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duct and that of Rebecca! She knew that the promise of God was in favour of her younger son inheriting the place and privileges of the elder, but she could not wait with the patience of faith for God to bring it about in the right way. She pressed falsehood into her service, and taught her own child to deceive his own father; and so mother and son conspired together, and sought to carry out the purpose of God by the use of arts learnt from the devil. They did not truly believe, and therefore they made haste. They broke God's laws in order to help on the fulfilment of God's promises, and thereby they mingled for themselves a bitter cup of remorse and anguish, the drinking of which extended over many years. David, on the contrary, was determined to do right and leave results with God, and thereby he gained the happy experience which enabled him to say, “In keeping Thy commandments there is great reward.” In due season the promise was fulfilled, and he had no memories of unbelieving hastiness and sinful revengefulness on his part to mar the sweetness of the great joy-cup which the goodness of the Lord put into his hands. “ It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
They say that " Revenge is sweet.” There can be no doubt of the truth of this, for perverted natures have perverted tastes, and loathe what they ought to love, and banquet with delight on what they ought to abhor. David had feelings in his heart which would have been intensely gratified if he had taken vengeance on his enemy, but would not his revenge have been like the book the seer did eat in the Apocalypse, sweet in the mouth, but bitterness in the belly? If we thought only of present gratification, we might eschew all forbearance and mercifulness, and feast our corrupt tastes with all possible anger and violence against our adversaries; but if we will think of the future, and lay up pleasant memories to be enjoyed in the long hereafter, the less we partake of “ the sweetness of revenge," the better. Patience and meekness and forgiveness are often very hard to exercise, but when they become matters of memory, are they not things of beauty, and a joy for ever? The poet tells of one who sat by the grave of the friend from whom he had parted in anger, and wept at the remembrance of his former harsh. ness :
“Cruel, cruel the words I said !
Cruelly come they back to-day." Probably there are men now sleeping in the dust who in their lifetime wronged and injured you. If you forgave them, and prayed for them, and sought to bless them, does the memory of that Christlikeness on your part ever give you a moment's sorrow? The earthly crown that David gained was torn from his brow long ages ago; but what of his triumph over malice and wrath and uncharitableness ? Is not the remembrance of that an element of joy in the cup of which he now drinks in heaven? Is not gratitude to God for the grace whereby he achieved that, a part of the song he is now singing in heaven? Yes, revenge may be sweet, but like all the pleasures of sin, it is but for a season. Mercy is God's delight. He who receives it through
Jesus, secures his passport to the skies. He who learns to imitate it, lays up treasure for himself in heaven. Happy he who by the grace of God so carries himself toward them that curse him and despitefully use him, that he does not invoke his own condemnation, when, in his daily prayer, he cries, “FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THEM THAT TRESPASS AGAINST US."
"ONE MORE UNFORTUNATE.” "A WORD in season, how good it. I haven't any home to go to. I is:" but how often the word remains asked her where her friends lived, unspoken until the season is for ever and she said, 'I haven't got any past. Many a poor sad soul is yearn friends.' I wish, Aunt H., that you ing now for comfort and for help ; would go out and talk with her." to-day they are within our reach, and I arose from my berth, made a we may speak the saving word,-to hasty toilet, and went out to find the morrow it may be too late, and our sorrowing stranger ; but she was hearts may be filled with deep and gone, and I knew not where to look vain regrets. Oh, how this truth for her, and returned to the cabin. was stamped upon my soul by a The sail was pleasant, and the comscene which I once witnessed, and pany agreeable, and I remained in which I can never forget!
