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THE THUNDER STORM.
How awful is a storm of thunder, lightning, and rain !
Such a storm usually comes after the weather has been hot or sultry, when we have felt oppressed by the heat, and unable to do much. Then we have seen a dark cloud gathering in the distant
sky, and spreading itself over the heavens, and we can see now and then flashes of lightning coming out of it, and hear the low grumbling of the distant thunder. Nearer and nearer it approaches, and large drops of rain begin to fall, the lightning is more vivid, and the thunder more lond. We shall have the storm in a few minutes !
And now it comes, in all its awful grandeur. One would almost imagine that God hiinself had come out of his dwelling-place in eternity to visit the earth, and speak in thunder to its inhabitants. And so the Psalmist describes the awful scene, and one of our old religious poets thus paraphrases the text
“ On cherub and on cherubim,
Full royally he rode!
Came fiying all abroad !"
Yes: a thunder storm is an awful visitation; and let men say what they may, there is not one of them who does not feel himself bowed down in awful reverence while it is passing over. It is then we all feel how weak and helpless we are! We sit in breathless silence, for in a moment the fatal flash
may come, and who can hide himself from it? Is there, then, no place of safety ? Some places are more dangerous than others, but no place is perfectly safe. The cellar
may be as unsafe as the garret. For there is what is called electric fluid in the earth, as well as in the cloud, and when the cloud loaded with it is passing over, it often draws the fluid from the earth; and this is called the up-stroke, as the fluid from the cloud is called the down-stroke. Lightning is electric fluid ; and it is the strongest force in creation, so far as we have been able to discover. It will break down stone walls, and shiver the largest trees. Nothing can resist its force.
How terrible, then, is the power of the Almighty God! How ought we to fear his great and dreadful name! The men who do not fear Him, are as foolish as they are wicked. Never, my young reader, forget to fear before Him. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear him, and you will learn to love him too. For though “be is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” yet he taketh no pleasure in the death of him that dieth. He would far rather that we would repent of our sins, and turn to him and live. In proof of this, be sent his Son from heaven, not armed with lightning to destroy men's lives, but clothed in mercy to save them. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for the salvation of your soul, and you will then be safe when the world and all things that are therein are burned up!
But I wish to say another word or two, about these awful storms. If you should be out in the fields when one is coming, be sure you never run under a tree for shelter from the rain; for the trees attract the lightning, which often strikes them. Many men and women, as well as boys and girls, have been struck dead while standing under trees for shelter. Do not forget this; and never let any one ever persuade you to go under a tree in a thunder storm. Better get wet through, and through again, in the rain, than do that.
Another thing I would mention. As soon as ever you hear the thunder,' the danger is over. Many are more frightened at the thunder than the lightning. This is not right. It is the lightning which strikes, and not the thunder, which is only the report that follows the discharge of the electric fluid.
When the storm is over, the air is more pure, and we all feel refreshed and vigorous. And this is why the Almighty sends these storms. So all he does is 'for our good. “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
Let such a storm remind you, too, of that day—that day of dread—that dreadful day, when the Lord Jesus will come in the clouds of heaven to judge the world. Fly to him now for pardon and salvation, and then you will find mercy of the Lord in that day!
"He then will be your strength and stay,
MY REFUGE IN THE STORM.
Written by a Youth during a Thunder Storm.
MIGHTY is God, whose potent word
The raging winds obey;
And can its fury stay!
In darkness yonder sky:
The vivid lightnings fly!
How gracious is the Lord, who bids
The lightning harmless play
Me safe by night and day,
How gracious is the Lord, whose care
Provides me here a home;
While others through it roam.
“Lord! what is man?" that thou shouldst bless
An atom of the dust;
On which his soul can trust.
Teach me this truth-oh! write it here,
Deep on my tender heartThat I am lost without thy help;
Oh Lord, thy help impart !
May I in Christ a refuge find,
From every storm of time!
To a more peaceful clime!
WHERE SHALL I SPEND MY ETERNITY? I WELL remember having had, in early life, my attention arrested by the following brief but deeply interesting narrative. A pious father had nearly finished his earthly career, and on his death-bed was anticipating the great change just at hand. He had no anxiety about his own eternal interests, for he knew whom he believed, and was persuaded that when he breathed his last breath, his happy spirit would, through the merits of his Redeemer, be borne to heaven in the arms of ministering angels. But his chief, his great affliction was, that his only son was yet destitute of vital godliness, and, however amiable in outward conduct, was still seeking all his happiness in the fleeting and unsatisfying trifles of this world. On his dying bed he diligently pondered the question, why it was that all the means he had earnestly employed for the salvation of his son had hitherto failed ? He fervently sought divine teaching on this awful question. At length he came to the conclusion, that one principal cause was, that his son would never be alone to consider his latter end, nor his prospects for eternity. He saw that he hurried from object to object, from book to book, from amusement to amusement; but solemn earnest consideration in retirement, he strove to avoid,
Having again sought the Holy Spirit's guidance, he sent for his son, and announced to him his approaching dissolution. The son was greatly affected, for he loved his parent. The father continued, “I have now but one last solemn request to make of you, my son; you can easily comply. Will