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ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
You alarm me. Too much of Christ, sir! He is every thing to me-wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Too much about Christ! Why, I hope I shall sing his praises for ever!"
AN OLD CURIOSITY.—About the year 1155, Nicholas Breakspear, an Englishman, who, by a train of singular adventures had risen from the lowest condition to the papal chair under the name of Adrian IV., sent over for the use of the English people, who were directed to commit them to memory, metrical versions of the Creed and Lord's Prayer. These curious proofs of the regard of this pope for his countrymen are here copied from Stowe's Chronicle, p.p. 150 and 151. London, 1615.
The Lord's Prayer.
Ah sulde us fro the foule thing. Amen. This singular instance of a pope of Rome deeming it necessary to transmit to England a version of the Creed and Paternoster, sufficiently indicates the low state of religious information among the lower classes of the people, and certainly is not very creditable to the literary abilities of the romish clergy of that
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
LOOK TO SMALL THINGS.—Once, at a farm in the country, there was a gate enclosing cattle and poultry, which was ever swinging open for want of a proper latch, which the expenditure of a penny or two, and a few minutes time, would have made all right. It was on the swing every time a person went out, and, not being in a state to shut readily, many of the poultry were from time to time lost. One day a fine young porker made its escape, and the whole family, with the gardener, cook, and milkmaid, turned out in quest of the fugitive. The gardener was the first to discover the pig; and leaping a ditch to cut off his escape, got a sprain that kept him to his bed for a fortnight. The cook, on her return to the farm-house, found the linen burnt that she had hung up before the fire to dry; and the milkmaid having forgotten in her haste to tie up the cattle properly in the cow-house, one of the loose cows had broken the leg of a colt that happened to be kept in the same shed. The linen burnt, and the gardener's work, were worth full fire pounds; and the colt was worth nearly double that sum, so that here was a loss in a few minutes of a large sum, purely for want of a latch, which might have been supplied for a few halfpence. Life is full of illustrations of a similar kind; and when small things are habitually neglected, great ruin is not far off.
The PRIEST AND HIS PARISHIONER.—A pious man lay in a sickness which was unto death, who from a sense of duty, was visited by the clergyman of the parish, a puseyite, who inquired the state of his health. The sufferer answered, “Very badly, sir; I have no view." "I have no view" is a common phrase of country persons who are concerned for their souls well being, to express their distress in not knowing if God has blotted out their sins for Jesus' sake. But this was above the understanding of the clerical visitor. He walked from the bedside to the window, and having looked out, said, “I think there is a very good view from this room." The dying man explained that he could not see Christ to be his. The clergyman exclaimed, “Oh! oh!" left the sick chamber, and returned not again. Such is a specimen of puseyite incompetency to deal out scriptural consolation to the souls of men.
USE OF THE SCRIPTURES.—When they admonish, we are to take warning; when they reprove, we are to be checked; when they comfort, we are to be cheered and encouraged; when they com- i mand, we are to obey ; when they promise, we are to hope; and when they threaten, we are to be terrified, as if the judgments were denounced against us. By which application we shall make all the rich treasures contained in the scriptures wholly our own; and in such a powerful and peculiar manner enjoy the fruit and benefit of them, as if they had been wholly written for us, and no one else beside us.
“WITH WHOM ARE YOU WALKING ?"_“Though I change my place," said a dying christian whose life had been one of prayer and watchfulness, “I shall not change my company; for I have walked with God on earth while living, and after death I shall dwell with him in heaven.” With whom, O reader, have you walked on earth? With the thoughtless, the giddy, the covetous, the worldly, or the sensual ? Recollect that in death you change not your company but your place!
OUR BEST COMPANION.—Whatever your circumstances may be in this world, still value your bible as your best friend, and what. soever be your employment here, look upon religion as your best business. Your bible contains eternal life, and all the riches of the upper world; and religion is the only way to become a possessor of them.
EXCELLENCY OF THE BIBLE.—There was never found, in any age of the world, either philosophy, or sect, or religion, or law, or discipline, which did so highly exalt the public good, as the holy christian faith: whence it clearly appears that it was one and the same God that gave the christian law to men, who gave those laws of nature to the creatures.
