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THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER.
and not faint;" consoling himself with the words,
"Though sharp be the conflict, it cannot last long,
And then, oh how pleasant the conqueror's song!"
And if, by faith, the Christian gains a sight of the golden city, and enjoys a
THE direct road to the heavenly Canaan, is said to run through an enemy's country, and truly this is the case; none ever journeyed thither that met not with many a formidable opponent, armed with weapons designed to impede, if unable entirely to turn out of the high road. The "King's High Way" is a narrow, solitary track, and the obstacles placed across it, to discourage and intimidate travellers, are of the most harassing kind. On either side of it, too, are paths, broad, smooth, and attractive, along which are seen multitudes, walking in company, looking, to all appearIn the pilgrimage of life, too, the man ance, gay and happy; as described by who has reached the middle stage of his
the poet :
"Broad is the road that leads to death,
And thousands walk together there." Moreover, these paths seem to conduct to places more attractive and picturesque, if we may use the expression, than anything here met with. True, there may be caught, here and there, between branches of waving foliage, lovely prospects; but these, like " angels' visits, are few and far between;" and besides this, they are all distant spots, towards which, though apparently advancing, no nearer approach is made; and onward, still onward, along this almost unfrequented path we track our lonely way. "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Patience here, at times, becomes well nigh exhausted; and the Christian soldier is in danger of halting because of the difficulties of the way; hope of the wished for goal becomes almost extinct; and, of the rich reward, after which he has been toiling, he is ready to despair. Still he holds on his way, "faint yet pursuing;" recalling the promise, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk,
foretaste of its blessedness, the vision so refreshes his spirit, that he buckles closer his armour, and with renewed
alacrity, like the Ethiopian eunuch after his interview with Philip, who preached to him of Jesus, goes on his way rejoicing."
journey, begins to see why its many promising objects, which when possessed disappointed his expectations, wore such a smooth appearance; and he discovers that it was distance alone that lent to them their enchantment. Let the Christian apply this fact to his heavenward course, and he will, at once, believe that the other half of his journey will be found comparatively easy; for as in the world of sense, however tempting many unpossessed objects may ap pear in the distance, which attained, fall short of our hopes, so, in the Christian's travels, is there much to beguile from the strait and narrow way which leadeth unto life, and which, yielded to, will assuredly fail to realize his expect ations, if they do not involve him in irremediable ruin. But let him adhere to the unerring chart, the Word of God, and he will in all his perplexities, and in all his temptations, when ready perhaps to halt-hear a voice saying to him, "This is the way, walk ye in it;""To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God:" and long ere he reach the end of the "King's High Road," he will have learnt to distinguish between speciousness and truth, and to disregard, as well as to
turn his eyes away from, fair distant
And nortal spirits tire and faint
"Yet a moment and I know,
Happy entrance will be given,
And earth exchanged for heaven."
And the "afterwards!" Who shall paint with sufficiently glowing colours, the ecstasies of the man of God, who has toiled along through adverse cir cumstances-trials by the way, known only in their intensity to himself and to his Maker? Who shall describe the joy of such a man, who, at the golden portals of the New Jerusalem, lays down his armour, and, as he casts his last look upon it, in the full sense of its services, with gratitude and humility exclaims, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge will give me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that love his appearing"? At such a moment, his trials, now not only distant, but over, will appear to him no longer rough and tedious, but as bright mercies; and the road on which so often his courage failed, and his hopes died away, will, in the retrospect, look not only smooth, but easy and delightsome. If his eye, for a moment, moistens with the tear of regret, that those who are his dearest earthly treasures, his wife, his beloved children, or the friend of his youth, are not with him-if he experience a momentary fear lest some of these may not follow him if he admit the natural wish that he could, as it were, once more recount the value of the gospel armour, now laid by for ever,-if he could but bequeath it to them-he is instantly
checked and consoled by the conviction,
"Tune, tune, ye saints, your harps of gold,
"Jesus, thy smile illumes each arch
That in thy temple stands;
And gilds yon portals, through which march
"We leave our armour at the gate,
Bright in thy glory shining;
Our righteousness resigning.
