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whereof may (as the heart may be affected) facilitate our way to happiness?
UPON THE SINGING OF THE BIRDS IN A SPRING MORNING.
How cheerfully do these little birds chirp and sing, out of the natural joy they conceive at the approach of the sun and entrance of spring, as if their life had departed and returned with those glorious and comfortable beams. No otherwise is the penitent and faithful soul affected to the true Sun of Righteousness, the Father of Lights: when he hides his face, it is troubled, and silently mourns away that sad winter of affliction; when he returns, in his presence is the fulness of joy; no song is cheerful enough to welcome him. O thou, who art the God of all consolation, make my heart sensible of the sweet comforts of thy gracious presence, and let my mouth ever show forth thy praise.
UPON THE SIGHT OF A RAIN IN THE SUNSHINE. Such is
best condition in this life—if the Son of God's countenance shine upon me, I may well be content to be wet with some rain of affliction. How oft have I seen the heaven overcast with clouds and tempest, no sun appearing to comfort me, yet even those gloomy and stormy seasons have I rid out patiently, only with the help of the common light of the day; at last, those beams have broken forth happily and cheered my soul; it is well for my ordinary state, if, through the mists of my own dulness and Satan's temptations, I can descry some glimpse of heavenly comfort; let me never hope, while I am in this vale, to see the clear face of that sun without a shower: such happiness is reserved for above; that upper region of glory is free from these doubtful and miserable vicissitudes. There, O God, we shall see as we are seen. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
CALLS OF USEFULNESS.
A Call on a Sick Woman. WELL, Molly Symonds! I hope you find your: elf better this mild weather. I have brought you a few comforts for your body and
get to the door a little with your chair, while the sun shines, perhaps it would do you good.
Sickness and pain are trying things, but we must endeavour patiently to bear what God is pleased to put on our shoulders; for, whether we believe it or not, it is still a truth that all things work together for good to them that love God. Your little habitation looks very comfortable, and your garden seems not to have a weed in it. Flowers for ornament and herbs for use are growing there. None but a Heavenly hand could paint the one with such beauty and enrich the other with such useful qualities. “What, though we trace each herb and flower,
That sips the morning dew;
How vain were all we knew!" The mercies of God are continually around us in his providence and his grace, and so many tokens of his love should dispose us to trust in him at all times. Health is, to be sure, one of his greatest blessings, but even when this is withheld, there is much of comfort and joy left for those who regard this world only as a dark passage to one that is more fair and lightsome. Trials and troubles are grievous to us; but how sweet is the milk contained in the rough shell of the cocoa nut, and how much sweeter are the consolations which God is pleased sometimes to mingle with affliction! The rebellious heart, broken by sanctified sickness and suffering, turns as a chastened child to its heavenly Father, seeking, and finding that mercy which is laid up in Christ Jesus for every repentant sinner. When your
affliction has done you as much good as God intended it to do, he will remove it from you, Molly, and not before ; therefore be patient, and commit yourself to the care of your heavenly Physician, that he may heal not only the injuries of the body, but also the diseases of the soul.
A Call on a Poor Weaver. Visitor. That's right, Moreton! I love to see a man industrious. Your shuttle goes backwards and forwards as though you were working with a right good will. The
occupation of a weaver is not the most productive in the world, but a contented mind is a continual feast, and makes a little go a great way. How are your eyes now? I see that you wear your green
shade yet. Moreton. Yes, I am obliged to wear it for the present, but my eyes are a little stronger than they were. Thank God I can see to work, and to read my Bible, and these are mercies for which I cannot be too thankful.
Visilor. True, to be thankful for mercies is the way to increase them. An ungodly man was once bemoaning the case of a blind Christian. “I pity you,” said he; “for I think to be blind must be the greatest misfortune in the world.”_" True," replied the afflicted Christian; your visitation is much heavier than mine, for I have only the blindness of the eye to endure, while you have, alas! the blindness of the heart.”. So you see, Moreton, that even if your eyes should get worse, you will still have something to be thankful for.
Moreton. To be free from blindness of heart is, indeed, a great mercy, but my manifold infirmities often make me very unhappy. I do not know how it is, but I get more and more dissatisfied with myself, and if I was not sure that the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus, I should often give myself over for lost.
