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Dr. Doldrums was somehow to “Well, I could manage a family if Slame for the smoky chimney and it were my business," persisted the he bedraggled room, and Dr. Dol. doctor. drums so received it, and felt sen- “Oh, I dare say. I'd like to see sibly aggrieved.
you talking to Bridget, for instance, At any rate,” he said, pulling She'd be off before noon." out his watch with a nervous jerk, “ Well, she should be off, then," it's time Bridget brought in break- said the doctor resolutely; "and I'd ast. Half-past eight, true as I live get somebody that should attend to -it ought to have been on the table her duties.” half an hour ago," and the doctor “Yes, true enough; you'd send zave a violent pull at the bell-rope. the girls flying, just as Mrs. Upand
"There's no use pulling that way," drest does. There is a stream of said his wife ; " Bridget never comes girls going and coming through the till she gets ready, and she's but house the whole time; she never just this moment come downstairs. keeps a girl more than a month. I Bridget never does get up, and tell you, girls know their power; never will, till cook has half got and they won't stay in places where breakfast ready, and we always have they are hauled up before light, and to wait for her to set the things on." ordered about as Mrs. Upanddrest
" But why do you let her lie abed does. They won't stand it.” 50?" said Dr. Doldrums; “you
“It's all from want of proper atought not to permit it.”
tention of the mistress of the house"I should like to know how I am hold,” said Dr. Doldrums, resolutely. to belp it,” said Mrs. Doldrums. “My dear, you are unreasonable," * Bridget takes so many airs on her- said Mrs. Doldrums. self that there is no living, and she “I am only telling you the truth, won't hear a word from me.”
my dear,” said Dr. Doldrums. "I should make her hear a word,” By this time both parties were as said Dr. Doldrums.
thoroughly uncomfortable as heart business to control your servants, could wish, and Dr. Doldrums gave my dear, and there's no use in shirk- another twitch at the bell, which ing it," said the doctor, rejoicing in brought down, not Biddy, but the having got the staff into his own bell-rope. hands, and proceeding to administer “I hope you feel better now," said reproof on his side.
Mrs. Doldrums, with sarcastic acri. “Servants, my dear, are what their
mony. "We shall have to have the mistress makes them," he said, bell-hanger now, as well as the magrowing calm and didactic in his turn. “Now, there's Mrs. Upand- The upshot of the matter was that drest always has her girls up, and Dr. and Mrs. Doldrums separated breakfast on the table by seven that morning in a mood of mind o'clock. She has no difficulty about thoroughly uncomfortable. it. It's just your habit of lying in They were two perfectly sincere þed in the mornings, my dear. A
Christians, who would either of them never can be properly man- have gone to the stake for their reaged, where the mistress is not up ligion; and loved each other so truly early and attending to her household that, if need were, either one of them
would have shed blood and laid down My dear, you don't know any- life for the other; and yet the frame thing about it," flashed Mrs. Dol- of mind in which they parted for the drums. "Men are always talking and
day was neither Christian nor lov. dictating;
but I'd like to see them ing. try and manage a family."
The March winds, the blues, the
" It's your
smoky chimney, the tidings of falling so it's all I think of, and the more I stocks, had quite got the victory think of it the more it grows on me over the splendid vision of the last I'm all alone, old and poor and crip. evening's prayer-meeting; all the pled, but Christ gives me this great heavenly fragrance and aroma were glorious hope, and nothing can take gone.
it away, and I think of it day and The doctor was turning a corner, night. And, doctor, I really don' going to his business, when a feeble, know but it's worth losing all, as ] piping voice arrested him. He have, just to know what it is.” turned, and saw the thin, wan face The doctor pondered as he went of poor Jerry, a miserable cripple, that day on his business. who, having lost both legs, was com- What if the words of Jerry were pelled to scuff about the world on a true? What if there were such joy, much lower level than the majority such a glory possible in his Christ of his brethren. Jerry was a pen
ian life, that to attain it would be sioner on the alms of the church, worth the loss of all things? Was and a constant attendant at prayer- there not One who spoke of a pearl meetings.
