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exclude the very place of those blessed inhabitants from being an example of our obedience. The motion of this thy heaven is perpetual, so let me ever be acting somewhat of thy will; the motion of thine heaven is regular, never swerving from the due points, so let me ever walk steadily in the ways of thy will, without all diversions or variations from the line of thy law; in the motion of thine heaven, though some stars have their own peculiar and contrary courses, yet all yield themselves to the sway of the main circumvolution of that first mover, so, though I have a will of mine own, yet let me give myself over to be ruled and ordered by thy Spirit in all my ways.
Man is a little world; my soul is heaven, my body is earth ; if this earth be dull and fixed, yet, () God, let my heaven (like unto thine) move perpetually, regularly, and in a constant subjection to thine Holy Ghost.
UPON THE SIGHT OF A DIAL.
If the sun did not shine upon this dial, nobody would look at it; in a cloudy day it stands like an useless post, unheeded, unregarded; but when once those beams break forth, every passenger runs to it, and gazes on it; O God, whilst thou hidest thy countenance from me, methinks all thy creatures pass by me with a willing neglect; indeed, what am ( without thee? And if thou hast drawn in me some lines and notes of able endowments, yet, if I be not actuated by thy grace, all is in respect of use no better than nothing. But, when thou renewest the light of thy loving countenance upon me, 1 find a sensible and happy change of condition; methinks all things look upon me with such cheer and observance as if they meant to make good that word of thine, “Those that honour me I will honour;" HOW, every line and figure which it hath pleased thee to work in me serve for useful and profitable direction; O Lord, all the glory is thine; give thou me light, I shall give others information; both of us shall give thee praise.
UPON OCCASION OF A REDBREAST COMING INTO HIS
Pretty bird! how cheerfully dost thou sit and sing, and yet knowest not where thou art, nor where thou shalt (make
thy next meal. and at night must shroud thyself in a bush for lodging; what a shame is it for me that see before me such liberal provisions of my God, and find myself set warm under my own roof, yet am ready to droop under a distrustful and unthankful dulness. Had I so little certainty of my harbour and purveyance, how heartless should I be, how careful; how little list should I have to make music to Thee or myself! Surely, thou camest not hither without a providence, God sent thee not so much to delight as to shame me, but all in a conviction of my sullen unbelief, who, under more apparent means, am less cheerful and confident. Reason and faith have not done so much in me, as, in thee, mere instinct of nature; want of foresight makes thee more merry, if not more happy here, than the foresight of better things maketh me.
O God, thy providence is not impaired by those powers thou hast given me above these brute things; let not my greater helps hinder me from a holy security and comfortable reliance
A FEW PLAIN RULES SUITABLE FOR A NEW YEAR. THE following are a few plain rules, upon a due observance of which, the blessing of God may be sought to rest, for the sake of his dearly beloved Son. These rules point to a fitting distribution of time, and show how an accountable being may live happily all day long; they are in a certain degree and to a certain extent, at least, fitted for the adoption of all. 1. Begin and end every day with God. Let
first waking thoughts be directed to the Lord. Acknowledge thankfully the extent of that mercy which has spared you to see the light of another day, and forget not the very many souls which, throughout the inhabited world, were, during the night last past, summoned to the bar of God.
2. Before the cominencement of any worldly business whatever, beseech the Lord your God to be your sure guide and protector in the several perils and temptations of the day. If your daily occupation is attended to, and thought of, before the duties of religion, you will find it if not impracticable, to enable religion to overtake it again throughout the day. Then, let no trifling excuses make you
very hard, omit and neglect prayer to God, in the name of Christ, and let the beautiful epitome of your duty enjoined by the Redeemer, the Lord's Prayer, form a part of your devotions.
3. Your prayer having been offered with humility and in faith, be not dilatory, but proceed forthwith to resume your daily occupation. No one must be idle; God sent all men into the world for employment, some to work with the hand, some with the head, but all to work; be diligent then in your lawful calling. Let your calling be ever so laborious, complain not, but remember that your condition is the wise appointment of God. If you do so, you will glorify God, while sitting at the loom or following the plough, in an equal degree with those of higher ranks, yea, even with the monarch
the throne. Bear in mind that not the outward seeming, but the heart is regarded by God.
