« AnteriorContinuar »
important; and to practise many things which he has supposed inconsistent with religion. Then commence the disastrous effects. The young Christian begins to feel that he need not be more particular than those to whom he has ever looked up with deference and respect. He begins to imagine that he has been rather too strict and particular. He begins to take a retrograde course; and though his conscience and the Bible often check and reprove, yet after a few inefficient struggles, he lowers his standard, and walks as do others.
Look into your Bible, and see how Christians ought to live. See how the Bible says those who are Christians must live; and then if
find your professedly Christian friends living in a different way, instead of having cause for feeling that you may do so too, you have only cause to fear that they are deceiving themselves with the belief that they are Christians when they are not. Remember that the farther your Christian friends depart from the standard of Christian character laid down in the Bible, the less reason have you to hope that they are Christians. And do not hesitate on this subject, because you find many professed Christians who are indifferent, lax in their practice and example. Remember that Christ has said, Many shall say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord;" thus claiming to be his disciples, to whom he 6 I never knew you.”
A GOOD DEED LOUDER THAN A TRUMPET. It happened, at a time when the poor of certain village were in great need, that a charitable lady undertook to give away, twice a week, to every one who came for it, a jug of good soup with a piece of meat in it. There was no need of setting the bellman to work to make this known, for it ran like wildfire from cottage to cottage, so that in a little time there was not a poor person in the village who did not know it.
There is an old saying, “ Ill news flies apace;" but when people are as much interested in good news as in ill news, the former flies quite as fast as the latter. No wonder when a house is on fire that the calamity should be very soon known, because the smoke and the flames are seen ; and no wonder when a grand wedding takes place that a knowledge of the joyful event should rapidly spread because the church bells proclaim it aloud; but only let bad news and good news start fairly without smoke and flame on the one hand, or the ringing of bells on the other, and it will be seen that good news will run quite as fast as bad news.
On the very first day in which the charitable lady gave away
her soup, a showman came to the village to pick up a penny by exhibiting a crocodile. The crocodile in the painting seemed alive enough, for he was in the act of swallowing a tiger, but the crocodile in the show was stuffed with straw. The showman began to bawl out through a speaking trumpet an account of the wonderful monster he had in his possession. All the time the showman was making as great a noise as he could, the poor people of the village were quietly moving along towards the house of the charitable lady, till at last the showman lost his temper. Halloo, old fellow !” said he to a grey-headed man who was passing by with his jug. 6 Where are you all off to ? Here have I been hooting myself hoarse, through my speaking-trumpet, for these two hours, and nobody seems to hear me!”
“Very likely," replied the meek old man, “very likely, but the truth is that the good lady who lives on the hill yonder, a mile off, has undertaken to feed the hungry; this is a good deed, and a good deed speaks louder than a trumpet !”
“ Blessed is he that considereth the poor : the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing : thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness,” Psa. xli
. 1–3. “ To do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased,” Heb. xiii. 16.
“ GOD'S BLESSING ON THE DANCE.” ELIZABETH, who had been taught better things, was arrayed in the garb of fashion, and ready for the amusement of the ball-room. As she stood at the glass, placing the last rose amid her clustered locks, she hastily turned round and said to me, “ Why, what makes you look so sad? What is the matter ? Come, do not be sad any more. Put this rose in my hair, and see how pretty it will look.”
I kissed her cheek; and as I bade her good night, whispered—“Can you ask God's blessing on the dance, Elizabeth?” She gave me a quick, earnest look, and hurried down the steps.
At an earlier hour than usual I heard Elizabeth's voice at the door. I was up stairs; and when I went down to meet her, I found she had retired to her room. I followed her thither, wishing to see her a few moments before I slept. She supposed all the family had retired, and her door was unlocked. I entered, and found her on her knees before God: her hands uplifted, and her streaming eyes raised to heaven. “Hear my prayer, O Lord, I beseech thee, and let iny cry come before thee,” was her language.
I returned to her room in about half an hour, and welcomed her home.
“ Yes,” said she, “ I have got home. In that bewildering ball-room I danced with the merriest, and laughed with the loudest; but there was an arrow here," and she laid her hands on her heart.
“God's blessing on the dance! Those words rang in my ear at every turn. Oh, if God will forgive the past ; if he will yet receive me; I will turn my
all this gilded foily, and lay upon his altar what I once promised to lay there-my whole heart.”
We kneeled together, and asked God to strengthen the resolution now made in his name. Our prayers have been heard ; for, among the group of lovely disciples who keep near their Lord, walking in his footsteps and bearing his cross, few are more humble, meek, modest, consistent, and devoted, than the once gay and thoughtless Elizabeth G.
