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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.
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,” — now 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 future! shadows dark
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 withia
God's purpose yet unseen; These gross, material things,
Unknown, 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.
“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?” “Moses, sah." “What is your master's name?" “Massa name Colonel Willum C." “Where does he live?" “Down on de Easin Shoah." “Is he a good master ? Does he treat
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, l'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
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
“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.
“ 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 him as much good.”
“Is he a good hand?"
“Yes, sir, he is the best hand on my place. He is steady, honest, and industrious. 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 ?" “Because he disobeyed my orders. As ]
said, he is my foreman; and that he might be available at any moment I might want him, I built his quarter within a hundred yards of my own house; and I have never rung the bell at any time in the night or morning, that his horn did not answer in five minutes after. But two years ago he got religion, and commenced what he terms family prayer-that is, prayer in his quarter every night and morning; and when he begun his prayer, it was impossible to tell when he would stop, especially if (as he termed it) he got happy. Then he would sing and pray and halloo for an hour or two together, that you might hear him a mile off. And he would pray for me and my wife and children, and all my brothers and sisters and their children, and our whole family conection to the third generation; and sometimes, when we would have visiters, Moses's prayers would interrupt the conversation and destroy the enjoyment of the whole company. The women would cry, and the children would cry, and it would set me almost frantic; and even after I had retired, it would sometimes be nearly daylight before I could go to sleep; for it appeared to me that I could hear Moses pray for three hours after he had finished. I bore it as long as I could, and then forbid his praying so loud any more. Moses promised obedience, but he soon transgressed; and my rule is never to whip, but whenever a negro proves incorrigible, I sell him. This keeps them in better subjection, and is less trouble than whipping. I pardoned Moses twice for disobedience in praying so loud, but the third time I knew I must sell him, or every negro on the farm would soon be perfectly regardless of all my orders.”
“ You spoke of Moses's quarter; I suppose from that he has a family.”
“ Yes, he has a woman and three children -or wife, I suppose he calls her now, for soon after he got religion, he asked me if they might be married, and I presume they were.”
“What will you take for her and the children ?"
“If you want them for your own use, I will take seven hundred dollars; but I shall not sell Moses nor them to go out of the State."
“I wish them all for my own use, and will give you the fourteen hundred dollars.”
Mr. B. and Colonel C. then went to B.'s store, drew up the writings, and closed the sale, after which they returned to the vessel ;
and Mr. B., approaching the negro, who sat with his eyes fixed upon the deck, seemingly wrapt in meditation of the most awful forebodings, said
“Well, Moses, I have bought you."
Moses made a very low bow, and every muscle of his face worked with emotion as he replied
“Is you, massa ? Where is I gwine, massa ? Is I gwine to Georgy ?".
“No," said Mr. B., “I am a merchant here in the city; yonder is my store. I want you to attend on the store, and have purchased your wife and children too, that you may not be separated."
“Bress God fer dat! And, Massa, kin I go to meetin sometimes ?"
“Yes, Moses, you can go to church three times on the Sabbath, and every night in the week; and you can pray as often as you choose, and as loud as you choose, and as long as you choose, and get as happy as you choose ; and every time you pray, whether it be at home or in the church, I want you to pray for me, my wife, and all my children, and single-handed, too; for if you are a good man, your prayers will do us no harm, and we need them very much ; and if you wish to, you may pray for everybody of the name of B. in the State of Maryland. It will not injure them.”
While Mr. B. was dealing out these privileges to Moses, the negro's eyes danced in their sockets, and his full heart laughed outright for gladness, exposing two rows of as even, clean ivories as any African can
and his heart's response was, “Bress God! bress God all de time, and bress you too, massa!
Moses neber tinks bout he gwine to have all dese commondationers; dis make me tink bout Joseph in de Egypt." And after Moses had poured a few blessings upon Colonel C., and bidding him a warm adieu, and requesting him to give his love and farewell to his mistress, the children, and all the servants, he followed Mr. B. to the store, to enter upon the functions of his new office.
The return of the schooner brought to Moses his wife and children.
