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before the king all her desire. Was she so afraid at the moment that she could not divulge her petition ? Perhaps her heart did faint; but whether or not, she was guided to the postponement of her request by the Spirit of Him, whose direction and upholding she had besought. “ He that is humble ever shall have God to be his guide.” Before to-morrow's banquet, a new leaf of the book of Providence was to be turned over.
After participating in the feast with the King and Queen, Haman was leaving the palace highly elated. As he passed through the gateway, all the royal keepers were prostrated before him except one. It was that hated Jew who refused to bow, and against him the anger
of Haman raged furiously. Restraining his passion, however, he went home. There gathering around him his wife and most intimate friends, he narrated all his success and advancement-what riches he had gathered, what ten noble sons he had reared to hand down his glory to succeeding generations, what honour had been conferred upon him in being raised above all the princes of the empire, and what a grand special distinction had just been bestowed, in his being the only guest admitted to the banquet prepared by the Queen for Ahasuerus -a distinction which was to be repeated upon the coming day! The cup of prosperity which the Agagite enjoyed was full to overflowing, but there was a single drop of bitterness which utterly spoiled its sweetness. The bold, cool, courageous look of the unbending son of Jacob at the palace gate irritated him beyond all endurance, and took the joy out of everything. “All this availeth me nothing," he said, * so long as I see Mordecai, the Jew, sitting at the king's gate."
His wife and other friends suggested a remedy. They advised the immediate erection of a gallows, 75 feet high, in a convenient spot within the grounds surrounding his own dwelling, and that next day he might ask the King to have his enemy hanged thereon. Such a request would, they were assured, be granted without a moment's hesitation, for had not the gatekeeper broken the ordinance that all should bow down before the royal favourite ? Having obtained his desire from Ahasuerus, Haman oould then go in with comfort to Esther's second banquet. The idea pleased the blood-thirsty Agagite. Carpenters were set to work to erect the gallows on which Mordecai should to-morrow die the death of a dog. Melodiously did their hammers sound in Haman's ears, as he sought his couch for the night; and soon he fell asleep to dream of the glorious revenge to be so soon accomplished !
Everything was thus progressing favourably, so far as appearances went, for the complete destruction of Mordecai, and the nation that God had chosen for His own. Were that nation utterly destroyed,
At the proper
where would be the faithfulness of Jehovah to His promises ? Never could the Branch, of which Isaiah and Zechariah sang, spring from the roots of the house of David, if that family should be annihilated; and how then could peace ever be made between God and man? How could the promised Fountain be opened for sin and for uncleanness? How could there arise among the seed of Abraham the good Shepherd, through whose death everlasting salvation was to be proclaimed to a lost world ?
As in the days of Moses, when the ransomed host of Israel had just escaped from bondage, so was it now. Then “the enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil: my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Thou (the Lord) didst blow with Thy wind, the sea covered thern : they sank as lead in the mighty waters.” The same Omniscient and Almighty Protector was still watching over the descendants of Jacob. On Him none can steal a march. moment He laid bare His arm, and His foes were overwhelmed.
About three hundred years ago, Philip, King of Spain, was as much elated as Haman with the grand prospect he had of crushing those whom he esteemed his enemies. The English nation had sometime previously cast off the Pope's supremacy. The Protestant religion had then been established in the realm, and the Roman Catholics deprived of place and power. Instigated by the Pope, the monarch of Spain, at that time a very powerful kingdom, resolved to besiege England. During many months immense preparations were made; and in May 1588, the Invincible Armada, as it was called, set sail for the purpose of laying low the arrogant people whom Queen Elizabeth ruled. There were in the fleet 132 ships of war, armed with more than 3000 cannons, and manned by nearly 10,000 sailors. These vessels carried besides an army of 22,000 men, and all the appliances that were deerned necessary to ensure a successful landing and speedy victory. On Philip's arms the blessing of heaven had been invoked by the Roman Catholic Church; and every weapon, carnal and spiritual, had been made ready for the destruction of the English.
News of the coming invasion had reached the British shores, and every effort had been put forth to fit out a fleet, and equip an army sufficient to resist the enemy. There was, however, after all that was possible had been accomplished, great anxiety in England. Many a prayer ascended to heaven, for the protection of our country and the preservation of our pure religion, not from Britain only, but from those on the continent who loved the glorious gospel of free grace. If Philip should succeed in his ende rs, it was feared that Protestantism would be speedily extinguished all over Europe. Hence the united cry for help from above, which arose from multitudes at home and abroad.
Their supplications were not unheard. The Armada had not long set sail till it met a most terrific storm. The hurricane did incalculable damage to the Spanish fleet, driving it back towards its own shores, and scattering wide its ships. As it made towards England again, the little fleet of Elizabeth, taking courage from the disasters wrought by the storm, attacked and conquered many of the strongest Spanish ships of war. Others of them were destroyed by British vessels purposely set on fire, and allowed to drift down among the enemy's craft while struggling against adverse wind and tide. Discomfited and dispirited by these losses, and still meeting dreadfulstorms, the Armada returned home after sacrificing 35 ships, and no fewer than 13,000 men. Never again did Spain attempt to invade the kingdom of England.
