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answer: "I can think of nothing else
Where should I be now but for his mercy? what
would my death have been like, sir, if Jesus Christ
hadn't died? O nobody can tell what it is to
know that there is a Saviour, till he is on his
death-bed, like me, Mr. Relton. All my thoughts
run on Jesus Christ. He always seems near me,
except," he added-and a shudder passed over
him, as though the thought of some internal con-
flict occurred to him. The sentence begun with
so much hesitation was never finished; but he re-
peated softly to himself the words, "Come unto
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden; and I
will give you rest.' Yes," he continued in broken
sentences, uttered slowly and at intervals-" Yes,
he said so, he said so: I needn't fear: the blood
of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. Now, if
you please, sir," he added, pointing to the open
bible; and immediately I began to read the book
which should be the greatest comfort to us through
life, but which is too often neglected until the
hours of that life are numbered.

now. | is right, but who feel a law in their members warring against the in-dwelling Spirit; and this he does, that the final struggle may not be harder than they can endure; that they may not be tempted above what they are able to bear; but that they may have a good hope, which, when the floods are going over their souls, may comfort and sustain them. Such was the case with Kyle. At the beginning of his illness, when the importance of religion first became evident to him, the "cares of this life," the bitter anguish occasioned by the uncertainty hanging over his daughter's fate, and the longing desire which he had to go and seek her, seemed to "choke the word" of eternal life, and to be an insurmountable obstacle in the way of his regarding God as his Father. "Why should I be so tried? My burden is heavier than I can bear," was the feeling deeprooted in his heart, if not expressed by him openly. It was vain that I read to him such passages as those of an encouraging tone to be found in Heb. xii. and elsewhere: despair seemed to have paralyzed every spring of hope within his breast: My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?” "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees:" "Cast thy burden upon the Lord; and he shall sustain thee:" "In all thy ways acknowlege him; and he shall direct thy paths:" "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:" "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." These were some of the texts which I most frequently repeated to the sick man; and (with many more of a like nature), he by this means learnt them by heart. At first, he used to say them merely as words-words grateful indeed to the ear, but leaving no more impression than the sounding brass or tinkling cymbal; but by degrees he could feel the resignation which they breathe, and was able to repeat them with the heart and the understanding, as well as with the mouth; and, before he died, I had the happiness of seeing that he could cast all his care upon God, in the full assurance that God cared for him.

O, could we but feel (were it only for a moment), whether in infancy, in childhood," or in middle life, as we shall feel when death's dark shadow first begins to envelop us, how different would be our conduct! how different the estimate which we should form of the relative value of time and of eternity! how worthless would the one appear, how inestimably important the other! But "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for for them that love him ;" nor, on the other hand, can the natural heart conceive the bitter and startling contrast which the doom of those who do not love him will present. The consequence is, that "the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season," are preferred before the "fulness of joy" to be enjoyed hereafter; and the heart is 80 clogged by earthly hopes, fears, and desires, that its aspirations cannot rise to where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, but are bounded by" the world's uncertain haze," the mists of souldestroying error, and the high-dwelling clouds of pride. Even all that which should excite intense gratitude towards our Creator-the beauty of the world in which he has placed us; the senses he has given us, by which we may enjoy to the utmost those beauties; the redeeming ties of kindred and of friendship which he has appointed for our comfort;" the natural affections with which he has endued us; the strength of our bodies, the beauty of our outward forms, the intellectual powers we possess-all these, his good gifts, we are inclined to "wrest to our own destruction" by gross abuse of them, and by ingratitude towards their Giver. It is not perhaps strange, but it is most lamentable, that the present should obtain such a firm hold upon our affections, and so engross our thoughts as to make it difficult (even for those most desirous of doing so) to fix their hearts "where the moth doth not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal." It is also a remarkable proof of God's tender mercy towards his weak and erring children, that he often weans them from the world before calling upon them to leave it: he loosens, ere he snaps asunder, the cords which bind those whose spirit is willing, but whose flesh is weak; who would fain do the thing which

"Mr. Relton," he said to me one day, "there is no letter come from Kitty, is there? You wouldn't deceive me, I'm sure; and I can hear all, if there is any bad news."

