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Be patient with your deferred hopes. The heart is sick, no doubt, but sick hearts must take the tonic of patience. All that is worth hoping for will come to the Christian. The hope itself is put in peril by the impatience that weakens and prostrates your strength. Here also you have no better resource than patience. You will reach next year just as soon by taking it quietly; the end of your preparation for life's work-your apprenticeship or college course—will come of itself. The end of all your labour is not far beyond, and need not be sighed for or impatiently expected. Clad in patience, you walk in an invisible armour, against which temptations to repine and murmur fall harmless. Put on patience against your hungry hope.

Be patient with yourself. You are full of faults, and your life abounds in blunders. Do not lash yourself sore with self-debasement. Some confidence in yourself is needful to your success.

Be patient with God. It seems almost irreverent to counsel you so. And yet, you know that even against God you have cried out in your impatience. Your garden did not bloom in season, or bear fruit in abundance, and in your heart

you said, God will never reward me according to my works. He has flowers for others and fruit even for the ungodly, but me He leaves in want.

When shall my turn come?” Be patient. He has one time and you have another. Your time is when you desire ; His time is when you can

He sees your day of real want ; you see only the hour of capricious wishes. For Him and for you there is abundance of time. His years shall not fail, nor will yours. You can afford to wait. Be patient.

M.

use.

The Staguation of Politics and Trade. We are passing at present through a season of singular dulness and deadness in our commercial and political life, which may not be without its uses and benignant ministries ; provided always that it does not extend itself to the spiritual sphere. If the Church were to halt in its work for the world, as commerce is halting, as the onward movement in politics is halting, these would be dark days indeed. Archbishop Leighton, writing of the Church, remarks that it has its “intensive” and “ extensive states, which are rarely, if ever, coincident. There are times of repression, comparative silence, perhaps of persecution, when the work of the Kingdom seems to make little progress, when hearts are sad and faith is tremulous. But the life is working inwardly, deepening its roots, renewing its springs ; and the time comes at length when it bursts forth with new vigour, and all can measure how much has been gained. Then comes the extensive stage of its development; it breaks forth on all sides ; it wins new conquests, it masters new realms, and makes a clear and visible advance towards the fulfilment of its mission, to overspread and enlighten the world. And secular things travel in the same track as spiritual things. In truth the secular waits on and observes the spiritual, as planets wait upon and observe their suns. Among free peoples—indeed among all peoples, but the phenomena of life can be observed and studied best where there is freedom-society progresses after the same fashion as the church. There are times of vigorous outward activity, when the life is strong in the springs and presses outwards in every direction ; when great enterprises are attempted, when great achievements are accomplished ; when either a new direction is given to the current of progress, or it sweeps round and masters new domains ; when all is animation, interest, hope and joy. Then there comes in its train a time of lassitude and languor, when it is difficult to rouse keen interest in anything, when reactionary ideas and movements are dominant, and there seems grave danger lest all that has been so lately and painfully won should be lost. The two states are related to each other; they enter in concert into the system of life as a higher wisdom has ordained it ; and the key to them lies hidden in the mysteries of our bodily frame, where the patterns of all the higher movements of society may be explored.

We have recently been living through a very remarkable period of political activity ; perhaps the most remarkable recorded in our history, apart from the excitement of revolutionary times. Indeed Mr. Gladstone's administration accomplished something like a bloodless revolution. And curiously enough it was coincident with an equally remarkable period of commercial activity ; nothing in our history as a trading nation is comparable for a moment with the wonderful industry, productiveness and prosperity of the earlier years of the present decade. It seemed four or five years ago as though England were rapidly advancing to be the undisputed commercial centre of the world. The amount of our production in cotton and iron, and the amount of our exports were alike enormous. Every branch of our industry was stimulated to the utmost, the machine through all its wheels and cylinders was working at high pressure ; the output of coal, cotton, and iron was unprecedented, while our ships were fully occupied in distributing the products all over the world. We grew rich with a rapidity which to thoughtful observers had something alarming about it; the prices of luxuries, and even of necessaries, ran up to a point which forbade the former to all but the wealthy, and made the provision of the latter difficult to people of moderate means. It seemed as if the race was to the swift and the spoil to the strong ; great firms made extravagant gains, while the weak and fearful were thrust to the wall, and found the conditions of life growing harder and harder day by day.

And this sympathy between the political and the commercial community was far from accidental. The same influences were acting on both, and made it possible both for Mr. Gladstone to carry out his splendid scheme of legislation, and for our manufacturers to flood the markets of the world. With the death of Lord Palmerston an old system of things finally passed away. Sadowa opened a new chapter in history. The Prusso-Austrian and the Franco-German wars sent an electric shock, or rather series of shocks, through the whole European system ; there was everywhere the stir, the energy, the hope, of a new era; men felt in all the organs and pulses of society, the throbbing and the swelling of a new life.

