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as Rob persistently reiterated, when- formed nature took on by degrees ever questioned. At home she all the energy of a strong character, never forgot her promise, made the all the loveliness of a true and well. day her new mother had claimed her. balanced womanhood ?
İf her early childhood had been a The world is wide; and homeless, desert, where the sweet flowers of motherless children roam every: affection had never blossomed, the where, with none to kiss, or cherish, years since have been filled with or understand them; their way. rare love and tenderness; all that wardness magnified, their noble generous hearts could do to ex- traits hidden, their hearts hungering. tinguish unpleasant memories and Fortunate are they if the birds come build up new and delightful associa- to them with songs of joy, and tell tions, these three were constantly them sweet secrets of God and vieing with each other to accomplish heaven, that they only can underin the life of this adopted child and stand-better still, if human nature sister. Is it strange, then, that the in the guise of father or mother evils of early neglect were eradicated, could seek them out and draw them and that the wild, passionate, un- home.
THE GRACE OF LIBERALITY.
BY THE REV. E. L. FORSTER.
“See that ye abound in this grace also.”—2 Cor. viii. 7. The grace referred to by the apostle is that of liberality. This is manifest by examining the first verse of this chapter, where Paul commends the Churches of Macedonia for their disinterested kindness and benevolence, and points out their conduct as worthy of imitation by the Corinthians. He says, "Moreover, brethren, we do you wit, or we declare unto you the grace of God bestowed on the Churches of Macedonia." Then he proceeds to show in what praetical way this grace which adorned their religious character was displayed, " How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” He was very anxious that the Corinthians should resemblē these noble-minded and self-denying Macedonians; he therefore
says to them in the verse from which the text is selected, “ Aş ve abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also." Notwithstanding all the imperfections which they were the subjects of, the apostle was able conscientiously to commend them for the many excellences which existed amongst them, such as their abounding in faith and utterance and knowledge and diligence and love to Christ's servants. While he was thus pleased to address to them these words of encouragement and commendation, he urged them to abound also in the grace of liberality. The benevolence of the Macedonians had been displayed towards the poor saints at Jerusalem. This is evident from the fourth verse, where Paul says that they prayed us with much entreaty " that we would receive the gift, and take
pon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." The apostle irged the Corinthians to "abound in the same grace.” Many reasons le assigns in the eighth and ninth chapters of this epistle why they hould display a spirit of generosity, kindness, and self-denial. It is jur object on the present occasion to urge upon the members of our hurches the desirableness and importance of abounding in this grace f liberality. We greatly fear that there are many who call themelves Christians, and who are enjoying the privileges of the gospel, and who hope to live with the adorable Redeemer in heaven, but who lo not abound in this grace of liberality. They don't appear to ecognise their separate and individual responsibility in this matter. l'hey think that as they are saved by grace alone, that as they are justified by faith in the righteousness and death of Christ, that as eternal life is the sovereign gift of God, they have nothing to do but to be grateful and enjoy the invaluable blessings of salvation : "They seek their own but not the things of Jesus Christ.” Selfishness is one of the canker-worms which is eating out the very core of the piety of many of our Churches. Our desire is to present a few of the many considerations which may be urged upon your attention to excite you to abound in this grace of liberality.
1. Consider the obligations you are laid under to your loving and gracious Father in heaven. All that we are and all that we possess we owe to Him. “He hath made us, and not we ourselves." "It is in Him that we live and move and have our being." hath fearfully and wonderfully made us." These strangely constituted bodies of ours, and these still more strangely constituted souls of ours, are the productions of His power and wisdom. The earth, we are told, He hath given to the children of men. He has placed us upon
it for a season, and has supplied us with the bounties of His gracious providence. We ask for our daily bread, and He grants us our request. He imparts to us strength to discharge the every-day duties of life. He preserves us amid the various dangers which every hour surround us.