S. S. M.
I CAN SAY YES. WHAT WILL YOU SAY ? THOMAS HOOPOO was a member of the Foreign Mission school at Cornwall, Connecticut, in America. After some two years' residence at Cornwall, at the request of the clergyman of Brunswick, who had formed an acquaintance with Thomas, he accompanied Deacon H., with whom he was boarding, and who was on his way to Philadelphia, to Brunswick.
On the evening of their arrival at B., a select company, including the clergyman, were invited to spend the evening with a lawyer of the place. Thomas, then about sixteen years of age, accompanied the clergyman.
The lawyer entertained the company for a long time by interrogating Thomas in reference to his native country, their customs, religion, enjoyment, etc.; and especially upon their religion, compared with the Christian religion. Thomas very patiently answered his questions, often to the great amusement of the company. At length the lawyer, who was not, as is believed, a religious man, ceased, and Thomas commenced in substance as follows:
“ I am a poor heathen boy. It is no: strange that my blunders in English should amuse you. But soon there will be a larger meeting than this. We shall be there. They will ask us all one question, namely, “ Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ?' Now, sir, I think I can say, Yes: what will
you say, sir?
He stopped : a death-like stillness pervaded the room. At Jength it was broken by a proposal that, as the evening was far spent, they should have a season of devotion, in which Thomas should pray. It was acceded to, and Thomas, in his accustomed meek and affectionate manner, addressed the throne of grace. Soon he prayed for the lawyer in person, alluding to his learning and talent, and besought that he might not be ignorant of the way of salvation through Christ. As he proceeded thus, the emotion of the lawyer's breast rose above all restraint, the flowing tears could not alleviate it. He sobbed aloud. The whole company were affected, and the sobs drowned the speaker's voice.
Soon they separated, and retired to their respective rooms. But there was no rest for the lawyer. The question of Thomas rang in his ear—" What will you say, sir?" He paced his room in anguish. The Spirit of God had touched his conscience. He found no rest until he could answer the thrilling question proposed by that once “heathen boy” in the affirmative.
A few days afterward, on the return of Deacon H., several of the party were rejoicing in hope, who were careless sinners previous to the question of Thomas. A powerful revival of religion followed, all apparently resulting from the faithful dealing of that illiterate boy.
Christian friend, go thou and do likewise. Western Herald.
GOOD SERVANTS. SWEEPING condemnations of whole classes can seldom be just ; and this remark is quite true in regard to the complaints frequently made against servants in general of extravagance, love of change, impertinence, and so forth. There are, alas ! evil people in all ranks and conditions, but, by God's merey, no station is destitute of some righteous persons, who adorn the doctrines of God their Saviour, and do honour to their position.
Such is the case with regard to servants; and the simple memorials of a few who have been distinguished for good principles and conduct, may, by God's blessing, be of use in removing unfounded prejudices against the class, and in encouraging many worthy servants to persevere in well-doing, and to cherish the belief that they are much valued and respected by those whom they benefit by their kind and faithful service.
Mary T., the subject of this memoir, was the daughter of respectable but poor parents, in one of the western counties. Her father had been a seafaring man, and was drowned when pursuing his calling. His daughter spoke with horror of having seen the vessel in which he was, sink, with all the crew, as she was watching it, on a bright morning, from the quay of her native town. A sudden squall came on, the vessel was upset, and all on board were consigned to a watery grave.
The little Mary was early taken into the house of a lady in the neighbourhood, who had her instructed, and, by keeping her about her person, imparted a superiority to her mind and feelings. It is not known exactly till what age she continued under this kind lady's protection, nor what circumstances led her to the distant county in which great part of her life was spent. She there entered the writer's family as nurse, and, for many years, discharged her duty with the utmost fidelity to the wayward child committed to her care. No amusement allured her from her charge, no privation could induce her to neglect it. Her strict integrity caused her to be regarded (as is, unhappily, too often the case) with jealousy and dislike by her fellow-servants, and, in the midst of a large establishment, she was often allowed to be dinnerless, because she would not leave the little girl alone to fetch her dinner, and the maid appointed to carry it to her would not show her that attention. Of course this was prevented when discovered.
Mary T. fulfilled the duties of the nursery governess of the present day, teaching her little charge the first rudiments of knowledge, to read with care and good accent, etc., etc., and at the same time endeavouring to imbue her heart and mind with what is more precious than all, religious feeling and instruction. How vividly impressed on my recollection are my first walks to church with this faithful nurse. We lived in the country, and attended one of those venerable yet simple