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period of youth that the most lasting friendships are formed. At all events, those formed in youth, and continued through the advancing years of life, are the strongest and most precious. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that at this period you should be wisely directed in the choice of friends who may be the companions of life, and act an important part in your personal history. The fact that friendship is often more a matter of growth than of choice, does not make such direction less necessary. It is our duty to prevent the growth of that which is indefensible in itself.

In the first place, then, let your friendship be founded upon real esteem.—That which is founded upon anything else, is not likely to be either deep or permanent. Of course there are evil combinations which are based upon a mutual agreement to do wrong. In this sense there may be something like friendship between two persons who cannot really esteem each other. But this is not real friendship. That of which we speak arises out of a mutual apprehension of qualities which are estimable. For instance, if I see in you that which is good and upright, I shall be drawn towards you, and shall desire closer communication with you; and if you see in me that which you equally admire, a mutual feeling, not only of esteem, but also of friendship, will arise between us, and such a feeling is likely to be both deep and lasting. No friendship is worth very much which does not rest upon some such basis as this.

Seek such friendships as will not hinder but promote piety. — This is a most important consideration, but one, alas ! which is too often forgotten. The consequence is, many are led astray, and run into disorder and ruin. Very often evil companions have destroyed the good impressions made upon the minds of young people, and led them altogether astray from God. Well, therefore, might the wise man write, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not, .. walk thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path : for

their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.” You cannot be too careful to avoid such companionships as these; indeed, if you avoid them not they are almost certain to ruin you. Seek the friendship of those who have consecrated themselves to the Lord, or are sincerely anxious to do so. Such friends will be a blessing to you, and not a curse. They will be companions in the right path, and helpful to you in your Christian.

Their influence upon you for good will be incalculable, and their friendship one of the most sacred and profitable of heaven's gifts.

In order that you may enjoy such friendship, strive to show yourselves worthy of it. You may be quite sure that such persons as we have described will choose their friends from among those who are like-minded with themselves, and will avoid the companionship of those who are not. Seek, therefore, to cultivate a character which will make you a fit companion for the wise and good. Let your soul be fired with high and holy purposes, and let your life be consistently devoted to the accomplishment of such purposes; then you will command the esteem of those whose friendship you desire. That is the best and most profitable friendship which arises out of similar and mutual enjoyment of Christian experience. Nothing unites souls so sweetly as this, and no union is so profitable as that which is promoted by such means. It helps us to realise what we pray for when we sing:“Touch'd by the loadstone of Thy love,

Let all our hearts agree;
And ever tow'rds each other move,

And ever move tow'rds Thee." But it should be your strongest desire and highest ambition to obtain the friendship of God. Abraham is called “ the friend of God;” and it is said of Enoch that he “walked with God;' expressions which indicate a very high state of Godly communion. However noble and blessed earthly friendship may be, it is as nothing in comparison with this. To be so intimate with God as to be called His friend, and be permitted to

walk with Him, is to be admitted to the
enjoyment of grace in comparison with
which all earthly possessions and
enjoyments sink into insignificance.
Such privileges are granted only to those
who love and serve Him supremely.
But this enjoyment may be yours. Our
Saviour Himself says, “Yeare My friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
This is the condition-constant and
perfect obedience to His will and com-
mand. Which of you will strive to do
this ? All, I hope. Then will you have
a Friend even more faithful than
Jonathan. All earthly friendships, how-
ever good and profitable, come to an end,
but for those whose friendship centres in
God, there is an eternal reunion beyond.
How sweetly does one of our poets sing
of this :-
“Friend after friend departs;

Who hath not lost a friend ?
There is no union here of hearts

That hath not here an end :
Were this frail world our only rest,
Living or dying, none were blest.
“ There is a world above,

Where parting is unknown;
A whole eternity of love,

Form'd for the good alone:
And faith beholds the dying here

Translated to that happier sphere.” To participate in the joy of this reunion you must be the friends of God here. Dear children, seek to enjoy this privilege, then this hope too shall be yours, and friendships begun on earth shall be perpetuated in heaven.

city. From Assos they passed to Mitylene, the capital of Lesbos, one of the islands of the Ægean. When Lesbos was only seen as a dim shadow over the ship's stern, they found themselves near the bold mountains of Chios, which in a few hours were blazoned with hues of sunset, and then almost concealed by the darkness of night. The following day they glided by the lofty cliffs and luxuriant slopes of Samos, an island famous in modern as in ancient times for its olive gardens and vineyards. They spent the night at the anchorage between Samos and Trogyllium, on the mainland, and the next morning steered for Miletus, a sea-port of Ionia. Standing on the deck, they would scarcely fail to see the rocky outline of Patmos, from which the Apocalyptic splendours were to flash on Ephesus and other great cities of Asia Minor.

