The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on November 22, 1893 · Page 5
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 5

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Algona, Iowa
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Wednesday, November 22, 1893
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THE DBS, MOINfiS! AL60NA. IOWA.. W1MESD AY, . : gfl MEMBER 22,J8§& 'HE WAY WAS long, tho wind •was co'd, Tho actor was infirm and old. Bis stubble beard, all grizzled now, And hair were ft laBnarleyow; j dress was seedy and his form Jiew not the joy of great coat v?avm. tie last of the "legit" was he " »thought and talked of tragedy. i, welladay, their date was fled; ^ sock-and-buakin mates were dead, SM he. neglected and decried, "Imped as he walked, and otten signed Amusing on the palmy days lien countless thousands brought bays, him |'e.n gold poured in and wine poured ,;.'•« down ad-toe -was kinK in every town. J now no more the doors stood wide »welcome him; no more beside ft nrifrhtest wits at banquet board * sit and sing was his accord; .hd wistfulness was in hw eye (Then, as he passed, he chanced to spy .hrough opening door a genia crowd |f reveling rounders gay and loud. •&u me," he sighed, "forsooth, methinks £bn roistering blades are quaffing drinks; 3ood lack, time was when I, too, stood i Buch like throngs—yea, by the rood, ^e pushed the door nnd ventured in, When greeting rose above the dm: I'See where it comes!" "Hello 1" "What news?" , „ \nd "Bay, old top, let's see your shoes. Che ribald youngsters gathered 'round &nd in tho way-worn actor fouud Subject i'or witticisms keen "ifith roars of laughter loud between; _Hs tattered trousers, soleless shoes (fiAlack! such things disliko my muse) Tnd ench sad detail of his dress - ; ri.J. thoui to uiirthfuluess. ,._ sny, old chop," at last one sail, tvYou want a armk, I'll bet my head. Pow hero's a scheme: If you'll recite IWe'll set'em up. AYhat fayi All right Che aged actor bowed his head *ud, in a voice grown husky, said: laybnp sprites touched him with then- wands) ?*I used to know -The Vagabonds. Ind in thosileneo that befell i weary pilgrim wove u spell ._at held the noisy crowd iu thrall ind at ench slight sound, "Uush!" said all. k: gentle vagabond was he, Vith art's srreat cloak for pnnoply, telling the story, sweet, sublime, Df vagaboudn&e strung in rhyme. L'moment's pause that awkward grow i&ollowed its close. The barkeop blew jjs nose and said: "This one's on mo. |What is it, pnrd? Thanlcsgivin'. See!" ; weary r i'he.--piau drank, and then Ithe others made him drink again; fiAnd yet a parting drink, they swore, pile must have with them—so one more. when at lost he shivering wont rflnto the night's chill banishment I'rhe revelers gay could not again fc'Qet back into tlie roistering vein. ' Their thoughts were with the actor old. Who muttered as he braved the cold: "If I can only work that gag On one more joint I'll luvv - a jog." IGltKK LA SUELT-E. HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING. Originated with flloHes When ITo Kcaelied tlie I'romiscd J.iinil. Thanksgiving day was a long time in getting itself established! It is not •an ^exclusively American affair, and was not generally observed in the west .and south till after the war; but in the east it may be said to date from the seventeenth cent ry. Over 8,(.0i) years ago Moses instructed tho Israelites to keep a feast after they sot established in the holy land. They •called it the. feast of the tabernacles, and for eight days following thu close •of harvest they dwelt in booths made chiefly of green boughs, and feasted on corn, wine, oil and fruits. In the course of time a splendid ritual for this feast was developed, including much singing in responsive cliorxises. Somewhat later the Grenks held a nine-days' feast of similar character, in which slaves were allowed to take part, and all criminals except murderers. The Romans had similar feasts in honor of Cores, god ess of grain. The Sax< us had a "Harvest Home," and after them the Eiipiish, which festival was observed in a sort of way in some of the American colonies In the year 1021 the Pilgrim fathers tried to celebrate it, but it was rather a gloomy affair. In J.U23 a ship loaded with provisions failed to arrive, aud Gov. Bradford appointed a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer, but the expected ship arrived, and so they made it a clay of tnanUsgiving. I Ninety Indians, headed by Chief JVIassasoit, took part. in 1031 the Puritans ran out of provisions, and February 9 was named as a day of fasting and prayer. As in the other case, the ship arrived, and they had a feast instead. June 15, 1037, there was a general service in all the •churches to give thanks