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piritual thermometer that tells the temperature of the soul. If this piritual gift was the attribute of the heroines of the old dispensation, how inch more was it the distinction of the women of the New Testament. he blessed Virgin, the devout Elizabeth, the holy Anne, the careful Martha, he contemplative Mary, the faithful Magdalene, the intelligent Priscilla, he hospitable Lydia, the benevolent Dorcas, were all women of prayer. The first assembly of christians after the ascension of the Redeemer, appears to have been a prayer-meeting (Acts i.), at which the mother of our und was present. The first European Church was formed at a prayer
ting, where a few women were assembled, and where Lydia was conFertel. Not a merely nominal place had the women of old in the Church. Teey were active, earnest, intelligent. More than eighteen centuries have passed away. Christianity, like a mighty lever, has raised the kingdoms wbere it has been introduced, to splendid heights of civilization and intelLectual greatness, society too often ignorant or oblivious of the great moving power that has propelled it; and shall woman deem her work is ended, and that she may wrap herself in the mantle of indifference and sluniber while the world encroaches on the Church ? Oh, surely not! As of old-aye, more than of old, for the exigency of the Church is as great, and her opportanities now are greater, she should feel it incumbent on her to be “ faithful unto death."
There must always be members, female members, in every Church, who, from circumstances they cannot control, are unable to engage in any of the departments of christian duty enumerated, and yet who may contribute to the prosperity and extension of the Church by their conduct. It is too often the case that the idle members of a Church are the discontented members, If they have not leisure for usefulness, they find leisure for murmuring. Now, if people can do nothing else for the cause of Christianity, they can at least, if faithful to their duty, true to their profession, discipline their mind anıl sa bordinate their tempers, so that such an anomalous thing as an angry, a gloomy, an abrupt, a censorious christian, shall become obsolete in the Churchi, Who can doubt that the Church must soon powerfully influence the world, if its members by their urbane demeanour, their mild forbearance, their charitable consideration, constrain observers to say “Behold, how these chris. tians love!" The Church should not only be the hallowed abode whence is obtained inward illumination, but the school of outward propriety, whose rules should
“ Lay the rough paths of peevish nature even,
And open in each heart a little heavey." Thus, without in the slightest degree diverging from what all admit to be lhe recognised province of woman, we perceive that if she fulfilled her duty In and to the Church, she could train the young, influence the dependent, instruct the ignorant, arouse the indifferent, minister to the afflicted, and produce in the Church an atmosphere of light and love. Let none say, “ Who is suficient for these things ?” without also remembering the words, “I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me.”
PETER'S DENIAL OF CHRIST.
BY THE REV. J. I. LUMMIS.
“And Peter said, “Man, I know not what thou sayest.' And immediately, while he get spake, the cock crew."- Luke xxii. 60.
PETER'S temptation was foreseen, temptations of Satan, but, at the same and foretold by his Master. Almost | time, “he was drawn aside by his own the last words He spoke before enter lusts and enticed.” I see Peter in the ing into the solemn agony of Geth sin as much as I see Satan in the semane were these-“Simon, Simon, temptation. No temptation can overbehold Satan hath desired to have bear a man's free action in the comthee that he may sift you as wheat." mission of sin. Interrogate every true But although thus forewarned, Peter penitent--interrogate Peter—and you was not forearmed. He went forth find strong temptation constitutes do from the Passover-chamber flattering | apology for sin. That “Satan had himself that he was ready to go with | desired to have him to sift him 29 Christ even to prison and death; wheat," would not diminish by one doomed, however, to find the melan pang the reproaches of his consciente, choly verity of His words—“I tell nor dry a single tear. He sinned uilthee, Peter, the cock shall not crow I fully. until thou hast denied me thrice."
He sinned notwithstanding the med The story is a familiar one. “ Peter | solemn forewarning. In words that followed afar off” to the high priest's I could admit of no misinterpretation, palace, and, while the examination of he had been told of the sorrow and his Master was being conducted, at misery to which he was hastening. tempted to mingle unobserved with How thoroughly should this warning the officers and servants there as have placed him on his guard! How sembled. In this he failed ; his timid, incessantly should he have been on fearful bearing awakened suspicion ; | the alert to defeat the uttered predichis speech betrayed him ; and he was tion! But in spite of the forewarning accused of his discipleship. Once, | --although the fowler's snare was su twice, thrice, was the accusation made; clearly exposed-faithless Peter denied and once, twice, thrice, did he deny his Lord ! the Lord that bought him, clenching, He sinned, too, in the face of the too, his denial with the oath and the most solemn protestations of fidelity. curse.
