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And now, my Ann, that the amusements of your childhood are relinquished, it is of importance to determine what is to be substituted. You discover that you are not to live for the mere purpose of amusement; that the duties you owe to your God, to your fellow-creatures, and to yourself, now multiply upon you. Remember, the objects which now claim your attention, are not wooden blocks, as formerly they have bodies capable of feeling pain and anguish; they have minds, also, susceptible of far greater suffering,
Cultivate a humble spirit, and suppress the first risings of vanity, that spoiler of the female mind. It often happens, that when a girl lays aside her doll, she becomes one herself,-a thing on which to hang flounces and furbelows, beads and ribbons. But, my dear, what did you hear when you rose this morning? It was the clock. It told you, probably, that it was an early hour; but it told you, too, that part of the day was already gone! and infancy and childhood are almost gone! You have arrived at the second stage of your journey, and what will the whole appear at the end of the race? The time is hastening when all worldly pursuits will seem of little more importance than the amusements of your childhood! Seek first, then, "the kingdom of God and his righteousness." "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth."
SKETCH OF A LITTLE BOY. Now if you will listen, I will relate in brief the sufferings of a little boy with whom I became acquainted a number of years ago. When first I knew him, he was bright, healthful, and active, as any other little boy; but when about five years old, I think, he fell, and injured his back, which brought on an affection of the spine. (Your parents will tell you all about the spine, if you ask them.) The injury, which appeared slight at first, increased, his strength failed, and his body contracted, until he was confined most of the time to his bed. But when in bed' such was his severe pain, occasioned by
large abscesses on his back, that he could not lay, as you do, sometimes on one side and then on the other, as your inclination dictates; but he was obliged most of the time-for nearly two years-to rest upon his knees, laying his arms in a chair placed by the side of the bed for that purpose.
In this position during the day he used to read his Bible, and such good books as were provided for him by his kind parents. He also executed many little articles of taste, which, to his surviving friends, will remain as sweet mementos of his patience and filial love.
One thing I must not omit to mention ; that is, this suffering boy not only had kind parents, but they were Christians, and taught him the importance of a preparation to die.
They told him of a Saviour who died for him, and for all!-They prayed for and with him, and, through the influence of the ever-blessed Spirit, he gave his heart to the Saviour when about ten years old, and was converted while his father was engaged in prayer at the family altar. Thus he was prepared to endure with uncommon patience and Christian fortitude the great trials through which he was to pass. The religion of Jesus now became his support and comfort. To this source
he looked for consolation in the hours of deepest anguish. It gave him a hope of heaven, removed the fear of death, and enabled him to rejoice in all his privations and trials.
The last time I saw him was about a year before he died. He told me he had rather remain in the situation he was then in, (and his sufferings were very great,) and enjoy the sweets of religion, than have health, and be like some boys in the street, who profaned the name of God, and neglected the Saviour. He loved the Saviour, and the Saviour made him happy and contented.
Neither did he think his sufferings too great, nor murmur under the afflictive rod. On one occasion, his father remarked to him, "When you get to heaven, you
will not think your sufferings here worth naming." He immediately replied, "I
do not think so now." When you are well and happy, my dear young friends, I suppose you sometimes sing; but can you sing the songs of Zion when you are sick and in pain? Instead of complaining, this afflicted; young Christian used to sing a great deal. One of his favourite hymns commenced with "The world that I am leaving," &c. About a week before he died, he told his mother he thought he could not live through the night, but he was ready to go; and in this state of mind he continued, till the Lord called him away from his sufferings to his reward on high. Oh how blessed it is to be ready to die, and go to heaven, where Jesus is !
I WAS Sometime since walking upon the wharf where a fishing boat lay, and as I was passing and re-passing, the master was uttering the most tremendous oaths. At length I turned to him, and standing beside his boat, said:
"Sir, I am unacquainted with your
"Two or three weeks," was the answer.
