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commonwealth! How many souls some of them may be all in vain. Therefore prayer * be a means to save! Or if they be but fitted for a means as teaching, to do them zond, private lie, what blessings may they be to their go together. He that bath a heat to say families and neighbours ! And remember what a for his scholars shall certailly hate La joyful thing it will be, to see them in heaven with comfort in his labours, and it å liza: Christ for ever! How cheerfully should such ex- do most good to themn. cellent things be sought! If you take pleasure in VIII. Watch over them, bo ona your work, it will not only be an ease and happiness they are behind your backs, ai thek s. to yourselves, but greatly further your diligence and verse with each other; for it is ac. success. But when men have a base esteem of their wickedness that children use to leat soiemployment, and look at children as so many swine which never cometh to their masters $3= or sheep, or have some bigher matters in their eye, in some great and public schools and make their schools but the way to some preter- | thither to learn sobriety and piety of ment, or more desired life, then usually they do their do oftentimes learn prüfaneness, asi 1 work deceitfully, and anything will serve the turn, cursing, and swearing, and scoring, dan because they are weary of it, and because their viling one another, of their attaciosa hearts are somewhere else.

And those lessons are so easily lend the IV. Seeing it is divinity that teacheth them the few children but are infected with eos beginning and the end of all their other studies, let bauchery, though their parents si no it never be omitted or slightly slubbered over, and against it; and perhaps it perer as: thrust into a corner; but give it the precedency, and knowledge. So also for gaming anirera. teach it them with greater care and diligence than and fighting with one another, and makes any other part of learning; especially teach them the and romances, and lying, and abumuo at catechism and the Holy Scriptures. If you think which must be carefully watched 2x that this is no part of your work, few wise men will IX. Correct them more sbarply s choose such teachers for their children. If you say, God than for their dulness and fain! as some sectaries, that children should not be taught Though negligence in their learning i 25 to speak holy words, till they are more capable to un- dulged, yet smart correction shoal na derstand the sense, because it is hypocrisy, or taking pecially to take heed of sinning; that Ria the name of God in vain; I have answered this be derstand that sin is the greatest evil fore, and showed that words being the signs, must X. Especially curb or cashier the ka be learned in order to the understanding of the sense, piety and rebellion, who corrupt the is. or thing that is signified; and that this is not to use are few great schools but have some here: such words in vain, how holy soever, but to the ously debauched; that glory in their min. proper end for which they are appointed. Both in that in filthy talking, and fighting, as divine and human learning, the memories of children reviling words, are the infecters of the is. must first be furnished, in order to the furnishing of usually they are some of the bigger serta their understandings afterwards. And this is a chief greatest fighters, and master the rest, si point of the master's skill, that time be not lost, nor peering over them, and abusing them, ir labour frustrated. For the memories of children are both to follow them in their sin ani. as capacious as men's of riper age; and therefore they The correcting of such, or expelling thera, should be stored early with that which will be use- rigible, is of great necessity to preservers ful to them afterwards : but till they come to some if they are suffered the rest will be sent maturity of age, their judgments are not ripe for in- and undone, before the master is aware os formation about any high or difficult points. There many that have a care of their childrerii. fore teach them betimes the words of catechisms and very fearful of sending them to get 23 some chapters of the Bible; and teach them the schools, and rather choose private schizi meaning by degrees as they are capable. And make freer from that danger; it being almost them perceive that you take this for the best of all concernment to children, what their como: their learning.

as what their master is. V. Besides the forms of catechism, which you teach them, speak often to them some serious words, about their souls and the life to come, in such a plain, familiar manner, as tendeth most to the YOU LOSE NOTHING BY BEING RELIG. + awakening of their consciences, and making them An estate is a very useful hedge about t1" perceive how greatly what you say concerneth them. off those many proud that will be trampling A little such familiar serious discourse, in an inter- that is poor. And nothing raises or keer locutory way, may go to their hearts, and never be hedge like the grace of God, For it spirits forgotten; when mere forms alone are lifeless and un- diligence, which gets riches; with hurilla profitable. Abundance of good might be done on hates superfluity, and saveth what is got; wité cinta children, if parents and schoolmasters did well per- | which puts out all to use, and unto ibat L. form their parts in this.

