Abbildungen der Seite

of his law. And how terribly it does speak some times ! This is what the Rev. Samuel Kilpin, an excellent minister, said about himself :

When seven years old, he was left one day in charge of his father's shop. A man passed along crying, “Little lambs, all white and clean, at one penny each.” Samuel was so eager to get one, that he took a penny from his father's drawer and bought it. His mother asked him how he came by the money. He told a lie about it. The lamb was placed on the chimney-shelf

, and was much admired ; but not by Samuel. All the pleasure he hoped from it, was turned into sorrow, for all the time conscience would sound in his ears and heart, “ Thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not lie.” Guilt and darkness came over his mind, and in sore agony of soul he went to a hay-loft and there prayed and pleaded with groanings for mercy and pardon. He asked God to help him for Jesus' sake, until his sins were forgiven. Then he went to his mother, told her what he had done, and asked her forgiveness ; and burned the lamb, while she wept over her young penitent.

Has any one of these children some such dreadful secret slumbering in bis breast-some theft, or lie, or other sin, unknown to others? It is enough that conscience knows it. That can make you just as miserable as all the world could if they knew it; and who can tell how long it will be till it may so charge home your guilt as to force you to confess the whole ? Ah! let me assure you, there is no peace and no safety for such a one in any other course than that which Samuel Kilpin took. “He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whoso confesses and forsakes his sin, shall find mercy.

2. The other witness I spoke of is the great God himself, whose eye never slumbers nor sleeps, but is in all places, beholding the evil and the good. He looks upon the heart. How vain to think of having secrets there unknown to him !

Suppose, children, that the moment a thought gets into your mind, it would at once appear in blazing letters upon these walls, so that these teachers and scholars could read and know what was going on in your heart, although you did not speak a word. How careful would you be to have none but right and pure and holy thoughts! How would you shudder at the very first rising in your heart, of anything base or sinful! But God searches the heart, and reads all that is there just as easily as I could read your thoughts if they stood forth in flaming characters on these walls. Who then will not take care of what he thinks ?

In the city of New York is a place called the “Rogues' Gallery." It is so called because it contains the portraits of bad men who have been arrested for crime. Whenever a thief, or housebreaker, or pickpocket is arrested, he is compelled to sit till his likeness is taken, which is immediately put into the Rogues: Gallery. Now, children, for what pur

you suppose this is done? I will tell you. In large cities they have a number of officers, called the police, whose duty is to keep the peace-to watch such persons as are known to be disorderly and disposed to commit crime--and to search out and arrest criminals. Well, these officers go to the Rogues' Gallery, and look at the portraits hung up there ; and by doing it often they at last become so well acquainted with the faces of the criminals, that they can tell them the moment they see them anywhere in the streets. Now if an officer meets one of th men whose portrait he has seen in the Gallery, he at once knows that he has been arrested for crime before, and therefore he keeps a strict watch over him, and follows him wherever he goes; but in such a way, of course, as not to be observed. If the suspected persons goes into a store, the policeman goes in too. If he goes into a public reading room, the policeman is sure to be there, too, reading the news. If he goes into a church or other public meeting, there is the policeman on a seat behind him. If he goes into a hotel, and puts his name on the register, there again is the officer, reading the name and learning the number of the room in which he sleeps. Thus a constant watch is kept over him, and the moment he attempts to commit a crime he is taken by the officer.

pose do

Now, children, there is One who knows us better than that policeman knows the criminal, and be watches us more closely. He is ever with us, and there is not an instant, night or day, when his all-piercing eye is taken from us. How solemn the thought! It made David exclaim, “O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising ; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo! O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou bast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up to heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night sbineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."

Many years ago there lived in England a great man who had a companion that attended him in his journeys, and was with him a great part of his time. After his death, this companion wrote the life of his friend, in wbich he mentioned almost every thing he had ever heard him say, or seen him do, both good and bad, wise and foolish. He told how he looked, how he dressed, how he walked, how he slept, what he liked to eat and drink, and who were his associates—told of his bad habits, silly practices, weaknesses, and how he would dispute and get into a passion. And it is a very interesting book. But if that great man had known that his friend was going to write such a buok about him for the world to read after his death, do you not suppose he would have been very careful of bis conduct ?

Now, children, did you ever think that such a book is kept about every one of you ? God keeps a book in which not only all you say and do, but all your secret thoughts and purposes are written. Oh, think of it! You have done and said and thought thousands of things, which you have forgotten ; but God has never forgotten one—all are treasured up in that book. David says in the Psalm from which I have quoted above, “In thy book all my members were written ;' the Prophet Daniel speaks of that book; and the Apostle John says in Revelation, at the last great day, when we and our parents, and friends and neighbors, and


1859 ]

Hymn, from the German.


all men, and the holy angels, and God himself, shall be gathered together, that book will be opened, and all the world skall know every foolish and wicked thing we ever did or said or thought. " There is nothing covered that shall not then be revealed ; neither hid that shall not then be known."

Dear children, when you think of that, with what earnestness should you not now attend to the solemn warning our blessed Saviour gives in the lesson, when he says, "Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do ; but I will forewarn you whom'ye shall fear : Fear Him which, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell ; yea, I say unto you, fear bim !” And remember that Saviour is the only one who can blot your sins out of that book. It was for this he shed his precious blood; and that blood alone is sufficient. Oh, how eagerly then should you look to him for salvation !


We find the following fragment of a hymn by Lange, translated from the German,

Our beloved bave departed,
While we tarry, broken-hearted,

In the dreary, empty house,
They ended life's brief story,
They have reached the home of glory,

Over death victorious.

