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beyond the circle of your own family. Yon Lave been living very much to yourself, instead of to Him who died for you. I think you will excuse my speaking thus freely. Now, if you feel youself not quite equal to the labours of the Sunday-school, let me beg you to find some other work which will call out your love to Christ and your compassion for men. I answer for it that will do much to make you a happier man."
"Faithful are the words of a friend." "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness." Mr. Watson left his friend's house reproved and humbled, yet greatly cheered. Ever since it has been his endeavour and his earnest prayer to be a rejoicing Christian.
THE OPEN DOOR. It was a miserable night for any one to be out in. Miserable everywhere—most miserable in the dirty, foggy streets of London. There was a keen, biting wind and drifting sleet. Those who were strong and hale, well fed and well clothed, shrank, as I myself know, from the damp, searching cold of that winter night. I was hurrying on as quickly as I could, anticipating with more eagerness than usual the warm and pleasant fireside, which I knew had a place vacant for me, and the bright faces which were there waiting to welcome me. On my way I had to pass through one of the great squares in the West End, and, cold as I was, I turned aside to look for a moment at a sight common enough during the season, but whioh has always occurred to me as one of the most touching of all the many sights presented in our London streets.
There was a splendid mansion, the abode of wealth and fashion, brilliantly lighted up from basement to roof—the light, which was flooding the rooms within, streaming hospitably forth from almost eveiy window. The hall door was open as I passed, and the spacious vestibule, decked with rare exotics, seemed filled with attentive servants and welcome guests. You oould hear the sweet strains of pleasant music as you stood there, and fancy that through the open door there reached you the perfume of rare flowers. There was evidently some great entertainment provided for all who passed within that portal, and the invited guests were now arriving in rapid succession. And there, all around that open, or frequently opening door, you might
see a crowd of miserable figures, men, and -women, and little children even, watching these successive arrivals, fixing eyes of wondering curiosity upon those forms of grace and beauty which from time to time flitted before them, and casting, as they had opportunity, a glance of eagerness into that brilliantly lighted hall; their famine-stricken and miserable faces looking all the while more wan and wretched in the flickering lamp-light that falls upon them. These are the outcast poor of our great city; they have no home worthy of the name, no sufficient food to appease the craving of their hunger, no suitable clothing to defend them from the piercing cold of this winter night. They can only look with hopeless wonder through a door which leads to scenes of beauty and luxury and abundance, such as they in their poverty cannot imagine. What a contrast is there between those who are within, and those who are without! We can only pity them in their misery and destitution—as they look through an open door by which they may not enter. It is not for them that the feast is provided and the tables so richly spread. It is not for them that the flowers give forth their perfume, the lights their lustre, the music its pleasant sound. Were they to seek to enter by that open door, they would meet no kindly welcome, but only repulse. The feast is not for them. The door answers not to their knock, nor stands open for their admittance.
I passed on, leaving that little crowd of miserable ones around that open door through which they might only look, but never enter; and as I walked homeward I thought of another open door—around which many are ever standing in a state of greater misery and more terrible destitution, not because they may not, but because they will not enter.
There is the banqueting hall radiant with the glory of the Divine presence; there the richly provided feast; there the tables already spread; there the master of the house, the founder of the feast, who has invited, with large liberality, men of all classes and conditions, of all climes and countries, to partake of the feast, waiting with long patience for the invited guests to assemble. And there not only before the doors, but in the streets and lanes of the city and the highways and hedges of the country round about, are the heralds blowing their silver trumpets and saying to all whom they meet, "Come, for all things are ready."
And there around this door, which is ever open, or ever ready to open at the most hesitant and trembling knock of the sincere applicant—there, all around, are many ever negligently standing, who do not, who will not enter.
