Page images

but somewhat abrupt recognition of a young woman engaged in cleaning the steps of a door. On explanation she found that the young woman thus accosting her had been in the Probationary House, but had left at her own request. 'On leaving, (to use her own words,) I was determined not to return to my old course of life, and immediately exerted myself and succeeded in procuring my present situation. Here she is conducting herself with great propriety, and expresses herself very grateful for the kindness she received while under the care of the Society.”

The following letter was brought last Tuesday by a young woman, who was placed out at service in February last :

Dear Mrs. F W-, having felt a great desire to visit her matrons and friends at the Probationary House, I have given her permission so to do. I have great pleasure in stating that since she has been in my service, she has conducted herself in every respect to my satisfaction. Her health is good, and I trust that if it be the will of God, W- will never want another place; for if she continues to act as she now does, it would be a source of sorrow to every member of our family if she was to leave us.

«• Remember me in the kindest manner to Miss K-, and assure her of my gratitude for recommending me so worthy a young woman.

Yours, &c.,

L C “ It appears on enquiry that this young woman has a brother, for whose spiritual interests she has of late been greatly concerned, and that there is good ground to believe that her letters to him have been made useful.”

Correspondence Department.


July 11th, 1840. “ For two years and a half we have had connected with our congregation a servants' class, the last year and a half under my care; the number varies from 20 to 50, and our prospects are encouraging. Several have already become members of the church. The example has been followed by another Christian church in 0, and that class I believe numbers about the same. Servants have been much neglected in 0-, and perhaps form the most immoral part of our population; they are exposed to numberless trials here, and a large number of them yearly become the victims of sensuality. “The land moans because of it. May God bless all efforts made for them! and your own very valuable institution likewise."


Chapel House, Harting. Last evening was our Maternal Meeting-a delightful season. We now number 91 Mothers; 351 children. The work is going forward amidst the cold looks of formal Christians, the smile of the infidel, and the song of the drunkard—but none of these things move me.


is my Motto in the strength of the Lord. Last Wednesday one mother, and a son of another, with another lad, were added to our Church, and I believe eternity only will reveal all that a Maternal Association has done here.—Present my Christian love and thanks to the friend who sent me the tracts, &c. &c., they are very useful to us. The Magazines we lend also in our tract districts."



WERE we asked the question, “ What is sincerity ?” we should simply reply-Truth in speech-Truth in action-a definition with which few persons, perhaps, would be disposed to cavil ; but, unhappily, truth in the abstract and truth in practice are so widely dissimilar, so much at variance with each other, even amongst those who should shrink from the thoughts of falsehood, and indignantly repel an accusation of insincerity, that the mind is naturally led to enquire, “Is there any standard by which we can form a charitable, and, at the same time, an equitable judgment?” This enquiry, though highly interesting and important, is not so easy to be answered as might at first be imagined; for we think it must be admitted that to merit the appellation of sincere, or to deserve the odium of being deemed false, must depend upon circumstances; for that which is an imperative duty upon one individual, is not encumbent upon another- -as for instance, in the case of giving advice, the fault may be equally discerned by both, but neither duty nor propriety equally sanction the mention of it. And, indeed, unless prudence and delicacy actuate the character and manner, sin



cerity itself will remain an isolated virtue, at least as regards its effects upon others. Bacon justly remarks, “ He that is only real had need have exceeding great parts of virtue ; as the stone had need to be rich, that is set without foil ?" And it may be equally asserted, that he knows very little of human nature, who is not aware that the faults of mankind must be approached, not only with "a little address," but with a great deal of tenderness. The hand that rudely and unceremoniously unveils a wound, is not calculated to heal it. Reprehension can never be a duty unless prompted by love, and those who are animated by its spirit will avoid expressing painful truths when not called upon to do so. This delicacy of feeling is quite consistent with the most perfect integrity of conduct, and has nothing in common with a temporizing spirit, or that sensitive foresight which weighs consequences with the utmost exactness, but only in relation to self. It is equally remote from a regulating disposition, prompt to advise and ready to censure, which generally has its origin in a want of diffidence, and an insensibility to the feelings of others.

Sincerity is in itself so estimable, we are afraid so rare, that, in pointing out its excellence for imita. tion, we would gladly invest it with all the loveliness of truth. But whilst we would unite courtesyChristian courtesy with sincerity, the true basis of which is humility, let us beware of its counterfeitlet us neither impose upon ourselves nor others by empty profession. Yet, how lamentably this is the case in some circles, let fashionable language, and fashionable practice declare. What professions of joy with the most icy feelings, not to say repugnancewhat courteous receptions contrasted with, “I am rejoiced they have taken their departure !"

- What a deliverance !” What urbanity of manner, and apparent deference to opinion, mingled with the most perfect dis-esteem !

Persons moving in such society will perhaps say, “ This is not insincerity. Insincerity is speaking and acting with an intention to deceive. Such pro-. fession deceive no one they are mere words of convenience--civil expressions which have no meaning, and are received as such.” Has truth no meaning ? Is the abuse of speech no sin ? Is the use of language to give false impressions ? Base coin, when circulated, lessens the value of sterling gold; but when once the sacredness of truth is willingly violated, who can limit its future debasement ?

Language should represent truth: but, alas ! we may well exclaim in the language of the poet

“ Sacred interpreter of human thought,

How few respect or use thee as they ought!” Christianity admits of no temporizing. Whereever the spirit of our blessed Redeemer reigns, there must be truth in speech, truth in action ; and all those who are redeemed from the world find it so. The crooked paths of human policy are both difficult and dangerous to walk in : perhaps there is no

« PreviousContinue »