so precious that a man might sell al “I wanted to thank you for what that he had to be possessed of it? you said to us last night at prayer- Why, then, did he tremble and meeting,” said Jerry; "it made me hiver at even an intimation of unhappy all night. O doctor, what a certainty in his worldly goods, when blessed thing it is to be a Christian! this great treasure, this wonderful You made me realize it as I never joy, was yet in his power—was yet did before. You made me feel that his own! it's no matter what happens to us “Is there truth in what I have here, so long as nothing can separate been saying?” said he to himself. us from the love of Christ. You see, “Is there anything in it? If there doctor, I have such pains at nights is anything, is there not everything , that I can't sleep much, and some- and should it not be the thought * times I've been kind o' tempted to that swallows up all others ?" murmur; and then thinkin' what a Then it struck him that the Bible poor cripple I am, and kind o'wishin' certainly was written in such a way things was with me as they used to that its most glorious promises and be, is a great temptation, but you most triumphant hopes nelped me to get over it. O doctor, people in trouble.
Count it all joy I wish I had your faith."
when ye fall into divers afflictions" The doctor felt heartily ashamed seemed, as he remembered it, to be of himself.
about the tenor of the New Testa" Jerry," he said, "you don't know ment. “And yet," he said to himme;" and the doctor, sitting down self, “I quake at the mere distant by Jerry on the steps of the Ex- shadows of an affliction, and am mouth chapel, which happened to be utterly unmanned at the thought near by, made a clean breast of it, of losing treasures which I profess and told him all his frailty.
to believe of only secondary value, “Well, doctor,” said Jerry, "you while yet I have and hold that glori: see the difference between you and ous hope of a treasure that is more me is, you've got so much more of than heart can ask or think, and is the world. Now I ain't got any- eternal." thing. I'm fallen so low I can't go. Whether the doctor succeeded in no lower, and this great and pre- making his future life square cious promise is all I have left; and his belief, is yet to the seon.
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?
BY THE REV. HENRY WARD BEECHER. I THINK there are a great many persons who are more anxious to now whether they have the evidence of conversion, than to know hether they are living a Christian life. There are a great many ersons who have thought upon thought, anxious thoughts, prayerful houghts, as to whether the great change has passed upon them; hether they are deceived; whether or not they may consider themalves disciples of Christ; whether they have a right to the ordinances nd membership of the Christian church; whether they have a right to believe that they shall finally be saved. These thoughts are a great deal more in their minds than the thought, “Am I living the Christian life? Am I performing, day by day, Christian duties?
A great many persons wait. They feel as though to perform Christian duties before they are Christians would be a kind of insinerity—a sort of wrong done. “If I were a Christian,” they say, “I would
pray ; but then, I am not. If I were a Christian, of course I should not get angry as I do now? If I were a Christian, I should not do
many things that I now do.” They stand and look upon all the proprieties of Christian life, and say, “As soon as I am converted I am going to take all these things up." So they wait, before they take hold of duties which are obvious and plain, for that peculiar mental shock, that vivid transition of feeling, which they seem to think is an indispensable prerequisite for the performance of Christian duty. Now, it does not make any difference whether you are a Christian or not
, it is your bounden duty to perform Christian duties. The reason why a man should love God and his fellow-men is not because he is a member of the church and is converted, but because, in the eternal fitness of things, so to love is the duty of every living creature. It is a duty which belongs to every living man, to live according to that highest style of manhood,
which is made known in the Lord Jesus Christ. I should say to a man, “ Whether you are converted or not, ove God, and your neighbour as yourself; walk humbly and meekly.' "Would that be evidence that I am a Christian ?” “If you love Me, keep My commandments," said the Lord. He that is endeavouring to keep the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ, and has an intelligent understanding of what those commandments are, is a
What makes a man a husbandman ? A man buys a piece of ground in the country. It is rocky, and a great deal given to weeds, eminently fertile in Canada thistles. There is on it an old run-down barn, fuil of rats, and mice, all sorts of vermin; and a dilapidated, tenantless house. The man goes on to his place, and lives in this miserable house
, and has the rheumatism, and all manner of complaints, and bover ploughs a furrow, nor sows a seed, nor eradicates a weed.' He crawls out of his rickety, leaky shanty every morning, and walks
about, and looks over his rocky, thorny, thistley farm, that is run down and good for nothing, and brings forth only vicious weeds, and he says, “I am a husbandman.” I say that he is not. He own twenty acres of dirt and rocks and weeds, but he is no husbandman.
