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The wildest, gayest, most unthinking lives are, in some sort, the working out of a calculation. The apostle tells us that they which walk after the flesh “count it pleasure" so to do. To know whether that sum proves, and what is "the reward of unrighteousness,” we have only to meet with some worldly trifler who has come to the last line. How clear it is that his life's reckoning has proved a failure-clear perhaps even to himself! Most truly has it been said, “There is nothing in this world like fulfilled desires to dispel even the remembrance of the eagerness wherewith they have been pursued."
And yet often do we see such an one going on in the old false way; though no longer counting it pleasure to live for this poor world, and dimly conscious that the days of darkness are upon him—that, to quote the wise man's words, “ All is vanity and vexation of spirit, and there is no profit under the sun."
Not Solomon only, made of God so wise to perceive the respective issues of earthly and heavenly aims, but the Word of God from first to last sets before us what manner of life is the sum which proves. Look at Psalm xxxvii.; it is graphic as a two-sided picture, with its contrast of god. liness and ungodliness in their results. For the godly, “peace at the last;" for the ungodly, " at the last to be rooted out.” How plainly our Lord Himself sets forth this contrast. “He that saveth his life” (i. e. by refusing to take up his cross and follow Me) “shall lose it; he that loseth his life for My sake, the same shall find it.” And He leaves it in no doubt that even on this side the grave faith's reckoning proves right: “Verily I say unto you, There is no man which hath left house, or brethren, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this present time.” Listen to the reckoning of one who staked his every hope on that Saviour's promises : "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.” The same apostle
gives us his experience that even before the day when godliness inherits the promise of the life which is to come, it hath the profit of the life that now is; that the knowledge of Jesus proves excellently worth the counting all things else but loss. It is promised to the follower of Christ that even here on earth he shall prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. It must have seemed, in Pharaoh's court, a strange manner of reckoning, a sign of madness, when Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; but the sum proved, and even before he entered into glory he foretasted “the recompense of the reward.”
It would indeed be sad to think that there is no way to rectify the faulty sum of a misreckoned because earth-bound life. Thank God, there is a way! Not as the way I had pointed out to my little scholar, who must go through all his work again, since his mistake might be in any part of his sum, from the first to the last figure. In a life worked out after the course of this world all has been mistake from the very beginning, because Christ, the source of all true life, has been left out, then the only way is to start afresh. He who, in His saving love, is forcing on the Christless soul the painful fact that his life-sum cannot prove is waiting to efface it all, and set before you in its stead a life of faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.
And how can those who have taken God at His word, and entered on tliat life of faith, know certainly that the working out of our course will bring us to that blessed proving line, "peace at the last ?" Simply by asking themselves whether Christ“ is our peace” to-day; if on the foundation of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, a life of "obedience of faith," of "seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” is being daily wrought out in us, we need have no fear as to the final adding up of its
Its proving line will be, as God is true, “Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation."
A. J. T.
" And at Eventide it shall be Light.”
N earnest Christian woman, who had a great dread
at the thought of dying, and feared that she should make shipwreck of faith, was heard to
whisper just before she passed away, “He giveth light at eventide."
“ The night is dark, I cannot see
The way, O God, Thou leadest me;
“I am so weak and prone to stray
Out of the strait, the narrow way,
6 And death is near: I seem to stand
Upon the borders of that land
Thus spake a servant of the Lord,
Ere long the struggling gasp for breath
They listened in that darkened room,
And then she said, “I come! I come!