Visitor. While you distrust yourself, I am not afraid of your drawing back; for God giveth grace to the humble. « That soul which grows most in the grace of God, grows most out of conceit with itself.” The warp and the woof of your cloth are not woven more closely together than sin and the human heart; but our gracious Redeemer has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and he has won for us a robe of righteousness, clothed in which we may appear boldly before God. “It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth ?” He will “give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly."
A Call on a Proud Young Man. Give this note to your father, Harry, when he comes in from his work, and tell him that he must attend to it, otherwise we shall be standing still. I have long wanted to speak a word to you in private, and will now take the
opportunity of so doing. You know, Harry, that your father is not very well off in the world, and you ought to know that any thing like pride and vanity in him or in you would be weak and wicked. I believe your father to be an industrious, humble-minded man; but I am afraid that you are not much disposed to follow his example. Dearly do I love to see young persons clean and neat in their dress; it is a good sign: but to give way to pride and conceit is to render themselves hateful in the eyes of all around them. I am afraid, Harry, that you have never thought of this in a right light; for every one who knows you is aware of your failing. If young people only knew the misery that pride has inflicted on mankind, they would start back from it as from a viper. A sparkling shirt-pin has cost many a boy his character, and a glittering pair of ear-rings has ruined the reputation of many a thoughtless girl ; for ornaments and smart clothing lead into light company, and light company leads to ruin. How is it likely, Harry, that you will work and help your poor father as you ought to do, if you give way to the foolish conceit of adorning your person. Every one who knows your situation must be struck with your appearance. Pride is a bad companion to the rich, but it is a much worse one to the poor. To be humble is to be safe, but to be proud is to be in danger. What is it that you are looking forward to, that will warrant the high opinion you appear to entertain of yourself? Both the word of God and the experience of man agree that “ Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” Prov. xvi. 18. The proud in their pomp, and the vain in their folly,
Amid all their plans disappointment must know; Their objects are selfish, their ends are unholy,
Their pleasure will shortly be turn’d into woe. Repining awaits them in every condition,
Though hope, like a flower, for a season inay bloom ; For the visions of pride, and the dreams of ambition,
Are bubbles that burst when they come to the tomb. Think, Harry, of what the Holy Scriptures say; "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Ought dust and ashes to be proud ? Without th grace of God man is a perishing sinner. Ought a perishing sinner to be proud ? Depend upon it that when a man gets into the troubled waters of temptation and trial, pride is one of the heaviest mill stones that can be hung round his neck. You must not think that I am speaking unkindly; for there is not an unkind thought in my heart towards you. I want to see you humble, industrious, and happy; and as no one can be proud and happy at the same time, so I want you to push aside the stumbling block from your path. No one is likely to think highly of you, while you think so highly of yourself: those who know themselves cannot be proud, and those who do not have nothing to be proud of. I cannot expect that what I have said should be pleasant to you; for Four looks tell me that it is just the contrary. Most people make faces in taking physic, and I shall be very glad if my advice should prove medicine to you, and restore you to a more healthy estimate of yourself. Farewell, Harry. Remember my parting remark—Pride is an unbroken horse that leaps headlong down a precipice; humility is a seed, set in the ground, that springs up blooming and blossoming towards heaven,
THE OLD SAILOR. AN aged sailor, on the coast of Kent, was recently an object of much solicitude to some pious persons, who were acquainted with his state. He had passed his eightieth year, was so deaf that he could hear no one speak, and was rapidly advancing to the grave, as he could not take food, and would not employ medicine. The opposition he had manifested to Divine truth was now diminished, but it was only as, in common with other objects of dislike, he became less sensible of their real character.
The anxiety of those who pitied his spiritual condition was, in consequence, increased, and a speaking and an ear trumpet were both employed, in the hope of gaining an entrance to his mind. The experiment succeeded; he could now hear what was said, and truths of the first importance were plainly and faithfully stated. So offended, however, was be with the appeal of a Christian minister, that for ten days he would not allow him to be re-admitted to his room. But tracts—so often useful under the blessing of Godwere not thus excluded, and he suffered several of them to be read to him, some of which proved both interesting and instructive, particularly No. 380, “Jerry Creed.” Still it