lor the great PequotB, and jon the IStli of October following a genera, service and feast, in honor of peace and the settling of some religious differences. Forty years later Gov. Andros ordered the people to give thanks <>D the first day •of December; but they hated Andros and did not thank worth a cent. Several persons were arrested for treaiingthe proclamation with contempt, but this struck the home au- "tborities as rather ludicrous, and his •conduct was disapproved. Thereafter Thanksgiving was pretty .generally observedinull the states, the governor naming the day. George Washington recotnm-nded to congress the naming of a national day in 17&0 for the adoption of the constitution; it was done, and the day was ge er.illy .observed. lni7Unthe proceeding was repeated. James Madison appears to have issued the first V esidential proclamation on the subject in 1815, in honor of the return of peace. Forty- eifiht years passed before President Lincoln issued the second one in 14U3. Since then every President has follow e d t*°.e custom, and the day is nationally observed at last. full or How to Malt* the Day That Which Should Be. To make a happy Thanksgiving -we must remember some .thing's. The divine mercies that hare been so abundant —we must cherish the thought of the'se. But there are things that we should forget. In the first place, we should forget our evil deeds. D' es that seem like a shocking proposition? We moan that, if wehava been forgiven our sins, we do wrong to be constantly bearing them in mind. We ure not to forget that we werr>. sinners, llvtt if Jesus Christ "bore our sins in his body on the tree," then wo ! are not wi.-e, nor are we honoring him, cn we persist iu bearing them ourselves. God forgets our transgressions. He says that he casts them be- imd his back. He removes them as :ar as the east is from the west. He hides" our iniquities and remembers them no more against us. At least he sees them, as Dr. Holland beautifully puts it, "through a blood-illumined jla-s." Therefore, let us think of them as beneath:the blood of the ever- Lasting covenant of his grace. To carry our burden of guilt is to make of none effect the work of Christ on Calvary. It also paralyzes effort to servo. The efficient worker must have— "A heart at leisure from itself To sooth and sympathize." But we must forget our good deeds as well. Dr. Joseph Parker of London says: ''There are some who remember every good deed that they ever did, and, therefore, they never did anything worth doing. No man has ever done anything for God if he has kept account oE it. So long as a man can tell you when he gave pounds and shillings, and when he rendered service, and to what inconvenience he put himself, all that he did is blotted out." That is putting it somewhat strongly, but there is much truth in it for us to ponder. Let us be grateful for the pardon ample enough to cover and hide all our evil-doings, nnd remember that any good we thought we did was indeed good only because we did in for the love of Christ and in his name.— Epworth Herald. OR.'TALMAQE PHEACHES FROM ' BOOK OF EXODUS. "It Thou Wilt Pots'** Thol* Sin—, and It Not, Blot Bte, J Prny fhee, Out at Thy Book"—ExoihiB SSsSS—A llentttlfnl Discourse. Coutiiiffont C! rut I til do. yo' gom Chloc—Look yenli, what- wid dat bag, you 'Jlastus? 'Kastus—1 'm jes a-goin' over to brudder Jones' hen coop ter see wed- der we've any cause fur t'anksgivin'. A FAMILY PICTURE. lining the Climax oC the Grout Feast Coming again in the long procession of days is the good, glad, old, over- welcome Thanksgiving day! The turkey roas'ing, Ihe cranberry sauce stewing, a chicken pie baiting. Then there are the vegetables, ad libitum (let that Latin alone—critic and compositor); pumpkin pie, inince pie, plum pudding (no brandy snuce, remember), nuts and raisins!—and oh! the kitchen—what a laboratoi-y it is jnst before Thanksgiving day! Now 'bedrooms are made ready for the boys who are coming home with their wives and children! And the parlor—put it at its best! And the big sitting- room—put plenty of cha>rs in it nnd take away the summer decorations that cumber and conceal the big- fireplace! Take away tho fire board! Now polish the andirons and put in tho back log and pile in the other logs and poke in tho kindling and get ready for a Thanksgiving blaze! What is Thanksgiving day without a fire—a regular radiant, roaring, old-fashioned lire—symbol of life, good cheer, love, welcome and gratitude \o God, Let it blaze and leap heavenward while the sparks fly and the transfigured logs shine and crackle as if in sympathy with the household joy. ' What a day of laughter and good will it is—this Thanksgiving day! What deep and quiet happiness beams in the white, calm face of grandmother! And grandfather