never pays less than a hundred-fold in this * VI. Take strict account of their spending the Lord's- Sin is this hedge-breaker: rags are mostly si's dny!---how they hear, and what they remember, When it is otherwise, and sin makes you a and how they spend the rest of the day; for the it will be full of snakes and snares. ** In the right spending of that day is of great importance to of” sinful “sufficiency you will be in straits their souls! And a custom of play and idleness on xx. 22); and it is odds but “the straits" will be ! that day doth usually debauch them, and prepare and the fulness” a very little while. On the them for much worse. Though they are from under hand, when a convert's duty to God makes him ; your eve on the Lord's-day, yet if on Monday they it makes him rather a martyr than a begge. I be called to account, it will leave an awe upon them thereby testifies God's truth; and through the in your absence.

of God to his covenant, he abounds in the mid VII. Pray with them and for them. If God give his wants. For God doth but prune his riti not the increase by the dews of heaven, and shine burns up none but thorns. By poverty he part not on your labours, your planting and watering will sinners, but he still enricheth saints. Do be

OUGHT A WICKED JAN TO PRAY?

563

vert; you can never want what is truly good for you met together as soon as he was awake, and kept comwhile God has it. The first minute that a great pany all the day after.-Charnock. estate begins to be good for you, you shall have it: and if you never have a great one, you shall still have a good one. Whereas, unconverts can have but one

THE DIVINE ENCYCLOPEDIA of these two_a vexing adversity, or (what is worse)

The Bible is a divine encyclopædia in itself. It cona slaying prosperity; one made of thick clay and deeper cares.

tains history the most authentic and ancient, tracing

it back to the first creation of our world; and proMirth and comfort are the honey and sweetness of phecy the most important and interesting, traced

forward to its final consummation; journeys suryour beings. Now, conversion makes “ exchange," passing all others in the marvellousness of their adbut " no robbery," of these. There is in Africa a

ventures, and the dignity of their guide, for they honey lusciously sweet; but the bees gather it from

were marked by miracles at every step, and in every poisonous weeds, and it affects with madness and

movement directed by God; the travels of the most frenzy all that eat of it. He were no thief that -hould take that sort of honey from you, and give Gospel, and the lives•of the most illustrious person

distinguished missionaries, the first preachers of the the most wholesome to you. Conversion deals no

ages, including the biography of the Son of God; utherwise by you: only what it gives is more sweet,

events more wonderful than romance ever imagined, iis more wholesome; and the quantity greater, as well

and stories more fascinating than fancy ever sketched; is the quality better. For, observe ye, God forbids

the finest specimens of poetry and eloquence-of not any one kind or degree of pleasure, but what is

sound philosophy, and solid argument; models of virinjurious, and what your very nature, reason, and

tue the most attractive, and maxims of wisdom the interest do forbid you. I deny it not, that converts

most profound; prayers the most appropriate in have valleys of troubles; but then they have doors of hope. They are in wildernesses; but God prepares praise that would not be unworthy an angel's tongue;

every variety of spiritual experience, and songs of them tables therein : driest rocks yield them water, precepts of unparalleled importance, and parables of und in darkest dungeons they have shining lights. unrivalled beauty; examples of consistent piety, They receive here their evil things, and have their suited to every situation; and lessons of divine inhell’upon earth; but then it is a heaven upon earth, struction, adapted to every age.- White. to think that this is all the hell they shall ever endure. And as for the ways he commandeth converts to walk in, they are all of pleasantness.” (Prov. iii. 17.). Mysteriously, yet most certainly, godly OUGHT A WICKED MAN TO PRAY? sorrow is made a sweet thing. Every week almost Those who deny this position seem to have an eye have I people crying for more of it than I think God allows them. O youth, “when thou art a convert,

