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gentle unto all men.” To yield to their intreaties would be criminal; it would lessen the importance of religion; it would confirm them in their worldly propensities, and make bitter work for repentance. Their persuasions, then, must be resolutely and continuously resisted; “not giving place,” even for a moment: in suggesting this, I am persuaded that I have the Scriptures on my side. The following are specimens. “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Rom. xii. 2.) “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other ; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke xvi. 13.) “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph. v. 11.) "Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thess. v. 22.) These, and many other portions of Sacred Truth, delineate the conduct which must be pursued by him who would enter into eternal life.
In respect to the temper you should manifest towards those with whom you cannot unite as it respects their pleasures and amusements, I must again repeat the necessity of your showing on all occasions the greatest courtesy and urbanity; let all the Christian virtues and graces appear in your character; even in refusing or opposing them, do it in the spirit of meekness, uniting gentleness of manner with unbending decision. Endeavour to convince them that religion prohibits nothing but what is evil in itself, or in its consequences; draw them, if possible, into serious conversation, and shew them that it as rational as it is scriptural to love God supremely, to regard the soul's best interests, to observe the Divine precepts. Point out to them the beauty, and excellency, and consolations of religion in sickness and in health, in life and in death, in youth and in age. Above all, cultivate a cheerful, happy disposition, and let them see that religion is to you a source of constant delight and satisfaction. The consistent conduct of a good man produces a powerful impression, even upon the careless and unconcerned : for
A good man seen, though silent, counsel gives. Finally, you speak, my dear sir, of “temptations too. numerous to be specified, to which you are peculiarly liable,” of this I have no doubt; every place has its temptations, and even the monk, in
his solitary secluded cell, is not thereby guarded from the encroachments of Satan, and the corrupt inclinations of his own mind. A life of piety and activity, constant watchfulness, fervent prayer, reliance on Divine strength, useful and profitable reading, association with truly serious characters of your own age, are among the list of preservatives to which you must resort. Joseph was tempted, but he resisted, and that from the noblest motive; “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God ?” Moses had the offer of a crown, accompanied by abundance of wealth and honour, but he esteemed “ the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect to the recompense of the reward." In opposing temptation, you are not alone in the conflict; God is your helper, “who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Remember also, that there is no temptation that can happen to you, but what is common to man. The paramount importance of religion must be daily observed; this is the prize set before you, for which you must endure the cross, and despise the shame, and say to everything that would impede you in your heavenly race, “ Hinder me not!" With the desire that these observations may be acceptable and useful,
. I am, dear Sir,
THE OLD GREY STONES, During my frequent journeys through one of the home counties of dear old England, I fall in with a variety of objects interesting for their curiosity, antiquity, or historical associations. But none of these are so endeared to me as an old grey pile of stones upon the hill-side, which appears to have weathered the storms of at least a thousand years. There is something so subdued and venerable in their appearance, especially if you pass them in the twilight of an autumn evening, when the moon is just rising over the distant hills, and the lingering day-light rests upon them, that I am often tempted to slacken my pace and loiter near the spot, till the valley becomes dim, and the rear-guard of “the rooks' dark phalanx,” whose music had alone disturbed the stilness, drop one
by one out of sight, and take up their quarters amongst the ancestral elms of an adjoining priory.
There are four stones, and giant stones they are three of them pitched on end, and the other resting its colossal bulk upon them. Often in the grey evening, in the sultry noon, and when at daybreak the dew condensed upon their hoary sides has chilled my hands as I essayed to climb them, have I enjoyed companionship with this stern old millenarian; and, seated on its impost, have surveyed the glorious valley at my feet—the winding river gleaming in its “emerald setting "--the bluff chalk cliff-the gently undulating hills—the graceful wreaths of smoke streaming from its couch-fires, or rising from the happy farms and cottages around me; the cattle in the green pastures at my feet, or the more adventurous sheep above me, now lost amongst the “ box and berried juniper" that fringed the slopes where they were browsing, and now hurrying in ludicrous alarm to the more open ground, where the moss, the wild thyme, and the violet, formed a carpeting that kings might envy.
What a train of remembrances did those grey old stones awaken! Tradition fabled them to be the relics of a vast druid-temple; and in the time-worn hollows of the table-stone, the antiquary fancied he could see the channels through which, in times of cruel superstition, flowed the blood of human victims sacrificed to the grim divinities of pagan England. And circled though it now is by scenes of gentle beauty, studded with the happy homes of a free and bible-reading people, there is too much reason to believe it to have been a “high place,” consecrated to the worship of the great destroyer, under one of his many forms and names.
But strange as it may seem to some, it is in these associations that I feel the deepest interest ; because they lead my thoughts back to their only proper resting point-the word of God; and recal so vividly to mind (in contrast to the dark and horrid rites of which they whisper,) the transcendant glory of the true Jehovah, and the greatness of that deliverance which he has wrought out on behalf of our own land, in causing his light and truth to visit it to the utter overthrow of its ancient and unmitigated paganism,
It was on some such eminence as this, and surrounded by similar appurtenances to idolatry, that Balaam stood to try his divinations and enchantments against the congregated hosts of Israel