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put together, and you must not rest satisfied until you have got that, the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'
“Now I hope, Alfred, that as you have been a busy bee at school, you will gather honey from this anecdote. Reward books are excellent things in their places, but if you had all that have ever been printed in the world, they would do you but little good, unless you could look forward to
the reward of the inheritance in heaven, promised to all the followers of Jesus Christ. To this, then, let your heart be directed.”
Press boldly on, though all rewards are given,
Call on a charitable Neighbour. Mrs. Rollins, you will excuse my calling in upon you, to put you on your guard against two or three persons to whom you exercise great kindness. You take them to be in real want, but if they are in want, it is not so much on account of their poverty as their waste and intemperance.
It would ill become me to stop the current of your charity, which I believe runs pretty freely to the habitations of
poor. I only want to direct it in a channel where it may
do more good, and benefit persons more worthy of assistance. For your great kindness to the poor in this neighbourhood, I thank you; and I trust that He who has disposed your heart to relieve the distresses of others, will abundantly bless you
basket and your store, in your going out and coming in. It is a mercy to have the means, and a still greater mercy to possess the desire, to relieve affliction and want. Active benevolence towards mankind, done from a proper motive, is the very
soul of thanksgiving to God, for it is not knowing, or talking about his commandments, but doing them in a spirit of love, that is most acceptable to him. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Twice have I seen that man with the leathern cap and the old great coat, who calls upon you so frequently, reel out of a gin-shop, using language that it would shock you to hear. Now, I know that it is not your intention that your money should be spent in gin. The three lads without shoes and stockings, who come begging at your back door, shivering as though they have the ague, are three of the most graceless young scoundrels in the whole neighbourhood. I gave one of them shoes, and the other two stockings, but they never wore them; and yesterday I saw them altogether, laughing and grinning as they ran off with their hands filled with fruit from an old woman's stall, which they had wilfully upset.
But of all the impostors that ever abused kindness, that Peggy Lucas is surely the worst. I have made diligent inquiry about her, and find her to be a liar, a thief, and an abandoned drunkard. She carries about songs and books of an improper kind, and makes up a tale to suit every kind of customer she happens to fall in with. I used to think her husband a proper object to relieve, but I find that he and she are both alike; not a pin to choose between them. Frank Lucas stopped me the other day, after he had been drinking too freely; he put on a hypocritical air, and told me that he had neither tasted bit nor drop the whole day; and when I gave him to understand that I had no money to spare to a drunkard, he swore he had borne his poverty long enough, and that he would make quick work of it, and put an end to his misery at once in the canal. I ventured so far as to let him have his own way; but in spite of his determination to destroy himself, he convinced me yesterday, by another application, that he is much more attached to begging than drowning.
There is in the white cottage, in the garden at the back of the brewery, a poor, honest, industrious woman, struggling hard to support a large family; sickness is now in the house, and my heart aches for the poor woman, whom I know to be a deserving creature. Now, Mrs. Rollins, I thought it would be no difficult matter to persuade you to give up the man in the leathern cap, and the three graceless young scoundrels, who are deceivers, as well as Frank Lucas and his wife Peggy, and to bestow what you otherwise might have given them, on this poor industrious
I will leave the case with you, and you can act
as you think proper. You will easily find the white cottage at the back of the brewery. It was the employment of the Saviour of the world to go about doing good, and a blessed thing it is to follow his example. “The liberal soul shall be made fat,” temporally and spiritually; and “ he that watereth, shall be watered also himself.”
Call on a Thoughtless Young Man. Ay, Thomas! Thomas! all that I said to you the other day did but little good, I understand. You went to the wake yesterday after all, with your thoughtless companions, and I dare say now that you are sorry for it.
