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& readier access to each other and each other's homes than they have. No feeling of shame or ceremony need keep you from calling on a neighbour for this purpose. There are greater multitudes of your condition and station than of theirs who are living in the neglect of public worship. In regard to this method of doing good, we are ready to say, “ Happy poor! favoured members of the larger if the humbler class; value and improve your privilege.” Females here, without any violation of propriety, may be useful. Remember what has been recorded of the poor woman who was the means of saving five souls by bringing them under the sound of the word. Why, you may perhaps lead the inhabitants of a whole court, or half a street, to attend the house of God.
Do you ask how you should do it? I answer, heartily, as if you delighted in the work ; kindly, not reproachfully or with scolding, but making the objects of your solicitude feel that you love them ; prayerfully, looking up to God for the help and blessing of his Holy Spirit; and adding to your efforts the power
and persuasive of a holy and consistent example.
Do consider how many inducements there are to undertake this business. It is lawful work. You have a warrant for it. Yea, it is your duty. “Let him that heareth say, Come” (Rev. xxii, 17). Not merely him that preacheth, but him that heareth. It is easy work, requiring neither wealth, nor rank, nor great talents. It is welcome work to the objects of it. One young man said, with surprise and gratitude to the person who invited him, “No one ever invited me before." He complied, and exchanged the public-house for a place of worship. It is pleasant work.
How delightful to see a person listening to the sound of salvation brought by you; to mark his fixed attention ; to see the tear of penitence in his eye, the smile of peace upon his countenance, and the change in all his conduct. It is hopeful work. Turn back to the instances mentioned at the commencement of this tract. You will be sure to do good. Now, read the words of the Apostle :-" If any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sing” (James v. 19, 2). Wondrous words! Glorious event! Save a soul from death! A greater work than saving a thousand bodies
from death! A work which, whenever it is done, fills all heaven with new joy, for the angels rejoice over one sinner that repenteth. Oh, have you holy ambition ? Here is room for it. By bringing persons under the sound of the Gospel, you may be the means of setting all Heaven rejoicing with new delight, and filling eternity with the praises of your low-creatures, and adding to the happiness of your own soul through ever
and the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord, as the Sower upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." -- Micah v. 7.
OPINIONS differ so widely as to the exact ing, as showing in what way the Jew was lusion of this prophecy, that I cannot do made to be, what he ought from the first to sore than suggest what may be its probable have been, a power for good, a witness for terpretation. Some parts of it evi- the truth among the nations of the earth."
y refer to an anticipated oppression of The book of Daniel clearly shows us how Israelites by their enemies, and to a he was so in the days of the captivity.' darence is, as is most probable, to the captivity amongst them. If the Men like Daniel and his companions, who
on account of their talent and integrity era captivity, the interpretation of these were raised to offices of importance in the obvious,
and also deeply interest. State, and who, when there, maintained
faithfully their allegiance to Jehovab—who by these means vindicated his honour and bore testimony for him amongst the heathen, and whose holy and noble lives exercised an influence for good upon all those with whom they came in contact-these were among the people “as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass," re. freshing, fertilizing, helping thus the development of the fruits of righteousness in them.
This, I confess, seems to me the most obvious and direct meaning. It fulfils the idea of the passage, and avoids the difficulties which arise if we consider the prophecy as relating to a time still to come. At the same time, it may have that mean. ing : it may refer to the time of which the Apostle speaks, when “the receiving" of the Jews, now scattered among many nations, into the fold of Christ, shall be “ life from the dead”; when they again shall be, as some of them were in the first ages of the Church, but in fuller measure than ever before, as a dew from the Lord, the ministers and heralds of that faith which they now despise.
But my purpose in selecting this passage is, to point out what I conceive to be the principle of it, important in all ages, to the Christian as well as to the Jew-yea, to the Christian more than to the Jew, since « whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required "—the principle that wherever the servants and friends of God dwell, they should, and in proportion as they are faithful will, exercise upon those around them an influence of mercy and blessing. Whether as these Jews of the captivity, exiles in a strange land, or having for a time, for any cause, a residence among strangers, or in the circle of life, small or large, important or insignificant, as it may seem to them, in which God has placed them, wherever they are, wherever their lot is cast, whatever the external condition of their life, this will be true of them, that they will be as the refreshing dew and fertilizing rain, exercising unconsciously and unostentatiously an influence for good, and in doing 80, tarrying not for man, nor waiting for the sons of men,” having their life and doings regulated not by popular opinion, whether of the Church or the world, but by the Divine life in them.
