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fe had been an arduous one. As lawgiver, judge, leader, his had not een an enviable lot. The fickleness and wicked perversity of the eople especially had tried him sore. It was, indeed, this that ccasioned the very sin for which he was now to die. 6 Meekest of len" as he was, it was they who goaded him on to petulance and preumption. All this is now past. He has left it down in the plains below. And, if he could have taken a nearer view of the land that looked so wely as it lay stretched out before him, he would have seen that hich completely wiped out all its seeming beauty. Perhaps he lanced at the Dead Sea beneath, and was reminded of the terrible rickedness of the Cities of the Plain that were buried beneath its raters. And, if he had descended to traverse the land itself, he would lave found it still the scene of every abomination. He would have witnessed idolatry, and cruelty, and sin not to be named, offering one perpetual outrage to God and man. He would have seen the
very babes that claim a mother's love offered up by mothers' hands at the shrine of an infamous idol-god.
Whither, then, was he to go to escape the sin which had been the forment of his life? He has left it behind him; but there it is still ampant before him. On every hand he must encounter it, if he descend below. There is only one resource. If he would escape the abominable thing, he must stay where he is, all solitary and alone, cut off from the society of man, or-he must die. And die he would, die a thousand times over, rather than meet again with the sin from which he has happily parted. To die was, to him, gain. So too is it, regarded simply as a release from sin, to every servant of God.
(4.) Moses is about to enter a brighter world than that which he is We need not curiously ask to what extent he was acquainted with those disclosures of futurity which belong more properly to the New Testament. Enough that he had already seen that which was far brighter and fairer than what he now looked upon. The glory of another world had been brought down to him on another mountain-top. The splendour of the Divine presence had flamed around him. He had himself been transformed as he gazed upon it. Perhaps the same glorious vision was present to him now. This was enough to assure him that, somewhere in creation, there was a world irradiated and blessed by the perpetual presence of God. And could he doubt that he was going there ? that He who had come so familiarly near to him in life Would admit him to His presence after death? We know what was in reserve for him: perhaps he knew it too. It was a sublime death to die—all alone with God, who had come to take His servant to dwell "So would I die," each one is ready to say, “my sins forgiven, my
all sorrow past, all sin left behind, the infinite glory already dawning upon me!" "And so shall it be, if our life resembles that of him
who endured, seeing Him who is invisible,” who “esteemed the
reproach of Christ greater riches than the
work done, God's
treasures in Egypt,” who "had respect to the recompense of the reward.” Then will the Friend of all friends be with us at the lastthat glorious Being under whose touch "all things become new, sorrow is changed into joy, weakness into strength, despair into hope the very curse into a blessing, death into life.
THE DEACON'S FIRST AND LAST SERMON. FROM the deacon's standpoint the visitin' on the people, a-takin' tea minister's salary was large, indeed with the women, and a-havin' a good
enormous," as the deacon used to time, while me and you is hard asay. In point of fact it was very workin’.” The man of the beans moderate, being only four hundred nodded his head and flung the beans and fifty dollars a year, and fifty of more assiduously, as though they that to be taken in wood. But we had something to do with the work must look at it from the deacon's referred to by the deacon.
“ And point of view.
then as to preachin'—I'd like to know He lived upon and cultivated a what there's in that p” he continued. farm that furnished him and his “If a man couldn't write in half & family almost their entire living. day enough to read in half an When they wanted groceries, or any hour, why, I'd think he'd better quit kind of store " goods," he would the business; wouldn't
The make a trade of butter or eggs, and thrower of the beans not being dissupply their wants. This left him
posed to take issue with the deacon, but very little to sell for cash, and he continued: “Now, I don't set up consequently the good deacon pretensions to be smarter than most handled but little actual money from folks, but if I can't write with this one year's end to the other. Two
very hand” (holding out a hand that hundred dollars, and sometimes fifty did not look as though it had been or seventy-five more, was all the real cash the deacon saw in the year ;
gotten up with any special reference
to holding a pen) - as good a sermon and his necessities not requiring in half a day as the minister preaches this much, he usually had a consider- to us, I'll quit being a deacon; and able sum to his credit at the bank. I'd preach it, too, in the church, if How his minister, with not a large he'd give me a chance." family, could spend four hundred This last remark, in the course of dollars in cash every year, was more
time, got round to the minister's than he could possibly comprehend. ears, and he determined, at the first "There must be," he thought, “ great opportunity, to give the Deacon a extravagance somewhere. Scratch- chance to try his “ ing his head in a meditative sort of occurred.
