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love," os turn you from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God," so that there may be joy in the presence of the angels of God this day over your repentance, and ye “ may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith” in the Son of God.
To the congregation generally, I earnestly recommend regular attendance on the public ordinances of grace. Let no changes or disappointments diminish your attention to this important duty; and if you no longer hear that voice which you have been accustomed to hear with delight, let this teach you to look beyond the instrument to the source of all spiritual progress and comfort, and seek from Him who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, and who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, that he would cause those who minister to you, to come to you " in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ," and make his word to have free course and be glorified among you. The celebrated Thomas Boston was accustomed to remind his hearers, that they must answer at the tribunal of God, not only for what they did hear from the lips of their pastor, but for all the instructions they were in duty bound to have heard. “ Forsake not, then, the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is,” but gladly seize every opportunity of watching at wisdom's gates, and waiting at the posts of her doors.
Give zealous support to meetings for prayer, both in public and in private. Your present position renders such meetings peculiarly seasonable. You need wisdom to direct, and grace to help you; and these, and all other blessings, can be expected only in answer to prayer. Meetings for social prayer are peculiarly conducive to the confirmation of christian faith and hope, and to the advancement of mutual confidence and affection. They are also peculiarly acceptable to Him who is the hearer and answerer of prayer. “ Then they that loved the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name."
Remember it is your duty to give of your substance as God has prospered you, not only for the support of the gospel at home, but for its extension abroad. You are in danger, in present circumstances, of concentrating your efforts too exclusively on yourselves. This ought not to be. - Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." It is as true of congregations as of individuals, 6 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself." Let none draw back from this good work, but let every man, according to the measure of his several ability, labour willingly, diligently, perseveringly, and prayerfully, that the work of the Lord may prosper in the midst of you. Strive to remain, what by the divine blessing you have been, during the whole of my ministry among you, a united people. Endeavour “ to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," and “ stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel.” 5 And the Lord make you to increase, and abound in love one towards another.” Eph. iv. 1-6, 31, 32; Phil. ï. 1-3; Col. ii. 12-14.
Did time permit, I would gladly address some parting counsels to the young. Allow me merely to remind you, my dear young friends, that youth is a season peculiarly favourable for entering on the christian course. It is, therefore, of peculiar importance that your opportunities should be improved. " It is the morning of life; and if the Sun of Righteousness does not dispel the moral mists and fogs before noon, the whole day generaily remains overspread and gloomy.” It is the seed time of life, and whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Every thing of importance, in a word, is affected by religion in this period of life.
66 Grace is a plant where'er it grows
Of pure and heavenly root;
And yields the sweetest fruit." God has graciously given you peculiar encouragements to love and serve him while you are yet young. Listen to the “ exceeding great and precious promise," " I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me." " Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Comply with the affectionate invitation, “ My son give me thine heart.” Obey the solemn command, “ Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”
And now, brethren, it only remains that I take my leave of you affectionately. Wherever my lot in life may be cast, I shall never cease to take a deep interest in your welfare, making mention of you in my prayers, “ that your hearts may be comforted and knit together in love; that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent ; that ye may be sincere, and without offence, till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." May - the great Shepherd of the sheep” ever watch over you, and soon give you “a pastor according to his own heart, who shall feed you with knowledge;" and when your eyes shall again behold your teacher, may it be his happiness, as it has been mine, to labour among an affectionate and united people, who shall “ esteem him very highly in love, for his work's sake.” He who knoweth the end from the beginning, alone knows whether we shall ever be permitted to enjoy the privilege of seeing each other again in the flesh; but if you should see my face no more here, remember we shall all meet once again, on that great day when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known, when you shall be called on to testify regarding your minister, and he regarding you. Let this solemn consideration stimulate us so to live now, that, by the grace of God, we may then fulfil each other's joy. “ Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” “ And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." 66 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
TO THE WIVES OF THE MINISTERS OF THE SECESSION CHURCH.
My Dear SISTERS, -It bas often occurred to me, that ministers' wives have a very responsible place in the church, and with your permission I will offer a few plain remarks on some of our peculiar duties. What the apostle thought it necessary to speak of cannot be beneath our notice; and as he judged it of importance tbat ministers have suitable companions, it is surely right in us to ponder well our duties, and endeavour to stir up each other to the right performance of them. I take it for granted that we are christian women, anxious to adorn the gospel in all things in our different localities. How shall we best do this? In general, I believe we begin our married life with some ideas about being useful to our husbands in their duties, and disappointment is often felt when we find that we can do very little for them after all, As our cares increase, our time is almost incessantly required at home, and we are apt to imagine that our spheres are very contracted. The apostle, after enumerating the duties of the younger women, concludes by telling them to guide the house. What he thought sufficient work for a woman let us be satisfied with, and instead of seeking to engage in public duties, let us see how we may guide the house so as best to promote the happiness of our husbands, and thus assist them in their duties.
