« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
when the vapour contained in the machine was applied, the flames flew out with astonishing expedition. A wooden building, erected for the purpose, was also fired, and the devouring element rushed wildly from the roof and window-frames, but as soon as the vapour was brought to bear it retreated and expired with magical despatch. Such a vapour is Charity to the fires of wrath: and what a great fire a little love extinguishes ! Anger, with all its wicked and pestiferous consequences, sinks before it. The flames of discord which wrap families and kingdoms in their scorch. ing folds die when it breathes upon them. May Charity, then, extend its holy triumphs; and let our first prayer be, that our hearts may possess it more abundantly, as the fruit of that Divine Spirit which is given to all who ask, believing that they shall receive.
THE SUFFERER'S COMPLAINT.
“All these things are against me.” A grievous mistake the patriarch made when he uttered that complaint! All things against him ? Was it “against him” to have that favourite boy, Joseph (whose supposed loss he was bewailing), made the lord of Egypt? Was it “ against him” that Benjamin was taken from his arms to be brought back again laden with a brother's munificent bounty? Was that all-wise Providence, that he so faithlessly distrusted, working “ against him ” when it evolved at last such a merciful preservation for him and all his house from famine ? The man who had wrestled with God at Penuel, and experienced the deliverances which the brook Jabbok had witnessed, should never have vented such words as those.
But the race of mistrusting Jacobs has not yet passed away. The assurances of the christian's Bible, united to the christian experiences of forty centuries, have not been sufficient to hinder those who have been tried as Jacob was, from complaining as Jacob did, “All these things are against me.”
I stand beside the sick-bed of one who is but ill-accustomed to such hours of suffering and pain. His frame is racked with anguish. The fever is drinking dry his blood. On hís uneasy bed he tosses to and fro; and as he remembers many requirements of his neglected business, he is ready to say, “All things are against me!” But in that lonely chamber he is brought near to the gates of eternity. The flames of the pit flash in his face. His sins rise with appalling terrors before his awakened consci. ence. He cries out, “God be merciful to me a sinner !” As he rises once more from that couch of suffering, which has been to him the birth. place of his spiritual life, and goes back again into a world now less dear to him than before, his grateful song is, “It was good for me that I was afflicted! Blessed be God for that near view of eternity; but for that my soul had been lost !”
Mayhap these lines may reach some one who can recall the remembrance of an earthly idol which once held far too high a place in the temple of her affections. Her life was bound up in the life of the lad. To that idol he was “joined ;” but a merciful God would not "let her alone” in her idolatry. At length the trial came. In terror and dismay she saw how the colour began to fade out from the cheek, and the much-loved voice has died into a murmur. Each sweet word fell fainter and fainter from his tongue. The mark of the destroyer grew fatally vivid, and in her wild despair she cried out, “All these things are against me. Let me not, 0 God, see the death of the child !” And when the breath of the departed one no longer fanned her cheek, like David has she exclaimed, “Would
God I had died for thee, my son! my son!” But when the first gush of maternal anguish has passed away, she has had time to look about her and see her danger,-a danger from which she is now delivered. Now she beholds with terror and compunction, how ungrateful was that idolatry,how completely her affections were stolen from the Saviour, how she was leaning on a reed, and how perilous was that guilty idolatry to her soul. It is not, therefore, the melancholy pleasure of knowing that that tender plant, - taken away by angel-reapers from the “evil to come,” — 110w blooms amid the paradise of God, which alone sustains her, but the sense of rescue from a state of guilt and forgetfulness of God, and a rescue, too, by the merciful hand of that very neglected and forgotten Father in heaven. This, more than all, fills the smitten soul with a strange and trembling gratefulness, and prompts the heart-breaking confession, “What have I now to do with idols ? Whom have I in heaven but thee and there is none on earth whom I desire beside thee.”
