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0 sure it were a seemly thing,
When all is still and calm,
With trumpet and with psalm.
All labourers draw hame at even,
And e'en to others say,
Who sent this summer day.'
Many verses are omitted, for the poem is too long to give in full. Hume spent some of his earlier years in France; and once or twice he seems to blend his memory with his vision.
'Rises the careful husbandman,
This could not be in his own Scottish parish. But usually his images are as familiar as sweet—a picture of the quiet life round him, as he saw it from his own grateful soul. And if from his tranquil hymn we learn the same tranquility, to be grateful for common beauty, and content with simple joys, and down through the calm sweetness of a sunny summer day to see God's love and care shining and brooding over us—then we have won from the old Logie minister the best gift of a friend. We know but his name—little more. Yet he has touched us through the centuries. Perhaps this friendship shall deepen—sometime beyond.
He died in his parish of Logie in the year 1609. aw. aw.
jnpWAS only a little seed,
.*- As light as thistle-down, Wind-wafted over a distant mead,
And dropped in a dreary town, That sank, with a stifled sigh,
Where no one heard it fall, In a home, unsought by human eye,
Near a gloomy convent wall.
'Twas only a tiny seed,
A germ of vital power, That sunshine sought in time of need,
And straightway sprang a flower:
The raindrops trickled there,
And soft, distilling dew, Combined to keep it green and fair
The long glad summer through.
'Twas only a little deed,
Of tender, thoughtful cheer, That Heaven sent home, with winged speed,
To soothe a spirit's fear; Till the tangled web of life
Ran on with a smoother flow, As music rose, through the din and strife,
That pleased the Master so.
'Twas only a little word,
But its influence, who can tell!
In a heart whereon it fell;
From the life wherein it lay,
When the lips had passed away.
FROM year to year, O God of love,
And ere another year is gone,
And with its fleeting moments, Lord,
We thank Thee for Thy mercies past,
For Thou art ever, Lord, the same—
Oh, if Thy grace Thou shouldst extend,
Guide us, O Lord, in truth and love,
And when on earth, our hour shall come
Oh, then, in mercy be with us,
blazoned in gold letters, 'A good soldier of Jesus Christ': below is a scroll with the words, 'Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.'
You all recognise this picture as the work of the Apostle Paul, who lived about eighteen hundred years ago. What I want you specially to not- -bout it, is the sword in the man's hand. I dare say you could give several other texts besides the one I have quoted, where the Bible is compared to a sword, such as Heb. iv. 12: 'For the word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.' Now, if a sword is a necessary weapon for us to 'take,' as Paul tells us, that must mean that we are sure to meet enemies. I know a gentleman whose dining-room is hung round with armour and weapons; but, when he is going out, he never unhooks a sword, and takes it with him. Why not? Because he will meet no enemies in the lanes and fields round his house. Long ago, when our country was in a very unsettled state, people used to carry swords constantly. Indeed, to this day, in some parts of the world, men go about with some weapon concealed on their persons, because they do not know when they may be attacked by an enemy. Here, then, is 'the sword of the Spirit,' which Christ has given to His soldiers, that they may be always ready to fight His enemies, whether in their own hearts, or in the world around them. You remember how our great Captain Himself conquered with this sword. Satan came to Him with three great temptations, and to each the Lord Jesus answered with, 'It is written.' And it is very remarkable that the three texts by which Christ defeated the devil's three assaults, are found on two pages of one book in the Old Testament. If you have one of Bagster's Bibles, and turn to Deut. vi. to viii., you will find these three verses on the two open pages. This shows our need for studying the Bible, that we may be ready with our weapon whenever danger arises. What would you think of a regiment of soldiers who went into battle without having ever learnt to use their guns and bayonets? You would say
they deserved to be beaten. See to it, then, that you are not like them. Bead your Bible, study it, love it, and by God's grace you will be able to 'withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.'
