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THE FIRESIDE.

The Fireside.

RELIGION AT HOME.—"Let them learn first,” says Paul, “ to show piety at home.” Religion begins in the family. The holiest sanctuary on earth is home. The family altar is more venerable than any altar in any cathedral. The education of the soul for eternity begins by the fireside. The principle of love, which is to be carried through the universe, is first to be unfoided in the family. We learn to love God by loving our brothers and sisters and mother. That is, we exercise the same feeling which, in an exalted degree, is to be directed to God. So that it is true in a sense more familiar, and yet more comprehensive, than is commonly given to it: “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen ?"

FIRESIDE VERSES.

BY CHARLES SWAIN.

OUR HOME AND FRIENDS AROUND US.

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THE QUIET VOICE OF KINDNE 88. On, there's a power to make each hour Time to me this truth has taught, As sweet as heaven designed it;

('Tis a truth that's worth revealNor need we roam to bring it home,

ing) Though few there be who find it! More offend for want of thought, We seek too high for things close by,

Than from any want of feeling;
And lose what nature found us;

If advice we would convey,
For life has here no charms so dear
As Home and Friends around us! If we've but a word to say,

There's a time we should convey it,
We oft destroy the present joy There's a time in which to say it.

For future bopes and praise them;
Whilst flowers as sweet bloom at

Oft unknowingly the tongue
our feet,

Touches on a chord so aching,
If we'd but stoop to raise them!

That a word or accent wrong,
For things afar still sweeter are,

Pains the heart almost to break-
When youth's bright spell hath

ing;
bound us;
But soon we're taught that earth has Many a tear of wounded pride,

Mauy a fault of human blindness, naught

Has been soothed or turned aside
Like Home and Friends around us.

By a quiet voice of kindness.
The Friends that speed in time of

need,
When Hope's last reed is shaken, Many a beauteous flower decays,

Though we tend it ere so much;
To show us still, that come what will,

Something secret in it preys,
We are not quite forsaken:

Which no human aid can touch.
Though all were nigh—if but the
light

So in many a lonely breast
From Friendship’s altar crown'dus, That if touched is more oppressed,

Lies some canker grief concealed, 'Twould prove the bliss of earth was

Left unto itself is healed!
this-
Our Home and Friends around us!

THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.

The Children's Corner.

ance.

THE TWO BROTHERS.-In Mr., broken the laws of the school, after Kilpin's school were two brothers repeated warnings; you have said from 11 to 12 years old. One of he must suffer; therefore, as I know these children had, after repeated you would not speak an untruth and admonitions, manifested & deter. the laws must be kept, and he is mined obstinacy and sulky resist- sullen and will not repent, what can

Mr. Kilpin told him that the be done, sir? Please to take me, result of such conduct would be a because I am stronger than her" chastisement that would not easily The boy then threw his arms around be forgotten. He was preparing to his brother's neck, and wetted his inflict it on the still hardened child, sulky hardened face with tears of when his brother Paul came for- tenderness. This was rather more ward and entreated that he might than poor James could stand firmly. bear the punishment in the place His tears began to flow, and his of his brother. Mr. Kilpin remarked, heart melted; he sought for forgive“My dear Paul, you are one of my ness, and embraced his brother. Mr. best boys, you have never needed K. clasped both in his arms, and chastisement; your mind is tender, prayed for a blessing on them from and I could not be so unjust as to give Him, of whom it was said, “He you pain, my precious child.” The was wounded for our transgressions, dear boy said, “I shall endure more he was bruised for our iniquities : pain to witness bis disgrace and the chastisement of our peace was suffering than anything you can in- upon him; and with his stripes we flict on me; he is a little boy, and are healed.” younger and weaker than I am; pray, sir, allow me to take all the punishment; I will bear anything

THE DAISY. from you. O do, sir, take me in ex

BY JOAN MASON GOOD, M.D. change for my naughty brother !" “Well, James, what say you to this Not worlds on worlds in phalanx noble offer of Paul's?" He looked

deep, at his brother, but made no reply. Need we to prove a God is here; Mr. K. stood silent. Paul still en- The daisy, fresh from winter's sleep, treated for his punishment, that it

Tells of his hand in lines as clear. might be finished, and wept. Mr. For who but he that arch'd the skies, K. said, “Did you ever hear of any And pours the day.spring's living who bore stripes and insults to

flood; shield offenders, Paul ?” “O yes, Wondrous alike in all he tries, sir, the Lord Jesus Christ gave his Could rear the daisy's purple bud? back to the smiters, for us poor Mould its green cup, its wiry stem; little sinners, and by his stripes we are healed and pardoned. O sir,

Its fringed border nicely spin; pardon James for my sake, and let And cut the gold embossed gem, me endure the pain. I can bear it

That, set in silver, gleams within? better than be.” “But your brother Aud fling it, unrestrain'd and free, does not seek pardon for himself; O’er hill, and dale, and desert sod; why should you feel this anxiety, That man, where'er he walks, may my dear Paul: does he not deserve

see, correction ?” “O yes, sir, he has In ev'ry step, the stamp of God!

THE PENITENT PRISONER.

And

BY THE LATE REV. J. HINTON, BAPTIST MINISTER, OXFORD.

