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- Wherefore, let him that thinketh he towards Jesus. Peter must have done wo, standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath or their eyes could not have met. They did no temptation taken you but such as is meet, and what a meeting! The soul of common to man: but God is faithful, who Jesus looked through his eyes right into will not suffer you to be tempted above that the soul of Peter. What sins fell down beye are able ; but will with the ternptation fore that look, what graces awoke from also make a way to escape, that ye may be their death-like slumber at that look! Could able to bear it." These words are certainly he swear again now ? Impossible! Let us consolatory, but their principal character look unto Jesus wherever we are, and whatistic is, I think, cautionary. They teach ever we have done. If he gently upbraids, that it is not impossible for believers to he will freely forgive. Do you want 8 overcome the worst temptation. There is frozen heart melted, an iron will subdued, no reason why they should enter into crowds of vain or despairing thoughts temptation, however sorely they are tried. arrested? Then catch his eye, look to him, If they fall they will have themselves to | and you will surely find him looking at you. blame, not God. The frame of mind which Then, like Peter, withdraw, examine, re. we should cherish is the very opposite to trace, and weep. Break at once with what that which was manifested in Peter; he ever has broken your communion with him. was self-confident and unwatchful; he slept In your sad solitude, sitting alone and instead of praying; "fled at first from his
keeping silence, entertain right willingly Lord, and then followed afar off.” If we
any message sent you from heaven. “Tell would resist the devil, and provent his de | his disciples and Peter that he is risen from signs, we must seek to possess a spirit of
the dead.”. What, Peter might well say, self-distrust, watchfulness, and prayer. We calling me by name! Even so. “I have must, above all, and at any risk, follow the surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself, Lord closely. Oh, there is nothing like a and I will surely have mercy upon him, sight of his glorious person and the sound saith the Lord.” of his loving footsteps (faith can see and And now hearken, thou sought out and hear both) to preserve us from listening to restored one, hearken to the words of the Satan, and forsaking our heavenly Master! risen Lord of love: “ Peace be unto thee;".
But if by any means “the tempter has “Lovest thou me?" I am the fountain of tempted" and prevailed ; if by sudden on the happiness you have lost; the stream set, or more silent operations, the enemy failed for a time, but not the spring. "Be has succeeded, and now triumphs over the turn unto me, for I have redeemed thee." soul, despoiled of its comfort, and shorri of Now, restored one, come, “ follow me;" go, its strength and beauty, still let not such a “feed my sheep." And whenever the one despond. Prevention is best, recovery wolf comes, or the lion roars, remember is next best. The very worst thing is to that I am always within call, and have remain at a distance, insensible or despond. “all power, both in heaven and earth." ing. A word of very frequent recurrence Peter was faithful unto death. After this in God's book, and one of sweetest import, he kept near his Lord, and the Lord was is, “ RETURN." Oh, what would many have ever near him. At length he put of his done without that one gracious word ! tabernacle, even as the Lord Jesus showed Here let Peter be our guide. Would you him; and now he is with Jesus, in the recover your losses, regain your position of Father's house, in the palace of glory, in communion,-yea, get some strength from the garden of perfect delight, the paradise your fall, to be avenged on your foe? Then of God. And there we hope soon to join attend to conscience. Let it be to you what him, to hear his tale of wonder, and to tell the second crowing of the cock was to our own. Peter. That shrill noise stood connected « There no thorn the foot e'er pierces, with his Lord's own warning words. If
There the heart ne'er heaves a sigh; your conscience is echoing what God's word
There they walk in white with Jesus, declaros, oh, attend to it! Endeavour to
All their loved companions by;
And to reach it, meet the eye of incarnate dying love. Turn
'Tis a privilege to die."
REASONS FOR SUBMISSIVENESS.
.BY THE KEV, C. VINCE.
“ Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”—Mat. vi. 10.* 3 Of all the faults and follies of human nature, wilfulness is usually the first to
show itself. Before the season of infancy is past, the little one makes it very plain that it has a will of its own, and that it can strive hard to have its own way. Out of this spring some of life's earliest troubles. What battles are fought-what bitter tears are shed—what anger is displayed, and what punishment is provoked, by childhood bent on following its own inclinations !
