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preserves you. All that you are and have is his ; given-rather lent—to you by Him, to be used for the accomplishment of his will.' And He has redeemed you. He sent his only Son to make an atonement for your sins, and to win you back to Himself. Will you not come when He calls ? His service is perfect freedom, his yoke is easy, his ways are ways of pleasantness, and his paths paths of peace. Oh, you cannot tell until you have tried, the happiness which results from a heart at peace with Him! Nor will you find that religion casts any shadow over your sunny views of the future. It only brightens and fixes them. You will not work the less earnestly and diligently in the service of your fellow-creatures, after you have learnt to work for God at the same time. You will not “look forward” less hopefully, when accustomed to "look above."
“And then?”—dear reader! oh, you will not be afraid of these suggestive little words, when you feel that there is a mansion preparing for you in your Father's house on high. “ The Lord will give grace and glory;” grace now, glory presently. Grace the commencement of glory; glory the completion of grace. The future is but the sequel of the present. And the consciousness that they must one day part from the activities and excitements of this transient state of existence, will not distress nor alarm those who are progressing towards a nobler and never-ending life.
Calmly and cheerfully the Christian goes on his way. The hope laid up for him in heaven both endears to him his approaching rest, and throws a softened radiance over this world's path. He looks forward with confidence and joy, knowing that he has the promise of the life which now is, as well as of that which is to come; and assured that God will be his Friend and his Guide even unto death.
"AND THEN ?” I cannot give you the answer to this thrilling query. I cannot unfold to you the joys of
heaven, nor describe to you the glory which will burst upon the ransomed spirit of the believer. All I can tell you is, that in God's “
presence there is fulness of joy, and at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore!” May you and I, dear reader, realize in our future experience what heaven is; "and then” we shall be satisfied when we awake with God's likeness ; when we shall serve Him perfectly, and dwell with Him for ever and ever!
EVENINGS WITH THE EDITOR.
EVENING THE FOURTEENTH.
Mrs. M. THERE is something peculiarly interesting in these MEMORIALS OF A BELOVED MOTHER.* They contain no striking incidents ; indeed, they chiefly relate to domestic scenes, which can scarcely be supposed to interest any one but the relatives or immediate friends. Yet there is a charm of naturalness about them, a simple fervour of piety, and a rich outpouring and spiritual experience which raises them above the average of religious biography.
Emm. Who was the subject of these Memoirs ?
Mrs. M. Mary Anna, afterwards Mrs. Cooper, sister of the well-known and beloved Edward Bickersteth.
Aug. Mr. Editor, what is your candid opinion of religious memoirs ?
Ed. I will quote my reply from the preface to Mrs. Cooper's Memoirs :-"Christian biography can scarcely fail to be attractive to Christians, for its object is to exhibit Christianity in its effects and influences on the individual selected for contemplation and review. It is properly a subject which belongs to Christian men's business and bosoms; nor can Christian biograplıy and an exhibition of our common frail humanity, placed under the discipline, teaching, and training of Divine grace, fail, through the
* London: Wertheim and Macintosh.
Divine blessing, to be edifying and useful in the Church of Christ."
Aug. But do you not think that a great many poor and feeble memoirs are printed, which really have nothing but the affection of survivors to excuse their publication.
Ed. Yes; but I also think that these very memoirs may suit poor and feeble” readers better than more exalted biographies could do. Provided the biographers content themselves with quietly sketching the progress of the departed, without attempting to make them out something uncommon, I see not that any harm is done. I have known thousands counselled or encouraged by the reading of memoirs which I should style, with you, not worth publishing,
Aug. I have not done yet. Ought private diaries and family secrets to be laid bare for the gaze of unhallowed curiosity ?
Ed. No, nor of hallowed curiosity, if there be such a thing. I deprecate any intrusion into the privacy of the domestic hearth, or any interference with living characters, which can be avoided. Yet the precious example of a Christian's life ought surely to be presented as extensively as possible. And, through biographies, believers, “ being dead, yet speak." Every genuine and truthful memoir of a Christian, who has battled through the world in the strength of the Saviour, overcoming in the conflict by faith in his blood and righteousness, and through the might of his Spirit, and expiring in the calm repose of Christian peace, the sweet smile of Christian joy, or the high praise of Christian triumph, is not only a fresh trophy to the Redeemer's honour, but a boon to the Church militant on earth.
Emm. Mamma, what do you consider the particular benefit derivable from these memorials ?
