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facts is perfectly distinct and separate from portant. Forgetfulness, or a willing oversight
. the criticism of its records. But though the of it, has furnished scepticism with some of its two subjects are perfectly distinct, they are by most effective means of attack. Supposed inno means independent. On the contrary, the consistencies in the record have been brought criticism of the Christian records has an im- forward as disproving Christianity itself. Now portant bearing upon the proper Christian we do not admit that there are such incon. evidences, If, for instance, in the course of sistencies, but we allege that, if there were, this criticism we were to find the records con- they would modify-not the doctrine of Chrisfused and contradictory, though this would not tianity itself—but merely our view of the necessarily invalidate the truth of the Christian relation in which the record stands to that doctrine, it would greatly alter the relation in doctrine.* which the Bible stands to that doctrine; and Our next business, therefore, must be to if, on the other hand, we found in the records consider the character and claims of the Bible. proofs of Divine superintendence and arrange- And on this consideration we shall now be at ment, we should properly bring this result in liberty to enter in the next chapter. as an evidence of the Christian religion. This distinction is not more real than im.
"Christian Certainty,” p. 87.
HEART CHEER FOR HOME SORROW.
I cannot, 'neath Thy blow,
My God, Thy praises sound :
And cling the cross around,
THE CHRISTIAN IN AFFLICTION. I do not think the Bible anywhere professes to blame us for feeling pain, sickness, poverty, and the like, as distresses. On the other hand, it plainly declares that "no affliction for the present is joyous, but grievous." It is a moral, not a physical triumph we are promised over physical ills. Pain is as acute to a devout Christian, poverty as hard to bear, disappointment as painful, so far as they are considered alone, as they can be to the careless or profane. There is no exemption on these points for the Christian.
To profess, moreover, to discover what God's object was in sending us particular afflictions, must, in the great majority of cases, be an unwise occupation, although not always. But I think we may always find something to learn from what happens to us; and that if we have some profitable lesson taught, it is enough, without insisting that that lesson, and no other, was the one intended to be taught. To get good out of sorrow is the great matter, without affirming that we are getting all the good and the intended good from it.
Counsels of an Invalid, by
I cannot, midst the dust,
Descry Thy gracious aim;
Nor once Thy dealings blame.
Only, though sight be dim,
And mutely look to Him.
Only I can reflect
My Saviour's were not checked.
Submission to Thine hand
Is all the height I reach ;
But praise by checking speech.
Like child of sire reproved,
I keep my lowly place,
For duty nerve by grace.
Thou dost not ask to-day,
stealing, and lying, and murder should be My God, the debt I owe;
severely punished; but might we not, at Thou know'st I cannot pay
least, be allowed to indulge our own, as we Till Thou the means bestow. call them, innocent thoughts, and in smaller LORD KINLOCH. matters have our own way?
Yet, if we think, what is this but as if a THE PURPOSES OF AFFLICTION.
sick person should beseech his physician by The love of death, for its own sake, can- no means to cure him completely, but, on not be; God has not asked that at our hands. the other hand, should beg him, after reHe has made it impossible for us to put storing him to a certain point, to leave him from us the love of life. All that He desires
there, with the seeds of the disease still in is that we should prefer eternal life to the his system, ready at any time to grow up few and fleeting years which make up the again into a poisonous tree which should sum of the longest pilgrimage here. There kill him with its deadly emanations ? No may be as great discontent in wishing to die wise physician who had a patient entrusted as in wishing to live. To be conformed to to him would agree to such a request. He God's will, and be ready to live, or equally would say, “I am a much better judge than ready to die, is the spirit for which we should
you are what is best for you. Your wishes strive. When Christ prayed for His disciples, are tainted by the morbid state of your body. shortly before He was taken from them, His If I undertake your case at all, I must be words were, “I pray not that Thou shouldest allowed to eradicate every trace of disease take them out of the world, but that Thou
from you. The treatment may not be always shouldest keep them from the evil.”
pleasant at the time-nay, will sometimes We have not two lessons to learn-one
be as painful for me to inflict as for you to how to live, the other how to die. One | bear; but by-and-by you will be the first to teaching imparts the instruction needful for
thank me for not having spared you when you both. Holiness is the thing essential to were sick, that thereby I might secure your both. It is sin that makes so many lives perfect restoration to soundness of body." unhappy, and so many death-beds full of And, in like manner, the great Physician of anguish.
souls teaches us that He loves us too well We are apt sometimes, I think, to murmur to leave anything undone in the way of our at God's so solemnly insisting on holiness.
moral cure. He will not be guilty of a Is He not all-powerful and all-merciful ? kindness so mistaken as to relieve only the Might He not then forgive us simply as we external symptoms of our spiritual distemper, are, cancel the charges against us, and, and leave the deep roots untouched which considering that we are weak and helpless may spring up afresh into the most frightful creatures, excuse'us being unholy, and take disorders. us to heaven as we are? We would not be
Counsels of an Invalid, by very wicked; we think it quite proper that
GEORGE WILSON, M.D.
smile lurking in the corners of his mouth " True to the kindred points of heaven and home.” which Constance interpreted into amusement
WORDSWORTH. at the self-important tone of her brother.
