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Word. They doubt and cavil, and find fancied defects, THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND. and venture to set up their own little reason against
the plain word of Scripture. READ LUKE vi. 39.
Some, though sincere, have never sought the teach-
of parables. Indeed, we should have of the Word of God are hidden from them. The light
have no knowledge or love of Christ in their hearts, There is no difficulty therefore in no concern for souls, no earnest desire to lead them understanding this short parable. aright.
The blind leaders mean the Scribes These are all blind leaders of the blind. They canand Pharisees; the blind who were led mean the not teach what they do not know. They cannot lead ignorant Jews whom they taught; and by falling others by a way which they have not found themselves. into the ditch we are to un
The poor and ignorant who go derstand going astray as to
to them for guidance do not spiritual things, wandering
find what they seek. For surely from true doctrine and practice,
one cannot lead another to and so coming to ruin, or at
Christ who has not sought Him least suffering danger and loss.
for himself, and it is hard to The people therefore were not
think that a soul can receive to follow such teachers; for,
spiritual light by means of one
Precept, Promise, not knowing the way of God
who shows no sign of having themselves, they could but lead
received it himself. others astray.
The test to which all teach
Watch therefore, for ye The only true spiritual light
ing should be brought is the
know neither the day nor comes from God, and this light
the hour wherein the Son
Bible. “To the law and to He has given in His Word.
the testimony: if they speak The Scribes and Pharisees
not according to this word, itwere blind leaders, because
This God is our God
is because there is no light in
for ever and ever: He will they forsook the Word of
them."* All religious teaching
be our guide even unto God. This was their fault,
should be judged by this rule. and it was this that made
Scriptural truth is the point of
I wait for the Lord, my them unsafe teachers.
soul doth wait, and in
first importance; and no teachAll who forsake or disregard
His Word do I hope.
ing can be really good and the Word of God are but blind
wholesome in which this is leaders, for that Word is still
lacking or even obscured. As the only sure guide. Manners
it would be the height of folly and customs, forms and cere
to trust oneself to the guidance monies change, but the Word
of a blind man, so it cannot of God remains the same. The
be right or wise to listen to Jews had but a portion of it,
unscriptural teaching. A proud, we have the whole. The light which they enjoyed,
The light which they enjoyed, captious, criticising spirit must indeed be guarded though true, was but faint and dim, compared with against by hearers; but, in humility and sincerity, the light of the Gospel. So that we may say, with with an earnest desire to know the truth, and to be even more confidence than David, “Thy Word is a lamp fed with spiritual food, it is not only their right, but unto my feet, and a light unto my path." For there their duty, to judge what they hear by the standard of we find light indeed, and no darkness : the light of the Word of God. truth, the light of God, the light which never misleads, Let those who are placed by God's providence the light which guides, cheers, and comforts all who where the truth is faithfully proclaimed, bless God walk by it.
for this great mercy, and seek earnestly to bring Yet there are still blind leaders, and for the same forth fruit to His glory. Let those whose lot is reason as of old : they do not take the Word of God as less happily cast make it a matter of continual their light.
and persevering prayer that God will give His Holy Some pay so much attention to forms of man's Spirit, and bring both teachers and hearers into invention, that their mind is drawn off from the Word true Gospel light. And let their prayer be the prayer of God.
of faith. Some refuse to submit their understanding to the
• Isaiah viii. 20.
THE COST OF WAR. THOUGHTFUL perusal of the numbers of human beings killed and wounded during the late
Franco-Prussian campaign is well calculated to quench the ardour of those who delight in war.
From the report of the medical inspector-general of the French army, it appears that France lost no fewer than 138,871 men, while the wounded amounted to another 143,000. The losses on the German side were very considerably less—44,000 dead and 127,000 wounded. As many as 11,421 men in the French army were disabled by ill-fitting and defective socks or boots, a cause from which the Germans suffered only very slightly.
It is a startling fact that 17,270 prisoners of war should have died in Germany. Disease, indeed, as in the Crimea and Italy, was much more fatal than bullet or bayonet, and at Gravelotte, the hottest battle of the war, only 1,220 Frenchmen were killed. To reflect how very little has been purchased by the lives of
183,000 soldiers, and the sufferings of the 290,000, may well make statesmen pause in those preliminary steps which lead to bitter hostilities.
