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them in their use of the Word. But is devotional use of the Sacred Record; it not to be feared, that, in the present and if the Christian would grow, he day, this devotional use of the Scrip- must receive with meekness the entures is very extensively neglected? grafted word. In every age the holiest Why do we hear such complaints of men, those who have displayed the the low state of piety, and the slow highest vigour and beauty of the Chrisprogress of God's work, on every side tian life, have nourished their piety by of us? Why do we witness such a the habitual study of the Divine revelalarge amount of feeble and sickly re- tion. And if religion is to any extent ligion in our churches? Why do the superficial or feeble amongst us; if, modern infidels sneer at Christianity as notwithstanding all our Christian chaan effete system-a religion which has rities and apparent zeal, we do not see lost its power? May not all this be much of that manly and strong spirittraced, in some degree at least, to a uality which ought to pervade the prevalent neglect of “the lively oracles" | Church ; it is our firm conviction that of God, as the only sufficient means of one chief cause of this is the neglect of rendering the Christian life manly, the Bible—the little devotional use that strong, and diffusive? There may be is made of it by Christian professors. keen controversies about creeds and “The sincere milk of the word " is not churches; the shibboleths of human desired for the growth of the spiritual systems may find zealous attachment life in the soul. The Scriptures may and ardent defence; but how little is be perused by many without this end the Bible the daily food of multitudes being kept in view. The proper con. of professing Christians! The men of dition of the subject is as necessary for business amongst them have no leisure; growth as appropriate nourishment. the men of worldly ambition have no There must be desire ;-this desire the relish; the men of literature may with right use of the Word will strengthen. propriety and power exhibit the beauties Truth will reveal herself only to the of the Bible, and glorify its bards; devout worshipper in her temple. The but where are the men of devotion, who desire of the babe is simple, earnest, sympathize in their souls with David's constant, and natural. Thus the besentiment—"O how love I thy law! lierer must betake himself to the Bible it is my meditation all the day" – if he would grow. In the Word he will “How sweet are thy words unto my find that which will expand his mind taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my and enlarge his heart. This is the mouth!" Psa. cxix. 97, 103. It seems armoury from which the Great Master almost as if the spirit of the noble has taught us to take weapons for our Bereans had passed away, and that the defence against spiritual foes : this is searching of the Scriptures, which in the repository of truth, from which we telligent and healthy piety demands as may obtain all healthful nourishment its very aliment, is a habit but rarely for our intellectual and moral being. cherished. The present is character. He will be happy and strong who makes ized as a fast-living age. "My people the testimonies of Jehovah his coundo not consider.” Many of the mem- sellors, and the Divine statutes his bers of our churches are so engaged study and song, in his earthly pilgrim. and engrossed in the world, that the age. The authority of the Scriptures Word of God, though in their homes may be acknowledged, the unparalleled and in their pews, obtains from them beauties of their literature and poetry little devout perusal or prayerful study. may be admired, and their sole suffiYet the measure of spiritual strength ciency as a standard of faith and practice will be mainly proportionate to the may be admitted ; but if regard to them
be confined, on the one hand, to a | Reader, wouldest thou be spiritual, barren orthodoxy, or, on the other, to a pure, happy, and powerful for good ? mere appreciation of their literary at- then make the Bible thy companion tractions, the real food which they can and thy study. If thou wouldest “grow supply will be neglected, and the life in grace," and be guided to satisfaction, of godliness will consequently be dwarf- and to moral strength, let the Scriptures ish and feeble. To be mighty in the daily be “a lamp unto thy feet, and a Scriptures is the highway to moral light unto thy path.” In their devout purity and strength. If the Church use, thou communest with God; and the were aroused to the right use of the radiance of heaven thereby shineth Bible, what results in aggressive action upon thy course, and guideth thee in and attractive power might accrue! I the Way of Life.
CURRENT HINDERANCES TO CHURCH PROSPERITY.
PRAYER MEETINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.
Mr. Editor,—Will you allow me, as by the wealthier and more educated a somewhat anxious observer of what classes of the community. The observais passing around us, to call the atten- tion of this painful fact has so affected tion of your serious readers, who may me, that I have quietly made inquiry be members of Congregational Churches, as to the state of other churches; and I to a few existing evils which, in my regret to say, that the result of the inhumble judgment, greatly check the vestigation, which has been painstaking, spiritual growth of the age, and are has not been such as to relieve my sadly inconsistent with the professed anxious feelings. principles of communities formed on the Will Christian brethren, then, ranksacred model laid down by Christ and ing in the fellowship of Congregational his apostles? Holy fellowship, in all Churches, listen thoughtfully to one the appointed ordinances and institu- jealous for their reputation, and jealous tions of the gospel, I consider to be the still more for their religious consistency, normal state of such churches; and while he offers a few practical sug. where that fellowship is but partially gestions upon a topic of unquestionable enjoyed,—where it is sought only in a interest to the cause of Christ? few of the more popular gatherings of It is impossible, I should think, for the Church, I cannot but apprehend any one, with scriptural notions of the that the great ends of Christian com- fellowship of Christian churches, to munion are but imperfectly attained. defend the existing state of things.
