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“Noah's carpenters !” said Henry, “I did not know that Noah had any carpenters.”
Certainly he must have had help in building one of the largest and best proportioned ships ever put upon the stocks. There must have been many ship carpenters at work for a long time, to have constructed such a vessel in such an age. What became of them, think you, when all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened ?"
“ What do you mean by such a queer question ?” Henry replied. “ No matter what, just now.
Please answer the enquiry. And you may also tell me, if you will, what you would have done in that dreadful hour, when the storm came in its fury, and Noah's prophecies were all fulfilled, and all but the family of the preacher of righteousness were ready to be engulphed in those black waters."
I don't know," said Henry, in a half-thoughtful; half-trifling manner ; perhaps I should have got on the rudder.”
“ This is human nature exactly, Henry. It would 'climb up some other way,' rather than enter the fold by the only door. It would get on the rudder,' in its pride and short-sightedness, rather than go into the ark of safety. It would save itself' by hanging on at the hazard of being swept into the gulph of despair, instead of being saved by the provision of infinite love.”
“ But I'll tell you what I mean, Henry, by Noah's carpenters. You have kindly and generously given me your aid, day after day, in building an ark in N—, by which many will, I trust, be saved. I feel grateful for your help. But I greatly fear, that while others will be rejoicing in the fruits of our labours, you will be swept away in the storm of wrath which will by-and-bye beat on the heads of those who enter not the ark by Jesus Christ. No human device will avail for you. 'Getting on the rudder' will not answer ; you must be in Christ, or you are lost. Remember Noah's carpenters, and flee to the ark without delay.”
By this conversation, Henry was led to more serious reflection, and ultimately to the ark for safety. He united himself with the people of God, and is now entering a career of wide-spread public usefulness. He will never forget Noah's carpenters.
Though Noah's carpenters were all drowned, there are a great many of the same stoek now alive ; of those who contribute to promote the spiritual good of others, and aid in the up-building of the Redeemer's kingdom, but personally neglect the great salvation.
Teachers in Bible classes and in Sabbath-schools, who point their pupils to the Lamb of God, but do not lead the way, are like guide-posts that tell the road, but are not travellers in it, or like Noah's carpenters, who built an ark, but who were overwhelmed by the waters that bore it away in safety.
Sabbath-school children, who gather in their poor neighbours, or who contribute their money to send tracts and Bibles to the destitute, or to aid the work of missions, and yet remain unconverted, are like Noah's carpenters.
Christian reader, tell the ark-builder with whom you work, that the ark is still open, that it waits to receive him ; he cannot be safe“ on the rudder." No human devices will avail ; they are all refuges of lies.
S. S. U. Magazine.
VARIETIES. THE GENERAL COMMITTEE OF THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN
BIBLE SOCIETY AND THEIR COUNCIL CHAMBER. THE Author of "The Book, and its Story,” gives the following graphic sketch of the General Committee's place of meeting—“ There is a long table in the middle of this room, covered with purple cloth, the president's chair being somewhat raised at one end of it; and down the sides are fixed benches, retiring row behind row, on a raised stage, till the room is filled up. In this room a committee of thirty-six gentlemen meet together on every alternate Monday in every month, and oftener if necessary, to transact the general business of the Society. Six of them
must be foreigners, living in or near London-for it is a British and Foreign Bible Society. Fifteen must be members of the Church of England, and fifteen belong to other denominations of Christians. Such is the constitution of the Society—a noble illustration of the maxim, - Union is strength These gentlemen are all laymen; but every clergyman or dissenting minister who becomes a member of the Society, by subscription, may attend and vote at all meetings of the committee.
“At the upper end of this room is the case of Bibles which was exhibited in the Crystal Palace, in Hyde Park, in 1851. All these Bibles of the Society, in the different versions, are open, with a small ticket appended to each, defining its language to unlearned eyes, and stating the number of Bibles which the Society has printed in that particular language.
“ This committee-room in the Bible House is a glorious room in the eyes of angels. They see the word of God sent forth from it to all the world. If they could envy any among mankind, it would be those who sit at this table, and dispense the bread of life sent down from heaven!
Memory can people this room with the forms of the good men who have sat here in days gone by, but whose tongues are now silent in the grave—who always thought of the days when they met here as their best days, as the happiest days of the week. Perhaps some of the youths who read this book may have the honour to sit here in days to come; and we really cannot wish them a higher honour, though their descent were from England's oldest nobles !”
THE MANAGEMENT OF THE
AFFAIRS OF THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. THE General Committee of the Bible Society resolves itself into several sections, which are called by different names. The Editorial Committee is composed of those who are able to judge of the translations. The Depository Committee is that which superintends the printing and binding of the Bibles. The Agency Committee is that which directs the operations of the agents of the Society. There are also House and Finance Committees, conducted by men of business. Each member of the General Committee is placed on that sub-committee for which his talents best fit him. It is Bible-work in which they all find themselves engaged, and it is conducted in a Bible-spirit.
The Society has always owed very much to its secretaries. They have been men of unwearied energy and tried wisdom, who have served it by day and often by night--never finding their work done, for they constantly arrange work for others, while they diligently perform their own.
Around this sub-committee room are hung more portraits of the Society's faithful servants and friends, to some of whom it has been said, “ Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.” Here are those of the three first secretaries, the Rev. John Owen, the Rev. Dr. Steinkopff, and the Rev. Joseph Hughes, the last of whom was probably one of the most ardent admirers of this Society that ever lived. He is reported to have said, on one occasion, that “if such a catastrophe as the dissolution of the Bible Society were to occur, the Almighty would make the angel Gabriel chief mourner."
BETTER TIMES FOR MADAGASCAR.
THE friends of the Gospel will be glad to learn that after seventeen years of bitter persecation, on the part of the queen of Madagascar, instigated by her prime minister, the God who rules over all has removed the blind and wicked man, and made the queen willing that her son, her own son, whose heart the Lord has turned to himself, shall, with his prime minister, the son of the very minister who persecuted and sent the missionaries out of the island, recall them, and all the Christians, and open the ports to English commerce.
And so the blood of the martyrs has been the seed of the church, as it always was. The suffering Christians have wandered about in forests and dwelt in caves, have been obliged to bury their Bibles, have been poisoned, beaten, and slain, but in spite of all have multiplied; and it is said, there are 5000 now in Madagascar, out of a population of 4,000,000 who love the Lord Jesus, and 500 native teachers ready to go back to them from the Mauritius.
About ten miles from Berwick-upon-Tweed, is a spot of ground, about four miles in length, by two miles in breadth, which is twice an island, and twice a continent, in one day: for at the flowing of the tide it is encompassed by water. This island was formerly called Lindisfarne, but now Holy Island—the change of name was owing to its being the habitation of a number of monks, who came to this country as missionaries, in the early part of the seventeenth century, and established a monastery and bishopric on the island.
St. Cuthbert, who was orginally a poor shepherd-boy, became bishop of Lindisfarne, and was very highly respected for his piety. After his death, his body was preserved on the island, until its removal together with the bishopric, in A.D. 882, to Chester-le-street, where they rested till about A.D. 995. The Danes, who invaded this part of England at that period, became so troublesome to the monks, that they again resolved to remove the body of St. Cuthbert, to a more secure resting place, where his