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Observer, Apr. 1, '75.

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especially that he speaks of the Romans, at the very height of their power, intelligence and splendour. After all that their greatest philosophers could do, this was the result, and it is clear there was need of some better plan. More profound and laborious philosophers than had arisen the Pagan world could not hope to see; more refinement and civilization than then existed the world could not expect to behold under heathenism; and thus it was, that when the inefficiency of all human means, even under the most favourable circumstances, to reform mankind, had been tried, then the gospel was preached to men, and its effects were seen at once throughout the most abandoned cities and states of the ancient world.-Barnes.

But the picture would be incomplete if we omitted to mention the women of Ancient Rome.

Domestic life, according to our endearing understanding of the phrase, was unknown among the Romans; household sympathies and family ties, under barbarous and ferocious laws, were obviously im. possible. That mixture of desire, respect, and affection, we designate as love, was scarcely understood, consequently the instances of domestic happiness were comparatively rare. Laws, habits, manners, religion, amusement, all combined to degrade and to abase the Roman matron, especially under the Empire. Vice had become a habit and a fashion. The theatres encouraged every grosser feeling, and fed the general taste for savage excitement.

The matrons of Rome in the early periods of their history were patterns of virtue and fidelity, but in the age of Nero they may be termed vice personified. Juvenal thus describes the reason of this great change in the manners of Roman females,

You ask, from whence proceed these monstrous crimes ?
Once poor, and therefore chaste, in former times,
Our matrons were ; no luxury found room
Iu low roof'd houses, and bare walls of loom :
'Their hands with labour hardened while 'twas light,
And frugal sleep supplied the quiet night;
While pinched with want their hunger held them straight;
But wanton now and lolling at our ease,
We suffer all the inveterate ills of peace,
And wasteful riot, whose destructive charms

Revenge the vanquished world of our victorious arms.
Again-

For weak of reason, impotent of will,
The sex is hurried head-long into ill;
And like a cliff from its foundations torn,

By raging earthquakes, into seas is borne. The close connection between licentiousness and blood-guiltiness was never so strikingly manifest as was witnessed on a Roman holiday, when the populace was gathered together in the ampitheatres to applaud the inhuman contests of the gladiators. These were common at Rome, and constituted a favourite amusement with the people. Nero at one show exhibited no less than four hundred Senators and six hundred Knights as gladiators. Gibbon says, several hundreds, perhaps several thousands, were thus annually slaughtered in the great cities of the Empire.

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Observer, Apr. 1, 75.

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Woman must indeed have lost all the best attributes of her nature before she could sit and applaud at such a scene, even the vestal virgins, enthroned on the Podium beside the Emperor, rarely exercised their attribute of mercy in saving the combatants.-SeePictures of Old Rome,by Frunces Elliot, ch. 2 ; Gallus or Scenes of the time of Augustus,by Prof. Becker, p. 153, etc.

If we contrast -says a writer in Kitto's Encyclopædia--that scene of woman's debasement, with those happier scenes, when thousands of our country-women have met in our public halls, and in the open air to give freedom to the slave, and remember that these are as certain direct consequences of Christianity, as those were direct consequences of heathen superstitions, assuredly we have before us proofs, of a great religious, moral, and political advance, in the situation and character of woman, and the cause, as well as the effect, is before us. It was the religion of Christ which, by superceding those heathen superstitions and rites by a holier faith, and superior worship, did at the same time, and as a direct consequence, raise womon to her true position in society. It is a matter of fact that the religion of Christ restored sanctity, and purity, and love to the domestic hearth, making those three Christian graces the best ornament of female character, and giving Christian love and charity an influence which at once softened and purified the heart.See Isaac Taylor, Restoration of Belief,p. 286, etc.

Thus are we enabled to see that the vast Empire of Rome, imposing as it appeared, was in the days of the Apostles, as to its inward, moral, and religious condition, at the point of dissolution, and called despairingly for a Saviour, a new divine principle of life.

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

(To be continued.)

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THE WORK OF GOD AND THE WORK OF HIS SERVANTS*

God is the great worker, and He works for the good of His creatures. Work, therefore, in its highest sense and aim must be holy, noble, just, and good, and if it be necessary for the Divine Being to work for man's welfare now and hereafter, it must surely also be necessary that man, as a servant of God, should work for the present and eternal welfare of his ueighbour, because the motive power in God becomes the motive power in man; and if it be a living power, it will, and must, manifest itself in man as in God-in good works.