Whose constant presence cheered us on,
And God our bliss supplies!
Who would not aspire to so great re ward?
To the saint, arrived at his final home, light, indeed, must his trials appear in the retrospect. He now receives "the end of his faith, even the salvation of his soul." Blessed state of Not cessation from activity; not indolent repose; but freedom from "fightings without, and fears within ;" a state of "peace and assurance for ever."
Fighting Christian, be encouraged! The road you are traversing, though rough and toilsome, is, we have shown, safe. No cross, no crown," be the motto of your banner! And raise it high!
Let it float aloft beneath the blue heavens, that as you journey on, sing
ing beneath its graceful wavings, others may be attracted to it, rally around it, and make the resolve-" We will go with you, for we perceive that God is with you of a truth.""
To those who have just entered upon the Christian warfare-the youthful soldiers of the cross-we would say-onward -onward; and would remind them that, cre they can become victorious, they must endure hardships: for, as the apostle Paul has said, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." “Wherefore,” he adds, "take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the
| wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Thus equipped, success is certain; for this panoply is provided by the Captain of Salvation himself, for all those who enlist in his service. Go forth, then, in this, "conquering, and to conquer !" Cast off every vestige of self-righteousness, and be clothed in the garment of salvation, that robe which was woven on the cross, and dyed there in the life-blood of Emmanuel, so, at the end of your warfare-" in this arrayed, with joy shall you lift up your head"—a crown shall the righteous Judge give to you in that day; and you shall cast it at His feet, with the multitude of the redeemed around the throne, exclaiming, “Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord, but unto thy name be the glory." "To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
S. S. S.
THE DUTY OF BRITISH CHRISTIANS AT THE PRESENT SEASON, TO IMPLORE THE SPIRITUAL ADVANTAGE OF THE FOREIGNERS WHO MAY VISIT THE METROPOLIS.
It is not for us, indeed, to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power-to assume an acquaintance with secret purposes and a prophetic knowledge; yet is it our duty to observe "the signs of the times," and to seize every opportunity of doing good. The present influx of foreigners, from so many parts of the world, into our metropolis, has excited thousands to form schemes of usefulness, and will, doubtless, lead to continued and vigorous exertion. Conversations will be held, kindness will be shown, sermons preached, tracts distributed; and effort, in a thousand forms, will be made to bring the
stranger and foreigner to be a fellowcitizen with the saints, and of the household of God. We trust, also, that these labours will, in most cases, be performed in that spirit of love, of courtesy, and of forbearance, which the gospel breathes; for on few occasions will there be more need of taking heed to our spirit, of speaking the truth in love.
Let it, however, be deeply impressed on our minds, that the most evangelical efforts will be made, and in the most wise and kind ways, and no lasting good attained, if they be not vivified and rendered the power of God unto salvation by the Holy Spirit.
One purpose of the brief history given
Without any improper indulgence of the imagination, or giving a religious character to one merely secular and international, we may view this historic fact as suggesting encouragement for us to implore and expect the saving influence of the Holy Spirit on great assemblies of people collected out of different countries.
by inspiration of the acts of the apo- | blished the truth of Christianity beyond stles is, that we may learn how we a question. ought to act, and what we may expect, in circumstances in any respect similar to those which are there recorded: and we think that the meeting of so many foreigners with so many of our own countrymen, during the summer of the present year, will place us in something of the relation, and call upon us to cherish some hopes of the disciples, when they awaited, at the Feast of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Ghost.
In the second chapter and fifth verse of the Acts it is said, "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." Kaλokovvтes, the word which is rendered " dwelling," means, in the first place, those who were constant residents in the Holy City; a number of persons from the most distant countries, increased by the general expectation, at | that time, that the Messiah would make his appearance at Jerusalem. The word also means "sojourners," or "lodgers." Of this sort of persons, large numbers would be assembled at the Feast of Weeks, or of Pentecost.
