Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

SECRET PRAYER.

183

.

sees you in the dark as well as in the light — by night as well as by day, and takes notice of your heart and your petitions.

The reward—“He shall reward thee openly." By the brook Jabbok, Jacob wrestled alone and resolutely, and God rewards him openly, by the loving embrace of the once hostile Esau. Peter wrestles on the house top, and sees an instructive vision ; and God rewards and honours him by making him the first preacher of the gospelto the Gentiles, and Cornelius and his house were the fruits of his ministry. Once there was an earthquake in Switzerland, by which part of a mountain was thrown down. It fell upon a village, and crushed every house, and every inhabitant to atoms, except the corner of one cottage, where the master of the house and his family were praying to God. God rewards the secret wrestler by endowing him with gifts and graces, which shine before men, that they seeing His good works, may also be induced to glorify God. God will reward him openly in the judgment. “ Well done! good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Let me resolve to draw near to God daily in secret. Morning and evening let me be a suppliant at His throne ; that throne where every suppliant engages God's eye, and God's ear, and God's heart, and obtains mercy, and finds grace to help in time of need.

SEASONS OF GRACE.

“ The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."

Jer, viii. 20.

SALVATION is what we all need—what Christ has provided at a great expense--and what we may have without charge ; but God, in His wisdom, has determined, that we may not have it when we please. He has appointed a season of grace for us, and if we allow that season to pass without improvement, we may have to complain, and complain without a remedy—“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."

We have seasons of grace and salvation« Summer and harvest." Summer is the season of warmth and splendour. Harvest is the season of exertion and in-gathering. These two seasons are the only favourable ones for preparing for winter. They represent the youth, energy, and vigour, of human life. Youth is the most favourable season for salvation ; and few become religious, except in youth. The young are not hardened by a long course of sin. They are more susceptible of good or evil impressions. They are more easily led into, or away from, dangers, hence the season of youth is the crisis of life, the turning point of our history, for good

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

or for evil. Another favourable season for salvation is, when means and ordinances are readily and richly enjoyed. We dwell in a land of Bibles. The word is circulated freely, plentifully, and cheaply. We have churches in our cities and country districts in abundance, where the gospel is earnestly preached, and the ordinances of religion devoutly administered. We have Sabbath schools, and classes for our young people, and we have the wise counsels and consistent examples of devoted ministers, and pious Christians. How many, in other lands, have no such privileges, and shall we have them, and not improve them ? Many have been saved, in past times, by improving their favourable seasons, and salvation is as near to us, and as free to us, as it was to them. Shall multitudes hasten into the kingdom, and take heaven by force, and shall we stand all the day idle ?

Why, then, are we not saved ?—Perhaps, my reader, you are indifferent to salvation. Alas ! too many are indifferent. If you can get the body right, perhaps you care nothing about the soul. If you can get present enjoyments, perhaps you are willing to let the future take its chance. If you can get the pleasures of sin, perhaps you care not for the pleasures of religion. If you can get all right for time, perhaps you have no anxiety about eternity. But why should any one be indifferent about his s ul, the noblest, and best part of his being, when he has the means of its eternal happiness within his reach ? Perhaps you are procrastinating, and intend, at some future convenient season, to seek salvation. Will you really say to one who pleads with you and wishes you well, “Go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season I will call for thee.” A minister asks a young woman, whom he meets on the street, Have you sought religion ? Not yet, but I mean to do so, when the enjoyments of youth are past. In a few days he is sent for to see a person ill, and dying. It is the very person who said, Not yet. He tells her of Jesus, and of His readiness to save. She whispers in his ear, It is too late, I am lost. How fearful is this! You are going on a journey, but when you reach the railway station, the train is gone. You are too late, and your disappointment is great, but how much more dreadful will be your disappointment, if you procrastinate salvation, till it is too late! Now, then, is the golden opportunity, “Come, for all things are now ready.” Perhaps you are trying to amalgamate religion and the world, grace and works, Christ and yourself. “No man can serve two masters.” “Ye cannot serye God and mammon.” Why seek happiness from earthly objects, when they are wandering stars, wells without water, and cannot satisfy the soul ?

Thirty-Second Sabbath-Morning.

MARTHA ADMONISHED.

“Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and troubled about many things,

but one thing is needful."-Luke x. 41, 42,

MARTHA was the eldest sister of Lazarus and Mary. They all lived er at Bethany, and Jesus often visited at their house, On this occasion, Martha seemed anxious to provide hospitable entertainment for Jesus, and was so engrossed with her preparations, that she paid no attention to His gracious words, and kind instructions. Not satisfied with neglecting Christ's words herself, she interfered with her sister, who sat at Jesus' feet, and unnecessarily requested her aid in the duties of the house. She reproved her sister for well-doing, and got a reproof for her own conduct, which was not so commendable. Here we have Martha reproved, and Martha admonished.

Martha Reproved—“Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and troubled about many things.” The eye of Jesus saw Martha's heart as well as her conduct, and faithful to His friend, and kind entertainer, He firmly reproved her. as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” He was earnest and pointed in His reproof, hence He pronounces her name twice, “Martha, Martha.” This He said to arrest her attention, and make a

" As many

« ForrigeFortsæt »