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love of our brother, than the first table of the law can be rent off from the second. All true christians are born of the same Father in heaven, washed in the blood of the same Saviour, inspired by the influences of the same Holy Spirit, interested in the same charter of the gospel, and instated in the same inheritance above : all of them, therefore, must needs be united together in love.
THE LOVE OF GOD. A MISSIONARY, addressing a pious negro woman, said,
Mary, is not the love of God wonderful ?” and then, enlarging on its manifestation in the atonement of Christ, he made the appeal, “Is it not wonderful ?” Mary simply, and we may add, sublimely replied, “ Massa, massa, me no tink it so wonderful, 'cause it just like Him.'
OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD. AT a recent festival at Ganesa's (Gumputtee's) temple in Ceylon, while the multitude of worshippers, assembled at the temple, were engaged in boiling their rice for an offering, one of them who went for water fell into the well. As soon as the circumstance was made known to the crowd, they rushed to the well, and among them was the pandarum (priest) of the temple, who, as soon as he had gratified his curiosity, returned to the temple. Not an individual among them manifested the least concern for the unfortunate man who was sunk in the water. They looked into the well, and talked about the man in such imminent danger with the most perfect indifference. Not an individual seemed to think assistance could or ought to be rendered, till one of the headmen came to the spot: he exerted all his influence to induce some one to dive into the water, (which any person accustomed to swimming might have done with perfect safety,) but his efforts were in vain. He then sent for the priest, who is known to be an expert swimmer. At the command of the headman he came, but excused himself from the act of mercy required of him, by saying that he could not absent himself so long from the duties of the temple without sustaining a loss. Just at this moment came to the place a young man, un
known to the crowd, who, as soon as he learned that a fellow-being was drowning, threw aside his garment, and leaped into the well. After repeatedly diving, he found the body and raised it to the surface of the water, from which it was taken by the by-stạnders. As soon as the noise and confusion occasioned by taking out the lifeless body had subsided, a loud whisper passed along the crowd,“ Who is that young man? Who is that good man ?” They were not a little surprised, and some of the enemies of christianity confounded, when they were told that this good Samaritan was Azel Backus, a christian! This event has done not a little towards stopping the mouths and weakening the strength of some who were arrayed against christians and the cause in which they are engaged, and is to all, who have any knowledge of scripture, a striking comment on the words of inspiration,“ Overcome evil with good.”
SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS STRIKINGLY EXEMPLIFIED IN
A DRUNKARD. THE writer, as he was proceeding on the Lord's day, through the streets of London, to church, overtook a drunken man, who, as he staggered along, was talking pretty loudly to himself. “Ah! well!” said he, “I shall go
to heaven for all this; I am sure I shall go to heaven.” As soon as. the writer had passed by him, he observed to a friend who was with him, not thinking he should be overheard by the man, “I fear, though this poor man talks of going to heaven, he is not at present in the way to it.” Though uttered in a low tone of voice, the remark reached the drunkard's ears. “You think not,” said he; "why do not you think so? I say, I know I shall go there, and you and all the world cannot hinder me. Yes, you may shake your head, if you like: my principle is good : here I have it, (pointing to his heart); though I may have taken a little too much just now, yet I have a good heart.” What a union was here of sin and self-righteousness! and I never have observed it otherwise. The pharisee and the antinomian appear in the same person. Alas! poor man, boasting of the goodness of his heart in the very moment of actual transgression, in which he was indulging the sinful lusts of that heart. And why was this? It was because the heart of
this man, and the heart of every man, by nature, is not only wicked, but deceitful. God only, by his grace, can bring even the most open sinner to discern his own character, and to feel his dependence upon the mercy revealed in the gospel.
A FACT. A TRACT. A POOR industrious washerwoman, who is exceedingly partial to religious and temperance tracts, is afflicted with a very common curse—her husband is a drunkard and a brute. From illness he was obliged to be removed to a hospital; twice, for ill-using his wife, he has been committed to prison. During his absence a gentleman, who is now a member of parliament, who is very kind, and lives near the drunkard's cottage, called to see the poor mother and children. She had been reading a tract, and when the gentleman entered the room, it lay on the table before him. “What rubbish is that?” said he. “It is no rubbish, sir," replied the washerwoman, mildly, “but a good tract, which some benevolent ladies have left for me to read; and I feel greatly obliged to them for their kind attention.” They had better have brought you something to eat, than leave such rubbish as that here,” said the gentleman. “I had rather have one of those little tracts, and a little to eat, than all to eat, and no tracts,” replied the washerwoman, picking up the tract, which the gentleman had seized, and whisked across the room. Why ?” said he. Because, .sir, I find something good in them,” replied the washerwoman. Here is a case in which religious principle, maintained by religious consistency, triumphs over the sneers of a worldly, though benevolent man, and shows him his ignorance, where he thought his superiority rested.
