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in an emergency, wrenched the eagle from the
staff, and concealed it in his girdle. Tae most ancient standard employed by the Under the emperors, the eagle was carried, as Romans is said to have been a handful of straw before, at the head of a legion, while at the same fixed to the top of a spear or pole. It was soon time each cohort had for its own ensign a serpent succeeded by the figures of animals, of which or dragon, which was woven in a square piece of Pliny enumerates five, viz., the eagle, the wolf, cloth elevated on a gilt staff, to which a crossthe minotaur, the horse, and the boar. And at bar was added for the purpose. Another symbol length the eagle exclusively was used, B.c. 104. sometimes used was a ball, probably emblematical This was made of silver or bronze, and with ex- of the dominion of Rome over the world. A bronze panded wings, but was most probably small in figure of Victory also was occasionally tixed at size, since we read of a standard-bearer's having, the top of the staff. Under the eagle was often
placed the head of the reigning emperor, which O thou, who didst come into the world to save was the object of an idolatrous adoration to the sinners, whose ways are not our ways, nor whose soldiers, Hence we see the propriety of the thoughts our thoughts, what evil have we written expression applied by our Lord (Matt. xxiv. 15) on the hearts and minds of many! Lord, reto the Roman armies,
move the evil. Let the injury go no further The standard of the cavalry was a square piece now. Heal the wounds that we have made ; of cloth, expanded upon a cross in the manner blot out the transgressions we have caused. O already indicated.
send in thy mercy friends, messengers, and laW ben Constantine had embraced Christianity, bourers to undo what we have done, and the the symbol of the cross was introduced into the torrent of evil we might have stemmed bad we Roman banner. This was the famous labarum, been thy disciples. O Lord, check it now : thou which is described “as a long pike, intersected only canst! Let the fruits of humility and gratiby a transverse beam. The silken veil which tude and love spring up in the neglecied and dehung down from the beam was curiously inwrought solate wilderness, where our careless feet have with the images of the reigning monarch and his trodden, and cover it with good ; overcome the children. The summit of the pike supported a evil we have caused, or helped, or countenanced, crown of gold, which enclosed the mysterious with good also. monogram, at once expressive of the figure of the O thou, in whose sight every creature is manicross, and the initial letters of the name of fest, and before whose eyes all things are naked Christ."
and opened, let thy light shine upon the pages of The safety of the labarum was entrusted to our life's history, known as yet to none but thee fifty guards; and it was soon supposed that as long and us, and our bitter enemy the accusing spirit. as they were engaged in their honourable office There let our eyes be turned. Let us retrace our they were secure even amid the thickest fight. steps in sorrow, and in gratitude, and in deep self
abasement. Where have we wandered! How have we grieved thy good Spirit! How often
wouldest thou have gathered us, and we would THE BOOKS.
not! How often hast thou called us to labour BY CAROLINE J. YORKE.
in thy vineyard, and we have refused ! O Lord
Almighty, one day in thy sight is as a thousand "And the books were opened."-REV. IX. 12. years! To thee we conimit the residue of our
days. Take us out of our own hands, Lord ; and Let us look upon the lives of men as books; and be thou henceforth the guide of our life. Save let us ever remember, in our walk and conversa- us, blessed Redeemer, from the evil that enslaves tion, the day when all these books shall be opened; us: bring our souls out of prison, that we may opened in the presence of the Holy God, the praise thy name : heal us, good Physician, of our heart-searching Judge; opened before assembled souls inveterate disease : lead us, heavenly Inworlds, and in the sight of men and angels.
structor, in the way of holiness, as thou alone Let us look upon the lives of men as books. canst lead; then shall the past, over which we What are we writing there? How carefully we mourn, and which seems to us so lost beyond rewrite for time; how carelessly for eternity ! how covery, direct and animate and sanctify the future, wisely, perchiance, on paper; how foolishly on as it is written : “And ye shall praise the name hearts ! 'See, leaf after leaf is filled up with of the Lord your God, who hath dealt so wonvanity, and turned over without a pang; and yet, drously towards you:” Redeeming the time, Father of mercies, how much depends on every because the days are evil :" “ Thou shalt love page!
