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in point here. She is not in as straitened circumstances now as she once was. Thrown upon the cold mercies of an unfeeling world, with shattered health and six small children to feed, clothe and educate, might be enough to make a timid, untrained and faithless heart give up to the monster despair. Not so with her. The training of her early life fitted her for her responsibilities and duties, and her post was not quitted till her work was done. In her spare hours and in the late night watches she plied her knitting pins with untiring industry to keep hungry mouths from crying for bread. Much of this kind of work was done in addition to the other
regular duties of the day. Once, I remember, having heard her speak despondingly. Her little earnings were reduced to the last half dollar. From that, young as I was, I first learned the relative value of money, which the rich so thoughtlessly squander. .
In the outset of life, she began the world with prospects perhaps, above the average lot of those entering upon life for themselves. But reverses came. Providence seemed to frown. And yet all has been turned into blessings. The bright rising sun may at midday be hid by the storm cloud and shower; but the serene sky and golden beams of the evening are all the more welcome to the glad earth for that. So it may be in life, at least so it has been, and what has been, Solomon tells us, will be. So it was with my moth
She knits now with feelings vastly different from what she once did. The task assigned her is nearly done. The little ones she once saw around her depending on her hands for bread have all grown up. One great comfort of her heart is, that she can see them all now in the arms of the church of her fathers. They have promised to take her God for their God. She could recommend Him as faithful and true, worthy to be depended upon, through His Son, in the gracious promises of of His word, in the darkest hours. One such fact is worth more than all the systems of philosophers.
The deeds of heroic worth will not all be told, till such instances be recorded. True heroism can only be attained in the faithful discharge of duty. True heroes and heroines are scarce, in comparison with the number of pretenders and quacks. But every one who does all known duty faithfully, nobly ard well, is a hero, or what is still more to be admired, a heroine. Who among the young ladies, who read the Guardian, may not become a heroine? They all have duties to perform. It may be in an humble sphere, or in more prominent places. It remains for them to determine whether, or not, they will make the necessary preparation. The first step in becoming a hero or heroine, is to deny one's self, take up the cross, and become a faithful follower of the crucified Son of Godto seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things else will be added.
Vol. V.-MARCH, 1854.–No. III.
NOAH'S RAVEN. ANXIOUSLY did Noah look forth from his swimming ark, waiting to see the waters of the flood abate. Scarcely had the peaks of the highest mountains emerged from the waves when he called all the fowls around him. “Who, among you," said he, “will be the messenger to go
forth and see whether the time of our deliverance is nigh ?”
The raven, with much noise, crowded hastily in before all the rest; he longed ardently after his favorite food. Scarcely was the window open, when he flew away and returned no more. The ungrateful bird forgot his errand and the interests of his benefactor-he hung at his carcass !
But punishment did not delay. The air was yet filled with poisonous fog, and heavy vapors hung over the putrid corpses ; these blinded his eyes and darkened his feathers.
As a punishment for his forgetfulness, his memory, as well as his sight, became dim; even his own young he did not recognize; and he experiences towards them no feelings of parental joy. Frightened at their ugliness, he turns away and forsakes them. The ungrateful one begets an ungrateful generation. He receives not the richest of all rewards--the gratitude of his own children!
THE VOICE OF TEARS. THREE days did Isaac lay dead in the heart of his father; for upon the forth day God would ask him as an offering. Silently did Abraham move toward Mount Moriah, buried in the deepest grief. The sweet, friendly voice of his child, at length aroused him from his meditations: “Behold, my father, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering ?”
* Translated for the Guardian from the German of Herder.
“My son,” said Abraham, “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering.” So they both went silently on together.
When they came to the place for the offering, and the altar was built, the father took his son, laid him upon the altar, drew the knife in his right hand, and looked toward heaven! The boy lay meekly, was silent, and looked with tearful eyes toward heaven!
Thi nute tears in the eyes of the father and the son, pressed their way through the clouds, and came to the heart of God with an exceeding great cry! “Abraham! Abraham!” cried the angel of God from heaven, “save the boy and do him no harm. It is enough."
With joy the father received again the son which he had offered to God, and called the fearful but joyous place, “Jehovah-seeth!" He sees the mute tears which fill the eyes of the suffering. He sees the heart's deep sorrow, which calls to Him more ardently than the loudesi cry.
Threefold are the prayers which men offer to God; and one is more powerful than another.
A prayer with soft, meek, voice pleases Him well; He hears it deer in the heart, and receives it graciously, even from a stammering tongue.
The prayer made in deep need, with strong cries, pierces the clouds, and heeps up fiery coals upon the head of the oppressor.
Yet, more powerful than all, is the tear of the forsaken, who hangs fast to God—and dies! It bursts through gates and bars, and forces its way to the heart of the father, and cause the eye of Him that seeth to look graciously down.
Early in the morning a damsel went into the garden to gather for herself a wreath of beautiful roses. She saw before her only buds, closed and half open, suffused with dew, fresh and fragrant.
