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The space between India and England is now measured not by thousands of miles, but by a few short days. Philanthropists have become almost ubiquitous, while their thoughts, by means of the steam press, steam vessels, and railways, fly through the world. The electric telegraph borrows the wings of the lightning, and what was uttered one moment in London can be heard the next on the house-tops of Glasgow and Edinburgh. The tax on the poor man's loaf has been abolished, and free trade shall soon give full employment to every labourer and mechanic, and amply repay the farmer and landlord for any supposed temporary loss. There is not only "a good time coming," but it is already begun. What volumes would be required only to chronicle what has been done in this half century, by Sunday and day-schools, by cheap literature, and religious tracts; by the millions of copies of the Scriptures which have been distributed, and by itinerant, home, and foreign missionaries, and others, who have laboured for the good of man and the glory of God. A "free course" has been opened for truth; many run to and fro, and knowledge increaseth." Schools have been opened and churches planted in almost every land. The sun never sets on the Empire of Christianity, and as he hourly opens the gates of the morning, or closes the portals of night on the nations, matins and vesper songs are poured forth in honour of the Redeemer. The temperance and peace societies are the children of our age, and have yet a glorious race to run. By their means the desolations of Bacchus and the carnage of Mars are destined to cease. We may justly ask, "what hath God wrought?" Never were eyes or ears so blessed as ours. The patriot, the philanthropist, the scholar, the philosopher, and the Christian, have placed at their disposal all that heart can wish. Every engine they can demand to work with, is either already at hand, or can be called into existence at will. There is therefore not the least excuse for indolence. We are now really and truly omnipotent to emancipate and bless the world, for not only have we, or we can have, every instrumentality we require, but we have also Jehovah on our side, and the almightiness of his grace, wisdom, and mercy, to enable us to go on and prosper. Again, we repeat, that 1850 is the most glorious jubilee of years that the earth ever saw, or that heaven ever looked upon. Woe unto us then if we do not "discern the signs of the times," and act our part. Pioneers have preceded us, the mountain has been levelled, the rock has been tunnelled, and the valleys raised. These arduous deeds were the works of other men; ours is little more than to follow on the smooth road which they have prepared for us. Let us only be faithful to our privileges and duties, and who can predict the bright scenes that will greet the philanthropist on whom the year 1900 shall dawn. Before that eventful day, many of us shall be gathered to our fathers. Perhaps only a few sands remain to some of us, still our facilities are such that we can do more good in a few days than our persecuted ancestors could

effect in years. Let us then resolve, that as the first fifty years of the present century must throw hundreds of years into the shade, so the last fifty shall be ten thousand times more renowned. Let us catch the spirit of our fathers, and bequeath a double portion of it to our children, that when we close our eyes on earth, whether in this century or the next, both ourselves and our offspring may hear the master say, "Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord."


"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."-MARK ix. 23.

THE weakness of human nature is a subject of universal assent. Myriads of sermons have been preached upon it. The doctrine is so obvious that few will make it a matter of disputation. Still a truth by being partially handled, may become an error. The artist who gives me one aspect of Lincoln Cathedral, gives me a truth, but if he wishes me to believe that this one-sided view is a correct representation of the whole edifice, he deceives me, although he deceives me with a truth. There is an old saying which cannot be repeated too often; "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." If we remember rightly, Mrs. Opie, in her admirable work on "Lying," among her examples of "white lies," includes the suppression of a part of the facts which ought to be told, before we can have a right apprehension of the whole. Abraham was guilty of this kind of falsehood, when he said of Sarah, “She is my sister." Here was a truth made the vehicle of deception. We are afraid that pulpits have not always been free from this kind of mendacity, and as a consequence, the beautiful harmonies and proportions of Holy Writ have not been fully exhibited.

