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and unlovely in their tempers, there will be trouble. Many godly parents have often to retire to the closet and sigh out before the Lord, I bam troubled ; It am bowed down greatly.”. Family trials are often kepti in the family; no one knows them but the parties who endure them, nor, as a rule, should they; but in consequence of this, many suffer deeply who are not supposed to suffer at all. Oh, the bitter nights and sorrowful days which many believers pass through in secret, arising from domestic troubles! What a mercy that there is a throne of grace, a loving Father who listens to our secret sighs, and hears our painful confessions, which we dare make to no one but himself, for if this were not the case, many a christian's heart would break.

Very frequently the source of trouble is within. It is soul-trouble, which is trouble with an emphasis. . Guilt is contracted, confession is neglected, and the eye is taken off the great atoning sacrifice, and then comes trouble. The evidences are beclouded, the prospects are darkened, the heart is contracted, fears are awakened, and unbelief becomes strong. The spirit of prayer departs, the heart is drained of its comfort, and the soul, which was like a well-watered garden, becomes like a barren desert. Every duty is a task, and what was a sweet privilege becomes a burden. The bible is a sealed book, the ordinances of God's house are like dry breasts, and christian conversation is wearisome. Conscience accuses, memory furnishes the indictment, and Satan tempts us to despair. Past experience appears to have been a delusion, and a spirit of restlessness seizes us; so that, like the unclean spirit which went out of the man, we , wander through dry places, seeking rest, but finding none. If we look up, God appears to be an angry judge; if we look back, our iniquities are set in array against us; if we look around, we cannot see any of the Lord's people exercised as we are; and if we look forward, the idea of eternity without hope is dreadful. Now the soul sighs out, *I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly." No one knows what sin is, who has not seen it in the light of God's countenance; nor can any one tell the trouble occasioned by a guilty conscience, but he who has smarted beneath its lashes. Precious, infinitely precious, is the blood of Jesus . which heals it; and gracious, unspeakably gracious, is the Holy Spirit

who applies that blood unto us. Without that blood, and without this · blessed Spirit, the poor troubled sinner would sink into despair, or rush into desperation.

The law of sin in the members is a constant source of trouble. It is always present. It is ever active. It is sometimes so exceedingly power. ful. It is upon this that Satan works, and by this he often brings us into bondage. When this law is realized in its full force, every grace appears to be buried under a heap of corruption, and the dreadful evils of the heart are set in motion. What images are painted on the imagina. tion! What horrible thoughts pass through the soul! What indescribable evils are working in the hidden chambers of the heart! Oh, it is fearful sometimes, when the flesh is lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, so that we cannot do the things that we would! What fearful thoughts of God, what dread conceptions of eternity, what alarming ideas respecting the bible, the Saviour, and the blessed Spirit! The soul is indeed agitated, depressed, and wearied. The conflict is severe. It is only as we wield the sword of the Spirit, oppose the shield of faith, and cry unto the strong for strength, that we can prevail. Many of the Lord's people snífer a secret martyrdom; for they are so harassed, perplexed, and confounded by the working of the law of sin in their members, that their life hangs in doubt, their fears are like the rack, and unbelief, like a fire, scorches up their spirits. This roakes them

jexclaim," , wretched man that I am, who shall deliver the from the -body of this death ?”

The temptations, insinuations, and suggestion's of Satan are another {cause of trouble to the believer. He worries those whom he cannot devour. He distresses those whom he cannot destroy. Now he tries to draw into sin, and then to drive into despair. Now he employs external agents, and then he secretly works upon the mind. Sometimes he comes in his own true colours, and sometimes he is transformed into an angel of light. Oh, the devices he uses, the stratagems he employs, to distress and trouble us! Now be fills the heart with foul, debasing, devilish thoughts, such as no christian dare utter, such as no author dare write. Then he misrepresents God's character, and insinuates the vilest thoughts against his goodness and his grace. Now the object of his attack is God's word, and he assaults us in reference to its authenticity, inspiration, and purity. Then he calls attention to the church of God, and shews up all that is inconsistent among the saints, and tries to alienate our hearts from them. Now he tries to undermine our faith in the atonement of the Lord Jesus, and then he levels all his artillery against the glorious person, and gracious work, of the Holy Spirit. His one object is to generate doubt, foster unbelief, and lead us into sin, desperation, and despair. Well may the apostle compare it to wrestling, when he says, “We wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places.” They are wicked spirits, full of spite and malice against God, against his Son, and against every one that desires to honour his dear name. It is a fearful struggle often, so that we are "troubled and bowed down greatly.”

