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that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church ; but every now and then God has shown His wisdom by refusing to allow any to 'touch' His anointed, or .do harm’ to His prophet. Never, surely, did man stand in greater peril than Luther, or more steadfastly face the prospect of death, even taunting his foes with the • disgrace' of permitting him to live. Yet Luther died and was buried in peace, he never spent an hour in prison, nor was an hair of his head singed; and that though he lived the greater part of his life excommunicated by the Pope, and under the ban of the Emperor. Thirty years before Luther's birth, John Huss had prophesied : 'You are now roasting the goose ;* but in a hundred years you will raise up the swan, whom
shall not roast nor scorch. Him men will hear sing; him, God willing, they will let live, even as they ought.'
The centuries that have passed since Luther died, have only made his memory greener, and to-day men may quote with firmer faith than ever the inscription placed over the house in which he was born: "God's Word is Luther's lore, which abides for evermore.' His memory may not perish from the Church of God; we glorify God as we hold in grateful remembrance the name and work of this His faithful servant, of whom, as of St. Paul, it might be said, he was Christ's chosen vessel' to bear' His name before the Gentiles, and kings and the children of Israel.'
* Huss means goose.
• To such a name,
And ever-echoing avenues of song.' Yea, rather let us glorify his Lord in him by perpetuating his work, and handing on to after ages the unfettered Word of God.
A. E. G.
LUTHER'S CRADLE SONG.
TRANSLATED BY JACOBI. SLEEP well, my dear, sleep safe and God make thy mother's health infree:
crease, The holy angels ever with thee,
To see thee grow in strength and Who always see thy Father's face,
grace, And never slumber, nights nor days.
In wisdom and humility,
As infant Jesus did for thee ! Thou liest down, soft every way ; God fill thee with His heavenly light, Thy Saviour lay in straw and hay :
To steer thy Christian course aright; Tby cradle is far better drest
Make thee a tree of blessèd root, Than the hard crib where He did rest.
That ever bends with godly fruit ! None dare disturb thy present ease; Sleep now, my dear, and take thy rest, He had a thousand enemies :
And if with riper years thou’rt blest, Thou livest in great security ;
Increase in wisdom day and night, But He was punished, and for thee! Till thou attain'st the eternal light !
ON HIS DAY:
BY THE REV. G. STRINGER ROWE.
Of the precepts which are here brought together, and serve to finely outline the main features of the true Christian life, those which are grouped in this verse bave lost much of their proper force amongst us, through the misapplication of the first of them, owing to the form it takes in our English Version. If by the word business, you understand the business of religion, you get nearer to the Apostle's meaning. But it is a very plain fact that people, for the most part, do not so understand it, but give to it the significance in which they are the most accustomed to use it, finding here a condemnation of indolence in the occupations of this life. Such counsel Paul knew well how to give, and how to illustrate it in his own conduct: but his teaching does not look at all in this direction just here. The common mistake as to his meaning in this one particular bas, it is to be feared, often done much towards hindering the carrying out of the precepts with which this one is here joined : for people have a way of hanging one counsel as a weight upon the other, as if one should say: 'Yes, I allow that I ought to be fervent in spirit; but then I must also take care not to be slothful in business;' which practically works out thus, that whatever becomes of the spiritual fervency, business must be attended to.
This admonition is really directed against being slothful in religious diligence or earnestness. At first sight, perhaps, the advice seems to involve such a contradiction as to be scarcely necessary: as if it should be said, 'In heat, do not be cold.' But a little faithful watching of our own hearts will teach us better. Have there not been times when that in our religion which we called warmth was really cold? The altar was still there, but the fire had gone out. There was something to which we liked to give the name of earnestness, but it had become dull and inactive. Let us then each ask ourselves, how far our diligence is awake, alert to discover opportunities of service, and strenuous in helping forward that which is good.
Fervent in spirit.—Here we come to the secret of true earnestness, which will not last long unless there be the hidden fire, where love sends forth desire and purpose all aglow with a warmth which no discouragement can chill. The Gospel history furnishes many an example of this principle at work, but there is one, in the description of which we have the self-same terms used as here. It is said of Apollos (Acts xviii. 25), that, being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord. By means of such a pattern, we may try the degree of our own fervour in spirit.
Serving the Lord.—This is not an undefined and effusive zeal, spending its energy in much demonstration leading to little result. It is a yoked power, seeking to do the will of the Lord, not in some general way, but just as, and when and where, that will is laid upon it to perform. It is no serving at all if it do not mean this.
