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reverence due to the sacred majesty of truth cannot be too strongly enforced upon the mind: and becomes every person, therefore, to measure and guard his words habitually, that that reverence may be cherished, and may appear on all occasions. There may, indeed, be an unnecessary and ridiculous preciseness, as there is a counterfeit of every thing that is excellent; but the indispensable obligation which lies upon us to keep truth inviolate in every relation, and even in our common modes of expression, ought strenuously to be maintained. Who shall say that one slight transgression may not be a step to another: and that the want of reverence for truth, which now appears only in lesser matters, may not, when wilfully indulged, become so strengthened by habit as to discover itself on the most imporant occasions.
RURAL OBJECTS SPIRITUALLY OBSERVED.
[From the Evanvelical Magazine. ] I hope it will not be altogether unprofitable to offer a new species of pleasure to the religious world, through the medium of your Magazine. Alas! the christians' pleasures often seem restricted; and some authors write as if the middling class, who love the gospel, might not venture to sip any of those streams which the worldly are encouraged to drink in copious draughts.
I am, sir, a mechanic, in a close part of London, where I have passed my life; and through the divine blessing on my industry, can now venture to leave my shop occasionally. But as I am a constant hearer of the gospel, and I hope a partaker of divine grace, I dare not associate with those people who resort to fairs, shows, and other ordinary places, where they take their wives and children for a treat, as it is called. Yet I have often desired to give them a reward for their orderly conduct, industry, and obedience: and though they have not said so, I am sure their hearts have longed for a holiday too.
One Sabbath I was greatly affected by our minister's sermon, which, in a sweet manner, described the faithfulness of God to his promises, from the works of nature: he quoted many passages from the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Epistles; all which attracted my attention. Ah! thought I, how happy those are who see the fields and the gardens, which bear testimony to God's faithfulness! I cat my bread indeed, blessed be the Lord! but how it grows I know not; nor can I well imagine how the corn and
the grass illustrate the truths of the Bible; but if I am spared, I will go and see.
Accordingly I arranged my plans for the next holiday season; and told my wife and little ones (who have all been taught to read) to search their Bibles for those passages of scripture which mention the trees, and flowers, and grass; and every even. ing we looked over the precious book of God to see what promises were attached to these things, what similitudes were conveyed, and what we could learn from them.
When the day came, with each our Bibles folded down against these passages, I hired a little chaise, and drove them into a retired part of Essex; where I asked a child, bred in those parts, to walk with us, and tell us the names of the birds and flowers which principally attracted the children's notice. The first we saw was a knot of lilies; which my eldest boy eagerly examined, and said, “ Our Lord has commanded us to examine the lilies how they grow." Oh, sir, what a fund of delight this one flower afforded the lively imaginations of my young ones! and to me and my wife, as we looked at each other, and observed their innocent expressions, enlivened by the pure air, and under the broad expanse of heaven, who can tell what we felt, when, tuming to St. Luke's Gospel, we pursued the passage, and read the gracious assurance that Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these! and that precious promise to clothe us, alson sealed, as it were, by the virgin whiteness and beauty of the flower! I will not detain you by all we saw to corroborate the truth of God's book, during this first day's pleasure; but only remark, that our succeeding holidays have all been conducted upon the same plan. So much indeed was I delighted with the view of nature, prepared by the precious truths of the gospel in my mind, that I promised to devote four days in every year (God willing) to the same pursuit; and now, as we go in the various seasons of the year, we have learned the seed-time and harvest; understand how faithfully the promise made to Noah is fulfilled; and how the grass and the corn, as well as the wind and the storm, fulfil his word.
My children read the word of God with more awakened at: tention, as it becomes the source of their pleasure; and I often bless God that we were born in the midst of a city, that the images we find in the fields lose none of their importance from being common, for we are careful always to be prepared from the word of God for the objects we seek after; and my children naturally lock for the sheep and the birds with some sacred allusion.