I. Let us take the fact, prophesied of the Jews, and which ought, therefore, as I have said, in a larger measure to be true of us, that good people, the servants and friends
of God, who are faithful to him, wherever they are placed an influence fo good.
The conduct of the Jews in the time o the captivity has been already alluded to but there is one characteristic of the witnes they then bore for God and his truth which strikingly accords with the sugges tion of these words, as to the nature that witness. It is this—their calm, modest unobtrusive manner in their adherence t what was right. Take, for example, th case of the three Hebrow young mer recorded in the third chapter of the boo of Daniel, particularly their reply to th king, verses 16-18. What calm, tru courage speaks in every word! Lik Luther's, “Here I stand, I can do no other God help me.” Or, again, the case o Daniel himself, recorded in the sixt] chapter, when he made no difference in hi conduct because of the peril which environe him, any more than he had before gone ou of his way to show off his piety, but simpl “kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before hi God, as he did aforetime.” And we ma learn something from this, too-that thei firmness was displayed about things whic were worth being firm about, not abou trivial things, as if they wanted people to see how consistent they were. Theirs wa no morbid conscientiousness, arising from over-weening self-consciousness, as we to often find now-a-days in people wh "strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel
. Unobtrusively, calmly, with a dignifie and modest reserve, not seeking publicity yet, when principle was involved, no shrinking from it, they maintained the allegiance to Jehovah, and won thereb from the king himself, an acknowledgmer of him as the true God.
We must remember, too, to their honou that the circumstances under which the thus exercised a gracious influence on tho around them were very unfavourable. The were in a strange land, away from th influences of home, of a settled order worship, as if we, for example, should fir ourselves prisoners in a land in wbi Popery or Mohammedanism prevailed.
The same principles which guided the there may guide us in all our life. F example, you are many of you called mix with worldly men—men of busine who have no thought beyond the prese life, some of them honourable men, a some evil men--who indulge in sin the
selves, and would be glad to see you do Christian men among their neighbours, the same. The test of your Christian Christian masters and mistresses among character
, your Christian principle, then, their servants, Christian servants in their will be found in this-Do you exert a good work at home, Christian employers of influence upon these men? Do they re- labour among their workpeople, Christian spect your principles in your honest main- parents among their children, are all in tenance of them? Do they feel that your their several spheres operating upon those presence is a rebuke to their sin ? Do they with whom they live, influencing their feel the influence of your example in check- opinions, their modes of thinking and acting that? Do they recognise in your ing, swaying them for good or evil, in temper
, your language, your conduct, in favour of religion or against it; perhaps, your justice and righteousness, in your and how fearfully thus does the responsi. gentleriess and forbearance and charity, in bility press upon us, helping to form their your willingness and readiness for every character and decide their destiny for act of kindness and generosity; do they see eternity. We may be to them like the in your very looks and manner, the proof refreshing dew and fertilizing rain, helping that you are living a higher, holier life than them, encouraging them by our example, they ; so that they are compelled to bear to bring forth the fruits of righteousness ; witness that in you at least religion is a or we may be like the scorching or chilling real thing? Or, on the contrary, are they blast, burning up or freezing out the tender by reason of your worldly, selfish, grasping germs of a better life in them. May God disposition, your hardness and unkindness help us, Christian brethren, both at home and want of charity, your ill-tempers and and abroad, more faithfully to consider our harshness and pride, taking up a reproach responsibility in this matter as to those against the Gospel you profess from your whom God has placed for the time within
the circle of our influence ! Oh! my brethren, it is not only in the II. Let us endeavour to point out the house of God and on Sunday we work for condition of exercising such a wise and God and speak for him. We are, if we holy influence on those around us; let us are truly his, speaking for him in every ask ourselves what is of chief importance act, living for him in every relation of life. in order to our exerting as Christian men Our looks, our manners, our tempers will and women a wise and good influence all testify to it:
and alas! for us, if the which shall help to shape and direct the testimony be not for God, not on bebalf of lives of others for good ? the religion we profess, but, on the contrary, The answer may be given in one word, against it and him.