DECEMBER 9th.-For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people : He will beautify the meek with salvation.—PSALM CXLIX. 4.
This is a wonderful position of favour in which the Lord's people stand. Their portion is dealt out with no grudging hand; for the very smallest, and feeblest, the most unworthy of them all, can say, as I am bold to say this day, 'The Lord not only remembers me, but takes pleasure in me. How can I understand this? It means far
more than pity; for we may sincerely pity that which disgusts us. And it is much more than the love wherewith God loved the world, even to the giving of His Son to redeem it. If we are in Christ Jesus, the Father gathers us into the great, I am well pleased, together with Him. But this does not tell all; for if it were possible for the sinning and the polluted to be in Christ, it would not be possible for the Lord to take pleasure in them, even for His sake.
Musing thus, on the Lord's Day, my mind goes back to the first Sabbath, when the Creator surveyed all His completed work, and rested satisfied with its excellence. And I know, and rejoice to know, that it is just so far as His own good work is done in me that He delights in me. Therefore would I bestir myself so to worship before Him that His purpose concerning me, so often and so unfaithfully hindered, may be all wrought out; that I may yield myself with an entire consent to His whole will, and thus altogether enter into His rest, my whole being shone upon, quickened with the full smile of His satisfied love. Not only in some general way, in company with the whole multitude of God's people, will I seek to be thus blessed ; but I would humbly, yet in all assurance, look to secure that distinct personal favour which he had, of whom it is written, He had this testimony that he pleased God. O that there may be in me daily more and more of the Lord's own doing, to give Him ever-growing delight in me !
All this truth is uttered in the homeliest language of our familiar affection, when the word goes on to speak of beautifying the meek with salvation : and the memory awakens of that other gracious declaration, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee (Isaiah lxii, 5). Be bold to think out the thought, as God thus tenderly deigns to put it. He loves thee so well, that He delights to see thee beautiful, and therefore to make thee beautiful. He brings out of His royal treasure wondrous things of loveliness wherewithal to adorn thee; and whatever they are called, all are gathered in the one great word, salvation. There is no real beauty outside of that term. Within it, all beauty is perfected—through My comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God (Ezek. xvi, 14).
In our enjoyment of the benefits of God's salvation, do we think and make enough of the beautifulness of it? The best robe is no mere homespun, but a goodly garment; and the Lord hath fair and costly jewels for His lowliest ones to wear, that the gracious lustre of them
may win men's eyes, and charm them into asking whence they came, and what manner of Father He is Who dowers His children after this sort.
Do I make it my dutiful study that my saved life shall exhibit the beauties of salvation? Then this shall be
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my
God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation ; He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a tride adorneth herself with her jewels (Isaiah
DECEMBER 18th.-And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.—MATTHEW 1. 21.
Already the light of the Christian Feast, which fills the year's close with gladness, falls, in nearing anticipation, upon our way of worship. And can we better prepare ourselves for the festival than by heedfully listening to this the last word of direct heavenly revelation concerning Christ before He came ?
The name of Jesus has long been familiar and sacredly dear to us. It is a name which comes to us bearing the most venerable traditions of worship. In it we have been accustomed to see the faith of Christian people declare its deepest trust, and to hear their praises reach their fullest joy. But, listening now to the words of the angel, we seem to receive, each one of us, a personal message and charge. Each of us must give a name to the Christ, a name which will tell what He is to us. It is not enough to copy the suffrage and testimony of others. When we have rehearsed all the titles in which the whole Church adores Him, He waits, looking into our inmost hearts, and saying, But who say ye that I am ? As if He asked, "What am I to
If we take Christ to be to us all He was sent to be, then, and only then, shall we give Him the heaven-chosen name, JESUS. For whatever else Christ came, He came first of all, and most of all, to save. The knowledge, and the acknowledgment, of His salvation, must, therefore, be the chief ingredient in the incense of my praise ; for if this be lacking, the best I can bring will be but an ill-savour before God.
Am I thus prepared to keep the coming feast, and, with a good conscience and a thankful heart, to salute Christ as JESUS? He will hardly accept the title from me if I mean thereby to hail Him only as a Saviour in hope, and in reserve. He is sent to save His people from their sins. This surely means something more than that His people are always to have before them the expectation of being some day saved from their sins.
Can I say to-day that the salvation which is now effected in me is