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and muscle are strained to the utmost. To a great extent this is true : but it is still more true that “ as our day our strength shall be:” and if our day has great trials, it exceeds others in its great reliefs.
Suffer me in closing this brief paper to point to the tranquil life of the Son of God. No chafing of spirit; no conflict of will was there in Him; yet who is there but must feel
“ His way was much rougher and darker than mine
Did Christ, my Lord, suffer, and shall I repine ?" Being like Him, we shall enjoy “His peace;” and our influence on others will be tranquillizing also. In all fretfulness there is much of selfishness, and salvation aims to deliver us from self. May others see in us some faint reflection of that Divine Original, of whom all human character is but the imperfect copy—that blessed Saviour who says to us all, “Be of good cheer.”
Any one possessed of delicate feeling will grieve over the fact that 80 much of the fretful worry of life is to be seen on every hand. Perhaps more in city life than country life. I incline to the idea that fresh air, and free scope, and quiet surroundings do much to promote peacefulness of spirit, especially amongst the poor. What wonder, my friend, that the pastoral visit you paid to the poor woman in the back street, with a large family, slender means, a cooped-up dwelling, and a sottish husband, -I say, what wonder that she frets so, because she has so much of work, and worry too? Let us be very chary of reproof to her, and very anxious to bring home to her heart the words of Him who said, “Let not your heart be troubled.”
One cannot pass from this subject without thinking with disgust of some who can witness the worry of others—ay, and promote it, toowithout a sense of regret. Doubtless, dear reader, you have known such. Men who dine and dress extravagantly, and leave others at home to the anxious arrangements and the careful meeting of the ends ; the one face fair and florid, the other pinched and pale.
Whilst thus trying to teach the avoidance of fretting, let us remember nothing kills so soon. By it many a pastor has had paralysis, and many a mother shortened her day of life. Dear reader, try and smooth the wrinkles on the brow of anxiety. This is the best way to enamel the face, and it is not so costly as in a recent celebrated case. Who does not like to see men and women suddenly becoming young again? And who has not seen this when some causes of fretfulness have been removed ?
I do not envy the man who is unmoved by the little worries of his friends; who thinks them foolish and feeble folk to be troubled about such small affairs. He evidently knows little of the human heart if he imagines a strong will can quench its trifling troubles. Little sparks are fire, little prickles are thorns; and when the one keeps constantly falling, and the other continually piercing, they are very trying to flesh and blood.
And after all nothing will do but the Gospel. Christianity is for common life. Christ is with us always. To convince others of His sympathy and pity, His presence and providence, will do more to quiet the feverish pulse of the worried heart than all else beside.
I intended to close this article by reminding my readers that great men have not been above the influence of petty troubles; they have been fretted by very small droppings of water. Rowland Hill, if be had uttered any statement in the pulpit which might be perverted to evil purpose, bad a disturbed night; and many a man, whose outward placidity you envy is inwardly the prey to petty vexations.
I know that John leaned his head on the bosom of Jesus; I know that confidence made him restful there. I know too that this Saviour is mine as well as John's. Let us all so strive to rest in the Lord, for He understands our feeble clay-He knows, that being but dust, we are moved by a breath of trouble as well as by a storm of grief. Fret not about the dead in Christ; they are happier far than we who weep beneath the willow of their memories. Fret not about the living; be earnest in purpose, and fervent in prayer, and leave the rest to the unerring will of God.
"Fret not thyself!” It is the voice of thy Father, and thou canst not err in obeying it. If thou art needy, it were well to consider the lilies how they grow; if hungry, to consider the ravens how they are fed: if distracted by opposition in the path of duty, to “ consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied, and faint in your minds ;” above all, to consider the promise, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
EPHESUS was the greatest city of Asia | intelligence from the projecting forehead Minor, and the metropolis of the Roman of the peninsula. Ephesus stood at the province of Asia. It was called one of lower end of the gulf of Samos, on an the eyes of Asia, Smyrna being the extensive plain, open on the west to the other, and both looked out as centres of sea, and shut in on all other sides by • Acts of the Apostles, xix.
