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eternity! Paul pleads hard for Onesimus; “receive him as my own bowels," or as we should say, my own heart ;” “receive him as myself; “ I beseech thee for my son Onesimus : " I, Paul, aged and a prisoner, as if I were on my knees at thy feet, when I might stand and command thee what is right.” Paul had a good hope of success, “I have confidence that thou wilt do more than I say." We seem to see the fulfilment of his hope. We see Onesimus made welcome by Philemon, and Apphia, and Archippus, and the whole church in their house. We hear the eager inquiries on the one side about Rome, and Paul, and his own conversion; and then on the other side the answers, full of adoring gratitude. Prayers are offered and psalms of thanksgiving rise. And ere evening closes, we are much mistaken if the master has not spoken to the slave the magic words that make him free, “ above a servant now, both in the flesh, and in the Lord.”
Slavery is blotted out from the roll of our national institutions ; but many a sore remains upon the body politic, and there is scarcely a relationship of our social life that does not offer its pressing problems for solution. The very relation between master and servant, utterly different as it now is from the ancient one, is yet equally difficult to regulate. Capital and labour are too often enemies where they ought to be allies. Mistress and maid are sometimes prone to mutual complaint, instead of exercising mutual forbearance, and working out a common ground of friendly and respectful intercourse. Society stands aghast at the growing gulf of separation between the one class and other. What remedy has the Christian Church to suggest ?
The Church is not the State ; nor is it her proper office to undertake the immediate reform of social abuses. Reform is a work to which her sons delight to give a helping hand ; and from her ranks come, age after age, the foremost of the philanthropists. But her special call is not so much to remove the sores, as to renovate the constitution of the body. Now, as in the olden time, her strength lies in the proclamation of the divine love to all men, and in the practice of a human love equally broad, disinterested, and comprehensive. “Love as brethren ; be pitiful, be courteous.” “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Such a spirit as breathes in these apostolic words is from above, and it is not easily naturalised in human hearts and lives. But we see it actually at work in those early Christian days; and if we have eyes, we may see it still.
In its spread is the one great hope of the world. When all Christians learn to be to one another what many of them are already—what as husband and wife Aquila and Priscilla proved, and what as master and servant Philemon and Onesimus became the dawn of a social regeneration will have broadened into day.
OUR NEW MINISTER AGAIN.
“A MINISTER that'll laughout Bowditch knocking off Mr. Tolman's loud in evenin' meetin',” said Dea- hat?” con Twitchell with solemnity, “has Mr. Tolman was the Baptist mistook his callin,' according to my minister at Leybridge. way of thinkin'. '
The universal "no" that followed It was at the regular fortnightly must have afforded extreme delight tea-fight, a few weeks after our new to Miss Vergin, in that she had minister, the Rev. Mr. Bowditch, something entirely original to offer; had come among us, that our new and after assuring the breathless pastor's demerits were called up— circle of listeners that she had witthe ministerial besom having lost a nessed the scene with her own eyes, trifle of its newness.
she began : "He whissles sec'lar tunes when “Why, it was last Saturday when he's a-blackin' his shoes in Miss the boys were kicking the football Porter's back yard,” said Mrs. in the street, Mr. Bowditch came Payson, thereby unconsciously be- along, and when he saw the ball traying a knowledge of music for handy to his foot, what does he do which we had never given her but give it a-a-tremendous kick credit.
so that it went whizzing through "I like to hev cherity f'r all,” the air like a rocket, and as Mr. said old Mrs. Preston, with a vain Tolman turned Ayers' corner, it attempt to call up a benevolent struck his tall hat and knocked it look upon her naturally harsh fea- right into the street!” tures, “but I've heered that Mr. “ What did Mr. Tolman say?" Bowditch is hand-'n-glove with that inquired Mrs. Harker, eagerly. ‘ere John Banks."
