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in the greatness of his strength, and reminded one of his Almighty Master the King of glory. “Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle.-Who is the King of glory ? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory," Psa. xxiv. 8, 10.
A storm was coming on, for the heavens looked frowningly. The labourers put on the clothes they had taken off ; the sheep and cattle crept close under the hedges, and the poultry took shelter beneath the cow-shed. The sky looked red and lowering ; but what were the clouds like? The clouds grew blacker and blacker, and drew closer and closer together, till they were like a dark curtain stretched across the sky. They made me think of the day that Job describes so strikingly : “ Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above; neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it,” Job iii. 4, 5.
It was a calm evening in summer time, man and beast had ceased to labour, and the sun was setting in the heavens. Sweet and joyous thoughts came upon me; for the soft breeze was as pleasant as spring-water fresh from the fountain, and the sun was like gold; but what were the clouds like? The clouds were very few in the clear blue firmament; they were like sheep that had wandered from the fold, for they were scattered over the fair face of heaven. As I gazed upon them, they brought to my mind that text of holy Scripture, “ I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd : and the Lord said, These have no master," 1 Kings xxii. 17.
The gusty wind was abroad, and the moon seemed to be hurrying through the skies. The bright moon was like a plate of polished silver ; but what were the clouds like? They were heaped up one upon another, like mountains of the purest snow. Here they were piled up high in fanciful forms above the rest, and there they hung over what seemed to be a fearful precipice. It was a wild, a fitful, and yet a lovely scene. I looked on the snowy battlements above, with mingled delight and thankfulness, as the moon rapidly glided beyond them, and broke out into an expression of praise. “ The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork,” Psa. xix. 1. « The Lord is great, and greatly to be praised,” Psa. xcvi. 4. “Thy mercy, Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds," Psa. xxxvi. 5.
TRUST IN GOD.
In Madagascar, some time ago, an insurrection broke out, and the army were ordered to march to quell it; but before they set out, the great national idol was to be dragged forth to bless the people, and they were to be sprinkled with holy water. Now, it happened that three hundred of the soldiers had cast off idolatry; and when they heard what was coming, they said one to another, “ What shall we do? If we do not bow before the idol, we shall be counted among the rebels, and shall surely be put to death.” The leader of the Christian band asked his brethren to meet together in the evening, that they might consult what steps they had better take. They met accordingly. Some said, “ We are poor, feeble creatures ; we hope that God will forgive us, though we should bow before the idol; it will be only to preserve our lives.” Others said, “We are married men; it will never do for us to leave our wives widows, and our children fatherless.” The leader of the party, after he had heard the opinion of his companions, took his New Testament from his pocket, and read aloud, “ He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it : and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” It was enough. Their decision was made at once. They would not forsake their Saviour. But it was a fiery trial through which they had to pass, and they knelt down to ask of him that he would not leave them to pass through it alone. They then pledged one another to stand to their resolution.
One of them, however, was a traitor. He went and told the commanding officer. 66 Three hundred of the soldiers," said he, “are believers, and they have resolved not to worship the national god.” The Christian, leader was sent for, and asked if it were so. He confessed that it was. This made the officer very angry, and he ordered that the three hundred should not attend when the idol was brought out; but he added, “ The god will avenge himself upon them.” He would not put them to death, because they would be wanted in the army; but he determined to place them somewhere where they would be sure to be cut off.
The army marched to meet the rebels. They came up to them in a ravine between two lofty mountains. Here the Christians were ordered to occupy the front ranks. Their enemies took it for granted that they must fall there ; but a hand greater than that of man so arranged the order of the battle that the arrows never touched the Christian band. When the sun set, a retreat was sounded; the roll was called, and it was found, though there had been great destruction among the heathen, not one of the Christian soldiers was missing! The other soldiers asked them how they had been preserved, and began to suspect that the New Testaments in their pockets were charms. 66 It is not these that saved us," they made answer; “ it was the God whom we serve.” The rest were thunderstruck, and a hundred of them cast away their idols from that day.