This poor woman has three children depending on her still for bread; and yet, though they live further than almost any of the children from the Sunday-school, they are usually there among the first, and the neatest dressed. She is also a weekly subscriber to two benevolent objects of a missionary nature. She pays to a sick-club in the school for her children; and yet has not received five shillings from her husband for many months. How is all this accomplished by a poor washerwoman? She is a christian! And, while her husband, with greater earnings, lavished all upon himself, and had often to beg of his wife, whom he has lately deserted, she maintains herself and three children in happiness and comfort.
From “ The Temperance Advocate."
AN encouraging circumstance has occurred within my own knowledge from the impression which the tract, The Pharisee,” produced on a farmer's wife in a parish of North Wilts. Her life had been respectable. She and her husband had been upwards of fifty years in the employ of their master, who confided to them the sole charge and management of a large and valuable dairy farm. Their wages had long been accumulating in his hands, besides a little sum deposited in the savings' bank of the neighbourhood. All things seemed to prosper with them; but, while “all things work together for good to them that love God," with equal justice may it be observed, that the choicest blessings do but tend to harden the heart of the ungodly, and to wind them the closer in their web of self-righteousness; and so this poor woman attributed all her worldly success to her being so much better than her neighbours. It pleased God to lay her husband upon a sick bed, which ultimately proved his bed of death ; his minister attended him regularly, hoping, although at the eleventh hour, he might be permitted to convey to this poor, benighted soul, one ray of that Sun of righteousness, whose beams alone can carry us through the dark valley, and conduct us safely to the realms of light; but, alas ! he died, equally unmindful whether the bliss of heaven or the pains of hell awaited him. The wife always received the minister with great civility, and having with a courtesy ushered him into the sick man's room, she closed the door, and left him. It quite accorded with her notions of propriety that her husband should be thus visited previous to his death, and the more so as he had occasionally given way to drinking, and had now (in her views) that sin to atone for; but she could not see that any conversation between a minister and a sinner could be in any way applicable to her, whose conscience felt wholly free from guilt. The clergyman persevered in calling occasionally on this self-righteous widow, but could not succeed in his attempts to draw her into religious conversation, evidently showing by her whole deportment she thought she was one of the whole who needed not the Physician to whom her minister would have recommended her. He one day began reading to her a tract, “The Pharisee." She continued as usual busying herself in her family concerns; but he soon found her attention began to be arrested, and for the first time since he had known her, she seemed to lay aside all her worldly avocations, and to be wholly engrossed in the concerns of her soul. She made no observations upon the tract; but when it was finished, she earnestly requested the loan of it. On the following week the minister, upon entering the house, immediately saw a difference in her manner. The busy, bustling air, and overstrained civility, were now changed for a calm and quiet deportment, and though formerly she was very talkative, so as to be almost offensive, a very few words were now only to be heard in an under tone, respectfully offering him a seat, and she quietly placed one by his side. He took no notice of the change he perceived, but silently offered up a prayer to God that it might really be the work of his Spirit on this seeming heart of stone. He pursued his conversation, and soon found her as willing to acknowledge herself a pharisee, as she would formerly have been offended at the least imputation of such a charge; and with tears she exclaimed, “0, dear, dear sir, do ye come often to me, for I can see now I have been going all the wrong road, and if I should die before I get into the right, what would become of my poor soul! I can see plainly what a presumptuous sinner I have been, in thinking to get to heaven by my own goodness." She continued some time in this strain. The minister could only look and listen to her with astonishment. What, thought he, has become of all her fancied boasted goodness, on which for years she has been depending? Externally she is the same she has ever been. What has softened her naturally hard features, and made the tear of contrition for sins, till now unfelt, roll down her furrowed cheeks ? What but thine almighty power, eternal Spirit ?
TRACT OPERATIONS ABROAD. THE following are queries proposed by the Rev. Dr. Alexander, of North America, as the heads of some remarks he intended to make at a late meeting in behalf of the tract cause, had his health allowed him to be present. Who will not hail the day when such principles shall control the hearts and conduct of men ?
1. Ought not the love of Christ and his kingdom to be the governing motive with every christian?
2. Will not this motive, in proportion as it is felt, induce every one to make exertions to advance Christ's kingdom, and thus promote the glory of God in the world ?
3. Is there any way by which this object can so effectually be accomplished, as by extending the knowledge of the truth throughout the whole earth ?
4. Is there not a crisis in things of this kind, when much may be done by seasonable and energetic exertions; which, if it be suffered to pass without improvement, may not return for ages; just as if the seasons of seed time and harvest be neglected, we labour in vain during the remainder of the year ?