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for its original possessor, and of thankfulness to the Saviour of sinners.

The foregoing narrative naturally suggests the following observations

1. What encouragement is here given to earnest, importunate, persevering prayer! Many and fervent were the prayers of James's mother for him, and they were answered, though she did not live to know it.

Christian mothers ! pray earnestly for your offspring, while striving to train them up for God; desire the one thing for them, and according to your faith be it unto you. The story of St. Augustine's mother is well known. While he was in an unconverted state, she ceased not to supplicate God day and night for him ; and once, laying her case before her pastor and bishop, the celebrated Ambrose, he comforted her with these words : “ Go thy way, good woman; it is impossible that a child of so many prayers can be lost."

We do not say that the faith of one can save another; that were to subvert the gospel, and to set aside the one appointed sacrifice; but this we can say, that when God is about to bless he pours upon his people a spirit of grace and supplication ; and when they ask' faithfully, he can bless consistently with his revealed character, and he will fulfil his promise that when we open our mouths wide he will fill them.

2. How well calculated is this occurrence to strengthen the faith of those who are engaged in the work of instructing others.

Perhaps the teachers of James mourned over the intractable lad, and felt that they had laboured in vain, and spent their strength for nought. His want of capacity, joined with his dislike of the restraints of discipline, might have led them to think that in his case the promise of finding our bread after many days would fail.

But it was not so. One grain, so to speak, of the imperishable and incorruptible seed had fallen into his heart, and in due time God had given rain to cause it to bring forth and bud; the Spirit of God had watered it, and it took root downward, and bare fruit upward, even unto everlasting life.

Christian teachers, go on; remember, a word spoken in season, how good is it! “ In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand : for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that; or whether they both shall be alike good.” Strengthen then the feeble hands; go on stedfastly, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

3. How earnest should we be in our endeavours to circulate the word of God!

God is pleased to bring about his purposes by human instruments, and while the word of God was the means, by God's Spirit, of awakening James, the persons who furnished his mother with the Bible were the instruments God was pleased to appoint for supplying him with the word of life.

Friends and collectors of the Bible Society! go on in your course. You cannot trace the Bibles you circulate; you know not, and you will not know on earth, all the effects produced by them; but believe, be assured, they are great, for God has declared of his word, “ It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall

prosper in the thing whereto I send it.”

“ THERE IS NO SOCIETY THERE.” “ THERE is no society," said she, with a slight toss of her head; “ there is no society. North Wales in summer is, in many respects, very agreeable; the mountains are lofty, the waterfalls wild, the scenery romantic and beautiful; but I could not bear to live there, for there is no society.”

Often had I heard the same remark from those who for a short time had resided in the country, and often, too, had I carelessly admitted its truth; but on this occasion there was something in the slight toss of the lady's head that seemed so much to undervalue those with whom she had been obliged to associate, that I began to think more closely on the subject; and this led me to believe that all are not justified who say they have no society.

A well-informed mind and a lover of nature will find much enjoyment in the solitary seenes of creation; still, without the company of human beings, we are solitary. A man cast on a desolate island, surrounded by wild waves, with flinty rocks beneath his feet, and screaming sea-fowl Aying above his head, with which he can hold no communion, may well say that he has no society; but whether we are justified in making the same remark, simply because those around us are poorer, or in a lower position, or less educated and accomplished than ourselves, is a question that we should not too hastily decide. Must we refuse to companionize here with those whom we may meet in another world, on account of their stations and acquirements being inferior to our own? Hardly shall we be justified in going about picking and choosing and complaining, when we meet with no congenial companions who are superior, or equal to us, that we have no society.

The milk and kernel of the cocoa nut are not the less sweet, because the fruit has a rough outside. The cucumber is not the less cool and refreshing, because it grows upon the ground. Neither are the virtues we occasionally meet with in those around us the less estimable, because their possessors are neither among the polite nor the high-born of mankind. Often do those of whom we have thought but little win our regard. It is wiser to make the most of what we have than to repine for what we have not, and to seek out the good qualities of such as happen to be our neighbours, than to complain that we have no society.

Proper it is, certainly, that we should have suitable society and good society too, if we can; but what many mean by good society is rich society, high society, clever society, and fashionable society, without troubling themselves at all about their goodness. To be with those who are wiser and better than ourselves, and who can charm and instruct us, is a great advantage; but even when we have not these we may be wide of the mark, when we say that we have no society.

