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When you see people rich, and using their riches well, and not abusing them, look out, for by diligence and care you also may thrive sufficiently to do much good.
When you find yourself envying the rich, and feeling unhappy that you have not wealth at your command, look in, for it is high time that you did so. By your envy and discontent you reproach you Maker. Riches may be a curse as well as a blessing. “ Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith,” Proy.
When you see people high-minded, and carrying themselves proudly, look out, lest you fall into their errors. If they have been led astray, why may not you?
When you discover high-mindedness and pride in yourself, look in, and look in sharply too, for there is a spy in the camp; an enemy is in your heart. You are in danger, for “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” Prov. xvi. 18.
When you see people visited with judgments, and seemingly given over to a reprobate mind, look out, and double your diligence in holy things. When
find that you have thought but little of God's judgments around you, look in, scrupulously, solemnly, and prayerfully; for if God spared not others, take heed lest he also spare not thee,” Rom. xi. 21.
When you see people ready to wrong you, to slander you, and to do you a mischief, look out, that you may protect yourself, by giving them no cause for their enmity. When
and hatred towards them that injure you, and thirst for revenge, look in, for he that “hateth his brother is a murderer,” 1 John iii. 15. " Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you,” Eph. iv. 31, 32.
THE BIBLE COLPORTEUR.
Paris, Jan. 4, 1848. Very recently, one of the Bible colporteurs, on entering the inn in a small village, found eight persons assembled in one corner of the general sitting-room, whose riotous demeanour and boisterous mirth plainly showed that they had over
stepped the strict rules of temperance. The colporteur took his seat at a table not far removed from them, where his moderate and frugal repast was prepared. He placed his knapsack at his side, but as it had been damaged in one of his journeys it happened that a copy of the sacred volume fell out, and rolled very near to the place occupied by the others. 5. Ho !” cried one of them, “what is this? What a fine large book! Has it any amusing stories ? Let us hear what it contains. We have finished telling our whole stock, and we want something fresh; but mind, it must be something new, and that will make us laugh.” The colporteur, calling to mind the injunction of the Holy Scriptures, not to cast pearls before swine, saw at once that it was not a fit time to begin a serious conversation with persons who were still engaged over their cups. He therefore contented himself with reclaiming his book, being unwilling to suffer it to become the butt of the ribald jests of the poor deluded winebibbers. The individual, however, who picked up the volume, would not at once agree to restore it. No," said he, “ if your book suits me, and I choose to purchase it, you cannot refuse to sell it me." “Unquestionably," replied the colporteur; “but supposing the stories which are in my book do not please you, as I almost suspect will be the case ; and if you find in it certain things that may tend to irritate and vex you, this is assuredly not the time to suffer you to read them.” “What does that signify to you?” asked the other. “I have a right to examine your merchandise, and I am determined to examine it in the presence of my friends. Now,” cried he to his companions, “ let us see what are the merry contents of this book, which is lettered on the back in gold, "The Bible !' “ The Bible! the Bible !" ejaculated the rest ;
66 what kind of a book is that?" “Let it speak for itself, it will soon tell you,” replied the spokesman of the jovial club.
The poor colporteur was under the greatest apprehension, almost trembling lest the contents of the sacred volume, when read, would be turned into impious ridicule. He fervently prayed to the Lord to put to shame the scorners around him, and to glorify his holy name, at a moment when, as his unworthy servant, he himself dared not lift up his voice. Oh, what power lies in the prayer of faith! The colporteur was heard, and his prayer answered. Without any intention, without any choice on the part of him who held the sacred book, he opened of his own accord, as it may be said, the
20th chapter of the book of Job, and his eye
the 6 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating;” which seemed, like an arrow, to pierce his very soul. Then, with much seriousness, he said,
But surely this is not addressed to persons fond of a little good cheer?”
