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nance,' it is as much as saying, they shall enjoy God's favour in all they do. What a comfort is this, the Father's smile always resting upon his child, the master's smile always resting upon his servant! This is a kind of summer life, a continual sunshine. Christ had it. The Father looked down, and said, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;' and the Son looked up, and said, 'The Father heareth me always, for I do always the things that please Him.' God's favour is life. How little the world's frown can trouble a man in whose heart God is whispering, I am well pleased!'

The joy of God: 'In thy name shall they rejoice all the day.' God's name is himself; what He is,—his attributes, his perfections, his being. They rejoice in this, and their joy is perennialall the day. God's gifts change, but He never changes. He is the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.' We very commonly err here; we rest in the streams, when we should rise to the fountain. We should turn away from our comforts, works, and fruits, and say, God is mine; the Lord is the portion of my soul, therefore will I hope in Him.'

God's exaltation: 'In thy righteousness shall they be exalted.' What righteousness is this? Not God's attribute of righteousness, for that could only condemn us; not our own righteousness, for we have none. It can only mean the righteousness which Christ has wrought out, and in virtue of which He has been exalted, and is now with God upon the throne. When we know

the joyful sound, Christ's righteousness is put upon us, and we become partakers of his exaltation; we are justified, accepted, made near and dear to God.

'So near, so very near to God,
Nearer I cannot be;

For, in the person of his Son,
I am as near as He.

So dear, so very dear to God,
Dearer I cannot be;

The love wherewith He loves the Son,
Is the love He bears to me.'

Put these things together,-favour, joy, exaltation,-and think what a blessedness this is. Yet it is open to us all, free to us all. Take in the joyful sound; hold it fast; rest simply, unwaveringly upon it. Give no heed to the suggestions of the devil, the questionings of your own heart, and then you will abide in perfect love, and walk in perpetual sunshine. A good man, who was much blessed and honoured in his day, was once asked, 'How is it that you are always so peaceful and unencumbered amid cares and labours which would crush other men? He answered, 'It is not that I am not tempted. I have many thoughts, and fears, and cares crowding upon me, and seeking to get possession of my heart. But then, hundreds of times a day, I think with myself, Is not God my Father, Christ my Brother, the Holy Ghost my Comforter, Providence my helper, heaven my home? And thus I am upheld, and carried on from day to day, as upon eagles' wings.'

Narratibe and Descriptive.



T Sienna, in Italy, in the year 1487, was born a noble witness to the gospel; one who might, in some respects, be called the Italian Luther. His early spiritual conflicts were not unlike those of the German Reformer. His name was Bernardino Occhino.

He began early to seek the way of life; which in his age was so hard to find, because of the darkness which then rested on it, the thorns and briars with which it was blocked up. 'From the very beginning of my life,' he says, 'I had a great longing for the heavenly paradise.' Here was the Spirit of God moving on the face of the deep. His eye was beginning to turn upward, but his sky was cloudy; he saw no sun, nor moon, nor star.

He thus expressed his uncertainties: 'I believe in salvation through works, through fast ing, prayer, mortifications, vigils. With the help

of God's grace, we can, by these performances, satisfy the justice of God, obtain pardon for our sins, and merit heaven.' He fasted, prayed, kept vigils, tormented his body; but no peace came, no holiness. He became a monk, and courted the sternest rules and the hardest penances; but still there was no peace, no holiness. At times, after going through some sad round of penance and self-torture, he would cry out, as he lay on the ground in his hard cell, 'O Christ, if I am not saved now, I know not what I can do more!' Truly he could do no more. He did not need to have done so much; for the promise is, 'To him that worketh not, but believeth, his faith is counted for righteousness.'

