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CALL ON A YOUTH WITH A BIRTHDAY
Visitor. Come, I am glad to catch you at home, Edward, for I have brought you a little present, remembering that it is your birthday.
Nephen. Oh, it is a knife, and a capital one, too ; just what I wanted, uncle. I shall so like it, and will keep it, and value it, for your sake.
Visitor. I am not quite certain of that, for [ fear many of your birthday presents are thought but little of, and not always used to the best advantage.
You had five invaluable birthday gifts bestowed upon you in your earliest infancy, each of them of greater worth than a king's crown. The gifts that I speak of are your five senses, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling, given you by the Giver of every good gift. By hearing, you are enabled to understand the thoughts of others, to receive the admonitions of the ministers of the gospel of Christ, and to partake of the pleasure of music, the singing of birds, and the soft murmur of winds and waters.
By seeing, you can read the Bible, receive delight from the beautiful creation which God has made, and avoid many of the dangers by which you are surrounded.
By smelling, you enjoy the grateful scent of flowers, and the balmy breath of the morn; and learn to know what food would be disagreeable to eat.
By tasting, you derive pleasure from the various kinds of sustenance so bountifully provided for you by your heavenly Father ; flesh, fish, fowl, and the fruits of the ground and of the trees.
By feeling, you enjoy the grateful warmth of the sun, the accommodation of your clothes, and the delightful freshness communicated by pure water. Feeling also assists yoų in writing, drawing, and in handling different tools. Now, do you often think of the value of these birthday presents, and of the great goodness of Him who bestowed them upon you ?
Nephew. I cannot say that I do; but I hope that what you have said will make me more mindful in future.
Visitor. In addition to these birthday presents, God has given you the goodly gift of reason, to enable you to put the rest to a proper use, and added, also, the glorious gift of his holy word, whereby you are taught the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you undervalue these great gifts, it is hardly likely that you will long value the trifling one which I have given yo!. Bear in mind, Edward, that where much is
given, much will be required. If you love God heartily, you will prize his gifts highly; and prove this by employing them in his service. Say to yourself, morning, noon, and night :
O God of love and power divine !
CALL ON TWO AGED VILLAGERS. Ay! ay! Master Gilbert, you and your old dame nave found out the truth of that text of Scripture
- Wisdom's “ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace,” Prov. iii. 17. You are reading the Lord's book on the Lord's day, and are therefore in the way of adding to your treasures by seeking out the precious promises of God. “Every one that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened,” Matt. vii. 8. I saw you both in the house of God in the morning and the afternoon, and you are no doubt encouraged by the word of consolation which God sent you by the mouth of his servant the preacher. It is pleasant for the weary pilgrim in the sandy desert to drink of the brook by the way, and to lift up his head; and equally pleasant it is for the aged Christian, in his pathway
to heaven, to partake of the living waters of eternal life, contained in the Holy Scriptures.
What a lovely day, and what a glorious sunset!
The sun sets as brightly, and heaven and earth are as fair on a week day as on the sabbath ; but when the mind has been tranquillized by the services of the sanctuary, when hope has been brightened, and faith strengthened by the spiritual privileges of the Lord's day, everything seems to wear a fairer aspect.
“Is there a time when moments flow
More lovelily than all beside ;
A sabbath eve in summer tide.
Oh, then the setting sun smiles fair,
And all below and all above,
One universal garb of loye,"
CALL ON A YOUNG CRIPPLE. Michael, I never make a call on you without regretting your infirmity; and yet when I see the thoughtless follies into which too many young people run, and observe your patience and humility, and especially your attention to Divine things, I cannot help thinking that God has clealt mercifully with you.
To be cut off in youth from the sports and enjoyments in which other young people indulge, appears hard; but if we believe that God has the will and the power to do what is best for all who call on his name, it will reconcile us to our afflictions, as well as add to our enjoyments. We cannot tell why one flower is nipped in the bud, and another permitted to bloom ; why one tree is smitten by the lightning, while another stretches forth its branches abroad uninjured. Nor need we afflict ourselves about the matter. If God so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son to die for us, we need not doubt that his protecting arms are around us, and his watchful eye over us for good. He will do that which is right for his people. I have heard the cripple on his crutches, and the aged in the midst of infirmity, rejoice that they had been afflicted; and God, who sanctified their afflictions, can abundantly sanctify yours. It is a great blessing, doubtless, to enjoy youth, to join in the buoyant pastimes of light-hearted companions; in the season of recreation to ascend the hill, and roam through the flowery valley, while the healthful breeze is blowing around ; but it is a still greater blessing to have the heart drawn by love to magnify the Lord, and the spirit to rejoice in God our Saviour. Be encouraged, then, Michael; if you are the