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no soul, you will dismiss the question as a very foolish one. If you make the soul mean nothing more than the animal life, you will do
If you really suppose you have an immortal soul, but are in no danger of losing it, then again you make the solemn question of our Saviour mean nothing. If you think there is a bare possibility of losing your soul, but that the chances in your favour are as a thousand or a million to one, you will of course dismiss the subject as a very trifling one. Or if you believe that though you should lose your soul, it will be but for a little time, and
shall certainly find it again, that will effectually put your
you fears to rest.
Go then to the true standard; learn your immortality; find out that
you are a sinner; and that to be lost means to lose all that is glorious in heaven, and to endure the pains of hell forever. Then understand Christ as putting a plain question—as asking what it would profit you to gain the whole world, and enjoy it all during an ordinary life time, and then to leave it all, and
- sink to endless woe.” Our Saviour meant to put just such a question as this. And what do
you think of it, reader? Would you like to have the world on such terms? But you cannot get the whole world, even if you would give your soul for it. A very little, a mere particle, is the most that any one man can get; and for this will you give your soul? You are doubtless very busy here and there, but perhaps Satan and the world can spare you long enough to settle such a question as this. It need take but a few moments to conclude with yourself what is best, and by all that is precious in your eternity, you are bound to stop at once and come to a final decision.
BIBLE SOCIETY IN RUSSIA.
“Some time ago an officer despatched seventy soldiers to him from a small neighbouring town, entreating him, as they were Protestants and Lutherans, to administer the Holy Communion to them, of which they were desirous to partake. They consisted of Germans, Livonians, Esthonians, speaking the Dorpat and Reval dialects, Fions, and even a few Lutherans speaking Russ; and I had to prepare these seventy people, writes the clergyman, 'for the approaching solemnity, by addressing them in German and Russ, and, as well as I could, in Esthonian also; but with so much the greater power and effect did the
Lord himself condescend, by
the voice of his Holy Spirit, to speak to their hearts. I had a stock of New Testaments in these various languages; and, after the Public Address in the Church, I invited them to my house, promising to give to every one of them who could read, and was willing to accept my offer, a copy of the New Testament. Never shall I forget the impression made on my mind on this occasion ; and often do I revert to the scene I then witnessed, as a convincing proof that an anxious longing for the word of God can exceed in intensity the warmest desire of obtaining worldly w lth, and that the possession of it affords greater satisfaction than the possession of earthly riches. I called every soldier to me individually, and directed bim to read a few verses from the New Testament in his mother tongue.
Whoever among them could read was presented with a copy, and singular were the effects produced upon different individuals on receiving the sacred volume. A veteran warrior, by birth a Livonian, whose resolute mien and muscular frame seemed to bid defiance to the very notion of fear-who had, more. over, crossed the Balkan-had stood before Warna and Brailoffhad seen Prague, and bad assisted at the storming of Wola and entered Warsaw, grasped the book which I offered to him, and pressed it to his bosom: then kissing it, while the tears trickled down his furrowed cheecks, he exclaimed, “ Many thanks to you, Sir! It is long since I have had an opportunity of visiting a Protestant Church, or hearing the word of God in my native tongue, and of approaching the Table of the Lord, my adorable and ever blessed Redeemer. Often have I sighed for spiritual comfort, and, in distress of soul and body, earnestly prayed to the Lord to have mercy upon me and grant me relief, And now I have obtained it; for here I possess a treasure which will make me rich and happy. Once more accept, sir, my warmest, my sincerest thanks." Another soldier related, that, thirteen years before, when he joined the army as a recruit, on taking leave of his afflicted mother he had received from her, in token of her lasting remembrance, a small Prayer Book, which he had carried with him during all his marches in Turkey and Poland. Many a ball had passed through his knapsack, and many a shower of rain had penetrated to his book, so that it had at times been completely watered through; but he had as often carefully dried it and carried it with him (nearly a dozen years), to his great comfort and encouragement. At length, about a year ago, the book which he prized as his richest treasure had become so worn out that it actually fell to pieces, and he could keep it no longer together. Ever since it had been the earnest desire of his heart to obtain a similar book in his own dear native tongue; and inexpressible, therefore, was his delight in becoming possessed of one which surpassed every other book—the word of God itself, from which he declared that nothing should separate him till death. But,' continues the clergyman, never before did I behold such deep, unfeigned, and, I may say, heavenly joy, as was manifested by a young Livonian from Mitau, about twenty.
five years of age, when I presented him, in his turn, with a New Testament. He kissed my hand and the hem of my gown, patted me on the cheek and the back, while, amidst tears of delight, he assured me, in Livonian and Russ, that he would never cease to pray to the Almighty for me, and my wife and children, and he was sure that God would hear him and reward me at the last day for having enriched him and made him so unspeakably happy. He went on to say, that, since entering the army, he had often saved money sufficient to purchase a New Testament, and had frequently inquired where a copy might be had, but all in vain; so that he had again spent his savings on other things: but now that he had so unexpectedly come into the possession of that invaluable jewel which he had so long and fruitlessly sought after, he declared it should remain with him to the end of his life.
