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perpotual solicitations of sense, or the weary never-ending conflict with temptation, or the pressure of sorrowful selfcondemning thoughts, or the mere dulling influence of the mechanic round of du'ies in which you walk, or even the exhaustion which comes of pleasurable excitement, or, saddest of all, brooding and bitter regrets for trespasses into whioh you have fallen —it may be that some one of these things, or that several of them combined, have darkened and deadened your spirits. You fee that there is silence and desolation in the inward temple; that your faith goes groping after God with unexpectant and almost blinded eyes. Christ has parted from you—gone up into some inaccessible heaven. The fountains of spiritual strength and joy are sealed up. Only his touch can open them; and you cannot find him,
though you have sought bim carefully
LAZARUS MADE USEFUL.
BY THE LATE BEV. JAMES SMITH.
Every soul that is converted by tlio grace of God is intended to be a witm for God, and an instrument in carrying on the work of God. Converted P?1 was to strengthen his brethren; the woman of Samaria, when converted, nei rested until she had brought a multitude to Christ; and Lazarus, when rwi from the dead, so spake and so acted " that by means of him many ofthl<M went away, and believed on Jesuj" (John xii. 11). Observe—
What Jesus Had Done For Him. He had raised him from the dead, n* him his friend, placed him beside him at the table, restored him to his family and constituted him a witness of his power, love, and Messiahship. And hat he not, in a spiritual sense, done all these things for us? Were we not deadi trespasses and sins, and buried in worldliness or superstition P Did he n« quicken us by his Divine power, open our graves, bring us up out of our gravel and place us among his people P Are we not his workmanship, created anet by him P Do we not live by the faith of him, and is not he our life P Has i not won our love, reconciled us unto himself, and taken us into the closel friendship? Has he not acted the part of a friend toward us, and does lie W now call us friends, speak to us as friends, and in every way treat us as friends And have we not a place at his table—-at his Gospel-table, and at his supp« table P Do we not also expect to sit down with him at his table in his kingdom Did he not also restore us to our family, saying, as to one of old, "Go home thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, hath had compassion on thee " 1 And are we not constituted his witnessi required to witness to his power because we have experienced it in our regenei tion, emancipation, and many deliverances—to witness to his love because have proved its freeness, tasted its sweetness, and enjoyed its hallowin influences P And, as to his Messiahship, can we not testify that he is the Christ! God. the Saviour of the world? Notice now—■
What He Had Dose For Jesus. He had confuted some, he had silenci
otiers, he had been th« means of converting many; for " by reason of him meq
the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus." He spoke of Christ, he coin aended Christ, he led to Christ; in so doing he honoured Christ. Here is our Fork. We should, by the holiness of our lives, confute slanderers; by our *ncvolence, disinterestedness, and consistent conduct, silence gainsayers. Nor hould we stop here, but should aim at the conversion of all around us. Who so tad to convert as a superstitious Jew, especially before the Spirit was poured out t the Pentecost? and yet because of the testimony and conduct of Lazarus lany Jews believed on Jesus. Let us speak of Christ, and speak of Christ to bem that know him not, to them that love him not. Let us speak of his lorious person, of his finished work, of his tender love, of his boundless comassion, and of his infinite merit. Let us speak of him as the Saviour, the only lariour, the all-sufficient Saviour, the ever-willing Saviour. Let us so speak of Jurist as to commend him to others, and on purpose to commend him to them; mpurpose that they may think rightly of him, feel rightly toward him, and so some to him, and be saved by him. Let us speak of Jesus in order to lead those to whom we speak to come to Jesus. Nor let us ever consider our work done, l our end attained, until we have brought them to Jesus. As Lazarus did, let is endeavour to honour Jesus in all the feelings we encourage, in all the engageneDts we make, in all the works we perform, and in all the words we speak. For he honour of Jesus let us live, labour, walk, talk, and die. See—
Whit The Jews Did Because Of Him. "They went away, and believed on Jems." They thought very seriously about him, they changed their minds respecting him, and being convinced that he was Jesus, the true Messiah, tney believed on him. Let us endeavour to get sinners to thiuk seriously about Jesus; about what he is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will come to do; about their need of him, the importance of an interest in him, and the ffay to obtain salvation by him. Let us try to get sinners so to think of Jesus is to change their minds respecting him. Until they think rightly of him tney pl not feel rightly toward him, and until they feel rightly toward him they will overcome to him that they might have life. The end of every believer, in all M does as a religious man, and he should do everything as a religious man, should be to bring souls to Jesus, to lead sinners to believe on him.