allows the muscles that make laughter to contract—"the sweet contraction" that quaint old Sir Thomas Brown wrote about so long ago. There are the "big boys" who are boys no longer, except to the two old folks, and there the "little fellows"—the wee boys of the "big boys." \Vhatsporttheyhave in the old homestead, what rambles and rollickings in yard, garden and cellar! What rummaging in attic and old trunk-room! And now that faces are washed and hair brushed, a big circle forms around Ihe blazing fire for a five or ten minutes' old-1 ime family prayer before the Thanksgiving- dinner bell rings! The big- bible—blessed old book! The voice of praise, as they all sing—old and young, with cracked v< ices and clear, in tuno and out—"Praise God from whom all blessings How."—Ke- lig-ious Exchange. Heart to Heart. BnooKi,YS, Nov. 10.— In the Tabernacle, (his morning, Rev. Dr. Talinoge delivered i us of his most unique and useful sermons I roin a text never before preached from. Subject: The "Ifs" of the bible. The text chosen was: Exodus 83: 33, "If thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot nie, I pray thee, out of thy book." There is in our English language a small conjunction, which I propose, by God's help, to haul out of its present insignificancy and set upon the throne where it belongs, and that is the conjunction "If." Though made of only two letters it is the pivot on which everything turns. All time and all eternity are at its disposal. We slur it in our utterance, we ignore it in our appreciation, and none, of us recognize it as the most tremendous word in all the vocabulary outside of those words which, describe deity. If! Why that word we take as a tramp among words j now appearing here, now appearing there, but having uo value ^ of its own, when it really has u. million- aired om of worlds, and iu its train walk all planetary, stellar, lunar, solai- destinies. If tho boat of leaves, made water-tight, in which infant Moses sailed the Nile, had sunk, who would have led Israel out of Egypt? If the Red sea had not parted for the escape of one host, and then come together for the submergence of another host, would the book of -Exodus ever have been written'. 1 If the ship ou which Columbus sailed for America had gone down in an Atlantic cyclone, how much longer would it have taken for the discovery of this continent? If Grouchy had come up with reinforcements in time to give the French the victory at Waterloo, what, would have been the fate of Europe? If the Spnn- ish arniiicla had not been wrecked oil: the const, how different would have been many chapters iu English history. If' the battle of Hastings, or the battle of Pultowa, or the battle of Valmy, or the battle of Ma- tauras, or the buttle of Arbehv, or the battle of Chalons, each one of which turned the world's destiny, had been decided the other way. If Shakespeare had never been born for the drama, or Handel had never been born for music, or Titian had never been boru for painting, or Tliorwuldsoii had never been born for sculpture, or Edimmd Burke had never been born for eloquence, or Socrates had never been born for philosophy, or Blackstone had never been born for the law, or Copernicus had never been born for astronomy, or Luther had never been born for the reformation! Oh, that conjunction "If!" How much has depended on it. Tin; height of it, the Contributor—Here is a manuscript X wish to submit. Editor (waving his ba di—I'm sor y; we are full just now. Contributor (blandly)—Very well. I c»U again wb.e» some pf you TURKEY CRIED, "Ah sweet my love, Our souls shall mingle ever. Not e'en the mighty powers above Our foud young hearts can sever." When cruel iatQ toeir lives did. i>wt~ qrhefael; there's no repressing- It was his gty'ets, not bis be»rt, depth of it, the length of it, the breadth of it, the immensity of it, the infinity of it, who can measure? It would swamp anything but Omnipotence. But 1 must confine myself to-day to the "Ifs'.' of the bible, and in ,so doing I shall speak of the "If" of overpowering earnestness, the "If" of incredulity, the "If" of threat, tho "If" of argumentation, the "II'" of eternal signili- cunce, or so many of these "Ifs" as I can compass in the time that may be reasonably allotted to pulpit discour.se. First, the "If" of overpowering-earnestness. My text gives it. Tho Israelites have been worshipping an idol, notwithstanding all that God had done for them, and now Moses offers tho most vehement prayer of all history, and it turns upon an "If," "If thou wilt forgive their sins—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book." Oh, what an overwhelming "If !" It WHS us much as to say, "If thou wilt not pardon them do not pardon mo; if thou wilt not bring them to the promised land