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Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not,
neither do they spin.
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not not gather round him cheerful and talented company
to enliven him ? WILL IT ANSWER YOUR PURPOSE ?
Why did he not have musical concerts and other things ?” Why did he not? He
did! He took the very course you recommend. He HENEVER you form a resolution,
resolution, gathered “ silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of make a plan, or enter on an
kings,” he got him “men singers and women singers, undertaking, ask yourself first
and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruwhether it will answer your
ments, and that of all sorts." He kept back no desire purpose. You may, perhaps, from his eyes, and no joy from his heart; and yet, say that if you thought it would
after all, it did not answer his purpose, for when he not answer your purpose, you would not
looked upon all the works that his hands had wrought, engage in it.
and on the labours that he had laboured to do, he But wicked men commit sins wilfully,
found, alas ! that “all was vanity and vexation of weak men fall into errors unintentionally, wise men
spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” make mistakes, and good men are often overcome by What shall we say to this? It is a very striking temptation. If, then, the wicked and the weak, the
and important lesson. If worldly possessions did not wise and the good, are all liable to error, it must be
answer the purpose of King Solomon, will they answer the same with every one. Nothing is clearer than that
ours? If they did not make him happy, are they every one, in his resolvings, his plans and his under likely to render us happy! This is not at all probable. takings, should ask himself the question, Will it
Seeing, then, that King Solomon has furnished us witlı answer my purpose ?
the lesson, we can hardly do better than adopt King What a world of disappointment, vexation, and Solomon's conclusion : “Fear God, and keep His comsorrow. it would save us if we read God's Word,
mandments," says he; “for this is the whole duty of pondered God's Word, believed God's Word, trusted
man.” If we do this, we shall act wisely, for it will God's Word, rejoiced in God's Word, and acted on add to our comfort, diminish our care, and prevent God's Word; but we do not. We only half read it, half disappointment. In a word, it will be sure to answer ponder it, half believe it, half trust it, and half act
our purpose. upon it, and thus we rob ourselves of peace, and lay up There is no harm, but great good, in getting wisdom; for ourselves disappointment. This is a very bad plan, only let it be true wisdom, the fear of the Lord. There and we shall never make it answer our purpose.
is no harm, but much advantage, in getting riches; but We persuade ourselves that greatness and richness let it not be such riches as the robber can steal, the and worldly wisdom will make us happy. God's Word
rust corrupt, or the moth consume. Let your riches never told us so; it tells us just the contrary, but we and your wisdom be such as will wear well, such as you do not believe it. God's Word says, “ Labour not to be cannot lose, such as you can honestly recommend to rich;” but we do labour to be rich. God's Word says, another, and such as you feel certain will answer your “Godliness with contentment is great gain;" but we
purpose. are content to grasp the gain, and to leave the godli- Solomon tried hard to make himself happy with In doing this we cheat ourselves : would it not
wine, mirth, laughter, knowledge, and worldly wisdom, be wiser if we seriously asked ourselves the question, but it would not do; for he found that laughter was Is this course right, and will it answer our purpose ? madness, that wine and mirth did nothing for him,
King Solomon was one of the greatest of all kings; that knowledge was sorrow, and that wisdom was grief. he had great power, great riches, great knowledge, great Thousands have followed Solomon's plan, with the wisdom, and great experience. How was it that so same want of success. Solomon's example is for the great, so rich, and so wise a king could not make all he benefit of all. Are you aware of this ? Are you sure that he possessed answer his purpose ? How was it that
of it? Are you perfectly convinced that the best giving himself up to mirth and pleasure did not render things of the earth, without heaven at the end of them, him happy ?
will never answer your purpose? “Oh," say you,
“ he should have built himself a noble house, and surrounded it with fine trees, and beautiful grounds, and woods, and water." Why, this
OLD JOE. was the very thing that he did do. Hear his own account of the affair. “I made me great works; I
"Hus he was familiarly called ; not that builded me houses ; I planted me vineyards : I made
he was really old. His hair was not me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them
grey, nor his form bent; nor had he of all kind of fruits : I made me pools of water, to
yet attained the prime of life. Why water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees.”
then was he called old Joe? But though he did this, it did not answer his purpose ;
Because he was a drunkard, and it did not make him happy.
his weak and staggering steps were like “ But why did he not make a collection of all the those of an old man. A crowd of boys would follow choice and curious things he could get? Why did he him, asking questions and laughing at his answers.
