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it as cruel murder of one who was innocent, washes his hands, saying, “I am clear of the blood of this just man see ye to it.” And as there had never been a crucifixion under such circumstances, so there never was one attended by such events. The sun at mid-day hid his face, and plunged the earth in darkness, the earth trembled, rocks were rent, the rail of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, graves opened, and the dead revived. It would have been strange for such phenomena to attend His death, if he had been only man, even if innocent. But being the Christ there is nothing strange at all. They are just such events as might be expected to take place at the death of the God-man. All nature sympathised with the innocent and mighty sufferer, and entered her protest against the horrid crimes of His infatuated, crime-hardened, and guilt-stained Crucifiers. The Centurion was right when he said, “Surely this was the Son of God."
Apply this question to His Resurrection. The third day after the inglorious scenes of Calvary had taken place, an event of the most wonderful character took place in the sepulchre of the rich and honourable Counsellor of Arimathea. He, who was crucified, and when taken down from the Cross was found to be dead, -at which Pilate marvelled ; but being assured of the fact by the Centurion, he gave the body to Joseph, who laid it in his own new tomb,—was raised from the dead. How could it be? The tomb was not old and feeble, but new, never before made use of. It was not a built sepulchre, but hewn out of a rock, therefore it could not be easily thrown down, if it had been attempted. How could it be? The tomb was strong within, and a stone was rolled against the door, and the stone was sealed, and a strong guard of soldiers keeping watch. His friends would not have done so much, and His enemies could do no more to keep Him in the grave. “They did what they could.” But all their efforts were futile. A being, beautiful in form, his countenance like lightning, and His raiment white as snow,-it is an angel from heaven, approaching the sepulchre, breaks the seal, rolls away the stone ; the keepers accustomed to danger,
and well armed, shake and become as dead men, the sepulchre is empty, its prisoner has broken His fetters, He lives, and is risen, “Is not this the Christ ? ” of whom it was predicted, “ Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Ps. xvi. 10.
And now, my young friends, let us, First, be thankful that His Messiahship is so well attested; and that we have here a never-failing foundation for our hope of salvation in this world and in the world to come. “He that buildeth on Him shall not be confounded.”
Secondly, since He gave himself for us, we ought to give ourselves to Him, and henceforth live to Him, who died for us, and rose again.
“ The Christian lives to Christ alone,
To Christ alone he dies." Thirdly, we ought to make known His claims to others, and urge them to yield to His sceptre, and embrace His salvation, that they may taste the grace that found out us.
Fourthly, we should frequently meditate on the place of Christ's exaltation. “The right hand of God." The twofold character He sustains in His state of exaltation, “ Prince and Saviour.” His employment there. “ He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” “I go to prepare a place for you.” His promise. “And if I go a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Lastly, we should often think of and diligently prepare for His second coming. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear; we shall be like Him, for we shall see him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure,”
" Live till the Lord in glory come,
And wait His heaven to share;
THE SISTER'S PRIZE.
Oh, Rose, I hope—I think you will get the prize."
“I don't know, Alice, I wish I may; but Susan Foster is older than I am, you know."
“Yes, but she is not so steady, nor so regular as you are, and her class is not so well taught as yours.”
“Well to-morrow will soon be here," said Rose, with a half sigh.
And to-morrow, as Rose said, soon came, the long thought of to-morrow, when the prizes were to be given. All the girls in the school whose conduct deserved it, had a reward of some kind; but there was one prize," the prize" it was called, intended for the best scholar, which Rose was especially anxious to get. She had set her mind upon having it, not so much for her own sake, as for her sister's, for Alice bad often expressed her earnest wish that Rose might be the successful one this year. And if Rose failed this time-well, could she not try the next ? Ah, but then, Alice, dear, loving, warmhearted little Alice, might perhaps not be there to share in her sister's joy. For Alice had been in bad health for a long time ; she was slowly wasting away; and the doctor had not any hope that she would ever be well again. And Alice knew this, but it did not make her sad, for she loved the Saviour, and was ready to go and dwell with him.
It was a fine sunny morning; the birds sang merrily ; and many a little heart beat high as the school children assembled in the parsonage grounds. There they were to have their merry games and their nice feast, and there the prizes were to be distributed by Miss Selwyn, the clergyman's sister. Mr. Selwyn was there, ready with his kind speeches, and encouraging remarks ; and Miss Dora Selwyn, who had been long absent was there also, besides other visitors.
And did Rose gain the prize ? Yes, dear reader, she did ; and very happy she felt, although she looked very quiet,
and blushed a good deal as she received from Miss Selwyn ahandsome rosewood work-box, nicely furnished for use. If any one felt more pleased than herself, it was her dear little sister, who was seated on a low chair a few yards distant. You may be sure that so soon as Rose was at liberty she ran eagerly to Alice with her new treasure. Oh, how bright Alice looked as she held it in her hands!
“Oh I am so glad, so very glad, Rose,” she said. The other girls crowded round, that they, too, might see it; and as Alice was thus left to herself for a minute, some one said to her
“And wouldn't you like to have got a prize as well as
your sister ?"
It was Miss Dora, who had been watching the two sisters, and hea rd what had passed between them.
Alice looked up with a pleasant smile at the young lady, and replied with touching calmness, “No Miss, for I should never want to use it ! I don't think I shall live very much longer. But then," and her little face brightened considerably, “I shall have a better prize than Rose's !-'a crown of glory.' Ah, that will be beautiful, won't it?" Happy little Alice, pale and drooping as she looked, there was not a happier child that day in those pretty gardens ! And Rose was pleased, partly because she had gained the prize, and partly because Alice was pleased. Sweet little sisters, they loved each other tenderly, and they have not been separated !
What ! did Rose die too? No, dear reader, but Alice has lived. It pleased God, that contrary to everybody's expectations, she should get better ; and now, the two loving sisters are helpers to each other in their daily duties and pleasures ; and are together“ pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” — Church of England Sunday Scholars' Magazine. ARE YOU SURE?
Are you sure that you will live another day?
Are you sure you will go to heaven when you die ? and if so, can you give a scriptural reason for believing so ? Does your life evidence that your feeling sure is well founded, and not presumption ? Are you sure that you are, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, taking the road which leads to present and future happiness : the way of faith in Christ your Saviour, a faith which works by love ? Are you sure you are not deceived by a name to live while you are spiritually dead ?
Are you sure you are not injuring the cause of God in your family, and in public, by an inconsistent walk ? Are you sure you are training up your children in the way they should go, and by your example, recommending religion to them ?
Are you sure your temper is mild and affectionate; that you are of a forgiving spirit, and heavenly in conversation, so that others may take knowledge of you tbat you have been with Jesus ? Are you sure you never . unnecessarily speak of the faults of others when absent? and if you reprove for faults, are you sure that it is in meekness and love?
Are you sure you read the Holy Scriptures daily, and search them, and try to retain and practice what you read.
Are you sure, when you pray, that you are in earnest, fervent, believing, and importunate ? or are you cold, lifeless and formal ?
Are you sure you make no vain excuses for not attending the house of God on the Lord's-day? Will the excuses you now make be accepted at the judgment day?
Are you sure that you spend nothing in gaudy dress, unnecessary ornaments, expensive food, or vain amusements, which might be spent to better purpose-in relieving the poor, sending the Gospel to the neglected at home, or the heathen abroad; distributing tracts at home, or when travelling?