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Up to His throne, while lying at His feet;
So whether 'neath the cloud or through the fire
“ Ys Jesus thine ?" Ts Jesus thine? Why then it needs must be,
1 Whate'er betides, a glad new year to thee. All things, according to His blessed Word, Working for good to those who love the Lord.
Is Jesus thine? Then ye may well rejoice,
Is Jesus thine? Then all is peace and calma,
Is Jesus thine? The winged hours fly fast;
N Happy New Year ! HAPPY New Year to you, reader! May it be the best and happiest year of your life! May the thoughts and feelings, the hopes and fears, which
belong especially to this morning, find a restingplace in your heart, and give strength and solemnity to your life as the days and weeks of the new year go by. Outwardly, there may be no difference between this morning and any other winter morning. The night-clouds passed away as usual before the rising sun. The sounds in the streets, telling of a great city or of a small town or village waking up to new life, were the same as those which were heard yesterday, and will be heard again to-morrow. The duties connected with home, with the counting-house or shop, with the kitchen or the field, may be those which had to be attended to yesterday, and will have to be attended to again to-morrow.
And yet, was there not something in our hearts which, without any strong effort on our own part, seemed to create a marked difference between this morning and any other morning? Coming, as it does, between a long line of faulty days and hours, and days and hours that as yet have been unstained by a foolish word, a sinful feeling, or a wicked act,
-is there not something in it which belongs specially to itself and to no other morning of the year? If your own heart has already made this difference, if you have already, this new year's morning, cast yourself upon the mercy of God, and humbly prayed for the sanctifying influence of His Holy Spirit, resolved to follow where He shall lead-you may thank God, and take courage. For your new year has opened well, and in the spirit in which your gracious God and Father will delight to help you to make it the best and brightest year of your life.
What you have at once to guard against, is, the delusive expectation by which so many are deceived and disap
inted, that the new year, of itself, is to do so much for you. . Certainly it looks most inviting, and full of hope. It looks like a fresh, clean page, coming after so many torn and blotted pages in your book of life. It is that; and, in answer to prayer, God will help you to write what is good and wise in it. But, although we would not say a word to dispirit or discourage, you cannot too soon understand that the new year will be just like the old year that has now gone for ever, unless the things which you now see to have spoiled it have no encouragement given to them, and are most.zealously guarded against. It may seem harsh to tell you this, and you will not like to believe it. “What !” you will cry, “shall I speak just as foolishly? Shall I feel so wickedly? Shall I do over again the things that brought the blush of share to my cheek, and gave such sorrow to all who knew me? Can I not, this year at least, be victorious over the temptations which have so frequently and so awfully enslaved me?”.
There is no doubt you can ; but on the very threshold of the year you are reminded of past weaknesses, past failures and sins, that you may instantly betake yourself to the Omnipotent for strength, and the All-wise for wisdom. Your Father in heaven, to whom you have given your heart by faith in His Son Jesus Christ, meets you, during this first hour of the new year, with a promise so wonderful, so merciful and helpful, that you may well be lost in wonder when you think of it. He says, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” Is it not a promise as wonderful as it is gracious ? The thrice Holy One offers to walk with us to make us holy. The Omnipotent One offers to walk with us to make us strong. The Omniscient One offers to walk with us to make us wise. The very God of Peace offers to go with us to give us peace and rest amid the ten thousand changes and accidents to which we are exposed.
It is a promise made to you while, as yet, you are in ignorance of what the new year may have in store for you. The past year had a life and a history of its own. Possibly there were some things in it that had never occurred before, and will always belong to that year of your life, and to no other. In the new year there may happen many things of which you have not even a dream at present. But what matters, if you have your God and Father with you? The child dreads no road, however dark, while he feels his hand inside his father's hand, and while he hears his voice encouragingly saying that the darkness will soon be over, the cold journey soon ended, and home, with its cheerful light and happy faces, reached at last. And the child of God, with equal courage, can walk the thorniest and darkest road while he has the presence of his Father with him. That presence gives him rest, however tiresome and laborious the journey. So pleasant is fellowship, that the hardship of the road is scarcely felt. The gracious promise is fulfilled ; and to have God's presence in the darkest road is a richer delight than to be in a palace where He is not.
But the Divine promise is made not only to encourage us with regard to the unknown, it is to strengthen us with regard to what we already know. We do know that our sins have grown out of our forgetfulness of God. We have not realised that He was with us by night and by day, or could we have done what we did? We do know that our temptations have multiplied because we have not cried out to Him who is always with us to snap them asunder, and to show us what a fearfully repulsive thing sin is, however seductive the form it may assume. We do know that we have been weak because we have neglected prayer, the devout study of the Word of God, meditation, and the means of grace. When we have begun a day thus carelessly and -sinfully, we know, by bitter experience, how that day has ended in sin and shame. And the evil has not been confined to that day alone. A worldly tone has been given to heart and life that has marred our peace and hindered our usefulness and progress, perhaps, for many days.
Therefore, we would begin the new year with the prayerful determination that, whatever may be the business awaiting our urgent attention, our chief and highest business is to be God's loving and obedient child by faith in Jesus Christ. Anything that unfits us to be this, no matter what worldly gain or pleasure may be connected with it, must be shunned as we would shun a serpent, no matter how glittering its colour. Circumstances may arise in which you will have to choose, directly, between right and wrong. How good it will be for you to be able quietly to say, “I cannot do this, for I have the Lord for my Companion ; I must quit His society before I can cherish these feelings, before I can speak these words. Therefore, as His presence is dearer than life, as I would not lose His fellowship for any worldly gain or good, I will have nothing at all to do with what is offensive to Him.”
Depend upon it, the secret of a happy new year lies in our having a holy new year. If we have sought happiness in any other direction, have we not, by this time, found out that it is not to be obtained in the way we thought best? And should not our many failures to find it in our way, induce us to seek it in that in which God has said it can alone be found ? If we seek it in His way, we shall find it, and, without doubt, you will have a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
What Thomas Crane did with his Politics
on New Year's Day. OTHER the bells ! what an awful jingle! I wonder
they can't keep 'em quiet,” exclaimed Thomas Crane, as he rose from his chair with impatience
both in his looks and gestures, as well as in his words. He went to the window as he spoke, and examined it carefully to see if any neglected crevice was to blame for the free admission of the chimes, which, regardless of his disapproval, went on to lade the clear air of that new year's morning with their joyous clangour. They would not be