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aged 56 years. Having long loved the Saviour, she was immersed into His name as a result of the presentation of the truth in connection with the formation of the church in Wolverhampton. Patient, kindly, and ever regardful of the law of the

Lord, she was beloved by all the brethren who knew her.

"How blessed, Lord, are they

On Thee securely stayed!
Nor shall they yet in life alarmed,
Nor yet in death dismayed."

Family Room.


"Let them learn to show piety at home."-1 Tim. v.

So wrote Paul to Ephesus, to Timothy, for the guidance of disciples, that they might show true filial love. By attending to this first duty they recompensed their parents or guardians for the care bestowed upon them during childhood, and also saved the Church from a burden which truly belongs to individual members. Sons or daughters, therefore, have not the right to allow the church to support their parents while they are able so to do; for, as Paul tells us, if a disciple willingly neglect the personal maintenance of those of his own house, he has, in so doing," denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." “Very hard language, Paul," says some one. Yes, no doubt, but that it is just, no true heart will for a moment deny.

But the lessons of home piety may be carried further than the mere context of this passage would seem to imply. Looking upon the sentence above as a simple motto, then the principle of the teaching includes the entire practice of religion at home as seen both in the individual and in the home itself.

O! be kind to the loved ones at home. Here, surely, all earthly heart-joys meet, and all the holiest affections of the soul are drawn out into healthy exercise by the educative influence of the family life. That disciple, whether from choice or necessity, is but half educated who has not culled its flowers for the enrichment of his own spiritual life. Other delights than those of "sweet home" often monopolize undue attention, and the very deceitfulness of the heart, or sourness of the individual nature, magnifies its little trials into mountains which cast a dark shadow of doubt upon its hearth, make its sweetness bitter, and stands between the soul and its potent influences for good.

Just look at our John coming into chapel with his wife and family on a Lord's-day morning. All are clean, tidy, happy, and contented. The boys and girls appear to have put on their Sunday faces, and everything is bright and cheerful, as it ought to be on such an occasion. "Such a happy


family," is the general remark; "he ought
to be proud of it." And so he is, let me tell
you, for several of them are in the Church,
and the younger ones are in the Sunday
School, and thus in a fair way of being
trained up in the nurture and admonition of
the Lord. But this is just one side of the
picture. Let us look at home. So long as
the children are kept tidy and clean, and
family matters run smoothly, our John is
very kind and affable-a better man never
breathed. He is a jewel of a husband. But
a flaw in domestic arrangements is sure to
upset his good temper and he becomes as
surly as a bear and will hardly speak to
any one at home. The family is large, and
his wife, with a little help from her eldest
daughter, has a hard struggle to move
along. The daughter might do more if it
were not that, like many, she is fonder of
walking out in the evenings, after factory
work is over, than of helping her mother,
and thus showing piety at home. Well,
sometimes the dinner is a little late, or
hardly done to a turn; the parlour is not
in order in the evening, and some one has
been meddling with his books. John is
going out, and his overcoat isn't brushed,
his boots are not blacked, his wife is so
taken up, for baby has the whooping cough,
or little Johnny is ill with scarlatina. Then,
awful to relate, he finds that his collar
is minus a button, and he already late for
that lecture. Then, I am sorry to say, our
John completely forgets himself, grumbles
in a very unchristian fashion, and fumes
about the carelessness of certain people,
and the trials of certain husbands.
thus puts himself completely out of temper
with everybody and everything and cannot,
I am sure, enjoy the meeting; in short,
over such trifles he makes himself miser-
able, and also forgets the need of piety at
home. His wife is a Christian woman, with
not so much push in her, perhaps, as John
would like. Yet, as the weaker vessel, she
bears up, and goes along wonderfully under
all her family cares. She has her times of
sorrow and depression, however, like other
mothers, when her burden is almost too


Observer, Jan. 1, 71

ture. Perhaps he sits in blissful and selfish ignorance by your own hearthstone busily concocting some grand scheme of worldwide benevolence and forgetting the prior claims of the loved ones at home to a supreme place in his heart. But we must arouse him from his day-dream, and say, "Shame upon your inconsistency as a Christian!"

much to bear, I have dropped in upon her | know that "our John" is no fanciful picjust as John had gone to some meeting-for he doesn't stay much at home with his family in the evenings when he ought to, let me tell you-and found that she had been taking a "little cry" over her troubles, as she called it, to ease her burdened heart. Withal she is a true wife, loves her husband and family, never complains to any one, but struggles on, waiting for a happier time, perchance in her advanced years; if not, then on the other side of the river of life, where there will be "rest for the weary." In the meantime she casts her burden on the Lord, and in faith and patience does her part as a mother and a Christian, knowing that in due season she will reap if she faints not. Though this be the case, still I know that a little more forbearance on the part of John, a little word of sympathy now and then from him when he comes home from work and finds her in the midst of family trouble, a few thoughts read aloud from his "precious books," instead of keeping all to himself, as he sits by the fireside, would nerve that little woman's heart anew, fall like oil upon the troubled waters, lift half the burden of her cares away, and give her motive power to overcome more easily the trials of her lot. And why, we ask, if such blessed results flow from little deeds of kindness and little words of love, should they not be rendered to one another by those who are "heirs together of the grace of life ?" Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ."

