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“HE WOULD IF HE COULD, BUT HE COULDN'T.”

223

ܐ ܙܙ

or bad.

door. Those who hinder others are reck- “Happy, sir? I would not change less and unreasonable. Would it not be with our great Emperor (this conversaan awful thing if in eternity a ruined tion took place in Paris, when the Emsoul reproached you bitterly and said, peror Napoleor. III. was in the height of “I should have been saved but for you. his power), and my conversion is a very I lay my death at your door.”

simple affair. I am an engineer on a Just see, too, how impotent God can steamboat on the Seine. My mate bemake the wicked, even with the very came a Christian, and he gave me no means of evil in their hands.

rest, always talking about the love of When Laban went after Jacob, God Jesus, till I felt the evil of sin and the just said to him in a dream, “Take heed need of the Saviour. You see it is the that thou speak not to Jacob either good rule of our little church, that when a or bad.” And when he overtook him, brother has been converted, he has to although he could easily have injured go out and bring another brother, and him, see what he is obliged to say, "It is when a sister has been converted, she has in the power of my hand to do you hurt: to go and bring another sister, and that but the God of your father spake unto is the way one hundred and twenty of us me yesternight saying, Take thou heed have been brought from Romish darkness that thou speak not to Jacob either good to the Lord Jesus Christ.” And no doubt

every one of them rejoicingly blessed God Saul, when he was on the way to that they had been made to hear. Damascus to persecute the Christians, If this article be read by any one who armed with fulf authority, was pulled up is himself a Christian, and willing to try in a moment.

and do good to some one in bringing him Ah ! how many might have been saved to Christ, but who is afraid of that person, if only they would have listened; but see how Providence so arranged it that they refused, like the deaf adder, to hear that trumpeter's arms were pinioned and the voice of the charmer, charm he his trumpet was no good. In a way that never so wisely. Many a one in worldly he never expected, God stopped his oppomatters, says, “Oh, if only I had listened sition; and in a way that you dream not of to your advice, this wouldn't have hap- He can put down and bring to none effect pened; but now it is too late.” And the opposition which would hinder you. hereafter it will be dreadful to think, and But if as yet you yourself have not feel, and have to say, “If only I had listened to the voice of God's Holy Spirit, listened! If only I had read! But I did but want to hinder it by drowning its neither the one nor the other, and there- blessed sound, now in sweet mercy may fore this ruin has come upon me now. the good Lord so deal with you that you

And how many hereafter will bless must in some way hear the whole story God, who made them hear. They were out, out to the very end ; how you are very angry with the minister, or the only a poor lost sinner, and how He friend who would persist in pressing the willeth not the death of a sinner, but soul's great things upon them, until

they would rather that he turned from his iniattended to them; but they are not so quity and lived; and how Jesus is ready

to wash out all the sin, and the Spirit “You are a Christian, then ? Are you to make you holy and fit for heaven. a happy man? How were you brought O misery of man—"he would if he to Christ?"

could,” O grace of God “but he couldn't.” i Gen. xxxi. 29. 2 Psa. lviii. 5. And both together, O wonder of eternity,

now.

“HE WOULD IF HE COULD, BUT HE COULDN'T."

HEARTSEASE. THE STORY OF A CHRISTMAS CARD.

T was upon a wintry day, The last month of the

year, T'he shops were decked in

festive guise, For Christmastide was

near.

I entered one upon the

way, Some Christmas cards to

buy. Five minutes were enough

for me To purchase my supply.

66

Two dozen cards for friends at home,

And friends beyond the sea,
With kindly greetings for the day;

These were enough for me.
But near at hand a stranger stood,

She, too, had come to buy,
Who, looking over many cards,

Seemed hard to satisfy.,
I asked her, would she look at mine,

And see if she would care,
Among the choice that I had made,

For any that were there.
She thanked me pleasantly, and said

She wanted but one more,
A Scripture-text with pansy-flowers;

She'd seen the card before;7
A pretty card, a precious text,

A text full well she knew'Twas “Casting all your care on Him,

For He careth for you."
The Tract Society, she said,

Had published it last year,
She wished to get it, and had thought

That she would find it here. “I want it for a special use,”

Said she; “I'll tell you why,
Last year it saved a life from death,

A soul from misery. "Most precious, therefore, seem the words,

Perhaps, perhaps again
They may bring comfort to a heart

In agony and pain.
“But you may like to hear the tale

or blessing that they brought; How they to a despairing soul

A heavenly lesson taught.