let me never see tho promised hind; if they must perish let mo perish with them; in that book where thou recordest their doom record my doom; if they are shut out of heaven let me bo shut out of heaven; if they go down into darkness, let me go down into darkness." AVhat vehemence and holy recklessness of prayer! Vet there are those hero who, 1 have no doubt, have in their nil-absorbing desire to have others saved, risked the same prayer, for it is a risk. You must not make it, unless you are willing to balance your eternal salvation on such an "If." Yet there have been cases where u, mother has been so anxious for the recovery of a wayward son that her prayer has swung and trembled and poised on an "If" like that of the text. "If not, blot me, I pray thee, out of tliy book. Write his name in the Lamb's book of life, or turn to tho page where my name was written ton or twenty or forty or sixty years ago, and with the black ink of over- lasting midnight erase my first name and my last name and all my name. If he is to go into shipwreck, let me be tossed amid the same breakers. If he can not be a partner in my bliss, let me be u partner in his woe. I have for many years loved thee, O God! and it has been my expectation to sit with Christ and all the redeemed at the banquet of the skies, but I now give up my promised place at the feast, and my promised robe, and my promised crown and my promised throne, unless John, unless George, unless Henry, unless my darling sou can share them with mo. Heaven will be 110 heaven without him. O God, save my boy, or count me among the lost." That is a terrific prayer, and yet there is a young man sitting iu the pew on the main floor, or in the lower gallery, or in the top gallery, who has already crushed such a, prayer ftom his mother's heart. He hardly ever writes home, or, living at home, what does lie care how much, - - • ' - " tears dnrk night, The fiust that sh.6 does not sleep because watching for his return late at night docs not choke his laughter or hasten his step forward. She has tried coaxing and kindness and,self- sacrifice and all the ordinary prayers that mothers make for their children, and all. have failed. Site i? coming toward the vivid and venti.itcsoiuo and terrific prayer of my text. She is going to lift her own eternity aud set it upon that one "If," 1)5' which site expects to decide whether you will ge> Up. with her or ahe down with you. She may be this moment looking heavenward, and saying: "O, Lord reclaim him by thy grace," aud then adding that heart-rending "If" of itty text: "If not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book." After three years of absence a son wrote his mother in one of the New England whaling villages that he was coming home in a certain ship. Mother-like, she stood watching, and the ship-was m the ofting, but ft fearful stown struck it and dashed the ship on the rocks that night. All that nifht the mother prayed for the safety of tiie son, and just lit dawn there was :i knock at the cottage door, and the son entered, crying out, "Mother, T knew you would pray me home!" If I would ask all those in this assemblage who have been prayed home to God by pious mothers to stand up, there would be scores that would stand, and if I should ask them to give testimony of that Now England son coming ashore from the split timbers of tho whaling ship, "My mother prayed me homel" Another bible "If" is tho "If" of incredulity. Satan used it, when Christ, with his vitality depressed by forty days' abstinence from food, tho tempter pointed to some stones, in color and shape like lo-i.ves of bread, and said: "If yon be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." That was appropriate, for Satan is the father of that "if'of incredulity. Peter used that name "If" when, standing ou the wet and slippery deck of a fishing-smack of Lake Galilee, he saw Christ walking on the sea as though it were as solid as a pavement of basalt from tlm .adjoining volcanic hills, and I'cter cried out, "If it be thou, let me come to theo on the water." Whiit n preposterous "If!" AVhat human foot was ever so constructed as to walk on water? In what part of the earth did law of gravitation make exception to the rule that a man will sink to the elbows when he touches the wave of river or lake, and will sink still further unless he can fiwiru? But here I'eter looks out upon the .form in the shape of a man defying the mightiest law of the universe, the law of gravitation, and standing- erect on the top of the liquid. Yet the incredulous Peter cries out to the Lord, "If it be thou." Alas! for that incredulous "If." It is working as powerfully in the latter part of this nineteenth Christian century as it did in the early-part of tho first Christian