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Tuscan artist who first swept the heavens with his “ optic tube;" we love those enterprizing spirits who first trusted the waters of an unknown sea; but we feel a greater love for those noblest of all noble adventurers, the men of whom Paul wrote,-himself a hero among heroes—that they “ first trusted in Christ.”
And who were these great adventurers ? The first-fruits of the Jews, whom God enabled to overcome all opposition, and contumely, and persecution, from their enemies, and all prejudices and hatred in their own bosoms, yielding themselves living sacrifices to the God of their fathers, as they saw his mercy reflected in the face of their long expected, but hitherto unknown, Messiah. Oh! how the manly heart of Paul must have grown warm within him, when he drew around it his Ephesian converts, and recollected that to them and him the promises were given, and of both, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. Israelites indeed, they had now proved themselves, and true sons of faithful Abraham; and as theirs had been the glory of exceeding zeal for the One true and living God, when the veil was upon their hearts, and the cloud upon their eyes; they were now the foremost to see them done away in Christ, and return to their first love under a ministration so glorious, as to absorb all the splendours of the first covenant, dissolve them into tenderness and love, and inspire them with zeal to “ the praise of the glory of his grace.” They first trusted in Christ.
They first trusted in him. Then who will be the next? Is there no stimulus to you, dear reader, in this delightful text, “ to go and do likewise ?” “ Has he accomplished the number of his elect ?" and is there no room for more followers of this noble army. The text puts a plain negative upon such a conclusion, when it shuts us up to the inference, that these adventurers were merely the advance-guard of the church militant; "they first trusted in Christ.” Were they Jews, and was their leader, who gives them this inspiring charge, a pharisee of the pharisees, a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an injurious person; and will you doubt of obtaining mercy, when the same kind heart, and open hand, and listening ear, and pitying eye, are all accessible; and Christ is waiting to be gracious, soliciting the trust, and whispering to your young and wavering minds, “ Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The past year looks back with a reproachful eye; will you disappoint the expectations of the present ?
“ They first trusted in Christ." Jews as they were, there was no longer a shadow of reliance on ordinances, or rites, or sacraments, or ceremonies, or institutions, of any kind whatever; the race had but one object from its very starting point, and the voice of the competitors, as the voice of one man, rang out in harmonious aspirations“O! that I may win Christ, and be found in him!” The eye was single, and the whole body full of light--the light sent forth from Calvary, and commanded to find entrance into the dark, irresolute, and disordered heart, till it had there wrought a miracle by its creative energy, and opened all its cells to the full influence of a Saviour's love. Begin the new year with him; you cannot have a better or a fuller hope. He will sweeten all its joys; he will lighten all its sorrows; he will do what nothing else can do on earth, fill you with all joy and peace, and satisfy you with grace upon grace.
6 They first trusted in Christ." 0! what a trust was that! They leaned like John upon their Master's bosom ; they clung like little children to a father's arm! Now, if ever, they took up the language of their sainted ancestors, and said, “ Trust in him at all times, ye people; pour out your hearts before him, God is a refuge for us !" They had found the true spiritual Rock, anıl there they anchored without the shadow of misgiving. How lamentably has this phrase been abused " they trusted." “ Some trust in horses, and some in chariots;" some trust in uncertain riches ; some trust their physical strength; some their workuly wisdom and appliances, but the wind passes over them, and they themselves are gone, and with them all their misplaced hopes and expectations. Well then is it that we are directed to the living God." In his eternal arms we must be safe ; in his unchanging love we must be happy!
But is a quiet trust in Christ the whole of Christianity?“We want,” say you,“ to be doing something for his cause and people." And there is ample room for this, and well will it be done if this trust be as influential as the apostle recommends—« We, who first trusted in Christ, should be to the praise of his glory.”
“ We should be to the praise of his glory.” Our very existence and our duty are the same. We must be, we must live, we must breathe, to the praise of Christ's glory: we are not to talk of his glory whilst we do not feel it warming our hearts, and animating our exertions; it is to be in us, and upon us, and through us, absorbing all our affections, pervading all our desires, dissipating all our fears, brightening all our joys!
We are to "praise” his glory. Our lips and our lives are to exalt and honour him; in every
pursuit and calling, Christ is to be kept in view, and we have work enough, and more than enough, for a whole life to find out all his perfections. We attach much importance to intellectual attainments, but they are infinitely distanced, and totally eclipsed by the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
We are to "praise his glory.” He has given to the world many glimpses of his glory, but it is unfolded in all its fulness to the Christian only. In the natural creation there are ten thousand times ten thousand objects for love, and wonder, iind admiration ; but God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, is the great theme of praise for all who have tasted of his grace, and are looking forward with a child-like trust to their inheritance among the saints in light!
His glory! O who can tell what that will be, 6 when we shall see him eye to eye and face to face;" if a distant, a partial, an obscured view of it, were sufficient to impart unutterable joy to the heart of Peter ? Well mày we resolve, then, in God's strength, that not one day of the new year shall elapse till we have given ourselves to Him, that to each of us it may be permitted to sing,
“ I shall behold His face,
THE LITTLE OSAGE CAPTIVE.
(Continued from page 23.) She would sometimes do things which were wrong, but it was not with a stubborn and wilful opposition to duty; when she had acted impro
perly, she should confess her faults, and appear to be sorry for them.
She was very grateful for the favours which she had received, both before and after her arrival at Brainerd ; and she would often speak in the tenderest manner of those who had been instrumental of her deliverance from captivity. In the midst of so many other friends, she still remembered her Osage parents; and she would sometimes speak of the calamity which separated her from them. Of the fate of her father, nothing was certainly known ; but in respect of her mother, it was very different. Her death had made an impression upon her mind, too deep ever to be forgotten. “At one time," says Mr. Chamberlain, “she related to me the circumstances of her mother being killed. She said, as they were sitting in the bushes, some men came and shot her mother in the breast, and the blood ran along upon the ground. The men came then, and took her, and put her on a horse, and she fell off. She said, one time on her way here, she rode alone through a creek, and the water came up all around her." It is delightful to think, how Providence had relieved her from all these misfortunes, by placing her at Brainerd. Here, she found a home dearer to her than any she had enjoyed before.
Great hopes were entertained that the interesting child, whose character and conduct have been described, and the little boy, who had been taken with her, would be allowed to remain, and grow up, under the care of those excellent friends who had adopted them as their children. But God, who sees things not as man sees them, had otherwise determined.
Ever since the arrival of Lydia Carter, the missionaries had felt some apprehension that the