Page images
PDF
EPUB

Moses when he descended from the mount. Would soon sent cut to seek her ; and by-and-by the lady that there were more of such living shining Christians arrived safe, though wet and weary. to lead others to seek that Saviour, some of whose love- The hotel was crowded to the very roof, and the Sabliness appears in them with such attractive power ! bath was anything but a day of rest to many of its in

What a difference it makes in the enjoyment of the habitants. After the short service held in the Salle à beauties of creation when, instead of merely dwelling Manger by an English Church clergyman, who happened on the poetry of beauty, or taking scientific views and to be in the hotel, I took my book and spent the day talking of forces of nature and laws of matter, we can outside, glad to get away from the continual coming and look through all these external things to a living, per- going, and clatter of travellers, guides, and horses. sonal God, and bowing before him in humble awe, can The day was splendid, and I wandered about resting say, with Thomas, “ My Lord and my God.” For is not here and there ; when hungry, I got a collation of bread, the same Lord who condescended to Thomas's unbelief wild strawberries, and cream ad libitum at a chålet, and the living Word by whom the worlds were made ? None did not return to the hotel till evening, so avoiding can ever really enter to the full into the enjoyment of the noisy table d'hôte. Some few miles from the his works until, being reconciled by the blood of the hotel, along the mountain-side, there is a little hamlet cross, they can see all the great and the beautiful in and a Popish chapel, the Valais being almost an entirely creation as the work of their Father's hand, and receive Roman Catholic canton. When I passed the chapel the sense and enjoyment of their excellence as a token mass was over, and the people were all busy with their of love from bis hand.

hay-making and such like occupations, the same as on Another grand scene one evening at the Eggischhorn an ordinary day. was a violent thunderstorm. It came up from the The only appearance of a thought of Sunday which I Italian side of the mountains; and long before it reached saw, was a couple of girls returning from mass, in their us, the lightning played in sheets and flashes of flame holiday clothes. They greeted me pleasantly, but the among the folds of the distant hills, showing their out- German of the Valais is much more of a patois than lines in the gathering darkness in a wonderful manner. the French at Sepey, so my intercourse with those I As the clouds drew nearer they were beneath as well as met was of the most limited description. Towards evenaround us; and it was a sublime as well as awful sight ing, I saw a beautiful pastoral scene, which took me to see, from the plateau on which the hotel is placed, back in thought to patriarchal days, when the chief the rocks and trees beneath our feet far down the moun- riches lay in flocks and herds. On a level space of rich tain-side, one moment vividly illuminated by the forked grass, close to a pretty little tarn, the Betten See, some flashes, and the next swallowed up again in the black- one hundred and forty cows were gathered for the evenness of darkness. We seemed to be hanging over the ing milking. They pressed round the milkers (nearly edge of a gulf in which the warring elements were con- all men), eager to get the handful of salt which was tending for the mastery. It was a scene such as the given to each before milking her. The men looked very Psalmist describes in words which, in their simple funny with their one-legged stools strapped to their majesty, must ever make all uninspired language ap- loins, giving them the appearance of possessing stumpy pear weak and poor :

tails, which, to a cursory observer, might almost supply "The God of glory thundereth.

an argument in favour of Darwinian theories—perhaps The voice of the Lord is powerful ;

as good an argument as any they are likely to tind. The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

High up among the steep crags that bounded one
The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars ;
Yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

side of the plateau, the presence of a goat-herd was beThe voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness ; trayed by a fire which he had lighted, while his jodelling The Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

song mingled with the musical tinkle of the bells with The Lord sitteth King for ever.”

one of which each goat and each cow was provided. The In the midst of the roar and crash of the storm, when varied notes of these bells sound very well at a distance, the thunder in its continuous reverberations left no re-echoed from the cliffs. On the other side of the scene, pause between, and the rain was falling in sheets of the evening sun lighted up a wide range of snowy sumwater, our human sympathies were called forth by the mits (including the Matterhorn) with that exquisite arrival of a poor drenched traveller, who, heedless of his roseate flush which looks more like the glow of an inown half-drowned condition, was only anxious to get a ternal fire, shining through the covering of snow, than horse and guide sent off at once for his wife, whom he the reflection of the sun's last rays. I returned to the had left behind near the Märjelen See, so worn out with hotel in the dusk, and enjoyed a quiet tea in my own ten hours of ice work that he had been obliged to leave room, full of thankfulness for the Sabbath peace I had her behind with the guides, and hurry on to seek help enjoyed, amid the lack of the usual outward privileges at the hotel A horse and guides with lanterns were of the day.

D, W.