He prospers us in the business in which we are engaged. He grants us all things richly to enjoy. As the God of providence we are laid under very pressing obligations to Him; but still more as the God of grace. When we were, through our sin, exposed to ruin
, He interposed to save us. “In the fulness of time,' He sent His Son, to deliver us from our guilt, corruption, and misery. “When we were without_strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Through the Father's sovereign and gracious appointment He made a perfect atonement for our sins; so that now, through believing in His precious name, we can be pardoned, justified, and accepted; can be regenerated, sanctified, and have eternal life ; can be richly supplied with the influences of the Holy Spirit, to enlighten, quicken, and refresh us now; and then, at the termination of our earthly life, can have the inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that
We can at the present time very inadequately estimate the obligations under which we are laid to our heavenly
fadeth not away,
Father ; but we may so far appreciate them as to be excited to be liberal in supporting and extending that cause which lies so near His benevolent heart. Each one ought to ask the question, “ How much owest thou my Lord ?" We have contracted a debt we can never fully pay. All that we possess is from God. When David contributed so liberally towards the erection of the magnificent temple at Jerusalem, he said, "All things come of Thee, and Thine own have I given Thee.” When the Israelites in the wilderness brought more than enough” for the erection of the tabernacle, they were influenced by a sense of their obligation to God, who had so marvellously and seasonably delivered them out of the house of bondage, and had engaged to conduct them safely through the desert, until they should reach and take possession of the holy land of promise. We are under still greater obligations to our merciful Father. We ought never to suppose that we can do too much for Him who has done so much for us. “See then, dear brethren, that
abound in this grace also.” II. But consider also the example which our blessed Redeemer has set us, and which ought to stimulate us to abound in the grace liberality. We profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. As such we are not only to believe in Him, love Him, have fellowship with Him, enjoy His presence and favour, but we are to resemble Him. We are to be “conformed to His image." We are to tread in His steps. We are not only to be humble and meek and gentle and patient and devout and holy as He was, but also as generous and self-sacrificing as He was. Jesus Christ abounded in this grace liberality. Like the glorious sun in the heavens, which is but a faint emblem of Him, He scattered around Him the rich fruits of His goodness and benevolence. The apostle reminds the Corinthians in the ninth verse of this chapter in what way Christ had displayed His undeserved goodness and condescension. He says, “ For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” There are several things here which ought to excite us to abound in this grace also. Look first of all at the pre-existent glory of Jesus Christ, then at His subsequent humiliation and poverty, and then at the grand benevolent purpose He had in view. It was to make us rich, to confer upon us the unspeakable blessings of salvation
. What an example for His followers! Ought we not in some humble way to seek to be like Him? I know that we shall all fall far short of the original copy. We are naturally selfish, weak, and imperfect, but still we are to strive to resemble the copy
as far as possible, and never forget that the good Spirit of God has promised to aid us in our endeavours. We are to be like boys at school who have perfect copies placed before them as they take their seats at their desks, and who are told by their master that they are carefully to look at them, try to imitate them. We are to keep our eye of faith fixed on the grand original; we are to seek day by day to be more like our Divine
id loving Master. We are to drink deep into His generous and ble spirit; and if we do this, we shall see that we abound in the "ace of liberality. III. Consider also the numerous benevolent institutions which quire and deserve our sympathy and support. Paul urged the orinthians to contribute towards the support of the poor saints at rusalem. We are not unmindful of the claims of the poor upon our Jerality. Our chief object, however, on the present occasion is to ige upon you to abound in the grace of liberality by sustaining toroughly those societies which have for their object the extension of le Redeemer's kingdom throughout the world. We have been truly rieved and humbled to find that the contributions towards the upport of our noble Missionary Society have not kept pace with its xpenditure. It was while reflecting upon this painful fact that my aind was powerfully, I might say, almost irresistibly, led to think upon he exhortation of the text:"See that ye abound in this grace