They had come past Ephesus, but Paul would not delay the ship by putting in there, as he was anxious to be in Jerusalem by the feast of Pentecost. Still he was not unmindful of the people whom he had built up into a fabric more magnificent than Diana's jewelled shrine, even

an holy temple in the Lord,” and he sent from Miletus to the elders of the Church in Ephesus, requesting them to come to him. They rejoiced in being able once more to see their teacher's face and to hear his voice, and set out immediately for Miletus. Paul would have many questions to ask respecting the Church, even mentioning some of its members by name; and when the first greetings and inquiries were


he addressed them in words of wonderful power and tenderness. He reminded them of the manner of his ministry, his humility, his affection as manifested by histears, his fidelity in preaching, not only in public, but in going from house to house. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”. He had not been without persecution in Ephesus, but though he was leaving that part of the world and going to Jerusalem, it was not with the expectation of gliding into ease and honour. So much of the future as had been disclosed to him




Paul in Miletus. THE Evangelists left Troas before Paul, probably setting sail while he was yet with the disciples in the“third loft.” This was his own arrangement, for he determined to “go afoot” to Assos, there to meet the ship, which, having to round the point of land, would not be likely to arrive at that port before he did, his journey being a direct course from city to



by the Holy Ghost was crowded with trials. The cities which henceforth he might visit had nothing to offer him but the chain of the prisoner and the stern enclosure of dungeon-stones.

But his high soul was not daunted by the dark spectres which threw their shadow over the visions of the coming years. He remembered the bowed Form treading the way to Golgotha under the weight of the cross; he knew that no ponderous door or brazen bar could keep from him the light of his Saviour's presence; and in the spirit of a rare and glorious heroism, he cried, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.” His ministry at Ephesus was at an end. Those who had so often heard him in the School of Tyrannus and in their own dwellings would see his face no more. But none could say he had not done his work faithfully. “ Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.” He had not, in the spirit of Jesuit missionaries in India and China, attempted to avoid offence by keeping back truths which were likely to be repulsive to the supercilious intellect of Ephesus, passing lightly over the self-denial which Christ enjoins on His disciples. All the doctrines, all the duties of Christianity had been brought before the people in words distinct and luminous as the stars which mirrored their beauty in the waters of their beautiful river, the Cayster.

Having vindicated his own ministry, Paul charged the elders to take heed to themselves, and to the flock over which the Holy Ghost had made them overseers. This was the more needful, as he foresaw the entrance of “grievous wolves” into the fold, and even some who kept up a show of allegiance to Christ, becoming guilty of erroneous and mischievous teaching; a prediction the fulfilment of which was afterwards declared by the voice from “the midst of the seven golden candlesticks,” for the letter to the angel of the Church in Ephesus makes

mention of “them which say they are Apostles, and are not,” also of “the deeds of the Nicolaitanes." Paul had foresight of these evils, and charged the elders to watch, and to bear in mind his own zeal for the truth, evidenced by the tears and unceasing toils of his ministry.

Yet there was nothing stern in this charge, the whole was tremulous with the tender feeling of the pastor, the friend, the brother. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Referring again to matters relating to himself, he showed that he had not been influenced by mercenary motives, “I have coveted no man's silver or gold or apparel,” an utterance calling to mind the lofty challenge of Samuel to the people over whom he had so long and so disinterestedly ruled: “Behold, here I am : witness against me before the Lord, and before His anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded ? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith ?” Paul, lifting up his hands, said, “Ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” A saying of our Lord not recorded by the Evangelists, but one that must have lingered like the echo of celestial music in the memory of the disciples.

Having concluded his address, Paul “kneeled down, and prayed with them all.” It was his last prayer in Asia Minor; and when he rose up, the elders, with a tenderness like that of the Old Testament patriarchs, wept and fell on his neck and kissed him, “sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no

And they accompanied him unto the ship,” a scene of which many a missionary has thought when the people among whom he has laboured in love and joy, but whom he has been compelled to leave, have gone down with him to the beach to bid him farewell ere embarking, and have stood there singing hymns, broken by sobs, and gazing wistfully on him until the sail has borne him into the purple distance.


The Lambs of the Flock.




(Concluded from page 138.) SOME of the plans carried out by the Church of God are specially suited for the young.

I might mention Sunday-schools and Bible-classes, for instance, which are so general. Dear “ little ones,” keep within the fold. Be very fond of the means of grace, and constant in using them. Never be absent if you can possibly avoid it. You can suppose the case of a naughty sheep or foolish lamb complaining of its fold as if it were a prison, sometimes rambling over the hills and then coming back again; and, after a while, leaving the fold altogether, and wandering away until it is torn by wild beasts or famished with hunger. This is just what many people do. They get out of humour with the Church of God, when they ought to be dissatisfied with themselves. They give up being members of it when they more than ever need its help. They seek pleasure in other places and amongst other persons, and it is to be feared that many of them become a prey to the great enemy of souls. Dear "little ones,

prize the Church of God and the means of grace. Not one can leave the fold without Christ missing it. If you wander away, He will miss you. May He help you never to run into danger!