He was called to preach; but he had no good news to tell. Preparation for preaching, however, led him to the Bible. He began to study it; but it only increased his troubles. It contradicted all he had been saying and doing. It was irreconcilable with his great idea of peace by doing and suffering. He continued, however, to study the word; and as he studied, light

broke in. Hitherto he had taken his own works and prayers to God, to secure a hearing for him; now he began to see that there were better works and prayers than his which were available for him, nay, placed at his disposal. Hitherto he had tried to soothe his conscience by works and fasts; but his conscience refused to be pacified, either by these works and fasts themselves, or by his thinking of them after they were done. Miserable comforters are a man's own doings, or feelings, or experiences! They heal no wounds; they are not the balm of Gilead.

is the tree; love is the fruit. This faith is that which clings with entire confidence to every word of God. When Christ says, "He that believeth shall be saved," he that believeth ought not to doubt his salvation.'

So spoke Valdez. The lady made answer : But no one can believe better than I do.'

But the teacher, who saw her deficiency at that very point which she seemed so sure of, made answer: Take care,' said he, quite after the manner of Luther; if you were asked whether you believed in the articles of the faith, Soon he came to this conclusion: Christ, by you would reply, Yes; but if you were asked his obedience and death, has fully satisfied the whether you believed in the forgiveness of your law of God, and merited heaven for sinners. own sins, you would only say, You thought you This is the true righteousness; this is the true did; you hoped; but you were not quite sure. salvation.' Light broke in upon him; peace | Ah! madam, if you accept with full faith the took up its dwelling in his soul. He was not words of Christ, then, even while suffering under yet wholly delivered from error, but he had the pain caused by your sins, you would not found Him who is the way, and the truth, and hesitate to say assuredly, Yes, God himself has the life; and this knowledge of the Son of God pardoned all my sins.' had brought him out of the house of bondage. He was now a freeman, and could act and speak as one who knew that he was not under wrath, but under grace.

His zeal waxed more fervent as he drank into the liberty of the gospel. He went from place to place in Italy, on foot, preaching the good news which had given him joy and liberty. He preached because he believed. Whole cities, it is said, went out to hear him; and no church could contain the crowds that flocked to him. He was not old, but his hair was grey, his face pale and thin, his beard falling to his waist, his clothes of the coarsest kind. He was the very image of what men in all ages have supposed the outward person of a saint to be.

The word came from his lips in power, as it ever does when it pours out of a full and fervent heart. At Perugia and at Naples there was what we would now call a mighty revival. The Emperor Charles V., who went to hear him at Naples, remarked, as he left the church, That monk would make the very stones weep.' An Italian nobleman, Valdez by name, was led by him into the liberty of Christ; and a young widow, noted in that day for her beauty, and rank, and accomplishments, was stricken to the heart. Valdez and she met, and the teaching of Valdez completed what Occhino's sermons had begun.

There is war within me,' she said to Valdez; 'that monk's words fill me with fear of hell. He stirs up in me longings after paradise; but I feel also a love for the world and its glory. How can I get free from this conflict?' Valdez showed her that the hand of God was upon her, and that it was the Holy Spirit that was beginning his work in her. He showed her that the law had wounded her, and that only the gospel could heal her; that the law kills, but the gospel makes alive. He pointed out the necessity of being decided, and the sin of a compromise between God and the world. He then spoke of good works as springing out of faith. 'Our works are good,' he said, only when they are done by a justified person. As fire is needed to give heat, so faith is needed to produce love. Faith

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The preaching of Occhino struck upon yet another ear-a nobleman of Florence, Carnesecchi by name. The truth entered his soul. With his eye on the Saviour of sinners, he exclaimed, Ah! certainly justification proceeds from faith alone, in the word and love of a crucified Saviour. We can be sure of salvation, because it was purchased for us by the Son of God at so great a price.'

