Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

99

man

quoted from Deut. viii. 3—"to humble thee, to prove thee" &c., we shall see that “ does not merely mean the body-the flesh. Man has a spirit within him: and this is proved by the fact, that his spirit needs the Bible. When you apply this a little more closely, you will see how deeply important it is. There are multitudes of declarations in the Holy Scriptures to show, that where the affections are set upon things above, not on things of the world, those affections are supported and cherished by feeding upon the Bible. When Satan comes and tempts to sin by some small thing, as it seems ; a spiritual Christian at once turns to the Bible, and that tells him to obey God in every thing; and informs him that sin is the transgression of the law. Those who feed upon the Bible--that blessed word-must not sin. They know they dare not : they cannot willingly. Christians do not live for this poor body only:-we are looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when this vile body shall be fashioned like unto his glorious body: we live in the hope of this; yea, we are sure of it sooner or later. We know this, I say, and we live in the daily expectation of it. We seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and we know that He will add to us all needful things. And all this we know by the Bible.--" It is written." It is infinitely better, therefore

, to deny ourselves in the body, and to bear any thing and every thing, and to be with Christ when He comes in glory, than to give way to sin, and to be cast out of his

presence for ever.-Rev. A. D.

SONG FOR THE WILDERNESS.

Psalm civ. 34.
“My meditation of Him shall be sweet,

I will be glad in the Lord."
JOURNEY through a desert drear and wild,
Yet is my heart by such sweet thoughts beguiled,
Of Him on whom I lean, my strength, my stay,
I can forget the sorrows of the way.
Thoughts of his love-the root of every grace,
Which finds in this poor heart a dwelling place ;
The sunshine of my soul, than day more bright,
And my calm pillow of repose by night.

Thoughts of his sojourn in this vale of tears;
The tale of love unfolded in those years
Of s.nless suffering, and patient grace,
I love again, and yet again to trace.
Thoughts of his glory-on the cross I gaze,
And there behold its sad, yet healing rays;
Beacon of hope, which lifted up on high,
Illumes with heav'nly light the tear-dimm'd eye.
Thoughts of his coming-for that joyful day,
In patient hope I watch, and wait, and pray;
The dawn draws nigh, the midnight shadows flee,
Oh, what a sun-rise will that advent be!
Thus while I journey on, my Lord to meet,
My thoughts and meditations are so sweet,
of Him on whom I lean, my strength, my stay,
I can forget the sorrows of the way.

J. D.

He was

DOMESTIC ECONOMY.

(From Boswell's “Life of Johnson.") Mr. Peregrine Langton had laid down a plan of living according to his income, and endeavoured that in his family there should be plenty without waste. in general very diligently and punctually attended and obeyed by his servants. He was very considerate as to the injunctions he gave, and explained them distinctly ; and, at their first coming to his service, steadily exacted a close compliance with them without any remission; and the servants, finding this to be the case, soon grew habitually accustomed to the practice of their business, and then

very

little further attention was necessary. The wonder with most that hear an account of his economy, will be, how he was able, with so small an income, to do so much ; especially when it is considered that he paid for every thing he had, and set apart the tenth part of his income for charity. Every Monday morning he settled his family accounts, and so kept up a constant attention to the confining his expenses within his income; and to do it more exactly, compared those expenses with

computation he had made how much that income would afford him every week of the year. One of his economical practices was, as soon as any repair was wanting in or about his house, to bave it immediately performed. When he had money to spare, he chose to lay in a pro

vision of linen or clothes, or any other necessaries ; as then, he said, he could afford it, which he might not be so well able to do when the actual want came.

But the main particular that seems to have enabled him to do so much with his income was, that he paid for every thing as soon as he had it; thus he put it out of his power to commit those imprudences to which those are liable that defer their payments by using their money some other way than where it ought to go. And whatever money he had by him, he knew that it was not demanded elsewhere, but that he might safely employ it as he pleased. His example was confined by the sequestered place of his abode, to the observation of few, though his prudence and virtue would have made it valuable to all who could have known it.

These few particulars, which I know myself, or have obtained from those who lived with him, may afford instruction, and be an incentive to that wise art of living which he so successfully practised.- Johnson.

