Page images

are daily observed. The morning calls the inmates of the dwelling to the family altar. The Scriptures are read, and perhaps a hymn is sung


prayer is offered: but when the circle are dispersed, it is at once evident that the exercise has made no strong impression

The duties at home, the business abroad, and the pleasures of life, engage the attention of the various members of the household. It is not the great object of this family to glorify God. The parents are real Christians; but their affections have wandered from God, and are too much set upon this world. Their children are not interested in the great salvation, and their parents are so much devoted to their mental improvement and social accomplishments, as to feel too little that the claims of God and his kingdom are paramount to every thing else. They would shudder at the thought of saying that religion is not the great concern ; and in their daily prayers they always offer the supplication, that they may have first an interest in the kingdom of God. But the children and the domestics see, from the yielding current of their life, that Christian duty is not unfrequently made to compromise with the customs of the world. Thus they go on, from time to time, their offspring growing up in impenitence. Their dwelling is not illuminated by the cheering light of the Saviour's face. The altar is there, but its fire is dim. The sacrifice is offered, but the lamb has a blemish. “Holiness to the Lord” is not legible on the walls of their tabernacle, and upon all its furniture. And the stranger “in their gates would scarcely infer, that their house is the Lord's, and all that appertains to it, consecrated to his service.

But He, who loves his people, will not suffer them to go on, satisfying themselves with the cup of empti


He sends an affliction, to recall their affections to him. Sickness falls upon a child. Their loved one suffers, and the whole circle sympathize with it. The parents think of their past course. They call to mind what God has done for them, and what they have been doing in his cause. They feel convinced that a cold and worldly spirit has damped the ardour of piety, and that their lives have been barren and unfruitful. They plead for the recovery of their child, and they confess the guilt of their own backsliding. Their hearts are softened. They weep and pray. They return to God, and God returns to them.

Now, the spirit which reigns in their dwelling is changed. The worldly visiter does not come. Their minister, and their most devoted Christian friends, renew their visits, and the house of affliction becomes the place where God is acknowledged, and sought, and honoured.

(To be continued.)

HINTS ON DOMESTIC ECONOMY.-No. 1. Curtains and Shutters.—The custom, so prevalent, says the Rev. S. F. Denham, in his “Letters to Mothers on Education," of darkening a chamber by shutters, and of surrounding beds with curtains, and especially the cradles of infants, are very injurious to health ; not merely owing to the causes arising from impurity of air, but to the eye-sight. When the light is almost entirely excluded, and then the shutters opened nearly at once, the pain and violence suffered by the eyes seem naturally to discourage the custom. The use of curtains is less injurious; but the disuse of them, especially around the bed or cradle, has often been recommended by Physicians. One good effect of the advice would be, that the eye would gradually become stronger by being accustomed to the light shaded by the eyelid, even when closed in sleep. And above all other reasons, the increasing light, especially in a spring or summer morning, would naturally awaken the habit of early activity, which is of incalculable importance.



“LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”—IF ever this divine precept became forcible on believers, or the observation of it appeared peculiarly graceful, it must be when displayed in that tenderest and most endearing of all ties,-Marriage. Love is the very cement of that sacred bond; and on the cultivation of this amiable principle depends all the happiness which may be reasonably expected to flow from so fruitful a source. Hence the unerring Spirit, by the apostolic pen, commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, and wives to submit themselves to their husbands, &c. For want of this affection, submission, and confidence, on either part, we frequently hear of disputes and contentions between the heads of a family, dishonourable to Christian characters, and pernicious in their influence on those around them. My brethren and sisters, these things ought not to be so ; the kingdom of Jesus will not be established, nor his truth prevail, while such unchristian and unnatural tempers predominate, as to occasion shyness, and dissention between persons so closely united : on the contrary, you furnish the world with a strong argument against religion, when it has so little in

Vol. III.

[ocr errors]

fluence on the behaviour of its professors in domestic


Reflect on the consequence of family discord with respect to your children. Do you desire them to love each other? Then enforce that principle on their hearts by your own example ; and let not unaffectionate carriage between yourselves encourage their too prevalent dispositions to fraternal strife. Bear in mind that you labour in vain to instil the love of piety into their infant minds, while they discover such disregard to its sentiments in your conduct. If then you love your children, “ love one another.”

Consider also the occasion given for the world to blaspheme; what must it say of a believing husband and wife living together in perpetual animosity, or, at best, on every trivial occasion, treating each other with marked indifference? Does it not strengthen prejudice, and animate aversion against religion ? Cease then, for ever cease this disgraceful deportment, or never let your lips pronounce that interesting petition,—“Thy kingdom come.”



(Continued from page 10.) I HASTENED with the poor mother to the place mentioned in her daughter's letter; and oh, what a place it was! Oh could our youth, which frequent such houses, and under the false and meritricious glare of midnight revellings, fancy they know not what of

joy : could they but see the sad faces of the morning, and behold the wretchedness of the scene, which the day-light presents in view, how would they flee such haunts of filth and sin, instead of pursuing them!

As I entered the door, and passed through to one of the apartments, in quest of the particular object of our search, my mind was deeply affected; every object I met, carried with it, to my views, somewhat of a suspicious nature. The very atmosphere of the place seemed contaminated, as though formed only for the polluted to inhabit. Those walls (I said to myself) could they speak, what scenes would they unfold, which they have been compelled to witness ! Several of the ruined inhabitants passed before me as I went through one of the apartments. I was constrained to reflection as I beheld them. There is something so truly affecting in the sight, that it must argue, in my apprehension, a culpable insensibility not to take part in what concerns the common ruin of our nature. To see a young woman given up to the very reverse of that innate modesty, designed to form the feminine character,--and all the tenderness, retirement, and blushing loveliness which tend to endear her to the heart, totally relinquished, and in their stead a boldness foreign to the very nature of the sex, manifesting itself in every part of her conduct ; -such views cannot fail to interest all the charities of the mind, even when considered only in relation to the concerns of the present life: but when the momentous objects of another state come to be connected with the prospect,-when the thought crosseth the mind, that beings designed for happiness, by this inversion of all that is amiable, are brought into a situation of all that is - miserable ; and a life

« PreviousContinue »