century. Though a, small conjunction, it is the biggest block to-day in the way of the gospel chariot. "If!" "If!" Wo into a Scottish home may suggest its printing, for that letter shows more mightily than anything I have ever* read the difference between the- "I j know" of Paul and tho "f know" of |. Job and the "I know" of Thomas Chal- I inersiind the "I know" of all those wliO hold with ft firm grip the old gospel on. tlie one hand, and the unmooring, be- storming and torturing "If" of incredulity on the other. I like the positive faith of that sailor boy that Capt .ludkins of the steamship Scotia picked up in a hurricane. "Go aloft!" said Capt. .ludkins to- his mute, "and look out for wrecks." Before the mate had gone far up tlie ratlines, he shouted "A wreck! a wreck!" "Where away?" said Capt. Judkins, "Off the port bow," was the answer. Life-boats were lowered, and forty men volunteered to put out across tile angry sea for the wreck. They came back with a dozen ship-wrecked,.and among them a boy of 13 years. "Who are you?" said Capt. Judkins. The answer was, "I am a Scotch boy. My father and mother are dead and I am on my way to America." "What have you here?" said Capt. Judkins, as he onericd the boy's jacket and took hold o. :i rope around the boy's body. "It is a rope," said the boy. "But what is that tied by the rope under your arm?" "That, sir,'is my mother's bible. She told me never to lose that." "Could i middle-, you not have saved something else?" "Not and saved that." "Did you expect to go. down?" "Yea, sir, but I meant to take my mother's bible down with me." "Bravo!" said Capt. Judkins, "1 will take care of you." That boy demonstrated it certainty and a confidence that I like. Just in proportion as you have few "Ifs" of incredulity in your religion, will you find it a comfortable religion. My full and unquestioning faith in it is founded on tho fact that it soothes and sustains in time of sear 6* toy arm?* I said, "^os." must have had an- awful wottfcd sometime;" He sftidf "S^ss, it Searlf cost me: my kfei I w&S in a mind itt England GOO feet, under ground And three miles from the shaft of tho m"in« and n took fell on. me, and my fellow laborer-pried off tho rock, and t was bleeding to death', and he took a neWs- paper from around his. luttcheoiti flnd bound it around! my wound and then helped mo over the throe miles underground to the shaft, whore I was lifted to the top, and when that newspaper was taken off my wound 1 read on jt something that saved my soul, and it was one-of your sermons. Goodnight," he said! as ha passed' on, le&vitigf me" transfixed with grateful em-otion. And who knows but the words I now speak, blessed, of God, may reach some wounded soul deep> down, in, the black mine of sin, and that these words may be blessed to the 1 staunching of the wound and the eternal life of the soul? Settle this matter instantly, positively and forever. Slay the last "If." Bury deep the- last "If." How to do it? If ling body, mind and soul in a prayer | as earnest as that, of Moses in the text. Can yoxi doubt the earnestness of this prayer or the text? It is so heavy with emotion that it breaks down in the | It was so. earnest that the translators in the modern copies of the bible were- obliged to put a mark, a straight line, a, dash for an omission that will never be filled up. Such an abrupt pause, such a sudden snapping off of the sentence. You cannot parse my text. It is an offense to grammatical construction. But that dash put in by the typesetters is mightily suggestive. "If thou wilt forgive their sin" (then comes the dash) —; "and if not, blot me, I pray thee,, out of thy book." Some of the most earnest prayers ever uttered could not have theological seminaries which spend most of their time and employ their learning mid their genius in the manufacturing of "Ifs." With that weaponry is assailed the Pentateuch, and tho miracles and the divinity of Jusus Christ. Almost everybody is chewing on an "If." When many a man bows for prayer, he puts his knee on an "If." The door through which he pusses into infidelity and atheism and all immoralities has two doorposts, and the one is made up of the letter "I" and the other of the letter "1<\" There are only four steps between strong' faith and complete unbelief. First, surrender the idea of the verbal inspiration of the scriptures, and adopt the idea that they were all generally supervised by the Lord. Second, surrender the idea that they were all generally supervised by the Lord, and adopt the theory that they were not all, but partly supervised by the Lord. Third, believe that they are the gradual evolution of the ages, and men wrote according to the wisdom of the times in which they lived. Fourth, believe that the bible Is u bad book and