It is a fact, a great and important fact, that man, in himself, is weak; but it is also a glorious truth that this little stripling, David, can perform most marvellous prodigies. Look at the world as it was when Adam first saw it, and as it is now, and what a difference presents itself. It is evident that some mighty being, possessing vast powers for good and evil, has been here. We have cities standing and cities in ruins; empires in being and empires overturned; and these changes are not to be attributed to the elements, or to animals. One being alone has been the builder or the desolator, and that being is man. For, though we admit that the principle of decay pervades all things, yet human skill can do wonders to defend its productions from the influence of atmospheric and other destructive agencies. Man is, therefore, the great benefactor or destroyer of the earth, and consequently ought not to be always exhibited as a poor weakling, destitute of energy. Responsibility supposes power. To call any one to an account for not doing something, who really could do nothing, is neither good law, nor sound theology. There is then a potentiality in every human being which may develope itself in the most glorious, or tremendous results.

In making this assertion, we are not denying that we are dependent upon

Jehovah for every thing. "In him we live, and move, and have our being." But then "living," "moving," and "being," include divine gifts and endowments of the most fearful power, and associated with the most solemn responsibilities. Reader, did you never tremble as you reflected on your capabilities for evil? or, did you never burn with a holy ambition, as you contemplated the good you could achieve? You can, aye, you must, during your short pilgrimage here below, perform actions which will be sung in heaven, or be for ever bewailed in the bottomless pit. You might as well attempt to pluck the sun from his orbit, or to annihilate the whole universe, as to make yourself a cypher. The least sinner is a great fountain of viciousness, while the meanest saint has in himself an element of good, which all the tongues of all the seraphs in heaven would fail to express.

Instead then of heading this article with the words, "The Possibilities of Faith," we might have composed an essay on "The Possibilities of Human Nature." The deeds of men who have been notoriously ignorant of Christ and salvation, would afford a narrative of almost endless duration. But then if humanity, with all its weakness, has effected so much not only of evil, but of good, what may it not accomplish, when guided and nerved by the energies of divine faith? The text, "Without me ye can do nothing," should always be taken along with the declaration of Paul, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me," or with the words of our Lord, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine-tree, Be thou plucked up, and be thou planted in the sea, and it should obey you." "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

To the existence of this faith, several things are necessary. 1. There must be a revelation of what is to be believed. This we have in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Here the Holy Spirit has made known every thing that we are to believe, and our faith must embrace all that he has revealed. 2. We must read and understand the Word of God, or else we cannot know what we believe. We do not say that we are to comprehend every thing. This is by no means necessary. We may believe that there is a Trinity of Persons in the Divine Essence, though the doctrine includes what to us, is incomprehensible, just as we may know that man has a body and soul, though we cannot tell what is the essence of matter or mind, or how the two are united to form a human person. 3. We must rely upon the truth. Satan believes the whole Bible, and is probably more orthodox than any of us, but he does not rely on the Saviour for life and salvation. There is no saving faith, until the sinner trusts his soul in the hands of Jesus Christ, to be saved by him, just as implicitly as the traveller commits himself to the railway carriage or steam ship, to be conveyed to his journey's end. 4. Real faith obeys the Son of God. One most important and necessary operation of faith is to follow the example and instruction of the Redeemer, the same as one would obey the command of a prince, attend to the directions of a physician, or keep close to the footsteps of a guide. 5. This faith never rests until it obtains the blessings which Jehovah has promised. It does not go to the well of salvation with an empty vessel and come away without filling it, but it takes "of the water of

life freely." It is Jacob saying, "I will not let thee go unless thou bless me." Hence all true believers are true Israelites. 6. Such a faith as this, is "the operation of the Spirit of God." It is a "fruit of the Spirit." No one can say that Jesus is Christ, but by the Holy Ghost. None of us can see Christ, and therefore we cannot "say" that he is, or that he is the Messiah, unless we believe these truths; and we cannot savingly believe in him, until we are baptized with the "Holy Ghost and with fire." 7. This faith unites us to God in Christ, and makes us partakers of the Divine nature. We are a mass of sin, and God out of Christ is "a consuming fire" to sin, and therefore no sinner can trust in an absolute God and be saved. To pardon sin without punishing it is to encourage it. If Jehovah pardoned sin without showing his displeasure towards it, he would encourage iniquity; and if he encouraged iniquity, he could not be God. But if he punish man for his sin, he must banish him from his presence; this would be, not only condemnation, but "damnation," or the loss of all things. If then man is pardoned, sanctified, and saved, "Christ must needs suffer." Christ has suffered, has paid the penalty of the law for us, and now there is "no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit." Hence God in Christ, not God out of Christ, is the object of faith,

