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SINS BLOTTED OUT.
"I have blotted out as a cloud thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins." -Isaiah xliv. 22.
I Do not know of an image that could more emphatically express the entireness of God's forgiveness. On some sultry summer day I have seen a dark cloud gather in the west. Gradually it rises and spreads till it covers the whole heavens, and hangs like a pall of darkness over the field and forest. Soon the great harbinger drops begin to fall, and then comes the pouring rain till the clouds are emptied. And now the westerly breeze springs up and sweeps away every vestige of cloud, leaving the sky as blue and stainless as though not a cloud had ever flecked it; and the setting sun throws its radiance over the landscape, which was just now covered with darkness and gloom. The change is perfect. The thick clouds are blotted out, gone, swept away.. Beautiful image of the change through which the soul passes in coming into the experience of God's forgiving love. The consciousness of sin rises as a heavy cloud, and hangs over the soul dark and threatening. The thunders of divine wrath are heard. But while the soul trembles and looks in vain for a hiding-place, the breath of God's forgiveness scatters the clouds, and the heavens, just now black and threatening, are bright and cloudless, and the Sun of Righteousness sheds His bright beams over all, and a voice is heard within the soul, saying, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins."
"SOMETIME," when all life's lessons have been learned,
The things which our weak judgment here has spurned,
Will flash on us, and light dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue,
Because His wisdom to the end could see;
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
And e'en as prudent parents disallow
Pours out the portion for our lips to drink;
Where human kisses cannot reach his face,
But wear your sorrow with obedient grace.
Conceals the sweetest boon His love can send.
And stand within and all God's working see,
But not to-day. Then be content, poor heart;
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold
And when, through patient toil, we reach the land
I think that we will say "God knew the best."
Anecdotes and Selections.
SUPREMACY OF LOVE.-For six thousand years God has been lifting the world up toward the realization of love. He has been tempering the spirit of nations. The old idea that "might is right" has been fading away in the atmosphere of love. Arbitration is substituted for the spirit of war. He has been correcting the church, and attuning its various discordant sects to the key of love. He has been bringing up individual human nature. Many have entered into the experience of perfect love; many more are entering. Slowly some of these elements are rising; more rapidly others; but one day, all will be up. Then will be brought to pass the prediction of Isaiah: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; and their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." What a picture of concord! The story is told of Mendelssohn, that when a boy he was so proficient in music that he seemed to inspire an instrument whenever his fingers touched it. On one occasion his father took him to an old Cathedral, and in the interim of service, conducted him to the organ loft and sat him upon the seat of the organist. After instructing him in the use of the stops and pedals, he pumped the bellows while the boy played. Such music had never before been produced upon that organ. The monks from the adjoining monastery came in, one by one, and ascended to the top of the stairway. On reaching this point they were held spell-bound. Well, when that day comes that the world shall be attuned to love, and God shall run His fingers along the key-board, as He is ever doing in His providence,—no more shall the harsh notes of discord be heard; but from the old organ of human nature shall go forth music so sweet that the angels and all the hierarchy of heaven will hasten to the confines of this world and stand enraptured by the completeness and richness of the harmony. "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly; amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus."
DUTY AND PLEASURE.-I utterly repudiate the worldly maxim of "Duty first and pleasure afterward." That is a poor school which does not teach, or a poor scholar who has not learned, how pleasure is a duty, and duty a pleasure, And so the words are one. For what is duty? Simply what is due; and duty done is a debt paid,-receipted, canceled, and released. We are too apt in the overflow of life which belongs especially to youth, but lasts, thank God, sometimes into grey hairs;— we are too apt to treat it in another way; too apt to dwell upon its hardness, its severe demands, its restrictions of liberty. Learn to look on it, dear children, in the truer light. It is undone duty that is hard; just as a debt owed and paid has in it a thought of pleasure and relief, of freedom from a haunting shadow which bears down stout hearts with its anxious load. And in its highest reach, your duty is a debt of honour, of gratitude, of love; whose payment is all pleasure in the act of paying, no less than in the sense of its discharge.-W. C. Doane, D.D.
NEW EVERY MORNING.-Here is an utterance that has the sunbeam in it: "The Lord's mercies are new every morning." What an assurance this is to carry with us in all our wayfarings through this world! The future is always dark to us. The shadows brood over it.
A veil hides it from our sight. What is under the shadows, what is behind the veil, what is advancing out of the impervious mist, none of us can know. We have no anxious questions to ask. This is enough for all that is coming: "The Lord's mercies are new every morning.' The morning yet to break upon us may be heavy with storms. No matter; the new mercies will not fail. Come, live a comfortable happy and thankful life. Don't borrow trouble. Don't be cast down with care or work. Take up each day as it comes, certain of this, that whatever it lay upon you to do or to bear, it will bring new mercies for new deeds.
