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influence of the spring, by which, without violence, and without noise, everything is drawn into bud and bloom. Jay.
PURITY. I would have you attend to the full significance and extent of the term holy. It is not abstinence from outward deeds of profligacy alone—it is not a mere recoil from impurity in thought; it is that quick and sensitive delicacy to which even the very conception of evil is offensive; it is a virtue which has its residence within, which takes a guardianship of the heart, as of a citadel or inviolated sanctuary, in which no wrong or worthless imagination is permitted to dwell. It is not purity of action that we contend for, it is exalted purity of heart—the ethereal purity of the third heaven; and if it is at once settled in the heart, it brings the peace, the triumph, and the untroubled serenity of heaven along with it. In the maintenance of this, there is the complacency, I had almost said the pride, of a great moral victory over the infirmities of an earthly and accursed nature; there is a health and a harmony in the soul—a beauty which, though it blooms in the countenance and the outward path, is itself so thoroughly internal as to make purity of heart the most distinctive evidence of a work of grace in time—the most distinctive guidance of a character that is ripening and expanding for the glories of eternity.
SHORT PIECES, BY OLD HUMPHREY.
MARY SCOTT. WHETHER the March wind blows or the April shower falls, whether the summer sun shines or the wintry snow descends, you will find Mary Scott with her little stall for some hours of the day in the narrow passage or thoroughfare that she has so long occupied. Oh, it must be cold work to sit there when the chilling wind is whistling through the passage, but poor Mary, for all this, is a cheerful Christian woman. “Do you not envy the great people yonder?” said one to her the other day, pointing to some company passing by in a carriage. “Would you not like to change places with them?” “I do not envy them," replied Mary Scott, “nor would I change places with them, for it has pleased God to give me a good hope that when I leave this world it will be for a better, but whether they have this hope I cannot tell.”
Oh how sweet, how heart-sustaining is that hope, which is
" as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil,” Heb. vi. 19.
WAIT PATIENTLY. In all your plans to glorify God, patiently wait God's time, letting his will, and not your own, be your guide and your authority. We have no more right to undertake God's work before he has fitted us to perform it, than an apprentice has to set up in business before he has learned his trade. Wait patiently; let your language be, “ Thy will be done,” in doing or standing still, in going or coming.
While wilfully we stay or go
TAKE COURAGE. What, Christian ! are the March winds of this troublesome world blowing on thee? fear them not; take courage in the day of thy calamity, and trust in Him who kindly careth for thee. When thou weepest he will put thy tears into his bottle; when thy heart is overwhelmed he will lead thee to the Rock that is higher than thou, and when flesh and heart fail thee, he will be the strength of thy heart and thy portion for ever.
The blackest clouds will roll away;
THE LIVING TEMPLE. How bold and striking are the illustrations of the Divine Spirit! Take this one: “ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Could any mode of expression be more impressive to men accustomed to behold models of elegant and sublime architecture?. Now there is a spiritual architecture which claims our notice. The architect is God himself. “For we are his workmanship.” The Christian is a living temple.;
A temple must have a foundation. Well, here it is, the Lord Jesus, the atoning Sacrifice. « Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious." It is sure and tried. It is the only foundation ; for “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Is this your
foundation? Have you built firmly here? Are you on this Rock of ages ? or in the sand ? Flee to it. The rains will soon descend, the floods pour, and the winds blow.
No temple is without columns. They may be of dif. ferent orders--the Ionic, the Doric, the Corinthian. This last is more ornamental than the others, possessing at the same time their massive strength. To name only three of the beautiful pillars in the living temple-Faith, Hope, Charity. Strength and grace are there.
Within the solemn recess of the ancient temple at Jerusalem was the oracle. The law was laid up there. The will of God was thence made known. The word of God was there revealed. So does the Spirit write his law out on the heart. So must the word of Christ dwell richly in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Is the heavenly law within thee? The presence of God was between the Christian. Is God in all thy thoughts? Have you always set the Lord before you ?