Another of this little but noble' Italian group was Flaminio, a native of the north of Italy, but brought into contact with the Christians of the south, at Pausiliporo, hard by Naples. There he learned the way of peace through Him who finished the great work upon the cross. Having found forgiveness through the knowledge of a crucified Christ, he spoke out thus: 'God does not call those happy who are clear from every stain, for then there could be none such here; but those whom his mercy pardons, because they believe with all their heart that the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is the atonement for sin. If our conscience accuses us before God, if death be near, let us still be full of hope, for the mercy of God exceeds all the wickedness of the whole human race.'

This Flaminio, writing a commentary on the Psalms, and dedicating it to the Cardinal Farnese, grandson of Paul III., thus confesses his faith in the one sacrifice, the one cross, the knowledge of which is everlasting life: Herein will be found many things about Christ, our Lord and our God,-his bitter death, and his everlasting kingship;-his death, by which, sacrificing himself on the cross, and blotting out all our sins by his most precious blood, He has reconciled us to God;-his kingship, by which He defends us against the eternal enemy of the human race, and, governing us by his Spirit, leads us to a blessed and immortal life.'

From such witnesses we learn what was the old Italian gospel,-the good news of the one great work on Golgotha, which finished transgression, and made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness, and made reconciliation for iniquity.' In the belief of God's testimony to that one sacrifice, these men found

[January 1, 1867.]


immediate peace, and were assured of eternal life. This believed gospel did not introduce them into uncertainty, but into certainty. That great work which they believed contained the peace which they needed-' peace with God;' and, in

believing it, that peace flowed into their souls.
They did not wait, and work, and weary them-
selves with attempts to qualify themselves for the
entered into rest.
reception of the peace. They believed, and they

FAVOURED ONES SHOULD NOT FEAR. 'Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God.' -LUKE 1. 30.

GOD's favour, even 'good-will towards man,' is proclaimed wherever the gospel comes; and it becomes the portion of every one who receives the glad tidings. Such should not fear; they have no reason to do so, seeing God is for them.' They stand in grace, and should seek to have access into it. The farther they travel in this direction, the less will they fear, and the more will they hope. Thus grace saves and supplies: the salvation is complete, the supply suited and sufficient. Among these rich supplies are many 'fear nots;' and the provision shows that there To Abraham, to Jacob, is much need of them. to David, to Jeremiah, and many others, God hath ushered in his sweetest encouragements with Fear not;' and the family of faith, throughout all ages, have used them to chase 'Behold, God away fear and strengthen faith. is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid,' has been their exulting resolution, and that with good reason.


To find favour with God, sometimes, as in the case of Mary, means to be used by God in some special way, as instruments for his glory,-being set apart from others, as separated ones. Noah and Moses 'found grace in the eyes of the Lord.' Mary, the humble virgin of Nazareth, was distinguished above all others. This favour was as unexpected as it was great. The manner of announcing it was also extraordinary; and no wonder that she was 'troubled at the saying of Gabriel.' But there was no reason to fear. There could be no failure of the word spoken, however wonderful; no injury could come to her in being God's instrument; and it was a high honour that God put upon her. Let us not put from us, by unbelieving fears, any happiness, elp, or honour which God pleases to bestow. Wint should we not, however unworthy, expect from such favour; and what may we not become, however feeble, by its pledged assurance?

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The Hidden Treasure;


BY M. H.,



'Happiness! thou lovely name,
Where's thy seat?-oh, tell me where!
Learning, pleasure, wealth, and fame
All cry out, It is not here.
Not the wisdom of the wise
Can inform me where it lies;
Not the grandeur of the great
Can the bliss I seek create.'

ONLY wish I had been one of the Knights of the Round Table, and wouldn't I have sought for the Sangreal, and found it too! If one could find it, he would obtain true happiness, they say; and surely that would make up for long years perhaps spent in the search. Yes, it is a thousand pities I was not born a Sir Galahad; I'd have been off to-morrow in the quest !'

