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ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.
Anecdotes, Selections, and Gems.
HIGHLAND PIETY.-One striking characteristic of the piety of the Highlander is his love for Christ. His love and devotedness to the Son of God are deep and fervent, and are not unfrequently exhibited in a desire to die, simply that the soul may enjoy his beatific presence. Of this, the following anecdote is a striking example:-A gentleman of piety and accomplishment was once travelling in the neighbourhood of one of the finest of our highland lakes. Being on foot, and fatigued with his journey, he asked a female cottager to favour him with a draught of water. She readily complied; and, feeling thankful and refreshed, he entered into conversation with her. "You live in a beautiful country," said he. "Yes," replied the woman; "and yet I often wish to leave it." "And why ?" inquired the traveller. "Because I desire a better country, that is an heavenly." This was said with such a placid smile, that the gentleman's interest in the speaker was singularly increased. She was still young, and did not appear unhappy; but, nevertheless, he thought there must be some secret sorrow. Surely," said he, "you must have met with some severe affliction thus to wean you from the world." "No," said she, "I have never known what affliction is. That is my husband in the next field: those are my children before you; and all my wants are supplied." "Then why do you wish so much to depart ?" inquired the gentleman, still more astonished. "Because," said she, "I feel so much love to Him who died for me, and rose again, that I feel as if I could not be entirely happy until I see him face to face."
The same pure and unsophisticated love to the Redeemer is also exemplified in the incident we are about to describe :-An aged highland couple were recently engaged in conversation respecting the heavenly state, to which both looked forward with humble faith and hope. In the midst of their discourse, the question arose, whether they would know one another in heaven? To the decision of this point they felt that they had nothing very determinate to guide them; but at length the old man, looking affectionately at his wife, observed "I trust it will be so; for I think that, if I did not see thee there, I would feel as if I experienced a want, even in heaven."
Well," replied the old woman, "I will tell you my thoughts about the matter. I think that I will be so much engaged in admiring Him whose blood saved me, and whose grace brought me there, that for the first thousand years I will not be able to look at any one else."
An aged woman, in the Highlands of Scotland, having to go the distance of six or eight miles to public worship, on her way one very wet morning was met by a friend, who said that it would be dirty travelling for her. "Yes," she said, "but although it is wet, yet
ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.
it is soft for my feet." The same friend met her next Lord's-day, and it being a very hard frost, said he thought that it would be unpleasant for her this morning, the ground being so hard. Her reply was "although it is hard yet it is clean." C. S.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE!-In the thirteenth century, the wages of a labouring man for fifteen years were barely sufficient for the purchase of a single copy of the Word of God! Few could read the dead languages, in which it was written. How great the change wrought by the translator and the press! The same amount of labour, which six centuries since a single Bible would cost, will now furnish the family of the labourer with an abundance, and then enable him to place 6,000 copies of the entire Word of God, or instead if he chooses, 25,000 copies of the New Testament, in as many destitute families, almost wherever in the wide world he pleases.
THE SECRET OF DYING GLADLY.-Believers, behold here the secret of dying! "These all died in faith," Heb. xi. 13. Bad men die reluctantly: life is extorted from them as if by main force. The believer dies willingly; his will is sweetly submitted to his Father's will; he makes it a religious act to die. Just as Jesus himself commended his human soul to his Father, saying, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," Luke xxiii. 46; so his believing disciple commends his soul to Jesus, and through him to the Father. Here, I repeat, is the secret how to die happily. To those who know not that secret, it is a fearful thing to die. It is a serious matter for any. But to the worldly-minded and ungodly, if not past feeling, to die must be as one of the heathen philosophers (Aristotle) confessed it, "of all formidable things the most formidable.' Only mention a neighbour's death in a gay circle: lo! you have thrown a gloom over the whole assembly: all are evidently sorry that the topic was introduced. The ancient Romans would not mention death in plain words, if they could avoid it, but only by circumlocution and implication. The heathens, at this day, in like manner, “shun all conversation on death, as most repugnant to their feelings;" I quote the words of an eyewitness: "they account it the height of cruelty to speak of the probability of a sick friend's death, even to his relatives." Even serious christians are often in bondage through fear of death. It is such a venture; a mistake may be so fatal; to go before God is so awful; judgment will bring to light such secrets; that many think, How can I die? Yet you all must. Be persuaded to give your soul to Jesus now; do it again from day to day; and then, when your dying day is come, again approach the Saviour, and say, "Lord, I hear thee calling for my spirit; I see the chariot sent to fetch me home to thee; in the hand of death I recognise thy hand of love: thou askest for my soul; take it, for it is thine. Do with it what thou wilt, I have given it to thee to be washed in thy blood, and sanctified by thy Spirit; I am sure thou wilt do it no harm!"
THE PENNY POST..