I assured him there was none to tell, for that no letter had been received from Ireland, and no tidings could be obtained of Kitty.

"God's will be done-God's will be done; 'tis all for the best," he said.

"I am most thankful to hear you say so, Kyle; you used to think very differently," I could not help adding.

The poor man trembled as he answered: "O, sir, those were dreadful times; I was so bad, so

very wicked: don't them ?"

you "I firmly trust that he has forgiven them, Kyle, for his dear Son's sake; for I believe you do feel towards him as a Saviour."

I think God has forgotten

"I do, I do," he replied quickly. "And yet, sir," he continued, "sometimes I've strange misgivings all my worldly cares I can trust to him: I feel as if I could die almost as happy without knowing what's become of my child, as if she was nigh me now; for I know she's cared for; but my soul, sir-it doesn't always feel safe: sometimes I think I've trusted too much to Jesus Christ's mercy, and he won't forgive as much as I've hoped he will. Eh, sir, do tell me?"

"I will tell you, Kyle," I replied. "I would not deceive you even if I could. I had rather make you suffer agony now, than that you should have hopes which would fail you at the last. But, Kyle, it is impossible for you to have too much love for your Saviour, or too much confidence in his mercy: believe me, it is boundless; and his power is equally so: he can, and he will, save to the uttermost all who go unto the Father through him, confessing and deploring their past sins, praying for forgiveness on account of them, and relying solely and unhesitatingly upon the love which prompted him to lay aside his glory,

and die a shameful death."

"Thank ye, sir; thank ye," Kyle said softly. "Go on, please, sir."

But I refused to say more then, for I saw his strength was gone; so I bade him lie still, and not to resist the drowsiness which was creeping over him. His sleep was not so calm as it had been of late; and immediately he awoke, he said, "Mr. Relton, I've been dreaming: I've seen Kitty; but I didn't know her till she spoke, she looked so strange and white. Sir, I mustn't think of her, must I?"

"Do not think of her as you saw her in your dream, Kyle; but think of her as she looked when she said good-bye to you."

"I will try, sir: she is in God's keeping: I hope he'll forgive me all the harm I've done her. Mr. Relton, if she ever comes back, will you tend her? And, if she frets about me, don't let her, sir. Tell her she has more to forgive me than I have to forgive her; and tell her I blessed her wil! you, sir? and say that, all the time I dared to give this world, I was thinking of her; and beg of her to bring up her little David well, and not as I brought her up, poor child! Poor child! 't was a cruel shame; and, sir, if she's a papist, will you talk to her? You will, won't you?

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These sentences were uttered at intervals, and with difficulty; and I hastened to assure the poor man that, did she ever return, she should be my peculiar care, hoping that he would then be quiet. But feeling, I suppose, that his time was short, he determined to make the most of it; and he resolutely, but with extreme gentleness and deference, set aside all my reasons for his keeping


"Will her boy be a papist, do you think,


"I hope not, Kyle: he was baptized a protestant, you know."

"Can papists be saved, Mr. Relton ?"

"Indeed I hope and believe they may, as much as any other dissenter who looks to his Saviour for help and mercy."

"Thank God!" he exclaimed, reverently: "now will you please pray that I may see them both again, Mr. Relton-my Kitty and her little one-in heaven? Pray much, please sir: I've no words." I did as he desired. "Now for my wife; she's a good woman, sir; but trouble is given to harden the heart sometimes, sir; so pray she may be supported if great trouble comes of Kitty. Pray, sir, till you are weary: it does me more good than all besides."