What with trouble in the world, trials in the church, disorders in the family, occasionally guilt upon the conscience, the law of sin in the members warring against the law of the mind, and the buffetings, suggestions, and temptations of Satan, the true believer proves his life to be a conflict, his course a trial, and all the consolations of the gospel necessary. He is often troubled, and deep sighs, heavy groans, and heart-felt cries ascend from him to the throne of his gracious God. He is bowed down, straitened in Spirit, and so pressed in soul, that he knows not what to do. His burden appears too heavy for him to bear, and would be, only that his Saviour's strength is made perfect in his weakness. He desires to love God with all his heart, and with all his soul; but often that heart appears full of rebellion, and is as hard as a stone. He would be constantly ascending to God in the exercise of prayer and praise; but instead of this, he is often prayerless, indifferent, and ungrateful. He would exercise faith in his word, and trust in his wise and holy providence; but, alas, he discredits the promise, doubts God's goodness, is discontented, and murmurs at his lot! He wishes to walk in the light, as God is in the light, that he may enjoy high and holy fellowship with him; but he is dark, distant, and knows little of the holy intercourse he longs for.

Thus he goes mourning, at times, all the day long. He mourns over the hardness, depravity, and coldness of his heart. He mourns because sin dwells in him, works in him, and he fears will some day overcome him. He mourns lest he should offend the Lord, grieve the Holy Spirit, or wound his beloved Saviour anew. He mourns because his love is so feeble, fitful, and imperfect. He mourns because he cannot serve God as he requires, or be holy as he commands him. He mourns because his repentance is not deep enough: he does not, he cannot, sorrow for sin as he wishes, because he is so little affected when he sees others sin, and grieves so slightly over his own. He mourns because, notwithstanding all, pride still works in his nature, though he wishes to lie low in the dust, and be clothed with humility before God and man. He mourns, at times, lest his spot should not be the spot of God's children, or his expérience be different from theirs : this frequently wounds his feelings, burdens his soul, sinks bis spirits, shakes his hopes, fills him with fears, and makes him groan. Then he cries, “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.”

11 m i ns B1 Reader, are you troubled for sin ? Are you ever troubled by Satan? Are you ever bowed down in sorrow, burdened with guilt, and laid low before the Lord? Do you ever mourn over your imperfections, repent of your sins, and sigh and strive for holiness ? Real religion is experimental, and though all do not experience the whole of what I have written, yet every true christian does, or will, know something about it. It is necessary to strip him of self, divorce him from the law, teach him his own weakness, lead him to rely entirely on the Lord Jesus, and gladly accept salvation as the gift of free grace. Those who are thus tried, have low thoughts of themselves, and high thoughts of Christ; they walk softly before God, without boasting, or self-conceit; and they renounce all con. fidence in the flesh, placing confidence in God's covenant-mercy alone. To them Christ is precious. To them free grace is sweet. To them the cross is glorious. To them the absolute promises are necessary. To them heaven will be a place of rest, satisfaction, and rejoicing; and throughout eternity they will admire, adore, and enjoy the wonders of redeeming love.


.. . THE CONSOLATIONS OF RELIGION. - Is there a single descendant of Adam who can say, “I shall never need consolation; I am proof against misfortune's darts; I can withstand sorrow's fiercest storms" ? If such an one there be on the face of the wide earth, let him stand forth, that we may see the Heaven-favoured being who needs not religion.

The sources from which men seek consolation are numerous. Some seek it in wealth, some in honour, and others in friends. It would be easy to shew that there are times in each person's life when none of these can afford consolation,-when consolation, if it come at all, must come from above.

Is it one who has the wealth of Cresus, who says, “Let the christian seek consolation in his God, if he will. Gold will console and deliver me. The shining gold shall be my god? To him we would say, There are šorrows and trials which the wealth of the world can neither alleviate nor remove. Can gold, with its potent influence, call back the loved and dear ones of your heart from the icy embrace of the grave ? Can it stop the ravages of disease, and þid the mighty reaper, Death, pass on and leave your idol unscathed? Can it rob sickness of its torturing pangs or death of its mortal sting? No, no! The united testimony of all men in all ages is, that not one of these fell destroyers which visit all, can for a moment be resisted by wealth. Oh, ye rich; if ye have nothing but riches to console you, how miserable your condition may be even in this world.Well has the pen of inspiration written that fearful passage, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you." Said Elizabeth, the most renowned of England's Queens, with the wealth of England at her command: “Millions of money for an inch of time !” But Time heeded not the bribe, and rolled on into eternity, bearing her along with it.