the stranger as thyself; for ye were strangers in We praise those who write well for time; and the land of Eyypt. I am the Lord your God:” men look up to them, and bave them in esteem “ Wbat reward shall I give unto the Lord for all and reverence, and think they would give much the benefits that he hath done unto me?” “ My to resemble thém : these are the sons of fame. We soul shall make her boast in the Lord : the huma think little of those who write: well for eteruity : ble shall bear thereof, and be glad." their volumes are not published yet, neither do Let us look upon the lives of men as books. they them-elves know the wonderful works thry And we are helping to write these books--how have in hand; but these writers shall be held in many! Sre, our dear relations and the friends everlasting remenibrance: these are the sous of we ineet every day-in how much of their hisglory.
tories have we a band! Events are to people O, thou who didat give thyself for us, to redeem what they themselves make them : tu the beart us from all iniquity, and to set us apart for thy of the evil, good itself becomes evil; hut "all service, let us, we beseech thee, be as pencils in things work together for good to them that love thy hand, to write the remembrance of thy love God.” Sins also withhold good things from us; on the bearts of thy children. No want of learn- and coverensures and vaniiy and an inflated ing, talent, or experience we know shall or can heart so blind our eyes that we do not see when prevent us ; for thou art the wisdon, knowledge, good cometh, and so call evil good, and good and experience of all who trust in thee: want of evil; but “they that wait upon the Lord under. faith in ther is the only stumbling-block : Lori, stand all things." He trar.hell them bow to remove it out of our way. Let ily presence go“ bandle matters wisely:" "he tracheth them to forth with us, tlıy Spirit rest upon us, thy love protis:" “his secret is with the righteous :" he and tly power be our light and salvation, our rrjuiceth over them to do their goud: he lift.th refuge and strenyth, our trust and hope, our up the light of his countenance upon them, and confidence and assurance for ever.
blesstth the pathway of his closed. The valley
of Achor is to them a door of hope ; the valley of derided it at the time-has followed him about Baca, refreshment; the valley of the shadow of like a guardian angel, snatching him from cvil, death, the gate of heaven. Beloved, let us ex- impelling him to good, resting not, ceasing not, amine ourselves : what have we written in these until it has brought him to mercy's door, even immortal volumes? What bas our friendship or unto him, in whom alone is life, and peace, and communion done for those with whom our lot is all things! Do you feel your ignorance, your incast? Have we been to them a blessing, or a ability, your insufficiency to do what you know curse ? a help, or a hindrance? Have we been as to be your duty ? Are you a disciple of Jesus reflections of the light of God? or has our dark Christ ? then remember the five loaves and the shadow hidden his presence from the eyes of our two fishes, which he blessed, and brake, and gave companions ?
to his disciples to set before the multitude. Much “He that walketh with wise men will be wise ;' is little in our own hands; little, much in the and the companion of the foolish and the frivo- hands of Jehovah. Do you feel how little you lous, the careless and the ungodly, drinks in of lave as yet done to promote his cause? O'betheir spirit, even though he seemed to be created seech him to forgive you all that debt, for the for better things, and has, perhaps, to acquire the sake of his dear Son; but never, never think the taste which shuts him out from the good he would debt is a little one. enjoy, and which his thirsty soul pants after. We You are engaged pleasantly, and profitably; and converse with the kind, and our hearts are softened; some unexpected, and, at this time at least, unwith the noble, and they are exalted ; with the welcome visitor comes in. O do not think thus generous, and they are enlarged ; with the selfish, of him ; Aling aside your own engagements gladly, and they are deadened : we sit beside the lowly- gratefully: he comes not of himself: “Not a minded, and perhaps lord it over them for a time; sparrow falls to the ground without your Father.” but how like a cool and refreshing shade the God sends him to you, that you may see what sweet remembrance of all their gentleness, their manner of spirit you are of; whether you prefer meek forbearance, and unrequited friendliness, your own pleasure to the will of God, your work passes over our faint and languishing and weary to his work. See, here is a blauk leaf in your spirits, in the day when the Lord's hand is upon brother's history open before you by the provius, and his fierce wrath threatens us; and there dence of God. It may be towards the end of his is no one to bring a little water to cool our parched history, and every page is of tearful consequence, lips: then we linger, and pause, and look inward, God knoweth! Lift up your heart for an instant and compare; and our hearts are more prepared mentally to him. Let your conversation be such to open to him, who is “pieek and lowly, of as becometh the gospel of Christ, and watch for heari,” who “heareth the desire of the humble, an opportunity it may