Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

neighbourhood, as a hasty spirit and a turbulent tongue. I had rather see a house on fire, than hear two neighbours, who ought to dwell together in peace, giving way to anger, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness. You are reddening up, Hannal, and are, no doubt, ready to justify yourself; but, for all that, it is my duty to tell you that in quarrelling, as you do so often, you are sinning against God, and breaking his commandments.

If you read the tracts which, from time to time, I leave with you; if you attended Divine service more regularly; and if, above all, you pondered your Bible more frequently, with an humble spirit and fervent prayer, you would see the sin of quarrelling in all its deformity.

The wolf may prowl, the tiger howl,

The lion rend his prey;
With anger prest, the human breast

Is fiercer far than they.

If you were as anxious, Hannah, to put peace into your own heart, as you are to plant a thorn in the breast of your neighbour, you would bear with an injury, and return that soft answer which turns away wrath. If you are in the wrong, you ought to do this; and if you are right, it will be still more to your credit to show a forbearing, kind, and forgiving spirit. What say the Scriptures? “ Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you,” Ephes. iv. 32.

Whatever you may have to reply, tell it to me when I call the next time; you look too angry now. What I have said from my own heart, think lightly of, if you like; but what I have spoken from God's holy word, do not despise. It was more than human kindness that first taught us to forgive our enemies, but we are not true disciples of Jesus Christ if we do not practise the lesson. You may think of it as you will, Hannah, but no one respects you on account of your high spirit and turbulent tongue. You may be feared, but you cannot be loved. Take a word of advice, pray more frequently and more fervently that the grace of the Holy Spirit may restrain your growing infirmity, and enable you to conquer your besetting sin. Forgive your neighbour Sanders, and be reconciled together in peace and Christian affection.

Thus spoke, when he was here below,

The Lord of earth and heaven : “Till thou canst every sin forgive,

Thy sins are not forgiven.”

A CALL ON AN OLD SAILOR. Visitor. Good morning, Benjamin, good morning; you do well to be reading your Testament. Time has been when I should have found you employed in a different manner. Never was there a more turbulent, headstrong spirit than yours; but God's grace can make a lion into a lamb.

Benjamin. Ay, sir, I was rough enough, and wilful enough; but “let by-gones be by-gones.” I never look back on my past days without feeling ashamed of them.

Visitor. Well, 'tis a mercy that a change has taken place. You are now a God-fearing man. Most men who have been at sea, like to have their rooms hung round with pictures of battles; but your room looks peaceable enough. The Testament on the table, the tracts on the chimney-piece, the Christmas carols against the wall, and that picture of our Saviour riding into Jerusalem, all bespeak that you are a man of quiet and peaceable habits.-Oh, here is the tract about “ James Covey;" I see, you don't forget your old comrades.

Benjamin. No, sir: I have read the tract over many times, and that part of it where poor Covey cries out, “ Well, never mind! I have lost my legs to be sure, and mayhap may lose my life; but we've beat the Dutch ! so I'll have another cheer for it; huzza, huzza !” That part, sir, often brings to my mind my own fierce and determined spirit. I felt just as Covey did, when I lost my leg; but the same mercy that melted the lion heart of Covey, melted mine, and made me more anxious to conquer sin, than to gain a victory over my fellow creatures.

“A tar should be true to his country and king,

And have none in the world to upbraid him;
But his heart should confide in the Saviour that died,

And praise the Almighty that made him.”

Visitor. It is said, that God never takes anything from his people, without giving them something better in return. When he took away your leg, he gave you a knowledge of yourself as a sinner; and when he deprived you of the disposition to glory in your own deeds, he gave instead, the desire to glory in the grace, mercy, and truth of Jesus Christ. Pilgrims to the heavenly city must sometimes walk among briers and thorns ; but whether in peace on land, or mid the battle's rage on the mighty ocean, those for whom the Saviour shed his blood are safe. “ They that have God for their God, have angels for their guard.” My visits are never very long, Benjamin, and I must be going now. It may do us both good to remember that “a believer's comfort in living, is to live to Christ; and in dying, it is that he shall go to Christ.” Farewell.

A CALL ON A LIGHT-HEARTED YOUNG MAN.

Visitor. Ay, ay, Frank, you are singing away, and I heartily love cheerfulness; but I wish, with all my heart, that I could hear you singing the praises of the Redeemer. Some day or other I hope a new song will be put into your mouth, even thanksgiving to God. You must not expect to pass through the world always as lighthearted as you now are.

Frank. Oh, I warrant me, what should hinder it? I have no notion of going whining along as some people do. Do your best and fear nothing, is my motto.

Visitor. And yet there is much to fear when we have done our best, Frank; for the best we can do is bad enough. You must expect troubles as well as your neighbours.

Fortune may favour, fancy may beguile,
Hope wave her golden wings and sweetly smile ;
But sad experience, with a brow o'ercast,
Sighing with grief and pointing to the past,
Whispers, the fair illusion to destroy,
“ That joy unmingled, is not earthly joy."

It is an excellent thing to have a cheerful heart: but, for all that, if we have not something better to depend upon in “the sundry and manifold

« AnteriorContinuar »