The record-book of christian experiences has many such narratives to disclose. In this way earthly bereavements have been sent to save the soul from the worst of all bereavements, the loss of God's favour. Many a commercial bankruptcy has saved from a bankruptcy of the soul. As the idolized riches of this world have taken to themselves wings and flown away, the disappointed soul has been led to look higher, even toward those treasures which no moth can corrupt, and no thief can reach. Many a sick-bed has delivered the sufferer from a bed in hell! “ There,” said a young man once, as he pointed to a diseased limb that was destroying his life,-“there it is; and a precious treasure it has been to me. It saved me from the folly of youth,-it made me cleave to God as my only portion; and I think it has now brought me very near to my Father's house." It may be “ against ” the ungodly worldling to go to the house of mourning, but the true saint finds it often a meet preparation for the Marriage Supper. It may go “ against” the enemy of God most fearfully, to lay his head on a dying pillow; but to the saint that pillow is one of down, for
" While he feels his heart-strings break,
How sweet the moments roll;
But glory in his soul !” All things are indeed “against” the sinner, while he remains a sinner; but in my Bible I find that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
THE SOUL'S RECORD.
A HYMN FOR THE CLOSE OF 1851. “We bless thee for all that is past, and trust thee for all that is future." -Jay's Family Prayers. Praise for the Past! its hours of joy,
Its duty, and its care; Their sost, reflected light;
Praise for its gifts of ceaseless love, Nor less for days of darker hue,
Its privilege of prayer ;That waned with lingering flight.
For daily good by God bestowed, Praise for the past; the mournful hour, To brighten all life's onward road.
Wheu death itself drew near, And folded with his shadowy wing
Praise for the future! shadows dark The scenes that once were dear,
On coming years may brood;
But to the heart that loves and trusts, For joy and grief alike were given
E'en the grief shall work for good. To execute the will of Heaven.
Praise for the future; here we hail Praise for the Present! deep within
God's purpose yet unseen ; These gross, material things,
Uuknown, unscanned, yet all unfeared. Is hid the mystery of that will,
We wait with soul serene, From whence our being springs.
The sweet disclosures of that Will, Praise for the present; for its toil,
Whose fulness all the heart can fill!
Tales and Sketches.
Mr. B. was a merchant in Baltimore, and did a very heavy business, especially in grain. One morning, as he was passing over the vessels that lay at the wharf with their various commodities for sale, he stepped upon the deck of one, at the stern of which he saw a negro man sitting, whose dejected countenance gave sure indication of distress, and he accosted him with
“Hey! my man, what is the matter with you this morning?"
The negro lifted his eyes, and looking at Mr. B., replied
“Ah, massa, I'se in great trouble.”
“What for? What have you been doing ? Have you been stealing? or did you run away? or what?"
“No, no, massa, none o' dat; its bekase I didn't mind de audes.”
" What kind of orders?"
« Well, massa stranger, I tell you. Mass Willum werry strick man, and werry nice man too, and ebry body on de place got to mine him; and I break trew de rule; but I didn't tend to break de rule, doe; I forgot mesef, an I got too high."
“It is for getting drunk, then, is it?”
“ You are the strangest negro I have seen for a week. I can get no satisfaction from you. If you would not like to be pitched overboard, you had better tell me what you did.”
“Please, massa, don't frow de poor flicted nigga in de wata.”
“ Then tell me what you are to be sold for."
For prayin, sah.” “For praying! that is a strange tale indeed. Will your master not permit you to pray ?"
“Oh, yes, sah, he let me pray easy ; but I hollers too loud.”
“And why did you halloo so in your prayer ?”
“Kase de Sperit comes on me, and I gits happy fore I knows it, den; den I gone; can't trol mesef den; den I knows nuthin bout massa's rule; den I holler if old Sattin hissef come, wid all de rules of de quisition.”
"And do you suppose your master will really sell you for that?”
“Oh, yes; no help for me now; all de world couldn't help me now; kase wen Mass Willum say one ting, he no do anoder."
“ What is your name?”
“Is he a good master ? Does he treat you well?"
“Oh, yes ; Mass Willum good ; no better massa in de world.”
“Stand up and let me look at you.” And Moses stood up and presented a robust frame; and as Mr. B. stripped up his sleeve, his arm gave evidence of unusual muscular strength.
“ Where is your master ?"
As Mr. B. started for the shore, he heard Moses give a heavy sigh, followed by a deep groan. Moses was not at all pleased with the present phase of affairs. He was strongly impressed with the idea that Mr. B. was a trader and intended to buy him, and it was this that made him so unwilling to communicate to Mr. B. the desired information. Mr. B. reached the wharf just as Colonel C. did. He introduced himself, and said
“I understand you wish to sell that negro man yonder on board the schooner.”
