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and nobler self-sacrificing life. Do not be discouraged, but find sweet joy in the thought, “ My duty is sufficient for me." The modest violet by the wayside and the gigantic oak of the forest alike obey the laws of nature, and man, the glory of God's creative hands, must find joy in living in the service of his Master, who will give unto all a crown of life.
Everlasting Life Deep in a dungeon an ivy grew. No rain fell upon it and no dew moistened it. Its pale leaves drank in only the foul dampness of the cell. But as the summer advanced, a sunbeam fell through the grating, streamed down into the dungeon, pouring its light and warmth for an hour every day upon the pallid plant. Life began to stir in the ivy's roots. It lifted its head and grew up toward the sunbeam.. It climbed slowly up the wall, and at last pushed itself through the bars where it could have the sunshine all day upon it
with all its brightness and warmth. It grew and grew, until it covered all the outer wall and was the admiration of all who passed by. So it is when the light of divine love falls upon the perishing soul, even in the darkest dungeon of sinful degradation. It feels instantly a thrill of life. It begins to grow, and as it drinks in the blessed sunshine it rises out of its old state of death. At last it is a branch of glorious beauty, covered with fruits of holiness. Human philosophy may be very wise, but it cannot cause one stir or flutter of life in a dead soul. Science is doing marvels these days. It throws bridges over wide rivers; it tunnels under great mountains; it cuts canals between seas; it binds the earth into one close clasp by its telegraph wires and cables; it weighs the stars; it does wonders. But science, with all its skill, has never yet been able to put life into any dead thing. Much less can science give spiritual life to a dead soul. Christ alone can do this, and whosoever believeth on Him hath everlasting life.
“Of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven” IT
BY LILLIE M. Fake
T was the morning of Easter Sunday. All
church were well filled. Flowers bloomed
the pews of the grand fashionable everywhere, garlanding the chancel, festooning the walls, great masses of bloom and foliage sending forth fragrance rich as incense.
The choir was singing; strains of a grand old anthem filled the church and bore the minds of the hearers heavenward. Many hearts that Easter morning throbbed with greater sincerity for the Lord Who died for them and had arisen again; but amid that worldly throng few gave any outward evidence of their thoughts either then or afterward, and no one noticed the pale, ragged little lad who had stolen softly in and sat down timidly close by the door ; no one thought to say a kind word to him when the service had ended; no one saw him; no one cared.
The place was like heaven to the boy. Never before had he seen such grandeur, or such flowers; never had he heard such music; the soft tones of the organ as they trembled toward him from the farther end of the church were like the flutter of angels' wings, and when the choir sang-he knew not why—tears gathered in those blue eyes and fell unheeded upon the torn coat.
The sermon followed, and again the choir sang, and through it all the boy sat with eager eyes; not a word or a note escaped
him. But now the ushers were passing the plates for the offering, and all the happiness has died out of his young face, and again comes the old look of pain and sadness. Oh, had he but a penny to give how gladly it would have been laid among the banknotes and gold pieces! He had not even that, nor had he eaten breakfast that morning; but now that fact was forgotten, and he only longed for a copper to put upon that plate already piled so full.
The service ended, and the people were going away; costly silks rustled near him ; rich laces almost touched his curls—but no one saw him.
Carriages were waiting for their occupants, and he lingered to see them swiftly driven away.
A prancing team, more handsome than the others, excited his boyish admiration, and he watched them longingly, wondering how it would seem if he could sit upon such a high seat as their driver and handle the reins himself.
What was that so dangerously near the uneasy hoofs of those beautiful animals?
A little child, only a baby, escaped from some unheeding hand and toddling off by itself. Another moment and—but the boy did not stop to think. With sudden impulse he ran, wishing he might shut his eyes to what he feared he must see.
The child had not yet been missed; the
driver was wholly unconscious of the mite of humanity so very near to the hoofs of his impatiently waiting horses. The boy had seen, and in another moment he stood before them and had pushed the child aside to the pavement; but, frightened by his sudden appearance, the horses dashed quickly forward, and the young hero lay upon the street crushed, bleeding, dying.
Then they saw him, when he had given his young, hopeful life for one of their own; then they noticed him. Kind hands lifted the limp form and carried it back into the vestibule of the church; tenderly they did all they could, but only a few moments of consciousness came.
They asked: Shall we take you home?”
He whispered slowly : “I have no homeno one cares—carry me in by the flowers."
So they carried him into the audience room and laid him upon the soft, velvety cushions of one of the pews.
He smiled happily, but the blue eyes were growing dim; he could scarcely see the flowers, and the outline of the grand organ was fading; he could not see these, for a grander, fairer sight was visible now to him alone.
He motioned them to come nearer, and they bent their heads to catch his last words on earth:
“I had--nothing else—to give-I gave myself.”—Lutheran Observer.