be good. It is what we are, rather than We do exert, I say, if we are faithful, an anything we say or do, which will decide influence for good. Men “take knowledge what sort of influence we are really exertof us that we have been with Jesus,” and ing. It is the spiritual that shapes the oh! if this is possible, if we may do so (and
external ; it is what we are that shapes for we know we may), how does it call upon us what we say or do, that decides the is to seek earnestly and faithfully that nature of those looks, and tones, and slight we do not fail of our high calling, that unconscious actions, which reveal our true wherever we are, we may " adorn the doc- character to others, and which exert an trine of God our Saviour in all things” ? influence for good or evil upon many who
For let us remember that "none of us are unable to analyze that influence, or liveth to himself.” Every day of our lives show in what way and to what extent we our influence will be for good or evil on have affected them. those around us, who daily observe our Somewhere or other that which we stions, who come daily into contact with endeavour carefully to conceal from the L. All our social relationships bear wit- eyes of men will reveal itself. Somewhere
Tess of this. We are linked together by or other what we are really and truly in subtle chains of affection and habit, and the sight of God will manifest itself, and fue electric influence thrills through all
decide what our influence on others will who are thus united. We are continually If, therefore, we would exert an Peceiving and giving off influence, contri- influence on others, we must be not only buting to the power of good or evil in the careful of our outward conduct, how we cirole in which we live, helping to create act and how we speak, sedulously avoiding the moral atmosphere which surrounds us. this thing and that lest we should sin, but
exercise a good, a holy influence on th around you. Your household will feel your children will feel it, your neighbo will feel it. It was the testimony of L Richmond's children, that they learned love religion because they saw their fat! so lovely and happy under its influen It cannot be hid. It is the ointment of 1 right, which bewrayeth itself; it is the p fume of Aaron's anointing, which filled 1 room with odour; it is the glory on face of Moses, with which he came do from the Mount.
“ When one that holds communion with the sk
Has filled his urn where these pure waters ri And once more mingles with us meaner thin 'Tis e'en as if an angel shook his wings; Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide, That tells us whence his treasures are supplie
we must be what we wish to seem, We may
very consistent outwardly in these things, and so have a life void of offence, at the expense of living in a miserable bondage to what others will say; and yet there may be such evidences (of which we ourselves are all unconscious) of insincerity, selfishness, and worldliness, that our acted character goes for nothing, or rather awakens disgust and suspicion in those who feel and know that we are something other than we seem. Our Lord told his disciples, “there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known." What we are truly will be sure somehow or other to show itself in our life: if we are luminous we shall give light: if we are loving we shall show love: if we are sincere, men will see it and trust us.
The importance of character, as deciding the nature of the influence which we exert, is recognised by us in all our lives. We would not go ourselves, we would not put our children, into the company of the notoriously wicked, or even of those who were obviously negligent of the higher claims of spiritual religion. They might not attempt to do us any direct harm, to tempt us to evil; they might perhaps, on the contrary, endeavour to meet what they might call our prejudices, and pay respect to our religious scruples, but yet, I think, we should not court their society, throw ourselves in their way, identify ourselves with them.
Why? Not because we believe they mean us any harm, but because we know that they would exert, unintentionally on their part, and perhaps unconsciously on our own, a bad influence. We should expect that our tone would be lowered, that our hearts would grow cold, that we should become worldly even as they.