“ Last year, a friend through trouble sore

Lost faith in human love,
In human honour human truth,

Lost faith in God above.
“ 'Tis almost now a year ago,

It was on Christmas day,
He rose to seek the river brink,

And fling his life away ;--
“Just as the children from the school

Returned in happy glee,
To show the presents they had got

From off the Christmas-tree.
“ He heeded not their childish joy,

His heart with anguish sore,
But heard as if he heard them not,

And turned him to the door.
“A card lay on the threshold step,

He marked the one word CARE; A Christmas card,-a childish hand

Had somehow dropped it there.
ri He read “Cast all your care on Him,

For He careth for you;'
O God,' cried he, 'is this for me?

Can this, can this be true ?'
Yes, true it was, a word divine,

Of blessèd counsel given,
To turn him from the path of death ;

A message sent from heaven.
It led him to the feet of God,

With all his sin and care, And he for blessèd Jesus' sake

Found peace and pardon there. O wondrous are the ways of God,

To bring His children home, When far adown the darksome path

Of sin and shame they roam. 'Twas God that chose the card that day

From off the Christmas-tree;
And it was God that dropped it where

The man could not but see. 'Twas God that gave the message power

To turn that soul from sin; 'Twas God that opened mercy's door,

And took the wand'rer in. 'Twas God that gave him welcome back,

Returning from sin's ways; From God alone deliverance came,

To God be all the praise.

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16 'Tis almost now a year ago,

It was on Christmas day,
He rose to seek the river brink,

And fling his life away ;“ Just as the children from the school

Returned in happy glee,
To show the presents they had got

From off the Christmas-tree.
“He heeded not their childish joy,

His heart with anguish sore,
But heard as if he heard them not,

And turned him to the door.

Two dozen cards for friends at home,

And friends beyond the sea,
With kindly greetings for the day;

These were enough for me.
But near at hand a stranger stood,

She, too, had come to buy,
Who, looking over many cards,

Seemed hard to satisfy.,
I asked her, would she look at mine,

And see if she would care,
Among the choice that I had made,

For any that were there.
She thanked me pleasantly, and said

She wanted but one more,
A Scripture-text with pansy-flowers;

She'd seen the card before ;
A pretty card, a precious text,

A text full well she knew'Twas “Casting all your care on Him,

For He careth for you.”
The Tract Society, she said,

Had published it last year,
She wished to get it, and had thought

That she would find it here. “I want it for a special use,”

Said she; “I'll tell you why, Last year it saved a life from death,

A soul from misery. “Most precious, therefore, seem the words,

Perhaps, perhaps again
They may bring comfort to a heart

In agony and pain.
“But you may like to hear the tale

Of blessing that they brought; How they to a despairing soul

A heavenly lesson taught.

“A card lay on the threshold step,

He marked the one word CARE; A Christmas card,-a childish hand

Had somehow dropped it there. “He read “Cast all your care on Him,

For He careth for you;' "O God,' cried he, 'is this for me?

Can this, can this be true?'”
Yes, true it was, a word divine,

Of blessèd counsel given,
To turn him from the path of death ;

A message sent from heaven.
It led him to the feet of God,

With all his sin and care, And he for blessèd Jesus' sake

Found peace and pardon there. O wondrous are the ways of God,

To bring His children home, When far adown the darksome path

Of sin and shame they roam. 'Twas God that chose the card that day

From off the Christmas-tree;
And it was God that dropped it where

The man could not but see. 'Twas God that gave the message power

To turn that soul from sin; 'Twas God that opened mercy's door,

And took the wand'rer in. 'Twas God that gave him welcome back,

Returning from sin's ways; From God alone deliverance came,

To God be all the praise.

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