Some seek society to please their pride, to display their parts, and to pass away their time, which otherwise would be heavy on their hands, and others seek society for meaner and more censurable ends; these must be sadly at a loss, when they meet not with those who answer their several purposes, but it ought not to be so with such as desire to repay society as much as they derive from it. The more I think on this subject, the more am I disinclined to approve the light way in which many regret the want of society.

If we cannot have the company of those who can instruct us, benefit us, and set us a high example, let us seek those whom we can teach, benefit and encourage by the example we set them. If we cannot profit by others, let others profit by us; if we cannot get good, let us try to do good, this will be better than to give ourselves unnecessary airs; this will be much more becoming than idly and uselessly to lament that we have no society.

The rude, the vulgar, and the ill-conducted, ought to be avoided, but there are many who are neither high, rich,

talented, nor polite, who are well worthy of our best regard; such are the modest, the kind-hearted, the useful, the humane, and the pious. Among these we may always find something to commend and imitate, to approve and practise. Were we less selfish and more generous than we are, very seldom should we be found in the attitude of bewailing our want of society.

To sum up the whole in few words. Whether we are in the town or the country, in the streets of London or among the mountains of Wales, let us turn our position to advantage by trying to profit, as well as to be profited by, those around us; for if, in the spirit of philanthropy and kind-heartedness, we can enlighten the ignorant, assist the needy, warn the thoughtless, encourage the meritorious, set a praiseworthy example, and add to the hoard of human happiness, we shall find more solid satisfaction than we could derive from what is commonly reputed to be the very best society.

Old Humphrey.

OUR MERCIES.

SPEECH.

“ Had thought been all, sweet speech had been denied ;

Speech ventilates our intellectual fire;
Speech burnishes our mental magazine;

Brightens for ornament, and whets for use." All writers on natural history describe the instincts of animals as more unerring and more acute than the perceptions of man.

The
eye

of the hawk, we all know, is proverbially keen; when soaring at an almost viewless height he discerns the smallest field-mouse, or unfledged land-rail, sheltering in the grass, or creeping among the stubble. The vulture's sense of smell is also very exquisite; he is said to scent his prey afar off. Whilst the capacity for hearing in animals is much greater than ours.

But the gift of speech belongs exclusively to man. And very wonderful is this characteristic of an intelligent and immortal being. A little reflection on the subject, without entering into the nature of language, will enable us to perceive some part of the Divine wisdom displayed in speech. First of all let us consider the organ of speech, the tongue. Were we called upon to pronounce on the relative importance of the different members of the body, either from adaptation,

beauty, organization, or apparent utility, it is probable we should assign to the tongue a very inferior office.

The unrivalled structure of the eye (the soul's mirror) all would admire; the hand with its variety and flexibility of motion; its palm to hold; its fingers to execute ; and its delicacy of touch to discriminate; would be pronounced, as it is, admirable! But the tongue, having no symmetry of form, no division of parts, tied in its narrow cell, able only to move up and down, would excite no admiration; yet the tongue, aided by the voice, can convey in one moment that which passes in the inmost recesses of the soul. And with what nice care is this organ defended ; look at its ivory doors, arched roof, and lips veiling from sight all that would offend. And when we consider the twofold office which the tongue has to perform, to taste and prepare food, as well as to interpret thought, this delicate concealment is at once a beautiful and merciful provision. But indeed (fallen creatures as we are !) we cannot fail to perceive that a gracious refinement pervades the whole animal economy.

In the next place let us consider language. Reflect on its arbitrary nature; on the total dissimilarity between the conventional, the purely artificial sign, and the reality ; between the written word 66 eye,” for instance, and that beautiful orb, pencilled by the finger of God. Notice that with a combination of only twenty-four letters the inexhaustible wonders of creation, and the greater glories of revelation, can be described, or rather brought before the mind. Observe, in addition to this, the facility with which this combination of a few characters is made by the voice; so rapid, that the connecting links are not discovered; and that truths and results which required a long process of reasoning and investigation to arrive at can be conveyed to another in an instant.

Moreover, when we consider these things, and that the combination of these twenty-four characters is equally adapted to the profound reasoning of a Bacon, and to the babe prattling on the knee, we have cause to say that language is wonderful; and to exclaim with the psalmist,“ O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.” “ My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord.”

There is also another point of view in which the gift of speech may be dwelt upon with profit. The Lord inquired of Moses, “ Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb ?Now no one who is not familiar with the deaf and dumb can estimate their privations. They are strangers to

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