L*tu8think much and often on what Jesus has done for sinners—-for us; also on TMt Jesus expects us to do for him, what he deserves at our hands. And let "< be encouraged and stimulated by marking th« success which crowned the testimony of one plain experimental witness for Christ. "Many of the Jews vent away, and believed on Jesus." How often has this been the case since! Jue plain man of small talents, speaking out of the experience of his own heart, wing his own personal testimony to the worth, value, and excellency of the urd Jesus, has won many souls to God. Great talents are not essential to usefulness, but a personal, heartfelt, experimental knowledge of Christ is. And *oere such knowledge is accompanied with a glowing love to souls, and is •owned with an active and holy life, great and glorious results are sure to Wlow. What encouragement, then, we all have, who being raised from the wad are made the friends of Jesus, to go and act as Lazarus did! And what •a honour to have it recorded of us, Because of him, many sinners went away, >«i believed on Jesus! But what a reproof is administered to many! Who ever relieved on Jesus through them? Are there not many in the Church of wist who never brought one soul to Jesus? who never made it the study pa aim of life to save souls from death P who never travailed in birth «t Bonis, or agonized with God for their salvation? Eeader, is this true of W Is it? Can you be happy if it is? What, owe so much to Jesus. *M do nothing for him! receive so much from Jesus, and render no return! «oy Boui, come not thou into such a man's secret! But perhaps you have not
'feed on Jesus; that is, not believed to the saving of the soul. Remember tu«e is no other wav of salvation. "He that believeth and is baptised sh«:.~. be "ti, but he that le'lieveth not shall be damned."
THE LESSONS OP THE LATE FLOOD.
BY THE BET. H. ASHBEBY.*
Pbospeeity has its privileges and obligations. To be joyful ourselves and to make others joyful are clearly the privilege and duty of those on whom Providence smiles and into whose laps the gifts of Providence are bountifully poured. But if prosperity has its distinctive uses, so has adversity. From the banks of every condition Wisdom may gather fruits if not flowers, and from none may this he more extensively done than from the rugged bank of adversity. Poets have tuned their harps to celebrate the uses of adversity, dramatists have constructed dramas to represent them, novelists have spun fictions to record them, and inspired moralists urge them by precept and example. Adversity is proverbially a theme for the pulpit. Divines have ever felt it their duty to point out the "sentiments proper to the crises" through which individuals and communities pass. Sometimes this is difficult and even perilous to do, from the opposite feelings with which great changes or remarkable events are regarded. It is difficult to improve some events from the pulpit, in consequence of the necessary collision with party feelings which such improvement involves. But no such difficulty occurs in connection with our present theme. The dreadful calamity which has befallen our prosperous town is regarded with lamentation by men of all political and other creeds; and it is no small consolation, under the recent stroke of this calamity, to see men forgetting their differences in an harmonious effort to relieve sufferings. The Tory and the Radical, the High Churohman and the Low, the Rationalist and the Orthodox, the Conformist and the Nonconformist—all are Bhowing that they possess a human heart in common, and are displaying that common "nature which makes the whole world kin." In dwelling, then, upon the recent flood, there is no dangerof offending the sentiments or party sympathies of those we address.
