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morning, a stout, hearty little boy as any among you, and apparently likely to live many years. On that day he was taken ill, continued getting worse, was scarcely sensible for several days, and on Sunday night he died. You will not again see him in his class, nor hear his voice, nor join with him in play. The place which knew him shall know him no more for ever. And by this event God says to you, to each of you, my dear children, "Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think

not the Son of man cometh."

You have often thought, perhaps, Oh, yes! I intend to be ready before I die; but I am young, strong, and hearty. True; and so were the young men who were cut off in the prime of life, in the midst of their sins; and so was little John, younger than many of you. Let me, then, entreat you to prepare now, be ready now; seeing you know not what a day may bring forth; health, strength, youth, are no security for life. "What is your life? It is even a vapour, which endureth a little while and then vanisheth away." You have seen the vapour from the steam-engine as it passed along; a few moments it appeared in sight, and then it was gone.

By nature and practice you are all sinners, and are not prepared, not ready, to die and enter the presence of a holy God. Jesus Christ, the sinner's friend, and the children's friend too, came on earth, and suffered and died for sinners; and God is willing to pardon and save you for his sake if you come to him. He waits to be gracious. He says, "Suffer little children to come unto me." Come, then, to him. Believe his word, that he is able and willing to pardon and receive you. Ask him to have mercy on a little child, by pardoning your sins, and fitting you for heaven. Rely upon him day by day. Live to his service, and for his glory; and then, should he call, you will be ready and prepared to meet W. E. W. your God.

Dec. 1847.

Он, Thou, who mak'st the sun to rise,
Beam on my soul, illume mine eyes,

And guide me through this world of


The wand'ring atom thou canst see,
The falling sparrow's mark'd by thee;
Then, turning mercy's ear to me,
Listen! listen!

Listen to an infant's prayer!
Oh, Thou! whose blood was spilt to save
Man's nature from a second grave!

To share in whose redeeming care
Want's lowliest child is not too mean,
Guilt's darkest victim too unclean;
Oh! Thou wilt deign from heaven to hear,
And listen-listen-
Listen to an infant's prayer!

Oh, Thou! who wilt with monarchs part
To dwell within a contrite heart,
And build thyself a temple there;
O'er all my dull affections move,
Fill all my soul with heavenly love,
And, kindly stooping from above,
Listen! listen!

Listen to an infant's prayer!

HOW TO BE HAPPY AND GAY. BEGONE, dull Sloth, I pray thee begone from me;

Begone, dull Sloth, you and I shall never

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The Cabinet.


THE preservation and spread of religion should not depend exclusively on the particular order of men known as ministers, however important their function may be. All Christians, in their respective stations, ought to co-operate with those who are by designation "workers together with God." It ought to be a matter of thankfulness that the number of ministers, properly so called, who enter into the spirit of their office, and preach the truth as it is in Jesus, is exceedingly increased. But, compared with the field, and the vastness of the work, the labourers are yet few. And few they would be found, if multiplied a thousand-fold; and we should still need the property, the talents, the influence, the example, the exertions, the prayers, of all the subjects of Divine grace. And can their services be dispensed with now? God is not the God of confusion, but of peace; and he has said, "Let everything be done decently, and in order." It is his providence that determines the bounds of our habitation, and furnishes the several stations we occupy; and into these we are to look for our duties and opportunities. Men are often led out of their own proper sphere of action in order to be useful; but it is ignorance, if not discontent and pride, that tempts them astray: as the stream of a river is most lovely and beneficial when it patiently steals along its own channel, though it makes not so much noise, and excites not so much notice, as when it breaks over its banks, and roars and rolls as a flood,-so good men are most acceptable and useful in their appointed course. Wisdom will estimate every man by what he is, not out of his place and calling, but in them. There we naturally look after him; there we unavoidably compare him with his obligations; there we see him habitually; and there he gains a character, or goes without one. It is to be feared that some, even of the stricter professors of religion, have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. It blazes at a distance, but it burns dim at home. In a day like the present, there will be many occasional calls of public duty; but it will be a sad exclamation to make at a dying hour, "My own vineyard have I not kept!" In the spiritual, still more than in the tem→ poral neglect, "He that provideth not for his own, especially those of his own house, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." You wish to "serve your generation." It is well that it is in your heart; but let it be "according to the will of God." And how does this require you to proceed? From public relation into private, or from private into public? Does it order you to waste time and strength, to go a distance, and begin labouring where difficulties will be too great, and means too few, to allow of your improving the waste back to your own door? Or, to begin

near, to cultivate onwards, to clear and fertilize the ground as you advance, so as to feel every acquisition already made converted into a resource to encourage, support, and assist you in your future toil? "You long to be useful. And why are you not? Can you want either opportunity or materials-you, who are placed at the head of families-you, who are required to "rule well your own households;" to "dwell with your wives according to knowledge;" to "train up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;" to behave towards your servants, as "remembering that you also have a Master in heaven?" Behold, O man of God! a congregation, endeared and attentive, committed to thy trust! Behold a flock whom you may feed with knowledge and understanding, and before whom you may walk as 66 an example in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity!" Behold an altar on which to offer the morning and evening sacrifice of prayer and of praise! Here" observe these things, without preferring one before another;" here "teach and exhort, and reprove with all long-suffering and patience;" here officiate, and " ye shall be named the priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God.'

The remark of Baxter is worthy of our regard:-" If family religion were duly attended to and properly discharged, I think the preaching of the Word would not be the common instrument of conversion." And Gurnall says: "The family is the nursery of the church. If the nursery be neglected, what, in time, will become of the gardens and the orchards?"