The truths contained in the following lines by Bishop Porteous should be pondered by all :
The foulest stain and scandal of our nature
to do to another as we would that another should do were on the alert, and endeavoured to counteract such
You are kind enough to direct us in the right heretical proceedings, but in vain. The deputy-mayor, road, and the least we can do is to rescue your child who had been sent to put a stop to a meeting Mr. from danger. The Holy Scriptures teach us these Wilder was importuned to hold in the village in the duties, and the Gospel presents us the example of our mountains, was so deeply affected that he went away Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were in ignorance wiping his eyes with the cuff of his sleeve, taking with and danger, came to our world to seek and to save him a Bible, and declaring that if what he now heard that which was lost.”
was true, so far from persecuting these harmless people, “Ah! sir,” replied the good woman, "you are very
he would in future be their friend. condescending, and what you say is true; but your Mr. Wilder never lost his interest in this people, language surprises me; it is many years since, in this whom he had been the means of more fully establishing village, we have heard such truths, and especially from in the fold of Christ. A Protestant Church was afterthe lips of a stranger.”
wards formed at St. Etienne, and schools were estab. This led to further conversation, and, much to his lished among the neighbouring Roman Catholics. The delight and surprise, Mr. Wilder learned that, scattered Lord has continued to watch over and to bless them. over the mountains in that district, was a handful of three or four hundred consistent humble followers of the Lord Jesus. The termination of this extraordinary
THE CRY OF A QUAIL. meeting was most affecting ; tears of pleasure, gratitude, and regret streamed fron the eyes of the mountaineers,
GERMAN pastor rewhile the travellers, more deeply moved by having
lates the followseen the grace of God than by all the natural beauties
ing very striking through which they had passed, went on their way
incident. He was aprejoicing
peinted the minisSome months after, having occasion to revisit this
ter in a village of district, Mr. Wilder prepared a large case of Bibles,
lawless and immoral Testaments, and tracts, which was set up on end in the
people, who basket attached to the back of the diligence. The road
entirely opposed to lay through a part of the country inhabited by Roman
the Gospel At Catholics, where the year before Mr. Wilder had distri
length they went so buted a number of Bibles and tracts, the reading of
far as to threaten which he subsequently ascertained had been forbidden
him with bodily injury. by the priests, who had consigned most or all of them to
He says I was not disthe flames. He thought it desirable, therefore, in this
couraged by this, but conjourney, to suspend the distribution in the immediate
tinued to preach the Gospel, vicinity. But the providence of God so ordered it,
and added to the usual that, without the instrumentality of men, the sacred
Sunday services a Bible records were spread among that people. On reaching
class in the week, which became the means of a great the place of his destination at the foot of the moun- awakening. One evening during the Bible class, which tains, and alighting from the diligence, Mr. Wilder I always tried to enliven by the introduction of Chrisdiscovered that the box had burst open at the top, and tian anecdotes, I related, from Schubert's Old and that Bibles and Testaments had been scattered along Nero, the story of a man who, in crossing a field one the way. These were picked up by those who were evening, on his way to commit a sin in a neighbouring passing along the road. Both travellers and the inha- village, heard in the field the regularly repeated cry bitants had been supplied by the diligence, as the books of a quail, which seemed to him to say, “Where art had fallen out whenever they descended a hill, or thou going? Where art thou going?" This so struck travelled over rocky and uneven ground.
him, that he acknowledged his sin, honestly repented, For several days afterwards, Mr. Wilder was waited
and forsook his sinful ways. I related the story from upon by those who had thus accidentally become pos
memory, and concluded
class at the usual hour. sessed of the Word of God, willingly offering to return I had scarcely reached my home when I heard them to Mr. Wilder, but which he as cheerfully some one following me upstairs with quick and heavy requested them to accept. This apparently trivial steps. There was a knock at the door of my room, circumstance led to many delightful meetings for con
and before I could say, “Come in," a man of the versation and prayer, and during his subsequent resi- parish, who had always been an inveterate foe of God's dence in Paris he had the satisfaction to find that Word, entered. With angry countenance he came up persons from this district who came to solicit orders for to me and asked, their manufacturing establishments, also brought orders "Who told
Mr. Parson? for an additional supply of the sacred volume.