In this way, during the last few visits which I paid to Kyle, he kept on begging me to pray with him; now for himself, now for his wife, now for the dear and missing ones; sometimes for all whom he had at any time offended, and not unfrequently for the whole parish. As earth faded from his sight, a glorious view of heaven seemed to be vouchsafed to him. But the last scene of mortal agony should be sacred: it is not well to draw aside the veil with which religious awe naturally shrouds the solemn spectacle. Kyle drew his last breath, supported in my arms. He died; and, by his own desire, the passer by his grave may there read the lesson which it took him a life-time to learn, but which on the bed of languishing and of death was ever present to his mind. On the simple cross which marks his resting place are inscribed the words, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted."


Reader, before closing this part of my tale, I must give you one word of caution; for I fear you may have drawn wrong inferences from the facts upon which it is founded. I have said that Kyle's repentance was sincere-it was so; and that, though offered so late, I believe it to have been accepted by the God of all mercy. Now from this statement you may be led to suppose that it is safe (or at least that I think so) to leave caring for the one thing needful until you are laid upon a bed of sickness or of death! Far, very far from this, is my meaning, and the true state of the case. There have been, there are, cases of genuine death-bed repentance; but they are rare: they are the exception, not the rule. O, do not risk your all upon a chance, upon the nice calculation of probabilities! Often, sickness takes such a form as to render speech and thought alike impossible: how can repentance be begun then? Not unfrequently death strikes down his victim in the thronged highway, at the receipt of custom, or in the scene of frivolous pleasure; and what then? The sinner has not time even to say, "The Lord have mercy upon me!" and, believe me, no mercy will be shown by the just and holy God, who has himself declared he will by no means clear the guilty. But, even where a long illness is vouchsafed to the thoughtless one, and his senses endure to the end, who would risk the probability of being in his case? How awful is the straggle between the body's weakness and the burning desire "to find out God," and be reconciled unto him! How thorny is the pillow of one on whom the conviction has just dawned that death is a reality, and eternity no dream; that he must live through the latter; and that by his own conduct he has rendered the other the beginning of endless woe

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"Delay not, sinner, till the hour of pain

To seek repentance: pain is absolute, Exacting all the body and the brain,

Humanity's stern king from head to foot.

How canst thou pray while fevered arrows shoct Through this torn targe? while every bone doth ache, And the seared mind raves up and down her cell Restless, and begging rest for mercy's sake? Add not to death the bitter fears of hell: Take pity on thy future self, poor man, While yet in strength thy timely wisdom can: Wrestle to-day with sin; and spare that strife Of meeting all its terrors in the van, Just at the ebbing agony of life.

A. E. L.


"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." This should be the plain, the avowed, the stedfast resolution of every one who bears rule in a house; of every master of a household; of every father, of every mother of a family. When God ordains that any one should be the master or the mistress of a household, he likewise ordains that they should take care of those who are under their authority, and should look upon them as committed to their special charge. In like manner, when he is pleased to grant any one the blessing of being a father or a mother, he links this blessing with the duty of taking care of the children, of bringing them up, of providing for them. Now these duties, whether of parents toward their children, or of masters and mistresses toward their servants, so far as relates merely to earthly things, cannot well be grossly neglected; and few do so neglect them. Even those who have no higher principle for their conduct, those who merely wear the harness of custom, and are driven along by the lash of selfinterest, will take care of their children and of their servants; will see that they have a roof over their heads, that they are duly fed and clothed; nay, will wish, and even try, in a manner, to make them cleanly and orderly and sober and honest and industrious. All this is right: all this is a part of a Christian master's, of a Christian parent's duty; but it is not the whole of that duty, nor the highest part of it. The reason, too, why most people fail so lamentably in the discharge of this part is, because they cut it off from the remainder, and try to discharge it by itself. Cut a bunch of grapes off from the vine: will it ripen? You may hold it before the fire till you scorch it: but it has no living juice in it; and, when it is cut off from the vine, none can flow into it. Or should it be already ripe, it will soon shrivel, or grow mouldy; or some accident