[ocr errors]

THOUGHT-HIVES.* (Mr. Cayler is at once a man of thought and a man of activity. He is both a Christian and an American; and he is both out and out. There are no half ineasures in the man. Whatever he undertakes, he goes through with it. As a devoted minister of Christ in Brooklyn, he is doing a great work on a great field. As a deputy this year to the Presbyterian Churches in Scotland, he acquired many friends, and communicated a good impulse. His visit contributed to increase ani consolidate the good understanding which, through the blessing of God, has of late characterized the intercourse bet Teen the United States and this their mother country. From many distinguished persons in England, including the present Premier, he received marked attention and kindness, both on his own and his country's account. Thoughts are wont to gather in Mr. Cuyler's mind,

apparently, as electricity gathers in certain clouds, and accordingly there is a necessity for a discharge at short intervals. Sharp, clear, hot bolts come forth now and then through his pen. These have been collected : hence the volume from which we present two brief extracts.]

day upon the bottle ? then he is a tippler or a sot. INTRODUCTION.

Does another man's thought-hive send out its winged VERY human mind we meet is a moving messengers continually to gather honey from God's

thought-hive. To our eye it is hidden; Word and his outlying world of Nature ? then is he a but to the eye of God it is a hive of trans- devout and happy being. In such an one God dwelleth

parent glass. For there is not a thought by his Spirit. in our hearts, but lo! O Lord, thou knowest it alto- One of the highest of spiritual luxuries is the enjoygether. The thoughts which nestle within us, and ment of pure and exhilarating and sublime thoughts ; issue from us in language and in act, determine our to such a devout and cheerful thinker a prison may be a moral character. “ As a man thinketh in his heart, so palace. “I thought of Jesus," said holy Rutherford, is he.” “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of “until every stone in the walls of my cell shone like a it are the issues of life.”

ruby.” Wherefore let us keep our hearts, our thoughtThe most exquisite piece of sculpture which a Powers hives, with all prayer and watchfulness; for out of or a Palmer ever carved was once only a thought; but them are the issues of our life. And no one can handle their skilful bands smote the white marble until the the pitch of a wicked, obscene, or abominable thought beautiful images of the brain came forth. Upon the for any considerable time without being defiled thereby. thought of James Watt and Robert Fulton we cross the There is no greater torment than to be an unclean, or trackless sea ; while in its silent depths the thought of intensely selfish, or corrupt thinker. This is a genuine Professor Morse has laid the magic wire over which two demoniac possession. Such an one is “grievously vered continents converse. All the grandest enterprises of with a devil.” To go through some people's hearts benevolence, and all the most stupendous crimes, were would be like a walk through Sing-Sing penitentiary. once only invisible phantoms in some man's or woman's Every room has a rascal in it. Out of such hearts probusy brain. The Order of the Jesuits swarmed out of ceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, Ignatius Loyola's heart-hive; Sunday schools swarmed thefts, covetousness, pride, blasphemy. What a hell in out of Robert Raikes'. If the jailer of Bedford prison advance to be living in such a habitation of the devil! had starved John Bunyan, he would have smothered To be such a man or woman for ever is the everlasting the “Pilgrim's Progress" in its cradle.

punishment of the lost. Bible is only God's blessed and holy thought revealed to All thoughts have their germs. The surest way to us: by it we are made wise unto salvation.

kill a sin is to kill it in the egg. At the very moment A person is known by the company he keeps. So the when a wicked thought is born is the right time to thoughts which we harbour within us, and which go out destroy it. These little serpents soon become the through the doors of our mouths and our hands, deter- anacondas that strangle conscience and ruin character. mine our real character. A holy man gives house-rooni How important, too, is the nursing into active life and only to pure and godly thoughts, and he is constantly vigour of every good suggestion and holy aspiration! A striving to bar up door and window against wicked noble career depends on the treatment given to the intruders. Out of the treasure-house within him pro- infant ideas that are born in the soul. The best of ceed all the white-winged words and all the beautiful these are the direct product of the Holy Spirit. To deeds that are a blessing unto others.

quench a good thought is often a quenching of the Habitual thinking determines whether an individual Spirit; and the eternal damnation of millions has been is either Christ's or Satan's. As he thinketh, so is he. the result of this sin against the infinite Love. A sensualist is only a filthy thinker. The walls of his Christ is the purifier of the heart. He who walks in mind are hung around with lascivious pictures; his in- constant fellowship with Jesus hath the clean heart and most soul is a brothel. Do a man's thoughts run every the holy life. And an active, prayerful, loving mind,

teeming with busy plans of usefulness, and swarning

The very

out into deeds of daily beneficence, is a hive of blessings, From “Thought-Hives.” By Theodore L. Cuyler, Pastor of Lafayette Avenue Church, Brooklyn. New York: Robert Carter

not only to its possessor, but to all who partake of its stores of honey.

