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have been. But for your insidious counsels, I “ You have had a lofty goal before you, and might now have been far advanced in the track you have reached it!” cried Smoothaway. “The of Christian."
glorious prize which you have gained" “Do you think that I would keep you from “ Is one on which I must set my foot," interfollowing in his steps? far from me be the rupted the young man, his features expressing a thought!" exclaimed Self-deception, who with painful mental struggle. “I must sacrifice my the departure of his worldly patient seemed to poem, suppress that first—and last edition behave lost all his worldliness also. "I but per- fore it is in the hands of the public, and give suaded you to remain awhile in Nocross, till you every copy to the flames." should have completed that noble work which “ Absurdity-madness-suicide !” exclaimed will carry down your name to an admiring Smoothaway vehemently.
Smoothaway vehemently.What can induce posterity, beside the names of Shelley and Byron. you to admit the idea of a sacrifice so unnatural, What delight you have found in that work--one so revolting ?" worthy of your genius! Have you not sat up “ The idea first came strongly upon me, with a till the stars paled in the dawn, because the rush pang of inward remorse, after I had given some of thought overflowing its bounds would not proof-sheets into the hands of the woman whom suffer you to sleep; or started from your pillow I love. You have thrown a charm over infito grasp your pen, lest the rich ideas borne on delity,' she said with a smile, when she returned the surface of that flood should sink and be lost them after perusal." ere memory could retain them? Have you not, “She spoke with a smile, not with a frown,” as it were, not only lived for, but lived in your observed Smoothaway.
“ Yes, such a smile as is depicted on the lips "It has been the absorbing occupation for of an artless child in the painting in the next which all others, save one, have been neglected,” room,” replied Ernest ; "the smile of innocence was Emest's reply.
toying with the serpent, and deeming it but a " And now that the work has been ushered into beautiful plaything. Am I to be the one to light, now that the press has given forth the first cover the snake with flowers, and lure youth and edition (precursor of many others), do you not innocence to lay a confiding hand on the neck of look on that poem as a proud parent looks on his the reptile ? If this be the consummation of my first-born child ? Are you not already listening intellectual triumphs, it were better for my readers to the first murmur of admiration which even in and for myself that I had been born an idiot." your own lifetime, but far, far beyond it, will swell “ You did not always think thus,” said the into a loud burst of popular applause ? Your
Your tempter. book will be found in the library of the student, “No; I thought but of my own ambitious it will be an ornament to the palace. The learned dreams, and the prize of earthly distinction," was will quote it, the critical praise it, the eyes of the reply. “I fixed my eyes upon that glittering youth and beauty will rest upon its pages with prize till they were so dazzled that its image delight. Your name, as its author, will be as a floated over every object on which I turned my ' household name' in every home. Yes, you gaze.
gaze. But I have met with Evangelist." have not laboured for a world that will prove “Met with Evangelist!” repeated Smoothangrateful ; you have not in vain wrung time for away, in accents which conveyed disparagement your work from sleep, from business, from amuse- even under words of praise. “Evangelist is an ment, to devote it to a more glorious use.” excellent most excellent guide for the ignorant,
"Smoothaway, I have been too long a listener, for simple souls--such as Christian-who can and too willing a listener,” said Ernest, who had grasp no higher knowledge than they can gather been now hearing the echo of hopes which had out of his books. Crowds follow him—they are excited him from the days of his boyhood. right to do so ; but you are scarcely one to wish "The love of fame has been to me an absorbing to travel in a crowd, you are gifted with wings passion; the pride of intellect a perilous snare.” to soar a little above it.”
