« ForrigeFortsett »
Jesus," an earnest “following on to know the Lord,” forgetting the things which are behind and reaching forth to those before, not counting ourselves to be already perfect-no, very far from that-conscious more and more every day of our imperfections and shortcomings and sinfulness ; but, having once "put our hand to the plough,” pressing on with all the energy of our heart and soul towards the prize of our high calling; not stopping, or doubting, or casting one lingering look behind. Going on thus in the strength of God, our path will be as the “ shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Like David, we can say,
“ With my whole heart have I sought Thee.” Who does not know the advantage of having our whole heart in anything we undertake? What makes a man succeed in the world like earnestness and singleness of purpose ? And depend upon it, in nothing is whole-heartedness more needed than in the service of God.
But here I must say a word, lest I should make the heart of any sad whom God has not made sad ; lest I should discourage any timid, fearful Christian, who is humbly trying to follow his Master, yet fears it is presumption to hope that he may call himself" altogether a Christian.” To such a one I would say: Are you conscious that you are trying to follow your Lord ? Is it your earnest desire to walk more worthy of Him? Is it your constant prayer that He will hold up your feeble goings in His paths ? That He will lead you in His truth, and teach you? Then, surely, you need not be afraid to hope that you are altogether a Christian.”
And now, my friends, let me beg you most earnestly and affectionately to give these few words, feeble and most unworthy though they are, your prayerful consideration. Find out whether you are altogether or only almost a Christian. Halt no longer halfway between Christ and the world. If the Lord be God serve Him with all the powers of your soul; and be sure, very sure, that to be altogether a Christian is the only way of safety and of the truest happiness—the foretaste here below of the unending happiness of heaven. May God grant to you and me grace to follow this way, and may
the words never be applied to us : “Almost persuaded to be a Christian.”
H! Jesus ! let me realise
That true, deep, wondrous love of Thine,
Why should'st Thou die for me, O Lord?
Upon that bitter cross of shame
Thine agony and bloody sweat,
For me! Oh, Lord! what can I do
I feel Thy tender love so near,
E. S. P.
WOULD be thankful, Lord, to Thee
For all the mercies Thou hast given,
E. S. K.
Edgar Mlen, the Top-Sawyer; or, “What are
yon doing to-day ?" T HERE was no doubt about it; Edgar Allen was a
splendid specimen of a true British workman; and as he stood at the pit's mouth “shooting” i the saw, which was so soon to turn timber into planks, he rarely failed to attract the admiring notice of passers-by. His strong, brawny arms seemed to treat the hard work as mere child's play, whilst they swayed backwards and forwards with his tall, manly figure to the grating, monotonous, yet soothing tune of the keen-toothed saw, as it gnawed its resistless way through the hundred feet of future flooring, which was Edgar's appointed work in the yard at the time of which I write.
Nor did Edgar Allen's characteristics as a workman belie his attractive outer appearance. He had not attained to top-sawyership" without good reasons for promotion. Steady, Reliable, and Intelligent, were the names of the steps by which he had ascended to his present position in the saw-yard, and in his employer's esteem. Having said thus much, we can say no more, for, alas, betwixt Edgar's excellent character as a top-sawyer and his spiritual state as an immortal being, there was a great gulf fixeda gulf of doubt and darkness which seemed all the deeper and darker by contrast with the sparkling levity of his natural temperament.
"Well, what is your work to-day, Allen ?" I asked, when for a few minutes the saw ceased its querulous scrape, whilst the wedge was being re-adjusted in the timber.
“My work for to-day is neither yesterday's work nor to-morrow's, but just and only to-day's work," he replied, with his usual light-hearted readiness.
" And that is just and only 'what it ought to be," I replied. He darted a swift look of inquiry at me, and then said,
“I warn there's more in that speech of yours than comes out in words."
There was a sort of comical, half-afraid look on his face and in his tone of voice, that created a smile on my part; nevertheless, I inquired seriously enough, “What do you mean, my friend ?" "I mean what I said, that you mean more than you
said. You preaching folks are always at some preachments or other, and (no offence, I hope) when you talk like that,