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others. We are more indebted to God's word than we think. In the dark night of ignorance manifold lamps are burning, which are supposed to have been self-kindled, whereas they were lit in the temple of inspiration. Laws institutions, manners, are modified by truths, whose Author men are frequently too careless to recognise. Utterances of wisdom, consolation, and guidance are again and again addressed to us by others, or to others by us, which would not have had a being had it not been for the Divine Book. We gather and give to each other treasures of knowledge, which we find scattered, like beautiful stones and graceful shells, on the shore of our minds; but we are prone to forget that they were drifted there by the tides of revelation.
“God save the Queen." Let us be thankful that we can say that with perfect sincerity. England has, at different periods, been subject to monarcha whose rule has been such that, had we lived in their reigns, we should have been unable to repeat the formula as heartily as we now do. Their misconduct would have sapped the foundations of our confidence in and affection for them. Could we honestly and zealously have cried out “God save the King” in beball of the cowardly and tyrannical John, who stained his hands with the blood of defenceless youth, and yielded up the British crown to the minion of a priestly ruler? Could we have done it in behalf of Henry the Eighth, whose conjugal love enabled him to behead one wife one day and marry another the next? Could we have done it in behalf of Charles the First, when he deliberately violated his coronation oaths, and set at naught the voice of both Parliament and people ? Could we have done it in behalf of Charles the Second, who populated his palace with sensualists, and wasted his and the nation's substance with riotous living ? Could we have done it in behalf of the Second James, the victim of superstition, cruelty, and bigotry, who lavished his favours on the monster Jefferies, and imprisoned the good bishops in the Tower? It is by glancing thus at the past that we learn to appreciate the present. Deservedly has Queen Victoria the sympathies and regard of the nation. The patron of education, the friend of freedom, the helper of the afflicted, she merits our admiration. By her the obligations of morality are fulfilled, the duties of religion acknowledged, and the rights of the State scrupulously respected. History will doubtless endorse the lines of the Poet Laureate :-
" Her court was pure; her life serene;
peace; her land reposed;
In her as mother, wife, and queen.” The expression, “God save the Queen," unequivocally recognises the existence of Divine Providence. It asks that he may be pleased graciously to watch over the life and interests of a certain person. Nor is this all. Inasmuch as it is a prayer in behalf not simply of a human being, but a human being who occupies an official position of national importance, it is virtually a supplication for Heaven’s blessing upon others as well as upon her. Special mention is made of her as a queen, and because a queen. Her security is implored, not for her own sake merely, but for the reason that, to a greater or less extent, the welfare of her people is believed to be connected with her preservation. But al this intercession would be meaningless and vain were there no such thing as Providence. It is based, therefore, on a belief in the protecting, Jehovah. Those who sincerely offer it assume thereby that a Divine Eye observes, and a Divine Hand controls, the events of life.
The history of our country affords abundant ground for such a creed. Our own experience and that of our forefathers yield good proof of its truth. Do the annals of Israel reveal marked and striking interpositions of the Supreme Being on behalf of man? So do the annals of England. He who led the Jews through the dreary desert into fruitful Canaan has guided us through the wild
care of Did geogra
wilderness of barbarism into the promised land of civilization. He gave them kings and warriors, priests and poets ; nor has he done less for us. "They had their David, we have had our Aĩfred. They had their Isaiah, we have had our Milton. They had their Gideon, we have had our Wellington.* phical and other peculiarities render Palestine a singularly desirable home
for them? It is equally evident that the northern latitude of Britain has helped to foster in its inhabitants a manly robustness, and its insular position has been a bulwark to our freedom. The same gracious Guardian who in the hour of need made special provision for their wants has done likewise for us. When hunger and thirst threatened them with destruction, manna descended from the sky, and streams gushed from the rock. And how often have we, too, found that “man's extremity is God's opportunity"! Again and again have we
seen a languishing commerce compensated, at least to some extent, by a flourishing agriculture. A certain branch of manufacture, upon which millions depend for their maintenance, becomes fearfully depressed, but the harvest is unusually prolific. If work is scarce, bread is cheap. Mark, too, how timely many of our great inventions and discoveries have been. When the rapid growth of the nation called urgently for new spheres of labour, Arkwright and Stephenson were sent to the rescue. The machine of the one and the locomotive of the other came just when they were wanted. Think, also, of the many improvements which have been effected in the art of navigation. At the very period when political economists ask how we are to dispose of our “ surplus population,” increased facilities for emigration present themselves. Nothing could be more seasonable.