Old Joe was always good-natured, and for this reason “ Oh, but that is not all, for the more she has, the he was a favourite, in spite of his bad habit.
more she wants ; Grace is never satisfied.” He had a talent for public speaking. He could move “How hateful! Of course you have nothing to do not only boys, but men to tears. He would point to
with such a miser." his own wretched condition, and say, “ This is what The figure was such as may be seen in country drink has done for me. I never thought that I should villages any day. Once tall and masculine, it was become a miserable drunkard. Beware, boys, beware, beginning to bend with age and weakness. Grace was men, of strong drink !” After he had finished his clad in a short linsey petticoat, with a print gown, speech, he would pass round his hat, into which the over which was clumsily pinned a faded old woollen bystanders would throw a few pennies; and these he plaid shawl. A clean cap, with a full broad border, would spend for drink. Sometimes he was asked to spread itself round her face beneath an ancient bonnet speak upon a certain topic, and told that he should be that might once have been black, but was now of no treated if he would comply. Whatever the subject or decided shape or colour at all. A well-formed nose the occasion might be, old Joe could always speak and quick bright eyes drew attention to her quiet in a suitable and often eloquent manner; but very
thoughtful face, as she limped along, bearing an open little effort was now made to reclaim him, so hopeless
flat basket on her head. was his case regarded.
"Well, Grace, good morning to you. What have Mary Howell had been to a temperance meeting. you got in your basket up there?” She thought of old Joe, and how much good he
“A bit of mould,” replied Grace, bluntly. might do if he were a sober man. She prayed that Stay a moment, Grace, and tell us what you liave God would help him to lead a better life, and would got your
heart ?" bless the efforts she should make for his recovery.
She stopped, looked at her questioner, and with The next morning she sought him, and told him a softened voice replied, in her broad country dialect, how much she desired that he might become a tem- “Something that does me good, and makes me happy. perate man. Joe was touched with her earnest appeals. It is written, ‘The kingdom of God is not meat and * Why, miss, you talk as if you really cared for me." drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the “Oh, I do, I do,” the young girl replied. “I want
That's what I've got in my heart, you to sign the pledge. Here it is; please write your
thank the Lord, always." name."
“Did I not say well that Grace was rich? “Having “But if I should break it? I would rather not nothing, yet possessing all things.' She may not be sign, for fear I might."
sure of a meal, yet all things are hers, for she is “ You won't break it,” said Mary, “ for I will pray
Christ's, and Christ is God's. Yet she covets earnestly to God that He will help you keep it. And if you
the best gifts,' and will never be fully satisfied until will ask Him yourself, and will try to keep it, I she wakes up some day in the likeness of her Lord. -am sure that you will be able.”
Grace one of the poor? Oh no! The wealthiest of “Well, may God help me! I will sign it.”
this world's favourites is poor until he seeks a share in His hand trembled as he wrote his name.
the 'unsearchable riches.'' The deed was done. A simple act, yet it changed the character of the man. The reformation commenced that day was a lasting one. No longer clothed in rags,
I AM THY GOD. haranguing a crowd of idle men and boys, but neatly
AM thy God, there's none beside ; dressed, sober and industrious, he lived respected by
I am thy Rock, thy Shield, thy Guide; all. A sincere Christian, a talented public speaker, he
I am thy Portion, trust in Me; spent his life in efforts to reclaim his fellow-men.
My promise I will keep with thee. Let us imitate the example of Mary Howell, remem
I am thy Strength, sufficient, sare; bering that "he which converteth the sinner from the
I am thy Refuge, rest secure; error of his way shall save a soul from death, and
I am thy Fortress, there abide shall hide a multitude of sins." “They that turn Safe when the ills of life betide. many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever I am thy Sun, thy path to light; and ever.”
I am the Door, I lead aright;
They follow where My footsteps go.
