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And thus is it with all the objects with which we are conversant, and all the scenes in which we are actors on the stage of life. Rapidly follows one player after another,-till shortly, they all cease to act,-for death drives them from the stage, and the grand drama is wound up.
And what may this brevity of all sublunary bliss teach us? It teaches us to beware of delusion from the things, which dissolve at our touch-vanish at our gaze! It teaches us to seek 6 a building of God, a house not made with hands,"
"36 founded on the rock of ages," and " eterpal in the heavens ;” build there our hopes, and disappointment shall never mock them; lay there our treasures, and the whirlwind of the Eternal's wrath shall never sweep them away.
Leave, then, this scene so brief;--scorn to be bound by the attractions of a moment;--contemn the applause of ephemeral mortals :---for the applause they breathe is deadly as the desert wind; their false flatteries, as the blast of the fatal Samiel:* remembered in the agonies of death, they will be withering to the soul, like the shrieks of infernal despair..
Alas ! soon, the momentary pleasures, you and I now enjoy amidst these earthly scenes, will be only " the memory of joys that are past-mournful to the soul !"
“Of joys departed, ne'er to be recalled,
How painfut the remembrance !" Therefore will we seek the joys which 6 never fade away.”
(For the Monitor.)
CONTEMPLATIONS OF NATURE, CALCULATED TO PRODUCE A
GOOD MORAL INFLUENCE.
If ever man resembles superior beings, it is when his soul is filled with sublime thoughts of the Deity, and
* A poisonous and destı uctive wind in Western Asia.
excited to an admiration of virtue, by reflecting on the exquisite workmanship of nature. li is then he seems to leave this earth, and, on the wings of contemplation, hover round the throne of God-the great fountain of unbounded intelligence.
Such was man's happy state in the golden days of his primeval purity. Unconscious of guilt, he beheld the whole face of nature decked in constant bloom, and the fruits that sprang spontaneously from the earth, became so many mementos of his Creator's wisdom and benevolence, and secured in return his gratitude and love. But the spoiler came; man fell ;-and the glory of Eden was no more.
Nature mourns—still she is beautiful in tears. Though the frost has nipped the verdant foliage of the rose, yet there is a fragrance diffused round the spot where it once stood. It is not the momentary excitement of feeling, which we experience on appreaching a grotto celebrated for its ghosts and supernatural appearances; nor is it the superstitious reverence, excited by the fancied sacredness of some verdant grove, and the fabled fields of Elysium, that can produce lasting habits of morality and virtue. It is when we view nature, in all its simplicity, and beauty, that the most durable impressions are made on the heart. The opening rose, the wild flower of the wood, the lily of the valley, and the towering oak of the mountain, are objects, that excite the sensations of beauty; while the lofty heights of the Andes, the snowy summits of the Alps, and the mighty oceans that roll below them, become subjects for contemplation, full of grandeur and sublimity.
If we pursue this train of reflection still farther, and contemplate this spacious earth, 6 on which such huge mountains rise, and vast oceans roll;" if we consider, that it moves, in its orbit, with the amazing velocity of more than a million miles a day; or if, leaving this earth, and rising higher and higher, we reflect on the unnumbered globes, that perform their revolutions through the interminable fields of ether; we must view with unutterable adoration, that Being, from whose forming hand they rolled at first, and whose unalterable
decree they never cease to obey. If there be
any thing like virtue in man, he must be excited to the highest pitch of admiration, when he beholds a display of goudness so diffusive, of benevolence so expanding, and of power so stupendous. But here finile man is lost amid a vast concatenation of worlds and system ; here he seems to be treading on the threshold of his helplessness; yet, raising his reverential eyes to heaven, he looks forward with lively emotions, to that period, when he will no longer frame inconsistent theories to account for the formation of the earth, but when he will see, as with the clearness of intuition, those sublime truths, which are wholly unknown to him, or which he must view, only as fanciful speculations, or as extravagant, and problematical hypotheses.
(For the Monitor.)