What shall we say to these things ? Say! What can we say but this, “The Lord of hosts is with us”? The history of our land has been the history of Providence. Industry with her cornucopia of plenty, Education with her outspread scroll, Freedom with her shattered gyves, Peace with her olivebranch, all confess themselves to be but the ministers of the Most_High. "Not unto us, not unto 18, O Lord, but to thy name be the glory.” That is the burden of their song. As a great author has said, “ Beyond doubt the Almighty Maker made this England too, and has been and for ever is present here." The more is the pity for us if our eyes are grown owlish, and cannot see this fact of facts when it is before us. Once it was known that the Highest did of a surety dwell in this nation, divinely avenging, and divinely saving and rewarding ; leading by steep and flaming
paths, by heroisms, pieties, and noble acts and thoughts, this nation heavenward, if it would and dared. Known or not, this is for evermore the fact.” Unquestionably there is, as the writer just quoted intimates, a tendency in some to stop at secondary causes, and hide from themselves the great First Cause, to whom belongs all the praise for our national prosperity.
“ Our wayward intellect, the more we learn
Conclusions retrograde, and mad mistake.” Against this let us be on our guard. In reference to the past, let us devoutly acknowledge that it is God who has "saved” the rulers and the ruled of our land, and bestowed those advantages which they have enjoyed. Touching the future
, be it ours to trust for national well-being in Him who says, “By me kinge reign, and princes decree justice.” Laws, institutions, commerce, agriculture, are but agencies; He is the Fountain of good. Armies, navies, fortifications are simply means; they are effectual only so far as He pleases.
* Not that the writer would put ancient inepiration on a level with modern genius. Such a theory, together with its manifold perplexities, he leaves in the hands of those who invented it. All thut bé maintains is, that our great men are as truly the gift of God as were those of Jewry.
A nobler and deeper meaning can and should be attached to the words, “Goi save the Queen.” Most appropriately may they be used in imploring mora and spiritual blessings on our beloved monarch. The dangers of royalty ar neither few nor small. Every class in society has its own peculiar inducement to evil, and that to which princes belong is no exception to the rule. Tempta tion in its most alluring guise lurks near the palace, and hovers around the throne. The attractions of beauty, rank, and fashion are liable to create to strong an attachment to the seen and the temporal, while they tend to banisł from the mind that earnest heed which wisdom bids us give to the unseen and the eternal. When all the luxuries that ingenuity can contrive and industry produce are placed within reach, how easy and imperceptible is the transition from lawful gratification to sensual indulgence ! Surrounded by urban courtiers and obsequious menials, quick in detecting and prompt in executin the least wish that may arise, who would not find it hard to maintain humility cultivate submission, and practice self-denial? Too often have the blandish ments and the fascinations of regal life proved fatal to virtue and piety. Sau degenerated after he became a king; and we all know what the old age o Solomon was.
A knowledge of these facts ought surely to infuse into our national prayer higher significance than that which it usually bears. “Save the Queen from temptation, save her from that evil to which every creature, whether ruling, ruled, is exposed. Save her best, her everlasting interests from suffering by the morally unfavourable circumstances by which monarchs are commonly sw' rounded.” Such is the spirit in which Christian men and women shouk ever and anon, repeat the oft-used words. Especially should they do so now To the claims which Victoria has upon us as our sovereign are added thos which arise from her widowed condition. That she may be saved from tha baleful despondency which unfits its victim for the active duties of life-savet from that secret mistrust in the wisdom of Providence which heavy bereave ments sometimes produce-saved from that heavy sense of isolation with which death darkens the path of human experience, should be our fervent desire Moreover, we may present these requests in good hope of their being granted for “it is He that giveth salvation to kings."
