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licentious, and godless periods of our Coming nearer, we found it to be our country's history, since the Reforma- old friend B., a true Christian, but tion, we date the beginning of one of one who had been unfortunate in the most glorious and extensive revivals business. T., a malicious man and a of religion which the annals of Chris- creditor, had got him arrested ; and tianity record. And notwithstanding here he was in a woful plight. the discredit that for a long time was "A forlorn-looking man!" we heard attempted to be thrown upon Method- a rich neighbour mutter, as B. passed ism, and the dishonour put upon its his door. “A shiftless fellow,” supporters and adherents, the present chimed in a thrifty retail grocer. But generation has almost universally come suddenly, our strange companion round to acknowledge it to have been passed through the crowd, and asked the work of God. There are still those the officer to stop for a moment with who quibble at some of the attendant his prisoner. Then, stooping, he circumstances, the mere accidents of reverently kissed B.'s hand, as if its history ; but it is generally admitted doing homage. What he said, we that it imparted life to the Church, were too utterly bewildered with and salvation to the nation.
amazement to hear distinctly. We caught the words, however, “More than conqueror !” as the stranger
stood gazing, with the deepest interest, A DREAM.
on poor B. The officer, half dumb AND a most singular dream it was. with astonishment, here asked, timidly, We had been listening to a smart whether he objected to B.'s imprisondebate between two friends, on ment. “No," said the stranger, somewhat peculiar question. One of light affliction, but for a moment;" them insisted that our countrymen and, as the crowd passed on with their have now been so long familiar with prisoner, we seemed to hear a rustling Christianity, and the views which as of wings, and a whisper from my Christianity teaches, that, however singular companion, “Sent forth to faulty in practice, they are substan- minister to them who shall be heirs tially right in their estimates of the of salvation.” good things both of this life and the We had not walked more than through life to come. The other stoutly affirmed one square in another direction, when that we are generally and practi- the stranger's attention was drawn tocally ignorant of the simplest truths; ward the senior partner in one of the and that one who should apply the largest wholesale houses in the city. principles of the Scriptures to life,
man of fair character, would be stared at as altogether beside though of no special religious profeshimself.
sion, who had risen from nothing to That debate tinged our dreams become a millionaire. He happened the next night; and we here recount to be sitting at this moment, with a some portion of them, hoping the party of brother-merchants, in his reader will take them for what they splendid establishment, discussing a may be worth.
plan for a new railroad. We seemed to be walking along a turned to him, as if his words were busy street, with a stranger, whose conclusive. His splendid equipage whole mien impressed us as something stood waiting for him at the door. In inore than human. Presently we met a corner, one youth was whispering to a crowd of street-idlers following a another, “ If I'm ever worth a twendistressed-looking man, whom tieth part as much as he is, I shall oflicer was conducting to prison. indeed be made." Just then, without
ado, the stranger walked into the
very has an influence over this child to be centre of the busy circle, exclaiming, compared for a moment with that of as he fixed a sad, pitying look on the her mother. And that influence millionaire, “ Miserable man! there the silent, steady power of unmay possibly be hope yet remaining." Christian example-is moulding her There was a general commotion, of into a worldly character, leaving her
One of the company cried, without hope, without God, for eter“ Insolence !” another, “ Crazy!”
nity. Whoever does most to mislead another was lifting his hand, as if the soul, is the soul's most fearful foe.” about to seize the intruder; when a As he ceased, his words seemed to have second glance at the stranger awed fallen like a sentence of death on the them all into silence. “Wretched unhappy mother. Long as she had creature,” he continued, “your life is listened to the Gospel, the state of her a pitiable failure. You have never yet case, thus unfolded, was as new to her really begun to live: downward, every as a direct revelation from heaven. hour, you sink, while deeper gloom So, as the stranger passed from gathers over your future. Why will place to place, his every action and you make of yourself the utter wreck word startled and confounded all that you are ?” And, wonderfully whom he met, as if the truths and enough, the great capitalist seemed bearings of Christianity had been suddenly struck through with a con- something unheard of.
We awoke, viction of the truth of it all ; and, pondering and wondering ; and have bowing his head, he sobbed aloud in since found in the vision abundant anguish.
food for reflection. Our next adventure was at a cheerful fireside, to which, dream-fashion, we seemed transported in an instant.
NEGLECT OF THE BIBLE. An amiable and devoted mother quite wanting, however, in the "one MANY Christians have weak characthing needful”-was caressing her
ters and barren lives, because they only daughter, while the husband and have little acquaintance with the father sat near, watching them word of God, and rarely search it as thoughtfully, " How beautiful a for hid treasure. There is a moral in picture," we inwardly exclaimed, "of the following incident:domestic peace and maternal love!” A few months ago a man told his Imagine, then, our amazement as the Leader that he was losing power over stranger approached the mother, say- daily temptation, and that his peace ing in a tone of mingled sternness and was not so abiding as it used to be, sadness, “Do you know, 0 woman, and that altogether he was much cast that the daughter you love has no down. The Leader thought there deadlier enemy on the earth than must be some cause for this. He conyourself? In all this guilty city is sidered a moment, and then asked,there no tempter so fatally, so steadily “Do you read your Bible every leading her astray as you are.