to those passages of Scripture which declare “the thou shalt feel what I tell thee!" No such manna

sacrifice and way of the wicked to be an abomination falls in Calabria, none falls from heaven, like that to the Lord” (Prov. xv. 8, 9); and to conclude from which feasteth the camps of sincere converts. The them that God does not require any sacrifice or prayer convert state hath of the joy, as well as of the purity, at their hands. But, if so, why did Peter exhort ihe of heaven; unthought-of delights; such as do not die

sorcerer to pray ? (Acts viii. 22.) And wherefore is in the enjoyment; no, but be stronger than death, as well as sweeter than life; such as none of the busy- the fury of God denounced against the families that bodies of this world ever found in the mills of their call not upon his name? (Jer. x. 25.) An hypothesis business, or the circles of their pleasure. Gilboa's which flies in the face of the express language of mountains had not rain or dew-unconvert youths Scripture is inadmissible, and the framers of it, to be have not joy or peace. Madness is theirs mirth they consistent, should avow themselves infidels. know not. The three Hebrew martyrs were merrier in the fiery furnace than their persecutor was in his

If they mean only to deny that God requires such palace.Burgess.

prayers as wicked men actually offer, the prayer of a hard, impenitent, and unbelieving heart, I have no controversy with them.

God cannot possibly apMORNING MEDITATIONS.

prove anything of this kind. But then the same is Fresh airing our souls in heaven will engender in us true of every other duty. Wicked men do nothing purer spirits and nobler thoughts. A morning sea- that is well-pleasing to God-nothing which is aimed soning would secure us for all the day. Though other at his glory, or done in obedience to his authority, necessary thoughts about our callings will and must everything that is done is done for selfish ends. If Come in, yet when we have despatched them, let us they read the Scriptures, it is not to know the will of attend our morning theme as our chief companion. God and do it; or, if they hear the word, it is not As a man that is going with another about some con- with any true desire to profit by it. Even their pursiderable business, though he meets with several suit of the common good things of this life is that they friends in the way, and salutes some, and with others may consume them upon their lusts; hence the very with whom he hath some affairs he spends a little“ ploughing of the wicked is sin.” (Prov. xxi. 4.) time, yet he quickly returns to his companion, and Yet no one would infer from hence that it is not their both together go their intended stage: do thus in duty to read the Word of God, nor attend to the the present case.

Our minds are active, and will be preaching of the Gospel, nor pursue the necessary doing something, though to little purpose; and if they avocations of life; neither would he reckon it absurd be not fixed upon some noble object, they will, like to exhort them to such exercises as these. madmen and fools, be mightily pleased in playing The truth is, wicked men are required to do all

The thoughts of God were the first these things, not carnally, but with a right end and visitors David had in the morning; God and his heart a right spirit. In this way Simon Magus, thcugh

with straws.

age!

" in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of ini- | 29; Luke viji. 28.) It was not because they were quity," was exhorted to pray-not with a hard and forced to leave their bodies, but because by that impenitent heart, but with a spirit of true contrition:

means he should have no such opportunity to mischiei “ Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray prived of our souls !

their souls, O, this is a torment to Satan—to be de. God, if perhaps the thought of thy heart may be There is not a sermon we hear, but this evil one forgiven thee.” To repent and pray is the same is ready to take away the seed as soon as ever it is thing in effect as to pray penitently, or with a con- sown (Matt. xiii. 19); there is not a prayer we make trite spirit. Wicked men are required to read and but these “ fowls" of the air attend to light upon the hear the Word, but not with a wicked spirit; and to sacrifice, and hardly can they be driven away. (Gen. plough the soil, but not that they may consume its

xv. 11.) Wheresoever we are, whatsoever we do, the

devil attends and waits for advantage against us, that produce upon their lusts.

he might but gain our souls.- Vincke. There are not two sorts of requirements, or two standards of obedience-ore for good men, and the other for wicked men; the revealed will of God is

