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WHY do I weep? Pains rack this mortal frame; disease has lain its heavy hand upon me; suffering of body is my lot; I pine away upon a bed of languishing, and my tears are my meat and drink, day and night. But, O! how sweet this consolation, that soon the time will come when "God shall wipe away all tears."
Why do I weep? Friends have proved unkind; trusted hearts have become estranged; the world is cold, and with its stern rebukes am I driven hither and thither; persecution plants its thorns in my pathway; scorn points its arrowy finger; poverty's gaunt form is upon my threshold; my body famishes; I am alone, deserted; my heart is broken, my spirit weeps.
THE man of deep and inscrutable design, who is an utter stranger to the simplicity and godly sincerity of the gospel-the man of thought and mystery and silence, and into the hiding-place of whose inaccessible heart the light of day never enters-the man who ever ruminates and ponders and revolves, and has a secret chamber of plot and artifice in his own bosom, which admits of no partnership with a single brother of the species-such a one, it may be thought, diabolical though he be, will, in the triumphs of his wary and well-laid policy, have his own sources of diabolical satisfaction. But ere he reach his place in eternity, he, too, in time, may have the foretaste of the misery that awaits him. There is already a hell in his own heart, that is replete with the worst sufferings of the hell of condemnation; and if through the deep disguises in which he lies entrenched from the eye of his fellow-men we could see all the fears and all the forebodings that fluctuate within him, we should say of him, what is true of every son of wickedness, that, like the troubled sea, he cannot rest. -Chalmers' Works, Vol. XXIII., p. 195.
But, O! how precious, how endearing is the
DECEIVE not one another in small things, nor in great. One little single lie has before now disturbed a whole married life. A small cause has often great consequences. Fold not the arms together and sit idle: "Laziness is the devil's cushion." Do not run much from home. One's own health is of more worth than gold.
Why do I weep? Mighty temptations assail
When, O! when will that long-expected day
Lessons by the Way; or, Things to Think On.
Many a marriage begins like the rosy morning, and then falls away like a snow-wreath. And why? Because the married pair neglect to be as well-pleasing to each other after marriage as before. Endeavour always to please one another; but at the same time keep God in your thoughts. Lavish not all your love on to-day, for remember that marriage has its tomorrow likewise, and its day after to-morrow too! "Spare, as one may say, fuel for the winter."
A few short years at most. Time flies-the moment must soon arrive. See to it, my soul, that thou art ready for its coming!
W. R. B.
Consider, my daughters, what the word wife
And you, sons, be faithful husbands, and good fathers of families. Act so that your wives shall esteem and love you.-Frederica Bremer,
RULES FOR DOMESTIC HAPPINESS.
1. Every day let your eye be fixed on God,
mercies as coming from him, and that you may use them to his glory.
2. Never suffer your regard for each other's society to rob God of your heart, or of the time which you owe to God and to your own soul.
3. Be careful that custom and habit do not lessen your attentions to each other, or the pleasing satisfaction with which they were once both shown and received.
4. Whenever you perceive a languor in your affections, always make it a rule to suspect yourself. The object which once inspired regard may, perhaps, be still the same, and the blame only attaches to you.
5. Be sure to avoid unkind and irritating language. Always conciliate. It is your interest and your duty. Recollect what God has borne with in you.
6. Study your partner's character and disposition. Many little nice adjustments are requisite for happiness. You must both accommodate, or you will both be unhappy.
IT is the leading duty of a minister, on week days, to prepare for the pulpit. To some extent pastoral visits aid this preparation; if carried to excess, they hinder it. We know of no better rule than for a pastor to prepare well for the pulpit, and do as much more as he can. And we invite churches to consult experience, and say which class of ministers have been most successful, laboured longest in a place, and got the deepest hold on the affections of their people : those who generally preach well-prepared sermons at the expense of some pastoral visits, or those who visit to the great neglect of their sermons. Let churches, then, be sure they are injured, before they find fault with their minister. Especially let them beware of those men who are suggesting and fomenting causes of discontent and complaint, where, all things considered, none exist. If you imagine yourself neglected, go in person to your minister, and ascertain the cause, instead of listening to those who would sow the seeds of disaffection in your minds.-Christian Mirror.
met the teachers, and said to them, we have been wrong, entirely wrong. We ought to have prayed for their immediate conversion; then exhorted them to direct all their efforts to this point, and not to rest satisfied so long as one child in the school was unreconciled to God. They began to pray, and God soon poured out his Spirit upon the school, and convinced minister and teachers that it is right to pray for the immediate conversion of little children. Let all who have anything to do with the religious instruction of little children, take heed lest their garments be stained with the blood of their souls!
THE MINISTER'S ERROR.