Does a thought here arise, and what shall become of my poor body? Why, even if, like Stephen's, it were battered and bruised with stones murderously hurled, even though it were burning at a stake, or tortured on a rack, you need not mind; look but that the soul be safe; and then, whatever may become of the body, Jesus will take care of thy dust and ashes. The remains of his faithful servants are to him the most precious parts of this material earth. They form a pledge of his final coming. For if your souls are truly his, he will hereafter raise up your bodies glorious, incorruptible, immortal, like unto his own. Phil. iii. 21.-Hambleton.
Farts and Hints.
THE WAY TO THE HEAVENLY CANAAN.-Nor can any one hope to arrive thither unless he first quit the Egypt of this world, and the prison of sin, and passing through the Red Sea of sorrowful repentance, he give himself up to be led and directed by the Holy Spirit, in the way to the heavenly Canaan.
SIN.-It were happy if we could be as loth to commit sin as to acknowledge it.
AN IDLE PERSON is a useless pest; while seeking ease he destroys his health and forges his own fetters.
ALL IS HOLLOW where the heart bears no part, and all is peril where principle is not the guide.
RELIGIOUS NEWSPAPERS.-But thirty-four years have elapsed since the first religious newspaper was started in the United States. Now there are upwards of one hundred.
THE MAYOR OF BOSTON, in Lincolnshire, has declared his determination to preside at no public dinner where drinking customs were permitted.
SPARROWS. It is proved that a pair of sparrows, during the time they have their young to feed, destroy, on an average, every week, 3360 caterpillars. This calculation is founded upon actual observation.
The Penny Post.
MORE PRIESTLY INTOLERANCE.
We have now, in former numbers, published several cases. task is unpleasant; and we feel as if we must restrain our friends a little, or we shall have letters on no other subjects. We encouraged our poor friends to state their grievances, and this fact has been drawn out thereby, and we wish our readers would note it-that the principal grievance of which our poor pious friends have to complain is the intolerant conduct of the state-paid clergy-and generally they are clerical magistrates. We shall be glad to receive letters for our Penny Post, on other subjects affecting their temporal or spiritual welfare. We now give two more cases.
THE PENNY POST.
LEICESTERSHIRE.- "As you encourage poor friends in country villages to send you facts respecting the persecution they have to endure, I venture to send you the following, as they were related to me by the father of the family concerned. A poor but pious man, a member of the baptist church at T- , has a daughter arrived at years of maturity, who was anxious to enter a Benefit Society there, but the articles were drawn up under the superintendence of the clergyman some years ago, who very prudently took care that one of them should forbid any person entering who had not been christened, unless they could procure a certificate from a magistrate, before whom they are required to take an oath of their age. Accordingly, the girl and her mother repaired to the residence of the vicar of E- for this purpose. After the request had been stated, the first words the reverend gentleman condescended to utter were something like these: "Have you been baptized in your infancy ?" This was answered in the negative, whereupon this pretended successor of the Apostles, mustering all the elocution he was master of, exclaimed, "How can she swear by a book she does not believe in having never been initiated into the church ?" And then addressing the mother, "This neglect will be required at your hands: you are worse than heathens, and in the road to destruction!" And for these conscientious reasons he would not give them the certificate. This is a specimen of a man who would tell you he was moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon himself holy orders, and is a successor of Peter the fisherman, and Paul the tentmaker, and an ambassador of Him who came to proclaim peace upon earth and good will to men. Surely the time will soon arrive when the episcopalians, being released from the power of the state, shall have the liberty to choose their own ministers, and not have thrust upon them such as these, who render themselves obnoxious to the whole parish by their intolerant conduct." W. H. WARWICKSHIRE.—A poor but zealous man, who filled the situation of gardener to an aged lady, a strict church-woman, in a village in this county, writing to us a few months ago, said: "I wish to let you know that I have brought down the most awful displeasure of the high church party against me for distributing your excellent books, and am now to be driven out of the village as the worst of all characters. I have lived here six years, and have always attended meeting_at and I have gone to the houses and read to the people when I had time; and I hope I have not laboured in vain. But a man and his wife having a child born lately, when two days old it was taken ill, and all the gentlefolks told them that they had better have it christened, for they were sure it would die. The parents said if they would bring one proof from the New Testament that it was right, they would consent; but if not, they never would, and, you know sir, they could not. The child did die, and now they say it is not gone to heaven, but some
where else. What ignorance is yet in our land, and among better people too! And now this is all laid to me and your books. Our old lady told me that she should not have minded so much about me going to meeting, but I have done so much mischief, as I have made all the people in the village dissenters. But I must go. Well I trust the God whom I serve will provide for me. I have not any settled home, as my father and mother have been dead twenty years. Though I leave, the Magazines will still be distributed, for I have engaged a friend to take my place." This young man could not meet with a suitable situation in England where he would be free to do good, and so he went to the United States, from which country we have lately received a letter from him. And so persecution for religion is yet driving Englishmen from their native land to the continent of America!