Thus it pleased Him, with whom is the residue of the Spirit, to bestow this inestimable gift of the Holy Ghost, at a season of a vast collection of the scattered family of Abraham; and to call thousands to Christian fellowship out of the multitudes assembled at a Jewish Festival. This great event in the history of the church, so wise in its character, and so "prudent" in the time of its occurrence, was eminently qualified to give publicity to the gospel, and to show how faithful and worthy of all acceptation the saying is, "that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Philologically considered, the Miracle of Tongues was wisely adapted both to qualify the disciples for preach ing the gospel to every creature, and to secure the services of foreigners; and viewed as a demonstration, it esta
This doctrine is applicable to the present season of the Great Exhibition in London, and urges upon our own nation the most solemn duty and the most delightful hopes. May all who walk after the Spirit have grace to perceive these things!
It is not improbable that from two to three millions of strangers may visit London during the period of the Exhibition. There will be seen the semi-barbaric and the refined: the African, the Asiatic, the American, and the European, from continents and from the islets of the sea: the philosophic, and the rude and illiterate idolater: the atheist, the Jew, the Turk, and the infidel: the most superstitious, the most neological: the members of the Greek and of the Roman Church—a human miscellany beyond example,-all, too, awake to the national and the individual advantage of art and science, and of community of mind.
Surely if the heart of the British Christian, on seeing this confluence of humanity "fears," it ought also to "be enlarged" with active charity, and no effort should be spared, either with God or with man, to secure on it a blessing above the reach of ingenuity and science: surely he should endeavour to exhibit to all Jesus Christ, evidently set forth, and crucified among them.
One reason for calling on our fellowChristians to be importunate in prayer for the influences of the Holy Spirit, arises out of the fact, that so large a number of human beings are brought together-beings possessing the capa
bilities, the power, and the responsi- | journers amongst them under its sound; bility of man.
Look at the individual. Think of the condition of his body, so soon to die, and of his soul, formed for eternity. Reflect on his awful peril as connected with the First Adam; of his salvation, as united to the Second, the Lord from heaven. Ponder over his hold on the sympathies of our nature, his social influence-a power either to curse or to bless his species. Behold him in his destiny for either condemnation or for glory! What awful interest gathers round a single man!
Multiply, then, this individual-the worth of whose soul a world does not equal-by two or three millions, and try to conceive the value of the great assembly. What archangel can estimate its worth? it is overwhelming!
Let it also not be forgotten that vast congregations of mankind are exposed to powerful temptations; and, if not graciously prevented, will as surely corrupt each others' minds as they will the air. Nor must we lose sight of the fact, that both in public and in private, the agents of infidelity and of vice, and the advocates of superstition, will most zealously exert themselves in the work of corruption. Can anything, therefore, be more desirable, than that these persons should, during their temporary sojourn, hear, in their own language, the wonderful works of God? than that they should turn aside from the Depôt of Art and Science, and behold the great sight furnished by Him who "so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." Oh, that all may see and admire that Exhibition which shall be the wonder of the city, the building of whose walls was of jasper, and of pure gold, like unto clear glass! Let the truth as it is in Jesus be spoken by our metropolitan ministers and Christians, and every effort made to bring the so
and let all who love the Saviour in every place, wrestle with the God of all grace, until the Spirit be poured out from on high.
Another reason for our invoking the influences of the Holy Spirit is, that the meeting is composed of persons from so many and such distant parts of the world. Such was the congregation under Peter's sermon: Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians. What a fine opportunity for qualifying missionaries to preach Christian truth to all these nations! How the wisdom and prudence of God was displayed in employing such an instrumentality, at such a time, for making known to the scattered Jews, and through them, to the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ! A beautiful method of undoing the insulating evils of Babel, of the building of the church towering heavenward, a centre of union and a monument of grace!
And when the miscellaneous character of the Exhibition assembly, and the diversity of their country and language are considered, it inspires hopes that some out of the forty represented nations and people, having heard and received the gospel of salvation, will echo the sweet sound to their respective countrymen, and become the most efficient messengers of mercy. How many may, on their return home, exclaim, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound!"
The Exhibition will be attended by various idolaters, more or less civilized and literary: the Pantheistic Chinese and Buddhist, the Polytheistic Brahmin, and the votaries of numerous idols, with the superstitious legends and degrading notions, received by tradition,