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lived and died in foreign and barbarous countries, among strangers and enemies, enduring hunger and thirst, and cold and nakedness, all their lives through. Such was the state of the early Church, such the trials of the early Christians; trials hard to flesh and blood, but such as, by God's grace, they overcame; nay, trials, whereby their faith was exercised and perfected, and they fitted and prepared for a brighter crown, a higher place in the kingdom of heaven.

And even now, in heathen lands, the Christian missionary and the Christian convert, may be, and at times are, called to undergo the same fiery trial; even now, no one year, perhaps, passes, but that some in heathen lands may be called to seal with their blood their witness for Christ. Through the alone mercy of God, we have been spared this trial of our faith. Martyrdom is what we read of, or hear of, not what we are called to witness with our own eyes, still less to undergo in our own persons.

Almighty God hath cast our lot in quiet and ordered times. We are not now called to suffer persecution for the name of Jesus Christ. We are not now called to bear harm or loss rather than deny the faith; still we may, at any time, be put to lesser trials of our faith and


duty and how great would be the sin and shame to fail in these, whereas the noble army of martyrs failed not under so far greater and heavier trials. We may be called on to deny ourselves, and to take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ in our daily life, in our daily business, at home, or abroad. We may be called to give up gains, such as are not strictly honest, to incur losses rather than risk a good conscience. We may have friends or kindred who would tempt us to sin, and we may love them, and yet be called, and bound, to give them up; or we may live and mix with persons who mock at purity and religion, who would laugh us out of our innocence, laugh us into sin.

many such around us, and the

Alas, there are

young may be

sorely tried when they wish to keep holy the Lord's day, when they wish to come to the church, when they do not wish to mix in rude sports on God's own day, or to speak light, or profane, or unclean words :-the young may be sorely tried, when they wish to be pure, and dutiful, and religious, and are mocked at, and laughed to scorn by those of their own age. But they must not faint, nor give over: so far as God calls any to suffer for Him, be it shame, or mockery, or what it will, so far God calls them.


to be in a measure His martyrs: in a mean and poor way, perhaps, as compared with such as resisted even unto blood; still to be His martyrs, i. e. His witnesses: witnesses for God, for duty, for purity of speech and life, for religion, for reverence for God's house and for God's holy day. Unto all this God calls any who are set upon by evil scorn, or mocked at, when they would do their duty, follow conscience, and keep from sin and let such take comfort and courage from the thought that God has given unto His servants grace and strength to overcome trials ten-fold harder. God has helped His servants at all times, and will continue to help them. No trial so great but that He will give them strength to bear it; no trial so small as to be beneath His regard and care. His eye, that neither slumbers nor sleeps, is upon them; all that they do and suffer, they do and suffer in His sight; all is laid up with Him, as treasure in heaven; all He will reward and crown at His coming.

Blessed are they that, in any age of the Church, in any country, in any the least measure, are called to be martyrs, witnesses for God and His truth: if only, that is, they be faithful, and true to God, and obey His call: blessed indeed are they, for our Saviour Jesus Christ Himself hath

called them blessed, and they have His own sure word, His own gracious promise to rest upon; "Blessed are they that are persecuted for righte ousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."


Sermons for the Christian Seasons.



ST. JOHN xxi. 24.

This is the disciple which testifieth

of these things, and wrote these things.

YESTERDAY was the festival of the first martyr, St. Stephen, a martyr both in will and in deed to-day is the festival of St. John the apostle and evangelist, a martyr for Christ in will, yet not in deed.

St. John was by birth a native of Galilee, son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of St. James both the brothers, as well as their father Zebedee, were fishers, when our Lord called them to be His disciples, as we read in St. Matthew's gospel. gospel. "And going on from thence, Jesus saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets and He called them: and they immediately left the ship and their father and fol


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