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could not help singing : “rejoicing in their being counted worthy to suffer shame” for the sake of Christ.
And it is also upon the same principle that earth hath many a scene of sorrow, while heaven is a place of joy. Earth is the Christian's sowing ground. Those arrayed in white robes, the emblems of purity and joy, “ came out of the great tribulation.” “The light afflictions which were but for a moment, wrought out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Sorrow might indeed be “ priestess in the vaults of death ;” but she was also priestess leading by the hand into the holiest of all those “ who had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
In view of this the common fallacy, “I have suffered so much in this life that God will surely give me rest in the next," is at once exposed. For sorrow has no more virtue than hunger. Its worth is in opening up the soul, in being the fire which purifies the heart, by removing the dross ; and unless it carries on this process in us, joy in another world is a sheer impossibility to an unsanctified nature. The strong heart 'may be rent asunder by the fires of sorrow, but will scarce become a heart of flesh. It is the good and honest heart which alone can come forth from the ordeal as gold seven times purified,“ made perfect through sufferings.”
The point at which a reference to preaching is possible in the test, is that preaching is the sowing of thoughts in the human soil. And here also it holds true, that if we wish them to spring up, they must be watered with tears; a weeping sower, if his tears are the sign of intense anxiety and painstaking, is likely to reap in joy. This is true, both in the natural and spiritual world. The preaching which is entitled to a joyous harvest is often wrung in anguish from the spirit; is sown“ in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling;' goes on "night and day;" with tears is “baptized with the baptism” of sorrow; and amidst strong crying and tears," a living Christ arises to seeking souls out of the grave of the preacher's choicest blessings. Agony in his soul is the prelude of triumph in that of his hearers; and when he beholds it, his own joy also becomes full ; for of all earth's joys there is none more pure and unselfish than that which springs from a sinner repenting through words which sorrow had wrung from our soul. And thus it becomes true that the preacher, also, “who sows in tears, reaps in joy."
LITTLE OLIVE'S DREAM.
FOR THE YOUNG. LITTLE OLIVE looked very pale and beautiful, that if we try to imagine thin as she lay in her bed one plea- | heaven, we can only think of an sant June day. It was one of those eternal June. Little Olive lay look: June days when everything is so ing out upon the green fields, and,
far in the distance, the blue hills, when a dark cloud came over the while every breeze that floated in sun, and she thought, “ Why, my was laden with the sweet scent of dress is not so very dirty, after all." roses.
Forgetting, poor little Olive, that it "How beautiful,” thought Olive, was only because the sun was clouded “ everything is! I wonder if there that her dress looked white. “It is can be anything prettier.”
really quite white,” she said again: Just then she heard her sister's | “and when the sun comes out, it will voice under the window, singing as shine as brightly as those beautiful she passed along; and listening, she ones in the golden city.” Satisfied caught the words,
with her dress, she started towards
the gate, when, catching sight of "There everlasting spring abides, And never-withering flowers."
some bright red poppies, she thought,
“Oh! I can have a wreath now, "Never-withering,” said little and a prettier one, too, than those Olive: “that must be beautiful!”. they are wearing.” As her sister's voice died away in So she twisted a garland of the the distance, little Olive's eyes closed, bright poppy flowers; and holding and whispering to herself, “Never- her head very high, and looking withering, never-fading," she fell well-satisfied with her appearance, asleep.
she walked up to the gate. How Never-fading! One could not help wonderful it seemed as she looked saying it as they looked at Olive's in, down the long streets, with pale cheeks and white lips, and beautiful gardens, and just such marked the thin hands folded to children as little Olive playing under gether. Dear little Olive, God keep the evergreen trees; while every now thee from fading! But this is not and then sweet music floated on the Olive's dream ; only what happened air, and children's voices sang, before it.