also.” t is no credit to us as a denomination that our missionary committee hould be so frequently crippled and hampered through the want of ands to carry on the widely extended and much needed operations of ur Society. I was conversing a few days ago with a venerable and steemed friend upon this subject. He said, “ We have numbers of sealthy members in our Churches, but many of them don't contribute ccording to their means." We fear that this is too true. If all vere to act upon the apostolic advice, and ABOUND in this grace of iberality, there would be not only no lack of funds to carry on our present operations, but such an increase of them as to justify our committee in greatly extending them, “a consummation devoutly to de wished.” But we must not rely too much upon the contributions of the rich. The mass of our members might do more than hitherto. If a regular and systematic method of laying by in store
and giving was adopted by all, there might soon be a considerable addition
made to our missionary funds. More might, I think, also be realized through
Sunday-schools. We have a school of 185 children, and during the last two or three years more than £10 per annum has been contributed by the teachers and the children. Each class is supplied with A missionary box, contributions are placed in it every Sunday, and in
the above amount has been obtained. We have reason to believe that still more will be given by the classes this
year. Now if 1,000 out of our 2,000 Churches, through their schools, could conmibute on an average a like sum, £10,000 would be realized. What In addition this would be to our annual income! How true is the old Scotch saying, “ Many littles make a mickle." I ought to apologise, perhaps, for entering into these details, but let me justify myself by saying that the Baptist Mission lies near my heart. 'I long to see it ake its proper place amongst those belonging to other denominations.
Brethren, the heathen are perishing; shall we let them perish? God of labour. He is calling upon us with a loud and articulate yoice to go
in and possess the land. He expects us all to do our duty, He has promised to bless our efforts. We have not laboured in vain. The im. perishable seed of the kingdom has been cast into virgin soil, some it has already borne fruit, other portions are beginning to germinate
, none of it shall ever be utterly lost. Let us redouble our efforts
, This is no time “to rest and be thankful." There is much land yet to be possessed. Let us "work while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.” May the Lord smile propitiously upon the Baptist Missionary Society.
A MAN FOR THE TIMES. A BROTHER from a manufacturing the Odd Fellows and Sons of Tem district was recently ushered into perance; he's head and soul of the the library of a minister in the south. lecture committee; he taught thre When the first greeting was over, young fellows to play the flute; and he opened the business which whatever is going on he has a han brought him to town.
in it. You'd be surprised to see how “I'm afraid our minister's going the young men cling to him; away,” he said ; "and I stepped in doesn't hold them off at arm's length to get a little advice about a new but is one of them. When he goes
You know everybody,-can by the rail, he always rides in the you recommend a man to us p" smoking carriage, and smoke and
Why does Brother A. leave po chats with them. So he gets asked the city pastor.
great hold on them, you see. "Well, our young folks have got " And his labours have been mor tired of him. He's preached the blessed to the conversion of the same doctrines over and over again young than your minister's have." for ten years! Then he doesn't win Here the visitor looked a littl the people. He's always finding surprised, and began to think. The fault with the young people, and has he said, “He has larger congrega no sympathy with them. He forgets tions in the evening than we have that he was once young himself, and He gives out his sermons with quee doesn't make allowance for young titles, and they all flock in to hea blood.”
what he'll make of such subjects The minister looked puzzled, but Now, for instance, this spring, whe
: made no reply; and his visitor went it was bad weather, he exchange
with our minister; he came up, "He's a good minister, but he's aisle with his soft hat all crushed o nothing else but a good minister !” under his arm, and his trouser
“What do you want a man to do tucked into his boots, which wer beside preaching, and performing covered with mud. He opened th other pastoral duties ?”
service without ever sitting dow other work, but and when he came to his text, it wa want him to be a man for the times, this : ‘He brought me up also oy -a people's man, you know.” of a horrible pit, out of the mir
No; I don't think I understand clay, and set my feet upon a rog you,” replied the minister.
and established my goings. Soi Well, there's the other minister seems,' said he, that they had ba at B.; he's a minister, but he's every- roads in Jerusalem as well as thing else too! He's chaplain for England; and if any one of you