Page images

was mutual; he grasped my hand, and led me through his shop into a well-furnished parlour; he lavished every kindness on me, and finally gave me his history from the time we parted at the Barrier. With the crown of the stranger he began, as he had advised him, to collect rags. He made money; became the partner of a paper manufacturer; married his daughter; in short, his hopes were fulfilled, his ambition gratified, and he could now count his income at ten thousand crowns. He prayed every day for blessings on his benefactor, who had been the means of raising him from the degraded condition of a common beggar.


thony is so convinced of the evil and sin of idleness, and of subsisting on the charity of others, that, while liberal and kind to those who are willing to work, no entreaties, no supplication, ever prevailed on him to bestow a single sous on those who would not help themselves.



An ancient historian informs us of two brothers, one of whom was a gallant hero, and had lost his arm in the defence of his native country; the other an infamous profligate, who, for capital crimes, was condemned to die. The hero appeared before the judges as an advocate for his brother; he spoke not, but only held up to view the dismembered arm. This act pleaded so powerfully, that the guilty was forgiven, on account of the services rendered by his brother. Sacred history, also, gives an account of the debt or guilt of one

being charged to another. Onesimus was Philemon's bond-slave, but had stolen his master's goods, and deserted his service. In his wanderings he met with St. Paul, and became a convert to the gospel: being useful to the apostle during his imprisonment at Rome, he took him under his protection, and endeavoured to bring about a reconciliation between the master and slave. Accordingly, he wrote a letter to the rich citizen of Colosse, and sent it by the criminal himself, in which he insisted that the slave might be forgiven; and that, if he had been injured by him, or was in his debt, to charge it to his account, Philemon, ver. 18. Pardon and forgiveness were thus obtained, not from any merits in the recipients, but in consideration of the merits of others. In this way did the faithful Jew obtain pardon, not from any merits in his own works, or in the rites he observed, but in consideration of Christ's death, which the ceremonial law foreshadowed, Heb. x. 1. This law was delivered to Israel fifty days after their departure from Egypt, and related chiefly to sacrifices, sacred persons, places, and things.

Sacrifices were distinguished into burnt-offerings, peace-offerings, trespass-offerings, and sin-offerings. The most comprehensive of these was the sin-offering, because it typified Christ's death, his resurrection, his imputed righteousness, his ascension, and intercession.

His death. On the great day of atonement, two goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and c 2

presented before the Lord: one of them was put to death, to atone for the sins of the people, Lev. xvi. 9. That we might obtain pardon for our sins, and reconciliation with God, Heb. ii. 17, Christ suffered death. "God commended his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," Rom. v. 8.

His resurrection. It required two goats to make the sin-offering. The one slain represented Christ's death; the other, the scapegoat, (it being alive after the death of its fellow,) his rising from the dead. Christ's death and resurrection were both required to make atonement for sin. "Without shedding of blood is no remission," Heb. ix. 22. "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins," 1 Cor. xv. 17.

His imputed righteousness. "And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities," Lev. xvi. 21, 22; so Christ is said to have borne "our sins in his own body on the tree," 1 Pet. ii. 24. "He was made sin;" not a sinner, but sin: that is, taking the sins with which we are chargeable upon himself, "that we might be made righteous," and stand pardoned in God's sight through him, 2 Cor. v. 21. Thus Christ, the Son of God, carries away the sins of the world, by taking them on himself, John i. 29.

His ascension. After the victim was slain, the high priest entered the holiest place with its blood, to present it before the Lord. In like manner, after Christ's resurrection, he entered with his own blood, not "into the holy place made with

hands," but "into heaven itself,” Heb. ix. 24. There he shall retain his sacrificial character, until all those, for whom he died, are inhabitants of heaven: hence he is said to appear in the midst of the throne as a lamb that had been slain, Rev. v. 6.

His intercession. The high priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrifices before the mercy seat, and interceded for the people. The death of Christ is the channel through which mercy flows to mankind; but mere mercy itself will not save us : we must have such an one to plead our cause as is able to enter within the veil, and to present our petitions for pardon before that holy Being "who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity." To do so, Christ, as our High Priest, has entered heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for us. "Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them," Heb. vii. 25.

Two important truths are taught us in this lesson; viz., faith and repentance. By faith we must rely on Christ, as the Lord our Righteousness; and on his satisfaction for sin, as the grounds of our acceptance with God, Rom. v. 11. We must be sorrowful for sin: sin was the cause of Christ's death on the cross, to save us from its punishment; he died that we might live. If, therefore, in faith, we confess our sins, God "is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," 1 John i. 9. Glasgow. J. A.

"WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" Ir was on a fine, bright autumnal day-the sun was shining in its splendour-all seemed busy; coaches, carts, waggons, omnibuses, and other kind of vehicles, were hurrying to and fro; while innumerable foot passengers, as well, might be seen bending their way towards our great metropolis; when I, among the number, had across my arm my travelling coat, and, in my hand, my carpet bag. I was going into the country. When I arrived at a cabstand, I held up my hand to call one; three or four men ran to answer my summons, touched their hats, and inquired, "Where are you going, sir?" "To the Dover Railway," I replied; and entering that which was nearest to me, was hurried along through our busy city, and was soon put down at the station.

Many people were in the office, who, like myself, were waiting for the starting of the train; some with cheerful faces, hoping, no doubt, that, ere long, they should arrive at their home, where they would be surrounded by a happy group of merry faces, whom they had not seen for a length of time, and happy to meet them once more; others with downcast features, on whose countenance you might trace much affliction, and, very likely, carrying along with them a heavy heart; perhaps, going, after a long absence, to the home which they left so happily, but now the scene of death! a father or a mother, a brother or a sister, who, a few months since, they left in the enjoyment of health.

