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Christ governs all the affairs of nations for the interest and bonor of His kingdom; that there can be no true prosperity and peace except so far as Christianity is honored in the national life; that He will certainly overturn and ultimately destroy whatever does not serve Him, whether it be men or nations. There is a great Christian truth in the words of the Senate, “that no people, however great in numbers and resources, or however strong in the justice ot'their cause, can prosper without His favor.” This is only in other words saying that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. What are numbers to the God of Hosts, the head of the "everlasting armies of heaven ?” What are resources to Him, who has all power in heaven and in earth? What is all the might and the majesty of men to Him, who is able to sweep away nations with the breath of His mouth! Our hope is in confessing with the Psalmist : “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." Our comfort lies in the words : « Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is witbus ; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
It cannot be otherwise. The hearts of the people of the nation bave been greatly softened and subdued by our public tribulation. The feeling and sense of humiliation is silent, but it is deep, and earnest, and sincere in many hearts. It may easily go unperceived by men amid the general corruption which is always by war thrown up to the surface of society. The rancor of selfish spirits, howling through the land, may present an appearance as if all fear of God and pure love of country bad died out. The worst passions of all bad men, raging unbridled, may make all God-fearing hearts retire into quiet. But it is not a negative silence. It is the deep, silent, trusting rest in the strength of God, whose help is invoked in the solitude of burdened hearts. It is a subdued silence that has more strength in it than all open and boisterous professions of courage. It is the strength, the holy courage of faith in God, and pious loyalty to the beloved fatherland.
In thousands of homes, from thousands of hearts bereaved, ascends the nightly prayer. From a hundred battle fields, the blood of martyr patriots is crying in mute eloquence to heaven. If Abraham alone prevailed with God, so that He would have saved even Sodom for ton faithful souls that should be found in it, will He not much more hear the prayers of ten thousand burdened hearts, who over the graves of husbands, brothers, and sons, are pouring out their hearts before Him amid the cares of each day, and in the holy hours of each returning night?
Are our national sins great? Have they for years cried to heaven? Have men in power proved corrupt ? Does it seem at times as if selfihness, and party spirit, and love of spoils had eaten out the last remains of pure patriotism, and set at defiance all divine and human laws? Let us only be patient, humble and believing. In all fermentations the impurities will come to the surface, and so cover it that there will appear to be nothing pure remaining; yet the fermentation is the true purifying process. Sores begin to heal when they once appear on the surface. God's puri. fying fire is at work. He will turn the alloy-which being lightest comes to the surface-into cinders, and bring out the solid metal from beneath, which shall be only the purer and more precious for the burning through which it has passed. Behold, says God, I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
It becomes us as a nation to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and we have the promise that He will exalt us in due time. Whenever His ancient Israel bethought themselves in their wanderings, the Lord turned toward them in His mercy, and scattered their enemies before them as chaff before the wind. When they feared Him, He protected them; when they repented, He forgave them; when they drew nigb to Him, He drew nigh to them. The same God still lives; nor has He changed His ways, or altered the conditions of His mercy.
The goodness of God, says St. Paul, leadeth thee to repentance. It becomes us to think of His goodness. In the midst of our sorrows as a nation, we aro largely indebted to His love. We have felt but little of the terrors of war. Our valleys have not only es. caped desolation, but they have been covered in their season with the kindly fruits of the earth. Our homes have been left undis. tarbed. We have scarcely been interrupted in our accustomed pursuits. Our sanctuaries bave been open, and from week to week God's presence has been our refuge and comfort. We have not been afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrrow that flieth by day. All this is not as a reward for our merit, but of the riches of His mercy.
Such distinguishing mercy, at a time when thousands are innocently suffering the evils in wbich they have been involved by wicked men, should humble us, make us tender under a sense of divine goodness, and fill our hearts and lips with offerings of praise. We should know, and gratefully confess, Him who maketh us to differ!
It becomes us all as individuals for ourselves personally and anew to confess Jesus Christ as our head. He is our only Saviour in time and eternity—as a nation and as individuals. Ilis merits and mediation afford us the only access to His mercy, and the only ground of acceptance with God. To Him every knee must bow, and every tongue confess, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth. His kingdom, for the advantage of which He is head over all things, is the only abiding kingdom-the kingdom that cannot be moved—the tabernacle that shall not be taken down. Sincerely identified with it, we are truly identified with Him. Its safety is our safety. Its fortune is our fortune. Its consummation and glory all its true members shall share.
On us is laid the same solemn duty which our fathers once performed for us. What they secured for us by their sufferings and blood, we are solemnly bound before heaven and earth to maintain, by an equal, and if need be by a greater sacrifice, even as what we now possess is greater than what they then won for us. As the Church is divine so is government divine; and hence next to pious faithfulness to God, is sincere, unreserved love and loyalty to the Fatherland.
Sacred above any earthly things is the land wbich contains the home of our childhood, and the graves where our fathers and mothers lie. Even the thought of indifference to it,—to say nothing of open hostility to it in word or deed-is in the light of God's word, and by the consent of all nations, the highest crime and the deepest disgrace-fixing its stigma upon children, till only final forgetfulness shall bury the dishonor and shame!