Colonel C. replied that he did. " What do you ask for him?" “I expect to get seven hundred dollars." “How old is he?” “ About thirty." “Is he healthy ?” “ Very; he never had any sickness in his lise, except one or two spells of the ague.”
“Is he hearty?”
“Yes, sir ; he will eat as much as any man ought, and it will do bim as much good."
“Is he a good hand?”
“ Yes, sir, he is the best hand on my place. He is steady, honest, and indus. trious. He has been my foreman for the last ten years, and a more trusty negro 1 never knew.”
“Why do you wish to sell him ?"
said, he is my foreman; and that he might and Mr. B., approaching the negro, who be available at any moment I might want sat with his eyes fixed upon the deck, seemhim, I built his quarter within a hundred ingly wrapt in meditation of the most awful yards of my own house; and I have never forebodings, said rung the bell at any time in the night or “Well, Moses, I have bought you." morning, that his horn did not answer in Moses made a very low bow, and every five minutes after. But two years ago he muscle of his face worked with emotion as got religion, and commenced what he terms he replied family prayer--that is, prayer in his quarter “Is you, massa ? Where is I gwine, every night and morning; and when he massa ? Is I gwine to Georgy ?" begun his prayer, it was impossible to tell “No," said Mr. B., “I am a merchant when he would stop, especially if (as he here in the city; yonder is my store. I termed it) he got happy. Then he would want you to attend on the store, and have sing and pray and halloo for an hour or two purchased your wife and children too, that together, that you might hear him a mile you may not be separated." off. And he would pray for me and my wife “Bress God fer dat! And, Massa, kin I and children, and all my brothers and sisters go to meetin sometimes ?” and their children, and our whole family “Yes, Moses, you can go to church three conection to the third generation; and times on the Sabbath, and every night in the sometimes, when we would have visiters, week ; and you can pray as often as you Moses's prayers would interrupt the conver choose, and as loud as you choose, and as sation and destroy the enjoyment of the long as you choose, and get as happy as you whole company. The women would cry, choose; and every time you pray, whether it and the children would cry, and it would be at home or in the church, I want you to set me almost frantic; and even after I had
pray for me, my wife, and all my children, retired, it would sometimes be nearly day
and single-handed, too; for if you are a light before I could go to sleep; for it
good man, your prayers will do us no harm, appeared to me that I could hear Moses
and we need them very much ; and if you pray for three hours after he had finished.
wish to, you may pray for everybody of the I bore it as long as I could, and then forbid name of B. in the State of Maryland. It his praying so loud any more. Moses pro will not injure them." mised obedience, but he soon transgressed; While Mr. B. was dealing out these priand my rule is never to whip, but whenever
vileges to Moses, the negro's eyes danced in a negro proves incorrigible, I sell him. This
their sockets, and his full heart laughed keeps them in better subjection, and is less
outright for gladness, exposing two rows of trouble than whipping. I pardoned Moses
as even, clean ivories as any African can twice for disobedience in praying so loud,
boast; and his heart's response was, “Bress but the third time I knew I must sell him,
God! bress God all de time, and bress you or every negro on the farm would soon be
too, massa! Moses neber tinks bout he perfectly regardless of all my orders.”
gwine to have all dese commondationers; “ You spoke of Moses's quarter; I suppose dis make me tink bout Joseph in de Egypt." from that he has a family.”
And after Moses bad poured a few blessings “ Yes, he has a woman and three children upon Colonel C., and bidding him a warm
or wife, I suppose he calls her now, for adieu, and requesting him to give his love soon after he got religion, he asked me if and farewell to his mistress, the children, they might be married, and I presume they and all the servants, he followed Mr. B. to were.”
the store, to enter upon the functions of “What will you take for her and the his new office. children ?"
