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may in one moment be reduced to poverty. If any one of us could fly away, and return to his home after an absence of ten or twenty years, would not things wear a very altered appearance ? Another would probably be occupying the chimney corner. Though we should see about the place here and there an old face, yet how many new ones would there be, and how many missing! Many who are now young and hearty, would be sleeping beneath the green turf!
But there is one change which would be indeed a matter of joy. Perhaps some of our friends and neighbours, who are now living without God, careless about their souls, having name to live,” but in fact spiritually dead, who meet us in the house of God
week after week, but go away intouched-perhaps we should find some of these altered men and women. The grace of God may have meanwhile awakened them. They may have seen their need of a Saviour, and have found in Him a happiness which they never knew before. And then we should exclaim, “ Is this so and so, whom I remember so careless, and so set against true religion ?" Or, “Can that be another who was once nothing better than a proud self-righteous Pharisee, but now a humble, believing Christian ?"
May God, in the next few years, be pleased to do great things in our families and neighbourhoods ! May He work mightily in the hearts of those who are now far from Him, living
only for this world! May He turn that thoughtless brother, or that giddy sister, or that wayward child, who are thinking only of the joys of earth! May He bring many souls to Himself by such means as He sees fit to employ!
But we must go back to Naomi, and hear the mournful account she gives of herself: “ And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi ; call me Mara.” Now, most of the Jewish names have a meaning. “Naomi” meant pleasant; and “Mara" signified bitter. “Call me not Naomi; that name no longer suits me; for all my pleasant things are laid waste. Mara will be a more fitting name for me now; for I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. The Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
І went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty; why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?"
Is my reader one who is ready to say, My name is “Mara;” bitterness has been my portion; my brightest hopes have been disappointed; my plans have failed; every earthly spring of comfort has been dried up. Then pitiable indeed is your state, if you have no consolation beyond what this world can offer you. And yet, I believe, there are thousands of aching hearts, which are seeking only earthly remedies to relieve them. Ah, you may try them all, and they will chase away your grief perhaps for a moment;
but they will never heal your wound. The blood may be stanched for a time; but the aching sore remains. Let me tell you, there is in heaven a Great Healer. There is a Physician there, who can heal the soul, and who asks you
with a voice of tenderness, “ Wilt thou be made whole ?
Bring your wounded heart to me, and I will ease it. Tell me of all your troubles. Pour out every sorrow into my bosom."
bosom.” Yes, Jesus can, and will, heal you. He who said to the Widow of Nain, “ Weep not;" and to the troubled sea, “ Be still; can in one moment dry up all your tears, and give peace to your soul. If you
have never gone to Him in your affliction, go to Him now: and you will find Him a very present help in trouble.
But perhaps this may meet the eye