“The child is father to the man.” This wilfulness abides with us for many days. We like to have it according to our mind. This is the prayer which most naturally rises in our hearts, and most readily leaps to our lips—“Not thy will, but mine be done.” Grace must strive with Nature, and subdue it, before we can reverse the order of the petition, and pray, as Jesus did in Gethsemane, for God's will to be done, and for ours to be crossed and checked whenever it is not in harmony with His.
Because of our strong desire to have things our own way, there is no part of the Lord's Prayer so difficult to utter sincerely as the petition to which we again call attention. We have need to be deeply impressed with the duty, and the wisdom, and the blessedness of presenting it ; for there are times when, to do it from the heart, without reserve and with cheerfulness, is about the hardest work to which we can give ourselves. It is comparatively easy to adopt the other petitions of the prayer. We require no great devoutness to enable us to ask for our daily bread. To cry for pardon is a thing we can do without very eminent saintliness. The instincts of Nature would be almost sufficient to prompt us to deprecate severe temptation, and to desire to be shielded from all evil ; but to say, “Thy will be done,” ofttimes tries the strength of the strongest saint. “You read, “Thy will be done,' and you say to yourself, “Oh, I can pray that'; and all the time your mind goes round and round in immense circuits and ar-off distances ; but God is continually bringing the circuits nearer to you, till he says, 'How is it about your temper and your pride? How is it about your business and your daily life?' This is a revolutionary petition. It would make many a man's shop and store tumble to the ground to utter it. Who can stand it the end of the avenue along which all his pleasant thoughts and wishes are blossoming like flowers, and send these terrible words, 'Thy will be done,' crashag down through it?”+ It is, says another, the great difficulty which stops o mapy in their Christian journey. It is like a great steep mountain which locks up the road to heaven, and some of us waste our time in trying to find a sath round it, and some of us fall asleep at the foot of it, and some of us in lespair turn our backs on it, and set our faces toward the way of sin and death. Very few have the wisdom and the courage to say, “The city of our God is at he top of the steep mountain ; and unless I can climb the mountain, I can never get there ; so the sooner I begin the better."
We have before looked at this petition to see what it includes ; let us now glance at some of the reasons why we should offer it fervently and constantly, and why we should seek to conquer all that opposes it, and why we should strive co be perfect in submissiveness to the will of our Father who is in heaven. Little need be said as to the wisdom of offering this prayer, so far as it pertains o a close obedience to God's holy laws written in our consciences, and revealed Fii his word. In keeping of these there is great reward. All experience proves
* See our January Number. † Henry Ward Beecher,
them to be the great help-meets of human prosperity and bappiness. We find in this world men with diseased bodies, and disordered minds; with bankrupt circumstances, and with uneasy consciences ; with hearts broken, and a life-cup to drink, bitter at the brim, and bitter to the dregs. We trace these sad things back to their sources, and we learn that the great majority of them flow from want of obedience to the will of God. Speaking once to a people sorely wounded and tossed with tumultuous griefs, God pointed to his laws, and said to the sufferers, “Oh that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments; then had thy peace been like a river, and thy righteousness like the waves of the sea !” It is somewhere recorded that a Christian missionary went into a pagan land, where the people were sunk into the lowest vices. He gathered them together, and strove, by convincing them of sin, to produce in them that feeling of need which is the only fitness Christ requireth. He read to them the will of God, as it is contained in the precepts given on Sinai, and illustrated and enforced in the Sermon on the Mount. Þegraded and ignorant as they were, those idolaters had conscience enough to discern the righteousness of God's laws, and wisdom enough to see the expediency of keeping them. They listened to the commandments, so rich in the beauty of holiness, and then exclaimed to one another, “If we were to do all this, our country would be like Paradise !" Even so ! and those idolaters may rise in judgment against many, who in Christian countries are perfectly familiar with the laws of God, and have around them ample proof of the blessedness of obedience, and yet cannot conquer their stubbornness, and say, “ Thy will be done.”
