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Lutheran Home Journal.
For the Lutheran Home Journal, murmurs awoke the echoes of nature's 80THE LUXURY OF DOING GOOD. Ilitude, has been turned to account, and MHE pursuit of happiness is with most now the rippling of the cascade is lost in
I men, the great object of life. Some are the noisier hum of the mill-wheel turned actuated to it by base and sordid motives ;| by its impetus. utter selfishness will sometimes prompt an The fierce winds, too, as with the fury act which tends to render another happy ; l of an untamed steed, they burst from their and he who performs it may perhaps be mountain fastnesses, threatening to devassurprised at so unlooked for a result. tate and destroy, bear away on their pin
Thus, too, a worldly man, by some pro-ions the unseen, yet poisonous miasma; fitable speculation to which he has been thus purifying the atmosphere and adaptinduced solely by his greediness for gain, ling it for the use of man. may be enabled to surround himself with The soft zepbyrs that float around us on comforts before unenjoyed, and hence to a summer evening, fragrant with the sweet contribute to the welfare and happiness of incense of flowers, seem to be but the vehis entire household.
hicles for conveying their grateful praise But it is not to such instances of indirect to Him who formed the lilies of the field beneficence that I would refer you for ex- more glorious in their simple beauty than amples. “It is far better to have a heart Solomon, clothed in all the gorgeous vestto do good, and to want ability for it, than ments of the ancient temple; and woo us to have ability without a heart to do it.” Ito contemplate the Son of man, whose com
There is in the world abundant oppor-ing is likened to the wind that bloweth tunity for doing good, and no one can ex- where it listeth. cuse himself from contributing by his own I might point you to the sun with its exertions to the welfare of his race. light and heat ; to the stars which seem
The little ant with her busy industry, like " little holes in the midnight sky for puts such an one to shame; the busy bee the angels to look through," and keep watch rebukes him as with tireless wing, she “im- over the sleeping earth; to the majestic proves each shining hour:" everything in forests affording materials for man's use nature seems to have some holy mission to in all the various phases of mechanical fulfil for man or creatures benefit.
enterprise, and at the same time sheltering The gentle rain drops pattering one by in the outstretched arms of the tall trees, one upon the parched earth, fertilize its myriads of birds and beasts that supply bosom and fit it for the growth of the seed his wants. or grain committed to its care.
But I cannot dwell on this prolific theme; The water-fall that once with its soft | pleasant and profitable though it be; but VOL. III. NO. 5.
rather let me lead you to the scenes of A clock cannot consist entirely of penhuman activity, and see if we cannot there dulums, or a locomotive of driving wheels, find some Luxury in doing Good.
hundreds of pieces enter into their compoSociety is made up of individuals, eachsition, some small, others large, each fitted one dependent upon, and necessary to the for its place, and the duty it has to perrest; it is a vast system of wheels within form. And so, too, one man may not be wheels, of levers, pulleys, &c., each hav- able to improve ten talents, therefore, God ing its legitimate sphere of duty, and each has kindly given him but five, or it may be one important in its particular place. Man but one; but be not discouraged-he asks moves amongst his fellows in the daily only the improvement of that one. avocations of life, just as the wheels of To give you some idea of the good that some vast piece of mechanism move in can be accomplished by one man, let me their place, each contributing to the har-point you to Him, who whilst upon earth, monious action of the whole. Any de- went about continually doing good ; let us rangement in one part affects more or less turn to a few acts in the Saviour's life, and materially the whole, and it becomes the see if there is no Luxury in following his duty, therefore, of each individual in so- bright example. ciety, to preserve the welfare of all; no one Behold him as he journeyed from the is too young, or too poor, or too insignifi- Tiberian sea, his dusty sandals marking the cant to contribute to this result.
| weary road he had trod; a few faithful folShould some little wheel of a watch lowers hang upon his words as with pleasmake up its mind that it was too trilling ing and instructive talk he beguiled the to be of service, and refuse to work, the way. whole machinery must stop.
