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Or like the silly bird, that to her nest
LOVE TO CHRIST.
Do you love Christ?-I ask not if
feel The warm excitement of that party zeal Which follows on, while others lead the way And make His cause the fashion of the day. But do you love him when his garb is mean! Nor shrink to let your fellowship be seen ? Do you love Jesus, blind, and halt, and maimed? In prison succour him-nor feel ashamed To own him—though his injured name may be A mark for some dark slander's obloquy? Do you love Jesus in the orphan's claim; And bid the widow welcome in His name? Say not, “ When saw we him?" Each member dear, Poor, and afflicted, wears His image here; And if unvalued or unknown by thee, Where can thy union with the Body be? And if thou thus art to the body dead, Where is thy life in Christ the living head ? And if dissevered from the living Vine, How can'st thou dream that thou hast Life Divine ?
Sweet is the union true believers feel: Into one Spirit they have drunk; the seal Of God is on their hearts, and thus they see In each the features of one family! If one is suffering, all the rest are sad ; If but the least is honoured, all are glad. The grace of Jesus, which they all partake, Flows out in mutual kindness for his sake; Here he has left them for awhile to wait, And represent Him in their suffering state ; While He, though glorified, as yet, alone, Bears the whole Chureh before the Father's throne.
FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALI,
A PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN.
MRS. CROOM lived in Gloucestershire. After her marriage she and her husband kept cows, and supported themselves, and made money by the sale of milk. They lived in a small house by the road side, near Nibley, and were well known in the neighbourhood as industrious and money-saving people. She told me that they were very penurious, and their besetting sin was the love of money—they resolved to get money, and to save it. But in her case, as in the case of thousands, covetousness is not unfriendly to a form of godliness. Accordingly, one Good Friday, Mrs. Croom resolved that she would go and hear a sermon "for the occasion” —that is, about the sufferings and death of Christ. The text was—“Let my counsel be acceptable unto thee; break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor.” (Dan. iv. 27.) But the counsel was anything rather than acceptable to her. The minister spoke of the cursed sin of covet
This touched her idol. It laid the axe at the root of all her happiness. She felt quite miserable at the thought, that she could not indulge in her love of money
to heaven too. When speaking to me on the subject, she said, “O, sir, how I did hate that Mr. - I said to myself
, 'I will never forgive that man what a miserable sermon for Good Friday!” But the arrows of God were sharp in the heart of this moneyloving woman, and she tried various ways to pull them out, before she applied to Christ, the great Physician; but it was a vain effort. At last, under great agony of mind, she spoke to a pious friend respecting her state; and asked, “What must I do to get peace to my troubled soul?” “Do,” said her neighbour, "do!
why, do what the text teaches you, ‘Break off your sins
by righteousness, and your iniquities by shewing merey to the poor.'
She resisted no longer; she fell before the mercy seat, confessed her guilt, asked forgiveness, and earnestly implored the Lord Jesus to help her that she might act evermore like a child of God. From this day she became happy; Christ became precious to her; and
“ Light broke in upon her eyes,
With kind and quickening rays." The change soon became visible, and many not only saw it, but felt it. The cold, frozen selfishness thawed under the beams of the Sun of righteousness, with a soft, kind, generous spirit. Not long after this, her husband died, and then several changes took place.
I. She gave up business, and came to Wotton-underEdge to live, that she might be near to the house of God. She had found, by painful experience, that a long distance from a place of worship is very unfavourable to the prosperity of the soul. Many things arise which cannot be avoided—such as heavy rains, dark nights, and dirty roads —which prevent old persons from attending, especially week-evening services. But her soul panted for God. She hungered and thirsted after righteousness, and therefore she resolved to settle near the house of prayer, where she might constantly attend the ordinances of religion. I consider this a good plan, but it is not the way of people in general: as their fortunes increase, they usually increase the distance, and decrease their attendance; so that instead of twice on the Sabbath, and once in the week, it comes at last to a Sunday morning service, and that is all-s0 did not Mrs. Croom.
II. She took a pleasing method not to be a forgetful hearer of the word. It was her constant practice to repeat the verse which led to her conversion every morning, and also many times in the day. It seemed always uppermost, and she employed it as “the sword of the Spirit," to slay her besetting sin. This seems to be what David did—“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I may not sin against thee.” This seems to
be what Paul recommends-“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;" and if the word of Christ dwell in us, the heart will be too full to admit such an intruder as cows, or milk, or money. How differently would professors of religion in general appear before the world, if the Bible were more entirely their director.
III. She was very conscientious about the distribution of her property. It was no trial to her to live on mean fare, and to wear plain garments. She practised this in the early part of life, with a view to save money; and now she continued to practise it, in order to have money to give away. If economy be the storehouse of charity, she economised indeed. She gave away every farthing she could spare for many years; but now a new evidence of her conscientiousness appeared. She had a rich relative in London, who died and left her a considerable sum. When the subject was first made known to her, she absolutely refused to have it.
“ No, no," she said; “I have many struggles with the money I already possess, fearing that at last I shall be condemned for my unfaithfulness. The love of money has always been my besetting sin, and how do I know but the increase of it may injure me? if I have more, my responsibility will increase, and perhaps my condemnation be the greater.” At last her friends prevailed on her to take it, but she resolved not to increase her expenses—the new income should be divided amongst the poor.
IV. She was in herself a complete Dorcas Society. She was not satisfied with giving money to her neighbours, but she employed her time in making garments for the poor. I mention one instance as a specimen. She had found a woman in distress, and she immediately bought some flannel to make up for her. She began her work, but the time arrived for dinner; she was called. “I can't come,” she replied; “bring up a bit to me—the poor creature wants her petticoat, and I cannot lose time, or I shall not be able to finish it to-day.”
V. Her meanly-clad appearance often excited the pity of strangers. She had a cloak which had warmed her many a winter; and at last Mrs. Hill saw the cloak appear again, and she requested a friend to call on her, and say that Mrs. Hill wished to give her a new cloak. “I am very thankful,” said she, “but please to give my duty to Lady Hill, and tell her that I give away cloaks."
VI. Her end was very happy. She honoured God, and God honoured her with his life-giving presence. Her soul was full of hope. Her desire was to be found in Christ, though she had laid out her property and time so entirely for the good of others-yet her simple trust was in the precious blood of Christ. When she was so weak that she could not dress herself, she would sit up and sing,
o Jesu, lover of my soul,
Hangs my helpless soul on thee;" and having served her generation for several years according to the will of God, she fell asleep in Jesus, and “mortality was swallowed up of life.” Happy saint! Peace to thy memory! May many resolve to imitate thy rare example. Amen.
FEED MY SHEEP.'
The Rev. F. T., while on a visit to a friend in Cheshire, being invited to preach in his church, took his text from John xxi, 16. 66 Feed my sheep." “ Here,” said he, “is a command from God * Feed my sheep.' But I have not so much as a blade of grass for any goats ; no, not a single blade of grass for a goat.” He then went on to point out the sad state of those who were still living regardless of God and their own souls. A few days after, the clergy man of the parish observing a poor labouring man, whom he employed in his garden, looking very dejected, asked him what was the matter? James replied, • O Sir, I cannot forget what that gentleman told us last Sunday in his sermon, and I am afraid I am a goat; but I have been praying that God would make me sheep.” The clergyman told him that God had promised to receive all who came to him in the name of Jesus, and that if he ap. plied to Christ he would make him one of his sheep.