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HISTORY OF THE PROPHET JEREMIA II.
Prophet ceased not to bear his testimony to the duty of adhering firmly to engagements, as well as to the wisdom and expediency of quietly submitting to the conqueror. Nor was he inattentive to the conduct or the interests of his countrymen in Babylon ; whose turbulent and restless spirits were excited by deceiving prophets, who endeavoured to inspire them with the vain imagination, that, by a sudden change of circumstances, their captivity would quickly terminate, and they would be reinstated in their native land. To inform them that these expectations were delusive, and to instruct them in their civil and religious obligations even in a state of bondage, he availed himself of the occasion of an embassy sent to the King of Babylon by ZEDEKIAH; exhorting them, in the most solemn manner, to maintain a quiet and obedient spirit, to fulfil their social and domestic duties, and to pray that God would crown the cities where they sojourned with prosperity and peace. Dispersed among the Heathen, yet partaking of the blessings and protection of established government, they were required by their obedience to its civil institutions to prove themselves deserving of the privileges they enjoyed. On those deceivers who had attempted to disturb the general quiet by their false predictions, the Prophet of the Lord pronounced a curse, which was soon after ex: ecuted by the King of Babylon, by whom they were condemned to suffer a most painful death.*
These seasonable admonitions of the Prophet were, however, bitterly resented by those mischievous enthusiasts, who had endeavoured to mislead the people by pretended visions, for which they impiously claimed the sanction of the SPIRIT of the LORD. A letter,
Jer. xxix. 21-23.
therefore, was transmitted to Jerusalem, accusing JEREMIAH to the priesthood, and requiring that he should receive reproof and punishment, for having thus presumed to interfere in their affairs ; to which the writer speedily received an answer from JEHOVAH, through the medium of the man, whose authority and office he had spurned. A punishment, no less than the extinction of his family, and his own death before the expiration of the term of the captivity, was awfully adjudged to SHEMAIAH, for having dared, by his resistance to the message of the Prophet, to teach rebellion against Him, by whom that message had been sent.*
But while his enemies in Babylon were vainly striving to excite against him all the bitterness of persecution, JEREMIAH was compelled to suffer, in Jerusalem, still greater insults and indignities. A lying prophet, named HANANIAH, ventured to deny the truth of his predictions, and to declare, that at the end of two full years, the kingdom should recover its prosperity, and all the present judgments be removed. Calmly submitting to derision, he withdrew from the reproaches of his enemies, and left the issue of the cause with God. As in the former instance, the honour of his servant was quickly vindicated by JEHOVAH; and the man who had presumed to teach his own delusions to the people, as well as to affront and stigmatize a genuine Prophet, was doomed, within the year, to be cut off by death. This sentence, which within two months was executed, did not yet restrain the enemies of JEREMIAH, who pursued him 'with their cruel persecutions, until they had well nigh deprived him of his life.
(To be continued.)
Jer. xxix. 30-32.
A SISTER'S TALES.;
No. V. “ I HOPE to-day's story will be a more cheerful one than the last,” said Anna L-to her sister.
" Why, did you think the account of Mr. gloomy ?” inquired Jane.- Oh, there was so much about illness in it, and that made it very
dismal to replied ANNA. From the remarks of this child, her temper may be easily perceived. The little L-'s were all remarkably lively; but Anna was · the gayest of the band ; she was the queen of their sports, the inventor and leader of their childish pleasures; amid all their happy countenances, hers was the blithest; and if she ever looked dull or sad, it was but for a moment. Like a butterfly, she appeared to dwell among flowers, breathing but the summer air, beholding only an unclouded sky, revelling in the bliss of the present, and thinking not of the future.
Some of my young readers may perhaps view in her character, their own likeness; if they do, let me entreat them, above all things, earnestly and early to seek that blessed religion which alone can preserve to them
$i The soul's calm sunshine, and the inward joy." They must not fancy that a lively disposition will be of itself a sufficient source of happiness, even if it could last through life ; but “ the changes and chances" of this mortal scene are so many and so afflictive, that the highest natural spirits are unable to bear them. They who thirst so greatly after enjoyment, will soon exhaust the poor and scanty streams of earthly delight, and be tarmented indeed, unless they know where to procure living water."
I must return to the Sisters, whom I left conversing together. “I cannot tell whether you will think my present tale more amusing than the last,” said Jane; « but I will begin, and hope at least it will please you as well.-SUSAN BROWN was the daughter of a mea chanic, and the youngest of twelve children, who were the portion of a man rich in nothing but sons and daughters. As they grew up, they were all obliged to provide for themselves. SUSAN was a tall, strong, and healthy girl, and therefore her mother intended her, when of a proper age, to go out as a servant. She was sent, for a few years, to a little school in the neighbourhood, where all her brothers and sisters had been before her, under the care of an ancient governess, whose age certainly did not improve her original mode of tuition, which was, to teach the children who would learn without giving her any trouble, but never to discompose herself to make those attend who were idle and careless. SUSAN was of the latter class, (which was of course the most numerous one,) and excepting the repetition of two or three half-learned lessons, and reading, or rather spelling, a chapter in the Bible once a day, she did very little. The old lady could not see far off, even with the addition of her spec. tacles; 'and as SUSAN always sat in the most distant corner of the room, she generally employed berself in whispering to those around her, or in looking at the people who, passed by, through the convenient loop. holes, which time (aided by little fingers) had made in the dark-green window-blinds. Often, indeed, she had a more sensible comforter, as congenial to her taste as the former was to her sight, in the shape of an apple or sweetmeat; then, while sitting in an easy posture, eating her barley-sugar, the calm of her
spirit frequently brought on delightful slumbers, from wlrich, however, she was soon roused by her noisy companions. Is it possible any child can be so silly as Susan Brown-If any such read this paper, I would only wish that they might for a moment see themselves as they will appear when grown up into men or women: ignorant, foolish, idle children, will never make wise, sensible, industrious persons. I sincerely hope, however, that none of my young friends have ever known Susan's trilling and infantine joys by experience.
“ This was not the way to improve; and as she did nothing but waste her time, her mother gave her a very serious lecture ; but she appeared almost unmoved under it : at last, after dropping a tear or two, she sobbed out, I never could learn :- I can't help it.' It seems she was believed, for her parents took her from school; and this first triumph of ignorance and indifference prepared the way for many following
I can't help it' became the motto of her indolent mind through life.
“SUSAN was now set to learn household work at home, but this was very irksome to her; and while obliged to appear, at least, to be very busy, she often thought with regret of her quiet naps at school; yet by doing every thing about one half as thoroughly as it required to be done, she contrived to save herself as much exertion as possible. When her mother observed this, she was very angry; but Susan would reply, ('Tis of no use, mother, I can't help it.' What she would not, her weak, fond parent believed she could not do, and generally finished her idle daughter's ema ployments herself.
At the age of fifteen a situation was procured for