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heavenly life. We grow in it. Our children grow in it. Faith, hope, love grow in it. All the virtues, all the graces grow in it.

Not all the wide

But mark the condition: We must be planted in it. earth is soil of the kingdom which has come and comes. There are barren mountains, bleak and bare. There are burnt, dry, sandy plains where there can be no growth. There are waysides, thoroughfares of the world, where every endeavor of rising life is crushed out. Only the gardens and fields are as the church. Into this soil must we be planted. Here alone the heavenly kingdom comes.

Would we know how we are to be planted in the soil of the church, the apostles shall inform us. "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ"-as the seed puts on the soil, whereby it is to grow. Gal 3: 27. "Therefore we are buried with Him by

baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." Rom. 6: 4, 5.

We cannot sincerely desire, even in an earthly sense, that a kingdom shall come to us unless we are willing to enter it, and thus come under its power that we may share its privileges. By nature we are all foreigners. The kingdom comes to us from hea en, is established around us, and offers to us all its good. But we must enter it

How does an earthly kingdom regard one who will not be naturalized, and take the oath of allegiance? As no citizen.

Suppose two persons, one a citizen the other not, should fall under the oppression of some foreign power. How would the nation regard the two? The whole army and navy of the nation, if need be, would be called to service for the rights of the citizen! For the other, not a finger would be moved! What sublimity in the thought! To be a citizen, and thus truly in the nation, is every thing.

The same difference exists in regard to such as are in the church and such as are not. To the one in the church is pledged all the power and all the grace of Him whose kingdom the church is. To the other nothing.

To be in the church is thus to be as in another world. It is to be in the kingdom of heaven. It is to be "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."


Hence it is represented in the scriptures as a being born anew. the child, by birth enters the world, so by the birth "of water and of the spirit" do we enter the new world, and the new life of grace in the kingdom which is from heaven. Without this he is an alien forever. For it is most solemnly said by our blessed Saviour Himself: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3: 5.

As in any earthly nation all depends upon having citizenship, so it does here. Entering the church is the heavenly naturalization. The kingdom cannot come to us without it; we cannot come to it without it.

It will not do to say that the form of entering is nothing. Is the form of naturalization nothing? Is the government satisfied when one says I feel like a citizen, I am well disposed toward the nation and its laws? No. Nothing but an actual naturalization is accepted.

To receive privileges always implies corresponding obligations. He

that would see must open his eyes that the light may enter. He that would have the growth of a seed must put it in the soil. He that would be in the kingdom of heaven must enter it.

Here lies the momentous mistake of thousands, and generally of sincere and well-disposed persons. They would like to have an interest in the kingdom of grace; and yet they do not enter it in the only way that God has ordained.

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Such resemble a man who should go about throwing up his hands in perplexity, exclaiming: "O that I were a citizen of the nation, that I might enjoy its rights and privileges." Some one would say to him, "you may be; only go and be naturalized." But he answers, Why this form!" The answer is, you can never be a citizen without it! As soon as you are a citizen, all is yours to enjoy ; and until then, nothing. It is just so with the church, the kingdom of heaven. It has real ordinances of admission. He that will enjoy its grace must enter it.

Whereunto shall we liken a man that would be saved while he hesitates and wanders outside of the kingdom? He is like one, who travelling through the wilderness of this world comes up in front of a magnificent temple. Its towers are lost in the heavens, a supernatural light and glory stream down over it; its gates are wide open. Within it he hears, as it were, the songs of angelic choirs; and he is told that within is communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and with saints and angels; that the e is food to still the soul's hunger, and waters of life to quench immortal thirst. He says, "O that it were all mine." "Enter !" cries the friendly sentinel at the door. He answers, "If it were all mine I would enter." The sentinel says, "It is not to be had outside-enter! enter!" He says, I am not fit. The sentinel says, "All the fitness he require this to feel your need of him-enter-it is the hungry, the thirsting, the longing souls that are invited-enter." He continues to hesitate: "I am too filthy!" The sentinel says, "The first thing you meet on entering is, a laver of washing, for the remission of sin. "I am too weak and wavering," he continues. The sentinel says, "The next thing you meet is a confirmation !" He says, "I am hungry, and empty, and weak!" The sentinel says, "The next thing you meet is a table spread, which is meat indeed, and a cup will be given you which is drink indeed." He says, "I am ignorant." The sentinel answers, "You will only see when you have entered. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace.'"

