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could have been exhibited, under her circumstances, in any other way.
Four years have now passed away since my aunt's first visit to my uncle's house. I am now twenty-two, and I must say that, all things considered, I enjoy as much peace as any human being on the face of this earth. No one is without his trials; but it is a cause of infinite gratitude when we have been brought to know where we may find perfect happiness when time shall be no more. We visit my uncle every summer, and one of my cousins is with us every winter; and the more I see of my cousins, the more I am convinced that godliness has the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come; and that he that is found of Christ hath obtained the true philosopher's stone, which shall convert all things present into that which, as gold, shall abide in that day when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and all things not thus sanctified shall be consumed.
THOUGHTS FOR THE SABBATH.
No. V.-A COMMUNION SCENE. THERE is no place upon this sinful earth which awakens such heavenly emotions in the Christian's breast, as the communion table of his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Here he sits beside the bleeding body of his Saviour, beholding the price of the ransom which redeemed his soul from the curse of a violated law. This place, to the humble Christian, is hallowed. It is a world where no sin dare intrude; where no sorrow can mingle in his cup. No unhallowed passion dare enter the sacred enclosure of his bosom, and turn his affections from his Redeemer. Here he holds sweet communion with his Father, and drinks of that cup of bliss which the world never tasted.
Imprinted upon my memory is a communion season which in my own mind awakened thrilling emotions. It was a lovely Sabbath. The “ church-going bell” had sounded its last call, and the solemn assembly had surrounded the board spread for the “ hungry, starving poor." They sung a sweet song of Zion, which seemed to rise like incense from the altar of a thousand hearts to the Lord of the Sabbath. After the song had ceased, the minister rose and invited those who desired to subscribe with their hands to the Lord, to present themselves. In a moment I saw a man whose head was covered with the marks of many years, making his way to the altar. By his side stood a little boy, the fruits of the Sabbath-school. Here, at the feet of Jesus, and around the sacred board, met the man of many years, and the youth of sixteen. Methought angels bent over the walls of their heavenly city to behold the sight, and, as they beheld, they sang the song of redeeming mercy, and struck a new note to the praise of Him who sits upon the throne.
The feast was ended. The assembly dispersed, to mingle in the world and follow their various avocations. But I see them still. I see the big tear-drops rolling down the furrowed face of the old man, and the eager eye of the little lad, as he strove to catch the words
which fell from the lips of God's ambassador. I see the congregation of the saints, and hear their sweet songs ; and alas ! while they dwell upon my ear, and I behold in vision the beauties of that scene, I see too the gazing multitude, who had “no part or lot in the matter;" who were silent and indifferent spectators of a scene which called angels from their seats in heaven! I see them passing away from the place where God's honour dwelleth, and running with eagerness into the world, to deafen their ears to the call of mercy! Oh, what a scene ! Well might the angels lay aside their harps, to see and wonder. Well might listening Mercy bend still lower, to catch the first breathings of repentance and sorrow from the broken heart! But that hour has passed, and its momentous record is sealed to the judgment of the great day. When I next behold this assembly, it will be at the bar of God. Christians, you will be there. Then will I point you to the little lamb, and to him who became as a little child, and you may sit and converse with them for ever of the love of Him who redeemed them unto God, and gave them an inheritance with the assembly of the church of the first-born in heaven.
No. VI.-TESTIMONIES OF DYING CHRISTIANS.
I would not exchange my hope in Christ for ten thousand worlds. I once entertained some doubts of his divinity ; but, blessed be God, these doubts were soon removed by inquiry and reflection. I shall soon be at rest. I shall soon be with my God. O glorious hope ! blessed rest !-Judge Bayard.
I feel that I am a poor sinner. I need to be washed from head to foot in the blood of atonement; but I hope that I may be saved through Christ. Within the last year, and especially of late, Christ has been becoming more and more precious to my soul, and I feel that I can commit my immortal all to him. Here I wish to bear my dying testimony that I go to the judgment relying on nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ.--Mr. Cornelius.
