Page images
PDF
EPUB

ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS. century, the delight of pious cottagers and artizans, before it was publicly commended by any man of high literary eminence. At length, critics condescended to inquire where the secret of so wide and durable a popularity lay. They were compelled to own that the ignorant multitude had judged more correctly than the learned, and that the despised little book was really a master-piece. Bunyan is as decidedly the first of allegorists as Demosthenes is the first of orators, or Shakspere the first of dramatists. Other allegorists have shown equal ingenuity ; but no other allegorist has ever been able to touch the heart, and to make abstractions objects of terror, of pity, and of love.Nlacuulay's History of England.

THE GOLDEN PROMISE.—For a long period had a kind-hearted christian prayed for the conversion of a dear relative, and had made many attempts, so far as he could prudently, to draw his attention to the concerns of his soul, but all without any apparent effect. One day he received a hasty message to visit him. He found him on the bed of affliction, reduced in body, and troubled

in mind. His first words were, “I want you to talk with me. Do you think there is any hope for a sinner like me? Tell me the strongest promise you can think of.” His friend immediately thought of John vi. 37, which Bunyan calls “ that golden promise" _"him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." He took the promise, and looked at it, and kept hold of it, and at length exclaimed, “Oh, it is so good—'I will'in no wise cast out;' and I hope he wont.” He found joy and peace through believing in Jesus, and died rejoicing in Him, aged thirty-two.

PAYING FOR A Pun.-A Methodist congregation at Kelso, when some repairs were about to be made upon their chapel, sent some of their number through the country to get subscriptions for the undertaking. An old widow brought a subscription-paper to Sir Walter Scott. He read only the preamble and the conclusion, which bore"and your petitioners shall ever pray;" and returned the paper to the woman with a guinea, saying, “Well, well, my good lady, here is something for you, as I am very anxious to have the prayers of the righteous."

Look UP!-A little boy went to sea with his father, to learn to be a sailor. One day his father said to him, “ Come, my boy, you will never be a sailor if you don't learn to climb; let me see if you can get up the mast." The boy, who was a nimble little fellow, soon scrambled up; but when he got to the top and saw at what a height he was, he began to be frightened, and called out,“O father! I shall fall; I am sure I shall fall; what am I to do?” “Look up, look up, my boy,” said his father; if you look down you will be giddy, but if you keep looking up to the flag at the top of the mast, you will descend safely." The boy followed his father's advice, and reached the bottom with ease. Learn from this little story to look more to Jesus and less to yourselves. Look up !

ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.

Selections. The Path to HEAVEN.-Every one that gets to the throne must put his foot upon the thorn. We must taste the gall if we are to taste the glory. God brought Israel through the Red Sea, and led them into the wilderness. You must go through the wilderness if you are to come to the land of promise. Some believers are much surprised when they are called upon to suffer. They thought they would do some great thing for God; but all that God permits them to do is to suffer. Go round to every one in gloryevery one has a different story, yet every one has a tale of suffering. One was persecuted in his family, by his friends and companions; another was visited with sore pains and humbling diseases, neglected by the world; another had all these afflictions meeting in one-deep called upon deep. Mark, all are brought out of them. It was a dark cloud, but it passed away; the water was deep, but they have reached the other side. Not one of them blames God for the road he led them: “salvation," is their only cry: Are there any of you mourning at your lot? Do not sin against God. This is the way God leads all his redeemed ones. You must have a palm as well as a white robe. No pain, no palm; no cross, no crown; no thorn, no throne; no gall, no glory. Learn to glory in tribulation also. “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us."

M'CHEYNE. A Prous Peasantry.—The christianity of our ploughmen, our artisans, our men of handicraft and hard labour, is not the christianity of deceitful imagination, or of implicit deference to authority, but of rational belief, firmly and profoundly seated in the principles of our moral nature, and nobly accredited by the virtues of our well-conditioned peasantry. In the olden time,—that time of Scriptural christianity in our pulpits, and of psalmody in all our cottages,—these men grew and multiplied in the land; and though derided in the heartless literature and discountenanced and disowned in the heartless politics of other days, it is their remnant which acts as a preserving salt among our people, and constitutes the real strength and glory of the Scottish nation. CHALMERS.

