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the lowermost bud. Cut out the side shoots and the stumps of the tendrils, peel off the loose bark, then nail the shoots to the wall.

March 1st, sixth year.- Train the shoots upwards. A vine trained after this fashion will stretch its arms about five feet in length, and the branches will grow upwards about ten feet in height, so that the amount of wall required will be fifty square feet; and if sixty pounds of fruit be calculated as the greatest quantity a vine confined in such a space will ripen, it will be fifteen or sixteen years before it can be expected to have strength to ripen so large a quantity ; that is to say, from the time it is first put in as a cutting. This space of time is shortened by planting more vines, and allowing only twenty-five feet of wall to each; and when a vine is strong enough to cover more wall, cut down every other tree, and allow the one that is left to spread.

A short register or calendar will complete our observations on the culture of the vine.

T. A.

EXTRACTS FROM NEWSPAPERS, &c. DOING GOOD.—How many occasions of doing good, of greater or less measure, are passed by from irresolution ? While we are saying to ourselves, “shall I, or shall I not ?" the moment flies away.

ECLIPSES.—There will be several eclipses in the present year. Three partial eclipses of the sun, on the 15th of June, 6th of November, and 9th of December, will be invisible in this country. Two eclipses of the moon, on the 31st of May and the 24th of November, will be total, and visible to us. We need hardly remind our readers that an eclipse of the moon never takes place but when the moon is in the full. An eclipse of the sun can only happen when there is a new moon.

EXPLANATION OF LEAP-YEAR.—It is found by astronomers, that the shortest and longest days in each year gradually get a little later. For instance, four years ago the shortest day happened on the 21st of December ; but this year, according to the common reckoning of 365 days to the year, it would not happen till the 22nd, and it would get a day later every fourth year. To remedy this, a day is added this year to February, which will make the shortest day fall on the 21st of December, as it did four years ago. Every fourth year is lengthened in this way, and these years are called leap-years. The present year (1844) is a leap-year. The next will be in 1848, the next in 1852, and so on. If it was not for leap-year, the shortest day would gradually shift from December to January, and so on from month to month, till we should have short days, and of course winter weather in July, which would create great confusion.

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THE

COTTAGER'S MONTHLY VISITOR.

MARCH, 1844.

CONTENTS.

PAGE 1

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PAGE The Spirit of the Command Bees--Spring Feeding ......... ments .................. Lucifer Matches ......

94 On living to the glory of God.. 80 Prayers Hymn, for the “House of Bethlehem ...

Extracts from my Family Bible 98 A Shipwreck Scene on board Peace of Mind ............. 100 the Sheffield ..............

ib. | Reflections suitable to the SeaOn the work of the Christian.. 87 son of Lent, by Bishop "Teach me Thy way, O Lord”.

Cosins ................

106 The Worship of the Heart .... 90 Extracts from New papers, &c. 107 Rooks...................... 91

THE SPIRIT OF THE COMMANDMENTS.

(Continued from p. 43.) I PROMISED at some future time to give my readers another illustration of the important truth taught us by Christ, that if we seek to keep the commandments of God at all, we must strive to observe them in the spirit as well as the letter. The story I referred to is this.

James Nelson was the son of a poor but very honest woman. He had been brought up at a good school, where great pains were taken with his religious instruction. Upon leaving school he was employed to run on errands, by one of the shopkeepers of the town where his mother lived, and for some time went on steadily. He had, however, one fault, which made his mother very uneasy. Though he was not dishonest, for he would not take any thing that belonged to another, yet he was not quite upright and straightforward in his dealings; for instance, I saw him one day pick up a knife which appeared to have been dropped by some one; he did not look round to see if any one was near to claim it, but put it into his pocket and walked on. This happened while he was

VOL. XXIV.

