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A good man named Sir Hum Sam Dale was, the earth falling phry Davy, who lived in England between them and the shafts. If long ago, invented what was called the place where they are shut up is the "safety lamp.” It was a lamp large enough for them to breathe for miners to use, which would not well, and they do not starve before set the fire-damp on fire. It has they are reached, they may be saved a great many from death, rescued. But many a poor fellow but, in spite of this, dreadful acci- has died à sad death before help dents will sometimes take place. would come.
The morning after the Sunday I The miners gathered at the have been telling you of, our miner shaft, and soon knew the danger (his name was Sam Dale) went was past; but one of their number down to his work.
was missing. They went quickly It was so early the stars were to look for Sam Dale, for he was a still shining, and the sun would not favourite with all. When they rise for an hour. Indeed, these came to the place where the earth poor fellows scarcely ever see its had fallen, they saw, by the way it bright light except on Sunday. lay, that it would take a long time
Sam was working in the further to reach him. • corner of a large room, made by “ It will take four days to dig in
digging out iron ore. With no to him," said one. “ If he isn't light except what the little lamp on dead now, he will be before then.” his cap gave, he was busily picking "Not quite so long," said another, away at the iron, and loading up “ we'll all dig with a will.”. And his barrow, to be drawn through they did. When one set of men the long galleries to the shaft. were tired out, others took their
But what was that noise 2-men places; so, night or day, not á hurrying along, shouting something moment was lost. An anxious in fear and terror. He listened to crowd gathered around the top of hear what they said, then dropped the shaft, waiting to hear the first his pick, and turned to fly for his news of the poor buried man. life after them. It was the terrible When Sam Dale got up from the fire-damp, and their only hope lay ground, he looked around to see in reaching the shaft. As he was what his chances were. He knew crossing the long room he stumbled his comrades would work faithfully and fell, while at the same moment to try to save his life. He found an awful sound, louder than the himself in a place large enough to loudest thunder, shook the mine. give him plenty of air. He had The whole earth seemed to be his dinner for that day, and decided crashing around him. Then all to save one-half of it for to-morrow. was still, but Sam Dale was in no But he knew nothing as to how haste to rise from where he lay, large the fall might be ; it might be with his face to the ground. He many days before he could be found. knew how it was with him, knew “A small chance for me," said the that the fire-damp, which might poor man, as he sat down to wait, have killed him at once, was shut wait, wait for life or death. out, but he was shut in, to wait for “God only knows which," he a slower and more dreadful death. said, and then he thought of the It often happens in mines, that words of his little daughter, “I will the earth above the long galleries never leave thee, nor forsake thee." and rooms will fall down; some. The tears ran down his rough times it falls right on the miners, cheeks as he wondered whether he and kills then in an instant. At should ever see the pretty faces of others, they are shut up as poor his little ones again. But the
sweet words never left his heart, called to him, but no and they gave him strength to bear came. the long hours of waiting. He could “ Dead for want of air, poor only guess how time was passing. fellow!” Towards the third night his courage It was an hour before they could was almost gone. He was suffering get in to bring him out. They from hunger, and still more from carried him to the shaft, and up into thirst. He felt again in his bag to the sunlight. Kind friends had see if no crumb from his dinner kept his wife and children at home, had fallen there. He drew out his they did not know he was found. hand with a cry of joy:
" Where's the doctor?” said “If the great God spares my some; but others said, “It's no poor life, it will surely be by the use ! ” hand of my little boy.” And he “Make way, my men, make knelt and gave thanks, praying for way; we'll see how that may be, more strength and courage to bear anyhow.” It was the doctor, and what might yet be before him. It he bent over the man whom all was the little bottle of " medicine” thought dead. “He's alive! he's which Jimmy had put in his bag. no more dead than I am! Quick, He had never thought of it since; men, carry him into the nearest and now what a welcome medicine house, and we'll have him up in it was to his parched throat ! Not three hours." much, but enough to relieve the Glad voices carried to his home burning thirst for a while. How the happy news, and in a few eagerly he listened, hoping to hear minutes wife and children were at the sound of his comrades working the father's side. When they their way to him! But many more brought him home that night-for hours passed, and his strength was he soon got better-he held the
The air about him little bottle in his hand. When he was getting very hard to breathe. had told all I have been telling you With one more prayer that God he tied it up to a nail on the wall would take care of his wife and of his little shanty. children, he lay down to die.
There, Jimmy," he said, “I It was fully four days before the think the good Lord told you to miners dug their way into Sam put it in my bag. It must hang Dale's dark prison. Their faces there always, to make us think of looked gloomy, for they had little what my little girl taught us at the hope of finding him alive. When same time: 'I will never leave the first opening was made, they thee, nor forsake thee.?”