Evil Thoughts. Let us beware of evil thoughts. To harbour them is to harbour a merciless tyrant, who will fetter every attribute of the soul, and kill the very life of virtue within you; to harbour them is to harbour moral defilement, and guilt, and death itself; nay, to harbour evil thoughts is to harbour so many devils, who will riot on all that is fair and good within, and drive the possessed mortal on and down to eternal perdition; Beware of evil thoughts! Watch against them-pray and strive against them! The mastery over these is everything-virtue, obedience, life everlasting; but defeat here is the loss of all things—self-command, the grace of God, the hope of heaven, the soul itself, with its power of endless thinking and endless happiness !

SHERWOOD.

ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.

Gems. A PRAYER.-0 Lord God; for Jesus Christ's sake, grant that by thy Holy Spirit I may Believe in Thee firmly.

2 Chron. xx. 20.- John xiv. I. Hope in Thee joyfully.

Heb. iii. 6.- Rom. xv. 13. Love Thee fervently.

Mark xii. 29, 30.-Jude 21. Pray to Thee earnestly.

1 Thess. v. 17.-Matt. vii. 7, 8. Walk with Thee bumbly. Micah vi. 8.-Eph. v. 15, 16. Work for Thee diligently.

1 Cor. xv. 58.-Gal. vi. 9. And wait for Thee patiently.

Psalm xxvii. 14.-2 Thess. iii. 5. HOLINESS AND HAPPINESS are convertible terms-holiness is happiness, and happiness is holiness. There can be no real happiness without holiness, or holiness without happiness. But holiness may be said to be the root, and happiness the fruit. Holiness makes me like God, and to be like God is to be perfectly happy.

FORCED CONSECRATIONs out of another man's estate are no better than forced vows, hateful to God, who “loves a cheerful giver;" but much more hateful, wrung out of men's purses to maintain a disapproved ministry against their consciences.

MILTON. ENGAGEMENTS.-Will this engagement further your communion with God, or hinder it? You should be very careful on this point.

TRUST CHRIst in all, for all, with all, above all. The more you drink into the love and spirit of Christ, the more happy, and honourable, and useful you will be.

A CHRISTIAN can lose nothing of importance, unless he can lose his God; but God is his everlasting portion, therefore his complaints are childish.

IN EVERY COMPANY, remember you profess to be a member of Christ, a son of God, a temple of the Holy Ghost.

Religion is the best armour that a man can have, but the worst cloak -use it as an armour and you will prove a victor, use it as a cloak and you will be found naked.

THE RENEWED Mind is prosperous in proportion to its activity—to be prosperous it must be active. Activity is its natural element; like a plant without air or light, it sickens and dies without it.

Facts. SHIPWRECK8.— The total number of sail and steam vessels belonging to the United States wrecked during the past year was 585.

Thames Tunnel. - About 18,000 passengers pass through every week. Last year the tolls amounted to nearly £4,000.

RAILWAYS.-It is stated that up to December last 5000 miles of rail. way had been opened. SCHOOLS.—There are about 1000 private schools in London.

Hints. SIMPLE Recipes. - An Irish baptist missionary says _“I have been very bad with jaundice, but through mercy, am better-a raw egg with a little saltpetre beat up together, and a little opening medicine, cured me." The other day we met with an aged christian bowed down with the infirmities of four-score years, who said he had been subject to gravel, which had yielded on drinking hot water-as hot as he could drink it.

THE FIRESIDE.THE PENNY POST.

TO THE SLEEPY.—What client was ever known to sleep while his advocate was pleading his cause, or what criminal while the judge was passing sentence on him, and yet there are who can contentedly compose themselves to take a nap in the house of God, whilst subjects tremendously awful and eternally important are presented before them. Shame on all such drowsy dreamers. What! have ye not beds to sleep on! Go sleep anywhere rather than in God's house-sleep not there, lest ye wake where they sleep no more. Riches HINDER PIETY.

:-"I thank God," said an aged pious man " that I was not born the son of a duke."

POVERTY MAY HINDER Piety, as well as riches. When people are very poor they often get disheartened and reckless. “ Give me neither poverty nor riches."

The Fireside.

TO-DAY OR TO-MORROW.

BY CHARLES MACKAY. IF Fortune with a smiling face

But if our debtors sue for grace, Strew roses on our way,

On pain of ruin thorough, When shall we stoop to pick them up? When shall we grant the boon they To-day, my love, to-day.

seek? But should she frown with face of To-morrow, love, to-morrow.

care, And talk of coming sorrow,

If Love, estranged, should once When shall we grieve, grieve we

again must?