Shortly, most of us were seated in the carriages; some were hurrying thither, others were looking back for friends who had not yet arrived: among these I noticed a young man of melancholy features; he was dressed in the height of fashion-but what was that, my young friends, if the heart was not at peace within? It was now time for starting; but yet this young man only walked up and down the platform. Presently the guards came running up, shutting the doors; and, seeing that all were fast, they noticed this young man, and, going up to him, asked, "Where are you going, sir?" "Where am I going?" said the young man; "why, to hell, if you like, and the sooner I get there the better!" He then opened the door of the carriage in which I was, and shutting it after him in a passion, threw himself into one of the corners.


What a shocking state for a young person to be in, thought I, is this! It chilled the blood in my veins; I could not let it pass, and, crossing over, sat down beside him; Young man," said I, in a whisper, "I heard you utter that, which, on your dying bed, you would give all you possessed to recall; may I ask you, as a friend, ARE you really going to hell?" He seemed overcome with what I said. I then entered further into conversation with him, and am happy to state that he promised me he would read his Bible twice a day. I gave him these parting words: "My young friend, a day will soon come, when both you and I shall have to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ:

I may never see you again on earth; improve your time in what you promised me, and, doubtless, I meet you heaven." I saw tears in his eyes: and left him, bidding him farewell, perhaps for ever.


Young reader! In all affection, and with deep solicitude, I put the question to you, Whither are you going?" Somewhere we know you are going. Life is bearing you forward, swifter than the railroad carriage. Very soon, and it will land you at the journey's end. I ask you what end you look for. Shall it be the bliss of heaven, or must it be the agonies of hell? One or the other is inevitable. Unconverted, the agonies of hell must be your portion. God, with all his merciful disposition, cannot save you from it, if you die in an unconverted state. Converted, heaven, glory, joy, are your everlasting part. All demons cannot rob you of it, if you die a child of God.

Traveller to eternity! for a moment pause, reflect, and decide.

Pause, in the hurry and engagements of life: snatch a few short moments in which to weigh your eternal state.

Reflect, on what you are, whither you are tending, and how you ought

to act.

Decide, that to whatever point your steps have led before, now they shall tend to heaven. Cast the die; and cast it right for eternity. "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved." Take the hymn, and make its sentiments the true description of your actions:

"Now to the shining realms above I stretch my hands and glance my eyes;

O for the pinions of a dove,

To bear me to the upper skies!

"There, from the bosom of my God,
Oceans of endless pleasure roll;
There would I fix my last abode,
And drown the sorrows of my soul."




THE summer of the year 1804 was nearly ended, when a young man was often seen walking alone in the wild and romantic scenery of the mountains of Cornwall. was one quiet, retired spot, to which he often chose, in the evening, to direct his steps. An arm of the sea, which separates this part of the coast from Wales, extended itself peacefully between the green hills, and the silence was disturbed only by the gentle splashing of the waves, or the sweet notes of a lonely singing bird. The wanderer seemed lost in deep and sometimes painful thoughts, and when he silently raised his eyes to heaven, he lifted his heart in prayer to Him to whom we have access through Christ. The expression of holy peace, which in these moments overspread his countenance, showed clearly that his silent prayers were not in vain, and had entered the ears of the Lord of hosts. He often waited till the shades of evening came on, and he seemed unwilling to leave his favourite spot. He sought it as a place for private prayer and meditation, and he loved to be alone with God.

The poor people in the neighbourhood knew and loved him well.

Often had they heard his voice in their lowly cottages, reading aloud to them the words of life, or fervently seeking the blessing of the Lord for themselves and their families. They had sometimes also the pleasure of hearing, in their village church, his solemn testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus. They had known him from his childhood. His father had once been a labourer in their mines; but, by his own diligence, he had raised himself to a higher station, and he spent and ended his life among them. The son left home when a lad of sixteen, and entered the university of Cambridge; but every year he visited his birthplace, and he did not forget his old friends. They knew that he was superior to them, and they honoured and respected him on account of his talents and abilities, though he made no assumption of knowing more than others. They had heard, what was a fact, that he had reached the first place among many highly-gifted companions, and had gained the greatest honours the university could offer. They knew, too, that he had devoted his talents to the service of the Lord as a preacher, and they had earnestly longed for his first visit to them after his ordination. They would willingly have kept him among themselves, and were not a little surprised to hear that he had resolved to leave his home, his friends, and his native land, for ever, and never to return among them. He was now looking round upon the scene of his childhood, endeared to him by a thousand tender recollections, and

about to turn his back upon them, and upon all his beloved friends. Was it strange that he should feel sad?

But why had this young servant of God exposed himself to this severe trial? Why could he not remain in his own land? Had he not feelings like other men? Was not a fair, an honourable course open before him? Honour had been the subject of many of his youthful dreams. Naturally he was inclined to spend his whole time in the pursuit of knowledge, in the enjoyments of literature, and in converse with the minds of the departed. His genuine piety, as well as his talents, had gained him many friends in England, and no doubt he might have occupied a high station in the church. His feelings were extremely affectionate, especially to one whom he tenderly loved, his heart was bleeding at the thought of a separation; and yet he resolved to sacrifice all worldly honours and refinements, all earthly enjoyments. The love of Christ constrained him. The needy condition of the ignorant heathen world had fixed his determination to leave all, that he might follow his crucified Lord and Saviour; and, in obedience to his parting command, go forth to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to those lying in the shadow of death; to tell to those who are lost, of the love of Him who came to seek and save their souls.

Strong in the promise of the Lord, he was resolute in his decision to be unmoved by the scorn of a thoughtless world, or the persuasions and

« PreviousContinue »