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Such an instance of simple faith the writer met with the other day on visitir poor widow of more than fourscore years; of whom it may be truly said,
“ She knew-and knew no more-her Bible to be true :
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew." She had her own marginal references too, for against one precious promise put a large P. Upon asking its meaning, she said, “Oh, that means precio In the margin of another were the letters T. P., which she said meant " ti and proved. The colonial bishop would find such an inwrought experime! faith impregnable to all his assaults; and, blessed be God, there are tens thousands who have the same inward witness to “the truth as it is in Jesi and who "believe to the saving of their souls."
The unlettered Christian may not be able to answer all the cavils, or unrave the sophisms of the sceptic, but he has such a conviction of the truth of the B wrought in his soul by the Holy Ghost, that you might as well try to convi him there is neither heat nor light in the sun, as to say there is not truth, cious, saving truth, in the Bible, which has been the guide of his youth, stay of his manhood, and the staff of his age, and which he knows, moreo will illumine the dark valley of death, while it assures him of incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away."
It has struck us, also, as a remarkable fact, that although it is well knowní many infidels have renounced their infidelity on a death-bed, no Christian ever known in that solemn hour to renounce his Christianity! On the contri then it is he clings closer to the cross, desiring to depart and be with Ch which is far better. Look then on this picture and then on that, and su this will be the language of your heart : "Let me die the death of the righte and let my last end be like his."
Permit us, then, just to submit a few considerations appropriate to subject.
And first, while you admit the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures, you need the aid of that Spirit who first indited them to enable you to read th with profit. Hence the prayer of the psalmist,“ Open thou mine eyes, th
: may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” All men may have a knowle of the letter, but enlightened men only can discern the spirit of the B The one may be outer-court worshippers, but the Holy Spirit alone can i aside the veil and lead you into the holy of holies. It is a tree of life; it is only when you shake the boughs with prayer that you will find fruit sweet unto your taste. It is a well; but it is only by faith you draw thereout with joy the waters of salvation. It is then with truth inay sing,
“Rivers of love and mercy here
In a rich ocean join :
Salvation in abuudance flows,
Like floods of milk and wine."
Another direction we submit to you is, that you should seek to make the wo God its own commentator, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”, Mat Henry ingeniously remarked, that if you would understand any difficult Scrip you should use the key which mostĪy hangs at the door; meaning by the the marginal references. And those who have not thus studied the Bible ) know the profit to be derived therefrom ; one passage explaining another prophecies compared with their fulfilment, the types with the anti-types books of Moses with the teachings of Christ, and the words of the prophets the writings of the apostles. Such a study of the Bible will not only help to its right understanding, but confirm you in its Divine authenticity; for
" Whence but from heaven could men unskilled in arts,
In conclusion, dear reader, how is this best of books, which imparis such blessings, regarded by you? Do you search the Scriptures daily? Have you cordially embraced the Saviour they reveal ? Do you imbibe his Spirit, obey his precepts, imitate his example, and make his word your guide to heaven? If so, it will be "a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path ;" for "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for feproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
But if neglected, or only read as a matter of form, with all its light you will Falk in darkness, with its ample provisions before your eyes you will perish with hunger, and the sacred book you now despise or disregard will increase your condemnation in the final judgment, according to the words of our Lord, *He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" John xii. 48). Bury St. Edmunds.
THE VERDICT OF EXPERIENCE.
BY THE REV. T. R. STEVENSON.
