« НазадПродовжити »
ship: a relationship closer, purer, and more abiding than any earthly one. Spiritual, it is true, but for that very reason all the more real and precious. Believers in Christ are one.
Paul and Peter and John were. But Paul and Quartus and the believers at Rome were not the less 80. Brought to Christ, we are related to one another. “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” If one father, then one family, and one common brotherhood; a brotherhood having nothing to do with place or position or calling. . Grace rises above worldly distinctions. Not overlooking them, or setting them aside, but rather recognising them, yet is it superior to them. The cross is the meeting place of the rich and the poor, where, amidst differences in temporal circumstances, and variety in spiritual gifts, all are one in Christ Jesus. A universal brotherhood is this, as to all who have, are, or shall yet be, believers in Jesus. Taking our stand at the Cross, we link hands with Paul and Gaius, with Erastus and Quartus, and with believers at Rome and everywhere else, throughout all the successive ages of time.
Let us not be unmindful of this spiritual relationship, but endeavour to cultirate a brotherly feeling towards all who are one with us in Jesus our common Lord. Very diversified are the outward circumstances of our brethren, and not less so their spiritual experiences. Yet, “One is our Master, even Christ, and all we are brethren.” Towards some we may have peculiar feelings, strong attachments, and ardent love. Providential arrangements, or a similarity of religious feeling, may bring us together, and may make us bosom friends ; while others we may know but little of, and not have such strong regard to. But let not these be forgotten or treated coldly, for they too are our brethren; as much beloved and cared for by our God and Saviour as those whom we so tenderly love. Be it ours to embrace in the arms of our affection all who love Jesus, and to , salate them as Quartus did, even though they may be unknown to us in the We may gather one more truth:3rd. That many may cherish Christian sympathy towards us that we know nothing of.
Possibly Quartas was standing near as Paul was dictating his letter, and might say, as he heard names
mentioned, “ Are you sending salutations to the believers at Rome? then remember me to them.” But doubtless many others thought of and prayed for them. True Christian sympathy is not bounded by geographical limits, or confined within a narrow circle, but goes forth towards all who are the children of God. It lets fall the secret tear and prompts the earnest prayer, not only for known ones, but even for those unknown except by report
. Thus, in reading accounts from missionary brethren our hearts feel for them, and we bend the knee on their behalf, so that it may be, that at the very
are cast down and are concluding that they are alone, many a Quartus may be thinking of them, or may be pleading for them at the throne of the heavenly grace." Not the less
true are these remarks as to those whom we do know. Others may be sympathizing with us, and we may be cherishing Warmest affections toward them, when on neither side we may be aware of it. Thank God, there are more Quartuses than we sometimes think there are ! The love of Christ begets affection towards all who love him, and without leading to noisy
professions of friendship, stirs up the heart to pray, and begets suitable and corresponding action. we seek to grow in Christian love and sympathy, while with heart and
“ Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity."
May lips we say,
DIES IRÆ, DIES ILLA.
Day of wrath! that awful day
the tree Hope vouchsafing e'en to me. Naught of thee my prayers can claim; Save in thy free mercy's name, Save me from the deathless flame. With thy sheep my place assign, Separate from th' accursed line; Set me on thy right hand, with thine. When the lost, to silence driven, To devouring flames are given, Call me, with the blest, to heaven. Suppliant, fallen, low I bend, My bruised heart to ashes rend; Care thou, Lord, for my last end. Full of tears the day shall prove, When, from a hes rising, move To the judgment guilty men; Spare, thou God of mercy, then!
Tales and Sketches.
THE DREAM OF CALEB
EDMONDS. CARISTÍANITY, indeed!” said Mr. Elmonds, as he looked over his books, in the little back parlour behind the shop: "I em disgusted with such hypocrisy !"
There was a dark frown upon the brow of the man of business as he spoke these Fords, and an irritability in his manner of taring over the leaves before him, which poke of some bad debt troubling his mind, and robbing him of his good temper.
" What is the matter?" asked a cheer-
"Istter!" echoed the husband :
, he will pay, I suppose ?”
"Say? he does not say much to me, I cu tell you. I told him not to worry me pesa his excuses, but to bring his money; al that he need not cross my door-step again until he could do that."
"I am sorry for his wife,” said the little Birting-mender, presently;
appears bles truly pious woman,
* Pious !" retorted her husband; "yes, thos is he: 'tis that disgusts me. Religa indeed! and he owes me four pounds
end sixpence. I thought the Bible said'Ore no man anything. Christianity, 1. Caleb Edmonds was a highly re
grocer in the town of Marlby ; in : a man of substance, for business had xpered with him. He was industrious obliging ; rising early, working hard ; el this from small beginnings he had to the possession of considerable Halle But although an excellent man
basiness, Mr. Edmonds was a very ordi. Me bat he did not press toward the mark.