“ Glory to the Lamb, for ever and She dreamed that she was walking through the green fields to the blue Little Olive longed to go in; but hills beyond ; and as she came near, there stood by the gate a bright the hills kept changing, till there angel with golden wings. As she stood in their place a beautiful city. looked up, his face grew very sorrowIts walks were of gold, glittering ful, as very softly, very sadly, he with diamonds; and through the said, “No, little Olive; you can't open gate she could see people walk come in.” Just then the sun shone ing, dressed in white robes, with out from behind the clouds, and crowns of bright flowers. Little looking down, Olive saw her dress Olive clapped her hands with delight, all stained and spotted, and taking at the wonderful sight. “How I the wreath from her head, she found wish I could go in! but this old dress it withered away. Then the angel would look so shabby among those said again, “No, little Olive; your pretty ones,” she said, looking down dress is not pure and white, and your at her dress once white, now soiled crown is not made of never-fading by her walk through the fields. Just flowers. No; you can't come in." then she caught sight of a little Little Olive sank down on the stream flowing through the meadows. green turf by the gate, and began to “Oh! I can wash out the spots, and cry. then it will do.” Saying this, she
* What is the matter with my little ran quickly to the little stream. She | Olive!” washed and washed away, but the Olive looked up surprised. She spots only seemed to grow worse. was lying in bed, looking out on the She was almost ready to give up, green fields, and there, beside her,
instead of the angel's sad face, was , seemed to hurt the feet of th the bright and smiling one of her stranger; but little Olive was safe
for she was carried in his arms. A Olive's arms were round her last they came to a great rock, o mother's neck in a moment, as she the top of which there stood a stong told her her dream; and the tears cross; and, as Olive looked nearer started afresh as she said, “And oh, there trickled from the rock drops mother! the beautiful angel, with of blood. 'Here, little Olive, the the saddest face I ever saw, said, stranger said; 'this will take a 'No, little Olive; you can't come stains from your dress; for look
He pointed to the cross, on whid Tears were in the mother's eyes Olive read, 'What are these whic too, as she wiped them away from are arrayed in white garments Olive's; and in her heart she prayed, These are they which have washe “() my blessed Jesus, take my their robes, and made them white little Olive in.”
the blood of the Lamb. Then Oliv “Shall mother finish the dream, waited no longer; and when 10 Olive po
dress had been washed in the strea “Oh, yes; that will be beautiful,” of blood that flowed from the roc she said, laying her head back on the behold, it was white and clea pillow, and waiting for her mother Then the stranger took her again to begin.
his arms. This time the path seem Taking her hand, her mother said, | smooth; and where the ugly thor “ After little Olive had sat for some had been before, were now beauti time crying by the gate of the flowers. As they drew near beautiful city, she thought, ‘I will gate of the city, little Olive sa try again to make my dress clean : O sir! I can't go in without perhaps if I try long enough I can crown.' 'Yes,' said the strange do it. So brightening up, she ‘no one enters the beautiful city wil started to the little stream, and tried a crown; they are all given to the again. At last, tired with the vain at the gate. A crown of glory th effort, for the dress only seemed fadeth not away. As they reach more soiled than ever, she sat down the gate, the angel that kept it look on the bank, and began to cry. now with happy face, and said, 'Y! • What is the matter, little Olive?! | little Olive, you may come in;' an She looked up, and there stood by | a band of little children came out t her a stranger, with such a beautiful meet them." face; and he looked upon her so The mother could say no more kindly that she could not help loving the tears were coming so fast; by him, “What is the matter, dear little Olive said, “The crown, mother little Olive!' 'O sir !' she said, what of the crown!” "I want to go into the beautiful city, “Oh yes,” she said; "they gav and the angel by the gate won't let her a crown of never-witherin me, because my dress is not clean; } flowers. Dear little Olive," said he and I've washed and washed it, and ! mother, “can you tell who the kin I can't make it any better. "Will stranger was that carried you in h you go with me, little Olive! and I l arms " will show you where you can wash! “Yes,” said Olive; "it was Jesus it white and clean.' 'Yes,' she said, “Yes; we can never make ou "I will go.' Then he lifted her in selves pure in His sight; but He ca his arms, and carried her very gently make us if we trust in Him. W past the green fields to a dreary can never do anything to crown ou looking place, where the stones in selves; but Jesus will crown all thos the path and thorns in the way who love Him, when they reach tł beautiful city. Shall we ask Him, | dream. I do not think it is all a Olive, to make us ready to enter the | dream. I know that somewhere golden gate?”
| there stands just such a beautiful Little Olive closed her eyes, while city as little Õlive saw. And let us her mother prayed the blessed all pray that to none of us the angel Saviour to wash away all her sins at the golden gate of heaven may in His own precious blood.
| say, “ No, little one; you can't come Dear little children, this is Olive's | in."