O my heavenly Father, though I be taken out of this life, and must lay down this frail body, yet I certainly know that I shall live with thee eternally, and that I cannot be taken out of thy hand.-M. Luther.
I am sick, not to death, but to life.--Myconius.
I shall be the most glorious instance of sovereign grace in all heaven. -Rev. Thomas Walter. My hope is in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ.-Fisher Ames.
A poor wretch and a miserable man as I am, the least of all saints, and the greatest of all sinners, yet I trust in, and, by the eye of faith, I look upon Christ, my Saviour.- Deering.
My work is almost done; Jesus reigns; I wish to lie as a penitent sinner at the foot of the cross.—Evarts.
I shall enjoy that most blessed Saviour whom I have so long desired to see, in that state where is the fulness of joy for ever.-Leo Judae, a Swiss reformer.
No. VII.-A THOUGHT FOR TEACHERS. If you should never again have the privilege of meeting your class, does your conscience bear witness that you have fully and faithfully proclaimed the gospel to them ? Could you, with the sincerity of Paul, when he was taking his farewell of the elders of Ephesus, appeal to each of your charge, that you “have kept back nothing that was profitable unto them, but have shown them, and have taught them publicly, and from house to house?” Can you say as the apostle did, and in the same sense, “ I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all, for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God?”
If summoned this hour to leave for ever all your earthly employments, is there not some one point you would desire to adjust, something that is incomplete ? Is there not some one individual whom you would wish, for your conscience' sake, to be more explicit with ? Would there be consciousness of some deficiency or other; something that has been omitted or slighted, which you would rather have one opportunity more of correcting ? Has any thing been put off from one week to another, and from one month to another, which you would desire now to accomplish in good earnest ?
Or to vary the question. Think of each one under your care separately, and suppose that this hour is to terminate his or her life. Is there any one thing which gives you particular uneasiness in thinking that that soul is going away for ever from your influence? Have you had a purpose respecting any one of them which you are now sorry you had not fulfilled before it was for ever put out of your power? In a word-would you be willing, so far as you are concerned, to stand with your pupils this hour, and surrender your stewardship for eternity ?
Do these questions, honestly applied, produce uneasiness? We do not mean, do they make you feel your unworthiness and comparative unprofitableness ? but do they bring to your mind some positive and definite defect, omission, or negligence ? some solemn but unredeemed pledge ? some unaccomplished resolution ? Recollect if there be not some hint which you intended to give, some admonition, some plainer and more direct exhortation, some kind expostulation, which you had determined to employ. Having ascertained what you would desire to do that you might render your account to your Lord without remorse, be persuaded to do it now. If it is something to be said, say it; if it is something to be done, do it. Make your next Sabbath just such an one, as to fidelity and earnestness, as you should if you believed it to be the last opportunity you should have of putting forth an effort for the glory of Christ and the conversion of souls.
No. VIII.-THE BELOVED APOSTLE. Various writers have taken notice of the peculiar character of John's writings. Tholuck says, “No one can read the Gospel of John without receiving the impression that a spirit pervades it which can be found in no other human book.” He quotes a passage from Chrysos
tom, in which he describes the impression made by this divine Scripture upon the heart of the reader. The apostle, Chrysostom says, " Speaks from heaven, and utters a voice louder than the thunder, and filling all the earth with the sound. And what is wonderful, mighty though the sound of it be, yet it is not harsh nor disagreeable, but sweeter than any musical harmony, and more soothing." And afterwards he says, that the men who receive and keep these mysteries with zeal and affection, rise above the world and aspire to the angelic nature.
Claudius says, as quoted by Tholuck, “I read with the greatest pleasure in St. John. There is something in him so altogether wonderful-twilight and night, and through them in the distance, the sudden glancing lightning! A soft evening cloud, and behind the cloud the great full moon. There is such a softened melancholy, something so lofty and full of foreboding, that we can never be weary of it. * * * I understand not all I read; but often I seem to myself to apprehend dimly the meaning of John as it floats far off before me ; and even when in darkness, I still have the conviction of a great and noble mind, which I shall one day understand, and therefore am I so eager to receive every new explanation of St. John's Gospel."
