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that not one of them has been barren of blessing; not one but has, in some way or other, fulfilled the Divine mission of chastening, working together for our good.

We think, I say, lovingly of all these things as they pass away from our grasp, and a chill steals over our hearts as we look into the unrevealed future, and hear in our souls the echo of the Divinely-recorded words spoken so many years ago, "Ye have not passed this way heretofore."1

Such a chill, perchance, felt the Israelites of old, when, with the wilderness behind them and the river Jordan before, they heard the command and the promise respecting the Ark of God. They needed courage, they needed strength, to go forward through the rolling waters and onward to the land their feet had never trodden; and God graciously recognized their need, interpreted the language of their hearts, and blended the promise of His own presence and guidance with the reminder of their own ignorance and weakness. At every step they were to be directed, at every step encouraged by sight of the ark, and by the immediate promise, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee."2

Be it yours and mine, dear reader, to hear this day the like assuring words, true in all ages and at all times, "He will keep the feet of His saints."3

To the natural heart uncertainty is unrest; in all mystery there is sadness; in unknown paths the imagination conjures up danger. And probably there are few indeed, excepting the very youthful, who rejoice in the lapse of time, rejoice in the swiftly-passing years, and in their hearts believe that coming days will prove brighter and better than the days that have gone before.

The young, I say, believe it; but those whose experience has been greater and more varied are prone to judge differently; to think regretfully of the past, suspiciously of the untried future. And from their point of view this is correct, for we may depend upon it that, as a rule, he that 1 Joshua iii. 4. * Joshua iii. 7. 3 1 Sam. ii. 9.

addeth years, like he that addeth knowledge, addeth sorrow. Manhood and womanhood have trials from which, as a rule, childhood is exempt, and we generally find those advanced in years are familiar with temptations and trials peculiar to old age. Notwithstanding this, we believe that happiness is more equally distributed through our lives than many of us suppose; and this, at least, is certain—that the love of God, like a thread of gold, runs through both warp and woof; that a thankful spirit will discover, in every phase of it, some alleviation, some compensation, and will joyfully acknowledge that ever in the dealings of the gracious Lord he has found it true that, "He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the east wind."1

And so, dear reader, we would bid you, too, take courage. In the name of our Lord we wish you heartily and sincerely a happy New Year, believing that it will be such to you, under any circumstances, believing that whatever storms may pass over you, you will find in Him a haven of rest; that whatever waves may dash around you, they shall not make shipwreck of your faith; and that though the year 1881 must bring changes, and may bring sad changes, though the road must be pathless, and may be rough, yet you will not miss your way, for the Lord Himself will go before you, and you shall find His grace sufficient to meet your every need.

"Ye have not passed this way heretofore." There is a touch of sadness in the words; but it changes to a cry of triumph when we couple with this passage that other in which the heart of Job found utterance, "He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."2 Yes, He knoweth. The "way" is not strange to Him, though it is so to us. His eye sees to the end of it, His love ordains it; His heart feels for and cares for us in every difficult winding, in every dark or stony place. His voice whispers in our ear, "He knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness."8 He watches, 1 Isaiah xxvii. 8. * Job xxiii. 10. * Deut. ii. 7.

that not one of them has been barren of blessing; not one but has, in some way or other, fulfilled the Divine mission of chastening, working together for our good.

We think, I say, lovingly of all these things as they pass away from our grasp, and a chill steals over our hearts as we look into the unrevealed future, and hear in our souls the echo of the Divinely-recorded words spoken so many years ago, "Ye have not passed this way heretofore."1

Such a chill, perchance, felt the Israelites of old, when, with the wilderness behind them and the river Jordan before, they heard the command and the promise respecting the Ark of God. They needed courage, they needed strength, to go forward through the rolling waters and onward to the land their feet had never trodden; and God graciously recognized their need, interpreted the language of their hearts, and blended the promise of His own presence and guidance with the reminder of their own ignorance and weakness. At every step they were to be directed, at every step encouraged by sight of the ark, and by the immediate promise, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee."*

Be it yours and mine, dear reader, to hear this day the like assuring words, true in all ages and at all times, "He will keep the feet of His saints."3

To the natural heart uncertainty is unrest; in all mystery there is sadness; in unknown paths the imagination conjures up danger. And probably there are few indeed, excepting the very youthful, who rejoice in the lapse of time, rejoice in the swiftly-passing years, and in their hearts believe that coming days will prove brighter and better than the days that have gone before.

The young, I say, believe it; but those whose experience has been greater and more varied are prone to judge differently; to think regretfully of the past, suspiciously of the untried future. And from their point of view this if correct, for we may depend upon it that, as a rule, he th 1 Joshua iii. 4. * Joshua iii. 7. * I Sam. ii. 9.

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guides every step. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."1

Yes, leave it all with Him. Go forth into this New Year with girded loins, indeed; go forth watching nnto prayer, but go without one anxious thought or fear. Like a little child, cling closer in the dark to the loving Father, and you shall not miss the pressure of His hand as the answering token. Commit all to Him. Make no reserve. Do not even divide the burden. He will bear both it and thee. Put the folded scroll into the Lord's hand; He will expound its lessons unto thee as thou canst bear them. Lay the unopened bud at His feet this New Year's Day.

Whether thy way this year be a path of brightness or of gloom, of working, or of waiting, or of suffering, let all be for His glory. Consecrate it in its entirety, and consecrate each step anew and separately. The " way" may be a very humble one, made up of very commonplace duties; there may be no great and mighty work to do, nothing to excite or stimulate or win the applause of the Church or the world; but the Lord will be not the less glorified if His will is done "in the common round, the daily task." Make very sure that the "way" is of His choosing, and not of yours; then all will be—must be—right. There is a street in Jerusalem called the "Via Dolorosa," or the "Sorrowful Way;" so named because tradition affirms that it was the way by which our Lord, bearing His cross, was led to Calvary. Reader, it may be ours this year to tread, with our Lord, the sorrowful way. We, too, may be called to bear some cross for Him this year. Are we ready for it? Religion may not be always fashionable, may not be always popular; there are always some to whom it is an offence. Let us be true to our principles, true to our colours, whatever may happen. Let us be willing, through evil report or good report, to "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth," remembering that we are not our own, but His, and that He was not ashamed to bear a heavier cross, a heavier weight

1 Ps.i. xxxvii. 5.

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