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With a little more persuasion, Walton Nor did he. Night after night he yielded, and went with Mawson into the went to see him, puttirg in every now Star and Garter. They were received and then, a kind wise word about God's with a shout of triumph. The landlord love in the Lord Jesus Christ to poor paid his bet at once, but Mawson returned lost sinners; and then on the next Sunit, and told him to send in the amount in day he persuaded him to go to a religious drink,
service. The poor man liked what he Nobody will be surprised to hear what heard, and he went again, and again; followed. John Walton would scarcely and at length believing in the Lord Jesus have reached home if he had not been Christ, he found salvation. helped.
“I can stand now," he said one day; Morris soon heard of what had taken “but it is because I have found out where place. In fact, Walton's wife, who was to go for help and strength.” sorely distressed, went and told him. It is long since Walton paid his friend
He went to the house without delay, and back again every penny he lent him, and found John humbled and very penitent. he has cleared off all his debts besides.
“Ah, John, my lad," said Morris, "you Let this be added, that, after the outthought you could do it all yourself; but break we have recorded, he kept his you see what a mistake it was.
promise not to take a drop of drink till And the good man blamed himself that the money Morris had lent him was all he had not been more faithful and looked repaid, and he has done without it ever after him more diligently. But he would since. Further, he says that, God helping not fail to do so now.
him, he will not touch it again.
Thoughts of Goodness and Mercy for the New Year. TO-DAY in silence we review
With courage, therefore, would we face The bygone vanished years ;
The year that now is new; Their memories of joy and love,
With faith that God will be our Guide, And agony and tears.
And bring us safely through. Of friends that we have loved and lost,
We trust unto His hand the things Of sorrows we have known;
We have not understood, Of blessings that are still with us,
In faith that all His Providence And pleasures that are flown.
Will work to us for good. Of times when, as it seemed to us,
In surest hope that He will guide All things conspired for ill,
Our feet in wisdom's ways, And darkened paths of Providence
Will keep our hearts in peace Divine, Were trod against our will.
And fill our lips with praise. Yet now the morning light illumes
Weak are we for the work and strife, Those paths then dark as night,
The path is steep and long, And we confess, with grateful hearts,
And on the fields where we must fight God guided us aright.
The foe is fierce and strong. Our sorrow hath been changed to joy,
O Lord our God, in whom we trust, Our losses into gain;
Thy strength on us bestow, And many a fruit of grace hath grown
That we may gain life's victory, Upon the field of pain.
And conquer every foe. We could not see it in the hour
May this New Year, in grace and truth, When troubles on us fell;
Our daily progress see, To-day we sing with gratitude,
And every step upon its path “He hath done all things well."
Be nearer unto Thee.
R. R. T.
THE PRESENCE OF GOD: A New Year's Meditation.
“My presence shall go with thee.”—Exod. xxxii. 14.
BY THE REV. W. S. LEWIS, M.A.
Him that special place of abode ? Was not that command a tacit promise that He meant to “ tabernacle” among them ? And was not the appearance above it of the mysterous "pillar of cloud” a stronger evidence still? Over no other tent in the wilderness, over no other dwelling in all the world, was a similar symbol to be seen. That signified much. When the royal standard is see floating on high over one of the palaces of our Sovereign, we know what it means. It means, not only that that is one of her residences, but that she is in actual residence there at that time. The pillar of the cloud
was a similar standard over that tent. YN gloomy What it signified was that the Kings of n
weather kings was in residence there,
times com- of the presence of God in the heart.
plain that there Well ordered actions and words—what has been no sunshine for days. What is we understand as true Christian conchiefly true, in that complaint is, that sistency in speech and behaviour-all there has been no sunshine to them. The our outward manifestations of thought sun itself, in all probability, has not and feeling so framed and controlled as to diminished a ray. It is even so, in some have ultimate reference to the obedience respects, with regard to the presence of of Christ-to see this is like seeing Israel God. That spiritual sunshine, like the “abiding in their tents.” The presence other, only penetrates to certain cases of Him who is the "author of peace and and hearts. And what we chiefly mean, not of confusion” is felt at once to be when we speak of possessing it, is its there. Still more, perhaps, is this prehaving penetrated to us. In short, it is sence signified by a constant habit of rather the signs than the fact of God's prayer. Such a habit tells of abiding inpresence that we mean by the term. dwelling, like the pillar of cloud. How
Let us speak, first, of these signs. clearly this is recognised in those words
In the camp of Israel, in ancient days, of St. Paul (Eph. vi. 18): “Praying the signs God's presence were of various always with all prayer and supplication kinds. Some were external and easily seen. in the Spirit, and watching thereunto Amongst such was the beautiful order in with all perseverance and supplication.” which the various collections of tents Watchful perseverance in prayer is "in composing the camp were arranged with the Spirit alone. the tabernacle or tent of God Himself In the camp of Israel there were also as the manifest centre of all. Why did internal tokens of the presence of God. God command His people to provide Within the ordinary tribal encampment
was that of the ministerial tribe. Within they are the sons of God.” This truth, that, the tabernacle enclosure. Within also, was well typified by the pillar of that, the tabernacle itself. Within that cloud. That gracious symbol was like a again, the holy of holies, the innermost royal standard in more ways than one. portion of all. There it was, over the When it stood over the tabernacle, it
mercy-seat," or gold-covered lid of the shewed where the Sovereign was. When ark, that the Shekinah appeared. That it moved forward before the tabernacle it holy glory seems to have shewed as shewed what the Sovereign willed. As it much as man was capable of seeing of is written, “ Whether it was by day or the nature of God. At any rate, it was by night that the cloud was taken up,” the acknowledged symbol of the actual the children of Israel "journeyed.” presence of God. Only one man on one The blessing of protection is another day in the year was permitted to see it. blessing secured by the presence of God. But all knew it was there.
