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GOOD FOR EVIL.
LUKE xxiii. 34.-"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
"WHAT great matter," said a heathen tyrant to a Christian, while he was beating him almost to death-" what great matter did Christ ever do for you?" 66 Even this," answered the Christian, "that I forgive you, though you use me so cruelly."
THE MODEL PRAYER.
MATTHEW vi. 9.-" After this manner therefore pray ye."
The Lord's Prayer.-Mr. Hay, in his "Western Barbary," relates :-" "I remember on one occasion travelling in the country with a companion who possessed some knowledge of medicine; we had arrived at a door, near which we were to pitch our tents, when a crowd of Arabs surrounded us, cursing and swearing at the 'rebellers against God.' My friend, who spoke a little Arabic, turning round to an elderly person, whose garb bespoke him a priest, said, "Who taught you that we are disbelievers ? Hear my daily prayer, and judge for yourselves.' He then repeated the Lord's Prayer. All stood amazed and silent till the priest exclaimed, May God curse me if ever I curse again those who hold such belief! Nay, more, that prayer shall be my prayer till my hour be come. I pray thee, O Nazarene, repeat the prayer, that it may be remembered and written among us in letters of gold.''
CHRIST OUR SUBSTITUTE.
ISAIAH liii. 5.—" With His stripes we are healed."
The Law of the French Empire. In the time of the Great Napoleon, when a draft was made for soldiers to fill the armies of the Empire, one drafted man procured a substitute to take his place in the ranks. The substitute went into the field and fell, while the drafted man remained in safety at home. After a while another draft was ordered, and the name of the same man was called again. He refused to respond, saying, "I am free. I sent a substitute into the army, and he was killed. So I am as a dead man." The case was carried into the French law courts, and there, after due consideration, it was decided that the man was free. The law had accepted his substitute, and it could not enforce its claims against him.
DEUTERONOMY xxxi. 6.-"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
Luther and the Diet of Worms.-Luther, having boldly cast off the fetters of Rome, was summoned to attend the Diet at
Worms. His friends, notwithstanding the safe-conduct granted him by the Emperor Charles V., apprehended danger to his person, and would have dissuaded him from going thither. Luther answered, "I am determined to enter the city in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, though as many devils should oppose me as there are tiles upon all the houses at Worms." He was accompanied from Würtemberg by many friends and horsemen, but he took only eight of the latter into Worms. When he stepped out of the carriage he said, in the presence of a great number of persons, "God shall be on my side." "As he drew near the door which was about to admit him into the presence of his judges," D'Aubigné tells us "he met a valiant knight, the celebrated George of Freundsberg, who four years later, at the head of his German lansquenets, bent the knee with his soldiers on the field of Pavia, and then, charging on the left of the French army, drove it into the Ticino, and in a great measure decided the captivity of the King of France. The old General, seeing Luther pass, tapped him on the shoulder, and shaking his head, blanched in many battles, said kindly, 'Poor monk, poor monk! thou art now going to make a nobler stand than I or any other captain have ever made in the bloodiest of our battles. But if thy cause is just, and thou art sure of it, go forward in God's name, and fear nothing. God will not forsake thee.' A noble tribute of respect paid by the courage of the sword to the courage of the mind."
THE FOLLY OF UNBELIEF.
HEBREWS iii. 19.-" So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." The Unbelieving Son.-A very tender parent had a son who from his earliest years proved headstrong and dissolute. Conscious of the extent of his demerits, he dreaded and hated his parent. Meanwhile every means were used to disarm him of these suspicions, so unworthy of the tenderness and love which yearned in his father's bosom, and of all the kindness and forbearance which were lavished upon him. Eventually the means appeared to be successful, and confidence in a great degree took the place of his ungenerous suspicions. Entertained in the family as one who had never trespassed, he now left his home to embark in mercantile affairs, and was assured that if in any extremity he would apply to his parent he should find his application kindly received. In the course of years it fell out that he was reduced to extremity, but, instead of communicating his case to his parent, his base suspicion and disbelief of his tenderness and care again occupied him, and he neglected to apply
to him. Who can tell how deeply that father's heart was rent at such depravity of feeling? Yet this is the case of the believer who, pardoned and accepted and made partaker of a Father's love and covenant promises when under distress, refuses to trust his heavenly and almighty Parent, throws away his filial confidence, and with his old suspicions stands aloof in sullen distrust. Oh, how is God dishonoured by this sinful unbelief !— Salter.
