« VorigeDoorgaan »
and he has directed us to the only means of obtaining that assistance in constant and habitual appeals to the throne of grace.Prayer is certainly the foundation-stone of the superstructure of a religious life, for a man can neither arrive at true piety, nor persevere in its ways when attained, unless with sincere and continued fervency, and with most unaffected anxiety, he implore Almighty God to grant him his perpetual grace, to guard and restrain him from all those direlictions of heart, to which we are, by nature, but too prone. I should think it an insult to the understanding of a Christian to dwell on the necessity of prayer, and, before we can har angue an infidel on its efficacy, we must convince him, not only that the being to whom we address ourselves really exists, but that he condescends to hear, and to answer our humble supplications.
There is such an exalted delight to a regenerate being in the act of prayer, and he anticipates with so much pleasure amid the toils of business, and the crowds of the world, the moment when he shall be able to pour out his soul without interruption into the bosom of his Maker, that I am persuaded, that the degree of desire or repugnance which a man feels to the performance of this amiable duty, is an infallible criterio of his acceptance with God. Let the unhappy child of dissipation-let the impure voluptuary boast of the short hours of exquisite enjoyment; even in the degree of blss they are infinitely inferior to the delight, of which the righteous man participates in his private devotions, while in their opposite consequences they lead to a no less wide extreme than heaven and hell, a state of positive happiness, and a state of positive misery. If there were no other inducement to prayer, than the very gratification it imparts to the soul, it would deserve to be regarded as the most important object of a Christian; for no where else could he purchase so much calmness, so much resignation, and so much of that peace and repose of spirit, in which consists the chief happiness of this otherwise dark and stormy being. But to prayer, besides the inducement of momentary gratification, the very self-love implanted in our bosoms would lead us to resort, as the chief good; for our Lord hath said, "Ask and it shall be given to thee; knock, and it shall be opened ;" and not a supplication made in the true spirit of faith and humility, but shall be answered; not a request which is urged with unfeigned submission and lowliness of spirit, but shall be granted, if it be consistent with our happiness, either temporal or eternal. Of this happiness however the Lord God is the only judge; but this we do know, that whether they be refused, all is working together for our ultimate benefit."-Kirke White.
HOW DRUNKARDS CLEAR OUT.
A hard drinker was heard to observe, that it was becoming so unpopular to drink grog, which soon would be hard to get, that he believed he would clear out. He purchased a quart of ardent spirits and two ounces of opium, which he put into about a pint of spirits and drank it. He was thrown into a deep sleep from which he never awoke.
In the fortification of a city or town, all the ramparts are not castles and strong-holds; but between fort and fort there is a line drawn, that doth, as it were, join all together and make the place impregnable. So it is in the fortification of the soul by sin. All sins are not strong-holds of Satan, they are the greater and grosser sins; but between, there dra a line of sm sins, so close that you cannot find a breach in it; and by these the heart is fenced against God. Now, is it nothing that your little sins fill up all the void spaces of your lives? Is it nothing that you no where lie open to the force and impression of the Holy Spirit? He, by His convictions, batters the greater and more heinous sins of your lives; but these strong-holds of Satan are impregnable, and give Him the repulse. He seeks to enter in by the thoughts; but these are so fortified by vanity and easthly-mindedness, and a thousand other follies, that, though they are but little sins, yet swarms of them stop up the passage; and the soul is so full already, that there is no room for the Holy Spirit to enter.-Bishop Hopkins.
THE GOOD SAMARITAN'S DEPOSIT.
An unbeliever, taking his seat in the scorner's chair, may impiously say,-"How improbable is the tale that a certain Samaritian conveyed a wounded man to an inn, and took care of him, and on departing the next day took out two pence and giving them to the host, said, Take care of this man." Luke x. 35. Thus mislead by his impiety and ignorance, he may exclaim, "What a paltry sum to ensure suitable supplies for a man who had been robbed and wounded! Here we may see that "for the soul to be without knowledge is not good," Prov. xix. 2. For the two pence given were not such copper pence as we are accustomed to see nor yet such silver pennies as were current in England in the days of those who translated the Bible into our mother tongue.-But the pence given by the good Samaritan were two Roman silver pieces, each of which was a little larger than our sixpence, being in weight equivalent to an English silver coin that would pass for seven pence three farthings. Another thing too must be taken into the account, and that is, what a denarius or Roman penny would procure. On turning, therefore, to Matt. xx. we perceive that the Saviour founds a parable on the circumstance of men being hired to work in a vineyard for a penny a day. Now it is well known that a man competent to do justice to our vines near London, can obtain four shillings a day.
We see, therefore that while two denarii or Roman pennies are in weight worth fifteen pence half penny of money, there is reason also to believe that in their actual currency at the time in question two such pence were to the wounded man what eight shilling would be at some country house of call in England at the present day.
Under such circumstances, then, the money deposited for the wounded man's benefit was not a sum to be deposited, especially as the good Samaritan said to the host, "Whatever thou spendest more, when I return I will repay thee." Thus from the remains of antiquity "God has perfected praise that he may still the enemy and the avenger,"
In noticing Mrs. Opie's "Illustrations of Lying," a writer in the London Literary Gazette has the following remarks, which are well worth the attention of parents.