* From Hare's Sermons:

will mash it. The master and mistress of a household, the father and mother of a family, have not only the low, earth-born, downward-looking duty of providing for the temporal well-being of those committed to their charge: they have also the high, glorious, heaven-sprung, heaven-seeking duty of providing for their spiritual well-being. This duty of helping the helpless onward along their road to heaven is indeed a glorious one. It is a privilege we ought to prize and to be thankful for. It is a privilege we ought to rejoice in, even as a candle rejoices in the privilege of being allowed to give light, and lifts up its bright flame on high, and gladly wastes its own life in fulfilling its noble duty of standing in the stead of the sun. So too should all we, whom Christ has appointed to stand in his stead-so should we, poor candles as we are, whom he has chosen to keep up his light among such as would otherwise be sitting in darkness-so should we rejoice that we are permitted to give light, and gladly spend our lives in doing so, burning clearly and steadily until we have burnt away. Glorious, however, as this duty is, it is a duty for which we shall have to give account; and we may not neglect it, or cast it aside, except at our grievous peril. We shall have to give account, not only for our own souls, but also, more or less, for the souls of those whom God has committed to our charge.

Let this then be your watchword, my brethren, every one of you, who have any souls in any way dependent upon you, and entrusted to your management and care; let this be your watchword, and the rule of your life: "As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord." It is not enough for you to say, "As for me, I will serve the Lord." A grape never stands alone: it is always part of a cluster. In truth, no one can feel any hearty desire to serve the Lord himself, without being at the same time anxious that others also, that his friends and neighbours-above all, that the members of his own household should bear their part in this godly service. And one of the ways in which it behoves you to provide that your house shall serve the Lord, is by setting up his worship in your house; by taking care that you and your whole house join day by day in serving him with prayer and thanksgiving and praise.

Some among you may, perhaps, tell me that you cannot well manage to gather your families together of a morning. Be it so. It would not take up much time indeed. After a few days' trial, you would probably find that you met together for prayers just as easily and as naturally as for meals; and, when you had spent a few minutes in prayer, and had called down God's blessing on your labour, how differently, with how much lighter heart, would you go forth to your labour, instead of going forth as you do now, with no other thought than that of the wearisome burden of the day! Or, if the father of the family goes out too early, the mother may gather her children together, and offer up a prayer in the midst of them, before she sends them to school. Of an evening too, at any rate, you have plenty of time on your hands. Every evening, before you lie down to take your rest beneath the shelter of the same roof, before you close your eyes and fold up your thoughts in sleep, you may kneel down together, and pray to

