Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Storms may howl, and clouds may gather

All must work for good to me!
3 Soul! then know thy full salvation-

Risė o'er sin, and fear, and care;
Joy to find in every station

Something still to do or bear!
Think, what spirit dwells within thee-

Think what heavenly bliss is thine;
Think that Jesus died to save thee

Child of Heaven-canst thou repine? 4 Haste thee on, from grace to glory,

Armed by faith, and wing'd by prayer-
Heaven's eternal day 's before thee-

God's own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission!

Soon shall pass thy pilgrim-days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition-

Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

EXERCISE 89.

Cruelty to Animals.-CowPER. I would not enter on my list of friends, (Though graced with polish'd manners and fine sense, Yet wanting sensibility,) the man

Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm. 5 An inadvertent step may crush the snail,

That crawls at evening in the public path;
But he that has humanity, forewarn'd,
Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.

The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight, 10 And charg'd perhaps with venom, that intrudes

A visiter unwelcome into scenes
Sacred to neatness and repose, th' alcove,
The chamber, or refectory, may die.

A necessary act incurs no blame.
15 Not so, when held within their proper bounds,

And guiltless of offence they range the air,
Or take their pastime in the spacious field.

There they are privileg’d. And he that hurts

Or harms them there, is guilty of a wrong; 20 Disturbs the economy of nature's realm,

Who when she form’d, design’d them an abode.
The sum is this: if man's convenience, health,
Or safety, interfere, his rights and claims

Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs.
25 Else they are all—the meanest things that are,

As free to live and to enjoy that life,
As God was free to form them at the first,
Who in his sovereign wisdom, made them all.

Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons 30 To love it too. The spring time of our years

Is soon dishonor'd and defil'd, in most,
By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand
To check them. But, alas! none sooner shoots,

If unrestrain’d, into luxuriant growth, 35 Than cruelty, most devilish of them all

.
Mercy to him that shows it, is the rule
And righteous limitation of its act,
By which Heav'n moves in pard’ning guilty man;

And he that shows none, being ripe in years, 40 And conscious of the outrage he commits,

Shall seek it, and not find it in his turn.

Exercise 90.

Christianity.—Mason. The cardinal fact of Christianity, without which all her other facts lose their importance, is the resurrection, from the dead, of a crucified Saviour, as the prelude,

the pattern, and the pledge of the resurrection of his 5 followers to eternal life. Against this great fact the

“ children of disobedience,” have levelled their batteries. One assails its proof; another its reasonableness; all, its truth. When Paul asserted it before an audience of Athenian philosophers,

some mocked”_ -a short 10 method of refuting the Gospel; and likely, from its convenience, to continue in favor and in fashion.

Yet with such doctrines and facts did the religion of

Jesus make her way through the world. Against the !

superstition of the multitude-against the interest, in15 fluence, and craft of their priesthood-against the ridi

cule of wits, the reasoning of sages, the policy of cabinets, and the prowess of armies—against the axe, the cross, and the stake, she extended her conquests from

Jordan to the Thames. She gathered her laurels alike 20 upon the snows of Scythia, the green fields of Europe,

and the sands of Africa. The altars of impiety crumbled before her march-the glimmer of the schools dis appeared in her light-Power felt his arm wither at her

glance; and, in a short time, she who went, forlorn and 25 insulted, from the hill of Calvary to the tomb of Joseph,

ascended the Imperial throne, and waved her banner over the palace of the Cæsars. Her victories were not less benign than decisive. They were victories over all

that pollutes, degrades, and ruins man; in behalf of all 30 that purifies, exalts, and saves him. They subdued his

understanding to truth, his habits to rectitude, his heart to happiness.

The disregard which some of old affected to whatever goes by the name of evil; the insensibility of others 35 who yield up their souls to the power of fatalism; and

the artificial gaiety which has, occasionally, played the comedian about the dying bed of “philosophy, falsely so called, are outrages upon decency and nature.