There was a pause, for Ernest seemed to be lost | world is eagerly expecting it; you are looked in reflection, and remained with arms folded, un- upon already as the rising man of your age. consciously watching the slow vibration of the When an impatient audience are waiting to welvampire. Smoothaway took advantage of the come a heaven-born poet on the stage of life, are interval to go to one of the recesses so often men- you willing to appear before them as a weak, tioned, and take from it a goblet, which he then scrupulous, vacillating slave of conscience, who filled with a sparkling liquid from a bottle which dare not hold to the opinions which he once he opened for the purpose. Every bubble on the boldly avowed ; as one who is afraid to strike surface of the draught sparkled with all the pris- out into the path indicated by bis genius, lest matic tints of the rainbow.
parsons and old women should perchance shake “Take this, my friend,” said the tempter; "it their heads and reprovingly say, 'How dare he is pride of life, your favourite cordial ; in it you let go the clue by which we grope on our way so have often drowned such pangs as those which safely !"" now depress your spirits, and deaden your power It is impossible to convey on paper an adequate of judgment."
idea of the refined scorn, the contemptuous pity, Ernest motioned to him to take away the gob. expressed by Smoothaway's manner rather than let. “Such a draught is not for the follower of his words. He had not put down the gobletHim whose crown was of thorns,” said the young he proffered the pride of life still to one who
loved it too well. “You have learned this from Evangelist," cried The brow of Ernest darkened; he compressed the tempter bitterly; " you are like a slave obey- his lips tightly, and, as if mechanically, took the ing the harsh commands of the ascetic who drugged goblet into his hand. Such natures as would have you bury your talents in obscurity, his are wont to shrink from the imputation of and despise the godlike attribute of high intel- weakness more than that of wickedness, and to lectual power."
them ridicule is the worst form of persecution. “ Call it not a godlike attribute, but a God- I watched Ernest with painful apprehension as bestowed gift,” said Ernest ; " a gift to be used he stood, with his back still resting against the not for man's glory, but that of the Giver. You mantelpiece, so close to the fountain of lies, that speak to me of talents which ought not to be some of its perfumed spray must have been buried ; Evangelist has spoken of them also, and sprinkled upon his shoulder. his voice is the voice of the Most High. My Smoothaway saw and pushed his advantage. pen must not be laid aside, but borne with me With the most consummate art he stirred up the along the narrow track which pilgrims tread; innate desire of distinction within the breast of that pen must be employed as a consecrated the poet, and the partial love for the creations of thing, a sacred trust received from my King, for his own genius which the author naturally felt
. which I must render account in the day when The tempter recalled to Ernest thoughts which reckoning shall be taken alike of the five talents had first burst on the poet's mind with the force and of the one."
of inspiration; thoughts which, though tainted by “ Be it so !” exclaimed Smoothaway, after his error, no author would willingly suffer to die. wonted manner, appearing to follow the bent of Smoothaway then touched with masterly skill on one whom he desired to lead. “Begin your noble the reflected pride and delight which a certain self-dedication, but begin it not by the destruc- maiden would feel in his fame, how sweet his tion of that which would give to your service praises would sound in her ears. Ernest's cheek distinction, and make your dedication illustrious. flushed as he listened ; the tempter had touched Your poem, widely read as it is certain to be, will a chord which vibrated through the young crown you with fame and bestow on you influ- soul. ence; that fame and influence will increase a “And now," continued the deceiver, “now that thousandfold your power of doing good by your you have actually reached the goal towards which pen. Few, as yet, have seen your work, but the from boyhood you have been struggling ; when
Fame places in your hand the laurel crown, due, which sank into the deep velvet pile of the carto him who has distanced all competitors, you pet. As he replaced the emptied fountain on the fing it from you—"
mantelpiece, a second time I caught a glimpse of “As I do this !” exclaimed Ernest suddenly, the face of the great Impostor, which appeared dashing on the floor the drugged goblet which more revolting than ever from the expression of he had held in his hand. The movement was so fierce disappointment and fiendish hate which it quick and energetic that the arm of the young wore. man struck a projecting ornament of the little “I will have my revenge upon him," muttered fountain behind him, and threw it also to the the tempter. “ Yon fool has gone to swell the ground. Both fountain and goblet fell silently, number of those who have burst the bonds of my as everything would fall in that enchanted apart great master Apollyon-of those who, sword in ment; and I doubt if Emest was even aware of hand, press onwards, as did detested Christian, what he had done, as with stern resolution he towards the Celestial City. But I will find means turned his heel, and strode out of that shrine of reaching him ere his pilgrimage close. If I of falsehood, that refuge of lies. It needs resolu- cannot ruin the soul of Ernest, I will embitter tion indeed for Christ's sake to pluck out the his life ; I will poison the darts of his enemies ; right eye, or cut off the right hand ; and even I will teach them how to strike deepest when such a sacrifice as these had that young man they shoot their arrows against him.” made, when, rejecting pride of life and renounc- “ Do as thou listest, thou foiled deceiver !” I ing Self-deception, he turned his back on tempta- mentally exclaimed ; "the bird has broken from tion
thy snare, and the worst that earthly enemies can Smoothaway stooped and raised up the fallen do is to make him soar higher and speed on more goblet and fountain, the mingled streams from swiftly towards the mountains of heavenly rest.”
