« PreviousContinue »
king, willing to profit by the instructions of the holy man, paid him a visit. He found him clothed in sackcloth, living in a cave, surrounded with high rocks on the borders of a wilderness. Holy man,
,” said the king, "I come to learn how I may be happy.” Without giving any reply, the dervise led the king through the rugged pathways of the place, until he brought him in front of a high rock, near the top of which an eagle had built her eyry. · Why has the eagle builded her nest yonder ?” said the dervise. less,” replied the king, “ that it may be out of the way of danger.' “ Then imitate the bird,” said the dervise; “ build thy throne in heaven, and thou shalt reign there unmolested and in peace.”
Now the king would have willingly given the dervise a hundred pieces of gold, if he would have accepted it for this precious piece of advice, and here am I giving it to you for nothing. It may be as useful to you all as it was to the king, for you are all as much interested in being happy as he was. As the eagle built her nest on the rugged rock, build your hope on the “Rock of Ages.” As the dervise told the king to erect his throne in heaven, so I tell you to “ Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” Col. iii. 1, 2.
Do this, and you will be above the reach of danger for time and eternity.
Farewell, my boys, farewell! I hope that I leave you all as happy as I found you. The pleasures of youth have been mine, and the cares of manhood have been endured by me, but if you were to ask me at this moment what makes my heart at ease, my spirit cheerful, and my hope bright, I would answer, because I believe that “ Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," and that, when flesh and heart fail me, God will be the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Call on a Party of Girls. Well, my little maidens, your tongues are going like a watchman's rattle, and you are skipping about like so many lambs in a meadow, on a May morning. A good game at play now and then is an excellent thing, and a cheerful spirit, a thankful heart, and a light pair of heels are worth having. Now let me tell you that if you had a holiday all the year round, you would possess neither happy hearts nor cheerful spirits, for too much even of a holiday is good for nothing
When you are at work in school, most of you are good girls, and those who are not, will I hope soon become so, therefore I do not grudge you the holiday you so much enjoy. Jump about then, with your skipping ropes and your shuttle cocks, for it is a pleasant sight to see young people innocently happy.
I see that all of you can play, but stop just for two minutes while I ask if you are equally clever at other things. Dearly do I love young people to be useful, can you make a fire, clean up a house, and rub chairs and tables ?
Can you sew, knit, mend stockings, and put a patch on a garment quickly and neatly?
Can you wash, iron, and fold linen? Can you cook a mutton chop, or a beef steak ? and make a pudding, a cake, and a pie-crust?
Can you tie up a cut finger properly? put leeches on a person who requires them ? and dress a burn or a scald ?
Can you nurse carefully and kindly, never losing your temper, nor neglecting the child under your care ?
There are things more important than these, but you are all too light-hearted for me to enter upon them now. Let me hope, however, that you can reply in a satisfactory manner to the questions I have proposed, for if you cannot, the sooner you learn to do these things the better, not one, but all of them, for they form a part only of what young girls ought to know. All of you have not the same opportunities of acquiring knowledge, but where there is among young people a desire to be useful on the one hand, and a disposition to render assistance on the other, no one need be altogether ignorant of these things. But I will now take my leave, for I see that you are on the tip-toe for your amusements. May your most cheerful moments be free from sins; your youth and your age be spent in God's service, and the pleasures of earth be succeeded by the joys of heaven,
Call on a Reader of Infidel Publications. You must not take it amiss that I look in for a moment, as I make my accustomed call on some of your neighbours. Your habit of reading infidel books makes me feel uncomfortable on your account, for though you may not fully believe them, no one can handle pitch without being defiled. I will tell you an anecdote that I have just read, and as you have children of your own, perhaps, for their sakes, you will take heed to the lesson of instruction it contains.
Colonel Allen, of the United States of America, was an active infidel, and while his daughter received from her mother the lessons of Christian instruction, the colonel endeavoured to fill her mind with infidelity.
This daughter was taken ill, and while the colonel was looking over some infidel publications in his library, with doctor Elliot, a message summoned him to her bed side. She was evidently drawing near her latter end. “Father," said she, “I am dying, tell me, am I to believe what you have taught me, or what I have learned from my mother?”
The colonel dearly loved his daughter, he paused; he fixed his eyes on his dying child, and changed countenance, while his whole body appeared to be convulsed. At last his quivering lips uttered the words “Believe, my child, what your mother has taught you.”
Now, in reading your infidel publications, and allowing them to lie about within the reach of your family, ask yourself this question: “If my children were now on their death beds, which should I wish them to believe in, the, blessed truths of the Bible, which are full of hope, and peace, and joy, or the hollow-hearted creed of infidelity, which is made up of doubt, darkness, and despair ?”
THE DEADLY SINS. IN a popish publication called “ The Christian's Guide to heaven” I read with some interest an enumeration of what the Roman catholics are pleased to call “ the seven deadly sins.” Why this distinction, thought I? Are there only seven sins ? Or are only some sins deadly? and is the number of sins that kill ascertained by the infallible church to be just seven and no more, all other sins being venial, not mortal, according to another distinction which that church
presumes to make ? They cannot mean that there are only seven sins, for
heresy is not in this list of sins, and that I am sure they esteem a sin; neither is there any mention of falsehood and deception, which we protestants regard as sins, even though their object should be pious. Besides, David says that his iniquities were more than the hairs of his head, consequently many more than seven. And who is any better off than David in this respect? Moreover, even the Roman catholics admit nine commandments. They do not leave out
any but the second. [And not always that in countries where the Bible is read by the people.] They must, therefore, admit the possibility of at least nine sins.
They must mean that there are only seven sins which are mortal to the soul. But if this be the case, why is it said, “ Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them?” It is admitted that there are more than seven things written in the book of the law. Again, why is it said that the wages of sin is death ? This would seem to imply that death is due to every sin, of whatever kind. If there are only seven deadly sins, why does not the apostle say, “ The wages of these seven sins (enumerating them) is death ?” But he does not say that. He regarded all sins as deadly—every one of the multitude as mortal in its consequences.
If there are only seven sins which are deadly, then I suppose we can answer for all the rest; but Job says he cannot answer him one of a thousand. According to Job, then, who is a very ancient authority, there are at least a thousand sins for which we cannot answer.
But let us hear what the seven are. They are pride, covetousness, luxury or lust, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth. Well, these are, to be sure, sins, all but one of them, anger, which is not necessarily a sin any more than grief is. We are directed to “ be angry and sin not.” I wonder they should have put anger without any qualification among the seven deadly sins. It must be because they are not familiar with the Scriptures. But granting them all to be sins, then certainly they are deadly, since all sin is deadly. W could not therefore object, if it had been said, in reference t them,“ seven deadly sins.” But “ the seven deadly sins” seems to imply that there are no more. We read in the book of Proverbs of six things which the Lord doth hate; yea, of seven that are an abomination to him. But there is no iniplication there, that those are the only things which
the Lord hates. It is not said, “ the seven things which the Lord doth hate.” The language which I animadvert upon implies that the seven sins enumerated are, if not exclusively, yet peculiarly deadly. Now that is not the
There is nothing in those sins to entitle them to this distinction above other sins. There is no reason why we should be warned to avoid them more than many
others. In the list of deadly sins there is no mention of unbelief. Now surely that must be a deadly sin, when “ he that believeth not shall be damned—shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Moreover, we are told that the Holy Ghost came primarily to reprove the world of unbelief--and yet there is no recognition of it among the deadly sins !
Neither heresy nor schism are in the list of deadly sins. I infer, then, that to differ from the Roman church in some particulars, and even to separate from her communion, is not fatal, even she herself being judge! I thank her for the admission.
A PRECIOUS PROMISE. THERE are many of the comforts of this life that are suited only to particular seasons and circumstances. Some for summer, and some for winter; some for day, and some for night; some for health, and some for sickness, but the precious portions and promises of the Book of truth seem calculated for all times, and for all situations in which we can be placed.
Let us take up one of them. “ There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,” Heb. iv. 9. What a blessed portion is this, for the soul that hungers after righteousness! What a blessed expectation for the weary pilgrim who is toil-worn, and faint with his journey! What a blessed haven for the tempest-tost Christian mariner! What a sustaining staff! What a firm rock to tread on! What a blessed encouragement to the discouraged to be assured, notwithstanding every fear and every disappointment, that “ there remaineth a rest to the people of God.”
Are you one of these people ? Have you the mark in the forehead ? the token in the heart ? the witness in the spirit ? Rejoice then with exceeding great joy. You may have been