POSSESSING CHRIST. A CHIEF reason why so many believers fail to attain an exalted type of Christian character is because they do not receive Christ as a living, indwelling, personal Saviour. Religion is to them an abstraction rather than a reality. They have faith, but it is a dead intellectual exercise rather than a life-giving power begotten in the soul by the Holy Ghost, through the word of God," which liveth and abideth for ever.'
There is very much of Christian philosophy in the words of the dying East Indian who, when asked how she felt, replied, “Happy! Happy!” and, laying her hand on the Bible, added, “I have Christ here," and,
pressing it to her heart, "and Christ here," and, pointing to heaven, "and Christ there.” This tells the whole story. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” The Christ of the Bible, the Saviour of sinners, must be first found and apprehended ; but a mere intellectual apprehension is not sufficient. The heart must be affected. The affections, those hidden but mighty springs of action, must be touched. Faith will then yield spontaneously its proper fruit. The believer will possess that which is a perennial joy to himself and a fountain of blessing to others.
This is not all, however. Such faith can point to heaven with the precious assurance that it possesses a Christ there. Amid life's fitful changes the soul abides in peace and hope. When lengthening shadows tell that the day declines, and the heart begins to understand how empty are earth's promises and how vain its trusts, then is felt the faithfulness of that Christ who has trodden life's path way before us, and who now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high to intercede in our behalf. And when at last the feet come down to the silent river, and the sullen waters seem ready to overwhelm the soul, the believer can yet say, “I know whom I have trusted, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” He rests upon that word which declares, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John xi. 25). Though the enemy seems to triumph, the Christian knows that triumph will be short, for he trusts in One who has gotten the victory over death and the grave, and who has said, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am there ye may be also " (John xiv, 3).
So we may, we must, possess Christ (if we would be His. In the Bible, a crucified Christ; in the heart, a living Christ; in heaven, a glorified Christ; in the future, a coming Christ :-Christ in life, Christ in death, Christ in a coming judgment—" Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”
WHILE STOPPING AT THE INN.
Thus in the regions of the dead,
For very far from here I dwell,
Rough stumbling stones my steps o'erthrow,
Though in the dark ofttime I stray,
Why am I heavy, then, and sad
DO YOU ATTEND THE PRAYER-MEETING ? How came it to pass that three thousand were converted on the day of Pentecost ? Had not the meeting for prayer, of which mention is made in Acts i. 14, when it is said, “ These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication," a close and influential connection with the glorious results of that day ? Undoubtedly it had. But what was there in that meeting of one hundred and twenty disciples to exert an influence to the conversion of three thousand individuals ? Whence had it that power? It was a prayer-meeting, professedly a prayer-meeting; a meeting of Christians to express their dependence on God, unitedly to call on Him for His blessing, to plead His promise, and to await His fulfilment of it. These are the efficient meetings in which Christians meet and agree to ask of God. I wonder they do not value them more. To the prayer meeting Christians come to exercise the high privilege of intercession for others; to do good and
to communicate, to act the "more blessed” part; whereas, to meetings of another kind, they go for the purpose of receiving good. Yet Christians value no meetings so little as prayer-meetings. But the influence of that meeting of a hundred and twenty was not owing entirely to its being a prayer-meeting. There was much by which it was distinguished from ordinary prayer-meetings. The mention of these peculiarities may be of service. It may provoke imitation in some Churches.
1. All the Church attended the prayer-meeting. "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren" (Acts. i. 14). There were but one hundred and twenty disciples, and they were all present. How different it is now! They who meet may agree among themselves to ask for an outpouring of the Spirit, but it is after all but the agreement of a minority of the Church. The majority, by their absence, dissent from the request.
2. As all attended, of course the men attended as well as the women. Yes, every male member of the Church was present; they did not leave it to the women to sustain the prayer-meeeting. That prayer-meeting had not the aspect of many a modern prayer-meeting, in which almost all are the weaker sex.
3. The most distinguished members of the Church attended, as well as the most obscure. There were all the apostles, and “ Mary the mother of Jesus,” and “ His brethren." None of them felt above being at a prayer-meeting. How is it now?
4. They were all agreed—“of one accord," as it is said: not merely agreed as touching what they should ask, namely, the fulfilment of the promise of the Father," but of one mind generally - ay, and of one heart. They thought and felt alike. They all loved one another. Such cordial union among Christians has great power with God. It does not always exist in our prayer-meetings. 5. They persevered in prayer.
" These all continued in prayer." First they stirred themselves up to take hold on God, and then said: "We will not let Thee go exçept Thou bless us." They met often for prayer, and all met, and they lingered long at the throne of grace. But how long did they continue asking ? Until they obtained, and then they did but pass from the note of prayer to that of praise. They sought the Lord until He came. It is time we all should do it. They were together holding meeting when the Spirit descended. I think if all our Church-members would habitually attend the prayermeetings, they would not wait in vain for the promise of the Father, How often we hear it said, “It is nothing but a prayer-meeting !" Nothing but ? -I should like to know what surpasses a prayermeeting!