BAD AND WORSE.
JEHOLD, thou art made whole: sin no
worse thing come unto
what ? Than lying eight-and-thirty years powerless to move, a burden to himself and others, compelled to be carried every step of the way from his house to the porch of the pool of Bethesda, there to lie watching for the moving of the waters, and when the angel descended and stirred them, to be tantalized by seeing other sick folk step in and be healed, while he lay there utterly helpless. What could be worse than such a state as that? Yet our Lord, after performing his wonderful miracle of healing on the man who had during these long thirty-eight years suffered under such a malady, meets him in the temple, where probably he had gone to give thanks for his recovery, and bids him beware lest even a worse thing than the sickness of which he had been healed should come on him. What could this worse thing be? We are accustomed to speak of health as the best blessing we can have on this earth,—that blessing without which all others are valneless. Yet the man who had suffered from the want of this blessing for thirty-eight years is told that something worse than that want might happen him. Perhaps he understood our Lord, and took heed to his waming; perhaps he did not. Let us see whether we
can get the good to be found from the admonition. First notice the connection in which this “worse thing” is put—“Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Ah ! now we begin to get some light on what our Lord meant. Sin brought suffering into this world ; sin is the origin of all the disease and pain and impotence of the body. This man had been tasting of its fruits all these long years of endurance, but he had not yet got to the dregs of the cup; and our Lord warns him that all that he had gone through was nothing to what might be before him now, if he turn not from sin to God. This seems very strange at first sight. Great mercy had just been shown to him in the signal miracle wrought on his behalf. The man who had to be borne of others for so many years, now walks at large, and rejoices in the use of the limbs that for so long had refused to bear him; he who had for years felt the effects of sin in his body, feels it no more. What then is the “something" that, in spite of so much mercy, sin may bring on him ? It is a heart given up to sin in spite of all proofs of God's love; a heart hardening by the power of sin, even under and by means of God's mercies, instead of turning to God who had smitten, and who had healed ; a heart that, having tasted somewhat of the bitterness that sin brings with it even in this life, and perhaps made niany resolutions of amendment when
under God's afflicting hand, yet, when that hand is re- your heart against his love, and going back to your moved, returns to the world, with its cares, and its business and your money-making, or your pleasure, as business, and its pleasures, and dismisses the thought of eagerly as ever, none the better of the affliction God and eternity, of Christ and the soul's salvation, to a under which you have passed ? Then let me warn more convenient season.