Mrs. M. I think, my dear, that it especially respects the capacity for great usefulness in a state of protracted bodily suffering. It teaches with what meekness and sweetness affliction may be sustained by the Christian, and to what a vast extent, when sanctified, it becomes a blessing. Let us join with the writer in wishing, “that He who led the subject of these pages by a path of deep tribulation, yet of far deeper gladness, may enable both writer and reader to trace the steps of her pilgrimage, by following her, even as she followed Christ."
Emm. Our next book is a fictitious one, but so beautifully true to nature, that I can scarcely believe that the JOURNAL OF A Poor YOUNG LADY,* is not an actual record. The plot is extremely simple, and the incidents are but few; but the little history is full of the most touching pathos, most lovely Christian sentiment, and, what is not always found in the same companionship, most thorough, sound, practical, good sense. The heroine, forced by poverty, to quit her sheltering home, is exposed, at the age of eighteen, to the difficulties and dangers of a worldly house, where she fills the humble office of governess. A childlike trust in God, and constant realization of his presence, enable her to pass, without injury, through various trials, to sustain the true dignity of the Christian character, and, by much love, humility, and perseverance in well-doing, to win those around her to the Saviour's cross.
* Edinburgh : Constable and Co.
Ed. A translation, I perceive.
Emm. Yes, from the German, but without the German rhapsody or affectation. It is as simple and unpretending as you can possibly imagine ; and in manner and construction, reminded me of one of Chambers' tracts, “The Journal of a Poor Vicar.”
Aug. “Simple and unpretending,” will also do for a criticism of Dr. Cumming's SABBATH MORNING READINGS ON EXODUS.* They are less flowery than some of his other writings, and only profess to “elucidate customs and explain difficulties with simplicity and clearness.” Dr. C. however, has brought together all the information needed for this purpose, in a careful, painstaking manner; occasionally quoting largely from works, so as to render his commentary valuable to those who do not possess large libraries. At the same time, the style is so familiar and unassuming, that this volume will admirably suit for family reading.
Ed. I suppose, that Dr. Cumming's originalities are not excluded ?
Aug. They are still apparent; as, for example, in deriving from the narrative of Moses interposing between the contending Hebrews, an argument in favour of improving the wretched domestic condition of the lower orders, and raising them from their barbarous physical degradation.
Ed. Have you anything else to notice ?
Aug. Only that there is a kind, lively manner kept up throughout ; and that the author loses no opportunity of causing his comments to bear upon the conscience.
Emm. It is not always that the title of a book is thoroughly descriptive of its contents.
Ed. Perhaps, not often.
# London : Shaw.
London : Binns and Goodwin.
only title of a book for girls, written by the Authoress of “ Louis' School Days,” but also is the theme on which it is composed.
Mrs. M. What is the object, then ?
Emm. Its object is to show how a Christian girl did spread sunshine wherever she went; not by any extraordinary exercise of extraordinary gifts, but by the quiet efforts of a calm and affectionate spirit. The Authoress wished to counteract the love of excitement, the religious dissipation, and the mistaken views of the true end and aim of life; too prevalent among a large portion of professing Christians. Her cure is, “Study to be quiet and to do your own business ;” and her design is, to show that "a girl's first duties lie at home ;” and while she would have her burn with zeal to extend her little sphere of usefulness, never thinking she can be enough and do enough, for the glory of Him who died for her; she would urge her to see that these first duties, which God in his providence has plainly allotted her, be cheerfully and diligently performed, and to learn that the best blessing in this life that a Christian woman can demand for herself, is a spirit of patient waiting
Mrs. M. Is this design properly carried out ?
Emm. I think so. Do you, Mr. Editor? for I think you have read it too.
Ed. It really is admirably done. I consider it superior to the story of Louis, and, in many parts, equal, in graphic power and gentle pathos, to the “ Wide, Wide World.” The sketch of the Ladies Working Party—or, as Tom called it, “The Indian Mission Gossip-Aiding Society "—is life-like.
Aug. What can you know about such things, sir ?
Ed. Not much, Augustus, to be sure; but I once established a Juvenile Working Society:
Aug. And attended all its meetings ?
Ed. Only the first, to get it going by a few kind words and counsels.
Emm. Did you find they assisted, to use Tom's words, “ in the transmission of scandal ?” Ed. So much
so, that the lady at whose house the meetings were held, sent for me in much anxiety to know what was to be done.
Emm. What did you do?
Ed. No; I recommended one of the party, a good reader, and a not very diligent worker, to read some interesting work.
Aug. Did that check the transmission of scandal ?