Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

IV.

the Kingdom of Man is Within.

What profit hath a man of all his labors which he taketh under the sun? ... All things are full of wearisome labor; man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit yet I saw that wisdom excelleth folly as far as light excelleth darkness.-Ecclesiastes i. 3, 8,

ii. 13

[ocr errors]

ET another mistake thrives under the otherwise

wholesome demand for a religion of life and truth. It is this, that man is mostly, if not altogether, treated, in his outward relation to society, as a wheel in a machine; the whole purpose of his existence is: to help the machine do its work; in himself he is nothing, less and worse than nothing, since he is a nothing that suffers so many pangs and shocks, and sheds such bitter tears—a nothing, yet bold enough to think that it ought to be something, and not to be crushed before the moth, or shrivelled up into a grain of dust like a midge. There was something in the idea worth suffering for, that man is crowned with glory and honor, formed in the image of God, however faint and dim the outline, and that he is worth a thought and a care of that God. But his crown is now cast in the dust. His soul is no better than the falling leaf. The Universe, so vast, has yet no room for his soul. Why shall he care for it? Why keep it pure? Why cultivate its faculties? Why tame its passion and listen to the music of reason or the thunder of conscience ? This is not life, but living death.

The accident of an accident need be no wiser than its origin, certainly no better than the heartless cruelty that Aung him upon earth a helpless creature. The highest life of man is within, and this is exactly the thing about which the wisdom of to-day is dumb.

G. G.
ND is this all that man can claim ?

Is this our longing's final aim ?
To be like all things round, no more
Than pebbles cast on time's gray shore ?
Not this our doom, Thou God benign!
Whose rays on us unclouded shine;
Thy breath sustains yon fiery dome;
But man is most Thy favored home.

[ocr errors]

V.

(Resignation --The Greatest Power

of the Mind.

And David said, Behold, here I am; let the Lord do unto me as seemeth good unto Him.11. Samuel xv. 26.

HE mind never puts forth greater power over itself

than when, in great trials, it yields up calmly its desires, affections, interests to God. There are seasons when to be still demands immeasurably higher strength than to act. Composure is often the highest result of power. Think you it demands no power to calm the stormy elements of passion, to moderate the vehemence of desire, to throw off the load of dejection, to suppress every repining thought, when the dearest hopes are withered, and to turn the wounded spirit from dangerous reveries and wasting grief, to the quiet discharge of ordinary duties? Is there no power to put forth when a man, stripped of his property, of the fruits of a life's labors, quells discontent and gloomy forebodings, and serenely and patiently returns to the tasks which Providence assigns ?

WM. E. CHANNING. ORD, I would fain be still

And quiet behind my shield; But make me to love Thy will,

For fear I should ever yield. Nothing but perfect trust,

And love of Thy perfect will, Can raise me out of the dust,

And bid my fears be still.

VI.

.

Waiting for the Lord.

Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart

Hold still to the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in His way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.Psalm xxxvii. 4, 5, 7.

T

is

touch a heart here and there weighted with anxieties or filled even with lawful desires for some temporal

do

good. Let them, if possible, get a higher craving still for God and His love, and for more perfect obedience to His blessed will; let them try to submit and to resign their inost ardent wishes so only that God may with them just what He likes, and that they may freely place themselves to be dealt with even unto sacrifice in the way which seemeth to Him good; and we may safely assure them that they will taste of a happiness which they never knew before, and their burdens will fall off them and their hearts be lightened and their faces shall not be ashamed; for in His presence there is fullness of joy and at His right hand there are pleasures which never fade, even on this poor earth below.

CHARLES VOYsEY. t 'HOU Power supreme ! whose mighty scheme

These woes of mine fulfill, Here firm I rest; they must be best,

Because they are Thy will ! Then all I want (O do Thou grant

This one request of mine !)
Since to enjoy Thou didst deny,
Assist me to resign.

De
VII. the Blessedness of Prayer.

Now, O Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in
Thee. I am silent, I open not my mouth, for Thou

didst it.—Psalm xxxix. 7, 9. THAT prayer which does not succeed in moderating

our wish, in changing the passionate desire into still submission, the anxious, tumultuous expectation into silent surrender, is not true prayer, and proves that we have not the spirit of prayer. That life is most holy in which there is least of petition and desire, and most of waiting upon God; that in which petition most often passes into thanksgiving. Pray till prayer makes you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it into God's will. The Divine Wisdom has given us prayer, not as a means whereby to obtain the good things of earth, but as a means whereby we learn to do without them; not as a means whereby we escape evil, but as a means whereby we become strong to meet it.

F. W. ROBERTSON. ET then, from all my grief, O Lord,

Thy mercy set me free,
Whilst in the confidence of prayer

My soul took hold on Thee.
Give me, O Father, to Thy throne access,
Unshaken seat of endless happiness;
Give me, unveiled, the source of good to see,
Give me Thy light, and fix my eyes on Thee.

VIII.

The Power of Prayer.

Yet the Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me and my prayer unto the God of my life.Psalm xlii. 8.

THE desire for prayer is as old as the first dawn of

intelligence in man; it is found with the savage,

« ZurückWeiter »