4. Be honest as well as diligent in your calling. Are you a parent? Then rob not your children, by habits of intemperance and indolence, of that which you are in duty bound to provide for their bodily wants; above all, do not, by wastefulness, deprive yourself of the power of procuring for them the food that perisheth not, by means of religious education. Are you a master or mistress ? Forget not that the souls of your servants are as precious in the sight of God as your own—then do not, by calling upon them to serve you, when they ought to be serving God, rob them of that valuable time which, when lost, can never be recovered. Are you an apprentice or servant ? take heed not to rob your employer, either of that property which entrusted to you, or of that time which is not your own, but his.
5. Amid all your worldly avocations, strive, in dependence upon Divine grace, to walk close to God; labour after a heavenly frame of mind ; remember, that you may, even in the midst of business, utter or at least feel a hearty prayer; and such a frame, if acquired, will tend to keep you from vain and idle thoughts, and what is worse, loose conversation, dissolute companionship, and sinful occupations.
6. Be ever watchful against the encroachments of sin, and avoid evil company. If you feel the assault of some great temptation, cry heartily to the Lord for help, you know that you grieve the Holy Spirit when you yield to temptations, and Satan triumphs over his wretched victim.
7. In all circumstances and at all times, depend solely and
alone upon the free unmerited grace of God, through his Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for a blessing upon your endeavours, and pray to him to give you an undeviating trust in him. In the time of sickness, of difficulty, or of loss, acknowledge the hand of God, and seek to improve the visitation. Are you successful and in the enjoyment of seasonable comforts ? again own the gracious hand of a mercy-dispensing God, and render unto him continually the thankful acknowledgments of a grateful heart.
8. I will suppose you to have passed through the day, and that evening has arrived. Now commence a review of
your actions through the day, make humble confession of your sins, pray for God's pardoning mercy in Christ Jesus, and when you have been protected from temptations, may grace lead you to give God all the glory of your victory; after all, confess that you are an unprofitable servant, and look for pardon only and alone in the saving blood of the blessed Redeemer. Before you retire to your pillow, commend, in humble fervent prayer, your soul, and the souls of those for whom you are in duty bound to pray, to the care and keeping of a God of love and compassion.
9. Lastly, consider your Bible the very richest treasure you possess on earth, because in its holy pages you are taught the only road which can conduct to eternal peace : read it continually, and pray for the grace of the Spirit, that so you may understand what you read. Read it not only when alone, but to your family.
H. W. G. A.
CALLS OF USEFULNESS. A Call on one unaccustomed to read Tracts. Visitor.-AS you are at the door, Mr. Start, I will put a tract into your hand as I pass, Repentance and happy death of Lord Rochester.” Perhaps you may not have read it.
Mr. Start. No, for I very seldom read any tracts at all. Visitor. And yet you might get some good from them. When a tract is written in a good spirit, given in a good spirit, received in a good spirit, and read in a good spirit, it seldom fails to produce some benefit. I would not ask you to read that tract if I thought it would do you an injury. Mr. Start. Oh no, I dare say not, but there are so many notions of one kind or other afloat, that I can hardly believe any of them.
Visitor. One reason why there are such different opinions among mankind may be, that many people think of this world alone, while others bear in mind that there is a world to come. “The two best things," said a philosopher, "are health of body and peace of mind.” In
my opinion and experience,” replied an aged servant of Christ,
there are two still better—a conviction that we are sinners, and a knowledge that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners,”
But I must go on; good morning, Mr. Start; oblige me by reading the tract I have left with you.
A Call on a Party of Boys. Here
you all are as merry as crickets, as lively as singing birds, and as busy as bees in their hive on a fine summer's day, not a sorrowful face among you. I expected how it would be, holiday and happiness are the same things in the mind of young people. Well! in my time I have been as merry and as lighthearted as the best of you, nor do I think that we can be too happy in this world, if our happiness be not of a kind to interfere with our hope of a better.
It is not my intention to interrupt you in your sports, and indeed I am in too much haste to stay with you long, but for a few minutes gather around me, and I will tell
you a tale. Ay, ay! I see that you are all ready enough to list to my tale, but whether you will be equally ready to profit by the lesson it conveys, is not equally certain ; however, I will begin, for your eyes are set upon me almost as though you were ready to eat me.
Once on a time lived a powerful king who reigned over a large and fertile country. He had crowns of gold and pearls, and sceptres of ivory and precious stones. His treasury was full of the costly things of the earth, tens of thousands of armed men were ready to obey his bidding, and his dominion extended from sea to sea. But without God's blessing worldly possessions are but an increase of care, and as this mighty monarch feared not God he was dissatisfied and unhappy.
In the dominions of the king lived a certain dervise, famed for abstinence, sanctity, wisdom, and piety; and the