Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

45, 68, 72, 87, 110, 118, are prophetical of the advent, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ.—And that the 78th and 105th, and 106th Psalms are altogether historical, relating to the numerous interpositions of God, in regard to the children of Israel ; sometimes by miraculous deliverances, at other times by some severe and heavy infliction of punishment.

H. W. G. A.

CALLS OF USEFULNESS.

A Call on a poor contented Woman. DON'T trouble yourself, Sukey, to reach a chair; for I am in too much haste to sit down. How does

your

little garden go on ? Come, the rose-tree is a beauty, and the mignionette smells as sweet as a May morning. This little border of flowers gives you more pleasure than many find in plantations and pleasure-grounds. 'Tis a happy thing to be content with such possessions as it pleases God to bestow.

Sukey. You may say that indeed, sir; Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.” Here my naughty Nancy, in coming by squire Maitland's yesterday morning, pushed her hand through the iron rails to pluck a rose. There is no good got by picking and stealing : she was in such a hurry, and pulled it away so hastily, that a thorn has been sticking in her finger ever since.

Visitor. Indeed! I am orry to hear that Nancy should put out her hand to take what did not belong to her. There is as much sin in gathering a flower which is not hers, as in plucking forbidden fruit, and we all know what evils the latter sin has been the means of bringing into the world. Come here, Nancy, let me look at your finger. Ay, it is sadly festered. I will see if I can get out the thorn with the point of my penknife. Don't be afraid, I shall not hurt you much, 1 dare say, but those who do wrong must smart for it. Sin never yet answered the purpose of any human being, and it never will. It is like a blooming peach with a wasp in it, that yields a little pleasure and a great deal of pain.

Present joy and future sorrow,
Shine to-day and shade to-morrow.

There! the thorn is out now;

but stop,

I must squeeze your finger a little, or it will not heal.

Sukey. Stand still, Nancy, and don't pull away your finger in that manner. I hope it will make

you

remember another time.

Visitor. I believe it will do now; but let it be a lesson to you, Nancy. If you give way to the temptation of plucking the flowers belonging to another, you may be led on to take things of more importance. Sin is ever stirring to discover the weakest part of our hearts, therefore we ought ever to be striving to strengthen ourselves by watching and praying and looking unto Jesus. You cannot keep yourself safe with all your strength, but God can keep you secure in all your weakness.

Every sin has a thorn attached to it, and though sometimes it is neither seen nor felt for a long time, yet sooner or later, it will spring up. It may not wound the finger, but it will torment the heart. David knew this, and prayed to God in these words, Remember not the sins of my youth.” It is an excellent thing to profit by the experience of God's people. Their very errors may be made useful to us; we may gather roses of instruction from their thorny trials, at the same time that we endeavour to profit by our own. Now, Nancy, remember that the thorn which drives us from evil is better than the flower that leads us into temptation. What the world calls little sins are in some respects more dangerous than great ones, for the latter affright us by their appearance, whereas the former are sometimes committed before we discover them. Beware of a little sin, and you will be kept from great ones. Farewell, Nancy! whenever

you

find temptation too strong for you, go to Jesus for strength to withstand it. Weep, and watch, and pray, but do not sin.

Look to Jesus, watch and pray,
Then the snare shall pass away.

A Call on a Scold. Molly, Molly, you must promise me that you will read the tract that I have brought you; for if ever woman stood in need of faithful advice, that woman must be Molly Roberts. I was ashamed to stop yesterday when you and your neighbour were raising the street with your clamour,

[ocr errors]

לל

the disturbers of the whole neighbourhood, and the laughingstock of all around you.

What an unlovely sight it is to see human beings formed for acts of kindness, giving way to such unworthy passions. There was you with your face white with anger, and Betty Tibbets with her cheeks red with rage, rating each other like furies; your hands clenched by your sides, your eyes filled with indignation, and your chins almost touching each other. When I heard the foul words that flew from your tongues, and saw the spite and bitterness with which you threatened each other, you reminded me of that passage

in the word of God, The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity,' “it is set on fire of hell, ”James iii.

It was but the other day that I heard you as I passed, scolding your husband as loudly as you could. In former times, Molly, they used to put a scold on a ducking-stool, and taking her to the nearest horse-pond, duck her over head until she could hardly speak, and to tell you the truth I am not surprised that they should have done so.