THE following anecdote bears strong testimony in favour of labouring and praying for the immediate conversion of young children in our sabbath schools. A minister who felt a lively interest in the sabbath school, used to pray that the seed there sown might spring up in due time and bear fruit. He not only prayed in this manner himself, but, by his example, taught the teachers thus to pray. They never once thought of praying for the immediate conversion of the scholars. At length this minister heard that some two or three of the scholars who had been in the school for some time were beginning to indulge the hope that they had passed from death unto life. He called to see them, and on inquiring, found that their feelings began to change at just about the age that he and the teachers had supposed would be the due time, when the seed might begin to spring, and grow, and bear fruit. This led him to believe that if he had only fixed upon an earlier time, and laboured accordingly, they might have given their hearts to the Saviour long before. He was convinced of his error. Fle
A NEW WAY OF PLAYING CARDS. I OVERTOOK five lead teams returning from Milwaukie. The teamsters were sitting under a tree while their oxen were resting. I asked them if they wanted any religious books. "Have you no novels?" said they. "None," said I; "I am a Christian, and sell none but Christian books." One of them then bought Nelson's Cause and Cure of Infidelity; another, the Spirit of Popery; and another, Bean's Advice. "Well," said one, "now, boys, we'll have something to do besides play cards when we stop nights and Sundays." Said I, "Do you play cards, friends?" "O yes," said they; "except him," pointing to one of their number, "he is our preacher." "Have you a pack on hand?" "Yes." "Will you sell them?" "For books? Yes. What will you give for them?" Handing out Baxter's Call and Alleine's Alarm, I offered those for the pack, and we made the exchange. I then gave them a lecture on the folly of spending their time in this manner. They then voluntarily promised never to own or use cards any more. I asked them if they had a fire, as that would be the quickest way of cooking the cards? As they had none, I took my knife and began cutting the pack into shreds, in which two of the party assisted me. After giving them some good advice, I drove on and left them. J. M. CLARK.
THE COLPORTEUR AND THE WHISKEY BARREL.
MR. K. heard of a magistrate who was notorious for his drunkenness, but who exerted a great influence on the community around him. He made it convenient to stop at the magistrate's house at night-fall, and spent the night with him. He found him too much intoxicated to make any advances; but in the morning the Colporteur was careful to be up before the magistrate had taken his dram, and remonstrated with him against persisting in a practice that was destroying him. The Colporteur, to enforce his appeal, told him that, poor as he was, he would pay for the barrel of whiskey which had recently been brought home, if he would roll it into the street and destroy it. Convinced at last of his wrong-doing, he determined to destroy his destroyer, on his own account, and ordered one of his men to roll the barrel into the yard and to the brow of a hill near by. "Now," said he to the man, "give it a hard push and let it go !" The wife and children stood in the door, witnesses of the scene, and the little ones, who knew the cause of their father's ruin and saw the change, clapped their hands. Several stood around, manifesting their
THE TRUE STAR.
THERE is one Star that will never disappoint the hopes it awakens; its ray is never dimmed, and knows no going down; its cheering light streams on through ages of tempest and change. Earth may be darkened, systems convulsed, planets shaken from their spheres-but this Star will pour its steady and undiminished light; the eye that is turned to it will gladden in its tears; the countenance that it lights sorrow can never overcast. The footstep that falls in its radiance finds no gloom even at the portal of the grave. It is the star
"First in night's diadem,
The star, the Star of Bethlehem."
WHERE IS SAFETY?
DEATH is the most certain, and yet the most uncertain of all events. That it will come no one can question, but when no one can decide. The young behold it far in the future; the aged regard it still at a distance; but both are smitten suddenly as by a bolt from an unseen cloud, a serpent from the brake, or a shaft from an unseen quiver. There is no safety, therefore, save in that habitual preparation which nothing can deceive and nothing surprise.
THE OLD PENSIONER.
WE have had an interesting case of an old pensioner, an inebriate, about eighty-five years of age, very feeble and very deaf. For many years he has not been in a house of worship, and being so hard of hearing, few have attempted to converse with him. We all pitied him, as he
seemed to be sinking into the grave without hope. But while we pitied, our unbelief placed him beyond any help from man. Last summer M gave him the tract, "A Gift for the Aged;" and that book has been blest, as we trust, to his conversion. He feels as if he could not be thankful enough to the giver, nor to God for putting it into his heart. For weeks past he has been full of praise. One morning we found him full of doubt and distress. He feared he had been deceiving himself; that the foundation of his hope was not broad and deep enough. But subsequently he has found happiness in looking to Him whom he has pierced. Probably he will not tarry with us long; but he says, "All is peace; all is peace!"—C. H.