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mental luxury, which belong to God, that person robs God. To rob God is a sin. Perhaps the eye of the Omniscient sees a more flagrant exhibition of selfishness and unbelief and downright irreligion in many a luxurious home of refinement than He sees in some dens of sensual vice, where ignorance is sinning against but small light and under powerful temptations. Pleasing self without caring whether God is pleased or not is “ sinful pleasure.” To persist in pleasing self in utter defiance of God is to choose death !

We must not be deceived by the expression “ for a season.” The immediate gratification produced by self-indulgence may be momentary. But the influence lasts. The mischief of the sin is permanent. The guilt is permanent. The effect on the conscience is permanent. I know of impenitent persons whose character is absolutely worse to-day for having grieved God's Spirit ten years or fifteen years ago. Sin poisons. Sin kills. These “sins for a season ” last into eternity. Their consequences are felt in the endless retributions and woes of the world to come. The vages of sin is death! Just as a night of sensual indulgence is often followed the next day by the headache and the severer heartache, so a career of selfpleasing ungodliness is followed by the agonising heartache of Hell.

Now comes the question, How shall the pleasures of sin be rooted out ? If they are destroying the soul, how shall they be destroyed? There is but one way, and it is by the expulsive power of a new affection. The right must expel the wrong. Christ or sin must have the control. Both cannot rule. Christ must expel the supreme love of sin, or you are lost! The soul cannot remain empty. Either Jesus or sin will hold the helm and control the affections. When Moses shut out the luxuries and the ambitions and the idolatries of Egypt, he filled their place with something infinitely better. He chose hardship, banishment from court, a forty years' march of faith through the wilderness. Was there any “pleasure in all these ? Yes, yes ! “He had respect to the recompense of reward.God was more to be trusted than Pharaoh. Duty was sweeter than self-indulgence. A good conscience was better than being “called the son of the king's daughter.” The desert was safer to his soul than the guilty glitter of a palace. Heaven was better than Egypt ! He shut out “the pleasures of sin by the incoming of a grand, a holy, and a glorious faith, and a sublime self-consecration to the Lord and the Lord's work! And what a career he had, clear on to the hour of his majestic translation to glory from the top of Mount Nebo !

The conflict was between Christ and self. With Christ came reproach,” self-denial, hardship. But with Christ came a new affection, a new strength, a new joy, and a magnificent career, that blessed the whole world for ever. Happy choice! Happy man! Happy will you be, my friend, if you can put the Lord Jesus Christ where you have always put sin-on the throne of the heart !

God gives you your choice. You have to decide. Either sin or the Saviour must have you. Either the “pleasures of sin for a season,” with the afterpangs of perdition, or the self-denials of earth, with the limitless joys of heaven. Which will you have ?

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The enormous demand for our goods which the waste and wreck of great wars developed, found our country the only secure and stable political centre in the whole civilised world. The American war helped largely to throw into our hands almost the whole carrying trade of the world. The European wars drove capital to our shores, as to the only secure haven which it could discover. There was not the faintest chance of the overthrow of the throne, or of the serious disturbance of the order of society, in these favoured islands ; while everywhere else the storm was raging, and every year witnessed some overthrow of ancient institutions, some removal of ancient landmarks, some readjustment of the limits of States. So capital flowed into England rapidly. The great continental houses had their branches in London, which gradually became the centres of their operations. “All went merry as a marriage bell” with English commerce, while confusion raged around.

The influence of this stimulus on our commercial production it would be difficult to over-estimate. We have never seen before, perhaps it will be long before we shall see again, anything like the vivid activity of those years. And the political activity was really fed from the same spring. It was the general stir and onward pressure of European life which infected us; we caught the glow of the conflict, though we were out of its dust and blood. Great issues were being decided in Europe, great things were being enterprised and done. It would have been strange if in our peaceful way we had not aimed at great achievements too. The general stir and excitement of the European commonwealth did, without question, very largely stimulate that energy, that intensity, that enthusiasm of progress, which so nobly sustained Mr. Gladstone through that most remarkable course of legislation, which, considering the magnitude of the interests, and the rapidity and thoroughness with which they were dealt with, will remain one of the most noteworthy and pregnant passages of our political history. Pregnant we say, for it must be noted that the legislation was based on germinant principles, and contained the seeds of future reforms, which reach to results whose prevision would startle the sober-minded Liberal

There was a great flood of energy which swept into the political sphere, and which enabled a great statesman to carry out his great designs.

And now the flood is over, and the ebb has set in. There is just as remark. able a depression now as there was then excitement and activity. And it seems to affect equally politics and trade. There is no panic in the City, though trade is as dull and unremunerative as it well can be if it is to be carried on at all; and there is no alarm about our liberties, though the reactionary policy of the Government grows more marked and flagrant day by day. A certain listlessness seems to have settled down upon the world commercially and politically ; it is just the listlessness of those who have been under a strong and unusual strain and are wearied by it. It will do no permanent harm, if men are content to wait till the tension is restored. The effort which we made both in manufacture and in legislation during the earlier years of the decade, was exhausting. No nation with a character for steadiness and deliberation, and with manifold important interests in charge,

now.

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