But let us not, in conclusion, forget that it is a false philanthropy which lead us to seek the welfare of others while we neglect our own. Charity begins : home.” It is right that we should work and pray for the salvation of ou fellows, but there is a duty which precedes these. We ought first to secur salvation for ourselves. “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren not until then. Reader, are you converted? If not, your prayer for th salvation of those around you is inconsistent. Your conscience must accu you of dealing udjustly with yourself. Ask, therefore, for the pardon of you sins. Do not rest until you enjoy the renewing power of God's good Spiri This done, you may say with David, “I will teach transgressors thy ways.”
THE PROPHET'S LAMENTATION.
Jer. viii, 20.
BY THE REV. S. PEARCE.
“WHEN I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people, because of them that dwell in a far
country.” By those who dwell in a f country we may understand the Bab lonians or Chaldeans, of whom a descri tion is given in the 5th chapter :—" Lo,
and delicious fruits; and in a third, the oxen are chewing the cud as they lie down on the soft and green sward. Wherever we turn our eyes, we see the pastures are dotted with flocks, the valleys are covered over with corn, and the hills rejoice on
will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandeth what they say. Their quiver is an open sepulchre; they are all mighty men. And they shall eat up thine harvest and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat : they shall eat up thy flocks and thy herds : they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig. trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities wherein thoa trustedst, with the sword." Such a state of things, it is supposed
, vas in part realized when the prophet uttered the above language. Hence observe what follows :-“The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan : the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones ; for they are come and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city and those that dwell therein." The reference is, no doubt, to Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonish monarch, who, having subdued Phænicia, was now passing through Dan on his way to Jerusalem. By reason of the siege the people were reduced to great straits. They had hoped to have received assistance from the Egyptians
, who were at this period the inveterate enemies of the Chaldeans. But the harvest being past, and the summer now over, and seeing that winter was rapidly approaching, they despair of receiving any assistance from that quarter, and hence give themselves up to the bitterest lamenta
« The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." This exclamation is prolific of suggestions.
I. The season of harvest and summer reminds us of our privileges and obligations.
It is a season of fruitfulness. During printer all nature may be said to be barren. The trees exist, but they have lost their foliage
, and are like a forest of masts when stripped of their sails, yards, and rigging:
The seed which has been sown lies buried in the earth, and dies before it appears again in the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear. But as spring approaches, the tarth is carpeted afresh,
blossoms appear on every hand, and life and beauty are the genius of the scene. Thus it is that sumter, which is but the advance and consurmation of spring, presents to us world teeming with temporal blessings.
In one direction is to be seen a field waving with precious grain to the passing
breeze ; in another a rich orchard loaded with ripe
But should not summer and harvest remind us of our privileges—the plenitude of mercies we are permitted to enjoy ? A gracious God has made provision for our bodies, but also a much richer provision for our souls. What a boon are the sacred Scriptures ; the Scriptures in our own language; the Scriptures completed and in their purity; the Scriptures as the instrument of all that is morally, spiritually, savingly, and eternally good : who can ever estimate the value of such a blessing as this ? As the translators of the English Bible pithily remark :-“ Men talk much of cipeciávn, how many sweet and goodly things it had hanging on it; of the philosopher's stone, that it turneth copper into gold; of Cornucopia, that it had all things necessary for food in it; of Panacea, the herb that was good for all diseases ; of Catholicon, the drug, that it is instead of all
purges ; of Pulcan's armour, that it was an armour of proof against all thrusts and all blows, &c. Well, that which they falsely or vainly attribute to these things for bodily good, we may justly and with full measure ascribe unto the Scripture for spiritual. It is not only an armour, but also a whole armoury of weapons, both offensive and defensive, whereby we may save ourselves, and put the enemy to flight. It is not a herb, but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life, which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit thereon for meat and the leaves for medicine. It is not a pot of manna, or a cruise of oil, which were for memory only, or for a meal's meat or two, but, as it were, a shower of heavenly bread sufficient for a whole host, be it never so great, and, as it were, a whole cellar-full of oil-vessels, whereby all our necessities may be provided for, and our debts discharged. In a word, it is a granary of wholesome food against favoured traditions ; a physician's shop of preservatives against poisoned heresies ; a pandect of profitable laws against rebellious spirits ; a treasury of most costly jewels against beggarly rudiments ; finally, a fountain of most pure water springing up into everlasting life." Thus, when we consider what the Scrip
tures contain, how widely they are cir
sages as these :
" Our days upon earth culated, how faithfully expounded, and
are as a shadow.”