Mr. Binney tells of an infidel who, some years ago, went into his chamber, and took a Bible, and began to search for what he called its inconsistencies, and its contradictions, and its absurdities. In the course of his study, he came to the 20th chapter of Exodus, and read the ten commandments. He presently closed the book, and began to think of all those well-worn arguments of intdelity, which have been so often refuted, but are still so pertinaciously repeated, that Christian defenders of the faith are compelled to lift their lances agains boastful giants, who were smitten down centuries ago, and to imitate the valour of him of whom it is said, “Thrice he slew the slain.” The infidel meditated upon the remote antiquity of the time in which Moses is said to have lived, upon the obscurity that necessarily hovers over a period so distant, and upon the fabulous stories that often get woven into the early histories of nations. Out of these considerations he was constructing a very convincing and comforting proof that Moses was nothing but an impostor, pretending to an authority and an it: spiration which he never possessed. In the midst of these musings a very kuctt) question thrust itself upon the unbeliever-But where did Moses get these wie and beautiful laws? That question suggested other inquiries, and, at last, le the man to the conclusion, that he who had revealed these laws, so calculated make days of heaven upon earth, must have been a teacher sent from God..
The more we examine these laws, the more we shall be convinced of the Divine origin, and of the wisdom of keeping them. Look at the first, which enjoins the worship of the One God, and of him only. Does history tell us o any people who, by breaking this commandment, have obtained a blessing? Inds has transgressed it in one direction by her worship of gods many and loru many. France was guilty of a breach of it in another direction, when she rep! diated all godliness as a mockery, and a delusion, and a snare. What a blood harvest did Fravce reap as the fruit of her atheism ! and what is India st. suffering of moral defilement and degradation as the natural consequences of Lo polytheism! The Church of Rome has violated the spirit of the second cum mandment, which forbids all visible material representations of Deity. She bu professed to help the faith of the feeble by pictures and crucifixes; and the 18 is, that thousands of her children are sunk into idolatry, only less debasing ibu that of pagan lands. Who can read the fifth of God's wise and beneficent pre
cepts, and not sincerely join in the prayer, “Lord, have mercy upon us, and B incline our hearts to keep this law”? It seeks to secure that filial reverence
which lies at the very foundation of all human virtue. Give us this root, and there is good reason to hope that presently we shall gather all the fruits of righteousness. The Bible tells us there was a fair garden, fertile and fragrant,
and in it was summer time all the year round. A serpent crawled into the Li glorious place, and caused sin to spring up there, and sin beclouded the sunny 5 sky, and blasted the summer beauty, and turned the paradise into a wilderness
full of thorns and thistles. Some say they cannot credit that story; but theirs
surely is a strange incredulity, seeing things so much like it take place every e day. I have known an earthly home that was like a "little heaven below.” The * gifts of Providence were there in such sufficiency as to lift them above all fear
of want. The spirit of affection was there, securing kindliness, hushing all strife, and fostering that peace which made it a picture of the better world. The fear of God was there, promoting thankfulness and purity, and making the happy present brighter still with the promise of a more glorious future. But at last, filial disobedience, like a slimy serpent, crept into that paradise. One of the
household would break away from all healthful restraint, and set at defiance all *.parental counsel. He would have his own way, and cared not though he broke
his mother's heart, and brought his father's grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. He marred all the bliss and beauty of the scene. He stood forth before the world with this curse resting upon him-He had desolated a fair home, embittered the life-cup of many, and ruined himself beyond the probability of redemption. All this evil grew out of his refusing to do the will of God as expressed in the law, “ Honour thy father and thy mother.”
I have seen a home where poverty was a constant guest, and sickness a frequent visitor. Stripped was that home of well nigh all the things which alleviate we sufferings and adorn the circumstances of life. But amidst the severities of her 105, the widow's heart had one perpetual feast. Her son kept God's law. He monoured his bereaved mother, and sought to lighten her burden by his sympa
, and to lessen her poverty by his labour, and to gladden her spirit by his istent character. And his filial obedience was in that poor home like a
-spring of joy which never dried up, and like a long summer day whose sun L'esset. In the godly conduct of her child, the woman had a cup of pleasure which she could freely drink, even when by the ruthless hand of affliction y other was dashed from her lips. This is what comes of keeping God's wandments! This is the paradise which will be enjoyed when one of his pes is obeyed! Who, then, will not pray, “Thy will be done" ? O Lord, the lips of childhood all round the world, and teach the little ones to say, e mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law."
