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brought against her; besides, since her return to prison, her courage had revived, and she declared her previous confession false. She was once more called upon to suffer, and, in the market square of the city of Rouen, she suffered martyrdom unflinchingly. On the spot where she was burnt a statue of Joan was subsequently erected, with this inscription
“REGIA VIRGINEO DEFENDITUR ENSE CORONA
In forming an estimate of the character of Joan of Arc, we must unhesitatingly acquit her of any intentional dishonesty or falsity. She was an enthusiast, and lived in an age of enthusiasm; yet this alone was not what sustained her during the stormy periods of her life; her love of country, which dare not be questioned, was one of the strongest incentives to deeds of heroism. Although, as we said before, a belief in the supernatural was common in her day, her piety and truthfulness were far stronger arguments in her favor, than any of the mysticisms in which some of her revelations were involved. Her career subsequent to leaving her home for the army, showed no departure from those principles of morality which had been taught her in her youth; and if
“ Acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta," we must at once acknowledge a belief that ambition and vanity formed no part of her character, and that the purity of her belief and intentions is placed beyond the reach of suspicion.
Despite the opinions with which men may regard her, the admiration which her character is calculated to inspire, will cease only with time itself. The stately march of the epic, and the intenser force of the drama, have combined to swell the chorus of her praise. Schiller's noble tragedy of “Die Jungfrau von Orleans," is alone sufficient to give immortality to her fame. The proudest columns of Parian and Pentelican will crumble into the dust ere the least of her many glorious deeds shall cease to be remembered, or a single ray fall from the diadem that crowns her maiden brow.
F. R. D.
Her suffering ended with the day,
Yet lived she at its close,
In statue-like repose.
Illumed the eastern skies,
And walk'd in Paradise !
EQUITY OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
BY REV. E. H. HOPFHEINS.
“Ye say, The ways of the Lord are not equal.”
But trust Him for His grace;
He hides & emiling face.” The apparent inequality and partiality in which the favors and bounties of Providence seem to be dispensed among men, has often proved a source of great perplexity and anxiety to many, even good people. Why is it, it has frequently been asked, that many parents for instance, who are poor and very dependent, are burdened with large and expensive families, whilst others, who are rich and have all the necessary means to support heavy families, have but few or no children. Again; why is it that some can count their wealth by tens of thousands and even millions, who add house to house and acre to acre, whilst many around them have little or nothing, and thousands are constantly suffering and perishing for want of the common necessaries of life. This, we say, has often been a matter of great perplexity to many, especially when the gifts and blessings of Providence are in favor of the ungodly. Even David, that tried and faithful servant of the Lord, was greatly perplexed and in trouble when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. “As for me," says he, "my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped, for I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Nor was he able to unravel this mystery of Divine Providence, until he went into the sanctuary of the Lord, “then understood he their end."
In meditating on the apparent inequality and partiality in which the gifts and bounties of Providence seem to be distributed among men, especially as far as worldly possessions are concerned, we should remember the following things if we would avoid the fatal precipice by which Divine faith and confidence in an all-wise and merciful Providence was so much endangered:
I. We should remember that the diversity and inequality in which the favors of Divine goodness are enjoyed by many would not be so great were it not for the very selfish and avaricious natures of most men. Some men possess so much of the nature of a certain unclean animal, that they grab all they can possibly lay hold on, no matter whether by fair or unfair means. In consequence of this, many accumulate and possess more than Providence ever designed they should have, and when this is the case others will necessarily possess less then was intended for them, who are, con
sequently, suffering and famishing for want of it. Were it not for this, the bounties of a beneficent Providence would be more equally enjoyed by all, and all would possess at least a competency. The fault, therefore, that some have more than they need and others less, lies not with God but with man, and has its origin in the corruption and wickedness of human nature itself. Say not, therefore, The ways of the Lord are not equal.
II. We should bear in mind that much of the inequality which exists in the enjoyment of the blessings and comforts of life, is owing, in a great extent, to a want of energy, activity and perseverance in our worldly calling, and to a want of prudence, economy and a proper use of the favors and blessings which have been bestowed upon us from time to time. Some men are rich and prosperous, because they are sober, industrious and economical in their way of living, whilst others are poor and destitute, because they are indolent, careless and extravagant. Some, no matter how great their income is, and how much the hand of Providence may favor them, are always poor and famishing, whilst others, though their income be ever so small, have always enough and a little to spare for the more needy. The reason of this is, they know how to live according to their means. They can cut the coat according to the cloth.