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
LUTHER'S PRAYER FOR MELANCTHON.-On a certain occasion a message was sent to Luther to inform him that Melancthon lay dying. He at once hastened to his sick bed, and found him presenting the usual premonitory symptoms of death. He mournfully bent over him, and sobbing, gave utterance to a sorrowful exclamation. It roused Melancthon from his stupor. He looked in the face of Luther, and said "O Luther! is this you? Why don't you let me depart in peace ?" "We can't spare you yet, Philip," was the reply; and turning round, he threw himself upon his knees, and wrestled with God for his recovery for upwards of an hour. He went from his knees to the bed, and took his friend by the hand. Again he said, "Dear Luther, why don't you let me depart in peace?" "No, no, Philip! we can't spare you yet," was the reply. He then ordered some soup; and, when pressed to take it, Melancthon declined, again saying, "Dear Luther, will you not let me go home and be at rest?" "We cannot spare you yet, Philip," was the reply. He then added, "Philip, take this soup, or I will excommunicate you." He took the soup. He commenced to grow better. He soon regained his wonted health, and laboured years afterwards in the cause of the great Reformation; and when Luther returned home, he said to his wife, with joy, "God gave me my brother Melancthon back in direct answer to my prayers.'
THROWING MUD.-Some words need to be cracked open to get their full meaning. For example, the common title applied to an evil spirit has a force which few men realize. A Christian prays for deliverance from the power of the devil. A profane man invokes the devil as a way to add point to a witty or an angry speech. Perhaps the one fails as much as the other to grasp the real signification of the word employed. For the "Devil" is but another name for the "Accuser." The Greek word literally means one who throws something upon another, just as we, in common parlance, speak of a slanderer as one who throws mud." The etymology of the term ought to startle Christians who are careless about the use to which they put their tongues. A thoughtless word that may smirch another's reputationa sarcastic misinterpreting of another's motive-a blowing of the sparks of suspicion into flames of scandal, have in them the very elements of the devil's name. Beware of "throwing mud," whether intentionally or thoughtlessly.
BUSINESS RELIGION.-The Bible allows no slovenliness in business. Christianity encourages invention, promotes refinement, suggests method, insists upon order, promptness, regularity, good humour, good manners, and good livings. The resources of the earth are abundant for all. If manual labour were made a part of education-an essential in every school and college curriculum-the world would be brighter and cheerier for the change. It is because labour has been dunned out as toll for a livelihood-underpaid, overtaxed, unfashioned, and unchurched, that so many toilers are worn, and weary, and forced to be illiterate and melancholy; whereas if their work and position were properly rewarded, they would be strong, vigorous, intellectual, religious, and happy.-Clark's Workday Christianity.
THE FIRESIDE.-THE PENNY POST BOX.
FOLLOW PEACE AND LOVE.-The entertainment and increase of Christian love, of due esteem of one another, and affection one to another, is no matter of empty compliment, but is the very stamp and badge of Jesus Christ upon his followers: it is, therefore, most carefully to be preserved entire, and unhappy are they that do by any means willingly break it. Oh! let us beware of doing so, and follow peace even when it seems to fly from us.-Leighton.
IT is a man's own fault if he is unhappy with his wife, in nine cases out of ten. It is a very exceptional woman who will not be all she can be to an attentive husband, and a more exceptional one who will not be very disagreeable if she finds herself willfully neglected. It would be very easy to hate a man who, having bound a woman to him, made no effort to make her happy; hard not to love one who was constant and tender, and when a woman loves she always strives to please.
The great men of this world have often been wretched in their domestic relations, while mean and common men have been exceedingly happy. The reason is very plain. Absorbed in themselves, those who desire the world's applause were careless of the little world at home; while those who had none of this egotism strove to keep the hearts that were their own, and were happy in their tenderness.
No woman will love a man better for being renowned or prominent. Though he be first among men she will only be prouder, not fonder, and if she loses him through this renown, as is often the case, she will not even be proud. But give her love, appreciation, kindness, and there is no sacrifice she would not make for his content and comfort. The man who loves her well is her hero and her king. No less a hero to her though he is not one to any other; no less a king, though his only kingdom is her heart and home.
The Penny Post Box.
SETTLE DIFFICULTIES RIGHT.
NOTHING is settled permanently until it is settled right. Shifts, concealments, subterfuges and evasions amount to nothing. A wrong may be apologized for, defended, endorsed, covered up, lied about, daubed over, winked at, or silently endured; but so long as it exists, there is trouble in store. Build your house as big as you like, if there is a wrong in the foundation, you have put powder under the whole concern. While that is there, nothing can make the structure safe. By and by,