tried by the same test of experience, each law of the Lord is proved to e provision for human welfare. The love of God speaks in the precepts s in the promises. The Son of Man came not to repeal the command
that would have been no work of mercy. They came from God, and to God. The Bible statement is that Moses received them on the top in mountain, where God was dwelling in his insufferable glory. It says le the man stood there, his face became covered with such lustre
men were not able to look upon him. Some have ventured to question ry; but I am sure of one thing—if the laws did not come down from a
which God's glory rests, they lead up to a mountain on whose everlasting sunshine lies. Whether or not the man who received is countenance made lustrous, it is quite certain the men who keep
eir characters made resplendent with the brightness of the Divine visible effects on those who obey give greater credibility to what
touch the lips of c “ Have mercy u
When tried by the san be a wise provision as well as in the promises ments, for that would I they lead to God. Th of a high mountain, that while the mal his fellow-men were this history; but mountain on which God summit the everlasting su them had his countenance hem have their characters mage. The visible effects
the book says about one standing on the top of Sinai, and learning them from the lips of God.
« Rivers to the ocean run,
Nor stay in all their course;
Both speed them to their source." If it be a law that the tendency of things indicate their source, we may safely conclude that the commandments of the Bible came from God. To him and to his glory they evermore conduct those who obediently follow them, and make this their constant prayer, “ Thy will be done.”
The same reasons will equally apply to the second matter we mentioned as included in this petition, Obedience to all the indications of God's providence. It needs no argument to prove what a peaceful and prosperous world it would be, if every man were just where God would have him to be, and doing the work which God designs him to do. There is much wrong and woe on the earth, simply because so many men are not in their proper places. It is a world of confusion, and of collision, and of .clashing interests. Men get out of the right path, and so get in each other's way, and trample on each other's welfare. We look up at the midnight sky, and see it thick set with stars. We think of the innumerable worlds that move there with such an indescribable swiftness, and yet never clash with each other, and never so cross each other's paths as to cause mutual damage. We are amazed at the accuracy with which astronomers foretell an eclipse hundreds of years before it takes place; and when it happens at the very moment and to the exact extent which they predicted, there is much glorifying of human skill. But we sometimes forget that the astronomer's prophecy is made upon the assumption that the heavenly bodies will traverse exactly the same orbit and with exactly the same speed as heretofore. The human calculation owes all its accuracy and trustworthiness to the regularity of nature, or, in other words, to the unvarying obedience of these ponderous globes to the laws of God. If the material creation failed in the slightest degree in its universal and perpetual subjection to those natural laws which are part of the will of God, we should find the predictions of the astronomer sadly and constantly at fault. Because the suns and stars in their courses keep to the paths which God's finger has marked out for them, therefore they never come into collision ; and this is only a picture of the peace and harmony there would be in all human movements, if each one kept to the sphere Providence assigned to him; and thus God's will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
“The good man is satisfied from himself.” The consciousness that he has sought Divine guidance in all his ways, and the confidence that he has obtained it, constitute one perennial source of this satisfaction. A man who has sincerely striven to find out the will of God, and has shaped his plans and arranged his movements accordingly, will have nothing wherewith to reproach himself, but will bave much wherewith to console himself, even if those plans and movements issue in what the world calls failure and disaster. I know a good man who recently took certain steps which ultimately led on to a calamity of the most crushing character. His enterprise ended in a trouble whose shadow will probably reach to his very grave. In the darkness and distress of that sorrow, he has this unfailing consolation-his conscience bears him witness that he sought to know the will of 1 God in the matter, and only took those steps because he concluded that Provi: dence pointed in that direction. Is this an unlawful or an unboly comfort? Is it not in harmony with the Scripture, which bids us in everything by prayer and supplication to make known our requests unto God, and then promises that the peace of God shall keep our hearts and minds ? Suppose there come a crisis in my history, and two paths open up before me, and I am at a loss which to choose. Suppose I am enabled to lay aside all my own predilections and opinions, i and leave myself entirely in the hood of God. I am conscious of a simple desire