There is one class of lies, which we are a little surprized did not attract a larger share of Mrs. Opie's attention: Lies told by parents to their children. We believe that the slight regard in which strict truth is held among mankind, is principally owing to the lies which are told to children by their parents, during the few first years of their lives. Then is the time that permanent impressions may be as well made as at any later period. It is then, probably that what is called the natural propensity. of a child is unfolded. Many persons who have great abhorrence of lying, and whip their children if they detect them in it, yet make no scruple of telling and acting to them the most atrocious falshoods. There are few parents who do not do this in a greater or less degree, though doubtless without dreaming they are guilty of criminal deception. With many, the whole business of managing their children is a piece of mere artifice and trick. They are cheated in their amusements, cheated in their food, cheated in their dress. Lies are told them to get them to do any thing which is disagreeable. If a child is to take physic, the mother tells him she has something good for him to drink; if recusant, she will send for the doctor to cut off his ears, or pull his teeth, or that she will go away and leave him, and a thousand things of the same kind, each of which may deceive once and answer the present purpose but will invariably fail afterwards.
We have noticed a few of the cases of lying to children, but enough to illustrate the frequency of it. And yet, after having pursued a course of deception for the two. or three first years of life, if the parent then finds his child is trying to deceive him, and will tell a downright lie, he wonders how he should have learnt to do so, for he always "taught" him to speak the truth; not reflecting that he has been lying to him from his very birth. So he attributes those habits to an innate disposition and tendency to falsehood, which he has himself been fostering and nourishing from the first.
About the dawn of the reformation in Scotland, pretended relics were in great repute, and a Roman pedlar, who had a large stock of
them opened bis pack near Haddington. Among other varieties, he had a bell which had a rent in it, said to have been occasioned by a false oath, and he pretended that such was its sacred sensibility, that if any person with his hand on it dared to swear a falsehood, it would rend, and the swearer's hand cleave to it. Fermor, to expose this pretence, laid his hand on it, and solemnly swore, "That the Pope was anti-christ, and his cardinals, priests, and monks, locusts from` hell, to delude men from God and that they would return to hell.”— Lifting his hand freely from the bell, he held it up to the multitude, that they might see that no change had been made upon it; and that according to its owner, he had sworn nothing but the truth. The pedler slipped off ashamed, nor did any more of those impostors trouble the nation.
How much have they to answer for to their own souls, who never enter into their closets, shut the door, and then pray to their Father who seeth in secret,- -or if they do shrink from secular employments to this duty, as to a task, and come away not lightened of a burthened conscience but as released from a necessary penance to keep conscience quiet under his burthen. O what a mercy it is to feel that burthen' intolerable! To lie down under it at the Redeemer's feet, like the woman that was a sinner, and though we speak not a word for shame and sorrow, determine never to rise again till he say-Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven thee," at least, never till we know that we are sincerely and with our whole heart, asking a blessing, and believing that we shall have it according to our faith, in the Lord's time. That time indeed is now, for all his time is now, who is "the same, yesterday, to-day, and forever;" but sometimes ours is not yet. Even then, when he comes to deliver, he may say to us, with the rebuke of kindness "O ye of little faith, why did ye doubt."-Memoirs of Rev. John Summerfield.
Humane Driver Rewarded.-A poor Macedonian soldier was one day leading before Alexander, a mule laden with Gold for the king's use; the beast being so tired that he was not able either to go or sustain the load, the mule driver took it off, and carried it himself with great difficulty a considerable way. Alexander seeing him just sinking under the burden, and about to throw it on the ground, cried out, "Friend, do not be weary yet; try and carry it quite through thy tent, for it is all thy own."
Faith. If this doctrine fall and perish, the knowledge of every truth and religion, will fall and perish with it. On the contrary, if this do but flourish, all good things will flourish; namely, true religion, the true worship of God, the glory of God, and a right knowledge of every thing which it becomes a Christian to know,
CHEROKEES OF THE ARKANSAS.
Letter from Dr. Palmer, Dated July 15th, 1830.
In giving an account of the station occupied by Dr. Palmer before the removal of this portion of the Cherokees, it was mentiontioned that the families then settled around him, intended to remove and settle together on their new lands. This intention they in part arried into effect. The school is now on the same footing as formerly, except that a portion of scholars are boarded in the mission family on the condition that their parents furnish their provisions. Others board with their parents. The Indians expect to defray the principal expense of the station.-Missionary Herald.
The school was opened and kept up according to the arrangements made by the district. At first there were about a dozen scholars, and in a few days the number increased to thirty, twenty of whom were little girls. This was five or six more that we intended taking, but we could not well reject them. They all were comfortably clad and provided with bed chothes; and Col. Webber furnished the bread stuff and meat for their board. With the exception of two or three, the scholars were all very steady, and seemed to make good progress in the common branches of education; and what rendered the school more interesting and orderly was the interest taken in it by the chiefs of the district. They felt that the school was theirs, and for the good of their children, and that it was dependent in a measure upon them for patronage. If at any time difficulty should occur in the management of the school, I was directed to send for the chiefs of the district, which would relieve me and ward off any blame. From time to time wholesome regulations were adopted: one of which was, that the scholars of the school shall all be required to attend public worship on the Sabbath, when it is held in the neighbourhood where they are; and they shall not be permitted to range about the fields for play or sport on the Sabbath. To secure the school from interruption by drunken persons, the district council passed a law to inflict a penalty upon any such offender.
The school has been interrupted some by my medical practice. There was an epidemic through the country, last winter and spring, which proved fatal to numbers of the Cherokees. While it prevailed I was called off frequently; but to save the school I rode a good deal in the night, and sometimes a medical student who is reading with me assisted me in the school.
I am convinced that our school would be sufficiently large, if the whole burden of support should rest upon the parents. Many of them are abundantly able.
In the medical department I have had more to do than I could wish. I have avoided labor of this kind as much as I could with propriety, in order to save my time for other purposes. In some cases, however, I have gone to visit the sick when I was not called for, knowing the people to be strongly attached to their ancient mode of conjuration, or prejudiced against all white people and par·