WOULD you throw a brick-bat to a friend that had fallen overboard? Would you gather stones and pile them on the bank that had fallen on a brother? Would you throw a keg of powder to the person who had fallen into the fire? Then why heap words of reproach upon him who has erred from the path of duty? Why denounce him and spurn him from your presence? Can you be a stranger to the human heart, you who have so often fallen ? Shame on you! shame!
"He cannot know the human heart,
Who, when a weaker brother errs, Instead of acting mercy's part,
Each base, malignant passion stirs. Harsh words and epithets but prove
That he himself is in the wrong; That first he needs a brother's love
To nerve his heart and guide his tongue."
WHEN I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies within me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every immoderate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon the tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see tombs of parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must soon follow; when I see kings lying with those who deposed themwhen I consider rivals laid side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind; when I read the several dates of some of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some centuries ago, I consider that great day when we shall all be contemporaries and make our appearance together.
THE CAR OF JUGGERNAUT. HEAR yon deafening shout that seems to roll over the peopled plain like the growling thunder ! What is it? Ah! it marks the progress of the great idol car. Infuriated men catch the long ropes and drag its ponderous weight through the deep sand. On it rolls like a fienddrawn chariot. The robed Brahmins sit perched in its high tiers, and jewelled gods are hung with garlands. The clang of harsh instruments, the sound of the tomtom, and the deep monotonous roar of the swarthy throng that swarm around its unwieldy form, all mingle in one terrific chorus. The blood of the self-sacrificed spirits is upon the massive wheels, and from the
mangled carcasses in its deep ruts is heard the death-wail of souls. Behind, in the dust, men and women roll themselves, piercing their bodies and uttering wild shrieks—a proper dirge over the dead. A just emblem of idolatry is that car of heathen state.-H. M. Scudder.
A CRITERION OF PROSPERITY. A MAN of much travel and observation, and of eminent genius, the celebrated Goldsmith, nearly a century ago, penned the following remarks:"In the towns and countries I have seen, I never saw a city or village yet, whose miseries were not in proportion to the number of its publichouses. In Rotterdam you may go through eight or ten streets without finding a public-house. In Antwerp almost every second house seemed an ale-house. In the one city all wears the appearance of happiness and affluence-in the other, We need not proceed with the description.
"IT is," says Mrs. Ellis, "a most painful spectacle in families where the mother is the drudge, to see the daughters elegantly dressed, reclining at their ease, with their drawing, their music, their fancy-work, and their reading-beguiling themselves of the lapse of hours, days, and weeks, and never dreaming of their responsibilities; but, as a necessary consequence of a neglect of duty, growing weary of their useless lives, laying hold of every newly-invented stimulant to rouse their drooping energies, and blaming their fate, when they dare not blame their God, for having placed them where they
"These individuals will often tell you, with an air of affected compassion, (for who can believe it real?) that poor dear mamma is working herself to death; yet no sooner do you propose that they should assist her, than they declare she is quite in her element-in short, that she would never be happy if she had only half as much to do."
As in the robbing of a house it is the custom of the sturdiest thieves to put in a little boy at a window, who, being once within the house, may easily open the doors and let them in too; so the tempter, in rifling of the soul, despairs for the most part to attempt his entrance by some gross sin of a dismal, frightful hue and appearance, and therefore he employs a lesser, that may creep and slide into it insensibly-which yet, as little as it is, will so open and unlock the bars of conscience, that the biggest and the most enormous abominations shall at length make their entrance, and seize and take possession of it.
FEAR AND SLOTH.
“I CAN'T DO IT,"-Yes you can, try,—try hard, try often, and you will accomplish it. Yield to every discouraging circumstance, and you will do nothing worthy of a great mind. Try, and you will do wonders. You will be astonished at yourself at your advancement in whatever you undertake. "I can't" has ruined many a man -has been the tomb of bright expectation and of ardent hope. Let, "I will try,” be your motto in whatever you undertake, and, if you press onward, you will steadily and surely accomplish
your object, and come off victorious. Try-keep trying, and you are made for this world.
NEATNESS AND ORDER.
NEATNESS and order are enjoyed not only by economy, but by comfort. Every negligent mother resigns one of the choicest pleasures within her reach-that of seeing her house and home surrounded by the marks of neatness, industry, and taste. She brings up her family amidst confusion, and presents to her children an example of negligence the most unpardonable. Can she wonder if they follow her example? They will go further. In their partialities they will have a vicious preference for what good sense and sound economy would condemn. They will regard with less respect the decencies of life, and be more likely to abandon the path of morality and virtue. There is much meaning in the old adage, “Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place.”
A COUNTRYMAN AND AN INFIDEL. COLLINS, the freethinker, or deist, met a plain countryman going to church. He asked him where he was going. "To church, sir." "What to do there ?" "To worship God." "Pray, whether is your God a great or a little God ?" "He is both, sir." "How can he be both ?" "He is so great, sir, that the heaven of heavens cannot contain him; and so little that he can dwell in my heart." Collins declared that this simple answer from the countryman had more effect upon his mind than all the volumes which learned doctors had written against him.