Easter and the Young Christian
By Rev. L. GROH, D.D.
prayer always is, Lord Jesus, by Thy grace bring them to the highest possibilities. So they've gone out into all spheres of Christian usefulness. Many have been called to prominent positions for the moral and spiritual uplifting of people. Few were content to sit down supinely. Striving after an ideal is the privilege of all, and earnest work develops powers. (4) An ugly bulb contains the beautiful Easter lily. Sir Isaac Newton was a stolid, lazy boy, at the foot of all classes, until he was thirteen. No one knew the marvelous possibilities latently in him. From indolent contentment he rose to active happiness.
Confirmants, which of you will love most? Do your best for God, man and self.
E rejoice at Easter because (1) Jesus,
after lowest debasement and agonizing sufferings, on this day came to divine honor and joy ; (2) That by His resurrection His innocence and divinity were manifested to all the world; and (3) That in this way the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the human body were established beyond a doubt. These points are important. Yet they are little more than a frame to the most beauteous picture. The true essence is the assurance of our salvation.
What a marvelously solemn interest, therefore, the sight and possibilities of the young people at Easter awaken! Clothed in purest white around the Lord's altar they suggest the white robes of the redeemed. Here are the buds of promise. The exterior is the symbolizing of the interior. The outward purity is to remind of the inner life. What latent powers are before us! What possibilities for development! Life is a subtle thing. We cannot know its essence-only its manifestations.
The Easter season suggests some thoughts that for lack of space I'll put into short propositions :
(1) Every young person is an unchiseled gem or a plant. “That our sons may be as plants, grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” (2) Comparisons may be unfair. What is the difference in value between a fine pearl and an acorn? It is beyond measure. The former is fixed. It has no life. The unsightly acorn contains potentially a mighty oak. The germ of untold growth is latently there. (3) During holy seasons the pastor's hand in benediction is laid on many a young head. His
Our Sacrifice On a little church in Germany stands a stone lamb which has an interesting history. When some workmen were engaged on the roof of the building, one of them fell to the ground. His companions hastened down, expecting to find him killed. They were amazed, however, to see him unhurt. A lamb had been grazing just where he struck the ground, and, falling upon it, the little creature was crushed to death, while the man himself escaped injury. He was so grateful for this wonderful deliverance that he had an image of the lamb carved in stone and placed on the building as a memorial. The lamb saved his life by dying in his place. Every saved soul of the human family can point to the Lamb of God and say: “I am saved because Jesus died in my stead.” “ Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us.” What memorial have we set up to witness to our gratitude and love?
A Daily Sentiment for the Season of Lent
Selected from George Matheson's "Moments on the Mount”
BY THE LITERATURE SECRETARY
Tuesday, April 11 * Awake, 0 north wind; and come, thou
south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.”—SONG OF SOL. 4:16.
The spices in the garden of life only flow out when the winds blow. There are rich treasures hidden in many souls which would remain hidden forever, if the blast of adversity did not disclose them. There is more power in every one of us than we ourselves know. There is no depth we have explored so little as the depth of our own heart. There are latent in our hearts vast susceptibilities, boundless aspirations, intense powers of loving and of working; but we ourselves are ignorant of their presence until the winds blow. We wait for the breath of heaven to disengage the perfume that lies imprisoned in our flower of life; we need the north wind and the south to blow upon our garden that the spices thereof may flow out.
Wednesday, April 12 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field
at eventide.”—GEN. 24: 63.
My soul, God has a time for thee to work and a time for thee to meditate. Would it not be well for thee to come up betimes into the secret place and rest awhile? The burden and heat of the day are hard to bear, and impossible to bear without the strength of the Spirit. Thinkest thou that the meditation of Isaac is a disqualifying for the work of Abraham? Nay, it is a preparation for that work. Thou art called to go down into the valley, to lift the burdens of the laden, and to help the toil of the laboring. Would it not be well for thee to go up first into the mount of meditation, and get transfigured there? Thy radiance on the mountain would not impede thy work in the valley; it would inspire it, it would strengthen it, it would ennoble it.
Thursday, April 13 “He that followeth me shall not walk in
darkness, but shall have the light of life.” -JOHN 8:12.
The light of life carries in its bosom all possible revelations; it reveals my God and my immortality. All arguments for my God grow pale before this certainty; all arguments for my immortality faint in the splendor of immortality begun. Life is the Jacob's ladder that reaches from earth to heaven, that binds heaven to earth. The tiniest spark of life is the first step of an ascent whose midway is the angel, whose summit is the Throne of God. It is not by dying it
shall come to me; it is by following—following the steps of the Master through life's strait gate and life's narrow way. It is by taking up the cross, by lifting the burden, by bearing the sacrifice, by doing the will, that the doctrine shall be known to me.