TOWARDS the latter end of December, 1804, I received a letter from Thomas Davis, a prisoner in Oxford castle gaol, requesting that I would visit him for the purpose of communicating religious instruction. I immediately complied with his request, and found him to be a man of respectable appearance and agreeable manners. He told me that he had been committed to prison a few days before he wrote to me, on the charge of uttering a forged Bank of England note. Upon my inquiring into the reasons which had induced him to make this application, he replied to this effect :-“When I was apprehended at Chipping-Norton, I dropped some expressions of dread respecting the gloominess of a prison, and the evil company that is usually found there; and added, I fear no one will be there to pity me. God have mercy upon me! These words were overheard by a kind-hearted man who was present, and he told me he was sure Mr. Hinton, if sent for, would visit me in prison. This assurance gave me joy, and I now thank you, sir, that you have come at my request.” what,” said I,“ is your wish, now I am come ?" He answered, “I am committed for a crime which, if proved, will affect my life; but, though this is a serious matter, I am far more concerned about my general conduct and character. I have lived in a very bad way. There are many sins which human laws do not punish, and the crime for which I am committed is but a small part of my guilt: my life has been full of evil; I wish therefore to think of it all, and to know the best way of preparing myself to meet my great account.” This frank address very much interested me. I immediately furnished him with a Bible, and some other books, and exhorted him to faithful examination, repentance, and prayer. At the next interview, he appeared to me to possess a full belief in the being and government of God, and a conviction that he had exposed himself to his displeasure by a life of sin; but he seemed to know nothing of the necessity or design of the death of Christ, and had not thought at all on the depravity and treachery of his own heart. He believed he could by his own repentance make atonement for sin, and by his own strength cast off its power. “Were I but once out of prison,” said he, “I would

THE PENITENT PRISONER,

never do a wicked thing again all my life.” When I expressed my apprehension that, if he could be set at liberty that day, he would in a month be as bad as he had ever been, he seemed astonished that I could entertain so ill an opinion of him. After I had referred, in proof of the wickedness of the heart and the folly of trusting it, to several scriptures, and especially to the self-confidence and subsequent fall of Peter, he was silenced; but he was not convinced that it was possible he could ever become wicked again. My conversation and prayers, together with the reading of the Scriptures, (to which the prisoner paid great attention) were directed to open to his view the plague of his own heart; the essence of his guilt, as contained in those depraved and sinful dispositions by which he had been led to the commission of so many crimes; and the absolute insufficiency of liis repentance and obedience to make atonement for his sins, or to remove the sentence of divine condemnation which lay upon him. Very soon I perceived that

my

labour was not in vain. I saw each day increasing light break in upon his mind. In a few days he said, “Sir, 1 perceive you are right: my bad thoughts and bad designs, my purposes and contrivances of iniquity, are indeed the greatest part of my guilt; and now, what is worst of all is that, though I would repent, my heart is hard, and I cannot. Evil thoughts break into my mind, and I cannot drive them away; and every night, when I am in my cell, my whole life comes in review, with a thousand things which I have not thought of for many years, and all is so black and dreadfulWhat shall I do?" Then clasping his hands with eagerness, he added, “O God be merciful to me a sinner! But ho I expect mercy, who went on in sin till justice laid hold on me, and who came to God only because I had nowhere else to go! How can such repentance as mine be sincere! What will become of my soul! I fear not death, if God will but have mercy on my soul !”

It became necessary now to administer the consolations of the gospel: and I endeavoured to unfold to the trembling penitent, the fullness and freedom of divine mercy, through the sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus. For some time he greatly hesitated to receive the consolation : but on making it a matter of earnest prayer for several days, that God would enable him to apprehend the Saviour's willingness, as well as his ability, to save the chief of sinners, I perceived the gloom gradually wearing off his mind. He began to say, " It is

can THE PENITENT PRISONER.

O that I may

possible that I may be saved, and I have a little hope. Christ died for the worst of sinners. Christ saved one thief who repented in his last hours; surely he can, and he may, save me. It seems," added Davis, “as though God had thoughts of mercy towards me; else why did he bring me here? Why has he given me three months to think of my conduct, when I might have been apprehended and tried in three days? How I came to be at Chipping-Norton, I cannot tell; I had no business there, but surely it was that I might be brought hither to be taught the way of salvation. I bless God night and day that I ever entered the walls of this prison. The little hope I feel that I shall obtain mercy from God, gives a happiness to which none of the pleasures of sin can ever be compared. I never knew anything like happiness till now. but be saved at the last !"

Two or three weeks before his trial, there remained but little doubt on my mind of his being a partaker of divine grace. About this time I conceived it proper to state to him (for I saw that he was able to bear it) that the nature and circumstances of his offence were such as to preclude all hope, either of an acquittal or a reprieve; and that it was kindness in his friends to request that he would contemplate death, as an event both certain and at hand. He received this communication with great solemnity; but replied, “ It does not grieve me, so that God will show mercy to my soul.” “That,” I replied, “ he has promised to do, and he will not break his promise.” “Then,” added Davis, “I will hope. Let us kneel and pray:"—an exercise for which he was always ready. He passed the fortnight preceding his trial, in alternate hope and fear respecting the safety of his soul. His great inquiry was, “ How can I know that my repentance is sincere, or that I should not, if screened from present punishment, return to sin again?" At other times he would exclaim, “God who knows my heart, knows that I should dread to return to sin, as the worst of punishment."

His trial took place on the 7th of March. He was conricted on the clearest evidence, and the Judge, in passing sentence, assured him there was no hope of mercy for him, but at a higher than an earthly tribunal. Having already the sentence of death in himself, he met the decision without any violent agitation; and both before and after his trial, seemed strongly affected by no circumstances but those which

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