Forgive my fondness, sir, whilst I tell you, when, in the scarcity of bread, my repining heart spoke its fears, how it was reproved and relieved by a little girl, who, with the ingenuousness of youth, called upon me to remember how the young ravens, such as we found in the wood, were fed by God when they cried to him; and how, the next holiday, we saw them bigger, and able to fly, and leave their parents' nest! Now, indeed, they mark their hymns whenever they mention roses and lilies, or woods and streams; and ask, whether they may not look for such when they take their Bibles in the country with them next time.
Another pleasure which I derive is, that I understand our minister better, and feel great delight as I associate with his lively descriptions those days of recreation which pointed out to my view the works of creation; and I hope I do not cease to bless God for permitting us sinners to see the works of his hands, so much more curious, wonderful, and complicated than the works of man, although we execute them with labour; and, at last, are obliged to confess them to be imperfect: but I shall trespass too much; and am, sir, your constant reader.
[ From the Christian Observer.) TO THE EDITOR. Allow me to propose the following subject for discussion in some of your future numbers:
Is it proper that a woman should mark her christian principles by any, and by what particularity in her dress? Is all ornament, or is only a profusion of it forbidden by the gospel? in what measure is it right to endeavour to be fashionable in the article of apparel? And ought any degree of economy which is much more than common to be observed in this respect?
Any of your correspondents who shall offer some familiar remarks on this not unimportant topic, will much oblige, sir, your very obedient humble servant,
THE FATHER OF A LARGE FAMILY.
THE IRRELIGIOUS GENTLEMAN!
[From the Evangelical Magazine.] “ If he can think it possible to be a true gentleman without any sense of true honour or religion; or if he dares call him religious, and thinks him desirous of heaven, who (though
his whole life be little enough to prepare for it) yet grudges to spend one minute of his time to gain it: if he have the charity to account him pious, who suffers his soul to starve for want of spiritual food, and yet can feast and pamper upon his lusts every hour: if he can have a true sense of honour, who can fancy himself happy in Satan's service, and oftener upon his knees to him, than to his God; who makes his soul the very drudge of his body, and his carnal appetite the mistress of his life, and every one of his members the slave of some lust or other: if that man can rationally be thought to set a just estimate upon an honest reputation, who had rather be dabbling in the dirt and wallowing in the mire of sin, than walk in the pleasant paths of holiness, and in the highway to heaven: if to behold God's own peculiar servants and ambassadors lie starving in the streets for want of some few morsels of that bread which they grudge not, by whole loaves, to throw to their dogs: if to sit still all the day idle, and laugh at those who are working in the vineyard: if such be the infallible characters whereby we may know a gentleman, then, indeed, I must of necessity confess, we haye yet more than enough -such gentlemen in this poor England.”
ANECDOTES. A NOTORIOUS Swearer, who was a sawyer, being employed in cutting coffin boards, and finding one of the pieces of timber out of which they are cut, harder than usual, said to his companion,
This is a d-d hard piece; it will make somebody a d-d good coffin.” He had no sooner uttered these words, than he fell backward, and expired immediately. It is remarkable that his own coffin was made from that very piece of wood of which he had been speaking.
Serious matters, like death, should never be spoken of in a light and jocose, much less in a profane manner.
A scoffing infidel once accosted a poor but pious woman, by saying, “So, I find you are one of those fools who believe the Bible!” “ Yes," said she, “and with good reason, while so many infidels exist, to prove the truth of its testimony, that, in every age, there will be a generation of fools, like you, to blaspheme it."
Should there appear to be a degree of tartness in the above reply, the reader will remember that Solomon hath said, it in sometimes necessary to answer a fool according to his folly.
RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. Report of the Directors to the twelfth gene- received a letter, which the honourable
ral Meeting of the London Missionary governor has done them the honour to Society. Concluded from page 448. write, addressed to their treasurer and CEYLON.
secretary, the recital of which cannot The directors now proceed to give fail to afford sincere satisfaction to the an account of the mission to the island society, and to be considered as one of of Ceylon, committed to the superintend. the most interesting parts of this report. ance of their much valued brother the It is as follows ; Rev. Mr. Vos, assisted by Mr. Ehrhardt,
“ Gentlemen, and Mr. and Mrs. Palm. They must also “ I have received your letter of the include some notice of Mr. William Read, 10th Feb. 1804, from the hands of the who accompanied them from the Cape of Rev. Mr. Vos, who arrived here about Good Hope, with the approbation of Mr. two months ago, accompanied by Messrs. Vos, and though not yet taken into full Ehrhardt and Read. As I had been long connexion with the society, as one of its seriously afflicted at the gross ignorance authorised missionaries, will, they hope, of our holy religion, which prevails aconduct himself so satisfactorily as to in. mong the numerous inhabitants of this duce them in due time to recognise his island, who profess themselves chrisrelation to them. It has been already in- tians, I was sincerely rejoiced at the artimated, that Mr. and Mrs. Vos, and Mr. rival of those experienced and worthy Ehrhardt proceeded to Tranquebar in the men, from whose endeavours I expect same ship with the brethren Ringletaube, the greatest advantage. The ordination Cran, and Desgranges: from this place, of Mr. Vos, as a presbyterian minister, Mr. Vos made an excursion to Negapat has enabled me to place him at Galle, nam, where he preached six times both and to give Kim a legal pastoral authoriin English and in Dutch to about a hun- ty over the extensive district dependent dred people, and administered the Lord's on that settlement. The inhabitants of supper to Malabar, Portuguese, and the town have already expressed themDutch christians. He felt great pity for selves in an address to me as highly these people, some of whom requested grateful for his pious and intelligent care him with tears to remain among them. of their spiritual welfare. The two youngSoon after his return, the providence of er gentlemen, his companions, are likeGod called him to a painful act of sub- wise employed under his direction; Mr. mission to his holy and sovereign ap. Ehrhardt at Matura, and Mr. Read at pointments, by the decease of Mrs. Vos, Galle, and as they are occupied in acquiwho died in the faith and hope of the gos- ring a knowledge of the Cingalese lanpel, in the hospitable house of a friend guage, I trust they will exercise their at Tranquebar. On the 23d Jan. they duties in a very profitable manner.. I beg sailed for Ceylon, and reached Manaar leave to assure you, gentlemen, that I on the 25th, where Mr. Vos preached in will not fail to promote as far as I am a building formerly used for divine wor' able, the good intentions of the society, ship, to about fifty people. At this place and that I remain, with bigh esteem, there are about a hundred protestants gentlemen, your most obedient humble without either minister or schoolmaster, servant, and many thousand worshippers of Bud- (Signed) FREDERICK North.” dah. On the 4th of February, they came The society will receive this commuto anchor before Columbo, and immedi- nication with much satisfaction, and conately waited on the honourable and Rev. sider it as an intimation of the favouraMr. Twistleton, who rejoiced at their ar- ble designs of providence towards this rival, and introduced them directly to distant settlement, that he has been pleas. his excellency the hon. Frederick North, ed to place over it a governor, whose the governor of the island, to whom they enlightened mind discerns so justly the delivered the letters of introduction in beneficial influence of our holy religion, their behalf, with which the secretary of and prompts him to extend his powerful, state had kindly furnished them; and al- and fostering influence, in favour of those so that from the directors of this socie- who have devoted themselves to its inty. In this interview Mr. Vos, very pro- terests. They will also feel suitable grati. perly, presented the instructions under tudeto the honourable and Rev. Mr. Twiswhich he was to act, to his excellency, tleton, for the christian affection, and lia who was pleased to express his approba. beral countenance which he manifests tion of them, and requested to take a co- towards our brethren, and which is of so py thereof. The Directors lave lately much importance both to their comfort Vol. II.
3 Q and success.