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are defiled; and we are opposed to what is holy, spiritual, and good. This state of the heart unfits us for communion with God in ordinance, or for happiness with him in heaven. Hence the necessity of a divine change. John iii. 3. Without this a sinner is growing worse, "treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath," &c.

2nd. A brand is wood that has been in the fire, and is already scorched. There are three fires in which a sinner may be tried and scorched in this state. 1st. The fire of oppression. The misery of Israel in Egypt is represented as being in an iron furnace. Deut. iv. 20; Jer. xi. 4; Their misery in Babylon was the same. They were oppressed and insulted. Psa. cxxxvii. 1-4. Satan, the prince of this world, oppresses all his servants; but God makes use of this to turn them to himself. 2nd. The fire of God's word, by which he both enlightens the mind and influences the conscience. Jer. xxiii. 29. In this manner God comes to the sinner, shows him what he has done,sets all his sins in order before him,makes him to know his vileness; and so arouses and influences his conscience with a sense of his deserts, that he knows not what to do. Psa. xxxi. 10; xxxviii. 2. 3rd. Hence, he is scorched in the fire of his own convictions and fears. He sees himself surrounded with the tokens of God's displeasure and wrath. He sees the law to be a fiery law. Though holy, just, and good in itself, yet to him as a transgressor it is a consuming fire. Its thunders ring in his ears, and its demands terrify him. It cries, "Pay me that thou owest;" or else I will seize and cast thee into prison. The voice of mercy itself adds to his fears. He has so long sat under the gospel, and been regardless of it so long rejected the Saviour, that he considers it a matter of doubt whether or no he can be saved. He regards Tophet as ordained for him. He views himself as fuel for everlasting burnings, and his present feelings and miseries are preludes of what he has to expect. Oh, what anguish wrings his heart! what forebodings disturb his slumbers! what horrors rush upon him like an armed man! Ah! whither shall he flee-how delivered from a state so dangerous, so miserable? He who has brought him thus to feel and fear, will deliver. Is not this a brand-a fire-brand-as yet smoking?

II. Hence we notice the deliverance. 1st. As seasonable. A sinner in the

state described will not, cannot be at ease. His fears excite him to flee, if possible, from the wrath to come. He is thoughtful, and inquires what he must do to be saved. He reads God's holy word -he hears it explained and improved in the ministry, with solicitude and anxiety, that he may obtain relief and be comforted. At length deliverance comes; the time-the set time for God to have mercy-arrives; and he leads him to hope and patiently to wait for his salvation. He hushes the storm within his soul to peace, and gives him tokens for good.

2nd. It is sometimes sudden. God works in various ways and manners both in nature and grace. But when a deliverance is sudden and unexpected, it is the more wonderful, and occasions greater joy. Psa. cxxvi. 1-3. Thus it is with the soul that has been a captive to its guilt, when through grace it is enabled to believe on Christ, and to rest on his all-sufficient sacrifice for pardon. Thus it is when we see, that however we have deserved hell, yet through the riches of grace, we are warranted to hope for heaven. Then there arises in the heart a "joy unspeakable and full of glory."

III. The subject of this deliverance is exhibited to repel accusations and encourage others.

"Is not this a brand?" &c. See what a change, first, as to his state. He was a little while ago a guilty, condemned criminal, under the curse, and exposed to eternal destruction; now he is pardoned and justified. 2nd. As to his character. He now hates sin as much as he once loved it; and now loves righteousness as much as he once hated it. His heart and mind are changed. 1 Cor. vi. 11. He is 66 a new creature," &c. 3rd. See what a change as to his enjoyments and pursuits. Now he seeks God—seeks fellowship and communion with him; he takes pleasure in God's people-the saints are the "excellent of the earth, in whom his soul delighteth.' Religious duties are not burdens, but pleasures. In producing such a change, how is the power and grace of God displayed!

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Look at such a character, O Satan, thou accuser of the brethren. Thou didst hope by thy subtlety to beguile and then destroy. See how the "prey is taken from the mighty," &c. Look at such a character, ye convinced trembling sinners; you say there is no hope you fear the damnation of hell, and you have cause to fear. But in the deliverance of

this fire-brand is there no cause for courage, hope, and confidence?

Look at such a character, you that are in your sins. The change wrought in him must be wrought in you, or you are undone. If left in the fire, soon, soon you will be consumed. Look, ye angels of God, on this character, strike your heavenly lyres, and make heaven " sound the deeds celestial grace hath done." Here we see the fruit of our Lord's death. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God."