EARLY RELIGION. one and the same, however differently creatures may O what a credit, what a glory, is it to drink in the stand affected towards it. The same things which dews of godliness in the morning of your lives! are required of the righteous—as repentance, faith, What a lovely sight, to behold those trees blossoming love, prayer, and praise-are required of the wicked with the fruits of the Spirit in the spring of their (John xii. 36; Acts iii. 19; Rev. xv. 4.) If it were “Better is a poor and wise child than an old not so, and the aversion of the heart tended to set and foolish king.” (Eccles. iv. 13.) What a garaside God's authority over it, it must of necessity land of honour doth the Holy Ghost put on the head follow that a sinner can never be brought to repent of an holy child! How profitable is early piety! ance, except it be for the commission of those sins Some fruits ripe early in the year are worth treble which might have been avoided consistently with the the price of later fruits. Godliness at any time most perfect enmity against God! And this is to brings in much gain (1 Tim. vi. 6); but he that undermine all true repentance; for the essence of comes first to the market is likely to make the best true repentance is "godly sorrow, or sorrow for | price of his ware. On the other side, how dangerous having displeased and dishonoured God. But if, in are delays! Remember, children, late repentance, a state of unregeneracy, a man were under no obli- like untimely fruits, seldom comes to anything. Your gation to please God, he must of course have been lives are very uncertain. As young as you are, you incapable of displeasing him; for where no law is, may be old enough for a grave. O then seek your there is no transgression. The consequence is, he God, and seek him when and “while he may be can never be sorry at heart for having displeased found.” (Isa. lv. 6.) If thou refuse him now, be him; and as there would be but little if any ground may refuse thee hereafter. I have heard of one that, for repentance toward God, so there would be but deferring repentance to his old age, and then going little if any need of faith towards our Lord Jesus about it, heard a voice, “Give him the bran to whom Christ. If, in a state of unregeneracy, he were under thou hast given the flour." Every day renders you no obligation to do anything pleasing to God, and more and more indisposed. The longer sin and Satan were so far rendered incapable of doing anything to possess the forts of your hearts, the more they will displease him, so far he must be sinless, and there fortify and strengthen them against God and holiness. fore stand in no need of a Saviour. Where there is (Jer. xiii. 23.) Your God deserves your youth. The no obligation, there can be no offence; and where best God deserves the best of days.-Lye. there is no offence, there needs no forgiveness.Fuller.

Fragments. AS GOD DOES ENDEAVOUR, SO DOES SINS AFTER CONVERSION.--A sheep may slip into a SATAN, TO GAIN THE SOUL.

slough as well as a swine. The difference is, that i “We may learn this from our greatest enemy”-that the sheep dreads a fall, and speedily rises from it; our souls are worth all our care and pains in keeping; while it is a habit with the swine to be unclean, and seeing our adversary the devil thinks no pains too

to love the same condition as the other abhors. great to get them. He goeth up and down, “seek- SCRIPTURE TRANSLATION.-An old Scotch divine ing whom he may devour. (1 Pet. v. 8.) He con- observes that it is a great mercy to have our father's passeth the earth, as we may read in the Book of Job will in our mother's tongue.

(iii. 27). He had “considered " Job, and so considers all others—what temptation is likeliest to prevail;

INFLUENCE OF THE WORLD.- A man that travelleth what their tempers and distempers are; what traps

to the most desirable home, hath a habit of desire to ! "will take some, and what shares others. He knows all the way; but his present business is his travel; our beloved sins, and dresses them up, so as we might and horse, and company, and inns, and ways, and be loath to part with them. Ile did not desire to go

weariness, may take up more of his sensible thoughts, into the herd of swine, that he might destroy them, and of his talk and action, than his home.- Bauter. i but that by that means he might tempt their owners; SCEPTICISM OF SATANIC AGENCY.--As the fowler as, indeed, it took effect--the Gadarenes preferring would certainly spoil his own game, should be not | their swine before their souls, or their Saviour. keep out of sight; so the devil never plants his own

(Matt. viii. 31-34.) When our Saviour came to cast shares so skilfully and successfully as when he conhim out of any one, the devil was tormented.