Christian. True, he had begun the Labor "the cares of this world, and the desthiness of riches”! And, as it is
characteristic of a low star dard of piety to be harsh and censorious in our judgment of our fellow-Christians, so Mr. Edmonds, when he heard of any defect in the character of professors around him, was always the first to exclaim, “ Christianity, iadeed!”
Is not this too common with us all? Do we not, even if we give no expression to our thoughts, doubt and hesitate much more than we should doubt and hesitate, regarding the reality of the religion of our " Ready-to-halts” and “Feeble-minds”? Do we not get up a standard of perfection for our fellows, which is too lofty, in our view, as a standard for ourselves? and are we not too ready to exclaim against the wanderings of others, even while we turn aside into forbidden paths ?
Perhaps such thoughis as these had passed through the mind of Mrs. Edmonds as she sat over her work; for when she rose to leave her basket for some more active household duty, she bent over her husband for a moment, and said gently, “ Caleb, I do not like to hear you say, . Christianity, indeed!' as you did just now. Suppose your fellow.Christians were to judge of you as harshly as you of them! You often say it," she continued, hastily :
you doubted John Watson's religion yesterday because he lent money to your rival, and Thornton's because he opposes you in business ; and you shook your head about Mirs Milwood's piety because she argued with you against total abstinence ! Judge not, that ye be not judged.'”
Long after his wife left him these words rang in Caleb's ears : Judge not !"
At last, as he sat in the twilight, between sleeping and waking—for business was very dull, and he could spare half an hour for rest-a vision stole upon him, and he passed, in imagination, rapidly through the scenes which follow.
At first he found himself in the front parlour of a house in a very quiet neighbourlood, and in the presence of three maiden ladies, whose names he know very well. They had their feet upon the fender, and, their knitting laid aside, were evi. dently discussing the affairs of their neighbours.
“ Such pride!” said the elder lady, a religion which brings forth so little whose name was Rayby :“what will come fruit!” next, I wonder ?"
Poor Caleb! his wife's words — the “ The most fashionable boarding-school Master's words-still sounded in his ears in R--, I assure you," said another- as they had never done before, meeting Miss Phillip.
with a responsive echo in bis heart. “ Ah!” said Miss Rayby, "and I can remember the time-of course I was very Again a change, and Mr. Edmonds found young then, but still I can remember himself beside a sickly looking woman, when Caleb Edmonds swept out his own who, leading on her husband's arm, walked shop!
slowly towards the house of prayer. It “ Dear me! and now he has the upstart was impossible to look without interest impudence to send his girl to such a school upon her pale and anxious face, a face as that!” exclaimed Miss Sophia Mil- which had once been beautiful, and equally wood, the spinster who had not yet spoken. impossible to disregard the careful tenderOh, the pride of human nature !"
ness with which her steps were guided by “ And be a professor, too!”
the strong man at her side. Their con“ Professor !” said Miss Rayby; "reli- versation, too, was worthy of remark: gion does not teach a man such absurd they were speaking of the consolations of pride as that!”
the Gospel Miss Phillip shook her head, and began " Who knows?” exclaimed the invalid, to lament the increase of false professors. “perhaps there may be words just suited
“Well,” thought Caleb, “I believed to our case this morning; words for the that in spending some of my cash upon the education of my children I could not “Poor as regards this world only, go very far wrong ; but I find I am mis
Mary!” understood even here."
Her eyes brightened as she looked up
cheerfully. “Yes, yes ; rich in treasure far The next scene was the drawing-room more costly than earth’s gold. God help of the very John Watson of whom Mrs. us to look up, and to trust him for the Edmonds had spoken. A lady was making meat that perisheth.'" tea behind a silver urn, and a gentleman, They walked on for awhile, and then the her husband, sat beside her.
wife said mournfully,, "I sometimes fear “ Poor Thornton!" said Mrs. Watson- that it is pride which makes me shrink for it was she-" I trust he will succeed." from meeting Mr. Edmonds, but I do “ He shall, if, by God's blessing, I can shrink from it. Oh, if we could but pay
him!” “ He is a very deserving young man,'
« We sball be able to do so soon, I continued the lady : “the manner in which hope," said Welsford: "it has been & he bore the loss of all his property would hard struggle, Mary, starvation almost, win esteem, even if he had no other claim." but I think it is nearly over.”