After the creation of this world God rested from all His works, so far as relates to its creation. But God's work is not limited to the creation of our earth, for great as the work of creation was, He had resolved to perform another marvellous work—that of redemption.

“'Twas great to speak a world from naught,

'Twas greater to redeem." God works in that He rules the principalities and powers in heaven; God works in that He rules over the earth ; His spiritual kingdom ;

* Address delivered by T. Y. Miller, in Constitution Road Chapel, Dundee, February, 1876.

Observer, Apr. 1, '75.

upholds the heavenly bodies in their spheres for the performance of their functions; and by filling the world with abundance of good things, both for man and beast. These works can only be wrought by the Infinite, and in so far as these are concerned God must ever work alone.

Man was created to work: formed in the image of his Creator, he is fitted for work. God made him by virtue of his intelligence capable of providing for himself, but at the same time did not leave him ignorant of what the infinite mind deemed best for his welfare. God foresaw that man would incline to abuse the pure tastes and desires which had been implanted in his nature, and therefore, in order to save him from the suffering and loss which he would probably bring upon himself in these respects, he informed him how his life should be guided, and when his conduct would be condemned. Though unrestricted in his agency--having complete control over his actions, and therefore responsible for them-man is directed at once by the only Being who can give him direction, to the right path of life and duty-the only path in which he will be able to find true happiness; in which all his labour will yield an abundant reward; where his trials and sufferings will result in the purification of his heart and the sanctification of his life; where it will be impossible for him to be disappointed in his expectation of participating in those higher and more blissful enjoy. ments which God has ordained to follow the continued possession of true Christian faith and love.

Suffering the penalty brought upon the human family by its first parents, man is bound to work, from the very terms of the declarationThou shalt earn thy bread in the sweat of thy brow.” Work then is essential to man's physical and social life, and as such it is noble and just. By it he is enabled to provide things honest in the sight of all men. But while this is true in order to obtain the bread which sustains the physical life, the words of the Saviour are equally true, that man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. This points to another element which can serve no other purpose than that of sustaining man's spiritual life. This elenient is figuratively spoken of as spiritual food, and man is counselled while seeking and working for physical food, not to expend his entire strength and substance in endeavouring to obtain it, but to endeavour with all his strength to seek that spiritual food of which it is said, if a man eat, he will be enabled to live for ever. We thus find that man, if he consult his full welfare, must nece

ecessarily obtain and use two kinds of food --bread fitted to sustain physical life, and spiritual bread needful to the maintenance of spiritual life.

But were man merely to work for himself he would come far short of attaining the happiness of which his moral nature here is susceptible, and would necessarily, in the higher and spiritual sense of labour, cease to work at all. He may be selfish and spend on his own gratification the whole of his substance, but the end will be to him, as it proved to the prodigal, unsatisfactory and disappointing. Man as an unregenerate being is naturally selfish; his chief aim and object in labour is to provide comfort and luxuries for himself. The world in which such men live is perhaps no larger than their own family circles, or the society in which they mingle. In order then to do good works, such as God

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Observer, Apr. 1, '75.

desires man to engage in, he must be impelled by some powerful cause higher than himself, and having been instructed what these good works are, he must necessarily, if he loves the Author of all good, and professes to be guided by His Word, work earnestly for the highest good of his fellows, their happiness and comfort here, in all that these two words embrace, and their eternal happiness hereafter.

The aim of God's work in creation and in redemption was the highest and grandest welfare of the human race. It was this that moved Him even when sin had entered the world and blighted man's dignity and glory, to promise a Deliverer, who should be able to lead him back from the misery and lost condition into which he had fallen, to the favour and love of God. Looking to the end God saw to what depths of degradation, misery, and wickedness, man would fall; how the God stamped faculties with which he had been endowed would be marred in their power by the grossest abuse; how void the human heart would become of tenderness and those emotions which bespeak a lofty and refined nature; and how much the heart would become hardened and filled with blind passion and determinate lawlessness. Seeing all this, and also that man, growing from bad to worse, would never be able to procure a ransom for himself such as God in His justice and holiness could accept, God out of the depths of His unfathomable love resolved to provide a sinless Deliverer, who, in human flesh, carrying its frailties and bearing its surrows, should in virtue of His higher power and reflecting the effulgence of the divine majesty and love, attract and win him back to the fountain of life, holiness and glory.

