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very indifferent to the true knowledge of the Saviour, and disposed to charge with enthusiasm, fanaticism, and pride, such of my companions as professed a purer and more scriptural faith. I was then on the high road, not far from the village of Faoug."
"You saw, said Dr. Malan, interrupting the young minister, on the side of the road on your left-hand, near a corner of the road, a religious tract, which you immediately picked up and began to read, without going one step further." "How do you know ?" asked his visitor, with some surprise; "for it happened exactly as you describe."
"Well," continued Dr. Malan, "above the ascent, at the foot of which you found this tract, was another traveller, also carrying his bag on his back, and his staff in his hand, who had himself placed the tract there, with a prayer that God would bless it to a young man whom he saw in the distance, and who seemed likely to pass round this very same corner. And that traveller stopped, as he turned round from the top of the hill, to see if the young man had picked up the tract, and when he saw that the youth had taken it up, and was reading it, he prayed that God would bless it to the soul of the stranger. This traveller was myself, dear brother."
"Is it possible," said the young preacher, affectionately taking the hand of his host. "Did I owe that tract to you? Well, here is a fulfilment of this promise from the Lord, that the sower and reaper shall rejoice together. The tract was this, 'A Vous mon Prochain,' (a Question to my Neighbour,) and it aroused my soul from the slumbers of indifference, or rather from those of death, and led me to cry out, with the Philippian jailor, 'What must I do to be saved?' On that very day, during which I read these faithful pages more than once, I sought for the word of God and the society of his people, and by degrees I was brought to hear the voice of their Lord himself, and his secret message to my soul, in the language of deliverance and consolation. This was the history of my conversion. My friend, your labour, as you see, was not in vain."
"You must have been very much pleased," said a person to whom this anecdote was narrated by Dr. Malan, during his missionary tour in Belgium. "Thus does the Lord bless his children in their labours of love."
"It was a singular circumstance," observed another of his hearers. "Your meeting, after so long a space of time, and
his simple and faithful account, I confess, were really very remarkable. But sometimes things very unexpected do chance to happen."
"We must not speak of chance, sir," replied Dr. Malan, "but of the wonderful providence of God. He who 'telleth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names,' also sees the children of men, and fails not to order the steps of his chosen ones. This you may see still more evidently from the circumstances of two other nearly similar incidents.
"I was travelling with another Christian, in a chaise, along the road which skirts the shores of the lake of Geneva, between Rolle and Morges, and as we proceeded I dropped here and there a few religious tracts in the road, commending them to the blessing of the Lord. But just as we arrived at Morges another carriage passed us, having come along the same road. In this was a gentleman, who, having picked up four or five of our tracts, had fastened them to his chaise, and laughed at us in a very scornful manner.
"Never mind,' I said to my companion, some others of our tracts may have been more welcomed, and even these may be hereafter useful to him who now makes a jest of them.'
"Two years after this had passed, a young lady, whose active piety is now a comfort to her family, paid a visit to us, and gave us some account of her conversion, saying, 'I was a young and worldly-minded girl, and had resolved to have nothing to do with the new sect of Christians in your canton, when one evening, as I returned with some female friends from a house where we had been dancing, I found on the road, at some distance from Rolle, one of the tracts that are so often scattered.'
"I asked her to what time she referred; she mentioned the year, the month, and the day, all of which agreed exactly with the journey I have mentioned. She said, 'It was the tract "A Vous mon Prochain," (A Question to my Neighbour,) the title of which I read by moonlight, as the moon was shining at the time, and I hid it, without saying a single word; but when I was alone at night I read it over and over again, and the next day I appeared so grave and concerned, that it was thought by all I must be ill. This was the way in which God called my soul.' I told the young Christian from whence this tract had come, and added, "The man who rejoiced in his unbelief, by hanging up and pointing out our
tracts, could little expect that the Lord, by one of these which the scorner had overlooked and left on the road, would call to a spiritual life one of the vessels of his mercy.'
"Another fact which I have to relate is this: I was walking rather late one evening with another Christian friend; a gentleman passed us, and I whispered to my friend, who was the nearest to him, as I took out a tract, 'Give him this.' My friend refused, so I stepped back and said to the strange gentleman, Sir, will you please to read the title of this as soon as you come to a light.' 'I certainly will,' said he, hastening on.
"My friend told me that he did not approve of this manner of scattering the word of God by the way-side, and that he thought there was some danger of abuse in this chance distribution of tracts, which might, in some cases, indeed, be very useful. His remarks did not convince me, though they made me somewhat uneasy.
"Early the next morning, walking in the same direction, I saw a person of very respectable appearance, sitting on a seat, reading a small publication. I ventured to sit down beside him, and to ask if he had something that he found interesting. He said it was something he was reading whilst waiting for a coach that would shortly pass. "This little tract was given to me yesterday in a steam-packet, and I scarcely knew what it is about; only I thought the title a strange one, "A Vous mon Prochain," (A Question to my Neighbour.) I asked if he would allow me to read and to explain it. He said he should be most happy and obliged if I would.
"I did so, inquiring whether he understood me. He answered that he did, and that he saw one thing of which he was formerly in ignorance, that the salvation of the soul is the free gift of God through Jesus Christ. He was, he said, a Roman Catholic, from Auvergne, and had been accustomed to suppose that he must save himself by his own works. 'But this tract,' he added, 'proves the contrary. How comes it that you are so well able to explain it?'
'Should you like,' I asked, 'to know who was the writer of the tract?' 'Oh!' he said, 'that does not matter much; I have the benefit of it, and that is all I want.' Suppose,' I answered, that I had written it myself, and have thus been able to explain its object to you.'
"He held out his hand at once to me, and expressed his pleasure. I can give you others,' I said, which you can.
take back with you to your home, and may God bless them to your own soul and to others also.' I then hastened to fetch a packet of different tracts, which he gratefully received, and promised that they should be read by his family and neighbours.
"The Question to my Neighbour,' I thought, as I returned, was not altogether useless, and the statement that my friend had made, not many hours before, had this morning been fully answered by the Lord's dealings with me."
WE come, we come, and ye feel our might,
Like the Spirit of Liberty, wild and free;
Ye mark as we vary our forms of power,
When the harebell moves and the rush is bent,
And whether our breath be loud or high,
And ye list and ye look, and what do ye see?
Our dwelling is in the Almighty's hand;
"THERE IS WRATH GONE OUT FROM THE LORD."
THOUGH the mercy and longsuffering of God are great, fearful is the anger of the Lord, and very terrible the wrath of the Almighty. "His eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves," Job xxxiv. 21, 22. At some other time we may dwell on the lovingkindness of the Lord; let us now speak of his righteous judgments, going back to the days of old.
Men are multiplied on the face of the earth, and the wickedness of man is great, every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is evil continually. His iniquities have offended his Almighty Maker, " and it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth." "There is wrath gone out from the Lord." The fountains of the great deep are broken up, the windows of heaven are opened, and the flood is prevailing on the earth. The proud are brought low. The ungodly are at their wits' end, and the earth is filled with confusion, and consternation, and distress. Now would the wicked, through fear, call on God, but it is too late. "Wrath is gone out from the Lord;" and while the ark rides safely on the waters, man, and beast, and fowl, and creeping thing shall be utterly destroyed. "Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men," Psa. lxvi. 5.
The day is beaming on Sodom, and the bright sun is shining on Gomorrah. The inhabitants of these cities are