65. After the crowd had dispersed, amidst lively and loud protestations of gratitude, and I was left alone musing on the scenes which I had just witnessed, a knock was heard at the door, and an old soldier, whom I had not particularly noticed before among the rest, entered once more. He was an Esthonian; and bowing low, with an appearance of great bashfulness and reserve, at length stammered out, “Ah, sir! you have not thought proper to give me a New Testament, because I cannot read. It is true, I am an old man, and my stupid head is no longer able to learn what I neglected in my youth; but next spring the term of my service expires, and I shall return to my home in Esthonia. There I have a wife and two children; and if I might be so bold, I would humbly beg you to give me a New Testament for them, that they may be instructed in the word of God, and thereby rendered better and more pious than inyself.” His joy was very great when, in consequence of his urgent application, I presented him with a New Testament.''
66 GOD'S WORK MUST BE DONE."
The following incident is related by a missionary in the West Indies, and illustrates the strength of faith, and the large-hearted, self-denial of a humble.coloured man, which is worthy of imitation by those in more exalted stations and circumstances in life. The missionary says:
“ There is one incident that occurred which I shall never forget. In calling over the names to ascertain how much they could give to build the chapel, I happened to call the name of Fitzgerald Matthew. "I am here, sir,” he instantly replied; and, at the same time, I heard him hobbling with his wooden leg out of the crowd, to come up to the table pew, where I was standing. I wondered what he meant, for the others answered to their names without moving from their places. I was, however, forcibly struck with his apparent earnestness. On coming up, he put his hand into one pocket, and took out a handful of silver, wrapped in paper, and said, “That's for me, massa.' •O,' said I, keep your money at present, I don't want it now, I only wanted to know how much you could afford to give; I will come for the money another time.' Ah, massa,' he replied, 'God's work must be done, and I may be dead;' and with that he plunged his hand into another pocket, and took out another handful of silver
, and said, “That's for my wife, massa.' Then he put his hand into a third pocket, and took out a somewhat smaller parcel, and said, • That's for my child, massa,' at the same time giving me a slip of paper, which somebody had written for him, to say how much the whole was. It was, altogether, near three pounds sterling-a large sum for a poor field negro, with a wooden leg ! But his expression was to me worth more than all the money in the world. I have heard eloquent preachers in England, and have felt, and felt
, deeply, under their ministrations, but never have 1 been so impressed with any thing they have said, as with the simple expression of this poor negro. Let me never forget it; let it be engraved on my heart; let it be my motto in all that I take in hand for the cause of Christ God's work must be done, and I may be dead.'”
PSALM xxxvi. 9.
6. With thee is the fountain of life.”
FOUNTAIN of life! O Father,
Thou all things dost sustain ;
Else were my efforts vain.
Thou all men didst redeem;
Else were my hopes a dream.
Else would it lifeless be.
Whilst years below I see,
Find all my springs in THEE,
FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE,
Where does it dwell? Can a specimen be found on earth? Yes, reader, I will show you an abode of happiness. It is in a retired part of the country. The scenery is wild and grand. Let us enter the rudely built dwelling. There sits a mother, and near her is gathered a group of children. All inside the building is neat. An air of cheerfulness pervades the countenance of the mother, and her children all seem obedient and happy; the husband and father is at work in the field.
My friend, how is it that you appear so happy in this retired and humble abode ?"
“God is every where, and we feel that he is with us. In his Providence he directed us to this place, and we are happy in being where he stations us.'
“ Then you have not always been accustomed to this mode of life?”
“O no; my husband and myself were brought up in circumstances quite different from these.”
“ But was it not difficult for you to submit to this condition?”
No, we enjoy the favour of our Father in heaven, and that satisfies us. With it, the retired cottage is as pleasant as the populous palace. Our home is sweet, very sweet to us.
“ You must possess but few, if any of the luxuries of life?”
True, but we enjoy many of the luxuries of heaven.” “ You are far from neighbours ?”
“ Yes, but God and his angels are near. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth and for ever.'” Do
you not fear want ?" “ The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want.”