Page images

chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” With this clue, the study of history becomes a most useful and important branch of Christian education. The children of Israel were delivered, “That all the world might know that the Lord he is God," and the God and protector of his people. And this great design has been repeatedly exhibited in the deliverance of His Church, in times of difficulty and danger.

The following facts from the history of the Moravian and Bohemian Christians, illustrate the truth of our text, and show that the Lord is as able and wilJing now to save his people as he was upwards of 3000 years ago, when of the depths of the sea he made a way for his ransomed to pass over. These Christians were the spiritual descendants of the Martyr John Huss. In 1506 their enemies endeavoured to obtain an order from the king of Bohemia, for the persecution of this inoffensive people ; and finding him very unwilling to grant it, endeavoured to frighten him, by prophesying the death of his queen, who was then pregnant, if he refused to extinguish the heresy, as they termed the worship of these simple Christianş. Terrified by these threats, the king passed the decree, at the same time humbling himself before the Lord, he implored forgiveness for himself, and protection for the persecuted Churches ; his prayer was heard, but in a different way to what he expected ;-His queen died in her confinement, and the persecuting edict'was revoked.

Two years after, the attempt against these Christians was renewed without success, but in 1510 the intrigues of their enemies appeared to prevail ; the Chancellor of Bohemia obtained from the Diet, which was then sitting, an order for their extirpation ; but “the Lord who sitteth in heaven laughed him to scorn, the most highest had him in derision." While visiting a friend, on his return from the Diet, he boasted that the order had been carried unanimously, and turning to Simon his attendant, who was one of the brethren, asked him what could now be said against it. Simon, denied that unanimous consent had been obtained ; the Chancellor, in a rage, inquired who dared to oppose the commands of the assembled princes of the empire. Simon boldly pointed upwards, saying, “ There is One on high who will prevent the execution of your designs unless he sees fit to give them his sanction.” The Chancellor then struck the table with his fist, exclaiming, As certainly as I reach home in safety you shall see the execution of the edict.” He reached home, but not before he had been seized with inflammation in the legs, of which in a few days he died. The Bishop of Hungary, his colleague in this work of Satan, about the same time, received a mortal wound while alighting from his carriage.

The sudden death of these enemies of the Gospel alarmed numbers of opposers ; the order for the persecution was far from being generally obeyed ; and a proverbial saying arose, that if any one was weary of life he had only to attack the brethren.

While recounting the many interferences of the Lord in behalf of his Church, one feels it almost impossible to stop, for similar instances readily occur to the mind, and, make us exclaim, “ Happy are the people that have the Lord for their God.” I cannot however close this paper without mentioning another fact of the same kind.

This favoured people in 1564 obtained from the Emperor Maximilian II. permission to open their churches and worship God unmolested. Many who

had been banished, or had gone into voluntary exile to escape persecution, gladly returned, and their affairs began to assume a more promising aspect, -but their restless enemies soon found a pretext to molest them again, and headed by the Chancellor some of the most virulent repaired to Vienna, where by misrepresentations, they prevailed on the Emperor to sign an order for suspending their privileges and renewing the persecution. But the Lord again protected his people. Rejoicing in his success the Chancellor started for Bohemia, carrying with him the cruel edict; but, ere he had quitted Vienna, he was arrested ; and the bridge over the Danube, at the gates of the city, giving way, himself and his followers were precipitated into the stream. A young man endeavouring to save himself by swimming his horse across the river, saw the Chancellor in the water, and succeeded in seizing and holding him till some fishermen came to his assistance ; they however could only bring his lifeless corpse to the shore. The case containing the edict was lost in the stream The young man who had been saved, united himself with those whom the Lord had thus protected, and he lived among the Moravians to an advanced age. Does not the Lord appear equally for his people and his Church now?

In answering this question we must remember, that · as they were not all Israel that were of Israel, so now all are not of the Church of Christ who call him Lord, Lord. His sheep are those who hear his voice and follow him amid persecutions and reproaches, standing apart from all evil, and esteeming his reproach greater honour than the applause of men. If our eyes were opened, around such we should see, horses and chariots of fire ; for thus saith

the Lord, “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from me, nor the covenant of my peace be removed," and that covenant is declared by our Lord himself, “to be the eternal safety of his people.” H. C.


(From Pollock's Course of Time.)

This one example, one of female wo.
Loved by a father and a mother's love,
In rural peace she lived, so fair, so light
Of heart, so good, and young, that reason, scarce,
The eye could credit, but would doubt, as she
Did stoop to pull the lily or the rose
From morning's dew, if it reality
Of flesh and blood, or holy vision, saw,
In imagery of perfect womanhood.
But short her bloom, her happiness was short.
One saw her loveliness, and with desire
Unhallowed, burning to her ear addressed
Dishonest words : " Her favour was his life,
His heaven; her frown his wo, his night, his death."
With turgid phrase thus wove in flattery's loom,
He on her womanish nature won, and age
Suspiciousless; and ruined, and forsook :
For he a chosen villian was at heart,
And capable of deeds that durst not seek
Repentance. Soon her father saw her shame;
His heart grew stone, he drove her forth to want,
And wintry winds, and with a horrid curse
Pursued her ear, forbidding all return.
Upon a hoary cliff that watched the sea,
Her babe was found-dead. On its little cheek,
The tear that nature bade it weep, had turned
An ice-drop, sparkling in the morning beam ;
And to the turf its helpless hands were frozen.
For she, the woful mother, had gone mad,
And laid it down, regardless of its fate,

And of her own. Yet had she many days
Of sorrow in the world, but never wept.
She lived on alms, and carried in her hand
Some withered stalks she gathered in the spring.
When any asked the cause, she smiled and said,
They were her sisters, and would come and watch
Her grave when she was dead. She never spoke
Of her deceiver, father, mother, home,
Or child, or heaven, or hell, or God; but still
In lonely places walked, and ever gazed
Upon the withered stalks, and talked to them;
Till wasted to the shadow of her youth,
With wo too wide to see beyond, she died-
Not unatoned for by imputed blood,
Nor by the Spirit that mysterious works
Unsanctified. Aloud, her father cursed,
That day, his guilty pride, which would not own
A daughter whom the God of heaven and earth
Was not ashamed to call his own; and he
Who ruined her, read from her holy look,
That pierced him with perdition manifold,
His sentence burning with vindictive fire.


SPRING FLOWERS. Tas mildness which prevailed during the first weeks of the present year, called the Spring flowers from their earthy bed, swelling the leaf-buds of the trees and shrubs, till they seemed ready to burst into foliage long before the usual time of their unfolding ; but the weather was then generally wet and gloomy, and its mildness awoke not the pleasurable sensations always experienced at the return of spring. The crocus wore a sickly hue, without the warm sun to brighten and expand its petals. The snow-drop appeared to droop beneath the weight of the humid atmosphere, and the mezereon opened slowly, bud

« PreviousContinue »