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Some may say, “They are, indeed, fools who think to soothe the sor. rows of the immortal soul with gold. Honour and fame can do it. Let but millions delight to do me honour, and I will ask no other consola. tion.” Think again, I entreat you. What consolation will fame's noblest wreaths afford in that hour when the angel of death is knocking at thy heart's inmost door ? When about to enter another world, of what account will the honours of this be? Then wilt thou see, and feel too, if not before, that thou hast been all thy life long chasing a bubble which perishes in the grasp. The dying testimony of monarch, hero, orator, poet, and philosopher has been in many cases, “that human greatness cannot afford consolation in affliction's bitter hour.” One of the greatest, wickedest, and most miserable of poets has sung,

“He who ascends to mountain tops shall find

The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
He who surpasses or subdues mankind,

Must look down on the hate of those below." Yes, there are times when all that art and fancy can do in their greatest efforts is but a solemn mockery, Nothing human can pluck a rooted sore row from the brain.

But there is a consolation still nobler than wealth or fame; that is, the sympathy of friends. How consoling to the sorrow-stricken heart is a friendly word from a loved one; better by far than the "wealth of India,” or the loudest trump of fame. But friends abide not. “They go hence to be here no more.” Who hath not been separated from a friend either by circumstances or death? If any, let him stand forth as one among ten thousand. If the fond embrace with which we hold our friends could be lasting, friends indeed would be a consolation. But, alas, they pass away as a summer cloud, never, never to return ! How overpowering the thought, to bid an everlasting farewell to an idol of the heart. In such an hour one feels that there is some other consolation needed, which this world affords not. In this extremity religion shines with unwonted splendour, beams with heavenly radiance.

. It was an occasion of this kind that suggested this train of thought. A sister was called to bid a brother farewell, who was about to embark to a far distant land, to proclaim the glorious gospel. She wished to have him go, but then the strong ties of nature and affection had to be broken, and bitter and almost heart-rending was the trial. And as the heart said, “Good-bye,” “for the lips move not when the heart feels most," it seemed to be bursting with anguish. Then the thought that they would never meet again on this earth seemed to overwhelm, their souls. But in this dark hour, light burst in upon them. Said they to one another, “We will meet in heaven, meet to part no more.” Soul-enrapturing thought, which religion alone can give! “Oh,” said he, “without the consolations of religion how could I endure this hour 2”? These are thy glorious triumphs, Christianity, to give light when all else is darkness,to give consolation when wealth, and honour, and friends are taken away. Let each one now, while he may, seek this universal antidote of all sor. row and pain. Then shall we rejoice in life, and triumph in death, and glory in a blessed immortality.


How shall we meet? How shall we meet ?

As oft as we met while bere ? '
To pass the hours in converse sweet,

Only without a fear,

Without a shade of grief or pain,

A thought of doubt or care,
Is it thus that we shall meet again,

When our heavenly home we share ?
Will the voices of the household band

Ring out in music free?
Will the clasp of the freely-offered hand

Be warm as it used to be ?
Will the smile of the lip be still the same?

Will the light of the earnest eyes
Bear sunshine to the heart again,

In our dwelling in the skies ?
Shall we know each other's faces there,

As we have known them here,
Only more calmly, brightly fair ?

Shall we hold our friends as dear ?
And shall we count as dearest, still,

Those with us who have pressed,
Hand clasped in hand, through good and ill,

On to the land of rest ?
Shall we find all our loved ones there?

Or shall we look, in vain,
For the smile that beamed o'er the features fair,

We may not see again ?
Shall we miss, as, with memory's aid, we trace

The close-linked circle round,
More than one from the accustomed place ?

Or will all in our home be found ?
Or will Memory itself be lost.

As we pass from earth to heaven ?
And the bright ones of the ransomed host

Be as friends, for the first time given ?
Shall we have them all, in their beauty, blest,

Nor pause, to single one
To love more dearly than the rest,

As on earth we might have done ?
We know not, friends. There beams no ray

Of light on us, to tell
Of the scenes in the “land of purer day,'

Where we hope, ere long, to dwell.
Yet our hearts will oftentimes reply,

As we muse on that viewless sphere, “Our love will still cling, in our home in the sky,

To those whom it twined round here.
“We shall love all the ransomed ones and blest;

But those whom we loved before
Will be nearer to us than the rest,
• We shall we must love them more.
Our hearts were linked with theirs in life,

And the ties have not been riven;
They thought of us last in the parting strife,

They will meet us first in heaven."

hearts will osiewless sphere in the sky,


A butterfly basked on a baby's grave

Where a lily had chanced to grow :
" Why art thou here with thy gaudy dye,
When she of the blue and sparkling eye

Must sleep in the churchyard low ?”
Then it lightly soared through the sunny air,

And spoke from its shining track:
“I was a worm till I won my wings,
And she whom thou mourn'st, like a seraph, sings:
Wouldst thou call the blessed one back?”

Mrs. L. H. Sigourney.

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