With him who is the sum of all my joy :
Mercy Thou art.

"Thou canst not, wilt not cause me to resign
My hope, my stay:

How would this earth become a wilderness
Were he away!

"I could not walk alone without his voice
To counsel, cheer,—

His tender love to guide my drooping heart,
To soothe my fear.

"Let it but come in any other form,
I'll bear the rod,

And every murmur hush,—but oh not this,
Not this, my God!"

And was she heard?-The summer sun looked down
In its bright beauty on a scene as fair

As fallen earth can picture. Calm and still,
That quiet garden seemed the image faint
Of Eden ere it faded from the world.
Beneath the cooling shade of a dark elm
Two figures rested; one with eager hands
Pulling in pieces leaves and stalks and flowers
Of rainbow dyes, whilst his companion piled
Those shattered treasures high in one bright mound,
Laughing with joy to see the heap increase,
And in his mirth the other joined, but 'twas
In that wild tone which thrills the hearer's heart,
And caused the little one to stay his hand,
And wondering gaze into his father's face,
Now more a child than he! With vacant smile
The elder turned away, and soon again

Became absorbed in his all-trifling task.

Watching with trembling earnestness o'er both,
The wife and mother stood. On her pale brow,

Though shaded o'er with sorrow, was a look

Of high and holy communing with God,
Marking indeed the spirit sorely tried,
Yet surely comforted. She could not lean,
As heretofore, upon a husband's mind,

A husband's love; but she had found a God.
And as she gazed, with humble heart she breathed
In a faint whisper words of thankfulness :—

"My Father, Thou hast taught me now
To suffer and be still;

Hast bowed my rebel spirit down
To Thy unerring will:

"Hast taught me that there is a pang
Greater than death can give,
And punished my idolatry,
Bidding my idol live.

""Tis well, 'tis well! for now I know
My wayward heart was given
Oft'ner to happiness and him
Than happiness and heaven.

"Yes, I have been content to rest
On human strength and love,
And only as he looked on high

Would raise my thought above.

"Meeting that vacant eye, I mourn

The jewel once shrined there,

Yet feel that Thou hast answered thus

My own rebellious prayer.”

L. E. P.



JEREMIAH XV. 16, 17.

THE intrinsic value of everything is known by putting it to the proof. The dross falls off by the test to which it is subjected, and there remains behind the fine gold.

The present day is one that subjects everything to the crucible. Every age has its characteristics, and the age in which we live has this as its prominent feature. The veneration of bygone years, the reverence bestowed by ancestral worth, the eulogia of mature judgment, enlarged understanding, and exalted intellect—all is as nothing in the estimation of modern thought. Everything must yield to the crucible of criticism, as if it had never before been tested. Such pleas characterised the years gone by, but are now regarded as among the littlenesses of a childhood state, or the weaknesses of times that had not the courage or the manliness to speak out. We are in the age of manhood when it

is noble to doubt and manly to deny; when the imbecility of bygone years has given way to intellectual vigour, and elevated understanding, and a higher tone of religious thought!

The assumption of all this is startling. Such pretensions demand an adequate basis and credentials which cannot be gainsaid. When the age in which we live is put in contrast with every preceding one for its superior character as to religious and intellectual thought, the least we can ask is that its claims be well supported, that it will stand the fiery ordeal of criticism in a way which no other age has stood it. With such pretensions this demand is only fair. We shrink not from criticism when applied to God's Word. If indeed it be what it claims to be-God's Word-then indeed it should not shrink from impartial criticism; it should rather lay itself open to it. On every side, from every quarter, we invite it. Only let it be fair; let it be impartial; let us stop where we cannot reconcile; and, instead of consigning to the region of human fallibility, let us wait for more light. Only in our criticism let us stop where reason suggests we cannot decide for want of that light. Only let us treat the Book of Revelation as we treat its counterpart, the Book of Nature. We ask no more than this; we ask not less. To ask more would be to manifest that fear that would put forth its hand to touch the ark. To ask less would be to yield the palm to modern

prejudice and partiality, to a fettered reason and a contracted heart.

How has the Bible been examined by modern critics? Its effect on the nations of the earth in civilising, socialising, and elevating man, morally, intellectually, spiritually; its effect as manifested in every country where it has found its way, and in our own country especially, in giving an exalted character to its system of education, a healthier tone to its morals, and making this country the greatest and noblest in the world; its effect on the hearts of men in making them real and true men, in giving them strength in the hour of trial and, above all, victory in the hour of death,-all this has been forgotten-nay, ignored. The Bible, in the hands of modern critics, has had no credit for this. The question has not been asked, "Is not a book that has produced, and is producing, such effects manifestly from God? Has not such a book marks of an origin not of man? Did ever book speak like this book?"

How has the Bible been criticised? Have these men said, "There are difficulties in nature inexplicable, heights insurmountable, contradictions apparently irreconcilable, and if nature be the work of an infinite mind it must ever be so to finite understandings; and therefore, if the Bible have for its Author the God of nature, we must expect to meet with similar difficulties in it?" This would

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