When man is restored to the favour of God he becomes inspired with a motive power to do good, and to seek the spiritual welfare of himself and others. Immediately he has laid before him and open to him thousands of channels where he can labour, privately or publicly, to promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of his fellows, the increase of the Redeemer's kingdom, and the vindication of the truth of God as the only power able to save man. With a deeper love to Christ the Christian goes forth in his labour with greater love for man. His heart, bis head, his hands, and his feet are employed to make all about him better for this life and the next, by bringing them into the fold of the Saviour. The love which redeemed him impels him to seek the salvation of others. Indeed out of the fulness of gratitude to God for his marvellous compassion in becoming his Saviour, his soul may even be all on fire with love to God, leading him on to absorbing devotedness to God and human weal. That which moves him to self-denying labour is not a worldly consideration, but love holiest, purest, noblest--the very essence of Christianity, the kernel of its whole strength and beauty, the very thing in man which draws him nearest to God, because it is & reflection, although a small one, of His own all glorious nature. His love is love for Christ and for all awakened by Christ's love for hima love, stimulated and purified by that peace and comfort which arises from the enjoyment of the remission of a condemning burden of sina love strengthened and deepened by the fact that he is the Lord's, and that for him there is secured an eternal and undefiled inheritance, where love shall be displayed in its fullest power and glory.

It is this love, which, dwelling in the heart, and created there by God's own

Observer, Apr. 1, '76.

Spirit, forms to the servant of God his motive power in all his work of faith and labour of love.

The work to which Christians have been called is solemn and momentous. To man God bas bequeathed that for which it is all. important he should possess, but which it was impossible for him of bimself ever to obtain-life after death, a continuation of being even after worms have destroyed the flesh, and that not chequered by the sorrows, separations, harassing work, and disappointments of this world, but glorified by unending bliss and the most exalted and enrapturing occupations. This rich inheritance has been made known by God to man, and low He leaves men to make it known to others, and not only so but He imposes it as a solemn duty upon all His followers to live as becomes the gospel of Christ, so that while they make known the ever. lasting salvation, they may also show that they, as subjects of that salvation, must put off the carnal man and his deeds and live in righteousness and true holiness. The all-glorious work of redemption,

though completed, has resulted in other work the making of it known, the dissemination of its facts and the conditions of its enjoyment, so that the saved are enabled to show to all men that they live no longer in the thraldom of sin, but in the kingdom and liberty and glory of Jesus Christ. The follower of Jesus is called to labour in a world of wickedness, to uproot vice and tyranny, to remove injustice and misery, to liberate men from their evil passions, and rid them from the evil consequences of their degraded life; to relieve the destitute, to comfort and assist the suffering, to raise the fallen, to enlighten the dark mind, to reform the heart, and to fill it with love to God and man. If this then be the work of the servant of God, how solemn a matter it must be for him to neglect it! When the Apostles proclaimed the truth, they, as in Christ's stead, besought their hearers to be reconciled to God! With such work then lying upon us and before us, can we be indifferent, idle, or prayerless! What account shall we have to render to God, if we in His stead have this work to perform, and should allow our fellow-men to perish, while through carelessness or indifference we neglect or decline to put forth our arm in the strength of the Omni. potent to save them! How grave then is the responsibility which rests upon all God's servants, bigh and low, rich and poor, to serve Him constantly to the utmost of their ability, whether great or small! This is a matter of life and death, and O how dreadful the pain, the agony of that neglect to which may be attributed the unending loss of the soul! But it may be asked, why should God impose so serious a work upon man as His servant? Can He not directly by His Spirit overturn and uproot tyranny and injustice, check the evil man in his courses, and convert him, bless with riches and plenty the man who is perishing from want, and comfort and console the afflicted and broken hearted ? God seeks to do all this, but he does so through man. He has once for all by His Spirit communicated to man His will and the power

of putting an end to all these, and just as far as men are filled with His Spirit will these things be accomplished; if they are not accomplished it is because men do not make effort for their accomplishment, and therefore the guilt of neglect and their condemnation on account of it must necessarily follow. All will have to answer for deeds done, whether

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