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MEDITATIONS FOR AUGUST.
“All things are yours.”—1 Cor.
iii. 21. Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take!
The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Every wind, though it blow ever so cross, speeds believers to their port. Not a stone thrown at them, but it is to them a precious stone; not a thorn in their crown, but it turns into a diamond; not a twig in their rod, but is sweetened and sanctified. The saddest providences, like the snow falling on them, and descending to the hem of their garments, there freeze into a gem to deck them.-Lye.
posture at this time. It is the character of believers—they are such as love his appearing. (2 Tim. iv. 8.) They desire his coming. haste, my beloved.” (Cant. viii. 14.) “Even so, come Lord Jesus, come quickly! The Lord is gone! my Saviour bath left the earth, and entered into his glory; my friends and brethren are gone to their blessed rest, where they see God's face, and sing his praise for ever; and how can I be willing to stay behind when they are gone! Must I be groaning and sighing, when they are triumphing and dividing the spoil ? Surely I will look after them, and cry, O Lord, how long ? When shall I be with my Saviour and my God ?Willison.
“ Did not our hearts burn within
us?"-LUKE xxiv. 32.
The steps of Him I love,
In brighter worlds above. Of old the Lord used to answer his people's prayers and sacrifices by fire from heaven; pray that he may answer yours in like manner, by kindling a holy fire in your soula fire of love to Christ. O love the Lord Jesus as your treasure and portion; let your thoughts be mainly upon him, and your soul's breathings after him. Be much concerned for his interest and cause, and for the spreading of his kingdom and glory in the world; and be looking out and longing for the full and perfect enjoyment of him. “Come Lord Jesus."-Rev.xxii. 20. Happy he whom Christ shall find
Watching to see him come; Him the judge of all mankind
Shall bear triumphant home. Be frequently looking out and longing for Christ's coming. As Abraham stood in his tent-door ready to go forth to meet the angels that were sent unto him, so should the believer keep himself in a waiting
“Walk by faith.”—2 Cor. v. 7.
We live by faith, and faith lives by exercise. As we say of some stirring men, they are never well but at work -confine them to their bed or chair, and you kill them; so here, hinder faith from working, and you are enemies to the very life and being of it. Why do we act faith so little in prayer,
but because we are not more frequent in it? “The love of Christ."-Eph. iii. 19. O love divine! what hast thou done?
The Son of God hath died for me! The Father's co-eternal Son
Bore all my sins upon the tree.
Never was there such matter for songs of praise as the unfathomable love of Jesus. His name is Love; and therefore it is to me as ointment poured forth. I will remember his love more than wine. His nature is love his words and actions were love - he preached and practised love ; he lived in love, and died in love.
FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE.
THOMAS MURRAY was born near Belfast, and wrought as a farm-labourer from his boyhood. At the age of forty-two he came to reside in the cabin where I found him, which he had not left for above a day for forty years. His dwelling was half a mile from any other; and the intercourse which he and the members of his family held with any others was seldom and short, except at times when mutual aid was given and required in the harvest seasons. His farm consisted of forty Irish acres—"a power of acres,” he called them; for he regarded himself, and was esteemed so by others, a large landholder, although half was mountain land, and more productive of heath than anything else. Still here he obtained a subsistence for himself and family, until "auburn locks” gave place to “reverend gray." Seventy-five years had passed over him, and left their traces in many a furrow on his bronzed brow; and yet, although so near the close of his career, he was "without God in the world.” No thoughts of a future eternity appear to have stirred the depths or even to have ruffled the surface of his mind. “But God, who is rich in mercy,” remembered him. At the age of seventy-five, he was laid aside from his duties by an affliction which confined him to the house; and he who had always led an active life, and to whom the healthful breezes of the mountain were as necessary as food, felt the weariness of his detention at home; and having nothing wherewith to while away the tiresome hours, he became very irritable and impatient. The inmates of the next cabin, in which dwelt a little girl, who was a scholar in the Sunday-school at Strade, heard of his illness. For her attention in the class, the girl had received a reward from her minister, one of the publications of the Tract Society. When she heard that old Murray was ill and fretful, because he knew not how to spend his time, she thought that the absence of books might be one cause of the time passing heavily; and under the promptings of a kind and benevolent heart, she resolved to go over to the
old man's cabin, and offer the loan of her treasure for him to read. Murray, more with the design of gratifying the child, and glad to have something that might help to relieve the weary days of sickness, accepted her book, and promised to peruse it. He did so. As he read, he became conscious of unusual emotion. It was neither old age nor feebleness from his affliction that made his hand tremble so, as he turned over the pages; neither was it a natural dimness that at times hid the words from him. Tears were swelling up from his heart, deep convictions were struggling in his soul; and like Felix, he trembled as he read of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. That was a memorable day to him. Mightily did the Spirit of God strive with him; the neglects, the transgressions of a long life were brought home to his conscience; the terror of the law flashed upon his guilty spirit, and everlasting ruin seemed inevitable. He wept, and read, and prayed; he