The speaker was a lad of some sixteen years, with a bright, good-looking face, who sat in the midst of a group of young people, under the shade of some old trees in the lawn of Amberley Park, in Westmoreland. The summer sunshine was bathing with its golden light the whole surrounding scene,-resting caressingly on the brilliant-coloured flowers in the terraced garden, and playing on the waters of the not far distant lakes; and, despite of the thick foliage, forcing its way through the delicate green leaves of the cluster of beech-trees where the youngsters sat.

Shouts of laughter greeted the boy's speech. 'Harry Wilmot turned a Sir Galahad; and in search of happiness too, as if he were dying of misery! Come, Harry, you must pull a longer face ere we believe that !'

But Harry was not to be put down by a laugh. 'All very fine to laugh, Osborne,' he said; but, after all, what is the great object in the lives of all men, but just a seeking to find happiness? -only all are not agreed as to what constitutes it, and so seek it in different ways, though they may call it by different names. I have not made up my mind yet how or where I am to seek it; but find it I must, and shall. I believe it is a hidden treasure, to be got for the seeking. What say you, Stewart ?'

The person thus addressed was a young man of twenty-one years, with a clever, studious expression of countenance, whose name was already attracting attention, by the honours he had won at Cambridge.

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Suppose we refer the question to Aunt Mary,' he said, rising, as he spoke, to make way for

an elderly lady and a young girl, who had come to join them. Now, Aunt Mary, a question of great importance has been started; and as some differences of opinion have arisen on the subject, you must be judge, and decide who is right and who is wrong. Is true happiness a hidden treasure, to be found by seeking, as Wilmot declares; or is it something that we all possess, as Osborne says, and therefore need not to be sought for at all, seeing we have it already? We wait for your decision.'

Very kindly did Aunt Mary smile at the youngsters, who had gathered around her; but the smile changed to a more serious look as she answered: Harry is right. True happiness is a hidden treasure, only to be found in one place; but surely to be found there by those who seek it aright. The Great Treasurer, who keeps the key, himself hath said, "Seek, and ye shall find."

All understood Aunt Mary's words. It might be that, in their own hearts, all acknowledged their truth; but, as yet, the paths which they had marked out (though they scarce acknowledged it) as leading to the treasure, lay far away from the only true one.

Stewart was the first to break the silence which had followed Aunt Mary's words. I mean to seek for happiness,' said he, 'in books, and in wisdom; and you know, auntie, your Book says, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding." Does it not?'

'Yes, Robert; but it also says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments." And again, "The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."

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'Well, Aunt Mary,' was the laughing reply 'you've got the better of me there; and one thing I do believe-you have found the hidden treasure; one can read it in your face. Can they not, Cousin Lucy?' he said, appealing the young girl who sat beside his aunt.


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Lucy Villiers looked up at the quiet, by face of the lady (whom, although no relat oung her, she had learned to call, as all th, she people did, Aunt Mary), and, as she indeed felt that her cousin was right. She Surer had found true, lasting happiness; the The smiled opened to her, and given largelyad chalked assent, but said little; for Lucy, fappiness,—a out a way of her own for seeki

way which lay right through the world's crowds; and she began to wonder whether it were possible that this path might never, after all, lead to the treasure.

Holiday time was nearly over, and the party of young people were to disperse on the morrow -some to go back to school, others to return to their homes; but all would look back with pleasure to the pleasant days spent at Amberley Park whilst visiting Aunt Mary.

Once that house had echoed back the merry laugh and bounding steps of two children, who spoke of Mrs. Wilmot, not as Aunt Mary, but as darling mamma.' Ten years ago a dark cloud had fallen on Amberley Park; the childish voices and the bounding steps were stilled; the kind Shepherd had gathered the lambs into the heavenly fold; and the mother, widowed and childless, unable to catch one gleam of earthly comfort in the cloud, lifted up her eyes, and saw, as she never had seen before, 'Jesus only.'