Friday, April 14 “ And when they had lifted up their eyes,
they saw no man, save Jesus only.”MATT. 17:8.
It is when I have lifted up mine eyes that I am impressed with the solitary majesty of the Son of Man; it is in the elevation of my own moral view that I see Him to be what He is—the King of kings. When my moral view was not lofty I thought of Him as of other men; I would have built for Moses and Elias tabernacles by His side. But when the celestial glory touched me I awoke to His glory-His solitary, unrivaled glory. I saw Ilim to be the chief among ten thousand, and fairer than the children of men. Moses and Elias faded from the mountain's brow, and He stood alone in peerless, unapproachable splendor; I saw no man there save Jesus only.
Saturday, April 15 “ Thy Spirit is good: lead me into the land
of uprightness.”—Ps. 143 : 10.
How beautiful is this thought of the Psalmist! There is a harmony, he says, between our powers and our destiny. Goodness must lead to the land of goodness. Is not this thought of the Psalmist thy purest natural hope of immortality? Thou art conscious within thee of great moral yearnings -yearnings which this world cannot fill. Thou feelest in thy heart aspirings which thy hand cannot reach, ideals which thy life cannot realize, resolves which thy will cannot execute. Are not these aspirings the voice of the Spirit within thee? Thy desire for goodness outruns thy capacity, yet it is the forerunner that tells that a larger capacity is coming. Is thy moral nature alone to be without its goal? Is every thing to be provided for but thine aspirings after the beauty of holiness? Earth has filled all other capacities with employment and with enjoyment. This alone is unsatisfied here. Surely it shall be satisfied elsewhere, surely it shall be abundantly satisfied with the goodness of God's house and with the river of His pleasures.
Palm Sunday, April 16 * Friend, go up higher.”—LURE 14:10.
Here is incentive for high resolve on Con
A DAILY SENTIMENT
13 firmation day. Art thou exulting that thou ble, let this cup pass from me.” But there hast placed thy foot on the first step of the was a desire in the depths of His heart which ascending ladder? It is well, but let not this was expressed unconditionally; it was the be thy resting place. Remember it is after prayer that His human will might be one all only the first step, and it is the introduc- with the Divine will. “ He was heard in tion to all the others. Thou standest be- that He feared,” says the sacred writer ; His tween two worlds; below thee is the world fear was the beautiful thing which caused of infinite death, above thee is the world of His prayer to be accepted. He was afraid infinite life. It is good to look back upon
lest the weakness of the flesh should make the world of infinite death, to remember the Him choose a path different from the path depth out of which thou wert taken. But His Father had chosen for Him. He was it is not good to be imited to that view. afraid lest even in desire He should follow Thou art only on the first step, and there a road less dolorous than that which His are myriads to come. Above thee there are Father had prepared, and the strong crying heights of infinite progress waiting to be of His spirit came forth in the earnest supscaled, and from the summit of the sacred plication, “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt." ladder a Divine voice descends into thine
Wednesday in Holy Week ear, “Friend, come up higher.”
“ By His stripes we are healed.”——Isa. 53: 5. Monday in Holy Week
When did He cry, “Father, forgive them : Let the beauty of the Lord our God be they know not what they do ” ? Was it upon us.”—Ps. 90: 17.
when He began to think lightly of a violated It is not enough that a man should dis- law? Nay, it was when the violated law was play the law of holiness; he must display pressing upon His soul, and the reproach of the beauty of holiness. There are some peo- sin was breaking His heart. His love was ple whose religion has every quality but one born of His pity, and His pity was born of --attractiveness. They are animated by the His purity. He felt that we had already lost sincerest motives, they are ruled by the ten- what He called our souls. He saw us blind derest conscience, they are influenced by the in a world of light, deaf in a world of music, purest desires, yet their religion is withal cold in a world of warmth, heartless in a a weapon in the hand, not a magnet in the world of love, dead in a world of life, and He heart; it drives, but it does not draw. They lifted up His eyes and cried : “Father, I am are impressed above all things with the pow- clouded in their darkness, give them light; I er of the Lord, and they would like to dis- am wounded in their sorrow, give them joy ; play His power; they do not see that the I am pierced in their coldness, give them uppermost garment of the religious life warmth; I am crucified in their death, give must be the beauty of the Lord. They have
them life eternal." not measured the force of these words, “I,
Ma unday-Thursday if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." The highest power of
Then said I, LO, I come.