Early the next spring, as Mr. B. was one day standing at the store door, he saw a man leap upon the wharf from the deck of a vessel and walk hurriedly towards the store. He soon recognized him as Colonel C. They exchanged salutations, and, to the Colonel's enquiry after Moses, Mr. B.
replied that he was up stairs measuring grain, and invited him to walk up and see him. Soon Mr. B.'s attention was arrested by a very confused noise above. He listened, and heard an unusual shuffling of feet, some one sobbing violently, and some one talking very hurriedly; and when he reflected upon Colonel C.'s singular movements and the peculiar expression of his countenance, he became alarmed, and determined to go up and see what was transpiring.
When he reached the head of the stairs, he was startled by seeing Moses in the middle of the floor, down upon one knee, with his arms around the Colonel's waist, and talking most rapidly, while the Colonel stood weeping audibly. So soon as the Colonel could sufficiently control his feelings, he told Mr. B. that he had never been able to free himself from the influence of Moses's prayers, and that during the past year he and his wife and all his children had been converted to God.
Moses responded: "Bress God, Massa C., doe I way up hea, I neber serget you in my prayers; I ollers put de ole massa side de new one. Bress God! dis make Moses tink bout Joseph in de Egypt agin."
The Colonel then stated to Mr. B. that his object in coming to Baltimore was to buy Moses and his family back again. But Mr. B. assured him that that was out of the question, for he could not part with him ; and he intended soon to give Moses and all his family their freedom.
Moses was not far wrong in his reference 'to Joseph. For when Joseph was sold into Egypt, God over-ruled it to his good, and he obtained blessings that were far beyond his expectations; so with Moses. Joseph eventually proved the instrument of saving the lives of those who sold him. Moses proved the instrument, in God's hands, of saving the man's soul who sold him.
Old Moses is still living and doing well. He long since obtained his freedom, and at present occupies a comfortable house of his own; and I suppose he now sings and prays to his heart's content.
the saints was in its growth, in which the apostles addressed them, and in which Paul himself gave them to drink immediately from the heavenly springs of revelation, and was able, with parental kindness, personally to watch over and attend to them. And are you not able, my brethren, to tell of a similar “accepted time?" Oh, think how delightful was the season, when your own religious life first burst the bud, and the glory of the Gospel, so fully laid open to you, shone upon you with all the splendour of its vernal radiance; how delightful, when you knew no sound more welcome than the church bells, and when you hastened, in crowds, with joyful expectation, to the house of God! And the word never returned void. There was a raiu of the Spirit which descended upon you, -a shaking amongst the dry bones which ceased not,--and children were born to the Lord, as dew from the womb of the morning. Oh, how vividly do I still remember how animatedly and joyfully we sowed the seeds of our mission in the field of youthful piety, - that germ which is now grown up to a tree, that extends its beneficent boughs far over the ocean! How present it still is to my mind, how, with beaming countenances we celebrated the first festival of our spiritual triumphs,- how a host of youthful preachers presented you with garlands of the most fragrant vernal blossoms of their in ward life,-how, from the threshold of our vale to its farthest extremity, the waters of the sanctuary flowed so rapidly, and the spirit of Divine testimony assailed your hearts, against whose force it was necessary for the man to be doubly armed, who would continue in his unbelief! Yes, this was "an acceptable time," during which, our valley became a city set upon a hill, which was seen far and wide. During this period, the holy fire went forth from our churches, surrounded the neiglabouring hills, and kindled blazing fires both far and near, During this period, the beauteous crown of reproach for Christ's sake was woven for us by those that were without, and which adorns us even to the present day. And will it be asserted that this “acceptable time” is past ? Oh, no, it still continues in more than one respect. In the preaching to which you now listen, certainly, maturer faith is presented to you, than at that time; you are being more deeply initiated into the word of truth ; you are more fervently exhorted to be reconciled
THE ACCEPTED TIME.
BY DR. KRUMMACHER.
But the apostle likewise speaks of "the accepted time" evidently in a more limited sense, whilst including in it, at the same time, the pleasing period of the Corinthian church, the days in which the church of