“ As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts.”—Psalm xlviii. 8. MEMORABLE was the reign of Hezekiah, beginning of this article are taken. The ting of Judah. Never was there a more fifth and sixth verses refer to the alliance sarked display of Jehovah's care for his with the Kings of Hamath and Arpad, of eople than in a certain great event which which Sennacherib boasted, and to their her occurred. The proud monarch of flight after the destruction of the invading asyria, with his large and victorious army,
forces. Then, in the text, the psalmist Ivaded the land. For two long, weary
bursts forth into an exclamation of timely cars were the miseries of invasion endured. gratitude : As we have heard, so have we he wine-press was forsaken, the corn-field seen in the city of the Lord of hosts." emained incultured, the tide of commerce That is, “ We have heard that God is King bbed, and, at last, the gaunt, grim form of in Zion; we have heard that he has prohe avenger Famine made its unwelcome mised to befriend his people in the hour of ?pearance. But “man's extremity is peril; and as we have heard, so have we seen od's opportunity.” When earthly suc- in the destruction of the heathen army.” ur fails heavenly aid comee. Prayer is We purpose making three applications of righty. One fervent supplication may this confession, each in connection with the rote like " the chariots of Israel and the word of God. orsemen thereof." Thus was it with the 1. In reference to PROPHECY,
as we have Hiering Hebrews at the period in question. | heard, so have we seen in the city of the ezekiah laid his case before the Lord. Lord of hosts.” No parts of the Bible is cry was heard. In the dark, silent, have been more abused by injudicious comlemn night the Angel of Death went ment than those of a prophetic character. rth, and passing through the camp of The most absurd interpretations have often annacherib, slew well-nigh two hundred been put upon them, and they have been Gusand warriors.
made to support innumerable errors and Like the leaves of the forest, when summer is
follies. Some people seem never so much
at home as when they are reading or talkThat bost, with their banners, at sunset were ing about obscure passages of this kind. Läte the leaves of the forest, when autumn hath
The book of the Revelation is their delight. blown,
If you want to know all about the battle of That host, on the morrow, lay withered and
Armageddon, if you wish to have a full strewn.”
and particular account of Gog and Magog, This great event is celebrated in the if you want one of the “seals” unloosing salm from which the words at the or one of the "vials" pouring out, if you
desire an explanation of the “ beasts" and the trouble to inquire. Are not the chosen 5 elders,” if you are anxious to learn who people “scattered" in all countries? the “woman ir scarlet” is, they can soon Verily they are. Go where you will, you gratify your theologieal curiosity. Apply find the Jow. He seems ubiquitous. You to them, and they will have elaborate dis- find him on the field of battle and in the sertations ready for you on each of the diffi- congress of peace. You behold ham in the «cult or disputed topics. All this is to be gallery of art and in the laboratory of repudiated. But let us beware of extremes. science. You recognise. him in the senate Because some have fallen into the error and the synagogue, the place of work and just noticed, others have allowed themselves the place of worship. He has been driver to be the victims of a reaction more natural out of almost every land again and again, than wise. In avoiding Charybdis they have but he has always found his way back. run foul of Scylla. In many minds there Persecution has tried to exterminate him, is, as it seems to us, a tendency to disparage but he still lives. And yet, though prophecy. Certainly the danger of the scattered among the nations, he is not more thoughtful and intelligent readers of amalgamated with them. “He dwells Scripture lies in this rather than in the alone." “ They continue like oil on the opposite direction. It is well, therefore, surface of the ocean, everywhere diffused, for us to remember that, after all, prophecy but nowhere blended." Their idiosyncrasies has its place as a portion, and a valuable are such that time and custom cannot portion, of the Christian evidences. He obliterate them. The descendants of Israel who is our example in all things did not are, in character, unlike all other peoples. ignore nor depreciate it. Very frequent Moreover, at the very beginning of their were his allusions thereto. When he un- national experience, it was declared that if rolled the prophetic scroll at Nazareth, unfaithful to their mission they should what did he add ? « This day is this become a proverb and a by-word among Scripture fulfilled in your ears.'
all nations.' Who has not witnessed the he spoke of men's hatred of him and bis verification of this? The avarice, the distruth, what comment did he make? “ This
honesty of the Jere has passed into & cometh to pass, that the word might be ful- proverb. Their name is the by-word that filled that is written in their law, They seems to come most readily to men's lips hated me without a cause.” When he made when they wish to speak strongly of ur known the treachery of Judas, what fact principled dealing. Remember, too, the did he append to the solemn statement ? graphic and appalling description given by
That the Scripture might be fulfilled.” Christ of the destruction of Jerusalem and When he had risen from the dead, what was its Temple. Read the prophecy, and then the subject of his conversation with the read history. Do the Roman Tacitus and two disciples who walked with him to the Hebrew Josephus contradict, or do " Emmaus pa “Beginning at Moses and all they corroborate the Saviour's predietion? the prophets, he expounded unto them in The very children in our Sabbath schools all the Scriptures the things concerning can answer, “as we have heard, so hare. himself."