"Well, have you not hard work to obtain a living in this way?"
"Yes, hard work," said he.
"Well now, did you ever catch a fish without a bait?"
"Yes," said he, "I was out last year, and one day, when I was fixing my line, my hook fell into the water, and the fool took hold of it, and I drew him in."
"Now, Sir," said I, "I have often thought that Satan was very much like a fisherman. He always baits his hook with that kind of bait which different sorts of sinners like best; but when he would catch a profane swearer, he does not take the trouble to put on any bait at all, for the fool will always bite at the bare hook."
He was silent. His countenance was solemn; and after a moment's pause, as I turned to go away, I heard him say to one standing by him, "I guess that's a minister."
THE POOR SHEPHERD BOY. THE Rev. John Brown, who wrote the famous Commentary, when a poor shepherd boy, conceived the idea of learning Latin and Greek, and having procured a few old books, actually accomplished the task, while tending his cattle on the hills. So successful was he, that some of the old and superstitious people in the neighbourhood concluded that he must have been assisted by the "evil spirit." On one occasion he went to Edinburgh, plaided and barefoot, walked into a bookseller's store, and asked for a Greek Testament. "What are you going to do with a Greek Testament?" said the bookseller. "Read it," was the prompt reply. "Read it!" exclaimed the sceptical bookseller, with a
I inquired, "With what do you bait smile, "ye may have it for nothing if ye'll
"Did you ever catch mackerel?"
read it." Taking the book, he quietly read off a few verses, and gave the translation; on which he was permitted to carry off the Greek Testament in triumph.
"And I suppose you bait them with Turnbull's Genius of Scotland. clams, too?"
"O, no," said he, "they will not bite at clams."
"Then you must have different kinds of bait for different sorts of fish?"
THE GOOD LITTLE GIRL.
A VERY little girl, who often read the
obligation to obey its precepts. One day she came to her mother, much pleased, to show some fruit which had been given to her. The mother said the friend was
very kind, and had given her a great many. "Yes," said the child, "very, indeed; and she gave me more than that, but I have given some away." The mother inquired to whom she had given them: when she answered, "I gave them to a girl who pushes me off the path, and makes faces at me." On being asked why she gave them to her, she replied, "Because I thought it would make her know that I wish to be kind to her, and she will not perhaps be rude and unkind to me again." How admirably did she then obey the command to "overcome evil with good!"
A tear stood in the eye of little Charles, and he promised his mother to try and do so too. Will my little readers, under similar circumstances, 66 go and do likewise?"
I LOVE to see children happy; and when they have been good and diligent, and returning home from school, meet their cousins and young friends, who can object to their playing together? I am sure I do not. Yet as I have observed sometimes that even in play children lose all their pleasure, I shall give them a few rules, which they will do well to mind:
1. Try to please and be pleased.
3. Avoid all mischief.
4. Do not be selfish.
5. Never try to tease.
6. Be ready to leave your play when called from it.
Though my tender parents tire,
Break my slumbers with affright.
Till I rise again from rest.
Then my trembling soul can save.
LITTLE CHILD'S MORNING HYMN.
Has waked me from my sleep;
Thy little one doth keep.
All through the day,
I humbly pray,
Be thou my guard and guide;
My sins forgive,
And let me live,
Blest Jesus, near thy side.
O make thy rest
Great Spirit of all grace;
Prepared to see thy face!
LITTLE GIRL'S PRAYER FOR
O FATHER! bless a little child,
May never falsehood in her heart,
A CHILD'S EVENING HYMN. Now I lay me down to sleep,
Nicely cover'd in my bed,
Harm and danger from my head.
A CHILD'S GRAVE.
It is a place where thankfulness
Its constant cross presenteth, And every hour some trace retains For which the soul repenteth.