* Why

ceals his person, nor tempts so dangerously as when art thou come to torment us?" they cry. (Matt. viii. he can persuade men that there is no tempter.-South.

505

THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.

REMEMBERING THE POOR.

BY THE REV. JAMES BEGG, EDINBURGH.

(Concluded from p. 514.)

We might rest the whole question of our shrinking away, with an exclamation of surduty to the poor on express Scripture injunc- prise: “When saw we thee an hungered or tions; but we know that some, in practically athirst!" But still a great reward is promised, reasoning on this subject, are haunted by the im. a reward of grace. And, without attempting to pression, that in giving cheerfully to others they maintain what may appear to some a paradox, by so much diminish the sources of their own we might merely say, that a sweet contentment enjoyment; and, therefore, giving largely at shall be the result of our generosity—a conleast, is regarded by unbelieving men as im- tentment and inward peace passing all underplying weakness, though it may be regarded as standing for which princes might well exchange amiable. Now, without replying that the same the comfortless splendours of their thrones. Our feeling might have prevented the Jews from Saviour refers to this when he says, “It is more leaving unreaped the corners of the fields, and blessed to give than to receive.” For there is from leaving the crop of the seventh year free a blessedness unspeakable in diffusing happiness to all, if it can be shown that God has declared around-in sheltering those who are outcasts that the very reverse of this is the case, and upon a dreary world—in making the widow's that not he that gives, but he that withholds, heart to sing for joy. And if the result of our is cursed, we shall attack covetousness in its benevolence extends beyond this world, O what stronghold, strip it of its last argument, and cause shall we have of triumph throughout an leave no excuse for the neglect of a large and endless eternity, in having been instrumental in generous benevolence. And such we apprehend saving souls from death, arraying them in the to be the statement of Scripture, viz., That robes of immortality, and in seeing them pregiving to the poor, so far from bringing us to sented a shining throng, with palms of everlastpoverty, shall be one means most effectually to ing victory, to swell the ranks of the redeemed, secure us against it; whilst, on the other hand, to swell the glorious anthem of eternity! if we are unwilling to listen to the tale of misery, But we prefer taking the words of Scripand hide our eyes from the distresses of our ture in their plain and literal meaning. God, brethren, not one, but many, curses shall infal- though he stands in no need of our assistance, libly overtake us here and in the world of though he could command the stones to be spirits.

come bread that the poor might eat, and the This leads me to the second point, which rocks to pour forth water, or the heavens, as of I intended to consider, viz., the reward of old, to rain down manna, has not merely preChristian benevolence. Let it be observed here, scribed this duty of providing for the destitute to First, That no reward is ever deserved by any us, but has encouraged us in the discharge of it human being. All have sinned, and are justly by many express promises of a positive reward. exposed to the wrath of God. All do sin, and As, that by giving to the poor “ we lend to in God's sight no man living shall be justified. Him”—make him our debtor, whose is the All true Christians rejoice to lie low in the dust earth, and the fulness thereof—who can give us before God, and to say: “ We are unprofitable silver for brass, and gold for silver-a treasure servants. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, in heaven in return for our earthly substance; but to thy name be the glory.” Even when and who, though we sow in tears, will make us they are in some measure conformed to the will bring back our sheaves in a most plenteous and of God, it is not they that do good, but God abundant harvest. Our alms shall come up with worketh in them, both to will and to do of his our prayers as a memorial before Him. He will good pleasure. Secondly, No Christian expects prosper us in all our ways, and never suffer us any reward for his own sake, or as of debt. to lack. “ Blessed is he that considereth the On the day of judgment, we find the saints 'poor: the Lord will deliver him in the tinie or

No. 48."

