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his heart, he is covered with a shield of faith which enables him to quench the fiery darts of his evil passions. Because he loves CHRIST he hates sin. The ancients were in the habit of using arrows charged with combustible materials for burning ships and towns, so that we have here a word-picture of a siege. Robert Hall, when on one occasion he was travelling on the top of a coach, observed the driver giving one of his horses two or three sharp cuts with the whip, although the animal seemed to be going on all right. “Why," asked Hall, “ do
. • you whip your horse ?" “Do you see,” asked the coachman, " that dark stone on the side of the road a little before us? Well,
horse always shies when passing that stone, and I whip him now to give him something else to think about.” This circumstance illustrated for Hall what he used ever afterwards to call “the expulsive principle of a new sensation.” The new sensation of conversion to Christ expels from a man's heart whatever there is hateful to his SAVIOUR. He who is thinking of what Christ has done for him, and asking himself what he can do in return, is so preoccupied that he does not indulge evil thoughts or spend his time in evil speaking and evil acting. The only effectual way of keeping from bad thoughts, is to have our minds 80 full of whatsoever things are true, pure and of good report, that there is in them no room for the reverse of these. It is in vain that we endeavour to overcome evil negatively. What is bad can only be overcome by what is positively good. So it is that faith or trust in the unseen presence of JESUS CHRIST does enable thousands to quench the fiery darts of the wicked.
The fifth piece of armour spoken of is the “ helmet of Salvation,” and this is explained by the passage in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians (v. 8,) already referred to, “and for an helmet the hope of Salvation.” Here we see, as also in a passage of his Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle speaks of “our being saved by hope”—by “patient endurance”—by what a Christian woman once called “the gift of continuance.” And is it not a matter of universal experience that we cease to progress in any respect the moment we give up hope ? Is it not true, that sanguine nations and men do most ? Once let us despair of becoming better and we never shall become better, while all things are possible if we believe. We have all heard of the sculptor who meditated committing suicide on discovering that he had at last become content with his work. Life did not seem to him worth living, when he could no longer hope to progress in his art. The other day, a bota
nical propagator told me how a friend of his had tried almost a thousand times before he succeeded in obtaining a new variety of some particular flower. Would that some of us had half as much hope and
perseverance in trying by God's help to acquire undying flowers in our souls, and to root out weeds, as this man had in propagating a fading plant ! Nothing is more important in the Christian warfare than hope. It is when Satan is going to accept evil as his good that Milton appropriately makes him to say
“So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewell remorse ; all good to me is lost,
Evil, be thou my good.” The sixth and last weapon spoken of is the sword, “the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” This is the one and only offensive weapon that is mentioned. It is not a sword of steel, but a sword of the Spirit, for Christians are not to possess the world by worldly weapons, but by their Master's Spirit “casting down imaginations, and every high thing, (in themselves and in others by their example) that exalteth itself against the Kingdom of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of CHRIST.” We have to contend against our evil hearts, and it is only by receiving the Word of GOD
pure affection,” that we can bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. But what is the Word of God? Primarily no doubt are meant those Old Testament Scriptures out of which our LORD Himself foiled the tempter ; but these surely do not exhaust the meaning of the expression. It would seem that there are at least five Books of Revelation through which our Heavenly FATHER commonly speaks to him that hath ears to hear. They are these. The Bible, first and most important of all; the green
book of external nature; conscience, or the divine imperative; the individual experiences of our lives—all our joys and sorrows; lastly, the experiences of the lives of other people as they become known to us by the page of history or otherwise. If any man be willing to do God's Will, he may learn it from each of these sources—he may become wise by them unto the salvation of his body, intellect and spirit from sin, and therefore from misery.
The application of all that has been said to ourselves may be made by the assertion of a truism too often overlooked—that the whole armour of God can be of no use to us unless we put it on.
E. J. H.
THE LEGEND OF RHOSBERRY TOPPING.
“Dream had warned and seer had spoke of Northumbria's heir,
S. K. P. The broad uplands of Northumbria lay glittering in the morning sunshine, and proud was the mien of the Princess Gerda as she gazed on her noble inheritance—hers and her son's. A true Saxon beauty was she, with stately carriage, fair skin and golden hair, but the curl of her lip told of a spirit proud and baughty in no slight degree. She was listening not too attentively to the words of a white-haired priest who stood near.
“Ay, my Father,” she at last answered somewhat impatiently, the prophecy saith, but I heed it not." “My daughter," was the grave response,
“I would not have you superstitious; with the LORD's protection, we trust the Prince may be kept safe to reign over his loyal people, and the omen be proved a vain one.”