I said that there are enemies of Christ's to be conquered in the world around us, as well as in our own hearts. You remember, on the day of Pentecost, Peter used his sword to such good purpose, that he won tho victory over three thousand of his Master's greatest foes; and the wonderful thing about this kind of victory, is, that it turns enemies into friends. Ever since Peter's day the conflict has been going on between Christ's servants and Satan's servants. In our own time, when Mr Moody and Mr Sankey were in this country, we have seen hundreds of people at a time pierced to the heart by 'the sword of the Spirit.' Ah! there is the secret of victory. It is the sword of the Spirit: and though to us it seems to be wielded by feeble men, it is really held in His mighty grasp, and directed by His will. Mr Spurgeon tells a story of a colporteur who was much annoyed by a wretched drunkard,—a professed infidel,—who was very fond of holding arguments with him. One evening, after dark, the infidel came to the colporteur's door, half drunk, as usual. There was no use in discussing religion with him at such a time, so the colporteur hurled, as it were, a few texts at him, and then shut the door. It does not appear that these texts had any effect on the man for whom they were intended . but the woman who lived in the adjoining house, just at that moment opened her door to turn some ragged children off the steps, and heard the words. They struck her to the heart; and by their means she was brought to love and serve the Lorcl Jesus.
Who will enlist in Christ's army, and fight under His banner? Here is one of the promises He makes to His soldiers: 'To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.' j B u
Then writhing, with a heavy heart,
She waited for the end, to come,
Then earnestly to God she cried
To help them in their need; And He, whose every act is love,
Soon sent them help indeed.
For, presently, a voice she heard
Address her from the sky, 'Peace, Hagar, I have heard thy prayer—
Thy Ishmael shall not die.'
And, looking round to see from whence
Came the angelic voice,
That made her heart rejoice.
Then, speeding, with her gourd, she drew
Both drank of it, and, glad at heart,
®fje ©agsprmg Bible Class.
These Questions are intended to encourage the young to read the Scripture passage carefully. The answer to erery question is contained in the passage itself, and so may be found by any one who reads it with care and attention.
QUESTIONS ON MATTHEWS GOSPEL.
What are the names here given to the Lord Jesus which indicate the line of His descent from Adam?
Into what three periods, of fourteen generations each, is this genealogy divided?
By whom was Joseph told to call the young child Jesus, and for what reason?
What name given to Jesus by the prophet Isaiah signifies 'God with us'?
By what name did the wise men of the eart enquire concerning Jesus?
How could the priests and scribes tell whera Jesus should be born?
What did Herod pretend was the reason why he wished to know where Jesus was?
By what means "were the wise men led t» Jesus?
What words describe their feelings when they found the infant Saviour?
How did they testify their reverence and love for Him?
Why did they not return to Herod?
Why did Joseph take the young child and His mother into Egypt?
How did Herod vent his wrath against the wise men, and against Jesus?
What words of Jeremiah's prophecy describe Bethlehem at that time?
When did Joseph return from Egypt with the babe and His mother?
Why did He return to Galilee, rather than to Judea?
Who reigned in Judea after Herod's death?
How many times did an angel of the Lerd appear to Joseph in a dream?
How many quotations from the Old Testament are given in these two chapters?
BUSY hands and planning heads have been at work in producing one of the finest collection of pictures, original and selected, which we recollect to have seen, illustrative of texts of Holy Scripture. Deciding the comparative merits of the various Albums has been no easy matter; so difficult was it found, that we resolved to call in the aid of a friend whose artistic taste has procured for him a high position in the world of literature and art. The following are the awards which have been made. We may state that the first prize has been won by a young friend who has produced a series of pen and ink sketches, which promise highly for his future eminence in this department. The Album which has gained the second prize is but little inferior to the first; the geometrical designs of the borders being exceedingly beautiful, and the water-colour paintings showing great skill and taste.
1. James M. Scobie, Lairg.
, J Arthur Elphinstone, Weston Supermare.
(William M'George, Castle-Douglas.
The Albums of the following competitors, although inferior in merit to those which have gained prizes, are nevertheless considered by the Editor and Publishers as well worthy of honourable mention, viz.:—
Agnes M. E. Agnew, Wigton. Frank Eae, Glasgow. Jane H. Watson, Glasgow. A. E. Sewari. Deptford. A. S. Thomson, Moffat. Jane Martin, Belfast John Wilson Tait, Stow. Robina Stretton Highara, Glasgow. Maggie Black, Bathgate. Robert Taylor, Glasgow. Robert J. Roddick, Glasgow. Katie S. Macdougall, Kosshire. Jane Bryce, Maybole. Alex. Martin, Leith.