you, if you are none the better of it, you are most asWe can all see the terribleness of the fruits of sin when suredly the worse. The “worse thing” is coming upon evidenced in loathsome disease and death; but to the eye you. Your heart is like the iron that, heated and of God there is something far more terrible in sin itself in smitten, only comes out still harder as steel. And what the diseased, the dead soul. Hear his own description of will be the end of it all? The wise man tells us plainly. it: “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. “He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." soundness; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying But we are persuaded better things of you, and things sores.” A foul and loathsome disease truly! That is that accompany salvation. We cannot but hope that God's view of sin, of all sin-for this was spoken to Israel- God's voice, speaking so loudly among us, will be heard ites who frequented the temple, offered sacrifices, kept by many, and that the ears that affliction has opened the new moons and sabbaths, made many prayers, and will listen to the still small voice of gospel love sayspent on the outward service of God a vast deal more ing, “ Come now, and let us reason together, saith the than most of those that are counted liberal Christians Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as do nowadays. Yet see what God's view of them was white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they because of the sin they cherished amid all their outward shall be as wool." We cannot but hope that many observances. See what a foul thing sin is in God's hearts that have found their sins called to remembrance sight. The “worse thing” than all outward malady. under God's chastisements will never rest or be content Do we think of sin in this way? Do we thus regard until they have brought them to the sin-bearer, and the sin of our own hearts? It is easy to see the awful- have learned, while looking at his sacrifice on the cross, ness of sin in others, to abhor their sin and turn from to see both God's estimate of the hatefulness of sin and it as hateful to God and man; but are we like Job, do his wonderful love to poor sinners. we say with him, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer In conclusion, my Christian brethren and sisters, suffer thee ?...... I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” ? a word of exhortation. What use are we making of these Job had felt the fruits of sin in the suffering of his body, times of visitation ? To God's people they have a voice az so that he had exclaimed, “My bones are pierced in me well as to the careless ones. Are we lending an attentive in the night season, and my sinews take no rest. My ear? Are we willing to have our sins called to rememskin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with brance - our faithlessness - our prayerlessness — our heat.” But now that he has got a sight of God's holiness abounding worldliness and self-indulgence our setting and his own sin, he finds it far exceeding in awfulness the claims of business, or society, or pleasure far above any suffering of a sick body, and he exclaims, “I am the claims of God both on our time and our purse? Which vile; what shall I answer thee?” My readers, have you of us can say, I am clean in this matter; my sins have got such a sight of sin ? Do you know it as the “worse not helped to bring God's judgments down? Let us make thing” than sickness and suffering ? There has been use of this time as a season for deep self-examination, much and sore sickness in our midst of late, great suffer- saying to God, “Search me, o God, and know my heart ; ing and many deaths. God has been smiting severely, try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any and many have been made to taste somewhat of the bitter wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." fruits of sin in disease in their own body, or in the per- And when we are searched and have our sins set before sons of those dear to them. What has been the issue us, let us cry mightily to God to wash us in the precious of it to you, my readers ? Have you learned to look for blood of his Son, and to sanctify us by his Spirit, that God's purpose in smiting? Do you find that your sins we may no longer dishonour our Christian profession by are called to your remembrance? Have you heard God's our half-heartedness, but may so adorn God's gospel in voice saying to you, “ Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye our lives as to constrain others not only to say we have die?” Perhaps you have been sick, and God has raised 'been with Jesus,” but to desire to go with us into his you up. Have you hearkened to him as he says, “Sin blessed presence. no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee"? What And let us pray more earnestly than we have ever yet has come of all the chastisement ? have you come out done for the outpouring of God's Spirit in our land, and from under the rod, saying, “Come and let us return that especially all, from the prince to the peasant, who, unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; having been laid on beds of sickness, have mercifully he hath smitten, and he will bind us up"? Are you been raised up, may hear the Saviour's voice saying to going to the fountain opened for all sin and uncleanness? each of them, “Behold, thou art made whole ! sin no Or, being healed by God's mercy, are you hardening more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
The Church in the house.
