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emptied, and the grey old walls of the little church are filled. Everything looks serene and lovely. The picture is a “repose,” in the highest style of its Great Author—the Father of Peace and the God of all comfort.
We cannot of course look into the hearts of all who act a part in this beautiful spectacle. Yet regarding it as a whole, who can fail to realize the ejaculation of the psalmist? “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts, My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God !” We are prepared for the insinuations of the supercilious or the cynic, who will tell us that these are the mere externals of religion; and that there is no true christianity in all this. We are willing to give them a margin, but we cannot grant the whole question. The gospel net gathers of all kinds, good and bad, and a mere formal attendance in God's house is far better than no attendance at all. He who saw Nathanael under the fig-tree and Zaccheus in the sycamore, has his eye now upon the sanctuary, and will still make Zion his rest, and the birth-place of his chosen ones. They are in the way, even though they may be making no forward movement.
Our constant prayer is for a creed as large as that of the apostles, " Grace, mercy, and peace be upon all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,” and we by no means think the mercies of the gospel are confined to any section of the church visible. We have glanced at but one aspect of the common salvation-one feature only in the smiling countenance of an English Sabbath-day. Perhaps it is the prettiest and most attractive, but there is an earnest thoughtfulness, and sweet sobriety, and holy quiet, breathing in many of its other lineaments. The little meeting-house just on the verge of that heathery hill receives its band of worshippers as well as the grey old church. The place has almost a Quakerly neatness, merging perhaps into meagreness in some of the details. But the district is poor, and the good people have paid for it without the same appliances as the more orthodox. The preacher is a plain man, but so was Paul; and he has perhaps as few of the graces of oratory as Peter the fisherman. But God is worshipped in spirit and in truth ; and the Sabbath there, as elsewhere, is a high-day.
But beside the direct comforts and blessings of the Sabbath, who can say to what extent we are benefited indirectly by the public recognition of these returning seasons. They give the character and furnish the rule, whatever may be said of infractions and exceptions.
An Englishman cannot cool down his conscience to the freezing point of open Atheism, or a practical rejection of all these means of moralization and christianization. If he skulk at home, he feels that he has no business there, when every one else is at church or chapel. If he catch the echo of their mingled songs of praise as he loiters in his little garden, he feels that what is joy to them is but a reproach to him, and though he affects to disbelieve these professions, he knows they tell the truth, as they sing together
“I have been there, and still will go,
“ Tis like a little heaven below." But amidst this general profession of a common faith, where are those who are just now wanting to revolutionize our country? Where are our disaffected plotters against the powers that be? Where are they on Sunday? Let us see.
Here is one of them in Paris. He has crossed the Channel to see how they manage matters in that beautiful land of liberty, brotherhood, and equality. You may see him sauntering up and down the streets, with incipient moustaches and a dirty looking beard, as if the first lesson to be learned in the theory of good government, were to disfigure his features and acquire the French swagger. The shops are open, though we cannot say that business is going forward. Since the last glorious upsetting of all order, there has been very little of that. But the Parisians are in their boutiques—some of them on the counters, playing at dominoes, cards, dice, or chess; some of them looking sadly dispirited at their position and prospects, and others seeming the very embodiments of melancholy as if they thought a tax of 48 per cent. rather too high a price to pay for a few days' anarchy and bloodshed. But our countryman is picking up a Great Idea. He is going not merely to patch up our constitution when he comes home again, but to give Old England an entirely new one. And what a charming school is that in which he is studying. Frivolity and foolery, and braggart talk, and open violation of the
Sabbath, and practical infidelity and licentiousness, are the salient points in this illustrious picture. Just as our quiet, happy peasantry are wending home from church or chapel, the delegates of that great nation are threading their way from all parts towards the National Assembly. At an early hour of the afternoon the president takes the chair, and one after another, or it may be, half a dozen together, discuss the position of affairs, or rather poetize on the theory of mending every one but themselves. Then amidst a hundred Non! nons! and as many Oui! ouis ! a sprinkling of interruptions ; a fair share of cris; a large mixture of sensations, and a mouvement or two, the theory of the day is propounded, canvassed, and found wanting; and when the Assembly meet again, they go over the same ground with about the same result. And this is Sabbath work in happy, happy France ! The humble lover of his country and his God in England has learned in passing through the valley of Baca to make it a well; but the poor distracted brotherhood of that enlightened land, in passing through a well watered garden, turn it into barrenness and drought. They go from weakness to weakness, whilst their opposite neighbour goes “from strength to strength,' singing in the quaint old tones of one who has gone home before him.