| Ere the sun had sunk to rest behind the Should the needle of a mariner's com- distant hills, the Saviour neared the gates pass determine no longer to point steadily of Nain. The sound of busy industry to the polo, but change and vary as it arose from the fair city, stretched along pleased—without his guide the sailor must the plain; the temples bathed in floods of be inevitably lost, and his ship that had | light, gave back the radiance of the setfor years braved the fiercest winds, and ting sun, and all was calm and beautiful, been piloted safely to its destined port, except a mournful train that issued from would be led into unknown waters, or cast the Northern gate. With faltering steps, upon some shoal a wreck.
an aged widow followed to the tomb her The machinery of society is in most per-only son. She had watched with constant fect order, when each labors for the good care his tender years, and saw the bad of of the whole, when each “loves his neigh-hope expand ;-bereft of all save him, she bor as himself.” This is the natural re deemed it joy to guard his steps and guide sult where righteousness prevails, and the him on to manhood;—but now he too was more universally Christ is honored, the gone! more happy will man's earthly condition Her sole remaining tie to earth was sevbe. Whenever sin displays itself, it causes ered; he who day by day had brought to some derangement of the machinery, or her the income of his vigorous toil, lay makes necessary an application of the oil cold in death:-she felt as if a few days of divine grace.
only, still remained of her long pilgrimage, Reader, perhaps that application can be ere she too hastened heavenward—and folmade through you, as well as another ! | lowing close upon the bier, she bowed with
Let each one do good as he has oppor- meek submission to her Maker's will, tunity, is the command. All men cannot though all that made earth happy was rebe preachers and teachers, some must be moved. laborers and servants.
| Drawn by the widow's grief, the Saviour met them at the gate; the tenderest feel- | Jairus' daughter. The gorgeous curtains ings of his soul were roused, his sympa- scarce let in the light of day and shade the thizing heart yearned towards the poor marble features that vie with the linen afflicted one, and moved by deep compas- vestments in their snowy whiteness: her sion, he placed his hand upon the bier, and hair in glossy ringlets lay upon hor bosom, gently said, “Daughter, weep not." stirred by no gentle breathing, and the
The expectant bearers stood, and whilst long lashes drooped over eyes once bright, the mourner turned and raised her aged now lustreless. eyes, bedimmed with tears towards the Sa- The parents wept, whilst mourners went viour's face, radiant with love and pity, about the house, for alas! the silver cord the command went forth: “Young man, I was loosed, the golden bowl was broken : say to thee, arise," and lo! “the dead sat but the loving Saviour smiled, and said, up and spake.” The widow's heart was “She is not dead, but sleepeth ;” and lookfull as she clasped again her son ; she ing on her pallid face, he took her hand, spoke not; but Jesus knew the gratitude and calmly said, “Maiden, arise;" and lo! that filled her heart, as she returned no her spirit came again, the pulseless heart longer childless to her home.
throbbed anew, the flitting color returned Again we find him wandering amongst to the blanched cheek, the eyelids unclosthe hills that skirt the city of Jerusalem ; ing, revealed once more to her enraptured a vast concourse hung with rapture on his parents, the meek gaze of their much loved words, as with fervid eloquence he pleads, one: then she arose straightway, restored and lo! whilst all was still, a ruler of the in perfect health to their fond embrace. synagogue drew near, and with grief writ | Thus, day after day was spent in labor. ten in every feature of his expressive face, ing for others' good, healing the blind, the implored the Saviour to go down to his lame, the halt, cleansing the leprous who house, for, said he, “I have an only daugh- | were brought to receive his healing touch. ter, twelve years old, who lies at the point! Even in the temple's midst, where the of death.". .
proud array of Scribes and Pharisees lookThe Son of God witnessed the faith of ed on with scorn, he healed the withered this proud ruler which overcame his an- hand that was outstretched at his comcient prejudices, and turned to accompany mand. him home, when as they neared the place, At another time he laid his hand upon a there came one from the Ruler's house, poor infirm woman, who for eighteen years saying to Jairus, “thy daughter is dead, had been bowed together, and could in trouble not the Master."
no wise lift up herself-her love to God Then drooped that sorrow-stricken heart; brought her to the Sanctuary, and there his only child was dead; no longer would was she released from her infirmity-imhe hear her welcome voice: her beaming mediately she was made straight and gloeye no more should be alight with health and happiness, and that home which be- The Saviour's life was full of acts of fore was gladdened with the merry laugh mercy; love prompted his self-denying and light footstep of his only daughter was work, and although he often had not where now all desolate.