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POWER OF PATIENCE.

PATIENCE is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility. She governs the flesh, strengthens the spirits, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride, bridles the tongue, refrains the hands, tramples on temptation, endures persecution, and consummates martyrdom. Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, and harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor, moderates the rich, makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights in the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and improves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, and admired in an old one; she is beautiful in either sex, and in every age.

Behold her appearance and attire! Her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven, unspotted by the shadow of a cloud, and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen on her forehead; her eyes are, as it were, the eyes of a dove for meekness, and on her eyelids sit cheerfulness and joy; her mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion is that of innocence and security; while, like the pilgrim, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her head at the adversary, and laughs him to scorn; she is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a cross; she rules not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion, but her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is-the kingdom of heaven!

"And whence came this happy change?" the gentleman asked.

"I will tell you," said he. "In the year 1223 (of the Hejira) there came to this city an Englishman who taught the religion of Christ with a boldness hitherto unparalleled in Persia, in the midst of much scorn and ill-treatment from our moollahs, as well as the rabble. He was a beardless youth, and evidently enfeebled by disease. He dwelt amongst us for more than a

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Lessons by the Way; or, Things to Think On.

" HE GAVE ME A BOOK."-A Christian gentleman visiting Shiraz, in Persia, many years back, became acquainted with an Asiatic who had studied the English language, and was a man of learning. Upon further intimacy the gentleman asked him this question, "Are you a Christian ?"

He replied, "I am; though it has been hitherto concealed, except from a few who participate in my sentiments."

year. I was then a decided enemy to infidels, as the Christians are termed by the followers of Mahomet, and I visited this teacher of the despised sect with the declared object of treating him with scorn, and exposing his doctrines to contempt. Although I persevered for some time in this behaviour towards him, I found that every interview not only increased my respect for the individual, but diminished my confidence in the faith in which I was educated. His extreme forbearance towards the violence of his opponents, the calm and yet convincing manner in which he exposed the fallacies and sophistries by which he was assailed (for he spoke Persian excellently), gradually inclined me to listen to his arguments, to inquire dispassionately into the subject of them, and finally to read a tract which he had written in reply to a defence of Islamism by our chief moollahs. Need I detain you longer? The result of my examination was

BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATION.

The Chief Shepherd.-1 PET. v. 4.

IN those countries where immense flocks went forth to feed in the open pastures of the wilderness, a large body of shepherds were required; and then, to ensure unity and regularity, it became necessary that one of the shepherds should be invested with the chief command or direction of the whole. This officer supplies the apostle with his metaphorical allusion to Christ as the "chief Shepherd." Burder illustrates this passage with a very apt citation from some curious details in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1764, concerning the sheep-walks of Spain, in which country the pastoral usages are unquestionably derived from the Arabians:-"Ten thousand sheep compose a flock, which is divided into ten tribes. One man has the conduct of all. He must be the owner of four or five hundred sheep; strong, active, vigilant; intelligent in pasture, in the weather, and in the diseases of sheep. He has absolute command over fifty shepherds and fifty dogs, five of each to a tribe. He chooses them, he chastises them, or discharges them at will. He is the præpositus, or 'chief shepherd' of the whole flock.

a conviction that the young disputant was right. Shame, or rather fear, withheld me from avowing this opinion; I even avoided the society of the Christian teacher, though he remained in the city so long. Just before he quitted Shiraz, I could not refrain from paying him a farewell visit. Our conversation-the memory of it will never fade from the tablet of my mind-sealed my conversion. He gave me a book; it has ever been my constant companion; the study of it has formed my most delightful occupation; its contents have often consoled me."

Upon this he put into his hands a copy of the New Testament in Persian; on one of the blank leaves was written, "There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.'-Henry Martyn."