Now, brethren, apply the argument to yourselves. It is the stronger element which prevails ; and if you are really and truly Christians, Christians in heart and truth; if your life and strength be in Him; it will manifest itself, and will have an influence upon others, just as the influence of worldly men will have an effect for evil on weak and wavering Christians. And as it is not so much what they determine to do as what they are that produces the effect on their part, so you, if you are living in constant fellowship with God, if you are truly holy, if your one desire is to serve him, if you are seeking to be conformed to the image of bis Son, will
III. There is something very
beautiful the illustration here afforded us as to t manner in which this influence operat Like the dew and rain, it falls secretly, lently, unobtrusively, yet penetrates bel the surface and is hidden; and there cretly working, quickens and fertilizes ; in so doing it obeys Divine laws a operates according to Divine methods ; tarrieth not for man nor waiteth for sons of men.” So the sacred influer which the Christian exerts does not w for great examples; for patronage ar power to show the way; for societies ar committees to direct its operations ; everywhere and always, quietly, constant unconsciously to itself, but effectually, li God's refreshing fertilizing rain and de it works unseen and silently in men's hear going on doing good. Oh! who shall t till the judgment of the last day reveals how much has been won and lost to Chri: kingdom by influence, influence transmitt from generation to generation, the sil preaching of the holy life, or, alas! tliet want of it; influence spreading ! operating in directions which no hum eye can ever trace. “So is the kingdom God ;" as if a man should sow seed in field, and it should spring and grow up knoweth not how. So it is with our inf ence on others; we cannot trace it, and ! that such a result is the effect of some pl ticular influence exerted at any given tin but we may believe and be sure that proportion as we are faithful, in proporti as we are holy, in proportion as we i gracious, we are exerting an influence the most important and powerful kin more important by far than any exteri
means we can use if this influence be wanting-an influence which goes down deep to the very roots of men's hearts, as the dew and the rain sink down and quicken the roots of the grass. Oh, my lear friends, let me speak to you faithfully and affectionately about this. It is of no use for us minisiers to be preaching up in pur pulpits on the Sunday, if you preach igainst us by your influence all the week ;
you, by your want of a Christlike spirit, are exerting an influence opposed to it. See that it be not so. Let your example, your life, second the testimony of the pulpit
, that those without may learn thus, no less than from our words, the way of life,
IV. Just a few words, in conclusion, on the only source of this influence, the one and grand condition of our exerting it.
The dew and the rain are not of man, 4. nor by map; they are altogether beyond bis control. The mightiest forces he could
exert are powerless to produce a single e shower to bathe the parched fields in one
night's grateful dew. So also is it here
" This also cometh from the Lord of bosts, :? who is wonderful in counsel and excellent me in working."
I have already said that in order to exert a good influence on others we must be good e ourselves, and the one condition of that is, is that we ourselves continually derive our
spiritual life from God; that day by day
and hour by hour we live under the gracious influences of his Spirit. We are the channels of his bounty, the ministers of his grace. We may be the means of bringing into immediate contact with the hearts of others, by means of human sympathies, human fee ings, his feelings of pity and love to man. We are, brethren, representatives of God. It is for us as Christian men to show forth his spirit, his disposition towards men. And we can only do this by constant intercourse with Him who is the one unfailing source of all goodness. We must receive or we cannot impart. We must derive power from him or we cannot influence others. Without this we shall ourselves live barren, wasted lives; lives emptied of all good influence, of which the best that can be said is that they are neither much good por much harm to any. body. Or we shall fail of our Christian calling, and shall live lives the weight of whose influence will be on the side of worldliness ; mean, paltry, selfisb, selfwilled lives, over which good men mourn and bad men exult. But abiding daily under the power of the all-quenching, allsanctifying Spirit, we shall ourselves be refreshed and strengthened, and to all around us, to all who come within the circle of our influence, we shall be “as a dew from the Lord, as showers upon the grass."
"GOD SAVE THE QUEEN."
BY THE REV. T. R. STEVENSON. These are household words. We have all been familiar with them from our Fery childhood. They are printed in royal proclamations, public assemblies sing them, and not seldom are they used in prayer. Although, however, they are so often quoted, their origin is unknown to thousands who repeat them. They resemble those old proverbs which are in every one's mouth, and are passed constantly, like small change, from one to another, while few are aware of the source whence they sprang. If told that this expression of loyalty is traceable to the Bible, many would be quite astonished. Yet such is the case.
“God save the King," was employed by the Hebrew people on the appointment of their monarchs. The first occasion on which it was uttered was when Saul was set apart as the ruler of Israel—“And all the people shouted, and said, God save the King.” If, then, as will be readily admitted, we have in this sentence that which is alike good in sentiment and good in style, we must thank the Bible for it. Scripture is the strata to which this fossil owes its preservation.
The above fact, we may remark in passing, is but a sample of numerous