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THE POWER OF PARDON.

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THE POWER OF PARDON.

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BY THE REV. A. BONAR, D.D.
N instrument, good in itself, may be a hundred times more

useful in the hand of a skilful or powerful agent. The
sword of Amrou, the Saracen caliph, was, in itself, remark-
able ; but, wielded by its owner, was irresistible. And even

so the moral power of certain motives may become, in the hand of the Holy Spirit, a thousandfold more efficacious, and even irresistible, when used by Him with all His love and skill. If there is power in man's forgiving kindness, what must be the influence of Divine love in forgiveness when the Spirit works through the human heart ?

The well-known traveller, H. M. Stanley, incidentally relates the following occurrence in Africa in 1875:—He had journeyed, with a faithful band, over what he calls “ The Dark Continent,” and was now within a short distance of the wished-for goal. But the resources of the expedition were all but exhausted—even their stores of beads and merchandise, by the barter of which they might be supplied with provisions from the natives, were very low. In this state of things, Stanley was sorely distressed by discovering that a system of pilfering and theft was going on; and, above all, by detecting the chief plunderer to be no other than Uledi, the coxswain of the boat--one of his bravest, and, hitherto, most faithful followers—a generous man, who had saved, at different times, the lives of others. Thirteen persons had been rescued from drowning by his efforts ; so that he was greatly loved by the men, as well as by the chief. But he it was who had been tempted to commit this theft; and the crime was all the more flagrant because the lives of all depended on these stores. Åt sunset of the day when the discovery was made, Stanley summoned a council, stated the case, and asked the leading men that were with him to speak their minds. After much urging, Manwa Sera gave his view of the matter. He said, “ It is a hard case; for this is Uledi, whom we all love, and who has deserved so well of us all, Had it been another, I would have said we should hang a great stone to his neck and pitch him into the river. But it is Uledi: let him receive a thorough flogging, to deter others from repeating the crime.” The rest of the leading men assented to this. Stanley then turned to Mpwapwa, one of the most sensible of the common men, and asked his view. “Well, master, it is a hard question. Uledi is like our elder brother; and to give our voice for punishing him is like asking you to punish ourselves. But the fathers think he should be beaten, and I am only a boy among them. Only, master, for our sakes, beat him just a little !It was then put to Marsoak, who had special reason to favour the culprit. · Verily, master,” said he, “ Mpwapwa has spoken what myself would have uttered. Yet I would say, Remember it is Uledi.After this, Uledi's brother,

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THE POWER OF PARDON.

Shumari, a kind-hearted boy, was appealed to. He pleaded for his brother, and concluded in this touching manner : Please, master, as the chiefs say he must be flogged, give me half of it; and bearing it for Uledi's sake, I shall not feel it." Last of all, his cousin, Saywa, was urged to speak. He came forward, and, kneeling at Stanley's feet, said, “The master is wise : he writes in a book all things that happen. The master forgets nothing. Perhaps if he looks into his books he may see something about Uledi: how he behaved at the cataract; how he saved many men; how hard he worked ; and how he has been the father of the boys, who are nothing without him. Uledi is my cousin : if, as the chiefs think, Uledi must be punished, Shumari says he will take half the punishment, and now Saywa asks you to give him the other half, and set Uledi free!”

Stanley was greatly moved. At last he gave judgment in these terms : " Uledi, by the voice of the people, is condemned. As Shumari and Saywa have promised to take the punishment on themselves, Uledi is free !” At the same time Stanley turned to the two substitutes and pardoned them. Uledi was released. He came forward, humbled and broken down. " It was the devil that got into Uledi's heart. Uledi will be good in future ; and if he pleased his master before, he will please his master much more in time to come.”

It is somewhat thus that the sinner who is convinced of sin, and hears the gracious voice of the Judge referring to the Substitute and saying, I have found a ransom is moved and humbled and broken down.