In morning before you begin your day's some coming day she may
remember duties?" no other name with so deep and last- He had hit the nail on the head. ing an execration as your own." The member acknowledged that he did Shocked by his words, we here broke not. Of course he was told that in with the question, “Is this literal there was no need to wonder over his truth ? How can these things be?” loss of power and peace, when he was “How can it be otherwise ?" he re- neglecting a plain duty. If that plied : “no other being on the earth member had spoken correctly of his
A CUP OF SORROW.PRAYER, SIORT AND LONG.
state, he would have said something attainments. There is such a temptalike this:
tion to angry rebellion when the blow “Well, I have been trying the ex- cuts deep. A wife is suddenly taken; periment of rushing into the thick of a crib is left empty, or a cradle worldly cares and temptations without deepens into a grave. A noble, gifted looking into my Bible, and I find it son is cut off in the prime of life; a won't do. I am losing ground; my son who was all the world to her who peace is almost gone, and temptation leaned upon him. A lovely daughter sometimes proves too strong for me ; withers and droops; her beauty falls and I am going the wrong way. That off like the rose-leaves, and presently is my experience."
she goeth down to darkness and the Every one sees that such a statement would have been admonitory to
Beside such new - made graves, all who heard it, and infinitely unbelief utters its reproaches, “not better adapted to answer the end of loud but deep.” But submission class-meetings, than a bare recital of whispers, with faltering lips and present feeling, without any reference choking utterance, “ The cup that my to the fact of which such feeling was Father hath given me, shall I not the fruit.
drink it?” The will of the Lord be done.
A CUP OF SORROW.
PRAYER, SHORT AND LONG. An eminent Divine tells us that,
A PRAYER may be short for two soon after the death of his wife, his reasons : it may be because he who two children were taken from him prays is simple-hearted, and will not within a few hours of each other. say more than he feels; and it may be “My cup of sorrow,” he
because he is in haste to be about his filled to the brim. I stood a few worldly business or amusements, or moments, and viewed the remains of does not like to tarry long alone with my two darlings. I felt, at first, as if
God. I could not submit to such a compli- A prayer may also be long for two cated affliction. My heart rose in all reasons; either because he who offers its strength against the government of
it makes a merit of long prayers, or God, and then suddenly sunk under because his heart is so full that it its distress; which alarmed me. I cannot quickly unburden itself. Let sprang up, and said to myself, “I must not one who goes thus to his closet submit, or I am undone for ever.' In fear to stay there until he has told all a few moments I was entirely calm,
that is in his heart in the indulgent and resigned to the will of God. I ear of his Father in heaven; until he never enjoyed greater happiness than has spread out the whole detail of his during that day and the next. My cares, his sins, and his wants, under mind was full of God; and I used
of Him “who seeth in secret.” afterwards to look towards the burying- There is nothing in the words or ground, and wish for the time when in the example of our Lord which I might be laid by the side of my forbids you staying alone before the departed wife and little ones.”
throne of grace just as long as, in the There is great beauty in such reli- simplicity of your heart, you feel disgion as this; for the grace of submis- posed to stop there. But the laborious sion to this great and bereaving Father effort to prolong secret prayer is, peris the hardest and rarest of Christian haps, to be avoided.
Religion and Morals.
THE DIVINE AUTHORITY, AND
the sun in the heavens, by God Himself. UNIVERSAL AND PERPETUAL
The TIME when the day was instituted; OBLIGATION, OF THE SABBATH.
the PEOPLE for whom it was specially BY THE REV. GEORGE MAUNDER. designed ; the EXTENT of its obligation ; No. I.
and the TERM of its duration; these are Few subjects have recently excited a questions that have been, and still are, deeper or more wide-spread interest than warmly debated. that of "the Divino authority, and univer- The leading theory antagonistic to the sal and perpetual obligation, of the Sab- claims of the Sabbath, as being univerbath.” We have no hesitation in asserting sally and perpetually obligatory, is that that “the Sabbath question " is one that which regards it as a mere institution of affects the very essence of morality and Judaism. The Sabbath, we are told, was practical religion. It appeals at once to first given to the Jews by Moses in the the best interests of whole communities, wilderness; that, like the Passover, it and to those of each individual member of
began with Judaism; was a part of the body politic; and the observance or Judaism ; was restricted to Judaism; and, non-observance of one day in seven, as a consequently, when Christ abolished the “holy day,” appropriated in the most Mosaic economy, the Sabbath as a Divino direct and special manner to the business institution ceased. of religion, we take to be not the least This entire theory, of courso, falls to certain index to the moral and religious the ground, if it can be satisfactorily character of a man, or of an entire proved that the Sabbath was established people.
