Imágenes de páginas

that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need !” Heb. iv. 15, 16. Are we poor? The silver and the gold are his, and the cattle on a thousand hills Are we weak? He is mighty, yea, almighty,

And strong to deliver,

And good to redeem,
The weakest believer

That hangs upon him."

Are we ignorant ? His Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Are we friendless? He is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Are we in trouble? He is the Comforter, the God of all consolation. In life, in death, in time, and in eternity, he is all-sufficient. Well, then, may we pray to him.

“The prayer inspired by Him above,

Who rules and reigns, whose name is Love,
Will tranquillize the suffering soul,
When waves of worldly trouble roll.
Prayer is a bless'd employ, that throws
A heavenly beam on earthly woes,
And gives the wretched and oppress'd

Assurance of eternal rest." “ They who pray most in the spirit, obey least the motions of the flesh.” May we, then, be helped by Divine assistance to pray without ceasing.


Visitor. I have brought you a book, Andrew, calculated to strengthen your mind, and to do you good under your heavy trials. A sailor in a storm looks not so much to the roaring billows, as to the good ship which enables him to surmount them; and God's people, in like manner, should regard their troubles less than the God of all consolation, who can sustain them under every calamity. ·

Andren. You are right; but I am so feebleininded, that the lightest blow from the hand of affliction makes me stagger. I know that it ought not to be so; but I seem to have n strength.

Visitor. Christian men should not be behindhand with worldly men in enduring calamity. Let me tell you of a circumstance of which I have just been reading. A wild-fowl shooter, on the low flat shores opposite the Isle of Wight, pursued his game with such ardour, that before he was aware of the tide coming in, he was surrounded by the water. In whatever direction he ran he was compelled to return, till at last he was cooped up in a little space which every moment grew less. Being a man of some self-possession, he stuck the barrel of the long un he had with him deep into the mud, and

resolved to hold by it until the ebbing of the tide. As he well knew that a common tide would not rise higher than his waist, he considered himself pretty safe, though very uncomfortably situated. The water came nearer and nearer, till it covered the spot on which he stood, and then rippled over his feet. Soon after, it gained his knees, his waist, and his bosom. Some circumstances of an uncommon kind occurred to make the tide rise higher than ordinary, and button after button disappeared, till the water ran over his shoulders. What a situation!

“ One wide water all around him,

All above him one blue sky."

This was enough to try the stoutest heart; and as he could not tell how much higher the waters might rise, he gave himself over for lost. Life, however, is too precious to be parted with without a struggle, and he held fast by his long gun, that he might not be borne away by the flowing waters. After remaining for some time in this fearful and almost hopeless situation, he suddenly thought that he saw the uppermost button of his coat begin to appear, and never sure was man so delighted at the sight of a button. It was long before he was quite certain that the button was fairly above the water, the waves

being blown against him by the wind. At length, a second button appeared, then a third, and, by degrees, the whole of his dress. As the waters fell, his spirits rose, so that he was able to sustain himself by means of his gun till he could walk with safety to the shore. Now, if a man, deriving no support from religion, could, under such trying circumstances, manifest presence of mind, how much more ought a Christian calmly to endure the greatest dangers. Let the floods of affliction come upon him, let the waves of trouble roll around him, he should still cling to that hope which is “ as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,” even the hope of salvation through his Saviour Jesus Christ; nothing doubting that He who holds the sea in the hollow of his hand, will, in his own time, rebuke the overwhelming flood, saying, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further : and here shall thy proud waves be stayed,” Job xxxviii. 11.

Andrew. While you are talking with me, I feel as strong as though I had faith to remove mountains, and power to bear tribulation without murmuring; but when left to myself, I shall again, I fear, be weak as water.

Visitor. I hope that I shall not leave you by yourself, but that you will have His presence, who can not only weaken the strongest opposer

of his will, but also strengthen the weakest believer who trusts in his mercy.

CALL ON A YOUTHFUL READER. Visitor. What a heap of books you have on the table! Some of them of little worth, I fear, judging by the first I have taken up. This book of riddles contains many very silly things. Did you ever read “ The Believer's Riddle ?

Youth. No, sir. I do not know what you mean.

Visitor. It is a book full of riddles of a different character to those that this little book contains. The riddles are all taken from the. Bible ; but I will give you one of them.

“ I'm sinful, yet I have no sin;
All spotted o'er, yet wholly clean :
Blackness and beauty both I share,
A hellish black, a heavenly fair.” .

Can you at all make out the meaning of it?

Youth. No, sir, that I am sure I cannot.

Visitor. Well, then, I will explain it to you. A believer in Jesus Christ, one who has been convinced of sin, and who has fled for refuge to the cross, and found mercy, is still a sinner; for all men have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; but yet he is without sin,

« AnteriorContinuar »