I am the Way, come unto Me;
I am the Truth-truth maketh free;
I am the Life, and life I give,
That dying men may look and live. “What, Grace? Oh no, she is one of the
I am thy Crown ; fear not, endure; richest women in the parish."
I am alive for evermore ; Rich! Why then does she go about in that I am the first, and last as well, style ?"
And have the keys of death and hell!
dwelling. Could I fail to refer to One who, as the Man of Sorrows, and Himself once a mourner at the grave of a friend, could enter, with tender sympathy, into
any form of human woe? “ There's the Light !" Cast thy cares and burdens upon Him, and “thy light shall rise in obscurity, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday.”
I was called into the presence of one wasting away by fatal disease. The silver cord was being loosed and the golden bowl broken. A wide waste of dark and troubled waters seemed stretching out before him. “Look !” Where shall he look ? He had so long gazed upon the world as his supreme good that eternal things were but faintly and dimly discerned. But, to a dying sinner, could safer counsel be given, with the open Word of God before him and the Saviour pointed out, than the appeal, “ There's the Light ?”
I was called to the death-bed of a saint. The world was fast disappearing in the opening realities of eternity, but all was peace. The power and value of faith had been daily shown by a noble life of usefulness. It was scarcely news to say
“ There's the Light.” Already the glories of heaven were shining on the soul. The last waves of life's troubled sea were wafting him to the shining shore. Before I left the house there was a new member joining with the heavenly choir in the song, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain."
As our steamer safely reached the quiet waters of the river, and the perils of the sea were passed, so the ransomed of the Lord, guided by “the bright and
morning Star,” make life's voyage safely, and enter the THERE'S THE LIGHT!
haven of eternal rest.
The Lord Himself will keep
His people safe from harm;
Will hold the helm, and guide the ship,
With His almighty arm.
Then let the tempests roar,
The billows heave and swell, there were shoals and other dangers. Great anxiety
We trust to reach the peaceful shore,
Where all the ransomed dwell. prevailed among all on board. Suddenly came a shout from the sailor on the foreyard, “There's the light !” The joyful sound rang through the ship, to the great relief of every passenger. The true position of the
A FLAMING TEXT. steamer was now known. Anxiety was over, and R. Moody always liked to have his preaching quietness, in a sense of safety, was restored. We
places decorated with Scripture mottoes. were soon in the quiet waters of the river.
The walls of his Illinois Street Chapel were That shout of the sailor aloft has often been profusely ornamented with texts ; and even the gassounding in my ears since that anxious night. Could burners above the pulpit were so arranged as to spell I not make some use of the sailor's words for the out, in great letters of light, the precious words, “God guidance and comfort of the anxious and suffering is Love." sailing with me on the dark sea of life? Those words One Sunday night in winter a poor shivering fellow gave quietness to a hundred passengers in the steamer. was passing the place, and seeing the vestibule door Could they not, in view of the “Light of the world,” open, went in to shelter himself from the cold. The as suggested by them, give guidance and peace to some inner door also was ajar; and being curious to see for amid the gloom and perils of life?
once the inside of a place of worship, he looked My footsteps carried me over the threshold of one cautiously in. The strange light above the pulpit at amid the countless sorrows of widowhood.
once attracted his notice, and the holy words were soon the lonely and desolate home, the fatherless children- imprinted on his heart. He entered the meeting, gave poverty, too, was there, with its attendant evils—all himself to Christ, and became a useful member of Mr. conspiring to deepen the gloom of that cheerless | Moody's church.
AE name of Blaise Pascal is one of the great father, Stephen Pascal, deeply mourned this irre
names of the human race. He lived during parable loss, and determined to devote himself
the time when & corrupt religion and a entirely to the education of his children. He polluted court were paving the way for the terrible was a wise and prudent father, and according to revolution in France. He was born in Auvergne the learning of those times he a good on the 19th of June, 1623. His mother died deal of a mathematician and natural philosopher. when he was only three years old, leaving himself From his earliest years the child Blaise exhibited and two little sisters to a motherless lot. The
a precocity unnatural in one
so young, and this