ROSES AND TULIPS.-It is so uncommon a thing to see tulips last till roses come to be blown, that the seeing them in this garden grow together, as it deserves my notice, so methinks it should suggest to me some reflection or other on it. And perhaps it may not be an improper one to compare the difference betwixt these two kinds of flowers to the disparity which I have often observed betwixt the fates of those young ladies that are only very handsome, and those that have a less degree of beauty, recompensed by the accession of wit, discretion, and virtue; for tulips, whilst they are fresh, do indeed, by the lustre and vividness of their colours, more delight the eye than roses; but then they do not alone quickly fade, but, as soon as they have lost that freshness and gaudiness that solely endeared them, they degenerate into things not only undesirable, but distasteful;-whereas roses, besides the moderate beauty they disclose to the eye (which is sufficient to please, though not to charm it), do not only keep their colour longer than tulips, but, when that decays, retain a perfumed odour, and divers useful qualities and virtues that survive the spring, and recommend them all the year. Thus those unadvised young ladies that, because nature has given them beauty enough, despise all other qualities, and even that regular diet which is ordinarily requisite to make beauty itself lasting, not only are wont to decay betimes, but, as soon as they have lost that youthful freshness that alone endeared them, quickly pass from being objects of wonder and love to be so of pity, if not of scorn; whereas those that were as solicitous to enrich their minds as to adorn their faces, may not only with a mediocrity of beauty be very desirable whilst that lasts, but, notwithstanding the recess of that and youth, may, by the fragrancy of their reputation, and those virtues and ornaments of the mind that time does but improve, be always sufficiently endeared to those that have merit enough to discern and value such excellences, and whose esteem and friendship is alone worth their being concerned for. In a word, they prove the happiest, as well as they are the wisest ladies, that, whilst they possess the desirable qualities that youth is wont to give, neglect not the acquisition of those that age cannot take away.-The Hon. Robert Boyle.

THE TAVERN SERMON.-It was at a convivial resort that Mr. Thorpe (afterwards pastor of the Independent church at Masborough) and three of his associates, to enliven the company, undertook to mimic Mr. Whitfield. The proposition was highly gratifying to all parties present, and a wager was agreed upon, to inspire each individual with a desire of excelling in this impious

attempt. That their jovial auditors might adjudge the prize to the most adroit performer, it was concluded that each should open the Bible and hold forth from the first text that should present itself to the eye. Accordingly, three in their turn mounted the table, and entertained their wicked companions at the expense of everything sacred. When they had exhausted their little stock of buffoonery, it devolved on Mr. T. to close this very irreverent scene. Much elevated, and confident of success, he exclaimed, as he ascended the table, "I shall beat you all." But, oh the stupendous depths of Divine mercy! When the Bible was handed to him it opened at that remarkable passage, Luke xiii. 3: "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." No sooner had he uttered these words than his mind was affected in a very extraordinary manner. The sharpest pangs of conviction now seized him, and conscience denounced tremendous vengeance upon his soul. In a moment he was favoured with a clear view of his subject, and divided his discourse more like a divine who had been accustomed to speak on portions of Scripture than like one who never so much as thought on religious topics, except for the purpose of ridicule. He found no deficiency of matter, no want of utterance; and he has frequently declared, "If ever I preached in my life by the assistance of the Spirit of God, it was at that time." The impression made upon his mind by the subject had such an effect on his manner, that the most ignorant and profane could not but perceive that what he had spoken was with the greatest sincerity. The unexpected solemnity and pertinacity of his address, instead of entertaining the company, first spread a visible depression, and afterwards a sullen gloom, upon every countenance. This sudden change in the complexion of his associates did not a little conduce to increase the convictions of his own bosom. No individual appeared disposed to interrupt him; but, on the contrary, their attention was deeply engaged with the pointedness of his remarks; yea, many of his sentences, as he has often related, made, to his apprehension, his own hair stand erect! When he left the table not a syllable was uttered concerning the wager, but a profound silence pervaded the company. Mr. T. immediately withdrew, without taking the least notice of any person present, and returned home with very painful reflections, and in the deepest distress imaginable. Happily for him, this was his last bacchanalian revel. His impressions were manifestly genuine; and from that period the connection between him and his former companions was entirely dissolved. Thus, by a sovereign and almost unexampled act of Divine grace, in a place where, and at a time when, it was least expected, "the prey was taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive delivered."-Life of Lady Huntingdon, Vol. I.,

p. 149.

CONNUBIAL BLISS.-"That love that can cease was never true;"-that is, it contains in it all sweetness, and all society, and felicity, and all prudence, and all wisdom. For there is nothing can please a man without love; and if a man be weary of the wise discourses of the apostles, and of the innocency of an even and a private fortune, or hates peace or a fruitful year, he hath reaped thorns and thistles from the choicest flowers of paradise; "for nothing can sweeten felicity itself but love." But when a

man dwells in love, then the breasts of his wife are pleasant as the droppings on the hill of Hermon, her eyes are fair as the light of heaven, she is a fountain sealed, and he can quench his thirst, and ease his cares, and lay his sorrow down on her lap, and can retire home to his sanctuary and refectory, and his gardens of sweetness and chaste refreshments. No man can tell but he that loves his children how many delicious accents make a man's heart dance in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges; their childishness, their stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections, their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to him that delights in their persons and society: but he that loves not his wife and children, feeds a lioness at home, and broods a nest of sorrows; and blessing itself cannot make him happy.-Jeremy Taylor.