THE truths of religion are of two classes: the first comprehending those the knowledge and reception of which are essential to salvation. Truths of the second class are sometimes called "non-essential," and sometimes "minor;" not because they are unimportant, but merely in comparison with those included under the former head. Some have doubted the accuracy of this division, and have questioned whether any religious truth can properly be considered of subordinate importance: but surely there can be no reason for doubt when it is remembered that some truths are more clearly revealed and more strenuously enforced in Holy Writ than others; that these truths have a much closer relation to inward spiritual religion; and that many who have received the enlightening influences of the Holy Ghost, whilst they uniformly are "light in the Lord," with regard to these truths, are left in ignorance or error on other points. But if the division be correctly made, the question may be asked, whether true unity be founded on agreement as to all religious truths, or may exist where there is simply agreement in reference to those which are more important?
Unquestionably perfect unity requires perfect agreement; it is only then that, in all the fulness of meaning of which the terms are susceptible, there will be "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Such a unity as this, however, has never been witnessed in any age of the church: even in primitive days there were points on which true Christians were divided (see Rom. xiv.); and when we consider the varieties of mental constitution amongst men, and the influence which early education and other circumstances have on their opinions, we can scarcely expect a time when there shall be no diversity of sentiment. But if there cannot be perfect unity without complete oneness of opinion, cannot there be the most important ingredients in unity? cannot there be all the unity for which Christ prayed? (see John xvii.)-in short, cannot there be true unity? Some individuals who admit that there can, represent this "true unity" as consisting in incorporation into one church, united by the use of a common liturgy, and by submission to the same ecclesiastical authority. If by incorporation into one church they had simply meant spiritual incorporation into the mystical body of Christ; if, instead of speaking of a common liturgy, they had spoken of spiritual oneness of worship, worshipping one God through one Mediator; and if by the same ecclesiastical authority they had only referred to the authority of Christ, the divinely-appointed Head of the church, their representation would have been incontrovertible. But an incorporation into one outward church, using a common liturgy, and submitting to the same diocesan government, may exist, and yet, after
all, there may be no true unity. The present state of the Church of England proves that the same articles may be professedly received, the same liturgy used, the same diocesan authority acknowledged, and yet the parties be at variance not merely on minor points, but on some of the most important doctrines of Christianity; and in such cases can there be true unity? The parties may, some of them, be evidently children of God by faith in Christ, and others be without the change of heart represented by Christ as essential to discipleship; and in such cases can there be true unity? What saith the Scripture? "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
Not only, however, does true unity require something more than incorporation into one outward church; it may exist without anything of the kind. If the distinction, to which reference is made in the beginning of this paper, between two classes of religious truths, be well-founded, all who agree in the cordial reception of important truths may be true Christians, even though their disagreement on other matters prevent their union in one outward church; and if they are true Christians, there must be, whether they be or be not in one outward church, a bond of union between them. The Roman Catholics point to the Pope as a bond of union; the English Established Church to its Articles and its Liturgy; but true believers in Christ, of every name, can point to a stronger and better bond than any of these:
"All join in Christ, their living Head,
Being renewed by one Spirit, exercising faith in one Saviour, and looking forward to one heavenly inheritance, there is a sympathy of soul between them which cannot fail of exciting mutual affection. True Christians may indeed be without affection for other Christians, but it can only be because they have not come into contact with them, are under a mistake as to their true character, and are ignorant of the fact that Christ has received them. If any man can know a disciple of Christ, be he of what sect he may, and can continue destitute of brotherly love, that man is himself no Christian; "for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?"
The wall of separation, however, between different denominations of Christians has sometimes been raised so high that parties belonging to one denomination have not been known to parties belonging to another to be persons to whom Christian love is really due; and even where this has not been the case to the same extent, how often have Christians been satisfied with secretly sympathizing with their brethren of other sects, without seeking for an opportunity of manifesting to each other and to the world what they inwardly felt! At the same time, as the unity spoken of by Christ is to produce an important effect on the world, it must evidently be something more than a secretly cherished fraternal feeling; and hence we conceive