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It is commonly urged in behalf of charity, that it is the most lasting, as well as the most excellent, of Christian virtues. The other virtues are temporal, but this is eternal. The others are calculated for this life only; but charity both for this life, and that which is to come. Need I explain, that by charity I mean that comprehensive and Christian love, which we owe to our fellow-creatures; the chief fruits of which in this world are seen in relieving their wants, and forgiving their offences. I say this most excellent and truly Christian virtue is calculated, both for this life and the next. The same principle of love will subsist in heaven; though the same reasons for exerting it will not; for we shall there have no offence to forgive, and no want to relieve. “ Faith, hope, and charity, these three,” saith the Apostle ; “ but the greatest of these is charity;" for in heaven, faith shall be swallowed up in intuition, and hope in enjoyment; but charity shall remain for ever. Other Christian virtues may live in this world ; but charity shall reign in heaven.
O blessed state! when all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and all malice and revenge shall have no place in our souls ! when the little interests of this life shall be of no concern to us; the trifles that contracted our hearts, and created our contests, shall become useless, and insignificant, and the infirmities that inflamed those trifles shall be no more: when all disputes shall be done away, all factions fall, and all contentions cease: when the greatest enemies shall meet in friendship, and wonder how they mistook and misrepresented one another: when pride, and envy, and avarice, shall never be felt in our hearts; and the happiness, and power, and pre-eminence of others shall raise no passions in us, but admiration, and love, and joy: when all the pomps and vanities of this world shall vanish ; and goodness, true Christian goodness, shall be the only distinction, the only character and test of greatness. “And they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan. xii. 3.) When“
shall see, even as we are seen :" when we shall see God, unshadowed ; and ourselves in his similitude: when we shall see him in his glory, and adore him in his excellence, and love him in his mercy,love him in his infinite good. ness and mercy; and love one another in his likeness, and for his sake : and by so doing, become happy, beyond all our hopes and wishes ! and the more we continue in knowing, and loving, and adoring, the more shall we insure and increase that happiness to all eternity.
Let us then begin to exercise that excellent virtue here, which will employ us for ever in heaven: and let us pot fail to give good proof of that mercy to our poor fellowcreatures, as often as we are able, which we ourselves receive from the great Creator of heaven and earth every moment of our lives here below, and which we hope to receive from bim to all eternity in heaven.--Dr. Delany.
THE OAK IN THE CHERRY-TREE.
(Concluded from page 220.) Here Dorothy closed her book; and Mr. T., who had been silently amused with the conversation, began, in his usual way, to moralize upon what had been read.
It is, indeed, said he, a very curious incident. I have never met with any thing like it, in all my observations on the vegetable kingdom. One might almost suppose, from this circumstance, that trees had partaken of the sad consequences of man's apostasy from God, when we see one living by another's death, and making the ruin of its fellow, the means of its own support. But I think I have seen something very much like it in human life. If you will have patience with me, I will tell you a tale of what came under my own observation ; and for the sake of concealing the real names of the parties, I will call one Mr. Cherry, and the other Mr. Oak. Mr. Cherry, though bred to the profession of the law, was a man of large fortune, and rich family connexions; and such was his influence, that he was considered capable of turning the scale at the county elections,
According to the custom of the parish where he lived, and in the affairs of which he took the lead, a poor boy was placed in his service as a parish apprentice. This youth, as he grew up, became very active, and useful to his master; who, at length, promoted him to the situation of a bailiff, and entrusted to him the management of a large estate, in the midst of which was situated a small village, on the seacoast, with quays, floating dock, dock-yard, &c., &c.