Do you want to know what door this is of which I speak? Listen then to the words of Christ himself. "I am the door: by me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."*
What a blessed change is experienced by every one "that enters by that open door! It is a change from darkness to light, from danger to safety, from sin to holiness, from weary wandering, or listless waiting, to the enjoyment of a blessed rest, from misery and destitution to all the rich abundance of a divinely furnished feast. Enter by that open door, and you at once leave behind you all the wretchedness and misery of sin, and pass on to the realization of that complete and endless blessedness which can only be experienced in the favour and presence of God. How wonderful is it that there should be so many unwilling to enter in by that door!
None need stand without and hesitate about seeking admittance by that door on account of any sense of unworthiness which may distress you. Millions of perishing and destitute sinners have passed into the guest-chamber and the richly furnished feast. The door which admitted Aaron after his idolatry and David after his adultery,—Manasseh with his strange abominations and his murderous cruelty, —the crucified thief with his late repentance,—and Saul of Tarsus who was injurious and a blasphemer—will not be barred against any. In God's word there is everything to encourage a believing application on the part even of the greatest sinner. The words of Christ himself are: "Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out." "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."! And what can we have more free than the invitation given by the prophet Isaiah: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."J
But the time is coming when this now open door shall be closed; and many, by the closing, by the unexpected * John x. 9. t Matt. xi. 28. J 1st. lv. 1, 2.
and sudden closing of this door will be shut out in the dark night. And then shall be seen those, who have stood carelessly in the presence of an open door, through which they might have passed and would not, raising the clamour of a vain, because too late entreaty, at the door now closed against them for ever. In many instances it is the clang of that dosing door which startles into attention those, who till then had been standing negligently without. The sound which awakens them to a sense of their need is caused by that judicial act of the Master of the house, the founder of the feast, which hopelessly and for ever excludes them from all the rich provisions of God's grace.
How impressively is all this set before us by Christ himself :—" Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are."*
ACELDAMA; OK, THE flELD OF BLOOD.
Amoxgst all the places named in the Gospels, there are few to which a deeper or more painful interest belongs than "the field of blood," purchased by the proceeds of the traitor's guilt, and the scene of his suicide. Even Gethsemane and Calvary have their gloom and sadness alleviated, if not dispelled, by thoughts of the Divine love there displayed and the eternal blessings there secured. We glory in the cross ; we rejoice in the thought of a Saviour's obedience unto death. But the scene of the traitor's death is relieved by no single ray of brightness. It is the end of a base career of treachery: the commencement of an eternal night of woe. The traditional site is pointed out on the steep southern slope of the valley of Hinnom, near its eastern end. Its modern name is Hak-ed-dam. A recent traveller, Dr. Wilde, in his "Narrative of a Voyage along the Shores of the Mediterranean," gives some interesting particulars respecting this memorable spot. Though the tomb pointed out as that bought with the thirty pieces of silver be spurious, there is no reason to doubt that the site * Luke xiii. 24—30.
is a true and authentic one. The discovery of the " whited sepulchres" and the skulls of strangers is curious and interesting :—
"At the foot of the eastern elevation of the Mountain of Offence, where it rises from the valley, is pointed out the Aceldama, or Field of Blood; said to be that purchased by the Jewish priests with the thirty pieces of silver that Judas had received for betraying his Master, but which he afterwards returned in remorse. The transaction is thus recorded by the Evangelist:—' Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that 1 have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they toot counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bur; strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The Field of Blood, unto this day.' The same transaction is thus noticed in the Acts of the Apostles :—' Now this man (Judas) purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all hi> bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The Field of Blood.'
"This field still retains its name, and is called in every language, and by every people within or about Jerusalem. Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans, Aceldama. It is not far distant from the stream of Gihon; and at the period of our visit, there were still the marks and remains of bricks and pottery-ware in the adjoining ravine—a place likely to be used for their manufacture, as it contained the clay suited for such purposes, and was in the vicinity of a rivulet. Toward the upper end of this enclosure, the traveller is shown, among the many wonders to which tradition., ignorance, and credulity in this country attach the credence due only to historic record, a large square chamber, sunk in the earth, partly excavated in the rock upon the side of the hill, and partly built of masonry. It is arched at top, and there were formerly on the outside a