His friends redoubled their shouts of laughter, exclaiming, “Well done! well done! You have drawn a pretty lot for yourself, you who always are the first to invite us to drink and to enjoy ourselves.” The reader at once closed the sacred volume, and remained for a while in deep thought; and although his companions made him the butt of their sarcasms and raillery, he seemed as if he paid no attention whatever to them. He leaned with both elbows on the Bible, with his face buried in his hands; and as he was always the leader of the company, as soon as he ceased from taking any part of the conversation all relapsed into silence, and his boon companions in a short time took their departure, leaving him behind. Finding himself alone with the colporteur, he accosted him, and, with an affecting simplicity, acknowledged the deep impression which the reading of the words beforementioned had made upon his mind. “If they are true," said he,“ the wrath of God is now resting upon me; and oh! how dreadful ! how dreadful!” It may be supposed that the colporteur did not begin at once to tranquillize his fears: so far from that, he sought out some of the heavy threatenings denounced by the Almighty in his sacred word against the profane and intemperate, showing from them what a dreadful fate awaited them. 66 Am I then utterly lost ?” inquired the young man, in a tone of the deepest anguish. At these words our friend proceeded to point out the infinite mercy of the Lord, as recorded in numerous passages in holy writ, showing that he desires not the death of the sinner, but his restoration and conversion from sin. In fact, the result was, that the young man purchased a Bible, and surely never (observes the colporteur) was a Bible more favourably disposed of for benefiting the soul of the purchaser.
THE GIVER BLESSED.
An esteemed correspondent in Ireland says: “We have cause for deep thankfulness to Almighty God, and of grati
tude towards your valuable Society, that ever these little works (tracts) were brought amongst us, as you will see by the papers I enclose. I shall mention here that one of our distributors, who perhaps first undertook the office from a desire to oblige others, attributes his own conversion to his having read the tract, entitled Danger of Trifling with Convictions. He was very ill of fever lately; and one day that I inquired for him, his mother, with streaming eyes, assured me that she was resigned to part with him, should that illness prove his last ; for he had told her he had no fear of death, having tasted of the joy with which the stranger intermeddleth not,' ere prostrated by sickness. He is now recovered, and evidences his faith by his works.”
Amongst my visits as a tract distributor yesterday, I was at the house of an old man whose habitual breach of the third commandment was deplorable.
As often as I saw him, I remonstrated with him on the subject, but, as it seemed, in vain. Sometimes he laughed; at others, his very parting sentence was a shocking profanity. As may be supposed, he turned a deaf ear to all my entreaties that family worship should be established in his house.
“The last time, previously to yesterday's visit, that I was in his dwelling, I found his wife and daughters only at home. I spoke to them on the subject, when the youngest girl said she would go into the room off the kitchen, and read prayers to her mother and sister. I felt thankful to hear her promise this, and before I left the house, asked for the book, that we might have the prayer appointed for that morning ; which I used, adding a few words suited to the circumstances of the family. As we were about to kneel down, the father came in; and somewhat reluctantly, as it appeared to me, joined
“ Yesterday, when I went to the house, I found only the mother of the family there ; the
members of it having gone to a meeting, and her husband was lying on the bed; having, as she said, been taken ill on Saturday night. After a few minutes, he came out of his room, and sat down. We conversed for a little, but not a profane word escaped him. I returned once more to the subject, telling him of all the guilt that he was incurring by this sinful habit.
“I am trying to leave it off,' he replied. Do you remember the day you kneeled over there, and prayed that I might be turned from my evil ways? You said, “We have heard him ourselves.' It went to my backbone.' These were his words, and, oh! dear friends, I had the unspeakable comfort that day to hear that old man pray fervently, uniting with us at times in an audible voice. You would have almost thought he was a different human being. What good will all that I ever had on earth do me,' he exclaimed, if I am to spend eternity in misery?'
Friday: I saw him again to-day; he was better, and out of doors, when I reached the house, but soon came in, and listened with great attention while I read. I said I was thankful to find him better, and trusted he would be spared a little longer.
“He said, he trusted so too, as it would be dreadful to be called into eternity in his present state.
“You did not always know your danger,' I said.
“No,' he replied, not till lately, but your continued speaking made an impression on me at last, and I love you better than anybody else, except that old woman,' pointing to his wife.
“I should have told you, that when I first became acquainted with this person, he was perfectly deaf; so much so, that I could not, by any effort, make him hear a single word. After I had been some time a tract distributor, I was called down stairs one morning to speak to a person who was waiting to see me; it was this individual, who called on his way home from Castle Derg, to tell me that he had at length determined to take the doctor's advice, with whom he had just had an interview ; and his hearing was, and has ever since been, almost perfectly restored.
“ November 4, 18–. It is now several months since the old man, whose ears, in a double sense I trust, were unstopped, received the summons of death; but it is not many weeks since I heard glad tidings of him, when beseeching our smith (a young man) to desist from swearing; for after listening to me for some time, he said, 'Well, people may be greatly changed, for there was a person I once knew (mentioning my poor old friend) that used to come to my forge and curse desperately, and for some time before his death, when he came, he used to speak to us about it; and when we would not leave off he would go away.'