be God shall grant you and despiseth not the prayer of the destitute." it, nay, perhaps has sent his child to you for this He seems not such a stranger to us : his disciple very purpose) of speaking directly to his glory. has been kind to us, perhaps has prayed for us. He wants a warning word just now, or a word We have seen onr Lord's picture, and now, at of comfort or encouragement, or he wants least, we feel its beauty. Great is the power of guidance or direction. You do not know wbat mind over mind, and not the less surely worketh he wants ; but the Spirit of your Pather knoweth, that wbich worketh imperceptibly : therefore is it and he will speak by the mouth of those who are written, “ The thought of foolishness is sin ;” and led by him." We read of one in former times : “for every idle word that men shall speak they “The Lord was with him, and did let none of his shall render account thereof in the day of judg- words fall to the ground :" O that we also had ment;" and therefore is it written that the Lord, faith to feel, and to rejoice in the presence of him who " delighteth in mercy,” delighteth also : in who saith to his disciples, 'I am with you always, the way of good men.” It is not only because their even to the end of the world"! bearts are opened to receive the blessings he pours But here is a book you did not expect to write into them, but because they are partakers of his in. See a poor beggar coming towards you. He nature: they also are merciful: they are as light may be an impostor. True; but the apostle says: and salt and leaven upon earth. He hath “Charity thinketh no evil, hopeth all things, be. anointed them to speak a word in season to him lieveth all things;” and he was willing himself to that is weary ;” and “be openeth his ears to be all things to all men, if by any means he hear as the learned.”
might win some; and your Saviour says, he to Scorn not the talents God has entrusted to you, whose mercy-seat you come continually,“ Give nor the task he has assigned: think not little of to him that asketh of you, and from him that yoer influence, past or present. God blesses by would borrow of you turn not thou away: little things as well as great; yea, good from him up for yourselves treasures in heaven :" there bë comes not all at once, but in small portions, and “your heart." He tells you to love, and not to often through what seem to us unlikely channels, judge: he will be the Judge in the day appointed; to teach us to distrust our own judgment, to look but this is the day of grace. Alas! there are Dot upon things with the eye of sense, but faith, many impostors in the world ; and, because iniand never to despise any single thing; What quity aboundeth, the love of many doth wax trifles they are sometimes, that take and keep our cold"; and they forget the children of the Highest hearts from communion with the Holiest! We are kind even to the unthankful and the evil: they had been on our guard, it might be, again what forget that “ while we were yet sinners Christ we thought greater evils; but these have made us died for us,” and that, as the Father sent bim prisoners. And what a little passing word too, into the world, so sendeth be us (John xvii. 18; spoken often almost despairing of any good re- 1 John iv. 7-17): “He that giveth to the poor sull, has followed him who heard and perbaps shall not lack; but he that hideth his
have many a curse :” “He that giveth to the poor | Lord, and the excellency of our God.” See wbere lendeth to the Lord.” Child of God, will you he is already risen, the Sun of Righteousness, lose an opportunity of lending to the Lord, or run risen indeed : behold, the sword is a ploughshare, the risk of many a curse ?" the curse not cause- and the spear a pruning-hook, employed in the less." And which is the most to be dreaded, that field of the world, at work for the Most High ! you should be imposed upon, or that your Saviour, God hath said: "Let there be light;" and see poor and needy, 'should be sent away from your the dark places of the earth are radiant with presence unrelieved ? "When saw we thee an beauty: See, the sturdy ruffian become his hungred ?” My Lord, I took it not for thee : faithful and devoted martyr : see, the outcast child "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of of sin cast out by sinners, too guilty and depraved these, ye did it not to me" (Matt. xxv. 45). O even for them : see her “sought of God:” see ber shall not Naaman the Syrian rise up against us in " beloved of the Lord,” weeping at his feet, the day of judgment, and condemn us? He clinging to him, much forgiven, loving much." stayed not to examine the servant of the prophet, “This hath God wrought?” “He is able to do but gladly gave him more than he desired ; and exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask we, we will not even attempt to examine: we or think :"
Cast thy bread upon the waters," send the suppliant away without a word. “Ye the rough "waves of this troublesome world :" cannot serve God and Mammon,” saith the Lord. “ freely ye have received, freely give;" the We cannot think of ourselves, and of him : we Spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters: cannot seek our own, and the things that are “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, Jesus Christ's: “A double-minded man is un saith the Lord of Hosts." stable in all his ways.".