not only unworthy of credence but pernicious and debasing- and cruel. Only four steps from tins stout faith 111 which the martyr died to the. blatant caricature of Christianity as the greatest sham of the centuries. But the door to all that pre- cipation and horrbr is made out of an "If. ' The mother of unrests in the min'ds of Christian people and in those who regard sacred things is the "If" of incredulity. In 1879, in Scotland,! saw u letter which had been written many years ago by Thomas Carlyle to Thomas Chalmers. Carlyle, at the iime of writing the letter, was a young- man. The letter was not to be published until after the death of Carlyle. His death having taken place, the letter ought to be published. It was a letter in which Thomas Carlyle expresses the tortures of his own mind while relaxing his faith in Christianity, while, at the same time, he expresses his admiration for Dr. Chalmers, and in which Curlyle wishes that he hud the same faith that the great Scotch minister evidently exercised. Nothing- that Thomas Carlyle ever wrote iu "Sartor Resartus," or the "French 1 Revolution," or his "Life of Cromwell," or his immortal "Essays," had in it more wondrous power than that letter which bewailed his own doubts and extolled the strong faith of another. I made an exact copy of that letter with the understanding it should not be published until after the death of Thomas Carlyle, but, returning- to my hotel in, Edinburgh, I felt uneasy lest somehow that letter should get out of my possession and be published before its time. So I took it back to the person by whose permission I had •copied it. All reasons for its privacy baying vanished, I •wish it might be published. its trouble. I do not believe that any i bo man who ever lived had more blessings and prosperity than I have received from God and the world. But I have had trouble enough to allow me opportunity for finding out whether our religion is of any use in such exigency. 1 have had fourteen great bereavements, to say nothing of lesser bereavements, for I was the youngest of a largo family. I have had as much persecution as comes to most people. 1 have had'all kinds of trial, except severe and prolonged sickness, and I would have been dead long ago but, for the consolatory power of our religion. Any religion will do in perity. Buddhism will do, ism will do. Theosophy will. do. No j religion at all will do. But when the world gets after you and do tames your best deeds, when bankruptcy takes the place of large dividends, when you fold for the last sleep tho still hands over the still heart of your old father who has been planning i'or your welfare all these years, or you close the eyes of your mother who has lived in your life, ever since before you were born, removing hoi- spectacles because she will have clear vision in the home to which slio has gone, or you give the last kiss to the child reclining amid the llowers that pile the casket and looking as natural, and life-like us she ever did reclining in tho cradle, then the only religion worth anything is the old-fashioned religion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 1 would give more in such a. crisis for one of the promises of the old book than for a whole library containing all the productions of all the other religions of all the ages. Tho other religions arc a sort of cocaine to benumb and deaden tho soul while bereavement and misfortune do their work, but our religion is inspiration, illumination, uniparadisathm. It is a mixture of sunlight and hallelujah. Do not adiilt.'i-ate it with one drop of thu tincture of incredulity. Another bible "If" is the "If" of eternal significance. Solomon gives us that "if" twice 111 0110 sentence, when he says: "if thou bo wise tliou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou scornest thou alone, slialt bear it." Christ gives us that "If" when ho says: "If thou hadst known in this thy day the things that belong unto thy pence, but now they are hidden from thine eyes." Paul gives us that "If" when he says: ,-If they shall enter into my nnd parsed and were poor specimens of language. They Halted, they broke down, they passed into sobs' or groans or silences, God cares nothing for tho syntax of prayers, nothing- for the rhetoric oE prayers. O, , the wordless prayers! If they were piled up they', would reach to the rainbow that arches the throne of God. A deep sigh > may mean move than a whole liturgy. Out of the one hundred and thousand words of the language there may not word enough expressive soul. . The most effective have ever heard have been sixteen English bo a for the prayers I prayers that broke down with emotion; time of pros- ! the'young man for thu first time rising a. Confucian- ' in a, prayer meeting and saying, "O