Hush that sobbing, weep more lightly,
On we travel, daily, nightly,

To the rest that they have found.
Are we pot upon the river,
Sailing fast to meet forever

On more holy, happy ground ?

On we baste, to home invited,
There with friends to be united

In a surer bond than here;
Meeting soon—and melt forever!
Glorious hope ! forsake us never,

For thy glimmering light is dear.

Ah! the way is shining clearer
As we journey ever nearer

To the everlasting home.
Comrades! who await our landing,
Friends! who round the throne are standing

We salute you, and we come!





WE have drawn several lessons from Judas. The same source will furnish still others. Let us ask the question : Before whom, and into whose hands, did Judas betray his Lord.

It was before his enemies that he betrayed him; and he betrayed him into the hands of sinners. It was his unfaithfulness to Christ, that encouraged and confirmed them in their malicious opposition to Him. His enemies frequently showed themselves cowardly, and seemed afraid to carry out their murderous designs in regard to Him; for they seemed frequently to have felt His power, and were awed by His goodness.

But here comes one of His own disciples-one who was for a long time His follower-one who was admitted into His confidence here comes one therefore, who knows Him and he is not afraid to become His betrayer for the trifling sum of thirty pieces of silver. This shows plainly, their actions would say that He is an impostor, and deserving of no respect; up, therefore, with courage, and let us crucify Him ! Is it not plain that the conduct of Judas, more than anything else, nerved the hand which drove the nails into His hands and feet, and which planted the spear into His sacred side! Oh, what a sight is this ! Judas, the professed friend and follower of Christ, among His enemies, and couselling with them in regard to His death! He leaves the band of disciples, and becomes a hero and leader in the ranks of his enemies. “Whomsoever I sball kiss, that same is he; hold him fast !”

Is not the conduct of unfaithful professors still similar in its tendency. Where is that backslider when he disgraces his religion? Is he in the church? Is he among the people of God? Are those to whose company he has joined himself the friends of Christ, who will gently chide his errors ? , Ah, no! Those who are around him, are the enemies of Christ, and his conduct encourages them in their wicked ways. Where is he while he displays his own shame, disgraces his professiou, and wounds his Saviour ?' There in the counsel of the ungodly !—there in the seat of the scornfull-there in the way of sinners. See! we hear them cry, there is nothing in religion, for here is one who has tried ithere is one who once professed it—one who sat and walked among the saints, and he has cast it away as an idle superstition. Fill another glass to the god of this world, and let us eat, and drink, and be merry, for who knows what shall be after us. Oh how easy it is for sinners to travel on in their sinful ways with peaceful consciences, when they see here and there a professor, or a backslider in their company. Even the tipler's bar-room and the ball-room become comfortable places to sinners if they can discover some professors of religion there.

Is it not plain that it is the conduct of the betrayers of Christ, in the presence of the wicked, that encourages and confirms them in their wickedness. One traitor, that goes from his own camp into the camp

of the enemy, can do more injury than a thousand faithful soldiers can make right. We will venture the assertion that the Judases—the betrayers of Christ-in any given community, keep more souls out of the church than the labors of all God's people can bring into it. One backslider drags more souls with him into sin and into hell, than any one christian can draw after him into the church and into Heaven. How true it is that “one sinner destroyeth much good.” No wonder that the Saviour exclaims in regard to such : “Wo unto the world because of offences—and wo unto that man by whom the offence cometh.”

Beware then, young friends of betraying Christ, by unfaithfulness in your professions. Remember that in doing so, you not ouly destroy your own souls, but by your example you ruin the souls of others. If you go back to the world now, your influence for evil will be greater than it ever was before. You have to be a professor of religion before you can be a betrayer. You must be first among the disciples before you can become a real Judas--a perfect child of hell—a complete son of perdition! If you will ruin your sinful companions effectually, then go bring them to the house of God, let them see you bow at the altarlet them see you take the holy bread and the consecrated cup--embrace the Saviour in their presence with great appearance of affection, and cry“ Hail master.” Then go out among them and live as they dogive them a token, and say, he before whom I bow in mock-worship in the church, that is the deceiver, take him and put him to an open shame!

Think too, at what time he betrayed Him? It was at a time when of all others he should have shown love and sympathy towards that Saviour'he professed to own and follow. It was in that solemn night which preceded bis death. The Saviour had for some time previous alluded to that mysterious hour which was now drawing nigh. He had intimated to the disciples that He would shortly be parted from them. Their hearts became softened by sympathy, and shared in the deepest sincerity in His sorrows. At this time, when the hearts of all the disciples were drawing nearer to Him, ihe heart of Judas becomes blacker with deceit, and He turns into a serpent in his very bosom! gravates the betrayer's crime.

It was at a time, too, when His disciples were engaged in the most solemn acts of worship; and when they were communing with their Saviour, in the most intimate and affectionate manner. Oh ! what a contrast, at this time, between Judas and the rest of the disciples. faithful “ eleven " in the upper room with their Lord. See the tender and sympathetic glances which they cast at each other! See how deeply their hearts are mov

oved, as he speaks to them of His coming sufferings. See what lineaments of anguish are printed upon each brow in that solemn company. It is a final feast of love and communion. See, He breaks the bread! See, he pours out the wine ! and then, casting around upon them a look of undying affection, He says : “ Take, eat, this is my body.” And where is he—the betrayer ? Yonder he goes, - dark, thievish, covetous and murderous, with a lie in his mouth! Now he stands before the chief priests and captains "_" What will ye give me, and I will deliver bim unto you !"

The modern Judases do the same. It is precisely at those times when Christ and his people are engaged in the sweetest communion that they

This ag

ee the

« ZurückWeiter »