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led? What did the people say? How did Samuel use his power? How may you lead a good life?
Gentiles, for “so had the Lord commanded,” saying, “ I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” To us, then, “ the word is sent." Our land must have seemed to any who knew it in Paul's day, in the very “ends of the earth.” But it has not been too far for the light and salvation of Jesus to reach. We are in danger, but we may be saved. Will you not take this loving message from Jesus your Saviour, and be saved ?
REVISION.-What is meant by“ salvation”? Who are those who need it? What danger are all in ? Who brought salvation ? whom was it first sent? How do we know it is sent to us? How may we get it? Why should we seek it ?
Is there any
May 17.--About Salvation. Acts xiii. 26 : “To you is the word of this salvation sent."
1. All need salvation.-What is meant by salvation? It is to be saved from danger. There are many kinds of danger into which men fall. Some are in danger from the
sea, others from the work they do. Sometimes fire threatens, and often there is great danger from many kinds of disease. Now in all such times what is most of all needed is salvation, to be saved from the danger. But we are not all of us in danger thus. Is there any kind of danger which concerns everybody? Yes, a danger worse than any of these, for these are dangers to the body only, but every one is in danger from sin, and from what it brings. And that is a danger to the soul. "All have sinned.” Sin brings God's anger, and, if not forgiven, will cause the soul to perish for ever. way of escape from this great danger? Yes; hear now of,
2. A salvation provided. Where could this great salvation come from ? Who could provide it? Was any man wise enough or strong enough to do this? No, for every one
was alike guilty. There was no eye to pity” the rest; “no arm strong enough to save. Yet One, Whose love and power were great enough for this, brought salvation. Who was this? Even the Lord Jesus, the Son of God. How did He do this great work ? He came down from heaven and suffered death for us, taking even the great burden of the anger of God, that we might escape. But are we sure that we may get this salvation ? Let us see what the Bible says about,
3. The Gospel message.-"To you is the word of this salvation sent." This was what the Apostle Paul said to the people of Antioch. Now, many of Those who heard him were Jews. They were God's own people, and to them, first, the word was sent. This was what Jesus bade the Apostles do. Many of the Jews gladly believed the word, and were saved. more hated, the word, and those that brought it. Then Paul turned to the
May 24.–How Jonathan Saved
Israel. 1 SAMUEL xiv. 7: “Behold! I am with thee according to thy heart.”
1. Israel in trouble.--At a certain time when Saul was the king of Israel, the Philistines, their enemies, gathered a great army, and came out to fight against them. Saul had drawn out his army also; lout the Philistines were more in number, and more ready for the fight. The Israelites feared to go against them. What could they do ? Saul had, a short time before, disobeyed the commandment of God, and so now he had not the comfort of looking to the Lord for help. How great is the trouble which sin brings ! The Philistines were on a hill near to that on which the little army of the Israelites encamped.
A valley and some steep rocks were between them, and Saul waited anxiously, wondering when his fierce foes would come to the fight. He had only six hundred men with him, and these were but a few with which to meet the great host that had come against them. 2. Jonathan's courage.
Jonathan, the son of Saul, was with his father. He was grieved to see the distress of the people, and he said to the soldier who waited on him, “Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison.. It may be that the Lord will work for us : for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." How wise this was, and how brave too! Jonathan knew that if the Lord were with him, it mattered not how many were against
BIBLE-LESSONS FOR INFANT-CLASSES.