trouble.” And no one can find any difficulty in “ There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; perceiving the possibility of the fulfilment of there is that withholdeth more than is meet, these promises, who believes that God is the and yet it tendeth to poverty ” _“I have been great Ruler in heaven and earth—that riches young, and now am old, yet have I never seen come not by chance, but by His appointment, the merciful man forsaken, nor his seed left to through a thousand channels over which we beg." have no control—that all the agents in the But it is necessary, in estimating this view of universe are at His command—that He makes the subject, to look beyond this world, in which the wind blow, or stills the sea into a calm, our residence is only temporary—the mere ; gives rain from heaven, and clothes our fields threshold of an eternal existence and to conwith beauty and fertility. Without Him the sider, that unless assisted by God, we shall soon builder builds, and the husbandman sows and be poor indeed. The bed of death is preparwaters, the merchant traffics, and the labourer ing, and then our riches must forsake us; and | labours, in vain. And on the other hand, riches our friends and our fame can profit us nodepart by secret avenues, over which we have thing. Who shall stand by us in the lonely no control. God can easily, without visibly put- hour? Who shall pass with us through the dark ting forth his hand from heaven, consume riches valley of the shadow of death! “ He shall have before the eyes, and in the very grasp, of the judgment without mercy who showed no mercy" covetous man. In a moment can He turn _“ Blessed is he that considereth the poor: back the current of his own benevolence, and the Lord shall deliver him in the day of tronble." ; leave the hard-hearted to experience all the And this is in perfect consistency with all the poverty with which they so little sympathize. statements of Scripture. For he gave proof And it evidently is right that this should be that he had been rescued from the selfishness done sometimes in the presence of the world, and degradation of the fall—that he was being openly to confute Infidelity, and to put a differ- made fit by the Spirit of God to join the glorious ence between him that feareth God and him society of heaven-that he had been taught ot that feareth him not.

God to be in some measure a faithful steward Those who have never known what it is gene- of the goods committed to him. God shall also rously to distribute the blessings which God has give him a crown of life-treasures of heavenconferred upon them, are no judges whether or blessings of this world, and that which is to not they increase, as did the loaves of the Gos- come : “Well done, thou good and faithful pel, by distribution. But it is no evidence of servant; thou hast been faithful over a few the contrary, that some have been seen to give things, I will make thee ruler over many things; liberally, who still came to poverty; for mere enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” giving does not constitute a fulfilment of the On the other hand, it is only reasonable to ex. command of God-it is a giving from principle. pect that God should multiply curses upon him Men may mingle with the glare of assembled who retains unjustly that which He intended multitudes, and go with the crowd to wonder him to bestow on his perishing brethren-who at the eloquence of a favourite preacher, and be seeks to frustrates all the purposes of Goding warmed into a hasty and unusual ecstasy, who sets an example so pernicious to his brethmay give liberally to the poor. But they cannot ren around. We have often seen the threaten- i expect that this should be accepted by God. ing in the text fulfilled-riches wither in the It is the mere charity of feeling and osten- grasp of men by whom they were unduly held,

1 tation. And if we think how much of this or given to strangers for a possession; for let there is, we will not wonder if we see some us seize them however eagerly, and hide our miserable who have been seen publicly perform-eyes from the miseries of our brethren, there is ing acts of benevolence. Blessedness were still a God that judgeth in the earth.

And easily purchased if it could be obtained by then, when stretched upon a bed of languishing, the hasty conferring of some of our wealth, in when all earthly objects begin to fade from the midst perhaps of pride and luxury, of vil- our sight, when our eyes begin to swim in lany and guilt, on those whom at other times we death, is it to be believed that God will hear deride and despise. But it has been the unani. our imploring cries? The cries of the poor mous testimony of all the redeemed who have have ascended and entered the ears of the spoken on this subject from the foundation of Lord of Sabaoth. We laughed at calamities, the world, that their store, like the widow's oil and God will laugh at our calamity. “I was an of old, has never suffered from distribution. hungered, and ye gave me no meat; thirsty, and

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