Take another man. He has made a poor selection of land. He ha a cold, clayey soil, full of springs, and poorly drained. As it slopes ti the north, the sun does not strike it till the latest part of the day He plants a few things, and works hard to cultivate them, but they à not come to much. Every spring he puts in some potatoes, but he gets out only about as many as he puts in. He raises a little grase and grain, but it takes all his time to raise a little. He has no capital and he makes no headway. And yet, I declare that that man is husbandman. He is a very poor one, to be sure ; but he is trying to be a good one. According to the soil he has, and the strength he has he does very well. He has but one talent, and the Lord will requir of him only according to that one talent.
Another man has a rather better slope to the south, and his soil i warm in spots, though in other spots it is cold. It is rocky, and on the whole rather poor. There is a patch of four or five acres that he bestows his labour upon. This patch is the garden of the farm, and it kept in a very good condition. But the rest of the land is uncultivated
. His fences are neglected, and he loses some of his crops on account of his negligence. Nevertheless there are spots on his farm that produce well. He is therefore a better husbandman than the first or second man; and yet he is a very imperfect one. He cultivates only a portion of his land. He does not subdue it all, and see that it is secured from waste.
Another man has a piece of ground very much like that of the man last mentioned; but he has more ingenuity, he is more thorough, and he raises more crops. The annual product of his farm is twice as great
. He is a better husbandman.
Another man is in advance of all these. He is a very good farmer. He is getting rich. His soil is excellent, he tills it well, and he has heavy crops.
Another man is fairly fat. He literally rolls in abundance. He tickles the ground, and it laughs, and yields bountifully. He does not know where to put his crops. He is a jolly old farmer. He has enough to take care of himself, and all that depend upon him. His bounty overflows, and all his labours are blessed by it." He is more i husbandman than all the rest that I have named.
And yet the feeble, broken-down man, who really tries to raise crop, but cannot on account of his poverty and weakness, is a busbandman, although he is a very poor one.
Now 1 take it that this figure of husbandry, which is the Lord's figure, may be fitly applied to Christians.
That man who begins life under disadvantages of disposition and of early training can make a certain fight. It will be a feeble fight; it will be a fight. He meets with discouragements on every hand, and
le sees others going ahead of him, and he is conscious of his imperections and failures, and he says, “I am a poor Christian, I am making out little headway ; but I am making a fight, though it is a feeble light.” He is making a very feeble fight; and yet, very likely he will stand, in the last day, higher than many of you who make a better pne. The Lord will say, "It is required of him, according to what he hath, and not according to what he hath not.”
Another man has a better disposition, and had a better early training. Though he has some infelicities of disposition and some bad habits
, yet some of the graces were natural to him. He cultivates parts of his disposition, and other parts he neglects. On the whole, he' is in the Lord's husbandry. He is better than the other man, but is not very good.
Another man has his whole nature broken up, and under some sort of cultivation. Every part of it is bearing harvests—is yielding spiritual fruit to the glory of God. He is a better Christian, but he is no more really a Christian than that man who is endeavouring under less favourable circumstances to live Christianly.
So to some men you may say, almost from their birth, “You are not far from the kingdom of God." It takes but a little-only a step, as it were—to bring them into the holy precincts. Others have to travel a great while before they get into the Celestial City. Much depends upon differences of organizations and variations of condition. The thing which we are to look at, therefore, in ourselves, is not so much, "Am I or am I not a Christian ?” as it is, “ Being a Christian, and endeavouring to do the will of God, at what point am I standing ? Am I really attempting to subdue my whole nature to the law of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to be as sweet, as meek, as gentle, and as fruitbearing in love as my Master, and to be one with Him?"
It is a good thing for a man to pray, and it is a good thing for a man to sing hymns, and it is a good thing for a man to converse on Christian themes, and it is a good thing for a man to be in much companionship with his fellow-travellers to eternity: but if he cannot forgive those who have offended him; if he is perpetually returning the evil which other men have done to him ; if he is all the time laying up grudges, and making bitter and ugly speeches; if he is continually shooting out the devil's arrows dipped in the devil's gall, and kindling fires of hatred and anger, and helping on evil devices, I do not care how much he prays or sings ; all the prayers and songs in the world will not stand as an equipoise to that malignant disposition which he manifests. A man who would hurt a neighbour; a man who would do harm to a soul for whom Christ died; a man who
cannot restrain the bitterness of gall that is in him-do not tell me about his hymns, or his prayers, or his visions! Prayers do not save men; hymns do not save men; visions do not save men. It is the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ in men that makes them salvable, and nothing else does.
God will bear with your faults if you admit them to be faults, and say, "Having fallen into them, I hate them, and I will watch and