Her genial smile display, To.morrow, love, to-morrow.

When shall we kiss her proffer'd lips! If those who've wrong'd us own But if she would indulge regret,

To-day, my love, to day. their faults,

Or dwell with by-gone sorrow, And kindly pity pray,

When shall we weep, if weep we When shall we listen and forgive ?

must? To-day, my love, to-day. But if stern Justice urge rebuke,

To-morrow, love, to-morrow. And warmth from memory borrow, For virtuous acts and harmless joys When shall we chide, if chide we

The minutes will not stay; dare?

We've always time to welcome them, To-morrow, love, to-morrow.

To-day, my love, to-day. If those to whom we owe a debt But care, resentment, angry words, Are harm'd unless we pay,

And unavailing sorrow, When shall we struggle to be just ? Come far too soon, if they appear To-day, my love, to-day.

To-morrow, love, to-morrow.

The Penny Post.

A RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS. One of our correspondents who calls himself, “ A Friend to the Poor," has sent us what he calls “A recipe for making every day happy;" in which are some good thoughts. “When you rise in the morning,” he says, “ form a resolution that you will make that day a happy one to somebody;" and then he suggests—" this may

THE PENNY POST.

be done by a gift of something you can spare to one who needs it, or a word of kindness or encouragement to those who are suffering or disheartened. Try this plan, and it will become easy, and do you good too. If you are young it will afford you pleasure to think of when you are old, and if you are old it will help to move you gently and pleasantly down the last stream of time into the wide and peaceful ocean of eternity. By the most simple arithmetical rule, reckon up the amount of good you would do-365 such cases in one year, and, if you live forty years, 14,600!" Our Friend wishes us to publish his papers as he sends them. This we cannot engage to do. If they are too long, we cut them shorter; if they are deficient, we mend them. We think this may be mended, and we will mend it by setting our Friend to work a sum in “Infinite Proportion.” If so much good may be done by one person to the bodies and minds of men in forty years, how much good may be done to the souls and spirits of men in the same period, by telling one man every day that “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” Let him not forget in working this to use up all the fractional parts, for one man hearing this and believing it, may tell another, and he another, and so on ad infinitum (without limit) and therefore we called it a sum in “Infinite Proportion."

A GREEDY PARSON.- We have received from a friend the following paragraph, which is extracted from the Liverpool Mercury of May 11, 1849:

"A Clerical Proclamation.The following singular address has been issued by the Rev. Josbua King:-“To the inhabitants of Oxton. I fully authorize and employ Mr. Peter Nichols to collect and receive for me all arrears of Easter dues, &c., from the inhabitant housebolders of Oxton, due at Easter, 1818, as purpose relinquishing all claim to them in future in favour of the Rev. William Cockcroft, to augment his income. Small as the payments may have heretofore been, they will be still further reduced by the charge of 8d. for eggs in Lent, and the garden penny being merged as a tithe in the commutation of tithes. No honest man will attempt to take advantage of my forbearance for not rigidly enforcing payment every year; which might readily have been done by summoning all defaulters before the magistrates ; but, trusting to the disposition of all parties to act honestly, I forebore putting them to extraordinary expenses. My motives will, doubtless, be properly appreciated; and all who have the least pretensions to the character of honest men will, with as little delay as possible, settle their accounts.- JOSHUA King. Woodchurch Rectory, Feb. 7, 1849.— The payments in future to be made, which are fixed by the leases deposited in the Bishop's Registrar's-office in Chester, which payments were fixed several hundred years ago, will be for every man and wife, or housekeeper, 6d. ; smoke ld.; every person above sixteen years of age, born in the parish, 1d. ; ditto, if born out of the parish 2d.; every tradesman, 4d. N.B. The payments may be enforced by a summons from the magistrates, and all expenses must be defrayed by the persons proceeded against.”.

Now is not this very much like the men mentioned in Matthew xxiii., upon whose heads our Lord denounced woe upon woe? That any priest or parson should issue such a proclamation in England now-a-days is surprising. He must be a bold man himself, or he must calculate that the people are very great cowards. But how long are such men as these to abuse our patience ?

« PreviousContinue »