One of the Spanish nobility commanded a ship, which was at that period taken in battle by Sir Francis Drake, the English Admiral. The nobleman, being brought as a prisoner before the Privy Council for examination, was asked, “What was your object in invading England ? ” He replied, “ To subdue the nation, and root it out.” The next question was, “What did you mean to do with the Roman Catholics of England ?” “To send them, good men, directly to heaven," answered the Spanish Lord; " and you heretics to hell." In his ship there had been found many whips made of intertwisted cord and wire, and these he declared were intended to scourge the heretics (the Protestants) to death. And when he was further asked, “ What would you have done with the young children ?” he boldly responded, “ Those above seven years of age should have gone the way their fathers went; the rest should have lived in perpetual slavery, branded in the forehead with the letter · L' for Lutheran."
Happy day was it for Britain when such cruel monsters were driven back, when God arose and scattered His enemies !
The passions which raged in Haman's soul made him peculiarly unhappy. His pride could not brook the slightest opposition. Every thing that he wished on earth he had already attained, or seemed about to secure; but the sight of one mortal that refused to bend before him completely upset him. “All this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King's gate." And so it is ever with unconverted human nature. The daughters of the horse-leech are within every unchanged heart. “Give, give,” is their unceasing cry. Get what they may, there is still an uneasy emptiness in the soul. The sight of something possessed by a neighbour, but which they have been denied, rouses bitter envy, and overmaster
ing covetousness. Apparent slights are magnified to the excitement of feelings the most malicious ; and the poor, proud, discontented, peevish spirit can find no rest.
Very different is it with those who have known and believed the love that God hath to us, and who allow it to fill their hearts to the brim.
“God is the treasure of their souls, the source of lasting joy,
A joy which want cannot impair, nor death itself destroy." An interesting description of such a character is supplied by an American writer, in the words of the contented man himself.
He was a tiller of the soil, and had already reached his eightieth year. To a relative who visited him, the old man is stated to have said, “I have lived on this farm for more than half a century. I have no desire to change my residence as long as I remain on earth. I have no wish to be any richer than I now am. I have worshipped the God of my fathers with the same people for more than forty years. During that time I have rarely been absent from the Sanctuary on the Sabbath, and have never missed one communion season.
I have never been confined to my bed by sickness a single day. The blessings of God have been richly spread around me, and I made up my mind long ago, that if I wished to be happier I must have more religion.” The old farmer knew the secret of happiness. He enjoyed “God
“ in all things, and all things in God.”
O soul ! longing for heart repose, yearning for the blessing that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow, thou mayest possess it to the full if thou wilt draw near unto God in Christ. Thy God is stretching out the golden sceptre of His grace, and entreating thee to touch it and be at peace. His golden sceptre is the invitation to come to Himself. “Come ye to the waters,” saith God the Father; “ come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price.” “ Come unto Me, and I will give you rest,” saith the Son, once crucified for sinners, and now and for ever exalted a Prince and a Saviour : "him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out." “Come,” saith God the Holy Ghost ; .“ come, and take the water of life freely: whosoever will, let him come.”
And dost thou ask how thou mayest come in answer to those loving calls? Simply by thy heart's desire going out to thy Father in heaven, who is seeking to reconcile thee to Himself through the blood of His Son. Take to thy inmost soul His offered grace and love, and thus thou wilt come to Him, and be at peace in believing.
It was not till she had put on the royal apparel provided by Abasuerus, that Queen Esther ventured into the monarch's presence, and found acceptance there. And let believers remember, in all approaches to their Great Husband-King, to come only in the resplendent robe of His obedience unto death. All their own righteousnesses are indeed but filthy rags; but enwrapped in the royal wedding garment of Christ's doing and dying for sinners, they may draw near with boldness, even to the great white throne of judgment.
“ Christ's blood and righteousness
In wbich they'll stand,
A Course of Addresses on the Word and Works of God: delivered to an
Evangelical Association of Young Men, by Maurice Lothian. Crown 8vo.,
Pp. 282. Johnston & Hunter, Edinburgh. 1876. The venerable author of these Addresses has for more than half a century been engaged actively and successfully in the work of Sabbath-school instruction. Following up this good work, more than twenty years ago, he formed an association of his more advanced pupils, for whom he sought to provide suitable addresses “in the hope of attaching them to a religious life.” A number of these Addresses have already appeared in the Christian Treasury, and the whole of them are now published in this handsome volume. They range over a multitude and variety of topics connected with the sacred Scriptures --their contents-inspiration-prophecies-fundamental doctrinesscientific and sceptical objections from geology, evolution, theory of devolopment, and other errors. They treat of design in the works of nature, of faith, the close of life, and conclude with anecdotes illustrative of overruling providences. It will be thus seen that the subjects are of great practical importance, on which it deeply concerns the youth of the Church in the present day to receive wise and faithful instruction. This has been supplied to a large extent by the author in these Addresses. They are brief, plain, lucidly expressed, scriptural and evangelical in sentiment, and well fitted to arrest the attention of the young, direct their minds to profitable study, and enable them to combat successfully prevailing errors, and to lead useful and honourable lives. In a number of these Addresses the writer presents, in a condensed and graphic manner, the results of extensive reading and research, and shows himself to be well acquainted with the progress of modern scientific investigations. He candidly states rationalist and sceptical objections against the Divine