Lord Jesus!" and then sitting down, burying tho face in the handkerchief; tho penitent iu the inquiry room kneeling and saying, "God help me," and getting no further; tho broken prayer that started a great revival in my, church in Philadelphia. A prayer may have in stylo the gracefulness of an Addison, and the sublimity of a Milton, and the epigrammatic force of an Emerson, and yet be a failure, having u horizontal power but no perpendicular power, horizontal power reaching the ear of man, but no perpendicular power reaching the ear of God. There is only one kind of prayer iu , which you need to put the "If," and that is the prayer for temporal blessings. Pray for riches and they may engulf us, or for fame and it muy bewitch us, or for worldly success of any, sort and it may destroy us. Better say "If it be best," "If I can make proper* use of it," "If Thou seost I need it." A wife, praying for the recovery of her husband from illness, stamped her foot and said with frightful emphasis, "I will not have him die; God shall not take him." Her prayer was answered, but a few years aftsr, tho comiiiuaity was shocked by the fact that he had in a momunt of anger slain her. A mother, praying for a son's recovery from illness, told the Lord he had no right to take him, and the boy recovered, but plunged into all abominations and died a renegade. Better in all such prayers and all prayers pertaining to our temporal welfare, put an "If," saying, "If it be Thy will!" But praying for spiritual good and the salvation of our soul wo need never insert an "If." Our spiritual welfare is sure to be for tho best, and away with the "Ifs." Abraham's prayer for the rescue of Sodom was a grand prayer in some re- Ifs" in it, or "pel-adventures," whioh mean the same thin",-. "Poradveuture there may bo fifty righteous in the city, peradventure forty-live, peradventure forty, peradventure thirty, peradventure twenty, peradvouture ten." Those six pel-adventures, those six "It's" killed the prayer and Sodom wont down and went under. Nearly all tho prayers that were answered had no "Ifs" iu them. The prayer of Elijah that changed dry weather to wet weivther. The prayer that changed Hezekiah from a sick man to a well man. The prayer that halted sun and moon without shaking the universe to pieces. Oh rally your soul for a prayer with no "Ifs" iu it. Say in stibstance: "Lord, thou hast promised pardon and I take it. Here arc my wounds, heal them. Hero is my blindness, irradiate it. Here are my chains of bondage, by the gospel hammer strike them off. 1'ana fleeing to the city of refuge and I am sure this is the right way. Thanks be to God, 1 am free." Ouce, by the Jaw. my hopes wer« slain, But now, in Christ, 1 live asruii,^ With the .Mosaic earnastm&s of my text and without its Mosaic "It's," let us cry '>ut for Goil. Ayu. if words fail us let js take the suggestion of that printer's dash of tho tsxt, and with a wordless silence implore purdo.ii and comfort and life and heaven. For this» assemblage u! I of whom-1 shall meet in tlie 1 ist judtfiniMit, 1 d iw not offer. . and write 01 r iiaia % .i in rest." All these "ifs" unit a score more that I might recall put the whole | . responsibility of our salvation on j fa P octs ' but thue Wtlc b - 1 ? ourselves. Christ's willingness to pardon: No "If" about that. Christ's willingness to help: No I "If" about that. Realms of glory awaiting the righteous: No "If" about that, Tho only "if" in all tho case worth a moment's consideration, is the | "If" that attaches itself to the quos- ! tion us to whether wo will accept, whether we will repent, whether wo will believe, whether we will rise forever, Is it not time that we take our eternal future- off that swivel? Is it not time that we extirpate that "If," that miserable "If," that hazardous "If?" We would not allow this tincer- tain "If" to stay long- in anything else of importance. Let some one say in regard to a railroad bridge, "i have reasons for asking if that bridge is safe," and you would not cross it. Let some one say, "I have reasons to ask if that steamer is trustworthy," and you would not take passage on it. Let some ono suggest in regard to a property that you are about to purchase, "I huve reason to ask if they can give a good title," and you would not pay u dollar down until you had some skilful real estate lawyer examine the title. But I allowed for years of my lifetime and some of you have allowed for years of your lifetime an "If" to stand tossing up and down questions of eternal destiny. Oh, decide. Perhaps your arrival here to-day may decid .-. Stranjfev thing-is than that have put to ill. 'it .tho "If" of uncertainty. A, few Sabbath nights ag-q^ iu this Jo me; jfeaS.teiii

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