we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts." Guided, then, by the conduct of no Viewed in connection with other proofs other than the Redeemer, let us acknow- of its inspiration, the fulfilled predictions, ledge, and that without timidity, in an age of which the above are but a specimen, are 1 of much superficial scepticism, the value of to be regarded as evidences that the Bible prophecy. How wonderful it is ! Not a is of God. On what other reasonable few
of us have, from our earliest days, been hypothesis can we account for them? familiar with most of the fulfilled predic- Insight into human nature may do much; tions, and yet the longer we study them the it is true. A careful observation of the more striking do they appear. Think of great lawe, political, social, and moral, those old prophecies concerning the Jews. which control nations, may lead to a general
foretold that they should be prognostication of their future, we admit. “scattered,” that they should dwell in But what shall we say to the foretelling of “all countries," and yet " dwell alone and an occurrence which, though eventually not be reckoned among the nations." taking place, appeared most improbable at Strange paradox, and get a paradox patent the time it was foretold ? We can say to the observation of any one who will take .I nathing but that “as we have leard,
* Vide Alf yrd in 10".
1 seen in the city of the Lord of sin. Some of our popular novelists, essayists, We are driven to the conclusion and poets, wax eloquent in their dispute holy men of God spake as they
with it. But their ire is misdirected. red by the Holy Ghost."
Breaking the mirror will not alter the face reference to the great GENERAL which was seen in it. One is reminded by of revelation, "as we have heard, the conduct of these persons of_Æsop's we seen in the city of the Lord of fable of the slave and the sun. He rated
Illustrations of this may be the sun soundly because of the dust and the 1 the statement of Scripture con- dirt in the apartment. But the sun did man's sin and man's salvation. not put it thero: it only showed that it was cting the former of these its there. Thus is it with the light of Scripture. ons are plain and unequivocal. It only shows the sin which is already in the known in the most uncompromis. world. Know yourself, know your fellows, her human depravity.
“ All have and then of sin you must confess that" as we "All we like sheep have gone have heard, so have we seen in the city of "The heart is deceitful above all the Lord of hosts." nd desperately wicked.”
The statements of inspiration regarding ing." “ sick," « dead," are some of man's salvation are equally corroborated by ible terms used in description of experience. The Bible maintains that this d's moral and spiritual condition. unspeakable blessing is only to be enjoyed
true or false? Let the conscience through Jesus Christ. “No man cometh 5 man reply. Though a full know- unto the Father but by me." “ Neither is of guilt is the work of God's Spirit, there salvation in any other.” “If ye inward sense of right which has believe not, ye shall perish in your sins.' planted in us all is enough to show The forgiveness of sin and the victory over sin, and make us feel how awfully sin are to be had through the Gospel of the are the utterances of revelation. Son of God, and through that alone. man look fearlessly into the depths Christ is the key-stone in the arch of in soul; let him read any history, redemption : remove it, and the whole T modern; let him mark the career bridge which connects heaven and earth iation that he chooses, noting well falls to pieces. The heart can be touched, ence of cruel and unnecessary wars, love awakened, obedience secured, only I and degrading despotisms, mon- through him. Such is the message of the od iniquitious slaveries ; let him New Testament. the first newspaper that falls in his “ As we have heard, so have we seen." Iglance down the columns which The words of Scriptore have but to be urder, robbery, falsehood, adultery, tested in order to prove their correctness. irreligion ; let him, only for a The apostle cries, "There is none other name utes
, step into a police-office or under heaven given among men, whereby of justice; let him pay a brief we must be saved :" humanity replies, gin-palaces and casinos, then to “Amen." Allother means to deliver men from and chapels, beholding thus the their degradation, rid them of evil habit, J of Bacchus and the neglect of rescue them from wicked passions, cause and when he has done this let them to love God and their fellow-creatures, e dare, deny the truthfulness of are signal failures. Tell them their duty ; statements concerning the wicked
set forth the law before them: will that han. As when a traveller stoops
induce them to leave their sin ? No. It the water's side to quench his rather terrifies, and induces despair. Use e is constrained to see his face threats ; show them the ruinous effects below, so when we essay to drink which must follow wickedness : will that of life we behold therein our own reform them ? No. Nothing is more comintenances. Well might St. James mon than to see the victims of vice purany be a hearer of the word," " he suing courses which they know will end in into a man beholding his natural misery. The drunkard is not ignorant of glass." A faithful mirror is the the fact that he is destroying his body and God.