" What is
life? It how adapted they are to the moral and is even & vapour, that appeareth for a eternal necessities of man, we may well little while, and then vanisheth away.' exclaim with the first disciples, “ Lord, “O remember that my life is wind.” evermore give us this bread.”
“My days are swifter than a weaver's It is a season of great activity. Not shuttle." By such comparisons the that any portion of the year with the hus- brevity and rapidity of life are illustrated. bandman is spent in idleness and repose, Nor is there any hyperbole in such lanbut certainly there is more labour and life guage as this, for what one moment is to in the summer season than in the winter. the duration of time, 80, and still less, is It is not merely that the feathery tribes of time itself to the vast duration of eternity, creation are emancipated from their long And yet within this limited, precarious confinement, as though delivered from a period we are to become acquainted with prisou, warbling on high their great God; to familiarize ourselves with the Creator's praise, but man himself is seen terms of salvation; to obtain a new and going forth at early dawn, bending his holy nature ; to get our manumission stops to the field, with scythe in hand, and from the court of heaven; our passport for cutting down the ripened ears of precious the celestial world ; and a valour and skill grain, which wait to be gathered into the which shall overcome all the temptations of barn.
life, and make us more than conquerors But what a lesson this in regard to our over grim death itself! Surely there is individual responsibilities ! The harvest of work enough to do here, and truly, oh privileges surrounds us, and it belongs to how brief the time to do it. Well
may us to go forth and reap. The salvation of preacher exhort, “Whatsoever thy hang the soul is a work, --work that demands findeth to do, do it with thy might ; for the most serious thought, the most fervent there is no work, nor device, nor know. prayer, the most vigilant watchfulness, the ledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whithet most diligent use of the means which God
thou goest.” has placed in our hands. Not that we are II. The present period of our existence saved for our doing, but in our doing. with its plenitude of saving blessing, is Hence such exhortations as these :
often allowed to pass away,
without yield“ Work out your salvation with fear and ing salvation to the soul. trembling." By patient continuance in It is harvest-time with us, for we have well-doing, seek for glory, immortality, the Gospel, and the promise of the Holy and eternal life." 66 Strive to enter in at Spirit to render it powerful and efficacions the strait gate.” “Wherefore we labour, But though the corn is waving to th that whether present or absent, we may be breeze, and invites the sickle, how man accepted of him.” All the figures under are there too indolent, too careless, or to which the true Christian is exhibited give proud to gather in the precious grain the idea of arduous, persevering labour. Though the Scriptures are in their houses He is a racer, and is so to run as to obtain ; how seldom in their hands; though th he is a soldier, and must wrestle against sanctuary is less than a furlong away, whe flesh and blood; he is a husbandman, trifles keep them from it ; though the daily sowing and reaping, till bis barns are throne of grace stands in their very mids filled with plenty and his presses burst out how slow and disinclined to kneel in thi with new wine.
exercise of prayer; and though the Saviou It is a season of limited duration. Sum. repeats his messages of love, how vast th mer and harvest occupy but a small portion multitude who refuse to hear. How of the year, only a few months, which soon this to be accounted for ? It arises, 11 pass away ; and our life, the only period in doubt, from a variety of causes. which salvation is to be obtained, how Sometimes from the influence of the work quickly it is gone. It may be reckoned by This is very powerful, and hence the years, but more correctly by months and hortation, "Love not the world, neith days. Solomon speaks of a time to be the things that are in the world "born, and a time to die, but says nothing wealth, its fashions, and its maxims. of a time to live, as though our present any man love the world, the love of th existence were only a skip from the womb Father is not in him." The love of ti to the grave! How monitory such pas- world destroys the love of the Gospel