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those delightful days of early spring, which give so pleasing an earnest of whatever is mild and genial in the better half of the year. All the workmen rested at mid-day, and I went to enjoy my half-hour alone on a mossy knoll in the neighbouring wood which commands, through the trees, a wide prospect of the bay and opposite shore. There was not a wrinkle on the water, nor a cloud in the sky, and the branches were as moveless in the calm as if they had been traced on canvass. From a wooded promontory that stretched half way across the frith there ascended a thin column of smoke; it rose straight as the line of a plummet for more than a thousand yards, and then, on reaching a thinner stratum of air, spread ont equally on every side like the foliage of a stately tree. Ben Wevis rose to the west, white with the yet unwasted snows of winter, and as sharply defined in the clear atmosphere as if all its sunny slopes and blue retiring hollows had been chiselled in marble. A line of snow ran along the opposite bills; all above was white, and all below was purple. I returned to the quarry convinced that a very exquisite pleasure may be a very cheap one, and that the busiest employments may afford leisure enough to enjoy it.
When my first year of labor came to a close, I found that the amount of my happiness had not been less than in the last of my boyhood; my knowledge, too, had increased in more than the ratio of former seasons, and as I had acquired the skill of at least the common mechanic, I had fitted myself for independence. The additional experience of twenty years has not shewn me that there is any necessary connection between a life of toil and a life of wretchedness; and when I have found good men anticipating a better and a happier time than either the present or the past, the conviction that in every period of the world's history the great bulk of mankind must pass their days in labor, has not in the least inclined me to scepticism.-Hugh Miller's “Old Red Sandstone."
INVENTION. See man yonder, bending over his stone mortar, working away to beat his grain into a more esculent form. He stops, and looks at the torrent rushing down a rock ; he begins to think, he whistles a little, and whittles a little, and contrives a little machine which he gradually develops. Look at him again, how proudly he stands, with folded arms, looking at the huge things which are working for him. He has made that raging torrent as tame as his horse ; he has given it hands, and put the crank of his big wheel into them, and made it turn his ponderous grindstone. What a taskmaster! Look at him standing on the ocean beach! He has conceived, or heard, that richer products may be found on yonder invisible shore ; his mind sympathizes with his physical nature. See, there is a new thought in his mind! He remembers how he first saddled the horse; he now bits and saddles the mountain wave. Not satisfied with overcoming this element, he breaks another for his purposes, and with his water-horse, and his air-horse, and his steam-horse he drives across the waves of the ocean with a majesty and a rapidity, that would make old Neptune blush with envy, and sink his clumsy chariot beneath the wave. See, now he wants something else! He has plodded along with his one-horse waggon till he is disgusted at his slow progress, and he makes an iron-horse, with ribs of steel, and limbs of brass, which he loads with half the contents of a village, and away it thunders over the iron road, breathing forth fire and smoke in its indignant haste to outstrip the wind -Elihu Burritt.
Enquiries and Correspondence.
Original Sin. SIR,-Perceiving that you kindly answer inquiries, I shall feel much obliged if you will do so with the following:
Man is born with such a depraved heart that he cannot help sinning against God, and incurring his displeasure; but, as it is not his fault that he is so born, how can we reconcile the fact of his deserving punishment with the known immutable justice of God.
Yours very respectfully,
C. H. M.
The doctrine that man “cannot help sinning against God," is nowhere taught in the Bible, though there is certainly such an inveterate tendency to do wrong in our corrupt natures, that no man, Christ only excepted, ever lived a life of perfect holiness and
conformity to the Divine will. God punishes us not for our inability, but for our unwillingness, to do what is right.
We are no judges as to what is just in God's sight, as he is at once the Eternal Source and Standard of all justice ; besides which, the fact is quite notorious, independently of all Revelation, that children do suffer for sins committed by their parents, and for which, according to our imperfect notions, they are in no way responsible; as stated more at length in our next answer.
Entailed misery. SIR,-You would much oblige a reader of your valuable magazine, by reconciling the latter part of the second commandment (Exod. xx. 5.) commencing “ For I, the Lord,” &c. and several other passages of similar meaning; (and we find that God did act so in the cases of several of the kings of Israel-punishing the children for the sins of the parents) with Matthew xvi. 27, and other passages, again proving that we shall each be judged for our own sins only, M. D. F.
Our ideas on the subject of punishment are exceedingly im. perfect, and widely different from those entertained by God himself. The texts cited by our correspondent refer to different doctrines, the first treating of temporal visitations inflicted for correction and warning; and the last, of eternal rewards and punishments administered as retributive.