Christian husbands and fathers dear, you

That man has yet to learn the A B C of practical religion who loses his temper and allows his manhood, not to mention his Christian feeling, to be overcome, to the discomfort of all around, by an occasional late or ill-cooked dinner, speckled linen, buttonless shirts, or such personal etceteras. They say that "every soldier is a hero, but not to his valet," and may it not be that some husbands and brothers are Christians to all but to those of their own families? Yes, brother, while you are away-possibly in all good conscience-spending all your piety and lavishing all your affability upon some prayer or public meeting, or perhaps in the ordinary business of life, thus making yourself a name in the Church and world for gentlemanliness, philanthropy, and devotion, what can the little world by your own fireside, who are often pained to the heart by your neglect, domestic peevishness, and petty tyranny, think of your conduct? And what does the divine law of love, interpreted in its broadest light, say of your conduct? Why, that genuine PIETY, which includes all the benign and joy-giving virtues of the Christian character, SHOULD ALSO BEGIN AT HOME. TIMOTHY.


"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Cor. ix. 24, 25.

"And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." 2 Tim. ii. 5.

"Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Heb. xii. 1, 2.

THE Apostle evidently makes allu- | chariot-racing. The candidates were sion to the instituted games, the chief of which were the Olympic, celebrated with great pomp and magnificence every fifth year by an immense concourse of people from all parts of the world. The most formidable and opulent sovereigns were competitors for the Olympic The exercises consisted principally in running, wrestling, and


to be freemen and of unexceptionable morality. They had to conform to a prescribed course of diet for some time at their own homes; but when their names were enrolled amongst the competitors, the law required them to reside at Elis for the space of thirty days before the games commenced, where the preparatory exercises were gone through, super

Observer, Jan. 1, '71.

batant, and who with the strictest justice conferred the crown."

intended by a number of illustrious | merit and pretensions of each compersons; a form of diet was authoritatively prescribed and strictly inspected, in order that the competitors might acquit themselves as worthy of the Grecian name and worthy of the crowd of illustrious personages by whom they would be surrounded "On the appointed day a herald called over their names, read to them the laws, led them round the stadium and with a loud voice demanded if any in that vast assembly could lay aught to the charge of the candidates. It no reply, then they were conducted to the altar and a solemn oath exacted from them that they would observe the strictest honour in the


Those who were


engage in the foot race were brought to the barrier to await the signal. When the cord fell, all at once sprang forward, fired with the love of glory, conscious that the eyes of all tha vast assembly were upon them and that the envied palm, if their's. would secure them high honour and immortalize their memory." We may imagine with what rapidity they would speed on their course and stretch every nerve to each the goal. No clothing impeded their movements, they were naked. At an early period a scarf had been worn round the waist, but one Orsippus, happening to be thrown down by his scarf becoming entangled about his feet, an being killed by the fall, it was decreed that all future competitors should contend naked. The prizes contended for were "chaplets comprised of sprigs of wild olive and branches of palm, they were placed upon a table in the middle of the stadium in full view of the competitors, so that looking upon them they might be stimulated to press forward in the race. Near the goal the tribunal was erected, on which were seated the presidents, persons venerable for years and character, who were the arbiters and judges of those arduous contentions, the impartial witnesses of the respective

These scenes must have been familiar to the apostle Paul, and beautifully has he used them. In the first Epistle to the Corinthians he views the Christian as a competitor in the race of life, for a neverfading crown, in contradistinction to those crowns which were so anxiously striven for and which consisted of wild olives or of parsley, whose freshness and beauty scarcely survived the winning. In the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews he recounts the mighty deeds of faith in the worthies of the former dispensation, and, as it were, ranges them into one vast assembly in whose presence the then and future generations were to run the race for eternal life; their presence was to animate the racers and stimulate them to keep the course, so that nothing should turn them from the straight line.

On one occasion as a competitor pressed forward in the race, a golden apple was thrown across his path, he turned aside to pick it up and thus allowed another to pass before him; by so doing he lost the crown.

How often have we now to lament over the turning aside of those who have for a time run well; worldly prosperity tempts them and they leave the straight line, not intending to desert Christ, but only to make the best of both worlds, which they conceive may be done by conforming to wordly customs, without altogether loosing their hold of Church requirements. Such an attempt generally ends in an abandonment of Christ and Christ's laws. They lay hold of the apple and lose the crown.