The examples of the faithful; the commendations which God has bestowed upon them in his word; his promises and threatenings; the obvious and numberless advantages resulting from domestic devotion, as to a personal religion and relative government with regard to those that preside in the family; and as to instruction, restraints, and motives, with regard to relations, children, and servants;-all this must surely be enough to induce any man capable of conviction, to terminate with a broken heart the mischiefs of neglect; and to "swear unto the Lord, and vow unto the mighty God of Jacob-Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, nor slumber to mine eyelids; until I find out a place for the Lord, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob."

As to objections arising from fear, shame, a want of time, the unfashionableness of the usage, or its interfering with visits or dissipations; all this, in a being who yet owns himself to be a moral and an accountable creature, is unworthy of argument, and would be too much honoured by the attempt of refutation. There is one thing, however, that deserves notice: it is, the apprehension of inability to perform this duty. With respect to some, if not many, it is no breach of charity to conclude, that this is an excuse rather than a reason. It is disinclination, or, at least, the want of a more

powerful conviction, that hinders them from adopting this salutary usage, rather than incapacity. There are few cases in which the old adage is not to be verified,

"Where there's a will there's a way."

You feel little difficulty in making known your distresses or wishes to a fellow-creature; and the Lord looketh, not to the excellency of the language, but to the heart. The facility would be increased by practice and the Divine blessing; and I cannot but earnestly recommend the use of free and extemporaneous prayer where it is practicable. There is in it a freshness, a particularity, an appropriateness, an immediate adoption and use of circumstances and events, which cannot be found in the best composed forms. Yet there are those who have only a slender degree of religious knowledge, or discover a natural slowness and hesitancy of utterance, or feel a bashfulness of temper, so that they cannot gain confidence enough even to make a proper trial. And this diffidence is often found, even with persons of education and understanding. Indeed, such are more likely to feel difficulty than the vulgar and illiterate, whose ignorance is friendly to fluency, and whose confidence is not perplexed by modes of expression, and embarrassed by the influence of reputation. Now, in cases of inability or extreme difficulty, we would most earnestly recommend the use of forms in preference to neglect. After using these helps for a season, most persons would be able to proceed without them.

N.B.-The following will be found both a cheap and an excellent guide:Family Prayers, by the Rev. George Smith, of Poplar. To this the more opulent may add the admirable volumes of Mr. Jay, Dr. Morison, and Dr. Fletcher.


ALTHOUGH What I have to say should prove to be a tale that has been thrice told, yet it had need to be told again to some who are dull of hearing; to others it will, I doubt not, be something new; and I should hope it will prove useful to many. Surely, to persons of good sense, it ought to be enough that they be shown their faults, to induce them to amend their ways; and where grace is in the heart, there should be a willing ear bowed to faithful and affectionate counsel and reproof. To the professors of religion, who sit under the preached gospel, and who pass for the followers of the Saviour, the following remarks are addressed, by one whose heart has bled over the things which he laments to behold, and who now ventures to expose them to view, that they may be not only seen, but forsaken. But what are the things to be lamented?

1. Late attendance at the house of God.-I speak not of those occasional instances which no human foresight can prevent; but of that systematic late attendance to be observed in some persons, who

uniformly arrive in the middle of the prayer, or near its close, and with no one fair excuse on their side; but they have fallen into the habit, and therefore do not think it an evil. But is it not an evil? Have they no sins to confess-no mercies to acknowledge-no favours to ask? Would they be so late if any earthly king would condescend to give them an audience; and is it befitting the children of God to be so negligent of his favour? A little more diligence at home, and a little more love to God's house, would at once destroy this unhallowed practice. If ministers were behind their time, they would hear of it.

2. A disturbing manner of entering God's house.-Surely, if persons will come late, they might, at least, be as quiet as possible in finding their way to their seats-there can be no need for pattens or clogs along the clean aisle; nor should it be deemed necessary to push past a whole length of seat to reach the top, or force an earlier comer out, who could not reasonably expect any one would arrive at so late a period of the service, and therefore sat himself quietly down to worship. If such troublers could but enter into the minister's feelings, or the feelings of earlier comers, surely the least regard to a fellow-creature's comfort would at once do away with so very offensive a line of conduct!

3. A sleepy, careless way of hearing the Word.-If faith cometh by hearing-if attention be necessary to secure profit-what benefit can be derived by persons who doze away half their time? They do not sleep in their shops, or on the Exchange; and why, when dealing in matters that relate to eternity, is the excuse to be tolerated, that they were sleepy? How often is a minister's soul wrung at such a sight! and the example is also bad to children and worldlings. If faith were in lively exercise-if the grand realities of eternity were passing before the eyes of the mind-if agonizing prayer were going on between the soul and God,-would there be so much indolence seen in the house of God? Oh! how angels must mourn, and devils triumph, when disciples cannot watch one hour with their Lord.

4. Allowing trifles to keep them from the sanctuary.-A slight headache, a shower of rain, a calling friend, a convenient time for taking medicine, shabby clothes-all these are excuses. But will the same excuses be urged when the sabbath is passed? Oh, no! Business must be attended to. Thus the affairs of time are valued beyond those of eternity; and the soul may starve, if the body may but be fed. And what can be the result of this careless dealing with God, but darkness of mind, coldness of heart, and leanness of soul? If in temporal things the diligent shall be made fat, it is certain that it will be so in spiritual things. By a regular, persevering attendance on God, the soul prospers, and is in health, and brings forth fruit even in old age.

5. A proneness to wander from the stated place of worship.-Some new light has sprung up, some dreamer, or miracle-worker; some

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