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wait till we are dying to seek Jesus, we shall never belong to Him. It is too late, Tom, then;" and Ruth looked very serious as she wished her brother good night. “You will never forget this Christmas Eve, shall you, Tom? It seems such a happy night to be born on, so near the time when our blessed Redeemer came as a baby to live as a man among us for thirty-three years, and then die an ignominious death to save our souls. Think of this, Tom. Christmas and a happy New Year to you, your wife, and little daughter."
My Heart's Cry.
To Thee for safety fly,
Trembling within Thine ark,
Father, do as Thou wilt,
Yet, oh! Thy grace impart,
Not for myself alone,
Let not the storm I dread
Take from my heart each fear,
E. S. H
as you seem to think me; leastways it's not the
Loftus, looking rather vexed. “Ah, dear friend," said Mrs. Graham, as she laid her hand tenderly on Mrs. Loftus' arm; " forgive me if I have
said one word to offend or pain you; no one knows better than I do what a thrifty wife and careful mother you are; and many a time I have brought up you and your rooms as an example to others; but' what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?'1 said our blessed Lord; and it is because I want you, oh, so earnestly I want you, to make sure that your never-dying soul is safe, that I have urged you, perhaps too strongly, not to risk an eternity of joy or woe, by putting off and off the one and only means of safety. Perhaps, Mrs. Loftus, I have not chosen a very convenient time for my visit this morning; so, shall I say good-bye, and come another day?"
“Not at all, ma'am,” said Mrs. Loftus, whose passing vexation had quite disappeared. "I have been working hard all the morning, and my back is so aching that I said to myself, I would sit down and work a bit until the children come back from school, which won't be for another hour; I can do the mending in the evening. So will you be so good as to take a chair?
You are right, ma'am, I know well; but poor and busy folks haven't much time for religion.”
“ I think, Mrs. Loftus,” began her kind friend and visitor, “ what made me speak so very urgently to you just now was a verse I had been thinking over for a long time; this morning it came in my regular reading; it is this : 'A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.'2
“ Now I think the whole world is divided into two sets; the prudent or the wise, and the simple or foolish ;3 and that which in God's sight marks the difference between them is, the wise 'foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself;' the foolish ‘pass on, and this evil that they would not believe, or at least would take their chance about it, comes surely and swiftly, and they are punished.' You remember in the time of Noah, when God declared that He would send a flood on the earth to destroy the ungodly, how few 1 Mark viii. 36.
2 Prov. xxvii. 12. 3 Prov. i. 22 ; viii. 5.
listened to the warning; they saw the ark, God's appointed hiding-place, day by day being built ; but doubtless many scoffed at the folly of building a big ship without water to float it on; others just did not trouble themselves about it; they had their own business to attend to; there was time enough. Thus the day of grace passed on; and at the
. appointed time God bid Noah and his family to come into the ark,' and 'He shut them in': only eight wise ones, who foreseeing the evil, hid themselves, and they were saved; on the rest'the flood came, and destroyed them all ;"1 they passed on, and were punished.
“Now, Mrs. Loftus, while I am speaking to you to-day there is a terrible 'evil' hanging over the world; God warns us of it again and again in His Word; He tells us also of a sure Refuge, of a safe Hiding-place. And yet people live on as if there was no danger, no storm of wrath to come,' and so they pass on'; and unless God the Holy Ghost in mercy awaken them to see the awful, the everlasting ruin, to which they are so recklessly hurrying, there is, there can be, but one result, they pass on, and are punished punished,' awful words, 'with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord';2 banished from Him in whose
presence there is fulness of joy,' and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore.'3 How unlike the unsatisfying and fast-fleeting pleasures of the world, for the enjoyment of which the never-dying soul is given in exchange." 4
“I am sure all you say is true, ma'am,” said Mrs. Loftus; “ but it's hard to feel what we don't see.”
“Yes, friend, it may be hard to feel; but God does not tell us to feel, but to believe; and surely it ought not to be hard to believe God, for ‘God is not a man, that He should lie ... hath He said, and shall He not do it; hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good ?'5 And our God and Father has told us of our danger, in order that we may i Luke xvii. 27.
2 Thess. i. 9.
3 Psa. xvi. II. 4 Matt. xvi. 26.
5 Num. xxiii. 19.
• flee from the wrath to come’;because out of the fulness of His great love He hath provided a way of escape, of
, which the ark was a type, or picture. Shall we open our Bibles and look at a few of the many verses which tell us of this coming judgment? and may God the Holy Spirit be our Teacher!
“We read in Romans i. 18: 'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness; but, lest any should say that text refers to open and hardened sinners, and not to those who in their own and their friends' eyes are very respectable, doing, as they think, their duty to their families and their neighbours, turn to the 3rd chapter of the same book, verses 19-23 : ‘That all the world may become guilty,' “For all have sinned,'' all come short,' therefore all under condemnation ; all in danger of the threatened ruin. And what a ruin ! If possible, the more terrible because unexpected; for when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them ..... and they shall not escape’;2 it will be then too late to seek to hide themselves. The danger is still further described : “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ : who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.' Oh, think of those terrible words: the Lord Jesus taking vengeance'! He who still is waiting to be gracious ';* from whose lips still come those gracious words : ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.' He also hung upon the cruel cross for you. Observe, also, it does not say, “taking vengeance' on great sinners, on murderers and drunkards, etc., though of course those unhappy ones are included ;6 but on those that know not God,' and 'obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ;' so that those who refuse óso great salvation,'?
1 Matt. iii. 7.
1 Thess. v. 3. 5 John vi. 37.
7 Hel. ii. 3.
2 Thess. i. 7-9.