PROSPERITY AND ADVERSITY.-The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction and the clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. We see in needle-works and embroideries it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground; judge, therefore, of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant where they are incensed or crushed; for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.-Lord Bacon.

A WORD TO THE WISE.-Infallible truth informs us that "pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this-to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." In the present times are there not departures from this section of the Christian faith? I am afraid the truth of this statement is not much to be doubted. Is there not, alas! too much selfishness indulged in? Are we not too much satisfied with our own comfort, without duly weighing the less comfortable, yea, the afflictive and depressed circumstances of our sick brethren and sisters? And how trifling the excuses which will deter us from occupying say half an hour or less to repair to the dwelling of, it may be, a poor but afflicted brother or sister? A word to the wise should be enough. Besides the blame attached to such as neglect this important duty, do they not deprive themselves of advantages which they would otherwise possess were they duly to follow out this practical part of the life of Him

"Who knows what sore temptation is,

For he hath felt the same;'

arrows are not thrown "at a venture?" And even had we not the persuasive principle of that charity which "seeketh not her own," and which "Glows with social tenderness, And feels for all mankind,"

and who, "at that day," shall say to them on his right hand, "I was sick, and ye visited me;" advantages too, if properly improved, calculated in a high degree to promote humility in the soul, and keep up a constant recognition of our own frailty and the certainty of having personally to come in contact with the king of terrors, whose

to draw us to this duty, ought not the golden rule, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them," to operate in such a manner as to cause the affections of our hearts to flow toward our bed-bound fellow-combatants on the battle-field, that they may continue to fight and not to faint; and our fellow pilgrims on their way to the heights of Zion, to stimulate them to press forward, knowing that in due season they shall reap if they faint not?

Beloved, let us imitate the example of the well-beloved Gaius, of whom an inspired witness testified, "Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren and to strangers." -Tertius.

USEFUL LIFE.-We find her writing thus on the 6th of August:-"I had my school to-night for the first time in Kilwinning. I had eleven, and took them into the parlour. I never commenced anything with as much fear and feeling. I may expect slander. If I were to consult the feeling of the flesh, I would desist from the effort; but when I think of the obligation imposed on me by a crucified Saviour and a perishing world, with the shortness and uncertainty of time, how can I? Oh! E, each of us has our sphere; but let the end of our life be the glory of God. Everything around us says, 'Improve the present.""-We find her again writing, "I have not long sent the last of the scholars away. Four new inquirers waited to-night. Oh! A-, I am afraid to say much. God only knows the heart, and I am not beside them to know the actions. The big tear of anxiety drops from the eye of the anxious, and (would you believe it?) nine have professed to have rested on the all-atoning blood of Jesus, and to have found peace. As far as I can question them, they appear to know the truth theoretically. I have endeavoured to keep before them the reason why Jesus needed to die, and what he did in dying. There are five or six inquirers. O may God guide the work! I almost feel terrified lest anything I say may cause their blood to be required at my hand. Kilwinning is a small village. We have now a church formed of thirty-eight members-persons, I trust, who rejoice in Jesus. God shall guide and prosper. He works through weak instrumentality. They are best suited to his purpose, having least confidence in themselves." (At the period of Miss S.'s death the church had increased in number to about sixty.)-Miss Simpson's Life.

JOYFUL DEATH." I have nothing whatever but the glorious truth about Jesus to give me peace and support; the glad tidings that God is satisfied with the work of Jesus for the whole world, and therefore for me, and that when Jesus bore the sin of the world, he bore away my sin; so that now I (though a guilty hell-deserving sinner) can look up to God as my Father, for he is well pleased for Christ's righteousness sake."" "I have only one great trial before me now," she said. "This morning I had two; but he has brought me safely through one of them, and I am sure that he who is now with me shall never leave me nor forsake me." Some days before she had been tempted to look at her

sufferings and fear. "Now," she said, "that would be like a doubting of God; for he has said, As thy day is, so shall thy strength be.' How could I doubt such a God?" said the confiding believer. "If Abraham shrunk not when commanded to offer up his son, in whom his very hopes of salvation were centred, why should I?" She was enabled to calculate calmly, in the following manner, anticipating the worst:"Well, the operation will probably take twenty minutes to be performed, but these will pass away; the twentieth minute will come. Then I will probably be very weak for some time, but the pain will not be very great. Then, say that inflammation ensues; that will be very painful, but it too will pass away. Then mortification will come, when there will be no pain at all; and THEN there will be GLORY! Oh to be in his presence, and see him as he is!"-Ibid.