* What could he say, dear? He “That'ere John Banks," I would looked very much grieved,” conremark in passing, was a rather tinued Miss Vergin, in a pathetic eccentric old bachelor of some tone, “but he received Mr. Bowwealth, and great literary tastes, ditch’s excuse that he didn't see who was an infidel—or was said to be him coming' in his sweet manner, -and who had incurred the wrath though when Mr. Bowditch added of Mrs. Preston and other ladies with what I call unpardonable of our parish, by declaring the levity, "You ought to have dipped sewing-circle to be “an association your head, brother Tolman,' Mr. for promulgating scandal,” and the Tolman seemed positively hurt.” majority of its members". a set of If Mr. Bowditch's ears burned chattering fools.”
on that eventful evening, it was no “Yes," said Joe Grainger, grave- wonder; and as I listened to the ly," and more than that, the new additional gossip which followed, I minister's uncle's son married a thought of a laughing remark which young lady whose aunt's second the young minister had made to me cousin has been strongly suspected when he had first called at our of Extreme Ritualistic tendencies.” house, that one of his great comforts
“Sho!" exclaimed Mrs. Preston, was in not knowing all the unpleaeagerly, “is that so, Mr. Grainger ?" sant things that were said about But Joe was spared the necessity of him. possible evasion by the interposi “It is unfortunate," said Mrs. X., tion of Miss Vergin, a young lady as we walked home, “that they of some antiquity, who exclaimed: should have begun on Mr. Bowditch
"But did you hear about Mr. so soon as this."
“It is unfortunate,” I said, “that He explained to them familiarly some of our society should be so but reverently the more practical morally cross-eyed, as to regard a truths of the Bible, in such a way man's peculiarities of temperament that it should have a bearing on with such distorted vision.” their everyday lives, if possible
As Mrs. X. made no answer to and all things are possible with my rather hasty exclamation, I God. continued :
Now none of these boys as yet " You know the boy Casey who had shown any very marked change has been in the Reform School for either of heart or head, and yet the past year, and how much talk Mr. Nourse, the fruit-grower, said there was because Mr. Bowditch that he wasn't "a b'leever in these took him into his Sabbath-school here perfessin' Christians to no great class?"
amount, but that 'ere little minister Well,” I continued, as Mrs. X. had somehow learnt enough good signified her acquiescence, “ Casey to them boys that had stole his was at work the other day at my Hubbardst'n apples for the past office, helping me to move some old five years, so'st they never come papers and books into the other a'nigh his orchard now, an' he room, and I asked him how he liked guessed that so smart a man 's his new teacher and his Sabbath- that was wuth hearin';" and to school.
the great wonderment of Leybridge, "" "Well, sir,' said Casey, 'I'm Mr. Nourse hired and occupied bound to say that I likes the half a pew in our church there. preacher as has our class 'bout after. as well as any man ever I see, not “He oughtn't to laugh out loud alone of his speakin' the good Word in meeting, though, John,” said to sech as I be, but along of his Mrs. X., returning to our topic of allers a' havin' a sunshine in his conversation, after a long pause face.
wherein I had revolved all these “There's folks,' he went on, as I things which I have recorded in my tried to say some encouraging mind. words to the boy, that is allers "The laugh' was only the faintå 'tellin' to these 'ere evenin' est ripple of a smile," I answered, meetins how they want wicked" and by no means suggestive of folks to repent, an' how they pray mirthfulnėss. It was when good for 'em; but I tell you, Mr. X, Father Baybrook rose, and in his said Casey, turning round and quaint way said the room was so facing me, when a chap like me full of the Lord, that if Satan was has kinder' made a start for to go hanging around in any stray corner, back on his tracks, an' try 'n' do he guessed that he'd find himself in better, it seems jes' as if some of in a pretty tight place. Mr. Bowthese very folks I was speakin' of ditch, as I have said, did faintly was them as was the first ones for smile, and I entirely fail to see why to disbelieve a feller; but that 'air this should be brought up against Mister Bowditch, he ain't no sech him.
" The football episode was, I Our young minister had got need hardly say, entirely accidentogether a Bible-elass comprising tal," I continued with an inward eight of the worst scapegraces in chuckle, as I pietured the discomLeybridge, over whom he presided fiture of the Rev. Mr. Tolman, who every Sunday in such a manner is a most excellent man and a that storm or shine saw every boy perfect model of ministerial dein his place.
