bring back yesterday. To-day may be like glances forward, it may be with subdued yesterday, in so far a reflection of it; but is and mingled feelings, still it is with some of not it. It is gone for ever. So it is with its the freshness of early days, and the old power mingled privileges and sins ; they can never works mightily still. be recalled to be reproduced, or altered, or There is hope about it. There are great amended. As facts they stand. How much possibilities in the New Year. It is like an we often wish to get back blessings that we infant, whose future is not yet filled up, but may re-enjoy them, and opportunities of.good, who may be a great man—the greatest and best that we may not merely undo, but reverse our that ever lived. And when casting the horoconduct toward them. It is vain! Even the scope of the young life, why not find it good, Eternal can never bring back the facts and and fill it up with every attribute and success opportunities of the past. The power of this, which love can suggest? The young year may as we look at the closing year!

be treated as the young life: it is separate Yet these mingled mercies and sins and we from all others. So we may begin anew, shall meet again, not for repetition, and, if breaking with the past, with its failings, its we please, amendment, but for judgment follies, and its sins. We may commence a and award. As we see them float away, with new course, fraught with everything noble willing phantasy we clothe them with the and gracious; we may live the life of “faith, instability of all earthly things, and say they which worketh by love;' by our integrity, are like water spilt upon the ground, which spirituality, unselfishness, devotion to right cannot be gathered. But not so; God re- and truth, do good to our fellows, and bring quireth that which is past;' and we must all glory to God. Thus we may live to some appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, purpose. So hope says, and honestly says. It to be confronted with the record of both does not come to us, with the new-born year, mercies and sins, that “every one may receive saying, 'I will say these things to them, the things done in the body, according to though I do not mean that they should ever that he hath done, whether it be good or be realised.' Hope, at this season, deliberately bad.' Who can forget this, as he looks on addresses our higher nature, beckoning us the expiring year?

onward toward the future; drawing us toward And all these considerations are enhanced it with a power which countervails that which and emphasised if there has been any special draws us to the past, and fills us with expecdealing of God with us during the year dying tation and cheer. or just dead. If, on the one hand, there have Desires for what is good are begotten and been special trials and chastisement, or, on intensified. It is often with us in an old the other, special mercies—God showing us year as it is with old age, when the blood marked kindness in providence, or marked becomes thin and the system dulled and favour in grace, whether by converting our sluggish: 'Desire fails.' We not only do not selves or those dear to us, or by advancing move with such alacrity in what is good, we ourselves or those dear to us in spiritual- almost lose the desire to move. Our spiritual mindedness, which is life and peace. Such system gets numbed and clogged. But with things leave a stamp upon the year which a new year comes quickened life; it is like makes it memorable in our hearts; they the breaking up of frost before the sun. Debind our thoughts to it as by a chain. sires to be good spring up strong and numerous;

Thus the past, as a cross-current, pulls us they lead us onward ; they flush our lives with it. But working directly against it is the with power. We will cast off the lethargy

. future; for the future has a fascination for into which we have fallen, we will brace ourus as well as the past, and often its force is selves to meet and do all that is right for both just as strong. No doubt its strength is God and man. So we resolve. The eagerness modified by age and other causes. In early life of early days is again upon us; it is as a favourwe always look forward ; 'The future, the ing gale, carrying us with it. So, with our future,' is the cry. The child is always to be face to the future, and prepared to meet it, our such an age at next birth-day, never was such motto and determination is, Let the dead bury an age at the last. As we grow older we their dead; we are once again to live and fight gradually reverse all this; we turn our face for right and truth. down stream, and our back to the coming tide; The judgment-seat. The judgment-seat is we look into the past almost as much as the magnetic. It draws men's hearts, holds them, child does into the future. Still, when the and will not let them go away. And often at New Year draws on, the oldest of us casts the New Year, the future, of which it is the

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awful and final background, claims and com- labour, and did what was serviceable to the mands, because of it, all our thoughts and preserving of their lives. Similarly, when we attention. The past has no fact to cope with get into the commotion connected with the it in power; so it sways and fills our hearts New Year, we must not try to float through and minds. Sometimes we contemplate it it as if we were either a log or a derelict; we with hope, sometimes with dread, but never must not say God, by an overruling profree from the feeling which the Psalmist says vidence, which there is no controlling, has is ever proper to the presence of God. 'God brought us in and holds us here for the time, is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the He must take us out (if ever) as He pleases. saints, and to be had in reverence of all them In place of the sovereignty of God being thus that are about Him.' Even the Apostle Paul an absolvitor from duty, it simply brings us speaks of it as 'the terror of the Lord.' And within the sphere within which certain duties we know that wherever the force that excites lie, and places us face to face with them. that affection lies must have inconceivable And these duties are imminent and pressing power over men.

