Page images

troubled breast. He can delight in all the beauties of natural scenery, and relish all the charms of sound philosophy. He can rejoice in every opening prospect for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, through institutions devised by Christian wisdom, and conducted in Christian simplicity. He can weep in his best moments over the ruins of the fall, not only as felt in his own heart, but as beheld in the abject condition of the millions of mankind. He can "rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." Say then, can such a man be miserable? can such a man be destitute of sources of real enjoyment? He lives by faith. He longs for heaven. He desires to be daily conformed to Jesus, and to glorify him more, whether it be by life or death. To him "to live is Christ, and to die is gain."-ANON.

Fruits and Flowers.

DURING the forty years' pilgrimage of Israel in the wilderness, a preternatural column of fire and cloud attended the camp. It rested with them, and moved on, before them, directing and conducting them in their journeys: in the night season it was a bright and shining light; and in the day time it afforded a grateful, cooling shade from the burning heat of those sultry deserts. Thus is Christ present with his church, while she sojourns upon earth; guiding her steps, enlightening her darkness, and mitigating her sorrows.

Round each habitation hov'ring,

See the cloud and fire appear!
For a glory and a cov'ring,

Showing that the Lord is near.
Thus deriving from their banner,

Light by night and shade by day;
Safe they feed upon the manna
Which he gives them, when they pray.

Precious ointment is not more grateful to the smell, nor morning dew more refreshing to the sight, than domestic love is to the soul.



Henry IV., Emperor of Germany, used to say, Many know much, but few know themselves."

If it be so valued a privilege here on earth to enjoy the communion of saints, and to take sweet counsel together with our fellow travellers towards the heavenly kingdom, what shall we see and know, when we finally "come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the First-born which are written in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant?" If, during the sighs and tears of a mortal pilgrimage, the consolations of the Spirit are so precious, and the hope full of immortality is so animating to the soul, what heart can conceive, or what tongue can utter its superior joys, when arrived at that gate where sighing and sorrow flee away, and the tears shall be wiped from every eye?

When individuals are first affected with a deep sense of their state by nature, they begin to pray. Thus, when the apostle Paul was first convinced of sin, the Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision, and directed him to go and "inquire, in the house of Judas, for one called Saul of Tarsus; for behold," said He, "he prayeth."

Paul, the destroyer, kneels to pray-
Behold the martyr rise instead!

Behold him! mark that melting eye,
Which late so fierce his glances threw !

Behold him! labouring dauntlessly,
Hopes, prospects, objects, "All things new!"

Happy the soul, whose wishes climb
To mansions in the skies!

He looks on all the joys of time
With undesiring eyes.

Fenelon observed, shortly before his death: "Had viewed only the glory of this world, I would have said to death, when he presented to me the cup of bitterness, 'Let that cup pass from me.' But, happily, my thoughts were entirely taken up with heaven, and I exclaimed to myself, 'How pleasing is this cup!'"

I feel this mud-wall cottage shake,
And long to see it fall,

That I my willing flight may take
To Him who is my all.

In thy desire to observe a courteous demeanour, let not thine eye be dazzled by external appearances of persons, to the overlooking of those who are acceptably and unostentatiously filling a less exalted station, satisfied with the reward which cometh from God only.

He that thinks he loves God enough, shows himself too much a stranger to that holy sensation; so he that thinks he has humility enough, shows that he is far short of the practice of humility.

He that supposes he lives without folly, is not so wise as he thinks himself.

At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve:
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same.

We need not stay for leisure hours to shut the door and retire; for whenever we regret the want of retirement, it is enough to introduce us into it: even when at meals, or while others are talking, unprofitable discourses instead of tiring may relieve us, by affording some interval of inward retirement. Thus all things are converted into good to those who love God.

And ah! how precious is His love
In tenderest touches given;

It whispers of the bliss above,
And stays the soul on heav'n.

How few seem properly to consider the baneful influence which the giving way to ill temper diffuses over the circle of their family and friends! In such a wilderness of thorns and briars as this world, where we can scarcely touch, much less venture to grasp, any object without now and then being wounded, how needful is it to be possessed of that heavenly principle, which, like the balm of Gilead spoken of by the prophet, (Jer. viii. 22,) shall drop its holy unction into the corroding irritation of the fallen nature, and from the very bosom of distress and disappointment, elicit a sweetness which breathes the atmosphere of heaven around it.

« PreviousContinue »