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ON THE STUDY OF THE SCRIPTURES.
body forwards the devotion of the soul. But this composure of your bodies, to which I advise you in your closets, ought more especially to be observed in the public worship of God, which I would have you constantly to frequent. Let your outward deportment be grave, serious, and such as becomes the place and presence you are in, and the duties you are about, and that decent respect which you owe to the assemblies of the saints.
9. So much may serve for your direction as to the manner of your devotion. Concerning the matter of it, I need only remind you that spiritual blessings are the things you are chiefly to pray for; and that those are also the things for which you are chiefly to give thanks.
(To be continued.)
ON THE STUDY OF THE SCRIPTURES. The question has often been proposed, “What is the best method of studying the Word of God ?”. To this question many answers have been given, and various excellent books have been written on the subject. Nevertheless, such is the inconvenience of circumstances under which a large majority of the young are placed, that they still need more simple directions, than have as yet, ordinarily, been given. Daily tasks of reading have been assigned ; but many persons have become discouraged, by the impracticability of completing them. It is a fact, that rather more than eighty-five verses per day will carry us through the Old and New Testaments in one year; and that, on this calculation, at sixty-four verses per day the Old Testament may be read through, and at twenty-four verses the New Testament may be completed in the same time. Yet it is not by barely reading the Scriptures, that we come to understand them, but by the study of their sacred contents. The following plain rules,
then, are submitted to the Reader as a method of studying the Bible to advantage.
1. Read the whole Bible through, without missing a single word, and this with great care; noticing as you go on, the leading order of subjects, and inserting the titles of them on a sheet of paper, especially as they include the principal divisions of each book of Scripture.
2. Read it through a second time, still more deliberately; and as you read, analyze the subjects in order. To do this with advantage, rule on the left of your page three or four narrow columns, for general heads, divisions, and subdivisions. Then, write down the title or description of each subject according to its parts, as it occurs ; not forgetting to introduce in their proper places such general divisions as you had noticed in your first reading. When each book is finished, then, in the proper column, insert the respective numbers of subjects, as they stand related to each other.
3. Enter in their proper places, as you proceed, lists of the various subjects in the Bible, whether relating to doctrine, history, types, promises, predictions, miracles, &c.; and arrange and classify them at your leisure.
4. Compare and harmonize the different accounts and descriptions of subjects with each other, as related by their various writers.
5. Still continue to read daily such portions of the Scripture as may be convenient. But do not forget to pray over, believe in, experience, and reduce to practice, those sacred writings which make wise unto salvation.
Perhaps my young reader may think that I have imposed upon him a mighty task : but let him make the trial, if the LORD spare him, during the next seven years of his life, and he will not regret his labour; especially, if to the above rules he add the careful perusal of whatever books he may meet with, which have a tendency, by purity of doctrine, and sound learning, to illustrate the Word of God. Great Yarmouth.
THE BLACK EWE:
A GENTLEMAN once travelling in the west of England, over an extent of plain that seemed like a boundless waste, (its monotonous appearance being broken only by some scattered flocks of sheep,) was, after several hours' ride in this dreary wild, brought to an object of such complete, and almost romantic tranquillity, as immediately gave another turn to his thoughts, which were taking a melancholy cast. A Shepherd was seated beneath the shelter of a thorn; he had just laid down his book, and was preparing to take his frugal meal, when the Traveller, glad of an opportunity to hear the sound of his own voice, accosted him thus :- 56 My good friend, you seem to be perfectly at your ease, and, with your sheep and book, cannot have much to plague or disturb the quiet of your life. Now, I am a man of considerable property, yet have so many cares and vexations, that I doubt whether you would exchange situations with me.” The Shepherd, after a pause, thus replied : “Why, as you say, Sir, I am very well off ; I should be perfectly comfortable, but for that black ewe there; I have endeavoured to persuade my master to kill or sell her, but to no purpose. No sooner do I take out a book, or attempt to get my meal, but off she scampers, and the whole flock will follow.–There, Sir, she's off again :"-and the Shepherd and his sheep were out of sight in a moment.
see, said the gentleman,
every one has his black ewe.” Absolutely perfect happiness is not to be found amongst the things of earth. Riches, honours, and pleasures, have each their boundary, their prescribed limits; and each their alloy. There is no stream so clear, but it has some sediment at the bottom. The brightest day with which mortals are favoured, is not without, at least, a transient cloud : and amongst the highest terrestrial enjoyments, however they may be envied by others, the possessor finds, in one shape or other, a black ewe, some
distressing species of alloy. DAVID asserts, “I have seen an end of all perfection.” SOLOMON, his son, corroborates the saying of his father : nity of vanities, all is vanity.” The most competent judges who ever lived were David and Solomon, who, from their lofty thrones, and whilst surrounded with imperial honours, yet in the midst of all discovered some alloy. A great poet on the same subject says,
“ Each pleasure has its poison too,
And every sweet a snare.' It is only in pure religion here, and unending felicity hereafter, that our happiness is without alloy. “The river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeds out of the throne of God and the LAMB." Kettering
THE WAY TO HAPPINESS:
An Italian Bishop 'struggled through great difficulties without repining, and met with much oppo. sition in the discharge of his episcopal function with. out ever betraying the least impatience. An intimate friend of his, who highly admired those virtues which he thought it impossible to imitate, one day asked the Prelate, if he could communicate his secret of being always easy,? “ Yes,” replied the old man, " I can teach you my secret, and with great facility : it consists in nothing more than making a right use of my eyes.” His friend begged him to explain himself. “Most willingly,” returned the Bishop :: 6. In whatever state I am, I first look up to heaven, and remember, that my principal business here is to get there. Í then look down upon the earth, and call to mind how small a space I shall occupy in it when I come to be interred. I then look abroad in the world, and observe what multitudes there are, who are in all respects more unhappy than myself. Thus I learn where true happiness is placed, where all our cares must end, and how very little reason I have to repine or to complain."
When any one was speaking ill of another in the presence of Peter the Great, he at first listened to him attentively, and then interrupted him. “ Is there not,” said he, a fair side also to the character of the person of whom you are speaking ? Come, tell me what good qualities you have remarked about him."
THE TRAVELLER. No. II.
" It was a beauteous summer sabbath-morn,
That rosé serenely mild and calm. The sun
Tun'd to the dawn, the dales and woodlands rung.” I HAVE, from my youth, made it a rule to rise early. Besides its being favourable to health, there are many other advantages attending early rising. A man who detaches a couple of hours from those usually allotted to sleep may be said to live longer than one who rises late. Too much sleep, or rather, slothful dozing in bed, after the body is sufficiently refreshed, weakens the constitution, and enervates the mental faculties. Of two evils, it is much better to rise half an hour too soon, than to sleep an hour too long. In the morning, creation appears most beautiful ; and on a fine summer morning, our time may be pleasantly employed in attentively considering the beauties of nature, and through them rising up to nature's God." The morning has considerable influence upon the rest of the day; and, according as its hours are spent, the effects will be good or evil. If we rise early, and employ our time well, we get the start of