RECENTLY, in illustrating the theme, "A man in Christ," Mr. Spurgeon told a story that is worth repeating. He said: Some Christians remind me of the little boys who go to bathe; all frightened and shivering, they enter the water just a little up to their ankles they wade, and shiver again. 

But the man who is really in Christ, is like the practiced swimmer, who plunges into the stream head first, and finds water to swim in. He never shivers. It braces him; he rejoices in it. And see how at home he is in the river of grace. It has become his element. Now for him to "live is Christ." He has devoted himself, his substance, and all that he has, to the glory of God. This is the man who understands the happiness of religion, in a manner far beyond the conception of the half-and-half professor, who has religion enough to make him miserable. I sometimes illustrate this by a quaint American story. An American gentleman said to a friend, "I wish you could come down to my garden, and taste my apples." He asked him about a dozen times, but the friend never came, and at last the fruit grower said, "I suppose you think my apples are good for nothing, so you won't come and try them."

"Well, to tell the truth," said the friend, "I have tasted them. As I went along the road, I picked up one that fell over the wall, and I never tasted anything so sour in all my life; 

and I do not particularly want any more of your fruit."

"Oh," said the owner of the garden, "I thought it must be so. Why, don't you know those apples around the outside are for the special benefit of the boys? I went fifty miles to select the sourest sorts, to plant all around the orchard, so the boys might give them up as not worth stealing; but if you will come inside, you will find that we grow a very different quality there, sweet as honey." Now you will find that on the outskirts of religion there are a number of "Thou shalt nots" and "Thou shalts," and convictions, and alarm; but these are only the bitter fruits, with which this wondrous Eden is guarded from thievish hypocrites. If you can pass by the exterior bitters, and give yourself right up to Christ and live for him, your peace shall be like the waves of the sea; and you shall find that the fruits of "this apple-tree among the trees of the wood," are the most delicious fruit that can be enjoyed this side of our eternal home. 


Do little helpful things, and speak helpful words, whenever and wherever you can. They are better than pearls or diamonds to strew along the roadside of life, and will yield a far more valuable harvest.

ADVERSITY exasperates fools, dejects cowards, draws out the faculties of the wise and industrious, puts the modest to the necessity of trying their skill, awes the opulent, and makes the idle industrious.