As the athlete had to dispense with all that could encumber, so the Christian is to throw off " every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset." This will cover every hindrance in his course. There are some things that cannot be classed with sins, that sorely hinder in the

Observer, Jan. 1, 71.

race and turn the eyes from Jesus. to gain applause and a fading palm There are weights of various kinds--the Christian is to strive for the undue love of home and family, in- Master's "Well done, good and terfering with the Saviour's require- faithful servant; enter into the joy ments, and preventing labour for the of thy Lord." As they gained honour spread of his cause-business en- and renown, so the Christian, who gagements allowed to obtrude when overcomes temptations and perseChrist's laws and ordinances should veres until the goal be reached, will be attended to. As the racer's receive a new name and an abunclothing was all cast off, lest the dant entrance into the everlasting loose robes then worn should en- kingdom. tangle, impede progress, and perhaps We are on the threshold of another cause death; so the Christian must year. Many who commenced this be aware of all that would impede year full of life and vigour have in the heavenly race; of the en- finished their course. Of some we tanglements of the world that would can confidently say, they have kept lead young man into business the faith. Henceforth there is laid relations or companionship or part-up for them a crown of righteousnership with a worldly person; that would lead a young woman to keep company or form the life union with one not a Christian, because of good worldly prospects or comely appearance; that would lead parents to place their youthful treasures in positions of doubt and danger because thereby worldly interest might be advantaged. The race must be lawfully run, and these entanglements must be thrown off if the crown is to be won. This may at first sight seem difficult, but, as in the race, the prize was placed right before the competitors to urge them on, and the judges waited to place upon their heated brow the wreath they so much desired; the herald stood ready to proclaim their victory, and the vast throng of illustrious spectators, anxious to take up the shout of congratulation and acknowledge the conquerors; while they kept all this in view there was little chance of their turning aside, So the Christian is to press forward, patiently looking unto Jesus, who will crown not one racer only, but everyone that strives lawfully. They strove to gain a fading chaplet-Christians strive for the unfading crown of immortality. They entered the lists and submitted to a rigid discipline

ness, which the Lord, the righteous jndge, shall give them at that day. We know not of whom this may be said at the close of the next year, but let each stretch every nerve and press on with vigour toward the mark for the prize, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Christians have a brighter hope, a richer prize, a nobler crown, a more illustrious assembly, and a more righteous judge placed before them to stimulate to perseverance, to reach the goal, than was offered to the Grecian competitors. Their victory would endure only for a short time— the Christian's through eternity. Their honours would moulder in the dust-the Christian's bloom for ever in that state where pain and sickness, sin and sorrow, cannot enter. Seeing then that we have such great and precious promises, let us—

"Covenant with hand and heart

To follow Christ our Lord;
With world and sin and self to part,
And to obey his word.
To love each other heartily,

In truth and in sincerity;
And under cross, reproach and shame,
To glorify his holy name."

Birmingham, Dec., 1870.


Observer, Feb. 1, '71


NEARLY nineteen centuries have elapsed since the advent of Christ, and still the "world lies in wickedness;" still millions of souls are starving for the bread of life. It is readily granted that Christianity has gained many signal and glorious triumphs; has shown itself to be mighty through God in pulling down the strongholds of Satan. In fact, all the progress made during the present century in the world's civilization comes directly or indirectly, from the Christian religion; and yet, it cannot be denied that its success is not what ought to be expected from a power so puissant in its regenerating and transforming influence.

Why is it that we are compelled to make this admission? Is it because the Gospel is less powerful than in the days of the apostles, when it "turned the world upside down," and achieved the most splendid victories in the face of the severest opposition? Or is it because the people are naturally less inclined to hear it and consider its claims? I do not think that any well-informed Christian will accept either of these views as the true solution. We cannot admit that the Gospel has lost any of its power. It is still "the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth." Neither will it do to affirm that men are naturally less disposed to obey the Gospel now than in the early days of Christianity. On the contrary, the world is much more enlightened now than then, and certainly less inclined to make a stubborn opposition to the truth. We must look, then, to other causes for a solution of the apparent disproportion between the means employed and the results obtained in the work of bringing the world under the influence of the Christian religion. And in order to bring the whole subject before you in a manner somewhat commensurate with its importance, I propose to examine the following questions:



I think it will not be denied that these are very. proper questions to propound on this occasion. For what do all our efforts mean, if they are not intended in some way to contribute to the great work of bringing the world under the power and dominion of Christ? Useless indeed is our waste of time and treasure if we are not labouring for the salvation of a lost and ruined race. No matter whether we preach the Gospel from the pulpit, or publish it through the press, the one great object in view should be the conversion and sanctification of the world. This is a question of most absorbing interest to every member of the Church of Christ, and, until it is answered, all other questions are of but minor importance. Let us then consider

I. WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES THAT HINDER THE GOSPEL'S SUCCESS? In order that I may give a correct answer to this question, it is necessary to have a just conception of the relations of Christianity and the world. These are at enmity with each other, and this enmity is of such a nature that it must be eternal, unless one or the other yields. When the conflict is an open and fair one, it is neither very long nor obstinate. The world is rapidly subdued and brought under the dominion of Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords. Witness the success of

* Delivered before the American Bible Union, New York City, by N. T. Moore.

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