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not the least doubt of that gentleman's intentions, because he has given his full promise, and he is a true man. His word is as good as his bond, you say. These were your words, I think."
"Yes, sir," said Mary.
"And you think it would be insulting and injurious to Mr. Wilson to distrust his word?"
"I don't think he deserves to have it mistrusted, sir," said Mary, quietly. She began to see the drift of her friend's argument, and was a little confused: "Mr. Wilson has never given any reason for my thinking so badly of him," she added.
My grandfather walked away a few steps; but before he got to the garden gate, he turned again.
"Mary," he said, "has not the Lord Jesus Christ given his full promise to save and bless with pardon, and peace, and everlasting life, all that come unto God by him? Can you open the Bible anywhere without a great likelihood of meeting with some exceeding great and precious promise, written there for poor sinners needing mercy and seeking it in God's own appointed way? Do we not read that all these promises are 'yea, and amen in Christ Jesus?' Are we not told to 'come boldly to the throne of grace' that we may 'obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need;' and that 'him that cometh' He will 'in no wise cast out?'"
Mary's countenance showed how much she felt this appeal; but she made no reply, and my grandfather went on,—
"Is not God true, Mary? Is he not faithful who hath promised? Do we not read of him that ' He is not man, that he should lie; nor the son of man, that he should repent ?'"
"Oh, yes, sir, yes," said Mary, "there cannot be a doubt that God is true; and the dear Saviour"
'Who is the Lord from heaven, 'the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,'" continued my grandfather. "Is it not injurious and insulting to him to distrust his word? does he deserve this from us, Mary? Is not his word as good as his bond?"
"It is indeed, sir," said Mrs. Edwards.
"Mary, has the Lord Jesus Christ ever given you any reason for thinking so badly of him as that he would promise, and not perform his promise?" My grandfather put this question very solemnly.
There are some truths, very plain and simple in themselves, which are never more forcible than when they are put in a plain and simple light. Mary Edwards had always, as long as she had known anything of religion, known that God is true, that he is a faithful promiser; she had also known that unbelief is sinful in man, and dishonouring, insulting, and injurious to God. Perhaps she had often mourned over her own weak faith, and wished that it were stronger. In short, there was nothing which her aged friend had said to her in the few sentences which had passed that was absolutely new to her. But he had shown these old subjects in a new and familiar aspect, and conviction flashed upon her mind. At first, she was shocked to find how closely the charge had been brought home to her, that she had really placed more reliance on a fellow-creature, in reference to worldly matters, than she had ever reposed in her heavenly Father and faithful Saviour, in things relating to her soul as well as her body. But while she was mourning over her ingratitude and unbelief, a new-found joy sprang up in her soul, so that while with the doubting disciple of old she could say, "My Lord and my God!" she could add in her heart, "He has promised to save me, and to give unto me eternal life, and that no one shall pluck mo out of his hands; and his word is as good as his bond."
Yes, /its word is as good as his bond; but mark his condescension to our weakness, and the exceeding riches of his grace; "wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."
His word is as good as his bond; but Christ has given his bond as well as his word. He has signed and sealed the promise with his own blood.
His word is as good as his bond; what then shall senarate the humble believer from the love of Christ?
* Engraved as in eternal brass,
"Hia very word of grace is strong
TEMPERATE ON PRINCIPLE.
Among the people we meet, many a one doubtless has in his own life a story full of interest if he would tell it. Only now and then do circumstances happen that draw it out. I lately, on a journey, sat next to a respectable looking man who was reading a newspaper. 1 asked him if there were any news, and we conversed a little on that subject.
As we continued talking, a remark was made upon the numerous public-houses we passed. "Ah," said my neighbour, "if a law were passed preventing anything being drunk on the premises, drunkenness would soon become much decreased: it is the temptation to drop in and take a glass with a friend or by oneself which begets the habit, until at last a man can hardly pass a public-house without calling in."
"What do you think of the temperance pledge?" I inquired.
"It does good, I dare say, to many," he replied.