him. This is the true way to meet what is hard and difficult. The young man to whom he spake was willing to go with him, for he said, “ Behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.” So Jonathan went, without a word to his father or any one else, save his one companion. They agreed that if when the Philistine soldiers saw them they said, “ Come up unto us,” they would take it to be a sign that the Lord would help them in their effort. They soon got to the place. There were some steep rocks, up which Jonathan climbed, for the soldiers above had said, “ Come.” And now began,
3. The great victory. The Philistines “ fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.” Who gave these two young men their strength and courage? But this was not all the Lord did for them. For now" there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people.” Besides this, “ the earth quaked,” and as the “ watchmen of Saul” looked out over the valley, they saw that “the multitude melted away,” and that they were even “beating down one another. God, who had given courage to Jonathan, had filled them with fear, and in their panic they fell upon each other with their swords. Then Saul found out who had gone from his host, and soon he and all the people that were with him came to the battle, and all the men of Israel around, some of whom in their fear had hid themselves, came also, and all followed hard after the fleeing Philistines. “ So the Lord saved Israel that day.” Let us learn from Jonathan's trust in the Lord, and from his putting forth his own best effort, how we may meet trouble and difficulty.
REVISION.--Why were the Israelites in trouble? What kept Saul from seeking help from God? Who brought deliverance to the people? What gave Jonathan his courage! How did he deliver them? What did he say? What may we learn from him?
sometimes it is poverty, the distress of not having food or clothing, or the means of getting what is needed; sometimes it comes through the wickedness of others. How often a naughty child brings sorrow to the home and to the hearts of father and mother! Then many good people have had to suffer the great tribulation of cruel treatment from those who have hated what is good. None can escape tribulation of some sort or other. The Bible tells us that “man is born unto trouble" surely as “sparks fly upward.” What brought trouble and sorrow into the world ? It was sin. And as all share the sin, so all must share the sorrow.
2. We may get help.-We may all get help to bear our troubles. Where does a little child go when he is in trouble? He runs to his mother or father if he can. They are so wise as often to know how the trouble may be got rid of; they are so kind that they will be sure to help him to bear it, if they cannot take it away. But what must those do who have no father or mother to run to? And how must we do with the troubles which cannot be taken away? Is there any one to Whom we may go ? Yes, Jesus will help all who come to Him. No child is so young or so poor that he may not be sure of help from Him.
3. What trouble may do for us.-Can tribulation do us good? Yes, it may. How can this be ? By helping to cure what is wrong.
Trouble has taken pride from many hearts : it has led many to seek the help of Jesus, who never thought of Him before the trouble came. David once said, “ Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy word.” It helps to make us patient. When men wish to make silver or gold pure, they put it into the fire; and so troubles have often, by God's guidance, taken away what is evil from the heart.
4. Trouble will not last for ever.Paul said, “We must through much tribulation enter into
the kingdom of God.” He had just passed through very sore trial, for no fault or evil of his own. Wicked men had stoned him, and thinking him dead had dragged him out of the city. But God spared his life, for his work was not yet done; and as his sorrowing friends gathered round him, he rose up and
May 31.-Why Troubles Come. Acts xiv. 22: “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
1. About trouble.- What does tribulation mean? It means trials, troubles, anything hard to bear.
There are many kinds of tribulation. Sometimes it is illness, bringing pain of body;
went with them, cheering them with a hope of the time when trouble should be over, and rest and happiness be enjoyed for ever. But who are they that may be sure of this rest? Those only who have got the pardon of their sins, and the love of Jesus in their
hearts. Have you this love? Then fear not trouble; it must end, and after it there will be peace and joy for ever.
REVISION.-What is tribulation? Who are those that suffer it? Where may we get help to bear it? What will tribulation do for us? When will it end? What tribulation had Paul to bear? What hope had be?
him, to whom he at once spoke of the ISAAC CRYER.