And now, though her thoughts often turn to the loved ones before the throne,-though every place where they played, every spot they loved, is sacred to their memory,-Mrs. Wilmot's heart and house are ever open to the young; her words of love and help are ever ready for them all; and the peace which passeth understanding' fills her heart. The hidden treasure was revealed to her where she least expected to find it,-in the midst of the great and terrible wilderness, a land of the 'shadow of death.' There it was that the Great Treasurer had revealed himself, and given to her abundantly of the pure gold.

The history of Aunt Mary's life was known, at least in part, by the young people who heard her words about the hidden treasure; and Harry Wilmot, as he pondered the subject, was assured that the treasure Aunt Mary had found must be the real one, the true Sangreal,—since it could give that calm, happy spirit to one who had suffered as she had; and over and over he inwardly repeated the words, 'Seek, and ye shall find.' But how? was a question he left unanswered; though his imagination pictured, far off in the misty distance, a vision of perhaps finding it whilst alleviating the sufferings of his fellow-creatures,—for Harry had already begun his course as a doctor; and so, with many deepstirring thoughts and purposes in his mind, he bade adieu to Aunt Mary and the others, laughing merrily as Osborne, dubbing him Sir Galahad, bid him write and tell him as soon as he found the Sangreal.

As it will be some time ere we see him again, we may bid him God-speed; may pray that the heavenly Guide-who, though unseen, is even now by his side-may lead him on, step by step, in the search, making crooked places straight before him, and darkness light, till the appointed moment come, when He will remove the veil which the great enemy of souls has woven over every human eye, to prevent them seeing the only spot where the treasure lies; and, by the glorious light of the Sun of Righteousness, will show him the good he seeks,-hidden no longer, open to him, and to whomsoever will accept of it as a free, undeserved gift.


Tell me, ye woods, ye smiling plains,
Ye blessed birds around,

In which of nature's wide domains
Can bliss for man be found?
The birds wild carolled over head,
The breeze around me blew,
And nature's awful chorus said-
No bliss for man she knew.'

THE party at Amberley Park was broken up; only Lucy Villiers and Alfred Osborne remained, and they were to leave the next day. The last day at any place where one has spent some happy weeks is always a sad one, more especially if you are, as Lucy was, left almost the last of the visitors.

Certain it is, as Lucy sat alone that night in her own room, she felt more depressed than she could have believed it possible to have done in the prospect of parting with one whom she had known for so short a time as she had known Aunt Mary; for this was her first visit at Amberley Park, and the first time she had seen Mrs. Wilmot.

Lucy Villiers was an orphan. Her father had died while she was still an infant, and the remembrance she retained of her mother was misty and dream-like: soft grey eyes, with the soul looking out of them, full of tenderness and love; gentle words, and loving caresses,—and that was all.

Yet, Lucy, there was more than that left to you of your now angel mother. A mother's prayers are floating round you,-prayers of faith, of trust, of hope, offered in that name which is above every name, and in unfailing trust in the truth of Him who hath said, 'Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, I will do it.' Into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus, she had access even on earth; and there prayers were offered for her only child, which shall one day receive their full answer.

Lucy's thoughts were full of the future before her. Her school-days were over; her home for the future was to be with her Uncle and Aunt Osborne in London; and by them she was to be introduced into the gay world of fashion, in the midst of which they dwelt; and there she hoped to find the hidden treasure of true happiness. Visions of brightly lighted rooms, of rustling silks and satins, of light gossamer-like lace dresses, of flowers and gems, music and dancing, were before her eyes; and, pent up as she had hitherto been in the schoolroom, the very prospect of mingling in such scenes appeared delightful, and she longed for the moment to arrive that she might drink the cup of pleasure.

Such were the feelings with which Lucy came to Amberley Park to visit her mother's friend, Mrs. Wilmot; but now, as she sits thinking over the events of her visit, on the eve of her departure, she wonders how it is that the future before her does not look so dazzling as it did. Will she find the happiness she expects? she asks herself. And what has led her to doubt it she cannot tell. Surely nothing that has been

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