In common with the rest-yea, more I. Look at Peter's criminality and than the rest-was he pledged to faithguilt.
fulness in the season of his Master's He sinned consciously. His sin sorrow. His was the avowal“Though cannot be excused on the ground that all should deny thee, yet will not I; I he knew not its enormity. His eyes will follow thee both into prison and to were fully open to the turpitude of death.” And yet in the very face of such a crime-he was fully alive to its these professions did he forsake and baseness. The very idea of denying deny his Lord. his Lord awakened his strongest re He sinned repeatedly. It was not pugnance, and he would be the fore only once. Had it been, we might most in denouncing the cowardice, have said that Peter was surprised ingratitude, and criminality of such a into sin. But the denial was thrice sin.
repeated, and repeated after considerHe sinned wilfully. Truly, he was able intervals separating each accusal. subjected to the strong and subtle | Possibly, off his guard when the first exual came, the second and third | not that “ Peter followed Him afur off',', frund him watching; yet still he fell. but that he followed Him at all. But Between the first and second, between no half-and-half discipleship would do Le second and third accusations, he in that dread night; and as soon as he tad time and space for repentance;' began to compromise between duty ret he repented not. Every circum- and safety, his fall was sure-his de
tacce contributed to his safety ; in fection was certain. “All for Christ; Mery possible way he was fortified Christ all, and more than all ; ” were against temptation ; yet still it van the only watchwords alike of duty and quished him. He resembles the cita safety then. When Peter followed del which is impregnable by position afar off, Peter fell. and means of defence, but accessible His faith, too, suffered an eclipse. It since its guards are in league with the is doubtful whether to his own subenerny. All that could render Peter lime confession he was now trueoutwardly strong was done for him; “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the out since his heart was traitorous, he living God.” A severe shock had fell into the enemy's power.
overtaken his faith. His Master was It is important, then, to inquire | arrested, and in the power of His foes.
II. What considerations can account Contrary to his expectations, He had for Peter's fall ?
yielded unresistingly. He called no " Satan had desired to have him," fire from heaven to consume them; He and, in part, he had his desire. His summoned no celestial bodyguard for Master prayed for him; but, in doing His defence ; He authorized not the 0, sought not his exemption from the sword to be used for His protection, temptation, but strength for its endur and even censured him that struck the ince. He consented to the eclipse of single blow which characterised His His apostle's faith for the instant, that apprehension. How strange all this afterwards that same faith “might seemed to Peter! How utterly at appear unto praise and honour and variance with the idea of His Divine glory." And so “the hour of dark Power-how utterly unlike His pre20899" to Christ was the hour of temp tensions ! Do I misapprehend Peter tation to Peter. Then was Satan when I say, an eclipse overtook his sifting him as wheat.”
faith? that then he began to doubt Mysterious power! it brooded over the character of his Master, and the Peter's soul-it haunted his spirit cause he had espoused ? that he felt, kroughout the night of his Master's for the time, that he had committed agony. Subtly it poisoned the springs himself to a losing venture, and that of thought, and like a spell the victim nothing could be gained by continued athralled.
identification with it ? He gave up Peter's reliance, too, was but self-reli- | all for lost; and then, lest he should LO. All his resolves were made in lose liberty and life, he declared, “I is own strength-all his confidence know not the man." was in his self-ability. What he pur- | Loss of faith, a timid allegiance, Josed, that he thought he could do Satan's strong temptation : these ocwhat he did, that he thought to do casioned or facilitated Peter's fall. by his own unaided strength. He was III. Let us learn these lessons :
20ere in his professions; honest, 1. The frailty of man at his best. fully honest, in his resolves. His The narrative proclaims this most
zur was in not looking beyond him- | loudly, How weak was Peter's selfself for needful grace, in saying, “I knowledge, foresight, virtue, resolve! han do all things,” without adding the The blast of temptation came, and, yreat proviso, “Through Christ that like the fragile reed, he yielded. It is strengtheneth me.”