Perhaps we could not have chosen a text that would have left us more at liberty than the one we have read to consider the moral lessons taught us by the bursting of the Bradfleld dam and its consequences. To attempt any narrative
of this Bad catastrophe is superfluous, sing all my hearers have no doubt read til harrowing details which have crowded * late the columns of all our local papa To attempt any description of the scene! awful desolation presented by the Talllj along which the majestic but destruetM torrent pursued its proud and definl course, is also unnecessary, as aluml every eye has seen it; to speculate as toll* cause of the catastrophe, whether invotoing criminality or not, does not become «y position. I shall presume upon my bear* general acquaintance with the facts of lb case, and from these facts deduce si lessons as it becomes a Christian minisi ■ to enforce. "In this day of adversity coaider" these lessons; and may the Lord give us understanding and feeling hear!* I. The insecurity of human life, and consequently of all the advantages dependent upon it, is a lesson too clearly taugol by the recent catastrophe to be mistaken by any of us. The loss of life is the moil deplorable feature of the catastrophe. H* mills, the cottages, the farms, and ten** swept away, may be replaced by apM skill, and labour, and even the gip»M reservoir may be so rebuilt aa to be a sate and useful monument of human sciew* and art; but who shall restore the dwells! of the hillside, tho village, the hamlet, aid solitary farm, who have been swallowed uj in this terrific calamity? Echo answers, Who? Restoration is out of the question and even the mortal remains of some of tl> dead are denied to survivors for quiet am decent interment. They are carried * know not whither, they are buried f know not where. They are somewta* alike unknowing and unknown, but ft forgotten; and to each of these life a ■ weeks ago was of as much importance as li1 in to the living now, had as much respos nihility attached to it, as much happuM* springing from it. They laid themseW down on the fatal Friday evening, lookia forward to Saturday's toil as closing tb weary week, to Saturday's purchases as F viding necessaries for the week approaching and to the Sabbath's calm and holy resl linking the week departing and the »«■ approaching together. But Saturday's to never came, Saturday's purchases were never made, and the only rest they found on the Sabbath was not found in the sanctuary but in the grave! They had homes u dear as ours, children as precious as ours, iiends as loving as ours, energies as strong •- ours, hopes as bright as ours. But a (ingle night wrought the destruction of all these advantages; and now we find where the industrious artisan plied his trade, where the father gathered to his knee his pratfling little ones, where the young man and maiden besported themselves in gleesome frolic, a scene of unmitigated desolation. Death and destruction have supplanted life »nd prosperity in the picturesque valley of the Loxley and Don. Then, boast not of % trade, thy connections, thy hopes, thy energies, thy life itself, for a solitary night nay destroy them all. Death knows no distinctions. For a time he may show a ipecial forbearance towards Bome—he may permit some to evade his sweep—but, just »»in the late catastrophe he carried away child and sire, the youthful maiden and the aged mother, so will he sooner or later bear away all who live. Nothing is ■0 certain as death, nothing so uncertain as the mode and time of his approach to each one of us. We may well say of this world of mortality and graves, where all our most precious things are " frail as delicate flowers," "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity."
* A sermon preached in Cemetery Road Chapel, Sheffield, on Sunday evening, March 27th.
"■The necessity of an immediate preparation for death is impressed upon us °J the event which has proved fatal to so "■""J of our fellow-townsmen and neighbour). God forbid that I should say one »ord that would imply the certain perdi'"onof those who were carried away with the jj°°d~»f any one of them. Nothing can ■ more false than the notion that calamity "1 this world is indicative of ruin in the **■ But there is no uncharitableness in "juig, that if amongst the sufferers who save lost their lives so suddenly any were mprepared, their fate and folly are fearful 10 contemplate. What would they not no* gi,e |or one 0£ tne ujajjy hours they i'*asled in the pursuit of pleasure and gain ;'•• the neglect of their precious and immortal •J0"3? All they once possessed for one ■« hour! But that one short hour is to "On as impossible as a life of a thousand «nturies is to us. And would we avoid JJ remorse for lost opportunities, and vain *"hes for their return, let us improve the TM»now present—this accepted time, and "t of salvation.
III. The liability of human plans and efforts to defeat is illustrated by the recent catastrophe. Whatever may be the opinion formed as to the cause of the catastrophe, it will be agreed on all hands that the catastrophe was not long foreseen, and was not deliberately anticipated. Whether the flood has occurred from a land-slip, or from a want of possible stability in the artificial construction of the dam, we shall all be of opinion that such arrangements were adopted as were deemed requisite to the safety and permanence of the works. A want of engineering skill, or a lack of attention, there may have been—it is not for us to decide—but of one thing we shall all be convinced, that it was the intention and expectation of both the Water Company and their servants that no such calamity as has happened should occur. Therefore one lesson is fairly deduced from the case—we do see the liableness of our most expensive schemes to utter failure. Here we see a great work, costing thousands of pounds, intended to promote the comfort of a great town and the interests of a thriving company, brought in a few hours to utter ruin; hundreds of those whose comfort it was to promote destroyed, and the company to whom it belonged reduced to probable bankruptcy and ruin. Is nothing to be learnt from all this? Do we not see in this a type of what may happen to all those schemes upon which we expend our ingenuity and wealth—those schemes upon which we bestow our admiration and confidence? In our proudest structures there may be a hidden crack, the foretoken of utter ruin; a spark may reduce our noblest fabrics to the ground; or a flood, which we as little expect as the extinction of the sun, may sweep them away. This ought to make us cautious. The possibility of failure to our best constructed schemes ought not to suppress all enterprise and effort; but it ought to make us count the cost before we build our towers or go forth to wage our wars: it ought to make us wary. We ought, moreover, to be humble, for there is one perfection, essential to the absolute certainty of success in any case, that we lack—foreknowledge of all the possibilities that may affect us fatally. How few we are acquainted with! and though we knew all but one, the one we did not know might be the one to work our ruin! Does it not become us, then, in all our doings, to ask counsel of God, that we may be prosperous, and that «c may have sucoesB ?"In the day of adversity 1ft us consider" that the condition! of prosperity are only partially ours. And as all earthly schemes, even those most wisely conceived and most energetically executed, are uncertain in their issues, is it not the part of wisdom to fix our affection) upon heaven as the one tiling certain of attainment, if we use the appointed and well understood means? About the promise of eternal life made to faith and patience there is no uncertainty. Let an earthly catastrophe render more precious our heavenly hopes.
