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changes of the world ;" if our hearts are not fixed “where true joys are to be found;” all our cheerfulness will not render us happy under he troubles of life, and will do nothing for us in passing through “ the dark valley of the shadow of death.”
Frank. My heart never failed nie yet, however; and as to what may happen, that is all uncertain.
Visitor. No, no, Frank, all is not uncertain. It is certain that we shall meet with worldly trouble; it is certain that we shall be tempted with sin ; it is certain that we shall die; it is certain that we shall all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; and it is equally certain that we shall be happy or miserable through eternity. There is no uncertainty about these things, and there ought to be no backwardness or delay in preparing for them.
Frank. Well, I always hope for the best.
Visitor. But if the best hope in your heart be not fixed on Divine things, it may as well be fixed on the sand by the sea shore, which is moved backwards and forwards with every tide.
Our hope is hopeless if God hide his face ;
Our faith is faithless if not fix'd on high :
And all our uprightness dishonesty :
tor, hard lessons become easy. Bear in mind, Frank, that they who fear God least, have reason to fear him most; and that none are so likely to die a death of hope and confidence, as they who live a life of faith and obedience. Farewell.
A CALL ON A READER OF TRACTS.
Visitor. As you are at the door, Mr. Start, I will put a tract into your hand as I pass : “Repentance and Happy Death of Lord Rochester.” Perhaps you may not have read it.
Mr. Start. No; for I very seldom read any tracts at all.
Visitor. And yet you might get some good from them. When a tract is written in a good spirit, given in a good spirit, received in a good spirit, and read in a good spirit, it seldom fails to produce some benefit. I would not ask you to read that tract, if I thought it would do you an injury.
MIr. Start. Oh no, I dare say not; but there are so many notions of one kind or other afloat, that I can hardly believe any of them.
Visitor. One reason why there are such different opinions among mankind may be, that many people think of this world alone, while others bear in mind that there is a world to
come. “ The two best things,” said a philosopher, “ are health of body and peace of mind.” “In my opinion and experience,” replied an aged servant of Christ, “there are two still better-a conviction that we are sinners, and a knowledge that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” We know that health of body is sure to decline, and that peace of mind, without a well-grounded hope of heaven, cannot last long; whereas, if, knowing we are sinners, we seek Him who died to save us, it will be a blessing to us through all eternity. But I must go on; good morning, Mr. Start; oblige me by reading the tract I have left with you.
A CALL ON A PARTY OF BOYS. Here you are, all as merry as crickets, as lively as singing birds, and as busy as bees in their hive on a fine summer's day—not a sorrowful face among you. I expected how it would be; holiday and happiness are the same things in the mind of young people. Well, in my time I have been as merry and light-hearted as the best of you; nor do I think that we can be too happy in this world, if our happiness be not of a kind to interfere with our hope of a better.
It is not my intention to interrupt you in your sports, and indeed I am in too much haste to
stay with you long; but for a few minutes gather around me, and I will tell you a tale. Ay, ay! I see that you are all ready enough to listen to my tale, but whether you will be equally ready te profit by the lesson it conveys, is not equally certain ; however, I will begin, for your eyes are set upon me almost as though you were ready to eat me.
Once on a time lived a powerful king, who reigned over a large and fertile country. He had crowns of gold and pearls, and sceptres of ivory and precious stones. His treasury was full of the costly things of the earth; tens of thousands of armed men were ready to obey his bidding, and his dominion extended from sea to sea. But without God's blessing worldly possessions are but an increase of care, and as this mighty monarch feared not God he was dissatisfied and unhappy.
In the dominions of the king lived a certain dervise, famed for abstinence, sanctity, wisdom, and piety; and the king, willing to profit by the instructions of the holy man, paid him a visit. He found him clothed in sackcloth, living in a cave surrounded with high rocks, on the borders of a wilderness.
“Holy man,” said the king, “I come to learn how I may be happy.” Without giving any reply, the dervise led the king through the