I will know.” The events of these few days becoming widely known I inquired, in surprise, “What do you mean, my amongst the Roman Catholic population, the priests good man?”
“Why, you know well enough. You related to- “ Thank you,” said I, closing the blessed book. “I night before the whole congregation what occurred to never before read those wonderful stories with half the me a few days ago about the quail.”
interest. I shall always remember where to look for “To you, good man, did that happen? Do you the 'lost and found' chapter." think that any one told me about you ?”
“Well,” said my suffering friend, “I am sure I am “Yes, indeed. Don't keep it back. I will know very glad; for to me it is a most blessed and encourwho told you."
aging chapter. No doubt you have often noticed in I stood amazed and astonished. Without saying
the newspapers whole columns headed, "Lost and another word to the man, I fetched Schubert's work, Found.' Some one has lost a valuable watch, or article opened it at the page, and gave it to the man to read. of jewellery, or a pocket-book containing money and At first he did not know what to make of the book, papers; some a pet dog or bird ; and sometimes even he was boiling over with rage ; but when he saw the a lost child or missing friend is advertised ; and their page and read the story, his fury changed into the return is watched and waited for, often hopelessly, for deepest emotion. He could scarcely hold the book, a long time. And then again, among the notices, and told me, in a voice choked with tears, that the very
Found,' we feel glad with the owners. This chapter same thing had happened to him when, with like in- is just like it. 'Lost and found' follow each other all tent, he was crossing the field in the evening, and had the way through; and how thankful ought we to feel heard the quail's cry.
that 'there is joy in the presence of the angels of God Now I had an opportunity to work upon his heart, over one sinner that repenteth.' and the Lord blessed it. He who makes winds and “Yes, James, you have given me some new ideas," flames of fire His servants, who aroused St. Peter
I answered. " Each and all of us were among the through the crowing of a cock, here in two cases had lost sheep; and Jesus Christ Himself has left His homo used as His instrument the cry of a quail. Thus the of glory and blessedness to come to earth to seek and Lord, whose name is Wonderful, helped me. That save us all. His offers are to all ; and yet how many man did not leave my room until we had bent our will not come to Him that they may be saved. It is knees before Him. This was the first case of conver
marvellous to think that so many will persist, like the sion in my parish, and the Lord gave a Pentecostal air lost son, in taking all the good and perfect gifts which and the fire of His Spirit in further blessings.
the heavenly Father sends to them, and waste these blessings in sinful and selfish indulgence, until at last
body and soul are among the lost—lost for ever and THE LOST AND FOUND CHAPTER.
All have erred and strayed like lost sheep;
and we must pray that all may be brought back into Ead the 'lost and found chapter' | the way of holiness, and there shall be one fold and to me, if you please," was the
MY BIBLE TELLS ME 80.
HEN, faint and weary with the strife,
Temptations to o'ercome, the lost and found chapter?'"
I long to leave this toilsome life,
And lay me down at home ;
Whate'er betide, I know
The Bible tells me so.
When sin brings clouds of doubt and fears, chapter.”
To spread before my eyes, So with fresh interest I opened the holy volume, And faith grows weak, and scarce can pierce
Those clouds to reach the skies, turned to the chapter, and began to read the wonderful
My heart cries out in trembling tones, parables of Him against whom the Scribes and Phari
Oh, whither shall I go? sees had been murmuring because, as they said,
“Come unto Me, ye weary ones !" Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”
My Saviour tells me so. I felt, as I read, that I was among the friends and
Yes, I will come, I'll trust Thee, Lord, neighbours who rejoiced with the man who had found
The needed strength to give; the sheep which was lost, and then with the woman
Oh, let me never doubt Thy Wordwho had been seeking diligently for the missing piece
I'll trust Thee while I live, of silver; and my tears fell fast upon the sacred page
And when I lay me down to die, as I mourned for the lost son, and went with the father
I need not fear to go; who saw him a great way off, and rejoiced with him to I have a home beyond the sky : meet the returning prodigal.
My Bible tells me so.