“Thursday next, Father, is the day, the 8th of June." ...
“We will have a mass said for his safety ...” began the priest, but Gerda, not heeding the interruption, continued,
“I intend to send him to Rhosberry Topping, and place my guards around its base: I little fear evil coming to him then.”
The priest's face grew yet graver. "Ah! Lady, it is written in Holy Writ, “Except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain ;' prayer may prove our prince's best protection.”
"You speak as a priest, my Father,” said the lady carelessly, and she turned away again to gaze on the landscape.
“Domine da illi humilitatem,” murmured the priest softly to himself.
Just then the subject of their conversation, the little Prince Oswy, rushed in. All coldness and bauteur vanished at once from his mother's face, which was irradiated by proud tender love, increasing tenfold its beauty, as she gave her little son her whole attention. The priest looked on with a half mournful foreboding ; what would be needed to wean that proud heart from its idolatry? Not even for her husband had Gerda felt one tithe of the love she had for her boy. Poor Wilfred, in fact, had
never won from his wife a fair return for his love and admiration; hers was the stronger character, and she instinctively felt that, and half despised her gentle easily-led husband. Wilfred was little fitted to rule his turbulent northern subjects, and when he died, and the reins of government (during the term of her son's minority), descended to Gerda, they were held with a far firmer hand. Guided by the view of her son's future interests, she ruled well and wisely; and was loved by her subjects as a descendant of one of their own native princes; yet one thing bad often surprised them, and that was how little she recked the mysterious prophecy of a danger which should befall Prince Oswy on his fifth birthday. It had taken a firm hold on many minds, but Gerda scorned it. One change, however, the observant noticed, and that was that as the predicted day drew near she seemed dislike hearing the omen spoken of, and instead of laughing at it as of old, would sharply silence those who ventured to mention it in her presence; so people only whispered it amongst themselves, for, sooth to say, the lovely lady's rule was imperious, and few cared to risk her displeasure. The only person who ventured to speak on any subject known to be displeasing to her was her chaplain, Father Anselm; he really loved her and grieved over her waywardness, and respect for his age and office constrained her to a half-contemptuous patience and forbearance whilst listening to his remonstrances.
Princess Gerda's trusty guards round its base defiled,
S. K. P. The 8th of June arrived, as bright and beautiful a day as ever the sun rose upon, and, true to her intention, Gerda sent Prince Oswy, accompanied by his nurse, to Rhosberry Topping, committing him to the care of her trusty guards. The little fellow went off, delighted at the prospect of a whole day's ramble on the lovely hillside; and then (she knew not why) a feeling half of dread came over Gerda for the first time. She despatched a message to the abbess of Mount Grace, to beg for the use of the convent chapel, and say she would be there shortly.
The nuns were thrown somewhat into confusion by the announce
ment of this sudden visit ; for, truth to tell, they rather feared their lovely foundress, and it was an unheard-of thing for her to come to the convent in this way. She arrived, stately in manner as usual, and informed the abbess she had come to pray for the welfare of the prince on his birthday; she would not say his safety; but the abbess, recollecting the omen, guessed that was what she really meant. In the mean time, the guards encircling the base of the Topping laughed and jested merrily amongst themselves, ever and anon glancing upwards at their little prince as he bounded to and fro amongst the crags—now plucking the heather, now chasing bird or butterfly with shouts of joy. Little did they fear any harm arriving to him there.
Proud of the trust committed to them, and confident of the faithful. ness of their little band, they well-nigh forgot the fatal prophecy. In the tiny convent chapel Gerda still knelt on; the nuns half feared the exertion of such prolonged devotion for her, and were desirous of pressing her to rest and take some refreshment, but this the far wiser abbess forbade, for she well knew that when the princess had set herself to perform any act, were it great or small, she would not brook interruption. So the long afternoon wore away.
“ On the counted hours crept, the anxious vigil done,
O’er Easby's crimsoned moor sinks the lingering sun.
High on lofty Rhosberry the false guardian slept.
S. K. P.
The sun was sinking in the west as the nuns entered their chapel for vespers,
and at the conclusion of that service Gerda rose and intimated that she was about to depart. She chid her servants for some delay in saddling her palfrey, with a touch of almost feverish impatience; but the next moment turned round, thanked the abbess, and bade them farewell in her usual dignified manner; and then attended by her little train, rode off in the direction of the Topping. As she neared it, a passionate longing to hold her boy once more in her arms took possession of her, and she quickened her pace. The guards soon espied her, and raised a saluting shout, but nowhere could she see Prince Oswy. One of her attendants suggested that he must have