" And now my soul like a quiet palmer
Travelleth toward the land of heaven,
But after, it will thirst no more.” But the Assembly breaks up, and the day-a day of stirs and distraction, and vanity-wears on. It has nothing of repose about it; and just as we are gathering again to evening service, the Frenchman is repairing to the Vauxhalls and Cremornes of Paris to listen to the comic songs and ribaldry of hired mountebanks, amidst the blaze of lanterns and the noise and false excitement of every unclean and hateful passion.
This then is the school of beardless chartists and clamourers
for civil and religious liberty. But how nearly allied is such liberty to licentiousness. When any man sets up for a preacher of equality, or a despiser of the powers that be, ask yourselves the question—Where is he on Sunday? Where are all those pestilent fellows and movers to sedition who have lately obtained so unenviable a notoriety? Where are they on the Sunday? We all know where they are not-among the multitude of those who keep holy day.
And is not this fact alone abundantly sufficient to satisfy all thinking minds that they are at best but blind leaders of the blind. Where are Saint Monday's demagogues on the previous day. Plotting in the halls of Socialism, or the low tavern, or on some wide and remote common, against rulers and governors of all grades, from the lowest form of magistracy to the very throne of God himself.
Shall we choose such as these for leaders in our march towards the Utopia of fools. Let this be the pass-word of all loyal men and true-" Where is he on the Sunday?"Let us not trust him even though he tell us he is serving God in his own way, by cultivating the mind He has bestowed upon him—though he lingers within the walls even of some literary and scientific institution, falsely so called. If he be not where his Master bids him be, look on him with suspicion, turn from him, and pass away. Such literature and science are developed in a prospectus now before us. Here are some of its “advantages !"
“On Sunday mornings, at eleven o'clock a general meeting of the members is held, which terminates at one.
“A dinner is provided on Sundays, at one o'clock, in a coffeeroom commodiously and elegantly fitted up, and supplied with the principal publications of the day.
" In the afternoon at three o'clock a class meets for the study of Phrenology, aided by proficient teachers, and an extensive collection of busts, casts, and books.
“The Sunday evening lectures will be employed in distributing healthy mental information upon philosophical and moral subjects of general interest, preceded and followed by music and singing, by the powerful organ and choir of the Institution.”
If such be the pabulum necessary to mental health, who ould not end his days an invalid ? Because of Sabbath
breaking the land mourneth ; and yet some think to pour over it the oil of joy and praise by turning the songs of the temple into the howlings of democracy. Israel with all its weight of crimes cried only in its worldliness—“When will the Sabbath be gone?” but the “physicians of no value” who have taken up the case of Britain put it out altogether, and decree that it shall be no more!
We believe this picture is not overdrawn. We have long watched the movements of the disaffected and disloyal of the present day; and whatever may be the varied aspects of this body in points of minor moment, we think that few of them will stand the test we have proposed—Where are they on the Sunday ?
Do we want a land without its Sabbaths, or a kingdom without allegiance to the King of kings ? Choose you this day whom you will serve, and let the one-voiced verdict of our readers be “ As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
THE LAMB AND THE CHILD.
(From Pearce's “ Voice in Rama hushed.") A little child wandered from its mother's cottage on the prairie, in search of flowers. Pleased with the pursuit, and absorbed in new pleasures, it was nearly night before she thought of returning; and then she attempted in vain to retrace her steps, and was lost in the pathless meadows. She sat down and wept. She looked in all directions, in hope of seeing some one to lead her homeward, but no one appeared. She strained her eyes, now dim with tears, to catch sight of the smoke curling from the cot she had left, but in vain. She was alone in the wilderness; and hours had passed since she had left her home. A few hours more and the dark night would be around her, and stars would look down upon her, and her locks would be wet with the dew. She knelt on the ground and prayed. Her parents in the cottage were beyond the reach of her voice, but her heavenly Father, she knew, was always near, and could hear her feeblest cry. Mary had been taught to say “Our Father ;” and in this time of sorrow, when friends were far away, and there was none to help, she called upon Him, who has said to little children, “Come unto me." Mary had closed her eyes in prayer, and when she opened them she espied a lamb. It was seeking the tenderest herbs among the tall grass, and had strayed away from its mother and