The return of the schooner brought to “If you want them for your own use, I Moses his wife and children. will take seven hundred dollars; but I shall not sell Moses nor them to go out of the
Early the next spring, as Mr. B. was one State."
day standing at the store door, he saw a “I wish them all for my own use, and will
man leap upon the wharf from the deck of give you the fourteen hundred dollars.”
a vessel and walk hurriedly towards the Mr. B. and Colonel C. then went to B.'s store. He soon recognized him as Colonel store, drew up the writings, and closed the c. They exchanged salutations, and, to sale, after which they returned to the vessel ; I the Colonel's enquiry after Moses, Mr. B.
replied that he was up stairs measuring the saints was in its growth, in which the grain, and invited him to walk up and see apostles addressed them, and in which Paul him. Soon Mr. B.'s attention was arrested himself gave them to drink immediately by a very confused noise above. He listened. from the heavenly springs of revelation, and heard an unusual shuffling of seet, some and was able, with parental kindness, perone sobbing violently, and some one talking sonally to watch over and attend to them. very hurriedly; and when he reflected upon And are you not able, my brethren, to tell Colonel C.'s singular movements and the of a similar “accepted time?" Oh, think peculiar expression of his countenance, he how delightful was the season, when your became alarmed, and determined to go up own religious life first burst the bud, and and see what was transpiring.
the glory of the Gospel, so fully laid open When he reached the head of the stairs, to you, shone upon you with all the splenhe was startled by seeing Moses in the dour of its vernal radiance; how delightful, middle of the floor, down upon one knee, when you knew no sound more welcome with his arms around the Colonel's waist, than the church bells, and when you and talking most rapidly, while the Colonel hastened, in crowds, with joyful expectastood weeping audibly. So soon as the tion, to the house of God! And the word Colonel could sufficiently control his feel. never returned void. There was a rain of ings, he told Mr. B. that he had never been the Spirit which descended upon you,-a able to free himself from the influence of shaking amongst the dry bones which ceased Moses's prayers, and that during the past not,--and children were born to the Lord, year he and his wife and all his children as dew from the womb of the morning. had been converted to God.
Oh, how vividly do I still remember how Moses responded: "Bress God, Massa C., animatedly and joyfully we sowed the seeds doe I way up hea, I neber ferget you in my of our mission in the field of youthful piety, prayers; I ollers put de ole massa side de - that germ which is now grown up to a new one. Bress God! dis make Moses tink tree, that extends its beneficent boughs far bout Joseph in de Egypt agin.”
over the ocean! How present it still is to The Colonel then stated to Mr. B. that my mind, how, with beaming countenances his object in coming to Baltimore was to we celebrated the first festival of our spiribuy Moses and his family back again. But
tual triumphs,- how a host of youthful Mr. B. assured him that that was out of the preachers presented you with garlands of question, for he could not part with him ; the most fragrant vernal blossoins of their and he intended soon to give Moses and inward life,-how, from the threshold of all his family their freedom.
our vale to its farthest extremity, the waters Moses was not far wrong in his reference of the sanctuary flowed so rapidly, and the to Joseph. For when Joseph was sold into
spirit of Divine testimony assailed your Egypt, God over-ruled it to his good, and hearts, against whose force it was necessary he obtained blessings that were far beyond for the man to be doubly armed, who would his expectations; so with Moses. Joseph continue in his unbelief! Yes, this was eventually proved the instrument of saving "an acceptable time," during which, our *the lives of those who sold him. Moses valley became a city set upon a hill, which proved the instrument, in God's hands, of was seen far and wide. During this period, saving the man's soul who sold him.
the holy fire went forth from our churches, • Old Moses is still living and doing well.
surrounded the neiglıbouring hills, and He long since obtained his freedom, and at kindled blazing fires both far and near, present occupies a comfortable house of his During this period, the beauteous crown own; and I suppose he now sings and prays of reproach for Christ's sake was woven 'to his heart's content.
for us by those that were without, and which adorns us even to the present day.
And will it be asserted that this “acceptaTHE ACCEPTED TIME.
ble time” is past? Oh, no, it still conBY DR. KRUMMACHER.
tinues in more than one respect. In the But the apostle likewise speaks of "the
preaching to which you now listen, ceraccepted time" evidently in a more limited
tainly, maturer faith is presented to you, sense, whilst including in it, at the same than at that time; you are being more time, the pleasing period of the Corinthian deeply initiated into the word of truth; you church, the days in which the church of l are more fervently exhorted to be reconciled