HOW TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. The following anecdote was taken, many years ago, from a religious magazine:-"A number of ministers were assembled for the discussions of difficult questions, and among others it was asked how the command to pray without ceasing' could be complied with. Various suppositions were started ; and at length one of the number was appointed to write an essay upon it, to read at the next monthly meeting; which, being overheard by a female servant, she exclaimed, • What! a whole month wanted to tell the meaning of that text. It is one of the easiest and best texts in the bible. Well, well,' said an old minister; “Mary, what can you say about it. Let us know how you understand it: can you pray all the time ? O yes, sir.' • What, when you have so many things to do? Why, sir, the more I have to do the more I can pray. “Indeed; well, Mary, do let us know how it is, for most people think otherwise. Well, sir,' said the girl, when I first open my eyes in the morning, I pray, Lord, open the eyes of my understanding; and while I am dressing, I pray that I may be clothed with the robe of righteousness; and when I have washed me, I ask for the washing of regeneration; and
as I begin work, I pray that I may have strength equal to my day; when I begin to kindle up the fire, I pray that God's work may revive in my soul; and as I sweep out the house, I pray that my heart may be cleansed from all its impurities ; and while preparing and partaking of breakfast, I desire to be fed with the hidden manna and the sincere milk of the word ; and as I am busy with the little children, I look up to God as my father, and pray for the spirit of adoption that I may be his child; and so on all day: every thing I do furnishes me with a thought for prayer. Enough, enough,' cried the old divine ; 'these things are revealed to babes, and often hid from the wise and prudent. Go on, Mary,' said he,
pray without ceasing; and as for us, my brethren, let us bless the Lord for this exposition, and remember that he has said, The meek will he guide in judgment. The essay, as a matter of course, was not considered necessary after this little event occurred."
READ THE BIBLE. A POOR woman being at work at a pious neighbour's house, the conversation turned on the promises of God, and the salvation of her soul. The woman appeared distressed, but was not able to read. The pious neighbour took some portions of the New Testament and read to her. "I should like," said the woman, “to have a book like that for my husband; he can read; and if you will get me one I will pay you by a little at a time.” “Very well,” said the friend ; “take this home.” She did so, and it was blessed to the souls of both husband and wife. The first passage which arrested the attention of the husband was this, "A certain blind man sat by the way side begging, and hearing a multitude pass by, he asked what it meant; and they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passed by; and he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.” This was irresistible; the attraction fastened him to the book, and he continued reading for hours; and when he had finished for the night be exclaimed, “This is a book above all price." What a rebuke does this furnish to those who have the word of God in their houses but who never read it; and nobody need to be without a bible in these days. Be persuaded, then, to read this precious book; for, with God's grace, it will make you wise unto salvation. And let this circumstance encourage christians to do what they can for the salvation of souls arvund them.
And let me add one word more. Read a portion of the bible every morning at breakfast, as soon as you have done, or before you begin if you will. You cannot do a better thing than this in your house for the good of your family. It will do good to all who hear the words of God read, for they are words of living truth, which can never lose their power to influence the heart and regulate the conduct.
THE PENNY POST BOX.
The Penny Post Box.
THAT STUPID 8IN. In this sinful world, where sins of all kinds are to be found all growing rank, and smelling offensively to heaven, there is one which I call a stupid sin. I know it may be called by many other names, all of which it may deserve, however foul and ugly the words may be, for no words can fully describe its foulness and ugliness. But this time I choose to call it a stupid sin, because he or she who indulges it is sure from that moment to turn stupid, and not only stupid but silly-in fact the party loses his brains, and acts so much like an idiot that strangers and children would think he was one. I allude, as most of my readers must by this time expect I do, to drunkenness. I bave just met with a paper on this subject, of which I give you a copy :
“One of the early christian writers describes drunkenness as 'A distemper of the head, a subversion of the senses, a tempest in the tongue, a storm in the body, the shipwreck of virtue, the loss of time, a wilful madness, a pleasant devil, a sugared poison, a sweet sin, which he that has, has not himself; and he that commits it, is not only a sinner, but is himself altogether sin. The Spartans brought their children to loathe this odious vice by shewing them a drunkard, whom they gazed at as a monster. Among even heathens he was accounted the best man who spent more oil in bis lamp than wipe in his bottle. The primitive christians drank as those who remembered that they must pray afterward. Solomon tells us, that the drunkard shall come to poverty. When Diogenes heard a drunkard's bouse cried for sale, 'I thought,' says he, it would not be long before he swallowed up his house also.' Noah, a good man, once fell into the commission of this sin; but it might be from inexperience of the power of the grape, not from a habit of intemperance, for we never read of his being again overtaken. Drunkenness is indeed a deadly sin, and they who commit it have no inheritance in the kingdom of God; but its still more deadly character is, that it is an inlet to every other vice. Jerome says, "I will never think a drunkard to be chaste. It is noticed by some one as the devil's bridle, by which he turns the singer which way soever he pleases. He that is overcome by this sin can overcome no other. These hints are given to the temperate and the young, as so few habitual drunkards are reclaimed. Augustine calls this vice, the pit of hell, from which it is next to impossible to recover those who have once fallen into it.”
Jesus Christ said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness." Very needful advice to those to whom he gave it. May not we say to some,“ Take heed and beware of drunkenness.”