Egypt felt this to be true, when “the In the “temple” of a Christian man's pillar of the cloud went from before " the body, as it is called by St. Paul, there is camp of the Israelites, “and stood behind a secret chamber as well, a place of them, so that the one came not near the thought into which no one looks but God other all the night.” Balaam also conand himself. And there are thoughts fessed this to be true, when, from the top in that chamber which tally closely in of Pisgah, he made his second endeavour character with what we have spoken of to curse the people of God. - The Lord
On the one hand, there is a pro- his God,” he said, “is with him, and the found sense of the holiness of God which shout of a king is among them." is almost as awful as the Shekinah itself. The last blessing signified here is that On the other hand, through His Son of complete and constant supply. With Jesus Christ, who is the true “mercy- the God of heaven himself perpetually seat” or “propitiation ” (1 John ii. 2) for in the camp, even the perpetual bestowthe sins of the world, there is as profound ment of the bread of heaven was no a sense of His love. In proportion as unnatural thing. Nothing is surprising, the one is realised, it drives away sin. in fact, in the way of bestowment after In proportion as the other, it drives away such a bestowment as that. " He that fear. The two together bring us close spared not His own son, but delivered Him to the condition of things to be found in up for us all, how shall He not with Him heaven itself, that pre-eminent “dwel- also freely give us all things ? " In other ling” of God.
words, how shall He who has given His This leads us to notice, secondly, the presence refuse anything else? blessings of God's presence.
These brief thoughts seem especially guidance" comes first. It is not in the suitable for the opening year. More briefly power
of any among us to tell “what a still they teach us, in this connection:day may bring forth.” Neither is it " in 1. What to desire above all during our man that walketh to direct his own pilgrimage. “If Thy presence go not with steps." Hence the necessity for this us, carry us not up hence.” guidance, Hence its blessedness too. 2. What to dread above all during our "Where Thou art guide, no ill can pilgrimage. “Cast me not away from come.” But it is only in connection with Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy the presence of God that we can be Spirit from me” (Psalm li. 11). assured of this blessing. “The steps of 3. What to hope at its close. _“In Thy a good man,” i.e. of one seeking this Pre- presence in fulness of joy; at Thy right sence,
are ordered by the Lord.” “As hand there are pleasures for evermore' many as are led by the Spirit of God (Psalm xvi. 11).
"THEY LOVE A FELLOW THERE.”
BY THE REv. G. EVERARD, M.A.
SUNDAY-SCHOOL lad in pulpit, in the cottage meeting, in visiting
Manchester was noticed as from house to house. Let all who are enregularly walking two miles gaged in the work of teaching the young
to the school which he at- use it freely in all they say or do. tended. Along the way he went he Harsh, hasty words, angry looks, sternpassed no less than ten or twelve other ness and severity, are not the weapons schools, and one day he was asked why Christ blesses. There needs now and he walked so far. Here was the answer then a word of gentle reproof. There he gave. It was no mere duty-work on must be discipline and order. But love his part, or on the part of the teachers. does the work, and does it most effectA magnet was in use in that school. That nally. A word of love, a look of love, magnet was love! “They love a fellow a kind deed suggested by love, will often there,” showed how strongly that magnet win a soul that nothing else could gain. had attracted him, and no doubt many In home life the same magnet is needed. besides. I fancy if we knew all about it, Many a husband might be saved from evil we should find the school a very pros- courses, if only there were the attractive perous one, and that many of its scholars power of kindness and love in the wife. had been led to the Saviour. I strongly ad- A fit of impatience and ill-temper drives vise the use of this magnet in all schools, many a man to the public-house, when congregations, Bible classes, and every- a gentle and forbearing spirit might have where else where you wish to win others made a blessing at his own fireside. from the ways of sin and to draw them Therefore seek the Spirit of Love; into the paths of peace and righteousness. receive unto thy heart the King of Love;
It was noticed in a certain town that trust His love and reflect His love. Then when the working-men became abstainers remember to practise love in every posia large number of them joined a parti- tion and in every place. Let there be cular congregation. One of the working- considerate love. Think often of the men themselves
There's wants and sorrows and cares of those a curate there that loves us like a brother.” around you. Let there be self-sacrificing Here was the magnet at work again. And love. Deny yourself, and give up much no pleasanter sight was ever seen than that for the good of others. Remember, holy curate, with his beaming face, surrounded love, Christ-like love, is the mightiest in the Bible class on the Saturday even- power for good that the Church or the ing gatherings, with the working-men he world has ever known. loved so well, and whom he so earnestly sought to benefit. Wherever you are, in
“St. Paul wrote against self-righteousness ; whatever way you want to do good to St. James against unrighteousness.” others, use the magnet.
“Love is the peculiar spirit, peace the peculiar Let ministers of Christ use it in the blessing of Christianity."- Dr. Marsh.