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and treated tenderly; but there are seasons when they require to be taken by the shoulders and shaken, before they awake from their apathy and sinful repining. Is it not an unreasonable speech for a man at midnight to say, “ It will never be day?” It is as unreasonable for a man in trouble to say, “ O Lord, I shall never get free; it will always be thus, and never end.”
Let me just put the thoughts of your heart into words, Andrew, and they will be enough to make a Christian man blush, “ Almighty God, thou hast made me in thy wisdom, thou hast preserved me in thy goodness, from the days of my infancy, even until now. Thou hast bestowed upon me innumerable mercies. Thou hast given thine only Son to die for me, thou hast put into my hands the words of eternal life, and promised me the sacred influences of thine Holy Spirit. Thou hast been to me a wise Counsellor, “a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” a faithful covenant-keeping God; and yet, for all this, I cannot trust thee any longer. I doubt thy love; I disbelieve thy word; and I choose the dark and gloomy forebodings of my own desponding mind, rather than the bright and glorious influences of thy promises, thy presence, and thy salvation."
Think of this, Andrew; and if you do not return as a chastened child to your heavenly
Father; if you do not magnify the Lord, and rejoice heartily in the strength of his salvation, I shall mourn over you, as over a backsliding brother, and pray for you as for one who setteth light by his Lord and Master, and undervalues the sacrifice of his Saviour Jesus Christ.
A CALL AT A COTTAGE ON A SATURDAY.
Stop! stop! Mrs. Jenkins. If I had not spoken just in time, your bucket of water would have filled my shoes. So, you are cleaning up your house for to-morrow. That's right! I dearly love to see a little preparation for the Lord's day. If many of your neighbours would follow your example, instead of gossiping away their time at their doors, it would be better for them. How excellent a thing it is to stir about, and to have things in comfortable order against the day of rest ; so that when you get up in the morning there is nothing to hinder you from going to the house of God, and making the most of the sabbath day! I usually take a peep into the houses, as I pass by on a Saturday, and always hope and think favourably of every woman, whom I see busy with her mop and scrubbing brush. We all need help on our way to heaven and the merciful provision of a day of rest is as marrow to the bones of many a toil-worn, and
heavy-laden Christian. But mind, Mrs. Jenkins, that to prepare for the sabbath day, and then to neglect its advantages, would be a great mistake. Therefore make the most of God's gifts. “Serve the Lord with gladness : come before his presence with singing.-Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise : be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations,” Psa. c. 2, 4, 5.
A CALL ON A BLIND MAN. Here you are, sitting at your door as usual, Ambrose, enjoying the sunbeams, though you cannot discern them; I am glad to see you look so cheerful. The breeze blows delightfully this morning. A good man once said, that the wind was an emblem of our heavenly Father, for though we could not see it, yet it always made us sensible of its presence and its action. God is always making us sensible of his presence, by his manifold mercies; and though he has taken away your sight, he has given you his grace.
“ Oh that all the blind but knew him
And would be advised by me;
This is a dark world, Ambrose, to all who have not the light of God's countenance, but especially to the blind. However, He who said, “ Let there be light; and there was light,” Gen. i. 3, can turn the darkness into day, and bid the heart that is bowed down with care, “ rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
One of these days I shall call in and sit awhile with you; for a little cheerful conversation sometimes does us good, and makes our hearts glow again. Let me, in the meanwhile, leave you a text of Scripture to reflect on; a precious promise to the pilgrims of the cross: “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them,” Isa. xlii. 16.
A CALL ON A BEREAVED PARENT. I have just looked in, Mr. Stevens, to say that I feel for you in your trouble, which is great; but He who has in faithfulness afflicted you, will, I doubt not, in mercy bind up the bones that he has broken. It is a hard thing to know how to speak to a bereaved parent; for when the harp is hung on the willows it will murmur, let the wind blow from what quarter it may, and oftentimes the soul refuses to be comforted, even though the consolation comes from Heaven. An overburdened heart sometimes turns away from the Bible itself, and doubts the promises of the Redeemer ; but this should not be the case, you know it should not !
Your daughter was, no doubt, dear to you ; but do you not think she was dearer to her Creator and Redeemer? I am told that you take this affliction more to heart than a servant of God should do; and that you see the bitter cup much plainer than you see the Almighty hand which presents it. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, and still more faithful the wounds of the sinner's Friend, who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and whose grace is allsufficient; therefore have confidence in God:
“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace ;
He hides a smiling face.”
Perhaps you have been unmindful of your blessings, and required this chastisement. Your child was a simple-hearted and dilige:it scholar at the Sunday school, and you believe that she sought salvation through the Redeemer alone. Here, then, is mercy mingled with judgment, and