value of religion, and exhorted them all ISAAC CRYER was born January 6th, to give their hearts to God. He wanted, 1852, at Castleton, in the parish of he said, to do some good before he Rochdale. From an early age he attended died. the Wesleyan Sunday-school at Hey- Beforegoing to rest at nightheinvariably wood, and continued to do so up till the entreated his parents and brothers and time of his sickness, for many years as a sisters to live to God. He had great scholar, and latterly as a teacher. To- hope that his early death would lead to wards the close of the summer of 1872 decision of character and to the spiritual he became afflicted with a severe cough, life of many of his young friends. The which was followed by much bodily kindness and sympathy of his late weakness: these ominous signs raised employer and many others in ministering fear in the minds of his parents and to his comfort was surprising, and friends that consumption had set in. created in his heart great thankfulness As the winter came on he gradually to God for surrounding him with so grew worse, though he still cherished
many mercies : “God is very good the hope that if he could live till me,” he would often say. He was visited spring he would regain strength; but in his sickness by the Rev. Mr. Gregor, it became evident to all those around Wesleyan Minister, and the Rev. Mr. him that he would never recover.
ster, of the Church of England. He did not appear to have realised a He also derived much benefit from the full sense of God's favour till about eight warm and genial conversation of the weeks before his death, when he was elder superintendent of the school. He visited by one or two of the elder loved, he said, to talk with those that teachers from the school. As they con- feared God. “ Iron sharpeneth iron; versed about justification and a know- so a man sharpeneth the countenance of ledge of sins forgiven, he seemed to gain his friend.” This text he was fond of much light and encouragement. On the repeating. evening of the same day, which was Isaac Cryer was naturally of a Sunday, he retired to his room, and humorous disposition, and when sanctithere poured out his soul in secret prayer fied by the grace of God, his society was to God. Before he went to bed some all the more pleasing. He was exceedfriends came to see him, and they sang ingly thankful for any little thing done for him several hymns. While they were for him. Two days before he died, the singing, he became exceedingly happy, doctor told him in a very kind manner and the writer of this brief notice can that he did not think he would be alive well remember with what joy he after- next Saturday. He was not alarmed, wards told of the change which God had but seemed happy to think he was so wrought in his heart. Referring to that near heaven. He was very ill the same Sunday he said, “I slept very little that night, but in a joyful state of mind. night; I felt so happy I could have His sister-in-law coming in, he charged shouted for joy.”
her two or three times to meet him in From that time till his death he heaven. On the last Sunday morning never lost his hold on Christ. Great of his life he suffered very severe pain. numbers of young people came to see Referring to it later in the day, he said,
"I don't know what I should have done just then without religion.” His hands trembled with weakness and he requested his mother to stand by him and talk to him. He seemed to fear a fresh attack of the pain, but God spared him. Being asked by his brother whether he still could trust in Christ, he replied without any hesitation, “O, yes! I will trust Him to the end."
He was visited for the last time on the Sunday by the superintendents of the school. The meeting was a happy one; he desired to say much, but was too weak. “He hoped,” he said, “to be in heaven next Sunday,Where congregations ne'er break up, And Sabbaths never end.'”
The same night his brother began to read for him the fifth chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians : "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands,”—here the voice of the reader failed him, and the dying man finished the sentence,—“eternal in the heavens."
He wanted little to be done for him during the night, but wiping the sweat from his brow, and moistening his lips with cold water. He was asked whether he still felt happy, and replied, “O, yes ! “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.'' Though he had to pause for breath almost at every word, “I want,” he said, “to keep calm, with my eye fixed on heaven.” Only a few minutes before he died, he requested his elder brother
to put something on his feet; when this was done, he warmly thanked him. His brother replied that all should be done for him that could be done, but regretted that they could not save him. “No,” he said, “you cannot save me for this world;" but added with much emphasis, “Thank God, there is a better.”
These were almost his last words; he lay still a short time, when he calmly passed away, as if going to sleep, without a sigh or groan. At five o'clock in the morning, just as the light was breaking upon the earth, his happy spirit was ushered into the light of God's presence.