Before I close this address, let me say, not a few of those to whom I speak may have been sick. While others have been active and merry, you have been very weak, and perhaps suffering severe pain ; and you sometimes wonder whether you will ever be strong and

active again. I wish I could tell you how much I feel for sick children. I delight to see a happy group of little ones playing together, to hear their cheerful voices, and to admire the glow of health upon their cheeks; but a dear sick child has a special charm for me. And one of the texts at the beginning seems exactly intended for these, “He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom.” That is the little lambs that are not able to jump or play. Once they were as lively as the others, but now they are quiet. Their little limbs are weak, and their faces thin and pale. One, in describing how the shepherds in Greece care for the poor sick lambs, says, “Some of the lambs were quite strong and full of play, but others were very feeble. The cold chilled them, and they could not walk. Each shepherd wore a kind of large cloak, tied round his neck, and also fastened about his waist, while the part round his bosom was full and loose. So he took up some of the little feeble lambs, and put them in the loose part of his robe, near the bosom. He did not quite wrap them up, but let their little heads appear, so that they could breathe well; but he kept them snug and warm.”

Dear sick "little ones,” it is in some such way as this that Jesus, your loving Saviour, deals with you. Think how He loves you. More, very much more, than I do. More, very much more than your fond parents do. More than words can tell. Perhaps He is going to take you to Himself. Ifso you will soon see some dearones whom I have had to give up to Him Who

I am sure they are very happy; and if you give your hearts to Jesus, you shall be just as happy as they are. Nestle in His bosom. Do not be afraid. You are safe if you are in the arms of Christ; and, if you die, you will get home to be “for ever with the Lord.” But perhaps He is only preparing you for happy service here for many years. Then you need His grace to fit you for living good and useful lives. And now is the time to seek and to obtain it. Ask your loving Saviour to accept you. Trust in Him fully. He is very kind,

gave them,



and He will receive you and make you His own.

I do not wish to weary you, and
therefore close, praying at the same
time that God may bless you every one
for His dear Son's sake.
“I was a wandering sheep,

I did not love the fold;
I did not love my Shepherd's voice,

I would not be controll’d.
I was a wayward child,

I did not love my home;
I did not love my Father's voice,

I loved afar to roam.
“ The Shepherd sought His sheep,

The Father sought His child; They followed me o'er vale and hill,

O'er deserts waste and wild. They found me nigh to death,

Famish'd and faint and lone;

They bound me with the bands of love,

They saved the wandering one.
“ Jesus my Shepherd is :

'Twas He that loved my soul;
'Twas He that wash'd me in His blood,

'Twas He that made me whole.
'Twas He that sought the lost,

That found the wandering sheep ;
'Twas He that brought me to the fold,

'Tis He that still doth keep.
“No more a wandering sheep,

I love to be controllid;
I love my tender Shepherd's voice,

I love the peaceful fold.
No more a wayward child,

I seek no more to roam;
I love my Heavenly Father's voice,

I love, I love His home.”

* Rev. H. Bonar.

July 5.-Good Example.

to teach them more about God and

His service. He told them how they 1 THESSALONIANS 1.6:“Ye became followers

always thanked God for what He had of us, and of the Lord.”

done for them; for giving them 1. Leaving idols.-Our verse is part “ faith " and "love" and "hope,” and of a letter written by the Apostle Paul for keeping them in the good and to some whom he had left and whom

right way. Were not these blessings he loved. They had been heathens. great indeed ? He tells them, too, how What is that? When Paul first went the Gospel came to them“ in their city, they were worshippers of What gave it power among them ? idols—wood, stone; some it may be of It had power from God Himself to silver and gold. Could these do them make its way into their hearts : but any good ? No. They were like those they also saw what it had done for gods of whom the Psalmist wrote, Paul and his friends. What had it * Their idols are silver and gold, the done for them? It had changed their work of men's hands: they have hearts and their ways; it had made mouths, but they speak not; eyes have them loving, kind and upright; and they, but they see not; they have ears, they saw what manner of men they but they hear not; noses have they, were among them.” This made them but they smell not; they have hands, wish to be like them, and so Paul said but they handle not; feet have they, of them, “ Ye became followers of us, but they walk not.” But Paul taught and of the Lord.” these people a better way. He preached 3. Whom to copy.-We cannot help to them of God who made the heavens, being somewhat like those among the earth, and all that in them is ; whom we live. Children see the ways and he preached to them of the Lord and hear the words of their parents Jesus Who came from heaven to die and school-fellows, and copy them. for them and to save them. They How careful we should be as to whom were glad of news so good as this; and what we copy! How careful we they believed the truth, and turned should be as to the copy we set others! from their idols to serve the living Would you like to grow good ? God.

followers of those who are themselves 2. Followers of the good.After Paul good ? Would you like to see others had left them, he wrote to them for good ? Set them the example. But himself and others who had been there Whom did the Thessalonians follow ? with him, to cheer them in the trials The Lord. Can we copy Him? Where which they had to pass through, and shall we find the example He set ?

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