God to shelter you and yours with the overGod forbid that I should be one of those who shadowing wings of his love, and to watch over look upon salvation as limited to the members of you with his all-seeing eye, while you are unable to any particular branch of the catholic church: watch over yourselves. Every evening you may much rather would I say that God's church is pray that God will forgive whatever he has seen formed of the true believers from every quarter, amiss in you and yours during the past day, and no matter what may be their sect or nation, who that he will give you understanding to know his are "born, not of blood (i. e., not of any one will, and grace to keep it; and that he will bless particular race), nor of the will of the flesh, nor you with refreshing and comfortable sleep, and be of the will of man;" and that all such persons, if with you in your down-lying and in your up-rising. they only believe rightly the fundamental docSurely this is little to ask of you. This, however, trines of Christianity, are possessed of a saving is the very least that can be asked; a mere grain of knowledge, and are true and lively "members of dust in comparison with the pearl above all price the household of faith." But then, while we which you are seeking thereby, namely, that once utterly deny that uncharitable, though prevalent a day at the least you gather your family together doctrine, which confines the salvation of sinners (they who can do so twice a day are without excuse within the pale of what is miscalled "the church;" if they do not), and that you offer up some simple while, after the example of our heavenly Master, prayer, with one voice and one heart, to God. You we extend the hand of charity to every fellowwho are married, and have nothing but infant chil- creature; and while, as commanded by the aposdren, should do so along with your wives; for, tle in the text, we regard those especially who remember, so gracious is our Lord, his promise is are "members of the household of faith," it is, I to be with those who are gathered together in his think, incumbent on us to regard even in a more name, even if there are but two of them. You especial manner those who happen fully to agree should pray to God, along with your wives, to with us, and who may stand in need of the exersanctify and bless your marriage, and to enable cise of mutual love. We, who are now assembled you to bring up your children in his faith and to in this house of God, are at least professing memhis glory. You, who have children old enough to bers of a pure apostolic church; we rest our hopes understand what you say, should make them kneel of salvation upon the promises of holy scripture, as down along with you, that they may be trained our only rule of faith: we consider ourselves to be from their childhood to behold their parents daily bound by the commands of God: we see him set kneeling in the presence of the living God, and before our eyes as the very essence of benevolence: seeking the communion of his Son. we hear him commanding us to do towards others you truly hope that they will be like olive as he has done towards us; and therefore surely, branches about your table, emblems of peace if urgent want appeals, not merely from our fellike olive branches, and flowing with the oil low-creatures, but from our fellow-worshippers in of gladness. You, again, who have servants, the sanctuary of God, it behoves all, who have the should call them to share in your prayers. to those who are in need. I know, indeed, that good things of this world, to lend a helping hand It is such a burden for a man to have to command-to have to be waited on by another. some will say that among such claimants on our Let there at least be one moment in the day when bounty are to be found many worthless indithis burden is cast off, when the difference is lost viduals: I know it; and I wish not to, nor could I, sight of, and you all kneel down together as breth-deny it. But I would have all such objectors to ren in sin and brethren in grace, praying each for the other, and that each may discharge his duty to the other. Surely, if we will not do thus much, we can never have said in our hearts, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Then may


My friends, I am here this day to solicit your support for a valuable institution-the Association for the Relief of distressed Protestants; and I may therefore very suitably give a brief explanation of the concluding words of my text-"especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

We have seen the paramount importance of guarding against delay: we have seen also the strict obligation, under which we lie, of doing good, temporally and spiritually, unto all men; and we further see that some are to be in a more especial manner the objects of our concern. Who, then, are the "members of the houshold of faith"?

* From a sermon lately preached (on Gal. vi. 10) by the rev. B. H. Blacker, M.A., St. Mary's, Donnybrook, in the royal chapel of St. Matthew, Kingsend, in the parish of Donnybrook.

bear well in mind that even so has it been from the beginning. Let them remember that even in the little company of the chosen twelve a traitor could be found; that the infant church at Jerusalem had an Ananias; that the church in Samaria had a Simon Magus; and that St. Paul was disturbed by a Demas, a Hymeneus, a Philetus -men who had the form of godliness, but denied its power.

Protestants is, as I have said, a valuable institution; and, were it necessary, or did time permit, I could give you proofs which have come under my own observation. Placed, as you are aware, in a very large and populous district, I have many opportunities of relieving poor parishioners through the agency of this society: I have had ample means of witnessing the very seasonable relief received, by means of a loan, by many an honest and industrious, but distressed fellowprotestant; and therefore (to say no more of many higher reasons) I am encouraged to lay its claims upon the same grounds on which I have laid the claims of one very similar-on the return which we are in duty bound to make for what has been done already, and in anticipation of what may yet be done for us. Am I to be disappointed in my expectations? The protestant

The Association for the Relief of distressed

orphan has doubtless a very strong claim upon the sympathy and aid of the protestant community; but so likewise has the protestant parent who is involved in unavoidable distress, and whom a grant or a loan may be the means of bettering, or at least of replacing in his former station.