precipitous mountains. The river Cayster traversed this plain in a diagonal direc- | they were sold at enormous prices. Such tion, while in the neighbourhood of the was the sanctity of the Temple of Diana, city arose the hill of Prion, the marble that kings deposited here their wealth, quarries of which supplied the materials and rich men their treasures ; and the for the public buildings. Among the ladies of Ephesus contributed their many objects of interest within and jewellery to the adorning of the temple, around the city, the most renowned was and continually added pictures, statues, the temple of “Diana of the Ephesians," and decorations to the fabric. Such was which was accounted one of the seven the pride of the people in the edifice, that wonders of the world. Its foundations when Alexander of Macedon offered the were laid on immense substructures; it spoils of his eastern campaign if he was built of the purest marble from the might inscribe his name upon the buildneighbouring quarries ; its columns were ing, the overture was declined. We may of green jasper; its doors of cypress wood, add, that the inhabitants of the city, the parts that were roofed were of cedar, though originally principally Greek, and the staircase was formed of the wood were half Oriental in their characteristics. of a single vine from the Isle of Cyprus. It is said to have gleamed and glistened
"In the proud land of palaces wert thou
Alone and matchless, as thine own fair queen like a meteor in the eyes of those who
Shines 'midst the gems of night's starapproached the city. It was erected on
crowned brow, an elevated platform of masonry, as- Veiling their dim rays with superior sheen. cended by a flight of steps ; it was 425 Thy countless columns gleam'd in rich feet long, 220 broad, surrounded by 120 arraycolumns 60 feet high, each the gift of a
The gifts of monarchs, and the work of menking, 36 of which were elaborately en
Whose nobler names, when regal thrones riched with carving and colour, * and the
decay, area of the entire pile was almost twice
Shall boast the meed of Fame's recording that of St. Paul's. It must, however,
pen." be remembered that this building, and On the arrival of the apostle in others of that time, were unlike our Ephesus, he had an interview with cermodern erections, since a large part of it tain disciples already there, and afterwas open to the sky, and consisted wards sought to benefit his brethren after mainly of colonnades, surrounding a cell the flesh. His success was varied and which contained the idol. This shrine partial, and he subsequently ended his was held in peculiar sacredness, though labours in the synagogue, withdrew his it contained- not the Diana of Greek converts, and preached in the schoolmythology, the “huntress, chaste and room of one Tyrannus, who probably fair”—but a shapeless, black, old wooden was a Jew, and a teacher of philosophy, block, holding a bar of metal in each rhetoric, or theology. Here he prosehand, clad in a dress covered with mystic cuted his ministry for two years among characters, but which was believed to Jews and Greeks; tidings of the man have “ fallen down from Jupiter.” This and his mission spread through the city, hideous block was, however, sumptu- and his room was a place of resort, not ously robed. On her head was a crown, only to the inhabitants, but to the people and round her waist a girdle; and of the neighbouring country districts, both crown and girdle were engraved and even to strangers from a distance. with mystic letters, which were regarded So wide was the influence he thus exerwith superstitious awe. These “Ephe- cised, that it is declared that “all that sian letters” were transcribed on rolls of dwelt in Asia heard the word of the parchment, and used to be worn as Lord Jesus ;” and his accusers alleged, charms. Many large volumes also were " that not alone at Ephesus, but almost published, describing these characters and throughout all Asia, this Paul hath perprofessing to explain their secrets, and suaded and turned away much people,
• Conybeare and Howson. saying that they be no gods, which are
made with hands.” And now the teach- | and addressed to them an inflammatory ings of the apostle, and the amazing harangue, in which he pointed out the results of his miraculous powers in the apostle as the man who had comprorestoration of a demoniac, inaugurated a mised their trade and their religion, by new era in his missionary enterprise. A both putting their craft in danger, and profound impression was produced. The impugning the authority of “the great sorcerers of the city, who were very goddess Diana," whom “all Asia and numerous, were awed. Many of the the world worshippeth.” The appeal, believers, who had not hitherto aban- thus adroitly addressed at once to their doned their mystic arts, or parted with pockets and their piety, was successful ; their cabalistic books, produced them, one loud and angry response was heard and willingly and publicly consigned them on all sides : “Great is Diana of the to the flames; and it was estimated that Ephesians;" and the mob sallied forth the property thus sacrificed was worth into the streets in search of Paul and his not less than £1,700, and probably much companions. They discovered two of
“So mightily grew the word of them, and bore them in triumph to the God, and prevailed."