A minister's wife should guide the house with as little bustle as possible. Many men are engaged in business out of the house, they have their shops or counting houses, and their wives are at liberty for the greater part of the day to go about without troubling them. It is not so with us, our husbands are almost constantly at home, and it is desirable that that home be the abode of peace. Let us avoid all bustle, especially on studying days, and endeavour to perform the more noisy parts of our household work when they are engaged in visiting or otherwise from home. A man cannot think closely and well, when his mind is distracted with noise and bustle. And a minister's wife should guide the house cheerfully. Most of our incomes are such, that we cannot afford to keep many assistants, and much even of the drudgery of the establishment must be performed by us. It is difficult to do this gracefully, our tempers are apt to be ruffled, and sour looks will jar our husbands, who, I ain sure, all desire to see us in as easy circumstances as possible. Let us try to avoid grieving them in this matter, and guide the house cheerfully, not making them aware that we think we have more to do than others in the same rank in society. Again, a minister's wife should guide the house economically-much lies with us here, our incomes generally require good management to maintain that place in society, without which the ministry might be despised ; and to accomplish this, requires forethought and activity, and a good deal of labour with our own hands. We have this farther inducement to make our incomes go as far as possible, that we may have something over to give to missionary and benevolent purposes. Our husbands cannot plead well for those things with others, if they are conscious that their own contributions are contemptible. Guiding the house, implies that we guide the members of the house. If we have children, let us take a large share in the ] The Home Mission of Sabbath Schools. 499 training of them, that our husbands be not too often called from their studies to attend to matters which it may fall within our province to settle. Ministers' families are often said to be ill brought up. I think this is a mistake; for in looking at the ministers of our church, I find that very many of them are sons of ministers. It is matter of regret that so few of the rising ministry are willing to be employed in missionary labour. We may have a mighty influence in this respect, by setting before our children the great importance of this work, and endeavouring to interest them in it. And where should we expect to find the best ministers but coming forth from the manses of our church. Let us therefore be emulous of being the mothers of a devoted ministry, that from our homes may come forth a consecrated band, willing to preach the gospel at home, or to go out to heathen lands with the word of life, telling to generations yet unborn the wonders of a Saviour's love.
We may also assist our hiusbands by reminding them of dutiesperhaps they have forgotten to call for sick members, we can bring this to recollection. Or they may occasionally become languid about the schemes of the church, we can gently excite them a little by talking of their importance, or mentioning any thing we may read on the subject. Thus we may do a great deal, but let it be always in private-keep the minister before the public, and let us be content to be esteemed for his sake, and shine in his light.
As an excitement to all this, let us often think of the nature of our husbands' calling Other men's employments cease at the grave, their workmanship is to be perfected in eternity. The works of the greatest architectural genius shall be sought for in vain in the house of many mansions--and the produce of the finest Indian loom shall not be valued by the multitude clothed in the white robe. But the souls saved through our husbands' instrumentality shall ever be before them evi, dences of their faithfulness and diligence. In the eyes of the world their labours may be lightly esteemed, and by carnal men their position in the society of earth thought low and mean—but in the estimation of pure and holy beings, they are engaged in an honourable work, and ranked among the aristocracy of heaven. Let us aspire to aid them in this glorious undertaking, by keeping their minds free from unnecessary cares, by cheering and encouraging them in it, and often bearing them in our spirits to the throne of grace, that their labours may be blest in the conversion of many sinners, and the edifying of many saints. Thus shall we be among those women who labour in the gospel, and being instrumental in advancing the Redeemer's kingdom, may hope to share in the honours of the faithful servant. That this may be our constant desire and aim, is the sincere prayer of a MINISTER'S WIFE.,
THE HOME MISSION OF SABBATH SCHOOLS. The very animated address on Sabbath schools, just issued by the Synod, gives us at length a fair prospect of justice being done to the young. If parents will only do their duty to their children, the church seems to be resolved to do hers. May I be allowed to notice two points referred to in that address.
1. The education of the children of our church members in Sabbath schools. It is a fact, that a considerable number of the children of our church members attend Sabbath schools not connected with the Secession Church. They read religious books out of libraries not connected with their own congregations they are supplied with missionary periodicals from teachers of other denominations than their own, and they are receiving their religious education, to some extent, from the hands of strangers. We do not notice these things as evils in themselves, but, has there not been some strange neglect on the part of the church, to render such things necessary, or even possible. Do we need even one teacher of a different denomination to aid us in educating our own children? Are we so poor that we cannot provide an abundant sufficiency of spiritual food for the lambs of our own flock ? - 2. The third part of the children in Scotland, between the years of five and fifteen, are without religious instruction. We do not say, that one-third of the population have had no religious instruction; but that, on any given Sabbath, a third part will be found, who, on that day, have had no religious teaching whatever, and who, were they taught reading to the same extent, would never get beyond the alphabet, who therefore are so ignorant of the gospel, as not to give the slightest probability of their ever embracing the truth at all. This may be verified by any person, in almost any town or village through the length and breadth of Scotland, if he will only go from house to house and inquire for himself.
Now, the Secession Church numbers many thousand members, pious, devoted, educated Christians. Yet, what proportion does her Sabbath school teachers bear to her members, or to the destitution of the young? Congregations with 500 members, think themselves doing much if they have forty teachers, although they know that 460 are not teaching. Not one in ten is engaged in teaching the young. If our church members amount to 100,000, and if we have 10,000 teachers amongst these, let this be remembered, that we have ninety thousand members still to fall back upon, from which to draw out fresh teachers. Some of these are old, some mothers, some tract distributors and collectors, some not apt to teach, and so on, therefore a very large number of these never can be expected to become teachers; but, might we not have ten thousand additional teachers for the 200,000 children in Scotland, who are perishing in their ignorance. Might every congregation of 200 members, not send out forty teachers (there would be 160 remaining who were not teaching), every congregation of 500 members, send out 100 teachers, and those of 1000 members, 200 teachers. Sure I am that if we really believed in the amount of destitution existing at our very doors; and if our own hearts were thoroughly penetrated with the love of Christ Jesus, the year eighteen hundred and forty-six would not close without a noble band of ten thousand Christians stepping forward, and saying, here are we ready for the work : only teach us how to teach.