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thick where the ploughs have gone. The history even of Christ's miracles is pregnant with the same lesson. Who were the lame he healed, but those who painfully crawled to him on their knees, or crept to him on crutches, or got kind friends to bear them on beds and break through house-roofs, that they might get near the Saviour? Who were the blind whose eyes he opened, but those whose hearts leaped within them, and who leaped to their feet when, by the hum and rush of the crowd, they knew that the Saviour was passing? Be these your pattern. Allow no difficulties about this or that doctrine to hinder you from giving immediate attention and earnest obedience to these plain commandments, Pray without ceasing, Labour for the bread that never perisheth, Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure, Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Why is it that many, that perhaps you, are not saved? Will the Lord cast off for ever; and will he be favorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Is heaven full? Is there no room for more? Or, has the blood of Christ lost its efficacy, or God his pity? No. It is miserable to see how carefully gold and jewels are preserved, while souls are thrown away, as of no value. Men are not saved; but why? They will give themselves no trouble—take no pains to be saved. This change is indeed a birth; but remember that it is not like the birth of the body .—the pangs there are all the mother's. This change is a translation, but forget not that it is not such as Elijah's, when that deathless man had only to step into the chariot, and angels shook the reins, and horses of fire whirled him at his ease through the skies to heaven. I am persuaded that there would be many more saved, if fewer of us abused the doctrines of man's depravity, and God's free, sovereign, saving grace. It is the gospel, that Without shedding of blood there is no remission; it is the gospel, that Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; it is the gospel, that Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; but remember, I pray you, that, according to the same gospel, those who receive are they who ask, and those who find are they who seek. It is to the knocking hand that the door is opened.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.—Colossians i 14.
One who had been a great traveler, who had visited all the capitals of Europe, who had studied the most famous wonders of ancient art, and, no stranger to nature's grandest scenery in the Old World, had filled his ear with the roar, and his eye with the foaming cataract of Niagara, once declared, in my hearing, that near by the latter and most glorious spectacle he had seen the finest sight he ever saw. He was crossing from the American to the Canadian shore; and the same boat was carrying over- a fugitive slave. The slave had burst his chain, and fled. Guided northwards by the pole-star, he had threaded his way through tangled forests and the poisonous swamp—outstripping the blood-hounds that bayed behind him, and followed long upon his track. Now about to realize his long-cherished and fondest hopes, to gratify his burning thirst for liberty, the swarthy negro stood in the bow of the boat, his large black eyes intently fixed upon the shore. She nears it. But ere her keel has grated on the strand, impatient to be free, he gathers up all his strength bends for the spring, and, vaulting into the air, by one mighty bound, one glorious leap for liberty, he reaches the shore, and stands erect upon its bank—a free man.
The liberty for which the slave longed, and labored, and braved so much, is perhaps the sweetest earthly cup man drinks. It has, indeed, been often said, that health is the greatest earthly blessing. It is a precious boon. How did the woman of the Gospels spend all she had in search of it; and how would thousands, now languishing on beds of sickness, and sinking into the grave under an incurable malady, buy this possession at as great a price? Without health, what is money? what, luxury? what, rank and sounding titles? what a crown, if it sits heavy on throbbing brows and an aching head? Yonder poor and humble cottager, browned by the sun, with ruddy health glowing on his unshaven cheeks, who, seated at his simple board, uncovers his head to wipe the sweat of labor from his brow, or to bless the God who feeds him and his little ones, might be an object of envy to many. In vain they court coy sleep on beds of down, and try to whet a failing appetite by costly luxuries—sighing, they say, what is money without health? That speech may come very well from those who never knew what it is to be a slave; but what is health without liberty—health in chains?
We sympathize even with the strong instinctive love of freedom which appears in the lower animals—the bounding noisy joy of the household dog when he gets off his chain; the sudden change on the weary horse, when shaking off his fatigue with his harness, he tosses his head, and, with buoyant spirits and flowing mane, careers amid his fellows over the pasture field. It has moved our pity to see a noble eagle chained to the perch, and, as she expanded her broad sails, turn up a longing eye to the golden clouds her wing shall never more cleave, to the bright blue sky where she shall never more soar. I have felt a deeper sympathy with the free-born denizen of the air, that, pining for his native haunts, declines his food, refuses to be tamed, and, dashing against the bars, dies—strangled in struggles to escape, then with the tamed and gentle captive which takes its food from some fair jailer's hand, and sings the song of golden moors and green woodlands within an iron cage.
Much more, of course, do we sympathise with our fellow-creatures—with the Hebrew exiles, for instance, who hung their harps on the willows by Babylon's -sluggish streams, nor could sing the songs of Sion in a strange land; with all those, whether slaves or citizens, who have made the altars of Liberty red with their blood, preferring death to bondage. If I can judge from the interest with which I watched the progress, and, I confess it, all but wished for the escape of a man who, with the officers of justice at his heels, was running a race for freedom, I believe that unless the offence is one which nature taught us to avenge, it would cost a struggle between one's sense of duty as a subject, and one's sympathy with man's love of liberty, to arrest a runaway prisoner. But who would arrest a runaway slave? Who, that ever tasted the sweets of liberty, would not help him? What is the color of his skin to me? He is a brother wronged, a man oppressed; nor were he a man who would not in such circumstances espouse the side of innocent weakness against tyrannous strength, and hide him, and feed him, and lodge him, and help him, from chains, and stripes, and slavery, on to freedom.
If so, who would be himself a slave? What value should we set on health if we had to rise to our work in the rice swamp, in the cane or cotton field, at the sound of the horn, and were driven to it, like oxen,