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-Jacob left his father's house in a manner which he must have regarded a reproof for sin. Instead of going out as the heir of promise, and as the son of a wealthy house,-in order to conceal his plan, and save his life from the fury of Esau, he is obliged to steal out, unattended, and unprovided with the conveniences necessary for a long and lonely journey, through a country where there were none of the conveniences for travellers which we are now accustomed to. By a man of Esau's bold and active temper, these things would scarcely have been felt as hardships; but to Jacob, whose delight lay in retirement and domestic life, to be obliged to forego the society of his beloved mother and aged father, to make his way for himself, and encounter alone the roughnesses of life, they would be trying and mortifying. And every painful circumstance must have been imbittered, and rendered doubly painful, by a conviction that it was a rebuke for sin. In these circumstances, then-shame and sorrow for the past, and anxiety for the future, pressing on his mind-how full of consolation must this manifestation have been! In the steps he had recourse to for obtaining the blessing, he had broken God's commandments; and now, in this banishment from his father's house, he was punished; "nevertheless God would not utterly take his loving-kindness from him." He might have expected, that, if the Lord communicated with him at all, it would be to upbraid him with his sin,-but instead of reproaches, the most merciful expressions of protection and acknowledgment proceeded from His lips. Thus, if the bright radiance of forgiving love be but shed upon his path, the true Christian will gladly suffer that punishment, which serves, at once, to impress upon his memory, that it is an evil and bitter thing to forsake the Lord, and also to vindicate the holiness of God, who, while he comforts and pardons the offender, spares not the offence. 2 Sam. xii. 13.
But let us consider the vision a little more particularly. The ladder extending from earth to heaven, with the angels of God descending to earth, and again ascending up to heaven, by it, appears intended to shadow forth the intercourse between this world and heaven, by means of angels-those "ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation,"-and thus to instruct Jacob, that the providence of God watched over, and ordered, all things.
In the thirteenth and fourteenth verses, God renews the promises made to Abraham and Isaac of the gift of the land of Canaan, of an innumerable posterity, and of the descent of the Messiah from him-and, in the fifteenth verse, promises his special protection and presence through every scene of his future life-that he would bring him again to that land, and not leave him till he had done that which he had spoken to him of namely, that the Messiah should be born of his race, and all the families of the earth be blessed in him. The words in which this blessing is conveyed are particularly tender and beautiful, and such as every Christian may, and will, delight to appropriate to himself. "Behold, I am with thee;"-and "if God be for us, who can be against us?" and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest,"-" Not a hair of your head shall fall to the ground without your Father." "As the hills stand about Jerusalem, so standeth the Lord round about his people."
V. 15. "And will bring thee again to this land." -Jacob was attached to the land of Canaan, not only as the residence of his parents, but as the land of promise, and the gift of God. The Christian does not hold to any spot on earth by all these ties; but he may apply these words to that heavenly country, of which Canaan was a type-which he has often visited in spirit, and loves as the abode of Jesus, and of "the general assembly and church of the
first-born;" and rejoices that he has the promise of God, of whom Joshua testified to the Israelites, "Ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things that the Lord your God spake concerning you: all are come to pass unto you; and not one thing hath failed thereof," that he will not leave him till he has done that which he has spoken to him of-till he has sanctified him wholly in body, soul, and spirit, and brought him to his own eternal glory.
V. 16. In looking back on the circumstances through which we have passed, we have often reason to say, with Jacob, "Surely the Lord was in this place, and I knew it not." But "the works of the Lord are great, sought out of all those that have pleasure therein." The gift may be good and useful,—but if we discern not the hand that bestowed it, we lose the pleasure of the affection of the giver.
V. 20-22. Jacob's vow was simply an acknowledgment of his dependence on the promise given him, which he repeats almost word for word, in prayer to God, and declares his grateful purpose, God should thus be gracious to him, of devoting a
tenth to Him.
V. 18. "Poured oil."-The anointing with oil, was the symbol by which, in Old Testament times, things and persons were sanctified-set apart from common use, and consecrated to the service of God.
"Bethel." That is, the house of God. T. B. P.
(To be continued.)
AN IRISH GIRL.
THE happy cottagers of England can scarcely form an idea of the poverty and distress which prevail
in many parts of Ireland. The British and Irish Ladies' Society of London have established Associations in Ireland, for the purpose of giving employment to the female peasantry of that country; and the exertions of the Irish ladies who superintend these Associations have been attended with the happiest effects. The following affecting anecdote is taken from a letter written by the Secretary of one of these Associations.
"A young woman living near Kinsale, in the county of Cork, applied lately to the Association in that town, and begged most earnestly for some employment. A series of domestic misfortunes had reduced her to great distress; and, as she seemed inclined to be industrious, she was put to the mat work. This young woman comes a mile every morning, stays all day at her work, and returns at night to share an uncertain meal of potatoes with her sick father! As the winter was coming on, she said to one of her young companions, that she was afraid she must soon lose the good chance that had just turned up for her, as she could not come so far in the rain without a cloak. A lady, hearing of this circumstance, gave her the money to take her cloak out of pawn; and upon further enquiry, it was found that she had no warm clothing, having pledged it all, to relieve the necessities of her dying mother, who languished three years in a consumption !Since this she has been able to redeem a neat gown, which she had parted with for the same purpose! The industry of this exemplary young woman has already added much to her comfort, and been the means of restoring her to a state of comparative cheerfulness. She is always at her work early in the morning, and is the last who quits it at night. What a lesson is here presented to the discontent
See the Report of the British and Irish Ladies' Society. Rivingtons. Waterloo-place.
ed, and despairing! Had this poor Irish girl sunk under her sorrows, the last hours of her mother would not have been soothed by her affectionate attentions, nor could she now have been enabled to solace the declining years of her remaining parent. IOTA. Nov. 8, 1825.
THE CHURCH SERVICE NOT A PERFORMANCE.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor. SIR,
I HAVE often thought that the people who live in cottages have some advantages which are denied to the people who live in palaces; and one of these advantages is that a cottager is not liable to be held up to the public gaze, and to have every action watched and recorded, like those who are placed in higher stations. The King and the Royal Family cannot take a walk or a ride without having it published in every newspaper in London the next day. Every time they go to Church too, we read an account of it in the public paper. And the way of putting this into the paper is what I feel particularly disposed to complain of. There is much harm arising from ill-chosen words, for they make a wrong impression on the minds of the readers. You have given a hint on the subject before, Sir; but it may be of use to say a word more upon it, as we are too ready to adopt expressions which have an injurious effect on our habits, and modes of thinking. For instance, I have just read in the Morning Post, that the Princess Augusta attended the Parish Church of Windsor, and heard service performed by the Rev. Mr. G." Does not this seem as if the clergyman was an actor, and had something to perform, and that the people assembled together to