"Thank you,” said Bertram, in a manner “Yes. Jump in, Constance !” intended to be polite and reserved, though it
And Bertram, who, with his savoured far more of a certain stiff shyness. sister, had been paying a visit to
“ I should be sorry to trouble you, I mean, to some friends in London, and was deprive you of it.” now returning to Rookdale, assisted her into “ Not at all," was the answer;
“I have quite the carriage, and sprang in after her. They
done with it. There is very little news of any were only just in time, for they had arrived importance. What an exceedingly damp, raw late at the station, and in another moment the
day it is." train moved slowly off.
Very,” said Bertram, his reserve thawing Constance leant back, and amused herself before the gentlemanly tone and manner of his by examining the faces of her fellow-travellers fellow-traveller. “ Wretched weather we have -always a fertile source of interest to her, as to had all the last week."
“ Not unusual though for England, I fancy,” ment besides themselves. One was a quiet rejoined the other. “I have been abroad now little middle-aged lady, at the farther end, not for many years, but my boyish recollections of very interesting in appearance. Constance's home certainly include a large amount of rain furtive glances soon wandered from her to the and damp, even in summer." remaining occupant, her own vis-à-vis, a tall, Constance could not help throwing in the dark young man, with thin aquiline features,
remark, Nevertheless, I don't know who well-shaped head, and an earnest, thoughtful would wish to change England for any other cast of countenance. The pale and sallow, country.” though sunburnt complexion, and the sunken “Not many, I hope,” he said, turning to. cheeks, together with a general look of weak- wards her instantly. “Rainy and foggy as ness and lassitude, seemed to denote ill-health. our country is, there is not another like it in There was something in his face that irre- the world, in my opinion, and in the opinion of sistibly attracted Constance, and she found all true Englishmen.” herself more than once looking at him, and “Not like it, of course," said Bertram; “but endeavouring to discover what it was. At there are many other countries with far finer length her attention was drawn off by Bertram, scenery, and greater advantages.” who began grumbling in an undertone at “ Advantages ! In what way?” inquired the having no newspaper.
gentleman, with a slightly amused air. “You should have bought one at the station,” Bertram hesitated, and then continued,
“At any rate, the scenery in other countries "There was no time; and, besides, I forgot is much more beautiful than in England.” it till we were off. There's a debate in Parlia- “Grander and finer, if
like-not more ment that I wanted to read.”
beautiful. I have seen some most magnificent The gentleman opposite leant forward, offer. scenery during the last few years; yet many a ing his own paper for Bertram's inspection, time I would have given anything for the sight with a courteous air, though there was a slight of a green English hedgerow, with fields on
each side, and blue hills in the distance. Less the man quietly drew the identical purse from imposing it may be, but not less lovely, though his pocket, and handed it to him.
, the beauty is of a different description.”
“I found it upon the ground, sir,” he said. Thereupon Constance, who was an enthusi- “I was intending to give it up to the autho. astic little patriot, made up her mind that the rities.” gentleman must be a most desirable acquaint- “ Thank you.” And Bertram, after care. ance, and she only wished they knew him. fully examining the contents of his recovered Who was he? and who could it be that his face treasure, was turning away, when Constance recalled to her so strongly? She asked her. laid her hand on his arm, with crimsoning self this question repeatedly during the con- cheeks. versation that ensued between Bertram and "Bertram! Bertram ! surely you will give their fellow-traveller, but without being able him a reward?" to answer it. He was evidently as well-in- Bertram shook off her hand rather impa. formed in mind as he was pleasant in manners; tiently, but on raising his eyes encountered and from listening, Constance was soon drawn those of their fellow-traveller. He was standing on to talking, till she grew so interested that at a little distance, speaking to a man, but at Bertram gave her a quizzical look to remind that moment was looking in their direction, her that she was conversing with an entire and had evidently witnessed the whole transacstranger, which she seemed to have forgotten. tion. Something there was of undisguised in. Constance understood him, blushed, and sat dignation in those grave eyes that brought the very quiet during the rest of their journey, colour into Bertram's cheeks; but after a which was not long, for in about ten minutes moment's deliberation he opened his purse, more they stopped at Rookdale station. Much selected a threepenny piece, and offered it as to her surprise, their new friend followed them the reward of honesty. It was laconically out of the carriage, and she was wondering declined, and the man turned away. Con. afresh who he could be, when Bertram, who stance, in a state of hot displeasure, walked had hurried away to see after the luggage, across the platform, followed by Bertram. Her came back in a state of unusual excitement, intention was undoubtedly to give him frankly just as the train moved slowly off.
her opinion of what had passed the moment "My purse, Constance! My purse is gone! they were alone, but for the time her intention Have you seen it?”
was frustrated by something else that drove No,” said Constance, turning to him. the whole occurrence out of her head. Two or “How tiresome! Is it of much conse. three boxes were piled up on the ground, and
as she brushed past them, her gaze carelessly Consequence! I should think so," said falling for an instant upon the direction card Bertram in great perturbation. "Ten pounds affixed to the upper one, she read the words of my own in it, and the twenty-pound note 'Captain Vivian” in a clear, bold hand, and that Mr. Landgrave sent to papa by me, for came to a standstill. that institution. What is to be done?” he Bertram, just see !” she exclaimed eagerly. exclaimed, in such real distress that Constance 'Surely Leonard can't be here!” forbore to rally him upon his carelessness, after It looks as if he were," said Bertram. taking charge of the note himself, on the plea “Perhaps he has gone home, and left these to that “ Constance would be certain to lose it." be sent after him. I'll ask about it."