ever so, unless grace interposes. SelfRemembering this, our marvel is, reliance is vain reliance; unaided
strength is but weakness. Herein, how rapidly, how easily, did it pass “even the youths shall faint and be into act! So seductive, so insidious, is weary, and the young men shall ut | eyer temptation's path! Of it beware terly fall!” Repugnance is no suffi -beware! “Pray that ye enter not cient preventive; Peter felt repug- | into temptation,” since “Man knows nance at the very mention of his sin, the beginnings of sin, but knows not and yet he did it. Honest purpose is the endings thereof." no effectual safeguard ; no purpose 3. Nor forget the fulness of Christ's could be more honest than Peter's, and grace, as seen in His restoration of his yet he sinned. Beware of self-reli- soul. Wonderful longsuffering that ance: “ Let him that thinketh he endured even this baseness and guilt! standeth take heed lest he fall.” Haste Wonderful mercy that forgave eren to the rock, where the waves of temp the “ iniquity of this sin!” Wondertation shall swell around, and you be ful grace that compassed and effectel still secure.
so strange a deliverance ! 2. Learn how subtle and insidious is The whole story deprecates boasting: the path of temptation.
“it is excluded. Nevertheless, le The night had far advanced, and us solemnly disavow and resolutels before morning the awful sin would be put from us all complicity with Peter's committed ; yet Peter was without any sin. presentiment thereof. He felt himself “Beware of Peter's word, wholly incapable of it; he regarded it
Nor confidently say, as a sin utterly repugnant to him; yet /
“I never will my Lord deny,'
But, “Grant I never may." Hamsterley, Durham.
MURMURING AND CONTENTMENT.
SOME murmur, when their sky is clear
And wholly bright to view,
In their great heaven of blue;
If but one streak of light,
The darkness of their night.
In palaces are hearts that ask,
In discontent and pride,
And all good things denied ?
How love has in their aid
Such rich provision made.
Tales and Sketches.
SPECIAL PROVIDENCE. | the sea-birds, that soared and screamed BY THE REV. DR. GUTHRIE.
over the intruder on their domain,
borne him aloft on their white wings NEAR by my old country parish there to set him down safe on the top of the rose from the shelving shore a range cliffs. The age of miracle is gone; of iron-bound cliffs, against which, in but not that of the special providence, stormy weather, the sea dashed with which brings about events where reason amazing fury. Accompanied by a can and religion delights to recognize friend, I one day descended these in the hand of God. In my circumsearch of anemones and seaweed, in stances, when I was moving off like a pools which the ebbing tide left at ship from the slips into the deep, life their feet.
could only be saved by the arrest of While thus engaged, I leaped down such a fatal launch. For this purpose on a rock that sloped away into the I put on the brakes, to use railway sea, then roaring and foaming in a language, pressing strongly with my strong northeaster. On my feet touch heels against the rock; and when deing the rock, which was covered, not scending with constantly accelerating 23 I imagined, with dry, but with motion, my back to the rock, my face slippery seaweed, they went out from to the sky, my ears filled with the roar below me, and I found myself flat on of death, and my feet within less than my back, launching away into the sea. a yard of a watery grave, I was sudAll the danger of the position flashed denly arrested. It so happened that at once into view; the impossibility of | the heels of my boots had been newly swimming, though I could swim, in shod with iron. Being rough, one of such a roaring surf, a horrid death by them, instead of slipping over, caught being hurled on the jagged rocks, and against a small pebble imbedded in the the certainty that, though I should get rock; and I have ever regarded it as a hold of the slipping tangle, it would special providence that, in this hour of slide from my grasp and leave me to peril, I had, in the rough iron, the fall back again, wounded and bleeding, only means which could save life; and into the deep. My companion could that, my mind being kept as calm and do nothing, but stood petrified at the collected as it is now, I had the selfsight. Yet I was saved to write this possession to remember the rough state paper, and do some little work in the of the iron on my boots, and resort to world, by what I believe and, looking the one only possible means of saving our modern philosophy in the face, call me from a watery grave. God's good providence.
The scene of another case lies in my It had been a miracle had a monster | own country parish and the dell where of the deep swallowed up a man in a decent widow lived, whom I was in ruch circumstances, and, making for the habit of visiting, as paralysis made & sandy bay, vomited him ashore, safe it impossible for her to attend church. and sound as Jonah; a miracle had | She was tended by a very dutiful
1We are requested to mention that one of the articles under this heading last month" The Highland Kitchen Maid "-was a copyright of Messrs. McPhun, of Glasgow. The
icle was inserted in ignorance of this circumstance. We are glad, however, of the oppormunity of recommending the series of tracts of which this is one. It is an admirable and most weful series, and is published under the title of “ McPhun's Pictorial Series of Popular Narrative Tracts," the price is One Penny for each tract.