When all this had been said, he turns away from the temple, begins anew his lonely wanderings through the world's unconverted wilds and wastes, with the old song of sadness: "O that I knew where I might find Him!"

He will not enter. He wanders in ceaseless unrest, and will so wander till the night overtakes him, and his feet stumble on the dark mountains; and while he looks for light, lo! all is turned before him into the shadow of death. Is this the sad experience of him who reads, we be seech him to cease his roving outside, and take up the song of the homeward way:

People of the living God!

I have sought the world around;

Paths of sin and sorrow trod,

Peace and comfort no where found;
Now to you miri turns —

Turns, a fugitive unblest:
Brethren, where your altar burns,
Oh, receive me into rest.

Lonely I no longer roam,

Like the cloud, the wind, the wave;
Where you dwell shall be my home,
Where you die shall be my grave:
Mine the God whom you adore-
Your redeemer shall be mine;
Earth can fill my soul no more,
Every idol I resign.


"WE haven't said our prayers, mother."

"Never mind, dear, I'll hear them in the morning."

"Please to bear me say mine, mamma!"

The earnest pleading tones in which these words were uttered, made the mother hesitate for a minute before she replied, "You know mamma's in a hurry, dear. There is company in the parlor; but she'll hear it in the morning.” And with a kiss, and a look of unutterable fondness bestowed upon each of her little boys, the young, beautiful, and loving, but careless, thoughtless mother, descended to the parlor, leaving the door ajar, so that if the little ones should call for anything, they could be more distinctly heard. The wind blew in this crevice, making the light of the candle flicker, until at last it was extinguished. There was silence in the room for some ten minutes, then a sweet silvery voice asked Are you asleep, brother?"



No!" was the reply.

"I wish uursie was home to-night."

"Why ?"

"Because she would listen to my prayer"

"Another silence followed. Then again was heard the same sweet voice, “Let us get up, and say our prayers, brother?"

"Why, it is all dark, Willie."

"Never mind! we will take hold of each other's hands, and then we won't mind the dark, and you know God can see us in the dark, just as plain as if it were light."

"But it's so cold!"

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We won't stay in the cold long; and we will soon get warm again, when we get back to bed. Will you come, brother?"

"Mother said it was no matter; she said she would hear them in the morning


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May be God will not take care of us until morning, if we do not ask him to, brother. Will you come ?"

"Mother knows best, and she said, never mind."

After another silence, there was a slight rustling in the room.

"Where are you, Willie ?"

"By the bed-side, brother. I will pray for you, too."

Some ten minutes elapsed, when again a slight movement was heard, which showed that the little fellow was creeping back into bed. "Oh, how cold you are, Willie!" was the exclamation, as his feet touched his brother's. "I do not mind it, brother, I am so happy. I wish you had prayed too, but I asked God to take care of you too, to-night, and I think he will. Brother, if I should die to-night, I would not be afraid. I don't think it's hard to die."

"I do. I never want to die, and leave pa and ma."

"I would be willing to leave pa and ma, to live with God in heaven, and be always happy, and always good. Wouldn't you?"

"No, I think it is a great deal pleasanter here. I don't believe that they have any kites or tops in heaven."

"But you know nursie says that the little angels have crowns of gold on their heads, and harps in their hands, and that they play such beautiful music on them, and sing such pretty hymns. Oh, I'd like to be in heaven with them.”

"I would rather spin my top, than play tunes on a harp."