DELAYS ARE DANGEROUS.
LUKE Xiii. 24.-"For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."
The Lost One.-"A woman was in the habit of attending the place of worship in which I preached, who occupied a seat on the stairs, and who was very tenacious of her sitting, not allowing any other person to occupy it. She was observed by her friends, who sought occasion to converse with her on the important subject of religion, but she was very shy and evasive. All they could extract from her was this appalling reply,—' Oh, I shall only want five minutes' time when I am dying to cry for mercy: and I have no doubt God Almighty will give it me.' It was in vain to remonstrate with the woman, this was always her reply. Time passed on. One day I was walking down the street when a young woman ran up to me in a state of great agitation and excitement, exclaiming, 'Oh, Mr. East, I have found you; do come to my mother, sir; come this minute, sir; she is dying, she is dying!' I hastened with her to the house, and was astonished to find in the dying sufferer the poor unhappy woman who had attended my place of worship. She was evidently expiring, but, turning her dying eyes towards me, she cried out, 'Oh, Mr. East, I am lost, I am lost!' and expired."
PSALM iv. 5.—"Put your trust in the Lord."
Safe at Last. Some years ago a ship was burned near the mouth of the English Channel. Among the passengers were a father, mother, and their little child, a daughter not many months old. When the discovery was made that the ship was on fire, and the alarm was given, there was great confusion, and this family became separated. The father was rescued and taken to Liverpool, but the mother and her infant were crowded overboard, and unnoticed by those who were doing all in their power to save the sufferers still in the ship. They drifted out of the Channel with the tide, the mother clinging to a fragment of the wreck with her little one clasped to her breast. Late in the
afternoon of that day, a vessel bound from Newport, Wales, to America, was moving slowly along in her course. There was only a light breeze, and the captain was impatiently walking the deck, when his attention was called to an object some distance off, which looked like a person in the water. The officers and crew watched it for a time, and as no vessel was near from which any one could have fallen overboard, they thought it im-· possible that this could be a human being. But, as their vessel was scarcely moving, it was thought best to get out a boat, and row to the object. The boat was accordingly lowered and manned. It was watched with considerable interest by those who remained on board, and they noticed as it drew near to the drifting speck the rowers rested on their oars two or three minutes, then moved forward, took in the object or thing-they knew not which-and returned to the ship. When the boat's crew came on board they brought with them this mother and her child, alive and well; and the sailors said that as they drew near they heard a female voice sweetly singing. As with a common impulse the men ceased rowing and listened, and then the words of the beautiful hymn, sung by this trusting Christian, all unconscious that deliverance was so near, came over the waves to their ears,—
"Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the tempest still is high;
Till the storm of life be past;
O receive my soul at last."
The mother wrote
In due time the vessel arrived in America. to her friends in England, and thus the father learned of the safety of his wife and child, and in about four months from the time of their separation they were happily reunited.
1 CORINTHIANS xv. 55.-"O death, where is thy sting?"
Death losing its Terrors.-A few weeks since, a youth of eighteen, son of a clergyman in the west of England, went out on the beach for a ramble in search of seaweeds. Pursuing his walk, unconscious of all but his immediate object, he at length discovered that the tide had flowed in, and he was enclosed between the cliffs and the advancing waters. Taking out his pocket Bible, he wrote on the fly-leaf as follows:-"In danger-surrounded by water-if help does not speedily arrive, I must be
drowned. But Jesus, to whom I gave myself five years ago, is with me. I am perfectly happy. May He bless and comfort my beloved parents, and bring my dear little brothers and sisters to Himself, so that we may all meet in heaven."
The body of the dear lad was discovered next day, and the Bible was taken from the pocket of his coat.
Painfully mysterious as are such sad events, it is delightful to witness so complete a victory over the last enemy on the part of one so young. Death, which has terrified many a monarch and many a philosopher, was powerless to alarm this child of God.-W. H. G.
LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS.
O THOU who driest the mourner's tear
The friends who in our sunshine live,
When joy no longer soothes or cheers,
Oh! who would bear life's stormy doom,
Come brightly wafting through the gloom
Then sorrow, touched by Thee, grows bright
We never saw by day.