Here to-day you are stopping at home with more pains in your head, and bitter reflections in your mind, than
in your pocket. You ask me if some could not go to a wake without getting into mischief. I reply, When you can put your hand into a wasp's nest without being stung, or into the fire without being burnt; when you can walk barefoot on thorns without injury, or handle pitch without being defiled--then may you hope to go into temptation with thoughtless comrades without delivering yourself up to evil. You look ashamed enough, and feel ashamed enough, I
and therefore I will say but little, for I have no wish to speak bitter truths to you
heart is telling you so many. For the sake of your own soul be more careful, more watchful, more prayerful, for the future. It. is an error to reprove a transgressor too roughly, and another to treat him too tenderly, nor would I willingly fall into either of them. Read this tract, “ Advice to a Young Man on entering the World;" it may excite a desire, if God's blessing attend it, to live more consistently with his glory and your own happiness—a course that will ensure peace, when the summons of death shall arrive, and an abundant entrance into a heavenly inheritance. May God of his goodness show you the deformity of sin. “That heart which never saw its own desperate wickedness will lightly esteem, or totally reject, Christ's righteousness.” May you be taught and guided in the way of salvation, and finally attain everlasting life, through Him who will save all that trust in his mercy.
TREES. THE almond tree is the first to blossom, and the last to bear fruit: let it not be so with us. To be swift to promise, and slow to perform, is a sad reproach to any one, but especially to a follower of Christ.
The aspen tree quivers with the slightest breeze: so should the Christian shrink and tremble at the approach of sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” i John i. 8, 9.
The cedar is one of the most durable and magnificent of all trees. It was of the wood of this tree that Solomon's temple was built. Christians should form the materials of a yet more glorious edifice, whose walls proclaim salvation, and whose gates speak of praise.
The pine tree is among those that lift their heads highest in the air; and the people of God should all be pines, living nearer heaven than the
neighbours around them. One of the most fruitful of forest trees is the chestnut. Fair is its blossom, and abundant the clustering fruit upon its branches. Equally fruitful should the follower of the Redeemer be in every good word and work.
It was in the shadowy groves of oak trees that the druids observed their superstitious rites. When Christians look on an oak, it should remind them of these superstitions, that they may more highly value the truths of the word of God, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is said, that there is a sort of palm-tree in Ceylon, that never bears fruit till the last year of its life. Well will it be for all of us, if, while we bear good fruit every year, the last year of our lives should be the best spent, and the most profitable of all. Sad will it be to fall like
fruitless figtree, cumbering the ground. Better far to be gathered in, like a shock of corn fully ripe, into the garner of the Lord.
Go forward, Christian ! humbly, but hopefully; carefully, but courageously; keeping the cross in view, and gathering instruction from the wondrous works of the Lord, for then 6
shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands,” Isa. lv. 12.
LUTHER ON THE FATHERS. TAKE this one reply to all sayings of the fathers; .it is from Augustine, or rather from Paul. I read other things, accordingly as they excel in learning, but I do not receive anything as true, merely because they thought so. I will not yield that liberty which is conferred by Paul, when he says, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. It is enough to have cleared the holy fathers from the charge of heresy; but from the charge of error and violent wresting of the Scriptures they neither can nor should be cleared.
INSTRUCTION FROM THE CREATURES. JOB XII. 7-9. ALL creatures have a teaching voice; they read us divinity lectures of Divine Providence. Christians, who have not only reason but grace, may learn from creatures which have not so much as life or sense. Images made by man are teachers of lies; but the things which God hath made are teachers of truth. And hence it is that Christ himself taketh up parables from the meanest of the creatures, to instruct his hearers. I confess there is no knowledge like the knowledge of Christ, and of him crucified. The cross of Christ is the chief subject of holy study; as the apostle's resolve assures, “ I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified," I Cor. ii. 2. All knowledge, without the knowledge of Christ, is but ignorance; yet there is a usefulness of knowledge from natural things, as subservient' unto spiritual. Grace in the heart of a believer improves common earthly objects to holy ends, as having a stamp of heaven upon them. The world below is as a glass, wherein we may see the world above. Those who cannot read other books, may run and read this: it is the ploughman's alphabet, the shepherd's calendar, the traveller's perspective, through which he receives the lively species of infinite excellences in God. We
meditate from the sun to the stone; from the cedar to the hyssop that groweth on the wall; from the angel to the worm that creepeth on the ground; from all, from the least of these, we may know much of the great God; and it is the scope of the apostle (Rom. i.) to convince those who do not. It is reported of one who had but little or no knowledge at all