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Christian parents should seek to have spiritual children, among those who are theirs by natural birth. Your children are as a crown to you; and for this reason, because they have souls that will never die, which God has entrusted to you, and will hereafter require at your hands. Woe to those who, by procrastination and evil example, or neglect of training, deprive their Master of his rightful servants !
Teachers of schools for the higher and lower classes ! yoyrs is a heavy responsibility, the care of souls that are entrusted to you in their tender years. Watch over the still unfruitful spots in the garden of the Lord. Young people are like young trees, easily ruined and corrupted. Seek not only to plant in them the various kinds of human learning, but that knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ his Son, which maketh wise unto salvation. It is something to have trained one learned man, but how far better is it to train many to be holy and happy!
Finally, let all seek to help one another; to remind and reprove each other as brethren; to instruct and warn men upon this most important point, the salvation of the soul. a pearl, or even a penny, were lost, would you not seek diligently till you had found it? And the soul is worth more than all the pearls, or money, which the whole world contains. Should we then spare trouble in seeking that the soul may be saved ? May God teach us to feel its real worth. Amen.
THE SEARCH FOR PEACE. WHEN an Englishman, in conversing with a Hindoo devotee, who was lying on a bed of spikes, seemed to doubt the reality of his faith, and to question the sincerity of his devotion; the poor man merely pointed to the spikes, and smiled at the incredulity of one whose eyes could witness so clear an evidence that there was no deception. The spectator might well have pitied the absurdity of such a belief, the folly of such a religion; but he had no ground for questioning its reality.
An old lady who was in the habit of keeping a strict account of her own conduct, acknowledged to a clergyman of her acquaintance, that she never looked over her diary without finding a long catalogue of such proceedings as she could not but lament; that she never balanced her account without finding the balance greatly on the debtor side. " I do not
wonder at it,” said the clergyman ; 6 but when you find it so, what do you do?” “Oh,” said the lady, " I read a certain number of sermons.”
It was obvious, from the answer of this old lady, that reading sermons was to her an operation of the same character as the lying on spikes was to the poor Hindoo. It does not seem likely that she anticipated that any great spiritual good would be produced in her own mind by the contents of what she read; but she thought it right to read sermons, and knew that the doing so was an act of self-denial to her ; and she denied herself, and did it, because in some other point she had given way to her own wishes, and had done wrong. The Hindoo expected to be exalted in a future state, by the sufferings which he had voluntarily inposed on himself in this; the lady intended to punish herself by doing that which she disliked ; she hoped to gain a sort of pardon by her self-inflicted severity. The principle which influenced these persons is not very different. It may, however, be questioned whether we can be sure that what this lady did was unchristian, merely because the same sort of thing might be done by a Hindoo ? and a prudent Christian might be unwilling hastily to give a decided answer, for there are many duties which are common to all religions; but if the act was unreasonable in a Hindoo, the same sort of act must be unreasonable in a Christian, and at all events, the proceeding was not such as to characterize it as Christian ; and what we are now seeking for is, to ascertain that which distinguishes Christianity.
A Hindoo who was converted to Christianity expressed himself in something of the following manner: In early life I exercised myself in the superstitions of my own creed, but was never satisfied with that which my teachers directed me to perform. I could not help perceiving that the God of the universe could not be gratified by the absurd species of devotion by which I was directed to endeavour to obtain his favour. My own moral sense told me that I had done evil, and how could that evil be wiped off by irrational, degrading, and cruel rites ? I saw that I was wrong, but I knew not where to fly. I was convinced of my own guilt, but I loathed the expiations to which I was directed to apply in order to obtain relief. The Mohammedan to whom I applied told me that God was good and beneficent, and that if I would draw nigh to the God whom he worshipped, I must make myself holy, and be bountiful to my poorer fellow-creatures.
All this was rational ; I saw the truth of his positions, but my newly acquired knowledge gave me no comfort. No doubt holiness would please a holy God; but I was not holy. No doubt acts of kindness and justice performed towards men, would please a Deity who must approve of those virtues which shine forth so brightly in himself; but how was I benefited by this? I was not holy towards my God; I had not conferred any benefits on my fellow-men, so that the more pure and just the God of the Mohammedans should prove, the less hopes had I of being able to endure his judgment. I saw that there was reason and truth in their religion, but this only tended to alarm my fears, and to cut me off from hopes of safety. But when I listened to a Christian teacher, he told me of Jesus, the son of Mary, who had come down from his Father in heaven to die for sinners. This was what I needed. The God of the Christian hated the sin, but he spared the sinner, and I fled to Jesus and found peace.
Dr. Short, Bishop of St. Asaph.