portment; "but I confess the pun
was in this case wpardonable, as continued, “that Leybridge has puns should only be indulged in by more than its quota of mischiefpreachers who have attained to makers, and I foresee if this sort of such eminence and ability as to thing continues, we shall lose the command a thousand a year.” only man that has ever roused us
"I had rather see a minister out of our rocking-chair style of with a cheerful countenance, even religion." though he did whistle
“Rocking-chair style of religion ?" threads among the gold,' than to said Mrs. X., inquiringly. have him stalking solemnly around, "Exactly,”' was my reply ; "We with a face like an old-fashioned sit very much at our ease therein, slate tombstone," I went on, as and while we rock ourselves into Mrs. X. timidly adverted to the un- drowsiness, our knitting-work be. ministerial musical propensity al-comes neglected, and we drop so luded to, and also referred to a many stitches that we spend far too remark concerning the same unfor- much time in picking them up." tunate young man, who it seemed
is the knitting-work, had indulged in a game of "Goose,' John ?" said Mrs. X. at some house he visited," and as “Any work that God has given for his playing 'Goose,' he'd better us to do, which he intends us to do it out of his pulpit than in it--as bring to completeness," was my some far more eminent divines are answer; and as Mrs. X. meditated known to do."
upon the simile, I unlocked the Here Mrs. X. very properly re- front door of our house, and we proved me, but undismayed I con- went in. tinued :
I'm afraid that we shan't be able "As for his so-called intimacy to keep Mr. Bowditch, but time with John Banks, I only hope it will show. Leybridge is a very will continue. I don't think Mr. peculiar town, and in the language Bowditch is a man who would be of old Elnathan Hodges, “there's very likely to be affected by infidel some of the fault-findin'est folks to argument, and I do believe that he Leybridge that never was, an' if may with God's help some day they hed the 'Pos'le Paul to preach change the views of Mr. Banks. to 'em, they'd pick flaws with him."
"The truth of the matter is," I But time will show.
A PRAYER ABOUT PRAYER.
BY THE REV. T. R. STEVENSON,
"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."-Luke xi. 1.
We have here a prayer about prayer : "Lord, teach us to pray." We have also a prayer answered by a prayer : " And he saith unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father who art in heaven." The request made was evidently pleasing to Christ. Nor can this be wondered at. It was a good one. There were several admirable features in it. " Lord, teach us to pray.” None can teach a thing 80 well as he who has himself done it. Moreover, none can instruct concerning a given matter so fully and ably as just after he has
been engaged in it. This was the case with the Saviour. He was asked to speak of supplication immediately after He had been thus occupied. The favour, therefore, was sought of One well qualified to grant it, and at a season more suitable than any other. It would be of infinite advantage to us if we, like His disciples, applied to Christ for directions about prayer. There is nothing better than to go to head-quarters for orders. Too often we imitate each other's rather than His petitions. There are few of us who do not fall into a set phraseology and adopt what may be called "regulation” terms. Any one accustomed to attend week-night services knows this. Much is lost by it. Why should we mar the force and freshness of this delightful exercise by stereotyped and hackneyed language? Jesus, not His followers, should be our model. “ Teach us to pray.” All are not docile. Some display singular unwillingness to learn. They have a creed, and to that creed they refuse both additions and subtraction. Their views of God and their conceptions of duty do not develop with the flight of time. “Believers” is a name that may be applied to them with perfect correctness, but “ disciples" is a title to which they can lay no reasonable claim. “ Teach us to pray.” The petition was an appropriate one. Ever and anon Christ received requests which were quite foreign to His purpose as a Saviour. His aid was asked on occasions which could never be justified. One said, “Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance between
A very inappropriate wish. It did not come within the scope of our Lord's mission to settle family disputes. Far different was it with the desire now under consideration. To teach men to pray certainly became Him whose work it was “ to bear witness to the truth."
“ When he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray." Should we have done the same? It is very doubtful. The probability lies the other way. Had we been in the place of this “disciple,” our exclamation would most likely have been simply one of astonishment and admiration. " When he ceased,” we should have said, “What a prayer ! How seraphic ; how fervent; how affectionate ! Who ever heard such a prayer ?” This would have been our cry. " One of his disciples » knew better. He acted a wise part. Excellence ought to excite emulation. To appreciate and praise exalted deeds will profit us little if we do not also try to reproduce them,
In this well-known verse there are certain arguments for and encouragements to prayer, worthy of careful attention.
Prayer is instinctive. Four classes of persons are here mentioned. In some respects they were very different from each other. Their characters and lives presented marked contrasts. One thing, however, they had in common, namely prayer. Christ prayed. His disciples did the same. John prayed.
His followers were like him. Now, this incident may fairly be spoken of as a microcosm; that is a world in miniature. What took place then, illustrates what is always