and Brothers.

tary endeavours. They do not set success and happiTHE GREAT CHOICE.

ness on the one hand and ruin on the other, and then Allow me the privilege of addressing a few plain, affec- calmly choose to be ruined. Yet it is equally true that tionate words to one who is yet without a hope in men are continually selecting and pursuing courses that Christ. I address you, my friend, as the possessor of an inevitably lead to ruin. immortal soul. In the language in which Moses ad- Here is a young man setting out in life. Of course, dressed Israel before he went up to his mountain death- his preference is to become rich and prosperous. But bed," I set before you life and death: choose life!” he chooses also to lead a career of indolence and thriftEvery one has the power of choice. God made you a lessness, which inevitably brings him to poverty, and free moral agent. The very fact that you are now read- keeps him there. His poverty is the fruit of his own ing these lines proves that you have the power of choice. conduct. Again, no man voluntarily chooses the disEvery Christian in the world is a Christian simply grace and disease and horrors of drunkenness. But because he acceptedChrist when He was offered. thousands, alas ! do choose to tamper with the wineEvery impenitent sinner is yet one because he chooses glass and the brandy-bottle, and their own free choice to be. There is no decree of the Almighty which brings them surely to the drunkard's self-damnation. forbids your having eternal life, if you desire to secure Did that poor girl who gave her heart and hand to the it. Perhaps you cavil at “God's decrees.Just look showy vagabond who stole her affections choose to at this one: “He that believeth on the Lord Jesus become a wretched wife? Yet she did choose to marry Christ shall be saved." Or at this one: “As I live, him; she did it in spite of reason and conscience, and saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the dearly does she pay the consequences of her choice. wicked." Or at this one: “Whosoever cometh to me I In the same manner, my impenitent friend, when will in no wise cast out.” God's immutable decrees, in you decide to reject the knocking Saviour from your fact, secure salvation to every penitent believer and heart, you do choose to risk the awful consequences, follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

When you choose to live on in sin, to follow the devices When Joshua submitted the great alternative, and desires of your own lusts, and to grieve the Holy “ Choose ye this day whom ye will serve,” he addressed Spirit of love, you deliberately choose everlasting death. his auditors as free agents. When Christ said to You choose the road that leads to death. If you are Andrew and James and John, “ Follow me,” he talked lost, it will be your own fault. It will not be your to them as rational beings, who had the power of choice. heavenly Father's fault: he says to you,“ Choose life!" If they could not “follow” him, why did he ask them? It will not be the loving Saviour's fault: he says to you, When Simon Peter stood up before the mass-meeting in “Look unto me, and live !” It is not the fault of that Jerusalem, and exclaimed, “ Repent, and be baptized patient Spirit of truth, who is now pleading with you to in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, renounce sin and accept the atonement offered to you in and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost,” he addressed the gospel them as free agents; and three thousand of them It is a delightful thought that your encouragements accepted the Divine Saviour.

to seek life are so abundant. The Word of God overIf you ask me what is meant in the Bible by "life," flows with encouragements. You may grow discouraged I would answer, It is the favour of God; it is the in seeking wealth, or health, or office, or great literary pardon of your sins ; it is the sustaining strength to do attainments; but no living man or woman need despair right; it is a union of heart to Jesus; it is a divine of gaining salvation. If you seek it in time, and seek it support in the last hour, and everlasting holiness and rightly, it is yours. The only time you are sure of is joy beyond the grave.

Death" is the opposite of the present; and the only way is, through penitence life; it is the absence of life. Spiritual death is the and faith in the crucified Jesus. Eternal life is now unbroken dominion of sin in this world, and the unend- within your reach. It does not depend on intellect, or ing punishment of sin in the world to come. In this wealth, or social patronage, or on the will of another. world the God of mercy says to every one, “I set before It depends on your own willingness to accept the you life and death : choose life.” In the next world, Saviour, and by divine help to serve him faithfully. the divine and all-righteous Judge will say to those God will not hinder you, and Satan cannot hinder you, who choose life, “Come, ye blessed of my Father; if you are in earnest. The only being who can destroy inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” To those who you is your own self. God is love; and God sets before choose death he will say, “Depart, ye cursed !" and you life and death, and says to you with infinite tenderthey “shall go away into everlasting punishment." ness, “ Choose life! Give me thy heart!"

