Page images
PDF
EPUB

O merciful Father, be gracious to the whole human family, according to the riches of thy love and compassion in our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with Thyself and the Holy Spirit, one glorious and ever-blessed Jehovah, be all honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

APPENDIX.

ON AMUSEMENTS.

(Page 251.)

On the subject of amusements and conformity to the world, I am not acquainted with any thing which more deserves the serious consideration of my young readers than two letters in “A Memoir of Miss Mary Jane Graham, by the Rev. C. Bridges:" p. 246-264. They are too long for insertion here, but I cannot refrain from quoting a few sentences out of each of them.

From the first Letter:-“I fear lest

you

should think me strict and gloomy, if I tell you all I think: but I will tell you, since you desire it; and I know that God is able and willing too to give you joys so much superior to every worldly amusement, that you will wonder how you could ever think them worth a thought. I must say then, that the world and worldly amusements, appear to me quite inconsistent with the character of a real Christian; and that we never can enjoy happy converse with God till we give them up. The Christian is described in the Scriptures, as "the temple of the living God.” Now.where the holy God takes up His abode, surely that heart must be sanctified and set apart from every common use, wholly devoted to His service. But can God and the world reign in the same heart, or as it were reign by turns? Shall we admit the Lord of glory in the morning, and shut Him out in the evening, while we are going to a ball or a play? for we may be well assured, He will not go with us there. The spirit of the world, which reigns in such places, is quite opposed to His Spirit; and the friendship of the world," which is there sought, "is enmity with God," I know this would be called uncharitable; but I do not wish to be more charitable than the Bible.......

“That cannot be a proper place for a Christian, where religion is the thing that must not be named; and where even something in our hearts will tell us, that such subjects are out of place. Neither can you say—your own heart may be as well employed there as elsewhere; for the very sweetest meditation on heavenly things (if we could thus meditate in the midst of vanity) would be spoiled by the thought, that there were none who enjoyed like communion with ourselves.......

“When Christians are at a place of worldly amusement (if Christians are to be found, who will venture themselves so unguardedly into Satan's strong places,) they must either have heavenly thoughts, (and then the amusement would appear so vapid, disgusting, and uninteresting, that they would never be able to stay it out); or else, if the amusement is an amusement to them, it fills their hearts with a crowd of vain thoughts, shuts out Christ, and lets in self and the world, and so prepares room for doubts, and fears, and much bitter repentance, before the Spirit will again shine upon a heart, which hath so wantonly despised His grace........

“This, I confess, is our shame and misery, that we are so often entangled in vain and worldly thoughts. But surely it does but make the argument the stronger against indulging in any thing which tends to foment such thoughts....., We may fall into a worldly frame of mind in the absence of any worldly pleasures; but, because we have got a cruel enemy within, shall we go and expose ourselves to the attacks of the enemy without? Let us at least have the comfort of not having gone in quest of our misery. Temptations enough will come to us; let us not go to them. Besides, it seems to me but mocking our Father which is in heaven, to say one hour—"Lead us not into temptation"-when we have coolly made up our mind to rush into it the next.........

“If we were to ask the blessed in heaven, or the tormented in hell, what they think of such employments, would not the one smile with pity on the question, and the other exclaim with rage_"0 that I had but one of those hours you are thus throwing away! You should see whether I would

« PreviousContinue »