IV. From the recent calamity wo learn how needful effort is in the day of adversity. In some cases the great duty which should be almost exclusively pressed upon us is eubmission to the will of an overruling Providence ; we can do nothing but quietly wait for the help of God, quietly and unquestioningly submitting to bis appointments, communing with our own hearts, and being still. But the present is not one of those cases. Submission is proper in this case; but more than this has been and is requisite. The first feelings that took possession of the minds of our townsmen when the tidings of the catastrophe reached them was this—something must be done, and done without delay. The sufferers must be relieved, the houseless sheltered, the foodless fed. The dead must be collected and decently interred. The carcases of animals and the debris filling our streets and courts must be removed and buried. All minds and all hands were set to immediate work. Councillors and guardians, relief committees and sanitary committees, public men and private, seemed at once to rival each other in their efforts to mitigate as much as possible the calamity which had fallen like a thunderbolt upon the town. And but for their efforts how much more gigantic would have been the proportions of the calamity! Had all settled down in effortless grief, we should have soon had in the wake of the flood famine, pillage, and pestilence. "In the day of adversity" we must not consider only, but consider in order to act. The greatest temptation which comes with adversity is to indolence. Men shelter themselves under the iron proverb, "What can't be cured must be endured," and forget that what cannot be cured may be mitigated. The voice of this great flood ra,Work! work! and the lesson ought to be profitable in all the calamities which befall us in our per
Bonal and social capacities. Let us not rest in adversity unless compelled to do Bo ; but let us, with God's help, work ourselves out of it—then shall we not only triumph 07er it but be stronger and thankful for it.
V. "In this day of adversity conBider" the claim which such adversity gives to your benevolent sympathy. All adversity call* for sympathy, and such sympathy must' shown if we would vindioate our Christ profession. And surely the calamity which our thoughts are now directed not an exception to it, but a striki illustration of the rule. What sad tale could we tell you with which to harrow up your feelings ; but our object is not to harrow your feelings but excite your sympathy. We can surely pity the poor man who, com*, ing from his cottage, was abruptly toldtl his mother and all the family were gone. 1 are thrilled by the agony of a heart-biota creature who stood, with her only t«o children clinging to her dress, while > number of men were removing rubbish that coveivd her husband. We ean almost hear her piercing scream and the murmur of ha* fatherless children, as the face of her husband is discovered to her view. We can sympathise with those who have loBt mmf relatives by the flood, and such there arfio this congregation; we can sympathize will the orphans and the homeless—our leaf's are sad as we think of them; and w •" willing, I trust, as we have opportunity, to do good to all who need our aid. Much has been done, but much more, in all probability, will be required. In a circularjuit issued by our active Mayor, under theauspices of the Relief Committee, it ii observed, " The Committee are not evens* this moment able to say what amount ffil be required in order to extend immediat) relief to all who cannot afford to wait fott it. But, as far as they can at present calculate, they sincerely believe that the amount already subscribed will very far from suffi* to enable them to give full relief to all irf* come fairly within that description." No' all can help this noble band of workers to accomplish their grand object—to relieve W the full all the victims of distress by tin flood. Much have we to be thankful for. Not a single member of this congregation has perished in the late catastrophe, though several esteemed friends have lost nwry relatives. With spared lives surely *e shall have thankful and tender hearts. May God give us such hearts! Amen.