the cabin most of the time, until, It was one midsummer evening in yielding to the importunities of my the year 1857, that I left my home, little boy, who wanted to “go and and, accompanied by my niece and see the wasser,” I went out upon little son not three years old, took the deck at the hinder part of the steamer to go to visit a sister whose steamer, that I might gratify his life was despaired of, and who re childish curiosity. sided in my native place. The night While leaning against the railing, was dark, and the gathering clouds
holding him in my arms, he gave a soon gleamed with lightnings and sudden spring in his delight at the poured their waters down, but we scene, and almost escaped from my were safely embarked on board the grasp into the water. I shuddered steamer that ploughed her way on at the danger which he had merci. ward through the storm and darkness fully escaped, and drew back to reto her destined port. Retiring for the turn into the cabin. But the little night, we rested as best we could, fellow cried and disliked to go in; and awoke the following morning to and as I turned to go back again, I witness the splendour of the rising noticed a young girl of some eighteen day as it gilded the placid bosom of years sitting with her arms on the the beautiful waters, through which railing and her face buried in her our steamer cut its foaming path. handkerchief, weeping and sobbing
Early in the morning my niece as if in bitterness of soul. By her went out upon the deck, and soon side stood a man between forty and came back to my berth and said, | fifty years of age, who had been con** There is a girl out here that is cry versing with her, but who quickly ing and feeling real ill. I asked retired at my approach and left the her what the matter was, and she girl alone. I noticed her apparent would not tell me; but I determined distress, and, concluding that she 1,would find out, and I asked her if must be the one of whom my niece she was going home, and she said, had spoken, I felt moved to go to
her and draw from her the story of had described, talking very earnestly her griefs. For three or four mi- with her, when no one else was in nutes, perhaps, I walked backward | hearing. Search was instantly made and forward near het, considering for this man, who after a while, was how I might best approach her, found secreted near the engine, and when suddenly she started up and was placed in confinement to await climbed over the rail. Thinking she an investigation. The captain of the might have dropped her handkerchief, boat recollected the man as having I looked over to see if there was paid the fare of this girl when she another deck or railing below; and embarked; and he was identified as I saw nothing but the dark and by persons on board as being a foaming waters beneath, a horrible | man who had a wife and children suspicion flashed across my mind, residing at one of the ports at and I sprang forward, and, holding which we touched. The man seemed my child in my left arm, reached agitated and guilty, but denied all round on the outside of the post, and knowledge of the girl; and as there with my right hand grasped her seemed to be no evidence which arm. She turned her head toward would warrant the retaining of him me with a wild, despairing look, and in custody, he was set at liberty, with a sudden movement, which al- and soon afterwards left the boat. most drew me over the railing, she The circumstances introduced me tore herself from my grasp, and to the notice of the passengers on plunged into the foaming wake of board the boat, and I endeavoured the vessel, which shot away like an to improve the opportunity by dis. arrow, leaving her far astern. I tributing tracts and conversing shrieked with terror, and burst into with them upon the important the cabin, screaming, “ A girl over- themes suggested by the occurrences board ! a girl overboard !” and of the day; and I hope that the rushed through the confusion to the labour was not in vain in the Lord. captain's room and gave the alarm. But the poor girl was gone. SleepInstantly the steamer was stopped. | ing beneath the waters, until all A boat was lowered and pulled back that are in their graves shall hear over the vessel's wake in hope of re the voice of the Son of God and covering the lost one. Alas! it was come forth, when the sea shall give in vain ; a shawl floating on the up the dead that are therein, to water was all that remained of the stand in judgment before the “great poor girl. They returned to the white throne,” she had passed be. vessel, the boat was hoisted in, and yond the reach of human effort, and the throbbing engine propelled the sunk in sadness down to death. steamer on her course; while passen And to me was given the last gers, officers, and crew, gathered opportunity to speak a word in around me with anxious solicitude, season to that weary heart, and that to learn the facts with which the opportunity had passed me unimreader has been made acquainted. proved. Long did the remembrance
Inquiry into the circumstances of that scene haunt my mental which attended this rash act deve vision; often did my little boy in loped the fact that some of the crew his childish prattlings refer to the had observed this girl sitting there sad event; and while it ever filled all the previous night, and had tried my spirit with a nameless dread, it in vain to induce her to enter the seemed also to impress upon my cabin: and early in the morning, mind the spirit of that inspired ad. before the passengers were astir, monition, « Whatsoever thy band some one had noticed a man similar findeth to do, do it with thy might; in appearance to the one whom I for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, in the grave, whither | not one in whose face this burdened thou goest” (Eccles. ix. 10).
child could discern the sympathy And now I recall these circum she needed; not one to whom she stances, hoping that they may im dared to confide her sorrows; not press some other heart with the one to tell her of the infinite comimportance of constant faithfulness passion of a loving God; not one to God, and obedience to the call of to hold her back from the consummaduty, while yet there is time and tion of her sad design. opportunity to seek and save the lost. God only knows how many
“Alas for the rarity of Christian charity,
Under the sun; quivering, bleeding hearts are to
Oh, it was pitiful! near a whole city full, day longing for a healing word
Home she had none." which we may speak. He only knows how many poor, homeless girls are Shall not her fate be a solemn driven by the craft of evil men to warning to young and unwary girls make a fearful choice, and are crowd to shun the flatteries and avoid the ed to the very verge of ruin, and traps that are set to take their have no one to extend to them a help- | feet? And shall it not furnish a ing hand or speak to them a sym- | most impressive argument to perpathising word. Alas, that among | suade us to work while the day 80 many kindly, friendly ones that shall last, before the night cometh sailed together that day, there was wherein no work can be done ?
