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No, there comes no second Saviour
To retrieve the endless loss;
Never, ever; never, ever !—
Ere these beatings shall begin,
Saddest music—never, ever,—
HORATIUS BONAR, D.D.,
J|mong the young men in our neighbourhood, more than a quarter of a century ago, was one Frank Marshland, who had a short time before been called to fill a position of some importance in the little town. He had previously lived some years in London, and his knowledge of the ways and customs of the great Metropolis, as well as his personal qualities, made his society somewhat sought after in our social gatherings. For a while all went well, and Frank stood high in public estimation. After a time, however, rumours began to circulate that he was too fond of his glass, and that here and there he had been seen the worse of drink. At last the whole truth came out. He had acquired a liking for strong drink in London. That taste had grown upon him, and the social and kindly qualities which made him so much liked in society had laid him open to temptations that had proved too strong for him. His failing becoming known to his employers, he lost his situation, and soon after left the place and disappeared. I often wondered what had become of him, but as years went past and I heard no more of him, I began to think of him as one who, by that time, in all likelihood, lay in a drunkard's grave, for his course, immediately before he left our neighbourhood, had been almost headlong down the path of ruin. At last, after many years had passed, a vague rumour reached me that some one had seen him in a foreign land alive and doing well. The time arrived when that vague rumour acquired for me a fresh significance. I had long left the old neighbourhood, and was residing in a large city, when one evening, as I scanned the columns of the daily paper, my eye alighted on the wellknown name of Frank Marshland. He was to be a speaker on some foreign question at a public meeting in that very city. Could it be my old friend of bygone years? It was not impossible. At all events I would go to the meeting and see for myself. Yes, there he was, somewhat changed, as was to be expected, but yet beyond all doubt Frank Marshland. I listened to his voice as in a dream, so strange did his reappearance seem to me. But at the Close I went and spoke to him, and grasped his hand. It was no dream. Next day I heard his story; how in his headlong course the Spirit of God had shown him his danger, and divine grace had arrested him, and how he had been enabled to turn from his sin with true repentance, and lay hold upon the path of life. I looked at him, and listened to his story; it was like the tale of one who had risen out of the grave. As I looked at him I seemed to understand better than I had ever done the meaning of the words, " This my son was dead and is alive again." Like the prodigal, he had come to himself, and had said, " I will arise and go to my Father." That Father had met him with pardon, and by his grace had strengthened him to overcome the tyrannous habit that had so nearly proved his everlasting ruin. Frank Marshland lived afterwards an honoured, useful, upright, godly man. Few knew his story. Few who knew him in the position he attained to would have readily believed that such a man was once so near to utter ruin, for time and for eternity. I would not have cared to tell his story were it not that perhaps—
"Some forlom and shipwrecked brother,
I have met with not a few who, having striven in vain against the overmastering tyranny of strong drink, have at last given way to despair, and have ceased to make any further effort after deliverance. For the benefit of such, among whom have been some of the most kindly and gifted men and women I have ever met, I have thought well to tell this true story of delivering grace. I fain would stir a new hope within the hearts of the hopeless, a hope not in themselves, but in One who is able to help and to save them, a Physician so skilful that in His hands no case is desperate, and so kind that to none who seek His aid does He ever refuse it.
My dear reader, it may be that you know nothing of the dreadful tyranny of drunkenness; you have never experienced the fearful onset of its temptation, or felt your efforts at resistance powerless before its assaults. It may be that you know nothing of the bitter self-reproach and shame and sense of degradation that follow such a failure, or of the terrible despair a man feels whose efforts have been so utterly in vain that he ceases at last to struggle. If you have not, then bless God for His preserving care and His restraining grace. It may be, however, that you are the victim of some other sin which does most easily beset you, less apparent in its outward indications, but none the less deadly in its effect in turning away the soul from God and everlasting life. If so, you need repenting grace no less than does the drunkard, for if the throne of your heart is not God's it matters little what usurper fills it. But perhaps you do know something of the bitter shame and sorrow which many a victim of strong drink is made to feel. If so, 0 friend, look up and remember that you are the creature of One who has a desire toward the work of Hisown hands, and is not willing that any should perish. It is no new or strange thing for Him to help a struggling soul in its self-despair. "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." He waits to be gracious. Go to Him and ask His blessing and His help. O man! there is hope for you yet, if only you will go to God and trust in Him. If He could not save you He would not ask you to come to Him. And He has said, " Him that cometh to Me I will in nowise cast out." Ask Him for His Holy Spirit to enable you to overcome your besetting sin. Ask Him to break the fetters that bind you, and to set you free.
R. R. T.
&Itt Jmage xrf Christ.
'n eminent sculptor1 once executed a statue of the Redeemer. He was led to undertake the work by a dream. The figure appeared to him several times in a dream. He regarded this as a Divine summons to do the work. He first executed a small model in clay, without any of the usual indications of the subject which artists generally give—without any crown of thorns, or cross. He placed the rough model before a child of five or six years old, who at once exclaimed, " The Redeemer 1" This confirmed him in his conviction that he was divinely called to the work. He became so absorbed in it that for several years it was his dream by night and his thought by day. Everything else, all the affairs and duties of life merged into this. He encountered many difficulties, which he overcame, as he believed, through Divine help and constant study of the Scriptures. When he was asked, as he often was, where were the models after which he worked, he laid his hand first on his head, then on his heart, and said, "Here and here!" He regarded himself as sure of an earthly immortality.
1 Dannecker. The story was told by the sculptor himself to Mrs. Anna Jameson, whose narrative of her visit to him is given in the memoir of her by her niece. Geraldine Macpherson.
May we not regard this case as a parable of the Christian life? Christ is revealed to the faith of the Christian. The Christian is called to produce an image of Christ in hi* own character and life. Men who see the image in him are constrained to take knowledge of him that he has been with Jesus. He is recognised by his spirit, character, and actions to be a true follower of Christ. To him to live is Christ. His whole life springs from and is filled with Christ. Christ is the ruling power and all-comprehensive end of his life. The manifold and ever-recurring difficulties of the Christian life are overcome, as the old sculptor believed that the diificulties of his work were overcome, by the help of God, the strength of Christ Himself, and by constant study of the Scriptures. Head and heart alike are engaged in the whole work and applied to every detail of it. He is sustained through its whole progress by the sure and certain hope of eternal blessedness.
There was much of the enthusiasm of a highly gifted and devout nature in the famous sculptor's conception of his calling and his work, but there is nothing but sober and intense reality in the conception of the Christian's calling and work, which the sculptor's account of the origin and execution of his statue of the Redeemer so aptly illustrates.
f ut f0 Ikir in % glarfc.
Good Christian woman, who had long endured sore trials, in her last hours was left without the cheering light of God's countenance, which before in her afflictions she had often enjoyed. Yet did not her confidence in God forsake her, nor was her " desire to depart" weakened. Some watchers around her bed