to lay his head, though sneering priests This mournful reverie was interrupted reviled, and even friends deserted him in by the calm low voice of Jesus, who laid the hour of need, still did he strive to seek his hand gently upon the Ruler's arm, and and save the lost, still he called sinners to said, “Fear not, believe only, and she shall repentance, and promised to the heavy be made whole.”
| laden rest; until by tho hands of cruel men Entering the darkened chamber, upon a he died, leaving the bright effulgence of his silken couch, reposed the fragile form of life of love to lead his followers on. The Apostles prompted by that same self-deny. | consolations of grace. And, oh! what joy ing spirit, followed that bright example; to know, that you have been instrumental they endured with joy both stripes and bit in causing the arches of heaven to ring with ter persecution, glad even to be counted hallelujahs over some poor repentingsinner. worthy to suffer in his name.
Are there no lepers in society? Alas! Does any say—the Saviour was divine- the plague spot of sin is visible every but we-poor weak and earthly-cannot where; its tainted breath pollutes the very heal the sick, and cleanse the leper, and atmosphere we breathe; it festers in the raise the dead, and set the captive free. heart of those we dearly love, it disturbs
Does not such an one underrate the the holiness of the Sabbath with drunken power God has given him ;-by faith you revelry, and blasphemous imprecations. can do all things.
Such need the salt of gospel grace. Scatter How many dead in trespasses and sins | profusely among them the leaves that are are waiting, perhaps, for your voice to call for the healing of the nations-point them them back to life. They are not dead but to the fountain opened in the house of sleeping, but ah ! that sleep how dreadful ! | David for sin and uncleanness, that they that torpor of the soul, it will prove ever- | may wash and be cleansed. lasting death, unless disturbed. Cry aloud 1 There are those, too, and we need not go to such, “I say to thee, arise, Jesus calls to heathen countries to find them, who are you ;" and even as Lazarus came forth, 80 l bowed down by a spirit of infirmity, and he may arise to new life it may be, bound can in no wise lift up themselves. Go to hand and foot, with grave-clothes tramelled them. Perhaps, for more than eighteen by sins, yet with new hopes, new views, years they have been bowed to earth by and with new determinations to serve God. some besetting sin ; lay your hands upon
Are there no blind around us whom we them, and tell them to look up; point them can restore? Thousands refuse to see, and to the skies, where the Saviour sits enthere are none so blind as those that will throned in glory, he invites all to come to not see : the light of truth pervades not him, and promises to the weary and the the dark recesses of their hearts; their eyes | heavy laden rest. have never been lighted up by faith ; they
faith: they! And even he that is possessed with a grope in sin, loving darkness rather than devil, can we do naught for himsee that life, because their deeds are evil: take such man maddened by liquor-who in his an one by the hand and lead him to the phrenzy hurls his children to earth, who blessed Saviour, untillike blind Bartimeus,
| imagines his devoted wife to be some fiend he exclaims, “ Jesus, thou Son of David, incarnate, come to harass and torment him have mercy on me.” Leave him not to his before the time, but who watches patientown guidance, or to that of injudiciously over the ravings of his delirium, and friends, or deceitful enemies, until both sad and heart-broken, bears all for the love fall into the ditch.
that once he bore to her-go to him, yes, Are none around us deaf to the entrea- | to that wretched man. Commit him to the ties of the gospel, none who have never
Son of God—who with a word can cast out heard of Christ, whose ears have ever been
devils, and restore to soundness that feverclosed to the pleadings of God's Spirit, and ed brain; watch for returning sanity, and to whom the still small voice has not been point him to the Lamb of God, who died audible ?
on Calvary for him, who waits to be graYes, there are thousands such. And,
cious even to the chief of sinners. A fellow Christian, you can unstop their ears,
blessing doubtless will attend your efforts, you can tell them the glad news that Jesus | and you may yet see that man through died for them; through you they may be your neip, cho
your help, clothed in his right mind, sitenabled to hear for the first time, the sweet | ting at the feet of Jesus.