THE UNSPEAKABLE GIFT.
BY THE REV. WILLIAM BROCK.* “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift.”—2 Cor. ix. 15. No begrudging, saith Paul to the Corinthians, no begrudging; no niggardliness ; no parsimoniousness; no shutting up of the bowels of your compassion against your brethren in their distress. Need was there for exhortation in this direction,—the common ordinary need arising out of the selfishness that is incident to our fallen human nature. Unless men will school and discipline themselves, unless even good men will school and discipline themselves, they will be found looking exclusively on their own things, and not at all on the things of others; they will be found forgetting the commandment to do good and to communicate with the sacrifices with which God is well pleased, and they will be themselves forgetful by the outworking of a tendency that is common to us all alike-a tendency, from the time of our first father downward—to concentrate and then to monopolize attention to their personal concerns.
Now the checking and controlling of this tendency was just now a vehement apostolic desire. It was the present truth with Paul, that on all accounts it was to be checked, and that by all means within their power it was to be controlled. A begrudging temper is always a mischief-working temper; a parsimonious habit is always a deterio,* Notes of a sermon preached on Sabbath morning, March 29th, on the occasion of the opening of the new organ, at the Upper Holloway Baptist chapel.
rating habit ; a niggardly propensity is always a culpable propensity; the shutting up of the bowels of our compassion is a thing against which all legitimate remonstrances protest, whether they be human or Divine. And so the apostle would have his brethren to avoid the niggandliness, and never to shut up the bowels of their compassion any more; and as he was pressing them in this direction, he reminded them of their obligation, and of their privilege, to imitate their Father who was in heaven. He loved a cheerful girer : then let them be cheerful girers. He delighted to contribute bountifully: wherefore let them contribute bountifully. He was accustomed to open His hand upon the just and upon the unjust, upon the grateful and the ungrateful, both alike: let them open their hands and their hearts to the grateful and to the ungrateful, both alike. Let them be followers of God as dear children; the products of the Divine nature evidently, not in word only, but in deed and in truth. Pursuing this exhortation with his brethren, we find him passing up into the higher sympathies, with the great lore wherewich God hath lored men, eren into the higher sympathies with the Cross,—the rery greatest of all His love; and in this higher fellowship we have him, I think, uttering, what has sometimes been represented as an extremely abrupt utterance, namely, the Utterance of our tent.
Now I am not at all careful to deny that there is apparently a great deal of abruptness about it, but it is perfectly intelligible for all that, and of the application of it I think there can be no serious doubt. The man's heart was filled with the Divine benignity of grace, in the forms and manners wherewith the Dirine benignity was presented on all sides, the good and the perfect gifts of his hearenly Father, if they were occurring to him, -and they were occurring to him even unto replenon; undil, with no mention secondary and subordinate, we find him adrering all at once to the primart—to the supreme; rolling out, as I think almost at unawares, the grand canticle that constitutes our tout to-dat, * Thanks be ninto God for His unspeakable Gift.” That is, Thanks be into God for the mind of His onlt-begotten Son.
I know very well that we have no antecedent mention of the only begotten Son just here. I know that as an occasion for this canticle you do not find it to be format and specifically introduced ; it seems to he quite unexpected, does this arosion to His Dame; and yet that, to my mind, instead of being an objection, is a recommendation of the appli. cation which we make of the words of our text. Give me a soul like our apostle's just another such soul, and let the soul be er. patiating amidst the riches, the exceeding riches, of God's grace, and what more natural, I ask, thai-Dot attention to what men call the proprieties of composizion what is more admirable than expres. sion after expression at which perhans our fastidiousness may be surprised. It is ranl all over the ret thing we should have looked for from his pon, or from his tin, o from both alike. “Thanks be unta God for His unspon table Gift;" an abrupt utterance, but an utterance about the application of which I believe there can be no doubt.