I have been for many years an ac. Who can be the apologist for that type credited member of a large city church, of religious profession, which would in good savour with our denomination; leave the prayer meeting comparatively but, amidst many tokens of Divine deserted, or which can live in the favour, it has grieved me exceedingly to habitual neglect of the regularly constiperceive that our meetings for prayer, tuted meetings of the Church? Defence and our church meetings preparatory to of such a lukewarm exhibition of the the Lord's Supper, considering our Christian profession is a thing quite numerical standing, have been in gene- out of the question. No one surely can ral most slenderly attended, especially attempt the task. But how to cure so
Stay, Stay, said earth : Whither, fond | They are gone before. I may not stay one?
Till I both they and thee may see. Here's a fair world! What wouldst thou have ?
Put on, my soul, put on with speed : Fair world ! O no! Thy beauty's gone ; A heavenly Canaan, Lord, I crave.
Though the way be long, the end is
sweet. Thus the ancient travellers.—Thus they, Once more, poor world! Farewell indeed;
Weary of earth, sighed after thee. In leaving thee, my Lord I meet.
SUMMER EXCURSIONS. The season of summer journeyings Beware of Sabbath-breaking. - This has again arrived. Thousands of Chris is the temptation of travellers. The tians are seeking the shore, the moun. boat leaves on Sunday. There is a tains, and other retreats of health and Sunday excursion of pleasure. Friends pleasure. They had better leave their lug. call on the Sabbath. The last newsgage than their religion behind them. paper has come on Sabbath morning. Temptations beset every pathway. What is that to thee? It is the Lord's Fashion and folly are guests at every day, not yours. Unless change of place hotel. A word of caution, then, to is change of relations to the government Christian travellers may not be amiss. of God, and an abrogation of the Divine
Beware of trashy and vicious books.- law, you may not yield to these temptYou will meet them everywhere, and ations without sin, any more than if at your leisure, and perhaps ennui, may your own fireside. “Remember the tempt you to buy and read them. For Sabbath-day to keep it holy,” follows your soul's sake, let them alone. They you to every resting place, and you might be read at intervals of business, break that law at your peril, and the and when the mind is on the stretch of peril of all who note your example. ordinary pursuits, with, perhaps, less Beware of Christian sloth.—Perhaps danger; but when the mind is relaxed, you have excused yourself from active and every sense is a snare for the soul, Christian duties at home by the presit is madness to yield the powers to the sure of business.
Well, you have fascination of a corrupt author. Select thrown off home cares and duties: now beforehand an adequate supply of pure, what will you do? You are thrown in healthful reading, for yourself and fa- daily contact with the worldly and immily, and give Satan's colporteurs a penitent: will you swim in the current, uniform negative.
or breast it? You have leisure and Beware of evil company.--Fops and opportunity to do good: will you imcoquettes migrate as well as men and prove it? If you would spend a happy,
Every summer retreat will useful summer, make a manly avowal have its complement of dashing, for- of your Christian profession everywhere. tune - hunting, simpering gents and Seek the good of all around you. In misses, who owe more to the tailor than your walks and drives, have an object-the teacher-more to the milliner than the good of souls--and they will be all the mother. Maintain your self-respect the more pleasant. You feel the need and simplicity of character. If you are of helps to usefulness: get them at the enticed to the dance, or the gambling outset. Your hat and pockets and saloon, it should be enough to answer, trunks should be a miniature tract de“ I am a Christian."
pository. Don't forget the children.