This, indeed, is a great matter, and to many-alas, too manya great secret. How truly, therefore, did Solomon say, “The hand of the diligent maketh rich: Seest thou a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before
Whilst, on the other hand, “an idle soul shall suffer hunger, and the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”
“Our real wants,” said Dr. Franklin, “are few and easily supplied.” Verily, were the ways of men more cqual—were all equally sober, industrious and saving, the ways of the Lord would appear less unequal. We would see fewer struggling against extreme poverty and want, and fewer reveling in extreme wealth, luxury and pride. That which the profligate and spendthrift waste, the wise and prudent pick up. It impoverishes the one and enriches the other.
The same truths bold good in relation to moral and intellectual attainments. A great diversity of talents seems to exist among different men. But is that difference always to be attributed to superior natural endowments, over which neither the one nor the other has any control, or to circumstances over which both have control? The latent talents and moral qualities of two individuals may be precisely the same, but when brought into activity will exhibit the greatest possible difference; the one, through a proper course of training and improvement, will soar aloft and distinguish itself, as one of the most brilliant and remarkable intellects
of the age, whilst the other may never attain to the character of an ordinary mind.
III. But if, with these considerations, you still say, “The ways of the Lord are not equal,” then remember that if the favors and bounties of Providence were all equally distributed—if all were equally favored, equally rich and prosperous, then one of the principal sources of happiness, good will and gratitude among men would be destroyed. It has been most truly said, “giving blesses twice; it blesses the giver and the receiver of a gift.
And it is even more blessed to give than to receive, as our Saviour has said. Both are blessed; both feel happy and are gratified; the one that he has been enabled to give, the other on occount of the gift received. Oh, what streams of gratitude, love and good-will flow from the tender hearts of those who are the recipients of our charities. But all these blessed and happy feelings and grateful emotions flowing from heart to heart, would be unknown were there no occasion for the exercise of favors and acts of love and mercy toward one another.
IV. Again; in meditating on the apparent inequality of the favors of Providence, we should remember that, were all the bounties of a benificent Providence dispersed among men with strict equality, then there would be no room for the exercise of that highest, brighest and noblest trait of the Christian character and principle, without which no one, indeed, can claim to be a child of God and an heir of heaven—that of benevolence or charity. God is love; and acts of love and mercy have followed all his steps in the world; and
6. Wben Jesus dwelt in mortal clay,
What were His works from day to day,
That spread salvation through our race.” And the more the Christian resembles God—the more his nature is transformed and changed after the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, will he seek and embrace the opportunities for the exercise of his growing and enlarging benevolent feelings. How wise, therefore, that Providence which has afforded all, even the poorest among us, the privilege of doing good, and thus imitating the example of our heavenly Father. This diversity in the enjoyment of the blessings of Providence may also be designed to teach us our mutual dependence upon each other, and through this our continued dependence upon Almighty God.
The object of these reflections has been to reconcile us to the ways of Divine Providence, and especially to teach the poor, the humble, and less favored to be content with their lot and portion in this life, which Providence may have assigned to them, and not
the condition of the rich and more favored, nor to murmur, as is too often the case, against Almighty God, whose ways are just and righteous, remembering that all things work together for good to them that love God.
These considerations should also teach the rich not to be highminded, but fear; nor to trust in the uncertain riches of this world. “Lift not up your horn on high: Speak not with a stiff neck: For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one and setteth up another."
Those whom the Lord has blessed with the goods of this world should again bless others and make them happy. The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. Unto whom much is given, of him shall much be required. Truly, it is a solemn thing to be the steward of the Lord; but ye are the stewards of the Lord. Ye are the Lord's almoners; through your hands the Lord intends to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the fatherless and the widow. Unto others, the Lord hath given the children to you the bread for them. Oh, may you never prove recreant to your solemn and responsible trust. May your eyes never be able to see the poor suffering for want of help, nor his seed going after bread, while you have it in your power to help and supply all their mouths. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor, the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive and he shall be blessed upon the earth. But in relation to those who have, yet give not, the poet did most truly say,
“ That man may breathe, but never lives,
A TREASURE COSTING NO MONEY. Which will you do, smile, and make your household happy, or be crabbed, and make all those young ones gloomy, and the elder ones miserable ? The amount of happiness you can produce is incalculable, if you show a smiling face, a kind heart, and speak pleasant words. Wear a pleasant countenance, let joy beam in your eyes, and love glow on your forehead. There is no joy like that which springs from a kind act or a pleasant deed; and you will feel it at night when you rest, at morning when you rise, and through the day when about your business.
"A smile--who will refuse a smile,
The sorrowing heart to cheer, And turn to love the heart of guile,
And check the falling tear?
0, 'tis a blessed thing;
And spots of beauty bring."