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life. I have pulled away the young branches, endeavouring to refix them in a different position, but in vain : the work of adhesion was one that human skill could not accomplish, nor human power compel. The utmost that I could do was to afford an artificial support to the detached branch, until, having continued its growth, it put out new fingers, as I called them, to take a stronger hold on its bulwark. This might be very aptly illustrated by the past bistory of a Church where faith might have become dead, as regarded a race of individuals; but where, by that aid from without which may God in his mercy ever dispose the State to extend in the Church, better days were provided for ; and the visible branch restored to its pristine beauty and strength, through faith newly infused into the members, enabling them to cleave wholly to Christ. But my present business is with the Ivy in its mature state, upheld by the might of its immoveable supporter-with the persecated men of whom it is a lively type; who, in the midst of all that renders the present agonizing, and the future terrific, can adopt the language of inspired Paul, “None of these things move me; neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Herein lies the mystery of that patient endurance, the deep and general silence of which made the very existence of their distress questionable among us. “To testify the gospel of the grace of God," was the object and end of all their labours; and their willing task it was, after Paul's example, to learn, in whatsoever state they were therewith to be content-they would know both how
to be abased, and know how to abound; everywhere, and in all things, they were instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Yea, they can do all things THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH them. It is by close communion with Him that his afflicted servants are enabled thus to glorify God in the day of visitation-to glorify him in the fires. He has taught them that he careth for them : and they, unreservedly, cast every care upon him: yet, like Paul to the beloved Philippians, they will say to us, “ Notwithstanding, ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction." Ob that we could rightly appreciate the value of such an example at our very doors, of suffering according to the will of God! But all cannot realize the scenes now enacting in poor Ireland ; and few there are whom I could invite to weep with me beneath the storm-beaten Ivy.
But what a spectacle does it present in the sight of that great cloud of witnesses who encompass it! They, who through faith and patience have already inherited tbe promises, how must they rejoice over their militant brethren, marching onward, through much tribulation, to swell the army of that Church triumphant ? Bodily anguish, cold, hunger, and the yet more grievous pain of beholding those dependent on them sharing in their privations -mental inquietude, às the future lot in life of their destitute little ones will force itself on their anxious thought -abandonment on the one hand, on the other, barbarous exultation ; the muttered curse of the vindictive, deluded peasant, the heartless scoff, and ribald jest of the far more degraded, though flattered and pensioned poet-these are the lot of men of whom
the world is not worthy; and cruel they are to poor shrinking humanity. But they endure as seeing Him who is invisible, and though now they prophesy in sack-cloth, and by and by they may be slain, still Christ has prepared for them a kingdom, wbich, after a little while they shall receive, becoming kings and priests unto God.
It is of those who, like the Ivy, cling by living faith unto the Rock of salvation, that I thus speak. I speak not of the Church, nor of her ministry, as though an outward profession, or formal ordination, could knit the soul to Christ. There is dross in the furnace, no less than gold. Many suffer compulsorily, who would not endure an hour's affliction for Christ and his gospel. But the patient servants of God are known unto Him; and they are so many as now to characterise the whole Church. Some straggling shoots disfigure my Ivy, which hang upon it but to be lopped off; yet the plant clings to its supporter, and those unsightly exceptions alter it not. It looks green; and its polished leaves, dark in themselves, reflect the brightness of day. I know that the appointed season of winter must endure for a while ; but I also know that the spring-tide shall not fail. A time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, to bid his suffering saints rejoice. “ Then the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and sigbing sball Nee away.”
WALK THE FOURTEENTH.-John vii. 37.
It was on “the last day,—that great day of the feast,” that-sorrowing in our hearts because of the griefs of our Lord, and the blindness of the people, -we ascended from the valley after a long and wearisome journey, and were toiling up the lofty flight of steps which form the approach to the vast terrace, upon which is built Solomon's porch: we followed our blessed Lord and Master from place to place, and were witnesses,-how that he is indeed despised and rejected of men
My companions as well as myself had long journeyed on in quiet contemplation, yet by the words of one who first breaks the long silence, it would seem that our spirits had held communion. He bursts forth thus,-.“ Where shall wisdom be found ? Man knoweth not the place thereof, it cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof-the gold and the chrystal cannot equal itấno mention shall be made of coral or pearl, -the price of wisdom is above rubies, the topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it. Whence cometh wisdom, seeing it is hid?" (Job xxviii.)
“ Yes," I replied, “it is far off and exceeding deep;” but have we not "applied our beart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom. Bebold this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account,- -one man among a thousand have I found.” (Eccles. vii.) The compass of the knowledge given to Solomon by God, was beyond the attainment of man by any labour of his own, and in the “ largeness” of his heart he saw the essential wisdom of God, in Him who was with God “before bis works of old, or even the earth was.” And the upright and afflicted man, whose words thou hast just made thine own, foresaw what is now placed before our eyes. Yes, companion of my pilgrimage, have we not found that these treasures are all hidden in him who goes before us in the path of tribulation ? rest assured he will smooth the ragged and toilsome way. The veil which has covered our eyes, and the eyes of our fathers, he is uplifting. As yet the day-star is but rising upon us; let us fix our eyes steadfastly upon this glowing point, until it bursts into the full glory of day—“to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Thus communing, we dispelled in some measure our sadness, as we ascended, step by step, and were at length guided into the court of the Gentiles.Here a voice is heard which animates and comforts us—the voice of one crying aloud in words fraught with mercy and wisdom.
Surely, I exclaimed, our end is accomplished, our search is rewarded ; we hear the voice of the Lord Jesus, aud wisdom, righteousness, and mercy flow from his lips. And all have just heard the joyful