He who asks your charity may be an impostor; but in this is no imposture-he is one of the books. Something is to be written by you in this man's
Bubenile Reading. history: what will you write there? O may God assist you! There are not many to write good on THE BLESSEDNESS OF TRUE RELIGION. that poor heart. Speak kindly to him : relieve him kindly: uplift in his sight him who saith, “I, TRULY “the ways of Christ are ways of pleaif I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me: santness ; and all his paths are peace. Prayer is remind him of him who was so rich, who is so not merely necessary to obtain the divine blessing glorious, and yet became so poor ; a man of sor- and as a duty we owe to God, but prayer is the rows, weary and heavy laden, despised and de- entrance to real joy and blessedness. "So all God's serted, that we through his poverty might be rich, commands given to us in the bible, though they through his atonement pardoned ; who hath as- seem strict and difficult, are really the path cended up on high, who hath led captivity cap- marked out by him who knows us best and loves tive, and received gifts for men, yea, even for his us most, by which only we may arrive at true enemies (for the rebellious, also), that the Lord happiness. God might dwell among them.” He may laugh Prayer is coming to God through Jesus Christ
, at your words at the time, and think you very and by bis Spirit, in that faith which believes all foolish perhaps, and himself clever in having so
God has said. In prayer we open our heart's de“Who is blind as he that is per- sire before God. Believing that God is with us, fect, and blind as the Lord's servant ?" Yet may though we see him not, and that he hears our they, yet shall they, if it please the Lord Je- words and will regard our requests, and give us hovah, change the whole character of this poor all that is good for us to have, we speak directly to wanderer's life: “Cast thy bread upon the waters,
“ the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only and thou shalt find it after many days.” But the wise God." How wonderful and glorious it is, and word of God, the bread from heaven-0, Chris- not less real than wonderful, as thousands upon tian pilgrim, whatever you with hold, withhold thousands of happy children of God have from age not that! Nor heed you the careless or sullen to age testified, that such weak and sinful creatures, countenance: he who addresses you may not
as we are, are allowed thus freely to come to the always be careless or sullen. Are you always Lord of heaven and earth by Jesus the way, the the same? And the words you speak to him truth, and the life. may take root in his memory.
" He that ob- My dear young friends, think of what this great serve the wind shall not sow; and he that ob- privilege is. You have always with you and about serveth the clouds shall not reap;" but you are to you the great God, who has declared most plainly look to him, " who maketh the clouds his chariot, and fully, that he loved you so much that he gave and who walketh upon the wings of the wind ;" his Son to die for you, and that, not having “whüse way is in the sea, and whose path in the spared his Son, but delivered him up for us all, great waters, and whose footsteps are not known.” he will with him also freely give you all things: ^ Blessed are ye which sow beside all waters.”
In the name of Jesus you may pruy always. Nis The wild, the worthless, the wicked, what do e eye is always upon you : his ear is always open to they want? It is only the “Sun of Righteous- your prayers. Wherever you are, you may lift ness” to arise upon them “ with healing in his up your heart to him, and call upon his name: wings ;" then shall the wilderness and the solitary and never, never seek him in vain when you
ask place be glad, and the desert rejoice, and blossom in the name of Christ Jesus. as the rose, yea, blossom abundantly, rejoice even
What is most of all important is, that you with joy, and singing: “the glory of Lebanon should, while young, learn the great privilege of shall be given unto it, and the excellency of Car- * From “A Manual of Prayer for the Young;" by the mel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the rev. E. Bickersteth. London: Seeleys. 1848.
deceived you :
this daily communion with God, through a divine So he has charged the young: “Remember Mediator. You may see by youthful Samuel and now thy Creator in the days of thy youth," and his early piety, as contrasted with the wickedness gives them the sure promise : “They that seek of Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, how blessed a me early shall find me.” course that of early religion truly is. The child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord and also with men ; while the wicked sons of Eli perished in their sins, and brought ruin on
THOUGHTS ON PERFECT PEACE, AD. themselves and their country. Then it was that
DRESSED TO THOSE WHO WOULD BE God gave that striking lesson, which may well be a
LOVERS OF GOD'S LAW. guide to our whole life: “ Them that honour me I will honour; and they that despise me shall be
BY THE REV. BEAVER H. BLACKER, M.A. lightly esteemed.