“Not yet will I pluck you," said the damsel; “I will wait till the genial sun opens your bosoms, then ye will smile in lovelier tints, and breathe a sweeter odor.”
She came again at noon, and behold! the worm had revelled in the open roses, the sun had faded them, and they looked languid, lifeless, and pale! The maiden wept! The next morning she gathered her flowers early.
Those children whom God loves best, he gathers early out of this life before sin smites them—before its blight touches their hearts. The paradise of children is a high stage in the heavenly blessedness. The most righteous adult cannot attain to it, because his spirit has received deeper stains of sin.
AN OLD MAN'S ADVICE TO YOUNG MEN.
Boys! I ask your pardon-young gentlemen! I forgot for the moment that young men passing out of their teens into the years of manhood don't like to be called boys, although I well know the fact from experience, that the younger and less informed an individual is, so much the more he thinks himself of importance, and the older and more informed that individual gets, so much the less will that self-importance appear in his own eyes. Standing corrected, then, I say young gentlemen give me your attention while I, in a homely and familiar way, talk to you a while. I have not only passed through the same period of human life that you have, but through a larger part of it than, perhaps, many of you will. I am sitting on the sun-setting hill-side of life, and can dispassionately look back on the meandering path, and see by its side many pitfalls that I, at the time unconsciously passed, and by the kind hand of Providence was prevented from falling into. I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, and therefore you may say that I am a pretty old man to talk to the rising generation about the dangers of the path of the Christian and moral life. I have, however, a reason to render for my apparent presumption. I have passed the period of life to which ambition is an object, and the frowns of a wicked world a terror. Not so with other men, not similiarly situated, whose equally incumbent duty it may be with my own, to warn any youthful fellow beings of the dangers that will beset their future path. They have all interests that may
be seriously affected by such a course, and therefore it may be inexpedient for them to do what I am about presuming to do. The mechanic has his interests to foster. A traveler comes along; his horse has lost a shoe, his carriage has been broken, or he may have been upset and his garments rendered unfit for use.
It is therefore, necessary that every blacksmith, coachmaker, tailor, or other mechanic that may be needed, be popular with the landlord of the village in order to be recommended as a suitable person for the job. The merchant makes his money not only by the reputation of his stock of goods, but also by that of his stock of good will in the community--the fewer toes he treads upon the better for him. To the physician good will is not only important, but the principal part of his practice is derived from the disorganization of the human system by dissipation. It is therefore doubly his interest to wink at the moral and physical evils of the day. To the lawyer the same considerations are pre-eminently important. Leaving out of view the emoluments of his office, accruing from his practice in the criminal courts, caused by crimes committed under the influence of intemperance, dissipution and idleness, it is a well known fact that wine in the head makes even the poor man rich; the rich man is naturally tenacious of his rights, of which law-suits are the legitimate consequence. He therefore would, in the language of a learned judge, “be a fool if he would steer with with the wind in his eye, and thereby pursue a course calculated to take the bread from his childrens' mouths." The minister of the gospel has also his trials and precautions to take. True, it is his commission to inveigh against all sin, but it is expedient for him to do so merely in generals. He may, at a general meeting of all denominations, on a thanksgiving-day for instance, venture to say that it is questionable whether a church member is in the line of his duty in renting a house to sell liquor in. This is a general discharge of artillery that is aimed at every body, and consequently hits nobody. It would not be expedient to say so to his own congregation, much less to say "thou art the man, and as long as you do it, your worship, prayers, singing and contributions to missionary boards, are a stench in the nostrils of the Almighty.” It would convulse the nervous systems of many of his pew-holders to such a degree that, in the paroxysms of their excitement, they would unconsciously draw their purse-strings so tight that the pewrent payment day would be a slim affair, and death on the bread and butter of his wife and children.
Not so with me—being, by a kind Providence, supplied with enough to carry me through the dark days of the evening of life, and having a firm faith that as He has not left me to want in my manhood, He will not desert me in my old and crippled days, I have no such thing to dread.
After this long preamble now, as I first intended, I want to talk a little with you about a course of conduct that it will be your best interests to pursue, what things to avoid, and what to do. A good rule can be deduced, though not from a literal quotation, yet from a sentiment contained in holy writ, and that is, Spend not your money for that which is naught. Many young men commence their career by spending a good part of their earnings for oysters and such like. Now, it is difficult to see that it is wrong to occasionally eat a plate of oysters; for I have known clergymen to do it, and surely they would not do any thing wrong, say you; but all catables of that kind become insipid by frequent use; hence it is necessary to add something to give them grit. This is supplied by the master of ceremonies in the oyster saloon. He secretly keeps, without license, intoxicating liquors, from the best brandies to the weakest wines. Now, you will be told, and by professing Christians, too, who rent houses for this purpose, that this is not so; but I tell you not to believe them. Satan himself will tell a lie to prevent an injury to his kingdom, and so will his vice-regents here above. It is a fact, at least I know it to be so in my own town, and I don't think human nature is so different as to make it otherwise elsewhere. When a plain dish of oysters becomes