This village, with its appurtenances, might be justly called the master's hobby, on which no expense was spared to render it every way convenient for its increasing trade, both in imports and exports. Mr. Oak (the name by which the servant is now to be distinguished) having gained the full confidence of Mr. Cherry, was, at length, married to a favourite female servant, who had long been employed as lady's maid in the family. About the year 1804, when Napoleon Buonaparte created great alarm in this country, by his threatened invasion, Mr. Cherry took a very active part in raising a corps of Yeomanry Cavalry; and in this corps he thought it would be desirable to establish Mr. Oak as an officer. Mr. Oak, however, wanted the necessary qualification in point of property; and Mr. Cherry immediately exerted his ingenuity to discover some method of obviating this difficulty. The expedient which he adopted was that of drawing up a deed, in which he professed to give his servant an interest for life in the estate of which he was the overseer. This deed, being designed expressly for this sole purpose, and that end being answered, was soon entirely forgotten. It happened, some years after, that Mr. Cherry found he had good reason for withdrawing his confidence from Mr. Oak, and was, accordingly, about to remove him from his situation ; but he had struck his roots so deep that this was found to be impossible. He now brought to light the long-forgotten and uncancelled deed, which gave him a legal interest, for life, in the whole property. By this circumstance, the remainder of Mr. Cherry's life was embittered with harassing, vexatious, and expensive proceedings in law; and, though he proved in court a debt of £60,000 against Mr. Oak, he never could free him.
self from those toils of the law in which he was entangled by his ci-devant parish apprentice,-once his confidant, but now his inveterate foe,—till, in comparative poverty, his grey hairs were brought down with sorrow to the grave.
Caroline.—Thank you, Sir, for your interesting tale : it bears a striking resemblance to my picture. I think scarcely any one but yourself could have put his hand so readily upon such a moral fac-simile.
Mr. T.- I love to see young people alive to what is passing around them, both in the natural and moral world. The blessed Redeemer has taught us how to derive instruction from almost every object that surrounds us, by observing the resemblance between natural and spiritual things. The earth, the air, the corn, the vine and its branches, are all employed by him to give us clear and distinct ideas of the divine operations on the human mind, and of the benefits resulting from true religion. I hope the example of Mr. Oak will teach you to guard against the slightest encroachment on the rights of others, lest you should be tempted to establish yourselves on another's ruin: and let the case of Mr. Cherry teach you to sanction no transaction that is not in the strictest accordance with the laws of God and man.
This grave admonition produced a pause, which was again broken by
Caroline.--I think the whole story, including the moral, will make a capital tale. I am sure there are many worse tales in print.
Mr. T.-I perceive that Caroline has caught the cacoethes scribendi ; and therefore she had better copy the whole for the Editor of the Youth's Instructer, and enclose with it her pencil sketch of the tree, that she may, at least, say with the boy who blew the bellows of the organ, did it.”
DOROTHY AND CAROLINE.
LETTERS TO A YOUNG CHRISTIAN.
The duty of self-examination, like that of prayer, is both stated and occasional. The conscientious Christian, should not suffer a single day to pass, without an investigation of his moral character. At the close of the day, and when about to commit the keeping of his soul to Him “who never slumbereth nor sieepeth,” he should take a deliberate and serious retrospect of the past. His conduct, and the motives which prompted it, should pass under investigation.
I cannot, my young friend, too strongly recommend to you this practice. The most eminent saints have been dis
inguished for it; and I must press upon you a similar course, if you would aim at an elevated standard of piety.
There is less difficulty attending this diurnal investigation, than many professors imagine. Were long intervals to occur between the periods of self-examination, we should, indeed, experience much inconvenience and perplexity in performing the duty. We should then resemble the unskilful and heedless merchant, who, yielding to habitual negligence and hurry, defers posting his books, until he is overwhelmed with their intricacy and magni. tude. But let the duty be daily and thoroughly performed, and we rise to the standard of the skilful and prudent merchant, who duly records every item of business; who never closes his counting-house, until his balancesheet is made up; and who, by a single reference, can tell the true state of his accounts.
You will find yourself aided in this work by a secret journal or diary, which must be excluded from the inspection of all, but God and yourself.
If you are in the habit of thus daily inquiring into your motives and conduct, you will find it an excellent preparation for approaching the throne of grace. You will perceive so many failures in duty, and such frequent commission of sin, that your soul inust necessarily be humbled