I remarked: "It is doubtless an excuse for a man to get rid of importunity to drink, because some people take offence if they ask a friend to have a glass and he refuses; but if he can say I am a teetotaller, I cannot drink, there's a satisfactory reason: but whatever may be said of the pledge, we must acknowledge that to be temperate from love of God is a far higher motive/'
This remark seemed to touch a chord in my fellowtraveller's heart which vibrated through his whole frame, for he became very earnest and animated as he said, j "Every man, sir, has his own experience, and few men's ; experience has been greater than mine, for I was once a I confirmed drunkard. I separated from my wife, and by degrees became a perfect sot, pawning everything I could for drink. My occupation often compelled me to work day and night; and once, after a night's hard work, I went, as usual, to a public-house, where I took three or four glasses, and, leaning my head upon my hands upon a small table, I fell into so sound a sleep, that I did not wake for some hours. "When I came to myself I found I had been robbed of the few shillings I had in the morning, and was penniless. I cannot describe the feelings of rage that came over me when I discovered I had been robbed, for I was a furiously passionate man even when sober; and I stood still for some time, thinking whom I should revenge myself upon. At last I remembered my wife, and resolved irrationally that she should be the object of my vengeance. When I parted from her two years before she was not a religious person. I knew that she was now in regular employment, and I also knew the road she took when she returned to her lodgings at night, and about the time she would pass a certain place; and thither I repaired to meet her.
"From some unusual cause she was full two hours late that night, and I was very cold and tired from waiting so long; but the chilly wind and my scanty clothing did not cool my mad purpose. It was past nine when 1 saw her approaching, and I determined to speak quietly to her at first to put her off her guard. As soon as she recognised mo she held out her hands, and spoke so gently, so tenderly"—
Here the poor man's voice became quite tremulous: he bit his lip, and put the end of his thumb between his teeth, whilst the veins of his forehead swelled, and his face became flushed with the great effort he made to suppress his feelings; but it was all in vain: he was obliged to bury his face in a handkerchief he took out of his hat, and, having wiped away the rebellious tears, he looked questionably at me. Perhaps he read a fellow feeling, for he smiled and resumed his narrative.
"Yes, tenderly she greeted me, and her face was lighted up with a serene beauty I had never seen before. All my wicked intentions vanished before her look and voice, and I burst into tears as the affection of former days rushed back upon my heart. I was so destitute, and such a vagabond in appearance, that I felt ashamed to go with her • but she would not let me leave her, and I soon found that during our separation she had been brought to know the Saviour's love; and now all her anxiety was that I should 'taste and see that the Lord is gracious.' By gentle steps she led me to believe the precious promise, 'Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.' She introduced me to some of her Christian friends, and they administered to my bodily and spiritual necessities with such a considerate and delicate forbearance from all allusion to the past, that, though I felt I was not one with them in the fellowship of the blessed gospel, yet I was grateful, 1 and feared to forfeit their respect.
"One night, after much struggling against the conviction that I could ever be thoroughly reformed, I awoke about an hour after midnight, and 1 shortly felt a sensation of horror creeping over my mind. My heart beat audibly, and, straining my sight through the darkness, I absolutely could have declared that the devil was by my bedside, close to my pillow. In vain I called reason to my aid; the horror increased, and descended upon my senses like a thick darkness. I sprang out of bed, got a light, and for the first time in my life I really prayed with strong cries and tears. God graciously heard my prayer, and sent the Holy Spirit to comfort me by leading me to the foot of the cross, and there to understand that 'the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.'
"My dear wife rejoiced to teach me all she knew, and I was like a little child, delighted to be taught. The love of Jesus shed abroad in my heart quieted my anxious fears, and prostrated me to the dust with shame, whenever I reflected on my folly and sin in forsaking the Lord who died to reconcile sinners like me to God. And now, sir, I am a sober man, from the love of God. I once took the pledge, and broke it in a week, for then I stood in my own strength, which was simply weakness. Now I stand in the strength of my covenant-keeping God, and he will never suffer me to fall. My wife (and here his voice choked again) lived to see me made a 'new creature" by the grace of God, and then she died."
"But," said I, "you will not grieve that she is entered into the joy of your and her Lord. Look forward to the reunion, when there shall be no more separations, no more sin or sorrow, nor crying; for God will wipe away all tears from our eyes."
On parting we shook hands cordially as travellers bound to the same glorious home, where we shall enter the fulness of joy evermore.
THE ALARUM. "Will it make a good loud noise, sir?"
"We will try it if you please, my friend; and then you will be convinced," said the clock-maker to his customer.