The faith then that can do all things, is a faith that comes to God in Christ for wisdom, for strength, for mercy, for righteousness, for purity, for love, for patience, and indeed for every grace and blessing. Under such circumstances, human weakness and infirmity are advantages. The "strength of Christ is made perfect in weakness." We can even "glory in infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon us;" for when we are "weak then are we strong." It is a great deal better to have all our blessings in Christ, and to receive them from him as we want them, than it would be to have a stock, or store of grace in ourselves; for it is one of the most glorious privileges to receive divine influence constantly from the Son of God, just as we every moment inhale breath from the atmosphere. We are, by means of faith, wise in his wisdom, strong in his strength, justified in his righteousness, made holy by his holiness, and filled with his love. Every grace is his work. "Christ is all and in all," and thus there is a divinity about the religion of a real believer. Every part of it is from God. Faith beholds "the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” and comes and receives "from his fulness grace for grace."

It seems hardly necessary to add, that those who have this faith, can "do all things." No one can tell the Potentialities or Possibilities of such a faith. "All things are possible to him that believeth." To the Lord Jesus nothing is impossible, and to the believer nothing is impossible, because his faith unites him to Christ, and calls in Christ to do all things in him and for him. By faith we can be justified, and sanctified; by faith we can surmount every difficulty, and bear every cross: by faith we overcome ourselves, the world, and Satan; by faith we can walk with God, and do wonders for the glory of Emmanuel and the salvation of the world; by faith we triumph over death and the grave, and soar to heaven. The eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews ought to be committed to memory by every Christian, and repeated every day. That divine

narrative and the thirteenth chapter of the first of Corinthians contain the most glorious creed the world ever heard. Were both reduced to practice, we should have the spiritual reign of Christ in an incredibly short time. Here you have energies that "bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things." What if 1 Cor. xiii. were now and then repeated instead of the "Apostles' Creed," and Hebrews xi, instead of the "Te Deum," or "St. Athanasius?" the variety would be edifying to our "faith, hope, and charity."

Reader, turn over your concordance, or what is better, read through your Bible again, and mark every text that has the least allusion to believing, and then calculate, if you can, the possibilities of faith. Never again say respecting any duty or difficulty, I " cannot." Banish the negative from your vocabulary, or write yourself an unbeliever. In the language of faith there are no negatives. By faith we can traverse an unknown country with Abraham, conquer Canaan with Joshua, slay lions and Goliaths with David, sleep in the jaws of the wild beasts with Daniel, or bid defiance to the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. What a faithless generation we are! Had we "faith as a grain of mustard seed," we might make this world a paradise, and we ourselves might live in heaven while we walk the earth.



"Consider the birds of the air."-MATT. vi. 26.

It was a cold December day, and very frosty; the snow had been swept from the door, and a few seeds or crumbs had been brought to light. A poor robin, sitting on a sprig, had watched the operation, and contrived to obtain from the spot its morning's repast. After it had finished its meal, the locality resounded with its warbling. It seemed as if it were returning thanks to its Creator and Benefactor, and, in doing so, uttered one of its sweetest melodies. I never in my life had so great a wish to understand the language of birds. In fact, I could not help talking to the light hearted songster, though his only reply was a repetition of his hymn of thanksgiving. As my little fellow-creature ended his song and flew away, I began to converse with myself. "Here," said I, "is a lesson for me. This winged messenger is come from heaven to teach me faith, and put my unbelief to the blush." "Happy little warbler," I exclaimed; “thou dost ́neither sow nor reap;' thou hast 'neither storehouse nor barn;' where the next meal is to come from, thou knowest not; a long and hard winter is before thee, and yet thou art cheerful." "Doubtless," I continued, “thou art a monitor sent by our common parent to dissipate my sadness." And nothing could have been more opportune than this cheerful visit of the warbling redbreast; for that morning my spirits had been depressed. My family was large; my income small. To make both ends meet I had taken a scanty meal, and my children had eaten their bread by measure. As I waited on them, I heaved a sigh at the thought that I was compelled to minister to their wants in so inadequate a manner. I thought they looked pale and thin, and it went to my heart.

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