Death destroys both action and enjoyment-mocks at 40 wisdom, strength, and beauty-disarranges our plans

robs us of our treasures-desolates our bosoms-breaks our heart-strings-blasts our hope. Death extinguishes the glow of kindness—abolishes the most tender rela

tions of man-severs him from all that he knows and 45 loves-subjects him to an ordeal which thousands of

millions have passed, but none can explain; and which will be as new to the last who gives up the ghost, as it was to murdered Abel-flings him, in fine, without any

avail from the experience of others, into a state of un50 tried being No wonder that nature trembles before it.

Reason justifies the fear. Religion never makes light of it: and he who does, instead of ranking with heroes, can hardly deserve to rank with a brute.

What have unbelievers to gild their evening hour, to 55 bind up their aching head, to soothe their laboring

heart? What living hope descends from heaven to

[ocr errors]

smile on the sinking features, whisper peace to the retiring spirit, and announce to the sad surrounding rela

tives that all is well? There is none! Astonishment, 60 dismay, melancholy boding, are the “portion of their

eup." Sit down, ye unhappy, in the dosolation of grief. Consolation heard the voice of your weeping: she hastened to your door, but started back affrighted; her

commission extends not to your house of mourning; ye 65 have no hope!

EXERCISE 91.

Character of Mrs. Graham.—Mason. Recall the example of Mrs. Graham. Here was a woman--a widow-a stranger in a strange land-without fortunewith no friends but such as her letters of

introduction and her worth should acquire and with a 5 family of daughters dependent upon her for their sub

sistence. Surely if any one has a clear title of immunity from the obligation to carry her cares beyond the domestic circle, it is this widow; it is this stranger.

Yet within a few years this stranger, this widow, with, 10 no means but her excellent sense, her benevolent heart,

and her persevering will to do good, awakens the chaiities of a populous city, and gives to them an impulse, a direction, and an efficacy, unknown before! What

might not be done by men; by men of talent, of stand15 ing, of wealth, of leisure? How speedily, under their

well-directed beneficence, might a whole country change its physical, intellectual, and moral aspect; and assume, comparatively speaking, the face of another Edena

second garden of God? Why then do they not diffuse, 20 thus extensively, the seeds of knowledge, of virtue, and

of bliss? I ask not for their pretences ; they are as old as the lust of lucre; and are refuted by the example which we have been contemplating-I ask for the true

reason, for the inspiring principle, of their conduct. It 25 is this let them look to it when God shall call them to

account for the abuse of their time, their talents, their station, their “sunrighteous mammon.”—It is this: They believe not “the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said,

It is more blessed to give than to receive. They labor 30 under no want but one—they want the heart!

That venerable mother in Israel, who has exchanged the service of God on earth for his service in heaven, has left a legacy to her sisters-she has left the example

of her faith and patience; she has left her prayers; she 35 has left the monument of her Christian deeds: and by

these she “being dead yet speaketh.” Matrons! has
she left her mantle also? Are there none among you to
hear her voice from the tomb, “Go and do thou like-

wise?" None whom affluence permits, endowments 40 qualify, and piety prompts, to aim at her distinction by

treading in her steps? Maidens! Are there none
among you, who would wish to array yourselves hereaf-
ter in the honours of this “ virtuous woman?Your

hearts have dismissed their wonted warmth and gene45 rosity, if they do not throb as the 'revei end vision rises

before you-then prepare yourselves now, by seeking
and serving the God of her youth.

Yea, let me press upon all who hear me this evening, the transcendent excellence of Christian character, and 50 the victorious power of Christian hope. The former

bears the image of God; the latter is as imperishable as
his throne. We fasten our eyes with more real respect,
and more heart-felt approbation upon the moral majesty

displayed in “walking as Christ also walked,” than up55 on all the pomps of the monarch, or decorations of the

military hero. More touching to the sense, and more grateful to high heaven, is the soft melancholy with which we look after our departed friend, and the tear

which embalms her memory, than the thundering plau60 dits which rend the air with the name of a conqueror.

She has obtained a triumph over that Foe who shall break the arm of valour, and strike off the crown of kings.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

EXERCISE 92.

Living to God.-GRIFFIN, The heart-breaking necessities of a world ought to rouse us from our selfish stupor. To say nothing of the multitudes who are swarming the way to death in

the most favoured regions; to say nothing of whole na 5 tions in the Romish and Greek Churches, who, though

« ForrigeFortsett »