THE MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF THE SAINTS IN
BY THE REV. JAMES OWEN.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence
of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming ?"-1 Thess, ii. 19. PAUL expected to know his Thessalonian converts in the day of the Er Lord to recognise his children in the faith when he and they should
meet together in the presence of Christ. The disciples knew Moses and Elias on " the holy mount;" Peter distinctly named them. How did they become acquainted with the illustrious visitants ? Christ may have informed them, for He knew them as a master knows his servants. But it is not probable that He had told them beforehand, while climbing up the mountain ; for had they known they were about to see the two great men in Jewish history, they would not have given way to sleep. Or this might have been revealed to them while they slept; or, perhaps,
in consequence of certain mental and moral properties common to Co them all, the one had obtained immediate and certain knowledge of the
other. I incline to the belief that their knowledge was thus intuitive and immediate; that when the radiant forms of Moses and Elias appeared, immediately the disciples recognised them, saw that the one was the legislator of Sinai, and the other the prophet of Carmel.
And may we not infer from this, that when our redeemed spirits shall wing their way to the regions of unclouded light and unmingled joy, we shall be able to recognise every member of the large family ? 1 And will it not heighten the ecstasy, when fellow-travellers, who have borne the heat of the day and the fatigue of the journey, shall meet to review the chequered scenes through which they passed, to look back on the winding, thorny, dangerous paths in the wilderness which they trod, and to magnify that grace which was sufficient for them ? Heaven will not be “a place of isolated existence;' the “many mansions” in the Father's house are not so many monasteries ; the worshippers are not merely conscious of one another's presence, but they are bound together in the closest ties of friendship and of love; and they join to sweep the golden harp, and to swell the universal anthem of “Glory to
* Extract from a sermon preached by the Rev. James Owen, in Soho Street Chapel, Liverpool, May 3rd, 1868.
the Lamb." There will be the constant interchange of the purest sen. timents and of services of love. If there will be, as many of us believe, gradations in glory, yet there will be no envy, or malice. No one will be capable of receiving a greater amount of blessedness than that in his possession. There will be no room for discontent; not a murmur shall escape our lips. The myriad hosts will have one Object of adoration and praise; differing as stars from one another in glory, yet they will revolve around the same Sun, and borrow their splendour from Him alone. What holy gratification and delight the glorified will derive from one another's society, we cannot tell, when each one will furnish some fresh illustration of the sustaining power and redeeming grace of God. Perhaps on some quiet knoll or in some sequestered vale a shining company will be assembled to hear from some martyr's lips an account of his trying and weary pilgrimage, of his fears and faith, his doubts and hopes, when obliged to meet death in one of its most terrible forms rather than deny the Master: angels, old in the ages of eternity, will listen with gratitude and wonder: and, when the recital will end in the shout of victory, again will they prolong the strain, “ All honour to the Lamb!” There “we shall know even as we are known." All will be friends; there will be no stranger there; the footstep of no foe shall be heard on the crystal pavements; no sacrilegious hand shall touch the golden altar, or pluck the luscious clusters from the tree of life. There will be real friendship, real communion between spirit and spirit; no sunny smile on the face, while hatred is rankling in the breast; no hearty shake of the hand, while malice sways the sceptre of the heart; no hollow flattery, no foul-mouthed calumny, no honeyed words and malignant thoughts; but all will be real and transparent, the friendship and the fellowship will be thorough, and there will be no jealousy to embitter the joy, no death to invade the circle. There is something gladdening and inspiriting in the thought of meeting the unfallen hosts and the multitude of the redeemed, and of knowing each one, and of being acquainted with the history of each one. Think you that Moses and Elijah had not known one another in glory, until they met one another on the mount with Jesus? Could the apostle speak of his converts as his “glory and crown of boasting " in that day, and yet not to be able to recognise them?
The thought is terrible, that the family bonds are severed in death, and that when the members meet in heaven they will not know one another; that when we bid farewell to them who fall asleep in Jesus," we bid farewell to them for ever, that we shall never know them again. Such is not the teaching of the Book. Such is not the place” which Jesus has gone to prepare for us. But there will be happy home. gatherings; the loves and friendships of earth will be purified and en. nobled, and the communion will be uninterrupted and complete. The mother and child, the teacher and scholar, the pastor and people-how eestatie the jov will be to meet there!
But, you may ask, Will not the knowledge that some whom we knew and loved on earth are not there, cause pain, infuse bitterness