“ Are you quite sure it is not in your pocket But at this moment their railway friend still, Bertram ?"
walked up with a somewhat slow, feeble step, “Quite! I have looked three times-turned and desired a porter to carry the boxes to a fly my pockets out."
outside the station. Bertram exclaimed in. “ You must have left it in the train. But I voluntarily, should think you had better make inquiries." “Are these yours ?-I mean, is that your
Bertram went to a porter at a little distance, name?” pointing to the card. with a hasty query upon the subject.
"My name is Captain Vivian,” was the “What kind of purse, sir ?” asked the man, courteous answer, contrasting with Bertram's pausing
old acquaintances of “Red russian leather, with several pockets- mine? Perhaps I ought to recognise you." containing ten pounds in gold and a twenty- " Leonard, we did not know you in the pound bank-note,” said Bertram rapidly; and least,” exclaimed Constance, eagerly shaking
“ Are you
hands with him. “I had no idea you were "I am beginning to recognise you now, coming by this train. What! don't
know Constance,” said Captain Vivian, with a halfns yet-Constance and Bertram !"
smile. His grasp of her hand was warm enough now “Did I often go into raptures as a child ? to satisfy her.
Oh, Leonard, have you quite forgotten how I "I had not the slightest idea of it, I am used to plague you ?” ashamed to say
My little sister has grown “Not quite. No, I don't think I have forout of all knowledge," he added, smiling. “But gotten anything belonging to those dear old I see now a look in both of you that I ought days. It was a very happy time.” to have recognised.”
“ And now we are going to have something "And I can say the same,” added Constance. of the same kind again, I hope,” pursued Con" I could not imagine who you reminded me stance. “ You said just now that you saw a of so strongly. I see now how little you are great many changes; but I don't think, after altered-only you look older, and sunburnt, all, that many people leave England for so and not very well, I must say. How weak you many years, and come back to find so few are, Leonard !” she added, struck again by his alterations as you will do.” slow, languid step. " Are you no better yet?” “No, indeed, I am thankful to say,” replied
"Much better; only not very strong. I Leonard; and then there was a pause, broken expect Rookdale to set me up again. Thank by Constance. you," as Bertram offered him his arm. “ Are “You haven't asked yet after your old friends you going to walk or drive home?”
the Wentworths.” "The carriage was to be sent for us,” said “To be sure-I was forgetting. I have Constance. “Yes, there it is. You must come been looking forward to seeing them. How with us, Leonard, and your boxes can be sent are they all ?” round after us. Bertram, will you just go and “Very well.
Mrs. Wentworth is just as tell them to send them?"
smart as ever." Bertram o beyed, and returned almost imme- “ Was that her characteristic?" inquired diately. Constance asked, as they drove off, Captain Vivian, rather drily. “And how "Did you not write home to say
that you is Beatrice? Has she grown as much as Fere coming, Leonard ?”
“Yes; I arrived at Southampton yesterday, “As much! Why, Leonard, I am short, and and I sent off a line at once to let your
mother Beatrice is tall—taller than Mrs. Wentworth. know when to expect me. Your absence of She is very-what shall I call her —not exactly course prevented your knowing it."
pretty, I think. But she always reminds me And are you glad to come homep” asked of a queen or princess in disguise." Constance.
“What! does she go about in rags ?” Captain Vivian smiled.
Constance could not help laughing. "What a question, Constance ! I don't “Leonard, it is too bad! You won't let me think it deserves any answer.
How Rookdale say a single thing without criticising.” has altered in the last few years. These “But I should be obliged to you to tell me houses are all new to me. I am beginning to the nature of the disguise," said Captain realize now how long my absence has been. I Vivian. “It is rather a startling idea." believe I was expecting to find things almost “I only mean that she dresses very plainly the same as when I left. Are all quite well at --she always has the simplest and cheapest home!”
dresses she can wear." "All, when we last heard,” said Constance. “From principle, or from a desire to cross And your father-has he altered at all ?” her mother ?" inquired Leonard, provokingly. "I don't know,” said Constance slowly. “I “I believe young ladies are rather independent daresay he has, more than I know. I was such a in their tastes in these days, are they not? I child seven years ago that I hardly remember. should not imagine that Mrs. Wentworth Sometimes I think he is graver, and less bright would quite approve of such a style.” and cheerful than I can recollect him. But Leonard, I shall be quite angry with you. he is just the same after all—just the same You ought to know Beatrice better. · She dear, delightful, perfect papa, and the best dresses plainly that she may have a little money man that ever was,” said Constance, enthusi. to do good with, and to give away to the poor. astically.
She has such a very small sum for her dress,