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That should you be spared until you shall reach
May hence on your forehead be truthfully twined
These, then, my heart wishes for every youth
Whatever you are, and whatever you do,
I wish you, with all the warmth of my heart,
To serve Him below, then praise Him on high.
Lord, clothe to this end my words with Thy power,
Oh, hasten, dear Jesus, the soul-quickening hour
May long to be cleansed in Calvary's blood.
And help, Lord, my readers who're burdened with sin,
May one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine
And those who this year must grapple with death,
May all Christian readers unite in my prayer,
That God would this year make THE GLEANER His care; And fill all its bundles with finest of corn,
And use its true sayings, that souls may be born.
That hearts that are broken and bruisèd with woe
That such may unite their breathings with mine,
I thought I had finished, but must not forget
And bring to Jehovah a tribute of praise.
A WARNING VOICE.
WITH almost every one there is a measure of thoughtful, solemn feeling connected with the passing away of the old year, and the coming in of the new. It is a moment when we are disposed to look back, and take in at a glance the whole twelve months. Scenes are recalled, both of joy and sorrow-of warning and encouragement.
Many things crowd into the mind and plead for utterance. One we will relate, though not uncommon, as a warning voice to privileged, but careless, young men.
A young man, who had been often warned of his sin and danger by a kind friend, was taken ill. His friend, knowing that his constitution had been much impaired by late hours-" night work "feared the worst. He at once communicated the painful circumstances of his case to a Christian friend who lived near to where the young man was lying ill. This friend went at once to see him. He found him in great bodily suffering. He had caught cold; inflammation had set in; his throat and chest very bad; his breathing oppressed; his voice feeble; and altogether very ill: indeed, a complete wreck, though with the features of a once fine young man. Treatment could do little for him. But, what was worst of all, his mind wandered.
When conscious, he would own, so far, the wrongness of his past life. When pressed as to the awful nature of sin, and the fearfulness of eternal judgment, he seemed to give a shudder, and fixed his eyes on the one that stood at his bedside; but when a hopeful answer was anxiously looked for, his reply was the feeble wanderings of a mind evidently unhinged. This was terrible to witness. The body gone, the mind gone-for the moment, all seemed utterly gone. Imagine the agony of the mind that stood by that pitiful bedside, and saw, by faith, the future as clearly as the present; but painfully realizing its utter helplessness. To see an immortal soul quivering on the brink of eternity, and to feel one's utter feebleness to help that soul, is agony indeed, and a peculiar kind of agony.
A moment's consciousness returns. The tender compassionate love of Jesus, the power of His blood, His willingness to save, were plainly set before him. A few broken sentences were uttered -he hoped he would find mercy-he remembered the advice of the good young man, as he called him-but again he is incoherent. His voice, his words, and a kind look to his mother, who stood at the end of his bed, stirred up the deep feelings of a mother's heart, who was crying wildly that he might be saved, and that she might meet her dear son in heaven.
Prayer now seemed the only resource. After prayer-during which he seemed sensible of what was going on-a few tracts were left, so that if the mind became calmer, he might read of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus.
He lived about a week, but repeated visits found him worse and worse, both as to body and mind. His mother thought he had managed to read one of the tracts. The last visit was a melancholy one. He was death-stricken. His voice was nearly gone, he could only speak in a low whisper. But he was anxious, and struggling to flee from that bed of death. 66 'Bring my clothes, mother," he said; which she did, and spread his coat on the bedcover. He wanted his socks drawn on, which she did to soothe him. And then it was, "Send for a cab to take me away from this." heart-rending. One who stood at the foot of his bed, by way of kindness, said, "You be quiet a little, I will fetch a cab and take you for a drive." A drive thought the visitor, a fearful drive it must soon be, if mercy prevent not. Why deceive a soul, even to soothe it in such circumstances ? Speak plainly. Trust God: He only can clog the wheels of the chariot in its downward course, and
save the soul, even on the deep descent to woe unutterable. There is nothing too hard for the Lord. We have known of a soul who found Jesus after the feet were dead cold; and the thief on the cross was saved in the agonies of death.
As all hope of being in any way useful to the poor dying young man was now gone, the visitor prayed and left. He struggled on much the same way for twenty-four hours, and then-and thenthe righteous tribunal of God-thither we dare not venture. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Adored be His name!
What a solemn lesson for those who are faithfully warned, but remain careless about their souls! Oh that they might be led to listen to its warning voice! Never did it enter that young man's mind, that when his last illness came, he would be so totally unable to think about divine things. How foolish the trust in such a moment! He was more or less delirious the whole time of his illness. He was incapable of doing anything for himself, and every one else was incapable, excepting God only.
O young man, young woman, rushing on towards eternal misery for the veriest triflesthe merest vanities of a fleeting hour! Is it not folly and madness the most unaccountable, upon any other principle than that you are led by the devil? Who amongst you is led to obey the invitation," Come unto me.' Mark His gracious promise, "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. On no consideration-on no account cast out." All who come are received, for all who come were given to Jesus, and are drawn by the Father. No salvation without coming to Christ; no damnation for those whom grace leads to Christ.