I delight the cross is its attractiveness, its ability to
to do Thy will, O my God.”—Ps. 40: 8. allure, its beauty. Do not think that the Son of Man, help me to enter into Thy joy. glory of religion lies in the number of things
Breathe on me that I may receive the same it can repel; lies in the number of things
Divine Spirit. Teach me day by day that it can attract.
what my Father wishes is not my GethTuesday in Holy Week
semane, but my will; not my experience of
suffering, but my power to rejoice in Him in “ Who in the day of His flesh, when He had
spite of my experience of suffering. Reveal offered up prayers and supplications, with
to me that my sacrifice is never perfect in my strong crying and tears, unto Him that
Father's sight until in the view of my spirit was able to save Him from death, and was it is a sacrifice no more. Then and only then heard in that He feared.”-HEB. 5:7.
shall I know what it is to be made conform“ Was heard in that He feared”; was it able unto Thy death, to have fellowship with so? I had always thought that His was an Thy suffering, to be in communion with Thy unanswered prayer. Did the bitter cup pass cross. I shall learn that dying is life, that from His lips when, in the solitude of the loss is gain, that perfect sacrifice is fulness of Gethsemane shadows, He cried unto His joy. There shall be no more death, there Father? Did there come to Him that res- shall be no more pain, there shall be no more pite from death which seemed to be the tears, for the former things shall have passed object of Ilis prayer? Nay, for that was not away, when through Thy Spirit I shall be the object of His prayer; that desire was able to say, “ I delight to do Thy will, O my only expressed conditionally “if it be possi- God.”
Good Friday, April 21 “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”-MATT. 27: 46.
My soul, there are times when thou lamentest the absence of any visible sign that thy God is near. There are seasons when thou criest in the night, Why art Thou so far from helping me?” “My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God." Thinkest thou that the hiding of His face from thee comes from His forgetfulness of thee? Nay, His refusal to intervene in thy sorrow is itself an act of divinest intervention. He would not interfere with that which is the discipline, the unfolding of the heart. He would grieve to grant thee a temporary cessation of pain at the expense of a permanent loss of power. His best love to thee has been His silence in the night, when
thou madest thy petition that the night might be removed.
Easier Evo, April 22 They came unto the sepulchre, bringing sweet spices to anoint Him.”—MARK 16: 1.
Wherefore art thou hovering ever near the spot where the dust reposes? Why seekest thou the living among the dead? Wherefore dost thou measure thy nearness to the departed by thy nearness to the cemetery? What communion has the cemetery with life? If the departed should meet thee, it will not be in the graveyard; it will be in those moments when thou are furthest from the graveyard. Not from out the tombstone shall their voices come, but through the thoughts that make thee forget the tombstone; not from the symbols that are memories of death, but through the hopes that tell of immortality.
The Secretary's Easter Message
is impossible for us to fully grasp the greatness of the Easter gospel. Its mes
sage is from the other side of death. It is a message from that life into which Christ brings us by His resurrection. It is a message that verifies the truth of our Lord's promises to those who trust in Him. About the Easter gospel that adds a halo to the cross, and silver lines earth's clouds of sorrow with joy, is one fact we want to remember. It is the important detail in Mark that the amazed women saw
a young man” in Christ's empty tomb.
Learned commentators tell us the young man's clothing, a long white garment, was the dress not of an angel proper, but that of a departed saint. If this be so, it bears addi, tional testimony to the resurrection. Nor does it change the fact that within the deserted sepulchre a young man was seen. It was a life there where Christ had established life and immortality that knew no decay. To the eye as it looked into the empty tomb there appeared a youth with a fadeless bloom. This fact is a special message to the youth of the Church. Is this fact nothing to you? He Who blessed the children has His risen life heralded by a young man. There must be some meaning to this. It cannot be without significance. Hazlitt says: “ There is a feeling of eternity in youth which makes us amends for everything. To be young is to be as one of the immortals." Richter says: “ The youth of the soul is everlasting and eternity is youth.” Better and wiser than either of these is the estimate and value of youth in its religious relations in that ex
quisite picture by Solomon beginning, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” There is something unique about this Easter reality that links a young man with Christ's resurrection. It presses home upon us the question, Is it nothing to you?
The resurrection consummates and certifies the triumph of Christ over the dreadful work of sin and death. We want to enlarge our understanding of this stupendous fact that retrieves the disaster wrought in Eden. It is not a miracle with little beneficent intent. Scepticism is given pause not alone by the evidence of the resurrection, but also by the moral aim in Easter. The Easter miracle differentiates itself from idle, trivial stories of miraculous events by the moral demand, the great and grand necessity, the moral purpose in God's infinite goodness and man's unspeakable need; and Christ's resurrection is the reasonable answer of God to man's questioning about divine love, and grace, and goodness in the plan of redemption.
When in rising to this deathless life Christ links this momentous fact with the presence and speech of a young man, is it nothing to you, Luther Leaguer? It makes youth a type of immortality. It gives youth a message of the risen Christ. It means a life of faith witnessing for the conqueror of the grave. It means an opportunity and a responsibility in the new life of the Church. It means a place in your life for Christ. It gives the youth an integral part in the activities incident to that