CHRIST IS ALL. The religion of the cross is full of Christ. Christ is associated with all its duties and all its hopes. Christ is its centre, Christ is its living head, and it lives not, any more than an amputated limb, when severed from Christ. Only as its root strikes downward, and clasps this Tree of Life, does it bear fruit. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” The Christian is nothing, has nothing, can do nothing, without Christ. It is a bastard Christianity that owns not Christ as its parent. It is an ignorant Christianity that looks not to Christ as its teacher, and that follows not his teaching. It is an unpardoned Christianity that looks not to Christ as its priest. It is an impure Christianity that is not washed in the blood of the Lamb. It is a disloyal Christianity that does not recognise Christ as its King, and that hesitates to obey where he commands. It is a wayward Christianity that looks not to Christ as its example, and that does not follow where he leads the way.
The knowledge of the Christian is the “ knowledge of Christ.” The love of the Christian is the “ love of Christ." All his graces find their element at the cross.
Christ crucified is his glory and joy. Christ in his uncreated glory; Christ in his humanity; Christ in his obedience and temptations; Christ in his death and resurrection; Christ in his kingdom and on his throne; Christ in his weakness and his power, in his reproach, and in his honour, in his past history and his coming triumphs, is the mighty magnet that attracts the heart, that moves and fixes it, and that fills it with grateful astonishment and devotion. Christ in the word and ordinances is meat indeed to him when he is hungry, and when he is thirsty it is drink. In the storm and tempest, Christ is his hiding place; in the parched desert, he is as rivers of water ; under the noonday sun he is as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land : Christ near him is his consolation in sorrow, in joy his triumph. Christ in him is the hope of glory. He seeks supplies only from the fulness of Christ. In death Christ is his life, and his resurrection in the grave. When he stands in the judgment, Christ is his Judge; and through interminable
Christ is his heaven. The religion of the cross is full of Christ; and this renders it so peaceful and happy a religion, and imparts to it, not indeed the paroxysms of ecstacy, but “the peace of God that passeth all understanding.” It begins and takes root in the soul, not until it has first felt the burden of sin and a sense of its condemnation; not until it has learned to cry for mercy at the foot of the throne; and not until it has found relief in believing in the Son of God, and receiving him as all its salvation and all its desire. Then its peace is as a river, and its joys as the waves of the sea. It is the counterpart of heaven. It is the cup of joy from the river of life, which, clear as crystal, flows from the throne of God and the Lamb.
Spring's Attraction of the Cross.
SHALL WE TRAVEL ON THE SABBATH? The question, “Shall I keep the sabbath-day holy ?” was recently answered by eleven young ladies, who were travelling, under circumstances of peculiar trial and interest.
On Tuesday the 1st of June, 1847, these young women, with others, were placed by their Christian friends on board a packet-boat, with the understanding that the boat would arrive in Buffalo with them before the sabbath. They were a company of pious, well-educated young ladies from New England in America, on their way west, under the direction of a Society for the promotion of religious education in the west.
Owing to the delays of the boat, it became evident to them on Saturday morning that they would not be able to reach their destination before the sabbath, and immediately it became to them a question of deep solicitude, What shall we do? Shall we stop at a public-house, among strangers, without a protector? or shall we quietly remain, and arrive in Buffalo on Monday? All felt as if they could not think of travelling on the sabbath. The captain of the boat assured them that his arrangements were, not to travel on the sabbath at all, but spend them alternately in Albany and Buffalo, and leave those places alternately every Monday morning, but that he was now behindhand, and he must run his boat just this one sabbath to prevent breaking all the other sabbaths during the suinmer! he had made their journey as pleasant as possible, and if they left, it would seriously injure the reputation of his boat as well as his own; for he regarded the sabbath; and thus he appealed to their sympathies, and assured them that not one minister in ten, under the circumstances, would think of stopping, and besides, it was intimated to them that it was exceedingly indelicate for such a number of young ladies to stop a day or two at a public-house, alone and unprotected. They were also unacquainted with travelling alone, or with Christians in Western New York.
To add to their embarrassments, their little private funds had been mainly deposited for safe keeping, and would meet them only on their arrival in Buffalo. They talked long and earnestly over the subject, then held a prayer meeting, and prayed for Divine direction and wept. Not one of them could bear the thought of trespassing on God's holy day.
Finally, they ascertained that a few of the young ladies had a very few dollars with them, and by lending to each other, eleven of them gathered funds enough to keep them at an inn over the sabbath, and help them on towards Buffalo on Monday morning.
At this crisis, the boat arrived at the village of Newark, and two of the ladies improved a moinent's delay of the boat, to call on the Presbyterian clergyman, although a stranger, for counsel. He in haste, as the boat was leaving, wrote on a scrip of paper to a friend in Palmyra, as follows :-“Bro. P. In the name of the Lord, give these sisters your hospitality, who for conscience sake stop to keep holy time. They are on their way west as teachers. Yours, G. R. H. S. Newark, Saturday."
They had doubts about their reception at Palmyra, but were conscientiously determined to stop ; and in a few minutes