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who obey not the loving commands, Come unto Me';1
• 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved';2 on them must come that awful doom.
“Is it not strange, Mrs. Loftus, that with such a danger impending, the greater part of the world go on their way utterly heedless ? Surely it is the very extreme of folly ! the simple, or foolish, pass on, and are punished.””
“ It's just awful to think of it, ma'am ; and indeed it's very like what I and Jim are doing."
“ Then why go on any longer thus ? Why not this very day 'hide yourself'? for you see the 'prudent foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself.' I think you know the only safe hiding-place for a poor sinner?”
“ It can only be the Lord Jesus Himself, ma'am, I suppose."
“Yes, indeed. “A man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest.'3 · The Man Christ Jesus.'' He is the only, but He is an all-sufficient Refuge. You see it is the way of God's own appointing ; 5 the way by which His justice and His love can meet and be satisfied ; 6 so that now He, the Holy God, can be just,' and yet the justifier' of the ungodly.'? The Lord Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, took on Him our nature, and as man and for men He perfectly fulfilled the law of God; so that He could say: 'Which of you convinceth Me of sin ?'9 His meat and drink was to do His Father's will, and then, at the end of three-and-thirty years of always doing the will of Hiin that sent Him, 'He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,'11 because the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,' 19 your sins and mine. He took our place, became our Substitute, so that His spotless righteousness is reckoned to us, and our sins were counted as His. 13 And now to all who believe 1 Matt. xi. 28. 2 Acts xvi. 31.
3 Isa. xxxii. 2.
6 Psa. lxxxv. 10. ? Rom. iii. 26; iv. 5. 8 Heb. ii. 14-16.
2 Cor. v. 21. 9 John viii. 46. 10 John iv. 34 ; v. 30.
11 Phil. ii. 8. 12 Isa. liii. 6.
and accept this great gift of God, even eternal life, Jesus is as the ark was to Noah, as Zoar to Lot, as the bloodsprinkled houses to the children of Israel, when all the first-born of the Egyptians were slain. He bore the storm in order that we should never feel its overwhelming force. Let us, then, come to-day, and say to Him, “Thou art my hiding-place';3 'I fee unto Thee to hide me.'4
“ Dear friend, let me once more entreat you not to put off coming ; we know not the day or hour when the door will be shut, and this deluge of fiery judgment shall come : besides, any instant death may decide your place for a never-ending eternity.
Listen once more :
. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ?' Who? Those, and those only, 'who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. And now they are a great multitude too, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.5 In which of those companies would you like to be found : the 'prudent,' who foreseeing the evil, have hid themselves in God's own hiding-place; or the simple,' who pass on, and are punished "6
John iii. 16; 1 John v. 10-12.
2 Ex. xii. 12, 13, 29.
AN IRISH STORY.
is laid, it is enough to say that the small fishing
situated at one of the most bare and rugged points on the whole Irish coast.
Bare indeed it appeared (for it can hardly be said to exist now) to the few strangers who, at rare intervals, visited it.
Looking inland, little was to be seen but barren rocks piled one above another, forming a ridge which, to the inexperienced eye, appeared to be an almost insurmountable barrier to one who wished to hold communication with the world beyond. Of vegetation there was scarcely any visible; here and there patches of cultivated ground, bearing potatoes and kail, and a few other garden productions, somewhat relieved the monotony of the scene; and in the distance a score or two of mountain firs waved their dark branches upon the hill tops; with these exceptions all was bare and desolatê.
Seaward, nothing was visible but the water, which at times was calm and motionless, except for the tiny ripples that ruffled its surface, and sparkled brightly in the sunshine, but in the autumn and winter assumed a very different aspect; the dancing ripples became troubled waves, and the silvery light was exchanged for a deep and sombre hue:
In these waters the fishermen plied their industry of catching the fish, which, in the village, they afterwards dried and prepared for distant markets. A trade somewhat hard, and at times dangerous, but well suited to the tastes and habits of those who pursued it.
There were those who remembered times gone by, when the occupation of the villagers had not been of so innocent a nature; when smuggling had been carried on to a great extent, and wrecking was looked upon as a legitimate pursuit. But things were altered now, smuggling had become too hazardous to be profitable, and wrecking was almost impossible, on account of the improved system of lighting on the coast. Some few of the fishermen looked back with something like regret to these bygone days, but the majority of them were well contented to live on the proceeds of their lawful trade.
Among the latter was Michael O'Harran, or "Red Mike," as he was more usually designated, who, so long as he could earn a living for his wife and one child, never wished for an increase to his wealth or happiness. Red Mike had been, in his younger days, one of the most daring smugglers and wreckers on the coast, but having become a changed man with regard to his religion, or rather having found out the true meaning of the word religion, he had given up such pursuits, even while they were yet profitable and comparatively safe.
The time came, however, when it was almost impossible to make even a living for himself and those most dear to him. The fishing at that time had been unsuccessful, the potato crops had failed, and the price of other food was so high as to be almost out of the reach of the poorer classes.
Not only Mike, but all the villagers were sufferers. In vain were the nets shot from the boats evening after evening ; in vain did the fishermen haul them again in the morning; the fish caught were not more than enough to keep the villagers themselves in food, and this in the winter, when good hauls were expected.
As the winter came on and Christmas approached, the weather had become bitterly cold and stormy, so stormy indeed that it was impossible to put the boats out to sea, and for a week before Christmas no fish had been caught.
On the day before Christmas two of the men went to a neighbouring town to try to procure provisions for the poverty-stricken villagers, but returned empty-handed, the meal-men and others refusing to give credit for the required supplies. They brought news, however, that made the ears tingle and the blood throb in the veins of those to whom they imparted it.
A schooner laden with meal and corn was on its way north; that very night it might be expected to pass the promontory a mile away, a place that in the old days had been the scene of many a wreck, but on the end of which was now built a lighthouse to warn mariners against coming too near inshore.
Could they but prevent that light from shining forth its