"I WILL FEAR NO EVIL."—"I want to talk to you about heaven," said a dying parent to a member of his family; "we may not be spared to each other long; may we meet around the throne of glory, one family in heaven!" Overpowered at the thought, his beloved daughter exclaimed, "Surely you do not think there is any danger." Calmly and beautifully he replied, "Danger! my darling. Oh! do not use that word. There can be no danger to the Christian, whatever may happen. All is right. All is well. God is love. All is well-everlastingly well-everlastingly well!"

Such was the experience of a departed servant of the living God. Not a doubt nor a fear was permitted to cross his mind. He saw no danger in the dark valley. He felt no fear of evil when called to enter into it. Death appeared to him but as a dark shadow, through which it was necessary for him to pass, in order to reach the clear atmosphere and bright sunshine of the land beyond. His language therefore was, "There can be no danger to the Christian, whatever may happen;" and continually was he heard saying, "Joy and happiness! joy and happiness! I am just at home! just at home now!"-Stevenson.

EXPERIENCE.-I believe true practical wisdom is seldom acquired by rules and resolves. Experience is necessary: we must pay something for what we learn, and then it becomes more properly our own. The main thing is, to have a single eye, an upright aim, and a humble spirit before the Lord. A humble dependant spirit we cannot possess but in proportion as we know ourselves; nor can we know ourselves merely by theory, by what we read or hear; we must feel ourselves to be weak, and frail, and

DR. CHALMERS.

Sketch of his Life and Character, from a Sermon delivered in the Congregational Chapel, St. Andrew's, on Lord's-day, June 6th, 1847.

fallible, and prone to evil, or we cannot be duly sensible how truly and how much we are so. These lessons are mortifying and painful, but they are necessary to wean, or to preserve us from self-will, self-dependence, and self-complacency. Many of the promises in Scripture are suited to the hours of affliction and darkness; and we must at times be in the situation to which they are adapted, or we cannot have full proof of their certainty and sweetness. However, if the heart be upright, all will be overruled for good. Do as well as you can to-day, and perhaps to-morrow you will be able to do better.-Newton.

THERE WAS a striking similarity, we humbly conceive, between the character

CHRIST ALL IN ALL.-We want to find something in ourselves to recommend us to the Lord, although the remedy is fully equal to the worst case. It only says, ask and receive-look and live-touch and be healed-believe and be saved. If the Lord required some hard thing, we would try and do it. But it speaks of no ifs or buts; only, "Behold the Lamb of God !" These terms are so simple we know not how to trust them. We want to be something; and it takes some time to be willing to be nothing, that Christ may be all in all.-Ibid.

Biography.

THE SHEPHERD'S CARE.-One of the poor members of the flock of Christ was reduced to circumstances of the greatest poverty in his old age, and yet he never murmured. "You must be badly off," said a kind-hearted neighbour to him one day, as they met upon the road; "you must be badly off, and I don't know how an old man like you can maintain yourself and your wife; yet you always seem cheerful." "Oh! no," he replied; "we are not badly off. I have a rich Father, and he does not suffer me to want." "What! your father not dead yet! he must be very old indeed." "Oh!" said he, "my Father never dies, and he always takes care of me." This aged Christian was a daily pensioner on the providence of his God. His struggles and his poverty were known to all; but his own declaration was, that he never wanted what was absolutely necessary. The days of his greatest straits were the times of his most signal and timely deliverances. When old age benumbed the hand of his industry, the Lord extended to him the hand of charity; and often has he gone forth from his scanty breakfast not knowing from what source his next meal was to be obtained. But with David he could rely on his Shepherd's care, and say, "I shall not want;" and as surely as he trusted in God, so surely, in some unexpected manner, was his necessity supplied.-Stevenson.

of the apostle Paul and that of the late Dr. Chalmers. This eminent man was born of respectable parentage, in Anstruther, Fifeshire, 17th March, 1780. Like the apostle of the Gentiles, he was endowed with natural talents of a very high order; and these were cultivated and improved by close study, extensive

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