Page images
PDF
EPUB

DOMESTIC ECONOMY.-No. 5. Regulations of Diet.- Many shut themselves up entirely in unpleasant weather during the long winter, or whenever they find a pressure of business within, or unpleasant weather without; and yet they eat just as voraciously as if they took exercise every day. To say that no attention is to be paid to diet, is madness. You must pay attention to it sooner or later. If you are careful to take regular, vigorous exercise every day in the open air, then you may eat, and pay less attention to quantity and quality. But if you take but little exercise, you may be sure that you are to be a severe sufferer if you do not take food in the same proportion. I do not ask you to diet, that is, to be as difficult, and as changeable, and as whimsical as possible, as if the great point were to see how much you can torment yourself and others; but I do ask you to beware as to the quantity of food, which you hurry into the stomach three times each day, without giving it any rest. It is the quantity rather than the kinds of food, which destroys sedentary persons; it is certainly true that the more simple the food, the better. If you are unusually hurried this week, if it storms to-day, so that, in these periods, you cannot go out and take exercise ; let your diet be sparing, though the temptation to do otherwise will be very strong. When by any means you have been injured by your food, have overstepped the proper limits as to eating; I have found in such cases, that the most perfect way to recover is, to abstain entirely from food for three or six meals. By this time the stomach will be free, and the system be restored. I took the hint from seeing an idiot who sometimes had turns of being unwell : at such times he abstained entirely from food for about three days, in which time nature recovered herself, and he was well. This will frequently, and perhaps generally, answer instead of medicine, and is every way more pleasant. The most distinguished physicians have ever recommended this course. It is part of the Mahometan and Pagan systems of religion, that the body should be recruited by frequent fastings. “ Let a bull-dog be fed in his infancy upon pap, Naples' biscuit, and boiled chicken; let him be wrapped in flannel at night, sleep on a good feather bed, and ride out in a coach for an airing ; and if his posterity do not become shortlimbed, puny, and valetudinarian, it will be a wonder." -Todd's Student's Manual..

THE FEMALES' ADVOCATE.

THE INFLUENCE OF EXAMPLE AS A MEANS OF

DOING GOOD.

Our Saviour's plan for the extension of Christianity in the world was, that the spirit of piety should spread from heart to heart, by a sort of moral contagion. There was provision made, it is true, for argument to convince, and instruction to enlighten, and threatenings to awe mankind; but from the whole tenour of the Saviour's preaching, and his whole course of conduct, it is plain, that he relied mostly upon that practical manifestation of the power of religion, which he himself and his disciples were to make to men. The various metaphors he used, all indicate how much he expected from the moral influence of a bright example.

The contest which is going on in the world, between good and evil, is a contest of feeling, more than one of argument. Bad principles and bad passions, spread by the direct action of heart upon heart, and good principles, and benevolent and holy emotions, appeal in the same way to the consciences of men, with far greater power than any

other moral This is the reason why our Saviour laid so VOL. III.

causes.

G

much stress upon the power and influence of Christian example. His followers were to be the light of the world. They were to be the salt, which purifies and saves by its presence, and its direct and salutary action. They were to be the leaver, which communicated its own properties to the mass which surrounds it, by the simple influence of its touch. In many ways, Jesus Christ plainly showed how much he expected would be accomplished by the moral

power of the mere presence and manifestations of piety in the midst of a world lying in sin.

He ordained many other modes of exerting influence to spread his kingdom. But they all depended for their success, in a great measure, on being connected with this. The Gospel was to be preached everywhere, but its practical effects upon the lives of those who embraced it, were to give power to this preaching. In fact, it was our Saviour's character which gave

their immense effect to his instructions ; and Paul, if he had been a selfish, worldly man, might have declaimed against sin in Jerusalem, or Athens, or Rome, for half a century in vain. The rapid progress of true religion in early times, was un. doubtedly owing in a great measure, to the lofty standard of practical piety, by which the instructions of public preaching were enforced. The pulse of ardent love to God, and true benevolence to man, beat high and strong in the hearts of the early Christians; and the warm fire is the one which spreads easily.

It has been the same in principle ever since those days. The efforts which have been most successful in bringing men to repentance and salvation have been, not those connected with the most powerful arguing, or the most distinguished eloquence, or the most adroit manoeuvers; but those which have originated in, and been sustained by, the warmest and most devoted piety. Thus many of the most successful sermons have had little literary merit. It was the warm and unaffected spirit of the preacher, which awakened, by sympathy, the moral susceptibilities of the hearer. Many a mother, in des- . pair of doing any thing herself for her child but to pray for him, has supplied, by the warmth and heartfelt interest of the prayers which she has uttered in his presence, the very means of his conversion, far as human means can go. The holy and heavenly spirit which has glowed in her heart, the love of the Saviour, the hatred of sin, the desire for spiritual union with God, have been made the means, by the divine spirit, of awakening the moral susceptibilities in the heart of her child. Conscience has been aroused, and the lost child saved—while the sons and daughters of many a profound theologian, of far more extensive religious knowledge, but of a more lukewarm heart, have gone down, notwithstanding all parental efforts, to the grave, in sin. And so it has often happened, that some obscure and solitary Christian, living in want, and seeing all the world above him, has spent year after year, thinking that

[ocr errors]

he does no good, and can do none, and wondering why God could spare a useless tree so long. And yet, though he knew it not, the light and influence of his Christian example have been seen and felt all around him. The spirit which has reigned within his bosom has spread, by sympathy, to many others; and it has often aroused conscience, and held back a soul from many of its sins, where it could not win it completely to holiness; and thus God keeps this his humble follower on the stage of action, as one of the most efficient labourers in his vineyard, while he himself knows not why he is spared. Yes, holiness is the great instrument by which holiness is to be spread. It will work most powerfully itself, by its mere existence and manifestation ; and it must give to every other means, almost their whole efficiency, in acting upon the human soul.

D. V. M.

FACTS AND HINTS FOR MOTHERS' MEETINGS.

THE “MOTHER'S ROCK."

HUMBOLDT, in his celebrated Travels, tells us, that after he had left the abodes of civilisation far behind, in the wilds of South America, he found, near the confluence of the Atabapo and the Rio Terni Rivers, a high rock--called the “Mother's Rock.”

The circumstances which gave this remarkable name to the rock were these :

In 1799, a Roman Catholic missionary led his half. civilized Indians out on one of those hostile excur

« PreviousContinue »