The altar was a part of the sacred furniture of the temple ; on that the sacrifice was laid. What kind of sacrifice hast thou laid on the altar of God? The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; "a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not. despise.” As the crushed bud exhales,a fragrant incense, so does the sweet spiritual savour of a contrite heart go up to God. To change the illustration. As at the dedication of the temple, the holy fire descended from heaven, so in the solemn dedication of the Christian's soul to the service of God, does the holy flame of Divine love descend and burn there to life's latest hour. Many floods cannot drown it. Dost thou feel its warm and invigorating influence within thee? Remember how the vestal virgins watched the sacred flame within the Roman fane, and learn and love the higher and holier task of keeping thine incessant vigils over that within thee, which has been kindled by the breath of the Spirit of God. Thy sentinel eye must never slumber over such a charge. Often, while musing on heavenly themes, will the fire burn with increased beauty and brightness.
Among the sacred enumerations of the pious Israelite, when speaking of the glories of the first temple, was that of the spirit of prophecy. Now the Lord is that Spirit. "I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and so I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Thou Divine and glorious Guest ! let me never forget thy presence, never fail to feel thy power. In the lofty strains of the King of Israel, we may ask, “Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee.” Yes, the tabernacle of God is with men. Let men adore, love, and praise ! Let the adoring Christian ask, " What agreement hath the temple of God with idols ? for ye are the temple of the living God.” Be all the idolatries of the world irrevocably banished from this consecrated dwelling. Let it ever be the holy habitation of God through the Spirit. Let the Spirit of life, of love, of quickening and sanctifying energy ever be cherished within me. “Holiness to the Lord” was written on everything connected with the temple within and without, above and below, on all vessels and all the utensils, on all the altars and all the offerings. So should it be with reference to the living temple. Holiness to the Lord should be written on you, on your body and your soul, on your physical, intellectual, and moral powers. You are besought by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your reasonable service; to glorify God in your body and spirit, which are his.
Holiness should be written on the intellect that thinks and reasons ; on the imagination that creates and combines; on the memory that receives and retains; on the heart that feels; on the will that chooses; on every sense and every sentiment; on every wish and every pleasure.
The holy temple was, in a peculiar sense, the property of God. Again and again he calls it “ my house.” So to Christians : “ Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God.” Ye are built up of God, set apart, dedicated, devoted to his service.
To devote yourself to any other service would indeed be a fatal desecration. Let each morning prayer be, “ Arise, O Lord, into thy rest, thou, and the ark of thy strength ;” and you shall hear him say, “This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it.” That spiritual man, John Howe, says, “ Fall down and adore this most admirable and condescending grace, that the High and Lofty One, who inhabiteth eternity, having made a world, and surveying the work of his own hands, inquires, Where shall be my house, and the place of my rest?' and thus resolves it himself:
The humble, broken, contrite heart—there, there will® I |dwell !"
J. N. D.
REVERENCE FOR AGE. REVERENCE is always due to aged people. God, nature, and a proper education, say to the young-reverence old age. Gray hairs are a crown of glory, when found in the way of righteousness.
« The dim eye,
The hoary crown of age."" The promptings of our own kindly nature teach us to respect the aged, to rise up before the hoary head. “ The dim eye, the furrowed brow, the temples thinly clad”—who would not respect, reverence, love them ?
I love the youth who reverences the aged always, and whoever they are. O youth, revere thine aged friend ; respect those silver locks so whitened by the toiling hardships of many long years. Carry thyself kindly and reverently toward the infirm and old tottering onward to the tomb in bereaved loneliness; and though for it thou be singular from the thousands of youths about thee, badly trained on this point, God shall bless thee for it.
COMPASSION AND FORGIVENESS. The following anecdote is related of king George iv. when he was Prince of Wales. Being at Brighton, and going rather earlier than usual to visit his horses, he inquired of a groom, “ Where is Tom C., is he unwell? I have missed him for some days.” “Please your royal highness, he is gone away.” “Gone away! what for?” “Please your royal highness, I believe for - Mr. — can inform your royal highness.” “I desire to know, sir, of you what has he done?” “I believe, your royal highness, something not quite correct: something about the oats.” “ Where is Mr. (a superior); send him to me immediately.” The prince appeared much disturbed at the discovery. The absentee, quite a youth, had been employed in the stable, and was the son of an old groom who had died in the prince's service. The officer of the stable appeared before the prince. “Where is Tom C.? what has become of him?” “I do not