“Law and terrors do but harden,

All the while they work alone ;
But a sense of blood-bought pardon

Soon dissolves a heart of stone." When the Holy Ghost shows the sinner even the one sin of unbelief, how his heart fails him! And when he goes into details, taking up the innumerable instances of most daring rebellion and bitter ingratitude, nothing but eternal death, everlasting hell, the wrath of God abiding for ever, seems possible. At such a moment there is indescribable relief found in such a text as that which tells “He is able to save unto the uttermost” (Hebrews vii. 25). 6 The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin ” (1 John i. 7). “ Christ once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter

iii. 18).

And in that same hour what a view does the forgiven soul get of Him who “His own self” bore all the stripes, and paid all the penaltynot a part, not a half, but ALL! Such was His love! Surely he will say, “ From this day I am not my own. He has bought me!” The Holy Spirit shows it, and insures the result; and so he cannot but feel the heat of that great love melting and subduing his soul.

(May be had from Drummond's Tract Depôt, Stirling, N.B. London: S. W. Partridge & Co., and W. Kent & Co. Price 1s. per 100. Snowdon Series, No. 1.)

THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.

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THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.

"OII! PLEASE SAVE ME NEXT.”

BY EVA L. TRAVERS.
T was a terrible scene; night all around, the wild wind

whistling, and the noisy waves roaring. All on the
deck of the ill-fated steamer was in confusion; the pas-
sevgers with pale, frightened faces seemed to be beyond
the control of the ship's officers, who shouted and

vainly endeavoured to restrain the rush that was being made for the boats. As fast as the boats were lowered, the passengers crowded forward, each one seemingly intent on his own salvation.

“The women and children first!” shouted the captain from the bridge-but no one heeded the cry; and even many of the stronger men actually pushed their way to the front, forgetful of all but the strong instinct of self-preservation that rose in their hearts.

One after another was passed down into the boat, when a little child's face appeared over the ship's side. The face was white, awestricken, and pleading, and her little trembling voice cried pitifully, “O ! please save me next!0! please do!” But no one heeded her. The ship rocked to and fro, on the eve of sinking, and again the child stretched out her arms and cried, “ Save me next, O! please do!” A sudden appalling crash; a moment of intense and agonising suspense; one long, loud cry of fear and despair, and the ship went down, down, down. Those in the boats, who had been rowing away, and were safe beyond the reach of the rolling eddies round the sinking ship, were silent in speechless horror. Hope, life, all was over for ever !

We are all in the barque of life; a ship that will go down some day, and if we are not saved by the Lord Jesus, we must be lost for ever.

Oh! perhaps some dear little child, realising his or her danger, is stretching out its arms to Jesus to-day and crying,

Dear Saviour, save me next!' Cry out to Him then; do not fear that He will not heed you. Jesus surely will. Little Alice perished when calling for the help of man: no one can perish when calling upon Jesus, for we read, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom. x, 13.

Which of my readers will let this cry reach the heart of the Lord Jesus to-day, "Save me next?Perhaps you have watched

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DAILY BIBLE THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH.

others go into the kingdom of God before you; your dear, kind mother, or little sister, or friend; will you be the next to find Jesus ?

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2 Kings XIII. TO 1 CHRONICLES XVIII.
AN. 1.—2 Kings xiii. 23. See the power of God's covenant faith-

fulness, in spite of unfaithfulness in His people. And let us be
thankful that it is exactly the same covenant with Abraham,
" that was confirmed before of God in Christ,” with which we

have to do (Gal. iii. 16, 17).
Jan. 2.-Ch. xiv. 6. See how Amaziah made the Word of God his rule
of life, and let us so turn all our reading into practice, and act in everything
" according to that which was written.”

Jan. 3.—Ch. xv. 4. Notice here, and in several other cases, that the king's service to God, otherwise so thorough, was just so far defective, through not removing " the high places." Let us see that there is no save that" or “ howbeit” (ch. xiv. 4) about our consecration to God; but that, like Hezekiah, we remove the high places ” (ch. xviii. 4).