It is not often that I speak angry words, but I cannot help being angry with you for making yourself hated and despised, when you might be loved and respected.

Do be advised, Molly: curb your fierce temper, and restrain your fiery tongue. Do this, or rather ask God to do it for you, that you may live in peace with God, in peace with your neighbours, and in peace with your own heart.

The same advice that I give to you I shall give to your neighbour also. What is the use of plaguing each other's hearts, and making each other's lives miserable? How much better to “ follow after the things which make for peace. “ Live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

.

A Call on a Miner. Though you are a stranger to me, you will not take it amiss that I should call with this Testament, the precious gospel of Jesus Christ. A very good old man who had served God many years, was sitting one day, with several other persons, eating a meal upon a bank very near a pit, and he was nearest to the mouth of it. Whilst he was eating, a pigeon, which seemed very tame, came and fluttered in

his breast, and slightly pecked him. It flew away, and he did not think much about it, till in about five minutes it came again and did the same. The old man then said, “ I will follow thee pretty messenger, and see where thou comest from.” He rose up to follow the bird, and while he was away the banks of the pit fell in, and his companions were all killed. This is a true story, and happened at a mine near Swansea.

You may, perhaps, wonder that God in his providence should send a pigeon on such an errand; but does he not do more wonderful things every day for our benefit? Does he not send the sun to light us by day, and the moon and stars by night? Does he not give us flowers in spring, fruit in summer, grain in autumn, and frost and snow to fertilize the ground in winter ? the morning dew and the evening breeze are a part of his manifold gifts.

Yours is a dangerous employment, but the more dangerous it is, the greater is the necessity that you should prepare for another world. If God sent a pigeon to the miner at Swansea, to save his body from destruction, perhaps this Testament may be sent by him that your

soul may be saved. Read it and pray over it, that Divine grace may make it a messenger to guide you to glory.

THE EVIL OF BELIEVING TOO MUCH. IT is a common saying among the Roman Catholics, that it is better to believe too much than to believe too little; .and it is one of the arguments with which they endeavour to make proselytes, that they believe all that Protestants believe, besides a good deal that Protestants do not believe. Hence they would have it inferred that their religion possesses all the advantages which belong to Protestantism, and some more into the bargain; so that if the religion of the reformation is safe, much more is that of the church of Rome safe. Now, as this way of talking (reasoning it is not worthy to be called) has some influence in making Roman Catholics, I shall take the liberty of examining it.

Why is it better to believe too much than to believe too little? Excess in other things is not better than defect. To eat or drink too much is not better than to eat or drink too little. To believe that two and two make five, is as bad as to believe that two and two make three. One of these errors will derange a man's calculations as much as the other. The man who believes that two and two make five, has no advantage because he believes the whole truth and a little more.

A certain writer, who ought to be in high authority at Rome as well as everywhere else, represents additions to the truth to be as injurious and as offensive to God as subtraction from it. “ If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book," Rev. xxii. 18, 19. Here you see what a man gets by believing too much. It is not so safe a thing as the Roman Catholics represent it to be. Adding, is as bad as taking away. For every article added there is a plague added.

I suppose that one reason why these additions to the truth are so offensive to God is, that they are such additions as take from that to which they are added; just as when a mạn puts “ a piece of new cloth into an old garment, that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse,” Matt. ix. 16. All the additions of the church of Rome to Christianity take away from some of its doctrines.. She first cuts a hole in the robe of Christ, and then applies her patch! In order to make room for her doctrine of human merit, she has to take away just so much from the merit of Christ. The Protestant doctrine is, that we are justified by faith alone, without the deeds of the law. Nay, says the Roman Catholic, our own good works have something to do in the matter of our justification. Now, this addition does not leave entire that to which it is added, but takes from it.

We hold to the perfection of the one sacrifice offered by Christ on the cross. The Roman Catholics add to this the sacrifice of the mass. They are not satisfied with Christ's being once offered to bear the sins of many,” but they teach the strange doctrine, that Christ is offered as often as a priest is pleased to say mass!

Nothing is further from the truth than that the Roman Catholic believes all which the Protestant believes, besides a great deal that the Protestant does not believe. The latter part of the assertion is correct. The Romanists believe great deal which the Protestants do not.

In the quantity

לל

a

« PoprzedniaDalej »