in proportion to the force of the commotion, So the counter-currents of the past and just as the very fierceness of the storm taught future in time's tempestuous sea work around the men on board the more the need of workthe closing and the opening year. The com- ing for their lives. motion which their collision makes within the We must have our personal spiritual life heart is great, the surge is high, and their made safe. There is no thought arises more sound as the cries of contending hosts. At naturally or strongly out of the unrest caused this moment the wail for the expiring year, by the tossing and pulling of the past and with all that makes it dear, is heard ; no future at the New Year than that I must be sooner heard than met by the ringing shout saved, I must be out of the danger I am in as a of the glad New Year; and back again it goes sinner, I must be safe in Christ, I must see to as the glad New Year is drowned in the cry it that I get out of this storm and surge, not of the old year gone. When the builders of by being drowned in perdition, but by being the temple of the Lord, in the days of Ezra, safe to land, where there is sure footing forlaid the foundation, many of the priests and ever more. I must make my calling and elecLevites and chief of the fathers, who were tion sure. There is no thought of equal ancient men, that had seen the first house, importance to this. Like Aaron's rod, it when the foundation of this house was laid swallows up all the others. before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and We must give our thoughts and minds to many shouted aloud for joy: so that the seeking this safety. It must be our business people could not discern the noise of the shout -our chief business. Nothing must take of joy from the noise of the weeping of the precedence of it; and in carrying it out, we people: for the people shouted with a loud must makerenewed investigation and examinashout, and the noise was heard afar off' tion of our situation, and of the right method (Ezra iii. 12, 13). Such often is the tumult of of being saved from it, and then with thought the heart as the old year and the new meet, and plan place ourselves in the position which, producing their appropriate but conflicting by God's ordaining, leads up to life everlastfeelings.

ing. We are not to treat ourselves, or our In this position, what are we to do? Of this situation, so, that if ever we are saved, the conduct of the men who sailed with Paul it will have the appearance that it was a is a not inapt illustration. 'Falling into a chance that happened to us.' We must search place where two seas met, they ran the ship anew, and see that God's appointed method of aground. They did not fold their hands salvation in Christ is clear to our minds and through indolence or despair, and let them right, and then, as the result of this, place selves drift and toss according to the whirl ourselves of set purpose in Christ's hand, as and boil of the wave. They saw their lives the men in the ship, after the study of their were in danger, and needed to be preserved. situation, ran the ship aground as the means So, discarding all doctrine of fatalism-that best adapted to save their lives. a chance has brought us in, and a chance will We must do this in faith in God's Word. take us out-a power superior and irresistible In the wreckage of past hopes, and plans, and to us has placed us here, and only as it pleases joys, and resolutions with which the troubled can we be delivered ; a doctrine which is the surface of a New Year's time is often covered, destruction of all responsibility and duty, we have the proof that we must have some they applied their thought, and skill, and stronger things than these, if we are to be kept

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from destruction. We must look up to God, things not merely dear to us in themselves, whom no storms can affect, and whose pur- but by long indulgence in which, our hisposes no change or lapse of time can cause to tory, in our own minds, has become idenfail. On His promises must we lean, that, tified; and our affections have so grown committing ourselves to Christ, we shall in- and twined around them, that it is like fallibly be saved. Before the men on board literally tearing the heart-strings to give with Paul ran the ship aground, he had said them up. Still, they must be parted with. unto them, 'I exhort you to be of good cheer; And is it not wise to do so? Do we not gain for there shall be no loss of any man's life by the transaction? Was it not better for the among you, but of the ship. For there stood men on board Paul's ship to get safe to land by me this night, the angel of God, whose I than to cling to her and founder? And they am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; acted as they did 'to obtain a corruptible thou must be brought before Cæsar: and, lo, crown' of life, “but we, an incorruptible.' God hath given thee all them that sail with We must do it with courage. It must have thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I required no small degree of courage to enable believe God, that it shall be even as it was the men on board to commit themselves,