Only a few weeks after way, he went over to the "store,” the conversation referred to, it hap; where he found a willing crowd to pened that the minister was called listen to his “ view.” In his opinion to be absent from home for a Sabthe minister did not earn his money.
bath; so, going over to the deacon's “ What does he do, any way?” he house early on Monday morning, he said, addressing a neighbour who stated to him the necessities of the sat on a box, amusing himself by case, and insisted that he should pretossing up in his hand a couple of pare a sermon and preach it in his beans; “most of the time he wears pulpit the following Sabbath. his best clothes, and goes around a- A view of the deacon's face that
gifts.” This soon Loment would have been highly sleeves with as much energy as nusing. The first slight tinge of though he was going to chop wood. irprise soon gave way to an expres. Then he sat down at the table, on of pride, confidence, and triumph counted out as many sheets of aost refreshing to contemplate. sermon paper as he thought he aying hold of the lower of two but- would use, and pronounced himself ons that held his vest together, he all ready. By this time it was a few ommenced twisting it, as was his minutes after nine o'clock. astom when labouring under any “Well,” said he to himself, " the reat mental excitement; he replied, first thing, I suppose, ministers have Well, Dominie,”-this was a term to settle is, what text they will le always used on state occasions- select.” Here he took up the Bible
you really think I must, I will and glanced through it. There were lo the best I can.” And then he plenty of texts there, beyond a ques. added, after a moment's hesitation, tion, but which one ? This was a "I hain't got the books. I suppose poser. Now he thought of a certain you will let me go into your study verse, now of another. He read part to write; I'll go home for dinner." of a chapter here, and part of another ." Oh, certainly," replied the domi- there, and then lay back in his chair nie
, “and my wife will be pleased and thought; the lower button was to have you take dinner, and supper suffering terribly. too, with her, if you should not get Here was a text that would do, through before meal time.”
but the minister had preached upon "Very good," said the deacon, it lately; here was another that "I'll
go over as soon as I get my would make a splendid discourse, morning work done."
but the condition of the Church was An hour later, but yet early in the not such as to warrant that kind of morning, found the deacon in the
After a great deal of reminister's study, preparing for work. flection both these were rejected. He had left word at home to keep Just then, to the deacon's horror, some dinner for him, as he might the clock struck eleven. He caught possibly not get his sermon written up his pen and dipped it in the ink; as he expected, but still expressed but there was that stubborn fact, he the opinion that as he only had to must have a text. , He wondered write enough to keep him reading how ministers decided that
imhalf an hour, he would, if he had no portant matter. “ Ah! now I have bad luck, get through by noon. To it,” he exclaimed. “No, that won't give the deacon the credit due to do, either.” The hour soon passed, him, it must be said that he did have, and thus ended the first half-day. with all his failings, a foundation of Promptly at twelve the minister's good sense in his mind, and was a wife called him to dinner, and pretty good judge of what a sermon although much inclined not to, he ought to be.
