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in remembrance of crosses borne on earth. Why need you have doubts about

your crown? Will it not be a free gift from Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy? The figures of Revelation—the city of pure gold, the foundations of precious stones, the twelve gates of pearl, the great white throne, the river clear as crystal, the tree of life how they dazzled our imagination in childhood. They are dear to us yet. But how inadequate they are to describe the home of the soul ? Reason, however, would persuade us to be content with them. She would teach us that no heaven whose delights we can most minutely anticipato can possibly satisfy the cravings of our immortal souls. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.

But yet we do have glimpses of heaven. It was a child's idea that the stars of night are merely openings to let the glory of yonder radiant world shine through upon the earth. And there are openings in this earthly career of ours through which the glory of heaven gleams with unquenchable brilliancy. Heaven is seeing the face of our Father. Do we not catch at least faint images of that face which is the expression of infinite love? The reflection of its glory lighted up the face of Moses, and have we not seen some countenances radiant with what we know must be the reflection of that same glory? Have not you known hours and days of almost perfect bliss, when every longing, for the time being, seemed satisfied? You certainly have, if you have ever helped a soul to get nearer to God. Have you stood in vast assemblies gathered to deliberate concerning the advancement of Christ's kingdom, and felt the holy stillness which pervades the very atmosphere—the soul ecstasy which has lifted every heart nearer to the throne of God? Tell us not that we catch no glimpses of the better land.

Happy is the man who lives along in the world, year after year, without being of the world. He can be a stranger to fear; no ocean tempest, no deadly pestilence, no battle shock, need frighten him. If death threatens him, what is death to one who is already living in the land beyond the river ? Simply the glad fruition of his hopes.

You were created to enjoy heaven. Your souls craved its eternal friendships; its pleasures of ever-increasing knowledge—the felicities of an eternal, unbroken home : a Saviour's constant presence. Remember that you have a crown to wear or lose for ever.


MODESTY.—Modesty is a merit, as shades to figures in a picture, giving it strength and beauty.

In the Dark.

SINCE I've committed all I have

And am and hope to be,
To His almighty care and love,

Who loves and cares for me,-
Why should I wonder or complain,

Why yield to fear or doubt,
Because He leads my pilgrim feet

In ways past finding out ?

Have I not wearied Him with prayers

That He my steps would guide ;
Would guard me when I walked aright,

And when I wandered, chide ?
Would help me—for the flesh is weak-

To trust Him though He slay,-
To trust Him in the darkest night

As in the brightest day?

And now, because the path is strange

And difficult and dim,
Shall I disown my Guide, and fail

To follow after Him?
Shall I His wisdom dare arraign,

His goodness dare dispute ?
Behold, because Thou didst it, Lord,

My trembling lips are mute !

Behold my way is still with Thee,

Though dark it be, or light;
'Tis day if Thou abide with me,

If Thou depart 'tis night.
'Tis day-although, as yet, my eyes

Are held, I cannot see ;
Oh, touch them with Thy healing touch,
And bid them look on Thee !


One day with the Lord is better than a thousand years without Him; and yet He gives me thousands of years, a whole eternity, to enjoy Him. I would not lose one day of such pleasure for a thousand years of sin. To be with Him is heaven. Without Him, heaven cannot be.

PRAISE is joy in the bloom.

TẶe Christian Law of Giving. Two truths in particular need to be more distinctly proclaimed, and more fearlessly reiterated by all preachers of the Cross and teachers of the people.

One is that only a part of what is in any man's keeping under the name of a “possession " is really his own, whether to hoard for himself, or to spend for any selfish satisfaction. Revelation, from first to last, discloses the contrary doctrine. No practical idea is more thoroughly rooted and interwoven in the whole groundwork and texture of the Christian religion than that all that the Creator of men allows us to have while we are here, to take care of, belongs to Him, and that a certain proportion of it is to be regularly rendered back to Him for Divine uses. We can in no way nullify this fundamental law of the kingdom of love. We shall not go to the bottom of our difficulties or our duties till the secular illusion which invests the word "property "is dispelled. In the Christian vocabulary ownership is nothing but stewardship. The word “ giving,"too, by logical sequence, as literally applied to offerings to God, perpetually misleads. In relation to a fellow-man, what I part with may be a gift ; in relation to my Maker and Father it is no gift at all, it is more like the interest on a loan, it is rather a small sign of indebtedness, for an unreckoned and unreckonable bounty. Power to get wealth, the calculating faculty, physical capacity, time, opportunity, natural materials, are all the Creator's, loaned and withdrawn at His will. “Of thine own have we given Thee,” for of our own we have literally nothing to give. So long as these terms are emptied of their Christian meaning men will continue to disown their duty, refusing alms altogether, or making a merit of self-interested bestowments and a parade of insignificant enterprises, and will reckon as a reserved right the polite apology of having “nothing to spare,” which the Bible calls by the plain and awful name of a “robbery of God.”

Another sophism is that Christians are somehow fulfilling the obligation of almsgiving when they are only 'paying the costs of their parochial establishments. It has lately been said to me repeatedly, “Our congregation is doing less than we should like to do for missions or for the poor, because the pastor and people have so much to do at home. We are building a new church; we have an old debt; the minister's salary is in arrears ; we want an organ; we want a Sunday-school library. Excuse us till these things are finished.” The idea appears to be that all our expenditures for religion are to be reckoned on the credit side of Heaven's account with us. Heaven be merciful to that impiousness ! Every pound that you yield for the appointments, conveniences, adornments of your parish church, which is your own household, or the maintenance of its services, is just as much a matter of interested outlay for a full equivalent as any other provision you make for the life of yourself and your children.

Build the grand roof half way to the sky, or only look on and boast while others build, in either case the question of charity is not touched. Few

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“popular fallacies” have done more mischief than the maxim that “Charity begins at home.” Avaricious people quote it, not intending that charity shall begin anywhere. Honesty, kindness, economy, thrift, and some other virtues, start, no doubt, in the home circle. Charity very rarely begins there, because, till we pass beyond that bound, the realm of voluntary and self-sacrificing bounty is not reached. Up to that poiut we have been at best only “providing for our own," doing what if we leave undone, an Apostle says, we are worse than infidels. Almighty justice and Almighty love can give us no receipts for our parochial decencies. God needs none of them ; we need them, and He is gracious enough to lend us the ability to produce them. But if you were liberal enough to give half your goods for them, or faithless enough to provide none of them, so making yourself and your household heathen, your obligation to offer in other ways of your substance to Him to whom the silver and the gold belong would stand just as it stood before, and stands everywhere.

J. M.

She bath done what she could.” A SHORT time since, we laid before our readers a few thoughts on the murmur of Judas Iscariot respecting the “waste of the ointment” which Mary of Bethany poured on the head and the feet of the Lord Jesus in the house of Simon the leper. We now recur to the narrative, that we may call attention to another point in it—the kind and generous commendation which the Lord pronounced on the act of self-denying love which Mary had just performed, “She hath done what she could.”

The Lord Jesus Christ calls us not only to the enjoyment of His salvation, but to a life-long service; and He expects us, in rendering that service, to do what we can.

He has a right to our service- a right, because He gave us, as our Creator, “ life and breath and all things;" and a further and a stronger right, because He died for us on the cross. Because He so died for us, “the Lord also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." It is His right, then, that, like Saul of Tarsus, on the way to Damascus, we should each one of us ask, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"

But when Mary took that box of ointment and anointed her Lord "against the day of His burying," we may well believe that there was in her mind scarcely any thought whatever of duty and right. That was absorbed and lost in the deep, self-renouncing love with which her heart was filled. No one had ever shown to her and her household such kindness, and bestowed upon them such priceless blessings as Christ.

He had been their frequent guest, and it had been her joy to sit at His feet whilst He poured in upon her soul the light of everlasting life; and when there had fallen upon their home the dark shadow of death, He had gone to them, and stood by the grave of Lazarus, and restored him to life again. The recollection of all this filled her with a love which, whilst it prompted that act of devoted service, would have impelled her, had it been required, to sacrifice even life itself.

How much is there of this same spirit—the spirit of love overmastering and superseding the mere thought of duty and right in the lives of God's best servants! Those words of the apostle have, beyond all doubt, found a glad response from millions of gratified hearts. “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God;" “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ;” “The love of Christ constraineth us.”

Of this we may be certain, that no man will ever do his utmost and his best for Christ, except under the influence of His love. If we have no love to Christ, we shall be well content to do nothing; and if our love be cold and feeble, we shall ask how little will serve, and we shall do that little grudgingly: but if His love be really in us as a pervading, quickening power, as the field of service spreads itself before us, we shall ask, “How much can I do that I may promote His praise ?”

Is it not so in respect to mere human relations ? Does a mother, whose heart is full of deep, tender love for her children, often ask what she ought to do for them? Is not her inquiry rather this, "How much can I do?” How

many of us are what we are to-day because loving parents, who long since went to their rest, did for us what they could !

Let this, then, be proof of our love to Christ that we do for Him our best—our best in work, in influence, in the consecration of substance, by prayer. Which of us is there who can say “I have worked for Christ as vigorously as I could; I have exerted all the influence I could; I have given as much as I could; I have prayed as earnestly as I could ?”

We have each of us his own sphere of work. Every man's powers are limited, and it is never wise for us to spread our energies over so wide a field and to attempt so many things, that of all we undertake we can do nothing well. Still it is possible for a man to confine himself to one little narrow department of work, who, without lessening the efficiency of what he is doing there, might render good service in other departments where the labourers are few. The Old Testament prophecy says, “Blessed are they that sow beside all waters." Are we, by so sowing, doing what we can ?



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