Our sons, husbands, and brethren bave gone forth with the sacrifice of their lives in their hands. Our duties are at home-to waft them our cheer-to stand and bow as priests before the holy altars of God-humbly to confess all for each and each for all the sins of the nation, beseeching God, for the sake of Jesus Christ, to pardon all those sins which have most justly provoked His wrath against us, imploring Him to give wisdom to our rulers, success to our arms, repentence and submission to the enemies of the fatherland, and to hasten the end of the dreadful conflict by the restoration of unity and peace.
“Why do I teach the people ?"
Said the preacher ;
Because he is a teacher?'
"Why write I ?” said the poet,
Why tax my brain?
On land and o'er the main ?”
"Why labor," said the statesman,
"Until mine eyes are diin?
And say, 'we've few like him??”
Not for these they write and preach,
But for some greater good ;-
In noble brotherhood!
JESUS CHRIST IN HIS HUMAN CHARACTER.
FROM THE GERMAN OF STILLING BY THE EDITOR.
LAVATER. But how did our Saviour appear as a child ? Did He conduct Himself in the same way as other children? As, for instance, in regard to children's play, desires of sense, and such like?
MARY. He wept as other children when something ailed Him, but never passionately, never fretfully or angrily; on the other hand, He was always peaceful and busy at something. He played, but the object of IIis plays was always noble, and of a benevolent tendency. He was fond of being with good children, and in such cases he always served them. He taught them, and all His teachings, eren as a child, were excellent; all plays were improved when He engaged in them. Bad children He always avoided, or they Him. In general, however, I kept Him always in my presence and under my eye; for I knew what was my duty toward this ex
His understanding developed very early. I instructed Him myself; and in His fifth year He was able to read, and what He read He also understood and comprehended. I now began in an indirect way to tell Him something of His vocation. I told Him that the Angel Gabriel had announced His birth, and had directed me to call Him JESUS, which meant Saviour ; for He should save His people from their sins. Never shall I forget the moment when I for the first time revealed this to Him. Now for the first time did I observe the divine glance, of which I have spoken before. His eyes beamed, His forehead lifted itself up, a heavenly smile reposed on His lips, and He looked up with an indescribable counte. nance !
Mother! He exclaimed, I am then no doubt the Messiah? Yes, my son, I replied; the Lord fulfill His work in you! From this time began liis searching in the Scriptures. With wonderful ease He found all the passages which pointed toward Him, and He distinguished very precisely what had been properly, and what improperly referred to the Messiah. In His tenth year he already far exceeded the Scribes in the knowledge of Moses and the Prophets; for even as a chiid He held the principle that nothing is of binding force except what is contained in the Holy Scriptures.
LAVATER. Did He also sometimes express this much in the hearing of any of the Rabbies ?
Mary. No! I early instructed Him that it was not proper for for Him, in the least thing, to let His high destiny be observed, till the Lord, in an extraordinary way, and so as could leave no doubt behind, would require Him so to do. But among ourselves we spoke of the matter daily.
LAVATER. Did you also tell Him anything of His mysterious birth?
Mary. I told Him that Joseph was His foster-father, but that the Spirit of the Lord was his true and proper father, who had also designated Joseph as His earthly guide and protector. With this it remained. But when His understanding had ripened He understood better than myself the mystery of His birth. But nothing definitely was ever said in regard to it. From the time when I first told him these things, He was accustomed to call God His Father. This He did with unction and reverence.
LAVATER. Tell me particularly, how was it in regard to that event of His life, when in His twelfth year you lost Him, and found Him again in the Temple ?
Mary. Precisely as it is related by St. Luke the Evangelist. We found in Jerusalem, as was generally the case, acquaintances and friends. Now when we brought my son for the first time to Jerusalem, it produced a stir; for notwithstanding all our care and silence, the report concerning Him became general; and all who waited for the Messiah, took notice of Him. All our acquaintances and friends took Him to them ; each one wished to have His company, and with all His modesty, the bidden divinity ever manifested itself. Thus it came to pass tbat we saw Him but little while in Jerusalem ; nor were we concerned in regard to Him; for He was always in good bands, and was Himself able to guard Him. self against misfortunes. At our departure we thought of nothing else tban that he had gone before with some of our Galilean friends, and that we would find Him at evening in the Caravansary ; but when this did not so come to pass, I felt Simeon's sword for the first time!
We went back seeking for Him. We thoughi least of all of the Temple ; for as He was very prudent and quiet in regard to His destiny, it did not occur to us that He would there mingle in with the dignitaries, and reveal His hidden glory to them. Meanwhile, as we found Him no where clse, it occured to us that He might probably be in the Temple; and having gone thither, we found Îlim in the midst of the circle of the prominent and learned men, Priests, Levites, Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and such like. We were both heartily alarmed at the sight, especially as I discovered in the countenances of these persons, at the same time, great as. tonishment and wonder, and also deep derision and envy. They could not endure the fact, that a poor boy from Nazareth, though cleanly yet very plainly clad, and of quite ordinary appearance, should possess so much knowledge, and should answer their subtlo questions so excellently that they felt themselves put to shame. Had He been of a respectable family in Jerusalem, or from some other noted town, they would more easily have borno it; but as it was they derided Him, notwithstanding their wonder.