Did you ever know anybody to stick to any kind of business, no matter how unpromising, ten years at most, who did not prosper? Not one! no matter how bad it might be in the beginning, if he stuck to it earnestly and faithfully, and tried nothing else, no matter how hard he found it sometimes to keep his head above water, still, if he persevered, he always came out bright in the long run-didn't he ?-whatever it might have been at the beginning, at the end of ten years he had made a business for himself. -John Neal.
THE BEST SERMON.
He is the best artist that can most livelily and powerfully display Jesus Christ before the people, evidently setting him forth as crucified among them; and that is the best sermon that is most full of Christ, not of art and language. I know that a holy dialect well becometh Christ's ministers; they should not be rude and careless in language or method; but, surely, the excellency of a sermon lies not in that, but in the plainest discoveries and liveliest applications of Jesus Christ.-Flavel.
ANSWER TO A QUESTION. A PERSON Who suspected that a minister of his acquaintance was not truly a Calvinist, went to him, and said, "Sir, I am told that you are against the perseverance of the saints." "Not I, indeed," answered he; "it is the perseverance of the sinners that I oppose." "But that is not a satisfactory answer, sir. Do you think that a child of God cannot fall very low, and yet be restored?" He replied, "I think it will be very dangerous to make the experiment."
Essays, Extracts, and Correspondence.
CAUSES OF DECLENSION IN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES.
(Concluded from page 114.)
II. To Church Members.-You are aware, brethren, that Christian pastors have been frequently accused of seeking to obtain more power than belongs to them, than they can, consistently with the constitution of a Christian church, possess. That the love of power is inherent in human nature is a position admitted by all; and that Christian pastors have frequently sought, and acquired more power than belonged to their office, to the detriment or overthrow of the constitution of their churches, it would be idle to deny. But who is to blame when they thus succeed? Must there not be something wrong, something a wanting with the church itself, ere any man, or number of men, can succeed in overturning its constitution? It must have declined in practical godliness, it must by some means have lost much of its reverence for the authority of Christ, it must have put its pastor in the room of its Redeemer, ere it submitted to have its Divine constitution changed. Would you then maintain the constitution and government of the churches unimpaired; -would you hand them down entire to your children as their most invaluable inheritance;-would you rear a barrier against the ambitious designs of self-seeking men; the means within your reach;-the remedy,—the only effectual remedy, is at your own disposal:-strive by every possible means to diffuse and increase a spirit of practical godliness, of vital religion, of reverence for the Divine authority, through the whole body. If this do not answer the end, nothing else will. Neither coldhearted speculations on church-politics, nor cold-hearted indifference to external modes of government and worship, but the life and soul of godliness, the fear of God, supreme regard for his authority, will keep the churches in their right position, Where these are maintained, there is no danger of things going far wrong; where they are wanting, or decaying, there is nothing right; and everything will go farther and farther wrong.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit," that you strive,
individually, and together, not only to prevent declension, as above described, but also to advance the purity, the spirituality, the holiness of the churches. You are thus striking at the root of the evil by which churches are destroyed, whereas, by any other means, apart from this, you are only lopping off the twigs.
But to be a little more particular, I would intreat you to "suffer the word of exhortation" on the following subjects: 1. Follow holiness as individuals. The church whose members as individuals are eminent for holiness, is an eminently holy church; and where shall the countenance and blessing of the Lord be enjoyed, where shall peace, and comfort, and edification be found, but where holiness is studied and pursued? See then, brethren, that you cultivate personal religion, personal devotedness to God, close living and holy walking with him. See that you be careful not only to obey, but to cultivate those sentiments and views, those dispositions and inclinations of mind, from which all acceptable obedience must flow. It is this that will effectually counteract the tendency of the church to declension;-it is this that will ensure to it the Divine blessing ;—it is this that will qualify it for answering all the ends of its association.
2. Study to cultivate increasing union of heart with the church as such.
I know not a more unseemly, a more unchristian disposition, in a professed disciple of Christ, than a cold-hearted indifference to the real interests of the church whose privileges he enjoys. Believers, while they act in character, must make common cause with their Lord; and as his cause is the cause of his churches, whatever concerns the peace, the purity, the increase, the respectability of the churches, must occupy the mind, engage the attention, and regulate the pursuits of every consistent disciple of his. How unlike disciples of Christ, those coldhearted professors, who, though nominally joined with a church, yet feel no interest in its concerns, no anxiety for its prosperity, no union of heart to its cause and interests, no inclination to employ influence, or property, or talent on its behalf, who can attend its ordinances, and glide along the stream in its connection while it enjoys peace and outward