A CHAPTER ON LOUNGERS. One lounger takes up more room than two labourers.
Loungers are always unhappy themselves, and their presence makes others so.
Loungers are invariably in mischief, because they have no other employ. Mice, rats, thieves, and borrowers themselves, are a less intolerable and destructive species of animals than loungers.
If you wish to injure your credit-lounge. No man of sense will ever trust you with a sixpence, after having detected you in lounging.
Lounging should be classed among the great national evils which require to be removed. If nothing else can effect a cure, there should be established a great national anti-lounging society, with auxiliaries in every city, town, village, and hamlet, in the country.
When do people first begin to visit the gin-shop, the bar-room, the ale-house? When they first learn to lounge. Lounging creates idleness, restlessness, impatience of restraint, and neglect of duty. Where do you hear vulgar and profane language? Among loungers. Who waste the precious hours of the Sabbath ? Loungers. For what purpose were theatres and playhouses invented ? For the edification of loungers. Who loiter around skittle-grounds, billiard-rooms, racecourses, and cock-pits ? Loungers. Who foment the wars that desolate the earth ? Princely loungers, with whom campaigns are a game of hazard and amusement, whose dice-boards are battle-fields, whose chessmen are human beings.
Why are all these abuses tolerated in this age of boasted light, and literature, and learning ? Because learned loungers have turned authors for their own and others' amusement, and deluge the world, not with their works, but with their idleness; and because fashionable loungers read to drive away thought, not to promote thinking.
Honesty should not lounge, for lounging and paying seldom go together. Patriotism cannot lounge, for lounging is a nation's curse. Christian! dost thou lounge ? Up, and be doing, “ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.”
PARENTAL FAITHFULNESS REWARDED. About eighteen hundred years ago, the angelic observers of Divine Providence might have beheld at Lystra, in Lyconia, a little group often gathered around the unrolled parchments of the Holy Scriptures. A lad, scarce weaned from his mother's arms, is leaning upon her knee, and as he spells out the holy word, turns from time to time, to look up into her face, and hear the explanations which render it intelligible. With earnest affection she regards her child, and strives to find words and illustrations adapted to his infant mind. Nor is she alone in her happy, though anxious duty. Seated by her side is that faithful parent, by whom her infancy had been hallowed unto God. Age has softened, but not dimmed the lustre of her eye, and time has but deepened upon her brow the impress of benevolence, as she beholds her mental care renewed in her pious daughter and her gentle boy. She too watches the progress of the lesson, and shares the mother's task. The little one reads of Abel's sacrificed lamb, and the rescued Isaac, when God provided his own burnt offering ; and then pauses, to hear of Him, the promised, who comes to find the ransom for Abraham's seed. Again, he reads of Salem's former splendour, now the prey of the Gentile spoiler, but he reads also of the virgin-born, the Immanuel, who comes the Shiloh from among the descendants of Judah, to rebuild her ruins and bid her dust arise, when God, who dwelt between the cherubim, shall again dwell among his people, and “the throne of David be established for ever.”
The lesson ended, the lisping of the child, the rich voice of woman, and the tremulous accents of age, blend together in one of the songs of Zion. For a while they dwell in plaintive strains upon the fallen glories and the moral decay of the chosen nation; and now they swell into lofty praise, as they anticipate the coming triumph; “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, oh! Zion. Put on thy beautiful garments, Oh! Jerusalem, thou holy city ; for henceforth there shall no more come unto thee the uncircumcised, and unelean."
Nor is the pious duty ended. Together they kneel, looking toward the holy temple, and the child responds to the mother's prayer. The shadows of the night have gathered around them while they worship, The child is laid upon his pillow, and as he sinks to peaceful slumber, the mother and the grandmother invoke the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, to bless the son of their seed.
Happy mother! Happy woman! Happy child! Let others flaunt in gorgeous apparel at the public spectacle ; let others smooth with down the couch of the infant hero, or flatter into imperial tyranny his youthful pride ; the angels of God watch that lowly bed. The God of Jacob pours out his blessing upon that infant heartObscure and