An old preacher was once heard preaching on a village green in England. He had lived on the American prairies, and his illustrations had a powerful fascination for my boyish ears. He told of a prairie fire and he described the way the Indians saved their wigwams from the blaze by setting fire to the dry grass immediately adjoining the settlement. "The fire cannot come," he cried, "where the fire has already been. That is why I call you to the Cross. Judgment has already fallen there and can never come again. He who takes his stand at the cross is safe evermore. He can never come into condemnation; he is passed from death unto life. He is at perfect peace in God's safety zone. —Boreham, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Bulletin.
A farmer in North Carolina once drove with two high-mettled horses into town. Stopping in front of one of the stores, he was about to enter when the horses took fright. He sprang in front of them and heroically seized the reins.
Maddened by strange noises, the horses dashed down the street, the man still clinging to the bridles. On they rushed, until the horses, wild with frenzy, rose on their haunches, and leaping upon the man all came with a crash to the earth.
When the people came and rescued the bleeding body of the man, and found him in death's last agony, a friend bending tenderly o'er him, asked: "Why did you sacrifice your life for horses and wagon?"
He gasped with his breath as his spirit departed, "Go and look in the wagon."
They turned, and there, asleep on the straw, lay his little boy.
As they laid the mangled form of the hero in his grave, no one said, "The sacrifice was too great."
"He died for you! He died for me,
His blood bath atoned for our race;
O wonderful love! He came from above
To suffer and die in our place."—L. G. Broughton
The British military hospital was full of badly wounded soldiers. A nurse was overheard to say to one of them, "You have no need to worry over your sins; anyone who gives his life for his country, as you have been willing to do, is all right." The soldier smiled faintly, but shook his head and replied: "That is a mistake! When I lay out there in the open, I knew I had done my bit. I hadn't failed my king and country; but that didn't help me to face God. I wasn't fit to die, and I knew it, and it has been an awful trouble to me every day since. But when I heard a Christian lady who visited us here pray, I saw that the Lord Jesus had been punished for all my sins, that I might go free, and peace has come into my heart. How wonderful of Him to die for one like me!" No works of righteousness we have done can save us, for our righteousness are but as filthy rags in the sight of the all-holy God. Let the name of Christ be all our trust. —Soldier's Evangel.
Amazing words!—"He gave Himself for me"
For me—rebellious, sinful, guilty me,
For me the Saviour bore the Cross and shame,
Rejoice my soul, and bless His sacred Name.
For me He left His glorious throne above,
For me revealed His Father's wondrous love,
For me He tabernacles here below,
For me He drank the bitter cup of woe.
For me He was reviled, despised, betrayed,
For me was scourged, condemned and crucified,
For me He hung accursed on the tree,
For,—lost, wretched, vile, unworthy me.
For me in agony He groaned and died,
For me God's righteous law He satisfied,
For me complete atonement He has made,
For me He rose triumphant from the grave. —The Elim Evangel.
The passion-flower is a native of the Americas, growing wild as far north as Virginia.
It was so named by the Spanish priests who accompanied the first conquerors. In it they saw a miraculous revelation of the Crucifixion. The five anthers symbolize the wounds and the three stigmas, the nails. There are five petals and five sepals, making ten, the number of the apostles present when Christ first appeared after the Crucifixion, according to Saint John. The fringe-like corona suggests the crown of thorns, the lobed leaves are the hands of persecutors, while the tendrils are the scourges.
The commonest variety of the passion flower in this country is a low-creeping plant with three-lobed leaves, bearing a beautiful blue-and-white blossom and an ovoid fruit as large as an egg, which is edible. In some parts of South America the fruit grows to a large size, sometimes weighing eight pounds. —The Girls' World.
On the stern and rockbound New England coast there lived a little brother and sister that frequently played among the rocks along the shore. One day one of them discovered a natural formation in the rocks above them that resembled a cross. After that, they took great delight in filling the crevices that shaped the cross with dry grass and sticks, and setting it on fire to see the beautiful display it made.
As the years passed, the girl remained at the old homestead, but the boy went away to seek his fortune. One stormy winter night he returned on a visit to the old home; and he told his sister he had seen signals from a ship in distress out at sea.
Neither of them knew of any way to help the distressed sailors; but presently the sister remembered the old cross in the rocks. She gathered a large armful of wood and kindling and hastened to the spot. She filled in the crevices, as in earlier days, and then set the cross on fire.
In a short time, the light of the blaze was shining out through the storm. One of the sailors—who had been cheering his comrades on and urging them not to give up—cried out, "The cross! See the light from yonder cross! It will guide us to safety."
They manned the lifeboats and pulled toward the flaming cross. They found the faithful girl, who had remained out in the storm and cold to feed the fire, lying on the shore, frozen to death. She had given her life to direct them to the cross.—Gospel Herald.