Page images

or drowned in large potations of Cognac and Monongahela. Their club-house was the "Loch Earn." Their business house was the " Ville du Havre." They struck, and the "Yille du Havre" went under. Or, to take illustration from last Monday night's disaster: Their club-house was the "Eilion," and their business house was the "Pommerania." They struck, and the <k Pommerania" went under.

A third test by which you may know whether the club to which you belong, or the club to whose membership you are invited, is a legitimate club or an illegitimate club, is this: What is its effect on your sense of moral and religious obligation! Now, if I should take the names of all the people in this audience this morning, and put them on a roll and then I should lay that roll back of this organ, and a hundred years from now some one should take that roll and call it from A to Z, there would not one of you answer. I say that any association that makes me forget that fact is a bad association. When I go to Chicago I am sometimes perplexed at Buffalo, as I suppose many travelers are, as to whether it is better to take the Lake Shore route or the Michigan Central, equally expeditious and equally safe, getting at the destination at the same time; but suppose that I hear that on one route the track is torn up, and the bridges are torn down, and the switches are unlocked? It will not take me a great while to decide which road to take. Now, here are two roads into the future, the Christian and the unchristian, the safe and the unsafe. Any institution or any association that confuses my idea in regard to that fact is a bad institution and a bad association. I had prayers before I joined the club. Did I have them after? I attended the house of (rod before I connected mygelf with the club. Sineg <

that union with the club do I absent myself from religious influences? Which would you rather have in your hand when you come to die, a pack of cards or a Bible? Which would you rather have pressed to your lips in the closing moment, the cup of Belshazzarean wassail or the chalice of Christian communion? Who would you rather have for your pall-bearers, the elders of a Christian church, or the companions whose conversation was full of slang and innuendo? Who would you rather have for your eternal companions, those men who spend their evenings betting, gambling, swearing, carousing, and telling vile stories, or your little child, that bright girl whom the Lord took? Oh! you would not have been away so much nights, would you, if you had known she was going away so soon? Dear me, your house has never been the same place since. Your wife has never brightened up. She has not got over it; she never will g°* over it. Uow long the evenings are, with no one to put to bed, and no one to tell.the beautiful Bible story! What a pity it is that you cannot spend more evenings at home in trying to help her bear that sorrow! You can never drown that grief in the wine cup. You can never break away from the little arms that used to be flung around your neck when she used to say, "Papa, do stay home to-night—do stay home to-night." You will never be able to wipe from your lips the dying kiss of your little girl. The fascination of a dissipating clubhouse is so great that sometimes a man has turned his back on his home when bis child was dying of scarlet fever. lie went away. Before he got back at midnight the eyes had been closed, the undertaker had done his work, and the wife, worn out with three weeks watching, lay unconscious in the next room. Then there is a ratrling of the night-key in the door, and the returned father comes up stairs, and he sees the cradle gone, and the windows up, and says, " What's the matter?" In the judgment day he will find out what was the matter. Oh! man astray, God help you I I am going to make a very stout rope. You know that sometimes a ropemaker will take very small threads, and wind them together until, after a while, they become ship-cable. And I am going to take some very small, delicate threads, and wind them together until they make a very stout rope. I will take all the memories of the marriage day, a thread of laughter, a thread of light, a thread of music, a thread of banqueting, a thread of congratulation, and I twist them together, and I have one strand. Then I take a thread of the hour of the first advent in your house, a thread of the darkness that preceded, and a thread of the light that followed, and a thread of the beautiful scarf that little child used to wear when she bounded out at eventide to greet»you, and then a thread of the beautiful dress in which you laid her away for the resurrection. And then I twist all these threads together, and I have another strand. Then I take a thread of the scarlet robe of a suffering Christ, and a thread of the white raiment of your loved ones before the throne, and a string of the harp cherubic, and a string of the harp seraphic, and I twist them all together, and I have a third strand. "Oh!" you say, " either strand is strong enough to hold fast a world." No, I will take these strands, and I will twist them together, and one end of that rope I will fasten, not to the communion table for it shall be removed—not to a pillar of the organ, for that will crumble in the ages, but 1 wind it 'round and 'round the cross of a sympathizing Christ, and having fastened one end of the rope to the cross I throw the other end to you. Lay hold of it! Pull for your life! Pull for heaven!


POISON IN THE CALDRON. « O thou man of God, there is death in the pot"—II. Kings iv: 11

Elisha had gone down to lecture to the theologica students in the seminary at Gilgal. lie found the stu dents very hungry. Students are apt to be. In order that he might proceed with his lectures successfully, he sends out some servants to gather food for these hungry students. The servants are somewhat reckless in their work, and while they gather up some healthful herbs. they at the same time gather coloquintida, a bitter, poisonous, deathful weed, and they bring all the herbs to the house and put them in a caldron and stir them up, and then bring the food to the table, where are seated the students and their professor. One of the students takes some of the mixture and puts it to his lips, and immediately tastes the coloquintida, and he cries out to the professor: "O thou man of God, there is death in the pot." What consternation it threw upon the group. What a fortunate thing it was he found out in time, so as to save the lives of his comrades. v

Well, there are now in the world a great many caldron*. of death. The coloquintida of mighty temptations tillsthem. Some taste and quit, and are saved; others taste and eat on, and die. Is not that minister of Christ doing the right thing when he points out these caldron* of iniquity and cries the alarm, saying: "Beware 1 There is death in the pot"?

In a palace in Florence th«»re is a fresco of Giotto

For many years that fresco was covered up with two inches thickness of whitewash, and it has only been in recent times that the hand of art has restored that fresco. "What sacrilege," yon say, "to destroy the work of such a great master." But there is no sadness in that compared with the fact that the image of God in the sou] has been covered up and almost obliterated so that no human hand can restore the Divine lineaments.

Iniquity is a coarse, jagged thing, that needs to be roughly handled. You have no right to garland it with fine phrase or lustrous rhetoric. You cannot catch a buffalo with a silken lasso. Men have no objections to having their sin looked at in a pleasant light. They will be very glad to sit for their photographs if you mak a handsome picture. But every Christian philanthropist must sometimes go forth and come in violent collision with transgression. I was in a whaling port, and I saw a vessel that had been on a whaling cruise come into the harbor, and it had patched sail and spliced rigging and bespattered deck, showing hard times and rough work. And so I have seen Christian philanthropists come back from some crusade against public iniquities. They have been compelled to acknowledge that it has not been yachting over summer lakes, but it has been outriding a tempest and harpooning great Behemoths.

A company of emigrants settle in a wild region. The very first day a beast from the mountains comes down and carries off one of the children, and the next day another beast comes and carries off another child. Forthwith all the neighbors band together, and with torch in one hand and gun in the other they go down into the caverns where those wild beasts are secreted, ,ind slay them.

N ow? my Christian friends, this morning I want to go

« PreviousContinue »