long prior to the existence of Judaism ; The whole woj has been fully ads that it is, in point of fact, as old as creatizod of the fact, that on the Divine tion; was instituted in the original injunction of keeping of a Sabbath, and
paradise; and was given, primarily, not the extent of the obligation, there are to the Israelites in the wilderness, but to diversities of opinion. Christian churches Adam in the garden of Eden; to Adam as themselves have differed; theologians of the fountain-head and representative of the same church have differed. Much has the whole human race. been written on the question on both That these points can be established we sides; and research and learning have have no doubt. If so, the inference is been employed, sometimes, we fear, inevitable: “THE SABBATH WAS MADE in darkening what we take to be, after FOR MAN;” not for a particular race; all, a tolerably clear and plain subject. but for man as MAN, --for ALL MEN ; man
In the statements and arguments which generically considered ; and, therefore, we may be adduced in this and subsequent of the present day can claim the privileges papers, we make no pretension whatever of the Sabbath, unfettered, unrestricted, to novelty. On a theme on which so unbroken, as a gift from above, "our much has been written, it were idle to birth-right;" and are as solemnly bound suppose that anything really new can be to observe its laws, as much so as any advanced. Our aim will be plainly to people who ever existed under the canopy STATE THE QUESTION, and to furnish the of heaven. SCRIPTURAL GROUNDS on which we claim
First. The paradisaic origin of the for the Christian Sabbath a cessation from Sabbath we infer from the position it secular pursuits and amusements, and a occupies in reference to the work of creation, strictly spiritual and devout observance. and from the manner in which it is first
The Sabbath is to be found in the introduced to our attention in the Sacred Bible: of this there is no doubt. It is Volume. there! There, beyond dispute, (for on We refer to the sacred records. The this subject all are agreed,) placed, like inspired penman, detailing the events of
creation in their regular and consecutivo to it, all is thrown into uncertainty. A order, day by day, from the period when plain historical statement becomes con“ the earth was without furm, and void; fused; the whole foundation of faith is and darkness was upon the face of the overturned; and we are left perfectly at deep,” up to that moment when perfection sea, even as to the order and succession crowned the handiwork of Jehovah, of the works of creation. concludes his narrative in these words :- SECONDLY.— The Ante-Judaic institu"Thus the heavens and the earth were tion of the Sabbath is evident from the finished, and all the host of them. And fact, that it was distinctly recognised by on the seventh day God ended His work the Israelites in the wilderness, and was which He had made ; and le rested on enforced by God upon them, before the the seventh day from all IIis work which utterance of the Ten Commandments upon He had made. And God blessed the Sinai. seventh day, and sanctified it : because Of this there is positive evidence. that in it He had rested from all His Jehovah promised to rain bread from work which God created and made." heaven for the sustenance of His people; (Gen. ii. 1-3.)
and in reference to that miraculous display Now, the question which arises here, is of Divine power and goodness, this was this :-“Do these words record the setting the direction given : "On the sixth day apart the day, at the time, or do they they shall prepare that which they bring refer prospectively, (as some persons tell in; and it shall be twice as much as they ILS,) to its being set apart on Mount gather daily." (Exod. xvi.5.) Here we have Sinai, hundreds of years afterwards ?” implied a perfect familiarity with the law Can any one hesitate as to the answer of the Sabbath. “On the sixth day.” that is to be given: The history of What sixth day? If the people had known creation, throughout the entire six days, nothing of a seventh or Sabbath day, how is chronological, unbroken, complete. could they tell which would be the sixth ? But, if we are to look forward into the
But they were at no loss; and we are told depths of twenty-five centuries, (as the that “on the sixth day they gathered advocates of the Jewish origin of the twice as much bread, two omers for one Sabbath tell us,) for the first institution man.” (V. 22.) Which is the more reasonof the Sabbath ; then, this history pre- able supposition, that the people chanced sents no orderly series, and its chronology to hit upon the right day, or that the admits of no computation. At a particu- Sabbath was a well-known institution? lar time, in a particular juncture, “the The entire narrative, as furnished in the
“ God blessed the seventh sixteenth chapter of the Book of Exodus, day, and sanctified it.” When: Two demonstrates this,—that the law of the thousand five hundred years subsequently, Sabbath, as observed by the Jews, was is the reply! Who that has not an hy- antecedent to the Sinaic code ; it was unde: pothesis to support, would admit as an stood by them ; it was acted upon by argument an assertion so unnatural, over- them. From whence did they derive their strained, and monstrous ! We might as knowledge of that law? There is no well break asunder the links in the chain of evidence whatever that there had been sacred history at any other period as at any Divine formal promulgation of it, this. We might as well suppose that the since the day that God finished the work heavens and the earth were not created of creation. We naturally and reasonon the days which Moses records ; that the ably infer then, that it was the “ original sun and moon did not shine until a long boon,” handed down from man to man, period after the time here specified. This through successive generations; pretheory which supposes the narrative in served and guarded by the special proviGenesis to be by prolepsis or anticipation, dence of God. A flower of paradise ; one would think was originally started to transplanted into the moral wilderness, to make men of plain and unsophisticated cheer and gladden man by its bloom and sense wonder at the vagaries of men of fragrance, amid the toils and cares to learning. If the Sabbath was not insti- which the curse had doomed him! tuted at the time which is here assigned
(To be continued.) VOL. VII.- Second Series.