trust in himself or on those an. cient sages idolized by the Chinese literati; to see his mind gradually grasping the facts and doctrines of the Scripture; to trace the increase of his faith on Jesus, and the development of his Christian character ; and while we finally expected the restoration of his health we anticipated no small usefulness in the Lord's work; but we judged erroneously. He had gone from Pechuia for a few days to visit a distant relation in the village where he had formerly lived, and when I reached Pechuia last Saturday, a letter came from him, telling us that his sickness had become more severe. We had just sent off one of the brethren to visit him, when a message came that the lifeless clay alone remained on earth. He had not been formally admitted to the visible church, and no Christian friend was near in his last moments. But his heathen fellow-villagers themselves agreed that he had died in the faith of Jesus, and that no heathenish rite should pollute bis burial. The members from Pechuia accompanied the body to its quiet resting place, sorrowing indeed, yet not as those who have uo hope."
THE JUVENILE REPORTER.
THE Reporter could not find room for all the particulars of the prize essays in this number; he therefore thought it best to send a note to each writer by post, returning the unsuccessful essays to their authors, and prizes to those who had gained them. There will be a full account of them in next number, with the names of those who have taken the prizes and other particulars. The Reporter was very glad to see some of his old acquaintances in the field again, and especially to notice that they were improving in more ways than one. He will be able to point out some of these things more particularly next time.
He had a great many things to say this month about school teas, school treats, and school speeches. About the collecting cards, the Juvenile Missionary Fund, and lots of other things, but as the editor grumbles if he takes up too much room, for the sake of a quiet life he must try to be as brief as he can.
Some collectors were grumbling sadly last month because their contributions were not acknowledged, and the Reporter believes that some may have to do so again. But who can help it? The cover of the “ Juvenile wont hold any more after it is full, and it would only be wasting money to print a double cover, which would amount to more than twenty-five thousand pages. Have patience, therefore, and in the course of a month or two we shall overtake the whole.
The boys and girls at Ancoats had a joyous meeting on New Year's Day—the largest meeting they ever had, and they reported the largest amount of funds collected. But, somehow, the boys at Ancoats are always dragging behind the girls. Last year they were, and now this year the girls collect for Missions £5 6s. 4d.; while the boys can only muster £3 8s. 8d.
The Reporter is glad to be able to speak well once more of the scholars of Trinity Church, Manchester. They collected altogether, for Missions to Ireland and