prayed, and read, and wept again. He regarded his sickness with alarm-it might be unto death, and he felt unprepared; and the prayer of his trembling heart was, “Oh! spare me, that I may recover strength before I go hence, and be no more seen.” Eagerly now did he thirst for instruction, and again and again was the book perused which had at first awakened him. It was intended more for direction than conviction; yet as it had produced the latter, so also did it give the former. Light broke in upon the old man's soul, and a Bible was now prized that had been before disregarded. The child, when she heard that Murray had recovered his health, called for her book. He had learned very highly to value it, and was therefore unwilling to part with it. Misunderstanding his refusal, she repaired with tears in her eyes to her minister, and told him her tale. He, quickly discerning how matters stood, cheered her with the promise of another volume, and immediately repaired to the mountain cabin. It proved as he had anticipated. Thomas Murray had become a new man, and was bending over the pages of the precious volume the child had lent him. Mr. B. took it up; it was "The Anxious Inquirer” that had found its way into the old man's hand, and its truths had penetrated his heart. From that day he grew in divine knowledge, with a rapidity as delightful and satisfactory as it was surprising. When I saw him, he spoke as one who had caught glimpses of "the land that is very far off,” and of “the King in his beauty.” Our intercourse was refreshing to my soul; and I parted from him with a reverence for his piety, as well as for his gray hairs,
A few weeks ago, I received from his pastor the intelligence of his death. His last illness was short, and his departure sudden. The day prior to his death he visited his neighbours, and gave each member of the family a tract, with a suitable admonition. “He sent for me in the evening,” says Mr. B., “and in my presence requested his family with his dying words to turn from that refuge of lies, (they were Arians,) and come to the Lord Jesus Christ; and early in the morning he breathed his last. Such was the death of poor old Thomas!" “At evening time it shall be light.” “Let me die the death of the righteous; and let my last end be like his.”
“AND WENT AND TOLD JESUS." How becoming, how instructive, the course of John's disciples when he was beheaded! The wicked Tetrarch could not brook the censure which the forerunner had administered to him for marrying his brother's wife. “It is not lawful,” says he, "for thee to have her.” To prevent the repetition of this censure, Herod thrust him into prison. But he had an apology for this act. He did it to please an adulteress--" for he had married her.”
Yet imprisonment did not satisfy her long, she must have his head. And Herod, though sorry, “sent and beheaded John in the prison.” But what will the disciples do? attempt to avenge his death?
No. Sit down disconsolate because their master is taken away? No. They bury the body, and go and tell Jesus.
Here, thought I, is the way to find relief when wants oppress, when troubles come.
In all the wrongs we suffer, in all our griefs, in all our sorrows, in all our bereavements, what so proper, so likely to afford relief as to go and tell Jesus. That is the grand remedy for the soul. We may safely recommend it to all. None have ever tried it in vain.
We visit the poor. A half-famished group cluster around the parents, while they unbosom to us their wants and their
Stern winter is coming on, and they know not how they are to be warmed or to be fed. We may sympathize with them; we may open for them the liberal hand of charity; but these are not enough. We would urge them to go and
tell Jesus their wants and their fears. He who had not where to lay his head, is the friend of the poor. We sit down by the side of one burdened with a sense of sin. She is almost sinking in despair. She tells us of the malady of her soul. She has felt the stirrings of the Spirit, but now it has gone. She fears her day of grace is past—that she has sinned it away. Her heart is hard, it will not feel. The promises, so precious to some, meet her eyes, but they do not reach her case. They are no longer for her. Her prayers are not heard. Means do not avail. God was withdrawn. She can do no more. She must perish. Her case is truly sad; but of all we can say and do, this is the sum-go and tell Jesus. We can counsel, we can advise, we can pray, but all that avails you nothing, unless you can be persuaded to go to him. Tell him your feelings and your fears with far more minuteness and confidence, than you tell any other. He invites you to come. He has an ear that can hear; a heart that can feel; an arm that can save. Go tell him all: peradventure he may yet save you.
And there is the humble Christian too, who has once en. joyed a sweet sense of forgiven sins. Now he mourns, at times, for himself: "O that I were as in months past!” Then he mourns for Zion; for the perishing around him; for his own kindred that are out of Christ. Go tell Jesus your desires. Let that sigh fall on his ear.
Let him hear that prayer. It is winter. We visit the abode of sickness. The husband and the father lies on the verge of the grave. The cold hand of death is already upon him. He fears not death. The sting of it is removed. But he looks upon the companion of his bosom, soon to be a stricken widow: he looks upon his babes, soon to be orphans; and he fears for them when he has gone. He has not gold or silver, houses or lands, for them to inherit, and he fears how it may fare with them when he can no longer protect or provide. It is parting with them that tries him most.
Tell Jesus that, dying saint; and He who has left but this anxious thought may ease you of it before you depart. You may hear him say, “Leave thy fatherless ildren; I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.”
Again, we visit that abode, when the father is no more. He sleeps in the dust of the earth, where the rude blasts reach him not. We would point the bereaved to the only source of consolation. But, before we enter, we hear the mild, subdued