A few words more respecting the claims of this society upon the many whom I see here, before I conclude. The new and more extended system of legal provision for the poor may perhaps have influenced some to consider that voluntary charity is uncalled for under present circumstances. But to this argument I would simply reply that, whatever form of compulsory relief the legislature of our country may devise, it ought not to affect the question as regards our poor protestant brethren; because this society, having been established for the purpose of promoting the interests and of bettering the condition of that class amongst us, who are poor in this world's goods, seeks to exemplify in a sincere, though perhaps feeble manner, our love towards the brethren. Bound to them by every religious tie, we ought to feel it to be a privilege to assist them. And how can any human legislation do away with God's command to do good, "especially unto them who are of the household of faith"? Let me also observe, however unnecessary it may be, that the best guarantees are given by the society for the proper disbursement of the funds entrusted to its care. Nothing is given indiscriminately, nor without examining, as far as possible, the particular circumstances connected with each case; nothing on individual responsibility; above all, nothing by routine, or as a mere matter of course; and seldom is a grant made, except with a view to permanent relief. While, with regard to the operations of the loan fund, which is one of the most useful branches of the work of the association at all times, but especially during a period of public calamity, and which, in consequence of the impossibility of making grants (nearly two hundred applications being at present unanswered) has shown itself to be a most valuable auxiliary of practical relief, I need say but little. Very many have been enabled to take advantage of this mode of relief, the number having amounted in the past year to 484, and the sum of money to 1,8201.; and I have no doubt whatever that this loan fund has been a great means, under the divine blessing, of averting a large amount of calamity from our protestant poor. Some few indeed there are, whom nothing (humanly speaking) could improve; but these, I am happy to say, are exceptions to the general rule*.

grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver;" but above all things, for your own sakes, against that day when God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil;" above all things, for your own sakes look well to the motive, that in the end you may each hear the gladdening salutation sounding in your ears: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."


MANY years ago-perhaps nearly seventy-there was a poor boy in Portsmouth who met with a sad accident, which disabled him for life. His name was John Pounds; and his father was a sawyer in the royal dock-yard. John was about fifteen when he became a cripple; and he most probably felt very sorrowful when he thought of the future, and feared that he should never be able to work for his living. But this very accident was the means of his doing a great deal of good, because it gave him the time and the opportunity to benefit others. John could not follow his father's trade; so he learned to mend shoes, and became a cobbler. During the greater part of his life he resided in a small weather-boarded dwelling, where he might be seen every day carrying on his humble occupation.

John was very fond of rearing singing-birds and parrots, which he trained with such skill and kindness that they lived harmoniously together with his 'cats and Guinea-pigs; and he would often sit with a canary perched upon one shoulder and a cat upon the other.

Poor as he was, and entirely dependent upon the hard labour of his hands, he adopted a little crippled nephew, whom he educated and cared for as if he had been his own son, and afterwards established him comfortably in life. It was having the charge of this little boy that gave rise to his school. He thought, while teaching the child his lessons, that he would learn better if he had a companion of his own age; so he obtained onethe son of a wretchedly poor mother; then another, and another, was added; and he found so much pleasure in his employment, and did, through it, so much good, that in the end the number of his scholars amounted to forty, including about a dozen little girls.

The children whom he thus gathered around him were some of the worst, as well as the poorest, he could meet with; for he felt that they stood in most need of instruction. He would frequently follow miserable-looking boys in the street, and offer them the bribe of a roasted potato if they would come to his school.

Finally, my dear brethren, while I beseech you as lovers of God, as lovers of men, and as "members of the household of faith," to come forward and aid us to the best of your ability (and no more could be expected), I would urge you to His humble workshop was a good-sized room; mark well the motive that influences you in what and in the midst of it John used to sit mending you do. The believer gives with the true, the his shoes and attending at the same time to the only true object in view-the glory of God, and studies of his pupils. He was a very pleasant and the good, the everlasting good, of his fellow-cheerful teacher, and tried to amuse as well as increatures. Do you now and always follow his example; for on such terms would I wish to receive your charity. Give liberally, and "not * See "The Eleventh Annual Report of the [Dublin]

Association for the Relief of distressed Protestants, for the year 1847," which has here been quoted.

struct his rough scholars, that he might induce them to come again. He very soon acquired great influence over them; and the ragged and dirty boys became both tidy and tractable. They

* From "The Church of England Sunday Scholar's Maga zine." London: Whittemore.

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