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A Page for the Young.
A HOTTENTOT BOY. A poor black boy, the property of a slaveholder in Africa, having heard of the preaching of the missionaries, felt a strong desire to go and hear about Jesus Christ. For this purpose, he crept secretly away one evening; but, being obliged to pass under the window of the house, his master saw him and called out—“Where are you going?” The
poor fellow came back, trembling, and said: "Me go to hear the missionaries, massa.”
“To hear the missionaries, indeed! If you ever go there, you shall have nine-and-thirty lashes, and be put in irons.”
With a disconsolate look, the boy replied; “Me tell Massa -me tell the great Massa."
“Tell the great Master,” replied the master; "what do you mean?"
“Me tell the great Massa, the Lord of heaven, that massa was angry
with me, because I wanted to go and hear his word.” The master was struck with astonishment; his colour changed, and, unable to conceal his feelings, he hastily turned away, saying
“Go along and hear the missionaries.”
Being thus permitted, the poor boy gladly went. In the mean time, the mind of the master became restless and uneasy.
He had not been accustomed to think that he had a Master in heaven, who knew and observed all his actions; and he at length determined to follow his slave, and see if there could be any peace for his troubled spirit. Creeping, unobserved, into a secret corner, he eagerly listened to the words of the missionary, who that day addressed the natives from John xxi. 15%"Lovest thou me?"
"Is there no poor sinner,” said the missionary, “who can answer this question? Not one poor slave who loves Jesus Christ? "No one who dares to confess Him?"
Here the poor boy, unable to forbear any longer, sprang forward, and holding up both his hands, while the tears streamed down his eks, cried out, with eagerness—“Yes, massa, me do love Him! Me love Him!-me love Him with all my heart!"
The master was still more astonished; and he went home convinced of the blessings which the gospel brings, and became a decided christian.
This page may catch a thoughtless glance. Let it, however, awaken one minute's thought.
Come! Who calls me with this grave voice? My work, my business, calls me. Attend to it then. “He that will not work, neither shall he eat.”
Come! Who calls me in these social accents? Friends, companions, call me. What kind of friends ? “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
COME! Who calls me in these alluring tones? Amusement, pleasure, call me. See to it they be not such as will bring shame and terror at last."
Come! Who calls with this voice of kind authority? It is thy God! He deigns to accost thee, his creature. To-day he
“Come now, and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Come! Again am I called. Yes, THE SON OF GOD addresses you too. He sees you burdened with sins, which, if you feel them not as yet, will overpower you in misery at last. “Come,” he says, “take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and
ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Come! Once more called. Yes, thrice more. The last chapter of God's word sends you three messengers. “The Holy Spirit says, Come; the bride (i.e., the church of Christ's true followers) says, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
COME! Oh, let this be the last call! What an awful voice. Yes, it is the voice of Death. He, too, says, Come; says it now afar off, but will one day say it, and never repeat it. Come to the grave,—to judgment,and, -oh, may attendant angels add,—“to the joy of thy Lord.”
1 Eccles. xi. 9.
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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS. M. M. P. “Will you oblige me in your next 'Appeal' with an explanation of John vi, 58? I cannot understand the difference between the mortality of the Jews in the wilderness and any other of the human race.” M. M. P. should have said " believers in Christ " instead of “human race," as it is to those who "ate of Christ as the living bread and the true bread of heaven,” that our Lord promised an immortality contrasting strikingly with the mortality of the Jews, who also ate the “bread of heaven,” that is, the manna miraculously given them in the wilderness. M. M. P. will perceive that our Lord took occasion, from the multitudes having followed him after the miracle of feeding five thousand with five barley loaves and two fishes, to direct their attention to himself as the author of eternal life. The multitudes followed him hoping to be fed by him, without trouble, with the bread of this life; he, according to his custom, used the circumstance as a lesson on that “life which he came from heaven to bestow on man." The Jews naturally recollected (ver. 31) that under the leadership of Moses, God had given their fathers the manna ; perhaps many of them hoped for something similar under the Messiah ; but Christ, alluding to this idea again in verses 49–58, represents himself as the food on which they were to live, and immortality as the consequence of their “eating his flesh and drinking his blood.” The mortality, then, of those who so believe in Christ that it may be figuratively compared to “living upon him,"-of those to whose souls Christ as an object of faith bears the same relation as the manna did to the bodies of the Israelites,-of those who can say with Paul, “ the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,”_their mortality differs from that of other men by all which Christ meant in promising “immortal life” to believers. That he did not mean that his fol. lowers should not literally die, as other men do, is clear from his promising three times in this very conversation, to “raise them again at the last day." We understand by it, therefore, that believers never die, 1st, because they never taste the bitterness of death, -"it is better for them to depart and be with Christ,”_"absent from the body” they are "present with the Lord,”—and “ blessed are the dead which die. in the Lord, for they rest from their labours, and their works follow them.” 2ndly, because they will not feel the second death (Rev. xx. 14), but will be raised at Christ's appearing in unutterable glory. To the view of our Lord, and of John when he wrote this gospel, and of Paul, and of all early believers, “death was swallowed up in the victory" of Christ's triumph over it for all true believers.