But you may say, "I do not choose death. It is impossible that any sane person should deliberately

"There for thee the Saviour stands,

Shows his wounds, and spreads his hands. choose to be eternally wretched, when he might be

Christ is love-this know and feel; eternally happy." This seems very plausible, and there

Jesus weeps, and loves thee still." is a sense in which it is true. Men do not commonly select wretchedness and ruin as the end of their rolun- Not long since, a friend came into my study in deep distress of mind. She had been awakened by hearing sweet, artless language, she just poured out her whole me preach from the words, “ Choose life.” She wished soul in penitent petition, and gave herself up to Jesus. to know what she should do. I said, “You have been She rose with brightened countenance, and said, “ I opposing God all your life. You have shut Christ from feel more peaceful now.” She had made the GREAT your heart. He seeks admission. Let him in. Give CHOICE-she had given her heart to God; and on the yourself all up to him. Choose life.” I prayed with next Sabbath she stood up and made a public profession her, and besought her to yield herself to Jesus while we of her faith in the Redeemer. My friend, you can make were on our knees. After rising up, I handed to her the same choice. It is only a moment's work, when Newman Hall's blessed little book, " Come to Jesus." you are in earnest. God offers you his help. I have She laid it down, and modestly said, “I want now to set before you life and death; before you lay down this pray too." We knelt once more together; and in 1 book, determine to CHOOSE LIFE.

The Church in the house.

SEOOND SERIES.

BY THE EDITOR,

XL.

[ocr errors]

It was a rule with rhetoricians to compliment the preTHE PARTIES AT THE BAR.

siding judge at the outset; and this part of his function

Tertullus greatly overdid. He was able to point with Acts xxiv. 1-23.

truth to the suppression of certain bands of robbers as a HE comfort given to the missionary in his boon conferred on the country ; but history proves that

extremity consists in an assurance, not that the governor's own cruel and lawless acts oppressed the his troubles should cease, but that his people more than all the robbers he had rooted ont

witness-bearing should continue. The Lord The glimpse which this book gives of Felix perfectis knew what grieved his servant's heart; and in order to accords with the character he bears in contemporary gladden it, announced, Thou shalt bear witness of me at history. He was a licentious, rapacious, cruel, and unRome. This was the promise, and it must be fulfilled. just man. Many and various agents will be pressed into the service After the advocate's exordium comes the indictment in order to accomplish it. The bloodthirsty enmity of against the prisoner. Its terms are suspiciously general. the Jewish priesthood, and the impartial dignity of No specific act is libelled, but a vague scolding accusaRoman law; the plot of assassins, and the sharp-sighted tion preferred against Paul as a pest and a disturber. love of kindred ; the avarice of a profligate governor, and Nothing strange has happened to this servant of Christ the discipline of the imperial legions,—all conspired, The Master had warned his disciples that they should like the several parts of a machine in motion, to pre- be accounted and called “offscourings ;” but, at the serve the missionary's life and transplant him to the same time, he pronounced them to be “ the salt of the metropolis of the world.

earth.” The high priest and his colleagues appearel At Cæsarea the distinguished prisoner was kept, for pro- personally and assented to the statements of their adva tection as much as for restraint, until his accusers should cate. When the case of the prosecutors was closed, the arrive. In five days the prosecutors were on the spot, governor beckoned to Paul that he was at liberty to reand the case was called. The high priest in person, ply. The gravity and order of a Roman tribunal conwith several of his confederates, represented the San- trast strongly with the lawless insolence of the high hedrim. The priests did not venture to conduct their priest in his court at Jerusalem. own case. Already they had found Paul too much for Paul, too, like his adversary Tertullus, begins with a them in debate. They knew by experience that he word of compliment to the presiding magistrate ; but quickly detected the weak point in an adversary's argu- he utters no falsehood and no exaggeration. He only ment, and had no mercy on sacerdotal impertinence. mentions an obvious fact, that the governor had long esWise in their generation, the Jewish conclave hired a perience of the country. As to the substance of ha Roman advocate to conduct the prosecution. These address, it consists of two parts: those things in the è men, after studying law in the capital, were wont to cusation that were criminal were not true ; and these practise in the provinces. They were acquainted with that were true were not criminal. The crimes falsely legal forms, and with the judicial precedents : provincial charged he denied, and challenged his accusers to the litigants found it their interest to employ them. It is proof: the portions of the indictment that were tre by no means certain that the advocate used the Latin he confessed, and contended that they violated no lar. tongue ; for examples occur in which the Greek was em- Even in an oration, whose direct object was the de ployed even in Rome.