his soul by intoxication Light enougls often grow very angry with the surrounds the gambler and the sensualist to this score. They repudiate with reveal the miserable end of their conducta # indignation its bold assertion of il Yet all these persevere in what i they sees
must ruin them. How, then, may they be we have seen the cross uplifted by faithful rescued? Is there no hope for thein? There hands on inhospitable *shores and in is. Speak to men of Christ, his death, his poisonous climes, on sandy deserts and in love, his unchangeable mercy; get them, crowded cities. Whence came this zeal ? by God's blessing, to receive Christ—and From the blessing of Jehovab, according then what law, threat, and reason
to his word. futile to achieve, the Gospel accomplishes. “How was it, lovers of your kind, " It is the power of God unto salvation.”
When ye were mocked and bated,
That ye with When the Roman Colosseum began to fall
Truth's boly doctrine stated ? into decay the people used to take the In God, as in an ark, ye kept : stones of which it was composed to build
Around, and not above you, swept
The storm till it abated.” their country houses and retreats. To such an extent was this havoc carried on that Looking, therefore, at the by-gone expethis noble relic of the imperial city's ancient
rience of the Church, we are able to say, greatness seemed to be threatened with “As we have heard” the promises, entire destruction. To prevent so great a
bave we seen " their fulfilment "in the city loss the antiquarians taxed their ingenuity
of the Lord of hosts." And thus is it with to no purpose, until a good and intelligent God's people now. Christian reader, bare Pope, Benedict XIV., invented a simple you ever found God forgetful of his word? and effective expedient for its preservation. Has he ever failed to do as he declared he He had a huge cross made and planted in
would ? No. He told you long ago that the centre of the arena, thereby declaring if you called on him in the day of trouble the building hallowed ; and it at once
he would deliver you, and again and again became sacrilege to remove its stones. And
he has done so. He assured you that as thus the grand edifice was preserved from your day was, so should your strength be, absolute destruction. Men's souls are like and he has repeatedly verified that assurthat Colosseum. They are falling to ruins.
He declared that if you would Various means are used to repair and diligently sow the seeds of usefulness you rescue, but all are vain. What is to be should certainly reap, and how often has done ? Raise the cross of Christ, let Jesus he thus given you your heart's desire! be exalted in their hearts, and then the Each of us may well exclaim, As we have work of destruction is stopped.
heard, so have we seen." 3. In reference to the PROMISES of the We have been speaking of the judgment Bible, as we have heard, 80 have we which experience pronounces upon the seen in the city of the Lord of hosts." prophecies, the facts, and the promises of What have we seen? We have seen, in the Scripture. One other application we make history of the Church, martyrs counting not of our theme ere we close. Perhaps the their lives dear unto themselves that they reader is not" in the city of the Lord of might finish their course with joy; we hosts ; not saved. Sometimes, when he have seen confessors sealing their faith with has heard religious people talk of religion their blood; we have seen men lay their
in terms of the highest praise, he has, perheads beneath the axe of the executioner adventure, wondered whether what they without a murmur, and women go to the say is correct. He has been inclined to fiery stake without a groan. What was the think that they have somewhat exaggerated secret of their heroism? They sought and when they have spoken of the value of obtained, in fulfilment of his promise, the
salvation. If so, let him test what they say presence of God.
by the touchstone of experience. Make a « How'came it, men of faith, to
personal trial of the matter. Prove by
pass That ye were mighty handed ?
actual and practical acquaintance with the How brake ye down the gates of brass Gospel whether or not it is a “pearl of
When few of ye were banded ?
great price." “Taste and see that the God, like a tide, did onward roll,
Lord is good.” Only earnestly ask for And left no vessel stranded."
pardon through Christ; behold the Father's What have we seen? We have seen the love to you, and love him in retnrn; live Gospel preached in spite of threats from to please and obey him ; and your confessenates and synods, rulers and rabbis; we
sion will soon be, “ As we have heard, so have seen the message of mercy carried have we seen in the city of the Lord of north and south, east and west, in the
hosts." midst of perils by land and perils by sea ; Harlow, Essex.