M. A. C,

GRASSES. Of all vegetable productions, the various kinds of grass are, in temperate climates, at once the most generally diffused and the most important. The different kinds of grass to which the common name of corn is given, furnish man and several domestic animals with their principal food; other sorts, which abound in our pasture lands, afford in their green state, during the spring and summer months, and in the form of hay during winter, an inexhaustible supply of food to cattle ; while the stems or straw of the larger kinds,-namely, wheat, barley, and oats,--are applied to a number of useful purposes

which I need not mention. In order, therefore, that there may not be wanting a sufficient supply of so valuable a production, the providence of God has so constituted their nature, that they are less liable than any plants with which we are acquainted to become extinct, and less affected by any excess of heat or cold, drought or moisture. Some kinds are perennial, that is, they continue to grow for several years, and these are chiefly propagated by their roots; others are annual, lasting but one year, and these depend more for their preservation upon their seeds than upon their roots. These, by an equally wise provision, are scantily provided with roots and leaves, while their flower-stalks are both abundant and productive. In most kinds of grass, too, the seeds, when ripe, are easily detached from the stem; so that when the haymaker tosses about his newly-mown crops for the sake of drying them, he at the same time scatters his field with abundant store of seed for the next season.

One or two interesting facts respecting grass may be added. If you go into a field, which, instead of being reserved for hay, affords pasturage for cattle, you will find that the leaves are cropped almost close down to the ground, and that the young shoots are more numerous, and more thickly matted together, than they were in the hay-field. Now you would scarcely suppose that the spreading of the roots is at all promoted by the removal of the young shoots and leaves, but such is the case ;

for grasses, as well as many other plants, have a strong tendency to send out;numerous small branches, if the leading stem be removed. Thus, it appears, that animals, when grazing, are promoting the growth of their food instead of retarding it. They diminish the actual size of the plant indeed for to-day, but so judiciously that to-morrow finds it more productive than ever. Instinct, in fact, teaches them to treat grass in the same way that man does trees, when he cuts a willow or an ash-tree down close to the ground, in order that he may supply himself with rods or poles. But here is another circumstance still more wonderful. In all pasture lands, however closely the grass be nibbled, or even if more animals are sent into them than the space allotted will supply with adequate nourishment, you will always discover, scattered here and there, a few tall stems bearing - spikes of seeds at their tops. Now how is this to be accounted for?

you will say, cows and sheep prefer the tender leaves to the hard stems, and therefore leave the latter.” Just so; but why do they prefer the one and leave the other? The seed-stems were not

Oh,” you

passed by accidentally, you allow; they must, therefore, have been suffered to remain by design of the all-wise God, who gave to each animal its peculiar instinct; and if so, what is the object of that design? I will leave you to answer this question for yourself, only helping you to solve it by asking another, namely, From what would the annual grasses spring next year, if their seeds, as well as their leaves, were eaten by cattle ?-From The Meadow."

“THE LORD GOD IS A SUN AND SHIELD.

PSALM lxxxiv, 12.. He who thus wrote was under the immediate inspiration of God, and therefore could not express any thing but what was truth of Him. He had also another source of knowledge which we too may 'possess, the knowledge which is called experience, and which is the surest and deepest, the most valuable and lasting, being (so far as it is wrought in us) a part of ourselves, which no outward testimony can rub out or alter. David knew inwardly, that is in himself, that “the Lord God is both a sun and shield.” “ Unto the godly there ariseth up light in the darkness. “ To those who fear his name the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. Are we in “ darkness that may be felt?" That sunrise only can dispel it, and make our darkness to be turned to day. That glorious Sun, risen on our benighted, or perplexed, or fearful, or clouded hearts, will make them so no longer. If in spiritual doubt, that sun-light will make " a plain path” for us. If in deadness and darkness, we have but to send up a fervent prayer, a deep sigh, a "strong crying,” and our “light shall come;" turning the night into day. If sorrow of any kind cloud our spirits, "the bright beams of this Sun will penetrate and soothe. But not only is “the Lord God a Sun,"

the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world;" He is also "shield.” In this state of imperfection, where “the flesh is weak” and the spirit infirm ; where we are not alone exposed to much darkness, but also to great dangers, could there be an assurance of truer comfort than this? We cannot shield

a

« VorigeDoorgaan »