A choice variety of good books, and a the dissipation of a summer's jaunt, are select assortment of tracts, children's little friendly to prayerful babits. But tracts, and handbills, should form a if the Saviour could convert the moun. part of the outfit of every Christian tain side into a closet of prayer, and if traveller. Yet few duties are more Paul and Silas could turn prison walls neglected. "You cannot tell," writes and stocks for criminals into Bethels, an eminent and excellent clergyman on the Christian traveller can find or make a tour," how sorry I am that I left a place and an occasion for private and home without tracts for distribution. social devotions at every turn of his I thought of obtaining a supply, but, in journey, and in every resting spot. the bustle and hurry of getting off, en- That will be a costly excursion to the tirely lost sight of the matter, and have disciple of Jesus, that terminates in a regretted it ever since. I have not seen, prayerless home. in tavern or steamboat, a single reli- Our earthly pilgrimage will soon be gious tract or book since I left home. finished. Time is too precious, the The thing has troubled me very much.” | journey too short, eternity too long, the What would one think of the soldier vows of God too solemn, to admit of going into battle without his ainmuni- mere summer's sporting and vanity. tion? His predicament would not be The Christian —the Christian, always unlike that of the soldier of the cross and everywhere should be the motto without his spiritual weapons.
and the aim of every traveller.-From Beware of prayerlessness. The cabin the Christian Treasury for July. of a steam-boat, the rooms of a hotel,
A few days before Christmas, in the but, although he was very anxious to year 1840, a Russian minister was going reach his home, he stayed for an hour home, from a place at some distance directing and helping them to do all from the village where he lived. Even that was possible, in order to bring the ing was coming on, and it was growing man to conscious life again, in case he so bitterly cold, that it was almost dan- were not really dead. And at length gerous for
one to be out. He was their endeavours were successful, and wrapped in a fur cloak, and travelled his senses, and the use of his limbs, in a sledge, which went fast over the gradually returned. Then the minister hard, smooth snow. As he went along, set off homewards, having first rewarded he saw something lying on the grouud, the people of the inn, and also given and stopped to see what it was. He them money to pay for a good meal for found that it was a soldier, who seemed the poor man before he should go forto have fallen down exhausted with the ward on his journey. As soon as the cold, and, to all appearance, was dead. man was refreshed, and felt able to go, The good minister, however, would not he insisted upon doing so, although the leave him on the road, but listed him people did all they could to persuade into the sledge, with his gun, which lay him not to venture out again that beside him, and drove on as fast as he night. could to the next inn, which it took But he said that he was carrying about half an hour to reach. He was letters which were important, and he not satisfied with leaving the poor must not delay any longer than was soldier in the care of the people there; I quite necessary. So, taking his gun, he
proceeded on his way, which he found / and were threatening to murder him, if would very soon bring him to the vil- he would not tell them where his money lage where the minister lived, to whom was to be found. The soldier instantly he owed his life. He reached the place forced his way in, fired his gun at one before long, and, though it was now of the robbers, and killed him on the very late at night, he could not forbear spot. The others attacked the soldier, going to his benefactor's house, that he but he disabled one with his bayonet, might, if possible, see and thank him and the other two were then seized with for what he had done.
fear, and rushed out of the house, leavAs he went up to the house, he saw ing the minister, as may be supposed, that, though it was so late, there were overpowered by astonishment and grastill lights in it; and, as he came nearer, titude for his sudden deliverance. And he heard loud voices, and great confu- then his still deeper and happier feelsion within. He hastened to the door, ings may be imagined, when he found but it was fastened; and, without wait- that the poor man, whose life he had ing to knock, he ran to the window close saved only a few hours before, had now by, and, looking in, saw the clergyman | been made the means of preserving surrounded by four armed robbers. bis own.—From the Christian Treasury They had just tied his hands and feet, for July.
EARLY ATTENDANCE AT THE HOUSE OF GOD.
It is matter of deep regret, that in tributed to the great disorder of late almost every place of worship a certain arrival at the house of God :number of hearers are painfully con 1. It is an offence against God for spicuous for their late attendance. No- inconsiderate hearers to be straggling thing requires to be more vigorously dealt into the sanctuary when a large prowith than this, with a view to its ulti- portion of the congregation are engaged mate cure. It should occupy the atten- in acts of prayer
and praise. tion of Pastors until it finally disappears 2. It is a great interruption to the from our Christian assemblies. It is devotional feelings of others, to find & crying evil, from which, perhaps, no themselves distracted by the late arrivals congregation, in town or country, is of thoughtless worshippers. wholly exempt. Dissenting churches 3. It is distressing to the mind of a are specially guilty of it; and the habit | Christian Pastor to find a perpetual is not confined to the labouring classes, movement among the people, in those but obtains to an equal extent among early devotional exercises upon which those whose circumstances in life render the hallowed impression of the Christheir conduct peculiarly inexcusable. | tian sanctuary so much depends. Indeed the indecorous practice is so 4. A penitent review of past neglects, common, that the feeling of sbame, with suitable resolves and purposes of which it might well create, is almost future amendment, would shed a new obliterated. No greater reformation is aspect over all our Christian assemblies, practically demanded. Let the follow- and would draw down the blessing of ing considerations have their due God upon pastor and people. weight with those who have