Howbeit we must be cast upon a some on boards, and some on broken pieces certain island,' and observing, as they neared of the ship’-to that broken surf. The risk the land, the conditions indicated in the pro- they ran was neither imaginary nor slight. mise emerging, they placed themselves under The devouring deep, in merciless mood, seemed it, and let it shape their course. While that ready to swallow them. And we will have ship's crew called into play all the science of dangers-real dangers and great-in seeking their calling, they did not let it contravene life; and the means of meeting them may their faith in God's Word that they would be often seem no more in proportion to them saved; nay, they let their faith in God's than the boards and broken pieces of the ship Word dominate their science and effort, and on which these men escaped were to the angry so faith, above skill, decided the conduct of sea. Still, we are not to be afraid; we are not that ship's company. Similarly must we rest to shrink back dismayed. We are to endure in the simple but sure Word of God; letting hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. that Word regulate all our plans and move Those who are without fault before the throne ments, knowing, as we do, that there can be have come out of great tribulation, as well no issue to those who trust it but salvation. as washed their robes and made them white

We must do it with self-sacrifice. One thing in the blood of the Lamb. “We are troubled stands out clear at a New Year: how much on every side, yet not distressed; we are perself' has stood in the way of our salvation plexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but and spiritual progress. Our own likings, not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; purposes, plans, advancement, aggrandise- always bearing about in the body the dying ment have overlaid and choked our right of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus aspirations for eternal life and likeness to might be made manifest in our body. For we God. But now the axe must be laid to the which live are alway delivered unto death for root of the tree: all these must be cut down. Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might We must crucify the flesh with the affections be made manifest in our mortal flesh. Such and lusts.' Every heart, if it get fair play at is the mingled dispensation into which God's a New Year, will so speak and decide. It children who will follow Jesus Christ are must be free; it will give up all for Christ. cast; a dispensation as tempestuous and The sin which doth so easily beset must be threatening throughout as was the sea into laid aside ; that which is the right hand which the men had to cast themselves at must be cut off; that which is the right eye every spot between them and land; a dismust be plucked out. The men with whom pensation which tries to the utmost every Paul sailed sacrificed their ship—her present spiritual quality and grace — faith, love, value and future profit-for their lives. Not patience, purity, rectitude, self-denial, and only so; they may have sailed in her long, and obedience. Such, too, is the spirit in which known all her ways. There may have been they are to meet and bear throughout these associations connected with her, through conflicts and tossings-firm, unflinching cour, scenes and incidents in the past, which made age; as free from vaunting as from fear, and her dearer to them than any mere gain she so the dauntlessness which is noble, true. brought them ever could. Still, withal, And the reason why they are able to rise to she was given up. And we may have certain this the method which, when followed, ever


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s—is :-'We having the same the way to be happy, and seek God's blessing spirit of faith, according as it is written, I be- upon them all. lieved, and therefore have I spoken. We also

But New-Year's eve had come. Willing believe, and therefore speak, knowing that hands had decorated the mission-room until

it He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise white walls well setting off the gay festoons of

presented a beautiful appearance, its clean up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with green. A merry crowd of boys and girls were you.' Faith in Jesus Christ, the confident, there, and a plentiful tea was served; the unswerving conviction that, whatever be the programme of music, recitations, and speeches troubles and the conflicts of the present, He

was duly attended to, and every boy and girl will ultimately bring them out of them all, then the minister of the church of which Mrs

had received an appropriate present. Just into eternal glory, is the source of their Wood was a member dropped in, to add his courage. 'I give unto them eternal life; good wishes for the New Year. The boys and and they shall never perish, neither shall any girls knew him well, and they cheered him pluck them out of my hand. What a strong Iustily. Then Mrs Wood thought-and it was rock in that has faith to lean on ; and how only. what everybody else thought—that the

minister should tell them how the New Year grand the courage because of that it pro- could be made a happy one. duces.

* Please give us a little talk on that word We must do all this by performing in succes- “ Happy," said Mrs Wood; and her pastor sion the duties which the various situations in suggested that the text was a short one, and providence throughout the year show to lie to that if he divided it up at all, it must be into our hand, and to be our duties for the time. letters. We cannot tell you all he said, but It is an axiom in all right living that God, in

will give a few of his thoughts.

