A Contrast.

E. L. Bevir.

Christian Friend vol. 14, 1887, p. 128.

THE glory of the kingdom spread
Over the Tabor's lofty head,
Lighting the mountain steeps;
And Jesu's robes were glistering white,
His face - the Sun in all its might,
And - Peter sleeps!

'Tis night, and in Gethsemane
A prostrate Form in agony,
With bitter crying, weeps;
The darkness deepens at His groan
(The darkest night this world hath known),
And - Peter sleeps!
*  *  *
He lies upon the dungeon floor,
A guard, quadrupled round the door,
Its midnight vigil keeps;
Two chains of iron bind him fast;
Tomorrow's morn shall be his last
And - Peter sleeps! E. L. B.

C. H. Mackintosh.
Christian Friend vol. 14, 1887, p. 135.

God has been perfectly satisfied, as to all the believer's sins, in the cross of Christ. On that cross a full atonement was presented for every jot and tittle of sin, in the believer's nature, and on his conscience. Hence, therefore, God does not need any further propitiation. He does not need aught to draw his heart toward the believer. We do not require to supplicate Him to be "faithful and just," when His faithfulness and justice have been so gloriously displayed, vindicated, and answered in the death of Christ. Our sins can never come into God's presence, inasmuch as Christ, who bore them all, and put them away, is there instead. But if we sin, conscience will feel it, must feel it; yea, the Holy Ghost will make us feel it. He cannot allow so much as a single light thought to pass unjudged. What then? Has our sin made its way into the presence of God? Has it found its place in the unsullied light of the inner sanctuary? God forbid! The "Advocate" is there - "Jesus Christ the righteous" - to maintain, in unbroken integrity, the relationship in which we stand. But though sin cannot affect God's thoughts in reference to us, it can and does affect our thoughts in reference to Him. Though it cannot make its way into God's presence, it can make its way into ours, in a most distressing and humiliating manner. Though it cannot hide the Advocate from God's view, it can hide Him from ours. It gathers like a thick, dark cloud on our spiritual horizon, so that our souls cannot bask in the blessed beams of our Father's countenance. It cannot affect our relationship with God; but it can very seriously affect our enjoyment thereof. What therefore are we to do? The word answers, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." By confession we get our conscience cleared, the sweet sense of our relationship restored, the dark cloud dispersed, the chilling, withering influence removed; our thoughts of God set straight. Such is the divine method, and we may truly say, that the heart that knows what it is to have ever been in the place of confession, will feel the divine power of the apostle's words, "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not." (1 John 2:1.) C. H. M.