BY THE EDITOR,
the gospel which Paul and Barnabas brought to these THE MISSIONARIES RETURN TO ANTIOCH. shores was greatly corrupted in the course of a thousand Acts xiv. 23-28.
years. How unlike the clear, certain sound of the first HILE the apostles devoted themselves mainly preachers, was the echo which returned from West to
to the preaching of the gospel, they did not East in the crusading times! These two men, not fightneglect the organization of the Church. ing, but suffering, came from east to west, with no
The young disciples were not left long weapon but the Word, nighty through God to subdue without institutions and order. For edification and the nations; but when the West, in an evil day, prodiscipline and defence, each cominunity was constituted posed to make a return missionary visit to the East, a corporation ; and in each corporation elders were they bore carnal weapons, and wasted the territories of ordained. It was on the second visit of the mission- friend and foe. They took the sword, and they peraries that this was done. An interval was permitted to ished by it. A fleet with an army sailed from the port elapse, that the fittest men might emerge ; and already of Attaleia. the mle, “ Lay hands suddenly on no man,” was prac- After the lapse of another six centuries, the Western tised before it was prescribed.
nations have again turned their faces to the East, an The term translated “ ordained,” etymologically sig. preached a new crusade. From America and Europe nifies election by a show of hands; and although, in they stream eastward-soldiers of the Cross, to reconlater times, the word was employed to express the act quer Palestine from the disciples of Mohammed, and to of a bishop without election by the congregation, the win India and China for Christ; but they have returned original root remains as a fossil evidence of the liberty to the means and methods of apostolic times. We send that prevailed in the primitive Church. This and many a few earnest believing men and women, armed with other privileges which were enjoyed in apostolic times the sword of the Spirit; and they are waging a successTere gradually undermined by the encroachments of ful war against the superstitions and idolatries of Asia. ecclesiastical power in a later age.
From Attaleia by sea Paul and Barnabas returned to The founders of these infant communities could not Antioch in Syria, whence they had been sent out on their remain with the inexperienced converts. They were first missionary tour. That great city of the world beobliged to leave the Christians among unbelieving Gen- came for a time the centre of effort for propagating the tiles and Jews, as sheep in the midst of wolves; and faith of Christ. From it the missionaries departed, and set they were not overwhelmed with fear for the safety to it they returned when the work was done. Immeof the Churches. Faith was then young and fresh, and diately the Christians of the city assembled to hear the full of life. They commended their charge “ to the report of their agents. It must have been a glad and Lord, on whom they believed," and proceeded on their exhilarating scene. Every eye would glisten, and every journey. They had no arm of flesh whereon to lean, and countenance beam with joy, as these pioneers of the they seem never to have thought such a support needful. gospel rehearsed in the assembly the great things that
Having traversed the province of Pisidia, they came the Lord had done. to Perga, the place at which they had first landed when “To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have they crossed from Cyprus to the continent. For some more abundantly." This promise was fulfilled in the reason not expressed, they had merely passed through experience of the Church at Antioch. They possessed that place on their first visit; and now, when they re- grace which induced and enabled them to give to others; tamned to it the second time, they paused and preached. and their gift to others came back in redoubled blessings This town was in communication with the sea by means to themselves. From them the mission went forth, and of a river ; but though the missionaries desired now to to them the missionaries returned, charged with the retum by sea to Antioch in Syria, they did not sail blessing of a world that was ready to perish. Like direct from Perga–probably because the larger ships swallows returning to their nests, the apostles came did not frequent that port. Another harbour further back to Antioch. The successful labourers longed for westward, called Attaleia, better suited their purpose. kindred spirits, who might sympathize with them in A greater traffic congregated there, and there accord their sorrows and their joys; but who could rejoice with ingly they might more readily obtain a passage to Syria. them over the work accomplished, so well as those who
From this port a great army of Crusaders sailed for had commissioned and sent them out for the work ? Antioch in the middle ages— a wretched, unfortunate The success of its own mission was the means of quickrabble, who perished by thousands on the way. Alas! I ening the Church : as a prairie puts forth its strength ir