W. H. (Sheffield.) Luke, in giving his own account (Acts ix. 7), mentions that those with the apostle Paul at the time of his conversion, did hear the voice, but saw no one; yet in narrating Paul's account of the same occurrence (Acts xxii. 9), he represents him as saying that they heard not the voice, but saw the light. The contradiction can be only apparent. No man of capacity to write such a book as the Acts, could so mani. festly contradict himself. The explanation is, Luke had to record the conversion of Paul three times (chap. xxvi. also). As a skilful writer, he mentions, in each narrative, circumstances not occurring in the other. “Hear” is plainly used in one case in its frequent sense of “understand.” Christ spoke in the Hebrew tongue (Acts xxvi. 14), and probably the men did not understand it. It would appear to them an unintelligible noise; it might be that the voice might sound to them like thunder accompanying the : light. We ourselves say we cannot “hear" a speaker, when, from the peculiarity of his voice, or the echo of the place, we cannot distinguish the words.
“Geo.” In Gen. x. 5, “Every one after his tongue," the historian is describing, by anticipation, divisions into nations which took place after the confusion of tongues, to avoid interrupting his genealogical deduction of them from ah; hence it is no way incompatible with the fact mentioned in chap. xi. 1, that “the earth was one language," as he there resumes his narrative from the 9th chapter.- What is said in the first chapter of Genesis, of light existing before the sun, is, at least with the theory of light which is in favour with modern scieuce, perfectly conceivable. We suppose our correspondent is not a scientific man. All can, however, easily conceive of the fact of the material of light pre-existing, and of its being afterwards placed in its present relation to the “EVERY ONE FOR HIMSELF."
How often we hear this phrase. A new tradesman comes to a place and lessens the business of the former residents,—an operative turns out more or better work in the same time, and displaces an older hand,-a merchant, by clever management, can sell somewhat lower than others, drive them almost all out of the market, and enrich himself,—the sufferers in each case naturally complain, but the neighbours generally reply, “Yes, it is hard, to be sure, but every one for himself.” And so it always has been, and so it probably will yet be for generations to come. Till the gospel of Jesus Christ has really changed all human hearts, the character of most men will be summed up in the cold hearted expression, “Every one for himself.”
Not the most pleasing view this of our fellow-men. Let us turn to another. What social beings we are.
Few of us can endure to be long alone. Some one to speak with, to laugh with, or even to mourn with, we must have. Our life is spent actually or virtua in society. We are expecting to rejoin our fellow-men, or busy in their company, or remembering our recent conversations and doings with them. Our very solitude, indeed, is, for the more part, imagi. nary society. How strange that creatures whom their Maker formed so clearly for one another, should be such selfish creatures ! Depravity has made quite natural to us the unworthy rule, “Every one for himself.”
There are, however, aspects of our condition here on earth in which this rule is the true one; yet it is just these aspects in which the same depravity overlooks its application. It says, “Every one for himself,” when it ought not; but forgets it when alone it should be remembered.
“Every one for himself,” we ought to say, when we think of our responsibility to God. No one can answer to Him for me. rests on me, on my heart, on my thoughts, on my words, on my ways.' “Every one must give account of himself to God.” To Him I am answerable for all I do with my fellow-men, for all I do by myself. For every one of the million thoughts which no mortal knows of; yea, for the vihole of my life, “For God shall bring every work into JUDGMENT, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.”2
“Every one for himself,” is the proper language of the sufferer under affliction, personal affliction, such as sickness especially. No one else can bear our pain and weakness. Friends and physicians ought to do their best to soothe and mitigate, still we must suffer for ourselves. It is the voice of God to us. He calls on us to “reason
1 See Psalm 138.
* Eccles. xii. 14.