« AnteriorContinuar »
off; the right eye plucked out; the useful, the profitable, the beloved sin must be renounced. The SAVIOUR's wisdom must guide us, and not our own ; the Saviour's will must govern us, and not our own ; the Saviour's excellence must delight us, and not our own! If born again, we are not our own, but his ! O, GRAHAM! try yourself by this test. the more earnest, because I fear, till since I saw you, I had not sufficient views of the nature of religion ; and, if I had, it never appeared clothed with the im. portance and beauty it now wears. See, then, that you do not err. Mistake not slight impressions for permanent ones, ' agitated feelings for spiritualized affections, a partial change for a total one, or a perception of religion for its actual possession.
“ If you have scriptural evidence to conclude that you are the subject of vital religion, then Beware that you do not neglect it. If those who, not knowing religion, neglect it, are guilty, how much more the guilt of those who neglect it with a sense of its value ? As you regard your present and your future peace, I beseech you shun this evil! That you may be assisted in this, I would say“
66 First, Watch habitually over all your conduct. Remember, that every thing within you and about you is opposed to your religious progress. If you are doubtful of any action or engagement, try it by the following questions :-Is it warranted by Scripture? Will it injure my religion? Can I ask the blessing of God upon it? If it will not bear this test, consider it doubtful no longer; it is the spare of the wicked one.
" Secondly. In addition to your daily prayers, commence euch day by meditating on a select text of
Scripture, and close it by serious examination. Ask yourself, before you sink into sleep, such questions as these :-Have I observed my devotions? Have I done the duties of my station? Have I benefited any fellow-creature? Have I indulged any improper passion,-pride, anger, or resentment? Have I made any progress in knowledge or holiness? It is impossible for me to tell from what evils such a practice may deliver you, what good it may confer upon you.
“Shall I own to you, my dear John, that in penning this letter, I have been obliged repeatedly to stop and weep? I hate wept, because I saw you standing in slippery places. I have wept, because every ad-vice to you was a reproach to myself; similar advice was given to me, but I trifled with it. However, I will hope you may be confirmed in wisdom, by my dear-bought experience. Trust not the world, much as to try it. I have tried it, madly tried it. It is but a bubble, adorned with glittering colours indeed, yet still a bubble; yea, more,-a barbed poisoned dagger, that carries death with its wounds. And, though you should be exempt from its stings, though you should be prosperous in all your ways, though you should be gratified in every desire, and freed from the trials and disappointments necessary to humanity, your heart would still ache with dissatisfaction and uneasiness. Yes, nothing but God can satisfy and felicitate the soul. You live but for Him; and it is more important for you to live to Him than for you not to live at all. O, despise not then your Maker, your Preserver, your God! You are bound to Him by countless obligations. To me you are grateful for some little temporal assistance, and will you not be grateful to God for all you enjoy ? VOL. VI.
0, give hỊm your gratitude; he only deserves it. Raise to him your prayers ; he only can gratify them. Fix in him your hopes ; he only can crown them In its favour there is life, and uis loving-kindness is better than life!
66 Let me hear of you all particulars. You know I have an interest in all that belongs to you, It is likely I shall never see your face again in the flesh; but let me have communion with you on earth, and let us mutually pray for a blessed meeting in heaven. See as
much as you can of MR. DOUGLAS; you cannot prize, his society too highly. May religion be the guide. of your youth, the glory of your age, your immortal reward !
Yours, my dear young friend,
66 CHARLES LEFEVRE." At the time the letter found John GRAHAM, it appears that “ he had been exposed to some temptatious, by worldly amụséments, and that he had lost much of his relish for the means of religion, though he had not neglected them. To its arrival, he referred not only his establishment in the best purposes of his mind; but, acting on its directions, he expressed a modest hope, that he had enjoyed and comprehended religion, as he had done at no previous period of his life.”
A SISTER'S TALES.
No. II. On the last day of October, JANE L-, with her brother and sisters, had been as usual in the garden. While the rest were carelessly playing, she had been
watching with regret the showers of leaves which every gust of wind brought down from the trees; and she loved her flowers too much not to observe with sorrow, that, of all she had sowed and planted, only the china-asters remained, with the exception of some pale monthly roses, that looked as if the rain had washed away their originally beautiful colours. In the midst of her thoughts, a shower of rain came on; and she was not sorry to leave the damp walks, and the sight of dead or dying plants, for the warm parlour and lively fire-side. It was a different case with the younger ones, who had been obliged to break off in the middle of a game which they could not pursue within doors; and it is not one of the least of childish troubles, to leave a play unfinished. JANE observed their disappointment, and tried to amuse them by relating the following story:
Lucy and HELEN were the daughters of a merchant who resided in London. They were generally considered very much alike in person, but their characters need only to be, described, to display the contrast between them. In childhood there had been a difference in their plays; and as they grew up, there was a still greater one in their pursuits. Lucy was a meek, quiet, affectionate girl. She was not at all deficient in sense ; and had always been remarkably patient and industrious in every thing she undertook: she was só at her books ; her lessons were correctly said, and her exercises neatly written. But though her reason told her these tasks were necessary, and she did them regularly, they were not her pleasures. Those were of a different kind. To play with or nurse her little brothers, to be employed by her mother in any domestic affair, to sit and work by her
side, and talk of the management of a house, &c., were real delights to her. Every interval of school, after she was twelve years old, was thus filled up; and so useful was she, that her mother frequently said, Lucy was her right hand.
HELEN might not naturally be more sensible than her sister, but she was sprightly, witty, and clever, and had a great taste for light reading. In this latter particular she imitated her father, whose turn of mind was decidedly literary. The toys of learning amused his evenings, and he seldom sought any other recreation after the fatigues and toils of the counting-house. While his wife and Lucy were engaged in cutting, contriving, and making new gowns, or “ wi their needles and their sheers gar auld claes look amaist as weel as new," he was reading to HELEN some new poem or elegant critique: and he was so delighted to find that she loved these amusements as well, or even better than himself, that he never thought of checking her entire devotion to them. It is no wonder that the constant perusal of Magazines, Tales, and Poems, made her long to write also. She tried : her father praised her verses highly; and she thought every one would do the same. Indifference and volatility had hitherto kept her from being useful in domestic employments, but now she became totally disgusted with them, and looked with contempt on Lucy's cheerful performance of them. The consequence of this was, that her clothes were neglected, and her appearance was untidy. How could it be otherwise? for "as to her heedle, she absolutely hated it.” Sometimes, indeed, she would rock her little brother's cradle, and was so delighted with his slumbering beauty, as to write a poem to him ; but the moment