‘H-A-P-P-Y. There it is,' said the speaker, His providence, shapes our duties, and sum- and the word was printed on the blackboard. mons us to them. We must let nothing ‘H for Holy. Holiness and Happiness are becloud or turn us aside from this maxim. twin sisters-Siamese twins, indeed-and you Clear as day did He thus shape the duty of cannot be happy unless you seek to be holy. the men with Paul to leave their ship. There God the Holy Spirit can make you holy. He

can give you a new heart that shall do those were dangers in accepting the duty, and they things that are pleasing in God's sight and of might have pled them. There were possi- good report among men. bilities in that boiling sea from which they ‘A stands for Affection, and that is a mild might shrink, and the consequences of their word for Love. You must have your hearts plunging in were to them unknown, and in a

filled with love for God and for all around sense unknowable, and they might have pled you, if you are to be happy. Drive out all

uncharitableness, malice, envy, hatred, rethat; but they pled neither. Realising that venge, and ask God to fill your heart with the gauge of their duty was the known, and pure and unselfish love. not the unknown, they committed themselves

*P is for Peace. First we must seek peace to the deep. And we must take up the duty with God through faith in Jesus as which, from the reading of the situation, we

Saviour. Then by trusting in God, and doing know to be appointed to us there and then, and next to these we must seek to be at peace

His will, there will come the peace of God; leaving the consequences, which no man can with our fellows. We shall be, if we drive know, to Him who summoned us to the duty. out the nest of hornets mentioned under the Thus we are to begin, go on throughout, and last letter. finish the year; thus living a few more New

‘P again. That shall stand for Prayer. A Year's Days, with their solemn thoughts prayerless life is a joyless life. Prayer keeps

us near God, and God is the fountain of all and strong spiritual commotion, we shall be

happiness. safe to land. When the edict in reference Last comes Y. What shall we say for Y, to us shall be announced, “ Time shall be no boys and girls?' But the boys and girls could longer,' it shall be accompanied with this, not tell. Well, I think we will have to make * There is no more sea.'

it Y for Yoke,' said the pastor. Jesus says: “ Take My yoke upon you.", If we do that, He promises us rest of soul. The yoke is a double collar with one part heavier than the

other. Jesus always takes the heavier part, A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

and gives us the lighter. We do not bear thé

yoke alone. We share it with Jesus. The Mes Wood had set her heart upon giving yoke is a yoke of submission to God, of sacriher mission scholars at least a happy New- | fice and service for God and for others. May Year's eve. She wished them with all her you so regard the word Happy! and, with all heart a happy New Year, but that she could this meaning in it, we wish you a Happy New not ensure. She could only set before them Year,' said the speaker as he closed.




A Portion for the Aged




E enter upon a New Year, are boundless, and though we have

and though the line that already had rich experience of His

marks the transition is a grace, we have not exhausted the shadowy one, yet it is very real. exhaustless fountain.

New help We write a new date. The months in the hour of temptation, new begin a new circle. We close our comfort in trial, new joy in comaccounts, and balance our books, munion, new strength for dutyand start afresh. We all of us how bright is the prospect in this enter upon a new stage in our regard, as we go forward into the journey from the cradle to the unknown future ! grave.

There are some things There will be new opportunities that it may be well to mark as we of usefulness in the year opening begin the New Year.

now before us. We may have been We shall meet with new tempta- lacking in diligent service in the tions. The history of our life in past. Here will be opportunities any year is never precisely that of of making some amend by future the years that went before. To a diligence. Only let us be warned greater or less extent new circum- by the sad past, and at once set our stances are about us. The great hands to the work given us to do. adversary is continually on the The year will rapidly roll away, watch that in some way he may and unless we are alert now, will overcome us. So we may be sure add its record to the blurred and that as we go on through the year faulty one of the past. Perhaps, upon which we have entered unex- by God's grace, we may have been pected temptations will try us. already in some measure faithful. We shall do well to be upon our We welcome, then, the New Year, guard. Not that we shall know because in it we may achieve new beforehand just what the tempta- things for God and for the souls tion is to be ; but we must remem- which He has made. There is this ber all the time that we are in blessed feature about Christian the enemy's country, and that, service, that the more we do the if he can, he will get the better more we delight to do. As

'workers together with Christ,' do But while this is true, it is also we not then look forward with true that we shall meet with new gladness into the opening year, exhibitions of God's mercy. If because along its course we are we are to be tempted in ways sure that we shall meet with new unknown by us before, we shall opportunities of service to our God find, if we but cast ourselves upon and King ? His grace, that our God stands We have a word to say to those ready to succour us in ways we who enter upon this year unrecon. have not heretofore experienced. ciled to God. Dear friends, shall Our Heavenly Father's resources not the time past of your life suf

of us.

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