There can be no doubt of the fact that children often suffer for the sins of their parents, as where any specific disease, or a weakly constitution is inherited. Nor are these entailed disorders confined merely to the body; they extend also to mind and estate. A man of weak or imbecile intellect has not unfrequently children of the same stamp; and those who have brought up their offspring in luxury and affluence, leave them sometimes to endure all the privations and sorrows of the most abject destitution.
Now in all these cases, the fact is undeniable, that the sins of the father are visited on the children; but then it must be borne in mind that the Bible has nothing to do with it. This will be sufficiently evident if we apply these remarks to heathen nations who are subject to the same law, which is indeed entirely an arrangement of Providence, and not one of the specific doctrines of Scripture.
Scripture Tasks. Dear Sir,—Would you kindly favor me, through the medium of your magazine, with your opinion respecting the practice of requesting children to learn a chapter in the word of God, as a punishment for want of diligence, or any other offence. By so doing you will greatly oblige,
We by no means approve of the practice, which we think calculated to produce a distaste for the Bible. There is, however, some difference between “ requesting” and compelling such a service ; and whenever there is anything like a cheerful compliance on the part of the child, and an obvious propriety in the portion selected, it is perhaps allowable.
A MEMORIAL OF LITTLE ALBERT.
(Concluded from page 238.) His last hours are thus touchingly described :
“ He slept--not deep, but tranquil ; it was repose. As many times, throughout the night, he opened his eyes, looked towards the chair beside him, where I kept ceaseless watch, and said — There's dear mamma again. Oh! go to bed, you will be tired. Oh, how I love you!' Then slept, then looked again, murmured, I love you!' and then slept again. Bertie well knew the willing spirit and weak frame of her on whom he lavished so much filial love. I was weary, and sometimes the watchful and jealous spirit detected for an instant the slow drooping of the heavy eyelids ; it was but a moment, ere the Saviour's touching reproof, • Could'st thou not watch with me one hour ?' flashed through the unwearied, ever-waking spirit, while on its heels would follow the sad thought that soon I should be bidden,
Sleep on now, and take thy rest;' and these recollections were the infallible dispellers of drowsiness, and safe props to the faithless, falling eyelids.
“ There is a world of which it is written, 'There shall be no night there. There is a world which is described by him who cannot lie, as being ' outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth ; where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.' But in this ransomed world no night is so dark but it must give place to the light of the alternating day; nor so long, but it must be broken in upon by the grey, welcome streaks of morning. Oh! welcome
morning to the weary watcher of the night. On, if the lost could witness one more morning! The morning which now arose on Bertie, ushered in the last day of his short pilgrimage-a day never to be forgotten-a day passed on the confines of glory,
“Just on the verge of heaven.' • Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!' seemed to have been whispered in his enraptured ear. He awoke, and looking upwards, spoke of Jesus-his loveliness, his sufferings, his cruel death-the wrestlings of God's Spirit with rebellious man, and the completeness of the gospel scheme; and then burst forth into ex. pressions mingled with wonder and pity, that any could refuse so full, so free, yet so dearly purchased a salvation.
“ After leaving his dying testimony to God's truth about his holy child Jesus,' Bertie appeared to be somewhat exhausted, seeing which, I proposed breakfast. This was simply barley water, of which he took a deep draught, saying, “What a delicious breakfast! Thank you, thank you !' After this he slept again, and on awakening he seemed much refreshed. I feared that he might become worse or be suddenly removed ; and, therefore, I inquired if he would like to see his brother, who was the next younger than he, being just six years old; to which he gladly assented, and I called him in. He welcomed him with a sweet smile, and then addressed him thus— Well, Ernest, you see I am very ill.' 'Poor little boy!' said Ernest, his breast heaving with emotion to see the partner of all the joys and sorrows he had ever known now pressing his pale face upon a dying pillow. 'He's a poor little boy, mamma,' sobbed the sorrowful child. 'Mamma, did you give him my money to buy something to cure his cough, when I told you?' " I'm not poor, Ernest,' said Bertie; ' Thank you, dear Ernie, for the money. I have suffered very much. If you had suffered what I did yesterday, how you would have cried! I was never so ill before, mamma; was I? But Ernest, Jesus has made me ill. He is going to take me to himself. I am going to heaven; and I shall see Jesus! And he will put on me a robe white and glistening; and I shall have a harp, and a crown, and walk with all those that are saved ; they are all clothed in white shining garments—but Jesus is the brightest of them all. There is no night there, and no sorrow, and no death. Will you meet me there, Ernest ?' said he, with a look of intense solicitude, and full of deep affection, as he lay at the edge of the bed looking into his brother's face, as if he tried to read his very thoughts. Yes, Bertie,' said Ernest. • But,' continued he, with deep solemnity, testing the foundations- Are your sins pardoned ?' Ernest did not reply, so he went on thus— 'Now if you were going to die, would you