Mr. Watson did not reply: his mind had " Ah, it was all for me! I am sure wandered to another brauch of the sub- Mr. Edmonds would be patient, if he ject. “ That Caleb Edmonds," he said at knew how much you spent in medicines for length, “I am surprised at the ill-feeling me, and how little work you have!” he displays."
“He is patient, after a fashion; and we - Towards Thornton ?"
have reason to be thankful for that: still “Yes ; he is evidently annoyed at the he has said some crushing things to me; opening of another shop so near his own; harsh things, which he may live to repent, whereas, in the principal street of a town things which have made me doubt his like this, he should have expected com- Christianity.' petition. Besides, he has made a little “ Nay," said Mrs. Welsford gently ; “I fortune, and has nothing to fear; yet he would not judge him: how many inconwill not treat George Thornton with ordi- sistent things we do!” nary civility.'
“ You are riglit. I may not lift my " I thought he was a religious man," voice : alas, but little likeness to my Lord said Mrs. Watson.
is found in one !" “ He pretends to be," replied her hus- Again the echoing voice thrilled through band, “but I have not much faith in the soul of the listener; again he heard the
words, "Judge not ;” and as he dwelt upon them the vision slowly faded, and he, Buoyan-like, awoke, “and behold it was a dream!" But the lesson of the dream was not quite lost upon him, for he awoke to a deeper spirit of Christian charity, a nobler self-denial, a holier_humility, a nearer likeness to Jesus. He had been taught in that brief twilight mueing one of the grand old lessons of the book of God.
pleasantly about their “opposition," and oven hinted at his own retirement at some future day, when his new friend would
a better chance"! And from that time the charity which "suff-reth long, and is kind;" "is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things,” held an almost undisputed sway over the heart of Caleb Edmonds; and ever was the maxim of the Bible borne in mind, Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
" And now,
The fireside morning worship was just ended, and Charles Welsford was about to go forth to his daily toil, when a gentle knock at the door spoke of a visitor. How great was the surprise of all when Caleb Edmonds entered ! " You are come, sir_-"
"I am come,” said the grocer, interrupting him, “to express my hope that you are not under any concern about the little amount you owe me. Take your time, my good tir; take your time." The poor
man's eyes were filled with tears, as, grasping the outstretched hand, he tried to speak his thanks.
“My wife,” said Mr. Edmonds, turning towards Mrs. Welsford, " put something into my hand, just as I left, for you, ma'am;" and forth from his capacious pockets came tea, sugar, biscuits, from the good wife's ample store, till Mary's eyes too filled with grateful tears.
said the visitor kindly, " don't forsake the shop: get your little parcels there, and pay just when it suits you. By the way, if a sorereign would be of any service to you,
I have one which will burn a hole in my pocket, as the gay. ing goes, unless I give it to somebody.” And before they could reply be had laid the coin upon the table and was gone.
Mars," said Mr. Welsford, thank God for this.”
They knelt, and, as he breathed forth his heart's gratitude, his wife wept tears of jog, and even the voices of their little ones murmured the “ Amen."
But Mr. Edmonds did not stop at this : it was to him Charles Welsford owed a situation which soon after placed him far above the reach of want; it was to him he owed a host of kindly deeds, which came like sunshine to his inmost soul.
We hasten on. Not alone in this regard was Caleb Edmonds changed; for, two days after his strange dream, he walked into his rival's shop, shook hands, invited him to drink tea at his house, spoke
THE BLIND BOY. It was a blessed summer day: The flowers bloomed, the air was mild, The little birds poured forth their lay, And everything in nature smiled. In pleasant thoughts I wandered on Beneath the deep wood's ample shade, Till suddenly I came upon Two children, who had thither strayed. Just at an aged birch-tree's foo“ A little boy and girl reclined : His hand in bers she kindly put, And then I saw the boy was blind. The children knew not I was nearA tree concealed me from their view; But all they said I well could hear, And I could see all they might do. “Dear Mary,” said the poor blind boy, “ The little bird sings very long : Say, do you see him in his jy? And is he pretty as his song? “Yes, Edward, yes," replied the maid, “I see that bird on yonder tree : The poor boy sighed, and gently said, “Sister, I wish that I could see. “The flowers, you say, are very fair, And bright green leaves are on the trees, And pretty birds are singing thereHow beautiful for one who sees! “Yet I the fragrant flowers can smell, And I can feel the green leaf's shade ; And I can hear the notes that swell From those dear birds that God has made. “So, sister, God to me is kind, Though sight, alas ! he has not given : But tell me, are there any
blind Among the children up in heaven ? " “No, dearest Edward ; there all see But why ask me a thing 80 odd ?" “Oh, Mary, he's so good to me, I thought I'd like to look at God!"
" let us