monstration of his own innocence and the preservation

of his own life, Paul contrives incidentally to indulge his Christian army in their holy war depends on the drill, day ruling passion, that is, to commend the gospel of Christ. by day, of individual warriors. He carefully points out that the belief of the gospel is And if the Apostle of the Gentiles, a man great in the not the rejection of the Mosaic system, but its natural faith, found it necessary to maintain constantly a military result. He testifies to thoughtful Jews that the right watchfulness and practice, how presumptuous in any of understanding of Moses leads to the reception of Jesus us to count on keeping the course, and acquiring the as the Christ. In the matter of the resurrection, too, crown, by an indolent wish to be safe, without a constant which was the immediate occasion of the tumult in the watchfulness, an energetic effort, and a more than council at Jerusalem, his faith coincided with that of military sternness in laying aside every weight, and the the Pharisees who were prosecuting him.

sin that doth most easily beset us. Soldiers are never Besides allusions to controverted doctrines, he intro- done with exercise : although they have served honourduces a most interesting and instructive reference to ably for a quarter of a century, they must still subniit personal, practical holiness of life;" Herein do I exercise to drill. If the soldiers of Jesus Christ were as wise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward in their generation and as painstaking, more victories God and toward men.” This is a precious morsel ; espe- would be won, and more captives made. The kingdom of cially when we consider the position in which it stands, Christ would "come” in greater power, both in the hearts and the circumstances in which it was given. In great of individual disciples and over the nations of the earth. ecclesiastical and doctrinal contentions, such as those in which Paul was then engaged, or those which agitate the Church in our own day, zeal in public debate too

XLI. often overrides and crushes private, personal godliness

PAUL AND FELIX. and purity of conscience. It is reproving and instructive to observe that the Apostle of the Gentiles, at the very

Acts xxiv. 24, 25. moment when he was compelled to contend alone against THERE are in the Scriptures certain grand outstanding a nation leagued to destroy him, devoted himself habitu- portions, which seem to bulk more largely and shine ally and with all his might to the growth of grace in his more brightly than the rest. In the Old Testament own soul, and the practice of righteousness in all his the twenty-third Psalm and the fifty-third chapter of conduct. Clear in his logic as well as ardent in his Isaiah: in the Gospels the interviews with Nicodemus affections, he rightly divides the word of truth on this and the Samaritan woman, the parables of the sower, subject for our instruction in the end of the world. the shepherd, and the prodigal : in the Acts, the gospel Morality with Paul, as with Moses, diverges into two preached to the Ethiopian by Philip, and to the jailer main channels,—the first containing our duty to God, by Paul; the gospel preached to Felix here and rejected; and the second our duty to man. He strove to have - these are specimens of words that grave themselves these two commandments written, not with ink, but on more deeply on the memory of Bible students, and come the fleshy tables of his heart. Let the conscience be up more frequently for use. Nor is it either unlike the clean, whether it point upward to God, or outward to ways of God or incongruous with the nature of the case men. The two great commandments in this preacher's that some points should excel in beauty and power life were, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thy where all is divine. On the earth's surface, some mounneighbour as thyself."

tains rear their heads into the sky far above the valleys Nor did this great saint find compliance easy. Obedi- and the “little hills" that bound them, and some stars ence to that law "exceeding broad" did not come to him are superior to others in breadth and brightness. To by chance, without plan and effort. He speaks of it in recognize practically such pre-eminence does not disthe terms which belong to the drill of a soldier. It is a parage the body of revelation any more than the earth commonplace in military economy, that a soldier cannot that bears the mountains, or the skies that hold forth be made in a day. Raw recruits, however perfect may the stars. be their arms and their uniform, are useless when they To a thirsting soul these notable portions are like wells meet an enemy. Wherein really consists the strength by the wayside. The traveller drank from them in sucof an army in the day of battle? In the previous cession the first time he trod the path, perhaps fifty years exercise of the individual combatants. This conception ago; but if he is living still, and still on pilgrimage, Paul adopts and applies to his own life as a witness for with the same hot sand beneath his feet, and the same Christ and a warfare against sin. For the motive to hot sun above his head, he will drink from each wellfight, and the will to make sacrifice on the side of holi- remembered spring as he passes it, with as much delight ness, he depends altogether on the redemption of Christ. as on the first day he discovered its refreshing water. He is bought with a price, and is therefore not his own; He will not turn away his head with the complaint, I his life and all his faculties are at the disposal of the have known these wells so long and tasted of them so Lord that bought him; but for the skill and power to

often that I am wearied of them now. Therefore, fight successfully on the side he has chosen he depends spring, 0 wells, as long as there is a desert, and drink, on a careful and constant exercise. The success of the O pilgrims, as long as you are thirsty; for the princes

« PreviousContinue »