theatre. Paul himself, who, in their But the very success of Christianity frenzy, they seem to have been unable to aroused new forms of opposition. The find, hearing of the peril of his commonth of May had come, the period panions, and fearless for himself, wished especially set apart to the goddess of immediately to join them; but certain of the Ephesians, and at which the city the disciples interposed, and some of the was crowded with visitors. Imagine the Asiarchs, who seem to have been a kind scene thus presented; hundreds of vessels of priestly magistracy, and are called in the harbour, gaily painted boats flit- “the chiefs of Asia,” added their perting up and down the basin of Panor- suasions, and deterred him from the mus; innumerable pilgrims on the heights needless danger. of Prion; pleasure-hunters in all direc
Meanwhile a remarkable spectacle pretions; the theatre with its show; the sented itself in the theatre. The mob hippodrome with its horse-racing; the had swept onward in tumultuous conwrestling and beast fighting in the sta- fusion to this enormous structure, and dium; men dressed in fancy costumes ; occupied the stone tiers that rose one mock gods and goddesses ; Jupiters with above another, and were capable of seatglittering crowns, bolts of war, and ing 50,000 persons. The theatre was white sandals ; Apollo with his wreath excavated from the sloping side of Mount of laurels and white robes ; and Mercury Prion, was faced with a portico, and, dressed as the swift-footed messenger of like all the ancient theatres, was unOlympus.* At this season the trades- covered. It was probably the design of men were wont to drive a brisk business the leaders of the mob that the priin portable images or shrines of the soners should be subjected to some irregoddess Diana ; and the purchasers from gular form of trial, and then punished, a distance were accustomed to carry perhaps slain ; but the crowd was these with them to their homes, and also vast, the cries were so various, and the on journeys and in processions. These ignorance so general, that nothing could trinkets were made of wood, or gold, or be done. Some therefore cried one silver. But the manufacturers and sales- thing, and some another: for the asmen now found that the teachings of sembly was confused; and,” the sacred Paul, and the “no small stir about that historian, with a graphic touch, quaintly way,” which had arisen in consequence, adds, “the more part knew not wherefore seriously interfered with the sale of their they were come together.” manufactures. Accordingly, a master At length an attempt was made to manufacturer, named Demetrius, sum- guide this confused assembly to the moned his workmen and other artisans, adoption of some intelligible course. * Domninus; Lewin.
This was made by the Jews, who seem
to have been afraid lest they should | argument to the last, he bade them reshare the danger to which the Christians collect that they themselves, by their were exposed, and they put forward tumult and irregularity, had actually Alexander-possibly “ the coppersmith" | broken the law, and might incur the -to make a defence to the multitude. severe displeasure and penalties of the If we are right in the supposition that Roman authorities. Having thus apthis was the man who was a pealed to their judgment and their fears, troubler of the apostle, he was likely, he pronounced the technical words with as an artisan, to be acceptable to the which an assembly was dissolved, and eraftsmen of Ephesus. But no sooner the people quietly dispersed. did the mob discover that he was a Jew, The public ministry of the apostle in than they found at least one cry in which Ephesus had now drawn to a close. all could unite; and for two long hours Time rolled on: the work of God was the air was rent with their shout, “Great carried on among the people; a Christian is Diana of the Ephesians.” At last, church was formed, and officers were aphowever, the strength or the breath of pointed, while Paul pursued his missionthe people began to fail, and the town- | ary labours in various lands. How great clerk seized the opportunity interpose. the change that thus had been wrought. He was a magistrate of high authority, “ Behold us at Ephesus in the year 65," and might be called the Recorder or says Monod. “Twenty years later, an Chancellor of Ephesus. “ He had to event, both insignificant and mighty, do with state papers ; he was keeper takes place in this city. A Christian of the archives; he read what was of church has been born, separated from public moment before the senate and the bosom of paganism, like an isle in assembly; he was present when money midst of the sea.” At length tidings was deposited in the temple; and when reached the elders of the church that the letters were sent to the people of Ephesus, apostle had touched at the port of Miletus, they were officially addressed to him." and that he desired to see them. With The year in which he held office was gladdened hearts and eager steps they sometimes known by his name, his name responded. The interview was as instrucwas often engraven on the coins, and his tive as it was affecting. It reveals to us presence was familiar to the populace. new depths of love in the apostle's It is obvious that no one was so well nature; it teaches us the manner and qualified as the town-clerk to deal with the motives of his life; it tells us of his an Ephesian mob, and he discharged his temptations, his tenderness, and his difficult duty with singular adroitness tears; it shows us the sympathies of the and success. Having secured silence, he man, the trials and triumphs of the suggested that there was no need for any minister, the seraphic gifts and graces solicitude on the part of his audience, that of the apostle. It informs us of much it was even undignified that any anxiety that he had done at Ephesus, the devoshould be betrayed, since the honour of tion which then inspired him, the daunttheir goddess, and the devotion of the lessness with which he dared, to us, a people to the “image which fell down momentous and alarming future. “And from Jupiter," was unquestionable, and now," he says, “behold, I go bound in not to be imperilled by a few insignificant the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing strangers. He reminded them further, the things that shall befall me there : that Paul and his companions had not save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in been guilty of actually profaning the every city, saying that bonds and afflictemple, or aspersing the goddess herself; tions abide me. But none of these that if they had violated the law, they | things move me, neither count I my life might at once be arraigned, for the dear unto myself, so that I might finish assizes were at that time being held; or, my course with joy, and the ministry, again, they might appeal to the Roman which I have received of the Lord Jesus, proconsul. But, reserving his strongest to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”