"But it isn't like playing common tunes; it is praising God. Oh, brother! if you would only pray, you would love to praise Him! I do not mean to say your prayers after mother or nursie, although it is very pleasant to have them teach us pretty ones. But I mean to ask God for whatever you want, just as you do to ma and pa, and coax Him to make you good. Oh, how I wish mamma, papa, and you would learn to pray so!"****

"Where is nursie, mother? she has not been in our room this morning." "Then she did not get home last night; she said that if her sister was worse, she would stay all night with her. But where is Willie ?" "He is asleep yet; I spoke to him, but he did not wake"

"Then I will keep some breakfast warm for him, and we will let him sleep as long as he will. I do not think that Willie is well; did you notice, dear," continued the mother, turning to her husband, "how heavy his eyes looked yesterday? But when I asked him if he was sick, he answered in his usual gentle way, 'Only a headache, mamma, don't be worried.'” "I did not observe that he looked ill," was the reply. "But if he does not appear well to-day, you had better send for the physician "

"Oh, I had such a funny dream last night about Willie and me !" exclaimed little Frank.

"What was it, my boy ?" asked his father, willing to be amused with the prattle of his child.

“Well, after mamma left us last night the light was blown out; and Willie wanted me to get up in the cold and dark with him to say our prayers, and I wouldn't because mamma said that we needn't say them till morning, and I thought she knew best. But Willie got up and said his, and when he came to bed again he was so cold that it made me shiver all over to touch him. But he said he didn't mind it, he was so happy, and he talked a great deal about dying, and about the angels in heaven, until I fell asleep, and it was that which made me dream, I suppose, for I thought Willie and I went to bed just as we had done, and that he said his prayers, and that I wouldn't say mine. But I thought that the window was raised, and that the shutters were wide open, so that I lay on the bed looking up in the sky, and thinking how beauti

ful the moon and stars looked, when I saw away up in the heavens, further up than the stars are, two shadows moving that looked like two white clouds; but they kept floating down until they reached the lowest star, and then I saw that they were angels; but they looked so small at such a distance that I thought them baby-angels, but as they came nearer and nearer, they grew larger, and when they floated to the window into our room, they looked like two very lovely ladies, with crowns on their brows, like Willie told of. But one seemed rather younger than the other, and she appeared to look up to the other angel as if to be guided by her. But oh, such beautiful voices as they had! When they spoke it sounded even sweeter than the church-organ when it is played very soft and low.

"When they came towards our bed, Willie smiled, and stretched out his arms to go to them; but I was frightened, and covered my face with the bed-clothes. I was afraid that they would take me away with them, and I remembered that I had refused to pray, so I did not want to be taken where God was. Then I heard one of these beautiful voices ask 'Are we to take both ? Oh, such music that was made when they talked! All around our room it floated sweeter than the soft, low carol of a bird; and I heard the answer-No! only the one that prayed. We are to leave the other a little while longer upon the earth, in hopes that he too may learn to pray, before we carry him before the Great Hearer of Prayer.' Then they came close to me, and I trembled dreadfully, and my heart beat so that I could scarcely breathe; and they uncovered my face, and looked at me, but I did not dare to open my eyes to look at them; by and by I felt a big tear fall on my cheek. Oh, mamma, how grieved I was then to think that I had made the angels weep; for I now thought that I would so much rather have crowns, like they wore, and be as good and as lovely as they, and have God love me, than have all the kites, and tops, and marbles that are in the whole world! But they passed away from me, and they went to the other side of the bed, and then I opened my eyes to watch them, and they both smiled on Willie; and when they smiled their whole face grew bright, until they shone like the sun; then they stooped down and kissed Willie, and he smiled, too; and I saw that his face was shining like theirs; and he stretched out his little arms again, and the taller angel lifted him from the bed, and laid him in the bosom of the younger one who hugged him close to her as though she loved him so much. Then the other angel twined her arms around both, and they all three floated through the air, until they sailed past all the stars, and became like pale, white clouds, that grew smaller and smaller, until they were nothing but little specks, and I saw them no more! For a long time I lay very still, looking up into the bright sky, hoping to see them come again, and bring Willie back. But when I found that they came no more-oh, I was so lonesome! I cried so hard, and when I looked at Willie's place in bed, and thought he would never lie there again, and that I must always sleep alone, and have no little brother to play with, or to talk to, I thought my heart would break. But when this morning came, and I awoke and found little Willie in bed with me, I was so glad and happy! His eyes were only half closed, that made me think at first that he was awake; and his lips were parted with the same sweet smile that he wore last night when the angels looked at

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