still at school, and it was a rule at that school, that if the boys found any thing in this way they should bring it to the master, that he might find out to whom it belonged. As the town in which James lived was visited by many strangers, many small articles were lost, and this rule was made to give the boys the habit of honestly returning whatever they found. James wanted a knife, and he was strongly tempted to keep the one he had picked up: he persuaded himself however that he should be willing to give it up if he knew who had dropped it, but he could not resolve to carry it at once to the master of the school as he ought to have done. " At all events," he said to his conscience, “I cannot give it to him to-day, for there is no school ; I will keep it till Monday.” When Monday came, the knife was not brought, and James, at first, thought he would tell his master, and carry it on Tuesday, but his resolution failed, and he did not do this. The devil tempts us on little by little. James began to use the knife, and liked it so well that he tried to silence his conscience by a little more false reasoning. “There is no dishonesty,” he said, “in keeping a thing that you have found, if you do not know to whom it belongs; of course if any one inquires for it I shall give it up." The following day, as James was returning from school with one of his schoolfellows, they passed a stall on which were apples and oranges; they saw the person who kept it go into a neighbour's house a few yards distant, and the boy who was with James said, “We are in luck to come by just now," and saying this, he took up an apple and popped it into his pocket. “Oh, fie,” said James, “ you are stealing.Leave me to my own affairs," said the other boy; " if you have a knife in your pocket I will give you a bit.” James lent the knife and ate part of the apple! he was not yet aware that the only safe path to honesty begins a long way off from the letter of the command, “ Thou shall not steal.” He did not perceive that he had already been drawn several steps on the opposite road when he kept the knife that did not belong to him, and ate the apple that he knew to have been stolen! Some weeks after this, the servant who had dropped the knife returned again to the place; he went to the school and asked the master if any of the boys had found it. James was not present, for in this interval he had left the school; but he heard from one of his school-fellows that the inquiry bad been made, and he also heard who the person was that had lost the knife ; five weeks since he thought he would surely return it, if he knew to whom it belonged. Why then did he not do so now? I will tell you what passed in his mind, and remember that I tell it as a warning to you. He thought "the man will say, why did you not give it to your master at first ? and he will be angry at my having used it;" for James was conscious that the knife was much the worse for the use he had made of it. Again, he thought, “ if the master of the school hears of it he will be angry, and give me a bad character, and that will do me harm with my present master and vex my mother.” He therefore resolved to say nothing about it, unless the seryant should ask him himself; “ the servant is not poor, and he has probably bought another knife before this.” Happily for James, all this reasoning was of no avail. I was in the school when the knife was inquired for, but I said nothing, as I wished James to come forward himself, and I thought he would do so when he heard of it. The next time I went to the school, I inquired of the master if the knife had been found, he said "No." He had met the servant that morning and had asked him. I called upon James Nelson's mother and spoke to her about it; she knew nothing of the circumstance, and was deeply grieved. As soon as James came home to dinner she took the knife from him, and carried it to the servant, who was satisfied that the mother was not in fault, and promised to say nothing about the boy, as he was to be reproved by his master. She then very properly went to the schoolmaster, and begged him to talk to James, and try to convince him of the sin that he had committed. The poor woman was very unhappy, and rightly considered, that this beginning of dishonesty would, if unchecked, end in positive stealing. James appeared very much ashamed of his fault, and promised he would not be guilty again. He saw that his master was quite right in what he said about the sin of stealing, and he resolved to be careful not to steal, nor ever again to

take possession of what he found without inquiring to whom it belonged; but he did not carry his good resolutions far enough; he did not resolve to keep his heart from coveting, as well as his hands from picking and stealing; he did not resolve to keep strictly to the golden rule, of "doing to our neighbours as we would they should do unto us.” And, above all, the resolutions he made were made in his own strength, and without seeking for God's grace and help. He was convinced that it was his duty to keep the eighth commandment in the letter, but he did not see that in order to this he must keep it in the spirit also. He was not, therefore, watchful over himself as to any want of straightforwardness and fairness in his dealings, and soon forgot both the good advice of the schoolmaster, and the circumstance of the knife. The master of the shop soon afterwards took him into his house, so that he had more to do, and was removed from his mother's eye. Sleeping in a room with others he was ashamed to kneel down to say his prayers; at first he said them after he was in bed, but soon he neglected the duty altogether. On Sundays his companions tempted him first from evening prayers that he might take a walk, and then from morning prayers, that he might indulge himself by lying late in bed. He became daily more hardened in the guilt of deceit, and less able to resist the temptations with which his great enemy was on the watch to tempt him. His mother was at one time in distress, and James wished to help her, but he had no money saved; his weekly wages were spent as soon as earned on himself. As he was one day putting some money into the till, which he had taken from a purchaser, it came into his mind that if he took out one shilling for his mother it would not be missed, and that he might put it back again as soon as he was paid on Saturday; “ this would not be stealing, only borrowing ;" he did not, or he would not see, that the only difference was, that he was taking what did not belong to him with the intention of returning it. Suppose he died without returning that shilling, would it not have been stolen ? Besides, to borrow any thing implies the goodwill of the owner to lend it. To take a thing without the knowledge and consent of the owner cannot be called to

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