Know then that it is your richest privilege, “ Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing your bighest honour on earth, and your daily hap- shall offend them.”—Ps. cxix. 165. piness, to go to God, and open every secret desire “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my and fear and trouble to him; to confess all your shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee :
commandments; for length of days, and long life, and peace, sins just as you feel them, and he will forgive you ; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine to tell all your desires, and, as far as they are for heart: 80 shalt thou find favour and good understanding in your good he will grant them ; to thank him for the sight of God and man.”—Prov. iii. 1-4. all that makes you happy, and he will receive your praise; and to ask him to bless all you love, We have lived for little purpose (because it proves and all about you, and he will even hear a child's that we have made little observation upon human prayer, and do them good.
life), if we are not thoroughly convinced how vain Great as is this happiness, however, it is but a a thing it is to expect any such condition as pure small part of the blessedness of true religion. and satisfying enjoyment here on earth. Trouble, “The path of the just is as the shining light, that more or less, is the lot of all mankind; since shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” o neither the knowledge of the wisest, nor the wealth the unspeakable present blessedness of peace with of the richest, nor the power of the mightiest, nor God! “ Being justified by faith, we have peace even the virtues of the best, can keep them altowith God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “And gether free from disappointment or vexation. Life, yet farther : “Whosoever shall call on the name even in its best estate, is but a chequered sceneof the Lord shall be saved.” It is the pathway a mixture of good and evil; so much so, that they which all the saints of Gud have trodden to their who enjoy (comparatively speaking) more of what heavenly home. We may also “ rejoice in hope is good are pronounced to be happy; whilst those of the glory of God." And what à glory that who suffer more of what is felt to be evil we deis! To see God face to face; to know him as he scribe as wretched and unfortunate. Therefore, is, to behold the glory of Christ; ourselves to be since trouble, in a greater or less degree, is enlike him, to partake of his bliss and glory; to be tailed on all, it is folly to expect to escape it: equal with the angels; to be with all the excel- prudent it is to consider how we may profitlent of the earth in their happy home; every sight ably bear it, whenever our all-wise Creator is to be a sight of bliss, every sound a sound of joy, pleased to afflict us. A rational or understanding every change a change of increased blessedness; being, such as man, who has the power of calcuto bave increasing knowledge of God and the lating benefits, and of providing for events, ought highest and best things, and to have holy and certainly to consider how he may best await his happy employment for ever in promoting all the trials. "Even the most favoured know not how goodness of him who is light and love. And all soon and how sorely they may be disappointed ; this for ever and for ever! Omy youthful readers, and it is an indisputable maxim that, for what that I could but assist any of your steps to this may happen to any man at any unsuspected hour, exceeding and eternal weight of glory!
all, no matter who they be, high or low, rich or God has always shewn a special delight in early poor-all should endeavour to be well prepared, religion. He appointed circumcision to admit in Now, where is this provision to be found ? fants to his covenant. He regarded Abraham Where are we to look for guidance in the midst with peculiar favour, because he knew he would of doubtful because perishable prosperity ? and command his children and his household after him ; where for support under heart-breaking adversity ? and they would keep the way of the Lord, to do Before I conclude this “pastoral address," we justice and judgment. The bible delights to shall all, I hope, unite in feeling that this world, dwell on Joseph's, Samuel's, David's, Solomon's, with even its very best attractions, yields nothing Jeremiah's, Josiah's, Daniel's, John the Baptist's, really satisfactory ; that whosoever leans on things and Timothy's youthful piety. It tells us of our temporal for happiness (to use a prophet's phrase), Lord Jesus himself at twelve years old, being in “leans on a broken reed, which will go into his his Father's house, asking questions ; of his being hand, and pierce it;" that he resembles one afflicted subject to his parents, and of his increasing in with bodily disease, who tosses to and fro on his wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and sleepless bed, unable to remain at rest; in short, that man. He defended the young who cried to him, they alone who love God's law obtain great peace, “ Hosanna, thou Son of David, blessed is he that and live without offence. Our knowledge of the cometh in the name of the Lord,” against those world informs us that many, in time of sorrow, who blamed them. He said : “ Have ye never seek comfort in exciting and sensual pleasures. read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings For example (as Solomon says in Proverbs xxxi.), thou hast perfected praise ?"
some drink strong wine, and thus endeavour