went. Well, Deacon, how do you The minister's good wife had pre
Have you settled upon pared everything to his hand. She your text yet?” said the lady, cheerhad placed paper and ink on the fully, “that is one of my. husband's table, together with a Bible, “ Cru- greatest troubles. I have known den's Concordance,” and a most for- him sometimes to spend a whole day midable pile of commentaries. The in search of an appropriate text deacon proceeded at once to business. without coming to any decision.” He stood a moment to take a survey The deacon ate his dinner almost of the situation, and then drew off in silence. Some new and profound his coat, and throwing it over a thoughts were working in his brain, chair, rolled up his red flannel shirt and more than once he laid down
his knife and fork and felt for that button. In the afternoon he was a little more successful. So much so that by night he had rejected every subject that he might possibly find interesting and useful but one, and to that one had attached a text, and actually written several pages of the , sermon; but it was night, and he
The deacon's wife was a very shrewd, as well as a very good woman, and she knew how to do what very many women do not; she knew when not to talk. And this evening she judged from her husband's countenance was such a time. They went silent to bed. About half-past twelve o'clock she was awakened by the deacon asking her which of the two texts he repeated she thought would be best for a
The next morning the deacon complained of a headache, affirming that he had not slept more than two hours all night. Nine o'clock found him hard at work again. But, alas ! he soon came to fully realize what he had dimly suspected during the night—that he was not familiar with his subject. It was evident to him that he must do what he had so often heard the minister talk about; he must“read up;" must go through that pile of commentaries and post up on the subject. But where was the end ? Book after book demand. ed his attention until the second sun actually went down upon his weary head and unfinished task. Once he was inclined to quote largely from theseauthorities, butamoment's reflection convinced him that that would not do. Then he tried to forget their words, and yet remember the substance of their ideas. But this he found a most difficult under
taking. He ate no dinner, complaining that his head ached too severely. At night he was tired, hungry, and disgusted with himself
. After supper he sat before the fireplace for more than an hour, with his chin upon his hands and his eyes closed; he was thinking. His vest was held together by only one button—the lower one was gone. Finally he raised himself up slowly. A new light had shone into his eyes.
“Betsy,” he said, "get me some paper and ink, and some opodeldoc for my back.” She placed the writing materials before him, and & cap of liniment by the fire to warm.
Here, John,” he said, addressing his eldest boy who had just come in from the store where he was clerk ing; “here, John, you are better at writing than I am, and my hand is so tired I can hardly hold a pen any way; draw up a subscription paper for the minister to give him fifty dollars more a-year, and put your father down ten dollars,-yes, ten dollars, John. Betsy, it's ten dollars! If that man can get up a hundred of them sermons every year, he ought to have a thousand dollars. Betsy, a thousand dollars is a good deal of money; yes, it is ! but I say, and I know, that the minister earns it, every dollar of it. I don't see for the life of me—and I ought to know -I don't see how a man can write two of them sermons a week. I worked at mine two whole days, bard work, and it ain't quarter done yet. I've given it up. To-morrow I'm going to hitch up 'Dolly,' and get Dominie Readman to come on Sunday and help me out. I've learned a thing or two I never dreamed before, I have, indeed."From an American periodical.
OUR FIRST LOVE.
BY THE REV. A. HORNE.
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." -Rev. ii. 4.
This verse might be read thus: “Nevertheless I have this against thee, thou hast left thy first love.” This is a just translation, and gives more definiteness to the statement.
These words were at first written to the Church of Ephesus. The Lord Jesus commends them for much that is praiseworthy. They had separated themselves from the world, and kept themselves separate. They had hated sin in many a form and shape. They had borne much scorn and persecution for Christ's name's sake, and they had laboured diligently, and had not fainted. We could scarcely expect that much more could be said of any Church on earth, and that any exception could be taken to a Church bearing such a character. But so it was.
The Church of Ephesus was far from perfect. She had even fallen far beneath her original standard of greatness and glory; and He who holds the stars in His right hand, and walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, reproves her for shortcomings and backslidings, notwithstanding she retained much, very much, in which He delighted and most willingly acknowledged for her encouragement. “Nevertheless I have this against thee, thou hast left thy first love."
And, dear friends, may not Christ charge many of us in the present day with the same thing—“Thou hast left thy first love” ?
Í. Let us inquire, in the first place, wherein this first love consists.
, to perceive the love of God in Jesus Christ, there were feelings and emotions awakened within our minds to which we were before entire strangers. Then old things seemed to pass away, and all things
We lived as it were in another world; we inhaled a sweeter atmosphere; the very sun shone brighter, and all nature around us wore a more pleasant aspect. This was because we saw the reconciled countenance of God beaming on us. This was because we saw the Sun of righteousness shining on us from the Cross of Calvary. The love of God was shed abroad in our hearts, and we loved in return. There was no fear, no doubt, no hesitation in our response, loved Him who first loved us, and gave Himself for us.”
This love we felt springing from the depth of our inner man. We were ready to confess it in the words of our mouth, and we showed it in our life and conduct. We were ready to do anything, or be anything, for Christ's sake. We had something of the mind which was in Jesus
. We possessed His spirit in all meekness and gentleness and patience, and we sought to be "kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven