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have been quick enough to perceive this folly in my conduct, take care that you never let me see it in your conduct. As you proceed on your earthly pilgrimage, the roses of pleasure will bloom on the right hand, and on the left will grow
the thorns and briers of discontent; linger not among either of them, but travel straight forward, along the turnpike-road of duty, and you will find that happiness which otherwise you will look for in vain.”
Remember this story, James, and then, perhaps, you will some day be thankful for having listened to it.
Call on a Father of cruel Children. Mr. Lewis, it is not a pleasant thing to make a complaint to a father about his children, but I have just met your two boys sitting on the top of your little loaded cart, drawn along all on a gallop, by a lean dog, that looks for all the world, as though he were half famished. Oh! here they come, and with your leave, I will speak to them before you. Do
you think it right, boys, when your cart is loaded, to get at the top of it, and compel that poor wretched looking dog to drag you along at a gallop? I am ashamed of such cruelty, and trust that your father will prevent it in future. There is quite enough in the cart without your making it heavier.
I knew a child that used, when he heard a carriage approaching, to jump up to the window to see if the number of the horses were the same as the number of the wheels. “Dere,” he would say, “a coach wid four wheels, and only two horses, dat's wrong;” then, again, on another occasion, “ Dere! a coach wid four wheels, and four horses, dat's right.” Now, the notion held by this little fellow that a carriage with four wheels ought to have four horses to draw it, however simple it might be, was much more merciful than the one you seem to entertain.
Get out of the cart, and do not be so hardhearted. Look at your poor dog lying down, panting, and lolling his tongue out of his mouth. If you knew what it was to be urged past your strength, you would have some compassion on the poor brute. This is not using, but abusing the animal creation. If ever, in the course of your lives, you should serve a hardhearted master, perhaps your present cruelty may come to your remembrance.
There is an All-seeing Eye, which regards every action you commit; and He who formed that dog, is not ignorant that you have abused his creature. Be persuaded, then, to act more kindly in future, remembering that God can not only forgive those who repent of their evil deeds, but visit also, with his heaviest displeasure, those who continue in the practice of cruelty and oppression.
To every living thing be kind;
FORGETFULNESS OF GOD. FORGETFULNESS of God is a great wickedness, because God hath done so many things to be remembered by. What could the Lord have done more to make himself remembered than he hath done? “ Have I been a wilderness unto Israel ? a land of darkness ?” saith the Lord, Jer. ii. 31. The words are an aggravation of their forgetfulness. As if the Lord had said, I have been a light to you wheresoever you go; and wheresoever I go, my steps drop fatness for you, and am I forgotten ? Where can we set a step, but we tread upon a remembrance of God? Every creature holds forth God unto us. He hath left his remembrance upon every
ordinance. This do in remembrance of me,” saith Christ, in that great ordinance of the supper; yea, all the works of his providence are remembrancers of him. He leaves an impression of his wisdom, holiness, justice, power, upon all he doth. Now, for us to forget God, who hath, as it were, studied so many ways to fasten himself in our remembrance, must needs be extremely sinful. Further, it is very sinful to forget God, because God doth so abundantly remember us. He hath not only done that which may cause man to remember him, but he hath man always in his remembrance, especially his own people. He hath graven them upon the palms of his hands, and they are continually before him, Isa. xlix. 6. Those who desire to preserve their friends fresh in memory, get their pictures in their houses, or engrave them upon rings and jewels, which they wear always about them; but he that cuts the image of his friend in his flesh, or draws it upon his skin, how zealous is he of his friend's remembrance! Pictures and armlets may be lost, but our hands cannot fall off. When the Lord would show how mindful he is of his church, he assures her that he carries her picture always about him, not drawn upon a tablet, or engraven upon the signet of his right hand, but upon the palms of his hands : as if he should say, I must lose myself before I can lose the sight or memory of thee. He remembers her so, that he cannot forget her. And because the characters and stamps of nature are more abiding and indelible than those of art, therefore he saith, ver. 15, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” A woman may break the bonds of nature, but God will never break the bonds of his own free
grace. May not all this raise us into David's rapture of holy admiration, Psa.viii. 4; “ Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man, that thou visitest him," with such remembrances ? What is a wicked man, that God should give him bread to eat, and clothes to put on ? And what is a godly man, that God should give him Christ to eat, and clothe himself withal ? That God should remember us, is a wonder of
but what a wonder of unthankfulness is it, that we should not remember God! What, or who is God that man should be so mindless of him? Is not God worthy of all our remembrance ? Is it loss of time to call God into our thoughts? Do we ever, or in anything remember ourselves so much, as when we remember God most ? It is a wonderful favour that God should be mindful of us at all; and is it not a wonderful sin that man should be so unmindful of God?
THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE ONLY KEY TO THE WORD
OF GOD. IN arguing with unbelievers on the Divine inspiration of Scripture, we are often too apt to evince surprise, and even vexation, at the stubbornness of their hearts, and their reckless rejection of truths, however clearly proved.
But if we strictly search out the reasons for such conduct on their part, we should, no doubt, too often find that the fault lies at our own door; and that in entering upon the important duty of teaching and admonishing others, we too frequently depend entirely upon our own strength and abilities to ensure to us success. And upon any disappointment or failure, we are cast down, and murmur at the ill result of all our endeavours; whereas, did we reflect a little ourselves upon that word which we are attempting to inculcate into the minds of others, we should be made aware that it is not by human power, but only by the Spirit of the living God, that the glorious plan of redeeming grace, can be made plain and acceptable to sinners. Well may they exclaim, with Nicodemus, “How can these things be?" However plain, simple, and beautiful the doctrine of the cross may appear in our eyes, however delightful to our ears may be the sound of salvation, yet these cannot appreciate those blessings; "eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not.” They are not convinced of the sinfulness of their hearts, and consequently feel no need of a Saviour ; they are, as it were, dead to spiritual things, and are alive only to those things that are carnal. Until this order of things be inverted, and they become, through the influence of the Holy One, alive unto righteousness, and dead unto sin, we cannot wonder at their inability to receive and to understand those things which belong to their everlasting peace.
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," saith our Lord; therefore let us beware how we act, lest we usurp the power which belongeth only unto God : yet, we are not to allow our earnestness and activity on behalf of our unenlightened brethren in the least to diminish; no, for though God acts by his own almighty power upon the inward heart, he, nevertheless, makes use of us as the means of drawing out and carrying on the plan. Be it always our firm rule, then, whenever attempting to turn a sinner from the error into which, by the blindness of his heart, and the influence of the evil one, he has fallen, to be armed with the sword of the Spirit; for we may rest assured, without this weapon we should never succeed, but all our projects will inevitably fail. Before we enter on work in the vineyard, let us be certain that we are really hired by the Lord of the vineyard, and that not only do we commence our task with his sanction, but that we shall carry it on, and finally complete it, under his guidance and approbation; we
need never then fear the result; for by the power of his word the hardest heart can be softened, the proudest mind be levelled to the dust : it can pierce the conscience of the most hardened, and cause those lips that were so used to blaspheme his holy name to exclaim, in the agony of the soul, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?'' “ Have mercy upon me, a miserable sinner.”
There is not a more delightful occupation to the sincere believer, than seeking the good of souls, no duty so cheerfully and willingly performed as that of leading those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, to that precious fountain where alone they can be refreshed, and where their sins may be blotted out.
These are times when, on the part of Christians, individual exertion is most earnestly called for. Oh, let individual activity be exerted to its utmost extent, and that glorious time when all shall know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest, shall soon dawn upon our world.
THE TROUBLES OF A LONDON MERCHANT AND HIS
WIFE, IN THE DAYS OF QUEEN MARY.
(FROM THE HISTORY OF GAINSBOROUGH.) Recorded by an aged Gentlewoman a short time before her death, to
be perused by her children and her posterity. Written by her, with her own hand, in the eighty-fifth year of her age, and about the year of our Lord, 1620. OF my father, in Hollingshed's Chronicle, I find this story. In the twenty-fifth year of king Henry vill., being the yea of our Lord,1534, at the suit of the Lady Catherine, dowager, a curse was sent from the pope, which cursed both the king and the realm. This curse was set up in the town of Dunkirk, in Flanders, for the bringer thereof durst no nearer approach, where it was taken down by Mr. Lock, of London, mercer.
Now I, his daughter, Rose Throckmorton, widow, late wife of Simon Throckmorton, Esq., and first the wife of Anthony Hickman, a merchant, of London, reading this of my father, have thought good to leave to my children this addition to it, that for that act the king gave him 1001. a-year, and made him a gentleman of his privy chamber; and he was the king's mercer, and his majesty vouchsafed to dine at his house. Moreover, he was knighted, although he was never inayor, but only sheriff of London; and so was never any