The most striking instance of self-devotedness in the cause of Christ of which I ever heard in these days of deadness I was told of by an English minister. I will relate it to you just as I heard it, to stir up our cold hearts that we may give ourselves to the Lord. The awful disease of leprosy exists in Africa. Whether it be the same leprosy as that mentioned in the Bible I do not know; but it is regarded as perfectly incurable, and so infectious that no one dares to come near the leper. In the south of Africa there is a lazar-house for lepers. It is an immense space, inclosed by a very high wall, and containing fields which the lepers cultivate. There is only one entrance, which is strictly guarded. Whenever any one is found with the marks of leprosy upon him, he is brought to this gate, and obliged to enter in never to return. No one who enters in by that awful gate is allowed to come out again! Within this abode of misery there are multitudes of lepers in all stages of disease. Dr. Halbeck, a missionary of the church of England, from the top of a neighbouring hill, saw them at work. He noticed two particularly, sowing peas in the field. The one had no hands, the other had no feet; these members being wasted away by the disease. The one who wanted the hands was carrying the other who wanted the feet upon his back, and he, again, carried in his hands a bag of seed, and dropped a pea now and then, which the other pressed into the ground with his foot; and so they managed the work of one man between the two. Ah! how little we know of the misery that is in the world! Such is this prison-house of disease. But you will ask, who cares for the souls of the hapless inmates ? Who will venture in at this dreadful gate never to return again? Who will forsake father and mother, houses and lands, to carry
of a Saviour to these poor lepers ? Two Moravian missionaries, impelled by a divine love for souls, have chosen the lazarhouse as their field of labour. They entered it, never to come out again; and I am told that, as soon as these die, other Moravians are quite ready to fill their places. Ah! my dear friends, may we not blush and be ashamed before God, that we, redeemed with the same blood, and taught by the same Spirit, should yet be so unlike these men, in vehement, heart-consuming love to Jesus and the souls of men.
EFFECTS OF PERSEVERANCE. I CALLED at a house one Lord's-day morning, and saw a man about forty-five years of age smoking a pipe in a lower room by the fire. I said, “Good morrow, my friend ; I have called to see if I can render you any service.” He replied, “ Please keep away from here, and mind your business ; I don't want your service, keep your religion at home; you kind of folks are too officious,” with a great deal of very abusive language. I, good-humouredly, bade him farewell for the present, and said, I hoped we should yet have a good understanding, and be better friends the next visit. I called the next Lord's-day, and met with a similar reception, and left much in the same manner as before mentioned. I called again the following Lord's-day: he expressed himself greatly surprised at my perseverance after all the insults he had heaped upon me; but I told him I was determined to serve him, and do him good, if it were in my power. He became considerably subdued, and now listened attentively to me. I found him an intelligent man, and could perceive, although in rags and dreadfully degraded, that he was a person that had once been in better circumstances.
I asked him to call at my house, saying, I should like to have some account of his history. He called and informed me he had, some years past, been in a large way of business ; he had failed, lost his wife, and undergone great reverses ; had given himself to excessive drinking, was discarded by all his relatives, and now he seemed not to care what became of him. I gave him a trifle of money, and an old Bible, entreating him to read it. I urged him to attend a place of worship, and to give up all his pot-companions. I wrote to one of his relations, stating how I had met with him, the state he was in, how far, by the Lord's mercy, I had succeeded in reclaiming him, so that he now reads the Bible, regularly attends public worship, and bids fair once more to be a useful member of society. I was enabled to get him occasional employment during the winter. His relative, to whom I wrote—a respectable person, in good circumstancessent me an order to supply him with comfortable necessary apparel, to fit him for a creditable situation, and he is now doing business on commission for a respectable house.
W. H., City Missionary.
INFLUENCE OF RELIGION ON THE INSANE. EVERY year of new experience on this subject shows the vast importance of a religious influence, rightly exerted, in the alleviation or cure of the dreadful disease of insanity. In several of the American institutions for the insane, as in the Insane Hospital at Augusta, in the state of Maine, under the care of Dr. Bates, at Worcester also, and in the Hospital for the Insane at Battleboro, regular religious exercises are supported, and apparently with the happiest effect upon the patients. Dr. Woodward, in the report of the Worcester Asylum, observes that the chapel of the institution, which has been enlarged so as to accommodate from three to four hundred persons, is generally well filled every sabbath ; while the quiet and orderly demeanour of the patients has excited the admiration of strangers, and won the confidence and approval of the officers, who, with their families, are invariably present. The Bible, it is remarked, is put into the hands of all the insane with universal benefit. The evening prayers and reading of the Scriptures, as well as the exercises on the sabbath are appropriate, solemn, and impressive. The music at the daily services aids not a little in their happy effect. The regular evening prayers have now been continued nearly two years with most satisfactory results.
Now is it not amazing that it should ever have been supposed that orderly, interesting religious services like these could ever have any other than a beneficial effect? How the prejudice against them ever grew up it is difficult to tell, except that the well-known fact that till within a few years the unfortunate insane have almost everywhere been treated as wild,