How welcome is this blessed day to every pious soul. There are two circumstances which render it peculiarly so to the Christian. First, it is welcome because it gives him more time than he can conveniently have on other days, for self-examination, meditation, and prayer.
Secondly, it is peculiarly welcome, because a Sabbath rightly spent on earth, is an emblem of that rest which remains for the people of God. In addition to these private privileges, he is permitted to assemble with the people of God in the sanctuary, there to hear from the ambassador of Christ the glad tidings of the Gospel proclaimed to perishing sinners. He contrasts bis situation with those who know not the Lord, neither the Sabbath which he has hallowed.
He feels he is unworthy to be privileged above them, and is constrained to say, It is of the Lord's goodness that I am not left in ignorance of God, that I am not left in the darkness of heathenism.
But with what fond anticipations does he look forward to that eternal Sabbath which he shall spend with
angels, and the spirits of the just made perfect in holi. ness; where sin will no more annoy him; where the spirits of darkness will no more molest him ; but wbere he will be clad in the robe of the Redeemer's rigbteousness, and have his image indelibly instamped upon him..
TAITH IN GOD ILLUSTRATED. I IMPRINTED on my daughter, says Cecil, the idea of Faith, at a very early age. She was playing one day with a few beads, which seemed to delight her wonder. fully. Her whole soul was absorbed in her beads. I said, “ My dear, you have some pretty beads there." « Yes, Papa !" “ And you seem to be vastly pleased with them.” “Yes, Papa!" " Well now, throw them behind the fire.” The tears started into her eyes. She looked earnestly at me, as though she ought to have a reason for such a cruel sacrifice. “ Well, my dear, do as you please : but you know I never told you to do any thing, which I did not think would be good for you." She looked at me a few moments longer, and then,summoning up alle her fortitude, her breast heaving with the effort,-shę dashed them into the fire. “Well, said I, “tbere let them lie : you shall hear more about them another time; but say no more about them now.” Some days after, I bought her a box full of larger beads and toys of the same kind. When I returned home, I opened the treasure and set it before her : she burst in tears with ecstacy. “ Those, my child," said I, “ are yours; because you believed me, when I told you it would be better for you to throw those two or three paltry beads behind the fire. Now that has brought you this treasure. But now, my dear, remember, as long as you live, wbat Faith is. I did all this to teach you the meaning of faith. You threw your beads away when I bade you, because you had faith in me that I never advised you but for your good. Put the same confidence in God. Believe every thing that he says in his Word. Whether you understand it or not, have faith in him that he means your good.”
COLONEL ETHAN ALLEN.
COLONEL ETHAN ALLEN was a bold officer in the American Revolution. He could face the enemies of his country with the most undaunted bravery, and in the field of battle, he never shrunk from danger. But he was an opposer to Christianity, and gloried in the character of an infidel. His wife, however, was a pious woman, and taught her children in the ways of piety, while he told them it was all a delusion. But there was an hour coming, when Colonel Allen's confidence in his own sentiments would be closely tried. A beloved daughter was taken sick-He received a message that she was dying-He hastened to her bed-side, anxious to hear her dying words. “ Father,” said she, “ I am about to die : shall I believe in the principles which you have taught me, or shall I believe what my mother has taught me?" This was an affecting scene. The Intrepid Colonel became extremely agitated; his chin quivered ; his whole frame shook'; and after waiting a few moments he replied, “ Believe what your mother has taught you."
THE SIN OF SLANDER.
A man's good name is like a piece of white paper, which, if once blotted, will very hardly be got out again, so as to leave no print of it behind. It is like a merchant's estate, long in getting, but lost in a moment; and when it is lost in the bottom of the sea, how shall it ever be recovered again? How circumspect, then, ought men to be in what they say of their brother, so as not to steal and murder his good name, which is as precious as life itself! The destruction of another's character is a sin that God will not pardon, unless the party that is guilty make restitution, which is work not easy to be done: yet God will accept of endeavour, if faithful and industrious,