Jan. 4.-Ch. xvi. Ahaz sought assistance from Assyria, and it ended in his adopting a strange altar from Damascus. So worldly alliances of all sorts mostly end in the adoption of worldly ways.

Jan. 5.-Ch. xvii. 32. “ They feared the Lord " (outwardly) and yet "served other gods." Let us be on our guard against any similar double service.

Jan. 6.-Ch. xvii. 5, 6. Note the secrets of success,-trusting, cleaving, obeying; and the result, “ the Lord was with him, and he prospered.”

Jan. 7.-Ch. xix. 1 and 14. See how Hezekiah received the troublesome message (ch. xviii. 37) and letter (ver. 14). Let us at once “spread before the Lord ” all that happens to worry us.

Jan. 8.-Ch. xx. 15. Let us see that everything which people see in our house, the books, amusements, pictures, household arrangements, &c., exhibits the reality of a Christian profession.

Jan. 9.–Ch. xxi. 21. Children have a great propensity for walking in all the way that their fathers walk in. Fathers should remember this; and children should not follow them till they know that their fathers’ ways are right ones.

Jan. 10.-Ch. xxii. 7. “ " They dealt faithfully.” This should be the standard in all our mutual relationship; no reckonings ought to be needed among Christian people.

DAILY BIBLE THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH.

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Jan. 11.-Ch. xxiii. 4, 6, 15. There is nothing like burning for getting rid of what is likely to be a snare, as it cuts off the recall (Acts xix. 19). Let us see how much there is amongst our belongings, foolish books, music, dress and other things likely to be a snare, and burn them at once.

Jan. 12.-Ch. xxiv. 3, 4. Apart from the eternal condemnation (removed from the believer, because borne by Christ), there follows on sin, persisted in, the temporal consequences of which God does not always remove.

Jan. 13.-Ch. xxv. A sad record of the results of despised privileges and negligence of God's longsuffering and loving chastenings.

Jan. 14—1 Chron. i. 51. 66 Hadad died also." The record of a closed life. And ours, too, must close. Let us live in this remembrance, and “ redeem the time” which is yet allowed us (Ephes. v. 16) by earnest devotion to Christ's service; so that ours may be the close of a useful and holy life.

Jan. 15.—Ch. ii. 7. There are many Achans at present, “ troublers of Israel,” by tampering with anything which lowers the spiritual standard of others.

Jan. 16.–Ch. iii. 1. " These were the sons of David." Let us see that we can trace our spiritual pedigree back to the true David; and let us not hesitate to recognise our sonship, and act accordingly.

Jan. 17.-Ch. iv. 9. Let us aim at being " more honourable " than others, like Jabez, by seeking only such advancement and success as the hand of God can give us.

Jan. 18.-Ch. v. 20. See the power of faith. God was entreated, because they had put their trust in him. Our faith is very largely the measure of our blessings.

Jan. 19.- Ch. vi. 15. - The Lord carried," &c. It is solemn to think how the Lord uses the hand of man (and our hand) in accomplishing His will. Let us aim at being so used.

Jan. 20.-Ch. vii. 22. The ministry of comfort is one within the reach of all, and is best accomplished by those who, in their sorrows, are themselves ". comforted of God” (2 Cor. i. 4).

Jan. 21.-Ch. vüi. See how God notices the details of life. The priority of children (vers. 1, 2, 39); who people's wives are (vers. 8, 9,

29); children they have (ver. 38); where they dwell (vers. 6, 28, 32); what they did (vers. 6, 12, 32). And let us remember that He knows the same of us.

Jan. 22.-Ch. ix. 13. Like the priests of old, let the Lord's royal priests be 66 very able men" (mighty men of valour, marg.) and women for the work of the service of the “spiritual house of God (1 Pet. ii. 5, 9), in winning souls to Christ and in “edifying profitably" (Eph. iv. 29, marg.) those who

how many

are His.

Jan. 23.—Chap. x. 13. Note that transgression “ against the word of the Lord” is spoken of as the same thing as transgression “committed against the

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