He was buried, on the 29th of March, at the Heywood Cemetery. It was a calm and beautiful spring day. His home was situated in the country, and larks were carolling around, everything was suggestive of life and beauty. About one hundred young men and women attended his funeral, and the sight will not soon be forgotten. They all stood out in the open air, and sung that matchless hymn,“The morning flowers display their sweets,"
When all Thy saints shall rise,
NOTICES OF BOOKS. The Life of James Dixon, D.D.
came of a good stock, and had a pious, Written by his Son, RICHARD WATSON
intelligent mother. James Dixon was Dixon, M.A. London: Published for born in the year 1788, and died in 1871. the Author at the Wesleyan Con- He began to toil hard very early in life, ference Office. 1874. — This is for when only ten years old, he was at thoroughly well-written volume, un- work every morning by four o'clock. usually well got up, and illustrated King's-Mills, near Castle-Donington, was with three fine portraits of Dr. Dixon. his native place, and from his experience Without a long family histor the there he derived in part his high opinion writer gives an account of his father's of country congregations. This he parentage, sufficient to show that he retained to the end of his life, as may be
gathered from the following extract from a letter to a young minister: “You think it necessary to provide something a little more elaborate for these town sinners than you give to the farmers in the country, under the popular delusion that townsfolk possess a more elevated intellect than country people. Put sharp chicanery for intellect, and this would be true; but for common sense and good information, farmers are quite equal, if not superior to your town population.” Dr. Dixon's biographer traces the formation and moulding of his character, first by the preaching of the Methodist ministers, then by reading, meditation, and prayer, for all of which his country life and solitary habits were most helpful.
Answering to the call of God, he offered himself as preacher, was accepted, and in due time entered the Hereford Circuit. In his long country journeys he was for weeks away from home, and felt sometimes as though his heart would break for want of sympathy and friends. The few letters which remain from this period of his life breathe unusual piety and thoughtfulness, and most beautiful is the depth of his affection toward his mother.
He was a manly preacher, and never hesitated to rebuke or to warn. brother minister who had come into possession of a fortune, he wrote, “How do you feel now that you are rich in this world? Should you hesitate to own me publicly in the street ? If you grow purse-proud, and put on airs, and look contemptuously on your fellows, and grow idle, and a lover of the world, I for one shall wish the world had its own rather than you. If you love God more for His gifts, and are more beneficent to man, and do more good in the world, I shall rejoice. I never yet knew a man the better for being rich, but many the worse, and probably many of our profession.”
Some men, of whom Henry Ward Beecher is one, proclaim a higher standard than that which they profess to have attained. Dr. Dixon, on the other hand, “ called upon the people of God to obey no law which he had not obeyed, to
undergo no experience which he had not undergone, to expect no blessing which he had not enjoyed.”
As a father, he had a right to express his opinions on the subject of family government, and we have never seen a more satisfactory reason why pious parents sometimes have wicked children. He remarks that it is "possible for a large measure of personal piety to exist, and yet great misgovernment of families to exist also; or at least we have often seen good people have very ungodly children. But there is a consistent and uniform religion to which all of us ought to aspire, and it will be often found that persons laying claim to high attainments in religion are destitute of this uniformity and consistency, and many of the evils of their families arise out of this want."
Neither did he think it was a benefit to children to begin life with a fortune: “By making them independent, you only give them the time and means of doing mischief, and they usually occupy both for that end and purpose.”
He loved his children intensely, and when his wife died he felt keenly for them. He said in a letter at this time: " When I visit them in bed ... to supply to them in some degree the loss of their mother's care and their mother's kiss; or when sallying from my study I find them alone, passing the time in amusing and instructing one another; or when they instinctively fly to me to make me the depositary their little troubles and pleasures,-0, these things almost break my heart!”
As a public man he had many points of great excellence; he was an able and fearless missionary speaker and advocate of freedom for the slaves. The extract of one of his great efforts beginning at p. 155, will be read with interest by every one. He was called to fill various offices of the ministry, and in that of President he visited all parts of this country, as well as Ireland, Our Cornish friends will be amused to read what he said of them in 1842 :—“If a speaker happen to adventure on a joke or a pun, not a muscle of a single countenance is ever seen to change. The men sit on one